Matching Items (6)

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How Will We React to the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?

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How will humanity react to the discovery of extraterrestrial life? Speculation on this topic abounds, but empirical research is practically non-existent. We report the results of three empirical studies assessing

How will humanity react to the discovery of extraterrestrial life? Speculation on this topic abounds, but empirical research is practically non-existent. We report the results of three empirical studies assessing psychological reactions to the discovery of extraterrestrial life using the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) text analysis software. We examined language use in media coverage of past discovery announcements of this nature, with a focus on extraterrestrial microbial life (Pilot Study). A large online sample (N = 501) was asked to write about their own and humanity’s reaction to a hypothetical announcement of such a discovery (Study 1), and an independent, large online sample (N = 256) was asked to read and respond to a newspaper story about the claim that fossilized extraterrestrial microbial life had been found in a meteorite of Martian origin (Study 2). Across these studies, we found that reactions were significantly more positive than negative, and more reward vs. risk oriented. A mini-meta-analysis revealed large overall effect sizes (positive vs. negative affect language: g = 0.98; reward vs. risk language: g = 0.81). We also found that people’s forecasts of their own reactions showed a greater positivity bias than their forecasts of humanity’s reactions (Study 1), and that responses to reading an actual announcement of the discovery of extraterrestrial microbial life showed a greater positivity bias than responses to reading an actual announcement of the creation of man-made synthetic life (Study 2). Taken together, this work suggests that our reactions to a future confirmed discovery of microbial extraterrestrial life are likely to be fairly positive.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-01-10

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Desired Purchasing Behavior during the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The present study explored the relationship between desired purchasing behavior and individual differences using two nationally-representative, longitudinal samples of the U.S. population early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Past research has

The present study explored the relationship between desired purchasing behavior and individual differences using two nationally-representative, longitudinal samples of the U.S. population early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Past research has shown that individual differences provide information about how one might respond to threat. Therefore, we predicted changes in desired purchasing behavior across different sociodemographic variables that might reflect those differences. Specifically, we investigated hypotheses related to political orientation, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and whether or not the participant had children. We measured participants’ reported desired purchasing behavior across eleven categories of goods and investigated the connection between specific demographic variables and desired purchasing behavior. We found that conservatives desired to purchase more basic protection goods (guns/ammunition, cash, gas) and that older people desired to purchase more cleaning supplies and toiletries. These findings illustrate possible explanations for purchasing behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic and reveal directions for marketing designed to influence purchasing behavior.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Does Self-Construal Influence How People Use Social Networking Sites?

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Social Networking Sites (SNSs), such as Facebook and Twitter, have continued to gain popularity worldwide. Previous research has shown differences in online behaviors at the cultural level, namely between predominantly

Social Networking Sites (SNSs), such as Facebook and Twitter, have continued to gain popularity worldwide. Previous research has shown differences in online behaviors at the cultural level, namely between predominantly independent societies, such as the United States, and predominantly interdependent societies, such as China and Japan. In the current study I sought to test whether self-construal was correlated with different ways of using SNSs and whether there might be SES differences within the US that were analogous to previously observed cross-cultural differences in SNS use. Higher levels of interdependence were linked with using SNSs to keep in touch with family and friends, and providing social support to others. Interdependence was also correlated with Facebook addiction scale scores, using SNSs in inappropriate situations, and overall SNS use. Implications for assessing risk for Internet addiction, as well as understanding cultural variations in prevalence of Internet addiction are discussed.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Higher in status, (Even) better-than-average

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In 5 studies (total N = 1357) conducted online using Amazon's MTurk the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and the better-than-average effect (BTAE) was tested. Across the studies subjective measures

In 5 studies (total N = 1357) conducted online using Amazon's MTurk the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and the better-than-average effect (BTAE) was tested. Across the studies subjective measures of SES were positively correlated with magnitude of BTAE. Effects of objective measures (income and education) were weaker and less consistent. Measures of childhood SES (both objective and subjective) were positively correlated with BTAE magnitude, though less strongly and less consistently than measures of current subjective SES. Meta-analysis revealed all measures of chronic SES (with the exception of education) were significantly correlated with BTAE. However, manipulations of SES in terms of subjective status (Study 2), power (Study 3), and dominance (Study 4) did not have strong effects on BTAE magnitude (d's ranging from −0.04 to −0.14). Taken together the results suggest that chronic, but not temporary, status may be linked with a stronger tendency to overestimate one's abilities and positive traits.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-04-28

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Partitioning responsibility: the influence of cultural differences in social attributions on jurors' division of responsibility in a negligent tort context

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Research at the intersection of psychology and law has demonstrated that juror decision-making is subject to many cognitive biases, however, it fails to consider the influence of culturally derived cognitive

Research at the intersection of psychology and law has demonstrated that juror decision-making is subject to many cognitive biases, however, it fails to consider the influence of culturally derived cognitive biases. As jurors become increasingly demographically and culturally diverse it is possible—and even likely—that their attributions might vary because of their cultural background. I predict that cultural and demographic group affiliation affects attributional tendencies such that, compared to situationally focused individuals (those from East Asian cultures, women, those from lower socioeconomic status groups, and older individuals), dispositionally focused individuals (those from Western cultures, men, those from higher socioeconomic status groups, and younger individuals) are less likely to attribute some portion of causation and responsibility for the harm to other influences, and they are more likely to find the defendant liable and hold the defendant financially responsible to a greater degree. This dissertation has three aims: (1) to examine how culturally derived attributional tendencies influence jurors' assessments of causation in complex negligent tort cases where there are multiple causal influences (i.e., multiple tortfeasors and plaintiff negligence) (Studies 1 and 2); (2) to study the implications of those causal determinations on liability determinations, damage awards, and other legal decisions (Studies 1 and 2); and (3) to determine whether these culturally derived attributional tendencies are malleable, suggesting an intervention that might be used to attenuate the influence of attributional tendencies in a trial setting (Study 3). This work advances psychological research on cultural differences in attribution by exploring attributional differences in a new domain, developing a new scale of individual differences in attributional tendencies, and examining how multiple causal influences affects culturally derived attributional tendencies and downstream decision-making.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Cosmopolitan Cities: The Frontier in the Twenty-First Century?

Description

People with independent (vs. interdependent) social orientation place greater priority on personal success, autonomy, and novel experiences over maintaining ties to their communities of origin. Accordingly, an independent orientation should

People with independent (vs. interdependent) social orientation place greater priority on personal success, autonomy, and novel experiences over maintaining ties to their communities of origin. Accordingly, an independent orientation should be linked to a motivational proclivity to move to places that offer economic opportunities, freedom, and diversity. Such places are cities that can be called “cosmopolitan.” In support of this hypothesis, Study 1 found that independently oriented young adults showed a preference to move to cosmopolitan rather than noncosmopolitan cities. Study 2 used a priming manipulation and demonstrated a causal impact of independence on residential preferences for cosmopolitan cities. Study 3 established ecological validity by showing that students who actually moved to a cosmopolitan city were more independent than those who either moved to a noncosmopolitan city or never moved. Taken together, the findings illuminate the role of cosmopolitan settlement in the contemporary cultural change toward independence and have implications for urban development and economic growth.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-10-14