Faculty Profile

Lewend Mayiwar

PhD Candidate - Department of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour


Hi! I am a PhD candidate at the Department of Leadership & Organizational Behavior at BI Norwegian Business School. My PhD project seeks to understand how emotions and psychological distance influence the way people deal with risk and uncertainty. I primarily use laboratory experiments to examine the causal nature of these relationships. My overall approach to research is guided by an interest in open science practices and reproducibility.

I am also affiliated with Trope Lab at New York University's Department of Psychology. More info about the lab and their research: https://sites.google.com/nyu.edu/tropelab/about?authuser=0

With the aim of raising awareness of open science and reproducibility, a colleague and I have set up an open science journal club at our department where people can get together and discuss everything related to open science.

For more information about my research and the open science club, check out my website here.

Have any questions or just want to get in touch? Feel free to contact me at any time!


Mayiwar, Lewend & Björklund, Fredrik (2021)

Fear from Afar, Not So Risky After All: Distancing Moderates the Relationship Between Fear and Risk Taking

Frontiers in Psychology Doi: https://doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/p9cyr

A growing line of research has shown that individuals can regulate emotional biases in risky judgment and decision-making processes through cognitive reappraisal. In the present study, we focus on a specific tactic of reappraisal known as distancing. Drawing on appraisal theories of emotion and the emotion regulation literature, we examine how distancing moderates the relationship between fear and risk taking and anger and risk taking. In three pre-registered studies (Ntotal = 1,483), participants completed various risky judgment and decision-making tasks. Replicating previous results, Study 1 revealed a negative relationship between fear and risk taking and a positive relationship between anger and risk taking at low levels of distancing. Study 2 replicated the interaction between fear and distancing but found no interaction between anger and distancing. Interestingly, at high levels of distancing, we observed a reversal of the relationship between fear and risk taking in both Study 1 and 2. Study 3 manipulated emotion and distancing by asking participants to reflect on current fear-related and anger-related stressors from an immersed or distanced perspective. Study 3 found no main effect of emotion nor any evidence of a moderating role of distancing. However, exploratory analysis revealed a main effect of distancing on optimistic risk estimation, which was mediated by a reduction in self-reported fear. Overall, the findings suggest that distancing can help regulate the influence of incidental fear on risk taking and risk estimation. We discuss implications and suggestions for future research.

Mayiwar, Lewend & Lai, Linda (2019)

Replication of Study 1 in "Differentiating Social and Personal Power" by Lammers, Stoker, and Stapel (2009)

Social Psychology, 50(4), s. 261- 269. Doi: 10.1027/1864-9335/a000388 - Full text in research archive

We performed an independent, direct, and better powered (N = 295) replication of Study 1, an experiment (N = 113) by Lammers, Stoker, and Stapel (2009). Lammers and colleagues distinguished between social power (influence over others) and personal power (freedom from the influence of others), and found support for their predictions that the two forms of power produce opposite effects on stereotyping, but parallel effects on behavioral approach. Our results did not replicate the effects on behavioral approach, but partially replicated the effects on stereotyping. Compared to personal power, social power produced less stereotyping, but neither form of power differed significantly from the control condition, and effect sizes were considerably lower than the original estimates. Potential explanations are discussed.

Mayiwar, Lewend & Hærem, Thorvald (2021)

Arousal and Risk Taking: the Moderating Role of Reappraisal

[Academic lecture]. Academy of Management.

Researchers have provided important insight into the cognitive and emotional aspects of risk taking. In the present study we investigated the role of incidental physiological arousal - an affective component that has received relatively little attention and cognitive processing. Moreover, to gain further insight into the relation between arousal and risk taking, we examined the moderating role of habitual cognitive reappraisal. We found that incidental physiological arousal and intuitive processing predicted a higher likelihood of risk taking, whereas analytical processing predicted a lower likelihood of risk taking. Furthermore, we found that the relationship between physiological arousal and risk taking was stronger among individuals low on habitual cognitive reappraisal. Overall, the present study contributes to dual process theories of decision making as well the growing line of research on emotion regulation and risk taking. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.

Mayiwar, Lewend (2021)

Fear, Anxiety, and Construal Level: Does Anxiety Broaden Mental Scope?

[Academic lecture]. Distances in Organizations (DIO).

Fear is an emotion that has interested scholars and practitioners across different domains, such as psychology, economics, and politics. It has been widely studied in domains like decision making under risk and uncertainty (Wake et al., 2020), and underlies well-known phenomena like loss aversion (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979; Ruggeri et al., 2020). While antecedents and outcomes of fear have been extensively studied, the construct itself has not received much empirical investigation. This is surprising given that researchers have made important conceptual distinctions between fear and other related emotions like anxiety. In this paper, I draw on Construal Level Theory (CLT; Trope & Liberman, 2010) and the regulatory scope framework (Trope et al., 2021) to propose that fear and anxiety differ in their underlying level of construal and regulatory scope. Anxiety, unlike fear, constitutes a so-called “high-level construal” emotion because it broadens mental scope, directing attention towards more abstract and distant targets (Öhman, 2009; Trope & Liberman, 2010). The findings from this study may hold important implications for organizations, particularly those that frequently deal with crises. During the initial stages of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the virus was a distant and abstract threat to many countries. This distance may have reduced levels of fear that would otherwise have prompted earlier implementation of safety measures. Manipulating the construal level at which crisis scenarios are presented or processed can influence their effectiveness.

Mayiwar, Lewend (2020)

Psychological Distance and Risk Taking: Unpacking Emotional and Cognitive Mechanisms

[Academic lecture]. Distances in Organizations (DIO), McGill University.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2018 BI Norwegian Business School Master of Science
2016 Mälardalen University Bachelor in Economics and Business Administration
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2019 - Present BI Norwegian Business School PhD Candidate
2018 - 2019 BI Norwegian Business School Research Assistant
2016 - 2018 LearningLab, BI Norwegian Business School Student Assistant