Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

Women are more attracted to guitarists than sporty guys

May 9, 2013

Men’s music ability and attractiveness to women in a real-life courtship context

From Psychology of Music

It is apparent that music plays a role in sexual selection. This study carried out an experiment in a real-life setting and showed that women approached in the street for their phone number agreed more readily with the request when the man asking was a young man holding a guitar case in his hands rather than a sports bag in his hands or had no bag at all.


The psychological consequences of terrorism among child victims

May 1, 2013

Systematic review of the psychological consequences of terrorism among child victims

From International Review of Victimology

Terrorist acts such as 9/11 and the recent Boston Marathon incident have understandably shocked and devastated the American public and the wider world. Terrorist acts have an enormous potential to produce trauma, especially in vulnerable groups such as children and adolescents. Few studies have analysed the potentially adverse effects of terrorism on child victims. This paper systematically reviews the literature on the psychological consequences which exposure to acts of terrorism can have for children. The aim of the review is to present the main results of published studies in this frequently neglected area, hence becoming a useful contribution to the field of children and terrorist violence.


Female students just as successful as males in math and science, Asian Americans outperform all

April 3, 2013

Math and Science Attitudes and Achievement at the Intersection of Gender and Ethnicity

From Psychology of Women Quarterly

While compared to men, women continue to be underrepresented in math and science courses and careers, is this disparity a true reflection of male and female student ability? According to this study male and female students earn similar grades in math and science while Asian American students of both genders outperform all other races. Authors studied 367 White, African American, Latino/Latina, and Asian American 10th grade male and female students in math and science. The study results indicated that while male and female adolescents earned similar grades in math and science, Asian American students outperformed all other ethnic groups, with Asian American males in particular receiving the highest scores. Furthermore, the researchers found that Latino and African American male students received the lowest scores in math and science.


Romantic jealousy and relationship closeness

February 14, 2013

Jealousy and relationship closeness

Exploring the good (reactive) and bad (suspicious) sides of romantic jealousy

From SAGE Open

With Valentine’s day upon us we are encouraged to think of romance, hearts and flowers. However this paper explores something less romantic, the role of jealousy within relationships. Jealousy is commonly experienced at some point in most romances. It is a complex emotion that is considered to have mainly negative qualities—even to be a personal deficiency when at its most extreme expression. This study confirms a hypothesis from the Emotion-in-Relationships conceptual model, which predicts that greater interdependence between relationship partners—or closeness—creates the potential for jealousy. The study aims to better define the positive side of romantic jealousy in addition to its more negative attributes. the research gathered data from questionnaires completed by over 200 college students in premarital relationships.  The psychometric findings strongly support a multidimensional model of romantic jealousy. Results clearly distinguished emotional/reactive jealousy as mostly “good” and cognitive/suspicious jealousy as “bad.” It indicates that jealousy need not be viewed so negatively when it is as a justifiable emotional response to potentially losing a valued relationship. The key lesson from this study is that being ready to become jealous over relationship-threatening events is itself a signal that the relationship is worthy of such a strong emotional reaction. Without jealousy, close relationships might be more pleasant, but would they be as meaningful?


Compensation negotiation among women in the workplace

January 31, 2013

How can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma: Relational Accounts are One Answer

From Psychology of Women Quarterly

Studies have shown that women are less likely to take the most direct approach to ensure that they receive fair pay compared to their male counterparts – simply asking. So what happens when women begin to negotiate for higher salaries? Could women begin to close the gender pay gap simply by learning to negotiate for more money? This study finds that women can successfully negotiate higher salaries, but unlike men, they have to pay attention to the approach they use in order to avoid social backlash. In part one of the study participants were surveyed and asked to watch a video in which a recently-promoted female employee negotiated her new salary. They were then asked to answer a series of questions about whether they would enjoy working with the woman and whether or not they would grant her the salary she desired. In part two of their study, the researchers surveyed college-educated Americans with work experience. The participants were asked to view short episodes in which female employees negotiated their salaries using different techniques. They were then asked to rate their willingness to work with the negotiators (both male and female) as well as their willingness to grant their compensation requests. The authors conclude “While gender constraints are real, they are not inescapable. We expect men to be in charge because they are, and we expect men to earn more because typically they do … every woman who reduces the gender gap in pay and authority reforms the social structures that keep women in their place.”


On/off relationships and ‘sex with an ex’ among teenagers and young adults

January 29, 2013

Relationship Churning in Emerging Adulthood: On/Off Relationships and ‘Sex with an Ex’

From Journal of Adolescent Research

This study finds that nearly half of older teenagers and young adults break up and get back together with previous dating partners and over half of this group have sex as part of the reconciliation process. The authors studied data on 792 daters and cohabiters ages 17 to 24, also known as “emerging adults”. They found that approximately 44% of emerging adults who had been in a romantic relationship in the past two years had experienced at least one reconciliation with an ex romantic partner and 53% of those who reported reconciliations also reported having sex with their ex. Additionally, racial minorities in particular were even more likely to experience reconciliation or sexual relationships with previous romantic partners. “Emerging adults who reconcile may be prone to a behavior pattern that involves cycling through relationship formation… Furthermore, having sex with an ex may be problematic because former partners can have difficulty moving on from an old relationship or building new romantic attachments.”


Physical pain and guilty pleasures

January 17, 2013

From Social Psychological and Personality Science 

All indulgences in life are bad for us—or at least it often seems that way. We regularly desire things that provide short-term satisfaction, yet may harbor long-term negative consequences. In order to enjoy these ‘‘guilty pleasures’’ however, we often find ways to justify their consumption. Challenging or adverse experiences serve this purpose well, providing a convenient rationale for self indulgence and making us feel more entitled to a little pleasure. This paper considers two studies that support the link between adversity and self-reward. Study 1 demonstrates that pain leads to self-reward but only in contexts that frame the experience of pain as “unjust.” Study 2 shows that after pain people are more likely to self-reward with guilty pleasures (chocolate) in preference to other kinds of rewards (a pen). The studies provide evidence that simply experiencing physical pain facilitates indulgence in guilty pleasures.


Male benevolent sexism in romantic and work contexts

January 10, 2013

Prescription of protective paternalism for men in romantic and work contexts

From Psychology of Women Quarterly

Male protectiveness can be perceived as sexism. The perception depends on the situation, some protectiveness can be identified as benevolent while other protectiveness can be seen as contributing to women’s subordination. Protective paternalism, a particular form of benevolent sexism, refers to the belief that men should protect, take care of, cherish, and provide for the women on whom they depend. This paper examines 6 studies, studies demonstrating that prescription of protective paternalism for men is a complex phenomenon because it depends on contextual as well as individual variables.  The studies explore prescribed protective paternalism in the context of romantic relations and also work situations. The findings in the paper conclude that improved understandings of various ideologies, as proposed through the studies, are necessary in order to move closer toward genuine equality between the sexes.


The desire to marry and attitudes toward same-sex family legalization in a sample of Italian lesbians and gay men

December 4, 2012

From Journal of Family Issues

In the past two decades, legal and policy questions about same-sex families were strongly debated in various nations. Much progress has been made in advancing the cause of civil rights for lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people in some countries. In Italy, there is still no law establishing the legality of the union between two adult persons of the same sex, so lesbians and gay males cannot gain a relationship status which is available to heterosexual married couples. Furthermore, it is not possible for gays and lesbians who are single or cohabitating to adopt a child.

This is the first study to evaluate the desire to marry and attitudes toward same-sex family legalization in a sample of Italian lesbian and gay adults. Results reveal that gay men have a lower desire to marry than lesbian participants. The Sexuality dimension revealed a pessimistic evaluation of the quality and duration of intimate relationships and a negative impression of gay or lesbian sexual behaviors. The data suggested that Italian gay men have a more negative evaluation of same-sex couples, and this is consistent with a greater pressure placed on gay men in Italy to conform to a heteronormative gender role. It was clear however that a large proportion of Italian lesbians and gay men possess a desire for long-term romantic relationships and to marry their partners should same-sex marriage be an available legal option in Italy.


Mixed weight couples experience more relationship conflict

November 28, 2012

You’re going to eat that?: Relationship processes and conflict among mixed-weight couples

Article and Relationship Matters Podcast

From Journal of Social and Personal Relationships

Relationship Matters Podcast Number 16 “You’re going to eat that?”. Dr Tricia Burke at the University of Puget Sound, USA talks about relationship processes and conflict among mixed-weight couples. The authors recognize how weight and health can be significant issues within romantic relationships. The podcast considers a study that examines relationships where one partner is categorized as overweight and the other partner is considered a healthy weight. It used daily questionnaires to gather information regarding their lifestyle, routine, relationship conflict and eating behavior to make observations concluding that mixed weight couples experienced more conflict within their relationship.


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