Jason P Martens

University of British Columbia - Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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Publications (3)6.06 Total impact

  • Jason P. Martens, Jessica L. Tracy
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    ABSTRACT: Humans learn, in large part, by copying knowledgeable others. However, because others can be deceitful or lack competence, indiscriminate copying would be maladaptive. How then do individuals determine which social group members have knowledge that should be copied? We argue that the pride nonverbal expression may signal expertise, and thus bias learning such that proud others are more likely to be copied. In two studies, financially motivated participants answered a difficult trivia question after viewing a photograph (Study 1A) or a video (Study 2) of an emotion-displaying confederate answering the same question. Pride-displaying confederates were copied significantly more frequently than those displaying other expressions, suggesting that pride expressions bias social learning. Study 1B demonstrated that this effect was restricted to participants who were financially motivated to acquire knowledge. These findings indicate that pride displays are functional for observers and may play a critical role in social learning.
    Social Psychological and Personality Science. 07/2013; 4(4):492-499.
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    Jason P Martens, Jessica L Tracy, Azim F Shariff
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    ABSTRACT: A growing body of research suggests that pride and shame are associated with distinct, cross-culturally recognised nonverbal expressions, which are spontaneously displayed in situations of success and failure, respectively. Here, we review these findings, then offer a theoretical account of the adaptive benefits of these displays. We argue that both pride and shame expressions function as social signals that benefit both observers and expressers. Specifically, pride displays function to signal high status, which benefits displayers by according them deference from others, and benefits observers by affording them valuable information about social-learning opportunities. Shame displays function to appease others after a social transgression, which benefits displayers by allowing them to avoid punishment and negative appraisals, and observers by easing their identification of committed group members and followers.
    Cognition and Emotion 04/2012; 26(3):390-406. · 2.52 Impact Factor
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    Jessica L Tracy, Joshua Hart, Jason P Martens
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    ABSTRACT: The present research examined the psychological motives underlying widespread support for intelligent design theory (IDT), a purportedly scientific theory that lacks any scientific evidence; and antagonism toward evolutionary theory (ET), a theory supported by a large body of scientific evidence. We tested whether these attitudes are influenced by IDT's provision of an explanation of life's origins that better addresses existential concerns than ET. In four studies, existential threat (induced via reminders of participants' own mortality) increased acceptance of IDT and/or rejection of ET, regardless of participants' religion, religiosity, educational background, or preexisting attitude toward evolution. Effects were reversed by teaching participants that naturalism can be a source of existential meaning (Study 4), and among natural-science students for whom ET may already provide existential meaning (Study 5). These reversals suggest that the effect of heightened mortality awareness on attitudes toward ET and IDT is due to a desire to find greater meaning and purpose in science when existential threats are activated.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(3):e17349. · 3.53 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3 Citations
6.06 Total Impact Points

Top Journals


  • 2011–2012
    • University of British Columbia - Vancouver
      • Department of Psychology
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada