Saturday, July 13, 2019

The positive lessons learned from previous sex, romance, & cohabitation seem overwhelmed by the negative carryover, affecting relationship attitudes, sexual satisfaction, commitment, & stability

Busby, D. M., Willoughby, B. J., & McDonald, M. L. (2019). Is it the sex, the romance, or the living together? The differential impact of past sexual, romantic, and cohabitation histories on current relationship functioning. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 8(2), 90-104.

Abstract: Before their current relationship, individuals may have had a variety of previous relationships such as romantic relationships, sexual relationships, and cohabiting relationships. In this study we explored the common or shared influence of these 3 types of previous relationships, and the unique influence of each type, on current relationship functioning. With a sample of more than 4,000 individuals we found that there was a significantly negative shared influence for previous romantic, sexual, and cohabiting relationships on current relationship attitudes, sexual satisfaction, commitment, and stability. Above and beyond the shared influence, there was also a unique negative influence for previous sexual and cohabiting relationships on current relationship stability. The effects were largely similar for women and for men. It appears that on average the positive lessons that are learned from previous relationship experiences are likely being overwhelmed by the negative carryover, especially in regard to relationship attitudes and relationship stability.

Sensitive periods are widespread in nature; for plasticity to be adaptive, organisms require reliable information about the environment, but information's reliability varies

Phenotypic plasticity across the lifespan: a model of sensitive periods when the reliability of information varies. Nicole Walasek, Willem Frankenhuis. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019.

Abstract: Sensitive periods are widespread in nature. Much work investigates the neuralphysiological underpinnings of variation in sensitive periods between and within species. Recently, complementary research using formal theoretical modeling has explored the evolutionary pressures that shape the development of sensitive periods. Most models acknowledge that, for plasticity to be adaptive, organisms require reliable information about the environment. However, they have yet to explore how withinlifetime variation in the reliability of information affects the development of sensitive periods. Our model fills this gap. We consider organisms that incrementally tailor their phenotype to their environment by using cues (i.e. sampled information) and assume that cue reliability is not fixed, but instead varies across time. We then simulate developmental trajectories over a range of ecologies. Additionally, we offer multiple ways to quantify sensitive periods in order to closely match a variety of empirical study paradigms (e.g. migration, adoption, and cross-fostering studies). Our model shows that natural selection may favor sensitive periods in developmental windows other than early life (e.g., adolescence), and generates testable predictions about the environmental conditions in which "mid-life sensitive periods" are likely to evolve, and about individual differences in the onset and offset of such periods as a function of experience.

Aggressive Video Games are Not a Risk Factor for Future Aggression in Youth: A Longitudinal Study

Aggressive Video Games are Not a Risk Factor for Future Aggression in Youth: A Longitudinal Study. Christopher J. Ferguson1●C. K. John Wang. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Accepted June 20 2019.

Abstract: The issue of whether video games with aggressive or violent content (henceforth aggressive video games) contribute to aggressive behavior in youth remains an issue of significant debate. One issue that has been raised is that some studies may inadvertently inflate effect sizes by use of questionable researcher practices and unstandardized assessments of predictors and outcomes, or lack of proper theory-driven controls. In the current article, a large sample of 3034 youth (72.8% male12Mage=11.2) in Singapore were assessed for links between aggressive game play and seven aggression or prosocial outcomes 2 years later. Theoretically relevant controls for prior aggression, poor impulse control, gender and family involvement were used. Effect sizes were compared to sixnonsenseoutcomes specifically chosen to be theoretically unrelated to aggressive game play. The use of nonsense outcomes allows for a comparison of effect sizes between theoretically relevant and irrelevant outcomes, to help assess whether any statistically significant outcomes may be spurious in large datasets. Preregistration was employed to reduce questionable researcher practices. Results indicate that aggressive video games were unrelated to any of the outcomes using the study criteria for significance. It would take 27 h/day of M-rated game play to produce clinically noticeable changes in aggression. Effect sizes for aggression/prosocial outcomes were little different than for nonsense outcomes. Evidence from this study does not support the conclusion that aggressive video games are a predictor of later aggression or reduced prosocial behavior in youth.

Keywords: Video games●Aggression●Violence●Preregistration