Search Cornell

Ways people with a purpose live differently

Tags: Anthony Burrow,   media mention,   PRYDE,   purpose,  

Anthony Burrow

Anthony Burrow

Having purpose in life - an underlying sense of meaning that guides what you do - boosts self-esteem and self-worth, finds Anthony Burrow, co-director of the BCTR's Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE). A recent Huffington Post piece examined the ways people with a purpose live differently, using Burrow's recent research into Facebook likes as a test of the effects of purpose on self-esteem:

What motivates you is entirely up to you. But understanding your own priorities, knowing what you are working to accomplish and being committed to meaningful causes can help balance your sense of self-esteem and self-worth.
“It’s not really about what the content of a person’s purpose is, but the strength of it ― how much they’ve committed to the idea that there’s something that they’re pursuing,” study author Anthony Burrow, assistant professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell University, told The Huffington Post.
It’s important to note that having a sense of purpose is different from having goals, Burrow added. Goals are pursuits you can accomplish, he said. “Purpose is sort of an overarching direction for which you use to organize and align your goals.”
What the study revealed about people with purpose
Burrow and team wanted to investigate the way higher levels of purpose affected self-esteem, so they conducted two experiments. In the first, they surveyed Facebook users about purpose, self-esteem and average number of “likes” their posts typically received, finding the more likes people tended to receive, the higher their self-esteem tended to be. Except that for the individuals who reported having a high sense of purpose, there was no relationship between self-esteem and number of “likes.”
For the second experiment, the researchers created a fake social media site (to confirm that the results of the first experiment weren’t Facebook-specific). Plus, using a fake site allowed the researchers to manipulate the number of likes a given user received ― and then measure how that number (above-average, average or below-average) affected an individual’s reported level of self-esteem.
Self-esteem was higher in general if the individuals were told they had received a high number of “likes” and lower if they were told they had received a low number of “likes.” But, Burrow added: “There was no relationship between the number of likes people received and their self-esteem if they had a high sense of purpose.”

7 Ways People With A Purpose Live Differently - Huffington Post

Save

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Anthony Burrow    media mention    PRYDE    purpose   

Doing Translational Research podcast: Jennifer Agans, Saturday, September 21, 2019

jennifer agans View Media

Doing Translational Research podcast: Jennifer Agans

Research/Community Partnerships
Monday, December 5, 2016

Jennifer Agans
Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University

Tags: 4-H,   Jennifer Agans,   podcast,   PRYDE,   youth,   youth development,  

Research/Community Partnerships
Monday, December 5, 2016

Jennifer Agans
Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research, Cornell University

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    Jennifer Agans    podcast    PRYDE    youth    youth development   

Talks at Twelve: Jennifer Agans, Saturday, September 21, 2019

jennifer agans View Media

Talks at Twelve: Jennifer Agans

The Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE): Integrating Research and Practice
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Jennifer Agans
BCTR, Cornell University

Tags: 4-H,   Jennifer Agans,   PRYDE,   video,   youth,   youth development,  

The Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE): Integrating Research and Practice
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Jennifer Agans
BCTR, Cornell University

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    Jennifer Agans    PRYDE    video    youth    youth development   

Doing Translational Research podcast: Jennifer Agans

Tags: 4-H,   Jennifer Agans,   podcast,   PRYDE,   youth,   youth development,  

podcast agansIn episode 9 of the podcast, Karl welcomes Jen Agans, assistant director of the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE). They discuss the importance of research/community partnerships, Agan's research on children's out-of-school time, and Agans explains what exactly the 4-H program is.

Dr. Jennifer Agans is assistant director of PRYDE in the Bronfenbrenner Center. Before coming to Cornell University, she received her Ph.D. and M.A. in child study and human development from Tufts University and her B.A. in psychology from Macalester College. Dr. Agans’ research focuses on youth development within out-of-school time contexts, and her work with PRYDE builds on her interest in bridging youth research and practice.

Ep. 9: Research/Community Partnerships with Jennifer Agans, PRYDE, Cornell - Doing Translational Research podcast

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    Jennifer Agans    podcast    PRYDE    youth    youth development   

Light bulbs or seeds? Metaphor and understanding genius

Tags: gender,   Kristen Elmore,   media mention,   PRYDE,   STEM,  

elmore

Kristen Elmore

Ideas are commonly described using metaphors; a bright idea appears like a “light bulb” or the “seed” of an idea takes root. However, little is known about how these metaphors may shape beliefs about ideas or the role of effort versus genius in their creation, an important omission given the known motivational consequences of such beliefs. We explore whether the light bulb metaphor, although widespread and intuitively appealing, may foster the belief that innovative ideas are exceptional occurrences that appear suddenly and effortlessly—inferences that may be particularly compatible with gendered stereotypes of genius as male. Across three experiments, we find evidence that these metaphors influence judgments of idea quality and perceptions of an inventor’s genius. Moreover, these effects varied by the inventor’s gender and reflected prevailing gender stereotypes: Whereas the seed (vs. light bulb) metaphor increased the perceived genius of female inventors, the opposite pattern emerged for male inventors.

The above is the abstract from a new article in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, Light Bulbs or Seeds? How Metaphors for Ideas Influence Judgments About Genius, co-authored by Kristen Elmore, postdoctoral associate in the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement in the BCTR. A recent New York Times article on the findings further discusses the light bulb vs. seed metaphor in the context of gender:

These two metaphors are often used to describe scientific discovery and what we perceive as genius. Along with them come ingrained, subconscious associations that may have unintended consequences, according to a study published Friday in Social Psychological and Personality Science. Researchers found that we find an idea more or less exceptional depending on the metaphors used to describe it. And not just that: Those metaphors had different effects depending on the gender of the idea’s creator.

Kristen Elmore, a developmental and social psychologist at Cornell University and lead author of the study, saw metaphors about ideas everywhere. She saw light bulbs on bulletin boards at schools and in student essays about inventions. Less frequently, young people were exposed to metaphors that describe nurturing ideas like seedlings.

Dr. Elmore and her colleague, Myra Luna-Lucero, a researcher at Columbia Teachers College, set out to study whether these metaphors carry unexplored implications. In a series of three experiments, more than 700 adult men and women, mostly in their 30s, were exposed to a variety of male and female inventors whose ideas were described as emerging like light bulbs or nurtured seedlings.

They found that people tend to rate discoveries that came about “like a light bulb” as more exceptional than those that are “nurtured like seeds.” But not when the inventor was a woman. In that case, people rated “nurtured” ideas as more exceptional.

Light Bulbs or Seeds? How Metaphors for Ideas Influence Judgments About Genius - Social Psychological and Personality Science

Metaphorically Speaking, Men Are Expected to be Struck by Genius, Women to Nurture It - New York Times

Save

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: gender    Kristen Elmore    media mention    PRYDE    STEM   

‘Likes’ less likely to affect self-esteem of people with purpose


By Susan Kelley for the Cornell Chronicle:

burrow rainone

Burrow and Rainone

How many likes did I get?

The rush of self-esteem that comes with the ubiquitous thumbs-up has more people asking that question, as Facebook and other social media sites offer more ways for friends to endorse photos and posts.

But one group seems immune to that rush: people with a sense of purpose.

In the first study on the effects of purpose in the online world, Cornell researchers have found that having a sense of purpose limits how reactive people are to positive feedback on social media.

“We found that having a sense of purpose allowed people to navigate virtual feedback with more rigidity and persistence. With a sense of purpose, they’re not so malleable to the number of likes they receive,” said Anthony Burrow, co-author of the study and assistant professor of human development. “Purposeful people noticed the positive feedback, but did not rely on it to feel good about themselves.”

Burrow and other researchers define a sense of purpose as ongoing motivation that is self-directed, oriented toward the future and beneficial to others. People with a strong sense of purpose tend to agree with such statements as “To me, all the things I do are worthwhile” and “I have lots of reasons for living.”

While it is nice to receive compliments, online or otherwise, it may not be a good thing to base one’s self-esteem on them, Burrow said.

“Otherwise, on days when you receive few likes, you’ll feel worse. Your self-esteem would be contingent on what other people say and think,” he said. “Over time that’s not healthy, that’s not adaptive. You want to show up with rigidity: ‘I know who I am and I feel good about that.’”

The study, “How many likes did I get?: Purpose moderates links between positive social media feedback and self-esteem,” appeared Sept. 14 in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The researchers hypothesize that because purposeful people have the ability to see themselves in the future and act in ways that help them achieve their goals, they are able to inhibit impulsive responses to perceived rewards, such that they prefer larger downstream incentives to smaller immediate ones, said co-author Nicolette Rainone ’16.

The researchers conducted two experiments to get these results.

In the first, they recruited nearly 250 active Facebook users from around the country. They measured the participants’ self-esteem and sense of purpose, and asked how many likes they typically got on photos they posted.

The Facebook users who reported getting more likes on average also reported greater self-esteem. But those with a high level of purpose showed no change in self-esteem, no matter how many likes they got. “That is, receiving more likes only corresponded with greater self-esteem for those who had lower levels of purpose,” Burrow said.

In the second study, the researchers asked about 100 Cornell students to take a selfie and post it to a mock social media site, “Faces of the Ivies.” The students were told that their photo had received a high, low or average number of likes.

Getting a high number of likes boosted self-esteem – but, again, only for students who had less purpose. “In fact, those higher in purpose showed no elevation in self-esteem, even when they were told they received a high number of likes,” Burrow said.

This is the first study to show purpose lowers reactivity to positive events. Most research to date on purpose has looked at it as buffer against negative events such as stress.

Without a sense of purpose, one can act against one’s own interests even when something positive happens, said Rainone, who is a program assistant for the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement at Cornell’s Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. “For example, if I’m studying for a big exam and get a good score on a practice test, that can make me think, ‘Oh, I really don’t need to study.’ And that may ultimately decrease my final score, because I stopped persisting,” she said. “Having a purpose keeps you emotionally steady which is essential for successful academic and work performance.”

'Likes' less likely to affect self-esteem of people with purpose - Cornell Chronicle

Save

Save

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Anthony Burrow    media mention    mental health    Nicolette Rainone    PRYDE    social media    youth development   

Talks at Twelve: Jennifer Agans, Thursday, December 8, 2016

Tags: 4-H,   Jennifer Agans,   PRYDE,   youth,   youth development,  
 
jennifer agans

The Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE): Integrating Research and Practice
Jennifer Agans, BCTR

Thursday, December 8, 2016
12:00 - 1:00 PM
Beebe Hall, 2nd floor conference room



The Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) is a relatively new project in the BCTR. Working in partnership with New York State 4-H Youth Development programs, PRYDE strives to understand and improve the lives of today’s youth and promote positive youth development through innovative research and evidence-based approaches. In its first year, PRYDE has received considerable support and encouragement from both campus and county. In this talk Agans will discuss the program’s strategies, progress, and ongoing learning about the process of research-practice collaboration.

Jennifer Agans, Ph.D., is a research associate in the BCTR and the assistant director of the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE). Her work with PRYDE focuses on building capacity for campus-county partnerships between researchers at Cornell and 4-H programs across New York State. This work builds on her interests in translational and applied youth development research and the ways in which out-of-school time activities can foster positive youth development.

This talk is open to all. Lunch will be served. Metered parking is available in the Botanical Gardens lot across the road from Beebe Hall. No registration or RSVP required except fo groups of 5 or more. We ask that larger groups email Patty at pmt6@cornell.edu letting us know of your plans to attend so that we can order enough lunch.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    Jennifer Agans    PRYDE    youth    youth development   

PRYDE inaugural explores the future of youth development research

Tags: PRYDE,   research,   video,   youth,   youth development,  

prydepanel

L-R: Lisa Lauxman, Lawrence Aber, Robert Sellers

The inaugural celebration for the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) featured three eminent speakers in a panel discussion on “The Future of Youth Development Research: Perspectives from Research and Practice.” This panel uniquely reflected the mission of PRYDE in that it brought research perspectives (Dr. Robert Sellers from University of Michigan and Dr. Lawrence Aber from New York University) together with the perspective of policy and practice (Dr. Lisa Lauxman of the Division of Youth and 4-H in the US Department of Agriculture). Significantly, the event was also attended by both Cornell faculty and Cornell Cooperative Extension educators from across New York State, resulting in a rich discussion of the relevance of youth development research and its translation to practice. In keeping with the mission of PRYDE, this event featured innovative research and highlighted the importance of partnering with youth-serving organizations in order to understand and improve the lives of youth.

The full event video, including introductory remarks by College of Human Ecology Associate Dean for Research and Outreach  Rachel Dunifon and PRYDE co-directors Anthony Burrow and Karl Pillemer, can be viewed here:

Save

Save

Save

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: PRYDE    research    video    youth    youth development   

Conference shares latest youth development research


By Olivia M. Hall from the Cornell Chronicle:

burrow presenting

Anthony Burrow, assistant professor of human development and PRYDE co-director, presents a poster on youth and life purpose at the Youth Development Research Update.

Runaway slaves, social media, environmental education, the wisdom of elders – the sixth annual Youth Development Research Update June 1-2 in Ithaca covered a lot of ground.

Funded by the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR) in the College of Human Ecology, the conference brought together 55 Cornell Cooperative Extension educators and program leaders, youth service providers from community agencies and Cornell faculty members from across campus to explore how these and other topics relate to children and teens and how to better serve their needs.

“This event creates a unique, interactive space for practitioners and researchers to engage in sustained dialogue about ongoing research and the potential for future collaboration,” said assistant professor of human development Anthony Burrow, who organized the event with Jutta Dotterweich, director of training for BCTR’s ACT for Youth project.

Stephanie Graf, a Youth and Family Program leader with Jefferson County Extension, has developed several fruitful partnerships over five years of attending the conference. For a past project on Defiant Gardens for military families, for example, she worked with professor of natural resources Marianne Krasny, who this year spoke about environmental education programs to support positive youth development.

Krasny outlined how environmental stewardship activities have potential to stimulate positive growth in young people, leading to healthier physical habits, skills for future employment or greater self-confidence and emotional self-regulation. Educators, meanwhile, face the challenge of guiding youth without overly imposing their own experiences and decision-making – a dilemma for which she suggested a reflective practice of providing structure, support, mutual learning, open communication and ultimate accountability. “Positive youth development is possible,” she said, “but it’s not easy.”

Graf found research by Christopher Wildeman, associate professor of policy analysis and management and a BCTR faculty fellow, on the stigma associated with parental incarceration to be equally relevant to her work, where she sometimes encounters children of inmates in her county’s after-school programs.

Wildeman reviewed research on the United States’ historically high rate of incarceration – which at 500 prisoners per 100,000 citizens far outstrips other developed democracies – and its disproportionately negative impact on minority families. He then described a new experimental study in which teachers, presented with hypothetical students new to their classroom, expected more behavioral problems and less competence from children whose fathers are in prison. These results support the “sticky stigma” attached to paternal incarceration, Wildeman said.

History professor Edward Baptist drew a link from Wildeman’s talk when discussing his Freedom on the Move project. “I think that mass incarceration probably wouldn’t exist and certainly wouldn’t have the shape that it does without the strategies that were created to try to control and continue to force people into the institution of slavery,” Baptist said.

One such strategy was for slave masters to place runaway slave ads in newspapers, reinforcing the persistent scrutiny under which even free African-Americans found themselves. Collaborating with colleagues at Cornell and other universities, Baptist has built a crowdsourcing platform that will engage the public in transcribing and parsing data from some 200,000 ads that survive from the period between 1722 and 1865.

A poster session on the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE) concluded the conference, allowing attendees to question researchers about work in its four focus areas: healthy transitions for adolescents; intergenerational connections between high schoolers and older adults; the productive use of social media; and leveraging youth purpose to increase engagement and learning in 4-H.

Burrow, PRYDE co-director, said: “The update provides a rare space for researchers to attend a conference alongside needed collaborators. It’s like having your cake and eating it, too.”

Conference shares latest youth development research - Cornell Chronicle

Save

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: ACT for Youth    Anthony Burrow    CCE    Christopher Wildeman    conference    family    incarceration    media mention    PRYDE    race    youth    youth development    Youth Development Research Update   

Alumni gifts to the center support the greater good


Growing up on a dairy farm in rural Vermont, Rebecca Q. Morgan '60 was drawn to 4-H. At cattle shows and fashion displays and as president of her local club, Morgan says eight years in 4-H taught her everything from public speaking and accounting to leadership and dressmaking.

preschoolers examine butterflies at Madison County Head Start

Preschoolers examine butterflies at the Madison County Head Start, a new partner for Casasola's research thanks to her work as a BCTR Faculty Fellow. Photo: Madison County Head Start/provided.

"It was a wonderful outlet for me to develop a great deal of practical skills and gain confidence in my abilities," says Morgan, who went on to become a California state senator, where she stood out as an advocate for child development and education.

With a $1.2 million gift to Cornell's Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research (BCTR), Morgan is giving back to improve 4-H and community-based youth education programs from the ground up. Her gift, made in late 2015, provides three years of startup funding for the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE), an initiative launched this spring by Cornell social scientists to foster groundbreaking research in partnership with New York State 4-H and its 200,000 children and teen participants in four areas: life purpose, healthy transitions into adolescence, intergenerational connections and productive social media use. In close collaboration with 4-H staff and youth, PRYDE seeks to integrate evidence into new and existing programs while also sparking young people's interest in social science.

The BCTR, based in the College of Human Ecology, received another boost during the Cornell Now campaign thanks to a $1.6 million gift from Evalyn Edwards Milman '60 and Stephen Milman '58, MBA '59. The couple endowed the Evalyn Edwards Milman '60 BCTR Faculty Fellowship, part of a new program to embed professors in the BCTR and link their research directly to community needs.

Totaling nearly $3 million, the gifts represent an unprecedented level of alumni support for the center, which formed in 2011 to bridge the gap between social science research and practice.

"One of our major goals as a center is to encourage more faculty members to conduct translational research, inspiring them to consider how their work applies to real-world problems and can serve people throughout the life span," says BCTR Director Karl Pillemer, the Hazel E. Reed Professor in the Department of Human Development. "Both of these gifts provide new avenues for faculty to take cutting-edge scientific research and move it into real-world settings."

4-H teens collaborate on a STEM project

At Camp Bristol Hills in Canandaigua, N.Y., 4-H teens collaborate on a STEM project. PRYDE enables Cornell researchers to partner with community educators to work on improving 4-H and other out-of-school education programs. Photo: 4-H/provided.

In New York, Cornell oversees 4-H through the BCTR and Cornell Cooperative Extension, offering the ideal environment for PRYDE to test interventions through a community-based participatory research model developed and refined by BCTR researchers. Campus-county teams will identify research needs, design studies and interpret and disseminate data through a statewide "research ready" network.

"I am most excited that PRYDE is taking science and putting it into service to help young people," says Morgan, president of the Morgan Family Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to youth, education and the environment. "4-H offers a ready-made network for translating Cornell research into effective youth programs. The program is positioned to become a national leader on this topic."

PRYDE will also host campus visits and provide opportunities for 4-H members to observe social science research firsthand. Furthermore, it is forming a group of undergraduate PRYDE Scholars, launching this summer, to enable Cornell students to work with faculty mentors and train in translational research methods.

As the first Milman BCTR Faculty Fellow, Marianella Casasola, associate professor of human development, is also extending her child-development research into community-based settings. Her Cornell Infant Study Laboratory works closely with Madison County, New York, Head Start, testing Casasola's previous research on how preschool children acquire spatial skills and language in a new school environment.

"I am excited that Professor Casasola has chosen to work with Head Start, for this was a vision of Professor Urie Bronfenbrenner," says Evalyn Milman, who studied under Bronfenbrenner, a child psychologist and BCTR namesake. "His purpose was to establish a comprehensive program in early childhood education -- working with children from low-income families -- designed to establish an environment for the development of cognitive skills. This research into constructive play by young children, and exploration of how spatial and language skills develop, will bring results that will have lasting impact in the field of education."

Joined by Rebecca Seguin, assistant professor of nutritional sciences, and Christopher Wildeman, associate professor of policy analysis and management, in the inaugural group of BCTR Faculty Fellows, the scholars receive funding for a graduate research assistant, pilot studies and translational research pursuits.

"With our focus on public engagement, not only do gifts to the BCTR support Cornell, but they serve the greater good due to our work helping a wide range of populations, such as struggling adolescents, children in foster care, families in the military or older adults," Pillemer says. "It will help to generate new knowledge for the benefit of communities and to allow faculty and students to marry science and service, which was a hallmark of Urie Bronfenbrenner's work."

Bronfenbrenner Center gifts support the greater good - Ezra Update

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: 4-H    BCTR Fellows    Christopher Wildeman    Karl Pillemer    Marianella Casasola    media mention    PRYDE    Rebecca Seguin    youth development