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The objective of this systematic review of studies using self-affirmation manipulations was to identify research gaps and provide information to guide future research. We describe study characteristics, categories of manipulations, and report effects on various dependent variables. Our search strategies yielded 47 eligible articles (69 studies). Ma...

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... Similarly, in the NA condition participants were instructed to rank the six values, but they were then asked to write about why their lowest-ranked value might be important to another student at the same institution. This values-oriented procedure and others similar to it have been found to be highly effective for inducing SA in previous research (see McQueen & Klein, 2006, for a review). ...
Article
The dispositional trait of intellectual humility (IH) refers to the degree to which people recognize their beliefs might be fallible. For the most part, it has been conceptualized as a “trait” variable that reflects a stable individual difference, however, in the current study, we examined whether IH also has “state”-like characteristics by testing whether it is susceptible to modification via a self-affirmation (SA) induction, which in previous research has been shown to reduce defensiveness in the face of information that threatens the self. To test this hypothesis, we first threatened participants by having them read a counter-attitudinal essay that contradicted their belief in God and then allowed half of the participants to affirm the self by writing about an important value that they hold. Following this SA induction, all participants completed a brief IH measure. Consistent with our hypothesis, statistical analyses revealed that participants in the SA condition reported significantly higher IH than participants in the control (no affirmation) condition. These findings suggest that in addition to having features associated with relatively fixed personality traits, IH is also amenable to change on the basis of a simple situational manipulation under conditions of self-threat.
... (2) provoking sources that hurt self-concepts evoke threatening cognitions (i.e., rumination, Critcher & Dunning, 2015), which prompt individuals to reaffirm their core values and engage in proactive actions to restore such a sense of adequacy; and (3) individuals who hold stronger self-concepts are more prone to self-affirmation, because the importance of the threats looms larger (Cohen & Sherman, 2014;McQueen & Klein, 2006). Accordingly, as shown in Figure 1, we propose that ideological contract breach ignites a selfaffirmation process by first giving rise to rumination over the breached ideology, motivating cognitive self-affirmation, which subsequently elicits two types of behaviors that reaffirm the ideology: proactive serving behavior (i.e., taking the initiative to serve the beneficiaries of the ideology) and self-improvement behavior (i.e., improving professional skills to advance the ideology). ...
... For example, to reaffirm the self, a doctor ruminating on their hospital's breach of medical ideology may engage in personal reflection upon core principles associated with being a doctor, what drove them to enter this career initially, and what they truly believe in this profession. Although other forms of self-affirmation may exist, we follow previous research and focus on thinking about core values (Harris et al., 2019), which is the most often used and most salient form (for a review, see McQueen & Klein, 2006). Supporting our reasoning, empirical studies have found that rumination over a self-threat incites spontaneous assertion of core values to block heightened awareness of the threat (McGregor et al., 2001). ...
... Finally, we contribute to self-affirmation theory by directly capturing the psychological process involved and testing it in a new context. The vast majority of research in the self-affirmation literature is based on laboratory experiments in which self-affirmation is externally imposed and manipulated after the occurrence of self-threat (McQueen & Klein, 2006). The original proposition by Steele (1988) and more recent advocacy by other scholars (Emanuel et al., 2018;McGregor et al., 2001;Sivanathan & Pettit, 2010;Taber, 2016) hold that individuals may spontaneously respond to threats to self-concepts with self-affirmation of core values and principles. ...
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Transactional and relational contract breach occur when organizations fail to deliver on promised personal benefits for employees and are associated with negative behaviors reciprocating such mistreatment. However, recent research suggests that ideological contract breach, a unique form of contract breach, may yield constructive behaviors because it is not organizations’ direct personal mistreatment of employees, but organizations’ abandonment of a valued cause to benefit a third party. Such an interesting prediction goes beyond the dominant social‐exchange framework, which mainly forecasts destructive responses to breach. In this research, we develop a novel self‐affirmation model to explain how ideological contract breach results in counterintuitive positive outcomes. In a hospital field study among medical professionals (N = 362) and their supervisors (N = 129), we found that ideological contract breach induces employees’ rumination about the breach, which in turn prompts them to self‐affirm core values at work. This self‐affirmation eventually spurs proactive serving behavior and self‐improvement behavior to compensate for the breached ideology. Professional identification enhances this self‐affirmation process. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
... Because the findings support a self-affirmation theory hypothesis, health practitioners can potentially look to selfaffirmation strategies to interrupt this threat process. One such strategy is to neutralize the threat by covertly dispensing affirmations in another unrelated -but still highly valueddomain (McQueen & Klein, 2006). This may boost global self-worth without sacrificing the valued identity as a 'good breastfeeding mother'. ...
... However, these tactics need to be carefully considered. Research has found that when the self-affirmation is within domain, it can increase the perceived threat and distancing behavior rather than decrease it (McQueen & Klein, 2006). Researchers have also found that when the process of selfaffirmation is explained, the impact is negated (Silverman et al., 2013). ...
... After the robot exposure manipulation, we used a wellestablished writing task to manipulate participants' self-affirmation (see McQueen & Klein, 2006, for a review). We presented participants with a list of 11 characteristics and values (e.g., sense of humor, athletics, relations with friends and family, social skills) and asked them to rank order these characteristics and values in order of importance to them. ...
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Robots are transforming the nature of human work. Although human-robot collaborations can create new jobs and increase productivity, pundits often warn about how robots might replace humans at work and create mass unemployment. Despite these warnings, relatively little research has directly assessed how laypeople react to robots in the workplace. Drawing from cognitive appraisal theory of stress, we suggest that employees exposed to robots (either physically or psychologically) would report greater job insecurity. Six studies-including two pilot studies, an archival study across 185 U.S. metropolitan areas (Study 1), a preregistered experiment conducted in Singapore (Study 2), an experience-sampling study among engineers conducted in India (Study 3), and an online experiment (Study 4)-find that increased exposure to robots leads to increased job insecurity. Study 3 also reveals that this robot-related job insecurity is in turn positively associated with burnout and workplace incivility. Study 4 reveals that self-affirmation is a psychological intervention that might buffer the negative effects of robot-related job insecurity. Our findings hold across different cultures and industries, including industries not threatened by robots. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
... Third, efficacy of self-affirmation interventions is also relevant in helping employees better manage work-family constraints in this time of Covid-19, not least because it enables employees to better align the underpinning needs and values with changed working environments (McQueen & Klein, 2006;Dweck, 2008;Tasselli, Kilduff, & Landis, 2018;Carnevale & Hatak, 2020). Evidence of how self-affirmation interventions have improved the work-family balance in contemporary Covid-19 literature include: Li et al. (2020) concluding after an experiment that "Self-affirmation is easy to accomplish since it does not require professional guidance or a distinct environment and occupies little time, it would be a convenient strategy for the public to cope with psychological stress during the outbreak" (p.886). ...
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The study complements the extant literature by using a process tracing technique to assess how theoretical and textual insights into employee adjustments and wellbeing in the period of the Covid-19 pandemic withstand analytical scrutiny within the frameworks human resource management (HRM) and more contemporary literature. The Covid-19 pandemic poses a challenge to, as well as an opportunity for organizations to find novel solutions to the concerns resulting from the management of their human resources. This study provides contemporary evidence on several suggested frameworks for future research by Carnevale and Hatak (2020, JBR). The perspectives are discussed in terms HRM opportunities and challenges in the light of erosion of fit, constraining work-family impacts and disproportionate effects on alternative structures of the family on the one hand and on the other, on insights into entrepreneurship.
... Based on self-affirmation theory, researchers developed a self-affirmation intervention to help people cope with psychological threats, in which people reflect on an important trait, value, or achievement that is unrelated to the domain in which they will experience threat (Cohen et al., 2009;McQueen & Klein, 2006). For example, participants are given a list of different kinds of values to choose from (e.g., theoretical, economic, aesthetic, social, political, and religious from Allport et al., 1960) and then asked to choose which is most important to them and explain why (Sherman et al., 2000). ...
... It can be any aspect of your identity, a talent, a relationship, or a basic value" (Blanton et al., 2001, p. 37). Indeed, self-affirmation interventions have been used many times in a wide variety of contexts and thus there is a variation in the exact form of the intervention (which values used, the exact wording etc.); for a review of all different forms of self-affirmation interventions see McQueen & Klein, 2006). ...
... In addition to expanding research on self-affirmation to test its effectiveness in increasing support for action to advance equality, we also aimed to make important advances in the methodology and applicability of self-affirmation interventions. Until now almost all self-affirmation interventions use some variation on the same methodology (Lesick & Zell, 2021;McQueen & Klein, 2006): people are either given a list of, or asked to think of, important values, traits, or achievements, and then to write about an activity/event in their life that reflects that value/trait or about the achievement. While this essay method has proven effective, it makes the intervention limited to contexts where people can be required to sit and write an essay (e.g., educational contexts). ...
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Members of historically advantaged groups are often unwilling to support actions or policies aimed at reducing inequality between advantaged and disadvantaged groups, even if they generally support the principle of equality. Based on past research, we suggest a self-affirmation intervention (an intervention in which people reflect on a positive trait or value in order to affirm their positive self-image) may be effective for increasing the willingness of advantaged group members to address inequality. Importantly, while self-affirmation has in the past only operationalized as a written exercise, in this project we adapt it into video messages for use in public campaigns. In Study 1, we experimentally tested an initial video adaptation of self-affirmation and found that it is effective in increasing the willingness of advantaged group members to address inequality in the context of Jewish-Arab relations in Israel. Based on this study, NGOs developed a real campaign video and used it in their public campaign, and we tested this applied intervention (in Study 2) and found it to be effective compared to a control condition that only presented information about inequality. Together, these studies represent the first implementation of self-affirmation in real world campaigns and indicate that it can be effective way to increase support for action to address inequality.
... Results most relevant to the present study showed that when participants imagined physically active scenarios, they reported significantly higher levels of subjective vitality than when imagining sedentary scenarios, even after controlling for baseline levels of subjective vitality. Similar effects of recalling scenarios have been found in other behaviors, such as performing acts of kindness (Ko et al., 2021;Queen & Klein, 2006). This implies that simply recalling a relevant behavior may be sufficient for eliciting improvements in subjective vitality. ...
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Subjective vitality is a form of eudemonic well-being and signifies the availability of energy that an individual can use to adaptively engage with their environment. Subjective vitality is a positive predictor of physical health outcomes and overall well-being. Prior work with older adults has shown that individuals who follow prescribed or structured physical activity programs experience increases in subjective vitality. There is limited research testing whether self-directed, leisure time physical activity is associated with similar improvements in subjective vitality. Three studies tested whether self-directed, leisure time physical activity leads to higher subjective vitality among a population of emerging adults. All three studies supported the hypothesis that subjective vitality is higher following a session of self-directed, leisure time physical activity than before. Study 2 further showed that the influence of self-directed, leisure time physical activity was tied to active participation and was not triggered through simple recall of a recent episode of self-directed, leisure time physical activity. Study 3 suggested the influence of self-directed, leisure time physical activity on subjective vitality dissipates quickly. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that self-directed, leisure time physical activity could serve as an effective means of providing individuals with immediate boosts in subjective vitality. Such boosts may facilitate adaptive behaviors that, in turn, support future health and well-being. Implications for theory and research are discussed.
... Therefore, future research should work to replicate validity findings and also implement different validation procedures (e.g., test-retest reliability,Kimberlin & Winterstein, 2008).In addition to revising the existing HATE-CARE scale, we recommend replicating Study 3. Either an exact replication with a larger sample or a similar design with a different, possibly more effective, self-affirmation manipulation. The success of self-affirmation manipulations varies, likely because of assorted effect sizes(Epton et al., 2015;McQueen & Klein, 2006;Sweeney & Moyer, 2015). Furthermore, future researchers may benefit from conducting more nonconfirmatory research on self-affirmation manipulation procedures to better establish the derivation chain for self-affirmation before implementing it as an independent variable in a confrontation setting. ...
Article
The present research sought to examine the effects of self-affirmation on women’s confrontation approaches following exposure to sexism. However, before examining the effects of self-affirmation, we needed a way to measure confrontation approaches. In Study 1, participants read either prototypical HATE or CARE confrontations and assessed the response. Researchers then conducted an exploratory factor analysis to create a novel scale that can assess approaches to confrontation. Study 1 also established the reliability of the HATE and CARE subscales (α = .956 and α = .929, respectively). Study 2 sought to establish the construct validity of the new measure. Study 2 implemented the same procedure as Study 1 and a confirmatory factor analysis revealed that while there is room to improve the new measure, the model fit is not necessarily bad. Finally, Study 3 explored the effects of self-affirmation on women’s confrontation approaches after exposure to sexism. After manipulating self-affirmation, women participated in an imagined scenario where they responded to a male colleague making sexist comments. We hypothesized that (1) self-affirmed women would directly confront the sexism less than non-affirmed women, (2) self-affirmed women would have lower HATE scores than non-affirmed women, (3) self-affirmed women would have higher CARE scores than non- affirmed women, (4) self-affirmed women would have lower perceived responsibly to confront compared to non-affirmed women, and (5) self-affirmed women would have lower negative state affect than non-affirmed women. Results of the statistical analyses supported Hypothesis 1. Implications for the findings of the three studies are discussed.
... In existing research on self-affirmation, various methods have been used to manipulate self-affirmation. The affirmation domain has typically focused on a personally important value, trait or attainment (McQueen and Klein, 2006). For example, participants assigned to the self-affirmation condition were asked to identify their most important value or characteristic from the list provided and write an essay about why it was important to them (Albalooshi et al., 2020;Jessop et al., 2018;Spoelma, 2021). ...
... Most of the manipulations affirmed selfworth on intrinsic aspects (e.g. a personal value or trait), while a small number of the manipulations affirmed self-worth on extrinsic aspects (e.g. achievement of success) (Cohen and Sherman, 2014;McQueen and Klein, 2006). Therefore, to clarify the effects of self-affirmation on organizational outcomes, we need to examine whether different types of self-affirmation have different effects on the same organizational variable. ...
... Q2. Can extrinsic affirmations (vs baseline) benefit work relationships to some extent? It has been suggested that self-affirmation would be effective if affirming individuals' self-worth on their highly valued personal aspects (McQueen and Klein, 2006). In romantic relationships, partners value each other's intrinsic attributes (e.g. ...
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Purpose Previous research has demonstrated that affirming an individual’s self-worth in intrinsic, stable aspects (e.g. personal attributes) enhances their pro-relationship tendencies, as compared to affirming extrinsic aspects of the individual (e.g. performance). This is especially so among people in certain dissatisfying relationships (e.g. romantic relationships). Extending this finding to organizational contexts, the purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of affirmation type (intrinsic vs extrinsic affirmations) on responses to workplace offenses among employees with high versus low job satisfaction. Design/methodology/approach Studies 1 ( N = 224) and 2 ( N = 358) examined the effects of intrinsic versus extrinsic affirmations on responses to hypothetical and real workplace offenses. Furthermore, to compare the effects of intrinsic and extrinsic affirmations to the baseline level, Study 3 ( N = 441) added a control condition and examined the effects of affirmation type (intrinsic vs extrinsic vs control) on responses to workplace offenses. Findings For employees with low (but not high) job satisfaction, (1) intrinsic (vs extrinsic) affirmations promoted more prosocial responses (forgiveness and reconciliation) to workplace offenses; (2) although not as effective as intrinsic affirmations, extrinsic affirmations (vs baseline) also triggered prosocial intentions toward workplace offenses. Originality/value First, the study enriches the literature on workplace offenses by focusing on an individual-level factor – self-worth – that can be intervened (e.g. affirming one’s self-worth) by organizations and managers so as to promote prosocial responses to workplace offenses. Second, the study expands the scope of the self-affirmation theory in organizational contexts by examining the effectiveness of intrinsic and extrinsic affirmations in coping with workplace offenses. Third, practically speaking, the study provides a brief intervention (the writing task of describing an intrinsic or extrinsic affirmation experience) that can boost pro-relationships in the workplace.
... In order to test this account, we rely on a self-affirmation manipulation (Steele 1999). Self-affirmation treatments encourage subjects to focus on individuating characteristics by reflecting on their personal values (see McQueen and Klein (2006) for a review). Thus, we test our second hypothesis by having subjects focus on their personal identity using a self-affirmation treatment, with the expectation that this will serve to distance individuals from salient social identities. ...
... However, to date, there is no empirical evidence for these types of mechanisms. In fact, self-affirmations have not been found to systematically increase self-esteem or boost self-image (Wood et al. 2009;McQueen and Klein 2006). ...
... Given the panel design, we randomly assigned subjects to one of three treatment conditions in the first wave, and then re-randomized them to receive one of these three conditions again in the second wave a month later. Since the self-affirmation treatment is intended to be temporally transient in its impact on subjects' focus on individuating characteristics, we only analyze the self-affirmation treatment within a given wave, i.e. we do not estimate the effect of self-affirmation assigned in Wave 1 on outcomes measured in Wave 2. 6 We employed self-affirmation conditions that are designed based on a variation of the canonical treatments used in most self-affirmation experiments (Cohen et al. 2009;Binning et al. 2010;Cohen et al. 2007Cohen et al. , 2006Cohen 2012;Cohen and Sherman 2014;Cohen and Garcia 2008;McQueen and Klein 2006). We adapted the self-affirmation treatments from Napper et al. (2009) which offer more experimental control than the canonical treatments. ...
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The claim that partisanship has developed into a social identity is one of the dominant explanations for the current rising levels of affective polarization among the U.S. electorate. We provide evidence that partisanship functions as a social identity, but that the salience of partisan identity—in and of itself—does not account for increased affective polarization. Using a two-wave panel survey capturing natural variation in the salience of politics, we find that partisanship contributes more to individuals’ self-concept in times of heightened political salience. We also show that partisans can be detached from their Democratic or Republican identity by having them focus on individuating characteristics (by way of a self-affirmation treatment). However, we find only limited evidence that when partisan social identity is made less salient, either by way of natural variation in political context or through a self-affirmation treatment, partisans are any less inclined to express in-party favoritism and out-party hostility. Taken together, our evidence shows that partisanship does operate as an important social identity, but that affective polarization is likely attributable to more than the classic in-group versus out-group distinction.