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Concept: Acting


There is currently widespread concern that access to, and success within, the British acting profession is increasingly dominated by those from privileged class origins. This article seeks to empirically interrogate this claim using data on actors from the Great British Class Survey (N = 404) and 47 qualitative interviews. First, survey data demonstrate that actors from working-class origins are significantly underrepresented within the profession. Second, they indicate that even when those from working-class origins do enter the profession they do not have access to the same economic, cultural and social capital as those from privileged backgrounds. Third, and most significantly, qualitative interviews reveal how these capitals shape the way actors can respond to shared occupational challenges. In particular we demonstrate the profound occupational advantages afforded to actors who can draw upon familial economic resources, legitimate embodied markers of class origin (such as Received Pronunciation) and a favourable typecasting.

Concepts: Sociology, Quantitative research, Acting, Capital, Received Pronunciation, Working class, Five Capitals


When faced with the chance to help someone in mortal danger, what is our first response? Do we leap into action, only later considering the risks to ourselves? Or must instinctive self-preservation be overcome by will-power in order to act? We investigate this question by examining the testimony of Carnegie Hero Medal Recipients (CHMRs), extreme altruists who risked their lives to save others. We collected published interviews with CHMRs where they described their decisions to help. We then had participants rate the intuitiveness versus deliberativeness of the decision-making process described in each CHMR statement. The statements were judged to be overwhelmingly dominated by intuition; to be significantly more intuitive than a set of control statements describing deliberative decision-making; and to not differ significantly from a set of intuitive control statements. This remained true when restricting to scenarios in which the CHMRs had sufficient time to reflect before acting if they had so chosen. Text-analysis software found similar results. These findings suggest that high-stakes extreme altruism may be largely motivated by automatic, intuitive processes.

Concepts: Decision making, Risk, Cognition, Decision theory, Ethology, Acting, Social psychology, Altruism


There is no evidence comparing head-to-head the effects of monetary incentives to act and to abstain from acting on behaviour. We present an experiment, conducted between June and September 2012, that directly compares the effects of those two different monetary incentive schemes on eating behaviour: we evaluate incentives to eat against incentives not to eat. A large number of participants (n = 353) had bowls of sweets next to them while they watched different videos over two experimental sessions that were two days apart. Sweets eating was monitored and monetary incentives to eat or not to eat were introduced during one of the videos for participants randomly allocated to these conditions. Our results show that, while both types of incentives were effective in changing sweets-eating behaviour when they were in place, only incentives not to eat had significant carryover effects after they were removed. Those effects were still significant two days after the monetary incentives had been eliminated. We also present some additional results on personality and health-related variables that shed further light on these effects. Overall, our study shows that incentives not to eat can be more effective in producing carryover effects on behaviour in domains like the one explored here.

Concepts: Eating, Experiment, Acting, Incentive


The psychological literature on self-control has illustrated the many benefits experienced by people with high self-control, who are more successful both personally and interpersonally. In the current research, we explore the possibility that having high self-control also may have some interpersonal costs, leading individuals to become burdened by others' reliance. In Studies 1 and 2, we examined the effects of actors' self-control on observers' performance expectations and found that observers had higher performance expectations for actors with high (vs. low) self-control. In Study 3, we tested the effect of actors' self-control on work assigned to actors and found that observers assigned greater workloads to actors with high (vs. low) self-control. In Study 4, we examined how actors and observers differed in their assessments of the effort expended by high and low self-control actors and found that observers (but not actors) reported that high self-control actors expended less effort than low self-control actors. Finally, we found that people high (vs. low) in self-control reported greater burden from the reliance of coworkers (Study 5) and romantic partners (Study 6), and this tendency led them to feel less satisfied with their relationships (Study 6). Together, results from these studies provide novel evidence that individuals' self-control affects others' attitudes and behaviors toward them, and suggest that these interpersonal dynamics can have negative consequences for high self-control individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Psychology, Costs, Effect, Interpersonal relationship, Cost, Cultural studies, Acting, Actor


Graphene-based materials can have well-defined nanometer pores and can exhibit low frictional water flow inside them, making their properties of interest for filtration and separation. We investigate permeation through micrometer-thick laminates prepared by means of vacuum filtration of graphene oxide suspensions. The laminates are vacuum-tight in the dry state but, if immersed in water, act as molecular sieves, blocking all solutes with hydrated radii larger than 4.5 angstroms. Smaller ions permeate through the membranes at rates thousands of times faster than what is expected for simple diffusion. We believe that this behavior is caused by a network of nanocapillaries that open up in the hydrated state and accept only species that fit in. The anomalously fast permeation is attributed to a capillary-like high pressure acting on ions inside graphene capillaries.

Concepts: Oxygen, Molecule, Atom, Chemical bond, Ion, Acting, Chemical engineering, Vacuum


We examined the psychology of “instigators,” people who surround an unethical act and influence the wrongdoer (the “actor”) without directly committing the act themselves. In four studies, we found that instigators of unethical acts underestimated their influence over actors. In Studies 1 and 2, university students enlisted other students to commit a “white lie” (Study 1) or commit a small act of vandalism (Study 2) after making predictions about how easy it would be to get their fellow students to do so. In Studies 3 and 4, online samples of participants responded to hypothetical vignettes, for example, about buying children alcohol and taking office supplies home for personal use. In all four studies, instigators failed to recognize the social pressure they levied on actors through simple unethical suggestions, that is, the discomfort actors would experience by making a decision that was inconsistent with the instigator’s suggestion.

Concepts: Psychology, Decision making, Acting, Student, Acts of the Apostles, Lie, Cost underestimation, Actor


We propose conviction narrative theory (CNT) to broaden decision-making theory in order to better understand and analyse how subjectively means-end rational actors cope in contexts in which the traditional assumptions in decision-making models fail to hold. Conviction narratives enable actors to draw on their beliefs, causal models, and rules of thumb to identify opportunities worth acting on, to simulate the future outcome of their actions, and to feel sufficiently convinced to act. The framework focuses on how narrative and emotion combine to allow actors to deliberate and to select actions that they think will produce the outcomes they desire. It specifies connections between particular emotions and deliberative thought, hypothesising that approach and avoidance emotions evoked during narrative simulation play a crucial role. Two mental states, Divided and Integrated, in which narratives can be formed or updated, are introduced and used to explain some familiar problems that traditional models cannot.

Concepts: Cognition, Emotion, Acting, Narrative, Narratology, Plot, Style, Actor


Emerging RRI practices have goals with respect to learning, governance and achieving RRI outcomes (action). However, few practices actually achieve the action phase as actors lack room to manoeuvre, and lack guidance on how to move forward because of the inherent unscriptedness of the emerging RRI practice. In this explorative research an emerging RRI practice is studied to identify factors and barriers to the creation of adaptive space, in which actors can be responsive to the other and adapt, and a narrative can be created in the act of doing. This paper describes how formal and informal ways of organizing emerging RRI practices contribute to adaptive space, and how the metaphorical heuristic of improvisational theatre provides clear action principles to actors involved in emerging RRI practices in action. The RRI practice studied here lies in the domain of juvenile justice, where barriers that restrict room to manoeuvre are abundant. Five factors - ‘informality over formality’, ‘shared action space’, ‘be flexible’, ‘keep the action moving’ and ‘put the relationship central’ - were identified to facilitate reflexivity and adaptation in this space.

Concepts: The Action, Acting, Adaptation, Formal, Actor, Improvisation, Formality, Improvisational theatre


An experiment with 72 three-year-olds investigated whether encoding events while seeing iconic gestures boosts children’s memory representation of these events. The events, shown in videos of actors moving in an unusual manner, were presented with either iconic gestures depicting how the actors performed these actions, interactive gestures, or no gesture. In a recognition memory task, children in the iconic gesture condition remembered actors and actions better than children in the control conditions. Iconic gestures were categorized based on how much of the actors was represented by the hands (feet, legs, or body). Only iconic hand-as-body gestures boosted actor memory. Thus, seeing iconic gestures while encoding events facilitates children’s memory of those aspects of events that are schematically highlighted by gesture.

Concepts: Acting, Hand, Dance, Gesture, Actor, Actors


Research has suggested that products manufactured under healthy work conditions (HWC) may provide a marketing advantage to companies. This paper explores young consumers' considerations of HWC in purchasing decisions using data from qualitative interviews with a sample of 21 university students. The results suggest that interviewees frequently considered the working conditions of those who produced the products they purchased. Participants reported a willingness to pay 17.5% more on a $100 product if it were produced under HWC compared to not. Their ability and willingness to act on this issue was, however, hampered by  a lack of credible information about working conditions in production, the limited availability of HWC goods and a presumed higher price of HWC goods. While caution should be applied when generalising from this targetable market segment to a general population, these results provide actionable direction for companies interested in using a HWC brand image to gain a strategic sales advantage. Practitioner Summary: This interview study shows that young consumers are interested in, and willing to pay a premium for, goods made under healthy working conditions (HWC). Reported barriers to acting on this impulse include a lack of credible information on working conditions. Ergonomics can help provide a strategic marketing advantage for companies.

Concepts: Occupational health psychology, Marketing, Interview, Suggestion, Acting, Occupational safety and health, Brand, Ergonomics