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Personal Memories and Social Associations: How Positive Emotions Influence the Activation of Implicit Prejudices

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two positive discrete emotions, awe and nurturant love, on implicit prejudices. After completing an emotion induction task, participants completed Implicit Association Test blocks where they paired photos of Arab

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of two positive discrete emotions, awe and nurturant love, on implicit prejudices. After completing an emotion induction task, participants completed Implicit Association Test blocks where they paired photos of Arab and White individuals with "good" and "bad" evaluations. We hypothesized that nurturant love would increase the strength of negative evaluations of Arab individuals and positive evaluations of White individuals, whereas awe would decrease the strength of these negative evaluations when compared to a neutral condition. However, we found that both awe and nurturant love increased negative implicit prejudices toward Arab individuals when compared to the neutral condition.

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2018-05

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Growth Mindset and Future Self-Connectedness as Explanations for Cultural Differences in Self-Improvement

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The purpose of this thesis study is to widen the understanding of the effect culture on self-improvement. Past research found that Japanese students, when compared to their North American counterparts, are more likely to strive for self-improvement by persisting when

The purpose of this thesis study is to widen the understanding of the effect culture on self-improvement. Past research found that Japanese students, when compared to their North American counterparts, are more likely to strive for self-improvement by persisting when they encounter academic setbacks. In addition to North Americans and Asians, this thesis examines South Asians as well. It is hypothesized that South Asians will have similar levels of self-improvement as East Asians. This thesis also looks at possible explanations for why culture affects self-improvement. Two variables, future self-connectedness and growth mindset, are proposed as these explanations. It is hypothesized that culture affects future self-connectedness and growth mindset, and those two variables in turn influence self-improvement. 

For this thesis, 100 undergraduate and recent college graduates completed online self-report measures. Results of independent t-tests showed that there were no significant differences between South and East Asians in self-improvement, which is consistent with what was hypothesized. There were also no differences between South and East Asians in future self-connectedness or growth mindset. The two Asian groups were then combined and compared to North Americans. Further independent t-tests were run, and results found that while the trend was as expected and Asians exhibited higher levels of self-improvement than North Americans, they did not exhibit significantly higher levels. There were also no significant differences between North Americans and Asians in growth mindset, however, North Americans had significantly higher levels of future self-connectedness than Asians, contrary to expectation. Results of mediation regressions found that neither future self-connectedness nor growth mindset significantly explained the effect of culture on self-improvement.

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2017-12

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Feelin' Good...And Then Some: A Functional Evolutionary Approach to Positive Emotions in Sport

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Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct

Sport is a widespread phenomenon across human cultures and history. Unfortunately, positive emotions in sport have been long vaguely characterized as happy or pleasant, or ignored altogether. Recent emotion research has taken a differentiated approach, however, suggesting there are distinct positive emotions with diverse implications for behavior. The present study applied this evolutionarily informed approach in the context of sport to examine which positive emotions are associated with play. It was hypothesized that pride, amusement, and enthusiasm, but not contentment or awe, would increase in Ultimate Frisbee players during a practice scrimmage. Further, it was hypothesized that increases in pride and amusement during practice would be differentially associated with sport outcomes, including performance (scores, assists, and defenses), subjective social connectedness, attributions of success, and attitudes toward the importance of practice. It was found that all positive emotions decreased during practice. It was also found that increases in pride were associated with more scores and greater social connectedness, whereas increases in amusement were associated with more assists. The present study was one of the first to examine change in positive emotions during play and to relate them to specific performance outcomes. Future studies should expand to determine which came first: emotion or performance.

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2014-05