Danu Anthony Stinson

Danu Anthony Stinson
University of Victoria | UVIC · Department of Psychology

PhD

About

54
Publications
33,523
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1,023
Citations
Citations since 2017
18 Research Items
595 Citations
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Introduction
I research the social self, which means that I study the complex and reciprocal relation between the self and the social worlds that people inhabit. In particular, my research seeks to understand how important aspects of the self– like self-esteem, social identity, and social scripts –regulate people’s reactions to threats to belonging like rejection and social stigma. My research also seeks to identify and help people to overcome barriers to health that stem from these belongingness threats.
Additional affiliations
January 2010 - present
University of Victoria
Position
  • Professor (Associate)

Publications

Publications (54)
Article
Full-text available
Americans have been gaining weight in recent decades, prompting widespread concern about the health implications of this change. Governments, health practitioners, and the general public all want to know: What is the best way to reduce the health risks associated with higher body weight? The dominant weightloss solution to this “obesity problem” en...
Article
Full-text available
The authors draw upon social, personality, and health psychology to propose and test a self-and-social-bonds model of health. The model contends that lower self-esteem predicts health problems and that poor-quality social bonds explain this association. In Study 1, lower self-esteem prospectively predicted reports of health problems 2 months later,...
Article
Chronically insecure individuals often behave in ways that result in the very social rejection that they most fear. We predicted that this typical self-fulfilling prophecy is not immutable. Self-affirmation may improve insecure individuals' relational security, and this improvement may allow them to express more welcoming social behavior. In a long...
Article
Full-text available
Social risk interacts with self-esteem to predict relationship-initiation motivation and behavior. However, because socially risky situations afford both rewards and costs, it is unclear which affordance is responsible for these effects. Two experiments primed social rewards or costs within different relationship-initiation contexts and then evalua...
Article
Full-text available
Social risk elicits self-esteem differences in signature social motivations and behaviors during the relationship-initiation process. In particular, the present research tested the hypothesis that lower self-esteem individuals' (LSEs) motivation to avoid rejection leads them to self-protectively underestimate acceptance from potential romantic part...
Article
Full-text available
Western culture is a decidedly anti-fat culture. Thus fat people are subjected to weight stigma and confront discrimination in virtually every facet of their lives. As a result, fat people often develop a self-concept that includes the stigmatized social identity. Weight stigma is also a traumatic experience that disrupts fat people’s embodiment by...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing upon risk-regulation theory and classic theories of interpersonal attraction, two experiments (N = 117 and N = 401) tested the hypothesis that self-esteem and arousal interact to regulate the desire to connect with new social partners. A mini-meta-analysis confirmed that when arousal (or its influence) was stronger, self-esteem was strongly...
Article
Full-text available
Little research exists concerning the Western marriage proposal ritual, and rejected proposals are particularly understudied. The current research used the lens of life script theory to quantitatively and qualitatively analyze 374 first-person written accounts of accepted and rejected marriage proposals between men and women that were sampled from...
Article
Full-text available
There is more than one pathway to romance, but relationship science does not reflect this reality. Our research reveals that relationship initiation studies published in popular journals (Study 1) and cited in popular textbooks (Study 2) overwhelmingly focus on romance that sparks between strangers and largely overlook romance that develops between...
Article
Full-text available
Romantic relationships activate a process of psychological attunement whereby self-esteem becomes responsive to the romantic bond, thereby potentially benefitting relationship quality and bolstering self-esteem. Yet some people are romantically single, raising the question: Do single people also exhibit psychological attunement? In a 2-year longitu...
Article
Full-text available
Self‐esteem is a central aspect of the self‐concept that develops during childhood and adolescence. Yet most people do not know that self‐esteem also shapes people's health by influencing psychological, physical, and social well‐being. The authors detail two dominant models that have emerged to explain these connections. First, the resource model p...
Article
We propose that physical attractiveness determines whether heterosexual men desire or dismiss romance with high-status women. We tested this ambivalent attraction hypothesis in three increasingly realistic experiments – one involving a hypothetical social interaction (N = 214) and two involving potential and actual interactions with confederates (N...
Article
Full-text available
Empirical evidence affirms that gender is a nonbinary spectrum. Yet our review of recently published empirical articles reveals that demographic gender measurement in psychology still assumes that gender comprises just two categories: women and men. This common practice is problematic. It fails to represent psychologists' current understanding of g...
Article
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This research unpacks backlash against female professors by examining how individual characteristics and social context interact to predict student evaluations on RateMyProfessors.com. As predicted, students evaluated female professors in high-status departments more negatively than female professors in low-status departments, and this backlash eff...
Article
Three experiments document the contingencies of the attractiveness exchange-script. Experiment 1 (N = 219) demonstrates that observers assume that the more-attractive partner in a romantic couple is relatively uncommitted to their relationship, and this script is stronger when evaluating women than men. Experiment 2 (N = 165) demonstrates that obse...
Poster
Full-text available
Female breadwinner pairings (FBPs) are increasingly common in North America, sparking considerable cultural anxiety. This anxiety may exist because FBPs violate the norm of male dominance. To test this hypothesis, participants read a short vignette describing either a FBP or a male breadwinner pairing (MBP), and then reported their perceptions of e...
Article
Full-text available
People with lower self-esteem (LSEs) suffer from poor relational well-being. This may occur, in part, because LSEs’ epistemic needs constrain their ability to benefit from positive social feedback. Consistent with this hypothesis, LSEs felt undeserving of positive social feedback, which undermined their relational well-being (Experiment 1). After r...
Poster
Both high quality friendship and romantic bonds are essential for well-being. Yet, during emerging adulthood, these bonds compete for importance (Rawlins, 1992). We followed two-hundred and fifty undergraduates over two years to examine how relationship status (single vs. partnered) influenced friendship quality over time. We hypothesized that frie...
Article
Full-text available
Finkel, Rusbult, Kumashiro, and Hannon (2002, Study 1) demonstrated a causal link between subjective commitment to a relationship and how people responded to hypothetical betrayals of that relationship. Participants primed to think about their commitment to their partner (high commitment) reacted to the betrayals with reduced exit and neglect respo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Rituals communicate one’s values and are a way to bond with others (Rossano, 2014). One common, understudied, ritual is the marriage proposal. People judge the strength of a couple’s relationship and the legitimacy of the proposal based on the presence of the ritualistic elements, with the engagement ring holding special significance (Schweingruber...
Poster
Do men desire a financially successful romantic partner? Past research has shown that women highly value financial resources and status in a potential partner (e.g., Buss, 1989), whereas the importance men place on status and resources in a partner is less clear (Greitemeyer, 2007; Kenrick, Sundie, Nicastle, & Stone, 2001). We hypothesized that men...
Article
Full-text available
People use impressions of an evaluative target’s self-esteem to infer their possession of socially desirable traits. But will people still use this self-esteem proxy when trait-relevant diagnostic information is available? We test this possibility in two experiments: participants learn that a target person has low or high self-esteem, and then rece...
Poster
Full-text available
We argue that men’s attraction to a woman varies as a function of her level of physical attractiveness and financial success. We tested our hypotheses in an online-dating experiment. Men viewed the online profile of woman and indicated their attraction towards her. We assessed attraction by asking men to indicate their romantic interest and liking...
Poster
Full-text available
What happens when a marriage proposal is declined? We analyzed 400 (200 unsuccessful) written accounts of proposals. Ninety-one percent of unsuccessful couples broke up by the time of writing. Fifty percent of those who did not break up eventually got married. Not discussing marriage beforehand might be why some proposals are unsuccessful.
Poster
Full-text available
Romantic relationships have a large impact on health and well-being, thus how these relationships begin is an important area of research. The majority of the existing romantic relationship initiation research has focused on initiation between strangers or acquaintances. However, romantic relationships can also originate as friendships. Making the t...
Chapter
Sociometer theory contends that the self-esteem system is an evolved regulatory system aimed at helping people form and maintain high-quality social bonds that were and are essential for human survival. The motivational heart of the self-esteem system is the fundamental need to belong, which is a drive to form lasting and satisfying interpersonal a...
Poster
Full-text available
Men’s impressions of a woman’s financial success may be dependent on her level of physical attractiveness. We tested this hypothesis in a field experiment. In public campus locations, either a highly attractive or a typically attractive female confederate approached male students and requested their help on a class project. As part of her project,...
Poster
Full-text available
Acceptance of mate poachers and their behavior was examined as a function of self-esteem and relationship threat. We hypothesized that people with lower self-esteem would derogate poachers when their relationship was threatened but people with higher self-esteem would not. Results supported our hypotheses and provide insight into perceptions of poa...
Article
Full-text available
Social threats during relationship initiation often cause people to engage in cold behaviors that bring about rejection. However, interpersonal risk-regulation theory suggests that such processeswill be moderated by global self-esteem. In two experiments that manipulated the threat of rejection, single participants communicated via video camera wit...
Article
Full-text available
This research examines whether acceptance messages from close others about one's weight predict changes in stressful weight concern and body mass index (BMI) over time. Participants reported weight concern and BMI in three waves of data collection spanning approximately 9 months, and reported the messages they received from parents, friends, and ro...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Prior research in our lab suggests that people believe that romantic couples who are mismatched in physical attractiveness are unstable, and therefore the underbenefitted partner (i.e., the more attractive partner) is available to rivals (Stinson & Joordens, in preparation). The present research asks whether mismatch in behavioral warmth activates...
Poster
Full-text available
Receiving self-esteem-inconsistent feedback is uncomfortable and receiving self-esteem-consistent feedback is reassuring (Stinson et al., 2010). Discomfort prompts feedback-seeking to confirm or disprove the original feedback (Swann, 1987). Participants received high relational value feedback (RVF) and then had the chance to seek more RVF via tasks...
Poster
Full-text available
A field experiment tested the hypothesis that romantic couples who are mismatched in attractiveness are vulnerable to mate poaching attempts by interlopers. As expected, compared to a matched-boyfriend condition, the presence of a less-attractive boyfriend caused very attractive men to compliment and seek closeness with an attractive female confede...
Poster
Full-text available
Higher self-esteem individuals (HSEs) favour approach motivations more than lower self-esteem individuals (LSEs). Arousal should increase HSEs’ but decrease LSEs’ approach motivations. Results supported this prediction. With arousal, HSEs exhibited higher approach than LSEs. Without arousal, LSEs exhibited higher approach than HSEs, suggesting self...
Poster
Full-text available
People use implicit equity theories to predict others’ relationship dynamics and behaviours. They predict commitment based on a couple’s matching in attractiveness (Study 1). Additionally, they predict social status and relational sacrifices based on matching in attractiveness and commitment (Study 2), indicating that people do not blindly judge ot...
Article
Successful romantic relationship initiation often requires bold and direct action, but direct action can increase the possibility of rejection. These dual possible outcomes create interpersonal risk, which should prompt self-esteem differences in behavior. When risk is present, lower self-esteem individuals, who prefer to avoid social costs, will b...
Poster
Full-text available
Receiving self-concept inconsistent feedback prompts additional feedback-seeking (Swann, 1987). We hypothesized that social risk would influence the feedback-seeking by prompting self-verification when risk is present and prompting testing feedback accuracy when risk is irrelevant. This hypothesis was supported when low self-esteem individuals were...
Article
Full-text available
When presenting themselves to others, people attempt to create the impression that they possess socially desired traits. Verbally claiming to possess such traits is relatively simple, but making good on one’s promises by actually behaving in kind is more challenging. In particular, lower self-esteem individuals' relational insecurity may undermine...
Article
Full-text available
Baumeister, Tice, and Hutton proposed that individuals with low self-esteem (LSEs) adopt a more cautious, self-protective self-presentational style than individuals with high self-esteem (HSEs). The authors predicted that LSEs' self-protectiveness leads them to be less expressive--less revealing of their thoughts and feelings--with others than HSEs...
Poster
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Potential risk is key: Self-esteem and signature social motivations influence connection behaviours
Poster
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Lower self-esteem individuals’ (LSEs) social behaviors are less warm and inviting than higher self-esteem individuals’ (HSEs) behaviors. However, if acceptance is guaranteed, this pattern may be reversed. Coders rated participants’ non-verbal warmth and verbal self-disclosure, and results demonstrated that LSEs are more motivated than HSEs to conne...
Article
Full-text available
The authors draw on sociometer theory (e.g., Leary, 2004) and self-verification theory (e.g., Swann, 1997) to propose an expanded model of the regulatory function of self-esteem. The model suggests that people not only possess an acceptance signaling system that indicates whether relational value is high or low but also possess an epistemic signali...
Article
Full-text available
People's expectations of acceptance often come to create the acceptance or rejection they anticipate. The authors tested the hypothesis that interpersonal warmth is the behavioral key to this acceptance prophecy: If people expect acceptance, they will behave warmly, which in turn will lead other people to accept them; if they expect rejection, they...
Article
Full-text available
A model of the trust-insurance system is proposed to examine how people with low and high self-esteem cope with the interdependence dilemma posed by feeling inferior to a romantic partner. Feeling inferior automatically activates "if-then" contingencies that link inferiority to the exchange script (i.e., partner qualities are evenly traded) and exc...
Article
Full-text available
To date, research suggests that self-concept clarity is a monolithic construct: Some people have clearly defined self-concepts in all domains, whereas others do not. The authors argued that self-concept clarity is instead multifaceted and varies across trait domains. The authors predicted that social commodities (SCs; e.g., looks, popularity, socia...
Article
Full-text available
The authors draw on sociometer theory to propose that self-esteem is attuned to traits that garner others' acceptance, and the traits that garner acceptance depend on one's social role. Attunement of self-esteem refers to the linkage, or connection, between self-esteem and specific traits, which may be observed most clearly in the association betwe...
Article
Full-text available
The present study examined the sociometer’s role in guiding social behavior. The authors hypothesized that low self-esteem people (LSEs), but not high self-esteem people (HSEs), base their social decision-making on acceptance. Undergraduate participants were invited to join a social group and were led to believe that acceptance either was guarantee...

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