Pay Laurin Jessen
Pay Laurin Jessen

BIGSSS, Universität Bremen


Unicom, Haus 9, Room: 7.3130

Regular Ph.D. Fellow, Field B, Cohort 2021

Research Interests

  • Norms
  • Social Morality
  • Attitudes
  • Prejudice
  • Inter/Intra-Group Relations
  • Intergroup Conflict
  • Integration

Dissertation topic
Social Morality, Self-Construals and Varying Situations of Social Interaction (preliminary title)

Dissertation abstract
The major aim of this empirical dissertation project is to explore self-construals and varying situations of interaction as potential predictors of variances in moral-based behavior. Humans are perceivable as socially shaped shapers: Human’s agency is influenced by societal structures on the one hand and societal structure are influenced by individual action on the other. Matters of social morality are of no exception in this relation. Social morality can be grasped as a societal regulation system which shapes individual behavior. Morally guided individual behavior in turn shapes the emergence or persistence of structural societal phenomena like cooperation, social (in)equality or societal cohesiveness. Therefore, it is of grave social importance to explore and understand sources that foster or undermine individuals’ moral-based decisions and behaviors. This research proposal wishes to integrate self-construals and social situations of interaction in the context of social morality. To do that an empirical project is suggested that encompasses three experiments. The experiments will prime participant’s self-construals as either interdependent or independent and assign participants additionally into one of three situational conditions of social interaction (i.e. either to face-to-face, telephone or online interaction). After the experimental manipulations, the dependent variable social morality will be measured — via the proxy variables allocation fairness and altruism — in a dictator game fashion. Finally, relying on methods of causal analysis the project aims to distinguish empirically between situational and self-costrual effects on social morality. Therefore, empirical comparisons will be made between the same self-construal in different situations, between different self-construals in the same situation and between different self-construals in different situations.

Academic Supervisors
Johannes Huinink