In case you missed any of them, here are links to our articles from the last two weeks:
- The Contrast Effect and Beautiful Girls: There is Harm in Only Looking!
- Are Attractive Women Perceived As Objects?
- Responsiveness and Desire for Sex: The Goldilocks Phenomenon
- When Friends and Family Disapprove: Is There a “Romeo and Juliet Effect?"
- From Bride to Blues: Examining the Prevalence of Post-Nuptial Depression
- How Does Your Attachment Influence Your Sexual Relationships?
- Show Me the Money! But, Don't Expect Me to be Nice
- Lying About Physical Attractiveness
- Going Steady: How Do People Decide to Make Their Relationships Exclusive?
- Sexting and Relationship Development
- Top 5 Tips for Successfully Navigating Your First Conference
- Coming to You Live from Chicago, it’s IARR!
- How Dare You "Unfriend" Me
- "Seven Days of Sex": Will It Save Your Marriage?
- Infographic: Relationships, Health, Happiness, and Money
Here's what we've been reading this week:
- Stop Bullying the 'Soft' Sciences (by Dr. Tim Wilson on latimes.com)
- After the Sacrifice: Doing it for the Right Reasons (psych-your-mind.blogspot.com)
- The Lure of Likemindedness (by Dr. Harry Reis on spsptalks.wordpress.com)
- What the Heck is Research Anyway? (by Dr. Brent Roberts on hardsci.wordpress.com)
- How Microwave Ovens Paved the Way for Same Sex Marriage (Dollars and Sex blog at bigthink.com)
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.
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
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.
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).
Just to prove we were in Chicago (and had a good time!).
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.