Thursday, April 9, 2020

Women have higher magical beliefs than men, & have stronger reliance on intuition than men; reliance on intuition helps to explain why women report higher magical beliefs than men do

Examining the roles of Intuition and Gender in Magical Beliefs. Sarah J.Ward, Laura A.King. Journal of Research in Personality, April 9 2020, 103956.

• Women have higher magical beliefs than men.
• Women have stronger reliance on intuition than men.
• Reliance on intuition helps to explain why women report higher magical beliefs than men do.

Abstract: Four studies explored gender differences in magical beliefs, specifically examining whether reliance on intuition accounts for women’s higher magical beliefs (vs. men’s). In Studies 1a and 1b (N’s= 489, 1119), women’s higher magical beliefs were accounted for by measures of reliance on intuition. Study 2 (N=533) demonstrated that an intuition induction heightened men’s magical beliefs (vs. control group), but not women’s. In Study 3 (N=404), women—but not men—exhibited more suboptimal choices in a lottery task after imagining that a dream told them to do so. These studies suggest that reliance on intuition helps account for women’s higher magical beliefs.

Keywords: magical beliefsintuitiongender

Women Do Not Need to Have Children in Order to Be Fulfilled

Do Women Need to Have Children in Order to Be Fulfilled? A System Justification Account of the Motherhood Norm. Alexandra Suppes. Social Psychological and Personality Science, April 9, 2020.

Abstract: There is a widely held folk belief that a woman needs to have children in order to live a fulfilled life. This article tests whether or not endorsing this folk belief—or the motherhood norm—has an impact on subjective well-being. With data from 49 countries, Study 1 shows that those who endorsed the motherhood norm experienced greater subjective well-being than those who did not, an effect that was especially true in countries with high gender inequality. Study 2 establishes that this norm exaggerates the impact of motherhood on subjective well-being. After accounting for the situation of women’s lives, motherhood status did not explain differences in self-reported life satisfaction, and mothers reported only slightly greater happiness than women who were not mothers. These findings support a series of preregistered hypotheses designed to test the palliative function of endorsing system-justifying norms, though these data may be consistent with other theories.

Keywords: system justification, subjective well-being, gender, motherhood

The conversations we seek to avoid: Commonly avoided topics include politics, money, sex, religion, work, relationships; motivations are privacy and conflict concerns

The conversations we seek to avoid. Katherine Qianwen Sun, Michael L.Slepian. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 160, September 2020, Pages 87-105.

• People frequently seek to avoid certain conversation topics in daily life.
• Commonly avoided topics include politics, money, sex, religion, work, relationships.
• Two broad motivations underlie this avoidance: (1) privacy and (2) conflict concerns.
• Privacy motivations predicts inhibiting responses; conflict, activating responses.
• These pathways had implications for feelings of authenticity in the workplace.

Abstract: The current work presents the first inquiry into the conversations people seek to avoid. We introduce the Topic Avoidance Process Model, proposing two distinct processes when an interaction partner brings up a topic one wishes to avoid. When topic avoidance is motivated by concern for creating a conflict, one is more likely to leave the conversation, through increased activating emotions (e.g., annoyance). When motivated by concern for privacy, one is more likely to remain quiet, through increased inhibiting emotions (e.g., anxiety). In addition, these pathways predicted whom individuals focused on during the conversation (others vs. the self) as well as authenticity felt during conversations in the workplace. Three data-driven studies identified people’s experiences with unwanted conversation topics, yielding the present model, then supported by five studies (Ntotal = 3200) using multiple methods, including retrospective recall, live conversations, and studies online and in the field as well as text analysis and machine learning.

Check also: Shame, Guilt, and Secrets on the Mind. Michael L. Slepian, James N. Kirby, Elise K. Kalokerinos. Emotion, 20(2), 323–328.
Abstract: Recent work suggests that what is harmful about secrecy is not active concealment within social interactions but rather mind wandering to a secret outside of concealment contexts. However, it is not yet clear what predicts mind wandering to and concealing secrets. We proposed that emotional appraisals of shame and guilt for secrecy would predict how secrecy is experienced. Four studies with 1,000 participants keeping more than 6,000 secrets demonstrated that shame was linked with increased mind wandering to the secret. Guilt, in contrast, was linked with reduced mind wandering to the secret. The current work represents the first test of how emotions from secrecy determine how that secrecy is experienced. 
Keywords: secrecy, mind wandering, concealment, shame and guilt, well-being
Supplemental materials:
Some of the things we hide:

emotional infidelity
extra-relational thoughts
marriage proposal
no sex
other woman/man
poor work performance
sexual behavior
sexual infidelity
social discontent
drug use
family detail
hidden relationship
mental health
personal story
physical discontent
romantic desire
romantic discontent
sexual orientation
violate trust
work cheating
work discontent

Do False Memories Look Real? Evidence That People Struggle to Identify Rich False Memories of Committing Crime and Other Emotional Events

Do False Memories Look Real? Evidence That People Struggle to Identify Rich False Memories of Committing Crime and Other Emotional Events. Julia Shaw. Front. Psychol., April 8 2020.

Abstract: Two studies examined whether people could identify rich false memories. Each participant in both studies was presented with two videos, one of a person recalling a true emotional memory, and one of the same person recalling a false memory. These videos were filmed during a study which involved implanting rich false memories (Shaw and Porter, 2015). The false memories in the videos either involved committing a crime (assault, or assault with a weapon) or other highly emotional events (animal attack, or losing a large sum of money) during adolescence. In study 1, participants (n = 124) were no better than chance at accurately classifying false memories (61.29% accurate), or false memories of committing crime (53.33% accurate). In study 2, participants (n = 82) were randomly assigned to one of three conditions, where they only had access to the (i) audio account of the memory with no video, (ii) video account with no audio, or (iii) the full audio-visual accounts. False memories were classified correctly by 32.14% of the audio-only group, 45.45% of the video-only group, and 53.13% of the audio-visual group. This research provides evidence that naïve judges are not able to reliably identify false memories of emotional or criminal events, or differentiate true from false memories. These findings are likely to be of particular interest to those working in legal and criminal justice settings.

Can people tell whether a particular memory is true or false? In a review of the literature, researchers have pointed out that there are two ways of looking at this question – “focusing on the memories reported or the person reporting the memories” (Bernstein and Loftus, 2009, p. 370). Within this review, it was argued that there were no reliable neurophysiological, technological, or psychological ways to discern between true and false memories – and that telling the difference between true and false memories is one of the biggest challenges in memory research. However, this hasn’t stopped researchers from continuing to look for differences, with limited success.

Some researchers have argued that the phenomenology of false memories is different from true memories, advocating that participants are able to identify their own false memories if they focus on source monitoring decisions (where people think they know things from), confidence ratings, and explicit warnings about memory fallibility (Anastasi et al., 2000). Others have argued that providing questionnaires that help people systematically examine the characteristics of their memories can slightly improve false memory detection (Ost et al., 2002). Proponents of this phenomenological line of work broadly argue that true memories feel “richer” than false ones (Marche et al., 2010), and that false memories are “weaker” forms of true memories (Jou and Flores, 2013).

However, this seems an incomplete answer to the differences between true and false memories, as research also shows that the realism of false memories depends on the method through which they were generated (Jou and Flores, 2013). Most studies on false memories involve short timeframes, and false memories that are neither very complex, nor particularly emotional. Research has also focused almost entirely on assessments of one’s own false memory account, rather than assessments of someone else’s account. Research shows that the methodologies that use longer encoding periods, repetition, emotion, and a lot of detail and complexity create false memories that feel and look more real (Jou and Flores, 2013). Such methodology is typical of studies that try to implant rich false memories of autobiographical events, through a method called the familial informant false narrative paradigm (Loftus and Pickrell, 1995). This technique involves using a combination of trust, misinformation, imagination exercises, and repetition to convince participants that they experienced events that never happened. By using this technique, individuals have been shown to generate complex false memories of autobiographical events (Scoboria et al., 2017).

An autobiographical false memory is an incorrect recollection of part of an event, or an incorrect recollection of an entire event. The person recalling a false memory believes that they are accessing a real memory – it is not an attempt to lie (e.g., Loftus, 2005). Memories that have been implanted using the familial informant false narrative technique – and related techniques – include getting lost in a shopping mall (Loftus and Pickrell, 1995), spilling a punch bowl at a family wedding or being left in the car as a child and releasing the parking break so it rolled into something (Hyman et al., 1995). More serious false memories that have been implanted include being punched or punching someone else (Laney and Takarangi, 2013), or being the victim of an animal attack (Porter et al., 1999). Additionally, researchers have implanted a number of false memories of committing crime, including of assault, assault with a weapon, and theft (Shaw and Porter, 2015). Rich false memories of highly emotional or criminal events are of particular interest to applied psychologists, legal professionals, and law enforcement, as they can have catastrophic consequences. Because they can become distorted or fabricated evidence, such false memories can seriously threaten the integrity of a criminal investigation or legal case (e.g., Loftus, 2003).

Research on autobiographical false memories typically involves asking the participants themselves to rate the realism of their own (false) memories, and participants consistently report that such false memories feel incredibly real (e.g., Shaw and Porter, 2015; Scoboria et al., 2017). If autobiographical false memories feel largely the same as real memories, then they may also look like real memories to others. In perhaps the only study to directly examine this, participants were asked to watch videos of complex emotional true and false memories being recalled, to see if they could tell the difference (Campbell and Porter, 2002). Observers correctly identified 60% of false memories, and 53% of true memories – with 50% representing chance. This study was the inspiration for the present research. While there has been evidence to show that false memories of important emotional and criminal events can be created (e.g., Shaw and Porter, 2015; Scoboria et al., 2017), there has been little research investigating the ability of observers to distinguish between true and false memories, and no evidence on false memories of crime.

Two studies examined whether participants could correctly identify false memories. The three main hypotheses were (H1) people are no better than chance at identifying false memories, (H2) people are no better than chance at identifying false memories of criminal events, (H3) people are better at comparative judgments than absolute ones (once they know one of two memories is false, they can identify the “richer” memory). Study 2 adds an exploratory component to this, to examine whether it would make a difference if people could only see (video with no audio), hear (audio with no video), or see and hear (video with audio) the false memory accounts. This was examined for two reasons. First, it is possible that visual cues are distracting, so participants might be better able to identify false memories when they only have audio and can focus on content. Conversely, in Campbell and Porter (2002) memory classification accuracy was better for those who relied on non-verbal cues, so perhaps verbal or content cues are distracting, which could make it easier to identify false memories without sound. Additionally, evidence in legal cases is sometimes only available as audio recordings or as video footage with no sound, so examining this issue likely has practical applications. The present studies further our understanding of the realism of false memories, and whether false memories can be identified by observers.