Brett W. Pelham

Brett W. Pelham
Montgomery College, Germantown · Psychology

34.25
 · 
Doctor of Philosophy

About

63
Publications
43,496
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
6,374
Citations
Introduction
I am interested in stereotypes, gender, health psychology, implicit social cognition, culture, religion, belief in extraterrestrial intelligence, human evolution, close relationships, parenting, adult human development, the self, and social inequality
Research Experience
August 2013 - June 2014
St. Mary's College of Maryland
Position
  • Visiting Professor

Publications

Publications (63)
Article
We tested predictions about religiosity and terror management processes in 16 nations. Specifically, we examined weekly variation in Google search volume in each nation for 12 years (all weeks for which data were available). In all 16 nations, higher than usual weekly Google search volume for life-threatening illnesses (cancer, diabetes, and hypert...
Article
Full-text available
Implicit egotism is an unconscious preference for things resembling the self. Four studies provided unprecedented evidence for implicit egotism. Study 1 used census data to show that men disproportionately worked in 11 traditionally male occupations whose titles matched their surnames (e.g., baker, carpenter, farmer). Study 2 used statewide marriag...
Article
Two experiments primed college students with either sleep‐related or neutral words and then assessed sleep during a 25 minute nap period. Both experiments showed that participants primed with sleep‐related words reported having slept longer than did those primed with neutral words. Furthermore, both experiments showed that sleep‐primed participants...
Book
Full-text available
This is an undergraduate research methods text; a darn good one, I think.
Article
Whereas explicit self-esteem (ESE) refers to a conscious self-evaluation, implicit self-esteem (ISE) refers to non-conscious self-evaluation. Presumably, ISE and ESE are based on different mental processes — the experiential system and the rational system, respectively (Epstein, 1994) as well as different experiences (DeHart, Pelham, & Tennen, 2006...
Article
This article addresses Simonsohn's (2011) critique of field studies of implicit egotism. We argue that Simonsohn provides no compelling theoretical reason to believe that implicit egotism should be valid only in the laboratory. In addition, we argue that a careful analysis of most of Simonsohn's studies of implicit egotism shows that they provide l...
Article
We argue that people include significant others in their implicit self-concepts. That is, people's implicit evaluations of their significant others are related to their own self-evaluations. Data from five different samples supported this idea by demonstrating that people's implicit self-esteem is related to their implicit evaluations of their clos...
Article
Past research suggests that people are more likely to die after rather than before important ceremonial events (a death deferral effect). We replicated this finding in a sample based on more than 30 million decedents. In analyses in which we tracked deaths day by day, we analyzed four major events: Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, and parti...
Article
A repeated assessment study examined changes in state implicit self-esteem after negative events. Multilevel analyses revealed that trait explicit self-esteem and self-concept clarity moderated the within-person association between daily negative events and state implicit self-esteem. People with low trait explicit self-esteem or low self-concept c...
Article
Full-text available
The present article examines the role that the need to belong (NTB) plays in people's judgments of personal and group discrimination and in the attributions people make for potentially discriminatory evaluations. The authors hypothesized that the NTB motivates people to conclude that (a) whereas they rarely experience personal discrimination, (b) t...
Article
The current studies extend previous research on self-esteem by examining one of the likely origins of implicit self-esteem. Three studies showed that young adult children who reported that their parents were more nurturing reported higher implicit self-esteem compared with those whose parents were less nurturing. Studies 2 and 3 added a measure of...
Article
Full-text available
Respondents in five experiments were more likely to choose a brand when the brand name started with letters from their names than when it did not, a choice phenomenon we call "name letter branding." We propose that during a first stage an active need to self-enhance increases the positive valence of name letters themselves and that during stage 2 p...
Article
Full-text available
People gravitate toward people, places, and things that resemble the self. We refer to this tendency as implicit egotism, and we suggest that it reflects an unconscious process that is grounded in people's favorable self-associations. We review recent archival and experimental research that supports this position, highlighting evidence that rules o...
Article
Relative to men, women are more strongly socialized to trust their feelings and intuitions. We thus expected that the association between implicit and explicit self-esteem would be stronger for women than for men. That is, if implicit self-esteem contains a large intuitive, experiential or affective component, then people who are in touch with thei...
Article
Full-text available
From the perspective of implicit egotism people should gravitate toward others who resemble them because similar others activate people's positive, automatic associations about themselves. Four archival studies and 3 experiments supported this hypothesis. Studies 1-4 showed that people are disproportionately likely to marry others whose first or la...
Article
We argue that people possess implicit evaluations of close others and that dependency regulation processes moderate these implicit evaluations. Study 1 revealed that implicit evaluations of romantic partners for people with high explicit self-esteem were not contingent on how things were currently going in their relationships. In contrast, the impl...
Article
Full-text available
J. D. Brown and K. L. McGill (1989) found that positive life events were associated with better health only for people high in self-esteem. Among people low in self-esteem, positive life events were associated with poorer health. The authors of this study replicated this finding in a self-report survey of 61 male and 110 female college students. In...
Article
B. W. Pelham, M. C. Mirenberg, and J. T. Jones (2002) argued that most people prefer stimuli that are associated with the self, a preference they called implicit egotism. In support of implicit egotism, Pelham et al presented evidence from 10 archival studies showing that people gravitate toward careers and places of residence that resemble their n...
Article
We propose that the insecurities about a close other’s regard that make it difficult for low self-esteem people to form satisfying romantic relationships also create difficulties in family relationships. Our study revealed that low self-esteem mothers and children felt less loved by one another than did high self-esteem mothers and children. These...
Article
According to system justification theory, people are motivated to preserve the belief that existing social arrangements are fair, legitimate, and justifiable (Jost & Banaji, 1994). The strongest form of this hypothesis, which draws on the logic of cognitive dissonance theory, holds that people who are most disadvantaged by the status quo would have...
Article
According to system justification theory, people internalize and perpetuate systemic forms of inequality, even though it sometimes means harboring preferences for members of higher status outgroups. In Study 1, students from a high status (but not a low status) university exhibited significant ingroup favoritism on the IAT, an automatic evaluative...
Article
Full-text available
It is proposed that people negotiate and receive verification for highly positive, relationship-specific selves. Study 1 indicated that although people wanted evaluations that were roughly consistent with their self-views on most dimensions, on a dimension that was crucial to a specific relationship (physical attractiveness in dating relationships)...
Article
Full-text available
The results of a field investigation indicate that people who are highly invested in their self-views (confidently held or personally important) are especially inclined to display a preference for verification of their self-views. Specifically, only those participants who were certain of their self-views or perceived them as important preferred roo...
Article
Full-text available
Because most people possess positive associations about themselves, most people prefer things that are connected to the self (e.g., the letters in one's name). The authors refer to such preferences as implicit egotism. Ten studies assessed the role of implicit egotism in 2 major life decisions: where people choose to live and what people choose to...
Article
Full-text available
Because most people possess positive associations about themselves, most people prefer things that are connected to the self (e.g., the letters in one's name). The authors refer to such preferences as implicit egotism. Ten studies assessed the role of implicit egotism in 2 major life decisions: where people choose to live and what people choose to...
Article
Full-text available
People prefer the letters in their own names to letters that are not in their own names. Furthermore, people prefer the numbers in their own birthdays to numbers not in their own birthdays. In this article we argue that these examples of implicit egotism are best conceptualized as the product of unconscious self-regulation processes rather than a r...
Article
People are often more confident than accurate. Past accounts of this overconfidence effect have focused on social-cognitive mechanisms, such as the biasing effects of judgmental heuristics and the faulty integration of relevant information. The current studies tested the idea that overconfidence is also a product of dissonance reduction. Specifical...
Article
Full-text available
Women often show evidence of depressed entitlement by paying themselves less than men pay themselves for the same work. In two studies, we demonstrated that this occurs for difficult (i.e., self-threatening) but not for easy tasks. Both studies also provided evidence of mediation. Women's level of self-pay was largely mediated by how well they thou...
Article
According to system justification theory, which complement theories of similarity, social identification, and homophily, people internalize and perpetuate systemic forms of inequality, event if it means harboring preference for members of higher status outgroups. In Study 1, students from a high status (but not a low status) university exhibited si...
Article
This study examined cognitive and affective responses to social comparison information in a sample of college freshmen (N = 143). We assessed participants' academic self-concepts and the certainty of their academic self-concepts prior to their exposure to information about a similar other, who either succeeded or failed academically. The results sh...
Article
Three studies examined the implicit (nonconscious) and explicit (conscious) self-concepts of people who varied in their degree of exposure to individualistic cultures. Studies 1 and 2 compared the implicit and explicit self-concepts of recent Asian immigrants with those of European Americans and Asian Americans reared in the United States. Implicit...
Article
A critical analysis is offered of H. W. Marsh's (1993, 1995) and B. W. Pelham's (see record 1996-14327-001) recent studies of global self-esteem. It is concluded that a strong empirical case has now been made for the validity of W. James's (1890) hypothesis about self-investment and self-esteem. The personal importance people place on their specif...
Article
W. James (1890) argued that the importance people attach to their self-views determines the impact of these self-views on people's global feelings of self-worth. Despite the intuitive appeal of this position, most research on the relation between people's specific self-views and their global self-esteem has failed to support this assertion. B. W. P...
Article
W. James (1890) argued that the importance people attach to their self-views determines the impact of these self-views on people's global feelings of self-worth. Despite the intuitive appeal of this position, most research on the relation between people's specific self-views and their global self-esteem has failed to support this assertion. B. W. P...
Article
Past research has revealed that social comparisons often lead to contrast effects in self-evaluation (such that people who encounter a highly talented person come to feel less talented by comparison). In this report, however, it is argued that when people possess confidently held self-views in a particular area, they are unlikely to engage in expli...
Article
Past research has revealed that social comparisons often lead to contrast effects in self-evaluation (such that people who encounter a highly talented person come to feel less talented by comparison). In this report, however, it is argued that when people possess confidently held self-views in a particular area, they are unlikely to engage in expli...
Article
Full-text available
Reports an error in the original article by B. W. Pelham and E. Neter (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1995[Apr], Vol 68[4], 581–594). The title of the article reported on page 581 was incorrect; however, the title was correct in the table of contents. (The following abstract of this article originally appeared in record 1995-24088-00...
Article
Full-text available
Reports an error in the original article by B. W. Pelham and E. Neter ( Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 1995[Apr], Vol 68[4], 581–594). The title of the article reported on page 581 was incorrect; however, the title was correct in the table of contents. (The following abstract of this article originally appeared in record 1995-24088-...
Article
Full-text available
Three studies tested the hypothesis that high levels of motivation facilitate accurate judgments when judgments are relatively easy but debilitate judgments when judgments are relatively difficult. Each study focused on a different judgmental heuristic, and each made use of different motivation and task difficulty manipulations. In all 3 studies, h...
Article
Full-text available
It is proposed that when targets are especially certain of their self-views, their interaction partners will be especially likely to develop impressions of them that are consistent with these self-views. Two studies supported this prediction by demonstrating that, for self-views about which targets were highly certain, targets received self-consist...
Article
Full-text available
Five experiments with a total of 268 university students tested the hypothesis that overinference of quantity from numerosity (number of units into which a stimulus is divided) relates to the degree to which higher-order cognitive resources are taxed when making judgments. Exp 1 examined judgments of geometric figures that were or were not divided...
Chapter
Full-text available
Most contemporary theories of the self-concept emphasize the self- defeating nature of low self-regard. Along these lines, most researchers would probably agree that one of the most serious drawbacks of low self-esteem is its close connection to clinical disorders such as depression. Consider the story of Ron, a typical student suffering from low s...
Article
Full-text available
We propose that people with negative self-views are rejected because they gravitate to partners who view them unfavorably. In relation to nondepressed college students (n = 28), depressives (n = 13) preferred interaction partners who evaluated them unfavorably (Study 1). Similarly, in relation to nondepressives (n = 106), depressives (n = 10) prefe...
Article
Full-text available
Three studies asked why people sometimes seek positive feedback (self-enhance) and sometimes seek subjectively accurate feedback (self-verify). Consistent with self-enhancement theory, people with low self-esteem as well as those with high self-esteem indicated that they preferred feedback pertain- ing to their positive rather than negative self-vi...
Article
Full-text available
Three factors were identified that uniquely contribute to people's global self-esteem: (a) people's tendencies to experience positive and negative affective states, (b) people's specific self-views (i.e., their conceptions of their strengths and weaknesses), and (c) the way people frame their self-views. Framing factors included the relative certai...
Article
Full-text available
Three studies asked why people sometimes seek positive feedback (self-enhance) and sometimes seek subjectively accurate feedback (self-verify). Consistent with self-enhancement theory, people with low self-esteem as well as those with high self-esteem indicated that they preferred feedback pertaining to their positive rather than negative self-view...
Article
Full-text available
Three factors were identified that uniquely contribute to people's global self-esteem: (a) people's tendencies to experience positive and negative affective states, (b) people's specific self-views (i.e., their conceptions of their strengths and weaknesses), and (c) the way people frame their self-views. Framing factors included the relative certai...
Article
Full-text available
Suggests that perceivers draw dispositional inferences about targets (characterization) and then adjust those inferences with information about the constraints on the targets' behaviors (correction). Because correction is more effortful than characterization, perceivers who devote cognitive resources to the regulation of their own behavior should b...
Article
Full-text available
Person perception includes three sequential processes: categorization (what is the actor doing?), characterization (what trait does the action imply?), and correction (what situational constraints may have caused the action?). We argue that correction is less automatic (i.e., more easily disrupted) than either categorization or characterization. In...
Article
Full-text available
Past research has shown that conventional strategies of persuasion tend to be ineffective against people who are highly certain of their beliefs. To change the beliefs of such individuals, we devised a paradoxical strategy that consisted of posing superattitudinal leading questions (questions that encouraged respondents to make statements that were...
Article
Full-text available
We propose that people simplify their perceptions of their interactions by organizing them into discrete casual chunks. Once formed, these chunks presumably influence the extent to which people are aware of their influence on others, as well as their impressions of others. We anticipated that people would form self-causal chunks (e.g., my action ca...
Article
We propose that people simplify their perceptions of their interactions by organizing them into discrete causal chunks. Once formed, these chunks presumably influence the extent to which people are aware of their influence on others, as well as their impressions of others. We anticipated that people would form self-causal chunks (e.g., my action ca...
Article
We propose that perceivers who engage in social influence tasks (inducers) concentrate primarily on the relation between their influencing behaviors and the responsive behaviors of their target and ignore other important sources of information relevant to social inference (e.g., other concurrent sources of influence on the target person). As a resu...
Article
Virtually all contemporary research on the self-concept has examined people's self-reported, consciously accessible self-conceptions. However, emerging evidence suggests there are many aspects of experience that are outside our conscious awareness and control, including aspects of memory, learning, attitudes, stereotypes, and, notably, self-esteem....

Network

Cited By
,

Projects

Project (1)