Economic and Social Research Council

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Economic and Social Research Council

London, United Kingdom
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News Article | May 24, 2017
Site: www.eurekalert.org

People may try to make someone else feel negative emotions if they think experiencing those emotions will be beneficial in the long run, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings expand on previous research by revealing that people may sometimes seek to induce negative emotions in others for altruistic reasons, not simply for their own pleasure or benefit. "We have shown that people can be 'cruel to be kind'--that is, they may decide to make someone feel worse if this emotion is beneficial for that other person, even if this does not entail any personal benefit for them," explains psychological scientist Belén López-Pérez, who conducted the research while at the University of Plymouth and is currently at Liverpool Hope University. "These results expand our knowledge of the motivations underlying emotion regulation between people." In other studies, researchers had shown that people may sometimes seek to worsen others' mood for their own personal gain. Based on their own work examining altruistic behavior, López-Pérez and colleagues Laura Howells and Michaela Gummerum wondered whether there might be circumstances under which people would try to worsen others' mood for altruistic reasons. "We identified several everyday examples where this might be the case--for instance, inducing fear of failure in a loved one who is procrastinating instead of studying for an exam," López-Pérez says. The researchers hypothesized that prompting participants to take another person's perspective might make them more likely to choose a negative experience for that person if they thought the experience would help the individual reach a specific goal. To test their hypothesis, they recruited 140 adults to participate in a lab-based study that involved playing a computer game with an anonymous partner, known as Player A. In reality, the participants were always assigned the role of Player B and there was no actual Player A. After receiving a note supposedly written by Player A, some participants were asked to imagine how Player A felt, while others were told to remain detached. The note described Player A's recent breakup and how upset and helpless Player A felt about it. Then, participants were asked to play a video game so they could then make decisions for Player A on how the game would be presented. Depending on the experimental condition participants were assigned to, half were asked to play Soldier of Fortune, a first-person shooter game with an explicit goal of killing as many enemies as possible (i.e., confrontation goal). The other half were asked to play Escape Dead Island, a first-person game with the explicit goal of escaping from a room of zombies (i.e., avoidance goal). After playing the assigned game, the participants listened to some music clips and read short game descriptions that varied in their emotional content. The participants used scales to rate how much they wanted their partner to listen to each clip and read each description (from 1 = not at all to 7 = extremely). They also rated the extent to which they wanted their partner to feel angry, fearful, or neutral and how useful these emotions would be in playing the game. The players were awarded raffle tickets for a chance at winning £50 based on their performance in the game -- participants were reminded that their choices might impact the other participants' performance and, therefore, their own chances of winning the £50. The results showed that the participants who empathized with Player A focused on inducing specific emotions in their partner, depending on the ultimate goal of their computer game. Compared with participants who had remained detached, those who empathized with Player A and who played the first-person shooter game seemed to focus specifically on inducing anger in Player A explicitly and implicitly (i.e., by choosing the anger-inducing music clips and game description), while those who had empathized with Player A and who played the zombie game focused specifically on inducing fear (i.e., by choosing the fear-inducing music clips and game description). "What was surprising was that affect worsening was not random but emotion-specific," says López-Pérez. "In line with previous research, our results have shown that people hold very specific expectations about the effects that certain emotions may have and about which emotions may be better for achieving different goals." The study suggests that empathy led people to choose particular negative emotional experiences that they believed would ultimately help their partner be successful in the context of the game. "These findings shed light on social dynamics, helping us to understand, for instance, why we sometimes may try to make our loved ones feel bad if we perceive this emotion to be useful to achieve a goal," López-Pérez concludes. Michaela Gummerum was partly funded by Economic and Social Research Council Grant ES/K000942/1. Additional funding was provided by the School of Psychology at Plymouth University. For more information about this study, please contact: Belén López-Pérez at lopezpb@hope.ac.uk. The article abstract is available online: http://journals. The APS journal Psychological Science is the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology. For a copy of the article "Cruel to Be Kind: Factors Underlying Altruistic Efforts to Worsen Another Person's Mood" and access to other Psychological Science research findings, please contact Anna Mikulak at 202-293-9300 or amikulak@psychologicalscience.org.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: EURO-5-2015 | Award Amount: 15.15M | Year: 2016

The JPI for Urban Europe ERA-NET co-fund Smart Urban Futures (ENSUF) objectives are: - To tackle fragmentation and the implementation gap. - To contribute to integrated sustainable urban development. - To strengthen European urban research and innovation alignment. - To scale up and translate best practices. - To develop, analyse and test new strategies and technologies of urban governance and urban living in order to shape the economic, social and environmental needs of citizens for sustainable urban development. ENSUF will call for transnational research and innovation projects that operationalise and translate a framework of three main elements, and launch the Urban Europe response to the implementation gap in sustainable urban development. The three main elements are: - Transdiciplinary co-creation in research and innovation. - Smart integrated urban development. - Utilizing the spatial dimensions and processes of urban areas. These three elements will be integrated by transnational, forward-looking and comparative research and innovation projects focused on the following three priority call topics: - Concepts and strategies for smart urban transformation, growth and shrinkage - New dynamics of public services - Inclusive, vibrant and accessible urban communities The ENSUF Cofund proposal responds to the Horizon 2020 work programme for 2014 call EURO-5-2015: ERANET on Smart Urban Futures, Overcoming the Crisis: New Ideas, Strategies and Governance Structures for Europe. The EURO-5 call scope is to analyse strengths and weaknesses of current models of urban development, in order to improve knowledge and to identify and shape urban needs. In response, ENSUF will deliver (a) knowledge (strengths and weaknesses of urban development); (b) methodologies (new methods, tools and network approaches) and (c) a validation/assessment of the co-creation model and (d) outline new pathways for urban development.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SSH.2013.4.3-1 | Award Amount: 1.64M | Year: 2014

EqUIP: the EU-India Platform for the Social Sciences and Humanities will bring together research funding and support organisations in Europe and India in order to develop a stronger strategic partnership. Europe and India have strong historical links, but its research collaboration relationships are relatively new. EqUIP will link and build upon the successful partnerships developed at the European level, using the NORFACE and HERA European Research Area Networks (ERA-NETs) as a focus for expanding interactions with India. The platform will support agencies across Europe and India in stepping up international collaboration: through sharing best practice, networking and the closer coordination of existing collaborative activities and the establishment of new relationships. It will map existing collaborative activity with the aim of identifying barriers and challenges to effective research co-operation, as well as identify opportunities and priorities for future research collaboration.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: SCC-04-2016 | Award Amount: 18.65M | Year: 2016

Cities around the globe are struggling to meet the needs of their citizens with respect to food, energy and water. These three sectors are inextricably linked and actions in one sector more often have impacts in one or both of the others; these interacting sectors can therefore be seen as a Food-Energy-Water Nexus (FEW Nexus) of systems. The ERANET Sustainable Urbanisation Global Initiative (EN-SUGI) will bring together the fragmented research and innovation expertise across Europe and beyond to find innovative new solutions to this FEW Nexus challenge. Furthermore, by linking the activity of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) Urban Europe and the Belmont Forum (BF), EN-SUGI develops more resilient, applied urban solutions that bring research and innovation together from across the globe. EN-SUGI is a project that foresees the participation of 19 Funding Agencies eligible for the EU top up, 18 from JPI Urban Europe and 1 from Argentina, and 6 FAs non eligible for EU top up, under the umbrella of the Belmont forum , collaborating on a volunteer base. EN-SUGI Main objectives and impacts are: To support development of practical innovations and new collaborative research that will allow urban areas to understand and address the challenges of the Food-Energy-Water systems. (Impact = 12-14 projects funded, and 15 cities/local authorities engaged) To provide a framework for aligning R&I agendas of JPI Urban Europe and the BF,. The alignment will help foster transdisciplinary collaboration and co-creation in research and innovation, and facilitate the use of global expertise and knowledge (Impact = 24 funding organisations involved) EN-SUGI will foster development of international relationships between the different parts of the research and innovation community to enable them to contribute to addressing those challenges and goals, while aligning them to wider, strategic initiatives, including the SRIA agenda, Future Earth and UN Habitat.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: REV-INEQUAL-03-2016 | Award Amount: 15.82M | Year: 2016

Existing and rising inequalities pose fundamental challenges to European societies and economies. Large disparities in human and social capacities are counterproductive to a sustainable and creative economy and participatory governance and inclusion. The increasing gulf between rich and poor, exacerbated by the recent financial and economic crises, is a key concern. The sources of inequalities in contemporary societies are complex and highly intertwined and they and their consequences can only be understood through comprehensive, comparative and innovative research activities. It is for this reason that the NORFACE Network is committed to launch a transnational research programme on the topic of Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course: structures and processes (DIAL). The DIAL programme will contribute to understanding the dynamics of inequalities as they unfold over the life-course, causal processes and drivers in relation to these inequalities, the role of time with regard to inequalities and the impact of these inequalities on social cohesion. The specific challenge of this Call is to address the dynamics comparatively in their social, cultural, economic and political dimensions and to disentangle the impact of past events and current circumstances on later outcomes to provide solutions to reverse inequalities across the life-course. The NORFACE DIAL programme will coordinate the research efforts of the participating European Member States by implementing a joint trans-national call with European Commission co-funding to fund innovative comparative, transnational and interdisciplinary research initiatives within this thematic field. The NORFACE Network has received core funding under the European Unions ERA-Net scheme since 2004 and has developed a close partnership of European national agencies responsible for funding research activities in the social sciences. The DIAL programme builds on the successes of the NORFACE Network.


J-AGEII, the Coordination Action for implementation and alignment activities of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) More Years Better Lives the Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change, will support and foster the overall management of the JPI, update the Strategic Research Agenda and support implementation through joint activities between Member States. Furthermore, the work plan will include dissemination and information exchange with scientific and societal stakeholders, policy makers and research funders as well as an evaluation and monitoring exercise. Ultimately, the project and the JPI seek to stimulate the alignment of relevant national programmes and EU initiatives, strengthen the base of multi-disciplinary and holistic ageing research in Europe and to provide scientific evidence for policy responses to demographic change.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERA-NET-Cofund | Phase: SC5-28-2016 | Award Amount: 11.37M | Year: 2017

The Transformations to Sustainability (T2S) ERA-NET Cofund programme will be implemented in the context of a Belmont Forum Collaborative Research Action in cooperation with the NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe) network and the International Social Science Council (ISSC). A comprehensive and concerted research initiative is needed that can boost research on transformations to sustainability, that can catalyse new kinds of solutions to environmental and social challenges. This T2S programme therefore seeks to bring into being and nurture integrated teams of scientists from relevant academic disciplines including, as appropriate, social, natural, human, natural, engineering, agricultural and health/medical sciences disciplines and societal stakeholders to produce new knowledge and perspectives that can contribute to finding equitable and durable solutions to the challenges of sustainability in specific contexts, in support of the Sustainable Development Goals. This programme will contribute to re-structuring the broad field of sustainability research to place social science at the heart of interdisciplinary efforts and will contribute to a step change in scale and scope for research programming on this topic. This future-oriented call will be jointly undertaken by major funding agencies in Europa, the United States, Brazil, Taiwan and Japan. The T2S programme will coordinate the research efforts of the participating Member States and international partners by implementing a joint trans-national call with European Commission co-funding to fund innovative comparative, transnational and interdisciplinary research initiatives within this thematic field. The T2S partners will pursue the expansion of their present effective collaboration and actively strive at widening the consortium.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SSH.2013.4.3-2 | Award Amount: 1.68M | Year: 2013

Major research funders in Europe and the Americas have decided to join forces to build a Trans-Atlantic Platform (TA-P) in order to create and establish effective and structured multi-lateral engagement between research funding agencies in Europe and the Americas. This Trans-Atlantic-Platform is a global first, representing a collaborative effort of key Humanities and Social Science funders on a scale not previously entertained. This Platform will break down the barriers to further co-operation between funders and also lead to heightening understanding of the contribution of Social Sciences and Humanities disciplines in a global context. As a first major step, the proposal includes key partners from Europe, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Efforts will be made to engage additional partners from Europe and particularly the Americas. The Platform will support agencies in stepping up international collaboration: though sharing best practices, networking and closer coordination of existing activities and the establishment of new relationships to facilitate multidisciplinary networking across the Social Sciences and Humanities in their widest remit both with respect to research and geographical areas. A comparative analysis of the partners involved in the Platform and a mapping of existing research networks will be issued to identify barriers and challenges to transnational collaboration and to formulate successful mechanisms to work together efficiently beyond the bilateral approach. In order to become more than a network of networks and to bring genuine added value the Platform will be focusing on key topics. As an initial focus, the Platform has agreed upon a plan to pilot new principles of transnational collaboration through concrete joint programming focusing on the theme of Digital Scholarship. A shortlist of other thematic areas will be scoped in more detail and will serve as recommendations for topics and issues within Horizon 2020 or national funding strategies.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-ERA-Plus | Phase: SSH.2013.2.1-4 | Award Amount: 18.18M | Year: 2014

Welfare states are at a critical turning point. The development of welfare systems was one of the defining characteristics of the 20th century, especially in Europe. However, in times of change, it is important to re-think the welfare state with a programme of innovative research designed to ask, and answer, fundamental questions about the design, delivery and experience of welfare in the 21st century. It is for this reason that the NORFACE network is launching an international research programme on the topic of Welfare State Futures. This highly topical theme offers an approach from a variety of perspectives and disciplines, enables and encourages multi-disciplinarity and offers a fruitful topic for a European approach, with interesting opportunities for comparison. Since 2004 the NORFACE Network has proved itself as a successful coordinated common action of currently - sixteen national research funding agencies. NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Agency Cooperation in Europe) has offered unique opportunities for participating funding agencies by developing common research funding instruments, thus creating opportunities for facilitating and building new networks of research collaboration. Major achievements up until now have been three transnational initiatives: three rounds of the NORFACE Seminar Series in 2005, 2006 and 2007, the pilot research programme Re-emergence of Religion as a Social Force in Europe? ( M 5,4) in 2006 and the transnational research programme Migration in Europe - Social, Economic, Cultural and policy Dynamics ( M 23 and M 6 ERA-Net Plus contribution) in 2008. In 2010, the NORFACE Network committed itself to launching a new innovate joint research programme on Welfare State Futures. In the planning of this new programme, NORFACE builds on the valuable experience gained in developing and running these previous Calls.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2011.5.7 | Award Amount: 1.88M | Year: 2012

J-AGE, the Coordination Action for the early implementation of the Joint Programming Initiative (JPI) More Years Better Lives the Challenges and Opportunities of Demographic Change, will support and foster the overall management of the JPI, the development of the Strategic Research Agenda and its implementation through joint activities between Member States, the mapping of relevant national programmes and a complementary foresight activity. Furthermore, the work plan will include dissemination and information exchange with scientific and societal stakeholders, policy makers and research funders as well as an evaluation and monitoring exercise. Ultimately, the project and the JPI seek to strengthen the base of multi-disciplinary and holistic ageing research in Europe and to provide scientific evidence for policy responses to demographic change.

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