PEER-REVIEWED JOURNAL ARTICLES
Das-Friebel, A., Wadhwa, N., Sanil, M., Kapoor, H., & V. S. (2017). Investigating altruism and selfishness through the hypothetical use of superpowers. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 1—28. doi:10.17.7/002216781769049
Drawing from literature associating superheroes with altruism, this study examined whether ordinary individuals engaged in altruistic or selfish behavior when they were hypothetically given superpowers. Participants were presented with six superpowers—three positive (healing, invulnerability, and flight) and three negative (fear inducement, psychic persuasion, and poison generation). They indicated their desirability for each power, what they would use it for (social benefit, personal gain, social harm), and listed examples of such uses. Quantitative analyses (n = 285) revealed that 94% of participants wished to possess a superpower, and majority indicated using powers for benefitting themselves than for altruistic purposes. Furthermore, while men wanted positive and negative powers more, women were more likely than men to use such powers for personal and social gain. Qualitative analyses of the uses of the powers (n = 524) resulted in 16 themes of altruistic and selfish behavior. Results were analyzed within Pearce and Amato’s model of helping behavior, which was used to classify altruistic behavior, and adapted to classify selfish behavior. In contrast to how superheroes behave, both sets of analyses revealed that participants would hypothetically use superpowers for selfish rather than altruistic purposes. Limitations and suggestions for future research are outlined.
Sanil, M. (2016). From Gods to superheroes: An analysis of Indian comics through a mythological lens. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 1-11. doi:10.1080/10304312.2016.1257698
Heroes form a part of most cultures, serving various social and psychological functions. Scholars studying the concept of heroes have emphasized that humans crave heroes. While Western comics have been widely studied and critiqued, Indian comics have not received much scholarly attention. In order to contribute theoretically to hero and superhero literature, the conceptions of the popular cultural trope of superheroes in Western and Indian comics are examined in three ways. First, this article gives an account of the conceptualization of Indian superheroes, through a mythological-religious lens, and attempts to explain why Indian comics and its superheroes failed to achieve the popularity enjoyed by Western counterparts. Second, as characters from Hindu mythology largely make up the superheroes in Indian comics, the applicability of Campbell’s models of mythology and heroes, and Jungian archetypes to Hindu mythology is demonstrated. Third, the article also analyses the functional similarities and differences served by superhero comics in the West and Hindu mythology in India; conclusions about their cultural relevance are drawn.
Das-Friebel, A. & Kapoor, H. (2016). Internet addiction: A multi-faceted disorder. Journal of Addictive Behaviours, Therapy & Rehabilitation, 5(1), 1-4. doi:10.4172/2324-9005.1000152
The current paper is a critical commentary on the existing conceptualization of Internet Addiction. Specifically, the paper highlights fallacies in perceiving Internet Addiction as a ‘traditional’ addiction disorder, as presented in the DSM-5. Instead, it is proposed that, akin to the nature of the Internet, this disorder is also multi-faceted and that individuals are not addicted to the Internet per se, but rather to what the Internet may offer. Further, the paper discusses the need to distinguish between clinical addiction and subclinical Internet usage. In particular, it is argued that excessive Internet use can enhance and facilitate productivity, and that a distinction must be made between essential and non-essential uses of the Internet, as well as the proportion of time spent on these two types of activities. Last, the paper questions the validity of existing measures of Internet Addiction. It is suggested that it may be beneficial for the understanding and conceptualization of Internet Addiction to move away from existing addiction and impulsecontrol models, and instead be framed independently.
Kapoor, H., Tagat, A., & Cropley, D. H. (2016). Fifty shades of creativity: Case studies of malevolent creativity in art, science, and technology. In F. Reisman (Ed.), Creativity in the arts, science, and technology (pp. 25-44). London, UK: KIE Conference Publications. doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.4702.4244
The darker shades of creativity have recently attracted great interest because negative and malevolent creativity are found in multiple domains. It is easier to conceive of creative acts that meet negative goals as uncreative, primarily because of their immoral and unethical nature. However, a complete understanding of the creativity construct may be obtained by assessing it within a valenced framework, wherein each component of creativity is positive or negative. In this qualitative account of malevolent creativity, we review manifestations of such creativities in the contexts of art, science, and technology. That is, original and subjectively useful actions taken by actors in each of these domains, which meet negative goals, with the deliberate intent to harm another individual or society at large. First, a brief review of literature in the areas of dark, negative, and malevolent creativity is presented. Second, qualitative accounts of malevolent creativity in art (forgery), science (academic dishonesty), and technology (cybercrime) are analyzed through D. H. Cropley‘s (2010) framework integrating valence and Rhodes‘ (1961) four Ps model of creativity. Each domain is first examined independently; subsequently, attempts are made to identify commonalities underlying malevolent creative behaviours across domains. Suggestions for future research in this emerging subfield of creativity are provided.
Wadhwa, N. (2015). Gender discrimination is not a joke. WSRC Communiqué, 1, 29-30. M. S. University of Baroda.
Kapoor, H., Bhuptani, P. H. & Agneswaran, A. (2015). The Bechdel in India: Gendered depictions in contemporary Hindi cinema. Journal of Gender Studies, 1-15 doi: 10.1080/09589236.2015.1102128
The Bechdel test is a popular measure used to examine the adequacy of representation of women in movies, and other media. Although often applied to Hollywood movies, the test has rarely, if ever, been used to assess Hindi cinema. This paper adopts, adapts, and extends the original Bechdel test to scrutinise stereotypical, non-stereotypical, and typical dialogic content of same-sex conversations in three genres of Hindi cinema – top-grossing blockbuster films, women-centric movies, and parallel cinema. Using a qualitative approach to code dialogues, and quantifying subsequent frequencies, the current work highlights the underrepresentation and misrepresentation of female characters in contemporary Hindi cinema. The time taken for men to speak to men and women to speak to women was also quantified. While women-centric and parallel films depict a more balanced portrayal of male and female characters, top-grossing films are heavily lopsided, with some being devoid of a second female lead, and hence of female-to-female dialogues. Male characters spoke of more varied areas, both stereotypical and non-stereotypical, than women particularly in top-grossing content. The implications of such depictions in cinema, and their subsequent effect on perceptions of men and women in society, is discussed.
- Kapoor, H. (2015). The creative side of the Dark Triad. Creativity Research Journal, 27(1), 58-67. doi:10.1080/10400419.2014.961775
This study associates the subclinical dark triad (DT) of personality—narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism, and their composite—with negative creativity. An instrument developed by the author assessed the likelihood of engaging in creativity, where negative creativity was defined as an act that is original and useful to the individual. The strength of association between creativity, positivity, and negativity was assessed via an Implicit Association Test. The DT scales, Creativity measure, and the IAT were administered to 51 Indian adults (M age = 22.3 years, 27 women). Multiple regression analyses revealed positive associations between narcissism and positive creativity, and between psychopathy and negative creativity. Further, the composite DT score predicted engagement in negative creativity. The associative strength between negativity and creativity on the IAT was not significant, though corollaries were drawn. Limitations and contributions of this study are outlined, and suggestions for future research are summarized
- Agneswaran, A. & Javeri, A. (2015). The relationship between Epistemic Curiosity and Social Desirability among Indian students. Journal of the Indian Association of Applied Psychology, 41(3), 187-193. Retrieved from http://jiaap.org/Sample.aspx?Sub=JIAAP%20Special%20Issue%202015
Epistemic curiosity, tendency to gossip, and social desirability are social constructs relevant to interpersonal relationships and acquisition of information. Gender and cultural factors may moderate these variables in an important manner. 100 Indian college students (Mage = 21.05, SDage = 4.41, range: 16–45) participated in this study, which was an exploratory research to understand the relationship between curiosity, gossip, and social desirability constructs moderated by gender in an Indian sample. It was hypothesized that the reporting of epistemic curiosity and tendencies to gossip were mediated by social desirability. MANOVAs and correlational analyses revealed that epistemic curiosity and social desirability were negatively correlated for male participants, suggesting the existence of high curiosity with a low need to portray a favourable self-image. Male participants scored higher on the three constructs, implying gender differences in the Indian sample. Considerations for future research are discussed.
- Kapoor, H. (2014). Swears in context: The difference between casual and abusive swearing. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 45(2), 259-274. doi:10.1007/s10936-014-9345-z
Although swearing is taboo language, it frequently appears in daily conversations. To explain this paradox, two studies examined contextualized swearing in Indian and non- Indian participants. In Study 1, participants assessed the appropriateness of mild, moderate, and severe swears in casual and abusive contexts; in Study 2, participants completed contextual dialogues with mild, moderate, or severe swearwords. Results indicated that mild and moderate swears were more appropriate in casual settings than in abusive scenarios; severe swears were the most inappropriate, regardless of context. Mild and moderate swears were likely to be used to complete casual and abusive dialogues respectively, even though it was expected that severe swears would be compatible with abusive settings. Moreover, gender and nationality differences suggested that assessing appropriateness of swearing behaviour and likelihood of swearword usage provided independent and contrasting findings. Cultural variations in swearing behaviour, particularly contextualized swearing, and suggestions for further research are outlined.
- Balani, K. H. (2013). One step forward and two steps back. WSRC Communiqué, 2, 18-19. M. S. University of Baroda.
- Gala, P. (2013). Gender disguise in the Indian entertainment industry: Cross-dressing. WSRC Communiqué, 2, 23-24. M. S. University of Baroda.
- Parekh, A. (2017, May 29). Big Data: a big boon for mental healthcare. Mint. Retrieved from http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/YU51UCig8I9ldZ6dgScjlL/Big-Data-a-big-boon-for-mental-healthcare.html
- Parekh, A. (2017, May 24). Indian media should stay away from the Echo Chamber effect. Swarajya. Retrieved from https://swarajyamag.com/ideas/indian-media-should-stay-away-from-the-echo-chamber-effect
- Kapoor, H. (2017, April 24). A market for mental health insurance? Mint. Retrieved from http://www.livemint.com/Opinion/wtvnTJn38ZXv7deKCV2B0N/A-market-for-mental-health-insurance.html
- Diwakar, S. (2017, April 16). Dangal, Pink, Piku to Queen: How does Hindi cinema fare on the Bechdel Test? Firstpost. Retrieved from http://www.firstpost.com/entertainment/dangal-pink-piku-to-queen-how-does-hindi-cinema-fare-on-the-bechdel-test-3385454.html
- Diwakar, S. (2017, February 19). Alternative facts: Surviving a time when accurate information is scarce but unverified reports thrive. Firstpost. Retrieved from http://www.firstpost.com/living/alternative-facts-surviving-a-time-when-accurate-information-is-scarce-but-unverified-reports-thrive-3289812.html
- Karandikar, S. (2017, January 11). Juvenile delinquency: Root of the problem needs to be addressed instead of the punishment. Firstpost. Retrieved from http://www.firstpost.com/india/juvenile-delinquency-root-of-the-problem-needs-to-be-addressed-instead-of-the-punishment-3199076.html
- Sanil, M. & Deshpande, A. (2016, December 7). Mythology And Comics: How the superhero traditions of India and the West compare. Swarajya. Retrieved from http://swarajyamag.com/culture/mythology-and-comics-how-the-superhero-traditions-of-india-and-the-west-compare
- Kapoor, H. (2016, December 3). Dear Zindagi from a therapist's perspective: Gauri Shinde's film does much for mental health. Firstpost. Retrieved from http://www.firstpost.com/living/dear-zindagi-from-a-therapists-perspective-gauri-shindes-film-does-much-for-mental-health-3136854.html
- Kapoor, H. (2015, June 9). Mental health screening: Flawed approach can boomerang. Swarajya. Retrieved from http://swarajyamag.com/culture/mental-health-screening-flawed-approach-can-boomerang/