Stieger, Stefan

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Stefan
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Situational factors shape moral judgements in the trolley dilemma in Eastern, Southern and Western countries in a culturally diverse sample

2022-06, Bago, Bence, Kovacs, Marton, Protzko, John, Nagy, Tamas, Kekecs, Zoltan, Palfi, Bence, Adamkovic, Matus, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich, Tiede, Kevin Erik, Stieger, Stefan

The study of moral judgements often centres on moral dilemmas in which options consistent with deontological perspectives (that is, emphasizing rules, individual rights and duties) are in conflict with options consistent with utilitarian judgements (that is, following the greater good based on consequences). Greene et al. (2009) showed that psychological and situational factors (for example, the intent of the agent or the presence of physical contact between the agent and the victim) can play an important role in moral dilemma judgements (for example, the trolley problem). Our knowledge is limited concerning both the universality of these effects outside the United States and the impact of culture on the situational and psychological factors affecting moral judgements. Thus, we empirically tested the universality of the effects of intent and personal force on moral dilemma judgements by replicating the experiments of Greene et al. in 45 countries from all inhabited continents. We found that personal force and its interaction with intention exert influence on moral judgements in the US and Western cultural clusters, replicating and expanding the original findings. Moreover, the personal force effect was present in all cultural clusters, suggesting it is culturally universal. The evidence for the cultural universality of the interaction effect was inconclusive in the Eastern and Southern cultural clusters (depending on exclusion criteria). We found no strong association between collectivism/individualism and moral dilemma judgements.

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The Emergence and Volatility of Homesickness in Exchange Students Abroad : A Smartphone-Based Longitudinal Study

2019-06, Götz, Friedrich M., Stieger, Stefan, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich

Previous research on the determinants of homesickness has tended to produce inconsistent results and relied mostly on cross-sectional assessments. To capture the longitudinal perspective, we conducted a smartphone app-based study, monitoring the emergence and volatility of homesickness in international university exchange students (n = 148). Applying an experience sampling method (ESM), homesickness was measured every second day over a period of 3 months followed by a post hoc questionnaire to assess potential moderators. Multilevel modeling revealed that whereas age, Extraversion, Conscientiousness, Openness to Experience, voluntariness, previous stays abroad, support from host university, geographical distance, co- and host national identification, language proficiency, and pre-data collection duration of stay did not yield any effects, being male, scoring high on Neuroticism as well as Agreeableness, having difficulties in sociocultural adaptation, and being at the beginning of the stay (as opposed to later on) were related to higher levels of homesickness. Corroborating the latter finding, curve estimation regression analyses showed that homesickness normally peaks immediately after relocation and fades away afterward. Together with the low overall intensities of homesickness found in the present sample, the results suggest that homesickness is a common but mild adverse by-product of international student mobility.

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Can smartphones be used to bring computer-based tasks from the lab to the field? : a mobile experience-sampling method study about the pace of life

2018-12, Stieger, Stefan, Lewetz, David, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich

Researchers are increasingly using smartphones to collect scientific data. To date, most smartphone studies have collected questionnaire data or data from the built-in sensors. So far, few studies have analyzed whether smartphones can also be used to conduct computer-based tasks (CBTs). Using a mobile experience-sampling method study and a computer-based tapping task as examples (N = 246; twice a day for three weeks, 6,000+ measurements), we analyzed how well smartphones can be used to conduct a CBT. We assessed methodological aspects such as potential technologically induced problems, dropout, task noncompliance, and the accuracy of millisecond measurements. Overall, we found few problems: Dropout rate was low, and the time measurements were very accurate. Nevertheless, particularly at the beginning of the study, some participants did not comply with the task instructions, probably because they did not read the instructions before beginning the task. To summarize, the results suggest that smartphones can be used to transfer CBTs from the lab to the field, and that real-world variations across device manufacturers, OS types, and CPU load conditions did not substantially distort the results.

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Indirect (implicit) and direct (explicit) self-esteem measures are virtually unrelated : A meta-analysis of the initial preference task

2018, Pietschnig, Jakob, Gittler, Georg, Stieger, Stefan, Forster, Michael, Gadek, Natalia, Gartus, Andreas, Kocsis-Bogar, Krisztina, Kubicek, Bettina, Lüftenegger, Marko, Olsen, Jerome

Background
The initial preference task (IPT) is an implicit measure that has featured prominently in the literature and enjoys high popularity because it offers to provide an unobtrusive and objective assessment of self-esteem that is easy to administer. However, its use for self-esteem assessment may be limited because of weak associations with direct personality measures. Moreover, moderator effects of sample- and study-related variables need investigation to determine the value of IPT-based assessments of self-esteem.

Methods
Conventional and grey-literature database searches, as well as screening of reference lists of obtained articles, yielded a total of 105 independent healthy adult samples (N = 17,777) originating from 60 studies. Summary effect estimates and subgroup analyses for potential effect moderators (e.g., administration order, algorithm, rating type) were calculated by means of meta-analytic random- and mixed-effects models. Moreover, we accounted for potential influences of publication year, publication status (published vs. not), and participant sex in a weighted stepwise hierarchical multiple meta-regression. We tested for dissemination bias through six methods.

Results
There was no noteworthy correlation between IPT-based implicit and explicit self-esteem (r = .102), indicating conceptual independence of these two constructs. Effects were stronger when the B-algorithm was used for calculation of IPT-scores and the IPT was administered only once, whilst all other moderators did not show significant influences. Regression analyses revealed a somewhat stronger (albeit non-significant) effect for men. Moreover, there was no evidence for dissemination bias or a decline effect, although effects from published studies were numerically somewhat stronger than unpublished effects.

Discussion
We show that there is no noteworthy association between IPT-based implicit and explicit self-esteem, which is broadly consistent with dual-process models of implicit and explicit evaluations on the one hand, but also casts doubt on the suitability of the IPT for the assessment of implicit self-esteem on the other hand.

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The Breast Size Satisfaction Survey (BSSS) : Breast size dissatisfaction and its antecedents and outcomes in women from 40 nations

2020-03, Swami, Viren, Tran, Ulrich S., Barron, David, Afhami, Reza, Aimé, Annie, Almenara, Carlos A., Alp Dal, Nursel, Amaral, Ana Carolina Soares, Andrianto, Sonny, Stieger, Stefan

The Breast Size Satisfaction Survey (BSSS) was established to assess women’s breast size dissatisfaction and breasted experiences from a cross-national perspective. A total of 18,541 women were recruited from 61 research sites across 40 nations and completed measures of current-ideal breast size discrepancy, as well as measures of theorised antecedents (personality, Western and local media exposure, and proxies of socioeconomic status) and outcomes (weight and appearance dissatisfaction, breast awareness, and psychological well-being). In the total dataset, 47.5 % of women wanted larger breasts than they currently had, 23.2 % wanted smaller breasts, and 29.3 % were satisfied with their current breast size. There were significant cross-national differences in mean ideal breast size and absolute breast size dissatisfaction, but effect sizes were small (η2 = .02–.03). The results of multilevel modelling showed that greater Neuroticism, lower Conscientiousness, lower Western media exposure, greater local media exposure, lower financial security, and younger age were associated with greater breast size dissatisfaction across nations. In addition, greater absolute breast size dissatisfaction was associated with greater weight and appearance dissatisfaction, poorer breast awareness, and poorer psychological well-being across nations. These results indicate that breast size dissatisfaction is a global public health concern linked to women’s psychological and physical well-being.

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Well-being, smartphone sensors, and data from open-access databases : A mobile experience sampling study

2019, Stieger, Stefan, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich

We investigated fluctuations of well-being by using a smartphone-based mobile experience sampling method (real-time and multiple time point measurements in the field using smartphones). Moreover, temperature, longitude, latitude, altitude, wind speed, rainfall, and further environment-based indicators were included as predictors either from smartphone sensors or from open-access Internet databases. Overall, a total of 213 participants reported on their well-being (over 14 days; three measurements per day; 8,000+ well-being judgments). We were able to replicate and refine past research about the dynamics of well-being fluctuations during the day (low in the morning, high in the evening) and over the course of a week (low just before the beginning of the week, highest near the end of the week). We also show what kind of benefits empirical researchers can gain for their research using smartphones and their built-in sensors by combining these measures with data from open-access databases.

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A Week Without Using Social Media : Results from an Ecological Momentary Intervention Study Using Smartphones

2018-10, Stieger, Stefan, Lewetz, David

Online social media is now omnipresent in many people's daily lives. Much research has been conducted on how and why we use social media, but little is known about the impact of social media abstinence. Therefore, we designed an ecological momentary intervention study using smartphones. Participants were instructed not to use social media for 7 days (4 days baseline, 7 days intervention, and 4 days postintervention; N = 152). We assessed affect (positive and negative), boredom, and craving thrice a day (time-contingent sampling), as well as social media usage frequency, usage duration, and social pressure to be on social media at the end of each day (7,000+ single assessments). We found withdrawal symptoms, such as significantly heightened craving (β = 0.10) and boredom (β = 0.12), as well as reduced positive and negative affect (only descriptively). Social pressure to be on social media was significantly heightened during social media abstinence (β = 0.19) and a substantial number of participants (59 percent) relapsed at least once during the intervention phase. We could not find any substantial rebound effect after the end of the intervention. Taken together, communicating through online social media is evidently such an integral part of everyday life that being without it leads to withdrawal symptoms (craving, boredom), relapses, and social pressure to get back on social media.

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Introducing Item Pool Visualization : A method for investigation of concepts in self-reports and psychometric tests

2019-11-11, Dantlgraber, Michael, Stieger, Stefan, Reips, Ulf-Dietrich

In this article, we introduce Item Pool Visualization. It is an illustration system that locates items and item pools (scales) from multiple psychological instruments regarding their commonality and distinguishability along several dimensions of nested radar charts. The application of Item Pool Visualization creates illustrations that represent different item pools by different circles that do not overlap. Item Pool Visualization illustrates a comparison of different structural equation models that are estimated with the same data. It combines the advantages of general and correlated factor models when evaluating psychological instruments. Furthermore, in contrast to other visualization methods, Item Pool Visualization provides an empirically driven categorization of psychological constructs and their subconcepts (facets) that is suited to provide professionals with help in comparing psychometric constructs, questionnaires, and selecting tests.

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Validating Psychometric Questionnaires Using Experience-Sampling Data : The Case of Nightmare Distress

2018-12-05, Stieger, Stefan, Kuhlmann, Tim

Nightmares are a comparatively frequent phenomenon. They are often accompanied by emotional distress and gain clinical relevance when recurrent. To assess how much distress nightmares cause the individual, the Nightmare Distress Questionnaire (NDQ, Belicki, 1992) is probably the most often used measure. However, its validity is still disputed. To analyze the validity of the proposed three NDQ subscales in more detail, we conducted an experience sampling study, gathering data either in real-time or short retrospective timeframes over the course of 22 days twice per day (N = 92 participants). The measurements were implemented via a mobile app using participants’ own smartphones. Besides the dream quality, we assessed concepts on a daily basis that past research found to be related to dreams. These included critical life events, alcohol consumption, eating behavior, and well-being. We found that only the subscales “general nightmare distress” and “impact on sleep” showed convergent as well as divergent validity. The validity of the subscale “impact on daily reality perception” is unclear. If at all, this subscale is rather indirectly associated with nightmare distress. Furthermore, all of the NDQ items did not differentiate between a bad dream and a nightmare, which suggests that the NDQ might rather be a measure of negative dreams in general and not nightmares in particular. Based on the present experience sampling design, we propose to advance the validation process by further possibilities, such as an item-level, person-level, and multi-level approach. This approach seems to be especially fruitful for concepts which are not very salient (e.g., laughter), can hardly be remembered retrospectively (e.g., dream content), or are potentially threatened by recall biases (e.g., alcohol consumption).

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“I'll teach you differences” : Taxometric analysis of the Dark Triad, trait sadism, and the Dark Core of personality

2018-05, Tran, Ulrich S., Bertl, Bianca, Kossmeier, Michael, Pietschnig, Jakob, Stieger, Stefan, Voracek, Martin

The Dark Triad of personality (Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy) is widely considered conceptually important for individual differences research into personality and interpersonal behavior. Recent research suggests to add trait sadism to its defining constructs (i.e., to form a Dark Tetrad), and that a single common dimension (the Dark Core) underlies these dark personality traits. Taxometric studies suggest the Dark Triad traits are dimensional (i.e., quantitative), but investigations on the facet level are lacking and sex differences in dark personality traits have not been considered. Utilizing widely-used scales, this study investigated the Dark Triad traits, sadism, as well as the Dark Core of personality, with taxometric methods on both the aggregate and facet level and separately among men and women (total N = 2463, 56% women, mean age: 41.4 years). Dark personality traits mostly were dimensional, on both the aggregate and the facet level, and for both sexes. The Dark Core appeared to be taxonic among men, but dimensional among women. Taxon members were characterized by uniformly elevated dark personality traits and younger age. Future studies might profitably investigate the incremental predictive validity of this identified taxon and focus on further sex differences in dark personality traits.