Article

Lacking Control Increases Illusory Patter Perception

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Abstract

We present six experiments that tested whether lacking control increases illusory pattern perception, which we define as the identification of a coherent and meaningful interrelationship among a set of random or unrelated stimuli. Participants who lacked control were more likely to perceive a variety of illusory patterns, including seeing images in noise, forming illusory correlations in stock market information, perceiving conspiracies, and developing superstitions. Additionally, we demonstrated that increased pattern perception has a motivational basis by measuring the need for structure directly and showing that the causal link between lack of control and illusory pattern perception is reduced by affirming the self. Although these many disparate forms of pattern perception are typically discussed as separate phenomena, the current results suggest that there is a common motive underlying them.

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... Given that the experience of lack of control is an aversive state ( Whalen, 1998 ), individuals are motivated to respond with compensatory strategies for restoring perceived control to desired levels ( Kay et al, 2008 ). It has been proposed that one of these strategies is to interpret the different aspects of the situation that one is facing, even aspects that have nothing to do with the events causing the perception of lack of control, as they had a predictable structure ( Whitson & Galinsky, 2008 ): in order to reinstate control, people tend to affirm structured interpretations of the world (i.e. simple and coherent interpretation of the physical and social environment) that are nonspecific and may not be associated with the control-reducing condition ( Landau et al, 2015 ). ...
... After experiencing lack of control, people might then be more prone to see relationships between entities belonging to ontological domains that are far from each other and perceive structured configurations when presented with randomly arranged stimuli. Evidence in favor of this hypothesis comes from studies showing that people who are asked to recall experiences in which they lacked control over a situation are more likely to perceive tangible objects in random visual patterns (e.g., noisy pictures of scattered dots and lines) and see certain events (e.g., getting one's idea approved by the boss or being fired) as the outcome of either potentially unrelated behaviors that precede these events (e.g., knocking on wood before the meeting with the boss or not having done it) or of the secret and coordinated actions of a group of allied individuals, that is, they are more prone to embrace superstitious and conspiracy beliefs ( Whitson & Galinsky, 2008 ). ...
... Fifty participants took part to Experiment 2 (Female = 25, age: 20-40). The size of the samples was based on Whitson and Galinsky (2008) . Participants were students at the University of Padova who volunteered to participate in the experiments and were all native speakers of Italian. ...
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The sense of lack of control has been shown to foster illusory pattern perception, superstition, conspiracy and religious beliefs. In two identical experiments we investigated whether the feeling of lacking control (vs. control) can also foster creative thinking, which we operationalized as the ability to produce associative and dissociative combinations of either related and unrelated concepts. Participants were asked to think about an incident in their life wherein they felt either to be in control or to lose control of the situation. Immediately afterwards, they had to perform a set of tasks tapping (divergent) creative thinking. In both experiments, we observed higher scores in all creativity tasks for participants who recalled loss-of-control events than for those recalling in-control events. Our findings suggest that compensatory processes, triggered by experiencing lack of control, can promote divergent thinking. We propose an account situated within current models of semantic control.
... Having a sense of control contributes to an individual's motivation toward self-improvement ( Van de Ven et al., 2009). Specifically, individuals with a low sense of control are prone to attribution bias and believe that the gap between themselves and those whom they envy cannot be bridged by their own efforts (Keinan, 2002;Legare & Souza, 2014;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). Such individuals focus on the envied persons and generate malicious motivation to ease or eliminate envy as compensation for their low sense of control (Cohen-Charash & Mueller, 2007;Duffy et al., 2012;Van de Ven, 2016). ...
... We used a recall writing task to intervene in the participants' sense of control (adapted from Hall et al., 2014 andGalinsky, 2008). The entire task lasted between four and six minutes. ...
... If our hypothesis was supported, then these effects would not occur among affluent individuals because they already have a high sense of control (Kraus et al., 2009(Kraus et al., , 2011. Simultaneously, the effects of enhancing the sense of control appear universal (Fritsche et al., 2008;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). Therefore, it would be interesting to study the different responses of affluent and resource-scarce individuals by intervening in their sense of control to validate whether any interaction exists between them. ...
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This study explored the relationship between scarcity mindset and envy and the possible mediating mechanisms. We induced participants’ scarcity mindset. Resource-scarce individuals experienced more envy and generated more malicious motivation and less benign motivation to improve themselves after upward social comparison as compared to their counterparts. The relationship between scarcity mindset and envy was mediated by sense of control. Improving resource-scarce participants’ sense of control significantly reduced their envy and malicious motivation and significantly enhanced their benign motivation. Resource-scarce individuals should be encouraged to improve themselves and bridge the poverty gap through their own efforts, instead of destroying others’ advantages. Overall, this study found that individuals with a scarcity mindset were more envious of others after upward social comparison, and this phenomenon was significantly improved by manipulating their sense of control.
... One way to compensate control is to utilize specific mindsets, including problem-solving (Su et al., 2017) and structure-seeking (Kay et al., 2008;Whitson and Galinsky, 2008) mindsets. Structure-seeking mindset is more relevant in this study because high-level construal by nature dictates structured and simple-patterned mental representation, providing a sense of structure to regain control. ...
... Prior studies have highlighted a high need for structure after control loss (Cutright et al., 2013) and that a structureseeking mindset compensates control (Kay et al., 2008;Whitson and Galinsky, 2008;Cutright, 2012). Therefore, the need for structure (Neuberg and Newsom, 1993) was utilized as a proxy to measure motivation to restore control. ...
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The construal level theory (CLT) has been supported and applied widely in social psychology. Yet, what remains unclear is the mechanism behind it. The authors extend the current literature by hypothesizing that perceived control mediates and locus of control (LOC) moderates the effect of psychological distance on the construal level. Four experimental studies were conducted. The results indicate that individuals perceive low (vs. high) situational control from a psychological distance (vs. proximity), and the resultant control perception influences their motivation in control pursuit, producing a high (vs. low) construal level. Moreover, LOC (i.e., one’s chronic control belief) affects an individual’s motivation to pursue control and yields a reversal of distance-construal relationship under external (vs. internal) LOC as a result. Overall, this research first identifies perceived control as a closer predictor of construal level, and the findings are expected to help with influencing human behavior by facilitating individuals’ construal level via control-related constructs.
... Here we further studied the possible common mechanisms of illusory pattern perception for paranormal and conspiracy beliefs, particularly focusing on COVID-19 specific beliefs. To this end, we presented 278 undergraduate students ten images from the modified Snowy Picture task (Whitson & Galinsky, 2008), with six of the pictures containing no objects and therefore allowing for illusory pattern recognition (see Figure 1 for example stimuli; the full set of stimuli can be asked from the authors). Participants were informed that there was an object hidden in some but not all of the stimuli, and for each stimulus they rated whether they perceived that there was an object (1 = definitively no object, 6 = definitively an object). ...
... Example stimuli and mean ratings for trials with (a) no object present or (b) object present. Source of the stimuli:Whitson & Galinsky (2008). ...
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Just as perceptual heuristics can lead to visual illusions, cognitive heuristics can lead to biased judgements, such as “illusory pattern perception” (i.e., seeing patterns in unrelated events). Here we further investigated the common underlying mechanism behind irrational beliefs and illusory pattern perception in visual images. For trials in which no object was present in the noise, we found that the tendency to report seeing an object was positively correlated with the endorsement of both COVID-19 specific conspiracy theories and paranormal beliefs. The present results suggest that the cognitive bias to see meaningful connections in noise can have an impact on socio-political cognition as well as on perceptual decision making.
... Furthermore, we try to reveal the underlying psychological mechanism of this effect from the perspective of the sense of control. Although sense of control has been applied in the research areas of spatial distance (e.g., Wakslak & Kim, 2015), intertemporal choice (e.g., Lee et al., 2013) and investments (e.g., Whitson & Galinsky, 2008), few studies have examined its mediating role in the relationship between spatial distance and intertemporal investment preferences. Thus, the goal of this research is to examine the direct and indirect effects of spatial distance on intertemporal preference in investments (see Figure 1 for the framework). ...
... In this research, we aim to clarify the impact of spatial distance on intertemporal investment preferences from the perspective of the sense of control, which has attracted considerable attention in the research fields of spatial distance (e.g., Wakslak & Kim, 2015), intertemporal choice (e.g., Lee et al., 2013) and investments (e.g., Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). Sense of control refers to individuals' belief in their abilities to predict, influence, and steer present or future events (Kay et al., 2009). ...
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Increasingly, we can invest in projects that are distributed around the world through online investment platforms. Will the spatial distance between these projects and ourselves affect our investment preferences? The present research aims to experimentally examine the impact of spatial distance on intertemporal preferences for investment returns and to explore the underlying mediating effect of the sense of control. Three studies were devised to address this topic. Studies 1 and 2 used two methods to manipulate the spatial distance between the location of investment projects and the location of investors. Participants were more impatient with investment returns when the investment project was located farther away. In other words, they preferred lower but earlier returns in intertemporal choice. Moreover, participants’ sense of control over the investment project mediated the relationship between spatial distance and intertemporal preferences. Using a priming method, Study 3 showed that participants’ impatience for investment returns in investments with different spatial distances could be remedied by giving them generalized control. Theoretical implications for studies regarding psychological distance and intertemporal decision making and practical implications for investments are discussed.
... Based on research that has found that a sense of control is a generalizable force (Cutright & Samper, 2014;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008), we predict that perceived life control spills over to environmental decisions. Specifically, we propose that consumers rely on their general sense of life control as a reference when assessing the outcome efficacy of a sustainable purchase and that perceived life control positively affects consumers' assessment of the outcome efficacy of green purchases and further their intention to make such purchases. ...
... Extant research has suggested that the consequences of people perceiving that they have (or do not have) control are not limited to the context in which this sense is evoked, but also extend to cognition and behavior in unrelated domains (Ma & Kay, 2017;Maier & Seligman, 1976;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). For example, the theory of learned helplessness posits that frequently experiencing a lower sense of control leaves a person feeling powerless; the individual is, therefore, unlikely to continue exerting effort toward tasks unrelated to the source of the lower control (Maier & Seligman, 1976). ...
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Sustainable consumption helps solve today's critical environmental problems, but such behavior tends to be altruistic, mainly benefiting the environment and other people. Thus, understanding precursors that drive a consumer to engage in sustainable consumption is important for scholars and green product marketers. This study examines how perceived life control—a factor not directly related to environmental decisions—influences sustainable purchase. Data from two waves of the World Value Survey indicate that perceived life control is positively associated with pro‐environmental attitudes (which is a precondition for sustainable purchases). Five subsequent studies consistently show that perceived life control increases purchase intention for green products, and this happens because consumers with greater life control believe their purchases will be more effective in solving environmental problems (i.e., outcome efficacy). We further reveal that framing the benefits of a green product as temporally present (vs. future) attenuates the observed effect. These findings suggest that the practice of sustainable consumption may be explained by perceived life control in individuals and provide insights for environmental communication regarding the alignment between sustainable product appeals and individual differences.
... To maintain their perception of an orderly world, then, individuals can turn to an array of control strategies, including external sources of control (Kay et al., 2008;Landau et al., 2015). People take steps to restore a sense of predictability and structure, including by seeing patterns amidst noise (Whitson & Galinsky, 2008;cf. Van Elk & Lodder, 2018), by looking to trusted others (both spiritual and secular) to maintain order in the world (Kay et al., 2008;Verlegh et al., 2021), and through affirming a wide range of other order-conferring epistemic beliefs (see Landau et al., 2015, for a review). ...
... The function of these compensatory control responses is that they will restore perceptions of an orderly world, allowing for the reestablishment of a sense of personal control and enabling people to more effectively pursue their individual goals. When their personal control is reduced, people see greater patterns and structure in their environments (Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). And perceiving structure can facilitate individuals' willingness to take goal directed actions, such as investing effort and making sacrifices (Kay et al., 2014). ...
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Compensatory control theory (CCT) provides a framework for understanding the mechanisms at play when one's personal control is challenged. The model suggests that believing the world is a structured and predictable place is fundamental, insofar as it provides the foundation upon which people can believe they are able to exert control over their environment and act agentically towards goals. Because of this, CCT suggests, when personal control is threatened people try to reaffirm the more foundational belief in structure/predictability in the world, so that they then have a strong foundation to reestablish feelings of personal control and pursue their goals. This review seeks to understand how the basic assumptions of these compensatory control processes unfold in different cultural contexts. Drawing on research and theorizing from cultural psychology, we propose that cultural models of self and agency, culturally prevalent modes of control, and culture‐specific motivations all have implications for compensatory control processes. Culture determines, in part, whether or not personal control deprivation is experienced as a threat to perceiving an orderly world, how/whether individuals respond to low personal control, and the function that responses to restore a sense of order in the world serve. A theoretical model of compensatory control processes across cultures is proposed that has implications for how people cope with a wide range of personal and societal events that potentially threaten their personal control.
... For instance, behavioral controllability is one of the most important determinants of individuals' AIDS risk perception (Bernardi, 2002). Conversely, lacking control increased the perception of illusory patterns, such as seeing images with noise, forming false correlations, perceiving conspiracies, and developing superstitions (Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). Therefore, we expect that a lack of control makes individuals perceive a higher risk. ...
... Third, this research also contributes to the literature on control theory. The mediator and the boundary conditions investigated help understand the psychological process from social crowding to illusory pattern perception (Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). In this article, multiple studies (Studies 2A, 2B, and 2C) have shown that a lack of control mediates the self-negativity bias effect. ...
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Overcrowding in healthcare environments (e.g., hospitals) has become a widely identified problem in today's healthcare. This research documents whether and how social crowding affects consumers' self‐perceived health risks in healthcare environments and its downstream effect. One pilot study (secondary data analysis), seven laboratory experiments, and a field survey (Study 6) demonstrated that social crowding increased individuals' self‐perceived health risks through a lack of control (Studies 1–6), thereby leading to overspending on the healthcare products (Study 5). Furthermore, the mediating process was moderated by choice and disease symptom severity (Studies 3 and 4). The findings of this research theoretically enrich our understanding of how social crowding interacts with individual disease symptoms and the services provided in the healthcare environment, and practically provide important implications for healthcare practitioners in managing consumers' health risks and consumption behavior.
... A broader line of reasoning (mostly in the social psychology literature) proposes that conspiracy theories are motivated beliefs endorsed in an attempt to satisfy unmet psychological needs and desires 30 . For example, in one study participants that were asked to recall a threatening experience in which they did not have control endorsed conspiracy theories more than those asked to recall a threatening experience in which they did have control 70 . This result was interpreted to reflect a broader phenomenon, whereby thwarted control motivates people to see illusory patterns in random events as a way of introducing order and predictability to life [70][71][72] . ...
... For example, in one study participants that were asked to recall a threatening experience in which they did not have control endorsed conspiracy theories more than those asked to recall a threatening experience in which they did have control 70 . This result was interpreted to reflect a broader phenomenon, whereby thwarted control motivates people to see illusory patterns in random events as a way of introducing order and predictability to life [70][71][72] . Subsequent correlational research confirmed the relationship between control and conspiracy beliefs 73,74 . ...
Article
Conspiracy theories are part of mainstream public life, with the potential to undermine governments, promote racism, ignite extremism and threaten public health efforts. Psychological research on conspiracy theories is booming, with more than half of the academic articles on the topic published since 2019. In this Review, we synthesize the literature with an eye to understanding the psychological factors that shape willingness to believe conspiracy theories. We begin at the individual level, examining the cognitive, clinical, motivational, personality and developmental factors that predispose people to believe conspiracy theories. Drawing on insights from social and evolutionary psychology, we then review research examining conspiracy theories as an intergroup phenomenon that reflects and reinforces societal fault lines. Finally, we examine how conspiracy theories are shaped by the economic, political, cultural and socio-historical contexts at the national level. This multilevel approach offers a deep and broad insight into conspiracist thinking that increases understanding of the problem and offers potential solutions. Conspiracy theories have the potential to undermine governments, promote racism, ignite extremism and threaten public health efforts. In this Review, Hornsey et al. synthesize the literature on factors that shape conspiracy beliefs at the individual, intergroup and national level.
... Finally, participants proceeded to a task measuring their superstitious tendencies (Banning, 2014;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). In particular, they were asked to imagine themselves as the focal character in eight scenarios and indicate the degree to which they agreed with the related superstitious beliefs. 1 One of the examples instructed participants to imagine themselves as a marketer of a large firm who usually proposed excellent marketing ideas during meetings. ...
... whereas the score of the third statement indicates whether participants in both conditions imagined the experience equally clear. Next, participants were exposed to a widely adopted control restoration manipulation Whitson & Galinsky, 2008;Zhou et al., 2012). Specifically, those in the control restoration condition recalled a significant experience in which they possessed complete control over the situation. ...
Article
Whether and how interpersonal experiences predispose people to show superstitious tendencies have been largely unexamined by past studies. By adopting a multimethod approach, three studies tested (a) whether ostracism increases superstitious tendencies through thwarted perceived control, (b) whether the dispositional need for closure moderates the effect of ostracism on superstitious tendencies and (c) whether restoring ostracized people's thwarted control weakens their superstitious tendencies. The results revealed that ostracized participants had higher superstitious tendencies than nonostracized participants did (Studies 1-3). Moreover, thwarted control mediated the effect of ostracism on superstitious tendencies (Study 2). In addition, the dispositional need for closure moderated the effect of ostracism on superstitious tendencies, such that the effect was stronger among participants with a high need for closure (Studies 1-2). Finally, restoring ostracized participants' perceived control weakened the effect of ostracism on superstitious tendencies (Study 3). Altogether, these findings feature the essential role of thwarted perceived control in understanding the link between ostracism and superstitious tendencies and the implication of control restoration in weakening the link. They also highlight the importance of dispositional characteristics in moderating people's responses to superstitions following ostracism and related forms of interpersonal maltreatment.
... Thus, belief in a single conspiracy theory is not in and of itself an indication of conspiracist ideation. Consistent with this idea, research suggests that a variety of situational factors can nudge people toward endorsing a given specific conspiracy theory, including a lack of control [23], anxiety [17], and social identity threat [24]. More generally, people seem to be drawn to believing conspiracy theories when they experience threats to existential (e.g., control, security), epistemic (e.g., understanding, accuracy), and social (e.g., self and group image) motives [4,25]. ...
... Specifically, it suggests that situational forces that nudge people toward endorsing specific conspiracy theories in the present may have serious downstream effects. A large body of work suggests that situational threats can push people toward believing specific conspiracy theories [4,23,25]. In fact, our own prior work found that experiencing negative economic consequences due to the pandemic was associated with greater belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories-even among those reporting low levels of generic conspiracist beliefs [37]. ...
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A primary focus of research on conspiracy theories has been understanding the psychological characteristics that predict people’s level of conspiracist ideation. However, the dynamics of conspiracist ideation—i.e., how such tendencies change over time—are not well understood. To help fill this gap in the literature, we used data from two longitudinal studies (Study 1 N = 107; Study 2 N = 1,037) conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that greater belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories at baseline predicts both greater endorsement of a novel real-world conspiracy theory involving voter fraud in the 2020 American Presidential election (Study 1) and increases in generic conspiracist ideation over a period of several months (Studies 1 and 2). Thus, engaging with real-world conspiracy theories appears to act as a gateway, leading to more general increases in conspiracist ideation. Beyond enhancing our knowledge of conspiracist ideation, this work highlights the importance of fighting the spread of conspiracy theories.
... Consistent with this view, extensive research has shown that conspiracy beliefs are associated with perceived loss of control, stress, anxiety, and threat perceptions [11,[42][43][44][45][46]. Experimental studies also support this view [42,47,48]. Although belief in conspiracies is often conceptualized as an attempt to manage negative emotional experiences, available evidence suggests that this method is not effective, as such theories ultimately fail to provide effective relief of aversive emotions and may even foster a negative feedback loop that leads to a decreased sense of autonomy and control, as well as to heightened levels of anxiety, powerlessness, and existential threat [49,50]. ...
... According to an extensive literature, fearful situations and threatening events can trigger meaning-making mechanisms that focus on reducing unpleasant emotional experiences and regaining a compensatory sense of control, which has been shown to promote conspiracy theory ideologies [2,63,65]. Specifically, elevated levels of anxiety and psychological distress have been shown to make people more likely to engage in heuristics and cognitive patterns that promote conspiracy thinking, such as perceiving illusory correlations beyond unrelated stimuli and making dispositional inferences about others [12,47,48]. Nevertheless, anxiety appears to be associated with heightened threat awareness and a greater propensity to interpret ambiguous information and circumstances in a threatening manner [66], which in turn promotes belief in conspiracy theories [67]. ...
Article
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As COVID-19 has spread worldwide, conspiracy theories have proliferated rapidly on social media platforms, adversely affecting public health. For this reason, media literacy interventions have been highly recommended, although the impact of critical social media use on the development of COVID-19 conspiracy theories has not yet been empirically studied. Moreover, emotional dysregulation may play another crucial role in the development of such theories, as they are often associated with stress, anxiety, lack of control, and other negative emotions. Therefore, the aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that emotion dysregulation would be positively associated with conspiracy beliefs about COVID-19 and that critical use of social media would attenuate this association. Data from 930 Italian participants (339 men and 591 women) were collected online during the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak. A moderated model was tested using the PROCESS Macro for SPSS. Results showed that: (1) emotion dysregulation and critical social media use accounted for a significant proportion of the variance in conspiracy beliefs about COVID-19; and (2) critical social media use moderated the effect of emotion dysregulation on conspiracy beliefs about COVID-19. Implications for preventing the spread of conspiracy theories are discussed.
... Humans will find order and meaning in the world even where evident patterns are absent (e.g., Whitson and Galinsky 2008), whether it is faces in the clouds, moving dots on a screen, or interpreting coincidence as fate (Guthrie 1995). Moreover, we create stories out of random events (McAdams 2008), and we live by the stories we construct. ...
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Meaning-making has been one of the primary domains of religion throughout history, and some have claimed that this is religion’s central function. Yet, the modern era has seen a proliferation of other social institutions that generate meaning for people. Here we reflect on what religious meaning-making can tell us about meaning-making in secular institutions, with a particular focus on sport. Sport as a meaning-making institution is puzzling since sports are generally considered leisure activities, not serious enough to provide meaningful structure and purpose to human lives. Nonetheless, people do derive meaning from sport and we argue that because sport shares many features with religion, it offers a unique opportunity to examine a secular meaning-making institution. We offer a theoretical framework for the study of meaning-making that derives from our conceptual approach to religion as an adaptive system. We use this approach, and other anthropological research, to delineate seven general characteristics of human meaning-making systems: collective, constructed, subjective, narrative, relational, transcendent, and growth-oriented. These features of meaning-making systems highlight why sport has been so successful at offering meaning to sport enthusiasts, both fans and athletes alike. We conclude with a brief speculative evolutionary scenario that may explain our proclivity for seeking meaning, and why secular institutions will continue to fill that role when religious worldviews are not compelling.
... In extending existing findings on the negative association between risk perception and sense of control [37,38], the current findings established the causal effect of COVID-19 risk perception on individuals' sense of control. Whereas prior research has shown that people's sense of control decreases when they are confronted with an uncontrollable event [32][33][34], the current studies highlight the process of risk perception of the uncontrollable event, namely the COVID-19 pandemic [30,83], in causing sense of control to decline. The findings thus contribute to the understanding of the antecedent of changes in sense of control. ...
Article
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This research examined the impact of COVID-19 risk perception on sense of control, testing the hypotheses that COVID-19 risk perception would reduce sense of control and that this effect would be mediated by death anxiety and moderated by Confucian coping. A series of six studies were conducted with Chinese participants (N = 2202) and employed different research designs in lab and real-life settings. Across the studies, we found that the perceived risk of COVID-19 impaired sense of control. Studies 3a to 5 further revealed that death anxiety mediated the adverse effect of COVID-19 risk perception on sense of control, and Studies 4 to 5 revealed that Confucian coping strategies alleviated the adverse effect of COVID-19 risk perception on sense of control. These findings shed new light on the psychological impact of risk perception in times of crisis and identify mitigating factors and boundary conditions.
... Despite these individual differences, in general, people find a lack of meaning aversive. For example, when faced with meaninglessness or uncertainty, people go so far as endorsing illusory patterns and forming irrational beliefs in order to avoid this uncomfortable experience (Van Harreveld, Rutjens, Schneider, Nohlen & Keskinis, 2014;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). Relatedly, external stimuli that help people make sense of art (e.g., titles) have been found to not only increase peoples' perception of meaning for abstract modern art (Russell & Milne, 1997), but also their liking of difficult-to-interpret abstract art images (Landau et al., 2006). ...
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Across four studies participants ( N = 818) rated the profoundness of abstract art images accompanied with varying categories of titles, including: pseudo-profound bullshit titles (e.g., The Deaf Echo ), mundane titles (e.g., Canvas 8 ), and no titles. Randomly generated pseudo-profound bullshit titles increased the perceived profoundness of computer-generated abstract art, compared to when no titles were present (Study 1). Mundane titles did not enhance the perception of profoundness, indicating that pseudo-profound bullshit titles specifically (as opposed to titles in general) enhance the perceived profoundness of abstract art (Study 2). Furthermore, these effects generalize to artist-created abstract art (Study 3). Finally, we report a large correlation between profoundness ratings for pseudo-profound bullshit and “International Art English” statements (Study 4), a mode and style of communication commonly employed by artists to discuss their work. This correlation suggests that these two independently developed communicative modes share underlying cognitive mechanisms in their interpretations. We discuss the potential for these results to be integrated into a larger, new theoretical framework of bullshit as a low-cost strategy for gaining advantages in prestige awarding domains.
... As motivated reasoning research suggests, individuals tend to distort the truthfulness of their beliefs, especially when the available information is sufficiently ambiguous and when the truth is not self-evident (Mishra et al., 2013;Noval et al., 2018). Similarly, individuals are documented to perceive illusory patterns, including confabulating conspiracy theories and seeing objects which are not present, when they feel that they lack control because of uncertainties (Whitson and Galinsky, 2008). As such, it is not reasonable to assume that people exclusively adapt to uncertainty in an intendedly rational way through the use of heuristics. ...
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Purpose This paper aims to introduce eristic decision-making in entrepreneurship. A decision is eristically made when it utilizes eristics, which are action-triggering short-cuts that draw on hedonic urges (e.g. sensation-seeking). Unlike heuristics, eristic decision-making is not intendedly rational as eristics lead to decision-making without calculating or even considering the consequences of actions. Eristics are adaptive when uncertainty is extreme. Completely novel strategies, nascent venturing, corporate venturing for radical innovation and adapting to shocks (e.g. pandemic) are typically subject to extreme uncertainties. Design/methodology/approach In light of the relevant debates in entrepreneurship, psychology and decision sciences, the paper builds new conceptual links to establish its theoretical claims through secondary research. Findings The paper posits that people adapt to extreme uncertainty by using eristic reasoning rather than heuristic reasoning. Heuristic reasoning allows boundedly rational decision-makers to use qualitative cues to estimate the consequences of actions and to make reasoned decisions. By contrast, eristic reasoning ignores realistic calculations and considerations about the future consequences of actions and produces decisions guided by hedonic urges. Originality/value Current entrepreneurial research on uncertainty usually focuses on moderate levels of uncertainty where heuristics and other intendedly rational decision-making approaches pay off. By contrast, this paper focuses on extreme uncertainty where eristics are adaptive. While not intendedly rational, the adaptiveness of eristic reasoning offers theoretically and psychologically grounded new explanations about action under extreme uncertainty.
... They also feel uncertainty when there is not enough information while critically evaluating data or predicting results (Gifford et al., 1979). Therefore, individuals are generally motivated to avoid uncertain situations (Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). Uncertainty also leads to low social relationships and prejudice against creativity. ...
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To effectively employ inquiry-based learning to enhance students’ inquiry practices and encourage them to think and act like scientists, science teachers must have a deeper understanding of the factors that influence scientific research and attitudes about scientist practice. This research contains the experience of two postdoctoral researchers in epigenetics as graduate students in a newly established epigenetics laboratory. Two in-depth interviews, two preliminary questionnaires, a record of laboratory visits, and a supervisor interview were analyzed for this qualitative research. Even though the two postdoctoral researchers have encountered various obstacles, such as a lack of resources, scientific uncertainty, and unestablished personal identity, they are effectively maturing as scientists as a result of their capacity to overcome these obstacles. This study may provide science educators and students with a better understanding of the challenges they will experience in their scientific work and strategies for overcoming those challenges.
... V tem pogledu lahko tradicionalne medije razumemo kot institucije, ki vzbujajo zaupanje javnosti v znanost (Schafer, 2016) in ključne kanale za promocijo ceplje-nja (Margolis idr., 2019), zato naj tudi v luči ugotovitev naše raziskave in zapisanega nadaljujejo s promocijo vsebin o cepljenju, temelječih na preverjenih in verodostojnih podatkih (Piltch -Loeb idr., 2021). Ob predpostavki, da tradicionalni mediji do neke mere in pod določenimi pogoji blažijo protiznanstvena čustva oziroma da njihova pogosta uporaba sproža ugoden odnos do znanosti in posega v zadržke proti njej (Huber idr., 2019), bi lahko povečanje dosega tradicionalnih medijev predstavljalo učinkovito znanstvenokomunikacijsko strategijo s ciljem posredovanja pri zadržkih javnosti do znanosti (Mede, 2022) in nagnjenosti k teorijam zarot, ki lahko vodijo v miselno zaznavanje iluzornih vzorcev in povezovanje delov, ki niso nujno povezani (Whitson in Galinsky, 2008). ...
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Med pandemijo covida-19 so ljudje soočeni z veliko količino (ne)preverjenih informacij, pri čemer se različni komunikacijski kanali med seboj razlikujejo tudi po tem, da lahko nekateri širijo lažne informacije in teorije zarot. Med posamezniki pa se razlikuje tudi stopnja dovzetnosti za teorije zarot. Ker lahko tako nagnjenost k teorijam zarot kot izbor virov informacij vodita v (ne)upoštevanje (javno) zdravstvenih priporočil in spodkopavanje znanstvenih dognanj, je raziskovanje navedenih področij šetoliko pomembnejše za čim učinkovitejše naslavljanje infodemije v celostnih prizadevanjih za zajezitev pandemije. V naši raziskavi nakazana negativna povezanost med pogostostjo uporabe uradnih zdravstvenih in vladnih institucij kot virov informacij o covidu-19 ter nagnjenostjo k teorijam zarot, negativna povezanost med pogostostjo uporabe tradicionalnih medijev in nagnjenostjo k teorijam zarot ter neznatna pozitivna povezanost med pogostostjo uporabe družbenih omrežij in nagnjenostjo k teorijam zarot kot edina pozitivna povezanost v naši študiji zato predstavljajo pomembne informacije za strokovnjake s področja javnega zdravja in komuniciranja.
... (Dagnall & Drinkwater, et al., 2015, p. 6text inserted within square brackets added for clarity) Reports of a delusional thinking style, in conjunction with observed associations between conspiratorial beliefs and personality characteristics such as schizotypy and paranoia (Darwin, Neave, & Holmes, 2011;Barron & Morgan et al., 2014;Bruder & Haffke et al., 2013;van der Temple & Alcock, 2015), therefore support a model that explicitly incorporates the role of cognitive processes independently identified [such as apophenia, inference-observation confusion, confirmation bias, inferential confusion, cognitive dissonance, associative shifting, biased assimilation, conjunction effect fallacy, etc.] to underlie the formation of delusions. (Irwin, Dagnall, & Drinkwater, 2015, p. 2;also see O'Conner, 2009;Franceschi, 2008;Blain, Grazioplene, Ma, & DeYoung, 2020;Blain & Longnecker et al., 2020;Brotherton & French, 2014;Töröf & Kéri, 2022;Conrad, 1958;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008;Brugger, 2001;Charles, 2008;Waldman, 2014;Kumareswaran, 2014;Pylik, Soll, & Mehl, 2020;Nilsson, Erlandsson, & Västfjäll, 2019;van Prooijen, Douglas, & De Inocencio, 2018;van Prooijen & Douglas, 2018;Walker & Turpin et al., 2019;Farnam Street, 2022;Jones, 2018 text inserted within square brackets added for clarity) Stupidity most often includes the embrace of conspiracy theories. As examined in footnote 1 herein, pp. ...
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The enriched environment is a specifically designed person-centered program of learning experiences consisting of a prevailing ambiance of respect and concern for the individual, the sanctity of selfhood and the recognition of the essential role of social integration in the well-being of the individual. This equal focus on both respect of the individual and on social interaction forms an encompassing milieu that facilitates the engagement of life through programs and activities providing challenge and growth to the fullest of each individual’s capacity and excites the individual’s interests to promote 1) a sense of accomplishment; 2) bonding with others; 3) joy of the moment; and 4) a keen anticipation of the discoveries, camaraderie and achievements tomorrow may bring. This paper briefly introduces a) the enriched-environment paradigm in a person-centered approach to well-being; b) the principles upon which the enriched-environment paradigm and person-centered approach are based; and c) the rigorously vetted evidence constituting the scientific foundation of these principles, comprising a model of salutogenesis and an outline of an innovative salutogenic well-being program.
... In the CT condition, a variant of the procedure used by Whitson and Galinsky (2008) to threaten control was used. Using this procedure, participants were asked to "recall a particular incident in which something happened and you did not have any control over the situation. ...
Chapter
This research sought to examine the impact of existential anxiety and threatened control on ingroup favoritism and to further discern whether these effects could be generalized to a non-Western culture. In study one, participants were assigned to a mortality salience (MS), a control threat (CT), or baseline condition, in which self-esteem and perceptions of control were assessed. Following this, they evaluated ingroup and outgroup targets. Participants in the MS and CT conditions rated ingroup members (i.e., New Zealanders) higher than outgroup members (i.e., Asians), while those in the baseline condition did not. In the MS condition, ingroup evaluations were positively correlated with self-esteem (but not locus of control). In the CT condition, ingroup evaluations were negatively correlated with feelings of control (but not self-esteem). Study two sought to assess these effects amongst participants from the Indian subcontinent. Ingroup favoritism was found in the CT condition only. Ingroup evaluations were positively correlated with self-esteem (but not control). These findings suggest that MS and CT influence ingroup favoritism via different psychological mechanisms, and that these influences may be culturally bound.
... The psychological processes that compensate for feeling a lack of control do so by triggering inclinations towards beliefs about the existence of external forces that transcend oneself. Research shows that either individual dispositions in the perception of uncertainty (van Prooijen and Jostmann 2013), a recall of memories of situations in which one experienced a lack of control (Whitson and Galinsky 2008;van Prooijen and Acker 2015) or perceived threats to a social status quo (Jolley, Douglas, and Sutton 2018) increase conspiratorial thinking. Many correlational studies have shown a relationship between emotions associated with threat and uncertainty and belief in conspiracy theories (Abalakina-Paap et al. 1999;Grzesiak-Feldman 2013;Newheiser, Farias, and Tausch 2011;van Prooijen 2016). ...
... Leman & Cinnirella argue that "some people may be more open minded regarding certain explanations for events whereas others may seek closure and thus cut off a conspiracy explanation" (2013, p. 1). Other researchers trying to reveal the characteristics of those more inclined to introduce and communicate conspiracy theories focus on personality characteristics, showing that a sense of powerlessness and anomie are positively correlated with high levels of beliefs in conspiracy theories (Whitson & Galinsky, 2008;Bruder et al., 2013;Goertzel, 1994). Feelings of alienation, isolation and disaffection from the system are also significantly correlated to conspiratorial beliefs (Leman & Cinnirella, 2013;Stempel et al., 2007;Swami & Furnham, 2012). ...
Conference Paper
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... Many unvaccinated individuals have expressed concerns regarding vaccine safety (Bogart et al., 2021), with some arising from conspiracy theories about the origin of COVID-19 (Hartman et al., 2021) and government conspiracy theories regarding the purpose of the vaccine -e.g., microchip tracking, population control etc. (Ullah et al., 2020). Furthermore, conspiracy theory formation may be utilized as a maladaptive coping strategy (Marchlewska et al., 2021), and has been connected to a variety of psychological factors including increases in perceived stress (Swami et al., 2016); anxiety (Green & Douglas, 2018; Grezesiak-Feldman, 2013); lack of agency/control (Kofta et al., 2020;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008); and increased reasoning biases (Kuhn et al., 2021). ...
Article
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The use of COVID-19vaccinations to prevent serious illness and infection from the SARS-CoV-2 virus has been accepted by approximately two-thirds of the Canadian population, at the time that this article was completed. Although COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are widely accessible in North America, there remains a substantial portion of Canadians who demonstrate vaccine hesitancy. The objective of this study is to examine whether there exists a predictive relationship between one’s perceived stress-levels, general support for conspiracy theories, and antivaccination attitudes.
... We again examined the association of the GCB-5 with delusional ideation, interpersonal trust, and anomie, but we also examined its association with a perceived lack of control, a desire for control, a desire for uniqueness, and the Big Five personality traits (see Goldberg, 1990). Given the results of prior empirical and theoretical work, we expected the GCB-5 would be associated with both a perceived lack of control and a desire for control Kay et al., 2009;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008; but see Stojanov & Halberstadt, 2020), as well as with a desire for uniqueness (Imhoff & Lamberty, 2017;Lantian et al., 2017). We further expected the GCB-5 would not be associated with the Big Five personality traits, given that prior research has generally found small to non-existent associations between the tendency to believe in conspiracy theories and "normal" personality traits (Goreis & Voracek, 2019). ...
Article
The Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale (GCB-15) is a reliable and valid measure of conspiracist ideation, but it is also inefficient. At 15 items, the GCB-15 can take upwards of four minutes to complete. Here we introduce the GCB-5—a 5-item, short form of the GCB-15. Across five studies, we use self- and informant-report methods to demonstrate that the GCB-5 is a reliable, criterion-valid, and construct-valid measure of conspiracist ideation. In the final study, we further provide evidence that the GCB-5 has promise for addressing novel research questions. Specifically, we show that people high in conspiracist ideation—as assessed by the GCB-5—are more accepting of the use of nuclear weapons and other forms of so-called “virtuous violence” (e.g., anti-abortion legislation).
... Along this line, higher rates of meaning in life were reported following an exposure to coherent stimuli compared to random ones (Heintzelman et al., 2013). Moreover, when confronted with a threat to their sense of personal control, individuals tend to detect patterns in arbitrary displays (e.g., Whitson and Galinsky, 2008). It thus can be suggested that when the search for meaning is expressed by actively being aware of synchronistic experiences and making sense of them, the search for meaning may be expected to be associated with benevolent outcomes. ...
Article
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Introduction Synchronicity refers to the psychological process of meaningful coincidences. The present study aimed to build and expand upon a model of synchronicity awareness and meaning-detecting (REM)—receptiveness (R) as a precondition for an exceptional encounter (E) triggering emotions and meaning-detecting (M)—by assessing the prevalence of the phenomenon and its associations with well-being. Methods and Results Results from two studies reported here employing adult community samples ( N = 198 and N = 440) demonstrate coherent, replicable structure and good internal reliability for a 35-item, two-factor Synchronicity Awareness and Meaning-Detecting (SAMD) Scale. Synchronicity awareness (SA) and meaning-detecting (MD) scores were significantly associated with some of the Big-5 personality dimensions and tolerance for ambiguity, as well as with search for and presence of meaning. Furthermore, process mediation models showed: (a) synchronicity awareness mediated the relationship between search for meaning and meaning-detecting, and (b) optimism and presence of meaning in life partly mediated the relationship between meaning-detecting and life satisfaction. Discussion The findings suggest the importance of synchronicity experiences and hold important conceptual and practical implications for understanding processes of meaning making from unexpected events and their potential contribution to individuals’ well-being.
... According to compensatory control theory (CCT), belief in a controlling God provides a palliative mechanism to cope with a lack of control (Kay et al., 2010). This theory is supported by a large amount of experimental findings showing that inducing a control threat manipulation (e.g., thinking back about a situation in which they lacked control) increased a compensatory efforts for restoring one's sense of control, such as an increased tendency to see illusory patterns (Whitson and Galinsky, 2008) and a preference for stage compared to continuous theories of development and evolution (Rutjens et al., 2013). However, in a registered report study we failed to find evidence for an effect of lack of control on increased belief in a controlling God. ...
... Epistemic motives encompass the need to create a stable, accurate, and internally consistent understanding of the world by seeking causal explanations and patterns in one's environment (Douglas et al., 2019). CT belief may be stronger when patterns are perceived in randomness (van der Wal et al., 2018;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008), in line with paranormal and supernatural phenomena (Bruder et al., 2013;Drinkwater et al., 2012;Oliver & Wood, 2014a), and associated with paranoia (Grzesiak-Feldman & Ejsmont, 2008), system justification (Jolley et al., 2018; see Chapter 37), and the need for cognitive closure (Leman & Cinnirella, 2013;Marchlewska et al., 2018). Agreeableness (Swami et al., 2011) and dogmatism (Baden & Sharon, 2020) also correlate with CT belief, as do lower levels of analytic or rational thinking (Swami et al., 2014) and hypersensitive agency detection . ...
Article
Conspiracy theories (CTs) and CT belief stem from uncertain, hard to explain, crisis situations, especially when strongly held social and political identities are threatened making people feel anxious, insecure, or out of control. Connected to alarming developments in world politics, CTs are no longer manifestations of extremists and paranoids. As salience increases, scholars continue to examine their antecedents and consequences. This chapter highlights the interdisciplinary roots of the study of CTs and CT belief. It sets the stage with important definitions and measurement challenges, then reviews scholarship on psychological, social, political, and situational factors behind CTs and CT belief. Consequences are vast, allowing for only brief discussion of the spread, persistence, and prevalence related to negative health, social, political, and environmental effects. As it is unlikely that broad weaponisation of CTs or their blaze online will cease in the near future, the chapter concludes by discussing directions for future research.
... Some studies showed that experiencing loss of control and threats to one's identity is related to conspiracy beliefs (e.g. Graeupner & Coman, 2017; van Prooijen & Acker, 2015;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). ...
Article
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Conspiracy Beliefs (CB) are a key vector of violent extremism, radicalism and unconventional political events. So far, social-psychological research has extensively documented how cognitive, emotional and intergroup factors can promote CB. Evidence also suggests that adherence to CB moves along social class lines: low-income and low-education are among the most robust predictors of CB. Yet, the potential role of precarity-the subjective experience of permanent insecurity stemming from objective material strain-in shaping CB remains largely unexplored. In this paper, we propose for the first time a socio-functional model of CB. We test the hypothesis that precarity could foster increased CB because it undermines trust in government and the broader political 'elites'. Data from the World Value Survey (n = 21,650; Study 1, electoral CB) and from representative samples from polls conducted in France (n = 1760, Study 2a, conspiracy mentality) and Italy (n = 2196, Study 2b, COVID-19 CB), corroborate a mediation model whereby precarity is directly and indirectly associated with lower trust in authorities and higher CB. In addition, these links are robust to adjustment on income, self-reported SES and education. Considering precarity allows for a truly social-psychological understanding of CB as the by-product of structural issues (e.g. growing inequalities). Results from our socio-functional model suggest that implementing solutions at the socioeconomic level could prove efficient in fighting CB.
... In their review, Douglas et al. (2017) describe how people are attracted to conspiracy theories because such theories promise to satisfy people's epistemic, existential, or social motives. Epistemic motives reflect people's motives to make sense of the world and understand uncertainty or conflicting information (see Van Prooijen, Douglas, & De Inocencio, 2018;Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). Existential motives reflect the need for autonomy and sense of control. ...
Article
Across a pilot study and three preregistered experiments (N = 4128), we demonstrated that people knowingly shared conspiracy theories to advance social motives (e.g., to receive “likes”). In addition to accuracy, people seemed to value social engagement (e.g., “likes” and reactions). Importantly, people not only expected most conspiracy theories to generate greater social engagement than factual news, but they were also more willing to share conspiracy theories when they expected such theories, compared to factual news, to generate sufficiently greater levels of social engagement. In an interactive, multi-round, content-sharing paradigm, we found that people were very sensitive to the social feedback they received. When they received greater social feedback for sharing conspiracy theories than factual news, participants were significantly more likely to share conspiracy theories, even when they knew these theories to be false. Our findings advance our understanding of why and when individuals are likely to share conspiracy theories and identify important prescriptions for curbing the spread of conspiracy theories.
... Uncertainty is an aversive state for humans to be in, and because uncertainty is also a precursor to anxiety ( Hirsh, Mar, and Peterson 2012) researchers have argued that reducing that uncertainty is a powerful motivating force for human beings. A strategy for reducing the uncertainty inherent in life is to identify meaningful relationships between events in order to restore feelings of control ( Whitson and Galinsky 2008;Whitson, Galinsky, and Kay 2015) and story is a way in which we can achieve this. There is broad agreement, therefore, that a potential function of narratives is to make sense of uncertainty, and creating stability from turbulence ( Russell and Babrow 2011). ...
Chapter
This chapter examines the relationship between emotional competence in literary translation students and the quality of their translatum, using the Geneva Emotional Competence Test (GECo). The findings seem to indicate a positive correlation between performance in the literary translation task and some emotional competences from the GECo test, therefore indicating that workplace emotional competence and literary translation performance could somehow be connected. More specifically, the sub-competences of emotion understanding and emotion recognition have been found to have the most important bearing on the pre-defined translation quality criteria. Results add to recent evidence that emotions may be involved in the perception and creation of text material, impact the translation process, and affect translation performance. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/edit/10.4324/9781003140221/psychology-translation-s%C3%A9verine-hubscher-davidson-caroline-lehr
... Uncertainty fosters "a suspicious, information-seeking state-of-mind," which can fuel people's belief in conspiracy theories (Van Prooijen, 2020). People lacking control over their situation (arguably the baseline condition of feeling uncertain) are likely to form conspiratorial perceptions (Whitson & Galinsky, 2008). This holds true during the COVID-19 pandemic; uncertainty induced by the novel virus has been positively linked to conspiracy theories about it (Miller, 2020). ...
Article
As conspiracy theories around COVID-19 pose a big global challenge to public health and well-being, this study seeks to identify how and when people are likely to activate conspiratorial thinking and believe in conspiracy theories about the coronavirus. Based on a U.S. national two-wave survey (W1: N = 1,119; W2: N = 543), this study found partial support for direct effects of uncertainty on conspiratorial thinking and support for indirect effects through threat perception. We also found some evidence of direct effects of uncertainty on conspiracy beliefs and indirect effects through threat perception and serially mediated through threat perception and negative emotions. Findings suggest that effects - either direct or indirect - of uncertainty on conspiratorial thinking/conspiracy beliefs are moderated by perceived relevance to COVID-19, personal experience of the disease, and social media use. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Article
Conspiracy theories are alternative explanations of important events which attribute their cause to secret plots by powerful, malevolent forces and they are widespread in society. This discussion paper firstly outlines belief in conspiracy theories and how they can be detrimental for the smooth running of society, with a focus on Covid-19 conspiracy beliefs. Then, my PhD research is introduced which focuses on potential strategies for targeted interventions to be developed to reduce some of the potential negative consequences of conspiracy beliefs.
Chapter
We ourselves are the first instance that we follow in order to find a foothold in our lives. The knowledge we have of ourselves, the feelings we have about ourselves, the actions we take to gain certainty about ourselves, provide the first foundations on which to base our lives. We call this totality of psychic backgrounds individual spaces of meaning or spaces of sense. And under the hand the concept of sense emerges, which fits quite well to name the supposedly fixed individual points.
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The main aim of the study was to replicate and extend van Prooijen's findings (2017) on how education and its outcomes (cognitive complexity, subjective social standing, self‐esteem, a feeling of control and powerlessness, cognitive reflection, epistemic curiosity and scientific reasoning) predict conspiracy beliefs. In two studies (Study 1: N = 497, Mage = 49.06, SDage = 14.92; Study 2: N = 482, Mage = 47.45, SDage = 15.87), subjective socioeconomic status and cognitive reflection (Study 1) and a feeling of powerlessness and scientific reasoning (Study 2) contributed to the negative relationship between education level and belief in conspiracy theories. These results showed the connection of education to socioeconomic status, a feeling of control and analytic thinking (cognitive reflection, scientific reasoning) and their power to reduce conspiracy beliefs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
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We propose that deviancy aversion—people’s domain-general discomfort toward the distortion of patterns (repeated forms or models)—contributes to the strength and prevalence of social norms in society. Five studies ( N = 2,390) supported this hypothesis. In Study 1, individuals’ deviancy aversion, for instance, their aversion toward broken patterns of simple geometric shapes, predicted negative affect toward norm violations (affect), greater self-reported norm following (behavior), and judging norms as more valuable (belief). Supporting generalizability, deviancy aversion additionally predicted greater conformity on accuracy-orientated estimation tasks (Study 2), adherence to physical distancing norms during COVID-19 (Study 3), and increased following of fairness norms (Study 4). Finally, experimentally heightening deviancy aversion increased participants’ negative affect toward norm violations and self-reported norm behavior, but did not convincingly heighten belief-based norm judgments (Study 5). We conclude that a human sensitivity to pattern distortion functions as a low-level affective process that promotes and maintains social norms in society
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L'idéologie néolibérale est fréquemment théorisée comme un facteur de dépolitisation des citoyens. Néanmoins, les travaux explorant empiriquement ses effets sur des attitudes et des comportements politiques sont rares. Cette thèse a donc pour objet l'étude des implications psychosociales de l'idéologie néolibérale, comprise comme un ensemble de valeurs (i.e., idéographie) conditionnant une conception particulière de la personne (i.e., conception néolibérale du sujet). Afin d'éclairer la manière dont cette idéologie peut influencer les attitudes des personnes (e.g., justification du système) et leurs comportements politiques, 9 études ont été menées. Les deux premières études ont mis en évidence l'association entre l'adhésion aux valeurs néolibérales, la justification du système et les comportements politiques (i.e., manifestation et vote). Consécutivement, 5 études expérimentales ont été réalisées afin de vérifier la nature causale de la relation entre l'idéologie néolibérale et la justification du système. Plus encore, ces études visaient à éclairer le rôle du contrôle personnel perçu comme mécanisme explicatif de cette relation. Les résultats ne permettent pas de conclure sur l'ensemble de la médiation mais étayent l'hypothèse selon laquelle le contrôle personnel perçu constitue un antécédent à la justification du système. Enfin, les deux dernières études expérimentales explorent les effets de l'idéologie néolibérale et de la justification du système sur les intentions comportementales des sujets face à des problématiques systémiques (i.e., inégalités de genre et crise climatique). Les résultats indiquent que l'idéologie néolibérale, en tant qu'idéologie justificatrice, favorise des réponses individuelles, normatives et non-disruptives. Dans son ensemble, cette thèse fait apparaitre que l'idéologie néolibérale favorise un « citoyen minimal », figure individualisée polarisée autour de la liberté individuelle, à l'opposé d'un « citoyen agent social » polarisé autour de la liberté politique.
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Background: As a natural and continual process, the initial learning stages encompass mastering and recalling basic facts. The process proves effective with the integration of new information with pre-existing knowledge characterised as schema to facilitate memory encoding. Additionally, emotions also have the ability to modulate human cognition in terms of learning and memory. The recent advent of gamification in e-learning, which has garnered much scholarly and industrial interest, necessitates a thorough examination between video-based learning and its subsequent implications on schema, emotions, and gamification. Objectives: The current multidisciplinary research triangulated cognitive psychology, affective science, and education technology with artificial intelligence for evaluating digital learning pedagogy based on memory retrieval accuracy, response time, and emotional valence. Design: This three-way (2 x 2 x 2) mixed factorial experiment design with repeated measures entailed 64 healthy young adult volunteers (n = 64) with 32 in the schema congruent group and 32 in the schema incongruent group. Additionally, 27 (42%) of the volunteers were males, while 37 (58%) were females with an age range between 20 and 39 years old (mean age 27.78 years, SD = 4.77 years). Results: The findings demonstrate that the schema congruent group attained a statistically significant and higher retrieval accuracy (p
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The Cambridge Handbook of Political Psychology provides a comprehensive review of the psychology of political behaviour from an international perspective. Its coverage spans from foundational approaches to political psychology, including the evolutionary, personality and developmental roots of political attitudes, to contemporary challenges to governance, including populism, hate speech, conspiracy beliefs, inequality, climate change and cyberterrorism. Each chapter features cutting-edge research from internationally renowned scholars who offer their unique insights into how people think, feel and act in different political contexts. By taking a distinctively international approach, this handbook highlights the nuances of political behaviour across cultures and geographical regions, as well as the truisms of political psychology that transcend context. Academics, graduate students and practitioners alike, as well as those generally interested in politics and human behaviour, will benefit from this definitive overview of how people shape – and are shaped by – their political environment in a rapidly changing twenty-first century.
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Although personal control is a fundamental human need, research has not yet systematically examined how it functions in consumer and marketplace settings. This article reviews and integrates the existing research on the topic to provide a greater understanding of how personal control and consumer behavior shape and inform one another. We first integrate multiple streams of research to discuss the conceptualization and antecedents of personal control. We then propose an organizing framework that identifies two ways in which feelings of low control shape consumer behavior: through motivating consumers to look for a sense of order and structure in their consumption environments and through motivating consumers to use consumption activities to reestablish feelings of control. We close by highlighting several future research directions for advancing the current understanding of how personal control and marketing relate.
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Although recent studies on the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have highlighted the negative effects of moral disengagement on intentions to comply with COVID-19 containment measures, little is known about the mediating role of moral disengagement in the relationship between regulatory self-efficacy in complying with the containment measures, beliefs in conspiracy theories and compliance with COVID-19 health-related behaviors. Data were collected from 1164 young adults (women, N = 796; 68.4%; mean age 25.60 ± 4.40 years) who completed an online survey from 15th May to 22nd June 2021. Results of the multi-group path analyses indicated that higher beliefs in conspiracy theories were associated with lower compliance with COVID-19 health-related behaviors, whereas higher self-efficacy beliefs in complying with the containment measures were associated with higher compliance with COVID-19 health-related behaviors. Moral disengagement significantly mediated the associations between beliefs in conspiracy theories, regulatory self-efficacy, and compliance with COVID-19 health-related behaviors. Finally, the tested model was gender-invariant. Findings suggest that public health authorities and social care professionals should promote interventions aimed at improving regulatory self-efficacy, emphasizing the moral significance of respecting or ignoring the recommended COVID-19 measures (e.g., physical distance in public), and enhancing people's concern for the potential harms of their immoral actions.
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According to the theory of mutual constitution of culture and psyche, just as culture shapes people, individuals' psychological states can influence culture. We build on compensatory control theory, which suggests that low personal control can lead people to prefer societal systems that impose order, to examine the mutual constitution of personal control and cultural tightness. Specifically, we tested whether individuals' lack of personal control increases their preference for tighter cultures as a means of restoring order and predictability, and whether tighter cultures in turn reduce people's feelings of personal control. Seven studies (five preregistered) with participants from the United States, Singapore, and China examine this cycle of mutual constitution. Specifically, documenting the correlational link between person and culture, we found that Americans lower on personal control preferred to live in tighter states (Study 1). Chinese employees lower on personal control also desired more structure and preferred a tighter organizational culture (Study 2). Employing an experimental causal chain design, Studies 3-5 provided causal evidence for our claim that lack of control increases desire for tighter cultures via the need for structure. Finally, tracing the link back from culture to person, Studies 6a and 6b found that whereas tighter cultures decreased perceptions of individual personal control, they increased people's sense of collective control. Overall, the findings document the process of mutual constitution of culture and psyche: lack of personal control leads people to seek more structured, tighter cultures, and that tighter cultures, in turn, decrease people's sense of personal control but increase their sense of collective control. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).
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Whether ghosts, astrology or ESP, up to 80 per cent of the population believes in one or more aspects of the paranormal. Such beliefs are entertaining, and it is tempting to think of them as harmless. However, there is mounting evidence that paranormal beliefs can be dangerous - cases of children dying because parents rejected orthodox medicine in favour of alternative remedies, and 'psychics' who trade on the grief of the bereaved for personal profit and gain. Expenditure on the paranormal runs into billions of dollars each year. In Beyond Belief: Skepticism, Science and the Paranormal Martin Bridgstock provides an integrated understanding of what an evidence-based approach to the paranormal - a skeptical approach - involves, and why it is necessary. Bridgstock does not set out to show that all paranormal claims are necessarily false, but he does suggest that we all need the analytical ability and critical thinking skills to seek and assess the evidence for paranormal claims.
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One of the reasons for the creation of ecovillages is the idea of a crisis. According to that the world is in ecological, economic, social and ethical crisis. The ecovillage way of life is putting into practice the methods developed to deal with the crisis. While earlier in the history of the ecovillage-movement, this worldview was seen as a kind of extremism, and ecovillagers were seen as “utopian fugitives’’ by the majority of society, these ideas have now become the cornerstones of public discourses about the future of humanity. In this study, I outline the crisis perception of ecovillages and the responses to it, and the current change in the reception of the ecovillage phenomenon. First, I will briefly describe the history of the ecovillage movement, then their perception of the crisis and the response given to it, i.e. the ecovillage-concept itself. Their motivations and goals are illustrated as well, and finally we have to examine how the interpretation and acceptance of the ecovillage worldview and lifestyle is changing. Keywords: ecovillage, ecological way of life, sustainability, crisis, pandemic
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Wir wechseln die Perspektive von der Betrachtung der zentralen Tendenz im Sample hin zur systematischen Analyse von Variationen und Zusammenhängen. Mit der Veränderung des analytischen Blickwinkels verbunden ist eine differenzierende Fragestellung: Wie unterscheiden sich Individuen, die konstruktiv bei der Pandemieeinhegung mitwirken, von denen, die auf Protest und Radikalisierung setzen? Welche Faktoren stehen mit der Verschwörungsmentalität – also der Affinität zu Verschwörungstheorien – in Zusammenhang? Inwiefern trägt der Verschwörungsglaube zu oppositionellen Haltungen bei, die den Zusammenhalt in der Pandemiegesellschaft gefährden? Jetzt geht es nicht mehr um den Mainstream der Probanden oder den Vergleich sozial definierter Gruppen, sondern um Bedingungen, die die Wahrscheinlichkeit von Radikalisierung erhöhen. Ziel in diesem Kapitel ist es, krisenhafte Weltbilder und ihre treibenden oder hemmenden Faktoren zu identifizieren, die eine Krise des Krisenverhaltens auslösen können oder schon ausgelöst haben. Als Mutmacher nehmen wir auf dem Weg der Problemdurchforstung die Gewissheit mit, dass die Mehrheit der Probanden das Rüstzeug mitbringt, eine positive Wende in der Pandemiepolitik mitzutragen. Was also sind die Gründe, die ein konstruktives, zielführendes und solidarisches Krisenverhalten unterminieren? Im ersten Abschnitt dieses Ergebniskapitels werden Empathie und moralische Affektivität behandelt, deren Zusammenspiel eine aggressive Wendung des Weltbildmanagements verursachen kann. Dadurch trübt sich die im Höhlenkontext positive Rolle der Empathie partiell ein. Im zweiten Abschnitt wird das Bedrohungsparadox aufgelöst, das zu Beginn des Buches durch die Doppelkorrelation von Bedrohungsdenken mit Höhlenkompetenz und Höhlenpathologie Rätsel aufgab. In den Abschnitten 3 bis 4 kommen Befunde zur Epistemologie, zur Rolle des Zweifels und zum Verschwörungssyndrom zur Sprache. Dies führt im darauffolgenden Abschnitt zu einer Theorie der Radikalisierung, in deren Mittelpunkt ein Modell der aggressiven Bedrohungstransformation steht. Schließlich wird im letzten Abschnitt des Kapitels das Verhältnis von Höhlen- und Verschwörungsdenken empirisch ausgeleuchtet und im Hinblick auf Weltbildmanagement in der Krise theoretisch gewürdigt.
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Die Höhle ist der Ort, in dem vor 40.000 Jahren eine Weltbild-Revolution stattgefunden hat, deren Auswirkungen wir heute noch spüren. Um diese Annahme theoretisch sinnvoll modellieren zu können, beziehen wir uns auf Erkenntnisse der Gehirnforschung, Kognitionspsychologie, politischen Psychologie, und der Kultur- und Sozialwissenschaft, die unter dem Rubrum Kognitionswissenschaft (Eckardt 1993; Thagard 2005; Karnath und Thier 2012; Bermúdez 2014) mittlerweile Fortschritte bei der Verknüpfung und Integration disparater Ansätze erzielen. Im Folgenden wird aus diesen Quellen eine Theorie des Weltbildmanagements entwickelt, in der vier Ebenen unterschieden werden: (1) kognitive Selbstregulation, die auf Situationsanpassung, Konsistenz und identitäre Stabilität zielt, (2) biologische Strukturen, die uns aus der Evolution zugewachsen sind und die kognitive Selbstregulation ermöglichen. Außerdem werden (3) diejenigen Denk- und Verhaltensmuster thematisiert, die einer problemlösenden Intention unterliegen und dabei von archaischen und gegenwartsbezogenen Mechanismen der Selbstregulation beeinflusst sind. Als Ebene (4) figuriert die soziale Strukturierung des Weltbildmanagements, die aus der alltäglichen Lebenswelt heraus erfolgt oder durch politische Institutionen und staatliche Rahmensetzungen herbeigeführt wird. Im Kapitel werden die zentralen Begriffe der Theorie wie Weltbild und kognitive Selbstregulation definiert sowie die neurophysiologischen, psychologischen und soziologischen Implikationen des Konzepts Weltbildmanagement (WBM) erörtert.
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The present investigation sought to examine the differential effects of expected versus unexpected information on interpretive activity. It was predicted that expected information would involve an automatic mode of processing, while unexpected information would prompt a more controlled mode. More specifically, we examined the proposition that unexpected or inconsistent information would lead to attempts at generating explanations for the discrepancy, and that the resulting explanations would tend toward maintaining the original expectation. Subjects were exposed to a general description of an actor, and then received additional information consistent or inconsistent with that description; the strength of or confidence in the original expectation was also varied. The primary experimental task involved subjects retelling these stories. The data revealed that, relative to processing consistent information, subjects tended to provide explanations spontaneously for the unexpected events. These findings were discussed in terms of unexpected events producing greater observer involvement, which in turn increases the likelihood of interpretive activity.
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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 previously been shown to be sensitive to motivational variations was measured. Results indicate the expected effects on mood and performance: Low helplessness Ss were hostile and showed performance gains, and high helplessness Ss were depressed and showed performance deficits. However, the attributions of both low and high helplessness Ss were significantly more affected by variations in the description of a communicator than were the attributions of Ss who had not been given experience with lack of control. Findings are consistent with the general control motivation hypothesis. (39 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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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" groups and were then given either high, low, or no helplessness training on a series of concept-formation problems. After completing a mood checklist, all subjects worked on an anagram task presented as a second experiment by a second experimenter. The results revealed that internals exhibited greater performance decrements and reported greater depression under high helplessness than did externals. In the low helplessness conditions, internals tended to perform better than control subjects, while externals tended to perform worse than control subjects; low helplessness subjects also reported the highest levels of hostility. The results are discussed within the context of Wortman and Brehm's integration of reactance and learned helplessness theories.
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Reviews 17 publications (including some containing multiple studies) on spontaneous attribution activity. The paradigms include the coding of written material, recording of thoughts during or after task completion, and indirect inferences of attributional activity exhibited in other cognitive processes. There is unequivocal documentation of attributional activity, with unexpected events and nonattainment of a goal among the antecedent cues that elicit causal search. It is concluded that the topic under investigation, therefore, should not be the existence of attributional search, but rather the conditions under which it is most promoted. (35 ref)
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The provision of information before medical or surgical procedures should improve knowledge and allay anxiety about the pending procedure. This trial aimed to assess the value of an information video in this process. Patients scheduled to undergo colonoscopy were approached about 1 week before the procedure. All patients were given an information leaflet about colonoscopy, and completed a Spielberger state anxiety inventory (STAI) questionnaire to assess baseline anxiety. The patients were then randomly assigned to watch or not watch the information video. Immediately before colonoscopy, all patients completed a second anxiety questionnaire and a knowledge questionnaire. 198 patients were screened. 31 declined to participate and 17 were unable to complete the forms. Of the remaining 150 patients, 72 were assigned the video, and 78 no video. The groups were similar with regard to age, sex, educational attainment, and initial anxiety score. Female patients had higher baseline anxiety than male patients (mean STAI 46.3 [95% CI 44.9-47.7] vs 36.9 [35.5-38.3]; difference 9.4 [7.8-12.2], p=0.0008). Patients who had not had a previous colonoscopy had higher baseline anxiety scores than those who had prior experience of the procedure (46.9 [45.4-48.5] vs 36.3 [34.7-37.9]; difference 10.6 [7.5-13.8], p=0.0008). Patients who watched the video were significantly less anxious before colonoscopy than those who did not. The former also scored more highly in the knowledge questionnaire than the latter with regard to the purpose of the procedure, procedural details, and potential complications of colonoscopy. An information video increases knowledge and decreases anxiety in patients preparing for colonoscopy.
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The p53 tumor suppressor promotes apoptosis in response to DNA damage. Here we describe the Caenorhabditis elegans gene ced-13, which encodes a conserved BH3-only protein. We show that ced-13 mRNA accumulates following DNA damage, and that this accumulation is dependent on an intact C. elegans cep-1/p53 gene. We demonstrate that CED-13 protein physically interacts with the antiapoptotic Bcl-2-related protein CED-9. Furthermore, overexpression of ced-13 in somatic cells leads to the death of cells that normally survive, and this death requires the core apoptotic pathway of C. elegans. Recent studies have implicated two BH3-only proteins, Noxa and PUMA, in p53-induced apoptosis in mammals. Our studies suggest that in addition to the BH3-only protein EGL-1, CED-13 might also promote apoptosis in the C. elegans germ line in response to p53 activation. We propose that an evolutionarily conserved pathway exists in which p53 promotes cell death by inducing expression of two BH3-only genes.
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Conducted 2 experiments to examine whether the tendency to make more extreme attributions following control deprivation, observed by T. S. Pittman and N. L. Pittman (see record 1981-25822-001), stemmed from a motive to regain actual environmental control or to affirm an image of oneself as able to control (important outcomes). Study 1 varied control deprivation by exposing 78 undergraduates to either high-, low-, or no-helplessness training prior to measuring attributions. A 4th condition exposed Ss to low-helplessness training but allowed them to affirm a valued self-image (by completing a self-relevant value scale) just prior to the attribution measure. Replicating the findings of Pittman and Pittman, Ss made more extreme attributions and had worse moods in the high- and low-helplessness conditions than in the no-helplessness condition, but in the 4th condition the self-affirming value scale eliminated the effect of low-helplessness training on both attributions and mood. Study 2, using 32 undergraduates, showed that this effect occurred only when the value scale was central to Ss' self-concept. It is concluded that the motive for attributional analysis following control deprivation in this paradigm was to protect a positive self-image rather than to regain environmental control and that this motive can stimulate attributional analysis that is not related to the self or the provoking control threat and, thus, is not self-serving. (18 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Drawing from self-affirmation theory (C. M. Steele, 1988) and L. L. Martin and A. Tesser's (1989, 1996) theory of ruminative thinking, the authors hypothesized that people stop ruminating about a frustrated goal when they can affirm an important aspect of the self. In 3 experiments participants were given failure feedback on an alleged IQ test. Failure feedback led to increased rumination (i.e., accessibility of goal-related thoughts) compared with no-failure conditions (Studies 1 and 2). Rumination was reduced when participants could self-affirm after failure (Studies 1 and 2) or before failure (Study 3). In Study 3, self-affirmation led to increased positive affect on a disguised mood test and more positive name letter evaluations. Moreover, the obtained increase in positive affect mediated the effect of self-affumation on rumination. It is concluded that self-affirmation may be an effective way to stop ruminative thinking. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Tested the hypothesis that individuals engage in more thorough attributional processing for unexpected events than they do for expected events. 51 undergraduates observed the experimenter asking a confederate either a small or large favor. The small request led to an expectancy of compliance; the large request led to expectancy of refusal. The confederate then either did or did not comply with the request, thus either confirming or disconfirming Ss' expectancies. Ss were than allowed to look at any 5 of the confederates' responses to a 10-item questionnaire that the confederate had supposedly filled out earlier. Five of the items on the questionnaire were relevant to helping, and 5 were of general interest. As predicted, Ss chose more helping-relevant items when their expectancies had been disconfirmed. Implications for attributions for the behavior of stereotyped out-group members are discussed. (33 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Three experiments, with 60 undergraduates, examined what types of events instigate causal reasoning and what effects causal reasoning has on the subsequent use of information stored in memory. Ss were shown descriptions of behaviors performed by hypothetical characters, wrote brief continuations, and were given a surprise recall test on the behavior description phrases. Memory and use of explanatory content were assessed. Results indicate that unexpected events elicit causal reasoning and that causal reasoning produces relatively elaborate memory representations of these events so that they are more likely to be recalled. Findings are discussed in terms of the role of causal reasoning during acquisition, retention, and retrieval in social memory tasks. (41 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Individual differences in the desire for simple structure may influence how people understand, experience, and interact with their worlds. Studies 1 and 2 revealed that the Personal Need for Structure (PNS) scale (M. Thompson, M. Naccarato, and K. Parker, 1989) possesses sufficient reliability and convergent and discriminant validity. In Studies 3–5, Ss high in PNS were especially likely to organize social and nonsocial information in less complex ways, stereotype others, and complete their research requirements on time. These data suggest that people differ in their chronic desire for simple structure and that this difference can have important social–cognitive and behavioral implications. A consideration of chronic information-processing motives may facilitate the theoretical integration of social cognition, affect, motivation, and personality. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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At intervals of 1, 3, 6, and 9 hours after eating, 5 experimental subjects were tested in a situation wherein they were to identify a series of 80 ambiguous figures (40 chromatic and 40 achromatic) in order to determine if the number of identifications of the figures with food and food objects increased as the degree of hunger increased. Each subject was tested at least twice at each interval, whereas 5 control subjects were tested at intervals of from 45 minutes to 2½ hours after eating, each interval constant for a given subject. The number of food responses to the achromatic figures increased at 3 and 6 hours and then decreased, while for the chromatic figures the responses increased up to 3 hours and then decreased. An hypothesis is presented which "emphasizes the conflict between food-set and reality-set, the chromatic cards activating the reality-set more than the achromatic cards do." (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Tested the hypothesis that an experience that simply affirms a valued aspect of the self can eliminate dissonance and its accompanying cognitive changes. Three experiments were conducted using the conventional forced-compliance procedure. In Study 1, some of the 76 college student Ss were allowed to affirm an important, self-relevant value (by completing a self-relevant value scale) immediately after having written unrelated dissonant essays and prior to recording their attitudes on the postmeasure. Other Ss underwent an identical procedure but were selected so that the value affirmed by the scale was not part of their self-concept. The value scale eliminated dissonance-reducing attitude change among Ss for whom it was self-relevant but not among Ss for whom it was not self-relevant. This occurred even though the value scale could not resolve or reduce the objective importance of the dissonance-provoking inconsistency. Study 2, conducted with 24 Ss with a strong economic and political value orientation, showed that the self-affirmation effect was strong enough to prevent the reinstatement of dissonance. Study 3, testing generalizability with 24 Ss, replicated the effect by using a different attitude issue, a different value for affirmation, and a different measure of dissonance reduction. Results imply that a need for psychological consistency is not part of dissonance motivation and that salient, self-affirming cognitions may help objectify reactions to self-threatening information. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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ABSTRACT The hypothesis that people engage in attribution processes to obtain a sense of control was tested In each of three experiments, subjects identified on an individual difference measure as high in a general desire for control (DC) were found to engage in attnbution processes more than subjects low in desire for control In Experiment 1, high-DC subjects were more likely to utilize attributionally relevant information when describing the cause of a writer's behavior than were low-DC subjects High-DC subjects in Experiment 2 were more likely to ask attribution questions about hypothetical events than were low-DC subjects In Expenment 3, high-DC subjects gave more attributions for their performance on a test than did low-DC subjects The findings are interpreted as support for the control motivation explanation for why people engage in attribution processes
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Recent social psychological research on paranoid cognition has shown that when individuals are self-conscious or feel under evaluative scrutiny, they tend to overestimate the extent to which they are the target of others' attention. As a result, they make overly personalistic attributions about others' behavior. These personalistic attributions, in turn, foster a pattern of heightened distrust and suspicion regarding others' motives and intentions. Drawing on this research, the present work investigates antecedents and consequences of paranoid cognition in groups and organizations. Results of two studies are presented. Study 1 investigates how tenure in a group or organization affects individuals' self-consciousness and susceptibility to paranoid cognition. Study 2 replicates and extends the results of the first study using a new laboratory analog for studying paranoid cognition in small groups. Implications of the findings are discussed in terms of their contribution to theory regarding the origins and dynamics of collective distrust and suspicion.
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Past attributional studies have produced a consensus that negative and unexpected outcomes promote spontaneous causal search. Howwever, there is no theoretical reason to believe that outcome has an effect on spontaneous causal attribution independent of expectancy. Past studies thatfound the outcome effect all sufferfrom the methodological problems of (a) lack of spontaneity in elicited attributions and/or (b) improper manipulation. Experiment I (N = 44) introduced rigorous control of the two independent variables and showed that only expectancy has an independent effect on spontaneous causal thinking. Experiment 2 (N = 100) showed that, although expectancy is the only antecedent to spontaneous causal attribution, outcome does affect nonspontaneous causal search, giving a strong indication that the lack of spontaneity accounts for the outcome effect found in the past studies.
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The object of the study was to observe the changes in efficiency of perceptive activity of man (recognition of visual patterns against a background of noises) throughout an increase in emotional stress caused by a forthcoming parachuete jump. A moderate degree of emotional stress can improve performance efficiency and decrease the number of the subject's errors. Later an impairment of differentation of similar signals was seen and an increase in the number of "false alarm" errors along with a decrease in the number of omissions to reactions signals. The neurophysiological basis of such changes in perceptive activity consists in a transition from conditional behaviour to reaction through mechanisms of Ukhtomsky's dominant focus.
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Depressed and nondepressed college students received experience with solvable, unsolvable, or no discrimination problems. When later tested on a series of patterned anagrams, depressed groups performed worse than nondepressed groups, and unsolvable groups performed worse than solvable and control groups. As predicted by the learned helplessness model of depression, nondepressed subjects given unsolvable problems showed anagram deficits parallel to those found in naturally occurring depression. When depressed subjects attributed their failure to the difficulty of the problems rather than to their own incompetence, performance improved strikingly. So, failure in itself is apparently not sufficient to produce helplessness deficits in man, but failure that leads to a decreased belief in personal competence is sufficient.
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Many investigators have proposed that threat is a basic cause of authoritarianism. This perspective suggests the hypothesis that increased threat should evoke increased authoritarianism. To test this prediction, various archival data from 2 threatening historical periods (the 1930's and 1967-1970) and 2 nonthreatening periods (the 1920's and 1959-1964) were examined to determine whether authoritarianism did increase in response to threat. Data indicate that environmental threat was reliably associated with changed behavior in most areas of the "authoritarian syndrome." Results are consistent with the hypothesis that threat is a cause of authoritarianism and added validity to the concept of an authoritarian syndrome. (45 ref)
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Theories of motivation built upon primary drives cannot account for playful and exploratory behavior. The new motivational concept of "competence" is introduced indicating the biological significance of such behavior. It furthers the learning process of effective interaction with the environment. While the purpose is not known to animal or child, an intrinsic need to deal with the environment seems to exist and satisfaction ("the feeling of efficacy") is derived from it. (100 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
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