Thane S. Pittman

Thane S. Pittman
Colby College · Psychology Department

PhD

About

50
Publications
90,018
Reads
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4,182
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2013 - present
Colby College
Position
  • Professor Emeritus
August 2004 - September 2013
Colby College
Position
  • Professor, Department Chair
August 2004 - September 2013
Colby College
Position
  • Professor

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Full-text available
The unique nature of inherited money is reflected in financial decisions concerning such bequests. A legacy originates in somber circumstances and bears the distinctive characteristics of the deceased. In four experiments and a survey among inheritors we found that people tended to preserve the inheritance; participants were reluctant to spend the...
Article
Full-text available
What makes people's interest in doing an activity increase or decrease? Regulatory fit theory (E. T. Higgins, 2000) provides a new perspective on this classic issue by emphasizing the relation between people's activity orientation, such as thinking of an activity as fun, and the manner of activity engagement that the surrounding situation supports....
Article
Full-text available
An inaction inertia analysis of procrastination was used to generate the prediction that using bonuses to encourage early task completion will have two opposing effects, encouraging early task completion by some but also inducing procrastination for those who miss the bonus. Study 1 showed that the addition of bonuses for early completion produced...
Article
Full-text available
We propose that four fundamental developments of the human animal together produce distinct human motives: (a) social consciousness or awareness that the outcomes or significance of a person's action (self or other) depend upon how another person (self or other) reacts to it; (b) recognizing that people's inner states can mediate their outward beha...
Article
Full-text available
We review the current state of theories about basic human needs, with a little historical context. We have chosen six theories for comparison: Maslow's hierarchy of needs; core social motives theory; terror management theory; attachment theory; cognitive-experiential self-theory; and self-determination theory. All these theories have been given ext...
Article
Full-text available
Based on the inaction inertia effect, it was hypothesized that investors who missed an opportunity to leave a “bear market” will be less likely to sell the stock at a later opportunity when facing a grave loss. Participants in a stock-market computer game were given an opportunity to sell their stock for a moderate gain. Having missed this initial...
Article
Full-text available
How do observers respond when the actions of one individual inflict harm on another? The primary reaction to carelessly inflicted harm is to seek restitution; the offender is judged to owe compensation to the harmed individual. The primary reaction to harm inflicted intentionally is moral outrage producing a desire for retribution; the harm-doer mu...
Article
Full-text available
Studies have demonstrated that when consumers miss an opportunity to purchase a product for a significantly reduced price, they are less likely to purchase this product later for its regular price or for a less significantly reduced price. Two possible explanations for this inaction-inertia ef - fect were considered: avoidance of regret (reluctance...
Article
Full-text available
Studies have demonstrated that when consumers miss an opportunity to purchase a product for a significantly reduced price, they are less likely to purchase this product later for its regular price or for a less significantly reduced price. Two possible explanations for this inaction-inertia effect were considered: avoidance of regret (reluctance to...
Chapter
Full-text available
Article
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When an attractive action opportunity has been forgone, individuals tend to decline a substantially less attractive current opportunity in the same action domain, even though, in an absolute sense, it still has positive value. The hypothesis that continued inaction (inaction inertia) occurs in the service of avoiding anticipated regret was tested....
Article
Full-text available
When an attractive action opportunity has been forgone, individuals tend to decline a substantially less attractive current opportunity in the same action domain, even though, in an absolute sense, it still has positive value. The hypothesis that continued inaction (inaction inertia) occurs in the service of avoiding anticipated regret was tested....
Article
Full-text available
The circumstances under which initial inaction tends to persist were studied. Inaction inertia occurs when bypassing an initial action opportunity decreases the likelihood that subsequent similar action opportunities will be taken. The authors studied the case in which an initial attractive action opportunity, which is not taken, is followed by ano...
Chapter
Full-text available
One of the fundamental characteristics of human nature is the ability to learn how to predict and to influence events. That is perhaps the most basic message of the research on human learning. Given this rather sophisticated capacity to learn how to understand and influence events, a number of theorists have gone the next step by suggesting that th...
Book
This landmark volume brings together the work of the world's leading researchers in subliminal perception. This compilation marks a fundamental shift in the current study of subliminal effects: No longer in question is the notion that perception without awareness occurs. Now, the emphasis is on elucidating the parameters of subliminal effects and u...
Article
This research was designed to investigate the cognitive processes underlying the finding that subjects appear to make more use of available information in forming attributions following a control-deprivation experience. We propose that control deprivation has this effect because it leads subjects to engage in careful and accurate processing of new...
Article
Full-text available
Article
The present experiment was conducted to address variations in prior experience with reward and some inconsistencies in previous investigations comparing verbal and symbolic rewards. 5-7-year-old children attending 4 private schools (half of which use symbolic rewards as marks of achievement) saw a videotape that either created the expectation of a...
Article
Full-text available
Intrinsic motivational orientations are characterized by preference for activities that are relatively complex, challenging, and entertaining. Extrinsic motivational orientations are characterized by preference for activities that are relatively simple, predictable, and easily completed. The introduction of task-contingent reward fosters an extrins...
Article
Full-text available
Attempted to obtain a direct measure of effort expenditure following control deprivation. 48 undergraduates were assigned to 1 of 3 conditions: control deprivation, baseline, or yoked-baseline. It was found that control-deprived Ss chose to take significantly more trials before making a judgment of control than did baseline Ss. However, the additio...
Article
Full-text available
Two studies were conducted to investigate the structure of inferences drawn in an attitude-attribution paradigm by examining attributions at different levels of generality and in several behavioral domains. Observers were exposed to an essay in which a target person took a consistent liberal or conservative position on five different national issue...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the hypothesis that task mastery is a critical determinant of the effect of reward on intrinsic interest. Because the negative side effects of reward on interest were assumed to result from a shift away from desire for mastery over a challenge toward simple attainment of a reward, reward was expected to undermine interest if off...
Article
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Two studies conducted during campus blood drives assessed two techniques derived from a commitment and social support analysis that were designed to increase the rate of pledge fulfillment by volunteer donors. A reminder about donation addressed to the individual donor plus two other named donors (Three-Name Reminder) elicited greater pledge fulfil...
Article
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Hypothesized that people will be particularly inclined to seek information about others when they have recently been deprived of control. 61 female undergraduates experienced either noncontrollable outcomes on a problem-solving task or had no such experience. Ss were then introduced to a 2nd unrelated study in which they expected to interview anoth...
Article
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Tested the proposition that variations in experience with lack of control ought to cause variations in the tendency to engage in attribution processes. 158 university students were first given 1 of 3 levels of experience with lack of control (high, low, or no helplessness training); in a 2nd study, their utilization of information that had previous...
Article
Full-text available
The experiment was designed to test Deci's (1975) informational/controlling analysis with verbal rewards and to assess the joint effects of type of verbal reward and level of surveillance. Compared to a no-reward control, the informational verbal reward enhanced interest in task engagement, but the controlling verbal reward did not. Regardless of t...
Article
Full-text available
Based on Wortman and Brehm's integration of reactance theory with Seligman's model of learned helplessness, an investigation was conducted to examine the effects of amount of helplessness training and internal--external locus of control on subsequent task performance and on self-ratings of mood. Subjects were divided into "internal" and "external"...
Article
Full-text available
• Based on C. B. Wortman and J. W. Brehm's (1975) integration of reactance theory with M. E. Seligman's (1972, 1975) model of learned helplessness, the present study examined the effects of amount of helplessness training and internal–external locus of control on subsequent task performance and on self-ratings of mood. 90 undergraduates were divide...
Article
Full-text available
A number of experiments have recently demonstrated that extrinsic constraints and rewards can produce lower levels of intrinsic interest in subsequent free-choice situations. This effect has been considered to be the result of a shift in the self-perceived locus of motivation from intrinsic to extrinsic but has also been explained as resulting from...
Article
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2 experiments contrasted the effects of several methods of initiating the play activity of elementary school children on their willingness to persist in an initially interesting activity. Consistent with an interpretation based upon assumed changes in self-perceived intrinsic motivation, task persistence declined when (1) an adult rather than the c...
Article
Full-text available
The hypothesis that increased behavioral commitment causes increased utilization of information about a communicator was tested. Commitment to a position (public or private speech), communicator's situational description (mand or tact), and communication discrepancy (consonant or discrepant) were varied factorially. The situational description of t...
Article
Full-text available
Using false physiological feedback to influence attribu tions of intrinsic or extrinsic motivation, it was found that the overjustification effect is mediated by one's self-perceived motiva tion. Contingent reward significantly decreased intrinsic interest, which was defined as the number of trials on the target activity during a free choice period...
Article
Full-text available
In 2 experiments with a total of 67 female undergraduates, performance on a modified version of the Stroop Color-Word Test varied systematically with level of task-irrelevant arousal. Performance under low response competition was facilitated while performance under high response competition was impaired by arousal manipulated by threat of impendin...
Article
Full-text available
The effects of level of initial attitude salience and severity of threat on attitude change were assessed utilizing the forbidden toy paradigm. Second and third grade children were warned to refrain from playing with a preferred toy, using either a mild or severe threat. Initial attitude salience was varied by having a second experimenter either sh...
Article
The hypothesis that the attribution of arousal to a source is an important step in the dissonance reduction process was tested in a counterattitudinal advocacy paradigm. Specifically, it was hypothesized that the extent to which arousal is attributed to dissonance-producing inconsistency directly affects the amount of dissonance-reducing behavior....
Article
Full-text available
Examined the hypothesis that dissonance may have general motivational properties similar to those of noncognitive drives. 65 female undergraduates were offered high or low choice to perform a dull task (high or low dissonance) and then performed a verbal task (90 trials of the Stroop Color-Word Task) which varied response competition (high or low)...
Article
The basic theme of this book concerns the relation between motivation (why one does something) and achievement (how one performs on a variety of tasks and activities), particularly as they relate to educational settings [from elementary through high school]. The issues are addressed from a social-development perspective. [The book] will be of int...
Article
Full-text available
processes underlying social psychological effects of perception without awareness / misattribution of perceptual fluency and perception without awareness / affect and perception without awareness / cognition and perception without awareness / control processes: when perception without awareness enters the stream of behavior / commitment and the mai...

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Assess the extent to which moral luck may affect reactions to transgressions.