Post-Performance Activation: No Longer an Afterthought

by Jesse Bogacz, Kenyon ’18

Stereotypes and racism have plagued the United States since it’s founding.  At the core of stereotypes is the desire for one group to marginalize and minimize those who are different from them.  To not allow for the acknowledgment of these groups as “normal” and as capable as the ruling group, white men.  Naturally, researchers have devoted a lot of time to studying the effects of stereotypes on the mental health of minorities.  However, a predominant amount of these studies have focused on simply the effects of stereotypes.  Hardly any tests have focused on post-performance activation.  The researchers Thiem, Stuart, Barden, and Evans decided to focus on the effects of stereotypes after participants were given an intellectual test.  The comparisons of the participants’ evaluations would be the base of their research. The researchers also drew upon the self-validation hypothesis, which states that individuals are more likely to change their opinions after seeing evidence against their stance.

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Global Citizenship and the Ethics of Consumerism

by Brianna Levesque, Kenyon ’17

You are a citizen of your town, your state, and your country: but do you consider yourself a citizen of the world? Could whether or not you identify as a global citizen have an economic impact based upon the items you choose to buy? A recent study by researchers Gerhard Reese and Fabienne Kohlman set out to discover how defining citizenship in a global context affected the choices people made at the check-out stand. Their hypothesis was that those who more strongly identified as citizens of the world consequently were more likely to purchase fairtrade items as opposed to conventional items.

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How Agreeable and Open and Religious People Compared to Others?

by Jia He, Kenyon ’17

Are religious people really more friendly, kind, and accepting than the average person? In the field of psychology, there has been much speculation in regard to how religiousness may intersect with certain personality traits. People who report religion and spirituality as a huge aspect of their lives have consistently reported higher scores on the Agreeableness and Openness to Experience facets in the Big Five personality inventory. But seeing that such results are often obtained through self-reports, one is inclined to question whether the link between religion and these traits is real or exaggerated by religious people who value Agreeableness and Openness as traits that they wish to possess.

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Academic and Life Domains: How We Are Motivated

by Andrew Weinert, Kenyon ’17

According to Edward L. Deci and Richard M. Ryan at the University of Rochester, autonomous motivation is a major predictor of persistence and adherence and is very advantageous for deep-thinking tasks that involve a lot of processing (Deci & Ryan). In other words autonomous motivation is explicitly related to goal progress. Like autonomous motivation, specific personality traits are also a major predictor of goal setting and the attainment of these goals. For instance, someone very low in conscientiousness may not set a goal to clean his or her room because this does not complement the individual’s personality trait of low conscientiousness. Likewise, the goal of traveling the world would complement the personality trait of someone who is high in openness. Personality traits and autonomous motivation, however, do not necessarily need to be independent of one another.

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Extraverts Categorize their Daily Experiences by Specific Social Relationships

by Kyra Baldwin, Kenyon ’18

Being extraverted or introverted defines the way an individual interacts with the world around them. The relationships a person seeks, the career they enter, how they carry themselves at a party are all affected by being high or low in trait extraversion. William Tov and Kelly Koh, researchers in Singapore, carried out a 2014 study to examine how exactly extraverts and introverts differ in understanding and categorizing their daily experiences. The results showed that extraverts tended to categorize their lives based on who they were socializing with more than how, when, or where they were socializing.

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Can Too Much Self-Control Be a Good Thing?

by Karen Salas, Kenyon ’18

Who’s happier—John, who loves to treat himself as much as possible, or Jane, who rarely gives in to a junk food craving? If you picked John—ERR! A team of researchers recently conducted a series of studies which showed that people who exercise self-control are actually much happier in the long run. Self-control is the ability to resist desires and control impulsive behaviors. Individuals high in trait self-control (TSC) will typically agree with statements like “I am good at resisting temptation.” While the idea of having absolute self-control may seem intimidating and, quite frankly, rather boring, research has shown that TSC is positively related with better performance in work, academics, relationships, and health.

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