Motivation and Emotion

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The hypothesized model I
The hypothesized model II
Results from paired sample t-tests for RQ1. ***p < .001.
Results for the hypothesized model I using PROCESS Macro [Model 82].
Results for the hypothesized model II using PROCESS Macro [Model 82].
Article
The current study replicated prior research by creating anticipated pride appeals and embedding the appeals into standard descriptive norms messages to explicate the mixed findings in prior research. In an online experiment, adults in the U.S. (N = 277) were recruited via an online panel. Participants viewed two-similar messages including either descriptive norm information only or both anticipated pride appeals and descriptive norm information. Results indicated that exposure to emotional descriptive norm messages influenced intentions via eliciting the desired emotional response to the messages, which is consistent with findings in prior research.
 
Changes in affective states in the neutral, anger and boredom conditions. * p < .05. ** p < .01. *** p < .001
The number of shocks applied in the neutral, anger and boredom condition, by participants with and without a history of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI)
Highest intensity minus pain threshold, applied by participants who shocked themselves
Article
The current study aims to examine the causal effect of boredom on non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), expanding prior experimental research by including an anger induction to compare to a boredom induction, and additionally measuring whether participants specifically seek painful stimulation. In a sample of mostly undergraduate students (N = 146), emotional state was manipulated through video induction, and NSSI behavior was simultaneously measured, operationalized through self-administration of electric shocks. Participants’ pain thresholds were measured beforehand. NSSI history and negative urgency were included as potential moderators. Results showed that boredom increased both frequency and intensity of self-administered electric shocks, especially in participants with an NSSI history. Negative urgency was not a significant moderator. No causal anger-NSSI link was found, possibly due to the anger induction not being sufficiently effective. Clinical implications are considered through suggestions of boredom coping skills training as an intervention strategy in NSSI populations.
 
Sex moderating the slope of sensitivity to provocation on anger recognition on ambiguous faces morphing between anger and happy
Y-axis represents estimated number of recognitions of anger in ambiguous (angry-fear) stimuli, X-axis represents the level of sensitivity to provocation measured on scale from 1 to 5
Interaction effect of SP x participants’ gender x target’s sex x group on anger recognition on ambivalent faces expressing anger & fear
Y-axis represents estimated number of recognitions of anger in ambiguous (angry-happy) stimuli, X-axis represents the level of sensitivity to provocation measured on scale from 1 to 5
Group moderating the slope of sensitivity to provocation on fear recognition on ambiguous faces morphing between fear and happy
Y-axis represents estimated number of recognitions of fear in ambiguous (fear - happy) stimuli, X-axis represents the level of sensitivity to provocation measured on scale from 1 to 5
Article
Aggressive offenders commonly show hostile attribution bias in the perception of facial affect. Individuals’ sensitivity to provocation has been also linked to hostile attribution. However, most studies have been limited to male offenders. The current study investigated whether sensitivity to provocation (SP) predicted bias towards interpretation of ambiguous facial cues as angry (hostility bias) in violent inmates compared to community-dwelling non-inmates. The sample (N = 272) consisted of 105 (53 women) violent inmates and 167 (85 women) adults living in the community. Hostility bias towards targets’ faces was differently related to sensitivity to provocation across genders and groups depending on the target’s sex. Generally, the higher inmates’ sensitivity to provocation in men, the higher the identification of anger on female target faces, but the lower on male faces (anger/fear morphs). Conversely, the higher inmates’ sensitivity to provocation in women, the lower the identification of anger on female target faces (anger/fear morphs). Additionally, we observed that in non-inmates, men’s sensitivity to provocation significantly predicted anger identification on male faces. In the case of anger/happy face morphs, the more sensitive to provocation women in our samples were, the less they perceived anger in ambiguous faces. Conversely, men who were sensitive to provocation tended to perceive anger more often. With the current project, we show the importance of studying gender differences, which are often neglected, in the study of hostile interpretations of ambiguous stimuli amongst inmates and community samples. We anticipate that the results may help to design distinct and adequate resocialization and psychotherapeutic programs for both women and men with a tendency to violence.
 
The Development of Intrinsic Interest in a Leisure Activity
The Influence of Achievement Goal and Implicit Beliefs on Intrinsic Motivation.
Note. A mastery goal leads to more intrinsic motivation than a performance goal when people have incremental beliefs about the skills needed to engage in the activity. A performance goal leads to more intrinsic motivation than a mastery goal when people have entity beliefs about the skills needed to engage in the activity
The Influence of Achievement Goal and Implicit Beliefs on Intrinsic Motivation.
Note. A mastery goal leads to more intrinsic motivation than a performance goal when people have incremental beliefs about the skills needed to engage in the activity. A performance goal leads to more intrinsic motivation than a mastery goal when people have entity beliefs about the skills needed to engage in the activity. The bracketed lines represent standard errors of the respective means
The Influence of Achievement Goal and Implicit Beliefs on Intrinsic Motivation is Moderated by the Difficulty of the Activity.
Note. For a challenging activity, a mastery (performance) goal leads to more (less) intrinsic motivation than a performance (mastery) goal when people have incremental (entity) beliefs about the skills needed to engage in the activity. For exceedingly difficult activity, a mastery (performance) goal leads to less (more) intrinsic motivation than a performance (mastery) goal when people have incremental (entity) beliefs about the skills needed to engage in the activity
Article
In contrast to extensive research examining intrinsic motivation in educational and professional settings, the present research investigates the origin, and the development, of the intrinsic motivation to participate in a novel leisure activity. One survey and three experiments show that the enjoyment of a novel leisure activity, and the desire to reengage in the activity, are a function of the alignment between the goal associated with participation and a person’s implicit theory about the skills needed to participate. A mastery goal promotes the development of intrinsic motivation when two conditions are met: (1) people believe their skills are malleable, and (2) first-time participation in the activity results in perceptions of improved mastery. A performance goal promotes the development of intrinsic motivation when two conditions are met: (1) people believe their skills are fixed, and (2) first-time participation in the activity results in perceptions of successful performance. The motivational benefits aligning participation goals and implicit theories are reversed when the execution of a first-time leisure activity is exceedingly difficult.
 
Article
Compliance with health safety guidelines is essential during pandemics. However, political polarization in the U.S. is reducing compliance. We investigated how polarized perceptions of government leaders’ autonomy-support and enforcement policies impacted security and internally-motivated compliance with national (Study 1a) and state (Study 1b) safety guidelines. We surveyed 773 Republicans and Democrats from four states (California, Florida, New York, Texas) during the first wave of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, participants perceived that the decision processes of opposing political administrations did not support their autonomy. Lack of autonomy-support was associated with reduced security and internal motivations to comply (R2=50.83%). When political administrations enforced health safety mandates (Democrat state leaders in this study) and were perceived as autonomy-supportive, participants reported the highest security and internally-motivated compliance (R2=49.57%). This effect was especially pronounced for Republicans, who reacted negatively to enforcement without autonomy-support. Political leaders who use fair and supportive decision-making processes may legitimize enforcement of health safety guidelines, improving compliance.
 
Article
Envy has been positively associated with both moral disengagement and organizational unethical decision-making. Nevertheless, extant research suffers from a number of limitations that constrain our ability to define the unique links between different forms of envy and moral disengagement. In two studies (N = 419), using a dual conception of envy, we demonstrate that malicious envy has a consistently stronger and unique relationship to moral disengagement than does benign envy. Additionally, from further analyses we suggest that is the harming motivation of malicious envy, and the collateral damage potentially produced by self-improvement motivation of benign envy, the aspects that would relate both types of envy to moral disengagement. Lastly, we show that moral disengagement consistently accounts for the relationship between malicious envy and unethical decision-making. In sum, these findings open different ways to better understand the link between the envious experience, moral disengagement, and unethical decision-making, taking advantage of envy’s dual conceptualization.
 
Final model of the relationship involving sacrifices, conflicts, and affect for Study 1. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001
Final model of the relationship involving sacrifices, conflicts, and life satisfaction at home and at work for Study 2. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001
Article
Research has suggested that sacrifices are made to manage the work-home interface. They have been however, related to various deleterious effects. Drawing from self-determination theory, we argue that the sacrifice of psychological needs is worse than the sacrifice of activities such as maintenance and leisure in terms of personal functioning. The present two studies investigate whether sacrifices made in one life sphere to attend matters in another are negatively related to well-being and satisfaction, through enhanced work-family conflict, and whether all sacrifices are created equal. One transversal (n = 141) and one three-wave prospective (n = 78) study were conducted among convenience samples of workers who answered online surveys. Results revealed that personal psychological need sacrifices were negatively related to well-being via family to work conflict (FWC) and work to family conflict (WFC), over and beyond other types of sacrifice. In addition, personal psychological need sacrifices led to decreased life and professional satisfaction over 3 months, via FWC and WFC. Hence, need sacrifices, especially those made in the personal sphere, come at a cost and may not be the best long-term strategy to manage one’s work-home interface.
 
Means for the 7-profile solution of the MWMS in the employee sample. Percentage of the sample in each profile are presented in parentheses. Amot amotivation, Mod Amot/Soc moderate amotivation with social regulation, Mod Amot/IJ moderate amotivation with introjected regulation, IJ introjected regulation, Full Mot full motivation, Aut Mot/IJ autonomous motivation with introjected regulation, Aut Mot autonomous motivation, AM amotivation, ESoc external regulation-social, EMat external regulation-material, IJ introjected regulation, ID identified regulation, IM intrinsic motivation
Means for the 4-profile solution of the MWMS in the student sample. Percentage of the sample in each profile are presented in parentheses. Amot amotivation, Mod Amot/Soc moderate amotivation with social regulation, Full Mot full motivation, Aut Mot autonomous motivation, AM amotivation, ESoc external regulation-social, EMat external regulation-material, IJ introjected regulation, ID identified regulation, IM intrinsic motivation
Article
Within self-determination theory, motivation has been treated as a unidimensional (autonomy continuum) and multidimensional (types of motivation) construct. We propose that this dual nature can be reconciled by distinguishing reasons for exerting effort from the psychological state, or ‘mindset’, experienced while engaging in task-relevant activities. Using the Multidimensional Work Motivation Scale (Gagné et al., European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology 24:178–196, 2015) for employees (n = 444), and an adapted version for students (n = 656), we confirm that there are distinguishable reasons for exerting effort. Moreover, using measures of three motivational mindsets (experienced autonomy, external control, and motivation strength), we demonstrate that reasons vary along an autonomy continuum. However, latent profile analyses revealed that reasons combine in different ways, and that external reasons (e.g., social or material outcomes) are only associated with a mindset of external control when not accompanied by internal reasons. Outcomes were more favorable for autonomous versus externally controlled mindsets, and when motivation profiles were characterized by internal sources of regulation, even if accompanied by external reasons. Implications for the dimensionality and measurement of motivation are discussed.
 
Results of mediation analysis—Study 1. Note. **p < .01, ***p < .001; R-UCLA–total score of the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale; CESD-R–total score of the Center for Epidemic Depression Scale; KAMMUS-Two total–total score of the KAMMUS-Two scale; KAMF–total score of the Kama Muta Frequency Scale; the value in brackets represents the total effect of loneliness on the feeling of being moved; indirect effect of loneliness through depression on feeling of being moved state: β = .03; LCI = −.08; UCI = .12, p = .63; indirect effect of loneliness through depression on feeling of being moved trait: β = .08; LCI = −.01; UCI = .18, p = .06; indirect effect of loneliness through empathy on being moved state: β = −.09; LCI = −.15; UCI = −.03, p < .001; indirect effect of loneliness through empathy on being moved trait: β = −.12; LCI = −.20; UCI = −.06, p < .001. The direct effect of loneliness on being moved trait is still significant although weaker after including empathy in the model (partial mediation). Model fit statistics: χ2(1) = 2.01, p = .15; GFI = .99, CFI = .99, RMSEA = 0.07
Results of mediation analysis—Study 3. Note. **p < .01, ***p < .001; R-UCLA–total score of the Revised UCLA Loneliness Scale; CESD-R–total score of the Center for Epidemic Depression Scale; KAMMUS-Two total–total score of the KAMMUS-Two scale; KAMF–total score of the Kama Muta Frequency Scale; the value in brackets represents the total effect of loneliness on the feeling of being moved; indirect effect of loneliness through trust on feeling of being moved (when controlling for depression): β = −.17; LCI = −0.32; UCI = −0.07, p < .001. The direct effect of loneliness on the feeling of being moved is no longer significant after including trust in the model (total mediation). Indirect effect of loneliness through trust on being moved trait (when controlling for depression): β = −.15; LCI = −0.32; UCI = −0.05, p = .001. The direct effect of loneliness on being moved trait is no longer significant after including trust in the model (total mediation)
Article
Three studies (total N = 501) showed a negative association between loneliness and the emotion of being moved. People who were lonelier than others consistently reported a weaker feeling of being moved after experimental manipulation. These results appeared both when the participants were presented with selected stimuli (video clips paradigm in Study 1 and Study 3) and when they were allowed to freely recall moving episodes from their past (episode paradigm in Study 2). This associa- tion remained reliable after controlling for depression, empathy, and initial mood. The more lonely the participants in Study 1 were, the less they considered themselves susceptible to being moved in everyday life. The results of Study 3 suggest that the association between loneliness and being moved is mediated by lonely people’s lack of faith in others’ goodwill and altru- ism. The results are discussed from the perspective of the potential causes and effects of loneliness and also in the context of the determinants of being moved.
 
An illustration of the sequence of events in a single trial. Each trial began with a centrally displayed fixation cross, which randomly lasted either 200, 300, or 400 ms. Following the fixation cross, an array of five arrows was centrally presented until response or for a maximum of 1000 ms. Participants identified as fast and correctly as possible the middle arrow and responded to a left-pointing arrow with the “Q” key and a right-pointing arrow with the “P” key. After participants responded or after 1000 ms, a face indicating monetary feedback was displayed centrally for 500 ms
Different scenarios how the CSE could vary with feedback valence (positive vs. negative) and motivational orientation (approach vs. avoidance) based on how motivational orientation affects the processing of valence-compatible information (Motivation-compatible Facilitation Hypothesis vs. Motivation-compatible Impairment Hypothesis) and how feedback valence affects the CSE (Positivity-counteracting Effect and/ or Negativity-boosting Effect). The six scenarios are arranged in 3 columns and 2 rows. The left column refers to the positivity-counteracting effect (positive feedback counteracts negative conflict signal), while the column in the middle refers to the negativity-boosting effect (negative feedback boosts the negative conflict signal), and the right column refers to both the positivity-counteracting and the negativity-boosting effects simultaneously. Similarly, the above row refers to the “motivation-compatible facilitation hypothesis” (i.e., motivational orientation facilitates the processing of valence-compatible feedback) while the bottom row refers to the “motivation-compatible impairment hypothesis” (i.e., motivational orientation impairs the processing of valence-compatible feedback)
Congruence sequence effect as a function of feedback valence (positive vs. negative) and motivational orientation (approach vs. avoidance). Error bars attached to each point represent the standard error
Mood rating (“Wie fühlst Du Dich gerade?” [how do you feel right now?]; on a 9-point scale, with the anchors very bad [1] and very good [9]) as a function of time point (before the task, in the middle of the task, after the task) and motivational orientation (approach vs. avoidance). The black bar attached to each point marks the standard error
Article
According to recent theorizing, cognitive control and affective processing are closely linked. Specifically, it has been suggested that negative affect acts as a driving force for attentional adjustment. Empirical support comes from a study by van Steenbergen et al. (Psychol Sci 20:1473–1477, 2009) demonstrating that negative stimuli increase the congruence sequence effect (CSE), a behavioural marker that indexes attentional adjustment. In this research, we provide a theoretical analysis that identifies motivational orientation (approach vs. avoidance) as a potential moderator. To test this, we replicated the study by van Steenbergen et al. (2009) and additionally manipulated the motivational orientation of participants. Participants either gained extra money after task completion (gain-focused group) or lost money after task completion (loss-focused group). Results showed that negative stimuli boost attentional adjustment, but only in the loss-focused group. This finding highlights the role of motivation for recent theorizing on emotion-driven control.
 
Experimental timeline: the example shows T2 presented after happy T1 at lag 4 among rotated distractor-faces
Experiment 1: mean percentages of pT1 and pT2|T1 as a function of T1 valence and lag. Error bars = SE
Experiment 2: mean percentages of correct pT1 and pT2|T1 as a function of T1 valence and lag. Error bars = SE
Article
In two experiments using a Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) we investigated how emotional and neutral faces (T1) modulate temporal attention for a following neutral face (T2). Typically, performance for T2 is spared when T2 immediately follows T1 (lag 1 sparing) but it is impaired when T2 is presented within 500 ms from T1 (Attentional Blink). Experiment 1 shows a shorter attentional blink following happy faces, relative to neutral and sad faces, which did not differ. Experiment 2 shows a lag 1 sparing only after happy T1s, but not after angry or neutral T1s, and a greater attentional blink following happy and angry T1-faces, compared to neutral T1-faces. Results indicate that happy faces exert different effects on temporal attention than negative (angry or sad) faces. Findings are discussed in terms of an interplay of resource depletion, due to emotional salience, and emotion-specific inhibitory mechanisms.
 
Money donated to partner in Study 2
Article
Past research on gratitude assumes that norms of reciprocity are incompatible with personal relationships as they are based on the rigid normative expectations characteristic of market-based exchange. Challenging this assumption, the present investigation demonstrates the importance of recognizing that norms of reciprocity take a less rigid and more tacit form in the case of personal relationships. Using a vignette-based experiment, Study 1 (N = 200) demonstrated that when expectations to reciprocate are framed in ways that reflect their normative character rather than are portrayed as based on self-interested individual expectations, this is associated with greater likelihood of helping, enhanced gratitude, and more positive personality impressions. In an online game, Study 2 (N = 108) showed that players reciprocate less money to their exchange partner in the presence as compared with the absence of self-interested individual expectations for return. Assessing real life helping among friends, Study 3 (N = 128) revealed that indebtedness is predictive of helping and that indebtedness and gratitude promote relationship closeness in contrasting ways.
 
Conceptual model
a The interaction between parent–child relationships and mindfulness on depressive symptom. b The interaction between psychological needs satisfaction and mindfulness on depressive symptom
Article
Prior studies have revealed that positive parent–child relationships are negatively associated with college students’ depressive symptom. However, the underlying mechanisms of this relation whether specific mediators or moderators are at play are little known. Therefore, the current study examined the potential mediating role of psychological needs satisfaction and the moderating role of mindfulness in the link between parent–child relationships and depressive symptom among college students. A total of 900 college students from Shenzhen, China (53.40% male; Mage = 19.82, SD = 1.01, range from 17 to 27 years) completed questionnaires regarding parent–child relationships, psychological needs satisfaction, mindfulness, and depressive symptom. This study found that (1) parent–child relationships are negatively related to college students’ depressive symptom; (2) psychological needs satisfaction could be a potential mediator in the link between parent–child relationships and depressive symptom; and (3) mindfulness could moderate both the relation between parent–child relationships and depressive symptom as well as that between psychological needs satisfaction and depressive symptom, and those relations were weaker among college students with high levels of mindfulness than those with low levels of mindfulness. The current study highlights the mediating and moderating mechanisms that may underlie the correlation between parent–child relationships and depressive symptom, which may contribute to the development of more effective intervention and prevention programs for alleviating college students’ depressive symptom.
 
Relation between grade aspiration and academic goal engagement, varying by the function of the level of the implicit achievement motive. Both the predictor and the moderator were standardized
Relation between grade aspiration and academic goal disengagement, varying by the function of the level of the implicit achievement motive. Both the predictor and the moderator were standardized
Article
Academic achievement is an important developmental goal during adolescence. Two independent factors involved in academic motivation are implicit motives and explicit goals. In this study, we examined whether high school students’ ( N = 213) implicit achievement motive, explicit achievement goals, and their interactions were associated with academic goal engagement and disengagement. Our findings showed that academic goal engagement and disengagement were associated with explicit achievement goals only, and not with the implicit achievement motive. However, interactions between the implicit achievement motive and grade aspiration (i.e., a specific explicit achievement goal) revealed that individuals with a low implicit achievement motive can still attain high goal engagement if they have a high grade aspiration. We also found that motive-goal congruence was associated with lower goal disengagement. Overall, these findings suggest that explicit achievement goals and specific academic goals play a dominant role in goal engagement behavior in the structured setting of high schools, and may allow youth to overcome the constraints of having a low implicit achievement motive.
 
Path diagram illustrating indirect effect of self-reported autonomy on meaning in life through symbolic immortality in Study 1. Direct and total effects also shown. Unstandardized coefficients presented for each path
Participants in Study 2 who read an excerpt about an autonomous life perceived the target individual as having greater symbolic immortality than participants who read about a non-autonomous/controlled life. Error bars represent standard error (obtained using bootstrapping with 5000 resamples)
Path diagram illustrating indirect effect of autonomous excerpt condition on perceptions of the target individual’s satisfaction with life through perceived symbolic immortality in Study 2. Direct and total effects also shown. Unstandardized coefficients presented for each path
Participants in Study 3 who read an excerpt about an autonomous life perceived the target individual as having greater symbolic immortality than participants who read about a non-autonomous/controlled life. Error bars represent standard error (obtained using bootstrapping with 5000 resamples)
Article
This pre-registered work was designed to replicate and extend previous research finding that autonomy is associated with greater extent of belief in symbolic immortality (feeling that some aspect of an individual will endure and/or be remembered long after death). Study 1 (n = 1185) replicated this prior work, finding that self-reported autonomy predicted extent of belief in symbolic immortality, which mediated the relationship between autonomy and meaning in life. Study 2 (n = 117) provided an experimental extension of Study 1, finding that reading about an individual with an autonomous (vs. controlled) life increased perceptions of that individual’s symbolic immortality, which mediated the relationship between reading about the autonomous life and perceptions of the individual’s satisfaction with life. Study 3 (n = 175) replicated the results of Study 2 and also showed that the extent to which people viewed the target individual as feeling autonomous predicted perceptions of that individual’s symbolic immortality even after controlling for perceived self-esteem.
 
Path model analyses of the mediational pathways from agreeableness and conscientiousness to adherence to social distancing guidelines through community values and autonomous motivation for social distancing. All significant paths and covariances are shown in the model; * p < .05, ** p < .01, *** p < .001
Article
Social distancing (SD) was an effective way of reducing virus transmission during the deadly and highly infectious COVID-19 pandemic. Using a prospective longitudinal design, the present study explored how the Big 5 traits relate to variations in SD in a sample of university students (n= 285), and replicated these findings using informant reports. Self-determination theory’s concepts of autonomous motivation and intrinsic community values were explored as potential mechanisms linking traits to SD. Individuals who were higher on trait agreeableness and conscientiousness engaged in more SD because they more effectively internalized the importance and value of the guidelines as a function of their concerns about the welfare of their communities. Informant reports confirmed trait agreeableness and conscientiousness to be associated with more SD. These results enhance our understanding of individual differences associated with better internalization and adherence to public health guidelines and can inform future interventions in similar crises.
 
Article
According to the awe-quixoteism hypothesis, one experience of awe may lead to the engagement in challenging actions aimed at increasing the welfare of the world. However, what if the action involves damaging one individual? Across four experiments (N = 876), half participants were induced to feel either awe or a different (pleasant, activating, or neutral-control) emotion, and then decided whether achieving a prosocial goal (local vs. global). In the first three experiments this decision was assessed through a dilemma that involved to sacrifice one individual’s life, additionally in Experiments 2 and 3 we varied the quality of the action (ordinary vs. challenging). In Experiment 4, participants decided whether performing a real helping action. Overall, in line with the awe-quixoteism hypothesis, the results showed that previously inducing awe enhanced the willingness to sacrifice someone (Experiments 1, 2 and 3) or the acceptance to help (Experiment 4) when the decision involved engaging in challenges aimed at improving the welfare of the world.
 
Article
The definition of courage has been widely debated, though most agree it involves an element of ‘persistence despite fear’. However, even with its correlation to fear and anxiety, courage as a concept has received minimal research in psychology. This study aimed to explore the role of courage in predicting behavior. Twenty-eight participants who indicated during a pre-screening that they feared public speaking completed a measure of courageousness (Courage Measure; CM) undertook a behavioral approach task (BAT) where they gave a short speech on a topic of their choice and were timed. Results indicated that the CM significantly predicted speech duration after controlling for scores on a measure of public speaking fears. Interestingly, and inconsistent with prior studies using the CM, self-reported courage at both the pre-screen and immediately before the BAT both predicted speech duration. Implications for the assessment of courageousness are discussed.
 
Daily- and 3 week approach and avoidance goal success as a function of relative autonomous motivation (mean and ± 1 and 2 standard deviations) for Study 1
3 week approach and avoidance goal success as a function of relative autonomous motivation (mean and ± 1 and 2 standard deviations) and goal specificity for Study 1. Goal specificity values of (0), (− 1), and (− 2) coded as “Specific Goals”, and (+ 1) and (+ 2) as “Broad Goals”
Approach and avoidance goal success as a function of relative autonomous motivation (mean and ± 1 and 2 standard deviations) and food availability for Study 2. Low availability comprised of responses for (1) “No, this food was not available” and (2) “Yes, but I had to purchase ingredients to prepare and/or cook it”, and high availability of (3) “Yes, but some preparation and/or cooking was required, or I had to purchase it already prepared (e.g., grocery, restaurant, cafeteria)” and (4) “Yes it was readily available (e.g., already prepared or purchased)”. Includes only observations where lunch was eaten
Perceived food availability as a function of relative autonomous motivation (mean and ± 1 and 2 standard deviations) for Study 2 for observations where lunch was consumed. To measure food availability, participants were asked “Was this food available to you at lunch?” for each of their food goals, and asked to respond either (1) “No, this food was not available”, (2) “Yes, but I had to purchase ingredients to prepare and/or cook it”, (3) “Yes, but some preparation and/or cooking was required, or I had to purchase it already prepared (e.g., grocery, restaurant, cafeteria)”, or (4) “Yes it was readily available (e.g., already prepared or purchased)”
Article
Most people try to eat healthy, but the temptation of unhealthy foods (among other factors) can make it difficult. Despite these difficulties, some people still achieve their healthy eating goals. Following self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000), we propose that relative autonomous motivation (RAM) can foster people's effort in pursuing health goals. In two daily diary studies, we tested the hypothesis that RAM predicts attainment of healthy eating goals, especially when it is difficult. In Study 1, we focused on difficulties associated with trying to eat certain foods while avoiding others, whereas in Study 2, we focused on difficulties associated with the availability of unhealthy and healthy foods. Multilevel analyses provided some support our hypothesis, and highlighted the role of RAM for eating (vs. skipping) lunch and packing a lunch-two approach-based healthy eating strategies. We discuss these findings in relation to SDT and propose directions for future research on within-person changes in motivation and other sources of difficulty. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11031-022-09960-3.
 
Article
The goal of this study was to examine whether strategies such as planning and self-monitoring the quality/quantity of eating can explain the relationships between autonomous and controlled motivation and eating in undergraduate female students. Study 1 (n = 456) examined whether the strategies could account for additional variance in eating outcomes beyond the influence of motivation, and whether the strategies mediated the relationships between motivation and eating. Study 2 (n = 979) replicated the results within structural equation models. Autonomous motivation was positively associated with planning and self-monitoring eating quality, and these strategies were then positively and negatively associated with healthy and unhealthy eating, respectively. In contrast, controlled motivation was positively associated with planning and self-monitoring eating quantity, and these strategies were then positively associated with bulimic symptoms. Findings provide insight into the mechanisms by which different motivations relate to distinct eating outcomes and suggest that promoting eating quality may be more beneficial for adopting healthy eating behaviors.
 
Conceptual model and overview about the used constructs in the study. Note. STV = subjective task values
Simple slopes of perceived difficulty of the midterm exam predicting selective primary control strategies. Note. a) simple slopes at high, medium, and low subjective task values in fall 2019. b) simple slopes at high, medium, and low ability believes in fall 2019. c) simple slopes at high, medium, and low subjective task values in winter 2020. d) simple slopes at high, medium, and low ability believes in winter 2020.
Simple slopes of perceived difficulty of the midterm exam predicting goal adjustment strategies. Note. a) simple slopes at high, medium, and low subjective task values in fall 2019. b) simple slopes at high, medium, and low ability believes in fall 2019. c) simple slopes at high, medium, and low subjective task values in winter 2020. d) simple slopes at high, medium, and low ability believes in winter 2020.
Article
In college, students often encounter situations in which they struggle to meet their academic goals in difficult courses. We integrate the Motivational Theory of Life-Span Development and Situated Expectancy-Value Theory to investigate how motivational beliefs and experiences in a difficult course predict the use of goal engagement oriented and goal adjustment oriented control strategies that can help students stay engaged in challenging courses. We used survey data collected in two academic quarters at a public university in the U.S. ( N = 231). Students who perceived their midterm exam as more difficult than expected and students with higher course-specific subjective task values reported using more goal engagement oriented and goal adjustment oriented control strategies. Students with higher course-specific ability beliefs were less likely to use goal adjustment strategies. Results further showed that students planned to use control strategies depending on their experienced setbacks or success in exams. Findings provide important insights into how motivational orientations and course experiences relate to adaptive and goal-oriented behavior in college courses.
 
The group level between person relations (between network). Only significant associations are shown. P values: * < 0.05
The group level within person relations (contemporaneous network). Only significant associations are shown. P values: *** < 0.001
The lagged group level within person relations (temporal network). Only significant associations are shown. P values: * < 0.05; ** < 0.01
Article
Research generally shows that autonomous forms of motivation are associated with higher performance and job satisfaction, whereas controlled forms of motivation are linked to worse outcomes. These relationships are largely based on between-persons data from cross-sectional studies or longitudinal studies with few measurement points. However, motivation quality, performance, and job satisfaction can vary considerably from day to day and from task to task. It is unclear whether and how these experiences and behaviors covary over time within individuals at work in daily life. The present study assessed this using a diary approach. With a default protocol of 30 working days, an ecological momentary assessment application prompted 19 white-collar workers five times a day to report their autonomous and controlled motivation for work tasks and their productivity and job satisfaction at the end of each day. Fourteen participants gathered sufficient data to compute within-person relations and individual networks. At the between-person level, results were somewhat in line with prior survey-based research, whereas results at the within-person level present more nuanced findings and demonstrate that these will not inherently align with previous between-person findings. Individual network analyses indicated considerable interindividual heterogeneity, especially in the relationships between motivation and job satisfaction. In conclusion, these findings point to significant variability in the observed relations between task-related motivation, performance and job satisfaction in everyday life, and highlight the added value of a within person approach and individual networks in addition to between-persons approaches. The implications of these findings for occupational wellbeing research are discussed.
 
Levels of reported effort and commitment for frozen and active goals. Error bars represent ± 1 standard error
Depressive symptoms (Panel A) and anxiety (Panel B) as a function of frozen goal commitment and unattainability. Error bars represent ± 1 SE
Goal commitment (Panel A) and goal rumination (Panel B) as a function of disengagement capacity and goal type. Error bars represent ± 1 SE
Article
The current research addresses dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic's disruption to goal pursuit. Specifically, we examined the effects of disengaging from frozen goals (goals for which progress had been disrupted due to COVID-19). In May 2021, we asked participants (N = 226) what percentage of their goals were COVID-frozen goals and asked them to report their engagement in one such goal (vs. an active goal): the degree to which they think about the goal, ruminate about the goal, and are committed to the goal. Participants also reported on two facets of their recent well-being: psychological distress (stress, depressive symptoms, anxiety) and life satisfaction. As expected, percentage of COVID-frozen goals was positively associated with psychological distress (stress, depressive symptoms, and anxiety). Moreover, frozen goal rumination (but not thought frequency or commitment) was negatively associated with life satisfaction and positively associated with psychological distress (stress, depressive symptoms, and anxiety; even when controlling for active goal rumination). Furthermore, individual differences in the capacity to disengage and reengage in alternatives were negatively associated with frozen goal rumination, positively associated with life satisfaction, and negatively associated with psychological distress (stress, depressive symptoms, and anxiety). These results highlight the adaptive function of disengagement in goal pursuit. We discuss implications for the goal disengagement literature and for coping with COVID-19. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11031-022-09959-w.
 
The interaction between instructional climate and autonomy orientation on one’s self-reported autonomy frustration in the first task. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001
The interaction between instructional climate and autonomy orientation on one’s self-reported intrinsic motivation in the second task. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001
Learning interfaces in the mobile application Aurora Word
The interaction between instructional climate and autonomy orientation on persistent learning behavior in the English words learning task. *p < 0.05, **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001
Article
Satisfaction of the basic psychological need of autonomy is essential for one’s optimal functioning and well-being. Recent studies consistently demonstrated that autonomy-deprived individuals would attempt to regain the sense of autonomy in the following autonomy-supportive activity. However, few studies explored individual differences during this process. In this study conducted in the learning context, we examined the moderating role of autonomy orientation in autonomy restoration. Both scales and the effort-provision paradigm were adopted so as to objectively measure one’s intrinsic motivation. Through two experiments with between-group designs, our results showed that, there existed a restoration process in which autonomy frustrated individuals invested greater intrinsic motivation to regain autonomy afterwards, an effect only observed among individuals with high autonomy orientation. These findings extend existing literatures within the self-determination theory framework by showing that one’s autonomy orientation would facilitate autonomy restoration.
 
Psychometric network displaying associations between goal adjustment, self-control, and boredom in Study 1. The graph shows individual items as nodes (color-coded by scale) connected by edges. Red and blue edges represent negative and positive associations, respectively, and thicker edges indicate stronger associations. Estimation was based on the Graphical Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator and the Extended Bayesian Information Criterion to select optimal regularization parameters (EBICglasso)
Article
Disengaging from unattainable goals and reengaging in alternative goals is essential for effective goal pursuit; yet, surprisingly little is known about associated personality factors. Here, we focused on individual differences in self-control (domain-general self-control, if–then planning) and boredom (boredom proneness, boredom avoidance and escape tendencies). Concerning goal adjustment in everyday life (Study 1; N = 323 crowdworkers), if–then planning was associated with worse disengagement and better reengagement. While boredom proneness was associated with poorer reengagement, boredom avoidance and escape tendencies were associated with better reengagement. When goal striving was thwarted during the COVID-19 pandemic (Study 2; N = 97 students), similar associations emerged along with links to anxiety and depression. However, disengagement was no longer associated with if–then planning but instead with better self-control and higher boredom proneness. These results show differential relationships of goal disengagement and reengagement with self-control and boredom, paving the way to a better understanding of who struggles or shines when effective goal adjustment is required.
 
Study 1 path model testing indirect effects of autonomous and controlled motivation for disengagement (T1), inaction crises (T2, T3) and goal disengagement progress (T2, T3, T4)
Study 2 path model testing indirect effects of autonomous and controlled motivation for disengagement (T1), inaction crises (T2) and goal disengagement progress (T2, T3)
Article
When people hit roadblocks with their personal goals, goal disengagement is an adaptive response associated with improved mental and physical health. However, people can have trouble letting go of goals, even when pursuing them is problematic. We introduce a motivational model of goal disengagement by proposing that having autonomous motivation to disengage (a sense of truly identifying with the decision) as opposed to controlled motivation to disengage (feeling forced to let go) allows for people to make greater progress disengaging from specific goals, and prevents people getting stuck in an “inaction crisis” where they feel torn between disengaging further or re-adopting the goal. Using prospective longitudinal designs, we tracked the goal disengagement of personal goals in university students (Study 1, N = 510) and a general adult sample of Americans (Study 2, N= 446), finding that autonomous motivation for goal disengagement facilitated making disengagement progress. This work expands our understanding of the role of autonomous motivation throughout a goal’s lifecycle and helps integrate different theoretical frameworks on goal motivation and self-regulation.
 
Goal reengagement × perceived control interactions predicting average levels of perceived stress and depressive symptoms over the 2-month study period. Simple slopes of goal reengagement with 95% confidence intervals are presented at low (− 1 SD) and high (+ 1 SD) levels of perceived control
Goal reengagement × perceived control interactions predicting average levels of life satisfaction and meaning in life over the two-month study period. Simple slopes of goal reengagement with 95% confidence intervals are presented at low (− 1 SD) and high (+ 1 SD) levels of perceived control
Main Effect Multilevel Growth Models Predicting Levels and 2-Month Changes in Psychological Well-Being During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Step 2)
Interaction Effect Multilevel Growth Models Predicting Levels and 2-Month Changes in Psychological Well-Being During the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic (Step
Article
Goal adjustment capacities (i.e., goal disengagement and goal reengagement) are core self-regulatory resources theorized to buffer psychological well-being during intractable life circumstances. However, research has yet to examine whether these capacities protect well-being for individuals who encounter uncontrollable losses in their ability to pursue important life goals due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a nationally-representative sample of U.S. adults aged 18-80 (n = 292), the present longitudinal study examined the extent to which goal disengagement and reengagement predicted levels and change in psychological well-being for individuals who differed in perceived control over their goals early in the pandemic. Results from multilevel growth models showed that goal reengagement, but not goal disengagement, capacities predicted higher levels of well-being during the pandemic (lower perceived stress, depressive symptoms; higher life satisfaction, meaning in life). Moderation models showed the benefits of goal reengagement for well-being were pronounced among individuals who perceived pandemic-induced declines in control over their goals. Findings inform theories of motivation and self-regulation and point to the adaptive value of goal reengagement capacities during uncontrollable life circumstances.
 
Prevalence of the FRC for a Study 1 and b Study 2
Mean need frustration/satisfaction scores for FRC. ↯ = frustration of psychological need; ✓ = satisfaction of psychological need. Error-bars denote ± 1 SE
Mean 8 DIAMONDS scores for FRC. Error-bars denote ± 1 SE
Mean scores of the crying characteristics for the FRC. Higher scores indicate a longer crying and b more intense crying. Error-bars denote ± 1 SE
Article
Human beings are probably the only creatures with a capacity to shed emotional tears. While prior work has mostly used data-driven approaches to identify situational antecedents of adult crying, we present a theory-based taxonomy. Assuming that crying is preceded by the frustration or satisfaction of psychological needs, we postulate that the most common antecedents of crying can be organized into five categories—that is, the Five Reasons to Cry (FRC): loneliness, impotence, overload, harmony, and media. Testing our assumptions in a retrospective study (N = 720, pre-registered) and a thirty-day electronic diary study (N = 91) showed that (i) crying episodes could be reliably assigned to the FRC, (ii) the theorized relations to frustrated/satisfied psychological needs emerged, and (iii) the categories were systematically related to subjective well-being, indicating their criterion validity. In sum, this research provides a valid taxonomy of common situational antecedents of adult emotional crying.
 
A simplified version of the information processing system underlying pathogen avoidance motivations (adapted from Tybur & Lieberman, 2016). Note. The figure illustrates two possibilities for what kind of individual differences in information processing might be captured by pathogen disgust sensitivity. Pathogen disgust sensitivity might involve individual differences in the weight given to pathogen cues when computing the pathogen index (i.e., variation in relation A). We label this the pathogen estimation hypothesis. Pathogen disgust sensitivity could also reflect individual differences in weight given to the pathogen index when computing the contact value index (i.e., variation in relation B). We label this the contact regulation hypothesis
The effect of pathogen cues on the perceived health of targets as a function of participants’ pathogen disgust sensitivity
Johnson-Neyman plots illustrating (A) the effect of pathogen cues on the perceived health of targets and (B) the association between perceived health and comfort with contact conditional on participants’ pathogen disgust sensitivity
The association between perceived health and participants’ comfort with contact as a function of participants’ pathogen disgust sensitivity
Article
The emotion disgust motivates the avoidance of pathogens and contaminants. Individuals differ in their tendency to experience disgust and this is referred to as pathogen disgust sensitivity. Yet, it remains unclear which differences in psychological processes are captured by pathogen disgust sensitivity. We tested two hypotheses about how the information processing structure underlying pathogen avoidance might give rise to individual differences in pathogen disgust sensitivity. Participants ( n = 998) rated the perceived health of individuals with or without facial blemishes and indicated how comfortable they would feel about having physical contact with them. For participants with high disgust sensitivity, facial blemishes were more indicative of poor health and perceived health was more strongly related to comfort with physical contact. These findings suggest that pathogen disgust sensitivity reflects individual differences in the tendency to interpret stimuli as an infection risk and the weight given to estimated infection risk when deciding who should be approached or avoided.
 
Coefficients representing effects of ambition on passion and extremism. The total effect of ambition is included in parenthesis (Study 1; N = 249). *p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. ***p < 0.001
Coefficients representing effects of ambition on passion and extremism. The total effect of ambition is included in parenthesis (Study 2; N = 300). *p < 0.05. **p < 0.01. ***p < 0.001
Article
Extremism occurs when a certain need, for instance, significance quest, overrides other human motivations. Based on the Significance Quest Theory, we argue that ambition—a specific aspect of significance quest—can lead to extremism, particularly through obsessive passion. In an Italian sample (Study 1, N = 249) we predicted and found that ambition was positively related to both obsessive and harmonious passion; however, only obsessive passion positively predicted extremism. To bolster and generalize our findings we conducted a second study involving American participants (Study 2, N = 300). We confirmed the mediating role of obsessive passion in the relationship between ambition and extremism, while we did not find the mediating role of harmonious passion. The present research has theoretical implications in that it constitutes the first evidence that ambition might share some aspects with significance quest and sheds new light on ambition field. Moreover, our findings provide practical ways to prevent extremism.
 
Illustration of the procedure for one trial in the detection task
Mean median response times for current positive and negative items following positive or negative items in young and older adults. Error bars represent Confidence Intervals at 95%. EE Emotional effects (current negative items–current positive items), **p < 0.01, ***p < 0.001, ns Non-significant
Article
The present study brings evidence of a new type of emotional processes, namely sequential modulations of emotional effects, and how these processes change during aging. Sequential modulations of emotional effects refer to the changes in emotional effects (i.e., differences in performance between current negative and positive items) as a function of emotional valence of the immediately preceding items. Young (18–30-year-olds) and older adults (62–89-year-olds) were presented neutral, positive, and negative pictures and had to determine whether each of these pictures included humans or not. Differences in emotional effects were found after negative and neutral items whereas they were absent after positive items in young adults. Moreover, age-related differences in sequential modulations of emotional effects revealed that young and older adults modulated emotional effects to the same extent after negative items, but older adults showed reverse sequential modulations after positive items. These findings have important implications to further our understanding of the sequential modulations of emotion during aging.
 
Results for negative emotion across IGT blocks by gender and group. Participants were 38 men – 19 in the non-reappraisal group and 19 in the reappraisal group– and 38 women – 19 in the non-reappraisal group and 19 in the reappraisal group. Error bars indicate standard error of the mean (SEM). Results show that both groups significantly decreased negative emotion via reappraisal, and a statistically significant gender by group by blocks interaction, indicating that women in the non-reappraisal group experienced greater negative emotion than men, but during reappraisal there were no significant differences between groups
Results for the Iowa gambling task (IGT) performance, specifically the number of advantageous (C + D) minus disadvantageous (A+B) decks chosen across 25 blocks of 18 trials each. Plots shows performance by Gender, Group and Blocks. Participants were 38 men – 19 in the non-reappraisal group and 19 in the reappraisal group–and 38 women, 19 in the non-reappraisal group and 19 in the reappraisal group. Error bars indicate standard error of the mean (SEM). Results revealed a significant triple interaction effect (Gender by Group by Blocks) from block 15 onwards indicating that for women, reappraisal improved performance compared to non-reappraisal, while for men, reappraisal impaired performance compared to non-reappraisal
Results of the multigroup path analyses, which represent a direct effect of group (reappraisal/non-reappraisal) on IGT performance and negative emotions among men; and an effect of group in IGT performance that is completely mediated by negative emotions in the case of women. Note: IGT = Iowa Gambling Task
Article
Real-life decision-making involves a balance between emotion and cognition, a process that is mirrored in the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT). Previous studies suggest that negative emotion affects IGT performance, and that this effect may be moderated by gender. In the current study, we experimentally instructed the use of a strategy for ameliorating the incidental negative emotion induced by negative images while men and women solved the IGT. To do this, we asked 38 men and 38 women to either only look at negative images (non-reappraisal group) or to use positive cognitive reappraisal when facing these negative images (reappraisal group) to ameliorate the negative emotion associated with them while trying to solve the IGT. Both men and women in the reappraisal group successfully used positive reappraisal to decrease their negative emotion compared to the control, non-reappraisal group. Critically, we observed that women performed better in the reappraisal group compared with the non-reappraisal group, in the second half of the task (performance phase). Conversely, men performed worse in the reappraisal group compared to the non-reappraisal group in the second half of the task (performance phase). Finally, a multigroup analysis revealed a gender moderation of the direct and indirect effects of positive reappraisal on IGT performance, indicating that reappraisal benefited women’s IGT performance through the regulation of negative emotion. Conversely, for men, the decrease of negative emotion through reappraisal did not impact IGT performance. Our results demonstrate that while the use of positive reappraisal is useful to ameliorate negative emotions for men and women, positive reappraisal benefits women’s decision-making, and impairs men’s.
 
Article
Whether to engage with the environment or not is critical to self-regulation and individual differences figure prominently in this decisional realm. The present studies (total N = 695) pursue the premise that important clues to these dynamics can be found by asking individuals whether they prefer the spatial concept of something (e.g., the self or the world) being “closed” or “open”, given that open objects interact with their environments more readily and lend themselves to resource acquisition. Individual differences in open-closed preferences were reliable and informative concerning individual differences in motivation and personality. In particular, greater preferences for openness were linked to higher levels of extraversion (Study 1), approach motivation (Studies 1 and 2), and positive affect (Studies 2 and 3). In addition, such preferences were linked to vigorous goal pursuit and achievement in a daily diary protocol (Study 3). Simple preferences among spatial concepts can therefore provide key insights into personality and self-regulation.
 
Flowchart detailing article search, article screening, data inclusions and exclusions
Forest plot of the effect size between economic status and avoidance motivation
Funnel plot for economic status and avoidance motivation
Article
Given that avoidance motivation is often related to negative outcomes, it is surprising that little research has investigated the economic factors that correlate with avoidance motivation. The current meta-analysis synthesized 40 studies (Ntotal = 771,690) on the relation between economic status and avoidance motivation. Economic status was operationalized with objective and subjective measures of economic status; avoidance motivation was operationalized with measures of energization (e.g., motives, behavioral systems) and direction (e.g., personal goals, social goals). The results revealed a small negative association between economic status and avoidance motivation (r = − .046, p < .001). This association was particularly strong in community samples (r = − .070, p < .001), for those high in prevention focus orientation (r = − .087, p < .05), and fear of failure (r = − .067, p < .001). In identifying this negative association in extant demographic data, this meta-analysis demonstrates the promise of examining economic status as a potential antecedent of avoidance motivation in future empirical work.
 
Mean response times for responses by disgust scenario type in Study 1. Error bars are standard deviations
Mean proportion of “Yes” responses by disgust scenario type and gender in Study 1
Mean response times for responses by disgust scenario type in Study 2. Error bars represent standard deviations
Mean proportion of “Yes” responses by disgust scenario type and gender in Study 2. Error bars are standard deviations
Article
High levels of disgust and perfectionism co-exist in some clinical disorders raising questions about the relationship between the two. This research evaluated socially-related and physically-related disgust in people with varying levels of perfectionism. In Study 1, 120 college students participated in a state emotion-eliciting scenario task, then completed both the Almost Perfect Scale-Revised and the Three Dimensions of Disgust Survey (TDDS). In Study 2, 380 Qualtrics users completed the scenarios, along with the TDDS and Multidimensional Perfectionist Scale. Both studies showed that state emotions differed from each other in ways that were unrelated to perfectionism. Gender differences were seen in the perfectionist groups, state disgust responses, and trait sexual disgust. However, Study 2 also showed relationships between trait perfectionism and disgust. The differing state emotional responses show that contextual interpersonal factors are highly important in disgust behaviors. Additionally, the findings suggest that gender could be important in the relationship between disgust and perfectionism.
 
Correlation matrix. ** p < .01. *** p < .001
Article
Aversion to happiness is defined as the belief that experiencing or expressing happiness can cause bad things to happen. In this study, the fear of happiness scale was used to measure aversion to happiness in a multinational sample of adults from several countries (N = 871). Partial measurement invariance was supported for the fear of happiness scale. The study also examined 9 potential predictors of aversion to happiness: gender, age, religiosity, belief in collective happiness, perfectionism, belief in karma, belief in black magic, loneliness, and perception of an unhappy childhood. Bayesian multilevel modeling showed that, except for gender and religiosity, all predictors contributed significantly to the prediction of aversion to happiness. Together, the predictors explained about 28% of the variance in aversion to happiness. The strongest predictors were an unhappy childhood, perfectionism, belief in black magic and karma, and loneliness. This study provides new evidence for the cross-cultural measurement invariance of the fear of happiness scale in adult samples and sheds new light on the nomological network of aversion to happiness.
 
Mediation model from Study 1 (N = 80). The 95% bias-corrected confidence intervals of the unstandardized coefficients were calculated using bootstrapping (5000 samples). The p-value for the indirect effect is also based on bootstrapping
Mediation model from Study 2 (N = 215). Analyses are controlled for action crisis at T1. The 95% bias-corrected confidence intervals of the unstandardized coefficients were calculated using bootstrapping (5000 samples). The p-value for the indirect effect is also based on bootstrapping
Serial mediation model with multiple mediators from Study 2. The 95% bias-corrected confidence intervals of the unstandardized coefficients were calculated using bootstrapping (5000 samples). N = 189
Mediation model with multiple mediators from Study 2. The 95% bias-corrected confidence intervals of the unstandardized coefficients were calculated using bootstrapping (5000 samples). w.: within-person effect, b.: between-person effect. N = 3512 questionnaires from 250 participants. p-values for each path are reported in the supplemental material
Article
In this research, we applied a differential perspective to the study of action crises , i.e., being in an intra-psychic decisional conflict whether to pursue or abandon a goal once difficulties in its pursuit arise. In two studies, we investigated the role of individuals’ levels of self-awareness when experiencing such action crises. Both among professional ballet dancers (daily diary, Study 1) and university undergraduates (preregistered experience sampling, Study 2), individuals with greater levels of (dispositional and situational) self-awareness showed an adaptive, that is, problem-solving oriented way of dealing with difficulties in the pursuit of their (training or study) goals. As a consequence, self-awareness contributed to less experience of action crisis during goal pursuit and, as a result, led to better goal performance.
 
Article
Mourning constitutes an important human emotion, which might cause—among other things—major depressive symptoms when lasting for too long. To date, no study investigated whether mourning is related to specific psychophysiological activation patterns. Therefore, we examined physiological reactions induced by iconographic mourning-related stimuli in comparison to neutral and attachment stimuli in healthy adults (N = 77, mean age: 21.9). We evaluated pupillometric and eye-tracking parameters as well as heart rate variability (HRV) and skin conductance (EDA). Eye-tracking revealed a stronger dilated pupil during mourning in comparison to the neutral, but not to the attachment condition; furthermore, fixation patterns revealed less fixations on mourning stimuli. While HF HRV was reduced during mourning and attachment, we found no differences concerning EDA parameters between conditions. Results suggest specific eye-movement and pupil adaptations during representations of mourning, which might point toward inward cognition or avoidance, but no specific physiological pattern concerning HRV and EDA.
 
Example pictures from the mourning (first row), attachment (second row), and neutral stimuli (third row; reproduced with consent from Labek et al., 2017)
Time-intervals of the stimulus-presentation including example images
Time to First Fixation (A), First Fixation Duration (B), Number of Fixations (C), and Total Fixation Duration (D) across conditions; scores are z-transformed and lines denote the sample mean as well as the 95% confidence intervals
Pupil dilation (baseline-corrected) as observed over the whole course of stimulus presentation
Baseline-corrected values for HF HRV (A; log-transformed), EDA peak amplitudes (B), phasic EDA (C), and tonic EDA (D) across conditions (all values are z-transformed); lines denote the sample mean as well as the 95% confidence intervals
Article
Mourning constitutes an important human emotion, which might cause-among other things-major depressive symptoms when lasting for too long. To date, no study investigated whether mourning is related to specific psychophysiological activation patterns. Therefore, we examined physiological reactions induced by iconographic mourning-related stimuli in comparison to neutral and attachment stimuli in healthy adults (N = 77, mean age: 21.9). We evaluated pupillometric and eye-tracking parameters as well as heart rate variability (HRV) and skin conductance (EDA). Eye-tracking revealed a stronger dilated pupil during mourning in comparison to the neutral, but not to the attachment condition; furthermore, fixation patterns revealed less fixations on mourning stimuli. While HF HRV was reduced during mourning and attachment, we found no differences concerning EDA parameters between conditions. Results suggest specific eye-movement and pupil adaptations during representations of mourning, which might point toward inward cognition or avoidance, but no specific physiological pattern concerning HRV and EDA.
 
Random slope analysis results for percentage mark by mistakes and rubric. Grey lines correspond to estimated marginal regressions for individual participants. Black lines represent estimated marginal means in the presence (solid) versus absence (dotted) of a marking rubric
Random slope analysis results for boredom over time by rubric. Grey lines correspond to estimated marginal regressions for individual participants. Black lines represent estimated marginal means in the presence (solid) versus absence (dotted) of a marking rubric
Random slope analysis results for percentage mark by boredom and rubric. Grey lines correspond to estimated marginal regressions for individual participants. Black lines represent estimated marginal means in the presence (solid) versus absence (dotted) of a marking rubric. Individual participants’ regression lines are not extrapolated beyond the range of their actual levels of reported boredom
Mediation sequence with time, boredom, and percentage mark. ***p < 0.001, NSp > 0.50. Indirect association between time and percentage mark through boredom: B = − 0.254, 95%CI = [− 0.367, − 0.149]
Article
Essay-style assessment is widespread in education. Nonetheless, research shows that this tool can suffer from low reliability and validity. We attribute this problem partly to the boredom that marking multiple essays causes. Specifically, we propose that boredom in markers is associated with systematically lower marks on essays. To test this, we asked participants ( N = 100) with an undergraduate degree to mark essays. The majority of these participants had at least some experience with marking. After marking each essay, participants indicated how bored they were. We found an increase in boredom over time and that higher boredom was associated with lower marks. Furthermore, offering a marking rubric did not prevent this problematic impact of boredom. These findings have implications for the validity of essays as an assessment tool and raise concerns about repetitive marking practices in general.
 
The theoretical framework
Article
Why does sibling abuse affect some adolescents more severely than others? When and how does its experience at home influence the psychosocial behavior of adolescents at school? Guided by the Conservation of Resources Theory (CoRT), the authors established a moderated-mediation model to find answers to these under-researched questions. Specifically, they analyzed the effects of sibling abuse on victimized adolescents’ in-school delinquency through psychological distress and psychological disengagement. Victim’s neurotic personality, which may intensify the spillover process, was examined as well. Forty-seven Pakistani middle adolescents from a private secondary school provided a survey-based time-lagged data over five consecutive school-days. Results revealed that the next day after experiencing sibling abuse, victims first felt psychologically distressed and then psychologically disengaged from school, and ultimately carried out delinquent activities on campus. Furthermore, neuroticism did not significantly change the effect of sibling abuse on outcome variables. This study contributes toward a more comprehensive understanding of the abuse–delinquency chain as a complex psychological process underpinned by CoRT.
 
Headshots for ERN (FCz) and P1 (PO7 and PO8), and the ERN for correct versus incorrect trials a all participants, b high NQ, and c low NQ
Time course of absolute trial-by-trial variance (neural quenching) for pre and post stimulus periods (− 200–0 ms and 150–400 ms, respectively) to aversive (angry) or non-aversive (neutral) faces derived from PO7 and PO8
Higher anxiety severity was associated with blunted ΔERN, but only for those also showing blunted NQ to non-aversive neutral faces
Article
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) has been inconsistently associated with exaggerated threat monitoring measured via the error-related negativity (ERN). This suggests the need to consider whether the link between GAD and ERN is influenced by additional processes, such as cognitive inhibition of non-threat. The current study explored this possibility by employing a novel, trait-like measure of cognitive processing inhibition, neural quenching (NQ). Electroencephalography was recorded while 16 adults diagnosed with GAD and 14 age-matched healthy controls viewed angry and neutral faces prior to individual trials of a flanker task. NQ was generated to aversive (angry) and non-aversive (neutral) facial primes, and the ERN was generated to incorrect and correct responses on the flanker task. We tested the hypothesis that higher GAD symptom severity would be associated with larger-magnitude ERN when NQ to non-aversive was enhanced (higher levels of non-aversive processing inhibition), but with blunted ERN when NQ to non-aversive was also blunted (lower levels of non-aversive processing inhibition). Overall, greater NQ to non-aversive faces was associated with larger-magnitude ERNs. As predicted, higher GAD symptom severity was associated with blunted ERN when accompanied by blunted NQ to non-aversive. Findings suggest that exaggerated threat processing is not uniform in GAD and may depend on individual differences in the ability to inhibit processing of non-aversive and other types of information.
 
Article
Across nine studies (N = 1672), we assessed the link between cognitive costs and the choice to express outrage by blaming. We developed the Blame Selection Task, a binary free-choice paradigm that examines individuals’ propensity to blame transgressors (versus an alternative choice)—either before or after reading vignettes and viewing images of moral transgressions. We hypothesized that participants’ choice to blame wrongdoers would negatively relate to how cognitively inefficacious, effortful, and aversive blaming feels (compared to the alternative choice). With vignettes, participants approached blaming and reported that blaming felt more efficacious. With images, participants avoided blaming and reported that blaming felt more inefficacious, effortful, and aversive. Blame choice was greater for vignette-based transgressions than image-based transgressions. Blame choice was positively related to moral personality constructs, blame-related norms, and perceived efficacy of blaming, and inversely related to perceived effort and aversion of blaming. The BST is a valid behavioral index of blame propensity, and choosing to blame is linked to its cognitive costs.
 
Harris’ social emotional ability development (SEAD) model
Synthesis of the SEAD and the sociocultural theory of development
Article
Social emotional abilities (i.e., specific skills), defined as the set of cognitive abilities, emotion-based knowledge, and behavioral competencies (i.e., skill levels) that facilitate adaptively employing prosocial processes and behaviors (i.e., “actions”), such as emotional regulation and sympathetic and empathetic response behaviors, is contemporarily modeled and measured as emotional intelligence. This conceptualization can be problematic, however, as the two concepts are not the same and traditional methods of measuring emotional intelligence can have limited practical utility. The social emotional ability development (SEAD) theoretical model introduced in this treatise represents a pragmatic and simplified approach to the development of social emotional ability and competency as abstracted from constructs of emotional intelligence, social intelligence, and sociocultural learning theory. Further, the SEAD model reaches beyond the individual as the unit of analysis to explore, conceptualize, differentiate, investigate, and define the hierarchal, bi-directional, and contextual nature of the dimensions of social emotional ability within close relationships. Implications for how the SEAD model can be used by researchers, practitioners, educators, individuals, families, and couples across a broad spectrum of domains and interventions are discussed.
 
Example participant and their time variables. On day 1, with signal 1 at 9:30am and signal 3 at 2:30 pm, the time between signals was 5 h and the overnight signals was 0 for within a day. Since signal 2 was missed, it is not used in the calculation of the time variables. On day 1, with signal 3 at 2:30 pm and signal 4 at 5:00 pm, the time between signals was 2.5 h and the overnight signals was 0 for within a day. Going from signal 4 on day 1 to signal 1 on day 2 results in going overnight. The time between signals is 17 h and overnight signals was 1 for across a day. Since signal 5 was missed, it is not used in the calculation of the time variables
Line graphs of the simple regression lines for the moderation effect of time between signals. Graph A is with all the data and included time between signals within and across days. Graph B excludes data for overnight signals and only includes time between signals within a day
Line graphs of the simple regressions from the moderation effect of overnight signals
Article
Identifying causes of healthy behaviors is important for harnessing health benefits. A growing body of experience sampling research suggests that positive emotion may drive these behaviors. However, it is not known how long elevations in positive emotion facilitate these behaviors in daily life. The present study tested how time between signals moderates the association between within-person positive affect and healthy behaviors. A sample of 197 college students completed a 10-day experience sampling diary, with 5 signals a day, measuring affect and healthy behaviors. We replicated results from Nylocks and colleagues (2018) finding that within-person positive affect predicted engagement in healthy behaviors; however, this association was only significant within the same day, and not across days (i.e. overnight). Taken together, these findings highlight the importance of considering positive affect, rather than negative affect in patients with psychopathology, to improve behavioral interventions targeted to increase engagement in healthy behaviors.
 
Within-person level results of a multi-level mediation model of daily need crafting on daily affective experiences through daily need-based experiences
Within-person level results of a multi-level mediation model of daily autonomy support on daily need-based experiences through daily need crafting
Within-person level results of a multi-level model including cross-lagged pathways between daily need crafting and daily need-based experiences across days
Article
Based on self-determination theory, this diary study examined associations between adolescents' daily need crafting and daily fluctuations in their need-based and affective experiences. We also examined the role of daily perceived autonomy-supportive parenting in adolescents' daily need-crafting. Adolescents (N = 159; M age = 15.56; 62% female) filled out a diary for seven consecutive days. Multilevel path analyses indicated that need crafting varied on a day-today basis, with daily need crafting relating positively to daily positive affect and negatively to negative affect. The benefits of daily need craft-ing were accounted for by higher daily need satisfaction and lower need frustration. Further, on days adolescents perceived more parental autonomy support, they reported more need satisfaction and less need frustration, an effect that was partially due to higher need crafting that day. Overall, the results suggest that need crafting represents a critical pro-active skill, with resulting benefits for adolescents' daily need-based experiences and well-being.
 
Graphical illustration of the comprehensive operationalization of academic motivation via the bifactor exploratory structural equation modeling framework. SDT self-determination; Circles represent latent factors, squares represent scale items (i.e., 1–28). One-headed full arrows represent factor loadings while one-headed dashed arrows represent cross-loadings
Final 5-profile solution. Profile indicators were standardized factor scores (M = 0, SD = 1) derived from preliminary measurement models; SDT self-determined motivation; Profile 1: Weakly Motivated; Profile 2: Moderately Motivated; Profile 3: Self-Determined; Profile 4: Amotivated; Profile 5: Strongly Motivated
Article
This study was designed to investigate academic motivation profiles (and their similarity) among distinct samples of high school students. Anchored in recent developments in Self-Determination Theory, these profiles were estimated while considering both the global and specific nature of academic motivation. The role of fixed mindsets and parenting practices in predicting profile membership, as well as the implications of these profiles for several outcomes, were also investigated. Latent profile analysis revealed five profiles (Weakly Motivated, Moderately Motivated, Self-Determined, Amotivated, and Strongly Motivated) differing in global and specific motivation levels. Fixed mindset was weakly related to profile membership, perceived parenting practices showed more widespread associations. Most desirable outcomes were linked to the Self-Determined and Strongly Motivated profiles, and then to the Moderately Motivated, Weakly Motivated, and Amotivated profiles
 
Top-cited authors
Richard M Ryan
  • Australian Catholic University North Sydney
Michael Posner
  • University of Oregon
Mary K Rothbart
  • University of Oregon
Gavin R. Slemp
  • University of Melbourne
Nora H. Hope
  • Simon Fraser University