Paul A M Van Lange

Paul A M Van Lange
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam | VU · Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology

Professor

About

285
Publications
224,399
Reads
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17,672
Citations
Introduction
TRUST AND HUMAN COOPERATION I examine the evolutionary and psychological functions of forgiveness, generosity, empathy, fairness, retaliation, competition, and beliefs of human nature. Specific topics are social mindfulness, reputation, norm violation, helping, corruption, dishonesty, the psychology of politics, negotiation, and soccer.
Additional affiliations
January 1997 - July 2000
University of Groningen
Position
  • AIO

Publications

Publications (285)
Article
Full-text available
Despite growing scientific attention for hate, little is known about how perceived threats may influence hate and aggression. In four preregistered online studies (Ntotal = 1422), we test a threat – hate – aggression model, examining the differential effects of symbolic and realistic threats on the emergence of hate, and the associations between ha...
Article
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Personality traits are robust predictors of the likelihood of involvement in criminal behaviour, but how such traits predict behaviour while committing a crime is unclear. This study investigates associations between HEXACO personality traits and burglars' scouting process, as well as how burglars differ in this respect from non-offenders due to th...
Article
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Fortune telling is a widespread phenomenon, yet little is known about the extent to which people are affected by it—including those who consider themselves non-believers. The present research has investigated the power of a positive fortune telling outcome (vs. neutral vs. negative) on people’s financial risk taking. In two online experiments ( n 1...
Article
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It is widely documented that third parties punish norm violations, even at a substantial cost to themselves. However, little is known about how third-party punishment occurs in groups consisting of members that differ in status. Having a higher-status member promotes norm enforcement and group efficiency, but also poses threats to collective goods...
Article
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What are the things that we think matter morally, and how do societal factors influence this? To date, research has explored several individual-level and historical factors that influence the size of our ‘moral circles.' There has, however, been less attention focused on which societal factors play a role. We present the first multi-national explor...
Article
Decades of research predominantly conducted in Western societies reveals that people, especially the less wealthy, are averse to high levels of inequality. However, empirical comparative studies on perceived wealth and inequality aversion across nations are rare. Here, we examine how responses to unequal monetary allocations among those with high o...
Preprint
What are the things that we think matter morally, and how do societal factors influence this? To date, research has explored several individual-level and historical factors that influence the size of our ‘moral circles’. There has, however, been less attention focused on which societal factors play a role. We present the first multi-national explor...
Article
Full-text available
Does COVID‐19 affect people of all classes equally? In the current research, we focus on the social issue of risk inequality during the early stages of the COVID‐19 pandemic. Using a nationwide survey conducted in China (N = 1,137), we predicted and found that compared to higher‐class individuals, lower‐class participants reported a stronger declin...
Article
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Nearly 25 years ago, four studies examined the development of social value orientation (SVO) and uncovered that SVO was related to specific and general adult attachment, the number of siblings, and age. However, some of these findings have been challenged by two recent replication studies. The present (pre-registered) research extends these replica...
Article
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Nielsen et al. (1) argue that Van Doesum et al. (2) need to consider three points for their interpretation of a positive association between individual-level social mindfulness (SoMi) and environmental performance (EPI) at the country level (3). The association is weaker when 1) it is controlled for GDP and 2) when the data of three countries are r...
Article
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Cooperation among strangers has been hypothesized to have declined in the United States over the past several decades, an alarming trend that has potential far-reaching societal consequences. To date, most research that supports a decline in cooperation has relied on self-report measures or archival data. Here, we utilize the history of experimenta...
Article
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Happiness is a valuable experience, and societies want their citizens to be happy. Although this societal commitment seems laudable, overly emphasizing positivity (versus negativity) may create an unattainable emotion norm that ironically compromises individual well-being. In this multi-national study (40 countries; 7443 participants), we investiga...
Article
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Is hate fundamentally different from other negative emotions? Despite a fair amount of theorizing about hate, there is little empirical evidence that helps to answer this basic question. The present research examines how people construe interpersonal and intergroup hate and provides an empirical analysis of how hate is conceptually different from d...
Article
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Objectives This study investigates the deterrent effects of incremental levels of guardianship on residential burglary and assesses how burglars differ from non-burglars in terms of their perceptions of opportunities for burglary.Methods In a virtual reality experiment, 181 incarcerated burglars and 172 non-burglars (university students) were taske...
Article
How can we as individuals or groups mitigate climate change? One key issue is whether motives other than the pursuit of material self-interest can be used fruitfully to reduce climate change. In this article I describe recent research that supports three deeply rooted concerns: (a) concern with other humans (prosociality), (b) concern with equality...
Article
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Gossip—a sender communicating to a receiver about an absent third party—is hypothesized to impact reputation formation, partner selection, and cooperation. Laboratory experiments have found that people gossip about others' cooperativeness and that they use gossip to condition their cooperation. Here, we move beyond the laboratory and test several p...
Article
Gossip, or sharing information about absent others, has been identified as an effective solution to free rider problems in situations with conflicting interests. Yet, the information transmitted via gossip can be biased, because gossipers may send dishonest information about others for personal gains. Such dishonest gossip makes reputation-based co...
Article
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People often say one thing while doing another, and are therefore criticized as hypocrites. Despite the widespread criticism of hypocrites, relatively less is known about factors that influence moral judgment of hypocrisy. In particular, why are some word-deed inconsistencies condemned more harshly than others? The current research focuses on word-...
Article
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Humans are social animals, but not everyone will be mindful of others to the same extent. Individual differences have been found, but would social mindfulness also be shaped by one’s location in the world? Expecting cross-national differences to exist, we examined if and how social mindfulness differs across countries. At little to no material cost...
Article
Contemporary society is facing many social dilemmas—including climate change, COVID-19, and misinformation—characterized by a conflict between short-term self-interest and longer-term collective interest. The climate crisis requires paying costs today to benefit distant others (and oneself) in the future. The COVID-19 crisis requires the less vulne...
Preprint
Full-text available
Gossip, or sharing information about absent others, has been identified as an effective solution to free rider problems in situations with conflicting interests. Yet, the information transmitted via gossip can be biased, because gossipers may send dishonest information about others for personal gains. Such dishonest gossip makes reputation-based co...
Article
Full-text available
Transgressions and injustice are an inevitable part of social life, both in interactions between individuals and between groups. But whereas conflict between individuals typically impacts only few, conflict between groups can be harmful to many – as is illustrated by disputes between nations, political parties, and social groups. For this reason, i...
Article
Full-text available
Even before COVID-19, it was well known in psychological science that people’s well-being is strongly served by the quality of their close relationships. But is well-being also served by social contact with people who are known less well? In this article, we discuss three propositions that support the conclusion that the benefits of social contact...
Preprint
Adults often act considerately towards others by, for example, leaving the last cookie on a plate or by stepping aside on a busy sidewalk. What do young children infer from such considerate behavior? In two preregistered studies, we assess how young children evaluate (in)considerate behavior by showing them animated videos in which targets make dec...
Article
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Scientists have been warning the world of the threatening consequences of climate change for decades. Yet, only a few countries have made climate change mitigation a priority. One of the chief issues regarding climate change is its abstractness: consequences for the collective in the long-term are much more abstract than consequences for the self i...
Article
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People are quick to form impressions of others’ social class, and likely adjust their behavior accordingly. If social class is linked to prosociality, as literature suggests, then an interaction partner’s class should affect prosocial behavior, especially when costs or investments are low. We test this expectation using social mindfulness (SoMi) an...
Article
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Norm enforcement may be important for resolving conflicts and promoting cooperation. However, little is known about how preferred responses to norm violations vary across cultures and across domains. In a preregistered study of 57 countries (using convenience samples of 22,863 students and non-students), we measured perceptions of the appropriatene...
Article
Full-text available
Norm enforcement may be important for resolving conflicts and promoting cooperation. However, little is known about how preferred responses to norm violations vary across cultures and across domains. In a preregistered study of 57 countries (using convenience samples of 22,863 students and non-students), we measured perceptions of the appropriatene...
Chapter
Understanding the interaction between cooperation and conflict in establishing effective social behaviour is a fundamental challenge facing societies. Reflecting the breadth of current research in this area, this volume brings together experts from biology to political science to examine the cooperation–conflict interface at multiple levels, from g...
Preprint
Even before COVID-19, it was well-known in psychological science that our well-being is strongly served by the quality of our close relationships. But is our well-being also served by social contact with people we know less well? In this article, we discuss three propositions to support the conclusion that the benefits of social contact also derive...
Article
Full-text available
Status holders across societies often take moral initiatives to navigate group practices toward collective goods; however, little is known about how different societies (e.g., the US versus China) evaluate high- (vs. low-) status holders’ transgressions of preached morals. Two pre-registered studies (total N = 1,374) examined how status information...
Article
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Background: The COVID-19 pandemic is a global health crisis, yet certain countries have had far more success in limiting COVID-19 cases and deaths. We suggest that collective threats require a tremendous amount of coordination, and that strict adherence to social norms is a key mechanism that enables groups to do so. Here we examine how the strengt...
Article
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A salient objective feature of the social environment in which people find themselves is group size. Knowledge of group size is highly relevant to behavioural scientists given that humans spend considerable time in social settings and the number of others influences much of human behaviour. What size of group do people actually look for and encount...
Article
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Interpersonal trust is an important source of social and economic development. Over decades, researchers debated the question whether and how public institutions influence interpersonal trust, making this relationship a much-discussed issue for scientific debate. However, experimental and behavioral data and insights on this relationship and the un...
Preprint
Full-text available
Transgressions and injustice are an inevitable part of social life, both in interactions between individuals and between groups. But whereas conflict between individuals typically impacts only few, conflict between groups can be harmful to many – as is illustrated by disputes between nations, political parties, and social groups. For this reason, i...
Article
Full-text available
Across societies, humans punish norm violations. To date, research on the antecedents and consequences of punishment has largely relied upon agent-based modeling and laboratory experiments. Here, we report a longitudinal study documenting punishment responses to norm violations in daily life (k = 1507; N = 257) and test pre-registered hypotheses ab...
Preprint
Full-text available
Gossip—a sender communicating to a receiver about an absent third party—is hypothesized to impact reputation formation, partner selection, and cooperation. Lab experiments have found that people gossip about others’ cooperativeness and that they use gossip to condition their cooperation. Here, we move beyond the lab and test several predictions fro...
Article
Full-text available
There is strong scientific consensus that the climate is drastically changing due to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and that these changes are largely due to human behavior. Scientific estimates posit that by 2050, we will begin to experience some of the most damaging consequences of climate change, which will only worsen as...
Article
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When romantic partners sacrifice their own self-interest to benefit the relationship, the sacrificer or recipient may—for various reasons—be biased in how they perceive the costs that the sacrificer incurs. In Study 1, romantic couples ( N = 125) rated their own and their partner’s costs after a conversation about a sacrifice in the laboratory, fol...
Article
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Reputation and punishment are two distinct mechanisms that facilitate cooperation among strangers. However, empirical research on their effectiveness is mainly limited to relatively small groups and does not address how they enhance cooperation in relatively larger groups. We address this gap in the literature by testing hypotheses from competing p...
Article
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Our research deals with the question how people look back at their ex-partners—those with whom they were once romantically involved? Such views are important because they may shape our views of current relationships or new (potential) partners. Across three studies (total N = 876), we find that men hold more positive attitudes towards their female...
Article
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It has been argued that, when they are acutely hungry, people act in self-protective ways by keeping resources to themselves rather than sharing them. In four studies, using experimental, quasi-experimental, and correlational designs (total N = 795), we examine the effects of acute hunger on prosociality in a wide variety of non-interdependent task...
Article
Are there systematic trends around the world in levels of creativity, aggressiveness, life satisfaction, individualism, trust, and suicidality? This article suggests a new field, latitudinal psychology, that delineates differences in such culturally shared features along northern and southern rather than eastern and western locations. In addition t...
Article
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People often consider themselves as more moral than average others (i.e., moral superiority) and present themselves as more moral than they actually are (i.e., moral hypocrisy). We examined whether feelings of moral superiority—as a manifestation of self-enhancement motives—motivates people’s hypocritical behavior, that is, their discrepant moral p...
Article
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In this research, we examine how cooperation emerges and develops in sequential dyadic interactions when the initial interaction varies in strategic considerations (i.e., fear of partner rejection) or potential gossip by one's partner that may affect subsequent interactions. In a lab experiment involving real-time interactions (N = 240) across 39 s...
Article
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Prosociality is a central topic in positive psychology. An important but under-studied distinction can be made between active and reactive expressions. We suggest that the novel construct of social mindfulness represents active rather than reactive prosociality. Across four studies (N = 2,594), including a multi-wave representative sample spanning...
Preprint
Full-text available
Research in behavioural ethics repeatedly emphasizes the importance of others for people’s decisions to break ethical rules. Yet, in most lab experiments participants faced ethical dilemmas in full privacy settings. We conducted three experiments in which we compare such private set-ups to situations in which a second person is co-present in the la...
Article
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Background: Psychosis is characterized by problems in social functioning and trust, the assumed glue to positive social relations. But what helps building trust? A prime candidate could be social mindfulness: the ability and willingness to see and consider another person’s needs and wishes during social decision making. We investigated whether firs...
Article
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Acting prosocially can be quite challenging in one of the most salient intergroup contexts in contemporary society: Soccer. When winning is the ultimate goal, balancing self-interest with helping a fellow player in distress can be a tough decision; yet it happens. To date, we know little about what motivates soccer players to offer such help in the...
Data
Dataset pilot study and dataset main study. (ZIP)
Article
Full-text available
We conducted preregistered replications of 28 classic and contemporary published findings, with protocols that were peer reviewed in advance, to examine variation in effect magnitudes across samples and settings. Each protocol was administered to approximately half of 125 samples that comprised 15,305 participants from 36 countries and territories....
Article
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Two studies show that being socially mindful only requires a minimal social context: The presence of a specific other is enough to bring out greater social mindfulness in a one-shot social decision-making task that focuses participants’ decisions on leaving or limiting other people’s choice. Study 1 contrasts a control condition (with no second cho...
Article
We conducted preregistered replications of 28 classic and contemporary published findings, with protocols that were peer reviewed in advance, to examine variation in effect magnitudes across samples and settings. Each protocol was administered to approximately half of 125 samples that comprised 15,305 participants from 36 countries and territories....
Article
Enhancing human cooperation in the use of limited and depletable resources is of central concern to environmental management and human welfare. Behavioral models of cooperation have, to date, focused on inter-party dynamics such as reciprocity, punishment, or reputation in distribution of resources generally indexed by points, money, or effort. We...
Article
There is ample evidence for the central role of morality in social judgments. However, research has not examined whether perceived morality of others also drives perceived humanness, nor has it extensively considered its behavioral consequences. These issues were addressed across two studies. Study 1 revealed that information about a target person’...
Article
Full-text available
Can psychological science offer evidence-based solutions to climate change? Using insights and principles derived from the literature on social dilemmas and human cooperation, we discuss evidence in support of three solutions: crossing the borders of thought, time, and space. First, borders of thought could be crossed by using persuasion that is co...
Article
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Recent political instabilities and conflicts around the world have drastically increased the number of people seeking refuge. The challenges associated with the large number of arriving refugees have revealed a deep divide among the citizens of host countries: one group welcomes refugees, whereas another rejects them. Our research aim is to identif...
Thesis
Full-text available
The Art of Sacrifice: Self-Other Dilemmas, Biased Perceptions, and the Emergence of Gratitude https://research.vu.nl/en/publications/the-art-of-sacrifice-self-other-dilemmas-biased-perceptions-and-t