Benoît Monin's research while affiliated with Stanford University and other places

Publications (63)

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The relation between religiosity and well-being is one of the most researched topics in the psychology of religion, yet the directionality and robustness of the effect remains debated. Here, we adopted a many-analysts approach to assess the robustness of this relation based on a new cross-cultural dataset (N = 10, 535 participants from 24 countries...
Article
Quantification has been constitutive of psychology since its inception and is core to its scientific status. The adoption of qualitative methods eschewing inferential statistics is therefore unlikely to obtain. Rather than discarding useful tools because of improper use, we recommend highlighting how inferential statistics can be more thoughtfully...
Preprint
Quantification has been constitutive of psychology since its inception and is core to its scientific status. The adoption of qualitative methods eschewing inferential statistics is therefore unlikely to obtain. Rather than discarding useful tools because of improper use, we recommend highlighting how inferential statistics can be more thoughtfully...
Article
To what extent are research results influenced by subjective decisions that scientists make as they design studies? Fifteen research teams independently designed studies to answer five original research questions related to moral judgments, negotiations, and implicit cognition. Participants from 2 separate large samples (total N > 15,000) were then...
Article
Full-text available
To what extent are research results influenced by subjective decisions that scientists make as they design studies? Fifteen research teams independently designed studies to answer five original research questions related to moral judgments, negotiations, and implicit cognition. Participants from two separate large samples (total N > 15,000) were th...
Article
Viral outrage—the piling up of online condemnation in response to offensive remarks—is a common expression of moral judgment in the digital age. We examined whether viral outrage is effective in convincing observers that an offender is blameworthy. Across seven studies, participants ( N = 3,406) saw racist, sexist, or disrespectful posts with accom...
Article
Previous research has emphasized corporate lobbying as a pathway through which businesses influence government policy. This article examines a less-studied mode of influence: private regulation, defined as voluntary efforts by firms to restrain their own behavior. We argue that firms can use modest private regulations as a political strategy to pre...
Article
Moral outrage has traditionally served a valuable social function, expressing group values and inhibiting deviant behavior, but the exponential dynamics of Internet postings make this expression of legitimate individual outrage appear excessive and unjust. The same individual outrage that would be praised in isolation is more likely to be viewed as...
Article
Should experts always practice what they preach? When an expert displays exemplary behavior, individuals who fear negative devaluation sometimes anticipate that this expert will look down on them. As a result, displays of excellence can paradoxically turn off the very people they are trying to inspire. Five studies document this in the medical doma...
Article
Ebersole et al.'s (2016) attempt to replicate Monin and Miller (2001) raises important questions about choosing beforehand which statistical test is the target of a replication. While our original theory a priori only predicted a main effect of the credentials manipulation, we had observed in the study reproduced here an unexpected interaction with...
Article
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Monin, Sawyer, and Marquez (2008) demonstrated that a rebel who refused to participate in a racially prejudiced decision task was derogated by actors who had themselves taken part in the task, but exalted by uninvolved observers. These authors argued that this rejection resulted from actors who expected and resented imagined moral reproach from the...
Article
Why does past moral behavior sometimes lead people to do more of the same (consistency), whereas sometimes it liberates them to do the opposite (licensing)? We organize the literature on moderators of moral consistency versus licensing effects using five conceptual themes: construal level, progress versus commitment, identification, value reflectio...
Article
The current paper investigates two basic strategies that men use to recover from masculinity threats: (i) avoiding stereotypically feminine preferences and (ii) exaggerating their masculinity. In two experiments, males were either given false feedback that threatened their masculinity (i.e., underperforming on a masculinity test in Study 1, being p...
Article
When a speaker presents an opinion, an important factor in audiences' reactions is whether the speaker seems to be basing his or her decision on ethical (as opposed to more pragmatic) concerns. We argue that, despite a consequentialist philosophical tradition that views utilitarian consequences as the basis for moral reasoning, lay perceivers think...
Article
While direct replications such as the “Many Labs” project are extremely valuable in testing the reliability of published findings across laboratories, they reflect the common reliance in psychology on single vignettes or stimuli, which limits the scope of the conclusions that can be reached. New experimental tools and statistical techniques make it...
Article
In social hierarchies, moral stigma spreads down more than up. Across four vignette studies, exposure to the immoral behaviors of higher (vs. lower) ranking group members led online participants to report greater moral suspicion toward other group members (moral spillover). A higher ranking organization member’s deceptive practices were perceived a...
Article
An important factor in audiences’ reactions to a manager’s decision is whether she seems to be basing her decision on ethical (as opposed to more prosaic) concerns. This paper identifies the type of argument that sounds ethical to audiences. Despite a consequentialist philosophical tradition that views utilitarian consequences as the basis for mora...
Article
We investigated the influence of target versus non-target group members on judgments of racial discrimination. In Study 1, Black individuals were regarded as better sources of information about racial discrimination than White individuals. In Study 2, Black peers were more influential than White peers on judgments of discrimination. In Study 3, the...
Article
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This research examined two hypotheses: 1) reflecting on foregone indulgences licenses people to indulge, and 2) to justify future indulgence, people will exaggerate the sinfulness of actions not taken, thereby creating the illusion of having previously foregone indulgence. In Study 1 (a longitudinal study), dieters induced to reflect on unhealthy a...
Article
This paper explores the interactive effect of competitiveness and choice structure on symbolic (noninstrumental) choices in competitive situations. When individuals in competitive situations learn the stated preference of their opponent, their own choice depends on their competitiveness and on whether they are in an inclusive-choice situation (in w...
Article
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Six experiments examined how people strategically use thoughts of foregone misdeeds to regulate their moral behavior. We tested 2 hypotheses: 1st, that people will feel licensed to act in morally dubious ways when they can point to immoral alternatives to their prior behavior, and 2nd, that people made to feel insecure about their morality will exa...
Article
In 3 experiments using 2 different paradigms, people were less likely to cheat for personal gain when a subtle change in phrasing framed such behavior as diagnostic of an undesirable identity. Participants were given the opportunity to claim money they were not entitled to at the experimenters' expense; instructions referred to cheating with either...
Article
What happens when affective displays deviate from normative expectations? In this study, participants evaluated target individuals displaying flat, incongruent, or congruent expressions seemingly in response to pictures eliciting positive, neutral, or negative affect. Relative to targets who displayed normative reactions, those who violated affecti...
Article
Moral credentials establish one's virtue and license one to act in morally disreputable ways with impunity (Monin & Miller, 2001). We propose that when people anticipate doing something morally dubious, they strategically attempt to earn moral credentials. Participants who expected to do something that could appear racist (decline to hire a Black j...
Article
Responding to conflicting pressures to justify decisions both in terms of ethical standards and in terms of self-interested rationality, actors in organizations often make the dubious claim that value-driven goals are good for business. Whereas much work has already explored cases where moral and self-interested rationales clash, this review explor...
Article
If lay theories associate moral intuitions with deeply held values, people should feel uncomfortable relying on deliberative thinking when judging violations of personal taboos. In two preliminary studies, participants with siblings of the opposite sex were particularly troubled when evaluating a sibling incest scenario under instructions to think...
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In two experiments, we tested the hypothesis that pressure felt by U.S. immigrant groups to prove they belong in America causes them to consume more prototypically American, and consequently less healthy, foods. Asian Americans were three times more likely to report a prototypically American food as their favorite after being asked whether they spo...
Chapter
In this chapter, we propose a social psychological analysis of reactions to defiance. Deviants are often presented in social sciences as the passive victims of oppressive social orders for which they play a crucial function. We distinguish various classes of deviance, singling out the special case of defiance, where individuals are fully aware of t...
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Four studies document underestimations of the prevalence of others' negative emotions and suggest causes and correlates of these erroneous perceptions. In Study 1a, participants reported that their negative emotions were more private or hidden than were their positive emotions; in Study 1b, participants underestimated the peer prevalence of common...
Article
The present studies examined whether the tendency to praise others for positive (i.e., moral) behaviors correlates with the tendency to condemn others for negative (i.e., immoral) behaviors. Across three studies, factor analyses revealed that these tendencies are orthogonal. The results refute the hypothesis that simply caring deeply about morality...
Article
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Three studies examined when and why an actor's prior good deeds make observers more willing to excuse--or license--his or her subsequent, morally dubious behavior. In a pilot study, actors' good deeds made participants more forgiving of the actors' subsequent transgressions. In Study 1, participants only licensed blatant transgressions that were in...
Article
For Knobe, observers evaluate mental states by comparing agents' statements with "defaults," the attitudes they are expected to hold. In our analysis, Knobe's model relies primarily on what agents should think, and little on expectancies of what they would think. We show the importance and complexity of including descriptive and prescriptive norms...
Article
Past good deeds can liberate individuals to engage in behaviors that are immoral, unethical, or otherwise problematic, behaviors that they would otherwise avoid for fear of feeling or appearing immoral. We review research on this moral self-licensing effect in the domains of political correctness, prosocial behavior, and consumer choice. We also di...
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Three experiments demonstrated that feeling wronged leads to a sense of entitlement and to selfish behavior. In Experiment 1, participants instructed to recall a time when their lives were unfair were more likely to refuse to help the experimenter with a supplementary task than were participants who recalled a time when they were bored. In Experime...
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Little research has studied experimentally whether an opt-out policy will increase testing rates or whether this strategy is especially effective in the case of stigmatized diseases such as HIV. In Study 1, a 2 x 2 factorial design asked participants to make moral judgments about a person's decision to test for stigmatized diseases under an opt-in...
Article
Oppenheimer's (2004) demonstration that causal discounting (when the presence of one cause casts doubt on the presence of another) can happen spontaneously addressed the standing concern that discounting was an artifact of experimental demands, but these results could have resulted from memory inhibition. The present studies rule out this alternati...
Article
The gambler's fallacy (Tune, 1964) refers to the belief that a streak is more likely to end than chance would dictate. In three studies, participants exhibited a \textit{retrospective gambler's fallacy} (RGF) in which an event that seems rare appears to come from a longer sequence than an event that seems more common. Study 1 demonstrates this bias...
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Three studies tested whether the opportunity to endorse Barack Obama made individuals subsequently more likely to favor Whites over Blacks. In Study 1, participants were more willing to describe a job as better suited for Whites than for Blacks after expressing support for Obama. Study 2 replicated this effect and ruled out alternative explanations...
Article
Humans are spending an increasing amount of time in tele-immersive environments interacting with avatars or virtual human bodies. Additionally, human behavior and cognition are affected by experiences in tele-immersive environments. Although there is substantial psychological work surrounding the notion of morality, there is little work that examin...
Article
We propose that two psychological dimensions, one relevant to relationships and group life (communion, C) and the other to skill acquisition, talent, and accomplishment (agency, A), aid people in interpreting their social worlds. Moreover, our analysis demonstrates the privileged nature of the C dimension and its relative stability compared to the...
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When people's rationality and agency are implicitly called into question by the more expedient behavior of others, they sometimes respond by feeling morally superior; this is referred to as the sucker-to-saint effect. In Experiment 1, participants who completed a tedious task and then saw a confederate quit the same task elevated their own morality...
Article
Four studies document the rejection of moral rebels. In Study 1, participants who made a counterattitudinal speech disliked a person who refused on principle to do so, but uninvolved observers preferred this rebel to an obedient other. In Study 2, participants taking part in a racist task disliked a rebel who refused to go along, but mere observers...
Article
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Five experiments demonstrate how potential moral stigma leads people to underplay their susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and dampens their interest in getting tested. After adding unprotected sex to a list of otherwise innocuous possible vectors for a disease, the authors found that infected people were perceived to be less mo...
Article
In two studies, we document “failure to warn”—a reduced likelihood of warning Black students against potential academic difficulty compared to White students. In both studies, participants placed in the role of academic advisors saw a highly challenging academic course plan, attributed to either a Black or a White student, and gave Black students l...
Article
Recent approaches to moral judgment have typically pitted emotion against reason. In an effort to move beyond this debate, we propose that authors presenting diverging models are considering quite different prototypical situations: those focusing on the resolution of complex dilemmas conclude that morality involves sophisticated reasoning, whereas...
Article
This short review analyzes the specificity of upward social comparison in the moral domain, suggesting that it blends Festinger's (1954) distinction between opinions and abilities. We discuss positive outcomes (elevation) and negative ones (resentment), and moderators of this reaction. Then we identify the ways in which moral comparison constitutes...
Article
ONE CAN not study the relationship between emotions and decisions without including an analysis of moral judgement, both because many significant decisions that individuals make every day involve morality, and because an increasingly influential school of thought stresses the importance of emotions in moral judgement. In fact, one of the major deba...
Article
Five studies investigate identity denial, the situation in which an individual is not recognized as a member of an important in-group. Asian Americans are seen as less American than other Americans (Study 1) and realize this is the case, although they do not report being any less American than White Americans (Studies 2A and 2B). Identity denial is...
Article
Monin (2003) showed that the attractiveness of a face increases its perceived familiarity regardless of prior exposure, and suggested that this beautiful-is-familiar effect was due to the misattribution to familiarity of the positive affect (or “warm glow”) elicited by attractive faces. This research tests the alternative interpretation that an eva...
Article
Five studies demonstrate that the positive valence of a stimulus increases its perceived familiarity, even in the absence of prior exposure. For example, beautiful faces feel familiar. Two explanations for this effect stand out: (a). Stimulus prototypicality leads both to positivity and familiarity, and (b). positive affect is used to infer familia...
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Three studies support the vicarious dissonance hypothesis that individuals change their attitudes when witnessing members of important groups engage in inconsistent behavior. Study 1, in which participants observed an actor in an induced-compliance paradigm, documented that students who identified with their college supported an issue more after he...
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A 5-day field study (N = 415) during and right after a shower ban demonstrated multifaceted social projection and the tendency to draw personality inferences from simple behavior in a time of drastic consensus change. Bathers thought showering was more prevalent than did non-bathers (false consensus) and respondents consistently underestimated the...
Article
Three experiments supported the hypothesis that people are more willing to express attitudes that could be viewed as prejudiced when their past behavior has established their credentials as nonprejudiced persons. In Study 1, participants given the opportunity to disagree with blatantly sexist statements were later more willing to favor a man for a...
Article
Three experiments supported the hypothesis that people are more willing to express attitudes that could be viewed as prejudiced when their past behavior has established their credentials as nonprejudiced persons. In Study 1, participants given the opportunity to disagree with blatantly sexist statements were later more willing to favor a man for a...

Citations

... Experiments have shown that olfaction is connected to processing contextual memories and facilitating memory retrieval in children as young as three months (Suss et al., 2012). Looking at, touching and smelling food is a basic part of enjoyable (hedonic) eating practices in most cultures (Monin and Szczurek, 2014). Consumer studies with adults have shown that, together with smell, taste perception increases positive associations with a product (Torila, 2007). ...
... Instead, they will settle for "moral enough." 8 It is reassuring that achieving the status of "moral enough" will not harm their moral identity. [9][10][11][12] Additionally, people have claim to have good reasons for choosing the most moral course of action 13,14 and to have strong justifications for their immoral actions. ...
... We compared effects across the three designs. Thus, the use of three different response scales helps to check the robustness of the effect, as minor methodological features can influence the results of hypothesis tests (e.g., Baribault et al., 2018;Landy et al., 2020). ...
... Forecasting Survey. Following previous efforts (91,93), we asked independent scientists (n = 238) recruited via social media advertisements to attempt to predict the outcomes of the generalizability tests while blinded to the results. Each forecaster was provided with the original article's title; abstract; full text, including the original sample size and all associated analyses; the key statistical test from the paper; and a narrative summary of the focal finding and attempted to predict both its direct reproducibility and generalizability to different time periods. ...
... This, focuses a spotlight on an important question in urban planning, regarding the creation or formation of insular neighborhoods with their own strongly defined social norms. Most people adhere to social norms since deviating makes us feel odd or weird (Cialdini & Trost, 1998) or deviating makes us feel wrong and guilty and deviating threatens our relationships with our community (Crocker et al., 1998;Jetten & Hornsey, 2011;Levine & Marques, 2016;Monin & O'Connor, 2011). ...
... People are not always cognizant of the prevailing descriptive or injunctive norms in a given context (Miller et al., 2000;Prentice & Miller, 1993;Ross et al., 1977). We propose that when the descriptive norm for a behavior is low and the injunctive norm is high, informing consumers about both norms can have compelling consequences for behavior change. ...
... Regarding corporations, this journal strives to understand which kinds of climate actions are adopted and why. One straightforward explanation for voluntary corporate climate action is to preempt stricter public regulation (Malhotra et al., 2019). However, there are additional motivations for business actors to adopt stricter private standards or to even lobby for stricter public standards such as the considerations regarding competitive advantage (Morioka et al., 2017). ...
... Moralization can be a positive force, for instance by holding bad actors accountable and increasing cooperation (Crockett 2017), by expressing group values and inhibiting deviant behavior (Sawaoka and Monin 2018); or, in the case of public health, by signaling that an issue is morally important (Verweij and Dawson 2007). Nevertheless, it often exacerbates social conflict and can lead people to dehumanize others (Fincher and Tetlock 2016). ...
... Conversely, moral self-concept deteriorates when a person commits immoral acts (e.g., lying, abusing someone, or committing a crime). Past enactment of morally praiseworthy actions provides perceptual justification for morally questionable actions in future-moral licensing (Merritt et al., 2010;Monin and Miller, 2001). ...
... A way to defend oneself against such perceived moral reproach is to distance oneself from the source of threat (Monin, 2007), which has been shown relevant to healthcare settings. For example, the more strongly that people believe a physician would be disapproving of their potentially unhealthy habits, the less they would want that physician to be their doctor (Howe and Monin, 2017). Moreover, when smokers experience stigma, they may actually become less likely to quit smoking (Helweg-Larsen et al., 2019). ...