C. Nathan DeWall's research while affiliated with University of Kentucky and other places

Publications (208)

Article
People often favor their ingroup and derogate members of the outgroup. However, less is known about "religious dones," who used to identify as religious but no longer do and have more transitional identities. Across six studies (N = 5,001; four preregistered), we examined the affiliative tendencies of religious dones and how they are perceived by o...
Article
Research on intellectual humility has grown, but little work has explored its role in moral decisions. Building on recent work on the Veil of Ignorance, we randomly assigned some participants to imagine being part of an existentially-threatening situation that could possibly lead to the greater good for society (i.e. The Human Challenge Experiments...
Article
In the United States, prospective adoptive parents often express preferences related to race. In two studies, we examined whether implicit racial bias against Black people may contribute to disparities in much less willingness to adopt Black children. The first study (N = 510) assessed individuals’ implicit racial bias and their willingness to adop...
Preprint
Religion offers a powerful social identity. However, religious change is common across the lifespan, including some who leave religion altogether. Research on leaving religion has mostly been fragmented and failed to embrace a unified theory that captures the breadth of the extant research and appreciates the crucial nuances revealed by empirical f...
Article
Many people spend money on religious and secular products. How do spending preferences change when people stop identifying as religious? People who stop identifying as religious (religious dones) may retain preferences for religious products more so than people who have never identified as religious (religious nones). Three studies (two preregister...
Article
Objective: Religious identification is associated with specific values, particularly conservation values that focus on social rather than personal interest. Recent research, however, suggests that the psychological repercussions of religious commitment can persist after people cease identifying as religious. We examine if this religion residue eff...
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Full-text available
Opioid misuse is a costly public health issue that often develops in response to physical pain. However, the roles of social pain in opioid misuse and the neural mechanisms that convey its potential effects are largely uninvestigated. Twenty eight participants who reported recreational opioid misuse in the past 30 days completed a study in which th...
Article
Religion provides a powerful social identity. Building on previous work demonstrating that formerly religious individuals (i.e., religious dones) more closely resemble currently religious individuals than do never religious individuals (i.e., religious nones), we report three studies examining a potential religious residue effect for the endorsemen...
Preprint
Identifying as nonreligious is increasingly more common in the United States. However, up until recently the field has been slow to understand differences in experience among those who have never been religious and those who have deidentified from religion. In addressing this gap, we sought to first identify differing motivations for deidentifying...
Preprint
What types of religious and spiritual struggles do people experience when they disengage from religion? We examined college students (N = 3,598) who had pulled back from religion, either by no longer identifying as religious or spiritual (Dones) or by disengaging from organized religion while maintaining an identity as religious (Disengaged but Rel...
Preprint
Religion provides a powerful social identity. Building on previous work demonstrating that formerly religious individuals (i.e., religious dones) more closely resemble currently religious individuals than do never religious individuals (i.e., religious nones), we report three studies examining a potential religious residue effect for the endorsemen...
Preprint
Identifying as nonreligious is increasingly more common in the United States. However, up until recently the field has been slow to understand differences in experience among those who have never been religious and those who have deidentified from religion. In addressing this gap, we sought to first identify differing motivations for deidentifying...
Data
Supplementary Information for the Article "Name Uniqueness Predicts Career Choice and Career Achievement".
Article
Transcranial direct current stimulation can sometimes cause the opposite of its intended effect. These reverse effects may be related in part to individual differences in personality and neurochemistry. Previous studies have demonstrated that dopamine levels can impact the effects of tDCS. In the present study, 124 healthy participants took the UPP...
Preprint
More than 1 billion people worldwide report no religious affiliation. These religious “nones” represent the world’s third largest religion-related identity group and are a diverse group, with some having previous religious identification and others never identifying as religious. We examined how three forms of religious identification—current, form...
Preprint
Transcranial direct current stimulation can sometimes cause the opposite of its intended effect. These reverse effects may be related in part to individual differences in personality and neurochemistry. Previous studies have demonstrated that dopamine levels can impact the effects of tDCS. In the present study, 124 healthy participants took the UPP...
Article
Full-text available
Aggression is an affect-laden behavior. The within-person variability of affective states that immediately precede, accompany, and follow aggression-and their links to between-person variability in aggressive behavior and traits-remain incompletely understood. To address this gap in our understanding, we examined 8 studies in which 2,173 participan...
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Full-text available
Physical pain motivates the healing of somatic injuries. Yet it remains unknown whether social pain serves a similarly reparative function towards social injuries. Given the substantial overlap between physical and social pain, we predicted that social pain would mediate the effect of rejection on greater motivation for social reconnection and affi...
Article
More than 1 billion people worldwide report no religious affiliation. These religious "nones" represent the world's third largest religion-related identity group and are a diverse group, with some having previous religious identification and others never identifying as religious. We examined how 3 forms of religious identification-current, former,...
Preprint
Full-text available
Do personal names relate to career choice and career achievement? If so, how and why? We propose that uniqueness (vs. conformity), a dimension crucial for identity construction, may associate name (personal identity) with career (vocational identity). By testing a broad range of names and jobs, we identified a phenomenon—the name-job uniqueness fit...
Article
Eleven studies (N = 2,254; 2 preregistered) examined whether ostracism would trigger suicidal thoughts and whether perceived meaning in life would account for this effect. The feeling of ostracism was induced via recalling a past experience (Studies 1a, 1c, 2c, and 3b), imagining a future experience (Studies 1d, 1e, and 2b), engaging in an online r...
Preprint
Aggression is an affect-laden behavior. The within-person variability of affective states that immediately precede, accompany, and follow aggression — and their links to between-person variability in aggressive behavior and traits — remain incompletely understood. To address this gap in our understanding, we examined eight studies in which 2,173 pa...
Article
Full-text available
Psychopathic traits predispose individuals toward antisocial behavior. Such antagonistic acts often result in “unsuccessful” outcomes such as incarceration. What mechanisms allow some people with relatively high levels of psychopathic traits to live “successful”, unincarcerated lives, in spite of their antisocial tendencies? Using neuroimaging, we...
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Full-text available
Psychopathic traits predispose individuals toward antisocial behavior. Such antagonistic acts often result in ‘unsuccessful’ outcomes such as incarceration. What mechanisms allow some people with relatively high levels of psychopathic traits to live ‘successful’, un-incarcerated lives, in spite of their antisocial tendencies? Using neuroimaging, we...
Preprint
Psychopathic traits predispose individuals toward antisocial behavior. Such antagonistic acts often result in 'unsuccessful’ outcomes such as incarceration. What mechanisms allow some people with relatively high levels of psychopathic traits to live ‘successful’, un-incarcerated lives, in spite of their antisocial tendencies? Using neuroimaging, we...
Article
Full-text available
People often have to make decisions between immediate rewards and more long‐term goals. Such intertemporal judgments are often investigated in the context of monetary choice or drug use, yet not in regard to aggressive behavior. We combined a novel intertemporal aggression paradigm with functional neuroimaging to examine the role of temporal delay...
Article
This manuscript consists of a study and a direct replication of it examining the interactive effect of self-regulatory depletion and impulsivity on points earned in a progressive ratio task. In study 1 (n = 238), participants first completed a measure of delay discounting. Next, they underwent depletion exercises or control exercises. Finally, they...
Preprint
People often have to make decisions between immediate rewards and more long-term goals. Such intertemporal judgments are often investigated in the context of monetary choice or drug use, yet not in regards to aggressive behavior. We combined a novel intertemporal aggression paradigm with functional neuroimaging to examine the role of temporal delay...
Article
Full-text available
Sadism is a “dark” trait that involves the experience of pleasure from others’ pain, yet much is unknown about its link to aggression. Across eight studies (total N = 2,255), sadism predicted greater aggression against both innocent targets and provocateurs. These associations occurred above-and-beyond general aggressiveness, impulsivity, and other...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sadism is a ‘dark’ trait that involves the experience of pleasure from others’ pain, yet much is unknown about its link to aggression. Across eight studies (total N=2,255), sadism predicted greater aggression against both innocent targets and provocateurs. These associations occurred above-and-beyond general aggressiveness, impulsivity, and other ‘...
Article
Full-text available
This meta-analysis (k=48, N=2,196) examined the effect of transcranial direct current brain stimulation (tDCS) applied to the prefrontal cortex on a variety of social behaviors, including aggression, overeating, impulsivity, bias, honesty, and risk-taking. tDCS showed an overall significant effect on reducing undesirable behaviors, with an average...
Article
Cambridge Core - Social Psychology - The Cambridge Handbook of Violent Behavior and Aggression - edited by Alexander T. Vazsonyi
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Full-text available
Social rejection is a distressing and painful event that many people must cope with on a frequent basis. Mindfulness - defined here as a mental state of receptive attentiveness to internal and external stimuli as they arise, moment-to-moment - may buffer such social distress. However, little research indicates whether mindful individuals adaptively...
Preprint
Social rejection is a distressing and painful event that many people must cope with on a frequent basis. Mindfulness – defined here as a mental state of receptive attentiveness to internal and external stimuli as they arise, moment-to-moment – may buffer such social distress. However, little research indicates whether mindful individuals adaptively...
Article
Full-text available
Oxytocin (OT) not only modulates positive social interactions but also affects negative ones. Several studies have established a link between OT and aggression. However, they also resulted in an inconsistent picture and showed methodological issues. The current studies aimed to address these lacks and test the hypothesis that OT increases provocati...
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Full-text available
Social rejection is a painful event that often increases aggression. However, the neural mechanisms of this rejection-aggression link remain unclear. A potential clue may be that rejected people often recruit the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex's (VLPFC) self-regulatory processes to manage the pain of rejection. Using functional MRI, we replicated...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social rejection is a painful event that often increases aggression. However, the neural mechanisms of this rejection-aggression link remain unclear. A potential clue may be that rejected people often recruit the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex’s (VLPFC) self-regulatory processes to manage the pain of rejection. Using functional MRI, we replicated...
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Full-text available
Alcohol use and abuse (e.g., binge drinking) are among the most reliable causes of aggressive behavior. Conversely, people with aggressive dispositions (e.g., intermittent explosive disorder) are at greater risk for subsequent substance abuse. Yet it remains unknown why aggression might promote subsequent alcohol use. Both aggressive acts and alcoh...
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Nostalgia, a sentimental longing for the past, is a self-relevant and social emotion. Nostalgia proneness is associated with alleviation of distress or instability (e.g., neuroticism). Although nostalgia proneness is heritable, the specific molecular contributors to this heritability are unknown. We focused on a polymorphism in the promoter of the...
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Full-text available
Intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration is often preceded by perceived interpersonal provocations such as slights, insults, and rejections. Yet the neural mechanisms that link provocation to IPV remain unclear. In the context of interactions with strangers, the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) has been repeatedly shown to respond to provocation...
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Background: Understanding why individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) ruminate on prior provocations, despite its negative outcomes, is crucial to improving interventions. Provocation-focused rumination may be rewarding in the short term by amplifying anger and producing feelings of justification, validation, and increased energy, w...
Preprint
Intimate partner violence (IPV) perpetration is often preceded by perceived interpersonal provocations such as slights, insults, and rejections. Yet the neural mechanisms that link provocation to IPV remain unclear. In the context of interactions with strangers, the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) has been repeatedly shown to respond to provocation...
Article
Full-text available
People differ in how much they seek retribution for interpersonal insults, slights, rejections, and other antagonistic actions. Identifying individuals who are most prone towards such revenge-seeking is a theoretically-informative and potentially violence-reducing endeavor. However, we have yet to understand the extent to which revenge-seeking indi...
Preprint
People differ in how much they seek retribution for interpersonal insults, slights, rejections, and other antagonistic actions. Identifying individuals who are most prone towards such revenge-seeking is a theoretically-informative and potentially violence-reducing endeavor. However, we have yet to understand the extent to which revenge-seeking indi...
Preprint
What causes individuals to hurt others? Since the famous case of Phineas Gage, lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) have been reliably linked to physically aggressive behavior. However, it is unclear whether naturally-occurring deficits in VMPFC, among normal individuals, might have widespread consequences for aggression. Using vox...
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Full-text available
What causes individuals to hurt others? Since the famous case of Phineas Gage, lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) have been reliably linked to physically aggressive behavior. However, it is unclear whether naturally-occurring deficits in VMPFC, among normal individuals, might have widespread consequences for aggression. Using vox...
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Full-text available
We introduce a new measure of sub-clinical self-harm tendencies, the Voodoo Doll Self-Injury Task (VDSIT). In this computer task, participants virtually stick a number of sharp pins in a doll that represents themselves. Across five community and undergraduate samples who were not recruited based on their self-harm history or risk (total N = 1,289),...
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Full-text available
Meaning is a central feature of human life. Our overarching proposition is that self-regulation helps facilitate meaning in life. We propose that purposeful, effortful, and directive actions that regulate selfish impulses are necessary to continually develop a sense of meaning in life. We explain how self-regulatory processes map onto this process:...
Preprint
We introduce a new measure of sub-clinical self-harm tendencies, the Voodoo Doll Self-Injury Task (VDSIT). In this computer task, participants virtually stick a number of sharp pins in a doll that represents themselves. Across five community and undergraduate samples who were not recruited based on their self-harm history or risk (total N = 1,289),...
Article
This study examines the effects of social exclusion on consumers' brand and product switching behavior. Five studies were conducted, which revealed that consumers who perceive themselves as being chronically or temporarily excluded exhibit more switching behavior than their peers who do not feel socially excluded. This effect is mediated by a decre...
Article
Theorists argue that self-control failure is the underlying cause of criminal behavior, with previous research linking poor self-control to delinquency and drug use. The path from self-control to crime is well-established, but less is known about whether criminal behavior contributes to self-control deficits over time. We investigated bi-directiona...
Article
Background/objective: Although sleep problems are linked to relationship difficulties, the mechanisms involved have not been empirically demonstrated. The present study considers self-control as such a mechanism. Participants: Data were collected from 342 predominantly white, middle-class, married adults. Method: Participants completed online...
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Full-text available
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a paradoxical combination of affection and aggression. So why do people show an all-too-frequent tendency to harm their loved ones? Towards answering this question, we review a broad literature that explicates the ultimate and proximate roots of IPV perpetration. At the ultimate level, IPV perpetration is likely t...
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Impulsivity is a multifaceted trait with substantial implications for human well-being. One facet of impulsivity is negative urgency, the tendency to act impulsively in response to negative affect. Correlational evidence suggests that negative affect magnifies impulsive behavior among individuals with greater negative urgency, yet causal evidence f...
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How does emotion explain the relationship between social rejection and aggression? Rejection reliably damages mood, leaving individuals motivated to repair their negatively valenced affective state. Retaliatory aggression is often a pleasant experience. Rejected individuals may then harness revenge’s associated positive affect to repair their mood....
Article
Poor self-control is a root cause of aggression and criminality. But people can improve their self-control through repetitive practice. Because self-control involves acting in accordance with personal values, practicing self-control can promote attainment of value-consistent goals. The present research tested the hypothesis that practicing self-con...
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Full-text available
Past research has established that loneliness is associated with both self-concept confusion and depression. The present work ties these disparate lines of research together by demonstrating that self-concept confusion mediates the relationship between loneliness and depression. Three studies, one cross-sectional and two longitudinal, supported thi...
Chapter
Why do not people behave aggressively? Most people experience aggressive urges, but they restrain their wish to lash out. Self-regulation helps make this possible. This chapter discusses two approaches to understanding the relationship between self-regulation and aggression. Using the strength model of self-regulation as a starting point, we review...
Article
Attachment theory proposes that experiences of acceptance and rejection will modify feelings of attachment security, but such processes have rarely been investigated. In this study, daily variations in attachment anxiety and avoidance were investigated across 7 days in a sample of college undergraduates currently in romantic relationships. We obser...
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Full-text available
Trait mindfulness, or the capacity for nonjudgmental, present-centered attention, predicts lower aggression in cross-sectional samples, an effect mediated by reduced anger rumination. Experimental work also implicates state mindfulness (i.e., fluctuations around one’s typical mindfulness) in aggression. Despite evidence that both trait and state mi...
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Background: Alcohol abuse is a common and costly practice. Individuals high in negative urgency, the tendency to act rashly when experiencing negative emotions, are at particular risk for abusing alcohol. Alcohol abuse among individuals high in negative urgency may be due to (a) increased activity in the brain's striatum, (b) decreased activity in...
Article
Full-text available
Physical pain motivates the healing of somatic injuries, yet it remains unknown whether social pain serves a similarly reparative function toward social injuries. Given the substantial overlap between physical and social pain, we predicted that social pain would mediate the effect of rejection on greater motivation for social reconnection and affil...
Article
Full-text available
Individuals with genotypes that code for reduced dopaminergic brain activity often exhibit a predisposition towards aggression. However, it remains largely unknown how dopaminergic genotypes may increase aggression. Lower-functioning dopamine systems motivate individuals to seek reward from external sources such as illicit drugs and other risky exp...
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Full-text available
Research on risk factors for men's perpetration of intimate partner violence (IPV) has shown a high correlation with problem alcohol use. Additional studies, however, indicate that the alcohol-IPV link is neither simple nor necessarily direct and that a range of factors may moderate this relationship. Using a national, community-based sample of 255...
Article
Why do people experience anger? Most of our knowledge on anger-triggering events is based on the study of reactions at a single time point in a person's life. Little research has examined how people experience anger in their daily life over time. In this study, we conducted a comprehensive examination of the situational determinants of anger over t...