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Bogdan Wojciszke and Olga Bialobrzeska

Abstract

Two hypotheses concerning the relative importance of agentic versus communal traits as predictors of selfesteem were tested. The perspective hypothesis assumed that self-esteem is dominated by agency over communion because self-perceptions are formed from the agent (versus recipient) perspective. The culture hypothesis assumed that self-esteem is dominated by communal concerns in collectivistic cultures and by agentic concerns in individualistic cultures (echoed by individual differences in self-construal). Study 1 involving three samples from collectivistic countries and three from individualistic ones found that self-esteem was better predicted from self-ratings of agentic than communal traits, with the exception of collectivistic women for whom the two predictors were equal. Study 2 primed the interdependent or independent self and found self-ratings of agency to be better predictors of self-esteem than self-ratings of communion, with the exception of interdependence priming,where the two predictors were equal in strength.

Open access

Kuba Krys and Bogdan Wojciszke

Abstract

In most individualistic cultures, pride is regarded as a positive emotion that follows a positive evaluation of one’s competence or effort when achieving a goal. Fredrickson (2001) suggests that pride may expand individuals’ scope of attention and broaden their action repertoires by driving them toward greater achievements in the future. In the present study, we show that proud individuals may search for greater achievements by stronger willingness to cooperate with agentic though immoral individuals. We demonstrate that proud participants in comparison to participants in the control condition rely to a higher degree on information on agency and respect, and less on information on morality and liking of their potential partners of cooperation.

Open access

Jaroslaw Piotrowski and Bogdan Wojciszke

Abstract

A substantial amount of research showed that agency (concerning goal attainment) and communion (concerning relationships maintenance) are two basic dimensions of content in social cognition. Based on the well-supported idea that people typically think about themselves and close others in agentic rather than communal terms, we tested the hypothesis that agentic (but not communal) thinking about unknown others makes them subjectively closer. This hypothesis was confirmed in four experiments differently priming agentic versus communal thinking on others. As predicted, increases in closeness resulting from the agentic thinking about others were constrained to cognitive load conditions where participants were occupied with a parallel task. We conclude that the agentic content of thoughts about others serves as an intuitive, heuristic cue of their psychological closeness.

Open access

Agnieszka Pietraszkiewicz and Bogdan Wojciszke

Abstract

Based on the balance theory (Heider, 1958), we hypothesized that emotions (i.e., schadenfreude, resentment, joy and sorrow) induced by other person’s outcomes function as responses restoring balance within cognitive units consisting of the perceiver, other persons and their outcomes. As a consequence, emotional reactions towards others’ outcomes depend on the perceiver’s attitudes in such a way that outcomes of a well-liked person rise congruous responses (sorrow after failure and joy after success), while outcomes of a disliked other lead to incongruous responses (schadenfreude after failure and resentment after success). Our participants recalled a situation from their past in which somebody they liked or disliked had succeed or failed. Additionally, we manipulated whether the outcome referred to a domain where participants’ self-interest was involved or not. We analyzed the participants’ average emotional state as well as specific emotions induced by the recalled events. Consistently with expectations we found that balancing principles played a major role in shaping emotional responses to successes and failures of person who were well-liked or disliked.

Open access

Bogdan Wojciszke, Wieslaw Baryla, Aleksandra Szymków-Sudziarska, Michal Parzuchowski and Katarzyna Kowalczyk

Saying is experiencing: Affective consequences of complaining and affirmation

In four experiments mood was measured before and after complaining or affirmation. Participants complained or affirmed either themselves or listened to such communications of another person. Mood decreased after complaining and increased after affirmation — a "saying is experiencing" (SIE) effect. This effect was found also in the cognitive load condition suggesting that automatic mood contagion underlies the SIE effect rather than mechanisms based on self-perception or self-awareness. Appropriateness of a topic for complaining appeared a boundary condition of the SIE effect: When a topic was considered by participants the most appropriate for complaining, the act of showing dissatisfaction with the topic led to mood improvement.

Open access

Konrad Bocian and Bogdan Wojciszke

Abstract

Previous studies (Bocian & Wojciszke, 2014) showed that self-interest biases moral perception of others’ unethical actions. Moreover, affective changes in attitudinal responses towards the perpetrator of an immoral act drives the bias. In the present studies, we attempted to answer the question whether people are aware of the self-interest bias in their judgments of others’ behavior. We conducted two experiments showing that moral judgments of verbally described and imagined actions were dominated by norms rather than self-interest (Study 1) and that people were not aware that self-interest distorted their moral judgment (Study 2). The unawareness of the self-interest bias among the participants was attributable to omission of their own emotional responses when forecasting their moral judgments. We discuss the importance of emotions presence in studies on moral judgments as well as contribution of the present research to the intuitionist approach to moral judgment.

Open access

Konrad Bocian, Wieslaw Baryla and Bogdan Wojciszke

Abstract

Research has shown that cheating is perceived as immoral when it serves the cheater’s interests, though it can be seen as moral when it serves the interests of the perceiver. However, are such biased moral judgments real, or are they merely lip service? To answer the question of whether biased moral judgments actually inform behavior, the authors asked participants to observe a confederate who either cheated for money or did not cheat, which benefited either the confederate alone or both the confederate and the participating observer. Then, participants evaluated the confederate and, finally, played a one shot trust game with her. Cheating influenced moral judgments and decreased behavioral trust, but this only occurred when self-interest was not involved. When self-interest was involved, participants showed no significant differences in trust levels, independent of whether the confederate had cheated or not. Implications for the dual process theory in moral psychology are discussed.

Open access

Andrea E. Abele, Susanne Bruckmüller and Bogdan Wojciszke

Abstract

: The dual perspective model of agency and communion predicts that observers tend to interpret a target’s behavior more in terms of communion than agency, whereas actors interpret their behavior more in terms of agency. The present research for the first time tests this model in real interactions. Previously unacquainted participants had a short conversation and afterwards rated their own behavior (actor perspective) and their interaction partner’s behavior (observer perspective) in terms of agency(self-confident, assertive) and communion(trustworthy, empathic). Supporting the dual perspective model, observers rated the actor’s behavior higher on communion than on agency, and higher on communion than actors themselves did. Findings for actors were more complex: Actors rated their own behavior as more agentic than observers did. However, they also rated their behavior high on communion. We discuss implications for the dual perspective model as well as for (mis)understandings in social interactions.