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Psychological Science

Richard Göllner, Rodica Ioana Damian, Benjamin Nagengast, Brent W Roberts, Ulrich Trautwein
We examined life-course effects of attending selective schools using a longitudinal study of U.S. high school students begun in 1960 ( Ns ranging from 1,952 to 377,015). The effects, measured 11 and 50 years after the initial assessment, differed significantly across the two indicators of school selectivity that were used. School average socioeconomic background was positively related to students' educational expectations, educational attainment, income, and occupational prestige at the 11-year follow-up (0...
September 14, 2018: Psychological Science
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
September 14, 2018: Psychological Science
Chujun Lin, Ralph Adolphs, R Michael Alvarez
While inferences of traits from unfamiliar faces prominently reveal stereotypes, some facial inferences also correlate with real-world outcomes. We investigated whether facial inferences are associated with an important real-world outcome closely linked to the face bearer's behavior: political corruption. In four preregistered studies ( N = 325), participants made trait judgments of unfamiliar government officials on the basis of their photos. Relative to peers with clean records, federal and state officials convicted of political corruption (Study 1) and local officials who violated campaign finance laws (Study 2) were perceived as more corruptible, dishonest, selfish, and aggressive but similarly competent, ambitious, and masculine (Study 3)...
September 12, 2018: Psychological Science
Joshua A Solomon, Michael J Morgan
Relative numerosity is traditionally studied using texture pairs. Observers must decide which member of each pair has the greater total number of texture elements. In the present experiment, textures were segregated into nonoverlapping "sectors" containing between zero and four elements, and our observers were asked to select the texture containing the greater average number of texture elements (per sector). If observers were more sensitive to total numerosity than average numerosity, their performance (quantified by the just-noticeable Weber fraction) should have been better when the two textures occupied the same number of sectors than when they occupied unequal numbers of sectors...
September 10, 2018: Psychological Science
Jennifer E Corbett, Jaap Munneke
Even experts routinely miss infrequent targets, such as weapons in baggage scans or tumors in mammograms, because the visual system is not equipped to notice the unusual. To date, limited progress has been made toward improving human factors that mediate such critical diagnostic tasks. Here, we present a novel framework for pairing individuals' estimates to increase target detection. Using a wisdom-of-crowds approach that capitalizes on the visual system's ability to efficiently combine information, we demonstrated how averaging two noninteracting individuals' continuous estimates of whether a briefly presented image contained a prespecified target can significantly boost detection across a range of tasks...
September 6, 2018: Psychological Science
Paul A O'Keefe, Carol S Dweck, Gregory M Walton
People are often told to find their passion, as though passions and interests are preformed and must simply be discovered. This idea, however, has hidden motivational implications. Five studies examined implicit theories of interest-the idea that personal interests are relatively fixed (fixed theory) or developed (growth theory). Whether assessed or experimentally induced, a fixed theory was more likely to dampen interest in areas outside people's existing interests (Studies 1-3). Individuals endorsing a fixed theory were also more likely to anticipate boundless motivation when passions were found, not anticipating possible difficulties (Study 4)...
September 6, 2018: Psychological Science
Geoffrey D Borman, Jeffrey Grigg, Christopher S Rozek, Paul Hanselman, Nathaniel A Dewey
Self-affirmation shows promise for reducing racial academic-achievement gaps; recently, however, mixed results have raised questions about the circumstances under which the self-affirmation intervention produces lasting benefits at scale. In this follow-up to the first district-wide scale-up of a self-affirmation intervention, we examined whether initial academic benefits in middle school carried over into high school, we tested for differential impacts moderated by school context, and we assessed the causal effects of student engagement with the self-affirming writing prompted by the intervention...
September 5, 2018: Psychological Science
Erica J Boothby, Gus Cooney, Gillian M Sandstrom, Margaret S Clark
Having conversations with new people is an important and rewarding part of social life. Yet conversations can also be intimidating and anxiety provoking, and this makes people wonder and worry about what their conversation partners really think of them. Are people accurate in their estimates? We found that following interactions, people systematically underestimated how much their conversation partners liked them and enjoyed their company, an illusion we call the liking gap. We observed the liking gap as strangers got acquainted in the laboratory, as first-year college students got to know their dorm mates, and as formerly unacquainted members of the general public got to know each other during a personal development workshop...
September 5, 2018: Psychological Science
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 31, 2018: Psychological Science
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
August 24, 2018: Psychological Science
Kristin M Brethel-Haurwitz, Elise M Cardinale, Kruti M Vekaria, Emily L Robertson, Brian Walitt, John W VanMeter, Abigail A Marsh
Shared neural representations during experienced and observed distress are hypothesized to reflect empathic neural simulation, which may support altruism. But the correspondence between real-world altruism and shared neural representations has not been directly tested, and empathy's role in promoting altruism toward strangers has been questioned. Here, we show that individuals who have performed costly altruism (donating a kidney to a stranger; n = 25) exhibit greater self-other overlap than matched control participants ( n = 27) in neural representations of pain and threat (fearful anticipation) in anterior insula (AI) during an empathic-pain paradigm...
August 21, 2018: Psychological Science
C J Brainerd
Valence and arousal are core dimensions of emotion, but the relation between them has eluded scientific consensus. The emotional-ambiguity hypothesis is the first new model of this relation to appear in some years. It introduces the novel principle that the relation between valence and arousal is controlled by a variable that is not traditionally measured: the uncertainty of perceived valence. A comprehensive evaluation of this principle was conducted using publicly available emotional word and emotional picture databases...
August 21, 2018: Psychological Science
Caroline Schlüter, Christoph Fraenz, Marlies Pinnow, Patrick Friedrich, Onur Güntürkün, Erhan Genç
Individuals differ in their ability to initiate self- and emotional-control mechanisms. These differences have been explicitly described in Kuhl's action-control theory. Although interindividual differences in action control make a major contribution to our everyday life, their neural foundation remains unknown. Here, we measured action control in a sample of 264 healthy adults and related interindividual differences in action control to variations in brain structure and resting-state connectivity. Our results demonstrate a significant negative correlation between decision-related action orientation (AOD) and amygdala volume...
August 17, 2018: Psychological Science
Emma Holmes, Ysabel Domingo, Ingrid S Johnsrude
We can recognize familiar people by their voices, and familiar talkers are more intelligible than unfamiliar talkers when competing talkers are present. However, whether the acoustic voice characteristics that permit recognition and those that benefit intelligibility are the same or different is unknown. Here, we recruited pairs of participants who had known each other for 6 months or longer and manipulated the acoustic correlates of two voice characteristics (vocal tract length and glottal pulse rate). These had different effects on explicit recognition of and the speech-intelligibility benefit realized from familiar voices...
August 10, 2018: Psychological Science
Takuya Sawaoka, Benoît Monin
Moral outrage has traditionally served a valuable social function, expressing group values and inhibiting deviant behavior, but the exponential dynamics of Internet postings make this expression of legitimate individual outrage appear excessive and unjust. The same individual outrage that would be praised in isolation is more likely to be viewed as bullying when echoed online by a multitude of similar responses, as it then seems to contribute to disproportionate group condemnation. Participants ( N = 3,377) saw racist, sexist, or unpatriotic posts with accompanying expressions of outrage and formed impressions of a single commenter...
August 9, 2018: Psychological Science
Sophie Forster, Charles Spence
The human sense of smell is highly sensitive, often conveying important biological signals. Yet anecdotal evidence suggests that we commonly fail to notice suprathreshold environmental olfactory stimuli. The determinants of olfactory awareness are, as yet, unknown. Here, we adapted the inattentional-blindness paradigm to test whether olfactory awareness is dependent on attention. Across three experiments, participants performed a visual search task with either a high or low perceptual load (a well-established attentional manipulation) while exposed to an ambient coffee aroma...
August 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Li-Lin Rao, Yuan Zhou, Dang Zheng, Liu-Qing Yang, Shu Li
Excessive risk-taking behaviors have been implicated as a potential endophenotype for substance use disorders and psychopathological gambling. However, the genetic and environmental influences on risk taking and the risk-related brain activations remain unclear. This study investigated the heritability of risk taking and the genetic influence on individual variation in risk-related brain activation. The Balloon Analogue Risk Task was used to assess individuals' risk-taking behavior. In a sample of 244 pairs of young adult twins, we found that there was a moderate heritability (41%) of risk taking...
July 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Bruce P Doré, Robert R Morris
Emotional support is critical to well-being, but the factors that determine whether support attempts succeed or fail are incompletely understood. Using data from more than 1 million support interactions enacted within an online environment, we showed that emotional-support attempts are more effective when there is synchrony in the behavior of support providers and recipients reflective of shared psychological understanding. Benefits of synchrony in language used and semantic content conveyed were apparent in immediate measures of support impact (recipient ratings of support effectiveness and expressions of gratitude), as well as delayed measures of lasting change in the emotional impact of stressful life situations (recipient ratings of emotional recovery made at a 1-hr delay)...
July 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Shazia Akhtar, Lucy V Justice, Catriona M Morrison, Martin A Conway
In a large-scale survey, 6,641 respondents provided descriptions of their first memory and their age when they encoded that memory, and they completed various memory judgments and ratings. In good agreement with many other studies, where mean age at encoding of earliest memories is usually found to fall somewhere in the first half of the 3rd year of life, the mean age at encoding here was 3.2 years. The established view is that the distribution around mean age at encoding is truncated, with very few or no memories dating to the preverbal period, that is, below about 2 years of age...
July 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Fan Yang, You-Jung Choi, Antonia Misch, Xin Yang, Yarrow Dunham
Human flourishing depends on individuals paying costs to contribute to the common good, but such arrangements are vulnerable to free riding, in which individuals benefit from others' contributions without paying costs themselves. Systems of tracking and sanctioning free riders can stabilize cooperation, but the origin of such tendencies is not well understood. Here, we provide evidence that children as young as 4 years old negatively evaluate and sanction free riders. Across six studies, we showed that these tendencies are robust, large in magnitude, tuned to intentional rather than unintentional noncontribution, and generally consistent across third- and first-party cases...
July 1, 2018: Psychological Science
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