- So close and yet so far away: A psychological distance account of the effectiveness of leader appeals
Contradictory recommendations persist on how leaders best communicate goals to followers. Whereas scholars of visionary leadership recommend emphasizing the desirability of preferred end-states, scholars of goal setting argue that the perceived feasibility of a goal determines motivation. This paper proposes and tests a synthesis based on construal level theory. Under relatively high (i.e., abstract) levels of construal, such as when leader–follower distance is relatively large, leader appeals that emphasize desirability (i.e., desirable appeals) are more likely to be effective than appeals that emphasize feasibility (i.e., feasible appeals). Under relatively low (i.e., concrete) levels of construal, such as when leader–follower distance is relatively small, feasible appeals are more likely to be effective. Two experimental studies in two different countries provide support for our predictions.
- Explaining prejudice toward the mentally ill: A test of sociopolitical, demographic, and socioeconomic factors
People with mental disorders often face prejudices that can further deteriorate their condition. We tested whether Social Dominance Orientation (SDO), Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA), and Belief in a Just World (BJW), and characteristics of the mentally ill predict such prejudices. Both in a general population sample and a sample of health professionals and trainees, SDO, but not RWA and BJW, predicted more prejudice, although this pattern was less pronounced among health professionals/trainees. BJW interacted with the targets’ gender in Study 1, predicting less empathy toward a male but not toward a female mentally ill person. In Study 2, depressed individuals were blamed more for their illness than those with schizophrenia or cancer. Implications for future research and clinical practice are discussed.
- Context matters: Explicit and implicit reminders of ingroup privilege increase collective guilt among foreigners in a developing country
We test three ways context matters in the study of intergroup inequality: where participants are approached, who interacts with participants, and how researchers ask participants questions. Regarding how, we replicate a finding that framing intergroup inequality as outgroup disadvantage rather than ingroup privilege reduces collective guilt in a novel context. Regarding where, we go beyond the laboratory to test foreigners in Nepal—a country where inequality is highly salient. Regarding who, we had participants approached by an ingroup (foreign) experimenter or an outgroup (Nepalese) experimenter. We found an outgroup disadvantage framing reduced collective guilt relative to ingroup privilege framing, but only when delivered by an ingroup member. This highlights the importance of taking where, who, and how into account to fully understand the contextual nature of intergroup emotion.
- Gender and leadership aspiration: Interpersonal and collective elements of cooperative climate differentially influence women and men
Female leaders remain a minority. Because leadership aspiration is a predictor of advancement, understanding stimulating conditions is important. A neglected perspective is the impact of organizational climate. We propose that cooperative climate can engender individuals’ motivation to contribute to the organization through leadership, and that leadership aspiration of women and men is differentially sensitive to interpersonal and collective aspects of cooperative climate. We argue that women are more disposed toward relational self-construal and men toward collective self-construal, and hence women’s leadership aspiration is more influenced by the interpersonal element of cooperative climate whereas men’s leadership aspiration by the collective element of cooperative climate. Results of a survey of N = 404 employed men and women supported both hypotheses.
- To accept or not to accept a job offer: Examining inaction inertia in an organizational context
The purpose of this research was to investigate inaction inertia in a job offer context. Across two studies, we examined the influence of two situational factors (Study 1) and one dispositional factor (Study 2) on inaction inertia in a job offer context. Participants were asked to imagine they had to pass up an initial offer in which they were interested, but that they received a similar but less attractive offer (lower salary) later. Study 1 findings revealed participants in the loss-framed condition were more likely to accept the second offer than participants in the neutral condition only when they were asked to imagine they were switching careers, versus being laid off. Study 2 results showed that maximizing tendency significantly and negatively predicted the likelihood to accept the second job offer. Exploratory analyses revealed that anticipated regret did not mediate the relationships between any of the factors and inaction inertia, suggesting that anticipated regret was not the causal mechanism underlying the occurrence of inaction inertia in the current research. Overall, this research shed light on the ways inaction inertia may be experienced in a job offer context.
- When leaders are not who they appear: The effects of leader disclosure of a concealable stigma on follower reactions
Two studies examined follower reactions to disclosure of concealable stigma (i.e., transgender identity) by a leader. Using 109 employed participants, Study 1 showed followers rated leaders disclosing a stigma less likable and effective. This effect was both direct and indirect through relational identification with the leader. Using 206 employed participants, Study 2 found when a leader’s stigma was involuntarily found out and disclosed later they received lower ratings of likability and effectiveness compared to leaders who voluntarily came out and disclosed earlier. Method (found out vs. came out) and timing of disclosure (later vs. earlier) had direct relationships with ratings of likability and effectiveness and method of disclosure had an indirect relationship with the outcomes via relational identification.
- Weight beliefs and messages: Mindsets predict body-shame and anti-fat attitudes via attributions
In two samples (N = 247, N = 291), we examined the link between beliefs and messages about the changeable (incremental theory) vs. fixed (entity theory) nature of weight, attributions for weight, and body shame. We recruited participants using online sampling, employing a correlational design in Study 1 and an experimental design in Study 2. Across both studies, we found evidence for the stigma-asymmetry effect—incremental, relative to entity beliefs/messages of weight predicted both (a) stronger onset responsibility attributions, indirectly increasing body shame and (b) stronger offset efficacy attributions, indirectly decreasing body shame. Study 2 replicated the stigma-asymmetry effect with anti-fat attitudes. We discuss implications for public health obesity messages with the goal of reducing stigma.
- Context and alcohol consumption behaviors affect inhibitory control
Contrasting the traditional focus on alcohol-related visual images, this study examined the impact of both alcohol-related auditory cues and visual stimuli on inhibitory control (IC). Fifty-eight participants completed a Go/No-Go Task, with alcohol-related and neutral visual stimuli presented with or without short or continuous auditory bar cues. Participants performed worse when presented with alcohol-related images and auditory cues. Problematic alcohol consumption and higher effortful control (EC) were associated with better IC performance for alcohol images. It is postulated that those with higher EC may be better able to ignore alcohol-related stimuli, while those with problematic alcohol consumption are unconsciously less attuned to these. This runs contrary to current dogma and highlights the importance of examining both auditory and visual stimuli when investigating IC.