Electronic copies of papers are provided as a professional courtesy to ensure timely dissemination of academic work for individual, non-commercial purposes. Copyright resides with the respective copyright holders, as stated within each paper. These files may not be re-posted without permission.
* indicates current or former graduate students.
Pre-Prints and Manuscripts Under Review
*Berry, Z., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (in revision). Who Gets the Benefit of Being Remembered Positively After Their Death?
Forscher, P. S., Taylor, V. J., Cavagnaro, D., Lewis, N. A., Jr., Moshontz, H., Batres, C., … Chartier, C. (revise & resubmit). A Multi-Site Examination of Stereotype Threat in Black College Students Across Varying Operationalizations. Nature Human Behavior. https://psyarxiv.com/6hju9
Giner-Sorolla, R., Aberson, C. L., Bostyn, D. H., Carpenter, T., Conrique, B. G., Lewis, N. A., Jr., Montoya, A. K., Ng, B. W., Reifman, A., Schoemann, A. M., & Soderberg, C. (in revision). Power to Detect What? Considerations for Planning and Evaluating Sample Size. https://osf.io/jnmya/
Goroff, D. L., Lewis, N. A., Jr., Scheel, A. M., Scherer, L. D., & Tucker, J. A. (under review). The Inference Engine: A Grand Challenge to Address the Context Sensitivity Problem in Social Science Research. https://psyarxiv.com/j8b9a
Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Oyserman, D. (revise & resubmit). When Science Time and Human Time Conflict: Effects of Time Metrics on Climate Change Judgments and Behavioral Intentions. Behavioral Science & Policy.
*Premachandra, B., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (under review). Are we Actually Ready to Give Psychology Away? A Scoping Review of the Psychological Intervention Literature 2000-2018.
*Ruisch, B., Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Ferguson, M. J. (revision resubmitted). When and Why Women are (Dis)Favored in the Hiring Process: The Effects of Gender and Qualification Strength on Hiring Decisions. Nature Human Behavior.
Bayer, J. B., Lewis, N. A., Jr., & *Stahl, J. L. (in press). Who Comes to Mind? Dynamic Construction of Social Networks. Current Directions in Psychological Science.
Abstract: Much remains unknown about moment-to-moment social network cognition – i.e., who comes to mind as we go about our day-to-day lives. Responding to this void, here we describe the real-time construction of cognitive social networks. First, we outline the types of relational structures that comprise momentary networks, distinguishing the roles of personal relationships, social groups, and mental sets. Second, we discuss the cognitive mechanisms that determine which individuals are activated – and which are neglected – through a dynamic process. Looking forward, we contend that these overlooked mechanisms represent a rising consideration for society in light of emerging network technologies. Finally, we chart the next steps for understanding social network cognition across real-world contexts, along with the built-in implications for social resources and intergroup disparities.
Carter, E., Onyeador, I., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (in press). Developing and Delivering Effective Anti-Bias Training: Challenges and Recommendations. Behavioral Science and Policy.
Abstract: As organizations invest nearly eight billion dollars annually into ‘diversity training,’ questions have arisen about whether training actually changes attitudes and behavior. The present article reviews the relevant evidence, noting that training should be explicitly anti-bias training, aiming to increase awareness of and concern about bias while providing bias management strategies that attendees can use to change their behavior. After outlining five challenges to developing and delivering training that meets these goals, we provide evidence-based recommendations facilitators can use as a blueprint for creating an anti-bias training that works. We recommend that organizations continue to invest in anti-bias training, along with other diversity and inclusion initiatives, to ensure the eight billion dollars spent each year yields meaningful change.
Hall, M. P., Lewis, N. A., Jr., Chandler, J., & Litman, L. (in press). Conducting Longitudinal Research on Amazon Mechanical Turk. In L. Litman & J. Robinson (Eds.). Conducting Online Research on Amazon Mechanical Turk and Beyond. SAGE.
Abstract: This research methods chapter outlines research design principles and practices for conducting longitudinal research in online settings.
Lewis, N. A., Jr., Bravo, M., *Naiman, S., Pearson, A. R., Romero-Canyas, R., Schuldt, J. P., & *Song, H. (in press). The Complementarity of Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Environmental Psychology. MethodsX.
Abstract: This article is a methodological supplement to Song and colleagues’ (in press) article “What counts as an ‘environmental’ issue? Differences in environmental issue conceptualization across race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.” In their paper, Song and colleagues (in press) described the results of a survey documenting that in the United States, White and high-SES respondents perceived environmental issues differently than their non-White and lower-SES counterparts, reflecting structural differences in environmental risks. While Song and colleagues (in press) discussed the survey results in detail, the discussion of the qualitative research that led to the creation of that survey was limited due to space constraints. The current article provides a more holistic understanding of the methods behind the Song and colleagues (in press) study by discussing the qualitative component of the research in detail. In addition to discussing how the qualitative research complements and critically informs the quantitative survey findings presented in Song and colleagues (in press), we also consider the broader value of combining qualitative and quantitative methods in the study of environmental psychology.
Lewis, N. A., Jr., *Kougias, D. G., *Takahashi, K. J., & Earl, A. (in press). The Behavior of Same-Race Others and its Effects on Black Patients’ Attention to Publicly Presented HIV-Prevention Information. Health Communication.
Abstract: Black Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010), yet account for 54% of HIV deaths (CDC, 2013) and 44% of new HIV diagnoses (CDC, 2015). Why do Black Americans die from HIV at such a disproportionate rate? In the current study, we asked whether the presence and behavior of in-group peers in public health settings may influence Black Americans’ attention to HIV information, given the racialized nature of HIV-stigma in Black American communities (Cohen, 1999). In a quasi-experimental field study conducted in a public health clinic (N = 260), we found that Black patients were less likely to pay attention to HIV-prevention information in the presence of other Black patients, unless those patients were also paying attention to the information. In contrast, Black patients’ attention was unaffected by the presence of White patients. We end by discussing the implications of these findings for health communication theories and health practice geared toward reducing racial-health disparities in the United States.
Lewis, N. A., Jr., & *Michalak, N. (registered report accepted in principle). Has Stereotype Threat Dissipated Over Time? A Cross-Temporal Meta-Analysis. Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
Abstract: Stereotype threat – the psychological threat that arises when one is in a situation or doing something for which a negative stereotype about one’s group applies (Steele, 1997) – has been broadly studied throughout the social sciences over the past two decades (for reviews, see Lewis & Sekaquaptewa, 2016; Steele, 2010). It is a theory that is presumed to explain variance in disparities between those who are negatively stereotyped in certain domains (e.g. racial-ethnic minorities in academics, women in mathematics) and those who are not (e.g. White men in academics; Steele, 2010). Studies on stereotype threat have been conducted hundreds of times, and have yielded mixed findings. Early studies tended to yield “positive” – statistically significant – findings (for meta-analytic review, see Nguyen & Ryan, 2008) whereas more recent reanalysis (Zigerell, 2017) and replication attempts (e.g., Finnigan & Corker, 2016) have failed to replicate initial findings. These conflicting accounts call into question the robustness of the phenomenon and raise two possibilities in our minds: Either the strength of the evidence was weak to begin with, or something has changed over time to reduce our ability to detect stereotype threat effects. We test these possibilities in a pre-registered cross-temporal meta-analysis. [Registered Report Preprint]
Dienlin, T., …, Lewis, N. A., Jr., & de Vreese, C. (in press). An Agenda for Open Science in Communication. Journal of Communication. https://academic.oup.com/joc/advance-article/doi/10.1093/joc/jqz052/5803422#200712906
Abstract: In the last ten years, many canonical findings in the social sciences have shown to be unreliable. This so-called replication crisis has spurred calls for open science practices, which aim to increase the reproducibility, replicability, and generalizability of findings. Communication research is subject to many of the same challenges that have caused low replicability in other fields. As a result, we propose an agenda for adopting open science practices in Communication research, which includes the following seven points: (1) publish materials, data, and code; (2) preregister studies and submit registered reports; (3) conduct replications; (4) collaborate; (5) foster open science skills; (6) implement Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Guidelines; and (7) incentivize open science practices. While in our agenda we focus mostly on quantitative research, we also reflect on open science practices relevant to qualitative research. We conclude by discussing potential objections and concerns to open science practices.
*Song, H., Lewis, N. A., Jr., *Ballew, M., Bravo, M., *Davydova, J., Gao, H. O., Garcia, R., Hiltner, S., *Naiman, S., Pearson, A. R., Romero-Canyas, R., & Schuldt, J. P. (2020). What counts as an “environmental” issue? Differences in environmental issue conceptualization by race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. Journal of Environmental Psychology. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272494419304220
Abstract: Racial/ethnic minorities and lower-socioeconomic (SES) groups in the U.S. face disproportionate environmental risks, which may hold implications for how these groups construe environmental issues, relative to other segments of the public. We explored this possibility with a diverse sample of 1,191 U.S. adults, hypothesizing that, relative to White and higher-SES respondents, non-White and lower-SES respondents would rate a greater number of pressing societal issues as also “environmental.” Across 18 issues, ranging from ecological issues more traditionally the focus of environmental advocacy and scholarship (e.g., pollution; eco-oriented issues) to issues that also constitute human social determinants and consequences of environmental risk (e.g., poverty; human-oriented issues), non-White and lower-income respondents rated human-oriented issues as more “environmental.” Environmental justice perceptions partially mediated group differences in issue conceptualization. Results hold implications for the measurement of environmental attitudes and efforts to broaden public engagement within racially and economically diverse communities.
Van Bavel, J. J., Gruber, J., Somerville, L. H., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2020). How to write a clear, compelling CV. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aba8977.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists discusses strategies for writing clear curriculum vitae, as well as “extended CVs” on the web. [HTML]
Cunningham, W. A,. Gruber, J., Van Bavel, J. J., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2019). Conflict in your research group? Here are four strategies for seeking a resolution. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aba2636
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists discusses strategies for resolving conflicts in research teams to create more harmonious research environments. [HTML]
Earl, A., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2019). Health in Context: New Perspectives on Healthy Thinking and Healthy Living. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 81(3), 1-4.
Abstract: People do not want to get sick, become disabled, or die young. At the same time, many people have trouble giving up unhealthy lifestyle choices or adopting healthy behaviors or goals. To help people overcome the struggles associated with improving and maintaining good health, researchers and practitioners have developed a variety of health behavior change interventions. Unfortunately, reluctant audiences are often unwilling to enroll or remain in structured, standardized interventions. In addition, behavior change recommendations often have low generalizability outside of the context of the intervention program and recommendations (and health behaviors more broadly) may resonate differently among different sub-groups of the population depending on how they are framed. What can be done to increase the efficacy of health behavior change interventions? Our objective in this special issue was to integrate novel research targeted towards improving health outcomes, while simultaneously improving process models to understand motivation, self-control, and other likely levers for effective behavior change, with examples from laboratory and field-based interventions. In this editorial, we first give an overview of how we operationalize health, and then discuss the role of context in health behavior, including (a) the advantages of systematically examining the role of context, (b) how we, as a field, can study context effects in a way that is generative for theory development and testing, and (c) the implications of studying context for different types of interventions. [PDF]
Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2019d). Who Needs to Say What to Whom for an Intervention to Have its Intended Effect? Examining Heterogeneity in Behavioral Science Interventions. LIFE Newsletter, International Max Plank Institute for Human Development, 13(3), 9-12.
Abstract: This article outlines the benefits of studying heterogeneity in behavioral science interventions for improving social scientific theories, and making social science more useful for practice.
Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2019c). Open Communication Science: A Primer on Why and Recommendations for How. Communication Methods and Measures. DOI: 10.1080/19312458.2019.1685660
Abstract: Communication scientists devote large amounts of resources to conducting studies to improve our understanding of the social world, in hopes that our efforts contribute to improving people’s life outcomes. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, the process by which our research is conducted is not always clear in our journal articles or books reporting our research. This lack of process-insight (a) limits our ability to build on each other’s research, (b) limits our holistic understanding of communication processes, and (c) limits the ability of consumers of our research to put it into practice. The current article discusses recent methodological advances designed to address these issues – advances in open science practices. I provide a brief primer on the philosophy behind open science and its relevance for communication research, then provide recommendations for both novice and expert researchers to implement open science practices at multiple steps of the research pipeline. [Postprint PDF]
Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2019b). On “light-touches” and “heavy-hands.” 2 strategies to tackle educational inequities. The Brookings Institution.
Abstract: This article discusses behavioral science intervention strategies and when it is appropriate to use them in attempts to reduce education inequities. [HTML]
Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2019a). Studying People in Their Local Environments. APS Observer, 32(3), 29-30.
Abstract: This article discusses how using mobile research laboratories can help psychology achieve its goal of generating more generalizable knowledge about human behavior and mental processes. [HTML]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., Gruber, J., Van Bavel, J. J., & Somerville, L. H. (2019). Three tips for giving a great research talk. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aax7352.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists discusses strategies for delivering effective research talks. [HTML]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., Sekaquaptewa, D., & Meadows, L. (2019). Modeling gender counter-stereotypic group behavior: a brief video intervention reduces participation gender gaps on STEM teams. Social Psychology of Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-019-09489-3
Abstract: In STEM project group teams, men speak for more time (Meadows & Sekaquaptewa, 2011) and engage in more active technical participation than women, which can have negative long-term consequences (Cheryan et al., 2017; Lord et al., 2011). In the current study, we tested the effects of a brief counter-stereotypic video intervention on gender gaps in verbal participation on mixed-gender teams of STEM students (N =143). Participants viewed either a control video of an engineering student team behaving in a gender stereotype-consistent way (men talked longer and presented more technical information than women) in a group presentation and group interview, or a gender counter-stereotypic intervention version (roles reversed) prior to engaging in their own STEM group project task in a laboratory setting. Analysis of video footage of the groups showed that men spoke longer than women in the control condition, but men and women spoke for equal time in the intervention condition. This result was corroborated by participants’ self-report of their verbal participation in their group. [PDF] [OSF- Supplemental Materials]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., Somerville, L. H., Van Bavel, J. J., Gruber, J., & Cunningham, W. A. (2019). Step back to move forward: Setting new priorities in the new year. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aaw5301.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists discusses setting priorities for the new year and developing actionable plans for goal achievement. [HTML]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., Somerville, L. H., Van Bavel, J. J., & Cunningham, W. A. (2019). Help funders help you: Five tips for writing effective funding applications. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aaz6040.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists discusses strategies for writing grants and getting them funded. [HTML]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., Van Bavel, J. J., Gruber, J., Somerville, L. H., & Cunningham, W. A. (2019). School’s (somewhat) out for summer: Five tips to help academics make the most of the season. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aay1342
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists discusses strategies for making summer “break” both enjoyable and productive. [HTML]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., Van Bavel, J. J., & Somerville, L. H. (2019). Tips for easing the service burden on scientists from underrepresented groups. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aay1342.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists discusses individual and institutional strategies for creating more equitable working environments for scientists from underrepresented groups. [HTML]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Yates, J. F. (2019). Preparing Disadvantaged Students for Success in College: Lessons Learned from the Preparation Initiative. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 14(1), 54-59.
Abstract: This article describes The Preparation Initiative (PI) program and highlights some of its effects on students who have participated in the program. The PI is a learning community that was designed to help students from disadvantaged programs (e.g., low-income, first-generation, racial-ethnic minorities) succeed in their academic pursuits at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Over 300 students have participated in the program since its inception. A recent independent program evaluation revealed that participation in the program substantially increased students’ grades as well as graduation rates. We discuss the implications of this program for research and practice in education as well as policy efforts to reduce education disparities. [PDF]
Somerville, L. H., Cunningham, W. A., Gruber, J., Van Bavel, J. J., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2019). Three keys to launching your own lab. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aaz1327.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists provides advice to new PIs for launching their own research labs. [HTML]
Van Bavel, J. J., Gruber, J., Somerville, L. H., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2019). Three research-based lessons to improve your mentoring. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aax3270.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists discusses scientific principles related to mentoring and makes recommendations for scientists to become better mentors. [HTML]
Van Bavel, J. J., Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Cunningham, W. A. (2019). In the tough academic job market, two principles can help you maximize your chances. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.careditaay6941.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists discusses strategies for maximizing success on the academic job market. [HTML]
Van Bavel, J. J., Somerville, L. H., Cunningham, W. A., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2019). Ten tips for negotiating job offers. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aba5203.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists discusses strategies for negotiating job offers. [HTML]
Gruber, J., Van Bavel, J. J., Somerville, L. H., Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Cunningham, W. A. (2018). Introducing “Letters to Young Scientists,” a new column from Science Careers. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aav2304.
Abstract: This article introduces Letters to Young Scientists, an advice column for early career scientists. [HTML]
Hall, M. P., Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Ellsworth, P. C. (2018). Believing in climate change, but not behaving sustainably: Evidence from a one-year longitudinal study. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 56, 55-62.
Abstract: We conducted a one-year longitudinal study in which 600 American adults regularly reported their climate change beliefs, pro-environmental behavior, and other climate-change related measures. Using latent class analyses, we uncovered three clusters of American with distinct climate belief trajectories: (1) the “Skeptical,” who believed least in climate change; (2) the “Cautiously Worried,” who had moderate beliefs in climate change; and (3) the “Highly Concerned,” who had the strongest beliefs and concern about climate change. Cluster membership predicted different outcomes: the “Highly Concerned” were most supportive of government climate policies, but least likely to report individual-level actions, whereas the “Skeptical” opposed policy solutions but were most likely to report engaging in individual-level pro-environmental behaviors. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. [PDF] [Open Science Framework]
Klein, R., Ratliff, K., Vianello, M., …, Lewis, N. A., Jr., … & Nosek, B. (2018). Many Labs 2: Investigating Variation in Replicability Across Sample and Setting. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 1(4), 443-490.
Abstract: We conducted preregistered replications of 28 classic and contemporary published findings with protocols that were peer reviewed in advance to examine variation in effect magnitudes across sample and setting. Each protocol was administered to approximately half of the 125 samples and 15,305 total participants from 36 countries and territories. Using conventional statistical significance (p < .05), fifteen (54%) of the replications provided evidence in the same direction and statistically significant as the original finding. With a strict significance criterion (p < .0001), fourteen (50%) provide such evidence reflecting the extremely high powered design. Seven (25%) of the replications had effect sizes larger than the original finding and 21 (75%) had effect sizes smaller than the original finding. The median comparable Cohen’s d effect size for original findings was 0.60 and for replications was 0.15. Sixteen replications (57%) had small effect sizes (< .20) and 9 (32%) were in the opposite direction from the original finding. Across settings, 11 (39%) showed significant heterogeneity using the Q statistic and most of those were among the findings eliciting the largest overall effect sizes; only one effect that was near zero in the aggregate showed significant heterogeneity. Only one effect showed a Tau > 0.20 indicating moderate heterogeneity. Nine others had a Tau near or slightly above 0.10 indicating slight heterogeneity. In moderation tests, very little heterogeneity was attributable to task order, administration in the lab versus online, and exploratory WEIRD versus less WEIRD culture comparisons. Cumulatively, variability in observed effect sizes was more attributable to the effect being studied than the sample or setting in which it was studied. [PDF]
Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2018). Three reminders to help you thrive – not merely survive – in grad school. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aav2586.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists provides advice for those beginning their graduate school journey. [HTML]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Earl, A. (2018). Seeing More and Eating Less: Effects of Portion Size Granularity on the Perception and Regulation of Food Consumption. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 114(5), 786-803.
Abstract: Over-eating and resulting obesity is a public health concern in the United States, and portion size is a factor that contributes to these problems (Zlatevska et al., 2014). The present research demonstrates that the granularity of labels used to describe portions also influences food consumption, independent of previously documented portion size effects. Across six studies and seven different food items, we find a robust and reliable effect of portion size granularity labels on consumption intentions and food consumption. Having people think about food using fine-grained labels leads them to decrease their consumption intentions (Study 1, n=80) and ultimately eat less food (Studies 2a, n=79, 2b, n=79). This process operates by shifting people’s perceptions of the size of foods (rather than changing levels of construal) whereby portions described with fine-grained labels (e.g. “15 gummy candies”) are perceived to be bigger than portions described with gross-grained labels (e.g. “one serving”; Study 3, n = 200). In addition, granularity facilitates self-regulation of consumption for individuals with a weight-loss goal both when self-regulation is measured (Study 4, n = 160) and when we manipulate that mediator (Study 5, n = 300). Finally, a high-powered registered report replicated effects of granularity on consumption via shifts in perception and intentions with a diverse community sample (Study 6, n = 323). Implications for theory and practice are discussed. [Final Publication PDF] [Registered Report Accepted in Principle] [Open Science Framework]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., Van Bavel, J. J., Somerville, L. H., & Gruber, J. (2018). A social media survival guide for scientists. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aav9607.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientists provides advice for navigating social media as a modern scientist. [HTML].
Van Bavel, J. J., Gruber, J., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2018). Applying for a Ph.D.? These 10 tips can help you succeed. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.caredit.aav5461.
Abstract: This Letter to Young Scientist provides advice for students applying to PhD programs in scientific disciplines. [HTML]
Aelenei, C., Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Oyserman, D. (2017). No pain, no gain? Social demographic correlates and identity consequences of interpreting experienced difficulty as importance. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 48, 43-55.
Abstract: Community college students are less likely to graduate than university students, perhaps because their difficult life circumstances increase their vulnerability to misinterpreting the identity implications of experienced difficulty with schoolwork. Without guidance, they may fail to take a “no pain, no gain” perspective in which experienced difficulty with schoolwork implies the importance of succeeding in school. Two studies support this prediction: Study 1 (N = 1,035) finds that education is associated with higher likelihood of interpreting experienced difficulty as signaling task importance among adults. This effect is pronounced for racial minorities. Study 2 (N = 293) finds that students who disagreed that experienced difficulty implies impossibility were more certain about attaining their academic possible identities and more willing to sacrifice to attain these identities. Moreover, community college students benefited more than university students from being guided to consider what experienced difficulty might imply or from considering that experienced difficulty implies importance, rather than impossibility. [ResearchGate PDF] [Supplemental Materials]
Oyserman, D., & Lewis, N. A., Jr. (2017). Seeing the destination AND the path: Using identity-based motivation to understand and reduce racial disparities in academic achievement. Social Issues and Policy Review, 11(1), 159-194
Abstract: African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans aspire to do well in school but often fall short of this goal. We use identity-based motivation theory as an organizing framework to understand how macrolevel social stratification factors including minority-ethnic group membership and low socioeconomic position (e.g. parental education, income) and the stigma they carry, matter. Macrolevel social stratification differentially exposes students to contexts in which choice and control are limited and stigma is evoked, shaping identity-based motivation in three ways. Stratification influences which behaviors likely feel congruent with important identities, undermines belief that one’s actions and effort matter, and skews chronic interpretation of one’s experienced difficulties with schoolwork from interpreting experienced difficulty as implying importance (e.g., “it’s for me”) toward implying “impossibility.” Because minority students have high aspirations, policies should invest in de-stigmatizing, scalable, universal, identity-based motivation-bolstering institutions and interventions. [ResearchGate PDF]
Oyserman, D., Lewis, N. A., Jr., Yan, V. X., Fisher, O., O’Donnell, S. C., & Horowitz, E. (2017). An identity-based motivation framework for self-regulation. Psychological Inquiry, 28 (2-3), 139-147. DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2017.1337406
Abstract: Will you be going to that networking lunch? Will you be tempted by a donut at 4 pm? If, like many people, your responses are based on your gut sense of who you are –shy or outgoing, a treat lover or a dieter, you made three assumptions about identity– that motivation and behavior are identity-based, that identities are chronically on the mind, and that identities are stable. If identities have worth and value then people should make sense of their experiences through the lens of these identities. If identities are stable and chronically on the mind, then no matter the setting, meaning making will be stable and people should be able to use their identities to control and regulate themselves. Many conceptual models are based on these assumptions. But just because these assumptions are common and useful does not mean they are correct. Identity-based motivation theory predicts that identity stability is a useful illusion but that thinking about the self is for doing –identity accessibility and content is flexibly attuned to contextual constraints and affordances. What is stable is not the content or structure of the self or the accessibility of a particular self-content or self-structure, but rather the motivation to use the self to make meaning. This flexibility is a design feature, not a flaw. Identities orient and focus attention on some features of the immediate context and render other features irrelevant or meaningless. Identity-based motivation theory provides a new way to understand self-regulation by focusing on how immediate context shapes which identities and self-concepts are on the mind what identities imply for meaning making. [ResearchGate PDF]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Oyserman, D. (2016). Using Identity-Based Motivation to Improve the Nation’s Health Without Breaking the Bank. Behavioral Science and Policy, 2(2), 25-38.
Abstract: For the first time in two decades, overall life expectancy in the United States is in decline. Perhaps most unsettling, this increase in mortality is largely due to lifestyle-associated diseases such as heart attack and stroke. In the interest of both the nation and individuals, it is imperative to use every behavioral science tool possible to prevent further population health declines. While most people aspire to live healthy lives, many, especially those in lower socioeconomic groups, fail to sufficiently engage in behaviors necessary to achieve or maintain good health. In this paper we define and outline a social psychology theory, identity-based motivation, as a useful framework for healthcare providers and others to use to support uptake and maintenance of healthy lifestyles. We review research demonstrating how small changes in the health care context and in the presentation of health care information can assist at-risk individuals and help them see themselves as partners in health with health care providers, reducing the likelihood that difficulties along the way will be misinterpreted as meaning that health is impossible. We provide health-supporting and disparity-reducing policy recommendations targeting providers, insurers, and public health initiatives. [ResearchGate PDF]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Sekaquaptewa, D. (2016). Beyond Test Performance: A Broader View of Stereotype Threat. Current Opinion in Psychology, 11, 40-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2016.05.002
Abstract: Stereotype threat is the “social psychological threat that arises when one is in a situation or doing something for which a negative stereotype about one’s group applies” (Steele, 1999). Although much of the research on stereotype threat has focused on how stereotype threat affects test performance, its original conception described a much broader and more general phenomenon. In this article we review stereotype threat research, taking a broader view on threat beyond the realm of test performance, focusing on its antecedents (e.g. environmental stereotype cues) and consequences (e.g., effects on interracial interactions). Interventions have also focused primarily on improving or preserving test performance, indicating the need for interventions that address the broader consequences of threat. [ResearchGate PDF]
Lewis, N. A., Jr., & Oyserman, D. (2015). When Does the Future Begin? Time Metrics Matter, Connecting Present and Future Selves. Psychological Science, 26, 816-825. DOI: 10.1177/0956797615572231
Abstract: People assume they should attend to the present; their future self can handle the future. This seemingly plausible rule of thumb can lead people astray, in part because some future events require current action. In order for the future to energize and motivate current action, it must feel imminent. To create this sense of imminence, we manipulated time metric – the units (e.g. days, years) in which time is considered. People interpret accessible time metrics in two ways: If preparation for the future is under way (Studies 1 and 2), people interpret metrics as implying when a future event will occur. If preparation is not under way (Studies 3-5), they interpret metrics as implying when preparation should start (e.g. planning to start saving 4 times sooner for a retirement in 10,950 days instead of 30 years). Time metrics mattered not because they changed how distal or important future events felt (Study 6), but because they changed how connected and congruent their current and future selves felt (Study 7). [ResearchGate PDF] [Supplemental Materials] [Statcheck Report] [Altmetric]