Saturday, January 20, 2018

Initial failure made people underestimate how good it would feel to succeed in the future (systematic tendency to downplay the value of inaccessible rewards &outcomes). The predictions of low happiness appear to be a defensive maneuver to prevent disappointment. People high in achievement motivation constituted the main exception.

Sjastad, Hallgeir, Roy Baumeister, and Michael Ent. 2018. “Greener Grass or Sour Grapes? How People Value Future Goals After Initial Failure”. PsyArXiv. January 20.

Abstract: If initial failure makes future success seem out of reach, do people think that such success would bring them more or less happiness than if initial performance had gone well? Across five experiments (N=690), participants were randomly assigned to receive good or poor feedback on a practice trial of a cognitive test (Studies 1-4) and their academic performance (Study 5). Those who received poor feedback predicted that they would feel less happy about a future top performance than those who received good feedback. However, when all participants received a top score on the actual test they became equally happy, regardless of initial feedback. That is, initial failure made people underestimate how good it would feel to succeed in the future. Inspired by Aesop’s fable of the fox and the grapes, we term this phenomenon the “sour-grape effect”: A systematic tendency to downplay the value of inaccessible rewards and outcomes. A pilot study revealed that people did not anticipate this result even when predicting how others would feel. The predictions of low happiness appear to be a defensive maneuver to prevent disappointment, as indicated by other ratings of whether the trait was relevant to self-concept and one’s future life outcomes. People high in achievement motivation constituted the main exception, as they remained engaged with the task and predicted (correctly) that success would bring them joy. A pre-registered experiment replicated all effects and confirmed mediation and moderation. Findings are interpreted in connection with cognitive dissonance, self-concept defense, adaptive preferences, and affective forecasting.

Initial failure made people underestimate how good it would feel to succeed in the future (systematic tendency to downplay the value of inaccessible rewards &outcomes). The predictions of low happiness appear to be a defensive maneuver to prevent disappointment. People high in achievement motivation constituted the main exception.

Lack of Increase in Sexual Drive and Function After Dopaminergic Stimulation in Women – contrary to what happens with men

Lack of Increase in Sexual Drive and Function After Dopaminergic Stimulation in Women. Tillmann H. C. Krüger et al. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Volume 44, 2018 - Issue 1, Pages 61-72 |

ABSTRACT: Human and animal data indicate that the dopaminergic system plays a crucial role in sexual drive and function. Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design, this prototype study investigated the effect of the D2 dopamine agonist cabergoline on sexual parameters in 13 healthy women. Cardiovascular and genital parameters were monitored continuously. Sexual drive and function were measured using self-report sexual experience scales. In contrast to previous theories and assumptions, we found that cabergoline did not alter objective and subjective sexual parameters in healthy women. This finding suggests that there may be sex differences in the influence of the dopaminergic system on human sexual functioning.

Author claims that twelve-month-olds understand that foreign languages can communicate

Voulez-vous jouer avec moi? Twelve-month-olds understand that foreign languages can communicate. Athena Vouloumanos. Cognition, Volume 173, April 2018, Pages 87–92.

Abstract: Infants understand that speech in their native language allows speakers to communicate. Is this understanding limited to their native language or does it extend to non-native languages with which infants have no experience? Twelve-month-old infants saw an actor, the Communicator, repeatedly select one of two objects. When the Communicator could no longer reach the target but a Recipient could, the Communicator vocalized a nonsense phrase either in English (infants’ native language), Spanish (rhythmically different), or Russian (phonotactically different), or hummed (a non-speech vocalization). Across all three languages, native and non-native, but not humming, infants looked longer when the Recipient gave the Communicator the non-target object. Although, by 12 months, infants do not readily map non-native words to objects or discriminate most non-native speech contrasts, they understand that non-native languages can transfer information to others. Understanding language as a tool for communication extends beyond infants’ native language: By 12 months, infants view language as a universal mechanism for transferring and acquiring new information.

Keywords: Language acquisition; Non-native language; Infant cognitive development; Communication; Speech perception

Intellectual humility and openness to the opposing view

Intellectual humility and openness to the opposing view. Tenelle Porter & Karina Schumann. Self and Identity, Volume 17, 2018 - Issue 2,

Abstract: Strong disagreements have stymied today’s political discourse. We investigate intellectual humility – recognizing the limits of one’s knowledge and appreciating others’ intellectual strengths – as one factor that can make disagreements more constructive. In Studies 1 and 2, participants with higher intellectual humility were more open to learning about the opposition’s views during imagined disagreements. In Study 3, those with higher intellectual humility exposed themselves to a greater proportion of opposing political perspectives. In Study 4, making salient a growth mindset of intelligence boosted intellectual humility, and, in turn, openness to opposing views. Results suggest that intellectual humility is associated with openness during disagreement, and that a growth mindset of intelligence may increase intellectual humility. Implications for current political polarization are discussed.

Keywords: Humility, open-mindedness, growth mindset, politics, disagreement

Rare delusional ideation of zoanthropy

Seltener Wahninhalt Zooanthropie / Rare delusional ideation of zoanthropy. Kräenbring, J., Zellner, N. & Warninghoff, J. Der Nervenarzt (2018) 89: 92.

[Automatic translation]

In 2010, a 45-year-old geriatric nurse was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for the first time with a severe depressive episode without psychotic symptoms and treated with venlafaxine and amitriptyline. Full remission and part-time work continued for 5 years. By the end of 2015, the patient had discontinued the above-mentioned medication, as she suspected it was a cause of new diarrhea and nausea. In 2016, she was re-hospitalized due to 6 weeks of mood swings with lack of drive and 3 days of confusion.

Findings, therapy and course

Psychopathologically, in this second inpatient psychiatric recording a substantive dementia, paracineses and a rife train of thought. Determined to be a tadpole, the patient made meandering movements with her body, which we interpreted as an expression of this conviction.

Diagnostically, the criteria of an acute schizophreniform disorder were met. The conviction that we are a tadpole was a bizarre delusion, which is a clear symptom of schizophrenia according to ICD-10 (International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10). The symptom constellation had occurred only a few hours before the inpatient admission, so that the time criterion of schizophrenia was not met. Physical and apparative investigations gave no indication of an organic genesis. A drug addiction test yielded only negative findings.

Treatment is with 4 mg of risperidone per day. After about a week, the patient stated that she was no longer a tadpole but was still convinced that she had been born a tadpole. Paracines were no longer observable. After about 3 weeks of treatment no delusions was explored more.

Exploring the Relationship Between Narcissism and Extreme Altruism

Exploring the Relationship Between Narcissism and Extreme Altruism. Daniel White, Marianna Szabo and Niko Tiliopoulos. The American Journal of Psychology, Vol. 131, No. 1 (Spring 2018), pp. 65-80.

Abstract: Extreme altruism is defined as prosocial behavior that violates social norms or the law. Little research has been done on this phenomenon, although research into related areas suggests that, surprisingly, extreme altruistic activities may be associated with traits traditionally associated with narcissism. This relationship was explored by comparing members of the public, people involved in prosocial activities within socially and legally accepted realms, and members of the Real-Life Superhero (RLSH) movement. The RLSH movement is a subculture whose prosocial-directed activities often exceed social norms and legal constraints. These include patrolling and conducting community and citizen police work in superhero-inspired uniforms, which has on several occasions resulted in altercations with other civilians or with law enforcement. The results suggest that there is a relationship between certain traits within the narcissism spectrum and the proclivity to engage in extreme altruism. These traits include grandiose fantasy, self-sacrificing self-enhancement, and devaluing. Furthermore, these traits are expressed at significantly higher levels in people who engage in extreme altruism more often. Finally, a model based predominantly on narcissism indicated a strong ability to predict group membership among the three groups. The findings suggest that a reconceptualization that reflects the capacity of these traits to be expressed in a prosocial or antisocial behavior is needed to explain this relationship.