Visit by Prof Roger Giner-Sorolla (3 Jan – 10 Jan)

Visit by Prof Roger Giner-Sorolla (3 Jan – 10 Jan)

On 3 Jan – 10 Jan, Prof Roger Giner-Sorolla from the University of Kent visited us at the NUS Department of Psychology! Prof Giner-Sorolla gave a thought-provoking seminar on the role of disgust in morality (more details below) and we had great fun bringing him around to tour the various attractions in Singapore too!

Title of seminar: Disgust in Morality: Oxymoron or Cornerstone?

Abstract: Views of the role of the emotion of disgust in moral judgment swing wildly, from denying that disgust has anything moral about it, to elevating it to a supremely central role in moral condemnation. I will review published research from our lab that supports three simultaneously true points of view about disgust in moral contexts: 1. Disgust regulates the morality of actions that intrinsically violate rules about the use of the body; 2. Disgust responds to bad moral character, as opposed to bad moral consequences; 3. Expressions of disgust communicate moral motivation and sensitivity.

Brownbag@Ismaharif 12/4/19

Brownbag@Ismaharif 12/4/19

Brownbag Session: 12 April 2019 2pm @ AS4 02-08

Ismaharif, our graduate student, will be presenting his research on “Taking part and taking sides: A multi-goal, multi-mean approach to understanding third-party participation in intergroup conflict”

Find out more about his research below~ Be there or be square!

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Taking part and taking sides: A multi-goal, multi-mean approach to understanding third-party participation in intergroup conflict

Abstract
Conflicts between groups are prevalent and persistent around the world. Especially in this digital age, these conflicts are rarely kept private between disputants as lay third parties are typically present to observe the dispute. As third parties, they often pick sides and/or participate in these conflicts. Prominent examples of third parties include self-radicalized extremists or mobilized violent protestors. Yet, third-party responses to intergroup conflict receives little attention in experimental research. Further complicating the research is how third parties typically are pursuing different goals simultaneously, and have diverse options (e.g., posting on Facebook vs. taking up arms to kill) available for them to choose from. Using a goal systemic perspective, we examined how third parties participate in intergroup conflicts and investigated the motivations underlying third-party behavior. Using instrumentality maps of social and moral goals, we were able to predict third parties’ costly participation in intergroup conflict across multiple concurrent means. Furthermore, hostile behavior against the outgroup could be explained as a function of ingroup love and moral concerns, rather than outgroup hate. These findings underscore the importance of a multi-goal, multi-mean perspective in behavioral research.

Brownbag@Yia Chin 9/4/19

Brownbag@Yia Chin 9/4/19

Brownbag Session: 9 April 2019 4pm @ AS4 02-08

Yia Chin, our graduate student, will be presenting her research on “Facing death together: Engaging in mortality salience with others buffers death anxiety”

Find out more about her research below~ Be there or be square!
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Facing death together: Engaging in mortality salience with others buffers death anxiety

Abstract
Past research focused on inducing mortality salience as a solitary experience. In real life however (eg. at hospitals, or when people receive broadcasted news of tragic incidents), people may contemplate their mortality with social others. Our present research hence investigated if contemplating death thoughts together with others can preemptively alleviate the death anxiety induced. Participants were either led to believe that they are doing the mortality salience task alone (i.e. alone condition) or together with their fellow participants (i.e. shared reality condition). Results revealed that mortality salience participants in the alone condition have increased death anxiety. There is however, no significant increase in death anxiety for mortality salience participants in the shared reality condition. This suggests that death anxiety is preemptively alleviated when people contemplate about mortality as a shared experience. Our findings join previous research in demonstrating the importance of relatedness (via having a shared reality) in buffering death anxiety.

Special Guest: Veronika Job Visits SPUR!

Special Guest: Veronika Job Visits SPUR!

Under the Isaac Manasseh Meyer Fellowship, Prof Veronika Job at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany visited the SPUR lab from 17th to 24th Feb, 2019.

Veronika is a well-known expert in motivation and self-regulation. Much of her research is focused on determinants, processes, and outcomes of goal-striving and self-regulation.

Veronika Job linked ego-depletion research with the lay theory approach by showing that the way people think about acts of self-control (as consuming from a limited vs. as a non-limited resource) affects their self-regulation ability and their personal goal striving. Her work contributes to a revised, critical view of the resource model of self-control.

Thank you for joining us Veronika, we hope you had a great time here~

Brownbag@Jethro 20/4/18

Brownbag@Jethro 20/4/18

Brownbag Session: 20 April 2018 1pm @ AS4 02-08

Jethro, our graduate student, will be presenting his research on
“See something say something: How feasibility and desirability concerns affect intention to report a person exhibiting extreme behaviours”

Find out more about his research below~ Be there or be square!
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See something say something: How feasibility and desirability concerns affect intention to report a person exhibiting extreme behaviours

Abstract
In several cases of terror attacks, it has been reported that family members and friends do notice warning signs in the radicalised individual in the days leading to the attack, but did not to report these radicalised persons to the relevant help or services. This happens despite efforts to encourage citizens to report suspicious activities to the authorities. One way to understand this phenomenon is to explore how feasibility and desirability concerns affect the decision-making process of reporting someone. A series of studies were conducted to explore how feasibility and desirability concerns interact with individual traits to affect intention to report a person exhibiting extreme behaviours.

Brownbag@Shaun 14/4/18

Brownbag@Shaun 14/4/18

Brownbag Session: 14 April 2018 1pm @ AS4 02-08

Shaun, our graduate student, will be presenting his research on
“A look at improving motivation through celebrations”

Find out more about his research below~ Be there or be square!

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A look at improving motivation through celebrations

Abstract
Previous research has shown that—in group settings—member recognition, group identification, and progress expectation affect the achievement motivation of group members. Two studies were conducted to extend this research by exploring interaction effects of these three factors within group celebrations, focusing on two specific components of members’ group identification: superiority and commitment. Further research into this novel field of group celebrations is recommended.

Brownbag@Huixiang 6/4/18

Brownbag@Huixiang 6/4/18

Brownbag Session: 6 April 2018 1pm @ AS4 02-08

Huixiang, our graduate student, will be presenting her research on “Inspirational immigrants: How uplifting stories of migrant workers impact Singaporeans’ Goal Pursuit”

Find out more about her research below~ Be there or be square!
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Inspirational immigrants: How uplifting stories of migrant workers impact Singaporeans’ Goal Pursuit

Abstract
Research on inspiration has increased in recent years. Thrash and Elliot (2003) define inspiration as a two-part process – being inspired by something and being inspired to do something. However, as inspiration is viewed as a spontaneous experience, almost no research studies have attempted to directly manipulate inspiration. Noting the typical perception of qualities such as optimism, grit and resilience in immigrants, two experiments were conducted to investigate if inspiration could be manipulated through narratives about immigrants. Results indicated that Bangladeshi immigrants were the most inspirational to participants compared to British immigrants and Singaporeans. As inspiration is theorized to have a motivational impact, participants’ goal-striving motivation was also examined.

Brownbag@Peiwei 17/3/17

Brownbag@Peiwei 17/3/17

Brownbag Session: 17 March 2017 1pm @ AS4 02-08

Peiwei, our graduate student, will be presenting her research on “Conditional love: Singaporeans’ pursuit of basic psychological needs satisfaction influences attitudes towards immigrants”

Find out more about her research below~ Be there or be square!

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Conditional love: Singaporeans’ pursuit of basic psychological needs satisfaction influences attitudes towards immigrants

Abstract
Increasing xenophobia among Singaporeans is becoming a pressing concern. The current research, consisting of two studies, uses both Integrated Threat and Basic Psychological Needs Theory to understand what fuels Singaporeans’ attitudes towards immigrants. In both studies, participants rated the extent to which immigrants are seen as (i) realistic and symbolic threats (i.e., intergroup threats), (ii) instrumental to their need for autonomy, relatedness, and competency, and (iii) warm and competent (i.e., attitudes towards immigrants). Study 1, which utilised a sample of undergraduates, suggested that immigrants’ instrumentality to locals’ basic needs predicted attitudes towards immigrants, above and beyond perceived intergroup threats. Intergroup threats also mediated the relationship between perceived instrumentality of immigrants and locals’ attitudes towards immigrants. Similar results were obtained in Study 2, where participants were recruited from the general Singapore population.

Brownbag@Pei Shi 2/3/17

Brownbag@Pei Shi 2/3/17

Brownbag Session: 2 March 2017 1pm @ AS4 02-08

Pei Shi, our graduate student, will be presenting her research on “Group as a prioritisation signal: Working with similar others facilitates self-control performance following ego-depletion”

Find out more about her research below~ Be there or be square!

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Group as a prioritisation signal: Working with similar others facilitates self-control performance following ego-depletion

Abstract
We often find ourselves exhausted but still burdened with a long to-do list. Even so, we often push through to get work done because our group mates or colleagues need our input for a shared project. Inspired by such instances and the extant literature, I propose that the group can serve as a prioritisation signal after prior use of self-control (i.e., depletion). Our innate need to belong might drive us to favour and invest more effort into group tasks over individual tasks under such draining circumstances. Three experiments support the prioritisation hypothesis. Results also revealed that implicit motivation (but not self-reported motivation) plays a role in explaining why we tend to prioritise group work over individual tasks after prior depletion.