American Sociological Association

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  1. Keep Your Enemies Close? Study Finds Greater Proximity to Opponents Leads to More Polarization

    Encouraging adversaries to have more interpersonal contact to find common ground may work on occasion, but not necessarily in the U.S. Senate, according to new research.

  2. Why and How Inequality Matters

    In this article, I share some thoughts about how we might extend the study of mental health inequalities by drawing from key insights in sociology and sociological social psychology about the nature of inequality and the processes through which it is produced, maintained, and resisted. I suggest several questions from sociological research on stratification that could help us understand unexpected patterns of mental health inequalities.

  3. Research Opportunities

    Social psychology offers abundant opportunities for developing new understandings through research. In my career, many people and circumstances have brought opportunities that initiated, supported, and improved investigations. I illustrate that process with selected instances from my research on interpersonal behavior, theory development, and applications of theoretical work. Our field demonstrates many ways that explicit theory is preferable to common sense, and it also shows the importance of caution and discipline in applying theoretical knowledge for practical ends.

  4. Justice Standard Determines Emotional Responses to Over-Reward

    How do people feel when they benefit from an unfair reward distribution? Equity theory predicts negative emotion in response to over-reward, but sociological research using referential standards of justice drawn from status-value theory repeatedly finds positive emotional responses to over-reward.

  5. Discrimination in Lending Markets: Status and the Intersections of Gender and Race

    Research documents that lenders discriminate between loan applicants in traditional and peer-to-peer lending markets, yet we lack knowledge about the mechanisms driving lenders’ behavior. I offer one possible mechanism: When lenders assess borrowers, they are implicitly guided by cultural stereotypes about the borrowers’ status. This systematically steers lenders toward funding higher status groups even when applicants have the same financial histories.

  6. Effects of Heterogeneity and Homophily on Cooperation

    The article provides a micro-behavioral model and an experimental design to understand the effect of heterogeneity in social identities on cooperation while accounting for endogenous sorting. Social identity is induced exogenously using the minimal group paradigm. The experiment manipulates sorting with three treatments: having subjects interact with both in- and outgroup members, giving them the choice to interact either with ingroup or outgroup members, and isolating the groups from the outset.

  7. Priming Effects and Performance Expectations in Mixed-Sex Task Groups

    I report the results of a laboratory experiment in which I examine the relationship between cognitive categorization processes and status-organizing processes, focusing on how seemingly irrelevant information becomes relevant to the informational structure of a task situation. In phase one, participants completed a task in which they were primed with photographs of women occupying either stereotypical or counter-stereotypical roles. In phase two, participants, along with a partner, completed a collective decision-making task.

  8. Exceptional Outgroup Stereotypes and White Racial Inequality Attitudes toward Asian Americans

    Stereotypes of outgroups help create social identificational boundaries for ingroups. When the ingroup is dominant, members employ individualist sentiments to justify their status. In this study, we build on advances in social psychological research that account for multiple outgroup stereotypes. We argue the Asian American model minority stereotype is analogous to the "cold but competent" position of perceptions toward Asians in Fiske’s stereotype content model.

  9. Working the Boardwalk: Trust in a Public Marketplace

    This article argues that trust emerges as a key interactional mechanism through which vendors, artists, and performers that work in a public marketplace turn daily conditions of uncertainty into enduring stability. Drawing on four years of ethnographic data, I empirically illustrate a process of building, maintaining, and protecting trust. Following trust from the level of one-on-one interaction through to the level of a community, I expose the particular interactional work trust does for different people across different situations.

  10. Threat, Opportunity, and Network Interaction in Organizations

    This article examines how uncertain situations of threat or opportunity influence people’s choices to interact with their colleagues in an organization. The threat/opportunity lens encompasses two conceptually distinct dimensions, gain/loss and control/limited control, which are hypothesized to produce different patterns of network interaction. Two experimental studies—one involving 158 leaders in a health-care organization and the other involving 129 employees in a range of smaller establishments—provided support for the proposed conceptualization.