In case you missed any of them, here are links to our articles from the last week:
- Relationships and Personality Change - Live from Italy
- Whose Orgasms Are We Moaning About Anyway?
- Your Partner and You: One Shared Brain
- Dear Kristen Stewart...Why Did You Cheat?
- "Hooking Up" – What is it Exactly?
- Hot Women Make Men Dumb and Dumber
- Premature Sextaculation
Here's what we've been reading this week:
- Hot and Bothered: Do People Have More Sex in Warm Weather? (slate.com)
- How Science Makes Having Compassion Easier (bigthink.com)
Sounds during sex can range from “ohhhs” and “ahhhs” to words of encouragement (“don’t stop,” “that’s it!,” “YES!”) to sexual expletives to screams that wake the neighbors. But who is all this noise really for?
A recent study reveals that the sounds women make during sex aren’t just about their own orgasms but also serve to help their partners’ orgasms.
While relationship researchers were at the IARR conference in Chicago, personality psychologists gathered in Trieste, Italy for the 16th annual European Conference on Personality. I was a part of a paper session entitled “Social Processes in Personality Change” along with Kathrin Jonkmann and Beatrice Rammstedt. All of our talks involved relationships with romantic partners, and the myriad of ways in which they contribute to changes in personality.
An interesting idea that has recently emerged in psychology and cognitive science is the extended mind: the notion that your cognition is not merely “in your head,” but can extend to the world around you. Google presents a good example of this phenomenon. People are less likely to remember information when they know it is stored somewhere “outside” of their heads – particularly, a computer or the internet. Hence, we may not trouble ourselves in memorizing a recipe for a delicious dip simply because we know where we can find it online. Likewise, we probably don’t know many cell phone numbers because we know that they are readily available in our phone (although this may lead us to panic when our phone loses all that information).
The extended mind phenomenon also opens a door to another question: given that romantic relationships are characterized by relatively high degrees of self-other overlap, can your romantic partner serve as an extension of your own mind?
Quick, in 10 seconds think of as many celebrities as you can who have allegedly been caught cheating. Go! Tiger Woods, Jude Law, Bill Clinton, Dave Letterman, Kobe Bryant, Eliot Spitzer, LeAnn Rimes, Hugh Grant, Bill Clinton some more, Jon Edwards, that guy Sandra Bullock was married to, Brett Favre, and now Kristen Stewart. Why is this so easy? Either you have an extraordinary knowledge of celebrities' love lives, or it really is a common phenomenon. So, why do they do it? Is it really Robert Pattinson's fault? Nope. They do it because they can.
“Hooking up” has become a catch-all phrase in our culture to describe casual romantic or sexual activity. Despite the pervasiveness of the phrase, however, no one (lay people or relationship scientists) has a solid, agreed-upon definition for exactly what it is. What specifically does “hooking up” entail? A recent review article sheds light on this question.
Most of us have experienced a gut-cringing moment in which we made an embarrassing comment or did something idiotic in front of a person we were trying to impress. Even smart guys are not immune to this; look at how The Big Bang Theory’s Leonard Hofstadter’s staggering IQ of 170+ plummets whenever he sees Penny. Unfortunately, guys, it looks like this cognitive decline in the presence of the opposite sex affects only those in the male population.
Although I have had a few dates with The Consultant, I don’t want to get too serious too quickly. In the meantime, there are still a number of guys showing interest in me on the internet dating site I have been using (which I will gladly name for a hefty fee). One guy in particular has been flirting with me quite voraciously. But he lives about an hour away, so it has not been easy to arrange a date. We recently were finally able to set something up.
A few days before the big event, he started sexting me. At first, it wasn’t totally obvious because flirtatious texting typically has sexual undertones like “I’m really looking forward to seeing you this weekend”; we had been doing a lot of that up to this point. His new approach, however, was different. His sexual references were now very explicit and his intentions became quite clear. Then, he texted a photo of himself wearing boxer briefs with a fully pitched trouser tent. Well, at least he had his underwear on. The text accompanying the picture read, “Here is a taste of the trouble you’re getting into on Friday!”
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.