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Does Self Threat Promote Social Connection


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  • 1. Does Self –Threat Promote Social Connection?
    Psychology Of Group Dynamics
    DPSD2 0903A
    18 Jan 2010
  • 2. Contents
    Overview Of Studies
    Study 1
    Study 5
    Study 6
    The End
  • 3. Overview
    • Identifying the motivational consequences of experiencing a threat to the domain of contingent self-worth.
    • 4. Examine whether initial social motives differed for people with high self-esteem vs. low self-esteem.
    • 5. Hypothesized that HSE appearance contingent participants would express greater desire for social contact with close others following self threat while LSE avoid any forms of affiliation.
    • 6. Expected the combination of trait self-esteem and appearance contingency of self-worth would shape responses to self-threat.
    • 7. Thus in each study there are three-way interactions between experimental manipulations of appearance threat, train self-esteem and appearance contingency of self-worth.
  • Study 1
    • Tested the hypothesis of HSE & LSE appearance-contingent, how these 2 groups of people would respond to an appearance threat
    • 8. HSE- Expected to want to affiliate with close others
    • 9. LSE- Would want to avoid other people
  • Study 1
    • Participants & procedure
    • 10. 100 graduate students (66 women, 34 men)
    • 11. Participants were put in private cubicles to answer questionnaires
    • 12. They are then assigned to 1 of 2 experimental conditions
    Appearance threat condition
    Control condition
  • 13. Study 1
    • Appearance threat condition
    • 14. Participants were ordered pen down their flaws in self, namely their physical or body appearance which made them feel insecure or dissatisfied.
    • 15. Control condition
    • 16. Participants were told to observe the objects around the room where they are seated, think about all of it and again, list it down in a piece of paper provided.
    Afterwards, they indicated their desire to engage in various activities with close others. Participants were debriefed and dismissed.
  • 17. Study 1
    Results & Discussions
    • To probe significant interactions, they tested simple effect of appearance CSW in the threat & control conditions among participants with HSE vs. LSE.
    • 18. Gender, race age were included as covariates in all studies.
    • 19. As expected, HSE participants wants to affiliate more with close others and the otherwise for LSE.
    • 20. The CSW for HSE is so much higher while for LSE, there were no effect observed.
    • 21. To sum it up, these study provides preliminary support for the hypothesis that threat to a domain of contingent self-worth leads to divergent social motivation for people with HSE vs. LSE.
  • Study 2
    • The use of a more powerful threat manipulation
    • 22. Participants wrote an essay about dissatisfying appearance, rather than just the negatives
    • 23. Elucidate the psychological mechanism which triggers appearance threats
    • 24. Use of priming manipulations to satiate the desire either self-esteem or social belongings
  • Study 2
    • Participants & procedures
    • 25. 123 students (86 women, 37 men)
    • 26. Seated in a private cubicle, as it is in study 1
    • 27. Student wrote essays on the physical/body/face that they do not like about themselves
    • 28. After the essay writing, students were provided with instructions that varied on experimental conditions :
    Close relationship prime
  • 29. Study 2
    • Neutral prime condition
    • 30. List objects in the room
    • 31. Self affirmation prime condition
    • 32. List general strengths
    • 33. Close relationship prime condition
    • 34. Wrote down initials of the one who love them unconditionally & those who they could turn to in times of needs
  • Study 2
    Results and Discussions
    • After writing about the dissatisfying aspect of their appearance, HSE appearance contingent showed greater desire to want to affiliate with close others & LSE wanted to avoid any contact.
    • 35. Responses were eliminated. However, needs for self-esteem and sense of belonging were temporarily satisfied.
    • 36. Results were consistent with the hypothesis that the responses of appearance-contingent HSE & LSE participants reflect responses to perceive threat- Not just self-esteem but belongings as well.
  • Study 3
    • Study 3 has used a more direct and controlled manipulation of appearance threat:
    • 37. Participants receiving feedback from fellow participants.
    • 38. Includes a more rigorous control condition, which is a threat to intelligence & intellectual competence, to rule out the possibility that any negative feedback, as opposed to feedback related specifically to appearance, would produce equivalent effects.
  • Study 3
    Hypothesis of Researcher:
    • Conforming with the previous findings, it was expected that HSE appearance-contingent participants would covet conjunction with close others adhering negative appearance feedback, but not negative competence feedback.
    • 39. In contrast, it was expected that LSE appearance-contingent participants would want to avoid conjunction with close others adhering negative appearance feedback and not following competence feedback.
  • Study 3
    Method: Participants & Procedure:
    68 participants .
    1 participant had suspected the feedback, so the final sample consisted of 67 participants. (33 Females,34 Males)
    Participants were brought together.
    The experimenter then left the room so participants could converse freely with each other for 10 minutes.
    Next, the experimenter collected the forms and administered the randomly assigned manipulation to each participant individually.
  • 40. Study 3
    Results & Discussions:
    Results revealed only the predicted 3-way interaction between Self-esteem, Appearance CSW, and Condition .
    Among HSE participants in the appearance threat condition, having high appearance CSW was related to greater desire to be with close others .
    Among LSE participants in the appearance threat condition, having high appearance CSW was associated with less desire to engage in activities with close others.
    However, researchers had found an effect of appearance CSW among HSE participants in the negative competence feedback condition (i.e., high appearance CSW was associated with less desire for social contact).
  • 41. Study 4
    • Examined whether the desire to be close to others would extend into wanting to be with them.
    • 42. HSE- Expected to have increased desire to affiliate with close other.
    • 43. LSE- expected to avoid contact with both close and people in general as they perceived as a potential sources of rejection & negative evaluation.
    • 44. Added control variables: Social anxiety and neuroticism.
  • Study 4
    • 65 participants (47 women, 18 men)
    • 45. Participants were told to write on the experience in relief by describing the situation where they hated how the appear to look like- Appearance threat condition
    • 46. Participants were instructed to drive or walk to school and afterwards account their feelings and thoughts
  • Study 4
    • HSE participants turn to close others rather than people in general because they are less familiar than close others and less likely to perceive as sources of reassurance.
    • 47. LSE avoided any form of contact.
    • 48. It is also observed that, in the control condition appearance CSW was associated with greater desire to be with other people.
    • 49. This consistent with prior research showing that general, appearance SW is associated with greater time spent socializing.
  • Study 5
    • LSE contingent individuals were expected to show increased desire to engage in appearance-boosting activities.
    • 50. Improve their attractiveness
    • 51. People with HSE are generally satisfied with their appearance
  • Study 5
    • 76 participants (42 women, 31 men, 3 unspecified).
    • 52. Seated at separate cubicles
    • 53. RSE and appearance CSW scales
    • 54. Randomly assigned to write an essay
    • 55. They indicated their desire (1=not all to 7=very much)
    • 56. Then debriefed and dismissed
  • Study 5
    Results :
    • Observed a main effect of appearance
    • 57. The predicted three-way interaction
    • 58. Pattern was not observed
    • 59. Predicted HSE participants to have greater desire to engage in appearance activities
    • 60. Overall results was……
    • 61. Gender did not make a difference
  • Study 5
    • LSE participants engaged in appearance-boosting activities
    • 62. Improve attractiveness
    • 63. No direct or extensive contact with other people
    • 64. Desires:
    • 65. Diet or read fashion magazine
    • 66. Alone, no involvement of interpersonal risk
    • 67. Safe to receive a compliment about one’s appearance
    • 68. Physically attractive is closely linked to interpersonal liking and social acceptance
  • Study 5
    • Not only it will increase self-esteem but also social belonging .(LSE people)
    • 69. Unexpected finding from the HSE appearance-contingent .
    • 70. People with HSE perceived themselves as attractive and likable.
    • 71. HSE appearance-contingent individuals may serve to maintain their already favorable self-perceptions of attractiveness and likeability.
    • 72. No increase to their sense of attractiveness for people with HSE.
  • Study 6
    To examine participants desire to engage in appearance-boosting activities.
    Using a more controlled threat. (similar to study 3)
    Expected that LSE participants would show greater motivation.
  • 73. Study 6
    48 participants (24 women, 24 men)
    1 female and 1 male in each session.
    Seated in separate rooms.
    Purpose of study was to……
    They were brought together and then brought to separate rooms again.
    Randomly assigned for either positive or negative feedback.
    Manipulation checks and reported their desire to engage in appearance activities.
    Debriefed and dismissed.
  • 74. Study 6
    • Effects of self-esteem, appearance CSW and experimental condition, controlling for demographic variables and vanity .
    Extension of findings of Study 5.
    Key finding was the same:
    LSE participants show greater interest in engaging appearance-boosting activities when their sense of physical attractiveness was threatened.
    Desire may reflect a way of enhancing the self.
  • 75. Limitations
    Aim of this research was to identify the immediate motivational consequences of experiencing a threat to a domain of contingent self-worth, and to examine how these motivational consequences differed for people with HSE versus LSE. Accordingly, the dependent measures used captured a relatively direct, early-in-the-stream portrayal of people’s motivations.
    The studies reported here used relatively controlled and unambiguous forms of self-threat.
  • 76. Limitations
    Another limitation pertains to the generalizability of the current findings.
    Another interpretation, however, is that the competence feedback .
  • 77. Recommendations
    Future studies should examine the extent to which participants’ initial motivations lead to strategic behaviors aimed at social acceptance and self-enhancement.
    Future research might profitably examine whether self-esteem and contingencies of self-worth shape people’s tendency to view ambiguous social events as posing particular kinds of threats.
    Future studies would benefit from examining whether the specific domain on which people stake their self-worth has implications for the manner in which they cope with threat.
  • 78. Conclusion
    Threats to the intellective self may motivate endeavors to restore one’s self-regard and sense of social belonging (MacDonald & Leary, 2005). People with HSE, who tend to feel positively regarded by others, responded to self-threat in a socially optimistic fashion, by seeking to affiliate directly with others as potential sources of reassurance and affirmation. In contrast, people with LSE, who tend to feel less positively regarded by others, responded in a socially cautious manner, by seeking to withdraw from others and to redress personal savors perceived to be deficient (i.e., by enhancing their attractiveness).
  • 79. The End
    Thank You !!!
    Done by: Lithya Krishna
    Edora Mayangsari
    Chermaine Ng