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Archive for the ‘Social Psychology’ Category

Supreme Court Acknowledges “Unconscious Prejudice.”

Posted by The Situationist Staff on June 26, 2015

From Slate, by Kenji Yoshino:

Thursday’s blockbuster opinion in the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project case will be primarily and justly remembered for interpreting the Fair Housing Act to include a disparate-impact cause of action. In anti-discrimination law, “disparate treatment” requires an intent to discriminate, while “disparate impact” can allow a plaintiff to win even in the absence of discriminatory intent. For instance, if an entity has a policy that disproportionately affects a protected group, it has to justify that disparity even in the absence of any allegation of discriminatory intent. If it cannot produce such a justification, it will lose. As many progressives have already noted, this interpretation of the FHA is a big win, as discriminatory intent is often difficult to prove.

While less obvious, however, there is a passage in the FHA case that can also be counted as a potential win for progressives. On Page 17 of the slip opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy writes, “Recognition of disparate-impact liability under the FHA also plays a role in uncovering discriminatory intent: It permits plaintiffs to counteract the unconscious prejudices and disguised animus that escape easy classification as disparate treatment.” (Emphasis mine.) Disparate impact has long been seen as a way of proving “disguised animus”—so that is nothing new. However, the idea that disparate impact can be used to get at “unconscious prejudices” is, to my knowledge, an idea new to a Supreme Court majority opinion.

The idea of “unconscious prejudice” is that one can have prejudices of which one is unaware that nonetheless drive one’s actions. It has been kicking around in academia for years. As Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald discuss in Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People, Greenwald created the test to assess such unconscious biases in 1994. This test can now be found at implicit.harvard.edu. Since taking academia by storm, it has migrated over to industry—companies ranging from Google to Pfizer have laudably adopted it to assist in making their workplaces more inclusive.

Read the entire article, including portion where Professor Yoshino discusses potential implications of the Kennedy’s acknowledgment, here.

Posted in Implicit Associations, Law, Situationist Contributors, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Erin Hennes at Harvard Law School – Discussing “A Convenient Untruth”

Posted by The Situationist Staff on March 11, 2015

melting-iceberg.jpg

Tomorrow (Thursday) at noon  join the HLS Student Association for Law & Mind Sciences and JUSTICE FOR bALL for a lunch talk with Erin Hennes, PhD to discuss the psychological processes underlying the acceptance of the existence of climate change, and the implications these biases have for our legal system. Non-pizza lunch provided.

Where: WCC 2009
When: 3/12/15 at noon
————————————————————————-
A Convenient Untruth: System Justification and the Processing of Climate Change Information
Erin P. Hennes, PhD (University of California, Los Angeles & Harvard University)

The contemporary political and legal landscape is characterized by numerous divisive issues. Unlike many other legal issues, however, much of the disagreement about human-caused climate change centers not on how best to take action to address the problem, but on whether the problem exists at all.

Recent findings indicate that, to the extent that sustainability initiatives are seen as threatening to the socioeconomic system, individuals may be motivated to deny environmental problems in order to maintain the societal status quo. Across three lines of research using experimental laboratory studies, field work, and content analysis of focus group interviews, we find that economic system justification (a) distorts recall of scientific information about climate change and leads such evidence to be evaluated as weaker, (b) leads individuals to perceptually judge the ambient temperature to be cooler, and (c) is associated with spontaneous retrieval of misinformation about climate change.

These findings suggest that, because system justification can distort the ways in which information is processed, simply providing the public with scientific evidence may be insufficient to inspire action to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic climate change.

Posted in Events, Public Policy, Social Psychology, System Legitimacy | Leave a Comment »

Morality and Politics: A System Justification Perspective

Posted by The Situationist Staff on March 5, 2015

capital buildingAn Interview with John Jost by Paul Rosenberg

Note: This interview was originally published on Salon.com with an outrageously incendiary title that entirely misrepresented its content.

Introduction by Paul Rosenberg:

In the immediate aftermath of World War II, a wide range of thinkers, both secular and religious, struggled to make sense of the profound evil of war, particularly Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. One such effort, “The Authoritarian Personality” by Theodore Adorno and three co-authors, opened up a whole new field of political psychology—initially a small niche within the broader field of social psychology—which developed fitfully over the years, but became an increasingly robust subject area in 1980s and 90s, fleshing out a number of distinct areas of cognitive processing in which liberals and conservatives differed from one another. Liberal/conservative differences were not the sole concern of this field, but they did appear repeatedly across a growing range of different sorts of measures, including the inclination to justify the existing social order, whatever it might be, an insight developed by John Jost, starting in the 1990s, under the rubric of “system justification theory.”

The field of political psychology gained increased visibility in the 2000s as conservative Republicans controlled the White House and Congress simultaneously for the first time since the Great Depression, and took the nation in an increasingly divisive direction. Most notably, John Dean’s 2006 bestseller, “Conservatives Without Conscience,” popularized two of the more striking developments of the 1980s and 90s, the constructs of rightwing authoritarianism and social dominance orientation. A few years before that, a purely academic paper, “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition,” by Jost and three other prominent researchers in the field, caused a brief spasm of political reaction which led some in Congress to talk of defunding the entire field.

But as the Bush era ended, and Barack Obama’s rhetoric of transcending right/left differences captured the national imagination, an echo of sentiment appeared in the field of political psychology as well. Known as “moral foundations theory,” and most closely associated with psychologist Jonathan Haidt, and popularized in his book “The Righteous Mind,” it argued that a too-narrow focus on concerns of fairness and care/harm avoidance had diminished researchers’ appreciation for the full range of moral concerns, especially a particular subset of distinct concerns which conservatives appear to value more than liberals do. In order to restore balance to the field, researchers must broaden their horizons—and even, Haidt argued, engage in affirmative action to recruit conservatives into the field of political psychology. This was, in effect, an argument invoking liberal values—fairness, inclusion, openness to new ideas, etc.—and using them to criticize or even attack what was characterized as a liberal orthodoxy, or even a church-like, close-minded tribal moral community.

Yet, to some, these arguments seemed to gloss over, or even just outright dismiss a wide body of data, not dogma, from decades of previous research. While people were willing to consider new information, and new perspectives, there was a reluctance to throw out the baby with the bathwater, as it were. In the most nitty-gritty sense, the question came down to this: Was the rhetorical framing of the moral foundations argument actually congruent with the detailed empirical findings in the field? Or did it serve more to blur important distinctions that were solidly grounded in rigorous observation?

Recently, a number of studies have raised questions about moral foundations theory in precisely these terms—are the moral foundations more congenial to conservatives actually reflective of non-moral or even immoral tendencies which have already been extensively studied? Late last year, a paper co-authored by Jost—“Another Look At Moral Foundations Theory”—built on these earlier studies to make the strongest case yet along these lines. To gain a better understanding of the field as a whole, moral foundations theory as a challenge within it, the problems that theory is now confronting, and what sort of resolution—and new frontiers—may lie ahead for the field, Paul Rosenberg spoke with John Jost. In the end, he suggested, moral foundations theory and system justification theory may end up looking surprisingly similar to one another, rather than being radically at odds.

PR: You’re most known for your work developing system justification theory, followed by your broader work on developing an integrated account of political ideology. You recently co-authored a paper “Another Look at Moral Foundations Theory,” which I want to focus on, but in order to do so coherently, I thought it best to begin by first asking you about your own work, and that of others you’ve helped integrate, before turning to moral foundations theory generally, and this critical paper in particular.

So, with that in mind as a game plan, could you briefly explain what system justification theory is all about, how it was that you became interested in the subject matter, and why others should be interested in it as well?

JJ: When I was a graduate student in social psychology at Yale back in the 1990’s I began to wonder about a set of seemingly unrelated phenomena that were all counterintuitive in some way and in need of explanation. So I asked: Why do people stay in abusive relationships, why do women feel that they are entitled to lower salaries than men, and why do African American children come to think that white dolls are more attractive and desirable? Why do people blame victims of injustice and why do victims of injustice sometimes blame themselves? Why is it so difficult for unions and other organizations to get people to stand up for themselves, and why do we find personal and social change to be so difficult, even painful? Of course, not everyone exhibits these patterns of behavior at all times, but many people do, and it seemed to me that these phenomena were not well explained by existing theories in social science.

And so it occurred to me that there might be a common denominator—at the level of social psychology—in these seemingly disparate situations. Perhaps human beings are in some fairly subtle way prone to accept, defend, justify, and rationalize existing social arrangements and to resist attempts to change the status quo, however well-meaning those attempts may be. In other words, we may be motivated, to varying degrees, to justify the social systems on which we depend, to see them as relatively good, fair, legitimate, desirable, and so on.

This did not strike me as implausible, given that social psychologists had already demonstrated that we are often motivated to defend and justify ourselves and the social groups to which we belong. Most of us believe that we are better drivers than the average person and more fair, too, and many of us believe that our schools or sports teams or companies are better than their rivals and competitors. Why should we not also want to believe that the social, economic, and political institutions that are familiar to us are, all things considered, better than the alternatives? To believe otherwise is at least somewhat painful, insofar it would force us to confront the possibility that our lives and those of others around us may be subject to capriciousness, exploitation, discrimination, injustice, and that things could be different, better—but they are not.

In 2003, a paper you co-authored, “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition” caused quite a stir politically—there were even brief rumblings in Congress to cut off all research funding, not just for you, but for an entire broad field of research, though you managed to quell those rumblings in a subsequent Washington Post op-ed. That paper might well be called the tip of the iceberg of a whole body of work you’ve helped draw together, and continued to work on since then. So, first of all, what was that paper about?

We wanted to understand the relationship, if any, between psychological conservatism—the mental forces that contribute to resistance to change—and political conservatism as an ideology or a social movement. My colleagues and I conducted a quantitative, meta-analytic review of nearly fifty years of research conducted in 12 different countries and involving over 22,000 research participants or individual cases. We found 88 studies that had investigated correlations between personality characteristics and various psychological needs, motives, and tendencies, on one hand, and political attitudes and opinions, on the other.

And what did it show?

We found pretty clear and consistent correlations between psychological motives to reduce and manage uncertainty and threat—as measured with standard psychometric scales used to gauge personal needs for order, structure, and closure, intolerance of ambiguity, cognitive simplicity vs. complexity, death anxiety, perceptions of a dangerous world, etc.—and identification with and endorsement of politically conservative (vs. liberal) opinions, leaders, parties, and policies.

How did politicians misunderstand the paper, and how did you respond?

I suspect that there were some honest misunderstandings as well as some other kinds. One issue is that many people seem to assume that whatever psychologists are studying must be considered (by the researchers, at least) as abnormal or pathological. But that is simply untrue. Social, cognitive, developmental, personality, and political psychologists are all far more likely to study attitudes and behaviors that are normal, ordinary, and mundane. We are primarily interested in understanding the dynamics of everyday life. In any case, none of the variables that my colleagues and I investigated had anything to do with psychopathology; we were looking at variability in normal ranges within the population and whether specific psychological characteristics were correlated with political opinions. We tried to point some of these things out, encouraging people to read beyond the title, and emphasizing that there are advantages as well as disadvantages to being high vs. low on the need for cognitive closure, cognitive complexity, sensitivity to threat, and so on.

How has that paper been built on since?

I am gratified and amazed at how many research teams all over the world have taken our ideas and refined, extended, and otherwise built upon them over the last decade. To begin with, a number of studies have confirmed that political conservatism and right-wing orientation are associated with various measures of system justification. And public opinion research involving nationally representative samples from all over the world establishes that the two core value dimensions that we proposed to separate the right from the left—traditionalism (or resistance to change) and acceptance of inequality—are indeed correlated with one another, and they are generally (but not always) associated with system justification, conservatism, and right-wing orientation.

Since 2003, numerous studies have replicated the correlations we observed between epistemic motives, including personal needs for order, structure, and closure and resistance to change, acceptance of inequality, system justification, conservatism, and right-wing orientation. Several find that liberals score higher than conservatives on the need for cognition, which captures the individual’s chronic tendency to enjoy effortful forms of thinking. This finding is potentially important because individuals who score lower on the need for cognition favor quick, intuitive, heuristic processing of new information, whereas those who score higher are more likely to engage in more elaborate, systematic processing (what Daniel Kahneman refers to as System 1 and System 2 thinking, respectively). The relationship between epistemic motivation and political orientation has also been explored in research on nonverbal behavior and neurocognitive structure and functioning.

Various labs have also replicated the correlations we observed between existential motives, including attention and sensitivity to dangerous and threatening stimuli, and resistance to change, acceptance of inequality, and conservatism. Ingenious experiments have demonstrated that temporary activation of epistemic needs to reduce uncertainty or to attain a sense of control or closure increases the appeal of system justification, conservatism, and right-wing orientation. Experiments have demonstrated that temporary activation of existential needs to manage threat and anxiety likewise increases the appeal of system justification, conservatism, and right-wing orientation, all other things being equal. These experiments are especially valuable because they identify causal relationships between psychological motives and political orientation.

Progress has also been made in understanding connections between personality characteristics and political orientation. In terms of “Big Five” personality traits, studies involving students and nationally representative samples of adults tell exactly the same story: Openness to new experiences is positively associated with a liberal orientation, whereas Conscientiousness (especially the need for order) is positively associated with conservative orientation. In a few longitudinal studies, childhood measures of intolerance of ambiguity, uncertainty, and complexity as well as sensitivity to fear, threat, and danger have been found to predict conservative orientation later in life. Finally, we have observed that throughout North America and Western Europe, conservatives report being happier and more satisfied than liberals, and this difference is partially (but not completely) explained by system justification and the acceptance of inequality as legitimate. As we suspected many years ago, there appears to be an emotional or hedonic cost to seeing the system as unjust and in need of significant change.

“Moral foundations theory” has gotten a lot of popular press, as well as serious attention in the research community, but for those not familiar with it, could you give us a brief description, and then say something about why it is problematic on its face (particularly in light of the research discussed above)?

The basic idea is that there are five or six innate (evolutionarily prepared) bases for human “moral” judgment and behavior, namely fairness (which moral foundations theorists understand largely in terms of reciprocity), avoidance of harm, ingroup loyalty, obedience to authority, and the enforcement of purity standards. My main problem is that sometimes moral foundations theorists write descriptively as if these are purely subjective considerations—that people think and act as if morality requires us to obey authority, be loyal to the group, and so on. I have no problem with that descriptive claim—although this is surely only a small subset of the things that people might think are morally relevant—as long as we acknowledge that people could be wrong when they think and act as if these are inherently moral considerations.

At other times, however, moral foundations theorists write prescriptively, as if these “foundations” should be given equal weight, objectively speaking, that all of them should be considered virtues, and that anyone who rejects any of them is ignoring an important part of what it means to be a moral human being. I and others have pointed out that many of the worst atrocities in human history have been committed not merely in the name of group loyalty, obedience to authority, and the enforcement of purity standards, but because of a faithful application of these principles. For 24 centuries, Western philosophers have concluded that treating people fairly and minimizing harm should, when it comes to morality, trump group loyalty, deference to authority, and purification. In many cases, behaving ethically requires impartiality and disobedience and the overcoming of gut-level reactions that may lead us toward nepotism, deference, and acting on the basis of disgust and other emotional intuitions. It may be difficult to overcome these things, but isn’t this what morality requires of us?

There have been a number of initial critical studies published, which you cite in this new paper. What have they shown?

Part of the problem is that moral foundations theorists framed their work, for rhetorical purposes, in strong contrast to other research in social and political psychology, including work that I’ve been associated with. But this was unnecessary from the start and, in retrospect, entirely misleading. They basically said: “Past work suggests that conservatism is motivated by psychological needs to reduce uncertainty and threat and that it is associated with authoritarianism and social dominance, but we say that it is motivated by genuinely moral—not immoral or amoral—concerns for group loyalty, obedience to authority, and purity.” This has turned out to be a false juxtaposition on many levels.

First researchers in England and the Netherlands demonstrated that threat sensitivity is in fact associated with group loyalty, obedience to authority, and purity. For instance, perceptions of a dangerous world predict the endorsement of these three values, but not the endorsement of fairness or harm avoidance. Second, a few research teams in the U.S. and New Zealand discovered that authoritarianism and social dominance orientation were positively associated with the moral valuation of ingroup, authority, and purity but not with the valuation of fairness and avoidance of harm. Psychologically speaking, the three so-called “binding foundations” look quite different from the two more humanistic ones.

What haven’t these earlier studies tackled that you wanted to address? And why was this important?

These other studies suggested that there was a reasonably close connection between authoritarianism and the endorsement of ingroup, authority, and purity concerns, but they did not investigate the possibility that individual differences in authoritarianism and social dominance orientation could explain, in a statistical sense, why conservatives value ingroup, authority, and purity significantly more than liberals do and—just as important, but often glossed over in the literature on moral foundations theory—why liberals value fairness and the avoidance of harm significantly more than conservatives do.

How did you go about tackling these unanswered questions? What did you find and how did it compare with what you might have expected?

There was a graduate student named Matthew Kugler (who was then studying at Princeton) who attended a friendly debate about moral foundations theory that I participated in and, after hearing my remarks, decided to see whether the differences between liberals and conservatives in terms of moral intuitions would disappear after statistically adjusting for authoritarianism and social dominance orientation. He conducted a few studies and found that it did, and then he contacted me, and we ended up collaborating on this research, collecting additional data using newer measures developed by moral foundations theorists as well as measures of outgroup hostility.

What does it mean for moral foundations theory?

To me, it means that scholars may need to clean up some of the conceptual confusion in this area of moral psychology, and researchers need to face up to the fact that some moral intuitions (things that people may think are morally relevant and may use as a basis for judging others) may lead people to behave in an unethical, discriminatory manner. But we need behavioral research, such as studies of actual discrimination, to see if this is actually the case. So far the evidence is mainly circumstantial.

And what future research is to come along these lines from you?

One of my students decided to investigate the relationship between system justification and its motivational antecedents, on one hand, and the endorsement of moral foundations, on the other. This work also suggests that the rhetorical contrast between moral foundations theory and other research in social psychology was exaggerated. We are finding that, of the variables we have included, empathy is the best psychological predictor of endorsing fairness and the avoidance of harm as moral concerns, whereas the endorsement of group loyalty, obedience to authority, and purity concerns is indeed linked to epistemic motives to reduce uncertainty (such as the need for cognitive closure) and existential motives to reduce threat (such as death anxiety) and to system justification in the economic domain. So, at a descriptive level, moral foundations theory is entirely consistent with system justification theory.

Finally, I’ve only asked some selective questions, and I’d like to conclude by asking what I always ask in interviews like this—What’s the most important question that I didn’t ask? And what’s the answer to it?

Do I think that social science can help to address some of the problems we face as a society? Yes, I am holding out hope that it can, at least in the long run, and hoping that our leaders will come to realize this eventually.

Our conversation leads me to want to add one more question. Haidt’s basic argument could be characterized as a combination of anthropology–look at all the “moral principles” different cultures have advanced—and the broad equation of morality with the restraint of individual self-interest and/or desire. Your paper, bringing to attention the roles of SDO and RWA, throws into sharp relief a key problem with such a formulation—one that Southern elites have understood for centuries: wholly legitimate individual self-interest (and even morality—adequately feeding & providing a decent future for one’s children, for example) can be easily over-ridden by appeals to heinous “moral concerns,” such as “racial purity,” or more broadly, upholding the “God-given racial order.”

Yet, Haidt does seem to have an important point that individualist moral concern leave something unsaid about the value of the social dimension of human experience, which earlier moral traditions have addressed. Do you see any way forward toward developing a more nuanced account of morality that benefits from the criticism that harm-avoidance and fairness may be too narrow a foundation without embracing the sorts of problematic alternatives put forward so far?

Yes, and there is long tradition of theory and research on social justice—going all the way back to Aristotle—that involves a rich, complex, nuanced analysis of ethical dilemmas that goes well beyond the assumption that fairness is simply about positive and negative reciprocity.

Without question, we are a social species with relational needs and dependencies, and how we treat other people is fundamental to human life, especially when it comes to our capacity for cooperation and social organization. When we are not engaging in some form of rationalization, there are clearly recognizable standards of procedural justice, distributive justice, interactional justice, and so on. Even within the domain of distributive justice—which has to do with the allocation of benefits and burdens in society—there are distinct principles of equity, equality, and need, and in some situations these principles may be in conflict or contradiction.

How to reconcile or integrate these various principles in theory and practice is no simple matter, and this, it seems to me, is what we should focus on working out. We should also focus on solving other dilemmas, such as how to integrate utilitarian, deontological, virtue-theoretical, and social contractualist forms of moral reasoning, because each of these—in my view—has some legitimate claim on our attention as moral agents.

Related Situationist posts:

To review the full collection of Situationist posts related to system justification, click here.

Posted in Ideology, Morality, Situationist Contributors, Social Psychology, System Legitimacy | 3 Comments »

Stanford Prison Experiment – The Movie

Posted by The Situationist Staff on February 2, 2015

From ETonline:

The Stanford Prison Experiment, which premiered this week at Sundance to mostly positive reviews, is not always an easy film to watch.

Much of the action takes place in barren 6-foot-wide hallway. The characters–seemingly normal and well-adjusted Stanford students recruited to participate in a landmark 1971 study about the psychology of imprisonment–take their role-playing as prisoner and guard to extremes, turning power-hungry, violent and occasionally sadistic. The “grown-ups,” led by researcher Philip Zimbardo (played by Billy Crudup), watch a live feed of the action from a nearby office and fail to stop the abuse–fueled by their own power trips and unchecked ambition.

None of the men or boys come off looking very good in the film, though director Kyle Patrick Alvarez does a masterful job humanizing them. And it’s impossible to watch without wondering how you’d react if parachuted into Zimbardo’s simulated prison. Would you stand up for yourself–or for the humanity of others? And can we really know until we’ve been there?

“One of the big questions this film deals with is, ‘Are we who we think we are?’” Crudup said when we sat down in Park City, Utah, this week to discuss the film. “This story talks about the ways we don’t fulfill our own moral capacity, and that what we think of as our true self is actually the product of many different situations, institutions, and places.”

Crudup (Almost Famous) is excellent as Dr. Zimbardo, a man who so badly wants to affect positive change in the world–and have an impact as a psychologist–that he’s willing to let his study subjects endure psychological torture for what he perceives as a greater good. It isn’t until the sixth day, when his girlfriend and fellow researcher (played by Juno’s Olivia Thirlby) objects to the experiment’s direction, that he finally accepts the damage he’s doing.

Read entire review here.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Situationist Contributors, Social Psychology, Video | 1 Comment »

Distributional Preferences

Posted by The Situationist Staff on December 3, 2014

An article of interest in the latest issue of Psychological Science:

Subjective Status Shapes Political Preferences, by Jazmin L. Brown-Iannuzzi, Kristjen B. Lundberg, Aaron C. Kay B. Keith Payne (November, 2014).

Introduction

Economic inequality is at historically high levels and rising. The United States has the highest level of inequality of all industrialized countries, with the wealthiest 1% of Americans owning nearly 50% of the country’s wealth (Keister & Moller, 2000; Wolff, 2002). Greater economic inequality within a society is associated with a variety of problems, including lower subjective well-being, shorter life expectancy, and increased crime (Wilkinson & Pickett, 2009). Moreover, surveys show that a large majority of Americans would prefer a more equal distribution of wealth (Norton & Ariely, 2011). Curiously, though, the majority of Americans also tends to support tax cuts and reduced spending on social services aimed at reducing inequality (Bartels, 2005). What drives the public’s complex attitudes toward the distribution of wealth?

Two frequently cited factors are economic ideologies and economic self-interest. The ideology explanation assumes that attitudes toward redistribution are driven by a coherent system of principles governing how resources should be distributed. Individualist ideologies view an individual’s hard work and talent as the primary causes of economic outcomes, and generally oppose redistributive policies. Egalitarian ideologies assume that fairness entails treating everyone equally, and are generally supportive of redistribution. Although certain ideologies are consistently associated with attitudes toward redistribution, the evidence is almost exclusively correlational, leaving open the question of causal direction. We acknowledge that ideologies can cause people to support or oppose redistributive policies, but we suggest that the causal arrow can sometimes point in the other direction as well. That is, we suggest that the correlation between ideology and attitudes toward redistribution may in part reflect ideological justifications for policy preferences.

Consistent with this position is the fact that meritocracy and egalitarianism frequently coexist within the same culture and even within the same person. Kay and Eibach (2012) argued that people generally hold multiple, often contradictory, ideologies that become more or less accessible as a function of chronic and situational factors (Higgins, 1996). Growing evidence suggests that political ideology can be a reaction to psychological motivations (Jost, Glaser, Kruglanski, & Sulloway, 2003; Kay, Gaucher, Napier, Callan, & Laurin, 2008). Like beliefs of all kinds, ideologies are sometimes adopted because they satisfy particular needs. Even when motivational factors are at work, people tend to experience ideologies as principled beliefs about fairness and justice, rather than as arising from circumstance and self-interest (Ross & Ward, 1996).

Thus, we argue that policy preferences and the ideologies that legitimize them may also fluctuate on the basis of momentary motivations and self-serving preferences. Self-serving preferences, however, are not as straightforward as they seem. According to the self-interest explanation of attitudes toward redistribution, redistributive policies that take resources from the wealthy to provide benefits to the poor should be favored by the poor but opposed by the wealthy. Although some evidence supports this intuitive idea, the association between income and opposition to redistribution is small (Finseraas, 2009; Gilens, 2000; Kluegel & Smith, 1986). This may be, in part, because many citizens do not know what policies are in their self-interest. In one study, most Americans could not accurately identify whether the tax cuts of the George W. Bush administration would benefit them (Bartels, 2005), and about half of the beneficiaries of federal programs believe that they have never benefited from a government program (Mettler, 2010). Such inaccuracies suggest that subjective perceptions of status may be important in shaping attitudes toward redistribution and the ideologies they reflect.

Abstract

. . . . We hypothesized that participants would support redistribution more when they felt low than when they felt high in subjective status, even when actual resources and self-interest were held constant. Moreover, we predicted that people would legitimize these shifts in policy attitudes by appealing selectively to ideological principles concerning fairness. In four studies, we found correlational (Study 1) and experimental (Studies 2–4) evidence that subjective status motivates shifts in support for redistributive policies along with the ideological principles that justify them.

Posted in Abstracts, Distribution, Social Psychology | 1 Comment »

Jennifer Eberhardt Wins MacArthur!

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 17, 2014

Congratulations to Situationist friend, Jennifer Eberhardt who is one of this year’s MacArthur Grant winners.

Eberhardt investigates the subtle, complex, largely unconscious yet deeply ingrained ways that individuals racially code and categorize people and the far-reaching consequences of stereotypic associations between race and crime.

To read numerous Situationist posts about Eberhardt’s research or presentations at Harvard Law School click here. To watch similar videos, visit the video libraries on the Project on Law and Mind Sciences website (here).

Posted in Implicit Associations, Law, Social Psychology | 4 Comments »

The Gendered (Lookist) Situation of Venture Capital

Posted by The Situationist Staff on May 4, 2014

If you’re in search of startup funding, it pays to be a good-looking guy.

A series of three studies reveals that investors prefer pitches from male entrepreneurs over those from female entrepreneurs, even when the content of the pitches is identical. Attractive men are the most persuasive pitchers of all, the studies show.

The findings are detailed in the paper Investors Prefer Entrepreneurial Ventures Pitched by Attractive Men, published in the March 2014 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“Our paper provides concrete proof that gender discrimination exists in the context of entrepreneurial pitching,” says Alison Wood Brooks, an assistant professor at Harvard Business School who coauthored the paper with Laura Huang . . . Sarah Wood Kearney . . . and Fiona E. Murray . . . .

As a behavioral psychologist, Brooks studies the situational variables that influence personal persuasion. Kearney, her twin sister, is an entrepreneur and scholar whose research is fueled by both a frustration with and curiosity about the dearth of venture capital for women. (In the first half of 2013, companies with at least one female founder secured some 13 percent of total venture funding, up from 4 percent in 2004, according to data from PitchBook.) Murray is Kearney’s thesis adviser. Huang, whom Brooks met in the initial stages of their research, studies the role of “gut feel” in investment decisions.

THE GUYS HAVE IT

In their first study, the research team examined video recordings of 90 randomly selected pitches from three real-life entrepreneurial pitch competitions, held in various United States locations over a three-year period. In each case, a panel of angel investors had judged the pitches and awarded startup capital to the winners.

The researchers recruited a separate panel of 60 seasoned angel investors to watch the videos and code them across several measures, including physical attractiveness—rating the entrepreneurs on a scale of 1 (very unattractive) to 7 (very attractive). The coders were blind to the actual competition results.

The analysis showed a significant relationship between an entrepreneur’s gender and whether a pitch had been successful. Male entrepreneurs were 60 percent likelier to receive a funding prize than were female entrepreneurs. Among those male entrepreneurs, investor-deemed attractiveness led to a 36 percent increase in pitch success. But for female entrepreneurs, their looks had no apparent effect on the success of their pitches.

The second study was an experiment designed to isolate the effect of gender on pitch persuasiveness. The researchers used 521 participants to watch two entrepreneurial pitch videos online. In each case, one of the pitches had won funding in real life. Participants in the experiment, roughly half of whom were women, were tasked with guessing the actual winner, with the incentive of a monetary reward for a correct guess.

The pitches included still images and a voiceover narration by the entrepreneur. This format enabled the researchers to assign a gender to the entrepreneur—dubbing in a male voice for some videos and a female voice for others, while the content of the narrations remained identical.

All else being equal, 68.33 percent of participants favored ventures pitched by male voices, while only 31.67 percent chose female-voiced pitches. Importantly, the gender effect held steady regardless of the “investor’s” gender.

“We saw the same discriminatory effects between male and female participants,” Brooks says.

In the third study, . . .

* * *

NEXT STEPS AND LESSONS LEARNED

In the secondary stages of their exploration, the researchers plan to dive deeper into gender dynamics. Among the questions they are pursuing: What happens when the female entrepreneur is perceived as stereotypically masculine vs. feminine? Is a female entrepreneur more likely to be funded if her business targets female customers? Will a successful track record increase a woman’s chances of securing capital?

Brooks is hardly shocked by the results of the studies thus far. “I was surprised to find the effects consistently across both field and lab settings,” she says. “But, in general, I find our results to be more sad than surprising.”

Still, she’s hopeful that the research provides a wake-up call to the venture capital industry.

“Awareness is a critical first step,” Brooks says. “Though gender in entrepreneurship has become a hot topic . . . , we haven’t seen much concrete data on the topic until now. We hope this research leads investors and entrepreneurs to become more supportive of male and female entrepreneurs alike.”

Read the entire article here.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Implicit Associations, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Immaculate Perception?

Posted by Jerry Kang on February 1, 2014

Recently, I did a TEDx talk on implicit bias titled “Immaculate Perception?”  It’s only about 13 minutes long, which made it quite a challenge. Enjoy!

Here’s a guide to my related scholarship.

Posted in Implicit Associations, Law, Social Psychology, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Mikki Hebl on Interpersonal Discrimination

Posted by The Situationist Staff on December 16, 2013

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Implicit Associations, Law, Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Conference on the Legacy of Stanley Milgram

Posted by The Situationist Staff on October 25, 2013

shock generator2

Yale Law School is hosting a conference on the Legacy of Stanley Milgram this Saturday.  Unsurprisingly, many Situationist Contributors (Thomas Blass, Jon Hanson, Dan Kahan, and Tom Tyler) and Situationist friends (Phoebe Ellsworth, Doug Kysar, and Jaime Napier) will be participating.  The conference agenda is below.

Saturday, October 26, 2013
Yale Law School
Sponsored by the Oscar M. Ruebhausen Fund

9:00-9:30
Registration and Breakfast

9:30-10:00
Introduction
Peter Salovey, President of Yale University

10:00-11:00
The role of situational forces in shaping false confessions
Saul Kassin, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Moderator: Marcia K. Johnson, Sterling Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Yale University=

11:00-12:00
Situationism in law
Jon D. Hanson, Alfred Smart Professor and Director, Project on Law and Mind Sciences, Harvard Law School
Moderator: Douglas Kysar, Joseph M. Field ’55 Professor of Law, Yale Law School

12:00-12:15    Pick up box lunch12:15-1:00
Reflections on the life and work of Stanley Milgram
Thomas Blass, Professor of Psychology, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and author of The Man Who Shocked the World
Moderator: Tom Tyler, Macklin Fleming Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology, Yale Law School and Department of Psychology, Yale University

1:00-2:00
Obedience to authority, Thoughts on Milgram as a filmmaker
Kathryn Millard, Professor of Film and Creative Arts, Department of Media, Music, Communication and Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, AU
Moderator: Sarah Ryan, Empirical Research Librarian & Lecturer in Legal Research, Yale Law School

2:00-3:00
Inattentive bureaucrats or engaged followers? Understanding Milgram’s subjects
S. Alex Haslam, Professor of Psychology and ARC Laureate Fellow, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, AU
Moderator: Jaime Napier, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Department of Psychology, Yale University

3:00-4:00
Milgram’s legacy in social psychology
Phoebe Ellsworth, Frank Murphy Distinguished University Professor of Law and Psychology, University of Michigan
Moderator: Dan Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology, Yale Law School

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Classic Experiments, Events, Situationist Contributors, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

Are Thoughts of Death Conducive to Humor?

Posted by The Situationist Staff on October 18, 2013

cemetery

From DeGruyter:

A New Study Shows an Increase in Humorous Creativity when Individuals are Primed with Thoughts of Death.

Humor is an intrinsic part of human experience. It plays a role in every aspect of human existence, from day-to-day conversation to television shows. Yet little research has been conducted to date on the psychological function of humor. In human psychology, awareness of the impermanence of life is just as prevalent as humor. According to the Terror Management Theory, knowledge of one’s own impermanence creates potentially disruptive existential anxiety, which the individual brings under control with two coping mechanisms, or anxiety buffers: rigid adherence to dominant cultural values, and self-esteem bolstering.

A new article by Christopher R. Long of Ouachita Baptist University and Dara Greenwood of Vassar College is titled Joking in the Face of Death: A Terror Management Approach to Humor Production. Appearing in the journal HUMOR, it documents research on whether the activation of thoughts concerning death influences one’s ability to creatively generate humor. As humor is useful on a fundamental level for a variety of purposes, including psychological defense against anxiety, the authors hypothesized that the activation of thoughts concerning death could facilitate the production of humor.

For their study, Long and Greenwood subdivided 117 students into four experimental groups. These groups were confronted with the topics of pain and death while completing various tasks. Two of the test groups were exposed unconsciously to words flashed for 33 milliseconds on a computer while they completed tasks – the first to the word “pain,” the second to the word “death.” The remaining two groups were prompted in a writing task to express emotions concerning either their own death or a painful visit to the dentist. Afterward, all four groups were instructed to supply a caption to a cartoon from The New Yorker.

These cartoon captions were presented to an independent jury who knew nothing about the experiment. The captions written by individuals who were subconsciously primed with the word death were clearly voted as funnier by the jury. By contrast, the exact opposite result was obtained for the students who consciously wrote about death: their captions were seen as less humorous.

Based on this experiment, the researchers conclude that humor helps the individual to tolerate latent anxiety that may otherwise be destabilizing. In this connection, they point to previous studies indicating that humor is an integral component of resilience.

In light of the finding that the activation of conscious thoughts concerning death impaired the creative generation of humor, Long and Greenwood highlight the need for additional research, not only to explore the effectiveness of humor as a coping mechanism under various circumstances, but also to identify its emotional, cognitive, and/or social benefits under conditions of adversity.

Related Situationist posts:

Posted in Ideology, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

2013 SPSP Awards

Posted by The Situationist Staff on October 11, 2013

marc-sheff-psychology-trophy_web

From SPSP Website:

September 18, 2013 – When you pass by a stranger in need of help, do you stop to lend a hand? Maybe not… A landmark 1973 study found that seminary students in a hurry were less likely to help someone in distress, even when they were on their way to deliver a talk on the Parable of the Good Samaritan. A co-author of that study and several other distinguished researchers are the recipients of the 2013 annual awards from the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP). The contributions of these scientists to personality and social psychology include furthering our understanding of how personality shapes health and well-being across adulthood, why it’s so hard to evaluate ourselves, and the virtues that divide political ideologies.

The Society’s highest awards – the Jack Block, Donald T. Campbell, and Distinguished Scholar awards – go to Robert R. (“Jeff”) McCrae, retired from the National Institute of Aging, [Situationist Contributor] Timothy D. Wilson of the University of Virginia, and Carol S. Dweck of Stanford University, respectively. The Career Contribution awards, which honor scholars whose research has led the field in new directions, are C. Daniel Batson of the University of Kansas and [Situationist friend] James Sidanius of Harvard University.

Good Samaritan, Social Dominance

Batson co-authored with [Situationist Contributor] John Darley the 1973 study on the “bystander effect” – revealing processes that influence how and when we help people. His work looks at a variety of topics that bridge psychology and religion, including altruism, empathy, and compassion. Batson is leading proponent for the existence of pure or selfless altruism, in which people help out of a genuine concern for the welfare of others.

Sidanius’ work explains the acceptance of group-based social hierarchy – such as believing that men are superior to women or that Whites are superior to people of color – by both the dominant and oppressed groups. Long before others were convinced, Sidanius analyzed the inevitability and the significance of hierarchy in structuring society, social relations, and psychological functioning – pioneering the study of the widely shared cultural ideologies that provide the justification for group-based hierarchies.

Personality, Self-Insight, and Mindset

McCrae’s work on personality in aging adults led to a resurgence of personality psychology in the 1980s and the establishment of the Big Five model of personality traits that persists today. His work has shown how individual differences in personality traits effect everything from health to coping. McCrae has established new ways of measuring personality traits and has looked at the effects of personality cross-culturally. Recently, he has written provocative papers on the future of personality psychology for the 21st century, including exploring the molecular genetics of personality dispositions.

Wilson’s research examines why it is so hard for people to accurately evaluate themselves. He has shed light into the ways in which people are mistaken about themselves, whether wrong about the causes of their past actions or about their present attitudes. His book Stranger to Ourselves explored the challenges of self-insight. An Elected Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and an Elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Wilson works to ensure that public policy is informed by scientific fact.

Dweck’s work has examined how people’s mindsets shape their lives and determine their achievement. In a series of well-known studies, Dweck demonstrated how people with a “growth mindset,” who believe that certain qualities, such as intelligence, can be developed make life choices that lead to greater success than those with a “fixed mindset,” who believe that basic abilities are unchangeable. This distinction profoundly affects people’s motivation, psychological well-being, and learning, and the ideas have been extended to apply to work in diverse areas, such as education and intergroup relations.

Math and Science Intervention, Political Ideologies, Hidden bias

An intervention aimed at parents can boost children’s interest in math and science, according the study awarded this year’s Robert B. Cialdini Award for excellence in a published field study. Judith Harackiewicz of the University of Wisconsin, with colleagues Christopher Rozek, Chris Hulleman, and Janet Hyde, sent to parents of high-school students information that emphasized the importance of mathematics and science to college, career, and everyday life, and that offered tips for parents to communicate this importance to their children. Compared to a control group, children whose parents received the information took nearly a full extra semester of math and science. The paper, “Helping parents to motivate adolescents in mathematics and science: An experimental test of a utility-value intervention,” was published in Psychological Science. Honorable Mention for the Cialdini Award goes to “Signing at the beginning makes ethics salient and decreases dishonest self-reports in comparison to signing at the end,” by Lisa L. Shu and colleagues in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The recipient of the Media Book Prize is Jonathan Haidt for The Righteous Mind, which takes a tour of how people bind themselves to political and religious teams and the moral narratives that accompany them. Using a range of arguments – anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary – Haidt proposes that the U.S. political left and the right emphasize different virtues and he suggests that we use that discovery to try to get along.

The Methodological Innovation Award goes to Anthony G. Greenwald of the University of Washington, who in 1998 created the Implicit Association Test (IAT) – a widely-used method for measuring attitudes, stereotypes, self-concepts, and self-esteem without relying on self-reporting. Researchers have used the IAT in fields ranging from education and health to forensics and marketing. Tens of thousands of people weekly visit the Project Implicit website, created by Greenwald and colleagues.

Recipients of the Carol and Ed Diener Award in Personality Psychology and the Carol and Ed Diener Award in Social Psychology are Andrew J. Elliot of the University of Rochester and Nalini Ambady of Stanford, respectively. Elliot studies achievement and social motivation, particularly in educational contexts, and focuses on how approach and avoidance temperaments, motives, and goals influence psychological functioning. Ambady’s work looks at “thin slices” – showing that social, emotional, and perceptual judgments made on the basis of brief behavioral observations can be surprisingly accurate.

The remaining SPSP awards for 2013 are as follows:

  • The 2013 SPSP Award for Service on Behalf of Personality and Social Psychology: Kay Deaux of City University of New York and Hazel Rose Markus of Stanford. A great mentor and supporter of diversity in the field, Deaux’s pioneering work looks at gender, identity, and immigration, reflecting her deep social consciousness. Markus has worked to create the field of cultural psychology – shifting it from the assumption that research findings in one culture represent basic processes of human nature, to the idea of linking different social and personality processes to gender, race, social class, age, and culture.
  • The 2013 SPSP Service Award for Distinguished Service to the Society: Wendi Gardner of Northwestern University and George (Al) Goethals of the University of Richmond’s Jepson School of Leadership Studies. Through her roles with the Society, Gardner has played a vital role in shaping the organization’s annual conferences and also has served as a passionate advocate for graduate students. As Secretary-Treasurer of SPSP (1995-1997), Goethals shepherded the Society through lean financial times, helping it to establish a solid financial foundation.
  • The 2013 Theoretical Innovation Prize: Kurt Gray, Liane Young, and Adam Waytz for their 2012 Psychological Inquiry article entitled “Mind Perception is the Essence of Morality.” The paper proposes a simplification in the way psychologists view moral judgment.

A ceremony at the 2014 annual SPSP conference in Austin, TX (Feb. 13-15, 2014) will honor all of this year’s award recipients. Full citations are available online.

Image by Marc Sheff.

Posted in Awards, Situationist Contributors, Social Psychology | Leave a Comment »

The Situation of Ageism

Posted by The Situationist Staff on October 9, 2013

Ageism North Fiske

From Princeton News, an overview of important work being done by Michael North and Situationist friend, Susan Fiske.

Michael North, a fifth-year graduate student in psychology at Princeton University, knew he was lucky to land a summer research position at the University of Michigan after he finished his bachelor’s degree there in 2006.

His task: Sit in a lab for two hours at a time and interview local residents — young and old — for a study on wisdom.

“When the professor told me this, I nodded and said OK, but as a 22-year-old kid I wasn’t really excited about sitting in a basement interviewing old people, as I saw them,” North said. “I thought they would be really boring. I thought they would smell. I thought they would make me feel weird. These were the thoughts I had, honestly.”

But the reality was different. North found that he enjoyed interacting with the older group more than the younger people. “The older people were the ones who showed more interest in the project, they showed more interest in me personally and asked more interesting questions,” North said.

The realization opened his eyes to a field ripe for exploration.

A focus on ageism research

North came to Princeton in 2008 and joined the lab of Susan Fiske, the Eugene Higgins Professor of Psychology and a professor of psychology and public affairs. Together, they have put a new emphasis on ageism, or age-based prejudice, focusing on the challenges society faces to adjust to a growing older population and the intergenerational tensions that can result.

The older population in the United States is expected to double in the next 20 years, and the number of older people is likely to reach more than a quarter of the population by 2050, outnumbering children for the first time in history, North and Fiske noted last year in the journal Psychological Bulletin.

“In other words, the people society now considers older and irrelevant are about to become far more common and visible — perhaps more so than ever in modern society,” the researchers wrote.

Those factors make this an ideal time to put a spotlight on the social perceptions of ageism, a generally understudied area in academia, North said.

“It’s not hard to read The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal and see that as the baby boomers are getting older, age-discrimination cases are on the rise and worries are growing about the long-term sustainability of Social Security and Medicare,” North said. “The academic literature hasn’t really spoken to these questions.”

The research by North and Fiske homes in on the idea that understanding intergenerational tension is key to understanding ageism. Ageism is the one kind of discrimination, North noted, in which those who are generally doing the discriminating — younger generations — will eventually become part of the targeted demographic.

North and Fiske are making important contributions to ageism research, said Susan Krauss Whitbourne, a psychology professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst who studies aging and adult development.

“Ageism is a topic that touches on many sensitive areas, including older adults themselves, family members, policymakers and the media,” she said. “North and Fiske unpack the stereotypes toward older adults and show how these stereotypes vary in their causes and effects.”

Fiske, a social psychologist, joined the Princeton faculty in 2000. Her most recent book is “Envy Up, Scorn Down: How Status Divides Us” (2012). The research she and North have conducted expands her far-reaching work on stereotypes.

“We have found a variety of evidence, over the past dozen years, that people make sense of each other along two primary and apparently universal dimensions,” Fiske said. “The first is warmth — does the other have good intentions, is that person trustworthy and sociable. The second dimension is competence — can the other enact those intentions. Stereotypically, the middle class are both warm and competent, rich people are cold but competent, homeless people are neither. The default stereotype for older people is well-intentioned (warm) but incompetent.”

What older people ‘should be’

The researchers focus on ageism that is based on what psychologists call prescriptive prejudice. “Instead of describing what old people supposedly are in reality, it ‘prescribes’ what others think old people should be,” Fiske said. “Older people who ‘violate’ these ‘prescriptions’ are punished by those who discriminate against them; older people who adhere to them are rewarded with sympathy and pity.”

The researchers say prescriptive stereotypes center on three key issues:

• Succession, the idea that older people should move aside from high-paying jobs and prominent social roles to make way for younger people;

• Identity, the idea that older people shouldn’t attempt to act younger than they are; and

• Consumption, the idea that older people shouldn’t consume so many scarce resources such as health care.

In studies detailed in an article for the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, the researchers found that younger people were more resentful of older people who went against these prescriptive stereotypes, compared with the feelings of middle-aged and older study participants. The article was published online in March.

In a January article in Social Issues and Policy Review, Fiske and North focused on the dangers of lumping together all older people, starting as young as ages 50 or 55. Instead, North and Fiske argue that the “young-old” — generally those still working and in relatively good health — should be considered separately from the “old-old” — generally older people who no longer work and are in poor health.

“Though numerical age is a useful indicator, it is an imprecise one when it comes to distribution of societal resources,” the researchers wrote. “Age-related characteristics are evolving all the time, but social policies seem stuck in the past, uncertain how to accommodate shifting age dynamics (as evidenced by impending Social Security and Medicare crises).”

Further advancing their work, North and Fiske have conducted experiments that helped shape a scale for measuring ageism that is described in a paper accepted for publication in the journal Psychological Assessment. The Succession, Identity and Consumption scale “is a promising tool for cutting-edge ageism research, as the population grays and generational equity concerns grow more salient,” the researchers wrote.

North, who is finishing his dissertation on the issue, said he hopes to continue to work on ageism throughout his career, identifying interventions that could lessen or prevent ageism, such as shifting views of the younger about what it means to be older.

“If there’s one take away from this research, it’s that it’s important to focus on the facts of these demographic changes rather than misguided perceptions,” he said. “Talking about these issues helps you find constructive ways to address them.”

Read article, including an interactive image here.

Related Situationist posts:

See their video interview below.

Posted in Distribution, Life, Social Psychology, Video | 1 Comment »

Wegstock #19 – Dan Wegner

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 30, 2013

In 2011, a conference honoring the late Dan Wegner, “Wegstock,” was held at Harvard University.

This is the last of the series, by Dan Wegner himself.  Don’t miss it.

To review a collection of Situationist posts discussing Dan Wegner’s research, click here.

Posted in Implicit Associations, Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Wegstock #18 – Jonathan Schooler

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 24, 2013

In 2011, a conference honoring the late Dan Wegner, “Wegstock,” was held at Harvard University.

The talks are brief and are well worth watching.  We are highlighting individual talks, roughly 15 minutes each, through August and September.

In his fascinating lecture, Jonathan Schooler discusses his fascinating research on mind wandering and meta-awareness and tells the story of how that research was influenced by Dan Wegner.  Pay attention!  The video is below.

To review a collection of Situationist posts discussing Dan Wegner’s research, click here.

Posted in Implicit Associations, Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Wegstock #17 – Jamie Pennebaker

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 20, 2013

In 2011, a conference honoring the late Dan Wegner, “Wegstock,” was held at Harvard University.

The talks are brief and are well worth watching.  We are highlighting individual talks, roughly 15 minutes each, through August and September.

In his fascinating lecture, Jamie Pennebaker discusses . . . well, it’s a secret.  Enjoy the function and the content words!

To review a collection of Situationist posts discussing Dan Wegner’s research, click here.

Posted in Implicit Associations, Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Wegstock #16 – Robin Vallacher

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 10, 2013

In 2011, a conference honoring the late Dan Wegner, “Wegstock,” was held at Harvard University.

The talks are brief and are well worth watching.  We are highlighting individual talks, roughly 15 minutes each, through August and September.

In his fascinating lecture, titled “Rethinking Psychological Process,” Robin Vallacher discusses his early friendship and research with Dan Wegner and connects that to some of his intriguing research today on the non-linear, emergent nature of thought processes, and the role of implicit self-esteem.  .

To review a collection of Situationist posts discussing Dan Wegner’s research, click here.

Posted in Implicit Associations, Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Wegstock #15 – Bill Crano

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 6, 2013

In 2011, a conference honoring the late Dan Wegner, “Wegstock,” was held at Harvard University.

The talks are brief and are well worth watching.  We are highlighting individual talks, roughly 15 minutes each, through August and September.

In his thoughtful lecture, titled “Is Dan Wegner a Cook?,” Bill Crano discusses some of Dan Wegner’s very early career, as a graduate student, and then some of his own fascinating research.

To review a collection of Situationist posts discussing Dan Wegner’s research, click here.

Posted in Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Wegstock #14 – Jerry Klore

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 1, 2013

In 2011, a conference honoring the late Dan Wegner, “Wegstock,” was held at Harvard University.

The talks are brief and are well worth watching.  We are highlighting individual talks, roughly 15 minutes each, through August and September.

In his interesting lecture, Gerald Klore discusses some of Dan Wegner’s books and hobbies and Jerry’s own research on the role of affect as information about the demands on and availability of bodily and social resources.

To review a collection of Situationist posts discussing Dan Wegner’s research, click here.

Posted in Emotions, Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

Wegstock #13 – John Krosnick

Posted by The Situationist Staff on August 26, 2013

In 2011, a conference honoring the late Dan Wegner, “Wegstock,” was held at Harvard University.

The talks are brief and are well worth watching.  We are highlighting individual talks, roughly 15 minutes each, through August and September.

In his outstanding lecture, Jon Krosnick discusses the place of social psychology among social sciences.

To review a collection of Situationist posts discussing Dan Wegner’s research, click here.

Posted in Social Psychology, Video | Leave a Comment »

 
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