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Walton, Gregory M. (Gregory Mariotti)

Works: 15 works in 15 publications in 1 language and 20 library holdings
Genres: Educational films  Nonfiction films 
Roles: Thesis advisor
Publication Timeline
Publications about Gregory M Walton
Publications by Gregory M Walton
Most widely held works by Gregory M Walton
Diversity : helping outsiders become insiders ( visu )
1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 5 libraries worldwide
"Greg Walton describes how simple interventions can help outsiders feel like insiders"--Container
Cultural variation in choice and its consequences : implications for decision making, victim blaming, and social policies by Krishna Mukundrai Savani( file )
1 edition published in 2010 in English and held by 2 libraries worldwide
Choice is one of the most important categories of actions, both in American society in general and in the specific fields of psychology and economics. Extensive research over the past century has examined how people make choices, but the question of whether and when an action counts as a choice remains unstudied. While most scientists assume that whether an action counts as a choice is based upon the objective availability of multiple options, the present research tests whether what counts as a choice is also a matter of construal, a construal that is shaped by cultural models of agency. Studies 1 to 6 find that people in U.S. American contexts, where the disjoint model of agency is prevalent, are more likely than those in Indian contexts, where the conjoint model of agency is prevalent, to construe behaviors as choices. In Study 1, Americans reported making significantly more choices during the day than did Indians. In Studies 2 and 3, after the experimenter subtly induced participants to engage in the same series of behaviors, Americans were again more likely than Indians to construe their actions as choices. In Study 4, while watching a video of an actor spending time in his apartment, Americans identified the actor as making significantly more choices than did Indians. In Studies 5a and 5b, Americans were even more likely and Indians were even less likely to construe more important real life decisions as choices. In Study 6, Indians also showed a greater tendency to construe actions as choices when these actions involved responding to other people than when they did not, but Americans were equally likely to construe personal and interpersonal actions as choices. These findings show that whether people construe actions as choices is significantly shaped by sociocultural systems of meanings and practices. Studies 7 to 12 examined some of the positive and negative consequences of construing actions as choices in American contexts. Based upon the idea that choice and control are key components of the disjoint model of agency, these studies tested whether inducing Americans to construe actions as choices makes them more likely to make personal, interpersonal, and societal decisions under the assumption of personal control. Studies 7 and 8 found that inducing Americans to construe another person's actions as choices led them to make more risk-seeking and ambiguity-seeking decisions, which have been associated in previous research with increased perceived control. Studies 9 and 10 found that inducing Americans to construe another person's actions as choices led them to blame victims of negative life outcomes for making bad choices, reflecting the assumption that people have control over their actions and outcomes. Finally, Studies 11 and 12 found that inducing Americans to construe another person's actions as choices led them to oppose social policies benefiting society at the cost of individual liberty, but to support social policies enhancing individual freedom. Together, these studies document that whether an action counts as a choice is a matter of construal to a significant extent, and whether people construe actions as choices has profound psychological consequences, both positive and negative. The findings suggest that the existing societal trend of framing more and more issues as matters of choice is unlikely to have universally positive consequences, and might also have a variety of unanticipated negative consequences
"I want to try and try" : increasing achievement motivation in young children by Allison Leigh Master( file )
1 edition published in 2011 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
Motivation to learn plays a critical role in students' academic success. This dissertation reports five experiments (N = 250) that increase children's motivation (specifically, challenge seeking and persistence) through storybooks. The first two studies examined how manipulating the similarity between the main character of a story and the participating child affected preschoolers' (Study 1) and kindergarteners' (Study 2) motivation as assessed by the choice of and persistence on challenging puzzles. Study 2 also compared effects for struggling versus non-struggling students. Study 3 examined whether persuasion would increase challenge seeking, when children convince someone else of the value of taking on challenges and persisting. Study 4 examined effects over time, and found that children showed a robust boost in challenge seeking two weeks later, especially those who were reminded of the original book. Study 5 examined whether the effects could be due to a particular aspect of the books, process praise, which sends a message that effort and persistence are effective and valued. Increasing children's motivation at a young age may set the stage for future academic achievement, creating a cycle of positive motivation and academic success
Who can improve? A target's race dictates perceptions of potential for growth by Cynthia Steel Levine( file )
1 edition published in 2012 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
People regularly judge others' potential for growth in deciding who to hire, promote, admit, or parole. Yet research on racial stereotyping has focused on trait judgments in the moment and has largely ignored how race influences judgments about growth over time. Historically, Blacks have been portrayed as lacking the potential to grow, and in this paper, I test the hypothesis that they are still seen this way. In Studies 1-3, Black targets were judged to have less potential to improve compared to White targets even when they were viewed similarly in the present and even for non-stereotypical traits. In Study 4, priming with Black faces increased participants' endorsement of the view that people are fixed. Finally, Study 5 addressed implications for societal policies. Together, this research reveals a new dimension of how a target's race may affect person perception
When bias and threat persistently interact : a holistic approach to understand the lingering effects of stereotypes by Jason Okonofua( file )
1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
Can social-psychological theory provide insight into the extreme racial disparities in school disciplinary action in the United States? Disciplinary problems carry enormous consequences for the quality of students' experience in school, opportunities to learn, and ultimate life outcomes. This burden falls disproportionately on students of color. Integrating research on stereotyping and on stigma, I theorize that bias and apprehension about bias can build on one another in school settings in a vicious cycle that undermines teacher-student relationships over time and exacerbates inequality. This approach is more comprehensive than accounts that consider the predicaments of either teachers or students but not the two in tandem; it complements nonpsychological approaches; and it gives rise to novel implications for policy and intervention. It also extends prior research on bias and stigmatization to provide a model for understanding the social-psychological bases of inequality more generally
The first-name bias : ethnic-minority first names evoke social stereotypes by Dushiyanthini (Toni) Kenthirarajah( file )
1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
In many important decisions, such as for citizenship, criminal sentencing, admissions, and hiring, decision-makers have ready access to individuals' names. How do names affect person perception? We explored the hypothesis that the ethnic associations of first names function like social category labels: People use first names as a cue to a person's affiliation with minority or mainstream American culture. They then may apply ethnic social stereotypes and, in some cases, make discriminatory downstream judgments on this basis. In 7 experimental studies, we examine this first-name bias across three contexts: a) perceptions of who belongs in America (e.g., among Hispanic applicants, is Juan more suitable for U.S. citizenship than an otherwise identical John?), b) beliefs about whether individuals with ethnic-minority names conform to social stereotypes (e.g., among Asian-American students, is Zhou-Ling viewed as smarter than an otherwise identical Angela?), and c) discrimination in criminal sentencing (e.g., among African American defendants, is Jamal sentenced more harshly than an otherwise identical Jake for a violent crime?). An additional archival study of prison records revealed that even given equivalent criminal histories, African American inmates with stereotypically African American names received significantly longer sentences than both African American inmates with Anglo names and European American inmates. Together these studies show that the first-name bias is a robust effect that occurs across diverse names in the lab (66 different name pairs in 7 experiments) and in the real world (209 distinct names of African American inmates in the archival study). The first-name bias persisted across different types of judgment tasks, levels of processing, and in a variety of important social contexts, including immigration, school, the workplace, and the courtroom. This work reveals a nuanced form of bias and an especially ironic bias -- a bias that arises from perhaps the most individuating piece of information about an individual, their first name
From tiger moms to effective teamwork : how interdependent motivation can power action by Alyssa Fu( file )
1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
In three separate but interrelated sets of studies of this dissertation research, I examine interdependent motivation--or action toward a goal that derives from the input of others. One factor that can facilitate interdependent motivation is an interdependent mindset, or understanding that others are part of the self. Part 1 examines how Asian American compared to European American high school students experience interdependent motivation from the input of close others, namely their mothers, and how interdependence can explain this motivation for Asian Americans. Part 2 examines how the construction of situations of parental influence in the U.S. and India can explain differences in interdependent motivation, and how people's interpretation of these situations reflect their interdependent and independent mindsets. Part 3 compares how Asian American and European American pairs of university students work together on a collaborative task of creative problem solving. It also examines whether manipulating mindsets can facilitate interdependent motivation. We show that people who are likely to have habitual interdependent mindsets--East Asian Americans, South Asians, and South Asian Americans--benefit from the input of others who they feel are a part of themselves and perform relatively well. In contrast, people who are likely to have habitual independent mindsets--European Americans--are more likely to experience others, even close others, as separate from themselves and have more difficulty the input of others to facilitate their performance. Together the three sets of studies have implications for why Tiger Mothers can motivate Asians but not European Americans, and why European Americans often struggle when tasks require collaboration
What neighborhoods signal about race : norms of racial residential segregation, biological conceptions of race, and preferences for same race neighbors by Rebecca Celeste Hetey( file )
1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
Forty-five years after racial residential segregation was outlawed, we might expect America's neighborhoods to be fully integrated. Segregation, however, persists. Across five studies, I explore how the prevalence of segregation can fuel its own perpetuation by setting powerful descriptive norms. In Study 1, when participants were exposed to information about high rates of residential segregation in the United States, they conformed and expressed significantly stronger preferences for same race neighbors than those exposed to low rates of segregation. Further, this normative information changed individuals' conceptions of race. In Study 2, learning that segregation is common, rather than uncommon, caused participants to endorse a more essentialized or biological conception of race. This conception of race as biological was itself significantly associated with preferences for same race residential contact in Studies 3 and 4. Further in Study 5, I demonstrated that biological conceptions of race can cause preferences for racially segregated neighborhoods. This work illustrates that physical arrangements of racial groups within residential spaces can shape preferences for social contact with members of different races and can signal how essential race is as a category
Prejudice without prejudice? Beliefs about the malleability of prejudice shape cross-race interactions by Priyanka Bangard Carr( file )
1 edition published in 2012 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
Prejudiced behavior is typically seen as emanating from individuals' prejudiced attitudes. This dissertation reports nine studies that find that majority-group members' beliefs about the malleability of prejudice can create prejudiced behavior, above and beyond people's actual prejudice. In Study 1, I developed and validated a new scale to measure individuals' beliefs about the malleability of prejudice-- their beliefs about whether prejudice is amenable to change or not. Using this scale, Study 1 found that majority-group members' beliefs about the malleability of prejudice predict their interest in engaging in cross-race interactions and their interest in activities that touch upon race or diversity. Those who believed prejudice was relatively fixed or unchangeable (those who possessed a fixed belief) were less interested in these interactions and activities than those who thought prejudice could change (those who possessed a malleable belief). Studies 2-4 replicated the central finding of Study 1: A belief that prejudice is fixed was associated with less interest in cross-race interactions. Further, Studies 2-4 clarified that the effects are driven by people's beliefs about their prejudice. The reported association emerged above and beyond majority-group members' explicit prejudice (Study 2), internal and external motivation to respond without prejudice (Study 3), and beliefs about the malleability of personality in general (Study 2). In addition, Study 3 found that people's own beliefs about prejudice rather than their perceptions of other people's beliefs about prejudice are associated with interest in cross-race interactions. Study 4 elucidated that people's beliefs about their own group's rather than other groups' prejudice contributes to the reported effects. Study 5 examined behaviors in cross-race interactions and found that majority-group members with a more fixed rather than malleable belief about prejudice, though they were no more implicitly prejudiced, were more avoidant and anxious in cross-race interactions (but not same-race ones). Study 6 found that a fixed belief about prejudice is also associated with disinterest in working to reduce prejudice. The next set of studies manipulated majority-group members' beliefs about the malleability of prejudice to establish the causal relationship between these beliefs and behaviors related to cross-race interactions. In Study 7, I developed a new method for changing beliefs about prejudice and found that those taught prejudice is fixed were less interested in engaging in cross-race interactions than those taught it is malleable. Study 8 found that this effect of a fixed belief on decreased interest in cross-race interactions was mediated by heightened concerns about revealing prejudice to oneself and others. Last, Study 9 discovered that majority-group members who were taught that prejudice does not change, compared to those who were taught it is malleable, were more anxious--as seen through their behavioral and physiological responses--and less friendly in a cross-race interaction (but not a same-race one). This research indicates that negative intergroup behaviors--avoiding people of other races, disinterest in reducing prejudice, and anxiety in cross-race interactions--are not always rooted in prejudice: People's beliefs about the malleability of prejudice, even among those low in prejudice, can cause them to exhibit prejudiced behaviors. This new perspective has important implications for improving intergroup relations and equity
Cross-cultural understanding : an examination on its measurement, teachability, and application by Xiao Zhang( file )
1 edition published in 2016 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
Markus and Kitayama's seminal work (1991) on the independent and interdependent self-way has greatly benefited psychologists in understanding and interpreting cultural differences observed in the East and the West in the past decades. But it is unclear how much insight lay people have about this framework. How well do people from independent and interdependent cultures understand each other? I studied this question with two cultures that had been used frequently in past research: The mainstream American culture (an example of independent culture) and the traditional Chinese culture (an example of interdependent culture). I developed a scale that measured independent/interdependent cultural understanding, and used it to examine and compare Chinese and American people's understanding of each other (Study 1). I found that, in general, American participants were more "accurate" in their cross-cultural understanding than Chinese participants, and while Americans tended to stereotype the Chinese culture, the Chinese were more likely to project their own cultural values on Americans. I then looked at whether we could teach people about the independent/interdependent framework to help them gain insight into the other culture (Study 2). I found that learning about the framework led American participants to exaggerate the difference between Chinese and American culture. Lastly, I selected one cross-cultural setting to examine whether greater insight would lead to better cross-cultural interaction (Study 3), and found that cultural insight did not readily translate into culturally appropriate behaviors. Taken together, these studies begin to look at lay people's understanding of culture and of other cultures. It creates a space for research and discussion of how psychologists can best help people to understand and appreciate other cultures and "culture" itself as a construct that shapes and is shaped by every one of us
Believe the change you wish to see in the world : the role of implicit theories in targets' responses to explicit bias by Aneeta Rattan( file )
1 edition published in 2011 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
What motivates targets of prejudice to confront people who express explicit bias? This dissertation reports the results of eight studies investigating this question. In the first three studies, I tested the hypothesis that targets who hold an incremental theory of personality (i.e., the belief that people can change) are more likely to confront prejudice than targets who hold an entity theory of personality (i.e., the belief that people have fixed traits). In Study 1, targets' implicit theories predicted whether they spontaneously confronted an individual who expressed bias. Study 2 replicated this effect and showed that incremental theorists were less likely to anticipate withdrawing from future interactions with an individual who expressed prejudice. In Study 3, I manipulated implicit theories and replicated these findings. Next, I explored one potential explanation for why. I tested the hypothesis that incremental theorists would be more likely to view confronting as effective in creating change than entity theorists, even if both did so. In Study 4, targets who held a more incremental theory reported being more likely to confront prejudice and anticipated their behavior to be more effective. Study 5 elicited African American adults' retrospective accounts of encounters with bias while Studies 6-7 used a hypothetical scenario to expose participants to evidence of someone who had expressed bias either remaining the same or changing over time. The pattern of results across these studies revealed that even when entity and incremental theorists enact the same (actual or anticipated) confronting behavior, it is exclusively the incremental theorists who view this behavior as more efficacious. Study 8 investigated whether implicit theories play a causal role in perceptions of the efficacy of confronting. All targets expressed disagreement with a biased statement, but those in the incremental theory condition expressed the belief that speaking up would create change to a significantly greater degree than did those in the entity theory condition. By highlighting the central role that implicit theories play in targets' motivation to confront prejudice and their perceptions of whether confronting is effective, this research has important implications for intergroup relations and social change
Using social connections for employment purposes : a U.S. / Middle East comparison of networking and nepotism by Ezgi N Akcinar( file )
1 edition published in 2015 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
Both in the U.S. and Turkey, social connections are widely used for employment purposes, and in both countries, the prospect of finding a job is greatly increased through the use of social connections. Yet, how social connections are used significantly differs based on the larger cultural context. Independent cultures are often viewed as meritocratic whereas interdependent cultures are criticized as nepotistic. While significant evidence for differences in employment practices between independent and interdependent cultures exists, it is not clear what differentiates networking from nepotism. A framework that can explain the underlying reasons and mechanisms of cultural differences in employment practices is currently lacking. In the present dissertation, the use of social connections for employment purposes is analyzed in a novel framework of Free Agent vs. Committed Agent Models. These models situate the differences between employment practices in independent Western and interdependent Middle Eastern contexts. In the Free Agent Model, self is construed as autonomous and separate from others, and self-realization motives are emphasized. As Free Agents do not have strong influence over each other, the only way to ensure success is through individual merit. On the other hand, in the Committed Agent Model, self is construed as fundamentally connected with others, and group achievement motives are emphasized. As a result, people feel morally obliged to help ingroup members; not sharing one's resources is seen as selfish and insincere. In return, even after employment, benefactors have influence over job seekers. Thus, success is a collective action and individual merit is not central in the employment process. In this dissertation, hypotheses derived from specific subsections of the Free Agent vs. Committed Agent Models were tested to determine whether they adequately explained differences in employment practices between the U.S. (a Western sample) and Turkey (a Middle Eastern sample). Importantly, the models predict that when individual merit and professional principles clash with family obligations and interpersonal relations, participants in these two cultures will respond differently. Taken together, studies conducted in the present dissertation provide strong empirical support for the framework of the Free Agent vs. Committed Agent Models to understand differences between employment practices in independent and interdependent cultures, namely networking and nepotism. Results indicate that Committed Agents ensure the group outcome through mutual obligations and influence over each other, while Free Agents ensure self-realization through individual merit. Given these models, networking and nepotism can be seen as functional equivalents with certain differences stemming from the relative levels of importance given to independence and interdependence in different cultural contexts as well as socioeconomic environments. These differences can be systematically understood, analyzed, and even manipulated through the lens of the Free Agent vs. Committed Agent Models
Leveraging intuitive theories to teach nutrition to young children by Sarah Gripshover( file )
1 edition published in 2014 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
A large body of research in cognitive development suggests that from early in life, children construct coherent belief systems, or intuitive theories, to understand, predict, and explain the world. Gripshover and Markman (2013) harnessed this insight to create an intervention tailored for teaching young children that foods have different nutritional profiles--no one food provides all the nutrients the body needs--and therefore we need a variety of healthy foods. Learning this framework required children to overcome gaps and misconceptions in their developing intuitive theories, but children nevertheless learned and generalized this new theory, used it to explain the importance of variety, and even ate more vegetables at snack time. The current research demonstrates that the materials are likely to be appropriate educational for a wide range of populations of preschool to first-grade children (Study 1), that children spontaneously appeal to the conceptual framework to explain a wide range of novel facts and claims (Study 2), and that the intervention may even encourage children to recognize the importance of individual ingredients in determining the health value of composite dishes, such as stew and salad (Study 3). Together, these results provide a model of how to construct and evaluate health education materials that teach young children the science behind health-related domains such as nutrition
Parents' views of failure as good or bad predict children's growth and fixed mindsets by Kyla Haimovitz( file )
1 edition published in 2016 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
Children's mindsets about intelligence (as fixed or malleable) robustly influence their motivation and learning. Yet, surprisingly, research has not linked parents' intelligence mindsets to their children's. We test the hypothesis that a different belief may be more visible to children (parents' failure mindsets) and therefore more prominent in shaping children's beliefs. Study 1 shows that parents can view failure as debilitating or enhancing, and these failure mindsets predict parenting practices and in turn children's intelligence mindsets. Study 2 probes more deeply into how parents display failure mindsets. Study 3 replicated these findings and additionally showed that parents who view failure as enhancing also reported more emotional responses to a similar scenario. Study 4 revealed that children can indeed accurately perceive their parents' failure but not intelligence mindsets. Study 5 showed that children's perceptions of their parents' failure mindsets also predicted their own intelligence mindsets. Finally, Study 6 showed a causal effect of parents' failure mindsets on responses to their child's hypothetical failure. Overall, parents who see failure as debilitating focus on children's performance and ability rather than learning, and this predicts whether their children believe that intelligence is fixed or malleable
Scaled-up social psychology : intervening wisely and broadly in education by David Paunesku( file )
1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 library worldwide
Over the last several decades, research has examined how students' beliefs about school and about their own abilities affect their academic goals, motivation, and achievement (for reviews see, Dweck, Walton, & Cohen, 2011; Farrington et al., 2012). It has also investigated how these beliefs and associated patterns of behavior can be influenced through interaction with others (Gunderson et al., 2013; Linnenbrink, 2005; Mueller & Dweck, 1998; Turner et al., 2002) and through precise, psychological interventions (J. Aronson, Fried, & Good, 2002; Blackwell, Trzesniewski, & Dweck, 2007; Cohen, Garcia, Apfel, & Master, 2006; Good, Aronson, & Inzlicht, 2003; Walton & Cohen, 2007, 2011; Wilson & Linville, 1982, 1985; Yeager & Walton, 2011). This research has focused on the educational context, but it has provided rich, generalizable insights. It has revealed a complex cross-section of the ways in which individuals' worries and motivations interact with their social environments to affect their behavior and major life outcomes. The education context is in many ways ideal for the study of psychology. There are unambiguous, regularly-collected, socially meaningful outcomes; there are complex, but consistently structured relationships; and there is diversity, yet commonality, in people's aspirations and concerns. The schoolhouse has always been a rich source of data for psychologists (Berliner, 2006; Davidson & Benjamin, 1987). However, as computers increasingly saturate education, the schoolhouse and its contemporary equivalents provide unprecedented opportunities for psychological researchers: Opportunities to make a measurable and socially meaningful impact on the lives of students and teachers; opportunities to display to society at large the benefits of a careful, psychologically-wise approach to solving social problems; and opportunities to learn about psychological theory by pushing its predictions to the limit in new contexts and at new scales of operation. This dissertation investigates these opportunities from several different perspectives. Chapter 1 focuses on education as a context for psychological research: I elaborate on the factors that make education a rich context for psychological research, and I describe how researchers have used this context to apply and to further basic psychological theory. In Chapter 2, I focus on the the benefits, challenges, and methods of large-scale research. Chapters 3-5 each present data from a different, large-scale efficacy study. Chapter 3 presents a study of the robustness and generalizability of two social psychological interventions across a sample of over 1500 students from 13 socio- demographically heterogeneous schools. Chapter 4 describes the process of selecting and customizing psychological interventions to address psychological obstacles to success in community college math. Chapter 5 tests the efficacy of psychologically wise encouragement in a sample of over 250,000 online learners. In Chapter 6, I explore how the local context influences students' responses to a growth mindset intervention and the relationship between individual students' mindsets and achievement. Finally, Chapter 7 reviews what we have learned about psychology through recent large-scale studies in education; it considers what new areas deserve exploration; it provides loose estimates for the economic impacts of psychological interventions in schools; and it discusses psychological interventions as a vehicle for large-scale social change
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