Rumen Iliev

Rumen Iliev
University of Michigan | U-M · Ford School of Public Policy

About

24
Publications
13,220
Reads
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1,297
Citations
Citations since 2017
2 Research Items
839 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140

Publications

Publications (24)
Article
Full-text available
We introduce a novel measure of abstractness based on the amount of information of a concept computed from its position in a semantic taxonomy. We refer to this measure as precision. We propose two alternative ways to measure precision, one based on the path length from a concept to the root of the taxonomic tree, and another one based on the numbe...
Article
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Significance For nearly 50 y social scientists have observed that across cultures and languages people use more positive words than negative words, a phenomenon referred to as “linguistic positivity bias” (LPB). Although scientists have proposed multiple explanations for this phenomenon—explanations that hinge on mechanisms ranging from cognitive b...
Article
Language is a powerful marker for social discrimination, often associated with stereotypes and prejudices against various social groups. However, less is known about the psychological role of language during ethnolinguistic conflicts. In such conflicts, the political rivalry is closely intertwined with language ideology. We consider two independent...
Article
The vast majority of the work on culture and cognition has focused on cross-cultural comparisons, largely ignoring the dynamic aspects of culture. In this article, we provide a diachronic analysis of causal cognition over time. We hypothesized that the increased role of education, science, and technology in Western societies should be accompanied b...
Article
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Does sharing moral values encourage people to connect and form communities? The importance of moral homophily (love of same) has been recognized by social scientists, but the types of moral similarities that drive this phenomenon are still unknown. Using both large-scale, observational social-media analyses and behavioral lab experiments, the autho...
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Centuries' worth of cultural stories suggest that self-sacrifice may be a cornerstone of our moral concepts, yet this notion is largely absent from recent theories in moral psychology. For instance, in the footbridge version of the well-known trolley car problem the only way to save five people from a runaway trolley is to push a single man on the...
Article
Full-text available
A growing body of evidence shows that cognitive processes in general, and causal cognition in particular, are variable across cultures (Choi et al., 1999; Norenzayan and Heine, 2005; Henrich et al., 2010). The majority of these findings are based on cross-cultural comparisons contrasting well-defined groups, with little explicit consideration of te...
Article
Three studies test the link between word order in binomials and psychological and demographic characteristics of a speaker. While linguists have already suggested that psychological, cultural and societal factors are important in choosing word order in binomials, the vast majority of relevant research was focused on general factors and on broadly s...
Article
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Recent years have seen rapid developments in automated text analysis methods focused on measuring psychological and demographic properties. While this development has mainly been driven by computer scientists and computational linguists, such methods can be of great value for social scientists in general, and for psychologists in particular. In thi...
Article
Significance The world’s economy and international security have come to depend upon a secure Internet. International rivalries and conflicts have already provided challenges to Internet security in the form of espionage, sabotage, and denial of service. New vulnerabilities in computer systems are constantly being discovered. When an individual, gr...
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This paper addresses the question of whether the presence of grammatical category evidentiality in language, traditionally defined as an expression of information source, affects cognitive performance. Our research paradigm bridges together two theoretical perspectives from linguistics and cognitive psychology: (i) the position that evidentiality e...
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This study reports ethnographic and experimental analyses of inter-generational changes in native Itza' Maya and immigrant Ladino populations of Guatemala's Petén rainforest concerning understanding of ecological relationships between plants, animals, and humans, and the perceived role of forest spirits in sustaining these relationships. We find dr...
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Although mutually advantageous cooperative strategies might be an apt account of some societies, other moral systems might be needed among certain groups and contexts. In particular, in a duty-based moral system, people do not behave morally with an expectation for proportional reward, but rather, as a fulfillment of debt owed to others. In such sy...
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Harmful events often have a strong physical component-for instance, car accidents, plane crashes, fist fights, and military interventions. Yet there has been very little systematic work on the degree to which physical factors influence our moral judgments about harm. Since physical factors are related to our perception of causality, they should als...
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We present a cognitively motivated model of moral decision- making, MoralDM, which models psychological findings about utilitarian and deontological modes of reasoning. Current theories of moral decision-making extend beyond pure utilitarian models by including contextual factors that vary culturally. Our model employs both first-principles reasoni...
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Would you redirect a trolley to save five people even if it means that the trolley will run over a person on the side track? Most people say they would. Would you push that same person into the path of the trolley in order to save the five? Most people say they would not. These sorts of intuitive moral judgments are made rapidly and seem almost aut...
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Conflict over Iran's nuclear program, which involves a US-led policy to impose sanctions on Iran, is perceived by each side as a preeminent challenge to its own national security and global peace. Yet, there is little scientific study or understanding of how material incentives and disincentives, such as economic sanctions, psychologically aff...
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There has been an upsurge of interest in moral decision making, which appears to have some distinctive properties. For example, some moral decisions are so strongly influenced by ideas about how sacred entities are to be treated, that they seem to be relatively insensitive to the costs and benefits entailed (e.g., "do not allow companies to pollute...
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Sacred values are different from secular values in that they are often associated with violations of the cost-benefit logic of rational choice models. Previous work on sacred values has been largely limited to religious or territorial conflicts deeply embedded in historical contexts. In this work we find that the Iranian nuclear program, a relative...
Article
The question of why people are motivated to act altruistically has been an important one for centuries, and across various disciplines. Drawing on previous research on moral regulation, we propose a framework suggesting that moral (or immoral) behavior can result from an internal balancing of moral self-worth and the cost inherent in altruistic beh...
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This paper explores the role of causal explanations in eval-uating counterfactual conditionals. In reasoning about what would have been the case if A had been true, the localist in-junction to hold constant all the variables that causally influ-ence whether A is true or not, is sometimes unreasonably con-straining. We hypothesize that speakers may...
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A long tradition in decision making assumes that people usually take a consequentialist perspective, which implies a focus on the outcomes only when making decisions. Such a view largely neglects the existence of a deontological perspective, which implies that people are sensitive to moral duties that require or prohibit certain behaviors, irrespec...
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Full-text available
Our ability to make causal inferences about agency and our perception of the moral status of the action seem to be closely related (Heider, 1958; Shaver, 1985). One aspect of this relation which has not been addressed in previous empirical work is the role of motion. Since motion is a cue to causal agency, we hypothesized that its presence or absen...

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