Andrew J. Elliot's research while affiliated with University of Rochester and other places

Publications (287)

Article
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Perceiving learning environments as competitive shapes how students think, feel, and behave. We conducted two preregistered studies designed to examine three central constructs in the achievement motivation literature as predictors of perceived academic competitiveness: Trait competitiveness, fear of failure, and general self-efficacy. In Study 1,...
Article
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Purpose A popular idea in the social sciences is that contexts with high income inequality undermine people’s well-being and health. However, existing studies documenting this phenomenon typically compare a small number of higher-level units (countries/regions). Here, we use local income inequality indicators and temporal designs to provide the mos...
Article
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Goal complexes, which are formed by pairing standards of competence strivings with their underlying reasons, are essential to an understanding of achievement goal regulation. This paper examines goal complexes that cross other-approach and other-avoidance goals with the approach-avoidance dimensions of Big Three motives as underlying reasons. 220 u...
Article
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Given that avoidance motivation is often related to negative outcomes, it is surprising that little research has investigated the economic factors that correlate with avoidance motivation. The current meta-analysis synthesized 40 studies (Ntotal = 771,690) on the relation between economic status and avoidance motivation. Economic status was operati...
Preprint
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Mastery-approach (MAP) goals, focusing on developing competence and acquiring task mastery, is posited to be the most optimal, beneficial type of achievement goal for academic and life outcomes. Although there is meta-analytic evidence supporting this finding, such evidence does not allow us to conclude that the extant MAP goal findings generalize...
Article
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Competitiveness and cooperativeness are important predictors of social and learning outcomes at school. Drawing on evidence suggesting that contexts with high income inequality foster an ethos of competitiveness and inhibit cooperativeness in the economic environment, we examine whether income inequality is also associated with more competitiveness...
Article
Research on literacy interventions occasionally focuses on motivation, but such research in low- and mid-income countries is all but nonexistent. Recently, Guzmán, Schuenke-Lucien, D’Agostino, Berends, & Elliot (2021) demonstrated that an intervention, Read to Learn, had a positive influence on literacy skills of first and second grade Haitian stud...
Article
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The big-fish-little-pond effect (BFLPE), the negative effect of school-/class-average achievement on academic self-concept, is one of educational psychology’s most universal findings. However, critiques of this research have proposed moderators based on achievement motivation theories. Nevertheless, because these motivational theories are not suffi...
Article
Background: Motivation scientists study goals, self-regulatory tools that are used to help people approach or avoid objects of desire or disdain. Purpose: Using these tools, motivation science can offer insights to guide behaviour and help individuals maintain optimal health and well-being during pandemics, including COVID-19. Results: Avoidance go...
Article
Awe is a fascinating emotion, associated with positive consequences such as greater prosociality, generosity, and epistemic openness. Unfortunately, in spite of the weighty consequences of awe, the exact way in which it arises, and what it entails, is still a puzzle. Particularly puzzling is the question of whether awe is the result of expectancy v...
Preprint
Full-text available
Competitiveness and cooperativeness are important predictors of social and learning outcomes at school. Drawing on evidence suggesting that contexts with high income inequality foster an ethos of competitiveness and inhibit cooperativeness in the economic environment, we examine whether income inequality is also associated with more competitiveness...
Article
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Previous research has shown that red can increase men’s perception of women’s attractiveness. However, this effect is absent under certain conditions, such as when women have masculine, unattractive, or older features. We sought to test whether this red-attraction effect would be present at the other end of the continuum, specifically, for highly a...
Article
This research examined the effects of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic on perceived Black-White intergroup competition and negative intergroup psychological outcomes. Two datasets (collected before [2018] and after the onset of [April, 2020] COVID-19) were combined (N = 2,131) for this research. The data provided support for the hypothesis that p...
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There remains a dearth of research on causal roles of perceived interracial competition on psychological outcomes. Towards this end, this research experimentally manipulated perceptions of group-level competition between Black and White individuals in the U.S. and tested for effects on negative psychological outcomes. In Study 1 ( N = 899), partici...
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The present research examines the processes through which competitive contexts influence performance in an understudied domain: social perception. In two experiments (one preregistered), we test how competition (relative to control) influences performance on a measure of emotion decoding: The Reading-the-mind-in-the-Eyes (RME) task. Specifically, w...
Article
In accord with Festinger (1954) and Garcia et al. (2013), we investigate the understudied link between social comparison and competition. Specifically, in two correlational studies using university undergraduate (N = 298) and adult worker (N = 645) samples, we used path models to test relations between two types of social comparison orientation (SC...
Preprint
The cultivation of interest is an important aim of education. When encountering new information, the learners’ situational interest is an essential step in the interest development process. Situational interest represents the learner’s heightened attentional focus toward task characteristics (triggered interest) and elevated positive feelings and v...
Article
Seven experiments conducted in India and the United States (N ∼7,000; 5 preregistered) examined the effects of wealth on warmth and competence, 2 fundamental dimensions of social impressions. Wealth causally influenced perceptions of a target's competence: high wealth increased perceived competence and low wealth decreased perceived competence (Exp...
Article
In Haiti, 49% of students cannot read a single word in Creole by the time they start grade 3, which is reflective of a broader learning crisis in low-income and fragile contexts. Read to Learn, an early-grade literacy intervention, was implemented and evaluated from fall 2014 through spring 2016 with the aim of improving students' reading skills. S...
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Research on aesthetic science has demonstrated that people generally prefer symmetrical over asymmetrical compositions. However, it remains unclear whether and how such compositions relate to the concepts of approach and avoidance motivation, especially, in consumer contexts. In addition, it is not known how symmetry may influence such concepts in...
Article
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Women are less competitive than men in most contexts studied. This difference has been linked to the gender gap in socio-economic outcomes. To examine whether this gender difference is linked to differential beliefs about competition, we developed a scale measuring lay beliefs about competition and tested whether these beliefs account for gender di...
Article
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OBJECTIVE. Scholars disagree on whether income inequality has incentive or disincentive effects. In the present research, we move beyond such debate and focus on the motivational processes that income inequality predicts. First, income inequality makes economic stratification salient, and therefore should promote perceived competitiveness. Second,...
Article
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This research investigated whether highlighting the difference between norm-based approach and avoidance motivation impacts performance goal reporting accuracy. Participants were randomly assigned to receive no instructions, or reading materials indicating that norm-based approach and avoidance motivation are the same (Same condition) or different...
Article
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The present research sought to integrate self-determination theory and the achievement goal approach to achievement motivation by examining achievement goals as mediators of the link between psychological need support and both intrinsic and external motivation. We found support for our proposed integration, as mastery-approach and performance-appro...
Article
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There exists a racial income gap in America: Blacks earn ∼38% less than Whites, but little is known about its relation to interracial psychological outcomes. Toward this end, the present research examined associations between the Black–White income gap and perceptions of interracial competition and, subsequently, negative intergroup outcomes. Study...
Article
Typical human color vision is trichromatic, on the basis that we have three distinct classes of photoreceptors. A recent evolutionary account posits that trichromacy facilitates detecting subtle skin color changes to better distinguish important social states related to proceptivity, health, and emotion in others. Across two experiments, we manipul...
Article
Low socioeconomic status (SES) students have a lower sense of belonging to college than high SES students. Due to the importance of sense of belonging in the college pathway, understanding the reason for this relation is particularly important. Here, we argue that in addition to having less access to resources, low SES students in the college conte...
Article
We examined the coping potential of nostalgia in an educational setting. In particular, we investigated whether nostalgia can protect students from the pernicious link between threat appraisal and low intrinsic motivation. Undergraduate students (N = 382) reported threat and challenge appraisals in regards to a class they were taking, their nostalg...
Article
Empirical work on color and psychological functioning has a long history, dating back to the 19th century. This early research focused on five different areas: Arousal, physical strength, preference, time perception, and attention. In the present paper, I overview the relations observed in this early research, and detail methodological weaknesses t...
Article
Background and objectives: Effects of reappraising stress arousal during an interpersonal competition were tested on physiological functioning and performance. Additionally, the moderating role of gender was explored. Design and method: Participants (N = 279) were randomly assigned to a stress reappraisal, stress-is-debilitating, or a neutral contr...
Article
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We conducted meta-analyses of studies that test the red-romance hypothesis, which is that the color red enhances heterosexual attraction in romantic contexts. For men rating women, we found a small, statistically significant effect (d = 0.26 [0.12, 0.40], p = .0004, N = 2,961), with substantial heterogeneity, Q(44) = 172.5, pQ < .0001, I² = 89% [82...
Article
Objective Performance‐approach goals and performance‐avoidance goals are conceptually distinct, but they are often moderately or even highly positively correlated. The present research examines lay conceptions of approach and avoidance motivation as a moderator of this intergoal relation. Method Study 1 (N = 281) assessed whether participants cons...
Preprint
OBJECTIVE. Scholars disagree on whether income inequality has incentive or disincentive effects. In the present research, we move beyond such debate and focus on the motivational processes that income inequality predicts. First, income inequality makes economic stratification salient, and therefore should promote perceived competitiveness. Second,...
Article
Facial expressions of emotion include both muscular and color modulations that contribute to the accurate perception of emotion. However, some emotion categories share common facial-muscular features during the dynamic expressive sequence, which can lead to confusion and misidentification. The current research posits that a potential social functio...
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This research examined an important applied question: whether viewing ambient green (relative to red) on the wall of a workspace would facilitate creativity. A methodologically sound experiment revealed no influence of green on creativity. Care must be taken when interpreting a null result, but these data do not provide support for the presence of...
Article
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We created a life-goal assessment drawing from self-determination theory and achievement goal literature, examining its predictive power regarding immoral behavior and subjective well-being. Our source items assessed direction and energization of motivation, via the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic aims and between intrinsic and extrinsi...
Article
Objective: Novelty seeking (the tendency to explore things novel and unfamiliar) has been extensively researched in the clinical and health domains, but its effects on creative performance are largely unknown. We examined whether creativity-related personality traits (openness to experience and extraversion) associate with novelty seeking, and whe...
Article
Facial expressions of emotion contain important information that is perceived and used by observers to understand others’ emotional state. While there has been considerable research into perceptions of facial musculature and emotion, less work has been conducted to understand perceptions of facial coloration and emotion. The current research examin...
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Prior research has shown that for women viewing men, perceiving the color red can enhance attractiveness judgments in some contexts. Additionally, an association exists between the processing of color words and the perception of color stimuli. The present studies examined whether processing the word red would lead to similar psychological effects o...
Article
Facial color is a significant source of social information, providing cues to physiological and psychological phenomena, such as physical health and emotion. On the basis that detecting such cues in others is advantageous, past work has shown that individuals detect color differences with more accuracy when viewing faces than non-faces. The current...
Article
Objective: Trait and perceived environmental competitiveness are typically studied separately, but they undoubtedly have a joint influence on goal pursuit and behavior in achievement situations. The present research was designed to study them together. We tested the relation between trait and perceived environmental competitiveness, and tested the...
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In the present research, we proposed a systematic approach to disentangling the shared and unique variance explained by achievement goals, reasons for goal pursuit, and specific goal-reason combinations (i.e., achievement goal complexes). Four studies using this approach (involving nearly 1,800 participants) led to three basic sets of findings. Fir...
Article
We investigated the appraisal processes and personality antecedents that regulate people’s attraction to schema-violations - targets and objects that disconfirm schema - and stereotype-based expectancies. In two studies a preference for schema-violations (vs. consistencies) correlated positively with openness to experience, and negatively with the...
Article
Past research has shown that peripheral and facial redness influences perceptions of attractiveness for men viewing women. The current research investigated whether a parallel effect is present when women rate men with varying facial redness. In four experiments, women judged the attractiveness of men’s faces, which were presented with varying degr...
Poster
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Although commonly used as predictors of academic achievement, achievement goals have an unexplained oddity—a moderate, positive association among performance goals. Two studies used crowd-sourced samples to explore this unexplained positive correlation. Study 1 measured whether respondents recognized approaching norm-based success and avoiding norm...
Chapter
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Achievement goals are self-regulatory commitments that provide direction to individuals as they interpret and respond to competence-relevant situations. Four types of achievement goals have been the primary focus of the literature: Mastery-approach goals (master a task; improve over time), performance-approach goals (outperform others), mastery-avo...
Article
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People prefer curved and symmetrical shapes to their angular and asymmetrical counterparts. While it is known that stimulus valence is central to approach and avoidance motivation, the exact nature of the relationship between curvature/symmetry and approach/avoidance motivation still needs to be clarified. Experiment 1 was designed to investigate w...
Article
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This research examined opposing motivational processes produced by competition in vivo. Participants (N = 115) were randomly assigned to competition or no competition conditions, and completed a risk behavior measure (the Columbia Card Task). Cardiovascular responses were monitored during performance to assess challenge (approach-motivated) and thr...
Article
Social interdependence theory and the 2 × 2 achievement goal framework represent two important literatures that are often studied independently. The present research examined general social interdependence attitudes in school (cooperative, competitive, and individualistic) as antecedents of individuals' situation-specific(semes- ter- or class-focus...
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In the present research, we proposed and tested a 2 x 2 standpoints model of achievement goals grounded in the development-demonstration and approach-avoidance distinctions. Three empirical studies are presented. Study 1 provided evidence supporting the structure and psychometric properties of a newly developed measure of the goals of the 2 x 2 sta...
Article
In the present research, we investigated whether the red-attraction relation that has been observed for men viewing women may also be observed with regard to women's facial redness. We manipulated facial redness by slightly increasing or decreasing the redness on the faces of baseline pictures of target women, and then had men judge the attractiven...
Article
Theories on the link between achievement goals and achievement emotions focus on their within-person functional relationship (i.e., intraindividual relations). However, empirical studies have failed to analyze these intraindividual relations and have instead examined between-person covariation of the two constructs (i.e., interindividual relations)...
Article
In this research, we investigate impression management (IM) as a substantive personality variable by linking it to differentiated achievement motivation constructs, namely achievement motives (workmastery, competitiveness, fear of failure) and achievement goals (mastery-approach, mastery-avoidance, performance-approach, performance-avoidance). Stud...
Article
The study of motivation has been of interest to researchers in all fields who are interested in examining the underlying causes of behavior. Approach and avoidance motivation, in particular, has been a topic of much discussion since the inception of the field of psychology. This article begins with a brief definition of the approach–avoidance disti...
Article
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This study assessed the role of prior personal best goals in predicting subsequent academic motivation and engagement. A total of 1160 high school students participated in a longitudinal survey study exploring the extent to which personal best and mastery and performance (dichotomous) achievement goals predict students’ academic motivation and enga...
Article
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Within the past decade, the achievement goal approach has begun to be used to study teacher achievement motivation. In recent research with students, a 3 × 2 model of achievement goals has been proffered that separates mastery-based goals in terms of a task/self distinction. The purpose of the present study was to extend this 3 × 2 model to teacher...
Article
People vary in the extent to which they prefer cooperative, competitive or individualistic achievement tasks. In this research, we conducted two studies designed to investigate correlates and possible roots of these social interdependence orientations, namely approach and avoidance temperament, general self-efficacy, implicit theories of intelligen...
Article
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Math and science textbook chapters invariably supply students with sets of problems to solve, but this widely used approach is not optimal for learning; instead, more effective learning can be achieved when many problems to solve are replaced with correct and incorrect worked examples for students to study and explain. In the present study, the wor...
Article
Past research has shown that emotion can influence low-level visual processes, including color perception, that may play a role in higher-order vision. Moreover, the prevalence of linguistic pairings between emotions and color words suggests that emotional experience and color perception may be linked. The purpose of the present research was to tes...
Article
An experiment was conducted to test the moderating roles of ovulatory status and sociosexuality on female attraction to male red. Female participants were shown a picture of a man surrounded by a red or gray border, and then reported their sexual desire toward the man and their perceptions of his general likeability. The results indicated that wome...
Article
The present research examined the possibility that subtle face-like features (a smile- or a frown-like line) on a product can influence evaluations of and preferences for that product. The same within-participants experiment was conducted twice, once in the United Kingdom and once in Colombia: participants viewed four variants (concave [smile-like]...
Article
Prior research has documented negative, concurrent relations between internalizing symptomatology and academic achievement among adolescents. The present study provided the first rigorous, longitudinal examination of the bi-directional, prospective relations between adolescent internalizing symptomatology and academic achievement. One hundred and t...
Article
Although the emotion authentic pride has been posited to promote achievement, it remains unclear precisely how this works. Here, we tested whether authentic pride promotes adaptive downstream achievement outcomes by motivating individuals to engage in appropriate behavioral responses to success and failure. In two longitudinal studies (total n = 11...
Article
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In the past decade there has been increased interest in research on color and psychological functioning. Important advances have been made in theoretical work and empirical work, but there are also important weaknesses in both areas that must be addressed for the literature to continue to develop apace. In this article, I provide brief theoretical...
Article
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An experimental study was conducted to assess the role of personal best (PB) goal setting in gains (or declines) in mathematics achievement. A total of 89 elementary and secondary school students participated in a pre/post treatment/control group experimental design to test whether setting a specific PB target score for an upcoming achievement test...
Article
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Research has shown that men perceive women wearing red, relative to other colors, as more attractive and more sexually receptive; women’s perceptions of other women wearing red has scarcely been investigated. We hypothesized that women would also interpret female red as a sexual receptivity cue, and that this perception would be accompanied by riva...
Article
Humans find members of the opposite sex more attractive when their image is spatially associated with the color red. This effect even occurs when the red color is not on the skin or clothing (i.e. is extraneous). We hypothesize that this extraneous color effect could be at least partially explained by a low-level and biologically innate generalizat...