- Social networks and life satisfaction: The interplay of network density
and regulatory focus
- Abstract: We propose that an individual’s regulatory focus moderates the significant role social network density—the degree of interconnectedness among a person’s social contacts—plays in shaping life satisfaction. Evidence from Study 1 indicates that participants with high prevention effectiveness reported higher life satisfaction when they were embedded in a high-density network, whereas participants with low promotion effectiveness reported lower life satisfaction when they were embedded in a low-density network. Study 2 further specifies the underlying mechanism, namely that participants with high prevention effectiveness are more likely to obtain support for meeting obligations and responsibilities when they are embedded in a high-density network, whereas participants with low promotion effectiveness suffer from the support for creative inspiration and personal development in a low-density network (by highlighting their promotion failure). Implications for studying the interplay between social networks and individuals’ self-regulatory motives are discussed.
- The psychology of passion: A meta-analytical review of a decade of
research on intrapersonal outcomes
- Abstract: It is just over a decade since Vallerand et al. (J Personal Soc Psychol 85:756–767, 2003) introduced the dualistic model of passion. In this study, we conduct a meta-analytical review of relationships between Vallerand et al’s two passions (viz. harmonious and obsessive), and intrapersonal outcomes, and test the moderating role of age, gender, domain, and culture. A systematic literature search yielded 94 studies, within which 27 criterion variables were reported. These criterion variables derived from four research areas within the intrapersonal sphere: (a) well-/ill-being, (b) motivation factors, (c) cognitive outcomes and, (d) behaviour and performance. From these areas we retrieved 1308 independent effect sizes and analysed them using random-effects models. Results showed harmonious passion positively corresponded with positive intrapersonal outcomes (e.g., positive affect, flow, performance). Obsessive passion, conversely, showed positive associations with positive and negative intrapersonal outcomes (e.g., negative affect, rumination, vitality). Correlations were largely invariant across age and gender, but certain relationships were moderated by domain and culture. Implications are discussed.
- The role of implicit affective responses and trait self-control in ego
- Abstract: Exertion of self-control requires reliance on ego resources. Impaired performance typically results once those resources have been depleted by previous use. Yet the mechanism behind the depletion processes is little understood. Beliefs, motivation, and physiological changes have been implicated, yet the source behind these remains unknown. We propose that implicit may form the fundamental building blocks that these processes rely upon to operate. Implicit affective responses to energy may trigger management of ego resources after depletion. Findings suggest that inhibitory trait self-control may interact with the depletion effect, indicating the importance of taking individual differences in chronic availability of ego-resources into account. After depletion, individuals high in trait self-control may be less motivated to conserve remaining resources than those low in self-control. This mechanism may also help explain the conservation of resources observed when expecting multiple tasks requiring self-control.
- Vicarious shame and psychological distancing following organizational
- Abstract: When organizations are engaging in publicly visible misbehavior, organizational members’ emotional responses may affect the organization’s ability to react effectively. If members respond with shame, they have a high tendency to distance themselves from the organization, a phenomenon termed cutting off reflected failure. Further, for those who identify more closely with the organization at the time of the misbehavior, this effect is stronger. We report two studies that tested the above predictions—a field study of a real industry-wide crisis in Taiwan’s fast-food industry and a university accounting scandal. We found that shame responses enhanced intentions to distance from the organization, and that organizational identification boosted the shame response.
- Correlational and experimental analyses of the relation between disgust
and sexual arousal
- Abstract: Theoretical work has proposed an inhibitory effect of disgust on sexual arousal, but this effect has yet to be examined experimentally. In order to experimentally examine the effect of disgust on sexual arousal, a sample of 306 adults recruited from two southwestern universities was randomly assigned to one of two conditions. Participants in the experimental condition viewed disgust priming images and subsequently viewed sexually explicit images. Participants in the control condition viewed neutral primes and sexually explicit images. In both conditions, participants were asked to provide ratings of sexual arousal, and were timed for the length of time they viewed the sexual images. Participants also completed the Three Domain Disgust Scale and a demographic questionnaire. Two hierarchical linear models—one per each dependent variable—were conducted with image observations nested within individuals. Sexual arousal was lower in the disgust condition compared to the neutral condition, and lower for women compared to men. With additional pairings of disgust and sexual stimuli, the effect of disgust on sexual arousal became larger for women and smaller for men. Data support the inhibitory effect of disgust on sexual arousal.
- Something (important) is out there! Effects of prime arousal and location
on evaluative priming
- Abstract: The ability of an organism to rapidly process parafoveal information to identify motivationally significant stimuli is important for survival. The evaluative priming paradigm is useful for examining whether evaluation of hostile/hospitable stimuli in the parafovea has occurred. Three evaluative priming experiments that varied the valence and arousal of prime stimuli were conducted. In the first experiment, primes were presented foveally and prime arousal did not moderate the standard evaluative priming effect (i.e., faster responses when prime and target valence matched). In the next two experiments, primes were presented parafoveally and prime arousal moderated evaluative priming such that priming was greater for high than low arousing primes. These findings are aligned with dual competition models positing that sensory and response systems compete for limited resources during emotional processing. Greater stimulus arousal enhances this dual competition during parafoveal processing, enabling the organisms to disengage and attend to the periphery.
- Attuned to the positive? Awareness and responsiveness to others’
positive emotion experience and display
- Abstract: Positive emotions are implicated in affiliation and cooperation processes that are central to human social life. For this reason, we hypothesized that people should be highly aware of and responsive to the positive emotions of others. Study 1 examined awareness by testing the accuracy with which perceivers tracked others’ positive emotions. Study 2 examined responsiveness by testing whether positive emotions were predictive of perceivers responding to new relationship opportunity. In Study 1, multilevel analyses of dating couples’ estimates of their partner’s emotions across four semi-structured interactions revealed that both women and men tracked partner positive emotions with considerable accuracy. Additional analyses indicated that tracking accuracy was most pronounced for positive emotions whose display is known to include the Duchenne smile. In Study 2, multilevel analyses of dyads who watched a set of positive and negative emotion-eliciting film clips with a stranger indicated that only positive emotion display predicted subsequent closeness. Together, these findings show that people are highly attuned to the positive emotions of others and can be more attuned to others’ positive emotions than negative emotions.
- The effects of strength-based versus deficit-based self-regulated learning
strategies on students’ effort intentions
- Abstract: In two randomized experiments, one conducted online (n = 174) and one in the classroom (n = 267), we tested the effects of two types of self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies on students’ intentions to put effort into professional development activities: strength-based SRL strategies (i.e., identifying perceived relative strengths and, subsequently, selecting professional development activities to further improve those strengths) versus deficit-based SRL strategies (i.e., identifying perceived relative shortcomings and, subsequently, selecting professional development activities to improve those shortcomings). Across both studies, analysis of variance revealed that, relative to students who used deficit-based SRL strategies, students who used strength-based SRL strategies were higher in perceived competence, intrinsic motivation, and effort intentions. Moreover, the results of multi-mediator analysis and structural equation modeling supported the hypothesis that the effect of strength-based versus deficit-based SRL strategies on students’ effort intentions was sequentially mediated by perceived competence and intrinsic motivation. Implications for the application of self-regulated learning strategies in the context of professional self-development are discussed.
- Why do(n’t) you like me? The role of social approach and
avoidance motives in attributions following social acceptance and
- Abstract: The present research aimed at answering the question why people differ in their way of attributing experienced social acceptance and rejection. Using a motivational approach, two scenario studies (Study 1, N = 280; Study 2, N = 232) and one study using actual social interactions (Study 3, N = 128) supported the hypothesis that dispositional social approach motives are associated with attributions following social acceptance (β = .16–.23, p < .001) but not social rejection (β = −.03 to −.06, p > .13), whereas dispositional social avoidance motives are associated with attributions following social rejection (β = .23–.29, p < .001) but not social acceptance (β = −.02 to −.08, p > .07). These studies demonstrate that social approach and avoidance motives are differentially predictive in social situations with positive compared to negative outcomes. Moreover, social motives play an important role in people’s attributions following their experiences of social acceptance or rejection. Taken together, the three studies suggest that people’s explanations of social acceptance and rejection differ as a function of what they generally want and fear in social interactions.
- The balance of intrinsic need satisfaction across contexts as a predictor
of depressive symptoms in children and adolescents
- Abstract: The purpose of the present study was to test the applicability of self-determination theory (Deci and Ryan in J Res Pers 19:109–134. doi:10.1016/0092-6566(85)90023-6, 1985; Can Psychol 49:182–185. doi:10.1037/a0012801, 2008) across developmental periods by differentiating children and adolescents on the importance of individual needs (i.e., autonomy, competence, relatedness) and the role of balance across contexts (i.e., home, school, peers) in predicting depressive symptoms. Participants completed the Children’s Intrinsic Need Satisfaction Scale (Koestner and Veronneau in The Children’s Intrinsic Needs Satisfaction Scale. McGill University, Montreal, 2001) and the Children’s Depression Inventory (Kovacs in Children’s depression inventory manual. Multi-Health Systems, North Tonawanda, 1992). Results indicated that only the need for competence was significantly related to depressive symptoms in the child sample (n = 149) whereas, the satisfaction of autonomy and relatedness were significant predictors in the adolescent sample (n = 153). In both samples, need balance across contexts was a significant predictor over and above the level of satisfaction of each individual need. Implications for clinical practice and for theory will be presented.
- Pursuing the good life: A short-term follow-up study of the role of
positive/negative emotions and ego-resilience in personal goal striving
and eudaimonic well-being
- Abstract: Using the broaden-and-build theory (Fredrickson in Rev Gen Psychol 2:300–319, 1998) as a foundation, this research examined the role of positive emotion and ego-resilience in personal goal striving and eudaimonic well-being. Undergraduate students (N = 129; 71 % women) completed measures of ego-resilience and positive emotions, viewed either a positive emotion inducing video (amusement or awe) or a neutral (control) video, and then listed their personal goals for the upcoming 4 weeks. Four weeks later, participants completed measures of goal progress, eudaimonic well-being, positive emotions, and ego-resilience. The results of the emotion manipulation revealed that individuals in the awe condition reported significantly more personal growth goals. Self-reported positive emotions predicted increased ego-resilience supporting Fredrickson’s (Rev Gen Psychol 2:300–319, 1998) hypothesis that positive emotions ‘build’ resources. Ego-resilience partially mediated the relationship between positive emotions and eudaimonic well-being. These results suggest that positive emotions and ego-resilience jointly support well-being.
- Another’s punishment cleanses the self: Evidence for a moral
cleansing function of punishing transgressors
- Abstract: Separate lines of research show that individuals: (a) understand immorality metaphorically as physical contamination; (b) project undesirable self-attributes onto others; and (c) view punishment as eliminating a transgressor’s immorality. Integrating these findings, we hypothesized that individuals project guilt over their own immorality—represented as physical contamination—onto another transgressor whose punishment restores their own moral and physical purity. In Study 1, personal immorality salience decreased felt physical cleanliness unless another transgressor was punished. In Study 2, personal immorality salience led participants to see another transgressor as physically dirtier, an effect mediated by guilt. Furthermore, the punishment of the contaminated transgressor restored participants’ personal morality and eliminated restorative moral behavior. In Study 3, punishing a transgressor who served as a projection target for participants’ immorality removed felt physical contamination indirectly through decreased guilt. These studies are the first to show that another’s punishment can “cleanse” the self of “dirty” immorality feelings.
- Role of self-focus in the relationship between depressed mood and problem
- Abstract: We investigated the effects of adaptive and maladaptive forms of self-focus—specifically, self-reflection and self-rumination—on the relationship between depressed mood and everyday problem-solving behavior. Although previous research has consistently suggested that self-rumination disturbs problem solving and self-regulatory processes, thereby aggravating depressive symptoms, the association between self-reflection, problem solving, and its emotional consequences has not been demonstrated. Therefore, we assessed whether self-reflection can facilitate the emotion regulation function of problem solving through a daily diary method. Thirty-nine Japanese undergraduate and graduate students recorded daily depressed mood, the most stressful problem encountered each day, and whether they utilized problem-solving behaviors for seven consecutive days. Multilevel model analyses showed that individuals with higher levels of self-reflection reported lower depressed moods after enacting problem-solving behaviors, even if the problem that they had on that day was highly stressful. These results suggest that self-reflection enhances the mood regulation function of everyday problem-solving behavior, and may contribute to mental well-being and resilience to stress.
- The implicit need for power predicts recognition speed for dynamic changes
in facial expressions of emotion
- Abstract: Facial expressions of emotion (FEEs) have been portrayed as potent (dis-) incentives for power-motivated perceivers, because they signal the strength of a sender’s dominance (Stanton et al. in Implicit motives. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 245–278, 2010). Here, we tested the hypothesis that individuals with a high implicit power motive (nPower), who have a disposition to seek (emotional) impact on others, would be faster at recognizing FEEs than individuals low in nPower. In a task employing videos of morphed FEEs, which are gradually changing from neutral to either anger, joy or surprise, higher nPower predicted faster recognition of the displayed emotion as well as a tendency to misidentify joy as anger. Our findings suggest that one way through which people high in nPower are socially influential is their enhanced sensitivity to emotional signals in their social environment.
- Enjoying influence on others: Congruently high implicit and explicit power
motives are related to teachers’ well-being
- Abstract: The present study examined the associations of implicit and explicit power motives with the well-being of teachers. Teachers (N = 170) participated in an online assessment, which included measures for implicit motives (assessed by the operant motive test), explicit motives, and well-being. We expected congruently high power motives to be linked with the highest levels of well-being. We tested this assumption using polynomial regressions with response surface analysis. Results were consistent with our hypothesis. Additionally, there was an effect of directional motive incongruence (a combination of a low implicit and a high explicit power motive was associated with higher well-being than a high implicit/low explicit combination), which did not hold when controlling for emotional stability. Results for achievement were comparable, but weaker, and there was no effect for motive incongruence. No significant associations were found for motive (in)congruence in the affiliation domain. Our findings underline the importance of the power motive in understanding individual differences in teachers’ well-being.
- “I’m not the same person since I met you”: The role of
romantic passion in how people change when they get involved in a romantic
- Abstract: Using the dualistic perspective on romantic passion (Ratelle et al. in Motiv Emot 37:106–120, 2013; Vallerand et al. in J Pers Soc Psychol 85:756–767, 2003), the present research examined the role of harmonious and obsessive romantic passion in the prediction of personal changes in people’s lives associated with romantic relationships. Young adults recruited through universities (Studies 1 and 2) and social networking sites (Studies 2 and 3) composed the samples of the three studies. Results of Study 1 revealed that harmonious and obsessive passion both positively predicted perceptions of personal growth while they respectively negatively and positively predicted disengagement from important activities and other social relationships for the sake of the romantic relationship. These associations were either fully replicated (for harmonious passion) or partially replicated (for obsessive passion) when examined using a six-month longitudinal design (Study 2) and when the two outcomes (i.e., personal growth and social disengagement) were reported by an informant (Study 3). Overall, the results suggest that the nature and extent of changes in people’s lives as they become romantically involved may be predicted by the quality of their romantic passion.
- Mistakes pertaining to undesired (relative to desired) self-standards
elicit immediate enhanced electrocortical signals of error processing
- Abstract: Past research provides initial evidence that errors pertaining to undesired (vs. desired) self-standards are of greater motivational significance, but little is known about how quickly people recognize and respond to such errors. To examine immediate responses to errors pertaining to desired and undesired self-standards, we assessed event-related potentials (ERPs) while participants judged self-attributes as personally desirable or undesirable. No discernible differences emerged in ERPs associated with correct responses to undesired compared to desired self-standards. Error-related negativities, shown in past work to index motivational significance, and error positivities, shown in past work to index post-error adjustment, were more pronounced when participants erroneously endorsed undesirable self-standards than when they erroneously failed to endorse desirable self-standards. These electrophysiological correlates of differences in the motivational significance of undesired versus desired self-standards emerged within 400 ms of making an error, suggesting that the impact of these errors does not require extensive deliberation.
- Startle modulation during violent films: Association with
callous–unemotional traits and aggressive behavior
- Abstract: The current study examined the unique and interactive associations of callous–unemotional (CU) traits, impulsive and premeditated aggression with startle modulation to violent films. Eighty-five participants (Mage = 20.52) at differential risk of CU traits, selected from a sample of 1105 young adults, participated in the physiological experiment. Startle eye-blink responses to acoustic probes were recorded during violent, comedy and neutral films. Self-report ratings of valence and arousal were also collected. Findings from regression analysis documented that CU traits were associated with diminished startle potentiation to violent films, whereas impulsive aggression was associated with increases in startle potentiation. Further, the negative association between CU traits with startle potentiation, valence, and arousal ratings to violent films was moderated by impulsive aggression. At the group level, individuals high on impulsive aggression without CU traits were the ones showing the highest levels of startle potentiation to violent films, and scored on the opposite extreme compared to individuals high on both CU traits and impulsive aggression.
- Resolving the paradox of shame: Differentiating among specific
appraisal-feeling combinations explains pro-social and self-defensive
- Abstract: Research has shown that people can respond both self-defensively and pro-socially when they experience shame. We address this paradox by differentiating among specific appraisals (of specific self-defect and concern for condemnation) and feelings (of shame, inferiority, and rejection) often reported as part of shame. In two Experiments (Study 1: N = 85; Study 2: N = 112), manipulations that put participants’ social-image at risk increased their appraisal of concern for condemnation. In Study 2, a manipulation of moral failure increased participants’ appraisal that they suffered a specific self-defect. In both studies, mediation analyses showed that effects of the social-image at risk manipulation on self-defensive motivation were explained by appraisal of concern for condemnation and felt rejection. In contrast, the effect of the moral failure manipulation on pro-social motivation in Study 2 was explained by appraisal of a specific self-defect and felt shame. Thus, distinguishing among the appraisals and feelings tied to shame enabled clearer prediction of pro-social and self-defensive responses to moral failure with and without risk to social-image.
- Brief loving-kindness meditation reduces racial bias, mediated by positive
- Abstract: The relationship between positive emotions and implicit racial prejudice is unclear. Interventions using positive emotions to reduce racial bias have been found wanting, while other research shows that positive affect can sometimes exacerbate implicit prejudice. Nevertheless, loving-kindness meditation (LKM) has shown some promise as a method of reducing bias despite increasing a broad range of positive emotions. A randomised control trial (n = 69) showed that a short-term induction of LKM decreased automatic processing, increased controlled processing, and was sufficient to reduce implicit prejudice towards the target’s racial group but not towards a group untargeted by the meditation. Furthermore, the reduction in bias was shown to be mediated by other-regarding positive emotions alongside increased control and decreased automaticity on the IAT. Non-other-regarding positive emotions conversely showed no correlation with bias. The study is the first to show that a short-term positive emotional induction can reduce racial prejudice, and aids the understanding of how positive emotions functionally differentiate in affecting bias.