Archive for August, 2011

Imagining intergroup contact reduces implicit prejudice

August 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Imagining intergroup contact reduces implicit prejudice

British Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 49, Issue 1, pages 129–142, March 2010

Rhiannon N. Turner1,*, Richard J. Crisp


Recent research has demonstrated that imagining intergroup contact can be sufficient to reduce explicit prejudice directed towards out-groups. In this research, we examined the impact of contact-related mental imagery on implicit prejudice as measured by the implicit association test. We found that, relative to a control condition, young participants who imagined talking to an elderly stranger subsequently showed more positive implicit attitudes towards elderly people in general. In a second study, we demonstrated that, relative to a control condition, non-Muslim participants who imagined talking to a Muslim stranger subsequently showed more positive implicit attitudes towards Muslims in general. We discuss the implications of these findings for furthering the application of indirect contact strategies aimed at improving intergroup relations.

According to the contact hypothesis (Allport, 1954), contact between members of opposing groups should lead to more positive out-group attitudes. There has been a great deal of research on intergroup contact in the past half-century, much of it investigating whether contact works in a range of intergroup contexts and with a variety of different target groups (e.g. Pettigrew & Tropp, 2006). Recently, work on intergroup contact has focused on two important issues. First, there is a growing interest in the different types of intergroup contact that might be effective at reducing prejudice (e.g. Turner, Hewstone, & Voci, 2007; Wright, Aron, McLaughlin-Volpe, & Ropp, 1997). Second, recent research has investigated the diverse potential consequences of intergroup contact, revealing that intergroup contact may be associated with more positive implicit out-group attitudes (Aberson & Haag, 2007; Turner, Hewstone et al., 2007). In this paper, we integrate these two areas of research by investigating whether a new indirect form of intergroup contact, imagined intergroup contact, predicts more positive implicit out-group attitudes.

Categories: Stereotype

The Social Construction of Leadership: A Sailing Guide

August 6, 2011 Leave a comment

The Social Construction of Leadership: A Sailing Guide

Management Communication Quarterly
May 2010 vol. 24 no. 2 171-210

Gail T. Fairhurst
David Grant


A growing body of literature now exists concerning the social construction of leadership. This literature draws on a variety of definitions of social constructionism, multiple constructs, and an array of perspectives, approaches, and methods. To identify and understand the differences among them, this article provides a sailing guide, comprising four key dimensions, to the social construction of leadership. It applies the guide to the social constructionist leadership literature, including the articles in this special issue. It then discusses how the guide can act as a reflexive tool when various choice points are revealed and a means by which to chart future paths for social constructionist leadership research.

Categories: Leadership

Suspending judgment to create value: Suspicion and trust in negotiation

August 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Suspending judgment to create value: Suspicion and trust in negotiation

Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
Volume 46, Issue 3, May 2010, Pages 543-550

Marwan Sinaceur

This paper introduces a distinction between suspicion and distrust. While distrust (trust) involves having negative (positive) expectations about another’s motives, suspicion is defined as the state in which perceivers experience ambiguity about another’s motives. Four experiments supported this distinction and showed that suspicion can present greater benefits than trust for generating information search and attaining integrative agreements in negotiation. In Experiment 1a, suspicious perceivers were characterized by consciously attributing more motives to a target compared to both distrusting and trusting perceivers. In Experiment 1b, suspicious perceivers were more willing to seek information. In Experiment 2a, Suspicious–Trusting dyads achieved greater joint outcomes in face-to-face negotiation than did Trusting–Trusting or Suspicious–Suspicious dyads. Experiment 2b showed that the suspicious participants’ ability to seek information in Suspicious–Trusting dyads mediated the superior performance of Suspicious–Trusting dyads over Trusting–Trusting dyads in attaining integrative agreements.

Keywords: Motive attributions; Trust; Negotiation; Information search; Integrative agreements

Categories: Trust

The Presence of an Attractive Woman Elevates Testosterone and Physical Risk Taking in Young Men

August 6, 2011 Leave a comment

The Presence of an Attractive Woman Elevates Testosterone and Physical Risk Taking in Young Men

Social Psychological and Personality Science
January 2010 vol. 1 no. 1 57-64

Richard Ronay
William von Hippel


The authors report a field experiment with skateboarders that demonstrates that physical risk taking by young men increases in the presence of an attractive female. This increased risk taking leads to more successes but also more crash landings in front of a female observer. Mediational analyses suggest that this increase in risk taking is caused in part by elevated testosterone levels of men who performed in front of the attractive female. In addition, skateboarders’ risk taking was predicted by their performance on a reversal-learning task, reversal-learning performance was disrupted by the presence of the attractive female, and the female’s presence moderated the observed relationship between risk taking and reversal learning. These results suggest that men use physical risk taking as a sexual display strategy, and they provide suggestive evidence regarding possible hormonal and neural mechanisms.

Categories: Risk-Taking

What’s Left Behind: Identity Continuity Moderates the Effect of Nostalgia on Well-Being and Life Choices

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment

What’s Left Behind: Identity Continuity Moderates the Effect of Nostalgia on Well-Being and Life Choices

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume 101, Issue 1, July 2011, Pages 94-108

Aarti Iyer and Jolanda Jetten

Previous research has demonstrated that nostalgia for the past can have positive consequences for individuals’ psychological well-being and their perceived ability to cope with challenges in the present (Wildschut, Sedikides, Arndt, & Routledge, 2006). We propose that this effect is limited to circumstances in which individuals have maintained identity continuity between the past and the present. Support for this moderation hypothesis is obtained in a longitudinal survey (Study 1) and two experiments (Studies 2 and 3) among students entering university. Whereas previously observed positive effects of nostalgia were confirmed when identity continuity had been maintained, feeling nostalgic about the past in the context of lower identity continuity had negative consequences for well-being (Studies 1 and 3), perceived ability to cope with challenges (Studies 1 and 2), and interest in new opportunities (Studies 2 and 3) rather than focusing on familiar experiences (Study 3). Taken together, results indicate that the extent to which individuals view the present as linked to the past has important implications for the outcome of their nostalgia.

Author Keywords: nostalgia; identity continuity; life transitions; social identity; change

Categories: Identification

Group Moral Licensing

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Group Moral Licensing

overcoming bias July 23, 2011 11:45 am

Robin Hanson

We are more willing to do bad if we have recently done good. We also think we get more excuses to do bad if our group is good:

Five studies supported the hypothesis that people are more willing to express prejudiced attitudes when their group members’ past behavior has established nonprejudiced credentials. Study 1a showed that participants who were told that their group was more moral than similar other groups were more willing to describe a job as better suited for Whites than for African Americans. In Study 1b, when given information on group members’ prior nondiscriminatory behavior (selecting a Hispanic applicant in a prior task), participants subsequently gave more discriminatory ratings to the Hispanic applicant for a position stereotypically suited for majority members (Whites). In Study 2, moral self-concept mediated the effect of others’ prior nonprejudiced actions on a participant’s subsequent prejudiced behavior such that others’ past nonprejudiced actions enhanced the participant’s moral self-concept, and this inflated moral self-concept subsequently drove the participant’s prejudiced ratings of a Hispanic applicant. In Study 3, the moderating role of identification with the credentialing group was tested. Results showed that participants expressed more prejudiced attitudes toward a Hispanic applicant when they highly identified with the group members behaving in nonprejudiced manner. In Study 4, the credentialing task was dissociated from the participants’ own judgmental task, and, in addition, identification with the credentialing group was manipulated rather than measured. Consistent with prior studies, the results showed that participants who first had the opportunity to view an in-group member’s nonprejudiced hiring decision were more likely to reject an African American man for a job stereotypically suited for majority members. These studies suggest a vicarious moral licensing effect. (more)

Citizens of the United States are especially proud of a history of (supposedly) doing good. The US sees itself as having saved the world from Nazism and Communism, of creating and sustaining modern medicine, of educating the world via the best universities, of being the main innovators in computer tech, of upholding the highest standards of civil and gender rights, of being unusually devoted to religion, etc.

All this self-respect, deserved or not, probably makes US citizens more willing to do bad, both individually and collectively. Dear US citizens: please ask yourself how sure you can be that your actions on the world stage are actually for good.

Categories: Ethics

Are Investors Rational and Does it Matter? Determining the Expected Utility Function for a Group of Investors

August 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Are Investors Rational and Does it Matter? Determining the Expected Utility Function for a Group of Investors

Journal of Behavioral Finance
Volume 12, Issue 2, 2011

John Livanasa

This paper reports on an experiment with a group of 236 Australian superannuation investors to derive an expected utility function for risk and return, and the resulting indifference curves. The paper concludes that the expected utility function is consistent with that anticipated in Markowitz [1952] and Sharpe [1964] except that the investors did not consider time horizon. The paper argues that the analysis of investor behavior is best served by considering the behavior of a group as a whole rather than investors as individuals, and by assessing their choices when faced with successive similar tasks.

Categories: Behavioral Econ.