Having myself conducted both laboratory experiments with college students and descriptive surveys with representative samples, I both resist and endorse P. J. Henry's message, though of course I applaud his right to say it. At fundamental issue here are the contrasting aims of laboratory and field research. Their relative strengths each deserve our efforts at the same time that we admit their shortcomings. This commentary assumes that most laboratory studies use student samples and that most field research uses nonstudent samples. In turn, I address their respective aims, implied constraints, relative effect sizes, and my sympathy with P. J. Henry's aims.
Kievit et al.'s target paper exemplifies a trend in recent years in psychology and neuroscience to focus on internal mental and neural processes without integrating actual behavior. We discuss the theoretical status of behavior in the context of their model, and present an extension of the model that explicitly includes behavior. Several theoretical and methodological issues relevant to integrating behavior into the model are considered, particularly the distinction between behavior as measured in the laboratory along with neural and psychological processes (proximal behavior) and behavior as measured in situ as part of ongoing daily experience (distal behavior). We conclude by describing several studies that integrate neural, psychological, and behavioral indicators and discuss how these kinds of studies can facilitate a better understanding of behavior and contribute to theory development.
Nilanjana Dasgupta's (this issue) stereotype inoculation model (SIM) helps explain why what feels like a free choice to pursue one life path over another "is often constrained by subtle cues in achievement environments that signal who naturally belongs there and is most likely to succeed and who else is a dubious fit" (p. 231). She posits that seeing others like themselves in successful roles inoculates women against negative stereotypes that impede their success and persistence in specific achievement contexts.As is true of classic theoretical positions (see Nagel, 1961), Dasgupta presents postulates from which she deduces a specific set of hypotheses, and she reviews the relevant empirical/observational data in support of them. It is precisely what this area of research has long needed-moving beyond demonstrations of identity threats to a theory about their underlying causes, conditions, and interventions. This proposal leads her to four broad predictions, the first of which is the primary focus of our comment.
A psychologist’s task is to discover facts about the mind by measuring responses at the level of a person (e.g., reaction times, perceptions, eye or muscle movements, or bodily changes). A neuroscientist’s task is to make similar discoveries by measuring responses from neurons in a brain (e.g., electrical, magnetic, blood flow or chemical measures related neurons firing). Both psychologists and neuroscientists use ideas (in the form of concepts, categories, and constructs) to transform their measurements into something meaningful. The relation between any set of numbers (reflecting a property of the person, or the activation in a set of neurons, a circuit, or a network) and a psychological construct is a psychometric issue that is formalized as a “measurement model.” The relation is also a philosophical act. Scientists (both neuroscientists and psychologists) who make such inferences, but don’t explicitly declare their measurement models, are still doing philosophy, but they are doing it in stealth, enacting certain assumptions that are left unsaid.
In “Mind the Gap,” Kievit and colleagues (this issue) take the admirable step of trying to unmask the measurement models that lurk within two well-defined traditions for linking the actions of neurons to the actions of people. They translate identity theory and supervenience theory into popular measurement models that exist in psychometric theory using the logic and language of structural equation modeling. By showing that both philosophical approaches can be represented as models that relate measurements to psychological constructs, Kievit et al. lay bare the fact that all measurement questions are also philosophical questions about how variation in numbers hint at or point to reality. They make the powerful point that translating philosophical assumptions into psychometric terms allows both identity theory and supervenience theory to be treated like hypotheses that can be empirically evaluated and compared in more or less a concrete way. The empirical example offered by Kievit et al. (linking intelligence to brain volume) is somewhat simplistic on both the neuroscience and psychological ends of the equation, and the nitty-gritty details of applying an explicit measurement approach to more complex data remains open, but this article represents a big step forward in negotiating the chasm between measures taken at the level of the brain and those taken at the level of the person.
The overall approach is applauded, but a closer look at the details of how Kievit et al. operationalized identity and supervenience theory is in order. In science, as in philosophy, the devil is in the details. In the pages that follow, I highlight a few lurking demons that haunt the Kievit et al. approach. I don’t point out every idea that I take issue with in the article, just as I don’t congratulate every point of agreement. Instead, I focus in on a few key issues in formalizing identity and supervenience theory, with an eye to asking whether they are really all that different in measurement terms, as well as whether standard psychometric models can be used to operationalize each of them equally well. Like Kievit et al., I conclude that a supervenience theory might win the day, but I try to get more specific about a version of supervenience that would successfully bridges the gap between the brain and the mind.
In 1906, Ramon y Cajal described the brain as “a world consisting of a number of unexplored continents and great stretches of unknown territory” (Santiago, 1920). Nearly a century later, human neuroscience researchers have sought to map the structural and functional features of the brain, much as Magellen in 1520 circumnavigated the globe discovering for the first time great stretches of ocean and land that compose our physical world. Yet many opportunities and challenges in cultural neuroscience make much of this contemporary scientific journey ongoing and perpetual. For instance, scientific models depend on identifying and discovering evidence for causal mechanisms—such as how genetic and experiential factors constrain and evoke neural development within and across generations; yet the technology or access to technology for testing causal mechanisms in gene, brain, or behavior remains limited. Novel biological theories such as culture-gene coevolutionary theory provide a fresh lens for contemporary psychologists and neuroscientists to view the human mind and brain as a by-product not only of gene–environment interactions but also of human culture.
What is human culture? The notion of human diversity has compelled intellectual inquiry for centuries and at the nexus of anthropology and psychology, scholars agree that at minimum, culture refers the sets of values, practices, and beliefs that define groups and people within and across geography. Culture is both created and transmitted by human behavior; as such culture–gene coevolutionary theory argues that cultural traits, like genetic traits, can be selected on by evolutionary forces. Furthermore, when culture is created, this niche construction can alter environmental factors or pressures that interact with genetic mechanisms in the production of psychological and biological processes that give rise to human behavior. In broadest stroke, the study of culture has progressed in leaps and bounds in ways that enable us to better understand how to conceptualize and study the how and why of human nature.
In our target article, we presented from a historical perspective conceptual developments that led to the emergence of cultural neuroscience as a field, and articulated a framework for examining cultural and biological interactions of human behavior. We then presented empirical advances in how culture affects neural mechanisms of cognitive, affective, and social processes as well as the role that culture–gene interactions across evolutionary, developmental, and situational timescales play in shaping mental and neural architecture. As the field of cultural neuroscience is still in its infancy, there are key constraints on our existing knowledge and empirical approaches to how cultural influences on the human brain are studied, and the commentaries to our target article are testament that scientific ingenuity and conscientiousness will simultaneously guide us toward better understanding the legacy of cultural and genetic inheritance on mind, brain, and behavior.
The nature and origin of human diversity has been a source of intellectual curiosity since the beginning of human history. Contemporary advances in cultural and biological sciences provide unique opportunities for the emerging field of cultural neuroscience. Research in cultural neuroscience examines how cultural and genetic diversity shape the human mind, brain and behavior across multiple time scales: situation, ontogeny and phylogeny. Recent progress in cultural neuroscience provides novel theoretical frameworks for understanding the complex interaction of environmental, cultural and genetic factors in the production of adaptive human behavior. Here, we provide a brief history of cultural neuroscience, theoretical and methodological advances, as well as empirical evidence of the promise of and progress in the field. Implications of this research for population health disparities and public policy are discussed.
Recently, there has been a resurgence of research on emotion, including the socialization of emotion. In this article, a heuristic model of factors contributing to the socialization of emotion is presented. Then literature relevant to the socialization of children's emotion and emotion-related behavior by parents is reviewed, including (a) parental reactions to children's emotions, (b) socializers' discussion of emotion, and (c) socializers' expression of emotion. The relevant literature is not conclusive and most of the research is correlational. However, the existing body of data provides initial support for the view that parental socialization practices have effects on children's emotional and social competence and that the socialization process is bidirectional. In particular, parental negative emotionality and negative reactions to children's expression of emotion are associated with children's negative emotionality and low social competence. In addition, possible moderators of effects such as level of emotional arousal are discussed.
Mind perception entails ascribing mental capacities to other entities, whereas moral judgment entails labeling entities as good or bad or actions as right or wrong. We suggest that mind perception is the essence of moral judgment. In particular, we suggest that moral judgment is rooted in a cognitive template of two perceived minds-a moral dyad of an intentional agent and a suffering moral patient. Diverse lines of research support dyadic morality. First, perceptions of mind are linked to moral judgments: dimensions of mind perception (agency and experience) map onto moral types (agents and patients), and deficits of mind perception correspond to difficulties with moral judgment. Second, not only are moral judgments sensitive to perceived agency and experience, but all moral transgressions are fundamentally understood as agency plus experienced suffering-that is, interpersonal harm-even ostensibly harmless acts such as purity violations. Third, dyadic morality uniquely accounts for the phenomena of dyadic completion (seeing agents in response to patients, and vice versa), and moral typecasting (characterizing others as either moral agents or moral patients). Discussion also explores how mind perception can unify morality across explanatory levels, how a dyadic template of morality may be developmentally acquired, and future directions.
Existing norms for scientific communication are rooted in anachronistic
practices of bygone eras, making them needlessly inefficient. We outline a path
that moves away from the existing model of scientific communication to improve
the efficiency in meeting the purpose of public science - knowledge
accumulation. We call for six changes: (1) full embrace of digital
communication, (2) open access to all published research, (3) disentangling
publication from evaluation, (4) breaking the "one article, one journal" model
with a grading system for evaluation and diversified dissemination outlets, (5)
publishing peer review, and, (6) allowing open, continuous peer review. We
address conceptual and practical barriers to change, and provide examples
showing how the suggested practices are being used already. The critical
barriers to change are not technical or financial; they are social. While
scientists guard the status quo, they also have the power to change it.
Historically, at least three methodological problems have dogged experimental social psychology: the experimental control/mundane realism tradeoff, lack of replication, and unrepresentative sampling. We argue that immersive virtual environment technology (IVET) can help ameliorate if not solve these methodological problems and, thus, holds promise as a new social psychological research tool. In this article, we first present an overview of IVET and review IVET-based research within psychology and other fields. Next, we propose a general model of social influence within immersive virtual environments and present some preliminary findings regarding its utility for social psychology. Finally, we present a new paradigm for experimental social psychology that may enable researchers to unravel the very fabric of social interaction. Tool for Social Psychology Gordon Allport's (1985) well accepted definition of social psychology as "an attempt to understand and explain how the thought, feeling, and behavior of individuals are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others" (p. 3) points to the breadth of the discipline. Most social psychologists have become specialists within one or more of the major domains identified by Allport (thoughts or cognitions, feelings or affect, and behavior or actions). Some carefully isolate effects relevant to social interaction in one domain, while others examine crossinfluences among the domains themselves (e.g., emotions and cognitions, cognitions and behavior). We find it interesting, however, that social psychologists have blurred Allport's presence distinctions (i.e., actual, imagined, or implied), at least in terms of the methods and stimuli they use. Many if not most social psychologists apparently assume that empiric...
This article reviews a Reactive Approach Motivation (RAM) view of compensatory conviction and world view defense that is consistent with the UMM and grounded in the neuropsychology of anxiety. We also report new findings from our lab, cited in the target article, which further illuminate precise triggers of UMM and RAM outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Comments on articles by K. I. Pargament (see record
2003-04271-002), J. J. Exline (see record
2003-04271-003), L. K. George et al (see record
2003-04271-004) concerning religious involvement, well-being, religion and health. D. C. Funder suggests that the psychological processes by which religion affects subjective well-being and psychological and physical health are interesting and important, and research on them is easily justified; however, they have very little to do with religion per se, and there is nothing that necessarily leads from an interest in these processes to a focus on religion. What does have everything to do with religion per se is that the ultimate questions of value and meaning are inaccessible to psychological inquiry. People with a deep interest in these questions may be motivated to explore the psychology of religion but need to seek their answers elsewhere. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Gollwitzer and Kinney (1989) proposed the following hypothesis: People who ponder a goal decision (i.e., to either pursue Goal A or B, or to pursue either Goal A or stay passive) develop a deliberative mind-set that allows them to accurately assess whether a desired outcome can be controlled by their actions or not, whereas people who are planning the pursuit of a chosen goal develop a mind-set that fosters illusionary optimism with respect to controlling this outcome. Deviating from the usual course of presentation, I start with describing how we tested this hypothesis and with what results. As we are dealing with a set of studies classified as an overlooked gem, it seems appropriate to first describe the research and its findings. Then I turn to my recollection of how we arrived at this hypothesis. Finally, I address the implications of the Gollwitzer and Kinney findings and how they keep stimulating present research on self-regulation.
A response to three critical essays concerning The Antisocial Personalities (1995) and a further analysis of the causes of the epidemic of crime and violence that began in the United States in the 1960s and will continue into the next millenium.
William James conceptualized I, the self as subject as a stream of consciousness. When this conception is augmented with George Herbert Mead's view of self as a radically socialized and enculturated process, a result is the James-Mead model of dynamic self as a stream of enculturated consciousness. In this paper, we argue that connectionism is best suited to theorize this challenging notion. Based on the view that a connectionist model should describe psychological processes that carry out psychological functions grounded in a biological living system, we propose the I-SELF (Imitative and Sequence Learning Functional) model, which is designed to capture the temporal dynamics of a stream of consciousness whose content can be acquired via symbolically mediated social interaction with others in society. We identify four implications of the James-Mead model of dynamic self (embodiment, narrative and self, individual and collective self, and culture and self), and report computer simulations to show the utility of I-SELF in conceptualizing the dynamic self-processes in the contemporary social psychological literature. Theoretical and metatheoretical implications of the connectionist approach to self are discussed.
Social support and social integration have been major topics of research for social scientists for many decades (e.g., Durkheim, 1897/1997). Social support is generally portrayed as a “good thing,” with numerous researchers providing evidence of both the buffering and direct impacts of support on mental and physiological well-being (e.g., Kraus, Liang, & Gu, 1998; Litwin, 2001) and the ability of support to be a buffer against physical and psychological pain (e.g., Lpez-Martnez, Esteve-Zarazaga & Ramrez-Maestre, 2008). In their target article, Zhou and Gao (this issue) also suggest that social support is an important buffer against pain but argue for a further buffer against both physical and social pain—money—that may be important if social support fails. They cite a number of ingenious experiments for the link between social support, money, and pain, claiming that money and support “complement each other in managing pain” (p. 127), continuing in a tradition of research examining the compensatory dynamics of money and interpersonal support (e.g., Foa & Foa, 1974). In doing so, they raise a number of important questions about pain management, social exclusion, social support, and material resources. In my commentary I focus in particular on their concerns with social support and materialism, aiming to address three aspects of their model: the relationship between social support and money; the connections between money, materialism, and well-being; and the role of culture in moderating the relationship between social support and money. To do this I draw on some of my own work in changing cultures and conduct brief analyses of data from the latest large-scale European Social Survey (ESS). I conclude by suggesting some ideas for further research that might help further elaborate the intriguing model proposed by Zhou and Gao.
This article is about how people make sense of life and focuses on one core threat that may play a pivotal role in people’s lives as existential meaning makers: personal uncertainty. Personal uncertainty is defined as the aversive feeling that you experience when you feel uncertain about yourself. Drawing on an uncertainty management perspective, it is hypothesized that cultural worldviews may provide a means to cope with personal uncertainty and that this may explain why under conditions of personal uncertainty people may respond especially positively to events that bolster their cultural norms and values and particularly negatively to persons and events that violate these norms and values. Findings are reviewed that support the uncertainty management model’s predictions. Furthermore, the uncertainty management model may explain why terror management theory is not always about terror, but (at least partly) about personal uncertainty. Finally, conceptual implications, conflicting findings, and loose ends are noted, and testable hypotheses are formulated, which may further insight into the psychological processes pertaining to sense-making, worldview defense, and self-regulation.
In this paper, I focus on two issues raised against the uncertainty management model that I proposed. The first issue has to do with the need for deeper insight into psychological processes instigated by uncertainty concerns, including the possibility of positive responses to uncertainty. The second issue revolves around the question to what extent uncertainty management is the core motive (vs. a core motive) of worldview defense and sense-making. By discussing these two issues, I hope to (a) make my view on uncertainty management processes clearer, (b) note explicitly that I was advocating a core motive of worldview defense (not the core motive), and (c) propose a research agenda for future research. I end the article with a plea for research studies that focus on moderators of worldview defense motives. These moderator studies may help to integrate the large variety of core motives proposed in the literature to underlie worldview defense strategies.
Offers a response to the article 'The DSM-III-R Categorical Personality Disorder Diagnoses: A Critique and an Alternative,' by Thomas A. Widiger, which appeared in the April 1993 issue of the journal 'Psychological Inquiry.' Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders' (DSM-III-R) categorical diagnosis of personality disorders; Limitations of an alternative approach based on the five-factor personality model.
This article proposes that addressing the complex ethnic and racial issues of the 21st century will require a diversity science. A diversity science will consider how people create, interpret, and maintain group differences among individuals, as well as the psychological and societal consequences of these distinctions. A diversity science will recognize that these signiﬁcant social distinctions (in the case of this article, race and ethnicity) are not simply natural, neutral, or abstract. Instead they are created and re-created in the process of everyday social interactions that are grounded in historically derived ideas and beliefs about difference and in a set of practices and institutions that reﬂect these ideas and beliefs and that therefore shape psychological experience and behavior. According to this “sociocultural” framework, psychological experience and behavior, in turn, reinforce particular cultural and structural realities. As an initial step toward a diversity science, this article reviews the roots and consequences of two examples of how to think about difference, color blindness and multiculturalism. Through this sociocultural lens, intergroup behaviors can be understood as more than just products of individual prejudice. This article also proposes that a comprehensive diversity science requires a critical examination of majority group perspectives, minority group perspectives, and their dynamic interaction beyond the typical Black-White binary. Such a diversity science has the potential to help meaningfully inform race-related policy.
This article outlines advances in intuition research and draws attention to several misconceptions, based on conflicting assumptions about the intuition construct and the intuiting process. In particular, it focuses on the distinction between process and outcome, the role of consciousness and affect, the research focus on decision making or problem solving, and the differential use of intuition in technical and creative settings. It calls for a comprehensive intuition model that would refute some of the misconceptions and proposes three types of intuition: intuitive expertise, intuitive creation, and intuitive foresight. Yes Yes
The propensity to focus attention inwards is fundamental to human mental life and internally-directed cognition (IDC) [e.g., mindwandering, (mal)adaptive self-reflection]. Yet, understanding of the mechanisms through which internal attention shapes IDC is limited. We argue that understanding the systemic complexity and dynamics of how internal attention interacts with other cognitive processes can significantly facilitate our capacity to predict and model (mal)adaptive IDC. We, therefore, introduce the Attention-to-Thoughts model—a dynamic systems theory and computational model of internal attention in IDC. Through the model we aim to, first, conceptually and computationally define momentary states of this dynamic system; second, simulate and predict differential temporal trajectories of this dynamic system through which IDC emerges. Through experimental simulations, we explore how Attention-to-Thoughts may be used to better understand how internal attention selection is expressed from moment-to-moment; how internal attention unfolds by documenting how, as a function of contextual demands for focused attention, internal attentional selection iteratively transacts with working-memory and emotion; and, in turn, how maladaptive IDC (e.g., repetitive negative thinking, cognitive dyscontrol) emerges from temporal trajectories of the dynamic system of internal attention. Finally, we highlight key conceptual, computational, and methodological directions for the study of internal attention, IDC, and related phenomena (e.g., mindfulness).
The most replicated result in the field of intelligence is the positive manifold, which refers to an all-positive pattern of correlations among diverse cognitive tests. The positive manifold is typically described by a general factor, or g. In turn, g is often identified as general intelligence, yet this explanation is contradicted by a number of results. Here we offer a new account of g: process overlap theory. According to the theory, cognitive tests tap domain-general executive processes, identified primarily in research on working memory, as well as more domain-specific processes. Executive processes are tapped in an overlapping manner across cognitive tests such that they are required more often than domain-specific ones. The theory provides an account of a number of findings on human intelligence. As well, it is formalized as a multidimensional item response model and as a structural model, and the neural mechanisms underlying the proposed overlapping processes are discussed.
People in diverse societies often discuss and debate strategies for achieving egalitarian goals, such as achieving equality in their societies. A tacit assumption in these discussions is that all parties must agree on what equality means in order to pursue and achieve it. In this paper, I use the United States as a context to examine whether that assumption is reasonable, given the effects of macro-level structure and culture on individual psychologies. Specifically, I discuss how patterns of social stratification seep into the mind and affect how different groups of people perceive and make meaning of the world around them, including their understanding of concepts like equality. Further, I discuss what those processes mean for differential motivation to pursue egalitarian goals among sub-groups of people within shared, yet segregated, societies. Finally, I end with some considerations about pathways to achieve equality even when people disagree about what that actually means.