Saturday, December 10, 2022

People found false feedback about their personality more accurate and appealing than the real one, even if it consisted of vague and unspecific diagnoses that could fit just about anyone

How well do we know ourselves? Disentangling self-judgment biases in perceived accuracy and preference of personality feedback. Sabina Trif, Claudia Rus, Elena Manole, Octavian Calin Duma. Psihologia Resurselor Umane, Vol. 20 No. 2 (2022), Dec 6, 2022.

Abstract: Despite personality measurement and feedback being pervasive practices, there are self-judgment biases that may impair their usage. We set out to analyze the differences between two kinds of false feedback and real feedback on personality regarding perceived accuracy and preference. We propose that there would be no differences between false and real feedback regarding perceived accuracy, but we expect differences regarding feedback preference. A sample of 146 students completed the IPIP-50 instrument that measured the Big 5 Factors and received three kinds of feedback - a general one (Barnum effect as false feedback), a positive one (Better-than-average effect as false feedback), and a real one. They rated each regarding accuracy and preference. Results indicate differences regarding both dependent variables. Participants perceive false feedback as more accurate than the real one. Moreover, they prefer positive feedback over the other two, and general feedback compared to the real one. We discuss both theoretical and practical implications, alongside a series of limitations and future research directions.

Keywords: personality, Barnum effect, better-than-average effect, psychometrics

Can Inflammation Predict Social Media Use? Linking a Biological Marker of Systemic Inflammation with Social Media Use Among College Students and Middle-Aged Adults

Lee, David S. and Jiang, Tao and Crocker, Jennifer and Way, Baldwin M., Can Inflammation Predict Social Media Use? Linking a Biological Marker of Systemic Inflammation with Social Media Use Among College Students and Middle-Aged Adults. SSRN, Dec 5 2022.

Abstract: Although much research has examined the impact of social media use, relatively less is known about what predicts social media use. Drawing on recent evidence that inflammation may promote social affiliative motivation, the present research proposes a novel, biopsychosocial perspective that inflammation may be associated with more social media use. Using a nationally representative sample of middle-aged adults (N = 524), Study 1 found a positive association between C-reactive protein (CRP), a biomarker of systemic inflammation, and the amount of social media people used. Study 2 (N = 228) showed that among college students CRP was prospectively associated with more social media use 6 weeks later. Providing stronger evidence of the directionality of this effect, Study 3 (N = 171) showed that CRP predicted increased social media use in the subsequent week even after controlling for current week’s use. Additionally, in exploratory analyses of CRP and different types of social media use in the same week, CRP was only associated with using social media for social interaction and not for other purposes (e.g., entertainment). The present research sheds light on a biopsychosocial antecedent to social media use and highlights potential benefits of using biological measures in social media research.

Keywords: Social media use, inflammation, C-reactive protein, mental health, physical health, well-being

Political, but not cognitive sophistication was associated with an heightened propensity for motivated reasoning, the bending of the evidence to defend the preconceived world view; so, in the end, the problem is being infected with the political virus!

 On the Independent Roles of Cognitive & Political Sophistication: Variation Across Attitudinal Objects. Joseph A. Vitriol,Joseph Sandor,Robert Vidigal,Christina Farhart. Applied Cognitive Psychology, November 29 2022.

Abstract: People are motivated to maintain consistency between importantly held identities, preferences, and judgments. In political contexts, motivated reasoning can help explain a wide range of political phenomena, including extremism, polarization, and misperceptions. However, recent findings in psychology have challenged this account. These perspectives emphasize the role of cognitive sophistication (e.g., analytical reasoning, numerical literacy) in political attitudes, but differ in terms of whether it is expected to attenuate or exacerbate politically motivated reasoning and belief in conspiracy theories. Yet prior investigations have not examined the relative and independent effects of both political and cognitive sophistication. Using data from two samples, including one sampled to approximate representativeness in the U.S., we demonstrate that both types of sophistication have independent and (at times) countervailing effects on belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories and other political attitudes. Our results are critical for theories of cognitive sophistication, political cognition, and attitudes, and the psychology of conspiracy theories.