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Sunday
Nov182012

Men: Want a Date? Take a Break from Shaving this Movember

This month is “Movember,” an international movement to raise awareness about men’s health, particularly prostate and testicular cancer. Men participating in “Movember” grow moustaches and raise money to fund cancer education and research.1 Yet, Movember may have an added benefit for relationships: women rate men with a full beard as more masculine, socially mature, dominant, and aggressive than they rate clean-shaven men. However, men with light stubble fare best on ratings of attractiveness and desirability for short-term and long-term relationships.2 Historically, men tend to grow facial hair during years that competition for mates is more intense (for example, moustaches were particularly popular in the early 1900s, based on images in the Illustrated London News),3 suggesting that facial hair fashion trends are attuned to the effect facial hair has on women’s judgments.

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Saturday
Nov172012

You Were So Perfect When We First Met

Saturday
Nov172012

Week in Review: 11 - 17 November 2012

Friday
Nov162012

Why Watching Twilight Movies May Be Bad For Relationships

In the past decade, the popularity of vampire-themed books and movies for young adults has risen dramatically. Although vampires make for some good nail-biting fun in the Halloween season, they also send some unfortunate messages to the young people who love them. In this article, I argue that the popular Twilight series can be used to highlight patterns of behavior that put individuals at risk for abuse in dating relationships. The popularity of the Twilight series shows just how much attention girls are giving to the examples of lovers displayed in Edward and Bella’s world. To them, Edward represents the troubled soul who is waiting to be tamed by just the right woman; it’s the modern Beauty and the Beast. Unfortunately, many fans turn a blind eye to the dark side of Bella and Edward’s romance. The course and characteristics of Bella’s relationship with Edward are actually a template for violence and abuse, and Twilight fans may unwittingly model a relationship that may lead to both psychological and physical abuse.

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Thursday
Nov152012

And For My Next Trick: The Magical Effects of Positive Illusions About Romantic Partners

Think about the last time you had a crush. What did it feel like? Chances are this experience involved overwhelming feelings of passion, confusion and excitement. Relationship researchers often refer to this experience as passionate love,1 or “Eros.”2 When someone is in this state of crush, thoughts about their partner (or desired partner) dominate their mind. Further, a person often thinks about their crush in highly idealized ways; their partner is the most beautiful, intelligent, and compassionate person in the world, and there is simply no way you can convince the crush-er otherwise.

Although common when someone is crushing, these idealizations—called positive illusions3—can occur at any relationship stage.

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Wednesday
Nov142012

Relationship Research in the Kitchen

Researchers Dan Ariely and Sam Gosling talk about the psychology of cooking a great meal for your date, including the role of misattribution in promoting attraction.

Tuesday
Nov132012

Breaking Up is Easy to Do…If You Have a Smartphone

John Mayer is apparently a trend-setter among celebrities. The singer/guitarist reportedly dumped Katy Perry by email and Jennifer Aniston with a text message (recommendation: if you are dating John Mayer, hide his iPhone). And Taylor Swift is said to have been the recipient of a break up voicemail (although not from Mr. Mayer). Is this form of calling it quits isolated to just our friends in the entertainment industry or is it common among the rest of us?

Have you ever been dumped over email? Would you text a (soon-to-be-former) partner to let them know it was over? heyyy we r over bye. Technology provides many options for communicating a desire to break up while allowing us to avoid the awkwardness of dumping someone face-to-face. But how often do people use technology to break up, and are some people more likely to do it than others (or be the recipient of it)?

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Monday
Nov122012

Is It Time to Move On and Let Go?

Q: I am 21 years old and my ex-boyfriend is 34. We had been together for 2 years on and off. We broke up two months ago but in the past two weeks he suddenly came into my work place and we spoke. This week we planned on Monday to hang out, but I canceled on him and rescheduled for Wednesday. We had a quick dinner; he kept updating me about his friends and what he has been up to, and asking how I have been. After dinner, he walked me home and brushed his hand against my back occasionally...but when we reached my place, we just hugged and parted. We didn't kiss or talk about where our relationship is going.

The next day he texted me telling me that it was nice to see me again...I replied "Likewise." Two days have passed now...and I haven't heard from him since.

I guess I'm just confused as to whether my ex-boyfriend still wants to get back with me...or is it time for me to let go and move on?

A: Thank you for your question. It does sound like you are getting some mixed signals, so it is natural to want some clarification about what is going on with your ex.

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Sunday
Nov112012

Helping a Friend After a Divorce

Saturday
Nov102012

Can a Chicken be Too Romantic?

Saturday
Nov102012

Week in Review: 4-10 November 2012

Friday
Nov092012

Your Facebook Profile Picture: A Window Into Your Relationship

The information people choose to share on Facebook can provide insight into their personalities and social lives. We can make fairly accurate judgments about individuals’ personalities from their Facebook profiles alone.1 In one study where people rated a stranger’s Facebook profile, judgments of certain personality traits, such as extroversion (e.g., sociability, outgoing nature) and openness to experience (e.g., curiosity, preference for variety) were consistent with the stranger’s ratings of himself or herself as well as how the stranger’s close friends rated him or her.1 So it seems that Facebook can help us learn about someone. But what do people’s Facebook profiles tell us about their romantic relationships?

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Thursday
Nov082012

For Better or Worse…In Marriage, Men May Get More of the Better 

True confession time: Before we (the authors of this article) got engaged, Charlotte already had a specific date and time reserved for the church where our wedding would be held.1 Although no ultimatum was ever given, it was pretty clear to Patrick that after living together for several years, it was time for him to think about marriage. Needless to say, the ring was bought, the wedding occurred on the given date at the nonnegotiable location, and we have been living happily ever after. Our story is hardly unique. Common wisdom suggests that young women can’t wait to walk down the aisle whereas young men grudgingly make the trek to the altar. Women may start planning their weddings long before their partners have a ring picked out, but perhaps women need to think more carefully about what they are getting into.

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Wednesday
Nov072012

Be There For Me When Things Are Going Well

We typically think of significant others as an important source of support when things go wrong in our lives; someone to catch us if we fall. If you were to lose your job, you’d turn to your partner for support to help you through that rough time. However, your partner’s support for positive life events is equally as important. When good things happen, like a new great job falls into your lap, is your partner supportive? “That’s a great opportunity! I’m so excited for you!” Or are they uninterested or negative about your good news? “Wow, that sounds like a lot of work. Are you sure you’re up for it?” 

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Tuesday
Nov062012

Election Coverage Recap

To our friends here in the United States-- Get out and rock the vote today!

Here's a recap of our election coverage:

Monday
Nov052012

Taking a Pass on Workplace Romance

A co-worker of mine recently asked me if she could set me up with a guy in another department at my university. Since my divorce about 2 years ago, I have only started dating again the last few months, but I have not told her much about my personal life. Although I like one man I have recently started dating a lot (The Consultant), I did not want to tell my co-worker about him quite yet. I am sure her intentions to set me up with a colleague are good, but I tend to shy away from workplace set-ups due to the complications that can arise.

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Sunday
Nov042012

Daylight Savings P.S.A.

Saturday
Nov032012

Week in Review: 28 October - 3 November 2012

Friday
Nov022012

Dr. Gary Lewandowski Interviewed by the Today Show

Friday
Nov022012

Liberal or Conservative? Obey Your Mom and Dad

Political scientists often wonder what makes someone liberal versus conservative. Fortunately, there are several well-studied clues to predicting individuals’ political attitudes. For example, disgust sensitivity, which refers to how easily you are repulsed by gross things, increases the likelihood that you call yourself a conservative and vote for conservative politicians.1 How do the researchers explain this effect? The emotion of disgust may have evolved in part to help humans avoid poisonous or diseased substances (that’s why dog crap smells so foul to us) and we also generally associate immoral behavior with feeling disgusted. When people feel disgusted, they also express harsher, condemning attitudes toward social behaviors they feel are immoral (like incest). Conservatives, who happen to be more easily disgusted in general, also have more critical perspectives on stigmatized social behaviors (like same-sex sexual contact).

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