Social Psychological and Personality Science

Print ISSN: 1948-5506
Publications
The predictive validity of personality for important life outcomes is well established, but conventional longitudinal analyses cannot rule out the possibility that unmeasured third-variable confounds fully account for the observed relationships. Longitudinal hierarchical linear models (HLM) with time-varying covariates allow each subject to serve as his or her own control, thus eliminating between-individual confounds. HLM also allows the directionality of the causal relationship to be tested by reversing time-lagged predictor and outcome variables. We illustrate these techniques through a series of models that demonstrate that within-individual changes in self-control over time predict subsequent changes in GPA but not vice-versa. The evidence supporting a causal role for self-control was not moderated by IQ, gender, ethnicity, or income. Further analyses rule out one time-varying confound: self-esteem. The analytic approach taken in this study provides the strongest evidence to date for the causal role of self-control in determining achievement.
 
Partial plots showing relationship between mixed emotions and physical health symptoms, controlling for age, positive emotions, and negative emotions. (A) Average mixed emotions (Fisher's r-to-z transformation of Pearson's r correlation between aggregates of positive and negative emotions) are negatively associated with average physical health symptoms. (B) Changes in mixed emotions over time (hierarchical linear modeling [HLM] coefficient indicating change in mixed emotions over waves of participation) are negatively associated with changes in health symptoms over time (HLM coefficient indicating change in health symptoms over waves of participation).  
Results of Regression Analyses Predicting Mean Levels and Changes Over Time in Health Symptoms
Traditional models of emotion-health interactions have emphasized the deleterious effects of negative emotions on physical health. More recently, researchers have turned to potential benefits of positive emotions on physical health as well. Both lines of research, though, neglect the complex interplay between positive and negative emotions and how this interplay affects physical well-being. Indeed, recent theoretical work suggests that a strategy of "taking the good with the bad" may benefit health outcomes. In the present study, the authors assessed the impact of mixed emotional experiences on health outcomes in a 10-year longitudinal experience-sampling study across the adult life span. The authors found that not only were frequent experiences of mixed emotions (co-occurrences of positive and negative emotions) strongly associated with relatively good physical health, but that increases of mixed emotions over many years attenuated typical age-related health declines.
 
A widely held assumption is that changes in one's goals and motives for life during emerging and young adulthood have lasting influences on well-being into adulthood. However, this claim has yet to receive rigorous empirical testing. The current study examined the effects of prosocial and occupational goal change during college on adult well-being in a 17-year study of goal setting (N = 416). Using a latent growth model across three time points, both level and growth in goal setting predicted later well-being. Moreover, goal changes both during college and in young adulthood uniquely predicted adult well-being, controlling for goal levels entering college. These findings suggest that what matters for attaining adult well-being is both how you enter adulthood and how you change in response to it.
 
Past work has demonstrated that Big Five personality traits both predict relationship success and respond to changes in relationship status. The current study extends this work by examining how developments on the Big Five traits correspond to another important social outcome in adulthood, social well-being. Using the Mid-Life Development in the U.S. longitudinal data sample of adults, the authors examined traits and social well-being at two time points, roughly 9 years apart. Results find support for two primary claims. First, initial levels of social well-being correlated positively with initial standing on extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness. Second, changes in social well-being over time coincided with changes on these traits, in the same directions. Taken together, these findings provide broad support that trait development and social well-being development coincide during adulthood.
 
Stimulus examples from Study 1: pity target/positive event, disgust target/neutral event, envy target/negative event. 
Ratings of how bad participants would feel in response to negative events . Bars represent SE. 
ZM response during negative events minus ZM response during positive events—only envy targets elicited more ZM response during negative as compared to positive events. Bars represent SE. 
Example of pride prime in Study 2. 
People often fail to empathize with outgroup members, and sometimes even experience Schadenfreude-pleasure-in response to their misfortunes. One potent predictor of Schadenfreude is envy. According to the Stereotype Content Model, envy is elicited by groups whose stereotypes comprise status and competitiveness. These are the first studies to investigate whether stereotypes are sufficient to elicit pleasure in response to high-status, competitive targets' misfortunes. Study 1 participants feel least negative when misfortunes befall high-status, competitive targets as compared to other social targets; participants' facial muscles simultaneously exhibit a pattern consistent with positive affect (i.e., smiling). Study 2 attenuates the Schadenfreude response by manipulating status and competition-relevant information; Schadenfreude decreases when the target-group member has lowered status or is cooperative. Stereotypes' specific content, and not just individual relationships with targets themselves, can predict Schadenfreude.
 
Ethnic identity is considered to be a psychologically important characteristic that is associated with adjustment outcomes. However, little is known about the degree to which ethnic identity manifests itself in characteristics that are observable to others. This study is the first to evaluate self-other agreement in ethnic identity and to use a multi-method approach for testing the associations between ethnic identity and adjustment outcomes. Results provide evidence of agreement across self and informant reports of the Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure, the most widely used measure of ethnic identity in the literature. We also find evidence for shared method effects across informant reports of life satisfaction and ethnic identity. Finally, we find evidence for an association between latent ethnic identity and latent life satisfaction and self esteem scores, indicating that the association between ethnic identity and both life satisfaction and self esteem is more than just shared method variance.
 
A class of metaphors links the experience of anger to perceptions of redness. Whether such metaphors have significant implications for understanding perception is not known. In Experiment 1, anger (versus sadness) concepts were primed and it was found that priming anger concepts led individuals to be more likely to perceive the color red. In Experiment 2, anger states were directly manipulated, and it was found that evoking anger led individuals to be more likely to perceive red. Both experiments showed that the observed effects were independent of the actual color presented. These findings extend the New Look, perceptual, metaphoric, and social cognitive literatures. Most importantly, the results suggest that emotion representation processes of a metaphoric type can be extended to the perceptual realm.
 
We explored dispositional differences in the ability to self-regulate attentional processes in the domain of public speaking. Participants first completed measures of speech anxiety and attentional control. In a second session, participants prepared and performed a short speech. Fear of public speaking negatively impacted performance only for those low in attentional control. Thus, attentional control appears to act as a buffer that facilitates successful self-regulation despite performance anxiety.
 
Teachers' Ratings of Verbal Fluency in 1965 or 1967 Corre- lated With Direct Observations of Behavior in 2008-2009 
Necessary conditions for demonstrating the influence of personality on behavior across 40 years 
Teachers' Ratings of Adaptable in 1965 or 1967 Correlated With Direct Observations of Behavior in 2008-2009 
Teachers' Ratings of Impulsive in 1965 or 1967 Correlated With Direct Observations of Behavior in 2008-2009 
Teachers' Ratings of Self-Minimizing in 1965 or 1967 Correlated With Direct Observations of Behavior in 2008-2009 
The continuity of personality's association with directly observed behavior is demonstrated across two contexts spanning four decades. During the 1960s, elementary school teachers rated personalities of members of the ethnically diverse Hawaii Personality and Health Cohort (Hampson & Goldberg, 2006). The same individuals were interviewed in a medical clinic over 40 years later. Trained coders viewed video recordings of a subset of these interviews (N = 144, 68 F, 76 M) and assessed the behavior they observed using the Riverside Behavioral Q-sort Version 3.0 (Funder, Furr & Colvin, 2000; Furr, Wagerman & Funder, 2010). Children rated by their teachers as "verbally fluent" (defined as unrestrained talkativeness) showed dominant and socially adept behavior as middle-aged adults. Early "adaptability" was associated with cheerful and intellectually curious behavior, early "impulsivity" was associated with later talkativeness and loud speech, and early rated tendencies to "self-minimize" were related to adult expressions of insecurity and humility.
 
When encountering individuals with a potential inclination to harm them, people face a dilemma: Staring at them provides useful information about their intentions but may also be perceived by them as intrusive and challenging-thereby increasing the likelihood of the very threat the people fear. One solution to this dilemma would be an enhanced ability to efficiently encode such individuals-to be able to remember them without spending any additional direct attention on them. In two experiments, the authors primed self-protective concerns in perceivers and assessed visual attention and recognition memory for a variety of faces. Consistent with hypotheses, self-protective participants (relative to control participants) exhibited enhanced encoding efficiency (i.e., greater memory not predicated on any enhancement of visual attention) for Black and Arab male faces-groups stereotyped as being potentially dangerous-but not for female or White male faces. Results suggest that encoding efficiency depends on the functional relevance of the social information people encounter.
 
Percentage of participants experiencing reliable changes (RCI ! 1.96) in any of the NEO-FFI personality facets. Supporting our first hypothesis, bereaved spousal caregivers were significantly more likely to experience personality change than matched community controls over the 1.5-year follow-up period. Error bars indicate the standard error of the mean. 
Personality is relatively stable in adulthood but could change in response to life transitions, such as caring for a spouse with a terminal illness. Using a case-control design, spousal caregivers (n=31) of patients with terminal lung cancer completed the NEO-FFI twice, 1.5 years apart, before and after the patient's death. A demographically-matched sample of community controls (n=93) completed the NEO-FFI on a similar timeframe. Based on research and theory, we hypothesized that bereaved caregivers would experience greater changes than controls in interpersonal facets of extraversion (sociability), agreeableness (prosocial, nonantagonistic), and conscientiousness (dependability). Consistent with hypotheses, bereaved caregivers experienced an increase in interpersonal orientation, becoming more sociable, prosocial, and dependable (Cohen's d = .48-.67), though there were no changes in nonantagonism. Changes were not observed in controls (ds ≤ .11). These initial findings underscore the need for more research on the effect of life transitions on personality.
 
Task reward functions used in the two decision environments. Panel A depicts the rewards in Experiment 1 as a function of decision makers’ last 14 responses. Of particular interest is the fact that highest point of the LT-increasing reward curve is higher than the lowest point of the LT-decreasing curve. Thus, the long-term reward-maximizing strategy is to choose the LT-increasing option on every trial. Panel B depicts the rewards in Experiment 2 as a function of decision makers’ last 10 responses—which is truncated from the 14 responses used in Experiment 1. Note that the LT-decreasing choice always generates higher immediate rewards than the LT-increasing choice. In contrast to the reward functions in Experiment 1, the global minimum of the LT-decreasing reward curve is greater than the global maximum of the LT-increasing reward curve. Therefore, the reward-maximizing strategy is to consistently choose the LT-decreasing option, the reverse pattern of behavior as Experiment 1. 
Logistic Regression Coefficients, Indicating the Influence of Observed Reward Decreases When Switching From the LT-Decreasing to the LT-Increasing Option (Decrease t À 2 , t À 1 ) and Trait Impulsivity (BIS-11) on Response Switching Behavior
Relationships between impulsivity, choice behavior, and performance across Experiments 1 (top two panels) and 2 (bottom two panels). Panel A plots participants’ proportions of optimal LT-increasing choices against their BIS-11 scores in Experiment 1. Note that consistent LT-increasing choice was the optimal long-term strategy in this environment. Panel B plots the average points earned, per trial, by participants in the bottom and top quartiles of BIS-11 scores. In Experiment 1, low-impulsive participants significantly outperformed high-impulsive participants. Panel C plots participants’ proportions of suboptimal LT-increasing choices against their BIS-11 scores in Experiment 2. In this environment, consistently choosing the LT-decreasing option is long-term optimal choice strategy. Panel D plots the same performance analysis as in Panel B. In Experiment 2, high-impulsive participants significantly outperformed low-impulsive participants. 
Impulsivity is a stable personality trait associated with myopic choice behavior that favors immediate rewards over larger, delayed rewards and is often characterized as maladaptive inside and outside of the laboratory. An alternative view suggests that the consequences of trait impulsivity depend on the nature of the task environment. On this view, the optimal level of impulsivity varies across task payoff structures. This hypothesis is tested in two dynamic decision-making tasks that differ in the relative payoffs of delayed and immediate rewards. In a task that favors delayed rewards to immediate rewards, high-impulsive participants perform worse than low-impulsive participants. In contrast, in a task that favors immediate rewards over delayed rewards, high-impulsive participants outperform low-impulsive participants. These results suggest a more nuanced conceptualization of trait impulsivity as it applies to rewards-related decision-making that may help explain the variability observed in this trait across individuals.
 
Self-talk has fascinated scholars for decades but has received little systematic research attention. Three studies examined the conditions under which people talk to themselves as if they are another person, indicating a splitting or fragmentation of the self. Fragmented self-talk, defined by the use of the second person, You, and the imperative, was specifically expected to arise in contexts requiring explicit self-control. Results showed that fragmented self-talk was most prevalent in response to situations requiring direct behavior regulation, such as negative events (Study 1), experiences of autonomy (Study 2), and action as opposed to behavior preparation or behavior evaluation (Study 3). Therefore, people refer to themselves as You and command themselves as if they are another person in situations requiring conscious self-guidance. The implications of these findings for behavior change are discussed.
 
Subjective Social Status Predicts Well-Being Beyond the Effects of Objective SES in the United States (N ¼ 1,805, Panel A) and Japan (N ¼ 1,027, Panel B). 
Hierarchy can be conceptualized as objective social status (e.g., education level) or subjective social status (i.e., one's own judgment of one's status). Both forms predict well-being. This is the first investigation of the relative strength of these hierarchy-well-being relationships in the U.S. and Japan, cultural contexts with different normative ideas about how social status is understood and conferred. In probability samples of Japanese (N=1027) and U.S. (N=1805) adults, subjective social status more strongly predicted life satisfaction, positive affect, sense of purpose, and self acceptance in the U.S. than in Japan. In contrast, objective social status more strongly predicted life satisfaction, positive relations with others, and self acceptance in Japan than in the U.S. These differences reflect divergent cultural models of self. The emphasis on independence characteristic of the U.S. affords credence to one's own judgment (subjective status) and the interdependence characteristic of Japan to what others can observe (objective status).
 
Study 1 mean ratings of satisfaction by comparison type and construal mind-set. 
Study 2 mean ratings of satisfaction by comparison conditions. 
When evaluating personal performance, there is a propensity for people to rely more heavily on social comparison information from individuals than from aggregates, which is often more diagnostic—referred to as the Local Dominance Effect. The present research explored the possibility that under certain conditions, a global dominance effect may emerge; that is, in some circumstances people might rely more on average comparison information. Two studies investigated the influence of abstract mind-sets on the use of social comparison information. In Study 1, self-evaluations of participants who were given comparison information from both individual and aggregate sources while in an abstract mind-set were affected more by aggregate than individual comparison information—demonstrating a global dominance effect. Study 2 investigated how construal level influences the use of social comparison information and results indicated that when thinking abstractly, people shifted their attention to average comparison information.
 
Gender Comparisons in SAT, GPA, and Conscientiousness 
Correlations Among Study Variables 
Women typically earn higher grades than men, even though they tend to score lower than men on the SAT, a pattern known as the female underprediction effect (FUE). In three samples, we tested our hypothesis that gender differences in Conscientiousness can explain this effect. Within each sample, we created a regression-based measure of under (vs. over) prediction, which reflects the extent to which an individual student’s actual grade point average (GPA) exceeded (or fell below) the GPA predicted by his or her SAT score. Significant gender differences in this measure documented the presence of the FUE. Next, we demonstrated that Conscientiousness significantly mediated the link between gender and underprediction. Specifically, women were higher in Conscientiousness, and students who were more conscientious earned grades that were higher than their SAT scores would predict. Thus, our expectation that Conscientiousness is a partial explanation for the FUE was confirmed.
 
The authors applied insights from the group-value theory of procedural justice to investigate minority students' disengagement of self-esteem from academic outcomes. African American college students completed the race-based rejection sensitivity (RS-race) questionnaire. The students were asked to write a position essay on a current topic. They were randomly assigned to complete a demographic form in which they disclosed or did not disclose their race and to receive negative or positive feedback. When race was undisclosed, performance self-esteem was greater after positive feedback relative to negative feedback, regardless of RS-race. When race was disclosed, feedback valence affected self-esteem only among those lower in RS-race. Following positive feedback, these participants showed the greatest gains in self-esteem. Consistent with group-value theory, changes in self-esteem were explained by participants' concerns and emotions around fairness, respect, and acceptance. The authors discuss implications for minority student achievement.
 
Social rejection hurts, causing aggression even against innocent people. How can the sting of social rejection be reduced? Based on social impact theory, the authors predicted that aggression would decrease as a power function of the number of people accepting the participant. In Experiment 1, participants included by 0, 1, 2, or 3 players in an online ball-tossing game could aggress against an innocent stranger by requiring him or her to eat very spicy hot sauce. In Experiment 2, participants socially accepted by 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4 other people could aggress against an innocent stranger by administering loud noise. In both experiments, aggression and unpleasant emotions decreased as a power function according to the number of people accepting the participants, with each additional acceptor having a decreasing incremental effect. Acceptance from others numbs the pain of social rejection, making rejected people less likely to lash out against innocent others.
 
The relationship between SES, multiple group memberships, conservative political attitudes, opposition to equality, and life satisfaction. 
Means, Standard Deviations, and Zero-Order Correlations
The relationship between SES, multiple group memberships, conservative political attitudes, and life satisfaction. 
Why are conservatives happier than liberals? Napier and Jost (2008) argue that this is because conservative ideology has a palliative (system-justifying) function that protects conservatives’ (but not liberals’) happiness. We develop another rationale for this effect and argue that we need to examine how ideology (e.g., conservatism) is embedded in the social system and people’s own place within it. In a study (N = 816), we find that conservatives are more satisfied with life than liberals and that conservatism is associated with higher socioeconomic status (SES). Taking SES as a starting point, we find that those with high SES have access to more group memberships and that this is associated with higher life satisfaction. We failed to replicate Napier and Jost’s finding that system-justifying ideology mediated the relationship between conservatism and life satisfaction. We conclude that conservatives may be happier than liberals because their high SES gives them access to more group memberships.
 
Study 4 Means and Standard Deviations for Death Thoughts by Salience and Delay Conditions 
It is an important hypothesis of terror management theory that death thoughts are suppressed immediately following a mortality salience treatment but that, after a short delay during which suppression ceases, death thoughts become more accessible. Although there is much indirect empirical support for this idea, there are few direct tests. Our goal was to test this hypothesis with simple experiments. Thus, after mortality was made salient, death thought accessibility was measured immediately or after a delay. The results contradicted the prediction that death thought accessibility should be higher in the delay condition than in the no delay condition.
 
Three studies demonstrate how individual differences in confidence in the sociopolitical system interact with threats that engage the system justification motive to produce system defense. Following threat, participants low, but not high, in system confidence increasingly defended the system, by rejecting system change (Study 1) and preferring domestic over international products (Studies 2 and 3). These findings contribute to the literature on system justification theory in two ways: First, they expand scholars' understanding of when and for whom system-level threats instigate motivational processes of system defense, and, second, they demonstrate that the system justification motive is not merely another example of worldview verification phenomena but instead involves a specific goal to defend the status quo.
 
Do people have insight into the validity of their first impressions or accuracy awareness? Across two large interactive round-robins, those who reported having formed a more accurate impression of a specific target had (a) a more distinctive realistically accurate impression, accurately perceiving the target’s unique personality characteristics as described by the target’s self-, parent-, and peer-reports, and (b) a more normatively accurate impression, perceiving the target to be similar to what people generally tend to be like. Specifically, if a perceiver reported forming a more valid impression of a specific target, he or she had in fact formed a more realistically accurate impression of that target for all but the highest impression validity levels. In contrast, people who generally reported more valid impressions were not actually more accurate in general. In sum, people are aware of when and for whom their first impressions are more realistically accurate.
 
Two studies examine the relationship between naturally occurring levels of circulating testosterone and empathic accuracy. In Study 1, the authors find that higher endogenous levels of testosterone are negatively related to the accuracy with which people infer the thoughts and feelings of others. In Study 2, the authors use 360 data collected in the field to show that individuals with higher levels of endogenous testosterone are evaluated by their real-world professional colleagues as functioning with lower levels of empathic accuracy. Furthermore, the authors report evidence that this negative relationship between testosterone and perceived empathic accuracy has downstream consequences for perceptions of one’s leadership skills and abilities.
 
Figures  
Although deduction can be applied both to associations between nonsocial objects and to social relationships among people, the authors hypothesize that social targets elicit specialized cognitive mechanisms that facilitate inferences about social relations. Consistent with this view, in Experiments 1a and 1b the authors show that participants are more efficient and more accurate at inferring social relations compared to nonsocial relations. In Experiment 2 they find direct evidence for a specialized neural apparatus recruited specifically for social relational inferences. When making social inferences, functional magnetic resonance imaging results indicate that the brain regions that play a general role in logical reasoning (e.g., hippocampi, parietal cortices, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex) are supplemented by regions that specialize in representing people's mental states (e.g., posterior superior temporal sulcus, temporo-parietal junction, and medial prefrontal cortex).
 
How do we recognize the emotions other people are feeling? One source of information may be facial feedback signals generated when we automatically mimic the expressions displayed on others' faces. Supporting this “embodied emotion perception,” dampening (Experiment 1) and amplifying (Experiment 2) facial feedback signals, respectively, impaired and improved people’s ability to read others' facial emotions. In Experiment 1, emotion perception was significantly impaired in people who had received a cosmetic procedure that reduces muscular feedback from the face (Botox) compared to a procedure that does not reduce feedback (a dermal filler). Experiment 2 capitalized on the fact that feedback signals are enhanced when muscle contractions meet resistance. Accordingly, when the skin was made resistant to underlying muscle contractions via a restricting gel, emotion perception improved, and did so only for emotion judgments that theoretically could benefit from facial feedback.
 
Resolution of Meta-Accuracy 
Do people know when they can trust their metaperceptions (i.e., their beliefs about how they are seen)? The current study is the first to examine whether people can recognize which of their metaperceptions are more or less accurate, and it examines the source of this “resolution.” In two samples, we assessed meta-accuracy, or the degree to which people’s beliefs about the impressions they made corresponded to the actual impressions they made, for several close acquaintances (e.g., family, friends). We also assessed people’s confidence in the accuracy of their metaperceptions for each acquaintance. Results showed that people recognized when they were more or less “meta-accurate,” particularly in terms of the ways in which they were perceived as distinctive and unique individuals. This ability was partially driven by relationship quality. In sum, people seem to know when to trust their metaperceptions about individuals from their everyday lives.
 
Above and beyond the benefits of biases such as positivity and assumed similarity, does the accuracy of our first impressions have immediate and long-term effects on relationship development? Assessing accuracy as distinctive self-other agreement, we found that more accurate personality impressions of new classmates were marginally associated with greater liking concurrently, and significantly predicted greater interaction throughout the semester and greater liking and interest in future interactions by the end of the semester. Importantly, greater distinctive self-other agreement continued to promote social interaction even after controlling for Time 1 liking, suggesting that these positive effects of accuracy operate independently of initial liking. Forming positively biased first impressions was a strong predictor of both initial and longer term relationship development, while assumed similarity showed strong initial but not long-term associations. In sum, independent of the benefits of biased impressions, forming accurate impressions has a positive impact on relationship development among new acquaintances.
 
Mediational model consistent with self-presentation leading targets to be perceived as more engaging, resulting in greater distinctive self-other agreement. 
How does trying to make a positive impression on others impact the accuracy of impressions? In an experimental study, the impact of positive self-presentation on the accuracy of impressions was examined by randomly assigning targets to either “put their best face forward” or to a control condition with low self-presentation demands. First, self-presenters successfully elicited more positive impressions from others, being viewed as more normative and better liked than those less motivated to self-present. Importantly, self-presenters were also viewed with greater accuracy than control targets, being perceived more in line with their self-reported distinctive personality traits and their IQ test scores. Mediational analyses were consistent with the hypothesis that self-presenters were more engaging than controls, which in turn led these individuals to be viewed with greater distinctive self–other agreement. In sum, positive self-presentation facilitates more accurate impressions, indicating that putting one’s best self forward helps reveal one’s true self.
 
Predictors of acknowledgment of in-group responsibility  
Bivariate Correlations, Means, and Standard Deviations for All Measured Variables
This research examines the effects of intergroup contact on readiness to acknowledge in-group responsibility for atrocities and harm committed in the past. One correlational study (N = 284) set in the context of the postconflict intergroup relations of Bosnia and Herzegovina found that good-quality contact with members from the victim group predicted acknowledgment of in-group responsibility through an increase in perspective taking and a decrease in perceived victimhood. Ordinary Serbian adolescents who engaged in contact with Bosnian Muslims were more ready to acknowledge that their own group was responsible for atrocities committed during the 1992-1995 war. Practical and social implications of these findings are discussed.
 
Agency–religiosity correlations (controlling for communion) and communion–religiosity correlations (controlling for agency) for each culture as a function of culture-level religiosity index 1 (CLR 1; 1 ¼ not at all religious, 7 ¼ very much religious). Included cultures (CLR1 scores in parentheses): Sweden (SE, 2.68), Germany (GE, 2.76), France (FR, 2.78), The Netherlands (NL, 3.04), Switzerland (CH, 3.06), Austria (AT, 3.15), Italy (IT, 3.36), Spain (ES, 3.41), Russia (RU, 3.65), Poland (PO, 4.25), Turkey (TR, 4.98). Gray symbols show the actual correlations within cultures ; black lines and symbols represent the best-fitting regression lines.  
How are the Big Two personality dimensions of agency (e.g., competence, uniqueness, ambition) and communion (e.g., warmth, relatedness, morality) related to religiosity? A standard view assumes that communion encourages religiosity, whereas agency is independent of religiosity. Our model is more nuanced, taking into account the Big Two’s motivational base as well as culture: Because communal individuals seek assimilation with their ambient culture, they should be most religious in religious cultures and least religious in nonreligious cultures. Conversely, because agentic individuals seek differentiation from their ambient culture, they should be most religious in nonreligious cultures and least religious in religious cultures. Data from 187,957 individuals across 11 cultures supported this model. Thus, direct relations between the Big Two and religiosity are not culturally universal. Instead, communal individuals are religious conformists, whereas agentic individuals are religious contrarians. In this sense, the patterns are culturally universal.
 
A body of research has demonstrated that people adopt a more interpersonally positive orientation as they age. The current study extends this line of research by examining how mate preferences shift as a function of age. Our worldwide sample rated their attraction to various photographs and completed self-report measures of attraction. Based on a revealed preference measure, the authors found that older individuals preferred people who displayed communal characteristics, and this pattern was fairly universal. On the other hand, self-reported preferences were less consistent. The authors’ findings suggest that, in addition to becoming more agreeable with age, people are drawn to others with similarly agreeable qualities. This universal pattern indicates that mate preferences across the life span shift largely toward increased preference for communal characteristics.
 
Standardized Regression Coefficients in Predicting Gender Difference in Math
In societies that oppose social inequality (low power distance societies), intergroup social comparison is relatively more prevalent. However, with an intergroup comparison focus, differences between groups are more salient and self-stereotyping more likely. Consequently, gender stereotypes regarding math may be relatively more consequential in low relative to high power distance societies. To examine this hypothesis, results from a standardized math exam among eighth graders compiled in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study were analyzed. As predicted, the societies' power distance predicted gender differences in math performance: The pattern of boys outperforming girls was more pronounced in low relative to high power distance societies. This effect was independent of the societies' gender equality and prevalence of implicit stereotype.
 
Representation of the dual latent change models investigated in the current study. The number of trait indicators differs depending on the trait being analyzed.  
Previous studies have noted that narcissists do, in some cases, experience benefits. The current study adds to this discussion by examining whether age might moderate the links between narcissism and a self-reported benefit (life satisfaction) and an observer-reported benefit (observer ratings of personality). In a sample of college students and their family members (N = 807), the authors demonstrate that narcissism positively correlates with life satisfaction for adolescents and emerging adults, but not for adult participants. In addition, the relationship between narcissism and observer-reported neuroticism was weakly negative for undergraduate students, but significant and positive for their mothers. Taken together, these results suggest that narcissism is more beneficial for adolescents and emerging adults than for adults. Both sets of analyses also pointed to the importance of studying narcissism as a multifaceted construct. Findings are discussed with respect to personality development theories that emphasize adult role adoption.
 
The syntactic organization of incidentally presented word pairs may affect behavior by providing actors with implicit propositions about how to behave. In Experiment 1, participants who had already played turns of a mixed-motive game were less cooperative after an explicit propositional suggestion that they had been nice in prior turns but were more cooperative after the suggestion that they should be nice in upcoming turns. In three subsequent experiments, implicit priming with the phrase nice act produced greater levels of defection, implying that actors responded to the implicit suggestion that they had been sufficiently nice already. In contrast, act nice produced greater levels of cooperation, implying that actors responded to the implicit suggestion that they should try to be nicer in upcoming turns. These effects occurred outside of awareness and disappeared when the interval between the words was long and when behavior was measured after a delay.
 
Indication of the good chosen by the target of prediction in Experiment 1. 
When people predict the future behavior of a person, thinking of that target as an individual decreases the accuracy of their predictions. The present research examined one potential source of this bias, whether and why predictors overweight the atypical past behavior of individuals. The results suggest that predictors do indeed overweight the atypical past behavior of an individual. Atypical past behavior is more cognitively accessible than typical past behavior, which leads it to be overweighted in the impressions that serve as the basis for their predictions. Predictions for group members appear less susceptible to this bias, presumably because predictors are less likely to form a coherent impression of a group than an individual before making their predictions.
 
Attitude–behavior relations can be based on belief-based or associative processes. Understanding the basic regulatory mechanisms that determine which type of process guides behavior in a specific situation is of crucial importance for predicting behavior. In this article, the authors tested mood states as a moderator. In two studies, associative and belief-based measures for attitudes were administered in a preliminary session. In a second session, mood was manipulated and behavior toward the attitude object involved was observed. Consistent with predictions, the results showed that in happy mood states, associative, but not belief-based measures of attitudes predicted behavior, whereas in sad mood states belief-based, but not associative measures of attitudes predicted behavior. The authors conclude that mood moderates which evaluative process, belief-based or associative, regulates behavior.
 
Sample Characteristics of the 19 Nations 
Alphas and Means for Key Constructs Across 19 Nations 
The current research examined whether nations differ in their attitudes toward action and inaction. It was anticipated that members of dialectical East Asian societies would show a positive association in their attitudes toward action/inaction. However, members of non-dialectical European-American societies were expected to show a negative association in their attitudes toward action/inaction. Young adults in 19 nations completed measures of dialectical thinking and attitudes toward action/inaction. Results from multi-level modeling showed, as predicted, that people from high dialecticism nations reported a more positive association in their attitudes toward action and inaction than people from low dialecticism nations. Furthermore, these findings remained after controlling for cultural differences in individualism-collectivism, neuroticism, gross-domestic product, and response style. Discussion highlights the implications of these findings for action/inaction goals, dialecticism, and culture.
 
Moral elevation has been shown to increase helping behavior. However, this might be due to a threatened moral self-image because people engage in a social comparison with a moral exemplar and conclude that their own moral integrity is inferior. Alternatively, feelings of elevation might provide a motivational impetus to act on one’s moral values. We provided participants with an opportunity to engage in self-affirmation, which was followed by an induction of moral elevation or a neutral control mood. Compared to the neutral mood, participants experiencing moral elevation showed higher levels of helping behavior following self-affirmation. This effect was especially pronounced in participants experiencing moral elevation who reminded themselves of previous prosocial behavior; they showed more helping than participants experiencing moral elevation who had not engaged in self-affirmation. Thus, rather than posing a threat to moral self-worth, feelings of elevation can provide the motivational trigger to act on affirmed moral values.
 
Two studies examined a matching hypothesis: Attitudes predict behaviors better when they both involve the same rather than different levels of attitude-relevant action activity. In Study 1, participants listed actions they might take toward gay men and immediately reported their attitudes. One to two weeks later, their reported attitudes were more predictive of behaviors that matched than mismatched the activity level of their listed actions. In Study 2, participants were randomly assigned to make decisions about either active or passive actions toward gay men just before they reported their attitudes. One to two weeks later, their reported attitudes better predicted behaviors that matched than mismatched the type of attitude-relevant action that had been made salient. The results support the importance to attitude–behavior consistency of matching attitude-relevant actions and behavioral measures on activity level, and the utility of considering both positivity and activity level in studies of attitude–behavior consistency.
 
Evaluations of individuals and social groups refer to two basic dimensions of social judgment: warmth and competence. Although previous research has explored the antecedents and consequences of these evaluations, there is a lack of understanding of the conditions under which warmth and competence information is used for social categorization in the first place. The present research developed a novel measure of individuals’ tendencies to categorize persons in terms of competence versus warmth and tested whether these tendencies are predicted by chronic (Study 1, N = 301) and experimentally induced (Study 2, N = 69) social conformity and superiority goals. Social conformity goals predicted greater relative use of warmth information, while superiority goals predicted greater relative use of competence information in categorizing persons. These findings attest to the relevance of chronic as well as contextually induced goals at an early stage of social information processing related to social categorization.
 
Study 1 covariate-adjusted mean reaction time on lexical decision task to words associated with the Black and doctor categories by type of prime and video condition Note: Error bars represent standard error. 
Study 2 covariate-adjusted mean reaction time on lexical decision task to words associated with the Black category by type of prime and video condition Note: Error bars represent standard error. 
Study 2 covariate-adjusted mean reaction time on lexical decision task to words associated with doctor category by type of prime and video condition Note: Error bars represent standard error. 
Two studies examined the effects of distrust on social categorization. In Study 1, undergraduate participants completed a distrust or neutral prime, watched a video of a Black or White doctor, and then completed a lexical decision task containing words related to the categories of Black people and doctors. Distrustful participants who viewed a Black doctor activated the Black and doctor categories. No other participants showed category activation. Study 2 added a trust prime condition and a no video control condition. Only distrustful participants who viewed a Black doctor activated the Black and doctor categories. Thus, when perceivers are distrustful they may reserve judgment about which individual categories apply to an out-group member and instead simultaneously activate multiple categories.
 
Experiment 2 Attitudes and Willingness to Pay as a Function of the Value Prime and Product Quality
Experiment 3 Attitudes Function of Importance Rating and Product Quality
. Thus, the attitude results suggest that mere activation of important rather than unimportant values can increase processing of a later advertisement.
Basing attitudes on one’s core values has long been thought to result in strong, consequential attitudes. Recent research suggests a less direct route for values to influence attitude strength—by influencing the extent to which people process attitude-relevant information. That research induced research participants to explicitly consider important or unimportant values in relation to the persuasive message. In contrast, the current research examined whether mere activation of important values before encountering a persuasive message could enhance message processing. Normatively important or unimportant values were subtly activated by simply presenting values (Experiment 1) including the values in a previous “unrelated” study (Experiment 2) or rating the importance of values in a questionnaire prior to the persuasive message. Experiment 3 suggested that important values are not equivalent to any other important constructs. Activation of important values increased information processing but activation of equally important alternative attitudes did not.
 
Results of regression analyses showing that savoring mediates the effect of experimental condition (restricted access ¼ þ1, abundant access ¼ À1) on positive affect. Asterisks indicate coefficients significantly different from 0. *p < .05. **p < .01.  
The present research provides the first evidence that temporarily giving up something pleasurable may provide an effective route to happiness. Participants were asked to eat a piece of chocolate during two lab sessions, held 1week apart. During the intervening week, we randomly assigned them to abstain from chocolate or to eat as much of it as possible, while a control group received no special instructions related to their chocolate consumption. At the second lab session, participants who had temporarily given up chocolate savored it significantly more and experienced more positive moods after eating it, compared to those in either of the other two conditions. Many cultural and religious practices entail temporarily giving up something pleasurable, and our research suggests that such self-denial may carry ironic benefits for well-being by combating hedonic adaptation.
 
Interaction between effortful control and negative affectivity on future planning. Note: EC ¼ effortful control, NAF ¼ negative affectivity. 
Descriptive Statistics and Correlations for Variables Assessed at 54 Months and 15 Years 
Correlations and Standardized Regression Coefficients Predicting Adolescent Variables 
The present research examines the relation between measures of childhood temperament at 54 months and adolescent risk taking and externalizing problems. Three temperament factors were calculated from maternal reports: negative affectivity, surgency, and effortful control. At Age 15, data was gathered on risk taking and externalizing problems using self- and maternal reports. Analyses indicated that effortful control predicted self-reported risk taking. Different dimensions of temperament were related to externalizing behaviors, depending on the identity of the reporter. Maternal reports of externalizing problems were predicted by all three dimensions, whereas self-reports of externalizing problems were predicted only by surgency. Additional analyses demonstrated that the prospective associations between childhood effortful control and adolescent risk taking and externalizing behaviors were partially mediated by adolescent measures of self-regulation: impulse control and future planning. Collectively, these findings underscore the importance of early emerging personality differences for understanding problem behaviors during the teen years.
 
How do relationship maintenance behaviors affect individual well-being? Given that people who invest time and effort toward achieving important goals see their outcomes as more reflective of their skills and abilities than do people who invest less time and effort, engaging in relationship maintenance behaviors may lead people to experience increased individual well-being when those behaviors appear to be successful but decreased well-being when they appear to be unsuccessful. A diary study of romantic relationships, a diary study of friendships, and a longitudinal study of newlyweds provided support for this prediction. In all three studies, relationship maintenance behaviors were negatively associated with depressive mood when followed by relatively high relationship quality, but positively associated with depressive mood when followed by relatively low relationship quality. Accordingly, relationship maintenance processes are not inherently beneficial or harmful; their intrapersonal implications depend on the context in which they occur.
 
When people are more committed to a relationship, do they become more vulnerable or more resilient to the impacts of negative interactions with the partner? Although most studies emphasize the positive role of commitment in romantic relationship, the answer to the above question may differ in the short term versus in the long term. We conducted a 14-day daily diary study and a 7-month follow-up with 100 participants who are currently in a serious romantic relationship. Results revealed the paradoxical short-term and long-term effects of commitment. Commitment to the relationship intensified both the short-term detrimental effect and the long-term beneficial effect of negative interactions on relationship satisfaction. Personal stress was found to partially explain the short-term effects of negative interactions and commitment. When people become committed to a relationship, they are more vulnerable to the impacts of negative interactions in the short term but more resilient to the impacts in the long run.
 
Past research suggests that wearing either a black or a red uniform leads to increased aggression or an increase in perceived aggression during professional sports. However, this research suffers from a number of limitations, including an inability to manipulate the independent variable. A recent change in the National Hockey League’s uniform policy created the possibility of a naturally occurring experiment that allowed the authors to examine whether aggression levels were higher when teams wore black or red jerseys. The authors compared games against the same opponent in which home teams wore red or black jerseys for one game and their usual color for another game on several measures of aggression. They found no evidence that either black or red uniforms were related to higher levels of aggression in professional hockey games.
 
Time 
Slope estimation in Study 2. The hill was 5 degrees. 
Distance estimations in Study 2. The actual distance to Monticello is 6.5 miles. The Google Map's estimated time to walk to Monticello is 125 min. The actual distance to Downtown is 2 miles, and the Google Map's estimated time to walk is 39 min. 
We conducted two studies to examine whether the psychological states of felt understanding and misunderstanding would affect people’s basic perceptions such as pain, geographical slant, and distance. As predicted, an experimentally induced sense of felt understanding relative to misunderstanding increased pain tolerance marginally and reduced the perceived distance to the target locations significantly. In Study 2, we not only replicated Study 1’s findings on pain tolerance and distance perception but also found that participants in the understanding condition perceived the same hill to be significantly less steep than those in the misunderstanding condition. Our studies demonstrated that the experimentally induced feeling of misunderstanding tends to have the aversive effect on the perception of pain, geographical slant, and distance, whereas the experimentally induced feeling of understanding tends to alleviate pain, reduce the geographical slant, and the perceived distance to a target location.
 
Professionals often give advice to many anonymous people. For example, financial analysts give public recommendations to trade stock, and medical experts formulate clinical guidelines that affect many patients. Normatively, awareness of the advice-recipient’s identity should not influence the quality of advice, and when advice affects a larger number of people, if anything, greater care should be taken to ensure its accuracy. Yet, contrary to this logic and consistent with research on the identifiable victim effect, results from two experimental studies demonstrate that advisors confronting a financial conflict of interest give more biased advice to multiple than single recipients and to unidentified than identified single recipients. Increased intensity of feelings toward single identified recipients appears to drive this process; advisors experience more empathy and appear to have greater awareness and motivation to reduce bias in their advice when the recipient is single and identified.
 
This study investigates the link between motivational and affective experiences in the daily life of bicultural individuals. Employing a diary design, the authors examined the role of cultural identification in the dynamic goal–affect association in East-Asian Canadian biculturals. Using multilevel modeling procedures, the authors found that momentary cultural identification systematically moderated the association between extrinsic motivation and Negative Affect (NA) over time. Similar to previous findings observed from monocultural Westerners, biculturals in this study showed a positive association between extrinsic motivation and NA when they identified with Western culture. When they identified with Asian culture, however, biculturals' extrinsic motivation was not linked to NA, suggesting that when their Asian identity is salient, they are less negatively influenced by extrinsic goal pursuit than when they identified with Western culture. Findings indicate the importance of within-individual short-term variations in cultural identification for understanding the affective implications of extrinsic motivation in the lives of bicultural individuals.
 
Top-cited authors
Daniël Lakens
  • Eindhoven University of Technology
Jean M. Twenge
  • San Diego State University
Roland Imhoff
  • Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Aleksandra Cichocka
  • University of Kent
Jan Willem van Prooijen
  • Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam