Publications by authors named "Arber Tasimi"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

A Dollar Is a Dollar Is a Dollar, or Is It? Insights From Children's Reasoning About "Dirty Money".

Cogn Sci 2021 Apr;45(4):e12950

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.

Money can take many forms-a coin or a bill, a payment for an automobile or a prize for an award, a piece from the 1989 series or the 2019 series, and so on-but despite this, money is designed to represent an amount and only that. Thus, a dollar is a dollar, in the sense that money is fungible. But when adults ordinarily think about money, they think about it in terms of its source, and in particular, its moral source (e.g., dirty money). Here we investigate the development of the belief that money carries traces of its moral history. We study children ages 5-6 and 8-9, who are sensitive to both object history and morality, and thus possess the component pieces needed to think that a dollar may not be like any other. Across three principal studies (and three additional studies in Appendix S1; N = 327; 219 five- and six-year-olds; 108 eight- and nine-year-olds), we find that children are less likely to want money with negative moral history, a pattern that was stronger and more consistent among 8- and 9-year-olds than 5- and 6-year-olds. These findings highlight pressing directions for future research that could help shed light on the mechanisms that contribute to the belief that money carries traces of its moral history.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12950DOI Listing
April 2021

No Participant Left Behind: Conducting Science During COVID-19.

Trends Cogn Sci 2020 08 11;24(8):583-584. Epub 2020 May 11.

Department of Psychology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Cognitive scientists have ramped up online testing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although research conducted online solves the problem of data collection, the paucity of internet access among low-income and minority communities may reduce the diversity of study samples, and thus have an impact on the generalizability of scientific findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2020.05.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7211671PMC
August 2020

Connecting the Dots on the Origins of Social Knowledge.

Authors:
Arber Tasimi

Perspect Psychol Sci 2020 03 13;15(2):397-410. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Department of Psychology, Stanford University.

Understanding what infants know about social life is a growing enterprise. Indeed, one of the most exciting developments within psychological science over the past decade is the view that infants may come equipped with knowledge about "good" and "bad" and about "us" and "them." At the heart of this view is a seminal set of studies indicating that infants prefer helpers to hinderers and similar to dissimilar others. What a growing number of researchers now believe is that these preferences may be based on innate (i.e., unlearned) social knowledge. In this article, I consider how decades of research in developmental psychology can lead to a different way to make sense of this popular body of work. As I make connections between old observations and new theorizing-and between classic findings and contemporary research-I consider how the same preferences that are thought to emanate from innate social knowledge may instead reflect social knowledge that infants can rapidly build as they pursue relationships with their caregivers. I offer this perspective with hopes that it will inspire future work that supports or questions the ideas sketched out here and, by doing so, will broaden an understanding of the origins of social knowledge.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1745691619885861DOI Listing
March 2020

Children's Initial Responses and Beyond: Effects of Niceness and Similarity on Preference, Giving, and Memory.

Child Dev 2019 03 20;90(2):432-440. Epub 2018 Dec 20.

Yale University.

This study assessed children's preference, giving, and memory to investigate the impact of social information over time. We compared 5- and 6-year-olds' (N = 144) immediate or delayed responses to an individual who does or does not share their toy preference (similar vs. dissimilar) or an individual who treats others kindly or poorly (nice vs. mean). Immediately, children all preferred the similar or nice characters but gave more stickers to the similar character. This strong initial effect of similarity was not evident after 1 week; children's preference, giving, and memory reflected a greater long-term impact of niceness than similarity. These findings highlight the importance of using multiple features and measures to elucidate children's evolving views about others.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13196DOI Listing
March 2019

Children's decision making: When self-interest and moral considerations conflict.

J Exp Child Psychol 2017 09 4;161:195-201. Epub 2017 May 4.

Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.

When children's self-interests are at odds with their moral considerations, what do they do? In the current study of 5- and 6-year-olds (N=160), we asked (a) whether children would select the offering of a do-gooder over a neutral individual at a personal cost, (b) whether they would reject the offering of a wrongdoer over a neutral individual at a personal cost, and (c) whether these two types of decisions involve comparable levels of conflict. In the absence of material considerations, children preferred a nice character to a neutral one, but this preference was easily overcome for material gain; children accepted a larger offering from a neutral source over a smaller offering from a nice source. In contrast, children's aversion to negative characters was largely unaffected by the same material consideration; they rejected a larger offering from a mean source in favor of a smaller offering from a neutral source. In addition, children's response times indicated that deciding whether or not to "sell out" to a wrongdoer for personal gain engenders conflict but that deciding whether to take a lesser gain from a do-gooder does not. These findings indicate that children weigh both their own material interests and others' social behaviors when selecting social partners and, importantly, that an aversion to wrongdoers is a more powerful influence on these choices than an attraction to do-gooders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2017.03.008DOI Listing
September 2017

Dirty Money: The Role of Moral History in Economic Judgments.

Cogn Sci 2017 Apr 21;41 Suppl 3:523-544. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Department of Psychology, University of Michigan.

Although traditional economic models posit that money is fungible, psychological research abounds with examples that deviate from this assumption. Across eight experiments, we provide evidence that people construe physical currency as carrying traces of its moral history. In Experiments 1 and 2, people report being less likely to want money with negative moral history (i.e., stolen money). Experiments 3-5 provide evidence against an alternative account that people's judgments merely reflect beliefs about the consequences of accepting stolen money rather than moral sensitivity. Experiment 6 examines whether an aversion to stolen money may reflect contamination concerns, and Experiment 7 indicates that people report they would donate stolen money, thereby counteracting its negative history with a positive act. Finally, Experiment 8 demonstrates that, even in their recall of actual events, people report a reduced tendency to accept tainted money. Altogether, these findings suggest a robust tendency to evaluate money based on its moral history, even though it is designed to participate in exchanges that effectively erase its origins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12464DOI Listing
April 2017

Differences in the Evaluation of Generic Statements About Human and Non-Human Categories.

Cogn Sci 2017 Sep 4;41(7):1934-1957. Epub 2016 Nov 4.

Department of Psychology, Yale University.

Generic statements (e.g., "Birds lay eggs") express generalizations about categories. Current theories suggest that people should be especially inclined to accept generics that involve threatening information. However, previous tests of this claim have focused on generics about non-human categories, which raises the question of whether this effect applies as readily to human categories. In Experiment 1, adults were more likely to accept generics involving a threatening (vs. a non-threatening) property for artifacts, but this negativity bias did not also apply to human categories. Experiment 2 examined an alternative hypothesis for this result, and Experiments 3 and 4 served as conceptual replications of the first experiment. Experiment 5 found that even preschoolers apply generics differently for humans and artifacts. Finally, Experiment 6 showed that these effects reflect differences between human and non-human categories more generally, as adults showed a negativity bias for categories of non-human animals, but not for categories of humans. These findings suggest the presence of important, early-emerging domain differences in people's judgments about generics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cogs.12440DOI Listing
September 2017

Memories of good deeds past: The reinforcing power of prosocial behavior in children.

J Exp Child Psychol 2016 07 29;147:159-66. Epub 2016 Mar 29.

Department of Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467, USA.

Does considering one's past prosociality affect future behavior? Prior research has revealed instances in which adults engage in additional prosocial behavior-moral reinforcement-as well as instances in which adults engage in worse behavior-moral licensing. The current study examined the developmental origins of these effects by testing whether 6- to 8-year-old children (N=225) are more or less generous after recalling their own good deeds. Children were asked to recount a time when they were nice, were mean, or watched a movie. Children behaved more generously after recalling a time when they were nice. We show that this boost in generosity was not simply the result of instructing children to consider nice behavior; children's giving did not increase after recalling others' good deeds. We also show that, even after recounting multiple instances of their past goodness, children continue to behave more generously. These findings suggest that doing good leads to more good in children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2016.03.001DOI Listing
July 2016

Costly rejection of wrongdoers by infants and children.

Cognition 2016 Jun 17;151:76-79. Epub 2016 Mar 17.

Yale University, United States.

How unappealing are individuals who behave badly towards others? We show here that children and even infants, although motivated by material rewards, are nonetheless willing to incur costs to avoid "doing business" with a wrongdoer. When given the choice to accept a smaller offering from a do-gooder or a larger offering from a wrongdoer, children and infants chose to accept the smaller offering. It was only when the difference between the offerings was very large that their aversion to the wrongdoer was overcome by personal incentives. These findings show that a willingness to forgo self-interests when faced with wrongdoers is a fundamental aspect of human nature.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2016.03.004DOI Listing
June 2016

Do-gooder derogation in children: the social costs of generosity.

Front Psychol 2015 21;6:1036. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

Department of Psychology, Yale University , New Haven, CT, USA.

Generosity is greatly valued and admired, but can it sometimes be unappealing? The current study investigated 8- to 10-year-old children's (N = 128) preference for generous individuals, and the effects of social comparison on their preferences. In Experiment 1, children showed a strong preference for a generous to a stingy child; however, this preference was significantly reduced in a situation that afforded children a comparison of their own (lesser) generosity to that of another child. In Experiment 2, children's liking for a generous individual was not reduced when that individual was an adult, suggesting that similarity in age influences whether a child engages in social comparison. These findings indicate that, by middle childhood, coming up short in comparison with a peer can decrease one's liking for a generous individual.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01036DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4508481PMC
August 2015

A self-serving bias in children's memories?

J Exp Psychol Gen 2015 Jun;144(3):528-33

Department of Psychology, Yale University.

Although children's initial perceptions and judgments about sociomoral situations are being actively explored, little is known about what children remember about them. In four experiments testing over 400 children, we investigated children's memories for small acts of giving and taking. When asked to recall their own giving and taking, children were relatively accurate following a number of delays. In contrast, when asked to recall a child's giving or taking, children exaggerated the child's taking after a 1-day or 1-week delay. Notably, this pattern of misremembering occurred only when children recalled the actions of a child but not an adult. We consider the idea that children spontaneously engage in social comparison, which colors their memories of the social world.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xge0000072DOI Listing
June 2015