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Attributions Of Mental State Control: Causes And Consequences, Corey Cusimano Jan 2019

Attributions Of Mental State Control: Causes And Consequences, Corey Cusimano

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

A popular thesis in psychology holds that ordinary people judge others’ mental states to be uncontrollable, unintentional, or otherwise involuntary. The present research challenges this thesis and documents how attributions of mental state control affect social decision making, predict policy preferences, and fuel conflict in close relationships. In Chapter 1, I show that lay people by-and-large attribute intentional control to others over their mental states. Additionally, I provide causal evidence that these attributions of control predict judgments of responsibility as well as decisions to confront and reprimand someone for having an objectionable attitude. By overturning a common misconception about how ...


Actually Embodied Emotions, Jordan Christopher Victor Taylor Jan 2018

Actually Embodied Emotions, Jordan Christopher Victor Taylor

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

This dissertation offers a theory of emotion called the primitivist theory. Emotions are defined as bodily caused affective states. It derives key principles from William James’s feeling theory of emotion, which states that emotions are felt experiences of bodily changes triggered by sensory stimuli (James, 1884; James, 1890). However, James’s theory is commonly misinterpreted, leading to its dismissal by contemporary philosophers and psychologists. Chapter 1 therefore analyzes James’s theory and compares it against contemporary treatments. It demonstrates that a rehabilitated Jamesian theory promises to benefit contemporary emotion research. Chapter 2 investigates James’s legacy, as numerous alterations ...


Parochial Empathy Predicts Reduced Altruism And The Endorsement Of Passive Harm, Emile Bruneau, Mina Cikara, Rebecca Saxe Nov 2017

Parochial Empathy Predicts Reduced Altruism And The Endorsement Of Passive Harm, Emile Bruneau, Mina Cikara, Rebecca Saxe

Departmental Papers (ASC)

Empathic failures are common in hostile intergroup contexts; repairing empathy is therefore a major focus of peacebuilding efforts. However, it is unclear which aspect of empathy is most relevant to intergroup conflict. Although trait empathic concern predicts prosociality in interpersonal settings, we hypothesized that the best predictor of meaningful intergroup attitudes and behaviors might not be the general capacity for empathy (i.e., trait empathy), but the difference in empathy felt for the in-group versus the out-group, or “parochial empathy.” Specifically, we predicted that out-group empathy would inhibit intergroup harm and promote intergroup helping, whereas in-group empathy would have the ...


Why We Help The Wronged: Emotional And Evolutionary Determinants Of Victim Compensation, Erik Wells Thulin Jan 2017

Why We Help The Wronged: Emotional And Evolutionary Determinants Of Victim Compensation, Erik Wells Thulin

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Why do third parties choose to help the victims of norm violations? In Chapter 1, we address this question at the emotional level. We show a relationship between environment and motivating emotion, in which moral outrage motivates the compensation of norm violation victims, whereas empathic concern drives compensation in other situations, at both the trait (Study 1) and state (Studies 2 and 3) levels. This finding presents a novel question for evolutionary psychology. Differing emotional drivers are taken to represent distinct underlying cognitive systems. While previous evolutionary models based on social insurance through indirect reciprocity can account for domain-general empathically ...


Looking For My Self: Identity-Driven Attention Allocation, Nicole V. Coleman, Patti Williams Jul 2015

Looking For My Self: Identity-Driven Attention Allocation, Nicole V. Coleman, Patti Williams

Marketing Papers

This research builds on the motivational aspects of identity salience, finding that social identities direct the allocation of attention in identity‐syntonic ways. Drawing from identity‐based motivation (Oyserman, 2009; Reed, et al., 2012) we suggest individuals use attention to enhance identity‐fit; selectively focusing on cues and stimuli that are identity‐consistent. In two studies we find that activating a social identity drives preferential attention toward identity‐relevant stimuli. Using a novel paradigm, Study 1 demonstrates that individuals strategically focus attention on identity‐consistent emotional stimuli, while also shifting attention away from identity‐inconsistent emotional stimuli. Using a dot ...


Socially Connecting And Socially Distancing Consumer Choices, Cindy Chan Jan 2014

Socially Connecting And Socially Distancing Consumer Choices, Cindy Chan

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Can people use consumption to manage their social relationships? Across three essays, this dissertation explores why and how people make consumer choices that socially connect or distance themselves from others. Essay 1 examines how motives to signal social identity and uniqueness can lead people to make choices that both connect and distance them from other members of their social group. People are often conflicted between wanting to fit in and be different. This research demonstrates how consumers simultaneously satisfy competing motives for group identification and individual uniqueness along different dimensions of choice, thus allowing them to be similar and different ...


Affective Consequences Of Sleep Deprivation, Jared D. Minkel Aug 2010

Affective Consequences Of Sleep Deprivation, Jared D. Minkel

Publicly Accessible Penn Dissertations

Surprisingly little is known about the effects of sleep deprivation on affective processes. Although clinical evidence and introspection suggest that emotional function is sensitive to sleep loss, there are only three published studies that have experimentally manipulated both stress and emotion in a single experiment, the earliest of which was published in 2007. This dissertation presents findings from three studies that were designed to improve our understanding of the influence of sleep loss on affective functioning in healthy adults. Study 1 (Sleep and Mood) measured the effects of sleep loss on affect in the absence of specific probes. Three facets ...


Experiential Learning Groups: History, An Exploratory Case Study, And Possible Mechanisms Of Change, Steve J. Safigan Jul 2009

Experiential Learning Groups: History, An Exploratory Case Study, And Possible Mechanisms Of Change, Steve J. Safigan

Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

A diverse group of 30 adults attended a 3-day intensive experiential learning group intervention conducted by Foundations Seminars. Participants reported on measures of subjective well-being (life satisfaction and felt emotion) before and for 14 weeks after attendance. Repeated measures analysis demonstrates that participants significantly improved in all measures following attendance at the seminar (p < .03), with medium-to-large effect size (.5 < d < 1.2). Contrast analysis showed that participants maintained their subjective well-being throughout the follow-up period (p < .01). The report details possible group and individual mechanisms of change that may be utilized by the seminar to increase well-being. It also explores ways to minimize risk of psychological harm to participants.


When Better Is Worse: Envy And The Use Of Deception, Simone Moran, Maurice E. Schweitzer Feb 2008

When Better Is Worse: Envy And The Use Of Deception, Simone Moran, Maurice E. Schweitzer

Management Papers

In this article, we describe how envy motivates deception. We find that individuals who envy a counterpart are more likely to deceive them than are individuals who do not envy their counterpart. Across both a scenario and a laboratory study, we explore the influence of envy in a negotiation setting. Negotiations represent a domain in which social comparisons are prevalent and deception poses a particularly important concern. In our studies, we induce envy by providing participants with upward social comparison information. We find that upward social comparisons predictably trigger envy, and that envy promotes deception by increasing psychological benefits and ...