Thursday, July 23, 2020

From 2015... The Evolutionary Psychology of Food Intake and Choice... Food choice is central in much of human behavior

From 2015... The Evolutionary Psychology of Food Intake and Choice. Chapter in The Handbook of Evolutionary Psychology, 2015. 10.1002/9781119125563.evpsych106

Abstract: Food choice plays a fundamental role in both biological and cultural evolution. As social generalists eating a wide range of foods, humans have faced two great problems in their evolution: how to figure out what is toxic and what is nutritive—the omnivore's dilemma—and how to coordinate the learned knowledge of multiple individuals to succeed in omnivorous food selection. Generalists like humans and rats find food sources by searching and deciding how long to stay with particular sources (as studied in the optimal foraging literature), and choose which particular foods to eat on the basis of evolved preferences, in particular for sweet tastes and fatty textures, and evolved learning abilities, including social copying and learned taste aversions.The cultural evolution of the use of many basic foods such as corn, milk, and meat in different cuisines has engaged a number of genetically programmed human predispositions, including the fat and sweet preferences. The basic emotion of disgust was originally related to the food system, but through cultural preadaptation has come to be involved with many other domains of human life. Given its centrality in much of human behavior, food choice should take a more prominent place in evolutionary psychology.


A review of the literature on partner personality judgments in both approaches suggests that individuals tend to perceive their partners with both substantial accuracy & a considerable amount of bias

Accuracy and Bias of Trait Judgments in Romantic Relationships. Shanhong Luo and David Watson. In The Oxford Handbook of Accurate Personality Judgment, edited by Tera D. Letzring and Jana S. Spain. Oxford Handbooks Online, Aug 2019. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780190912529.013.17

Abstract: This chapter provides a review of recent theoretical developments and empirical evidence regarding accuracy and biases of trait judgments in romantic relationships. Consistent with prior theorizing, personality judgments may be conceptualized to consist of accurate perceptions, systematic biases, and random errors. Two common biases in romantic relationships—positivity bias and similarity bias—are the focus of the chapter. The two major approaches to conceptualizing and assessing accuracy and biases—the variable-centered approach and the person-centered approach—are discussed. A review of the literature on partner personality judgments in both approaches suggests that individuals tend to perceive their partners with both substantial accuracy and a considerable amount of bias. Judges’ personal characteristics, trait properties, and relationship factors may moderate the extent to which the judgments are accurate and biased. Finally, accuracy, positivity bias, and similarity bias all have important positive implications for romantic relationship functioning.

Keywords: accuracy, positivity bias, similarity bias, partner personality judgment, variable-centered approach, person-centered approach, relationship functioning


When objective harm reduces, concepts of harm may expand to encompass new & previously innocuous phenomena, so it appears as widespread as ever; sometimes via intentional meaning changes engineered for political ends

Harm inflation: Making sense of concept creep. Nick Haslam et al. European Review of Social Psychology, Volume 31, 2020 - Issue 1, Jul 22 2020. https://doi.org/10.1080/10463283.2020.1796080

ABSTRACT: “Concept creep” is the gradual semantic expansion of harm-related concepts such as bullying, mental disorder, prejudice, and trauma. This review presents a synopsis of relevant theoretical advances and empirical research findings on the phenomenon. It addresses three fundamental questions. First, it clarifies the characterisation of concept creep by refining its theoretical and historical dimensions and presenting studies investigating the change in harm-related concepts using computational linguistics. Second, it examines factors that have caused concept creep, including cultural shifts in sensitivity to harm, societal changes in the prevalence of harm, and intentional meaning changes engineered for political ends. Third, the paper develops an account of the consequences of concept creep, including social conflict, political polarisation, speech restrictions, victim identities, and progressive social change. This extended analysis of concept creep helps to understand its mixed implications and sets a multi-pronged agenda for future research on the topic.

KEYWORDS: Concept creep, conflict, harm, identity, morality





Intrasexual competition, indexed by the operational sex ratio & income inequality (Gini), predicts women’s beautification reflected by search queries for cosmetic surgery terms & the density of certificated plastic surgeons

Women’s Intrasexual Competition Results in Beautification. Xijing Wang et al. Social Psychological and Personality Science, July 22, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620933403

Abstract: Psychology research focuses primarily on male competition. This research, however, investigates women’s competition for love and the ideal partner in the mating market and reveals one psychological consequence for women, that is, beautification. This is demonstrated with ecologically valid, real-world archive and online search query data, a quasi-experiment, and a series of controlled experiments with random assignments. Intrasexual competition, indexed by the operational sex ratio (OSR) and income inequality (GINI), predicts women’s beautification reflected by Google search queries for cosmetic surgery terms (Study 1) and the density of certificated plastic surgeons (Study 2). Female college students from faculties with female-biased OSRs exhibit greater appearance focus than women from male-biased faculties (Study 3). A causal relationship, between women’s intrasexual competition and beautification (and even self-objectification), is subsequently demonstrated in experiments (Studies 4–6). Additionally, self-objectification due to intrasexual competition leads to women’s preference for appearance-oriented products (Study 6). Implications are discussed.

Keywords: women, intrasexual competition, sex ratio, beautification, self-objectification



Despite Conservatism being positively correlated with dogmatism & negatively correlated with openness to new experiences and uncertainty tolerance, Liberals report lower levels of attitudinal ambivalence

Liberals Report Lower Levels of Attitudinal Ambivalence Than Conservatives. Leonard S. Newman, Rikki H. Sargent. Social Psychological and Personality Science, July 22, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550620939798

Abstract: Political conservatism has been shown to be positively correlated with intolerance of ambiguity, need for closure, and dogmatism and negatively correlated with openness to new experiences and uncertainty tolerance. Those findings suggest that conservatism should also be negatively correlated with attitudinal ambivalence; by definition, ambivalent attitudes are more complex and more tinged with uncertainty than univalent attitudes. However, little published research addresses this issue. The results of five studies (total N = 1,049 participants) reveal instead that political liberalism is negatively associated with ambivalence. This finding held for both subjective and potential (i.e., formula-based) measures of ambivalence and for both politicized and nonpoliticized attitude objects. Conservatives may prefer uncomplicated and consistent ways of thinking and feeling, but that preference might not necessarily be reflected in the actual consistency of their mental representations. Possible accounts for these findings are discussed.

Keywords: political psychology, attitudes, ambivalence, conservatism




Time Passes Slowly When You Are Concealing Something

Time Passes Slowly When You Are Concealing Something. Izumi Matsuda, Ayano Matsumoto, Hiroshi Nittono. Biological Psychology, July 22 2020, 107932.
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2020.107932

Highlights
• Time perception during concealment was investigated.
• People perceived the duration of items as longer when they concealed one of them.
• Skin conductance level was higher in the guilty than in the innocent condition.
• The effort to conceal something leads to a non-specific temporal overestimation.

Abstract: The item to be concealed elicits greater physiological arousal than other items. Since high physiological arousal causes an overestimation of time, the display duration of an item is expected to be perceived as longer when people intend to conceal it. After stealing and concealing one item, 36 university students were asked to judge the display duration of an item as shorter than, equal to, or longer than a memorised duration of 2 s. Pictures of three items including the stolen item were presented in the guilty condition, whereas pictures of three items that had not been stolen were presented in the innocent condition. The display of all items in the guilty condition was perceived as longer than in the innocent condition without difference between the concealed and other items. The intention to conceal increases tonic arousal reflected in a higher skin conductance level and leads to a non-specific temporal overestimation.

Keywords: arousalconcealed information testskin conductancetime perceptionwithdrawal motivation


Boredom increase in teens: Maybe due to technological advances that divorce individuals from traditional sources of meaning, including social relationshiops, meaningful work, & stable routines and communities

Westgate, Erin C. 2020. “Lost by Definition: Why Boredom Matters for Psychology and Society.” PsyArXiv. July 22. doi:10.31234/osf.io/q9fd5

Abstract: Long overlooked, boredom has drawn increasing attention across multiple subfields of psychology (including clinical, developmental, educational, cognitive, and industrial/organizational psychology), as well as economics, philosophy, neuroscience, and animal cognition. In this paper, we review and integrate this work by providing a social psychological perspective on boredom as an emotion, and its role in signaling the need for change to restore successful attention in meaningful activity. In doing so, we discuss the implications of that approach for understanding boredom cross-culturally and cross-species, and identify opportunities for targeted interventions to reduce boredom and improve well-being.

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Boredom increase in teens: Maybe due to technological advances that divorce individuals from traditional sources of meaning, including social relationshiops, meaningful work, & stable routines and communities.