Unkelbach, Christian, Koch, Alex and Alves, Hans (2019). The evaluative information ecology: On the frequency and diversity of good and bad. Eur. Rev. Soc. Psychol., 30 (1). S. 216 - 271. ABINGDON: ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD. ISSN 1479-277X

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Abstract

We propose the Evaluative Information Ecology (EvIE) model as a model of the social environment. It makes two assumptions: Positive good information is more frequent compared to negative bad information and positive information is more similar and less diverse compared to negative information. We review support for these two properties based on psycho-lexical studies (e.g., negative trait words are used less frequently but they are more diverse), studies on affective reactions (e.g., people experience positive emotions more frequently but negative emotions are more diverse), and studies using direct similarity assessments (i.e., people rate positive information as more similar/less diverse compared to negative information). Next, we suggest explanations for the two properties building on potential adaptive advantages, reinforcement learning, hedonistic sampling processes, similarity from co-occurrence, and similarity from restricted ranges. Finally, we provide examples of how the EvIE model refines well-established effects (e.g., intergroup biases; preferences for groups without motivation or intent) and how it leads to the discovery of novel phenomena (e.g., the common good phenomenon; people share positive traits but negative traits make them distinct). We close by discussing the benefits relative to the drawbacks of ecological approaches in social psychology and how an ecological and cognitive level of analysis may complement each other.

Item Type: Journal Article
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Unkelbach, ChristianUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Koch, AlexUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Alves, HansUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-160309
DOI: 10.1080/10463283.2019.1688474
Journal or Publication Title: Eur. Rev. Soc. Psychol.
Volume: 30
Number: 1
Page Range: S. 216 - 271
Date: 2019
Publisher: ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Place of Publication: ABINGDON
ISSN: 1479-277X
Language: English
Faculty: Unspecified
Divisions: Unspecified
Subjects: no entry
Uncontrolled Keywords:
KeywordsLanguage
SOCIAL-PERCEPTION; NEGATIVITY BIAS; BIG 2; VALENCE; PSYCHOLOGY; POSITIVITY; SIMILARITY; RECOGNITION; FLUENCY; DENSITYMultiple languages
Psychology, SocialMultiple languages
Refereed: Yes
URI: http://kups.ub.uni-koeln.de/id/eprint/16030

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