Mitchell J. Callan

Mitchell J. Callan
University of Bath | UB · Department of Psychology

PhD University of Calgary

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57
Publications
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2,161
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (57)
Article
Full-text available
We propose that personal relative deprivation (PRD)—the belief that one is worse off than similar others—plays a key role in the link between social class and prosociality. Across multiple samples and measures (total N ¼ 2,233), people higher in PRD were less inclined to help others. When considered in isolation, neither objective nor subjective so...
Article
Research has shown that people often reinterpret their experiences of others' harm and suffering to maintain the functional belief that people get what they deserve (e.g., by blaming the victim). Rather than focusing on such reactive responses to harm and suffering, across 7 studies we examined whether people selectively and proactively choose to b...
Article
Full-text available
Lower subjective socioeconomic status (SSS) and higher personal relative deprivation (PRD) relate to poorer health. Both constructs concern people’s perceived relative social position, but they differ in their emphasis on the reference groups people use to determine their comparative disadvantage (national population vs. similar others) and the imp...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on theorizing and research suggesting that people are motivated to view their world as an orderly and predictable place in which people get what they deserve, the authors proposed that (a) random and uncontrollable bad outcomes will lower self-esteem and (b) this, in turn, will lead to the adoption of self-defeating beliefs and behaviors. F...
Article
Full-text available
Immanent justice reasoning involves causally attributing a deserved outcome to someone’s prior moral deeds or character, even when such a causal connection is physically implausible. This chapter describes a body of work showing that immanent justice reasoning is (a) motivated, in part, by the need to construe outcomes as deserved; (b) driven by in...
Article
Full-text available
Autism and anxiety are thought to be related to extreme demand avoidance (EDA), which is characterised by intense avoidance of everyday demands. However, the relative importance of autism and anxiety to EDA has yet to be investigated, and little is known about EDA in adulthood. We conducted two online survey studies (Ns = 267 and 549) with adults i...
Article
Following the popularity of dual process models in social and cognitive psychology, there is major interest in the possibility that autism is associated with impaired "fast" intuitive thinking but enhanced "slow" or "rational" deliberative thinking. If correct, this has great potential to help understand various strengths and difficulties character...
Preprint
The 10-item Autism-Spectrum Quotient (AQ10) is frequently used to screen for high autistic traits in clinical practice and research. For the past decade, however, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended the use of an incorrect ≥7 cut-off value, instead of the correct ≥6 value specified in the original research o...
Article
Full-text available
Personal relative deprivation (PRD; the belief that one is worse off than other people who are similar to oneself) is associated with a reduced willingness to delay gratification, lower prosociality, and increased materialism. These results suggest that PRD may play a role in shaping people’s willingness to act to protect the natural environment. W...
Article
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Lay abstract: Anthropomorphism is the tendency to attribute human-like qualities (e.g. thoughts and feelings) to non-human entities (e.g. objects and weather systems). Research by White and Remington (2019) suggested that anthropomorphism is more common in autistic compared to neurotypical adults, which is interesting given that autistic individua...
Article
Previous research has found a negative relationship between individual differences in personal relative deprivation (PRD; i.e., resentment stemming from the belief that one is worse off than similar others) and prosociality. Whether PRD causes reductions in people's willingness to act for the benefit of others, however, is yet to be established. Ac...
Article
The climate agenda has gathered extraordinary pace due to Greta Thunberg and other autistic environmentalists. Thunberg's autism is widely used to explain and celebrate, but also diminish and denigrate, her activism. However, despite speculation linking autism, pro-environmental action, and climate change belief, there is neither psychological theo...
Article
Mentalising, also known as "Theory of Mind", is the ability to understand and infer the cognitions of others, such as their perceptions, intentions, and beliefs. Although several tools have been designed to measure mentalising in adults, there exist methodological and practical limitations. Many of the existing measures conflate mentalising with si...
Article
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Lay abstract: The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is responsible for the functioning of the heart, bladder, pupils and several other bodily functions. Therefore, when the ANS functions abnormally, individuals can experience a number of physical symptoms, including dizziness, abnormal sweating and digestive difficulties. Currently, it is unclear if...
Article
Full-text available
Research during the 1960s found that observers could be moved enough by an innocent victim’s suffering to derogate their character. However, recent research has produced inconsistent evidence for this effect. We conducted the first meta-analysis (k = 55) of the experimental literature on the victim derogation effect to test the hypothesis that it v...
Article
Full-text available
Immanent justice reasoning involves causally attributing someone’s bad outcome to their prior immoral actions. Building on the idea that causality is mentally linked with spatial proximity, we investigated whether such reasoning might lead participants to spatially bind together immoral actions and bad outcomes. Across four experiments ( N = 553, M...
Article
Full-text available
It has been proposed that atypical empathy in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is due to co-occurring alexithymia. However, difficulties measuring empathy and statistical issues in previous research raise questions about the role of alexithymia in empathic processing in ASD. Addressing these issues, we compared the associations of trait alexithymia a...
Article
First impressions based on physical characteristics and superficial information predict a wide variety of social judgments and outcomes. We build on recent work examining the effects of such impressions on the communication of scientific research and ideas to the general public. A large diverse sample viewed and evaluated scientific TED talks, whil...
Article
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We examined the causal order of relationships between rape myth acceptance (RMA), victim blaming, and memory reconstruction. In Study 1, RMA-congruent memory (or alternatively, victim blaming) mediated the relationship between RMA and victim blaming (memory reconstruction). In Study 2, similar relationships emerged between RMA, victim blaming, and...
Article
Full-text available
Drawing on social comparison and equity theories, we investigated the role that perceived similarity of a comparison target plays in how resentful people feel about their relative financial status. In Study 1, participants tended to choose a comparison target who was better off, and they selected a target they perceived to be more similar than diss...
Article
Full-text available
The current research developed and validated a Korean-translated version of the Personal Relative Deprivation Scale (PRDS). The PRDS measures individual differences in people’s tendencies to feel resentful about what they have compared to what other people like them have. Across 2 studies, Exploratory Factor Analyses revealed that the two reverse-w...
Article
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The extent to which an individual believes in free will is associated with a number of positive life outcomes, including their own subjective well-being. However, it is not known whether the belief that one has free will per se is uniquely associated with subjective well-being over and above potential confounding variables. We examined a sense of p...
Article
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Drawing on just-world theory and research into the suppression and justification of prejudice, we propose that the use of relative compared with absolute measures of an innocent victim’s character enables observers to derogate the victim without transparently violating social norms or values proscribing derogation. In Study 1, we found that positiv...
Article
Full-text available
Across five studies, we found consistent evidence for the idea that personal relative deprivation (PRD), which refers to resentment stemming from the belief that one is deprived of deserved outcomes compared to others, uniquely contributes to materialism. In Study 1, self-reports of PRD positively predicted materialistic values over and above socio...
Article
First impressions based on facial appearance predict many important social outcomes. We investigated whether such impressions also influence the communication of scientific findings to lay audiences, a process that shapes public beliefs, opinion, and policy. First, we investigated the traits that engender interest in a scientist's work, and those t...
Article
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Temporal binding refers to the compression of the perceived time interval between voluntary actions and their sensory consequences. Research suggests that the emotional content of an action outcome can modulate the effects of temporal binding. We attempted to conceptually replicate these findings using a time interval estimation task and different...
Article
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We hypothesised that belief in conspiracy theories would be predicted by the general tendency to attribute agency and intentionality where it is unlikely to exist. We further hypothesised that this tendency would explain the relationship between education level and belief in conspiracy theories, where lower levels of education have been found to be...
Article
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People typically overestimate how much others are prepared to pay for consumer goods and services. We investigated the extent to which latent beliefs about others’ affluence contribute to this overestimation. In Studies 1, 2a, and 2b we found that participants, on average, judge the other people taking part in the study to “have more money” and “ha...
Chapter
Why do people care about justice? This chapter addresses the question from the point of view of a body of theory and research that has examined the motivational commitment people have to the assumptive belief that the world is just. Inspired by Melvin J. Lerner’s exploration of the need to believe in a just world, justice motive research, as it has...
Article
We examined age-related differences in social comparison orientation and personal relative deprivation (PRD). In Study 1, participants (N = 1290) reported their tendencies to engage in social comparisons and PRD. Older adults reported lower levels of social comparison tendency and PRD, and social comparison tendency mediated the relation between ag...
Article
One psychosocial factor that has been identified to motivate gambling is personal relative deprivation (PRD), which refers to resentment stemming from the belief that one is deprived of a desired and deserved outcome compared to some referent. Although several lines of evidence point to a positive association between PRD and the urge to gamble, the...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has shown that the belief that the world is fair to the self (BJW-self) is positively related to indices of subjective well-being, whereas the belief that the world is fair to others (BJW-others) is positively related to harsher social attitudes. The present study aims to investigate the relation between these two forms of beliefs...
Article
Previous research suggests that individuals from countries that adopt an adversarial legal system, such as Canada or United Kingdom, mentally associate "law" more strongly with concepts related to competition than concepts related to cooperation. We examined whether people from a country with a non-adversarial legal system show similar mental assoc...
Article
Full-text available
People can perceive misfortunes as caused by previous bad deeds (immanent justice reasoning) or resulting in ultimate compensation (ultimate justice reasoning). Across two studies, we investigated the relation between these types of justice reasoning and identified the processes (perceptions of deservingness) that underlie them for both others (Stu...
Article
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From blaming to helping innocent victims, just-world research has revealed that observers react to victimization in a variety of ways. Recent research suggests that such responses to victimization require effortful thought, whereas other research has shown that people can react to these situations intuitively. Along with manipulating just-world thr...
Article
The derogation of innocent victims may bolster perceivers’ implicit faith that the world is a just place. A key theoretical outcome of this faith is the ability to put aside smaller, short-term rewards for larger, long-term rewards. The empirical relation between victim derogation and participants’ preferences for small-sooner versus larger-later r...
Article
Religious teachings endorse notions of ultimate justice (a misfortune is compensated in the long run) and immanent justice (a misfortune is caused by previous misdeeds). The current research examined whether individual differences in observers' religiosity moderated ultimate and immanent justice reasoning in response to an unfortunate accident that...
Article
Immanent justice reasoning involves causally attributing a negative event to someone's prior moral failings, even when such a causal connection is physically implausible. This study examined the degree to which immanent justice represents a form of motivated reasoning in the service of satisfying the need to believe in a just world. Drawing on a ma...
Article
In immanent justice reasoning, negative events are attributed to some prior moral failing, even in the absence of a physically plausible causal link between them. Drawing on just-world theory, we examined immanent justice reasoning as an intuitive, deservingness-guided form of causal judgment. Participants were exposed to a story about a man who ei...
Article
Drawing on just-world theory and research showing that older persons are generally assigned a devalued status in society, we examined the impact of an innocent victim's age on observer perceptions of injustice and punishment reactions. In three experiments, we demonstrated that observers perceived the suffering of an older (vs. younger) person as l...
Article
Full-text available
When confronted with bad things happening to good people, observers often engage reactive strategies, such as victim derogation, to maintain a belief in a just world. Although such reasoning is usually made retrospectively, we investigated the extent to which knowledge of another person's good or bad behavior can also bias people's online expectati...
Article
This chapter will discuss and provide evidence for the idea that the law's existence shapes social reality by implicitly fostering the sense that people are, and perhaps should be, competitive and untrustworthy. Drawing on research from social cognition and legal studies, it will argue that people tend to associate the law with self-interestedness...
Article
Full-text available
Several lines of research have provided evidence for a relation between personal relative deprivation and gambling. Despite this knowledge, little is known about possible psychological mechanisms through which personal relative deprivation exerts its influence on gambling. The authors of this research sought to examine one such mechanism: the desir...
Article
Socio-legal scholars have suggested that, as a ubiquitous social system, law shapes social reality and provides interpretive frameworks for social relations. Across five studies, we tested the idea that the law shapes social reality by fostering the assumptions that people are self-interested, untrustworthy, and competitive. In Studies 1 and 2, we...
Article
We examined whether people might distort and selectively remember the past in ways that enable them to sustain a belief in a just world (BJW; Lerner, M. J. (1980). The belief in a just world: A fundamental delusion. New York: Plenum Press). In Study 1, recall of a lottery prize reflected participants’ justice concerns, such that the average lottery...
Article
Previous theorizing and research suggest that the need to believe in a just world develops when children begin to understand the benefits of foregoing their immediate gratifications for more desirable, long-term outcomes. Drawing on this previous work, we propose that an extant just world threat may induce a desire for smaller, immediate rewards at...
Article
Full-text available
The present article explores the hypothesis that gambling might serve a justice-seeking function for some people, as gambling might offer a means to pursuing desirable outcomes that people feel they deserve but might be unable or unwilling to attain through conventional means. In Study 1, across two separate samples, self-reports of personal relati...
Article
a b s t r a c t There is an established link between risk-seeking behavior and problem gambling but it remains unclear whether problem gamblers are specifically attracted to the uncertainty of risky situations. We examined the relation between problem gambling severity and probabilistic discounting of monetary gains and losses among gamblers. Fifty...
Article
Full-text available
The authors propose that the high levels of support often observed for governmental and religious systems can be explained, in part, as a means of coping with the threat posed by chronically or situationally fluctuating levels of perceived personal control. Three experiments demonstrated a causal relation between lowered perceptions of personal con...
Article
Two studies explored Dion and Dion’s (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 775–780, 1987) suggestion that the belief in a just world may contribute to the “beauty is good” stereotype. In Study 1, we found that participants rated the death of a woman as more tragic and unfair when she was physically attractive than less attractive. Part...
Article
Deciding that negative experiences are punishment for prior misdeeds, even when plausible causal links are missing, is immanent justice (IJ) reasoning (Piaget, 1932/1965). Three studies examined a just world theory analysis of IJ reasoning in adults (Lerner, 1980). Studies 1 and 2 varied the valence of a target person's behavior prior to them exper...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of demonizing in the two major media that young children use (television and movies). Two content analyses were conducted using the animated feature films (n = 34) of the Walt Disney Company and after-school cartoons (n = 41). Each was coded for the modeling of the use of "evil" words when refe...

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