Linda J Skitka

Linda J Skitka
University of Illinois at Chicago | UIC · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

161
Publications
118,609
Reads
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14,154
Citations
Citations since 2017
37 Research Items
9391 Citations
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201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,500
201720182019202020212022202305001,0001,5002,0002,500
Additional affiliations
August 1994 - present
University of Illinois at Chicago
August 1989 - August 1994
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (161)
Article
We provide the first systematic investigation of trends in the incivility of American politicians on Twitter, a dominant platform for political communication in the United States. Applying a validated artificial intelligence classifier to all 1.3 million tweets made by members of Congress since 2009, we observe a 23% increase in incivility over a d...
Preprint
We provide the first systematic investigation of trends in the incivility of American politicians on Twitter, a dominant platform for political communication in the U.S. Applying a validated artificial intelligence classifier to all 1.3 million tweets made by members of Congress since 2009, we observe a 23% increase in incivility over a decade on T...
Article
The moral roles assigned to nations that took part in the Second World War cast a shadow over contemporary international politics. To understand contemporary moral beliefs about the war, we took 11 mostly student samples from 9 nations that took part in the European theatre of war (total N = 1,427). We asked respondents, in free and scaled listings...
Article
A poisonous cocktail of othering, aversion, and moralization poses a threat to democracy
Article
Full-text available
Americans on the political left and right are engaged in a Culture War with one another, one that is often characterized by mutual fear, antipathy, and avoidance. Are there safe havens from the socially straining effects of this Culture War, times and places where Americans of different political stripes gather and put aside their political differe...
Article
This review covers theory and research on the psychological characteristics and consequences of attitudes that are experienced as moral convictions, that is, attitudes that people perceive as grounded in a fundamental distinction between right and wrong. Morally convicted attitudes represent something psychologically distinct from other constructs...
Article
We contacted a random sample of social/personality psychologists in the United States and asked for copies of their graduate syllabi. We coded more than 3,400 papers referenced on these syllabi for gender of authors as well as other characteristics. Less than 30% of the papers referenced on these syllabi were written by female first authors, with n...
Article
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive global health crisis. Because the crisis requires large-scale behaviour change and places significant psychological burdens on individuals, insights from the social and behavioural sciences can be used to help align human behaviour with the recommendations of epidemiologists and public health experts. Here...
Preprint
Full-text available
The COVID-19 pandemic represents a massive, global health crisis. Because the crisis requires large-scale behavior change and poses significant psychological burdens on individuals, insights from the social and behavioural sciences are critical for optimizing pandemic response. Here we review relevant research from a diversity of research areas rel...
Article
Do political partisans hold their co-partisan political leaders to a higher or lower discursive standard than rank-and-file co-partisans? Previous research in non-political group contexts suggests competing answers to this question. Some research (e.g., Abrams et al., 2013) suggests that leaders (as defenders of the group) are afforded credits for...
Chapter
The goal of this chapter is to describe how the same act can be perceived as morally courageous, on the one hand, and as evil, on the other. The authors contend that both moral courage and moral disregard could be driven by two sides of the same process. Strong moral conviction that a stance is right or wrong (i.e., moral or immoral) may make it ea...
Article
US public anger and desire to avenge the September 11, 2001 terror attacks were redirected toward Iraq partly because of its identity as an Arab and Muslim state. Online panel survey data reveal that citizens who were relatively angry about the terror attacks were more belligerent toward Iraq, an effect that was strongest among those who perceived...
Article
Full-text available
M. W. Montagu asserted that, “civility costs nothing and buys everything.” In the realm of social judgment, the notion that people generally evaluate civil people more favorably than uncivil people may be unsurprising. However, the Montagu Principle may not apply in a hyper-partisan political environment in which politicians “throw red meat to thei...
Article
Full-text available
People often assume that moral and religious convictions are functionally the same thing. But are they? We report on 19 studies (N = 12,284) that tested whether people’s perceptions that their attitudes are reflections of their moral and religious convictions across 30 different issues were functionally the same (the equivalence hypothesis) or diff...
Data
File provides detailed descriptions of the methods and results for the 19 studies reported in this manuscript. (DOCX)
Data
This zip folder includes subfolders by study with data and analysis scripts. (ZIP)
Article
Full-text available
The present research investigated event-related, contextual, demographic, and dispositional predictors of the desire to punish perpetrators of immoral deeds in daily life, as well as connections among the desire to punish, moral emotions, and momentary well-being. The desire to punish was reliably predicted by linear gradients of social closeness t...
Preprint
The present research investigated event-related, contextual, demographic, and dispositional predictors of the desire to punish perpetrators of immoral deeds in daily life, as well as connections among the desire to punish, moral emotions, and momentary well-being. The desire to punish was reliably predicted by linear gradients of social closeness t...
Preprint
The goals of this chapter are to first describe two common pitfalls of social psychological approaches to the study of ideological differences, specifically, a pre-occupation with explaining conservatives to the neglect of liberals and an over-reliance on positive test strategies. As guards against these potential pit falls, we recommend that resea...
Preprint
M. W. Montagu asserted that, “civility costs nothing and buys everything.” In the realm of social judgment, the notion that people generally evaluate civil people more favorably than uncivil people may be unsurprising. However, the Montagu Principle may not apply in a hyper-partisan political environment in which politicians “throw red meat to thei...
Article
Full-text available
In response to the replication crisis, many psychologists recommended that the field adopt several proposed reforms to research practices, such as preregistration, to make research more replicable. However, how researchers have received these proposals is not well known because, to our knowledge, no systematic investigation into use of these reform...
Preprint
In response to the “replication crisis” many psychologists recommended that the field adopt several proposed reforms to research practices (PRRPs), like preregistration, to make research more replicable. However, reception of PRRPs is not well known. We wanted to know the rationales researchers had for not using them. We analyzed data of 1,035 rese...
Article
Full-text available
People vary in the extent to which they imbue attitudes with moral conviction, and this variation is consequential. Yet we know relatively little about what makes people’s feelings about a given attitude object transform from a relatively nonmoral preference to a moral conviction. In this article, we review evidence from two experiments and a field...
Article
Full-text available
Ideologically committed people are similarly motivated to avoid ideologically crosscutting information. Although some previous research has found that political conservatives may be more prone to selective exposure than liberals are, we find similar selective exposure motives on the political left and right across a variety of issues. The majority...
Article
We tested whether conservatives and liberals are similarly or differentially likely to deny scientific claims that conflict with their preferred conclusions. Participants were randomly assigned to read about a study with correct results that were either consistent or inconsistent with their attitude about one of several issues (e.g., carbon emissio...
Article
Full-text available
To better understand how desires to avenge the September 11 terror attacks affected US public support for the 2003 Iraq War, we integrate data from two uncoordinated surveys-one measuring revenge motivations and the other beliefs about Iraqi complicity-completed by overlapping samples drawn from the same online panel. Citizens who mistakenly blamed...
Article
Full-text available
This research explored people’s reactions to targets who “went too far” to support noble causes. We hypothesized that observers’ moral mandates would shape their perceptions of others’ advocacy, even when that advocacy was transgressive, that is, when it used norm-violating means (i.e., lying) to achieve a preferred end. Observers were expected to...
Preprint
This is our response to Uri Simonsohn, Joe Simmons, and Leif Nelson's critique of Motyl et al. (in press, JPSP).
Article
Full-text available
The scientific quality of social and personality psychology has been debated at great length in recent years. Despite research on the prevalence of Questionable Research Practices (QRPs) and the replicability of particular findings, the impact of the current discussion on research practices is unknown. The current studies examine whether and how pr...
Preprint
The scientific quality of social and personality psychology has been debated at great length in recent years. Despite research on the prevalence of questionable research practices (QRPs) and the replicability of particular findings, the impact of the current discussion on research practices is unknown. The current studies examine whether and how pr...
Preprint
Ideologically committed people are similarly motivated to avoid ideologically crosscutting information. Although some previous research has found that political conservatives may be more prone to selective exposure than liberals are, we find similar selective exposure motives on the political left and right across a variety of issues. The majority...
Article
Full-text available
The current research tested whether exposure to disgusting images increases moral conviction and whether this happens in the presence of incidental disgust cues versus disgust cues relevant to the target of moralization. Across two studies we exposed participants to one of four sets of disgusting versus control images to test the moralization of ab...
Article
People are more likely to become politically engaged (e.g., vote, engage in activism) when issues are associated with strong moral convictions. The goal of this research was to understand the underlying motivations that lead to this well-replicated effect. Specifically, to what extent is moralized political engagement motivated by proscriptive conc...
Article
Full-text available
In the present article we demonstrate stable individual differences in the extent to which a reliance on logic and evidence in the formation and evaluation of beliefs is perceived as a moral virtue, and a reliance on less rational processes is perceived as a vice. We refer to this individual difference variable as moralized rationality. Eight studi...
Data
List of all MR and IR items in Study 1. Items included in the final MR and IR scales in italics. (DOCX)
Data
List of all variables in each dataset. (DOCX)
Data
Scenarios used to describe charities in Study 8. (DOCX)
Data
Scenarios used to manipulate target rationality in Study 6. (DOCX)
Data
Scenarios used to manipulate target rationality in Study 7. (DOCX)
Chapter
Full-text available
Morality and justice have apparent similarities. Both facilitate social interaction, coordination, and cooperation. Both can feel like external standards that somehow should carry more weight than individuals' preferences. That said, morality and justice are not synonymous. Scholars as far back as Aristotle have identifi ed ways that morality and j...
Article
Full-text available
People vary in the extent to which they imbue an attitude with moral conviction; however, little is known about what makes an issue transform from a relatively non-moral preference to a moral conviction. In the context of the 2012 U.S. presidential election, we test if affect and beliefs (thoughts about harms and benefits) are antecedents or conseq...
Article
Full-text available
Social psychology is not a very politically diverse area of inquiry, something that could negatively affect the objectivity of social psychological theory and research, as Duarte et al. argue in the target article. This commentary offers a number of checks to help researchers uncover possible biases and identify when they are engaging in hypothesis...
Article
Voelkle challenges our conclusions regarding the relationship between morality and momentary happiness/sense of purpose based on methodological concerns. We show that our main conclusions are not affected by this methodological critique and clarify that the discrepancies between our and Voelkle's effect size estimates can be reconciled by the reali...
Article
Full-text available
The science of morality has drawn heavily on well-controlled but artificial laboratory settings. To study everyday morality, we repeatedly assessed moral or immoral acts and experiences in a large (N = 1252) sample using ecological momentary assessment. Moral experiences were surprisingly frequent and manifold. Liberals and conservatives emphasized...
Article
We conducted an experimental test of the displaced international punishment hypothesis by testing whether reminding people about 9/11 would increase support for U.S. military intervention in Syria. A community sample of Americans were reminded of 9/11, the terrorist attacks in London in 2005, or were given no reminder before being asked their suppo...
Article
Full-text available
Hibbing et al. argue that the liberal-conservative continuum is (a) universal and (b) grounded in psychological differences in sensitivity to negative stimuli. Our commentary argues that both claims overlook the importance of context. We review evidence that the liberal-conservative continuum is far from universal and that ideological differences a...
Article
Do people's policy preferences toward outgroups in intractable conflict consistently correspond with political ideology? To what extent are policy-related cleavages between the political right and left in such contexts fueled by moral conviction and emotions? Analyses of a survey of Jewish-Israelis (N = 119) conducted immediately after a war betwee...
Article
Full-text available
Three hypotheses were derived from research on vicarious revenge and tested in the context of the assassination of Osama bin Laden in 2011. In line with the notion that revenge aims at delivering a message (the "message hypothesis"), Study 1 shows that Americans' vengeful desires in the aftermath of 9/11 predicted a sense of justice achieved after...
Article
Full-text available
Scholars often assume that some issues globally evoke moral reactions, whether these issues are presented as moral dilemmas (e.g., trolley problems) or as controversial issues of the day (e.g., the legal status of abortion). There is considerable individual variation, however, in the degree that people report that their position on specific issues...
Article
Full-text available
Research conducted in Western cultural contexts has discovered that people are more intolerant of moral than demographic diversity, prefer greater social and physical distance from morally dissimilar others, and actively discriminate against those who do not share their moral attitudes. The goal of the current work was to test whether (a) these fin...
Chapter
There are at least five functionalist metaphors that have guided justice theory and research in social psychology: people as lay or intuitive (a) economists, (b) politicians, (c) scientists, (d) prosecutors, and (e) theologians. These frameworks consider what people care about when thinking about fairness by suggesting that fairness serves differen...
Article
Full-text available
Social Justice Research has devoted two recent issues to the topic of inequity responses in non-human animals. The goal of this paper is to provide some commentary from the perspective of psychological theory and research on justice and fairness in humans. In an attempt to build greater cross-disciplinary sharing of ideas and insights, I briefly re...
Article
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Inbar and Lammers (2012, this issue) conducted two surveys of a sample of Society for Personality and Social Psychology listserv members to empirically examine two questions: How many social psychologists are politically liberal, and is there evidence that liberal social psychologists are biased against their conservative colleagues and/or research...
Article
Full-text available
Even though nearly every society and moral system condemns the use of torture, and despite recent outrage about abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, over half of Americans support the use of torture when interrogating suspected terrorists. Moreover, public support for the use of torture is increasing (Sidoti, 2009). The present study tested the...
Article
Full-text available
People expressed many different reactions to the events of September 11th, 2001. Some of these reactions were clearly negative, such as political intolerance, discrimination, and hate crimes directed toward targets that some, if not many, people associated with the attackers. Other reactions were more positive. For example, people responded by dona...
Article
Full-text available
People’s feelings about political issues are often experienced as moral convictions, that is, as rooted in beliefs about right and wrong, morality and immorality. The authors tested and found that morally convicted policy preferences are associated with positive as well as negative emotions among policy supporters and opponents, respectively, and t...
Conference Paper
People who vest their positions with strong moral conviction desire more social distance from attitudinally dissimilar others than people whose positions are weak in moral conviction (Skitka, Bauman, & Sargis, 2005). The goal of the present research was to test the moderating effects of mindlessness and mindfulness on the link between moral convict...
Article
The current research investigated whether people's issue-specific moral and religious convictions had distinct or redundant effects on their intentions to vote in the 2008 presidential election. Participants reported their levels of moral and religious conviction about the issue that they perceived as most important to the 2008 presidential electio...
Article
Full-text available
Conservatives tend to make dispositional whereas liberals make situational attributions for social problems and alleged misconduct (the "ideo-attribution effect"). Three studies demonstrated a reversal of the ideo-attribution effect. Conservatives made stronger situational attributions than liberals for the behavior of Marines accused of killing Ir...
Article
Full-text available
Empirical evidence for the claim that people from Western cultures are prone to correspondence bias is based exclusively on college student samples. Using the attitude attribution paradigm, the current study explored (a) the prevalence of correspondence bias in a national representative sample of American adults, (b) the degree that correspondence...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reviews current theory and research that indicates that attitudes held with strong moral conviction (‘moral mandates’) represent something psychologically distinct from other constructs (e.g., attitude strength, partisanship, or religiosity), and that variance in moral conviction has important social and political consequences, such as i...
Article
Full-text available
Moral conviction is a subjective assessment that one's attitude about a specific issue or situation is associated with one's core moral beliefs and fundamental sense of right or wrong. A growing body of research demonstrates that level of moral conviction reliably predicts changes in the way people think, feel, and act in situations, irrespective o...
Article
Full-text available
Various versions of legitimacy theory predict that a duty and obligation to obey legitimate authorities generally trumps people's personal moral and religious values. However, most research has assumed rather than measured the degree to which people have a moral or religious stake in the situations studied. This study tested compliance with and rea...
Article
Full-text available
Theory and research point to different ways moral conviction and religiosity connect to trust in political authorities to decide controversial issues of the day. Specifically, we predicted that stronger moral convictions would be associated with greater distrust in authorities such as the U.S. Supreme Court making the "right" decisions regarding co...
Article
Theory and research point to different ways moral conviction and religiosity connect to trust in political authorities to decide controversial issues of the day. Specifically, we predicted that stronger moral convictions would be associated with greater distrust in authorities such as the U.S. Supreme Court making the "right" decisions regarding co...