Sunday, August 18, 2019

An ultra-brief measure of the big-five personality domains implicates “agreeableness” as a risk for all-cause mortality

Brief report: How short is too short? An ultra-brief measure of the big-five personality domains implicates “agreeableness” as a risk for all-cause mortality. Benjamin P Chapman, Ari J Elliot. Journal of Health Psychology, August 3, 2017.

Abstract: Controversy exists over the use of brief Big Five scales in health studies. We investigated links between an ultra-brief measure, the Big Five Inventory-10, and mortality in the General Social Survey. The Agreeableness scale was associated with elevated mortality risk (hazard ratio = 1.26, p = .017). This effect was attributable to the reversed-scored item “Tends to find fault with others,” so that greater fault-finding predicted lower mortality risk. The Conscientiousness scale approached meta-analytic estimates, which were not precise enough for significance. Those seeking Big Five measurement in health studies should be aware that the Big Five Inventory-10 may yield unusual results.

Keywords: all-cause mortality, BFI-10, Big Five personality traits, brief scales, General Social Survey

Beijing's Friendship with Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew, 1954–1965

Love the Tree, Love the Branch: Beijing's Friendship with Lee Kuan Yew, 1954–1965. Philip Hsiaopong Liu. The China Quarterly, August 9 2019,

Abstract: Chinese national identity has long been considered to have been an obstacle to Singapore's nation-building efforts. This is mainly because China was suspected of using its ethnic links to encourage Singapore's communist rebellions during the 1950s and 1960s as Lee Kuan Yew was working towards establishing the city state. This study reviews Lee's exchanges with Beijing and argues that he gave China the impression that he was building an anticolonial, pro-China nation. Beijing therefore responded positively to Lee's requests for support. Reiterating its overseas Chinese policy to Lee, Beijing sided with him against his political rivals and even acquiesced in his suppression of Chinese-speaking “communists.” In addition, China boosted Lee's position against Tunku Abdul Rahman, supported Singapore's independence and lobbied Indonesia to recognize the territory as a separate state. China thus actually played a helpful role in Singapore's nation building.

Endorsement of relationship rituals is associated with greater romantic relationship satisfaction, and increased commitment to the relationship mediates this positive association

Rituals and Nuptials: Relationship Rituals Predict Relationship Satisfaction. Ximena Garcia-Rada, Ovul Sezer, Michael I. Norton. In European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 11, eds. Maggie Geuens, Mario Pandelaere, and Michel Tuan Pham, Iris. Vermeir, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research,

Across three studies, we show that endorsement of relationship rituals is associated with greater romantic relationship satisfaction, and that increased commitment to the relationship mediates this positive association. Additionally, we document a critical facet that predicts the psychological impact of relationship rituals: that they are held consensually.

Rituals are pervasive in a myriad of social relationships: from religious gatherings to business meetings, rituals are central to social connection (Durkheim, 1912; Goffman, 1967). In sports, fans may engage in pregame rituals to send good vibes to their teams. In business, group members may develop their ritualistic activities to empower themselves before a long day at work. Whether through weddings or funerals, families also engage in rituals to wish happiness to newlyweds, or to pay their respects to lost ones. We empirically explore the potential benefits of rituals in another important social context: romantic relationships. We propose that couples who enact relationship rituals – from weekly date nights to cooking together to bedroom activities – experience greater relationship satisfaction, in part because commitment to enacting rituals manifests in commitment to the relationship. We test this prediction in three studies that examine the relationship between rituals and relationship satisfaction and find that rituals boost commitment in turn leading to greater relationship satisfaction (Studies 1-3). Additionally, we show that consensual endorsement between partners about their rituals predicts relationship satisfaction (Study 2) and distinguish rituals from routines (Study 3).

In Study 1, we examine whether engaging in relationship rituals is associated with greater relationship satisfaction (N=201; Mage=37.18 years, SD=12.10; 59% male). Participants completed a questionnaire that had two sections: a section asking them to report whether they engaged in a relationship ritual with their current/ most recent partner, and a section with a series of relationship quality measures (investment model scale - Rusbult; Martz & Agnew 1998; gratitude –Algoe et al. 2010; perceived partner responsiveness –Caprariello and Reis 2011; closeness – Aron, Aron, and Smollan 1992). Because asking about rituals could lead participants with relationship rituals to recall positive memories or feel regret if they do not have rituals, we randomly assigned participants to either describe their rituals first and then report relationship satisfaction, or the reverse.

We observe that rituals in romantic relationships are ubiquitous: 57% of participants reported engaging in rituals. More importantly, we find that participants with rituals reported greater relationship satisfaction (M=6.98, SD=1.80) than those without a ritual (M=5.93, SD=2.28; b=1.05, SE=.29, t(199)=3.64, p<.001). There was no effect of order of the sections nor was an effect of type of ritual, suggesting that having a ritual may be more important than the specific form that ritual takes. We also observe that participants with relationship rituals reported having fewer alternatives to the relationship, being more invested, more committed, more grateful, feeling closer to their partner, and perceiving that their partners were more responsive (all ps<.05); all effects hold when controlling for relationship length and marital status and when re-running analyses only with participants who were currently in a romantic relationship. Finally, we find that commitment mediates the relationship between rituals and satisfaction (ab=1.08, SE=.25, CI [.59, 1.59]).

Study 2 was identical to Study 1 with one key difference: we recruited one hundred and eight romantic dyads using Qualtrics panel data (N=216; Mage=56.48 years; SD=13.13; 48% male). We replicate findings from Study 1 and show that individuals who engaged in relationship rituals are more satisfied and that the relationship is mediated by commitment (all analyses involved actor-partner interdependence models: ps<.10). We then analyzed responses within-dyads and assessed partners’ agreement on whether they had a ritual: both members of the dyad reported having a ritual (n=55), both members of the dyad reported not having a ritual (n=33), and members of the dyad disagreed on whether they have a ritual (n=20). We created a score of dyad satisfaction by averaging relationship satisfaction ratings provided by both members; agreement within the dyad had a significant effect on relationship satisfaction (F(2, 105)= 3.97, p=.022). Bonferroni post-hoc tests revealed that couples that reported having a ritual were marginally more satisfied in their relationship (M=8.05, SD=1.23) than couples that reported not having a ritual (M=7.32, SD=2.06, p=.092) or couples that disagreed (M=7.11, SD=1.18, p=.058); the latter two groups did not differ (p>.250). These results suggest that the benefits of relationship rituals emerge only when both members of the couple agree on that ritual.

In Study 3, we investigate differences between relationship rituals and routines and show that rituals are conceptually distinct, and lead to psychologically different outcomes. Participants were asked to report whether they had a relationship ritual and a relationship routine, and after answered the same relationship quality measures (N=404; Mage=37.40 years, SD=11.36; 47% male). We observe that participants engaged in both activities: 74% reported having a relationship ritual and 81% reported having a relationship routine. We replicate our previous findings showing that participants who engage in rituals were more satisfied with their relationship (b=1.24, SE=.22, t(402)=5.76, p<.001), but found only a marginal effect for routines (b=.41, SE=.25, t(402)=1.66, p=.099). We then entered rituals and routines in the same model simultaneously predicting relationship satisfaction and found that rituals were significantly associated greater satisfaction (b=1.22, SE=.22, t(401)=5.51, p<.001) but routines were not (b=.11, SE=.25, t(401)=.44, p=.658).

Taken together, our results suggest that couples that adhere to relationship rituals – are more satisfied. Our work makes several contributions to research on shared experiences and interpersonal rituals. First, our findings contribute to prior research that demonstrates that shared experiences lead to greater satisfaction (Boothby, Clark, & Bargh, 2014), enhance social relationships (Gilovich, Kumar, & Jampol, 2015) and drive more coherent and positive retrospection of experiences (Ramanathan & McGill, 2007). We show that relationship rituals are associated with greater relationship satisfaction, especially when partners agree on their ritual, suggesting that sharing an experience (Belk, 2009; Caprariello & Reis, 2013; Kumar & Gilovich, 2015) is particularly important in making interpersonal rituals an effective social cohesion tool.  Second, we identify the psychological mechanism that underlies the association between relationship rituals and relationship satisfaction by shedding light on the importance of greater commitment in relationships. Relationship rituals are effective because they amplify partners’ commitment to relationships, as with other research suggesting that rituals foster feelings of bonding with group members (Durkheim, 1912; Spoor & Kelly, 2004; Xygalatas et al., 2013).

The effects of likes on public opinion perception and personal opinion

The effects of likes on public opinion perception and personal opinion. Pablo Porten-CheƩ, Christiane Eilders. The European Journal of Communication Research, Mar 1 2019,

Abstract: Drawing on the spiral of silence theory and heuristic information processing, we contend that individuals use likes as sources for assessing public opinion. We further argue that individuals may even adapt their personal opinions to the tenor reflected in those cues. The assumptions were tested using data from an experiment involving 501 participants, who encountered media items on two issues with or without likes. The findings show that respondents inferred public opinion from the media bias if it was supported by likes, however, only in cases of high levels of fear of social isolation. Respondents further adapted their personal opinion to the media bias if it was supported by likes.

Keywords: likes; public opinion; heuristic processing; online media; media effects