AuthorBruce, Laura Coleman
AdvisorHeimberg, Richard G.
Committee memberAlloy, Lauren B.
Weisberg, Robert W.
Chen, Eunice Y.
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/2639
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractPerson-environment interactions are the rule, not only for development but also for moment-to-moment experience. Knowledge about environmental influences on the manifestation of psychological symptoms is an important area of research, particularly with regard to social anxiety where symptoms vary dramatically depending on the social context. Like other forms of anxiety, social anxiety is thought to have evolved to help us pay attention to, assess, and respond to potential (in this case, intra-species) threats. The current study was based on (1) the theoretical proposition that social anxiety represents an adaptation to hierarchical, or agonic, modes of social organization; (2) the observation that in the non-hierarchical hedonic systems seen in some of our closest primate relatives, submissiveness is not required for group functioning, and (3) more recent empirical data showing that social anxiety symptoms are dependent on contextual factors. The current study integrated these three ideas and examined whether participating in a hedonic system, as compared to an agonic system, diminishes social anxiety, and whether social context moderates the relationship between trait social anxiety and activation of state anxiety. Participants of all different levels of trait social anxiety were randomly assigned to play a group game, the context and rules of which were consistent with either agonic or hedonic social structures. Self-reported anxiety and behaviors associated with social anxiety were then measured. Results from the experiment were mixed, sometimes seemingly conflicting, and therefore difficult to interpret. The more hierarchical, agonic social system was associated with higher anxious affect. However, the type of social system did not appear to affect self-reported submissive behavior, social comparison, or social behavior. Additionally, experimental condition did not moderate the effect of trait social anxiety on these variables. Although our findings were mixed, they hint at the role of social structure in the activation of anxious affect.
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Media are social actors: Individuals' social responses to social robots and mobile phonesLombard, Matthew; Morris, Nancy; Liao, Tony; Zhao, Shanyang (Temple University. Libraries, 2018)The Computers are Social Actors (CASA) paradigm was proposed more than two decades ago to understand humans’ interaction with computer technologies. Today, as emerging media technologies including social robots and smartphones become more personal and persuasive, questions of how users respond to them socially, what individual factors leverage the relationship, and what constitutes the social influence of these technologies need to be addressed. As an expansion of the CASA paradigm, the Media are Social Actors (MASA) paradigm was applied in the current dissertation to understand users’ social perception, social attitudes, and social behavior in their interactions with humanoid social robots and smartphones. Two lab experiments with between-subjects factorial design were conducted. A total of 110 participants were asked to interact with a humanoid social robot and a smartphone respectively in a socio-emotional context and a task-oriented context. Four pairs of social cues were compared to understand their influence on users’ anthropomorphism of the technologies. Multivariate analyses and textual analyses were conducted. Results suggested that users developed more trust in the social robot with a human voice than with a synthetic voice. Users also developed more intimacy and more interest in the social robot when the robot was paired with humanlike gestures. However, individual differences such as users’ attitudes toward robots, robot use experiences, and suspension of disbelief affected users’ psychological responses to the social robot. Although users’ responses to the smartphone did not vary based on the language styles and the modalities, factors such as individuals’ intensive smartphone use, mobile use habits, and their source orientation and re-orientation moderated the social influence of the smartphone. The dissertation has theoretical value in expanding the CASA paradigm to social robots and smartphones. It also tests the validity of the propositions of the MASA paradigm. The results can lead to more comprehensive, nuanced, and exciting discoveries of the social implications, ethical implications, and practical guides of using these emerging media technologies in the future.
THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL CONSTRAINTS ON ADJUSTMENT FOLLOWING THE DISSOLUTION OF A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPKarpinski, Andrew; Fauber, Robert; Heimberg, Richard G.; Lepore, Stephen J.; Marshall, Peter J.; Taylor, Ronald D. (Temple University. Libraries, 2012)Many people experience a romantic breakup at some point in their lives, but people's reactions can vary considerably. A common way of coping with the dissolution of a romantic relationship is to seek support and opportunities to talk with close others. Although talking with social network members may prove helpful for some, the Social-Cognitive Processing (SCP) model posits that interpersonal interactions can hinder emotional recovery and adjustment if the disclosers feel the social network members are responding in a socially constraining way. As a result of perceiving social constraints, individuals may try to avoid thinking and talking about the breakup altogether, which, in turn, may interfere with the cognitive processing necessary to move forward from the breakup. The current research marked the first time the SCP model was explored with regards to the dissolution of romantic relationships, and it evaluated the utility of the SCP model in potentially explaining the variable nature of adjustment to a romantic breakup. One hundred and seventy-four eligible participants completed this online study. Participants completed various questionnaires pertaining to their previous relationship and subsequent breakup, their feelings and experiences following the romantic dissolution, their tendencies to think about the breakup, and the degree to which they discussed the relationship dissolution with others and the reactions they received during these conversations. In support of the SCP model, the results indicated that social constraints were associated with greater psychological distress. Furthermore, avoidance partially mediated the relation between social constraints and psychological distress as levels of social support decreased. This suggests that higher levels of social support might help buffer against engaging in avoidance in response to social constraints. In an initial attempt to examine whether the extent of avoidance displayed varied as a function of a dispositional variable (i.e., self-monitoring), no support was found. Future research should continue to investigate additional factors that may moderate the relation between social constraints and psychological distress through avoidance.
PEER GROUP SOCIALIZATION OF AGGRESSION IN EARLY ADOLESCENCE: SOCIAL STATUS, GROUP CHARACTERISTICS, AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCESXie, Hongling; Steinberg, Laurence D.; Weinraub, Marsha; Marshall, Peter J.; Overton, Willis F.; Taylor, Ronald D. (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)In previous research on the importance of a peer group in shaping and supporting group members' antisocial behavior (e.g., aggression), researchers have focused on the influence of group norms on individuals' behavior. Two potential aspects of variability have been neglected: peers in a group would vary in the strength of influences on individuals, and individuals would vary in the openness to peer influences. Social learning theory and social impact theory suggest that a peer's social status would affect the strength of his/her influences on individuals' behavior. In this study, I investigated how social status is related to the strength of influences of peers in a group on individuals' aggression. Potential moderating effects of group characteristics (i.e., group status and group cohesion) were investigated. Moreover, individual characteristics (i.e., individual status and individuals' beliefs about aggression) were examined as factors which would influence individual member's openness to peer influences. Finally, previous studies have concentrated on the socialization of physical aggression in peer groups. In the current study, both physical and social aggression were investigated. A diverse sample of 7th-grade students (n = 336, mean age = 13.00) participated in this study. Data were collected in the fall (Time 1) and in the spring (Time 2) semesters of 7th grade. Group administration procedures were used to conduct a 45-minute survey session. Both forms of aggression, physical and social aggression, were measured by peer nominations and victim nominations at both time points. The Social Cognitive Map (SCM) procedure was used to identify peer groups in school at Time 1. A total of 245 individual members belonging to 65 groups were included for statistical analyses using Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM) procedure. Findings showed that after controlling for individual members' aggression at Time 1, individual members' aggression at Time 2 was positively and significantly associated with high-status peers' aggression at Time 1 rather than with low-status peers' aggression at Time 1. This pattern was found for both physical and social aggression. In terms of moderating effects of group-level factors, the association between individual members' physical aggression at Time 2 and high-status peers' physical aggression at Time 1 was found to be stronger in boys' groups than in girls' groups and stronger in a highly cohesive group than in a non-cohesive group. As to moderating effects of individual-level factors, the association between individual members' social aggression at Time 2 and high-status peers' social aggression at Time 1 was stronger for individuals with aggression-encouraging beliefs than for individuals with aggression-nonencouraging beliefs and stronger for low-status individuals than for high-status individuals. In summary, results from this study indicate that, in early adolescence, peers in a group differ in the strength of influences which varies across group and individual characteristics. These findings imply that future researchers should consider the variability in the strength of peer influences and in the openness of individuals to peer influences. In addition, special attention should be given to high-status aggressive youth in future prevention and intervention programs in order to reduce aggression and violence in school.