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Journal Cover Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  [SJR: 5.04]   [H-I: 271]   [244 followers]  Follow
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   ISSN (Print) 0022-3514 - ISSN (Online) 1939-1315
   Published by APA Homepage  [74 journals]
  • People in more racially diverse neighborhoods are more prosocial.
    • Abstract: Five studies tested the hypothesis that people living in more diverse neighborhoods would have more inclusive identities, and would thus be more prosocial. Study 1 found that people residing in more racially diverse metropolitan areas were more likely to tweet prosocial concepts in their everyday lives. Study 2 found that following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, people in more racially diverse neighborhoods were more likely to spontaneously offer help to individuals stranded by the bombings. Study 3 found that people living in more ethnically diverse countries were more likely to report having helped a stranger in the past month. Providing evidence of the underlying mechanism, Study 4 found that people living in more racially diverse neighborhoods were more likely to identify with all of humanity, which explained their greater likelihood of having helped a stranger in the past month. Finally, providing causal evidence for the relationship between neighborhood diversity and prosociality, Study 5 found that people asked to imagine that they were living in a more racially diverse neighborhood were more willing to help others in need, and this effect was mediated by a broader identity. The studies identify a novel mechanism through which exposure to diversity can influence people, and document a novel consequence of this mechanism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 04:00:00 GMT
  • Robust effects of affective person learning on evaluation of faces.
    • Abstract: People form impressions of others from multiple sources of information. Facial appearance is one such source and judgments based on facial appearance are made after minimal exposure to faces. A more reliable source of information is affective person learning based on others’ past actions. Here we investigated whether the effects of such appearance-independent learning on face evaluation emerge after rapid face exposure, a response deadline procedure, and a lack of explicit recognition of the faces. In three experiments, participants learned to associate novel faces with negative and positive behaviors, and then evaluated the faces presented on their own, without the behaviors. Even after extremely brief exposures (e.g., 35 ms), participants evaluated faces previously associated with negative behaviors more negatively than those associated with positive behaviors (Experiment 1). The learning effect persisted when participants were asked to evaluate briefly presented faces before a response deadline (Experiment 2), although the effect was diminished. Finally, although this learning effect increased as a function of face recognition (Experiment 3), it was present with only minimal recognition, suggesting that participants do not need to deliberately retrieve behavioral information for it to influence face evaluation. Together, the findings suggest that person learning unrelated to facial appearance is a powerful determinant of face evaluation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 04:00:00 GMT
  • Collective satiation: How coexperience accelerates a decline in hedonic
    • Abstract: Individuals often mutually experience a stimulus with a relationship partner or social group (e.g., snacking with friends). Yet, little is currently understood about how a sense of coexperiencing affects hedonic judgments of experiences that unfold over time. Research on the shared attention state has suggested that hedonic judgments are intensified when individuals coexperience a stimulus (vs. experiencing it alone), and other related work has found that the social environment influences hedonic judgments in shared (vs. solo) experiences. Although this past work has focused on judgments of single instances of a stimulus, the present work examines how coexperience affects hedonic judgments of stimuli over time. This work documents the ‘collective satiation effect’ wherein satiation—a diminished enjoyment of pleasant stimuli with repeated experience—is accelerated by a sense of coexperiencing the stimulus with others. We propose that this happens because shared attention makes the repetitive nature of the experience more salient, by promoting and incorporating thoughts of others also repeatedly having the same shared experience. Five studies document the collective satiation effect, support the proposed mechanism, and show moderators of the effect. Taken together, this research contributes to an understanding of how the social environment influences the experience of hedonic stimuli, which has broad implications for the value individuals place on the time that they spend with others. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 04:00:00 GMT
  • Perspective mistaking: Accurately understanding the mind of another
           requires getting perspective, not taking perspective.
    • Abstract: Taking another person’s perspective is widely presumed to increase interpersonal understanding. Very few experiments, however, have actually tested whether perspective taking increases accuracy when predicting another person’s thoughts, feelings, attitudes, or other mental states. Those that do yield inconsistent results, or they confound accuracy with egocentrism. Here we report 25 experiments testing whether being instructed to adopt another person’s perspective increases interpersonal insight. These experiments include a wide range of accuracy tests that disentangle egocentrism and accuracy, such as predicting another person’s emotions from facial expressions and body postures, predicting fake versus genuine smiles, predicting when a person is lying or telling the truth, and predicting a spouse’s activity preferences and consumer attitudes. Although a large majority of pretest participants believed that perspective taking would systematically increase accuracy on these tasks, we failed to find any consistent evidence that it actually did so. If anything, perspective taking decreased accuracy overall while occasionally increasing confidence in judgment. Perspective taking reduced egocentric biases, but the information used in its place was not systematically more accurate. A final experiment confirmed that getting another person’s perspective directly, through conversation, increased accuracy but that perspective taking did not. Increasing interpersonal accuracy seems to require gaining new information rather than utilizing existing knowledge about another person. Understanding the mind of another person is therefore enabled by getting perspective, not simply taking perspective. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 05 Apr 2018 04:00:00 GMT
  • How you behave in school predicts life success above and beyond family
           background, broad traits, and cognitive ability.
    • Abstract: In this study, we investigated the role of student characteristics and behaviors in a longitudinal study over a 50-year timespan (using a large U.S. representative sample of high school students). We addressed the question of whether behaviors in school have any long-lasting effects for one‘s later life. Specifically, we investigated the role of being a responsible student, interest in school, writing skills, and reading skills in predicting educational attainment, occupational prestige, and income 11 years (N = 81,912) and 50 years (N = 1,952) after high school. We controlled for parental socioeconomic status, IQ, and broad personality traits in all analyses. We found that student characteristics and behaviors in adolescence predicted later educational and occupational success above and beyond parental socioeconomic status, IQ, and broad personality traits. Having higher interest in school was related to higher educational attainment at years 11 and 50, higher occupational prestige at year 11, and higher income at year 50. Higher levels of being a responsible student were related to higher educational attainment and higher occupational prestige at years 11 and 50. This was the first longitudinal study to test the role of student characteristics and behaviors over and above broad personality traits. It highlights the potential importance of what students do in school and how they react to their experiences during that time. It also highlights the possibility that things that happen in specific periods of one’s life may play out in ways far more significant than we expect. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 05:00:00 GMT
  • The painful duality of envy: Evidence for an integrative theory and a
           meta-analysis on the relation of envy and schadenfreude.
    • Abstract: Despite envy’s importance as a driver of social behavior, scholars disagree on its conceptualization. We review the literature and distinguish three incongruent theories: (a) Malicious Envy Theory (i.e., envy as uniform and malicious), (b) Dual Envy Theory (i.e., envy as taking on 2 forms, benign and malicious), and (c) Pain Theory of Envy (i.e., envy as uniform and driven by pain). Moreover, within and across theories, operationalizations of envy have included various different components. We integrate these conceptualizations using a data-driven approach, deriving a comprehensive theory of envy in 5 studies (total N = 1,237)—the Pain-driven Dual Envy (PaDE) Theory. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses of an exhaustive set of envy components (Studies 1–4) suggest that envy consists of 3 factors: Pain (i.e., preoccupation with the envy-eliciting situation, inferiority), predicts both benign envy (i.e., desire for the envy object, improvement motivation, emulation of the other), and malicious envy (i.e., communication about the other, directed aggression, nondirected aggression). An experience-sampling study (Study 5) suggests that pain constitutes a quickly fading reaction, whereas benign and malicious envy are enduring attitudinal constructs. We apply this theory in a meta-analysis on the controversial relation of envy and schadenfreude (N = 4,366), finding that envy and schadenfreude are more strongly and positively correlated to the extent that the respective research operationalizes envy as malicious, compared with as pain or benign envy. We discuss how the PaDE Theory can illuminate research on envy in diverse settings, and envy’s relation to other distinct emotions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Mon, 29 Jan 2018 05:00:00 GMT
  • Past-focused temporal communication overcomes conservatives’ resistance
           to liberal political ideas.
    • Abstract: Nine studies and a meta-analysis test the role of past-focused temporal communication in reducing conservatives’ disagreement with liberal political ideas. We propose that conservatives are more prone to warm, affectionate, and nostalgic feelings for past society. Therefore, they are more likely to support political ideas—including those expressing liberal values—that can be linked to a desirable past state (past focus), rather than a desirable future state (future focus) of society. Study 1 supports our prediction that political conservatives are more nostalgic for the past than liberals. Building on this association, we demonstrate that communicating liberal ideas with a past focus increases conservatives’ support for leniency in criminal justice (Studies 2a and 2b), gun control (Study 3), immigration (Study 4), social diversity (Study 5), and social justice (Study 6). Communicating messages with a past focus reduced political disagreement (compared with a future focus) between liberals and conservatives by between 30 and 100% across studies. Studies 5 and 6 identify the mediating role of state and trait nostalgia, respectively. Study 7 shows that the temporal communication effect only occurs under peripheral (and not central) information processing. Study 8 shows that the effect is asymmetric; a future focus did not increase liberals’ support for conservative ideas. A mixed-effects meta-analysis across all studies confirms that appealing to conservatives’ nostalgia with a past-focused temporal focus increases support for liberal political messages (Study 9). A large portion of the political disagreement between conservatives and liberals appears to be disagreement over style, and not content of political issues. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 11 Jan 2018 05:00:00 GMT
  • The family environment in early childhood has a long-term effect on
           self-esteem: A longitudinal study from birth to age 27 years.
    • Abstract: A better understanding is needed of the factors that shape the development of individual differences in self-esteem. Using a prospective longitudinal design, this research tested whether the family environment in early childhood predicts self-esteem in later developmental periods. Data came from a nationally representative U.S. sample of 8,711 participants, who reported on their self-esteem biannually from age 8 to 27 years. Moreover, during the participants’ first 6 years of life, biannual assessments of their mothers provided information on the quality of the home environment (covering quality of parenting, cognitive stimulation, and physical home environment), quality of parental relationship, presence of father, maternal depression, and poverty status of the family. The analyses were conducted using nonlinear regression analyses of age-dependent correlation coefficients, which were controlled for the effects of child gender and ethnicity. The results suggested that the family environment in early childhood significantly predicted self-esteem as the children grew up. Although the effects became smaller with age, the effects were still present during young adulthood. The largest effects emerged for quality of home environment. Moreover, the results suggested that the effects of home environment, presence of father, and poverty are enduring, as indicated by a nonzero asymptote in the time course of effects from age 8 to 27 years. Finally, quality of home environment partially accounted for the effects of the other predictors. The findings suggest that the home environment is a key factor in early childhood that influences the long-term development of self-esteem. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)
      PubDate: Thu, 09 Feb 2017 05:00:00 GMT
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