Article

Two Types of Value-Affirmation Implications for Self-Control Following Social Exclusion

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Abstract

The authors tested the hypothesis that affirming self-transcendent values attenuates negative consequences of self-threat better than affirming self-enhancement values. If value-affirmation buffers against threat because it bolsters the self, then affirming either a self-transcendent or self-enhancement value should similarly prevent typical decreased self-control after exclusion. However, if value-affirmations buffer the effects of threat because they promote self-transcendence, then affirming values related to self-transcendence should provide a better buffer against decreased self-control after exclusion. Ninety-two undergraduate students received either intentional or unintentional social exclusion. Participants then affirmed either a self-transcendent or self-enhancement value, or wrote about their daily routine. Consistent with predictions, participants ate more cookies when they were intentionally rather than unintentionally excluded; this effect was attenuated by affirming an important value, especially a self-transcendent value. This suggests that value-affirmation may be a particularly effective method of coping with self-threats when it increases self-transcendence.

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... To encourage people to self-affirm, researchers have most often employed manipulations in which participants consider personally important values and, next most often, reflect upon personal resources such as strengths and attributes, positive traits, skills and performances (McQueen & Klein, 2006). In recent years a literature has also developed that investigates self-affirmation by asking participants to reflect upon their positive social relationships (e.g., Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012;Cai, Sedikides, & Jiang, 2013;Chen & Boucher, 2008). ...
... However, while much has been written about its relationship with selfesteem, little is known about how it relates to self-affirmation. We proposed that the SSAM will be positively correlated with self-compassion (as measured by the Self-Compassion Scale, SCS, Neff, 2003) and would residually predict it, along with several SCS subscales: Because self-affirmation should encourage balanced and open-minded appraisal, we hypothesized that the SSAM would positively predict both the self-kindness and self-judgment subscales; based on experimental findings showing self-affirmation encourages self-transcendence (e.g., Burson et al., 2012), we hypothesized the SSAM would also positively predict the common humanity subscale. ...
... This is consistent with the recent suggestion that certain types of affirmation (such as unconditional sources of integrity derived from social relations) may be more effective than others (such as those that focus people on narrow self-centered values or sources conditional on meeting external standards; Cohen & Sherman, 2014). The evidence concerning social relations is also consistent with explanations in terms of self-transcendence (Burson et al., 2012), belonging (e.g., Knowles, Lucas, Molden, Gardner, & Dean, 2010) and the benefits of group memberships (Jetten, Haslam, & Haslam, 2011). However, it should be noted that there were typically fewer significant relations of the unique individual SSAM factors than of the overall (higher-order) SSAM. ...
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Article
The present research examines the relationship between individual differences in the extent to which people report self-affirming when faced with a threat (spontaneous self-affirmation) and well-being. Across three studies (total N = 515), spontaneous self-affirmation consistently emerged as a significant linear predictor of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being outcomes, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. A self-affirmation manipulation eliminated this association for two indices of well-being, primarily by boosting the well-being scores of those lower in spontaneous self-affirmation. Furthermore, spontaneous self-affirmation was found to partially mediate associations between socioeconomic status and well-being. These findings highlight individual differences in spontaneous self-affirmation as a potentially important contributor to well-being and suggest that consideration of spontaneous self-affirmation might further our understanding of the relationship between socioeconomic status and well-being.
... Indirect evidence for this also comes from research on social rejection that identified compassion and belongingness as resilience factors against the threat of social rejection (Burson et al., 2012;DeWall et al., 2010). Compared with those who wrote about their daily routine or who affirmed self-enhancing values (e.g., power and popularity), people who affirmed self-transcendent, other-focused values, such as empathy and compassion, maintained self-control after rejection (Burson et al., 2012). ...
... Indirect evidence for this also comes from research on social rejection that identified compassion and belongingness as resilience factors against the threat of social rejection (Burson et al., 2012;DeWall et al., 2010). Compared with those who wrote about their daily routine or who affirmed self-enhancing values (e.g., power and popularity), people who affirmed self-transcendent, other-focused values, such as empathy and compassion, maintained self-control after rejection (Burson et al., 2012). Rejected people became less aggressive as the number of others who accepted them during online ball-tossing games increased (DeWall et al., 2010). ...
... Our findings are consistent with previous studies on social rejection. These studies have identified resilience factors against social rejection that seem relevant to compassionate goals and self-compassion (Ayduk et al., 2002;Burson et al., 2012;DeWall et al., 2010). One of these factors is to affirm a self-transcendent value, such as compassion, that in turn allows for better self-control (e.g., by refraining from eating unhealthy cookies; Burson et al., 2012). ...
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Article
The present study examined how people with compassionate goals cope with the threat of social rejection. Specifically, we tested whether self-compassion mediates the associations between compassionate goals and adaptive responses in the wake of social rejection. Participants (n = 358) first filled out the measure of compassionate goals and then described their personal experience of being rejected by others in their life. Later, they reported their levels of self-compassionate reactions toward their experience, fundamental need satisfaction, and revenge intention toward the rejecter. A path model showed that self-compassionate reactions mediated the relations of compassionate goals to higher satisfaction of fundamental needs, B = 0.170, 95%CI [0.062, 0.273], and lower revenge intention, B = −0.077, 95%CI [−0.164, −0.027]. These mediation pathways remained significant for current need satisfaction, B = 0.196, 95%CI [0.089, 0.290], and revenge intention, B = −0.079, 95%CI [−0.161, −0.029], even after controlling for the characteristics of rejection experiences. This study highlights that people who pursue compassionate goals would likely engage in self-compassion to cope with social rejection and thus maintain greater intra-and interpersonal well-being.
... Indian joint family system cultivates a set of peculiar collective values that may have more relevance for affirming the participants during the current pandemic. The individualistic values are based on conditional sources of power and status which may have involved different mechanism of affirmation while collectivistic values like compassion and service to others may be more conducive as they tend to be less conditional (Burson et al., 2012;Schimel et al., 2004). The Indian joint family system has been known for cultivating social relationships of unconditional and transcendental nature (I can't live without my family and community), it may facilitate more affirmation in collective values in their members in the face of the current threat (Burson et al., 2012;Crocker et al., 2008;Shnabel et al., 2013). ...
... The individualistic values are based on conditional sources of power and status which may have involved different mechanism of affirmation while collectivistic values like compassion and service to others may be more conducive as they tend to be less conditional (Burson et al., 2012;Schimel et al., 2004). The Indian joint family system has been known for cultivating social relationships of unconditional and transcendental nature (I can't live without my family and community), it may facilitate more affirmation in collective values in their members in the face of the current threat (Burson et al., 2012;Crocker et al., 2008;Shnabel et al., 2013). ...
... The affirmation in values inherent in especially joint family and traditional religious practices to face the current threat may be significant as self-affirmation has been suggested to cultivate positive mood (Ferrer et al., 2012), collective self-esteem (Armitage, 2012;G. L. Cohen et al., 2000;Jaremka et al., 2011), cognitive processing, other-directed feeling and connectedness with others (Burson et al., 2012;Wakslak & Trope, 2009). The participants belonging to the nuclear families and believed in practising evident components of religion showed affirmation in values confined to their personal experiences and outcomes. ...
Preprint
The study explored the role of two dissimilar familial and religious practices in distinctly shaping independent and interdependent self-affirmations in two value systems surfaced to protect self-integrity and self-worth challenged by the threats of COVID-19. A qualitative method was employed which recruited a heterogeneous sample of 19 participants (10 joint and 9 nuclear families) who reported the consequences of COVID-19 and the roles of familial and religious values in facing the pandemic threats through a semi-structured interview. Five themes were generated: the perceived strong threat of COVID-19, positive roles of joint familial values and the religious values, dissimilar roles of individualistic and collectivistic values as well as traditional and modern religious values. Threats were expressed in the experiences of anxiety, uncertainty and mood fluctuations. Interdependence, affiliation and support were joint familial values whereas worshipping, divine interpretation and spiritual practices denoted traditional religious values. Independence, scientific interpretations and personal focus were individualistic family values. Focus on explicit attributes denoted modern while divine interpretation, will of God and dependency on God reflected traditional religious values. Coexistence of independent and interdependent self-affirmations originating from two distinct familial and religious value systems was observed possibly due to the current transitions in the Indian society.
... To encourage people to selfaffirm, researchers have most often employed manipulations in which participants consider personally important values and, next most often, reflect upon personal resources such as strengths and attributes, positive traits, skills and performances (McQueen & Klein, 2006). In recent years a literature has also developed that investigates self-affirmation by asking participants to reflect upon their positive social relationships (e.g., Burson, Crocker & Mischkowski, 2012;Cai, Sedikides & Jiang, 2013;Chen & Boucher, 2008). ...
... However, while much has been written about its relationship with selfesteem, little is known about how it relates to self-affirmation. We proposed that the SSAM will be positively correlated with self-compassion (as measured by the Self-Compassion Scale, SCS, Neff, 2003) and would residually predict it, along with several SCS subscales: Because self-affirmation should encourage balanced and open-minded appraisal, we hypothesized that the SSAM would positively predict both the self-kindness and self-judgment subscales; based on experimental findings showing self-affirmation encourages self-transcendence (e.g., Burson, et al., 2012), we hypothesized the SSAM would also positively predict the common humanity subscale. ...
... This is consistent with the recent suggestion that certain types of affirmation (such as unconditional sources of integrity derived from social relations) may be more effective than others (such as those that focus people on narrow self-centered values or sources conditional on meeting external standards, Cohen & Sherman, 2014). The evidence concerning social relations is also consistent with explanations in terms of selftranscendence (Burson et al., 2012), belonging (e.g., Knowles, Lucas, Molden, Gardner, & Dean, 2010) and the benefits of group memberships (Jetten, Haslam & Haslam, 2011). ...
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Article
Research into self-affirmation has almost exclusively employed experimental manipulations. In this paper we address individual differences in the tendency to respond to threats with self-affirming cognitions and distinguish this from two overlapping constructs: habitual positive self-thought and trait self-esteem. Items we designed to measure self-affirmation were represented by three first-order factors and loaded on a higher-order factor, creating the Spontaneous Self-Affirmation Measure (SSAM). The SSAM correlated moderately with self-esteem and habitual positive self-thought. In competitive analyses, the SSAM was an independent predictor of a large number of outcomes. The studies provide evidence about the correlates of individual differences in reported spontaneous self-affirmation in response to threat and the contribution made to this response by habitual positive self-thought and trait self-esteem.
... The negative impact of social exclusion on self-control has been verified by numerous prior studies. Previous scholars have found that social exclusion is negatively and significantly associated with self-control (Crescioni and Baumeister, 2009;Burson et al., 2012;Xiaojun et al., 2017). Some scholars have also indicated that socially excluded individuals are more likely to behave aggressively than those who are not excluded (Ren et al., 2018). ...
... For the first path of this indirect effect, the results of this study were consistent with the prior studies. Some scholars have indicated that social exclusion is not only a direct predictor of self-control (Crescioni and Baumeister, 2009;Burson et al., 2012;Xiaojun et al., 2017), but can also contribute to negative affects and experiences such as loneliness, depression, and anger (Fung et al., 2016;Feng et al., 2019;Carlyle et al., 2020;Arslan, 2021), which will indirectly decrease self-control (Chester et al., 2016). This might be because social exclusion threatens individuals' Frontiers in Psychology 07 frontiersin.org ...
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Previous studies have identified many antecedents of smartphone addiction. However, social exclusion as a risk factor for smartphone addiction has not been widely studied, and little is known concerning the psychological mechanism underlying this association. The present study tested the influence of social exclusion on smartphone addiction as well as the mediating roles of loneliness and self-control in this relationship. An online survey was conducted, and the sample consisted of 573 university students (323 females). The results revealed that (1) social exclusion was a positive predictor of smartphone addiction; (2) loneliness and self-control separately mediated the association between social exclusion and smartphone addiction; and (3) loneliness and self-control sequentially mediated the relation between social exclusion and smartphone addiction. Possible explanations were discussed. The findings of the current study would contribute to understanding the relationships between these study variables as well as the psychological mechanisms underlying these associations.
... When asked to describe their most important values, research participants nearly always focus on self-transcendent ones that involve helping or connecting with others (Crocker, Niiya, & Mischkowski, 2008;Sagiv et al., 2017). Further, in some past research high-value-focus manipulations made people more magnanimous only if the value-focus manipulation induced selftranscendent focus (Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012;Cook, Purdie-Vaughns, Garcia, & Cohen, 2012;Crocker et al., 2008;Layous et al., 2017;Schimel, Arndt, Banko, & Cook, 2004;Shnabel, Purdie-Vaughns, Cook, Garcia, & Cohen, 2013;Yeager et al., 2014;see Crocker & Canevello, 2012, for similar effects for self-transcendent but not for self-enhancement goals on well-being and effectiveness). For example, value-focus effects on smokers' reduced defensiveness about their habit were completely mediated by the extent to which value-focus revolved around themes of love and connection (Crocker et al., 2008). ...
... AF3AF4 is closer to the medial prefrontal cortex than any of the other frontal electrode sites assessed by our headsets. Moreover, experimentally manipulated social reward has caused significant increases in LFA at AF3AF4 in past research (Boksem et al., 2009), and the transcendent values people spontaneously nominate are usually socially themed (Burson et al., 2012;Crocker et al., 2008;Schnabel, Purdie-Vaughns, Cook, Garcia, & Cohen, 2013). In Study 1 we accordingly used LFA at AF3AF4 as the dependent variable (and the same data extraction procedures as in the pilot study). ...
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Article
Fidelity with self-transcendent values is hailed as a hallmark of mature and magnanimous character by classic psychological and philosophical theories. Dozens of contemporary experiments inspired by self-affirmation theory have also found that when people are under threat, focus on self-transcendent values can confer magnanimity by improving psychological buoyancy (less anxious and more courageous, determined, and effective) and decreasing belligerence (less defensive, extreme, and hostile). The present research was guided by the postulate that both aspects of magnanimity—its buoyancy and its freedom from belligerence—arise from the approach motivated states that self-transcendent foci can inspire. Experimental manipulations of self-transcendent foci (values, spirituality, compassion) heightened state approach motivation as assessed by electroencephalography (Study 1, n = 187) and self-report (Study 2, n = 490). Further, even though the heightened approach motivation was transient, it mediated a longer-lasting freedom from moral (Study 1) and religious (Study 2) belligerence. Importantly, self-transcendent-focus effects on approach motivation and belligerence occurred only among participants with high trait meaning search scores. Results support an interpretation of meaningful values and spiritual ideals as self-transcendent priorities that operate according to basic motivational mechanics of abstract-goal pursuit. The transient, approach-motivated state aroused by transcendence-focus causes longer lasting relief from preoccupation with threat, leaving people feeling buoyant and generous. Relevance of results for self-affirmation theory and the psychology of spirituality are discussed.
... Self-affirmation interventions, such as having an individual reflect on an important value, successfully reduces identity threat, and improves performance in negatively stereotyped individuals (Cohen et al., , 2009Martens et al., 2006). Value affirmations are theorized to alleviate threat responses because they broaden perspectives on threat and enable other sources of self-worth and integrity to become salient (Aronson et al., 1999;Burson et al., 2012;Schimel et al., 2004;Sherman & Cohen, 2006;Steele, 1988) thus eliminating the need to reassert or validate the single aspect of the self that is threatened. ...
... Results of Study 2 are consistent with previous research that suggested heterosexual men may express bias toward gay men by distancing themselves and behaving aggressively toward gay men as a reaction to threatened masculinity (Glick et al., 2007;Talley & Bettencourt, 2008). However, we further demonstrate that self-affirmation negated the bias toward feminine gay men under masculinity threat; which is similar to previous research that used self-affirmation as a tool to negate other forms of identity threats (Burson et al., 2012;Goff et al., 2012;Martens et al., 2006;Steele, 1988). Thus, our research suggests that masculinity threat is likely a threat to heterosexual men's sense of self, further illuminating the mechanism behind the bias response we observed. ...
... Therefore, although collectivistic people can perceive more risks than individualistic ones in the face of an observed risk, they tend to have a higher sense of efficacy than individualistic ones, meaning that their group will work together and act to protect themselves and those protective processes are coordinated [24]. In addition, regardless of worries about infection risks, the threat of isolation may be best countered by people who feel a sense of belonging and connection with others [33,39,40]. It is important to note that what has been said about the role of I and C is also true for the sense of family connectedness and related habits. ...
... Findings about the role of individuals' cultural orientations on perceived risks and psychological maladjustment, are in line with our hypothesis which was based on some empirical studies [39,40] and theoretical considerations [24,33], but not yet tested during the worldwide pandemic and national lockdown. In addition, it is remarkable that stronger will of becoming distinguished and acquiring status through individual competitions with others predicted higher maladjustment, suggesting that in this period characterized by instability and struggle to make future plans, emerging adults who have this orientation cannot take advantage; on the contrary, they find more difficulties. ...
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The outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has dramatically changed our habits and routines. Uncertainty, insecurity, instability for the present and future, and reduced autonomy and self-directedness, are common feelings at the time of COVID-19. These aspects are very important during emerging adulthood. In spite of the fact that medical reports suggest that youth are less prone to experience COVID-19 infections, emerging adults might be at higher risk for their psychological adjustment. Emerging adults showed higher concerns about their role as a possible asymptomatic carrier than being positive with COVID-19 themselves. Both worries and concerns about COVID-19 and psychological maladjustment may be related to cultural factors. Individualism, collectivism, equality, and hierarchy seem to be meaningful perspectives to take into account. A total of 1183 Italian emerging adults were asked to fill out an online survey during the second week of the national lockdown in Italy. Results showed they reported an accurate perceived knowledge about COVID-19. At the same time, they showed higher worries and concerns about COVID-19 for their relatives, followed by more general/social worries. The lowest score included worries about COVID-19 related to themselves. State anxiety and stress levels were above the normal cutoff, confirming the challenges that emerging adults are facing during the pandemic. On one hand, emerging adults' collectivistic orientation was related to higher perceived risks of infection; on the other hand, it predicted lower psychological maladjustment, controlling for socio-demographic variables. The study suggests that to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and decrease levels of psychological maladjustment in emerging adulthood, individuals' cultural orientation such as the wish of sharing common goals with others, interdependence, and sociability, have to be emphasized and promoted as protective factors.
... For instance, reflection upon certain themes, such as meaning in life, can lead to feelings of love and compassion (e.g. Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012). With respect to travel, vacation activities such as whale watching and rafting produce emotional experiences that are associated with eudaimonic affect, including feelings of awe (Knobloch et al., 2017). ...
... The benefits of eudaimonic reflections shown in the present research confirm past research demonstrating the effects of reflecting on themes associated with eudaimonia (e.g. Burson et al., 2012) as well as research illustrating the unique effects of eudaimonic experiences and motives compared to those that are hedonic (see Henderson & Knight, 2012;Huta & Ryan, 2010). The unique effect of eudaimonia also supports the necessity of focusing on all dimensions of positive travel experiences as suggested by other tourism scholars (e.g. ...
Article
Recently, tourism scholars have recognized that travel can create transformation, including (1) personal benefits such as improved wellbeing and personal growth and (2) societal benefits such as increased open-mindedness and more positive pro-environmental attitudes, motivations, and behaviors. Expanding and integrating this research, this experimental study tests whether travel experiences, with eudaimonic elements of self-discovery and a sense of meaning, lead to these benefits and tests a proposed process where these experiences influence personal changes that subsequently create societal benefits. Specifically, using an online MTurk sample (n = 481) with a broad range of recent vacation experiences, we test whether (1) post-trip self-reflection on eudaimonic travel experiences (2) creates affective responses (3) that lead to self-transcendent changes and (4) subsequent post-trip philanthropy among recent travelers. Results of structural equation modeling indicate that philanthropic effects of travel were initiated by the eudaimonic self-reflections via eudaimonic affect and self-transcendent outcomes. This study contributes to the research linking eudaimonia and travel and provides insights into the ways that the travel industry can be harnessed as a potent tool for promoting personal meaning, self-transcendence, and prosocial outcomes. ARTICLE HISTORY
... When these views are threatened, such as during nonconformity, reflecting on important characteristics and values restores self-worth and counteracts the negative effects of these threats. Importantly, self-affirmation enhances feelings of belonging and connectedness (Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012;Crocker, Niiya, & Mischkowski, 2008). Self-affirmation also increases working memory and ability to inhibit an automatic response (Harris, Harris, & Miles, 2017;Legault, Al-Khindi, & Inzlicht, 2012;Logel & Cohen, 2012), suggesting greater availability of self-regulatory resources. ...
... The age range was restricted to ensure similarity to confederates. Drawing on previous research demonstrating a medium-sized effect of self-affirmation on the proposed mediators and conformity (Binning et al., 2015;Burson et al., 2012, Harris et al., 2017Logel & Cohen, 2012), we sought to recruit at least 128 participants to provide 80% power for detecting a medium-sized effect. We recruited above the target to account for exclusions due to guessing study aims, acquaintance of the confederate, etc. ...
Article
Objectives Social conformity negatively affects health. Exposure to peers who model unhealthy alcohol or food consumption increases personal consumption. Self‐affirmation alters processes related to the motivations underlying conformity. We therefore tested whether self‐affirmation reduces conformity to unhealthy behaviour and does so by reducing affiliation needs and/or increasing self‐regulation. Design In two studies, participants were randomized to one of four conditions in a 2 (low vs. high peer modelling) × 2 (self‐affirmed vs. not) design. Methods In Study 1 (N = 153), a confederate modelled low or high alcohol consumption. Participants’ alcohol consumption was recorded; mimicry of confederates’ sips was coded. In Study 2 (N = 122), written information indicated others’ snack food intake during the study. Participants’ food consumption was recorded. Affiliative interest was assessed in both studies. Inhibitory control and private self‐awareness were assessed in Studies 1 and 2, respectively. Results In Study 1, participants exposed to heavy drinking consumed significantly more alcohol and mimicked the confederate more frequently than participants exposed to the light drinking model. Self‐affirmation did not reduce this tendency, nor did it affect affiliative interest or inhibitory control. Exploratory analysis supported that mimicry mediated the peer modelling–consumption relationship. In Study 2, participants ate more when they believed others had eaten a lot, as opposed to little. Self‐affirmation did not reduce this tendency and did not affect affiliative interest. Self‐affirmed participants had higher private self‐awareness than those who were not self‐affirmed, but self‐awareness did not affect consumption. Conclusion Peer behaviour strongly influences personal consumption. Self‐affirmation did not reduce behavioural conformity. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? • Exposure to peers who engage in high consumption of alcohol and unhealthy foods is associated with increased personal consumption. • Few studies have examined strategies to reduce conformity to consumption behaviours. What does this study add? • Across two studies, self‐affirmation did not reduce behavioural conformity, despite its’ positive effects on private self‐awareness. • Conformity in face‐to‐face interactions is largely driven by mimicry.
... In parallel, lovingkindness and compassion meditations involve making directed positive well-wishes and cultivating concern for others, independent of self-relevance and closeness of the target individuals [16]. Other psychological interventions such as value affirmation [17] and interventions to increase purpose in life [18] have also been used to engage the process of self-transcendence. ...
... Similarly, self-transcendent feelings of love and connection after value affirmation decreased defensiveness after an ego threat [38]. In a follow-up study, those randomly assigned to reflect on self-transcendent (family, friends) versus self-enhancing (power, wealth) values were subsequently less influenced by the negative effects of social rejection; able to cope more adaptively by exerting greater cognitive control [17]. ...
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Distinct types of meditation practice addressed in this review can help cultivate skills people may bring to later social interactions. We examine self-transcendence, or the drive to benefit others beyond the self, as a key mechanism through which meditation may promote positive social outcomes. Self-transcendence cultivated through various styles of meditation can impact social outcomes through two main pathways: First, self-transcendence can turn rigid, defensive self-focus into flexible and receptive self-construals. Second, it can increase positive other-focus by integrating reward and social signals in the brain. These accounts offer one practical solution of positively transforming social relations and highlight potential usefulness of considering self-transcendence in researching social effects of meditation.
... Loneliness is associated with reduced attentional control (J. T. Cacioppo et al., 2000), and experiences of social exclusion interfere with executive control functions (Campbell et al., 2006) and increase self-control failures (Baumeister et al., 2005;Burson et al., 2012;Stenseng et al., 2015). The link between chronic loneliness and diminished self-control is particularly problematic because individuals with lower self-control are perceived as less trustworthy than those with higher selfcontrol (Righetti & Finkenauer, 2011), which may cause them to be less liked by others . ...
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Loneliness is a complex set of aversive feelings that arises when people perceive that their belongingness needs are not being met. Usually, these feelings of loneliness are temporary because people successfully cope with their loneliness by connecting with others. However, for some people, their attempts to cope with loneliness are unsuccessful, and their loneliness becomes chronic, which can have severe consequences for their mental and physical health. Understanding the causes and consequences of loneliness is critical for developing interventions to reduce loneliness, a need made more urgent by the dramatic rise in reported loneliness over the last few decades. In this review, we provide a synthesis of the research on how people cope with loneliness through consumption situations and the extent to which these coping strategies are successful. We also provide a discussion of how the marketplace has responded to the rapidly increasing levels of chronic loneliness worldwide. We conclude with an agenda for future research to answer both basic and applied research questions regarding the causes, consequences, and underlying processes of loneliness.
... Regarding other explanations, it has been proposed that social rejection reduces individuals' motivation for self-control, making them less willing to inhibit selfish, aggressive impulses for the sake of others (Baumeister et al., 2005;Burson et al., 2012;DeWall et al., 2007;Stenseng et al., 2015). Finding self-regulation substantially impaired after actual or imagined future rejection in six experiments, Baumeister et al. (2005) argued that social rejection undermines the implicit social bargain that regulation of ones' antisocial impulses (e.g., cutting in line) ensures group acceptance and social belonging. ...
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The experience of social exclusion has been shown to trigger aggressive, antisocial behavior. This outcome is particularly problematic if such retaliatory acts, in addition to being harmful, are also highly original and creative, and thus, difficult to anticipate and to defend against. For this reason, the present study investigated whether a laboratory social exclusion paradigm would increase malevolent creativity – creativity deliberately aimed at damaging others. In a sample of n = 81, male and female participants were either excluded or included by an alleged group of peers based on their personal preferences, and then generated as many original ideas as possible to take revenge on other wrongdoers (Malevolent Creativity Test; MCT). State affect was additionally assessed before and after exclusion/inclusion. Analyses revealed that social exclusion had significant effects on individuals’ malevolent creativity performance, with the excluded group generating a greater number of vengeful ideas in the MCT that were also rated as more original. Interestingly, greater harmfulness (malevolence) of revenge ideas was specifically observed for excluded women. While social exclusion was linked to increased anger and general negative affect, affect changes did not mediate exclusion effects on malevolent creativity. This hints at more complex mechanisms linking social exclusion and creative antisocial behavior other than immediate emotional responses. Altogether, our findings emphasize the role of situative factors for the emergence of malevolent creativity, suggesting that anybody may resort to highly malicious ideation under threatening circumstances.
... For instance, reflecting upon core and important values such as religion, family, or achievements are important avenues for self-affirmation (Sherman & Cohen, 2006;Steele, 1988). Focusing on them places a threatening message in a larger context and renders it less psychologically distressing (Burson et al., 2012;Sherman & Cohen, 2006;Steele, 1988). The efficacy of self-SOURCES OF SELF-AFFIRMATION 13 affirmation interventions has been well documented through value affirmation exercises in the educational context, in specifically targeting the achievement gap among Latino Americans and African Americans (Cohen & Garcia, 2008), purported to be a function of stereotypes pertaining to their intellectual ability and success (Cook et al., 2012;Guyll et al., 2010;Protzko & Aronson, 2016;Sherman et al., 2013). ...
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Chapter
Dealing with threat is a ubiquitous experience for people everywhere. The extent to which we experience threat, however, differs, as do the means employed to address it. For instance, focusing on unthreatened aspects of the self (i.e., self-affirmation) helps us cope with prejudice, discrimination, and stigma. Individuals differ substantially in their threat experience, as some groups are more discriminated against, which also differs per national context. We discuss previous findings on social identity threat and how salient it is for some groups. We then inspect how affirmation interventions addressing threat and investigated in Western contexts fare in non-Western contexts. We describe the need to move beyond relatively well-represented non-Western settings (e.g., Asia) and include contexts that are religiously more diverse. We therefore present data on the use of self-affirmation from the sectarian context of Lebanon and elaborate on how the larger cultural context may impact reactions to affirmation interventions.
... As such, they provide an avenue for meaning and value formation to extend beyond the self-regarding, utility-maximising values assumed by neoclassical economic valuation. As an expression of values, stories can provide affirmation of what is important, thus linking to a sense of identity (Shnabel et al., 2013) and self-control (Burson et al., 2012). Narratives play a prominent role in the symbolic representation and construction of places, reflecting cultural and place identities Cooper et al., 2016, Edwards et al., 2016Coates et al., 2014;Fish et al. 2016) that are often latent or implicit 2016b;Niemeyer, 2004), and thus require explicit elicitation if they are to be fully reflected in ES valuations. ...
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As governments worldwide address the climate crisis, energy systems are becoming both decarbonised and decentralised. In this study, we aim to increase understanding of the spatial dimensions of new forms of decentralised energy systems that integrate electricity, storage, transportation, and heating. Drawing on workshops and secondary data from three, early-stage case studies funded under a UK government programme, we examine how stakeholders responsible for development construct the ‘local’ in Smart Local Energy System (SLES) demonstrators. We employ three analytical concepts to address this aim: emplacement, place-framing, and place/boundary-making. In terms of emplacement, stakeholders use place-based narratives that draw on distinctive infrastructural, social, ecological, and political characteristics to argue that diverse locations (Oxford city, Oxfordshire, and the Orkney Islands) are ‘suitable’ places for decentralised energy. Stakeholders frame projects around non-local goals of creating technological and business models for replication across the UK and worldwide, even if some community-centred benefits are recognized. Lastly, our findings on place-making show pragmatism in flexing ‘local’ boundaries in order to align with project objectives. The three analytical concepts provide a useful framework to uncover ‘local’ complexities of early-stage decentralised energy projects, and emphasise intersections of space, place, and justice that deserve further scrutiny, notably in later stages of project implementation.
... This could be further extended to even more ecologically valid operant behaviors that have been empirically associated with values contact. For example, future examinations of transformation of function might include improved academic performance (e.g., enhanced scores on tests of numeracy and literacy; Cooke et al., 2012;Sherman, 2013), resilience to social ostracism (e.g., how quickly an ostracized person recovers their fundamental needs of self-esteem, meaningful existence, belonging, and control following their social exclusion experience; Burson et al., 2012;Williams, 2009). ...
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Values-affirmation interventions have demonstrated efficacy in increasing approach behavior in the context of potential threat. In other words, writing about values seems associated with changes to the functions of previously aversive events. Evaluative conditioning and derived relational responding have been offered as possible mechanisms by which values interventions change behavior. The current study aimed to extend the extant literature by demonstrating derived relational responding and subsequent transformation of evaluative and consequential functions with values-relevant stimuli. Participants were 34 undergraduate students. Participants generated personally meaningful values-relevant stimuli after engaging in a values affirmation task and were subsequently trained through matching to sample to coordinate a subset of those stimuli to arbitrary stimuli. All participants exhibited mutual entailment, and all but one exhibited combinatorial entailment, suggesting that individuals learn to coordinate events with values quite readily. Further, there was evidence of transformation of functions, both in terms of changes in ratings of derived stimuli and in terms of changes in approach and escape behavior. These data are offered in support of continued scientific exploration of what values are, how they emerge, and how they are best intervened upon.
... It has been suggested that the experience of social exclusion might deprive individuals from the resources needed to successfully engage in self-control tasks (Campbell et al., 2006). Experiences of exclusion have indeed been shown to interfere with executive control functions (Baumeister et al., 2005;Campbell et al., 2006); chronic ostracism has been associated with lower self-control in adolescents ; and experimental manipulations of exclusion were linked to behaviors indicative of self-control failures, such as unhealthy food consumption (Baumeister et al., 2005;Burson et al., 2012). Building on this past research, here we explored the potentially bidirectional effects of loneliness and self-control. ...
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Loneliness has been associated with multiple negative outcomes. But what contributes to loneliness in the first place? Drawing from the literature on the importance of self-regulatory ability for successful social functioning, the present research explored the role of low self-control as a factor leading to loneliness. A set of four studies (and three additional studies in Supplementary Online Materials ) using cross-sectional, experimental, daily diary, and experience sampling methods showed that lower self-control is associated with higher loneliness at both trait and state levels. Why does low self-control contribute to loneliness? Self-control failures that have negative implications for others lead to higher risks for being ostracized by others, which predicts increased feelings of loneliness over time. These results suggest that low self-control, which is often associated with negative intrapersonal outcomes, can have important interpersonal consequences by evoking ostracism, and consequently, loneliness.
... The process boosts one's sense of integrity such that individuals see themselves as capable, coherent, and adequate. Such a selfaffirming view leads to a broad range of benefits (for reviews, see Cohen & Sherman, 2014) including reduced stress (Creswell et al., 2005), increased self-control after rejection (Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012), enhanced feelings of relational security (Stinson, Logel, Shepherd, & Zanna, 2011), and forestalling of defensive responses such as outgroup derogation (Stone, Whitehead, Schmader, & Focella, 2011). Self-affirmation often serves as a way to bridge a psychological void, acting as a substitute for a decision or behavior that would have otherwise filled a specific need. ...
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This research examines how consumers evaluate brands represented in one of two social roles—partner or servant. We theorize that partner brands are perceived to offer greater social connection than servant brands. Across four studies, we show that interdependents express greater likelihood to purchase partner brands than servant brands, as the greater social connection afforded by partner brands enables interdependents to self-enhance. Independents, however, are equally likely to purchase the two as they are not motivated to self-enhance on collectivistic dimensions. In addition, self-affirmation eliminates interdependents’ preference for partner brands over servant brands, indicating that the effect is indeed driven by their need for social connection. This research provides implications for managers in terms of enhancing the effectiveness of brand strategies by leveraging self-construal.
... Need frustration leads to the collapse of people's self-control ability in all aspects , and results in people having no energy to maintain their self-control in other domains (Moller, Deci, & Ryan, 2006) such as within the SNS context. In the literature of social rejection, research has consistently proven that social exclusion, rejection, and ostracism lower an individual's ability of self-control (Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012;DeWall, Gilman, Sharif, Carboni, & Rice, 2012;Vandellen et al., 2012). It has also been generally believed that relatedness frustration is the result of social rejection, although not all cases of relatedness frustration stem from social rejection (Gerber & Wheeler, 2009;Williams, 2009). ...
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Article
Based on the framework of the self-determination theory, the present study of Chinese college students was designed to investigate the relationships between relatedness frustration and compensatory behaviors on social networking sites (SNSs), as well as the mediating role of SNS self-control failure. Chinese college students (N = 461, 159 males; Mage = 18.62 ± .77) were recruited to complete online questionnaires measuring relatedness frustration, SNS self-control failure, and three types of SNS behaviors (immediate response to SNS signals, self-disclosure on SNSs, and SNS addiction symptoms). Path analyses indicated that relatedness frustration was directly associated with participants’ immediate response to SNS signals and SNS addiction symptoms. SNS self-control failure functioned as a mediator in the links between relatedness frustration and SNS addiction symptoms. This study provided empirical evidence of the relationship between relatedness frustration and SNS compensatory behaviors. Furthermore, the finding on the intervening role of SNS self-control failure offers some insights for designing intervention programs aimed to reduce maladaptive and addictive SNS activities.
... Self-affirmation consists of reminding oneself values and positive characteristics (Steele, 1999). In the context of social exclusion, self-affirmation strategies have been used in the adult population with promising results (Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012;Hales et al., 2016). For children and adolescents, to our knowledge, only one study has indirectly implemented a strategy connected to self-affirmation against exclusion (Baldwin, Baccus, & Milyavskaya, 2010). ...
... The findings also contribute to a growing body of evidence that the association between self-affirmation and outcomes can depend on the nature of what people affirm (e.g., Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012;Chen & Boucher, 2008;Schimel, Arndt, Banko, & Cook, 2004). Specifically, individual differences in the tendency to report affirming strengths when threatened was associated with less negative affect when self-weighing, whereas individual differences in tendency to focus on values or social relations was not. ...
Article
We investigate whether the tendency to self-affirm in response to threat is associated with how people feel when they weigh themselves. People who were preoccupied with their weight anticipated feeling less negative (Studies 1a and 1b) and felt less negative (Study 2) when self-weighing if they typically affirmed their strengths. Study 3 experimentally manipulated self-affirmation. Although this intervention prompted affirmation of strengths it did not influence how participants felt when they subsequently weighed themselves. Together, the findings suggest that the tendency to spontaneously affirm strengths, but not values or social relations, is associated with the psychological outcomes of self-weighing and thus provide the basis for understanding how such individual differences might moderate how people respond in other self-evaluative contexts.
... From this perspective, a threatening event seems more surmountable. People can persist in the face of challenge and resist temptations to which they would otherwise cave because they have a greater confidence in their ability to cope (Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012;Logel & Cohen, 2012;Schmeichel & Vohs, 2009). ...
Chapter
A theory-based intervention known as “self-affirmation” provides people with the opportunity to affirm a sense of self-integrity, a global image of moral and adaptive adequacy, at moments of psychological threat. By assuaging threat, affirmations can allay stress and defensive responding. The positive impact of self-affirmations has been shown in many domains including health, intergroup conflict, prejudice, and education. In these domains, persistent threats to self-integrity can impede adaptive outcomes. Affirmations, by broadening the perceived bases of self-integrity, render these threats less dire. The focus of the present chapter is on affirmations in educational institutions, although it will touch on affirmation research conducted in other contexts. On the whole, affirmation interventions have been shown to be powerful yet conditional in their effects. They have large and lasting benefits under theoretically specified conditions: when people are under persistent psychological threat that impedes adaptive outcomes, when the affirmation is well-timed to this threat and activates the self-affirmation process, and where other resources for positive change are available and thus likely to be activated once psychological threat has been assuaged. The mechanisms behind both short-term and long-term effects of self-affirmation interventions are discussed. To illuminate the theoretical and practical considerations in applying self-affirmation interventions, a case study is presented. Researchers working in a German school system with a large immigrant population sought to apply self-affirmation. Because the intervention was developed in North America, the successful application depended on being attentive to the underlying mechanisms and theoretical moderators. In a final section, lingering theoretical and applied questions are discussed.
... Self-transcendence can also be incorporated into self-affirmation to boost its effect. For example, affirming self-transcendent values (e.g., "contributing to something larger than oneself ") is more effective in buffering the negative consequences of social exclusion than affirming self-enhancing values (e.g., "appearing intelligent/ competent") (Burson et al., 2012). Consistent with this finding, neural response to prosocial relative to selfish rewards is more predictive of longitudinal mental health outcomes (Telzer et al., 2014). ...
Article
Although research has identified dozens of behavioral and psychosocial strategies for boosting resilience in adults, little is known about the common underlying pathways. A comprehensive review of these strategies using an affective neuroscience approach indicates three distinct general routes to resilience (Fig. 1A): 1) down-regulating the negative (e.g., exposure, cognitive reappraisal) by reducing distress-related responses of the amygdala, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and autonomic nervous system; 2) up-regulating the positive (e.g., optimism, social connectedness) by activating mesostriatal reward pathways, which in turn can buffer the effects of stress; and 3) transcending the self (e.g., mindfulness, religious engagement) by reducing activation in the default mode network, a network associated with self-reflection, mind-wandering, and rumination. Some strategies (e.g., social support) can boost resilience via more than one pathway. Under- or over-stimulation of a pathway can result in vulnerability, such as over-stimulation of the reward pathway through substance abuse. This tripartite model of resilience-building is testable, accounts for a large body of data on adult resilience, and makes new predictions with implications for practice.
... In essence, self-compassion is an emotionally positive self-attitude that has a close connection with self-esteem (Neff, 2003a(Neff, , 2011and helps the individuals to respond adaptively to the negative experiences and threats and overlaps with self-esteem. Self-esteem is assumed to be close to self-affirmation as the later involves balanced and open-minded appraisal (Burson et al., 2012). The above discussion makes it clear that self-esteem and self-compassion carry significance to explicate the nature and dynamics of self-forgiveness of the individuals. ...
... Research has demonstrated that self-affirmation or a similar intervention of asserting one's self-integrity can aid people in coping with personal stressful situations, such as academic stress (Sherman et al., 2009). In interpersonal contexts, there is also some recent evidence showing that self-affirmation can promote positive outcomes following aversive interpersonal experiences, such as improving self-control (Burson et al., 2012), promoting basic needs satisfaction (Hales et al., 2016), and improving relational security (Stinson et al., 2011). The current finding that self-affirmation reduces postostracism conspiracy beliefs dovetails nicely with these prior findings. ...
Article
Four studies (total valid N = 643) examined whether ostracism increases people’s political conspiracy beliefs through heightened vulnerability and whether self-affirmation intervention counteracts the effect of ostracism on conspiracy beliefs. Compared with their nonostracized counterparts, ostracized participants were more likely to endorse conspiracy beliefs related to different political issues (Studies 1–3). Moreover, heightened vulnerability mediated the link between ostracism and conspiracy beliefs (Studies 1–3). Offering ostracized participants an opportunity to reaffirm values important to them could reduce their political conspiracy beliefs (Study 4). Taken together, our findings highlight the crucial role of vulnerability in understanding when and why ostracism increases conspiracy beliefs and how to ameliorate this relationship. Our findings also provide novel insights into how daily interpersonal interactions influence people’s political beliefs and involvement.
... Self-affirmation consists of reminding oneself values and positive characteristics (Steele, 1999). In the context of social exclusion, self-affirmation strategies have been used in the adult population with promising results (Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012;Hales et al., 2016). For children and adolescents, to our knowledge, only one study has indirectly implemented a strategy connected to self-affirmation against exclusion (Baldwin, Baccus, & Milyavskaya, 2010). ...
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Over 20 years of research has shown that social exclusion is a pervasive and powerful form of social threat. Social exclusion causes a wide variety of negative outcomes including negative emotions and threats to fundamental human needs (i.e., self‐esteem). Most importantly, experiencing exclusion during childhood or adolescence can provoke long‐term negative effects such as depression and anxiety disorders. Despite the growing interest in this domain, only recent studies have started to examine possible coping strategies to contrast the negative effects of exclusion. In this article, we first review the empirical findings concerning the consequences of social exclusion in children and adolescent populations. Second, we focus on cognitive and socio‐emotional strategies that children and adolescents can use to deal with exclusion when it has occurred. Implications and future directions are discussed.
... If natural inclinations are to serve the self before others, these findings indirectly suggest that humility and self-control are related. Consistently, there is evidence that pro-social orientation down-regulates egoistic needs (Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012;Crocker, Niiya, & Mischkowski, 2008). Third, some researchers have posited that humility is a hypo-egoic state where egoistic concerns are minimal (Kesebir, 2014;Rowatt et al., 2006). ...
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Article
Past research indicates that humility predicts enhanced self-control. In the present research, two event-sampling studies and a longitudinal study were conducted to test the hypothesis that humility facilitates the capacity in resisting substance consumption. Undergraduates rated their alcohol and tobacco dependence every three days across either four sessions (Study 1) or six sessions (Study 2). Humility was reported across four time-points in Study 1, and measured at the first session in Study 2. In Study 3, data from inmates in a prison facility for drug offenders were collected across three time-points over 8 months, including data for humility and emotion regulation strategies at the first and second time-points. Information on whether they experienced a relapse was coded at the third time-point, which was six months after they were released. Across three studies, humility predicted greater resistance against substance use. In Study 3, we found that cognitive reappraisal mediated this relationship.
... Accordingly, recent studies showed some promising results. Self-affirmation seems to improve need-satisfaction (Hales, Wesselmann, & Williams, 2016) and the executive control of excluded participants (Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012). Moreover, even though exclusion threatens social relationships when given a chance to affirm a social or an intellectual area of life, excluded people still prefer to talk about the importance of social values (Knowles, Lucas, Molden, Gardner, & Dean, 2010). ...
Chapter
Social exclusion has been defined as the experience of being kept apart from others physically (e.g., social isolation) or emotionally (e.g., being ignored or told one is not wanted; Riva & Eck, 2016). Social exclusion has many facets. It can be used by individuals or groups to punish a rule violation, or with malicious intentions to hurt the victim (see Rudert & Greifeneder, 2019). These various forms of social exclusion have in common their ability to hurt a given target. Williams (2009) compares ostracism to a flame that instantaneously hurts the skin, no matter what the circumstances are. The pain of social exclusion has been likened to the experience of physical pain (Eisenberger, & Lieberman, 2004). Exclusion triggers negative emotions, threatens basic psychological needs such as self-esteem and belonging, and can itself foster aggression (see Williams, Hales & Michels, 2019). Most relevant, however, is how people respond to the negative outcomes caused by social exclusion. Individuals can either choose to cope with it in functional ways, thus ultimately increasing their chances for social inclusion, or in dysfunctional ways: promoting a vicious cycle of exclusion, maladaptive responses, further instances of exclusion, and social isolation. Accordingly, in recent years, researchers have started to devote attention to the psychological and behavioral strategies that might help individuals to cope with this unpleasant situation (Eck & Riva, 2016; Riva, 2016). The purpose of this chapter is twofold. On one side, we will review and systematize research on psychological strategies that have demonstrated some efficacy against social exclusion. This will help us to depict a general state of the art and to point out gaps in the literature. On the other side, we will suggest the use of other strategies, which have been tested in other domains of psychological wellbeing and critically discuss their effectiveness against exclusion.
... This is because prosociality implies the pursuit of positive interpersonal connections with others, and social defenses to death thoughts driven by our predisposition to affiliate and connect with others are more compelling and effective than personal defenses when mortality is salient ( Jonas et al., 2014). While people can affirm their threatened self-worth by either self-enhancement (e.g., achievement) or self-transcendent (e.g., prosociality) values, upholding self-transcendent cultural values is more effective in soothing self-threats (Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012). From the perspective of Terror Management Theory, religious and supernatural beliefs both serve an existential function to manage death anxiety (Vail et al., 2010;Jonas & Fischer, 2006;Norenzayan & Hansen, 2006). ...
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Based on Terror Management Theory (TMT), we suggest that spirituality and prosocial attitudes toward money have a similar defensive function in resisting existential anxiety. In mortality salient (MS) situations, both spirituality and prosocial money attitudes afford symbolic immortality by self-transcendent connections. In four studies, we found that activating death awareness weakened people’s subjective love of money (Study 1) and predicted increased spending willingness on prosocial rather than proself goals (Studies 2, 3, and 4). More importantly, MS effects on money attitudes were smaller when people’s trait spirituality was high (vs. low; Studies 1, 2, 3) and when people were primed to experience spirituality (vs. happiness control condition; Study 4). For low spirituality people, the association between MS and prosocial spending also depended on the capacity of money spending to contribute positively to one’s feelings of self-worth (Study 3). Theoretical implications and future directions are discussed.
... In previous work, reflecting on core values during an affirmation task recruited regions involved in processing reward and positive value (18), including the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) and ventral striatum (VS) (19), likely corresponding to the positive experience of processing information of personal value. Importantly, reflecting on self-transcendent values beyond self-enhancing interests tends to produce the most powerful affirmation effects on behavior change (20,21). This suggests that self-transcendence may be one effective means of decreasing subsequent self-focused defensiveness that prevents receptivity to messaging. ...
Article
Self-transcendence refers to a shift in mindset from focusing on self-interests to the well-being of others. We offer an integrative neural model of self-transcendence in the context of persuasive messaging by examining the mechanisms of self-transcendence in promoting receptivity to health messages and behavior change. Specifically, we posited that focusing on values and activities that transcend the self can allow people to see that their self-worth is not tied to a specific behavior in question, and in turn become more receptive to subsequent, otherwise threatening health information. To test whether inducing self-transcendent mindsets before message delivery would help overcome defensiveness and increase receptivity, we used two priming tasks, affirmation and compassion, to elicit a transcendent mindset among 220 sedentary adults. As preregistered, those who completed a self-transcendence task before health message exposure, compared with controls, showed greater increases in objectively logged levels of physical activity throughout the following month. In the brain, self-transcendence tasks up-regulated activity in a region of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, chosen for its role in positive valuation and reward processing. During subsequent health message exposure, self-transcendence priming was associated with increased activity in subregions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, implicated in self-related processing and positive valuation, which predicted later decreases in sedentary behavior. The present findings suggest that having a positive self-transcendent mindset can increase behavior change, in part by increasing neural receptivity to health messaging.
... Affirming the self is related to self-regulation and may combat depletion (Loseman & van den Bos, 2012;Schmeichel & Vohs, 2009). Other work suggests self-affirmation leads to a broader perspective of the self (e.g., Burson, Crocker, & Mischkowski, 2012;Critcher & Dunning, 2015;D. K. Sherman, 2013;Wakslak & Trope, 2009). ...
Article
Individuals contend with a variety of threats in daily life and may attempt to deal with them using various cognitive strategies. Two constructs borne from different literatures, purpose in life and self‐affirmation, serve to promote well‐being and to protect individuals from such threats. While self‐affirmation has often been examined as a manipulation, purpose has, until recently, been considered a dispositional resource. However, both self‐affirmation and purpose seem to confer similar advantages in response to threat. This paper reviews the evidence for the protective benefits of both purpose in life and self‐affirmation, describes the mechanisms by which each confers these advantages, and considers the boundary conditions of each. Key similarities and differences are discussed, and we argue that there are broad gaps in the literature regarding where and when these constructs might operate differentially, or why these differences exist. We conclude with a call to researchers to explore empirically how and when these important interventions might be differentially beneficial to those who cultivate them.
... After a group of socially anxious individuals went through a values affirmation exercise, they showed improvement in social behavior and gradual maintenance of social behaviors over time (Stinson, Logel, Shepherd, & Zanna, 2011). Furthermore, after a social exclusion procedure, individuals who had affirmed their values exhibited more selfcontrol (Burson, Crocker, & Michowski, 2012). While the self-affirmation literature offers one perspective on the importance of contacting values, there are other approaches that describe the behavioral processes involved in valuing. ...
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Thesis
Contacting one’s values and engaging in behavior consistent with those values, referred to as valuing, is associated with improved physical and mental health (Nygren et al., 2005), increases in quality of life (Plumb & Hayes, 2008), and increases in overall well-being (Reker et al., 1987), among many other positive outcomes. But those areas of life that are valued tend to elicit unwanted, negatively evaluated experiences, often resulting in experiential avoidance (Michelson et al., 2001). Experiential avoidance has been associated with the etiology and maintenance of many psychological struggles, particularly anxiety-related struggles (Kashdan et al., 2006; Eifert & Forsyth, 2007; Hayes et al., 1999; Hayes et al., 1996). Given that anxiety is a negatively-evaluated experience that is often avoided, exploring the relationships between anxiety, experiential avoidance, and valuing appeared needed. The current study examines the relationships between anxiety, experiential avoidance, and valuing with college students using both retrospective assessments through initial questionnaires and immediate assessments through the use of ecological momentary assessment. As predicted, results indicated a significant positive relationship between anxiety and experiential avoidance. Results also indicated a negative relationship between experiential avoidance and valuing. Further, anxiety disrupted progress toward values the most when experiential avoidance was high while anxiety and experiential avoidance both independently facilitated more perceived obstacles toward values. Implications for future studies using of multiple methods of assessment, including ecological momentary assessment, along with a multidimensional conceptualization of valuing, are discussed.
... Interestingly, participants descriptions' of the values most associated with positive self-affirmation effects are those that emphasize social connections and being part of purposes or projects that go ''beyond'' the self Shnabel et al. 2013). believe that such affirmations allow individuals to maintain a sense of adequacy in threatening circumstances, which then can buffer them against threat and reduce defensive responses to it (Burson et al. 2012;Correll et al. 2004;Creswell et al. 2005;Critcher and Dunning 2015;Sherman et al. 2009;Schimel et al. 2004). Wayment et al. (2015) recently examined the ability of a brief quiet ego intervention to reduce stress in first-year college students, a transition known to increase uncertainty and stress in college students (ACHA 2014;Regehr et al. 2013;Wayment and Taylor 1995). ...
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Article
The quiet ego is a way of construing the self that transcends egotism, not by neglecting the self but rather by facilitating a balance of concerns for the self and others as well as by facilitating the growth of the self and others. This study examines whether the Quiet Ego Scale (QES—Wayment et al. in J Happiness Stud 16:999–1033, 2015) correlates significantly with measures that specifically reflect balance and growth in terms of value orientations and motivation, and whether these values and motives can help explain the relation between QES and well-being. We randomly split our sample of 1117 college students into five groups (Ns ranged from 213 to 231) and examined the correlations between QES and measures of values and motives (Ego and Ecosystem Goals—Crocker and Canevello in J Personal Soc Psychol 98:1009–1024, 2008; Growth Motivation Index (GMI)—Bauer et al. in J Happiness Stud 16:185–210, 2015; Universal Values—Schwartz et al. in J Personal Soc Psychol 103:663–668, 2012). As predicted, QES was strongly related to compassionate goal motives, experiential and reflection GMI subscales, and weakly and negatively related to self-image goals. QES was most strongly and consistently correlated with values of universalism, benevolence, and self-direction that reflecting a balance of self- and other-concern. QES was positively (but somewhat inconsistently) correlated with stimulation, achievement, power, security, and tradition, and with hedonism, albeit weakly. QES was unrelated to conformity. A regression analysis found growth and balance motives significantly accounted for much of the shared variance between QES and well-being. Our results underscore the centrality of growth and balance values to the quiet ego construct.
... As such, they provide an avenue for meaning and value formation to extend beyond the self-regarding, utility-maximising values assumed by neoclassical economic valuation. As an expression of values, stories can provide affirmation of what is important, thus linking to a sense of identity (Shnabel et al., 2013) and self-control (Burson et al., 2012). Narratives play a prominent role in the symbolic representation and construction of places, reflecting cultural and place identities Cooper et al., 2016 in this issue, Edwards et al., 2016 in this issue; Coates et al., 2014;Fish et al. 2016 in this issue) that are often latent or implicit 2016b in this issue ;Niemeyer, 2004), and thus require explicit elicitation if they are to be fully reflected in ES valuations. ...
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Article
Monetary valuation quantifies exchange values, but broader approaches are needed to understand the meaning of those monetary values and the shared, plural and cultural values that underpin them. In this study, we integrated deliberative monetary valuation, storytelling, subjective well-being and psychometric approaches to comprehensively elicit cultural ecosystem service values for proposed UK marine protected areas. We elicit and compare five valuation stages: individual values from an online survey; individual and group values following deliberation on information in workshops; and individual and group values following storytelling and a ‘transcendental values compass’ deliberation. Deliberated group values significantly differed from non-deliberated individual values, with reduced willingness to pay and increased convergence with subjective wellbeing; deliberated individual values fell between the two. Storytelling played an important role in revealing values that were previously implicit. Participants were more confident about values elicited in the workshops than the online survey and felt that deliberated values should be used in decision-making. The results of this study (albeit with a limited sample size) suggest that shared values may be a better reflection of welfare implications than non-deliberated individual values, while at the same time more reflective of participants' transcendental values: their broader life goals and principles.
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Article
Research indicates that core dimensions of psychological well-being can be cultivated through intentional mental training. Despite growing research in this area and an increasing number of interventions designed to improve psychological well-being, the field lacks a unifying framework that clarifies the dimensions of human flourishing that can be cultivated. Here, we integrate evidence from well-being research, cognitive and affective neuroscience, and clinical psychology to highlight four core dimensions of well-being—awareness, connection, insight, and purpose. We discuss the importance of each dimension for psychological well-being, identify mechanisms that underlie their cultivation, and present evidence of their neural and psychological plasticity. This synthesis highlights key insights, as well as important gaps, in the scientific understanding of well-being and how it may be cultivated, thus highlighting future research directions.
Article
Some of life's most important and difficult decisions are made on behalf of others. However, little is known about how goal conflict influences high-stakes decisions made on behalf of others. A nationally representative sample of U.S. healthcare providers (n = 502) read a statement presenting curative and palliative care goals as conflicting or complementary. We predicted and found that providers who received a goal conflict (vs. complementary) message perceived greater conflict, and rated palliative goals as less important. Providers who received a goal conflict (vs. complementarity) message also rated curative goals as less important. Moreover, there was an indirect link from goal conflict condition to willingness to provide palliative care, mediated by perceived goal conflict. A self-affirmation manipulation reduced providers' willingness to provide palliative care, but did not influence the effect of goal conflict on decision-making. Findings suggest that goal conflict is consequential for high-stakes decisions made for others, and that goal conflict (vs. complementarity) lowers importance of, and increases disengagement from, conflicting goals.
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Article
This study investigated the impact of hope and self-affirmation on the psychological well-being of out of school adolescent in Ondo State, Nigeria. In the study, the researcher made use of questionnaires which were administered to two hundred respondents. The data collected from the respondents were analysed using descriptive statistical measures such as mean, standard deviation and regression analysis method. However, from the result and analysis of data collected in this research, it could be deduced that the impact of hope and self-affirmation on the psychological well-being of out of school adolescent cannot be over emphasised. Such that hope and self-affirmation had significant relationships with psychological well-being of out of school adolescents and that the combined effect of hope, and self-affirmation on psychological well-being of out of school adolescents was significant and produced an F-ratio value significant at 0.05 level to be 37.57. Adolescence can be a particularly turbulent watershed, as a matter of fact; it can be a climacteric period in one's life. It has been identified as a period in which young people develop abstract thinking abilities, become more aware of their sexuality, develop a clearer sense of psychological identity, and increase their independence from parents (Viner and Christie 2005). As far back as the beginning of the twentieth century, Stanley (1904) described this period as one of "Storm and Stress" and, according to him, conflict at this developmental stage is normal and not unusual. This shows that the problematic period of the adolescence is not a modern attribution. It has been in existence from time immemorial.
Preprint
The present study examined the impacts of positive and negative self-compassion on self-esteem of the participants. The study employed a convenience sampling and chose 147 male (M = 22.07, SD = 1.64) and 135 female (M = 21.79, SD = 1.71) participants were recruited whose Self-esteem (Rosenberg, 1965) and self-compassion (Neff, 2003) were measured. There were no gender differences in the mean scores of various measures except positive self-compassion that was in favour the females. The findings indicated that self-esteem and positive, negative and overall self-compassion was positively correlated. The hierarchical regression analysis showed that positive, negative and overall self-compassion accounted for significant variance in the scores of the self-esteem. The findings of the present study have been discussed in the light of empirical findings of self-compassion and self-esteem. The implications and the directions for future researchers have also been presented.
Book
This edited volume provides an up-to-date review of current research on ostracism, social exclusion, and rejection. The book shows why exclusion and rejection occur, how they affect the excluded individuals, and the consequences they might have for individuals and organizations. Ostracism, social exclusion, and rejection are common phenomena, both at the individual level, such as ostracism in the classroom or at the workplace, as well as on a societal or even global scale, such as immigration or asylum policies. Examining key concepts such as the long-term effects of ostracism, the developmental and cultural perspective on ostracism, and the detrimental impact that social exclusion may have on individuals and societies, the authors provide an up-to-date overview of the research field and present new conceptual models and methodological approaches. Featuring discussion of promising areas, novel pathways for research, and cutting-edge developments, this is the most comprehensive bringing-together of research on this topic. The book gives both a broad state-of-the-art overview of the field as well as discussing cutting-edge ideas and promising areas for future research; it is essential for students, researchers of social psychology, and policy makers interested in this field. © 2019 selection and editorial matter, Selma C. Rudert, Rainer Greifeneder, and Kipling D. Williams. All rights reserved. I do not have a pdf copy of the entire book. However, you can easily request an inspection copy (e-book version) here: https://www.routledge.com/Current-Directions-in-Ostracism-Social-Exclusion-and-Rejection-Research/Rudert-Greifeneder-Williams/p/book/9780815368144
Article
Objective Self‐affirmation of personal values can reduce defensive responses to threatening health promotion messages, probably because it induces a positive and expansive view of the self. However, coping with threat is also an interpersonal process. We developed other‐affirmation inductions that focus on values held by others. Two studies examined the effects of common affirmation inductions modified for other‐affirmation: affirmation of a specific value (kindness) and affirmation of a personally chosen value. Design Randomized and controlled three‐group (self‐, other‐, or no‐affirmation conditions) single‐factor design. Outcomes were time spent in self‐directed viewing the message and self‐reported outcomes that included intentions to reduce drinking, evaluations of the message, and risk perceptions. Methods Students were randomized to self‐, other, or no‐affirmation conditions and asked to read a threatening anti‐alcohol message. Results Self‐ and other‐affirmation increased message viewing time in Study 1. In both studies, other‐affirmation increased self‐reported outcomes, and study 1 showed this effect to be more prominent in females. In Study 1, the effects of self‐ and other‐affirmation on message exposure were greater in participants with defensive coping styles, and other‐affirmation effects were mediated by more positive views of others and their values. This mediation was independent of self‐affirmation. Conclusion Other‐affirmation increased self‐reported outcomes and, in Study 1, reduced defensiveness to and improved viewing times to an anti‐alcohol message. Other‐affirmation could be useful, because it may be suited to particular subpopulations, such as females, and can be easily incorporated into mass‐reach health communications. Statement of contribution What is already known on this subject? • Self‐affirmation of personally important values can reduce defensive responding to threatening health communications. • Self‐affirmation effects have been shown to be mediated by feelings of connectedness. What does this study add? • Affirmation of personally important values in others can improve effects of a health communication. • Other‐affirmation effects may be greater in those with defensive coping styles. • Other‐affirmation was mediated by enhanced perceptions of others and their values.
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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of community embeddedness, which is one of the subfactor of job embeddedness, on turnover intention and work engagement. Specifically, this study investigated the influence of community embeddedness on turnover intention and work engagement, and the mediating effect of family-work enrichment in these relationships. Self-reported survey data were obtained from 276 employees from various organizations in Korea. The results showed that community embeddedness and family-work enrichment were negatively related with turnover intention and positively related with work engagement. And community embeddedness was positively related with family-work enrichment. Finally, the relationship between community embeddedness and turnover intention, and the relationship between community embeddedness and work engagement were partially mediated by family-work enrichment. Implications, limitations of this study, and suggestions for the future research were discussed on the basis of the results.
Article
Research on self-affirmation has potential to inform the field’s understanding of health message resistance and acceptance. However, widely used self-affirmation instruments have several disadvantages that can lead to inconsistent success in generating self-affirmation and thus may explain inconsistent self-affirmation effects, or at the very least make their use cumbersome. In a series of three sequential studies, we introduced and tested a brief attribute scale format self-affirmation induction (brief scale affirmation task, or B-SAT) that was based on the 32-item attribute scale self-affirmation induction developed by Napper, Harris, and Epton. Using different behavioral contexts, we compared the performance of the B-SAT with that of two widely used self-affirmation inductions, i.e., the value essay task and the 32-item attribute scale. From a convergent validity perspective, the B-SAT performed as effectively as the two existing inductions in making people aware of their cherished and desirable values. From a predictive validity perspective, the B-SAT reduced defensive responses to a self-relevant health message and improved instrumental attitude toward the recommended behavior.
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Self-affirmation—a theory-based technique to affirm the adaptive adequacy of the self—can promote positive behavior change and adaptive outcomes, although effects are variable. We extend a novel framework (Trigger and Channel), proposing three conditions that facilitate self-affirmation-induced behavior change: (a) presence of psychological threat, (b) presence of resources to foster change, and (c) timeliness of the self-affirmation with respect to threat and resources. Using health behavior as a focus, we present meta-analytic evidence demonstrating that when these conditions are met, self-affirmation acts as a psychological trigger into a positive channel of resources that facilitate behavior change. The presence of a timely threat and the availability of timely resources independently predicted larger self-affirmation effects on behavior change, and the two interacted synergistically to predict still larger effects. The results illustrate the conditionality of self-affirmation effects and offer guidelines for when, where, and for whom self-affirmation will be most effective.
Article
Objective: When facing setbacks and obstacles, the dualistic model of passion outlines that obsessive passion, and not harmonious passion, will predict greater levels of defensiveness. Our aim was to determine whether these passion dimensions predicted defensiveness in the same way when confronted with threatening messages targeting the decision to pursue a passion. Method: Across four studies with passionate Facebook users, hockey fans, and runners (total N = 763), participants viewed messages giving reasons why their favorite activity should not be pursued. Participants either reported their desire to read the messages (Studies 1 and 2) or evaluated the messages after reading them (Studies 3 and 4). Results: Harmonious passion consistently predicted higher levels of avoidance or negative evaluations of the messages. These responses were attenuated for participants who had previously affirmed an important value (Study 1), or who were told that they do not control the passions they pursue (Study 4). Conclusions: Harmonious passion entails a sense of autonomy and control over activity engagement, which usually leads to nondefensive behavior. However, this sense of control may elicit more defensive responses from more harmoniously passionate individuals when the decision itself to pursue an activity is under attack.
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This chapter shows how the qualities of a quiet ego counter the egotism of the noisy ego. Far from a squashed, deflated, or silenced ego, the quiet ego comes from a place of non-defensive strength. The quiet ego is a self-identity nurtured through deliberate reflection and endorsement of four values that promote balance and growth: detached awareness, inclusive identification, perspective-taking, and growth-mindedness. A quieter ego is a compassionate and regulated ego—a self-identity that strengthens thoughts, feelings, and behavior congruent with eudaimonic well-being. In this chapter, we describe the concept of quiet ego, its measurement, and its application to finding meaning and well-being in everyday life.
Article
Objective: Prioritizing self-transcendent values such as family and friends, over non-transcendent values such as wealth and privilege, is associated with lower stress response. In this study, we tested whether having self-transcendent values can reduce specific responses in the brain in the context of potentially threatening health communications. Methods: Sedentary adults (n=67) who would likely feel threatened by health messages that highlight the risk of sedentary behavior were recruited. Participants indicated the degree to which they prioritize self-transcendent values over non-transcendent values. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants' neural response to health messages were assessed within neural regions implicated in threat responses, including bilateral amygdala and anterior insula (AI). Results: A tendency to prioritize self-transcendent over non-transcendent values was associated with lower reactivity during exposure to health messages within anatomically defined regions of left amygdala (t(55)=-2.66, p=.010, CI [-.08, -.01]), right amygdala (t(55)=-2.22, p=.031, CI [-.06, 0.0]), and left AI (t(55)=-2.17, p=.034, CI [-.04, 0.0]), as well as a mask functionally defined to be associated with 'threat' using an automated meta-analysis (t(55)=-2.04, p=.046, CI [-.05, 0.0]). No significant effect was obtained within the right AI (t(55)=-1.38, p=.17, CI [-.04, .01]). These effects were partially enhanced by reinforcing important values through self-affirmation, remained significant after accounting for self-reported social connection, and were specific to health message processing (vs. generic self-related information). Conclusions: Attenuated neural reactivity to potentially threatening health messages may be a novel way that prioritizing self-transcendent values could lead to positive health behaviors.
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Article
This paper presents a theory of potentially universal aspects in the content of human values. Ten types of values are distinguished by their motivational goals. The theory also postulates a structure of relations among the value types, based on the conflicts and compatibilities experienced when pursuing them. This structure permits one to relate systems of value priorities, as an integrated whole, to other variables. A new values instrument, based on the theory and suitable for cross-cultural research, is described. Evidence relevant for assessing the theory, from 97 samples in 44 countries, is summarized. Relations of this approach to Rokeach's work on values and to other theories and research on value dimensions are discussed. Application of the approach to social issues is exemplified in the domains of politics and intergroup relations.
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The objective of this systematic review of studies using self-affirmation manipulations was to identify research gaps and provide information to guide future research. We describe study characteristics, categories of manipulations, and report effects on various dependent variables. Our search strategies yielded 47 eligible articles (69 studies). Manipulations varied by affirmation domain (values or personal characteristics), attainment (participant- or investigator-identified), and procedure (scale, essay, feedback, etc.). Most dependent variables were cognitive. Strong effects of self-affirmation were found for attitudes and persuasion/bias, but future work is needed for variables with mixed results including risk cognitions, intentions, and behavior. Suggestions and considerations for future research involving self-affirmation manipulations are discussed.
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Article
This article presents a theory of potentially universal aspects in the content of human values. Ten types of values are distinguished by their motivational goals. The theory also postulates a structure of relations among the value types, based on the conflicts and compatibilities experienced when pursuing them. This structure permits one to relate systems of value priorities, as an integrated whole, to other variables. A new values instrument, based on the theory and suitable for cross-cultural research, is described. Evidence relevant for assessing the theory, from 97 samples in 44 countries, is summarized. Relations of this approach to Rokeach's work on values and to other theories and research on value dimensions are discussed. Application of the approach to social issues is exemplified in the domains of politics and intergroup relations.
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Article
Research has established that acts of self-control deplete a resource required for subsequent self-control tasks. The present investigation revealed that a psychological intervention-self-affirmation-facilitates self-control when the resource has been depleted. Experiments 1 and 2 found beneficial effects of self-affirmation on self-control in a depleted state. Experiments 3 and 4 suggested that self-affirmation improves self-control by promoting higher levels (vs. lower levels) of mental construal. Self-affirmation therefore holds promise as a mental strategy that reduces the likelihood of self-control failure.
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Article
Previous research has repeatedly shown that writing about an important value, compared with writing about an unimportant value, reduces defensiveness in response to self-threatening information, but has not identified why. Study 1 showed that participants who wrote about an important value reported more positive other-directed feelings, such as love and connection, than participants who wrote about an unimportant value. Study 2 replicated this effect, and showed that loving and connected feelings, but not positive or negative self-directed feelings, completely accounted for the effect of a values-affirmation manipulation on smokers' acceptance of information indicating that smoking harms health. These studies, in concert with previous research, suggest that values affirmation reduces defensiveness via self-transcendence, rather than self-integrity (i.e., self-worth or self-images).
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Article
In this article we suggest that events and contexts relevant to the initiation and regulation of intentional behavior can function either to support autonomy (i.e., to promote choice) or to control behavior (i.e., to pressure one toward specific outcomes). Research herein reviewed indicates that this distinction is relevant to specific external events and to general interpersonal contexts as well as to specific internal events and to general personality orientations. That is, the distinction is relevant whether one's analysis focuses on social psychological variables or on personality variables. The research review details those contextual and person factors that tend to promote autonomy and those that tend to control. Furthermore, it shows that autonomy support has generally been associated with more intrinsic motivation, greater interest, less pressure and tension, more creativity, more cognitive flexibility, better conceptual learning, a more positive emotional tone, higher self-esteem, more trust, greater persistence of behavior change, and better physical and psychological health than has control. Also, these results have converged across different assessment procedures, different research methods, and different subject populations. On the basis of these results, we present an organismic perspective in which we argue that the regulation of intentional behavior varies along a continuum from autonomous (i.e., self-determined) to controlled. The relation of this organismic perspective to historical developments in empirical psychology is discussed, with a particular emphasis on its implications for the study of social psychology and personality.
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Article
A hypothesized need to form and maintain strong, stable interpersonal relationships is evaluated in light of the empirical literature. The need is for frequent, nonaversive interactions within an ongoing relational bond. Consistent with the belongingness hypothesis, people form social attachments readily under most conditions and resist the dissolution of existing bonds. Belongingness appears to have multiple and strong effects on emotional patterns and on cognitive processes. Lack of attachments is linked to a variety of ill effects on health, adjustment, and well-being. Other evidence, such as that concerning satiation, substitution, and behavioral consequences, is likewise consistent with the hypothesized motivation. Several seeming counterexamples turned out not to disconfirm the hypothesis. Existing evidence supports the hypothesis that the need to belong is a powerful, fundamental, and extremely pervasive motivation.
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Article
Three studies examined the effects of randomly assigned messages of social exclusion. In all 3 studies, significant and large decrements in intelligent thought (including IQ and Graduate Record Examination test performance) were found among people told they were likely to end up alone in life. The decline in cognitive performance was found in complex cognitive tasks such as effortful logic and reasoning; simple information processing remained intact despite the social exclusion. The effects were specific to social exclusion, as participants who received predictions of future nonsocial misfortunes (accidents and injuries) performed well on the cognitive tests. The cognitive impairments appeared to involve reductions in both speed (effort) and accuracy. The effect was not mediated by mood.
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Article
The authors hypothesize that socially excluded individuals enter a defensive state of cognitive deconstruction that avoids meaningful thought, emotion, and self-awareness, and is characterized by lethargy and altered time flow. Social rejection led to an overestimation of time intervals, a focus on the present rather than the future, and a failure to delay gratification (Experiment 1). Rejected participants were more likely to agree that "Life is meaningless" (Experiment 2). Excluded participants wrote fewer words and displayed slower reaction times (Experiments 3 and 4). They chose fewer emotion words in an implicit emotion task (Experiment 5), replicating the lack of emotion on explicit measures (Experiments 1-3 and 6). Excluded participants also tried to escape from self-awareness by facing away from a mirror (Experiment 6).
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Article
Six experiments showed that being excluded or rejected caused decrements in self-regulation. In Experiment 1, participants who were led to anticipate a lonely future life were less able to make themselves consume a healthy but bad-tasting beverage. In Experiment 2, some participants were told that no one else in their group wanted to work with them, and these participants later ate more cookies than other participants. In Experiment 3, excluded participants quit sooner on a frustrating task. In Experiments 4-6, exclusion led to impairment of attention regulation as measured with a dichotic listening task. Experiments 5 and 6 further showed that decrements in self-regulation can be eliminated by offering a cash incentive or increasing self-awareness. Thus, rejected people are capable of self-regulation but are normally disinclined to make the effort.
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Article
Procedures for examining whether treatment effects on an outcome are mediated and/or moderated have been well developed and are routinely applied. The mediation question focuses on the intervening mechanism that produces the treatment effect. The moderation question focuses on factors that affect the magnitude of the treatment effect. It is important to note that these two processes may be combined in informative ways, such that moderation is mediated or mediation is moderated. Although some prior literature has discussed these possibilities, their exact definitions and analytic procedures have not been completely articulated. The purpose of this article is to define precisely both mediated moderation and moderated mediation and provide analytic strategies for assessing each.
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Article
The authors propose that self-control involves making decisions and behaving in a manner consistent with high-level versus low-level construals of a situation. Activation of high-level construals (which capture global, superordinate, primary features of an event) should lead to greater self-control than activation of low-level construals (which capture local, subordinate, secondary features). In 6 experiments using 3 different techniques, the authors manipulated construal levels and assessed their effects on self-control and underlying psychological processes. High-level construals led to decreased preferences for immediate over delayed outcomes, greater physical endurance, stronger intentions to exert self-control, and less positive evaluations of temptations that undermine self-control. These results support a construal-level analysis of self-control.
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Article
In 7 experiments, the authors manipulated social exclusion by telling people that they would end up alone later in life or that other participants had rejected them. Social exclusion caused a substantial reduction in prosocial behavior. Socially excluded people donated less money to a student fund, were unwilling to volunteer for further lab experiments, were less helpful after a mishap, and cooperated less in a mixed-motive game with another student. The results did not vary by cost to the self or by recipient of the help, and results remained significant when the experimenter was unaware of condition. The effect was mediated by feelings of empathy for another person but was not mediated by mood, state self-esteem, belongingness, trust, control, or self-awareness. The implication is that rejection temporarily interferes with emotional responses, thereby impairing the capacity for empathic understanding of others, and as a result, any inclination to help or cooperate with them is undermined.
Article
Three studies examined the effects of randomly assigned messages of social exclusion. In all 3 studies, significant and large decrements in intelligent thought (including IQ and Graduate Record Examination test performance) were found among people told they were likely to end up alone in life. The decline in cognitive performance was found in complex cognitive tasks such as effortful logic and reasoning: simple information processing remained intact despite the social exclusion. The effects were specific to social exclusion, as participants who received predictions of future nonsocial misfortunes (accidents and injuries) performed well on the cognitive tests. The cognitive impairments appeared to involve reductions in both speed (effort) and accuracy. The effect was not mediated by mood.
Article
Five studies tested hypotheses derived from the sociometer model of self-esteem according to which the self-esteem system monitors others' reactions and alerts the individual to the possibility of social exclusion. Study 1 showed that the effects of events on participants' state self-esteem paralleled their assumptions about whether such events would lead others to accept or reject them. In Study 2, participants' ratings of how included they felt in a real social situation correlated highly with their self-esteem feelings. In Studies 3 and 4, social exclusion caused decreases in self-esteem when respondents were excluded from a group for personal reasons, but not when exclusion was random, but this effect was not mediated by self-presentation. Study 5 showed that trait self-esteem correlated highly with the degree to which respondents generally felt included versus excluded by other people. Overall, results provided converging evidence for the sociometer model.
Book
Human emotions
Article
Self-affirmation processes are being activated by information that threatens the perceived adequacy or integrity of the self and as running their course until this perception is restored through explanation, rationalization, and/or action. The purpose of these constant explanations (and rationalizations) is to maintain a phenomenal experience of the self-self-conceptions and images as adaptively and morally adequate—that is, as competent, good, coherent, unitary, stable, capable of free choice, capable of controlling important outcomes, and so on. The research reported in this chapter focuses on the way people cope with the implications of threat to their self-regard rather than on the way they cope with the threat itself. This chapter analyzes the way coping processes restore self-regard rather than the way they address the provoking threat itself.
Article
Two studies demonstrate that self-image maintenance processes affect the acceptance of personally relevant health messages. Participants who completed a self-affirmation were less defensive and more accepting of health information. In Study 1, female participants (high vs. low relevance) read an article linking caffeine consumption to breast cancer. High-relevance women rejected the information more than did low-relevance women; however, affirmed high-relevance women accepted the information and intended to change their behavior accordingly. In Study 2, sexually active participants viewed an AIDS educational video; affirmed participants saw themselves at greater risk for HIV and purchased condoms more often than did nonaffirmed participants. Results suggest that health messages can threaten an individual’s self-image and that self-affirming techniques can increase the effectiveness of health information and lead to positive health behaviors.
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of self-affirmation theory. Self-affirmation theory asserts that the overall goal of the self-system is to protect an image of its self-integrity, of its moral and adaptive adequacy. When this image of self-integrity is threatened, people respond in such a way as to restore self-worth. The chapter illustrates how self-affirmation affects not only people's cognitive responses to threatening information and events, but also their physiological adaptations and actual behavior. It examines the ways in which self-affirmations reduce threats to the self at the collective level, such as when people confront threatening information about their groups. It reviews factors that qualify or limit the effectiveness of self-affirmations, including situations where affirmations backfire, and lead to greater defensiveness and discrimination. The chapter discusses the connection of self-affirmations theory to other motivational theories of self-defense and reviews relevant theoretical and empirical advances. It concludes with a discussion of the implications of self-affirmations theory for interpersonal relationships and coping.
Article
We hypothesized that increasing or decreasing levels of control in an ostracized individual could moderate aggressive responding to ostracism. Participants were either ostracized or included in a spontaneous game of toss, and then exposed to a series of blasts of aversive noise, the onsets over which they had either control or no control. Aggression was defined as the amount of hot sauce participants allocated to a stranger, knowing the stranger did not like hot foods, but would have to consume the entire sample. Ostracized participants without control allocated more than four times as much sauce as any other group; ostracized participants who experienced restored control were no more aggressive than either of the groups who were included. Aggressive responding to ostracism may depend on the degree to which control needs are threatened in the target, and is discussed in terms of Williams’s (2001) needs threat model of ostracism.
Book
There are few topics so fascinating both to the research investigator and the research subject as the self-image. It is distinctively characteristic of the human animal that he is able to stand outside himself and to describe, judge, and evaluate the person he is. He is at once the observer and the observed, the judge and the judged, the evaluator and the evaluated. Since the self is probably the most important thing in the world to him, the question of what he is like and how he feels about himself engrosses him deeply. This is especially true during the adolescent stage of development.
Book
Five studies tested hypotheses derived from the sociometer model of self-esteem according to which the self-esteem system monitors others' reactions and alerts the individual to the possibility of social exclusion. Study 1 showed that the effects of events on participants' state self-esteem paralleled their assumptions about whether such events would lead others to accept or reject them. In Study 2, participants' ratings of how included they felt in a real social situation correlated highly with their self-esteem feelings. In Studies 3 and 4, social exclusion caused decreases in self-esteem when respondents were excluded from a group for personal reasons, but not when exclusion was random, but this effect was not mediated by self-presentation. Study 5 showed that trait self-esteem correlated highly with the degree to which respondents generally felt included versus excluded by other people. Overall, results provided converging evidence for the sociometer model.
Article
Construal level theory proposes that temporal distance changes people's responses to future events by changing the way people mentally represent those events. The greater the temporal distance, the more likely are events to be represented in terms of a few abstract features that convey the perceived essence of the events (high-level construals) rather than in terms of more concrete and incidental details of the events (low-level construals). The informational and evaluative implications of high-level construals, compared with those of low-level construals, should therefore have more impact on responses to distant-future events than near-future events. This article explores the implications of construal level theory for temporal changes in evaluation, prediction, and choice. The authors suggest that construal level underlies a broad range of evaluative and behavioral consequences of psychological distance from events.
Article
An experiment examined the buffering effects of a learning orientation following failure in a domain of contingent self-worth. Participants' academic contingencies of self-worth (CSW) and priming with theories of intelligence interacted to affect vulnerability of self-esteem to failure. Participants who had high academic CSW and were primed with an entity theory of intelligence experienced lower self-esteem and higher negative affect following failure than following success on an academic test, but these effects were eliminated when participants with high academic CSW were primed with an incremental theory of intelligence. This study shows that endorsing a learning orientation is an effective way to minimize threat to self-esteem among students whose self-worth is highly contingent on academics and may allow them to persist in the face of challenges and to learn from failure.
Article
To the extent that cultural worldviews provide meaning in the face of existential concerns, specifically the inevitability of death, affirming a valued aspect of one's worldview should render reminders of death less threatening. The authors report two studies in support of this view. In Study 1, mortality salience led to derogation of a worldview violator unless participants had first affirmed an important value. In Study 2, self-affirmation before a reminder of death was associated with reduced accessibility of death-related thoughts a short while thereafter. The authors propose that actively affirming one's worldview alters reactions to reminders of mortality by reducing the accessibility of death-related thoughts, not by boosting self-esteem. These studies attest to the flexible nature of psychological self-defense and to the central role of cultural worldviews in managing death-related concerns.
Article
Prior findings of emotional numbness (rather than distress) among socially excluded persons led the authors to investigate whether exclusion causes a far-reaching insensitivity to both physical and emotional pain. Experiments 1-4 showed that receiving an ostensibly diagnostic forecast of a lonesome future life reduced sensitivity to physical pain, as indicated by both (higher) thresholds and tolerance. Exclusion also caused emotional insensitivity, as indicated by reductions in affective forecasting of joy or woe over a future football outcome (Experiment 3), as well as lesser empathizing with another person's suffering from either romantic breakup (Experiment 4) or a broken leg (Experiment 5). The insensitivities to pain and emotion were highly intercorrelated.