- Feelings toward refugees and non-Muslims in Turkey: The roles of national and religious identifications, and multiculturalism
The current study, conducted in Turkey, examined feelings toward Muslim refugees among Turkish participants (n = 605) in comparison to feelings toward established non-Muslim national minority groups. Using the social identity perspective, these feelings were examined in relation to national and religious group identifications, and the endorsement of multicultural beliefs. The feelings toward both refugees and minority communities were similarly negative, yet the processes behind these feelings were somewhat different. While stronger national identification was associated with more negative feelings toward Muslim refugees, stronger religious group identification was associated with more negative feelings toward non-Muslim minority communities. Further, higher endorsement of multiculturalism was associated with less negative feelings toward both refugees and minority communities, but only for relatively low national identifiers.
- The Baby Boomer bias: The negative impact of generational labels on older workers
While generational labels (e.g., Baby Boomers) are popular in the media, few studies have explored whether using these labels leads to discrimination against older workers. Using an inbox task, we examined whether the label “Baby Boomer” led older workers to be viewed more negatively than the label “older employee” in four workplace scenarios. Data were collected from 304 management students (mean age = 30.92 years, SD = 9.21). Individuals identified as Baby Boomers were viewed more negatively across all four different scenarios and this effect was modified by social dominance orientation and power distance orientation in the hiring scenarios. Overall, our results suggest the use of generational labels such as Baby Boomers may negatively impact the workplace experiences of older workers.
- Emphasizing excellence and diversity cues on university websites: Additive or interactive effects on prospective students' psychological reactions?
A series of three web-based scenario experiments investigated how emphasizing excellence and/or diversity on university websites affects students’ psychological reactions toward the advertising institution. Our findings form a robust pattern suggesting that emphasizing excellence and emphasizing diversity have additive (rather than interactive or mutually interfering) effects. Two studies (N = 346 and N = 128) showed that the effects of emphasizing excellence and diversity arise from different psychological processes related to important aspects of student applicants’ expectations about how well they “fit in” and how well the institution will meet their needs. Study 3 (N = 363), using a within-subject design, further corroborated that participants preferred universities whose websites emphasized both excellence as well as diversity. Practical implications and directions for future research are discussed.
- Social dominance and interpersonal power: Asymmetrical relationships within hierarchy-enhancing and hierarchy-attenuating work environments
We studied whether high-social dominant employees sustain hierarchies in different hierarchy-enhancing and hierarchy-attenuating organizations endorsing harsh and soft power tactics. We found that social dominance orientation was positively associated with harsh power tactics, and negatively associated with soft power tactics. Employees higher in social dominance orientation endorsed harsh and opposed to soft power tactics as respectively hierarchy-enhancing and hierarchy-attenuating legitimizing myths that promote a dominant-submissive form of intergroup relationships. We also found that supervisors higher in social dominance, due to their dominant position, strongly opposed soft power tactics more than subordinates did. Amongst high-social dominant employees in the hierarchy-attenuating (vs. hierarchy-enhancing) organization, we observed the strongest opposition to soft power tactics, which are the tactics most shared in an organization which tends to attenuate hierarchies.
- Can the positive effects of inspiration be extended to different domains?
It is presently unknown whether inspiration extends across different domains: can a salesperson, for example, be inspired by a successful athlete? The present study investigated whether inspirational content must be relevant to a subsequent task to improve performance. Participants (N = 70) wrote about a time they felt inspired in a sporting context (domain-relevant), creative context (domain-irrelevant); or amused (positive control). Participants then held a handgrip, with the option of giving up or continuing to exhaustion. Regardless of the relevance of the inspirational content to the performance task, inspired participants were less likely to give up than controls. This is the first research to show that the benefits of inspiration reach beyond the domain defined by the inspiring event.
- Comparing educational interventions: Correcting misperceived norms improves college students' mental health attitudes
This research targeted potential psychological contributors to college students’ low levels of help-seeking for mental distress using a field experiment. Researchers randomly assigned 520 undergraduates to 15-min interventions: a novel, theory-driven social norms intervention correcting misperceived distress, stigma, and help-seeking norms; a general education intervention increasing mental health awareness; and a stress management active control condition. The norms intervention instilled more accurate perceptions of mental health norms and temporarily reduced perceived public stigma compared to other conditions. The norms and general education interventions improved attitudes toward seeking help for mental distress for at least 2 months, relative to the control. Effects on help-seeking behavior were not observed in this timeframe. This research elucidates the robustness of brief social psychological mental health interventions on college campuses.
- On culture, ethics, and hierarchy: How cultural variations in hierarchical relations are manifested in the code of ethics of British and Korean organizations
The present research examined if cultural differences in the extent to which hierarchical relations dictate individuals’ behaviors are embedded in objective institutional regulations. Using quantitative and qualitative analysis, we examined codes of ethics of Korean and British organizations in relation to working relationships and corruptive behaviors. We found that, unlike British organizations, Korean organizations endorsed codes of ethics that place greater emphasis on hierarchical relations and contained prescriptions for individuals occupying senior or junior ranks. Ethical codes also appeared to be geared more towards preventing the abuse of power in Korean organizations compared with British organizations. Finally, unlike British organizations, Korean organizations often permitted top-down exchanges (not bottom-up exchanges), suggesting that in upper echelons benevolence may be more normative in Korean organizations than in British organizations.
- Imagined contact in high conflict settings: The role of ethnic group identification and the perspective of minority group members
Recent contact literature has shown that imagining a positive intergroup encounter improves intergroup attitudes and behaviors, yet less is known about the effects of imagined contact in high conflict settings. We conducted three studies to understand the potential effects of imagined intergroup contact among ethnic Turks (majority status) and ethnic Kurds (minority status) in the Turkish-Kurdish interethnic conflict setting. Study 1 (N = 47, Turkish) tested standard imagined contact effects (neutral vs. standard imagined contact condition) among majority Turks and showed that imagined contact was effective on outgroup attitudes, perceived threat, intergroup anxiety, and support for multiculturalism only among participants with higher ethnic identification. Study 2 (N = 107, Turkish) examined how ethnic identification of the contact partner would influence the effectiveness of the standard imagined contact scenario (neutral vs. standard vs. ethnic identification condition) and demonstrated that imagined contact effects were more negative when the contact partner identified with his/her ethnic group during imagined contact. Study 3 (N = 55, Kurdish) investigated imagined contact effects (neutral vs. standard imagined contact condition) among an ethnic minority group and showed that imagined contact did not improve minority group members’ outgroup attitudes, but did decrease intergroup anxiety and perceived discrimination (marginally significantly) and increased perceived positive attitudes from the majority group. Practical implications of the use of imagined intergroup contact strategy in conflict-ridden settings were discussed.