In this presentation, I will present my PhD. research on moral cognition. How do people judge moral dilemmas? Two specific moral dilemmas are addressed: 1) How do people judge stealing, especially in the situation of physical theft versus digital theft (e.g. copyright infringement). 2) How do people judge killing; especially when killing one life can save multiple others (aka the Trolley problem). I will argue that the peculiar patterns of moral judgment that these problems elicit are best explained by the evolutionary Mismatch hypothesis. In defense of this thesis, I will showcase four dissertation chapters: 1) an EEG study on how (fast) people judge instances of theft vs. copyright infringement. 2) Behavioral studies, digging deeper into the actual determinants of the moral dissociation between physical and digital theft, 3) Similar behavioral studies on the Trolley problem. 4) Propose a symbolic logical framework as a language to formalize evolutionary aspects of moral cognition; and contemplate on potential ramifications this logical language could have for ethical philosophy: what can this research say (if anything) about what actually distinguishes right from wrong.
Citizens across the globe widely believe conspiracy theories in which powerholders or societal groups are accused of immoral and illegal conduct. In the current presentation, I highlight four basic principles that characterize belief in conspiracy theories. These four principles are summarized through the acronym CUES: Conspiracy theories are Consequential as they have a real impact on people’s health, relationships, and safety; they are Universal as belief in them is widespread across times, cultures, and social settings; they are Emotional as negative emotions and not rational deliberations cause conspiracy beliefs; and, they are Social as conspiracy beliefs are closely associated with psychological motivations underlying intergroup conflict. At the end of my talk I illuminate how the social sciences may help design interventions to reduce conspiracy theories among the public.
Effective Religious Leadership: Can leader-characteristics predict the vitality of religious communities?
Religious leaders are considered to be of great importance within their religious communities. Due to a lack of empirical data concerning the characteristics and functioning of religious leaders, it is not yet possible to define and identify the factors predicting effective religious leadership. Nevertheless, two recent studies suggest personality to be a predictor of effective religious leadership as Christian leaders working in increasing ecclesial contexts (i.e. church plants) appear to differ from leaders working in decreasing ecclesial contexts (i.e. more traditional churches) with regard to personality characteristics (Foppen, Paas, and van Saane, 2017; 2018).
In this meeting, we want to present our current project on effective religious leadership that, in the wake of our previous pilot studies, aims to carry out a thorough, large-scale, quantitative research to investigate possible predictors of effective religious leadership.
How I Treat You Depends on Whether You Are Above or Below Me? Conceptualizing and Measuring Kiss-Up-Kick-Down Behaviors in Organizations
During your career, you probably already have come across a leader who only treated those people well who might help them to get ahead in the organization, and at the same time this leader was not so nice toward people who were below him or her in the hierarchy. Yet, despite the widespread recognition of this phenomenon in the daily life of everyone who is working, this phenomenon is currently under-theorized. We formally define the behavioral configuration of abusing lower-level subordinates and flattering higher-level supervisors as “Kiss-Up-Kick-Down” (KUKD) leadership. In our talk, we elaborate on the theoretical foundation of this phenomenon and present work-in-progress on the development of a scale to measure KUKD behaviors in organisations.
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Be there, or be square
Simon Columbus will discuss the dynamics of emotions and situation perceptions in negotiations. He will present results from an initial laboratory experiment on hiring decisions in which he found that negotiators accurately infer power from unambiguous emotional reactions to outside offers. He will also present the outline of a planned large-scale real-time negotiation study in which he will manipulate structural conflict and power in dyadic negotiations to test situational effects on emotional expressions, inferences about interdependence, and negotiation outcomes