Dr. Haideh Hirmand discusses the science of beauty and the truth behind the “Beauty Bias.”
Dr. Haideh Hirmand discusses the science of beauty and the truth behind the “Beauty Bias.”
Understanding the reasons behind infidelity
by Kelly Campbell, Ph.D., Psychology Today
Over 90% of Americans believe infidelity is unacceptable, yet 30-40% of people engage in it. Infidelity is associated with adverse outcomes such as depression, violence, divorce, and homicide. Considering these negative effects, why do people cheat? Is the phrase, “once a cheater, always a cheater” true? Here, I answer these questions and outline the three reasons for cheating.
1. Individual reasons. The phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” refers to individual reasons for cheating or qualities about the person that make them more prone to commit infidelity. Researchers have identified a variety of individual risk factors including gender, personality, religiosity, and political orientation. Regarding gender, men are more likely than women to commit infidelity. This is largely because men have more testosterone, which is responsible for the strong desire to have sex. Regarding personality, those who have less conscientious and less agreeable personalities are more likely than people high on these traits to commit infidelity. If you’re wondering about your own personality, take this assessment: personalitytest. Very religious people and those who have a conservative political orientation are less likely than non-religious and liberal people to commit infidelity because they have more rigid values.
2. Relationship reasons. The second reason people cheat is for relationship reasons or characteristics about the relationship itself that are unsatisfying. For these people, becoming involved in a more well-matched partnership diminishes or eliminates their desire to cheat. So, the phrase “once a cheater, always a cheater” does not hold true for these people. Instead, factors about the relationship itself must be examined. Researchers find that partnerships characterized by dissatisfaction, unfulfilling sex, and high conflict are at risk for infidelity. Partner dissimilarity is also associated with infidelity. The more dissimilar partners are in terms of factors like personality and education level, the more likely they are to experience infidelity.
3. Situational reasons. The third reason people cheat is because of the situation. In such cases, a person might not have a cheating personality and might be in a perfectly happy relationship, but something about their environment puts them at risk for infidelity. Some situations are more tempting than others. For example, spending time in settings with many attractive people makes cheating more likely. The nature of a person’s employment is also related to infidelity. Individuals whose work involves touching other people, personal discussions, and one-on-one time are more likely to have an affair. When the sex ratio is imbalanced (i.e., an overabundance of men or women in the population), people are also more likely to experience infidelity. Finally, in terms of geographic region, people who live in urban areas, as opposed to rural, less populated regions, are at greater risk. This is because people in metropolitan areas generally have more liberal attitudes about extramarital sex and because cities have larger numbers of people, which creates an environment of anonymity and an abundance of partners with whom to have sex.
Feature continues here: Is Once a Cheater Always a Cheater?
The incident described below actually occurred. Read Brenda’s statement carefully and then complete the practical exercise that follows her narrative.
“One night I had a visitor. It was a friend – or rather a relative. He was from out of town and he came up for the weekend. When he got to the apartment, I didn’t realize anything was wrong. I invited him into the – my apartment and gave him a mixed drink. Later on, he went back to his car and brought out beer that he had been drinking. He also had a gun that he brought into the apartment. He proceeded to get very drunk. I eventually went to sleep. When I woke up, he was very drunk and there was beer cans and beer bottles strung all around my apartment. He was smoking a cigarette and using an ashtray that was full of paper. There was also cigarette butts in my carpeting. I started raising hell and at one time I thought he was going to get violent. He started shaking me and he wouldn’t let me move. All I could think about was the gun he had brought in and I thought I was going to have to call the police to get rid of him. Finally, I just made him drink the end of his beer and I stayed up till he went to sleep. That’s it.”
In analyzing Brenda’s statement, you most likely realized elements of her storyline are missing. She is intentionally withholding information, which means her account is deceptive.
Now that Brenda has provided her story, you will need to review events with her in an effort to learn what really happened. Before continuing, you may want to review the following posts:
Now, using the “reply” icon, list at least 10 open-ended questions that could be useful in uncovering the truth. We will provide feedback on your answers to maximize the value of this exercise.
One open-ended question is already provided:
Dan Simons explores why we see the world as it ISN’T.
Daniel Simons is head of the Visual Cognition Laboratory at the University of Illinois. His research explores the ways in which our beliefs and intuitions about the workings of our own minds are often mistaken and why that matters. He is best known for his experiments revealing striking failures of perception and the limits of visual awareness. His research is exhibited in science museums worldwide and his writing has been published in many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune. He is the co-author of the book, “The Invisible Gorilla, and Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us” (Crown, 2010). http://www.dansimons.com
Mind Games: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just a White Coat
By Sandra Blakeslee, New York Times
If you wear a white coat that you believe belongs to a doctor, your ability to pay attention increases sharply. But if you wear the same white coat believing it belongs to a painter, you will show no such improvement.
So scientists report after studying a phenomenon they call enclothed cognition: the effects of clothing on cognitive processes.
It is not enough to see a doctor’s coat hanging in your doorway, said Adam D. Galinsky, a professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, who led the study. The effect occurs only if you actually wear the coat and know its symbolic meaning — that physicians tend to be careful, rigorous and good at paying attention.
The findings, on the Web site of The Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, are a twist on a growing scientific field called embodied cognition. We think not just with our brains but with our bodies, Dr. Galinsky said, and our thought processes are based on physical experiences that set off associated abstract concepts. Now it appears that those experiences include the clothes we wear.
“I love the idea of trying to figure out why, when we put on certain clothes, we might more readily take on a role and how that might affect our basic abilities,” said Joshua I. Davis, an assistant professor of psychology at BarnardCollege and expert on embodied cognition who was not involved with the study. This study does not fully explain how this comes about, he said, but it does suggest that it will be worth exploring various ideas.
There is a huge body of work on embodied cognition, Dr. Galinsky said. The experience of washing your hands is associated with moral purity and ethical judgments. People rate others personally warmer if they hold a hot drink in their hand, and colder if they hold an iced drink. If you carry a heavy clipboard, you will feel more important.
It has long been known that “clothing affects how other people perceive us as well as how we think about ourselves,” Dr. Galinsky said. Other experiments have shown that women who dress in a masculine fashion during a job interview are more likely to be hired, and a teaching assistant who wears formal clothes is perceived as more intelligent than one who dresses more casually.
But the deeper question, the researchers said, is whether the clothing you wear affects your psychological processes. Does your outfit alter how you approach and interact with the world? So Dr. Galinsky and his colleague Hajo Adam conducted three experiments in which the clothes did not vary but their symbolic meaning was manipulated.
Article continues here: Sometimes a White Coat Isn’t Just a White Coat
By Chris Simmons
It goes without saying that how one person treats another determines how that individual performs. What is not so well understood, especially by bosses and parents, is the legitimate science behind this occurrence.
An individual’s performance goes up or down, in large part, based upon the expectations levied against him/her. When high expectations are placed on a person, he/she will perform better. This phenomenon is called the Pygalion or Rosenthal Effect.
At the other extreme is the Golem Effect, which occurs when decreased performance results from low expectations.
The Rosenthal Effect takes its name from a study on student performance, while the Pygalion reference is taken from an ancient Greek legend. In the Rosenthal-Jacobson research, elementary school students were given a disguised IQ test. Twenty percent of the schoolchild were then randomly chosen — and for experiment purposes — identified as “peak performers.” The names of these purportedly high-potential students were then shared with the teachers. During the course of their study, all the schoolchildren advanced academically. However, the falsely labeled “peak performers” universally exceeded all expectations and past achievements.
Part of this phenomenon derives from how we make decisions. The 1st Rule of Human Nature, Self-Interest Trumps Best Interest,” captures the core principle that all decisions are based on emotion, not logic or reason. Furthermore, since Self-Interest is strongly tied to Identity and Self-Image, the positive reinforcement that comes from high expectations triggers internal motivators that drive one towards the identified goal. Additional research has discovered that these affirmations and positive social interactions prompt a favorable chemical response in the body. This “endorphin rush” makes you feel better (and happier), which legitimately amps up one’s performance and emotions.
Ultimately, the increased performance by the employee/child also alters the behavior of the boss/parent. The leader will invest more time, attention and effort in their protégé, further incentivizing and sustaining the increased performance.
Taken in their totality, these actions create a self-sustaining feedback loop of positive emotions and in short order, this repetition creates a highly rewarding self-fulfilling prophecy. Sadly, the inverse is equally true. As Calvin Lloyd noted, “Nobody rises to low expectations,” succinctly highlighting the crippling impact of negative feedback and the Golem Effect.
How people disguise their efforts to flatter and ingratiate
By Dr. Adam Grant in Psychology Today
Early in life, when people wanted to influence us, they got away with flattery and conformity. By complimenting us and agreeing with our opinions, they buttered us up and got what they wanted. As we gain experience with coworkers and bosses, advertisers and marketers, and friends and family members, we become wiser. We recognize these thinly veiled ingratiation attempts, and they fall flat.
Like a virus that mutates after being neutralized by medicine, many people have responded by developing more sophisticated weapons of influence. These stealth strategies are harder to spot, and if we’re not aware of them, we fall for them.
To learn about these tactics, strategy researchers Ithai Stern and James Westphal surveyed and interviewed thousands of members of the corporate elite. They asked CEOs, top executives, and board members at some of the world’s largest companies how they got away with ingratiating without making others suspicious of their motives. Seven consistent strategies showed up:
1. Framing flattery as likely to make us uncomfortable
Many executives admitted to prefacing compliments with disclaimers:
People get away with this sneaky tactic for two reasons. First, it disguises the goal: if the aim was to ingratiate, we expect people to focus on making us feel good, not bad. Second, it portrays us in a positive light: We think we’re viewed as modest.
2. Framing flattery as advice-seeking
Executives reported couching compliments in advice requests. Rather than saying “I really admire your success,” one executive asked an influential colleague, “How were you able to pull off that strategy so successfully?”
This makes it seem as if others are trying to learn from us, not ingratiate. As Jack Herbert put it, “We all admire the wisdom of people who come to us for advice.” Let’s face it: They have really good taste.
3. Complimenting us to our friends
When people compliment us directly, one manager noted, it’s “kind of obvious brown-nosing.” Instead, if they say nice things about us to our friends, “we will almost always find out about it eventually, and it will mean a lot more.”
When people speak glowingly about us behind our backs, we’re often pleasantly surprised that they were talking about us, let alone praising us. It also appears more genuine, because they’re putting their reputations on the line by telling others that they think highly of us.
Article continues here: Sneaky Tactics
As the Athletic Director and head coach of the Varsity Soccer team at Ryerson University, Dr. Ivan Joseph is often asked what skills he is searching for as a recruiter: is it speed? Strength? Agility? In Dr. Joseph’s TEDx Talk, he explores self-confidence and how it is not just the most important skill in athletics, but in our lives.
By Chris Simmons
Previous posts have addressed the principle that emotions – not logic – are the core drivers in any decision. As such, when engaged in a discussion wherein tensions are rising, you can quickly lower stress levels by using these simple forms of nonverbal communication:
(not in priority order)
In every human interaction, the majority of one’s message is conveyed nonverbally. Thus, rather than telling someone you want to defuse a tense situation, show them. Given our reliance on visual cues, “show, don’t tell” always achieves faster and more effective results.
By Mark Berman, Washington Post
A big new report on millennials was released today by the Pew Research Center, covering a lot of the same stuff we’re always hearing about this oft-discussed generation. Millennials are diverse, they’re not making a lot of money and they’re really into this Internet I keep hearing so much about.
Still, there were some interesting takeaways! Here are four things that caught my attention.
(Take note: The report focuses on people between ages 18 and 33, leaving out the teenagers who still technically count as millennials.)
1. People Are Not To Be Trusted …
My generation does not seem to think other people are trustworthy. Just 19 percent of millennials say that people can be trusted, a much lower number than the other three generations (Generation X, covering people ages 34 to 49; Baby Boomers, defined as people 50 to 68; and the Silent Generation, 69 to 86).
Read more here: Millennials don’t trust you