Hallgeir Sjåstad's research while affiliated with NHH Norwegian School of Economics and other places

Publications (38)

Chapter
The matrix of maybe can be defined as a way of conceptualizing the future, either imminent or distant, as a set of options, only some of which will come true. The “maybe” is meant to invoke not only the options readily available but also the uncertain nature of their consequences. For example, people may choose a job or a spouse from among several...
Article
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Long-term thinking and voluntary resource sharing are two distinctive traits of human nature. Across three experiments (N=1,082), I propose a causal connection: Sometimes people are generous because they think about the future. Participants were randomly assigned to either focus on the present or the future and then made specific decisions in hypot...
Preprint
Clear-cut lying for personal gain is widely considered immoral. But does it matter whom one is lying to? As individual decisions naturally occur in social context, acceptability of dishonesty may depend on the group identity of the interaction partner -- posing a serious challenge for intergroup cooperation and societal polarization. Providing an e...
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At the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 became a global problem. Despite all the efforts to emphasize the relevance of preventive measures, not everyone adhered to them. Thus, learning more about the characteristics determining attitudinal and behavioral responses to the pandemic is crucial to improving future interventions. In this study, we applied ma...
Preprint
Predictions about the future are often inaccurate, but the direction of prediction errors may vary. Contrary to research on the intention-behavior gap, where people fail to live up to their future ambitions, a study on “moral forecasting” found that people behaved more honestly than they predicted. Since this interesting prediction error has only b...
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Changing collective behaviour and supporting non-pharmaceutical interventions is an important component in mitigating virus transmission during a pandemic. In a large international collaboration (Study 1, N = 49,968 across 67 countries), we investigated self-reported factors associated with public health behaviours (e.g., spatial distancing and str...
Article
Virtual reality can influence consumer behavior in powerful ways, but in the domain of tourism marketing, less is known about the psychological process. One possibility is that VR has stronger impact on mental imagery than traditional channels, creating vivid simulations of what it would be like to visit destinations. This process might create hedo...
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Societal crises and personal challenges are often followed by substantial changes in physical activity. Is there a link between such changes and psychological well-being? Seeking to answer this question, we conducted a correlational study on a representative sample in Sweden during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic (N = 1035). About 49% of th...
Preprint
The matrix of maybe can be defined as a way of conceptualizing the future, either imminent or distant, as a set of options, only some of which will come true. The “maybe” is meant to invoke not only the options readily available but also the uncertain nature of their consequences. For example, people may choose a job or a spouse from among several...
Preprint
Trust in leaders is central to citizen compliance with public policies. One potential determinant of trust is how leaders resolve conflicts between utilitarian and non- utilitarian ethical principles in moral dilemmas. Past research suggests that utilitarian responses to dilemmas can both erode and enhance trust in leaders: sacrificing some people...
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Full-text available
Trust in leaders is central to citizen compliance with public policies. One potential determinant of trust is how leaders resolve conflicts between utilitarian and non-utilitarian ethical principles in moral dilemmas. Past research suggests that utilitarian responses to dilemmas can both erode and enhance trust in leaders: sacrificing some people t...
Preprint
Full-text available
Cooperation is essential to overcome global pandemics and other health crises, as many preventative measures require people to bear a personal cost to benefit other people or society as a whole. Wearing a face mask, for example, protects other people more than it protects oneself. In this essay, we discuss several mechanisms that are known to promo...
Article
The rise of peer-to-peer platforms has represented one of the major economic and societal developments observed in the last decade. We investigated whether people engage in racial discrimination in the sharing economy, and how such discrimination might be explained and mitigated. Using a set of carefully controlled experiments (N = 1,599), includin...
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Even though planning is generally helpful in goal pursuit, people do not always choose to plan. The inclination to plan might depend on whether we focus on what we seek to approach or what we seek to avoid. In two pre-registered experiments, we tested the relative effect of approach versus avoidance motivation on willingness to plan (total N=1349)....
Preprint
Full-text available
Even though planning is generally helpful in goal pursuit, people do not always choose to plan. The inclination to plan might depend on whether we focus on what we seek to approach or what we seek to avoid. In two pre-registered experiments, we tested the relative effect of approach versus avoidance motivation on willingness to plan (total N=1349)....
Article
Full-text available
Informed by moral typecasting theory, we predicted a gender bias in harm evaluation, such that women are more easily categorized as victims and men as perpetrators. Study 1 participants assumed a harmed target was female (versus male), but especially when labeled ‘victim’. Study 2 participants perceived animated shapes perpetuating harm as male and...
Preprint
Full-text available
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a devastating global health crisis. Without a vaccine or effective medication, the best hope for mitigating virus transmission is collective behavior change and support for public health interventions (e.g., physical distancing, physical hygiene, and endorsement of health policies). In a large-scale international co...
Chapter
Abundant evidence suggests that people exert self-control as if the exertions consumed a limited energy resource, akin to the folk notion of willpower. After exerting self-control, subsequent efforts at self-control are often relatively feeble and unsuccessful. The state of low willpower is called ego depletion. Studies on ego depletion have shown...
Article
Social exclusion reduces happiness and well-being partly by creating a generalized expectation of future rejection and lack of belonging. An experiment (N = 709) using a guided imagination task found that social exclusion led to reduced feelings of happiness. The effect was mediated by future expectations, as participants who imagined a vivid exclu...
Article
By neglecting the lifelong importance of having a good reputation, humans can profit in the short run from immoral behavior. Thus, reputation-protection is an intertemporal choice. In three preregistered studies ( N = 1,492 Americans), we tested the hypothesis that future-orientation would increase people’s willingness to protect their reputation f...
Preprint
During the current global pandemic (Coronavirus/COVID-19), policy-makers and citizens in numerous countries have been unprepared to respond, or been responding too late. Why are so many people hesitant to take precautionary action? In three experiments on health risk prediction (N = 2,300 Americans), we identified two kinds of relative optimism. Pa...
Article
Across six experiments (N = 1304), people dealt with failure by dismissing the value of future goals. Participants were randomly assigned to receive good or poor feedback on a practice trial of a cognitive test (Studies 1–3, 5–6) or their academic performance (Study 4). Those who received poor (vs. good) feedback predicted that they would feel less...
Article
In three studies (n = 427), participants wrote and answered questions about autobiographical episodes involving helping behavior from the perspective of the helper vs. the recipient. Both helpers and recipients reported that the benefits of help outweighed the costs (i.e., the help was non-zero-sum). Helpers underestimated the degree to which recip...
Preprint
Future optimism is a widespread phenomenon, often attributed to the psychology of intuition. However, causal evidence for this explanation is lacking, and sometimes cautious realism is found. One resolution is that thoughts about the future have two steps: A first step imagining the desired outcome, and then a sobering reflection on how to get ther...
Article
Long-term thinking and voluntary resource sharing are two distinctive traits of human nature. Across three experiments (N=1,082), I propose a causal connection: Sometimes people are generous because they think about the future. Participants were randomly assigned to either focus on the present or the future and then made specific decisions in hypot...
Preprint
By neglecting the life-long importance of having a good reputation, humans can profit in the short run from immoral behavior. Thus, reputation-protection is an intertemporal choice. In three pre-registered studies (N=1,492), we tested the hypothesis that future-orientation would increase people's willingness to protect their reputation from harm. I...
Article
Full-text available
When, if ever, would a person want to be held responsible for his or her choices? Across four studies (N = 915), people favored more extreme rewards and punishments for their future than their past actions. This included thinking that they should receive more blame and punishment for future misdeeds than for past ones, and more credit and reward fo...
Preprint
According to longitudinal research, psychological well-being is remarkably stable over time. However, people may still believe that the future will deviate from the past. Across three experiments in two different countries (N=1,130; two pre-registered), participants were randomly assigned to report their well-being in the past or predict their futu...
Article
Planning is a future-directed thought process that is highly beneficial, but it requires mental effort. Informed by the strength model of self-regulation, four studies (N = 546) tested the hypothesis that willingness to plan is linked to good self-control. A correlational study (N = 201) found that people high in trait self-control had done more pl...
Article
Full-text available
Thinking about the future highlights the constructive nature of consciousness, as opposed to merely representing what is there — because the future is not yet available to be seen. We elaborate this point to emphasize how consciousness deals in alternative possibilities, and indeed preconscious interpretation confers meaning by recognizing these al...
Preprint
Full-text available
Thinking about the future highlights the constructive nature of consciousness, as opposed to merely representing what is there — because the future is not yet available to be seen. We elaborate this point to emphasize how consciousness deals in alternative possibilities, and indeed preconscious interpretation confers meaning by recognizing these al...
Preprint
When, if ever, would a person want to be held responsible for his or her choices? Across four studies (N = 915), people assigned more moral responsibility to themselves for their future than their past actions. This included thinking that they should receive more blame and punishment for future misdeeds than for past ones, and more credit and rewar...
Preprint
If initial failure makes future success seem out of reach, do people think that such success would bring them more or less happiness than if initial performance had gone well? Across five experiments (N=690), participants were randomly assigned to receive good or poor feedback on a practice trial of a cognitive test (Studies 1-4) and their academic...

Citations

... Focusing on the future rather than immediate consequences of their behaviors makes participants more likely to share with others (Sjåstad, 2019), and less likely to behave unethically (Hershfield et al., 2012;van Gelder et al., 2013;Vonasch & Sjåstad, 2021). Consistent with a trade-off between the immediate benefit of cheating and its future reputational cost, these associations between cooperation and future-orientation are mediated by reputational concern (Sjåstad, 2019;Vonasch & Sjåstad, 2021). ...
... Recent research which has also used this data and originated from the same international collaboration project (ICSMP) have used advanced machine-learning algorithms, established measurement equivalence of the moral identity internalization and symbolization sub-scales across the 67 countries included in the data set [39]. The original paper of Van Bavel et al. [31] reported a two-factor model (Internalization and Symbolization), with acceptable internal consistency. ...
... In both rounds, the experiment pertaining to public perception of fiscal rule violation was embedded in a larger survey investigating political, moral, and psychological determinants of compliance with the COVID-19 security measures(van Bavel et al., 2022;Azevedo et al., 2022) and the choice of leadership(Kantorowicz-Reznichenko et al., 2020). 8 This sample size was derived after excluding respondents who failed a simple pre-treatment attention check question (respondents were asked to move a slider to the most left position) or a bot question (respondents were asked to enter a specific sequence of three digits to prove that they are not bots). ...
... This decisive and systematically implemented set of interventions contributed to rapid mitigation in 2020 (Tang et al. 2020). The Chinese people willingly cooperate with government public health orders, which may be a reflection of national identity and culture, specifically collectivism, which may incline them to adopt COVID-19 prevention behaviors Van Bavel et al. 2021). Since the COVID-19 outbreak in China, social media such as Weibo and WeChat have become some of the most used sources for Chinese people to obtain information on the pandemic. ...
... Indeed, in the COVID-19 setting, a multi-country (67 countries) study reported that stronger national identity -the degree for people to identify with their nation -was consistently associated with greater engagement in public health behaviors and support for public health policies [33]. The study also found that higher levels of national identification before the pandemic predicted lower mobility during the early stage of the pandemic (r = À 0.40) [33]. ...
... This result is in line with the fact that exposure to Covid-19 information, sensationalistic content, and conspiracies about the pandemic, together with the expression of frequent negative emotions, might have contributed to lower levels of LS. Another explanation for the significant link with lower starting levels of LS may be that, in line with the 'displacement hypothesis' (e.g., Valkenburg & Peter, 2007), increased process-oriented digital media use for entertainment and escapism reasons, such as online streaming and website browsing, may occur at the detriment of other activities positively correlated with LS, like offline interactions, time spent in nature, physical activity, and sleep, which are known to protect from negative psychological and health consequences Dahlen et al., 2021;Duong, 2021;Peralta et al., 2022;Wright et al., 2021). However, we cannot discard the possibility that these activities promoting well-being were also reduced due to Covid-19 restrictions, like offline interactions outside the family and close contacts limited by social distancing measures, or sport due to limited or even fully interrupted extracurricular activities. ...
... Different from previous work inferring utilitarianism from responses to sacrificial dilemmas, research guided by the two-dimensional model of utilitarian psychology infers endorsement of IH and IB from participants' agreement with broad ethical statements about key ideas of the two dimensions (Kahane et al., 2018). Previous work using this approach has shown that the two dimensions of utilitarianism show different patterns of correlations with individual-difference measures (Kahane et al., 2018), are affected differently by priming manipulations (Capraro et al., 2019), and have distinct consequences for social perception (Everett et al., , 2021. Moreover, although endorsement of pro-sacrificial harm in moral dilemmas has been found to be positively correlated with IH, moral dilemma judgments were found to be unrelated to IB (Kahane et al., 2018). ...
... and telepresence and flow experience may depend on the motivation judgment of short video users (Mohsin et al., 2017;Bayih and Singh, 2020). Additionally, the results revealed that a feature in the short video is more attractive or important, even if the content of the short video is considered useless, the user will still have a sense of flow and telepresence when watching the short video (Skard et al., 2021). At the same time, since the samples of this study are concentrated on short video lovers, this relationship may not be established due to sample deviation. ...
... While digital contact tracing provides an effective tool to curb the spread of pandemics, uptake rates remain suboptimal. We study the effect of social messages (Capraro et al. 2021, Capraro et al. 2019, Dal Bó & Dal Bó 2014 and the effect of observed effort previously invested in sending. ...
... For instance, people tend to allocate more rewards to their in-group members than randomly assigned out-group members 10 , be more concerned about harming in-group members 11 , and even find it more morally acceptable to sacrifice out-group members against their will 12 . Intergroup bias can have large consequences at a societal level as well, such as exacerbating racial discrimination in hiring processes 13 and sharing economy platforms 14 , and introducing political bias in responses to climate science 15 , news coverage 16 democratic processes 17 , or the benefits of free trade 18 . ...