229 posts · 114,508 views
The millions of Americans who own pets spend billions of dollars on them annually, shower them in love, and – anecdotally – talk and post about them constantly (you know who you are). But besides providing us something totally adorable to photograph and cuddle with, what good is it to have a furry, domesticated animal running around your home?
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McConnell, A., Brown, C., Shoda, T., Stayton, L., & Martin, C. (2011) Friends with benefits: On the positive consequences of pet ownership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(6), 1239-1252. DOI: 10.1037/a0024506
Soon after I got engaged, a married
friend told me about the Penny Game. In this game, a newlywed couple puts a
penny in a jar each time they have sex during the first year of marriage. Then, starting the second year, the couple takes out a penny each time they have sex. Supposedly, the couple will never again have enough sex to empty the jar. This old wives' tale represents a commonly held belief that sexual desire declines over the course of a relationship. But is this true? And does it h........ Read more »
Impett, E., Strachman, A., Finkel, E., & Gable, S. (2008) Maintaining sexual desire in intimate relationships: The importance of approach goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94(5), 808-823. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.528
When Mad Men started it's final season on AMC, I got a good laugh when I was alerted to the hashtag #draping. The lead character of Mad Men, Don Draper (Jon Hamm), is pictured in advertisements for the popular television show sitting on a couch with his hand draped over the back of the couch, holding either a cigarette or a cocktail. It appears that fans of the popular show have taken to posing in this fashion, and then posting to tumblr.
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Tiedens, L., & Fragale, A. (2003) Power moves: Complementarity in dominant and submissive nonverbal behavior. Journal of Personality , 84(3), 558-568. DOI: 10.1037//0022-35184.108.40.2068
The children's book Everyone Poops, which documents the pooping styles and sizes of a range of animals and a little boy, did not get the greatest critical reception. Publishers Weekly said: "Okay, so everyone does it–does everyone have to talk about it? True, kids... may find it riveting, but their parents may not want to read to them about it... Call it what you will, by euphemism or by expletive, poop by any name seems an unsuitable picture book subject." Don't ask, don't tell seems to be th........ Read more »
Goldenberg, J., Pyszczynski, T., Greenberg, J., & Solomon, S. (2000) Fleeing the Body: A Terror Management Perspective on the Problem of Human Corporeality. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4(3), 200-218. DOI: 10.1207/S15327957PSPR0403_1
It is an American tragedy whenever an unarmed teenage boy--of any color--is fatally shot. And when you strip down the Trayvon Martin shooting to its core, that is exactly what we were all faced with in Florida several weeks ago--a senseless tragedy. As a result, there has been a re-emergence of questions about the meaning of race in today's America. I will be taking on some of these tough questions in a series of blog posts I'm calling "An Inconvenient Truth." In this........ Read more »
Devine, P. (1989) Stereotypes and prejudice: Their automatic and controlled components. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 56(1), 5-18. DOI: 10.1037//0022-35220.127.116.11
Imagine the following scenario. You learn that a family member has been diagnosed with an illness. This illness has a genetic basis and as such, you could be at risk for it as well. There is, however, a screening for the genetic marker, and you can find out whether you are likely to develop this illness. Do you complete the screening or do avoid it?
Though few of us will face this specific scenario, many of us will face something similar. Heart disease runs in many families, as do cert........ Read more »
Howell JL, & Shepperd JA. (2012) Reducing information avoidance through affirmation. Psychological science, 23(2), 141-5. PMID: 22241812
"Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over, but had me believing it was always something that I'd done," sings Kimbra in Gotye's "Somebody that I used to know." In psychology, this phenomenon is called "gaslighting," a term that has its origins in a 1938 play (and a 1940 film) called Gas Light, where a man leads his wife to believe that she is insane in order to steal from her. When she notices strange events, such as the gas light dimming that occurs when he turns on the ligh........ Read more »
In the original, written version of The Hunger Games, it’s made fairly clear that both Rue and her fellow District 4 tribute, Thresh, are African American. Yet when faced with their ethnicity on the movie screen, many people have expressed great disappointment (to state it delicately) over these tragic characters not being White. But why?
Well, it turns out that empathy across group boundaries is a complicated matter. Although part of the glue holding society together is a desire to reduce........ Read more »
Guest blogger, Maya, is back with a two-part post on the psychology of the Hunger Games. So sit back and enjoy another round of “at the movies with a psychologist.”
Watching The Hunger Games come to life on screen (at, full disclosure, a midnight show), I found that actually witnessing the slaughter of several teenagers was more gut-wrenchingly graphic than it had seemed in the books. So when (PYM blogger and fellow social psychologist) Amie asked me whether the movie was gruesome, I had to ........ Read more »
Davis, M. (1983) Measuring individual differences in empathy: Evidence for a multidimensional approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44(1), 113-126. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.168
Dutton, D., & Aron, A. (1974) Some evidence for heightened sexual attraction under conditions of high anxiety. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30(4), 510-517. DOI: 10.1037/h0037031
Gross, J., & John, O. (2003) Individual differences in two emotion regulation processes: Implications for affect, relationships, and well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(2), 348-362. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1248
Sheppes G, & Meiran N. (2008) Divergent cognitive costs for online forms of reappraisal and distraction. Emotion (Washington, D.C.), 8(6), 870-4. PMID: 19102598
There is no shortage of advice on how to recover from a bad break-up: keep busy, don't contact your ex, go out with friends, make a break-up mix (preferably one that includes "I will survive"), etc. But according to a new study, something important is missing from this list.
In the study, led by David Sbarra and published in Psychological Science, participants who had recently separated from their spouses were recorded talking for four minutes in a stream-of-consciousness format about the ........ Read more »
Sbarra, D., Smith, H., & Mehl, M. (2012) When Leaving Your Ex, Love Yourself: Observational Ratings of Self-Compassion Predict the Course of Emotional Recovery Following Marital Separation. Psychological Science, 23(3), 261-269. DOI: 10.1177/0956797611429466
In this post, we consider how the situation in which you were raised determines how much your genes influence your intelligence.... Read more »
Turkheimer E, Haley A, Waldron M, D'Onofrio B, & Gottesman II. (2003) Socioeconomic status modifies heritability of IQ in young children. Psychological science, 14(6), 623-8. PMID: 14629696
This post is the first in a short series on “What I learned in my undergrad neuroscience classes.” Today, I describe a few fascinating neurological disorders.
Have you watched episodes of medical shows like Grey’s Anatomy or House and wondered where they come up with some of their disorders? Are there really people out there who feel no pain, or who only have half a brain? There are. In undergrad I took a few neuroscience classes and learned fascinating details about neurological disorders........ Read more »
Over the last week we learned that the New Orleans Saints defense was delivering bonus money to players who were able to injure opposing offensive players. When the NFL discovered this bounty system, they conducted a swift investigation and handed out a stiff punishment: Gregg Williams, the defensive coordinator, was suspended indefinitely, Sean Payton, the head coach, was suspended for one year, and several fines were levied on the Saints organization itself. The result of these punis........ Read more »
When Bradley Cooper was named People Magazine's Sexist Man Alive this year, angry protesters swarmed People's headquarters (okay, there were only about 15 protesters, but still). According to one, Ryan's "left arm alone makes him the Sexiest Man Alive. Hello, look at his abs!" Ryan is also the subject of the "Hey Girl" meme, which started with a single tumblr that inspired multiple off-shoots, like feminist Ryan Gosling, typographer Ryan Gosling, and biostatistics Ryan Gosling (featured at left........ Read more »
DeBruine LM, Jones BC, Crawford JR, Welling LL, & Little AC. (2010) The health of a nation predicts their mate preferences: cross-cultural variation in women's preferences for masculinized male faces. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 277(1692), 2405-10. PMID: 20236978
Tangney, J. (2000) Humility: Theoretical Perspectives, Empirical Findings and Directions for Future Research. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 19(1), 70-82. DOI: 10.1521/jscp.2000.19.1.70
Mr. Rogers is undoubtedly one of the most beloved cultural icons in American history. His TV show, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, ran for more than thirty years and inspired many generations of young viewers. Admittedly, I remember sometimes finding the show a little cheesy and slow-paced (I wanted to be watching Saved By The Bell or Full House instead). But there was also something comforting about Mr. Rogers' kind, gentle demeanor. When he looked at me and said, I like you just the way you are, I f........ Read more »
Baumeister, R., & Leary, M. (1995) The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117(3), 497-529. DOI: 10.1037//0033-2909.117.3.497
Goetz, J., Keltner, D., & Simon-Thomas, E. (2010) Compassion: An evolutionary analysis and empirical review. Psychological Bulletin, 136(3), 351-374. DOI: 10.1037/a0018807
Last weekend my husband and I got into a fight over a pillowcase. It was one of those times where it was clearly his fault, and I was sure he would apologize the next day. He didn't. Instead he seemed surprised that I wasn't apologizing to him. How could we have such different views of the same conflict? Which one of us was right?
It turns out that we were both right, in our own way. Misunderstandings like the one that led to a fight over a pillowcase occur because people tend ........ Read more »
Robinson, R., Keltner, D., Ward, A., & Ross, L. (1995) Actual versus assumed differences in construal: "Naive realism" in intergroup perception and conflict. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 68(3), 404-417. DOI: 10.1037//0022-35126.96.36.1994
Todd, A., Hanko, K., Galinsky, A., & Mussweiler, T. (2010) When Focusing on Differences Leads to Similar Perspectives. Psychological Science, 22(1), 134-141. DOI: 10.1177/0956797610392929
I have been writing empirical articles for a little while now, and one of things I have come to notice is that there is a very specific style that social psychologists develop in their articles. It's not a style that is reflected in other disciplines of science or even in other realms of psychology. Nor is this style represented in popular guides to academic writing (e.g., Gullickson, 1997) or in the official publication manual of the American Psychological Association.
In today........ Read more »
APA Publications and Communications Board Working Group on Journal Article Reporting Standards. (2008) Reporting standards for research in psychology: why do we need them? What might they be?. The American psychologist, 63(9), 839-51. PMID: 19086746
How much to pay for the house of your dreams
Imagine you are interested in buying a house and you've been out looking on the weekends. You find a 3 bedroom, 2 bath bungalow on a quiet street that already feels like home. The asking price is $475,000 (for those of us living in pricier areas, play along by imagining it's 1995). You want the house, but you don't want to pay too much. You've noticed other comparable homes in the area seem to go for anything from $350,000 to $600,00........ Read more »
Epley, N., & Gilovich, T. (2006) The Anchoring-and-Adjustment Heuristic: Why the Adjustments Are Insufficient. Psychological Science, 17(4), 311-318. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2006.01704.x
Epley, N., Keysar, B., Van Boven, L., & Gilovich, T. (2004) Perspective Taking as Egocentric Anchoring and Adjustment. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(3), 327-339. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.527
Janiszewski C, & Uy D. (2008) Precision of the anchor influences the amount of adjustment. Psychological science, 19(2), 121-7. PMID: 18271859
For years, psychologists tried to understand why relationships fail. They targeted dysfunction, focusing on factors like negative emotions and bad communication. But it turns out that not failing is not the same as succeeding when it comes to relationships. Couples who experience a lot of negative interactions are more likely to divorce in the first few years of marriage, but couples who don't experience a lot of positive affect are likely to divorce farther down the road. So how can we make........ Read more »
Algoe, S., Gable, S., & Masiel, N. (2010) It's the little things: Everyday gratitude as a booster shot for romantic relationships. Personal Relationships, 17(2), 217-233. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01273.x
Aron, A., Norman, C., Aron, E., McKenna, C., & Heyman, R. (2000) Couples' shared participation in novel and arousing activities and experienced relationship quality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(2), 273-284. DOI: 10.1037//0022-35184.108.40.2063
Gable, S., Reis, H., Impett, E., & Asher, E. (2004) What Do You Do When Things Go Right? The Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Benefits of Sharing Positive Events. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 87(2), 228-245. DOI: 10.1037/0022-35220.127.116.11
CAMPBELL, L., MARTIN, R., & WARD, J. (2008) An observational study of humor use while resolving conflict in dating couples. Personal Relationships, 15(1), 41-55. DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2007.00183.x
Today we bring you a post by another amazing guest blogger, Michelle Rheinschmidt. Michelle is a graduate student at Berkeley and her guest post highlights some of the astounding effects that 1 hour and a few posters can have on academic and career outcomes!
We can probably think of a time when concerns about “fitting in” affected our behavior in adolescence, but what about in adulthood?
New environments, such as starting college or a new job), make people worry about wh........ Read more »
Walton, G., & Cohen, G. (2007) A question of belonging: Race, social fit, and achievement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(1), 82-96. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.168
Walton GM, & Cohen GL. (2011) A brief social-belonging intervention improves academic and health outcomes of minority students. Science (New York, N.Y.), 331(6023), 1447-51. PMID: 21415354
Cheryan, S., Plaut, V., Davies, P., & Steele, C. (2009) Ambient belonging: How stereotypical cues impact gender participation in computer science. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(6), 1045-1060. DOI: 10.1037/a0016239
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