Matching Items (3)

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The role of envy in anti-semitism

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Anti-Semitism is a recurrent phenomenon in modern history, but has garnered relatively little focus among research psychologists compared to prejudice toward other groups. The present work frames anti-Semitism as a

Anti-Semitism is a recurrent phenomenon in modern history, but has garnered relatively little focus among research psychologists compared to prejudice toward other groups. The present work frames anti-Semitism as a strategy for managing the implications of Jews’ extraordinary achievements compared to other groups. Anti-Semitic beliefs are sorted into two types: stereotypes that undercut the merit of Jews’ achievements by attributing them to unfair advantages such as power behind the scenes; and stereotypes that offset Jews’ achievements by attaching unfavorable traits or defects to Jews, which are unrelated to the achievement domains, e.g. irritating personalities or genetically-specific health problems. The salience of Jews’ disproportionate achievements was hypothesized as driving greater endorsement of anti-Semitic stereotypes, and envy was hypothesized as mediating this effect. Individual differences in narcissistic self-esteem and moral intuitions around in-group loyalty and equity-based fairness were hypothesized as moderating the effect of Jewish achievement on anti-Semitic beliefs. The results showed greater endorsement of undercutting – but not offsetting – stereotypes after reading about Jewish achievements, compared to Jewish culture or general American achievement conditions. Envy did not significantly mediate this effect. The moral foundation of in-group loyalty predicted greater endorsement of anti-Semitic stereotypes in the Jewish Achievement condition, and lesser endorsement in the Jewish Culture condition. Fairness intuitions did not significantly predict stereotype endorsement. Limitations of the sample and next steps are discussed.

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  • 2015

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Moving beyond anger and depression: the effects of anxiety and envy on maladaptive coping

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General Strain Theory (GST) posits that different types of strain lead to different types of negative emotions, some of which increase the likelihood of maladaptive coping. Much research on GST

General Strain Theory (GST) posits that different types of strain lead to different types of negative emotions, some of which increase the likelihood of maladaptive coping. Much research on GST has focused on anger and depression. Far less attention has been directed toward other negative emotions, including anxiety and envy. The current study uses cross-sectional data from surveys administered to a university-based sample (N = 500) to address these voids and explore gender differences in the effects of strain and negative emotions in maladaptive coping. Results indicate that when gender differences existed in levels of strain and negative emotions, females experienced higher levels than males. Strain significantly predicted all four measures of negative emotions examined in this study. Finally, different negative emotions were found to have differing effects on different measures of maladaptive coping. Implications of this study for theory, future research, and policy are discussed.

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Date Created
  • 2015

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The effects of scarcity and self-esteem on the experience of envy

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Envy may be an emotion shaped by evolution to resolve large resource disparities in zero-sum ancestral environments. Previous research has found evidence for two types of envy: benign envy, which

Envy may be an emotion shaped by evolution to resolve large resource disparities in zero-sum ancestral environments. Previous research has found evidence for two types of envy: benign envy, which drives greater effort and self-improvement; and malicious envy, which drives hostility toward the better-off target. We predicted that perceived resource scarcity would stoke either type, moderated by individual differences. Specifically, we predicted that high self-esteem would steer people toward benign envy and self-improvement, whereas narcissism would spark malicious envy. After completing the Rosenberg self-esteem scale and the Narcissism Personality Inventory (NPI-16), participants were randomly assigned to either read an article detailing severe cuts to university financial aid budgets (scarcity) or an article summarizing various forms of financial aid (control). Each article ended with the same envy-inducing paragraph about a particularly affluent scholarship-winner, after which participants completed a measure of both envy types, capturing feelings, appraisals, and behavioral tendencies. Results show that self-esteem predicts less malicious envy, while narcissism and scarcity predict more. Self-esteem and narcissism interact such that self-esteem dampens the effect of narcissism on malicious envy. Self-esteem predicted benign envy when narcissism was low, but not when it was high.

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Date Created
  • 2011