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Psychological Science

Julia M Rohrer, David Richter, Martin Brümmer, Gert G Wagner, Stefan C Schmukle
Happiness is considered a highly desirable attribute, but whether or not individuals can actively steer their lives toward greater well-being is an open empirical question. In this study, respondents from a representative German sample reported, in text format, ideas for how they could improve their life satisfaction. We investigated which of these ideas predicted changes in life satisfaction 1 year later. Active pursuits per se-as opposed to statements about external circumstances or fortune-were not associated with changes in life satisfaction ( n = 1,178)...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Derek Powell, Martin Keil, Dru Brenner, Liliana Lim, Ellen M Markman
Communication is a cooperative endeavor that goes well beyond decoding sentences' literal meaning. Listeners actively construe the meaning of utterances from both their literal meanings and the pragmatic principles that govern communication. When communicators make pragmatically infelicitous statements, the effects can be similar to paltering-misleading speech that evokes false inferences from true statements. The American Diabetes Association's (ADA's) "Diabetes Myths" website provides a real-world case study in such misleading communications...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Meng Li, Yan Sun, Hui Chen
This article provides the first test of the decoy effect as a nudge to influence real-world behavior. The decoy effect is the phenomenon that an additional but worse option can boost the appeal of an existing option. It has been widely demonstrated in hypothetical choices, but its usefulness in real-world settings has been subject to debate. In three longitudinal experiments in food-processing factories, we tested two decoy sanitation options that were worse than the existing sanitizer spray bottle. Results showed that the presence of a decoy, but not an additional copy of the original sanitizer bottle in a different color, drastically increased food workers' hand sanitizer use from the original sanitizer bottle and, consequently, improved workers' passing rate in hand sanitary tests from 60% to 70% to above 90% for 20 days...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Christopher Y Olivola
The sunk-cost fallacy-pursuing an inferior alternative merely because we have previously invested significant, but nonrecoverable, resources in it-represents a striking violation of rational decision making. Whereas theoretical accounts and empirical examinations of the sunk-cost effect have generally been based on the assumption that it is a purely intrapersonal phenomenon (i.e., solely driven by one's own past investments), the present research demonstrates that it is also an interpersonal effect (i.e., people will alter their choices in response to other people's past investments)...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Ping Dong, Chen-Bo Zhong
We examined the psychological impact of visual darkness on people's perceived risk of contagious-disease transmission. We posited that darkness triggers an abstract construal level and increases perceived social distance from others, rendering threats from others to seem less relevant to the self. We found that participants staying in a dimly lit room (Studies 1 and 3-5) or wearing sunglasses (Study 2) tended to estimate a lower risk of catching contagious diseases from others than did those staying in a brightly lit room or wearing clear glasses...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Thomas R Zentall, Danielle M Andrews, Jacob P Case
It has been assumed that when pigeons learn how to match to sample, they learn simple stimulus-response chains but not the concept of sameness. However, transfer to novel stimuli has been influenced by pigeons' tendency to be neophobic. We trained pigeons on matching ( n = 7) and mismatching ( n = 8) with colors as samples and, with each sample, one color as the nonmatching comparison. We then replaced either the matching or the nonmatching stimulus with a familiar stimulus never presented with that sample...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Hans Alves, Alex Koch, Christian Unkelbach
People often hold negative attitudes toward out-groups and minority groups. We argue that such intergroup biases may result from an interaction of basic cognitive processes and the structure of the information ecology. This cognitive-ecological model assumes that groups such as minorities and out-groups are often novel to a perceiver. At the level of cognition, novel groups are primarily associated with their unique attributes, that is, attributes that differentiate them from other groups. In the information ecology, however, unique attributes are likely to be negative...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Jill E P Knapen, Nancy M Blaker, Mark Van Vugt
Inspired by an evolutionary psychological perspective on the Napoleon complex, we hypothesized that shorter males are more likely to show indirect aggression in resource competitions with taller males. Three studies provide support for our interpretation of the Napoleon complex. Our pilot study shows that men (but not women) keep more resources for themselves when they feel small. When paired with a taller male opponent (Study 1), shorter men keep more resources to themselves in a game in which they have all the power (dictator game) versus a game in which the opponent also has some power (ultimatum game)...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Frederick Verbruggen, Rossy McLaren, Maayan Pereg, Nachshon Meiran
Rule-based performance improves remarkably throughout childhood. The present study examined how children and adolescents structured tasks and implemented rules when novel task instructions were presented in a child-friendly version of a novel instruction-learning paradigm. Each miniblock started with the presentation of new stimulus-response mappings for a go task. Before this mapping could be implemented, subjects had to make responses in order to advance through screens during a preparatory (" next") phase...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Dries H Bostyn, Sybren Sevenhant, Arne Roets
Scholars have been using hypothetical dilemmas to investigate moral decision making for decades. However, whether people's responses to these dilemmas truly reflect the decisions they would make in real life is unclear. In the current study, participants had to make the real-life decision to administer an electroshock (that they did not know was bogus) to a single mouse or allow five other mice to receive the shock. Our results indicate that responses to hypothetical dilemmas are not predictive of real-life dilemma behavior, but they are predictive of affective and cognitive aspects of the real-life decision...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Alexander Noyes, Frank C Keil
Hypodescent is the phenomenon of categorizing biracial individuals asymmetrically (e.g., viewing Black-White biracial individuals as Black instead of White). We propose that hypodescent is explained by domain-general attentional biases toward dangerous and distinctive components in conceptual representation. This cognitive mechanism derives its empirical support from several research traditions, especially from research on how people evaluate generic statements. Here, we demonstrate how liquid mixtures are categorized in ways characteristic of hypodescent...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Jun Yin, Haokui Xu, Jipeng Duan, Mowei Shen
Traditionally, objects of attention are characterized either as full-fledged entities or either as elements grouped by Gestalt principles. Because humans appear to use social groups as units to explain social activities, we proposed that a socially defined group, according to social interaction information, would also be a possible object of attentional selection. This hypothesis was examined using displays with and without handshaking interactions. Results demonstrated that object-based attention, which was measured by an object-specific attentional advantage (i...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Diana Kim, Bernhard Hommel
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
(no author information available yet)
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Brent M Wilson, Stephanie Stolarz-Fantino
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Alex L White, John Palmer, Geoffrey M Boynton
To test the limits of parallel processing in vision, we investigated whether people can recognize two words at once. Participants viewed brief, masked pairs of words and were instructed in advance to judge both of the words (dual-task condition) or just one of the words (single-task condition). For judgments of semantic category, the dual-task deficit was so large that it supported all-or-none serial processing: Participants could recognize only one word and had to guess about the other. Moreover, participants were more likely to be correct about one word if they were incorrect about the other, which also supports a serial-processing model...
May 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Aleta Pleasant, Pat Barclay
When choosing social partners, people prefer good cooperators (all else being equal). Given this preference, people wishing to be chosen can either increase their own cooperation to become more desirable or suppress others' cooperation to make them less desirable. Previous research shows that very cooperative people sometimes get punished ("antisocial punishment") or criticized ("do-gooder derogation") in many cultures. Here, we used a public-goods game with punishment to test whether antisocial punishment is used as a means of competing to be chosen by suppressing others' cooperation...
April 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Benedict C Jones, Amanda C Hahn, Claire I Fisher, Hongyi Wang, Michal Kandrik, Chengyang Han, Vanessa Fasolt, Danielle Morrison, Anthony J Lee, Iris J Holzleitner, Kieran J O'Shea, S Craig Roberts, Anthony C Little, Lisa M DeBruine
Although widely cited as strong evidence that sexual selection has shaped human facial-attractiveness judgments, findings suggesting that women's preferences for masculine characteristics in men's faces are related to women's hormonal status are equivocal and controversial. Consequently, we conducted the largest-ever longitudinal study of the hormonal correlates of women's preferences for facial masculinity ( N = 584). Analyses showed no compelling evidence that preferences for facial masculinity were related to changes in women's salivary steroid hormone levels...
April 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Christopher M Federico, Pierce D Ekstrom
Numerous studies have indicated that the need for closure predicts political preferences. We examined a potential moderator of this relationship: political-identity centrality, or the extent to which individuals' political preferences are central to their self-concept. We tested three hypotheses. First, we predicted that need for closure would be more strongly related to political identity (symbolic ideology and party identification; Hypothesis 1) and issue positions (operational ideology; Hypothesis 2) among individuals who see their political preferences as more self-central...
April 1, 2018: Psychological Science
Fabia M Miss, Judith M Burkart
Behavioral coordination is a fundamental element of human cooperation. It is facilitated when individuals represent not only their own actions but also those of their partner. Identifying whether action corepresentation is unique to humans or also present in other species is therefore necessary to fully understand the evolution of human cooperation. We used the auditory joint Simon task to assess whether action corepresentation occurs in common marmosets, a monkey species that engages extensively in coordinated action during cooperative infant care...
April 1, 2018: Psychological Science
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