We are a team of junior and senior undergraduates who work with Dr. Heather
Smith on questions related to self-affimration theory (see (see Aronson,
Cohen & Nail, 1999 for a review).
According to self-affirmation theory, the opportunity to validate oneself as a moral, competent or likable person or group member can alleviate feelings of distress when one is confronted by negative or threatening information. Although self-affirmation can lead to improved academic performance and other positive effects, to our knowledge, potential negative effects of self-affirmation have not been explored. Yet if people can affirm their self-worth as a person or a group member in a different domain, they may be less distressed by the mistreatment of another group member, and less likely to confront the injustice.
Thank you to everyone who participated in our recent experiment!
In April, we presented some preliminary experimental findings at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological association in Irvine, California. Please click here to read the presentation abstract.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact Heather Smith.
Heather Smith, Ph.D.