[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Humans learn, in large part, by copying knowledgeable others. However, because others can be deceitful or lack competence, indiscriminate copying would be maladaptive. How then do individuals determine which social group members have knowledge that should be copied? We argue that the pride nonverbal expression may signal expertise, and thus bias learning such that proud others are more likely to be copied. In two studies, financially motivated participants answered a difficult trivia question after viewing a photograph (Study 1A) or a video (Study 2) of an emotion-displaying confederate answering the same question. Pride-displaying confederates were copied significantly more frequently than those displaying other expressions, suggesting that pride expressions bias social learning. Study 1B demonstrated that this effect was restricted to participants who were financially motivated to acquire knowledge. These findings indicate that pride displays are functional for observers and may play a critical role in social learning.
Preview · Article · Jul 2013 · Social Psychological and Personality Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We propose a model that explores the consequences of justice failure. We conceptualize justice failure as a threat to meaning and suggest belief in a just world and justice climate as two moderators for the proposed relationship. We propose that individuals react to justice failure by engaging in fluid compensation and that third parties are more likely than victims of justice failure to engage in this process. We further propose that identity influences individuals’ reaction to justice failure such that individuals high in moral identity are more likely to affirm their moral domain than other domains. As a result of fluid compensation, we finally propose that individuals who affirm their moral domain are (a) more likely to act morally and less likely to act immorally (b) more punitive towards others who violate social norms and (c) more supportive of corporate social responsibility programs. Implications and future research directions are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A growing body of research suggests that pride and shame are associated with distinct, cross-culturally recognised nonverbal expressions, which are spontaneously displayed in situations of success and failure, respectively. Here, we review these findings, then offer a theoretical account of the adaptive benefits of these displays. We argue that both pride and shame expressions function as social signals that benefit both observers and expressers. Specifically, pride displays function to signal high status, which benefits displayers by according them deference from others, and benefits observers by affording them valuable information about social-learning opportunities. Shame displays function to appease others after a social transgression, which benefits displayers by allowing them to avoid punishment and negative appraisals, and observers by easing their identification of committed group members and followers.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Cognition and Emotion
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The present research examined the psychological motives underlying widespread support for intelligent design theory (IDT), a purportedly scientific theory that lacks any scientific evidence; and antagonism toward evolutionary theory (ET), a theory supported by a large body of scientific evidence. We tested whether these attitudes are influenced by IDT's provision of an explanation of life's origins that better addresses existential concerns than ET. In four studies, existential threat (induced via reminders of participants' own mortality) increased acceptance of IDT and/or rejection of ET, regardless of participants' religion, religiosity, educational background, or preexisting attitude toward evolution. Effects were reversed by teaching participants that naturalism can be a source of existential meaning (Study 4), and among natural-science students for whom ET may already provide existential meaning (Study 5). These reversals suggest that the effect of heightened mortality awareness on attitudes toward ET and IDT is due to a desire to find greater meaning and purpose in science when existential threats are activated.