Lee Ross

Lee Ross
Stanford University | SU · Department of Psychology

About

102
Publications
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28,764
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Publications

Publications (102)
Article
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This paper discusses the “four-question” framework (Bland, Powell, & Ross, Barriers to dispute resolution: reflections on peacemaking and relationships between adversaries, 2012) that we and our colleagues developed in working to promote constructive dialogue and difficult compromises on the part of groups engaged in seeming intractable conflicts i...
Article
Although Duarte et al.'s claims about the potential benefits of greater political diversity in the ranks of social psychology are apt, their discussion of the decline in such diversity, the role played by self-selection, and the specific domains they cite in discussing an anti-conservative bias raise issues that merit closer examination. The claim...
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This essay reflects an ongoing dialogue between a clinician versed in mainstream psychological research and theory, and a social psychologist with experience both as a researcher and contributor to applied undertakings in various domains about the "incremental value" of research-based knowledge-that is, its value beyond that provided by the other s...
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Telemarketing fraud is pervasive and older consumers are disproportionally targeted. Given laboratory research showing that forewarning can effectively counter influence appeals, we conducted a field experiment to test whether forewarning could protect people who had been victimized in the past. A research assistant with prior experience as a telem...
Article
Two studies examined the association of particular sentiments and political identities with Jewish-Israeli students’ responses to a generic plan to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to narrower proposals for cooperative undertakings. Three composites - hatred/anger, compassion/empathy (reverse-coded) and guilt/shame (reverse-coded), and also...
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Rates of participation in organ donation programs are known to be powerfully influenced by the relevant default policy in effect ("opt-in" vs. "opt-out"). Three studies provide evidence that this difference in participation may occur in part because the requirement to opt-in or opt-out results in large differences in the meaning that individuals at...
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Presents an obituary for Albert H. Hastorf III. Albert H. Hastorf III, a pioneer in the study of social percep- tion and interaction and a celebrated member of the Stanford University administration, died September 26, 2011, in Palo Alto, California. Al was known early in his career as the coauthor of one of social psychology's most famous studies-...
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Where Taber and Lodge view belief polarization to indicate a "partisan motivation," Lord et al. (1979) believed it to be consistent with a desire for accuracy: A "weak" study articulating an opposing viewpoint might simply sharpen participants' initial belief of the wisdom of their prior beliefs. This polarization, Taber and Lodge show, correlates...
Article
Social psychologist Lee Ross has never felt content to confine his research to the laboratory. He prefers to wade knee-deep through global issues, finding ways to apply his expertise to problems ranging from climate change and healthcare to education and the legal system. Ross, a professor of psychology at Stanford University (Stanford, CA) and rec...
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The present study explores the dramatic projection of one's own views onto those of Jesus among conservative and liberal American Christians. In a large-scale survey, the relevant views that each group attributed to a contemporary Jesus differed almost as much as their own views. Despite such dissonance-reducing projection, however, conservatives a...
Article
Two studies provided evidence for the role of naïve realism in the failure of individuals to give adequate weight to peer input, and explored two strategies for reducing the impact of this inferential bias. Study 1 demonstrated that dyad members see their own estimates as more “objective” than those of their partners and that this difference in per...
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The article discusses a study which examined whether desire would trump beliefs based on facts when participants were asked if they believe home care is superior to day care. It also examind whether would-be-parents would change their initial beliefs to conform to their plans and desires. The study concluded that evaluations of purported scientific...
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Four studies examined dyadic collaboration on quantitative estimation tasks. In accord with the tenets of "naïve realism," dyad members failed to give due weight to a partner's estimates, especially those greatly divergent from their own. The requirement to reach joint estimates through discussion increased accuracy more than reaching agreement thr...
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Three studies, 2 conducted in Israel and 1 conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, demonstrated that affirming a positive aspect of the self can increase one's willingness to acknowledge in-group responsibility for wrongdoing against others, express feelings of group-based guilt, and consequently provide greater support for reparation policies. By con...
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Two studies investigated the capacity of a self-affirmation intervention to lower a psychological barrier to conflict resolution. Study 1 used a role-play scenario in which a student negotiated with a professor for greater rewards for work on a collaborative project. A self-affirmation manipulation, in which participants focused on an important per...
Chapter
In his classic Handbook of Social Psychology chapter, Jones (1985) offered a particularly comprehensive account of five decades of social psychology, beginning with the late 1930s. His treatment of the contributions of Kurt Lewin, whom he rightly identified as the most important shaper of modern experimental social psychology—and the groundbreaking...
Article
Two studies demonstrate that negotiation processes and outcomes can be altered by the creation of Positive Expectations. Study 1 participants were American undergraduates seeking agreement with a confederate about allocation of funds to programs differentially favoring undergraduates vs. graduates. Study 2 participants were Israeli Business School...
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Three studies (two conducted in Israel and one in the United States) examined associations between self-rated dispositional happiness and tendencies to treat memories of positive and negative events as sources of enhanced or attenuated happiness through the use of "endowment" and "contrast." Although participants generally endorsed items describing...
Article
Although stable factors play an important role in determining people’s political positions, most Americans also hold a mix of values and beliefs some congruent with political conservatism and some congruent with political liberalism. To investigate this more dynamic component of political thinking, two studies manipulated the relative salience of s...
Article
Highly relational contexts can have costs as well as benefits. Researchers theorize that negotiating dyads in which both parties hold highly relational goals or views of themselves are prone to relational accommodation, a dynamic resulting in inefficient economic outcomes yet high levels of relational capital. Previous research has provided only in...
Article
In a negotiation study, we investigated the efficacy of acknowledging an opponent's role in securing a concession made to that opponent. The study featured a face-to-face, one-shot bargaining session between a student favoring marijuana legalization and a confederate playing the role of a legalization opponent. When the confederate acknowledged the...
Article
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Three studies link resistance to probative information and intransigence in negotiation to concerns of identity maintenance. Each shows that affirmations of personal integrity (vs. nonaffirmation or threat) can reduce resistance and intransigence but that this effect occurs only when individuals' partisan identity and/or identity-related conviction...
Article
Seven studies exploring people's tendency to make observer-like attributions about their past and future selves are presented. Studies 1 and 2 showed temporal differences in trait assessments that paralleled the classic actor-observer difference. Study 3 provided evidence against a motivational account of these differences. Studies 4-7 explored und...
Article
In three studies, reliance on “goodness-of-fit” criteria exerted an influence on assessments of pay-TV packages that challenged normative standards relating to the principle of dominance. Studies 1 and 2 showed that the addition of one or more non-favored channels to a package of favored ones resulted in lower consumer interest, and the subtraction...
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People tend to believe that their own judgments are less prone to bias than those of others, in part because they tend to rely on introspection for evidence of bias in themselves but on their lay theories in assessing bias in others. Two empirical consequences of this asymmetry are explored. Studies 1 and 2 document that people are more inclined to...
Article
When you have a rational discussion of what to do with the Israeli settlements, how do you factor in the irrational, the deeply held beliefs of people with varying views? As we witnessed at the conference, when people speak about the Israeli settlements, they do so with emotion, using such phrases as “Messianic spirit,”“longing for homeland,”“compa...
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Two experiments, one conducted with American college students and one with Israeli pilots and their instructors, explored the predictive power of reputation-based assessments versus the stated "name of the game" (Wall Street Game vs. Community Game) in determining players' responses in an N-move Prisoner's Dilemma. The results of these studies show...
Article
Full-text available
Highly relational contexts can have costs as well as benefits. Researchers theorize that negotiating dyads in which both parties hold highly relational goals or views of themselves are prone to relational accommodation, a dynamic resulting in inefficient economic outcomes yet high levels of relational capital. Previous research has provided only in...
Article
Full-text available
Important asymmetries between self-perception and social perception arise from the simple fact that other people's actions, judgments, and priorities sometimes differ from one's own. This leads people not only to make more dispositional inferences about others than about themselves (E. E. Jones & R. E. Nisbett, 1972) but also to see others as more...
Article
Three studies explored women’s bifurcation of feminine identity as a response to threatening stereotypes in the domain of mathematics. Study 1 demonstrated that women in a math class who previously had completed a large number of math courses disavowed “feminine characteristics” strongly associated with stereotypes about women’s potential for math...
Article
Inspired by potential theoretical linkages between nonconscious priming work in psychology and the anthropological emphasis on the impact of material culture, five studies were conducted to investigate the role of implicitly presented material objects and automatic processes in interpersonal and organizational contexts. These studies showed that ex...
Article
Research on "naïve realism" has shown that opposing partisans in political debates overestimate the dissimilarity in their views. These studies explore and extend this "false polarization" phenomenon in the context of affirmative action. Study 1 showed that partisans on both sides of the affirmative action debate greatly overestimate the liberalism...
Article
Although it is clear that nonconscious primes can affect behavioral decisions, the extent to which the prime-to-behavior link is mediated by intervening interpretative processes is still unknown. The present research examined the mediational role of “situational construals” by assessing the effects of cooperative versus competitive primes on partic...
Article
This study examines the dynamics of preference change in the context of face-to-face negotiation. Participants playing the role of ?student? or ?financial aid officer? exchanged proposals regarding the terms of a student loan. In accord with dissonance theory, participants increased their liking for proposals they offered and/or ultimately accepted...
Article
Three studies used the Palestinian-Israeli context to investigate the tendency for political antagonists to derogate each other's compromise proposals. In study 1, Israeli Jews evaluated an actual Israeli-authored peace plan less favorably when it was attributed to the Palestinians than when it was attributed to their own government. In study 2, bo...
Article
Three studies suggest that individuals see the existence and operation of cognitive and motivational biases much more in others than in themselves. Study 1 provides evidence from three surveys that people rate themselves as less subject to various biases than the “average American,” classmates in a seminar, and fellow airport travelers. Data from t...
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Explores some of the interpersonal and intergroup consequences of the various cognitive, perceptual, and motivational biases that systematically distort human judgment and inference. In particular, this chapter considers the role these biases can play in creating, exacerbating, and perpetuating conflict between individuals and between groups. Topic...
Article
People, it is hypothesized, show an asymmetry in assessing their own interpersonal and intrapersonal knowledge relative to that of their peers. Six studies suggested that people perceive their knowledge of their peers to surpass their peers’ knowledge of them. Several of the studies explored sources of this perceived asymmetry, especially the convi...
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Two studies examined the response of Black and White students to critical feedback presented either alone or buffered with additional information to ameliorate its negative effects. Black students who received unbuffered critical feedback responded less favorably than White students both in ratings of the evaluator’s bias and in measures of task mo...
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In 3 studies the authors compared the responses of self-rated happy and unhappy students in situations involving choice. In Study 1, high school seniors evaluated colleges after applying for admission and then later after making their selections. Happy students tended to be more satisfied than unhappy ones with the colleges they ultimately chose an...
Article
A field study methodology was used to study the role that stereotyping and prototypicality assessment play in overconfident social prediction. Preliminary research verified the existence of distinct stereotypes about inhabitants of two campus residences, generated suitable behavioral prediction items relevant to those stereotypes, and demonstrated...
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Two studies tested the hypothesis that self-rated unhappy individuals would be more sensitive to social comparison information than would happy ones. Study 1 showed that whereas unhappy students' affect and self-assessments were heavily affected by a peer who solved anagrams either faster or slower, happy students' responses were affected by the pr...
Article
Two studies explored the tension between self-interest and the equality norm in problems of resource allocation. Study 1 presented graduate business students with a hypothetical task requiring them to make a series of managerial decisions. On learning the outcome of those decisions, they were asked to divide a bonus pool between self and a rival ma...
Article
The barriers of special concern in this chapter are psychological. The chapter explores cognitive and motivational processes that impede mutually beneficial exchanges of concessions and render seemingly tractable conflicts refractory to negotiated resolution. In such cases, the failure to achieve significant progress represents a kind of “market in...
Article
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We compared partisan group members' construals and beliefs regarding contentious issues, contrasting actual differences in construal with their assumptions about those differences. Study 1 dealt with the abortion debate and Study 2 with the racially charged Howard Beach incident. Although many significant examples of construal differences were foun...
Article
such distinguished psychologists as Daryl Bem, Baruch Fischhoff, Lewis Goldberg, and Mark Snyder. We also learned a great deal from the reviews. Each of the reviewers, while appreciating at least some aspects of our book, has mused about the way it could, and perhaps should, have been written. In our response, we highlight these alternative texts....
Chapter
This chapter examines social psychological implications of human subjectivity—implications of the fact, and perhaps more importantly the insight, that people are governed not by the passive reception and recognition of some invariant objective reality, but by their own subjective representations and constructions of the events that unfold around th...
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Overconfident behavioral predictions and trait inferences may occur because people make inadequate allowance for the uncertainties of situational construal. In Studies 1-3, Ss estimated how much time or money they would spend in various hypothetical, incompletely specified situations. Ss then offered associated "confidence limits" under different "...
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In five studies with overlapping designs and intents, subjects predicted a specific peer's responses to a variety of stimulus situations, each of which offered a pair of mutually exclusive and exhaustive response alternatives. Each prediction was accompanied by a subjective probability estimate reflecting the subjects' confidence in its accuracy--a...
Article
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In a follow-up study to Dunning, Griffin, Milojkovic, and L. Ross (1990), which had investigated the phenomenon of overconfidence in social prediction, two samples of first-year undergraduates were invited to make predictions about their own future responses (and, in the case of Sample 2, also those of their roommates) over the months ahead. These...
Article
The perseverance of erroneous self-assessments was examined among high school students. Subjects were first exposed to either highly effective or thoroughly useless filmed instruction, leading, respectively, to their consequent success or failure. No-discounting subjects received no assistance in recognizing the relative superiority or inferiority...
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After viewing identical samples of major network television coverage of the Beirut massacre, both pro-Israeli and pro-Arab partisans rated these programs, and those responsible for them, as being biased against their side. This hostile media phenomenon appears to involve the operation of two separate mechanisms. First, partisans evaluated the fairn...
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Two studies investigated the sources of information that people would perceive as diagnostic of self. In Study 1, 40 undergraduates completed a questionnaire in which they rated private thoughts and feelings, other peoples' as well as their own, as far more informative and prototypic of self than overt actions. In Study 2, 48 undergraduate speakers...
Article
A survey designed to examine the attitudinal and informational bases of people's opinions about the death penalty was administered to 500 Northern California residents (response rate = 96 percent). Of these, 58.8 percent were proponents of capital punishment, 30.8 percent were opponents, and 10.4 percent were undecided. When asked whether they favo...
Article
Subjects' initial assessments of their persuasive ability persisted after the evidential value of apparent success or failure upon which these impressions were based was fully discredited. These results replicate previous impression-perseverance findings obtained by Ross, Lepper, and Hubbard (1975)and demonstrate that such findings generalize to ta...
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A total of 130 Ss in 2 experiments within a debriefing paradigm examined the perseverance of social theories. Ss were initially given 2 case studies suggestive of either a positive or a negative relationship between risk taking and success as a firefighter. Some Ss were asked to provide a written explanation of the relationship; others were not. Ex...
Article
In summary, this is a book about the predictability and coherence of behavior as seen from the perspective of modern experimental and cognitive social psychology. We begin with the history of research suggesting that situational factors often prove to be more powerful determinants of behavior that the vast majority of us—scientists and laypeople al...
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People who hold strong opinions on complex social issues are likely to examine relevant empirical evidence in a biased manner. They are apt to accept "confirming" evidence at face value while subjecting "disconfirming" evidence to critical evaluation, and, as a result, draw undue support for their initial positions from mixed or random empirical fi...
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160 undergraduates in 3 experiments were induced to explain particular events in the later lives of clinical patients whose previous case histories they had read, and they were then asked to estimate the likelihood of the events in question. Each experiment indicated that the task of identifying potential antecedents to explain an event increases t...
Chapter
Attribution theory is concerned with the attempts of ordinary people to understand the causes and implications of the events they witness. It deals with the “naive psychology” of the “man in the street” as he interprets his own behaviors and the actions of others. For man—in the perspective of attribution theory—is an intuitive psychologist who see...
Article
To make accurate social judgments, an individual must both recognize and adequately correct for the self-presentation advantages or disadvantages conferred upon actors by their social roles. Two experiments using 120 undergraduates examined social perceptions formed during an encounter in which one participant composed difficult general knowledge q...
Article
Evidence from 4 studies with 584 undergraduates demonstrates that social observers tend to perceive a "false consensus" with respect to the relative commonness of their own responses. A related bias was shown to exist in the observers' social inferences. Thus, raters estimated particular responses to be relatively common and relatively unrevealing...
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In an investigation of S. E. Asch's (1955) findings regarding the role of attribution processes in mediating conformity and dissent, 160 undergraduates listened to 24 pairs of tones and after each pair judged which tone was longer in duration. In a control condition, Ss simply wrote private judgments after hearing each pair of tones. As predicted,...
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Two experiments demonstrated that self-perceptions and social perceptions may persevere after the initial basis for such perceptions has been completely discredited. In both studies subjects first received false feedback, indicating that they had either succeeded or failed on a novel discrimination task and then were thoroughly debriefed concerning...
Article
Conducted 2 experiments to demonstrate that misattribution procedures can alter Ss' physiological response to a conditioned source of fear or arousal. A total of 89 female undergraduates served as Ss. Exp I demonstrated that extinction of a conditioned galvanic skin response is facilitated when Ss are led to attribute their arousal to a loud white...