Wendi L Gardner

Wendi L Gardner
Northwestern University | NU · Department of Psychology

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76
Publications
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Publications

Publications (76)
Article
Full-text available
Most people are motivated to self-expand, collecting new attributes and experiences in a process that boosts well-being, but people with low self-concept clarity resist it. Perhaps, then, there is a tradeoff between self-expansion and self-concept clarity. Across a 2-week daily dairy, we found no evidence for such a tradeoff—self-expanding was not...
Chapter
People often experience change within their romantic relationships, and the ways that they understand themselves can be critical within this context. This chapter examines the bidirectional links between self-concept clarity, people’s subjective sense of understanding who they are, and self-concept change within relationships. We review the literat...
Article
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This research introduces the construct of couple identity clarity—the extent to which an individual, as one of two partners in a romantic relationship, believes that the two of them know who they are as a couple. Cross-sectional (Studies 1–2), experimental (Study 3), and longitudinal (Study 4) studies supported the hypothesis that couple identity c...
Article
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The transition to motherhood involves the experience of each individual mother and child, as well as the burden of cultural expectations. Social desirability demands may impede self reports of difficulties during the transition to motherhood when using traditional explicit measures. One core component of maternal role attainment is a mother’s confi...
Article
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Bisexual individuals suffer poorer well-being than their gay and lesbian peers. The current work highlights the identity denial experiences of people who identify as gay, lesbian, and bisexual through self-reports and quantitative measures. Study 1 (N = 130) asked participants about unsupportive experiences during sexual identity disclosure and fou...
Article
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Attachment shapes people’s experiences in their close relationships and their self-views. Although attachment avoidance and anxiety both undermine relationships, past research has primarily emphasized detrimental effects of anxiety on the self-concept. However, as partners can help people maintain stable self-views, avoidant individuals’ negative v...
Article
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Despite a plethora of initiatives and a surge of research activity, women remain under-represented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines (National Science Foundation 2017). While much research has focused on ways to recruit women into these disciplines, less work has explored the strategies women use to navigate th...
Article
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People often pursue self-change, and having a romantic partner who supports these changes increases relationship satisfaction. However, most existing research focuses only on the experience of the person who is changing. What predicts whether people support their partner’s change? People with low self-concept clarity resist self-change, so we hypot...
Chapter
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The multiple group identities we all maintain (gender, cultural, religious, or professional) are critical to both self-knowledge and self-understanding. However, consideration of self-concept clarity at the collective level is in its infancy. The current chapter introduces two constructs that are integral to collective self-concept clarity. First,...
Article
The present investigation examined how people utilize their social networks when pursuing the ideal self. Participants who spent time with social partners who possessed their desired ideal self characteristic experienced movement toward their ideal self when the partner provided behavioral affirmation (eliciting behaviors consistent with the ideal...
Article
The present work investigated the interpersonal functions of facial mimicry after social exclusion. Specifically, we examined two distinct functions that facial mimicry may serve in promoting reconnection: facilitating the understanding of others’ emotions and/or fostering interpersonal rapport. Using a novel facial mimicry paradigm, we found that...
Article
Lonely individuals may decode social cues well but have difficulty putting such skills to use precisely when they need them-in social situations. In four studies, we examined whether lonely people choke under social pressure by asking participants to complete social sensitivity tasks framed as diagnostic of social skills or nonsocial skills. Across...
Article
Original conceptions of social exclusion focused upon the negative impact of exclusion on intelligent thought (Baumeister, Twenge, & Nuss, 2002). We propose that although exclusion may impair cognitive forms of intelligence, exclusion should enhance more socially relevant forms of intelligence, such as emotional intelligence. Specifically, we exami...
Article
Is it better to have a few relationships that can fulfill all our emotion-regulation needs or to have a more diverse relationship portfolio, in which different individuals serve distinct emotion-regulation needs? The present research examined how people distribute their emotion-regulation needs across different emotion-specific regulation relations...
Article
People have a fundamental need to belong that, when thwarted, can affect cognition and behavior in ways designed to regain social connection. Because one of the best predictors of social connection is similarity, the current investigation tests the self-malleability hypothesis, which predicts social exclusion encourages people to modify their self-...
Article
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After failure, individuals frequently turn to others for support. The current research examined the process through which individuals utilize interpersonal relationships to stabilize threatened self-views. We may seek support to reassure us with warmth and acceptance after a self-threat, or to provide support for threatened self-knowledge. We propo...
Article
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Two distinct tensions can arise between individuals’ relational-fulfillment and personal-fulfillment needs in close relationships. The first tension is a conflict of potential behaviors and arises between serving the relationship by meeting one’s partner’s needs versus serving the self by meeting one’s\own needs (e.g., your versus my needs). The se...
Article
Previous theory and research suggests that people generate predictions to prepare for an uncertain future, often basing predictions on task-relevant information like prior performance. Four studies test the hypothesis that preparation via prediction occurs more readily when interdependent (vs. independent) self-construals are salient. This hypothes...
Article
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The construct of individualism–collectivism (IND-COL) has become the definitive standard in cross-cultural psychology, management, and related fields. It is also among the most controversial, in particular, with regard to the ambiguity of its dimensionality: Some view IND and COL as the opposites of a single continuum, whereas others argue that the...
Article
Regulatory focus theory distinguishes between self-regulatory processes that focus on promotion and prevention strategies for goal pursuit. Five studies provide support for the hypothesis that these strategies differ for individuals with distinct self-construals. Specifically, individuals with a dominant independent self-construal were predicted to...
Article
Full-text available
People generally strive to maintain positive views of themselves. Even in the face of negative feedback, individuals frequently protect the self-concept from incorporating negative information. Two studies examined a potential exception to that rule: whether and when romantic desire may motivate individuals to spontaneously adopt the negative attri...
Article
Full-text available
People generally strive to maintain positive views of themselves. Even in the face of negative feedback, individ-uals frequently protect the self-concept from incorporating negative information. Two studies examined a poten-tial exception to that rule: whether and when romantic desire may motivate individuals to spontaneously adopt the negative att...
Article
This research examines how people respond when a commercial brand they identify with is threatened. Across four studies, the authors found that among participants who identified with a brand, a threat to the brand elicited the same responses as a threat to the self. Specifically, participants with low implicit self-esteem defended the brand when th...
Article
To investigate acculturation as it is influenced by Jewish identity, Russian Jewish immigrants born in the Former Soviet Union and American Jews of Eastern European ancestry were surveyed regarding their three identities: American, Jewish, and Eastern European ethnic/Russian. Study 1 examined perceived differences between the three cultures on a se...
Article
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Individuals' selves are malleable in romantic relationships. Specifically, individuals integrate characteristics of partners into their self-concepts to further closeness/intimacy goals (Aron, 2003). Unfortunately, this malleability during relationships predicts self-concept change/ confusion if a relationship ends (Slotter, Gardner, & Finkel, 2010...
Article
Individuals' relationships often provide pathways to self-change. One pathway involves individuals using others to help them pursue important, self-relevant goals. Past research has demonstrated that individuals prefer existing friends who can help them pursue important goals. The current research expands upon these findings in two studies by demon...
Article
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Lonely individuals typically fear negative evaluation and engage in overly cautious social behaviors that perpetuate their social isolation. Recent research has found analogous security-oriented (i.e., prevention-focused) responses following experiences highlighting concerns with social loss but differing growth-oriented (i.e., promotion-focused )...
Article
Baumeister and colleagues (e.g., Baumeister, Heatherton, & Tice, 1994) have recently proposed a limited-strength model of self-regulation, whereby the effort of overtly controlling one's behavior requires considerable energy, and may lead to rapid depletion of the resource. The current research investigated individual differences in social orientat...
Article
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Socialization is the process by which individuals are assisted to become members of their social groups. Findings from social cognition and cross-cultural psychology offer two major insights into the socialization process. First, basic social cognitive principles imply that the immediate environment functions as a socialization agent by activating...
Article
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Romantic relationships alter the selves of the individuals within them. Partners develop shared friends and activities and even overlapping self-concepts. This intertwining of selves may leave individuals' self-concepts vulnerable to change if the relationship ends. The current research examines several different types of self-concept change that c...
Article
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The more accurately people assess their comprehension, the more likely they are to engage in study behaviors that precisely target gaps in their learning. However, comprehension regulation involves more than knowing when to implement a new study strategy; it also involves deciding which strategy will most effectively resolve one's confusion. In two...
Article
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Feelings of belonging are closely linked to feelings of self-esteem. This article examines whether these feelings are regulated in a similar manner. Research on self-esteem maintenance shows that self-enhancement strategies are interchangeable; self-esteem threats in one domain instigate indirect self-affirmations in unrelated domains that effectiv...
Article
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Perceiving similarity between oneself and one's romantic partner benefits both the individual and the relationship and can arise from multiple pathways that draw either the partner closer to the self or the self closer to the partner. The current research focuses on the latter. The authors investigate novel circumstances under which the self-concep...
Article
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Social exclusion evokes powerful motivations and emotions. The present studies examined how these motivations and emotions might differ following exclusion that is explicit, active, and direct (i.e., when one is rejected) versus implicit, passive, and indirect (i.e., when one is ignored). It was hypothesized that being rejected should produce a sen...
Article
We examined whether a salient gender identity activates gender stereotypes along the dimensions of sociability and ability (Fiske et al. 2002). A sample of US undergraduates (40 men, 38 women) instructed to think about women subsequently took longer to name the colors of words associated with sociability than ability on a modified Stroop task. Solo...
Article
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Online virtual worlds promise an escape from mundane everyday environments and exempt users from the normal laws of time, space, and gravity. However, the laws of social influence may not be as easily dodged. In the virtual world of There.com we tested two robust real‐world compliance tactics (foot‐in‐the‐door, door‐in‐the‐face) with avatar “race”...
Article
Groups vary in the range of benefits they provide to members, but one potential benefit of membership is a confirmation of individuals' sense of belonging to a larger social whole. The current studies present an exploration of this potential benefit by examining the activation and amplification of group identities and memberships following rejectio...
Article
Borrowing from the media, communication, and psychological literatures on parasocial, or one–sided, relationships to media figures, the current in-vestigation examined the processes underlying the anthropomorphism of favorite television characters. Two studies tested the hypothesis that indi-viduals' affection for television characters predicts the...
Article
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While cannabis is associated with positive syndrome schizophrenia (SZ), it is unclear whether cannabinoids are also related to negative symptoms such as affective blunting. We examined whether cannabis use is associated with schizotypy and utilized event-related potentials (ERPs) to assess affect processing. Cannabis users demonstrated increased P3...
Article
In this work, the authors explored how a person's view of himself or herself might determine his or her use of power in a complex dispute resolution negotiation. In 3 studies of asymmetric power in negotiations, the authors demonstrated that the impact of power on motivation and behavior is moderated by both a person's self-view and the social cont...
Article
The skill-deficit view of loneliness posits that unskilled social interactions block lonely individuals from social inclusion. The current studies examine loneliness in relation to social attention and perception processes thought to be important for socially skilled behavior. Two studies investigate the association between social monitoring (atten...
Article
Despite the obvious benefits of social connectedness, one of the barriers to its achievement is social exclusion and rejection by others. Most societies, including non-human societies (Lancaster, 1986; Raleigh & McGuire, 1986), engage in routine rejection of some of their group members. This rejection is often the result of an individual failing to...
Article
To successfully establish and maintain social relationships, individuals need to be sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of others. In the current studies, the authors predicted that individuals who are especially concerned with social connectedness--individuals high in the need to belong--would be particularly attentive to and accurate in decodi...
Article
New views of biculturalism have transformed the "melting pot" vision of American culture to one in which immigrants are encouraged to maintain multicultural diversity rather than assimilate to the dominant culture. Indeed, the marker of bicultural competence is now seen as the ability to display culturally appropriate behaviors in both the new and...
Article
This chapter first briefly reviews the cultural literature from which the construct of an interdependent self-construal emerged. We also describe socialization processes that may encourage interdependence to take distinct and gendered forms within North America. Finally, we review the empirical evidence supporting the notion that interdependence is...
Article
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Low self-esteem and depression are common among domestic violence victims (e.g., Orava, McLeod, & Sharpe, 1996). Physical and verbal abuse may reinforce victims' sense of helplessness by stripping away their real social roles. Linville (1985, 1987) hypothesized that individuals who maintain high self-complexity (i.e., many roles within their self-c...
Article
In the current investigation, we studied sex differences in belonging needs by exploring men's and women's attachment to groups. Previous work has shown that women's social needs tend to be expressed in terms of relational bonds, whereas men's also have a strong collective component (e.g. Gabriel & Gardner, 1999). In this research, we asked men and...
Article
The idea that power often leads to exploitation is pervasive in both psychological theory and business teachings. The current paper argues that the impact of power upon motivation and behavior is moderated by the extent to which an individual's self-construal is relatively independent (individually focused) or interdependent (relationally focused)...
Article
Many theories of self-evaluation emphasize the power of social comparison. Simply put, an individual is thought to gain esteem whenever she or he outperforms others and to lose esteem when he or she is outperformed. The current research explored interdependent self-construal as a moderator of these effects. Two studies used a priming task to manipu...
Article
Most models of how citizens combine information about political candidates into attitudes toward them presume that symmetric linear additive processes are at work. We propose a model (called the ANM) in which the impact of favorable and unfavorable beliefs on attitudes is asymmetric and nonlinear, Cross-sectional national survey data (from 1972 to...
Article
Full-text available
Regulatory focus theory distinguishes between self-regulatory processes that focus on promotion and prevention strategies for goal pursuit. Five studies provide support for the hypothesis that these strategies differ for individuals with distinct self-construals. Specifically, individuals with a dominant independent self-construal were predicted to...
Article
According to the sexual script portrayed in romance novels, true love is demonstrated by being “swept away” in passion. To the extent that this traditional romance script influences romance readers' own sexual scripts, readers may express greater reluctance to engage in precautionary sexual health behaviors, such as using condoms. We explored the r...
Article
Full-text available
The need to belong has been forwarded as a pervasive human motive, influencing a range of cognitive, emotional, and behavioural responses. The current research explored the influence of belongingness needs on the selective retention of social information. Just as physical hunger results in selective memory for food-relevant stimuli, it was hypothes...
Article
In a recent review, S. E. Cross and L. Madson (1997) forwarded that many gender differences in social experience and behavior may be better understood through consideration of gender differences in independence and interdependence. In the current studies an expansion of the model to include both relational and collective aspects of interdependence...
Article
In a recent review, S.E.Cross and L.Madson (1997) forwarded that many gender differences in social experience and behavior may be better understood through consideration of gender differences in independence and interdependence. In the current studies, an expansion of the model to include both relational and collective aspects of interdependence wa...
Article
The distinction between relatively independent versus interdependent self-construals has been strongly associated with several important cultural differences in social behavior. The current studies examined the causal role of self-construal by investigating whether priming independent or interdependent self-construals within a culture could result...
Article
Full-text available
The affect system has been shaped by the hammer and chisel of adaptation and natural selection such that form follows function. The characteristics of the system thus differ across the nervous system as a function of the unique constraints existent at each level. For instance, although physical limitations constrain behavioral expressions and incli...
Article
We review recent trends and methodological issues in assessing and testing theories of emotion, and we review evidence that form follows function in the affect system. Physical limitations constrain behavioral expressions and incline behavioral predispositions toward a bipolar organization, but these limiting conditions appear to lose their power a...
Article
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All organisms must be capable of differentiating hostile from hospitable stimuli to survive. Typically, this evaluative discrimination is conceptualized as being bipolar (hostile-hospitable). This conceptualization is certainly evident in the area of attitudes, where the ubiquitous bipolar attitude measure, by gauging the net affective predispositi...
Article
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The authors recently developed a paradigm to investigate the evaluative categorization stage of attitudes using event-related brain potentials (ERPs). The present series of 5 studies with a total of 118 Ss extended this approach by analyzing the spatial topography of the ERP over the lateral scalp region to address complementary questions regarding...
Article
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Cross-cultural perspectives have brought renewed interest in the social aspects of the self and the extent to which individuals define themselves in terms of their relationships to others and to social groups. This article provides a conceptual review of research and theory of the social self, arguing that the personal, relational, and collective l...
Article
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We report evidence of both correspondence and independence between participants' attitude report and a late positive potential (LPP) of the event-related potential. Attitude reports and LPPs to positive, neutral, and negative stimuli that were preceded by positive stimuli were recorded while participants either reported accurately their attitudes o...
Article
We report evidence of both correspondence and independence between participants' attitude report and a late positive potential (LPP) of the event-related potential. Attitude reports and LPPs to positive, neutral, and negative stimuli that were preceded by positive stimuli were recorded while participants either reported accurately their attitudes o...
Article
Full-text available
Attitudes can be conceptualized in terms of the elementary operations of evaluative categorization and response selection-execution. This article describes a component of the event-related potential that is associated with the first of these operations. Ss were exposed to sequences of 6 traits and performed a dichotomous evaluative categorization t...
Article
The studies presented in this paper examined empathy, especially perspective taking, as a potential inhibitor of interpersonal aggression. The theoretical rationale for these investigations derived from Zillmann's [(1988): Aggressive Behavior 14: 51–64] cognitive excitation model. Study 1 revealed that dispositional empathy correlates negatively wi...
Article
The studies presented in this paper examined empathy, especially perspective taking, as a potential inhibitor of interpersonal aggression. The theoretical rationale for these investigations derived from Zillmann's [(1988): Aggressive Behavior 14: 51–64] cognitive excitation model. Study 1 revealed that dispositional empathy correlates negatively wi...
Article
Full-text available
Donor attitudes, intentions, and behaviors have typically been conceptualized as organized along a bipolar continuum. This conceptualization is evident in I. G. Sarason et al.'s study of increasing participation in a bone-marrow registry in this issue. When the cumulative research on blood, bone-marrow, and organ donor behavior is considered, howev...
Article
The widespread belief in the corrupting influence of power is almost equally pervasive in psychological doctrine. Personality and social psychologists alike regard power to result in negative consequences. Yet, throughout history, the possession of power appears to have corrupted some, but ennobled others. In this chapter, this conundrum is address...
Article
The affect system has been shaped by the hammer and chisel of adaptation and natural selection such that form follows function. The characteristics of the system thus differ across the nervous system as a function of the unique constraints existent at each level. For instance, although physical limitations constrain behavioral expressions and incli...