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Abstract

Verbs may be attributed to higher agency than other grammatical categories. In Study 1, we confirmed this hypothesis with archival datasets comprising verbs ( N = 950) and adjectives ( N = 2115). We then investigated whether verbs (vs. adjectives) increase message effectiveness. In three experiments presenting potential NGOs (Studies 2 and 3) or corporate campaigns (Study 4) in verb or adjective form, we demonstrate the hypothesized relationship. Across studies, (overall N = 721) grammatical agency consistently increased message effectiveness. Semantic agency varied across contexts by either increasing (Study 2), not affecting (Study 3), or decreasing (Study 4) the effectiveness of the message. Overall, experiments provide insights in to the meta-semantic effects of verbs – demonstrating how grammar may influence communication outcomes.

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Self-determination theory posits that the degree to which a prosocial act is volitional or autonomous predicts its effect on well-being and that psychological need satisfaction mediates this relation. Four studies tested the impact of autonomous and controlled motivation for helping others on well-being and explored effects on other outcomes of helping for both helpers and recipients. Study 1 used a diary method to assess daily relations between prosocial behaviors and helper well-being and tested mediating effects of basic psychological need satisfaction. Study 2 examined the effect of choice on motivation and consequences of autonomous versus controlled helping using an experimental design. Study 3 examined the consequences of autonomous versus controlled helping for both helpers and recipients in a dyadic task. Finally, Study 4 manipulated motivation to predict helper and recipient outcomes. Findings support the idea that autonomous motivation for helping yields benefits for both helper and recipient through greater need satisfaction. Limitations and implications are discussed.
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The present article examines the nature and function of human agency within the conceptual model of triadic reciprocal causation. In analyzing the operation of human agency in this interactional causal structure, social cognitive theory accords a central role to cognitive, vicarious, self-reflective, and self-regulatory processes. The issues addressed concern the psychological mechanisms through which personal agency is exercised, the hierarchical structure of self-regulatory systems, eschewal of the dichotomous construal of self as agent and self as object, and the properties of a nondualistic but nonreductional conception of human agency. The relation of agent causality to the fundamental issues of freedom and determinism is also analyzed.
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This research demonstrates that people's goals associated with regulatory focus moderate the effect of message framing on persuasion. The results of 6 experiments show that appeals presented in gain frames are more persuasive when the message is promotion focused, whereas loss-framed appeals are more persuasive when the message is prevention focused. These regulatory focus effects suggesting heightened vigilance against negative outcomes and heightened eagerness toward positive outcomes are replicated when perceived risk is manipulated. Enhanced processing fluency leading to more favorable evaluations in conditions of compatibility appears to underlie these effects. The findings underscore the regulatory fit principle that accounts for the persuasiveness of message framing effects and highlight how processing fluency may contribute to the "feeling right" experience when the strategy of goal pursuit matches one's goal.
The PROCESS macro for SPSS and SAS
  • A F Hayes
Hayes, A. F. (2013b). The PROCESS macro for SPSS and SAS. (version 2.13) [Software]. http://www.processmacro.org/download.html