Dr. Joshua Guyer 

Dr. Joshua Guyer is an assistant professor of psychology at both Instituto de Empresa (IE) and Saint Louis University, (Madrid). Dr. Guyer is also conducting postdoctoral research at the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid with Dr. Pablo Brinol. Broadly speaking, his research focuses on attitudes, persuasion, and social influence. Previously, he held a research fellowship at the IE Center for Insurance Research and also served as a lecturer at the Royal Military College of Canada. Joshua received his Ph.D in social psychology (2016) from Queen's University under the supervision of Dr. Leandre Fabrigar.


Vocal Affect and Attitude Change

When we talk about vocal affect, what we are referring to are the different emotions that can be heard in a person's voice beyond the content of what they are saying. For example, when people are excited, afraid, bored, content, or angry, etc., these emotions are typically quite easy to recognize in a person's voice. My collaborators and I are involved in several ongoing projects that investigate how different emotional qualities in a speaker's voice can influence the success of a persuasive appeal and the underlying psychological processes that explain how and why the emotions in a speaker's voice can change our attitudes.

Vocal Confidence and Attitude Change

While the emotionality of voice certainly plays an important role in oral communication, another important factor is the extent to which a speaker is perceived as being confident. To date, research has demonstrated that perceptions of speaker confidence reliably vary according to several properties of voice; including rate of speech, intonation, and pitch. However, similar to emotionality in voice, surprisingly little research has been conducted to examine the role of speaker confidence as it effects attitude change. My collaborators and I are engaged in several ongoing projects that explore the different underlying psychological processes by which vocal confidence influences persuasion based on the extent to which the recipient is both able and motivated to carefully evaluate the content of the message.

Social Influence and Behavioral Intentions

Scarcity & Authority

In addition to my research investigating the role of various qualities of voice in the persuasion process, my collaborators and I have several ongoing projects that examine how a number of well-known compliance principles (e.g., scarcity, authority) may influence behavioral intentions. Compliance techniques are commonly used to influence a target in order to elicit behavioral change without necessarily changing the beliefs or feelings of the target towards the behavior. That these compliance principles are effective and commonly used by a multitude of sources is not in dispute. What is less clear is precisely why they work. The traditional assumption is that these and other principles of compliance work as general heuristics (e.g., see Cialdini, 2008), whereby individuals will often comply with a request without devoting much thought as to why. Notably, however, direct tests of this assumption have been surprisingly absent from the literature. Our research in this areas proposes that although in some contexts these principles may function as a heuristic, this may not always be the case. Indeed, we would expect these compliance principles to influence behavioral intentions quite differently in situations where individuals are motivated and able to scrutinize the merits of a given behavior.


Stealing Thunder

Revealing potentially damaging information about oneself before others are able to reveal the same information is known as “stealing thunder”.  The goal of this tactic is to influence others to perceive oneself in a more favorable light and thus mitigate the negative outcomes that might occur should others reveal the potentially damaging information first. Despite anecdotal and empirical evidence that both point to its efficacy as an influence technique, researchers have done little in the way of investigating the processes and boundary conditions under which it may function. My collaborators and I have several ongoing projects that investigate the possibility that the type of admission (i.e., general vs. specific) may play an important role in determining the extent to which stealing thunder is effective at influencing evaluators perceptions of the target. A second goal is to investigate the extent to which the efficacy of stealing thunder varies across issues that range in intensity from comparatively minor to comparatively severe. We are also interested in exploring how the interplay between the type of admission and issue severity impacts the success of stealing thunder as a means by which individuals may reduce the impact of damaging information and consequently mitigate potential negative outcomes.

Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
Departamento de Psicologia
Campus de Cantoblanco,
Carretera Colmenar, km. 15.
Madrid, 28049. Spain 
Instituto de Empresa (IE) 
IE Business School
Calle de Maria de Molina, 11
Madrid, 28006. Spain 
Saint Louis University
Department of Psychology
Avenida del Valle, 34
Madrid, 28003. Spain 




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