Lowell Gaertner

Lowell Gaertner
University of Tennessee | UTK · Department of Psychology

PhD University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 1999

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89
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Publications

Publications (89)
Article
Full-text available
Threat avoidance involves both detection of a threatening stimulus and reaction to it. We demonstrate with empirically validated stimuli (that are threatening, nonthreatening-negative, neutral, or positive) that threat detection is more pronounced among males, whereas threat reactivity is more pronounced among females. Why women are less efficient...
Article
In this 28-country study (N = 6112), we assessed how subjective perceptions and objective indicators of wealth were associated with majority group members’ perceptions of realistic threat related to immigration. Subjective wealth was assessed by individuals’ perceptions of their personal wealth (current/anticipated) and of their country´s wealth, w...
Article
The facial feedback hypothesis suggests that an individual's facial expressions can influence their emotional experience (e.g., that smiling can make one feel happier). However, a reoccurring concern is that supposed facial feedback effects are merely methodological artifacts. Six experiments conducted across 29 countries (N = 995) examined the ext...
Article
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A neural architecture that preferentially processes immediate survival threats relative to other negatively and positively valenced stimuli presumably evolved to facilitate survival. The empirical literature on threat superiority, however, has suffered two problems: methodologically distinguishing threatening stimuli from negative stimuli and diffe...
Preprint
Full-text available
The Dual Implicit Process Model (March et al., 2018a) distinguishes the implicit processing of physical threat (i.e., “can it hurt or kill me?”) from valence (i.e., “do I dislike/like it?”). Five studies tested whether automatic anti-Black bias is due to White Americans associating Black men with threat, negative valence, or both. Studies 1 and 2 a...
Article
Full-text available
The Dual Implicit Process Model (March et al., 2018a) distinguishes the implicit processing of physical threat (i.e., “can it hurt or kill me?”) from valence (i.e., “do I dislike/like it?”). Five studies tested whether automatic anti-Black bias is due to White Americans associating Black men with threat, negative valence, or both. Studies 1 and 2 a...
Article
Full-text available
There is evidence that democracies are under threat around the world while the quest for strong leaders is increasing. Although the causes of these developments are complex and multifaceted, here we focus on one factor: the extent to which citizens express materialist and post-materialist concerns. We explore whether objective higher levels of demo...
Article
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Mouse-tracking facilitates exploration of the mental processes underlying decision making. As the cognitive system works to settle on a decision, response competition manifests in the motor movements of the hand, bringing the mouse relatively closer to one alternative versus the other. Many metrics provide insight into decision-making processes by...
Preprint
Full-text available
The facial feedback hypothesis suggests that an individual’s facial expressions can influence their emotional experience (e.g., that smiling can make one feel happier). However, a reoccurring concern is that demand characteristics drive this effect. Across three experiments (n = 250, 192, 131), university students in the United States and Kenya pos...
Article
Full-text available
Physically threatening objects are negative, but negative objects are not necessarily threatening. Moreover, responses elicited by threats to physical harm are distinct from those elicited by other negatively (and positively) valenced stimuli. We discuss the importance of the threat versus valence distinction for implicit measurement both in terms...
Preprint
Full-text available
The facial feedback hypothesis suggests that an individual’s subjective experience of emotion is influenced by their facial expressions. Researchers, however, currently face conflicting narratives about whether this hypothesis is valid. A large replication effort consistently failed to replicate a seminal demonstration of the facial feedback hypoth...
Article
Societal inequality has been found to harm the mental and physical health of its members and undermine overall social cohesion. Here, we tested the hypothesis that economic inequality is associated with a wish for a strong leader in a study involving 28 countries from five continents (Study 1, N = 6,112), a study involving an Australian community s...
Article
Collective nostalgia for the good old days of the country thrives across the world. However, little is known about the social psychological dynamics of this collective emotion across cultures. We predicted that collective nostalgia is triggered by collective angst as it helps people to restore a sense of in-group continuity via stronger in-group be...
Article
The social-categorization framework views the salience of personal and social identity as functionally antagonistic such that activation of one entails muting the other. Identity fusion theory, in contrast, suggests that when a group connection is strong the personal and social identities fuse such that activation of one activates the other and the...
Article
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Relative deprivation (RD) is the judgment that one or one’s ingroup is worse off compared with some relevant standard coupled with feelings of dissatisfaction, anger, and resentment. RD predicts a wide range of outcomes, but it is unclear whether this relationship is moderated by national cultural differences. Therefore, in the first study, we used...
Article
We question whether altruistic motivation links identity-fusion and extreme self-sacrifice. We review two lines of research suggesting that the underlying motivation is plausibly egoistic.
Article
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Dual-process models of attitudes distinguish between implicit and explicit processes in which the valence (i.e., positivity or negativity) of a stimulus influences judgments and behavior toward the stimulus. Developing parallel to the dual-process literature has been a threat detection literature suggesting that the mind is preferentially attuned t...
Article
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We thank the commentators for such thought-provoking and insightful critiques of our target article (March, Gaertner, & Olson, this issue). Their varied theoretical orientations provided interesting analyses and challenging assessments of our dual implicit process model (DIPM). We organized our response into three sections. Some of the issues id...
Article
Full-text available
Given the evolutionary significance of survival, the mind might be particularly sensitive (in terms of strength and speed of reaction) to stimuli that pose an immediate threat to physical harm. To rectify limitations in past research, we pilot-tested stimuli to obtain images that are threatening, nonthreatening-negative, positive, or neutral. Three...
Article
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Self-enhancement is a pervasive motivation that manifests broadly to promote and protect the positivity of the self. Research suggests that self-enhancement is associated with improved task performance. Untested, however, is whether that association is causal. The present research experimentally manipulated self-enhancement to examine its causal ef...
Article
Research typically reveals that outgroups are regarded with disinterest at best and hatred and enmity at worst. Working from an evolutionary framework, we identify a unique pattern of outgroup attraction. The small-group lifestyle of pre-human ancestors plausibly limited access to genetically diverse mates. Ancestral females may have solved the inb...
Article
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Sociologists coined the term "anomie" to describe societies that are characterized by disintegration and deregulation. Extending beyond conceptualizations of anomie that conflate the measurements of anomie as 'a state of society' and as a 'state of mind', we disentangle these conceptualizations and develop an analysis and measure of this phenomenon...
Article
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Bandura has suggested that people can escape the self-regulatory power of internalized moral standards by disengaging the standards, allowing violation. We consider the possibility that disengaging the emotional warning signs of impending self-censure may be sufficient to permit violation. To test this idea, we led some research participants to mis...
Article
This special issue of Group Processes and Intergroup Relations consists of eight articles that review recent statistical and methodological advances relevant to a science of social groups. Each article is purposely written to be accessible, and with an emphasis on practical details to facilitate application and integration into varied research prog...
Chapter
Do self-enhancement/self-protection and self-esteem reflect fundamental human motivations or are they culturally bound occurrences? The debate on universalism versus cultural relativism of self-motives and self-esteem shows no sign of abatement. We advance the debate by proposing the extended self-enhancing tactician model. The model aspires to acc...
Chapter
The self-system consists of three fundamental components: the individual self, the relational self, and the collective self. All selves are important and meaningful and all are associated with psychological and physical health benefits. However, the selves are not equally important and meaningful. We propose a three-tier hierarchy of the motivation...
Article
Psychology, Vol. 48 published by Elsevier, and the attached copy is provided by Elsevier for the author's benefit and for the benefit of the author's institution, for non-commercial research and educational use including without limitation use in instruction at your institution, sending it to specific colleagues who know you, and providing a copy t...
Article
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What is the nature of self-evaluation motives? The relativist perspective suggests that self-evaluation motives vary culturally, with self-enhancement developing in Western culture and self-effacement and self-improvement developing in East Asian culture. The universalist perspective suggests that self-enhancement and self-improvement are basic hum...
Article
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What is the nature of self-evaluation motives? The relativist perspective suggests that self-evaluation motives vary culturally, with self-enhancement developing in Western culture and self-effacement and self-improvement developing in East Asian culture. The universalist perspective suggests that self-enhancement and self-improvement are basic hum...
Article
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The individual self, relational self, and collective self are important and meaningful aspects of identity. How-ever, they plausibly differ in their relative importance such that one self lies closer to the motivational core of the self-concept, better represent the "home base" of selfhood, or, simply stated, is motivationally primary. Four multi-m...
Article
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Intensely debated is whether the self-enhancement motive is culturally relative or universal. The universalist perspective predicts that satisfaction of the motive panculturally promotes psychological well-being. The relativistic perspective predicts that such promotive effects are restricted to Western culture. A longitudinal-randomized-experiment...
Article
The individual self comprise unique attributes, the relational self comprises partner-shared attributes, and the collective self comprises ingroup-shared attributes. All selves are fundamental components of the self-concept, with each being important and meaningful to human experience and with each being associated with health benefits. Are the sel...
Article
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Moral outrage—anger at violation of a moral standard—is claimed to be a prevalent and powerful moral emotion. However, evidence for moral outrage has been compromised by failure to distinguish it from personal anger—anger at harm to self—felt by victims of a moral violation. Although it does not seem possible to distinguish these two forms of anger...
Article
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Is self-enhancement culturally universal or relativistic? This article highlights a nuanced dynamic in East Asian culture. Modesty is a prevailing norm in China. The authors hypothesized that because of socialization practices and prohibitive cultural pressures, modesty would be associated with and lead to low explicit self-enhancement but high imp...
Article
Right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO) are associated with the approval of war as a political intervention [McFarland, 2005]. We examined whether the effects of RWA and SDO on war support are mediated by moral-disengagement mechanisms [i.e., responsibility reduction, moral justification, minimizing consequences, an...
Article
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We dispute Henrich et al.'s analysis of cultural differences at the level of a narrow behavioral-expression for assessing a universalist argument. When Researchers Overlook uNderlying Genotypes (WRONG), they fail to detect universal processes that generate observed differences in expression. We reify this position with our own cross-cultural resear...
Conference Paper
Past research evidenced stronger reactions of the individual than collective self to both threat and enhancement, suggesting the motivational primacy of the individual self (Gaertner, Sedikides, Vevea, & Iuzzini, 2002). Absent, however, was consideration of the relational self. The current research rectified that absence, thus expanding our theoret...
Article
The self-concept is dynamic, with momentary definition shifting from a representation of self as a unique and independent social agent to an undifferentiated and interchangeable group member. Indeed, the individual self and collective self are fundamental components of the self-concept, with each being important and meaningful to human experience....
Article
Two experiments examined the hypothesis that social rejection and perceived groupness function together to produce multiple-victim incidents of aggression. When a rejecter's group membership is salient during an act of rejection, the rejectee ostensibly associates the rejecter's group with rejection and retaliates against the group. Both experiment...
Chapter
In 1969, Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young released their self-titled album containing the classic song "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." A particularly striking lyric from this song recommended: "Don't let the past remind us of what we are not now." This evocative line suggests a question with far-reaching social psychological implications. How does a person...
Article
Taiwanese participants made better-than-average judgments on collectivistic and individualistic traits, evaluated the personal importance of those traits, and completed measures of psychological adjustment (depression, perceived stress, subjective well-being, and satisfaction with life). Replicating findings from other East Asian samples, participa...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this chapter, we discuss motivational-primacy research as a framework for contemplating when egoism can be transcended. Our research examines which of three fundamental forms of self-definition—the individual self (i.e., self as a unique and independent social agent), the relational self (i.e., self as an interconnected partner in an interperson...
Article
We do not regard the better-than-average effect as ‘the only acceptable measure of self-enhancement’ (Heine, Kitayama, & Hamamura, 2007b). Rather, we object to meta-analytical inclusion of effects that are incapable of testing the tactical self-enhancement hypothesis. In Investigation 1 of Sedikides, Gaertner, and Vevea (2007a), 12 of the 24 effect...
Article
Heine, Kitayama and Hamamura (2007) attributed the Sedikides, Gaertner and Vevea (2005) findings to the exclusion of six papers. We report a meta-analysis that includes those six papers. The Heine et al. conclusions are faulty, because of a misspecified meta-analysis that failed to consider two moderators central to the theory. First, some of their...
Article
Full-text available
We meta-analytically synthesized the intergroup variability literature (177 effect sizes, from 173 independent samples, and 12,078 participants) to test the potential moderating effect of 11 measures of perceived variability. Aggregating across the measures, we detected a small but reliable tendency to perceive more variability among ingroup than o...
Article
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Status and power covary such that higher status groups are typically higher power groups. This research explored the effect of status on intergroup perception controlling for power. Experiment 1 manipulated the relative status of social groups and explicitly provided the groups equal power. Experiment 2 manipulated status and power orthogonally. Mu...
Article
Four experiments examined whether group formation and positive in-group regard require interaggregate comparison as the in-group-requires-an-out-group assumption of the metacontrast principle implies. The authors fostered novel social aggregates with or without a contrasting aggregate with which members could compare and varied intra-aggregate fact...
Article
C. Sedikides, L. Gaertner, and Y. Toguchi (2003) reported findings favoring the universality of self-enhancement. S. J. Heine (2005) challenged the authors' research on evidential and logical grounds. In response, the authors carried out 2 meta-analytic investigations. The results backed the C. Sedikides et al. (2003) theory and findings. Both West...
Article
Past research has indicated that attributions play a role in the development and maintenance of both depression and marital discord separately; however, few studies have examined how this construct may play a role in the robust relation between depression and marital discord. This study examined three models that may explain this link. First, this...
Article
The self-as-evaluative base (SEB) hypothesis proposes that self-evaluation extends automatically via an amotivated consistency process to affect evaluation of novel in-groups. Four minimal group studies support SEB. Personal trait self-esteem (PSE) predicted increased favoritism toward a novel in-group that, objectively, was equivalent to the out-g...
Article
We employed the investment model of commitment (Rusbult, 1983) to examine the independent effects of commitment and relationship duration on the perpetration of common couple violence (i.e., instances of physical violence that occasionally arise in conflict situations; Johnson, 1995). Data are from self-administered questionnaires completed by 722...
Article
Full-text available
In the present study, we examined the impact of cultural value orientations (i.e., the personally oriented value of individualism, and the socially oriented values of collectivism, familism, romanticism, and spiritualism) on accommodation (i.e., voice and loyalty, rather than exit and neglect, responses to partners' anger or criticism) in heterosex...
Article
Existing data suggest that the self-enhancement and self-protection motivations (which elevate or protect the positive self-concept) exert a pivotal influence on self-evaluation and behavior. Moreover, these motivations are more potent than the self-assessment motivation (which works to increase the accuracy of the self-concept) or the self-verific...
Article
This study used marital- and individual-level variables to predict spouses’ perceived parenting alliance. One hundred married couples completed measures of parenting alliance, marital consensus, marital power, and depression. Analyses revealed that marital consensus was a significant predictor of parenting alliance for both parents, and that depres...
Article
Full-text available
The authors hypothesized that similarity to the ideal self (IS) simultaneously generates attraction and repulsion. Attraction research has suggested that a person likes individuals who are similar to his or her IS. Social comparison research has suggested that upward social comparison threatens self-evaluation. In Experiment 1, attraction to a part...
Article
The culture movement challenged the universality of the self-enhancement motive by proposing that the motive is pervasive in individualistic cultures (the West) but absent in collectivistic cultures (the East). The present research posited that Westerners and Easterners use different tactics to achieve the same goal: positive self-regard. Study 1 t...
Article
The culture movement challenged the universality of the self-enhancement motive by proposing that the motive is pervasive in individualistic cultures (the West) but absent in collectivistic cultures (the East). The present research posited that Westerners and Easterners use different tactics to achieve the same goal: positive self-regard. Study 1 t...
Article
What is the primary motivational basis of self-definition? The authors meta-analytically assessed 3 hypotheses: (a) The individual self is motivationally primary, (b) the collective self is motivationally primary, and (c) neither self is inherently primary; instead, motivational primacy depends on which self becomes accessible through contextual fe...
Article
What is the primary motivational basis of self-definition? The authors meta-analytically assessed 3 hypotheses: (a) The individual self is motivationally primary, (b) the collective self is motivationally primary, and (c) neither self is inherently primary; instead, motivational primacy depends on which self becomes accessible through contextual fe...
Article
Full-text available
Three experiments examined the role of intragroup social influence in intergroup competition. In the context of a mutual fate control situation, participants in Experiment 1 demonstrated more intergroup competition in the presence than in the absence of social support for shared self-interest. Experiment 2 revealed that, in the context of a Prisone...
Article
The authors argue that persons derive in-group expectancies from self-knowledge. This implies that perceivers process information about novel in-groups on the basis of the self-congruency of this information and not simply its valence. In Experiment 1, participants recalled more negative self-discrepant behaviors about an in-group than about an out...
Article
Contrary to most other research conducted in the minimal group paradigm tradition, Bornstein, Crum, Wittenbraker, Harring, Insko and Thibaut (1983a) found little evidence of ingroup favoritism when they employed a revised measurement system (i.e. the Multiple Alternative Matrices; MAMs). The current experiment examined whether Bornstein et al.'s ef...
Article
Full-text available
Consistent with the role of a long-term perspective in reducing the tendency of intergroup relations to be more competitive than interindividual relations in the context of noncorrespondent outcomes, an experiment demonstrated that anticipated future interaction reduced intergroup but not interindividual competitiveness. Further results indicated t...
Conference Paper
The authors argue that persons derive in-group expectancies from self-knowledge. This implies that perceivers process information about novel in-groups on the basis of the self-congruency of this information and not simply its valence. In Experiment 1. participants recalled more negative self-discrepant behaviors about an in-group than about an our...
Article
Consistent with the role of a long-term perspective in reducing the tendency of intergroup relations to be more competitive than interindividual relations in the context of noncorrespondent outcomes, an experiment demonstrated that anticipated future interaction reduced intergroup but not interindividual competitiveness. Further results indicated t...
Article
H. Tajfel's (1970) minimal group paradigm (MGP) research suggests that social categorization is a sufficient antecedent of ingroup-favoring discrimination. Two experiments examined whether discrimination in the MGP arises from categorization or processes of outcome dependence, that is, ingroup reciprocity and outgroup fear. Experiment 1 unconfounde...
Article
We employed the investment model of commitment (Rusbult, 1983) to examine the independent effects of commitment and relationship duration on the perpetration of common couple violence (i.e., instances of physical violence that occasionally arise in conflict situations; Johnson, 1995). Data are from self-administered questionnaires completed by 722...
Article
Four investigations examined the dynamics between the individual self (self-representation independent of group membership) and the collective self (self-representation derived from group membership). Relative to participants whose collective self was threatened, participants whose individual self was threatened (a) considered the threat more sever...
Article
Campbell's (1958) concept of ingroup entitativity is reformulated as a perceived interconnection of self and others. A 2 (intergroup relations: competitive, neutral)×3 (intragroup interaction: low, medium, high) between-subjects design was used to examine (1) the effects of intergroup and intragroup relations on perceived ingroup entitativity and (...