Sunday, February 17, 2019

Effects of emotions on sexual behavior in men with and without hypersexuality: Findings lend support to conceptualizing HS behavior as a coping strategy for affective arousal

Effects of emotions on sexual behavior in men with and without hypersexuality. Michael H. Miner, Janna Dickenson & Eli Coleman. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity,

Abstract: The association between positive and negative affect and sexual behavior in 39 MSM with and without hypersexuality (HS) was explored using ecological momentary assessment. Participants reported their current positive and negative affect three times per day and their sexual behavior each morning and evening. The relationship between affect and sexual behavior differed between men with or without HS. In those with HS, the timing of and interactions between experienced affect differentially predicted types of sexual behavior, indicating differing mechanisms driving partnered sexual behavior and masturbation. These findings lend support to conceptualizing HS behavior as a coping strategy for affective arousal.

Hypersexual behavior is characterized by intense, distressing, and recurrentsexual urges and fantasies that significantly interfere with a person’s dailyfunctioning (e.g., with personal, interpersonal, and occupational responsi-bilities). Hypersexual behavior is widely disputed with regard to conceptualization, etiology, and nomenclature, and has been dubbed such terms as “sexual addiction” (Carnes, 1983),“compulsive sexual behavior” (Coleman, 1991), “paraphilia related disorder” (Kafka & Prentky, 1997),“hypersexual disorder” (Kafka, 2010), and “out of control sexual behavior” (Braun-Harvey & Vigorito, 2015). Despite such disagreement, one of the hallmarksof all conceptualizations of hypersexuality (Carnes,1983,1991; Coleman, 1991, 2003; Kafka, 1997, 2010) is distress resulting from obsessive, compulsive, impulsive, and/or out of control sexual behavior (Black, Kehrberg, Flumerfelt, & Schlosser, 1997; Coleman et al., 2010; Dickenson, Gleason, Coleman, & Miner, 2018). Moreover, several theoretical models of hyper-sexual behavior indicate that engaging in sexual behavior functions as astrategy to cope with, escape from, or avoid unwanted emotions (Kafka, 2010; Reid & Kafka, 2014). Yet, to date, our understanding of how day-to-day changes in negative and positive affect are related to day-to-day changes in sexual behavior among men who exhibit hypersexual behavior remains limited.

Negative affect (e.g., sadness, fear) and mood (e.g., depressed, anxious) typically impede sexual interest and arousal (Bancroft et al., 2003a, 2003b), although some men have shown increases in sexual interest and arousalafter experiencing negative affect. Moreover, the link between negativeaffect and sexual behavior appears to vary across individuals. For example, men who have sex with men (MSM) show increased sexual risk behavior following anxious affective states, but only if they have low trait anxiety (Mustanski, 2007). Thus, negative affect can either augment or impede sexual interest, arousal, and behavior depending on additional traits of the individual. Perhaps the degree to which negative affect motivates sexual behavior is also different for men who vary in their tendency to exhibit hypersexual behavior.

Research has consistently demonstrated that men with hypersexual behav-ior exhibit emotion regulation difficulties. Many men with hypersexualbehavior exhibit high negative emotionality (Miner et al.,2016); negative emotional states related to their sexual behavior, such as shame, guilt, and hostility toward themselves (Reid, 2010); are more vulnerable to general lifestressors (Laier & Brand,2017); and have greater deficits in their ability to regulate emotions (Leppink, Chamberlain, Redden, & Grant, 2016; Rizor, Callands, Desrosiers, & Kershaw, 2017). Various theoretical models indicatethat hypersexual behavior serves to reduce unwanted emotions (Bancroft & Vukadinovic, 2004; Coleman, 1991). Such behavior initially provides relief, but this relief is temporary and ultimately leads to guilt and shame about engaging in problematic sexual behavior, thus, reentering the cycle.

Yet, the notion that the cycle of hypersexual behavior begins with negative emotionality has proven inconsistent. On one hand, research examining reports of reasons for engaging in sexual behavior has corroborated thehypothesized link between negative emotionality and sexual behavior. Some research has indicated that sexual behavior may be related to difficulties with negative affect regulation among hypersexual men, and hypersexualmen self-report that negative affect motivates sexual behavior (Parsonset al., 2008). Individuals who compulsively view pornography exhibited higher general stress levels, reported viewing sexual imagery for the purposes of sensation seeking or emotional avoidance, and showed an increasein positive affect immediately after viewing sexual imagery (Laier & Brand, 2017). Moreover, hypersexual MSM have reported that they engage in sexual behavior to cope with negative affect and gain a sense of affirmation and validation that they could not obtain from non-sexual social relationships,  whereas  MSM  without  hypersexual  behavior  did  not  (Parsonset al., 2008)

Other research has not substantiated the link between negative affect andsexual activity. Grov, Golub, Mustanski, and Parsons (2010) found that among MSM, daily negative affect was associated with decreased likelihood of partnered sexual activity that same day. Contrary to expectations and the above mentioned studies, men with and without HS did not differ in thedegree to which negative affect was associated with partnered sexual activity. Such inconsistent findings indicate that the role of affective regulation in pre-dicting sexual behavior is not clear and may involve the interaction of positive and negative affective changes.

Such contradictory results may be explained by differences in method-ology. Studies varied in their assessment of state versus trait levels of affect,the valence of the affective state (positive versus negative), assessment oftemporal versus concurrent effects (i.e., does affect lead to sexual behavior?), and assessment of whether the relationship between affective states(or traits) and sexual behavior differ between men with and without HS.To date, no study has examined whether the ways in which negative orpositive affect leads to a greater or lower likelihood of engaging in sexualbehavior differs among men with and without HS.

The current study aims to address this gap by examining the day-to-dayrelation between positive and negative affect and various types of sexualbehavior (viewing sexual imagery, engaging in masturbation and engagingin partnered sexual activity) using a sample of MSM with and without hypersexuality. By using Ecological Momentary Assessment (EMA: Dunton,Liao, Intille, Spruijt-Metz, & Pentz,2011; Shiffman, Stone, & Hufford,2008), we examined  temporal ordering of affect and sexual behavior. Thisstudy extends existing research by focusing on positive affect, as well asnegative affect, and by assessing masturbation and partnered sexual activity. Given prior research and proposed theoretical conceptualizations thathypersexual behavior serves as a coping strategy, we expected that negativeaffect will be associated with greater likelihood of engaging in all threetypes of sexual behavior among hypersexual men. Further, we expected thatpositive affect, but not negative affect, will be associated with greater likeli-hood of engaging in all three types of sexual behavior among MSM without hypersexuality.

Social discounting: A higher weight on future generations changes both climate and fiscal policy; absent fiscal policy adjustments, the social cost of carbon is not the optimal tax

Be careful what you calibrate for: Social discounting in general equilibrium. Lint Barrage. Journal of Public Economics, Volume 160, April 2018, Pages 33-49.

•    Social discounting is assessed in a general equilibrium climate-economy model.
•    A higher weight on future generations changes both climate and fiscal policy.
•    Optimal policy includes an effective capital income subsidy.
•    Optimal policy includes labor-consumption wedge that is decreasing over time.
•    Absent fiscal policy adjustments, the social cost of carbon is not the optimal tax.

Abstract: Concerns about intergenerational equity have led to an influential practice of setting social utility discount rates based on ethical considerations rather than to match household behavior, particularly in climate change economics (e.g., Stern, 2006). This paper formalizes the broader policy implications of this approach in general equilibrium by characterizing jointly optimal environmental and fiscal policies in a climate-economy model with differential planner-household discounting. First, I show that decentralizing the optimal allocation requires not only high carbon prices but also fundamental changes to tax policy: If the government discounts the future less than households, implementing the optimal allocation requires an effective capital income subsidy (a negative intertemporal wedge), and, in a setting with distortionary taxation, an effective labor-consumption tax wedge that is decreasing over time. Second, if the government cannot subsidize capital income, the constrained-optimal carbon tax may be up to 50% below the present value of marginal damages (the social cost of carbon) due to the general equilibrium effects of climate policy on household savings. Third, given the choice to optimize either carbon, capital, or labor income taxes, the socially discounting planner's welfare ranking is ambiguous over a standard range of parameters. Overall, in general equilibrium, a policy-maker's choice to adopt differential social discounting may thus overturn conventional recommendations for both environmental and fiscal policy.

More frequent usage of Twitter positively affects the acquisition of current affairs knowledge; opposite is found for Facebook, particularly for citizens with less political interest

Social network sites and acquiring current affairs knowledge: The impact of Twitter and Facebook usage on learning about the news. Mark Boukes. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Feb 06 2019.

Abstract: This study investigates how the use of Twitter and Facebook affects citizens’ knowledge acquisition, and whether this effect is conditional upon people’s political interest. Using a panel survey design with repeated measures of knowledge acquisition, this study is able to disentangle causality and to demonstrate that more frequent usage of Twitter positively affects the acquisition of current affairs knowledge. The opposite is found for Facebook: More frequent Facebook usage causes a decline in knowledge acquisition. This negative effect of Facebook usage occurred particularly for citizens with less political interest, thereby, amplifying the existing knowledge gap between politically interested and uninterested citizens.

KEYWORDS: Social network sites, learning effects, current affairs knowledge, Facebook, Twitter, social media, knowledge gap

To date, no research has been able to convincingly unveil a causal relationship between the usage of specific social networks sites and the acquisition of current affairs knowledge. This is partly due to the reliance on cross-sectional datasets. Survey research cannot determine the directionality of causal relationships: Associations between SNS usage and knowledge may identify a selection mechanism (i.e., knowledge causing SNS use) rather than a media effect. Using a panel survey design (three-waves; n = 3,240) with a repeated measure of (new) current affairs knowledge, the current study has a unique ability to analyze whether the two social networks most often used for news consumption (respectively Facebook and Twitter, [...]) affect the current affairs information that citizens acquire.

Judged originals (inaccurately) labeled as revisions to be superior to revisions (inaccurately) labeled as originals, or when revisions were trivial, incidental, non-existent, & even objectively worse than the original

Garcia-Rada, Ximena and John, Leslie K. and O'Brien, Ed and Norton, Michael I., The Revision Bias (February 4, 2019). Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 19-087.

Abstract: Things change. Things also get changed—often. Why? The obvious reason is that revising things makes them better. In the current research, we document a less obvious reason: Revising things makes people think they are better, absent objective improvement. We refer to this phenomenon as the revision bias. Nine studies document this effect and provide insight into its psychological underpinnings. In Study 1, MBA students perceived their revised resumes to be of higher quality the more they differed from their original versions, but this perception was not justified: observers judged originals (inaccurately) labeled as revisions to be superior to revisions (inaccurately) labeled as originals. Study 2 pinpoints the direction of the effect: revisions are appealing, as opposed to originals being unappealing. Moreover, the revision bias holds in a variety of settings in which the revision is devoid of objective improvement: when revisions are trivial (Study 3A), incidental (Study 3B), non-existent (Study 3C), and even objectively worse than the original (Study 3D). Study 4 directly tests the self-fulfilling nature of the revision bias, testing whether mere revision framing leads people to become less critical of the experience—in this study, less sensitive to possible bugs while playing an otherwise identical “revised” video game—and whether this mediates the effect of revision framing on positive evaluations. Studies 5A and 5B offer further support by testing whether the revision bias is accentuated when people engage in a holistic processing style, whether measured as an individual difference (Study 5A) or experimentally induced (Study 5B).

Keywords: change, heuristics and biases, framing, sequences, judgment