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Analyzing Reactions to Moral Threat With Social Psychological Experiments Using Actual Behavior and Physiological Indices in Immersive Behavioral Paradigms

By: Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Classical social psychological experiments often used immersive behavioral paradigms, where participants were submerged in an engaging situation. However, in recent years, experiments using "actual behavior" have declined tremendously. I will describe two research projects where participants were put in relatively immersive behavioral paradigms and where several different behavioral measures were used. In the first project, I assessed whether meat-eating participants would experience more threat when confronted with a moral vegetarian rather than a non-moral vegetarian. In the second project, I investigated whether beer-drinking participants would show more negative behavior (i.e., allocating beer to an explicit non-drinker) when exposed to a moral non-drinker rather than a non-moral non-drinker. These projects can be difficult to execute, require new skills and equipment, and take a lot of time and resources. However, studies with immersive behavioral paradigms are also rewarding. Besides being fun to do, they also contribute to the long-standing social psychological tradition that leads to strong insights about human behavior in situations that closely resemble reality.

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