Social Psychology Network

Maintained by Scott Plous, Wesleyan University

Daniel C. Molden

Daniel C. Molden

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One of my main interests is the ways in which people's motivations (i.e., their needs, desires, and goals) can influence their basic cognitive process (i.e., their perception, categorization, and recall of information) and the implications this has for judgment and behavior. Thus far, I have pursued this interest in several different ways. The first involves examining how people's preferences for using certain types of judgment strategies that "feel right" to them can affect the impressions they form of themselves and others. The second involves examining how these preferences affect the way in which people engage in and respond to social interactions.

Another one of my main interests is how people's deeply held, but seldom consciously articulated theories about the social world affect the way they perceive and interpret social information. I have primarily pursued this interest by examining how these "implicit theories" can affect the way in which people process information related to other people's behaviors.

Primary Interests:

  • Causal Attribution
  • Close Relationships
  • Helping, Prosocial Behavior
  • Interpersonal Processes
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Motivation, Goal Setting
  • Organizational Behavior
  • Person Perception
  • Self and Identity
  • Social Cognition

Journal Articles:

  • Higgins, E. T., Idson, L. C., Freitas, A. L., Spiegel, S., & Molden, D. C. (2003). Transfer of value from fit. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 1140-1153.
  • Knowles, M., Lucas, G. M., Molden, D. C., Gardner, W. L., & Dean, K. K. (2010). There’s no substitute for belonging: Self-affirmation following social and non-social threats. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 173-186.
  • Koenig, A., Cesario, J., Molden, D. C., Kosloff, S., & Higgins, E. T. (2009). Incidental experiences of regulatory fit and the processing of persuasive appeals. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 35, 1342-1355.
  • Lucas, G. M., Knowles, M. L., Gardner, W. L., Molden, D. C., & Jefferis, V. E. (2010). Increasing social engagement among lonely individuals: The role of acceptance cues and promotion motivations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36, 1346-1359.
  • Miele, D. B., & Molden, D. C. (2010). Naive theories of intelligence and the role of processing fluency in perceived comprehension. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 139, 535-557.
  • Molden, D. C. (2009). Finding meaning in others’ intentions: The process of judging intentional behaviors and intentionality itself. Psychological Inquiry, 20, 37-43
  • Molden, D. C., & Dweck, C. S. (2006). Finding "meaning" in psychology: A lay theories approach to self-regulation, social perception, and social development. American Psychologist, 61, 192-203.
  • Molden, D. C., & Finkel, E. J. (2010). Motivations for promotion and prevention and the role of trust and commitment in interpersonal forgiveness. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46, 255-268.
  • Molden, D. C., & Higgins, E. T. (2008). How preferences for eager versus vigilant judgment strategies affect self-serving outcomes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44, 1219-1228.
  • Molden, D. C., & Higgins, E. T. (2004). Categorization under uncertainty: Resolving vagueness and ambiguity with eager versus vigilant strategies. Social Cognition, 22, 248-277.
  • Molden, D. C., & Hui, C. M. (2011). Promoting de-escalation of commitment: A regulatory focus perspective on sunk costs. Psychological Science, 22, 8-12.
  • Molden, D. C., Lucas, G. M., Finkel, E. J., Kumashiro, M., & Rusbult, C. E. (2009). Perceived support for promotion-focused and prevention-focused goals: Associations with well-being in unmarried and married couples. Psychological Science, 20, 787-793.
  • Molden, D. C., Lucas, G. M., Gardner, W. L., Dean, K., & Knowles, M. (2009). Motivations for prevention or promotion following social exclusion. Being rejected versus being ignored. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 415-431.
  • Molden, D. C., Plaks, J. E., & Dweck, C. S. (2006). "Meaningful" social inferences: Lay theories and inferential processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42, 738-752.
  • Sivanathan, N., Molden, D. C., Galinsky, A. D., & Ku, G. (2008). The promise and peril of self-affirmation in de-escalation of commitment. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 107, 1-14.
  • Todd, A. R., Molden, D. C, Haam, J., & Vonk, R. (2011) The co-occurring and automatic activation of multiple social inferences. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 41, 37-49.

Other Publications:

  • Dweck, C. S., & Molden, D. C. (2008). Self-theories: The construction of free will. In J. Baer, J. C. Kaufman, & R. F. Baumeister (Eds.), Psychology and free will. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Molden, D. C., & Higgins, E. T. (2005). Motivated thinking. In K. Holyoak, & B. Morrison (Eds.), Handbook of thinking and reasoning (pp. 295-320). New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Molden, D. C., Lee, A. Y., & Higgins, E. T. (2008). Motivations for promotion and prevention. In J. Shah & W. Gardner (Eds.), Handbook of motivation science (pp. 169-187). New York: Guilford Press.
  • Molden, D. C., & Miele, D. B. (2008). The origins and influences of promotion-focused and prevention-focused achievement motivations. In M. Maehr, S. Karabenick, & T. Urdan (Eds.), Advances in motivation and achievement (Vol. 15, 81-118). Bingley, Wales: Emerald.

Courses Taught:

  • Cooperation, Helping, and Prosocial Behavior
  • Methods in Social Psychology
  • Motivated Thinking
  • Personality Psychology
  • Research Methods
  • Social Cognition
  • Social Inference and Person Perception
  • Social Psychology

Daniel C. Molden
Department of Psychology
Northwestern University
2029 Sheridan Road
Evanston, Illinois 60208
United States

  • Phone: (847) 491-7710
  • Fax: (847) 491-7859

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