Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

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18 posts · 8,584 views

Recent social psychology research conducted by Mark Rubin, a senior lecturer at the University of Newcastle, Australia

Mark Rubin
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  • October 15, 2014
  • 04:38 AM
  • 80 views

How You Feel About People is Related to How You Feel About Cities

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

There are numerous structural factors that influence people’s attitudes towards cities. However, these factors may be constituents of broader sociocultural “questions” that people ask about their cities.  For example, residents’ concern about the transport and entertainment venues of a city might form part of a broader social psychological concern about the potential for the city to accommodate their need to meet friends and socialize with others. Alternatively, people might focus on a ........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2014
  • 12:02 AM
  • 334 views

“I am Working-Class”: Self-Identification as a Measure of Social Class in Educational Research

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Governments around the world are trying to open up higher education to working-class people. For example, in January this year, the White House released a report titled: "Increasing college opportunity for low-income students: Promising models and a call to action." In the context of this general push towards widening participation in higher education, my colleagues and I have been developing a research project that aims to investigate social class differences in social integration among student........ Read more »

  • February 8, 2014
  • 08:39 PM
  • 325 views

Spock's Not One of Us! Exploring the In-Group Overexclusion Effect

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

We all belong to many different social groups. Most of the time, it's fairly easy to work out who belongs to which group. But sometimes it's not that clear. In this post, I consider the mysterious effect that social psychologists have dubbed the in-group overexclusion effect.... Read more »

  • January 11, 2014
  • 04:29 AM
  • 250 views

In-Group Favouritism can be used to Get Even as well as to Get Ahead

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Social identity theory assumes that we compete with other social groups in order to achieve a relatively high social status. But recent research reveals that in-group favoritism can also be used to achieve equality and fairness between groups.... Read more »

  • August 3, 2013
  • 03:01 AM
  • 347 views

Boys Don’t Cry, But They Can Be Sensitive! Behavioural Descriptions of Counterstereotypical People Cause Greater Prejudice than Personality Descriptions

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Stereotypes are pretty useful things! We use them to help us to understand and respond to people from a large and diverse array of social groups. But how do people feel about individuals who buck the trend and contradict stereotypes? For example, how do people feel about a man who is crying or a woman who is smoking a cigar!... Read more »

  • March 3, 2013
  • 09:17 PM
  • 505 views

“It Wasn’t My Idea to Come Here”: Young Women Lack Ownership of the Idea to Immigrate

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Together with getting married and buying a house, the decision to immigrate is one of the most important decisions that a person can make. So, it’s important that immigrants feel that they have satisfactory input into the process of deciding whether or not to migrate. In some recent research, I looked at a very early stage of this decision-making process: ownership of the idea to immigrate.... Read more »

  • December 4, 2012
  • 07:00 AM
  • 473 views

“They’re all the Same!”...But for Several Different Reasons

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

People often get confused between members of the same social group because “they all look the same!” In a recent review, Constantina Badea and I looked at the various reasons for this group homogeneity effect.... Read more »

  • December 3, 2012
  • 05:30 AM
  • 423 views

The Disproportionate Influence of Negative Intergroup Encounters on Prejudice

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog



Back in February, I wrote about some research in which my colleagues and I showed that negative experiences with people from other groups are better at drawing attention
to the people's group memberships than positive experiences (Paolini, Harwood, & Rubin, 2010). In other words, if you have a negative encounter with someone from another group, then you are more likely to think about their group memberships (e.g., their gender, race, nationality, etc.) than if you have a positive encounte........ Read more »

Barlow, F., Paolini, S., Pedersen, A., Hornsey, M., Radke, H., Harwood, J., Rubin, M., & Sibley, C. (2012) The Contact Caveat: Negative Contact Predicts Increased Prejudice More Than Positive Contact Predicts Reduced Prejudice. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 38(12), 1629-1643. DOI: 10.1177/0146167212457953  

  • May 16, 2012
  • 02:28 PM
  • 465 views

Let’s Show Them the Ropes: Why University Friends May Help Australia’s New Intake of Working-Class Students to Succeed

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog



Like the USA and UK, Australia is currently
attempting to increase the number of working-class students at its universities.
I have
recently published a short piece in Higher
Education Research and Development in which I argue that Australia’s social and education
researchers need to focus their efforts on identifying the best approaches towards
facilitating these students’ success at uni (Rubin, 2012). In particular, we need to consider
how to increase the social integration of working-cl........ Read more »

  • March 29, 2012
  • 11:55 AM
  • 521 views

And the Winners Are...All the Same! Why Winning Groups Are Stereotyped

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog





In some recent research,
my colleagues and I investigated whether people stereotype winning groups more
than losing groups. In other words, do people perceive the members of winning
groups to be more similar to one another than the members of losing groups? Traditionally, social psychologists have assumed that it is low status groups, low power groups, and minority
groups that bear the brunt of stereotyping with more positive, high status,
high power, majority groups being considered as uniq........ Read more »

  • March 13, 2012
  • 02:29 AM
  • 599 views

Working-Class Students Are Left Out at Uni

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

In a review paper published this month, I report the results of a meta-analysis of 35 separate studies that surveyed over 62,000 university students, mostly in the United States. I found that there was a significant positive relation between students’ social class (socioeconomic status) and the degree of social integration that they experience at their universities and colleges.



The higher students’ social class, the more likely they were to participate in formal social activities such as........ Read more »

  • March 11, 2012
  • 12:38 AM
  • 453 views

Immigrants Should Be Independent and Proactive to Achieve Better Social Integration

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog


Previous research has
shown that immigrants who approach, rather than avoid, social stimuli are more
likely to have positive attitudes toward integrating with people in their host
country (Matschke & Sassenberg, 2010). In some recent research, my colleagues and I investigated whether
immigrants’ problem-solving style was also involved in this relationship.



We asked 137 Australian immigrants to complete
measures of approach vs. avoidance orientation and independent vs. interdependent
pr........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2012
  • 07:49 PM
  • 464 views

High Status Groups are the Most Prototypical

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog





Imagine an average, typical person
walking down the street. Imagine them speaking on their mobile phone as they
walk and waving at a friend who rides past on a bike.



Well done! Good imagining!! Now,
what is the gender of your imaginary person? My guess is that it is a man
rather than a woman! Why? Well, there is some evidence that people tend to
perceive men as having a higher status than women and, in a recent research study,
I found that people tend to perceive high status groups as bei........ Read more »

  • March 3, 2012
  • 04:22 PM
  • 1,062 views

A Scale to Measure Independent and Interdependent Problem-Solving

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

My colleagues and I have recently developed a general purpose measure of dispositional preferences for independent and interdependent problem-solving called the Independent-Interdependent Problem-Solving Scale (IIPSS; Rubin, Watt, & Ramelli, in press). The scale distinguishes between independent problem-solvers, who prefer to work on their own when solving problems, and interdependent problem-solvers, who prefer to consult with other people.... Read more »

  • March 1, 2012
  • 04:48 PM
  • 869 views

Holding Hands Triggers Help-Seeking Tendencies

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Have you ever driven around lost for hours before eventually stopping to ask somebody for directions? If you have, then you're probably quite an independent, self-reliant sort of person. But your personality may not be the only thing that determines whether you ask people for help. I recently reported research that suggests that our intentions to seek help from others may be influenced by some fairly subtle cues in our environment.... Read more »

Rubin, M. (2011) Social affiliation cues prime help-seeking intentions. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science/Revue canadienne des sciences du comportement, 43(2), 138-141. DOI: 10.1037/a0022246  

  • March 1, 2012
  • 01:46 AM
  • 473 views

A Scale to Measure the Influence of Demand Characteristics in Research Situations

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog





Demand characteristics are cues in a researcher's design,
materials, or procedure that allow their research participants to guess their
hypotheses. They are a problem because, if participants become aware of the
research hypotheses, then they may respond in a way that they believe will
confirm the hypotheses in order to be "good" participants and not
"ruin" the research (Orne, 1962). These unnatural responses can
compromise the ecological validity of the research. In other words,
participant........ Read more »

Rubin, M., Paolini, S., & Crisp, R. (2010) A processing fluency explanation of bias against migrants. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(1), 21-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.09.006  

  • February 28, 2012
  • 05:32 AM
  • 433 views

Prejudice Against Migrants: Is It Because They're Too Hard to Think About?

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog



In some recent research, my colleagues and I showed that bias against migrants is
related to how easy people find it to think about migrants.


We asked research participants to imagine a situation in which
people were randomly divided into two very abstract social groups called
“Group A” and “Group B”. Participants then imagined that, through a
process of random selection, some people stayed in their original group
(i.e., non-migrant individuals) and some people changed to the ot........ Read more »

Rubin, M., Paolini, S., & Crisp, R. (2010) A processing fluency explanation of bias against migrants. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(1), 21-28. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.09.006  

  • February 28, 2012
  • 05:23 AM
  • 508 views

Positive and Negative Experiences with Members of Other Groups

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

When people have positive experiences with members of another group, they
tend to generalize these experiences from the group member to the group as a whole. This process of member-to-group generalization results in less
prejudice against the group. Notably, however, researchers have tended to ignore what
happens when people have negative experiences with group members. 


In a recent article, my colleagues
and I proposed that negative experiences have an opposite but stronger effect
on pe........ Read more »

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