[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research on social class and generosity suggests that higher-income individuals are less generous than poorer individuals. We propose that this pattern emerges only under conditions of high economic inequality, contexts that can foster a sense of entitlement among higher-income individuals that, in turn, reduces their generosity. Analyzing results of a unique nationally representative survey that included a real-stakes giving opportunity (n = 1,498), we found that in the most unequal US states, higher-income respondents were less generous than lower-income respondents. In the least unequal states, however, higher-income individuals were more generous. To better establish causality, we next conducted an experiment (n = 704) in which apparent levels of economic inequality in participants' home states were portrayed as either relatively high or low. Participants were then presented with a giving opportunity. Higher-income participants were less generous than lower-income participants when inequality was portrayed as relatively high, but there was no association between income and generosity when inequality was portrayed as relatively low. This research finds that the tendency for higher-income individuals to be less generous pertains only when inequality is high, challenging the view that higher-income individuals are necessarily more selfish, and suggesting a previously undocumented way in which inequitable resource distributions undermine collective welfare.
Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Emotional intelligence (EI) is a set of abilities that pertain to emotions and emotional information. EI has attracted considerable attention among organizational scholars, and research has clarified the definition of EI and illuminated its role in organizations. Here, I define EI and describe the abilities that constitute it. I evaluate two approaches to measuring EI: the performance-based and self-report approaches. I review the findings about how EI is associated with work criteria, organizing the findings according to three overarching models: the validity generalization, situation-specific, and moderator models. The support for the latter two models suggests that the organizational context and employee dispositions should be considered in order to fully explain how EI relates to criteria. I identify controversies in this area, describe how findings address some controversies, and propose future research to address those that remain. I conclude by listing best practices for future research on the role of EI in organizations.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Accumulating evidence suggests that effective communication and interpersonal sensitivity during interactions between doctors and patients impact therapeutic outcomes. There is an important need to identify predictors of these behaviors, because traditional tests used in medical admissions offer limited predictions of "bedside manners" in medical practice. This study examined whether emotional intelligence would predict the performance of 367 medical students in medical school courses on communication and interpersonal sensitivity. One of the dimensions of emotional intelligence, the ability to regulate emotions, predicted performance in courses on communication and interpersonal sensitivity over the next 3 years of medical school, over and above cognitive ability and conscientiousness. Emotional intelligence did not predict performance on courses on medical subject domains. The results suggest that medical schools may better predict who will communicate effectively and show interpersonal sensitivity if they include measures of emotional intelligence in their admission systems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Past research has found that showing anger induces cooperative behavior from counterparts in negotiations. We build on and extend this research by examining the effects of faking anger by surface acting (i.e., showing anger that is not truly felt inside) on the behavior of negotiation counterparts. We specifically propose that surface acting anger leads counterparts to be intransigent due to reduced trust. In Experiment 1, surface acting anger increased demands in a face-to-face negotiation, relative to showing no emotion, and this effect was mediated by (reduced) trust. In Experiment 2, surface acting anger increased demands in a video-mediated negotiation, relative to showing no emotion, and this effect was explained by (reduced) trust, as in Experiment 1. By contrast, deep acting anger (i.e., showing anger that is truly felt inside) decreased demands, relative to showing no emotion, and this effect was explained by (increased) perceptions of toughness, consistent with prior research on the effects of showing anger in negotiations. The findings show that a complete understanding of the role of anger in negotiations requires attention to how it is regulated. In addition, the results suggest that faking emotions using surface acting strategies may generally be detrimental to conflict resolution.
Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Though scholars have speculated for centuries on links between individuals' social class standing and approach to moral reasoning, little systematic research exists on how class and morality are associated. Here, we investigate whether the tendency of upper-class individuals to exhibit reduced empathy makes them more likely to resist intuitionist options in moral dilemmas, instead favoring utilitarian choices that maximize the greatest good for the greatest number. In Study 1, upper-class participants were more likely than lower-class participants to choose the utilitarian option in the footbridge dilemma, which evokes relatively strong moral intuitions, but not in the standard trolley dilemma, which evokes relatively weak moral intuitions. In Study 2, upper-class participants were more likely to take resources from one person to benefit several others in an allocation task, and this association was explained by their lower empathy for the person whose resources were taken. Finally, in Study 3, the association between social class and utilitarian judgment was reduced in a condition in which empathy was induced, but not in a control condition, suggesting that reduced empathy helps account for the utilitarianism of upper-class individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In two experiments, we examined how a core dimension of emotional intelligence, emotion-understanding ability, facilitates decision making. Individuals with higher levels of emotion-understanding ability can correctly identify which events caused their emotions and, in particular, whether their emotions stem from events that are unrelated to current decisions. We predicted that incidental feelings of anxiety, which are unrelated to current decisions, would reduce risk taking more strongly among individuals with lower rather than higher levels of emotion-understanding ability. The results of Experiment 1 confirmed this prediction. In Experiment 2, the effect of incidental anxiety on risk taking among participants with lower emotion-understanding ability, relative to participants with higher emotion-understanding ability, was eliminated when we informed participants about the source of their anxiety. This finding reveals that emotion-understanding ability guards against the biasing effects of incidental anxiety by helping individuals determine that such anxiety is irrelevant to current decisions.
No preview · Article · Dec 2012 · Psychological Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Seven studies using experimental and naturalistic methods reveal that upper-class individuals behave more unethically than lower-class individuals. In studies 1 and 2, upper-class individuals were more likely to break the law while driving, relative to lower-class individuals. In follow-up laboratory studies, upper-class individuals were more likely to exhibit unethical decision-making tendencies (study 3), take valued goods from others (study 4), lie in a negotiation (study 5), cheat to increase their chances of winning a prize (study 6), and endorse unethical behavior at work (study 7) than were lower-class individuals. Mediator and moderator data demonstrated that upper-class individuals' unethical tendencies are accounted for, in part, by their more favorable attitudes toward greed.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2012 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Personality constructs are typically conceptualized as central tendencies of the individual. We explore whether dynamic personality constructs that quantify the within-individual variability of behavior across situations and over time predict the closeness of social relationships. We focused on interpersonal spin, defined as the degree of dispersion in a person's interpersonal behaviors around the interpersonal circumplex across situations and over time. We predicted that individuals with high spin would have social relationships that are less close than individuals with low spin. In 3 studies with different measures of relationship closeness, we found that (a) higher spinners reported that a larger proportion of their contacts in their workplace social networks were distant (Study 1); (b) co-workers were less satisfied and less often engaged in pleasant activities with higher spinners (Study 2); and (c) co-workers avoided higher spinners with whom they were well acquainted (Study 3). Moderated mediation analyses in Study 3 revealed that co-workers avoided well-acquainted higher spinners because they felt more negative affect when interacting with these individuals. The findings suggest the potential of dynamic personality constructs for improving our understanding of the characteristics of individuals' social relationships.
No preview · Article · Sep 2011 · Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Does emotional intelligence promote behavior that strictly benefits the greater good, or can it also advance interpersonal deviance? In the investigation reported here, we tested the possibility that a core facet of emotional intelligence--emotion-regulation knowledge--can promote both prosocial and interpersonally deviant behavior. Drawing from research on how the effective regulation of emotion promotes goal achievement, we predicted that emotion-regulation knowledge would strengthen the effects of other-oriented and self-oriented personality traits on prosocial behavior and interpersonal deviance, respectively. Two studies supported our predictions. Among individuals with higher emotion-regulation knowledge, moral identity exhibited a stronger positive association with prosocial behavior in a social dilemma (Study 1), and Machiavellianism exhibited a stronger positive association with interpersonal deviance in the workplace (Study 2). Thus, emotion-regulation knowledge has a positive side and a dark side.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Psychological Science
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Power increases the tendency to behave in a goal-congruent fashion. Guided by this theoretical notion, we hypothesized that elevated power would strengthen the positive association between prosocial orientation and empathic accuracy. In 3 studies with university and adult samples, prosocial orientation was more strongly associated with empathic accuracy when distinct forms of power were high than when power was low. In Study 1, a physiological indicator of prosocial orientation, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, exhibited a stronger positive association with empathic accuracy in a face-to-face interaction among dispositionally high-power individuals. In Study 2, experimentally induced prosocial orientation increased the ability to accurately judge the emotions of a stranger but only for individuals induced to feel powerful. In Study 3, a trait measure of prosocial orientation was more strongly related to scores on a standard test of empathic accuracy among employees who occupied high-power positions within an organization. Study 3 further showed a mediated relationship between prosocial orientation and career satisfaction through empathic accuracy among employees in high-power positions but not among employees in lower power positions. Discussion concentrates upon the implications of these findings for studies of prosociality, power, and social behavior.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We propose a new dimension of emotional intelligence (EI) that is particularly relevant in organizational settings: the ability to influence others via emotion displays. In this article, we first describe social functional accounts of emotions and the evidence supporting social effects of emotions. Then, we propose that individuals differ in the degree to which they can influence the behaviors, attitudes, and emotions of others via their emotion displays, and we demonstrate that this individual variation meets the criteria for an emotional ability. We articulate the mechanisms by which the ability to influence others via emotion displays is related to competence in organizational settings. In addition, we develop propositions about factors that moderate the effect of this ability on competence. We describe the research implications of our model.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This chapter presents the premise that social class is a potent, robust, and distinct predictor of how people think and act in organizations. Drawing on theories of social cognition, I define social class as a dimension of the self that is rooted in objective material resources (via income, education, and occupational prestige) and corresponding subjective perceptions of rank vis-à-vis others. Informed by demonstrations of the psychological effects of social class, I describe how social class may shape behavior in three illustrative domains of organizational life: social relationships, morality, and judgment and decision-making. I document objective and subjective measures of social class to guide research on its effects. I conclude by discussing the risks and benefits of investigating the social class of organization members, and the potential costs for organizations and researchers who ignore social class.
No preview · Article · Jan 2011 · Research in Organizational Behavior
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Are people who are best able to implement strategies to regulate their emotional expressive behavior happier and more successful than their counterparts? Although past research has examined individual variation in knowledge of the most effective emotion regulation strategies, little is known about how individual differences in the ability to actually implement these strategies, as assessed objectively in the laboratory, are associated with external criteria. In two studies, we examined how individual variation in the ability to modify emotional expressive behavior in response to evocative stimuli is related to well-being and financial success. Study 1 showed that individuals who can best suppress their emotional reaction to an acoustic startle are happiest with their lives. Study 2 showed that individuals who can best amplify their emotional reaction to a disgust-eliciting movie are happiest with their lives and have the highest disposable income and socioeconomic status. Thus, being able to implement emotion regulation strategies in the laboratory is closely linked to well-being and financial success.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lower social class (or socioeconomic status) is associated with fewer resources, greater exposure to threat, and a reduced sense of personal control. Given these life circumstances, one might expect lower class individuals to engage in less prosocial behavior, prioritizing self-interest over the welfare of others. The authors hypothesized, by contrast, that lower class individuals orient to the welfare of others as a means to adapt to their more hostile environments and that this orientation gives rise to greater prosocial behavior. Across 4 studies, lower class individuals proved to be more generous (Study 1), charitable (Study 2), trusting (Study 3), and helpful (Study 4) compared with their upper class counterparts. Mediator and moderator data showed that lower class individuals acted in a more prosocial fashion because of a greater commitment to egalitarian values and feelings of compassion. Implications for social class, prosocial behavior, and economic inequality are discussed.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2010 · Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent research suggests that lower-class individuals favor explanations of personal and political outcomes that are oriented to features of the external environment. We extended this work by testing the hypothesis that, as a result, individuals of a lower social class are more empathically accurate in judging the emotions of other people. In three studies, lower-class individuals (compared with upper-class individuals) received higher scores on a test of empathic accuracy (Study 1), judged the emotions of an interaction partner more accurately (Study 2), and made more accurate inferences about emotion from static images of muscle movements in the eyes (Study 3). Moreover, the association between social class and empathic accuracy was explained by the tendency for lower-class individuals to explain social events in terms of features of the external environment. The implications of class-based patterns in empathic accuracy for well-being and relationship outcomes are discussed.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Psychological Science