88 research outputs found

    Enter the Matrix: Does Self-Activation Really Matter for Aggressiveness After Violence Exposure?

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    Media comparisons are only valid within "zones of comparability." Either the level of participants' interactivity (i.e., the "syntactics" of what they do) has to be constant, while the content might vary, or the content of specific media (i.e., the "semantics" of what they encounter) has to be kept constant, while the level of interactivity with the content might vary. The present experiment varied the level of interactivity: Participants watched a violent scene from the movie The Matrix or reenacted the same scene in a Matrix-inspired first-person shooter game. Using the same violent content (shooting at Matrix guards), our results suggest that the higher the level of self-activation while being exposed to violent media content, the stronger the changes in aggressive dispositions as assessed with an aggressive self-concept Implicit Association Test. Ruling out confounders from previous research, unspecific arousal was not responsible for the obtained short-term increases in aggressive dispositions

    Can the Big Five explain the criterion validity of Sense of Coherence for mental health, life satisfaction, and personal distress?

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    Objective: Several studies have demonstrated a strong overlap in variance between the salutogenic construct Sense of Coherence (SOC) and the Big Five personality traits, yet the unique contributions of these overlapping constructs remain debated. Specifically, the statistical association between SOC and neuroticism has been taken as evidence for SOC representing a fundamental personality trait in disguise. The present research explored the incremental validity when predicting crucial psychological outcomes: mental health, satisfaction with life, and psychological distress. Method: Participants (N = 1842; 1574 female, 268 male, age 15–77 years), who completed an online survey, answered health-relevant questionnaires (SCL-K-9, SWLS, IRI-PD). Results: Multiple regression analysis showed that the Big Five can explain 40% of the observed variance in SOC. However, when using all variables as predictors of mental health, satisfaction with life, and personal distress, SOC showed substantial incremental validity over the Big Five traits. Conclusion: Despite overlapping variance, the importance of salutogenesis beyond the Five Factor Model can be demonstrated specifically for health outcomes. Differences in criterion validity and incremental validity of SOC imply that SOC cannot be equated with reversed neuroticism

    Longitudinal Factor Analysis and Measurement Invariance of Sense of Coherence and General Self-Efficacy in Adolescence

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    Sense of coherence (SOC) and General Self-efficacy (GSE) are trait-like self-regulatory attributes, supposedly benefitting health. Previous data on their factorial validity and longitudinal stability in adolescent samples have been inconclusive. The present study examined the factor structure, measurement invariance (MI), and stability coefficients of SOC and GSE among German adolescents in a longitudinal design over the course of nine years from age 15 to age 24. Results supported the factorial validity of both scales. GSE parameters were invariant up to the level of strict invariance, whereas for SOC partial scalar and strict invariance were attainable after modifications. Here we document reliability, validity, and factor mean changes of the SOC and GSE scales from adolescence to young adulthood. Interindividual differences in SOC were moderately stable. Though this implies limited sensitivity to intraindividual developmental changes, it qualifies SOC for long-term predictions. GSE was conspicuously less stable, raising questions about its long-term criterion validity

    Work-Family Conflict Scale (ISSP)

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    The four item scale measures work-family conflict as a two-directional process - work interference with family and family interference with work. The items have been used since 2002 in the Family and Changing Gender Roles module of the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP)

    From Lost Letters to Conditional E-Mail Responses: A Method to Assess Biased Behavior Online

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    This article introduces the Conditional E-mail Response Technique (CERT) as a systematic, hidden observation technique to measure behavioral tendencies. Although CERT derives from older techniques such as lost-letter/lost-e-mail techniques, we show how CERT is unique: each participant receives several e-mails with varying content, allowing the researcher to observe response rates and valence as a function of the manipulated content. Our study investigated discrimination against foreigners in the apartment rental market in Heidelberg (a German university city) by recording lessors' (non-) responses to 600 e-mails from fake applicants. Each owner (N = 120) received five applications for a one-room apartment via e-mail. Applicants' ethnic identities were communicated through their names. The results showed a remarkable bias against foreign names compared to German names. The response rates for foreign applicants were almost half that for German applicants (response rates were 78% for German names compared to 44-54% for American, Italian, Russian, and Turkish names). The relative risk of a rejecting response was up to eight times higher for e-mails appearing to come from foreigners. Applicants with foreign names were noticeably more likely to receive either no response or a negative response, that is, to have a negative outcome. There were also differences among the foreign applicant groups. We discuss the implications, ethical considerations, and advantages of CERT compared to other related techniques, as well as possible future uses

    Death salience moderates the effect of trauma on religiosity

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    Objective: Previous research has shown contradictory evidence for the relationship between religiosity and trauma; exposure to traumatic life events has been associated with both increases and decreases in religiosity over time. On the basis of a long theoretical tradition of linking death and religious belief and recent empirical evidence that thoughts of death may increase religiosity, we tested whether one determinant of trauma's influence on religion is the degree to which it makes death salient. Method: Using longitudinal data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, a unique population-representative birth cohort, we tested whether the relationship between trauma and religiosity depends on whether the trauma involves death. Participants reported their private, ceremonial, and public religious behaviors at ages 26 and 32 and, at age 32, whether they had experienced any of 23 traumatic life events since age 26. Results: Experiencing the death of a loved one (but not an equally traumatic event not involving death) predicted a future increase in private religious behavior (e.g., prayer) among those already practicing such behaviors, and an increase in the importance of religious ceremonies among those with relatively little prior interest in them. On the other hand, experiencing a death-unrelated trauma predicted a future reduction in public displays of religiosity among those previously so inclined. Conclusion: The study represents a significant step in understanding religious responses to trauma, and emphasizes the importance of considering not only the nature of a trauma, but also the dimensions and practices of a victim's religiosity prior to it

    Revisiting the hierarchical structure of the 24 VIA character strengths: Three global dimensions may suffice to capture their essence

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    The Values in Action (VIA) framework maps 24 character strengths onto six more abstract virtues through a theoretical classification. However, compared to other individual difference constructs, there is little consensus about the factor-analytic structure of the VIA trait space. Applying Horn's parallel analysis, Goldberg’s Bass-ackwards approach, and cross-country congruency analysis, we scrutinize the factor-analytic solutions-hierarchy of the 24 VIA strengths with the aim to identify one or more useful global levels of abstraction (akin to the Big Five, HEXACO/Big Six, or personality metatraits). We assessed the 24 character strengths with the psychometrically refined IPIP-VIA-R inventory in two large and heterogeneous samples from Germany and the UK (total N ≈ 2,000). Results suggested that three global dimensions suffice to capture the essence of character strengths: Level III recovered more than 50% of the total variation of the 24 character strengths in well-interpretable, global/general, cross-culturally replicable dimensions. We provisionally labeled them positivity, dependability, and mastery. Their superordinate Level-II-dimensions were reminiscent of the "Big Two" personality metatraits Dynamism and Social Self-Regulation. Our results advance the understanding of the VIA character trait space and may serve as a basis for developing scales to assess these global dimensions
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