This study investigated the determinants of exchange anxiety in close relationships—generalized worries that one’s partner will replace him/her with a more suitable person. We hypothesized that exchange anxiety would increase when individuals compare themselves with others who are more competent (experiencing upward social comparisons), especially in environments where they cannot easily find alternative relationships (environments with low relational mobility). By experimentally manipulating the type of social comparison, the results from Study 1 revealed that undergraduates (n＝299) living in environments with low relational mobility felt stronger exchange anxiety when they experienced upward social comparison than downward social comparison. In Study 2, an online survey was conducted with a sample of adults living in either urban or rural areas (n＝1000). The results showed that the frequency of upward social comparison was positively associated with exchange anxiety and that this tendency was moderated by the combined effect of relational mobility and trait self-esteem. These results suggest that the characteristics of one’s interpersonal environments affect the impact of the perceived risk of being replaced on exchange anxiety in one’s close relationships.
Using two consecutive trait judgments on the same trait word for self and other within a relational context, Ishii (2009) found slower responses for initial judgments about the other (e.g., a “friend”) when they were inconsistent with the second judgments about the self (e.g., a “self-with-friend”). This finding suggests that the overlapping representation of self and other (Aron, Aron, Tudor, & Nelson, 1991) could also be true of the relational aspect of the self. However, similar slow responses were observed between trait judgments about the other and the self in an irrelevant relational context (e.g., “father” and “self-with-friend”). The current report presents a replication of Ishii’s findings in Study 1. Study 2 uses stimulus persons within the same category (i.e., “father” and “mother” as parents), and finds slower responses among every combination of trait judgment about the self and the other, suggesting a preference for categorical over person-wise judgments. The distinctiveness of interpersonal relationships and a possible differentiation of self-representation, exerted by different relational contexts, are discussed.
Our purpose is to examine the affect-free claim in terror management theory. Lambert et al. (2014) reported findings that disconfirm the claim that mortality salience (MS) manipulation does not produce any changes in self-reported affect including negative affect, which is the affect-free claim. As a conceptual replication of their findings, we conducted three studies to examine whether MS manipulation influences self-reported mood. Participants in Study 1 were college students, while Studies 2 and 3 included individuals in their 20s and 50s who were recruited using a web survey. Multiple-choice questions (Studies 1 and 2) and open-ended questions (Study 3) were used as experimental manipulation. Through these three studies, it was shown that MS manipulation elevated negative mood regardless of the experimental manipulation type and participants’ age. In these studies, participants did not demonstrate a cultural worldview defense. Results suggest that we should reconsider the affect-free claim in terror management theory.
This study investigated the effect of a player’s regulatory focus on his/her preference for cooperation and prosociality in a social dilemma situation. After the manipulation of regulatory focus, participants chose cooperation (remaining silent) or defection (betrayal) in simultaneous and sequential Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD) tasks based on a traditional scenario of prison sentence rewards. Participants in the prevention focus condition showed more defection than did those in the promotion focus and the control conditions. In the sequential PD task, a greater number of participants in the prevention focus condition used an egoistic strategy (i.e., consistent defection) as the second movers than did those in the promotion focus and the control conditions, who tended to use a conditional cooperation strategy. These findings suggest that prevention-focused players show a less strong preference for cooperation and behave more selfishly when the pay-off matrix is loss-framed.