Symposium Session A
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am
WHAT I KNOW NOW THAT I WISH I’D KNOWN THEN
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room R03 – R05
Chair: Jon Maner, Florida State University
Co-Chair: Stacey Sinclair, Princeton University
Many wonder how ultra-successful people in the field make it look so easy. This symposium brings together four superstars of Psychology to discuss insights including developing an effective management style (Richeson), managing expectations and goals (Carver), dealing with rejection (Kenrick) and cultivating the development of young scholars (Devine).
IT TAKES A VILLAGE AND YOU ARE NOW THE CHIEF: MAKING THE TRANSITION FROM STUDENT TO PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR
Being a professor with an active research lab often feels like being the head of a small business. In this session, I’ll discuss strategies for keeping your “mom & pop” shop afloat and, thus, facilitating the production of your research. Topics include the importance of recognizing that you are indeed the manager of a small organization rather than an independent agent, and, thus, the need to find a successful management style. In addition, I’ll discuss strategies for maintaining motivation—your own, your students’, and your collaborators’—in the face of many management responsibilities that can feel overwhelming.
WELCOME TO THE FUNHOUSE: ESTABLISHING AN ACADEMIC CAREER IN THE EARLY TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
University of Miami
Being given a salary to explore interesting questions in human behavior remains one of the best jobs in the world. However, life in academia is not without its tricky side. For example, it is critical to know what expectations others have for you, and expectations have a way of shifting if they are not pinned down. As another example, in planning your activities, you have to have an eye for both the short term and the long term. This talk will raise some of the questions that you should think about as you embark on making your place in the field, and if not answers (rarely answers), some opinions about effective approaches to them.
THE ZEN OF EMBRACING REJECTION
Arizona State University
I was once amazed to overhear a conversation between two superstars of psychology, both well known for their influential papers in top journals. They were discussing strategies for handling rejection letters; it was clear that both had, despite their successes, seen more rejections than most people. In this talk, I’ll discuss the importance of accepting, handling, and even embracing negative feedback. What doesn’t derail you makes your science stronger -- at the local level (thank your colleagues for being honest with you about your ideas), at the middle level (take the reviewer’s perspective and don’t let rejection throw you off your game), and at the highest theoretical level (respond well when people don’t understand, or accept, your brilliant theoretical advances). As an example, I will discuss how researchers studying behavior in evolutionary perspective got stronger by figuring out how to empirically address what seemed like an insurmountable wall of resistance.
CULTIVATING THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUNG SCHOLARS
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Cultivating the development of young scholars is one of the most exciting opportunities and truly awesome responsibilities we undertake. Some advisors foster the development of students with seemingly considerable ease whereas others struggle. Often little formal training is provided in how to work effectively with students or how to create a context in which one’s students can thrive. In this session, I’ll offer some reflections on the challenges involved in working effectively with graduate students and how these challenges change over the course of one’s career, as you become a seasoned veteran (and older!). In working effectively with students, one key principle to understand is that there is no “one size fits all” to student mentoring, with an important corollary principle that your students will have different strengths and, as I like to refer to them, different yet to be developed strengths.
BEYOND CULTURAL DIFFERENCES: EXAMINING SITUATIONAL, AFFECTIVE, AND COGNITIVE PROCESSES INVOLVED IN ACCULTURATION AND CULTURAL LEARNING
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room R01
Chair: Krishna Savani, National University of Singapore
We investigate psychological mechanisms underlying cultural adaptation, documenting that everyday situations help people learn to make culture-appropriate attributions; affective adaptation predicts well-being better than value-based adaptation; new immigrants’ self-construal, but not their cultural identification assimilates to the host culture; and cultural metacognition predicts individuals’ ability to learn cultural norms implicitly.
LEARNING CULTURE FROM EVERYDAY SITUATIONS: SITUATIONAL CONSTRAINT AND SOCIAL PERCEPTIONS
Janetta Lun, Michele Gelfand
University of Maryland at College Park
Recent research has illustrated that cultures vary in the preponderance of strong versus weak everyday situations. We investigate whether situational strength is a mechanism through which culturally varying dispositional vs. situational attributions are learned. In two studies, we asked people to make attribution judgments when they are in a strong situation that has a narrow range of appropriate behavior (i.e., library) or a weak situation that has more behavioral options (i.e., student union or lounge). We found that people are less likely to explain behavior with dispositional reasons in strong than weak situations. We reason that this attribution style may reflect the expectation of greater norm compliance in strong situations. Supporting this view, people are less tolerant of norm violations when they are in a strong than weak situation. These results suggest that culturally divergent attributions for behavior are learned through the structure of social situations pervasive in the culture.
EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE AS AN IMPLICIT MEASURE OF ACCULTURATION
Batja Mesquita1, Jozefien Deleersnyder1, Heejung Kim2
1University of Leuven; 2University of California, Santa Barbara
The more time immigrants spend in the host country, and the more contacts they have with members of the majority culture, the more similar their emotional experiences tend to be to those of the host culture; we have coined this phenomenon “emotional acculturation.” We report two studies in which we measured emotional acculturation by correlating immigrants’ ratings of emotions with the average ratings of members of the majority culture in comparable situations. Emotional acculturation was observed in Korean immigrant groups in the United States (Study 1), and in Turkish immigrant groups in Belgium (Study 2). In both studies, the implicit emotion acculturation measures were unrelated to the traditional, explicit scales of acculturation. Moreover, in another study with Korean immigrants in the US (Study 3), psychological wellbeing was predicted by emotional acculturation, but not by traditional acculturation scores. Therefore, affective adaptation to new cultures might be more consequential than cognitive adaptation.
TWO FACETS OF ACCULTURATION: BECOMING LIKE AMERICANS WHILE NOT IDENTIFYING WITH AMERICAN CULTURE
Yuri Miyamoto, Amanda Taylor Eggen, Xiaoming Ma
University of Wisconsin, Madison
The literature has provided mixed evidence regarding whether people change their psychological processes to accommodate to new cultural contexts (i.e., acculturation). In this research, we explored whether acculturation depends on type of psychological process by conducting a longitudinal study of Asian international students living in residential housing at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Students responded to an online survey three times over the course of their first year at the University of Wisconsin. The findings showed that whereas Asian students’ identification with American culture did not change or even slightly decreased over time, their self-construal changed to fit American cultural contexts. These findings indicate that changes in self-construal can happen despite the lack of changes in identification with the host culture, highlighting the importance of separating how people think about the self and others embedded in cultural contexts from how people explicitly think about culture, when understanding acculturation.
UNPACKING GENDER STEREOTYPES: HOW GENDER COGNITIONS DEVELOP, CHANGE, AND CONFLICT FROM CHILDHOOD TO ADULTHOOD
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room R07 – R09
Chair: Alyssa Croft, University of British Columbia
Co-Chair: Toni Schmader, University of British Columbia
Implicit and explicit gender roles and identities influence major life choices, yet the process by which these beliefs develop and change has only recently been explored. Four papers chart the progression of implicit and explicit gender stereotypes from childhood to adulthood and highlight a path to a more egalitarian society.
THEY DO AS I DO, NOT AS I SAY: TRANSMISSION OF GENDER ROLE BELIEFS FROM PARENTS TO CHILDREN
Alyssa Croft, Katharina Block, Andrew S. Baron, Toni Schmader
University of British Columbia
The current study examined whether parents’ implicit associations and behaviors uniquely predict children’s self-views over and above the effects of explicit stereotypes. We measured implicit and explicit tendencies to associate self and gender groups with domestic or career roles in 331 children (39% female) and at least one of their parents (239 moms, 161 dads). Both children and parents exhibit implicit and explicit gender stereotypes, although parents more than children self-identify with stereotypic roles. Replicating prior research, children’s explicit stereotypes are predicted by mothers’, not fathers’, explicit stereotypes. But controlling for these explicit stereotypes, children’s self-views are linked to more subtle aspects of parental beliefs and behavior. Children who implicitly associate with the non-stereotypic role have moms who implicitly associate self with work more than home. Also, boys envision a more family-oriented future for themselves if their dads work fewer hours and do more of the childcare.
MALLEABILITY OF IMPLICIT AND EXPLICIT ATTITUDES AND STEREOTYPES ACROSS DEVELOPMENT Andrew S. Baron1, Dario Cvencek2
1University of British Columbia; 2University of Washington, Seattle
Implicit gender stereotypes about math and science emerge by age 7 (Cvencek et al., 2011). Although research suggests that the magnitude of implicit biases may go unchanged across development, their malleability has not been systematically explored. In one experiment, implicit science attitudes and stereotypes were measured among children (ages 7-11) at the start of a 9-week afterschool program designed to foster greater science appreciation and once more upon the program’s conclusion. To speak broadly to constraints on the malleability of implicit social cognition, a second experiment examined the malleability of non-science attitudes and stereotypes among age-matched children following a brief 2-minute intervention. Results indicate that stereotypes may be more malleable than attitudes and that a prolonged intervention may be more successful at reducing girls’ but not boys’ implicit gender bias. These results will be discussed in terms of promoting greater gender equality in STEM courses and careers.
EXPLICIT AND IMPLICIT PROCESSES IN THE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF WOMEN IN STEM: A COMMUNAL GOAL CONGRUITY PERSPECTIVE
Amanda B. Diekman, Mia Steinberg
We explore the implicit and explicit processes involved in social role selection, particularly with regard to women’s decisions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Current stereotypes associate STEM fields with reduced opportunities to fulfill communal goals (e.g., working with or helping others), and these stereotypes might particularly deter women because of women’s high endorsement of communal goals. Both short-term and long-term experience with STEM as affording communal goals influences explicit and implicit cognitions. Specifically, those who experienced STEM as communal reported greater intent to pursue these fields, whether this communal experience came from long-term, naturalistic experience in science/mathematics courses or from short-term, experimentally-induced exposure to information portraying STEM as communal. Moreover, long-term quantity of experience in STEM is associated with reduced implicit stereotypic associations, particularly for women. Delineating the interplay of explicit and implicit cognitions offers insights into both the recruitment and the retention of women in STEM.
MANAGING IDENTITY CONFLICT BETWEEN PARENT AND PROFESSIONAL ROLES
Bernadette Park, Allegra Hodges
University of Colorado at Boulder
Because prototypic representations of the ideal mom and professional are in direct opposition, college women are hypothesized to experience identity conflict when seeking to simultaneously succeed in the roles. Using a Go/No-Go Task, implicit activation of these two competing identities was shown to shift between whichever identity was relevant in a given situational context for women but not for men (Study 1). This process used scarce cognitive resources, interfering with performance on a task requiring executive function capacity. In Study 2, women who experienced a threat in the career domain activated their parent identity, perhaps in an attempt to affirm the self. For men, because career success indicates success as a dad, failure in the work domain was responded to with a redoubling of their career identities. A parallel pattern was obtained for women who read and practiced thinking about how the two roles could facilitate (versus oppose) one another.
THE THREE FACES OF T: LINKING TESTOSTERONE TO SEX, EMPATHIC INACCURACY, AND MENTAL ILLNESS
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 206 – 207
Chair: Eli Finkel, Northwestern University
Co-Chair: Robert A. Josephs, University of Texas at Austin
Personality and social psychologists from a remarkably broad range of theoretical perspectives and topical interests have bolstered their understanding of human sociality by studying testosterone. The four presentations in this symposium provide novel perspectives on the links between testosterone and (a) sexuality, (b) empathy and leadership, and (c) anxiety.
ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN TESTOSTERONE AND SOCIOSEXUALITY IN MEN AND WOMEN
Robin S. Edelstein, William J. Chopik, Natalie J. Lin, Emily L. Kean
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Single individuals typically have higher testosterone than partnered individuals, suggesting that testosterone varies as a function of mating effort, or one’s motivation to find a sexual partner. Yet testosterone has not been consistently linked with people’s psychological orientation toward sexual relationships. In two studies, we examined associations between testosterone and sociosexuality (i.e., orientation toward uncommitted sexual activity). In Study 1, we found that sociosexuality moderated the association between testosterone and partnered status. Partnered men who reported more sociosexual desire had testosterone levels comparable to single men; partnered women who reported more sociosexual behavior had testosterone levels comparable to single women. In Study 2, we employed a power manipulation to experimentally increase men’s testosterone levels. Among single participants, increases in testosterone predicted higher sociosexual desire. Our findings provide some of the first evidence for testosterone-sociosexuality associations, and they reveal that the nature of these associations varies by gender and partnered status.
TESTOSTERONE REACTIVITY IN RESPONSE TO MUTUAL ROMANTIC CONNECTION
Eli J. Finkel1, Benjamin R W. Yu1, Paul W. Eastwick2, Thomas W. McDade1
1Northwestern University; 2University of Texas at Austin
A speed-dating study examined the links between mating dynamics and testosterone reactivity. Approximately 200 heterosexual participants went on over 2,000 speed-dates, providing saliva samples before and after their event. They also provided saliva samples at the same times of day as these speed-dating samples, but one week earlier (four samples in total). Results for men and women revealed strong evidence that testosterone increases in response to mating opportunities, and, more importantly, that “mating opportunities” appears to mean something different from what scholars have long assumed. Testosterone was higher on the speed-dating than the control day, and the standard diurnal decline in testosterone was smaller on the speed-dating day. Testosterone reactivity was associated with romantic connection (mutual “yesses”) at the speed-dating event, but not with romantic popularity (yesses received) or with romantic attraction (yesses given). In short, testosterone spikes in response to mating opportunities, especially when people experience mutual romantic connections.
WHEN WANTING TO LEAD ISN’T ENOUGH: TESTOSTERONE’S NEGATIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH EMPATHIC ACCURACY AND LEADERSHIP ABILITY
Richard Ronay1, Dana Carney2
1Columbia University; 2University of California, Berkeley
Despite testosterone’s relationship with the pursuit of status and dominance, there is little evidence that this translates into a capacity for effective leadership. One possible contributor to this uncoupling of motivation and accomplishment is testosterone’s negative relationship with the ability to infer the thoughts and feelings of others. We test this proposition using data collected both in the lab and in the field. Experiment 1 finds that basal levels of testosterone are negatively related to people’s ability to read others during a simulated negotiation. Experiment 2 tests the downstream consequences of empathic inaccuracy by asking participants’ real-world professional colleagues to report on participants’ capacity for empathic accuracy and leadership. Higher levels of testosterone are negatively associated with observed leadership ability, and this relationship is accounted for by observations of participants’ limited capacity for empathic accuracy. We discuss the possible origins of this mismatch between leadership motivation and leadership ability.
TESTOSTERONE, CORTISOL, AND THE TIME-COURSE OF ANXIETY DURING COMBAT DEPLOYMENT
Robert A. Josephs
University of Texas at Austin
We present evidence showing that U.S. soldiers who are high in testosterone and low in cortisol—a hormonal profile associated with social aggression, behavioral approach, and dominance—begin their deployment to Iraq low in anxiety, but become increasingly anxious as a function of chronic, inescapable exposure to high levels of combat stress. Soldiers low in testosterone and cortisol—a profile associated with fear, social avoidance, and subordination—begin deployment highly anxious, but become decreasingly anxious the longer they are exposed to high levels of combat stress. One unifying explanation for these apparently discordant results comes from primatology, where threatening environments produce elevated glucocorticoid levels and, if the threat persists, illness, in dominant animals, but low glucocorticoid levels in subordinate animals. These results are the first to leverage a person×situation framework to show that onset of affective illness due to exposure to a threatening environment can be predicted by hormonal differences.
CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS FROM THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 217– 219
Chair: Simine Vazire, Washington University in St. Louis
Co-Chair: Brittany Solomon, Washington University in St. Louis
Close relationships do not exist in a vacuum. These talks illustrate how close relationships are influenced by external factors (e.g., social norms and physical instability), how people are aware of outsiders’ perceptions of their romantic partners, and how relationship experiences influence behavior outside of relationships (e.g., generosity).
THE INFLUENCE OF COLLECTIVISM ON ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS: WHEN AND HOW DO FAMILIES FACTOR INTO RELATIONSHIP DECISIONS?
Laura VanderDrift1, Chris R. Agnew2
1Syracuse University; 1Purdue University
All relationships are influenced by the (dis)approval of others, but evidence suggests that some individuals, at some times, are more likely to accommodate the expectations of others (Kelley et al., 2003). Collectivism is a multifaceted worldview in which individuals value and act towards maintaining harmonious social relations. In the current studies we considered how a collectivist worldview impacts when network (dis)approval exerts the greatest influence on relationships. Results indicated that individuals high in collectivism are most susceptible to their families’ wishes early in the relationship (i.e., before the partner is incorporated into their in-group), and which facet of collectivism is most salient for an individual (i.e., viewing themselves as having similar goals to their in-group or being obliged to obey authority) influences when they will heed their families’ wishes. Together, the results suggest that collectivism is important to consider when examining when and how social networks influence relationships.
YOU ARE SO BEAUTIFUL TO ME: DO ROMANTIC PARTNERS HAVE KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR PARTNERS’ IDENTITY AND REPUTATION?
Brittany C. Solomon, Simine Vazire
Washington University in St. Louis
Are romantic partners aware that they have overly positive views of each other? Research shows that both positivity and accuracy coexist in romantic partners’ perceptions (e.g., Fletcher & Kerr, 2010). We use a novel approach to understanding how this seemingly paradoxical effect occurs. Using 5 samples (N = 160), we test the hypothesis that people are aware that others do not see their partners as positively as they do. That is, despite their own biased perceptions, people have insight into how their partners see themselves (i.e., identity accuracy; r = .28) and how outsiders see their partners (i.e., reputation accuracy; r = .54). We focus the first test of this phenomenon on physical attractiveness, a highly evaluative characteristic important for mate selection and partner perception. Results suggest that romantic partner knowledge is multi-faceted, incorporating both insiders’ and outsiders’ perspectives, and thus fulfilling the need to see partners positively and realistically.
IT’S NOT YOU, IT’S THIS TABLE: PHYSICAL INSTABILITY TRIGGERS RISK REGULATION PROCESSES IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS
Amanda L. Forest, David R. Kille, Joanne V. Wood
University of Waterloo
Relationships are risky: Partners can hurt us by criticizing, cheating, or leaving. The present research examines whether benign “threats” that stem from outside of the relationship—the stability of one’s physical surroundings—can trigger risk regulation processes (e.g., Murray, Holmes, & Collins, 2006). Drawing on the embodiment literature, we propose that experiencing physical instability leads people to perceive their romantic relationships as less stable and to self-protectively reduce engagement. We also examine whether an internal factor—trait self-esteem—moderates responses to physical instability and to the resulting perceived relationship instability. Participants who sat (Study 1) or stood (Study 2) on an unstable (vs. stable) surface perceived their relationships as less stable. Consistent with risk regulation theory, perceived relationship instability was, in turn, associated with relationship disengagement—particularly among people with low self-esteem. These findings suggest that relationship-irrelevant environmental features can activate the risk regulation system.
PROMOTING GENEROSITY THROUGH ATTACHMENT SECURITY
Ali Imran1, Omri Gillath, Ruthann Atchley, Mohamed El-Hodiri, Keith Young, Yana Yen, Ashley Demarco
University of Kansas
Three studies examined the underpinnings of generosity and its associations with attachment security. In Study 1 we found attachment avoidance to be negatively associated with feeling and behaving generously; unexpectedly, attachment anxiety was positively associated with behaving generously. Study 2 focused on the effects of security priming on behavioral generosity. Participants played an online decision-making game with other students. Before playing the game they were exposed to a priming procedure in one of three conditions (secure, insecure, and neutral). Security priming increased generous behavior. A third study using ERP found attachment primes to moderate the relationship between attachment anxiety and emotional reactions to partner feedback, such that anxious participants showed a higher LPP when primed with security. The amount of money lost or won was related to salience of reward. However, this relationship was not significant for participants primed with security. The implications for prosocial behavior are discussed.
FACEBOOK: FRIEND OR FOE? EFFECTS OF ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKS ON CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 228 – 230
Chair: Juwon Lee, University of Kansas
Co-Chair: Omri Gillath, University of Kansas
The recent upsurge of online social networks makes them a valuable resource for studying human behavior. Using a variety of experimental, self-report, longitudinal, and diary methods, the studies discussed in this symposium show how relational processes manifest through the largest of online social networks, Facebook, and their effects on relationships.
THE EFFECT OF ONLINE SELF-DISCLOSURE ON RELATIONSHIPS
Juwon Lee1, Omri Gillath1, Emily Berman1, Melanie Canterberry2
1University of Kansas; 2Medical University of South Carolina
Three studies highlight the effects of online self-disclosure on relationships. Study 1 (N=186) showed higher online disclosure, assessed via a self-report measure of Facebook use, was related to lower intimacy and satisfaction in romantic relationships, but not in friendships, of the disclosers. Study 2 (N=67) examined how online disclosure affects the discloser’s romantic partner. After assessing Facebook use of participants, their partners were recruited to provide information on relationship components. Results showed online self-disclosure correlated negatively with partners’ intimacy and satisfaction. In Study 3 (N=93), perceptions of romantic partner’s online disclosure were experimentally manipulated using two versions of mock Facebook pages, showing either high or low self-disclosure. Perceiving one’s partner to highly disclose online resulted in lower intimacy, satisfaction, trust, commitment, passion, and love. These studies show that a high degree of online self-disclosure may negatively affect romantic relationships, which contrast from self-disclosure’s well-established role as a relationship facilitator.
HOW DEPRESSIVE SYMPTOMS ARE LINKED TO TIME ON FACEBOOK AND FACEBOOK SOCIAL COMPARISON
Mai-Ly Nguyen, Robert E. Wickham, Linda K. Acitelli
University of Houston
Two studies investigated social comparison to peers through computer-mediated interactions on the social networking site, Facebook, and the potential impact of such interactions on user’s psychological health. Study 1 (N= 180) a cross-sectional study, revealed an association between time spent on Facebook and depressive symptoms for both men and women. However, results demonstrated that, for men only, making non-directional Facebook social comparisons (FSC) mediated the link between time spent on Facebook and depressive symptoms. In study 2, a14-day diary study (N=152), gender was not found to be a moderator. However, engaging in non-directional and upward FSC served as a mediator between time on Facebook and depressive symptoms for all participants. Non-directional and upward FSC were also found to be a mediator between number of Facebook logins and depressive symptoms across all participants. Both studies provide evidence that the association between time on Facebook and depressive symptoms is mediated by FSC.
WEARING YOUR HEART ON YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE: HOW DISPLAYING ONE’S RELATIONSHIP ON FACEBOOK IS RELATED TO RELATIONSHIP QUALITY
Camilla S. Overup, Mai-Ly Nguyen, Julie A. Brunson, Linda K. Acitelli University of Houston
Social media sites provide an avenue to share personal information with others; however, people vary in the extent to which they share information about their romantic relationship. A study was conducted to examine the extent to which online behavior influences offline romantic relationships. Participants completed measures on Facebook posting behaviors, personality, and relationship factors. It was found that perceiving one’s partner to be open about the relationship on Facebook predicted higher relationship quality, even after controlling for one’s own openness. However, this relationship was moderated by public self-consciousness. The positive association between the partner’s sharing information about the relationship and relationship quality was stronger for those low in self-consciousness: The more open the partner, the happier they were. Those high in public self-consciousness were happy with their relationship even when their partner shared less relationship information. Perhaps being less concerned with public self-image makes one’s relationship image more salient.
A SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS OF CYBER AGGRESSION
Diane Felmlee1, Robert Faris2
1Pennsylvania State University; 2University of California, Davis
The explosion of electronic communication in “cyberspace” offers novel opportunities for damaging interpersonal communication.The questions we examine include: Do negative, cyber ties develop among relatively isolated, versus central, kids in the school social network? Furthermore, to what extent do these deleterious associations occur between distally related individuals or between those who are/were friends or romantic partners? We investigate negative cyber networks among a large sample of 8th to 12th grade students in a longitudinal study of an affluent, Long Island school. Approximately 11% of the sample reported an aggressive cyber incident. Girls were significantly more likely than boys to report being harmed. Illustrations included posting mean rumors and humiliating photos on Facebook. These negative links developed more frequently between relatively popular students in the friendship network, as opposed to their more solitary peers. Finally, harmful relations often transpired between (former) friends, as well as between former dating partners.
WHO LEGITIMIZES THE SYSTEM? ANSWERS FROM DISTINCT THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 208 – 210
Chair: Ellie Shockley, University of Chicago
Co-Chair: Mark J. Brandt, Tilburg University
This symposium brings together international researchers who examine legitimation and rejection of the sociopolitical system. Employing theories of system justification, social dominance, and social identity, the symposium advances understanding of these phenomena across a range of disadvantaged and advantaged groups.
WHO LEGITIMIZES THE SYSTEM? A CRITICAL TEST OF ENHANCED SYSTEM JUSTIFICATION AMONG THE DISADVANTAGED
Mark J. Brandt
System Justification theorists have provocatively predicted that disadvantaged groups will at times legitimize the social system more than advantaged groups because doing so reduces dissonance experienced by disadvantaged individuals who have not engaged in collective action (Jost et al., 2003). This counter-intuitive disadvantage-legitimacy hypothesis is theorized to occur especially in social systems characterized by meritocratic beliefs, inequality, and democracy (e.g., USA). Multilevel modeling with representative survey data from the American National Election Studies (N=27,543), General Social Survey (N=27,589), European Social Survey (N=153,978), and World Values Survey (N=96,662) demonstrated little evidence for thehypothesis. Instead, results were directly contrary to the hypothesis. Attempts to moderate effects with societal inequality and civil liberties found rare support for a weak version of the hypothesis. Thus, despite ample respondents and cultural contexts, the data suggest there is little evidence the disadvantaged legitimize their systems more than the advantaged.
SUBORDINATION BEGETS REJECTION OF DOMINATION: CROSS-NATIONAL DOMESTIC, INTERNATIONAL, AND EXPERIMENTAL EVIDENCE
Andrew L. Stewart, Felicia Pratto, Fouad Bou Zeineddine, Eileen V. Pitpitan
University of Connecticut
Social Dominance Theory predicts that people in subordinated positions will reject dominance more than people in dominant situations. We present three kinds of evidence consistent with this prediction, using various measures. First, a meta-analysis shows dominants are higher on Social Dominance Orientation than subordinates. Second, survey data show that people in 7 developing nations reject that either international or domestic political systems are fair more than people in 7 developed nations. Covariance analyses show this is accounted for by relative deprivation, political efficacy, and the perception that international power inequality is stable. Third, experimentally assigned subordinates felt more disempowered and perceived rules protecting subordinates and the use of violence/exploitation to overcome dependency to be more fair. In all, international surveys and experiments demonstrate people in subordinated positions reject inequality and look for opportunities to change power structures.
DIMENSIONS OF BLACK IDENTITY PREDICT SYSTEM JUSTIFICATION AND SYSTEM REJECTION
Ellie Shockley1, Ashley Wynn1, Leslie Ashburn-Nardo2
1University of Chicago; 2Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis
System Justification (SJ) Theory implicates disadvantaged groups in the maintenance of sociopolitical arrangements; it proposes a motivation to perceive system legitimacy even at the expense of self-interest. As a disadvantaged group, African Americans (AAs) are important to study when examining American SJ. Notably, there is variation in Black identity, and we examine whether it predicts SJ. Using survey methodology and the Multidimensional Model of Racial Identity, we find the more AAs define themselves in terms of race, less SJ is endorsed. Additionally, the more AAs emphasize the compatibility of their culture with mainstream society, more SJ is reported. Lastly, when one believes AAs represent a unique group and one highly identifies with this group, less SJ is reported. However, when one perceives AAs as unique but does not identify with AAs, more SJ is endorsed. Altogether, stronger Black identity predicts system rejection.
WE’RE MAD AS HELL AND WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY MORE: SOCIAL IDENTITY AND THE PROCESS OF SYSTEM DEJUSTIFICATION
S. Alexander. Haslam1, Stephen D. Reicher2
1University of Exeter; 2University of St Andrews
There is a general tendency for psychologists to focus on processes of oppression rather than resistance. This is exemplified and entrenched by interpretations of both the Stanford Prison Experiment and Milgram’s ‘Obedience to Authority’ Studies. On the basis of the standard reading of these classic studies, researchers have come to see domination, tyranny, and abuse as natural. Challenging this view, research suggests that where members of low-status groups are bound together by a sense of shared social identity this can be the basis for effective organization that allows them to counteract stress, secure support, challenge authority, and promote social change in even the most extreme of situations. This view is supported by a review of experimental research and case studies of rebellion against carceral regimes in Northern Ireland, South Africa, and Nazi Germany. This evidence is used to advance a Social Identity Model of Resistance Dynamics.
IS THERE A COMMON MECHANISM UNDERLYING THE THREAT-COMPENSATION LITERATURE?: EVIDENCE FOR INCONSISTENCY COMPENSATION AS CORE MOTIVATION
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 211 – 213
Chair: Eddie Harmon-Jones, University of New South Wales
‘Threat-Compensation’ effects constitute a good deal of social psychological research, often dealing with identity, personal control, belongingness or human mortality. In this symposium, we present evidence that much of this literature can be understood from an inconsistency compensation perspective. Common neurocognitive markers and convergent compensation effects will be discussed.
WORLDVIEW DEFENSE: COMPENSATORY AFFIRMATION OR UNCONSCIOUS VIGILANCE?
University of California, Los Angeles
In the aftermath of subtle indications of threat, humans exaggeratedly laud cherished in-groups and derogate out-groups. This worldview defense dynamic has been interpreted within social psychology as reflecting a motivation to allay threat-anxiety by compensatorily affirming cultural values. In contrast, I will present evidence that worldview defense stems from an information-gathering system that accentuates sensitivity to affective (i.e., organismically relevant) stimuli upon detection of background cues of threat, reward, or outcome-discrepancy. This “unconscious vigilance” account suggests that manipulations which polarize ratings of cultural attitudes will analogously polarize ratings of arbitrary affective targets unrelated to cultural attitudes. Indeed, this pattern has now been documented in Northern Ireland, Tibet, and the United States. Also consonant with the unconscious vigilance hypothesis, non-threat manipulations involving reward or discrepancy have been observed to elicit worldview defense. These results will be synthesized with emerging neuroscientific perspectives on attention and unconscious alarm.
EXISTENTIAL NEUROSCIENCE: EXTANT FINDINGS AND FUTURE PROSPECTS FOR THE ‘THREAT-COMPENSATION’ LITERATURE
Johannes Klackl1, Eva Jonas1, Martin Kronbichler2
1University of Salzburg; 2Neuroscience Institute, Christian Doppler-Clinic, Paracelsus Private Medical University
The main goal of Existential Neuroscience is to use neuroscientific techniques such as EEG or fMRI to study questions related to how people deal with fundamental existential concerns, including (but not limited to) mortality, uncertainty, uncontrollability, and meaninglessness. In this talk, I will summarize and integrate extant research (including my own) into a vulnerability-threat-regulation model. There is strong evidence that ERP components such as the Error-related negativity (ERN) and the late positive potential (LPP) are sensitive to existentially threatening information, especially if vulnerability towards existential concerns is high. Regulatory efforts have been related to activation in a prefrontal circuitry and the insula, and these regulatory efforts also seem to be dependent on individual differences in vulnerability. I will also talk about problems inherent in the Existential Neuroscience approach, such as the extensive reliance on reverse inference, and discuss various possibilities to address these problems.
REDUCING APPROACH MOTIVATION REDUCES DISSONANCE REDUCTION: SUPPORT FOR THE ACTION-BASED MODEL OF DISSONANCE
Eddie Harmon-Jones, Cindy Harmon-Jones, Tom F. Price University of New South Wales
The motivation to reduce cognitive dissonance is a core motive in the ‘threat-compensation’ literature. The action-based model posits that dissonance is the result of conflicting action tendencies and that dissonance reduction occurs to facilitate effective behavior. As such, dissonance reduction should be influenced by variations in approach motivation, particularly in situations in which dissonance results from an individual’s commitment to a course of action. Across two experiments, utilizing the difficult decision and effort justification paradigms, we found that when individuals were placed into a lowered approach motivation state, they were less likely to reduce dissonance, as measured by attitude change. In both experiments, approach motivation was manipulated by placing individuals in an upright or supine body position; the latter has been found to reduce approach motivation. Taken together, these recent experiments support the hypothesis derived from the action-based model that decreases in approach motivation decrease the motivation to reduce dissonance.
UNDERMINED BY THE UNEXPECTED: UNDERSTANDING ‘THREAT-COMPENSATION’ AS INCONSISTENCY COMPENSATION
Researchers continue to demonstrate the affirmation of cultural worldviews following experiences that threaten one’s sense of self, belongingness, personal control or remind people of their own mortality. More recently, we have demonstrated many of these same affirmation behaviours following the unconscious perception of anomalies, suggesting that ‘fluid-compensation’ processes may be palliative approach behaviours following the experience of inconsistencies, more generally. In support of this understanding, I will survey experimental findings that expand the boundaries of fluid compensation efforts, demonstrating that people will affirm explicit beliefs and goals following unrelated, implicit anomalies. Subliminally presented nonsense words will be shown to increase a desire for affiliation, as well as enhance effort on a variety of cognitive tasks. Photos with reversed facial features will be shown to heighten values affirmation, as well as increase preference for certain risky decisions. These findings provide convergent evidence for a general inconsistency compensation account of fluid compensation processes.
THE EVOLUTION OF THE INTERACTIONIST PERSPECTIVE: ADVANCES IN RESEARCH INTEGRATING GENES, PERSONALITY, AND SOCIAL CONTEXTS
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 220 – 222
Chair: Ilan Dar-Nimrod, University of Sydney and University of Rochester Medical Center
Increased scientific emphasis on biogenetics has opened up novel lines of genetically informed psychosocial research, which focus on interactionist perspective, demonstrating an evolution of the person-by-situation perspective in the genomic age. The present symposium brings together presentations that represent various methods, theoretical underpinnings, and outcomes of such interactionist research.
INTERACTIONS BETWEEN PERSONALITY AND THE APOE GENOTYPE PREDICT COGNITIVE FUNCTION AND HEALTH OUTCOMES
1University of Sydney; 2University of Rochester Medical Center
Personality characteristics have been shown to associate with cognitive function and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk among older adults. Specifically, previous research indicated that increased Neuroticism is correlated with cognitive decline and AD. Similarly, genetic research identified associations between the presence of APOE e4 (APOE4) allele(s) and these outcomes. Guided by allostatic load model assumptions, the effect of the interaction between APOE4 and neuroticism on cognitive function and AD was assessed on a sample of 600 older adults over 7 years. Moreover, exploratory analyses assessed the effects of interactions between APOE4 and the other main personality dimensions captured by the Five Factor Model. Fully adjusted multivariate analyses of data showed that the association between the presence of APOE4 allele(s) and both outcomes was evident among individuals with high levels of neuroticism and extraversion but not among persons with low levels of these traits. Potential relevant social and neurological mechanisms are discussed.
PERSONALITY MEDIATES GENE-BY-SOCIOECONOMIC INTERACTION ON ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT: EVIDENCE FROM MULTIPLE REPRESENTATIVE SAMPLES OF CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Elliot M. Tucker-Drob, Daniel A. Briley, Amanda K. Cheung, Paige Harden
University of Texas at Austin
Recent studies have demonstrated that genetic influences on cognitive ability and academic achievement are larger for children raised in higher socioeconomic status (SES) homes. However, little work has been undertaken to document the psychosocial processes that underlie these gene-by-environment interactions. We propose that genetically influenced personality factors—including scholastic motivation, drive for achievement, intellectual self-concept, and intellectual interest—are critical for selecting environmental niches important for learning, but that this process is only effective in high opportunity contexts. Using data from two nationally representative samples of singletons we demonstrate that the link between achievement-relevant personality and actual achievement is positively moderated by family SES. Using data from two samples of twins, we find that this personality-by-SES interaction accounts for previously documented gene-by-SES interactions on achievement. In other words, gene-by-SES effects on achievement can be accounted for by stronger influences of genes for personality on achievement at higher levels of SES.
VASOPRESSIN RECEPTOR GENE (AVPR1A) MODERATES HEALTH BENEFITS OF TERRITORY IN HUMAN MALES
Michael J. Poulin
University of Buffalo
An evolutionary perspective suggests that resources that would have been of adaptive value to our ancestors may be calming during times of stress. Possessing territory is a valuable resource for most mammals, especially males, but its significance may differ across individuals, potentially as a function of the neurohormone vasopressin. In Study 1 (N = 835), stressful events predicted mortality among men who did not own a home, but not among male homeowners. In Study 2 (N = 424) stressful events predicted increased anxiety and depression over time among male non-homeowners, but not among homeowners. Moreover, this effect was moderated by individual differences in the vasopressin receptor gene AVPR1a. No similar effects were observed in females, and results were not accounted for by other markers of resources or status (e.g., age, race, income, or education). Territory may be stress-buffering for males, and this function may be regulated by vasopressin.
GENE BY AGE INTERACTIONS IN PERSONALITY TRAITS
Virginia Commonwealth University
Prior research has demonstrated that personality traits have a significant genetic component, are established early in life and remain relatively consistent across an individual’s lifespan (Costa and McCrae, 1997; McGue et al., 1993). This ignores the accumulation of the genetic and environmental factors that influence the variation that implies that the contribution of genetic factors to personality traits will change as a function of age (Eaves et al., 1986). Thus, the effect of genetic variation can increase (or decrease) as people age. Using multiple longitudinal samples of twins we demonstrate sizable changes in the mean level of personality traits (for example as people age they become more emotionally stable and less extroverted), and importantly these changes are a function of both genetic and environmental factors (implying that different genetic and environmental factors influence personality in different stages of adult life). Accordingly, genetic variation in personality depends upon a person’s age.
EMERGING EVIDENCE FOR IMPLICIT IDENTITY: PREDICTORS, MODERATORS, AND CONSEQUENCES
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 225 – 227
Chair: Melissa Ferguson, Cornell University
Co-Chair: Emily Rosenzweig, Cornell University
This symposium presents research on the emerging field of implicit social identity, including work that considers the predictors of implicit identity, its divergence from explicit identification, its malleability, and its unique behavioral consequences. These issues are addressed in the context of identities including race, gender, culture, and identification with alcohol.
DRINKER + ME: IMPLICIT DRINKING IDENTITY AS A PREDICTOR OF DRINKING OUTCOMES AND INTERVENTION TARGET
Kristen P. Lindgren1, Erin C. Westgate2, Melissa Gasser1, Bethany Teachman2, Clayton Neighbors3
1University of Washington; 2University of Virginia; 3University of Houston
Implicit associations related to health behaviors and psychopathology are receiving increasing research attention. However, much of that work focuses on associations about behavior or psychopathology more generally (e.g., associations with alcohol and approach vs. avoid). Little work directly considers associations about the behavior or psychopathology and the self (e.g., associations with drinking and the self vs. others). Two recent studies compared a Drinking Identity Implicit Association Test (IAT) to well-established alcohol-related IATs that measured general associations about alcohol. The studies were conducted at two US universities and included undergraduate drinkers and non-drinkers. Results were consistent across both studies. Each IAT was positively correlated with drinking outcomes (alcohol consumption, cravings, and problems). However, only the drinking identity IAT uniquely predicted outcomes when the IATs were entered simultaneously into regression models. Preliminary results from a study that aimed to retrain implicit drinking identity associations will also be discussed.
MAPPING IMPLICIT MULTICULTURAL IDENTITIES: THEORETICAL AND EMPIRICAL INSIGHTS
San Diego State University
More and more individuals are likely to define themselves along multiple ethnic or cultural lines. Research on multicultural identities has relied almost exclusively on self-report measures. The aim of the present research was to develop a personalized and flexible methodological approach suited to study aspects of multicultural identities operating outside of conscious awareness or control. In a series of studies, bicultural individuals indicated the two cultures they felt most connected to and completed implicit and explicit measures of cultural identification. Consistently, we found evidence for an asymmetrical implicit identification such that participants identified more strongly with the first culture listed than with the second. In addition, the overlap between implicit and explicit self-definitions was moderated by the extent to which participants perceived their two cultural identities as being in harmony or in conflict. The proposed framework affords the possibility to map structures and processes underlying implicit multicultural identities.
I ONCE WAS BLIND, BUT NOW I DENY: PERCEPTUAL AND MOTIVATIONAL EFFECTS ON IMPLICIT WHITE IDENTITY
Eric D. Knowles
University of California, Irvine
Scholarship on White identity used to assume that Whiteness, because of its normative and hegemonic status, is invisible to those who have it. In this talk, I review research suggesting that Whites routinely notice their race and discuss some of the factors that modulate this self-awareness. I show that implicit White identity varies as a function of individuals’ history of exposure to non-Whites: Whites who grew up in regions that offer frequent contact with other racial groups score higher on an implicit measure of White identity than those with little chance of interracial contact. I also present evidence that Whites implicitly deny their White identity when they anticipate interacting with a Black person about race. Evidence from nonverbal behavior further suggests that this disidentification is strategy for coping with the stress of interracial interaction. I close by discussing what these findings say about the nature of dominant-group identity.
THE WORSE OFF WE ARE, THE MORE I’M ONE OF US: THREATS TO GROUP VALUE INCREASE IMPLICIT GROUP IDENTIFICATION
Emily Rosenzweig1, Melissa J. Ferguson1, Travis Carter2
1Cornell University; 2University of Chicago
How do threats to the value of an ingroup influence our perceived membership in that group? Do they prompt us to minimize our group membership, or do they lead us to rally around the group by increasing our identification with it? We find that identity threats, specifically those which suggest group membership is personally disadvantageous, lead individuals to increase their implicit group identification. These implicit shifts emerged in the absence of, or were dissociated from, any changes in explicit identification. Our research demonstrates this effect in the context of two powerful and foundational social group memberships – gender and race. Only implicit identification with the threatened social group is amplified, not implicit identification with other unthreatened group memberships, suggesting this effect may serve as an automatic response in service of group solidarity. These findings point to measures of implicit identity as powerful tools to address conflicts in the existing psychological literature.
A HAPPY AND A MEANINGFUL LIFE: CUTTING-EDGE RESEARCH ON TWO OF HUMANKIND’S MOST CHERISHED GOALS
Friday, January 18, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room R02
Chair: Kathleen Vohs, University of Minnesota
Although happiness and a meaningful life have substantial overlap, Oishi, King, Lyubomirsky, and Vohs present new work on what makes each unique. From emotion to existential psychology and culture to cognition, this symposium showcases cutting-edge work on two goals people hold dearest, to have a happy and meaningful life.
SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING AND MEANING IN LIFE: CROSS-NATIONAL ANALYSIS
Shigehiro Oishi1, Ed Diener2 1University of Virginia; 2University of Illinois
Using the Gallup World Poll data, we examined differential correlates of meaning in life and subjective well-being (SWB, which includes positive affect) across 132 nations. SWB, particularly life satisfaction, was substantially higher in wealthy nations than in poor nations. Rather surprisingly, though, meaning in life was higher in poor nations than in wealthy nations. The inverse association between GDP per capita and meaning in life was mediated by the importance people place on religion. Religion was more important in poor nations than in wealthy nations. Meaning in life was higher in poorer (more religious) nations than in wealthy (less religious) nations, to the extent that religiosity was associated with meaning in life. As Viktor Frankl described in his Man’s Search for Meaning, meaning indeed can be attained even in objectively dire conditions. In contrast, SWB appears to be harder to obtain in woeful conditions.
WHY DO WE NEED MEANING?
Laura A. King, Samantha J. Heintzelman
University of Missouri; 2University of Missouri, Columbia
What adaptive information does the subjective feeling of meaning convey? We propose that such feelings provide information pertaining to the reliability of environmental stimuli. We will present 7 studies supporting this hypothesis. In these experiments, participants exposed to stimuli characterized by pattern, coherence, or familiarity report higher meaning in life than those exposed to random, incoherent, or novel stimuli, in the absence of effects on mood. These effects speak to the unique function of meaning: It tells us when the world is making sense. To the extent that seeking out reliable environments is an adaptive goal, the feeling of meaningfulness serves as a subjective gauge of one’s success at that goal.
HOW SMALL AND SIMPLE POSITIVE ACTIVITIES PRODUCE MEANINGFUL INCREASES IN HAPPINESS
Sonja Lyubomirsky, Kristin Layous
University of California, Riverside
Happiness not only feels good; it is good. Happy people have more stable marriages, stronger immune systems, and higher incomes than their less happy peers. Our randomized controlled experiments have persuasively shown that people can intentionally increase their happiness through simple, self-administered activities, such as expressing gratitude or practicing kindness. We will present work that has located through systematic variation the optimal conditions for positive activities’ effectiveness. These studies have found that features of the activity (e.g., its dosage and variety), features of the person (e.g., motivation and effort), and “person-activity fit” affect the extent to which positive activities boost well-being. Our positive activity model has identified several mediators, including positive emotions, positive thoughts, positive behaviors, connectedness, and autonomy. In summary, this talk will present brand new research on how small and simple activities can transform people into happier – and ultimately healthier – individuals.
WHAT’S REALLY THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A HAPPY LIFE AND A MEANINGFUL LIFE?
Kathleen D. Vohs1, Roy F. Baumeister2, Jennifer L. Aaker3, Emily N. Garbinsky3
1University of Minnesota; 2Florida State University; 3Stanford University
Happiness and a sense of meaning are key to a worthwhile life but have different roots and implications. Our large multi-wave longitudinal survey revealed multiple differing predictors of happiness (controlling for meaning) and meaningfulness (controlling for happiness). Satisfying needs and wants increased happiness but was irrelevant to meaningfulness. Happiness was present-oriented, whereas meaningfulness involves integrating past, present, and future. Happiness was linked to being a taker rather than a giver, whereas meaningfulness went with being a giver. Higher levels of worry, stress, and anxiety were related to higher meaningfulness but lower happiness. In sum, being happy seems rooted in getting one’s needs and desires satisfied. Meaningfulness is more complex and involves integrative understanding of the self and circumstances across time and in relation to abstract values. The differences between the causes and consequences of a happy and meaningful life are rife — and ripe for study by personality and social psychologists.
Symposium Session B and Data Blitz
Friday, January 18, 11:15am – 12:30 pm
OPENNESS IN SCIENTIFIC REPORTING: POTENTIAL AND REACTION
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room R03 – R05
Chair: Roger Giner-Sorolla, University of Kent
Methodologists have recently voiced concerns that current data reporting standards promote inaccuracy. Greater transparency would help prevent this and the rarer, but increasingly exposed, problem of fraud. Our speakers detail ways for psychologists to increase openness in research, and discuss the community’s current and potential reactions to openness measures.
WHY YOU SHOULD DEMAND OPENNESS OF MY LABORATORY DATA, MATERIALS, AND WORKFLOW
Brian A. Nosek
University of Virginia
My professional success depends on publishing. Publishing norms emphasize novel, positive results. This encourages design, analysis, and reporting decisions that inflate the rate of false positive results and ignore negative results, despite my intention to report accurately. Because incentives favor novelty over replication, my false results will persist in the literature unchallenged, misleading me and the rest of the field. This unhealthy dynamic can be corrected with strategies that make my abstract accuracy motive, getting it right, compatible with my more concrete incentive, getting it published. Restructuring incentives hinges on two key concepts: openness and replication. In this session, I will describe strategies for improving scientific practices that account for my ordinary motivations and biases. If I adopt these strategies, in the long run, you will have more confidence in the research that I publish and simultaneously, more opportunity to point out where I got it wrong.
THE OPEN SCIENCE FRAMEWORK: INCENTIVIZING OPENNESS WITH A FOCUS ON WORKFLOW
University of Virginia
The Open Science Framework is a framework and repository for conducting science transparently and openly, reducing the gap between scientific practices and scientific values. The focus is on incentivizing openness within a system that, currently, actively discourages it. To gain acceptance in the scientific community, solutions must neither interfere with the scientists’ workflow nor create additional work. If openness interferes with productivity, then successful scientists will not adopt it. As an example of how incentives and workflow might be managed, I will describe a website (http://openscienceframework.org) and a set of accompanying tools. The tools will provide scientists with a shared infrastructure that makes it easy to collaborate as well as document, organize, and search the lifespan of a research project and its connections to other projects. The OSF website shows how state-of-the-art online resources can help our science meet the challenge of greater demands for transparency in research and reporting.
PSYCHOLOGISTS ARE OPEN TO CHANGE, YET WARY OF RULES
Heather M. Fuchs1, Mirjam Jenny2, Susann Fiedler3
1University of Erfurt; 2University of Basel; 3Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
One article recently published in Psychological Science (Simmons, Nelson & Simonsohn, 2011) proposing six requirements for researchers concerning data collection and reporting practices as well as four guidelines for reviewers aimed at improving the publication process has received much attention. We surveyed 1,292 psychologists to address the following questions: Do psychologists support these concrete changes to data collection, reporting, and publication practices? If not, what are their reasons? We found that psychologists are generally open to change. Five requirements for researchers and three guidelines for reviewers were supported by a majority as standards of good practice; one requirement for researchers was even supported as a publication condition. In general, psychologists appear to be less in favor of mandatory conditions of publication than standards of good practice. We conclude that the proposal is a starting point for such standards.
GAMES OF SKILL AND CHANCE: HOW OPEN SCIENCE NORMS MIGHT CHANGE CAREER AND RESEARCH STRATEGIES
Roger Giner-Sorolla University of Kent
Prior disclosure of hypotheses and analyses under open science sounds threatening to many psychologists, with reason. Success in the field now largely depends on reporting conclusive effects supporting hypotheses personally identified with the researcher. Under open science, researcher skill in managing a data narrative would count for nothing, and the role of chance in picking hypotheses that turn out to be strongly supported would increase, threatening our sense of justice. I discuss three ways in which standards might change so that good scientists can show their talent regardless of chance. First, realizing that credible data are not perfect would reduce pressure to produce perfect-looking results. Second and third, research based on critical confrontations between theories, and on answers to issue-based questions, is more likely to yield meaningful results no matter what the findings. The trend that has made these approaches less fashionable in recent years may need to be reversed.
BOUNDARIES OF SOCIAL HIERARCHY – STATUS, POWER AND THEIR SOCIO-CULTURAL MODERATORS
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room R01
Chair: Matthias Gobel, University College London
Co-Chair: Heejung S. Kim, University of California, Santa Barbara
This symposium focuses on social and cultural boundaries within which status and power impact psychology and behavior. The symposium includes studies utilizing correlational, experimental and longitudinal data from samples including representative world-wide samples and community members. Together, these studies provide evidence that different socio-cultural dimensions of hierarchy yield distinct outcomes.
LOOKING OUT FROM THE TOP: DIFFERENTIAL EFFECTS OF STATUS AND POWER ON PERSPECTIVE TAKING
Aiwa Shirako1, Steven L. Blader1, Ya-Ru Chen2 1New York University; 2Cornell University
Perspective taking enables highly-ranked individuals to successfully navigate the complex tasks associated with hierarchical rank. This presents a paradox, since prior research suggests that highly-ranked individuals are relatively unlikely to take others’ perspectives. We consider this paradox by distinguishing two dimensions of hierarchical rank—status and power—and empirically demonstrating that these dimensions have divergent effects on perspective taking. Extending prior research, we demonstrate that while high power decreases perspective taking, high status increases perspective taking (Study 1). Study 2 likewise reveals that high status increases one’s tendency to take others’ visual perspective, while high power decreases that tendency. Study 3 extends these results, revealing that high status increases affective perspective taking, while high power lowers affective perspective taking. Overall, these findings indicate that status and power exert differential effects on perspective taking: While one key dimension of holding higher rank may diminish perspective taking, other dimensions may increase it.
SOCIAL STATUS AND SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING
Cameron Anderson1, Michael W. Kraus2, Adam D. Galinsky3, Dacher Keltner1
1University of California, Berkeley; 2University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign; 3Northwestern University
Dozens of studies in different nations have revealed that socioeconomic status only weakly predicts an individual’s subjective well-being (SWB). These results imply that although the pursuit of social status is a fundamental human motivation, achieving high status has little impact on one’s SWB. However, the current research tests whether sociometric status—the respect and admiration one has in face-to-face groups (e.g., among friends or coworkers)—has a stronger effect on SWB than does socioeconomic status. We tested this Local Ladder Effect using correlational, experimental, and longitudinal methodologies on a broad range of samples. In each sample, we examine the impact of both socioeconomic and sociometric status on satisfaction with life and the experience of positive and negative emotions. Moreover, we explore the variables that moderate the local ladder effect. That is, is sociometric status more important to some individuals’ happiness than others?
IS GOD A CONSERVATIVE? THE MODERATING ROLE OF POWER IN THE RELIGION-CONSERVATISM LINK
Joni Y. Sasaki1, Heejung S. Kim2
1York University; 2University of California, Santa Barbara
Though a relationship between religion and conservative politics seems clear, this link may not hold for everyone. Because powerful groups in society can be motivated to maintain their power, the link between religion and political conservatism may be stronger for the powerful than the powerless. Across four studies, we demonstrate that religion and power interact to influence conservatism. Using a representative worldwide sample in Study 1, we show that religiosity predicts more conservative political orientations for the powerful more than the powerless. Studies 2 and 3 experimentally manipulate power and religion to show that thinking about religion increases politically conservative beliefs and behaviors, but only for the powerful. Study 4 tests whether legitimacy beliefs mediate the interaction of power and religion. Taken together, this research provides the first representative and causal evidence that the relationship between religion and political conservatism holds more for the powerful than the powerless.
VISIBILITY OF THE (VERTICAL) SELF: CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN SIGNALING AND PERCEIVING SOCIAL STATUS
Matthias S. Gobel1, Heejung S. Kim2, Daniel C. Richardson1, William W. Maddux3 1University College London; 2University of California, Santa Barbara; 3INSEAD
Cultures differ in the extent to which they foster social hierarchical differences between individuals (i.e. power distance). Study 1 reveals that characteristics related to a person’s socioeconomic heritage (e.g. parental education) are judged as more important in achieving social status in France (higher power distance) than the U.S. (lower power distance). In study 2, when watching thin-slice videos of community members talking about topics unrelated to identity, French estimated targets’ social status more accurately than Americans. Coding the nonverbal behavior of targets revealed that the accurate perception of status in France was due to increased dominance signaling as a function of status. Status was not associated with dominance signaling in the U.S. In Study 3, we eye-tracked participants while they watched videos of high or low status targets starring into the camera, French deferred to high status targets by avoiding their eyes. The opposite was true for Americans.
THE MEANINGS JUSTIFY THE ENDS: THE EFFECTS OF GROUP IDENTITY AND SOCIAL MEANING ON ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORAL CHOICES
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room R07 – R09
Chair: Timothy Hayes, University of Southern California
Co-Chair: Wendy Wood, University of Southern California
Social influence entails a change in the subjective meaning of attitude objects. The papers in this symposium demonstrate that the meaning assigned to communications and behavioral choices is embedded in group identities. Meaning-change processes occur both explicitly and implicitly and affect both attitudes and behaviors in political and health domains.
RAPID ASSIMILATION: DOES POLITICAL IDENTITY CHANGE THE MEANING OF POLITICAL INFORMATION?
Colin T. Smith1, Kate A. Ratliff1, Brian A. Nosek2
1University of Florida; 2University of Virginia
This research expands upon the party-over-policy effect (Cohen, 2003), a striking example of political change of meaning. In two studies, participants read either a generous or a stringent welfare plan advocated by a Democrat or a Republican (Smith, Ratliff, & Nosek, 2012). Although influenced by policy content, Democrat and Republican participants were also strongly influenced by the political party proposing the plan; policy information was construed more favorably on both explicit and implicit measures when proposed by participants’ own political parties. Importantly, participants believed that they were responding to the details of the plans rather than the parties. Additionally, implicit evaluations of the policies mediated the effect of party information on explicit evaluations, both immediately and after a several-day delay suggesting that the meaning of the policies changed outside of conscious awareness. These meaning-change processes may help explain difficulties Republicans and Democrats encounter when attempting to talk across party lines.
IDENTITY-BASED MOTIVATION: IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH AND HEALTH DISPARITIES
University of Michigan
People’s construal of health behaviors depends on their social class and racial-ethnic group. Especially in the US, unhealthful behaviors, such as smoking and eating fast food, are associated with low socioeconomic status (including low education, low income, and low status racial-ethnic group membership). According to identity-based motivation theory (Oyserman, 2007, 2009a, 2009b), these associations determine whether or not a behavior feels congruent with personal group identity. Identity-congruence of a behavior, in turn, influences perceived difficulty of performance and which behaviors people ultimately choose. When people construe a health behavior as difficult and outside of their control, they are more likely to conclude that effort is pointless and “not for people like me,” reducing belief that one’s action and effort matter. In this way, construals direct behavioral choices even in critical health domains.
BIAS SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS: THE EFFECT OF GROUP IDEOLOGY AND MESSAGE MEANING ON POLITICAL ATTITUDES
Timothy Hayes, Wendy Wood
University of Southern California
In social influence settings, changes-in-meaning often emerge from group identities, especially political groups and associated ideological beliefs. Thus, the meaning of political messages depends on the ideology invoked—is the message liberal or conservative? Is it sexist or racist? And these meanings should determine recipients’ agreement. Despite the plausibility of this model, little research has documented the specific role of meaning change in influence. In two studies, we directly tested the link between group identity, message meaning, and resulting attitudes. In the first study, subjects’ attitudes toward two topics (foreign intervention and education reform) depended on both their interpretations of political messages and their own political ideology. In a second study, individuals interpreted a message as inherently biased (sexist, racist) when it was advocated by a biased source, and these interpretations predicted resulting attitudes toward a political candidate. Thus, attitudes arise from social meanings grounded in important group identities.
EMOTIONAL DISCLOSURE AND COGNITION
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 206 – 207
Chair: Kent Harber, Rutgers University at Newark
The benefits of disclosure on physical health are amply documented. But does emotional disclosure affect the mind as well as the body? The present research indicates that it does. Disclosure can enhance working memory, foster meaning-making and modify world-views, alter self-perception, and lead to more judicious judgments of others.
THE EFFECTS OF EMOTIONAL DISCLOSURE ON WORKING MEMORY CAPACITY
University of North Texas
Although there has been a plethora of studies demonstrating the health benefits of emotional disclosure, there have been considerably fewer studies examining possible cognitive benefits. We conducted an experiment to test the effects of expressive writing on working memory capacity. Participants were randomly assigned to engage in expressive writing about a stressful event, positive event, or a neutral event. Working memory capacity was assessed pre-writing and again one week and six weeks post-writing. Participants who wrote about a stressful event evidenced significant increases in working memory, whereas scores for the two control groups remained stable. Increases in use of cognitive words during the writing were associated with greater increases in working memory. Increases in working memory capacity were mediated by decreases in intrusive thoughts. Expressive writing also led to increases in GPA the subsequent semester. This study was one of the first to demonstrate cognitive benefits of emotional disclosure.
CHANGES IN GLOBAL BELIEFS AND SITUATIONAL APPRAISALS AFTER WRITING ABOUT LOSS
University of Connecticut
Studies of writing about stressful events are based on the notion that people make meaning through writing and come to see their events differently. Yet few studies have examined changes that writing produces in either participants’ global beliefs or their appraised meanings of stressors. This study examined whether writing about a stressful situation produced changes in both global and situational levels of beliefs in 180 students who wrote about a serious loss or a control topic four times over a month. For those writing about loss, global beliefs in the fairness and safety of the world and controllability increased relative to the control condition. Few changes in loss appraisals were experienced in either group. These results suggest that writing interventions may exert effects on well-being less through changes in the specific appraisals of a stressful event and more through promoting increasingly benign global beliefs.
HOW OTHER PEOPLE CAN ENHANCE (OR DETRACT FROM) THE BENEFITS OF EMOTIONAL DISCLOSURE
University of Notre Dame
Having witnesses for one’s disclosures can amplify the health effects of those disclosures. Studies 1 and 2 showed that inducing participants to believe that their written emotional disclosures were made public, versus kept private, caused them subsequently to experience fewer psychological symptoms. Study 3 showed that the more public, versus anonymous, participants’ previous disclosures had been, the fewer psychological symptoms participants were currently experiencing. Studies 4 and 5 showed that participants who were induced to disclose a secret to an accepting versus non-accepting confidant experienced fewer physical complaints in the weeks to follow. Study 6 showed that inducing participants to describe their upsets, versus talk about trivial events, caused them to rate themselves as more emotionally unstable. The author suggests that witnesses can put a spotlight on the positive or negative meanings one derives from disclosure and thus can enhance or detract from its health benefits.
EMOTIONAL DISCLOSURE AND SOCIAL PERCEPTION
Kent D. Harber
Rutgers University at Newark
Strong negative emotions can bias evaluations of others. For example, judgments are often harsher towards those who evoke distress. However, emotional disclosure resolves negative emotions. This suggests that disclosure leads to more equitable social perception. Four experiments where subjects disclosed or suppressed their emotions confirmed this is so. Studies 1 and 2 showed that disclosing negative thoughts and feelings about a past offence reduced hostility towards offenders, but not towards friends or strangers. Study 3 showed that disclosing the distress evoked by disturbing baby cries led to more moderate ratings of infant distress. Study 4 showed that emotional disclosure regarding a rape victim reduced the tendency to blame this person. These results suggest that we will see others better by resolving our own emotional states.
THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT! NEW INSIGHTS INTO THE MECHANISMS OF PERSONALITY MATURATION DURING EMERGING ADULTHOOD
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 217 – 219
Chair: Wiebke Bleidorn, Tilburg University
Co-Chair: Erik E. Noftle, Willamette University
Normative personality development in emerging adulthood tends towards increasing psychological maturity. Now, second generation questions are being pursued that aim to identify potential mechanisms through which these changes are realized. The current talks move beyond description to explanation to consider reactive and active processes that may elucidate the developmental trends.
DEVELOPMENT OF PERSONALITY TYPES IN ADULTHOOD: A LATENT PROFILE ANALYSIS IN TWO LARGE-SCALE PANEL STUDIES
Jule Specht1, Maike Luhmann2, Christian Geiser3 1University of Leipzig; 2University of Illinois at Chicago; 3Utah State University
Personality development has mainly been analyzed using variable-centered but not person-centered approaches. To fill this gap of knowledge, we analyzed personality types across adulthood. Two representative samples (N>23,000) of Germans and Australians provided longitudinal data on the Big Five personality traits. We identified the number and shape of personality types, analyzed differences in the number of individuals classified within each personality type across age, and examined longitudinal transitions in personality type classification. Latent profile analyses replicated the common three personality types (resilients, overcontrollers, undercontrollers) in both data sets (with two types of overcontrollers in Australians) across all age groups with slight differences between men and women. Latent transition analyses revealed high stability of type membership but we nevertheless found personality maturation in early adulthood such that the likelihood to be classified as a resilient type increased whereas the likelihood to be classified as an undercontrolled type decreased with age.
FROM AMATEUR TO AUTEUR: EXPECTATIONS AND DESIRES OF EARLY EMERGING ADULTS FOR FUTURE PERSONALITY CHANGE
Erik E. Noftle
A recent meta-analysis revealed that across the lifespan, the period of emerging adulthood had the largest, most pervasive, pattern of trait changes (Roberts, et al., 2006), theoretically consistent with emerging adulthood being the most “volitional” developmental period (Arnett, 2000, p. 469). Although personality change has been typically studied as a passive process, what if the sizable positive personality changes during emerging adulthood result at least partly from individuals’ intentional efforts to improve themselves? In several college student samples, expectations, desires, and attributions for future Big Five trait change were assessed. Across the studies, it was found that early emerging adults both expected and desired to change most in the near future in traits related to Extraversion and Conscientiousness. Although the current research does not yet directly test whether these intentional efforts to change actually bear fruit, the results suggest evidence consistent with an active account of personality change.
A TRAIT’S DESIRABILITY HELPS DIRECT ITS DEVELOPMENT FROM EMERGING TO LATE ADULTHOOD
Dustin Wood1, Jessica Wortman2 1Wake Forest University; 2Michigan State University
Although patterns of mean-level change in personality traits across the life span are increasingly well-understood, there is currently little understanding of the processes underlying these patterns. In a large cross-sectional internet sample of adults (N > 13,000), we show that the traits that show greater levels in late adulthood than in emerging adulthood are also seen as more desirable in late adulthood than emerging adulthood. In particular, older adults perceive traits related to conscientiousness to be more desirable than emerging adults, and traits related to extraversion to be less desirable, and these differences in perceived trait desirabilities may largely mediate tendencies for older adults to be more conscientious and less extraverted than emerging adults. More generally, we argue that understanding personality development in adulthood requires the inclusion of agentic processes, where people actively work to obtain (and frequently succeed in obtaining) the traits they perceive as desirable.
WHAT’S FOR HOMEWORK? PERSONALITY MATURATION DURING THE TRANSITION FROM SCHOOL TO ADULTHOOD
Research suggests that normative life transitions (e.g., graduation from school, marriage, parenthood) have the potential to trigger personality change. But what exactly happens during such a transitional stage? The present study examined personality trait change in a sample of 910 high school students during their transition from school to adult life. Despite the rather short observation period of three semiannual measurement waves, growth curve analyses suggested significant mean-level changes in personality traits. These changes largely occurred in a positive direction and were mostly pronounced in conscientiousness. There also were significant interindividual differences in change. Bivariate growth curve models indicated that individual differences in personality change were substantially associated with changes in students’ investment into studying and achievement behavior. Supporting socioanalytic perspectives on personality development, these findings can further be discussed with respect to process approaches assuming that consistent self-regulated behavioral changes might affect personality trait change in a bottom-up fashion.
THE SOCIAL SIDE OF SOCIAL POWER: SOCIAL POWER SHAPES CORE INTERPERSONAL DYNAMICS
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 228 – 230
Chair: Maya Kuehn, University of California, Berkeley
Co-Chair: Serena Chen, University of California, Berkeley
This symposium’s four presentations uncover social power’s effects on several core interpersonal dynamics, using both experimental and field methodologies and varied instantiations of power (primed, role-based, trait-based, and relationship-based). Together, these talks suggest that power significantly influences diverse interpersonal processes, including relationship conflict, alliance perceptions, affiliative motivation, and belonging dynamics.
THE INTERACTIVE EFFECTS OF POWER AND STATUS ON RELATIONSHIP CONFLICT
Nathanael J. Fast1, Eric Anicich2, Nir Halevy3, Adam D. Galinsky2
1University of Southern California; 2Columbia University; 3Stanford University
We propose that roles that afford power but lack status increase relationship conflict. In particular, occupying low-status (i.e., disrespected) roles produces negative and aversive states while power (i.e., control over valued resources) liberates individuals to act on this resentment, leading to relationship conflict. Two field studies and an experiment support our theorizing. In Study 1, workers in high-power roles in a federal agency reported higher levels of relationship conflict when their roles also lacked status, a pattern that did not exist among low-power workers. In Study 2, participants responded to high-power/low-status roles in an experiment with greater intentions to engage in conflict-producing behaviors relative to those in other conditions. Study 3 extended the findings from Studies 1 and 2 by demonstrating that individuals with high-power/low-status roles in organizations were more likely to adopt a demeaning stance toward others (i.e., objectification), a tendency that mediated the power-without-status effect on relationship conflict.
POWER AND ILLUSIONS OF ALLIANCE: OVERESTIMATING THE STRENGTH OF ALLIANCES
Sebastien Brion1, Cameron Anderson2 1IESE Business School; 2University of California, Berkeley
Three studies examined the extent to which power contributes to illusions of alliance, or overestimating the strength of one’s alliances with others. Study 1 examined illusions of alliance in long-term work groups and found that participants who had a higher dispositional sense of power overestimated the extent to which others in their groups were allied to them. Study 2 found that participants in long-term work groups who were given a priming manipulation to activate the sense of power also held illusions of alliance. Finally, Study 3 examined the impact of a role manipulation in a coalition formation exercise and found that individuals in high power roles held illusions of alliance. Across three instantiations of power (dispositional power, a priming manipulation, and a role manipulation) higher power led to increased illusions of alliance. We discuss implications of such illusions for the ability of powerholders to manage interpersonal relationships and maintain power.
LONELY AT THE TOP? POWER REDUCES SOCIAL AFFILIATIVE MOTIVATION
Kyle E. Conlon, Jon K. Maner
The Florida State University
Although people possess a strong desire for interpersonal connection, little research addresses the question of how the experience of power might influence this fundamental social motive. Power gives people the resources to control their own outcomes, and thus powerful people may be less inclined to seek out social connections. We tested the hypothesis that power reduces the strength of social affiliative motives. After being primed with power, participants reported their interest in affiliating with others (Study 1), expressed their interest in a social connection service (Study 2), and completed a variety of measures assessing affiliative desire (Study 3). Relative to control and low power participants, high power participants expressed a lower desire for affiliation, experienced significant decreases in their affiliative desire, and were more likely to distance themselves physically from anticipated social partners. These results suggest that power reduces people’s level of affiliative motivation.
BELONGING FOR BOSSES: THE EFFECTS OF SOCIAL POWER ON ACCEPTANCE AND REJECTION DYNAMICS
Maya M. Kuehn, Serena Chen, Amie M. Gordon
University of California, Berkeley
Social power reduces dependency on others and increases approach system activation (Keltner, Gruenfeld, & Anderson, 2003), which may impact processes surrounding the need to belong—to have meaningful social connections (Baumeister & Leary, 1995). Across five studies, we examined how manipulated social power (Studies 1-2 & 4), as well as perceived power within a close relationship (Studies 3 & 5), influenced people’s expectations for acceptance and responses to rejection. Supporting predictions, higher power was associated with greater expectations of acceptance and reduced rejection concerns (Study 1). Power also buffered participants from the adverse emotional and self-esteem consequences of rejection from an anticipated interaction partner (Study 2) and a romantic partner (Study 3), and encouraged interest in and behavior facilitating social connection following a rejection (Studies 4 & 5). Overall, the results suggest that power fosters a distinct style of belonging regulation.
BEYOND LIBERALISM VS. CONSERVATISM: THE CONTEXTUAL AND DYNAMIC NATURE OF IDEOLOGICAL CONSTRUAL
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 208 – 210
Chair: Ian Hansen, York College, City University of New York
Is ideological conflict along the conservative vs. liberal dimension rooted in deep-seated psychological characteristics? Our presentations examine the limits of this view, using experimental and survey methods. We demonstrate that links between political views and moral and psychological characteristics vary considerably depending on aspects of the social context.
PSYCHOLOGICAL DISPOSITIONS AND POLITICAL ATTITUDES: DISTINGUISHING THE BROAD AND NARROW IDEOLOGY HYPOTHESES
Ariel Malka1, Michael Inzlicht2, Yphtach Lelkes3
1Yeshiva University; 2University of Toronto; 3University of Amsterdam
Research on the psychological origins of political attitudes typically focuses on predictors of a broad-based conservative vs. liberal ideology. This approach assumes that the different components of ideology, particularly cultural and economic attitudes, have the same psychological origins. In this research we evaluate whether cultural and economic attitudes have similar or distinct psychological origins. Using cross-national data from 55 nations and additional survey data from the USA, we found that uncertainty intolerance, authoritarian disposition, and sensitivities to threat and disgust only reliably predict cultural conservatism. When they do predict economic attitudes they actually tend to predict liberal stances. Furthermore, relations between psychological characteristics and conservative attitudes are conditional on political engagement, suggesting that they are influenced by exposure to political discourse indicating which attitudes appropriately “go together”. We note implications for the study of the interactive influence of biological and social factors on political attitudes.
MORALITY SHIFTING IN THE CONTEXT OF INTERGROUP VIOLENCE
Bernhard Leidner1, Emanuele Castano2
1University of Massachusetts Amherst; 2New School for Social Research
A large body of research has established the importance of ideological variables as relatively stable personality characteristics for moral construal (e.g., moral foundations, judgments and decision). Complementing this perspective, we provide evidence for the context-dependency of moral construal. In six studies with self-report, cognitive accessibility, and verbal data from American and British participants, we demonstrate that reminders of ingroup- (rather than outgroup-) committed wrongdoings lead to (a) moral disengagement and weaker demands to redress injustices, and (b) a shift away from the moral foundations of harm and fairness toward loyalty and authority. These effects are motivated by social identity threat rather than mere activation/salience of social identity; and they are moderated by ingroup glorification in that they are most pronounced for high glorifiers and do not occur, or occur in opposite directions, for low glorifiers. The studies demonstrate that moral construal is interactively influenced by both personality and contextual factors.
POLITICAL CONFLICT AND THE ILLUSION OF SEPARATE MORAL WORLDS
Kate Jassin, Jeremy Ginges
New School for Social Research
We show that people exaggerate the extent to which specific moral conflicts (e.g. over marriage rights) signal broader differences in moral worldviews between groups. Our first study found that priming liberals and conservatives with specific moral conflicts led them to inaccurately perceive broad liberal-conservative differences in moral concern about harm and fairness. Two more studies, one including participants from the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements, found that rankings by U.S. liberals and conservatives of the representativeness, purity, and the obligation to protect various religious, ethnic, or SES groups were identical. However, when asked to guess how the other ideological group would complete the same rankings, participants predicted large liberal-conservative differences, and individual differences in such perceived “ranking conflict” predicted actual conflict between liberals and conservatives. The tendency to mistakenly believe that groups in disagreement over specific moral issues live in different moral worlds may exacerbate ideological conflict.
THE INSTABILITY OF IDEOLOGY: HOW DIFFERENT FRAMINGS OF MORAL DIVIDES AFFECT IDEOLOGICAL CONSTRUAL
Ian G. Hansen1, Bennett Callaghan2, Christina Partap1, Jessenia Pena1, Ra’chard Rogers1, Kelly Borges1
1York College, City University of New York; 2John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
The relationship of conservative (vs. liberal) ideology to religiosity and policy positions has been found to vary with how one is led to construe an ideology (Malka et al, 2011). To examine whether this finding holds experimentally, two studies randomly assigned participants to familiarize themselves either with a moral divide between those who adopt more generally moralistic stances and those who do not, or a political divide between those who adopt more “liberal” vs. “conservative” moral stances. In both studies, later self-definition as conservative was positively related to religiosity only in the political divide condition. Also, in the moral divide conditions of both studies religiosity was, as in Malka & Soto (2011), a significantly negative independent predictor of support for torture, but this relationship was not reliable in the political divide conditions. The findings suggest that the meanings of “liberal” and “conservative” are both contextually variant and easily manipulable.
WHAT GOOD ARE MENTAL SIMULATIONS? MENTAL SIMULATIONS SHIFT MORAL JUDGMENTS, CHANGE FORECASTS OF FUTURE BEHAVIOR, AND DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE GOAL ATTAINMENT
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 211 – 213
Chair: E. J. Masicampo, Wake Forest University
Co-Chair: Kathleen D. Vohs, University of Minnesota
Ever wonder why humans can imagine non-present events? Greene, Libby, Masicampo, and Oettingen showcase new discoveries on the rich inner worlds that spring out of mental simulation. The ability to simulate past, future, and hypothetical events is a unique human capacity that alters implicit processes, moral judgments, and even self-improvement.
THE ENDS DON’T JUSTIFY THE MEANS, YOU SEE: VISUAL IMAGERY AND MORAL JUDGMENT
Joshua D. Greene, Elinor Amit
Moral judgments are heavily influenced by automatic emotional responses, but what triggers these responses? We hypothesized that moral descriptions stimulate simulation of events described in the “mind’s eye,” eliciting emotional responses. Three experiments examine the role of visual simulation in moral judgment using dilemmas in which one person can be killed as a means to saving others. We tested the hypothesis that characteristically deontological judgments—disapproving of sacrificing one to save others—are aided by visual imagery. We found that individuals with more visual (but not verbal) cognitive styles make more deontological judgments and that visual (but not verbal) interference decreases deontological judgment. A mediation model indicated that when people visualize a moral dilemma, they tend to visualize the harmful means (sacrificing one person) more than the beneficial end (saving others). In sum, mentally simulating a moral dilemma makes even the thought of using one to save the many abhorrent.
FORECASTING DIFFERENT FUTURES FROM DIFFERENT POINTS OF VIEW: IMAGERY PERSPECTIVE DETERMINES THE IMPACT OF ASSOCIATIVE EVALUATIONS VERSUS PROPOSITIONAL SELF-BELIEFS
Lisa K. Libby1, Greta Valenti1, Karen A. Hines1, Richard P. Eibach2
1The Ohio State University; 2University of Waterloo
When mentally simulating events, people can visualize them from either an actor’s first-person or observer’s third-person perspective. Our work found that when people make forecasts of how they might feel or behave during an event, the two perspectives have opposite effects. We manipulated the visual perspective that participants used to imagine themselves voting or having an interracial interaction, and measured participants’ forecasts of how they would behave or feel during the imagined event. Participants relied more on their implicit attitudes (here toward the political candidates or stigmatized outgroups) when forecasting from the first-person perspective than third-person, whereas participants relied more on their explicit personal values or preferences when forecasting from the third-person perspective than first-person. Such a reversal has important implications for how to change people’s forecasts of future events, which bears on circumstances as varied as medical testing to political action to saving for retirement.
MAKING PLANS HELPS GOAL ATTAINMENT - BUT HOW? MENTAL SIMULATIONS ARE THE KEY
E.J. Masicampo1, Kathleen D. Vohs2, Andrew J. Vonasch3, Roy F. Baumeister3
1Wake Forest University; 2University of Minnesota; 3Florida State University
It is well-established that making specific plans facilitates goal attainment. But how? This question has not been answered. Our research points to mental simulations as central to that process. Study 1 found that specific plans are functionally similar to mental simulations. Plans and simulations helped goals to similar degrees, and combining the two strategies produced no additional benefits. Study 2 showed that people who tend not to visualize events vividly on their own most benefited by making plans, which suggests that plans especially help when goal simulation is unlikely. Study 3 revealed that plans ceased to help goal attainment if people were not given enough information to properly simulate the goal. These findings indicate that specific plans prompt people to simulate goal-directed actions. Plans may thus combine what the conscious and automatic systems do best — consciousness simulates future events so that the automatic system knows when and how to respond.
MENTAL CONTRASTING LEADS TO SMART GOAL PURSUIT BY CHANGING IMPLICIT COGNITION AND MOTIVATION
1New York University; 2University of Hamburg
Mental contrasting of a desired future with the obstacles of present reality leads to smart goal pursuit: People pursue promising futures and let go from unpromising ones (Oettingen, 2012). In contrast, to only fantasize about the future or dwell about reality results in inflexible goal pursuit that perseverates irrespective of the likelihood of success. New research has found that changes in implicit cognition (measured by the strength of associations between future and reality) and implicit motivation (measured by systolic blood pressure) are mechanisms by which mental contrasting produces such smart goal pursuit. Moreover, intervention research shows that mental contrasting can be learned. It is a cost and time effective strategy that enhances both the initiation and maintenance of even long-term behavior change (e.g., exercise, diet, studying).
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 220 – 222
Chair: Veronica Benet-Martinez, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona
Co-Chair: Kathleen D. Vohs, University of Minnesota
Twelve speakers each have 5 minutes, 4 slides, and 1 question – if you have never attended a data blitz, this is a must attend symposium. We culled the most exciting research from submitted symposia and posters and wrapped it into a single 75-minute event. You will hear topics representing a broad spectrum of personality and social psychology in a lightening fast symposium.
SOCIAL CONSERVATISM AS AN EVOLUTIONARILY EVOKED DISEASE-AVOIDANCE STRATEGY: A META-ANALYSIS
John A. Terrizzi, Jr.1, Natalie J. Shook1, Michael A. McDaniel2
1West Virginia University; 2Virginia Commonwealth University
The behavioral immune system (BIS) is a cluster of psychological disease-avoidance mechanisms. Recent evidence suggests that the BIS promotes avoidance of outgroup members, a historical source of contamination. One means by which the BIS may encourage avoidance of potentially contaminated outgroup members is the evocation of socially conservative value systems. That is, the BIS mechanisms may encourage the endorsement of socially conservative beliefs, which promote social exclusivity. The current study provides a systematic review and meta-analysis of 22 studies to evaluate the hypothesis that individual differences in BIS strength is predictive of social conservatism. The results indicate that behavioral immune strength, as indicated by fear of contamination and disgust sensitivity, is positively related to social conservatism (i.e., right-wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation, religious fundamentalism, ethnocentrism, collectivism, and political conservatism). These findings provide initial evidence that socially conservative values may function as evolutionarily evoked disease-avoidance strategies.
THE VIRTUE OF VASTNESS
Paul K. Piff, Dacher Keltner
University of California, Berkeley
Awe is an emotional response to perceptually vast stimuli that exerts a diminishing effect on the self. We report several studies finding that awe triggers self-transcendent, other-focused patterns of cognition and behavior. In Study 1, feelings of awe, relative to a control condition, caused participants to reduce self-focus as evidenced by fewer sentences using first-person singular pronouns. Additional studies showed that feelings of awe caused participants to display increased generosity and ethical tendencies. Finally, an in-vivo manipulation of awe in which participants stood in a grove of towering trees (versus control) led to reduced feelings of entitlement and increased prosocial behavior. Process data indicate that the self-diminishing effects of awe explain, in part, how awe facilitates virtuous behavior.
GOING WITH THE FLOW VS. STICKING TO YOUR GOALS: SELF-UNCERTAINTY AND REGULATION OF MULTIPLE GOALS
Alysson E. Light1, Kimberly M. Rios1, Kenneth G. DeMarree2
1University of Chicago; 2Texas Tech University
Previous research suggests that people often value self-certainty and are unhappy when they feel uncertain about who they are. But what makes self-uncertainty so undesirable? The present research considers the possibility that self-uncertainty undermines goal pursuit in certain circumstances, specifically when multiple goals are mentally accessible. In three studies using a goal shielding paradigm, we orthogonally manipulated self-uncertainty and the presence or absence of alternative goals. When primed with alternative goals, self-certain participants exhibited behavior consistent with counteractive self-control, persisting longer and performing better on the focal task. Self-uncertain participants, by contrast, showed the highest levels of persistence when only a single goal was accessible, but their persistence and performance diminished when they were primed with alternative goals. Thus self-uncertainty may increase the degree to which accessible goals are adopted and pursued, increasing performance when only one goal is accessible, but harming performance when distracting goals are salient.
DISCIPLINE AND DESIRE: THE MEANING OF VIRTUE IN DECISION MAKING
Jonathan Z. Berman, Deborah A. Small
University of Pennsylvania
People often use moral language to discuss behavior with little moral relevance. Ordering fruit salad instead of chocolate cake for dessert is considered “virtuous” even though most people do not believe it is a moral choice. We show that people interpret virtue differently across non-moral and moral temptations. Across three studies we show that when a temptation is non-moral in nature (e.g., cheating on a diet, procrastinating schoolwork), strength of will primarily determines judgments of virtue: a person who resists temptation is seen as more virtuous than someone who is not tempted by a vice. However, when a temptation is moral, (e.g., cheating on a spouse, stealing), purity of character primarily determines judgments of virtue: a person who does not feel tempted by a vice is seen as more virtuous than someone who resists temptation.
SELF-DISTANCING CAN CORRECT BIASED SOCIAL PERCEPTION
Ryan H. Bremner, Ethan Kross
University of Michigan
People are better at recognizing others’ biased social perceptions than their own. Particularly in contexts in which another is suspected to have acted in an exclusive or slighting manner, holding on to biased perceptions can have harmful social consequences. Here we tested whether self-distancing, a novel intervention that leads people to reflect on the self as though the self were someone else, would reduce people’s tendency to commit the fundamental attribution error. Self-distancing may help people escape their own “naïve realism”—their incorrect beliefs that their own thoughts are accurate, unfiltered representations of the social world. Two studies manipulated people’s tendency to self-distance versus self-immerse while processing social information. The studies converged in finding that the capacity to self-distance can correct biased social perceptions. By taking a step back from the immediacy and the compelling nature of our own thoughts, social misunderstandings can be corrected.
THE JOYS AND PERILS OF VICTIMHOOD
Patrycja Slawuta1, Magdalena Bobowik2, Noa Schori-Eyal3, Dario Paez2, Yechiel Klar4
1New School University; 2University of the Basque Country; 3University of Maryland; 4Tel Aviv University
Few ethnic or religious groups have escaped the affliction of inter-group violence and suffering. Hence, the collective victimhood forms a part of the civic education and can become core to the group’s identity. The consequences can be dire and include “siege mentality”, competitive victimhood which may lead to “exclusive” victim beliefs and reduced empathy towards outgroups. The present research was conducted in three different cultures – all of which, due to historical reasons, may embrace the notion of perpetual victimhood. Polish-Christians, American-Jews and Basques from Spain’s autonomous Basque Country were surveyed. Individual and collective consequences of collective victimhood were assessed as well as inter- and intra-group attitudes. The results reveal that collective victimhood mentality is related to perception of history as a circle of violence and suffering, negative outlook on political and social events and distrust towards members of outgroups. The joys and perils of victimhood are discussed.
AN INTERSECTIONAL APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING WHITE AND BLACK WOMEN’S OUTCOMES IN STEM: THE ROLE OF IMPLICIT STEREOTYPES
Alison Blodorn1, Laurie T. O’Brien1, Glenn Adams2, Elliott D. Hammer3
1Tulane University; 2University of Kansas; 3Xavier University of Louisiana
The present research uses an intersectional approach to study the role of implicit STEM stereotypes in ethnic differences in women’s STEM outcomes. Study 1 examined a nationally representative sample of over 1 million college students and demonstrated that White women were significantly less likely than Black women to major in STEM. Furthermore, among STEM majors, White women were significantly more likely than Black women to consider changing their major. In Studies 2 and 3, Black women held weaker implicit gender-STEM stereotypes than White women. Furthermore, implicit STEM stereotypes mediated ethnic differences in STEM participation (Study 2) and ethnic differences in implicit STEM identification (Study 3). The present research suggests that the presence of weaker implicit stereotypes among Black women may make Black women more resilient than White women in STEM fields. Addi tionally, this research highlights the utility of an intersectional approach for understanding women’s outcomes in STEM fields.
EMOTIONAL PASTS, RATIONAL FUTURES: TIME PERSPECTIVE INFLUENCES PERCEIVED AND EXPERIENCED AFFECT
University of Michigan
People are notorious mind perceivers. Despite lacking access to others’ internal states, without hesitation we wonder how friends feel, why bosses plot, and what pets think. Previous research suggests such perceptions fall along two dimensions: “experience” (others’ emotions/sensitivity) and “agency” (others’ cognition/rationality). This research examined how people perceive experience and agency in themselves over time. Experiments 1-6 established a robust divergence across tense: people rate their past selves as having stronger emotional capacities and weaker rational capacities, but their future selves the opposite. These relationships hold bidirectionally and lead people to emphasize the emotions [rationality] of past [future] behavior. Moreover, they change experienced affect (Experiments 7-8): people induced to feel connected to future selves last longer in a cold-pressor task, whereas people induced to connect to past selves derive greater enjoyment from fun YouTube videos. Subtle distinctions in past/future orientation have big effects on perceived emotionality and real-time emotion intensity.
HOW MORAL MIGRATION GEOGRAPHICALLY SEGREGATES AND POLARIZES AMERICANS
Matt Motyl1, Ravi Iyer2, Brian Nosek1, Shige Oishi1
1University of Virginia; 2University of Southern California
Why do people choose to live where they do? The moral migration hypothesis suggests that moral and political values steer individuals toward communities with values similar to their own in an attempt to satisfy their need to belong. In Study 1, incongruity between personal and community moral values predicted greater residential mobility and attraction to more morally congruent communities. In Study 2, participants who perceived their moral values to be at odds with their community’s displayed a decreased sense of belonging and an increased desire to migrate. In Study 3, participants who perceived their current community to be growing more incongruent with their own moral values expressed a decreased sense of belonging, and an increased desire to migrate. In all three studies, liberals were slightly more likely to migrate than were conservatives. Moral migration may contribute to the rise in moral segregation and polarization of the American electorate.
DOES DISTANCE ALWAYS MAKE THE HEART GROW FONDER? THE EFFECTS OF PERCEIVED DISTANCE ON CLOSE OTHER EVALUATIONS
Sean P. Lane, Yaacov Trope, Patrick E. Shrout
New York University
Couples experience distance in many forms while navigating their close relationships. They regularly face physical separation from each other, they ponder their past and future selves, they try to relate across social and economic gaps, and they seek to recover from betrayals or infidelities. Drawing from Construal Level Theory (Trope & Liberman, 2010), we argue that individuals’ experience of distance impacts what aspects of their partners are salient, coloring subsequent evaluations. We show that as distance increases, qualities that are important (i.e. central) to individuals are evaluated more extremely. This supports the popular expression, “absence makes the heart grow fonder,” such that important positive qualities are evaluated more positively from a distance, but it also reveals a darker side such that important negative qualities are evaluated more harshly. We describe how this framework is useful for understanding and informing many different relationship processes including idealization, conflict, commitment, and attachment.
WOMEN’S SELF-SEXUALIZATION: BALANCING MOTIVATIONS FOR UNIQUENESS AND GROUP ACCEPTANCE
Jill M. Allen, Sarah J. Gervais
University of Nebraska- Lincoln
Why might women self-sexualize? Although women can achieve group acceptance in several ways, few offer the possibility of balancing individual uniqueness with social inclusion. Self-sexualization (i.e., strategically portraying a “sexy woman” subtype identity) may satisfy both motivations because women can differentiate themselves from other women while conforming to group norms (Allen & Gervais, 2012). To test this model, undergraduate heterosexual women completed measures of individual and collective separation from and assimilation to other women, as well as enjoyment of sexualization. Women’s self-sexualization was predicted by more individual uniqueness and collective belonging, but not individual similarity or collective differentiation. Further, more appearance-based uniqueness, collective inclusion, and collective differentiation predicted enjoyment of sexualization whereas appearance-based similarity did not. Women’s positivity toward self-sexualization can be explained by balancing the motivations to appear unique and feel included among women. Theoretical and practical implications for self-sexualization, optimal distinctiveness, and self-presentation are discussed.
DOES SUPPRESSION WORK? CONSEQUENCES OF EMOTION REGULATION ON IMPRESSIONS AMONG STRANGERS AND PEER NETWORKS
A. Daniel Catterson, Oliver P. John
Research on emotion regulation has shown divergent social consequences for suppression and reappraisal, yet little is known about how these regulation strategies impact observers’ impressions of what individuals are like. In three studies, we tested whether suppression (but not reappraisal) interferes with observers’ access to personality attributes related to covert states (e.g., neuroticism) but not those related to overt behaviors (e.g., extraversion). We obtained self-reports and ratings from observers at three different levels of acquaintanceship: strangers in a self-disclosure task, college-friends, and long-term peers. We found converging evidence that suppression “works”: for individuals who habitually used suppression to regulate their emotions, observer impressions of covert states converged less with self-reports, and were less negative. However, there were also long-term costs: observers reported they did not get to know individuals who used suppression, which in turn mediated the negative social consequences of suppression on relationship closeness.
TRANSCENDING RACE: HOW GENDER, STATUS, AND ESSENTIALISM HELP TO EXPLAIN THE EFFECTS OF RACE
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 225 – 227
Chair: Adam Galinsky, Columbia University
Co-Chair: Erika V. Hall, Northwestern University
The symposium presents research that transcends static conceptualizations of race. The four papers show that racial outcomes are often manifestations of gender, essentialism, or status perceptions, rather than reflecting reified racial differences. Across the talks, transcendent conceptualizations of race explained societal patterns in marriage, athletics, leadership, hiring, consumption, and creativity.
GENDERED RACES: IMPLICATIONS FOR INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE, LEADERSHIP SELECTION, AND ATHLETIC PARTICIPATION
Adam D. Galinsky1, Amy J.C. Cuddy2
1Columbia University; 2Harvard University
Six studies explored the overlap between racial and gender stereotypes and the consequences of this overlap for interracial dating, leadership selection, and athletic participation. Two initial studies, utilizing explicit and implicit measures, captured the stereotype content of different racial groups: the Asian stereotype was seen as more feminine whereas the Black stereotype more masculine compared to the White stereotype. Study 3 found that preferences for masculinity versus femininity mediated White participants’ attraction to Blacks relative to Asians. Analysis of the 2000 United States Census replicated this pattern with interracial marriages. In Study 5, Blacks were more likely and Asians less likely to be selected for a masculine leadership position compared to Whites. Study 6 analyzed the NCAA Student-Athlete Ethnicity Report and found Blacks were more heavily represented in masculine versus feminine sports relative to Asians. These studies demonstrate that the association between racial and gender stereotypes has important real-world consequences.
DEMOGRAPHIC ANDROGYNY: WHY BLACK WOMEN AND ASIAN MEN ARE MORE LIKELY TO ACHIEVE HIGH-STATUS POSITIONS
Erika V. Hall1, Katherine W. Phillips2
1Northwestern Univesity; 2Columbia University
Given that race is gendered, social categories can be relatively androgynous (i.e. Black female, Asian male), or highly gendered (i.e. Asian female, Black male). Five experiments explored whether demographic androgyny confers an advantage in hiring contexts. We first established that high status business positions require a candidate that is moderately masculine, rather than highly masculine or highly feminine. The second set of experiments provides evidence for an optimal masculinity curve by demonstrating that a person’s overall gender (i.e., their sex and race) determines whether they are a good fit for the CEO position. Androgynous social categories were perceived to be more suitable and hirable for a CEO position, and were afforded more latitude to act dominantly, than highly-gendered social categories. A final study analyzed archival labor statistics and found that androgynous social categories – Black women and Asian men – were more likely to attain high-status management positions than their highly-gendered counterparts.
DIRECT AND VICARIOUS CONSPICUOUS CONSUMPTION: IDENTIFICATION WITH LOW-STATUS GROUPS INCREASES THE DESIRE FOR HIGH-STATUS GOODS
Phillip J. Mazzocco1, Derek D. Rucker2, Eric Anderson2
1Ohio State University-Mansfield; 2Northwestern Univesity
The current research examines whether identification with a low-status group affects consumers’ desire for objects associated with status. Experiment 1 found that individuals who belonged to and identified with a social category associated with relatively lower status (Blacks) exhibited an enhanced desire for high-status products compared to Blacks who did not identify with their race or individuals who belonged to a social category associated with higher status (Whites). In Experiments 2 and 3, White participants led to vicariously identify through perspective-taking with Blacks (Experiment 2), or a low-status occupational group (Experiment 3) exhibited an increased desire for high-status products. Experiment 4 provided meditational evidence for our status-based explanation for the relationship between identification with a low-status group and a desire for high-status products. The present work provides evidence for one factor that might lead racial minorities to display greater conspicuous consumption and demonstrates that conspicuous consumption can be elicited vicariously.
NOT JUST FOR STEREOTYPING ANYMORE: RACIAL ESSENTIALISM REDUCES DOMAIN-GENERAL CREATIVITY
Melody M. Chao1, Carmit T. Tadmor3, Ying-yi Hong2, Jeffrey T. Polzer4
1The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; 2Nanyang Technological University; 3Tel Aviv University; 4Harvard University
Past research has found that Individuals who believe that racial groups have underlying essences stereotype more. The current research explores whether this essentialist mindset also leads to less creativity. We suggest that the functional utility derived from essentialism induces a habitual closed-mindedness that transcends particular attitudes towards anyone race and hampers creativity. Across four studies, using both individual difference measures and experimental manipulations, we found that an essentialist mindset is indeed hazardous for creativity. Furthermore, this relationship between essentialism and reduced creativity was mediated by motivated close mindedness. These results held across samples of majority cultural group members (Caucasian-Americans, Israelis) and minority group members (Asian-Americans) as well as across different measures of creativity (flexibility, association, insight). We discuss implications for understanding the connection between racial intolerance and creativity.
WHAT OTHERS SAY, DO AND THINK: HOW PARTNER AND FAMILY SUPPORT, HEALTH VALUES AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES INFLUENCE MAJOR MEDICAL OUTCOMES THROUGHOUT LIFE
Friday, January 18, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room R02
Chair: Alexandra Suppes, Weill Cornell Medical College
Thoughts and actions of close others will influence individual’s major medical outcomes. Using dyadic behavioral research in field and laboratory settings, four talks suggest mechanisms that explain the role of close others in health behavior across the lifespan and provide strategies to improve outcomes.
SOCIAL SUPPORT RECEIPT, LOVING ACTS, AND RISK FOR POSTPARTUM DEPRESSION
Christopher T. Burke, Christine Perndorfer, Jessica Goren
Pregnancy-related distress may increase risk for postpartum depression, but the mechanisms responsible remain unclear. Although some work suggests that perceived social support buffers against postpartum depression, the impact of support receipt has been relatively unexplored. Research from other domains shows that support receipt can sometimes increase distress, particularly in self-relevant contexts, suggesting that pregnancy-related support may carry unintended costs for expectant mothers. We conducted a three-wave longitudinal study spanning from the sixth month of pregnancy to six weeks postpartum. In each wave, women completed a general questionnaire prior to a two-week diary period. More negative reactions to pregnancy-related support receipt (but not pregnancy-unrelated support receipt) predicted higher depressive symptoms postpartum, adjusting for initial depressive symptoms. These costs were mitigated among women who reported more positive, but non-supportive, social interactions. These results highlight the complexity of the support process and suggest ways for close others to circumvent the costs of support.
THE INTERPLAY OF PARTNER INFLUENCE AND INDIVIDUAL VALUES PREDICTS DAILY FLUCTUATIONS IN EATING AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Jane A. Skoyen, Elaine Blank, Shannon A. Corkery, Emily A. Butler
University of Arizona
To investigate the interplay of social and individual factors contributing to health habits, sixty-two heterosexual couples reported on health values (HV) and completed daily diaries assessing food intake, physical activity, and the helpfulness of health-related influence from their partners. Dyadic daily analyses tested whether partner influence was associated with variations in eating and exercise and whether the associations were moderated by couples’ average HV or the differences between partners’ HV. Men in couples with high average HV ate less than usual in response to positive partner influence. Also, in such couples, thinner men engaged in more physical activity when positively influenced by their partners. However, thinner men in couples with low average HV engaged in less physical activity when influenced by partners. Women who valued health less than their partners responded to partner influence by eating healthier. These results suggest that both HV and partner influence contribute to health habits.
CORRELATES AND CONSEQUENCES OF ASYMMETRIC PARTNER WE-TALK IN COUPLES COPING WITH HEALTH PROBLEMS
Kelly E. Rentscher, Michael J. Rohrbaugh, Varda Shoham, Matthias R. Mehl
University of Arizona
Automatic text analyses suggest that first-person plural pronoun use (we-talk) in couples may implicitly mark a communal style of coping associated with adaptive relationship functioning and individual health outcomes. The present study examined possible limits, or boundary conditions, of adaptive we-talk in three samples of couples coping with chronic heart failure (N=57), alcohol dependence (N=63), or nicotine addiction (N=26). While most couple pronoun research focuses on we-talk by individual partners, we hypothesized that an asymmetric dyad-level pattern – more we-talk by the spouse than the patient – will correlate with negative health and relationship indicators, concurrently and prospectively. Automatic text analysis of partners’ discussions generally supported this prediction: Across samples, asymmetric partner we-talk correlated with observed spouse-demand/patient-withdraw interaction after controlling total couple we-talk. Similar associations held for other health and relationship variables (e.g., patient non-adherence to medical regimen, negative couple communication), but were less consistent across samples and discussion topics.
HEALTH CARE PROXY ATTACHMENT ANXIETY INFLUENCES THEIR END-OF-LIFE DECISIONS
Alexandra Suppes, Joseph J. Fins
Weill Cornell Medical College
Longstanding mental representations of self and other can influence end-of-life decisions. Attachment anxiety, known to organize individuals’ affect, cognitions and behavior in response to fear of interpersonal abandonment was predicted to influence family members’ coping, expectations of recovery and decision-making for patients with a disorder of consciousness following a coma. Family members with more attachment anxiety experienced more grief-related emotions, which negatively influenced their life satisfaction. Those anxiously attached family members also thought the patients were communicating better, suggesting a false perception that they remain connected to the patient. Finally, attachment anxiety predicted agreement to authorize the patient for high- risk brain surgery, suggesting that those with more attachment anxiety view a risky procedure as an opportunity to strengthen the bond they share. Attachment anxiety did not predict enrollment in a low-risk drug trial, suggesting that high-risk activated the attachment anxiety system, which subsequently can influence major medical decisions.
Symposium Session C and Presidential Address
Friday, January 18, 2:00 – 3:15 pm
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS S-C1
Friday, January 18, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room R03 – R05
Taking the Power of the Situation Seriously
Speaker: David C. Funder, University of California, Riverside
Situations and persons are both important determinants of behavior, but situational assessment lags far behind personality assessment. My talk will introduce a new method, the Riverside Situational Q-sort (RSQ), and demonstrate the unique insights that situational assessment can provide to topics including behavioral consistency, evolutionary psychology, and cross-cultural comparison.
David C. Funder is Distinguished Professor of Psychology and former chair of the department at the University of California, Riverside. Winner of the 2009 Jack Block Award for Distinguished Research in Personality, he is a former editor of the Journal of Research in Personality, a past president of the Association for Research in Personality, and the president of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (2013). He is best known for his research on personality judgment and has also published research on delay of gratification, attribution theory, the longitudinal course of personality development, and the psychological assessment of situations. Source: http://books.wwnorton.com/books/Author.aspx?id=11646
OLD SYSTEMS, NEW TECHNOLOGY: HOW INTERNET USE AFFECTS BASIC SOCIAL, COGNITIVE, AND NEURAL PROCESSES
Friday, January 18, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room R01
Chair: Adrian Ward, Harvard University
Co-Chair: Daniel M. Wegner, Harvard University
In this symposium, we use data from neuroscience, social psychology, and sociology to illustrate the internet’s effects on various social, cognitive, and neural processes. Speakers will discuss the impact of internet use on creative problem-solving and self-esteem, mechanisms behind the appeal of social media, and large-scale consequences of internet-based dating.
THE UPSIDE OF INFORMATION ACCESSIBILITY: OFFLOADING DETAILS ENHANCES CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING
The internet is a source of easily accessible transactive memory. The current research examines responsibility and control in transactive memory, accessibility and thinking creatively, and implicit memory activation in creative problem solving. In experiment 1, participants saw a series of Klondike problems, with additional (irrelevant) memorization details. Half of the participants believed the “details” would be accessible to them later and half did not. Participants in the inaccessible condition performed better on an explicit test of the details and participants in the accessible condition solved more Klondike problems. Two questions regarding control and responsibility found that responsibility mediated the relationship between accessibility and memory. We replicated these results, and included an implicit memory test. Increased implicit memory was found in the accessible condition and was positively correlated with creative problem solving. Memory in the age of the internet seems to be restructured in positive ways which enhances creative problem solving.
THE THIRD HALF OF YOUR BRAIN: GOOGLE EFFECTS ON COGNITIVE SELF-ESTEEM
Adrian F. Ward, Daniel M. Wegner, Harvard University
Sergey Brin—co-founder of Google—has claimed that “we want Google to be the third half of your brain.” The current research investigates this possibility—that people may mistake information found using Google for information contained within their own minds. We provide evidence that accessing information on the internet leads to increases in Cognitive Self-Esteem (CSE), or the belief that one is good at thinking about and remembering information. These increases in CSE seem to reflect trait-level beliefs about one’s own knowledge and abilities, not just beliefs about the ability to locate information. We also discuss possible mediators and moderators of this effect, with an eye toward investigating what makes Google “special.” Taken together, these studies suggest that Google may indeed be “the third half” of many people’s brains, a portal to an external memory source that has been internalized as an aspect of self.
DISCLOSING INFORMATION ABOUT THE SELF IS INTRINSICALLY REWARDING
Diana I. Tamir, Jason P. Mitchell
Why are people motivated to disclose information about the self—for example, through Facebook, Twitter, blogging, and other social media? We propose that self-disclosure is a subjectively rewarding experience, and as such, should engage neural and cognitive mechanisms associated with value and reward. Using methods from cognitive neuroscience, we find that self-disclosure is strongly associated with increased activation in brain regions that form the mesolimbic dopamine system, including the nucleus accumbens and ventral tegmental area. Using behavioral methods, we find that individuals are willing to forgo money for opportunities to self-disclose. Finally, these effects stem from the independent value that individuals placed on self-referential thought and on simply sharing information with others. Together, these findings suggest that the human tendency to convey information about personal experience may arise from the intrinsic value associated with self-disclosure.
THE TECHNOLOGY OF THE TIMELESS: HOW ONLINE DATING IS CHANGING MATE SELECTION
University of California, San Diego
People often think of love as an indescribable but timeless social process that—one hopes—ultimately results in a lifetime of bliss. However, a specific contemporary technology—the online dating website—is fundamentally changing the way people engage in this ostensibly “timeless” process. Using data from OkCupid, I demonstrate how online dating is restructuring the process of finding a romantic partner and explore the implications these changes have for the individual; for the romantic relationships that are formed; and for society as a whole.
OTHER TYPES OF “WE”: DISCOVERING NEW FORMS OF COMMONALITIES FOR IMPROVING INTERGROUP RELATIONS
Friday, January 18, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room R07 – R09
Chair: Sasha Kimel, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Cochair: Tamar Saguy, Interdisciplinary Center (Herzliya)
Emphasizing commonalities between groups is traditionally considered a highly effective tool for improving intergroup relations. Yet, emerging work suggests that the benefits of commonality-focused interventions are limited. Drawing on these understandings, this symposium offers four novel emphases on cross-group commonalities which can overcome typical limitations and generate effective intergroup outcomes.
REDUCING ETHNIC CONFLICT BY EMPHASIZING GENETIC COMMONALITIES: IMPLICATIONS FOR PROMOTING MIDDLE EAST PEACE
Sasha Y. Kimel1, Rowell Huesmann1, Eran Halperin2
1University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; 2Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya
Many of the bloodiest conflicts and genocides in human history have been driven by perceived genetic differences between ethnic groups. Yet, despite decades of research suggesting that highlighting similarities can foster greater intergroup harmony, researchers have not yet tested the impact of highlighting shared genetic heritages. Moreover, little is know about the effects of highlighting commonalities for reducing actual aggression and inter-ethnic conflict. In a series of three studies conducted with Jews and Arabs living in both the US and Israel, we increased the perception of genetic commonalities (via a news article reporting recent findings) while still acknowledging other group differences. Emphasizing genetic similarities (vs. genetic differences) between Jews and Arabs led to a reduction in negative intergroup attitudes and aggression while increasing support for peacemaking. Results are discussed in terms of the implications for theories related to intergroup relations as well as this new tool’s implications for promoting peace.
A SALIENT DUAL IDENTITY PROMOTES A CARDIOVASCULAR CHALLENGE RESPONSE DURING INTER-ETHNIC INTERACTIONS
Daan Scheepers1, Tamar Saguy2, John F. Dovidio3, Samuel L. Gaertner4
1Leiden University; 2Interdisciplinary Center (Herzliya); 3Yale University; 4University of Delaware
Previous research has documented the benefits of a dual identity approach for improving intergroup relations. In this work we tested the prediction that when both majority and minority group members hold such approach (i.e., share the same identity representation), intergroup interactions become more effective and less threatening. Before engaging in a collaborative task with a Moroccan-Dutch confederate, native-Dutch participants studied the advantages of either a “one-group” representation (emphasizing their common Dutch nationality) or a “dual identity” representation (emphasizing different ethnic subgroups and their overarching “Dutch” nationality). During the task, cardiovascular indices of challenge and threat motivational states were assessed. A salient dual identity representation led to more benign cardiovascular arousal (i.e., challenge instead of threat), especially when the minority-group interaction partner also expressed preference for a dual identity. Results points to the advantages of a dual identity approach, particularly if that approach is shared across both minority and majority group members.
CULTURAL CLOSENESS AND AWARENESS OF INGROUP CRIMES AS DETERMINANTS OF INTERGROUP ATTTITUDES: THE CASE OF POLISH-JEWISH RELATIONS
Mirek Kofta 1, Patrycja Slawuta2
1University of Warsaw, Poland; 2New School for Social Research
Here we address the role of collective memory of post-Holocaust crimes in contemporary Polish-Jewish relations by inducing feelings of cultural closeness. Specifically, we examined how reminding Polish participants of ingroup atrocities affects constructive as well as destructive attitudes and behavioral intentions towards Jewish victims. To modify the effects of these reminders on intergroup relations, cultural closeness was experimentally induced via a fictitious news article reporting similarity between Jews and Poles on values, norms, etc. Our two experiments suggest that perceived sharing of culture is a crucial factor for dealing constructively with the “problematic past” in intergroup relations. In the baseline condition (where perceived cultural closeness was low), reminders of ingroup atrocities activated group-defensive strategies resulting in more negative intergroup attitudes and dehumanization of Jews. In stark contrast, in the “culturally close” condition, reminders of ingroup atrocities actually resulted in more positive intergroup attitudes and humanization of Jews.
WHEN I’S MEET: SHARING SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCE WITH SOMEONE FROM THE OUTGROUP
Elizabeth C. Pinel1, Anson Long2
1University of Vermont; 2Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Sharing subjective experiences (i.e. I-sharing) with outgroup members may help to bridge the intergroup divide (Pinel & Long, 2012). In our research, participants played a computerized game with two ostensible others that implicated subjective experience. One presumably shared participants’ experience; one did not. Some participants shared an experience with an ingroup member; others with an outgroup member. Across two studies that looked at different social groups, sharing a subjective experience increased liking for outgroup members, even when the outgroup status of that person remained salient. A final study asked whether the effects of sharing a subjective experience trump those of value-sharing. People high in existential isolation based liking for their partners more on subjective experience sharing than on value sharing, and this occurred regardless of the sharers’ social identity. Sharing subjective experiences may enable people to improve their outgroup attitudes while still embracing their differing social identities.
THE PUSH AND PULL OF NEGATIVE EMOTIONS: CULTURAL AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN THE EFFECTS OF NEGATIVE EMOTIONS ON COMPASSION, ATTENTION, BEHAVIOR, AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ADJUSTMENT
Friday, January 18, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room 207 – 207
Chair: Yulia Chentsova Dutton, Georgetown University
Co-Chair: Birgit Koopmann-Holm, Stanford University
The research presented here suggests that: (1) cultures and individuals differ in their views of negative emotions, and that (2) these different views of negative emotions have effects on compassion, attention, behavior, and psychological adjustment. This work emphasizes the importance of considering context when studying the functions of negative emotion.
CULTURAL DIFFERENCES IN AVOIDED NEGATIVE AFFECT LEAD TO DIFFERENT COMPASSIONATE RESPONSES
Birgit Koopmann-Holm, Jeanne L. Tsai
When responding to others’ suffering, Americans focus on the positive more and on the negative less than do Germans. We predicted that these cultural differences are due to differences in how much the cultures want to avoid negative affect. We found support for this hypothesis in two studies. In Study 1, the more Americans and Germans wanted to avoid negative affect, the less comfortable they felt sending cards that contained negative content. In Study 2, participants were randomly assigned to either avoid negative affect or approach negative affect conditions. When responding to another’s suffering, participants in the avoid negative affect condition focused more on the positive than those in the approach negative affect condition. These findings suggest that responses to suffering (i.e., compassion) differ across cultures, and that the degree to which people want to avoid negative affect explains such differences.
CULTURE AND PERCEIVED FUNCTIONS OF SADNESS
Yulia E. Chentsova Dutton1, Gerrod Parrot1, Dmitry Lyusin2
1Georgetown University; 2Russian State University for the Humanities
Cultural contexts foster different models of negative emotions. Sadness is an emotion that is more likely to be accepted in the Russian relative to the North American cultural context. In three studies using structured interviews and self-report inventories, Russians were less likely than European Americans to describe sadness as an undesirable and dysfunctional. Although participants from both cultural contexts recognized that sadness is usually unpleasant, Russians were more likely to value this emotion and less likely to report that being sad negatively affected their attention, ability to stay positive, and sociability. In accordance with these beliefs, Russians were more likely to want to experience sadness, particularly when the laboratory tasks demanded attention or sociability. These results suggest that models of what it means to be sad differ across cultures. These beliefs are likely to have implications for emotion regulation and communication of emotional distress.
EMOTION-BEHAVIOR LINKS AS SELF FULFILLING PROPHECIES
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
In this talk, I will suggest that the influence of emotions on behavior can be moderated by our expectations. In one study, participants were randomly assigned to expect anger to be useful or harmful for an upcoming negotiation. Participants who felt angrier did better in the negotiation if they were led to believe that anger is useful, whereas those experiencing less anger did worse in the negotiation if they were led to believe that anger is harmful. In another study, participants were led to expect anger to be useful or irrelevant to an upcoming negotiation. They were then randomly assigned to an anger or a neutral emotion induction. Participants did better in the negotiation when they were in an emotional state that they believed was useful for them. These findings suggest that how we think about our emotions may shape how we are influenced by them.
FLEXIBILITY IN COPING AND EMOTION REGULATION
George A. Bonanno, Charles L. Burton
The construct of flexibility accepts that every strategy/behavior carries both costs and benefits, and that successful adaptation depends on the flexibility to modify behaviors/strategies in accord with situational constraints. I describe an experimental measure of expressive flexibility (EF) and show that EF prospectively predicts better long-term adjustment among NYC college students following the 9/11 attacks. In another study, bereaved individuals with Complicated Grief exhibited deficits in EF ability compared to asymptomatic bereaved and married adults. The flexibility construct also informs successfully coping with trauma. I describe a recently developed questionnaire measure that assesses both the ability to focus on the thoughts and emotions associated with trauma and the ability to focus forward and away from the experience of trauma. I present data showing that both abilities are potentially adaptive and that the success of either ability depends on the type of event and the timing of the behavior.
FROM CRISIS TO CATALYST: THE NARRATIVE TRANSFORMATION OF DIFFICULTY INTO SELF DEVELOPMENT
Friday, January 18, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room 217 – 219
Chair: Jack Bauer, University of Dayton
Co-Chair: Jonathan M. Adler, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
This symposium examines how people use narrative to transform difficult experiences into self development. Four talks showcase a range of negative experiences (potential trauma, moral transgression, intergenerational conflicts), narrative patterns (e.g., exploration and resolution, agency negotiation, and mixed emotions), and methods (experiment, clinical interviews, multigenerational family sampling, and longitudinal design).
DOES TRANSFORMATIONAL PROCESSING OF DIFFICULT EVENTS CAUSE SELF-GROWTH? AN EXPERIMENTAL MANIPULATION
Jennifer Pals Lilgendahl, Joseph Tan, Rebecca Bass, Nicolas Galef, Marissa Plowden
This study examined whether transformational processing – defined as first exploring the impact of a difficult event and then positively resolving it (Pals, 2006) – causes a greater sense of self-growth than either exploring or resolving alone. Participants (N = 75) wrote for 15min/day for three days and were assigned to either the control group or to write about a personally significant, difficult event in one of three ways: explore only, resolve only, or combine (explore for two days, resolve on third day). Each day was coded for self-growth and analyzed for word use with LIWC. A significant interaction showed that the combination condition displayed significantly more self-growth and positive emotion words by day 3 than either resolve or explore alone. Thus, resolving a difficult event may be more growth-promoting if it is preceded by exploration, which opens a person up to new insights and ways of thinking about self.
NARRATING WRONGS WE DO TO OTHERS: RELATIONSHIPS WITH WELL-BEING AND MORAL DISENGAGEMENT
Cade Mansfield, Monisha Pasupathi, Kiana Taheri, Cecilia Wainryb
University of Utah
Resolving negative experiences with positive, agency-preserving meaning may be more difficult when narrating our own harm-doing, because harm-doing places the agentic self at odds with the good self. Narrating transgressions may also matter more for other-oriented aspects of personality than individual well-being. In this study, young adult participants (n=54) wrote narratives about six harm events and completed measures of well-being, attachment, moral disengagement, and trait agreeableness. Participants’ narratives were coded for the presence of 7 scripts and codes were summed. The three most common scripts were: 1) the victim was responsible; 2) harm was due to the narrator’s other goals; and 3) harm was inexplicable. Script use was uncorrelated with well-being, but moral disengagement was associated with greater use of the victim-responsible script and the inexplicable harm script. Implications of narrating harm-doing for adaptive functioning are discussed.
FINDING MY OWN WAY: NEGOTIATING PERSONAL IDENTITY FROM FAMILY IDENTITY
Kate C. McLean
Western Washington University
Individuals work to construct a narrative identity in negotiation with larger cultural master narratives, and this process is more challenging when one’s personal experience is dissonant with these master narratives. Taking this model to the level of the family, this paper examines the construction of the family master narrative, and how adolescents negotiate their personal narrative identity around that family narrative. Analysis focuses on 22 families who had at least two children, one of whom was a high school senior, and participated in three assessments (one video-recorded family conversation, two survey follow-ups). Results reveal how family master narratives can constrain adolescents’ identities via the stories constructed and repeated about them, and how that constraint can lead to increased individual identity processing, as well as to a particularly coherent and autonomous personal identity in emerging adulthood. Results are discussed in terms of the potential for personal growth from particularly dissonant experiences.
MAKING MEANING WITH MIXED EMOTIONS LEADS TO INCREASES IN PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING IN PSYCHOTHERAPY
Jonathan M. Adler
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
The benefits of positive emotional experience and the drawbacks of negative emotional experience have been thoroughly documented. But Larsen’s (2003) coactvation model holds that experiencing positive emotions concurrently with negative emotions may detoxify them, transforming negative emotional experiences into fodder for enhanced well-being. The present study examined meaning-making processes in 47 adult psychotherapy clients over the course of treatment. At 12 assessment points, participants wrote personal narratives and completed measures of psychological well-being. Narratives were coded for the presence of eight specific emotions. HLM analyses revealed that the specific inclusion of concurrent happiness and sadness in clients’ narratives was associated with improvements in their psychological well-being above and beyond the impact of personality traits or the independent effects of happiness and sadness. Time-lagged analyses revealed that these changes in mixed emotional meaning making preceded improvements in psychological well-being. This study demonstrates the importance of making meaning with mixed emotions.
COMPASSION: SOCIAL CAUSES AND MORAL CONSEQUENCES
Friday, January 18, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room 208 – 210
Chair: C. Daryl Cameron, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Co-Chair: B. Keith Payne, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Scholars have debated whether compassion is important for morality. The current symposium presents four talks that reveal social causes of compassion—including socioeconomic status, incidental inductions, and financial costs—and moral consequences of compassion, including utilitarianism, forgiveness, and dehumanization. Together, these talks underscore the relevance of compassion for morality.
SOCIAL CLASS, COMPASSION, AND UTILITARIAN MORAL JUDGMENT
Stéphane Côté1, Paul K. Piff2, Rob Willer2
1University of Toronto; 2University of California, Berkeley
We investigate whether the tendency of upper-class individuals to feel less compassion makes them more likely to resist intuitionist options in moral dilemmas, instead favoring utilitarian choices that maximize the greatest good for the greatest number. In Study 1, upper-class participants were more likely than lower-class participants to choose the utilitarian option in the footbridge dilemma, which evokes relatively strong moral intuitions. In Study 2, upper-class participants were more likely to take resources from one person to benefit several others in an allocation task, and this association was explained by their lower compassion for the person whose resources were taken. In Study 3, the association between social class and utilitarian judgment was eliminated in a condition where compassion was induced, but not in a control condition, suggesting that reduced compassion helps account for the utilitarianism of upper-class individuals
THE POWER OF INCIDENTAL COMPASSION IN THE INTERPERSONAL DOMAIN
Paul Condon, David DeSteno
Contemplative practices suggest that, through compassion for close others and reflecting on the commonality of all humans, one can transfer compassion to non-close others. Incidental emotion effects commonly reported in social psychology follow a similar logic. In this view, a feeling of compassion for one person may carry over to another, even someone who is disliked. This experiment provided a test of incidental compassion. Using orchestrated behaviors with confederates, this paper demonstrates that induced compassion mediated a reduction in punishment directed at a transgressor. When one individual cheated to earn a higher reward than others, participants directed heightened punishment toward the cheater. Among participants who were induced to feel compassion toward a separate individual, punishment of the cheater disappeared. Furthermore, the reduction in punishment was mediated by the amount of compassion participants experienced toward the separate individual. These results demonstrate that compassion can act as a causal force in moral decision-making.
COMPASSION FOR ONE, COMPASSION FOR ALL
Piercarlo Valdesolo, Kelly Chen, Emma Jones
Claremont McKenna College
What is the most effective means for an organization to mitigate blame and punishment after instances of corruption? When individuals transgress, our desire to punish is often predicted by the degree to which we feel compassion (Condon & DeSteno). Consequently, we hypothesized that the extent to which individuals perceive institutions as like people (i.e. highly entitative) should predict the efficacy of compassion in tempering institutional blame. We presented participants with transgressions committed by actors associated with different institutions that were either high or low in perceived entitativity, and varied the institutions response (compassion inducing/ not). Compassion mitigated blame and punishment significantly more for high entitativity institutions compared to low entitativity institutions. A second study replicated this result with an experimental manipulation of entitativity. Implications for the efficacy of institutional responses in rebuilding trust after perceived corruption are discussed.
THE COMPASSION COLLAPSE: WHY WE FEEL LESS FOR MANY THAN FOR ONE
C. Daryl Cameron, B. Keith Payne
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
People expect to feel more compassion when more people are suffering. Yet compassion tends to plummet as the number of victims in a crisis increases. We theorize that people are concerned about the costs of feeling compassion for many victims, and so take steps to down-regulate their compassion. First, we show that the collapse of compassion between one and eight victims only emerges when people expect to have to donate money, suggesting that it is motivated by financial costs. Second, the collapse of compassion only emerges for skilled emotion regulators, suggesting that it requires strategic emotion regulation. Third, the collapse of compassion emerges when people are told to regulate their emotions, but not when they are told to experience their emotions. Finally, we extend this work by showing that highly compassionate individuals will dehumanize even a single dislikeable victim. Implications for boundary conditions of compassion will be discussed.
HAPPY PLACES, HAPPY PEOPLE. INTEGRATING INDIVIDUAL AND SOCIOECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING
Friday, January 18, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room R02
Chair: Maike Luhmann, University of Illinois at Chicago
Co-Chair: Richard E. Lucas, Michigan State University
Where people live matters for their subjective well-being (SWB). This symposium brings together recent research on the relation between SWB and place, with a particular focus on the interactive dynamics between characteristics of the individual and characteristics of counties, states, or countries.
EXTRAVERTS ARE HAPPIER IN NORTH AMERICA, BUT NOT IN GERMANY
Ulrich Schimmack, Hyunji Kim
University of Toronto, Mississauga
Meta-analyses repeatedly show robust correlations between extraversion and life satisfaction in North American student samples. In contrast, the evidence from national representative samples in other nations is less consistent. This pattern of results suggests a personality by environment interaction. We present five studies with student and national representative samples from Canada, Germany, Britain, and the United States to examine the moderating role of culture in the relationship between extraversion and life satisfaction. We used structural equation modeling to examine the effect of extraversion on life satisfaction while controlling for random measurement error, rating biases, and the effect of other Big Five dimensions. Extraversion was a significant predictor of well-being in the Anglo-Saxon samples, but not in the German samples. We also show that age is not a moderator. We propose a theoretical model in which extraversion is more beneficial in individualistic, extraverted, and high-mobility countries with looser social connections.
SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING ACROSS THE LIFESPAN WORLDWIDE
Mike Morrison1, Louis Tay2, Ed Diener3,4
1University of Western Ontario; 2Purdue University; 3University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; 4The Gallup Organization
Utilizing data from a Gallup World Poll that included 155 countries, we examined how patterns of subjective well-being differ across the lifespan, what sociocultural differences exist in these patterns and what are the best predictors of subjective well-being among different age groups. Subjective well-being was slightly lower among the elderly than younger individuals; however, individuals older than 65 fared relatively better in East Asian countries and older people across the world were highest among all age groups in past life satisfaction. Social relationships, pro-social behaviors, pride and satisfaction with living standards were predictive of subjective well-being for all age groups. Standard of living satisfaction was a stronger predictor of well-being for the middle aged than for other age groups and pride and pro-social behavior were stronger predictors for the elderly. The findings provide unique support and refinement of Erikson’s (1963) theory of psychosocial development and socioemotional selectivity theory (Carstensen, 2006).
NEUROTICISM MODERATES THE EFFECTS OF THE SOCIOECONOMIC CONTEXT ON SUBJECTIVE WELL-BEING
Maike Luhmann1, Louise C. Hawkley2, James C. Murdoch2
1University of Illinois at Chicago; 2University of Chicago
Using data from the Health and Retirement Survey (N = 6,528), we examined the extent to which the socioeconomic context (unemployment, poverty, crime, life expectancy) measured on the county and the state level affects the average levels of SWB in older adults and whether these factors have stronger effects on people high in neuroticism. On average, SWB was higher in counties with lower unemployment rates and in states with higher life expectancy. Moreover, high county-level poverty was associated with lower levels of SWB in people high in neuroticism, but not in people low in neuroticism. No significant effects were found for crime rate. These effects were independent of people’s individual socioeconomic circumstances. Together, these findings show that socioeconomic context matters even for those not directly affected by its characteristics, and that neuroticism is an important moderator of the effects of life circumstances on SWB
LIFE SATISFACTION OF U.S. COUNTIES PREDICTS POPULATION GROWTH
Richard E. Lucas
Michigan State University
In a famous study, Schkade and Kahneman showed that focusing illusions lead respondents to make incorrect predictions about how happy people are in different regions of the United States. One potential implication of this finding is that people might make bad decisions (e.g., to move to a different location) based on these incorrect predictions. However, it is also possible that people base moving decisions not on predicted happines but on other characteristics of a region (e.g., climate, employment opportunities, natural amenities) that actually do lead to greater happiness. If so, happier regions should attract more movers. We test this possibility by comparing population growth from 2000 to 2010 in U.S. counties to the reported life satisfaction of those counties, as assessed in a survey of over 2 million respondents from 2005 to 2010. Results show that happier counties grew at a faster rate, with a medium-to-large effect size.
Symposium Session D
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm
FALSE POSITIVE II: EFFECT SIZES TOO SMALL, TOO LARGE, OR JUST RIGHT
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room R03 – R05
Chair: Leif Nelson, University of California, Berkeley
This symposium is all about effect sizes (but keep reading). We show they can be analyzed to diagnose fabrication, that p-curve can estimate them 100% publication bias free (yes, 100%), and that reasoning by analogy we can ball park them before-hand to determine sensible sample sizes for our studies.
P-CURVE: A KEY TO THE FILE DRAWER
Leif D. Nelson2, Joseph P. Simmons1, Uri Simonsohn1
1University of Pennsylvania; 2University of California, Berkeley
This talk begins where the p-curve talk of SPSP2012 left off. After quickly reviewing that p-curve, the distribution of statistically significant p-values, can reveal whether or not the studies behind them are likely to replicate and whether they were p hacked (e.g., dependent variable was logged just to get significance), we show that it can be reliably and meaningfully applied to small sets of p-value, say those present in a single paper. We illustrate its use comparing p-curves for a set of JPSP studies we expected to have been p hacked and a set we expected not to have. Finally, we show p-curve can be applied to a set of published findings (ignoring all non-published ones) and nevertheless obtain a 100% publication-bias-free effect size estimate.
JUST POST IT: THE LESSON FROM TWO CASES OF FABRICATED DATA DETECTED BY STATISTICS ALONE
University of Pennsylvania
I argue that journals should require authors to post the raw data supporting their published results. I illustrate some of the benefits of doing so by describing two cases of fraud I identified exclusively through statistical analysis of reported means and standard deviations. Analyses of the raw data provided important confirmation of the initial suspicions, ruling out benign explanations (e.g., reporting errors; unusual distributions), identifying additional signs of fabrication, and also ruling out one of the suspected fraudster’s explanations for his anomalous results. If we want to reduce fraud, we need to require authors to post their raw data.
BETWEEN LIBERALS’ LIKING OF OBAMA AND OF LATTES: SETTING SAMPLE SIZE BY ANALOGY
Joseph P. Simmons1, Uri Simonsohn1, Leif D. Nelson2
1University of Pennsylvania; 2University of California, Berkeley
Experimenters sensibly emphasize the presence of an effect (Does X influence Y?) rather than the size of the effect (How much does X influence Y?). Nevertheless, scientists must estimate effect-sizes to determine sample sizes. Published research does not help. Small samples and selective reporting systematically overestimate effects. We offer a new tool for sample size determination. We solicited many social scientific relationships (e.g., the influence liberalism on liking for Obama) and measured those relationships in large samples (~350 participants per condition). A separate group of experienced researchers estimated effect size. The researchers were bad at estimating effect size (average deviation of Cohen’s d = .42), but good at estimating relative effect size (i.e., highly calibrated with reality). In combination this offers an opportunity. Researchers can correctly answer a plausible question (e.g., “Is my effect larger than the effect of liberalism on Obama-liking?”) and use the unbiased estimate to determine sample size.
THE ROLE OF MENTAL TIME TRAVEL IN SELF PROCESSES
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room R01
Chair: Frederick Grouzet, University of Victoria
This symposium highlights the importance of mental time travel for the self. Wilson and Peetz discuss the role of temporal landmarks. Quoidbach and Gilbert propose the history illusion. Routledge and his colleagues discuss the importance of revisiting the past, while Grouzet highlights the need for a balanced time travel.
THE POST-BIRTHDAY WORLD: MOTIVATIONAL CONSEQUENCES OF TEMPORAL LANDMARKS
Anne E. Wilson1, Johanna Peetz2
1Wilfrid Laurier University; 2Carleton University
Temporal landmarks such as birthdays and significant calendar dates structure and organize the subjective perception of time. In five studies we show that a salient temporal landmark between two time points psychologically separates these time points. This temporal separation can affect temporal self-appraisals, motivation, and goal-directed behavior, by causing people to organize pre- and post-landmark selves into separate categories. For instance, when given a calendar in which common temporal landmarks (birthdays, holidays) were highlighted, participants judged their current self to be more different from a hoped-for future self than if given a calendar without salient landmarks. This contrast motivated participants to work towards achieving the hoped-for self. Finally, two studies showed that temporal landmarks are used spontaneously to induce psychological separation from undesirable selves. Participants were more likely to think of a separating landmark if they considered a negative (vs. positive) future self, and subsequently felt better about current selves.
THE END OF HISTORY ILLUSION
Jordi Quoidbach, Daniel Gilbert
At every stage of life, people make decisions that profoundly influence the lives of the people they become—and when they finally become those people, they aren’t always thrilled about it. The present research suggest that people make regretful decisions in part because their ability for mental time travel suffers a major illusion: they fundamentally misunderstand their future selves. Across seven studies with over 23,000 participants, we found consistent evidence indicating that at every stage of life, people underestimate how much they will change in the future. Although the magnitude of this illusion was sometimes greater for younger than older people, it was evident at every stage of adult life. Adolescents and grandparents both seem to think of the present as a watershed—the singular moment in their lives when they have finally become the people they will always be.
A NOSTALGIC SELF IS A MEANINGFUL SELF
Clay Routledge1, Constantine Sedikides2, Jamie Arndt3, Jacob Juhl1
1North Dakota State University; 2University of Southampton; 3University of Missouri-Columbia
Perceiving one’s life as full of meaning and purpose is a hallmark of healthy psychological functioning. Nostalgia has been conceptualized as an existential emotion that bolsters the self, in part, by promoting perceptions of meaning. The current research explores the existential function of nostalgia. Studies 1-3 demonstrate that nostalgia increases meaning relative to other modes of temporal thought. Studies 4-6 indicate that nostalgia counters the negative psychological effects of diverse meaning threats and low trait meaning. Finally, Study 7 reveals that nostalgia reduces the heightened psychological distress experienced in a laboratory stressor task by individuals with meaning deficits. Potential mediators of the effect of nostalgia on meaning are also considered. This research suggests that nostalgia is an important weapon in the arsenal of self-defenses.
MENTAL TIME TRAVEL, DAILY WELL-BEING AND LIFE ASPIRATIONS
Frederick M.E. Grouzet
University of Victoria
Mental time travel is an important human capacity that enables people to revisit the past and plan the future while working on present activities. Individual differences (e.g., time perspective) and daily external demands influence the frequency and nature of thoughts about the past and the future, but also the valence (positive vs. negative) and the distance from the present (near vs. distant). In a series of four daily diary studies (N ranging from 30 and 120), the variation of daily mental time travel was analyzed using multilevel modeling while predicting daily well-being and changes in life aspirations (possible selves). Overall, the results showed important individual differences in daily mental time travel that is reflected into daily well-being and life aspirations. In addition, social context (Study 1- 2) and random instructions (Study 3-4) influenced mental time travel during weeks and daily well-being. Changes in life aspirations were also observed.
THE BIOLOGICAL BASES OF INTERGROUP BIAS: BRIDGING HORMONES, GENES, FERTILITY, AND THE BRAIN
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room R07 – R09
Chair: Bobby Cheon, Northwestern University
Co-Chair: Joan Chiao, Northwestern University
Intergroup bias is modulated by diverse contextual influences, but its biological regulation remains less clear. By examining the role of hormones, genes, fertility, and the brain within intergroup relations, this symposium offers an integrative perspective of the biological bases of intergroup bias, and their relationship with the broader social context.
OXYTOCIN PROMOTES IN-GROUP FAVORITISM AND PAROCHIAL ALTRUISM IN INTERGROUP CONFLICT
Carsten K. W. De Dreu
University of Amsterdam
Well-known for its role in reproduction, stress-regulation, and pair-bonding, recent work implicates the evolutionary highly preserved neuropeptide oxytocin also in social recognition, trust, and pro-social behavior more generally. An evolutionary perspective suggests that pro-social approach is parochial—it extends to close kin and kith and not, or to a lesser degree, to non-kin and kith. Indeed, male mice engineered to lack forebrain oxytocin receptors no longer discriminate between familiar and novel females, and humans given oxytocin rather than placebo extend trust towards protagonists with whom they shared positive interactions, and those who are displayed as relatively trustworthy. Here I present recent evidence from our own laboratory showing that intranasal oxytocin (versus placebo) motivates (i) in-group favoritism, but not out-group derogation, (ii) parochial altruism, and (iii) defensive aggression towards outsiders threatening vulnerable in-group members. I conclude with broader implications for social neuroscience research and theory on intergroup relations and conflict.
INTERGROUP BIAS IN EVALUATION AND MORAL JUDGMENTS AS A FUNCTION OF FERTILITY SHIFTS ACROSS THE MENSTRUAL CYCLE
Carlos D. Navarrete, Melissa McDonald
Michigan State University
Research suggests that women’s wariness of unfamiliar or dangerous persons and situations changes as a function of fertility across the menstrual cycle. Along these lines, a link between reproductive fertility and intergroup bias has been documented, suggesting that women’s psychology may use group categorization as a “hazard heuristic” whose original function may have been to protect reproductive choice. We extend the evidence consistent with this perspective, and show that women’s psychological biases during the high fertility phase of the menstrual cycle may be patterned not only by an increase in negative mental representations of out-groups, but also by increased pro-ingroup ideation. We find that conception risk is linked to an increase in pro-normative orientations regarding in-group worldviews, beliefs, and moral judgments, particularly among women with strong left or right political ideologies.
MINDING THE GAP: NARRATIVES ABOUT OTHERS’ MINDS REDUCE THE INTERGROUP EMPATHY GAP
Emile G. Bruneau1, Mina Cikara, Rebecca Saxe
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
In intergroup conflict, people feel less empathy for the fortunes and misfortunes of outgroup members. For example, in our experiments, Arab and Israeli participants report feeling less compassion for strangers from the other group than strangers from their own group. A key question is how to reduce this gap. We propose that intergroup empathy gaps can be reduced by getting participants to focus on outgroup members as individuals rather than group members, and on their mental rather than their physical individuating qualities. We report here two kinds of evidence consistent with this proposal. First, when Arabs and Israelis read narratives about one another, reported compassion is correlated with activity in brain regions associated with perspective taking and theory of mind. Second, in competitive but arbitrary groups, the gap in empathy for outgroup members was reduced by narratives describing mental states but not by narratives describing physical traits.
GENE-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIONS ON INTERGROUP BIAS: THE ROLE OF THE SEROTONIN TRANSPORTER POLYMORPHISM AND THREAT-SENSITIVITY
Bobby K. Cheon1, Robert W. Livingston1, Ying-Yi Hong2, Joan Y. Chiao1
1Northwestern University; 2Nanyang Technological University
Perceived outgroup threat (e.g., competition, infection, exploitation, physical harm) is a consistent antecedent of intergroup bias. The serotonin transporter polymorphism (5-HTTLPR) has been associated with individual differences in sensitivity to threatening contexts and stimuli. We examined whether those with the threat-sensitive genotype of 5-HTTLPR (possessing the S-allele) exhibit stronger intergroup bias when exposed to contextual cues of outgroup threat. Two studies supported this gene-environment interaction on intergroup bias. Those who experienced greater negative contact with either ethnic and minimal outgroups, or perceived greater danger from the social environment exhibited stronger negative outgroup evaluations and discriminatory behavior. Moreover, this relationship between perceived threat and intergroup bias was stronger among those who possessed at least one S-allele of 5-HTTLPR. These findings suggest that the propensity for intergroup bias may be transmitted and inherited through the interaction of social mechanisms (contextual cues of outgroup threat) and biological mechanisms (genetic predispositions towards threat).
BEYOND THE BEDROOM THE EFFECT OF MATING MOTIVATIONS ON BEHAVIORS THAT HAVE (ALMOST) NOTHING TO DO WITH SEX
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 206 – 207
Chair: Sarah Hill, Texas Christian University
Co-Chair: Abigail B. Schneider, University of Colorado at Boulder
We present new research demonstrating that the psychological effects of mating-motives are pervasive and reach far beyond preferences for romantic partners. Presenters reveal that mating motives - whether experimentally primed or varying cyclically across the ovulatory cycle – influence financial decision making, consumer preferences, and perceptions of oneself and others.
MATING AND DATING INFLUENCE WHEN AND WHY PEOPLE TAKE FINANCIAL RISKS
Yexin J. Li1, Steven L. Neuberg2, Jill Sundie3, Douglas T. Kenrick2
1University of Kansas; 2Arizona State University; 3University of Texas at San Antonio
Mating motives may lead men to be financially risky for several reasons: Risky behaviors can signal to potential mates one’s genetic fitness, facilitate success in status competition with other men, and lead to more resources. Once in a relationship, however, the same financial riskiness may be problematic for males, potentially suggesting to partners an interest in (extra-curricular) mate-seeking and placing in jeopardy existing resources available to the partner. In four studies, we activated a mating motivation or no motivation in single and attached men and women, and measured preference for monetary risk. As predicted, mating motivation led single men to become more risky and attached men to become less risky. Interestingly, women exhibited the opposite pattern: Mating motives led single women to become less financially risky and attached women to become more risky. Possible explanations focus on the greater costs of signaling unristrictedness for single versus attached women.
OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW: THE EFFECT OF OVULATION ON WOMEN’S VARIETY SEEKING
Ashley Arsena1, Kristina M. Durante1, Vladas Griskevicius2, Stephanie M. Cantu2
1University of Texas at San Antonio; 2University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Might desire for variety and novelty in consumer choice be influenced by the hormones associated with ovulation? Previous research finds that near ovulation women experience decreased commitment to their current partner and an increased desire for other men. This suggests that ovulation may increase women’s openness to novelty and variety. In a series of studies, we tested how women’s desire for variety and novelty in consumption changes depending on when such decisions are made. Findings showed that ovulation increased women’s desire for novelty and variety in consumer choice domains. Additional findings show that the hormonally regulated effect on variety seeking appears to be driven by mate attraction goals. Consequently, minimizing the salience of these goals suppresses the ovulatory effect on variety seeking. These studies provide some of the first evidence of how hormones can influence economic and consumer decisions, which has important implications for marketers, researchers, and consumers.
DON’T HATE ME BECAUSE I’M BEAUTIFUL: MATING-MOTIVES ELICIT INSPIRATIONAL COMPARISONS WITH SEXY ADVERTISEMENT MODELS
Susan Jung Grant1, Abigail B. Schneider2, Ethan Pew3, Denise Buhrau3
1Boston University; 2University of Colorado at Boulder; 3Stony Brook University
Although the use of highly attractive models in advertising is ubiquitous, the practice remains controversial because of the damage it may cause to women’s self-esteem. The current research demonstrates that viewing highly attractive models can also be empowering for women depending on model’s beauty-type and viewer’s mate-seeking status. In Study 1, women viewed sexy or classy models and reported days since ovulation. Results showed that non-ovulating women perceived the classy model and the product she advertised more favorably than the sexy model and the product she advertised (F’s(1,105)>5.00, p’s<.02). In contrast, ovulating women perceived the sexy model and product just as favorably as the classy model and product (F’s(1,105)<.58, p>.45). Study 2 explicitly manipulated mating motives and found the same pattern of results. Results demonstrate that mating motivations lead women to perceive sexy models as being useful sources of mating-relevant information, thereby resulting in inspirational comparisons.
ECOLOGICAL CONTINGENCIES IN PERCEPTIONS OF THE IDEAL FEMALE BODY SIZE: A LIFE HISTORY APPROACH
Sarah E. Hill, Christopher D. Rodeheffer, Danielle J. DelPriore, Max E. Butterfield
Texas Christian University
Why do some women idealize a heavier body size while others prize thinness? Here, we use insights from life history theory and the critical fat hypothesis to explore whether this variability might emerge from fundamental differences in women’s life history strategies. We present the results of four experiments demonstrating that for women sensitized to a faster life history strategy in childhood, exposure to cues promoting accelerated reproductive goals yields a preference for a heavier body size ideal (Studies 1-4). Furthermore, although men’s perceptions of the ideal male body did not shift in response to these cues (Study 2), men’s perceptions of the ideal female body did shift, with cues to environmental harshness leading developmentally sensitized men to prefer a heavier female body size (Study 4). Results suggest that observed variability in beliefs about the ideal female body size may reflect underlying differences in reproductive strategies predicted by life history theory.
IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO: PERSONALITY IN DYADIC INTERACTIONS
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 217 – 219
Chair: Noga Sverdlik, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Co-Chair: Shaul Oreg, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Little research addressed personality effects in dyadic interactions, which constitute some of the most meaningful contexts in people’s lives. In this symposium we bring together studies on different aspects of personality in different types of dyadic interactions, including in the work context, between romantic partners and in persuasion settings.
INHERENTLY RELATIONAL: INTERACTIONS BETWEEN PEERS’ AND INDIVIDUALS’ PERSONALITIES AFFECT INDIVIDUALS’ PERFORMANCE
Amir Erez1, Pauline Schilpzand2, Keith Leavitt2, Andy Woolum1, Timothy Judge3
1University of Florida; 2Oregon State University; 3University of Notre Dame
The effects of interactions between peers and individuals personality traits on individuals’ performance were investigated in three studies. Study 1 results showed that introverts evaluated extraverted and disagreeable peers’ performance as lower than those of introverted and agreeable peers, but the personality of peers did not affect the evaluations given by extraverts. Similarly, Study 2 findings showed that introverts made less positive attributions and avoided interacting with extraverted and disagreeable peers but these effects were not observed for extraverts. Study 3 replicated the results of Studies 1 and 2 using a controlled experimental design and showed that attributions and negative arousal mediated the relationships between agreeableness and extraversion of peers and their performance ratings given by introverts. Overall, the results supported the tenants of arousal theory that introverts are more reactive to stimuli than extraverts but not the predictions of interpersonal theory that opposites attract.
SOURCE PERSONALITY AND PERSUASIVENESS: BIG-FIVE PREDISPOSITIONS TO BEING PERSUASIVE AND THE ROLE OF MESSAGE INVOLVEMENT
Shaul Oreg1, Noga Sverdlik2
1The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; 2Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
In the present studies we incorporate a personality perspective to the study of the persuasion source. Specifically, we aimed to identify the personality characteristics of the persuasive individual and test the moderating role of target and source involvement. In three studies we found support for hypothesized relationships between source persuasiveness and extraversion, neuroticism and openness to experience. In a preliminary study (N=66) we demonstrated expected differences in the personality ratings assigned to a hypothetical persuasive versus non-persuasive individual. In Study 1 (N=95) we showed that source extraversion and openness to experience were positively, and neuroticism negatively, associated with source persuasiveness. In Study 2 (N=148) we manipulated source and target involvement and replicated the results from Study 1, but, as hypothesized, only when involvement was low.
BRINGING THE DYAD INTO FOCUS: THE ROLE OF REGULATORY ORIENTATIONS DURING PERSONAL GOAL DISCUSSIONS AMONG ROMANTIC PARTNER
Heike Winterheld 1, Jeffry Simpson2
1California State University, East Bay; 2University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus
Regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997) proposes two self-regulatory orientations: prevention focus (which emphasizes security needs) and promotion focus (which emphasizes advancement needs). In a behavioral observation study, romantic couples discussed personal promotion goals (hopes, aspirations) and prevention goals (responsibilities, challenges). Highly promotion-focused people’s perceptions of partner responsiveness increased when they believed their promotion goals were difficult to attain; moreover, when their perceptions of goal attainability were low, their partners extended more support to them, resulting in greater motivation to pursue their promotion goals. Highly prevention-focused people perceived greater partner responsiveness when their partners displayed less withdrawal/distancing behavior when discussing prevention goals. Finally, individuals reported greater control over their goals after having received support from highly prevention-focused (but not promotion-focused) partners. This study shows how a dyadic perspective can improve our understanding of self-regulatory processes and underscores the importance of studying both partners in the context in which support transactions occur.
SEXUAL HEALING: CAN SEX REPAIR ATTACHMENT INSECURITIES?
Moran Mizrahi1, Gurit Birnbaum2, Gilad Hirschberger2, Mario Mikulincer2, Ohad Szepsenwol2
1Bar-Ilan University; 2Interdisciplinary Center, Herzeliya
Past research has provided substantial evidence about the role of attachment orientations in shaping sexual attitudes and behaviors. Yet, little has been done to explore the reverse direction. In the present research, we examined whether sexual desire reduced levels of attachment insecurities over time in emerging relationships. In an 8-month longitudinal study, we followed 61 newly dating couples across three measurement waves. At wave 1, couples discussed sexual aspects of their relationship and judges coded both partners’ expressions of sexual desire during the discussion. Furthermore, at each wave participants completed measures of relationship-specific attachment anxiety and avoidance. Results indicated that men’s expressions of desire predicted a decline in their partners’ relationship-specific anxiety. In contrast, women’s expressions of desire inhibited the decline in their partners’ relationship-specific anxiety and avoidance. These findings suggest that men’s sexual desire contributes to the development of emotional bonds, whereas women’s sexual desire inhibits relationship-promoting processes.
A DYADIC PERSPECTIVE ON INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS AND HEALTH
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 228 – 230
Chair: Andrea Meltzer, Southern Methodist University
Co-Chair: James K. McNulty, Florida State University
This symposium draws from a dyadic perspective to examine the way in which romantic relationship partners affect individuals’ health outcomes. Two talks describe the role of partners in predicting weight and two talks describe the role of partners in predicting physiological responses to stress.
MARITAL SATISFACTION PREDICTS WEIGHT GAIN IN EARLY MARRIAGE
Andrea L. Meltzer1, James K. McNulty2, Sarah A. Novak3, Emily A. Butler4, Benjamin R. Karney5
1Southern Methodist University; 2Florida State University; 3Hofstra University; 4Arizona State University; 5University of California, Los Angeles
According to the health-regulation perspective, marital satisfaction should predict less weight gain over time because the stress of marital discord interferes with self-regulatory behaviors. The mating-market perspective, in contrast, suggests that marital satisfaction may predict greater weight gain over time because satisfied spouses should feel a decreased need to attract a new mate. To evaluate these perspectives, 169 newlywed couples reported their height, weight, marital satisfaction, and steps toward divorce biannually for four years. Within-person analyses supported the mating-market perspective: spouses gained more weight during periods when they or their partners were more satisfied with the marriage, and decreased thoughts of divorce mediated this association. These findings challenge the idea that quality relationships always benefit health, suggesting instead that satisfied spouses relax their efforts to maintain their weight when they do not perceive a need to remain attractive for alternative partners.
ROMANTIC PARTNERS AND WEIGHT MANAGEMENT: CONSIDERING PARTNER COMPARISON AND RELATIONSHIP QUALITY
Gianna M. Bowler1, Charlotte N. Markey1, Patrick M. Markey2, Jennifer Shukusky1
1Rutgers University, Camden; 2Villanova University
Research suggests that romantic partners contribute to individuals’ perceptions of their bodies and weight and that these perceptions may have relevance to obesity risk (Markey & Markey, 2011). This presentation will describe findings linking individuals’ weight status, their romantic partners’ weight status, and their relationship quality to their participation in healthy and unhealthy approaches to weight management. One hundred and six heterosexual couples and 72 lesbian couples participated in this research. Analyses provide evidence for the role of individuals’ weight status and their partners’ weight status in predicting weight management behaviors. These findings suggest that partners compare themselves to each other in making assessments of their own weight and in their attempts to manage their weight, regardless of the gender of their partners. Further, women who reported low relationship quality were vulnerable to participation in unhealthy weight management strategies.
SPOUSES’ ATTACHMENT PAIRINGS PREDICT NEUROENDOCRINE AND BEHAVIORAL RESPONSES TO MARITAL CONFLICT
Lindsey A. Beck, Paula R. Pietromonaco, Casey J. DeBuse, Sally I. Powers, Aline G. Sayer
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
The present research examines how attachment processes in marriage shape physiological and behavioral stress responses, which predict emotional and physical well-being. We emphasize couples’ interdependence and focus on the interplay between spouses’ attachment orientations in predicting stress responses. Two hundred eighteen newlywed couples attempted to resolve a conflict. Spouses’ physiological responses were assessed via salivary cortisol before, during, and after the conflict. Husbands’ attachment avoidance interacted with wives’ attachment anxiety to predict spouses’ physiological and behavioral responses. Couples with wives high in attachment anxiety (who desire excessive closeness) and husbands high in attachment avoidance (who are uncomfortable with closeness) showed distinctive physiological reactivity before conflict: Both spouses showed sharp increases in cortisol, followed by rapid declines. Both spouses also behaved less constructively during conflict. These findings suggest that particular attachment pairings predict distinctive physiological and behavioral patterns that may increase the risk of adverse emotional and physical health outcomes over time.
WHEN RECEIVING HELP HURTS: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN CORTISOL RESPONSES TO SPOUSAL SUPPORT
Lisa A. Neff1, Erin E. Crockett2
1University of Texas at Austin; 2Southwestern University
Wives are considered more effective support providers than are husbands. As support promotes healthy physiological functioning, husbands should derive greater health benefits from spousal support than do wives. Yet, a growing literature indicates that men are relatively insulated from the physiological consequences of marital interactions, suggesting that men may not reap the benefits of support. To examine gender differences in physiological responses to spousal support, couples completed a six-day diary task which assessed daily support exchanges and diurnal cortisol slopes. On days of greater spousal support, wives exhibited steeper (healthier) cortisol slopes whereas husbands exhibited flattened (less healthy) cortisol slopes. Furthermore, for husbands, the association between daily support and cortisol was moderated by problem-solving efficacy; the less efficacious husbands perceived their problem-solving abilities, the flatter their cortisol slopes on high support days. All results held controlling for daily stress and marital satisfaction. Thus, support may incur costs for husbands’ health.
WHAT IS SO MORAL ABOUT FEELING MORAL? CLARIFYING THE RELATION BETWEEN THE MORAL SELF AND MORAL THOUGHTS, FEELINGS, AND BEHAVIOR
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 208 – 210
Chair: Paul Conway, Western University Canada
The interplay between self and morality is complex; this symposium provides multiple perspectives in hopes of integration. Speakers will present findings suggesting the self provides impetus for moral judgments and motivates moral behavior—but some findings suggest it improves behavior and other findings the opposite. Moderating factors will be examined.
WHEN DOES THE MORAL SELF IMPROVE BEHAVIOR? TWO MODERATORS OF THE RELATION BETWEEN FEELING MORAL AND ACTING MORAL
Paul Conway1, James M. Olson1, Mark J. Brandt2
1Western University Canada ; 2DePaul University
Some findings in moral psychology suggests that moral self-perceptions increase prosocial behavior by providing motivational impetus for good deeds; yet, other findings suggests that moral self-perceptions reduce prosocial behavior by licensing the relaxation of moral strivings. The current work presents two moderators of the relation between moral self-perceptions and prosocial behavior: target characteristics and self-construal. Studies 1 (judgments) and 2 (behavior) demonstrate that priming morality makes participants more prosocial toward upstanding targets (e.g., schoolchildren), but less prosocial toward degenerate targets (e.g., criminals), and Study 3 shows that this effect is limited to moral primes regarding the self. Study 4 indicates that that priming concrete moral behavior results in contrast effects (moral self-perceptions reduce prosocial behavior), whereas priming abstract moral behavior results in consistency (moral self-perceptions increase prosocial behavior), and Study 5 shows that this moderation is unique to self-perceptions. These findings suggest moral psychology would profit from carefully considering moderation.
MORALITY IS A PERSONAL MATTER
Geoffrey Wetherell1, Mark J. Brandt1,2, Christine Reyna1
1DePaul University; 2Tillburg University
Experiencing an attitude with moral conviction, the belief an attitude is universally right or wrong, leads to rejection of moral violators, altered perceptions of justice and fairness, and decreased perceived legitimacy of authority. Despite these important consequences, little research has investigated what leads people to experience attitudes as moral convictions. We propose that people feel morally convicted when attitudes are seen as a core part of the self, and we tested this hypothesis in three studies. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that importance and centrality are the strongest predictors of moral conviction regarding more than 20 attitudes above and beyond attitude extremity, certainty, and religious conviction. In Study 3, threatening participants’ ideological beliefs increased moral conviction regarding colorblind ideology, a potential way to protect deeply ingrained attitudes. These results suggest moral convictions arise when people experience an attitude as a core part of their sense of self.
RIGHTING THE WRONG: THE ROLE OF MORAL IDENTITY IN WHITE THIRD PARTIES’ DEONTIC REACTIONS TO RACIAL DISCRIMINATION
Jane O’Reilly2, Issac H. Smith1, Karl Aqunio2, Dan Freeman3
1David Eccles School of Business; 2Sauder School of Business; 3Alfred Lerner College of Business & Economics
Why do some third parties seek to rectify discrimination against out-group others? We adopt a deonance perspective that theorizes a moral motive (as opposed to strictly instrumental) behind third-party reactions to discrimination. Specifically, white Americans with stronger moral identities reported stronger justice-related cognitions (study 1) and more negative emotions (study 2) in response to racial discrimination. These relationships were found to be mediated by the breadth of one’s circle of moral regard (studies 2 and 3). Moreover, circle of moral regard, deontic emotions, and deontic cognitive reactions were found to sequentially mediate the relationship between moral identity and support for helping victims and punishing perpetrators of discrimination (study 3). Finally, moral identity was found to moderate the positive relationship between individuals’ ideological beliefs regarding social equality and their support for helping victims and punishing perpetrators of discrimination—the relationship being weaker for individuals with weaker moral identities (study 4).
MORAL CONSISTENCY, COMPENSATION, AND THE DYNAMIC MORAL SELF
Jordan Jennifer1, Cornelissen Gert2, Gino Francesca 3, Michael Bashur4, Ann Tenbrunsel5, Julian Rode6, Marijke Leliveld1, Marc Le Menestrel2
1University of Groningen; 2Universitat Pompeu Fabra; 3Harvard University; 4Singapore Management University; 5University of Notre Dame ; 6Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research
Recent research on the dynamics of moral behavior has demonstrated that ethical behavior can be followed by compensatory actions (e.g., Sachdeva et al., 2009), that is, moral behavior follows immoral behavior and immoral behavior follows moral behavior. Jordan et al. (2011) suggest that fluctuations in one’s moral self-image are the mechanism behind these moral compensation effects. The current investigation provides the first empirical evidence of this mechanism by showing that (feedback about previous) moral behavior alters people’s moral self-images and that this alteration explains the compensatory effects. Across three studies, we develop a scale to measure people’s state moral self-image (MSIS). Then, using a sample of 135 individuals, we demonstrate that scores on the MSIS explain individuals’ moral compensation following a moral recall. We close by discussing the implications of dynamics of the moral self-image for understanding moral behavior.
HYPO-EGOIC STATES: INTERPERSONAL, MOTIVATIONAL, NEURAL, AND COGNITIVE PROCESSES
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 220 – 222
Chair: Mark Leary, Duke University
Co-Chair: Kirk Warren Brown, Virginia Commonwealth University
This symposium focuses on states — such as compassion, prosocial behavior, and mindfulness — in which people are less self-focused, egocentric, and egoistic than they often are, and examines the cognitive, motivational, neural, and interpersonal features of hypo-egoic states.
THE SELF AND THE CONSTRUCTED SELF: INTERPERSONAL GOALS AND HYPO-EGOIC STATES
The Ohio State University
I propose that hyper-egoic states occur when people focus on the constructed self (i.e., beliefs about the self and images one wants to project to others) rather than the actual self. Self-image goals to get others to view the self in desired ways foster hyper-egoic states, whereas compassionate goals to support others may foster hypo-egoic states by shifting one’s focus away from the constructed self and directing attention to others’ needs. I will describe research showing that compassionate goals predict increased clear, peaceful, and connected feelings when interacting with others, increased nonzero-sum construals of the self in relation to others, decreased symptoms of anxiety and depression, and increased desires for personal growth. Compassionate goals also predict giving support to others, which others notice and reciprocate. Self-image goals, which focus attention on the constructed self, undermine these consequences of compassionate goals.
MOTIVATION AND THE BRIGHTER SIDES OF HUMAN NATURE: RECENT EXPERIMENTS FROM SELF-DETERMINATION THEORY
Richard M. Ryan
University of Rochester
Human behavior ranges from selfish and malevolent to altruistic and generative, showing that there is more than one side to “human nature.” Self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000) suggests that which side of human nature we manifest is predicted by both developmental and situational supports for basic psychological needs. This presentation discusses recent experimental research on helping behaviors, ostracism, and the expression of prejudice and hostility based in SDT. Results from these various lines of research suggest that people are most prone to hypo-egoic behaviors when they are afforded supports for autonomy, whereas threats to autonomy and relatedness are antecedents of defensiveness and the darker sides of human behavior. In addition, research on life goals shows that when people pursue less egoistic aims their well-being benefits, a result mediated by the basic psychological needs fulfilled when they act in prosocial ways.
MINDFULNESS PREDICTS NEURAL RESPONSES REFLECTING BENIGN APPRAISALS OF EMOTIONAL STIMULI
Kirk Warren Brown
Virginia Commonwealth University
Fundamental to hypo-egoic regulation is a present-focused attention upon events and experiences “as they are,” with minimal evaluative appraisal. One expression of this presence of mind is mindfulness, a receptive attention to moment-to-moment occurrences. Mindfulness has predicted more benign (less negative) emotional responses to egoic threats, and this presentation discusses new research examining the functional neural bases of mindful processing of such threats. Building upon recent brain imaging research on this topic, the presentation focuses on a neural (electroencephalographic; EEG) marker reflecting very rapid evaluation of motivationally relevant stimuli, the late positive potential (LPP) of the event-related response to visual stimuli. More mindful participants showed lower LPP responses to high arousal unpleasant (and pleasant) images, reflecting more benign appraisals of those stimuli. Consistent with hypo-egoic regulation theory, this research suggests that mindful attention may reduce egoic threat responses through reduced evaluative processing of threat stimuli.
A COMPONENT ANALYSIS OF HYPO-EGOIC MINDSETS
Mark R. Leary
Hypo-egoic states—such as mindfulness, flow, compassion, and awe—are most likely to occur when people move out of their typical self-focused, egocentric, and egoic ways of thinking about themselves and instead (1) focus primarily on the present situation rather than past or future, (2) introspect minimally on their thoughts, motives, and feelings, (3) think about and evaluate themselves primarily in concrete ways, and (4) pay little attention to other people’s evaluations of them. Together, these features of the hypo-egoic mindset foster equanimity by reducing distressing self-thoughts, lower self-centeredness and a myopic focus on one’s own concerns, promote compassion and prosocial behavior, and lower ego-involvement and defensiveness. After describing a new model of hypo-egoic mindsets, data will be described that link these mindsets to a variety of hypo-egoic phenomena, including those discussed in the other presentations.
WHEN AND WHY WOMEN STEP BACK FROM STATUS: THE ENDURING AND SELF-REINFORCING POWER OF TRADITIONAL GENDER ROLES
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 225 – 227
Chair: Melissa Williams, Emory University
Female leaders are more visible than ever, but women nonetheless expect social penalties for exercising power (Brescoll) or pursuing quantitative interests (Master, Cheryan, & Meltzoff). Women may therefore choose to step back from high-status opportunities (Williams & Chen), choices that may be perceived as just and fair (Johnston & Diekman).
WHEN “MOM’S THE BOSS”: CONTROL OVER DOMESTIC DECISION MAKING REDUCES WOMEN’S INTEREST IN WORKPLACE POWER
Melissa J. Williams1, Serena Chen2
1Emory University; 2University of California, Berkeley
Although men are typically considered to have more power than women, women are more likely than men to be primary decision makers in the household domain. We argue that the portrayal of women’s traditional domestic role as incorporating a form of decision-making power (albeit limited in scope) is widespread in popular culture, and that this power is perceived as desirable and providing a subjective sense of control (Study 1). Yet power over household decision making may also function to reduce women’s objections to a status quo in which they have less power overall, outside their traditional domestic role. Two experiments (Studies 2-3) found support for this hypothesis: wielding power over household decisions (but not merely carrying out domestic tasks) reduced women’s interest in achieving power in the workplace. Men’s interest in workplace power, on the other hand, was unaffected by the degree to which they wielded power at home.
WHO TAKES THE FLOOR AND WHY: GENDER, POWER, AND VOLUBILITY IN ORGANIZATIONS
Victoria L. Brescoll
Although past research has recognized the importance of both power and gender for understanding volubility (i.e., talking time) in organizations, to date, identifying the unique contributions of power and gender to volubility has been elusive. Study 1 uses archival data from the United States Senate to show that there is a very strong, positive relationship between power and volubility for male senators, but a non-significant relationship for female senators. Study 2 replicates this effect in an experimental setting by priming the concept of power and shows that though men primed with power talk more, women show no effect of power on volubility. Mediation analyses indicate that this difference is explained by women’s concern that being highly voluble will result in negative consequences (i.e., backlash). Study 3 shows that powerful women are in fact correct in assuming that they will incur backlash as a result of talking more than others.
WHEN DO FEMALE ROLE MODELS MATTER? HOW STEREOTYPE THREAT SHAPES THE RECRUITMENT OF WOMEN INTO SCIENCE
Allison Master, Sapna Cheryan, Andrew N. Meltzoff
University of Washington
The lack of female role models is often cited as a barrier to the recruitment of young women into science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. In two studies, we investigated when female role models matter most for women. When told that men outperformed women in an introductory computer science course, women were significantly less interested in enrolling when the course had a male professor compared to a female professor. Moreover, reduced enrollment interest was predicted by women’s concerns about being negatively stereotyped, rather than by their own anticipated success. Yet when gender differences in course performance were not mentioned, women were equally interested in courses with male and female professors, and enrollment interest was predicted by anticipated success rather than stereotype concerns. Thus, when negative stereotypes about women’s ability in science are salient, a lack of female role models may prevent women from pursuing STEM careers.
PERCEIVING DESIRES, NOT DUTIES: BELIEVING WOMEN ARE IDEALLY MOTIVATED LEGITIMIZES THE EXISTING SYSTEM
Amanda M. Johnston1, Amanda B. Diekman2
1University of Houston-Clear Lake; 2Miami University
Our research demonstrates that gender roles are maintained not only by what traits men and women are believed to possess, but also why they are believed to possess them. Ideal motivation (i.e., desires) is related to situations of growth, whereas ought motivation (i.e., duties) to situations of security (Higgins, 1997). Consistent with substantial recent changes in women’s (more than men’s) social roles, we hypothesized that people would expect women to be more ideal-motivated (and less ought-motivated) than men (Study 1). We also hypothesized that gender differences in perceived ideal and ought motivations would provide support for the status quo, as gender stereotypes function as system-legitimizing beliefs (Jost & Kay, 2005). We found that exposure to information describing women as motivated by ideals led to greater endorsement of the existing social system (Study 2). Further, experiencing system threat resulted in greater ascription of ideal motivation to targets (Study 3).
ON DOING AND HAVING: 10 YEARS OF ANSWERS TO “THE QUESTION” OF EXPERIENTIAL VERSUS MATERIAL CONSUMPTION
Friday, January 18, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room R02
Chair: Amit Kumar, Cornell University
Co-Chair: Thomas D. Gilovich, Cornell University
A decade has passed since Van Boven and Gilovich (2003) first demonstrated that experiential purchases tend to elicit a more durable happiness than material ones. What have we learned since then? This symposium explores recent empirical work investigating potential reasons for why experiences provide more lasting hedonic benefits than possessions.
WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE PARIS: DIFFERENTIAL STORY UTILITY FROM EXPERIENTIAL AND MATERIAL PURCHASES
Amit Kumar, Thomas D. Gilovich
Psychological research has shown that experiential purchases (a hike in the woods; a trip to Rome) bring us more happiness than material purchases (a designer shirt; a flat-screen television). The research presented in this talk investigates one potential explanation of this difference: that experiences prompt storytelling more than possessions do. Stories facilitate the re-living of the experience in question, they encourage embellishment, and they foster social connection—all of which serve to enhance enjoyment of the original event. Five studies demonstrate that people are more inclined to talk about their experiences than their material purchases and they derive more happiness from doing so; that taking away the ability to talk about experiences (but not material goods) would diminish the enjoyment they bring; and that being given the opportunity to talk about experiences (but not material goods) increases the satisfaction they bring.
I AM WHAT I DO, NOT WHAT I HAVE: THE CENTRALITY OF EXPERIENTIAL PURCHASES TO THE SELF-CONCEPT
Travis J. Carter1, Thomas D. Gilovich2
1University of Chicago Booth School of Business; 2Cornell University
One reason why experiences might ultimately prove more satisfying and beneficial than material possessions is that experiences, being intangible and only persisting in memory (as opposed to the physical and outside persistence of possessions), form a closer connection to the self. We tested this possibility in several studies, and found that compared with material purchases, participants drew their experiential purchases physically closer to the self, were more likely to mention them when telling their life story, and felt that a purchase described in terms of its experiential, rather than its material, qualities would overlap more with their sense of who they are. Participants also felt that knowing a person’s experiential purchases, compared to their material purchases, would yield greater insight into that person’s true self. Importantly, this stronger connection between experiences to the self-concept mediates the greater satisfaction people derive from experiences as compared to possessions.
IT’S THE COMPANY THAT COUNTS: ENHANCING THE VALUE OF DISCRETIONARY SPENDING THROUGH SOCIAL CONSUMPTION
Peter A. Caprariello1, Harry T. Reis2 1State University of New York Stony Brook; 2University of Rochester
Recent evidence suggests that spending discretionary money on experiences makes people happier than spending discretionary money on material goods. We propose that experiences are more likely to be shared with others whereas material possessions are more prone to solitary use, and that this distinction may account for their differential effects on happiness. We present evidence that including others is a key dimension of how people derive happiness from discretionary spending. These studies show that when the social-solitary and experiential-material dimensions were considered simultaneously, social spending was favored over solitary spending, whereas experiences showed no happiness-producing advantages over possessions. Furthermore, whereas spending money on shared experiences was valued more than spending money on either solitary experiences or on material possessions, solitary experiences were no more valued than material possessions. Together, these results add to growing evidence that the social context of discretionary spending is critical for happiness.
IN PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS: WHICH PURCHASES LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS
Ryan T. Howell, Paulina Pchelin
San Francisco State University
Though experiential, rather than material, consumption leads to greater happiness, sometimes people seek out material comforts. Therefore, we examined if people inaccurately forecast the hedonic, eudaimonic, emotional, and economic value of their experiential purchases. Across three studies, using cross-sectional and longitudinal designs found in the experiential and forecasting literatures, we find evidence that people anticipate and experience (i.e., accurately forecast) higher positive emotions and greater eudaimonic well-being for experiential purchases. However, individuals grossly underestimate the perceived economic value of experiential purchases. That is, though people forecast that experiential purchases will be associated with lower perceived economic value, in retrospect, people evaluate experiential purchases as having higher economic value. Thus, people may be inclined to buy material items when they are seeking to maximize their anticipated value. Conversely, when individuals are focused on increasing positive emotions and eudaimonia, they may consume life experiences.
Symposium Session E
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am
CATEGORIES FOR COOPERATION: THE INTERACTIVE ROLE OF EVOLUTION AND EXPERIENCE
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room R03 – R05
Chair: Leda Cosmides, University of California, Santa Barbara
Co-Chair: Andrew W. Delton, University of California, Santa Barbara
Are important social concepts and categories—group, ally, cooperator, cheater—created through learning and induction or are they prepared in advance of experience by natural selection? Based on data collected worldwide, this session’s contributors affirm both answers: Evolution has created these categories but the local environment calibrates their operation.
ERASING RACE IN BRAZIL: RACIAL CATEGORIZATION VARIES SYSTEMATICALLY WITH PATTERNS OF SOCIAL ALLIANCE ACROSS SEVEN BRAZILIAN STATES
Leda Cosmides1, Emilia Yamamoto2, Leonardo M. Cosentino4, Maria Lucia Seidl de Moura3
1University of California, Santa Barbara; 2Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte; 3Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro; 4Universidade de São Paulo
According to a recent proposal, racial categorization is a (reversible) byproduct of mechanisms that evolved for detecting alliances. We have previously tested this by exposing participants to a single, brief social interaction in which race failed to predict alliances, but another visual cue did; this manipulation reduced racial categorization. But the amount of updating elicited by a single interaction should depend on how strongly and stably race predicts alliances across situations. To test this, we conducted similar tests in seven Brazilian states that differ radically in their racial composition. Social class is a major dimension along which alliances are formed, and these states differ in the extent to which race predicts social class. Across states, the decrease in racial composition in response to alliance cues was highly correlated (r = .97) with how strongly race in that state predicted that targets were of the same social class as the participants.
CATEGORIES IN THE EVOLVED MIND AND POLITICAL COGNITION
Michael B. Petersen, Lene Aarøe
How do individuals make sense of the complex dynamics of mass society? Here, we test the hypothesis that the mind understands large-scale political issues in part by using universal, evolved categories. Such categories would have evolved for social life in ancestral face-to-face societies, not to deal with nations of millions. Focusing on cognition about social welfare, we present a series of cross-national experiments and representative surveys involving thousands of subjects. We provide cross-cultural evidence that (1) welfare recipients are tracked by mental categories tailored to represent free-riders and cooperators in situations of face-to-face help-giving, (2) the activation of these categories reduces attention to differences between face-to-face situations and mass political issues and (3) their activation prompts welfare opinions to converge across national populations despite lifetimes of exposure to different welfare institutions. We conclude that evolved categories designed for small-scale social interaction permeates modern individuals’ thinking about mass politics.
RACE AS COALITIONAL BYPRODUCT: THE STATE OF THE ART
Past work argues that sex, race, and age are fundamental categories of social cognition. Although likely true for sex and age, this is unlikely for race. Instead, recent work suggests race is a by-product of an evolved coalitional psychology and that racial categorization can be experimentally decreased in ways predicted by this hypothesis. Our goal is to more extensively test these predictions. We demonstrate that (1) crossing race with a novel coalitional alliance is sufficient to reduce categorization by race, (2) this effect can be augmented by, but does not depend on, visually-marking the coalitional alliance, (3) these same visual markings devoid of coalitional meaning have no effect, (4) the coalitional alliance need not involve antagonism, nor even explicit cooperation, (5) these manipulations have no impact on gender, accent, or age. These results reveal previously unknown features of coalitional psychology and challenge exclusively domain-general theories of social categorization.
ARE THERE SPECIALIZED SOCIAL CATEGORIES FOR COLLECTIVE ACTION? TESTING FOR AN EVOLVED FREE RIDER CONCEPT
Andrew W. Delton
University of California, Santa Barbara
A striking feature of human sociality is collective action: multiple individuals coordinating their behavior to produce a shared benefit. From co-op grocery stores to political parties to academic research centers, collective action permeates social life. Despite the large benefits it creates, collective action is difficult to evolve and to sustain. Part of this is because free riders take collective benefits without contributing. To prevent free riders from destroying collective action, they must be avoided or punished. But how does the mind appropriately categorize people as free riders? Is this ability produced by specialized psychological mechanisms or by more general processes? Results from a series of six studies (Delton et al., 2012, JPSP) suggest that the mind has a specialized free rider concept, one that follows an evolved social logic but not the logic of economic rationality or of a general-purpose moral psychology.
THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY OF PRIVACY AND SELF-DISCLOSURE
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room R01
Chair: Eyal Peer, Carnegie Mellon University
Co-Chair: Alessandro Acquisti, Carnegie Mellon University
Novel online technologies satisfy, and fuel, our innate desires for communication, interaction, and self-representation, but also raise complex issues of privacy. As broadcasts of sensitive information become easier, balancing privacy and self-disclosure becomes harder. In this symposium, we demonstrate several social and psychological aspects of privacy and self-disclosure behavior.
AN EXPERIMENT IN HIRING DISCRIMINATION VIA ONLINE SOCIAL NETWORKS
Alessandro Acquisti, Christina M. Fong
Carnegie Mellon University
Anecdotal evidence and self-report surveys suggest that U.S. firms are using Web 2.0 and social networking sites to seek information about prospective hires. However, little is known about how the information they find online actually influences their hiring decisions. We present a series of controlled experiments of the impact that information posted on a popular social networking site by job applicants can have on employers’ hiring behavior. In two studies (a survey experiment and a field experiment) we measured the ratio of callbacks that different job applicants received as function of their personal traits. The experiments focused on sensitive traits that are either unlawful or risky for U.S. employers to inquire about during interviews, but which can be inferred from applicants’ online presences. We found evidence of discrimination based on sexual preference and religious affiliation, but not family status.
WHAT HIDING REVEALS: IRONIC EFFECTS OF WITHHOLDING INFORMATION
Leslie K. John, Michael Norton
Harvard Business School
Imagine being asked about your recreational drug habits by your employer, and knowing that if you are truthful you’ll have to admit that you have occasionally indulged. We show that people believe that the best way to deal with such situations is to opt out of answering at all – but that this strategy is costly, because observers can infer the very worst when we choose not to answer such questions about ourselves: “If he refuses to even answer this question, he must have a serious drug problem.” These results are particularly relevant given the increasingly frequent choices people make about whether or not to share sensitive personal information on online social networking websites.
“I CHEATED, BUT ONLY A LITTLE”: FULL AND PARTIAL DISCLOSURES FOLLOWING AN UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR
Eyal Peer1, Alessandro Acquisti1, Shaul Shalvi2
1Carnegie Mellon University; 2University of Amsterdam
We examine individuals’ propensity to disclose their unethical behavior in a novel experiment that overcomes some shortcomings of previous research. The design measured the degree each individual participant cheated about his or her performance, and offered participants the option to confess to none, some, or all of their cheating. Thus, we were able to directly compare cheating behavior with confessions and to examine, for the first time, the propensity of cheaters to confess in full or in part, as a function of their degree of cheating. We found evidence of partial disclosures: admitting to some lying, but not all of it, especially among high-cheating participants who were more likely to only partially confess than to confess the full extent of their unethical behavior. Participants seem to restrict their honesty about their dishonesty, which presumably allows them to benefit from lying but still feel honest about themselves.
ONLINE DISCLOSURES AND IMPRESSION FORMATION
Laura Brandimarte1, Francesca Gino2
1Carnegie Mellon University; 2Harvard Business School
Intimate, embarrassing, even self-incriminating online disclosures have become common in social media. They can have long-lasting effects on individuals, because of the impressions others may form based on them. How will online disclosures affect each other’s impression formation over time - when everyone may have embarrassing records online? In three studies we show that people express harsh judgments of others, based on disclosed traits, actions, or behaviors, even though they have made similar disclosures themselves. We show that this is because people a) apply double standards to personal and others’ disclosures; b) apply a compensation principle that causes them to be judgmental of a disclosed trait they consider a personal strength, to compensate for another disclosed trait they consider a weakness; and c) specifically for unethical behaviors, people perceive their disclosure as a way to redeem themselves, licensing them to be then harsher towards others who committed similar unethical behaviors.
HOW MUCH INEQUALITY IS TOO MUCH INEQUALITY? EXPLORING ATTITUDES TOWARD DISPARITIES IN HEALTH, WEALTH, EDUCATION, AND GENDER
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room R07 – R09
Chair: Aneeta Rattan, Stanford Univeristy
These papers examine four hotly debated areas of social inequality to ask: what is the ideal distribution of health outcomes; why do people advocate maintaining wealth inequality; what underlies Americans’ lagging commitment to education as a fundamental right; and how do people generate understandings of the sources of gender inequality?
SPREADING THE HEALTH: AMERICANS’ IDEAL DISTRIBUTION OF HEALTH(CARE) AND DEATH
Michael I. Norton1, Sorapop Piatkongsan2
1Harvard Business School; 2Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Recent debates in the United States about universal health care – with some viewing the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or “Obamacare”) as a moral imperative but others viewing it as a government intrusion – have highlighted differences in opinion about how health care should be distributed among poor and rich Americans. Using two metrics – life expectancy and access to healthcare – we assessed people’s understanding of how health outcomes are currently distributed among Americans, and their preferences for how health outcomes should be distributed. Importantly, we also explored whether Americans – rich and poor, liberal and conservative – showed consensus in their ideals. Estimated and ideal distributions of health and healthcare differed significantly for each metric: Americans across the political and economic spectrum preferred health(care) and death to be more equally distributed among the rich and poor.
A CHOICE MINDSET INCREASES THE ACCEPTANCE AND MAINTENANCE OF WEALTH INEQUALITY
Krishna Savani1, Aneeta Rattan2
1National University of Singapore; 2Stanford University
Wealth inequality has significant psychological, physiological, societal, and economic costs and has emerged as one of the most divisive issues in American society. We test whether the concept of choice, which is deeply valued by Americans, leads people to maintain and perpetuate wealth inequality. Choice, we argue, activates the belief that life outcomes stem from personal agency, not from societal factors, leading to the justification of wealth inequality. When choice was highlighted, people were less disturbed by facts about existing wealth inequality (Study 1), more likely to underestimate the role of societal factors in individuals’ successes (Study 2), less likely to support a more equal distribution of resources (Study 3), and less likely to tax the rich even to resolve the federal budget deficit crisis (Study 4). The findings indicate that the value Americans place on the cultural ideal of choice may obstruct attempts to rectify wealth inequality.
THE DENIAL OF EDUCATION AS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT
Aneeta Rattan1, Krishna Savani2, Carol S. Dweck1
1Stanford University; 2National University of Singapore
Forty-nine state constitutions include public education as a fundamental right. Despite this, the U.S. is rife with educational inequality. We hypothesized that people’s commitment to education as a right might be undermined by culturally pervasive beliefs about the unequal distribution of the potential for intelligence. The more Americans believed that not everyone has the potential for high intelligence, the less they believed that education ought to be a fundamental right (Studies 1 and 2). Study 3 presented a case highlighting educational inequality, in which parents lied to enroll their children in a better school district. Participants exposed to the unequal distribution of the potential for intelligence rated these children as undeserving of the education they received and criminalized the parents’ actions by advocating for jail time. Thus, beliefs about the unequal distribution of the potential for intelligence contribute to the erosion of Americans’ commitment to the right to public education.
LEGITIMIZING INEQUALITY IN STABLE, UNCHANGING SYSTEMS
Kristin Laurin1, Danielle Gaucher2, Aaron Kay3
1Stanford Graduate School of Business; 2University of Winnipeg; 3Duke University: The Fuqua School of Business
Modern society is rife with inequality. People’s interpretations of these inequalities, however, vary considerably: People can explain group inequalities as being the result of systemic discrimination, or as being the fair and natural result of genuine differences between the groups in question. Drawing on broad theories of rationalization, we predicted that people who perceive their systems as stable and unchanging influences on their lives would be particularly likely to legitimize inequalities in those systems, presumably to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of being “trapped” in a subpar system. Participants who witnessed stability in the domain of gender relations (Study 1), or who were primed with the concept of stability (Study 2), subsequently legitimized inequality more strongly than other participants in the domain of poverty (Study 1) or gender equality (Study 2). These findings contribute to an emerging body of research aiming to identify conditions that promote and prevent system justifying tendencies.
BEYOND “THANKS”: DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES ON THE ANTECEDENTS, BEHAVIORS, AND CONSEQUENCES OF GRATITUDE
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 206 – 207
Chair: Amie Gordon, University of California, Berkeley
Co-Chair: Sara B. Algoe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The past decade has witnessed a rapid increase in research on gratitude and its importance for both social and personal well-being. The current symposium showcases the latest research on the antecedents, behaviors, and consequences of gratitude. The speakers examine gratitude from social, personality, biological, and economic perspectives.
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN GRATITUDE AND THEIR RELATIONSHIPS WITH WELL-BEING AND HEALTH
University of Manchester
In this talk, I overview a program of research examining gratitude as an individual difference, its causes and consequences, and underlying mechanisms. Specifically, I present several studies showing that (a) gratitude is conceptualized as a life orientation towards noticing and appreciating the positive in life; (b) gratitude longitudinally leads to less stress and depression and greater social support; (c) the relationship between gratitude and well-being persists after controlling for other personality traits (assessed with the 30 facets of the NEO-PIR big five measure); (d) gratitude operates through the existence of positive schemas; and (e) interventions to increase gratitude are as effective at improving depression, anxiety, and body image as the gold standard techniques used in clinical therapy. Together, this set of studies illuminates how gratitude develops, what it is related to, and the mechanism through which these relationships operate.
TOO TIRED TO SAY THANKS? A MULTI-METHOD INVESTIGATION OF SLEEP AND GRATITUDE
Amie M. Gordon, Serena Chen
University of California, Berkeley
Gratitude is good—people who experience gratitude are happier, healthier, and more prosocial. But what factors influence whether or not people experience gratitude in their everyday lives? We conducted three studies to test the impact of a basic biological process—namely, sleep—on experiences of gratitude. In Study 1, poor sleep impaired people’s ability to feel more grateful after counting their blessings. In Study 2, people experienced decreases in felt gratitude following nights of poor sleep, and this was due in part to increased feelings of selfishness. In Study 3, people felt less grateful towards their romantic partners during a problem-solving discussion if their partners had slept poorly the previous night. In turn, people who slept poorly perceived this lack of gratitude from their partners and reported feeling less appreciated. Overall, these studies suggest the potentially important role that sleep (or lack thereof) plays in people’s experiences of gratitude.
GRATITUDE INCREASES PROSOCIAL DECISION MAKING IN ECONOMIC EXCHANGE
Jolie Baumann1, David DeSteno1, Monica Y. Bartlett2, Lisa A. Williams3, Leah Dickens1
1Northeastern University; 2Gonzaga University; 3University of New South Wales
We examined whether well-established links between the social emotion gratitude and prosocial behavior extend to a context where self-interest typically plays a decisive role: economic decision making. Findings demonstrate that gratitude functions to engender more cooperative economic exchange even at the expense of greater individual financial gains. Specifically, after real-time experimental inductions of gratitude, increased felt gratitude was shown to directly mediate increased monetary giving within the context of an economic game. This was true even where such giving increased communal profit at the expense of individual gains. Moreover, increased giving occurred regardless of whether the beneficiary was a known individual or complete stranger, thereby removing the possibility that it stemmed from simple awareness of reciprocity constraints. Such instances of pay it forward behavior stemming from the experience of gratitude likely contribute to the formation and maintenance of stable exchange relationships that help individuals build social and economic capital.
EXPRESSION UNLOCKS GRATITUDE’S SOCIAL FUNCTIONS
Sara B. Algoe
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The find-remind-and-bind theory of gratitude (Algoe, Haidt, and Gable, 2008) positions gratitude as evolved to draw attention to benefactors who are particularly well-suited as relationship partners, and solidify connections between beneficiary and generous benefactor. Two recent studies highlight the important role of expressed gratitude in downstream relational consequences for each member of the dyad. Study 1 focuses on expressed gratitude between members of romantic partners in a lab interaction, demonstrating that the impact of expressed gratitude from one partner to the other forecasts increases in the benefactor’s relationship satisfaction over six months. Study 2 involves women with metastatic breast cancer. Evidence suggests that grateful people may receive personal benefits, such as improved perceptions of social support, but only by expressing their emotions to the benefactor. Discussion focuses on the key role of other-focus in triggering gratitude as well as in bringing benefits to the grateful beneficiary and thoughtful benefactor.
INFLUENCES ON PERSONALITY TRAIT STABILITY AND CHANGE ACROSS TIME AND CONTEXTS
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 217 – 219
What processes are at play in personality trait change and stability? This symposium offers three perspectives at specific developmental periods (childhood, transition to work, and old age) and a synthesis of longitudinal, behavior genetic studies across the lifespan. Emphasis is placed on developmental milestones, environmental transitions, and genetic predispositions.
CONTINUITY OF GENETIC AND ENVIRONMENTAL INFLUENCES ON PERSONALITY TRAITS ACROSS THE LIFESPAN: A META-ANALYSIS OF LONGITUDINAL TWIN-ADOPTION STUDIES
Daniel A. Briley, Elliot M. Tucker-Drob
University of Texas at Austin
The differential stability of personality is well-established at the phenotypic level. Although there is substantial re-ordering of individuals in childhood, test-retest correlations peak near the age of 30 and remain stable throughout adulthood. Several reviews have postulated that genetic influences are a driving force of personality stability in light of the large body of evidence which demonstrates that about half of personality trait variation at a single time point is driven by genetic influences. However, studies that link these two approaches are relatively rare, and an integrative analysis has not taken place. We meta-analyzed 24 longitudinal, twin-adoption studies from 21 unique samples comprising 21,057 twin or sibling pairs. The stability of genetic influences increases to near unity early in life, but the stability of environmental influences also increases with age and peaks much later. This indicates that both genetic and environmental influences are important determinants of increasing personality trait stability.
THE NATURE OF PERSONALITY TRAITS ACROSS THE LIFESPAN: A CONSTRUCT VALIDATION STUDY IN CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
Jennifer L. Tackett1, Shauna Kushner2, Filip De Fruyt3, Ivan Mervielde3
1University of Houston; 2University of Toronto; 3Ghent University
The study of child personality is still in its infancy, with remaining questions about the nature of child personality traits holding both theoretical and methodological import for a better understanding of personality across the lifespan. Data on child personality, temperament, and problem behaviors were collected on a sample of 803 youth (48.4% male) ranging in age from 6-18. Analyses supported strong convergence between two independently developed, empirically derived measures of child personality across all five major trait domains. Overlapping variance was also established with assessment of temperament traits, although substantial non-overlapping variance clearly suggested differences in content measured in temperament and child personality assessments. Links with behavioral problems provided evidence for criterion validity of child personality traits and additional nuances regarding substantive differences across measures. Results will be discussed within a lifespan perspective of personality trait construct validity, from temperamental traits in early life to personality traits in adulthood.
MILITARY EXPERIENCE AND PERSONALITY TRAIT CHANGE: DOES THE MILITARY MAKE THE MAN OR DOES THE MAN MAKE THE MILITARY?
Joshua J. Jackson
Washington University in St. Louis
This talk investigates whether the highly regimented training that military recruits endure can change personality traits. Determining whether military training—or any life experience—leads to personality change is difficult because life experiences are not completely random. To test the effect of military training, propensity score matching was employed using a large longitudinal sample of German males. This novel technique reduces selection biases inherent in observational studies to better replicate what would be found if randomized interventions could be performed. Results indicated that personality traits and other background factors prospectively predicted the decision to enter the military, indicating selection biases exist. After accounting for these confounds, military training was associated with changes in personality. Compared with a control group, military recruits had lower levels of agreeableness after training. These levels persisted 5 years after training, even after participants entered the labor market, suggesting that the military has a lasting influence.
NEW DIRECTIONS IN THE STUDY OF DIFFERENTIAL STABILITY OF PERSONALITY ATTRIBUTES ACROSS THE LIFE SPAN
M. Brent. Donnellan, Richard E. Lucas, Jessica Wortman
Michigan State University
NOT EVERYTHING IS VANILLA: EXAMINING NON-MONOGAMOUS RELATIONSHIPS CAN BROADEN OUR UNDERSTANDING OF RELATIONAL PROCESSES
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 228 – 230
Chair: Jennifer Harman, Colorado State University
Value-laden judgments about monogamy have impacted psychological science, as most theories and psychological concepts have assumed dyadic relationships. This panel will present novel data on topics such as power, closeness, jealousy, and sexual health in non-monogamous relationships to provide insight into how the study of non-monogamy can change psychological research.
SEXUAL NETWORK PARTNERS IN TANZANIA: LABELING, POWER AND SOCIAL IDENTITY
Jennifer J. Harman1, Michelle R. Kaufman2, Eric Aoki1, Carlie D. Trott1
1Colorado State University; 2Johns Hopkins School of Public Health
Non-monogamous relationships are normative in Tanzania, and there are strong double standards about how men and women in sexual networks are labeled. For both men and women, these labels communicate expectations and sanctions for behavior that align with and deviate from socialized gender roles. The current study explores how patriarchal power and dominance are reflected in the labels used to describe men and women engaged in multiple concurrent sexual partnerships. Transcripts from eight focus groups across 4 regions of Tanzania were thematically analyzed using a grounded theory analytic approach. Findings suggest that, for men, power-embedded labels promote non-monogamous relationship initiation and maintenance; whereas power-embedded labels appear to subjugate women’s identities, undermine their agency, and serve to maintain gender inequalities. Discussion centers on how labeling of roles within sexual networks impacts perceptions and behaviors of individuals occupying such roles. Implications for social psychological theory on intimate relationships will also be discussed.
SEXUAL AND EMOTIONAL JEALOUSY IN POLYAMOROUS RELATIONSHIPS
Bjarne M. Holmes
There is little research on jealousy outside monogamous relationships. Polyamory is defined as maintaining simultaneous committed relationships with multiple persons, with consent from all partners. Understanding jealousy within this unique population could advance theories within relational science. Evolutionary theorists propose gender differences in jealousy responses (Buss et al., 1992). Another factor that could influence jealousy in these minority relationships is the level of interaction between various partners. 196 participants (127w 69m; Mean age 41, SD 11.4, Range 20-72) in polyamourous relationships completed measures of emotional and sexual jealousy and questions about how much they interacted with their partner’s partner. Gender did not predict either emotional (ß= .10, p=ns) or sexual (ß= -.01, p=ns) jealousy. Instead, consistent with predictions, the more participants interacted with a partner’s partner, the less sexual jealousy they reported (ß= -.42, p<.001). Results were not significant for emotional jealousy or for interaction terms between gender and inclusivity.
SAFER SEXUAL HEALTH STRATEGIES AMONG CHEATERS AND NON-MONOGAMOUS INDIVIDUALS
Jes L. Matsick, Amy C. Moors, Ali Ziegler, Terri D. Conley
University of Michigan
Monogamy is a behavior that many aspire to but find challenging to implement. Interestingly and despite evidence to the contrary, research suggests that individuals overwhelmingly view monogamous relationships as disease-free relationships (Conley et al., 2012). Safer sex behaviors were examined among 380 sexually unfaithful monogamous individuals and 411 consensually non-monogamous individuals (people who have mutually agreed with their partners to have other sexual/romantic partners). Sexually unfaithful individuals were less likely to use barriers during their extradyadic encounter, tell their partner about the encounter, and get tested for STIs than the consensually non-monogamous individuals. Moreover, sexually unfaithful individuals were more likely to make condom use mistakes, such as putting the condom on the wrong way than consensually non-monogamous individuals. These findings suggest that consensual non-monogamy may provide a safer avenue for sexual expression than failed attempts at monogamy. Implications for social and sexual health research will be discussed.
NEED FULFILLMENT IN POLYAMOROUS RELATIONSHIPS
Melissa E. Mitchell, Kim Bartholomew, Rebecca J. Cobb
Simon Fraser University
Polyamorous relationships are characterized by simultaneous consensual romantic relationships with multiple partners. Polyamory allows individuals to fulfill their relationship needs with multiple romantic partners, yet researchers have not identified how having needs met in one romantic relationship may be related to relationship outcomes in a concurrent relationship. Polyamorous individuals (N = 1093) completed online measures of need fulfillment, relationship satisfaction, and commitment for two romantic relationships. Participants reported high levels of need fulfillment and satisfaction in both relationships. Need fulfillment with one partner negatively predicted approximately 1% of the variance in relationship satisfaction with the other partner; however, there was no association between need fulfillment with one partner and commitment to the other. These findings suggest that polyamorous relationships are relatively independent of each other. This study provides initial evidence that despite cultural norms that demand and privilege monogamy, polyamory may be a viable and fulfilling alternative relationship form.
TURNING THE TABLES: SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGISTS AS SUBJECTS OF RESEARCH
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 208 – 210
Chair: A. Janet Tomiyama, University of California, Los Angeles
This symposium explores social psychologists as research participants. Two studies conducted on attendees to a conference of experimental social psychologists investigated (1) self-admissions of unflattering attributes and (2) eating behavior. A third study examined levels of ethnic and gender discrimination by social psychologists relative to those in other fields.
HERE’S A CRAZY IDEA: NEGATIVE ACKNOWLEDGMENT IN EVALUATIVE CONTEXTS
Andrew H. Ward1, Brenner Lyle2
1Swarthmore College; 2University of Florida
We investigated the use of “negative acknowledgment,” an interpersonal strategy for moderating perceivers’ disparaging judgments through the self-admission of an unflattering attribute. Examples of negative acknowledgment were predicted to be common in highly evaluative settings, and indeed, a field study conducted at a conference of experimental social psychologists revealed that the majority of observed symposium presenters relied on this strategy. In a second study, the imposition of cognitive load eliminated the capacity of negative acknowledgment to temper perceivers’ negative perceptions. This finding suggests that significant cognitive resources are required for perceivers to contrast their evaluations with the relevant negative message. Together, the studies indicate that, when used appropriately, negative acknowledgment represents a sophisticated tool for impression management.
EFFECTS OF IMPLICIT AND EXPLICIT HEALTH MESSAGES ON FOOD CHOICE
Traci Mann, Heather Scherschel, Maryhope Howland
University of MInnesota
We investigated the effects of explicit and implicit health messages on food selection at two academic conferences, including an experimental social psychology conference. Explicitly – but not implicitly – labeling a food healthy may inadvertently license people to indulge, imply that it tastes bad, or lead to reactance. We manipulated the signs on healthy foods such that they explicitly stated the food was healthy, implicitly suggested it, or did not mention health. In both studies, participants were more likely to choose the healthy food when it was labeled with the implicit health message than when it was labeled with the explicit health message, which itself was not more effective than the control message. In Study 2, we also found that participants were more likely to make a healthy choice when that option was labeled with explicit messages about other plausible benefits of that choice, and did not refer to health at all.
HETEROGENEITY IN DISCRIMINATION?: A FIELD EXPERIMENT WITH UNIVERSITY FACULTY
Modupe Akinola1, Katherine L. Milkman2, Dolly Chugh3
1Columbia Business School, Columbia University; 2The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; 3Stern School of Business, New York University
We explored heterogeneity in discrimination by sending emails from fictitious prospective doctoral students to over 6,500 professors at top U.S. universities and examined response rates across 133 disciplines and 258 institutions. To manipulate students’ perceived ethnicity and gender, email signatories were randomly assigned identity-signaling names (Caucasian, Black, Hispanic, Indian, Chinese; male, female). Faculty response rates indicated that discrimination against women and minorities is far from evenly distributed in academia. Instead, discrimination varies meaningfully by discipline and is more extreme in higher paying disciplines and at private institutions. These findings documenting who discriminates most suggest where targeted efforts to reduce discrimination in academia are most needed and that similar research may help identify areas in other industries where programs designed to reduce bias should be focused. Further, these findings raise important questions for future research about how and why pay and institutional characteristics may alter the manifestation of bias.
MEANS ADOPTION IN SINGLE AND MULTIPLE GOAL CONTEXTS
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 211 – 213
Chair: Edward Orehek, University of Pittsburgh
We will outline when a means attached to a single (vs. multiple) goal(s) is preferred, what means is preferred in single goal pursuit, how a means is adopted in a self-control dilemma, and how extremism and passion contribute to the adoption of a means that is detrimental to alternative goals.
THE INFLUENCE OF SELF-REGULATORY MODES ON MEANS EVALUATION IN SINGLE GOAL AND MULTI-GOAL CONTEXTS
University of Pittsburgh
Some means of goal attainment are capable of attaining more than one goal at the same time. Such means have an advantage over means that serve a single goal because they attain greater overall value. However, they have the disadvantage (relative to single goal means) of reducing the association between the means and each of the goals (Zhang, Fishbach, & Kruglanski, 2007). In turn, reduced association strength is interpreted as decreased means instrumentality. Given the tradeoff between value (favoring multi-goal means) and instrumentality (favoring single goal means), the question is under what conditions one or the other would be selected. Based on regulatory mode theory (Higgins, Kruglanski, & Pierro, 2003; Kruglanski et al., 2000), it was predicted and found in five experiments that individuals operating in a locomotion self-regulatory mode prefer a single goal to multi-goal means, whereas individuals operating in an assessment mode prefer multi-goal to single goal means.
THE UNIQUENESS HEURISTIC: A PREFERENCE FOR UNIQUE OPTIONS FOR A SINGLE GOAL
Ayelet Fishbach1, Luxi Shen
University of Chicago Booth School of Business
This research identifies a “uniqueness heuristic” in goal-based choice: a preference for unique choice options for pursuing a single goal. Choosers prefer a unique option, including an option that is less frequent within its choice set (e.g., a red apple in a bowl of green apples) and an option that is atypical to a category (e.g., an unusual ice cream flavor), when pursuing either Goal A alone or Goal B alone, but not when pursuing these goals together. This preference for unique options is the result of perceived high instrumentality of unique options for any single goal. Six experiments demonstrate the preference for uniqueness using various subtle methods of single versus multiple goal activation. They document a greater preference for unique choice options for single (rather than several) consumption opportunities, product uses, and beneficiaries of the choice.
THE TEMPORAL PROFILE OF SELF-CONTROL DECISIONS
Melissa J. Ferguson
We examined the continuous motor output (of the hand) within a choice paradigm. We asked people who had the goal to eat healthfully to choose between a healthy (e.g., salad) versus unhealthy (e.g., candy) option using the computer mouse. Participants were told to choose what they would most ideally want to eat according to their long-term goals. Although the vast majority of participants chose the healthy options, their hand trajectories showed significant, continuous curvature toward the unhealthy options. The competition between the two goals (health versus hedonic eating) was resolved in a continuous (vs. discrete) manner. There was also a significant relationship between characteristics of this curvature toward temptations and self-control variables, including motivation and skill. These data show that the act of controlling impulses for temptations is continuous, and that the dynamics of this control can predict individual differences relevant for the self-control domain.
ON COMMITMENT AND EXTREMISM: A GOAL SYSTEMIC ANALYSIS
Arie W. Kruglanski, Kristen Klein1, Jocelyn Belanger
University of Maryland
The phenomenon of “extremism,” involved among others in political radicalization, militancy and the use of violence is explored in this paper. Extremism is conceptualized as “counterfinal means,” that while serving a given focal goal is detrimental to other objectives. Because of the attributional logic of the augmentation principle, a counterfinal means will be perceived as more instrumental to the focal objective than a unifinal means serving the focal objective only. Where the alternative ends to which the counterfinal means is detrimental are present, its use will be deemed “irrational,” and avoided. However, with increased commitment to the focal goal, these alternative ends will be suppressed and the tendency to use the counterfinal, extreme, means will increase. Empirical studies relevant to the present analysis will be presented including findings that individuals characterized by obsessive passion are more likely to view the extreme means as particularly instrumental than individuals with harmonious passion.
EXPLAINING THE EFFECTS OF THREATS ON CULTURAL WORLDVIEW DEFENSES: COMMON GROUND AMONG DIVERGENT PERSPECTIVES
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 220 – 222
Chair: Immo Fritsche, University of Leipzig, Germany
INTEGRATING RESEARCH BY EXAMINING THE EXISTENTIAL NATURE OF HUMAN MOTIVATION
Daniel Sullivan1, Thomas Pyszczynski2, Jeff Greenberg3
1University of Kansas; 2University of Colorado; 3University of Arizona
Experimental existential psychology proposes that humans are unique because they possess symbolic consciousness and temporal self-awareness. As a result, humans exist simultaneously in three phenomenological worlds: the symbolically mediated natural environment (Umwelt), the social world (Mitwelt), and the inner world of personal experience (Eigenwelt). The basic motives humans share with other organisms are transformed by their existence in these three worlds. In particular, terror management theory proposes that humans’ awareness of their impending mortality alters their effectance, epistemic, and social motives. The need for effectance is transformed into a motive for self-esteem. The need for epistemic certainty is transformed into a quest for particular meanings. And basic social needs are transformed into a desire for the approval of others and strong attachment. Existential threats to these three motives arouse the potential for death-related anxiety. Recognizing how self- and death-awareness alter human motives has important implications for research and theory.
GOAL IMPEDANCE, ANXIETY, AND REACTIVE APPROACH-MOTIVATION FOR IDEALS AND WORLDVIEWS
Ian McGregor1, Kyle Nash2, Mike Prentice3, Chelsea Ferriday1, Kristin Laurin4, Aaron Kay5
1York University; 2University of Basel; 3Missouri University; 4Stanford University; 5Duke University
Threat-defense research guided by diverse theories has found that various threats (e.g., achievement, relationship, and mortality) cause reactive confidence in personal agency and ideals. Reactive approach-motivation research has demonstrated that this reactive confidence activates approach-motivated states that powerfully down-regulate the anxiety that arises from the goal impedance that is induced by the threats (e.g., McGregor, Nash, Mann, & Phills, 2010; Nash, McGregor, & Prentice, 2011). Five studies demonstrate it is only highly approach-motivated people who react with heightened personal agency. Lows react with diminished personal agency and exaggerated defense of external sources of agency, instead. Exaggeration of personal vs. external agency appears to manifests in different forms of religious extremism, and to relieve anxiety in different ways. Differential findings in the literature may arise from use of more or less: a) idealistic vs. group based dependent variables, b) personal vs. external threats, and c) approach-motivated samples.
COMPENSATORY CONTROL AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE OF HIERARCHY
Justin Friesen1, Aaron Kay2, Richard P. Eibach1, Adam D. Galinsky3
1University of Waterloo; 2Duke University; 3Northwestern University
In human societies hierarchies are ubiquitous. Partly this is because they provide functional benefits. Additionally, however, we propose that social hierarchies —being structured and orderly—are defended because they fulfill psychological needs for structure and order that are elicited when personal control is low (Kay et al., 2010). Across five studies we demonstrate that individuals prefer hierarchies in order to compensate for personal control threats: With low personal control, participants more strongly endorsed hierarchy-promoting ideology, preferred hierarchy-enhancing occupations, and saw more hierarchy occurring in ambiguous situations. A manipulation that framed hierarchy as unstructured—but beneficial in other ways—reversed the effect so that participants who experienced control threat now disliked social hierarchy. We suggest these findings integrate other theories of hierarchy defense, such as social dominance and system justification, suggesting both why hierarchies are preferred over other forms of social organization and why, once established, they are defended so vigorously.
GROUP-BASED CONTROL: THE UNIQUE EFFECTS OF CONTROL THREAT ON ETHNOCENTRISM AND COLLECTIVE ACTION TENDENCIES
Immo Fritsche1, Eva Jonas2
1University of Leipzig; 2University of Salzburg
When people perceive personal control to be low, acting in terms of social identities – as group members – may symbolically restore their sense of general control. This is why ethnocentric tendencies (e.g., ingroup bias) and ingroup norm compliance might be increased when personal control is threatened. We tested this hypothesis in three experiments and one longitudinal study showing that control threat salience increased pro-ingroup behaviors (Studies 1 - 4). These effects were independent of parallel effects of uncertainty (Study 2) and were most pronounced when people were highly identified with their ingroup (Study 3). In addition, ingroup norms determined the direction of the effect with control threat increasing employees’ commitment to organizational change when an organizational change norm was made salient (Study 4). These findings support a model of group-based control and complement previous research on motivated intergroup behavior and socio-cognitive strategies to cope with deficits in personal control.
THE BENEFITS AND BURDENS OF CROSS-GROUP INTERACTIONS
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room 225 – 227
Chair: Marlone Henderson, University of Texas at Austin
Our world is shrinking due to technology, immigration, and globalization. Four talks showcase positive and negative consequences of cross-group interactions. Henderson highlights prosocial benefits from cross-ethnic interactions. Then, Apfelbaum highlights cognitive and performance burdens from ethnically homogenous group interactions. Lastly, Page-Gould and Hawi highlight benefits and burdens from cross-ethnic friendships.
WHEN OTHERS CROSS PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTANCE TO HELP: HIGHLIGHTING PROSOCIAL ACTIONS TOWARD OUTGROUPS ENCOURAGES PHILANTHROPY
Marlone D. Henderson1, Szu-chi Huang1, Chiu-chi A. Chang2
1University of Texas at Austin; 2Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania
Highlighting others’ prosocial actions is a particularly powerful way of encouraging helping behavior. The media often highlight cases in which individuals engage in prosocial actions toward ingroup members. The media also frequently highlight cases in which individuals engage in prosocial actions toward outgroup members. Across four experiments, we show that people feel more inspired to engage in prosocial actions (volunteering, donations) after they learn about individuals who help targets that have a different (vs. same) nationality than those individuals. Specifically, we show that people are more motivated to engage in prosocial actions after they learn about others who help ethnic outgroup (vs. ingroup) targets. Further, we show that highlighting others’ outgroup helping behavior leads people to be more attracted to engaging in prosocial action because such helping behavior violates people’s lay belief about cross-group interactions and helping, making it more psychologically salient for people. Implications for philanthropy are discussed.
THE VALUE OF DIVERSITY: RACIALLY HOMOGENOUS GROUPS CAN PROMOTE AN OVERSIMPLIFIED MINDSET
Evan P. Apfelbaum1, Katherine W. Phillips2, Jennifer A. Richeson3
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology ; 2Columbia University; 3Northwestern University
We show that mere assignment to racially homogeneous (vs. diverse) groups promotes an oversimplified mindset: greater susceptibility to a classic attribution bias when estimating personal responsibility for group performance, heightened (perhaps, even illusory) sense of personal control over outcomes, and the tendency to treat early indicators of group performance as wholly indicative of future group potential. Further, we demonstrate that people in homogeneous groups become more affectively invested in their group’s efforts because of their tendency to see complex group tasks in oversimplified terms - an effect sufficiently powerful to affect subsequent task performance. It appears that membership in homogeneous groups can lull people into a heuristic mindset through which they systematically oversimplify their group experience, where as membership in diverse groups buffers this tendency. We discuss how the value of diversity may lie not only in what diversity adds to group functioning, but also in what homogeneity takes away.
CROSS-GROUP FRIENDSHIP AND RESILIENCE TO NEGATIVE INTERGROUP INTERACTIONS
Elizabeth Page-Gould, Chad M. Danyluck
University of Toronto
Given that intergroup interactions can go awry, how do people with cross-group friendships maintain positive intergroup orientations? Combining longitudinal, experimental, behavioral, physiological, and self-report data, we explored how people cope with different types of negative intergroup experiences: (1) intergroup conflicts in daily life; (2) intergroup interaction that is perceived as high-conflict; (3) experiences of discrimination. People with no cross-group friends showed spillage of negative affect to subsequent social interactions after an intergroup conflict, and they exhibited more tense behaviors, patterns of physiological threat, and dampened post-stressor recovery after negative intergroup interactions and after recalling past discrimination. Among people with cross-group friends, intergroup conflicts did not impact the quality of subsequent interactions, and people with cross-group friends showed speedy physiological recovery following negative intergroup experiences in the lab. These studies focus on the subjective processes that explain how positive intergroup relations can be sustained in the face of negative intergroup experiences.
DISCRIMINATION, CROSS-ETHNIC FRIENDSHIPS, AND THEIR EFFECTS ON ETHNIC ACTIVISM: A LONGITUDINAL INVESTIGATION OF THREE ETHNIC MINORITY GROUPS
Linda R. Tropp1, Diala Hawi1, Colette Van Laar2, Shana Levin3
1University of Massachusetts Amherst; 2Leiden University; 3Claremont McKenna College
Recent survey research shows that positive contact with Whites can lead minorities to perceive less discrimination against their groups (Dixon et al., 2010; Wright & Lubensky, 2009) and that perceptions of discrimination can curb the potentially positive effects of contact (Tropp, 2007). The present longitudinal research extends this work, by examining relationships between cross-ethnic friendships and perceptions of discrimination over time among African American, Latino, and Asian American college students in the United States. Results indicate that, over time, greater friendships with Whites predicted both lower perceptions of discrimination and less support for ethnic activism. In addition, increases in perceptions of discrimination during college predicted fewer friendships with Whites. However, these trends were moderated by participant ethnicity, such that they were strongest among African American participants and weakest among Asian American participants. Implications of these findings for future research on intergroup contact, minority-majority relations, and ethnic group differences are discussed.
NEW ANSWERS TO OLD QUESTIONS: NOVEL APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF HUMAN PROSOCIALITY
Saturday, January 19, 9:45 – 11:00 am, Room R02
Chair: Kristina Olson, Yale University
Co-Chair: Jamil Zaki, Stanford University
Across four talks, we explore how today’s social psychological study of prosociality can benefit from neuroscientific, genetic, behavioral economic, and developmental insights. We demonstrate that adding these tools can result in deeper understanding of when, why and how people help, cooperate with, and share with those around them.
SPONTANEOUS GIVING AND CALCULATED GREED: INTUITIVE COOPERATION IN SOCIAL DILEMMAS
Cooperation is central to human social behavior. Choosing to cooperate, however, requires individuals to incur a personal cost to benefit others. Why, then, are people often willing to cooperate, and how can the fundamentally selfish process of natural selection favor ‘altruistic’ cooperation? In this talk I explore the cognitive basis of cooperative decision-making in humans using a dual process framework: Are people predisposed toward selfishness, behaving cooperatively only through active self-control? Or are we intuitively cooperative, with reflection and prospective reasoning favoring ‘rational’ self-interest? I will present data from the economic ‘Public Goods Game’ to investigate this issue, from both correlation and manipulation studies and using both college undergraduates and the more diverse subject pool offered by Amazon Mechanical Turk. The results provide convergent evidence that intuition supports cooperation in social dilemmas, while reflection can undermine these cooperative impulses.
PROSOCIALITY AS A FORM OF REWARD-SEEKING
Jamil Zaki Stanford University
Across the social sciences, prosociality is typically viewed as a “cool,” reflective class of behavior, which requires quelling more basic, “hot” impulses to maximize personal gain. However, a growing alternative model holds that individuals instead experience prosocial action as rewarding, and seek opportunities to act prosocially in the same manner as they pursue other classes of rewards. If this is the case, then prosocial behavior should evince the same neural and behavioral “signatures” associated with reward-seeking more generally. Here, I will describe converging evidence from two studies that support this prediction. In the first study, prosocial choices during a dictator game engaged neural structures associated with subjective value. In the second study, participants demonstrated similar levels of temporal discounting (i.e., impatience) when making choices about monetary prizes they would receive themselves and gifts they could allocate to others. Together, these data suggest that prosociality indeed parallels other forms of reward-seeking.
PATERNALISTIC HELPING: KNOWING BETTER THAN OTHERS WHAT’S BEST FOR THEM
Kristina R . Olson, Alia Martin
Helping others is often relatively straightforward—providing a beneficiary with something that is requested to help achieve a goal—and, as such, even infants and toddlers can do it. However, sometimes, the best way to help someone is by not providing what they request, for example, withholding cigarettes from a smoker, a phenomenon we term paternalistic helping. In this talk we present several new studies demonstrating that despite the complexity required to engage in paternalistic helping, children as young as 3 years of age will ignore an adult’s immediate request, providing instead the best means to help the adult accomplish his/her ultimate goal. We also explore children’s tendency to engage in paternalistic helping strategically, for example, depending on whether the person needing help is a good or bad person. These studies illustrate that prosocial tendencies are surprisingly sophisticated and flexible early in development.
GENETIC APPROACHES TO STUDYING PROSOCIALITY: AN OXYTOCIN RECEPTOR GENETIC VARIATION RELATES TO FACETS OF THE BIG FIVE PERSONALITY DOMAINS
Sarina R. Saturn1, Laura R. Saslow2, Walter T. Piper1, Oliver P. John3, Dacher J. Keltner3
1Oregon State University; 2University of California, San Francisco; 3University of California, Berkeley
Prosociality is hardwired into the nervous system and recent evidence has shown how genetic variants are associated with individual differences in other-oriented behaviors. Oxytocin is a neuropeptide with targets throughout the body and brain, and polymorphisms of the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene relate to an array of social and emotional profiles. For instance, compared to A-allele carriers for polymorphism rs53576, G-allele homozygotes display greater empathy and prosocial behaviors. Guided by these findings, we examined how this OXTR genetic variation relates to the Big Five. Results revealed a linear relationship with Openness, including its subscale of Openness to Ideas, and Agreeableness’ Altruism subscale. In addition, a similar linear relationship was discovered for individual differences including egalitarianism, spirituality, and vagal regulation of the heart. These results further suggest a biological basis for personality variations in the psychological and physiological phenomena OXTR supports, including prosociality and social sensitivity.
Symposium Session F and Data Blitz
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm
THE ANTECEDENTS AND CONSEQUENCES OF TRUST: COGNITIVE, DEVELOPMENTAL, AND CULTURAL PERSPECTIVES
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room R03 – R05
Chair: Anthony Evans, Brown University
Co-Chair: Daniel Balliet, VU University Amsterdam
Trust has a dynamic role in interpersonal relationships, acting as both an outcome and cause of psychological processes. This symposium investigates how social norms and the development of perspective-taking skills promote trust among strangers; and how such feelings of trust (and distrust) shape thinking styles and economic behaviour.
TRUST DRIVEN BY SOCIAL NORMS AND NOT EXPECTATIONS
David Dunning1, Thomas Schlosser2, Detlef Fetchenhauer2
1Cornell University; 2University of Cologne
Trust among strangers in economic games is surprisingly not driven by expectations that others will reward one’s trust. First, people trust strangers with their money even when they expect those strangers will keep that money rather than give it back with a profit—accepting odds of loss they would never tolerate elsewhere. Second, odds of reward significantly influence willingness to gamble in a lottery, but not willingness to trust another individual. Instead, decisions to trust are related more to social norms, that is, what people think they “should” do. Although people say they are doing what they “want” to do when they trust a stranger, they also think they “should” trust that stranger—and this perception explains why people trust strangers at a rate 20% higher than what makes sense given their expectations. Their emotional reactions also follow the logic of social norms.
DIFFERENTIATING THE DEVELOPMENTAL TRAJECTORIES OF TRUST AND ALTRUSIM
Ursula Athenstaedt1, Anthony M. Evans2, Krueger I. Joachim2
1University of Graz; 2Brown University
Knowing when to trust is an essential skill, but relatively little is known about its cognitive development. Previous studies have found inconsistent trends in the development of trust, but no work has examined trust while controlling for age differences in altruism. We hypothesized that older children would be more likely to trust, and that this age-related increase would not reduce to an increase in altruism. Three experiments compared the economic behavior of kindergarten (4-5 years) and elementary school (9-10 years) children. Age was associated with independent increases in both trust and altruism. We also investigated whether older children were more discerning in their decisions to trust, we hypothesized that they would be more sensitive to factors affecting the probability of reciprocity. However, we found that older children were not sensitive to changes in the game’s structure or the trustee’s characteristics, suggesting that decision-making in dilemmas of trust continues to develop through adulthood.
THE MENTAL LIFE OF SOCIAL GLUE – HOW DISTRUST ENHANCES CREATIVITY AND REDUCES STEREOTYPING
Thomas Mussweiler, Jennifer Mayer, Ann-Christin Posten
University of Cologne
Trust and distrust influence our basic social-cognitive functioning. Prior research has demonstrated that inducing an unspecific state of distrust leads individuals to rely more on non-routine strategies. We hypothesized that this distrust thinking style entails the activation of more remote associates and thus enhances creativity and reduces stereotyping. Three experiments examined this possibility. In Experiment 1, participants subliminally primed with distrust activated more remote associates than participants primed with trust. In Experiment 2, participants primed with distrust in a scrambled sentences task provided more creative solutions in a subsequent alternative uses task than participants primed with trust and control participants. In Experiment 3, participants primed with distrust were less influenced by stereotypes in a subsequent person judgment task than those primed with trust. Together these findings shed light on the cognitive underpinnings of trust vs. distrust. They demonstrate that distrust increases the breadth and flexibility of thinking.
TRUST, PUNISHMENT, AND COOPERATION ACROSS 18 SOCIETIES: A META-ANALYSIS
Daniel Balliet, Paul A.M. Van Lange
VU University Amsterdam
Prior theorizing suggests cross-societal differences in trust plays a key role in determining the effectiveness of punishment, as a form of social norm enforcement, to promote cooperation. One line of reasoning is that punishment promotes cooperation in low-trust societies, primarily because people in such societies only expect their fellow members to contribute if there are strong incentives to do so. Yet another line of reasoning is that high trust makes punishment work, because in high-trust societies people may count on each other to make contributions to public goods and also enforce norm violations by punishing free-riders. We examined this puzzle of punishment in a quantitative review of 83 studies involving 7,361 participants from studies across 18 societies that examine the impact of punishment on cooperation in a public goods dilemma. The findings provide a clear answer: Punishment more strongly promotes cooperation in societies with high trust, rather than low trust.
THE SOCIAL COGNITION OF GLOBAL, MODERN DISASTERS: FINANCIAL MELTDOWNS, ENVIRONMENTAL CRISES, AND VIRAL PANDEMICS
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room R01
Chair: Andrew White, Arizona State University
Co-Chair: Virginia S.Y. Kwan, Arizona State University
People today face a new set of global, often unseen, challenges, such as financial meltdowns, environmental crises, and viral pandemics. In this symposium, four speakers will discuss the unique ways in which humans perceive and evaluate these “modern” threats, and report recent empirical evidence on these topics.
DOOMSDAY IS MORE DANGEROUS IN 7 DAYS THAN 1 WEEK: PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTANCE AND CONSTRUAL-LEVEL INFLUENCE PERCEIVED DANGER
Andrew E. White, Virginia S.Y. Kwan
Arizona State University
In this research, we examine how subtle differences in communication influence psychological distance, construal-level, and the perceived danger of disastrous events. Across four experiments, we show that expressing measurements with larger numbers and smaller units (e.g., 7 days), relative to smaller numbers and larger units (e.g., 1 week), leads targets or events associated with those measurements to be perceived more concretely. Furthermore, we demonstrate that these shifts in concreteness affect how dangerous a threat is perceived to be: Using larger numbers/smaller units leads threats to be seen as more concrete and, as a result, more dangerous. Notably, these findings are consistent across two measures of distance (temporal and spatial) and three forms of danger (severe weather, a nuclear accident, and a viral pandemic). Together, our results show that a seemingly arbitrary difference in communication, how one expresses measurement, can influence the perception of a life-threatening event.
WHEN GOVERNMENT TRUST UNDERMINES PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT: THE MOTIVATED AVOIDANCE OF MODERN DISASTERS
Aaron C. Kay1, Steven Shepherd2
1Duke University; 2University of Waterloo
To minimize the impact of global crises, people need to be willing to engage with them at an individual level. However, the very nature of some of the most dire modern disasters may instigate psychological processes that lead to the exact opposite reaction – that is, less individual engagement and action. Specifically, because many modern disasters may be associated with existential and epistemic threats, they may increase system justifying tendencies and thereby lead people to increasingly turn to the government to deal with these issues and, as a consequence, decreasingly feel any need to alter their own behavior. In the contexts of crises surrounding energy, environmental, and economic issues, we present 4 studies demonstrating that as a disaster increases in severity or complexity, people, ironically, show less interest in learning about it and changing their behavior, and show more faith in the government’s ability to deal with it.
INDIVIDUALS WHO ANTHROPOMORPHIZE NATURE FEEL MORE EFFICACIOUS IN RESOLVING THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS
Kevin Kim-Pong Tam
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Environmentalists and lay people often anthropomorphize nature (e.g., likening the environmental crisis to human sickness, referring to nature as Mother Earth). In this research, we examine how this tendency influences perceptions of and responses to environmental crises. Three studies (using both student and non-student samples from two societies) show that: (1) individuals with stronger anthropomorphism of nature (AN) feel a stronger capacity in understanding and predicting the environmental crisis; (2) individuals with stronger AN feel a stronger sense of personal efficacy and humans’ collective efficacy in resolving the crisis; and (3) personal efficacy mediates the association between AN and conservation behavior. Practically, these findings highlight the potential role of anthropomorphism in motivating people to cope with the environmental crisis. Theoretically, they establish links between anthropomorphism, environmental efficacy, and conservation behavior, and contribute to a greater understanding of the perception of modern dangers more generally.
NOT ALL DISASTERS ARE EQUAL IN THE PUBLIC’S EYE: THE NEGATIVITY EFFECT OF WARMTH IN SOCIAL PERCEPTION
Emily Chan1, Nicolas O. Kervyn2, Chris Malone3, Adam B. Korpusik1, Oscar Ybarra4
1Colorado College; 2University of Louvian; 3Relational Capital Group; 4University of Michigan
Warmth and competence are fundamental dimensions used to characterize people, animals, and even corporations. We predict that environmental scandals perceived as having been caused by a lack of warmth would be more damaging to a corporation’s image than one perceived as having been caused by a lack of competence. Our results suggest that framing a local (Colorado Springs utilities sewage spill, Study 1) or national (Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill, Study 2) environmental scandal in terms of low-warmth resulted in harsher punishments than framing the same scandal in terms of incompetence. Study 2 also examined if scandal response strategies were more effective when they are warmth or competence-focused. Finally, a survey documented the impact of recent scandals on several brands by assessing the consequences of warmth vs. competence framing of the scandal. These results demonstrate how warmth and competence shape a corporation’s image in the wake of environmental crises.
THE NEUROSCIENCE OF PREJUDICE: CATEGORIZATION, CONTROL AND COPING
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room R07 – R09
Chair: Daan Scheepers, Leiden University
Co-Chair: Naomi Ellemers, Leiden University
The aim with this symposium is illustrating how neuroscience can foster our understanding of prejudice. Presenters will focus on specific aspects of prejudice (categorization, control, coping) using specific neuroscience methodologies (ERP, EEG, fMRI, neuro-endocrine) and discuss how their approach contributes to understanding specific pieces of the puzzle of prejudice.
INTERGROUP GOALS AFFECT HOW WE SEE FACES: EVIDENCE FROM NEURAL INDICATORS OF EARLY FACE PERCEPTION
David M. Amodio
New York University
Intergroup goals, such as to favor the ingroup or protect against an outgroup, can bias the way we think about and act toward others. Research in my lab has tested whether intergroup goals may also change how we “see” faces of ingroup and outgroup members. I will present three studies examining the effect of intergroup goals on a neural marker of early face encoding--the N170 component of the event-related potential, which occurs 170 ms after face presentation. Results indicate that initial face encoding is enhanced for ingroup members in situations emphasizing ingroup favoritism (e.g., minimal groups). However, when outgroup threat is emphasized (e.g., in interracial situations), facial encoding of outgroup faces is enhanced, especially among implicitly biased and socially anxious perceivers. These early effects on visual perception may contribute to downstream biases in cognition and behavior, suggesting a new mechanism through which intergroup goals lead to discrimination.
SOCIAL IDENTITY SHAPES AUTOMATIC SOCIAL PERCEPTION AND EVALUATION: EVIDENCE FROM BEHAVIORAL, ELECTROENCEPHALOGRAPHY AND NEUROIMAGING STUDIES Jay Van Bavel New York University
I will review a series of behavioral, electroencephalography, and neuroimaging studies that demonstrate the dynamic influence of social identity on perception and evaluation. Across studies, we assigned people to one of two mixed-race minimal groups and had them respond to Black and White in-group and out-group members. This allowed us to compare the effects of a minimal social identity with a visually salient social category—race. Across methodologies, we found that assigning people to mixed-race minimal groups eliminated ostensibly automatic racial biases by leading people to categorize others on the basis of their minimal group membership rather than their race. This pattern was evident despite the fact that the intergroup distinction was arbitrary, there were no visual cues to distinguish groups, and exposure to the faces was equivalent and brief. The research suggests that automatic effects of race are not inevitable, but are sensitive to social identity concerns.
MAKING A GOOD IMPRESSION: MORALITY AS A MOTIVATOR TO CONTROL IMPLICIT BIAS
Felice Van Nunspeet
In previous behavioral and ERP research we showed that framing an implicit association test as indicative of people’s morality (versus competence), causes participants to control their bias towards Muslim women. Moreover, this control was associated with increased social categorization of (non-)Muslim women (indexed by the N1) and enhanced error monitoring (indicated by the ERN). Complementing this work, we tested whether this motivation to be moral is stronger when people present themselves towards a minimal in- vs. outgroup member (based on a questionnaire ostensibly measuring personality styles). Results showed that participants in the morality versus competence condition inhibited their bias towards Muslim women (which was again associated with increased social categorization and error monitoring), but only when they were being evaluated by an ingroup member. These findings indicate that (and how) people control their implicit bias when this is a way to present themselves as a moral person within their ingroup.
CLASS-BASED STEREOTYPE THREAT AND IMPLICATIONS FOR IMMUNE SYSTEM FUNCTION
University of California, Berkeley
We report findings from two experiments to examine whether class-based stereotype threat also affects activation of inflammation processes that are implicated in numerous disease processes. In the first study differences in performance and activation of inflammatory processes (measured by levels of a proinflammatory protein Interleukin-6), varied as a function of social class background and diagnostic condition. Individuals from low social class backgrounds underperformed and exhibited greater inflammatory responses when the test was framed as diagnostic. In the second study, social class was primed before the exam by invoking performance comparisons based on relative social class. Activation of inflammation and performance varied as a function of comparison direction and current social class background. Class-based stereotype threat appears to adversely impact the immune system, resulting in heightened levels of inflammation. Our data suggest that individuals from low social class backgrounds are most vulnerable to these negative outcomes in situations with increased threat.
EMOTIONAL EXPRESSIONS ARE UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED (EXCEPT WHEN THEY AREN’T): EVIDENCE FROM DEVELOPMENTAL, CROSS-CULTURAL AND CLINICAL POPULATIONS
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 206 – 207
Chair: Nicole Nelson, Brock University
Basic Emotions theorists argue that universal recognition of emotional expressions can be verified by high recognition of specific expressions by children, those without access to language, and those from Non-Western cultures. However, our data, from developmental, clinical, and cross-cultural populations, refute universal recognition and provide alternative interpretations of the data.
EMOTION EXPRESSION CATEGORIES: CHILDREN LET THE TARGET EXPRESSIONS IN BUT CAN’T KEEP THE NON-TARGET ONES OUT
Nicole L. Nelson1, James A. Russell2
1Brock University; 2Boston College
Children’s discrete emotion understanding has traditionally been demonstrated by asking children to match a target expression to a given emotion label (e.g. Izard, 1971). However, categorization involves both the inclusion of the expected target, and the exclusion of non-targets. Do children exclude non-target expressions from familiar emotion categories? When presented an array of expressions -- happiness, sadness and a novel expression -- 79% of 2-4 year-olds (N = 24) matched the label proud to the novel expression. In a second study, 90% of 5-10 year-olds (N = 24) matched the label jealous to the novel expression. Children failed to exclude novel, non-target expressions from familiar emotion categories, a finding that stands in contrast to claims that children recognize discrete expressions. Children’s emotion categories are over-inclusive, information likely obscured in prior research focusing on expression inclusion; whether children exclude novel, non-target expressions from a familiar category better reflects their expression knowledge.
FROM PRESCHOOL TO HIGH SCHOOL, STORIES SPECIFY EMOTIONS BETTER THAN FACIAL EXPRESSIONS
Sherri C. Widen
Facial expressions have long been assumed to be the primary communicators of emotion – even for children. But there are other aspects of emotion (causes, consequences, etc.) that children understand from an early age. In two studies (N=120, 4-10 years; N=90, 8-17 years), children attributed emotion to facial expressions and, separately, to brief emotion stories of basic and social emotions. From the youngest to the oldest children in both studies, emotion stories were stronger cues overall, especially for fear, disgust, embarrassment, and shame. This finding is contrary to the assumption that facial expressions are primary emotion communicators. Instead, even the youngest children are more likely to correctly label an emotion story than a facial expression, and this pattern does not shift, even in late adolescence.
SPONTANEOUS FACIAL EXPRESSIONS OF EMOTION ARE NOT UNIVERSALLY RECOGNIZED: METHODOLOGICAL AND SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES
The claim that certain emotions are universally recognized from facial expressions is based primarily on the study of posed expressions and a forced-choice response format. The current study was of 18 spontaneous facial expressions predicted to convey exactly one emotion shown by aborigines in Papua New Guinea (Ekman, 1980). Response format allowed observers to endorse up to 12 emotion labels per face. Observers from Spain (n=54), China (n=147), Japan (n=143), South Korea (n=66), India (n=246), and Israel (n=60) endorsed the predicted emotion moderately, but observers saw more than the predicted one emotion -- on average, five -- in each face. For only 3 of the 18 faces was the predicted emotion the modal choice and most frequently endorsed. The emotion observers see in a face cannot be predicted with a single label.
EMOTION WORDS AS ELEMENTS IN EMOTION PERCEPTION
Maria Gendron1,2, Lisa Feldman Barrett1,3
1Northeastern University; 2Boston College; 3Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
In this talk, we use experiments from three lines of work to support the claim that language provides a necessary top-down contextual element in emotion perception. When the meaning of the word “anger” is inaccessible, is it possible to see that two scowling faces indicate the same mental state? Is a scowl perceptually encoded in the same manner as when the word’s meaning is accessible? Without a common emotion vocabulary, will people of different culture perceive emotional faces in the same way? The answer to all three questions is “no.” Using three lines of research (patients with semantic dementia, laboratory studies of semantic satiation, and cross-cultural data from Namibia), we show that emotion words are a routine yet potent context that constrains how facial actions are perceived as emotions. Implications for a contextual approach to emotion perception will be discussed.
THE DYNAMIC NATURE OF PERSON PERCEPTION: FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE NATURE AND ACCURACY OF PERSONALITY IMPRESSIONS
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 217 – 219
Chair: Erika Carlson, Washington University in St. Louis
Co-Chair: Nicole Lawless, University of Oregon
This symposium explores the dynamic nature of person perception by examining contextual, relational, and temporal factors that influence the nature and accuracy of personality perceptions. Results suggest that factors independent of personality can influence our perceptions of what people are like. Findings have implications for assessment, accuracy, and self-knowledge research.
CHANGING SITUATIONS CHANGES AGREEMENT ABOUT BEHAVIOR
William Fleeson, R. Michael Furr
Wake Forest University
Research has revealed that actors and observers agree on actors’ traits, and that traits differ in the level of agreement about them. However, in most agreement studies, actors act in only a single situation (or are rated “in general”, with no specific situation), despite the knowledge that situations affect how people act. In the current study, we tested whether different situations produce different levels of agreement between actors and observers. The same actors came to the lab on twenty different occasions and behaved in twenty different situations. Observers behind one-way mirrors rated the actors’ behavior, and agreement levels were calculated for each situation separately. Results revealed substantial differences between situations in level of agreement by trait. These findings have implications for the generalizability of past findings about person perception, the effects of situations on social perception processes, and the need for more situations in the study of person perception.
YOU SPY WITH YOUR LITTLE EYE: NORMATIVE AND DISTINCTIVE BLIND SPOTS IN SELF-PERCEPTION
Anne-Marie Gallrein, Daniel Leising
This talk focuses on blind spots in self-perception. Specifically, we discuss the personality characteristics that others reliably attribute to us, but that we fail to attribute to ourselves. Sixty-two targets described their own personality and recruited as many informants as possible who also described them. Based on these ratings, we found blind spots for (1) normative characteristics (those attributed to the average target) and (2) distinctive characteristics (those attributed to particular targets). The normative blind spot included socially desirable characteristics, implying that the informants viewed the targets more positively than the targets viewed themselves and that targets do not always self-enhance. The distinctive blind spots were neutral in terms of social desirability. It turned out to be almost impossible for targets to obtain ratings of their personality by informants who viewed them critically, suggesting that most people may be systematically lacking negative (but possibly accurate) feedback about themselves.
THE INFLUENCE OF HIERARCHY STABILITY AND INDIVIDUAL RANK ON PERSONALITY PERCEPTION
Nicole Lawless, Sanjay Srivastava
University of Oregon
Past work has shown that people’s behavior in social hierarchies is influenced both by their rank and by the stability of the hierarchy. The current study examines how individual rank and hierarchy stability affects interpersonal perceptions in small groups. One member of each group (n = 45) was randomly assigned a high-power role for a future task; the remaining members (n = 142) were assigned low-power roles. Subjects were told that these roles either would (unstable) or would not (stable) have the potential to change. Before the task, groups engaged in an unstructured interaction and reported perceptions of one another. Results showed that hierarchy stability affected personality perceptions. High-power individuals in unstable hierarchies were perceived more negatively (e.g., less honest, more arrogant) than those in stable hierarchies. The extent to which these evaluations are accurate reflections of leaders’ behavior or the result of subordinates’ power motivation will be discussed.
YOU NEVER GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FIRST IMPRESSION, BUT YOU DO GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A GOOD ONE
Erika N. Carlson, Simine Vazire
Washington University in St. Louis
Some people make a positive (or negative) impression right off the bat and maintain this first impression whereas others become more likeable (or unlikeable) later on. Who maintains first impressions and who changes them? In two studies (N = 74; N = 85), small groups of undergraduates met weekly over the course of a semester and rated each member’s likeability and status several times. They also nominated informants who described their personality. Results suggested that specific personality profiles demonstrated unique trajectories of likeability and status. For instance, intelligent, extraverted individuals were liked and respected right off the bat and maintained these impressions over time, agreeable, funny individuals were liked and respected later on, and narcissistic individuals became less liked and respected over time. These findings highlight the dynamic nature of interpersonal perceptions and suggest that agentic and communal traits are valued at different points in the acquaintanceship process.
THE WIND BENEATH MY WINGS OR THE ROCK THAT WEIGHS ME DOWN? REGULATORY BENEFITS AND COSTS OF CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 228 – 230
Chair: Jaye Derrick, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Do close relationships influence self-regulation? Across different methods, results show that positive relationship functioning enhances, whereas negative relationship functioning decreases, goal pursuit. Yet, even unsupportive others can boost goal commitment over time. These studies demonstrate the important, complicated, and sometimes counterintuitive effects that relationships have on self-regulation.
CAN’T GET YOU OFF MY MIND: ATTACHMENT ANXIETY AND RELATIONSHIPS AS COGNITIVE LOAD
Sarah C E. Stanton, Lorne Campbell
University of Western Ontario
This research investigated the effects of romantic relationships, and the role of attachment anxiety therein, on cognition and attentional resources. Two studies demonstrated that, following activation of the attachment system, more anxiously attached individuals exhibited cognitive load effects. In Study 1, more anxious individuals in a relationship threat condition engaged in greater holistic processing on a shape categorization task compared to more anxious individuals in a control condition as well as less anxious individuals. In Study 2, more anxious individuals in a relationship threat condition were slower to indicate the color of words compared to more anxious individuals in a non-relationship threat condition and a control condition as well as less anxious individuals. This research suggests that once more anxious individuals start thinking about their partner and relationship it is difficult for them to stop, and has implications for regulatory functioning.
POSITIVE INTERACTION AND CONFLICT WITH FRIENDS, FAMILY, AND PARTNERS INFLUENCES GOAL PURSUIT
Jaye L. Derrick1, Denissen J A. Jaap2, Kühnel Anja2
1University at Buffalo, The State University of New York; 2Humboldt Universität zu Berlin
Previous research has demonstrated that rejection is depleting, but secure relationships are energizing. The current study extends this research to examine the effect of daily interactions with friends, family, and partners on goal pursuit. As part of the Berlin Daily Diary Study, approximately 2000 participants completed up to 25 daily reports. They described events in their close relationships, time spent pursuing goals, doubt about those goals, and mood. On days when participants experienced a fight with a close other, they spent less time working toward their goals and experienced greater doubt about those goals. On days when participants experienced a positive interaction with a close other, they spent more time working toward their goals and experienced less doubt about those goals. These associations were mediated by changes in deactivated mood. The results of this study are discussed in terms of the implications that social interactions have for self-regulation.
SELF-REGULATION IN CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS: AN EXPERIENCE SAMPLING STUDY
Wilhelm Hofmann1, Eli Finkel2, Grainne Fitzsimons3
1University of Chicago; 2Northwestern University; 3Duke University
How does being in a fulfilling (as compared to a less satisfying) relationship influence the pursuit of everyday self-regulatory goals? To address this question, we conducted a large-scale experience sampling study to closely monitor multiple parameters of everyday goal pursuit and relationship quality for a week in a sample of 100 couples. First analyses suggest that high rather than low state relationship satisfaction was associated with higher commitment and success expectancies with regard to current goal pursuits, higher levels of invested effort, and fewer reported instances of being conflicted and tempted by alternative courses of action. Moreover, high state relationship satisfaction was related to lower rates of stress, ego depletion, physical exhaustion, and higher levels of momentary happiness during goal pursuit. Taken together, these findings suggest that high relationship satisfaction may benefit self-regulation by supporting positive outcome expectancies and by bolstering against negative influences such as distraction and resource depletion.
WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY UNHELPFUL FRIENDS: THINKING ABOUT HOW A FRIEND UNDERMINES ONE’S GOALS BOLSTERS GOAL COMMITMENT
Kathleen L. Carswell1, Eli J. Finkel1, Gráinne M. Fitzsimons2, Nathaniel M. Lambert3, Preston Brown4, Frank D. Fincham4
1Northwestern University; 2Duke University; 3Brigham Young University; 4Florida State University
A longitudinal study investigated the impact of perceiving that a friend undermines one’s goal-pursuit on commitment to that goal. Although supportive significant others have traditionally been seen as beneficial, and unsupportive significant others as detrimental, toward goal pursuit (Brunstein, Dangelmayer, & Schultheiss, 1996; Feeney, 2004), the current research tested the counterintuitive hypothesis that significant others who are unsupportive may sometimes have a positive influence on goal pursuit. In particular, we suggest that perceptions of a close other as undermining of an important goal may cause individuals to enact goal shielding efforts to buffer against declining goal commitment over time. The results of this study are discussed as part of a broader integrative framework of the sometimes-counterintuitive self-regulatory influences of significant others on goal-pursuit.
SITUATED ETHICS: HOW MORAL JUDGMENTS AND BEHAVIORS ARE CONTAMINATED BY SITUATIONAL CUES
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 208 – 210
Chair: David Sherman, University of California, Santa Barbara
Co-Chair: Kimberly A. Hartson, University of California, Santa Barbara
These talks illustrate how moral evaluations often fail to be deliberative, contrary to what many believe, and instead are susceptible to “contamination” by situational cues such as rivalry, entitlement, gradual escalations, and self-image concerns. Together, these talks highlight the often unforeseen factors that determine individuals’ moral judgments and behaviors.
WHATEVER IT TAKES: RIVALRY AND UNETHICAL BEHAVIOR
Gavin J. Kilduff1, Adam D. Galinsky2, Edoardo Gallo3, J. James Reade4
1New York University; 2Northwestern University; 3University of Oxford; 4University of Birmingham
We investigate rivalry as a uniquely relational form of competition that can lead to greater unethical behavior. We first distinguish it from general competition, both conceptually and in terms of its consequences for behavior. Then, across four experiments and one archival study, we find evidence that rivalry fuels greater unethical behavior than general competition. Specifically, rivalry was associated with increased Machiavellianism, over-reporting of performance, willingness to employ unethical negotiation tactics, and unsportsmanlike behavior. Further, these effects carried over to subsequent situations that occurred outside of the rivalrous relationship itself, suggesting that rivalry activates a mindset that can subsequently influence unrelated decisions and behaviors. These findings highlight the importance of rivalry as a widespread, powerful, and yet largely unstudied psychological phenomenon with important implications. Further, they help to inform when and why people behave unethically, and ultimately suggest that the nature of competition is dependent upon actors’ relationships and prior interactions.
WINNER TAKE(S) ALL SOCIETY: THE TRAP OF ENTITLEMENT
Nrio Sivanathan1, Nathan Pettit2
1London Business School; 2New York University
Social standing is commonly established through winner take-all arrangements—where disproportionate resources are afforded to an elite few “winners.” In contrast to work focused on the inequity produced through such arrangements; we explored the psychological and behavioral consequences for those who rise to the apex of these contests. Specifically, three studies demonstrated that winner take-all arrangements produce among its winners a sense of entitlement: a sense of self-deservingness that justifies all means (Study 3), and armed with this inflated self-view, winners embezzled funds from the experimenter (Study 1), deceived fellow participants (Study 2), and misrepresented their achievements (Study 3), all in the service to take further wealth for themselves. These results both highlight the unintended transformative effects of these hyper-contests and the practical implications for its omnipresent use in social ordering.
GRADUAL ESCALATION: THE ROLE OF CONTINUOUS COMMITMENTS IN PERCEPTIONS OF GUILT
Kimberly A. Hartson, David K. Sherman
University of California, Santa Barbara
We examine how gradual escalations affect the moral judgments of observers of immoral behavior. Across four studies, participants read a scenario describing an instance of immoral behavior that gradually built in severity. In Study 1, female participants perceived a perpetrator as less guilty when his behavior gradually escalated to rape after explicitly committing to the appropriateness of his initial morally ambiguous behavior. Inducing a categorical mindset can counteract this reduction in perceptions of guilt (Study 2) even in the absence of gradually escalating behavior (Study 3). Finally, Study 4 extended the findings from the prior studies to a sample of both men and women and investigated the effect of the mindset manipulation on general perception processes. Together, these studies demonstrate that the potency of gradual escalations to induce acquiescence to immoral behavior may inhere in their ability to create initial commitments to and continuous perceptions of morally ambiguous behavior.
MORAL INTUITIONISM AND THE POLITICS OF SELF-ENHANCEMENT
Peter H. Ditto, Sean P. Wojcik University of California, Irvine
People typically perceive moral evaluations as deliberative, especially evaluations that underlie complex judgments like political opinions. Moral intuitionism, however, highlights the implicit, affective determinants of moral judgments. If moral judgments are generated intuitively, they should be susceptible to “contamination” by other affective concerns, such as self-serving motivations. We present evidence that moral opinions associated with economic conservatism flow from the desire to maintain a positive self-image. In a large internet sample, the tendency to exaggerate one’s positive qualities predicted both self-identified economic conservatism and a host of specific morally-relevant opinions associated with economic conservatism (e.g., endorsement of individual/property rights, believing that government favors unproductive people, support for the Tea Party, opposition to tax increases, favoring Romney over Obama for President). Endorsement of conservative economic-moral opinions fully mediated the relation between the tendency to self-enhance and economic conservatism, suggesting that moral evaluations and political affiliations may often serve self-serving goals.
WHAT DOES MONEY BUY? HAPPINESS, LOVE, STATUS, AND REPRODUCTIVE REWARDS
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 211 – 213
Chair: Kristina Durante, University of Texas, San Antonio
Co-Chair: Vladas Griskevicius, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Money buys food, shelter, and protection from the elements. Yet people across cultures crave money to spend on things that are not survival necessities. What more can money really buy us? Four papers reveal that spending money can buy us everything from happiness and love to status and reproductive rewards.
FEELING RICHER BY HAVING LESS: GENEROSITY, HAPPINESS, AND SUBJECTIVE WEALTH
Zoe Chance1, Michael I. Norton2
1Yale University; 2Harvard Business School
Past research has found that having more money doesn’t always lead to more happiness. Here we examine a strategy for how money can increase happiness: giving the money away. Five studies examined the relationship between donating money and happiness. We show that giving money away can increase feelings of happiness as much as receiving a monetary windfall of equal size. Donations appear to increase a person’s sense of power, leading people to feel happier because donations fulfill a deeper desire to signal wealth. In fact, donating money diminished people’s desire to signal wealth in others ways, such as through wasteful conspicuous consumption. Overall, we show that giving money away not only leads people to feel happier, but that having less also can also lead people to feel richer.
EFFECTS OF THE MONTHLY OVULATORY CYCLE ON WOMEN’S SPENDING AND FINANCIAL DECISIONS
Kristina M. Durante1, Stephanie M. Cantu2, Jeffry A. Simpson2
1University of Texas, San Antonio; 2University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Each month millions of women experience an ovulatory cycle that regulates fertility. Past research has shown that hormonal fluctuations associated with the cycle influence women’s mating psychology. But might this biological event also change how women spend money? Four studies examined how women’s spending and their psychology of money change in the 1-week ovulatory phase of the menstrual cycle. During the ovulatory phase when women are most fertile, women spent more money on products that improved their relative standing compared to other women. Because ovulation leads other women to be seen as rivals, ovulating women prioritized purchases that increased their relative status. However, ovulating women did not become more competitive with men, instead becoming more generous and helpful to the opposite sex. Additional studies also found how these ovulatory effects could be suppressed. Overall, the ovulatory cycle leads women to spend in ways to outcompete other women.
THE FINANCIAL CONSEQUENCES OF TOO MANY MEN: HOW SEX RATIO INFLUENCES SPENDING, SAVING, AND BORROWING
Vladas Griskevicius1, Joshua M. Tybur2, Joshua M. Ackerman3, Andrew W. Delton4, Theresa E. Robertson4, Andrew E. White5
1University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; 2VU University Amsterdam; 3Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 4University of California, Santa Barbara; 5Arizona State University
The ratio of males to females in a population is known to be an important factor in determining behavior in animals. But how might the ratio or men and women influence human behavior? Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences people’s saving, borrowing, and spending. Findings show that male-biased sex ratios (a scarcity of women) lead men to discount the future and desire immediate rewards. For example, a scarcity of women decreased men’s desire to save for the future, while increasing their willingness to incur debt for immediate expenditures. A scarcity of women also led men to spend more money on courtship, such as by paying more for engagement rings and Valentine’s Day gifts. Overall, not only does sex ratio subconsciously influence human behavior, but a scarcity of women leads men to spend more money to impress and attain a romantic partner.
DEEP RATIONALITY: THE HIDDEN WISDOM OF SEEMINGLY SENSELESS SPENDING
Douglas T. Kenrick1, Yexin J. Li2, Jill M. Sundie3
1Arizona State University; 2University of Kansas; 3University of Texas at San Antonio
Economic models assume that people make decisions in ways to enhance utility – to maximize their pleasure. From an evolutionary perspective, however, this basic assumption is actually wrong. Rather than being designed to maximize expected pleasure, humans, like all animals, evolved to make decisions to promote evolutionary goals. Here we examine people’s spending choices from an evolutionary psychological perspective, taking a closer look at seemingly irrational behaviors such as conspicuous consumption and seemingly irrational biases such as loss aversion. Although conspicuous consumption and loss aversion might be irrational from an economic perspective, we present a series of experiments showing that each one follows a deeper ancestral logic. Although people are often not aware of the evolutionary reasons for their spending behavior, humans make monetary choices in ways that ultimately serve to enhance their reproductive fitness.
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 220 – 222
Chair: Veronica Benet-Martinez, Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona
Co-Chair: Kathleen D. Vohs, University of Minnesota
Twelve speakers each have 5 minutes, 4 slides, and 1 question – if you have never attended a data blitz, this is a must attend symposium. We culled the most exciting research from submitted symposia and posters and wrapped it into a single 75-minute event. You will hear topics representing a broad spectrum of personality and social psychology in a lightening fast symposium.
REACTIONS TO GENDER EGALITARIAN MEN: PERCEIVED FEMINIZATION DUE TO STIGMA-BY-ASSOCIATION
Kris Mescher1, Laurie A. Rudman1, Corinne A. Moss-Racusin2
1Rutgers University – New Brunswick; 2Yale University
Gender egalitarian men are vital for women’s progress, yet attitudes toward and beliefs about them are under-investigated. In three experiments, women liked gender egalitarian men more so than men did, but both genders stigmatized them as more feminine, weak, and likely to be gay, compared with control male targets. This was true even when the gender egalitarian was an actual presidential candidate for the APA (Experiment 3). We examined whether stigmatization was due to (1) gender egalitarians’ presumed affiliations with women and/or gay men (stigma-by-association); (2) the gay male feminist stereotype; or (3) a threat to men’s gender identity. Results supported stigma-by-association, but only for affiliations with women (not gay men). The gay male feminist stereotype was robust, but did not account for stigmatization, and men’s reactions to male gender egalitarians were independent of their gender identity. Implications of these findings for gender equality are discussed.
WANT TO HAVE MORE TIME, MAKE WISER DECISIONS, AND BE MORE SATISFIED WITH LIFE? EXPERIENCE AWE!
Melanie Rudd1, Kathleen D. Vohs2, Jennifer Aaker1
1Stanford University; 2University of Minnesota
How often do you feel that you are rich in time? Not often, research and daily experience suggest. Three experiments uncovered an antidote to being “time starved” — bringing people into an awe state. Relative to other emotions, participants feeling awe reported that their lives had more time available (Experiments 1 and 3) and felt less impatience (Experiment 2). Participants who experienced awe also were more willing to volunteer their time to help others (Experiment 2), preferred experiences over material goods (Experiment 3), and experienced greater life satisfaction (Experiment 3). Mediation analyses revealed that awe’s effects on decision making and well-being were due to its ability to alter the subjective experience of time. Experiences of awe bring people into the present moment, and being in the present expands time perception, alters decisions, and makes life feel more satisfying.
PRIORITIZING POSITIVITY BENEFITS THE SELF AND ONE’S RELATIONSHIPS
Lahnna I. Catalino, Kimberly A . Coffey, Barbara L. Fredrickson
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Prioritizing Positivity refers to the extent to which individuals prioritize and seek out positive emotional experiences. Thus far, research has shown that people higher in Prioritizing Positivity are higher in well-being, yet no research has explored the potential beneficial interpersonal consequences of Prioritizing Positivity. During individual lab sessions, we asked sixty participants to write a thank-you letter and then gave them the opportunity to email it. We discovered that not only did people higher in Prioritizing Positivity exhibit more engagement and gratitude during the letter writing task, but that when given the opportunity to send the letter, they were marginally more likely to do so. These effects remained even when controlling for personality variables like trait Positive Affect and Extraversion. These results suggest that Prioritizing Positivity may be beneficial not only for the self, but for relationships as well.
INTREPID, IMPRUDENT, OR IMPETUOUS?: THE EFFECTS OF GENDER THREATS ON MEN’S FINANCIAL DECISIONS
Jonathan R. Weaver, Joseph A. Vandello, Jennifer K. Bosson
University of South Florida
Among the conjectured causes of the recent U.S. financial crisis is the hypermasculine culture of Wall Street that promotes extreme risk-taking. This “mine is bigger than yours” mentality is consistent with evidence that manhood is seen as a precarious state that requires continual proof and validation. In two experiments, we explored the connection between threatened masculinity and financial decision-making. In Experiment 1, men placed larger bets during a gambling game after a gender threat as compared to men in an affirmation condition. In Experiment 2, after a gender threat, men pursued an immediate financial payoff rather than waiting for interest to accrue, but only if they believed their decision was public. When the decision was private, gender-threatened men did not show the same desire for immediate reward. These results suggest that gender threats may shift men’s financial decisions toward more risky and short-sighted public choices.
THE JUSTICE MOTIVE IN LIBERTARIANS
Ravi Iyer1, Spassena Koleva1, Jesse Graham1, Peter Ditto2, Jonathan Haidt3, Matt Motyl4, Sean Wojcik2
1University of Southern California; 2University of California, Irvine; 3New York University; 4University of Virginia
Current models of moral judgment highlight affective processes that lead to varied justice motivations.Moral outrage increases the desire for punishment, while empathy is associated with forgiveness. The desire to reduce dissonance leads individuals to justify current distributions of wealth.In this talk, we show that libertarians are a unique group, characterized by a more rational, as opposed to emotional, disposition, and evidenced by self-reported emotion, performance on common moral dilemmas, and their ability to solve logic problems.These dispositions lead libertarians to simultaneously be less forgiving, attributing more responsibility and free will to bad actors, and less outraged by injustice, such as inequality or unpunished crimes. Finally, using our uniquely large sample that has completed diverse sets of variables used in justice research, we show how adding a third group to current models of liberal-conservative differences provides convergent evidence for existing theories of justice motivation.
“I KNOW WHAT YOU’RE FEELING”: SPONTANEOUS INFERENCES OF SPECIFIC EMOTIONS
Ishani Banerji, Edward Hirt
Behavioral information has been reliably shown to lead to spontaneous trait inferences. Interestingly, a majority of the research on spontaneous inferences has been done on dispositional features. However, one of the critical tasks we engage in daily and automatically as social beings is identifying how others are feeling. There is considerable research on how facial expressions, vocalizations, touch, etc. are used to identify emotions. However, we argue that specific emotion states can also be inferred from behavioral information that is similar to those used to infer traits. We use two well established paradigms—the probe task and savings-in-relearning—to show that individuals do indeed infer specific positive (e.g., overjoyed) and negative (e.g., scared) emotions from behavioral stimuli. Moreover, the research results indicate that similar to other types of spontaneous inferences, emotion inferences are made without intention or awareness and even when doing so would be detrimental to task performance.
WHEN THERE IS NO NEED TO JUSTIFY: PRIMING SYSTEM INEFFECTIVENESS LEADS TO POSITIVE INTERGROUP INTERACTION
Stacey J. Sasaki, Jacquie D. Vorauer
University of Manitoba
Individuals often defend social systems in order to maintain the belief that the world is fair. This often involves seeing intergroup inequality as legitimate and holding generally negative attitudes toward minority groups. How such system threat affects intergroup interaction dynamics, however, is unknown. Across two studies, priming dominant group members with system ineffectiveness (versus system effectiveness) led to more positive intergroup interaction behavior. Specifically, perceived system ineffectiveness led dominant group members to express more positive other-directed remarks during a written exchange with an ostensible outgroup member. A face-to-face intergroup interaction study confirmed this positive behavior with increased nonverbal friendliness and self-disclosure for both pair members. These findings suggest that system threat instantiated in an interaction setting leads dominant group members away from the tendency toward derogation and, instead, toward exhibiting more positive behavior to minority group members that benefits both parties involved. Implications for social change initiatives are discussed.
CONTINGENT SELF-AFFIRMATION: ACTIVATING SELF-AFFIRMATIONS ONLY WHEN THE BEHAVIOR IS CONSISTENT WITH DESIRED HEALTH GOALS
Omid Fotuhi1, Steven J. Spencer1, Christine Logel2, Geoffrey T. Fong1
1University of Waterloo; 2Renison University College, University of Waterloo
Smokers regulate their emotions with cigarettes by increasing their smoking when they are stressed (Parrott, 1995). Equipping them with coping strategies, such as a values affirmation, might lead to reductions in smoking frequency. However, efficacy rates of quit-smoking interventions are notoriously low (Fiore, Jaen, & Baker, 2008); and two past affirmation studies did not reduce smoking (Harris et al., 2007; Armitage et al., 2008). We created a “contingent affirmation” that links the self-affirming value to close others who support quitting. Thus, smokers can only experience the stress-reduction of the affirmation if they act in accordance with the shared quitting-goal. Smokers (N=120) in the contingent affirmation condition were less likely to be observed smoking after the study than smokers in the traditional affirmation or control conditions. One month later, only those in the contingent affirmation condition were more likely to have successfully quit or reduced their smoking frequency.
AVOIDING THREATENING FEEDBACK
Jennifer L. Howell, James A. Shepperd
University of Florida
From genetic testing to anonymous online attractiveness polls, people have a multitude of opportunities to receive feedback that could potentially threaten their self-views. Research on defensive processing suggests that people engage in self-protective strategies after receiving such feedback. However, people do not always opt to learn information. The present research focuses on an under-studied defensive process: information avoidance (i.e., behavior designed to prevent or delay the acquisition of potentially unwanted information). In this talk, we define information avoidance and discuss several recent studies that demonstrate when and why people avoid potentially threatening feedback in variety of domains (i.e., academic performance, implicit attitudes, health risk, and attractiveness). We also discuss two interventions for reducing information avoidance, affirmation and metacognitive contemplation, both of which effectively reduce other types of defensive processing. Together, our findings suggest that information avoidance is a unique self-protective behavior that warrants increased attention in research on defensive processing.
TESTING A MODEL OF RELATIONSHIP INITIATION: STRATEGIC SELF-PRESENTATION, PARTNER EVALUATION, & SELF-PROTECTION
Oriana R. Aragon1, Lindsey A. Beck2, Margaret S. Clark1
1Yale University; 2University of Massachusetts
We will present a model of close relationship initiation, including strategic presentation of the self as a good communal relationship partner, partner evaluation, and willingness to reveal vulnerabilities. Then, a combination of experimental and survey evidence showing that, normatively, strategic self presentation and partner evaluation start high and drop across time while revelation of vulnerabilities starts low and increases across time will be presented. Deviations from this pattern among insecure people will also be presented. Anxious people appear to maintain their strategies for too long; avoidant people appear somewhat reluctant to employ the strategies. Finally, strategic self-presentation of the self as a good communal relationship partner (which promotes relationship formation) will be distinguished from strategic self-presentation of the self as an impressive, well-connected individual (which does not promote relationship formation).
DISPOSITIONAL CONTEMPT: A FIRST LOOK AT THE CONTEMPTUOUS PERSON
Roberta Schriber, Joanne Chung, Katherine Sorensen, Richard Robins
University of California, Davis
Although we mayoften rant or rave about the “contemptuous person,” a measure of individual differences in the tendency to experience and express contempt has not existed. We introduce such a measure, highlighting how steps in its development inform theoretical models of contempt. We then unpack the dynamics of dispositional contempt. Across five studies using student and community samples, we demonstrate that dispositional contempt is reliably and validly measured, and is distinct from dispositions toward related emotions (anger, disgust, hubristic pride). We then argue that dispositional contempt, more than other emotion dispositions,constitutes the affective core of (Dis)Agreeableness, and show its status-differentiating function is reflected in its links with Machiavellianism, social dominance orientation, and racism. Finally, we find that, despite looking down on others, contemptuous individuals have low explicit self-esteem. They are shame-prone and tend toward fragile narcissism, evidently being mired by the same perfectionistic judgments they impose on others.
POWER ON MY SIDE: APPROACH ORIENTATION TRACKS THE POWER POSITIONS OF SHARED GROUP MEMBERS
Jennifer Sheehy-Skeffington, Jim Sidanius
This paper presents the first evidence that the psychological effects of power can be experienced indirectly through shared group membership. In Study 1, participants reported feeling more approach-oriented when they read about a member of their ethnic group gaining power, even when the power had no impact on them personally. This effect went away when the character described was a member of another ethnic group. Study 2 replicated this pattern with students reading about students from their own versus a rival university, while Study 3 suggests that this power-by-group interaction can be triggered at even lower levels of social categorization: university dorms. The last two studies present evidence that increases in approach orientation occur even when participants are exposed to the power of others implicitly. Participants unscrambled sentences that varied in the use of power-related words and group-related names, and experienced predicted changes in self-efficacy, which in turn affected approach-orientation.
MANIPULATING PERCEPTIONS OF FIT: THE PERCEIVED IDENTITY COMPATIBILITY FOR WOMEN IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING, & MATH (STEM)
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room 225 – 227
Chair: Sheana Ahlqvist, Stony Brook University
Recent studies suggest that perceptions of fit and belonging may be critical for women’s success in STEM fields. This symposium explores the extent to which fit can be measured and manipulated at different stages of the “leaky pipeline,” using lab studies, field experiments, and experience sampling methodologies.
CAN PROMOTING A NONCONFORMIST IDENTITY ENCOURAGE GIRLS’ INTEREST IN COLLEGE STEM MAJORS?
Matthew S. McGlone1, Joshua Aronson2
1The University of Texas at Austin; 2New York University
Recent research has demonstrated the utility of priming an achieved identity to reduce stereotype threat associated with an ascribed gender identity (McGlone & Aronson, 2006). The reported study extends the logic of “identity manipulation” to students’ consideration of a college major. Middle- and high-school students completed questionnaires purportedly measuring their attitudes toward behavioral conformity (identity manipulation) or toward college cafeteria food (control) before or after attending a college information fair. Female participants who had the chance to reject conformity prior to attending the college fair, rather than after, were more than twice as likely to choose brochures about STEM majors. Post-test probes also indicated that females reported more positive attitudes toward STEM study when they characterized themselves as non-conformists prior to making brochure selections. Our findings suggest that invoking the desirable “nonconformist” identity using a self-reflection exercise prompted female participants to make choices and report attitudes that violated gender stereotypes.
HOW AN UNSTABLE STEM IDENTITY UNDERMINES THE SUCCESS OF WOMEN IN STEM
Sheana Reiss Ahlqvist1, Bonita London1, Lisa Rosenthal2
1Stony Brook University; 2Yale University
We examine whether declines in subjective engagement and academic performance among women in STEM majors could be predicted by individual differences in the tendency to perceive subtle forms of bias. Participants reported the perceived compatibility between their gender identity and their STEM identity (a) just prior to college, (b) for 14 weeks during their second semester, and (c) upon beginning their second year. We found that STEM women higher in Gender-based rejection sensitivity (Gender RS) had greater intra-individual variability in their perceived identity compatibility over the course of their second semester. This instability went on to predict lower STEM engagement at the beginning of the following semester, lower academic performance in STEM (but not non-STEM) classes, and mediated the relationship between Gender RS and those outcomes at follow-up. Lag analyses confirmed that negative academic (but not social) experiences preceded a decline in STEM identity compatibility from the prior week.
EXPERTS’ LAY THEORIES SHAPE WOMEN’S EXPERIENCES OF STEM SETTINGS
Mary C. Murphy1, Lara D. Mercurio2, Julie Garcia3, Sabrina Zirkel4
1Indiana University; 2University of Illinois at Chicago; 3California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; 4Mills College
Previous research has illuminated the role that women’s own lay theories of intelligence play in their STEM performance (Good et al., 2003). Extending that work, the present studies examined whether others’ lay theories—course instructors and experts in STEM fields—affect women’s STEM engagement and outcomes. Results revealed that an expert-endorsed entity theory significantly reduced women’s math performance relative to an expert-endorsed incremental theory. In addition, an experience sampling study found that when students perceived their STEM instructors to hold more fixed (compared to malleable) theories of intelligence, they experienced more threat in that instructor’s classroom and participated significantly less in that class. These findings suggest that STEM instructors may be able to increase women’s participation, comfort, and performance in the classroom by adopting and communicating more incremental theories of STEM intelligence.
WHEN ARE IDENTITY INTERVENTIONS EFFECTIVE? A MULTI-THREAT APPROACH TO TAILORING STEM INTERVENTIONS
Jenessa R. Shapiro, Amy M. Williams, Mariam Hambarchyan, Christine Chu
University of California, Los Angeles
Although there have been great strides in gender equity, many barriers remain in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). For example, women still only earn 25% of the PhDs in the physical sciences and 15% in engineering. Researchers argue that stereotype threat—the distracting concern about confirming negative stereotypes—may account for women’s reduced interest and performance in STEM. Traditionally, stereotype threat has been treated as a one-dimensional construct and interventions have been considered interchangeable. In contrast, the Multi-Threat Framework identifies different forms of stereotype threats and different interventions that would best address them. The present research tests the efficacy of role model and self-affirmation interventions for protecting junior women college students’ stereotype threat-induced lack of interest in pursuing STEM majors/careers and women STEM majors’ stereotype threat-induced performance decrements on quantitative tests. Consistent with the Multi-Threat Framework, these interventions were only successful in reducing specific forms of stereotype threats.
BIOLOGICAL COMPLEXITIES OF PROSOCIALITY AND WELL-BEING: NEW ACCOUNTS FROM GENETIC, NEUROPEPTIDE, PERIPHERAL PHYSIOLOGY, AND NEURAL PERSPECTIVES
Saturday, January 19, 11:15 am – 12:30 pm, Room R02
Chair: Aleksandr Kogan, University of Cambridge
Emerging evidence suggests that biological systems are related in highly complex, non-linear ways to prosociality/well-being contrary to previous models which have suggested simple linear relationships. In the present symposium, we present evidence of these biological complexities at the gene, neuropeptide, peripheral physiology, and neural levels.
GENE-CULTURE INTERACTION AND PSYCHOLOGICAL WELL-BEING
Heejung S. Kim
University of California, Santa Barbara
Culture and genes interact to produce social behaviors and psychological tendencies. Across domains, we have found support for gene-culture interaction. In particular, individuals with G allele of oxytocin receptor polymorphism (OXTR) rs53576, who are found to be more socio-emotionally sensitive, embody culturally normative patterns of psychological tendencies more strongly, compared to non-carriers. G allele carriers from the U.S. seek emotional support to cope with stress, a culturally normative coping strategy, more than non-G allele carriers, whereas G allele carriers from East Asia, where emotional support seeking is not normative, do not show such pattern. Furthermore, we investigated how OXTR and culture impact psychological well-being. Mirroring the pattern of results on support seeking, we found that G allele carriers from the U.S. have greater psychological well-being than non-G allele carriers, but not for those from East Asia. These findings suggest that individuals’ psychological well-being may also be shaped by gene-culture interaction.
FROM VIRTUE TO VICE: CARDIAC VAGAL TONE’S NON-LINEAR RELATIONSHIP WITH ACTUAL AND PERCEIVED PROSOCIALITY
University of Cambridge
Emerging theoretical and empirical evidence has implicated the vagus nerve as a potential physiological system that supports prosociality. However, as Aristotle observed long ago, even virtues can turn to vices when taken to extremes. Applying Aristotle’s framework to the vagus nerve, we theorized that cardial vagal tone (CVT)—a non-invasive measure of vagus nerve activity—might be non-linearly associated (inverted-U shape) with prosociality. That is, we predicted that individuals with moderate CVT would be more prosocial than individuals with very low or very high levels of CVT. We found that CVT was non-linearly associated with self-reported prosociality (Study 1), experience of prosocial emotions (Study 2), and how prosocial complete strangers perceived individuals to be from 20-second silent videos (Study 3). Thus, too much or too little vagus nerve activity appears to be detrimental to prosociality, suggesting a simple linear characterization of the link between the vagus nerve and prosocial is inaccurate.
OXYTOCIN, ATTACHMENT, AND THE SELF IN RELATION TO OTHER
Jennifer A. Bartz
Research investigating the social effects of oxytocin (OT) has shown that OT can promote prosocial behavior in those who are less socially engaged (avoidantly attached), but can exacerbate interpersonal insecurities in those who are preoccupied with closeness (anxiously attached). One theory to explain these opposing observations is that OT induces a motivational shift from self to other. Becoming other-oriented should be helpful to those who focus on the self to the exclusion of others, but could be hurtful to those who are overly other-focused but have little sense of self. We administered intranasal OT/placebo to 31 males and measured agency (self-orientation) and communion (other-orientation). OT increased self-conceptions of communal traits (warm, caring), especially for avoidant individuals. There was no main effect of OT on agency; however, anxious participants showed a selective decrease in agency (independent, self-confident) following OT. These data explain the beneficial, and potentially harmful, effects of OT.
THE NEURAL COMPONENTS OF EMPATHY: PREDICTING DAILY PROSOCIAL BEHAVIOR Sylvia A. Morelli1, Lian T. Rameson1, Matthew D. Lieberman1 1University of California, Los Angeles
Previous neuroimaging studies on empathy have not clearly identified neural systems that support the three components of empathy: affective congruence, perspective-taking, and prosocial motivation. These limitations stem from a focus on a single emotion per study and lack of prosocial motivation assessment. In the current investigation, 32 participants completed an fMRI session assessing empathic responses to individuals experiencing painful, anxious, and happy events, as well as a 14-day experience sampling survey that assessed real-world helping behaviors. The results demonstrate that empathy for positive and negative emotions selectively activates regions associated with positive and negative affect, respectively. In addition, the septal area, previously linked to prosocial motivation, was the only region that was commonly activated across empathy for pain, anxiety, and happiness. Septal activity during each of these empathic experiences was predictive of daily helping. These findings suggest that empathy produces affect-congruent activations and results in septally-mediated prosocial motivations.
Symposium Session G
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm
AUTHENTICITY: ITS MEANING AND ATTAINMENT
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room R03 – R05
Chair: Letitia Slabu, University of Edinburgh
Co-Chair: Alison Lenton, University of Edinburgh
This symposium presents recent research findings investigating authenticity’s meaning and attainment. The speakers draw upon various theoretical perspectives (e.g., trait vs. state) and methods (e.g., experimental, correlational, diary) and, in so doing, offer a dynamic and diverse overview of authenticity that they hope will stimulate conceptual development and future research.
THE NORMATIVE NATURE OF THE TRUE SELF
Joshua Knobe, George E. Newman, Paul Bloom
The belief that people have a “true self” plays an important role in many areas of psychology and popular culture. But what is the true self? Here we test the hypothesis that people believe that an agent’s true self is that which they themselves perceive to be morally good. Experiments 1 and 2 find that people posit such a morally good true self even when the agent does not engage in any behaviors that would provide evidence for it. Experiments 3-5 find that individual differences in normative values explain differences in beliefs about the nature of the true self. That is, when conservatives and liberals are given the same vignette, conservatives tend to say that the agent’s true self is drawing her toward conservatism, while liberals tend to say that the agent’s true self is drawing her toward liberalism.
AUTHENTICITY AND SELF-ESTEEM ACROSS TEMPORAL HORIZONS
William E. Davis1, Joshua A. Hicks1, Rebecca J. Schlegel1, Christina M. Smith1, Matthew Vess2 1Texas A & M University; 2Ohio University
Research on self-esteem distinguishes between a secure, authentic form resistant to threats and a fragile form maintained through self-protective biases and positive illusions (Kernis, 2003). One pervasive self-protective bias is unrealistic optimism about the future. When individuals are less able to maintain unrealistic optimism about the future (e.g., when future time is perceived as limited), people with fragile self-esteem may find themselves vulnerable to reduced feelings of self-worth, whereas individuals high in authenticity should have a stable sense of self-esteem and be relatively unaffected. Three studies tested this hypothesis by examining the interactive effect of future time perspective and authenticity on self-esteem. We predicted that authenticity would be more strongly related to self-esteem when time was perceived as limited vs. open-ended. This prediction was supported in two studies using short-term and long-term daily diary methodologies in college student samples, and a cross-sectional online study with older adults.
I DON’T FEEL BAD, THEREFORE I FEEL ‘REAL’: THE EFFECT OF MOOD ON STATE AUTHENTICITY
Letitia Slabu1, Alison P. Lenton1, Constantine Sedikides2, Katherine Power1
1University of Edinburgh; 2University of Southampton
Most empirical studies of authenticity portray this construct as a stable personality trait. Challenging this view, recent research conceives of authenticity as being sensitive to the context; thus, it is also a state. We extended this latter line of enquiry by investigating how mood influences the feeling of authenticity. Across three experiments, we used both implicit and explicit procedures to modulate participants’ mood (between-subjects) in order to assess the causal role of affect in the subjective experience of authenticity. We found consistent evidence that participants in a negative mood felt less authentic than those in a positive mood. The results also suggested that changes in negative affect (rather than in positive affect, self-esteem, self-consciousness, or self-concept accessibility) explained the effect of mood on state authenticity. Results are discussed with respect to the Affect Infusion Model and Personality Systems Interaction theory.
ARE ANY NEEDS NECESSARY? NEED SATISFACTION AND STATE AUTHENTICITY
Alison P. Lenton1, Letitia Slabu1, Constantine Sedikides1
1University of Edinburgh; 2University of Southampton
It is only recently that authenticity has been investigated from a state, rather than trait, perspective. The research presented in this talk adds to this growing body of literature by examining whether both long-standing and momentary need satisfaction contribute to a sense of authenticity and, if so, which needs are critical. The results of several studies indicate that enduring need satisfaction – of autonomy, relatedness, competence, self-esteem, pleasure, and meaning – is associated with increased state authenticity. Two experiments further found that enduring (trait) need satisfaction moderates the effects of momentary need satisfaction on state authenticity; i.e., whether a temporary change in need satisfaction affected participants’ felt authenticity depended on their typical level of general need satisfaction. These findings were consistent across both a need deficit and need enhancement perspective. Results are discussed with respect to self-determination theory and in terms of the findings’ support for the sensitivity, deficiency, versus accommodation hypotheses.
DEBIASING SOCIAL JUDGMENT: MOTIVATIONS, PROCESSES, AND CONSEQUENCES
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room R01
Chair: Carlee Hawkins, University of Virginia
Co-Chair: Brian A. Nosek, University of Virginia
Biases and heuristics have a pervasive influence on judgments and behavior. At the same time, people think of themselves as objective and value being unbiased, evidenced by denial of having biases and attempts to overcome them. This symposium will articulate debiasing motivations and processes, and their success or failure.
A DISPOSITIONAL MOTIVATION FOR ACCURACY
Carlee B. Hawkins, Brian A. Nosek
University of Virginia
Motivated reasoning to reach favorable conclusions for the self or ingroups is pervasive. Situational factors, such as accountability and outcome dependency, can decrease reasoning biases. We investigated whether variation exists in dispositional motivations for accuracy, even at the cost of self or ingroups. The newly developed Motivation for Accuracy Questionnaire (MAQ) measures endorsement of accuracy over directional goals. In Study 1, the MAQ demonstrated convergent validity with Internal Motivation to Respond without Prejudice and Need for Cognition and divergent validity with Close-Mindedness and Social Desirability. The MAQ also predicted accuracy judgments in scenarios with forced accuracy/directional tradeoffs. In Study 2, the MAQ moderated the ‘party over policy’ effect (Cohen, 2003) –partisans high in accuracy motivation were less influenced by which political party proposed a welfare policy than partisans low in accuracy motivation. Individuals vary in dispositional motivation to be accurate and unbiased, and this is associated with debiased judgments.
FEELING IN WITH THE OUTGROUP: OUTGROUP ACCETPANCE AND THE INTERNALIZATION OF THE MOTIVATION TO RESPOND WITHOUT PREJUDICE
E. Ashby Plant1, Jonathan Kunstman2, Kate Zielaskowski1
1Florida State University; 2Miami University
Ten years of research illustrates the benefits of internal motivation to respond without prejudice (IMS) for bias regulation and high quality intergroup contact. However, to date, it was unclear how this motivation develops. The current work tested whether perceived outgroup acceptance facilitates the development of IMS. Longitudinally, feeling accepted by outgroup members predicted increases in IMS across a 4 month period (Study 1). Experimental manipulations of outgroup acceptance also increased IMS toward racial outgroups (Studies 2 & 3). Compared to controls, those who felt accepted by outgroup members not only reported a greater personal commitment to bias regulation, they were also more willing to pay money to increase their opportunities for interracial contact (Study 2). Further, this pattern of responses held for both majority and minority-group members. The present research demonstrates one pathway through which the fulfillment of fundamental needs influences bias regulation and motivated intergroup processes.
WHY ARE YOU BEING NICE TO ME? PERCEIVED MOTIVATION TO CONTROL PREJUDICE GUIDES RESPONSES TO POSITIVE MAJORITY GROUP FEEDBACK
Jonathan Kunstman1, Brenda Major2, Pamela Sawyer2
1Miami University; 2University of California Santa Barbara
Although norms that punish overt discrimination have reduced racism in society, they have also created a unique problem for racial minorities when interpreting positive responses from Whites. Is Whites’ positive feedback inspired by egalitarianism, or motivated by fear of appearing prejudiced? Two studies revealed that minority-group members’ responses to positive treatment by majority-group members were shaped by their beliefs about Whites’ motivations for nonprejudiced behavior. In interracial interactions (compared to ingroup controls), the more minorities believed that Whites were motivated by concerns with appearing biased (i.e., external motivation), the more they attributed positive majority-group feedback to prejudice and evinced a physiological threat response (Study 1). For these individuals, positive majority-group feedback actually decreased self-esteem and increased cardiovascular threat reactivity more than negative feedback (Study 2). These studies suggest that for some minority group members, ambiguity surrounding Whites’ motives can make positive treatment more threatening than negative treatment.
DE-BIASING IMPLICIT SOCIAL JUDGMENT
Jeffrey W. Sherman1, Jimmy Calanchini1, Regina Krieglmeyer2
1University of California, Davis; 2University of Würzburg
We summarize research on the processes people use to de-bias responses on implicit measures of bias. Our work with the Quad model (Sherman et al., 2008) has identified two distinct processes (Detection and Overcoming Bias) that work to control the expression of implicit bias. We provide evidence that each process reflects both task variance that cuts across content domains and content-specificity. We also show that personal and situational variation in implicit bias, as well as effects of training on implicit bias, is associated with the extent of these processes. Finally, we discuss recent research aimed at separating the contributions of stereotype activation and application within the Stereotype Misperception Task (SMT; Krieglmeyer & Sherman, 2012). Though the SMT possesses important features of implicit measures, the extent to which an activated stereotype influences judgments in the task is determined by a stereotype application process that can over-ride or even reverse stereotypic priming.
GROUP INFLUENCES ON MIND PERCEPTION: NOVEL INSIGHTS INTO WHEN AND HOW WE SEE MINDS ACROSS GROUP DIVIDES
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room R07 – R09
Chair: Leor Hackel, New York University
Co-Chair: Jay J. Van Bavel, New York University
Four presentations demonstrate how group contexts and concerns—including collective identification, out-group threat, and intergroup conflict—shape how people perceive and respond to the minds of others. This symposium will present evidence ranging from lower-level perceptual thresholds and motor resonance to higher-level mind attribution and empathic responses.
SOCIAL IDENTITY ALTERS THE THRESHOLD FOR MIND PERCEPTION
Leor M. Hackel1, Christine E. Looser2, Jay J. Van Bavel1
1New York University; 2Dartmouth College
Social identities shape how we perceive the social world. In a series of experiments, we examined how social identity influences the threshold for mind perception, using a continuum of morphs between human and doll faces randomly labeled as in-group or out-group members. Participants had lower (i.e., more lenient) thresholds for perceiving minds behind in-group faces, both in minimal (Experiment 1) and real-world groups (Experiment 2). In other words, in-group members required less humanness in their faces to be perceived as having minds. However, Experiment 3 demonstrates that out-group threat moderates this phenomenon, such that Democrats and Republicans who perceived out-group threat had lenient thresholds for perceiving out-group minds. These experiments suggest that perceiving a mind behind a face depends not only on bottom-up, physical cues to humanness but also on top-down, context-specific effects of social identities.
THE OUTGROUP EFFECTANCE HYPOTHESIS: WHEN WE SEE MIND BEHIND ENEMY LINES
Adam Waytz1, Liane Young2
1Northwestern University; 2Boston College
Although outgroup dehumanization is a well-established phenomenon, the present research characterizes key conditions under which people do (and do not) attribute minds to outgroups. Five studies demonstrate that effectance motivation—motivation for mastery—is associated with mind perception toward outgroups. Studies 1 and 2 directly illustrate that effectance motivation predicts attribution of mind to outgroups, for Americans evaluating the Taliban, and Democrats and Republicans evaluating the opposing party. Study 3 examines two primary dimensions of mind—agency and experience—and links effectance motivation and the attribution of agency to outgroups. Study 4 demonstrates that Americans preferentially dementalize an enemy outgroup (Iran) versus an ally outgroup (Canada), in terms of experience, but not agency. Finally, Study 5 reveals that specifically groups that pose a credible threat elicit effectance motivation, and hence mind perception. These findings suggest people do not uniformly dehumanize enemies but rather engage in robust and systematic mind perception.
A FUNCTIONAL APPROACH TO GROUP BIASES IN MOTOR RESONANCE
Jennifer N. Gutsell, Michael Inzlicht
University of Toronto
Similar neural circuits are activated during action and action observation. Such motor resonance is said to support action understanding and interpersonal coordination, reflecting perception of mind and mental states. Motor resonance, however, has been shown to be influenced by group biases and is restricted to the ethnic ingroup. Using the suppression of electroencephalographic (EEG) mu oscillations during action observation as an index of motor resonance, we explored facilitating conditions for cross-group motor resonance. Studies 1 and 2 show that cross-group motor resonance increases after the observer has taken the perspective of an outgroup member and when the observer believes in high genetic overlap between individuals, respectively. Study 3 shows that cross-group motor resonance is also increased for threatening outgroup behavior. How much people resonate with outgroup members, thus, is malleable, and seems to depend on the motivational significance of the target person, and the behavior in question.
THE ROOTS OF INTERGROUP EMPATHY BIAS: INTERGROUP COMPETITION AND DIFFERENTIATION SHAPE EMPATHY TOWARD IN-GROUP AND OUT-GROUP MEMBERS
Mina Cikara1, Emile Bruneau2, Jay J. Van Bavel3, Rebecca Saxe2
1Carnegie Mellon University; 2Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 3New York University
We explore the effects of competition and intergroup differentiation—relatively greater identification with one’s in-group—on empathic responses to mental states of in-group and out-group members. In 5 experiments, we manipulate competition among arbitrary groups and measure collective identification with in-group and out-group. When teams are set in competition, intergroup differentiation is correlated with greater empathy for in-group than out-group targets (Experiment 1). This empathy bias is characterized not only by dampened empathy toward out-group members but also by increased counter-empathic responses (e.g., Schadenfreude). Comparing in-group and out-group to unaffiliated targets suggests that the bias is better characterized as out-group antipathy than extraordinary in-group empathy (Experiment 2). The intergroup empathy bias is extremely flexible (empathy completely reverses after participants change teams; Experiment 3) and robust. However, creating a cooperative task structure between teams (Experiment 4) or providing visual evidence of reduced group entitativity (Experiment 5) attenuates the bias.
BIOLOGICAL UNDERPINNINGS OF SOCIAL INTERACTION: INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACHES
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room 206 – 207
Chair: Lisa Jaremka, The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Although much is known about the health consequences of positive and negative social interactions, the biological correlates of social processes are only beginning to unfold. Accordingly, Jaremka, Kemeny, Way, and Eisenberger present data about the physiological underpinnings of social interaction utilizing research from social neuroscience, psychoneuroimmunology, psychoneuroendocrinology, and social psychology.
SOCIAL NEUROSCIENCE AND HEALTH: USING THE BRAIN TO UNDERSTAND THE LINKS BETWEEN SOCIAL PROCESSES AND HEALTH
Naomi I. Eisenberger
University of California Los Angeles
It is well-established that lacking social ties increases the risk of morbidity and mortality, whereas having social ties reduces this risk. However, the neurocognitive mechanisms that translate perceptions of social disconnection or connection into health-relevant physiological changes are not well-understood. This talk outlines two neural systems that may mediate the relationship between social ties and health. I will first review several studies showing that experiences of social disconnection may trigger health-relevant sympathetic and inflammatory responding through neural regions involved in physical and social pain. I will then suggest that experiences of social connection may relate to health through reward-related activity, which can inhibit threat-related responding. Specifically, I will review two studies showing that the threat-reducing effects of both receiving and giving social support rely on reward-related regions that are associated with reductions in threat-responding. Implications of this framework for understanding the links between social ties and health will be discussed.
SOCIAL INTERACTIONS AND NEUROTRANSMITTERS
The Ohio State University
Social and health psychology have a long tradition of measuring hormonal and psychophysiological changes resulting from social interactions, which has more recently been supplemented by neuroimaging approaches. In order to understand how social interactions affect physiology, it is critical is to understand the ways in which neurotransmitters both trigger and moderate neural, psychophysiological, and hormonal responses to social encounters. Differences in neurotransmitter function can be probed with both genetic and pharmacological approaches. Data will be presented demonstrating that genetic variation in the serotonin system affects responsivity to social support in romantic relationships. This will be supplemented with data showing that pharmacological alteration of the serotonin system also affects reactivity to social interactions in unacquainted dyads. Together, these findings demonstrate that the neurotransmitter serotonin is a critical moderator of emotional reactivity to social interactions and is likely to be critically involved in eliciting the health benefits derived from social relationships.
SOCIAL STATUS THREATS AND THE INFLAMMATORY SYSTEM: THE ROLE OF SOCIAL PERCEPTIONS
Margaret E. Kemeny, Elizabeth Hopper, Julie Dinh
University of California San Francisco
While many forms of interpersonal interaction can affect health relevant biological systems, one form that appears to show consistent psychobiological correlates in humans and other animals involves threats to social status. Preserving social status is a central motive and threats to one’s status or value through negative social evaluation, rejection, or stigmatization can have a variety of psychological and physiological effects, which, if chronic, can result in health risk. Findings will be presented from experimental, case-control, and longitudinal studies demonstrating that social status threats can affect the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, the inflammatory system, and the interaction between these two systems. The social psychological processes underlying these relationships will be described. Findings indicating whether or not early life experience with social status threat, in the form of perceived racial discrimination, can impact adult inflammatory processes will be highlighted.
LONELINESS AND IMMUNE DYSREGULATION: A PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGICAL APPROACH
Lisa M. Jaremka, Christopher P. Fagundes, Juan Peng, Jeanette M. Bennett, Ronald Glaser, William B. Malarkey, Janice K. Kiecolt-Glaser
The Ohio State University College of Medicine
Although evidence suggests that loneliness may increase risk for health problems, the mechanisms are not well understood. Immune dysregulation is one potential pathway; elevated proinflammatory cytokines increase risk of poor health. A sample of healthy adults and a second sample of post-treatment breast cancer survivors completed the Trier Social Stress Test. In response to the stressor, lonelier participants exhibited greater synthesis of proinflammatory cytokines by lipopolysaccharide stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells than less lonely participants. A third study demonstrated a link between loneliness and elevated latent herpesvirus reactivation, which reflects cellular immune dysregulation. Taken together, the data suggest that loneliness may have multiple immunological costs and provide a glimpse into the pathways through which social relationships impact health. The current study also supports the utility of applying a psychoneuroimmunological approach to the study of loneliness, physiology, and health.
NARCISSISTIC AGGRESSION REVISITED
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room 217 – 219
Chair: Zlatan Krizan, Iowa State University
Narcissism is an important predictor of aggressive behavior. This symposium gathers cutting-edge research that examines both narcissistic grandiosity and vulnerability as antecedents of various forms of aggression. Taken together, the findings indicate that both narcissism dimensions facilitate aggressive behavior, yet do so under different circumstances and for different reasons.
ADOLESCENT NARCISSISM AND AGGRESSION:EXTENDING THE SCOPE TO GRANDIOSITY AND VULNERABILITY
Christopher T. Barry, Rebecca L. Kauten
The University of Southern Mississippi
Research has clearly demonstrated that adolescents and adults with narcissistic tendencies respond aggressively to ego threats in laboratory settings. Initial evidence with adolescents indicates that narcissism assessed via a youth version of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory is related to self-reported aggression. However, relatively little is known about how well this association applies to different forms of narcissism and of aggression. This study investigated the relation between aggression (i.e., reactive, proactive, overt, and relational) and three dimensions of adolescent narcissism (i.e., Vulnerable, Grandiose, and Normal Narcissism). In a sample of 190 at-risk adolescents ages 16-18, vulnerable and normal narcissism were each correlated with all forms of aggression examined. Further results suggest that exploitativeness and a sense of entitlement may drive some of these associations, whereas a tendency to aggrandize oneself by helping others may be tied to lower aggression. The implications for the conceptualization of adolescent narcissism will be discussed.
AGGRESSION IN THE FACE OF REJECTION: THE ROLE OF GRANDIOSE AND VULNERABLE NARCISSISM
Brittany Gentile, Lauren Wilson, Joshua D. Miller, Amos Zeichner
University of Georgia
There is increasing evidence to suggest that narcissism is a heterogeneous construct composed of two independent forms: grandiose and vulnerable. A primary difference between grandiose and vulnerable narcissists is the method each uses to self-enhance. Whereas grandiose narcissists seek admiration, vulnerable narcissists seek social approval. In the present study we examined how feelings of ostracism, induced by a computer “ball-tossing” game, would affect participants’ willingness to administer electrical shocks to the person that rejected them. The type of rejection was manipulated such that participants were told that the goal of the ball-tossing game was either to compete with the other participants and control play, or to cooperate and share the ball equally. Results showed that grandiose narcissists were more likely to aggress within the competitive, but not the cooperative, context. Vulnerable narcissism, on the other hand, had a much smaller association with aggression across both conditions.
HOLDING IT IN AND TAKING IT OUT: NARCISSISTIC VULNERABILITY, RUMINATION, AND AGGRESSION
Zlatan Krizan, Omesh Johar
Iowa State University
In a series of studies that examined narcissistic grandiosity and vulnerability as antecedents of targeted and displaced aggression, we identified vulnerability as a powerful and more far-reaching facilitator of aggressive behavior. In Study 1 involving community adults, the vulnerability factor extracted from a set of narcissism measures was a stronger predictor of trait aggressiveness (particularly hostility and anger) than was the grandiosity factor. Self-reports from Study 2 revealed that distrust and angry rumination were key attributes accounting for the link between narcissistic vulnerability and both targeted and displaced aggression (with entitlement playing a smaller role). Preliminary data from Study 3 utilizing a behavioral measure of aggression (within an improved hot-sauce paradigm) indicate vulnerable narcissists are more likely to respond to provocation with aggression, even toward an innocent party. Taken together, this evidence reveals a need to adopt a broader view of narcissistic aggression.
GRANDIOSE AND VULNERABLE NARCISSISM: INVESTIGATING ANTISOCIAL OUTCOMES
W. Keith Campbell, Joshua D. Miller
University of Georgia
Research and theory have described two forms of narcissism: a grandiose form that is more extraverted and a vulnerable form that is more broadly neurotic. In the present research we examine the predictive power of both forms of narcissism against a spectrum of anti-social outcomes. Result from several studies showed that both forms of narcissism were related to elevated aggressive cognition and game-playing love styles. Grandiose narcissism was associated with self-reported aggressive behavior potential, crime and gambling, whereas vulnerable narcissism was associated with self-harm. Overall, these data show a pattern of anti-social outcomes for both forms of narcissism, with grandiose narcissism being typically more antisocial. Furthermore, grandiose narcissism is more externalizing while vulnerable narcissism is more internalizing. Discussion focuses on the utility of trait models to explain these differences.
“LIFE IS AN ADVENTURE IN FORGIVENESS”: SURPRISING LESSONS IN GIVING AND GAINING FORGIVENESS
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room 228 – 230
Chair: Gili Freedman, University of Texas at Austin
Co-Chair: Jennifer S. Beer, University of Texas at Austin
This symposium highlights the complicated nature of interpersonal and intergroup forgiveness. The presentations draw on experimental, longitudinal, and real-world political and romantic relationship data to unveil the surprising ways in which apologies undermine forgiveness and the surprising ways in which prayer and agreeableness interact with forgiveness.
THE ART OF SOCIAL REJECTION: APOLOGIES DO NOT PROMOTE FORGIVENESS
Gili Freedman, Erin M. Burgoon, Jason D. Ferrell, James W. Pennebaker, Jennifer S. Beer
University of Texas at Austin
How can people socially reject others in a way that will encourage forgiveness? Does it help to apologize? Is it best to keep the rejection short and sweet? Research has robustly established that social rejection is painful for rejectees but has been silent on recommendations for rejectors. What do rejectors do to avoid hurting the rejectee’s feelings and jeopardizing their own social reputation—and are their strategies successful? Four studies asked university and community samples (N = 1096) to generate rejections for everyday interpersonal situations. Content coding identified a number of strategies people believe are a “good” way to reject. Independent rater analyses show that while some of these strategies have the desired effect, some have the opposite effect. To promote forgiveness, rejectors should avoid apologizing and instead use more words, provide positive regard toward the rejectee, and an alternative to the rejectee’s request.
COLLECTIVE GUILT ASSIGNMENT MODERATES EXPECTED OUTCOMES OF AN INTERGROUP APOLOGY AND WILLINGNESS TO FORGIVE: A TEST OF THE STAIRCASE MODEL OF INTERGROUP APOLOGY EFFECTIVENESS
Michael J.A. Wohl1, Matthew Hornsey2, Kim Matheson1, Nyla Branscombe3, Hymie Anisman1
1Carleton University; 2University of Queensland; 3University of Kansas
It is widely assumed that intergroup apologies promote intergroup forgiveness. A growing body of literature, however, suggests this assumption is overly optimistic. Using data collected at the time of the Canada’s apology for the head tax on Chinese immigrants as well as one-year later, we provide evidence for the staircase model of intergroup apologies effectiveness (Wohl, Hornsey, & Philpot, 2011). Aligned with prediction from the first floor of the model, Chinese Canadians who assigned collective guilt expected the apology would yield improved relations with European Canadians and were more prepared to forgive. Consistent with fifth floor predictions, one year following the apology, Chinese Canadians who assigned more collective guilt at the time of the apology were less convinced their expectations of improved relations were met. Not surprisingly, intergroup forgiveness also waned. We discuss the need for perpetrator group post-apology engagement to facilitate and maintain intergroup forgiveness and positive intergroup relations.
PRAYER AND FORGIVENESS IN CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS
Frank D. Fincham
Florida State University
Forgiveness has a rich history in religion but the link to religious behavior has received little attention in scientific research on forgiveness. This presentation therefore explores the link between forgiveness in close relationships and one religious behavior practiced by most religious faiths, prayer. A theoretical framework linking prayer to forgiveness in relationships will be briefly described before presenting data relevant to its evaluation. Several studies will be summarized that document a link between praying for the well-being of a partner and forgiveness displayed towards the partner. In doing so mechanisms linking prayer and forgiveness are described and evaluated. Two initial studies document concurrent and longitudinal associations between partner-focused prayer and forgiveness. As these studies leave direction of effects unclear, data from experimental studies conducted in the laboratory and in the field are introduced next. Finally, to address the limitations of self-report, data regarding observed reactions to partner transgressions are introduced.
FORGIVE AND FORGET, OR FORGIVE AND REGRET? WHETHER FORGIVENESS LEADS TO LESS OR MORE OFFENDING DEPENDS ON OFFENDER AGREEABLENESS
James K. McNulty, V Michelle. Russell
Florida State University
Three studies indicate that the association between forgiveness and partner reoffending depends on partner agreeableness. In Study 1, relatively agreeable participants were less likely to compete against a dating partner in a prisoner’s dilemma game when they were randomly assigned to believe that partner was “very forgiving;” relatively disagreeable participants were more likely to compete against a forgiving partner. In Study 2, relatively agreeable spouses were less likely to perpetrate psychological aggression over time against more-forgiving partners; relatively disagreeable spouses were more likely to perpetrate against more-forgiving partners. Study 3 replicated these effects on physical aggression and demonstrated the mechanism of each one; relatively agreeable people reported having engaged in fewer acts of physical aggression against more-forgiving partners because they felt obligated to reciprocate those partners’ kindness; relatively disagreeable people reported having engaged in more transgressions against more-forgiving partners because they perceived the opportunity to offend without experiencing undesirable repercussions.
THE ORIGINS OF MORAL COGNITION AND PRO-SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room 208 – 210
Chair: Larisa Heiphetz, Harvard University
This symposium examines the development of moral cognition and pro-social behaviors. Four papers investigate moral judgments and pro-social actions using behavioral and imaging evidence. These presentations illuminate the early origins of moral cognition and underscore the importance of pro-sociality across development.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTENT-BASED MORAL JUDGMENT
Fiery Cushman1, Rachel Sheketoff2, Sophie Wharton3, Susan Carey2
1Brown University; 2Harvard University; 3New York University
From 4-8 years, children increasingly make moral judgments on the basis of an actor’s intent, as opposed to the outcome that the actor brings about. Does this developmental change reflect conceptual reorganization specific to the moral domain, as suggested by Piaget, or instead derive exclusively from changes outside the moral domain, such as the development of theory of mind, as emphasized in more recent research? We probed the moral judgments of 293 children aged 4-8 and found that (1) developmental change is restricted to the judgment of accidental harms (bad outcome, no intent), but is not present for the judgment of attempted harms (no outcome, bad intent), and (2) developmental change originates in judgments of the naughtiness of an actor, which subsequently constrains judgments of deserved punishment. These findings indicate that the outcome-to-intent shift reflects a conceptual reorganization within the moral domain and sharpens our understanding of its structure.
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND MORAL JUDGMENT
Larisa Heiphetz, Elizabeth S. Spelke, Mahzarin R. Banaji
Children and adults use actors’ intentions to judge behaviors; for example, harming purposefully is deemed more immoral than harming accidentally. We examined the ways in which religion—a belief system associated with morality—influenced attributions and evaluations of behaviors. In Study 1, 6-9 year old children (N=81) preferred characters who shared their religious, factual, and preference-based beliefs but attributed moral behaviors only to those who shared their religious views. Study 2 examined the reverse: Might children differentially evaluate identical behaviors if only one is motivated by religion? Religious 5-10 year old children evaluated religiously-motivated moral behaviors more positively than identical secularly-motivated behaviors, whereas only older secular children showed the reverse pattern (N=190). These findings suggest that children link pro-social behaviors with religion in some contexts and this link’s strength diminishes as secular children mature. These results support the idea that young children may find religious ideas intuitively compelling.
NEURAL ORIGINS OF PRO-SOCIAL BEHAVIOR
Jason P. Mitchell1, Jamil Zaki2
1Harvard University; 2Stanford University
Standard models within behavioral economics and evolutionary biology assume that individuals seek to maximize their personal well-being, will consistently act selfishly, and seemingly pro-social acts usually reflect selfish attempts to protect one’s reputation or avoid retribution. Recently, we have used functional neuroimaging to support an alternate account of human pro-sociality that suggests that people act altruistically because doing so is experienced as a source of intrinsic reward. This work has capitalized on a rich body of neuroscience research demonstrating that activity in mesolimbic dopaminergic targets strongly correlates with subjective value in both humans and other animals. In our recent work, we have consistently observed that these brain regions can be engaged by yet another type of event: opportunities to act generously to others, even at a material cost to the self. Such observations suggest that pro-social behavior represents a powerful source of motivation for many people.
FREE WILL AND MORAL ACCOUNTABILITY
New York University Abu Dhabi
Recent research within our field has intensified longstanding debates about the existence and social significance of free will. Moreover, these debates appear to be trickling down from the ivory heights into public consciousness. Given the connection between free will beliefs (FWBs) and moral accountability, any change in the former may deeply affect the latter. I will present new data my collaborators and I have collected on how the erosion of FWBs affects attitudes about forgiveness, punishment and pride. These studies show that (a) stronger FWBs predict more forgiveness, less punishment and lower pride, and (b) that various ways of experimentally diminishing FWBs lead to higher levels of forgiveness, and lower willingness to punish. Together, the findings highlight the role of FWBs in moral accountability, and portend the changes society may see if mechanistic views of human behavior see greater endorsement among the general public.
CHANGING YOUR IMPLICIT MIND: WHEN AND WHY DO IMPLICIT ATTITUDES FORM AND CHANGE?
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room 220 – 222
Chair: Jeremy Cone, Williams College
Co-Chair: Melissa Ferguson, Cornell University
With over two decades of research on implicit attitudes, we still do not know very much about how they form and change over time. The speakers present findings on the formation of novel implicit attitudes and their developmental trajectory over time, identifying factors that influence their formation and revision.
ARE WE PUPPETS ON A STRING? COMPARING THE IMPACT OF CONTINGENCY AND VALIDITY ON IMPLICIT AND EXPLICIT EVALUATIONS
Kurt Peters1, Bertram Gawronski2
1Norwich University; 2The University of Western Ontario
Research has demonstrated that implicit and explicit evaluations of the same object can diverge. Explanations of such dissociations frequently appeal to dual-process theories, such that implicit evaluations are assumed to reflect object-valence contingencies independent of their perceived validity, whereas explicit evaluations reflect the perceived validity of object-valence contingencies. Although there is evidence supporting these assumptions, it remains unclear if dissociations can arise in situations in which object-valence contingencies are judged to be true or false during the learning of these contingencies. Challenging dual-process accounts that propose a simultaneous operation of two parallel learning mechanisms, results from three experiments showed that the perceived validity of evaluative information about social targets qualified both explicit and implicit evaluations when validity information was available immediately after the encoding of the valence information; however, delaying the presentation of validity information reduced its qualifying impact for implicit, but not explicit, evaluations.
INSTANT AND IMPLICIT: HOW GOAL RELEVANCE INFLUENCES IMPLICIT ATTITUDE FORMATION AND REVISION
Jeremy Cone1, Melissa J. Ferguson2
1Williams College; 2Cornell University
It is widely assumed that implicit attitudes are slow to develop and resistant to change once formed, and yet little empirical research has tested this claim. In two studies, we examined whether participants could rapidly form and then revise their implicit attitudes towards novel attitude objects. In Study 1, participants were assigned to an ingroup using a minimal group paradigm and their group assignment was subsequently reversed after a purported mistake in the computer feedback. In Study 2, participants played a short video game in which the evaluative implications of a novel attitude object shifted between rounds of the game. Across both studies, people quickly formed implicit attitudes towards novel attitude objects, and then revised these attitudes in the face of new, countervailing information. The role of the self-relevance of the attitude objects in the context of these effects is discussed.
THE ROLE OF NEGATION SALIENCE IN ATTITUDE FORMATION
Robert J. Rydell, Kathryn L. Boucher
Most attitude models posit that negation (invalidating or mentally reversing information’s meaning) is an important process for understanding evaluation. However, people are notoriously bad at correctly encoding negated information and can form associations that are inconsistent with the information provided during encoding. This may be why research has shown that negations often have very little impact on implicit attitude measures (e.g., Deutsch et al., 2006). In this work, we provide evidence that making negations more visually salient (presented in extremely huge font) during attitude formation leads people to attend to those negations and properly encode the information presented (e.g., encode “not warm” as “cold”), leading implicit attitude measures to more closely track the valence of that information. Consistent with past work on negation and cognitive resources, the impact of visual salience on forming associations is reliant on effortful processing of attitude-relevant information during encoding; cognitive load eliminates these salience effects.
DYNAMIC IMPLICIT BALANCE: CHANGING ONE ELEMENT IN A COGNITIVE SYSTEM PRODUCES RELATED CHANGE
Pablo Briñol1, Richard Petty2, Javier Horcajo1
1Universidad Autónoma de Madrid; 2The Ohio State University
Making connections to the self has increased the value of everything from coffee mugs to stigmatized groups and occurs on both explicit and implicit measures. Although there are several explanations for these effects, one possibility is psychological balance (Greenwald et al., 2002). If balance is responsible for more positive evaluations of objects that are linked to the self, then connecting objects to the self should only increase their value when the self is liked, and the reverse should occur if self-esteem is low. Furthermore, if the self is held in high regard, then increasing the value of any object should increase its linkage to the self, whereas if the self is not evaluated favorably, increasing the value of an object should decrease its linkage to the self. We report two studies providing support for these ideas using implicit measures (IAT) of self-esteem, self-object linkage, and object evaluation.
CHALLENGING THE WHITE MALE DEFAULT: AN ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL IDENTITY NORMS IN CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room 225 –227
Chair: Erin Thomas, Yale University
Co-Chair: Jessica L. Cundiff, Pennsylvania State University
Certain identities in our society are privileged as the implicit standard to which all other identities are compared. This symposium addresses the contributing factors, manifestations, and consequences of positioning some social identities as normative and others as deviating from prevailing norms.
EXPLAINING WHY AMERICAN=WHITE
Felicia Pratto1, Peter Hegarty2, Anthony F. Lemieux3
1University of Connecticut; 2University of Surrey; 3Georgia State University
Four experiments investigated why White Americans implicitly assume that Whites are normal and Blacks are not. Relying on norm theory, we examined which race participants focused on in their explanations for interracial differences. Experiment 1 showed that Blacks are less psychologically normative than Whites, especially when they are the numerical minority but also when they do not fit expectations about “Americans.” Experiment 2 showed that the race that failed to conform to general expectations – rather than to its previous behavior – was less normative. Experiment 3 showed that failing to conform to an unexpected but moral norm led Blacks but not Whites to be considered non-normative. Experiment 4 induced expectancies in a new domain and showed that Blacks but not Whites were non-normative when they did not meet the expectancy. The interplay between information about groups, cognitive processes, and how these produce essentialism is discussed.
COMMUNICATING NON-NORMATIVE STATUS THROUGH ASYMMETRICAL GENDER MARKING: IMPLICATIONS AND CONSEQUENCES
Jessica L. Cundiff
Pennsylvania State University
Asymmetrical gender marking, or referencing the gender of one group (typically women) but not the other group (typically men), is quite common. Although such linguistic practices may seem relatively harmless, asymmetrical gender marking may be consequential in perpetuating gender inequalities. To test this notion, participants read about an occupation in which either femaleness or maleness was marked or no gender was marked. They then rated the gendered nature of the occupation (Study 1 & 2) and the appeal of the occupation (Study 2). Results suggest that marking gender asymmetrically communicates stereotypic information about who naturally belongs in the occupation (Study 1), which in turn influences the extent to which women and men find the occupation appealing (Study 2). This research highlights what is implicitly communicated when gender is asymmetrically marked and how that information may influence the career preferences of women and men in ways that reproduce gender inequities.
SINGLED OUT: HOW BEING & “THE EFFECT TO BE EXPLAINED” AFFECTS COLLECTIVE SELF-ESTEEM
University of Exeter
In communication about intergroup differences, people tend to focus on how non-normative (untypical and/or stigmatized) groups differ from normative groups. Three experiments examined how this affects collective self-esteem (CSE). In two experiments, single participants felt worse about being single when they read (Study 1) or wrote (Study 2) about how singles differ from coupled people than when they read or wrote about how coupled people differ from singles - independent of the evaluative content of the group differences that they wrote about. In Study 3, left-handed participants indicated lower CSE after writing about how left-handers differ from right-handers than after writing about how right-handers differ from left-handers. The CSE of coupled and of right-handed participants was unaffected by the framing of group differences. In sum, being marked as different and having to explain one’s group identity negatively affected the CSE of members of non-normative, but not of normative, groups.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF DOUBLE NON-NORMATIVITY: EVIDENCE FOR THE COGNITIVE AND MOTIVATED PRECURSORS OF INTERSECTIONAL INVISIBILITY
Erin L. Thomas, John F . Dovidio
Society is both androcentric and ethnocentric; thus, Black men are prototypical Blacks and White women are prototypical women. In contrast, Black women may experience social invisibility as a result of their intersectional non-normativity. Two experiments reveal two distinct antecedents of this intersectional invisibility. Study 1 utilized a speeded categorization task to reveal Black female non-normativity. Participants were slower to associate Black women versus Black men with the category “Black” and Black women versus White women with the category “woman.” Study 2 demonstrated that Black women may also experience invisibility because they are perceived to be lowly relevant to perceivers’ personal outcomes. Participants in a competitive economic game allocated fewer resources to White male opponents (vs. themselves) than to White female or Black male opponents. Participants awarded the most resources to Black female opponents, presumably because Black women were perceived as the least viable threats to participants’ economic outcomes.
USING STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELING TO ANALYZE DATA FROM EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room R02
Chair: Alexander Schoemann, University of Kansas
Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) has become a popular data analysis tool for social and personality psychology researchers. However, SEM has rarely been used to analyze data from experimental designs. In this symposium we present four talks detailing advantages of using SEM to analyze data across experimental designs.
BEYOND GLM: BENEFITS OF STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELING FOR EXPERIMENTAL DATA
Rick H. Hoyle
The primary statistical strategy for hypothesis testing in social and personality psychology using experimental data is analysis of variance (ANOVA). When continuous variables are present as independent, mediating, or moderator variables, multiple regression analysis is used. These instances of the general linear model (GLM) are appropriate and effective, but they sometimes fail to fully exploit experimental data. Structural equation modeling (SEM) is an alternative, more general strategy that offers intriguing benefits over GLM. I first show how ANOVA and multiple regression analysis are special cases of SEM. I then provide an overview of means-focused hypothesis testing in SEM using multiple-indicator multiple-cause and multiple-group models. Building on this foundation, I describe capabilities afforded by SEM for hypothesis testing using experimental data. In addition to offering the prospect of more powerful and precise hypothesis tests, these additional capabilities suggest ways to increase the yield of experimental data in social and personality psychology.
EFFECT SIZES AND POST-HOC TESTS WHEN ANALYZING EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS WITH SEM
Alexander M. Schoemann
University of Kansas
Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) provides many advantages when testing mean differences across conditions in experimental designs. However, analyses are not complete when a hypothesis test is conducted. This talk describes two important follow-up procedures: computing effect sizes and post-hoc testing. Popular effect sizes for experimental designs (e.g., Cohen’s d, R2),can be easily computed when data from experimental designs are analyzed using SEM. Furthermore, effect sizes from SEM will be greater than or equal to effect sizes computed from analysis of variance. When analyzing data from an experimental study with three or more levels, planned contrasts and post-hoc tests are important tools for understanding the effects of experimental condition. I demonstrate how planned contrasts and popular post-hoc tests (e.g., Tukey’s HSD) can test mean differences using SEM. SEM provides many advantages to analyzing data from experimental designs, while still allowing social and personality psychologists to use familiar tools to interpret results.
EXAMINING FACTORIAL DESIGNS WITH STRUCTURAL EQUATION MODELING (SEM)
Stephen D. Short, Alexander M. Schoemann
University of Kansas
Factorial designs are a popular experimental design in social and personality psychology. The analysis of variance (ANOVA) framework has been the traditional method for examining mean differences in factorial designs, but ANOVA requires several assumptions (e.g., homogeneity of variances, measurement invariance, lack of measurement error in the dependent variable) that are minimized when structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques are used to examine mean differences. The present talk introduces a technique to analyze factorial designs using multiple groups modeling within SEM to examine differences in latent means (i.e., Structured Means Modeling; SMM). The series of steps a researcher may conduct to examine main effects and interactions are provided with example data for popular 2 x 2 and 3 x 3 designs. These steps can be applied to between, within, and mixed subjects designs. Furthermore, the SMM approach can easily accommodate multiple constructs and covariates.
MOVING BEYOND TESTING MEANS: USING MACS MODELING TO TEST GROUP DIFFERENCES IN VARIANCES AND COVARIANCES
Todd D. Little1, Hal S. Shorey2
1University of Kansas; 2Widener University
Mean and covariance structures (MACS) modeling is a powerful tool to analyze multivariate experimental data. MACS modeling allows researchers to go beyond testing group differences in means and to test differences in variances and covariances as well. Using 3 (group) by 2 (repeated-measures) design, this study demonstrates MACS modeling to test whether the mode of data acquisition (online, lab, classroom) influences the nature of the data collected. 300 undergraduates completed affect measures online and in a (randomly assigned) 1 week follow-up either online again, individually in a lab, or in a classroom with other participants. Results indicate a main effect of time for the means of Negative Affect (it decreased in all three conditions) and an interaction for the standard deviation of negative affect (the variance was reduced in the classroom condition). MACS modeling provides social and personality psychologists the ability to move beyond theorizing and testing mean differences.
Symposium Session H
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm
TELLING MORE THAN WE CAN KNOW? REMAPPING THE BOUNDARIES OF THE UNCONSCIOUS
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room R03 – R05
Chair: Adam Hahn, University of Western Ontario
Co-Chair: Bertram Gawronski, University of Western Ontario
This symposium showcases recent research on people’s ability (or lack thereof) to introspect on implicit mental processes. Presentations will focus on awareness and construal of implicit biases, introspective limits in perceiving physiological emotional reactions, and extensions of current models to explain these findings.
IMPLICIT DOES NOT EQUAL UNAWARE – INTROSPECTION OF IMPLICIT ATTITUDES
Adam Hahn1, Charles M. Judd2, Holen K. Hirsh2, Irene Blairs2<
1University of Western Ontario; 2University of Colorado Boulder
This talk addresses the general assumption that people do not have introspective access to their implicit attitudes, as commonly measured. This assumption appears to be based in large part on low correlations between measures of implicit and explicit attitudes. We took a different approach by directly asking participants to predict their results on five future IATs. We consistently found that participants were fairly accurate in their predictions, regardless of whether the IATs were described as revealing true attitudes or cultural associations, regardless of whether predictions were in the form of specific response patterns (“ease of responding”) or conceptual responses (“your implicit attitude”), and regardless of how much experience or explanation participants received before making their predictions. Even as participants accurately predicted their implicit attitudes, they reported distinct explicit attitudes. These results fit dual process models on attitudes, and they have several theoretical and practical implications.
WHAT WE THINK WE KNOW ABOUT OUR OWN IMPLICIT BIAS
University of North Carolina
Does implicit bias reflect intentional animus that is hidden, or unintended impulses that people cannot control? Does it reflect personal attitudes or cultural stereotypes? Questions like these are central to understanding the nature of implicit bias. I argue that the answers depend on how individuals construe their own affective responses. Experiences of intent and ownership are confabulations, constructed as people attempt to craft explanations for their own responses. In four experiments we manipulated or measured how people construed their implicit attitudes toward gay men. When participants construed their bias as their own attitude (vs. cultural stereotypes) bias was more likely to be expressed on a personalized IAT and on explicit measures. Construing bias as intentional (vs. unintentional) made subjects explicitly endorse prejudice. Defining features of implicit attitudes may not be found in static attitude representations, but in the constructive process by which people make sense of their feelings.
SEEING WITH YOUR HEART: CAN YOU FEEL WHAT YOU CONSCIOUSLY DO NOT NOTICE?
Piotr Winkielman1, Boris Bornemann2
1University of California, San Diego; 2Max Planck Institute for Human and Cognitive Brain Science
Psychologists and laypeople believe that feelings can provide introspective access to processes that elude the rational and conscious mind. This notion of seeing with your heart finds support in phenomena such as affective blindsight, where neurological patients show physiological responses to emotional stimuli presented in a cortically blind visual field. Several social psychological effects, such as subliminal affective priming, also reveal that consciously unseen emotion elicitors can manifest in overt judgments. However, an emotional response (in physiology or judgment) may not mean emotional awareness. I will describe several recent studies in which participants failed to use introspection to improve the detection of emotional stimuli, despite clear presence of physiological responses. I will also show how introspection can be both generated and educated by highlighting the role of relevant bodily responses. Overall, I will argue that emotional awareness is constructed out of the variety of introspective and extrospective cues
PROPOSING SYSTEM 3
Ap Dijsterhuis1, Madelijn Strick2, Maarten Bos3, Loren Nordgren4 1Radboud University Nijmegen; 2Utrecht University; 3Harvard Business School; 4Northwestern University
Models of thought distinguish between two systems or thought processes, simply called System 1 (fast and automatic) and System 2 (slow and effortful) by some. However, some thought processes do not seem to be captured by these systems. Problems that require a creative solution or important decisions often involve very long period of (intermittent) thought. For instance, first year university students claim that they take on average four months to decide on their major. To better understand such prolonged thought processes, we propose System 3, a system that is very slow, largely (but not completely) unconscious, and goal-dependent. We specify the decisions for which each system should be used and argue that, although System 3 is the most appropriate system for some decisions, System 3 is not always able to solve problems. In such cases, System 2 has to jump in to save matters, but this comes at a cost.
MORALITY FOR SELF AND OTHER: CONNECTIONS AND DISSOCIATIONS
Saturday, January 19, 2:00 – 3:15 pm, Room R01
Chair: Fiery Cushman, Brown University
Morality serves two purposes: regulating our own behavior, and judging the behavior of others. We explore the relationship between these processes from complimentary perspectives: mechanistic, developmental, and evolutionary. Two papers illustrate the tight relationship between self-regulation and judgment, while two indicate the dissociations between them.
THE OMISSION STRATEGY
Robert Kurzban1, Peter DeScioli2, John Christner1
1University of Pennsylvania; 2Brandeis University
People are more willing to bring about morally objectionable outcomes by omission than by commission. Similarly, people morally condemn others less harshly when a moral offense occurs by omission as opposed to commission, even when intentions are controlled. These two phenomena might be related: the reduced moral condemnation of omissions might cause people to choose to omit in order to avoid moral condemnation and punishment. We report two experiments using an economic game in which one participant (Taker) can take money from another participant (Owner) – either by omission or commission. We manipulate whether or not a third party has the opportunity to punish the Taker by reducing their payment. Results indicate that the frequency of omission increases when punishment is possible, supporting the view that people choose omissions to avoid condemnation and punishment, and the omission effect is best understood not as a bias but as a strategy.
IMMORAL ACTIONS AND THE AVERSION TO HARM
Kyle Dillon, Fiery Cushman
We judge others’ behaviors not just by to the outcomes they cause, but also according to the action they perform. In particular, up-close, personal actions elicit enhanced moral condemnation. Might our focus on the “act itself” when judging others ultimately derive from self-regulatory processes? We tested whether mere action—absent any harmful outcome—was sufficient to elicit self-regulatory affect by asking people to engage in pretend harmful behaviors, such as discharging a fake gun into an experimenter’s face. Performing pretend harmful actions increased peripheral vasoconstriction, an index of aversion, more than 1) simply witnessing one experimenter perform the same pretend harmful action on another experimenter or 2) performing a metabolically matched non-harmful, non-moral action, such as pulling the trigger of an empty spray bottle. These data indicate self-regulatory affect that responds to actions, above and beyond outcomes, and thus may explain the origins of our action-based moral judgments of others.
DISTINCT MORAL CONCERNS FOR SELF AND OTHER
James Dungan1, Alek Chakroff2, Liane Young1
1Boston College; 2Harvard University
Recent efforts to partition the space of morality focus on the descriptive content of moral domains (e.g., harm versus purity). Here, we present behavioral and neural evidence for a model in which a novel dimension interacts with domain content to determine our intuitive moral judgments: whether the action targets the self or another. We present studies demonstrating that purity norms function to protect ourselves from impurities (e.g., contamination), while harm norms function to protect others from interpersonal harms. Furthermore, other-directed actions are processed as harmful irrespective of their domain content. Finally, judgments of impurity uniquely predict moral judgments of self-directed actions, while judgments of harm uniquely predict moral judgments of other-directed actions. These findings are discussed in relation to research showing that cognitive processes (e.g., theory of mind) are recruited differently across moral domains, suggesting distinct functions for distinct moral norms.
DO WHAT I SAY, NOT WHAT I DO: THE DEVELOPMENT OF MORAL EXPECTATIONS AND MORAL BEHAVIOR
Jonathan Phillips, Paul Bloom
While there has been an impressive amount of research on the development of moral cognition and its relation to behavior, there has been surprisingly little, if any, research on how moral cognition influences expectations of other people’s behavior over the course of development. Yet, these two aspects of moral cognition are both fundamental to successfully interacting with others. We consider this unexplored topic in a series of studies using simple, modified economic games. The present studies examine both the first-person issue of how children and adults behave themselves while comparing their behavior to third-person measures of how they expect others to behave. Additionally, we collected data on children and adult’s expectations of their own behavior. The comparisons of the developmental trajectory for these first- and third-person items provide evidence that separate psychological processes may underlie these two aspects of moral cognition.
SHIFTING DEMOGRAPHICS: FACTORS THAT HINDER AND PROMOTE CHANGES IN RACIAL BELIEFS IN THE FACE OF A GROWING MULTIRACIAL POPULATION
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room R07 – R09
Chair: Sarah Gaither, Tufts University
Co-Chair: Kristin Pauker, University of Hawaii
The multiracial demographic is estimated to become 21% of the population by 2050, yet research has not explored how this change may transform racial perceptions and beliefs. This symposium addresses questions concerning what social motivations affect perceptions of mixed-race individuals and how exposure to multiracials alters racial beliefs.
STATUS BOUNDARY ENFORCEMENT AND THE CATEGORIZATION OF BLACK-WHITE BIRACIALS
Arnold K. Ho1, Jim Sidanius2, Amy J.C. Cuddy3, Mahzarin R. Banaji2
1Colgate University; 2Harvard University; 3Harvard Business School
Individuals who qualify equally for membership in more than one racial group are not judged as belonging equally to both of their parent groups, but instead are seen as belonging more to their lower status parent group. Why? The present paper begins to establish a motivational basis for hypodescent, the process of assigning multiracials the status of their relatively disadvantaged parent group. In two studies, we found that individual differences in social dominance orientation (SDO)—a preference for group-based hierarchy and inequality—interacts with perceptions of socioeconomic threat to influence the use of hypodescent in categorizing Black/White biracial targets. Although SDO is unrelated to hypodescent when the extant status hierarchy is perceived to be stable, perceptions of intergroup threat, either chronically held (Study 1) or experimentally manipulated (Study 2), lead to a robust relationship between SDO and hypodescent. These results suggest that hypodescent can function as a “hierarchy-enhancing” social categorization.
2) SOCIAL BELONGING THREAT MOTIVATES CATEGORIZATION OF RACIALLY-AMBIGUOUS FACES
Sarah E. Gaither1, Kristin Pauker2, Michael L. Slepian1,3, Samuel R. Sommers1 1Tufts University; 2University of Hawaii; 3Stanford University
Multiracial individuals are projected to be the fastest growing demographic in the US over the next 40 years. Given that this population challenges traditional either/or perceptions of race, the current work examines factors that motivate how multiracials are categorized. Two studies tested the hypothesis that social motivation to protect or restore social belonging with an important group (i.e., your racial ingroup) shapes categorization of racially-ambiguous faces in self-serving ways. Study 1 examined the effects of social exclusion on ambiguous categorization while Study 2 investigated ambiguous categorization after a threat to one’s racial identity. Both studies highlight that social threats toward belonging, motivate the adoption of stricter boundaries between the ingroup and outgroup, causing White participants to be more likely to categorize racially-ambiguous faces as outgroup. Results also demonstrate that this motivated categorization can be mitigated through self-affirmation, illustrating the malleability of social categorization and its dependency on serving self-relevant goals.
AT THE CROSSROADS OF RACE: RACIAL AMBIGUITY AND BIRACIAL IDENTIFICATION INFLUENCE CATEGORIZATION AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ESSENTIALIST BELIEFS
Danielle M. Young, Diana T. Sanchez, Leigh S. Wilton
Do visually ambiguous and biracially identified individuals serve as natural challenges to essentialist views of race? Previous research has demonstrated that when given time and the option, perceivers can categorize racially-ambiguous individuals as multiracial and that racial identification can serve as a categorization guide for ambiguous targets. Using a one-time exposure experimental paradigm, this research begins to untangle the impacts of visual ambiguity (“looking” biracial) and biracial identity (explicitly claiming biracial status) on deliberate and complex racial categorization, subsequent target perceptions, and essentialist beliefs. Results demonstrate that perceptions of targets are independently influenced by both visual and identity cues. Furthermore, perceivers who are exposed to racially-ambiguous, biracially-identified targets also show reductions in their essentialist thinking about race, while perceivers exposed to racially-ambiguous, monoracially-identified targets show increases in their essentialist beliefs. This research also considers social perceptions as potential mechanism through which essentialist beliefs are altered.
EXPOSURE TO UNIQUE FACETS OF DIVERSITY FACILITATES FLEXIBLE PERCEPTIONS OF RACE
Kristin Pauker1, Max Weisbuch2, Nalini Ambady3
1University of Hawaii; 2Denver University; 3Stanford University
Given the predicted burgeoning multiracial population, it is imperative to understand how exposure to this unique facet of diversity (e.g., features that challenge the current racial classification system) impacts our perceptions and beliefs about race. We explored whether exposure to multiracial faces could alter racial essentialism and ultimately affect race-based categorization, attention, and memory. We hypothesized that exposure to multiracials who challenge essentialist thinking may facilitate flexible lay theories of race. Results show that participants who report more exposure to biracial individuals endorsed racial essentialism less. Furthermore, participants in regions with a high prevalence of multiracial individuals (i.e., Hawaii) also exhibited more flexible perceptions of race than those in regions with fewer multiracial individuals (i.e., the mainland U.S.). Lastly, experimental manipulation of exposure to social environments populated by multiracials also led to less essentialism and consequently facilitated attention towards and memory for multiracial faces.
SELF-CONTROL DOES A BODY GOOD? EVIDENCE FROM THE BRAIN, HEART, LIVER, AND BEHAVIOR
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 206 – 207
Chair: Kathleen Vohs, University of Minnesota
Co-Chair: William Hedgcock, University of Iowa
This symposium will cover the latest discoveries about how self-control affects the brain and body. The research describes how self-control depletion disturbs brain activity, why self-control puts the body’s peripheral organs on pause, and how self-control training strengthens the brain’s self-control neural network.
THE SELF-CONTROL HABIT?: TRAINING-INDUCED CHANGES IN SELF-CONTROL NETWORK ACTIVATION
Elliot T. Berkman, Junaid S. Merchant, Lauren E. Kahn
University of Oregon
The Strength model predicts that self-control is amenable to change through training. Some behavioral data are available, but no studies have used neuroscience to establish the underlying pathways through which behavioral improvements in self-control are made. We conducted a training study to investigate which neural systems, if any, show plasticity in association with improvements in behavioral self-control. Fifty participants were randomly assigned to a three-week self-control training versus a control training that did not involve self-control. Brain activation during a self-control task was assessed pre- and post-training. The pattern of results is consistent with the Strength model: activation in regions associated with effortful control decreased in the training group (relative to controls), but was positively related to improvement in task performance. These results begin to uncover the neural pathways for training-based improvements in self-control, and provide evidence for the notion that self-control strength can indeed accumulate with use.
REDUCING SELF-CONTROL DEPLETION EFFECTS THROUGH ENHANCED SENSITIVITY TO IMPLEMENTATION: EVIDENCE FROM FMRI AND BEHAVIORAL STUDIES
William M. Hedgcock1, Kathleen D. Vohs2, Akshay R. Rao2
1University of Iowa; 2University of Minnesota
The Strength model suggests self-control relies on a limited set of resources that become diminished by use. Recent theories posit two stages of self-control: recognizing the need for control and implementing controlled responses. We conducted an fMRI experiment and intervention experiment to investigate whether one or both stages were affected by the prior exercise of self-control. Results from both experiments indicated that the implementation stage was most affected. Experiment 1 showed that participants’ brain activity in the right middle frontal gyrus, an area related to implementation of controlled processes, was diminished after a depleting task. Experiment 2 demonstrated further support for implementation decrements after depletion. Results showed that self-control was increased by an intervention designed to boost implementation more than an intervention that spurred recognition to control one’s responses. These data offer insights into the mechanism of self-regulatory resource depletion and promises for how to overcome depletion’s deleterious effects.
I’M TIRED AND YOU LOOK DELICIOUS: SELF-REGULATORY DEPLETION LEADS TO INCREASED REWARD RELATED NEURAL RESPONSES TO APPETITIVE STIMULI
Dylan D. Wagner, Todd F. Heatherton
The strength model of self-regulation has generally assumed that self-control failure occurs due to a lack of top-down control over impulses. Recently, it has been argued that self-regulatory depletion may also serve to increase the strength of emotions and impulses. Here, we present results from three functional neuroimaging studies in which brain responses to appetitive or emotional stimuli are measured following self-regulatory depletion. Study 1 examined the effects of depletion on responses to emotional scenes. Studies 2 and 3 examined reward-related brain activity to appetizing foods (Study 2) or attractive faces (Study 3). Across all three studies, depleted participants exhibited increased affect (Study 1) or reward-related (Studies 2 & 3) brain activity to appetitive stimuli compared to control participants. This work suggests that self-regulatory depletion disrupts self-control by increasing the strength of emotions and impulses thereby making it more difficult to exert top-down control to inhibit them.
EFFECTS OF SELF-REGULATION ON PERIPHERAL PHYSIOLOGY
Suzanne C. Segerstrom
University of Kentucky
Adaptive physiological regulation means that the body must alter its metabolic priorities in response to situational and internal demands. The act of self-regulation may have a distinct physiological profile, which we call “pause and plan”. Three laboratory studies support this model in demonstrating that during or after high self-regulatory effort, energy-intensive organs – namely, the heart, immune system, and liver – showed slower functioning compared with times or people characterized by low self-regulatory effort. Furthermore, key individual differences predicted organ function during high self-regulatory effort: high optimism, which has been associated with greater effort aimed at self-regulation, predicted less robust immune response to challenge after a self-regulatory task; low trait self-control, also associated with greater regulatory effort, predicted slower liver metabolism during self-regulation. The body’s shift to a “pause and plan” profile during self-regulation works to conserve resources for both concurrent and future behavior by slowing the metabolic demands of these organs.
FACTORS THAT PREDICT SELF-CONTROL SUCCESS AND FAILURE WITHIN A PERSON ACROSS SITUATIONS: IT’S MORE THAN JUST TRAIT SELF-CONTROL PLUS STATE DEPLETION
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 217 – 219
Chair: Lara Kammrath, Wake Forest University
The strength model of self-control suggests that the same individual will be more or less successful at exerting self-control depending on his/her trait level of self-control and state level of depletion. The papers in this symposium examine additional factors that predict a person’s self-control in and across specific situations.
RESISTING EVERYTHING EXCEPT TEMPTATION: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY OF DOMAIN SPECIFICITY IN SELF-CONTROL
Eli Tsukayama, Angela Duckworth University of Pennsylvania
Why do some people act self-controlled in some situations but not others? In particular, how do we reconcile apparent inconsistencies in self-control behavior? That is, why does it appear that an individual can be self-controlled in one situation or domain (e.g., work) but impulsive in another (e.g., drinking)? We propose and test a model that incorporates and explains both domain-general (some people are more self-controlled than others on average) and domain-specific (a person can be self-controlled in one domain but impulsive in another) differences in impulsive behavior. We report results from a longitudinal study of cohorts of varying ages: childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, and late adulthood. This investigation (1) provides support for a model that explains both domain-general and domain-specific self-control behavior that generalizes across the lifespan, (2) demonstrates temporal consistency of domain-general and domain-specific self-control behavior, (3) and provides an explanation for gender differences in self-control behavior.
I’LL DO IT FOR YOU BUT NOT FOR ME: COMPARING A DOMAIN GENERAL TO A DOMAIN SPECIFIC MODEL OF SOCIAL SELF-REGULATORY ACTIONS
Kassandra Cortes1, Lara Kammrath2
1University of Waterloo; 2Wake Forest University
Pursuing our personal goals and relationship goals can be hard work. Some of this work includes effortful actions: difficult and effortful active behaviors performed to promote a positive outcome. We investigate whether the same self-regulatory variables that predict effortful personal actions (that benefit oneself) also predict effortful social actions (that benefit someone else). Effortful social actions are an important class of self-regulatory behavior, yet, surprisingly, have rarely been studied from a self-regulatory perspective. In three studies, we examined the role of both trait self-control, a domain-general self-regulatory trait, and trait agreeableness, a specialized social self-regulatory trait, as predictors of effortful action. Across studies, we manipulated whether the effortful behavior being performed benefitted the self or someone else. In all studies, only trait agreeableness predicted effortful social action, while only trait self-control predicted effort in the personal domain. Implications for the domain specificity of self-regulation are discussed.
BEYOND WILLPOWER: HABITS ARE A CORNERSTONE OF GOAL ADHERENCE
Pei-Ying Lin, Wendy Wood1, John R. Monterosso
University of Southern California
People reach goals through multiple regulatory processes. Habits are a largely unrecognized mechanism of goal adherence. Especially when people lack willpower to make choices, they fall back on good habits (e.g., greater gym attendance in habitual exercisers) as well as bad ones (e.g., greater snacking in habitual snackers). Because most habits in daily life are goal-congruent (Ouellette & Wood, 1998), habits in general promote goal adherence. We show that people with low willpower rely more on good (and bad) habits that develop naturally (Neal, Wood, & Drolet, 2012), relative to people with high willpower. We show in a chocolate eating experiment that participants who believed chocolate was unhealthy fell back on their habitual response tendencies when willpower was low—they ate more chocolate in the habitual eating group and ate less chocolate in the habitual avoidance group. Thus, people may benefit from habits that outsource behavior control to the environment.
PREDICTING THE UPS AND DOWNS FROM ACTING OUT AND AVOIDING TEMPTATION>br> Hiroki Kotabe, Wilhelm Hofmann
The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
In this research, we examine the social cognitions associated with behavioral decision-making in a self-control situation. Specifically, we investigate affective forecasting – what emotions do people think they will feel after they resist a temptation or after they succumb to a temptation? And how do people’s affective forecasts change when they are in different (depleted vs non-depleted, low construal vs high construal) psychological mindsets? In Study 1, we show that depleted participants, in comparison with non-depleted participants, expect to feel less guilt for acting on temptation. Additionally, expected guilt was less predictive of enactment likelihood in those participants and they also predicted the pleasure of enactment and the frustration of nonenactment to decay more slowly. In Study 2, we show that high construal, in comparison with low construal, is associated with less predictiveness of pleasure on enactment likelihood, less predictiveness of frustration on expected happiness judgments, and higher nonenactment happiness.
CONCEALMENT IN PLAIN SIGHT: THE UNSEEN INFLUENCE OF SECRETS IN E-MAILS, BODILY EXPERIENCES, SOCIAL INTERACTIONS, AND THE COMMUNITY
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 228 – 230
Chair: Michael Slepian, Stanford University
Co-Chair: E. J. Masicampo, Wake Forest University
We showcase the latest research on concealment, demonstrating the effects of secrets on e-mail content and frequency, the way secrets burden as if comprising actual weight, how one’s secrets affect others’ mental and physical performance, and stresses related to preoccupation with and disclosure of stigma in a diverse community sample.
MAJOR LIFE SECRETS CAN PROMOTE RELATIONSHIP ENGAGEMENT RATHER THAN SOCIAL WITHDRAWAL: TRACKING SECRET-KEEPING IN EMAILS
Yla R. Tausczik, Cindy K. Chung, James W. Pennebaker The University of Texas at Austin
This study tracked the impact of keeping a major life secret on an individual’s social network. Changes in emailing frequency and word use between 61 secret keepers and their contacts were identified from before and during secret keeping. Surprisingly, there was no evidence for social withdrawal during secret keeping. Instead, we found the opposite—secret keepers communicated more frequently and exhibited more engagement with others. These data support a hypervigilance hypothesis: Secret keepers may engage others in order to monitor their interactions. Most striking was that secret keeping led to deeper social bonds between secret keepers and confidants. These results highlight the powerful role that archival emails and other social media may play in revealing naturally occurring social phenomena.
THE PHYSICAL BURDENS OF SECRECY
Michael L. Slepian1, E.J. Masicampo2, Negin Toosi3, Nalini Ambady1
1Stanford University; 2Wake Forest University; 3Columbia University
People often speak of secrets as burdens. The present work examined whether people might actually experience secrets as felt weight. We assessed whether secrets influence perception and action in the same way that physical burdens do. Four studies examined people who harbored important secrets (e.g., infidelity, sexual orientation). People who recalled, were preoccupied with, or suppressed important secrets showed the same effects known to occur among people carrying physical weight—secret holders estimated hills to be steeper and distances to be farther away. We also examined the social and behavioral consequences of this effect. People burdened with secrets estimated that physical tasks would require more effort and were therefore less likely to help others by performing them. The more burdensome the secret and the more thought devoted to it, the more perception and action were influenced as if people were carrying physical weight. Secrets—like physical burdens—weigh people down.
CONCEALING SEXUAL ORIENTATION CAN HARM THE PERFORMANCE OF OTHERS
Benjamin A. Everly, Margaret J. Shih University of California, Los Angeles
The current social climate is one in which many gay and lesbian individuals do not feel comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation. Some policies, such as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, have even required gays and lesbians to conceal their sexual orientation. But what are the social implications of concealment? We examined how interacting with an individual concealing his gay identity might affect the performance of others. In three experiments, participants completed either a cognitive (math test) or sensorimotor (Wii video game) task with a gay confederate. The results revealed that participants performed worse when the confederate’s sexual orientation was concealed compared to when it was disclosed. These studies suggest that social pressures or policies that promote the concealment of sexual orientation can have harmful consequences. Overall, while some policy makers argue that working with openly gay individuals can undermine performance, we found precisely the opposite to be true.
CONCEALING THE SELF: EFFECTS OF PREOCCUPATION, ANTICIPATION OF STIGMA, AND OUTNESS
Diane M. Quinn1, Michelle K. Williams1, Francisco Quintana1, Valerie A. Earnshaw2 1University of Connecticut; 2Yale University
What aspects of stigmatized identities are linked to psychological distress? The current research examined multiple predictors of distress in a diverse community sample of low SES adults. The sample included people who reported they were concealing current or previous substance abuse (N = 101), current or previous diagnosed mental illness (N= 101), and people who experienced childhood abuse (N = 74). After controlling for demographic variables, regression analyses showed that for the mental illness and the childhood abuse groups, worries about being stigmatized and greater salience of the stigmatized identity predicted more distress; whereas greater outness predicted less distress. For the substance abuse group, only salience predicted distress. This research sheds light on when concealing a culturally stigmatized identity might become particularly burdensome. Ironically, frequent thoughts and worries about concealed identities were linked to greater distress—yet actually being out to others predicted less of it.
HARVESTING AND DISTILLING BIG DATA IN THE INFORMATION AGE: APPLICATIONS AND ADVANCES IN SOCIAL AND PERSONALITY PSYCHOLOGY
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 208 – 210
Chair: Benjamin S. Crosier, University of Florida
Co-Chair: Gregory D. Webster, University of Florida
Whereas social-personality psychologists once faced a dearth of data, with advent of the information age, they now face a deluge of “big data.” This symposium provides an overview of the possibilities of big data for social-personality psychology’s future with a sample of cutting-edge research that uses web-based data (Facebook, Foursquare).
THE INTERNET IS ONE MASSIVE FIELD STUDY
Adam D.I. Kramer
The advent of the World Wide Web has generated an unprecedented quantity of social interaction data for analysis: millions if not billions of data points, collected entirely unobtrusively, and provided for free (in return for provision of a useful or entertaining service). These new data sources, however, require new research methodologies at every step of the process: Not only must computer programs replace research assistants for the purposes of running studies, entering data, and coding it (and who will write those programs?), but the resulting data are noisy (which accounts are “fake?”), oddly distributed (the Poisson distribution reigns), and overabundant (can you load a million data points into SPSS? How about a billion?). I discuss the life cycle of “computational social psychology” research, and reframe our basic methodological heuristics accordingly.
DO FACEBOOK NETWORKS REFLECT REAL SOCIAL NETWORKS? CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN ONLINE AND OFFLINE SOCIAL NETWORK STRUCTURE
Benjamin S. Crosier, Keivan Zolfaghari, Gregory D. Webster
University of Florida
With nearly one billion users, the social networking website Facebook has provided novel ways for people to socialize and for social-personality psychologists to study behavior. Nevertheless, a key question remains: Do Facebook networks necessarily reflect real-world social networks? To answer this question, we collected egocentric social network data from 500 undergraduates using both Facebook and self-report (via recall of alters), and calculated structural metrics for both types of social networks (Facebook vs. real). Results indicated positive associations between Facebook and real social networks in terms of network density (actual ties per possible ties), centrality (importance/influence), and brokerage (friends that bridge disparate groups of friends).Structure metrics for both Facebook and real social networks were related to extraversion. Collectively, these findings suggest that personality shapes social network structure, regardless of whether they are online or offline. We discuss methodological issues and future directions including optimal approaches for acquiring comprehensive social network data.
MANIFESTATIONS OF PERSONALITY IN ONLINE AND OFFLINE ENVIRONMENTS
Lindsay T. Graham1, Samuel D. Gosling1, Corey Reese2 1University of Texas; 2Trumpet Technologies
Individuals spend large amounts of time working, playing, and socializing in various virtual domains. So, it is important to understand how individuals express themselves in these environments. Here we examine the overlap between online and offline personalities in two virtual environments: the massively-multiplayer-online-role-play-game World of Warcraft (WoW) and the location-based social networking site, Foursquare. Study 1 found consensus among judges of impressions of WoW players based on their screen names, but there was little evidence for the accuracy of those impressions. Study 2 found surprisingly strong inter-judge consensus about the ambiance and typical clients of bars and cafes in Austin, based only on the Foursquare user profile photos of the people who frequent those places. Study 2 also found evidence for convergence between those profile-based impressions and impressions made of patrons at the actual locations. We discuss the potential processes driving personality expression across virtual and physical environments.
WHAT SOCIAL NETWORK ANALYSIS CAN REVEAL ABOUT HIRING DECISIONS IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY
Gregory D. Webster, Adam Dzedzy, Benjamin S. Crosier
University of Florida
We used social network analysis (SNA) to describe hiring decisions among universities. SNA integrates information about universities (nodes) and hiring relationships (ties; who hires whom). We assessed correlations among measures of psychology department productivity (citation indexes [Nosek et al., 2010], JPSP articles published [Quiñones-Vidal et al., 2004]), peer-rated prestige (U.S. News rankings), and network centrality that describe an institution’s hiring-network influence. We examined 62 member institutions of the American Association of Universities (AAU). Using psychology departments’ websites, we recorded information about social psychology professors’ PhD-conferring institutions and PhD year, resulting in 457 ties. SNA showed that centrality measures correlated positively with productivity (citations, JPSP publications) and peer-rated prestige (ranking scores) measures, suggesting strong convergent validity. Additionally, the hiring gender gap decreased significantly over time (1949–2011); women are now the majority of new hires among AAU social psychology programs. We discuss SNA as a new tool for modeling relational data.
TWEETING, TEXTING, AND TALKING: TECHNOLOGY’S IMPACT ON SOCIAL INTERACTION
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 211 –213
Chair: Jonah Berger, University of Pennsylvania
Rather than just communicating face-to-face, people can now tweet, text, and talk through a host of channels. How do these different modalities impact the nature and consequences of social interaction? This session integrates various methodologies and research perspectives to illuminate both the upsides and downsides of technology’s impact on communication.
CONNECTING VERSUS SELF-PROTECTING: SELF-ESTEEM AND SELF-DISCLOSURE ON FACEBOOK
Joanne V. Wood, Amanda L. Forest, Daniel Machado
University of Waterloo
Self-disclosure is crucial to close relationships. But people with low self-esteem (LSEs) face a dilemma: Disclosing their true feelings would require sharing negative emotions—which they experience more than people with high self-esteem (HSEs)—yet expressing negativity is socially risky, and LSEs desperately want to avoid rejection. Normally, LSEs’ self-protectiveness inhibits their self-disclosures. Would LSEs feel safer expressing themselves on Facebook? On Facebook one’s disclosures are broadcast to hundreds of other people, but unlike in-person interactions, one can avoid others’ potentially disapproving faces. Two studies showed that LSEs expressed less positivity and more negativity than HSEs in their Facebook status updates. A third study that manipulated the communication medium—online vs. face-to-face—suggested that LSEs do express themselves more freely online. Yet LSEs’ negativity brings about the very rejection that they fear. This research illustrates how social media provide new ways to test theories about self-esteem and relationship processes.
HOW COMMUNICATION CHANNELS SHAPE WHAT PEOPLE TALK ABOUT
Jonah Berger, Raghu Iyengar University of Pennsylvania
How does the channel people communicate through (e.g., face-to-face or online) shape what they talk about? Using a multi-method approach (analysis of over 21,000 everyday conversations, as well as controlled experiments) we demonstrate that the channel people communicate through influences what gets discussed by influencing conversation synchronicity. Asynchronous communication channels (e.g., online posts or text) naturally provide pauses between conversational turns, allowing people to select and craft what they say. Consequently, interesting things are talked about more than boring ones. Along these lines, experimental evidence indicates that merely encouraging participants to pause before communicating leads more interesting things to be discussed. Synchronous communication channels (e.g., face-to-face or phone), however, do not provide such time, and as a result, how interesting things are to talk about has less of an impact on whether they get mentioned. These findings shed light on how communication channels shape what people discuss.
NEUROENDOCRINE RESPONSES TO ONLINE COMMUNICATION IN CHILDREN
Leslie J. Seltzer, Toni E. Zeigler1, Seth D. Pollack University of Wisconsin-Madison
There is no shortage of stories in the popular media about the deleterious mental and emotional effects of overmuch internet use, especially in children. The actual effects of online social communication on the living human brain, however, are almost wholly unknown. Here, we examine the neuroendocrine effects of online social communication in girls aged 8-12 years after a stressful event. In particular, we examine the effects of instant messaging on the hormones oxytocin, which is released following warm interpersonal contact, vasopressin, which is involved in both the stress response and social aggression, and lastly cortisol, a “stress hormone”. Our results indicate that in-person or verbal social interaction releases more oxytocin, and less cortisol and vasopressin, than instant messaging. While more research is needed to clarify the effects of social communication on the brain, it is evident that online social interactions cannot provide the same biological experience as direct human contact.
THE HUMANIZING VOICE
Nicholas Epley, Juliana Schroeder
University of Chicago
Humanness is typically defined, both intuitively and philosphically, by the presence of mind. Human beings can think, feel, reason, and have conscious experiences. These mental capacities, however, are inherently invisible. In a series of experiments, we find that spoken language is critical for communicating the presence of mind. Target participants talked about a decision that either turned out well or poorly (Experiment 1), about either a positive or negative emotional experience (Experiment 2), or about a contentious political issue (Experiment 3). Observers then read transcripts, listened to the audio, or watched a video (with audio) of these speeches. In each, targets were rated as possessing weaker mental capacities—less agency, less experience, less basic human nature, and less uniquely human traits—in the transcript condition than in the audio (or audiovisual) conditions. Voiceless mediums may make people appear less mindful, and thereby less human as well.
NEW TAKES ON APPROACH AND AVOIDANCE
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 220 –222
Chair: Christine Hosey, University of Chicago - Booth School of Business
Co-Chair: Jane Risen, University of Chicago - Booth School of Business
REVERSING ONE’S FORTUNE BY PUSHING AWAY BAD LUCK
Christine Hosey1, Yan Zhang2, Jane Risen1
1University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; 2National University of Singapore
Across cultures, people try to “undo” bad luck with superstitious rituals such as knocking on wood, spitting, or throwing salt. These rituals may reduce the perceived likelihood of negative outcomes because they involve avoidant actions that simulate pushing away bad luck. Participants tempt fate and then engage in avoidant actions that are either superstitious (Study 1, knocking on wood) or non-superstitious (Study 2, throwing a ball). Participants who knock down (away from themselves) or throw a ball believe a jinxed outcome is less likely than participants who knock up (toward themselves) or hold a ball. Study 3 demonstrates that after tempting fate, avoidant actions prompt less clear mental representations for the jinxed event. Study 4 finds that performing an avoidant action –not creating distance– is critical for reversing the perceived effect of the jinx. Although superstitions are often culturally defined, the psychological processes that underlie them may be shared cross-culturally.
APPROACH AND AVOIDANCE STATES INFLUENCE FACE PERCEPTION AND MEMORY
Steven G. Young1, Michael L. Slepian2, Nalini Ambady3
1Fairleigh Dickinson University; 2Tufts University; 3Stanford University
Approach and avoidance are fundamental motives, yet little work has examined how these motivations influence person perception. The current work addresses this question by examining the influence of embodied approach and avoidance on impression formation and person memory. In Experiment 1, approach/avoidance influenced a critical distinction in how people were perceived, with approaching leading others to be judged as trustworthy, while avoidance led others to seem untrustworthy. This relation was found to be reciprocal in Experiment 2, as faces pre-rated as trustworthy potentiated approach. In Experiment 3, faces that participants approached were better remembered than faces they avoided. Experiment 4 included both same-race and other-race faces and found that during approach, same-race recognition is superior, but this same-race bias is eliminated during avoidance due to a decrease in same-race recognition. These novel results illustrate that approach/avoidance impacts critical person perception processes, including how impressions are formed and faces are remembered.
HOW TO APPROACH AVOIDANCE: REDUCING PREJUDICED BEHAVIOR USING APPROACH TRAINING
Annemarie Wennekers1, Rob Holland2, Daniel Wigboldus2, Ad van Knippenberg2
1University of Amsterdam; 2Radboud University Nijmegen
The present research aims to enhance understanding of the behavioral processes related to implicit prejudice and prejudice reduction. We investigated both how implicit prejudice predicts approach/avoidance tendencies, and how repeated approach of out-group targets reduces prejudiced behavior. As hypothesized from the link between prejudice and fear, Study 1 showed that implicit prejudice predicted faster avoidance responses toward out-group as compared to in-group targets, but was unrelated to the speed of approach movements. Study 2 showed that repeated approach reduced avoidance behavior of highly prejudiced people toward an out-group male, while it did not affect avoidance behavior of less prejudiced people. These effects were particularly present for female participants, potentially because the fear component is especially important in their intergroup bias. In conclusion, the current findings suggest that repeated approach decreases avoidance behavior of relatively highly prejudiced individuals. We discuss the results in light of recent work on embodiment and prejudice.
HOW RACE, CLASS AND STIGMA ARE EMBEDDED IN PHYSICAL SPACE
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room 225 – 227
Chair: Courtney Bonam, University of Illinois Chicago
Co-Chair: Jennifer Eberhardt, Stanford University
Increasingly social psychologists are examining physical context as an important factor shaping social processes. Our symposium examines how person-space interactions can perpetuate and ameliorate race and class inequalities in education, exposure to polluted environments, and segregation. Together these talks highlight how race, class, and stigma are embedded in physical space.
SPACE FOR DIVERSITY? USE OF PUBLIC SPACE AND SENSE OF PLACE IN HIGHER EDUCATION
University of Virginia
Research has shown that students from historically stigmatized groups feel “out of place” in higher education. The present research examines the importance of public spaces on university campuses. It demonstrates that the way stigmatized students use public spaces on campus contributes to their feeling “out of place.” Specifically, Study 1 reveals that, relative to high-SES students, lower-SES students use less public space on campus. Study 2 extends this finding; it finds that lower-SES students feel “out of place” at the University to the extent that they prefer smaller, more private spaces on campus; high-SES students feel “at home” at the University to the extent that they prefer larger, more public spaces on campus. Finally, Study 3 provides experimental evidence that empowering students to use public space on campus can boost students’ sense of place at the University. Altogether, these studies have implications for disparities in educational outcomes.
WHAT RESIDENTIAL SPACE CAN SIGNAL ABOUT RACE: DESCRIPTIVE NORMS, RACE ESSENTIALISM, AND PREFERENCES FOR SAME-RACE NEIGHBORS
Rebecca C. Hetey, Jennifer L. Eberhardt
Forty-five years after racial residential segregation was outlawed, we might expect America’s neighborhoods to be fully integrated. Segregation, however, persists. Across three studies, We explore how the prevalence of segregation can fuel its own perpetuation by setting powerful descriptive norms. When participants were exposed to information about high rates of residential segregation in the United States, they conformed and expressed significantly stronger preferences for same-race neighbors than those exposed to low rates of segregation. Further, this normative information changed individuals’ conceptions of race. Learning that segregation is common, rather than uncommon, caused participants to endorse a more essentialized view of race. This view of race was itself significantly associated with preferences for same-race residential contact. This work illustrates that physical arrangements of racial groups within residential spaces can shape preferences for social contact with members of different races and can signal how essential race is as a category.
SPACE-FOCUSED STEREOTYPES AND THEIR DOWNSTREAM CONSEQUENCES FOR DEVALUING BLACK LOCALES
Courtney M. Bonam1, Jennifer L . Eberhardt2, Jack Glaser3
1University of Illinois Chicago; 2Stanford University; 3University of California Berkeley
Do racial stereotypes take the form of physical space characteristics, ultimately shaping perceptions and judgments of racially imbued space? Three studies examine this question. Qualitative analyses establish the specific content of Black space-focused stereotypes, revealing a blighted and impoverished image of Black areas (Study 1). A go no-go association task shows that the mere presence of Black people automatically and implicitly activates this blighted image (Study 2). A final experiment demonstrates downstream consequences (Study 3). All participants read the same information about a middle-class neighborhood, as well as a proposal to build an industrial plant there. Participants assume the neighborhood is lower class and has lower property values when it is majority Black vs. White. Also assuming it to be more industrial, participants feel less connected to the Black neighborhood and are less opposed to building an industrial plant nearby. Implications for wealth, health, and environmental inequality will be discussed.
HOW RACISM TAKES PLACE
University of California Santa Barbara
Individual perceptions about racialized space take place within a structural context in which relations between races are often experienced as relations between places. People of different races in the United States generally are relegated to different physical locations by housing and lending discrimination, by school district boundaries, by policing practices, by zoning regulations, and by the design of transit systems. The racial demographies of the places where people live, work, play, shop, and travel expose them to a socially shared system of exclusion and inclusion that shapes stereotypical perceptions about neighborhoods as sites of danger or refuge. In this talk, I describe the key mechanisms from the past and the present that spatialize race and racialize space.
NEW TOOLS: OPEN SOURCE AND PUBLICLY AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGY FOR SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL RESEARCH
Saturday, January 19, 3:30 – 4:45 pm, Room R02
Chair: Thomas Schubert, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, ISCTE-IUL
Co-Chair: Winter Mason, Stevens Institute of Technology
Using expensive and proprietary technology in research hinders replication and unconventional sampling. We showcase four examples that overcome this difficulty by using open source and publicly available technology: Two online response time measurement tools, one smartphone-based event sampler, and posture measurement with force plates.
AN OPEN SOURCE IAT IMPLEMENTATION FOR ONLINE DATA COLLECTION
Stevens Institute of Technology
Replication is fundamental to the scientific method. As social psychologists increasingly use software tools to conduct research, it therefore becomes crucial to share these tools as freely as possible to facilitate replication. In this interest, I created a version of the Implicit Association Test (Greenwald, McGhee, and Schwartz, 1998) that is freely available and modifiable; that is, an open source IAT. It uses HTML5 and runs in all modern browsers, with no plugins needed. I will describe the software, demonstrate how it can be easily used for both online and offline research, and show example results obtained with the software. I will conclude by describing the way the software is shared and point to additional open source resources for social psychologists.
SCRIPTINGRT: AN OPEN SOURCE TOOL FOR MEASURING RESPONSE LATENCIES ONLINE
Thomas W. Schubert, Elizabeth Collins, Carla Murteira, Diniz Lopes
Online research has become a standard tool of psychological research. However, collecting reaction time data online currently requires specialized programming skills or proprietary software. ScriptingRT is a free open source software library that supports the development of online reaction time studies. ScriptingRT was developed using Adobe Flex. Experiments are programmed in an XML-based syntax, run as Flash applications in any Internet browser with a Flash plugin, and can be integrated in HTML surveys. Three studies tested the performance of ScriptingRT. Standard effects (e.g. Stroop, Simon) were reliably replicated using ScriptingRT, when run in the lab and online. In direct comparison to desktop specialized software, effect sizes were slightly smaller; we present estimates on how many additional participants or trials are necessary to reach the same test power. The results confirm the validity of ScriptingRT (http://reactiontimes.wordpress.com/) to measure reaction times.
USING SMARTPHONES TO RECORD DAILY ACTIVITY AND SAMPLE EXPERIENCES
Robert Wilson1, Simine Vazire1, Kathryn Bollich1, Matthias Mehl2
1Washington University in St. Louis; 2University of Arizona
Recent technological advances provide new opportunities to affordably capture our daily lives in data. Improvements in supporting technology has made the Electronically Activated Recorder (EAR) and the Experience Sampling Method (ESM) particularly feasible methods for gathering detailed information about participants’ thoughts, feelings, and behavior in an ecologically valid manner. The EAR captures ambient noise as a person goes through their daily life. In our study, we programmed iPod Touches with the free iEAR software and asked 132 participants to wear this device for six days. We also asked participants to complete ESM surveys six times a day during this same period. Together, the EAR recordings and ESM reports provide a remarkably rich perspective on person-situation interactions in the real world. The EAR data provide objective information about what a person is doing, while the ESM data provide subjective information about what a person is thinking and feeling.
EMERGING USES OF THE FORCE PLATFORM IN INTERGROUP AND INTERPERSONAL RELATIONS RESEARCH
Elizabeth A. Lee1, Manuela Barreto2, Cheryl Kaiser3
1ISCTE-IUL, Lisboa; 2University of Exeter; 3University of Washington
A force plate measures distribution of pressure exerted by a person standing on the plate. It is a mainstay in the fields of kinesiology and physical therapy for assessing posture and gait. Force platform technology is now emerging as a tool within social psychology for manipulating and measuring the embodiment of diverse constructs. We will first review available technology (including the Wii balance board), and previous use for manipulating and/or measuring approach/avoidance responses, embodied ambivalence, anticipatory anxiety, fearful immobility, and even lying behavior. Second, we will present one application of the force platform in intergroup relations: measuring postural responses while participants witnessed an incident of racism within the context of an interpersonal interaction. The potential and practical uses of this technology in future work will be discussed.
Symposium Session I
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm
WHATEVER YOU THINK ABOUT FREE WILL, IT’S HERE IN THIS SYMPOSIUM: DIVERSE VIEWS ON THE PSYCHOLOGY OF FREE WILL
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room R03 – R05
Chair: Andrew Monroe, Brown University
Co-Chair: Bertram F. Malle, Brown University
This symposium features Wheatley, Monroe, Schooler, and Baumeister offering qualitatively different perspectives on the myth, reality, perils, and promise of belief in free will. The discussion will range from examining why people believe in free will despite it being an illusion to identifying how free will might work.
FREE WILL IS AN ILLUSION. NOW WHAT?
Decades of empirical research have shown that free will -- defined as my conscious self could have chosen to do otherwise -- is an illusion. It remains unclear, however, exactly why the illusion exists and what role it plays in social behavior and judgment. In this talk I will 1) briefly summarize the research from Wertheimer to Wegner that dismantles lay views of conscious free will, 2) discuss my own research using hypnosis and 3) suggest how social psychology and neuroscience can and should move the debate from do we have free will? to why do we have the illusion? and discuss whether science itself should care about any (potential) moral consequences of this knowledge.
MYTH AND REALITY OF PEOPLE’S BELIEF IN FREE WILL
Andrew E. Monroe, Kyle D. Dillion, Bertram F. Malle
We examine the empirical basis for the following argument: (1) People’s concept of free will relies on metaphysical beliefs about nondeterministic causation and the workings of a soul. (2) Such beliefs are contradicted by science, so the concept of free will is illusory and invalid. (3) Free will undergirds people’s moral practice of blaming, praising, and punishing others. (4) Because the free will concept is invalid, this entire moral practice is invalid as well. We present a program of research that examines empirical premises (1) and (3), using reaction time, vignette, and debate methodologies. We show (a) that people’s concept of free will is neither metaphysical nor invalid but rather grounded in the folk concept of intentionality, and (b) that people’s moral judgments do not rely on an assumption of special free will but on the basic assumptions of intentionality and freedom from coercion.
WHY DOES DISCREDITING FREE WILL AFFECT BEHAVIOR?
Jonathan W. Schooler1, Kathleen D. Vohs2, Eddy Nahmias3, Thomas Nadelhoffer4
1University of California, Santa Barbara; 2University of Minnesota; 3Georgia State University; 4College of Charleston
Recently there has been accumulating evidence that challenging people’s belief in free will can significantly affect behavior in a variety of different contexts including, cheating, over paying oneself, pro-social behavior, forgiveness, and creativity. Although there have been a variety of robust demonstrations that anti-free will sentiments have broad effects on behavior, the mechanism underpinning these effects remain unresolved. This talk will review several potentially overlapping accounts of why discouraging a belief in free will influences behavior, including: 1) It provides an excuse for actions that otherwise would be inappropriate; 2) It undermines will power in a manner similar to ego depletion; 3) It challenges people’s world view and activates meaning maintenance processes; 4) It undermines related metaphysical constructs (e.g. belief in a soul). Drawing on a combination of experimental and survey-based approaches, this talk will weigh the empirical evidence in support of each of these accounts.
FREE WILL AS SELF-CONTROL, RATIONAL CHOICE, AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY: BELIEF AND REALITY
Roy F. Baumeister
Florida State University
Psychology can best contribute to the free will debate by elucidating the social and causal processes linked to action control, moral responsibility, and beliefs about others. Ordinary people understand free will as involving making choices, resisting temptation, planning and pursuing goals, being moral, and being free from external constraints. This talk provides an overview of my recent research program. Findings include the following: (1) self-control, intelligent thought, rational choice, and initiative all draw on the same energy resource; (2) belief in free will is linked to moral responsibility, and belief in free will increases when people are motivated to blame others for destructive and antisocial actions; (3) disbelief in free will undermines some patterns of action (including helping, thinking for oneself, learning lessons from misdeeds, and engaging in counterfactual thinking) that are useful for maintaining human social life and culture.
THE NEURAL CORRELATES OF ABSTRACTION AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTANCE
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room R01
Chair: Michael Gilead, Tel-Aviv University
In recent years, an attempt has been made to integrate neuroscience with social psychological theories. The work presented in this symposium will try to look at diverse neuroscientific findings from a unifying theoretical perspective of Construal-Level Theory (CLT; Liberman and Trope, 2008; Trope and Liberman, 2010).
NEURAL CORRELATES OF CONCRETE AND ABSTRACT MINDSETS
Michael Gilead1, Anat Maril2, Nira Liberman1
1Tel-Aviv University; 2the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Much work in the field of social cognition shows that adopting an abstract (vs. concrete) mindset alters the way people construe the world, thereby exerting substantial effects across innumerable aspects of human behavior. In order to investigate the cognitive and neural basis of these effects, we scanned participants as they performed two widely-used tasks that induce high-level vs. low-level construal mindsets. Specifically, participants: (1) indicated “why” perform certain activities (which entails abstraction) vs. “how” they are performed (which entails concretization); (2) generated superordinate categories (abstraction) vs. subordinate exemplars (concretization). We conducted a conjunction analysis of the neural activity associated with abstraction vs. concretization. The results showed that concrete mindsets were associated with activation in fronto-parietal regions implicated in goal-directed action; abstract mindsets were associated with activity within posterior regions implicated in visual imagery. We discuss these findings in light of construal-level theory’s notion of abstraction.
ACTIVATION OF THE MENTALIZING SYSTEM WITHOUT MENTAL STATE INFERENCES
Frank Van Overwalle, Kris Baetens
Vrije Universiteit Brusse
The dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC) is consistently involved in mental state processing. Some have suggested that this region is exclusively engaged in social cognition, yet there is research demonstrating its involvement in tasks that do not involve mental state inferences. We hypothesized that the dmPFC might subserve a more general process of abstraction, defined as the formation of concepts or ideas by ignoring non-essential features of stimuli, irrespective of the social or non-social nature of the abstraction process. We presented pictures of persons in action (social stimuli) or objects (non-social stimuli), and manipulated abstraction by instructing participants to generate personality traits of these persons or to generate higher-order categories to which these non-social objects belonged. The results demonstrated strong involvement of the dmPFC in abstraction with substantial overlap across social and non-social stimuli and support the notion that the mentalizing system has a broader role than processing mental states.
FAMILIARITY MODULATES MIRROR NEURON AND MENTALIZING REGIONS DURING INTENTION UNDERSTANDING
Sook-Lei Liew1, Shihui Han2, Lisa Aziz-Zadeh1
1University of Southern California; 2Peking University
Inference of others’ intentions from their observed actions is supported by two neural systems: the human putative mirror neuron system (MNS) supports simulations of observed actions, and the mentalizing system provides reasoning of others’ perspectives. In the current fMRI study, we show how familiarity with an action and with the race of an actor uniquely modulates these two systems. Chinese participants were asked to infer the intentions of actors performing symbolic gestures. We manipulated actor’s race and participants’ level of experience with the gestures. Observing gestures compared to still images was associated with increased activity in both the MNS and mentalizing systems. Observations of one’s same race generated greater activity in the posterior MNS-related regions and the insula than observations of a different race. Surprisingly, familiar gestures more strongly activated regions associated with mentalizing, while unfamiliar gestures more strongly activated the posterior region of the MNS.
ACTIVATION OF VENTRAL VISUAL CORTEX SUPPORTS DISTANCE REPRESENTATION
Elinor Amit1, Eyal Mehoudar2, Yaacov Trope3, Galit Yovel2
1Harvard University; 2Tel-Aviv University; 3New York University
Scenes and objects elicit a selective response in specific brain regions in the ventral visual cortex. An inherent difference between these categories is their perceived distance from the observer (i.e. scenes are distal whereas objects are proximal). The current study aimed to test the extent to which scene and object selective areas are sensitive to perceived distance information independently from their category-selectivity and retinotopic location. We conducted two studies that used a distance illusion (i.e., the Ponzo lines) and showed that scene regions (the parahippocampal place area and transverse occipital sulcus) are biased toward perceived distal stimuli, whereas the lateral occipital object region is biased toward perceived proximal stimuli. These results suggest that the ventral visual cortex plays a role in representing distance information, extending recent findings on the sensitivity of these regions to location information. More broadly, our findings imply that distance information is inherent to object recognition.
NEW INTERDISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES ON THE ANTECEDENTS TO AND REMEDIES FOR THE GENDER GAP IN STEM
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room R07 – R09
Chair: Jane Stout, University of Colorado Boulder
Co-Chair: Corinne Moss-Racusin, Yale University
In light of the persistent STEM gender gap, we present an interdisciplinary program of research offering new explanations for women’s underrepresentation in STEM and interventions to expand women’s participation. Our work identifies novel internal and external forces contributing to women’s underrepresentation, as well as successful interventions addressing the gender gap.
HOW WOMEN’S ENDORSEMENT OF GENDERED SCIENCE STEREOTYPES CONTRIBUTES TO THE GENDER GAP IN STEM PARTICIPATION
Jane G. Stout1, Tiffany A. Ito1, Noah D. Finkelstein2, Steven J. Pollock2
1University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience; 2University of Colorado Boulder, Department of Physics
A great deal of research indicates that feeling a secure sense of belonging in academic settings is critical to students’ achievement. We present data collected over multiple semesters of a calculus-based introductory physics class (N = 1277) indicating that women feel a lower sense of belonging than men in physics. Structural equation modeling indicated that although a strong sense of belonging in physics positively predicted women and men’s course performance as well as the degree to they saw the value of physics in their daily life (i.e., utility value), women’s (but not men’s) sense of belonging was hampered by the degree to which they endorsed negative stereotypes about women’s ability in physics. Together, this work suggests that one potential antecedent of women’s lower sense of belonging in physics and, by extension, lower participation in STEM than men is women’s tendency to endorse negative cultural beliefs about women’s ability therein.
SCIENCE FACULTY GENDER BIASES FAVOR MALE STUDENTS
Corinne A. Moss-Racusin1,2, John. F. Dovidio2, Victoria L. Brescoll3, Mark J. Graham1,4, Jo Handelsman1
1Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology; 2Department of Psychology; 3School of Management; 4Department of Psychiatry
Research has yet to experimentally investigate whether science faculty exhibit gender biases that could contribute to the gender disparity within academic science. In the current study, science faculty (N = 127) from research-intensive universities rated the lab manager application of a student randomly assigned either a male or female name. Faculty participants rated the male applicant as significantly more competent and hireable than the (identical) female applicant. They also offered a higher salary and more valuable career mentoring to the male applicant. Faculty participant gender did not affect responses. Mediation analyses indicated that the female student was less likely to be hired because she was viewed as less competent, while moderation results revealed that participants’ levels of modern sexism undermined support for the female student, but not the male. These results suggest that interventions addressing faculty gender bias might advance the goal of increasing the participation of women in science.
REDUCING STEREOTYPIC ATTRIBUTION BIAS AMONG WOMEN IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING USING A ROLE MODEL/TEACHING INTERVENTION
Denise Sekaquaptewa, Garrett Marks-Wilt
Department of Psychology
Stereotypic Attribution Bias (SAB) is a negative attribution style in which internal explanations are spontaneously generated for women’s science failures and men’s science successes, and external explanations generated for men’s science failures and women’s science successes. We introduced an intervention designed to reduce SAB at the beginning of a semester to female science and engineering undergraduates. The intervention included videotaped footage of female engineering students modeling a more positive attribution style (e.g., attributing women’s science success to high ability and recognizing the external influences on women’s science failures); it also included persuasive information regarding the positive attribution style (e.g., research articles documenting external influences on academic failures). Results showed that compared to a no-intervention control group, intervention group participants showed less SAB and more positive academic outcomes (e.g., seeking additional guidance on coursework), suggesting that a negative attribution style can be reversed to improve academic outcomes among women in engineering.
HELPING PARENTS TO MOTIVATE ADOLESCENTS IN MATH AND SCIENCE: GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE EFFECTS OF A UTILITY-VALUE INTERVENTION
Judith Harackiewicz1, Christopher Rozek1, Chris Hulleman2, Janet Hyde1
1Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin, Madison; 2Department of Psychology, University of Virginia
A foundation in STEM education is critical for students’ college and career advancement, but U.S. students are failing to take math and science classes in high school. Research has neglected the role of parents in enhancing student motivation in STEM courses. Harackiewicz et al. (2012) documented an increase in teens’ STEM course-taking by using a simple intervention designed to help parents convey the importance of mathematics and science courses to their high school-aged children. We extend this research by investigating gender differences in the effectiveness of the intervention. We found that our intervention was most effective in increasing STEM course-taking for high-achieving daughters and low-achieving sons (measured in terms of high school GPA). Because this intervention was aimed at parents, with indirect effects on their adolescents’ course-taking behavior, it is important to consider how parents’ expectations and values moderated their use of the intervention materials with their daughters and sons.
THE ROLE OF PAIN IN HUMAN BEHAVIOR: PAINFUL DISTRESS IS RELEVANT TO UNCERTAINTY, COGNITIVE CONTROL AND EMOTIONAL STABILITY
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room 206 – 207
chair: Steven Heine, University of British Columbia
Pain is aversive, but necessary to avoid further harm. However, the role of pain appears to go beyond merely preventing physical damage. Four presenters discuss new evidence that painful distress is critical to self-control, well-being, emotional-moderation, reacting to uncertainty, and empathy. A range of behavioral and neurological evidence is presented.
NO PAIN, NO GAIN: HOW DISTRESS UNDERLIES EFFECTIVE SELF-CONTROL (AND UNITES DIVERSE SOCIAL-PSYCHOLOGICAL PHENOMENA)
Michael Inzlicht1, Lisa Legault2
1University of Toronto; 2Clarkson University
Pain is an unpleasant experience associated with tissue damage. Pain is adaptive, however, in that it motivates people to withdraw from damaging situations. As with pain, distress is adaptive in that it motivates people to remediate adverse situations. Here, we suggest that distress is also a principal dynamic that motivates effective self-control. In four studies, we examine the impact of different social-psychological constructs (i.e., autonomous motivation, self-affirmation, incremental theories of intelligence, and mindfulness meditation) on self-control and the error-related-negativity (ERN), a brain signal related to executive function and to aversive distress. Results indicate that all variables increased control and the ERN, an effect mediated by emotional acceptance. These results suggest that psychological distress is an integral part of self-control, alerting people to instances when control is needed and motivating corrective behavior. More broadly, these results suggest that a diverse set of social-psychological phenomena may not be so different after all.
THE BOONS AND BANES OF REDUCING PAIN
C. Nathan Dewall
University of Kentucky
Pain is an integral part of human life. We stub our toes, our friends snub us, and editors reject our book proposals. To reduce such pain, people use multiple methods. But reducing pain can come at a cost. This talk showcases recent findings on how reducing physical pain shields people from negative well-being and how it can increase harmful behavior. Several studies demonstrate that physical pain suppressants, including acetaminophen and marijuana, buffer people from the pain of social exclusion. Another set of studies shows that acetaminophen impacts decision-making processes that involve experiencing psychological pain or that cause others to experience physical pain. A third set of studies shows that monetary reminders, which diminish sensitivity to physical pain, increase aggression by reducing people’s empathic concern. A final set of studies shows that one reason why alcohol increases aggression is that it reduces physical pain sensitivity.
EXISTENTIAL PAIN HURTS: TYLENOL REDUCES REACTIONS TO SURREAL OR EXISTENTIALLY TROUBLING EXPERIENCES
Daniel Randles, Steven J. Heine
University of British Columbia
Some of the neurological structures involved in perceiving physical and social pain are also active when detecting any type of error or uncertainty-inducing experience. This suggests that the distress component common to physical and social pain may occur whenever an individual experiences any violation of expectations, even when it is not explicitly harmful. We tested whether acetaminophen, a mild pain reliever, was able to reduce the arousal normally associated with experiencing surreal, uncertainty-inducing or existentially bothersome material. Across two studies, participants showed a typical compensatory affirmation response after viewing a surrealist film clip or writing about their death, but showed no such reaction if they had consumed acetaminophen. One implication of these findings is that the common distress associated with pain and rejection may actually be a signal that the person has made a predictive error leading to unexpected consequences.
NEURAL MARKERS OF SELF-CONTROL IN RESPONSE INHIBITION, SOCIAL DECEPTION, AND EMOTIONAL REGULATION
Kyle Nash, Lorena Gianotti, Thomas Baumgartner, Daria Knoch
University of Basel
Self-control is primarily initiated in response to psychological conflict or distress. Thus, neural areas involved in psychological conflict (and prefrontal regions that implement self-control) may be engaged whether trying to stop an incorrect finger movement, inhibit conflicting goals, or control bothersome emotions. Hyper-sensitivity to psychological conflict, however, may disable self-control processes. We find that a neural marker of self-control to motor-response conflict (localized to the ACC and PFC) predicted strategic lying in a social trust game. In a second study, a disposition associated with poor emotion regulation was linked to chronic activation in the neural area involved in psychological conflict (the ACC). In sum, these studies suggest that self-control of social behavior may involve the same neural processes associated with detecting psychological conflict (the ACC) and implementing self-control (the PFC) of motor responses. However, emotional control may be hampered if the neural area sensitive to distress is chronically active.
EARLY LIFE EXPERIENCES AND LATER LIFE OUTCOMES: NEW LONGITUDINAL FINDINGS
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room 217 – 219
Chair: Vivian Zayas, Cornell University
Co-Chair: Jeffry Simpson, University of Minnesota
A perennial issue in psychology is to identify the psychosocial processes that profoundly shape the individual. Grounded in different theoretical perspectives and methodologies, this symposium presents recent longitudinal findings on the key environmental (caregiving, unpredictability) factors that influence later life outcomes (sexual activity, risky behaviors, attachment, competency).
ROOTS OF ADULT ATTACHMENT: MATERNAL CAREGIVING AT 18 MONTHS PREDICTS ADULT PEER AND PARTNER ATTACHMENT
Vivian Zayas1, Walter Mischel2, Yuichi Shoda3, J. Lawrence. Aber4
1Cornell University; 2Columbia University; 2University of Washington; 4New York University
It is widely assumed that, within the context of a stable developmental environment, relationship experiences in early life influence later ones. To date, however, there has been no longitudinal empirical evidence for the hypothesis that early maternal caregiving predicts adult attachment dynamics with peers and partners. The present longitudinal study shows that quality of maternal caregiving experienced at 18 months of age predicted the extent to which the same participants more than 20 years later (age M = 22) were uncomfortable relying on partners and peers (avoidance) and experienced relational worries with partners (anxiety). These findings provide new empirical support that early maternal caregiving predicts later adult attachment patterns with peers and partners. Moreover, consistent with attachment theory, they suggest that the influence of maternal caregiving experienced in early life is not limited to this first attachment relationship but operates more generally in other attachment relationships.
THE LEGACY OF EARLY EXPERIENCES IN DEVELOPMENT: FORMALIZING ALTERNATIVE MODELS OF HOW EARLY EXPERIENCES ARE CARRIED FORWARD OVER TIME
R. Chris. Fraley, Glenn I. Roisman University of Illinois
Psychologists have long debated the role of early experience in social development. However, traditional approaches to studying this issue are not well positioned to address this debate. The authors present simulations, which indicate that the associations between early experiences and later outcomes should approach different asymptotic values across time, given alternative assumptions about the developmental significance of early experience. To test the predictions of alternative developmental models, the authors examine data from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development on maternal sensitivity in the first three years of life and its association with social competence through age 15. Across multi-method, multi-informant outcome data, results suggest that there may be enduring effects of early caregiving experiences in social development.
EVOLUTION, STRESS, AND SENSITIVE PERIODS: THE INFLUENCE OF UNPREDICTABILITY IN EARLY VERSUS LATE CHILDHOOD ON SEX AND RISKY BEHAVIOR
Jeffry A. Simpson, Vladas Griskevicius, Sally I-Chun. Kuo, Sooyeon Sung, W. Andrew. Collins
University of Minnesota
Growing up in harsh versus unpredictable environments should have unique effects on life history strategies and behavior in adulthood. Using data from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Risk and Adaptation, we tested how harshness and unpredictability experienced in early childhood (age 0-5) versus later childhood (age 6-16) predicted sexual and risky behavior at age 23. The strongest predictor of sexual and risky behavior in early adulthood was exposure to unpredictable environments between the ages of 0-5. Individuals exposed to more unpredictable, rapidly changing environments during the first five years of life displayed a “faster” life history strategy at age 23 by having more sexual partners, engaging in more aggressive and delinquent behaviors, and having more association with criminal activities. Exposure to either harsh environments or experiencing unpredictability later in childhood (age 6-16) was not related to these adult outcomes.
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM FUNCTIONING MODERATE ASSOCIATIONS BETWEEN FAMILY ENVIRONMENT AND ADOLESCENT SEXUAL ACTIVITY
Lisa M. Diamond, Susan Bonner
University of Utah
Following the differential susceptibility model (Belsky & Pluess, 2009), we examined whether individual differences in autonomic nervous system functioning moderated associations between family environment (family structure, relationship quality, and attachment history), assessed at age 14 and sexual behavior/history as assessed at age 18 in a sample of 64 adolescents. The results demonstrate that youths’ with different patterns of tonic and stress-induced ANS functioning show different degrees of linkage between family factors and sexual behavior. The pattern of results differed for boys versus girls. Among girls the association between growing up in a single-mother household and the age of first oral sex was stronger in girls with greater sympathetic nervous system reactivity to stress. Among boys the association between growing up in a single-mother household and having a larger number of oral sex partners by age 18 was stronger among those who showed greater parasympathetic withdrawal in response to stress.
NEW FRONTIERS IN ATTACHMENT AND AFFILIATION: NOVEL NEURAL AND BEHAVIORAL APPROACHES CAN CHANGE THE WAY WE UNDERSTAND RELATIONSHIPS, THE BRAIN, AND THE MIND
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room 228 – 230
Chair: James Coan, University of Virginia
Co-Chair: Lane Beckes, University of Virginia
New frontiers in attachment and affiliation research are emerging out of neuroscience and group centered approaches. This symposium will explore how these ideas may change the way we think about the origins, mechanisms, and meanings of attachment and affiliation in adult relationships.
SOCIAL-REGULATION VS. SELF-REGULATION: NEURAL EVIDENCE THAT SECURE INDIVIDUALS SWITCH EMOTION REGULATION STRATEGIES DURING SOCIAL CONTACT
Lane Beckes, James A. Coan
University of Virginia
Social contact diminishes the neural response to threat. The social facilitation of self-regulation hypothesis argues that social contact enhances self-regulation through ventro-medial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) down-regulation of threat. Using fMRI we scanned participants during the threat of shock while alone and while holding a friend’s hand. Psychophysiological interaction analysis indicated a pattern opposite of that predicted by the social facilitation hypothesis. While alone participants showed the typical self-regulation pattern of activation in which the vmPFC was negatively correlated with threat responsive regions of the brain, whereas during hand-holding this correlation was positive. Moreover, the correlation between vmPFC and threat regions was also positively correlated with security scores from the Adult Attachment Interview in mid-adolescence. Results demonstrate very different neural processes support social versus self-regulation and imply a neural marker of attachment security.
SCARED SAVIORS: EVIDENCE THAT PEOPLE HIGH IN ATTACHMENT ANXIETY ARE MORE EFFECTIVE IN DETECTING THREATS AND ALERTING OTHERS TO THEM
Attachment-related anxiety has repeatedly been associated with poorer adjustment in various social, emotional, and behavioral domains. Building on social defense theory, I will present possible advantages of having some group members who score high on attachment anxiety – such as a heightened ability to detect threats and alert others to them. Specifically, I will show that anxious people are quicker in detecting signs of infidelity than more secure people, and that priming separation anxiety further improves their ability to detect infidelity. Next, I will show that anxious people are better at detecting lies, and that groups high in anxiety detect cheaters better than more secure groups. Finally, I will show that anxious people are better at detecting non-social threats, and benefit the group by alerting others to such threats. Results are discussed in relation to the possible adaptive functions of certain personality characteristics often viewed as undesirable.
IS LOVE RIGHT? AFFILIATION MOTIVE PREDICTS FRONTAL ALPHA ASYMMETRY
Markus Quirin, Thomas Gruber, Julius Kuhl, Rainer Düsing
University of Osnabrück
Previous research on relationships between personality and hemispheric asymmetries in resting frontal alpha as documented by electroencephalography (EEG) has focused on individual differences in motivational direction (approach vs. withdrawal) or behavioral activation. The present study investigated frontal alpha asymmetry as a function of individual differences in the affiliation motive and explored the brain source thereof. In line with our hypothesis we found relative right frontal activity (low alpha power) being associated with the affiliation motive. Source localization of the scalp pattern of correlations between the affiliation motive and resting alpha power identified a cluster within the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (PFC). The present results are discussed with respect to differential roles of the two hemispheres in social motivation.
ATTACHMENT SECURITY PRIMES, OXYTOCIN LEVELS, AND REACTIONS TO STRESS
Omri Gillath, Sarah D. Pressman, Lora Black, Alexander M. Schoemann, Jackob Moskovitz, Dean Stetler
University of Kansas
Having close supportive relationships contributes to well-being and health. Given its role in bonding and in the attenuation of stress, oxytocin (OT) has been proposed as a pathway by which relationships influence these outcomes. We examined whether reminding people of their close relationships (attachment security prime) interacts with OT levels to predict reactions to stress. Undergraduates were primed and then experienced a stressor. Multi-level-modeling analysis revealed that prime and OT interacted to predict stress response and recovery as measured by respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Individuals exposed to the security prime and high on OT showed the steepest stress response and the steepest recovery (hence experienced stress for the shortest amount of time) compared to individuals who received control primes or were low on OT. These results suggest that together attachment security and OT benefit stress responses via more adaptive parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous system activity.
MORAL EMOTIONS AND MORAL DECISIONS: ON THE AFFECTIVE INFLUENCES BEHIND MORAL BEHAVIORS, JUDGMENTS, AND FORECASTS
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room 208 – 210
Chair: Rimma Teper, University of Toronto
We discuss the affective processes involved in moral decision-making. Specifically, we explore the effect that the perception of somatic states has on moral behavior, how such states dissociate behavior from forecasting, why exposure to organic foods influences moral behaviors and judgments, and the importance of guilt as a moral emotion.
LISTEN TO YOUR HEART: WHEN FALSE SOMATIC FEEDBACK SHAPES MORAL BEHAVIOR
Chen-Bo Zhong1, Jun Gu2, Elizabeth Page-Gould1
1University of Toronto; 2Monash University
A pounding heart is a common symptom people experience when confronting moral dilemmas. The authors conducted 4 experiments using a false feedback paradigm to explore whether and when listening to a fast (vs. normal) heartbeat sound shaped ethical behavior. Study 1 found that perceived fast heartbeat increased volunteering for a just cause. Study 2 extended this effect to moral transgressions and showed that perceived fast heartbeat reduced lying for self-gain. Studies 3 and 4 explored the boundary conditions of this effect and found that perceived heartbeat had less influence on deception when people are mindful or approach the decision deliberatively. These findings suggest that the perceived physiological experience of fast heartbeats may signal greater distress in moral situations and hence motivate people to take the moral high road.
CAN YOU FEEL IT? WHY EMOTIONS DISSOCIATE MORAL FORECASTS FROM MORAL ACTIONS
Rimma Teper, Michael Inzlicht, Elizabeth Page-Gould
University of Toronto
Can people accurately predict their behavior in moral dilemmas? In Study 1, we found that individuals in a moral action condition gave significantly more money to a confederate in a Dictator Game than participants in a moral forecasting condition predicted. Study 2 replicated this effect by showing that individuals cheated less on a math task than their counterparts in a forecasting condition predicted cheating, and that this effect was mediated by affective physiological arousal. Study 3 found that participants who engaged in moral forecasting with their eyes closed predicted cheating less on a job interview than did counterparts in a control condition. This effect was moderated by the extent to which individuals were able to emotionally immerse themselves in the situation. This research suggests that the emotions present during real-life moral dilemmas may not be fully engaged during forecasting, and that this may explain why individuals make moral forecasting errors.
WHOLESOME FOODS AND WHOLESOME MORALS? PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF EXPOSURE TO ORGANIC FOOD
Kendall J. Eskine
Loyola University New Orleans
Recent research has revealed that specific tastes can influence moral processing, with sweet tastes inducing prosocial behavior and disgusting tastes harshening moral judgments. Do similar effects apply to different food types (comfort foods, organic foods, etc.)? After viewing a few organic foods, comfort foods, or control foods, participants who were exposed to organic foods volunteered significantly less time to help a needy stranger, and they judged moral transgressions significantly harsher than those who viewed non-organic foods. Further, those who were primed with moral pride (as opposed to moral guilt) showed an increased preference for organic foods relative to non-organic foods. Together, these results suggest that exposure to organic foods may lead people to affirm their moral identities, which attenuates their desire to be altruistic. Implications for moral-emotional decision making and food marketing are discussed.
HOW TO DEAL WITH A GUILTY CONSCIENCE
Yoel Inbar1, David A. Pizarro2, Thomas Gilovich2, Dan Ariely3
1Tilburg University; 2Cornell University; 3Duke University
Negative emotions generally fade more quickly than positive emotions (the so-called “fading affect bias”), but in two studies we found that guilt is an exception. We asked participants to recall emotionally-evocative events and found that guilt persisted more over time did than other negative emotions, and that persistence of guilt was strongly predicted by concerns about negative evaluation by third parties. We then examined one unusual way in which people might signal contrition to others: by harming themselves physically. People who recalled a guilt-inducing event subsequently inflicted more intense electric shocks on themselves than did those who recalled a sad or neutral event. The stronger the shocks that guilty participants administered to themselves, the more their feelings of guilt were alleviated. I will discuss how this method of atonement relates to other methods examined in previous research and implications for the view of guilt as a morally motivating emotion.
COUNTERINTUITIVE CONSEQUENCES OF SUBSTITUTION IN SELF-REGULATION
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room 211 – 213
Chair: Tal Eyal, Ben Gurion University of the Negev
Co-Chair: Ayelet Fishbach, University of Chicago
Substitution in self-regulation may occur when the individual encounters obstacles and thus searches for alternative means to a goal or when a group’s action vicariously fulfills personal striving. This symposium presents new theoretical approaches and research methods to investigate the underlying mechanisms as well as counterintuitive consequences of the phenomenon.
COMPENSATING FOR INCOMPLETE IDENTITY GOALS: ARE ETHICAL STANDARDS JETTISONED?
Peter M. Gollwitzer1, Michael K. Marquardt2
1New York University; 2Universität Konstanz
Symbolic self completion theory (SCT) postulates that people committed to identity goals (e.g., being a lawyer, manager) strive for goal attainment by collecting respective indicators of completeness (e.g., relevant achievements, material possessions). Thus, when the possession of an aspired-to identity becomes threatened, people impulsively engage in self-symbolizing to reestablish completeness. This compensatory response is observed even when it makes people less popular, but does it also override ethical standards? Three studies with participants committed to different identities (i.e., excellent student, lawyer, and businessman) tested this question; incompleteness was induced by negative bogus feedback. Incomplete participants showed compensatory self-symbolizing pertaining to self-descriptions (Study 1), behaviors (Study 2), and decisions (Study 3) even when these efforts clearly qualified as unethical. Results are discussed with respect to SCT, impression management, and morality research.
MAKING MOUNTAINS OUT OF MOLEHILLS IN PURSUIT OF MORAL CREDENTIALS
Daniel A. Effron
The present studies demonstrate that when people anticipate falling short of a moral goal, they will exaggerate the extent to which a prior behavior proves their morality. Participants who expected to commit a prejudiced action were more confident than control participants that their behavior in a prior task would be attributed to a non-racist disposition (Study 1) – an effect that was eliminated when participants could reassure themselves of their racial egalitarianism in a different way (Study 2). This effect arose because the anticipation of acting prejudiced lowered participants’ standards for concluding that their prior behavior was sufficiently remarkable to prove their racial egalitarianism (Study 3). Additional results illustrated how this phenomenon can lead actors to overestimate how virtuous they appear to observers. I discuss how this strategic construal of one’s past behavior can create an illusion of progress towards moral goals, thereby reducing one’s compunction about transgressing.
HOW PEOPLE FIND OR CREATE NEW MEANS TO GOAL ATTAINMENT: THE ROLE OF HIGH-LEVEL CONSTRUALS
University of Amsterdam
When people fail to reach a goal, they may 1) search for alternative means in memory or 2) may create other ones. In both situations, high-level construals and global processing support the activation of superordinate goals and enhance creative thought, eventually supporting goal attainment. To illustrate, our recent research shows that a focal goal of aggressing towards a person can be substituted by means of peaceful conflict solution if the higher order goal of retaliation is activated. Moving to a higher level in the goal hierarchy seems to provide a broader range of alternative means. Moreover, a different series of studies shows that obstacles in the way to goal pursuit lead to an automatic activation of higher level construals, at least for highly engaged people. They start globally processing information in order to create new means. We show that such global processing eventually supports creative thought and thus goal attainment.
WHEN “WE” HAVE SUCCEEDED, I CAN COAST: SUBSTITUTING GROUP PROGRESS FOR INDIVIDUAL PROGRESS
Tal Eyal1, Benjamin A. Converse2, Ayelet Fishbach3
1Ben Gurion University of the Negev; 2University of Virginia; 3University of Chicago
We propose that group achievements can substitute for individual goal pursuit even when the individual has not directly contributed to the group’s achievements and the group’s achievements have no real impact on the individual’s goal pursuit. We suggest that for this “group-action substitution” to occur individuals must identify with the group and the group’s achievement must be attributable to actions that are conceptually relevant to one’s own independent goals. Three studies tested group-action substitution and found that fans of victorious teams made less ambitious workout plans than fans of losing teams (Study 1), but only when the teams’ victories were attributable to fitness (relevant to one’s own goal) rather than strategy (irrelevant to one’s goal; Study 2). In addition, only high-identifiers substituted their group’s achievement for their own. This ironically suggests that pulling for a losing team may pay its benefit in enhancing the motivation for one’s cherished goals.
SHIFTING PROCESSES OF EVALUATION, AFFECT, AND MOTIVATION THROUGH BODILY AND METAPHORICAL CUES
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room 220 – 222
Chair: Janina Steinmetz, University of Cologne, Germany
Co-Chair: Spike W.S. Lee, University of Toronto
Embodiment and metaphor research is progressing from the demonstration of surprising effects to an understanding of the underlying processes. This symposium highlights the impact of bodily and metaphorical cues on evaluative, affective, and motivational processes and their consequences for social perception, emotional coping, academic performance, and relationship satisfaction.
HANDS TOGETHER: HOW MOVING YOUR ARMS AFFECTS SELF-EVALUATION
Janina Steinmetz, Thomas Mussweiler
University of Cologne, Germany
Body movements and spatial metaphors can induce corresponding psychological phenomena. Physical closeness, for instance, fosters similarity perception. We therefore expect symbolic movements of increasing closeness (distance) to activate an embodied similarity (dissimilarity) focus and thereby also affect social comparisons. In Study 1, gym members who were using an exercise machine to pull their arms together (apart) showed a stronger (lower) similarity focus. In Study 2, participants practiced alleged Tai Chi exercises, either moving their hands together or apart. In a subsequent social comparison task, having practiced the similarity exercise (arms together) led participants to assimilate self-perceptions towards the comparison standard. However, having practiced the dissimilarity exercise (arms apart) led them to contrast away from the standard. We demonstrate that physical body movements activate psychological processes of similarity perception and assimilative social comparison consequences. These findings corroborate research on spatial metaphors and on contextual influences on similarity perception and self-evaluation.
FACE-SAVING ILLUSION: HOW PRODUCTS HELP PEOPLE GET RELIEF AFTER EMBARRASSMENT
Ping Dong, Irene Xun Huang, Robert S. Wyer
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
The concept of face represents the public and social aspect of the self-concept, and can be maintained, enhanced and lost in interpersonal interaction. Failure to have one’s face preserved often leads to negative feelings of embarrassment. Based on the assumption that a metaphorical link exists between embarrassment and “losing face”, we propose and demonstrate effects of symbolically hiding versus repairing one’s face on reactions to embarrassment. Specifically, people either passively cope with embarrassment by favoring face-blocking products (e.g. sunglasses; Experiment 1A & 1B) or actively repair their face by choosing face-brightening products (e.g., cosmetics; Experiment 2). Moreover, we found that these two coping strategies have different recovery consequences. Symbolically repairing one’s face eliminates aversive feelings of embarrassment and restores willingness to be exposed to public, whereas symbolically hiding one’ face has no such effects (Experiment 3). Theoretical implications for the role of metaphors in emotional coping are discussed.
ON THE ROAD: IDENTITY-BASED MOTIVATION, CONCEPTUAL METAPHOR, AND ACADEMIC ENGAGEMENT
Mark J. Landau1, Daphna Oyserman1, Lucas A. Keefer1
1University of Kansas; 2University of Michigan
Prior work on identity-based motivation shows that students become more academically engaged when they perceive their current identity as congruent with their possible academic identity -- their image of themselves in the future as academically accomplished. We integrated this work with conceptual metaphor perspectives, which posit that people perceive meaningful connections between temporally remote aspects of their self-concept by representing them metaphorically as steps along a physical path. Priming college students to represent their possible academic identity using the PATH metaphor (compared to alternative metaphors or no metaphor) increased both self-reported and behavioral interest in academic achievement (Study 1), and improved their performance on standardized tests (Study 2). Furthermore, the effect of priming a path-metaphorical representation on academic engagement was mediated by increased perceptions of academic identity continuity (Study 3), and held particularly under conditions of doubt about one’s ability to achieve academic success (Study 4).
JUDGMENTAL EFFECT OF METAPHORICAL FRAMING IS MODERATED BY TIMING OF FRAME ACCESSIBILITY AND MEDIATED BY HIGHLIGHTING: WHEN AND WHY IT HURTS TO THINK WE WERE MADE FOR EACH OTHER
Spike W.S. Lee1, Norbert Schwarz2
1University of Toronto ; 1University of Michigan
Conceptualizing an abstract domain using alternative metaphorical frames (e.g., love-as-unity vs. love-as-journey) produces distinct psychological consequences. These consequences are uniquely predicted by the metaphorical perspective on social cognition (Landau, Meier, & Keefer, 2010), but their properties and processes have not been well-specified. We propose that the basic principles of knowledge activation offer important insights into the emergence of metaphorical framing effects and the underlying process: (1) incidental activation of metaphors is sufficient to produce downstream consequences on judgment, but (2) only if the metaphors are accessible at the encoding stage; (3) the framing effect is driven by a process of highlighting. Testing these predictions in the domain of love, three studies show that recalling relational conflicts hurts relationship satisfaction when the primed frame is love-as-unity (but not love-as-journey), provided the frame is accessible at encoding. The effect is mediated by the highlighting of partner dissimilarities.
NO PROCESS IS AN ISLAND: RECIPROCAL INFLUENCES BETWEEN SOCIAL IDENTITY AND ENVIRONMENT
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room 225 – 227
Chair: Jonathan Cook, Columbia University
Co-Chair: Mark L. Hatzenbuehler, Columbia University
Social identity processes are based on interactions between people and their environment. Until recently, however, the “environment” in psychological research has usually been the laboratory. This symposium presents novel research that conceptualizes environmental influences more broadly, highlighting new measurement strategies and a systems approach to investigating social identity.
STIGMA IN THE AIR: THE INFLUENCE OF COMMUNITY-LEVEL STIGMA ON INTERVENTIONS TO IMPROVE AFRICAN AMERICANS’ HEALTH
Allecia E. Reid1, Blair T. Johnson2, John F. Dovidio1
1Yale University; 2University of Connecticut
Interventions to improve public health may benefit from consideration of how environmental context interacts with social identity processes. We conducted a meta-analysis to examine whether efficacy of interventions for improving African Americans’ condom use was moderated by Whites’ attitudes toward African Americans in the communities where interventions occurred. Whites’ attitudes were drawn fromthe nationally representative, American National Election Studies, and matched to interventions in time and location. Improvements in condom use among African Americans were smaller in locations where Whites’ attitudes toward African Americans were more negative (t=2.56, p=.01). As time since interventions elapsed, Whites’ attitudes eroded intervention improvements in behavior (interaction: t=2.21, p=.03). Tailoring content to participants’ values and needs, which may reduce mistrust among African Americans, buffered against the negative influence of Whites’ attitudes on condom use (interaction: t=-3.20, p=0.01). Results highlight the interplay of social identity and environment in perpetuating intergroup disparities.
THE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF CONTINGENT SELF-WORTH IN SEXUAL MINORITY YOUNG MEN: AN EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE “BEST LITTLE BOY IN THE WORLD” HYPOTHESIS
John E. Pachankis1, Mark L. Hatzenbuehler2
1Yeshiva University; 2Columbia University
The present study examined whether achievement-related contingent self-worth (A-CSW) serves as an adaptation to stigmatizing social environments (i.e., state-level policies and attitudes that stigmatize homosexuality) among sexual minority (e.g., gay, bisexual) men and whether this adaptation produces negative health outcomes. Sexual minority men (n = 136) reported that their self-worth is more contingent on achievement-related success, namely in academics (d = 0.33), appearance (d = 0.33), and competition (d = 0.35), than heterosexual men (n = 56). Sexual minority men living in stigmatizing social environments were more likely to report A-CSW in these domains. A-CSW predicted domain-specific negative health outcomes (e.g., social isolation, problematic eating) across a 9-day experience sampling study. This study shows that stigmatizing social environments can influence the development of A-CSW among young sexual minority men. Further, although A-CSW may function to protect against stigma, it can also produce negative health consequences for stigmatized individuals.
PUBLIC AND PRIVATE CONTEXTS SHAPE THE ARCHITECTURE OF THE SELF: CONCEALABLE STIGMA AND THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SELVES
Valerie Purdie-Vaughns1, Richard P. Eibach2, Rainer Romero-Canyas1, Alexandra Sedlovskaya3
1Columbia University; 2University of Waterloo; 3Yale University
Five experiments show that for people with stigmatized concealable identities, public and private environments represent meaningful contexts that, over time, shape the architecture of the self-concept and influence psychological functioning. We measured public and private self-schemas by measuring how quickly participants sorted trait attributes into self-in-public and self-in-private. People with compartmentalized self-schemas should be faster at categorizing traits into public and private self-aspects than those with integrated public and private self-schemas. Relative to people without such identities, people with concealable stigmas (Study 1, sexual orientation; Study 2, religiosity at college) show greater public-private schematization. This schematization is linked to concealment (Study 3) and to the experimental activation of concealable versus conspicuous stigmatized identities (Study 4). Study 5 shows that workplaces where expression of identity is costly results in public-private schematization. Implications for how social contexts and “the self” develop through dynamic processes of reciprocal causality are discussed.
RESHAPING CONTEXT THROUGH THE INDIVIDUAL: LEVERAGING SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY TO REDUCE INTERGROUP DISPARITIES
Jonathan E. Cook1, Valerie Purdie-Vaughns1, Geoffrey L. Cohen2
1Columbia University; 2Stanford University
Social psychological interventions that help members of negatively stereotyped groups cope with threatening environments can set in motion a bottom-up process that ultimately changes the environment. Three studies provide converging evidence. Study 1 shows how African American college students’ overall grade point average (GPA) improved following a values-affirmation intervention administered in the lab. Study 2 shows how African American middle school students’ overall GPA improved following a role-model intervention administered in the field. Study 3 shows how a lab-based, values-affirmation intervention reduced the proportion of clinically overweight Latino college students two years after the experiment. If psychological interventions improve outcomes for enough individuals in an environment, intergroup disparities decline and the environment begins to change. Preliminary data suggest that dominant group members respond to such change by altering their expectations and assumptions about members of stereotyped groups, reinforcing and amplifying intervention effects. Implications for research design and measurement are discussed.
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN QUANTITATIVE METHODS FOR PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGISTS
Saturday, January 19, 5:00 – 6:15 pm, Room R02
Chair: Jacob Westfall, University of Colorado Boulder
Co-Chair: Charles M. Judd, University of Colorado Boulder
In this symposium we discuss recent advances in quantitative methodology relevant to researchers in personality and social psychology. The topics we consider include issues in longitudinal data analysis, the assessment of accurate social perception in group data, testing of mediational models, and analyzing data involving multiple, crossed random factors.
EFFECTS OF MEASUREMENT ERROR ON ANALYSES OF DIARY DATA
Patrick E. Shrout, Sean P. Lane
New York University
It is well known that measurement error in predictor variables leads to biased estimates of regression coefficients. For cross sectional studies using regression the observed effect is reduced by a factor of R, where R is the reliability of the independent variable. We show that analogous patterns are found for results from longitudinal studies, but that the size of the bias is a function of two different reliability coefficients. Different effects are seen at the between-person and within-person levels. We also show that measurement error can create lagged effects, whereby today’s outcome seems to be affected by both yesterday’s and today’s processes. This second pattern of bias occurs when the independent variable or the measurement errors are correlated over time. Findings are illustrated using simulated data as well as data from a five week diary study of the association of relationship moods with undifferentiated moods.
THE SOCIAL ACCURACY MODEL OF INTERPERSONAL PERCEPTION: ASSESSING INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN PERCEPTIVE AND EXPRESSIVE ACCURACY
Jeremy C. Biesanz
University of British Columbia
The social accuracy model of interpersonal perception (SAM) is a componential model that estimates levels of accurate interpersonal perception for perceiver and target effects of different components of accuracy across traits simultaneously. For instance Jane may be generally accurate in her perceptions of others and thus high in perceptive accuracy – the extent to which a particular perceiver’s impressions are more or less accurate than other perceivers on average across different targets. Just as well, Jake may be accurately perceived by others and thus high in expressive accuracy – the extent to which a particular target is accurately perceived on average across different perceivers. SAM represents an integration of Cronbach’s componential approach with Kenny’s social relations model. Key findings include reliable individual differences in several specific aspects of interpersonal perceptions. Recent findings using SAM are reviewed including strong relationships with adjustment, novel gender effects, as well as perceptions of attractiveness and confidence.
DATATOTEXT: USING THE R PACKAGE TO ESTIMATE AND TEST MEDIATIONAL MODELS
David A. Kenny
University of Connecticut
DataToText is a project that has researchers tell a computer program what sort of analyses to do and then using a macro the program conducts those analyses and then creates a text file that describes the results from those analyses. Described is a new macro written in R that conducts a mediational model. The macro provides the researcher with many potential warnings (e.g., non-linearities and outliers), a description of the assumptions of the mediational analysis, a power analysis, and the estimates of the mediational model, including the indirect effect with a bootstrapped confidence interval. Moreover a diagram of the mediational model is also produced. Creating a macro in R has several advantages. First, there is no cost to the user of the macro. Second, because R is open source, users can adapt the macro to meet any special need that they might have.
TREATING STIMULI AS A RANDOM FACTOR IN SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY: A NEW AND COMPREHENSIVE SOLUTION TO A PERVASIVE BUT LARGELY IGNORED PROBLEM
Jacob Westfall1, Charles M. Judd1, David A. Kenny2
1University of Colorado Boulder; 2University of Connecticut
Throughout social psychology, participants are routinely asked to respond in some way to experimental stimuli that are thought to represent categories of theoretical interest. For instance, in measures of implicit attitudes, participants are primed with pictures of specific African American and White stimulus persons that are sampled in some way from possible stimuli that might have been used. Yet seldom is the sampling of stimuli taken into account in the analysis of the resulting data, in spite of numerous warnings about the perils of ignoring stimulus variation. We present a comprehensive solution using mixed models for the analysis of data with crossed random factors (e.g., participants and stimuli). We show the substantial biases inherent in analyses that ignore one or the other of the random factors and we illustrate the substantial advantages of the mixed models approach with both hypothetical and actual, well-known datasets in social psychology.