- Think manager—think male, think follower—think female: Gender bias in implicit followership theories
Because of the overlap between the social roles of women and followers, we predicted that people would show a bias, that is, favor female followers over male followers. To support this hypothesis, we conducted two studies: An explicit test of the bias using a scenario design and an implicit association test (IAT)-based study. Both studies show that the role of an ideal follower is more strongly associated with the female gender role, which seems to be caused partly by a more communal connotation of the follower role. This effect might contribute to the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions as they are perceived to be an ideal fit for followership positions; but it may also push men away from being followers and into leadership positions.
- Prejudice, polyculturalism, and the influence of contact and moral exclusion: A comparison of responses toward LGBI, TI, and refugee groups
Prejudice toward marginalized groups is recognized as a complex and harmful social issue. The present study investigates the role of polyculturalism in undermining prejudice toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people and refugees. A pilot study (N = 76) compared participants’ prejudice, contact, and moral exclusion toward lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB) and transgender or intersex (TI) people. There were differences for three out of four variables; thus, LGB and TI variables were separated in the study proper (N = 154). In this study, we investigated moral exclusion and contact (quantity and quality) relating to LGB, TI, and refugee groups as simultaneous mediators of the relationship between polyculturalism and prejudice, while taking into account openness as per previous research. Structural equation modeling indicated that moral exclusion and contact quality acted as mediators between polyculturalism and prejudice for LGB people, TI people, and refugees.
- A field experiment: Testing the potential of norms for achieving behavior change in English parishes
Tests of behavioral insights have become increasingly more common, and have been deployed by UK government and agencies. Typically, these field experiments aim to change individual-level behaviors. The current article tests the potential of behavioral insights for changing group-level behavior. This article reports the results of a field experiment carried out with the Department of Communities and Local Government. The field experiment tested whether a normative message (vs. a neutral or no message) could encourage parish councils to register an asset of community value (social action). There was no statistically significant effect from this intervention, but the process of designing and implementing this field experiment shows the potential for theories of behavior change to be used by government departments.
- Self-affirmation, political value congruence, and support for refugees
This research tested the potential for self-affirmation on left- and right-wing political values to increase behavioral intentions to provide help and assistance to refugees. We present a pilot study defining left- and right-wing values, and a main study in which participants completed either a self-affirmation task, a group-affirmation task, or participated in a control condition on values that were either congruent or incongruent with their own political views. Results show that left-wing oriented participants showed more supportive intentions in the self-affirmation condition compared to the group-affirmation and control conditions, independent of values congruency. In contrast, right-wing participants showed more supportive intentions in the self-affirmation condition, but only when they affirmed on values that were congruent with their own political views.
- Incremental theories of weight and healthy eating behavior
We examined whether a belief in weight as malleable (an incremental theory) leads to healthier eating than a belief that weight is fixed (an entity theory). Participants with incremental theories of weight consumed fewer calories from high-calorie foods in a lab-based taste-test than did those with more entity theories of weight. This pattern held correlationally, with naturally occurring theories of weight (Study 1), and when we experimentally manipulated participants’ theories of weight (Study 2). A third study provided evidence that differences in self-efficacy regarding food mediate the relationship between theories of weight and eating behavior (Study 3). One way to encourage healthy eating might be to develop interventions that encourage more incremental views of weight.
- Socially creative appraisals of rejection bolster ethnic migrants' subjective well-being
We examined a proposition based on social identity theory that socially creative appraisals of rejection can boost the well-being of strongly identifying ethnic migrants. We piloted this proposition amongst women (N = 80) and found that strong (but not weak) group identifiers who considered the positive views that society holds about their social identity reported higher subjective wellbeing (self-esteem) relative to those who dwelt on rejection. In a subsequent field experiment (N = 179) conducted amongst ethnic migrants in London, we added a further social creativity treatment in which participants were encouraged to consider how they would view immigrants if they were native British (accommodation). Results revealed that the two social creativity mindsets (accommodation and positive) combined: (a) reduced perceptions of social rejection and increased optimism over the openness and fairness of society relative to a rejection mindset, (b) enhanced the self-esteem of strongly (but not weakly) identified ethnic migrants, and (c) enhanced ethnic migrant’s wellbeing by minimizing the recall of social rejection and by strengthening optimism over the host society’s openness and fairness. Implications for social change are discussed.
- Explaining individuals' justification of layoffs
This research addresses why organizational downsizing, given its adverse impact on both organizations and individuals, continues to be a popular management practice. Drawing on system justification theory, we argue that individuals justify downsizing to preserve the legitimacy of the prevailing social-political system. Across two studies, we surveyed a total of 527 employees and examined whether the perceived likelihood of downsizing, past experiences of layoffs, and the anticipation of future layoffs enhance individuals’ justification of downsizing. We also took into account cognitive and motivational biases for justifying the status quo. Our results indicate that individuals’ motivation to defend and justify downsizing may strengthen its stability within society, even though implications are largely negative for those involved.
- Healthy eating: A beneficial role for perceived norm conflict?
Normative influence on dietary decision making was assessed as a function of the referent informational influence model within an extended theory of planned behavior framework. In a longitudinal design, university students (N = 141) completed measures of attitudes, perceived behavioral control, subjective norms, referent group norms, and intentions toward healthy eating, with healthy eating behavior reported 2 weeks later (n = 82). A distinction was made between injunctive and descriptive norms, in line with norm focus theory. The extended theory of planned behavior and referent informational influence models were partially supported. An interaction between group injunctive and descriptive norms emerged such that misaligned group norms were associated with healthier eating behavior than aligned group norms (both supportive and unsupportive). Theoretical and applied implications are discussed.