Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Haters spend more time ... hating?

Date:
June 19, 2014
Source:
University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication
Summary:
We already know haters are predisposed to be that way. Now we see they also spend a lot of time at fewer activities than their non-hater counterparts. But in a twist of irony, that grumpy person at work may actually be pretty good at their job since they spend so much time on fewer activities, thereby giving them the opportunity to hone their skills in specific tasks.

We already know haters are predisposed to be that way. Now we see they also spend a lot of time at fewer activities than their non-hater counterparts.

But in a twist of irony, that grumpy person at work may actually be pretty good at their job since they spend so much time on fewer activities, thereby giving them the opportunity to hone their skills in specific tasks.

It's all covered in a new study published in the journal Social Psychology. It seems that a person's "dispositional attitude" -- whether the person is a "hater" or a "liker" -- plays an important role in his or her activity level.

The article, "Liking more means doing more: Dispositional attitudes predict patterns of general action," is written by Justin Hepler, Department of Psychology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Dolores Albarracํn, Annenberg School for Communication and Department of Psychology, University of Pennsylvania. Assuming that our disposition motivates behavior, Hepler and Albarracin suggested that people who like many things (those with positive dispositional attitudes) also do many things during the course of a week, while people who dislike many things (those with low dispositional attitudes) do very few things with their time.

They were right. In two studies, participants reported all of their activities over a one-week period and also completed a measure of dispositional attitudes. Although haters (someone with a low dispositional attitude) and likers (someone with a high dispositional attitude) did not differ in the types of activities they pursued, haters tended to do fewer activities throughout the week than did likers. Nearly 15 percent of the differences in how many activities people conducted during a typical week was associated with being a hater versus a liker.

Haters and likers also did not differ in how much time they spent doing activities throughout the week; they merely differed in the number of activities that they did. As a result, haters spent more time on any given activity than did likers. Thus, compared with likers, haters could be characterized as less active because they do fewer things, or they could be characterized as more focused because they spend more time on the small number of things they do.

"The present results demonstrate that patterns of general action may occur for reasons other than the desire to be active versus inactive," the researchers wrote. "Indeed, some people may be more active than others not because they want to be active per se, but because they identify a large number of specific behaviors in which they want to engage."

Hepler and Albarracํn suggest that their findings may have implications for understanding the development of skills and expertise. For example, likers may adopt a jack-of-all-trades approach to life, investing small amounts of time in a wide variety of activities. This would leave them somewhat skilled at many tasks. In contrast, when haters find an activity they actually like, they may invest a larger amount of time in that task, allowing them to develop a higher skill level compared to likers. They said future work should confirm this possibility.

This same pattern could also be relevant to attentional control. For example, likers may have more difficulty sustaining attention on a task because they perceive so many interesting and distracting opportunities in their environment. In contrast, because haters like so few things, they may be unlikely to be distracted when they are doing a task, and thus their generalized dislike may actually benefit their attentional control.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Justin Hepler, Dolores Albarracin. Liking More Means Doing More. Social Psychology, 2014; 1 (-1): 1 DOI: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000198

Cite This Page:

University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication. "Haters spend more time ... hating?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619125419.htm>.
University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication. (2014, June 19). Haters spend more time ... hating?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619125419.htm
University of Pennsylvania Annenberg School for Communication. "Haters spend more time ... hating?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140619125419.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Can Watching TV Make You Feel Like A Failure?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) — A study by German researchers claims watching TV while you're stressed out can make you feel guilty and like a failure. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

China's Ageing Millions Look Forward to Bleak Future

AFP (July 24, 2014) — China's elderly population is expanding so quickly that children struggle to look after them, pushing them to do something unexpected in Chinese society- move their parents into a nursing home. Duration: 02:07 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) — An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins