Jessica Tracy

Jessica Tracy
Molloy College · speech

About

126
Publications
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12,261
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Introduction

Publications

Publications (126)
Article
Social Functionalist Theory (SFT) emerged 20 years ago to orient emotion science to the social nature of emotion. Here we expand upon SFT and make the case for how emotions, relationships, and culture constitute one another. First, we posit that emotions enable the individual to meet six "relational needs" within social interactions: security, comm...
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The present pre-registered research provides the first evidence that a downwards head tilt is sufficient to communicate dominance from a neutral facial expression among the Mayangna, members of an unindustrialized, small-scale traditional society in Nicaragua who have had minimal exposure to North American culture. Consistent with the Action Unit i...
Article
Numerous studies have shown that pride comprises two distinct facets: authentic pride, which is associated with achievement, high self-esteem, and prosocial personality traits; and hubristic pride, associated with arrogance, low self-esteem, and antisocial personality traits. Functionalist accounts suggest that both pride facets facilitate the atta...
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Past research has demonstrated that children understand distinct emotion concepts and can accurately recognize facial expressions of distinct emotions by a young age, but few studies have assessed the age at which children develop the ability to recognize bodily expressions of distinct emotions. The current pre-registered research is the largest st...
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Research on emotion communication typically focuses on facial expressions, yet scientists dating back to Darwin have noted the importance of the body in conveying emotions. In fact, studies have found that the body is reliably used to express and recognize anger, fear, and sadness, by individuals in several industrialized populations. Here, we prov...
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Prior research has found an association between pride experiences and social rank outcomes. However, the causal direction of this relationship remains unclear. The current research used a longitudinal design ( N = 1,653) to investigate whether pride experiences are likely to be a cause, consequence, or both, of social rank outcomes, by tracking cha...
Article
Pride is a positively valenced emotion that occurs in response to success and is comprised of two distinct facets: authentic pride, characterized by feelings of accomplishment and confidence; and hubristic pride, characterized by feelings of arrogance and conceit. The two facets diverge in their associations with a range of personality traits and s...
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What does it mean to be happy? The vast majority of cross-cultural studies on happiness have employed a Western-origin, or “WEIRD” measure of happiness that conceptualizes it as a self-centered (or “independent”), high-arousal emotion. However, research from Eastern cultures, particularly Japan, conceptualizes happiness as including an interpersona...
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Objective The current exploratory study sought to examine dispositional optimism, or the general expectation for positive outcomes, around the world. Method Dispositional optimism and possible correlates were assessed across 61 countries (N = 15,185; mean age = 21.92; 77% female). Mean‐level differences in optimism were computed along with their r...
Article
A large body of research on emotion communication has demonstrated that facial muscle movements (i.e., facial expressions) influence social perceptions made from faces. However, new research suggests that head position can also affect the way that faces are perceived, by systematically changing the appearance of the face. More specifically, accordi...
Article
Research in the social sciences has largely relied on Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) participants, yet scholars tend to use findings from such WEIRD samples to draw conclusions about human psychology at large. There is, however, one prominent area of psychological science drawing on evolutionary theory that marks a...
Chapter
A large body of research has emerged to suggest that the self-conscious emotion of pride is a universal and evolved part of human nature, which functions to help individuals navigate their social hierarchies, motivating them to engage in behaviors that allow them to attain and maintain social rank, and communicating to others which group members ar...
Article
Over the past two decades, scholars have conducted studies on the subjective experience of over 30 positive emotional states (see Weidman, Steckler, & Tracy, 2017). Yet, evidence from research on the non-verbal expression and biological correlates of positive emotions suggests that people likely experience far fewer than 30 distinct positive emotio...
Article
Inquiry into positive emotions such as awe, compassion, gratitude, and pride has increased rapidly in recent years. Yet, the distinct subjective content of each positive emotion remains unknown, leaving unclear what people feel, think, and do when they experience these states, and whether regularly studied positive emotions are experientially disti...
Article
What would a comprehensive atlas of human emotions include? For 50 years, scientists have sought to map emotion-related experience, expression, physiology, and recognition in terms of the “basic six”—anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. Claims about the relationships between these six emotions and prototypical facial configuratio...
Article
All human societies are organized hierarchically, and individuals who occupy positions of high social rank typically acquire fitness advantages over lower ranking group members. Here, we argue that certain emotions function, at least in part, to help individuals successfully navigate these hierarchies. We review evidence suggesting that nine distin...
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Basic emotion theory (BET) has been, perhaps, the central narrative in the science of emotion. As Crivelli and Fridlund (J Nonverbal Behav 125:1-34, 2019, this issue) would have it, however, BET is ready to be put to rest, facing "last stands" and "fatal" empirical failures. Nothing could be further from the truth. Crivelli and Fridlund's outdated...
Article
Converging evidence suggests that high rank is communicated through various nonverbal behaviors (e.g., expansiveness), but prior studies have not examined whether 2 distinct forms of high rank-known as prestige and dominance-are communicated through distinct nonverbal displays. Given the divergent messages that prestigious and dominant leaders need...
Article
Research on face perception tends to focus on facial morphology and the activation of facial muscles while ignoring any impact of head position. We raise questions about this approach by demonstrating that head movements can dramatically shift the appearance of the face to shape social judgments without engaging facial musculature. In five studies...
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The current project measures personality across cultures, for the first time using a forced-choice (or idiographic) assessment instrument - the California Adult Q-set (CAQ). Correlations among the average personality profiles across 13 countries (total N = 2,370) ranged from r = .69 to r = .98. The most similar averaged personality profiles were be...
Article
To address ongoing debates about whether feelings of disgust are causally related to moral judgments, we pharmacologically inhibited spontaneous disgust responses to moral infractions and examined effects on moral thinking. Findings demonstrated, first, that the antiemetic ginger (Zingiber officinale), known to inhibit nausea, reduces feelings of d...
Article
Although scientists dating back to Darwin have noted the importance of the body in communicating emotion, current research on emotion communication tends to emphasize the face. In this article we review the evidence for bodily expressions of emotions—that is, the handful of emotions that are displayed and recognized from certain bodily behaviors (i...
Article
Models of human altruism suggest that decisions to help are influenced by assessments of both potential recipients' need state and their competence, as high need increases the value of gifts received, and competent recipients can most effectively use and repay gifts. Need and competence are often inversely related, however, raising the question of...
Article
Gervais & Fessler reintroduce the concept of a sentiment as a framework for conceptualizing contempt, a construct with both attitudinal and emotional components. We propose that humility might also fit this mold. We review recent findings regarding the antecedents, phenomenology, and functional consequences of humility, and discuss why conceptualiz...
Article
Fundamental motivational systems and distinct emotions have both been suggested to be critically involved in the orchestration of adaptive responses to recurrent challenges in humans' evolutionary history. Research on motivation has, however, proceeded largely independently from research on emotions. Here, we contend that distinct emotions are what...
Article
Although affective science has seen an explosion of interest in measuring subjectively experienced distinct emotional states, most existing self-report measures tap broad affect dimensions and dispositional emotional tendencies, rather than momentary distinct emotions. This raises the question of how emotion researchers measuring momentary distinct...
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Similar to the nonverbal signals shown by many nonhuman animals during aggressive conflicts, humans display a broad range of behavioral signals to advertise and augment their apparent size, strength, and fighting prowess when competing for social dominance. Favored by natural selection, these signals communicate the displayer's capacity and willing...
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Objective: The purpose of this research is to quantitatively compare everyday situational experience around the world. Method: 5447 members of college communities in 20 countries, recruited by local collaborators, provided data via a website in 14 languages. Using the 89 items of the Riverside Situational Qsort (RSQ), participants described the sit...
Article
Psychological inquiry into humility has advanced considerably over the past decade, yet this literature suffers from 2 notable limitations. First, there is no clear consensus among researchers about what humility is, and conceptualizations vary considerably across studies. Second, researchers have uniformly operationalized humility as a positive, s...
Article
The authors examined the linguistic cues that inform personality judgments from online personal advertisements, and whether these judgments are accurate. Advertisers reported their personality, and 2 sets of naïve judges-including one that was seeking a romantic partner-rated advertisers' personality after reading their ads. Judges' impressions of...
Article
We review research on social communication occurring via nonverbal expressions of emotion. Early studies suggest that a small number of emotions are associated with distinct nonverbal expressions — including facial and bodily displays, and vocal bursts — which are reliably recognized and displayed across cultures. More recent work has sought to add...
Article
Although the emotion authentic pride has been posited to promote achievement, it remains unclear precisely how this works. Here, we tested whether authentic pride promotes adaptive downstream achievement outcomes by motivating individuals to engage in appropriate behavioral responses to success and failure. In two longitudinal studies (total n = 11...
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Across six studies conducted in Mainland China and South Korea, the present research extended prior findings showing that pride is comprised of two distinct conceptual and experiential facets in the U.S.: a pro-social, achievement-oriented “authentic pride”, and an arrogant, self-aggrandizing “hubristic pride”. This same two-facet structure emerged...
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Two studies examined the mechanisms underlying North American women's previously documented attraction to men displaying the nonverbal expression of shame (Tracy and Beall, 2011). In Study 1, American women at high-conception risk were found to be less attracted to men displaying shame compared to women at low-conception risk, suggesting that male...
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This paper documents the multifaceted nature of pride in consumer behavior. Drawing on recent psychological research on pride, we provide evidence for two separate facets of pride in consumption. In a series of studies, we propose a model wherein luxury brand consumption and pride are systematically interrelated. Whereas authentic (but not hubristi...
Article
According to evolutionary accounts of distinct emotions, these emotions are shaped by natural selection to adjust the physiological, psychological, cognitive, and behavioral parameters of an organism to facilitate its capacity to respond adaptively to threats and opportunities present in the environment. This account has a number of implications, m...
Article
This exchange provides an array of perspectives on the questions of what emotions are, how they function, and how they should be studied. While my approach is evolutionary and functionalist-viewing each distinct emotion as having evolved to serve a particular function (though not necessarily one entirely unique to that emotion)-this approach is not...
Article
The construct of emotion dysregulation has been used to describe and explain diverse psychopathologies. Although this is intuitively appealing and sensible, the application of emotion reactivity and regulation to the study of psychopathology has, to a large extent, proceeded independently from concepts and measures informed by affective science. Ut...
Article
Emotions influence social status in a number of ways. Here, we adopt an evolutionary approach to examine the ways in which certain distinct emotions function to facilitate navigation of the status hierarchy. We argue that these emotions affect status outcomes through three distinct pathways: their experience, their nonverbal display, and the way th...
Article
The pursuit of social status is a recurrent and pervasive challenge faced by individuals in all human societies. Yet, the precise means through which individuals compete for and effectively acquire social standing remains unclear. Despite a large literature examining the factors that lead to rank differentiation, this body of work currently lacks a...
Article
This chapter provides an overview of measures and experimental manipulations developed and used in research on social status. Our goal is to provide researchers with a resource for identifying and selecting appropriate self-report and other-report scales, behavioral measures, and experimental manipulation tools for their future empirical work on st...
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Women are particularly motivated to enhance their sexual attractiveness during their most fertile period, and men perceive shades of red, when associated with women, as sexually attractive. Building on this research, we recently found that women are more likely to wear reddish clothing when at peak fertility (Beall & Tracy, 2013), presumably as a w...
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The authentic/hubristic (A/H) model of pride has been empirically supported by dozens of studies drawing on thousands of participants. The model involves four distinct components, most central of which is the finding that pride is not a unitary construct but rather is comprised of two distinct facets, referred to as authentic and hubristic pride. I...
Book
Given the far-reaching effects of status on human societies, understanding the psychology of social status is crucial. Across all societies, differences in social rank or status not only determine who leads and who follows, but also the ways in which individuals resolve conflicts, allocate goods and resources, and coordinate to achieve shared group...
Article
Does narcissism provide a source of hardiness or vulnerability in the face of adversity? The present research addressed this question by testing whether narcissism is associated with increased physiological reactivity to emotional distress, among women. Drawing on the "fragile-ego" account, we predicted that narcissists would show a heightened phys...
Article
Although females of many species closely related to humans signal their fertile window in an observable manner, often involving red or pink coloration, no such display has been found for humans. Building on evidence that men are sexually attracted to women wearing or surrounded by red, we tested whether women show a behavioral tendency toward weari...
Article
Humans learn, in large part, by copying knowledgeable others. However, because others can be deceitful or lack competence, indiscriminate copying would be maladaptive. How then do individuals determine which social group members have knowledge that should be copied? We argue that the pride nonverbal expression may signal expertise, and thus bias le...
Article
Public shaming has long been thought to promote positive behavioral change. However, studies suggest that shame may be a detrimental response to problematic behavior because it motivates hiding, escape, and general avoidance of the problem. We tested whether shame about one’s past addictive drinking (measured via nonverbal displays and self-report)...
Article
The present research examined whether the production of a narrative containing self-redemption (wherein the narrator describes a positive personality change following a negative experience) predicts positive behavioral change. In Study 1, we compared the narratives of alcoholics who had maintained their sobriety for over 4 years with those of alcoh...
Article
Recent research in the U.S. and Europe indicates that viewing red enhances men's attraction to women. This red effect may reflect a basic predisposition shared across cultures, and may thus represent a functional human universal — that is, a psychological process that carries the same meaning in all human societies (Norenzayan & Heine, 2005). We co...
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The pursuit of social rank is a recurrent and pervasive challenge faced by individuals in all human societies. Yet, the precise means through which individuals compete for social standing remains unclear. In 2 studies, we investigated the impact of 2 fundamental strategies-Dominance (the use of force and intimidation to induce fear) and Prestige (t...
Article
The narration of drinking experiences plays a central role in many alcohol rehabilitation programmes, yet few researchers have considered whether alcoholics' stories about such experiences relate to their psychological adjustment. Here we examine the extent to which drinking stories of abstinent alcoholics reflect autobiographical reasoning process...
Article
Findings from a study that surveyed editors and editorial board members of personality and social psychology journals are reviewed to examine the practice of psychological science in the field of social-personality. Findings demonstrate: (a) although personality and social researchers tend to use many of the same approaches, methods, and procedures...
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How do we decide who merits social status? According to functionalist theories of emotion, the nonverbal expressions of pride and shame play a key role, functioning as automatically perceived status signals. In this view, observers automatically make status inferences about expressers on the basis of these expressions, even when contradictory conte...
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To test whether the pride expression is an implicit, reliably developing signal of high social status in humans, the authors conducted a series of experiments that measured implicit and explicit cognitive associations between pride displays and high-status concepts in two culturally disparate populations-North American undergraduates and Fijian vil...
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A growing body of research suggests that pride and shame are associated with distinct, cross-culturally recognised nonverbal expressions, which are spontaneously displayed in situations of success and failure, respectively. Here, we review these findings, then offer a theoretical account of the adaptive benefits of these displays. We argue that bot...
Chapter
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In this emotion-centered account, we emphasize the importance of shame and hubristic pride in fueling the cognitive and behavioral dynamics that characterize grandiose and vulnerable narcissism. Our focus on specific self-conscious emotions helps clarify distinctions between narcissism and self-esteem, provides insights to narcissism's evolutionary...
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We appreciate Barrett’s (2011, this issue) comments and her discussion of how our two-stage model is and is not consistent with Darwin’s views on the evolution of emotion expressions. Like many pioneering books, Darwin’s The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals represents a flurry of novel and revolutionary, yet often inconsistent, ideas, whic...
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Although research on the nonverbal expression of emotion has played a prominent role throughout psychology during the past two decades—including an instrumental role in the development of contemporary evolutionary psychology—little research has focused on the evolutionary origins and functions of the emotional expressions themselves. However, recen...
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The present research demonstrates that pride has divergent effects on prejudice, exacerbating or attenuating evaluative biases against stigmatized groups, depending on the form of pride experienced. Specifically, three experiments found that hubristic pride--associated with arrogance and self-aggrandizement--promotes prejudice and discrimination, w...
Article
In this special section, Ekman and Cordaro (2011); Izard (2011); Levenson (2011); and Panksepp and Watt (2011) have each outlined the latest instantiation of each lead author’s theoretical model of basic emotions. We identify four themes emerging from these models, and discuss areas of agreement and disagreement. We then briefly evaluate the models...
Article
This research examined the relative sexual attractiveness of individuals showing emotion expressions of happiness, pride, and shame compared with a neutral control. Across two studies using different images and samples ranging broadly in age (total N = 1041), a large gender difference emerged in the sexual attractiveness of happy displays: happines...
Article
Two studies tested whether observers could differentiate between two facets of pride-authentic and hubristic-on the basis of a single prototypical pride nonverbal expression combined with relevant contextual information. In Study 1, participants viewed targets displaying posed pride expressions in response to success, while causal attributions for...
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Supplementary Analyses. (DOC)
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Passage Used as Stimulus in Study 4. (DOC)
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Passages Used as Stimuli in Studies 1, 2, 4, and 5. (DOC)
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Passages Used as Stimuli in Study 3. (DOC)
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The present research examined the psychological motives underlying widespread support for intelligent design theory (IDT), a purportedly scientific theory that lacks any scientific evidence; and antagonism toward evolutionary theory (ET), a theory supported by a large body of scientific evidence. We tested whether these attitudes are influenced by...
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Self-compassion has demonstrated many psychological benefits (Neff, 2009). In an effort to explore self-compassion as a potential resource for young women athletes, we explored relations among self-compassion, proneness to self-conscious emotions (i.e., shame, guilt-free shame, guilt, shame-free guilt, authentic pride, and hubristic pride), and pot...
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In Clark’s thoughtful analysis of the evolution of the two facets of pride, he suggests that the concurrent existence of hubristic and authentic pride in humans represents a “persistence problem,” wherein the vestigial trait (hubristic pride) continues to exist alongside the derived trait (authentic pride). In our view, evidence for the two facets...
Article
Human visual attention operates in a context that is complex, social and dynamic. To explore this, we recorded people taking part in a group decision-making task and then showed video clips of these situations to new participants while tracking their eye movements. Observers spent the majority of time looking at the people in the videos, and in par...
Article
Based on evolutionary logic, Henrich and Gil-White [Evolution and Human Behavior, 22(3), 165–196] distinguished between two routes to attaining social status in human societies: dominance, based on intimidation, and prestige, based on the possession of skills or expertise. Independently, emotion researchers Tracy and Robins [Journal of Personality...
Article
Researchers have argued that individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) use an effortful "systematizing" process to recognize emotion expressions, whereas typically developing (TD) individuals use a more holistic process. If this is the case, individuals with ASDs should show slower and less efficient emotion recognition, particularly for so...
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Although pride has been central to philosophical and religious discussions of emotion for thousands of years, it has largely been neglected by psychologists. However, in the past decade a growing body of psychological research on pride has emerged; new theory and findings suggest that pride is a psychologically important and evolutionarily adaptive...
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Williams and DeSteno (2010) and Gladkova (2010) question the validity, utility, and theoretical support for the bifurcation of pride into hubristic and authentic facets. Though these commentators highlight unanswered questions and important directions for future research, we argue that the broad, evolutionarily informed framework for the two facets...
Chapter
Pride is a self-conscious emotion that fuels many of our most meaningful achievements, both everyday and life-changing. Like all self-conscious emotions, pride is experienced when individuals direct their attention inward and make a self-evaluation. As a positive emotion, pride occurs when these self-evaluations result in positive views of the self...
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Evolutionary theory suggests that the universal recognition of nonverbal expressions of emotions functions to enhance fitness. Specifically, emotion expressions may send survival-relevant messages to other social group members, who have the capacity to automatically interpret these signals. In the present research, we used 3 different implicit asso...