Saturday, April 6, 2019

Confirm that shifting discretionary spending from material goods (clothes) to experiences (concerts) will bring greater happiness, satisfaction, & gratitude, and lower levels of purchase related regret

Barton, Belinda and Zlatevska, Natalina and van Laer, Tom, In Pursuit of Happiness: A Meta-Analysis on the Experiential Advantage (February 22, 2019).

Abstract: Is it possible to buy happiness? Prior research suggests that shifting discretionary spending from material goods such as clothes to experiences such as concerts will bring greater happiness, satisfaction, and gratitude, and lower levels of purchase related regret. Other research, however, provides evidence for the benefits of purchasing and consuming material goods rather than experiences. We identify 175 effect sizes from 30 primary papers representing 33,237 consumer transactions that compare experiences and material goods in the context of happiness, satisfaction, gratitude, and regret for inclusion in our meta-analysis. Our results show that there is an unequivocal advantage to consuming experiences rather than material goods, but valence of the purchase, median value of the purchase, and the social nature of the consumption episode moderate this effect. In addition, results show that the experimental design used when testing hypotheses also moderates the effect. In contrast to existing literature we find no significant effect of whether the purchase is an experiential product, a gift, or whether the purchase is a real or hypothetical purchase scenario. Our findings help synthesize current literature and provide support for researchers looking to explore and extend knowledge on the experiential advantage.

Keywords: experiences, experiential advantage, happiness, satisfaction, meta-analysis
JEL Classification: M31

From 2018: Ordinary people think free will is a lack of constraint on choice; internal constraints limit one’s mental ability to choose; scientific/religious constraints can both reduce perceptions of free will

Ordinary people think free will is a lack of constraint, not the presence of a soul. Andrew J. Vonasch, Roy F. Baumeister, Alfred R. Mele. Consciousness and Cognition, Volume 60, April 2018, Pages 133-151.

•    Free will means lack of constraint on choice.
•    Internal constraints limit one’s mental ability to choose.
•    External constraints impose situational or social limits on choice.
•    Scientific and religious constraints can both reduce perceptions of free will.

Abstract: Four experiments supported the hypothesis that ordinary people understand free will as meaning unconstrained choice, not having a soul. People consistently rated free will as being high unless reduced by internal constraints (i.e., things that impaired people’s mental abilities to make choices) or external constraints (i.e., situations that hampered people’s abilities to choose and act as they desired). Scientific paradigms that have been argued to disprove free will were seen as reducing, but usually not eliminating free will, and the reductions were because of constrained conscious choice. We replicated findings that a minority of people think lacking a soul reduces free will. These reductions in perceived free will were fully explained by reductions in people’s perceived abilities to make conscious decisions. Thus, some people do think you need a soul to have free will—but it is because they think you need a soul to make conscious decisions.

A Bigger Lie: Soothing Us With Small Lies, Always With the Best of Intentions

The Way Our Culture Portrays Love Is A Lie: Your relationship will have to struggle and suffer in order to thrive. Benjamin Sledge. Heartsupport, Feb 20 2019.

He says:
A young man once recounted his mother’s battle with cancer [...].

Doctors discovered an aggressive form of breast cancer that required immediate treatment. The chemo and radiation therapy quickly left his mom incapacitated. She lost her hair and appetite while her personal appearance became a skeleton of her former self. What stood out to the young man was when his father would stoop to kiss his bride and exclaim, “Girl! You sexy!” He knew his mother didn’t believe such statements, but it impressed him how his father continued to reaffirm his undying devotion [...].

Most evenings, the young man would hear his mother retching, as his bedroom wall backed up to the family bathroom. The vomiting sessions were violent and loud, often waking him. After months of enduring these interruptions, he stormed into the bathroom one evening, where he found his dad rubbing mom’s back. What surprised him were the two pallets of blankets and pillows laid on the bathroom floor. Every evening, his father had been sleeping in the bathroom next to his wife while she wasted away. Ashamed, he closed the door without protest.

His mom recovered, but he never forgot the lesson his father taught him. Love isn’t sexy most times. But if done right, real love is unconditional and sacrificial.

I don't believe the story about the dad in the bathroom and in any case (in some place in each country those things happen), after a time the dad will surprise the son with some side frienship with some attractive co-worker, or the market cashier, or whomever. Or he was having the affair at the same time that he took care of his wife... It is sanctimonously idealistic, almost what a priest would say to the faithful to teach them how to be honest, caring parents, spouses and citizens.

My dad, as far as I could see, was as in this example. But I wouldn't be surprised if some day a halft-brother or sister pops up somewhere. The readers of such tales, and maybe the author, would be in shock and deeply disappointed, but that is the price for not paying attention to our limited knowledge of human nature.

Happy Believers and Sad Skeptics? Affective Influences on Gullibility (vulnerability to misleading information, tendency to uncritically accept interpersonal messages, detection of deception)

Happy Believers and Sad Skeptics? Affective Influences on Gullibility. Joseph P. Forgas. Current Directions in Psychological Science, April 5, 2019.

Abstract: How does affect influence gullibility? After a brief consideration of the nature of gullibility, I describe a series of experiments that explored the prediction that in situations in which close attention to stimulus information is required, negative mood can reduce gullibility and positive mood can increase gullibility. The experiments examined mood effects on truth judgments, vulnerability to misleading information, the tendency to uncritically accept interpersonal messages, the detection of deception, and the tendency to see meaning in random or meaningless information. In all of these domains, positive mood promoted gullibility and negative mood reduced it. The practical and theoretical significance of these convergent findings are discussed, and the practical implications of affectively induced gullibility in real-life domains are considered.

People Can Accurately (But Not Adaptively) Judge Strangers’ Antigay Prejudice from Faces

People Can Accurately (But Not Adaptively) Judge Strangers’ Antigay Prejudice from Faces. Ravin Alaei, Nicholas O. Rule. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, Apr 5 2019.

Abstract: The ecological theory of social perception suggests that people’s first impressions should be especially accurate for judgments relevant to their goals. Here, we tested whether people could accurately judge others’ levels of antigay prejudice and whether gay men’s accuracy would exceed straight men’s accuracy in making these judgments. We found that people judged men’s (but not women’s) levels of antigay prejudice accurately from photos of their faces and that impressions of facial power supported their judgments. Gay men and straight men did not significantly differ in their sensitivity to antigay prejudice, however. People may therefore judge others’ levels of prejudice accurately regardless of their personal stake in its consequences.

Keywords: Accuracy Antigay prejudice Person perception Power