Emma Renström


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Works at Department of Psychology
Visiting address Frescati hagväg 14
Postal address Psykologiska institutionen 106 91 Stockholm


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2011. Emma A. Bäck. Eating Disorders 19 (5), 403-424

    Family relations may constitute a risk for developing eating problems. Not enough is known about parent-child relationship quality and upbringing in food situations. Self-report data from 80 high school students (45 males) showed that females had more eating problems than males, and their problems were related both to insecure mother attachment, controlling for body/weight dissatisfaction, and to more memories of childhood food rules. Secure mother attachment was related to decreased eating problems, via increasing body/weight satisfaction. Especially the mother- daughter relationship seems to affect adolescent girls' eating habits and can either protect against or enhance the risk for eating problems.

  • 2011. Emma A. Bäck (et al.). Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 52 (4), 320-328

    Decision-makers tend to change the psychological attractiveness of decision alternatives in favour of their own preferred alternative after the decision is made. In two experiments, the present research examined whether such decision consolidation occurs also among individual group members in a large group decision-making situation. High-school students were presented with a decision scenario on an important issue in their school. The final decision was made by in-group authority, out-group authority or by majority after a ballot voting. Results showed that individual members of large groups changed the attractiveness of their preferred alternative from a pre- to a post decision phase, that these consolidation effects increased when decisions were made by in-group members and when participants identified strongly with their school. Implications of the findings for understanding of group behavior and subgroup relations are discussed.

  • 2011. Emma A. Bäck (et al.).

    The present thesis consists of three studies on the effects of group membership in large group decisions. The overall aim was to contribute to understanding how individuals react when decisions are made in large groups. We explored consequences of procedural justice concerns within such groups. In Study I we investigated how different decision procedures and issue importance affect perceptions of others who agree and disagree with the individual on a potentially important issue.  Individuals attributed more positive reasons for attitudes of those who agree as opposed to disagree with themselves, whereas disagreers were attributed more negative reasons. The asymmetry was moderated by decision form, and issue importance. The attitudes concerned attitudes towards potential new policies. In Study II we investigated differences in participants’ perceptions of others depending on own position towards the new policy. Challengers of the status quo advocating a change in the existing policy, were more biased when judging others than were defenders of the status quo. This suggests that challengers are less tolerant of defenders’ point of view. This effect was not affected by perceptions of minority status among the challengers. In Study III we looked at individual group members’ cognitive restructuring of a preferred decision alternative, and how it differs between decision conditions when the decision-maker is affiliated to own ingroup or not. Results showed that individuals restructure the attractiveness of their preferred alternative in group decisions similarly to what has been previously found in individual decision-making. The magnitude of restructuring was greatest when ingroup members decided for the group. However, this effect was moderated by identification with the ingroup, such that those who identified themselves with the ingroup restructured their preferred alternative more when ingroup members decided as opposed to when outgroup authorities decided.

  • 2009. Emma Bäck, Torun Lindholm. XIth annual meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Tampa, February 5-7, 2009

    The default ideological position is status quo maintaining (Skitka et. al., 2002), and people typically perceive more self-interest in arguements undermining rather than maintaining the status quo (O’Brien & Crandall, 2005). However, it is not known how people pro status quo change perceive those disagree rather than agree with themselves. In three studies the current research explored how individuals pro and con a status quo change on a controversial issue (e. g., gay couples’ right to child adoption, prohibition of religious symbols in schools) perceived the externality and rationality of preferences among those who agreed and disagreed with their own preference (Kenworthy & Miller, 2002). In all three studies, individuals pro- as compared to con a status quo change showed more bias, that is more perceived externality and less rationality behind preferences of those disagreeing rather than agreeing with themselves. Individuals pro status quo change were more biased when a decision on the target issue was made that concorded rather than discorded with their own preference, whereas those against a change showed more bias with a discordant decision outcome. Because status quo is default position, people who challenge it take a risk, possibly inducing threat feelings which should increase biases (Stephan et. al., 2002). A concordant decision outcome in this situation may have a validating function, boosting self-enhancement and increase biases (Tajfel & Turner, 1986).

  • 2008. Emma Bäck (et al.). Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Albuquerque, 2008

    Important issues seem to elicit attributional biases regarding origins of attitudes, such that people holding the same attitude as oneself (ingroup) is seen as more rational and less externally influenced than people holding an opposing attitude (outgroup) (Kenworthy & Miller, 2002). The current research examines the role of issue importance for such biases in three studies. In Study 1, students read about pros and cons of prohibiting religious symbols in Swedish schools. They stated their preferred alternative, issue importance, and rated origins of preferences for the ingroup and outgroup. Issue importance was related to biases. This relation was tested in two follow-up studies where high school students read about a hypothetical decision situation where their school was to decide whether to prohibit religious symbols or not. In both studies, participants stated preferred decision alternative and issue importance. Decision outcome was manipulated to concord or discord with participants’ preferences. In Study 2, decision-making form varied so the decision was made by the student council, school authorities or by voting. In Study 3, the student council of participants’ own and an adjacent school were going to make the decision together. School size and composition principle of the student council varied. Results showed that biases varied with target group and issue importance in both studies. In Study 2, biases also varied with decision-making form and outcome, although this was not replicated in Study 3. Importance seems to be decisive for biases, and decision-making form and outcome may under some circumstances influence biases.

Show all publications by Emma Renström at Stockholm University

Last updated: August 11, 2018

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