European Journal of Social Psychology

Published by Wiley
Online ISSN: 1099-0992
Publications
Mean action-definition ratings Study 1
Article
The cohesiveness of a society depends, in part, on how its individual members manage their daily activities with respect to the goals of that society. Hence, there should be a degree of social agreement on what constitutes action and what constitutes inaction. The present research investigated the structure of action and inaction definitions, the evaluation of action versus inaction, and individual differences in these evaluations. Action-inaction ratings of behaviors and states showed more social agreement at the ends of the inaction-action continuum than at the middle, suggesting a socially shared construal of this definition. Action-inaction ratings were also shown to correlate with the valence of the rated behaviors, such that the more active the behavior the more positive its valence. Lastly, individual differences in locomotion, need for closure, and Christian religious beliefs correlated positively with a preference for action.
 
Article
In a 'diary' study, we examined the frequency and affective implications of 34 ethnic minority students' comparisons to other ethnic minorities or to members of a high-status ethnic majority (i.e., European-Americans). Participants made more frequent comparisons to ethnic majority than ethnic minority referents, although neither type of comparison tended to be perceived in terms of group membership (see also Smith & Leach, 2004). Comparisons to ethnic majority referents did not alter participants' positive affect even where they suggested poor future prospects in status-relevant domains. In contrast, comparisons to fellow ethnic minorities led to increased positive affect when they suggested a future prospect of improvement. We discuss the conceptual and practical implications of social comparison in the context of group status.
 
Article
Researchers currently know very little about how African Americans regard themselves and their salient outgroup (i.e., European Americans). The current study examines how experiences with individual ingroup and outgroup members affect these evaluations on two key dimensions in intergroup research: warmth and competence. In particular, the study asks what effect I-sharing (i.e., sharing a subjective experience) with an African American or a European American has on African Americans' perceptions of the warmth and competence of their ingroup and outgroup. Results revealed an ingroup preference on the dimension of warmth when participants had I-shared with a fellow African American but not when they had I-shared with a European American. No such ingroup preference emerged on the dimension of competence. Instead, participants exhibited an outgroup preference on this dimension after I-sharing with a European American. The discussion entertains possible explanations for these differential effects of I-sharing on judgments of the ingroup and outgroup.
 
Article
Consensually held ideologies may serve as the cultural "glue" that justifies hierarchical status differences in society (e.g. Augustinos, 1998). Yet to be effective these beliefs need to be embraced by low-status groups. Why would members of low-status groups endorse beliefs that justify their relative disadvantage? We propose that members of low-status groups in the United States may benefit from some system-justifying beliefs (such as the belief in meritocracy) to the extent that these beliefs emphasize the perception of control over future outcomes. In 2 studies, among women, lower-SES women, and women of color, we found a positive relationship between the belief in meritocracy and well-being (self-esteem and physical health) that was mediated by perceived control. Members of low-status groups may benefit from some system-justifying beliefs to the extent that these beliefs, like the belief in meritocracy, emphasize the perception of control over future outcomes.
 
Article
In the traditional, information-processing model of cognition the human mind does well with lyrics, but it just can’t dance. Real life is like a musical, rich with elaborate sets, costumes, music, and movement as well as dialogue, and impossible to appreciate fully just by reading the script. That’s not to say that words are unimportant: They carry a huge amount of information, and language is a defining feature of our species. Language is especially important to academics since our own histories and battles take place largely through print. But people are actors in the show, not just readers in a library, and our minds must serve this performance. Whereas the traditional approach to cognition was all about the lyrics, the embodied cognition approach turns on the video and sound to help us understand how people feel the beat in their social interactions. As nicely articulated by Kaschak & Maner (2009) in the target article, the principle of embodied cognition is that nervous systems “evolved to allow organisms to successfully plan and execute action in the world”(p. 3). In other words, thinking is grounded in simulated physical experience, which informs our judgments and behaviors. The authors take a fresh approach in applying an evolutionary framework to the role of embodiment in social cognition, offering a rich basis for new research questions and hypotheses about how embodied cognition works. Our commentary explores three broad issues raised by the target article: (1) implications for the role of non-verbal communication in social cognition; (2) emotion as an important mechanism for embodied social cognition; and (3) the challenges of embodied cognition in an increasingly disembodied social world.
 
Article
Priming or nonconscious activation of social knowledge structures has produced a plethora of rather amazing findings over the past 25 years: priming a single social concept such as aggressive can have multiple effects across a wide array of psychological systems, such as perception, motivation, behavior, and evaluation. But we may have reached childhood's end, so to speak, and need now to move on to research questions such as how these multiple effects of single primes occur (the generation problem); next, how these multiple simultaneous priming influences in the environment get distilled into nonconscious social action that has to happen serially, in real time (the reduction problem). It is suggested that models of complex conceptual structures (Lakoff & Johnson, 1980), language use in real-life conversational settings (Clark, 1996), and speech production (Dell, 1986) might hold the key for solving these two important 'second-generation' research problems.
 
Article
In two everyday experience studies, we examined the degree to which everyday social comparisons are framed by group membership. In the first study, 30 undergraduates attending a public university in the United States completed short questionnaires about their social comparison experiences whenever they were signalled. In the second study, 34 ethnic minority undergraduates from the same university completed similar questionnaires about their social comparison experiences. Across both studies, comparisons in which participants viewed themselves as an ingroup member in comparison to an outgroup comprised less than 10% of the comparison experiences reported by participants. However, minorities in the second study who reported closer identification with their ethnic group reported more comparison experiences in which they mentioned their own or the comparison target's ethnicity.
 
Article
It has long been a staple of psychological theory that early life experiences significantly shape the adult's understanding of and reactions to the social world. Here we consider how early concept development along with evolved motives operating early in life can come to exert a passive, unconscious influence on the human adult's higher-order goal pursuits, judgments, and actions. In particular, we focus on concepts and goal structures specialized for interacting with the physical environment (e.g., distance cues, temperature, cleanliness, and self-protection), which emerge early and automatically as a natural part of human development and evolution. It is proposed that via the process of scaffolding, these early sensorimotor experiences serve as the foundation for the later development of more abstract concepts and goals. Experiments using priming methodologies reveal the extent to which these early concepts serve as the analogical basis for more abstract psychological concepts, such that we come easily and naturally to speak of close relationships, warm personalities, moral purity, and psychological pain. Taken together, this research demonstrates the extent to which such foundational concepts are capable of influencing people's information processing, affective judgments, and goal pursuit, oftentimes outside of their intention or awareness.
 
Article
Participants were exposed to the "asian disease" problem (Tversky & Kahneman, 1981). When the problem was subtly framed as a medical decision problem previous findings replicated: Participants avoided the risky option when the problem was framed positively, but preferred the risky option when the problem was framed negatively. This reversal of preferences was eliminated however, when the same problem was subtly introduced as a statistical problem. The results are interpreted as evidence for the impact of context cues on the representation of decision problems.
 
Article
Using an analogue of the lawyer-and-engineer item (Kahneman & Tversky, 1973), we compared conditions in which base-rates were either presented as percentages (A), or frequencies (B), to conditions in which the natural sampling process was described additionally (C) or was directly experienced (D). We expected the likelihood of base-rate utilization to increase as the presentation approaches the process of natural sampling. Accordingly, results showed that the contingency of judgments on base-rates systematically increased across conditions A to D.
 
Article
According to system justification theory, people are motivated to preserve the belief that existing social arrangements are fair, legitimate, and justifiable (Jost & Banaji, 1994). The strongest form of this hypothesis, which draws on the logic of cognitive dissonance theory, holds that people who are most disadvantaged by the status quo would have the greatest psychological need to reduce ideological dissonance and would therefore be most likely to support, defend, and justify existing social systems, authorities, and outcomes. Variations on this hypothesis were tested in four U.S. national survey studies. We found that: (a) low income respondents and African Americans were more likely than others to support limitations on the rights of citizens and media representatives to criticize the government (b) low income Latinos were more likely to trust in U.S. government officials and to believe that “the government is run for the benefit of all” than were high income Latinos, (c) Southerners in the U.S. were more likely to endorse meritocratic belief systems than were Northerners and poor and Southern African Americans were more likely to subscribe to meritocratic ideologies than were African Americans who were more affluent and from the North, (d) low income respondents and African Americans were more likely than others to believe that economic inequality is legitimate and necessary, and (e) stronger endorsement of meritocratic ideology was associated with greater satisfaction with one’s own economic situation. Taken together, these findings provide support for the dissonance-based argument that people who suffer the most from a given state of affairs are paradoxically the least likely to question, challenge, reject, or change it. Implications for theories of system justification, cognitive dissonance, and social change are also discussed.
 
Article
This paper shows that increases in the minimum wage rate can have ambiguous effects on the working hours and welfare of employed workers in competitive labor markets. The reason is that employers may not comply with the minimum wage legislation and instead pay a lower subminimum wage rate. If workers are risk neutral, we prove that working hours and welfare are invariant to the minimum wage rate. If workers are risk averse and imprudent (which is the empirically likely case), then working hours decrease with the minimum wage rate, while their welfare may increase.
 
Article
The relationship between level of depressive symptomatology and reliance on the ease-ofretrieval heuristic was investigated. In two studies, differences in ease-of-retrieval were instigated by means of the paradigm introduced by Schwarz and colleagues (1991). Subsequently, participants were screened for depressive symptoms with the ADS (Allgemeine-Depressions-Skala, Experiments 1 and 2) and the BDI (Beck-Depression-Inventory, Experiment 2). In both experiments, participants were randomly selected from a non-clinical population. Results indicate that participants with low levels of depressive symptomatology relied on experienced ease or difficulty, whereas individuals with high levels of depressive symptomatology based their judgment on the accessible content information. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
 
Article
In the present article, we discuss and compare recent theoretical and empirical contributions to the growing body of research on social power. In the last decade, five different theories on power have been proposed. These theories can be distinguished according to whether they focus on intrapersonal, interpersonal, intergroup or ideological processes. Our analysis leads us to claim that future theoretical contributions would have much to gain by addressing the issue of social power on multiple levels of analysis. The recent empirical work on social power suggests that powerful individuals and members of powerful groups differ from powerless individuals and members of powerless groups with regard to (a) how they perceive and judge others, (b) how they are evaluated as targets, and (c) how they behave. Those who have power perceive others more stereotypically and judge them more negatively. They also tend to take action more frequently and generally behave in a more variable manner. This difference in objective variability is further reinforced by perceivers' tendency to exaggerate the variability of high power groups. The latter two effects contribute to the phenomenon that high power groups are less often the target of stereotypes than low power groups. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
This article deals with Lewin's early intentions to promote applied psychology, especially with his essay ‘Die Sozialisierung des Taylorsystems’ (The Socialisation of the Taylor System). The authors point out that certain characteristics of Lewin's social psychological approach can already be seen in this early article. Furthermore, they want to show how important the role of applied psychology has been in the development of Lewin S scientific work.
 
Proportion of respondents who reported talking, hearing, and ruminating about March 11th terrorist attacks at the various measurement times
Article
A questionnaire measuring social sharing of emotion, coping, intensity of emotions and rumination related to March 11th (2004) terrorist attacks in Madrid, emotional climate, social integration, and post-traumatic growth was completed by 644 students and their relatives (38%) in 5 Spanish regions and 8 universities 1 week, 3 weeks, and 8 weeks after the terrorist act. Results supported a two-sided model of the effects of social sharing of emotion derived from Durkheim's classic model of the social functional effects of collective remembering. Higher levels of sharing initially predicted (1) higher event-related emotional arousal and mental rumination and (2) superior social integration and well-being assessed in later weeks. Structural equation modeling showed that higher levels of initial sharing and coping by search for social support predicted directly or indirectly (1) higher social integration (2) higher perceived post-traumatic growth, and (3) higher perceived contentment, hope, solidarity, and confidence in the emotional climate. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Snyder and Swann (1978) advance an argument that individuals display a cognitive bias in testing hypotheses about the personal attributes of other people, i.e. they seek out information which is supportive of their hypothesis (hypothesis-confirming strategy). It is argued here that these authors confound the hypothesis a person might entertain (belief) with a hypothesis the person is asked to test (assigned task). The findings of two experimental studies in which task and belief were manipulated independently suggest that Snyder and Swann's (1978) results are due to the task manipulation and not to an hypothesis-confirming bias.
 
Article
This paper contains an investigation about research of Dutch social psychologists. Based on reported publications two types of analyses were performed. The reported publications were categorized by means of a topic-inventory proposed by Fisch and Daniel (1982), which enabled us to compare Dutch trends with developments in Europe and the U. S.A. Moreover, by means of bibliometric analyses publications of Dutch social psychologists were related to data obtained by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Several trends were observed and discussed.
 
Article
This paper examines the way in which different speakers may construe both the context and the categories involved in a single event. This is achieved through an analysis of Margaret Thatcher's and Neil Kinnock's leadership speeches to their respective party conferences during the British miners' strike of 1984–5. The analysis shows that both speakers construe the nature of the event such that their party is representative of an ingroup which encompasses almost the entire population and such that their policies are consonant with the definition of the ingroup identity. Thus their category constructions mirror the ways in which the respective leaders seek to mobilize the electorate during the strike. This analysis is used for two purposes: firstly, to argue for an integration of self-categorization theory with rhetorical/discursive psychologies and hence for further research into the ways in which self-categories may be contested in argument rather than determined by cognitive computations; secondly, to argue for further research into how political rhetoric may affect mass action through the ways in which collectivities are defined.
 
Article
Does the mood of the time (Zeitgeist) facilitate the influence minorities are able to exercise, or is it itself direct product of minority influence? It is argued, from a social psychological definition of the minority–majority relation, that the former interpretation fails to explain many of the observed effects and in particular the conversion effect. A model is offered that is consistent with the second interpretation.
 
Article
Three days prior to the 1993 Australian federal election 54 Australian university students who identified with one of the two major political parties were surveyed regarding their perceptions of media campaign impact on self and others. Results provided evidence of a third-person effect (Davison, 1983) wherein respondents judged others us more influenced by the election campaign than themselves. Consistent with predictions derived from social identity theory and self-categorization theory (e.g. Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher and Wetherell, 1987), political ingroup members were also judged as less injuenced by campaign content than political outgroup members. Respondents who identified strongly with their preferred party judged self and ingroup members as less influenced by campaign content than did other respondents, and showed more evidence of positive intergroup differentiation. At the same time, however, these respondents exaggerated self–ingroup differences, challenging the theoretical assumption that intergroup diferentiation is associated with ingroup assimilation. Judgements of media impact on self and other also depended on the direction of the campaign message. Respondents believed ‘voters in general’ were persuaded in line with the intent of campaign content, while outgroup members were seen to be persuaded by material favouring their own side but to be uninfluenced by counter-attitudinal content. Election propaganda, irrespective of direction, was seen to amplify existing party preferences in self and ingroup members. Hence the relative invulnerability of self to media impact was pronounced when respondents judged the impact of pro-outgroup messages. Results suggest that perceptions of self–other differences in media vulnerability are influenced by the subjectively salient social relationship between self and other, and are governed by motivational needs, such as self-esteem, social-identity, and differentiation from others (cf. Brewer, 1991; Hogs and Abrams, 1993).
 
Article
The effectiveness and validity of 11 important mood induction procedures (MIPs) were comparatively evaluated by meta-analytical procedures. Two hundred and fifty effects of the experimental induction of positive, elated and negative, depressed mood in adult, non-clinical samples were integrated. Effect sizes were generally larger for negative than for positive mood inductions. The presentation of a film or story turned out to be most effective in inducing both positive and negative mood states. The effects are especially large when subjects are explicitly instructed to enter the specified mood state. For elated mood, all other MIPs yielded considerably lower effectiveness scores. For the induction of negative mood states, Imagination, Velten, Music, Social Interaction and Feedback MIPs were about as effective as the Film/Story MIP without instruction. Induction effects covaried with several study characteristics. Effects tend to be smaller when demand characteristics are controlled or subjects are not informed about the purpose of the experiment. For behavioural measures, effects are smaller than for self-reports but still larger than zero. Hence, the effects of MIPs can be partly, but not fully due to demand effects.
 
Article
Any judgment involves a comparison of the evaluated target to a pertinent norm or standard, so that comparison processes lie at the core of human judgment. Despite this prominent role, however, little is known about the psychological mechanisms that underlie comparisons and produce their variable consequences. To understand these consequences, one has to examine what target knowledge is sought and activated during the comparison process. Two alternative comparison mechanisms are distinguished. Similarity testing involves a selective search for evidence indicating that the target is similar to the standard and leads to assimilation. Dissimilarity testing involves a selective search for evidence indicating that the target is dissimilar from the standard and leads to contrast. Distinguishing between these alternative mechanisms provides an integrative perspective on comparison consequences in the realm of social comparison and beyond. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
In explaining differences between groups, people ascribe the human essence to their ingroup and consider outgroups as less human. This phenomenon, called infra-humanization, occurs outside people's awareness. Because secondary emotions (e.g. love, hope, contempt, resentment) are considered uniquely human emotions, people not only attribute more secondary emotions to their ingroup than to outgroups, but are reluctant to associate these emotions with outgroups. Moreover, people behave less cooperatively (in terms of altruism, imitation, and approach) with an outgroup member who expresses himself through secondary emotions. Infra-humanization occurs for high and low status groups, even in the absence of conflict between groups. It does not occur when the outgroup target is adequately individualized, by a complete name or through perspective taking, for instance. The differential familiarity with the ingroup and the outgroup cannot explain infra-humanization. Yet, preliminary results show that subjective essentialism and ingroup identification may mediate the effects of infra-humanization. A connection is made between nationalism and infra-humanization. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
In this paper, the December 2004 tsunami tragedy was used as a background to investigate beliefs about intergroup helping. The general aim of the research was to test the proposal that helping can be used to reaffirm a threatened social identity. Two experiments conducted with Dutch participants (N = 78 and N = 73) tested the hypothesis that a threatened Dutch national identity would result in stronger preferences for help to the victims of the tsunami, but only in a domain that is positively and distinctly related to that national identity (i.e. water management). Results from both studies confirmed this hypothesis. Study 2 also showed a reversal of this effect in a domain negatively related to that identity. Moreover, perceived identity threat in Study 2 reduced over time in the high threat condition but not in the low threat condition, and this reduction was positively associated with the endorsement of water management help. Also, as predicted, in both studies a threatened national identity resulted in stronger beliefs that Dutch relief organisations should stay in control over their aid. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Gardikiotis, Martin and Hewstone (2004) investigated the representation of majority versus minority headlines in five British newspapers over a period of five years. They found majority headlines to be twice as frequent as minority headlines. However, they identified headlines with the search words ‘majority’ and ‘minority’ only in the singular form. We argue that in the public discourse the minority, but not the majority is likely to be represented in the plural. Replicating their study with the search words in both singular and plural forms, the strong difference they reported disappeared and minority headlines proved to be just as frequent as majority headlines. However, whereas majority is used almost exclusively in the singular, minority is used almost as frequently in both the singular and plural forms. These findings suggest a more complex social representation in real-life contexts on the minority pole of the minority-majority dimension compared to the majority pole. Implications of this asymmetric relationship are discussed in terms of communication theory, social representations theory, and experimental research on minority-majority groups (in particular in-group homogeneity). Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Recent developments in the study of group perception have been guided by four concepts: homogeneity, essentialism, agency, and entitativity. Research on these topics has broadened the scope of questions asked, issues studied, and explanatory mechanisms that are important in the perception of groups. This article summarizes each concept, discusses its contribution to understanding group perception, and highlights unresolved questions that need investigation. Possible conceptual interpretations of the relations among these concepts and their relationship to stereotyping are then discussed. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
The present study utilizes European Social Survey (ESS) data to introduce European norms and equations for computation of the Self-Transcendence—Self-Enhancement and Conservation—Openness to Change value dimensions, as measured with the 21-item Portrait Values Questionnaire (PVQ). Our analysis of ESS round 1 and 2 data suggest that the two-dimensional structure and the equations based on this structure are extremely robust. Presenting the two value dimensions besides the 10 basic values offers the advantages of (a) heightened reliability, (b) control of response tendency, and (c) possibility to present results in two-dimensional space. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Seven experiments were conducted which measured changes in the subjects' actual performance resulting from manipulated personal and categorical comparison of performance with another subject. In line with Festinger's (1954) theory of social comparison of ability, it was found that subjects who were visually isolated from sources of evaluation (setting 2, experiment 2 and 3) showed relatively low performance after a VI (very inferior) or VS (very superior) outcome and relatively high performance after an EQ (equal) outcome, whereas subjects who were visually exposed to sources of evaluation (setting 1, experiment 1 and 4) showed relatively low performance only after a VS outcome and relatively high performance after both a VI and EQ outcome. When (also in setting 1) the manipulation of outcome was combined with a manipulation of expectation (experiment 5), it was found that an EQ expectation did not alter the original pattern of outcome effects, but that a VI or VS expectation markedly influenced the effect of outcome: A complete confirmation of VI expectation and an almost complete disconfirmation of VS expectation resulted in relatively high performance, whereas all other combinations of VI or VS expectation with a given outcome resulted in relatively low performance. Finally, it was found that changing the manipulation of personal comparison of performance of the previous experiments into a manipulation of categorical comparison of performance of the previous experiments into a manipulation of categorical comparison of performance (experiment 6a and 6b) resulted in a pattern of data wich was about the opposite of the typical previous pattern. In setting 1 (experiment 6a), the subjects' performance was relatively low after being categorized into a VI or EQ category and relatively high after being categorized into a VS category, whereas in setting 2 (experiment 6b) both the VI and VS categorization resulted in the same performance and the EQ categorzation resulted in a slightly lower performance.
 
Partial correlations between reactions to imaging target and cry intensity ratings, by Experimental Condition, Controlling for Amount of Words Written
Ratings of infant cry distress as a function of psychosocial resource condition and disclosure condition 
Article
Two studies tested whether psychosocial resources affect perception of another's distress. Participants' had their resources depleted, left unchanged, or boosted by elaborately recalling either someone who had betrayed them, a neutral person, or a close and trusted other, respectively. Participants then listened to disturbing baby cries, and rated how much distress the cries conveyed. As predicted, participants who recalled a betrayal subsequently heard the cries as conveying more distress than did other participants (Study 1). However, recalling a betrayal did not amplify cry ratings if, prior to cry rating, betrayal-related thoughts and feelings were disclosed (Study 2). The moderating effect of disclosure on cry ratings indicates that boosting resources (disclosure) can counteract the effects of resource depletion (betrayal). Results in both studies remained significant even after controlling for mood. This research is the first to show that social contexts, and emotional disclosure, each affects perception of others' distress. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Descriptives and intercorrelations for the relevant measures of Study 1 (N ¼ 250; 1 ¼ ''disagree strongly,'' 6 ¼ ''agree strongly'')
Simple slopes of (a) Benevolent Sexism (BS), (b) Hostile Sexism (HS), (c) Modern Sexism (MS), and (d) collective action (CA) as a function of identification and gender role preference in Study 1
Simple slopes of collective action (CA) as a function of identification and salient gender role preference in Study 2
Simple slopes of (a) Benevolent Sexism (BS), (b) Hostile Sexism (HS), and (c) Modern Sexism (MS) as a function of identification and salient gender role preference in Study 3 
B-coefficients of the four regression analyses on Benevolent, Hostile, Modern Sexism, and collective action, Study 2
Article
To explain differences in women's endorsement of sexist beliefs, we introduce the gender identity model (GIM). Based on social identity theory (SIT) and social role theory (SRT), we combine strength of gender identification and identity content and propose that different types of gender identity can be distinguished, which are predicted to relate to different levels of women's endorsement of sexist beliefs and engagement in collective action. Results of a correlational study and two experiments support the assumptions of the model: women reject Benevolent (BS), Hostile (HS), and Modern Sexisms (MS) and participate in collective action in particular when they are highly identified with the category women and have, at the same time, internalized progressive identity contents. In contrast, gender role preference has weaker or no effects on sexist beliefs and collective action when women are low identified with their gender in-group. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
This study focuses on the strength of the relationship between behavioural intentions and actual behaviour in a multi-alternative choice context. Two separate moderating processes of intention-behaviour consistency were hypothesized, i.e. the amount of reasoning during intention formation, and the degree of confidence in the intention. Involvement (as an issue-specific factor), and need for cognition (as an individual difference factor) were investigated as antecedents of amount of reasoning. confidence in the intention was predicted from the size of the consideration set (i.e. the number of alternatives that one considers for choice), and involvement. The study comprised a longitudinal two-wave survey conducted before and after national elections in The Netherlands, in which pre-election voting intentions were compared with actual voting behaviour. A high degree of intention-behaviour consistency was found, which was significantly related to both amount of reasoning and confidence. The expected relations were found. The results extend current process models of attitude–behaviour relations. Furthermore, the results indicate that processes related to the consideration set size and content account for variance in intention-behaviour consistency in choice contexts that cannot be accounted for by traditional attitude-behaviour perspectives.
 
Article
Immigration, cultural diversity and integration are among the most central challenges for modern societies. Integration is often impeded by negative emotions and prejudices held by the majority members towards immigrants in a common society. Based on the ingroup projection model (Mummendey & Wenzel, 1999), we examined the impact of perceived relative ingroup prototypicality on intergroup emotions and prejudice. Additionally, we examined whether this impact is causal and explored the issue of causality in more detail contrasting a linear causal model with bi-directional or reciprocal causality. Hypotheses were tested in a study with a two-wave panel of majority members (N=1085) in Germany. We examined the proposed relations between relative ingroup prototypicality, intergroup emotions and prejudice and determined the causal direction of these relationships. Results support the predictive power of relative ingroup prototypicality on intergroup emotions and prejudice. Moreover, most causal relations between our measures are reciprocally causal. We discuss the implications of these findings for the general conception of prejudice and intergroup emotions. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Two experiments focused on examining the influence of mastery-avoidance goals on performance improvement, and more specifically, on mastery-avoidance goals grounded in an intrapersonal standard. That is, herein, mastery-avoidance goals entail striving to avoid doing worse than one has done before. Both experiments demonstrated that in a multiple-trial context, mastery-avoidance goals are deleterious for performance improvement relative to mastery-approach, performance-approach, and performance-avoidance goals, and a no goal baseline. The findings were shown to be independent of participants' perceptions of goal difficulty, and were consistent not only across methodology but also across type of participant (undergraduates versus individuals in the workforce), and type and length of achievement task (a verbal skills task versus an ecologically valid managerial competencies exercise). Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
This study examined the effects of feedback on a task on information seeking and partner preferences as forms of social comparison. It was predicted that subjects who experienced failure and perceived control over future performance would, for reasons of self-improvement, choose more strongly upward a comparison other than subjects who experienced success or perceived no control. In the experiment, 121 college students were given either failure, average, or success feedback on a bogus test for either a stable or a controllable ability. Next, the subjects choose a comparison other whose test material they would examine, and a comparison other as a partner for writing an evaluation of the test. As predicted, the preferences for information seeking and affiliation were more strongly upward when subjects experienced failure than when subjects experienced success. Perceived control partly resulted in more strongly upward choices in information seeking for subjects experiencing failure.
 
Article
An experiment was conducted within a new paradigm for Festinger's theory of dissonance (1957): the double forced compliance paradigm (Joule, 1986a). Double compliance was used to test dissonance reduction following the execution of not just one, as in the classical paradigm, but two forced compliance behaviours. The first behaviour involved abstinence from smoking, and the second, writing a text for or against smoking. Based on the radical conception of the theory of dissonance (Beauvois and Joule, 1981; Joule, 1986b), subjects were expected to find tobacco deprivation more difficult after having written a text against smoking than before, and easier after having written a text in favour of smoking. The results confirmed these predictions.
 
Article
Three experiments investigated the operation of prototypical person categories, which were either at a superordinate or at a subordinate level of abstraction, on person memory. In Experiment 1, a recognition memory experiment, subjects received person attributes describing fictional target persons, each description pertaining to one of the two abstraction levels. Distractors in the recognition test varied in degree of relatedness to a prototypical category. Distractors that were related to the corresponding category were falsely recognized, if the category was at a superordinate level, but not for a subordinate category. This revealed a significant bias in recognition toward conceptually related but nonpresented items only at the superordinate level. In Experiment 2 which used a conceptual priming procedure subjects responded faster to distractor items related to a superordinate category than to those related to a subordinate category. Experiment 3 replicated the difference between levels of abstraction when subjects' task was to recall rather than to recognize the presented attributes. The findings imply that person categories at different levels of abstraction operate differentially on person memory and restrict assumptions from prototype theory to a superordinate level. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
It is well known that people describe positive behaviors of others close to them (e.g., in-group member, friend) in abstract terms, but with concrete terms in the case of people who they are not close to (e.g., out-group member, enemy). In contrast, negative behaviors of people who we are close to are described in concrete terms, but in abstract terms for people who are distant. However, the communicative impact of such subtle differences in language use on a receiver who is also the actor of the behavior being described has never been addressed. We hypothesized and found that a positive abstract message compared to a positive concrete message leads to perceived proximity to the sender, while a negative abstract message compared to a negative concrete message leads to perceived distance. The implications of this study, which is the first to show the communicative impact of biased language use, are discussed. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Means and (standard deviations) for describer likeability and agenda ratings Valence Positive Negative
Article
According to the linguistic category model (LCM), behaviour can be described at concrete (e.g. ‘Kath hit Kim’) and abstract (e.g. ‘Kath is aggressive’) levels. Variations in these levels convey information about the person being described and the relationship between that person and the describer. In the current research, we examined the power of language abstraction to create impressions of describers themselves. Results show that describers are seen as less likeable when they use abstract (vs. concrete) language to describe the negative actions of others. Conversely, impressions of describers are more favourable when they opt for abstract descriptions of others' positive behaviours. This effect is partially mediated by the attribution of a communicative agenda to describers. By virtue of these attributional implications, language abstraction is an impression formation device that can impact on the reputation of describers. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Schooling in a Western cultural environment has been shown to promote context-free (analytic) at the expense of context-dependent (holistic) processing. In the present study, we examined whether these differences in processing styles also induce a tendency to use more abstract (i.e., dispositional) language when describing human behaviors. Portuguese literate, illiterate, and ex-illiterates were asked to freely describe behaviors presented visually. Using the linguistic category model, we found that literates relied on more abstract descriptions than ex-illiterates and illiterates. This effect of schooling was strongly associated with their relative superiority on an analytic (vs. holistic) task. These findings suggest that schooling influences the elaboration of social information. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
In this reply, I criticize Bartsch and Judd's (1993) article on several grounds. First, they under-utilize the efforts undertaken in prior work to rule out the possibility of an inverse relation between group size and perceived group homogeneity as an alternative explanation of the observed ingroup homogeneity effect. Secondly, Bartsch and Judd's design doubles and thus aggravates the confounding problem. By trying to avoid the target group size confound, they end up with two other confounds involving level of abstractness and frame of reference. Finally, I criticize Bartsch and Judd's methodological advice to avoid within-subjects comparisons of ingroup and outgroup homogeneity in minority–majority contexts. Quite on the contrary, I highlight the socialpsychological significance of these comparisons.
 
Article
The use of linguistic abstraction in self-presentation was examined. Participants, whose goal it was to be liked by recipients, presented their political views to an audience of two people. Participants learned beforehand that the two recipients had the same political views as the participant, that both had different political views from the participant, or that one had similar views to and one had dissimilar views from the participant. Theorising that variations in the degree of linguistic abstractness used by participants when describing their political views were related to their social goals, it was hypothesised that participants would describe their political views at a higher level of linguistic abstractness when communicating with a similar agreeing audience than when communicating with a mixed audience. Results confirmed this hypothesis. The role of linguistic abstractness in achieving self-presentational goals is discussed. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Linguistic abstractness has been shown to mediate persuasive and attributional effects of communication. The linguistic intergroup bias (LIB) refers to the tendency to describe positive ingroup and negative outgroup behaviors more abstractly than negative ingroup and positive outgroup behavior. Recently, the LIB was shown to reflect to a large extent a linguistic expectancy bias (LEB). Abstract language need not have an ingroup-serving function, but may be used to communicate expected information in a concise and condensed manner. The present research shows that the reverse may also be true. When the interaction goal is not merely to convey information that is shared anyway because it is typical of the communication target but to transmit unshared information (known to the communicator but new to the recipient), then it may be necessary to express (explain, teach, interpret) unexpected ideas or deviant attitudes in abstract, interpretive terms. The joint operation of both principles was demonstrated within the same experimental task. In communications about East Germans, more abstract predicates were used in typically East German domains (LEB). However, more abstract terms were also used when messages deviated from the recipient's prior attitude. A conceptual framework is proposed to integrate these findings. Copyright © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Examined the prevalence of an interpersonal device (i.e., insult types) in a collectivistic and individualistic cultural context as an index of how the concept of person is culturally constructed. Insults were divided into 3 general categories: individualistic (those that refer directly to people), relational (those that refer to people and their significant relations), and swear words. An examination of the insults which 90 Italian university students produced showed that in the collectivistic context, instances of verbal abuse were significantly more likely to be directed to people and their relations than in the individualistic context. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Article
Symbolic self-completion theory proposes that individuals use symbols of attainment to define themselves as accomplished in self-defining areas and to communicate their accomplishments to others. The goal of the present research was to examine whether individual professors and academic departments strive for symbolic self-completion when communicating through the Internet. We hypothesized that publications, citations, and departmental rankings by the National Research Council (NRC) represent important indicators of attainment for professors, whereas professional titles (i.e., “doctor,” “professor,” or “Ph.D.”) may serve as alternate symbols of attainment. We predicted that a lack of important indicators of attainment would motivate the display of professional titles in web pages and email signature files. In Study 1, academic departments with less prestigious NRC rankings listed more professional titles on their departmental web pages compared to departments with more prestigious rankings. In Studies 2 and 3, professors with lower annual rates of publications and citations displayed more professional titles in their email signatures compared to professors with higher publication and citation rates. These results suggest that self-completion motives help to shape naturalistic Internet communications. The results further suggest that analyses of Internet communications can provide externally valid tests of theories concerned with motivation and self-processes. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
Article
Thirty seven academics participated in a field study in which perceptions of the size and attributes of a majority and minority group were obtained. (The groups concerned were male and female academics at a British university). These observations were used to examine the phenomenon of illusory correlation, and to test hypotheses concerning the perceived homogeneity and competence of ingroup and outgroup in majority-minority contexts. To test for the illusory correlation effect estimates of the numbers of male and female senior staff were elicited. These estimates were consistently inaccurate, producing a lower perceived correlation between gender and seniority than actually existed. Measures of intragroup homogeneity revealed that, as predicted from previous research, members of the minority group saw their own group as more homogeneous than the outgroup. For majorty group members the reverse was true. The intergroup evaluations generally favoured the minority group; this was especially evident in the evaluations from the minority group members themselves. Possible explanations of these findings and their correspondence with those obtained from laboratory research are discussed.
 
Article
Publication records of 85 social-personality psychologists were tracked from the time of their doctoral studies until 10 years post-PhD. Associations between publication quantity (number of articles), quality (mean journal impact factor and article influence score), and impact (citations, h-index, g-index, webpage visits) were examined. Publication quantity and quality were only modestly related, and there was evidence of a quality-quantity trade-off. Impact was more strongly associated with quantity than quality. Authors whose records weighed quality over quantity tended to be associated with more prestigious institutions, but had lesser impact. Quantity- and quality-favoring publication strategies may have important implications for the shape and success of scientific careers. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
 
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Michael Billig
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Naomi Ellemers
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Serge Moscovici
  • Fondation Maison des Sciences de l'Homme