Are You Likely to Have an Affair? Reply

A scene from ‘The Graduate’ with Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman. Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

A scene from ‘The Graduate’ with Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman. Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

Risk Factors for Cheating Are Age, Gender and Relationship Satisfaction

By Elizabeth Bernstein, Wall Street Journal

I was struck by a recent study showing that people might be more likely to cheat on a partner in the year before a milestone birthday. This suggests that if you’re in a committed relationship, you’re at roughly a 10-year cycle for heightened risk of infidelity.

Researchers said they worked with Ashley Madison, a dating website for people seeking extramarital affairs, to analyze data on more than 8 million men who had registered with the site. The study was one of six published together in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” in 2014 that examined when people make big life changes. It found 950,000 men were ages 29, 39, 49 or 59, or “9-enders,” and their numbers on the dating site were 18% higher than what would be expected by chance, according to the researchers from New York University’s Stern School of Business and the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study also looked at data for women and found a similar, though less pronounced, pattern.

Infidelity is one of the most complex, least clear-cut areas of relationship research. Most people don’t want to admit they have been unfaithful.

Everyone, even the experts, has a different definition of “infidelity.” Some define it narrowly as sexual intercourse with someone who isn’t your spouse or committed partner. Others define it more broadly to encompass a range of sexual activities, or even emotional infidelity such as flirting or sharing secrets.

To be clear: If you break the rules of sexual or emotional commitment in your relationship, whatever they may be, it is infidelity. Different relationships have different rules. You know when you’ve breached them.

The more broadly infidelity is defined, the more common it is. The number people seem most interested in is how often married people have sex with someone other than their spouse. Most studies show that between 1 in 5 and 1 in 4 married people will admit to having engaged in sexual infidelity, says Justin Lehmiller, a Purdue University psychologist who studies sex and relationships and is the author of “The Psychology of Human Sexuality.”

Yet experts say almost everyone has thought about cheating on a spouse at one time or another, whether it’s fantasizing about a date with Bradley Cooper or flirting with a colleague over lunch.

Have you ever wondered if you’re in danger of being unfaithful? The experts advise you to look at these risk categories. People who engage in infidelity typically fall into more than one.

Article continues at “Gender”

 

 

 

 

 

Why Men Are Quicker to Date Again After a Spouse’s Death Reply

Crying manBy Elizabeth Bernstein, The Wall Street Journal

Elizabeth.Bernstein@wsj.com

It was the most difficult thing Jeff Crispell had ever been through—the loss of his wife of 25 years, Rosanne, to a rare form of cancer.

Four years ago, doctors found a large tumor in her sinus cavity, and Mr. Crispell will never forget what they said after the biopsy: “Prepare for the worst.”

He took the next two years to be her full-time caretaker. When she died, at age 61, Mr. Crispell commemorated her life with a 20-minute video about her childhood and adolescence, her first marriage, the birth of her daughter, her marriage to Mr. Crispell, and the beautiful art and jewelry she created. He played the video at her memorial service and gave copies of it, with a booklet about her, to their friends and family.

Three months later, he signed up on two online dating sites.

“I knew that because of the time frame some people might take a dim view of it,” says Mr. Crispell, a 69-year-old retired manager of a computer graphics department who lives in San Diego. “But I think from the distribution of the book and the video, it was evident how much I loved and respected my wife during her lifetime.”

The decision to move on and find a new partner after the death of a beloved spouse is emotionally wrenching and deeply personal. It’s a choice many of us will face. Some people, even after a happy marriage, start looking for a new mate fairly soon. Others choose to remain single. There is no right or wrong decision.

The idea of becoming attached and losing someone again terrifies some. Others are so spent from caring for a dying spouse that they have no energy or desire to get to know someone new. And when you’re grieving, you don’t exactly feel adventurous, outgoing, charming—in other words, like dating.

Loved ones who would never think of criticizing your appearance or your financial decisions have no problem weighing in on whether you are dating too soon—or not soon enough. At first, they pressure you not to move on too soon. But stay single for a while and they’ll nag you to stop feeling sorry for yourself and get on with your life.

If children are small, you want to protect them. If they are grown, they want to protect you, as well as the memory of their deceased parent and their inheritance.

Children, regardless of age, may worry that if you find a new partner, you won’t have time for them. They have already lost one parent and don’t want to lose another.

Story continues here:  Why Men Rebound After Spouse’s Death 

 

How & Why Sporting Events Transformed Into Theatrical Productions Reply

An eternal fan favorite -- an air cannon firing T-shirts into the stands

An eternal fan favorite — an air cannon firing T-shirts into the stands

By Chris Simmons

Readers of Human Chess are familiar with my position that all communication is theater. Recently, I realized that this perspective holds true in other arenas as well.

I attended a Major League Baseball game after a decades- long hiatus and almost immediately was intrigued by the way baseball is, in many regards, less of a sporting event than full-blown theater.

The “show” began with a pre-game picnic at PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. As we made our way to our seats, we passed countless souvenir stands and bars where socializing continued. Game time arrived and the real theatrics started: air cannons firing T-shirts into the stands, mascot races around the infield, the always popular “kiss cam,” the seventh-inning stretch and the fans’ thunderous rendition of “Take me out to the ballgame,” the entertaining antics of the food vendors, televised contests between fans and ballplayers, the end-of-game fireworks, and so forth.

The theatrical aspects reshaped the game from a spectator sport into a full-blown participatory experience. Had it simply been about the game, the fans would have watched it from home. Instead, it truly was about making memories – the camaraderie of friends, the smell of hot dogs and popcorn on a cool summer afternoon, the hope of scoring a T-shirt, etc. In short, it was a great performance by two great teams – but one made possible in large measure by a very enthusiastic and engaged support staff. Well done Pirates – you delivered an experience I and many others look forward to repeating. After all, wasn’t that the intent?

Dan Ariely: What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work? 1

What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn’t just money. But it’s not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work. (Filmed at TEDxRiodelaPlata.)

Controversy Over Facebook Emotional Manipulation Study Grows Reply

FBControversy Over Facebook Emotional Manipulation Study Grows As Timeline Becomes More Clear

Gregory S. McNeal, Forbes

In a controversial study Facebook reported the results of a massive psychological experiment on 689,003 users.  The authors were able to conduct the research because in their words, automated testing “was consistent with Facebook’s Data Use Policy, to which all users agree prior to creating an account on Facebook, constituting informed consent for this research.

Most of us who covered the story relied on that statement from the academic journal for evidence of Facebook’s efforts to gain informed consent.  Well, it turns out that was wrong.

My colleague Kashmir Hill just reported that Facebook conducted their news feed manipulation four months before the term “research” was added to their data use policy, she writes:

However, we were all relying on what Facebook’s data policy says now. In January 2012, the policy did not say anything about users potentially being guinea pigs made to have a crappy day for science, nor that “research” is something that might happen on the platform.

Four months after this study happened, in May 2012, Facebook made changes to its data use policy, and that’s when it introduced this line about how it might use your information: “For internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.” Facebook helpfully posted a “red-line” version of the new policy, contrasting it with the prior version from September 2011— which did not mention anything about user information being used in “research.”

Kashmir’s story is worth reading in full, along with her earlier piece that digs deeper into the ethical and institutional review board issues, including a statement from Cornell “saying its IRB passed on reviewing the study because the part involving actual humans was done by Facebook not by the Cornell researcher involved in the study.”

Facebook seems nonplussed, releasing a statement saying ”To suggest we conducted any corporate research without permission is complete fiction. Companies that want to improve their services use the information their customers provide, whether or not their privacy policy uses the word ‘research’ or not.”

As Dan Solove points out in a recent LinkedIn Influencer post:

The problem with obtaining consent in this way is that people often rarely read the privacy policies or terms of use of a website. It is a pure fiction that a person really “agrees” with a policy such as this, yet we use this fiction all the time…

Article continues here:  Facebook Manipulation

How Body Language and Micro Expressions Predict Success – Patryk & Kasia Wezowski Reply

Non-verbal communication can predict anybody’s success or failure. Research of Patryk & Kasia Wezowski has proven that decoding somebody’s “Body Language Code™” can predict the outcome of presidential elections or your inborn potential to have an advantage in negotiations. Knowing how to read “micro expressions” is probably the most effective way to connect more with people and the most crucial skill to prevent the increasing social autism caused by today’s technological innovations.

Unintended Consequences: How Communications Technology is Killing Our Children’s Future Reply

Young adultsBy Chris Simmons

Digital natives, the term used for Millennials and the follow-on generations, are at grave risk from the very technology they’ve so thoroughly embraced.

New research finds that this reliance on emails, texts, and similar impersonal tools has removed the non-verbal component  from how these generations communicate. However, as readers of this blog are aware, however, the bulk of every single human interaction is nonverbal.

Devoid of all the subtle nuances  that comprise effective communications, digital natives are left with nothing but emotionless words. Given decades of research demonstrating that at least 60% of every message is nonverbal, digital natives are at risk to experiencing lives of institutionalized miscommunication.

This news alone is startling, but more devastating is the second key finding of this latest study. Absent the emotional (i.e., nonverbal) component of their cyber interactions, the digitals‘ brains are being rewired to process communications in a reason-based fashion. Thus, communication is reduced to mathematical equations wherein “word+word+word=irrefutable fact.”

Sadly, the rest of the world does not think and act based exclusively on logic and reason. Emotion is, and always will be, at the heart of every decision made by non-digital natives. This puts natives in a significant disadvantage whenever they interact face-to-face. Inexperienced at reading body language and the other theatrics of language, their failure rate in analyzing and interpreting others’ actions or negotiating favorable outcomes is stunning.

Predictably, this discomfort and unfamiliarity with F2F communications leads some digitals to retreat back into their comfort zone of technology-based tools. This response, however, can send the digital into a communications death spiral and increasingly deep personal and professional isolation.

Fortunately, the digitals can be saved, but only if older generations intervene. Non-digital natives need to teach the younger generations about nonverbal communication, the emotional roots of being human, behavioral cues, statement analysis, and so forth. Its not to late to save them – but their personal and professional futures require our immediate assistance.

How and Why Employees Subvert Bad Corporate Policy Reply

self-interestBy Chris Simmons

Self Interest trumps everything. That is precisely why it’s the 1st Rule of Human Nature.

Despite this fundamental truth, many corporations ignore this core tenet of human nature and are then baffled when they experience poor results.

For example, I recently learned of a major US corporation that pays its staff a daily 10% “punctuality bonus” for being on time. More specifically, it is truly a 10% bonus that supplements the employees’ lower day rate. At first glance, an apparently understandable practice for a manufacturing entity.

This is where self interest comes into play. Like most companies, this firm offers sick leave — but at the employees’ lower base salary. So imagine how employees respond. If you guessed that they came to work sick, you are correct. If you guessed they came in to work sick, clocked in on-time, and then went home on sick leave – you’d also be correct.

It’s easy to see the numerous pitfalls of this practice, including some significant liability issues. No matter how well intentioned, any policy that runs counter to human nature and self interest will be intentionally undermined by those forced to endure it.

An associated truth of human nature is that people focus more on protecting what they have rather than the possibility of a future gain. This is why ads for major sweepstakes now say “You may have already won!,” as this wording enjoys response rates several times higher than “mail in your entry” contests. In a like fashion, this manufacturer could benefit greatly by ending the daily bonus and increasing base salaries by 10 percent.  Punctuality could still be enforced by simply docking an employee’s pay for a late arrival.

Other viable alternatives also exist, which begs the question, why would any firm stay wedded to such a clearly flawed practice?

Elizabeth Loftus: The Fiction of Memory 1

Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn’t happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It’s more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider.

 

 

Exploiting Human Frailty: Is This Russia’s Plan For Destroying the Ukraine? Reply

Flag of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)

Flag of the Security Service of Ukraine (SSU)

By Chris Simmons

Over the last several weeks, “pro-Russian” forces – presumably including disguised Russian government personnel – have seized numerous Security Service of Ukraine (SSU) buildings.

But what is their goal?  Why would they attack Kiev’s intelligence service?  A display of strength? Perhaps. Seizing weapons? Undoubtedly, but as a lesser mission. I suspect that perhaps Moscow seeks to indirectly defeat the Ukraine by obliterating its primary spy service.

In capturing these facilities, the masked Russian personnel and their allies now presumably have the personnel and security files of SSU personnel, as well as family photos, contact information, etc. Additionally, the Russian “separatists” have already shown their propensity for anonymity (i.e., “unmarked uniforms, masks, etc). Such secrecy helps create a baseline of fear. As tensions escalate, the environment becomes ripe for terror attacks.

Students of irregular warfare (previously called “guerrilla warfare”) know insurgents maximize their strength and minimize their risks by attacking where an enemy is weak or vulnerable. Another tenet of this type of warfare is the adage, “Kill one, terrorize a thousand.”

Moscow does not want to engage the SSU directly – and now it doesn’t have to. It can incite panic by unleashing a reign of terror against the families of SSU officers. Such an effort could be as simple as kidnapping the loved ones of a few of its personnel. Russia would follow these acts with a well choreographed media campaign to convince the 4000 SSU members that their families are next. Bear in mind that to be effective, a terror threat need not be real — but merely perceived as credible.

People will always follow the 1st Rule of Human Natureself interest.  If Moscow successfully creates an environment of fear so pervasive that SSU members are forced to choose between their families and their nation – the Ukraine is doomed.