Max received a B.A. in psychology at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, which is also where he received his PhD in social psychology. As a political psychologist, he has three lines of research: one looks at the interplay between values and inter-group attitudes (e.g., how ideology and prejudice are related), one looks at the psychological consequences of social changes (e.g., how people react to demographic shifts and cultural changes), and one is about research methodology.
Robb Willer, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
In COVID-19 Health Messaging, Loss Framing Increases Anxiety with Little-to-No Concomitant Benefits: Experimental Evidence from 84 Countries.
The COVID-19 pandemic (and its aftermath) highlights a critical need to communicate health information effectively to the global public. Given that subtle differences in information framing can have meaningful effects on behavior, behavioral science research highlights a pressing question: Is it more effective to frame COVID-19 health messages in terms of potential losses (e.g., "If you do not practice these steps, you can endanger yourself and others") or potential gains (e.g., "If you practice these steps, you can protect yourself and others")? Collecting data in 48 languages from 15,929 participants in 84 countries, we experimentally tested the effects of message framing on COVID-19-related judgments, intentions, and feelings. Loss- (vs. gain-) framed messages increased self-reported anxiety among participants cross-nationally with little-to-no impact on policy attitudes, behavioral intentions, or information seeking relevant to pandemic risks. These results were consistent across 84 countries, three variations of the message framing wording, and 560 data processing and analytic choices. Thus, results provide an empirical answer to a global communication question and highlight the emotional toll of loss-framed messages. Critically, this work demonstrates the importance of considering unintended affective consequences when evaluating nudge-style interventions.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s42761-022-00128-3
View details for PubMedID 36185503
The Multiple-Matching Perspective on Value Versus Identity: Investigating How Political Ideology and Party Identity Contribute to Citizens' Support for Political Candidates.
Personality & social psychology bulletin
Past studies on how political value (i.e., ideology) and identity (i.e., party identity) predict support for candidates often fail to consider both the perspectives of citizens and candidates, introducing omitted variable problems. To address them, this paper introduces the multiple matching perspective, which considers how citizens' ideology and political identity are matched (i.e., moderated) by a candidate's ideology and party affiliation. Four studies using this approach reveal: 1. The effect of ideology match is large, robust, and consistent. 2. candidates' ideology plays more role than candidates' party identity except during the final stage of a presidential race. 3. Citizens' party identity can guide them to support a candidate based on the candidate's ideology (Republicans will support conservatives), but it is less so for the reverse of it (conservatives do not always support Republicans). Therefore, this approach helps theory-building in political psychology by uncovering novel effects of ideology and partisanship.
View details for DOI 10.1177/01461672221121381
View details for PubMedID 36113113
- Author Correction: A multi-country test of brief reappraisal interventions on emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Nature human behaviour 2022
- Perceived Muslim population growth triggers divergent perceptions and reactions from Republicans and Democrats GROUP PROCESSES & INTERGROUP RELATIONS 2022
Antecedents and consequences of COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs: A systematic review.
Social science & medicine (1982)
2022; 301: 114912
RATIONALE: Belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories can have severe consequences; it is therefore crucial to understand this phenomenon, in its similarities with general conspiracy belief, but also in how it is context-dependent.OBJECTIVE: The aim of this systematic review is to provide a comprehensive overview of the available research on COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs and to synthesise this research to make it widely accessible.METHODS: We present a synthesis of COVID-19 conspiracy belief research from 85 international articles, identified and appraised through a systematic review, in line with contemporary protocols and guidelines for systematic reviews.RESULTS: We identify a number of potential antecedents of COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs (individual differences, personality traits, demographic variables, attitudes, thinking styles and biases, group identity, trust in authorities, and social media use), their consequences (protective behaviours, self-centred and misguided behaviours such as hoarding and pseudoscientific health practices, vaccination intentions, psychological wellbeing, and other negative social consequences such as discrimination and violence), and the effect sizes of their relations with the conspiracy beliefs.CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that understanding both the potential antecedents and consequences of conspiracy beliefs and how they are context-dependent is highly important to tackle them, whether in the COVID-19 pandemic or future threats, such as that of climate change.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2022.114912
View details for PubMedID 35354105
- Politicians' Ideology Matters More Than Their Race in Determining the Association Between White Identity and Evaluation of the Politicians SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL AND PERSONALITY SCIENCE 2022; 13 (5): 978-993
Stereotypes About Political Attitudes and Coalitions Among US Racial Groups: Implications for Strategic Political Decision-Making
PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN
2022; 48 (9): 1349-1366
What are people's expectations of interracial political coalitions? This research reveals expectations of flexible interracial coalitions stemming from how policies and racial groups are viewed in terms of perceived status and foreignness. For policies seen as changing societal status (e.g., welfare), people expected Black-Hispanic political coalitions and viewed Asian Americans as more likely to align with Whites than with other minorities. For policies seen as impacting American identity (e.g., immigration), people expected Asian-Hispanic coalitions and that Black Americans would align with Whites more than other minorities. Manipulating a novel group's alleged status and cultural assimilation influenced coalitional expectations, providing evidence of causality. These expectations appear to better reflect stereotypes than groups' actual average policy attitudes and voting behavior. Yet these beliefs may have implications for a diversifying electorate as White Americans strategically amplified the political voice of a racial group expected to agree with their personal preferences on stereotyped policies.
View details for DOI 10.1177/01461672211037134
View details for Web of Science ID 000684698000001
View details for PubMedID 34384287
A multi-country test of brief reappraisal interventions on emotions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nature human behaviour
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased negative emotions and decreased positive emotions globally. Left unchecked, these emotional changes might have a wide array of adverse impacts. To reduce negative emotions and increase positive emotions, we tested the effectiveness of reappraisal, an emotion-regulation strategy that modifies how one thinks about a situation. Participants from 87 countries and regions (n=21,644) were randomly assigned to one of two brief reappraisal interventions (reconstrual or repurposing) or one of two control conditions (active or passive). Results revealed that both reappraisal interventions (vesus both control conditions) consistently reduced negative emotions and increased positive emotions across different measures. Reconstrual and repurposing interventions had similar effects. Importantly, planned exploratory analyses indicated that reappraisal interventions did not reduce intentions to practice preventive health behaviours. The findings demonstrate the viability of creating scalable, low-cost interventions for use around the world. PROTOCOL REGISTRATION: The stage 1 protocol for this Registered Report was accepted in principle on 12 May 2020. The protocol, as accepted by the journal, can be found at https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4878591.v1.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41562-021-01173-x
View details for PubMedID 34341554