Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
In this dissertation, I propose that people’s sensitivity to deviancy is a domain-general phenomenon—an aspect of the individual experience that manifests across distinct domains. Supporting this possibility, across a multi-faceted approach (cross-cultural, developmental, nonconscious processes), I document that people’s responses to deviancy—their evaluative and affective responses to distortions in regularities and patterns—overlap across highly divergent domains (e.g., nonsocial stimuli, social actions, physical characteristics, nonvisual stimuli, visual stimuli). Additionally, in line with this broad conceptualization of deviancy, I find that people’s domain-general responding towards deviancy is largely negative in affect, emerges at a young age, exists cross-culturally, and may even causally contribute to complex social phenomena, such as prejudice. Collectively, these findings highlight the potential of adopting a broad domain-general conceptual understanding of deviancy to gain new traction on fundamental questions asked in social and cognitive psychology.
Gollwitzer, Anton, "A Domain-General Perspective on Deviancy: People’s Sensitivity to Deviancy and its Social Consequences" (2021). Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Dissertations. 54.