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Sunday
Jul222012

Dr. Benjamin Karney on Families and Couples

Saturday
Jul212012

Week(s) in Review: 8-21 July 2012

Saturday
Jul212012

It's Elemental

Friday
Jul202012

TED Talk: Diane Kelly on "What We Didn’t Know About Penis Anatomy"

Yes, we know we've been posting about penises a lot recently (see here and here), but this is too good to pass up.

Friday
Jul202012

The Contrast Effect and Beautiful Girls: There is Harm in Only Looking!

It’s summer again, and that means warm weather, beach vacations, and the dreaded bathing suit! Growing up on the coast, I figured I’d eventually get used to the summertime show-and-tell of swimsuit season. Unfortunately, I was wrong. 

Just recently, I was at the beach with my family and we were looking for a place to plant our chairs. One male member quickly picked the perfect spot.  It did not occur to me until I sat down that what made this such a prime location was its proximity to some college-aged, scantily-clad, bathing beauties. It would have been awesome if I had not noticed, or if I had just been happy for those young girls and resisted the urge to compare myself. Regrettably, that was not the case. 

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Thursday
Jul192012

Dr. Jennifer Harman Interviewed on Irish Radio (with audio).

ScienceOfRelationships' Dr. Jennifer Harman was recently interviewed by iRadio.ie (Ireland) about relationship science and our book. Click on the button to play the interview.

Thursday
Jul192012

Are Attractive Women Perceived As Objects?

A new study provides evidence that sexy women are seen as objects, whereas sexy men are seen as persons. College undergraduates were briefly shown images of scantily clad men and women that were either shown right-side up or upside down. Participants recognized upright images of men better than inverted images, while images of women were recognized equally well no matter how they were presented. This is consistent with a longstanding finding in cognitive psychology that we take spatial relationships in account when we view people (i.e., we have a harder time recognizing them when they’re upside down), but not objects.  

To learn more about the details of this study, check out this article on The Psychology of Human Sexuality.

Bernard, P., Gervais, S. J., Allen, J., Campomizzi, S., & Klein, O. (2012). Integrating sexual objectification with object versus person recognition: The sexualized-body-inversion hypothesis. Psychological Science, 23, 469-471.

image source: polopuentearanda.com

Wednesday
Jul182012

What Should I Do About My Jealousy?

A reader recently asked: My husband and I have a new friend that is female and single. My husband texts, calls, and visits with her even when I'm not there. I am feeling very jealous. I can tell he likes her but he doesn't think I should be jealous. She is my friend too so it's awkward. What should I do? I hate feeling jealous.

Jealousy is a complicated topic with a lot of moving parts – it is an interpersonal situation that involves the jealous individual, his or her relational partner, and a potentially threatening rival.

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Tuesday
Jul172012

Responsiveness and Desire for Sex: The Goldilocks Phenomenon

Gurit Birnbaum presented research on how a partner’s responsiveness (in other words, their emotional availability and supportiveness) influences a person’s desire for sex with them during a first impression, and how this differs based on attachment style and gender.

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Tuesday
Jul172012

When Friends and Family Disapprove: Is There a “Romeo and Juliet Effect?"

I saw a fantastic symposium on what happens to people in romantic relationships when their friends and family disapprove. As Colleen Sinclair and others explained, findings from one classic study conducted in the 1970s showed that disapproval from parents can make a relationship even stronger. This finding was dubbed the “Romeo and Juliet Effect,” after Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers whose families were hated enemies (and thus, would not approve of their relationship).

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Tuesday
Jul172012

Science Of Relationships at IARR in Chicago

Just to prove we were in Chicago (and had a good time!).

Front row: Amy Muise, Justin Lehmiller, Nicole Atkins, Samatha Joel, Jennifer Harman, Jennifer Shukusky, Sadie Leder, Lindsey Rodriguez

Back row: Bjarne Holmes, Benjamin Le, Gary Lewandowski, Tim Loving, Dylan Selterman

Not pictured, but were at the conference: Brent Mattingly, Sonia Ip, Charlotte & Patrick Markey, Jennifer Bevan, Marci Gleason, Maryhope Howland Rutherford, Paul Eastwick, & Sabrina Thai

In case you missed it, we wrote about some of our favorite research talks at that we saw at the conference here.

We especially want to thank all the conference speakers and attendees. We were honored that so many of you mentioned being fans of ScienceOfRelationships.com, and thank you for the great research that you all do to make our site possible.

Monday
Jul162012

From Bride to Blues: Examining the Prevalence of Post-Nuptial Depression

As someone who has never walked down the aisle, I have to say that Allison Scott’s presentation about the prevalence of "bridal blues" was an eye-opening experience. Not only did I learn that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a wedding day survival guide, (as they compare planning a wedding to surviving a natural disaster), but also I learned that most women experience a post-wedding “let down.”

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Monday
Jul162012

Ask Dr. Loving: When Should I Tell My Friends What I Think About Their Relationships?

Is there any research that shows how or when to express your feelings (positive or negative) about a friend’s relationship?

Let’s back up and start with a more basic question: Does your opinion matter? Absolutely. Knowing what others think about our romances is a critical piece of information if those relationships are going to survive.

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Sunday
Jul152012

How Does Your Attachment Influence Your Sexual Relationships?

I saw a symposium of researchers who used attachment theory to explain differences in sexual behavior. In general, people high on attachment anxiety or avoidance (in other words, more insecure folks) have less satisfying sexual experiences.

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Sunday
Jul152012

Hanging Out + Dating: A Venn Diagram

Saturday
Jul142012

Show Me the Money! But, Don't Expect Me to be Nice

Kathleen Vohs and colleagues presented research today about the links between interpersonal sensitivity and money. In several studies in her lab, she found that drawing people's attention to money makes them less likely to be helpful to others, less likely to be charitable, and less likely to even want to sit close to another person.

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Saturday
Jul142012

Lying About Physical Attractiveness

I attended an interesting talk yesterday by Dr. Edward Lemay and his colleagues about how people use deception in their relationships. He wanted to know what motivates people to lie when their girlfriend or boyfriend asks how they look. For example, if you don’t think they look very physically attractive, do you tell the truth?

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Saturday
Jul142012

Going Steady: How Do People Decide to Make Their Relationships Exclusive?

As someone who is fascinated by all things “decision making-y” in relationships, I was really excited to attend a symposium this morning on how people’s commitment to their relationships can change over time. One talk in particular, by Sara Blanch and colleagues, was about how people make that critical, early relationship choice to agree to be exclusive with their partners.

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Saturday
Jul142012

Sexting and Relationship Development

Today I kicked off the IARR conference and my first full day in Chicago by participating in a symposium (a collection of related presentations on the same topic) about sex in relationships. My co-presenter, Jimmie Manning from the Northern Kentucky University, talked about people’s motives for sexting with relationship partners.

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Saturday
Jul142012

Your Relationship On A Ferris Wheel