Ohio University

Ross Rogers

Ross Rogers Profile Picture

Year of Entry

Fall 2011


Experimental Social Psychology


Dr. Mark Alicke

Research Interests

Research interests are focused on examining two broad topics 1) how human existential concerns, such as those stemming from the awareness of personal mortality, impact cognitions, attitudes, and behavior, and 2) factors that impact moral decision-making (moral judgments of others’ attitudes and behavior; assignment of blame).

Recent work has examined:

  • The impact of subtle reminders of one’s mortality, locomotion (the ability to supplant an achieved or nearly-achieved goal with pursuit of another goal), and goal progress (proximity to goal completion) on feelings of personal meaning in life
  • The effect of mortality salience and the ease with which one can bring to mind personal examples of engaging in culturally-valued behavior on willingness to socially engage novel others or explore novel information
  • The impact of mortality concerns and visualizing healthy prototypes on purchasing nutritious food
  • The notion that a target’s prior intention to commit a negative act influences blame ascriptions even for overdetermined acts (those the actor was coerced to commit, regardless of prior intention)
  • The influence of construal level (abstract vs. concrete), political orientation, and the salience of varying moral values on moral reactions to perceived male same-sex intimacy

Current research is exploring the following:

  • The terror management function of preferred physical busyness and physical idleness aversion. Physical idleness is metaphorically associated with posthumous nonexistence (e.g. nothingness, physical stasis) making physical idleness particularly threatening following a subtle death-reminder and motivating compensatory responding (preferred physical busyness). Research is currently exploring the potential impact of manipulated physical busyness/idleness on engagement in defensive strategies (cultural worldview defense) subsequent to mortality salience and the potential influence of death-concerns coupled with the level at which physical busyness is perceived to be culturally valued on estimated and preferred levels of personal physical busyness.
  • The influence that mortality salience and the ease with which one can bring prototypically healthy exemplars to mind has on health intentions and behavior
  • The impact of the motivation to assign blame for negative events on belief perseverance of previously retracted incorrect casual information
  • The potentially neutralizing effect of prayer on prosocial behavior

Representative Publications

Alicke, M. D., Rogers, R., & Taylor, S. What is blame and why do we love it? In Gray, K. & Graham, J. (Eds.), The atlas of moral psychology. (forthcoming)

Vess, M., Rogers, R., Routledge, C., & Hicks, J. A. (in press). When being far away is good: Exploring how mortality salience, regulatory mode, and goal progress affect judgments of meaning in life. European Journal of Social Psychology.

Rogers, R., Vess, M., & Routledge, C. (2016). Construal level shapes associations between ideology and reactions to male same sex intimacy. Social Psychology, 47, 87-97.

Rogers, R., Vess, M., Routledge, C., & Juhl, J. (2016). Mortality salience decreases social exploration when people experience metacognitive ease generating examples of cultural value adherence. Self and Identity, 15(1), 62-71.

McCabe, S., Arndt, J., Goldenberg, J. L., Vess, M., Vail III, K. E., Gibbons, F. X., & Rogers, R. (2015). Visualizing a healthy prototype following a mortality reminder increases nutritious purchases when grocery shopping: A terror management health model and prototype willingness model analysis. Health Psychology, 34(3), 279-282.

Recent Presentations

Rogers, R. & Vess, M. (2016). Give me something to do: Mortality salience and aversion to idleness. Poster presented at the 16th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, San Diego, CA.

Rogers, R. & Vess, M. (2015). Recall perspective affects nostalgia’s influence on positive mood. Poster presented at the 15th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Long Beach, CA.

Rogers, R., Vess, M., Routledge, C. (2014). Construal level moderates the relationship between political ideology and moral reactions to physical intimacy between gay men. Poster presented at the 14th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Austin, TX.

Rogers, R. (2013). Power, mortality salience, and closing social distance. Psychology Department Brown Bag, Ohio University.

Rogers, R. & Vess, M. (2013). An easy feeling: Death-thoughts decrease the search for meaning in life when examples of cultural value adherence are easy to generate. Poster presented at the 13th Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, New Orleans, LA.


Instructor of Record

Research Methods

Social Psychology

Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences

Online Facilitator

General Psychology

Social Psychology of Justice

Elementary Statistics