Our sense of control is often lost and regained many times a day. Such fluctuations might influence the way we perceive and categorize the world and other people. In this research, Marcin Bukowski from our Centre and collaborators asked how the sequence and duration of one’s control depriving and enhancing experiences influences cognitive flexibility particularly applied in the domain of categorization of faces and social roles. Across three experiments they found more flexible switching between different categorization rules after experiencing control restoration vs. deprivation. The research highlights this brighter side of control loss and restoration dynamics, by showing that when the threat to control is activated and then withdrawn, then this state of instability might paradoxically promote more flexible categorization of others.
The paper just published in ‘Motivation and Emotion’ to be found >>HERE<< (full access).