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Title:The value of action: An examination of when and how actions are evaluated more positively than inactions
Author(s):Sunderrajan, Aashna
Director of Research:Albarracín, Dolores
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Albarracín, Dolores
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Cohen, Dov; Mehta, Ravi; Laurent, Sean; Miller, Andrea
Department / Program:Psychology
Discipline:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):action
inaction
commission
omission
bias
evaluation
intentionality
Abstract:Human behavior varies along a continuum of activity, with demanding behaviors characterizing actions and restful states characterizing inactions. Action and inaction are integral components of daily life, affecting our decision-making, goal pursuit, self-regulation, well-being, and health. Understanding how people conceptualize and evaluate action and inaction is thus important. The present research found that actions are perceived differently than inactions (Studies 1-2). People not only evaluate actions more favorably than inactions (Study 3) but prefer to engage in actions over inactions as well (Study 4). This phenomenon is driven by a natural tendency to think of actions as more intentional (Study 5), but making intentionality salient does not always reduce the bias favoring action (Study 6). Balancing action and inaction is important for healthy human functioning, underlining the importance of further understanding evaluative biases in this domain.
Issue Date:2019-04-18
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/105053
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Aashna Sunderrajan
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05


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