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Ph.D., University of Missouri
PSYC 43: Research Methods
Research and Representative Publications
My research on compliance has examined sequential-request techniques and variables that increase or decrease agreement to a request.
Burger, J. M. & Caldwell, D.C.(2011). When opportunity knocks: The effect of a perceived unique opportunity on compliance. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 14, 671-680. PDF
Burger, J. M., Sanchez, J., Imberi, J. E., & Grande, L. R. (2009). The norm of reciprocity as an internalized social norm: Returning favors even when no one finds out. Social Influence, 4, 11-17. [PDF]
Burger, J. M., Hornisher J., Martin, V. E., Newman, G., & Pringle, S. (2007). The pique technique: Overcoming mindlessness or shifting heuristics? Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 37, 2086-2096. [PDF]
Burger, J. M., Messian, N., Patel, S., del Prado, A., & Anderson, C. (2004). What a coincidence! The effects of incidental similarity on compliance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 35-43. [PDF]
Burger, J. M., Soroka, S., Gonzago, K., Murphy, E., & Somervell, E. (2001). The effect of fleeting attraction on compliance to requests. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 1578-1586. [PDF]
Burger, J. M. (1999). The foot-in-the-door compliance procedure: A multiple-process analysis and review. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3, 303-325. [PDF]
I recently conducted a partial replication of Stanley Milgram's famous obedience studies that allowed for useful comparisons with the original investigations while protecting the well-being of participants. We found obedience rates in 2006 only slightly lower than what Milgram found 45 years earlier. Contrary to expectation, participants who saw a confederate refuse the experimenter's instructions obeyed as often as those who saw no model. Men and women did not differ in their rate of obedience, but we found some evidence that individual differences in empathetic concern and desire for control affected participants' responses.
The research was featured in the January 3, 2007 broadcast of ABC News' Primetime.
Perception and Motivation for Personal Control
Burger, J. M., & Lynn, A. L. (2005). Superstitious behavior among American and Japanese professional baseball players. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 27, 71-76. [PDF]
Burger, J. M. (1992). Desire for control: Personality, social and clinical perspectives. New York: Plenum.
Burger, J. M. (1989). Negative reactions to increases in perceived personal control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56, 246-256. [PDF]
Burger, J. M., Bell, H., Harvey, K., Johnson, J., Stewart, C., Dorian, K., & Swedroe, M. (2010). Nutritious or delicious? The effect of descriptive norm information on food choice. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology. [PDF]
Burger, J. M. & Shelton, M. (2011) Changing everyday health behaviors through descriptive norm manipulations. Social influcence, 6, 69-77.PDF
Burger, J. M., LaSalvia, C. T., Hendricks, L.A., Mehdipour, T., &Neudeck, E. M. (2011). Partying before the party gets started: The effects of descriptive norms on pre-gaming behavior. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 33, 220-227. PDF
I recently published "Returning Home:Reconnecting with our Childhoods" ( Rowman-Littlefield). The book describes my research on people who visit childhood homes. That research finds that millions of Americans have made a trip specifically to see the places that comprised the landscape of their childhood. They visit homes they once lived in, as well as other signifcant places from their past, to reconnect with the person they once were. The visits are often emotional and sometimes therapeutic. The book describes the reasons people make these trips and the experiences they encounter. You can obtain more information about the book and the research at http://www.returninghomebook.com
My undergraduate textbook, Personality, is now in its eighth edition (2011, Wadsworth/Cengage). The book is organized to reflect my belief that the study of personality should not be limited to either the traditional theories approach or to a strict empirical presentation. Rather, I have maintained from the first edition that a full understanding of personality requires an examination of theory and research. After an introductory chapter and a chapter on personality research methods, the book is divided into seven sections. Each section reflects a different approach to understanding personality -- Freudian, Neo-Freudian, Trait, Biological, Humanistic, Behavioral/Social Learning, and Cognitive
Each of these sections contains two chapters. The first chapter presents information about theory, assessment and application. The second is devoted to relevant research. Each of the research chapters is divided into three to five research topics. Each topic represents a well-developed area of personality research with ties to the corresponding theories. For example, the topics for the Freudian research chapter are dream interpretation, defense mechanism, Freud's theory of humor, and hypnosis. The topics in the trait research chapter include achievement motivation, Type A, social anxiety, emotions, and optimism-pessimism. The chapters reflect my belief that students learn about research best by seeing programs of research, rather than a few isolated examples. There are 26 research topics presented in depth in the book.
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