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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tough call

 

Treating Thoughts as Material Objects Can Increase or Decrease Their Impact on Evaluation

Pablo Briñol et al.
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
In Western dualistic culture, it is assumed that thoughts cannot be treated as material objects; however, language is replete with metaphorical analogies suggesting otherwise. In the research reported here, we examined whether objectifying thoughts can influence whether the thoughts are used in subsequent evaluations. In Experiment 1, participants wrote about what they either liked or disliked about their bodies. Then, the paper on which they wrote their thoughts was either ripped up and tossed in the trash or kept and checked for errors. When participants physically discarded a representation of their thoughts, they mentally discarded them as well, using them less in forming judgments than did participants who retained a representation of their thoughts. Experiment 2 replicated this finding and also showed that people relied on their thoughts more when they physically kept them in a safe place - putting their thoughts in their pockets - than when they discarded them. A final study revealed that these effects were stronger when the action was performed physically rather than merely imagined.

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Influence of Warm Versus Cool Temperatures on Consumer Choice: A Resource Depletion Account

Amar Cheema & Vanessa Patrick
Journal of Marketing Research, December 2012, Pages 984-995

Abstract:
Across five studies, the authors demonstrate that warm (vs. cool) temperatures deplete resources, increase System 1 processing, and influence performance on complex choice tasks. Real-world lottery data (pilot study) and a lab experiment (Study 1) demonstrate the effect of temperature on complex choices: People are less likely to make difficult gambles in warmer temperatures. Study 2 implicates resource depletion as the underlying process; warm temperatures lower cognitive performance for nondepleted people but do not affect the performance of depleted people. Study 3 illustrates the moderating role of task complexity to show that warm temperatures are depleting and decrease willingness to make a difficult product choice. Study 4 juxtaposes the effects of depletion and temperature to reveal that warm temperatures hamper performance on complex tasks because of the participants' increased reliance on System 1 (heuristic) processing.

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Creativity in the Wild: Improving Creative Reasoning through Immersion in Natural Settings

Ruth Ann Atchley, David Strayer & Paul Atchley
PLoS ONE, December 2012

Abstract:
Adults and children are spending more time interacting with media and technology and less time participating in activities in nature. This life-style change clearly has ramifications for our physical well-being, but what impact does this change have on cognition? Higher order cognitive functions including selective attention, problem solving, inhibition, and multi-tasking are all heavily utilized in our modern technology-rich society. Attention Restoration Theory (ART) suggests that exposure to nature can restore prefrontal cortex-mediated executive processes such as these. Consistent with ART, research indicates that exposure to natural settings seems to replenish some, lower-level modules of the executive attentional system. However, the impact of nature on higher-level tasks such as creative problem solving has not been explored. Here we show that four days of immersion in nature, and the corresponding disconnection from multi-media and technology, increases performance on a creativity, problem-solving task by a full 50% in a group of naive hikers. Our results demonstrate that there is a cognitive advantage to be realized if we spend time immersed in a natural setting. We anticipate that this advantage comes from an increase in exposure to natural stimuli that are both emotionally positive and low-arousing and a corresponding decrease in exposure to attention demanding technology, which regularly requires that we attend to sudden events, switch amongst tasks, maintain task goals, and inhibit irrelevant actions or cognitions. A limitation of the current research is the inability to determine if the effects are due to an increased exposure to nature, a decreased exposure to technology, or to other factors associated with spending three days immersed in nature.

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Affective Contagion in Effortful Political Thinking

Cengiz Erisen, Milton Lodge & Charles Taber
Political Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
We offer a theory of motivated political reasoning based on the claim that the feelings aroused in the initial stages of processing sociopolitical information inevitably color all phases of the evaluation process. When a citizen is called on to express a judgment, the considerations that enter into conscious rumination will be biased by the valence of initial affect. This article reports the results of two experiments that test our affective contagion hypothesis - unnoticed affective cues influence the retrieval and construction of conscious considerations in the direction of affective congruence. We then test whether these affectively congruent considerations influence subsequently reported policy evaluations, which we call affective mediation. In short, the considerations that come consciously to mind to inform and to support the attitude construction process are biased systematically by the feelings that are aroused in the earliest stages of processing. This underlying affective bias in processing drives motivated reasoning and rationalization in political thinking.

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Incidence and Consequences of Risk-Taking Behavior in Tournaments - Evidence from the NBA

Christian Grund, Jan Höcker & Stefan Zimmermann
Economic Inquiry, forthcoming

Abstract:
We empirically explore the relevance and efficiency of risk-taking behavior in tournaments. We use data from the National Basketball Association (NBA) and measure risk-taking by the fraction of three-point shots in basketball games. We examine how point differences between teams during games affect their subsequent risk-taking behavior. It is found that teams that are trailing are more likely to increase their use of three-point shots. We additionally analyze the consequences of this change in behavior. Enhanced risk-taking is inefficient in the vast majority of cases and is only beneficial if a team is trailing by a rather large margin. We discuss possible explanations for these decision errors.

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Decisions for Others Become Less Impulsive the Further Away They Are on the Family Tree

Fenja Ziegler & Richard Tunney
PLoS ONE, November 2012

Abstract:
People tend to prefer a smaller immediate reward to a larger but delayed reward. Although this discounting of future rewards is often associated with impulsivity, it is not necessarily irrational. Instead it has been suggested that it reflects the decision maker's greater interest in the ‘me now' than the ‘me in 10 years', such that the concern for our future self is about the same as for someone else who is close to us. To investigate this we used a delay-discounting task to compare discount functions for choices that people would make for themselves against decisions that they think that other people should make, e.g. to accept $500 now or $1000 next week. The psychological distance of the hypothetical beneficiaries was manipulated in terms of the genetic coefficient of relatedness ranging from zero (e.g. a stranger, or unrelated close friend), .125 (e.g. a cousin), .25 (e.g. a nephew or niece), to .5 (parent or sibling). The observed discount functions were steeper (i.e. more impulsive) for choices in which the decision-maker was the beneficiary than for all other beneficiaries. Impulsiveness of decisions declined systematically with the distance of the beneficiary from the decision-maker. The data are discussed with reference to the implusivity and interpersonal empathy gaps in decision-making.

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Misinformation can influence memory for recently experienced, highly stressful events

C.A. Morgan et al.
International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, forthcoming

Abstract:
A large body of research has demonstrated that exposure to misinformation can lead to distortions in human memory for genuinely experienced objects or people. The current study examined whether misinformation could affect memory for a recently experienced, personally relevant, highly stressful event. In the present study we assessed the impact of misinformation on memory in over 800 military personnel confined in the stressful, mock POW camp phase of Survival School training. Misinformation introduced after the negatively affected memory for the details of the event (such as the presence of glasses or weapons), and also affected the accuracy of identification of an aggressive interrogator. In some conditions more than half of the subjects exposed to a misleading photograph falsely identified a different individual as their interrogator after the interrogation was over. These findings demonstrate that memories for stressful events are highly vulnerable to modification by exposure to misinformation, even in individuals whose level of training and experience might be thought to render them relatively immune to such influences.

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Predicting Persons' Versus a Person's Goodness: Behavioral Forecasts Diverge for Individuals Versus Populations

Clayton Critcher & David Dunning
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Behavioral forecasts of individuals ("How likely is it a randomly selected person will ...") and behavioral forecasts of populations ("What percentage of people will ...") are often used interchangeably. However, 6 studies showed that behavioral forecasts of individuals and populations systematically differ. In judgments of morally relevant behaviors, forecasters estimated that a randomly selected individual (e.g., a student) would act more selflessly (e.g., give to charity) than would the population from which the individual was drawn (e.g., the student body). The studies provided consistent support for 1 of 5 possible explanations for the effect, a differential sensitivity to constraints hypothesis. When considering how an individual will behave, people give weight to an individual-level force on behavior: what an individual's moral conscience would lead one to do. When considering a population, forecasters give more emphasis to a group-level force on behavior: social norms and pressures. A final study extended the differential sensitivity to constraints account to forecasts of non-morally relevant behaviors. Individuals were forecast as more likely than populations to perform behaviors that emerge primarily because of an individual-level force - a person's will - but not behaviors that are encouraged by social norms.

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Letting go of the present: Mind-wandering is associated with reduced delay discounting

Jonathan Smallwood, Florence Ruby & Tania Singer
Consciousness and Cognition, March 2013, Pages 1-7

Abstract:
The capacity to self-generate mental content that is unrelated to the current environment is a fundamental characteristic of the mind, and the current experiment explored how this experience is related to the decisions that people make in daily life. We examined how task-unrelated thought (TUT) varies with the length of time participants are willing to wait for an economic reward, as measured using an inter-temporal discounting task. When participants performed a task requiring minimal attention, the greater the amount of time spent engaged in TUT the longer the individual was prepared to wait for an economic reward. These data indicate that self-generated thought engages processes associated with the successful management of long-term goals. Although immersion in the here and now is undeniably advantageous, under appropriate conditions the capacity to let go of the present and consider more pertinent personal goals may have its own rewards.

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Crowdsourcing New Product Ideas over Time: An Analysis of the Dell IdeaStorm Community

Barry Bayus
Management Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Several organizations have developed ongoing crowdsourcing communities that repeatedly collect ideas for new products and services from a large, dispersed "crowd" of nonexperts (consumers) over time. Despite its promises, little is known about the nature of an individual's ideation efforts in such an online community. Studying Dell's IdeaStorm community, serial ideators are found to be more likely than consumers with only one idea to generate an idea the organization finds valuable enough to implement, but they are unlikely to repeat their early success once their ideas are implemented. As ideators with past success attempt to again come up with ideas that will excite the organization, they instead end up proposing ideas similar to their ideas that were already implemented (i.e., they generate less diverse ideas). The negative effects of past success are somewhat mitigated for ideators with diverse commenting activity on others' ideas. These findings highlight some of the challenges in maintaining an ongoing supply of quality ideas from the crowd over time.

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New Insights on the Tendency of NCAA Basketball Officials to Even Out Foul Calls

Cecilia Noecker & Paul Roback
Journal of Quantitative Analysis in Sports, October 2012

Abstract:
This analysis revises and strengthens a study by Anderson and Pierce (2009) on referee bias in NCAA basketball. Using a logistic regression model, they determined that referees display a statistically significant tendency to even out the foul count between the two teams - every additional increase in the foul differential (home team fouls minus visiting team fouls) raises the odds of a foul on the home team. This study analyzes Anderson and Pierce's data on the 2004-2005 season from the Big Ten, Big East and ACC conferences, as well as additional data on the 2009-2010 season. Generalized linear mixed modeling, which takes into account the correlation in the data by game and by home and visiting teams, was used to consider the effect of several variables on the odds of a foul on the home team. These included the same variables used by Anderson and Pierce as well as additional terms including the timing and type of the foul. We also used estimates of the random effects in our models to study the relative proneness of different teams to fouls.In Anderson and Pierce's logistic regression model, every additional unit of foul differential was found to raise the odds of a foul on the home team by 12.5% in 2004-2005. Using a generalized linear mixed model with the same terms, along with random effects for game, home team, and visiting team, raised that estimate to 19.9% and improved the quality of the model. A more in-depth analysis of this data also found that a foul on the home team becomes less likely as the game progresses, particularly when the home team is winning. Similar results were found in an analysis of data from the 2009-2010 season. The 2009-2010 analysis also found evidence that the odds of more subjective offensive fouls were more affected by foul differential than personal or shooting fouls. The effect of individual referees on the amount of bias in each foul call was explored through a preliminary analysis but no significant results were found. A tendency to even out the number of foul calls on each team has the potential to lead to increased physicality in NCAA basketball if the referee tries to keep the foul count close even when one team is clearly playing more physically. These results strengthen the evidence that referees display this propensity significantly, consciously or unconsciously.

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Why so confident? The influence of outcome desirability on selective exposure and likelihood judgment

Paul Windschitl et al.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, January 2013, Pages 73-86

Abstract:
Previous studies that have directly manipulated outcome desirability have often found little effect on likelihood judgments (i.e., no desirability bias or wishful thinking). The present studies tested whether selections of new information about outcomes would be impacted by outcome desirability, thereby biasing likelihood judgments. In Study 1, participants made predictions about novel outcomes and then selected additional information to read from a buffet. They favored information supporting their prediction, and this fueled an increase in confidence. Studies 2 and 3 directly manipulated outcome desirability through monetary means. If a target outcome (randomly preselected) was made especially desirable, then participants tended to select information that supported the outcome. If made undesirable, less supporting information was selected. Selection bias was again linked to subsequent likelihood judgments. These results constitute novel evidence for the role of selective exposure in cases of overconfidence and desirability bias in likelihood judgments.

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The unconscious thought advantage: Further replication failures from a search for confirmatory evidence

Mark Nieuwenstein & Hedderik van Rijn
Judgment and Decision Making, November 2012, Pages 779-798

Abstract:
According to the deliberation without attention (DWA) hypothesis, people facing a difficult choice will make a better decision after a period of distraction than after an equally long period of conscious deliberation, an effect referred to as the unconscious thought advantage (UTA). The status of the DWA hypothesis is controversial, as many studies have tried but failed to replicate the UTA. Here, we report a series of experiments that sought to identify the conditions under which the UTA can be replicated. Our starting point was a recent meta-analysis that identified the conditions under which the UTA was strongest in previous studies. Using a within-subjects design and a task that met each of these conditions, we failed to replicate the UTA. Based on closer inspection of previous methods and findings, we then examined some additional factors that could be important for replicating the UTA, including mental fatigue and choice complexity. This was to no avail, as the results revealed only a significant conscious thought advantage, when choice complexity was increased relative to the first experiment. We subsequently conducted exploratory analyses on the data across experiments and found that male subjects showed a significant conscious thought advantage while female subjects showed a trend towards an UTA. Taken together, our results suggest that replication of the UTA may depend more on characteristics of the sample than on the characteristics of the task, and they suggest that gender could be a source of variance in the outcomes of previous studies using a between-subjects design.

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The Emotionally Intelligent Decision Maker: Emotion-Understanding Ability Reduces the Effect of Incidental Anxiety on Risk Taking

Jeremy Yip & Stéphane Côté
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
In two experiments, we examined how a core dimension of emotional intelligence, emotion-understanding ability, facilitates decision making. Individuals with higher levels of emotion-understanding ability can correctly identify which events caused their emotions and, in particular, whether their emotions stem from events that are unrelated to current decisions. We predicted that incidental feelings of anxiety, which are unrelated to current decisions, would reduce risk taking more strongly among individuals with lower rather than higher levels of emotion-understanding ability. The results of Experiment 1 confirmed this prediction. In Experiment 2, the effect of incidental anxiety on risk taking among participants with lower emotion-understanding ability, relative to participants with higher emotion-understanding ability, was eliminated when we informed participants about the source of their anxiety. This finding reveals that emotion-understanding ability guards against the biasing effects of incidental anxiety by helping individuals determine that such anxiety is irrelevant to current decisions.

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How body balance influences political party evaluations: A Wii balance board study

Katinka Dijkstra et al.
Frontiers in Cognitive Science, December 2012

Abstract:
Embodied cognition research has shown how actions or body positions may affect cognitive processes, such as autobiographical memory retrieval or judgments. The present study examined the role of body balance (to the left or the right) in participants on their attributions to political parties. Participants thought they stood upright on a WiiTM Balance Board, while they were actually slightly tilted to the left or the right. Participants then ascribed fairly general political statements to one of 10 political parties that are represented in the Dutch House of Representatives. Results showed a significant interaction of congruent leaning direction with left- or right-wing party attribution. When the same analyses were performed with the political parties being divided into affiliations to the right, center, and left based on participants' personal opinions rather than a ruling classification, no effects were found. The study provides evidence that conceptual metaphors are activated by manipulating body balance implicitly. Moreover, people's judgments may be colored by seemingly trivial circumstances such as standing slightly out of balance.

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Does Market Experience Promote Rational Choice? Experimental Evidence from Rural Ethiopia

Francesco Cecchi & Erwin Bulte
Economic Development and Cultural Change, January 2013, Pages 407-429

Abstract:
We organize a field experiment with sesame farmers and brokers in northern Ethiopia to explore whether market experience fosters rational behavior - proxied by fewer Generalized Axiom of Revealed Preference (GARP) violations in a simple choice experiment. In the baseline study, farmers and brokers performed equally well or badly, which is consistent with qualitative evidence that the prior "trading experience" of our brokers is not obtained in a competitive setting. Following random assignment to a competitive market setting - a one-day trading session in a sesame auction - we find that treated farmers and brokers behave more rationally than their peers in the control group.

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Bettor Belief in the ‘‘Hot Hand'': Evidence From Detailed Betting Data on the NFL

Rodney Paul, Andrew Weinbach & Brad Humphreys
Journal of Sports Economics, forthcoming

Abstract:
The "Hot Hand" hypothesis in gambling markets - belief that teams on winning streaks will continue winning - appears to exist in the National Basketball Association (NBA), but not the National Football League (NFL). Past research assumed that bookmakers set point spreads to balance betting volume on games. Recent research shows persistent imbalanced betting in most betting markets, suggesting point spreads may not fully reflect bettor preferences. We find significant increases in bets on teams on winning streaks against the spread in the NFL, suggesting that perceived "hot hand" effects exist in betting on NFL games. Betting with or against streaks does not earn profits for bettors.

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The Dark Side of Intuition: Aging and Increases in Nonoptimal Intuitive Decisions

Joseph Mikels et al.
Emotion, forthcoming

Abstract:
When making decisions, people typically draw on two general modes of thought: intuition and reason. Age-related changes in cognition and emotion may impact these decision processes: Although older individuals experience declines in deliberative processes, they experience stability or improvement in their emotional processes. Recent research has shown that when older adults rely more on their intact emotional abilities versus their declining deliberative faculties, the quality of their decisions is significantly improved. But how would older adults fare under circumstances in which intuitive/affective processes lead to nonoptimal decisions? The ratio bias paradigm embodies just such a circumstance, offering individuals a chance to win money by drawing, say, a red jellybean from one of two dishes containing red and white jellybeans. People will often choose to draw from a dish with a greater absolute number of winners (nine red beans and 91 white beans; 9%) than a dish with a greater probability of winning (one red bean and nine white beans; 10%) due to a strong emotional pull toward the greater number. We examined whether older adults (N = 30) would make more nonoptimal decisions on the ratio bias task than young adults (N = 30). We found that older adults did make more nonoptimal choices than their younger counterparts and that positive affect was associated with nonoptimal choices.

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Group decision making under risk: An experiment with student couples

Haoran He, Peter Martinsson & Matthias Sutter
Economics Letters, December 2012, Pages 691-693

Abstract:
In an experiment, we study risk-taking of cohabitating student couples, finding that couples' decisions are closer to risk-neutrality than single partners' decisions. This finding is similar to earlier experiments with randomly assigned groups, corroborating external validity of earlier results.

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It's Not Whether You Win or Lose, It's How You Play the Game? The Role of Process and Outcome in Experience Consumption

Xiaojing Yang, Huifang Mao & Laura Peracchio
Journal of Marketing Research, December 2012, Pages 954-966

Abstract:
Many firms attempt to enhance experience consumption by facilitating the consumption outcome (i.e., the end state achieved, such as the final score of a basketball game) and the consumption process (i.e., the course through which the end is achieved, such as how the game is played). The authors propose that the roles of outcome and process in the evaluation of experience consumption are dependent not only on consumers' role in the experience (participant vs. spectator) but also on their self-construal (independent vs. interdependent). As a spectator (e.g., watching a game), independents' (vs. interdependents') experience consumption evaluations are more likely to be influenced by outcome, while interdependent (vs. independent) consumers are more likely to be affected by process. The reverse is true when consumers assume the role of a participant in the experience (e.g., playing a game). The authors' theorizing is supported across three studies.

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Can Disclosures Lead Consumers to Resist Covert Persuasion? The Important Roles of Disclosure Timing and Type of Response

Margaret Campbell, Gina Mohr & Peeter Verlegh
Journal of Consumer Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
While sponsorship disclosure is proposed as a remedy for covert marketing, e.g., product placement, little is known about whether or when disclosures prompt consumers to correct for persuasion. Three experiments reveal that covert marketing, in the form of subtle product placements, can increase brand recall and attitudes but that both instructions to avoid influence and mere disclosure of sponsorship can trigger correction. However, disclosure timing differentially influences correction for recall and attitudes. Disclosure prior to exposure to the covert marketing tactic leads only to correction for effects on recall; attitude is as high with a prior disclosure as with placement with no disclosure. Disclosure after placement provides general correction of the impact of the covert marketing tactic on both recall and attitudes.

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The Ironic Effect of Source Identification on the Perceived Credibility of Online Product Reviewers

Lotte Willemsen, Peter Neijens & Fred Bronner
Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, October 2012, Pages 16-31

Abstract:
This study posits that sources of online product reviews can induce differential effects on 2 dimensions of source credibility, perceived expertise and perceived trustworthiness. Study 1 shows that experts are perceived as having more expert knowledge, but at the same time as having less trustworthiness than laypersons, and vice versa. These opposing credibility evaluations suppress the effect of online source identification on readers' attitudes toward online product reviews. Study 2 finds that these opposing credibility assessments only emerge when the expert status of the source is based on self-claims. When the expert status of the online source is based on peer ratings, the source is assessed as having both expertise and trustworthiness.

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM