Michael D Robinson

Michael D Robinson
North Dakota State University | NDSU · Department of Psychology

About

274
Publications
133,297
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
13,983
Citations

Publications

Publications (274)
Article
Full-text available
Whether to engage with the environment or not is critical to self-regulation and individual differences figure prominently in this decisional realm. The present studies (total N = 695) pursue the premise that important clues to these dynamics can be found by asking individuals whether they prefer the spatial concept of something (e.g., the self or...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Image schemas are perceptual-motor simulations of the world that are likely to have broad importance in understanding models of the self and its regulatory operations. Methods: Seven samples of participants (total N = 1,011) rated their preferences for unspecified entities being “open” or “closed” and scores along this dimension were...
Article
Full-text available
Mindfulness, defined in terms of greater attention and awareness concerning present experience, seems to have a number of psychological benefits, but very little of this research has focused on possible benefits within the workplace. Even so, mindfulness appears to buffer against stress and negative affect, which often predispose employees to devia...
Article
Social connectedness has been linked to beneficial outcomes across domains, ages, and cultures. However, not everyone receives these benefits, as there are large individual differences in the capacities required to create and sustain functional interpersonal relationships. A great deal of research has been devoted to assessing and understanding the...
Article
Full-text available
Evolution-based theorizing has suggested that it may be more mandatory to respond to threatening than rewarding stimuli and considerations of this type are likely to influence the shape and time course of positive versus negative emotional reactions. Hypotheses of this type were examined in four within-subject experiments (total N = 573 undergradua...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: There are components of self that recognize effective courses of action and there are components of self that enact behaviors. The objective of the research was to examine alignment between these different components of self. Method: The present research assessed degrees of alignment between these two components of self, in the romant...
Article
Purpose This paper aims to examine whether work-related emotional intelligence (W-EI) benefits job performance among knowledge-intensive workers. Design/methodology/approach Postdoctoral researchers (Study 1) and industry researchers (Study 2) were recruited (total N = 304). These knowledge workers completed an ability-based emotional intelligence...
Article
Full-text available
Recent theorizing has emphasized the need to develop new models of successful self-control. Using materials that describe friendship-related challenges, potential ways of responding to them, and distinct frames targeting the acting self as well as more abstract ideas concerning effectiveness, three studies (total N = 542) quantified friendship-rela...
Article
Full-text available
Relationships between mindfulness and positive affect have been less robust than relationships between mindfulness and negative affect, suggesting that skills in addition to mindfulness may be necessary in transforming mindfulness into a positive psychological force. The present three study program of research (total N = 413) pursued the idea that...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals are thought to differ in the extent to which they attend to and value their feelings, as captured by the construct of attention to emotion. The well-being correlates of attention to emotion have been extensively studied, but the decision-making correlates have not been. A three study program of research (total N = 328) sought to examine...
Chapter
Most theories of embodiment emphasize processes that are thought to be normative in nature. However, a consideration of the relevant processes (e.g., perception, awareness of afferent inputs, simulation abilities, metaphor usage) suggests that substantial individual differences could constitute the rule rather than the exception. The present chapte...
Article
Full-text available
Perceptual achievements would seem to require multiple skills related to collecting and organizing sensory input, comparing this input to categorical templates, and making decisions in accordance with current goals. Individual differences in such processes should be especially apparent under conditions of degraded input, even in simple tasks. A thr...
Article
Succeeding within the friendship domain is likely to require skills related to both agency and communion. Based on such thinking, this study assessed variations in friendship competence (FC) using a recently developed test that conceptualizes FC in ability‐based terms. In addition, extensive information was obtained from participants (n = 188), the...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals are thought to differ in the extent to which they attend to and value their feelings, as captured by the construct of attention to emotion. The well-being correlates of attention to emotion have been extensively studied, but the decision-making correlates have not been. A three study program of research (total N = 328) sought to examine...
Preprint
Full-text available
In society as well as science, it is often suggested that more intense or peaked emotional reactions to stressors are a sign of disordered and unhealthy emotional systems. Using self-reported emotional reactions collected with high temporal precision, the present work, instead, is among the first to show that self-reported emotional reaction intens...
Preprint
Full-text available
Buddhist teachings are essentially a set of cognitive and behavioral interventions designed to induce a mind state called nonattachment. Although Buddhist meditative practices have received empirical attention, the cognitive analogs to these behaviorally-oriented practiceshave not. Methods. Two studies investigated whether a highly secular cognitiv...
Article
Full-text available
Meier et al. (2007) examined relations between the concept of God and the vertical dimension of space. They found that God-related concepts were recognized faster if they were associated with words related to a high location (Study 1) or actually presented in a high location (Study 2). Additionally, participants recalled God-like images as appearin...
Article
Full-text available
Sex differences in fear and pain suggest the possibility of sex differences in an underlying threat reactivity (or punishment sensitivity) system. This system would prime vigorous behavioral responses to threatening input and give rise to stronger, more quickly changing feelings within threatening contexts. Two studies sought to model such processe...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Recent findings have suggested that we can gain new insights into health decision-making and behavior through the use of a scenario-based approach to health competence (HC). Methods: The present research sought to investigate whether and how such individual differences would matter in the conduct of daily life, within two daily diary s...
Article
Full-text available
Taking care of one’s health can require trading current feelings for longer-term considerations of health and well-being. The present research (total N = 366) sought to assess ego operations of this type in terms of the extent to which the self would be capable of responding to health-challenging situations in ways deemed to be effective. Ego effec...
Article
Full-text available
Emotional responses to aversive stimuli may be more mandatory than emotional responses to appetitive stimuli and extant theorizing suggests that negative reactions may be more peaked at maximum intensity. Parameters of this type were investigated within two experiments (total N = 198) in which emotional images were presented and re-presented as par...
Book
This edited volume seeks to integrate research and scholarship on the topic of embodiment, with the idea being that thinking and feeling are often grounded in more concrete representations related to perception and action. The book centers on psychological approaches to embodiment and includes chapters speaking to development as well as clinical is...
Article
Full-text available
We applaud the goals and execution of the target article, but note that individual differences do not receive much attention. This is a shortcoming because individual differences can play a vital role in theory testing. In our commentary, we describe programs of research of this type and also apply similar thinking to the mechanisms proposed in the...
Article
Full-text available
Theoretical perspectives of the attachment system emphasize the situation-contingent nature of its operations. The present investigation sought to model these dynamic components through the use of situational descriptions of relationship-related events and challenges. After several stages of scenario development, participants in Study 1 (n = 148) w...
Article
Full-text available
Prominent emotion theories contend that feelings prime actions, but such links have been challenged. To investigate potential dynamics of this type in a relatively structured manner, participants in three studies (total N = 466) indicated their levels of felt anger as well as their likelihoods of engaging in an aggressive action (unlabeled as such)...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals who are intelligent concerning their emotions should experience them differently. In particular, being conversant with the valence dimension that is key to emotions should reasonably result in emotional experiences that are more bipolar with respect to this dimension. Pursuant of these ideas, three studies (total N = 335) assessed emoti...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals are likely to vary in their abilities to enact appropriate relationship behavior. With the aim of quantifying such differences, young adult participants were asked to rate the likelihood that they would respond to simulated relationship challenges in different ways and such responses were transformed into a Romantic Competence-Behaviora...
Article
Full-text available
Over the last few decades, most personality psychology research has been focused on assessing personality via scores on a few broad traits and investigating how these scores predict various behaviors and outcomes. This approach does not seek to explain the causal mechanisms underlying human personality and thus falls short of explaining the proxima...
Article
Full-text available
Action-oriented theories of momentary stress and emotion are prominent, but relevant data are sparse. To investigate processes of this type, the present research (N = 172) paired a provoking induction of aversive noise with a subsequent go/no go task. Noise level was varied in a continuous manner and data were analyzed using multilevel modeling tec...
Article
How people interpret and respond to simulated interpersonal events may provide insight into their values, beliefs, and personality. In pursuit of this possibility, a three-study program of research (total N = 576) applied a situational judgment method to the domain of friendship behavior. Specifically, consensus scoring techniques were used to scal...
Article
Individual differences in social relationship competence (SRC) should have significant implications for social relationship success and well-being. Ability-based measures of SRC are scarce, though, particularly in social-personality psychology, and these considerations led to the present research. In specific terms, a situation judgment method was...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives The present research had two objectives. It sought to examine whether traits related to mindful awareness and nonattachment could be distinguished. It also sought to compare both sets of traits with respect to their ability to dissociate relations between feelings and actions. Methods To examine processes of this type in a fine-grained...
Article
Objective: An advantage of the trait approach to health is that it implicates common elements to multiple different health behaviors. An advantage of the social-cognitive approach, by contrast, is that it models the situational factors that are likely to elicit particular behavioral reactions. The present research sought to combine the advantages...
Article
People are thought to differ in their abilities to perceive, understand, and manage emotions, a construct termed emotional intelligence (EI). North Dakota emotional abilities test (NEAT), a test of EI based on the situation judgment test method, assesses EI applied to work settings. Three survey‐based studies examined and found that NEAT scores cor...
Article
Employees are thought to engage in deviant workplace behaviors (e.g., sabotage, theft) when they are stressed, frustrated, or angry. Given the emotional nature of these actions, individual differences in work-related emotional intelligence (W-EI) should, potentially, be consequential. Three studies (ns = 91, 198, & 147) examined this possibility by...
Article
Full-text available
Metaphors linking the heart to warm intuition and the head to cold rationality may capture important differences between people because some individuals locate the self primarily in the heart (heart-locators) and others locate the self primarily in the head (head-locators). Five studies (total N = 2575) link these individual differences to religiou...
Article
Romantic relationships vary in quality, and the purpose of the present investigation was to examine a wide scope of linguistic variables as possible markers of this variability. Ninety-six undergraduate students within committed romantic relationships were asked to write freely about their partnership, following which they reported on relationship...
Article
Full-text available
Following biological and comparative perspectives, it was posited that acute stressors would activate more primitive modes of action control favoring gross motor actions (e.g., fight or flight) over behavioral precision. Influences of this type should result in more rapid changes in movement velocity subsequent to emotionally upsetting stimulation....
Article
Full-text available
Eysenck’s (1983) personality paradigm was too narrow, but his goal of integrating personality trait studies with experimental psychology remains a laudable one. Personality traits are informative concerning the structure of personality, but a complete science will integrate traits with mechanisms of operation while accounting for both between-perso...
Article
Full-text available
The military is a highly stressful career that requires one to work closely with others. These features of the military render it plausible that skills related to emotional perception and management—or emotional intelligence—would tend to benefit performance within this setting. Hypotheses of this type were examined in a panel study that presented...
Chapter
Antagonistic people are hostile and prone to reactive aggression under conditions of provocation. It is useful to understand these dynamics in terms of social cognitive mechanisms, which can focus on questions of reactivity. Antagonistic people find hostile stimuli more compelling, but they are also prone to perceive hostility when it might not exi...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Prominent theories of neuroticism emphasize its potential link to threat‐ or punishment‐sensitivity processes. Even in the absence of external threats, though, neuroticism may predispose people to a sort of “mental noise”, or cognitive instability, that creates problems for ongoing efforts after control. If this is the case, cognitive vie...
Chapter
Full-text available
How do people decide how happy they are? In principle, a number of models are possible and the current chapter highlights three of them. People could subdivide their life into various domains, consider their progress in these domains, and then integrate the results of this bottom-up activity. Alternatively, people could omit such a systematic proce...
Article
Full-text available
Metaphors frequently link negative affect with darkness and associations of this type have been established in several experimental paradigms. Given the ubiquity and strength of these associations, people who prefer dark to light may be more prone to negative emotional experiences and symptoms. A five study investigation (total N = 605) couches the...
Article
Full-text available
A prominent class of metaphors depicts that which is sacred (God, a spiritual path) in terms of lightness rather than darkness. Metaphors of this type should have systematic implications for religious cognition according to conceptual metaphor theory (CMT) and a new extension of this theory termed balanced CMT. Five studies (total N = 761) derived...
Article
At least some forms of interpersonal violence could follow from a vision of the self as a fierce, dominant creature. This should be particularly true when psychopathic (more proactive, less reactive) tendencies are involved. Possible relations of this type were examined in two studies (total N = 278) in which college student samples were presented...
Article
Full-text available
In implicit personality theory, people with entity views or a fixed mindset perceive characteristics (e.g., intelligence) as uncontrollable, whereas people with incremental views or a growth mindset perceive characteristics as controllable. In addition to other benefits, the literature sometimes suggests that having a growth mindset will protect ag...
Article
Full-text available
Negative feedback has paradoxical features to it. This form of feedback can have informational value under some circumstances, but it can also threaten the ego, potentially upsetting behaviour as a result. To investigate possible consequences of the latter type, two experiments (total N = 159) presented positive or negative feedback within a sequen...
Article
Based on the thoughtful and thought-provoking comments, we strengthened some of the main proposals of our framework to integrate research on personality structure, process, and development. Integration is an important, yet challenging goal for personality science, and we see considerable potential for it, theoretically and in empirical research. We...
Article
Full-text available
In this target article, we argue that personality processes, personality structure, and personality development have to be understood and investigated in integrated ways in order to provide comprehensive responses to the key questions of personality psychology. The psychological processes and mechanisms that explain concrete behaviour in concrete s...
Article
Full-text available
Men often score higher than women do on traits or tendencies marked by hostile dominance. The purpose of the present research was to contribute to an understanding of these gender differences. Four studies (total N = 494 U.S. undergraduates) administered a modified animal preference test in which participants could choose to be predator or prey ani...
Chapter
Full-text available
Being happy consists of more than having the right things happen to us. It also depends on what we focus on, how we interpret the events of our lives, and what we are trying to achieve. Such considerations suggest that cognitive-emotional factors should play a fairly pronounced role in our levels of happiness and in changes in well-being over time....
Book
This edited volume focuses on different views of happiness and well-being, considering constructs like meaning and spirituality in addition to the more standard constructs of positive emotion and life satisfaction. A premise of the volume is that being happy consists of more than having the right things happen to us; it also depends on how we inter...
Article
Previous investigations have linked laboratory manipulations of physical warmth to momentary increases in interpersonal warmth. However, replication concerns have occurred in this area and it is not known whether similar dynamics characterize daily functioning. Two daily diary studies (total N = 235) suggest an affirmative answer. On days on which...
Article
Full-text available
It is important, both theoretically and for applied reasons, to understand who is likely to engage in counterproductive work behaviors. It is known that such behaviors are more likely to be exhibited by unhappy employees (i.e., those high in job negative affect), but this should be particularly true for individuals low in work-related emotional int...
Chapter
Full-text available
The strength model suggests that individual differences in the strength of self-control lead to benefits across many domains. In the current chapter, we review research that has employed an alternative cognitive control framework to understand these individual differences. This leads to three conclusions that would not be apparent from the classic...
Article
Full-text available
Metaphors often characterize prosocial actions and people as sweet. Three studies sought to explore whether conceptual metaphors of this type can provide insights into the prosocial trait of agreeableness and to daily life prosociality. Study 1 (n = 698) examined relationships between agreeableness and food taste preferences. Studies 2 (n = 66) and...
Article
Full-text available
Background When people think that their efforts will fail to achieve positive outcomes, they sometimes give up their efforts after control, which can have negative health consequences. PurposeProblematic orientations of this type, such as pessimism, helplessness, or fatalism, seem likely to be associated with a cognitive mindset marked by higher le...
Article
Full-text available
Ideological liberals may focus on mental operations to a greater extent than bodily operations, whereas this pattern may be reversed among conservatives. Although there are suggestive sources of evidence, prior research has not directly examined relations between political ideology and this mind–body distinction. The present investigation did so by...
Article
Existing measures of Emotional Intelligence (EI), defined as the ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions for productive purposes, have displayed limitations in predicting workplace outcomes, likely in part because they do not target this context. Such considerations led to the development of an ability EI measure with work-related scen...
Article
Objectives: Agency has been conceptualized as a drive toward mastery, control, and effective self-management. Such an agentic approach to life and its challenges may be life-prolonging, a hypothesis not previously investigated. Method: In four studies, individual differences in agency were assessed in terms of the frequency with which agency-rel...
Article
Full-text available
The approach-avoidance conflict is one in which approaching reward brings increased threat while avoiding threat means forgoing reward. This conflict can be uniquely informative because it will be resolved in different ways depending on whether approach (toward) or avoidance (away from) is the stronger motive. Two studies (total N = 191) created a...
Article
The article seeks to integrate personality and social psychology in a manner that enriches both, particularly with reference to the self and its processes. It is suggested that the typical approach to personality assessment must somewhat necessarily be assessing variations in people's self-concepts and that the beliefs assessed are likely to be gen...
Article
Theoretically, the processes involved in approach motivation and action control should overlap. In both cases, a person must commit to a goal, identify a goal target, and seek to reduce discrepancies between the self and this goal target on a somewhat continuous basis. These ideas motivated three studies (total N = 253) in which personality differe...
Article
Cybernetic theories of self-regulation contend that an individual's goal system may work best to the extent it is differentiated. The present investigation pioneered an assessment of goal differentiation in relation to an important feature of goals-intrinsic motivation-and quantified the extent to which intrinsic motivation systematically increased...
Article
Posited motivational differences between liberals and conservatives have historically been controversial. This motivational interface has recently been bridged, but the vast majority of studies have used self-reports of values or motivation. Instead, the present four studies investigated whether two classic social motive themes-power and affiliatio...
Article
People often think, feel, and behave metaphorically according to conceptual metaphor theory. There are normative sources of support for this theory, but individual differences have received scant attention. This is surprising because people are likely to differ in the frequency with which they use metaphors and therefore the frequency with which th...
Article
Full-text available
If emotions provide information relevant to personal meaning, then people with a greater sense of clarity about their emotions may possess some advantages in finding meaning in their lives. Consistent with this, in Studies 1, 2, and 3 we found that individuals high in trait emotional clarity have greater meaning in life. However, meaning is often u...
Article
Full-text available
Replication efforts involving large samples are recommended in helping to determine the reliability of an effect. This approach was taken for a study from Meier, Robinson, and Clore (2004), one of the first papers in social cognition guided by conceptual metaphor theory, which reported that evaluations were faster when word valence metaphorically m...
Article
Full-text available
Some scholars of nonverbal behavior contend that arm-crossing indicates a defensive orientation to the social environment, but relevant evidence is sparse. Three studies (N = 242) sought to investigate whether there is truth to this idea. Consistent with it, Study 1 found that people reporting higher arm-crossing frequencies scored higher in interp...
Article
Mindfulness, defined in terms of greater attention to and awareness of the present moment, may benefit equanimity both outside and inside the workplace. Two studies (total N = 224) of part-time employees supported this idea. Employees who were higher in dispositional mindfulness were less Machiavellian (Study 1), and they engaged in fewer counterpr...
Article
Some theories of self-enhancement posit that very positive views of the self can disinhibit acting hostilely toward others, particularly in the context of provocation or negative feedback. Dynamics of this type was proposed as a function of individual differences in implicit egotism. Individual differences in implicit egotism were quantified on the...
Article
Full-text available
Conservatives are thought to favor certainty and value tradition (suggesting a focus on the past), whereas liberals are thought to favor change (suggesting a focus on the future), even when it is associated with some degree of uncertainty. On this basis, two studies contrasted references to the past versus the future in language usage. Study 1 anal...
Article
Full-text available
People often speak of success (e.g., "advance") and failure (e.g., "setback") as if they were forward versus backward movements through space. Two experiments sought to examine whether grounded associations of this type influence motor behavior. In Experiment 1, participants categorized success versus failure words by moving a joystick forward or b...
Chapter
Full-text available
Mindfulness has Buddhist roots, but exists as a human potential independent of this philosophical tradition. To be mindful means to be aware of current thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a curious, nonjudgmental way. Mindfulness is closely linked with awareness and allows one to become better acquainted with the workings of the mind. It also al...
Book
This empirically robust resource examines multiple ways mindfulness can be harnessed to support self-regulation, in part as a real-world component of therapy. Its authoritative coverage approaches complex mind/brain connections from neuroscience, cognitive, personality, social, clinical, and Buddhist perspectives, both within and outside traditiona...