In the past Charles S. Carver has collaborated on articles with Michael H. Antoni and Frank J. Penedo. One of their most recent publications is The self-attention-induced feedback loop and social facilitation. Which was published in journal Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

More information about Charles S. Carver research including statistics on their citations can be found on their Copernicus Academic profile page.

Charles S. Carver's Articles: (12)

The self-attention-induced feedback loop and social facilitation

AbstractIt has been proposed that self-directed attention leads to the engagement of a cybernetic feedback loop, by which discrepancies between present behavior and a standard of comparison are reduced. This analysis is applied to performance facilitation effects, which are more typically explained in terms of drive theories. Though these two approaches to motivation make similar behavioral predictions in this context, they assume different mediating states. Support is noted for the assumptions that mirror presence and audience presence induce self-focus, and that they lead to comparison with salient behavioral standards. Support for the assumption that these manipulations increase arousal is also reviewed, and is challenged on methodological grounds. The attentional analysis is used to derive predictions regarding changes in physiological state over the course of a typical social facilitation procedure. An experiment is reported which confirmed these predictions. Discussion centers on how to interpret physiological changes in terms that are compatible with control theory, how to account for social impairment phenomena in terms of the present model, and the conceptual relationship between mirror presence and audience presence as experimental manipulations.

Outcome expectancy, locus of attribution for expectancy, and self-directed attention as determinants of evaluations and performance☆

AbstractAre internal versus external attributions of responsibility for prior outcomes important determinants of subsequent performances? or is their effect limited to influencing the affective and evaluative experiences that are associated with the task outcomes? Recent theoretical statements appear to differ on this issue. The present study examined the question, while at the same time testing the influence of self-directed attention on the process under investigation. Subjects attempted a series of mazes in collaboration with an ostensible cosubject (actually a confederate). The pair experienced either three consecutive sucesses or three consecutive failures. Subjects were led to perceive the responsibility for these outcomes as residing primarily with themselves or primarily with their partner. Self-focus was manipulated (by a mirror) prior to attempting a fourth maze and completing a set of rating scales. Success-condition subjects performed better on the fourth maze in the mirror's presence than in its absence, whereas failure-condition subjects tended to perform more poorly in the mirror's presence than in its absence. The manipulation of internal versus external attributions did not influence behavior, but did influence subjects' affective and evaluative reactions to themselves and their partner. Discussion centers on the relationship between these findings and other recent findings in the areas of attribution and achievement-related behavior.

Performing poorly, performing well: a view of the self-regulatory consequences of confidence and doubt

AbstractA general approach to the self-regulation of behaviour is outlined, in which people's continued efforts are seen as being partly determined by their outcome expectancies. If difficulties are not encountered either before or during an act, behaviour proceeds smoothly. If, however, difficulties are anticipated or encountered, the person considers (momentarily or for a longer period) the likelihood of attaining the desired outcome. Behavioural responses to this assessment form a rough dichotomy. Confidence of successful goal attainment promotes continued effort, even if the task is frustrating or anxiety provoking. Sufficient doubt about successful goal attainment promotes an impulse to disengage from further effort. This impulse sometimes is expressed overtly, sometimes covertly as psychological or mental disengagement. This analysis has served as a basis for exploring the dynamics underlying test anxiety and other discrete problems in self-management. More recently it has been used to explore the nature of optimism and pessimism. The diversity of the domains to which the theoretical principles have been applied suggests that they may also be of use as an orientation toward issues in educational research.

Archival ReportCognitive-Behavioral Stress Management Reverses Anxiety-Related Leukocyte Transcriptional Dynamics

BackgroundChronic threat and anxiety are associated with pro-inflammatory transcriptional profiles in circulating leukocytes, but the causal direction of that relationship has not been established. This study tested whether a cognitive-behavioral stress management (CBSM) intervention targeting negative affect and cognition might counteract anxiety-related transcriptional alterations in people confronting a major medical threat.MethodsOne hundred ninety-nine women undergoing primary treatment of stage 0–III breast cancer were randomized to a 10-week CBSM protocol or an active control condition. Seventy-nine provided peripheral blood leukocyte samples for genome-wide transcriptional profiling and bioinformatic analyses at baseline, 6-month, and 12-month follow-ups.ResultsBaseline negative affect was associated with >50% differential expression of 201 leukocyte transcripts, including upregulated expression of pro-inflammatory and metastasis-related genes. CBSM altered leukocyte expression of 91 genes by >50% at follow-up (group × time interaction), including downregulation of pro-inflammatory and metastasis-related genes and upregulation of type I interferon response genes. Promoter-based bioinformatic analyses implicated decreased activity of NF-κB/Rel and GATA family transcription factors and increased activity of interferon response factors and the glucocorticoid receptor as potential mediators of CBSM-induced transcriptional alterations.ConclusionsIn early-stage breast cancer patients, a 10-week CBSM intervention can reverse anxiety-related upregulation of pro-inflammatory gene expression in circulating leukocytes. These findings clarify the molecular signaling pathways by which behavioral interventions can influence physical health and alter peripheral inflammatory processes that may reciprocally affect brain affective and cognitive processes.

Original articleAnger suppression mediates the relationship between optimism and natural killer cell cytotoxicity in men treated for localized prostate cancer

AbstractObjectiveThis study evaluated relations among optimism, depression, anger suppression and natural killer cell cytotoxicity (NKCC) in 61 men treated for localized prostate cancer (PC).MethodAll participants were assessed at a single time point where demographics, optimism, depression and anger suppression were measured. We also collected peripheral venous blood to assess NKCC.ResultsResults showed that greater optimism was associated with greater NKCC (β=.27, P<.05), less depression (β=−.63, P<.001) and less anger suppression (β=−.29, P<.05). Furthermore, less anger suppression (β=−.35, P<.01) was associated with greater NKCC. In a hierarchical regression model controlling for depression and then anger suppression, the relationship between optimism and NKCC became nonsignificant [β=.18, t(56)=1.51, P=.14], while anger suppression remained significantly correlated with NKCC [β=−.29, t(56)=−2.40, P<.05].ConclusionsResults suggest that optimism is associated with NKCC and a greater ability to adaptively express anger. Furthermore, it appears that less anger suppression partially mediates the relationship between optimism and NKCC.

Original articlePsychosocial adaptation and cellular immunity in breast cancer patients in the weeks after surgery: An exploratory study

AbstractBackgroundThe period just after surgery for breast cancer requires psychosocial adaptation and is associated with elevated distress. Distress states have been associated with decreased cellular immune functioning in this population, which could have negative effects on physical recovery. However, little is known about relations between psychological status [negative and positive mood states and overall quality of life (QOL)] and cellular signaling cytokines that could account for these associations in women undergoing treatment for breast cancer.MethodsThe present study examined associations between psychological adaptation indicators (mood, QOL) and T-helper cell type 1 (Th1) cytokine production from stimulated peripheral mononuclear cells in women who had recently undergone surgery for early-stage breast cancer but had not yet begun adjuvant therapy. These associations were evaluated while controlling for relevant disease/treatment, sociodemographic, and health behavior covariates.ResultsLower anxiety related to greater production of the Th1 cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2), while greater positive mood (affection) related to greater production of the Th1 cytokines IL-12 and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). Better QOL related to greater production of the Th1 cytokine, tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α).ConclusionIndividual differences in psychosocial adaptation in women with breast cancer during the period after surgery relate to biological parameters that may be relevant for health and well-being as they move through treatment.

Differential psychological effects of cognitive-behavioral stress management among breast cancer patients with high and low initial cancer-specific distress

Highlights•Effects of cognitive-behavioral stress management are moderated by level of distress.•Women with elevated cancer-specific distress after surgery benefit most from CBSM.•No differential intervention effects occurred among low-distress women.

Commonalities and differences in characteristics of persons at risk for narcissism and mania

AbstractClinicians have long noted overlap in some of the key features of narcissism and bipolar disorder, including excessively high goals and impulsivity. In addition, empirical findings consistently document high levels of comorbidity between the two conditions. To better understand the similarities and differences in psychological qualities associated with mania- and narcissism-related vulnerabilities, we administered to 233 undergraduates a broad range of measures pertaining to goals and affects (both their experience and their dysregulation) and impulsivity. As hypothesized, tendencies toward both narcissism and hypomania related to elevations on measures of affective and goal dysregulation. In addition, hypomania tendencies were related to higher impulsivity, but that association did not appear for narcissistic tendencies. Results highlight key commonalities and differences between those at risk for mania versus narcissism. Future research should examine these relationships in clinically diagnosed samples.

Regular ArticleEmergent Integration in Contemporary Personality Psychology☆

AbstractI argue that a good deal of integration is taking place within personality psychology today, prompted in part by researchers taking fresh looks at ideas that have been around for some time. I illustrate this assertion by describing several examples of re-emergent ideas. One re-emergent idea which finds applications many areas of personality and social psychology is the notion that human beings have distinct approach and avoidance systems. Another set of ideas that is re-emerging is psychoanalytic theory, a phenomenon that is attributable in part to an enhanced realization of this theory's roots in evolutionary theory. A third re-emergent theme (again with many applications) is that personality is social. Fresh looks at these various ideas provide active research areas, but also provide new lenses to use in viewing other research areas.


AbstractOptimism is an individual difference variable that reflects the extent to which people hold generalized favorable expectancies for their future. Higher levels of optimism have been related prospectively to better subjective well-being in times of adversity or difficulty (i.e., controlling for previous well-being). Consistent with such findings, optimism has been linked to higher levels of engagement coping and lower levels of avoidance, or disengagement, coping. There is evidence that optimism is associated with taking proactive steps to protect one's health, whereas pessimism is associated with health-damaging behaviors. Consistent with such findings, optimism is also related to indicators of better physical health. The energetic, task-focused approach that optimists take to goals also relates to benefits in the socioeconomic world. Some evidence suggests that optimism relates to more persistence in educational efforts and to higher later income. Optimists also appear to fare better than pessimists in relationships. Although there are instances in which optimism fails to convey an advantage, and instances in which it may convey a disadvantage, those instances are relatively rare. In sum, the behavioral patterns of optimists appear to provide models of living for others to learn from.

Scaling back goals and recalibration of the affect system are processes in normal adaptive self-regulation: understanding ‘response shift’ phenomena

AbstractThis comment addresses a set of phenomena that have been labeled ‘response shift’. We argue that many of these phenomena reflect recalibration of a goal-seeking system and an affect-management system, both of which are involved in normal adaptive self-regulation. In brief, we hold that these systems act as feedback control mechanisms. The reference values for both systems continuously undergo gradual recalibration. Because in most circumstances the adjustments tend to occur with equivalent frequency in both directions, their cumulative effect is minimal. In situations of either unusually prolonged goal attainment (and overattainment) or unusually prolonged adversity (as occurs, e.g., with deteriorating health), the cumulative effect can be substantial. We believe that these latter recalibrations of reference value account for many response shift phenomena. Other such phenomena are accounted for by the principle of hierarchical organization among the self-regulatory goals that comprise the self.

Stress management, leukocyte transcriptional changes and breast cancer recurrence in a randomized trial: An exploratory analysis☆

Highlights•Conserved transcriptional response to adversity (CTRA) rises with cancer treatment.•Cognitive behavioral stress management (CBSM) buffers CTRA during treatment.•Less CTRA rise during cancer treatment predicts longer 11-yr disease-free survival.•CBSM modulates disease relevant biobehavioral processes in breast cancer treatment.

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