Joshua A. Wilt

Joshua A. Wilt
Case Western Reserve University | CWRU · Department of Psychological Sciences

PhD

About

109
Publications
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2,337
Citations

Publications

Publications (109)
Article
We investigated how gratitude to God (GTG) functions within the context of negative events. Specifically, we sought to locate the position of GTG within the affective circumplex and to test whether GTG relates to higher levels of perceived closeness to God (PCTG). In a cross-sectional study, participants (N = 142 U.S. undergraduate believers in God...
Article
Given the prevalence of supernatural beliefs in the United States, some people may believe that God or the devil influenced people to create or receive COVID-19 vaccines. In an Internet sample of 3196 U.S. adults (with many preregistered hypotheses), divine vaccine attributions were more common than demonic attributions. Demonic vaccine attribution...
Article
This study examines the extent to which a measure of multidimensional schizotypy is associated with experiences of social defeat. Based on the social defeat hypothesis of psychosis, which suggests that chronic stressful experiences leading to social defeat increase risk for psychotic-like experiences, we expect that individual differences on a schi...
Article
We tested preregistered hypotheses (a) examining the structure of supernatural beliefs and perceived experiences and (b) predicting supernatural engagement from the Big Five and cognitive styles. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) of self-report data in the U.S. undergraduates (Study 1: n = 1,401; Study 2: n = 1,939) showed that bel...
Article
Perceiving that one has grown in positive ways following highly stressful experiences (perceived posttraumatic growth; PPTG) is common and sometimes--but not always--related to psychological wellbeing. However, PPTG is typically studied cross-sectionally and well after the stressful experience has passed; how PPTG might relate to wellbeing over tim...
Article
How do people cope with spiritual struggles? For those who believe in a personal, relational God, some responses may focus on their perceived relationship with God: They might approach (draw close), disengage (turn away or exit), protest (complain, argue, or question), or suppress (avoid or minimize negative feelings). This paper presents initial v...
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Gilbert and colleagues (2018) point out the discrepancy between the limited empirical data illustrating changes in personality (and related concepts of identity, agency, authenticity, autonomy, and self, i.e., PIAAAS) following implantation of deep brain stimulating (DBS) electrodes and the vast number of conceptual neuroethics papers implying that...
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The article Pragmatismand the Importance of Interdisciplinary Teams in Investigating Personality Changes Following DBS
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Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) has emerged as a safe, effective, and appealing treatment for Parkinson's Disease (PD), particularly for improving motor symptoms (e. g., tremor, bradykinesia, and rigidity). However, concerns have been raised about whether DBS causes psychological changes, including changes to personality: characteristic and relatively...
Article
Beliefs in supernatural evil have been widespread throughout human history, and they remain so today. Yet conversations about demonic struggles—tensions and conflicts involving beliefs and experiences regarding the devil, demons, or evil spirits or forces— may make many people uneasy, including therapists. Still, demonic struggles have clinical rel...
Article
Authenticity predicts greater presence of meaning in life, in general (between-persons) and in the moment (within-persons). However, little is known about whether authenticity predicts negative aspects of life meaning, such as struggles with ultimate meaning. Across three studies (total N = 719), two of which used daily diaries (daily reports = 1,9...
Preprint
Extraverts report higher levels of authenticity and extraverted behavior predicts increased feelings of authenticity. Why? Across three studies, we examined positive affect as a mediator of the associations between extraversion and authenticity. In Study 1 (N = 205), we tested our mediation model at the trait level. Study 2 (N = 97) involved a ten-...
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Does God listen and respond to prayers? This project provided initial validation for a brief measure of perceived divine engagement and disengagement in response to prayer. As part of a larger project on religious/spiritual struggles among U.S. undergraduates, we used Sample 1 (n = 400) for exploratory factor analysis and Sample 2 (n = 413) for con...
Chapter
The study of personality dynamics has a long history of being said to be important, but a much shorter history of actually being examined. We give an overview of the past 100 years of research on dynamic processes and suggest how recent methodological and analytic techniques can be applied to the important problem of studying individual differences...
Article
William Revelle is an eminent scholar in the study of individual differences in psychological behavior. Although best‐known for his pioneering contributions to the development of public‐domain tools for data collection and analysis, he has also published numerous influential works on personality theory and experimentally‐informed findings relating...
Article
This entry presents the central premises and selected applications of the cognitive‐affective processing system (CAPS) model of personality, proposed by Walter Mischel and Yuichi Shoda. This model conceptualizes personality as a stable, cognitive‐affective system that processes situational information and uses this information to generate behaviors...
Article
Dan P. McAdams is an American personality psychologist known for work in the areas of personality theory, assessment, adult development, self and culture, and political psychology. His noteworthy contributions in these areas include (1) advanced the conceptualization and assessment of intimacy motivation; (2) pioneered the narrative study of lives...
Article
This entry presents the central premises and selected applications of the cognitive‐affective processing system (CAPS) model of personality, proposed by Walter Mischel and Yuichi Shoda. This model conceptualizes personality as a stable, cognitive‐affective system that processes situational information and uses this information to generate behaviors...
Article
William Revelle is an eminent scholar in the study of individual differences in psychological behavior. Although best‐known for his pioneering contributions to the development of public‐domain tools for data collection and analysis, he has also published numerous influential works on personality theory and experimentally‐informed findings relating...
Article
Dan P. McAdams is an American personality psychologist known for work in the areas of personality theory, assessment, adult development, self and culture, and political psychology. His noteworthy contributions in these areas include (1) advanced the conceptualization and assessment of intimacy motivation; (2) pioneered the narrative study of lives...
Preprint
What types of religious and spiritual struggles do people experience when they disengage from religion? We examined college students (N = 3,598) who had pulled back from religion, either by no longer identifying as religious or spiritual (Dones) or by disengaging from organized religion while maintaining an identity as religious (Disengaged but Rel...
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Full-text available
Religious and spiritual struggles are typically assessed by self-report scales using closed-ended items, yet nascent research suggests that using open-ended interviews and prompts may complement and advance assessment and theories. In the current mixed-methods study, undergraduate participants (N = 976) completed open-ended descriptions of their re...
Chapter
Personality is the unique patterning of affect, behavior, cognition, and desire across dif­ferent situations, and therefore the study of situations is integral to the science of person­ality. This chapter reviews the role of personality factors in situational choice and situa­tional experience and shows how the concepts of latency and persistence h...
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Full-text available
Religious and spiritual (r/s) struggles have been robustly linked to negative outcomes, such as greater psychological distress, reduced well-being, and difficulty finding meaning in life. R/s struggles, however, do not inevitably lead to decline. Many people report post-traumatic and spiritual growth through their r/s struggles, even though correla...
Preprint
Full-text available
Religious and spiritual struggles are typically assessed by self-report scales using closed-ended items, yet nascent research suggests that using open-ended items may complement and advance assessment. In the current study, undergraduate participants (N = 976) completed open-ended descriptions of their religious and spiritual struggles, the Religio...
Chapter
Theoretically, religions and spirituality (R/S) can help people maintain well-being and meaning in life, but these relationships are not simple or without conflict and ambivalence. This chapter first provides an overview of theories and research linking the psychology of religion to positive psychology. A theoretical reevaluation of supernaturalism...
Article
The current study systematically explored and described religious/spiritual (r/s) struggles – distress, tension, and conflict about certain aspects of r/s belief, practice, or experience – in a Veteran sample. Participants were 178 United States Veterans (148 men, 30 women) receiving care at a VA hospital and affiliated outpatient clinics who repor...
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Full-text available
Self-reported authenticity is related to higher well-being, however, employing self-report questionnaires to measure authenticity may be limited in that they do not capture the lived experience of authenticity. We employ a narrative identity approach to the study of authenticity to potentially better capture some of the idiosyncratic richness and n...
Article
Pornography use is a common activity in the developed world. This work consolidates research about pornography use into an organizational structure that is relevant to sexual motivation more broadly. To accomplish this, a comprehensive review of research is conducted, examining personality, emotional, and attitudinal associates and predictors of po...
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The notion of problematic pornography use remains contentious in both academic and popular literature. Although the mental health community at large is divided as to the addictive versus non-addictive nature of Internet pornography, substantial numbers of individuals report "feeling" as if their use of Internet pornography is problematic. The prese...
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Moral struggles involve internal conflict regarding inconsistencies between one’s higher values and the actions of the self and may include guilt, shame, contempt, disgust, and anger. Previous research in civilian populations revealed several factors that might predispose people to moral struggles. The current study sought to replicate and extend t...
Chapter
Narcissism and narcissistic traits are known to affect various aspects of human functioning, with such traits often being associated with problematic outcomes in social, professional, and interpersonal domains. Another area in which narcissism seems to have some negative consequences is in spiritual functioning. Oftentimes, individuals, regardless...
Article
When coping with challenges in life, including religious−spiritual (R-S) struggles, those who believe in a relational deity (referred to here as God) may see themselves and God as active partners in engaging with the problem. We examined whether (a) attempts to engage with God via religious coping and (b) perceptions of receiving help from God were...
Article
Research in civilians experiencing religious/spiritual (R/S) struggles has shown that various psychosocial and R/S strengths associated with Pargament’s theory of a religious orienting system (ROS) predict more positive spiritual transformation and struggle-related adjustment. In this study, U.S. military veterans (N = 178; 30 women) reporting a cu...
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Many people experience religious/spiritual (R/S) struggles following specific stressful life events (SLE). However, SLE may aggregate, gradually undermining individuals’ orienting systems. Does SLE accumulation predict greater R/S struggles? Might general religiousness buffer cumulative effects of SLE on R/S struggles? We tested these hypotheses us...
Article
The time periods or experiences during which people believe that they encountered the sacred may be referred to as sacred moments. Such experiences might serve as transformative influences, potentially revealing fundamental truths that help to organize the ways that people view themselves, others, and the world in more coherent and adaptive ways. W...
Preprint
In recent years, several works have reported on perceived addiction to internet pornography, or the potential for some individuals to label their own use of pornography as compulsive or out of control. Such works have consistently found that perceived addiction is related to concerning outcomes such as psychological distress, relational distress, a...
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Full-text available
In recent years, several works have reported on perceived addiction to internet pornography, or the potential for some individuals to label their own use of pornography as compulsive or out of control. Such works have consistently found that perceived addiction is related to concerning outcomes such as psychological distress, relational distress, a...
Article
Prior research shows that personality traits predict time spent with different people and frequency of engagement in different activities. Further, personality traits, company, and activity are related to the experience of affect. However, little research has examined personality, context, and affect together in the same study. In the current study...
Preprint
Internet pornography use is a common recreational activity in developed nations, with substantial majorities of people from numerous countries reporting exposure to or consistent use this media. Despite this ubiquity, the majority of research on internet pornography use has been relegated to topical or specialty journals, with little attention psyc...
Chapter
Although religion and spirituality often bring comfort and hope, people can also experience religious/spiritual (r/s) struggles in multiple domains: divine, demonic, moral, interpersonal, doubt-related, and ultimate meaning. This chapter explores how these types of r/s struggles could relate to challenges and opportunities associated with various a...
Article
Modern data collection techniques allow for intensive measurement within subjects. Analyzing this type of data requires analyzing data at the within subject as well as between subject level. Although sometimes conclusions will be the same at both levels, it is frequently the case that examining within subject data will show much more complex patter...
Article
Religious and spiritual (r/s) struggles involve tensions, conflicts, and strains pertaining to r/s life. This research examined whether broad measures of religiousness predicted differences in the development and resolution of struggles over one year in a sample of undergraduates (N = 451) from three U.S. universities: secular public (n = 146), sec...
Article
Background and aims: Internet pornography use is an increasingly common, yet controversial, behavior. Whereas mental health communities are divided about potentially problematic use patterns, many lay people identify as feeling dysregulated or compulsive in their use. Prior work has labeled this tendency perceived addiction to internet pornography...
Article
Struggle with ultimate meaning reflects concerns about whether one’s life has a deeper meaning or purpose. We examined whether this construct could be distinguished from presence of meaning in life and search for meaning. In two US samples – a web-based sample (N = 1047) and an undergraduate sample (N = 3978) – confirmatory factor analyses showed t...
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Full-text available
The current research examined whether personality traits and religiousness predict features of religious and spiritual (r/s) struggles and whether features of r/s struggles predict well-being when accounting for personality traits and religiousness. Participants comprised American adults from an online study (N = 418) and undergraduates (N = 965) w...
Article
Religious and spiritual (r/s) struggles are common experiences and robust predictors of poor mental and physical health outcomes. The present study sought to examine the role of personality and self-concept in predicting r/s struggles both concurrently and longitudinally. Four samples were collected (total N = 5015), involving three cross-sectional...
Article
The current research examined whether personality traits and religiousness predict features of religious and spiritual (r/s) struggles and whether features of r/s struggles predict well-being when accounting for personality traits and religiousness. Participants comprised American adults from an online study (N = 418) and undergraduates (N = 965) w...
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Full-text available
To what extent might religious and spiritual struggle (RSS) arise from personality and environmental stress? We hypothesized that neuroticism and stressful life events predict RSS independently. Regression analyses of factor scores from 2,719 undergraduates in USA revealed independent effects of neuroticism and stressful past experiences on six kin...
Article
The present research examined whether perceived rate of progress toward a goal (velocity) mediated the relationships between personality states and affective states. Drawing from control theories of self-regulation, we hypothesized (i) that increased velocity would mediate the association between state extraversion and state positive affect, and (i...
Article
Nesselroade and Molenaar suggest that it is the relationships between latent variables within subjects that are invariant across subjects and thus the appropriate unit of analysis. We disagree and take the view that between-factor correlations may differ systematically across subjects. Further, individual differences in these correlations may be an...
Article
Studies find a strong positive relationship between the affective components of anxiety and depression. However, most research thus far has examined the between-person correlations among these constructs, while ignoring how changes in these two types of affect covary over time within a person. Within-person correlations could differ meaningfully fr...
Article
The present research examined the relations between the Big Five factors of personality, religious/spiritual (r/s) struggles (tensions, conflicts, and strains pertaining to r/s life), and well-being. Participants were comprised of U.S. adults from an online sample (N = 1,047) and an undergraduate sample (N = 3,083). Regressions showed that people w...
Article
Prior work has shown that religious individuals tend to be critical of Internet pornography (IP). Additionally, people who harbor negative views about their own IP use are more likely to experience psychological distress and religious/spiritual (r/s) struggles. The present research attempted to bring these bodies of research together by examining t...
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This study situated theologically based beliefs about suffering as "mid-level" variables within a multilevel framework of ways in which people relate to the Divine. We examined whether beliefs about suffering associated with global ways of relating to the Divine (e.g., religiousness, general views of God) and context-specific ways of relating to th...
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The present research tested a mediation model specifying that divine struggle (e.g., anger at God, feeling punished or abandoned by God) mediates the associations of beliefs about suffering with psychological distress and mental health. We tested this model using structural equation modeling in 2 large samples, an undergraduate sample (N = 3,083) a...
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Graduation from college is an important milestone for young adults, marked by mixed emotions and poignancy, and therefore is an especially salient context for studying meaning in life. The present research used experience-sampling methodology to examine the antecedents and consequences of students' experience of meaning in life over the course of g...
Chapter
This chapter provides a review of extraversion, defined as a dimension of personality reflecting individual differences in the tendencies to experience and exhibit positive affect, assertive behavior, decisive thinking, and desires for social attention. Extraversion is one of five basic tendencies in the Five-Factor Model (FFM) of personality. In t...
Article
The lifestyles, identities, and motivations of professional dancers are not well documented in the literature. This study used a grounded theory qualitative methodology combined with a modified Life Story Narrative script to assess professional dancers’ life stories and identities. Twenty professional dancers from the U.S. Midwest were interviewed....
Article
Struggles with religious/spiritual (r/s) doubt occur when uncertainty, questions, and hesitancy about aspects of r/s beliefs and experiences become a source of conflict. Cross-sectional research suggests that doubt-related struggles correlate with anxiety, yet no studies have investigated the temporal patterning of the associations between these co...
Article
Background and aim: Pain catastrophizing is linked to heightened pain and poorer coping among individuals with chronic pain, yet little is known about how pain catastrophizing associates with sleep and pain over the course of treatment for chronic pain. Previous research employing a cross-sectional design suggests that sleep mediates the associati...
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a r t i c l e i n f o The ability to locate and orient ourselves with respect to environmental space is known as sense of direction (" SOD "). While there is considerable evidence for the predictive utility of self-report measures of this psychological construct, relatively little research has investigated the psychometric properties of the self-re...
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Personality psychology is concerned with affect (A), behaviour (B), cognition (C) and desire (D), and personality traits have been defined conceptually as abstractions used to either explain or summarise coherent ABC (and sometimes D) patterns over time and space. However, this conceptual definition of traits has not been reflected in their operati...
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Development of systematic research on situations has been hampered by a lack of conceptual clarity and inconsistent measurement. Rauthmann et al. propose an impressive and coherent organizing framework for studying situations that has the potential to remedy these deficits and provide a strong foundation for future research. We offer a number of su...
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Many studies have examined attention mechanisms involved in specific behavioral tasks (e.g., search, tracking, distractor inhibition). However, relatively little is known about the relationships among those attention mechanisms. Is there a fundamental attention faculty that makes a person superior or inferior at most types of attention tasks, or do...
Article
The personality trait extraversion is associated with higher positive affect, and individuals who behave in an extraverted way experience increased positive affect. Across 2 studies, we examine whether the positive affectivity of extraverts can be explained in terms of qualitative aspects of social experience resulting from extraverted (i.e., bold,...