Zhansheng Chen's research while affiliated with The University of Hong Kong and other places

Publications (64)

Article
Self-objectification can be considered as a specific kind of self-dehumanization that consists of a perception of oneself as more instrument-like than human-like and a decreased self-attribution of mental states. Self-objectification is commonly observed, and its contributing factors need to be better understood. In the present research, we examine...
Article
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Rationale Help-seeking can convert an individual's bonding social capital into social support, which has been shown to buffer the impact of psychological distress. The younger generation (individuals aged 15–35 years) have been the least likely to actively seek help despite facing a rising burden of mental health problems. COVID-19 pandemic restric...
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Air pollution is a major global environmental issue, yet its psychological consequences have only started to receive attention from scholars. We examined whether and how air pollution would lead to self- and other-dehumanization. Across one field study and five pre-registered experimental studies, we showed that air pollution increased people's deh...
Preprint
When are we more likely to permit immoral behaviors? The current research examined a generalized compensation belief hypothesis that individuals, as observers, would morally tolerate and accept someone paying forward unfair treatment to an innocent person as a means to compensate for the perpetrator's previously experienced mistreatment. Across fiv...
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When are we more likely to permit immoral behaviours? The current research examined a generalized compensation belief hypothesis that individuals, as observers, would morally tolerate and accept someone paying forward unfair treatment to an innocent person as a means to compensate for the perpetrator's previously experienced mistreatment. Across fi...
Article
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Competitions are ubiquitous, and their psychological consequences for women have not received sufficient attention. For this research, we tested whether competition, in either work settings or a broader form of competition for resources, would interact with the sex is power belief to result in self-objectification among women. This prediction was c...
Article
Artificial intelligence (AI) has become deeply integrated into daily life; thus, it is important to examine how people perceive AI as it functions as a decision-maker, especially in situations involving moral dilemmas. Across four studies (N = 804), we found that people perceive AI as more likely to make utilitarian choices than human beings are (S...
Article
Although the possession of instrumentality (i.e., partner B being useful to partner A’s goal pursuit) can facilitate relationship satisfaction, taking an instrumental approach (i.e., A focusing on B’s usefulness and seeing B as a tool to facilitate personal goal attainment), is (often) considered as a callous and depersonalized approach to forming...
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Bullying is closely associated with suicide. This study validates mixed evidence on whether young bullies, victims, bully-victims, and those uninvolved in bullying differ in suicidality, risk, protective factor profiles, and predictors of suicide. A total of 2004 Hong Kong adolescents and young adults completed the Hong Kong Online Survey on Youth...
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Objectification, treating others merely as things or tools while denying their personhood, results in severe consequences. While prior research predominantly focused on the triggers of objectification, we aimed to investigate a possible intervention. We hypothesized that gratitude could reduce objectification toward general others (i.e., people who...
Article
The present research explored whether and how consumers with high levels of perceived social mobility (PSM) would endorse materialism, an under-researched effect that is not contingent on either their current socioeconomic status (SES) or anticipated social mobility trajectories. Four mixed-methods studies, comprising two large-scale surveys and tw...
Article
This research explored whether people hold double standards in a public crisis. We proposed that during the COVID-19 pandemic, people required others to strictly follow self-quarantine rules and other preventive behaviors, whereas they themselves would not, demonstrating double standards. Moreover, this effect would be moderated by the perceived th...
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The ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has had a profound impact on people’s wellbeing. Here, we proposed that an individual characteristic might be associated with wellbeing; that is, materialism. Specifically, we conducted three studies (total N = 3219) to examine whether people with high levels of materialism would experience poorer...
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The present study investigated the effect of interpersonal mistreatment on the perpetrators’ mental health. We proposed that the threat of COVID-19 will increase people’s mental health problems through their on-line aggression toward stigmatized groups accused of spreading the disease and that there might be potential gender differences in such eff...
Preprint
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Much focus has been placed on mental health symptoms brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic, yet limited discourse & evidence have evaluated how the closure of multiple venues under social distancing measures impacted people's patterns of help-seeking, which had traditionally been the very coping mechanism that buffered individuals from the consequ...
Preprint
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Research on antecedents of dehumanization has exclusively focused on intra- and inter-personal factors. In the current research, we examined whether cultural tightness (i.e., strengths of social norms and punishments of deviant behaviors), a macro-cultural factor, could result in dehumanization in the United States. Six studies employing mixed meth...
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This research focused on the psychological impact of an epidemic. We conducted a cross-sectional survey and two empirical experiments to examine how an epidemic would influence unethical behaviors and how the effect differs in people of different subjective socioeconomic statuses. These studies consistently demonstrated that subjective socioeconomi...
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The present study draws on theories and prior research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and gender attitudes (i.e., sexism) to understand young Chinese peoples’ responses toward women-empowering advertising (i.e., femvertising). We conducted two experiments in which male and female Chinese college students (232 in Study 1 and 231 in Study 2...
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Previous research on money and prosociality has described a monotonic pattern, showing that money reduces generosity. The present research aimed to examine whether money differently impairs generosity when arising from altruistic versus egoistic motives. To this end, we employed economic games designed to study generosity (e.g., the Dictator game)...
Article
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic threatens physical and psychological health. We examined whether social dominance orientation (SDO), a preference for inequality among social groups, contributes to mental health during the pandemic. In particular, we predicted that people high in SDO would experience higher levels of depression than others low in S...
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We conducted six studies to test our hypotheses that ostracism disrupts self-continuity and that self-affirmation counters ostracism’s negative influence on self-continuity. Participants who experienced more ostracism in their daily lives (Study 1), imagined being ostracized (Studies 2 and 5), recalled a past ostracism experience (Studies 3 and 6),...
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Psychology research focuses primarily on male competition. This research, however, investigates women’s competition for love and the ideal partner in the mating market, and reveals one psychological consequence for women, i.e., beautification. This is demonstrated with ecologically valid, real-world archive and online search query data, a quasi-exp...
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...
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Four studies ( N = 1,151) examined whether people with lower subjective social classes would be more likely to apply higher moral standards to others than to themselves. With participants from mainland China, Hong Kong, and the United States, we found that people of lower measured or manipulated subjective social classes accepted others’ hypothetic...
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There is an active debate regarding whether the ego depletion effect is real. A recent preregistered experiment with the Stroop task as the depleting task and the antisaccade task as the outcome task found a medium-level effect size. In the current research, we conducted a preregistered multilab replication of that experiment. Data from 12 labs acr...
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,...
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...
Article
Do people become more aggressive when they are manipulated as a tool or object that can help others achieve performance goals? Adopting a multi-method approach with Eastern and Western samples, through six experiments (overall valid N = 1070), we tested whether objectification (i.e., being treated as an instrument that aids others in achieving inst...
Article
Four studies (total valid N = 643) examined whether ostracism increases people’s political conspiracy beliefs through heightened vulnerability and whether self-affirmation intervention counteracts the effect of ostracism on conspiracy beliefs. Compared with their nonostracized counterparts, ostracized participants were more likely to endorse conspi...
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Many empirical studies have demonstrated the psychological effects of various aspects of money, including the aspiration for money, mere thoughts about money, possession of money, and placement of people in economic contexts. Although multiple aspects of money and varied methodologies have been focused on and implemented, the underlying mechanisms...
Article
According to the temporal need–threat model, ostracism results in three stages of responses. Research on the responses to ostracism has predominantly focused on the first two stages, and the literature needs further empirical evidence on responses to long-term ostracism. We conducted two studies to better understand the association between long-ter...
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The present research examined the influence of perceived control over one's body appearance on expected social standing among women. With participants recruited from the United States, we measured (Study 1 and 2) and manipulated (Study 3) appearance control beliefs, and consistently found that women (but not men) with higher control beliefs expecte...
Article
In five studies, we tested whether ostracism triggers feelings of relative deprivation and whether relative deprivation accounts for the impact of ostracism on aggression. Relative to participants who recalled either inclusive or neutral experiences, participants who recalled ostracism experiences reported higher levels of relative deprivation (Stu...
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The present research recruited participants from China, which is suffering from serious air pollution, and examined whether air pollution would be associated with moral judgment and immoral behavioral intention. Study 1 (n = 145) used the objective Air Quality Index to indicate the level of air pollution and found that it predicted harsh judgment o...
Preprint
There is an active debate regarding whether the ego depletion effect is real. A recent pre-registered experiment with the Stroop task as the depleting task and the antisaccade task as the outcome task found a medium level effect size. In the current research, we pre-registered a multi-lab collaborating project to replicate that experiment. Data fro...
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Full-text available
The present research examined people’s responses towards others’ exclusion experience. The authors predicted that both causal attributions and empathy would mediate whether people affiliate with a victim of an ambiguous exclusion experience. Perceivers observing another’s exclusion (relative to inclusion) without clearly announced reasons chose to...
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
Prior studies have consistently shown that ostracism promotes aggression. The present research investigated the role of nature in reducing aggressive responses following ostracism. Three studies provided converging support to the prediction that nature exposure can weaken the relationship between ostracism and aggression. Compared with ostracized p...
Article
Self-compassion, which is a kind attitude toward oneself, has been well documented to promote psychological health. This research extended the literature by examining how self-compassion would predict the acceptance of one's own immoral behavior. Study 1 recruited participants in China, measured their trait self-compassion, and instructed them to j...
Article
Prior studies have shown that cyber-ostracism increases aggression. The present research provided the first experimental support for the prediction that assuring a sense of growth after cyber-ostracism can weaken the effect of cyber-ostracism on aggression. Specifically, we found that ostracized participants who were primed with the beliefs that os...
Article
Prior studies have consistently revealed a strong positive association between general just-world beliefs and victim blaming. The present research aims to extend the literature by testing whether an act of social rejection overrides the influence of general just-world beliefs on victim blaming. Building upon the theory of moral compensation that pe...
Article
Three experiments tested whether ostracism increases ecological behaviors through increased desires to connect to nature. Compared with non-ostracized participants, ostracized participants reported higher desires to connect to nature (Experiments 1 and 3) and were more willing to behave ecologically (Experiments 2 and 3). Furthermore, increased des...
Article
The present research investigated whether physical suffering would cause people to feel ostracized even when they are accepted by their social interaction partners. Participants were instructed to place their hands either into a circulated cold water bath (to induce physical pain) or into a water bath at room temperature while they were either incl...
Article
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Activating the concept of money can influence people's own expressions of emotion as well as their reactions to the emotional expressions of others. Thinking about money increases individuals' disposition to perceive themselves in a business-like relationship with others in which transactions are based on objective criteria and the expression of em...
Article
The present investigation examined the effect of sexual objectification on women's intention to affiliate with men. We predicted that women would perceive an objectifier as less likable following sexual objectification and thus would distance themselves from the perpetrator. Study 1 found that objectification led female participants to perceive the...
Article
The present research examined the influence of general just-world beliefs on aggression following ostracism. The findings provided converging support for the hypothesis that people with weak general just-world beliefs, either measured (Studies 1 and 4) or primed (Studies 2 and 3), would behave more aggressively following ostracism than people with...
Article
Recent research suggests that thermal (cold vs. warm) experience influences people’s perception and construal of the social world. Extending this line of research, the present investigation examined whether cold thermal temperature would influence people’s psychological feelings of belonging. We found that drinking cold water threatened feelings of...
Article
The current investigation examined whether people would experience a higher level of pain after rejecting another person, especially for those high in evaluative concern, through increased perceptions of future rejection. Three experiments provide converging support to these predictions. After reliving a past rejecting experience (Experiments 1 and...
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The current investigation examined whether sexual objectification leads to perceived contamination in women victims, which, in turn, triggers sinful feelings. The results of three experiments provide converging support for these predictions. Female participants reported greater sinful feelings than their non-objectified counterparts, after receivin...
Article
Five experiments tested whether ostracism increases dishonesty through increased feelings of entitlement. Compared with included and control participants, ostracized participants indicated higher levels of dishonest intentions (Experiments 1-3) and cheated more to take undeserved money in a behavioral task (Experiments 4 and 5). In addition, increa...
Article
The current research investigates the role of implicit theories of relationships in modulating aggressive responses to ostracism. Three studies tested whether destiny beliefs (that potential relationships are either fundamentally compatible or not) predispose people to behave aggressively in the wake of ostracism. In Study 1, individual differences...
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We hypothesized that the companionship of a close other would buffer the negative effect of ostracism for people with a strong sense of self-esteem. Participants were either included or ostracized during the experiment with the presence of a close other or a stranger. We measured the participants' self-esteem and feelings about the ostracism or inc...
Article
Social pain has been shown to be more easily re‐lived than physical pain. This study further examined whether social pain could be more easily pre‐lived or pre‐experienced than physical pain. Participants were instructed to pre‐live a socially or physically painful event and report their feelings of pain. Consistent with our hypotheses, social pain...
Article
In two experiments, ostracized individuals showed more pronounced categorical perception of inclusion- and exclusion-related stimuli. Specifically, ostracism enhanced the ability to distinguish between-category differences (e.g., between happy and angry faces) relative to within-category differences (e.g., between two happy expressions). Participan...
Article
Ostracism, the act of ignoring and excluding, is a universally applied tactic of social control. Individuals who detect ostracism often change their behaviors to be readmitted into the group, even if it means becoming excessively socially susceptible to influence. We tested whether ostracized individuals are more socially susceptible to a subsequen...
Article
Recent discoveries suggest that social pain is as real and intense as physical pain, and that the social-pain system may have piggybacked on the brain structure that had evolved earlier for physical pain. The present study examined an important distinction between social and physical pain: Individuals can relive and reexperience social pain more ea...
Article
Studying survivors of natural disasters and traumatic events provides a unique opportunity to address some of the important and difficult questions in psychology and other social sciences. However, such an opportunity does not come without challenges. Several methodological challenges to studying survivors of natural disasters are discussed, includ...
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Studying survivors of natural disasters and traumatic events provides a unique opportunity to address some of the important and difficult questions in psychology and other social sciences. However, such an opportunity does not come without challenges. Several methodological challenges to studying survivors of natural dis-asters are discussed, inclu...

Citations

... In 2012, infectious diseases were responsible for the deaths of 9,500,000 people all over the world. Air pollution is a clear warning sign of potential danger to one's health [4]. Additionally, when breathing polluted air, people should consider the possibility that they could catch an illness. ...
... For instance, the love of money (e.g., Wang & Krumhuber, 2017) or adopting an exchange orientation (e.g., Belmi & Schroeder, 2021;Wang et al., 2022a), possessing social power (e.g., Lammers & Stapel, 2011) or hierarchical thinking (e.g., Prati et al., 2016), and disconnection (e.g., Waytz & Epley, 2012) can promote object-like and dehumanized perception and treatment of social targets. When it comes to self-dehumanization, studies have found triggers, such as competition (e.g., Wang et al., 2021Wang et al., , 2022b, performing certain types of objectifying tasks (Baldissarri et al., 2017), and engaging in immoral acts (Kouchaki et al., 2018). Reversely, the emotion of gratitude and forgiveness (versus taking revenge; Schumann & Walton, 2022) could increase the humanness we attribute to others and ourselves, respectively. ...
... A growing number of studies have revealed the antecedents of dehumanization. For instance, the love of money (e.g., Wang & Krumhuber, 2017) or adopting an exchange orientation (e.g., Belmi & Schroeder, 2021;Wang et al., 2022a), possessing social power (e.g., Lammers & Stapel, 2011) or hierarchical thinking (e.g., Prati et al., 2016), and disconnection (e.g., Waytz & Epley, 2012) can promote object-like and dehumanized perception and treatment of social targets. When it comes to self-dehumanization, studies have found triggers, such as competition (e.g., Wang et al., 2021Wang et al., , 2022b, performing certain types of objectifying tasks (Baldissarri et al., 2017), and engaging in immoral acts (Kouchaki et al., 2018). ...
... It speaks against, in some respects, criticism of the CPS's threshold of intervention (Berggrav, 2013), insofar as CPS workers' norms and values shared with the population are similarly reflected in their professional norms and values (and practices). It may also be tied to societal attention on harassment and bullying, and the consequences of emotional and psychological abuse (Festinger & Baker, 2010;Kwan et al., 2022;Lee, 2015), and/or may represent an internalisation of expert knowledge into the population's norms and values (Hacking, 1991;Jackson & Scott, 1999;Rose, 1999). ...
... Therefore, women should be encouraged to use competencebased (rather than appearance-based) strategies to compete for social resources. In addition, interventions for objectification have not received enough attention from scholars (Haslam & Loughnan, 2014;Shi et al., 2022). Our research sheds light on the intervention for self-objectification in the workplace. ...
... PVD can activate the behavioral immune system, AIR POLLUTION AND DEHUMANIZATION 4 which is a behavioral defense system that promotes the avoidance of cues associated with immunological threats and triggers disease-relevant emotional and cognitive responses (Schaller & Park, 2011). For instance, under conditions of pathogen stress, the behavioral immune system promotes xenophobia (Navarrete & Fessler, 2006), ethnocentrism (Navarrete et al., 2007), out-group prejudice (Faulkner et al., 2004;Ji et al., 2019), and aggressive behavior toward stigmatized groups (e.g., Teng et al., 2021), as well as reduces well-being especially for certain types of people (e.g., healthcare professionals and people who desire material possession and power, Amin, 2020;Teng et al., 2022). ...
... The proposed research framework shows that most past research concentrated on internal factors; thus, future research should extend to external environmental factors. Regarding the social environment, other factors, such as economic inequality (Goya-Tocchetto and Payne, 2022) and perceived social mobility (Wang et al., 2022), are also rooted in people's lives and determine their thinking styles and behaviors; therefore, it should be determined how these societal factors drive the variety-seeking behavior in consumption. Regarding the physical environment, the space environment has many presentation modes. ...
... PVD can activate the behavioral immune system, AIR POLLUTION AND DEHUMANIZATION 4 which is a behavioral defense system that promotes the avoidance of cues associated with immunological threats and triggers disease-relevant emotional and cognitive responses (Schaller & Park, 2011). For instance, under conditions of pathogen stress, the behavioral immune system promotes xenophobia (Navarrete & Fessler, 2006), ethnocentrism (Navarrete et al., 2007), out-group prejudice (Faulkner et al., 2004;Ji et al., 2019), and aggressive behavior toward stigmatized groups (e.g., Teng et al., 2021), as well as reduces well-being especially for certain types of people (e.g., healthcare professionals and people who desire material possession and power, Amin, 2020;Teng et al., 2022). ...
... That is, entrepreneurial actors form and shape ties based on the contacts' propensity to serve a predefined function that benefits the entrepreneur or the venture. This seems particularly plausible in times of economic threat when the imminent financial pressure to survive gains importance relative to long-term developments (Wang et al. 2021). As several studies indicate, entrepreneurs and their ventures search for financial backing and emotional support when facing a threat (Giones et al. 2020;Kuckertz and Brändle 2021). ...
... In our study, the recruited company was experienced company with an extensive database of Chinese residents (WenJuanXing, 2021). The professional data service company is widely used in scientific research data collection in China (Peng et al., 2019;Shi et al., 2021). A simple random sampling method was employed (Acharya et al., 2013) and the company sent out the questionnaires through its panel database. ...