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  • UC Davis Psychology Social-Personality Program

    Social-Personality Brown Bag Series

    Location:  Young 166 (unless otherwise noted)
    Monday 12:10pm to 1:30pm
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    ACADEMIC YEAR:      2014 - 2015 Print Page
    Fall 2014
    Organizational meeting 
    "It's not the association you have, it's what you do with it": Exploring temporal properties of stereotype activation and application 
    SPEAKER: Andrew Rivers
    Do Moral Feelings Spawn Moral Actions? Disentangling Guilt from Shame 
    SPEAKER: Andy Martinez, PhD

    Criminal conduct exacts pernicious economic, social, and psychological costs. The current project examines two malleable moral emotions that may shape such antisocial action: guilt and shame. The first set of studies appraises a model in which perspective-taking—which predicts empathic-concern and then guilt-proneness—eventuates in decreased criminal behavior. After focusing on guilt as proximal motivator of crime reduction, attention turns to the related moral emotion of shame. Analysis suggests that, unlike guilt’s more straightforward effect on diminishing crime, shame has two faces—exhibiting both destructive and constructive potentials. In some contexts, the pain of shame may increase criminal conduct (via externalization of blame) and may also, paradoxically, have a direct effect on reducing crime. Discussion centers on the complex nature of moral emotions, as well as their generative roles in moral action.
    Cancelled for Jeniffer Tackett Talk on Nov. 6th 

    Thursday, Young Hall 194
    Child Personality: Measurement and Utility 
    SPEAKER: Jennifer Tackett, PhD
    University of Houston

    Our research lab concentrates on two interrelated lines of work: 1) conceptualization and measurement of personality in childhood and 2) application and utility of child personality for developmental psychopathology. In this presentation, I will highlight studies reflecting both of these research lines. First, I will describe our recent efforts at developing a novel method for assessment of child personality by using “thin slice” ratings across multiple laboratory situational tasks. These findings suggest that thin slice perceptions offer a valid, reliable, and resource-efficient approach to measuring personality in early life. Second, I will describe a recent line of work examining personality as a context for elucidating hormone-behavior associations in youth. Hormones (testosterone, cortisol) have been proposed as biological markers of externalizing psychopathology and normal-range social dominance. However, these effects have often failed to replicate. I will present evidence that individual differences in youth personality moderate hormone-behavior associations and, thus, elucidate hormonal underpinnings of externalizing psychopathology in more generalizable mixed gender, community samples of adolescents.
    To be is to vary: The influence of social roles and affect on daily fluctuations in personality 
    SPEAKER: Robert E. Wilson

    Although we have general ways of thinking, feeling, and behaving, we fluctuate quite a bit around these stable tendencies. In this talk, I will examine the affective and social processes underlying daily personality fluctuations. Results from two experience sampling studies (N = 208, 2,301 surveys; N =434, 11,591 surveys) indicate that mood and social roles account for a large amount of the within-person variance. In addition, affective and social triggers appear to influence people differentially. This indicates that to really know someone, you need to know more than just how they typically think, feel, and behave on average (a common definition of traits). You need to know how their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors change depending on their role and mood.
    SPEAKER: Guest Speaker
    SPEAKER: Guest Speaker
    SPEAKER: Guest Speaker
    Fitting in to Move Forward: Understanding Gender Disparities in the Physical Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (pSTEM) 
    SPEAKER: Tiffany Ito, PhD
    University of Colorado, Boulder

    Despite increased efforts to increase the interest of girls and women in the Physical Sciences, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (pSTEM), women constitute a small minority in many math and science fields. This gender imbalance in representation is also often accompanied by poorer performance among women in these domains. This talk will present recent studies designed to understand how two interrelated social psychological processes -- stereotype threat and belonging – explain these gender gaps. Studies will show how stereotype threat and low belonging hinder women’s performance and persistence in actual pSTEM classes, and also how gender imbalances in pSTEM contexts can lead fellow students to form negative impressions of women.


    Cancelled: Martin Luther King, Jr Day 
    Cancelled for PCCN Job Talk 
    Automatic Aspects of Social Identification: Constraints and Prospects 
    SPEAKER: Jenny Roth, PhD

    Inter-individual differences in the psychological meaning of social group memberships (i.e., social identification) have important consequences on individual’s emotion, motivation, and behavior. Since the acknowledgment of the importance of automatic processes in human functioning, research has also focused on the automatic aspect of social identification (i.e., implicit social identification). Implicit social cognition models conceptualize social identification as the association between the self and the category and the identity implicit association test (iIAT) is a common method to assess this association. This conceptualization and measurement of social identification contrasts with the claim that social identification is a complex construct composed of various facets (self-stereotyping, homogeneity, satisfaction, centrality, and solidarity). In an attempt to test what facet of social identification is measured by the iIAT, we studied the relation between gender iIAT and explicitly measured gender identification components. The studies suggest that gender iIAT scores strongly reflect explicit self-categorization as male or female, but do not substantially relate to any of the explicit gender identification components. The aim of a second set of studies was to test experimentally whether the iIAT captures essential aspects of social identification or merely self-categorization. In addition, we implemented a different indirect measurement procedure known as Match-Mismatch-Paradigm (MMP) to tap the cognitive overlap between the mental representation of the self and the social group by comparing reaction times of self-assessments that match and mismatch with the group. Based on the differences in the measures, we predicted that the MMP (in contrast to the iIAT) captures differences between identification and disidentification because it is sensitive to the content of the self and group representation. Results confirm that the iIAT is a valid indicator of group membership but raises concern about its utility to tap any aspect of social identification. The MMP on the other hand is more promising as a measure of implicit identification.
    Cancelled: President's Day 
    The effortless nature of motivated cognition 
    SPEAKER: Brent Hughes, PhD Stanford University
    Goals and needs shape individuals’ thinking towards their desired conclusions, a phenomenon known as motivated cognition. These motives range from the need to feel good about oneself to the desire to affiliate with others, and shape cognition across multiple information-processing stages. In this talk, I will describe recent and ongoing work that uses information from the neural level of analysis to provide insight into the structure of motivated cognition. In addition to suggesting its ubiquity across social targets and processing stages, I will present evidence that motivated cognition often draws on relatively effortless, as opposed to effortful, processes.
    Discussion of SPSP Colloquia 
    SPEAKER: SP Area
    Relational Aggression Predicts Personality Change in Adolescence 
    SPEAKER: Olivia Atherton
    Previous research has documented numerous detrimental effects of relational aggression for both victims and perpetrators. However, few studies have examined how relational aggression influences personality change or, conversely, how personality traits influence the development of relational aggression across adolescence. The present research examined cross-lagged reciprocal relations between relational aggression and mother- and child-reported temperament, using data from a longitudinal study of 674 Mexican-origin youth assessed at ages 10, 12, 14 and 16. Findings show that victims of relational aggression increased in negative emotionality and decreased in effortful control, whereas perpetrators increased in negative emotionality but did not change in effortful control. Conversely, individuals high in negative emotionality reported increasing levels of victimization, whereas individuals high in effortful control reported decreasing levels of victimization and perpetration. Thus, temperament serves as both a protective and risk factor for relational aggression, which, in turn, also shapes the development of temperament.
    SPEAKER: Cancelled
    Responding to restrictions: Reconciling two opposing processes 
    SPEAKER: Kristin Laurin, PhD
    Stanford University

    People face countless restrictions in their daily life. Governments regulate how fast we can drive, and when and where we are allowed to drink, workplace policies tell us what we may wear and how long we can spend eating lunch, and our romantic partners, well… I’ll leave that to your imagination. In this talk, I will describe a program of research that aims to understand how people cope with these restrictions. In particular I focus on two contradictory responses, each supported by a long empirical history: Rationalization and psychological reactance. I will present a series of studies, some published but most not, that identify some of the factors that influence whether people rationalize a new restriction, and adjust their attitudes to see it in its most positive light, or react against it, and adjust their attitudes in the opposite direction, exaggerating their opposition.
    SPEAKER: Amber Sanchez
    SPEAKER: Cancelled
    SPEAKER: Andre Wang
    SPEAKER: Lisa Huang
    SPEAKER: Gent Silberkleit
    SPEAKER: Eliza Bliss-Moreau, PhD
    SPEAKER: Helen Ku
    SPEAKER: Cancelled: Memorial Day
    SPEAKER: Jehan Sparks
    SPEAKER: Heather Rees