Welcome and Outstanding Postgraduate Research Award

Trying to Reconcile When We Don’t See Eye-To-Eye: The Impact of Divergent Narratives on Victim and Offender Engagement

Rossi, C. E. (Flinders University)

In justice processes like restorative justice, mediation, and couples counselling, victims and offenders are often brought together to discuss the wrongdoing that has occurred. The goal of these interactions is to resolve each other’s psychological needs resulting from the wrongdoing by finding some common ground around what happened. This process is important to move towards reconciliation. However, research suggests that offenders and victims tend to hold different perspectives of wrongdoings. In five studies utilising qualitative, experimental, and dyadic paradigms, I explored the nature of narrative divergence and its impact on engagement between the pair. First, I replicated and extend on previous research, showing that offenders’ and victims’ recall of wrongdoings systematically diverge. Second, the experimental data suggested that these divergences have negative implications for reconciliation in both imagined and dyadic-interactive settings. This research provides empirical evidence of how divergent narratives of victims and offenders occur and why they are barriers to achieving reconciliation.


Toward a triadic understanding of charitable giving: How donors, beneficiaries, fundraisers, and social contexts influence donation decisions

Chapman, C. M. (University of Queensland)

My research applies social psychological theories about intergroup relations to investigate the process and outcomes of charitable giving. Moving beyond the traditional focus on studying donors, I use diverse methods (5 surveys, 3 experiments, a thematic analysis, and a conceptual review; combined N = 5,466 people from 117 countries) to show that charitable giving is triadic, relational, and contextualized. That is, decisions about donations are informed by a triad of actors (donors, beneficiaries, and fundraisers), the relationships between them, and the wider social context. Key findings are: (1) beneficiaries affect donor choices, with relationships (e.g., shared identities) between donors and beneficiaries being especially important; (2) social contexts (e.g., norms, government policy, advocacy) affect charitable responses by influencing the donor’s self-conceptions, feelings, and identification with beneficiaries; and (3) fundraisers—who request donations for beneficiaries—also influence giving responses in important ways. In addition to empirical evidence, I will present a new theoretical model of charitable giving—the charitable triad—that generates novel hypotheses for how donors, beneficiaries, and fundraisers relate to one another and inform giving. This program of research demonstrates the triadic nature of giving, setting a new agenda for both future research on charitable giving and fundraising practice.

Twitter: @CM__Chapman


Reframing perfectionism in disordered eating from a social psychological perspective: A study series using qualitative, correlational, and experimental methods

Bouguettaya, A. (Deakin University)

Socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP) is a risk factor for disordered eating behaviour and attitudes in young women. Research in this domain has largely considered SPP as a personal trait, despite a wealth of research suggesting that this is in fact, a social norm. Across three studies with varying methods, our research sought to examine how SPP could be considered from a social identity approach, and how this approach could reduce SPP. Our qualitative study indicated that SPP was a norm within valued groups, with our correlational study showing that SPP from valued groups linked with thin ideal internalisation (an attitude linked to disordered eating). Our experimental study used blog posts to present anti-perfectionism messages to reduce SPP within a valued identity (female identity). This study showed that an anti-perfectionism message from a woman only reduced SPP when an opposing pro-perfectionism message came from a man. When both the anti-perfectionism message and the pro-perfectionism message from women, SPP did not change (compared to control). This research suggests that clinical constructs traditionally construed as intra-personal may be social norms, and targeting these norms by using context-aware normative messages may aid traditional clinical approaches.


Twitter: @a_bouguettaya


Sleep Tight and Don’t Let the Socio-Economic Inequality Bite: Does Sleep Mediate Social Class Differences in Mental and Physical Health?

McGuffog, R. (The University of Newcastle)

A substantial body of research indicates that people from lower social classes tend to have poorer health than people from higher social classes. Several different explanations of this relationship have been explored. However, one explanation that has not been thoroughly investigated relates to social class differences in sleep. The present studies investigated sleep as a mediator of the negative association between social class and health problems. All four studies (N = 1,822) involved quantitative online self-report surveys conducted with undergraduate university and TAFE students. The results revealed that sleep quality, sleep duration, sleep disturbances, presleep worries, and sleep variability mediated the relationship between social class and physical and mental health. These mediation effects occurred, even when controlling for a wide range of covariates. The mediation effect of sleep was as strong as or stronger than other possible mediators of the relation between social class and health. These results imply that sleep may help to explain social class differences in health, and they highlight the importance of addressing sleep issues in lower class individuals.


Twitter: @RomanyMcGuffog

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