Publications by authors named "Brian Meier"

50 Publications

Predictors of the intention to receive a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.

J Public Health (Oxf) 2021 Mar 3. Epub 2021 Mar 3.

Department of Biology, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA 17003, USA.

Background: It is imperative to understand the predictors of vaccine hesitancy for current and future pandemics.

Methods: A representative sample (age, race & gender) of 1054 US adults was collected in October 2020 to examine the predictors of vaccine hesitancy. Participants were asked several questions including their intention to receive a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

Results: Predictors significantly associated with a greater intention to receive a COVID-19 vaccine included greater perceived feelings of vulnerability to COVID-19, having received a flu vaccination at the time the question was asked, more liberal political orientation, non-Black race, male gender, and a lower naturalness bias.

Conclusions: Vaccines are essential for mitigating current and future pandemics. Multiple strategies are important in encouraging people to be vaccinated and the predictors highlighted here and elsewhere are likely to be useful targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/pubmed/fdab013DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7989339PMC
March 2021

Leveraging individual differences to understand grounded procedures.

Behav Brain Sci 2021 02 18;44:e6. Epub 2021 Feb 18.

Department of Psychology, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA17325-1400. https://sites.google.com/view/brianpmeier.

We applaud the goals and execution of the target article, but note that individual differences do not receive much attention. This is a shortcoming because individual differences can play a vital role in theory testing. In our commentary, we describe programs of research of this type and also apply similar thinking to the mechanisms proposed in the target article.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X20000382DOI Listing
February 2021

Injury patients' perceptions of drink-driving: A qualitative assessment of drink-driving behavior in Moshi, Tanzania.

PLoS One 2020 5;15(5):e0230662. Epub 2020 May 5.

Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States of America.

Background: Globally, about 2.3 billion people are current alcohol drinkers, and 283 million have an alcohol use disorder. Alcohol use while driving is a major contributor to road traffic injuries (RTI). We need to understand the culture and perception of drink-driving in this setting to understand why people continue to drink drive and allow policymakers to develop more effective ways to address drink-driving behavior. This study aims to qualitatively determine what injury patients, their families, and community advisory board members in Tanzania believe about drink-driving to help inform policies to address this problem.

Methods: The semi-structured focus group was designed based on the grounded theory and assessed using thematic analysis. Focus groups participants were a convenience sample of injury patients, their families, and community advisory board (CAB) members. Analysis was iterative throughout the study. All transcripts were coded using a thematic narrative approach. Representative quotes for each theme were then selected based on comparative analysis of coding with input from research team members.

Results: A total of ten focus groups were conducted (4 patient, 4 family, and 2 CAB) with a total of 104 participants (37 females and 67 males). The normalization of drinking among drivers has allowed this behavior to become ingrained in the culture. Participants expressed notions that passengers are responsible for their own safety, rather than drivers being responsible for their passengers. Most participants believe it is a citizen's duty to inform the police of suspected drink-driving, however there were differing opinions about how effective informed police officers can be in practice. Focus group discussions between all three population types highlighted major themes of 'drinking is ingrained in boda boda driver culture', 'individuals have a personal responsibility to address drink-driving', and a 'police enforcement on drink-driving is necessary'.

Conclusions: Normalization of drink-driving in commercial driver culture creates a dangerous environment for passengers which can be mitigated by education and health promotion. As most passengers already take personal responsibility for their own road traffic safety, they may be likely to make use of safe ride options, if available. While legislation is in place against drink-driving, police officers need to be empowered with appropriate training and funding to enforce them.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230662PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7199952PMC
July 2020

Alcohol stigma as it relates to drinking behaviors and perceptions of drink drivers: A mixed method study in Moshi, Tanzania.

Alcohol 2020 11 22;88:73-81. Epub 2020 Apr 22.

Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States; Duke Emergency Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, United States. Electronic address:

Background: Alcohol is a leading risk factor for road traffic injury in low- and middle-income countries, such as Tanzania. This research seeks to explore the drinking patterns, perceptions, and stigma of drink driving behavior of injury patients at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania.

Methods: This mixed methods study incorporated the Perceived Alcohol Stigma (PAS), an additive Likert scale, and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Results are reported as medians with IQRs. Additionally, focus groups with injury patients, their families, and community members (n = 104) were conducted and analyzed in pairs using an inductive thematic content analysis approach.

Results: Those who self-reported driving after ingesting 3 or more alcoholic drinks had a median AUDIT score (median = 11.0) significantly higher than those who denied drink driving (median = 5.5, p < 0.01). The PAS showed a high overall stigma against those who use alcohol but differed for drink drivers, drinkers, and abstainers (median = 20.8, 23.9, 34.9, p < 0.01). Thematic content analysis highlighted a 'disapproving of drink drivers', that 'problematic drinking is a drinking behavior which negatively affects others', and a 'passiveness toward drinking and drink driving'.

Conclusions: Stigma against those who use alcohol is present in Tanzania. Perceived stigma is significantly lower among those who drink drive than those who do not. Overall, there appears to be a community-wide disapproval of drinking and driving, which is coupled with feeling unable to change this risky behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alcohol.2020.04.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7501242PMC
November 2020

Road traffic crash experience among commercial motorcyclists in Kigali, Rwanda.

Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot 2020 Jun 5;27(2):181-187. Epub 2020 Mar 5.

Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA.

Road traffic injuries (RTI) cause ∼1.2 million deaths and 50 million injuries annually, disproportionately occurring in low- and middle-income countries. Although policy changes and infrastructural developments have continued to contribute to the decrease in RTI-related deaths, limited studies have investigated the relationship between motorcycle taxi driver behaviors and RTIs in Rwanda. This study aims to describe the safety behaviors of commercial motorcyclists in Kigali, Rwanda. We surveyed 609 commercial motorcyclists in January 2014 then conducted a cross-sectional analysis of the results, including descriptive and bivariate logistic regression analyses. We found that 38.7% of surveyed motorcycle drivers experienced a crash during their lifetime, of which, more than half (n = 134, 56.8%) suffered injuries. Of all injuries, 38.8% (n = 52) resulted in hospitalization, and 14.2% (n = 19) in disability. Among motorcyclists, 100% reported always wearing a helmet, 99% reported always wearing a chin strap, and 98.8% reported always having a passenger helmet. There was an association between sustaining a crash and believing that helmets (p = 0.08) and chin straps (p = 0.05) reduced crash risk. Rwandan commercial motorcyclists demonstrate generally proper safety behaviors, but remain a high-risk occupational group. Road safety policy initiatives have been effective in changing driver behavior regardless of driver safety beliefs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17457300.2020.1724158DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7202949PMC
June 2020

Lexical derivation of the PINT taxonomy of goals: Prominence, inclusiveness, negativity prevention, and tradition.

J Pers Soc Psychol 2020 Nov 24;119(5):1153-1187. Epub 2019 Oct 24.

Department of Psychology.

What do people want? Few questions are more fundamental to psychological science than this. Yet, existing taxonomies disagree on both the number and content of goals. Thus, we adopted a lexical approach and investigated the structure of goal-relevant words from the natural English lexicon. Through an intensive rating process, 1,060 goal-relevant English words were first located. In Studies 1-2, two relatively large and diverse samples (total = 1,026) rated their commitment to approaching or avoiding these goals. Principal component analyses yielded 4 replicable components: Prominence, Inclusiveness, Negativity Prevention, and Tradition (the PINT Taxonomy). Studies 3-7 (total = 1,396) supported the 4-factor structure of an abbreviated scale and found systematic differences in their relationships with past goal-content measures, the Big 5 traits, affect, and need satisfaction. This investigation provides a data-driven taxonomy of higher-order goal-content and opens up a wide variety of fascinating lines for future research. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000268DOI Listing
November 2020

Perceptions of alcohol use among injury patients and their family members in Tanzanian society.

Alcohol 2020 03 10;83:9-15. Epub 2019 Jun 10.

Duke Global Health Institute, Duke University, 310 Trent Drive, Durham, NC, 27710, USA; Duke Emergency Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, 2301 Erwin Road, DUMC Box 3096, Durham, NC, 27710, USA; Division of Global Neurosurgery and Neurology, Department of Neurosurgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, 27710, USA. Electronic address:

Alcohol is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Rates of alcohol abuse in Moshi, Tanzania, are about 2.5 times higher than the Tanzanian average. We sought to qualitatively assess the perceptions of alcohol use among injury patients in Moshi, including availability, consumption patterns, abuse, and treatments. Participants were Emergency Department injury patients, their families, and community advisory board members. Participants were included if they were ≥18 years of age, a patient or patient's family member seeking care at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center Emergency Department, Moshi, Tanzania, for an acute injury, clinically sober at the time of enrollment, medically stable, able to communicate in Swahili and consented to participate. Focus group discussions were audiotaped, transcribed, translated, and analyzed in parallel using an inductive thematic content analysis approach. Resultant themes were then reanalyzed to ensure internal homogeneity and external heterogeneity. Fourteen focus group discussions, with a total of 104 participants (40 patients, 50 family members, 14 community advisory board members), were conducted. Major themes resulting from the analysis included: 1) Early/repeated exposure; 2) Moderate use as a social norm with positive attributes; 3) Complications of abuse are widely stigmatized; and 4) Limited knowledge of availability of treatment. Our findings suggest that, among our unique injury population and their families, despite the normalization of alcohol-related behaviors, there is strong stigma toward complications stemming from excess alcohol use. Overall, resources for alcohol treatment and cessation, although broadly desired, are unknown to the injury population.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alcohol.2019.06.001DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7197291PMC
March 2020

A Behavioral Confirmation and Reduction of the Natural versus Synthetic Drug Bias.

Med Decis Making 2019 05 21;39(4):359-369. Epub 2019 Mar 21.

Department of Biology, Lebanon Valley College, Annville, PA, USA.

Research reveals a biased preference for natural v. synthetic drugs; however, this research is based on self-report and has not examined ways to reduce the bias. We examined these issues in 5 studies involving 1125 participants. In a pilot study ( = 110), participants rated the term to be more positive than the term , which reveals a default natural-is-better belief. In studies 1 ( = 109) and 2 ( = 100), after a supposed personality study, participants were offered a thank you "gift" of a natural or synthetic pain reliever. Approximately 86% (study 1) and 93% (study 2) of participants chose the natural v. synthetic pain reliever, which provides a behavioral choice confirmation of the natural drug bias. In studies 3 ( = 350) and 4 ( = 356), participants were randomly assigned to a control or experimental condition and were asked to consider a scenario in which they had a medical issue requiring a natural v. synthetic drug. The experimental condition included a stronger (study 3) or weaker (study 4) rational appeal about the natural drug bias and a statement suggesting that natural and synthetic drugs can be good or bad depending on the context. In both studies, the natural bias was reduced in the experimental condition, and perceived safety and effectiveness mediated this effect. Overall, these data indicate a bias for natural over synthetic drugs in preferences and behavioral choices, which might be reduced with a rational appeal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0272989X19838527DOI Listing
May 2019

Development and validation of the Single Item Trait Empathy Scale (SITES).

J Res Pers 2018 04 14;73:111-122. Epub 2017 Nov 14.

School of Communication & Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA.

Empathy involves feeling compassion for others and imagining how they feel. In this article, we develop and validate the Single Item Trait Empathy Scale (SITES), which contains only one item that takes seconds to complete. In seven studies (N=5,724), the SITES was found to be both reliable and valid. It correlated in expected ways with a wide variety of intrapersonal outcomes. For example, it is negatively correlated with narcissism, depression, anxiety, and alexithymia. In contrast, it is positively correlated with other measures of empathy, self-esteem, subjective well-being, and agreeableness. The SITES also correlates with a wide variety of interpersonal outcomes, especially compassion for others and helping others. The SITES is recommended in situations when time or question quantity is constrained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2017.11.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5839508PMC
April 2018

Myeloproliferative Disorders.

Hematol Oncol Clin North Am 2017 12;31(6):1029-1044

Department of Emergency Medicine, Carilion Clinic, PO Box 13367, Roanoke, VA 24033, USA. Electronic address:

The emergency providers generally encounters myeloproliferative disorders (MPNs) in 1 of 2 ways: as striking laboratory abnormalities of seeming unknown consequence, or in previously diagnosed patients presenting with complications. The course of patients with MPNs is highly variable, but major complications can arise. Emergent conditions related to hyperviscosity need to be recognized early and treated aggressively. Rapid hydration, transfusion, cytoreduction, and early hematology consultation can be lifesaving. Likewise, although management is not altered, a high index of suspicion for thrombotic complications is required in patients with known MPNs as these are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.hoc.2017.08.007DOI Listing
December 2017

Sepsis Resuscitation in Resource-Limited Settings.

Emerg Med Clin North Am 2017 Feb;35(1):159-173

Division of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, DUMC Box 3096, 2301 Erwin Road, Duke North, Suite 2600, Durham, NC 27710, USA; Duke Global Health Institute, Trent Hall, 310 Trent Drive, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Our evolving understanding of the physiologic processes that lead to sepsis has led to updated consensus guidelines outlining priorities in the recognition and treatment of septic patients. However, an enormous question remains when considering how to best implement these guidelines in settings with limited resources, which include rural US emergency departments and low- and middle-income countries. The core principles of sepsis management should be a priority in community emergency departments. Similarly, cost-effective interventions are key priorities in low- and middle-income countries; however, consideration must be given to the unique challenges associated with such settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.emc.2016.08.004DOI Listing
February 2017

The sweet life: The effect of mindful chocolate consumption on mood.

Appetite 2017 01 15;108:21-27. Epub 2016 Sep 15.

Gettysburg College, USA.

Chocolate consumption is anecdotally associated with an increase in happiness, but little experimental work has examined this effect. We combined a food type manipulation (chocolate vs. crackers) with a mindfulness manipulation (mindful consumption vs. non-mindful consumption) and examined the impact on positive mood. Participants (N = 258) were randomly assigned to eat a small portion (75 calories) of chocolate or a control food (crackers) in a mindful or non-mindful way. Participants who were instructed to mindfully eat chocolate had a greater increase in positive mood compared to participants who were instructed to eat chocolate non-mindfully or crackers either mindfully or non-mindfully. Additional analyses revealed that self-reported liking of the food partially mediated this effect. Chocolate appears to increase positive mood, but particularly when it is eaten mindfully.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2016.09.018DOI Listing
January 2017

Mindfulness reduces the correspondence bias.

Q J Exp Psychol (Hove) 2017 Mar 31;70(3):351-360. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

d Department of Psychology and Psychotherapy , University of Witten/Herdecke , Witten , Germany.

The correspondence bias (CB) refers to the idea that people sometimes give undue weight to dispositional rather than situational factors when explaining behaviours and attitudes. Three experiments examined whether mindfulness, a non-judgmental focus on the present moment, could reduce the CB. Participants engaged in a brief mindfulness exercise (the raisin task), a control task, or an attention to detail task before completing a typical CB measure involving an attitude-attribution paradigm. The results indicated that participants in the mindfulness condition experienced a significant reduction in the CB compared to participants in the control or attention to detail conditions. These results suggest that mindfulness training can play a unique role in reducing social biases related to person perception.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17470218.2016.1149498DOI Listing
March 2017

The Influence of Safety, Efficacy, and Medical Condition Severity on Natural versus Synthetic Drug Preference.

Med Decis Making 2016 11 18;36(8):1011-9. Epub 2015 Dec 18.

Lebanon Valley College, Department of Biology, Annville, PA, USA (CML)

Research indicates that there is a preference for natural v. synthetic products, but the influence of this preference on drug choice in the medical domain is largely unknown. We present 5 studies in which participants were asked to consider a hypothetical situation in which they had a medical issue requiring pharmacological therapy. Participants ( N = 1223) were asked to select a natural, plant-derived, or synthetic drug. In studies 1a and 1b, approximately 79% of participants selected the natural v. synthetic drug, even though the safety and efficacy of the drugs were identical. Furthermore, participants rated the natural drug as safer than the synthetic drug, and as that difference increased, the odds of choosing the natural over synthetic drug increased. In studies 2 and 3, approximately 20% of participants selected the natural drug even when they were informed that it was less safe (study 2) or less effective (study 3) than the synthetic drug. Finally, in study 4, approximately 65% of participants chose a natural over synthetic drug regardless of the severity of a specific medical condition (mild v. severe hypertension), and this choice was predicted by perceived safety and efficacy differences. Overall, these data indicate that there is a bias for natural over synthetic drugs. This bias could have implications for drug choice and usage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0272989X15621877DOI Listing
November 2016

Bah humbug: Unexpected Christmas cards and the reciprocity norm.

Authors:
Brian P Meier

J Soc Psychol 2016 Jul-Aug;156(4):449-54. Epub 2015 Dec 14.

a Gettysburg College.

The reciprocity norm refers to the expectation that people will help those who helped them. A well-known study revealed that the norm is strong with Christmas cards, with 20% of people reciprocating a Christmas card received from a stranger. I attempted to conceptually replicate and extend this effect. In Study 1, 755 participants received a Christmas card supposedly from a more- versus less-similar stranger. The reciprocation rate was unexpectedly low (2%), which did not allow for a test of a similarity effect. Two potential reasons for this low rate were examined in Study 2 in which 494 participants reported their likelihood of reciprocating a Christmas card from a stranger as well as their felt suspicions/threat about the card and their frequency of e-mail use. Reciprocation likelihood was negatively correlated with perceived threat/suspicion and e-mail use. It appears that reciprocating a gift from a stranger in offline settings may be less likely than expected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00224545.2015.1129306DOI Listing
April 2017

The myth of the angry atheist.

J Psychol 2015 May-Aug;149(3-4):219-38. Epub 2014 Mar 21.

a Gettysburg College.

Atheists are often portrayed in the media and elsewhere as angry individuals. Although atheists disagree with the pillar of many religions, namely the existence of a God, it may not necessarily be the case that they are angry individuals. The prevalence and accuracy of angry-atheist perceptions were examined in 7 studies with 1,677 participants from multiple institutions and locations in the United States. Studies 1-3 revealed that people believe atheists are angrier than believers, people in general, and other minority groups, both explicitly and implicitly. Studies 4-7 then examined the accuracy of these beliefs. Belief in God, state anger, and trait anger were assessed in multiple ways and contexts. None of these studies supported the idea that atheists are particularly angry individuals. Rather, these results support the idea that people believe atheists are angry individuals, but they do not appear to be angrier than other individuals in reality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00223980.2013.866929DOI Listing
October 2015

Development and validation of the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS).

PLoS One 2014 5;9(8):e103469. Epub 2014 Aug 5.

School of Communication & Department of Psychology, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States of America; VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Main Objectives: The narcissistic personality is characterized by grandiosity, entitlement, and low empathy. This paper describes the development and validation of the Single Item Narcissism Scale (SINS). Although the use of longer instruments is superior in most circumstances, we recommend the SINS in some circumstances (e.g. under serious time constraints, online studies).

Methods: In 11 independent studies (total N = 2,250), we demonstrate the SINS' psychometric properties.

Results: The SINS is significantly correlated with longer narcissism scales, but uncorrelated with self-esteem. It also has high test-retest reliability. We validate the SINS in a variety of samples (e.g., undergraduates, nationally representative adults), intrapersonal correlates (e.g., positive affect, depression), and interpersonal correlates (e.g., aggression, relationship quality, prosocial behavior). The SINS taps into the more fragile and less desirable components of narcissism.

Significance: The SINS can be a useful tool for researchers, especially when it is important to measure narcissism with constraints preventing the use of longer measures.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0103469PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4122388PMC
April 2015

Myeloproliferative disorders.

Emerg Med Clin North Am 2014 Aug 7;32(3):597-612. Epub 2014 Jun 7.

Department of Emergency Medicine, Carilion Clinic, PO Box 13367, Roanoke, VA 24033, USA. Electronic address:

The emergency providers generally encounters myeloproliferative disorders (MPNs) in 1 of 2 ways: as striking laboratory abnormalities of seeming unknown consequence, or in previously diagnosed patients presenting with complications. The course of patients with MPNs is highly variable, but major complications can arise. Emergent conditions related to hyperviscosity need to be recognized early and treated aggressively. Rapid hydration, transfusion, cytoreduction, and early hematology consultation can be lifesaving. Likewise, although management is not altered, a high index of suspicion for thrombotic complications is required in patients with known MPNs as these are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.emc.2014.04.014DOI Listing
August 2014

Motivational versus metabolic effects of carbohydrates on self-control.

Psychol Sci 2012 Oct 12;23(10):1137-44. Epub 2012 Sep 12.

Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA.

Self-control is critical for achievement and well-being. However, people's capacity for self-control is limited and becomes depleted through use. One prominent explanation for this depletion posits that self-control consumes energy through carbohydrate metabolization, which further suggests that ingesting carbohydrates improves self-control. Some evidence has supported this energy model, but because of its broad implications for efforts to improve self-control, we reevaluated the role of carbohydrates in self-control processes. In four experiments, we found that (a) exerting self-control did not increase carbohydrate metabolization, as assessed with highly precise measurements of blood glucose levels under carefully standardized conditions; (b) rinsing one's mouth with, but not ingesting, carbohydrate solutions immediately bolstered self-control; and (c) carbohydrate rinsing did not increase blood glucose. These findings challenge metabolic explanations for the role of carbohydrates in self-control depletion; we therefore propose an alternative motivational model for these and other previously observed effects of carbohydrates on self-control.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0956797612439069DOI Listing
October 2012

Color in context: psychological context moderates the influence of red on approach- and avoidance-motivated behavior.

PLoS One 2012 11;7(7):e40333. Epub 2012 Jul 11.

Department of Psychology, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Background: A basic premise of the recently proffered color-in-context model is that the influence of color on psychological functioning varies as a function of the psychological context in which color is perceived. Some research has examined the appetitive and aversive implications of viewing the color red in romance- and achievement-relevant contexts, respectively, but in all existing empirical work approach and avoidance behavior has been studied in separate tasks and separate experiments. Research is needed to directly test whether red influences the same behavior differently depending entirely on psychological context.

Methodology/principal Findings: The present experiment was designed to put this premise to direct test in romance- and achievement-relevant contexts within the same experimental paradigm involving walking behavior. Our results revealed that exposure to red (but not blue) indeed has differential implications for walking behavior as a function of the context in which the color is perceived. Red increased the speed with which participants walked to an ostensible interview about dating (a romance-relevant context), but decreased the speed with which they walked to an ostensible interview about intelligence (an achievement-relevant context).

Conclusions/significance: These results are the first direct evidence that the influence of red on psychological functioning in humans varies by psychological context. Our findings contribute to both the literature on color psychology and the broader, emerging literature on the influence of context on basic psychological processes.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0040333PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3394796PMC
March 2013

Embodiment in social psychology.

Top Cogn Sci 2012 Oct 9;4(4):705-16. Epub 2012 Jul 9.

Department of Psychology, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA 17325, USA.

Psychologists are increasingly interested in embodiment based on the assumption that thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are grounded in bodily interaction with the environment. We examine how embodiment is used in social psychology, and we explore the ways in which embodied approaches enrich traditional theories. Although research in this area is burgeoning, much of it has been more descriptive than explanatory. We provide a critical discussion of the trajectory of embodiment research in social psychology. We contend that future researchers should engage in a phenomenon-based approach, highlight the theoretical boundary conditions and mediators involved, explore novel action-relevant outcome measures, and address the role of individual differences broadly defined. Such research will likely provide a more explanatory account of the role of embodiment in general terms as well as how it expands the knowledge base in social psychology.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1756-8765.2012.01212.xDOI Listing
October 2012

Anger as "seeing red": evidence for a perceptual association.

Cogn Emot 2012 7;26(8):1445-58. Epub 2012 Jun 7.

Psychology Department, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108-6050, USA.

Metaphor representation theory contends that people conceptualise their non-perceptual states (e.g., emotion concepts) in perceptual terms. The present research extends this theory to colour manipulations and discrete emotional representations. Two experiments (N = 265) examined whether a red font colour would facilitate anger conceptions, consistent with metaphors referring to anger to "seeing red". Evidence for an implicit anger-red association was robust and emotionally discrete in nature. Further, Experiment 2 examined the directionality of such associations and found that they were asymmetrical: Anger categorisations were faster when a red font colour was involved, but redness categorisations were not faster when an anger-related word was involved. Implications for multiple literatures are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2012.673477DOI Listing
April 2013

Mindful maths: reducing the impact of stereotype threat through a mindfulness exercise.

Conscious Cogn 2012 Mar 15;21(1):471-5. Epub 2011 Nov 15.

Centre for Research on Social Climate, University of Kent, Canterbury CT27NP, United Kingdom.

Individuals who experience stereotype threat - the pressure resulting from social comparisons that are perceived as unfavourable - show performance decrements across a wide range of tasks. One account of this effect is that the cognitive pressure triggered by such threat drains the same cognitive (or working-memory) resources that are implicated in the respective task. The present study investigates whether mindfulness can be used to moderate stereotype threat, as mindfulness has previously been shown to alleviate working-memory load. Our results show that performance decrements that typically occur under stereotype threat can indeed be reversed when the individual engages in a brief (5 min) mindfulness task. The theoretical implications of our findings are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2011.10.011DOI Listing
March 2012

Sweet taste preferences and experiences predict prosocial inferences, personalities, and behaviors.

J Pers Soc Psychol 2012 Jan 29;102(1):163-74. Epub 2011 Aug 29.

Department of Psychology, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA 17325, USA.

It is striking that prosocial people are considered "sweet" (e.g., "she's a sweetie") because they are unlikely to differentially taste this way. These metaphors aid communication, but theories of conceptual metaphor and embodiment led us to hypothesize that they can be used to derive novel insights about personality processes. Five studies converged on this idea. Study 1 revealed that people believed strangers who liked sweet foods (e.g., candy) were also higher in agreeableness. Studies 2 and 3 showed that individual differences in the preference for sweet foods predicted prosocial personalities, prosocial intentions, and prosocial behaviors. Studies 4 and 5 used experimental designs and showed that momentarily savoring a sweet food (vs. a nonsweet food or no food) increased participants' self-reports of agreeableness and helping behavior. The results reveal that an embodied metaphor approach provides a complementary but unique perspective to traditional trait views of personality.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0025253DOI Listing
January 2012

Counting to ten milliseconds: low-anger, but not high-anger, individuals pause following negative evaluations.

Cogn Emot 2012 10;26(2):261-81. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Department of Psychology, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58108, USA.

Low-anger individuals are less reactive, both emotionally and behaviourally, to a large variety of situational primes to anger and aggression. Why this is so, from an affective processing perspective, has been largely conjectural. Four studies (total N=270) sought to link individual differences in anger to tendencies exhibited in basic affective processing tasks. On the basis of motivational factors and considerations, it was hypothesised that negative evaluations would differentially activate a psychological alarm system at low levels of anger, resulting in a pause that should be evident in the speed of making subsequent evaluations. Just such a pattern was evident in all studies. By contrast, high-anger individuals did not pause following their negative evaluations. In relation to this affective processing tendency, at least, dramatically different effects were observed among low- versus high-anger individuals. Implications for the personality-processing literature, theories of trait anger, and fast-acting regulatory processes are discussed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02699931.2011.579088DOI Listing
June 2012

Wringing the perceptual rags: reply to IJzerman and Koole (2011).

Psychol Bull 2011 Mar;137(2):362-5

Department of Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045-7556, USA.

We Landau, Meier, & Keefer (2010) reviewed a growing body of research demonstrating metaphors' far-reaching influence on social information processing. In their commentary, IJzerman and Koole (2011) claimed that we devoted insufficient attention to the origin of metaphors, and they reviewed research showing that bodily, social, and cultural experiences constrain metaphor development. Given the focus of our article and the tone of our admittedly cursory treatment of metaphors' origins, we view IJzerman and Koole's commentary less as a critique and more as a valuable extension of our analysis. We elaborate on this extension and address three related issues raised in the comment: metaphors and representational format, the explanatory value of a metaphor-enriched perspective over the embodied cognition perspective, and the direction of metaphoric mappings between concrete and abstract concepts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0022457DOI Listing
March 2011

Privatization within the Dutch context: a comparison of the health insurance systems of the Netherlands and the United States.

Health (London) 2010 Nov;14(6):603-18

Sociology Department, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045–2172, USA.

In 2006, the Netherlands passed the Health Insurance Act requiring all legal residents to obtain health insurance from private insurance companies. The reform created a national health insurance system guaranteed to all citizens regardless of income or labor force status and introduced a market orientation that makes private insurance companies the sole providers of health insurance. How does the new policy compare to the US model of private health insurance provision? Is this reform evidence of a shift toward the American model? We use a comparative case study method to distinguish the new Dutch system from the private insurance system in the United States. We find that although the Dutch system includes market solutions similar to the US model, it still provides a universal guarantee of coverage to all of its citizens and should be viewed as 'privatization' within the Dutch context rather than a cooptation of American health policy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1363459309360790DOI Listing
November 2010

A metaphor-enriched social cognition.

Psychol Bull 2010 Nov;136(6):1045-67

Department of Psychology, 1415 Jayhawk Boulevard, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045-7556, USA.

Social cognition is the scientific study of the cognitive events underlying social thought and attitudes. Currently, the field's prevailing theoretical perspectives are the traditional schema view and embodied cognition theories. Despite important differences, these perspectives share the seemingly uncontroversial notion that people interpret and evaluate a given social stimulus using knowledge about similar stimuli. However, research in cognitive linguistics (e.g., Lakoff & Johnson, 1980) suggests that people construe the world in large part through conceptual metaphors, which enable them to understand abstract concepts using knowledge of superficially dissimilar, typically more concrete concepts. Drawing on these perspectives, we propose that social cognition can and should be enriched by an explicit recognition that conceptual metaphor is a unique cognitive mechanism that shapes social thought and attitudes. To advance this metaphor-enriched perspective, we introduce the metaphoric transfer strategy as a means of empirically assessing whether metaphors influence social information processing in ways that are distinct from the operation of schemas alone. We then distinguish conceptual metaphor from embodied simulation--the mechanism posited by embodied cognition theories--and introduce the alternate source strategy as a means of empirically teasing apart these mechanisms. Throughout, we buttress our claims with empirical evidence of the influence of metaphors on a wide range of social psychological phenomena. We outline directions for future research on the strength and direction of metaphor use in social information processing. Finally, we mention specific benefits of a metaphor-enriched perspective for integrating and generating social cognitive research and for bridging social cognition with neighboring fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0020970DOI Listing
November 2010

Bring it on: angry facial expressions potentiate approach-motivated motor behavior.

J Pers Soc Psychol 2010 Feb;98(2):201-10

Department of Psychology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY 82071, USA.

Although many psychological models suggest that human beings are invariably motivated to avoid negative stimuli, more recent theories suggest that people are frequently motivated to approach angering social challenges in order to confront and overcome them. To examine these models, the current investigation sought to determine whether angry facial expressions potentiate approach-motivated motor behaviors. Across 3 studies, individuals were faster to initiate approach movements toward angry facial expressions than to initiate avoidance movements away from such facial expressions. This approach advantage differed significantly from participants' responses to both emotionally neutral (Studies 1 & 3) and fearful (Study 2) facial expressions. Furthermore, this pattern was most apparent when physical approach appeared to be effective in overcoming the social challenge posed by angry facial expressions (Study 3). The results are discussed in terms of the processes underlying anger-related approach motivation and the conditions under which they are likely to arise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0017992DOI Listing
February 2010

Hot-headed is more than an expression: the embodied representation of anger in terms of heat.

Emotion 2009 Aug;9(4):464-77

University of Wyoming, Department of Psychology, Laramie, WY 82071, USA.

Anger is frequently referred to in terms of heat-related metaphors (e.g., hot-headed). The metaphoric representation perspective contends that such metaphors are not simply a poetic means of expressing anger but actually reflect the manner in which the concept of anger is cognitively represented. Drawing upon this perspective, the present studies examined the idea that the cognitive representation of anger is systematically related to the cognitive representation of heat. A total of 7 studies, involving 438 participants, provided support for this view. Visual depictions of heat facilitated the use of anger-related conceptual knowledge, and this occurred in tasks involving lexical stimuli as well as facial expressions. Furthermore, priming anger-related thoughts led participants to judge unfamiliar cities and the actual room temperature as hotter in nature. The results are discussed in terms of their implications for embodied views of emotion concepts and their potential social consequences.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0015764DOI Listing
August 2009