A Brief Snapshot of SPSP 2019 (Part 1)

Session at SPSP 2019

By Lucy Zheng

The annual SPSP Convention is always fun, but there are so many lunches, poster sessions, workshops, and symposia that it’s hard to learn about all the research. If you weren’t able to clone yourself and attend every single talk and symposia, fear not! We have compiled an assortment of research from this year’s talks to share the SPSP community. Faculty and graduate students were kind enough to provide us with snippets of their ongoing work on identity, attachment, R packages, and relationships – see below! 
** This is in no way the range or overview of all symposia and speakers**
“We introduce a new R package, rties, that provides several relatively easy-to-use statistical models for developing and testing theories about interpersonal dynamics. The models include Inertia-Coordination and a Coupled-Oscillator. We demonstrate the package by using it to test whether emotional dynamics in romantic couples can predict, or be predicted by, the partner's interpersonal goals of empathizing or influencing each other.” 
-- Emily Butler, University of Arizona
“Although the number of single people outnumbers coupled people, single people tend to experience worse well-being compared to coupled people. But why? Evidence from three studies (total N = 4642) suggests that compared to coupled people, single people experience lower well-being because they perceive lower social support from close others, as well as greater discrimination and negative treatment from people they interact with. These results provide novel insights about how social support and societal stigma equally play an important role in determining single peoples’ well-being.”
-- Yuthika Girme, Simon Fraser University
“While we enter and live in our workplaces, we develop a work identity while bringing with us other elements of our identity (e.g. gender identity, family identity, sexual orientation, etc.). Unfortunately, some of the aspects of our selves can enter in conflict with our work environment due to the presence of negative stereotypes. As a response to this threat, we tend to separate our work identity from the threatened identity. In a large cross-sectional study and in a longitudinal study, we have observed that stereotype threats lead to a loss of identity integration and this in turn leads to a significant and negative change in organizational commitment and individual well-being.”
-- Claudia Manzi, Catholic University of Milan, Italy
“Attachment theory helps explain how people experience and cope with four existential concerns: mortality, meaninglessness, isolation, and lack of freedom. There is evidence that evidence that heightened awareness of each of the four existential concerns activates the attachment system (i.e., motivates “proximity seeking”). Moreover, research has revealed that consistent individual differences in attachment-system functioning (attachment orientations) shape how people experience, think about, and cope with existential concerns. Specifically, the higher the sense of attachment security, the more adaptive a person's responses to existential concerns.” 
-- Mario Mikulincer, Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya
 “In an experience sampling study, participants are repeatedly “beeped” to complete surveys about their in-the-moment experiences—but when we’re bombarding them with 40-60 surveys in a week, they don’t always respond. Missed beeps can be a problem if participants are missing reports for reasons that are related to what you’re studying (e.g., if you’re studying happiness, but participants don’t respond when they’re in a bad mood). We used an unobtrusive audio recorder to capture participants’ behaviors even when they did not complete the reports, and found relatively few systematic predictors of whether or not participants completed a given report.”
-- Jessie Sun, University of California, Davis
"Past research (Herrmann & Varnum, 2018a) demonstrates that first-generation college students who have high social class bicultural identity integration (SES-BII)—meaning that their working class (home) and middle class (college) identities are harmonious and compatible—have improved health, well-being, and academic performance. The research featured in this talk revealed that exposure to more adults with college degrees in their home neighborhoods was a significant predictor of identity integration. Additionally, we found that the effect of identity integration on academic performance was mediated by academic self-efficacy, such that FGC students with more integrated identities felt more capable of doing their schoolwork and, in turn, had increased performance.”
-- Sarah Herrmann, Weber State University
“Do individual differences in how people think about their own identities influence outcomes in negotiations with other people? Using a dyadic negotiation paradigm, we found that individuals who perceive greater integration between their multiple selves (i.e., higher identity integration) achieve greater individual gains; moreover, dyads who have higher identity integration, on average, achieve greater joint gains. These findings suggest that overcoming conflict between competing interests within the self may support more integrative approaches between individuals.”
-- Sarah Huff, Amherst College
More snippets from SPSP 2019 coming in Part 2 next month. Stay tuned!