Matching Items (33)

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Evaluating Social Influence in Health: Diabetes Assessments Among Latinos

Description

Diabetes is prevalent among the Latino population in the United States. Engagement in healthy dietary behaviors, especially as a young adult, is an effective means of reducing risk for diabetes.

Diabetes is prevalent among the Latino population in the United States. Engagement in healthy dietary behaviors, especially as a young adult, is an effective means of reducing risk for diabetes. Previous psychological theories have demonstrated that health beliefs and perceived barriers influence engagement in such behaviors. This research investigated beliefs regarding risk for diabetes among the young, educated Latino population. Study 1 of this research sought to compare health beliefs and perceived barriers to barrier change in the young, educated Latino and European American populations. Latinos reported to have a higher perceived vulnerability to diabetes, but shared the belief in diet as the most important determinant of diabetes risk with European Americans. However, Latinos saw their diet as less malleable in their lives than did European Americans. Study 2 sought to replicate these findings and verify the existence of these beliefs. Young, educated Latinos' beliefs in the importance of diet yet a perceived lack of dietary changeability were confirmed. Furthermore, Study 2 evaluated the efficacy of health messages based in the principle of social proof in motivating health behavior change. Social proof, or social validation, describes the phenomenon in which people who see others similar to them engaging in a particular behavior are more likely to engage in that behavior. Latinos who were randomly assigned to receive a health message utilizing the principle of social proof to motivate healthy dietary changes were more likely to express a willingness to change their diet than those who did not receive such a message. These findings can inform the development of health campaigns seeking to promote healthy behaviors among young, educated Latinos.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014-05

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Friending Your Future: "" An Ecological Approach to Increasing Future Self-Continuity

Description

The benefits of earning a college degree are clear, yet nearly half of first-time, full-time college students do not complete their degree within 6 years. Completing college is no simple

The benefits of earning a college degree are clear, yet nearly half of first-time, full-time college students do not complete their degree within 6 years. Completing college is no simple task and students must regularly make decisions not to prefer the smaller, immediate rewards over the larger, future reward of graduation (i.e. temporal discounting). Recent research shows initial support that temporal discounting can be reduced by heightening future self-continuity. This thesis study pilot tested an ecological, scalable approach to increase future-self continuity by heightening three components, similarity, vividness and positivity, within the framework of social media. Participants completed measures of these components before and after simulating the creation of a social media profile for themselves 10 years after college graduation. A significant increase in perceived similarity to the future self from Time 1 to Time 2 was detected in a within-subjects test. The findings in this study are encouraging and may inform the development of interventions aimed at increasing future self-continuity in college students.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Fighting the War on Cancer: Effects of War Frame, Loss-Gain Prime and Patient Gender on Treatment Decision

Description

This purpose of this thesis study was to examine variables of the "War on Cancer" frame, loss-gain prime, and patient gender on treatment decision for advanced cancer patients. A total

This purpose of this thesis study was to examine variables of the "War on Cancer" frame, loss-gain prime, and patient gender on treatment decision for advanced cancer patients. A total of 291 participants (141 females) participated in an online survey experiment and were randomly assigned to one of eight possible conditions, each of which were comprised of a combination of one of two levels for three total independent variables: war frame ("War on Cancer" frame or neutral frame), loss-gain prime (loss prime or gain prime), and patient gender (female or male). Each of the three variables were operationalized to determine whether or not the exposure to the war on cancer paradigm, loss-frame language, or male patient gender would increase the likelihood of a participant choosing a more aggressive cancer treatment. Participants read a patient scenario and were asked to respond to questions related to motivating factors. Participants were then asked to report preference for one of two treatment decisions. Participants were then asked to provide brief demographic information in addition to responding to questions about military history, war attitudes, and cancer history. The aforementioned manipulations sought to determine whether exposure to various factors would make a substantive difference in final treatment decision. Contrary to the predicted results, participants in the war frame condition (M = 3.85, SD = 1.48) were more likely to choose the pursuit of palliative care (as opposed to aggressive treatment) than participants in the neutral frame condition (M = 3.54, SD = 1.23). Ultimately, these significant findings suggest that there is practical information to be gained from treatment presentation manipulations. By arming healthcare providers with a more pointed understanding of the nuances of treatment presentation, we can hope to empower patients, their loved ones, and healthcare providers entrenched in the world of cancer treatment.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2016-05

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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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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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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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Agent

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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Agent

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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Agent

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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Agent

Created

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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Agent

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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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012