Explore the Innovative and Impactful Research Being Conducted on Connect

In the table below, we are compiling an ongoing list of publications, theses, and preprints whose authors have used Connect participants in their research. To have your work included, follow our citation guidelines (and don’t forget, we offer a $10 credit for citing us).

*Note: This page is a work in progress. More papers will be added on an ongoing basis.
CitationSummaryConnect UsageMethodTagsField
Anderson, L. M. (2023). HOW DO VICTIM-FRAMING AND CELEBRITY STATUS IMPACT SOCIAL JUDGEMENTS?. Full TextIn her research, Anderson explored how celebrity status and the portrayal of individuals as victims influence public opinion. Participants read about a domestic abuse case featuring either celebrities or non-celebrities. The study found that while victims generally received more support, in cases involving celebrities, there was notably less sympathy for the female accuser than for the victim in non-celebrity scenarios.

Abstract

This study explored the impact of celebrity status and victim framing on social judgments. People are inclined to favor others because appearance, fame, and familiarity (Nayak, 2015). Language can also influence people’s judgements; one study found that people increase their support for someone who is labeled a “victim,” even when they are the alleged perpetrator of a sexual assault (Flusberg et al., 2022). The primary goal of this study was to examine how language and fame interact to shape people’s social evaluations. Six hundred participants across sic conditions, read an article about a domestic abuse case revolving a celebrity couple or a stranger couple. The U.S subjects read an article that either framed the male alleged perpetrator as a victim, the female accuser as a victim or no victim-framed protagonist. Results indicated a main affect for support for each protagonist when framed as the victim compared to the baseline condition. Participants in the celebrity status condition were less likely to support the female accuser across all conditions compared to the stranger condition. The research suggest that people evaluations of others can be based off familiarity and language manipulation.
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Anderson sampled 600 participants from Connect for her research.Quantitative, ExperimentSocial Judgements, Victim-Framing, Language Effect, Celebrity StatusPsychology
Babij, A. D., Earl, S., Becker, W., Hoyt, C. L., Burnette, J. L., Marston, A., & Crispin, K. (2023). Mindsets of mental illness: What are the implications for stigma?. Stigma and Health. Full TextBabij and colleagues investigated whether a belief that mental illness status can change (a growth mindset) might result in both increased and decreased stigma through distinct mechanisms. Contrary to predictions, having a growth mindset about mental illness was only related to less prejudice towards the group.

Abstract

We investigated if the double-edged sword model, which describes the role of growth mindsets in both promoting and reducing stigma, replicates in the context of mental illness. Do stronger growth mindsets relate to more prejudice via increased blame, but less prejudice via reduced social essentialist thinking? In two correlational studies (N = 328; N = 343), stronger growth, relative to fixed mindsets, of mental illness related negatively to prejudice, in large part because they related negatively to social essentialist thinking and, unexpectedly, also negatively to blame. We ran two additional studies, randomly assigning participants (N = 605; N = 397) to a mental illness or obesity condition, to examine links between mindsets and blame across the two contexts. In the obesity condition, growth mindsets were strongly associated with greater blame, perceived controllability, and prejudice but not in the mental illness condition—growth mindsets again were associated with less prejudice. Differences in narratives about controllability are one potential driving force of these disparate findings
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The researchers recruited nearly 400 Connect participants in Study 4 to test their hypotheses experimentally by having participants read about mental illness or about obesity before completing measures about their mindsets and prejudice.Quantitative, ExperimentalMindsets, Mental Illness, Stigma, PrejudicePsychology
Bai, H., Voelkel, J., Eichstaedt, J., & Willer, R. (2023). Artificial intelligence can persuade humans on political issues. Full TextBai and team studied the impact of Chat GPT-3 on shaping human opinions on policy issues like assault weapon bans, carbon taxes, and paid parental leave. They compared the persuasiveness of AI-generated text to messages written by humans. The study concluded that participants viewed the AI's messages as more factual and logical but lacking in emotional appeal and narrative quality. This suggests that large language models like GPT-3 have the potential to influence human beliefs on complex and divisive policy topics.

Abstract

The emergence of transformer models that leverage deep learning and web-scale corpora has made it possible for artificial intelligence (AI) to tackle many higher-order cognitive tasks, with critical implications for industry, government, and labor markets in the US and globally. Here, we investigate whether the currently most powerful, openly-available AI model – GPT-3 – is capable of influencing the beliefs of humans, a social behavior recently seen as a unique purview of other humans. Across three preregistered experiments featuring diverse samples of Americans (total N=4,836), we find consistent evidence that messages generated by AI are persuasive across a number of policy issues, including an assault weapon ban, a carbon tax, and a paid parentalleave program. Further, AI-generated messages were as persuasive as messages crafted by lay humans. Compared to the human authors, participants rated the author of AI messages as being more factual and logical, but less angry, unique, and less likely to use story-telling. Our results show the current generation of large language models can persuade humans, even on polarized policy issues. This work raises important implications for regulating AI applications in political contexts, to counter its potential use in misinformation campaigns and other deceptive political activities.
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In the second experiment, the researchers recruited over 1000 participants from Connect, who read messages that were either AI-generated or human-generated and were then asked about their support for an assault weapon ban.Quantitative, ExperimentAI, Large Language Models, Persuasion, PoliticsSociology, Psychology, Political Science, Data Science
Baskentli, S., Hadi, R., & Lee, L. (2023). How Culture Shapes Consumer Responses to Anthropomorphic Products. International Journal of Research in Marketing. Full TextBaskentli and her team looked into the idea that people from Eastern cultures like products with human-like features more than people from Western cultures. After doing three studies, they found that this idea was partly right. People from Eastern cultures did like products that had human-like traits more than other products. However, people from Western cultures didn't have a strong preference either way.

Abstract

Anecdotal evidence suggests that Eastern consumers respond more favorably to anthropomorphic products than their Western counterparts. In the present work, we examine the validity of this common intuition and uncover the specific cultural dimension underlying this difference in consumer response. Specifically, across a cross-national field study and three controlled experiments, we demonstrate that collectivistic consumers favor anthropomorphic products more than non-anthropomorphic products, whereas non-collectivistic consumers do not display this relative preference. This interactive effect holds across various product categories, regardless of whether collectivistic thinking is measured, manipulated, or operationalized based on nationality or ethnicity. We offer managerial and theoretical implications that stem from our findings.
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In order to ensure that the advertisements shown to participants adequately displayed anthropomorphic traits, the researchers first ran a pre-test study with 100 Connect participants who judged whether the intended product resembled a human. Quantitative, Experiment, Field StudyCulture, Collectivism, Self-Construal, Anthropomorphism, Product EvaluationMarketing
Boman, L., Lefebvre, S., & Hewage, G. S. U. (2023). When push comes to shove: How coach versus student athlete misconduct affects event attendance intentions. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 74, 103420. Full TextBoman and colleagues investigated whether consumers are more or less likely to attend college sporting events depending on whether there was a case of misconduct among student athletes or coaches. Across six studies, their findings show that consumers are less likely to attend a game when they read a story about a college-level coach misbehaving compared to student athletes.

Abstract

Though on and off-the-field misconduct is common among U.S. college athletic programs, little is known regarding the ramifications that may result. Drawing on social learning theory, the current research suggests consumers intentions (e.g., likelihood of attending a game) differ depending on violator's team role. Across one qualitative and five experimental studies, we demonstrate that consumers' intentions are influenced by violator's team role, such that likelihood of attending a game is lower when a coach (vs. student athlete) misbehaves, an effect driven by evaluation of the academic institution. This effect is robust across both winning and losing records and moderated by perceived fairness of the university's actions toward the violator.
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The researchers were able to replicate and extend their findings with 250 Connect participants using basketball as the focal sport instead of football, allowing the research to generalize across different NCAA sportsQuantitative, Experiment, QualitativeMisconduct, Unethical Behavior, Brand Management, Social Learning TheoryMarketing, Consumer Behavior
Buckley, C. (2023). Corporate Conscience: Applying Ethics of Care Informed Crisis Responses to Corporate Social Advocacy Backlash. Full TextThis research looks at how companies' responses to criticism can influence public perception, especially when they claim to be socially responsible. Findings show that if companies don't seem caring enough in their responses, people might protest more, and if companies don't respond at all, people might consider boycotting them.

Abstract

The purpose of this study is threefold. First, this study improves practitioners’ and scholars’ understanding of the efficacy of incorporating ethically informed language into crisis responses, specifically the degree of ethics of care. Second, the present study applies the situational crisis communication theory (SCCT) to explore the most effective crisis responses (rebuild-apology x diminish-excuse) to backlash to a corporate social advocacy (CSA) initiative. The tertiary goal of this study is to explore how different ethics-of-care-informed crisis responses, specifically diminish-excuse or rebuild-apology, impact corporate reputation, subsequent supportive or non-supportive behavioral intentions toward the corporation, and activism intentions toward the issue. Methodologically, this study contributes to the growing body of research on CSA and provides an empirically tested example of incorporating ethics of care into experimental research. In addition, this study considers the potential of mitigating or elevating crisis as a result of backlash to CSA and teases out both supportive and non-supportive intentions toward a company, as well as increased activism intentions on behalf of an issue. Results indicate that stakeholders may respond to lower perceived care in diminish-excuse crisis response with greater activism intentions in an attempt to fill a perceived void in the corporations’ CSA efforts. In addition, findings indicate that providing no response to backlash to CSA as a crisis can potentially increase boycott intentions. The practical and theoretical implications of applying SCCT and ethics of care to a CSA context, as well as future research, are posited.
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Buckley used Connect participants to pilot her study and validated manipulations.Quantitative, ExperimentPiloting, Ethics, Social Advocacy, DissertationMass Communication
Cen, S.H., Ilyas, A., Li, H., Allen, J., Rand, D. G., & Mądry, A. (2023). Measuring Strategization in Recommendation: Users Adapt Their Behavior to Shape Future Content. In preparation for submission to Management Science. Full TextCen and colleagues explored whether or not people strategically interact with recommendation algorithms on platforms (e.g., search engines, social media). They found that instead of just reacting to the content, people use strategies in their interactions. This includes clicking to give feedback and using different methods to actively shape what the algorithms recommend.

Abstract

Recommendation algorithms shape what users see on platforms ranging from search engines to social media to online marketplaces. It is typically assumed that users behave exogenously—that is, their response to a recommendation depends on that recommendation and not on the algorithm that generated it. In this work, we investigate whether users break this assumption; specifically, whether they strategize. For example, a user may not click on a video on YouTube not because they are uninterested, but because they believe YouTube’s algorithm will overfit to the click. To determine whether users strategize, we conduct a lab experiment and survey. We test two hypotheses consistent with user strategization and find strong support for both. Our findings suggest that users strategize; users are able to strategize their explicit feedback (e.g., clicks) moreso than implicit feedback (e.g., dwell time). Our survey further reveals that a large majority of users admit to strategizing. In response to an open-ended question, we also gain insights into why and how users strategizing, surfacing intriguing behaviors (e.g., creating multiple accounts, leaving Spotify playing for days, and searching for content in private browsing mode).
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The researchers developed a basic music recommendation platform similar to Spotify or Pandora, where 643 Connect participants interacted with songs and answered questions aimed to understand if they intentionally strategized their interactions with the platform.Quantitative, Experimental, SurveyRecommendation Algorithms, User StrategizationElectrical Engineering and Computer Science
Choi, S. (2023). Not So Black and Yellow: The Impact of Race and Sexual Identity on Marginalized People’s Experiences with Aggression (Doctoral dissertation, University of Wyoming). Full TextChoi studied how race and sexual identity together can affect experiences of aggression. He expected that men who are both racial minorities and gay might face more aggression because they don't fit typical gender norms and face challenges from both their race and sexuality. But, when he did an experiment where straight men competed in a task against men of different races and sexual identities, the results didn't support his prediction.

Abstract

The purpose of the current study was to explore how the interaction between race (Black vs. Asian) and sexual identity (homosexuality vs. heterosexuality) would impact a marginalized person’s experience with aggressive behavior. Through mechanisms involving gender norm violations and cumulative disadvantage (an intersectionality theory), I predicted that participants would express greater aggression against a counterpart who is gay and Black than a counterpart who is gay and Asian; greater aggression against a counterpart who is gay and Black than a counterpart who is straight and Black; and greater aggression against counterpart who is gay and Asian than a counterpart who is straight and Asian. To test this, I recruited 461 men who were White and heterosexual and had them to engage in a competitive task with a counterpart who was Black and homosexual, Black and heterosexual, Asian and homosexual, or Asian and heterosexual. The task competitive was the subtraction paradigm (PSAP). In the PSAP, participants try to earn as many as points as possible for money, while a “counterpart”(a line of computer code unbeknownst to the participants) purposely sabotages them by taking away their points. I did not find support for my original hypotheses. However, we did find interesting results in my exploratory analyses, which should open up avenues for future research.
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Using Connects demographic targeting, Choi was able to recruit 461 White, heterosexual men needed to test his hypotheses. Quantitative, ExperimentIntersectionality, Aggression, Gay Men, Race, Gender RolesExperimental Psychology
Chuan, C., Sun, R., Tian, S., & Tsai, W. S. Explainable Artificial Intelligence (Xai) for Facilitating Recognition of Algorithmic Bias: An Experiment from Imposed Users’ Perspectives. Available at SSRN 4624907. Full TextChuan and colleagues researched how making AI systems more transparent and understandable, especially in facial recognition technology, influences user trust and awareness of bias. Their study showed that when users see AI decisions that align with their experiences, they view the technology as fair. However, if the AI's decisions don't match their experiences, users perceive it as biased and unfair, leading to decreased trust.

Abstract

This study offered empirical insights on the potential of eXplainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) in raising user awareness of algorithmic bias and driving their trust in AI systems. We focus on the context of controversial facial recognition algorithms to examine the popular “explanation by example” approach in XAI, where users receive explanatory examples closely resembling their input. From the perspective of imposed users of AI systems, the experiment results demonstrated that this XAI approach allows users to gauge the congruence between these examples and their circumstances. The congruence between the user and the explanatory example acts as a positive indicator of fairness and inclusiveness of the AI system. Conversely, when a disparity exists between the user and the explanatory examples, it evokes perceptions of unfairness and exclusion, thereby prompting users not to put blind trust in the system and raising users’ awareness of algorithmic bias stemming from non-inclusive datasets. The results further highlight the moderating role of users’ prior experience with discrimination. The study findings thus attest to the instrumental value of XAI in helping users understand the decision-making process of AI, and in the process, raising awareness for potential algorithmic bias.
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The researchers recruited female participants from Connect who were willing to interact with an AI-powered skincare recommendation system that offered results either matching or mismatching participants’ skin tone after scanning and analyzing their faces using webcams.Quantitative, ExperimentaleXplainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI), Algorithmic Bias, Fairness Heuristics, Inclusiveness, Imposed Users, ColorismInteractive Media, Data Science
Cikanek, E. (2023). The Emotional Landscape of American Television News: 2000-2020 (Doctoral dissertation). Full TextCikanek's dissertation investigated whether the intense political polarization in the U.S. might stem from the emotional content in partisan news media. She discovered that from 2000-2008 and 2010-2020, media outlets with clear political leanings expressed higher levels of anger, whereas nonpartisan outlets exhibited more anxiety and enthusiasm.

Abstract

Public opinion is often shaped by elite discourse, with most Americans receiving elite opinions via the media: newspapers, television, and now the Internet. All teach citizens about the world and the preferences and attitudes of political leaders and pundits. Since the mid 1990s, in an increasingly varied and crowded media landscape, these elite cues no longer produce the kind of cross-party political consensus that characterized much of the 20th century. Citizens choose information environments that provide news which is congenial to their political identities and more easily avoid ideas and news in conflict with them. Knowing that Americans opt into congenial news environments, I theorize that the current polarized and energized electorate is the result of differing emotional environments among partisan and nonpartisan news sources. I argue that the emotionality of partisan news media likely drives current upward trends in both political polarization and participation. Anger-driven political behavior, observed in greater voter turnout and out-partisan hostility, is the likely result of exposure to far more anger cues in partisan media than are typically expressed in nonpartisan news media. I find that partisan news is angrier, less anxious, and less enthusiastic than nonpartisan news, because partisan anchors construct an emotional context for politics by expressing anger, assigning blame, and motivating copartisan action. This dissertation explores how media institutions construct the emotional context of politics, focusing on how the partisan identities of news outlets are associated with variation in the emotional landscape of news. This variation is not unique to the contemporary period: the partisan press of the 19th century dominated the pages of political newspapers, where partisan editors and publishers expressed anger, assigned blame, and galvanized copartisans during elections. I theorize that the same emotionality of the 19th century partisan press has reemerged with the rise of cable television news programming over the first two decades of the 21st century. Elite cues from partisan news anchors are likely mobilizing and enraging the American public through increased expressions of anger to their television news audiences. I establish this by mapping emotional landscape of contemporary American news, focusing on two distinct time periods: 2000-2008, in which I analyze the early partisan cable news environment with the establishment of both Fox News and MSNBC alongside the more established CNN; and 2010-2020, in which I test the oft-repeated theory that during the 2016 presidential campaign Donald Trump changed the media environment. To do this, I construct and validate a methodological framework for measuring emotional cues delivered to audiences by xviii the hosts of news programs, enabling me to measure differences in the emotional cues that are delivered to partisan and nonpartisan news viewers. I find that nonpartisan news is more anxious and more enthusiastic than partisan news over both time periods, but that the key difference is that partisan news is more intensely and frequently angry. I also find that while expressions of anger increased in partisan news from 2000-2008 as Fox established itself as a ratings contender, there is no perceptible shift in the emotional environment from 2010-2020. Donald Trump did not cause changes to the media, but rather took advantage of a partisan press that was already conveying anger to the mass public.
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Cikanek used Connect to recruit human coders, evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, to evaluate the emotional content in text segments from various news sources. Quantitative, Qualitative, CodingPolitical Polarization, News Media, EmotionPolitical Science
Dahunsi, B. (2023). A Mixed Methods Exploration of Expertise in Aesthetic Judgment of Apparel for Different Body Shapes (Doctoral dissertation, University of Minnesota). Full TextIn her dissertation, Dahunsi analyzed whether expert style guidance aids consumers in choosing clothes more wisely, with the goal of lessening the fashion industry's environmental impact. The research revealed that although such advice doesn't completely match the tastes of young adults, it can offer significant input for crafting recommendations that focus on the users' needs and preferences.

Abstract

Waste from the fashion industry continues to be a major source of pollution. At the consumer use phase, this problem is compounded by inefficient purchase decision making that leads to underutilization. While advances in technology can lead to improved decision making, current decision support systems utilize methods that are not effective for the apparel industry as they rely on past purchases or user similarity metrics to make recommendations. Currently, human-assisted expert knowledge is state of the art in apparel purchase decision support. Such knowledge could prove invaluable in computer-supported decision making but has not yet been empirically assessed. This study sought to first explore predictive expert style advice to identify body and garment attributes as well as garment/body attribute-value pairs used to predict subjective aesthetic appeal of garments with regards to body shape using content analysis. Then, based on the attribute-value pairs identified, to develop a theory on dressing advice based on body shapes, and quantitatively assess the extent to which the body/garment attribute-value pairs predict aesthetic judgments of taste. Qualitative content analysis was conducted on n = 5 books containing body-shape based style advice to understand how authors use body and garment relationships to achieve desired appearance. An instrument was then developed and utilized to empirically assess the findings of iv the qualitative study with crowdsourced judgments of outfit aesthetics using workers from CloudResearch. The results of the study suggest that factors identified as predictive of aesthetic preference from authors could be hierarchical in nature with different levels of importance for different attributes. The findings of this research indicate that while authors’ knowledge may not be fully predictive of young adults’ preference, it could form the basis for a better understanding of which factors are most important in design of user-centered apparel recommendation. Further, as one of the first studies to empirically evaluate expert advice in clothing recommendation, it highlights the importance of a validation phase where expertise is assessed prior to integration into computational system design. Finally, the findings offer a novel opportunity for apparel experts to reflect on established (but unvalidated) “rules” or theories in aesthetics.
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Dahunsi recruited 250 Connect participants to view 3D images of people in various outfits to see the extent to which their preferences agree with expert style advice.  Qualitative, Quantitative, SurveyFashion, Predictive Expert Style Advice, Aesthetic Judgment, Body-Shape Style AdviceDesign
Daldrop, C., Buengeler, C., & Homan, A. C. (2023). An intersectional lens on young leaders: bias toward young women and young men in leadership positions. Frontiers in psychology, 14, 1204547. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1204547 Full TextDaldrop and colleagues examiend whether young leaders face more criticism than older leaders. They also wanted to see if this negative view was worse for women compared to men. Their results showed that yes, young leaders do face more criticism than middle-aged and older leaders. But, this bias was the same for both men and women.

Abstract

Research has recognized age biases against young leaders, yet understanding of how gender, the most frequently studied demographic leader characteristic, influences this bias remains limited. In this study, we examine the gender-specific age bias toward young female and young male leaders through an intersectional lens. By integrating intersectionality theory with insights on status beliefs associated with age and gender, we test whether young female and male leaders face an interactive rather than an additive form of bias. We conducted two preregistered experimental studies (N1 = 918 and N2 = 985), where participants evaluated leaders based on age, gender, or a combination of both. Our analysis reveals a negative age bias in leader status ascriptions toward young leaders compared to middle-aged and older leaders. This bias persists when gender information is added, as demonstrated in both intersectional categories of young female and young male leaders. This bias pattern does not extend to middle-aged or older female and male leaders, thereby supporting the age bias against young leaders specifically. Interestingly, we also examined whether social dominance orientation strengthens the bias against young (male) leaders, but our results (reported in the SOM) are not as hypothesized. In sum, our results emphasize the importance of young age as a crucial demographic characteristic in leadership perceptions that can even overshadow the role of gender.
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In Study 2, Daldrop and colleagues were able to test their hypotheses with a representative sample of 1000 Connect participants by using Connect's census-matching feature.Quantitative, ExperimentLeadership, Young Age, Gender, Status, Intersectionality, Ageism, Social Dominance OrientationSocial Psychology
Davis, C. G., Wright, G. P., & McMillan, C. (2023). When secrets come to mind: Preoccupation, suppression and engagement. European Journal of Social Psychology. Full TextDavis and colleagues investigated the stress levels associated with either suppressing or actively confronting a secret. Their findings from two longitudinal studies indicated that both suppressing and engaging with secrets are linked to negative emotions and guilt, suggesting a closer relationship between these two approaches than previously understood.

Abstract

When secrets come to mind, do people try to suppress them or do they engage with them? Whereas earlier research suggested that people try to suppress secrets, recent work suggests that people often engage with their secrets. Although thought suppression tends to be associated with greater distress, engagement may be ameliorative. In two longitudinal studies of 653 adults (55% women; Mage = 41.3, SD = 12.4) keeping a secret from their partner, we show that engagement with and suppression of secrets are highly positively related. Like suppression, the more people engage with secrets, the more negative affect and guilt they report feeling. Longitudinal analyses indicate that whereas changes over time in engagement and suppression both predicted reduced secret preoccupation, reductions in suppression (but not engagement) mediated reductions in guilt and negative affect. These results indicate that suppression and engagement are more intimately connected than previously thought. We found no evidence that engagement was ameliorative.
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The researchers recruited 473 adults in romantic relationships from Connect, who were keeping secrets from their partners, and were able to achieve an 86.9% retention rate across two survey waves spaced one month apart.Survey, Longitudinal, QuantitativeGuilt, Preoccupation, Secrecy, SuppressionSocial Psychology
Ding, Y., Jia, L., & Du, N. (2023, October). Designing for Trust and Situational Awareness in Automated Vehicles: Effects of Information Type and Error Type. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting (p. 21695067231192406). Sage CA: Los Angeles, CA: SAGE Publications. Full TextDing and colleagues looked into how trust and situational awareness impact the use of automated vehicles. Their findings demonstrated that the type of errors made by autonomous vehicles and the type of information given in the explanations can affect drivers' trust and situational awareness.

Abstract

Trust and situational awareness (SA) are crucial to the adoption and safety of automated vehicles (AVs). Appropriate design of AV explanations could promote drivers’ acceptance, trust, and SA, enabling drivers to get more benefits from the technology. This study investigated the effects of error type and information type of AV explanations on drivers’ trust and SA. We recruited 300 participants for an online video study with a 3 (information type) × 2 (error type) mixed design. Linear mixed model analyses showed that compared with false alarms, misses were associated with more trust decrease after the error and more trust decrease after the post-error recovery. Compared with why information, how information was associated with lower SA generally and risked potential over-trust in false alarms. Therefore, we recommend deploying AV decision systems that are less miss-prone and including why information in AV explanations.
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The researchers asked 300 Connect participants to watch a series of ten 10-second simulated driving scenarios before answering questions about trust and situational awareness.Quantitative, ExperimentalAutomated Vehicles, Situational Awareness, Human-Machine Interface, Human Factors, Explainable Artificial Intelligence, TrustComputing and Information
Do, S. F., Reimann, M., López, A., & Castaño, R. (2023). When Brand Narratives are Written in Metaphoric Terms, Can They Weaken Self–Brand Connections?. Full TextDo and colleagues investigated whether brand narratives that use metaphors can strength the connection between consumer and brands. Across three studies, the researchers found that metaphoric narratives can weaken the self-brand connection in contrast to narratives that do not use metaphors.

Abstract

Previous research has established that brand narratives can strengthen the connection between consumers and brands. The present investigation raises the question of whether this finding holds when narratives are written in metaphoric terms. Three studies, including a pilot study of Amazon.com brand reviews (N = 1,000) and two experiments (N = 4,017), illustrate that metaphoric (vs. non-metaphoric) narratives can actually weaken the self–brand connection. The studies illuminate that, while metaphoric narratives are prevalent in consumer reviews, such reviews seem less likely to provide the narrative structure necessary to establish a strong connection with the brand. This work contributes to the novel insight that while consumers often use metaphors as a way to talk about brands, relying on metaphors may actually weaken the review writer’s connection with the brand. This effect remains robust even when considering high levels of brand familiarity and linguistic abilities of the brand review writer.
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The researchers recruited over 2000 Connect participants in their first experiment where they were asked to write their own promotional ideas for a headphone brand before completing questionnaires.Quantitative, ExperimentalMetaphoric Narratives, Metaphors in Cognition, Consumers' Self–Brand Connections, Cognitive Distance, Archival Brand Review Data, Online Lab ExperimentsMarketing
Eichner, A. A., Lingnau, N. V., Felka, P., Kohn, V., Holten, R., & Hinz, O. (2023). Dangerous habit or useful routine? Developing theory-based measures for the intended and unintended consequences of state-tracking habits. ECIS 2023 Research Papers, 391. https://aisel.aisnet.org/ecis2023_rp/391 Full TextEichner and colleagues develop and validate two measurement scales to help examine the consequences of constantly checking digital devices: Problem of Attention (PoA) and Service to Enduring Goal (SEG). These constructs allow for an assessment of constant checking habits, facilitating future research into the role of self-control in mitigating potential issues arising from excessive smartphone use.

Abstract

According to the theory of IT-mediated state-tracking, the intended and unintended consequences of constantly checking digital devices can be judged by the resulting problem of attention and by whether the checking led to information that served the individual’s enduring goal. While this perspective offers numerous benefits over the common practice of labeling excessive information technology use as addiction, as of yet, the concepts of problem of attention (PoA) and service to enduring goal (SEG) lack empirical measures. Thus, this paper develops measurement scales for the constructs PoA and SEG following an established construct development methodology. We evaluate the measures’ validity and reliability and demonstrate that PoA and SEG differ from existing similar concepts. With the help of our newly developed constructs the quality of constant checking habits can be assessed which enables future studies to scrutinize the theorized preventive role of self-control in the context of smartphone habits.
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The researchers conducted a pilot test by administering their scales to participants on the Connect platform.Quantitative, Construct Development, Scale Development, SurveyConstant Checking, IT-Mediated State-Tracking, HabitsInformation Systems
Eichner, A. A., Lingnau, N. V., Felka, P., Kohn, V., Holten, R., & Hinz, O. (2023). Dangerous habit or useful routine? Developing theory-based measures for the intended and unintended consequences of state-tracking habits. ECIS 2023 Research Papers, 391. https://aisel.aisnet.org/ecis2023_rp/391 Full TextEichner and colleagues created and validated two scales: Problem of Attention (PoA) and Service to Enduring Goal (SEG), to study the impact of frequent digital device use. These tools measure habitual checking and aid in researching how self-control can address problems from excessive smartphone use.

Abstract

According to the theory of IT-mediated state-tracking, the intended and unintended consequences of constantly checking digital devices can be judged by the resulting problem of attention and by whether the checking led to information that served the individual’s enduring goal. While this perspective offers numerous benefits over the common practice of labeling excessive information technology use as addiction, as of yet, the concepts of problem of attention (PoA) and service to enduring goal (SEG) lack empirical measures. Thus, this paper develops measurement scales for the constructs PoA and SEG following an established construct development methodology. We evaluate the measures’ validity and reliability and demonstrate that PoA and SEG differ from existing similar concepts. With the help of our newly developed constructs the quality of constant checking habits can be assessed which enables future studies to scrutinize the theorized preventive role of self-control in the context of smartphone habits.
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The researchers conducted a pilot test by administering their scales to participants on the Connect platform.Quantitative, Construct Development, Scale Development, SurveyConstant Checking, IT-Mediated State-Tracking, HabitsInformation Systems
Gallivan, N. P. (2023). “What happens next is up to you:” Encouraging Americans’ engagement in and communication about the issue of climate change (Doctoral dissertation, Kansas State University). Full TextGallivan examined how different ways of talking about climate change influenced people's views and their readiness to act for the environment. The study found that people's willingness to change their views and actions depended on how many changes the messages suggested and how agreeable the individuals were by nature.

Abstract

The purpose of these studies was to examine persuasive methods of climate change (CC) advocacy among Americans who feel strongly about this issue. Specifically, using the Global Warming’s Six Americas (Maibach, et al., 2011) framework, Alarmed and Concerned Americans were recruited to examine different appeals encouraging pro-environmental behaviors that varied by the number of proposed behaviors (seven versus one) and by the proposed actor of these behaviors (the participant themself versus legislators in the U.S. government; Study 1) and to establish the perceived efficacy of tools created to help individuals overcome behavioral barriers to CC opinion leadership (i.e., “Strategies” for initiating conversations about CC, “Counterarguments” to common misinformation and denial claims, and “Posts” that can be easily shared across social media sites; Study 2). In Study 1, participants were randomized to view one of four messages (Single Quantity–Self Actor, Single–Legislator, Multiple–Self, Multiple–Legislator) and completed a battery of attitudinal and behavioral measures related to CC. Against expectation, participants who read either of the two messages highlighting Multiple behaviors and either of the two messages highlighting Self-initiation were the more likely to engage, generally, in future pro-environmental behaviors; furthermore, participants who read the Multiple–Self message were more likely to engage in clean electricity practices and products. In Study 2, participants read four messages encouraging engagement in CC opinion leadership, with three of the messages including additional information to help overcome barriers to initiating difficult conversations. They also completed a personality assessment, which helped determine if participants’ effectiveness ratings of the messages uniquely corresponded with specific aspects of their personality. As projected, Agreeableness was positively related to the effectiveness ratings of the Posts message; additionally, Agreeableness was positively related to the effectiveness ratings of the Strategies message. However, lower Extraversion and higher Neuroticism were not uniquely related to effectiveness ratings for either of the three interventions as hypothesized. Clarification of these results, limitations of the study's methodology, and future research possibilities are also discussed.
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Gallivan was able to obtain a sample of 200 Connect participants who recorded having voted in a US government election over the past three years and passed a reading comprehension check. Quantitative, Experiment, InterventionClimate Change, Persuasion, PersonalitySocial Psychology, Environmental Psychology
Garbinsky, E., Blanchard, S. J., & Kim, L. (2023). FINANCIAL MINDFULNESS. Georgetown McDonough School of Business Research Paper Forthcoming. Full TextGarbinsky and colleagues created an 8-item Financial Mindfulness Scale to assess how mindful individuals are regarding their finances. Through 10 studies, they established that this scale is reliable and distinct from other related scales. Moreover, they found that it effectively predicts people's actual investment choices and credit scores, demonstrating its practical applicability in understanding financial behaviors.

Abstract

Financial mindfulness has become a popular term used by practitioners to promote various financial products and services. Despite its industry-wide prevalence, there is still limited conceptual clarity of what financial mindfulness is and how to measure it effectively. In this article, we define financial mindfulness (FM) as “the tendency to be highly aware of one’s objective financial state while possessing a non-judgmental acceptance of that state,” and we develop and validate an 8-item scale to measure individual differences in financial mindfulness. Through 10 studies, we demonstrate that the FM-Scale has strong psychometric properties, is distinct from conceptually related scales, and predicts actual investment preferences and credit scores. Importantly, the FM-Scale is associated with a broad range of known financially detrimental behaviors (i.e., financial withdrawal, impulse buying, and sunk cost bias) above and beyond related scales (i.e., current money management stress and self-control). Our work is the first to introduce and define mindfulness in the context of consumer finance, and to provide a reliable and succinct way to measure it.
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The researchers validated and confirmed the reliability of their scale by enlisting approximately 300 Connect participants for each study they conducted. Quantitative, Survey, Scale DevelopmentConsumer Finance, Credit Scores, Investment Preferences, Mindfulness, Scale DevelopmentMarketing
Gennara, A. K. (2023). Understanding and Measuring Perceived Productivity (Doctoral dissertation, Carleton University). Full TextIn her dissertation, Gennara created and validated a scale to measure perceived productivity. Through four studies, she first defined perceived productivity and then tested the scale's validity and explored its major predictors.

Abstract

The current research aims to define perceived productivity, understand how it is measured, and examine the predictors of perceived productivity. I used topic modelling to create a conceptual definition (Study 1a), which was later validated against people’s own views of productivity (Study 2). I also conducted a rapid review (Study 1b) and evaluated the construct validity of the Subjective Productivity Scale (Study 2). Finally, I investigated predictors of perceived productivity using data from Connect (Studies 3a, 3b) and UpBeing app users (Study 4). Key findings relate perceived goal progress to perceived productivity. While the research provides a comprehensive view of perceived productivity, more research is needed to understand how it relates to objective productivity.
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Connect participants played a crucial role in developing Gennara's perceived productivity scale. They first took part in a study to validate the scale, where 135 participants rated how much they agreed with the researcher's definition of productivity and provided feedback. Additionally, in a two-part study, 455 Connect participants first listed up to five personal goals for the day. Then, eight hours later, they completed a second survey rating how much progress they believed they had made towards these goals. Scale Development, Quantitative, SurveyPerceived Productivity, Perceived Goal Progress, Scale DevelopmentPsychology
Guo, F. (2023). Revisiting Item Semantics in Measurement: A New Perspective Using Modern Natural Language Processing Embedding Technique. Full TextThis dissertation explores the use of natural language processing (NLP) embeddings to address challenges in psychological measurement, such as scale development and validation. Two studies showcased the potential of NLP in improving psychological scales, including developing a corporate personality measure and predicting item response relationships, emphasizing NLP's role in advancing social sciences.

Abstract

Language understanding plays a crucial role in psychological measurement and so it is important that semantic cues should be studied for more effective and accurate measurement practices. With advancements in computer science, natural language processing (NLP) techniques have emerged as efficient methods for analyzing textual data and have been used to improve psychological measurement. This dissertation investigates the application of NLP embeddings to address fundamental methodological challenges in psychological measurement, specifically scale development and validation. In Study 1, a word embedding-based approach was used to develop a corporate personality measure, which resulted in a three-factor solution closely mirroring three dimensions out of the Big Five framework (i.e., Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness). This research furthers our conceptual understanding of corporate personality by identifying similarities and differences between human and organizational personality traits. In Study 2, the sentence-based embedding model was applied to predict empirical pairwise item response relationships, comparing its performance with human ratings. This study also demonstrated the effectiveness of fine-tuned NLP models for classifying item pair relationships into trivial/low or moderate/high empirical relationships, which provides preliminary validity evidence without collecting human responses. The research seeks to enhance psychological measurement practices by leveraging NLP techniques, fostering innovation and improved understanding in the field of social sciences.
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Using Connect's extensive demographic targeting options, Guo collected 300 full-time, in-person workers with at least one year of experience.Quantitative, Natural Language Processing, Scale DevelopmentDemographics, NLP, Dissertation, Quantitative PsychologyQuantitative Psychology
Ham, C. C., Piorkowski, M., Seybert, N., & Wang, S. (2023). Executive Narcissism and the Power of Persuasion: Evidence from the Laboratory and Sell-Side Analyst Valuations. Available at SSRN 4506020. Full TextHam and his team used experiments to see if having a boss with narcissistic traits could be good for companies. They found that people who saw themselves as more narcissistic were more likely to use methods to convince financial experts to give their company a higher value. This was especially true if they believed these experts had a lot of influence over investors.

Abstract

Despite prior research documenting that firms led by narcissistic executives experience numerous detrimental effects, narcissists are more promotable, enjoy longer tenures, and earn higher compensation than their peers. These outcomes suggest firms accrue some benefits from executive narcissism. We provide evidence of one such benefit: the ability to positively influence external stakeholder perceptions of the firm. In a laboratory setting, we find that narcissistic individuals are more likely to engage in persuasion to elicit higher firm valuations from financial analysts, especially when the analyst is more influential with investors. We triangulate this finding with archival evidence from analyst valuations and conference calls. CFO narcissism is associated with overly optimistic analyst valuations, and their valuations are less affected by recent earnings news, particularly when that news is negative. Consistent with attempts at persuasion, conference calls reveal that narcissistic CFOs exhibit greater levels of engagement with analysts, speak more optimistically, and are more likely to use argumentative prose and corporate euphemisms. Collectively, the evidence suggests that narcissistic CFOs use their persuasive skills to positively influence analyst perceptions of the firm.
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The researchers were able to conduct their experiment with 162 participants who met the following criteria: lived in the US, were 25 years old, had at least a BA, and had work experience in finance, sales/marketing, and/or business administration. Quantitative, Experiment, ArchivalExecutive Narcissism, Persuasion, Sell-Side AnalystsBusiness, Management
Haran, U., Van Dijk, D., Barina, M., Krief, M., & Rosenzweig, S. (2023). Winning isn't everything: Guilt proneness and competitive vs. non- competitive motivation. Journal of Personality, 00, 1–23. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12834 Full TextHaran and colleagues conducted four studies to explore the connections between the tendency to feel guilty, overall motivation, and the drive to compete. They found that individuals who are prone to guilt are indeed motivated to succeed; however, they tend to shy away from competitive avenues and are less inclined to opt for competitive scenarios when seeking achievement.

Abstract

ObjectiveGuilt proneness is associated with both high motivation to succeed and enhanced concern for others. However, in competition, achieving success requires harming others' interests, which demotivates guilt-prone individuals. Given the prevalence of competition in social and professional life, we examine the relation between guilt proneness, general motivation, and competitive motivation.MethodTwo experiments and two laboratory studies (N = 1735) measured guilt proneness, general motivation, and competitive motivation, and their effects on competitive preferences and choices. Study settings included students' choice of playing a game individually vs. competitively (Study 1), physicians' likelihood to seek residency in medical fields characterized by high competitiveness (Study 2), amateur athletes' preferences between inclusive and win-oriented team strategies (Study 3), and online workers' evaluations of a hypothetical scenario (Study 4).ResultsGuilt proneness was related positively to general motivation, but negatively to competitive motivation. Guilt proneness, indirectly through lower competitive motivation, predicted a lower likelihood of pursuing competitive paths and preference for non-competitive strategies. Emphasizing prosocial aspects of competitiveness attenuated these effects.ConclusionsGuilt proneness is related to high general motivation but to a lower desire to win. Guilt-prone individuals strive for excellence, but through non-competitive paths, whereas people with lower guilt proneness prefer competing.
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Using 225 Connect participants, the researchers were able to test the causal link between guilt-proneness, competitive motivation, and competitive preference in Study 4. Quantitative, Survey, ExperimentCompetition, Guilt Proneness, Motivation, ProsocialityManagement, Personality Psychology
Hartman, R. (2023). The Implications of Viewing Political Opponents as Sheeple (Doctoral dissertation, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). Full TextHartman studied how people from different political groups see each other, especially focusing on the idea that people often think those who don't agree with them are just following the media and aren't smart. Across six studies, she found that if people see the other political group as "sheeple," they have a more negative opinion of them. This seems to be because they see them as unintelligent.

Abstract

Political polarization has been on the rise in recent years, and understanding how partisans view each other is an important step toward bridging divides. A common narrative in political discourse emphasizes the “sheepleness” of the other side—people view outgroup members as being influenced externally by their upbringing and the media they consume. The present studies examine the way partisans use the sheepleness lens to explain how and why their opponents came to identify with the outgroup. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods across six studies, I investigate the attributions people make to explain their opponents’ political beliefs and behaviors, and the impact of these attributions on their perceptions of outgroup members. I found correlational and causal evidence for the relationship between perceived sheepleness and outgroup favorability, mediated by perceived unintelligence. I also found consistent party differences in perceived sheepleness, perceived unintelligence, and outgroup favorability, with Republicans displaying more positivity toward the outgroup. The findings offer insight into how partisans view each other.
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In her research, Hartman was able to obtain 6 distinct samples of participants from Connect, totaling over 2400 participants, with each sample balanced to include nearly equal numbers of people who identified themselves as Democrats and Republicans, ensuring an unbiased exploration of partisan perceptions.  Quantitative, Qualitative, ExperimentPolitical Polarization, Sheepleness, Attribution TheorySocial Psychology
Hawkins, I., Roden, J., Attal, M., & Aqel, H. (2023). Race and gender intertwined: why intersecting identities matter for perceptions of incivility and content moderation on social media. Journal of Communication, jqad023. https://doi-org.ezproxy.siena.edu/10.1093/joc/jqad023 Full TextHawkins and colleagues examined how race and gender identity influence perceptions of a person posting what’s called “counterspeech” (e.g., a tweet opposing ignorance about White privilege) on social media. Their findings demonstrate that White men were most likely to find a tweet uncivil and to report it. They were particularly likely to report the tweet if it came from a Black woman.

Abstract

Social media users often push back against harmful rhetoric with satirical and aggressive counterspeech. How do the interconnected race and gender identities of the person posting counterspeech and the person viewing it impact evaluations of the comment? Across two online experiments, we manipulate the race (Black or White) and gender (man or woman) of an individual whose tweet opposes ignorance about White privilege to examine if identity influences perceptions of incivility and intentions to flag the tweet for removal among Black and White men and women participants. Results demonstrate White men were most likely to find the tweet uncivil and report it, and this was especially the case when the tweet came from a Black woman, regardless of the tone. These studies highlight the importance of recognizing power and intersectionality in social media content moderation and creating policies that counteract the uniquely severe treatment of Black women by White men.
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Hawkins and colleagues had over 500 Connect participants view what looked like a real Twitter feed with photo-edited profile pictures to test their hypotheses.Quantitative, ExperimentSocial Media, Intersectionality, Social Identity, Content Moderation, Incivility, Critical Media Effects FrameworkCommunications
Hoang, B. L. (2023). Does Race Affect Public Evaluations of Constituent Messages in Local Government Meetings? Results from an Experiment. Political Studies Review, 14789299231187225. Full TextHoang examined how race influences the way in which constituents at local public meetings might evaluate messages. Her findings suggest that race did not affect how reasonable participants rated the message as.

Abstract

Constituents in the United States have used local public meetings in recent years to shape policy on some of the most high-profile race-related issues. However, public meeting participation remains less studied relative to other modes of participation. This study investigates the extent to which race shapes the way a message is heard and evaluated by the public audience and the degree to which its impact depends on the issue of the message. To carry out the study, I set up a 2 × 3 experiment containing six short treatment videos in which I manipulated the race of the actor/speaker (Black or White) and the message issue (innocuous service request, race-related policy, and race-neutral policy). Subjects were randomly assigned to watch one of the six videos and then asked to evaluate the message in the video. The early results of this study show that unlike previous studies revealing racial bias in a range of political contexts in the United States, race exerts neither independent nor conditional effects on the evaluation of the message as reasonable. I discuss the limitations and implications of these findings and useful considerations to think about in expanding this study.
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600 Connect participants watched a series of 3 short videos featuring actors portraying messages typically heard at city council meetings, then answered questions about the videos.Quantitative, ExperimentRace, Ethnicity, Politics, Communication, Urban Politics, Public MeetingsPolitical Science
Holte, A. J., Aukerman, K., Padgett, R., & Kenna, M. (2023). “Let me check my phone just one more time”: Understanding the relationship of obsessive-compulsive disorder severity and problematic smartphone use. Current Psychology, 1-11. Full TextHolt and colleagues investigated how psychological factors like the Fear of Missing Out and a tendency to get bored easily link Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with Problematic Smartphone Use.

Abstract

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a psychiatric disorder characterized by a series of symptoms relating to unwanted and distressing thoughts (IE: obsessions) that lead into the development of repetitive and disruptive behaviors (IE: compulsions) in order to quell the anxiety that stems from the obsessive thought(s). Problematic smartphone use (PSU) is the use of one’s smartphone that is viewed as being excessive or interferes with their daily activities. Prior research has identified a relationship between OCD and PSU. However, more research is needed to understand factors that mediate this relationship. In our study, we recruited 438 people and had them complete multiple measures assessing various levels of obsessive-compulsive behavior, Fear of Missing Out (FoMO), inhibitory anxiety (IA), boredom proneness, and PSU. With use of Structural Equation Modeling, several key findings were identified, such as OCD predicted boredom proneness, FOMO, and IA. Moreover, while FoMO and boredom proneness predicted PSU, IA did not. It was also discovered that FoMO and boredom proneness mediated the relationship of OCD and PSU, but IA did not. FoMO and boredom proneness appear to play an important role in the relationship between OCD and PSU. Though, experimental work is needed to evaluate the causal effects of this relationship
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The researchers recruited 438 participants from Connect and retained data from 97% of participants.Survey, QuantitativeObsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Problematic Smartphone Use, Fear of Missing Out, Inhibitory Anxiety, Boredom PronenessPsychology
Hou, Y., & Poliquin, C. (2023). CEO Activism and Public Mobilization. Available at SSRN 4627436. Full TextHou and Poliquin studied how CEO activism influences people's likelihood to contact US senators about social issues. They found that CEO activism on abortion rights didn't greatly increase the chance of pro-choice citizens contacting senators compared to a control group. However, CEO activism was more effective when the senators were Democrats.

Abstract

CEOs increasingly engage in activism on issues such as gun control, voting rights, and abortion. Although such activism may benefit their firms, the stated goal is often to mobilize the public and precipitate change. In an experiment with 4,578 respondents, we study the effect of CEO activism on people’s willingness to contact their U.S. senators about abortion. On average, showing a CEO message supporting abortion rights is not more effective at mobilizing pro-choice citizens than showing no message or showing a message from other speakers. Additionally, CEOs do not provoke countermobilization by people who oppose abortion. We explore heterogeneous treatment effects and find that CEO activism is better at motivating pro-choice citizens to engage in politics when their senators are Democrats and thus likely receptive to pro-choice activism, consistent with stakeholder alignment theory. Our findings contribute to research on social movements and mobilization in markets by examining the ability of CEOs and organizations to act as catalysts for social change.
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The researchers enlisted the help of over 1000 Connect participants who read one of four statements on abortion before getting the chance to contact their US senator to share their views.Quantitative, ExperimentalMobilization, CEO Activism, Nonmarket Strategy, Political Participation, Corporate-Community RelationshipManagement
Hua, T. T. (2023). Fox News’s Effect on Social and Moral Preferences. Full TextHua's study examined the effect of Fox News on viewers' social and moral values. The findings suggest that regular viewers may lean towards more shared moral values, yet show reduced altruism and trust, with no change in their propensity for negative reciprocity. This trend was particularly strong among non-voters of the 1996 presidential election between Clinton and Dole.

Abstract

This paper examines how Fox News influences social and moral preferences: two crucial inputs in people’s decision-making process. I conduct a survey among Americans aged 45 or older and use the variation in the channel positions of Fox News and MSNBC across different towns and cable providers as instruments. After confirming that these channel positions do not predict voting patterns before Fox started braodcasting, I find evidence that Fox shifted moral values to be more communal, some suggestive evidence that it decreased altruism and trust, and that Fox does not appear to affect negative reciprocity. In addition, these treatment effects are concentrated among those who did not vote for Bill Clinton or Bob Dole in the 1996 election.
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Hua sampled 750 Connect participants over 45 years old residing in the US and used Connect tools to oversample Republicans, increasing respondents who watch Fox News.Quantitative, SurveyNews Media, Fox News, Altruism, Trust, Negative Reciprocity, Universalist Versus Communal MoralsEconomics
Jia, C., Lam, M. S., Mai, M. C., Hancock, J., & Bernstein, M. S. (2023). Embedding Democratic Values into Social Media AIs via Societal Objective Functions. arXiv preprint arXiv:2307.13912. Full TextJia and colleagues examined whether they could use artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce partisan animosity by considering democratic values on social media feeds. Across three studies, the findings demonstrate that removing and downranking anti-democratic attitudes from social media posts reduced partisan animosity without affecting participants’ experience or engagement on social media.

Abstract

This dissertation contributes to retailing and marketing research by exploring how retailer channel decisions (i.e., physical store closures) due to the changes in the retail environment impact consumers’ shopping behaviors. The pandemic caused many retailers to remove physical stores and move online rapidly (e.g., Brooks Brothers and Neiman Marcus) (Pacheco, 2020). As the retail environment changes, understanding consumers’ shopping behaviors is critical for retailers to stay competitive, maintain, and attract new customers. Thus, Essay 1 studies how consumers’ emotions toward the changing retail environment affect their desire to return to their pre-pandemic shopping routine. Using scenario-based experiments, I explored the effects of consumers' emotions (hope and fear) on their likelihood of shopping in-store, the moderating role of subjective norms, and the mediating roles of internal locus of control and coping (problem- and emotion-focused). Essay 2 studies how multichannel consumer segments have changed their channel shopping behaviors across two store elimination phases. Using Latent Profile Analysis, I identified up-to-date multichannel consumer segments based on the segments' in-store and online channel usage pre- and during-COVID-19, the factors that described segment membership, and channel switching intentions by segment membership.
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Using almost 2000 Connect participants, Jia and colleagues develop and replicate a novel strategy to help reduce some social media harm.Quantitative, ExperimentSocial Media, Politics, HCI, AI, Algorithms, Affective Polarization, Partisan AnimosityComputer Science, Human-Computer Interaction
Karell, D., Sachs, J., & Barrett, R. (2023, November 8). Synthetic Duality: A Framework for Analyzing Natural Language Generation's Representation of Social Reality. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/htxa4 Full TextKarell and colleagues explored the impact of large language models on our understanding of social reality by developing a framework called "synthetic duality." They found that these models can create realistic portrayals of actors and affect readers' perceptions of social reality.

Abstract

The development of large language models (LLMs) has caused concern about their potential risks, including how their ability to generate texts plausibly written by a person could affect our shared perception of the social world. Yet, it remains unclear how best to assess and understand the models’ influence on our understanding of social reality. Building on insights into how social worlds are represented within texts, we take initial steps towards developing a framework for analyzing natural language generation’s (NLG) content, as well as its consequences for perceptions of social reality. We demonstrate our “synthetic duality” framework in two parts. First, we show that advanced LLMs can create, with minimal guidance, reasonable portrayals of actors and ascribe relational meaning to those actors – virtual social worlds within texts, or “Mondo-Breigers”. Second, we examine how these synthetic documents with interior social worlds affect readers’ view of social reality. We find that they change individuals’ perceptions of the ideas and rhetoric of actors depicted in the documents, likely by updating individuals’ expectations about the actors and their meanings. However, additional exploratory analyses suggest it is models’ style, not their construction of “Mondo-Breigers”, that might be affecting people’s perceptions. We end by discussing how our study illustrates a methodological approach for using generative AI to conduct sociological research, as well as how NLG may unsettle structural notions of individuality. Namely, reimagining the duality of individuals and groups could help theorize growing homogeneity in an increasingly NLG-informed world.
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The researchers recruited 252 Connect participants to read and respond to scripts created by large language models in order to demonstrate how they can alter people’s social reality.Quantitative, ExperimentalDuality, Socio-Semantic Networks, Mondo-Breiger, Large Language Models, Natural Language GenerationSociology, Science and Technology Studies, Political Science, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Kaveladze, B. T. (2023). Using Brief Internet Interventions to Challenge Loneliness at Scale (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Irvine). Full TextKaveladze found that single-session interventions (SSIs) for loneliness, lasting either 20 minutes or 1 hour, did not significantly reduce loneliness compared to a control group. However, they were preferred by participants. He also discovered that SSIs with researcher-created content were better at lessening depression and loneliness than those using generic online content, suggesting a need for more tailored SSIs.

Abstract

Loneliness is an enduring global health issue. Effective evidence-based loneliness interventions exist but lack sufficient scale to reach many who might benefit from them. Single-session interventions (SSIs), which aim to condense the core elements of evidence-based treatments into brief and broadly acceptable self-guided experiences, offer an opportunity to make robust guidance for overcoming loneliness much more accessible. This dissertation’s objective was to inform the development of effective and broadly-appealing SSIs for loneliness. Study 1 (n = 908) showed that neither a 20-minute SSI version (p = 0.22) nor a 1-hour 3-session version of a self-guided online loneliness intervention (p = 0.23) changed loneliness over four weeks more than an active control SSI did. However, participants reported finding both loneliness interventions more appealing and valuable than the control (ps < 0.02). While some participants reported that the loneliness interventions had a lasting positive impact, the interventions did not appear to be more useful on average than an active control among lonely people aged 16 and older with internet access. Study 2 explored if popular online content was more effective at reducing distress than typical researcher-created SSI content among a sample of mostly crowdworkers struggling with psychological distress. The study (n = 916) showed that a popular online content-centered mental health SSI did not affect participants’ distress over four weeks differently than a mental health SSI with researcher-created content (p = 0.09) or finding content independently on the web (p = 0.42). On the contrary, participants assigned to the researcher-created SSI reported greater improvement than those assigned to the popular online content-based SSI in depressive symptoms (b = -0.44, p = 0.03) and loneliness (b = 0.29, p = 0.04), on average. Future work should aim to improve SSIs’ effectiveness, identify populations for which SSIs are most effective, and implement SSIs in accessible and appealing ways
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For the second study of his dissertation, Kaveladze recruited over 600 participants from Connect for a longitudinal study spanning 8-weeks.Quantitative, Experimental, Intervention, LongitudinalLoneliness, Intervention, DepressionPsychology
Keller, L., Hazelaar, F., Gollwitzer, P. M., & Oettingen, G. (2023). Political ideology and environmentalism impair logical reasoning. Thinking & Reasoning, 1-30. Full TextKeller and colleagues examined the effect of personal beliefs, such as political and environmental stances, on individuals' logical reasoning. Their four studies revealed that people's evaluations of logical statements are biased by their beliefs, even when offered financial incentives for accuracy. This demonstrates how deeply ideology can influence logical reasoning.

Abstract

People are more likely to think statements are valid when they agree with them than when they do not. We conducted four studies analyzing the interference of self-reported ideologies with performance in a syllogistic reasoning task. Study 1 established the task paradigm and demonstrated that participants’ political ideology affects syllogistic reasoning for syllogisms with political content but not politically irrelevant syllogisms. The preregistered Study 2 replicated the effect and showed that incentivizing accuracy did not alleviate these differences. Study 3 revealed that syllogistic reasoning is affected by ideology in the presence and absence of such bonus payments for correctly judging the conclusions’ logical validity. In Study 4, we observed similar effects regarding a different ideological orientation: environmentalism. Again, monetary bonuses did not attenuate these effects. Taken together, the results of four studies highlight the harm of ideology regarding people’s logical reasoning.
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Keller and colleagues used Connect in their 3rd study to obtain a balanced sample based on political ideology, recruiting 120 participants for each of the five levels of their political ideology measure.  Quantitative, ExperimentPolitical Ideology, Logical Reasoning, Motivated Reasoning, Environmentalism, Monetary IncentivesPsychology
Khan, A. (2023). The Effects of Multiple Metaphors on Framing. Full TextKhan's research focused on the influence of metaphors on understanding societal issues. Participants read vignettes under two conditions: one with a single repeated metaphor (One Metaphor Condition), and another with two different metaphors (Two Metaphor Condition). Responses aligned more with the metaphor introduced first, irrespective of condition, validating Khan's hypothesis that the initial metaphor frames the subsequent perception and decision-making more than a later one.

Abstract

Metaphors are frequently utilized to frame discussions of complicated societal issues, which has been shown to influence decision-making. However, no studies have examined the effects of using multiple metaphors. Specifically, it is unclear how people will react when they read a report framed with two different metaphors that have different entailments. Will the metaphor introduced at the beginning of the report or the one added at the end make more of an impact? Or would the effects of the two metaphors cancel each other out? We hypothesized that participants would be more affected by the metaphor that was presented first. In the present study, participants read a series of four metaphorically framed vignettes. They were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: (1) One Metaphor Condition: where each vignette was framed using two instantiations of a single metaphor, or (2) Two Metaphor Condition: where each vignette was framed using a single instantiation of each of two different metaphors. After reading each vignette, participants answered a question about the vignette with two possible response options, one of which was conceptually consistent with the first metaphor frame. Results supported our hypothesis: overall, participants responded in a manner congruent with the first metaphor they read significantly above chance levels. While metaphor-congruent responding was higher in the One Metaphor Condition, there was not a significant difference between the two conditions on this measure. The implications of these results and the limitations of the current study are discussed.
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Khan was able to recruit 400 participants from Connect with gender evenly distributed in order to meet the sample size used in previous metaphor research of 200 participants per condition.  Quantitative, ExperimentMetaphor, Framing, Mixed MetaphorPsychology
Kim, B., Kwon, P., Lee, K., Lee, M., Han, S., Kim, D., & Joo, H. (2023). Chupa: Carving 3D Clothed Humans from Skinned Shape Priors using 2D Diffusion Probabilistic Models. arXiv preprint arXiv:2305.11870. Full TextKim and colleagues proposed a 3D generation pipeline, Chupa, to create realistic human digital avatars, overcoming challenges posed by the diversity in human forms. Their new method results in a high-quality, varied, and realistic 3D representations of clothed humans.

Abstract

We propose a 3D generation pipeline that uses diffusion models to generate realistic human digital avatars. Due to the wide variety of human identities, poses, and stochastic details, the generation of 3D human meshes has been a challenging problem. To address this, we decompose the problem into 2D normal map generation and normal map-based 3D reconstruction. Specifically, we first simultaneously generate realistic normal maps for the front and backside of a clothed human, dubbed dual normal maps, using a pose-conditional diffusion model. For 3D reconstruction, we "carve" the prior SMPL-X mesh to a detailed 3D mesh according to the normal maps through mesh optimization. To further enhance the high-frequency details, we present a diffusion resampling scheme on both body and facial regions, thus encouraging the generation of realistic digital avatars. We also seamlessly incorporate a recent text-to-image diffusion model to support text-based human identity control. Our method, namely, Chupa, is capable of generating realistic 3D clothed humans with better perceptual quality and identity variety.
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In order to test the user preference for this model, Kim and his team carried out a perceptual study where 100 Connect participants were tasked with determining which images were more realistic for a series of images.Quantitative, ExperimentComputer Vision, Pattern Recognition, UX StudyComputer Science, Data Science
Kim, T., Saito, S., & Joo, H. (2023). NCHO: Unsupervised Learning for Neural 3D Composition of Humans and Objects. arXiv preprint arXiv:2305.14345. Full TextKim and colleagues introduced a new method to synthesize 3D models of humans with clothing and accessories from real-world scans. Their system can separate and then naturally combine humans and objects, offering a more flexible way to create diverse and realistic 3D avatars with various items and poses.

Abstract

Deep generative models have been recently extended to synthesizing 3D digital humans. However, previous approaches treat clothed humans as a single chunk of geometry without considering the compositionality of clothing and accessories. As a result, individual items cannot be naturally composed into novel identities, leading to limited expressiveness and controllability of generative 3D avatars. While several methods attempt to address this by leveraging synthetic data, the interaction between humans and objects is not authentic due to the domain gap, and manual asset creation is difficult to scale for a wide variety of objects. In this work, we present a novel framework for learning a compositional generative model of humans and objects (backpacks, coats, scarves, and more) from real-world 3D scans. Our compositional model is interaction-aware, meaning the spatial relationship between humans and objects, and the mutual shape change by physical contact is fully incorporated. The key challenge is that, since humans and objects are in contact, their 3D scans are merged into a single piece. To decompose them without manual annotations, we propose to leverage two sets of 3D scans of a single person with and without objects. Our approach learns to decompose objects and naturally compose them back into a generative human model in an unsupervised manner. Despite our simple setup requiring only the capture of a single subject with objects, our experiments demonstrate the strong generalization of our model by enabling the natural composition of objects to diverse identities in various poses and the composition of multiple objects, which is unseen in training data.
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The researchers carried out two user preference evaluations (A/B tests) using Connect participants to verify their distinct approaches.Quantitative, ExperimentComputer Vision, Pattern Recognition, UX StudyComputer Science, Data Science
Landry, A., Druckman, J., & Willer, R. (2023). Need for Chaos and Dehumanization Are Robustly Associated with Support for Partisan Violence. Full TextLandry and colleagues investigated factors linked to backing partisan violence, finding that a "need for chaos" and holding dehumanizing views towards members of the opposing political party were the most strongly and consistently associated with support for partisan violence.

Abstract

Recent, high-profile acts of partisan violence have stimulated interest among academics and the general public in the etiology of support for such violence. Here, we report results of an exploratory study that (1) measures support for partisan violence with both abstract items (e.g., general support for partisan violence) and support for more specific acts (e.g., support for a partisan motivated shooting), (2) follows recently-established best practices by including attention checks to attenuate response bias, and (3) incorporates measures of a wide range of potential confounders as control variables. Across three data collections (total N = 2,003), including two with nationally representative samples, and tracking seven unique operationalizations of support for the use of violence against out-partisans, we find the most consistent and typically largest relationships with an individuals’ reported “need for chaos” (e.g., agreement with statements like: “Sometimes I just feel like destroying beautiful things”) and the extent to which they dehumanize supporters of the opposing party. We speculate this reflects a motivation to use extreme methods (need for chaos) toward one’s political rivals, liberated from the moral restraints that inhibit harming fellow human beings (dehumanization). System justification and social dominance orientation were also both positively related to support for partisan violence, which may reflect partisans’ desire to protect their preferred social order from out-partisans deemed to threaten it. Collectively, these results offer a framework for future research on support for partisan violence, highlighting the role of extreme orientations toward society and rival partisans.
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For Study 1, the researchers recruited 300 participants from Connect who identified themselves as partisans (i.e., leaning towards Democrat or Republican), excluding only two participants who failed an attention check.Survey, QuantitativeAffective Polarization, Dehumanization, Ideological Extremity, Need for Chaos, Partisan Animosity, Political Psychology, Social Dominance Orientation, System Justification, Trait AggressionSocial Psychology, Personality Psychology, Political Psychology
Lee, J. J. (2023). Cheap Talk with the Bayesian Truth Serum. Available at SSRN 4450528. Full TextIn three separate experiments, Lee explores the efficacy of merging two methods aimed at prompting participants to provide more honest answers in surveys, compared to using each method individually. The results reveal that integrating these techniques enhances the accuracy of participants' responses in various survey contexts and formats.

Abstract

Biased responses in survey studies could seriously harm and mislead our economic decision-making. To mitigate survey response bias, we suggest an alternative way of combining two existing strategies, cheap talk and the Bayesian Truth Serum (BTS). In our three proof-of-concept experiments, we found that our alternative approach, named the C-BTS, helps elicit more truthful survey responses even in situations where neither the BTS nor cheap talk alone works well enough, especially in the context of economic valuation of goods. By applying the C-BTS, we have also confirmed that AI-powered services are already significantly enhancing the well-being of our citizens.
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Lee opted for Connect to recruit participants for his experiments on survey response bias due to its high data quality and utilized its automatic census-matched template to select individuals based on criteria like U.S. citizenship, gender, age, ethnicity, race, income, and education level.Quantitative, ExperimentHypothetical Bias, Willingness to Pay, Willingness to AcceptEconomics
Loureiro, S. M. C., Jiménez‐Barreto, J., Bilro, R. G., & Romero, J. Me and my AI: Exploring the effects of consumer self‐construal and AI‐based experience on avoiding similarity and willingness to pay. Psychology & Marketing. Full TextLoureiro and colleagues explored how AI tools with branding affect consumers, particularly looking at their feelings of uniqueness, their experiences, and how they spend. They found that individuals with an independent mindset felt more unique and had better experiences using branded AI, which in turn made them more likely to spend on products suggested by the AI. Additionally, these consumers tended to steer clear of products that appeared to be too common or popular.

Abstract

Artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping consumer interaction with brands, but little is known about how brands can implement AI tools effectively. Drawing on consumer uniqueness and self-construal theories, the authors examine the implementation of branded AI tools and their influence on consumers' experience, sense of uniqueness, and spending behavior. Across five studies, this research examines consumers' narratives about interacting with a branded AI tool (Study 1); tests the relationships between self-construal, AI-enabled consumer experiences, and avoidance of similarity (Studies 2A and 2B); evaluates in situ experience with a branded AI tool and its implications for spending behavior (Study 3); and delineates consumer preferences about the attributes of branded AI tools (Study 4). The findings reveal that individuals characterized by independent self-construal are prone toward perceiving higher recognition and hedonic values during their experience with branded AI tools, partially enhancing consumer avoidance of similarity and influencing their willingness to pay for products that the AI tool recommends. For practitioners, the findings suggest developing a two-fold value proposition strategy for consumers by generating personal and psychological value together with product and service recommendations.
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The researchers recruited 250 Connect participants in Study 2b to replicate their initial findings from Study 2a with a gender-balanced sample of mostly full-time workers.Qualitative, Quantitative, SurveyAI, Consumer Experience, Avoidance of Similarity, Hedonic, Recognition, Self‐Construal, Willingness to PayMarketing, Consumer Behavior
Lu, Z. Y., Hsee, C. K., & Wu, K. (2023). Short-Asking with Long-Encouraging (SALE): A simple method to increase purchase quantity. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 1-19. Full TextLu and colleagues investigated the SALE marketing approach, which merges a long-term suggestion ("Stock up for two weeks") with a short-term question ("Think about how many you will consume in one day") to see if it encourages increased purchasing. They confirmed the effectiveness of SALE through two field studies, four lab experiments, and a survey of sales professionals, offering a detailed look at its mechanics, boundaries, and optimal conditions for success.

Abstract

Marketers often use messages such as “Stock up and save” to encourage consumers to buy more units of a product. Governments use messages such as “Store at least a two-week supply of water and food” to encourage consumers to stock up on essentials for emergencies. This research finds that these messages may not work as effectively as hoped and introduces a method that can increase consumers' purchase quantity in these situations. Dubbed as SALE (“Short-Asking with Long-Encouraging”), this method couples a “long-encouraging” statement (e.g., “Stock up for two weeks”) with a “short-asking” statement (e.g., “Think about how many you will consume in one day”) in an advertisement. Two field studies, four lab experiments and a survey with salespeople demonstrated the effectiveness and novelty of SALE and identified the mechanism, moderators and boundary conditions of the effect.
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For their various experiments and pretests, the researchers utilized Connect’s demographic targeting feature to effectively recruit specific participant samples, such people who were actual consumers of a product in Study 3 and other who had sales experience in Study 6b. Quantitative, ExperimentSales Promotion, Unit-Asking, Emergency Preparation, Field Experiments, Scope SensitivityMarketing
Ludwig, J. M., & Schumann, K. (2023, August 20). How and Why the Omission Bias Affects Victims’ Responses to Interpersonal Transgressions. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/dc2wh Full TextLudwig and Schumann investigated whether people are willing to forgive others’ transgressions. Across two studies, they found that participants were less willing to forgive someone for a commission transgression (actively doing something wrong) vs. an omission transgression (passively misleading by failing to disclose information), but that overall, apologies are effective for both types of transgressions.

Abstract

We examined how and why commission and omission transgressions differentially affect victims’ forgiveness, and whether apologies are differentially effective at eliciting forgiveness for these transgressions. In Study 1 (N = 376), using online vignettes, victims perceived commission (vs. omission) transgressions as higher in responsibility and intent, and these offense perceptions in turn predicted reduced forgiveness, both on their own and serially through perceptions of immoral behavior and immoral character. However, apologizing (vs. not apologizing) predicted greater forgiveness for both types of offenses. In Study 2 (N = 593), using recalled offenses, forgiveness was lower for commission (vs. omission) transgressions. Study 2 also replicated the mediating roles of offense perceptions and moral judgments, as well as the benefits of apologies for forgiveness across both types of offenses. These studies demonstrate how and why forgiveness might be less forthcoming for commissions, but suggest that apologies are effective for both commissions and omissions.
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Ludwig and Schumann used the census-matched option on Connect to collect a representative sample of 600 participants in their second study.Quantitative, ExperimentApologies, Forgiveness, Morality, Offense, Perceptions, Omission BiasSocial Psychology
Ma, A. (2023). The Influence of Error on Perceptions of Machine Learning vs. Clinician-Based Risk Assessments (Doctoral dissertation, Arizona State University). Full TextMa's dissertation investigates how people view the trustworthiness of risk assessments made by human clinicians compared to those produced by machine learning algorithms for legal decisions. The findings show that more people tend to have greater faith in assessments made by clinicians rather than those created by machines.

Abstract

Risk assessments are key legal tools that can inform a number of legal decisions regarding parole sentencing and predict recidivism rates. Due to assessments being historically performed by humans, they can be prone to bias and have come under various amounts of scrutiny. The increased capability and application of machine learning technology has lead the justice system to incorporate algorithms and codes to increase accuracy and reliability. This study researched laypersons’ attitudes towards these algorithms and how they would change when exposed to an algorithm that made errors in the risk assessment process. Participants were tasked with reading two vignettes and answering a series of questions to assess the differences in their perceptions towards machine learning and clinician-based risk assessments. The research findings showed that individuals lent more trust to clinicians and had more confidence in their assessments when compared to machines, but were not significantly more punitive when it came to attributing blame and judgement for the consequences of an incorrect risk assessment. Participants had a significantly more positive attitude towards clinician-based risk assessments, noting their assessments as being more reliable, informed, and trustworthy. Participants were also asked to come to a parole decision using the assessment of either a clinician or machine learning algorithm at the end of the study and rate their own confidence in their decision. Results found that participants were only significantly less confident in their decision when exposed to previous instances of risk assessments with error, but that there was no significant difference in their confidence based solely on who conducted the assessment.
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Ma successfully recruited 383 Connect participants for her study. These participants read a pretend article that described a defendant's parole decision, either determined by a machine learning assessment or a clinician. Afterward, they answered questions about how reliable and trustworthy they found the assessment to be. Quantitative, ExperimentRisk Assessment, Legal Decision Making, AIBehavioral Science
Martel, C., & Rand, D. G. (2023, November 11). Fact-checker warning labels are effective even for those who distrust fact-checkers. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/t2pmb Full TextMartel and Rand researched whether skepticism towards fact-checkers lessens the impact of warning labels in countering online misinformation. They found that despite people on the political right generally having less trust in fact-checkers, warning labels still notably decrease belief in and sharing of false news. This indicates that warning labels are an effective method in combating misinformation.

Abstract

Warning labels from professional fact-checkers are one of the most widely used interventions against online misinformation. Prior work suggests that such warning labels are effective at reducing the belief and spread of false content on average. However, there is substantial distrust of fact-checkers, particularly among those on the political right. Does this distrust undermine the effectiveness of fact-checks? In the current work, we investigate this question empirically. In a first correlational study (N=1,000), we establish and validate a measure of trust in fact-checkers. We confirm that more Republican-favoring participants are less trusting of fact-checkers, and also find that skill-based traits such as procedural news knowledge and analytic thinking exacerbate this partisan asymmetry. Next, we conduct meta-analyses across 21 experiments (total N=14,133) in which participants evaluated actual true and false news posts and were randomized to either see no warning labels (control) or to see warning labels on a high proportion of the false posts. We find that warning labels were on average effective at reducing belief in (27.6% reduction), and sharing of (24.7% reduction), false headlines. While warning effects were somewhat smaller for participants with less trust in fact-checkers, warning labels nonetheless significantly reduced belief in, and sharing of, false news even for those most distrusting of fact-checkers. Together, these results suggest that fact-checker warning labels are a broadly effective tool for combatting misinformation.
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The researchers recruited 487 Connect participants as a part of their larger internal meta-analysis of results from 21 experiments from various online participant platforms, making it possible for researchers to generalize their findings and recruit participants across the political spectrum.Quantitative, Survey, Experiment, Meta-AnalysisMisinformation, Trust, Fact-Checkers, Warning Labels, Political PsychologySocial Psychology
Meckes, S. J. (2023). Does Racial Bias Influence Affective and Behavioral Responses to Trauma Disclosure? (Doctoral dissertation, University of Nevada, Reno). Full TextMeckes looked at how a woman's racial identity affected her reaction to videos of female victims talking about their experiences with sexual assault. The results showed that Black women watching the videos reacted differently based on the victim's race. They showed more sadness when watching a white victim compared to a Black victim. But, they showed more disgust when the victim was Black than when she was white.

Abstract

This study investigated the impact of survivor and participant racial identity on the behavioral and affective responses to sexual assault disclosures. I implemented a novel approach to measuring disclosure recipient social reactions, measuring participants’ facial expressions of emotion while watching a sexual assault disclosure video. The present study used a 2 (participant racial identity: Black vs white) x 3 (survivor racial identity: Black, white, Asian American) design to examine the impact of intergroup and interracial biases on facial expressions, empathy, and positive and negative social reactions, such as offering aid or support versus blaming or distancing. Contrary to hypotheses, I found little evidence for affiliative facial mimicry of survivors, which may have been associated with participants’ motivation to socially distance themselves from the survivor. However, preliminary evidence for intergroup bias was observed for overall facial expressions of disgust and sadness. Notably, most differences in reactions were observed among Black-white dyads, providing some initial evidence for the specificity of this effect. These findings emphasize the importance of considering intergroup dynamics in the context of sexual assault disclosures and the impact of these dynamics on implicit reactions during the disclosure.
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Meckes was able to recruit 190 women, identifying as either white or Black, who were willing to participate in studies that required video recording and could participate using a computer.  Quantitative, Experiment Trauma Disclosure, Sexual Assault Disclosure, Racial BiasClinical Psychology
Miller, D. R. & Piper, C.. “Acting(s) Without Consequence: The (Lack of) Public Costs for Vacancy Appointments.” Working paper. Full TextMiller and Piper investigated how the public views the growing practice of U.S. presidents appointing acting officials to lead federal agencies, using President Joe Biden's administration as a case study. After conducting three experiments, they found minimal public opposition to this trend, indicating that public opinion may not strongly influence this aspect of presidential decision-making.

Abstract

While acting officials in federal agencies have become more common in recent years, presidents still utilize the traditional nomination process, which constrains presidents’ choices, for most executive branch appointments. Recent work emphasizes presidents’ incentives for using acting officials, but few scholars have considered what keeps presidents from using them even more often. We argue presidents’ use of acting officials, like other forms of unilateral action, is constrained by public opinion; while actings may be expeditious policy tools for presidents,the public perceives them to undermine the executive branch’s legitimacy and competence and punishes presidents accordingly. Through three survey experiments leveraging real-world instances of President Joe Biden’s usage of acting officials, we find little evidence the public reacts negatively to acting officials in agency leadership. While some institutional forces must encourage presidents to seek senatorial advise and consent for their nominees, our evidence does not indicate public opinion provides that constraint.
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The researchers sampled over 1000 Connect participants, using Connect's census-matching to ensure representativenessQuantitative, ExperimentPublic Opinion, President BidenPolitical Science
Milli, S., Carroll, M., Pandey, S., Wang, Y., & Dragan, A. D. (2023). Twitter's Algorithm: Amplifying Anger, Animosity, and Affective Polarization. arXiv preprint arXiv:2305.16941. Full TextMilli and colleagues looked at how the algorithms on Twitter, which show content based on how much people interact with the app, affect what people see and how they feel about different political groups. Their research showed that when people saw a Twitter feed based on their interactions, they saw more posts that were emotional and showed anger towards political groups they didn't belong to, compared to a regular Twitter feed.

Abstract

In a pre-registered randomized experiment, we found that, relative to a reverse-chronological baseline, Twitter's engagement-based ranking algorithm may amplify emotionally charged, out-group hostile content and contribute to affective polarization. Furthermore, we critically examine the claim that the algorithm shows users what they want to see, discovering that users do *not* prefer the political tweets selected by the algorithm. Finally, we explore the implications of an alternative approach to ranking content based on users' stated preferences and find a reduction in angry, partisan, and out-group hostile content but also a potential reinforcement of echo chambers. The evidence underscores the necessity for a more nuanced approach to content ranking that balances engagement, users' stated preferences, and sociopolitical outcomes.
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Using Connect, the researchers were able to recruit over 800 active Twitter users who were able and willing to download a Chrome extension necessary to complete this experiment.  Quantitative, ExperimentTwitter, Social Media, Computers and Society, Political PolarizationComputer Science, Human-Computer Interaction
Moncrieff, M., & Lienard, P. (2023). Radicalization and violent extremism depend on envy; conspiracy ideation, sometimes. Frontiers in psychology, 14, 1111354. Full TextMoncrieff and Lienard's research delves into how envy contributes to radicalization, violent extremism, and the belief in conspiracies. They discovered that envy intensifies both the endorsement of extremist views and the justification of violence. Additionally, their work suggests that the process of becoming radicalized precedes and potentially leads to conspiracy ideation, rather than conspiracy ideation leading to radicalization.

Abstract

Emotions are conspicuous components of radicalization, violent extremism, and conspiracy ideation. Of the emotions studied for their contribution to those social pathologies, envy has been relatively unexplored. We investigate the relationship between envy, radicalization, and conspiracy ideation. Envy appears to affect core aspects of radicalization, particularly the endorsement of extremism and the acceptance of violent means to achieve one’s ends, while radicalization facilitates the adoption of conspiracy ideation, rather than the latter being a cause of radicalization. Implications for future research on radicalization and violent extremism are discussed.
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The researchers successfully enlisted 447 participants from Connect, whose average political beliefs were near the mid-point of their scale, a crucial factor for ensuring balanced and representative insights in political research.Quantitative, SurveyEnvy, Radicalization, Extremism, Violence, Conspiracy IdeationSocial Psychology, Political Psychology
Moon, N. A. (2023). Am I committed or conflicted? Examining implications of self-concept structure for self-regulation, well-being, and performance. Full TextMoon's dissertation looked at how our self-awareness links to our ability to manage our actions, such as achieving goals. His results indicate that having a clear understanding of ourselves and our various characteristics can impact how we control our actions, our emotions, and our overall performance.

Abstract

Although research on self-concept is extensive, few studies have examined the relationship between specific aspects of self-concept structure (e.g., self-concept clarity) and self-regulation constructs (e.g., goal commitment). In addition, research has linked aspects of self-concept structure with well-being outcomes, but less is known about the mechanisms involved in these relationships. This research addresses these two issues by examining self-concept structure (self-concept clarity and self-concept differentiation) as antecedents of key self-regulatory mechanisms (goal commitment and goal conflict) and how these linkages may help explain connections between self-concept structure and well-being and performance. More specifically, two studies examined these relationships, with Study 1 investigating these variables in individuals’ lives in general and Study 2 focusing on these variables in the work context. Regarding self-regulatory mechanisms, SCC was related to goal commitment and SCD was related to both goal commitment and goal conflict. For psychological well-being, SCC was related to eudaimonic, hedonic, and work engagement, whereas SCD was related to eudaimonic and hedonic well-being. In addition, goal commitment was related to work engagement and goal conflict was related to eudaimonic well-being and positive affect. Finally, for performance-related outcomes, SCC was positively related to in-role job performance. In addition, goal commitment was related to goal progress and in-role job performance. However, results for the indirect effects were mixed. Taken together, these results suggest that aspects of self-concept structure may have notable implications for self-regulatory mechanisms, psychological well-being, and performance outcomes.
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Moon collected responses from 200 participants in Connect over 5 working days, resulting in a total of 779 observations for his logitudinal study. Quantitative, Longitudinal, SurveySelf-concept structure, Self-regulation, Well-being, Performance, Goal Commitment, Psychological WellbeingI/O Psychology
Moravec, P. L., Collis, A., & Wolczynski, N. (2023). Countering State-Controlled Media Propaganda Through Labeling: Evidence from Facebook. Information Systems Research. Full TextMoravec and their team carried out two experiments to study how Facebook's "state-controlled media" labels, which identify content from government sources, affected users' interaction with such content. The findings showed that users were less likely to engage with this content when they saw these labels, especially when they were associated with countries that had a negative reputation.

Abstract

Manipulative content and propaganda are an information quality concern on social media. Although attention has been turned toward mis- and disinformation, government-controlled social media pages have been able to quietly share information to encourage users toward beliefs without sharing content that may be clearly labeled as false. To combat the effect of quiet foreign government persuasion attempts, Facebook debuted a “state-controlled media” label in June 2020 to alert users that a post originates from a page associated with selected governments, including Russia and China. We conduct two online randomized experiments to better understand the causal impact of these labels on intentions to engage with content on Facebook. We augment our experiments by analyzing field data from Facebook before and after these labels were implemented and studying actual engagement. We find that labels are effective in reducing engagement on social media if users notice the labels and if the label is associated with a country that is perceived negatively. More users notice the label if trained. The combination of these studies suggests that these labels can successfully reduce engagement with posts by Russian and Chinese state-controlled pages but may even increase engagement for other countries perceived positively like Canada.
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In their second experiment, the researchers succesfully recruited 2,200 Connect participants who had a Facebook account in the US.Quantitative, ExperimentSocial Media, Computational propaganda, Credibility, State-controlled media, LabelsBusiness, Information Systems
Moss, A. J., Budd, R. D., Blanchard, M. A., & O'Brien, L. T. (2023). The upside of acknowledging prejudiced behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 104, 104401. Full TextMoss and colleagues explored how people perceive others who acknowledge their own prejudiced behavior. Across six experiments, they found that people who acknowledged their prejudiced behavior after being confronted for it were viewed as warmer, more moral, and ironically, less prejudiced than those who denied such behavior.

Abstract

What do people think of those who respond to confrontation by acknowledging personally prejudiced behavior? In six experiments (N = 3344), people judged a man who made a prejudiced comment and responded to confrontation by acknowledging, denying, or, in some cases, saying nothing about his prejudice. Participants consistently evaluated someone who acknowledged prejudice as warmer, more moral, and ironically, less prejudiced than someone who denied. People also perceived acknowledging as more appropriate and less typical than denying regardless of whether the prejudice was racism or sexism. Moreover, men and women, White, Black, and Asian people alike evaluated acknowledgements more positively than denials. Evidence from multiple experiments suggests that people form more positive impressions of those who acknowledge than deny because acknowledgment signals more of a learning orientation to prejudice and intergroup relations. Although people frequently respond to confrontation by denying prejudiced behavior, there appears to be an upside to acknowledging.
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In Experiment 5, the researchers successfully recruited an equal number of Black (N = 178) and White (N = 177) participants from Connect, enabling them to examine if both racial majority and minority groups perceived acknowledgment of prejudice as an indication of learning.Quantitative, ExperimentAcknowledging Prejudice, Intergroup Interactions, Confronting Prejudice, Performance, Learning-Oriented BehaviorsSocial Psychology
Ngoh, C.-L. (2023). The Effect of Retailer Channel Decisions on Consumer Channel Shopping Behavior [Doctoral dissertation, Kent State University]. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=kent1690477803801319 Full TextFor her dissertation research, Ngoh studied how the shift from physical retail stores to online shopping during the pandemic affected consumers' behaviors. The results suggest that consumers who are optimistic about the future of retail are more inclined to shop in physical stores compared to those who are anxious. Additionally, the influence of other people's opinions made fearful consumers even less likely to shop in physical stores.

Abstract

This dissertation contributes to retailing and marketing research by exploring how retailer channel decisions (i.e., physical store closures) due to the changes in the retail environment impact consumers’ shopping behaviors. The pandemic caused many retailers to remove physical stores and move online rapidly (e.g., Brooks Brothers and Neiman Marcus) (Pacheco, 2020). As the retail environment changes, understanding consumers’ shopping behaviors is critical for retailers to stay competitive, maintain, and attract new customers. Thus, Essay 1 studies how consumers’ emotions toward the changing retail environment affect their desire to return to their pre-pandemic shopping routine. Using scenario-based experiments, I explored the effects of consumers' emotions (hope and fear) on their likelihood of shopping in-store, the moderating role of subjective norms, and the mediating roles of internal locus of control and coping (problem- and emotion-focused). Essay 2 studies how multichannel consumer segments have changed their channel shopping behaviors across two store elimination phases. Using Latent Profile Analysis, I identified up-to-date multichannel consumer segments based on the segments' in-store and online channel usage pre- and during-COVID-19, the factors that described segment membership, and channel switching intentions by segment membership.
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In the initial study of her dissertation, Ngoh assigned 320 Connect participants to either feel hope or fear to explore how emotions impact in-store shopping behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic. Experiment, Quantitative, Latent Profile AnalysisShopping Behavior, COVID-19, Emotion, NormsMarketing, Consumer Behavior
Pantesco, E. J., & Kan, I. P. (2023). Racial and ethnic disparities in self-reported sleep duration: Roles of subjective socioeconomic status and sleep norms. Sleep Medicine. Full TextPantesco and Kan explored racial and ethnic differences in sleep duration, noting that Hispanic individuals reported less sleep on weeknights compared to White individuals. They found that subjective social status (SSS) influenced these disparities, especially for Black and Asian individuals with medium to high SSS. Additionally, differing norms about the ideal amount of sleep helped to account for the sleep duration discrepancies between Black and White adults.

Abstract

Objectives: There are racial and ethnic disparities in sleep duration, with members of historically marginalized groups typically reporting shorter sleep than White Americans. This study examines subjective social status (SSS) as a moderator, and variation in ideal sleep norms as a mediator, of differences in sleep duration between racial/ ethnic groups. Methods: Asian, Black, Hispanic, and non-Hispanic White respondents in an online survey reported their typical weeknight and weekend-night sleep duration, along with estimates of ideal sleep duration norms. Objective and subjective indicators of socioeconomic status were also assessed. A conditional process analysis was used to examine whether racial or ethnic differences in sleep duration were a) moderated by SSS and b) mediated by ideal sleep duration norms. Results: Racial/ethnic disparities in sleep duration varied by group. Hispanic participants reported shorter weeknight sleep than White participants. In Asian and Black participants, shorter weeknight sleep relative to White participants was only observed at medium (Black) or high (Black and Asian) levels of SSS. Shorter norms for ideal sleep duration partially mediated differences in sleep duration between Black and White adults, but not the other racial/ethnic groups. There was no evidence of moderated mediation. Neither income nor education moderated racial/ethnic disparities in sleep duration. Conclusions: Racial and ethnic disparities in sleep duration may partially depend on SSS. Continued research into moderators and mediators of racial/ethnic differences in sleep duration is warranted.
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The researchers recruited over 1000 participants from Connect which allowed them to target their sample’s racial and ethnic demographics. Survey, QuantitativeRace, Ethnicity, Socioeconomic Status, Social status, Norms, Sleep durationPsychology
Pena Marin, J., Isaac, M., & Blanchard, S. J. (2023). Reducing Expenses to Face the Future: The Role of Lay Theories About Wealth Creation in Retirement Allocations. Georgetown McDonough School of Business Research Paper Forthcoming. Full TextMarin and colleagues looked into two popular ideas about how to grow wealth: one is to earn more money, and the other is to spend less. They found that when people focus more on spending less, whether that's their usual way of thinking or because of certain situations, they usually save more for their retirement.

Abstract

This research shows that people hold two distinct lay theories, or common-sense explanations, about how wealth is created. Specifically, people may adopt an income lay theory (i.e., that earning more money is the major driver of wealth) or an expense lay theory (i.e., that spending less money is the major driver of wealth). When the expense lay theory is more accessible, either dispositionally or situationally, people are likely to allocate more money to retirement accounts. Ten studies (including four in the web appendix) collectively offer triangulating evidence for this effect and suggest that it arises because the greater accessibility of an expense lay theory is associated with a future financial orientation. Overall, this work contributes to research on lay theories, intertemporal choice, retirement planning, and financial decision-making.
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In one of their ten studies, the researchers enlisted 402 participants from Connect, with 400 passing attention checks, who were tasked with envisioning a $500 monthly raise and determining their retirement investment amount.Quantitative , SurveyLay Theories, Wealth, Retirement, Investments, Financial Decision-Making, Personal Finances, Intertemporal Choice.Business
Peterson, M. (2023). Experiencing Uncertainty as a Challenge or a Threat: Impact on Attraction to Entitative Groups (Doctoral dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University). Full TextPeterson investigated how feeling unsure or feeling threatened impacts people's desire to join a close-knit group. The findings demonstrated that the more uncertain people felt about themselves, the more threatened they felt, and the more they wanted to be part of such groups.

Abstract

This study examined the impact of self-uncertainty and challenge or threat appraisals on entitative group appeal. Predictions were based on uncertainty-identity theory’s findings regarding uncertainty and entitativity (Hogg, 2021), and on studies of challenge and threat appraisals in intergroup relations (Scheepers, 2009). Participants (N = 167) from CloudResearch Connect were primed with a sense of either challenge or threat as a cognitive/affective demand and their level of self-uncertainty was measured. Participants then responded to a series of questions regarding their attraction to entitative group characteristics. Hypothesis 1 predicted that there would be a positive relationship between self-uncertainty and attraction to entitative group characteristics. Hypothesis 2 predicted that challenge/threat appraisal state would moderate the relationship between self-uncertainty and attraction to entitative characteristics. Hierarchical linear regression of the main and interaction effects did not find support for Hypotheses 1 and 2. However, a significant relationship was found between self-uncertainty and reported threat appraisal, indicating that there may be a relationship between self-uncertainty and individuals’ appraisals of performance-motivated situations.
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Peterson ran her study with 167 Connect participants and manipulated emotion by priming participants to experience threat or challenge during the experiment.  Quantitative, ExperimentSelf-Uncertainty, Threat, Entitativity, GroupsSocial Psychology
Powell, D., & Mikell, J. (2023, August 22). Illusory Implications: Mere exposure to ideas can induce beliefs. https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/qzag8 Full TextMikell and Powell examined whether merely being exposed to statements briefly results in people really believing those statements as facts. Their findings support what they call the “illusory implication” effect: exposure to statements influenced how truthful participants rated new statements.

Abstract

Numerous psychological findings have shown that mere exposure to ideas makes those ideas seem more true, a finding commonly referred to as the “illusory truth” effect (e.g. Hasher, Goldstein, & Toppino, 1977). In the presence of pervasive misinformation, this basic feature of cognition may undermine the functioning of a democratic society (Pennycook, Cannon, & Rand, 2018). However, genuine beliefs do not only affect judgments about individual statements, they also imply other beliefs and drive decision-making. Here, we sought to examine whether mere exposure to statements produces genuine beliefs by examining whether people draw inferences from statements after mere exposure. Surprisingly, and in contrast to fluency or familiarity-based accounts of the illusory truth effect (e.g. Dechêne, Stahl, Hansen, & Wänke, 2010), we found that exposure to “premise” statements affected participants’ truth ratings for novel “implied” statements. This “illusory implication” effect suggests that the consequences of exposure to false statements reach further than previously thought and calls for a new mechanistic account of these effects.
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Mikell and Powell used Connect to replicate and extend their findings in Experiment 3 with 540 additional participants.Quantitative, ExperimentIllusory Truth, Metacognition, MisinformationCognitive Psychology
Radtke, V., Martarelli, C., & Wolff, W. (2023). How Effortful is Boredom? Studying Self-Control Demands Through Pupillometry (Registered Report Stage 1). Full TextThis study investigates how boredom affects self-control, looking at whether pupil size, a marker of cognitive effort, correlates more with overall effort (including boredom) than just task difficulty.

Abstract

Self-control is essential for managing our actions, yet its exertion is perceived as effortful. Performing a task may require effort not only because of its inherent difficulty but also due to its potential for inducing boredom, as boredom has been shown to be self-control demanding by itself. So far, the extent of self-control demands during boredom and its temporal dynamics remain elusive. We will employ a multimethod approach to address this knowledge gap. Ninety-five participants will take part in an easy and difficult version of the Stroop task. During both tasks, they will indicate several times their current sensation of task difficulty, boredom, boredom-related effort, and difficulty-related effort. We will test if pupil size, as a physiological indicator for cognitive effort, is predicted more accurately by overall cognitive effort (difficulty- and boredom-related) than by task-difficulty-related effort alone. This research will uncover the level of effort in experiencing boredom which is pertinent not only for self-control research but also to any research area dealing with boredom or the performance of repetitive tasks.
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Before conducting their main study, the researchers conducted a pilot test with 210 Connect participants who completed four versions of the Stroop task over four different study sessions in order to ensure that the different Stroop task conditions induced high and low cognitive control, respectively.Quantitative, ExperimentalBoredom, Effort, Self-control, Pupillometry, StroopPsychology
Radulovic, N., Bifet, A., & Suchanek, F. (2023). BELLA: Black box model Explanations by Local Linear Approximations. arXiv preprint arXiv:2305.11311. Full TextRadulovic and colleagues introduce BELLA, a deterministic, model-agnostic post-hoc method designed to explain individual predictions of regression black-box models. BELLA aims to address the limitations of current state-of-the-art approaches that rely on synthetic data and offer narrow, unverifiable explanations.

Abstract

In recent years, understanding the decision-making process of black-box models has become not only a legal requirement but also an additional way to assess their performance. However, the state of the art post-hoc interpretation approaches rely on synthetic data generation. This introduces uncertainty and can hurt the reliability of the interpretations. Furthermore, they tend to produce explanations that apply to only very few data points. This makes the explanations brittle and limited in scope. Finally, they provide scores that have no direct verifiable meaning. In this paper, we present BELLA, a deterministic model-agnostic post-hoc approach for explaining the individual predictions of regression black-box models. BELLA provides explanations in the form of a linear model trained in the feature space. Thus, its coefficients can be used directly to compute the predicted value from the feature values. Furthermore, BELLA maximizes the size of the neighborhood to which the linear model applies, so that the explanations are accurate, simple, general, and robust. BELLA can produce both factual and counterfactual explanations. Our user study confirms the importance of the desiderata we optimize, and our experiments show that BELLA outperforms the state-of-the-art approaches on these desiderata.
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In order to evaluate which black box model explanations people prefer, the researchers ran a user study with Connect participants who were asked how satisfactory the explanations were from 3 different models, including BELLA.Quantitative, ExperimentMachine Learning, AI, Black Box ModelData Science, Computer Science
Robbins, C., Brunelli, A., Casto, J., Coty, A., Louis, A., Major, B., ... & Rainey, C. Overt Consequences of Covert Actions: Success, Failure, and Voters’ Preferences for Legislative Oversight. Full TextRobbins and colleagues explored how covert foreign operations impact elections, finding that voters prefer investigating these operations only when they fail, not when they succeed. This study underscores the nuanced relationship between government secrecy, public accountability, and the success or failure of foreign missions.

Abstract

A growing literature in political science examines the tension between secrecy and accountability as democratic leaders conduct foreign affairs. However, this literature presents a puzzle: while observational work shows that leaders make efforts to avoid getting caught, experimental work demonstrates that the public does not have an aversion to leaders acting secretly. What, then, are the electoral costs of acting covertly? To demonstrate the electoral costs of covert operations, we study voters’ reactions to legislative oversight of covert operations, not their reactions to the operation itself. Using a preregistered and well-powered survey experiment with a 2× 2 factorial design, we show that the legislators’ audience (their in-party voters) overwhelmingly prefers public investigations into covert operations when the operation fails. When the operation succeeds, though, their preferences are much weaker. This dynamic has important implications for foreign policy—the president cannot take necessary risks in protecting the national interest and the investigations harm the country’s international reputation.
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The researchers successfully enlisted 1500 Connect participants, diverse across the political spectrum, with 97% successfully passing the attention check.Experimental, QuantitativeAudience, Costs, Covert, Operations, Legislative, Oversight, Secrecy, Survey, ExperimentAmerican Politics, International Relations, Political Science, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Röder, Andreas; Bohnen, Eva; Züllig, Kilian; Kupfer, Alexander; and Zimmermann, Steffen, "Dynamic Pricing on Two-Sided Platforms: Consequences on Customers’ Fairness Perceptions and Purchase Intentions" (2023). Rising like a Phoenix: Emerging from the Pandemic and Reshaping Human Endeavors with Digital Technologies ICIS 2023. 7. https://aisel.aisnet.org/icis2023/sharing_econ/sharing_econ/7 Full TextRöder and team studied how changing prices based on demand affects what customers think is fair and their desire to buy. They found that when prices change frequently, customers feel it's less fair and are less likely to buy something.

Abstract

Technological advancements simplify the application of dynamic pricing, i.e., the flexible and rapid adjustment of prices to changes in demand. Consequently, companies increasingly use dynamic pricing in their business models, although research reports negative consequences on customer fairness perceptions. This holds not only for one-sided businesses, but also for popular two-sided platforms. However, these platforms differ from one-sided businesses in that the total prices paid by customers consist of product prices and platform fees – and both price components can be dynamically adjusted. In an online experiment, we examine customers’ fairness perceptions and purchase intentions when product price and platform fee change dynamically. We find that dynamic price increases reduce fairness perceptions and purchase intentions, while the cause of the price increases is irrelevant to customers. These results indicate an imbalance in the risks and benefits of dynamic pricing between the pricing strategies of the platform and the provider.
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The researchers recruited 700 participants from Connect, all who successfully passed attention and manipulation checks.Quantitative, ExperimentalDynamic Pricing, Platforms, Fairness, Purchase IntentionInformation Systems
San Miguel, C. E. (2023). Improving Personality Judgement Accuracy Through the Training of Relevant Cues on Instagram and Twitter (Doctoral dissertation, Idaho State University). Full TextSan Miguel looked into how well people can judge others' personalities on Twitter compared to Instagram. They trained some participants by providing feedback on their judgments, but these trained participants didn't become better at making accurate personality judgments compared to a control group that didn't receive any training.

Abstract

With the increasing prevalence of social networking sites (SNS), understanding how individuals perceive and judge each other in online contexts is vital. This dissertation investigates the accuracy of personality judgements made based on two popular platforms, Twitter and Instagram. This dissertation builds upon previous research which found Instagram profiles provided for more accurate personality judgements, explores the cues that contribute to accurate perceptions in these online spaces, and evaluates two methods of training individuals to improve personality judgement accuracy based on Twitter profiles. In Study 1, cues were coded on 102 social media profiles, with coders recording a variety of objective and subjective cues both common across platforms and unique to each platform. The Brunswick Lens Model was utilized to identify cues that were valid (actually pertaining to the targets’/profile owners’ personality) and/or utilized (used by judges to form impressions). The hypothesis that higher levels of anonymity on Twitter would explain differences in accuracy between platforms was also assessed. Anonymity was not found to differ significantly between platforms, but was found to influence normative perceptions, with less anonymous targets being perceived with higher normativity. Study 2 evaluated two methods for training and improving judgement accuracy based on Twitter profiles. Utilizing valid yet unutilized cues identified in Study 1, 100 judges received online training about the personality traits of open-mindedness and conscientiousness, and cues on Twitter profiles that are indicative of those traits. Half of these 100 judges also received personalized feedback about the accuracy of their judgements. Fifty judges served as a control group and received no training. It was predicted that judges that received training and feedback would be more accurate than judges that received only training, and that both training groups would be more accurate in their perceptions than the control group. Training was not found to significantly improve judgement accuracy, but valuable insights and avenues for future research were uncovered. This research contributes to the understanding of both the complexities of social relationships online and research on training and improving judgement accuracy.
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San Miguel assessed two ways to train 100 Connect participants with the aim of enhancing their ability to accurately judge the personalities of Twitter profiles. Quantitative, ExperimentSocial Media, Person Perception, AccuracyExperimental Psychology
Santos, D., Requero, B., & Martín-Fernández, M. (2023). Holism and Causal Responsibility: The Role of Number and Valence of Event Consequences. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672231192827 Full TextSantos et al. examined the effect of holistic vs. analytic thinking styles on causal responsibility. The authors found that holistic thinkers assign more responsibility to a cause when there are mixed positive and negative outcomes and when there are multiple consequences, emphasizing the importance of consequence complexity in their judgments.

Abstract

The present research examines the effect of holistic-analytic thinking style on causal responsibility. Across seven studies (N = 4,103), participants’ thinking style was either measured or manipulated. Then, the valence or number of consequences varied in several scenarios involving a cause–consequence relationship. As a dependent measure, participants indicated the degree of responsibility attributed to the cause mentioned in each scenario. The results revealed that holistic (vs. analytic) participants assigned more responsibility to the cause when the consequences presented were a combination of positive and negative outcomes (vs. univalent), and when multiple (vs. single) consequences were triggered in the scenario. To explore the explanatory factor for these results, a final study manipulated the complexity of the consequences, along with the number. The results of this research suggested that holistic (vs. analytic) individuals consider the degree of complexity of consequences to establish causal attribution.
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The authors used Connect to replicate and validate their results with two additional studies (Ns = 503 and 958)Replication, Survey, Experiment, QuantitativeAttribution Theory, Consequence, Holism, Thinking Style, Causal ComplexitySocial Psychology
Shah, P., & Yang, J. Using Self-Affirmation to Encourage Recycle and Reuse Behaviors in New York State. Available at SSRN 4658341. Full TextShah and Yang explored how affirming political values influenced pro-environmental behaviors in New York State. Their findings revealed that attempts to encourage recycling and reuse by aligning them with moral values are not very effective, especially among conservatives who often see such messages as exaggerated and manipulative.

Abstract

The United States produces an exorbitant amount of waste. Recycle and reuse are two ways to manage the waste problem. Since even non-political environmental issues are often polarized in the United States, we attempt to affirm group identity by highlighting the moral values that appeal to conservatives and liberals to examine downstream effects on message derogation and behavioral intention. Specifically, we explore how message derogation is associated with risk perception, self-efficacy, and behavioral willingness to recycle and reuse, as moderated by political ideology. Our findings indicate that linking environmental behaviors to specific moral values may not be the best way to encourage citizens to recycle and reuse. In particular, conservatives tend to view a persuasive message about plastic waste as overblown and manipulative, thus highlighting the need to strategically design environmental communication targeting conservatives. Moreover, to combat message derogation, effective ways to elevate risk perceptions and enhance self-efficacy are needed.
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To properly assess how effective using moral values was for both liberals and conservatives, the researchers were able to recruit a sample of participants from Connect that had a balanced mix of political ideologies.Quantitative, ExperimentSelf-Affirmation, Group Identity, Message Derogation, Risk Perception, Self-Efficacy, ReuseEnvironmental Psychology
Siev, J. J., & Teeny, J. D. (2023). Personal Misconduct Elicits Harsher Professional Consequences for Artists (vs. Scientists): A Moral-Decoupling Process. Psychological Science, 09567976231214739. Full TextSiev and Teeny investigated if faculty members in artistic disciplines receive more severe professional repercussions for misconduct than their counterparts in scientific fields. Their research confirmed this hypothesis and additionally showed that the mere portrayal of an individual's work as artistic rather than scientific can reproduce these outcomes.

Abstract

Recent years have brought increased accountability for personal misconduct, yet often, unequal consequences have resulted from similar offenses. Findings from a unique archival data set (N = 619; all university faculty) and three preregistered experiments (N = 2,594) show that the perceived artistic-versus-scientific nature of the offender’s professional contributions influences the professional punishment received. In Study 1, analysis of four decades of university sexual-misconduct cases reveals that faculty in artistic (vs. scientific) fields have on average received more severe professional consequences. Study 2 demonstrates this experimentally, offering mediational evidence that greater difficulty morally decoupling art (vs. science) contributes to the phenomenon. Study 3 provides further evidence for this mechanism through experimental moderation. Finally, Study 4 shows that merely framing an individual’s work as artistic versus scientific results in replication of these effects. Several potential alternative mechanisms to moral decoupling are tested but not supported. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.
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Siev and Teeny recruited 100 expert coders from Connect who held advanced degrees (i.e., master’s degrees or PhDs) to validate the ratings given by MTurk participants on academic fields and the severity of professional misconduct consequences, leveraging participants' expertise for more reliable results.Quantitative, Experimental, ArchivalMorality, Decoupling, Person Perception, Social Judgment, Misconduct, Punishment, Art, Science, Open Data, Open Materials, PreregistrationSocial Psychology
Springle, M. (2023). Beyond the background: exploring the influence of socioeconomic status in asynchronous video interviews (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. https://hdl.handle.net/1880/117180 Full TextSpringle's dissertation examined if Asynchronous Video Interviews (AVIs) could unintentionally expose an applicant's socioeconomic status (SES) and lead to bias in hiring decisions. The research indicated that while evaluators could detect SES variations, these did not straightforwardly affect their judgments of an applicant's suitability for hire. Nonetheless, under substantial cognitive load, evaluators required more time to assess an applicant, and there were notable associations between the perceived SES and judgments of hireability.

Abstract

Asynchronous Video Interviews (AVIs) have revolutionized the hiring process, offering flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and convenience to both organizations and job applicants. While recent studies have highlighted the potential for background cues in AVIs to inadvertently disclose non-job-related information about job applicants, researchers have yet to explore this with socioeconomic status (SES). This study investigates whether AVIs might reveal cues about an applicant’s SES, which might remain concealed during face-to-face interviews, thereby potentially introducing unique biases in the hiring process. We determined if evaluators could discern SES differences based on a job applicant’s background and whether these cues influenced the perceived hireability of the job applicant. To enhance the realism of our findings and understand when such biases may be exacerbated, we simulated the conditions a hiring manager might face by inducing cognitive load (CL). In a sample of N = 300 American Cloud Research Connect participants, we used a 2 (low; high SES) by 2 (low; high CL) betweensubjects experimental design. We found that although evaluators could identify differences in SES and did experience a difference in CL, these two factors did not directly influence the perceived hireability of the job applicant. However, contrary to our expectations, evaluators under significant CL took longer to decide on a job applicant’s suitability. Furthermore, we also investigated the role of evaluators’ characteristics, such as their own SES, attitude towards poverty (ATP), and social dominance orientation (SDO). Although these did not directly influence their ratings of the job applicant, we identified noteworthy correlations: participants’ perceptions of the SES from the background correlated with the job applicant’s a) perceived hireability, b) perceived SES, and c) perceived competence. These findings emphasize the need for further research into the subtle cues evaluators might use to gauge SES, which could impact a job applicant’s AVI evaluation.
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Springle successfully gathered data from 300 participants on Connect who had experience in interviewing applicants, utilizing the platform's internal screening questions to ensure participants were in business management positions or had prior hiring experience.Quantitative, ExperimentAsynchronous Video Interviews, Socioeconomic Status, Interviews, Job ApplicaantsI/O Psychology
Szabolcsi, V. (2023). Childhood Stability and Adult Relationship Functioning (Doctoral dissertation, Florida Atlantic University). Full TextSzabolcsi looked at how tough childhoods can make adult relationships harder. She found out that for men, having manipulative tendencies (Machiavellianism) amplified these negative effects, while intelligence didn't play a significant role in the results.

Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated the harmful impacts of adverse childhood circumstances on adult romantic relationships. The current study examines the negative influence of childhood unpredictability on adult relationships and how this effect may be buffered and enhanced, respectively, by cognitive ability and Machiavellianism. A total of 256 participants completed measures of childhood unpredictability, Machiavellianism, cognitive ability, and relationship satisfaction. Individuals who experienced childhood unpredictability reported lower adult romantic relationship satisfaction. Machiavellianism was found to significantly enhance the negative effects of childhood unpredictability on adult relationships for men only. Cognitive ability was not a significant moderator.
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Szabolcsi used quota sampling to recruit 256 Connect participants so that the sample would resemble the general population of gender, race/ethnicity, and age in the US.  Quantitative, SurveyChildhood Unpredictability, Adult Relationships, Cognitive Ability, MachiavellianismDevelopmental Psychology
Thomas, V. L., Fowler, K., & Taheran, F. (2023). How social media influencer collaborations are perceived by consumers. Psychology & Marketing. https://doi.org/10.1002/mar.21918 Full TextThomas and colleagues explore how influencers on social media are perceived when they collaborate with lower-status partners. Their findings support their predictions that influencers who collaborate with lower-status partners are perceived as less self-serving and more altruistic, indicating the effectiveness of such collaborations in improving the influencers' image.  

Abstract

Within the social media community, influencers engage in a variety of collaborative practices such as tagging, reposting content from, or forming partnerships with other influencers and brands. While such collaborative efforts are a known practice, less is understood about how influencer collaborations affect consumers' perceptions of the partnering influencers, specifically when a status differential exists within the collaboration. We suggest that such collaborative practices, specifically those where the focal influencer has a higher status than the collaborating partner, may help to weaken consumers' perceptions that the influencer's actions are purely self-focused. A pilot study, analyzing both influencer–influencer collaborations and influencer–brand collaborations, provides evidence that influencers engage in collaborations with other influencers and brands of different status levels. Two studies then support our theorizing that influencers who collaborate with lower-status influencers are perceived as less self-serving and more altruistic, while influencers who collaborate with lower-status brands are only perceived as less self-serving. This suggests that, for influencers who desire to enhance how consumers perceive them, an effective strategy is to engage in collaborations with either a lower-status influencer or brand.
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The researchers were able to test their hypotheses by recruiting 200 participants from Connect to see how peoples’ perceptions of influencers differed depending on the influencer’s status and the collaborator’s status. Quantitative, ExperimentAltruism, Attribution Theory, Collaborations, Influencer, Partnerships, Self‐Serving, Signaling TheoryPsychology, Marketing
Uduehi, E., & Barnes, A. (2023). Room for Error: The Compensatory Effect of Ownership Awareness on Brand Evaluations. Available at SSRN 4443938. Full TextUduehi and Barnes investigated how knowing that a brand is owned by a minority affects consumer reactions, especially when the brand messes up. They discovered that when consumers know about the minority ownership, they are more forgiving of the brand's mistakes, trying to balance out the challenges minorities face in the market.

Abstract

The growing use of minority ownership labels (e.g., Black-owned or woman-owned) has effectively increased consumer demand for these businesses. The resulting growth occasionally leads to brand failuresas these businesses encounter growing pains. The current research examines when and why minority ownership awareness influences consumer behavior with special attention given to the context of brand failures. The authors suggest that minority ownership awareness minimizes the negative effect of brand failure because consumers want to compensate for the disadvantages in the marketplace that minorities face (i.e., compensatory assessment). This leads to increased brand evaluations and willingness to pay. Six experiments and analyses of over 40,000 Google reviews for Black-owned restaurants demonstrate the ownership awareness effect, its underlying process, and various boundary conditions. Consistent with a compensatory assessment account, the ownership awareness effect is limited to minority (vs. nonminority) owners, negative (vs. neutral) information, product (vs. moral) failures, upand-coming (vs. established) brands, and people with low (vs. high) social dominance orientation.
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For their 4th experiment, the researchers enlisted 400 participants from Connect, enabling them to both replicate and broaden their findings by examining the perception of participants towards Black-owned businesses that are either emerging or already established.Quantitative, ExperimentRace, Ethnicity, Labels, Gender, Ownership, Compensatory Assessment, Brand FailureMarketing
Uduehi, E., & Barnes, A. (2023). Room for Error: The Compensatory Effect of Ownership Awareness on Brand Evaluations. Available at SSRN 4443938. Full TextUduehi and Barnes investigate how labels indicating minority ownership affect consumer reactions to brand failures. They found that knowing a brand is minority-owned can soften the blow of its shortcomings, as consumers consciously or unconsciously try to balance out the broader market challenges that minorities encounter.

Abstract

The growing use of minority ownership labels (e.g., Black-owned or woman-owned) has effectively increased consumer demand for these businesses. The resulting growth occasionally leads to brand failuresas these businesses encounter growing pains. The current research examines when and why minority ownership awareness influences consumer behavior with special attention given to the context of brand failures. The authors suggest that minority ownership awareness minimizes the negative effect of brand failure because consumers want to compensate for the disadvantages in the marketplace that minorities face (i.e., compensatory assessment). This leads to increased brand evaluations and willingness to pay. Six experiments and analyses of over 40,000 Google reviews for Black-owned restaurants demonstrate the ownership awareness effect, its underlying process, and various boundary conditions. Consistent with a compensatory assessment account, the ownership awareness effect is limited to minority (vs. nonminority) owners, negative (vs. neutral) information, product (vs. moral) failures, upand-coming (vs. established) brands, and people with low (vs. high) social dominance orientation.
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For their 4th experiment, the researchers enlisted 400 participants from Connect, enabling them to both replicate and broaden their findings by examining the perception of participants towards Black-owned businesses that are either emerging or already established.Quantitative, ExperimentRace, Ethnicity, Labels, Gender, Ownership, Compensatory Assessment, Brand FailureMarketing
Velez, Y. (2023). Crowdsourced Adaptive Surveys. APSA Preprints. doi:10.33774/apsa-2023-r2jzm Full TextIn this research, Velez introduced a new method for conducting surveys called crowdsourced adaptive survey methodology (CSAS), which used advanced technology to adapt questions based on what people are currently talking about while taking a survey. This method was shown to be particularly effective for understanding specific groups and rapidly changing topics, making it a valuable tool for getting a better grasp of public opinion.

Abstract

Public opinion surveys are vital for informing democratic decision-making, but responding to rapidly changing information environments and measuring beliefs within niche communities can be challenging for traditional survey methods. This paper introduces a crowdsourced adaptive survey methodology that unites advances in natural language processing and adaptive algorithms to generate question banks that evolve with user input. The CSAS method converts open-ended text provided by participants into Likert items, and applies a multi-armed bandit algorithm to determine user-provided questions that should be prioritized. The method’s adaptive nature allows for the exploration of new survey questions, while imposing minimal costs in survey length. Applications in the domains of Latino information environments and issue importance showcase CSAS’s ability to identify claims or issues that might otherwise be difficult to track using standard approaches. I conclude by discussing the method’s potential for studying topics where participant-generated content might improve our understanding of public opinion.
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Velez recruited two key groups using Connect to enhance the CSAS development: 321 self-identified Latinos who responded to open-ended questions about negative perceptions of Republicans and Democrats, as well as a national quota sample of 820 participants, representative in terms of age, race, and gender, who provided insights on eight major issues identified in a Gallup poll.Crowd-Sourced Adaptive Survey Methodology, Qualitative, SurveyAdaptive Algorithms, Large Language Models, Natural Language Processing, Latino Politics, Public OpinionPolitical Science
Velez, Y., & Liu, P. (2023). Confronting Core Issues: A Critical Test of Attitude Polarization. Full TextVelez and Liu looked at whether people change their minds or become more set in their ways when they hear arguments against their beliefs. Using a special experiment with Chat GPT-3 to give participants information that either supported or opposed their strong beliefs, they found that people's attitudes didn't become more extreme.

Abstract

A long-standing debate in political psychology considers whether individuals update their beliefs and attitudes in the direction of evidence or grow more confident in their convictions when confronted with counter-attitudinal arguments. Though recent studies have shown that instances of the latter tendency, which scholars have termed attitude polarization and belief backfire, are rarely observed in settings involving hot-button issues or viral misinformation, we know surprisingly little about how participants respond to information targeting deeply held attitudes, a key condition for triggering attitude polarization. We develop a tailored experimental design that measures participants' positions regarding their most important issues and randomly assigns them to different mixtures of personalized pro-attitudinal and counter-attitudinal information using the large language model GPT-3. We fail to recover evidence consistent with attitude polarization across three studies. We conclude by discussing implications for the study of political cognition and the measurement of attitudes.
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Across 2 experiments, the researchers recruited over 3000 participants from Connect who were asked to respond to an open-ended prompt asking them to think about political issues that they care deeply about and to report their position on that issue before encountering pro or counter attitudinal information created by GPT-3.Quantitative, ExperimentMotivated Reasoning, Attitude Polarization, Large Language Models, PersuasionPolitical Science, Political Psychology, Data Science
Vollmer, M. C. (2023). Understanding the Complexities, Constructs, and Communication of Sexual Consent (Doctoral dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo). Full TextIn his dissertation, Vollmer focused on how individuals communicate consent before engaging in a sexual encounter. He gathered survey responses to understand the varied methods by which people convey and interpret the giving and receiving of sexual consent with their partners.

Abstract

This work seeks to understand the process of sexual consent communication in the moments leading up to a sexual experience between two people. The nature of this research is exploratory and focuses on understanding how people report and perceive giving consent to their sexual partners, as well as how people report and perceive that sexual consent has been given to them. Additionally, the study explores some ways in which miscommunication can happen in the moments leading up to sexual activity. Using the framework of affirmative sexual consent, the research bridges existing scholarship in the field of sexual psychology, sexual education, and sexual violence/assault by introducing the element of sexual communication. Using a latent and manifest content analysis of participant’s survey data, the outcome of the research can help pave the way for future research that will lead to the successful implementation of affirmative sexual consent policies, sexual education curriculum, and communication practices.
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Having encountered difficulties in obtaining usable data from Mechanical Turk, Vollmer opted for Connect as a platform for participant recruitment and here, he successfully obtained a sample of 282 participants, all of whom were over 18 years old, had previous sexual experience, and utilized English as their language for discussing sexual consent. Qualitative, SurveySexual Consent, Affirmative Sexual Consent, Interpersonal Communication, Relational Communication, Sexual Communication, Sexual Scripts, Social CognitionCommunications
Wilson, J. R. (2023). Work-Life Balance in the New Normal: A Study of Performance and Well-Being Post-Pandemic. Full TextWilson's dissertation research explored the difficulties and consequences of remote work on juggling work and family duties. He looked at how control over one's work (autonomy) and being overseen (monitoring) influence job performance and personal well-being. His results showed that more autonomy is linked to better job performance and greater interference of work with family life. Additionally, the spillover of work into home life impacts both job performance and overall well-being.

Abstract

COVID-19 and the government shelter-in-place forced millions of traditional office employees to work outside their physical location, and instead, work as remote or work-from-home (WFH) employees. Even though the pandemic is over, this novel phenomenon has changed work characteristics and perceptions of employee outcomes moving forward. In addition, the mass exodus from office workers to remote workers has left a gap in the literature. The infrequency of remote workers before the pandemic is disproportionate to the many remote workers today, leaving the generalizability of WFH employee outcomes incomplete. The primary objective of this research is to examine the challenges associated with remote work, and their impact on the ability to balance professional obligations and family responsibilities. Examining the relationship between virtual work characteristics, autonomy and monitoring, and their effects on employee performance and well-being via work-home interference, we surveyed 381 full-time employees who work remotely at least one day a week. We found support for direct relationships between autonomy and performance and autonomy and work interference with family. In addition, we found direct relationships between work-home interference and performance and well-being. This study provides valuable insights into the experiences and perspectives of WFH employees.
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Wilson used the targeted demographics feature on Connect in order to collect data from 380 Connect participants who were full-time employees working in the United States.  Quantitative, SurveyCOVID-19, WFH, Work-Life Balance, Work-Life Balance, Autonomy, Well-being, Work-Home Interference, Monitoring, Performance, Work Design, Work Characteristics, Remote Working, Remote WorkBusiness Administration
Ye, X., Jo, W., Ali, A., Bhatti, S., Esterwood, C., Kassie, H., & Robert, L. (2024). Autonomy Acceptance Model (AAM): The Role of Autonomy and Risk in Security Robot Acceptance. Full TextYe and colleagues studied how people feel about security robots, focusing on how autonomous the robots were and how much risk they posed to humans. They found that ease of use and trust made security robots more acceptable, but higher autonomy and perceived risk can reduce acceptance.

Abstract

The rapid deployment of security robots across our society calls for further examination of their acceptance. This study explored human acceptance of security robots by theoretically extending the technology acceptance model to include the impact of autonomy and risk. To accomplish this, an online experiment involving 236 participants was conducted. Participants were randomly assigned to watch a video introducing a security robot operating at an autonomy level of low, moderate, or high, and presenting either a low or high risk to humans. This resulted in a 3 (autonomy) × 2 (risk) between-subjects design. The findings suggest that increased perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, and trust enhance acceptance, while higher robot autonomy tends to decrease acceptance. Additionally, the physical risk associated with security robots moderates the relationship between autonomy and acceptance. Based on these results, this paper offers recommendations for future research on security robots.
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Ye and colleagues recruited 240 participants from Connect to watch a 2-minute video about a security robot before indicating their level of acceptance of the robot—all but 4 participants provide high-quality data.Quantitative, ExperimentalRobot, Human-Robot Interaction, Security Robots, Autonomy, Risk, Human-robot acceptanceHuman-Robot Interaction
Zhang, Q. (2023). Shifting Gears: Trust and Expectation Dynamics in Automated Vehicles (Doctoral dissertation). Full TextZhang's dissertation research delved into how different demographic aspects, such as age, gender, ethnicity, and personality characteristics like extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, affect initial attitudes towards Automated Vehicles (AVs). She found that these variables significantly determine how people form their expectations and the level of trust they have in AVs from the outset.

Abstract

The research outlined in this dissertation provides a holistic exploration into the intricate factors influencing user expectations and trust in Automated Vehicles (AVs), both of which are central to the acceptance and adoption of such transformative technologies. AVs, with their potential to revolutionize transportation through enhanced safety, efficiency, and convenience, have generated widespread interest. However, persisting apprehensions around AV safety, performance, and reliability create a barrier to their widespread acceptance and utilization, suggesting a discrepancy between the theoretical advantages of AVs and public perceptions thereof. To unravel this discrepancy and effectively accelerate AV adoption, this dissertation undertakes a multifaceted investigation into the factors shaping public perceptions, specifically focusing on the formation of expectations and trust. My research pivots around three core research questions: What individual factors shape people's expectations of AVs? How do these expectations impact their trust in AVs? How does the gender similarity between humans and AV explanation voices affect trust, and how is this moderated by gender-role congruity? The answers to these questions elucidate the intricacies of cognitive and affective trust development in the context of AV adoption. Results from my dissertation highlight three major findings. One, individual characteristics such as demographic factors such as age, gender, and ethnicity, along with personality traits (e.g., extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness), significantly shape people’s preconceived expectations of AVs. Two, expectations significantly mold the level of trust in AVs, influenced by the disconfirmation effect. Three, the study demonstrated that the impact of gender similarity between users and the AV’s explanatory voice could be moderated by the expected role of the vehicle. Overall, this dissertation embarks on a profound exploration of expectations, trust, and design elements, offering critical insights that will shape the forward path for AVs development and implementation. It dissects the intricate dynamics of expectation and trust formation, essential for the user acceptance and adoption of AVs. The study also underscores the powerful role of both user-centric and voice characteristic design in influencing these factors. By bringing these components to light, this research helps navigate the complexities and potentials of AVs, paving the way for an imminent paradigm shift in transportation.
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Zhang recruited over 300 participants from Connect where they were asked to watch six videos presenting unique driving scenarios from the perspective of an AV driver’s seat before completing a survey which assessed their perceptions of the AV.Quantitative, ExperimentAutomated Vehicles, Driver Perceptions, Personality, Expectation, TrustInformation Technology
Zhang, Y., & Gosline, R. (2023). People's Perceptions (and Bias) Toward Creative Content Generated by Ai (ChatGPT-4), Human Experts, and Human-AI Collaboration. Human Experts, and Human-AI Collaboration (May 20, 2023). Full TextZhang and Gosline explored the perceived quality of advertising content for products and campaigns based on their origin: solely human-produced, purely AI-generated, initiated by AI but refined by humans, and started by humans but improved by AI. Surprisingly, participants rated the AI-generated content as superior in quality, even when compared to content crafted by human experts or further refined by them. 

Abstract

With the wide availability of Large Language Models and generative AI, there are four primary paradigms for Human-AI collaboration: human only, AI only (ChatGPT-4), augmented human (where a human making the final decision with AI output as a reference), or augmented AI (where the AI making the final decision with human output as a reference). In partnership with one of the world’s leading consulting firms, we enlist professional content creators and ChatGPT-4 to create advertising content for products and persuasive content for campaigns following the aforementioned paradigms. First, we find that, contrary to the expectations of existing algorithm aversion literature on conventional predictive AI, content generated by generative AI and augmented AI is perceived as of higher quality than that produced by human experts and augmented human experts. Second, revealing the source of content production reduces – but does not reverse – the perceived quality gap between human- and AI-generated content. This bias in evaluation is predominantly driven by human favoritism rather than AI aversion: knowing the same content is created by a human expert increases its (reported) perceived quality, but knowing that AI is involved in the creation process does not affect its perceived quality. Further analysis suggests this bias is not due to a “quality prime” as knowing the content they are about to evaluate comes from competent creators (e.g., industry professionals and state-of-the-art AI) without knowing exactly the creator of each piece of content does not increase participants’ perceived quality.
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Out of the 1,212 participants from Connect, 99.26% passed the attention checks, highlighting the data quality and engagement on the platform.Quantitative, Experiment, Large Language ModelsLarge Language Models, AI, Consumer Perception, Consumer BiasMarketing, Computer Science, Human-Computer Interaction
Zhang, Y., Ling, S., Awad, E., Frank, M. R., & Du, N. (2023, April). Driving Next to Automated Vehicles: Emergent Human-machine Cooperation in Mixed Traffic. In Extended Abstracts of the 2023 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 1-7). Full TextZhang and colleagues' study examined the decision-making of human drivers around automated vehicles (AVs), especially under the influence of driving style and time pressure. They found that aggressive drivers tend to make more aggressive decisions when hurried. The research highlighted that a combination of factors – the driver's own style, the specific driving situation, and the nature of interactions with AVs – all affect how drivers behave.

Abstract

Introducing automated vehicles (AVs) on public roads may challenge established norms as drivers in human-driven vehicles (HVs) learn to interact with AVs. Our study utilizes a game theory framework to investigate how driver and vehicle driving styles (aggressive vs. conservative), interaction types (HV-HV vs. HV-AV), scenario types (chicken game vs. public goods game scenarios), and time constraints (high vs. low) influence human drivers’ decision-making in mixed-traffic environments. According to an online survey study, drivers with aggressive driving styles and high time constraints were more likely to take aggressive actions. More importantly, there were significant interaction effects between vehicle driving styles and scenario types, between scenario types and time constraints, and between driver driving styles and interaction types on driver decision-making. Our findings provide essential insights into the design of AVs and promote the development of related laws and policies to facilitate human-machine cooperation in mixed-traffic environments.
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The researchers recruited participants from Connect, ensuring they met specific criteria for their study: Each participant was required to be at least 18 years old, possess a driver’s license, and not be colorblind to ensure the validity and relevance of the experiment's results.Quantitative, ExperimentMixed-Traffic Environment, Automated Vehicles, Human-Machine Cooperation, Game TheoryComputer Science
Zitek, E. M., Giurge, L. M., & Smith, I. H. (2023). Recognizing and correcting positive bias: The salient victim effect. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 109, 104522. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2023.104522 Full TextZitek and colleagues examined whether people fail to notice when they receive a favorable outcome due to preferential treatment. Across seven studies, they found that people recognize this type of positive bias more when the person harmed by one’s own benefit stands out (i.e., the salient victim effect), and people can even be encouraged to take action to correct their own positive bias.

Abstract

People seem to have stronger disapproving reactions when they have unfairly suffered from bias than when they have unfairly benefited from it (i.e., they seem less concerned when they have experienced positive bias). Is this because people do not care about the consequences of bias if it has positively affected them, or is it because they fail to notice positive bias? We argue that it is the latter, and that increasing awareness of a victim who has been harmed can “remove the blinders” of the beneficiary of bias. Across seven pre-registered studies of American participants, we tested the effect of a salient victim on people who have experienced positive bias. Our results show that when a victim has been made salient, beneficiaries of bias are more likely to recognize and condemn the positive bias, and they are also more likely to act to correct it. We found this salient victim effect when people reflected on their own positive treatment in society, when they benefited from favoritism in interpersonal interactions, and when they imagined benefiting from nepotism. The effect emerged with both direct and indirect manipulations of the victim. Moreover, the presence of a salient victim spurred more action in those who experienced positive bias even when there was a personal cost. We discuss the contributions of our research to the fairness, morality, and bias literatures.
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Zitek and colleagues used unique experimental designs, such as having participants think they are taking part in an ultimatum game, to test their hypotheses with 1000 Connect participants.Quantitative, ExperimentBias, Unfairness, Victim, Positive Outcome, FavoritismSocial Psychology