Amber Nadal

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Addiction: Motivation, action control, and habits of pleasure
Motivation Science
Roy Baumeister and Amber Nadal
Addiction is a promising phenomenon for gaining insight into how motivation (wanting and liking) interacts with control of behavior. Some have proposed that addiction primarily undermines action control, such as by weakening free will or overwhelming its capabilities with strong desires. As that view is at odds with empirical evidence, we develop an alternative account. Addiction begins with discovery of new pleasure (liking), which leads to and reinforces patterns of wanting to indulge again so as to recreate that pleasure. Regular use also establishes habits of using, which are sustained by automatization as well as pleasure. Volitional control (a.k.a. free will) remains intact but its limited resources are taxed when the addict tries to quit, so that it is necessary to override many desires to indulge and to counteract the behavioral habits of indulging. Occasional lapses rekindle the habits and desires, thereby increasing the odds of full relapse. These changes to liking, wanting, and doing create many pitfalls for someone trying to quit. It is the combination of frequent weak desires and habitual impulses, rather than irresistible cravings, that most often produce failure to quit.

Some equalities are more equal than others: Quality equality emerges later than numerical equality PDF
Child Development
Mark Sheskin, Amber Nadal, Adam Croom, Tanya Mayer, Jenny Nissel, and Paul Bloom
By age 6, children typically share an equal number of resources between themselves and others. However,fairness involves not merely that each person receive an equal number of resources ("numerical equality") but also that each person receive equal quality resources ("quality equality"). In Study 1, children (N=87,3-10 years) typically split four resources "two each" by age 6, but typically monopolized the better two resources until age 10. In Study 2, a new group of 6- to 8-year-olds (N=32) allocated resources to third parties according to quality equality, indicating that children in this age group understand that fairness requires both types of equality.

Understanding the roles of religiosity and spirituality in emerging adults in the United States
Psychology of Religion and Spirituality
Amber Nadal, Sam Hardy, and Carolyn Barry
This study compared variable-centered and person-centered analyses to assess the prevalence and adaptiveness of patterns or religiosity and spirituality (R/S) among emerging adults. A sample of 9,495 college students (ages 18-25, Mage 19.77) from the Multisite University Study of Identity and Culture (MUSIC; see Castillo & Schwartz, 2013) completed a cross-sectional online survey. Variable-centered analyses (creating groups using mean splits and comparing them on outcomes using ANOVA) found that individuals who were religious and spiritual fared the best in terms of psychosocial outcomes. Individuals who were spiritual but not religious and neither religious nor spiritual tended to have better outcomes than did those who were religious but not spiritual. Person-centered analyses latent-profile analysis) identified 3 classes: low R/S, moderate R/S, and high R/S. Comparing the classes on distal outcomes revealed that high R/S individuals tended to have the best outcomes, followed by those with low R/S, while those with moderate R/S tended to fare the worst. The results illuminate not only the relative roles of religiosity and spirituality during emerging adulthood, but also provide a unique vantage point for comparing variable-centered and person-centered approaches in the study of religiosity and spirituality.

The Integration of Religious Identity, Moral Identity, and Identity Maturity in Emerging Adulthood
Sam Hardy, Amber Nadal, and Seth Schwartz
Objective: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relative roles of identity maturity, religious identity, and moral identity vis-à-vis emerging adult psychosocial functioning.
Method: Data were collected from 9,495 college students from 30 universities in the U.S. using an online survey. Self-report scales were used to assess identity maturity, religious identity, and moral identity, as well as behavioral (prosocial behavior, antisocial behavior, hazardous alcohol use, and sexual risk-taking) and psychological (meaning, self-esteem, internal locus of control, and depressive symptoms) outcomes.
Results: A variable-centered analysis (path analysis) used identity formation, religious identity, and moral identity as predictors of the outcomes. Moral identity was the strongest predictor of the behavioral outcomes, whereas identity maturity was the strongest predictor of the psychological outcomes. A person-centered analysis (latent profile analysis) found three classes: Integrated, Moral Identity Focused, and Religious Identity Focused, with Integrated being most adaptive on all outcomes.
Conclusions: Variable-centered and person-centered analyses provided different vantage points for examining relations between identity maturity, religious identity, and moral identity. Identity maturity and domain-specific identities (religious and moral identity) play interrelated but distinct roles in development and functioning, with the integration of the three being most adaptive.

What a Eudaimonic Perspective Can Add to the Understanding of Marital Quality: Incremental Validity of Virtue in Relationships
Under review
Amber Nadal, Sam Hardy, Scott Braithwaite, and Brent Slife
The present study conceptualized marital quality from a eudaimonic, relational-virtues oriented perspective. The Virtue in Relationships Scale (VIRS; comprised of empathy, forgiveness, gratitude, humility, and trust subscales) was created through culling important marital themes, and psychometrics and validity were assessed relative to pre-existing hedonic measures of marital quality (Quality of Marriage Index and marital satisfaction). In multiple regression analyses the VIRS was a strong predictor of several marital outcomes (relational support and depth, relationship self-regulation strategies and effort, relationship security, reconsideration of commitment, and negative conflict tactics), controlling for pre-existing measures of marital quality and length of marriage. Evidence of the incremental validity of the VIRS over the QMI and marital satisfaction is provided.

Adolescent Religious Motivation: A Self-Determination Theory Approach
In preparation
Amber Nadal and Sam Hardy
This research demonstrates the psychometrics and validity of a short from of the Religious Internalization Scale (a self-determination theory measure of religious motivation), and examines the role of different types of religious motivation for youth outcomes. Participants were three samples (N = 378; N = 278; N = 275) of religious adolescents and their parents from across the U.S. Using confirmatory factor analysis, the 3-factor (external, introjected, and autonomous motivation), 15-item measure (RIS-15) was developed in one study, and confirmed in the other two. Relationships of the three factors to youth outcomes were assessed in each study using structural equation modeling. In general, autonomous religious motivation positively predicted adaptive outcomes (e.g. prosocial behaviors, psychological well-being, and positive traits) and negatively predicted maladaptive outcomes (e.g. antisocial and health-risk behaviors, mental illness, and negative traits), whereas the inverse was largely true of external motivation, and links with introjected motivation were sparse. Further, autonomous religious motivation often remained predictive of outcomes in the context of other aspects of religiousness. Lastly, autonomous religious motivation and religious involvement interacted in many cases when predicting youth outcomes. The findings validate the RIS-15 and elucidate the importance of autonomous religious motivation.