People sometimes explain behavior by appealing to an essentialist concept of the self, often referred to as the true self. Existing studies suggest that people tend to believe that the true self is morally virtuous; that is deep inside, every person is motivated to behave in morally good ways. Is this belief particular to individuals with optimistic beliefs or people from Western cultures, or does it reflect a widely held cognitive bias in how people understand the self? To address this (...) question, we tested the good true self theory against two potential boundary conditions that are known to elicit different beliefs about the self as a whole. Study 1 tested whether individual differences in misanthropy—the tendency to view humans negatively—predict beliefs about the good true self in an American sample. The results indicate a consistent belief in a good true self, even among individuals who have an explicitly pessimistic view of others. Study 2 compared true self-attributions across cultural groups, by comparing samples from an independent country and a diverse set of interdependent countries. Results indicated that the direction and magnitude of the effect are comparable across all groups we tested. The belief in a good true self appears robust across groups varying in cultural orientation or misanthropy, suggesting a consistent psychological tendency to view the true self as morally good. (shrink)
Interest in the topic of wisdom-focused education has so far not resulted in empirically validated programs for teaching wisdom. To start filling this void, we explore the emerging empirical evidence concerning the fundamental elements required for understanding how one can foster wisdom, with a particular focus on wise reasoning. We define wise reasoning through a combination of intellectual humility, recognition of world in flux/change, open-mindedness to diverse viewpoints, and search for compromise/integration of diverse perspectives. In this article, we review evidence (...) concerning how wise reasoning can be facilitated through experiences, teaching materials, environments and cognitive strategies. We also focus on educators, reviewing emerging evidence on how the process of explaining and guiding others impacts one’s wisdom. We conclude by discussing the development of wisdom-focused education, proposing that greater attention to the situational demands and the variability in wisdom-related characteristics across social contexts should play a critical role in its development. (shrink)
Intellectual humility (IH) is often conceived as the recognition of, and appropriate response to, your own intellectual limitations. As far as we are aware, only a handful of studies look at interventions to increase IH – e.g. through journalling – and no study so far explores the extent to which having high or low IH can be predicted. This paper uses machine learning and natural language processing techniques to develop a predictive model for IH and identify top terms and features (...) that indicate degrees of IH. We trained our classifier on the dataset from an existing psychological study on IH, where participants were asked to journal their experiences with handling social conflicts over 30 days. We used Logistic Regression (LR) to train a classifier and the Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) dictionaries for feature selection, picking out a range of word categories relevant to interpersonal relationships. Our results show that people who differ on IH do in fact systematically express themselves in different ways, including through expression of emotions (i.e., positive, negative, and specifically anger, anxiety, sadness, as well as the use of swear words), use of pronouns (i.e., first person, second person, and third person) and time orientation (i.e., past, present, and future tenses). We discuss the importance of these findings for IH and the value of using such techniques for similar psychological studies, as well as some ethical concerns and limitations with the use of such semi-automated classifications. (shrink)
Central and East Europeans have a great deal in common, both historically and culturally, with West Europeans and North Americans, but tend to be more interdependent. Interdependence has been shown to be linked to holistic cognition. East Asians are more interdependent than Americans and are more holistic. If interdependence causes holism, we would expect Central and East Europeans to be more holistic than West Europeans and North Americans. In two studies we found evidence that Central and East Europeans are indeed (...) more holistic than Westerners on three tasks, one of which examined categorization and two of which measured patterns of visual attention. These studies support the argument that cross-cultural differences in cognition are due to society level differences in independence/interdependence. (shrink)
Human lives are radically uncertain. Making sense of such uncertainties is the hallmark of wisdom. Sense-making requires narratives, putting them in the center stage of human everyday decision-making. Yet what if radical uncertainty is a narrative itself? Moreover, do laypeople always consider such narratives irrational? Here we pose these questions to enrich a theory of choice under uncertainty.
Previous theory and research on bounded rationality has emphasized how limited cognitive resources constrain people from making utility maximizing choices. This paper expands the concept of bounded rationality to consider how people’s rationality may be constrained by their internalization of a qualitatively distinct standard for sound judgment, which is commonly labeled reasonableness. In contrast to rationality, the standard of reasonableness provides guidance for making choices in situations that involve balancing incommensurable values and interests or reconciling conflicting points-of-view. We review recent (...) evidence showing that laypeople readily recognize the distinctions between rationality and reasonableness and thus are able to utilize these as distinct standards to inform their everyday decision-making. The fact that people appear to have internalized rationality and reasonableness as distinct standards of sound judgment supports the notion that people’s pursuit of rationality may be bounded by their determination to also be reasonable. (shrink)
Baumard proposes a model to explain the dramatic rise in innovation that occurred during the Industrial Revolution, whereby rising living standards led to slower life history strategies, which, in turn, fostered innovation. We test his model explicitly using time series data, finding limited support for these proposed linkages. Instead, we find evidence that rising living standards appear to have a time-lagged bidirectional relationship with increasing innovation.
Judgments differ from decisions. Judgments are more abstract, decontextualized, and bear fewer consequences for the agent. In pursuit of experimental control, psychological experiments on bias create a simplified, bare-bone representation of social behavior. These experiments resemble conditions in which people judge others, but not how they make real-world decisions.