Journal Articles (Peer-Reviewed)
Mölders, Christina and Niels Van Quaquebeke (2017): Some like it hot: How voters’ attitude towards disrespect in politics affects their judgments of candidates, Journal of Social and Political Psychology, 5 (1): 58-81.
Abstract: In public debates, political candidates often attack their opponents disrespectfully. Research revealed mixed effects of such behavior on voters’ candidate judgments. In order to understand these results, we argue that it is necessary to consider onlookers’ general attitude towards disrespect in politics. Across an experimental design (N = 229) and a field study (N = 199), we found that voters who consider disrespect a “necessary evil” in the political arena judged disrespectful politicians as more communal and more agentic. Furthermore, they displayed a higher intention to vote as well as actually voted more in favor of disrespectful candidates compared to voters who disapproved of disrespect in politics. The results show that the success of a disrespectful communication strategy substantively depends on the audience.
Mölders, Christina, Niels Van Quaquebeke and Maria P. Paladino (2017): Consequences of Politicians’ Disrespectful Communication Depend on Social Judgment Dimensions and Voters’ Moral Identity, Political Psychology, 38 (1): 119-135.
Abstract: The present study investigates the consequences of respectful versus disrespectful communication in political debates on voters’ social judgments and voting decisions. Reconciling previously mixed results, we argue that the consequences of disrespect vary with the judgment dimension (communion vs. agency) and voters’ moral identity. An initial study (N = 197) finds that a political candidate's disrespect towards his or her opponent affects voting decision through voting intention. A second study (N = 327) shows that disrespect influences voting intention through communion but not through agency ratings. Qualifying the previous finding, a third study (N = 329) shows that both communion and agency judgments act as mediators, but in different ways depending on the level of moral identity. Overall, communion judgments played a more prominent part in explaining the consequences of disrespectful communication. Our findings thus present a nuanced picture of respect and disrespect in political communication and shed light on their ramifications.
Mölders, Christina and Niels Van Quaquebeke (2017): When and why politicians’ disrespect affects voters’ trust in the political system: The role of social judgments and category prototypicality, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 47 (9): 515-527.
Abstract: We propose that one politician's disrespectful behavior can spill over to voters' generalized judgments of politicians and thereby affect trust in the political system. We delineate the spillover effect along the basic dimensions of social judgment, communion, and agency. Moreover, we argue that any spillover effect is contingent on the focal politicians' category prototypicality, that is, their representativeness of politicians as such. Conducting an experiment (N = 392) and a field study (N = 273), we found that politicians' respect only affected trust through generalized communion ratings. This spillover only occurred if the observed politician was perceived as prototypical. Our findings provide new insights on when and how individual politicians may be able to undermine voters' trust in the political system.
Wiemer, Anita, Christina Mölders, Sebastian Fischer, Wolfram Kawohl and Wulf Rössler (2017): Effectiveness of Medical Rehabilitation on Return-to-Work Depends on the Interplay of Occupation Characteristics and Disease, Journal of occupational rehabilitation, 27 (1): 59-69.
Abstract: Introduction Work disability causes high costs for economy, organizations, and employees. However, medical rehabilitation does not always enable employees to return to their old jobs. In the present study, we investigated how disease classification and work characteristics interact in predicting the success of medical rehabilitation in terms of one's ability to return to a former job. Methods To this end, we matched 2009 patient data from the German Statutory Pension Insurance agency with job characteristics data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) 17.0 database. We used a multilevel approach and a sample of N = 72,029, nested in 194 occupational groups. Results We found that workers are less likely to reenter a former job if mental illnesses coincide with emotionally demanding labor and if musculoskeletal diseases coincide with extreme environmental conditions. We did not find different effects between occupational groups for other types of diseases (circulatory system, neoplasms, injuries, others). Conclusion Thus, the contextual overlap of disease and occupational characteristics notably lowers the chances of a successful return-to-work. These findings should be taken into account by physicians when attempting to set realistic goals for rehabilitation in collaboration with the patient and the funding agency.
Ulusoy, Nazan, Christina Mölders, Sebastian Fischer, Hakan Bayur, Serol Deveci, Yücel. Demiral and Wulf Rössler (2016): A Matter of Psychological Safety: Commitment and Mental Health in Turkish Immigrant Employees in Germany, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 47 (4): 626-645.
Abstract: Immigration entails the risk of feeling disconnected in the receiving society, in both everyday life and the workplace. This may affect the way immigrant employees relate to their job and their workplace. In this article, we investigate the affective commitment of Turkish immigrant employees in Germany (TG) and their subsequent work engagement, mental health, and turnover intention. Specifically, we compared TG (n = 201) to both German employees in Germany (GG; n = 1,406) and Turkish employees in Turkey (TT; n = 362). Our results show that the effect of immigration background on mental health, work engagement, and turnover through affective commitment depends on the level of perceived psychological safety at the workplace, specifically in terms of an open and inclusive work climate. The results suggest that psychological safety is particularly helpful in enhancing immigrant employees’ positive attitudes toward the workplace. Our study provides new insights on the well-being of immigrant employees, specifically TG, and the different needs of diverse workforces. Given our findings, future studies should explore more deeply the positive influences that psychological safety has on minority groups and their workplace attitudes.
Petersen, Sibylle., Mathias Schroijen, Christina Mölders, Sebastian Zenker and Van den Bergh, Omer (2014): Categorical Interoception: Perceptual Organization of Sensations From Inside, Psychological Science, 25 (5): 1059-1066.
Abstract: Adequate perception of bodily sensations is essential to protect health. However, misinterpretation of signals from within the body is common and can be fatal, for example, in asthma or cardiovascular disease. We suggest that placing interoceptive stimuli into interoceptive categories (e.g., the category of symptoms vs. the category of benign sensations) leads to perceptual generalization effects that may underlie misinterpretation. In two studies, we presented stimuli inducing respiratory effort (respiratory loads) either organized into categories or located on a continuous dimension. We found pervasive effects of categorization on magnitude estimations, affective stimulus evaluations, stimulus recognition, and breathing behavior. These findings indicate the need for broadening perspectives on interoception to include basal processes of stimulus organization, in order for interoceptive bias to be understood. The results are relevant to a wide range of interoception-related phenomena, from emotion to symptom perception.
Witte, Erich H., Christina Mölders and Niels Van Quaquebeke (2011): Gerechtigkeit durch Sonderbehandlung? Wie Bürger Ausnahmeregelungen im Einkommensteuergesetz bewerten, Wirtschaftspsychologie, 13 (1): 29-42.
Abstract: Dem deutschen Einkommensteuergesetz wird häufig vorgeworfen, es sei aufgrund seiner zahlreichen Ausnahmeregelungen zu komplex. In der hier beschriebenen Online-Studie (N = 742) wurden 82 Ausnahmen aus dem Einkommensteuergesetz auf ihre Gerechtigkeit und Wichtigkeit sowie die Angemessenheit der angesetzten Freibeträge und Freigrenzen beurteilt. Zusätzlich wurde erhoben, für welche gesellschaftlichen Gruppen Ausnahmeregelungen als gerecht empfunden werden. Es zeigt sich, dass nur wenige Ausnahmen als ungerecht und unwichtig (M < 3) eingeschätzt werden. Allerdings findet sich auch eine Beurteilung als eindeutig gerecht und wichtig (M > 4) nur in einer überschaubaren Fallzahl. Gerechtigkeits- und Wichtigkeitseinschätzungen hängen dabei eng zusammen. Als generell begünstigenswert gelten in erster Linie bedürftige, abhängige und leistungsschwache Gruppen wie Menschen mit Behinderung, Familien oder Kleinunternehmer. Über die verschiedenen Ausnahmen hinweg lässt sich allerdings keine entsprechende klare Struktur in der Bewertung der einzelnen Ausnahmen auffinden. Dabei besteht auch kein korrelationsstatistischer Zusammenhang zwischen sozioökonomischen Daten und der Bewertung der Ausnahmen bzw. den Angaben zu den zu begünstigenden Gruppen. Diese Erkenntnisse ermöglichen Hinweise für zukünftige Modifikationen des Gesetzes.
Witte, Erich H., Niels Van Quaquebeke and Christina Mölders (2005): Mehrwertsteuererhöhung: Eine wirtschaftspsychologische Analyse ihrer Wirkung, Wirtschaftspsychologie (3): 115-128.
Abstract: An increase in the value added tax rate is usually thought of as reducing the consumption in a country and therefore as not adequate to improve the domestic market situation. To check on these assumptions we undertook two studies (online and offline) based on the principles of Economic Psychology. We could show that an increase in VAT does indeed lead customers to think that they will consume less. Nonetheless in a succeeding experimental scenario technique (16% vs. 19% VAT & unreliable vs. reliable pensions & 11% vs. 6% unemployment rate) we found evidence that a rise in VAT alone would not change the degree of consumption in comparison to today's practices. Moreover by combining the rise with a reduction in other (uncertainty-) factors we could even make out an increase in self-rated consumption. A substantial impact of other possible moderators (e.g. age, sex, income, East-West Germans) could not be detected. These results indicate that the debate on the raise of VAT in Germany is not complex enough. Moreover it focuses on the wrong topics. Interestingly by reducing uncertainty in the populace an increase in VAT can even stimulate consumption in the domestic market.
Journal Articles (Professional)
Mölders, Christina and Tilman Eckloff (2015): Frauen und Führung: Auf dem Weg., Wirtschaftsmediation, 3: 36-38.
Mölders, Christina, Oliver Peytsch and Erich H. Witte (2014/2015): „Wir sind quitt”: Subjektive Gerechtigkeit von falschen Angaben in der Steuererklärung., Wirtschaftspsychologie, 16 (4): 117-123.
Decker, Catharina, Christina Mölders and Niels Van Quaquebeke (2014): Mehr als ein Kuschelfaktor: Die Sehnsucht nach Respekt, Wirtschaftspsychologie aktuell, 4: 46-48.
Abstract: Mitarbeiter wollen sich respektvoll behandelt fühlen, vor allem von ihren Führungskräften. Umgekehrt wollen sie auch ihrerseits ihre Führungskraft respektieren können. Beide Bedürfnisse sind tief im Menschen verwurzelt.