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  1. From “Ridiculous” to “Glad to Have Helped”: Debriefing News Delivery and Improved Reactions to Science in Milgram’s “Obedience” Experiments

    Commentators on Milgram’s classic and controversial experiments agree that better integration of theories of “obedience to authority” with current archival research on participants’ viewpoints is essential in explaining compliance. Using conversation analysis, we examine an archived data source that is largely overlooked by the Milgram literature, yet crucial for understanding the interactional organization of participants’ displayed perspectives. In hundreds of interviews conducted immediately after each experiment, participants received one of two types of debriefing: deceptive or full.
  2. Definitions and the Development of Theory in Social Psychology

    Formal definitions specify what is necessary and sufficient for the identification of a particular term. These formal definitions use precise language and do not admit contradictions; they are exact class. There are multiple advantages of exact class definitions. They enable us to confidently use deductive arguments so we can ensure that the terms in the premises match the terms in the conclusion. They prevent sloppiness and circularity of logic. They also help us look beyond common sense or what we think we already know.
  3. Stereotype Threat and Educational Tracking: A Field Experiment in Chinese Vocational High Schools

    Educational tracks create differential expectations of student ability, raising concerns that the negative stereotypes associated with lower tracks might threaten student performance. The authors test this concern by drawing on a field experiment enrolling 11,624 Chinese vocational high school students, half of whom were randomly primed about their tracks before taking technical skill and math exams. As in almost all countries, Chinese students are sorted between vocational and academic tracks, and vocational students are stereotyped as having poor academic abilities.
  4. Not in Your Backyard! Organizational Structure, Partisanship, and the Mobilization of Nonbeneficiary Constituents against “Fracking” in Illinois, 2013–2014

    In the interest of enlarging their constituencies, social movements often broaden mobilization efforts beyond the directly aggrieved, beneficiary populations. The authors examine this process through an analysis of a movement against unconventional oil and gas development (UOGD or “fracking”) in Illinois. Using data on more than 37,000 public comments submitted during a regulatory review of fracking, the authors examine the composition of the antifracking movement’s constituency.
  5. Status Threat, Material Interests, and the 2016 Presidential Vote

    The April 2018 article of Diana Mutz “Status Threat, Not Economic Hardship, Explains the 2016 Presidential Vote,” was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and contradicts prior sociological research on the 2016 election. Mutz’s article received widespread media coverage because of the strength of its primary conclusion, declaimed in its title. The present article is a critical reanalysis of the models offered by Mutz, using the data files released along with her article.
  6. Marriage, Social Control, and Health Behavior: A Dyadic Analysis of Same-sex and Different-sex Couples

    Prior research based on studies of heterosexual populations suggests that men’s health benefits more from marriage than women’s, in part because women do more than men to influence the health habits of their spouse. We extend this work by using dyadic survey data from 838 spouses in 419 gay, lesbian, and heterosexual marriages to consider differences in social control tactics across same-sex and different-sex couples—that is, how spouses monitor and regulate each other’s health habits.
  7. Who’s on Top? Gender Differences in Risk-Taking Produce Unequal Outcomes for High-Ability Women and Men

    Research shows that men are more likely to take risks than women, but there is scant evidence that this produces gender inequality. To address this gap, I analyzed engineering exam scores that used an unusual grading procedure. I found small average gender differences in risk-taking that did not produce gendered outcomes for students of average or poor ability. But the gender gap in risk-taking among the most competent students reduced the odds that high-ability women received top exam scores.
  8. Villains, Victims, and Heroes in Character Theory and Affect Control Theory

    We examine three basic tropes—villain, victim, and hero—that emerge in images, claims, and narratives. We compare recent research on characters with the predictions of an established tradition, affect control theory (ACT). Combined, the theories describe core traits of the villain-victim-hero triad and predict audiences’ reactions. Character theory (CT) can help us understand the cultural roots of evaluation, potency, and activity profiles and the robustness of profile ratings.
  9. The Beholder’s Eyes: Audience Reactions to Organizational Self-claims of Authenticity

    Organizations normally benefit from being perceived as authentic. Yet an ongoing puzzle persists about self-claims of authenticity: although the weight of findings suggests that individuals will devalue organizations touting themselves as authentic, some findings suggest that such self-claims may be rewarded. The authors suggest that this puzzle can be answered, at least partly, by considering two fundamental but different meanings of authenticity.
  10. Beyond America: Cross-national Context and the Impact of Religious Versus Secular Organizational Membership on Self-rated Health

    Studies using data from the United States suggest religious organizational involvement is more beneficial for health than secular organizational involvement. Extending beyond the United States, we assess the relative impacts of religious and secular organizational involvement on self-rated health cross-nationally, accounting for national-level religious context. Analyses of data from 33 predominantly Christian countries from the 2005–2008 World Values Survey reveal that active membership in religious organizations is positively associated with self-rated health.