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Unintuitive findings - Motivation and emotions

Author: Dr Simon Moss


Determinants of effort and restraint

Observation 1. After people are exposed to religious symbols or words, they are more likely to exhibit self-control (Rounding, Lee, Jacobson, & Ji, 2012). They are more inclined, for example, to complete an unpleasant, but important task or maintain their effort over time (see self-control).

Observation 2. Suppose that individuals complete a dull but simple task for 10 minutes. If prompted to believe they have undertaken the same task twice for 5 minutes--rather than one task for 10 minutes--they become more inclined to indulge later by eating more sweets (De Witt Huberts, Evers, & De Ridder, 2012). Presumably, if people feel they have completed the same tedious activity twice, they feel they deserve more sweets. They grant themselves the license to eat indulgently.

Observation 3. After individuals remember a time in which they felt very interested in something--rather than merely recall a positive or neutral occasion--they become more persistent. That is, after completing one task that demands effort and concentration, they perform better on a subsequent task that demands effort and concentration if interested rather than happy (Thoman, Smith, & Silvia, 2011).

Observation 4. While people speak to someone who seems submissive--that is, someone who speaks softly or sits with both legs together and arms crossed--they can tolerate pain more readily. They can, for example, squeeze a handgrip for a longer period, primarily because they feel powerful in comparison. In contrast, while people speak to someone who seems dominant--that is, someone who speaks loudly and sits with both legs apart--they cannot squeeze the handgrip for a long period (Bohns & Wiltermuth, 2012).

Observation 5. After people are exposed to lines that extend from the side of a screen and converge towards the top, reminiscent of a horizon in the distance, they are more likely to perform well on word puzzles that demand effort and persistence (Natanzon & Ferguson, 2012& see also embodied mode of cognition). That is, they become more motivated to achieve.

Observation 6. Some employees demonstrate social loafing, in which their motivation diminishes when they work in teams rather than work alone. That is, these people withhold their effort and instead depend on other people in their teams. Interestingly, if individuals are extraverted, they are more likely to engage in social loafing (Ulke & Bilgic, 2011). Extraverted individuals sometimes overrate their status and thus feel the right to withhold their effort.

Observation 7. After individuals read about someone who is very attractive and wealthy, rather than unattractive and deprived, they tend to become less persistent on tasks that do not revolve around people, such as word puzzles (Hill, DelPriore, & Vaughan, 2011).

Observation 8. After people reflect upon a time in which they felt hopeful, such as an exciting job prospect, rather than merely happy, they are more likely to show restraint and self discipline. For example, they are not as likely to consume as many chocolates as they might otherwise (Winterich & Haws, 2011).

Observation 9. If students are told that a typical peer is working over the holidays to earn money, their own desire for money tends to diminish. In contrast, if students are told that a close friend is working over the holidays to earn money, their own desire for money tends to increase. When students reflect upon a typical peer, they experience the need to be distinct. They do not embrace the same goals as this peer (Leander, Shah, & Chartrand, 2011).

Observation 10. Individuals are more inspired by successful or capable people in warm temperatures. For example, on a warm rather than cold day, they are especially likely to perceive themselves as physically strong after they observe another muscular person. This finding can be ascribed to the tendency of people to perceive objects, such as themselves and another person, as similar when the temperature is warm (Steinmetz & Mussweiler, 2011& see also the selective accessibility model of social comparison).

Observation 11. If people are exposed to a subliminal picture of 1 pound, rather than 1 penny-subliminal because the picture appears too rapidly to be recognized consciously-they still devote more effort to their tasks. These people can squeeze a handgrip for a longer period, for example, after subliminal exposure to 1 pound. Subcortical regions that represent rewards, such as the ventral striatum, are also more likely to be activated (Pessiglione, Schmidt, Draganski, Kalisch, Lau, Dolan, & Frith, 2007).

Observation 12. If parents are very autocratic-and do not permit their children to question or contribute to decisions-the children, especially if already hyperactive, impulsive, or domineering, are more likely to exhibit narcissism 20 years later (Cramer, 2011). They are more likely to be very indulgent and will also tend to question every rule or regulation that is imposed on them, for example.

Observation 13. After individuals use their non-preferred hand during the day as often as possible for two weeks-?while, for example, brushing their teeth, opening doors, operating a computer mouse, stirring a cup of coffee, or carrying items?-they are not as likely to become aggressive when provoked. That is, they can control their anger more effectively (Denson, Capper, Oaten, Friese, & Schofield, 2011& see Ego depletion).

Observation 14. In general, people are not as able to resist weaker temptations than stronger temptations. For example, when people attempt to lose weight, they are more inclined to eat a large piece of a modestly appealing cake than a large piece of a very appealing cake (Kroese, Evers, & De Ridder, 2011). This problem arises because people underestimate the allure of modest temptations.

Observation 15. After individuals flex a muscle, such as clench a fist, they are more inclined to donate money to a worthy cause as well as more able to withstand pain (Hung & Labroo, 2011& see ego depletion).

Observation 16. Usually, after individuals complete one task that is taxing and demanding, their performance on subsequent activities that are also taxing and demanding deteriorates. However, this problem is not as likely to arise if a clock is visible as they perform the second task (Wan & Sternthal, 2008& see ego depletion).

Observation 17. Some individuals strive throughout most of the year to reduce their weight. If these individuals weigh themselves once a week, rather than once a day, they become more likely to lose weight (Strimas & Dionne, 2010).

Observation 18. After individuals are exposed to symbols that represent fast food, such as the logos of KFC and McDonalds, they become less inclined to save money in general (Zhong & DeVoe, 2010).

Observation 19. After individuals are exposed to money--for example, after they need to count a bundle of $50 bills--they become less sensitive to criticism or rejection& they seem more resilient. They can even withstand physical discomfort for a longer duration. In contrast, after individuals consider all their expenses over the past 30 days, they become less resilient (Zhou, Vohs, & Baumeister, 2009& see also The abundance effect).

Observation 20. After individuals write the phrase "Will I" 20 times, they become more persistent on subsequent tasks, like intellectual puzzles& writing "I will" 20 times does not generate the same level of benefits (Senay, Albarracin, & Noguchi, 2010& see Psychological reactance theory).

Observation 21. Unsurprisingly, after individuals complete a task that demands concentration, such as crossing out every e in a newspaper article except instances that follow a vowel, their performance on a subsequent task that demands concentration diminishes. Interestingly, if another but distinct demanding activity is interspersed between these two other tasks, this problem actually dissipates (Converse & DeShon, 2009). Indeed, two demanding tasks seem to enhance performance on a third activity (see Ego depletion).

Observation 22. After individuals are asked a question about a friend who demonstrates excellent self control--a friend who readily resists temptations--they become more persistent themselves. They can, for example, squeeze a hand grip over an extended duration (vanDellen & Hoyle, 2010& see Ego depletion).

Observation 23. After individuals consider the categories to which various words belong--such as "dog" belongs to the category "animals" and "pen" belongs to the category "stationary"--their inclination to resist temptations becomes stronger (Fujita & Han, 2009& see Construal level theory).

Observation 24. When people feel a sense of uncertainty, they become more inclined to choose indulgent activities, such as reading an enjoyable magazine, rather than tasks they should undertake, such as reading an informative, but challenging magazine (Milkman, 2012). Feelings of uncertainty tend to deplete mental energy.

Observation 25. After participants say to themselves "I don't eat candy bars" rather than "I can't eat candy bars", they are more likely to refuse an offer of these candy bars (Patrick & Hagtvedt, 2012). That is, the phrase "I can't" implies to individuals this restraint was imposed. In contrast, the phrase "I don't" implies they chose this restraint. The ensuing sense of choice increases intrinsic motivation, empowerment, and persistence to abstain from this action.

Observation 26. Individuals may receive bonuses for completing tasks, such as movie vouchers, foods, electronic items, and so forth. In one study, the experimenters examined whether randomly assigning similar rewards to two arbitrary categories would affect motivation. Some people were informed they would receive one bonus from each category if they achieved some goal. Other people were informed they would receive two bonuses if they achieved this goal& the rewards, however, were not classified into categories. If told they would receive one bonus from each category, participants felt more motivated and persisted over a longer duration (Wiltermuth & Gino, 2013). As subsequent studies showed, when rewards are divided into categories, people feel they might experience considerable regret if they do not receive a reward from each category, promoting effort and persistence.

Observation 27. After people experience a sense of guilt rather than other emotions such as sadness, they are more inclined to harm themselves physically (Inbar, Pizarro, Gilovich, & Ariely, 2013), called moral masochism. This self-punishment also tends to diminish guilt (Inbar et al., 2013). For example, in one study, participants wrote about a previous event in their life that evoked guilt, sadness, or no strong emotions. Next, they were informed they would receive some electric shocks but could adjust the intensity of these shocks themselves. Finally, they completed the PANAS to assess the degree to which they felt various emotions, including guilt. After writing about guilt, people became more likely to increase the intensity of these shocks. Elevated intensity of shocks was also associated with diminished levels of guilt.

Observation 28. Interestingly, monkeys and apes, such as bobozos, have been shown to delay gratification as well (e.g., Stevens, Rosati, Heilbronner, & Muhlhoff, 2011). That is, monkeys and apes are willing to resist some food or rewards now to earn larger amounts of this food or reward later. Indeed, some evidence indicates that monkeys and apes are even more inclined to delay gratification than humans.

Observation 29. If people believe that obesity can primarily be ascribed to overeating rather than limited exercise or genetics, they tend to be lighter. That is, their BMI is lower (McFerran & Mukhopadhyay, 2013& see implicit theories).

Observation 30. Many companies around the world, such as in the US, organize health care policies for their employees. These employees, typically, need to pay the premiums themselves. In some companies, people in the lowest 25% of BMI, who are therefore healthier, are permitted to pay $500 or so less than everyone else. In other companies, people in the highest 25% of BMI, who are therefore the least healthy, pay $500 or so more than everyone else. If people with a high BMI need to pay this additional cost, employees feel the company demonstrate unfavourable perceptions of overweight people. Furthermore, in these companies, overweight people are especially likely to feel they will be stigmatized, humiliated, and uncomfortable as well as more dissatisfied with their job (Tannenbaum, Valasek, Knowles, & Ditto, 2013). And these negative feelings tend to diminish physical activity and exacerbate problems for overweight individuals.

Observation 31. People are more likely to spend money recklessly, rather than save, when fast food restaurants pervade the region (DeVoe, House, & Zhong, 2013). For example, the savings of households tends to be inversely associated with the concentration of fast-food restaurants, rather than full-service restaurants, in the neighborhood. Likewise, many fast-food restaurants in the region increase temporal discounting, in which individuals prefer modest gains now to larger gains in the future. Even recalling a recent experience in a fast food restaurant promotes this temporal discounting. Presumably, people associate fast food with instant gratification& therefore, symbols that epitomize fast food evoke this motivation to seek gratification immediately.

Observation 32. Some people conceal, rather than reveal, important secrets, such as infidelity, abortion, or homosexuality. Interestingly, when people conceal secrets, they experience a physical burden. They overestimate the gradient of hills& landmarks seem farther away& and physical tasks seem more burdensome than usual (Slepian, Masicampo, Toosi, & Ambady, 2012). These tendencies are also experienced by people carrying a physical burden, such as a heavy backpack. Conversely, after people reveal these secrets, these physical tasks no longer seem as challenging (Slepian, Masicampo, & Ambady, 2014). Thus, people seem to be impeded by a physical burden when they carry secrets.

Observation 33. Individuals are more likely to persist on tasks when they feel they are competing with an identifiable or specific rival. They do not need to know the name of this rival. They do not even need to see this rival. To illustrate, suppose people need to estimate the number of vowels on a page. If people are told they will win a prize provided they outperform another person, perhaps designated as person 511, they will persist on this task. In contrast, if people are told they will win a prize provided they outperform a person who will be selected later--and this rival is thus not identifiable--they do not persist as extensively (Haran & Ritov, 2014). When a rival seems like a specific, existing person, people are especially unwilling to lose.

Observation 34. Pre-crastination is merely the opposite of procrastination and describes the inclination of many people to begin a pursuit prematurely, even to the detriment of greater physical effort later (Rosenbaum, Gong, & Potts , 2014). In one set of studies, participants needed to choose which of two buckets they would carry to a particular location. Ine bucket was close to the participant, and the other bucket was close to the target location. To conserve energy, participants should choose the bucket that was closer to the target location. Yet, in the majority of occasions, participants choose the other bucket. This pattern was observed even if they were told to select the easier option. Most participants conceded they wanted to begin as soon as possible. Subsequent studies tested and rejected alternative explanations. For example, this finding could not be ascribed to the greater attention that close objects attract. Instead, according to the researchers, participants felt the need to complete a subgoal, retrieving the bucket, as soon as possible. Perhaps they wanted to complete subgoals partly to relieve the load on working memory.

Observation 35. Some people tend to blink more rapidly than other people. People who blink more rapidly are more likely to be impulsive and engage in risky, thrilling, dangerous activities while seldom planning or deliberating carefully-a trait called psychoticism (Colzato, Slagter, van den Wildenberg, & Hommel, 2009). These individuals are seldom especially conscientious or agreeable. Arguably, both rapid blinking and impulsive behavior reflect elevated levels of dopaminergic activity in parts of the striatum, such as the nucleus accumbens.

Observation 36. Amazon Mechanical Turk is a website in which people complete simple tasks for small monetary rewards. When individuals complete tedious and monotonous tasks on this site, and are then informed they will still be paid if they discontinue now, about 50% nevertheless decided to complete the task (Halkjelsvik & Rise, 2015). During this task, participants only needed to press a button occasionally but otherwise just waited until specific letters appeared. When asked why they completed the task, most of the participants expressed a need to complete tasks, either because completion and persistence is socially appropriate or a personal edict. If the task was called a persistence task, instead of a decision making task, participants were especially likely to continue--consistent with the notion that perhaps the motivation to persist underpins this phenomenon. In short, people are motivated to persist on tedious tasks, especially if the importance of persistence is primed.

Determinants of engagement, inspiration, and meaning

Observation 1. After signing their name, people become more aware of their personal interests, values, and needs. To illustrate, after individuals sign a document, they are more likely to feel absorbed in tasks they like, such as shopping in their favorite store, but less absorbed in tasks they do not typically enjoy, such as shopping in a store they do not value. Similarly, after signing a document, they feel even more attached to their social collectives, such as their ethnicity (Kettle & Haubl, 2011).

Observation 2. After people reflect upon a nostalgic episode in their past, they tend to perceive their life as more meaningful (Routledge, Arndt, Wildschut, Sedikides, Hart, Juhl, Vingerhoets, & Schlotz, 2011& see meaning in life).

Observation 3. People who are older than all their other siblings, called first borns, are usually more motivated to enhance their skills and knowledge rather than to outperform other individuals. In contrast, people who are the second oldest sibling in their family are usually more motivated to outperform other individuals than to enhance their skills and knowledge. This difference might arise because second born individuals learn to compare their performance to first born individuals (Carette, Anseel, & Van Yperen, 2011).

Observation 4. Compared to people who are asked to write 18 words that describe their true characteristics, people who are asked to write 5 words that describe their true characteristics are more likely to perceive their life as more meaningful and experience a sense of purpose. Similarly, people who can describe their true character in detail tend to feel their life is meaningful. Whether they can vividly describe their actual characteristics or inclinations in daily life is not as likely to affect this sense of meaning (Schlegel, Hicks, King, & Arndt, 2011).

Observation 5. The personality of individuals affects whether or not income is related to their satisfaction in life. For example, if people are very conscientious, thorough, and efficient, they are especially unlikely to feel satisfied in life when their income is low. In contrast, if people are very imaginative and creative or reserved and anxious, whether or not their income is high or low does not seem to be appreciably related to their satisfaction in life, especially if they are female (Boyce & Wood, 2011).

Observation 6. After individuals reflect upon how some event in their life might not have unfolded--for example, how they might not have attended their university--this event seems more meaningful (Kray, George, Liljenquist, Galinsky, Tetlock, & Roese, 2010).

Observation 7. After individuals reflect upon how their company might not have survived if some event had not unfolded, they feel more committed to this organization (Ersner-Hershfield, Galinsky, Kray, & King, 2010).

Observation 8. Relative to individuals who are exposed to words that relate to money, such as "price", after individuals are exposed to words that relate to time, such as "clock", they become more inclined to dedicate time to social activities instead of work activities (Mogilner, 2010& see discussions about money and motivations after the discussion on The abundance effect).

Observation 9. After individuals recall a time in their lives in which they were assigned a position of authority or power, they pursue their goals with greater initiative, persistence, and flexibility (Guinote, 2007& see Perceived power).

Observation 10. If a goal is very important or essentially mandatory, individuals become more motivated to fulfil this objective if they reflect upon the tasks they have yet to complete. In contrast, if a goal is not important or optional, individuals become more motivated to fulfil this objective if they reflect upon the tasks they have already completed (Minjung & Fishbach, 2008).

Observation 11. After individuals clench their left hand for one minute or so, their capacity to decide which tasks, goals, or activities will offer the most satisfaction and fulfilment improves (Baumann, Kuhl, & Kazen, 2005). That is, they can more readily choose tasks that will promote engagement and enjoyment (see Personality system interaction theory).

Observation 12. Usually, if employees perceive their roles as tedious--or themselves as incompetent--they are more likely than colleagues to experience emotional exhaustion at work, which is a key facet of burnout. Nevertheless, if employees feel their job is beneficial to the lives of other individuals, these tedious roles or personal anxieties are unlikely to evoke exhaustion (Grant & Sonnetag, 2010).

Observation 13. When individuals feel eager and hopeful, their effort and engagement on tasks increase after they reflect upon philosophical concepts, such as the purpose of their life. In contrast, when individuals are more cautious, vigilant, and diligent, their effort and engagement increases after they reflect upon more tangible and specific details or procedures (Lee, Keller, & Sternthal, 2010& see regulatory focus theory).

Observation 14. Some individuals engage in voluntary work during the evening. They might, for example, assist some cause, community, or charity. Compared to individuals who do not engage in voluntary work, individuals who do engage in voluntary work are more likely to experience positive emotions and to listen carefully to colleagues the next day. This benefit of voluntary work is especially pronounced if the employees operate in environments in which resources, materials, equipment, and information tend to be deficient (Mojza & Sonnentag, 2010& see Effort recovery model).

Observation 15. When people talk to themselves compassionately, rather than harshly, about their weaknesses, failures, or transgressions, they do not become more complacent. Actually, they become especially motivated to change and improve. They are more likely to practice extensively and address their weaknesses or transgressions (Breines & Chen, 2012a& see self-compassion).

Observation 16. People are less inclined to persist with goals if they specify a single target, such as to lose 3 kg, than if they specify a range, such as to lose between 2 and 4 kg (Scott & Nowlis, 2013). This pattern of findings is observed only if the achievement of this goal demands skill or effort rather than merely luck.

Determinants of wellbeing in general

Observation 1. In general, as wages rise, people are more likely to feel anxious, stressed, worried, and tense at work despite an increase in their job satisfaction as well (Bryson, Barth, & Dale-Olsen, 2012). This relationship between wage and anxiety persists even after effort, autonomy, and workload are controlled (Bryson, Barth, & Dale-Olsen, 2012). Because of high wages, people feel a strong motivation to contribute extensively, provoking anxiety.

Observation 2. Sometimes, after individuals engage in exercise routines, their mood improves. However, if individuals strive to achieve specific goals while they exercise and feel they may be evaluated, these routines are not as likely to enhance mood (Legrand & Thatcher, 2011). Exercise may even impair mood in these individuals.

Observation 3. If parents are uneducated, their children are more likely to become ill later in life. For example, these children, as they age, are more likely to become afflicted with metabolic syndrome--a precursor of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Nevertheless, if these parents offer consistent support, warmth, and understanding, their children are not as likely to develop illness later in life. Such parental support diminishes the detrimental effect of socioeconomic status on health (Miller, Lachman, Chen, Gruenewald, Karlamangla, & Seeman, 2011).

Observation 4. When the day is sunnier than usual, people feel happier but also, interestingly, are more willing to save money rather than spend compulsively. They also reach decisions more thoughtfully and responsibly (Guven, 2012). Therefore, on sunny days, organizations should promote goods or services that facilitate future growth rather than satisfy immediate temptations.

Observation 5. In wealthy nations, people are not as likely to experience anxiety, depression, or burnout when the usual temperature is very hot or very cold. In more deprived nations, people are more likely to experience anxiety , depression, or burnout when the usual temperature is very hot or very cold (Fischer & Van de Vliert, 2011) . Demanding temperatures may foster innovation and inspiration, provided that people are granted the money and resources to cope with these difficulties.

Observation 6. People tend to underestimate the extent to which they will experience positive emotions after walking outside rather than inside. That is, they predict that both walking inside, such as in shopping centers, and walking outside will evoke moderately positive emotions. However, walking outside fosters significantly more positive emotions than does walking inside (Nisbet & Zelenski, 2011& see affective forecasting errors).

Observation 7. After individuals engage in an act that demands restraint, such as choosing to eat an apple even when sweets are available, they are more likely to seek and to experience anger. They will, for example, be more inclined to watch a movie in which anger is a key theme, such as Anger Management. They also are more likely to feel irritated (Gal & Liu, 2011).

Observation 8. Usually, if people need to conceal anger, anxiety, or frustration at work, called emotional labor, they are more likely to experience burnout or exhaustion. Nevertheless, this emotional labor does not provoke burnout or exhaustion in people who recognize emotions effectively. That is, if people can decipher whether someone is feeling frustrated, disgusted, sad, or agitated from a photo, called emotional recognition, they are not as likely to experience this burnout or exhaustion (Bechtoldt, Rohrmann, De Pater, & Beersma, 2011). Perhaps, if individuals recognize emotions well, they can more readily and effortlessly adapt their behavior to accommodate the needs of other people.

Observation 9. If individuals perceive each hour as especially valuable, they tend to feel more rushed, stressed, and impatient. For example, a person that bills customers at a higher rate than another person will tend to feel especially rushed. This finding is pronounced after these people reflect upon the amount of money they earn each hour (DeVoe & Pfeffer, 2011).

Observation 10. Some individuals often feel compelled and obliged to engage in particular tasks, whereas other individuals tend to feel more autonomous, primarily undertaking the activities they perceive as enjoyable, interesting, and important. If individuals often feel a sense of obligation, rather than autonomy, they tend to dismiss negative memories about themselves. That is, when they remember a negative event, such as a failure, they do not accept this memory as integral to their life. This dismissal of negative memories tends to be negatively associated with satisfaction in life (Weinstein, Deci, & Ryan, 2011).

Observation 11. After individuals purchase generic brands, instead of the more established brands, they are more likely to perceive themselves unfavorably. For example, they do not predict they will be as successful in their career. Similarly, they are not as likely to perceive themselves as particularly attractive (Chiou & Chao, 2011). Presumably, these brands activate facets of the self concept that are associated with low worth as well.

Observation 12. After individuals contemplate documents or proposals in which the authors seek social justice or other ethical changes, they are more likely to feel alert, energetic, and spirited (Klar & Kasser, 2010& see also self determination theory).

Observation 13. After individuals complete a computer task in which they receive sets of 10 faces on a computer screen and must identify the person who is smiling rather than frowning, their anxiety in social settings drops and their self esteem rises (Dandeneau, Baldwin, Baccus, Sakellaropoulo, & Pruessner, 2007). That is, after individuals engage in this task on many occasions, they become less likely to notice expressions that might reflect hostility, resentment, or contempt, for example.

Observation 14. When individuals feel threatened in some way, they are more inclined to experience the urge to behave aggressively when sitting in an enclosed, rather unrestricted, space (Cesario, Plaks, Hagiwara, Navarrete, & Higgins, 2010& see discussions on the motivated preparation account in the article on unconscious goals).

Observation 15. After individuals write a letter that expresses their appreciation towards a close friend, relative, or partner, their stress diminishes. Specifically, 20 minutes of this task on three separate days has been shown to diminish stress and cholesterol (e.g., Floyd, Mikkelson, Hesse, & Pauley, 2007).

Observation 16. After individuals observe money, they become less inclined to savor positive experiences. They will, for example, swallow chocolates quickly rather than savor the experience (Quoidbach, Dunn, Petrides, & Mikolajczak, 2010). Wealthy individuals are also not as likely as other individuals to savor positive experiences (Quoidbach, Dunn, Petrides, & Mikolajczak, 2010& see also the overjustification effect).

Observation 17. When a room is small, rather than large, most sounds are perceived as more pleasant, calm, and safe (Tajadura-Jimenez, Larsson, Valjamae, Vastfjall, & Kleiner, 2010), as measured by rating scales and physiological measures. Nevertheless, when the sounds are more threatening, like a growling dog, instead of neutral, like the rumbling of equipment, small rooms are no better than large rooms.

Observation 18. Compared to individuals who never act impulsively or rashly, even when upset, individuals who often act impulsively or rashly when upset are more likely to experience signs of insomnia (Schmidt & Van der Linden, 2009)--partly because their sleep is disrupted by regret.

Observation 19. Usually, before some stressful activity, such as a speech, the heart rate of individuals escalates. Nevertheless, if individuals read an extract that includes words or phrases that imply reappraisal--such as "reassessed", "perspective", "appraised again", and "carefully analyzed"--their heart rate does not increase as dramatically. Thus, exposure to these words tends to curb stress (Williams, Bargh, Nocera, & Gray, 2009).

Observation 20. Individuals often underestimate the time that is needed to complete some task or achieve some goal. After individuals reflect upon three, rather than twelve, factors that could impede their pursuit of some goal, this bias diminishes (Sanna & Schwarz, 2004& see The planning fallacy).

Observation 21. After individuals attempt to generate as many ideas as possible to solve a problem, such as a decline in sales, rather than express only viable ideas, their mood tends to improve (Pronin, Jacobs, & Wegner, 2008).

Observation 22. After people dedicate time to helping someone else--such as a writing words of encouragement to a sick child--they do not feel as busy. They feel that time is abundant rather than scarce (Mogilner, Chance, & Norton, 2012).

Observation 23. After people describe a recent time in which they were aware of their emotions, the emotions of someone else, the cause of these emotions--as well as times in which they utilized and regulated these emotions effectively--their emotional intelligence improves (Schutte & Malouff, 2012), as measured by the MSCEIT, an ability measure. This exercise activates memories or schemas in which individuals successfully perceived, utilized, and managed emotions. These schemas, in turn, promote self-efficacy and persistence on activities that demand these skills.

Observation 24. When people are informed that happiness is beneficial, and therefore become especially motivated to feel happy, they actually become more lonely. Even their progesterone levels tend to diminish--regarded as an index of loneliness (Mauss, Savino, Anderson, Weisbuch, & Laudenslager, 2012).

Observation 25. If people are encouraged to spend a bonus or windfall they recently earned to help someone else, such as donate to a charity or buy a gift, they feel happier that evening than people who are encouraged to spend this money on themselves, such as buy a personal possession or pay an expense (Dunn, Aknin, & Norton, 2008)& helping other people seems to promote happiness. Furthermore, when happy, people become more willing to spend their money to help someone else (Aknin, Dunn, & Norton, 2011). Thus, helping fosters happiness, which fosters helping, generating a virtuous cycle that may be sustainable over time. This cycle diverges from the observation in other studies that, after people implement a virtuous act, they do not feel as obliged to implement another virtual act. Importantly, in these studies, the actual purchases of participants did not need to be monitored.

Observation 26. After people write about two of their values that relate to relationship development, personal growth, or community service, their wellbeing improves (Lekes, Hope, Gouvei, Koestner, & Philippe, 2012). For example, if they write about why their friendships are important to them, and how they strive to consolidate these friendships, they experience more positive emotions and vitality (see goal contents theory).

Observation 27. Sometimes, people can describe positive experiences using a grammatical structure called the imperfective aspect, such as ?I was laughing?. On other times, they can describe positive experiences using a grammatical structure called the perfective aspect, such as ?I laughed?. References to the imperfect aspect enhance the memory of past events and, therefore, evoke the emotions that people experienced during this episode. That is, statements like ?I was laughing? is more likely to evoke the memory vividly and emotionally. Therefore, relative to people who utilize the perfect aspect, people who utilize the imperfect aspect report a better mood after describing a pleasant event and a worse mood after describing an unpleasant event (Hart, 2013). Consequently, when clients need to discuss upsetting events, psychologists should ask questions that encourage the perfect aspect, such as "What did you feel?" When clients are encouraged to discuss an uplifting event, psychologists should ask questions that encourage the imperfect aspect, such as "What were you feeling?"

Observation 28. If the extent to which individuals experience positive emotions, such as joy, varies appreciably across the day, the psychological wellbeing of these people tends to be low (Gruber, Kogan, Quoidbach, & Mauss, 2013). That is, they are not as likely to be satisfied with life and they are more likely to experience the symptoms of depression and anxiety. These findings were observed using various methods and measures.

Observation 29. In some urban environments, the buildings vary considerably from one another. If the silhouette or invisible line that connects the top of all buildings is very jagged and unpredictable rather than even or consistent--and the facade of these buildings also differ considerably from each other in style, shape, and color--people are more likely to report elevated levels of recovery (Lindal & Hartig, 2013). That is, in these environments, people feel their energy has been restored rather than depleted.

Observation 30. After people are exposed to triads of words, like falling, dust, and actor, that actually correspond to the same term--in this instance star--they are more likely to feel their life is meaningful. They experience a greater sense of purpose and direction (Heintzelman, Trent, & King, 2013).

Observation 31. After people engage in some ritual before they consume food, such as tap their knuckles on the desk, breath deeply, and close their eyes for a moment, they are more likely to enjoy this food (Vohs, Wang, Gino, & Norton, 2013).

Observation 32. When individuals interact with a service provider like a barista--such as engage in a brief interaction, smile, and maintain eye contact--they are more likely to experience a sense of belonging, and this sense of belonging tends to evoke positive emotions (Sandstrom & Dunn, 2014). Conversely, an awkward pause in the flow of conversation tends to curb belonging (Koudenburg, Postmes, & Gordijn, 2011).

Observation 33. Some people believe that smiling is a spontaneous gesture and reflects happiness. Other people believe that smiling is often deliberate, intended to improve mood. For example, these individuals often smile to mask their anxiety or worry. In people who believe that smiling is often deliberate, intended to improve mood, frequent smiling actually impairs mood and satisfaction with life (Labroo, Mukhopadhyay, & Dong, 2014). To illustrate, in one study, people encouraged to smile actually experienced unpleasant emotions, but only if they were informed that smiling often masks unpleasant emotions. This finding can be ascribed to the tendency of some people to associate smiling with negative feelings.

Observation 34. People tend to underestimate the extent to which speaking to strangers while, for example, waiting on a train or in a queue, evokes positive emotions (Epley & Schroeder, 2014). In one study, participants on a train were instructed to speak to a stranger, sit alone, or behave as they would usually. In addition, some participants were told to imagine these various scenarios. Participants who spoke to strangers were most likely to experience positive feelings. Yet, participants imagined that speaking to strangers would evoke negative feelings, perhaps because unpleasant memories of speaking to strangers are quite salient and because individuals underestimate the likelihood that strangers are willing to chat. These results persisted even if participants did not initiate the conversation or were not instructed to initiate these conversations.

Observation 35. On warm, sunny, and pleasant days, individuals tend to experience a better mood, but only if they spend more than 30 or more minutes outside. If people spend less than 30 minutes outside, their mood tends to deteriorate on warm, sunny, and pleasant days (Keller et al., 2005). Presumably, if people cannot enjoy pleasant weather, they may feel restricted, undermining their mood.

Observation 36. After people visualize their parents, instead of their friends, they rate themselves as less adventurous, dominant, and extraverted. (Schlenker, Wowra, Johnson, & Miller, 2008), presumably because they are more aware of times in which they behaved submissively, like a child. In contrast, after people visualize a friend, they rate themselves as more adventurous, dominant, and extraverted--but only if their self-esteem is high.

Observation 37. In rooms in which the edges of furniture were rounded and curvy, instead of straight and rectangular, people feel better (Dazkir & Read, 2011). They experience more positive emotions and happiness as well as want to spend more time in the room and feel more sociable.

Determinants of wellbeing in response to failures or traumas

Observation 1. To enhance their pride, after people achieve some success, they exaggerate the standard that was needed to fulfill this goal. For example, after professors are granted tenure, they become more likely to assume that more than 100, rather than fewer than 100, papers need to be published to receive tenure (Eidelman & Biernat, 2007). This tendency is especially pronounced when people feel uncertain about themselves. People also feel more competent and proud after meeting a high standard by a low margin than a low standard by a high margin.

Observation 2. Often, hours or days after purchasing some product, individuals discovered they paid an excessive amount. For example, they may walk past another store that sells this product at a discounted price. After people are granted an opportunity to write about their feelings towards this grievance, they are not as likely to perceive this event as unfair or unjust. Specifically, if an independent party, such as a market research company, encourages individuals to write about these feelings, these benefits are observed. However, if the retail store itself encouraged individuals to write about these feelings, but without any opportunity to compensate, these benefits diminish (Lee-Wingate & Corfman, 2011).

Observation 3. When participants stand with their hands and feet as far away from their midline as possible, rather than sit in a crouched position, their tolerance of pain increases. That is, if their legs are apart and their arms are away from their body, people feel more dominant and powerful. This sense of dominance and power diminishes their sensitivity to pain (Bohns & Wiltermuth, 2012).

Observation 4. After individuals reflect upon broad concepts, such as "food", rather than specific examples, such as "linguini", they become more resilient in response to negative feedback. Their self esteem remains steady even after they are criticized (Vess Arndt, & Schlegel, 2011& see construal level theory).

Observation 5. After individuals remember a time in which they acted inappropriately or unethically, they are more willing to endure pain. For example, if asked to insert their hand in icy water, they will sustain this position for a longer period. In addition, this pain reduces the likelihood they subsequently feel their behavior was immoral (Bastian, Jetten, & Fasoli, 2010).

Observation 7. After people write about a desire that was not fulfilled, such as a promotion, they are less likely to feel anxious, disappointed, and dejected after they literally enclose this composition in an envelope (Li, Wei, & Soman, 2010).

Observation 8. Some people can retain or remember more details, concepts, and other sources of information at the same while they solve a problem or issue. Relative to other people, these individuals are less inclined to report negative emotions after they are criticized (Schmeichel & Demaree, 2010).

Observation 9. After moody individuals receive praise, they often become more, rather than less, sensitive to subsequent criticism, especially if their self esteem is low (e.g., Brown, Farnham, & Cook, 2002& Lutz & Ross, 2003).

Observation 10. When individuals receive labels or codes from personality tests, they learn less effectively in the future and tend to disregard feedback (Dweck, Chui, & Hong, 1995& Maurer, Mitchell, & Barbeite, 2002& see Implicit theories of malleability).

Observation 11. Individuals are often troubled by upsetting or traumatic events they experienced in the past. Suppose these individuals were asked to recall this episode, imagine the event for 10 seconds, and next watch a pendulum for 30 seconds, shifting their eyes from side to side. If they repeat this process three times, the image seems less distressing and vivid than before. Other exercises, such as tapping each hand in sequence rather than watching the pendulum, are not as effective (van den Hout, Muris, Salemink, & Kindt, 2001& see Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).

Observation 12. Some people exhibit signs of narcissism. They feel they are very special and capable. They also feel entitled to special privileges. They tend to become very angry or upset if criticized. Interestingly, when these people believe they have been connected to a lie detector, they are more likely than other individuals to concede they feel unworthy and inferior. That is, they realize their self-esteem is low (Myers & Zeigler-Hill, 2012).

Observation 13 After individuals help someone, or remember a time in which they helped someone, they are more inclined to feel compassionate towards themselves in response to personal difficulties or errors (Breines & Chen, 2012b), and this compassion enhances well-being. Presumably, these helpful behaviors or memories prime schemas that shape how individuals support themselves. That is, the tendency of individuals to support another person is extended to themselves.

Observation 14. Smiling has been shown to promote resilience, at least briefly. That is, if exposed to stressful environments, individuals who smile--either deliberately or inadvertently--are not as likely to exhibit the signs of stress. They do not, for example, exhibit a pronounced increase in their heart rate. In addition, they report a more positive mood in stressful environments (Kraft & Pressman, 2012). Presumably, when individuals smile, they tend to experience the feelings they associate with this facial expression, at least momentarily.

Observation 15. Exposure to nature can diminish health complaints in stressful environments. Prisoners who can see nature, such as forest or farmland, from their cell are less likely than prisoners who can see only the prison yard to exhibit symptoms of stress, such as headaches and digestive complaints (Moore, 1981).

Observation 16. After individuals are exposed to scenes or nature rather than a city, they recover from stress more rapidly, presumably because the parasympathetic system is activated (Ulrich, Simons, Losito, Fiorito, Miles, & Zelson, 1991). For example, after watching a horror movie, people exposed to nature recover quicker, as gauged by a decrease in heart rate, ski conductance, and muscle tension, than people not exposed to nature.

Observation 17. After people who usually experience social anxiety deliberately engage in kind acts over a month, they are more likely to experience positive emotions. For example, in one study, conducted by Alden and Trew (2013), some participants were told to perform acts that enhance the happiness of someone else, usually to the detriment of their own needs, about 6 times a week for four weeks. In the control conditions, participants either listed six events they undertook each week across this period or to utilize and then inhibit behaviors they use during interactions to foster feelings of safety. Unlike the control conditions, kind acts increased the likelihood of positive emotions as well as satisfaction with relationships.

Observation 18. A specific chemical that blocks protein synthesis may diminish the likelihood of PTSD. In one study, conducted by Li et al. (2013), rats learned to associate a sound with a mild traumatic event. The rats then exhibited manifestations of fear in response to this sound. Rapamycin, a protein synthesis blocker, was then administered to some rats. The next day, rats that received this blocker were not as likely to exhibit this fear.

Observation 19. When individuals interact with someone who is actually experiencing similar emotions to themselves, they can withstand stress more readily. In these circumstances, stressful tasks, such as an impending speech when nervous, is not as likely to increase levels of cortisol, a hormone that reflects stress (Townsend, Kim, & Mesquita, 2013). If people interact with someone whose emotions are similar to their own, they feel a sense of affiliation. They may, albeit unconsciously, feel they may be supported if problems unfold. They feel their perspective of the situation is validated, instilling a feeling of certainty that curbs stress.

Observation 20. Unsurprisingly, during recessions, satisfaction with life tends to decline. Interestingly, and contrary to proponents of Keynes,if nations do not regulate markets severely during these crises, wellbeing is more resistant to recession. That is, strong regulations, such as restrictions to the dismissal of employees, tend to exacerbate the associations between economic crises and life dissatisfaction (Bjornskov, 2013). Consistent with the Austrian or Hayekian school, government regulations may skew information about the market& for example, the possibility of excellent job opportunities may be overestimated. Consequently, individuals may not adapt their behavior appropriately, undermining their success and wellbeing. Consistent with the public choice school, also called the Virginia political economy, during times of crises, government officials are sometimes granted undue power. They can thus reach decisions that align to personal interests rather than societal interests.

Observation 21. In general, negative emotional experiences do not feel as negative after a delay. In contrast, positive emotional experiences feel almost as positive even after a delay (Ritchie, Batteson, Bohn, Crawford, Ferguson, Schrauf, Vogl, & Walker, 2014). This pattern of results is called the fading affect bias. This effect seems to be observed in many cultures, including Germany and Ghana. To illustrate, in one study, participants described various positive and negative events in their past. They rated the level of emotion this event evoked in the past and the level of emotion they feel about this event now. In general, these events tended to evoke less emotion now, especially if the experiences were negative--a tendency that may have evolved to enhance our resilience.

Observation 22. Both bright light as well as devices that, purportedly, increase the concentration of negatively charged ions in the atmosphere have been shown to diminish the symptoms of clinical depression (Goel, Terman, Terman, Macchi, M.M. & Stewart, 2005), at least in particular settings. In this study, participants applied these treatments one hour a day in the morning, every day, over five weeks. In the control group, participants were exposed to a device that resembles the generator that increase the concentration of negatively charged ions, but was significantly lower in power. Relative to the control group, symptoms of depression were more likely to diminish in response to both treatments. Melatonin levels did not vary between groups, and hence the benefits of bright light cannot be ascribed to changes in the circadian rhythm. So perhaps these treatments somehow increase levels of serotonin. Certainly bright light has been shown to increase levels of serotonin. If daylight is limited, commercial light boxes can be purchased to generate this light, often emitting light at around 10 000 lux, approaching the levels that indirect sunlight can produce. The light box should filter out UV light to protect the eyes.

Observation 23. Many therapists discuss only the problems and challenges their clients want to address. Some therapists, however, also discuss the strengths, capabilities, skills, and networks of their clients. In contrast to other practitioners, therapists who discuss the strengths, capabilities, skills, and networks of their clients are more likely to be successful: That is, their clients are more likely to be satisfied with the sessions and progress--but only if these strengths are discussed early rather than late in the session (Gassman, D. & Grawe, K. (2006).

Observation 24. If people feel uneasy or uncomfortable after shifting to another nation, their emotions are more likely to dissipate as soon as they are exposed to icons of the home country (Fu, Morris & Hong, 2015). For example, Americans exchange students, residing in Hong Kong, felt more adjusted to this location after they read sentences that refer to baseball. The benefits of this exposure to icons of the home country were observed only in people who experienced sufficient levels of unease or discomfort. The degree to which individuals values interpersonal relationships mediated the effect of exposure to these icons and adjustment to the culture. Presumably, after individuals are exposed to their home culture, they feel their relationships are strong, instilling a sense of resilience and thus openness to challenges.

Observation 25. Often people experience a limited sense of control. They feel that whether they attract rewards, recognition, or other favorable outcomes depends on circumstances they cannot control, such as the whim of their managers. Unsurprisingly, this limited sense of control undermines the emotions and mood of people. However, if the time in which people complete daily rituals is consistent across the week--such as when they watch TV, sleep, complete chores, exercise, and so forth-this problem dissipates: A limited sense of control does not affect mood as appreciably in these circumstances (Tighe, Dautovich, & Allen, 2015).

Determinants of psychological disorders

Observation 1. Some people believe their character or morality is fixed rather than malleable. That is, they do not feel they can change their character or level of morality fundamentally. These individuals are more inclined to exhibit the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder, like excessive washing, hoarding, counting, ordering, and other habits (Doron, Szepsenwol, Elad-Strenger, Hargil, & Bogoslavsky, 2013& see implicit theories of malleability ).

Benefits of negative emotions, expectations, and experiences

Observation 1. After people experience an upsetting event, they are often encouraged to think positively. For example, they might be encouraged to reflect upon the positive consequences of this episode, such as the insights they have gained. Unfortunately, these strategies do not alleviate negative emotions in people who report elevated levels of neuroticism and emotional instability (Ng & Diener, 2009). These strategies do not align with the prevailing inclinations and preferences of these individuals. The people who do not benefit from these interventions, therefore, are the very individuals who need the most help.

Observation 2. When individuals feel angry, they sometimes process information better. For example, they can more readily distinguish between strong and tenuous arguments during a discussion (Moons & Mackie, 2007). They tend to consider the arguments analytically rather than depend on superficial details, such as the appearance of someone. Anger may induce the arousal and effort that is needed to consider information closely.

Observation 3. After individuals reflect upon uncontrollable hazards and threats in their lives, such as disease, natural disasters, and economic instability, they often feel a sense that many problems could arise& their pessimism and anxiety increases. These reflections do not provoke this pessimism, however, if individuals also consider a powerful, but mysterious, enemy such as Al Qaeda (Sullivan, Landau, & Rothschild, 2010). After they invoke the notion of a single powerful enemy, individuals feel that most of their problems can be ascribed to one force, instilling a sense of control.

Observation 4. Obviously, if people experience positive emotions in the afternoon, they feel more engage and absorbed in their work during this time. Interestingly, however, this benefit of positive emotions is especially pronounced if these individuals had experienced negative emotions in the morning (Bledow, Schmitt, Frese, & Kuhnel, 2012). That is, a decrease in negative emotions across the day seems to promote work engagement.

Observation 5. People often debate whether past adversities, such as severe medical problems, enhances resilience or provokes vulnerability. Research has shown that whether such adversities enhance resilience or provoke vulnerability depends on whether individuals have developed close, trusting relationships. Specifically, if people have developed close, trusting relationships, medical problems in the past enhance resilience: That is, in response to stressful events, such as public speaking, these people experience an increase in cortisol initially but then a decrease. They habituate to stressful events very quickly, indicating resilience. In contrast, if people have not developed close, trusting relationships, medical problems tend to diminish resilience (Bugental, Beaulieu, Fowler, O?Brien, & Cayan, 2010).

Observation 6. If people tend to feel their satisfaction with life will improve greatly rather than just modestly in the future, they are more likely to experience mental, physical, and interpersonal problems over the next 5 years. That is, they will be ill more frequently and also feel their social networks are inadequate (Busseri, Choma, & Sadava, 2008). Specifically, the belief that life will improve greatly often coincides with the inclination of individuals to fantasize about the future rather than address existing obstacles (see also mental contrasting).

Observation 7. In some nations, income inequality is especially pronounced. That is, the wealthiest 10% or 20% of individuals earn most the wages. In these nations, individuals are more likely to perceive themselves as better than most of their peers on various traits. They are, in essence, more likely to inflate their attributes (Loughnan et al., 2011). This finding persists even after levels of individualism and collectivism are controlled.

Observation 8. Several minutes after people are exposed to upsetting or threatening contexts, such as an aggressive person, they become more likely to perceive unemotional objects, like brand names or unfamiliar words and patterns, positively. This bias seems to represent an unconscious attempt to override their negative feelings. Interestingly, this bias is especially pronounced after individuals are exposed to phrases that relate to themselves like "my apartment", "my hair", and "my house" instead of "the apartment", "the hair', or "the house" (Quirin, Bode, & Kuhl, 2011& see intuitive affect regulation).

Observation 9. Most experts maintain that workplaces need to ensure their procedures are just. That is, procedures to evaluate employees should be fair, and employees should be granted opportunities to contribute to all key decisions. Some people, strangely, are more satisfied with their job when the procedures are unfair. In particular, individuals who often embrace risky behaviors--such as speculate in risky shares or engage in unprotected sex--are more likely to enjoy jobs in which the procedures are unjust (Desai, Sondak, & Diekmann, 2011). They seem to embrace the uncertainty of these unfair procedures. Consequently, unjust organizations may attract people who behave impulsively and inappropriately. Job satisfaction, therefore, may not be a suitable measure of whether the practices of workplaces are suitable.

Observation 10. After people recall a time in which they successfully spoke in public, they speak more effectively in public in the future. They also experience less stress, as gauged by measures of cortisol in the blood (Pezdeklow & Salima, 2011). Autobiographical memories thus affect the physiological processes and behaviors of individuals.

Observation 11. Individuals who do not accept unpleasant emotions, and attempt to focus on positive thoughts, often experience more distress and anger, ultimately undermining their wellbeing (Wegner, 1994& Wegner, Broome, & Blumberg, 1997& see Ironic rebound).

Observation 12. When individuals converse with a potential date over the internet, they sometimes experience more positive emotions if they were rejected rather than accepted-?especially if they had recently exhibited the symptoms of depression (Rehman, Ebel-Lam, Mortimer, & Mark, 2009). Depressed individuals often feel uneasy when they receive favorable feedback.

Observation 13. If individuals often experience positive emotions, such as joy, and negative emotions, such as sadness, at the same time, they are more likely to be healthier than other people in the future (Hershfield, Scheibe, Sims, & Carstensen, 2012). They are not, for example, as likely to experience problems with their sensory systems, such as hearing loss, cardiovascular system, such as pains in the chest, musculoskeletal system, such as swollen joints, or genitourinary system, such as incontinence (see ambivalent emotions).

Observation 14. After individuals watch DVDs that indicate the infrasound emitted by wind farms is therapeutic rather than unhealthy, they reported fewer symptoms and an improved mood. Therefore, when combined with favorable expectations, the noise that is produced by wind farms is not unhealthy and may even be healthy (Crichton, Dodd, Schmid, Gamble, Cundy, & Petrie, 2013).

Observation 15. If people anticipate that, later, they will experience position emotions, they are also more likely to be resilient now: that is, they will often feel position emotions during stressful events. For example, in one study, if participants assumed they will later watch a funny rather than unfunny cartoon, they experienced more positive emotions while preparing to present a speech (Monfort, Stroup, & Waugh, 2014). Indeed, anticipating a positive event later was more effective than experiencing a positive event minutes earlier. Arguably, when individuals anticipate positive events, they experience an approach orientation, in which they feel motivated to approach rather than avoid complications. Because of this approach orientation, they perceive stressful events as a challenge or opportunity instead of a threat.

Benefits of cooperation instead of competition

Observation 1. Some people perceive themselves as very compassionate. Such compassion has been shown to enhance resilience. For example, in one study, participants needed to present a speech in front of two judges. Provided the two judges were supportive, compassionate participants were not as likely as other participants to exhibit the hallmarks of stress, such as an increase in cortisol levels or blood pressure (Cosley, McCoy, Saslow, & Epel, 2010). Compassionate people experience a sense of connection to other individuals and, therefore, feel especially bolstered by supportive behaviors.

Observation 2. After people donate to charity--or even write about a time in which they helped someone--their endurance and self-control improves. They can, for example, hold a weight or squeeze a handgrip for a longer period of time (Gray, 2010). This finding is consistent with the concept of moral transformation, in which both moral and evil acts evoke a sense of tenacity and influence.

Observation 3. If people tend to be dishonest or sly, rather than cooperative and honest, during economic transactions?-for example if they lie during applications for insurance--they are more likely to experience elevated levels of anxiety (Sakalaki & Fousiani, 2011).

Observation 4. Some sporting events are close and spectators are not certain which of the teams will prevail until the end. If a major sporting event is close, the likelihood of fatalities on the road increases--especially near the locations in which fans of the triumphant team live or congregate. In particular, the spectators experience an escalating sense of competition throughout the game. This sense of competition increases levels of testosterone. These levels of testosterone escalate further after a triumph. These spectators thus drive more aggressively, increasing the likelihood of road accidents (Wood, McInnes, & Norton, 2011).

Observation 5. Unsurprisingly, people who are very distrusting, competitive, and manipulative are more likely to engage in unethical behaviors at work, such as spread vicious rumors about someone. Interestingly, these manipulative people are even more likely to engage in unethical behaviors at work if their emotional intelligence is advanced (Cote, DeCelles, McCarthy, Van Kleef, & Hideg, 2011). Thus, emotional intelligence can enable individuals to achieve both benevolent and nefarious goals.

Observation 6. Sometimes, individuals play games and communicate to other people online--people they have never met in person. Each person in this community might be represented by a symbol or avatar. If two individuals share the same color avatar, and also know they are striving to fulfill the same goal, such as "Answer at least 80% of the questions correctly", they tend to perform these tasks very well. If two individuals do not share the same color avatar, or believe they are striving to fulfill different goals, they do not tend to perform the tasks as well. Perhaps we have evolved to pursue the goals that other members of our group share, because such an inclination would have enhanced our survival in the past.

Observation 7. Individuals are more likely to experience negative emotions--like anxiety or irritation--when they interact with someone who is extraverted rather than introverted (Eisenkraft & Eifenbein, 2010).

Observation 8. Some workplace policies are intended to balance work and family life, such as working from home. These policies, however, do not tend to enhance the commitment and loyalty of individuals to the organization unless the leaders are charismatic and present an inspiring vision of the future (Wang & Walumbwa, 2007). Indeed, if the leaders are not at all charismatic, these policies can reduce commitment.

Observation 9. After individuals observe a picture of their romantic partner, their sensitivity to pain diminishes (Master, Eisenberger, Taylor, Naliboff, Shirinyan, & Lieberman, 2009). For example, when they place their hand in very cold water, they do not rate the experience as painful. This effect does not persist if they observe a photograph of a stranger.

Observation 10. Children as young as 20 months can behave altruistically: If people drop a pen, and emit a noise that implies they cannot reach the object, the majority of children will approach and retrieve this item. However, if they had previously received a toy after helping someone, the likelihood these children will help again, with a similar gesture, decreases. In contrast, if they had previously been praised after helping someone, this problem does not arise (Warneken & Tomasello, 2008& see also the overjustification effect).

Observation 11. If individuals tend to be forgiving when someone behaves offensively or inappropriately, their physical and mental health improves. For example, after individuals imagine forgiving someone, their heart rate and blood pressure tend to diminish (Witvliet, Ludwig, & Vander Laan, 2001). Levels of dejection or depression also decrease (Burnette, Davis, Green, Worthington, & Bradfield, 2009& see forgiveness).

Observation 12. When managers and employees are compassionate, many problems in organizations diminish. For example, if doctors express more compassion and concern towards their patients, they are less likely to be sued (Ambady, LaPlante, Nguyen, Rosenthal, Chaumeton, & Levinson, 2002). Similarly, if employees feel they have not been treated compassionately when retrenched or demoted, they are more likely to sue for wrongful dismissal (Lind, Greenberg, Scott, & Welchans, 2000) or engage in theft or other forms of retribution (Greenberg, 1990).


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