Gender influences the feedback anger and disgust provide about construal use in likelihood judgments



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According to the affect-as-cognitive-feedback approach, affect validates or invalidates one’s active cognition. The current work investigated whether men and women receive different cognitive validation cues from gender-normative emotions when making likelihood judgments. Study 1 establishes under a default abstract mindset that gender-inconsistent negative emotions (anger for men and disgust for women) serve to invalidate the mindset and induce more concrete processing, whereas gender-consistent negative emotions (disgust for men and anger for women) maintain the default abstract processing. In Study 2, participants primed with abstract or concrete mindsets wrote about an angry or disgusting life event before making likelihood judgments. The abstract prime condition replicated the results from Study 1. As theorized, the concrete prime condition produced opposite results, as gender-consistent negative emotions invalidated the concrete mindset and induced more abstract processing, whereas gender-inconsistent emotions maintained the concrete mindset. Study 3 investigated whether men’s gender identification influenced and interacted with affective intensity to provide feedback about a concrete cognitive mindset. High gender-identifying men tended to express anger more than disgust, regardless of affective condition. Further, greater felt anger led to invalidation of the primed mindset, and greater felt disgust led to maintenance of the primed mindset. The reverse pattern emerged for low gender-identifying men. This work extends the affect-as-cognitive feedback approach by investigating construal levels and establishes that gender moderates the affect-cognition relationship when affect is associated with gender normative expectations.

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Psychology of Men & Masculinities

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