Debra Gilin

Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Publications (12)11.43 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Four studies explored whether perspective-taking and empathy would be differentially effective in mixed-motive competitions depending on whether the critical skills for success were more cognitively or emotionally based. Study 1 demonstrated that individual differences in perspective-taking, but not empathy, predicted increased distributive and integrative performance in a multiple-round war game that required a clear understanding of an opponent's strategic intentions. Conversely, both measures and manipulations of empathy proved more advantageous than perspective-taking in a relationship-based coalition game that required identifying the strength of interpersonal connections (Studies 2-3). Study 4 established a key process: perspective-takers were more accurate in cognitive understanding of others, whereas empathy produced stronger accuracy in emotional understanding. Perspective-taking and empathy were each useful but in different types of competitive, mixed-motive situations-their success depended on the task-competency match. These results demonstrate when to use your head versus your heart to achieve the best outcomes for oneself.
    Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 11/2012; · 2.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence for an intriguing pattern has recently emerged, that of higher-empathy individuals — who have shown prosocial and self-sacrificing behaviour in other contexts (Batson, 1991; Batson & Ahmad, 2001) — becoming retaliatory under threat, such that joint resources are destroyed and conflict escalates (Gilin Oore, Maddux, & Galinsky, 2008). We investigate this phenomenon by contrasting how trait perspective taking and empathy may restrain versus escalate conflict, respectively. Perceptions of relational conflict were reported by health care workers seeking services (including education, coaching, mediation) through a conflict training and resolution program. Preliminary results (n=64; data collection still in progress) replicate the expected patterns of empathy-escalation versus perspective taking-restraint under threat: Workers reported significantly higher relational conflict the higher their empathy levels, with negative emotions — a proxy for emotionality — trending toward mediation of the effect. In contrast, higher perspective takers showed lower relational conflict perceptions, mediated by cognitive flexibility. We develop hypotheses to guide future research regarding how empathizing with others may ironically lead to greater conflict escalation under threatening or distressing circumstances.
    06/2012;
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    Debra A. Gilin, Annette Gagnon, David Bourgeois
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    ABSTRACT: Negotiations in which the counterparts are members of different racial groups may be hampered by less effective communication, lower trust, or distracting levels of concern over appearing prejudiced. In Study 1, we confirmed consumer studies showing a disadvantage for minority negotiators, and extended them by showing that the disadvantage can be mutual for their majority group negotiation partners in terms of profitable deals, stress and liking. In Study 2, we replicated this main effect and demonstrated that affective in-group identification (good feelings toward the White group) moderates it. When negotiating with a Black confederate, feeling “glad to be White” was a liability, in that stronger in-group affect of White participants was related to poorer joint outcomes and lower perceived liking. When negotiating with a White confederate, stronger in-group affect of White participants instead boosted the dyad’s connection and performance, resulting in higher joint outcomes, higher individual outcomes, and greater trust, perceived liking, and confidence. We discuss the implications of cross-race negotiations for both majority and minority individuals.
    05/2010;
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to examine the influence of empowering work conditions and workplace incivility on nurses' experiences of burnout and important nurse retention factors identified in the literature. A major cause of turnover among nurses is related to unsatisfying workplaces. Recently, there have been numerous anecdotal reports of uncivil behaviour in health care settings. We examined the impact of workplace empowerment, supervisor and coworker incivility, and burnout on three employee retention outcomes: job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intentions in a sample of 612 Canadian staff nurses. Hierarchical multiple linear regression analyses revealed that empowerment, workplace incivility, and burnout explained significant variance in all three retention factors: job satisfaction (R(2) = 0.46), organizational commitment (R(2) = 0.29) and turnover intentions (R(2) = 0.28). Empowerment, supervisor incivility, and cynicism most strongly predicted job dissatisfaction and low commitment (P < 0.001), whereas emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and supervisor incivility most strongly predicted turnover intentions. In our study, nurses' perceptions of empowerment, supervisor incivility, and cynicism were strongly related to job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and turnover intentions. Managerial strategies that empower nurses for professional practice may be helpful in preventing workplace incivility, and ultimately, burnout.
    Journal of Nursing Management 04/2009; 17(3):302-11. · 1.45 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the effects of nurse, infant, and organizational factors on delivery of collaborative and evidence-based pain care by nurses. Cross sectional. Two Level III neonatal intensive care units in 2 large tertiary care centers in Canada. A convenience sample of 93 nurses completed survey data on procedures they performed on ill neonates. The 93 nurses performed a total of 170 pain producing procedures on 2 different shifts. Nurse use of evidence-based protocols to manage procedure related pain using a scorecard of nurses' assessment, management, and documentation. Procedural pain care was more likely to meet evidence-based criteria when nurse participants rated nurse-physician collaboration higher (odds ratio, 1.44; 95% confidence intervals 1.05-1.98), cared for higher care intensity infants (odds ratio, 1.21; 95% confidence intervals, 1.06-1.39), and experienced unexpected increases in work assignments (odds ratio, 1.55; 95% confidence intervals, 1.04-2.30). Nurses' knowledge about the protocols, educational preparation and experience were not significant predictors of evidence-based care for the most common procedures: heel lance and intravenous initiation. Nurse-physician collaboration and nurses' work assignments were more predictive of evidence-based care than infant and nurse factors. Nurses' knowledge regarding evidence-based care was not a predictor of implementation of protocols. In the final statistical modeling, collaboration with physicians, a variable amenable to intervention and further study, emerged as a strong predictor. The results highlight the complex issue of translating knowledge to practice, however, specific findings related to pain assessment and collaboration provide some direction for future practice and research initiatives.
    Journal of Obstetric Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing 01/2009; 38(2):182-94. · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To examine the psychometric and unit of analysis/strength of culture issues in patient safety culture (PSC) measurement. Two cross-sectional surveys of health care staff in 10 Canadian health care organizations totaling 11,586 respondents. A cross-validation study of a measure of PSC using survey data gathered using the Modified Stanford PSC survey (MSI-2005 and MSI-2006); a within-group agreement analysis of MSI-2006 data. Extraction Methods. Exploratory factor analyses (EFA) of the MSI-05 survey data and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of the MSI-06 survey data; Rwg coefficients of homogeneity were calculated for 37 units and six organizations in the MSI-06 data set to examine within-group agreement. The CFA did not yield acceptable levels of fit. EFA and reliability analysis of MSI-06 data suggest two reliable dimensions of PSC: Organization leadership for safety (alpha=0.88) and Unit leadership for safety (alpha=0.81). Within-group agreement analysis shows stronger within-unit agreement than within-organization agreement on assessed PSC dimensions. The field of PSC measurement has not been able to meet strict requirements for sound measurement using conventional approaches of CFA. Additional work is needed to identify and soundly measure key dimensions of PSC. The field would also benefit from further attention to strength of culture/unit of analysis issues.
    Health Services Research 10/2008; 44(1):205-24. · 2.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The current research explored whether two related yet distinct social competencies -- perspective taking (the cognitive capacity to consider the world from another individual's viewpoint) and empathy (the ability to connect emotionally with another individual) -- have differential effects in negotiations. Across three studies, using both individual difference measures and experimental manipulations, we found that perspective taking increased individuals' ability to discover hidden agreements and to both create and claim resources at the bargaining table. However, empathy did not prove nearly as advantageous and at times was detrimental to discovering a possible deal and achieving individual profit. These results held regardless of whether the interaction was a negotiation in which a prima facie solution was not possible or a multiple-issue negotiation that required discovering mutually beneficial trade-offs. Although empathy is an essential tool in many aspects of social life, perspective taking appears to be a particularly critical ability in negotiations.
    Psychological Science 05/2008; 19(4):378-84. · 4.43 Impact Factor
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    12/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction The use of recursion in modelling an adversary has been suggested as a crucial component in a number of tasks including game theory, games, negotiations, economics, war and even in the evolution of human intelligence. Thagard (1992) defined recursive modeling (RM) as the ability to place oneself in the mindset of ones opponent, and to do so at different depths. These RM depths consisted of depth 0 -self insight ("I know what I will do the environment"); depth 1 -perspective ("I will include a model of what I believe my opponent will do"); Depth 2 -meta perspective ("I will include what I believe my opponent thinks I will do"); and so on. Thagard suggested that depth 2 held special importance in success against an adversary, since this is where deception would take place. I would need to understand what an adversary thought of my strategy in order or influence or manipulate that belief. A number of studies have looked at RM with a variety of tasks and opponents including many combinations of human and intelligent computer agents. Burns and Vollmeyer (1998) tested human/human dyads in a simple guessing game from game theory and discovered that subjects who were skilled depth two modellers in a questionnaire performed better on the game theory task. MacInnes (2001) incorporated RM in intelligent game agents (computer/computer), and also showed that they could benefit from depth two recursion. The next step (computer agents which could recursively model human behaviour), however met with less success. MacInnes (2004), using a number of intelligent algorithms failed to show a benefit of RM (depth 0 was optimal in most conditions). A number of theories were presented for this result including: a) Machine learning algorithms had already incorporated recursion implicitly from training subjects (presented here, MacInnes 2006). b) Although the theory claimed that RM strategy produced the benefit, it was opponent's personality modelling which was actually measured in previous human modelling research. Since these theories are not mutually exclusive, a) will be left for future work, and b) will be explored here. Experiment and Results The experiment was a complex game with prisoner's dilemma style payouts. Short term gains could be made through defection, but long term gain could only be achieved through the development of trust. Each participant was instructed to win the most money for their 'country' and was allowed frequent negotiations for strategy. To explore the discrepancy of what we choose to call strategic and personality modelling, both were measured: the personality scale as used in Burns (1998), and a second for strategic modelling (both for recursive levels 0-3). Regression results showed that only personality modelling was significant in predicting how well a subject did in terms of outcome in the game. Further, although depth 2 recursion was primarily responsible for this effect, it was winnings through cooperation which was influenced by this modelling ability. These results replicate Burns (1998), since personality modelling was also used in that study, but would also explain other studies. Computer/Computer matches did show a benefit of strategic modelling since the agents involved were incapable of producing or measuring personality as in the human study. It could also explain the computer/human null result since the computer agent only modelled the human's strategy in the game, and had no model of personality. If deception, however, were the reason for the depth 2 advantage, we would expect money earned from defecting to be influenced, where in fact we see the opposite. Since cooperation (not deception) benefits from depth 2 recursion in this experiment it seems more likely that depth 2 plays a broader role in conflict and negotiation.
    01/2006;
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    W. Joseph MacInnes, Debra A. Gilin
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    ABSTRACT: Separate but complementary literatures exist for perspective taking (psychology) and recursive modelling (computer/cognitive science) and their efficacy in conflict situations. Both constructs involve creating a mental model of one's partner, adversary, or opponent. Further, each assumes that a more accurate and complex model of other people will increase interpersonal efficacy and the attainment of one's social goals. This collaborative interdisciplinary research assumes that the more refined theory of recursive modelling, which specifies several ordered levels of perspective-taking activity, can be enhance prediction of judgment accuracy, outcome success, and the development of retaliatory versus trusting behavior in conflict. A computer-aided Disarmament Game was created which mimics the contingencies of the Prisoner's Dilemma (rewards for cooperation versus defection), with added complexity and live face-to-face negotiation opportunities. After measuring dispositional perspective taking ability (IRI, Davis, 1983), approximately 50 dyads (n=100) will play the game. Conflict cycles (escalation versus resolution) will be tracked over time, as well as perspective-taking accuracy at zero through three levels of recursion. This exploratory research asks (1) does perspective-taking ability predict how well one reads ones opponent at some recursive levels more than others? (2) does one's accuracy at different recursive levels key to a successful outcome? In addition, we will be able to predict what combinations of perspective-taking abilities of participants lead to the development of trust and cooperation over time. Preliminary results of pilot data are presented here, with full results expected by May 2005 (in advance of the conference).
    06/2005;
  • Debra A. Gilin, Emily Tregunno
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    ABSTRACT: In non-competitive empathy tasks, women have typically performed better than men at accurately reading a partner. We proposed that gender-role specific motivations to understand others should qualify this general rule, and noted that the interpersonal accuracy of men and women has rarely, if ever, been tested in competitive tasks. This study measured a male-focused version of "empathic accuracy" in a mainly competitive task (ultimatum game). In line with expectations, men's accuracy performance was superior to women's in a low monetary incentive condition, but worst in the high monetary incentive condition (compared to all women and to the men in the low incentive condition). Women, in contrast, were relatively unaffected by the monetary incentives and moderately accurate. Results are discussed in terms of gender-specific motivations for interpersonal accuracy and the likelihood that interpersonal accuracy peaks at a moderate level of personal involvement.
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    ABSTRACT: Thecurrentresearchexploredwhethertwore- lated yet distinct social competencies—perspective taking (the cognitive capacity to consider the world from another individual'sviewpoint)andempathy(theabilitytoconnect emotionally with another individual)—have differential effectsinstrategic,mixed-motiveinteractions.Acrossthree studies, using both individual difference measures and ex- perimental manipulations, we found that perspective tak- ingincreased individuals'abilitytodiscover hiddenagree- ments and to both create and claim resources at the bar- gaining table. However, empathy did not prove nearly as advantageous and at times was detrimental to discovering a possible deal and achieving individual profit. These re- sults held regardless of whether the interaction was a ne- gotiation in which a prima facie solution was not possible or a multiple-issue negotiation that required discovering mutually beneficial trade-offs. Although empathy is an essential tool in many aspects of social life, perspective taking appears to be a particularly critical ability in strategic interactions.

Publication Stats

124 Citations
11.43 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005–2012
    • Saint Mary's University
      • Department of Psychology
      Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 2009
    • IWK Health Centre
      Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    • The University of Western Ontario
      • Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing
      London, Ontario, Canada