Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences - Research Publications

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    Psychological Science in the Wake of COVID-19: Social, Methodological, and Metascientific Considerations
    Rosenfeld, DL ; Balcetis, E ; Bastian, B ; Berkman, ET ; Bosson, JK ; Brannon, TN ; Burrow, AL ; Cameron, CD ; Chen, S ; Cook, JE ; Crandall, C ; Davidai, S ; Dhont, K ; Eastwick, PW ; Gaither, SE ; Gangestad, SW ; Gilovich, T ; Gray, K ; Haines, EL ; Haselton, MG ; Haslam, N ; Hodson, G ; Hogg, MA ; Hornsey, MJ ; Huo, YJ ; Joel, S ; Kachanoff, FJ ; Kraft-Todd, G ; Leary, MR ; Ledgerwood, A ; Lee, RT ; Loughnan, S ; MacInnis, CC ; Mann, T ; Murray, DR ; Parkinson, C ; Perez, EO ; Pyszczynski, T ; Ratner, K ; Rothgerber, H ; Rounds, JD ; Schaller, M ; Silver, RC ; Spellman, BA ; Strohminger, N ; Swim, JK ; Thoemmes, F ; Urganci, B ; Vandello, JA ; Volz, S ; Zayas, V ; Tomiyama, AJ (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2021-10-01)
    The COVID-19 pandemic has extensively changed the state of psychological science from what research questions psychologists can ask to which methodologies psychologists can use to investigate them. In this article, we offer a perspective on how to optimize new research in the pandemic's wake. Because this pandemic is inherently a social phenomenon-an event that hinges on human-to-human contact-we focus on socially relevant subfields of psychology. We highlight specific psychological phenomena that have likely shifted as a result of the pandemic and discuss theoretical, methodological, and practical considerations of conducting research on these phenomena. After this discussion, we evaluate metascientific issues that have been amplified by the pandemic. We aim to demonstrate how theoretically grounded views on the COVID-19 pandemic can help make psychological science stronger-not weaker-in its wake.
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    The Roles of Dehumanization and Moral Outrage in Retributive Justice
    Bastian, B ; Denson, TF ; Haslam, N ; Krueger, F (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-04-23)
    When innocents are intentionally harmed, people are motivated to see that offenders get their "just deserts". The severity of the punishment they seek is driven by the perceived magnitude of the harm and moral outrage. The present research extended this model of retributive justice by incorporating the role of offender dehumanization. In three experiments relying on survey methodology in Australia and the United States, participants read about different crimes that varied by type (child molestation, violent, or white collar - Studies 1 and 2) or severity (Study 3). The findings demonstrated that both moral outrage and dehumanization predicted punishment independently of the effects of crime type or crime severity. Both moral outrage and dehumanization mediated the relationship between perceived harm and severity of punishment. These findings highlight the role of offender dehumanization in punishment decisions and extend our understanding of processes implicated in retributive justice.
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    Morality and Humanness
    Haslam, N ; Bastian, B ; Loughnan, S ; Levine, JM ; Hogg, MA (Sage, 2010)
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    A Perspective on Dehumanization
    Haslam, N ; Bain, P ; Bastian, B ; Loughnan, S ; Drogosz, M ; Bilewicz, M (PWN, 2012)
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    A relational perspective on dehumanization
    BASTIAN, B ; Jetten, J ; Haslam, N ; Bain, P ; Vaes, J ; Leyens, JP (Psychology Press, 2012)
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    Essentialist beliefs about personality and their implications
    Haslam, N ; Bastian, B ; Bissett, M (SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC, 2004-12-01)
    Two studies examine implicit theories about the nature of personality characteristics, asking whether they are understood as underlying essences. Consistent with the hypothesis, essentialist beliefs about personality formed a coherent and replicable set. Personality characteristics differed systematically in the extent to which they were judged to be discrete, biologically based, immutable, informative, consistent across situations, and deeply inherent within the person. In Study 1, the extent to which characteristics were essentialized was positively associated with their perceived desirability, prevalence, and emotionality. In Study 2, essentialized characteristics were judged to be particularly important for defining people's identity, for forming impressions of people, and for communicating about a third person. The findings indicate that people understand some personality attributes in an essentialist fashion, that these attributes are taken to be valued elements of a shared human nature, and that they are particularly central to social identity and judgment.
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    More human than you: Attributing humanness to self and others
    Haslam, N ; Bain, P ; Douge, L ; Lee, M ; Bastian, B (AMER PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSOC, 2005-12-01)
    People typically evaluate their in-groups more favorably than out-groups and themselves more favorably than others. Research on infrahumanization also suggests a preferential attribution of the "human essence" to in-groups, independent of in-group favoritism. The authors propose a corresponding phenomenon in interpersonal comparisons: People attribute greater humanness to themselves than to others, independent of self-enhancement. Study 1 and a pilot study demonstrated 2 distinct understandings of humanness--traits representing human nature and those that are uniquely human--and showed that only the former traits are understood as inhering essences. In Study 2, participants rated themselves higher than their peers on human nature traits but not on uniquely human traits, independent of self-enhancement. Study 3 replicated this "self-humanization" effect and indicated that it is partially mediated by attribution of greater depth to self versus others. Study 4 replicated the effect experimentally. Thus, people perceive themselves to be more essentially human than others.
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    Psychological essentialism, implicit theories, and intergroup relations
    Haslam, N ; Bastian, B ; Bain, P ; Kashima, Y (SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2006-01-01)
    Research on implicit person theories shows that beliefs about the malleability of human attributes have important implications for social cognition, interpersonal behavior, and intergroup relations. We argue that these implications can be understood within the framework of psychological essentialism, which extends work on implicit theories in promising directions. We review evidence that immutability beliefs covary with a broader set of essentialist beliefs, and that these essentialist beliefs are associated with stereotyping and prejudice. We then present recent studies indicating that associations between implicit person theories and stereotyping may be explained in terms of essentialist beliefs, implying a significant role for these beliefs in the psychology of group perception. Finally, we propose ways in which research and theory on essentialist beliefs might clarify and advance research on implicit person theories.
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    Psychological essentialism and stereotype endorsement
    Bastian, B ; Haslam, N (ACADEMIC PRESS INC ELSEVIER SCIENCE, 2006-03-01)
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    The role of meat consumption in the denial of moral status and mind to meat animals
    Loughnan, S ; Haslam, N ; Bastian, B (ACADEMIC PRESS LTD- ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, 2010-08-01)
    People enjoy eating meat but disapprove of harming animals. One resolution to this conflict is to withdraw moral concern from animals and deny their capacity to suffer. To test this possibility, we asked participants to eat dried beef or dried nuts and then indicate their moral concern for animals and judge the moral status and mental states of a cow. Eating meat reduced the perceived obligation to show moral concern for animals in general and the perceived moral status of the cow. It also indirectly reduced the ascription of mental states necessary to experience suffering. People may escape the conflict between enjoying meat and concern for animal welfare by perceiving animals as unworthy and unfeeling.