Wednesday
Mar282012

Bringing Home More Than Just the Bacon: When Work Life Collides with Home Life

“Leave your troubles at the door.” 

It’s a standard rule of thumb to leave your emotional baggage behind when you clock in at your job. You can’t concentrate on your daily tasks if you’re worried about whether Little Danny will remember his lines in his school play audition. You can’t smile and talk up your proposal to a highly coveted client if last night’s argument with your significant other is still replaying itself, every hurtful word, over and over in your mind. Unless you’re a Method actor or perhaps some incarnation of a brooding songwriter-comedian-artist, your personal life has no place at your job.

The reverse is also true. Imagine you bring your work troubles home...

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Tuesday
Mar272012

You're Lovin' It

Tuesday
Mar272012

Trust: It Does a Body Good

image source: reputation-communications.comTrust is good for your relationship, but does it also benefit your physical health? A sample of married, engaged, and dating couples completed surveys every six months for for two and a half years. Partners experiencing more trust in their relationships subsequently had lower depression and anxiety, which in turn were associated with enhanced mental and better physical health. Exercising trust in your relationship is good for your mind and body. 

Schneider, I. K., Konijn, E. A., Righetti, F., & Rusbult, C. E. (2011). A healthy dose of trust: The relationship between interpersonal trust and health. Personal Relationships, 18, 668-676.

Monday
Mar262012

Cut the Chaff: Weeding Out Undesirables

With only two kid-free Happy Hours and a Friday night each week at my disposal for establishing a dating life, my time is limited for this adventure. Surprisingly, the pool of on-line dating eligible bachelors around my age is quite large, particularly given my new “casual” approach. How can I narrow the playing field down to a select few that I can actually make time to meet with in person?

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Sunday
Mar252012

The Science of Creativity and Attraction, According to Dilbert

Saturday
Mar242012

Week in Review: 18-24 March 2012

Friday
Mar232012

Philly Men + Men Health and Relationships Study

SofR contributor Dr. Charlotte Markey (of Rutgers University) and colleagues' past work has investigated relationship processes in lesbian couples. You can read about their new research project focusing on gay men's relationships in the Philadelphia area here.

Friday
Mar232012

Four Signs that Don Draper is Avoidantly Attached

“The reason you haven’t felt it is because it doesn’t exist. What you call love was invented by guys like me, to sell nylons. You're born alone and you die alone and this world just drops a bunch of rules on top of you to make you forget those facts.” – Don Draper

In the spirit of the upcoming Mad Men Season Five premiere, I thought it might be fun to do a character sketch of Don Draper, the show’s most central and intriguing character. Don’s creative genius can’t be denied – he outperforms everyone in the 60’s advertising world with his sheer wit and charm. However, Don does not enjoy the same level of success in his personal life. In previous posts, we have discussed how examining a person’s attachment style can help us to better understand their patterns in relationships. Don is an excellent example of an avoidantly attached person: someone who relies on only himself, who pushes other people away, and who tries to avoid intimacy wherever possible.

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Thursday
Mar222012

Curves that Drive the Mad Men Mad

Although Mad Men revolves around the life of the mysterious Don Draper, undoubtedly the coolest character on the show is Ms. Joan Holloway. When you talk to anyone that watches Mad Men, they all either want to be her or be with her. But what makes Joan so appealing? After all, Christina Hendricks, the actress that plays Joan, is not your typical overly skinny Hollywood actress. Instead, Joan Holloway’s appeal may come down to one simple number: .70.

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Wednesday
Mar212012

Are Single People Stigmatized by Society?

If you are single, after graduation there isn’t one occasion where people celebrate you…Hallmark doesn’t make a “congratulations, you didn’t marry the wrong guy” card. And where’s the flatware for going on vacation alone? – Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City)

Over the past few decades, the rate of marriage has declined while the rate of divorce has crept up. In spite of these major social shifts, most people still view marriage positively and think of it as the ideal state we should strive for. In fact, we hold the institution of marriage in such high regard that not only do we celebrate and reward marriages with extravagant ceremonies and gifts (even when it’s someone’s second, third, or fourth wedding!), but society also gives preferential treatment to people who are married. This bias favoring married over single people has only recently caught scientists’ attention and we are just beginning to learn how deep this prejudice runs.

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Tuesday
Mar202012

"Passionate Love": Relationship Matters Podcast #9

A new Relationship Matters (the official podcast of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships) has just been released. SofR's own Dr. Bjarne Holmes interviews Dr. Elaine Hatfield about her about her work on passion and sexual desire.

Tuesday
Mar202012

Another Reason to Avoid Narcissists

image source: squidoo.comJust in case you need another reason to avoid dating narcissists: In a sample of nearly 300 men, those scoring high on narcissism, high on psychopathy (e.g., irresponsibility, low empathy, antisocial behavior), and with an unrestricted sociosexual orientation (e.g., the belief that love and sex are separate) were three times as likely (45%) to report engaging in sexual aggression (e.g., sexual assault and rape) compared to those low on these three traits (15%).

Mouilso, E. R., & Calhoun, K. S. (2011). A mediation model of the role of sociosexuality in the associations between narcissism, psychopathy, and sexual aggression. Psychology of Violence, 2, 16-27.

Monday
Mar192012

Baiting the Hook to Catch a Fish

Being a scientist, I draw many research ideas from my personal life and, admittedly, my personal life provides much to draw from! I have been married and divorced more than once, have traveled the world and tried out many different types of relationships, and I now find myself a single mother of a toddler and preschool aged boy. I also live with my newly retired mom. Talk about being sandwiched. After taking a break from any relationship that remotely smacked of romance for some time now, I have decided to re-enter the dating world.

This column will document my adventures. I know my personal analysis will generate more questions than I initially pose, but that is the scientific process! Putting my personal experiences out there for public scrutiny is a little intimidating for me. But, if my successes, failures, and embarrassing experiences can be used as a way to teach and generate more research questions about relationship science, or at the very least get you to laugh with or at me, I am willing to be the sacrificial lamb. So, here goes.

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Sunday
Mar182012

Sex: It's Like Fighting in Perkins

Saturday
Mar172012

Week in Review: 11-17 March 2012

Friday
Mar162012

Online Dating: The Paradox of Choice

As discussed in a previous post, some relationship scientists seriously doubt the effectiveness of the algorithms used by online dating sites to match people to potential partners. Even if these algorithms do not hold the key to everlasting love, online dating sites provide access to more dating partners than you can shake a stick at. If you are looking for love, having more options is better, right?

Not exactly. Researchers have demonstrated that although we like having more options when making a decision, we are ultimately less satisfied with our choice when we have a larger, as opposed to smaller, number of options.

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Thursday
Mar152012

Marvin Gaye was Right On: Sex and Stress Relief

Sexually active Israelis in monogamous cohabiting relationships reported on their stress levels and sexual activity each day for three weeks. Having sex on one day predicted lower stress the following day, and feeling stressed on one day was associated with an increased likelihood of having sex the next day. Convenient, eh? These associations were stronger for men than for women. This work suggests that people (especially men) may use sex to (effectively) alleviate daily stress.

Ein-Dor, T., & Hirschberger, G. (2012). Sexual healing: Daily diary evidence that sex relieves stress for men and women in satisfying relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 29, 126-139.

Support SofR by downloading "Sexual Healing" (or some other groovy Marvin Gaye tunes; we highly recommend the Let's Get It On album for facilitating your stress relief) on Amazon.com.

Wednesday
Mar142012

Q&A: Friends with Benefits?

A reader asked:

Where does science of relationships stand on the whole friends with benefits thing? Do you see it as more of a risk as opposed to a normal commited relationship?

Great question; this is something that a lot of people are interested in. Here are some of our past articles related to friends with benefits:

From toothpastefordinner.com.

Tuesday
Mar132012

Estrogen Levels Influence How Many Kids Women Want

Researchers asked college women, “Ideally, how many children would you like to have?”, and either (a) assessed their peak estrogen levels by collecting weekly urine samples for 4-6 weeks (Study 1), or (b) asked strangers to rate how feminine (vs. masculine) the women’s faces were (Study 2; note: prenatal and pubertal estrogen feminizes faces). Women with higher peak levels of estrogen, or with more feminine faces, reported wanting more children.

Smith, M. J. L., Deady, D. K., Moore, F. R., et al. (2012). Maternal tendencies in women are associated with estrogen levels and facial femininity. Hormones and Behavior, 61, 12-16.

image source: whatisall.com

Monday
Mar122012

I Like Watching Other Girls, But I'm Not Gay: What's Up With That?

I am a female. I am NOT attracted to other females. However, female porn/ girl-girl action/ breasts... all these things turn me on. When I watch porn, I prefer watching girls to men, it excites me and turns me on. While watching porn I enjoy fantasizing about it being me with another girl, but in real life those thoughts don't even cross my mind. I just don't get it! Help me, oh wise sages. I am curious to know if you have insight on this phenomenon.

Your experience is not at all unusual. Nude images of females are much more prevalent in society than naked pictures of males, which impacts the viewing experience of pornography for women in very different ways than for men.

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