Friday, May 15, 2020

Partners’ ability to track mothers’ negative mood dropped during infancy & remained low in toddlerhood; moms' ability to track partners' positive mood dropped in infancy & recovered in toddlerhood

Understanding in transition: The influence of becoming parents on empathic accuracy. Jerica X. Bornstein, Eshkol Rafaeli, Marci E.J. Gleason. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. May 14, 2020.

Abstract: Empathic accuracy (EA), the ability to understand a close other’s thoughts and feelings, is linked to relationship satisfaction. Yet, it is unclear whether stress interferes with relationship partners’ ability to be empathically accurate. The present study investigates whether a major life stressor, the transition to parenthood (TTP), interferes with EA between partners. In a daily diary study of 78 couples expecting their first child, couples reported on their own and their partners’ daily mood for 3 weeks during three separate time periods across the TTP: pregnancy, infancy, and toddlerhood. Both mothers and their partners demonstrated EA across the TTP. However, there was evidence that the transition interfered with EA: Partners’ ability to track mothers’ negative mood dropped significantly during infancy and remained low in toddlerhood, whereas mothers’ ability to track their partners’ positive mood dropped significantly in infancy and recovered in toddlerhood. This suggests that one way in which a major life stressor, in this case, the TTP, may interfere with relationship functioning is by decreasing couples’ understanding of each other’s mood states.

Keywords: Close relationships, empathic accuracy, mood states, stress, transition to parenthood

In Search of the Appeal of the “DILF”: Why women find DILFs more attractive than otherwise equally attractive men without children

In Search of the Appeal of the “DILF”. Flora Oswald, Shelby Hughes, Amanda Champion & Cory L. Pedersen. Psychology & Sexuality, May 13 2020.

Abstract: Contemporary culture has afforded a new sexualized identity to fatherhood. Fathers are often labeled as nurturing, dominant, and domesticated; attributes demonstrably appealing to females. Colloquially, the sexy dad has come to be referred to as “DILF” (i.e., Dad I’d Like to Fuck), a concept popularized in the media since its debut online in 2011. DILFs are increasingly searched for by women on pornography websites, evidence of an increasing sexual interest in or awareness of the DILF phenomenon. Although sometimes conceptualized as a passing colloquialism, the DILF is reflective of shifts in popular culture pertaining to media, gendered parenting, notions of masculinity, and women’s sexual expression. This unique cultural intersection merits empirically driven investigation. This study explored whether women find DILFs more attractive than otherwise equally attractive men without children. Female participants were randomly assigned to one of two possible male profile conditions of the same attractive man (with children versus without children). Overall, results revealed that women rated the male target with children as possessing more positive attributes relative to the male target without children. Follow-up analyses revealed more positive emotional attributes ascribed to the DILF target condition, whereas more positive social attributes were ascribed to the non-DILF target condition. Results are discussed in reference to the changing landscape of masculinity and fatherhood.

Keywords: fatherhood, parenting, DILF, mate choice, evolutionary psychology, Freudian theory mate selection, masculinity

Research says perceivers can accurately diagnose infection using e.g., sight, smell, but these authors find people overperceive pathogen threat in subjectively disgusting sounds

Michalak, Nicholas M., Oliver Sng, Iris Wang, and Joshua Ackerman. 2020. “Sounds of Sickness: Can People Identify Infectious Disease Using Sounds of Coughs and Sneezes?.” PsyArXiv. May 14. doi:10.1098/rspb

Abstract: Cough, cough. Is that person sick, or do they just have a throat tickle? A growing body of research suggests pathogen threats shape key aspects of human sociality. However, less research has investigated specific processes involved in pathogen threat detection. Here, we examine whether perceivers can accurately detect pathogen threats using an understudied sensory modality—sound. Participants in four studies judged whether cough and sneeze sounds were produced by people infected with a communicable disease or not. We found no evidence that participants could accurately identify the origins of these sounds. Instead, the more disgusting they perceived a sound to be, the more likely they were to judge that it came from an infected person (regardless of whether it did). Thus, unlike research indicating perceivers can accurately diagnose infection using other sensory modalities (e.g., sight, smell), we find people overperceive pathogen threat in subjectively disgusting sounds.

Heritability of affectionate communication: A twins study

Heritability of affectionate communication: A twins study. Kory Floyd, Chance York & Colter D. Ray. Communication Monographs, May 13 2020.

ABSTRACT: Using a twin study design, we explored the extent to which affectionate communication is a heritable behavioral trait. Participants (N = 928) were 464 adult twin pairs (229 monozygotic, 235 dizygotic) who provided data on their affectionate communication behaviors. Through ACE modeling, we determined that approximately 45% of the variance in trait expressed affectionate communication is heritable, whereas 21% of the variance in trait received affection was heritable. A bivariate Cholesky decomposition model also revealed that almost 26% of the covariation in expressed and received affection is attributable to additive genetic factors. These estimates were driven primarily by females and those 50 years of age and older. The results suggest the utility of giving greater attention to genetic and biological influences on communicative behaviors by expanding the scope of communication theory beyond consideration of only environmental influences.

KEYWORDS: Affectionate communication, genetics, twin study, ACE model, heritability, affection exchange theory