Jump-starting early childhood education at home: Early learning, parent motivation, and public policy.

Authors: Benjamin Converse, Chloe Gibbs, E.A. Mahoney, S.C. Levine, S.L. Beilock

By the time children begin formal schooling, their experiences at home have already contributed to large variations in their math and language development, and once school begins, academic achievement continues to depend strongly on influences outside of school. It is thus essential that educational reform strategies involve primary caregivers. 

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On Rivalry and Goal Pursuit: Shared Competitive History, Legacy Concerns, and Strategy Selection

Authors: Benjamin Converse, David A. Reinhard

Seven studies converge to show that prompting people to think about a rival versus a nonrival competitor causes them to view current competitions as more connected to past ones, to be more concerned with long-term legacy, and to pursue personal goals in a more eager, less cautious manner. These results are consistent with a social–cognitive view of rivalry that defines it as a competitive relational schema. 

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Investing in Karma: When Wanting Promotes Helping

Authors: Benjamin Converse, A., Risen, J. L., & Carter, T. J.

People often face outcomes of important events that are beyond their personal control, such as when they wait for an acceptance letter, job offer, or medical test results. We suggest that when wanting and uncertainty are high and personal control is lacking, people may be more likely to help others, as if they can encourage fate’s favor by doing good deeds proactively. 

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Instrumentality boosts appreciation: Helpers are more appreciated while they are useful

Authors: Benjamin Converse, A. Fishbach

We propose that in social interactions, appreciation depends on the helper’s instrumentality: The more motivated one is to accomplish a goal and the more one perceives a potential helper as able to facilitate that goal, the more appreciation one will feel for that helper. Three experiments support this instrumentality-boost hypothesis by showing that beneficiaries feel more appreciation for their helpers while they are receiving help toward an ongoing task than after that task has been completed or after the helper has been deemed no longer instrumental. 

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