Subscribe: Review of General Psychology - Vol 10, Iss 2
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Review of General Psychology - Vol 20, Iss 2

Review of General Psychology publishes innovative theoretical, conceptual, and methodological articles that crosscut the traditional subdisciplines of psychology. The journal contains articles that advance theory, evaluate and integrate research literatur

Last Build Date: Fri, 30 Sep 2016 18:00:00 EST

Copyright: Copyright 2016 American Psychological Association

Does moral identity effectively predict moral behavior?: A meta-analysis.


This meta-analysis examined the relationship between moral identity and moral behavior. It was based on 111 studies from a broad range of academic fields including business, developmental psychology and education, marketing, sociology, and sport sciences. Moral identity was found to be significantly associated with moral behavior (random effects model, r = .22, p < .01, 95% CI [.19, .25]). Effect sizes did not differ for behavioral outcomes (prosocial behavior, avoidance of antisocial behavior, ethical behavior). Studies that were entirely based on self-reports yielded larger effect sizes. In contrast, the smallest effect was found for studies that were based on implicit measures or used priming techniques to elicit moral identity. Moreover, a marginally significant effect of culture indicated that studies conducted in collectivistic cultures yielded lower effect sizes than studies from individualistic cultures. Overall, the meta-analysis provides support for the notion that moral identity strengthens individuals’ readiness to engage in prosocial and ethical behavior as well as to abstain from antisocial behavior. However, moral identity fares no better as a predictor of moral action than other psychological constructs. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

The invest-and-accrue model of conscientiousness.


The current review synthesizes and builds from the extant literature to help explain how and why conscientiousness predicts a vast array of positive life outcomes. Toward this end, we present the Invest-and-Accrue model of conscientiousness, which describes conscientiousness as a disposition toward “investing” in ways that allow for future success. The value of this model is made apparent in its applicability across different life domains, as well as its potential for describing how individuals can change on conscientiousness throughout the life span. Moreover, the model can help explain why conscientiousness is relatively unique from other Big Five traits in its ability to predict positive life outcomes seemingly in any domain. In sum, this model should prove valuable for researchers across psychological disciplines, by providing an organizing framework from which to make connections across findings in personality, social, developmental, organizational, and educational psychology. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

On the autonomy of psychology from neuroscience: A case study of Skinner’s radical behaviorism and behavior analysis.


The main goal of this article is to discuss the place of psychology in the domain of natural sciences as an autonomous endeavor from neuroscience. However, given that psychology is not a monolithic field, it is necessary to specify which particular psychological approach is being taken into account. Here, I take B. F. Skinner’s radical behaviorism and behavior analysis as a case study. The focus on Skinner’s behaviorism can be justified for at least 2 reasons: (a) Skinner is one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, and (b) he is well known for his defense of the autonomy of behavior analysis from neuroscience. The first part of this article is dedicated to the analysis of Skinner’s arguments for the autonomy of behavior analysis from neuroscience in 73 of his works, published between 1933 and 1993. In the second part of this article, I analyze Skinner’s arguments by taking into account contemporary neuroscience. Incredible advances occurred in neuroscience since the 1930s, and even the late 1980s, period in which Skinner developed his ideas. Therefore, it is important to discuss the pertinence of his arguments in light of today’s neuroscience in order to evaluate the validity of his “autonomy” position. I argue that the relation between behavior analysis and neuroscience can shed some light on the more general debate about the relation between psychology and neuroscience by presenting an interesting nonreductionist alternative free of the problems faced by cognitivist theories. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Positive art: Artistic expression and appreciation as an exemplary vehicle for flourishing.


The relevance of the arts to well-being has been recognized within clinical fields, as reflected in therapeutic forms based on various art modalities, from music to drama therapy. However, there has hitherto been little appreciation of the broader potential of the arts as a vehicle for flourishing and fulfillment in fields such as positive psychology. As such, this article proposes the creation of “positive art” as a field encompassing theory and research concerning the well-being value of art. To show the scope and possibilities of this proposed field, the article provides an indicative summary of literature pertaining to 4 major art forms: visual art, music, literature, and drama. Moreover, the article identifies 5 main positive outcomes that are consistently found in the literature across all these forms: sense-making, enriching experience, aesthetic appreciation, entertainment, and bonding. The article aims to encourage a greater focus on the arts in fields such as positive psychology, enabling science to more fully understand and appreciate the positive power of the arts. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Reconciling and thematizing definitions of mindfulness: The big five of mindfulness.


[Correction Notice: An Erratum for this article was reported online in Review of General Psychology on Jul 11 2016 (see record 2016-33699-001). In the original article, there was an error in the abstract. The second core element of the concept of mindfulness yielded by the analysis was incorrectly listed as “nonjudgmental attitude.” It should be “present-centeredness.” The online version of this article has been corrected.] Mindfulness is an emerging concept in many professions and spheres of social life. However, mindfulness (or sati in Buddhism) can connote many plausible meanings. Thus, the concept is not easily defined and the definitions provided in the literature easily confuse the reader. Some mindfulness researchers offer definitions whereas others do not and take the definition of mindfulness for granted. Beyond the problem of defining mindfulness, the fact that the phenomenon is of great interest to various disciplines, each of which has its own theoretical and methodological approaches, different authors use different terms in describing this phenomenon. In the present article 33 definitions of mindfulness were extracted from a pool of 308 peer-reviewed full-length theoretical or empirical articles written in English, published between 1993 and March 2016, after systematic searches in Google Scholar, PsycARTICLES, and SocINDEX. The definitions were analyzed with a particular focus on the defining attributes or core elements of the concept of mindfulness. The analysis yielded 4 core elements of awareness and attention, present-centeredness, external events, and cultivation. Furthermore, an additional core element emerged from this analysis as being absent in Western definitions of mindfulness. This formed the basis for formulation of a new definition of mindfulness with an emphasis on ethical-mindedness. We argue that this core element is instrumental in filling in the gap that exists in current Western definitions, and with highlighting this element we hope to bridge the Western and Buddhist notions of mindfulness. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Creativity, automaticity, irrationality, fortuity, fantasy, and other contingencies: An eightfold response typology.


A 4-decade long research program that had started out focusing on creative genius unexpectedly produced a general response typology potentially applicable to the average person on the street. In particular, attempts to define both creativity and noncreativity resulted in an eightfold typology of everyday human thought and behavior. Given any situation that may evoke a response, the alternative outcomes can be distinguished according to their initial probability, actual utility, and the person’s prior knowledge of that utility. These 3 parameters then yield 8 major types of outcomes: (a) routine, reproductive, or habitual responses (based on acquired life and work expertise); (b) fortuitous responses (such as uninformed response biases); (c) irrational perseveration (or failing to learn from past mistakes); (d) problem finding (such as violations of expert expectations); (e) irrational suppression (refusing to do what’s good for you); (f) creative or productive thoughts and behaviors (original, useful, and surprising responses); (g) rational suppression (such as those due to previous response extinction); and (h) mind wandering and behavioral exploration (such as fantasy, tinkering, and play). These distinct responses exhibit important interrelationships. For example, although habitual responses are antithetical to creative thought and behavior, creativity is fostered by problem finding, rational suppression, and mind wandering or behavioral exploration. Moreover, because the 3 parameters can assume continuous values between 0 and 1 inclusively, the typology allows for more finely differentiated thoughts and behaviors, including “satisficing” decisions that fall short of utility optimization as well as tentative hunches residing between absolute ignorance and certain knowledge. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)