[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A blossoming body of research documents the effect of sexual objectification on social perception, but little is known about the consequences of sexual objectification. This paper examines how sexual objectification influences men and women’s rape perceptions in case of a stranger rape. We hypothesized that victims’ sexual objectification might diminish rapist blame and increase victim blame in cases of stranger rape. Fifty-eight male and 57 female Belgian undergraduate students were assigned to either a sexual objectifying (i.e., body focus) or to a personalized portrayal (i.e., face focus) of a rape victim. After reading a newspaper report depicting a stranger rape, participants were asked to evaluate the extent to which they blamed the rapist and the victim. As predicted, participants blamed the rapist less in the sexual objectification condition, regardless of participant gender. In contrast, sexual objectification did not increase victim blame. These results have implications for the well-being of rape victims, as well as for the functioning of justice if it leads authorities to show leniency towards the length of penalty a rapist may receive. The implications of these findings for future research on sexual objectification and gender differences in rape perception are also discussed.
Sex Roles 06/2015; 72(11-12). DOI:10.1007/s11199-015-0482-0 · 1.47 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent studies have shown that sexualized female bodies are objectified at a cognitive level. Research using the body-inversion recognition task, a robust indicator of configural (vs. analytic processing) within cognitive psychology, shows that for sexualized female bodies, people recognize upright and inverted bodies similarly rather than recognizing upright bodies better than inverted bodies (i.e., an inversion effect). This finding suggests that sexualized female bodies, like objects, are recognized analytically (rather than configurally). Nonetheless, it remains unclear when and why sexualized female bodies are objectified at a basic cognitive level. Grounded in objectification theory, the present experiments examine moderating factors that may prompt more configural processing (i.e., produce an inversion effect) and less objectification of sexualized female bodies. Replicating previous research, sexualized male bodies elicited more configural processing and less objectification compared to sexualized female bodies. We then examined whether reducing the salience of sexual body parts (Experiments 2a and 2b) and adding humanizing information about the targets (Experiment 3) causes perceivers to recognize female bodies more configurally, reducing the cognitive objectification of women. Implications for sexual objectification theory and research, as well as the role of humanizing often-dehumanized sexy women, are discussed. Additional online materials for this article are available to PWQ subscribers on PWQ’s website at http://pwq.sagepub.com/supplemental.
Psychology of Women Quarterly 05/2015; DOI:10.1177/0361684315580125 · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Collective memory theories propose that groups' remembrances of their past depend upon their current social situation. In Belgium, a significant proportion of Dutch speakers share a collective memory of past victimisation by French speakers and fight for an ever-larger autonomy of their region. Yet, as the respective economic, political and social situations of the linguistic regions of Belgium recently evolved with a reversal of fortunes, the current experience of younger Dutch speakers does not fit the traditional memory anymore. We thus predicted that the collective memories of victimhood would decline amongst them, thus bringing changes in intergroup attitudes and political aspirations. Three generations were compared in a survey of 1226 French-speaking and 1457 Dutch-speaking individuals. For both groups, younger generations evidenced less regionalist and more integrative positions than older ones. However, these effects were stronger for Dutch-speaking respondents, and for them, collective memory of victimhood mediated the relation linking age and identification with Belgium, intergroup attitudes and political aspirations. We concluded that the current social context has decisive consequences for collective remembrances, which, in turn, impact intergroup relations and political attitudes and choices.
European Journal of Social Psychology 05/2015; 45(4). DOI:10.1002/ejsp.2104 · 1.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anecdotes of past social movements suggest that Internet-enabled technologies, especially social media platforms, can facilitate collective actions. Recently, however, it has been argued that the participatory Internet encourages low-cost and low-risk activism—slacktivism—which may have detrimental consequences for groups that aim to achieve a collective purpose. More precisely, low-threshold digital practices such as signing online petitions or “liking” the Facebook page of a group are thought to derail subsequent engagement offline. We assessed this postulation in three experiments (N = 76, N = 59, and N = 48) and showed that so-called slacktivist actions indeed reduce the willingness to join a panel discussion and demonstration as well as the likelihood to sign a petition. This demobilizing effect was mediated by the satisfaction of group-enhancing motives; members considered low-threshold online collective actions as a substantial contribution to the group’s success. The findings highlight that behavior that is belittled as slacktivism addresses needs that pertain to individuals’ sense of group membership. Rather than hedonistic motives or personal interests, concerns for the ingroup’s welfare and viability influenced the decision to join future collective actions offline.
European Journal of Social Psychology 04/2015; 45(3). DOI:10.1002/ejsp.2084 · 1.78 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By tuning messages about ambiguous information to their audience’s attitude, communicators can reduce uncertainty and form audience-congruent memories. This effect has been conceptualized as the creation of shared reality with the audience. We applied this approach to representations of ambiguous antecedents of sexual harassment and examined whether the effect depends on the event’s perceived ambiguity. Participants read a testimony about a supervisor’s ambiguous behaviors toward a female employee and described the behaviors to an audience who had previously evaluated him positively or negatively. We manipulated perceived ambiguity of the testimony by including or omitting information about eventual, clear-cut harassment (known vs. unknown outcome). As predicted, participants aligned their messages and memory with their audience’s evaluation only in the unknown-outcome condition, where epistemic uncertainty was higher. The findings highlight the role of epistemic needs in the communicative creation of a shared reality about a ubiquitous social situation with potentially harmful outcomes.
Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition 03/2015; 4(4). DOI:10.1016/j.jarmac.2014.07.007
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emergent properties of global political culture were examined using data from the World History Survey (WHS) involving 6,902 university students in 37 countries evaluating 40 figures from world history. Multidimensional scaling and factor analysis techniques found only limited forms of universality in evaluations across Western, Catholic/Orthodox, Muslim, and Asian country clusters. The highest consensus across cultures involved scientific innovators, with Einstein having the most positive evaluation overall. Peaceful humanitarians like Mother Theresa and Gandhi followed. There was much less cross-cultural consistency in the evaluation of negative figures, led by Hitler, Osama bin Laden, and Saddam Hussein. After more traditional empirical methods (e.g., factor analysis) failed to identify meaningful cross-cultural patterns, Latent Profile Analysis (LPA) was used to identify four global representational profiles: Secular and Religious Idealists were overwhelmingly prevalent in Christian countries, and Political Realists were common in Muslim and Asian countries. We discuss possible consequences and interpretations of these different representational profiles.
PLoS ONE 02/2015; 10(2):e0115641. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0115641 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Past research has shown that the experience of taste can be influenced by a range of external cues, especially when they concern food’s quality. The present research examined whether food’s ethicality – a cue typically unrelated to quality – can also influence taste. We hypothesised that moral satisfaction with the consumption of ethical food would positively influence taste expectations, which in turn will enhance the actual taste experience. This enhanced taste experience was further hypothesised to act as a possible reward mechanism reinforcing the purchase of ethical food. The resulting ethical food-> moral satisfaction-> enhanced taste expectations and experience-> stronger intentions to buy/willingness to pay model was validated across four studies: one large scale international survey (Study 1) and three experimental studies involving actual food consumption of different type of ethical origin - organic (Study 2), fair trade (Study 3a) and locally produced (Study 3b). Furthermore, endorsement of values relevant to the food’s ethical origin moderated the effect of food’s origin on moral satisfaction, suggesting that the model is primarily supported for people who endorse these values.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Social representations of the historical past, anchored in historical experience and cultural values, play a motivational role for justifying collective behaviour. The First and Second World Wars (WWI and WWII) are the most remembered historical events around the world. The aim of the current study is to investigate, based on country-level data, the relationship between the country's role during the war, social development, cultural values and willingness to fight in a future war, and how social representations of WWII mediate these processes. The data from the World History Survey were collected from a total of 6628 university students from 36 countries. The results showed that ascribing WWII a progressive (UN creation, democracy) or technological-scientific explanation, but also perceiving WWII as a social catastrophe, prevailed more than beliefs justifying WWII (just and necessary war). Directly or indirectly victorious nations endorse legitimizing and positive representations of world wars more than defeated ones. The effects of hierarchical and collectivistic values and low social development on willingness to fight in a war are mediated by legitimizing social representations of WWII. Importantly, when controlled for socio-structural differences (human development index), the indirect effect of being a victorious nation in a war on willingness to fight through legitimizing representations of WWII was also significant. These findings suggest that social representations of WWII serve as anchors for determining the role of a nation in collective violence. Social representations legitimizing past collective violence seem to facilitate more positive attitudes towards potential future collective violence in victorious nations.
International Journal of Intercultural Relations 11/2014; 43. DOI:10.1016/j.ijintrel.2014.08.013 · 1.14 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: People consistently over-eat when served a large compared to a small (appropriate) portion of food. However, the mechanism underlying this so-called portion size effect is not well understood. We argue that the process of anchoring and adjustment naturally describes this effect, such that the size of a presented portion works as an anchor that strongly influences consumption. The classical anchoring and adjustment paradigm was applied to six hypothetical eating situations. Participants were asked to imagine being served either a small or a large portion of food (i.e., low and high anchor) and to indicate whether they would consume more or less than this amount. Then, they indicated how much they would eat. These estimates were compared to a no-anchor condition where participants did not imagine a specific portion size but only indicated how much they would eat. In addition, half of participants in the anchoring conditions received a discounting instruction stating that the portion size they had been asked to imagine was randomly selected and thus not informative for their consumption estimate. As expected, participants who imagined to be served larger portions estimated to consume significantly more food than participants in the no-anchor condition, and participants who imagined to be served smaller portions estimated to consume significantly less food than participants in the no-anchor condition. The discounting manipulation did not reduce this effect of the anchors. We suggest that the process of anchoring and adjustment may provide a useful framework to understand the portion size effect and we discuss implications of this perspective.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past several years, two largely separate traditions have collided, leading to controversy over claims about priming. We describe and contrast the main accounts of priming effects in cognitive and social psychology, focusing especially on the role of awareness. In so doing, we consider one of the core points of contention: claims about the effects of subliminal priming. Whereas cognitive psychologists often are interested in exploring how priming operates with and without awareness, social psychologists more commonly assume subliminality in order to bolster claims about the automaticity of priming. We discuss the criteria necessary to claim that a stimulus was processed entirely without awareness, noting the challenges in meeting those criteria. Finally, we identify three sources of conflict between the fields: Awareness, replicability, and the nature of the underlying processes. We close by proposing resolutions for each of them.
Social Cognition 06/2014; 32(Supplement):12-32. DOI:10.1521/soco.2014.32.supp.12 · 1.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The unconscious-thought effect occurs when distraction improves complex decision making. Recent studies suggest that this effect is more likely to occur with low- than high-demanding distraction tasks. We discuss implications of these findings for Newell & Shanks' (N&S's) claim that evidence is lacking for the intervention of unconscious processes in complex decision making.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the 1960s, a historical event occurred at one of Europe's most prestigious universities: The Dutch-speaking students forced the French-speaking students to relocate and establish their own university. We compared the extent to which members of each social group developed elaborate memories of the events surrounding the conflict and whether they were associated with differences in rehearsal type (media, conversational, rumination) and initiating conditions (importance, political engagement, and negative/positive emotions). All participants were university students at the time of the conflict. We found that Dutch-speakers exhibited more elaborate memories compared to French-speakers and that importance was associated with elaborate memories only for the Dutch-speakers. However, positive emotions appear to be critical in the formation of elaborate memories across the social groups. We found no such associations for negative emotions. We discuss these results in terms of the social/cognitive processes transcending social group membership in understanding how individuals remember past conflicts.
Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition 09/2013; 2(3):166–172. DOI:10.1016/j.jarmac.2013.07.003
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objectification and dehumanization represent motivational conundrums because they are phenomena in which people are seen in ways that are fundamentally inaccurate; seeing people as objects, as animals, or not as people. The purpose of the 60th Nebraska Symposium on Motivation was to examine the motivational underpinnings of objectification and dehumanization of the self and others. To provide an overall context for this volume, we first provide classic conceptualizations of objectification and dehumanization and speculate about relations between the two. We then introduce a unified theory of objectification and dehumanization within the global versus local processing model (GLOMO) and provide initial supporting evidence. Finally, we introduce the chapters in this volume, which provide additional significant and novel motivational perspectives on objectification and dehumanization.
Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation 08/2013; 60:1-23. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4614-6959-9_1 · 1.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A survey revealed that researchers still seem to encounter difficulties to cope with outliers. Detecting outliers by determining an interval spanning over the mean plus/minus three standard deviations remains a common practice. However, since both the mean and the standard deviation are particularly sensitive to outliers, this method is problematic. We highlight the disadvantages of this method and present the median absolute deviation, an alternative and more robust measure of dispersion that is easy to implement. We also explain the procedures for calculating this indicator in SPSS and R software.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 07/2013; 49(4):764–766. DOI:10.1016/j.jesp.2013.03.013 · 2.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article revisits two classical issues in experimental methodology: experimenter bias and demand characteristics. We report a content analysis of the method section of experiments reported in two psychology journals (Psychological Science and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology), focusing on aspects of the procedure associated with these two phenomena, such as mention of the presence of the experimenter, suspicion probing, and handling of deception. We note that such information is very often absent, which prevents observers from gauging the extent to which such factors influence the results. We consider the reasons that may explain this omission, including the automatization of psychology experiments, the evolution of research topics, and, most important, a view of research participants as passive receptacles of stimuli. Using a situated social cognition perspective, we emphasize the importance of integrating the social context of experiments in the explanation of psychological phenomena. We illustrate this argument via a controversy on stereotype-based behavioral priming effects.