Matching Items (37)

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Testing the domain-specificity of the disease-avoidance and self-protection systems

Description

An emerging body of literature suggests that humans likely have multiple threat avoidance systems that enable us to detect and avoid threats in our environment, such as disease threats and

An emerging body of literature suggests that humans likely have multiple threat avoidance systems that enable us to detect and avoid threats in our environment, such as disease threats and physical safety threats. These systems are presumed to be domain-specific, each handling one class of potential threats, and previous research generally supports this assumption. Previous research has not, however, directly tested the domain-specificity of disease avoidance and self-protection by showing that activating one threat management system does not lead to responses consistent only with a different threat management system. Here, the domain- specificity of the disease avoidance and self-protection systems is directly tested using the lexical decision task, a measure of stereotype accessibility, and the implicit association test. Results, although inconclusive, more strongly support a series of domain-specific threat management systems than a single, domain- general system

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Distinguishing between the endowment effect and buyer's remorse in a dating scenario

Description

Previous research on experiences of the endowment effect and buyer's remorse has often failed to compare the two seemingly related phenomena. The current study attempts to provide a framework in

Previous research on experiences of the endowment effect and buyer's remorse has often failed to compare the two seemingly related phenomena. The current study attempts to provide a framework in which the two can be compared and to offer a possible suggestion as to when it may be beneficial to experience either the endowment effect or buyer's remorse, namely situations of resource scarcity versus abundance. The current study employed an online dating paradigm in which resource scarcity was operationalized as the sex ratio of users on the site. Two hundred and one participants were exposed to a favorable sex ratio, an unfavorable sex ratio, or a no information control condition and asked to bid on potential dates. Once matched with a potential date, participants were asked how willing they would be to give up their date and the minimum amount of points they would request to do so. These dependent variables served as indicators of experiences of the endowment effect or buyer's remorse. Results indicated that the sex ratio of the online dating site did not influence experiences of the endowment effect versus buyer's remorse. Potential mediators and moderators were also investigated although no significant effects were found. Possible reasons for the null results are discussed as well as future directions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Prejudice toward atheists: perceived values threat and lack of belief in a moralizing god

Description

National surveys indicate that Americans hold greater prejudice toward atheists than many other historically stigmatized groups. The religious prosociality perspective posits that people will demonstrate prejudice toward anyone who does

National surveys indicate that Americans hold greater prejudice toward atheists than many other historically stigmatized groups. The religious prosociality perspective posits that people will demonstrate prejudice toward anyone who does not believe in a monitoring and punishing god, including atheists, because of the perception that those who lack belief in a monitoring and punishing god cannot be trusted to act in a prosocial manner. The sociofunctional perspective posits that people will demonstrate distinct forms of prejudice toward individuals who present certain types of threats to the group, and previous research suggests that atheists are perceived as posing a threat to group values. In the current study, participants rated targets whose values largely matched their own values more favorably than targets whose values did not largely match their own values. Also, participants rated both targets who believed in a monitoring and punishing god and targets who believed in a god who does not monitor nor punish more favorably than atheist targets. These judgments spanned a variety of measures, including emotional reactions to the target, judgments of target traits, and preferred social distance from the target. Results were consistent with the sociofunctional perspective but did not support the religious prosociality perspective.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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From beliefs to virtuous behaviors

Description

People may conceptualize God as benevolent and as authoritarian. This research investigates the influence of these God-concepts on prosocial behavior; specifically whether such concepts differentially predict a set of beliefs

People may conceptualize God as benevolent and as authoritarian. This research investigates the influence of these God-concepts on prosocial behavior; specifically whether such concepts differentially predict a set of beliefs about the self and the world, volunteer motivations, and intentions to volunteer for secular causes. Two studies, one correlation and one experimental, were conducted among college students who were Christians and indicated they believe that God exists. A measurement model of the concepts of Benevolent and Authoritarian God was first tested, and a conceptual path model was then analyzed. I found that concepts of a benevolent God were associated with a benevolent self-identity, perceived moral and religious obligations to help, and a high sense of personal responsibility with a total positive indirect effect on intentions to volunteer - mainly via internal motivations. In contrast, concepts of an authoritarian God were associated with a perceived religious obligation, having a positive indirect effect on intentions to volunteer via external motivations; but also with a low benevolent self-identity and low personal responsibility associated with amotivation (the disinclination to volunteer). Thus, there was a null total indirect effect of belief in an authoritarian God on intentions to volunteer. Future directions including the use of religious primes are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Pro-environmental motivation: an evolutionarily informed approach

Description

Pro-environmental goals often pit immediate self-interest against future communal interest. Consequently, the motivation to behave in pro-environmental ways can be particularly difficult to maintain over time. By framing environmental ills

Pro-environmental goals often pit immediate self-interest against future communal interest. Consequently, the motivation to behave in pro-environmental ways can be particularly difficult to maintain over time. By framing environmental ills as threats to one's chronic concerns, I suggest that chronic motivations, such as disease avoidance, can be leveraged to engender longer-lasting pro-environmental motivation. Specifically, I suggest that three distinct categories of environmental ills should be associated with distinct chronic concerns, and that the mechanisms that regulate these concerns should also regulate reactions to related environmental ills: pollution should engage a pathogenic disgust mechanism, wastefulness a moral disgust mechanism, and framing environmental outcomes as posing safety concerns should be linked to fear and anger mechanisms. Results of four experiments did not lend consistent support to the hypotheses. Neither situationally primed concerns nor motivation-relevant individual differences produced consistent results suggesting an association between the proposed motivations and the relevant environmental outcomes.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Sexual prejudices fluctuate according to active fundamental life goals

Description

Traditional perspectives on sexual prejudice typically focus on the distinction between heterosexual ingroup and homosexual outgroup. In contrast, I focus on an affordance-management paradigm which views prejudices as resulting not

Traditional perspectives on sexual prejudice typically focus on the distinction between heterosexual ingroup and homosexual outgroup. In contrast, I focus on an affordance-management paradigm which views prejudices as resulting not from ingroup/outgroup relations, but instead from perceptions of the threats and opportunities posed by members of different groups. Past research has demonstrated that non-heterosexual target groups are perceived to pose a variety of threats, including threats to the socialization of young children, of child molestation, of disease, and to values. My research, however, suggests sexual prejudices arise for college students from beliefs that certain sexual orientation groups pose threats of unwanted sexual interest. For young adults, mating concerns are salient and should define relevant threats and opportunities--including those that might drive prejudices. For individuals with different active motivations, however, different threats and opportunities and threats are salient, and so the threats driving sexual prejudices may also differ. I extend my past research to consider how activating different fundamental goals (e.g., disease avoidance, parenting) alters patterns of sexual prejudice. I posit that activating disease concerns will increase prejudice specifically toward non-heterosexuals associated with disease (gay and bisexual me)--but not other non-heterosexuals (lesbians and bisexual women)--whereas activating offspring care will increase prejudice toward all non-heterosexual target groups, as all are perceived to pose socialization threats. To test this, heterosexual participants were randomly assigned to a parenting or disease-avoidance goal activation, or control condition, and then rated their general negativity towards heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual male and female targets. They also rated their perceptions of the extent to which each target posed unwanted sexual interest, socialization, and disease threats. Contrary to predictions, activating parenting and disease avoidance systems failed to affect sexual prejudices. Furthermore, although the pattern of observed data was largely consistent with previously observed patterns, women's attitudes towards gay men in the control condition were more negative than that found in previous studies, as were men's attitudes towards bisexual and lesbian women. Multiple mechanisms underlie sexual prejudices, and research is needed to better understand the circumstances under which alternative mechanisms are engaged and have their effects.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Beliefs about change and predicted future health status

Description

Beliefs about change reflect how we understand phenomena and what kind of predictions we make for the future. Cyclical beliefs about change state that events are in a constant flux,

Beliefs about change reflect how we understand phenomena and what kind of predictions we make for the future. Cyclical beliefs about change state that events are in a constant flux, and change is inevitable. Linear beliefs about change state that events happen in a non-fluctuating pattern and change is not commonplace. Cultural differences in beliefs about change have been documented across various domains, but research has yet to investigate how these differences may affect health status predictions. The present study addresses this gap by inducing different beliefs about change in a European-American college sample. Health status predictions were measured in terms of predicted likelihood of exposure to the flu virus, of contraction of the flu, and of receiving a flu vaccine. Most differences were observed among those who have a recent history of suffering from the flu. Among them, cyclical thinkers tended to rate their likelihood for exposure and contraction to be higher than linear thinkers. However, linear thinkers indicated that they were more likely to receive a flu vaccine. The different patterns suggest the possibility that cyclical beliefs may activate concepts related to cautionary behaviors or pessimistic biases, while linear beliefs may activate concepts related to taking action and exercising control over the environment. Future studies should examine the interplay between beliefs about change and the nature of the predicted outcome.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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The effectiveness of reciprocity appeals in economic booms and busts

Description

Reciprocity is considered one of the most potent weapons of social influence. Yet, little is known about when reciprocity appeals are more or less effective. A functional evolutionary approach suggests

Reciprocity is considered one of the most potent weapons of social influence. Yet, little is known about when reciprocity appeals are more or less effective. A functional evolutionary approach suggests that reciprocity helps people survive in resource-scarce environments: When resources are limited, a person may not be able to obtain enough resources on their own, and reciprocal relationships can increase the odds of survival. If true, people concerned about resource scarcity may increasingly engage in reciprocal relationships and feel more compelled to reciprocate the favors done for them by others. In a series of experiments, I test this hypothesis and demonstrate that: (1) chronic concerns about resource scarcity (low socioeconomic status) predict increased reciprocity, (2) experimentally activating resource scarcity enhances the effectiveness of reciprocity appeals, (3) this effect is moderated by cues of persuasive intent, and (4) this relationship is mediated by increased gratitude.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Expert in the language of fear: stigmatized targets' perception of others' emotion-specific prejudice

Description

This project uses a functional approach to understand how members of stigmatized groups perceive emotional expressions on others' faces. The project starts from the premise that different groups are seen

This project uses a functional approach to understand how members of stigmatized groups perceive emotional expressions on others' faces. The project starts from the premise that different groups are seen to pose different threats to others, and thus different groups face prejudices colored by different, specific negative emotions. For example, prejudice toward Black men is driven largely by fear, whereas prejudice toward obese people is driven largely by disgust. Members of these groups may thus come to be "expert" in perceiving fear or disgust in others' faces, depending on the specific emotional prejudices others feel toward their group. Alternatively, members of these groups may be biased to over- or under-perceive these emotional expressions on others' faces. I used a functional approach to predict that, if a Black man believes that seeing others' fear expressions will be useful to him, he will tend to overperceive fear on others' faces, whereas if an obese man believes that seeing others' disgust expressions will be useful to him, he will tend to overperceive disgust on others' faces. If, however, it is not considered useful to perceive these prejudicial emotions on others' faces, Black men and obese people will tend to underperceive these emotional expressions. This study recruited Black men, overweight men, and a group of comparison men. All participants completed an emotion detection task in which they rated faces on whether they expressed fear, disgust, or no emotion. Participants were randomly assigned to complete this emotion detection task either before or after a questionnaire designed to make salient, as well as to measure, participants' beliefs about others' prejudices and stereotypes of their group. Finally, participants completed a set of measures tapping predicted moderator variables. Results suggested that a) Black men tend to be less sensitive perceivers of both fear and disgust on others' faces than are other groups, unless prejudice is salient, and b) variables that would guide the functionality of perceiving others' prejudicial emotional expressions (e.g., belief that prejudice toward one's group is justified, belief that group status differences are legitimate, belief that one can manage stigmatizing interactions, stigma consciousness, and emotion-specific metastereotypes of one's group) do predict differences among Black men in perceiving these emotions on others' faces. Most results for overweight participants were null findings. The results' implications for the psychology of detecting prejudice, and emotional expressions more broadly, are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Self-conscious cooperation: implications of a functional approach to emotions for behavior in social dilemmas

Description

As the world's resources face increasing pressure from a growing population, it is critical that psychologists understand the motivational processes that lead to cooperation or defection in the context of

As the world's resources face increasing pressure from a growing population, it is critical that psychologists understand the motivational processes that lead to cooperation or defection in the context of social dilemmas. Research has uncovered several key strategies for encouraging maintenance of these resources, however, one area that remains understudied is the effect various emotions may have on cooperation. Furthermore, it is important to consider the specific type of desired behavior: reduction of consumption of a shared resource, or increased contribution to a shared resource. The current study takes a step in this direction, examining the effects of two self-conscious emotions, guilt and pride, on behavior in two different kinds of social dilemmas. Guilt, a prosocial emotion that has been described as a "behavioral interrupt mechanism," is predicted to increase cooperation in both a social trap game and a public goods dilemma game. However, its effects should be strongest in the social trap game, in which the desired behavior is reduced consumption. Pride, an emotion that is conceptually related to the constructs of status and power, is predicted to motivate action in both domains, by increasing both consumption in the social trap game and contribution in the public goods dilemma game. Results partially support these predictions: Whereas guilt and pride both had the predicted effects on consumption in the social trap game, neither had a significant effect on contribution in the public goods dilemma game. Individual differences are examined, as are the results of a Game Feedback Sheet, which yielded insight as to how participants understood the rules of the games, and why they chose the strategies they did. Results support the idea that emotions represent a potentially fruitful avenue of research in social dilemma cooperation, and possible future directions for this research are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012