Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Commitment readiness: People vary in their sense of when they think the time is right to be involved in a committed relationship

It’s About Time: Readiness, Commitment, and Stability in Close Relationships. Christopher R. Agnew, Benjamin W. Hadden, Kenneth Tan. Social Psychological and Personality Science, February 20, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619829060

Abstract: Timing matters in relationships. People vary in their sense of when they think the time is right to be involved in a committed relationship. We propose and examine the construct of commitment readiness and its role in predicting important relationship outcomes including commitment level, maintenance processes, and stability among involved intimates. Data from five independent samples obtained with various methods revealed, as hypothesized, that readiness (a) predicts commitment, maintenance processes, and actions toward ending a relationship; (b) serves to moderate commitment in predicting maintenance processes (self-disclosure, accommodation, sacrifice); and (c) serves to moderate commitment in predicting leave behavior, with those reporting both higher commitment and higher readiness being more likely to enact maintenance behaviors and least likely to enact leave behavior. We discuss the importance of considering one’s readiness for commitment within ongoing involvements.

Keywords: relationship receptivity, relationship timing, commitment readiness, commitment level, investment model

General Discussion

Among currently involved individuals, we examined commitment readiness,
the extent to which a person feels that the time
is right for a committed involvement and found evidence in
support of hypotheses. Higher readiness was associated with
higher commitment to a relationship, cross-sectionally, longitudinally, and day-to-day within individuals. Moreover, by
controlling for commitment at one time point, results speak
to the temporal precedence of readiness in shaping future
increases in commitment. Further, these findings were independent of investment model variables, such that the prospective effects of readiness on commitment are unique from
satisfaction, alternatives, and investments.
Readiness also predicted maintenance beyond commitment,
between individuals, and on a daily basis. Readiness was
uniquely associated with more self-disclosure. Although not
associated with overall accommodation, readiness was associated with less neglect and exit strategies. It was also associated
with less loyalty, suggesting that although individuals who
were more ready engaged in less destructive responses to conflict, they do not passively wait for things to get better. Readiness also largely bolstered the effects of commitment on
With data from three longitudinal studies, readiness was
also associated with lower likelihood of leaving one’s relationship, and readiness moderated the effects of commitment level
on leave behavior. This moderation emerged such that high
readiness bolstered the effect of commitment on leave behavior, whereas low readiness appears to undermine the effects
of commitment on leave behavior. These findings suggest that
although commitment to a specific partner is necessary for successfully maintaining a relationship, individuals are aided also
by feeling ready at a given time for commitment.
Consistent with relationship receptivity theory, readiness
serves both to increase commitment level across time and to
augment the effect of commitment on maintenance cognitions
and behaviors, including stay/leave behavior months later.
Experiencing high levels of both commitment and readiness
promotes maintenance, whereas lacking in either ingredient
appears to undermine stability. Although readiness is theoretically and empirically separable from level of commitment, one
might expect that being in a relationship elevates one’s sense of
readiness, possibly as a function of self-perception. One might
also expect that how successful a relationship is—how satisfying, and so on—might inform a sense that one is ready to maintain a commitment to that relationship. However, even if a
relationship might be particularly rewarding in and of itself,
it might still detract from other aspects of one’s life by taking
time from personal pursuits (e.g., VanderDrift & Agnew,
2014). Tension between the relationship and other domains
of life should play into how ready one feels for commitment.
Strengths of these studies include the use of measures of
both maintenance cognitions and behaviors, as well as actual
leave behavior. Further, by using a mixture of crosssectional, daily diary, and longer longitudinal studies, we were
able to investigate the scope of how readiness shapes relationship functioning. Readiness appears to be important for both
day-to-day relationship maintenance and for prospectively predicting stability. Limitations include samples consisting largely
of young adults who generally reported high levels of readiness, limiting both the age range and variability in readiness
among participants. We also concentrated on the individual
level and obtained measures of readiness from only one member of a dyad. A dyadic study would provide valuable data on
how actor and partner effects of readiness might be associated
with maintenance behaviors and stability. Moreover, one could
examine whether individuals accurately perceive partners’ levels of readiness and whether successful enactment of maintenance behaviors by one partner leads both the partner and
oneself to feeling more ready the next day.
Future research on readiness could go in a number of directions. One could examine associations between how ready an
individual thinks they are and their knowledge of factors that
have been shown to be strongly linked to relationship stability.
It is possible that some people who report that they are ready
for commitment have little idea of the kinds of cognitions and
behaviors necessary to sustain an involvement. One might
expect, then, that a sense of readiness would need to be paired
with a realistic sense of what it actually takes to keep a relationship going for readiness effects to be robust. Relatedly, the perception that one is capable of enacting the kinds of prosocial
behaviors shown to sustain relationships (Rusbult & Agnew,
2010) may also influence the extent to which one’s readiness
is associated with consequential outcomes. Experimental
manipulation of readiness, including priming it, is also ripe for
research. Moreover, gathering perceptions from social network
members of involved intimates may also shed light on whether
a given member of a couple is truly ready for commitment. Discrepancies in perceived readiness between a person involved in
a relationship and how their network perceives them might
yield findings consistent with past research showing that
“outsiders” possess perceptions that are particularly diagnostic
of relationship outcomes (Agnew, Loving, & Drigotas, 2001).
Finally, readiness appears to be an important yet heretofore
neglected construct. Therefore, its antecedents surely matter.
What gives rise to a sense of being ready for a committed relationship? Relationship receptivity theory provides several suggestions for answering this important question, but answers
await future research.

Philosophy seems to attract less happy students and then makes them less happy; bad scores on positive relations with others, personal growth, using strengths, savoring, gratitude

Are Philosophers Happy? Dan Weijers. University of Waikato, Auckland. Dec 10 2019. https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/13326/Are%20philosophers%20happy.pdf

 Philosophers reported statistically significantly “worse” scores on all of these (and better on none):
 Positive relations with others
 Personal growth
 Environmental mastery
 Using strengths
 Pleasure and meaning paths to happiness
 Gratitude
 Savoring (sensing, absorption, behavioral expression, counting blessings)
 Flow

Gay men are disliked more than lesbian women in all countries tested; significant association between gender norm endorsement & sexual prejudice across countries (but is absent or reversed in China)

Predictors of Attitudes Toward Gay Men and Lesbian Women in 23 Countries. Maria Laura Bettinsoli, Alexandra Suppes, Jaime L. Napier. Social Psychological and Personality Science, December 23, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619887785

Abstract: Dominant accounts of sexual prejudice posit that negative attitudes toward nonheterosexual individuals are stronger for male (vs. female) targets, higher among men (vs. women), and driven, in part, by the perception that gay men and lesbian women violate traditional gender norms. We test these predictions in 23 countries, representing both Western and non-Western societies. Results show that (1) gay men are disliked more than lesbian women across all countries; (2) after adjusting for endorsement of traditional gender norms, the relationship between participant gender and sexual prejudice is inconsistent across Western countries, but men (vs. women) in non-Western countries consistently report more negative attitudes toward gay men; and (3) a significant association between gender norm endorsement and sexual prejudice across countries, but it was absent or reversed in China, India, and South Korea. Taken together, this work suggests that gender and sexuality may be more loosely associated in some non-Western contexts.

Keywords: sexual prejudice, homonegativity, LGB, gender, gender norms

Vegetarians are more pro-social than omnivores, tend to have more liberal political views, & do not appear to be as well-adjusted as omnivores (which may be the result of status as a social minority)

Vegetarianism as a Social Identity. John B Nezlek, Catherine A Forestell. Current Opinion in Food Science, December 20 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cofs.2019.12.005

Abstract: Food choice can be a way for people to express their ideals and identities. In particular, for those who identify as vegetarian, this label is more than just a set of dietary preferences. Choosing to follow a plant-based diet shapes one’s personal and social identity and is likely to influence a person’s values, attitudes, beliefs, and well-being. The available data suggest that vegetarians are more pro-social than omnivores and tend to have more liberal political views. Nevertheless, vegetarians do not appear to be as well-adjusted as omnivores, which may be the result of their status as a social minority. Despite the attention vegetarianism has received, more research is needed to understand the antecedents, correlates, consequences, and socio-cultural contexts of vegetarianism.

Conclusions, limitations, and future directions

There is little doubt that vegetarianism is a social identity and that it is more than a mere dietary choice. Moreover, similar to other social identities being a vegetarian has implications for the values, beliefs, and attitudes people hold. In turn the values, beliefs, and attitudes vegetarians hold have implications for their behavior (broadly defined) and for their well-being.
Nevertheless, the existing research suffers from important limitations. Conceptually, not enough attention has been paid to possible differences among types of vegetarians, including differences in why people are vegetarians. Some research suggests that vegans are meaningfully different from other types of vegetarians [e.g., 18, 39, 41], but more attention needs to be paid to possible differences between vegetarians who have similar eating habits but different reasons for being vegetarians. For example, two people may be lactoovo vegetarians, but one may do so for health reasons whereas another does so for ecological reasons. Although Plante et al. [24] found that different motives can lead to different behavioral outcomes, they suggest that future research should investigate possible moderator variables (e.g., length of time identifying as a vegetarian), establish better validated measures of vegetarian motivations, and employ behavioral outcomes rather than relying solely on self-report.
The empirical database is also limited geographically. Most of the research on vegetarianism as a social identity has been done in Western and Northern Europe (e.g., Germany and the Netherlands), the US and Canada, and Australasia. Relatively little has been done in Latin America, Southern, Central, or Eastern Europe, Asia (Western, Central, or Eastern), parts of Oceania other than Australasia, and Africa. Given that existing research suggests that being a vegetarian is associated with holding more pro-social socio-political attitudes and with reduced mental health in Western cultures, it is important to determine if such relationships exist outside of the capitalist democracies that have been studied to date. For example, Jin, Kandula, Kanaya, and Talegwkar [46] found that South Asian immigrants to the US who were vegetarians were less likely to be depressed than their relatives who were omnivores. This may have been because vegetarians were not social minorities in the communities in which these immigrants resided.
Contrary to the trends in some of the countries in which vegetarianism as a social identity has been studied, meat consumption is on the rise in some countries that have enjoyed recent improvements in their economies [47]. Although a decrease in meat consumption may not indicate an increase in vegetarianism, despite the risks involved in using trends in meat consumption as proxies for trends in vegetarianism, it seems unlikely that an increase in meat consumption could be accompanied by an increase in vegetarianism. Such trends suggest that understanding vegetarianism and its antecedents, correlates, and consequences needs to take into account the socio-cultural contexts within which people are living.
Reducing meat consumption has become an important sustainability goal, and there has been an increase in campaigns across the globe to dissuade consumers from consuming animal-based products, particularly eating meat. The effectiveness of such advocacy may depend on the social identity of the advocates and how they communicate their message [48]. Thus it will be important to consider social identity theory to develop effective messages to increase meat-eaters’ willingness to reduce meat consumption.
Related to changing attitudes about meat consumption is what the popular press sometimes refers to as “vegetarian activism.” Given differences in the centrality of diet based identities [18], a more accurate term would probably be “vegan activism.” although even this distinction cannot be supported by any research. Putting aside definitional issues, there is virtually no research on vegetarian activism per se. Nevertheless, there is a body of research showing that minorities can influence majorities [49], and given this, it is possible that vegetarians can influence the dietary practices of omnivores [48], although how successful such efforts will be remains to be seen.
Finally, there are issues of causation. Why do people decide to become vegetarians? How do such decisions unfold? What are the causal relationships among the values, beliefs and attitudes that define contemporary vegetarianism? In terms of substantive questions such as relationships between diet and well-being and between diet and pro-sociality, are people with lower well-being more likely to become vegetarians than people who are higher in well-being, and are more pro-social people likely to become vegetarians than people who are less pro-social? Such questions have not been the focus of systematic empirical research and cannot be answered conclusively. Although much is known, much more needs to be known.

Check also Gender Differences in Vegetarian Identity: How Men and Women Construe Meatless Dieting. Daniel L.Rosenfeld. Food Quality and Preference, November 28 2019, 103859. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/11/could-they-be-lying-vegetarian-women.html

And Taste and health concerns trump anticipated stigma as barriers to vegetarianism. Daniel L.Rosenfeld, A. JanetTomiyama. Appetite, Volume 144, January 1 2020, 104469. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/09/vegetarian-diets-may-be-perceived-as.html

And Relationships between Vegetarian Dietary Habits and Daily Well-Being. John B. Nezlek, Catherine A. Forestell & David B. Newman. Ecology of Food and Nutrition, https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2018/10/vegetarians-reported-lower-self-esteem.html

And Psychology of Men & Masculinity: Eating meat makes you sexy / Conformity to dietary gender norms and attractiveness. Timeo, S., & Suitner, C. (2018). Eating meat makes you sexy: Conformity to dietary gender norms and attractiveness. Psychology of Men & Masculinity, 19(3), 418-429. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2018/06/psychology-of-men-masculinity-eating.html

And Baby Animals Less Appetizing? Tenderness toward Baby Animals and Appetite for Meat. Jared Piazza, Neil McLatchie & Cecilie Olesen. Anthrozoƶs, Volume 31, 2018 - Issue 3, Pages 319-335. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2018/05/presenting-images-of-baby-animals.html

We perceive typefaces, type families, & type styles to have ideological qualities; there is also affective polarization (typefaces are seen favorably when perceiving them as sharing our ideological orientation)

What’s in a Font?: Ideological Perceptions of Typography. Katherine Haenschen & Daniel J. Tamul. Communication Studies, Dec 20 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/10510974.2019.1692884

ABSTRACT: Although extensive political communication research considers the content of candidate messages, scholars have largely ignored how those words are rendered – specifically, the typefaces in which they are set. If typefaces are found to have political attributes, that may impact how voters receive campaign messages. Our paper reports the results of two survey experiments demonstrating that individuals perceive typefaces, type families, and type styles to have ideological qualities. Furthermore, partisanship moderates subjects’ perceptions of typefaces: Republicans generally view typefaces as more conservative than Independents and Democrats. We also find evidence of affective polarization, in that individuals rate typefaces more favorably when perceived as sharing their ideological orientation. Results broaden our understanding of how meaning is conveyed in political communication, laying the groundwork for future research into the functions of typography and graphic design in contemporary political campaigns. Implications for political practitioners are also discussed.

KEYWORDS: Political communication, ideology, partisanship, typeface, graphic design

Associations of physical attractiveness on sexual victimization were very strong; for example, highly attractive boys were five times more likely than other boys to have experienced child sexual abuse

Beauty is in the eye of the offender: Physical attractiveness and adolescent victimization. Jukka Savolainen, Jonathan R. Brauer, Noora Ellonen. Journal of Criminal Justice, December 24 2019, 101652. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2019.101652

Objectives: This research considered physical attractiveness as a potentially victimogenic individual characteristic. Based on target congruence, the theoretical model predicts direct effects of physical attractiveness on violent victimization and, based on routine activities theory, indirect effects on both violent and non-violent victimization.

Method: Using data from the 2013 wave of the Finnish Youth Victimization Survey (n = 5095) we estimated a structural equation model to examine the hypothesized associations. Physical attractiveness was measured using a novel self-report instrument asking respondents to report how other people react to their physical appearance.

Results: We found consistent support for the theoretically expected pathways. The direct and indirect associations of physical attractiveness on sexual victimization were particularly strong. For example, highly attractive boys were five times more likely than other boys to have experienced child sexual abuse.

Conclusions: Scholars and practitioners should consider physical attractiveness as an individual characteristic that may substantially increase the risk of interpersonal victimization, both directly and through its impact on routine activities. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms producing the observed associations.

Keywords: Physical attractiveness Victimization Routine activities Target congruence Finland Youth Child sexual abuse