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Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

Shreyans Goenka, Manoj Thomas
Conspicuous consumption has often been decried as immoral by many philosophers and scholars, yet it is ubiquitous and widely embraced. This research sheds light on the apparent paradox by proposing that the perceived morality of conspicuous consumption is malleable, contingent upon how different moral lenses highlight the different characteristics embedded in the behavior. Utilizing the Moral Foundations Theory, we demonstrate that the individualizing values (i.e., equality and welfare) make people focus on the self-enhancing characteristics of conspicuous consumption, making it seem morally objectionable...
February 14, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Joshua Conrad Jackson, Kurt Gray
When might religious belief lower ethical standards? We propose a theory of religion and immorality that makes 3 central predictions. First, people will judge immoral acts as more permissible when they make divine attributions for these acts, seeing them as enabled by an intervening God. Second, people will be more likely to make divine attributions when evaluating passive immorality (e.g., keeping a lost wallet) than active immorality (e.g., pick-pocketing) because human action makes people less likely to infer God's agency...
February 7, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Michael J A Wohl, Nassim Tabri, Samantha J Hollingshead, Darcy R Dupuis, Julie Caouette
Although victimized groups have a need to recover diminished power, perpetrator groups are often reluctant to support actions that may undermine their own systemic advantages. We hypothesized that perpetrator group members' experience of empathetic collective angst-a group-based emotion focused on concern for the future vitality of an outgroup-mediates the relation between the perception of threat to the future of the victimized group and support for policies that may satisfy the group's empowerment. Across 5 studies and 3 distinct intergroup contexts (victimization of Aboriginal Canadians by non-Aboriginal Canadians, Native Americans by non-Native Americans, and French Canadians by Anglophone Canadians), we showed that perpetrator group members who perceive (Study 1) or are manipulated to perceive (Studies 2-5) that the victimized group is under existential threat (vs...
February 7, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Meghan L Meyer, Hal E Hershfield, Adam G Waytz, Judith N Mildner, Diana I Tamir
Human imagination is bounded. As situations become more distant in time, place, perspective, and likelihood, they also become more difficult to simulate. What underlies the ability to successfully engage in distal simulations? Here we examine the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying distal simulation by studying individuals known for transcending these limits: creative experts. First, 2 behavioral studies establish that creative experts indeed succeed at engaging in vivid distal simulations, compared to less creative individuals...
February 4, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Nesia Caspi-Berkowitz, Mario Mikulincer, Gilad Hirschberger, Tsachi Ein-Dor, Phillip R Shaver
In 8 studies, we examined the terror management function of self-sacrifice and the moderating role of attachment orientations. Studies 1-5 focused on readiness to self-sacrifice for a cause, whereas Studies 6-8 focused on self-sacrifice to save a relationship partner's life. In Studies 1-3 and 6, we examined whether mortality salience increases readiness to self-sacrifice. In Studies 4-5 and 7-8, we examined the defensive nature and anxiety-buffering role of self-sacrifice-that is, whether providing another terror management defense reduces the readiness to self-sacrifice following mortality salience and whether thoughts about self-sacrifice mitigate death-thought accessibility...
February 4, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Jenny Wagner, Oliver Lüdtke, Alexander Robitzsch
The cumulative continuity principle of personality proposes a steady increase in Big Five trait stability across the adult life span. However, empirical support for this theoretical notion is still limited. Furthermore, the classical approach of using retest correlations might not be fully capable of illustrating the full picture of personality stability (Hertzog & Nesselroade, 1987). Recent methodological and theoretical advancements suggest that individual differences in personality might reflect both absolutely stable trait-like factors and partly stable changing factors (Anusic & Schimmack, 2016)...
February 4, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Yoobin Park, Emily A Impett, Geoff MacDonald, Edward P Lemay
Five studies examined whether receiving gratitude expressions from a romantic partner can buffer insecurely attached individuals from experiencing low relationship satisfaction and commitment. In Study 1, the negative associations between attachment avoidance and both satisfaction and commitment were weaker among individuals who perceived that their partner expressed gratitude more frequently. The same pattern was found with attachment anxiety and satisfaction. Study 2 showed that among individuals who perceived high (vs...
January 31, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Kathleen L Carswell, Eli J Finkel, Madoka Kumashiro
Romantic passion typically declines over time, but a downward trajectory is not inevitable. Across 3 studies (1 of which encompassed 2 substudies), we investigated whether creativity helps bolster romantic passion in established relationships. Studies 1A and 1B revealed that people with highly creative personalities report not only greater overall passion but also an attenuation in the tendency for passion to decline as relationship duration increases. Studies 2 and 3 explored positive illusions about the partner's physical attractiveness as a possible mediator of the effect of creativity on passion...
January 28, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Jeroen Borghuis, Wiebke Bleidorn, Klaas Sijtsma, Susan Branje, Wim H J Meeus, Jaap J A Denissen
It is well established that trait neuroticism bears strong links with negative affect and interpersonal problems. The goal of this study was to examine the longitudinal associations between neuroticism and daily experiences of negative affect and interpersonal problems during the developmentally important period of adolescence. Dutch adolescents and their best friends (N = 1,046) completed up to 6 yearly personality trait questionnaires and up to 15 between-year assessment bursts between the ages 13 and 18...
January 24, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Reinhard Pekrun, Kou Murayama, Herbert W Marsh, Thomas Goetz, Anne C Frenzel
A theoretical model linking achievement and emotions is proposed. The model posits that individual achievement promotes positive achievement emotions and reduces negative achievement emotions. In contrast, group-level achievement is thought to reduce individuals' positive emotions and increase their negative emotions. The model was tested using one cross-sectional and two longitudinal datasets on 5th to 10th grade students' achievement emotions in mathematics (Studies 1-3: Ns = 1,610, 1,759, and 4,353, respectively)...
January 21, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Aafke van Mourik Broekman, Namkje Koudenburg, Ernestine H Gordijn, Kirsten L S Krans, Tom Postmes
Group growth is of fundamental importance to understanding social influence. How do passive bystanders become psychologically involved when observing a small group of actors? Our hypothesis was that the kind of solidarity displayed by the group shapes the bonds that emerge with an audience. We studied audience responses to modern dance performances and conducted 2 field experiments and 1 lab experiment (N = 263, 363, and 147). Performances were developed jointly with choreographers: Dancers acted as an aggregate of individuals or displayed mechanical or organic solidarity...
January 21, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Szu-Chi Huang, Stephanie C Lin, Ying Zhang
People working toward individual goals often find themselves surrounded by others who are pursuing similar goals, such as at school, in fitness classes, and through goal-oriented network devices like Fitbit. This research explores when these individual goal pursuits can turn into competitions, why it happens, and the downstream consequences of this pseudocompetition on goal pursuers. We found that people were more likely to treat their goal pursuit as a competition when they were near the end (vs. at the beginning) of their individual goal and, thus, prioritized relative positional gain (i...
January 21, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Lukas J Wolf, Netta Weinstein, Gregory R Maio
Although human values and value dissimilarity play pivotal roles in the prejudice literature, there remain important gaps in our understanding. To address these gaps, we recruited three British samples (N = 350) and presented Muslim immigrants, refugees, and economic migrants as target groups. Using polynomial regression analyses, we simultaneously tested effects of individuals' own values, their perceptions of immigrant values, and self-immigrant value dissimilarities on prejudice. Results indicated that favorability toward immigrants is higher when individuals hold higher self-transcendence values (e...
January 21, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
David B Newman, Matthew E Sachs, Arthur A Stone, Norbert Schwarz
Nostalgia is a mixed emotion. Recent empirical research, however, has highlighted positive effects of nostalgia, suggesting it is a predominantly positive emotion. When measured as an individual difference, nostalgia-prone individuals report greater meaning in life and approach temperament. When manipulated in an experimental paradigm, nostalgia increases meaning in life, self-esteem, optimism, and positive affect. These positive effects may result from the specific experimental procedures used and little is known about daily experiences that covary with nostalgia...
January 21, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Vlad Costin, Vivian L Vignoles
When people judge their lives as meaningful, what is this judgment about? Drawing on recent tripartite theoretical accounts of meaning in life (MIL), we tested the separate contributions of coherence (or comprehension), purpose, and existential mattering (or significance) as potential precursors of people's self-reported evaluations of MIL. In Study 1 (N = 314 social media users), we developed brief acquiescence-free measures of these constructs, confirming that sense of coherence, purpose, mattering, and MIL judgments were distinct from each other and from related constructs (sense of control, belonging, self-esteem, self-competence, mood)...
January 7, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Kevin A Hoff, Q Chelsea Song, Sif Einarsdóttir, Daniel A Briley, James Rounds
Personality traits and vocational interests capture different aspects of human individuality that intersect in certain ways. In this longitudinal study, we examined developmental relations between the Big 5 traits and RIASEC vocational interests over 4 timepoints from late adolescence to young adulthood (age 16-24) in a sample of Icelandic youth (N = 485) well-representative of the total student population. Results showed that interests and personality traits were similarly stable over time, but showed different patterns of mean-level change...
January 7, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Beyza Tepe, Arzu Aydinli-Karakulak
Building on Rai and Fiske's (2011) Relationship Regulation Theory, we argue that violation of relational motives will predict the perception of the moral wrongness of moral transgressions better than violation of harmlessness or purity. We also argue that "metarelational threat" plays an important role in determining the degree of moral wrongness of a particular act. To test our propositions, we conducted 6 studies, 3 with Turkish and American respondents. Scenarios where a relational component was present were perceived as more morally relevant (Study 1, N = 199)...
January 7, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Maya Tamir, Eran Halperin, Roni Porat, Yochanan E Bigman, Yossi Hasson
Emotion regulation involves activating an emotion goal (e.g., decrease negative emotions) and using an emotion regulation strategy (e.g., cognitive reappraisal) to pursue it. We propose that activating emotion goals and implementing means can independently affect emotion regulation. People are not always motivated to regulate emotions or to regulate them in a prohedonic manner. Therefore, activating prohedonic emotion goals is consequential. Furthermore, merely activating an emotion goal may trigger accessible means, leading to emotional changes...
January 7, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Kai Chi Yam, Christopher M Barnes, Keith Leavitt, Wu Wei, Jenson Lau, Eric Luis Uhlmann
Previous research has identified many positive outcomes resulting from a deeply held moral identity, while overlooking potential negative social consequences for the moral individual. Drawing from Benign Violation Theory, we explore the tension between moral identity and humor, and the downstream workplace consequence of such tension. Consistent with our hypotheses, compared with participants in the control condition, participants whose moral identities were situationally activated (Study 1a) or chronically accessible (Study 1b) were less likely to appreciate humor and generate jokes others found funny (Study 2), especially humor that involved benign moral violations...
January 7, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Alvaro San Martin, Joanna Schug, William W Maddux
We hypothesized that individuals in cultures typified by lower levels of relational mobility would tend to show more attention to the surrounding social and physical context (i.e., holistic vs. analytic thinking) compared with individuals in higher mobility cultural contexts. Six studies provided support for this idea. Studies 1a and 1b showed that differences in relational mobility in cultures as diverse as the U.S., Spain, Israel, Nigeria, and Morocco predicted patterns of dispositional bias as well as holistic (vs...
January 7, 2019: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
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