The Department of Psychology is pleased to have Dr. Sarah Hill speaking in the Psychology Department colloquium series on Friday, May 3rd at noon in UH 10. The title of her presentation is “The impact of resource scarcity on decision-making: Categorization, consumption, and beyond.” Dr. Hill will be visiting us from Texas Christian University.
In the following presentation, I will provide results from two lines of research demonstrating that activating resource scarcity cues influences decision-making in specific ways predicted in advance from theoretical models from evolutionary theory. First, I will provide evidence that resource scarcity cues lead people to narrow the inclusiveness of their in-groups. Specifically, I will present the results of two experiments demonstrating that recessionary cues lead people to be less likely to include biracial others as part of their own racial in-group. I will then show the results of research demonstrating that resource scarcity cues increase desire to buy beauty products – the so-called lipstick effect. The latter will include results bearing on the reasons why women tend to splurge on beauty during tough economic times. Taken together, these findings highlight the important role that resource availability play in decision-making and underscore the heuristic value an evolutionary perspective offers in deriving novel predictions about social behavior.