Marc S Wilson

Marc S Wilson
Victoria University of Wellington · School of Psychology

PhD

About

134
Publications
72,090
Reads
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4,110
Citations
Introduction
About a third of my work involves political psychological topics, with a particular interest in Social Dominance Orientation and Right-Wing Authoritarianism. I'm also interested in beliefs about science and pseudoscience, dietary behavior, and other 'fun' stuff of everyday life. RIght now, I'm working on a large-scale longitudinal research project funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, that focuses on self-injurious ideation and behavior, in both adolescents and adults. You can find the Youth Wellbeing Study here: https://youthwellbeingstudy.wordpress.com/
Additional affiliations
January 1999 - present
Victoria University of Wellington
Position
  • Head of Faculty
Education
February 1991 - October 1999
Victoria University of Wellington
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (134)
Preprint
Full-text available
Is it possible to predict COVID-19 vaccination status prior to the existence and availability of COVID-19 vaccines? Here, we present a logistic model by regressing decisions to vaccinate in late 2021 on lagged sociodemographic, health, social, and political indicators from 2019 in a sample of New Zealand adults aged between 18 and 94 (Mage = 52.92,...
Article
Which aspects of psychopathic personality, if any, contribute to professional success? Previous research suggests that fearless dominance does so. Yet, it also suggests that self-centered impulsivity impairs professional success. Here, we address this differential pattern in a preregistered, multi-wave study involving a large, nationally representa...
Article
Anxiety relating to a multitude of ecological crises, or eco-anxiety, is a subject of growing research significance. We used a multi-study mixed-methods design to explore eco-anxiety in Australia and New Zealand, validating a new eco-anxiety scale. In Study One, we developed and tested a 7-item eco-anxiety scale (n = 334), finding that this capture...
Article
Objective Nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) is a commonly occurring, yet historically poorly understood, mental health concern among post-secondary students. The present study sought to identify the current knowledge needs of university stakeholders to inform training efforts around effective NSSI response and student support on university campuses....
Article
Full-text available
Background A growing body of transgender health research reports that transgender people often feel pressure to conform to a dominant narrative during gender-affirming readiness assessments. In New Zealand, however, no study to date has specifically examined transgender people’s experiences of readiness assessments for gender-affirming healthcare....
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has highlighted how ideological factors such as political self-identification, religiosity and conspiracy thinking influence our beliefs about scientific issues such as climate change and vaccination. Across three studies (combined N = 9,022) we expand on this line of inquiry to show for the first time that the ideological attitud...
Article
Concerns over potential negative effects of excessive meat consumption on both the environment and personal health, coupled with long-standing debates over animal rights, have motivated research on the prevalence and predictors of plant-based versus meat-based diets. Yet few studies have examined longitudinal trends in dietary behaviours using larg...
Preprint
Anxiety relating to the ecological crisis, or eco-anxiety, is a subject of growing research significance. We used a multi-study mixed-methods design to explore eco-anxiety in Australia and New Zealand, validating a new eco-anxiety scale. In Study One, we developed and tested a 7-item eco-anxiety scale (n = 334), finding that this captured some, but...
Article
Climate change denial is motivated in part by ideology, with research showing that a greater tolerance of social inequality is consistently linked to lower pro-environmentalism. We report findings from two mixed-methods studies. In Study One, we provide insight into how individuals with varying levels of social dominance orientation discuss environ...
Article
Background: We consider whether nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) thoughts – in the absence of any NSSI behaviour – are associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviours among adolescents, before examining whether characteristics of NSSI behaviour are associated with greater suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Methods: Adolescents (n = 2,057, M age =15.5...
Preprint
Full-text available
We leverage powerful time-series data from a national longitudinal sample measured before the COVID-19 pandemic and during the world's eighth most stringent COVID-19 lockdown (New Zealand, March-April 2020, N = 940) and apply Bayesian multilevel mediation models to rigorously test five theories of pandemic distress. Findings: (1) during lockdown, r...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: We consider whether nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) thoughts – in the absence of any NSSI behaviour – are associated with suicidal thoughts and behaviours among adolescents, before examining whether characteristics of NSSI behaviour are associated with greater suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Methods: Adolescents (n = 2,057, M age =15.5...
Article
New Zealand’s primary strategy for tackling greenhouse gas emissions is the emissions trading scheme, which puts a price on emissions from all major industries – except animal agriculture. In the decade since the scheme was introduced, conversations about including emissions from animal agriculture have been shrouded in controversy, with a levy on...
Article
Full-text available
Schools and school-based mental health professionals play a critical role in responding to adolescent Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI). However, little is known about the experiences in particular of guidance counsellors responding to NSSI in New Zealand secondary schools. We present here a descriptive thematic analysis of a focus-group discussing t...
Article
Full-text available
Although the relationship between pet ownership and health and wellbeing has received considerable attention in popular media, research on the topic shows inconsistent findings. We addressed the methodological weaknesses of previous studies by using data from a national probability survey (the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study; n = 13,347). We...
Preprint
Research indicates COVID-19 lockdowns elevated psychological distress. Here, we leverage national panel data before and during New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown to clarify distress buffers (2018/2020, N = 940). To distinguish lockdown-related distress from natural disasters, we investigate distress dynamics following the Christchurch earthquakes (201...
Preprint
New Zealand’s COVID-19 lockdown in March/April 2020 imposed severe economic and social restrictions, which occurred in a setting of pervasive health and economic uncertainties. Here, we leverage national longitudinal data from 2018 and during severe lockdown to systematically quantify the evolution of psychological-distress trajectories within the...
Article
Full-text available
The contagiousness and deadliness of COVID-19 have necessitated drastic social management to halt transmission. The immediate effects of a nationwide lockdown were investigated by comparing matched samples of New Zealanders assessed before (Npre-lockdown = 1,003) and during the first 18 days of lockdown (Nlockdown = 1,003). Two categories of outcom...
Article
Full-text available
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is typically assessed using either single-item questionnaires or checklists of common behaviours, but preliminary research suggests that checklists produce higher lifetime prevalence rates. In two pre-registered studies (combined n = 1364), we tested whether memory cueing afforded by behavioural checklists accounts f...
Preprint
The contagiousness and deadliness of COVID-19 have necessitated drastic social management to halt transmission. The immediate effects of a nationwide lockdown were investigated by comparing matched samples of New Zealanders assessed before (Npre-lockdown = 1,003) and during the first 18 days of lockdown (Nlockdown = 1,003). Two categories of outcom...
Article
Full-text available
In light of the methodological and ethical issues associated with using a male/female tick box to collect gender data, researchers are increasingly questioning how to measure gender inclusively in survey research. Open-ended measures afford the greatest flexibility, though whether they are practical for large-scale surveys has yet to be tested. Her...
Article
Drawing on data collected in a cross-disciplinary survey of early-career academics (ECAs) in New Zealand, this article explores the factors influencing ECA conference attendance. Our conceptual framework uses conference attendance as the dependent variable and measures gender, ethnicity, family responsibilities and workload. Three key features affe...
Article
This study investigated the effects of residential relocation in a sample of 282 high-risk male offenders paroled from New Zealand prisons. Initially we compared those returning to their old neighborhoods ( devil you know) and those released to a new location ( fresh start). This second category was then further divided: those released to a new loc...
Preprint
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is typically assessed using either single item questionnaires or checklists of common behaviours, but preliminary research suggests that checklists produce higher prevalence rates. In two pre-registered studies (combined n = 1364), we tested whether memory cueing afforded by behavioural checklists accounts for this d...
Article
Full-text available
There is robust evidence showing associations between political ideology and environmentalism such that self-identified political liberals tend to hold greater pro-environmental positions than conservatives. Drawing from research on moral foundations, we report two studies examining the extent to which political ideology and individualising foundat...
Article
Full-text available
Social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) are ideological attitudes that predict lower concern for the environment and less willingness to act on climate change. Research generally shows that SDO and RWA exhibit moderate, negative relationships with environmentalism. We examine the longitudinal influence of SDO and RW...
Article
Full-text available
Although poor emotion regulation has been argued to be a risk factor for the development and maintenance of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI), longitudinal research investigating the trajectory of the relationship in adolescence is limited. In addition, the conceptual argument that NSSI may in turn be a risk factor for poor emotion regulation, remain...
Article
Research on nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) has grown significantly over the last 15 years, with much of this work focused on factors that initiate and maintain NSSI among school-aged youth. Although this work is important, it does raise several ethical concerns. In this article we outline key ethical issues underlying NSSI research in schools and o...
Preprint
Social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) are ideological attitudes that predict lower concern for the environment and less willingness to act on climate change. Research generally shows that SDO exhibits a strong, negative relationship with environmentalism, yet findings are mixed on the role of RWA. We examine the l...
Article
Recent research highlights the importance of considering how values, ideologies and worldviews inform attitudes on the environment and climate change. Although social dominance orientation (SDO) and right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) have been linked to environmentalism, the nature and extent of these relationships is unclear. We meta-analyse correl...
Article
The gateway belief model posits that perceptions of scientific agreement play a causal role in shaping beliefs about the existence of anthropogenic climate change. However, experimental support for the model is mixed. The current study takes a longitudinal approach, examining the causal relationships between perceived consensus and beliefs. Percept...
Article
Full-text available
Despite an overwhelming scientific consensus, a sizable minority of people doubt that human activity is causing climate change. Communicating the existence of a scientific consensus has been suggested as a way to correct individuals’ misperceptions about human-caused climate change and other scientific issues, though empirical support is mixed. We...
Data
Full mediation models. (DOCX)
Data
Effects of consensus messages on concern, intentions and policy opinions. (DOCX)
Article
When testing risk for psychosis, we regularly rely on self-report questionnaires. Yet, the more that people know about this condition, the more they might respond defensively, in particular with regard to the more salient positive symptom dimension. In two studies, we investigated whether framing provided by questionnaire instructions might modulat...
Article
Magical ideation refers to beliefs about causality that lack empirical bases. Few studies have investigated the neural correlates of magical thinking and religious beliefs. Here, we investigate the association between magical ideation and religious experience in a sample of Vietnam veterans who sustained penetrating traumatic brain injury (pTBI) an...
Article
Middle leadership roles in higher education have been identified as important for institutional effectiveness yet fraught with tensions, and those in middle leadership roles often feel unprepared and unsupported. This study of the responsibilities, skills and competencies, and support required for heads of school in a New Zealand university, drew o...
Article
Vegetarians and vegans comprise a minority of most western populations. However, relatively little research has investigated the psychological foundations of attitudes towards this minority group. The following study employs a dual process model of intergroup attitudes to explore the motivational basis of non‐vegetarians’ attitudes towards vegetari...
Chapter
Balancing many competing roles and expectations, in an environment where autonomy and independence are valued, may lead to serious dissatisfaction among some academics who feel overworked, under-rewarded, and poorly supported. Given that New Zealand’s academics are comparatively underpaid, we should pay attention to the satisfaction levels of our a...
Article
Full-text available
Socioeconomic deprivation has been associated with self-injury, however little is known about the psychological mechanisms underlying this relationship. We assessed how young adolescents’ (N = 797) experiences of deprivation were associated with Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI), and tested whether depression and anxiety independently mediated this r...
Article
Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) is the direct deliberate destruction of bodily tissue, which is not socially sanctioned, and occurs without suicidal intent. NSSI is a common behaviour among young people within Aotearoa New Zealand, and internationally. About one-third to half of secondary school students have engaged in NSSI (Wilson et al., 2016; G...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives Despite increasing interest in the prevalence and correlates of Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI) in adolescent populations, relatively few studies have examined NSSI among lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adolescents. The current study explored sexuality concerns and elevated emotion dysregulation as potential mechanisms underlying the rel...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we asked participants to “describe their sexual orientation” in an open-ended measure of self-generated sexual orientation. The question was included as part of the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (N = 18,261) 2013/2014 wave, a national probability survey conducted shortly after the first legal same-sex marriages in New Zealan...
Article
People who endorse right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) and social dominance orientation (SDO) tend to be less concerned about the environment. Yet, the extant literature has so far relied on cross-sectional data to examine the associations between RWA, SDO and environmentalism. We present cross-lagged panel analysis of the associations between RWA, S...
Article
Full-text available
Polls examining public opinion on the subject of climate change are now commonplace, and one-off public opinion polls provide a snapshot of citizen's opinions that can inform policy and communication strategies. However, cross-sectional polls do not track opinions over time, thus making it impossible to ascertain whether key climate change beliefs...
Article
Individual differences in the preference for group-based hierarchy and inequality, as indexed by social dominance orientation (SDO), have been shown to predict environment-relevant variables. To date the literature examining the SDO–environmentalism link has used the traditional unidimensional conceptualisation of SDO. This article reports three st...
Conference Paper
This paper uses a Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FDA) framework to examine the first-year engineering teaching and learning environment. Specifically it investigates perceptions and actions relating to the concept of ownership inside the construction of the learning and teaching space by examining interviews of lecturers and supporting related gov...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research in parapsychology has not been particularly persuasive, in large part due to a lack of replicability of significant findings. To address these concerns and better understand which factors may be associated with stronger and more consistent effect sizes, all forced-choice precognition experiments analysing individual differences (e...
Article
Full-text available
Around the world, school staff are increasingly expressing concern about nonsuicidal self-injury (NSSI) and how best to address this behavior in the school setting. However there is a notable lack of informed guidance for schools, and clear inconsistencies in the practices school staff adopt. In this position paper we draw on our collective researc...
Article
Full-text available
Recently more information has emerged on possible adverse health effects associated with some building and furnishing materials, leading to or initiating legislative changes towards their reduction or elimination in many parts of the world. However, more general knowledge of the health risks associated with building and furnishing materials could m...
Article
This study examined the correlates of right-wing authoritarianism (RWA) in older adults. Participants were given tasks measuring emotion recognition, executive functions and fluid IQ and questionnaires measuring RWA, perceived threat and social dominance orientation. Study 1 established higher age-related RWA across the age span in more than 2,600...
Article
Full-text available
The growing use of social networking sites raises important questions about the value of social media-based interaction. We test a novel Facebook Feedback Hypothesis of personality and social belonging in a national probability sample (N = 6,428), and show that Facebook usage is not equally beneficial to everyone. Our findings indicate that introve...
Article
Full-text available
Non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) is common among adolescents and linked to many maladaptive outcomes. This study aimed to assess the prevalence and correlates of NSSI among a community sample of New Zealand adolescents. A self-report questionnaire was administered to adolescents at time 1 (N = 1162, mean age = 16.35), and approximately five months l...
Article
The current study draws on the collective futures framework to examine how visions of future societies where most people consume plant-based, vegetarian or vegan diets are related to current support for social change towards plant-based diets. Participants were 506 university students in Aotearoa New Zealand invited to imagine a society in 2050 whe...
Article
Full-text available
The current study contributes to an emerging literature on regional differences in personality. We analyse data from a national probability sample of New Zealanders (N = 6,518) to examine differences and similarities in mean levels of Big-Six personality (Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Openness to Experience, and Hones...
Article
Hunting has a long history, and contentious recent past. We examined the relationship between aggression and hunting attitudes, investigating the moderating role of sex. Two studies are presented—a psychometric evaluation of a unidimensional instrument for assessing hunting attitudes, which was then administered to a sample of general population pa...
Article
Previous research within a dual-process cognitive-motivational theory of ideology and prejudice has indicated that dimensions of generalized prejudice are structured around attitudes towards dangerous, derogated and dissident groups, and that these prejudice dimensions are differentially predicted by the ideological attitudes of Right-Wing Authorit...
Article
Full-text available
Moral Foundations Theory posits five distinct foundations of morality: Harm/Care, Fairness/Reciprocity, In-group/Loyalty, Authority/Respect, and Purity/Sanctity. In combination, this should yield between four-to-six moral signatures—distinct combinations or patterns of support for these aspects of morality. We extend previous research by examining...
Article
Full-text available
Whether moral conceptions are universal or culture-specific is controversial in moral psychology. One option is to refrain from imposing theoretical constraints and to ask laypeople from different cultures how they conceptualize morality. Our article adopts this approach by examining laypeople’s associations of moral character in individualistic- a...
Article
Some say that researchers who study humans are locked in to frameworks of epistemic assumptions from which there can be no escape. We explain, on the contrary, how researchers who disagree may nevertheless reconcile their differences. Freedom from the epistemic dungeon is made possible by practices that convert beliefs into testable hypotheses, whi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available