Recent empirical and conceptual research has shown that moral considerations have an influence on the way we use the adverb 'intentionally'. Here we propose our own account of these phenomena, according to which they arise from the fact that the adverb 'intentionally' has three different meanings that are differently selected by contextual factors, including normative expectations. We argue that our hypotheses can account for most available data and present some new results that support this. We end by discussing the implications (...) of our account for folk psychology. (shrink)
Giving money to others feels good. It is now standard to use the label ‘warm glow feelings’ to refer to the pleasure people take from giving. But what exactly are warm glow feelings? And why do people experience them? To answer these questions, we ran two studies: a recall task in which participants were asked to remember a donation they made, and a donation task in which participants were given the opportunity to make a donation before reporting their affective states. (...) Correlational and experimental results converge towards the conclusion that, if the nature of the warm glow is straightforward, its source is multifaceted. Regarding the nature of the ‘warm glow’, the pleasure people took in giving was mainly predicted by one particular type of positive emotion and was indeed described by participants as ‘warm’. Regarding the underlying psychological mechanisms, warm glow feelings were elicited by positive appraisals regarding the donor’s moral character, positive appraisals regarding the actual impact of the donor’s donation on the welfare of others and a feeling of communion with others. We discuss the theoretical implications of our findings. (shrink)
What leads people to believe in conspiracy theories? In this paper, we explore the possibility that people might be drawn towards conspiracy theories because believing in them might satisfy certain existential needs and help people find meaning in their life. Through two studies (N = 289 and 287 after exclusion), we found that par ticipants higher in the need and search for meaning were more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. This relationship was not moderated by participants' feelings of control. (...) We also found that believing in conspiracy theories was associated with more presence of meaning (Study 1), and more precisely with a heightened feeling of mattering in the grand scheme of things (Study 2). Additionally, we found that participants were more likely to endorse conspiracy theories that left them more agency and allowed them the possibility to make a difference. Overall, we argue that our results suggest that people might sometimes be drawn towards conspiracy theories because they allow them to feel as if they can make a difference and have a positive impact on the world, and thus that conspiracy theories can be used as tools to satisfy existential needs. (shrink)
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