This study tested hypotheses generated from an integrative model of political tolerance that derived hypotheses from a number of different social psychological theories (e.g., appraisal tendency theory, intergroup emotion theory, and value protection models) to explain political tolerance following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A national field study (N = 550) found that immediate post attack anger and fear had different implications for political tolerance 4 months later. The effects of anger on political tolerance were mediated through moral outrage and outgroup derogation, whereas the effects of fear on political tolerance were mediated through personal threat, ingroup enhancement, and value affirmation. Value affirmation led to increased political tolerance, whereas moral outrage, outgroup derogation, ingroup enhancement, and personal threat led to decreased political tolerance. Value affirmation, moral outrage, and outgroup derogation also facilitated post-9/11 psychological closure and increased psychological closure led to greater political tolerance.
In this research, we examine the relationship between power and three characteristics of construal-abstraction, valence, and certainty-in individuals' verbatim reactions to the events of September 11, 2001, and during the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks. We conceptualize power as a form of social distance and find that position power (but not expert power) was positively associated with the use of language that was more abstract (vs. concrete), positive (vs. negative), and certain (vs. uncertain). These effects persist after controlling for temporal distance, geographic distance, and impression management motivation. Our results support central and corollary predictions of Construal Level Theory (Liberman, Trope, & Stephan, 2007; Trope & Liberman, 2003) in a high-consequence, real-world context, and our method provides a template for future research in this area outside of the laboratory.
Research suggests that different motivational dynamics underlie right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO). These differences may be framed in the theory of basic human values. RWA may trace back to conservation versus openness-to-change values, and SDO to self-enhancement versus self-transcendence values. Based on a large-scale German survey, associations of RWA and SDO with personal values and attitudes in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, were analyzed. Results indicated that RWA related more strongly than SDO to conservation values and threat-related attitudes toward Islam as an expression of the motivational goals of social control and security, whereas RWA and SDO related equally to self-enhancement versus self-transcendence values and concern for negative consequences of military action as an expression of the motivational goal of altruistic concern. Thus, the motivational bases of RWA and SDO appear to be only partly different.
According to terror management theory, heightened concerns about mortality should intensify the appeal of charismatic leaders. To assess this idea, we investigated how thoughts about death and the 9/11 terrorist attacks influence Americans' attitudes toward current U.S. President George W. Bush. Study 1 found that reminding people of their own mortality (mortality salience) increased support for Bush and his counterterrorism policies. Study 2 demonstrated that subliminal exposure to 9/11-related stimuli brought death-related thoughts closer to consciousness. Study 3 showed that reminders of both mortality and 9/11 increased support for Bush. In Study 4, mortality salience led participants to become more favorable toward Bush and voting for him in the upcoming election but less favorable toward Presidential candidate John Kerry and voting for him. Discussion focused on the role of terror management processes in allegiance to charismatic leaders and political decision making.
Two experiments were run in The Netherlands and Belgium 1 week after the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001. The aim was to investigate whether social categorization affected emotional reactions, behavioral tendencies, and actual behaviors. Results showed that focusing participants' attention on an identity that included American victims into a common ingroup led them to report more fear and stronger fear-related behavioral tendencies and to engage more often in fear-related behaviors than when victims were categorized as outgroup members. Results are discussed with respect to appraisal theories of emotion and E. R. Smith's model of group-based emotions.
This study examined the relationship between individual differences in adult attachment and psychological adaptation in a sample of high-exposure survivors of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression were assessed via self-report 7 and 18 months after the attacks. In addition, friends and relatives were asked to provide evaluations of participants' adjustment before and after the attacks. Findings indicate that securely attached individuals exhibited fewer symptoms of PTSD and depression than insecurely attached individuals and were viewed by friends and relatives as showing an increase in adjustment following the attacks. Highly dismissing adults were viewed by their friends and family as showing neither increments nor decrements in adjustment, despite the fact that highly dismissing people self-reported relatively high levels of PTSD and depression.
Four studies tested the hypothesis that limited time perceptions are associated with lower levels of hope, and that this effect is buffered by high levels of authenticity. Study 1 (n = 256) utilized a cross-sectional design in which participants completed dispositional measures of time perspective, hope, and authenticity. Three subsequent studies tested our hypothesis experimentally. In a pilot study (n = 124), participants reported their perceived authenticity, future time perspective (FTP) was manipulated (limited vs. open-ended), and state hope was assessed. Study 2 (n = 156) introduced a new manipulation of FTP, and Study 3 (n = 242) replicated Study 2 with the addition of a neutral control condition. Across all studies, individuals who perceived time as limited reported lower levels of hope relative to those who perceived time as open-ended (or those in a neutral control condition), but, importantly, this effect was attenuated for highly authentic individuals.
This study examined the long-term consequences of idealization in marriage, using both daily diary and questionnaire data collected from a sample of 168 newlywed couples who participated in a 4-wave, 13-year longitudinal study of marriage. Idealization was operationalized as the tendency for people to perceive their partner as more agreeable than would be expected based on their reports of their partner's agreeable and disagreeable behaviors. Spouses who idealized one another were more in love with each other as newlyweds. Longitudinal analyses suggested that spouses were less likely to suffer declines in love when they idealized one another as newlyweds. Newlywed levels of idealization did not predict divorce.
We examined whether culture-level indices of threat, instability, and materialistic modeling were linked to the materialistic values of American 12th graders between 1976 and 2007 (N = 355,296). Youth materialism (such as the importance of money and of owning expensive material items) increased over the generations, peaking in the late 1980s to early 1990s with Generation X and then staying at historically high levels for Millennials (GenMe). Societal instability and disconnection (e.g., unemployment, divorce) and social modeling (e.g., advertising spending) had both contemporaneous and lagged associations with higher levels of materialism, with advertising most influential during adolescence and instability during childhood. Societal-level living standards during childhood predicted materialism 10 years later. When materialistic values increased, work centrality steadily declined, suggesting a growing discrepancy between the desire for material rewards and the willingness to do the work usually required to earn them.
S. J. Blatt and D. C. Zuroff's 1992 theory of personality predispositions to depression posits that individuals who possess high levels of self-criticism and/or dependency are vulnerable to developing depression following negative events. The current study used experience sampling methodology to test this theory in a sample of 49 children ages 7 to 14. Children completed measures of dependency, self-criticism, and depressive symptoms. Subsequently, children were given a handheld computer that signaled them to complete measures of depressive symptoms and negative events at randomly selected times over 2 months. Results of hierarchical linear modeling analyses indicated that higher levels of both self-criticism and dependency were associated with greater elevations in depressive symptoms following negative events. Furthermore, each personality predisposition remained a significant predictor of such elevations after controlling for the interaction between the other personality predisposition and negative events. The results suggest that dependency and self-criticism represent distinct vulnerability factors to depression in youth.
This reply addresses three issues raised by C. Haney and G. Zimbardo (2009) in their critique of T. Carnahan and S. McFarland (2007). First, it clarifies Carnahan and McFarland's appreciation of the Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) but suggests that as a model for the power of situations, the SPE does not adequately consider self-selection and selection by others, both based in part in personal dispositions. Second, it comments briefly on Haney and Zimbardo's critique of Carnahan and McFarland's study and of its applicability to the SPE. Finally, it illustrates the importance of selection and self-selection for situations of torture and suggests their importance for many situations.
A recent study of the affect misattribution procedure (AMP) found that participants who retrospectively reported that they intentionally rated the primes showed larger effect sizes and higher reliability. The study concluded that the AMP's validity depends on intentionally rating the primes. We evaluated this conclusion in three experiments. First, larger effect sizes and higher reliability were associated with (incoherent) retrospective reports of both (a) intentionally rating the primes and (b) being unintentionally influenced by the primes. A second experiment manipulated intentions to rate the primes versus targets and found that this manipulation produced systematically different effects. Experiment 3 found that giving participants an option to "pass" when they felt they were influenced by primes did not reduce priming. Experimental manipulations, rather than retrospective self-reports, suggested that participants make post hoc confabulations to explain their responses. There was no evidence that validity in the AMP depends on intentionally rating primes.
Utilizing latent growth modeling, the long-term development of worries among peace movement supporters is examined. Data originate from a seven-wave German longitudinal study started in 1985 with on average 14-year-olds. Waves were interspersed 3 and a half years each. Activists are assumed to have lower (self-related) microworries (Hypothesis 1) and higher macroworries (concerned with larger entities; Hypothesis 2) than nonactivists at the onset of the study. Nonactivists who appraised the threat of nuclear war as high in 1985 are assumed to report worse mental health than their activist age-mates 21 years later (Hypothesis 3). Activists are assumed to express relatively more macroworries than nonactivists in midadulthood (Hypothesis 4). All four hypotheses were confirmed. Results are interpreted in a stress-coping (Lazarus) and resource (Elder) framework, suggesting that refraining from acting out against a perceived sociopolitical threat is a long-term risk for a positive mental health trajectory.
This study reports results from the first International Body Project (IBP-I), which surveyed 7,434 individuals in 10 major world regions about body weight ideals and body dissatisfaction. Participants completed the female Contour Drawing Figure Rating Scale (CDFRS) and self-reported their exposure to Western and local media. Results indicated there were significant cross-regional differences in the ideal female figure and body dissatisfaction, but effect sizes were small across highsocioeconomic-status (SES) sites. Within cultures, heavier bodies were preferred in low-SES sites compared to high-SES sites in Malaysia and South Africa (ds = 1.94-2.49) but not in Austria. Participant age, body mass index (BMI), and Western media
exposure predicted body weight ideals. BMI and Western media exposure predicted body dissatisfaction among women. Our results show that body dissatisfaction and desire for thinness is commonplace in high-SES settings across world regions, highlighting the need for international attention to this problem.
The authors test predictions from climato-economic theories of culture that climate and wealth interact in their influence on psychological processes. Demanding climates (defined as colder than temperate and hotter than temperate climates) create potential threats for humans. If these demands can be met by available economic resources, individuals experience challenging opportunities for self-expression and personal growth and consequently will report lowest levels of ill-being. If threatening climatic demands cannot be met by resources, resulting levels of reported ill-being will be highest. These predictions are confirmed in nation-level means of health complaints, burnout, anxiety, and depression across 58 societies. Climate, wealth, and their interaction together account for 35% of the variation in overall subjective ill-being, even when controlling for known predictors of subjective well-being. Further investigations of the process suggest that cultural individualism does not mediate these effects, but subjective well-being may function as a mediator of the impact of ecological variables on ill-being.
Nonsexual deficiencies in self-control may contribute to inappropriate or objectionable sexual behaviors, as shown by survey questionnaires, autobiographical narratives, and experimental manipulations. People with low overall trait self-control and/or whose self-control strength had been depleted by recent, nonsexual acts were less likely than other people to stifle inappropriate sexual thoughts and to resist the temptation to engage in sexual activities with someone other than their primary relationship partner. They also engaged in more extensive sexual activity in the laboratory with their dating partner and they reported more undercontrolled or impulsive sexual behavior generally. Furthermore, there was some evidence that the effects of diminished self-control were strongest among those with the strongest sexual desires (men and sexually unrestricted individuals) and among couples with less sexual experience.
In recent decades, social psychologists have suggested that contemporary racism is more subtle in nature than it had been in previous times. However, such theorizing has been from the perspective of the perpetrators. The present study follows a small number of other studies that have focused on the perspective of the victims of racism. It investigated the experiences of racism reported by 34 Aboriginal Australians during semi-structured, open-ended interviews. The data suggest that racism is experienced commonly and frequently by the participants and that much of it is overt or old-fashioned rather than subtle and modern. It is argued that if the data are reflective of what happens in intergroup encounters, social scientists may have embraced the theories of modern racism too readily. This may have contributed to the maintenance of social institutions that impact negatively on the minority populations in the community.
Navigating social life requires accurately calibrated sensitivity to external feedback, thus extreme sensitivity to external feedback may be maladaptive. Using a daily diary design, the authors investigated whether the relationship between social hypersensitivity and daily events predicted level, lability, and reactivity of both self-esteem and affect. Relative to their less sensitive peers, socially hypersensitive people exhibited lower levels of self-esteem and greater negative affect and experienced greater fluctuations in self-esteem and negative affect. Although most people were negatively reactive to the presence of negative feedback, socially hypersensitive people were negatively reactive to the absence of positive feedback as well. The authors argue that reactivity to the absence of positive feedback is a fundamental, heretofore untested aspect of what makes social hypersensitivity a pernicious orientation.
According to the moral licensing literature, moral self-perceptions induce compensatory behavior: People who feel moral act less prosocially than those who feel immoral. Conversely, work on moral identity indicates that moral self-perceptions motivate behavioral consistency: People who feel moral act more prosocially than those who feel less so. In three studies, the authors reconcile these propositions by demonstrating the moderating role of conceptual abstraction. In Study 1, participants who recalled performing recent (concrete) moral or immoral behavior demonstrated compensatory behavior, whereas participants who considered temporally distant (abstract) moral behavior demonstrated behavioral consistency. Study 2 confirmed that this effect was unique to moral self-perceptions. Study 3 manipulated whether participants recalled moral or immoral actions concretely or abstractly, and replicated the moderation pattern with willingness to donate real money to charity. Together, these findings suggest that concrete moral self-perceptions activate self-regulatory behavior, and abstract moral self-perceptions activate identity concerns.
Why are errors of omission regretted more than errors of commission in the distant past, whereas the reverse is true for the near past? The authors hypothesized that abstract versus concrete representation is a significant contributor to this effect. In Study 1, the authors assessed participants' regret for errors of commission versus omission occurring in the distant versus near past while measuring the level of abstraction at which participants spontaneously described the dilemma. As predicted, participants' greater regret for errors of omission (vs. commission) in the distant term (vs. near term) was mediated by level of abstraction. In Study 2, temporal distance, level of abstraction, and error type were all independently manipulated. As expected, participants reported more regret for an error of omission in the distant past when it was represented abstractly versus concretely. The authors discuss the role of mental abstraction in the phenomenology of binary decisions and error-related regret.
Three studies examined the production of political messages and their persuasive impact on recipients as a function of speaker-audience similarity. The first two studies found support for the hypothesis that political leaders (Study 1) and party activists (Study 2) formulate more abstract messages when the audience is politically similar to them than when the audience is dissimilar or heterogeneous. The third study examined the persuasive impact of message abstractness versus concreteness. We predicted and found that abstract messages are more effective in convincing an audience whose political positions are similar to the speaker's and concrete messages are more effective in convincing an audience whose political positions differ from the speaker's or are heterogeneous. Implications of these findings for the relation between language and social cognition are discussed.
People inevitably face moments of uncertainty as they await feedback regarding self-relevant life outcomes, but they react to this uncertainty with varying amounts of anxiety. Self-construal abstractness (SCA) may be one key predictor of anxiety in the face of uncertain outcomes. SCA refers to a broad self-concept based on generalizations rather than a detailed, low-level self-concept that is based on specific behaviors or events. The current studies examined SCA and anxiety over self-relevant uncertainty. Studies 1 and 2 measured naturally occurring levels of SCA and found that reflecting on an abstract self-construal buffered people from anxiety when upcoming evaluative feedback was highly self-relevant (Study 1) and immediate (Study 2). Study 3 revealed that SCA is equally effective as a buffer against anxiety when manipulated with a subtle prime. The potential for SCA to serve as the target for anxiety-reduction interventions in uncertain situations is discussed.
Self-construal abstractness (SCA) refers to the degree to which people construe important bases of self-esteem in a broad, flexible, and abstract rather than a concrete and specific manner. This article hypothesized that SCA would be a unique predictor of self-esteem stability, capturing the degree to which people's most important bases of self-worth are resistant to disconfirmation. Two studies using a daily diary methodology examined relationships between SCA, daily self-esteem, and daily emotions and/or events. In Study 1, individual differences in SCA emerged as the most consistent and unique predictor of self-esteem stability. Furthermore, SCA contributed to self-esteem stability by buffering the influence of daily negative emotions on self-esteem. Study 2 manipulated SCA via a daily self-construal task and found an abstract versus concrete self-focus to buffer the influence of daily negative events on self-esteem. Implications of these findings for the study of the self and well-being are discussed.
The meaning maintenance model asserts that following a meaning threat, people will affirm any meaning frameworks that are available. Three experiments tested (a) whether people affirm alternative meaning frameworks after reading absurdist literature, (b) what role expectations play in determining whether absurdities are threatening, and (c) whether people have a heightened need for meaning following exposure to absurdist art. In Study 1, participants who read an absurd Kafka parable affirmed an alternative meaning framework more than did those who read a meaningful parable. In Study 2, participants who read an absurd Monty Python parody engaged in compensatory affirmation efforts only if they were led to expect a conventional story. In Study 3, participants who were exposed to absurdist art or reminders of their mortality, compared to participants exposed to representational or abstract art, reported higher scores on the Personal Need for Structure scale, suggesting that they experienced a heightened need for meaning.
In the present study, attachment-related differences in long-term memory for a highly emotional life event, child sexual abuse (CSA), were investigated. Participants were 102 documented CSA victims whose cases were referred for prosecution approximately 14 years earlier. Consistent with the proposal that avoidant individuals defensively regulate the processing of potentially distressing information (Bowlby, 1980), attachment avoidance was negatively associated with memory for particularly severe CSA incidents. This finding was not mediated by the extent to which participants reported talking about the abuse after it occurred, although post abuse discussion did enhance long-term memory. In addition, accuracy was positively associated with maternal support following the abuse and extent of CSA-related legal involvement. Attachment anxiety was unrelated to memory accuracy, regardless of abuse severity. Implications of the findings for theories of avoidant defensive strategies and emotional memory are discussed.
Extending research on transference and the relational self (Andersen & Chen, 2002), female undergraduates with or without a history of physical and emotional abuse by a loved parent participated in an experiment manipulating parental resemblance and threat-relevant interpersonal context in a new person. Transference elicited differences not evident in the control condition between abused and nonabused participants' responses, with greater rejection expectancy, mistrust, dislike, and emotional indifference reported by abused participants. Immediate implicit affect was more positive in transference than in the control condition regardless of abuse history. Yet, abused participants in transference also reported increased dysphoria that was markedly attenuated when interpersonal threat was primed, and no such pattern occurred among nonabused participants. Evidence that interpersonally guarded and affectively complex responses are triggered in transference among previously abused individuals suggests that this social-cognitive process may underlie long-term interpersonal difficulties associated with parental abuse.
Are women who have been the victim of psychological abuse in the past more likely to prefer an abusive dating partner in the future? Are men who have been the perpetrator of abuse more likely to prefer a dating partner with high attachment anxiety, a characteristic associated with victims of abuse? The present research used a highly repeated, within-subject, multilevel approach to identify the characteristics of potential dating partners that constitute salient psychological ingredients of situations influencing partner preference. Study 1 found that college-age women who reported more instances of receiving psychological abuse, compared to women who did not, showed a stronger preference for male dating partners who possessed characteristics associated with an abusive personality (e.g., possessiveness). Study 2 found that college-age men who reported more instances of inflicting psychological abuse, compared to men who did not, showed a stronger preference for female dating partners characterized by high attachment anxiety.
The Stanford Prison Experiment demonstrated some important lessons about the power of social situations, settings, and structures to shape and transform behavior. At the time the study was done, the authors scrupulously addressed the issue of whether and how the dispositions or personality traits of the participants might have affected the results. Here the authors renew and reaffirm their original interpretation of the results and apply this perspective to some recent socially and politically significant events.
Two studies examine the effects of failure on explicit and implicit self-esteem, affect, and self-presentation goals as a function of people's trait self-esteem and academic contingency of self-worth. Study 1 shows that participants with low self-esteem (LSE) who receive failure feedback experience lower state self-esteem, less positive affect, and less desire to be perceived as competent the more they base self-worth on academics. In contrast, participants with high self-esteem (HSE) who strongly base self-worth on academics show a slight boost in state self-esteem and desire to be perceived as competent following failure. Study 2 shows that following failure, academically contingent LSE participants downplay the importance of appearing competent to others and associate themselves with failure on an implicit level. Taken together, these findings suggest that academically contingent HSE people show resilience following failure, whereas academically contingent LSE people experience negative outcomes and disengage from the pursuit of competence self-presentation goals.
Two experiments tested whether stereotype threat can undermine the acquisition of academic knowledge and thus harm performance even in nonthreatening settings. In Experiment 1, Black and White students studied rare words in either nonthreatening or threatening conditions. One to two weeks later, participants recalled word definitions, half in a nonthreatening "warm-up" and half in a threatening "test." Replicating past research, Black students performed worse on the test than on the warm-up. But importantly, Black students who had studied in the threatening rather than nonthreatening environment performed worse even on the warm-up. White students were unaffected. In Experiment 2, a value affirmation eliminated the learning-threat effect and provided evidence of psychological process. The results suggest that stereotype threat causes a form of "double jeopardy" whereby threat can undermine both learning and performance. The discussion addresses implications for the interpretation of group differences and for understanding how brief threat-reducing interventions can produce long-lasting benefits.
The purpose of this article was to propose and test an integrative model on the role of perfectionism, academic motivation, and psychological adjustment difficulties in undergraduate students. The model posits that self-oriented perfectionism facilitates self-determined academic motivation, whereas socially prescribed perfectionism enhances non-self-determined academic motivation. In turn, self-determined and non-self-determined academic motivations, respectively, lead to lower and higher levels of psychological adjustment difficulties. Results from two studies using structural equation modeling analyses provided support for the model.
This article assesses whether perceived parental style influenced the extent to which adolescents became increasingly conscientious and whether changes in conscientiousness influenced academic grades 1 year later. Parental styles, conscientiousness, verbal, and numerical ability at Time 1 were measured. One year later conscientiousness was again assessed, and 1 year after that end-of-year exam results were obtained. More than 784 students (mean age=12.3 years, SD=0.49) participated in the 1st year. The data of 563 students were matched across the 3 years. Conscientiousness tended to decrease from Time 1 to Time 2. Structural equation modeling showed that adolescents with more authoritative parents experienced less of a decrease in conscientiousness at Time 2 than did students with less authoritative parents and the same baseline level of conscientiousness at Time 1. Additionally, the decrease in conscientiousness at Time 2 predicted worse grades at Time 3, even after controlling for baseline levels of academic achievement.
In their influential review, Baumeister, Campbell, Krueger, and Vohs (2003) concluded that self-esteem--the global component of self-concept--has no effect on subsequent academic performance. In contrast, Marsh and Craven's (2006) review of reciprocal effects models from an explicitly multidimensional perspective demonstrated that academic self-concept and achievement are both a cause and an effect of each other. Ironically, both reviews cited classic Youth in Transition studies in support of their respective claims. In definitive tests of these counter claims, the authors reanalyze these data-including self-esteem (emphasized by Baumeister et al.), academic self-concept (emphasized by Marsh & Craven), and postsecondary educational attainment-using stronger statistical methods based on five waves of data (grade 10 through 5 years after graduation; N=2,213). Integrating apparently discrepant findings under a common theoretical framework based on a multidimensional perspective, academic self-concept had consistent reciprocal effects with both achievement and educational attainment, whereas self-esteem had almost none.
The unique effects of level of self-esteem and contingencies of self-worth assessed prior to college on academic, social, and financial problems experienced during the freshman year were examined in a longitudinal study of 642 college students. Low self-esteem predicted social problems, even controlling for demographic and personality variables (neuroticism, agreeableness, and social desirability), but did not predict academic or financial problems with other variables controlled. Academic competence contingency predicted academic and financial problems and appearance contingency predicted financial problems, even after controlling for relevant personality variables. We conclude that contingencies of self-worth uniquely contribute to academic and financial difficulties experienced by college freshmen beyond level of self-esteem and other personality variables. Low self-esteem, on the other hand, appears to uniquely contribute to later social difficulties.
Expanding the literature on person-environment fit, the authors argue that political orientation is an important factor in shaping academic success in college. Based on social dominance theory, it was expected that academic disciplines that are more likely to provide students with future access to social and economic power tend to favor individuals who hold attitudes that strengthen the existing societal order. In a longitudinal sample of undergraduate students at a major American university (n=3,890), the authors demonstrated that student grades in these disciplines, but not in other disciplines, are positively related to a precollege measure of conservatism. This association between conservatism is consistent over time and subgroups, thus implicating higher education in the reproduction of social hierarchy. The discussion examines the causal processes underlying the relationship between political orientation and academic success in college.
The continuity and change of the needs and evaluations of the college environment and person-environment fit (PE fit) with the college environment were studied in a 4-year longitudinal study of students (N = 191). Perceptions of the environment changed more dramatically than corresponding self-perceived needs. PE fit demonstrated moderate levels of consistency over the 4-year span, but no significant increases in mean levels were found over time. Antecedents to PE fit in the college environment included both intelligence and openness to experience. Outcomes associated with PE fit included changes in personality traits linked to openness to experience and higher academic achievement. The implications of the findings for personality development and the relationship of PE fit to successful outcomes are discussed.
The authors build an integrated model of the process by which academic sexual harassment undermines women's well-being; also examined is harasser power as a potential moderator of this process. Data from 1,455 college women suggest that sexual harassment experiences are associated with increased psychological distress, which then relates to lower academic satisfaction, greater physical illness, and greater disordered eating. The cumulative effect is greater disengagement from the academic environment, which in turn relates to performance decline (i.e., lower grades). Regardless of how frequently the harassment occurred, academic satisfaction was lower when the harassment came from higher-status individuals (i.e., faculty, staff, or administrators). At the same time, harassment was equally detrimental to mental health, regardless of who perpetrated it. The article concludes with implications for theory, research, and intervention.
Research suggests that not all affirmations of self-worth are created equal-affirming intrinsic aspects of the self (i.e., a person's stable, intrinsic qualities) leads to better outcomes for the individual compared to affirming extrinsic aspects (i.e., a person's deeds and accomplishments). Extending this research to the domain of romantic relationships, the current research compared the relational benefits of recalling intrinsic versus extrinsic affirmations from a romantic partner among people high versus low in baseline relationship satisfaction. Across three experiments, as predicted, people low but not high in baseline satisfaction reported higher relationship quality and more pro-relationship responses after recalling a time of intrinsic compared to extrinsic affirmation from a romantic partner. Together, these experiments suggest that affirmations from relationship partners may be important for enhancing relationships, but only if they emphasize intrinsic qualities of the self.
A stage model of processing of fear-arousing communications was tested in an experiment that examined the impact of vulnerability to a severe health risk, the quality of the arguments supporting a protective action recommendation, and the source to which the recommendation was attributed, on processing and acceptance of the recommendation. Argument quality influenced attitudes toward the recommendation (but not intention to act), and this effect was mediated by negative thoughts about the recommendation. Vulnerability influenced intention to act (but not attitudes), and this effect was mediated by perceived threat and positive thoughts about the recommendation. The pattern of findings suggests that although vulnerability to a severe health risk induces biased processing of the recommendation, biased processing is restricted to intentions and does not compromise the evaluation of the recommendation. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Three studies examine how the future prospects of new group members affect newcomer acceptance and newcomer influence. In Study 1, participants anticipate accepting temporary newcomers less easily than permanent newcomers because they expect temporary newcomers to differ from the group. In Study 2, the effects of newcomer entry in three-person groups are examined. Results show that groups perceived temporary newcomers as more involved in a judgmental decision-making process than permanent newcomers. In Study 3, a hidden profile task confirms that temporary newcomers indeed shared more unique knowledge during discussions than permanent newcomers and that this enhanced the groups' decision quality. However, compared to permanent newcomers, temporary newcomers caused teams to experience more conflict and less group identification, illustrating the tension between innovative group performance and group cohesion. The results are discussed in light of the social identity perspective and research on minority influence.
Three studies, conducted in the Netherlands, examined the relationship between a tolerant representation of national history and the acceptance of Muslim expressive rights. Following self-categorization theory, it was hypothesized that historical tolerance would be associated with greater acceptance of Muslim expressive rights, especially for natives who strongly identify with their national in-group. Furthermore, it was predicted that the positive effect of representations of historical tolerance on higher identifiers' acceptance could be explained by reduced perceptions of identity incompatibility. The results of Study 1 confirmed the first hypothesis, and the results of Study 2 and Study 3 supported the second hypothesis. These findings underline the importance of historical representations of the nation for understanding current reactions toward immigrants. Importantly, the results show that a tolerant representation of national history can elevate acceptance of immigrants, especially among natives who feel a relatively strong sense of belonging to their nation.
Lonely individuals typically fear negative evaluation and engage in overly cautious social behaviors that perpetuate their social isolation. Recent research has found analogous security-oriented (i.e., prevention-focused) responses following experiences highlighting concerns with social loss but differing growth-oriented (i.e., promotion-focused ) responses, such as attempts at social engagement, following experiences highlighting concerns with social gain. The present studies thus investigated whether fostering a promotion focus among lonely individuals through subtle primes of acceptance could reduce their self-protective social avoidance. This hypothesis was supported across four studies in which the links between primed acceptance and promotion-focused motivations were first established, and the impact of such primes on lonely individuals' social thoughts, intentions, and behaviors were then tested. Implications of observed differences between effects of acceptance primes on lonely versus nonlonely individuals are discussed in terms of deficits versus satiation with feelings of belonging.
People's expectations of acceptance often come to create the acceptance or rejection they anticipate. The authors tested the hypothesis that interpersonal warmth is the behavioral key to this acceptance prophecy: If people expect acceptance, they will behave warmly, which in turn will lead other people to accept them; if they expect rejection, they will behave coldly, which will lead to less acceptance. A correlational study and an experiment supported this model. Study 1 confirmed that participants' warm and friendly behavior was a robust mediator of the acceptance prophecy compared to four plausible alternative explanations. Study 2 demonstrated that situational cues that reduced the risk of rejection also increased socially pessimistic participants' warmth and thus improved their social outcomes.
Research showing that rape myth acceptance (RMA) causally affects rape proclivity (RP) was extended by examining the impact of RMA-related norms on RP. Male students (total N = 264) received feedback about the alleged responses of other students to RMA items either before (Experiment 1) or after (Experiment 2) they reported their own RMA, and then their RP was assessed using acquaintance-rape scenarios. The level of RMA feedback was varied. Results showed that higher norms led to higher RP. In Experiment 1, this effect was mediated via self-reported RMA. Experiment 2 yielded main effects of both RMA feedback and self-reported RMA and an interaction effect showing that RMA feedback was particularly influential at higher levels of own RMA. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Previous research has demonstrated that intragroup respect can strengthen people's commitment to the group and encourage them to exert themselves on behalf of it. In the present research, the authors argue that similar behavior can ensue from self-focused concerns when group members are disrespected. Experiment 1 (N = 174) confirms that high respect as well as low respect motivates people to increase their actual discretionary efforts on behalf of the group. These findings were replicated and extended in Experiment 2 (N = 138), where it was established that enhanced efforts only emerge when people consider the way they are evaluated by others as diagnostic for their position in the group. In addition, it is demonstrated that whereas the efforts of respected people were primarily motivated by affective commitment to the group (group-focused concerns), the behavior of disrespected people was driven by anxiety about their acceptance into the group (self-focused concerns).
Three experiments are reported that tested the hypothesis that the use of fear appeals in health persuasion may lead to positively biased systematic processing of a subsequent action recommendation aimed at reducing the health threat and, consequently, to more persuasion, regardless of the quality of the arguments in the recommendation. The levels of participants' vulnerability to as well as the severity of a health risk were varied independently, followed by a manipulation of the quality of the arguments in the subsequent action recommendation. The dependent variables included measures of persuasion (attitude, intention, and action), negative affect, and cognitive responses. The results show that participants who felt vulnerable to the health threat were more persuaded, experienced more negative emotions, and had more favorable cognitive responses. Both negative emotions concerning one's vulnerability and positive thoughts concerning the recommendation mediated the effects of vulnerability on persuasion.
A longitudinal daily diary study examined the origins and consequences of perceiving a partner's acceptance and love as contingent on professional success. Both members of 154 couples completed a diary for 21 days. Multilevel analyses revealed that low self-esteem men and women felt more accepted and loved by their partner on days when their professional lives were marked by success, and low self-esteem women felt less accepted and loved on days when their professional lives were marked by failure. No such spillover effects between people's professional and relationship lives emerged for people high in chronic selfesteem. A 1-year longitudinal follow-up revealed that people who initially felt less accepted across days reported decreased satisfaction. Men also became especially distressed when their wives felt less accepted initially and (incorrectly) perceived their husbands' regard as contingent.
Two studies show that initial expectancies influence the way people respond toward task-related differences (i.e., in work goals or work styles) between the self and a collaboration partner. When no advance information is available, participants expect their partner to be similar to themselves in task-related aspects. However, when people expect their partner to have a different work goal (Study 1) or work style (Study 2), and this actually is the case, disappointment is reduced and commitment toward future collaboration is increased. Initial expectations are important because these help people develop a clear picture of their partner. When initial expectations are violated, people conceive the other less clearly and this is part of the reason they report lower levels of commitment.