Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Found the first experimental evidence that disgust is causally rooted in physiological nausea; this same physiological experience was causally related to moral thinking

Tracy, J. L., Steckler, C. M., & Heltzel, G. (2019). The physiological basis of psychological disgust and moral judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 116(1), 15-32. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000141

Abstract: To address ongoing debates about whether feelings of disgust are causally related to moral judgments, we pharmacologically inhibited spontaneous disgust responses to moral infractions and examined effects on moral thinking. Findings demonstrated, first, that the antiemetic ginger (Zingiber officinale), known to inhibit nausea, reduces feelings of disgust toward nonmoral purity-offending stimuli (e.g., bodily fluids), providing the first experimental evidence that disgust is causally rooted in physiological nausea (Study 1). Second, this same physiological experience was causally related to moral thinking: ginger reduced the severity of judgments toward purity-based moral violations (Studies 2 and 4) or eliminated the tendency for people higher in bodily sensation awareness to make harsher moral judgments than those low in this dispositional tendency (Study 3). In all studies, effects were restricted to moderately severe purity-offending stimuli, consistent with preregistered predictions. Together, findings provide the first evidence that psychological disgust can be disrupted by an antiemetic and that doing so has consequences for moral judgments.

Sex, Drugs, Alcohol & Subjective Well‐Being: Smoking & alcohol decrease subjective well‐being by 2.5% & 2.4%; by contrast, having sex with multiple partners is slightly positive (for men, not for women)

Sex, Drugs, Alcohol and Subjective Well‐Being: Selection or Causation? Dimitrios Nikolaou. Kyklos, https://doi.org/10.1111/kykl.12196

This paper estimates the effects of risky behaviors (e.g., smoking, alcohol, marijuana, risky sex) on subjective well‐being. To identify these effects from endogenous sorting, I use information from the 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and a system of simultaneous equations for participation in four risky activities and formation of individual happiness. My results provide evidence that smoking and alcohol decrease subjective well‐being by 2.5% and 2.4%, respectively. By contrast, the relationship between having sex with multiple partners, although positive, is not statistically significant at conventional levels. Nevertheless, these effects dwindle over time until participation in any of these behaviors does not have a long‐run impact on well‐being, with the exception of smoking and alcohol consumption, which have a persistent negative impact on subjective well‐being. The results highlight the importance of controlling for endogeneity of risky behaviors and provide an explanation as to why most individuals who engage in such behaviors do not develop longer‐lasting addictions.

Lying in Bed: An Analysis of Deceptive Affectionate Messages During Sexual Activity in Young Adults’ Romantic Relationships

Lying in Bed: An Analysis of Deceptive Affectionate Messages During Sexual Activity in Young Adults’ Romantic Relationships. Margaret Bennett & Amanda Denes. Communication Quarterly, https://doi.org/10.1080/01463373.2018.1557722

Abstract: Guided by affection exchange theory, the present study examined the associations among deceptive affectionate messages (DAMs) during sexual activity and duration of post-sex affectionate behavior, sexual satisfaction, and relationship satisfaction. Two-hundred twenty-eight participants ages 18–30, the majority of whom identified as White, completed a survey assessing deceptive and sexual communication. Linear regression and serial mediation using sexual satisfaction and post-sex affectionate behavior as sequential mediators revealed that more DAMs are associated with less sexual satisfaction, less post-sex communication, and less relationship satisfaction. The findings provide a more complete picture of how DAMs affect sexual encounters and may be used to inform interventions aimed at promoting healthier sexual relationships. Additionally, the implications for affection exchange theory are discussed.

Keywords: deceptive affectionate messages, affection exchange theory, sexual communication, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction

Some restrictive dietary patterns (paleo, vegan) are linked to more positive psychological health; seems that psychological risk factors seen in weight loss dieters are not due to the restrictive dietary regimen

The psychological characteristics of people consuming vegetarian, vegan, paleo, gluten free and weight loss dietary patterns. R. Norwood, T. Cruwys, V. S. Chachay, J. Sheffield. Obesity Science & Practice, https://doi.org/10.1002/osp4.325

Objective: Previous research has identified several psychological factors associated with dietary restriction, but has focused almost exclusively on the subcategory of people following a weight loss diet. Little is known about the psychological factors associated with other kinds of restrictive dieting patterns. Furthermore, it remains unclear whether the identified psychological characteristics of dieters (e.g., elevated disordered eating behaviors, poor wellbeing) are a cause of dieting, follow from calorie restriction, or are the result of cognitive restraint.

Methods: This study conducted the first direct comparison of people (N = 393) following five different restrictive dietary patterns (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, paleo, weight loss) as well as a comparison group who were not following a specific dietary pattern.

Results: The weight loss group had more negative psychological characteristics than all other groups, reporting the highest levels of eating disorder symptoms (M = 1.50), food cravings (M = 69.39), emotional eating (M = 2.97), and negative affect (M = 19.72). By contrast, several of the other restrictive dietary groups showed a number of psychological strengths, relative to the comparison group. This was particularly apparent among the paleo group, who reported the lowest levels of eating disorder symptoms (M = 0.74), food cravings (M = 47.63), emotional eating (M = 2.30), and negative affect (M = 14.81). By contrast, people following vegetarian and gluten free diets were largely the same as the non‐restricted comparison group in their psychological characteristics.

Conclusions: People adhering to different dietary patterns showed stark differences in their psychological characteristics. Indeed, some restrictive dietary patterns (paleo; vegan) were associated with more positive psychological characteristics than seen in an unrestricted comparison group. This suggests that the psychological risk factors seen in weight loss dieters are not attributable to a restrictive dietary regimen per se.