Social Psychologist, Specializing in First Impressions, Relationships, & Social Technologies
Security Based Difference in Touch Behavior and its Relational Benefits
Carmichael, C.L., Goldberg, M.H., Coyle, M.A. (2020)
Affectionate touch is crucial to the development of attachment security in infancy, yet little is known about how attachment and touch are related in adulthood. For adults high in anxiety, touch provision can maintain proximity, and received touch can signal reassurance of a partner’s affections that relatively anxious people desperately desire. Adults high in avoidance likely view touch as a threat to independence, should be less inclined to provide touch, and may perceive received touch as intrusive. In two studies, we demonstrated that attachment anxiety was associated with positive feelings about touch but unrelated to daily touch provision. However, the benefits associated with daily received touch were amplified among people higher in anxiety. Conversely, attachment avoidance was associated with negative feelings about touch, and reductions in daily touch provision, but did not moderate the benefits associated with received touch.
Perceived Responsiveness in Text Messaging: The Role of Emoji Use
Coyle, M.A., Carmichael, C.L. (2019)
This research investigated how emojis can be used in text messaging to communicate perceived responsiveness, guide impression formation, and contribute to reflected appraisal. Participants (N = 179) disclosed a positive and negative event to a responder (a confederate) over iMessage. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either text only responses or a mixture of text and emoji responses from the responder. For positive self-disclosures, participants had higher ratings of perceived responsiveness when there was convergence in emoji use between the participant and responder than when there was divergence. In other words, participants rated the confederate higher in responsiveness when both or neither used emojis (converged) than when only one used emojis (diverged). There were no effects of emoji use on perceived responsiveness for negative self-disclosures. Additionally, following the set of interactions, participants had more positive impressions of the responder and more positive perceptions of how the responder felt towards the participant (reflected appraisal) when there was convergence rather than divergence in emoji use. Discussion centers around whether emojis can serve as a substitute for nonverbal cues typically found in face-to-face conversations.
A Classroom Activity for Teaching Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development
Carmichael C.L., Schwartz, A.M., Coyle M.A., & Goldberg, M.H. (2019)
In two studies, we demonstrate an engaging classroom activity that facilitates student learning about Kohlberg’s theory of moral development by using digital resources to foster active, experiential learning. In addition to hearing a standard lecture about moral development, students watched a video of a morally provocative incident, then worked in small groups to classify user comments posted in response to the video according to Kohlberg’s six stages. Students in both studies found the activity enjoyable and useful. Moreover, students’ scores on a moral development quiz improved after completing the activity (Study 1), and students who completed the activity in addition to receiving a lecture performed better on the quiz than students who received lecture alone (Study 2).