Steven J. Heine's research while affiliated with University of British Columbia - Vancouver and other places

Publications (131)

Article
Uchiyama et al. question heritability estimates in a convincing manner. We offer additional arguments to further bolster their claims, highlighting methodological issues in heritability coefficients' derivation, their misuse in various contexts, and their potential contributions to exacerbating common erroneous intuitions that have been shown to le...
Article
The uncanny valley is a topic for engineers, animators, and psychologists, yet uncanny emotions are without a clear definition. Across three studies, we developed an 8-item measure of unnerved feelings, finding that it was discriminable from other affective experiences. In Study 1, we conducted an exploratory factor analysis that yielded two factor...
Article
The present research investigated the emotional, interpersonal, and impression-updating consequences of witnessing events that violate the moral character impressions people hold of others. Across three studies, moral character violations predicted broad disruptions to participants’ sense of meaning, confidence judging moral character, and expectat...
Preprint
A key prediction of Terror Management Theory is that people affirm their cultural worldview after they are reminded of death. This mortality salience (MS) hypothesis has been widely explored, yet the presence of questionable research practices may impact the replicability of this literature. We assess the evidential value of the MS hypothesis by co...
Article
Full-text available
People are regularly exposed to discussions about the role of genes in their lives, despite often having limited understanding about how they operate. The tendency to oversimplify genetic causes, and ascribe them with undue influence is termed genetic essentialism. Two studies revealed that genetic essentialism is associated with support for eugeni...
Preprint
Uchiyama et al. question heritability estimates in a convincing manner. We offer additional arguments to further bolster their claims, highlighting methodological issues in heritability coefficients’ derivation, their misuse in various contexts, and their potential contributions to exacerbating common erroneous intuitions that have been shown to le...
Article
Full-text available
Across five studies (three preregistered; N = 2,481), we investigated two effects as follows: (1) Is higher subjective economic inequality associated with a decreased ability to accurately identify emotions (emotional intelligence)? When inequality is high, people are less focused on others and may thus be less motivated to correctly identify their...
Article
Sleep is a fundamental biological process that all humans exhibit, and there is much evidence that people suffer adverse health outcomes from insufficient sleep. Despite this evidence, much research demonstrates significant heterogeneity in the amounts that people sleep across cultures. This suggests that despite serving fundamental biological func...
Preprint
People are regularly exposed to discussions about the role of genes in their lives, despite often having limited understanding about how they operate. The tendency to oversimplify genetic causes, and ascribe them with undue influence is termed genetic essentialism. Two studies revealed that genetic essentialism is associated with support for eugeni...
Article
Full-text available
Economic inequality has been associated with a host of social ills, but most research has focused on objective measures of inequality. We argue that economic inequality also has a subjective component, and understanding the effects of economic inequality will be deepened by considering the ways that people perceive inequality. In an American sample...
Article
Full-text available
Much research has shown that people tend to view genes in rather deterministic ways—often termed genetic essentialism. We explored how people would view the causes of ethnic stereotypes in contexts where human genetic variability was either emphasized or downplayed. In two studies with over 1600 participants we found that people viewed ethnic stere...
Preprint
The uncanny valley is a topic for engineers, animators, and experimental psychologist, yet uncanniness is without a clear definition. Across 3 studies, we developed a 16-item scale measuring uncanny feelings, finding that uncanniness is discriminable from other emotions. In Study 1, we conducted an exploratory factor analysis of uncanny feelings. I...
Preprint
Economic inequality has become a major concern for the public and policy makers alike. Measures of objective inequality have been associated with many social and health ills, but a less investigated question is whether perceptions of inequality are associated with these same problems. Toward this end, we developed and validated the Subjective Inequ...
Article
Full-text available
Our study was designed to examine whether the pain reliever acetaminophen impacts the normal ebb-and-flow of off-task attentional states, such as captured by the phenomenon of mind wandering. In a placebo-controlled between-groups design, participants performed a sustained attention to response task while event-related potentials (ERPs) to target e...
Article
“Psychological essentialism” refers to our tendency to view the natural world as emerging from the result of deep, hidden, and internal forces called “essences.” People tend to believe that genes underlie a person’s identity. People encounter information about genetics on a regular basis, as through media such as a New York Times piece “Infidelity...
Poster
Full-text available
Past research suggests higher economic inequality increases peoples’ concern about their own status. This could mean people worry more about losing status in the eyes of others when economic inequality is high. If people stand to lose more when their relative standing in society decreases, perceiving high levels of inequality could have many import...
Article
Full-text available
The Meaning Maintenance Model posits that individuals seek to resolve uncertainty by searching for patterns in the environment, yet little is known about how this is accomplished. Four studies investigated whether uncertainty has an effect on people’s cognitive functioning. In particular, we investigated whether meaning threats lead to increased wo...
Data
Multilevel regression models with interactions. Multilevel regression models on the binary variables for task type (Math), updating (After) and incentives (Incentive), with population, age, and sex. This table includes interactions. We control for common variance from repeated measures using random intercepts for participants. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Overconfidence is sometimes assumed to be a human universal, but there remains a dearth of data systematically measuring overconfidence across populations and contexts. Moreover, cross-cultural experiments often fail to distinguish between placement and precision and worse still, often compare population-mean placement estimates rather than individ...
Data
Side by side comparisons of True Overconfidence for empathy and math with and without incentives. Error bars are 95% confidence intervals. Note that the y-axis range is different so as to better visualize the differences between lines. (TIF)
Data
Supplementary files including analytic script, copy of consent form, experimental protocol and additional analyses. Contains Analytic Script for Overconfidence.html; Analytic Script for Overconfidence.ipynb; Overconfidence ConsentForm.pdf; Overconfidence_Supplementary.pdf. (ZIP)
Data
Correlation between overconfidence and self-enhancement measures for Japanese. (PDF)
Data
Correlation between overconfidence and self-enhancement measures for East Asian Canadians. (PDF)
Data
Correlation between overconfidence and self-enhancement measures for Euro Canadians. (PDF)
Data
Correlation between overconfidence and self-enhancement measures for Hong Kong Chinese. (PDF)
Data
Multilevel regression models without interactions. Multilevel regression models on the binary variables for task type (Math), updating (After) and incentives (Incentive), with population, age, and sex. We control for common variance from repeated measures using random intercepts for participants. (PDF)
Data
Actual raw performance (i.e. not relative to rest of population) for each population. For the Empathy under (a) no incentives and (b) incentives and the Math test under (c) no incentives and (d) incentives. Error bars are 95% confidence intervals. (TIF)
Article
In this investigation of cultural differences in the experience of obligation, we distinguish between Confucian Role Ethics versus Relative Autonomy lay theories of motivation and illustrate them with data showing relevant cultural differences in both social judgments and intrapersonal experience. First, when judging others, Western European herita...
Article
Full-text available
As science continues to progress, attitudes towards science seem to become ever more polarized. Whereas some put their faith in science, others routinely reject and dismiss scientific evidence. The current chapter provides an integration of recent research on how people evaluate science. We organize our chapter along three research topics that are...
Article
Many studies find that when made to feel uncertain, participants respond by affirming importantly held beliefs. However, while theories argue that these effects should persist over time for highly disruptive experiences, almost no research has been performed outside the lab. We conducted a secondary analysis of data from a national sample of U.S. a...
Chapter
As science continues to progress, attitudes toward science seem to become ever more polarized. Whereas some put their faith in science, others routinely reject and dismiss scientific evidence. This chapter provides an integration of recent research on how people evaluate science. We organize our chapter along three research topics that are most rel...
Chapter
Full-text available
We propose that people are genetic essentialists—that is, they tend to think of genetic attributions as being immutable, of a specific etiology, natural, and dividing people into homogenous and discrete groups. Although there are rare conditions where genes operate in these kinds of deterministic ways, people overgeneralize from these to the far mo...
Article
Full-text available
Do people think that scientists are bad people? Although surveys find that science is a highly respected profession, a growing discourse has emerged regarding how science is often judged negatively. We report ten studies (N = 2328) that investigated morality judgments of scientists and compared those with judgments of various control groups, includ...
Article
Full-text available
Acetaminophen has recently been recognized as having impacts that extend into the affective domain. In particular, double blind placebo controlled trials have revealed that acetaminophen reduces the magnitude of reactivity to social rejection, frustration, dissonance, and to both negatively- and positively-valenced attitude objects. Given this dive...
Article
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Much debate exists surrounding the applicability of genetic information in the courtroom, making the psychological processes underlying how people consider this information important to explore. This article addresses how people think about different kinds of causal explanations in legal decision-making contexts. Three studies involving a total of...
Article
Full-text available
Cognitive dissonance theory shares much in common with other perspectives that address anomalies, uncertainty, and general expectancy violations. This has led some theorists to argue that these theories represent overlapping psychological processes. If responding to dissonance and uncertainty occurs through a common psychological process, one shoul...
Article
Recent research observed a sensitive window, at about 14 years of age, in the acculturation rates of Chinese immigrants to Canada. Tapping an online sample of us immigrants (n=569), we tested these relationships in a broader population and explored connections with new potentially causally related variables: formal education, language ability and c...
Article
Full-text available
Implicit self-esteem (ISE), which is often defined as automatic self-evaluations, fuses research on unconscious processes with that on self-esteem. As ISE is viewed as immune to explicit control, it affords the testing of theoretical questions such as whether cultures vary in self-enhancement motivations. We provide a critical review and integratio...
Article
The minimal group effect (MGE) is one of the most robust psychological findings in studies of intergroup conflict, yet there is little evidence comparing its magnitude across cultures. Recent evidence suggests that the MGE is due in part to a projection of one's own perceived characteristics onto the novel in-group. Because of cultural variability...
Article
Our research utilized two popular theoretical conceptualizations of implicit self-esteem: 1) implicit self-esteem as a global automatic reaction to the self; and 2) implicit self-esteem as a context/domain specific construct. Under this framework, we present an extensive search for implicit self-esteem measure validity among different cultural grou...
Article
The meaning-maintenance model posits that any violation of expectations leads to an affective experience that motivates compensatory affirmation. We explore whether the neural mechanism that responds to meaning threats can be inhibited by acetaminophen, in the same way that acetaminophen inhibits physical pain or the distress caused by social rejec...
Article
Previous research has revealed differences in how people value and pursue positive affect in individualistic and collectivistic cultural contexts. Whereas Euro-Americans place greater value on high activation positive affect (HAP; e.g., excitement, enthusiasm, elation) than do Asian Americans and Hong Kong Chinese, the opposite is true for low acti...
Data
The complete list of words in respective categories is provided. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Genetic essentialism is the tendency for people to think in more essentialist ways upon encountering genetic concepts. The current studies assessed whether genetic essentialist biases would also be evident at the automatic level. In two studies, using different versions of the Implicit Association Test, we found that participants were faster to cat...
Article
In most societies, meat is valued more highly, yet tabooed more frequently, than any other type of food. Past research suggests that people avoid eating animals they consider similar to themselves, but what specific factors influence which they eat, and which they avoid? Across an array of samples from the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, and India, perceiv...
Article
Full-text available
Evolutionary psychology accounts of gender differences in sexual behaviors in general and men's sexual aggression, in particular, has been criticized for legitimizing males' sexual misconduct. To empirically assess such critiques, two studies examined how men's judgments of male sex crimes (solicitation of sex from a prostitute; rape) are influence...
Article
Full-text available
In the target article (Dar-Nimrod & Heine, 2011), we provided a social-cognitive framework which identified genetic essentialist biases and their implications. In their commentaries, Haslam (2011) and Turkheimer (2011) indicated their general agreement with this framework but highlighted some important points for consideration. Haslam suggested tha...
Article
Much research has demonstrated that people perceive consumers of "good," low-fat foods as more moral, intelligent, and attractive, and perceive consumers of "bad," high-fat foods as less intelligent, less moral, and less attractive. Little research has contrasted perceptions of omnivores and vegetarians, particularly with respect to morality and ge...
Article
Full-text available
Though recent adult immigrants often seem less acculturated to their new society than people who immigrated as children, it is not clear whether this difference is driven by duration of exposure or exposure during a sensitive developmental period. In a study aimed at disambiguating these influences, community and student samples of Hong Kong immigr...
Article
Cultural variability in self-enhancement is far more pronounced than the authors suggest; the sum of the evidence does not show that East Asians self-enhance in different domains from Westerners. Incorporating this cultural variation suggests a different way of understanding the adaptiveness of self-enhancement: It is adaptive in contexts where pos...
Article
The meaning maintenance model (MMM) maintains that violations of expectations can elicit compensatory behavior. When anomalies are encountered, people may compensate either by affirming an intact schema or by abstracting new, meaningful connections. Past research has shown that implicitly perceived events can be threatening, and can cause changes t...
Article
Full-text available
This article introduces the notion of genetic essentialist biases: cognitive biases associated with essentialist thinking that are elicited when people encounter arguments that genes are relevant for a behavior, condition, or social group. Learning about genetic attributions for various human conditions leads to a particular set of thoughts regardi...
Article
Full-text available
The endowment effect--the tendency for owners (potential sellers) to value objects more than potential buyers do--is among the most widely studied judgment and decision-making phenomena. However, the current research is the first to explore whether the effect varies across cultures. Given previously demonstrated cultural differences in self-constru...
Article
Much existential philosophical theorizing and experimental psychological research is consistent with the notion that people experience arousal when committed beliefs are violated, and this prompts them to affirm other committed beliefs. People depend on meaning frameworks to make sense of their experiences, and when these expected associations are...
Article
To understand human psychology, behavioural scientists must stop doing most of their experiments on Westerners, argue Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine and Ara Norenzayan.
Article
In our response to the 28 (largely positive) commentaries from an esteemed collection of researchers, we (1) consolidate additional evidence, extensions, and amplifications offered by, our commentators; (2) emphasize the value of integrating experimental and ethnographic methods, and show how researchers using behavioral games have done precisely t...
Article
Full-text available
The meaning maintenance model asserts that following a meaning threat, people will affirm any meaning frameworks that are available. Three experiments tested (a) whether people affirm alternative meaning frameworks after reading absurdist literature, (b) what role expectations play in determining whether absurdities are threatening, and (c) whether...
Article
Behavioral scientists routinely publish broad claims about human psychology and behavior in the world's top journals based on samples drawn entirely from Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies. Researchers - often implicitly - assume that either there is little variation across human populations, or that these "st...
Article
Humans are a cultural species, constantly navigating a complex web of culturally bound practices, norms, and worldviews. This article provides a brief overview of the relatively young field of cultural psychology, which investigates the many ways psychology and culture interweave with one another. Highlighting the cultural nature of the human speci...
Article
Full-text available
The endowment effect--the tendency for owners (potential sellers) to value objects more than potential buyers do--is among the most widely studied judgment and decision-making phenomena. However, the current research is the first to explore whether the effect varies across cultures. Given previously demonstrated cultural differences in self-constru...
Article
Full-text available
Three experiments explored the similarity-attraction effect (SAE) among North American and Japanese samples. In all studies, North Americans showed a significantly more pronounced SAE than the Japanese. The North Americans consistently revealed a strong SAE whereas the Japanese effect was only significant in the methods with the most power. The cul...
Article
In the current studies, we tested the prediction that learning of novel patterns of association would be enhanced in response to unrelated meaning threats. This prediction derives from the meaning-maintenance model, which hypothesizes that meaning-maintenance efforts may recruit patterns of association unrelated to the original meaning threat. Comp...
Article
Much research finds that Westerners self-enhance more than East Asians, with the exception of studies using the implicit associations test for self-esteem (IATSE). We contrasted Japanese and Canadians on a new measure of self-enhancement under low- and high-attentional load to assess whether cultural differences vary across controlled and automatic...
Article
There appears to be a universal desire to understand individual differences. This common desire exhibits both universal and culturally specific features. Motivations to view oneself positively differ substantially across cultural contexts, as do a number of other variables that covary with this motivation (i.e., approach-avoidance motivations, inte...
Article
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Much recent research suggests that North Americans more frequently experience approach motivations and East Asians more frequently experience avoidance motivations. The current research explores some cognitive implications of this cultural difference. North Americans should be more attentive to approach-oriented information, whereas East Asians sho...
Article
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Much research reveals pronounced self-improving motivations among East Asians. A question remains whether similar patterns would emerge in non-Asian collectivist cultures. Research that has used self-report measures reveals mixed evidence regarding collectivist self-improvement. The present study assesses self-improving motivations among Chileans u...
Article
The meaning-maintenance model posits that threats to schemas lead people to affirm unrelated schemas. In two studies testing this hypothesis, participants who were presented with a perceptual anomaly (viz., the experimenter was switched without participants consciously noticing) demonstrated greater affirmation of moral beliefs compared with partic...
Article
Full-text available
In a society where there are pronounced concerns for "face," people come to be especially focused on how they are being evaluated by others. We reasoned that Japanese should conceive of themselves in terms of how they think they are considered by others. This hypothesis was tested by contrasting Japanese and North American participants who were in...
Article
Full-text available
The expectation that Chinese people present distress somatically is a central prediction of cultural psychopathology and has been the subject of considerable theoretical speculation. At the same time, empirical studies have been infrequent and have yielded mixed results. The authors examined symptom presentation in Chinese (n=175) and Euro-Canadian...
Article
Much research contrasts self-reported personality traits across cultures. We submit that this enterprise is weakened by significant methodological problems (in particular, the reference-group effect) that undermine the validity of national averages of personality scores. In this study, behavioral and demographic predictors of conscientiousness were...
Article
Full-text available
Cultural differences in questionnaire response styles have been reported in a number of studies. Compared to those of European-heritage, responses from individuals of East-Asian heritage tend to be more ambivalent and moderate. These stylistic differences warrant attention because they may contaminate substantive conclusions about cultural differen...