Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Brownbag: Dr. Christina Starmans (UofT)

 We welcomed Dr. Christina Starmans from the University of Toronto on November 9th to give a talk at our weekly Social-Personality Brownbag series. 

She gave a talk entitled: How Temptation Makes Us Moral. Please see her website for more details about her research program!




Abstract: People often know the right thing to do, but also feel tempted to do the wrong thing: to cheat on our taxes or our spouses, lie to avoid trouble, or to skip out on a promise. How do these struggles with temptation affect our moral judgments? Two opposing answers to this question arise from two strands of moral philosophy. One might agree with Aristotle, who argued that an act should only be considered moral if it is easy for the actor to do. Or one might side with Kant, who argued that an action is only truly moral if it is difficult—actions done simply out of desire should not count as particularly moral. Which of these philosophies—if either—captures our everyday moral psychology. To explore these questions, I will review a series of studies examining how both adults and young children reason about inner conflict and temptation. The first series of studies reveals that in many cases, adults take a Kantian perspective on temptation, and judge that someone who has acted morally in the face of temptation deserves more moral credit than someone who acted morally and was never tempted to be immoral. Conversely, children (aged 3-8 years) take a more Aristotelian stance, and give more moral credit to the person who was never tempted to act immorally. I will then discuss a series of studies exploring what factors lead to children’s moral judgments developing into an adult framework, and how these factors may also shed light on adults’ moral reasoning. A final series of studies explores the circumstances under which adults will give others credit for overcoming temptation. The findings above are puzzling in light of other work on adult moral judgments, which find that when someone makes a good moral choice quickly (which suggests that they are not internally conflicted), they are given more moral praise than someone who makes a good moral choice after long deliberation (which suggests that they are internally conflicted). Investigating these conflicting findings reveals that adults, like Kant, consider the presence of (at least some degree of) temptation to be necessary in order for someone to deserve moral credit.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Josh and Dan graduated!

Dr. Joshua Guilfoyle (left) and Daniel Chicchia (right)

Our beloved Dr. Joshua Guilfoyle and Daniel Chiacchia have graduated from the SP program with their PhD and MA, respectively. They have both been a warm and welcoming presence for new and ongoing students in the SP program. 

We are happy (yet sad) to see them go on to bigger and better things! We'll miss you Josh and Dan!


Monday, September 28, 2020

2020-2021 SP Orientation, pandemic-style!

As we all know, 2020 is a little crazy. The SP area gathered for our annual orientation party a little differently this year, but not any less fun! We typically gather for our colloquium brownbag series every Monday from 12:00-1:30, but this year we will be meeting on Zoom.

Thank you to Esther Greenglass, Chantelle, and Stephanie for helping put on what could be the most fun SP Orientation we've ever had, on Zoom! We had many video presentations highlighting the area's members and past memories, where we laughed at and look back on fondly.

Special welcome to our 2 new graduate students this year, Rebecca Dunk (working with Raymond Mar) who is entering her first year of the Masters program, and Kevin Zhou (working with Kerry Kawakami) who is entering his first year of the PhD program.

Welcome to our SP family! It's going to be a weird year, but we are in this together and here for each other :)

Grad students (old and new) in our post-orientation Zoom student hang out!



Monday, September 21, 2020

Dr. Alex West interviews again on CTV!



Newly minted PhD Dr. Alex West did another interview on CTV about her recent publication in the journal, "The Cost of Being “True to Yourself” for Mixed Selves: Frame Switching Leads to Perceived Inauthenticity and Downstream Social Consequences for Biculturals". This time she talks with CTV Angie Seth again and Danielle Ayow, director of "But You're Not Black" documetnary about the experiences and issues being bicultural and biracial.

See the interview here: https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2034081&fbclid=IwAR0PIjjlzAU_cVR0kbm7j2O4vG6ExjYIQPWHS4MR1ahn3HXx_VasZULYqTY

On a roll, Alex!

Monday, August 17, 2020

Dr. Alex West interviews on CTV about recent paper on biculturals!

 



Over the weekend, our newly defended PhD candidate, Dr. Alex West, did an interview on CTV about her recent publication in the journal, Social Psychology and Personality Science, "The Cost of Being “True to Yourself” for Mixed Selves: Frame Switching Leads to Perceived Inauthenticity and Downstream Social Consequences for Biculturals". In her paper, she demonstrates that majority Americans perceive biculturals as inauthentic when they shift and adapt their behaviour according to their two different cultural backgrounds and contexts. This leads to them perceiving biculturals as less likable, trustworthy, and even less likely to consider biculturals as romantic partners.  

In the CTV interview, Dr. Alex West summarizes this research and shares her personal experiences and insights as to how to positively frame frame-switching among biculturals.

More information on the publication here: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1948550620944049?journalCode=sppa

See the interview here: https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2015120


We are very proud of you, Dr. Alex West! :) 

Monday, June 15, 2020

SSHRC post-docs all around for the SP area!

 
 (left to right) Caroline, Meghan and Alex!


The York SP area is very proud to announce that Caroline Erentzen, Meghan George, and Alex West have all secured SSHRC post-doctoral fellowships!! These post-doctoral fellowships are very competitive, and it is an honour to have 3 of those fellowships awarded to our amazing students at York SP.

We are super proud of them! See below for a brief description of their post-doctoral work:

Caroline Erentzen will be working with Aliston Chasteen at University of Toronto. Her post-doctoral research will focus on gendered dimensions of Islamophobia and pursuit of Muslim rights in Canada. She completed her PhD with Regina Schuller.

Meghan George will be working with Sylvia Perry at Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois). Her post-doctoral research will focus on bias-awareness in intergroup interactions. Specifically, she will test interventions aimed at improving interaction quality as judged by both members of an interracial interaction. Her current PhD supervisor is Jen Steele.

Alex West will be working with Sarah Gaither at Duke University (Durham, North Carolina). Her post-doctoral research will focus on developing interventions to improve the perception of authenticity as a flexible, multifaceted self (as opposed to the traditional "one true self"). She hopes to improve both monoculturals' perceptions of biculturals as authentic, as well as bicultural's own sense of authenticity as well. Her current PhD supervisor is Amy Muise.

We wish you three the best at your new institutions! :)

Friday, April 17, 2020

Chanel Meyers starts Assistant Prof position at Whitman College!



Chanel Meyers has accepted an Assistant Professor position at Whitman College, starting August 2020! She is a post-doc working with Kerry Kawakami, and received her PhD at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa.

Awesome job Chanel!!