Source: Free-Photos courtesy of pixabay | CC license Most people view their ex-partners more negatively after a romantic relationship ends than they did during the relationship. This makes perfect sense for two reasons. First, the relationship probably ended for good reason and got worse over time, leading to waning feelings for the ex. Second, when you're in a relationship, you generally try to convince yourself that your partner is worth being with, but after the relationship ends, it's in your interest to convince yourself you made the right decision by breaking up. But is there a gender difference in how positively people view their exes? A new study by Ursula Athenstaedt and colleagues, just published in Social Psychological and Personality Science, explores this question. In one study, the researchers probed laypeople's intuitions about this gender difference. They surveyed 487 participants, and found that more than half (62%) thought there was no gender difference. As for the … [Read more...] about Who Views Their Ex-Partners More Positively, Men or Women?
Long term partnership
In popular culture, “evil genius” characters, that is, someone who combines brilliance with malevolence, have had recurring popularity. There is even a widespread misconception, which I have discussed in a previous post, that psychopaths are more intelligent than the average person (Furnham, Daoud, & Swami, 2009), even though research has not found this to be the case (O’Boyle, Forsyth, Banks, & Story, 2013). On the other hand, a recent study suggests that Machiavellianism, a cynical and manipulative approach to interpersonal relations, actually may be associated with high intelligence (Kowalski et al., 2018), which might mean there is a grain of truth to the “evil genius” trope after all. Furthermore, this might also help explain the fundamental difference between psychopathy and Machiavellianism. There has been considerable research into the “Dark Triad”, a trio of malevolent personality traits consisting of narcissism, … [Read more...] about Bright Minds, Dark Hearts: Intelligence in the Dark Triad
Taking our goals in stride... Source: Yftaheco via Wikimedia Commons Many of our important projects and goals require extended effort – effort stretched out over long periods of time, from months, to years, or even decades. What keeps us going on these projects, pursuing our long-term goals, even when, in the short-term, the road ahead seems riddled with bumps and potholes, steep hills to climb, or unanticipated setbacks? Imagine you are embarking on an ambitious new creative project – say you want to launch your first solo artist exhibition of paintings or sculptures, or your first interactive video+sound installation, or to publish a substantial written work such as a novel, or an extended theoretical or historical analysis. Should you set highly specific and concrete attainable goals for each day, or for each week? But we have many aspirations and hopes – should you be able to tell yourself just why this project is the one you … [Read more...] about What Keeps Us Going Creatively When the Going Gets Tough?
In two previous posts, I discussed a study (Dutton, van der Linden, & Lynn, 2016) that aimed to test predictions from the highly controversial differential-K theory. Among other things, this theory proposes that there are racial differences in sexual attitudes and behavior, so that people of sub-Saharan African descent are supposed to be the most sexually permissive, while people of East Asian descent are supposed to be the most sexually restrained, and Caucasian descended people are said to be in-between. The authors used data from a sex survey by Durex, the condom manufacturer, to provide evidence of racial differences in sexual behavior that they claimed supported their theory. This method has a number of problems because the survey lacked data from African nations, and the survey methodology was not up to rigorous scientific standards. Fortunately, more rigorous scientific research is available using data from 48 countries, including several African ones, that can shed some … [Read more...] about Race, Sexual Permissiveness, and Questionable Science
Consciousness is wild. More precisely, what philosophers call phenomenal consciousness — or 'what it is like' to experience something, such as the sharp painfulness of a pain or the intense blueness of a blue cup — seems to be independent and completely different from the structured information processing in the brain and nervous system. This perspective emerges from results found in empirical studies within the cognitive sciences. Nevertheless, this conclusion is puzzling. The brain is essentially an information-processing organ. It manages visual, auditory, somatic, and emotional information. The brain also stores information in memory, implements routines for short- and long-term planning, and computes functions statistically and inferentially to make sense of the immediate environment. So what does it mean that consciousness, which is the most distinctive aspect of our mental lives related to these brain processes, cannot be described just in terms of information … [Read more...] about Wild and Structured Consciousness