Part of the research in this paper was presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology in Savannah, GA, 2002. The writing of this paper was facilitated by an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship to the first author.
How malleable is comparative self-positivity? The effects of manipulating judgemental focus and accessibility†
Article first published online: 7 SEP 2006
Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
European Journal of Social Psychology
Volume 37, Issue 4, pages 617–627, July/August 2007
How to Cite
Pahl, S. and Eiser, J. R. (2007), How malleable is comparative self-positivity? The effects of manipulating judgemental focus and accessibility. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 37: 617–627. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.372
- Issue published online: 25 JUN 2007
- Article first published online: 7 SEP 2006
- Manuscript Accepted: 16 MAY 2006
- Manuscript Received: 12 AUG 2005
The present research investigated accessibility effects on comparative self-positivity in the environmental domain. In a pretest we established comparative self-positivity and a focus effect for environmental awareness. In the main study we aimed at shifting these effects by manipulating the accessibility of harmful behaviours of either the self or the typical student before obtaining comparative judgements. Specifically, we used two types of accessibility manipulations: anchoring and ease of retrieval. We predicted that judgements would be affected by content in the anchoring paradigm but by subjective ease in the ease of retrieval paradigm. We found the predicted pattern of effects, but it was strongest when participants focused on the typical student. The findings contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying comparative biases and may have applied implications. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.