Monday, January 29, 2018

Participants reported feeling younger than they actually were and wanting to be younger than their chronological age

Subjective Age and Its Correlates Among Middle-Aged and Older Adults. Shiri Shinan-Altman, Perla Werner. The International Journal of Aging and Human Development, https://doi.org/10.1177/0091415017752941

Abstract: The present study evaluates discrepancies in subjective age as reported by middle-age persons (aged 44–64 years) in comparison to older adults (aged 65 years and older), using a multidimensional definition of the concept. A convenience sample of 126 middle-aged and 126 older adults completed subjective age measures (felt age, desired age, and perceived old age), attitudes toward older adults, knowledge about aging, and sociodemographic questionnaires. Overall, participants reported feeling younger than they actually were and wanting to be younger than their chronological age. Perceived mean for old age was about 69 years. Discrepancies in felt age and desired age were significantly larger for the older group compared to the middle-aged group. Regarding perceived old age, compared to the younger group, older adults reported that old age begins at an older age. Findings suggest that middle-aged and older adults’ perceptions regarding themselves and regarding old age in general are independent and need, therefore, separate research and practical attention.

Keywords: subjective age, older adults, middle aged

Men’s and Women’s Youngest and Oldest Considered and Actual Sex Partners

Antfolk, Jan, 2018. “Men’s and Women’s Youngest and Oldest Considered and Actual Sex Partners”. PsyArXiv. January 29. doi:10.1177/1474704917690401

Abstract: Whereas women prefer slightly older sexual partners, men—regardless of their age—have a preference for women in their twenties. Earlier research has suggested that this difference between the sexes’ age preferences is resolved according to women’s preferences. Earlier research has not, however, sufficiently considered that the age-range of considered partners might change over the life span. Here, we investigated the age limits (youngest and oldest) of considered and actual sex partners in a population-based sample of 2,655 adults (aged 18-50 years). Over the investigated age span, women reported a narrower age-range than men and women tended to prefer slightly older men. We also show that men’s age-range widens as they get older: While they continue to consider sex with young women, men also consider sex with women their own age or older. Contrary to earlier suggestions, men’s sexual activity thus reflects also their own age-range, although their potential interest in younger women is not likely converted into sexual activity. Compared to homosexual men, bisexual and heterosexual men were more unlikely to convert young preferences into actual behavior, supporting female-choice theory.

Participants liked targets less, were less romantically interested in targets, and rated targets as less attractive after discovering political dissimilarity with them

Mallinas, Stephanie, Jarret Crawford, and Shana Cole 2018. “Political Opposites Do Not Attract: The Effects of Ideological Dissimilarity on Impression Formation”. PsyArXiv. January 29. psyarxiv.com/p3j8v

Abstract: Past research shows that people like others who are similar to themselves, and that political partisans tend to dislike those with opposing viewpoints. Two studies examined how initial person impressions changed after discovering that the target held similar or dissimilar political beliefs. Using potential mates as targets, we found that participants liked targets less, were less romantically interested in targets, and rated targets as less attractive after discovering political dissimilarity with them. Further, they became more uncomfortable with targets after discovering ideological dissimilarity. Theoretical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

In women, pleasure prioritization & sexual agency are associated with lower odds of performing undesired sexual acts to please a partner—and sexual agency is associated with lower odds of succumbing to verbal pressure for intercourse

“Bad Girls” Say No and “Good Girls” Say Yes: Sexual Subjectivity and Participation in Undesired Sex During Heterosexual College Hookups. Heather Hensman Kettrey. Sexuality & Culture, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12119-018-9498-2

Abstract: Young people’s sexuality is often discursively constructed within the confines of a masculine/feminine binary that minimizes young women’s sexual subjectivity (i.e., desire, pleasure, and agency) while taking young men’s subjectivity for granted. Accordingly, young women who acknowledge themselves as sexual subjects are constructed as “bad girls” who incite males’ purportedly uncontrollable desire and, thus, invite undesired sexual attention. However, there is reason to hypothesize that young women who view themselves as sexual subjects may be less likely than other women to engage in undesired sexual activity (i.e., sex that their partners desire, but they do not desire for themselves). In this study, I used data from the Online College Social Life Survey (N = 7255) to explore relationships between two measures of sexual subjectivity (i.e., pleasure prioritization and sexual agency) and college women’s participation in undesired sexual activity during hookups (i.e., performance of undesired sexual acts to please a partner and succumbing to verbal pressure for intercourse). Logistic regression analyses suggest that pleasure prioritization and sexual agency are associated with lower odds of performing undesired sexual acts to please a partner—and sexual agency is associated with lower odds of succumbing to verbal pressure for intercourse. These findings point to the importance of sexuality education that includes discussions of women’s sexual subjectivity.

Consciousness of the Future as a Matrix of Maybe: Pragmatic Prospection and the Simulation of Alternative Possibilities

Baumeister, Roy, Heather M Maranges, and Hallgeir Sj√•stad 2018. “Consciousness of the Future as a Matrix of Maybe: Pragmatic Prospection and the Simulation of Alternative Possibilities.”. PsyArXiv. January 29. psyarxiv.com/a3r7h

Abstract: Thinking about the future highlights the constructive nature of consciousness, as opposed to merely representing what is there — because the future is not yet available to be seen. We elaborate this point to emphasize how consciousness deals in alternative possibilities, and indeed preconscious interpretation confers meaning by recognizing these alternatives. Crucially, the goal of prospection is less to predict what is sure to happen than to prepare for action in situations defined by sets of incompatible alternative options, each of which might or might not come true. We review multiple lines of evidence indicating that people conceptualize the future as just such a matrix of maybe. Thus, people think of the future as highly changeable. Most prospective thinking involves planning, which is designed to bring about one outcome rather than alternatives. Optimism may often reflect an initial, automatic response that is soon followed by conscious appreciation of obstacles and other factors that can produce less desired, alternative outcomes. People moralize the future more than the past, presumably to promote the more desirable outcomes. Anticipated emotion helps people evaluate future possible outcomes. People specifically anticipate the matrix of maybe and sometimes seek to preserve multiplicity of options. We integrate these patterns of findings with a pragmatic theory of prospection: Thinking of the future as a multi-maybe matrix is useful for guiding action.

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Recent laboratory work provides further evidence that it takes the power of conscious human thought to project the future as a matrix of maybe. Redshaw and Suddendorf (2016) provided dramatic evidence that human children far surpass adult nonhuman apes on this. Their apparatus was a tube shaped like an inverted Y. Thus, a ball or grape was dropped into the top and could come out either opening at the bottom. Either the participant caught it or it was gone. One could guess by holding one’s hand under either of the openings, thereby succeeding about half the time — or one could use both hands to cover both openings, thereby succeeding 100% of the time. Two-year-old human children failed to solve this, but three-year-olds and older children all soon achieved the perfect solution and caught the ball on every subsequent trial. In contrast, chimpanzees and orangutans never solved it. In fact, a couple of them stumbled by accident on the correct solution, happening to use both hands and catching the treat — but they failed to learn even from this success and on the next trial went back to one-hand guessing. Thus, success at this task required adjusting one’s behavior to the fact that two different outcomes are possible, and this was apparently beyond the mental powers of the smartest nonhuman primates, whereas human children could all figure it out. Human children could understand the future as multiple different maybes, but grownup apes apparently cannot think that way.