Dr. Adrian Stanciu

Psychologische Gerontologie

Research Interests

cross-cultural psychology, stereotypes, individual and cultural change, societies and individuals in the migration context, old age research, social networks, theory development, research methodology, open access publication

Member of

1. European Association of Social Psycholgy (EASP)

2. International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP)

Reviewer of (occasional)

1. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

2. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology

3. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations

4. European Journal of Developmental Psychology

5. Journal of Social and Political Psychology

6. International Journal of Psychology

7. Journal of Social Psychology

8. Revista de Psicologia Social

9. ASA Student Forum Section, American Sociological Annual Meeting, NY, USA, 2013, 2014



Two additional lines of research are in a way ongoing, yet, nearing publication in top tier psychological journals. In trying to maintain at this stage the ‘element of surprise‘, I prefer to leave this information out. However, as soon as updates become available I will upload them here or, ideally, in the Publications page of my personal website.


As (Co-) Principal Investigator

1. Four (sub)dimensions of stereotype content

Builds on my previous work (Stanciu, 2015) where I showed initial evidence for a sub-dimensional structure of stereotype content. While analyzing data for my doctoral dissertation it became clear to me that the Stereotype Content Model’s (literature) warmth and competence can each be further disentangled into two sub-dimensions. With the help of advanced statistical techniques (Structural Equation Modelling), I was able to show that the warmth dimension encompasses friendliness and trustworthiness and the competence dimension encompasses conscientiousness and efficacy.

Excerpt from project goal:

“My intention is to expand on the initial argument that the evaluative dimensions of warmth (communion) and competence (agency) are the result of two distinct evolutionary motives: to identify one’s intentions and to evaluate one’s ability to enact an action (Fiske, Cuddy, & Glick, 2007). One possible direction is to build on the assumption that our ability, as a species, to live in large societies is possible due to evolved cognitive tools (de Ruiter, Weston, & Lyon, 2011; Dunbar, 1992) that allows us to detect cheating (in its different instances like deviance from societal norms and immoral behaviors) (e.g. Krebs, 2015). I propose that the sub-dimensions friendliness-trustworthiness and conscientiousness-efficacy, although they are intuitively parts of communion and agency, can provide a more nuanced description of these mechanisms. The distinction friendliness-trustworthiness is conceptually similar to the so-called “evolved morality”; a set of communion traits that can be found also among primates (de Waal, 2006). Essentially, this emphasizes that social relations are maintained/developed through empathetic (friendliness subdimension) and fair (trustworthiness subdimension) interactions. The distinction conscientiousness-efficacy is conceptually similar to competencies required in two types of social relations: equality matching and authority ranking (Fiske, 1992). In brief, this indicates that people who prefer equality follow the norm of reciprocity, and those who prefer authority follow the norm of hierarchy. In this sense, cheating can be nuanced in the first instance as a lack/presence of conscientious traits, and in the second instance as a lack/presence of efficacy traits; as depending on the context of social interaction. Consider, say, that a person walks towards home at night in a dark alley, and that at a given moment a stranger approaches the person (Fiske, 2012). In line with the distinction communion-agency, the person needs to first evaluate whether the stranger poseses a threat (intends to “cheat”) and second to evaluate the stranger’s ability to enact the potential threat. Moreover, consider, say, that the stranger approaches the person in a friendly manner but with untrustworthy intentions, and additionally, that the stranger has a visible disability but that there are signs of a planned action (Stanciu, 2015). In line with the distinctions friendliness-trustworthiness and conscientiousness-efficacy, the person requires to evaluate competing arguments as to whether the friendly attitude outweights the untrustworthy intentions, and in addition, to decide whether the disability is a sufficient sign of inefficaciousness in finalizing the estimated planned action.”

Data for an initial cross-country study (N = 847, Romania, England, Germany, France, Portugal, Italy, & Turkey) is collected with the help of following collaborators: Dr. Christin-Melanie Vauclair, Yasin Koc, Diana Miconi, Diana Farcas, Resit Kislioglu, and Nicole Rodda.

A manuscript is in preparation in which we show evidence for the statistical reliability of the four sub-dimensional structure of stereotypes across seven nations (Stanciu, Vauclair, Koc, Miconi, Farcas, Kislioglu, & Rodda. (2016). Four dimensions of stereotypes: Evidence from Romania and a seven-culture test of structure reliability. Unpublished manuscript presented at the 2016 Congress of the International Association of Cross Cultural Psychology, IACCP 2016, Nagoya, Japan). (see slides).

Work cited in

Kotzur, P., Forsbach, N., & Wagner, U. (2017). Choose your words wisely: Stereotypes, emotions, and action tendencies toward fled people as a function of the group label. Social Psychology, 48, 226-241. doi:10.1027/1864-9335/a000312 (Opens external link in new windowavailable here)

2. The publication system: A vital concern

Together with friend and colleague Resit Kislioglu, I aim to contribute to current movements in science (the likes of open access and reviewing the review process) by demystifying and challenging the status quo of the publication system. Granted that it is bold, our first step is to have an understanding of what editors in key psychological journals think of the system and whether they see a different, and, perhaps, a better way to disseminate research findings.

Excerpt from project goal:

“Academic publication is a complex system vital for disseminating research findings and scientific progress. There are claims that the status quo of the academic publication has evolved too much into a business like system. Critics often refer to the evaluation system of academic publication as being driven by economic motives, such as competition and efficiency. In some instances researchers have taken collective efforts to try and improve/make obsolete this system.  Nevertheless, with few exceptions, such as the Open Access movement, the publication process has remained largely unchanged. ”

Answers from several journal editors to a brief questionnaire are now on our work desk.


As Collaborator

1. Fundamental motives

At the recommendation of Dr. Irem Uz (see below ‘Pronoun hypothesis’), I was approached by Dr. Michael Varnum for data collection in Romania. Prior to data collection, I coordinated the back-translation into Romanian of the study questionnaire.

Excerpt from project summary (co-PI: Dr. Michael Varnum & Dr. Douglas Kenrick). Additional literature on the topic here.

“Human beings confront a number of adaptive challenges, such as protecting themselves from physical violence, avoiding disease, finding friends, achieving status, finding mates, and rearing offspring. These challenges that have been conceptualized within the framework of “fundamental motives.” The extent to which each of these challenges is a pressing or chronic priority is likely to depend on the ecology people find themselves inhabiting. In recent years, cross-cultural research has revealed that human societies differ along a host of psychological dimensions and behavioral tendencies. We propose that they also differ in the extent to which various fundamental motives (self-protection, disease avoidance, affiliation, status, mate seeking, and kin care) are chronic concerns. In the present research we aim to test test two broad propositions: 1) the importance of various fundamental motives differs across human societies, 2) these differences are driven by ecological conditions. Based on this framework we propose a number of specific predictions regarding links between ecology and variations in the importance
of different fundamental motives which we aim to test across two correlational studies (one cross-cultural study involving samples from 23 countries, and one study involving samples from the 50 US states), and a series of eight experiments where we will manipulate ecological cues directly to test their effects on the salience of fundamental motives.”

Data from Romania (co: Dr. Daniel David) (N = 223) is delivered.

2. Pronoun hypothesis & individualism vs. collectivism

At the 22nd IACCP meeting in Reims (France), Dr. Irem Uz and I shared presenting time in one of the organized panels. I became interested in her work and offered my help with data collection in Romania. Prior to data collection, I coordinated the back-translation into Romanian of the study questionnaire.

Tests the hypothesis that cultures whose languages place personal pronouns at the beginning of a sentence facilitates having higher levels of individualism than cultures whose languages may place personal pronouns elsewhere, which would facilitate higher levels of collectivism. Furthermore, the hypothesis is tested against the one initially put forth by Kashima and Kashima (1998), which states that in cultures whose languages do not allow for pronoun omission are more individualistic.

Data from Romania (N = 200) is delivered.
Manuscript is now in final stage before submission.
Work presented at the 17th Annual Convention of Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, USA, 2016. (details here).

3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the country level

Approached by Prof. Daniel David, I became involved in the project as the coordinator of data collection for Germany, Colombia, and Portugal. Prior to data collection I (co)coordinated the back-translation into Romanian and German of the study questionnaire.

Excerpt from the project website (details here):

“Living in a complex and globalized world, where countries/cultures/nations/societies interact more and more with one another, knowledge about the psychological profile of a nation, be it global (see Peabody, 1985-2011; Terracciano et al., 2005) and/or regional (see Rentfrow et al., 2013; 2015), can spur important (1) theoretical (e.g., to test the ABC model of CBT at national level) and (2) practical developments (e.g., to foster better communication and international peace and avoid conflicts among nations, better understanding of immigration, etc.).
CBT deals to how rational (functional) and irrational (dysfunctional) beliefs (cognitions) impact our emotions and behaviors. Both Albert Ellis (1994) and Aaron T. Beck (Beck, 2000) – the founders of CBT – envisioned two directions of research and application for CBT. Indeed, once the CBT knowledge is generated by research (e.g., by using samples and experimental designs), knowledge can be applied to (1) individuals/small groups, to understand and support human optimization/development, health promotion and prevention of psychological problems, and treatment of psychological problems and/or to (2) the larger society (e.g., countries/cultures/nations/societies), to understand and support happy and functional societies and worldwide peace.
However, the second component is less developed and/or integrated in the cross-cultural psychology movement. Therefore, cross-cultural psychology does not benefit from the extraordinary scientific potential of CBT (e.g., CBT is one of the most influential theories/practices in the current psychological science) and CBT is not related to other major cross-cultural paradigms (e.g., Hofstede’s model, Schwartz’s model, Inglehart & Welzel’s model, etc.). The present international programmatic research aims to rectify this.”

Data from Germany (co: Dr. Peter Holtz) (N = 203) and Colombia (co: Dr. Jairo Montes) (N = 341) delivered.

Letzte Aenderung: 08.04.2021 · Seite drucken