Friday, August 11, 2017

Spiritual Disciplines & Virtue Formation: Examining the Effects of Intercessory Prayer, Moral Intuitions, etc., on Generous Behavior

Spiritual Disciplines and Virtue Formation: Examining the Effects of Intercessory Prayer, Moral Intuitions, and Theological Orientation on Generous Behavior. Greenway, Tyler S., Ph.D., FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY, 2017, 160 pages; 10286232.

Abstract: This study was designed to investigate the effects of intercessory prayer, moral intuitions, and theological orientation on generous behavior. Of particular interest for this project is the manner in which moral intuitions and the discipline of prayer interact. Research has found that both moral intuitions and prayer have an effect on virtuous behavior, but their interaction remains under investigated. It may be that intercessory prayer is more effective in producing or enhancing virtuous behavior when performed by individuals who tend to be motivated by particular moral intuitions when making moral decisions. This study was specifically designed to examine how intercessory prayer interacts with the moral intuitions of harm/care and fairness/reciprocity, which previous research has found are emphasized by both political conservatives and liberals, though liberals tend to rely on these intuitions more exclusively. ***Contrary to hypotheses, multiple regression analyses revealed that the prayer condition was associated with less monetary generosity than the control condition***. Exploratory hypotheses and results are considered, and the implications of this research are discussed.

"Prayer may have led to less monetary generosity because it relieved any anxiety or dissonance experiened by the individuals. Prayer may have also led to less generosity because God was believed to be the solution to the problem, rather than participants' personal action"

Behavioral display of lumbar curvature in response to the opposite sex

Behavioral display of lumbar curvature in response to the opposite sex. Zeynep ┼×enveli Bilkent  University, Graduate Program in Neuroscience - Master's degree thesis.

Abstract: The aim of this thesis was to investigate the hypothesis that women adjust their lumbar curvature to approach the suggested biomechanical optimum of 45.5 degrees in response to the presence of an attractive member of the opposite sex. The experiment was designed to examine the relationship between a) participants’ ratings of an attractive male confederate and the displayed change in deviation from the optimum displayed by women, and b) participants’ ratings of the attractive male confederate and the displayed change in the absolute degree of lumbar curvature, both while controlling for potential confounds such as participants’ self-perceived physical attractiveness, self-esteem, personality traits, and sociosexual orientation. Initial statistical analyses revealed a significant change in participants’ lumbar curvature pre- to post-exposure to the attractive male confederate. Subsequent analyses to examine the nature of the change indicated that socio-sexual orientation reliably predicted the change in lumbar curvature, but not the change in deviation from the optimum. The remaining variables predicted neither the change in lumbar curvature nor the change in deviation from the optimum significantly. This study is aimed at increasing our understanding of the behavioral display of lumbar curvature for self-promotion purposes in response to the presence of opposite sex.

Reproductive mode and the shifting arenas of evolutionary conflict

Furness, A. I., Morrison, K. R., Orr, T. J., Arendt, J. D. and Reznick, D. N. (2015), Reproductive mode and the shifting arenas of evolutionary conflict. Ann NY Acad Sci, 1360: 75–100. doi:10.1111/nyas.12835

Abstract: In sexually reproducing organisms, the genetic interests of individuals are not perfectly aligned. Conflicts among family members are prevalent since interactions involve the transfer of limited resources between interdependent players. Intrafamilial conflict has traditionally been considered along three major axes: between the sexes, between parents and offspring, and between siblings. In these interactions, conflict is expected over traits in which the resulting phenotypic value is determined by multiple family members who have only partially overlapping fitness optima. We focus on four major categories of animal reproductive mode (broadcast spawning, egg laying, live bearing, and live bearing with matrotrophy) and identify the shared phenotypes or traits over which conflict is expected, and then review the empirical literature for evidence of their occurrence. Major transitions among reproductive mode, such as a shift from external to internal fertilization, an increase in egg-retention time, modifications of embryos and mothers for nutrient transfer, the evolution of postnatal parental care, and increased interaction with the kin network, mark key shifts that both change and expand the arenas in which conflict is played out.

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