Joop Van der Pligt

Joop Van der Pligt
University of Amsterdam | UVA · Department of Social Psychology

Ph.D. , King's College, University of London

About

192
Publications
63,500
Reads
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8,996
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on attitudes and decision-making. My current work on attitudes focuses on the role of affect in attitude formation and change, ambivalence, and on how people deal with counter-attitudinal information. My research on decision-making deals with the role of (anticipated) affect in decision-making, perceived risk, and the consequences of uncertainty and (lack of) control on judgment and decision-making. Recent work also addresses intuitive versus deliberate decision-making.
Additional affiliations
December 1986 - present
University of Amsterdam
Description
  • Professor of Social Psychology
January 1983 - December 1986
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
September 1981 - January 1983
Instituut voor Milieuvraagstukken
Instituut voor Milieuvraagstukken
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
September 1977 - August 1981
King's College London
Field of study
  • Psychology
September 1974 - July 1977
Utrecht University
Field of study
  • Philosophy
September 1974 - July 1977
Utrecht University
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (192)
Article
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Intuition is associated with a global processing style, whereas deliberation is associated with a local processing style. Drawing on previous research on the effects of decisional fit on the subjective value attached to chosen alternatives, we examined the possibility that a fit between processing style and decision mode results in greater subjecti...
Article
The illusion of control can be defined as the erroneous belief that one's actions cause a specific outcome, whereas sense of agency refers to the subjective feeling of authorship over one's actions. In the present study we investigated the development of illusory control and sense of agency. A novel card-guessing game was developed in which 7- to-1...
Article
Emotional expressions constitute a rich source of information. Integrating theorizing on attribution, appraisal processes, and the use of emotions as social information, we examined how emotional expressions influence attributions of agency and responsibility under conditions of ambiguity. Three vignette studies involving different scenarios indicat...
Article
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Ambivalence refers to a psychological conflict between opposing evaluations, often experienced as being torn between alternatives. This dynamic aspect of ambivalence is hard to capture with outcome-focused measures, such as response times or self-report. To gain more insight into ambivalence as it unfolds, the current work uses an embodied measure...
Article
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People often express emotion to influence others, for instance when making a request. Yet, surprisingly little is known about how such emotional expressions shape compliance. We investigated the interpersonal effects of anger and disappointment on compliance with requests. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants were more willing to offer help and don...
Article
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In the present study, we provide direct evidence for effects of global versus local processing on responsiveness to and reliance on affective information in judgement and decision-making. Results of Experiments 1 and 2 showed an increased responsiveness to affective stimuli among participants in a global processing mode. Experiment 3 showed similar...
Article
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The current paper reports an investigation of the existential function of belief in progress, specifically faith in social and moral advancement. We argue that for belief in progress to provide a sense of purpose and significance in our world, it must concern humanity and society and not merely the technological advances humankind accomplishes. We...
Article
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People overweigh small and underweigh large risks, resulting in probability weighting functions with an inverted S-shape. This bias is stronger for affect-rich outcomes: For two outcomes of the same monetary value, people are less sensitive to probability variation for affect-rich than for affect-poor outcomes (e.g., winning a $100 voucher toward a...
Article
How do instructors' emotional expressions influence students' learning performance? Scholars and practitioners alike have emphasized the importance of positive, nurturing emotions for successful learning. However, teachers may sometimes lose their temper and express anger at their pupils. Drawing on emotions as social information (EASI) theory, we...
Article
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In evolutionary approaches to religion it is argued that belief in supernatural agents is strongly related to a perceptual bias to over-detect the presence of agents in the environment. We report five experiments that investigate whether processing concepts about supernatural agents facilitates agency detection. Participants were presented with poi...
Article
People generally say they prefer to have the opportunity to revise decisions at a later point in time. Research has shown, however, that reversible decision-making leads to lower as opposed to higher levels of post-choice satisfaction (Gilbert & Ebert, 2002). In three studies we aimed to gain insight into the underlying processes driving this count...
Article
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What produces better judgments: deliberating or relying on intuition? Past research is inconclusive. We focus on the role of expertise to increase understanding of the effects of judgment mode. We propose a framework in which expertise depends on a person's experience with and knowledge about a domain. Individuals who are relatively experienced but...
Article
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People are motivated to maintain the belief that they live in an orderly world in which things are under control. Previous research has shown that perceptions of order can be maintained via two routes: affirming personal control over one’s life and future outcomes, and bolstering one’s belief in external systems or agents that exert control over th...
Article
Prior research exploring the relationship between evaluations and body movements has focused on one-sided evaluations. However, people regularly encounter objects or situations about which they simultaneously hold both positive and negative views, which results in the experience of ambivalence. Such experiences are often described in physical terms...
Article
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Understanding how people interpret risks and choose actions based on their interpretations is vital to any strategy for disaster reduction. We review relevant literature with the aim of developing a conceptual framework to guide future research in this area. We stress that risks in the context of natural hazards always involve interactions between...
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Decisions and judgments made after deliberation can differ from expert opinion and be more regretted over time than intuitive judgments and decisions. We investigated a possible underlying process of this phenomenon, namely global versus local processing style. We argue that deliberation induces a local processing style. This processing style narro...
Article
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Two studies investigated the hypothesis that people with low self-esteem are more inclined to avoid information that is incongruent with value-relevant attitudes than people with higher levels of self-esteem. In Study 1 participants had the opportunity to postpone and potentially avoid reading a counter-attitudinal article. Results confirmed our pr...
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Stage theories are prominent and controversial in science. One possible reason for their appeal is that they provide order and predictability. Participants in Experiment 1 rated stage theories as more orderly and predictable (but less credible) than continuum theories. In Experiments 2-5, we showed that order threats increase the appeal of stage th...
Article
A simple reminder of the fact that we do not always control life's outcomes reduced people's belief in Darwin's Theory of Evolution. This control-threat resulted in a relative preference for theories of life that thwart randomness, either by stressing the role of a controlling God (Intelligent Design) or by presenting the Theory of Evolution in ter...
Article
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The present research shows that belief in progress helps to alleviate the aversive experience of low levels of control. When control is low, believing in progress provides people with the promise of future control in a broader sense. In Experiments 1 and 2, participants lacking control disagreed more with an essay on the illusory nature of human pr...
Book
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In de Nederlandse politiek en publieke discussie is kernenergie terug van weggeweest. In 1984 bleek er - na de 'Brede maatschappelijke discussie' - onder de bevolking geen draagvlak te zijn en na de ramp in Tsjernobyl in 1986 gaf ook de politiek het op. Hoe staat het nu met de publieke opinie? Hoe denken Nederlanders over kernenergie in vergelijkin...
Article
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In this article we offer a new perspective on the contradictory findings in the literature on memory for attitude-relevant information. We propose that biases in memory are most likely to occur when the attitude involved is connected to personally important values and the self; i.e., if the attitude serves a value-expressive function. Moreover, we...
Article
Four studies examined how impulse-control beliefs--beliefs regarding one's ability to regulate visceral impulses, such as hunger, drug craving, and sexual arousal-influence the self-control process. The findings provide evidence for a restraint bias: a tendency for people to overestimate their capacity for impulse control. This biased perception of...
Article
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People are generally averse toward conflict between beliefs and/or feelings underlying their attitudes-that is, attitudinal ambivalence. This review integrates literature on attitudinal ambivalence with theories on decision making and coping strategies to gain a better understanding of when and how people deal with feelings of ambivalence. First it...
Article
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Terror management theory argues that people can cope with the psychological threat of their own death by bolstering faith in their cultural worldviews. Based on the notion that-since the Age of Enlightenment-belief or faith in progress has become one of the defining qualities of modern Western thinking, we expected that this belief serves as a buff...
Article
It has long been assumed that people experience evaluative conflict or ambivalence as unpleasant. In three studies we provide direct evidence for the assumption that ambivalence is unpleasant, but only when one has to commit to one side of the issue. In those situations ambivalence will be related to outcome uncertainty and feelings of discomfort....
Article
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In three studies we addressed the impact of perceived risk and negative affect on risky choice. In Study 1, we tested a model that included both perceived risk and negative affect as predictors of risky choice. Study 2 and Study 3 replicated these findings and examined the impact of affective versus cognitive processing modes. In all the three stud...
Article
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To determine how visceral impulses, such as hunger and drug craving, influence health beliefs. The authors assessed smokers' self-efficacy and intentions to quit while in a randomly assigned state of cigarette craving or noncraving (Study 1), and assessed dieters weight-loss beliefs while hungry or satiated (Study 2). Self-efficacy, smoking cessati...
Article
In two studies, we examined the role of social comparisons in regret management. In the first study, participants received a (relatively) negative outcome after which they were presented with base-rate information about the performance of other participants in the experiment. Results showed that experienced regret decreased as a result of base-rate...
Article
Perception of control has been a fundamental construct in research on risk-taking behavior. It has been shown, for example, that people tend to underestimate risks that are under their control. Despite its importance, surprisingly, little attention has been paid to what is actually meant by control. In three studies, we argue that the common concep...
Article
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Impulsive behavior is a common source of stigma. The authors argue that people often stigmatize impulsive behavior because they fail to appreciate the influence visceral impulses have on behavior. Because people tend to underestimate the motivational force of cravings for sex, drugs, food, and so forth, they are prone to stigmatize those who act on...
Article
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The study investigated the relation between coping strategies of inmates and their psychological and physical well-being. General affective states such as optimism were related to both psychological and physical well-being. Moreover, inmates who experienced specific negative emotions such as regret, anxiety, and sadness reported more psychological...
Article
In two studies, we compared the strength of positive and negative associations of ambivalent attitudes to those of nonambivalent attitudes. In Study 1, results from an implicit association task showed that, in contrast to nonambivalent attitudes, ambivalent attitudes were characterized by strong positive and negative associations. In Study 2 respon...
Article
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A research group of four judgement and decision-making experts was convened to examine the literature on risky human behaviour, including driving, and to make recommendations on what format, structure and content is likely to have the biggest impact on road safety attitudes and behaviour in the specific group of convicted traffic offenders. The ove...
Article
The present research demonstrates that the extent to which people appreciate the influence past visceral states have had on behavior (e.g., the influence hunger has had on food choice) depends largely on their current visceral state. Specifically, we found that when people were in a hot state (e.g., fatigued), they attributed behavior primarily to...
Article
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We examined the effects of unobtrusive affective and cognitive focus on attitude formation. To induce focus, participants worked on a word-search puzzle consisting of either affective (e.g., emotion) or cognitive (e.g., reasoning) words. They then read positive and negative affective and cognitive information about a new attitude object. In the aff...
Article
In two studies we examined the nature and consequence of ambivalent attitudes. In the first study, we assessed whether holding ambivalent attitudes was aversive, and tested whether this aversion was resolved through biased information processing. To do this we manipulated participants’ attributions of the discomfort associated with an ambivalent me...
Article
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We argue that affect plays a vital role in attitudes toward organ donation and that reluctance to become an organ donor is likely to be related to the experience of affective ambivalence. Assessing the affect associated with organ donation could help to predict donor-relevant decisions. Results of a confirmatory factor analysis on 464 students show...
Article
The present study investigates the structure of attitudes towards genetically modified (GM) food. A total of 431 respondents completed a questionnaire measuring their overall attitude, cognition and affect towards GM food. A model with distinct positive and negative, affective and cognitive components and a separate factor for perceived risk and wo...
Article
The purpose of the present research was, first, to examine the impact of particular perspectives (Study 1: cognitive and affective; Study 2: moral) on the perception and acceptance of risks associated with meat consumption, and intention to reduce meat consumption in the future. The first study showed that an affective focus generally had a stronge...
Article
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Male and female university students from the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Ecuador, Pakistan, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Turkey read a standardized scenario in which a male professor was accused of sexually harassing a female graduate student. Respondents from individualist countries judged the professor to be guilty of sexual...
Article
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In three studies we investigated the role of bottom-up information processing in attitudinal judgment. Overall, the results confirm our expectations and show that people are faster in judging attributes underlying their attitude towards the object than in generating or 'computing' their overall attitudinal response. As predicted, respondents who se...
Article
In three studies we examined the assumption that attitudes can be based on a stable structure of individually important attributes. In the first study we examined if people are able to adequately determine what the attributes are that underlie their attitude by relating meta-attitudinal measures to more operative measures of attribute importance. T...
Article
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The purpose of the present study was to examine whether differences in ambivalence between meat eaters affect their attitude towards eating meat, the belief structure underlying these attitudes, meat consumption, and intentions to reduce consumption in the future. Not surprisingly, more ambivalent meat eaters held a less positive attitude towards m...
Article
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The purpose of the present research was to examine which types of harm play a determining role in experiences of guilt and regret. In two studies it is shown that guilt results from interpersonal harm and regret from harm to oneself. Moreover, the second study showed that guilt generally increases as a function of the level of negative interpersona...
Article
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Both the dynamic approach and catastrophe modeling have been warmly welcomed in research on attitudes and opinions. In this article, the authors discuss a general methodology for testing catastrophe models and apply it to the dynamics of attitude formation and change. First, by making use of the so-called catastrophe flags, converging support for t...
Article
The present paper addresses a way in which people can try to avoid disappointment: namely, by lowering their expectations about obtaining a desired but uncertain outcome. It was hypothesized that people endorse this strategy when two specific (contextual) conditions are met. First, self-relevant feedback should be anticipated, and second this feedb...
Article
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Comments on the article by J. P. Forgas on psychological theories linking affect, cognition, and behavior. The studies reviewed provide compelling evidence of the influence of affect on different types of interpersonal behavior (i.e., "the what"). Less compelling is the evidence concerning the conditions under which this influence occur (i.e., the...
Article
The present research examines the role of optimism on time preferences for both losses and gains. It is argued that optimism has asymmetric effects on time preferences for gains versus losses: one reason why decision makers prefer immediate gains is because they are optimistic that these gains will be followed by additional gains in future. In cont...
Article
The present research examines the role of categorical perception (McGarty, Haslam, Turner, & Oakes, 1993) in the illusory correlation paradigm. This approach assumes that the search for meaningful differences between two stimulus groups can lead to the illusory correlation effect. This explanation is investigated in Study 1 by presenting participan...
Article
This chapter focuses on attitudes that are associated with deliberate information processing and explores the attributes or belief structure underlying individual attitudes. The chapter discusses dual-process models of attitude change. Attitudes and decisions differ in importance. Attitudes about trivial issues and most decisions in familiar situat...
Article
Two studies related attribute importance to accessibility and speed of judgment. Attitudes were assessed by a direct attitude measure and a modal set of 15 attributes. Attributes were rated in terms of their probability and desirability. Subsequently, participants were required to select the five attributes they considered to be most important. Res...
Article
Immediate affective reactions to outcomes are more intense following decisions to act than following decisions not to act. This finding holds for both positive and negative outcomes. We relate this "actor-effect" to attribution theory and argue that decision makers are seen as more responsible for outcomes when these are the result of a decision to...
Article
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Decision outcomes sometimes result in negative emotions. This can occur when a decision appears to be wrong in retrospect, and/or when the obtained decision outcome does not live up to expectations. Regret and disappointment are the 2 emotions that are of central interest in the present article. Although these emotions have a lot in common, they al...
Article
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Two scenario studies investigated the impact of the investment of instrumental and noninstrumental effort on the intensity of disappointment and regret. The role of effort was investigated in the context of other determinants of disappointment and regret: the desirability of the outcome, its likelihood, and the perceived responsibility for (not) ob...
Article
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Examines the role of attribute importance in expectancy-value models. Attitudes towards smoking were assessed by a) a direct attitude measure (4 semantic differentials) and b) a series of 15 attribute statements. These attributes (negative and positive consequences of smoking) were rated in terms of their probability and desirability. One hundred a...
Article
Illusory correlation refers to the perceived (but erroneous) relation between stimuli. Recent research in this area has shown that the perception of illusory correlation between two groups and their behaviors can be a product of attempts to differentiate between these groups. This is due to participants' interpretations of the experimental task and...
Article
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The present research focuses on the emotional consequences of negative outcomes. Two types of negative outcomes are distinguished: The absence of a positive outcome and the presence of a negative outcome. It is argued that disappointment, because of its close link with hope, desire, and promise, is more associated with the absence of a positive out...
Article
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In a series of studies, the authors examined apology as a means of undoing interpersonal regrets. In the first study, 63 cases from a Dutch television show called I Am Sorry were coded on two dimensions. This show provides people with the opportunity to undo regrets arising in social relationships. The results show that people are more likely to un...
Article
Regret and disappointment are emotions that can be experienced in response to an unfavorable outcome of a decision. Previous research suggests that both emotions are related to the process of counterfactual thinking. The present research extends this idea by combining it with ideas from regret and disappointment theory. The results show that regret...
Article
Investigated the impact of anticipated regret on precautionary sexual behavior. 317 female and 134 male 18-48 yr old college students completed questionnaires assessing behavioral expectations regarding casual sexual behavior, anticipated regret, perceived behavioral control, attitudes, self-reported behavior, and subjective norms. Results show tha...
Article
Investigated the impact of anticipated regret on precautionary sexual behavior. 317 female and 134 male 18-48 yr old college students completed questionnaires assessing behavioral expectations regarding casual sexual behavior, anticipated regret, perceived behavioral control, attitudes, self-reported behavior, and subjective norms. Results show tha...
Article
Full-text available
The degree of data-based and expected coherence within groups was predicted to enhance intergroup differentiation in the illusory correlation paradigm. Results of Study 1 indicated that data-based coherence was a prerequisite for illusory correlation, and this effect was further enhanced by expected coherence. Reinterpretations of the behaviors als...
Article
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Expectancy-value models of health behaviour are based upon the assumption that this behaviour is determined by a subjective cost-benefit analysis. Generally, these models emphasize cognitive appraisal processes focusing on the likelihood and evaluation of the consequences of health-related behavioural practices. A first potential shortcoming of app...
Article
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Regret and disappointment have in common the fact that they are experienced when the outcome of a decision is unfavourable: They both concern "what might have been", had things been different. However, some regret and disappointment theorists regard the differences between these emotions as important, arguing that they differ with respect to the co...
Article
This paper addresses the effects of availability and anchoring-and-adjustment on people's beliefs and values concerning environmental issues. The first three studies focus on lay people's perceptions of the causes of large scale environmental risks, the second series of three studies deals with how people value environmental goods and how much they...
Article
Most major theories of health-related behaviors are based on the assumption that people estimate their perceived susceptibility to a disease and evaluate the costs and benefits of precautionary behavior before taking action. Generally, perceived risk (PR) or susceptibility is seen as an important determinant of preventive action. This article summa...
Article
Regret and disappointment are emotions that can be experienced in response to an unfavorable outcome of a decision. Previous research suggests that both emotions are related to the process of counterfactual thinking. The present research extends this idea by combining it with ideas from regret and disappointment theory. The results show that regret...