We introduce the construct of relational scope to refer to the degree to which an individual engages in communication with a more or less distant audience, with a contractive relational scope indicating a near audience and an expansive relational scope indicating a distant audience. Drawing on construal level theory, we argue that speakers use abstract messages strategically when faced with an expansive relational scope in order to be widely relevant and relatable. We show that speakers communicate more abstractly with distant others than near others (Studies 1–3) and experience greater fit when message framing matches audience distance (Study 4). We also demonstrate that framing messages abstractly prompts broader relational scope, with speakers more likely to direct concrete (abstract) messages to near (distal) audiences (Study 5). Finally, we show that when procedural information is critical to communication, communication with distant (vs. proximal) others will increasingly emphasize procedures over end states (Study 6).
Negative behaviors targeting gay men and lesbians range from violent physical assault to casting a vote against gay marriage, with very different implications for those targeted. Existing accounts of such actions, however, are unable to differentially predict specific anti-gay behaviors, leaving a large theoretical hole in the literature and hindering the design of effective interventions. We propose (a) that many sexually prejudiced laypersons conceptualize homosexuality and pro-gay ideology as “contaminants” analogous to infectious pathogens and (b) that anti-gay behaviors can thus be viewed as strategic attempts to prevent, contain, treat, or eradicate the “pathogens” of homosexuality and pro-gay ideology. By considering analogues to disease-spread processes (e.g., susceptibility of specific subpopulations, inoculation procedures, prevalence in the local environment, interconnections among community members), we derive novel predictions regarding the incidence and nature of anti-gay behaviors and provide leverage for creating more tailored interventions to reduce such discrimination.
Many situations in our lives require us to make relatively quick decisions as whether to approach or avoid a person or object, buy or pass on a product, or accept or reject an offer. These decisions are particularly difficult when there are both positive and negative aspects to the object. How do people go about navigating this conflict to come to a summary judgment? Using the Evaluative Lexicon (EL), we demonstrate across three studies, 7,700 attitude expressions, and nearly 50 different attitude objects that when positivity and negativity conflict, the valence that is based more on emotion is more likely to dominate. Furthermore, individuals are also more consistent in the expression of their univalent summary judgments when they involve greater emotionality. In sum, valence that is based on emotion tends to dominate when resolving ambivalence and also helps individuals to remain consistent when offering quick judgments.
Ostracism’s negative consequences have been widely documented, but research has yet to explore the personality characteristics of its targets that precipitate ostracism. Based on theories of the functions of ostracism, we found that people are more willing to ostracize disagreeable targets than more agreeable targets (Studies 2 and 3). This outcome was mediated by participants’ interpersonal trust toward the target, and was especially strong for people who highly endorse fairness as a foundation for morality (Study 4). Ironically, the experience of ostracism induced a state of disagreeableness: the very characteristic that elicits ostracism from others (Study 5). This relationship was mediated by feelings of anger (Study 6). Findings indicate disagreeableness is a particularly negative outcome of ostracism, because it leads to further ostracism.
Laura Van Berkel: Hierarchy and dominance are ubiquitous. Because social hierarchy is early learned and highly rehearsed, the value of hierarchy enjoys relative ease over competing egalitarian values. In six studies, we interfere with deliberate thinking and measure endorsement of hierarchy and egalitarianism. In Study 1, bar patrons’ blood alcohol content was correlated with hierarchy preference. In Study 2, cognitive load increased the authority/hierarchy moral foundation. In Study 3, low-effort thought instructions increased hierarchy endorsement and reduced equality endorsement. In Study 4, ego depletion increased hierarchy endorsement and caused a trend toward reduced equality endorsement. In Study 5, low-effort thought instructions increased endorsement of hierarchical attitudes among those with a sense of low personal power. In Study 6, participants’ thinking quickly allocated more resources to high-status groups. Across five operationalizations of impaired deliberative thought, hierarchy endorsement increased and egalitarianism receded. These data suggest hierarchy may persist in part because it has a psychological advantage.
Jonas R. Kunst: Although integration involves a process of mutual accommodation, the role of majority groups is often downplayed to passive tolerance, leaving immigrants with the sole responsibility for active integration. However, we show that common group identity can actively involve majority members in this process across five studies. Study 1 showed that common identity positively predicted support of integration efforts; Studies 2 and 3 extended these findings, showing that it also predicted real behavior such as monetary donations and volunteering. A decrease in modern racism mediated the relations across these studies, and Studies 4 and 5 further demonstrated that it indeed mediated these effects over and above acculturation expectations and color-blindness, which somewhat compromised integration efforts. Moreover, the last two studies also demonstrated that common, but not dual, groups motivated integration efforts. Common identity appears crucial for securing majorities’ altruistic efforts to integrate immigrants and, thus, for achieving functional multiculturalism.
Kun Zhao: Economic games are well-established experimental paradigms for modeling social decision making. A large body of literature has pointed to the heterogeneity of behavior within many of these games, which might be partly explained by broad interpersonal trait dispositions. Using the Big Five and HEXACO (Honesty-Humility, Emotionality, eXtraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience) personality frameworks, we review the role of personality in two main classes of economic games: social dilemmas and bargaining games. This reveals an emerging role for Big Five agreeableness in promoting cooperative, egalitarian, and altruistic behaviors across several games, consistent with its core characteristic of maintaining harmonious interpersonal relations. The role for extraversion is less clear, which may reflect the divergent effects of its underlying agentic and affiliative motivational components. In addition, HEXACO honesty-humility and agreeableness may capture distinct aspects of prosocial behavior outside the bounds of the Five-Factor Model. Important considerations and directions for future studies are discussed within the emerging personality–economics interface.
James R. Rae: The industrialized world is becoming more ethnically diverse. Research in several disciplines has suggested that exposure to racial out-groups may be associated with more positive and more negative intergroup attitudes. Given that U.S. states are often at the center of debate regarding diversity-related public policy, we examined how exposure to out-groups is associated with state-level implicit and explicit race bias among White and Black Americans. We found that larger proportions of Black residents across U.S. states were associated with stronger implicit and explicit in-group bias among both White and Black respondents. State-level bias was predicted by proportions of Black residents even when controlling for (a) state-level demographic control variables (e.g., median income), (b) proportions of non-Black minorities, and (c) historical membership in the Confederacy. Our results convey the importance of investigating why diversity may not always have the positive impact on intergroup relations that one might hope it to have.
2015 - Samantha J. Heintzelman
Heintzelman, S. J., & King, L. A. (2014). (The Feeling of) Meaning-as-Information. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18, 153-167.
2015 - Bo M. Winegard
Winegard, B. M., Reynolds, T., Baumeister, R. F., Winegard, B., & Maner, J. K. (2014). Grief functions as an honest indicator of commitment. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 18, 168-186.
2015 - Jiyin Cao
Cao, J., Galinsky, A. D., & Maddux, W. W. (2014). Does travel broaden the mind? Breadth of foreign experiences increases generalized trust. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 5, 517-525.
2015 - Alyssa Fu
Fu, A. S., & Markus, H. R. (2014). My mother and me: Why tiger mothers motivate Asian Americans but not European Americans. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40, 739-749.
2014 - Samantha Joel
Samantha Joel, Amie M. Gordon, Emily A. Impett, Geoff MacDonald and Dacher Keltner (2013). The Things you do for me: Perceptions of a romantic partner’s investments promote gratitude and commitment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1333-1345.
2014 - Kyle G. Ratner
Kyle G. Ratner, May Ling Halim, and David Amodio. Perceived stigmatization, ingroup pride, and immune and endocrine activity: Evidence from a community sample of Black and Latina women. (2013). Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 82- 91.
2014- Xiaowen Xu
Xiaowen Xu, Raymond A. Mar and Jordan B. Peterson (2013). Does cultural exposure partially explain the association between personality and political orientation? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 39, 1497-1517.