Inferring the popularity of an opinion from its familiarity: A repetitive voice can sound like a chorus

ArticleinJournal of Personality and Social Psychology 92(5):821-33 · June 2007with 214 Reads 
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Abstract
Despite the importance of doing so, people do not always correctly estimate the distribution of opinions within their group. One important mechanism underlying such misjudgments is people's tendency to infer that a familiar opinion is a prevalent one, even when its familiarity derives solely from the repeated expression of 1 group member. Six experiments demonstrate this effect and show that it holds even when perceivers are consciously aware that the opinions come from 1 speaker. The results also indicate that the effect is due to opinion accessibility rather than a conscious inference about the meaning of opinion repetition in a group. Implications for social consensus estimation and social influence are discussed.

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  • ... Van Swol et al. (2003) interpret the obtained repetition bias in terms of a truth bias (Arkes et al., 1991;Boehm, 1994). A similar point is made by Weaver et al. (2007), who argue that the enhanced fluency of repeated arguments should produce a repetition bias, regardless of social validation. Schulz-Hardt et al. (2016) believe in a projective variant of social validation, assuming that repetition leads people to infer that other people share repeated opinions. ...
    ... Thus, Schulz-Hardt et al. (2016) assumed that discussion partners' repetitions will reinforce the subjective validity rather than triggering an attempt to correct for repetition bias. Similarly, Weaver et al.'s (2007) notion that fluency mediates the evaluation of repeated arguments is suggestive of naïve and uncritical influences of metacognitive cues. The notion of metacognitive myopia is fundamentally different. ...
    ... The failure to solve hidden profiles has been explained in terms of such group-dynamic factors as the reward and the social validation value of shared information (Wittenbaum et al., 1999;Greitemeyer and Schulz-Hardt, 2003), the memory advantage of shared over unshared arguments (Lightle et al., 2009), and decision schemes favoring arguments consistent with pre-existing individual preferences (Edwards and Smith, 1996;Schulz-Hardt et al., 2016). Prior research has also noted that shared and preference-consistent arguments are likely to be repeated and that repetition (Schulz-Hardt et al., 2006;Stasser et al., 2012) and resulting feelings of fluency (Weaver et al., 2007) can influence subsequent target judgments. ...
    Article
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    The failure to exploit collective wisdom is evident in the conspicuous difficulty to solve hidden-profile tasks. While previous accounts focus on group-dynamics and motivational biases, the present research applies a metacognitive perspective to an ordinary learning approach. Assuming that evaluative learning is sensitive to the frequency with which targets are paired with positive versus negative attributes, selective repetition of targets’ assets and deficits will inevitably bias the resulting evaluations. As selective repetition effects are ubiquitous, metacognitive monitoring and control functions are required to correct for repetition biases. However, three experiments show that metacognitive myopia prevents judges from correction, even when explicitly warned to ignore selective repetition (Experiment 1), when same-speaker repetitions rule out social validation (Experiment 2) and when blatant debriefing enforces superficial corrections (Experiment 3). For a comprehensive understanding of collective judgments and decisions, it is essential to take metacognitive monitoring and control into account.
  • ... Accordingly, the mere repetition of a belief can increase perceived social consensus even when all repetitions come from the same single source. For example, Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, and Miller (2007) had participants watch a video recording of a group discussion in which a given opinion was uttered once or thrice. Not surprisingly, participants assumed that more people share the opinion when they heard it three times from three different speakers (72%) than when they heard it only once (57%). ...
    ... However, hearing the opinion three times from the same single speaker was almost as influential, resulting in a consensus estimate of 67% --apparently, the single repetitive voice sounded like a chorus. Even reading an identical email three times rather than only once can increase later estimates of how many people would agree with its content (Weaver et al., 2007; for a conceptual replication, see Foster et al., 2012). If these differences in perceived consensus result from differences in processing fluency, they should increase with the ease with which the previously seen or heard opinion statement can be processed. ...
    ... Mediation analyses confirmed this prediction. Participants who heard the message several times showed higher accessibility of message content in a lexical decision task and this measure of accessibility predicted their consensus estimate (Weaver et al., 2007). ...
    Chapter
    Full-text available
    To evaluate whether a claim is likely to be true, people attend to whether it is compatible with other things they know, internally consistent and plausible, supported by evidence, accepted by others, and offered by a credible source. Each criterion can be evaluated by drawing on relevant details (an effortful analytic strategy) or by attending to the ease with which the claim can be processed (a less effortful intuitive strategy). Easy processing favors acceptance under all criteria – when thoughts flow smoothly, people nod along. Ease of processing is also central to aesthetic appeal and easily processed materials are evaluated as prettier. This sheds new light on why beauty and truth are often seen as related, by poets and scientists alike. Because people are more sensitive to their feelings than to where their feelings come from, numerous incidental variables can influence perceived beauty and truth by influencing the perceiver’s processing experience.
  • ... Nevertheless, it did matter how many health professionals provided nutritional information: survivors who received information from three health professionals had more often strong beliefs than those who received information from one health professional. (7) Weaver et al. [25] described that experiments in psychology showed that an opinion is likely to be more widely shared the more different group members express it. Participants had stronger beliefs when the same opinion was expressed once by each of three different group members than when it was expressed once by one group member [25]. ...
    ... (7) Weaver et al. [25] described that experiments in psychology showed that an opinion is likely to be more widely shared the more different group members express it. Participants had stronger beliefs when the same opinion was expressed once by each of three different group members than when it was expressed once by one group member [25]. In a previous study of our research group, we found that the preferred way of receiving information in a group of cancer survivors was from multiple health professionals: (oncology) nurses, dieticians and doctors, at four or more times [26]. ...
    ... The wish for repeated information provided by different health professionals as expressed in the previous study matches the association found in the current study. Since 59% of respondents received information from two or more health professionals in the present study, it is important to provide uniform information, to have a maximal effect of repetition, as is also supported by Weaver et al. [25]. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Purpose To investigate CRC survivors’ beliefs on nutrition and cancer and the association with nutritional information provision by (kind and number) of health professionals and to inquire about foods that CRC survivors believed either had a positive or negative influence on their cancer. Methods A total of 326 CRC survivors of an ongoing prospective cohort study filled out questionnaires 1 month after surgery on whether they had received nutritional information from health professionals. Also, their beliefs that nutrition influences (1) feelings of well-being, (2) complaints after treatment, (3) recovery and (4) cancer recurrence were investigated. Prevalence ratios were calculated (using Cox proportional hazard regression analysis) to study associations between information provision and the four beliefs adjusted for age, gender and cancer stage. Results Sixty-two percent of respondents received information about nutrition from one or more health professionals. Most respondents who received information strongly believe nutrition influences feelings of well-being (59%) and recovery after cancer (62%). Compared with those who did not receive information, respondents who received information from three professionals showed the strongest beliefs on the influence of nutrition on complaints after treatment (PR 3.4; 95% CI 1.6–7.4), recovery after treatment (PR 2.0; 95% CI 1.2–3.3) and recurrence (PR 2.8; 95% CI 1.3–6.2). Conclusion Nutritional information provision by health professionals positively influences the beliefs of CRC survivors on the influence of nutrition on cancer outcomes: stronger beliefs occur when respondents received information from three health professionals.
  • ... The silence as agreement possibility (e.g., Noelle-Neumann, 1974) is consistent with past work on stereotyping, generalization, and the "law of small numbers" (Kahneman & Tversky, 1972;Pettigrew, 1998;Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007), which shows that, in the absence of other information, people often extrapolate from the opinion or behavior of one or a small number of group members when making estimates about the group as a whole (e.g., Zuckerman, Mann, & Bernieri, 1982). In one demonstration, for instance, people who learned that a particular New Jersey homeowner strongly supported preserving "open space" in the state estimated that more New Jersey homeowners in general endorsed that position than did people who learned the same person had endorsed the same position less strongly (Weaver et al., 2007). ...
    ... The silence as agreement possibility (e.g., Noelle-Neumann, 1974) is consistent with past work on stereotyping, generalization, and the "law of small numbers" (Kahneman & Tversky, 1972;Pettigrew, 1998;Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007), which shows that, in the absence of other information, people often extrapolate from the opinion or behavior of one or a small number of group members when making estimates about the group as a whole (e.g., Zuckerman, Mann, & Bernieri, 1982). In one demonstration, for instance, people who learned that a particular New Jersey homeowner strongly supported preserving "open space" in the state estimated that more New Jersey homeowners in general endorsed that position than did people who learned the same person had endorsed the same position less strongly (Weaver et al., 2007). Thus, this work is consistent with the silence-asagreement perspective. ...
    ... The current research also contributes to research on social influence (e.g., Burnkrant & Cousineau, 1975). While social influence has been a widely studied and fruitful topic of inquiry in both consumer behavior and psychology, past work has focused almost exclusively on the effects of norms (Miller & Prentice, 1996; for important exceptions see O'Guinn & Shrum, 1997;Prentice & Miller, 1993;Shrum, 1995Shrum, , 1996Shrum, Wyer, & O'Guinn, 1998;Weaver et al. 2007). That is, it has generally focused either on how norms that are clear in a given context affect behavior (e.g., Asch, 1951;Goldstein, Cialdini, & Griskevicius, 2008;Venkatesan, 1966) or has relied on people's idiographic self-reports of norms and has correlated those self reports with behavior (e.g., Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975). ...
    Article
    While past work has explored some of the reasons why people themselves may remain silent in a group, almost no research has examined the mirror image of this question: How do consumers construe the silence of others? Do they project the opinions of the speakers onto the silent individuals, assuming that silence signals agreement? Do they have a usual or “default” naïve theory of silence that they use to explain it across multiple contexts—i.e., “silence usually signals disagreement?” Or does silence act as a mirror, reflecting observers’ own opinions back at them? Three experiments contrasted perceivers’ estimates of conversational silence with their estimates of unknown opinions outside the conversation. Estimates of opinions outside the conversation generally followed an agreement‐with‐the‐speakers rule—the more an opinion was expressed in the group, the more consumers assumed others would support it too. In contrast, silence inside the conversation was interpreted very differently, serving as a mirror for participants’ own thoughts, even when the vocal majority favored the opposite position. Results suggest a process whereby observers project the reason they personally would have been silent in the group (given their opinion) onto silence, leading to an inference that the silents agree with the self. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • ... In examining the direct effect of social influences on customer experience quality, previous research in sociology (Weaver et al. 2007) has suggested that individuals who receive more information about the firm or the product/service from related partners have a higher likelihood of being affected because of the greater joint influential power. Under a high level of social influence, customers will be more easily persuaded, given that the simple repetition increases subjects' belief in their validity. ...
    ... This suggests, therefore, that perceived equity can be affected by other persons through expectations. Furthermore, high social influence may be interpreted as a signal of popularity (Weaver et al. 2007), which may lead to an increase in customers' expectations of a positive ratio of input to outcome and, in turn, to a weaker association between value equity and the customer experience quality. On this basis, we offer Hypothesis 3a: ...
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    Financial service organizations are increasingly interested in ways to improve the service experience quality for customers, while customers progressively perceive the commoditization of banking services. This is no easy task, as factors outside the control of the service firm can influence customers’ perceptions of their experience. This study builds on the customer equity framework to understand the linkages between what the firm does (customer equity drivers: value equity, brand equity, and relationship equity), the social environment (social influence), the customer experience quality, and its ultimate impact on profitability. Using perceptual and transactional data for a sample of customers of financial services, we demonstrate the central role played by factors under the control of the firm (value, brand, and relationship equity) and those outside its control (social influence) in shaping customers’ perceptions of the quality of their experience. We offer new insights into the moderating role of social influence in the linkages between the customer equity drivers and the customer experience quality. The managerial takeaway is that the impact of customer equity drivers on the customer experience quality is contingent on the influence exerted by other people and that enhancing customer experience quality can be a way to increase monetary returns.
  • ... Exposure to a fake-news headline could increase how much people like it (cf. Zajonc, 1968), or how popular they believe it is (Kwan, Yap, & Chiu, 2015;Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007). We measured and controlled for these variables. ...
    ... We also considered the possibility that repeatedly encountering a particular headline would make people think it had been more widely shared, and was thus more acceptable to share (cf. Weaver et al., 2007). However, this possibility struggles to entirely account for our findings because repetition reduced moral condemnation even after controlling for judgments of popularity (i.e., how many people had seen the headline; Experiment 4). ...
    Article
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    People may repeatedly encounter the same misinformation when it “goes viral.” Four experiments and a pilot study (two pre-registered; N = 2,587) suggest that repeatedly encountering misinformation makes it seem less unethical to spread––regardless of whether one believes it. Seeing a fake-news headline one or four times reduced how unethical participants thought it was to publish and share that headline when they saw it again – even when it was clearly labelled false and participants disbelieved it, and even after statistically accounting for judgments of how likeable and popular it was. In turn, perceiving it as less unethical predicted stronger inclinations to express approval of it online. People were also more likely to actually share repeated (vs. new) headlines in an experimental setting. We speculate that repeating blatant misinformation may reduce the moral condemnation it receives by making it feel intuitively true, and we discuss other potential mechanisms.
  • ... We expected that solving anagrams would elicit feelings of insight that influence the perceived truth of the fact. These hypotheses are broadly consistent with findings that people interpret their own phenomenology (Schachter & Singer, 1962;Nisbett & Wilson, 1977, Whittlesea & Williams, 1998Schooler, 2001;Johansson et al., 2004;Carruthers, 2009;Schwarz, 2011), and rely on gut feelings and hunches to make truth attributions (Zajonc, 1968;Reber & Schwarz, 1999;Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007;Schwarz & Newman, 2017). ...
    Preprint
    Many decisions are driven by hunches or intuitions, rather than deliberate and conscious thought. Here we explore the possibility that humans also rely on ‘gut feelings’ in order to appraise their own ideas. This is one possible explanation for the finding that insight phenomenology predicts confidence and objective problem solving. In Experiment 1 we detect insight experiences in real-time using a dynamometer and show that—without any deliberate verification—the insight experience (and its intensity) predicts substantially more accurate solutions to problems that involve implicit processing. In Experiment 2 the results are generalised to multisensory identification, again showing that insight phenomenology predicts greater confidence and accuracy. It is possible that the feeling of insight or ‘Aha!’ is an adaptive intuition about the quality of an idea, akin to a heuristic. We discuss potential side effects of relying on feelings to evaluate ideas, such as false beliefs and dangerous ideologies.
  • ... Because of memory effects, the repetition of false information will only strengthen its mental association because the source is quickly forgotten but the content remains active and reinforced. People remain quite sensitive to their feelings but relatively ignorant or insensitive to their source, especially if it lies in subtle or background areas such as color, rhyme, or smell (Weaver et al. 2007). Rather than making people realize the earlier information was false, retraction often simply reinforces it through repetition of the misinformation while refuting it, producing blowback or sleeper effects. ...
    Article
    Although both the idea and the reality of so-called fake news or disinformation campaigns long precede the Trump administration, the frequency and intensity of the discussion around its prevalence and influence have increased significantly since Donald Trump took office. In an era when technological innovations support increasingly inexpensive and easy ways to produce media that looks official, the ability to separate real from artificial has become increasingly complicated and difficult. Some of the responsibility for public manipulation certainly rests with those who present false or artificial information as real. However, their relative success depends on, at least in part, universal psychological processes that often make humans susceptible to believing things that are not true. For example, people often weigh emotional feelings more heavily than abstract facts in their decision making. This discussion examines the psychological foundations that render individuals susceptible to a post-truth media environment and allow it to emerge, escalate, and persist.
  • ... We suggest that further accounting for emotions, and for efficiency in perceptual and cognitive processes, can address persistent outstanding questions in animal communication and beyond. In humans, for example, pleasure mediated by effective and efficient processing is also known to bias judgment of truth (review in [120]); e.g., reading an identical email three times rather than once increases estimates of how many people would agree with its content [121]. The consequences of a link between efficacy (and efficiency) and truth on the evolution of honesty, and more generally on the strategic component of communication signals, is an open field of study. ...
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    Communication signals often comprise an array of colors, lines, spots, notes or odors that are arranged in complex patterns, melodies or blends. Receiver perception is assumed to influence preference and thus the evolution of signal design, but evolutionary biologists still struggle to understand how perception, preference, and signal design are mechanistically linked. In parallel, the field of empirical aesthetics aims to understand why people like some designs more than others. The model of processing bias discussed here is rooted in empirical aesthetics, which posits that preferences are influenced by the emotional system as it monitors the dynamics of information processing, and that attractive signals have either effective designs that maximize information transmission, efficient designs that allow information processing at low metabolic cost, or both. We refer to the causal link between preference and the emotionally rewarding experience of effective and efficient information processing as the processing bias, and we apply it to the evolutionary model of sensory drive. A sensory drive model that incorporates processing bias hypothesizes a causal chain of relationships between the environment, perception, pleasure, preference, and ultimately the evolution of signal design, from simple to complex.
  • ... Ob eine Einstellung oder ein Verhalten als normal, also normentsprechend angesehen wird, hängt neben der schon beschriebenen Orientierung am Verhalten anderer und den jeweiligen Gruppennormen u. a. von folgenden Faktoren ab: der Häufigkeit, in der die Einstellung oder das Verhalten wahrgenommen wird, der Vertrautheit sowie der zeitlichen Reihenfolge der Wahrnehmung verschiedener Verhaltensweisen (z. B. Higgins 1996, Weaver et al. 2007 Einigkeit wird suggeriert und sowohl offline als auch online kursieren in "Echokammern" immer wieder die gleichen Informationen und Meinungen. ...
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    Vorurteile und Diskriminierung werden in Deutschland zunehmend salonfähig und damit scheinbar immer ‚normaler‘. In diesem Beitrag sollen – bezugnehmend auf die aktuelle Situation in Deutschland – aus sozialpsychologischer Sicht einige Faktoren beleuchtet werden, die zu gesellschaftlichen Normverschiebungen führen können. Die Funktion sozialer Normen und ihre enge Verzahnung mit Vorurteilen werden theoretisch und empirisch erörtert. Zudem werden Handlungsempfehlungen gegeben, wie diesen Normverschiebungen entgegengewirkt werden kann.
  • ... [58]) may hold greater promise as potential communication strategies. Likewise, repeated exposure to the '97%' message could be expected to have a greater impact on beliefs [62,63]. Messages about the scientific consensus also compete with counterclaims that there is not a scientific consensus-often driven by vested interests [64,65]. ...
    Article
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    Despite an overwhelming scientific consensus, a sizable minority of people doubt that human activity is causing climate change. Communicating the existence of a scientific consensus has been suggested as a way to correct individuals’ misperceptions about human-caused climate change and other scientific issues, though empirical support is mixed. We report an experiment in which psychology students were presented with consensus information about two issues, and subsequently reported their perception of the level of consensus and extent of their endorsement of those issues. We find that messages about scientific consensus on the reality of anthropogenic climate change and the safety of genetically modified food shift perceptions of scientific consensus. Using mediation models we also show that, for both these issues, high consensus messages also increase reported personal agreement with the scientific consensus, mediated by changes in perceptions of a scientific consensus. This confirms the role of perceived consensus in informing personal beliefs about climate change, though results indicate the impact of single, one-off messages may be limited.
  • ... This isolation would likely prevent the members from being exposed to negative opinions towards the group or ideas that may contradict the beliefs of the group. When individuals are repeatedly exposed to a certain idea, even when that idea only comes from one source, they are more likely to assume that the idea is credible and widely accepted (Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007). Cult leaders may attempt to bombard members with their beliefs, giving lectures or sermons or engaging in constant conversation. ...
    Thesis
    Full-text available
    While there is a plethora of research discussing the concepts of social psychology that are involved in cult membership, which explain that the people involved with cults are typical individuals and there are many basic factors that contribute to their involvement, public perception of cults and their members still seems to be deeply negative. It is possible that if these studies were more widely acknowledged, public perception of cult members would become less negative. Examining the psychology behind cult membership can shed light on the many factors that influence human behavior, which may make it easier for the public to understand how cults can be appealing. Fundamental concepts of social psychology, including affiliation motivation and the need to belong, persuasion and the factors that are responsible for making it more effective, cognitive dissonance, ingroup bias, and social identity theory, can be used to explain how people become involved in cults and why they choose to remain in the group.
  • ... Sauf problème (cf., prochain paragraphe), la validité subjective des propositions formées est supposée affirmée par défaut (Gawronski & Bodenhausen, 2006 ;Gilbert, 1991) et de manière automatique (Gawronski & Bodenhausen, 2011). Des sentiments métacognitifs de validité (Schwarz, 2015;Schwarz & Newman, 2017) comme la facilité de récupération de l'information en mémoire à long terme ( « ease of retrieval », Schwarz, Bless, Strack, Klumpp, & Rittenauer-Schatka, & Simon, 1991; « availability heuristic », , le sentiment de familiarité (ex., Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz & Miller, 2007), ou le sentiment de facilité de traitement provoqué par des expériences antérieures similaires (Reber & Schwarz, 1999;Weisbuch & Mackie, 2009) peuvent conforter cette conclusion. Notons enfin qu'il existe des différences individuelles quant à la confiance accordée aux produits émergeant des processus associatifs. ...
  • ... Weiterhin sollte dar€ uber nachgedacht werden, wie möglichst viele Teammitglieder in die (positive) Kommunikation einbezogen werden können. Häufige Sprecherwechsel verstärken die Wirkung von positiven Interaktionszyklen ( Lehmann-Willenbrock et al. 2016b) und verhindern gleichzeitig, dass sich die Meinung Einzelner nur aufgrund häufiger Wiederholungen durchsetzt (Weaver et al. 2007). ...
    Chapter
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    Interaktionsdynamiken sind die Basis für funktionierende Zusammenarbeit in Gruppen und können somit wesentliche Inhalte für ein Coaching liefern. Dieses Kapitel verdeutlicht den Einfluss von Interaktionsdynamiken auf die Leistungs- und Lernfähigkeit von organisationalen Gruppen. Wir diskutieren Methoden zur Interaktionsanalyse sowie die Entstehung positiver und negativer Kommunikationszyklen in der Gruppeninteraktion. Die Ergebnisse der Analyse von Interaktionsprozessen in Gruppen lassen sich sowohl für das Teamcoaching als auch für das Individualcoaching von Führungskräften nutzen.
  • ... We expected that solving anagrams would elicit feelings of insight that influence the perceived truth of the fact. These hypotheses are broadly consistent with findings that people interpret their own phenomenology (Schachter & Singer, 1962;Nisbett & Wilson, 1977, Whittlesea & Williams, 1998Schooler, 2001;Johansson et al., 2004;Carruthers, 2009;Schwarz, 2011), and rely on gut feelings and hunches to make truth attributions (Zajonc, 1968;Reber & Schwarz, 1999;Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007;Schwarz & Newman, 2017). ...
    Preprint
    Full-text available
    Some ideas that we have feel mundane, but others are imbued with a sense of profundity. Here we tested the possibility that humans rely on feelings of insight in order to appraise their own ideas, the source of which is often hidden from conscious view. We began by investigating the recent finding that insight experiences predict objective problem solving performance. In Experiment 1, we measured insight experiences in real-time using a dynamometer, and found that impulsive feelings of insight (and their intensity) are strong predictors of accurate solutions to problems that typically involve implicit processing. In Experiment 2, we found that this insight-accuracy effect is also robust in a sensory identification task reminiscent of everyday life. In a third experiment, we presented participants with general knowledge ‘facts’ while eliciting insight experiences at the same time using anagrams. Participants reported greater perceived truth for facts accompanied by solved anagrams and particularly those that elicited insight experiences, even if the facts were false. Taken together, the results suggest that insight phenomenology usually contains useful information about the veracity of a solution, and that humans use this feeling heuristically to appraise new ideas. However, so-called Aha! moments can be overgeneralized, and bias truth judgments regarding a temporally coincident but otherwise irrelevant fact. We conclude by discussing potential side effects of relying on phenomenology to evaluate ideas, including false beliefs and dangerous ideologies.
  • ... Schwarz (2010) notes that humans are much more sensitive to the phenomenology itself rather than the causes of the phenomenology, which is one reason why context and incidental information or situational factors can lead decisions astray. For example, mere exposure to a stimulus can make it feel more familiar, and even increase its perceived veracity (Zajonc, 1968;Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007;Schwarz & Newman, 2017). Slovic et al., (2007) suggest that affective cues are based on impressions developed through experience, where some object or event has been associated with positive or negative affect in the past. ...
    Preprint
    Full-text available
    Perhaps it is no accident that “Eureka” moments accompany some of humanity’s most important discoveries in science, medicine, and art. Ideas often appear unexpectedly in the human mind, so we must possess some capacity for appraising the idea in order to use it efficiently. Here we describe an account where the feeling of insight plays this adaptive role by signaling that a new idea appearing in consciousness can be trusted, given what one knows. Consistent with this perspective, recent experiments show that feelings of Aha tend to accompany correct solutions to problems. However, we have also shown that an artificially induced Aha moment can make false propositions seem true, demonstrating that Aha moments can exert influence regardless of ground truth. Drawing on these and other findings, we contend that humans use feelings of Aha heuristically in order to appraise new ideas that appear in awareness. In other words, from the manifold thoughts and ideas appearing in our stream of consciousness, the feeling of insight draws attention to the ‘best’ ones. Usually the heuristic works, but like all mental shortcuts, it is error prone. In this paper we encourage research on insight to move beyond questions about where insight comes from, and into questions about what insights do and how they affect decisions, belief, and the appraisal of ideas. It also brings to the forefront the dangers of false insight moments and their relevance for future research and the current age of information.
  • ... Watching gives people vivid, direct access to the performer's actions and hence provides insight about what, exactly, to do. Furthermore, watching a performance is dynamic: The more people watch, the more fluently these actions are processed (Song & Schwarz, 2008;Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007), the less surprising they seem (Campbell, O'Brien, Van Boven, Schwarz, & Ubel, 2014), the greater the number of actions that are noticed (Scully & Newell, 1985), and so on. All of this added information may lead viewers to believe they have "got it" ("I bet I could do that!"). ...
    Article
    Modern technologies such as YouTube afford unprecedented access to the skilled performances of other people. Six experiments (N = 2,225) reveal that repeatedly watching others can foster an illusion of skill acquisition. The more people merely watch others perform (without actually practicing themselves), the more they nonetheless believe they could perform the skill, too (Experiment 1). However, people’s actual abilities—from throwing darts and doing the moonwalk to playing an online game—do not improve after merely watching others, despite predictions to the contrary (Experiments 2–4). What do viewers see that makes them think they are learning? We found that extensive viewing allows people to track what steps to take (Experiment 5) but not how those steps feel when taking them. Accordingly, experiencing a “taste” of performing attenuates the illusion: Watching others juggle but then holding the pins oneself tempers perceived change in one’s own ability (Experiment 6). These findings highlight unforeseen problems for self-assessment when watching other people.
  • ... This gives small but vocal groups a great advantage -the more often they repeat their message, the more familiar it feels and the more people infer that many others agree, even if every repetition comes from the samesource. Likewise, a text can feel more familiar merely because it was repeated several times on a page, even when due to a printing error (Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz & Miller, 2007). ...
  • ... Not only is misinformation difficult to remove, debunking a myth can actually strengthen it in people's minds. Several different "backfire effects" have been observed, arising from making myths more familiar, 5,6 from providing too many arguments, 7 or from providing evidence that threatens one's worldview. 8 The last thing you want to do when debunking misinformation is blunder in and make matters worse. ...
  • ... This gives small but vocal groups a great advantage --the more often they repeat their message, the more familiar it feels and the more people infer that many others agree, even if each repetition comes from the same source. Likewise, a text can feel more familiar merely because it was repeated several times on a page, even when due to a clearly identifiable printing error (Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007). ...
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    Reviews research into intuitions of truth and discusses its implications for fake news, social media, and the correction of misinformation. -- The published version (open access) is here: http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2017/08/gut-truth.aspx
  • ... The most effective communication takes into consideration primacy, recency, repetition, clarity, and relevance of information. Furthermore, addressing opposing opinions, memorable imagery, and consistency of nonverbal information and verbal content all add to persuasive and effective communication [89][90][91][92]. ...
    Chapter
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    The topic of leadership has been addressed and applied for millennia. Yet, it is only within the past 80 years that leadership has been a topic of serious discussion. It is important to understand variables relevant to effective leadership. Gender is one such variable that must be examined with regard to optimizing leadership effectiveness. The topic of gender and leadership deserves serious and thoughtful consideration and discussion because of professional, political, cultural, and personal realities of the twenty‐first century. Women and men have been, are, and should be leaders. Gender must be considered to determine how each leader can reach maximum potential and effectiveness. The FourCe‐PITO conceptual framework of leadership is designed to help guide leadership development and education. The present chapter uses this conceptual framework of leadership to discuss how consideration of gender may affect and optimize leadership development and effectiveness. It is the goal of this chapter to lay out the issues that educators of leaders, potential leaders, and “practicing” leaders should be aware of, to achieve success for the good of the groups and individuals they have the responsibility to lead. Leadership has been a part of human experience since people formed groups to survive threats from the environment, dangerous animals, and other groups of people; work cooperatively to achieve goals beyond the abilities of individuals; and create families and various social groups to satisfy affiliative needs. Discussions of leaders and leadership appear as far back as Homer's Iliad and in religious texts, including the Old Testament, New Testament, Bhagavad Gita, and Koran. Essays and discussions of leaders and leadership have appeared during the past several centuries. But, the scholarly study of leadership dates back only about 80 years, when social psychologist Kurt Lewin and his students began studying group dynamics and differentiated among authoritarian, democratic, and laissez‐faire leadership styles [1]. Most discussions about leaders and leadership from antiquity through the 1970s focused on men, with minimal discussion of women as leaders or gender and leadership. Social, cultural, and political developments over the past 50 years have made clear that men and women can be effective—and ineffective—leaders and today, men and women are expected to be effective leaders.
  • ... These frames were accepted to the point that Trayvon Martin's dead body was tested for drugs. Although all these frames were challenged, the simple fact of challenging them implies acceptance, creating the idea that they are valid frames (Skurnik, Yoon, Park, & Schwarz, 2005;Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007), since, of course, they are within the general accepted frame of African-Americans as criminals (Hart, 2013;Willet & Willet, 2013). ...
    Article
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    In this paper, we analyze an emergent cultural clash between: (a) how media outlets and other control culture institutions have portrayed events related to Black Lives Matter, and (b) the complex reality of Black Lives Matter movements as they have developed through embodied, intersectional, and always socially situated forms of direct collective action. In focusing specifically on American mainstream media coverage of the killing of Trayvon Martin, we argue that, given the history of white supremacy in America, such journalistic accounts generally fail to provide an adequate socio-historical context for emergent social movements in the vein of Black Lives Matter. In framing such movements, at worst, as anti-American terrorist organizations, though more regularly as social constellations of misplaced anger, American control culture institutions have consistently reinforced a certain set of logical contradictions found across broader discussions about race throughout the history of America. Finally, drawing on the theory of play proposed by Gregory Bateson, we outline how a form of subverting mainstream journalistic framing techniques is enacted and embodied creativity through the communally oriented tactics successfully deployed by social movements like Black Lives Matter.
  • ... From a theoretical point of view, some have argued that repeating misinformation in this manner should be avoided because such corrections increase the misinformation's familiarity, which might have undesired consequences: The more familiar information is, the easier it is retrieved from memory, and the more likely it is accepted as true (Dechêne, Stahl, Hansen, & Wanke, 2010;Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, & Miller, 2007); thus, boosting misinformation familiarity might counteract and offset the intended effect of the correction, potentially even leading to ironic backfire effects (Lewandowsky et al., 2012;Peter & Koch, 2016;Skurnik, Yoon, Park, & Schwarz, 2005; also see . Moreover, if communication recipients have not encountered a particular false claim before, such corrections can familiarize them with misinformation they were not yet familiar with. ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Fact‐checking has become an important feature of the modern media landscape. However, it is unclear what the most effective format of fact‐checks is. Some have argued that simple retractions that repeat a false claim and tag it as false may backfire because they boost the claim's familiarity. More detailed refutations may provide a more promising approach, but may not be feasible under the severe space constraints associated with social‐media communication. In two experiments, we tested whether (1) simple ‘false‐tag’ retractions can indeed be ineffective or harmful; and (2) short‐format (140‐character) refutations are more effective than simple retractions. Regarding (1), simple retractions reduced belief in false claims, and we found no evidence for a familiarity‐driven backfire effect. Regarding (2), short‐format refutations were found to be more effective than simple retractions after a 1‐week delay but not a one‐day delay. At both delays, however, they were associated with reduced misinformation‐congruent reasoning.
  • ... Probability here is not established through any scientific process, because the future is inherently unpredictable in the long term and facts from the present and past are only helpful over short time frames in which the complexity of, and the uncertainty about, possible futures is within limits and/or ability to control the future is high (Peterson, Cumming, & Carpenter, 2003;Zurek & Henrichs, 2007). Research on how people in general determine the truth or likelihood of what they are told indicates that repetition is one of the strongest determinants (Weaver et al., 2007). Therefore, the probable future is the one that is most often repeated across society. ...
    Chapter
    What might practice look like in range of possible futures? This is the central question posed by this book. It seems a straightforward question that simply requires some anticipation of how the world might change and what roles practice might play in different future worlds. But asking this seemingly simple question causes us to confront some powerful limitations of human thinking processes. In some ways, it challenges us – both the authors of this book and its readers, as members of societies that are creating, and preparing for, possible futures – to think in ways that we normally find unthinkable. In this chapter, we will consider evidence suggesting that human brains have evolved powerful ways to avoid engaging with complex and uncertain questions like “what might the future be like?” We will consider many implications of this avoidance, including powerful ideas that go largely unchallenged and so leave humanity vulnerable to inevitable surprises, many of which will be undesirable and even potentially catastrophic (Schwartz, 2003). We will touch on some aspects of societal governance that inhibit thinking about unthinkable possibilities, but we will also give examples of processes by which groups of people can help, and are helping, one another to break free of thinking constraints to make us better prepared for what the future might hold. And, of course, we will discuss what all this might mean for our focal question about the possible futures of practice.
  • ... However, when one person gives an account of something and many people follow, it can be hardly said that the claim is hence more credible. The whole story is only as true as the message conveyed by the first person, but it appears to be a common view when multiplied (Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz and Miller, 2007). This is the case of the ubiquitous criticism of the SPE -such texts, although numerous, are usually commentaries and interpretations based on two sources -an article by Ben Blum and a book by Thibault Le Texier Histoire d'un mensonge [History of a Lie]. ...
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    The Stanford Prison Experiment conducted by Philip G. Zimbardo is probably the most recognizable study in the area of social psychology. The summer of 2018 proved to be exceptionally unfavourable to this scientific endeavour. The experiment was showered with strong criticisms to the extent that some voices were raised to withdraw the research from psychology textbooks; the study was no longer described as 'shocking', but rather as a 'sham' or 'lie'. At a closer look, it turns out that the whole criticism can be traced back to one source article which contains unevenly distributed arguments. Some of them are relevant and new, but others can be described as hyperbolas, simplifications and repetitions of frequent allegations. An attentive and critical look at Zimbardo's Stanford Prison Experiment and arguments against it helps to develop a more complex, but also more interesting perspective. It could serve as an example of a fierce, fascinating fight for a politically and socially important cause. In this fight, both sides remain faithful to their stance rather than to the facts. It is also a story about the problem of reporting science in a sensational way.
  • ... For a critique, see . Weaver et al. (2007). Familiarity This study is regarding the illusory truth effect, but since it does not provide corrections to participants it cannot comment on the backfire effect. ...
    Preprint
    One of the most concerning notions for science communicators, fact-checkers, and advocates of truth, is the backfire effect. This is when a correction leads to an individual increasing their belief in the very misconception the correction is aiming to rectify. There is currently a debate in the literature as to whether backfire effects exist at all, as recent studies have failed to find the phenomenon, even under theoretically favorable conditions. In this review, we briefly summarize the current state of the worldview and familiarity backfire effect literatures. We subsequently examine barriers to measuring the backfire phenomenon, approaches to improving measurement, and we conclude with recommendations for fact-checkers. We suggest that backfire effects are not a robust empirical phenomenon, and more reliable measures, powerful designs, and stronger links between experimental design and theory, could greatly help move the field ahead.
  • ... Repeating false information, even as part of a retraction or a correction, enhances its familiarity, and thus retractions can backfire. Remarkably, studies have also found that people infer the accuracy and consensus of an opinion from the number of times it has been repeated, even when the repeated expression is associated with only one person (Weaver et al., 2007; see also Dechene et al., 2010). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    Research indicates that the reach of fake news websites is limited to small parts of the population. On the other hand, data demonstrate that large proportions of the public know about notable fake news stories and believe them. These findings imply the possibility that most people hear about fake news stories not from fake news websites but through their coverage in mainstream news outlets. Thus far, only limited attention has been directed to the role of mainstream media in the dissemination of disinformation. To remedy this, this article synthesizes the literature pertaining to understand the role mainstream media play in the dissemination of fake news, the reasons for such coverage and its influences on the audience.
  • ... Following both the public debate and the scholarly literature, it is often assumed that media trust is falling virtually everywhere. The perhaps most important reason is the long-term trend with respect to Americans' shrinking trust in the 'press,' which then is extrapolated, and that peopleeven scholarstend to infer the accuracy and consensus of opinion from the number of times it has been repeated (Weaver et al., 2007). The fact though is that media trustin terms of levels as well as trendsdiffers across countries (Newman et al., 2019;Hanitzsch et al., 2018). ...
    Article
    Full-text available
    In contemporary high-choice media environments, the issue of media trust and its impact on people's media use has taken on new importance. At the same time, the extent to which people trust the news media and how much it matters for their use of different types of media is not clear. To lay the groundwork for future research, in this article we offer a focused review of (a) how news media trust has been conceptualized and operationalized in previous research and (b) research on the extent to which news media trust influences media use, and (c) offer a theoretically derived framework for future research on news media trust and its influence on media use.
  • ... A desinformação não é apenas difícil de remover, mas também a sua desmistificação pode na verdade fortalecê-la na cabeça das pessoas. Diversos efeitos backfire têm sido observados, ao tornar os mitos mais familiares 5,6 por fornecer argumentos demais 7 ou evidências que ameaçam o ponto de vista do indivíduo. 8 A última coisa que você vai querer ao tentar desmistificar uma falácia é cometer esses erros e acabar tornando as coisas piores. ...
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    Este livro é uma tradução do original The Debunking Handbook, o qual pode ser encontrado na versão original (inglês) em: https://skepticalscience.com/Debunking-Handbook-now-freely-available-download.html.
  • ... They may also be more likely to know what to do to stop the harassing behavior from continuing. According to Weaver, Garcia, Schwarz, and Miller (2007), the more often an opinion is encountered, the more accessible it is in memory and the more familiar it seems when encountered again. Familiarity also facilitates learning (Johnson & Russo, 1984), and may increase subsequent performance on various tasks (see Schacter, Chiu, & Ochsner, 1993 for review). ...
    Article
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    People may intend to call out or report sexual harassment but fail to do so when actually encountering it. In one exploratory study and one preregistered confirmatory study, more participants intended to take action against harassing behavior they encountered online than actually did so. Informed by Halmburger, Baumert, and Schmitt's (2016) integrative model of moral courage, we examined several individual difference variables (gender, trait moral courage, narcissism, agreeableness, and moral foundations) and one situational variable (multiple opportunities to report) that we argue play an important role in taking morally courageous action against sexual harassment. We found that women were more likely than men to report sexual harassment. We also found that trait moral courage measured as ability to interpret, and willingness to violate, social norms positively predicted reporting and confronting the harassment better than trait moral courage measured as gauging moral goals and moral identity more generally. We explored the role of agreeableness and moral foundations and found that while agreeableness did not predict confronting, it did predict reporting the harassment; fairness moral concerns positively predicted whether observers reported and confronted, while loyalty moral concerns negatively predicted reporting and confronting. Multiple regression analyses indicate that trait moral courage (positively) and narcissism (negatively) are the most consistent unique predictors of behaviors combatting sexual harassment. Combined, our results provide insights into the psychological processes involved in the moral courage to oppose sexual harassment.
  • ... R. Soc. B 286: 20190165 known to bias judgement of truth (review in [106]); for example, reading an identical email three times rather than once increases the perceived veracity of its content [107]. The influence of efficacy and efficiency on truth assessment stresses that design and the strategic component of signals are interconnected, and suggests that pre-existing bias and sensory drive could play a more widespread role in the evolution of honest signalling than is currently assumed. ...
    Article
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    Communication signals often comprise an array of colours, lines, spots, notes or odours that are arranged in complex patterns, melodies or blends. Receiver perception is assumed to influence preference and thus the evolution of signal design, but evolutionary biologists still struggle to understand how perception, preference and signal design are mechanistically linked. In parallel, the field of empirical aesthetics aims to understand why people like some designs more than others. The model of processing bias discussed here is rooted in empirical aesthetics, which posits that preferences are influenced by the emotional system as it monitors the dynamics of information processing and that attractive signals have effective designs that maximize information transmission, efficient designs that allow information processing at low metabolic cost, or both. We refer to the causal link between preference and the emotionally rewarding experience of effective and efficient information processing as the processing bias, and we apply it to the evolutionary model of sensory drive. A sensory drive model that incorporates processing bias hypothesizes a causal chain of relationships between the environment, perception, pleasure, preference and ultimately the evolution of signal design, both simple and complex.
  • ... It leaves listeners with the impression that what they hear is the general public opinion across their community. Crucially, both familiarity and commonality effects serve to make them more likely to believe that the proposition is true (Rothbart et al. 1978;Weaver et al. 2007). ...
    Article
    The article focuses on the question of how each of us should deliberate internally when forming judgements. That is a matter of political consequence, insofar as those judgements stand behind our votes. I argue that some violations of epistemic independence like message repetition can, if the receivers are not aware of the repetition, lead them to double-count information they have already taken into account, thus distorting their judgments. One upshot is that each of us should ignore or heavily discount certain sorts of inputs (e.g., bot messages or retweets) that are likely just to be repetition of what we have already taken into account in our internal deliberations. I propose various deliberative norms that may protect our internal deliberations from epistemic double-counting, and argue that opinion leaders have special epistemic duties of care to shield their audiences from clone claims.
  • Article
    People often encounter information that they subsequently learn is false. Past research has shown that people sometimes continue to use this misinformation in their reasoning, even if they remember that the information is false, which researchers refer to as the continued influence effect. The current work shows that the continued influence effect depends on the stories people have in memory: corrected misinformation was found to have a stronger effect on people's beliefs than information that was topically related to the story if it helped to provide a causal explanation of a story they had read previously. We argue this effect occurs because information that can fill a causal “gap” in a story enhances comprehension of the story event, which allows people to build a complete (if inaccurate) event model that they prefer over an accurate but incomplete event model. This effect is less likely to occur for stories in memory that end in a negative way, presumably because people are more motivated to accurately understand negative‐outcome events. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  • Article
    Neil Van Leeuwen argues that religious beliefs are not factual beliefs: typically, at least, they are attitudes of a different type. He argues that they exhibit much more sensitivity to context than factual beliefs: outside of contexts in which they are salient, they do not govern behaviour or inference, or provide background assumptions for cognition. This article surveys a large range of data to show that the kind of context sensitivity that Van Leeuwen thinks is the province of religious beliefs does not correlate with belief content. Beliefs about matters of fact beyond the theological realm exhibit this kind of sensitivity too. Conversely, theological and supernatural beliefs often guide behaviour across contexts. It is the intuitiveness of representations across contexts that predicts context (in)sensitivity, and intuitiveness is powerfully influenced by processing fluency. Fluency, in turn, is sensitive to cues that vary across contexts.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    People frequently rely on information even after it has been retracted, a phenomenon known as the continued-influence effect of misinformation. One factor proposed to explain the ineffectiveness of retractions is that repeating misinformation during a correction may inadvertently strengthen the misinformation by making it more familiar. Practitioners are therefore often encouraged to design corrections that avoid misinformation repetition. The current study tested this recommendation, investigating whether retractions become more or less effective when they include reminders or repetitions of the initial misinformation. Participants read fictional reports, some of which contained retractions of previous information, and inferential reasoning was measured via questionnaire. Retractions varied in the extent to which they served as misinformation reminders. Retractions that explicitly repeated the misinformation were more effective in reducing misinformation effects than retractions that avoided repetition, presumably because of enhanced salience. Recommendations for effective myth debunking may thus need to be revised.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    In post-nonclassical science in studying of spontaneous systems it is important to consider a narrow orientation of perception in the solution of specific objectives, in this context, perception of symbolical transformations at various levels – subjective and objective. The virtual reality widespread now thanks to enhancement of information and communication technologies consists of hypertrophied effects of virtualization of reality where the virtual image has nothing in common with reality, becoming own "simulacrum", effectively creating at the same time "points of view" on events and the phenomena. The modern media have wide arsenal of devices of impact for emotional, behavior, value-oriental levels of consciousness and unconsciousness. These methods are combined in depend of situation. The informational impact gets in discourse of virtual model such features as hypertext, interaction and mosaic. The symbolic and virtual “second reality” substitutes origin reality impacting for consciousness. As a result man percepts the reality for the prism of symbols and images, defining lines of mass consciousness and behavior. Consciousness acts no with real images, but with copies of reality.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    People frequently continue to use inaccurate information in their reasoning even after a credible retraction has been presented. This phenomenon is often referred to as the continued influence effect of misinformation. The repetition of the original misconception within a retraction could contribute to this phenomenon, as it could inadvertently make the “myth” more familiar—and familiar information is more likely to be accepted as true. From a dual-process perspective, familiarity-based acceptance of myths is most likely to occur in the absence of strategic memory processes. We thus examined factors known to affect whether strategic memory processes can be utilized; age, detail, and time. Participants rated their belief in various statements of unclear veracity, and facts were subsequently affirmed and myths were retracted. Participants then re-rated their belief either immediately or after a delay. We compared groups of young and older participants, and we manipulated the amount of detail presented in the affirmative/corrective explanations, as well as the retention interval between encoding and a retrieval attempt. We found that (1) older adults over the age of 65 were worse at sustaining their post-correction belief that myths were inaccurate, (2) a greater level of explanatory detail promoted more sustained belief change, and (3) fact affirmations promoted more sustained belief change in comparison to myth retractions over the course of one week (but not over three weeks). This supports the notion that familiarity is indeed a driver of continued influence effects.
  • Chapter
    This chapter tackled three major aspects of the social context: culture, narratives, and language; social comparison of beliefs and norms; and the structure and composition of one’s social network. These factors may have an impact not only on sharing behavior directly, but also on motivations and reactions to narratives and information. Culture, whether conceptualized as cross-national dimensions or culture-specific narratives, may impact how a particular piece of information is viewed, for instance. Comparisons between one’s own beliefs and that perceived to be held by one’s social group may influence how socially acceptable it is to state a particular belief. Echo chambers of people with the same belief may become more extreme. Indeed, these contextual factors also interact with each other, such that culture can be associated with structural differences in social networks. Although the reviewed studies have complex results with regards to social network ties, connections matter and are imperative to the spreading of information. This research also suggests that community structures, the composition of the community (homogeneous or diverse), perceptions of the specific audience, and network size are important factors in the spread, propagation and virality of information online.
  • Chapter
    Critical Thinking in Psychology - edited by Robert J. Sternberg January 2020
  • Article
    Touch technologies have become ubiquitous, motivating researchers to explore their potential - especially in collaborative scenarios. Studies on collaboration using joint visual spaces like multi-touch tables have demonstrated positive effects on performance. Yet, factors like prior knowledge and preferences, resulting in cognitive biases, were neglected although they are likely to put additional demands on collaboration. Whether touch technology can support its users in mastering the resulting challenges remains an open issue. To address this issue, we employed a hidden-profile paradigm (e.g., Schulz-Hardt and Mojzisch 2012) to investigate whether the affordances of specific support functions realized in a collaboration support kit on a multi-touch table help to overcome established pitfalls of collaboration (prior preferences and discussion biases). The collaboration support kit comprised a joint space and private spaces. It allowed participants to push information from the private into the joint space, to jointly sort information within the joint space, and it provided automatic functions like merging information. To replicate traditional hidden-profile studies, triads in a standard hidden-profile condition (n = 25) exchanged information in a discussion; triads in the condition with collaboration support kit (n = 29) were additionally provided with the aforementioned functions. Our results revealed that groups with collaboration support kit available showed greater discussion intensity, more balanced discussions, more indicators of mutual understanding, and better decision performance than standard hidden-profile groups. This is original evidence that affordances of a multi-touch table with interactive support functions can be used to overcome biases from prior preferences and to enhance collaboration.
  • Article
    The main objective of this study was to determine whether one of the most commonly employed pro-vaccination strategies based on the “myths vs. facts” format can be considered an effective tool to counter vaccines misinformation. Sixty parents were randomly presented with either a control message or a booklet confronting some common myths about vaccines with a number of facts. Beliefs in the autism/vaccines link and in vaccines side effects, along with intention to vaccinate one’s child, were evaluated both immediately after the intervention and after a 7-day delay to reveal possible backfire effects. Data provided support for the existence of backfire effects associated with the use of the myths vs. facts format, with parents in this condition having stronger vaccine misconceptions over time compared with participants in the control condition. The myths vs. facts strategy proved to be ineffective. Efforts to counter vaccine misinformation should take into account the many variables that affect the parents’ decision-making.
  • Article
    When evaluating information, we cannot always rely on what has been presented as truth: Different sources might disagree with each other, and sometimes there may be no underlying truth. Accordingly, we must use other cues to evaluate information—perhaps the most salient of which is consensus. But what counts as consensus? Do we attend only to surface-level indications of consensus, or do we also probe deeper and consider why sources agree? Four experiments demonstrated that individuals evaluate consensus only superficially: Participants were equally confident in conclusions drawn from a true consensus (derived from independent primary sources) and a false consensus (derived from only one primary source). This phenomenon was robust, occurring even immediately after participants explicitly stated that a true consensus was more believable than a false consensus. This illusion of consensus reveals a powerful means by which misinformation may spread.
  • Article
    No-platforming—the refusal to allow those who espouse views seen as inflammatory the opportunity to speak in certain forums—is very controversial. Proponents typically cite the possibility of harms to disadvantaged groups and, sometimes, epistemically paternalistic considerations. Opponents invoke the value of free speech and respect for intellectual autonomy in favor of more open speech, arguing that the harms that might arise from bad speech are best addressed by rebuttal, not silencing. In this article, I argue that there is a powerful consideration in favor of no-platforming some speakers: allowing them a platform generates genuine higher-order evidence in favor of their claims. When that higher-order evidence would be misleading, we may reasonably believe it should not be generated.
  • Chapter
    Full-text available
    To evaluate whether something is likely to be true, people attend to whether it is compatible with other things they know, internally consistent and plausible, supported by evidence, accepted by others, and offered by a credible source. Each criterion can be evaluated by drawing on relevant details (an effortful analytic strategy) or by attending to the ease with which the claim can be processed (a less effortful intuitive strategy). Easy processing favors acceptance under all criteria, even when more careful processing would identify the claim as faulty. Intuitive assessments of truth have important implications for the role of social media and the correction of false claims. Social media are characterized by high message repetition, selective filtering and sharing, and easy-to-process formats, all of which foster acceptance of a claim as true. Popular correction strategies typically confront false claims with facts. This works while the facts are still highly accessible, but backfires after a delay because extensive thought about false claims during the correction phase increases fluent processing when the claim is re-encountered later. At that point, the facts are less accessible and fluent processing of the now familiar false claim can facilitate its acceptance.
  • Chapter
    Across cultures and throughout history, gift giving has played a fundamental role in human interaction. Gifting is deeply embedded in our cultural conception of social norms and values. Stories and acts of gift giving help us understand ourselves with regard to our cultural ideals (e.g., the Statue of Liberty given by France defined America's values around immigration), religious beliefs (e.g., the Three Magi gave gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to Jesus), and our own aspirations (e.g., in the classic Wizard of Oz, the “Wizard's” gifts emphasized valued personal characteristics – a medal for courage for the Lion, a diploma for knowledge for the Scarecrow, and a heart for the Tin Man). Thus, the symbolic meaning and social value of a gift can far exceed its mere physical attributes and monetary worth.Gift exchange is an intrinsic element in maintaining cultural cohesiveness. It enables givers to define and strengthen their bonds with recipients via the choice of gifts that express their point of view on the relationship, the recipient, and the gift occasion. Much of the extant literature on gifting has studied the idiosyncratic set of practices and norms intended to preserve social bonds within a framework of ritualized occasions, such as birthdays or Christmas. Such research has examined how gifting provides relationship maintenance rites such as reciprocity and expressions of appreciation (Cheal, 1988) and reinforces established relationships (Bourdieu, 1977, 1986). Prior research further suggests that the rationale for gifting is that a prescribed cycle of reciprocal gift exchanges establishes predictable transactions between individuals (Sherry, 1983), thus ensuring that important relationships are regularly reaffirmed.Although gifting may largely be thought of as a strategically engineered process, givers and recipients alike are deeply invested in the process of gift exchange. Givers often experience strong feelings of anxiety and excitement in anticipation of presenting a gift to the recipient (Wooten, 2000). Furthermore, one's response to the gift selected is as important as the gift itself, and recipients often regulate their responses to the gift in order to preserve close relational ties. Given the importance of appropriately responding to a gift, society strictly regulates the process of giving and receiving.
  • Effects of group pressure upon the modification and distortion of judgments Groups, leadership, and men (pp. 177–190) The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations
    • S E Asch
    • Garcia Weaver
    • And Rbaron
    • R M Kenny
    Asch, S. E. (1951). Effects of group pressure upon the modification and distortion of judgments. In H. Guetzkow (Ed.), Groups, leadership, and men (pp. 177–190). Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Press. 832 WEAVER, GARCIA, SCHWARZ, AND MILLER rBaron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1173–1182
  • Using social influence to change health behavior. Unpublished manuscript
    • K Weaver
    • N Schwarz
    Weaver, K., & Schwarz, N. (2005). Using social influence to change health behavior. Unpublished manuscript, University of Michigan.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    A Monte Carlo study compared 14 methods to test the statistical significance of the intervening variable effect. An intervening variable (mediator) transmits the effect of an independent variable to a dependent variable. The commonly used R. M. Baron and D. A. Kenny (1986) approach has low statistical power. Two methods based on the distribution of the product and 2 difference-in-coefficients methods have the most accurate Type I error rates and greatest statistical power except in 1 important case in which Type I error rates are too high. The best balance of Type I error and statistical power across all cases is the test of the joint significance of the two effects comprising the intervening variable effect.
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    Full-text available
    In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators. (46 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Chapter
    This chapter review research on whether ease of perceptual processing serves as a basis for familiarity in recognition memory and on criticisms of the role of perceptual fluency in recognition. It assess the generality of the notion of a fluency heuristic by exploring whether there are other enhancements of processing due to repetition that are both specific and substantial enough to serve as the basis for a fluency heuristic, namely conceptual fluency and retrieval fluency. If memory is indeed an attribution regarding effects of past experience on current experience, then the relative diagnosticity of those cues as indicators of past experience is critical for memory accuracy. This chapter discusses the relation between the basis for memory judgments and memory monitoring. There is ambiguity in the source of variations in current processing, such that effects of past experience can be misattributed to current conditions, affecting judgments of everything from perceptual judgments of brightness and duration to judgments of the complexity of a text.
  • Article
    Models of cognitive categorization processes are used to analyze two manifestations of perceived out-group homogeneity: People perceive out-groups to be (1) less variable and (2) more stereotypic than in-groups with respect to individual features such as friendliness. Four categorization models are considered: the simple prototype and category density models, which assume that knowledge of categories is represented by category properties that are abstracted on-line; and the generalized context and multi-trace memory models, which assume that knowledge of categories is represented by memory traces regarding exemplars of the category. These models are used to interpret three potential causal mechanisms: greater attention to individuating attributes of in-group members, exposure to a greater number of in-group members, and exposure to a higher proportion of second-hand exemplars of out-groups. The exemplar models provide a more complete explanation of the variability, stereotypicality, and shapes of perceived distributions of the characteristics of group members. However, judgments about categories depend on perceived similarity to both specific instances and category prototypes.
  • Article
    A survey study of student attitudes revealed a "radical bias" in the estimation of other students' opinions on various issues. There was a significant tendency for students to overestimate the degree to which other students endorsed the radical position. The results contradict earlier research which found underestimation, rather than overestimation, of the extent to which others hold opinions that exemplify presumably predominant values. This study also revealed an "assimilation bias," a tendency to presume more similarity between the norm and one's own position than actually existed. A one-year-later replication with a new population found an increased occurrence of radical bias, attributable to the fact that the presumed attitudinal climate was far more radical than in the previous year, while the actual extent of "true" radicalism had remained unchanged.
  • Chapter
    In this chapter I shall report the first steps of an investigation the object of which was to study some conditions that induce individuals to remain independent or to yield to group pressures when these are contrary to fact. The issues related to this question are important both for theory and for their human implications. Whether a group will resist or submit to given pressures may be decisive for its future. It is an equally decisive fact about a person whether he has the freedom to act according to his beliefs or whether he has failed to develop (or has lost) the possibility of independence. Current thinking has stressed the power of social conditions to induce psychological changes arbitrarily. It has taken slavish submission to group forces as the general fact and has neglected or implicitly denied the capacities of men for independence, for rising under certain conditions above group passion and prejudice. Our present task is to observe directly the interaction between individuals and groups when the paramount issue is that of remaining independent or submitting to social pressure. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)(chapter)
  • Article
    In a new test of the process of forgetting, the authors found that subjects, at the time of exposure, discounted material from “untrustworthy” sources. In time, however, the subjects tended to disassociate the content and the source with the result that the original scepticism faded and the “untrustworthy” material was accepted. Lies, in fact, seemed to be remembered better than truths.
  • Article
    Two studies provided support for the proposal that the role of norms in attitude-behavior relations can be usefully reconceptualized from the perspective of social identity/self-categorization theory. The first study revealed that the perceived norms of a behaviorally relevant reference group influenced intentions to engage in regular exercise, but only for subjects who identified strongly with the group, whereas the effect of perceived behavioral control (a personal factor) was strongest for low identifiers. Similarly, Study 2 revealed that the effect of group norms on females' intentions to engage in sun-protective behavior was evident only for high identifiers and that the effects of one of the personal variables (attitude) was stronger for low than for high identifiers. Additional results revealed that the perceived group norm predicted subjects' attitude, as did the perceived consequences of performing the behavior. The latter result was evident only for low identifiers.
  • Article
    The present research explored the possibility that the false consensus and false uniqueness effects can occur simultaneously within a single context. Specifically, it was hypothesized that individuals would overestimate the number of others who would experience the same type of emotional reaction as they did and yet believe that their reactions would be stronger than those of others. Subjects were presented with two potentially aversive situations and asked (a) to choose the situation they would least prefer to be involved in, (b) to estimate the percentage of other students who would also avoid the situation, and (c) to predict their own and the average other person's emotional reactions in that situation. Subjects overestimated the number of people who would avoid the same situation they would avoid and predicted their own emotional reactions to be stronger than those of others. Implications of the findings for coping and adjustment are discussed.
  • Article
    Conducted 2 experiments to determine whether Ss take into account the representativeness of a sample before generalizing from the sample to a population. 274 undergraduates were presented with vivid 1-case samples of populations--a welfare recipient in one study and a prison guard in another. Ss were then asked to rate the population (of welfare recipients or prison guards) on a number of dimensions. Results indicate that exposure to the sample case influenced attitudes about the population whether Ss were told nothing about the typicality of the case, were told that the case was highly typical of the population, or were told that the case was highly atypical of the population. Results suggest that, at least when information about sample bias is pallid and information about the nature of the sample is vivid, people may make unwarranted generalizations from samples to populations. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
  • Article
    Experiments were designed to produce illusions of immediate memory and of perception, in order to demonstrate that subjective experience of familiarity and perceptual quality may rely on an unconscious attribution process. Subjects saw a short and rapidly presented list of words, then pronounced and judged a target word. We influenced the fluency of pronouncing the target through independent manipulation of repetition and visual clarity. Judgments of repetition were influenced by clarity (Experiments 1 and 2), but not when subjects knew that clarity was manipulated (Experiment 3). Conversely, judgments of clarity were influenced by repetition (Experiment 4). We interpret these symmetric illusions to mean that fluent performance is unconsciously attributed to whatever source is apparent and that feelings of familiarity and perceptual quality result when fluency is attributed respectively to past experience or current circumstances.
  • Article
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    In Exp I 120 undergraduates viewed a videotape of 1 or 3 speakers presenting 1 or 3 arguments in favor of a counterattitudinal position. The 3-source/3-argument message produced significantly more persuasion than any of the other conditions, which did not differ from each other. It is suggested that each time a speaker appears, the recipient "gears up" to process the message and that if either speaker or argument is repeated, further thinking about the arguments is minimal. Exp II (30 Ss) excluded an alternative to this processing interpretation by showing that Ss exposed to the multiple-source/multiple-argument message did not infer that the pool of proproposal arguments was larger than that inferred by other Ss. In Exp III (100 Ss), Ss exposed to 3 compelling arguments purportedly produced by 3 different persons generated more positive thoughts and were more persuaded than Ss who read the same high quality arguments presumably generated by 1 person. However, Ss exposed to 3 weak arguments purportedly produced by 3 different persons generated more negative thoughts and were less persuaded than Ss who read the same low quality arguments attributed to 1 source. Overall, results indicate that increasing the number of sources of a message increases thinking about the message content. This increased thinking can result in either increased or decreased persuasion, depending on the cogency of the message arguments. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    Most experiments in social psychology are considered defective because the investigators, lacking social perspective, set up their problems within the culture of their own communities. The writer has no sympathy for the controversy between the individual and the social approaches. The individual is regarded as basic, and any valid psychological principle should apply to the individual, alone, in a group, or in relation to his whole culture. Throughout psychology, in perception, in judgment, in affectivity, etc., the frame of reference is shown to be an important determinant of experience. Variations in culture are shown to be variations in frames of reference common to various groups. Social frames of reference (social norms, i.e. values, customs, stereotypes, conventions, etc.) are regarded first as stimuli which meet the individual in his associations with others and then become interiorized. The process of establishing a social norm is illustrated experimentally in an unstable perceptual situation (autokinetic phenomenon). Observing alone, the individual establishes his own frame of reference, which is modified in the direction of conformity when he observes in a group. Observing first in a group, frames of reference are set up which determine subsequent reports when the individual observes alone (illustrating the factual basis for the contentions that supra-individual qualities arise in group situations). Social values in relation to personal needs are discussed in the light of this experiment. A final chapter describes "human nature" as dependent upon the norms peculiar to the individual's group. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
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    Hypothesized that an observer's tendency to generalize from the behavior of a specific group member to the group as a whole is proportional to the observer's perception of the group's homogeneity, at least when the observer lacks a clear preconception on the behavioral dimension witnessed. 95 undergraduates from 2 rival universities viewed target persons alleged to be students either at their own university or its rival. Each of 3 such target persons made a simple decision within a different decision scenario. After observing the decision made, each S made estimates of the percentage of people likely to make the same decision in the parent group. The results confirm the main predictions: (a) Percentage estimates tended to be consistent with the target person's decision; (b) the degree of consistency was greater for out-group than for in-group target persons; and (c) both of these effects were clearest for the decision scenario where Ss' preconceptions about the most likely decision were weakest. (16 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    The results of two experiments showed that an illusion of memory can be produced by unconscious perception. In a first phase of those experiments, a long list of words was presented for study. For the test of recognition memory given in the second phase of each experiment, presentation of a "context" word preceded that of most recognition test words. Ss were to judge whether or not the test words had been presented during the earlier study phase of the experiment. Effects of a context word on this recognition memory decision were opposite when Ss were aware vs. unaware of its presentation. For example, as compared to a condition in which no context word was presented, the probability of false recognition was increased when Ss were unaware but decreased when Ss were aware of the presentation of a context word that matched the recognition test word. Results are discussed in terms of unconscious influences on an attribution process. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Conducted 2 experiments to determine whether Ss take into account the representativeness of a sample before generalizing from the sample to a population. 274 undergraduates were presented with vivid 1-case samples of populations—a welfare recipient in one study and a prison guard in another. Ss were then asked to rate the population (of welfare recipients or prison guards) on a number of dimensions. Results indicate that exposure to the sample case influenced attitudes about the population whether Ss were told nothing about the typicality of the case, were told that the case was highly typical of the population, or were told that the case was highly atypical of the population. Results suggest that, at least when information about sample bias is pallid and information about the nature of the sample is vivid, people may make unwarranted generalizations from samples to populations. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    Noting that items seen for the 2nd time in an experiment (old items) can be perceived more readily (fluently) than items seen for the 1st time (new items), it was hypothesized that perceptual fluency is used as a cue for discriminating old from new items. 40 undergraduates served as Ss. In the test phase of a recognition task, each item was gradually clarified until it was identified, at which time Ss made an old–new judgment. It was expected that fluently perceived (quickly identified) items would tend to be judged old regardless of their actual old–new status. In Exp I, results show that words were more likely to be judged old both if they were quickly identified and, independently of this, if they actually were old. The latter finding implicates a factor (directed memory search) other than perceptual fluency in recognition judgments. Exp II succeeded in reducing the contribution of this additional factor by using nonwords rather than words. Results indicate that Ss' recognition judgments for nonwords were more dependent on speed of identification than they were on actual old–new status. It is proposed that perceptual fluency is the basis of the feeling of familiarity and is 1 of 2 important factors that make variable contributions to recognition judgments. (13 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
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    Reports 4 experiments concerning the effect of repetition on rated truth (the illusory-truth effect). Statements were paired with differentially credible sources (true vs false). Old trues would be rated true on 2 bases, source recollection and statement familiarity. Old falses, however, would be rated false if sources were recollected, leaving the unintentional influence of familiarity as their only basis for being rated true. Even so, falses were rated truer than new statements unless sources were especially memorable. Estimates showed the contributions of the 2 influences to be independent; the intentional influence of recollection was reduced if control was impaired, but the unintentional influence of familiarity remained constant. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    Nonfamous names presented once in an experiment are mistakenly judged as famous 24 hr later. On an immediate test, no such false fame occurs. This phenomenon parallels the sleeper effect found in studies of persuasion. People may escape the unconscious effects of misleading information by recollecting its source, raising the criterion level of familiarity required for judgments of fame, or by changing from familiarity to a more analytic basis for judgment. These strategies place constraints on the likelihood of sleeper effects. We discuss these results as the unconscious use of the past as a tool vs its conscious use as an object of reflection. Conscious recollection of the source of information does not always occur spontaneously when information is used as a tool in judgment. Rather, conscious recollection is a separate act. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
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    Five alternative information processing models that relate memory for evidence to judgments based on the evidence are identified in the current social cognition literature: independent processing, availability, biased retrieval, biased encoding, and incongruity-biased encoding. A distinction between 2 types of judgment tasks, memory-based vs online, is introduced and is related to the 5 process models. In 3 experiments, using memory-based tasks where the availability model described Ss' thinking, direct correlations between memory and judgment measures were obtained. In a 4th experiment, using online tasks where any of the remaining 4 process models may apply, prediction of the memory–judgment relationship was equivocal but usually followed the independence model prediction of zero correlation. It is concluded that memory and judgment will be directly related when the judgment was based directly on the retrieval of evidence information in memory-based judgment tasks. (61 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Article
    Publisher Summary This chapter focuses on norms, which can be demonstrated to affect human action systematically and powerfully. Three distinct types of norms that are effective: social norms of the descriptive kind, which guides the behavior via the perception of how most others would behave; social norms of the injunctive kind, which guides the behavior via the perception of how most others would approve/disapprove of a person's conduct; and personal norms, which guides the behavior via the perception of how a person would approve/disapprove of his own conduct. At a given time, an individual's actions are likely to conform to the dictates of the type of norm that are familiar even when the other types of norms dictate contrary conduct. The chapter discusses those injunctive social norms—once activated—is likely to lead to beneficial social conduct across the greatest number of situations and populations. By focusing subjects on one or another type of norm, the action of a particular kind of norm was stimulated, without activating the other kinds.
  • Article
    Human reasoning is accompanied by metacognitive experiences, most notably the ease or difficulty of recall and thought generation and the fluency with which new information can be processed. These experiences are informative in their own right. They can serve as a basis of judgment in addition to, or at the expense of, declarative information and can qualify the conclusions drawn from recalled content. What exactly people conclude from a given metacognitive experience depends on the naive theory of mental processes they bring to bear, rendering the outcomes highly variable. The obtained judgments cannot be predicted on the basis of accessible declarative information alone; we cannot understand human judgment without taking into account the interplay of declarative and experiential information.
  • Chapter
    HYPOTHESIZES THAT MERE REPEATED EXPOSURE OF THE INDIVIDUAL TO A STIMULUS OBJECT ENHANCES HIS ATTITUDE TOWARD IT. BY "MERE" EXPOSURE IS MEANT A CONDITION MAKING THE STIMULUS ACCESSIBLE TO PERCEPTION. SUPPORT FOR THE HYPOTHESIS CONSISTS OF 4 TYPES OF EVIDENCE, PRESENTED AND REVIEWED: (1) THE CORRELATION BETWEEN AFFECTIVE CONNOTATION OF WORDS AND WORD FREQUENCY, (2) THE EFFECT OF EXPERIMENTALLY MANIPULATED FREQUENCY OF EXPOSURE UPON THE AFFECTIVE CONNOTATION OF NONSENSE WORDS AND SYMBOLS, (3) THE CORRELATION BETWEEN WORD FREQUENCY AND THE ATTITUDE TO THEIR REFERENTS, AND (4) THE EFFECTS OF EXPERIMENTALLY MANIPULATED FREQUENCY OF EXPOSURE ON ATTITUDE. THE RELEVANCE FOR THE EXPOSURE-ATTITUDE HYPOTHESIS OF THE EXPLORATION THEORY AND OF THE SEMANTIC SATIATION FINDINGS WERE EXAMINED. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).
  • Article
    When subjects are presented with information about the attributes of individuals and are then asked to make judgments about the characteristics of the group composed of those individuals, the group impression may depend on the way in which data on individuals are organized in memory. Experiment 1 demonstrated that under conditions of low memory load (16 instances of person-trait pairings), subjects organize their perceptions of a group around the characteristics of its individual members, whereas under high memory load (64 instances of person-trait pairings), subjects organize trait information in an undifferentiated way around the group as a whole. Under low memory load, subjects distinguish between repeated occurrences of a trait in the same individual and comparable repeated occurrences of that trait in different individuals; under high memory load, subjects do not make such a differentiation. Subjects' judgments about the frequency of categories of traits were related to the ease of recall of category instances, as predicted by an availability heuristic. Experiments 2 and 3 demonstrated that group members who are most available in memory will be disproportionately represented in the group impression. Specifically, the proportion of extreme individuals in a group was retro-spectively overestimated; this was true for both physical stimuli (height) and social stimuli (criminal acts).
  • Article
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    Subjects rated how certain they were that each of 60 statements was true or false. The statements were sampled from areas of knowledge including politics, sports, and the arts, and were plausible but unlikely to be specifically known by most college students. Subjects gave ratings on three successive occasions at 2-week intervals. Embedded in the list were a critical set of statements that were either repeated across the sessions or were not repeated. For both true and false statements, there was a significant increase in the validity judgments for the repeated statements and no change in the validity judgments for the non-repeated statements. Frequency of occurrence is apparently a criterion used to establish the referential validity of plausible statements.
  • Article
    This paper explores a judgmental heuristic in which a person evaluates the frequency of classes or the probability of events by availability, i.e., by the ease with which relevant instances come to mind. In general, availability is correlated with ecological frequency, but it is also affected by other factors. Consequently, the reliance on the availability heuristic leads to systematic biases. Such biases are demonstrated in the judged frequency of classes of words, of combinatorial outcomes, and of repeated events. The phenomenon of illusory correlation is explained as an availability bias. The effects of the availability of incidents and scenarios on subjective probability are discussed.
  • Article
    The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
  • Article
    Telling people that a consumer claim is false can make them misremember it as true. In two experiments, older adults were especially susceptible to this "illusion of truth" effect. Repeatedly identifying a claim as false helped older adults remember it as false in the short term but paradoxically made them more likely to remember it as true after a 3 day delay. This unintended effect of repetition comes from increased familiarity with the claim itself but decreased recollection of the claim's original context. Findings provide insight into susceptibility over time to memory distortions and exploitation via repetition of claims in media and advertising. (c) 2005 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
  • Article
    This research studied 2 properties of perceived distributions of the characteristics of social category members: the probability of differentiating (making distinctions) among category members and the perceived variability (variance) of category members. The results of 4 experiments supported the hypothesis that greater familiarity with a social group leads to greater perceived differentiation and variability regarding that group. In-group members formed more differentiated and variable distributions for groups defined by age and more differentiated distributions for groups defined by nationality. For gender (where students were roughly equally familiar with people of both genders), no in-group--out-group differences occurred. Also, students perceived greater differentiation and variability among classmates over the course of a semester. To explain these results, we developed PDIST, a multiple exemplar model that assumes that people form perceived distributions by activating a set of category exemplars and then judging the relative likelihoods of different feature values on the basis of the relative activation strengths of these feature values. The results of a computer simulation experiment indicated that PDIST is sufficient to explain the results of our 4 experiments. According to the perceived distributions formed by PDIST, increasing familiarity leads to greater differentiation and variability, has a concave impact, and has greater impact on differentiation than on variability.
  • Article
    The sleeper effect in persuasion is a delayed increase in the impact of a message that is accompanied by a discounting cue. Despite a long history, the sleeper effect has been notoriously difficult to obtain or to replicate, with the exception of a pair of studies by Gruder et al. (1978). We conducted a series of 16 computer-controlled experiments and a replication of the Gruder et al. study to demonstrate that a sleeper effect can be obtained reliably when subjects (a) note the important arguments in a message, (b) receive a discounting cue after the message, and (c) rate the trustworthiness of the message communicator immediately after receiving the discounting cue. These operations are sufficiently different from those used in earlier studies to justify a new differential decay interpretation of the sleeper effect, in place of the dissociation hypothesis favored by most previous sleeper effect researchers. According to the differential decay interpretation, a sleeper effect occurs when message and discounting cue have opposite and near-equal immediate impacts that are not well-integrated in memory. The effect occurs, then, if the impact of the discounting cue decays faster than that of the message.
  • Article
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    In this article, we attempt to distinguish between the properties of moderator and mediator variables at a number of levels. First, we seek to make theorists and researchers aware of the importance of not using the terms moderator and mediator interchangeably by carefully elaborating, both conceptually and strategically, the many ways in which moderators and mediators differ. We then go beyond this largely pedagogical function and delineate the conceptual and strategic implications of making use of such distinctions with regard to a wide range of phenomena, including control and stress, attitudes, and personality traits. We also provide a specific compendium of analytic procedures appropriate for making the most effective use of the moderator and mediator distinction, both separately and in terms of a broader causal system that includes both moderators and mediators.
  • Article
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    Conducted 5 experiments (1 in 2 parts) with undergraduates (N = 198) to study the repetition effect (RE); this term refers to the finding that the speed and accuracy of naming a visually presented word is enhanced by a single prior presentation of the word. Procedures are described in detail, and the findings of the experiments are compared and discussed. A model was developed that outlines the relative contributions to the RE in word and nonword identification that are made (a) by episodic traces for particular events and (b) by unitized representations of words in semantic memory. A prominent role in the model is played by the unitization that characterizes identification of words and is missing for nonwords. (51 ref)
  • Article
    Four studies examined the relation between college students' own attitudes toward alcohol use and their estimates of the attitudes of their peers. All studies found widespread evidence of pluralistic ignorance: Students believed that they were more uncomfortable with campus alcohol practices than was the average student. Study 2 demonstrated this perceived self-other difference also with respect to one's friends. Study 3 traced attitudes toward drinking over the course of a semester and found gender differences in response to perceived deviance: Male students shifted their attitudes over time in the direction of what they mistakenly believed to be the norm, whereas female students showed no such attitude change. Study 4 found that students' perceived deviance correlated with various measures of campus alienation, even though that deviance was illusory. The implications of these results for general issues of norm estimation and responses to perceived deviance are discussed.
  • Article
    Statements of the form "Osorno is in Chile" were presented in colors that made them easy or difficult to read against a white background and participants judged the truth of the statement. Moderately visible statements were judged as true at chance level, whereas highly visible statements were judged as true significantly above chance level. We conclude that perceptual fluency affects judgments of truth.
  • Article
    We explored the role that poetic form can play in people's perceptions of the accuracy of aphorisms as descriptions of human behavior. Participants judged the ostensible accuracy of unfamiliar aphorisms presented in their textually surviving form or a semantically equivalent modified form. Extant rhyming aphorisms in their original form (e.g., "What sobriety conceals, alcohol reveals") were judged to be more accurate than modified versions that did not preserve rhyme ("What sobriety conceals, alcohol unmasks"). However, the perceived truth advantage of rhyming aphorisms over their modified forms was attenuated when people were cautioned to distinguish aphorisms' poetic qualities from their semantic content. Our results suggest that rhyme, like repetition, affords statements an enhancement in processing fluency that can be misattributed to heightened conviction about their truthfulness.
  • Article
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    A Monte Carlo study compared 14 methods to test the statistical significance of the intervening variable effect. An intervening variable (mediator) transmits the effect of an independent variable to a dependent variable. The commonly used R. M. Baron and D. A. Kenny (1986) approach has low statistical power. Two methods based on the distribution of the product and 2 difference-in-coefficients methods have the most accurate Type I error rates and greatest statistical power except in 1 important case in which Type I error rates are too high. The best balance of Type I error and statistical power across all cases is the test of the joint significance of the two effects comprising the intervening variable effect.
  • Article
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    The authors hypothesized that similarity to the ideal self (IS) simultaneously generates attraction and repulsion. Attraction research has suggested that a person likes individuals who are similar to his or her IS. Social comparison research has suggested that upward social comparison threatens self-evaluation. In Experiment 1, attraction to a partner increased and then decreased as the partner became more similar to and then surpassed the participant's IS. In Experiment 2, the cognitive and affective components of attraction increased and decreased, respectively, as the partner approached and surpassed the participant's IS to the extent that the dimension of comparison was meaningful and participants andicipated meeting their partner. Similarity to the IS generates opposing cognitive and affective reactions when the self-evaluative threat of upward comparison intensifies.
  • Article
    Several modifications of the Asch experiment in which the S judges the length of lines in the company of a group of "stooges" who carry out the experimenter's instructions are described. These include a face-to-face situation, an anonymous situation, and a group situation, with self-commitment, public commitment and Magic Pad commitment variations. The results indicate that, even when normative social influence in the direction of an incorrect judgment is largely removed (as in the anonymous situation), more errors are made by Ss in experimental groups than by Ss making their judgments when alone.
  • Article
    Exposure duration and the number of times the word was flashed (trials) were varied independently in order to investigate the growth of the perception of a word. With duration constant, the probability of perceiving a word increased with exposure trials so that the word was quite clear and easily identified after a number of flashes, even if the first flash appeared blank. The function relating the probability of perceiving a word to the number of exposure trials could be specified knowing only the asymptote (maximum probability attainable) and the probability of perceiving the word on the first exposure. Despite this effect of repeated exposures, the probability of perceiving a word was always higher for a single flash at a given duration than for 2 or more flashes at shorter durations summing to the same total duration.
  • Article
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    The present work examined the relationship between people's own interpretations of why they avoid intergroup contact and their interpretations of why out-groups avoid intergroup contact. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that Whites and Blacks would like to have more contact with the out-group but believe the out-group does not want to have contact with them. Studies 3-5 show that Whites and Blacks make divergent explanations about their own and their potential out-group partner's failure to initiate contact. Specifically, individuals explained their own inaction in terms of their fear of being rejected because of their race but attributed the out-group members' inaction to their lack of interest. Study 6 examined the behavioral consequences of this self-other bias. Finally, Study 7 applied theoretical work on the extended contact hypothesis to explore a means to reduce this self- other bias. The implications of these studies for improving intergroup interactions are discussed.