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1.  Legitimating Racial Discrimination: Emotions, Not Beliefs, Best Predict Discrimination in a Meta-Analysis 
Social justice research  2008;21(3):263-396.
Investigations of racial bias have emphasized stereotypes and other beliefs as central explanatory mechanisms and as legitimating discrimination. In recent theory and research, emotional prejudices have emerged as another, more direct predictor of discrimination. A new comprehensive meta-analysis of 57 racial attitude-discrimination studies finds a moderate relationship between overall attitudes and discrimination. Emotional prejudices are twices as closely related to racial discrimination as stereotypes and beliefs are. Moreover, emotional prejudices are closely related to both observed and self-reported discrimination, whereas stereotypes and beliefs are related only to self-reported discrimination. Implications for justifying discrimination are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3775550  PMID: 24052687
Prejudice; Discrimination; Race; Attitude; Affect; Emotion
2.  When values matter: Expressing values in behavioral intentions for the near vs. distant future 
It was predicted that because of their abstract nature, values will have greater impact on how individuals plan their distant future than their near future. Experiments 1 and 2 found that values better predict behavioral intentions for distant future situations than near future situations. Experiment 3 found that whereas high-level values predict behavioral intentions for more distant future situations, low-level feasibility considerations predict behavioral intentions for more proximate situation. Finally, Experiment 4 found that the temporal changes in the relationship between values and behavioral intentions depended on how the behavior was construed. Higher correspondence is found when behaviors are construed on a higher level and when behavior is planned for the more distant future than when the same behavior is construed on a lower level or is planned for the more proximal future. The implications of these findings for self-consistency and value conflicts are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3150799  PMID: 21822329
Construal; Values; Construal level theory; Time perspective; Behavioral intentions
3.  Flexibility Now, Consistency Later: Psychological Distance and Construal Shape Evaluative Responding 
Researchers have long been interested in understanding the conditions under which evaluations will be more or less consistent or context-dependent. The current research explores this issue by asking when stability or flexibility in evaluative responding would be most useful. Integrating construal level theory with research suggesting that variability in the mental representation of an attitude object can produce fluctuations in evaluative responding, we propose a functional relationship between distance and evaluative flexibility. Because individuals construe psychologically proximal objects more concretely, evaluations of proximal objects will tend to incorporate unique information from the current social context, promoting context-specific responses. Conversely, because more distal objects are construed more abstractly, evaluations of distal objects will be less context-dependent. Consistent with this reasoning, the results of 4 studies suggest that when individuals mentally construe an attitude object concretely, either because it is psychologically close or because they have been led to adopt a concrete mindset, their evaluations flexibly incorporate the views of an incidental stranger. However, when individuals think about the same issue more abstractly, their evaluations are less susceptible to incidental social influence and instead reflect their previously reported ideological values. These findings suggest that there are ways of thinking that will tend to produce more or less variability in mental representation across contexts, which in turn shapes evaluative consistency. Connections to shared reality, conformity, and attitude function are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3149789  PMID: 20565184
attitudes; context-dependence; social influence; construal level; psychological distance
4.  Influencing Attitudes Toward Near and Distant Objects 
It is argued that the temporal distance of attitude objects systematically changes how the object is mentally represented, and thus influences the strength of particular persuasive appeals. Three experiments tested the hypothesis that people preferentially attend to arguments that highlight primary, abstract (high-level) vs. incidental, concrete (low-level) features when attitude objects are temporally distant vs. near. Results suggested that when attitude objects are temporally distant vs. near, arguments emphasizing primary vs. secondary features (Study 1), desirability vs. feasibility features (Study 2), and general classes vs. specific cases are more persuasive (Study 3). The relation of construal theory to dual process theories of persuasion and persuasion phenomena, such as personal relevance effects and functional matching effects, are discussed.
PMCID: PMC2633935  PMID: 19884971
mental construal; temporal distance; persuasion; attitude change; construal level theory

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