Kevin Lewis

August 23, 2014

The Music of Power: Perceptual and Behavioral Consequences of Powerful Music

Dennis Hsu et al.
Social Psychological and Personality Science, forthcoming

Music has long been suggested to be a way to make people feel powerful. The current research investigated whether music can evoke a sense of power and produce power-related cognition and behavior. Initial pretests identified musical selections that generated subjective feelings of power. Experiment 1 found that music pretested to be powerful implicitly activated the construct of power in listeners. Experiments 2-4 demonstrated that power-inducing music produced three known important downstream consequences of power: abstract thinking, illusory control, and moving first. Experiments 5a and 5b held all features of music constant except for the level of bass and found that music with more bass increased participants' sense of power. This research expands our understanding of music’s influence on cognition and behavior and uncovers a novel antecedent of the sense of power.


How Non-Consumption Shapes Desire

Xianchi Dai & Ayelet Fishbach
Journal of Consumer Research, forthcoming

How does non-consumption shape desire? The proposed model suggests that desire depends on the length of non-consumption of a good and the presence of salient alternatives, and that desire is at least partially constructed. In the absence of salient alternatives, a longer non-consumption period results in stronger desire for the unconsumed good. However, in the presence of salient alternatives, individuals infer that they have developed new tastes, and thus a longer non-consumption period results in a weaker desire for the unconsumed good. Five studies support this model across non-consumption of various goods: food from home when attending college (study 1); chametz food during the Passover holiday (study 2); social media (i.e., abstaining from Facebook; study 3); and cultural foods (i.e., forgoing Japanese food, study 4; and Thai food, study 5). We discuss implications of our findings for when and how the experience of desire is constructed and situationally determined.


Cues of working together fuel intrinsic motivation

Priyanka Carr & Gregory Walton
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, July 2014, Pages 169-184

What psychological mechanisms facilitate social coordination and cooperation? The present research examined the hypothesis that social cues that signal an invitation to work with others can fuel intrinsic motivation even when people work alone. Holding constant other factors, participants exposed to cues of working together persisted longer on a challenging task (Experiments 1 and 3), expressed greater interest in and enjoyment of the task (Experiments 1, 3, and 5), required less self-regulatory effort to persist on the task (Experiment 2), became more engrossed in and performed better on the task (Experiment 4), and, when encouraged to link this motivation to their values and self-concept, chose to do more related tasks in an unconnected setting 1-2 weeks later (Experiment 5). The results suggest that cues of working together can inspire intrinsic motivation, turning work into play. The discussion addresses the social-relational bases of motivation and implications for the !
self and application.


Implicit Theories About Willpower Predict Self-Regulation and Grades in Everyday Life

Veronika Job et al.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Laboratory research shows that when people believe that willpower is an abundant (rather than highly limited) resource they exhibit better self-control after demanding tasks. However, some have questioned whether this “nonlimited” theory leads to squandering of resources and worse outcomes in everyday life when demands on self-regulation are high. To examine this, we conducted a longitudinal study, assessing students’ theories about willpower and tracking their self-regulation and their academic performance. As hypothesized, a “nonlimited” theory predicted better self-regulation (better time management and less procrastination, unhealthy eating, and impulsive spending) for students who faced high self-regulatory demands. Moreover, among students taking a heavy course load, those with a nonlimited theory earned higher grades, which was mediated by less procrastination. These findings contradict the idea that a limited theory helps people all!
ocate their resources more effectively; instead, it is people with the nonlimited theory who self-regulate well in the face of high demands.


Theories of intelligence and students' daily self-handicapping behaviors

Nicolette Rickert, Inez Meras & Melissa Witkow
Learning and Individual Differences, forthcoming

The current study sought to examine the relationship between students' theory of intelligence and daily self-handicapping behaviors. Ninth grade students completed a background survey with an eight-item measure assessing one's theory of intelligence (Dweck, 1999) and global measures of procrastination and self-handicapping. Participants then completed daily surveys for 2 weeks in which they reported how much homework they had, perceived school difficulty, time spent studying and in other domains, and how much effort they spent on their homework/studying. Results revealed that the strength of one's entity theory of intelligence was positively associated with self-handicapping and procrastination, replicating past findings. It was also found that entity theories of intelligence were associated with reduced responsiveness to daily school demands when compared to incremental theories. Not only do these results demonstrate an association between theory of intelligence and maladap!
tive school behaviors, but they show how these behaviors manifest on a daily basis.


The effect of priming learning vs. performance goals on a complex task

Xiao Chen & Gary Latham
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, forthcoming

This research examined the effect of priming a learning goal, a performance goal, and both a learning and a performance goal on a task requiring the acquisition of knowledge. A photograph of Rodin’s “The Thinker” primed a learning goal, and a photograph of a racer primed a performance goal, as measured by a projective test. A laboratory experiment (n = 88) involving a 2 (a primed learning goal vs. control) × 2 (a primed performance goal vs. control) × 3 (trials) repeated measures factorial design revealed a significant main effect for only the primed learning goal. The results are interpreted within two frameworks, namely, goal setting theory and the automaticity model.


Boredom and academic achievement: Testing a model of reciprocal causation

Reinhard Pekrun et al.
Journal of Educational Psychology, August 2014, Pages 696-710

A theoretical model linking boredom and academic achievement is proposed. Based on Pekrun’s (2006) control-value theory of achievement emotions, the model posits that boredom and achievement reciprocally influence each other over time. Data from a longitudinal study with college students (N = 424) were used to examine the hypothesized effects. The study involved 5 assessments of students’ boredom and test performance during a university course spanning an entire academic year. Structural equation modeling was used to examine effects of boredom on achievement, and vice versa. The results show that boredom had consistently negative effects on subsequent performance, and performance had consistently negative effects on subsequent boredom, while controlling for students’ gender, age, interest, intrinsic motivation, and prior achievement. These results provide robust evidence for the proposed links between boredom and achievement and support systems-theoretic!
al perspectives on the dynamics of emotions and achievement. From a broader educational perspective, the findings imply that researchers and practitioners alike should focus attention on boredom as an important, yet often overlooked, academic emotion.


Daytime light exposure: Effects on biomarkers, measures of alertness, and performance

Levent Sahin et al.
Behavioural Brain Research, forthcoming

Light can elicit an alerting response in humans, independent from acute melatonin suppression. Recent studies have shown that red light significantly increases daytime and nighttime alertness. The main goal of the present study was to further investigate the effects of daytime light exposure on performance, biomarkers and measures of alertness. It was hypothesized that, compared to remaining in dim light, daytime exposure to narrowband long-wavelength (red) light or polychromatic (2568 K) light would induce greater alertness and shorter response times. Thirteen subjects experienced three lighting conditions: dim light (<5 lux), red light (λmax = 630 nm, 210 lux, 1.1 W/m2), and white light (3000 K, 360 lux, 1.1 W/m2). The presentation order of the lighting conditions was counterbalanced across the participants and each participant saw a different lighting condition each week. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that red light can increase short-term performanc!
e as shown by the significant (p < 0.05) reduced response time and higher throughput in performance tests during the daytime. There was a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in alpha power and alpha-theta power after exposure to the white light, but this alerting effect did not translate to better performance. There was no significant effect of light on cortisol and alpha amylase. Alpha power was significantly reduced after red light exposure in the middle of the afternoon. The present results suggest that red light can be used to increase daytime performance.


When motivational consequences of ego depletion collide: Conservation dominates over reward-seeking

Mauro Giacomantonio et al.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, November 2014, Pages 217-220

Existing research shows that ego depletion - impaired self-regulation following repeatedly exerting self-control - both increases the need to conserve energy, thus reducing engagement and persistence, and promotes approach tendencies and reward-seeking behaviors. These dual motivations may be paradoxical; in many situations, seeking rewards requires energy input. In such cases of competing motivations, which of the two motivations dominates over the other? To answer this question, we manipulated ego depletion and then had participants engage in a reward-seeking task that was either demanding or not demanding of energy. Results showed that, in line with previous research, in the less demanding condition, depleted participants were more reward-seeking than non-depleted participants. In contrast, in the more demanding condition, depleted individuals quit sooner and hence were less reward-seeking than the non-depleted participants. We conclude that in a state of ego depletion, c!
onserving energy is sometimes dominant over pursuing rewards.


Association between serotonin Cumulative Genetic Score and the Behavioral Approach System (BAS): Moderation by early life environment

Rahel Pearson, John McGeary & Christopher Beevers
Personality and Individual Differences, November 2014, Pages 140-144

The present study investigates if genetic variation in the serotonergic system interacts with early adversity to predict changes in the Behavioral Approach System (BAS), a system that taps into reward processing. In a sample of community adults (N = 236) the influence of single serotonergic candidate polymorphisms on BAS was analyzed, we also examined the aggregate contribution of these genetic variants by creating a Cumulative Genetic Score (CGS). A CGS quantifies an individual’s cumulative risk by aggregating the number of risk alleles across the candidate polymorphisms. After individual gene analysis, three candidate genes rs7305115 (TPH2), rs6311 (HTR2A), and rs6295 (HTR1A) were combined into the CGS. There were no significant interactions between individual candidate polymorphisms and childhood adversity, but the CGS interacted with childhood adversity to explain a significant amount of variance (11.6%) in the BAS. Findings suggest that genetic variations in the !
serotonergic system in combination with childhood adversity contribute to individual differences in reward sensitivity.


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