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General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[News release] People tend to locate the self in the brain or the heart—and it affects their judgments and decisions

People tend to locate the self in the brain or the heart—and it affects their judgments and decisions.

From the 20 May 2015 Rice University news release

Whether people locate their sense of self in the brain or the heart can have a major influence on their decision-making, according to a new study by management and business experts at Rice University and Columbia University.

Overall, the study found people tend to locate the self in the brain.

The paper, “Who You Are Is Where You Are: Antecedents and Consequences of Locating the Self in the Brain or the Heart,” will be published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

“We view our research as a first step toward reviving the debate about which part of our body contains the seat of the self – a debate that dates back to the ancient Greek philosophers,” said Hajo Adam, an assistant professor of management at Rice’s Jones Graduate School of Business. “Our findings demonstrate not only that the preference for the brain versus the heart as the location of the self systematically depends on a person’s self-construal — meaning the perceptions that individuals have about their thoughts, feelings and actions in relation to others — but also that the location of the self has important implications for people’s opinions on contentious medical issues as well as prosocial contributions.”

Adam co-authored the paper with Otilia Obodaru, an assistant professor of management at the Jones School, and Adam Galinsky, the Vikram S. Pandit Professor of Business and chair of the management division at Columbia’s business school.

The authors’ research consisted of eight studies exploring the antecedents and consequences of whether people locate their sense of self in the brain or the heart. Their hypothesis was that although people generally tend to locate their sense of self in the brain, this preference is significantly stronger for people with an independent self-construal than for people with an interdependent self-construal.

People with an independent self-construal tend to assert the autonomous nature of the self, realize their internal attributes and influence their environment. In pursuit of these self-relevant goals, these people often engage in thoughts, conversations and behaviors that are conceptually related to the brain. In contrast, people with an interdependent self-construal tend to be part of a group, maintain harmonious relationships and adjust to others. In pursuit of these self-relevant goals, these people often engage in thoughts, conversations and behaviors that are conceptually related not only to the brain, but also to the heart.

– See more at: http://news.rice.edu/2015/05/20/study-people-tend-to-locate-the-self-in-the-brain-or-the-heart/#sthash.QmCCnNEt.dpuf

May 28, 2015 Posted by | Psychology | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Study Shows That Reading Expands Our Self-Concepts

From the 24 April 2011 Medical News Today article

“We read to know we are not alone,” wrote C.S. Lewis. But how do books make us feel we are not alone?

“Obviously, you can’t hold a book’s hand, and a book isn’t going to dry your tears when you’re sad,” says University at Buffalo, SUNY psychologist Shira Gabriel. Yet we feel human connection, without real relationships, through reading. “Something else important must be happening.”

In an upcoming study inPsychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Gabriel and graduate student Ariana Young show what that something is: When we read, we psychologically become part of the community described in the narrative – be they wizards or vampires. That mechanism satisfies the deeply human, evolutionarily crucial, need for belonging. …

April 25, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , | Leave a comment

   

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