Saturday, January 19, 2019

Patients who lost their ability to retrieve episodic facts (severe head injury, Alzheimer’s, stroke) were able to describe their traits despite inability to remember their lives' details

Robinson, M. D., & Sedikides, C. (in press). Personality and The Self. In P. Corr & G. Matthews (Eds.), Cambridge University Press handbook of personality (2nd ed.). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Abstract:  People draw from the self-concept when they report on their personality traits. Accordingly, researchers should be able to understand personality traits in terms of self-related processes. This chapter addresses the interface between personality and the self, presenting an integration whereby trait-related knowledge is considered in terms of its abstract and generalized qualities.  These qualities contribute to personality stability over time, but they also allow for discrepancies between trait-related views of the self and momentary tendencies toward thought, feeling, or action. The chapter also explores ways in which individual differences in personality can be understood in terms of mechanisms postulated by self-enhancement theory and raison oblige theory. Altogether, the chapter illustrates the benefits of integrating the personality trait and self concept literatures.

Keywords: personality, traits, self, self-enhancement

Other consequences of mindfulness in the moral domain: Attenuated repair intentions after having read a scenario in which participants caused harm to a friend & attenuated intentions to change bad eating habits

Potential negative consequences of mindfulness in the moral domain. Simon Schindler, Stefan Pfattheicher, Marc-Andre Reinhard. To appear in the European Journal of Social Psychology, January 2019,

Abstract: Mindfulness is a state of paying conscious and nonjudgmental attention to present-moment experiences. Previous research relates this state to more effective emotion regulation and less emotion reactivity. We therefore hypothesized an attenuating effect of a mindfulness exercise on moral reactions that usually results from a bad conscience when having caused harm. Across five studies, we experimentally induced mindfulness via a short breathing exercise and then assessed harm-based moral reactions. As hypothesized, participants in the mindfulness (vs. control) exercise condition showed a) attenuated repair intentions after having read a scenario in which participants caused harm to a friend (Study 3) and b) attenuated intentions to change harm-causing eating habits (Study 4). Results of Studies 1, 2 and 5 did not provide evidence for our hypothesis. A following meta-analysis across all five studies yielded an overall significant effect of mindfulness in the harm-condition, providing preliminary evidence for a potential downside to mindfulness.

Check also Gebauer, Jochen, Nehrlich, A.D., Stahlberg, D., Sedikides, Constantine, Hackenschmidt, D, Schick, D, Stegmaie, C A, Windfelder, C. C, Bruk, A and Mander, J V (2018) Mind-body practices and the self: yoga and meditation do not quiet the ego, but instead boost self-enhancement. Psychological Science, 1-22. (In Press).

Political ideology shapes the amplification of the accomplishments of disadvantaged vs. advantaged group members

Political ideology shapes the amplification of the accomplishments of disadvantaged vs. advantaged group members. Nour S. Kteily, Matthew D. Rocklage, Kaylene McClanahan, Arnold K. Ho. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Jan 2019, 201818545; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1818545116

Significance: Inequality prospers when successes of advantaged group members (e.g., men, whites) get more attention than equivalent successes of disadvantaged group members (e.g., women, blacks). What determines whose successes individuals deem worth promoting vs. those they ignore? Using hundreds of thousands of tweets from the 2016 Olympics, we show that liberals are much more likely than conservatives to shine a spotlight on black and female (vs. white and male) US gold medalists. Two further experiments provide evidence that such differential amplification of successful targets is driven by a motivation—higher among liberals—to raise disadvantaged groups’ standing in service of equality. We find that liberals drive differential amplification more than conservatives and establish a behavioral mechanism through which liberals’ egalitarian motives manifest.

Abstract: Recent years have witnessed an increased public outcry in certain quarters about a perceived lack of attention given to successful members of disadvantaged groups relative to equally meritorious members of advantaged groups, exemplified by social media campaigns centered around hashtags, such as #OscarsSoWhite and #WomenAlsoKnowStuff. Focusing on political ideology, we investigate here whether individuals differentially amplify successful targets depending on whether these targets belong to disadvantaged or advantaged groups, behavior that could help alleviate or entrench group-based disparities. Study 1 examines over 500,000 tweets from over 160,000 Twitter users about 46 unambiguously successful targets varying in race (white, black) and gender (male, female): American gold medalists from the 2016 Olympics. Leveraging advances in computational social science, we identify tweeters’ political ideology, race, and gender. Tweets from political liberals were much more likely than those from conservatives to be about successful black (vs. white) and female (vs. male) gold medalists (and especially black females), controlling for tweeters’ own race and gender, and even when tweeters themselves were white or male (i.e., advantaged group members). Studies 2 and 3 provided experimental evidence that liberals are more likely than conservatives to differentially amplify successful members of disadvantaged (vs. advantaged) groups and suggested that this is driven by liberals’ heightened concern with social equality. Addressing theorizing about ideological asymmetries, we observed that political liberals are more responsible than conservatives for differential amplification. Our results highlight ideology’s polarizing power to shape even whose accomplishments we promote, and extend theorizing about behavioral manifestations of egalitarian motives.

Removing Hand Information Specifically Impairs Emotion Recognition for Fearful and Angry Body Stimuli

Ross, Paddy, and Tessa Flack. 2019. “Removing Hand Information Specifically Impairs Emotion Recognition for Fearful and Angry Body Stimuli.” PsyArXiv. January 18. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Emotion perception research has largely been dominated by work on facial expressions, but emotion is also strongly conveyed from the body.  Research exploring emotion recognition from the body tends to refer to ‘the body’ as a whole entity.  However, the body is made up of different components (hands, arms, trunk etc.), all of which could be differentially contributing to emotion recognition.  We know that the hands can convey action, and in particular are important for social communication through gestures, but we currently do not know to what extent the hands influence emotion recognition from ‘the body’.  Here, 93 adults viewed static emotional body stimuli with either the hands, arms, or both components removed and completed a forced-choice emotion recognition task.  Removing the hands significantly reduced recognition accuracy for fear and anger, but made no significant difference to the recognition of happiness and sadness. Removing the arms had no effect on emotion recognition accuracy compared to the full-body stimuli.  These results demonstrate the key role played by the hands in the recognition of threat-based emotions conveying action information.