Friday, October 9, 2020

Ecological harshness only influenced men’s perceptions of women’s breasts for reproductive success, rating women with larger breasts as more attractive, fertile, healthier, reproductively successful, and likely to befriend

Does Ecological Harshness Influence Men’s Perceptions of Women’s Breast Size, Ptosis, and Intermammary Distance? Ray Garza, Farid Pazhoohi & Jennifer Byrd-Craven. Evolutionary Psychological Science, Oct 2 2020.

Abstract: Breasts are sexually dimorphic physical characteristics, and they are enlarged post-puberty suggesting that they have been driven by sexual selection to signal fertility and residual reproductive value. Although different hypotheses have attempted to explain why men are attracted to women’s breasts, the role that ecology plays in men’s perceptions of women’s breasts has been limited. The current study used an ecologically harsh prime to investigate if ecological harshness influenced men’s perceptions of women’s breast size, ptosis (i.e., sagginess), and intermammary distance. Men were primed with an ecological harsh prime (i.e., economy uncertainty) and asked to rate women whose breast size, ptosis, and intermammary distance (i.e., cleavage) had been manipulated. Ecological harshness only influenced men’s perceptions of women’s breasts for reproductive success. Overall, men rated women with larger breasts as more attractive, fertile, healthier, reproductively successful, and likely to befriend. The study contributes to the overall literature on men’s perceptions of women’s breasts and suggests that ecological harshness may influence men's perceptions of women's reproductive success.

Check also Effects of Breast Size, Intermammary Cleft Distance (Cleavage) and Ptosis on Perceived Attractiveness, Health, Fertility and Age: Do Life History, Self-Perceived Mate Value and Sexism Attitude Play a Role? Farid Pazhoohi, Ray Garza & Alan Kingstone. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, February 28 2020.

Does social psychology persist over half a century? A direct replication of Cialdini et al.’s (1975) classic door-in-the-face technique

Genschow, O., Westfal, M., Crusius, J., Bartosch, L., Feikes, K. I., Pallasch, N., & Wozniak, M. (2020). Does social psychology persist over half a century? A direct replication of Cialdini et al.’s (1975) classic door-in-the-face technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Oct 2020.

Abstract: Many failed replications in social psychology have cast doubt on the validity of the field. Most of these replication attempts have focused on findings published from the 1990s on, ignoring a large body of older literature. As some scholars suggest that social psychological findings and theories are limited to a particular time, place, and population, we sought to test whether a classical social psychological finding that was published nearly half a century ago can be successfully replicated in another country on another continent. To this end, we directly replicated Cialdini et al.’s (1975) door-in-the-face (DITF) technique according to which people’s likelihood to comply with a target request increases after having turned down a larger request. Thereby, we put the reciprocal concessions theory—the original process explanation of the DITF technique—to a critical test. Overall, compliance rates in our replication were similarly high as those Cialdini et al. (1975) found 45 years ago. That is, participants were more likely to comply with a target request after turning down an extreme request than participants who were exposed to the target request only or to a similarly small request before being exposed to the target request. These findings support the idea that reciprocity norms play a crucial role in DITF strategies. Moreover, the results suggest that at least some social psychological findings can transcend a particular time, place, and population. Further theoretical implications are discussed. 

??? Total deaths due to falls have increased steadily since 1990, nearly doubling by 2017; age-standardised mortality rates have slightly decreased over the same period

The global burden of falls: global, regional and national estimates of morbidity and mortality from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Spencer L James et al. Injury Prevention, Volume 26, Issue Supp 1. Oct 1 2020.


Background Falls can lead to severe health loss including death. Past research has shown that falls are an important cause of death and disability worldwide. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 (GBD 2017) provides a comprehensive assessment of morbidity and mortality from falls.

Methods Estimates for mortality, years of life lost (YLLs), incidence, prevalence, years lived with disability (YLDs) and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) were produced for 195 countries and territories from 1990 to 2017 for all ages using the GBD 2017 framework. Distributions of the bodily injury (eg, hip fracture) were estimated using hospital records.

Results Globally, the age-standardised incidence of falls was 2238 (1990–2532) per 100 000 in 2017, representing a decline of 3.7% (7.4 to 0.3) from 1990 to 2017. Age-standardised prevalence was 5186 (4622–5849) per 100 000 in 2017, representing a decline of 6.5% (7.6 to 5.4) from 1990 to 2017. Age-standardised mortality rate was 9.2 (8.5–9.8) per 100 000 which equated to 695 771 (644 927–741 720) deaths in 2017. Globally, falls resulted in 16 688 088 (15 101 897–17 636 830) YLLs, 19 252 699 (13 725 429–26 140 433) YLDs and 35 940 787 (30 185 695–42 903 289) DALYs across all ages. The most common injury sustained by fall victims is fracture of patella, tibia or fibula, or ankle. Globally, age-specific YLD rates increased with age.

Conclusions This study shows that the burden of falls is substantial. Investing in further research, fall prevention strategies and access to care is critical.


This study represents the first time that GBD estimates for falls have been reported in this level of detail through recent years, and illustrates the substantial amount of mortality and health loss in every country, age group and sex. Globally, total deaths and DALYs due to falls have increased steadily since 1990, with death counts nearly doubling by 2017. Conversely, age-standardised mortality rates and DALY rates have slightly decreased over the same period. At the country level, age-standardised mortality due to falls was highest in the Solomon Islands, India and Vietnam. The patterns of MIRs described in the results of our study emphasise how mortality risk per fall varies substantially by country and reveal that certain areas of the world likely have inadequate capabilities of responding to injurious falls. Since mortality from falls is associated with age and since global populations are generally ageing, it is important for all countries to ensure that their older adult populations as well as their ageing populations have adequate access to caretaking and treatment resources now and in the future.10 More focused research in the countries with the highest MIRs should investigate the specific causes of injury deaths from falls, the associated risk factors, and the circumstances and context of falls in order to target prevention efforts and appropriately allocate treatment resources. We additionally describe how falls have improved in terms of incidence and cause-specific mortality in the highest SDI countries, but that these improvements have not necessarily been experienced in lower SDI countries. This pattern emphasises how it is critical for lower SDI countries to more thoroughly investigate patterns of falls and to invest in prevention and treatment programmes.

Among clinicians, falls are known to be an important risk in certain populations, as they can be an origin of injury that leads to more complex care, such as the otherwise healthy older adult who slips, falls, sustains a femur fracture and then is admitted to the hospital for surgical repair and develops a condition like healthcare-acquired pneumonia. Such vignettes emphasise how a fall can precipitate significant health loss and potentially death. 29However, a young person who falls can also suffer disability the rest of his or her life, leading to income loss, dependence on caretakers and adequate accessibility options. Among the countries with highest incidence in 2017 were Slovenia, Czech Republic and Slovakia—countries with high percentages of rural populations.30 In Slovenia, nearly half of the population lives in a rural area, and there is evidence that falls are less fatal and more frequent in rural older people.31 32 Age-standardised DALY rates were particularly high in specific regions, including Central Europe, Eastern Europe and Australasia. Many of these regions are experiencing intensive ageing of the population.33 Poland, for example, is projected to increase the population aged 65 and over by 4.9 million in the years 2015–2050, requiring significant public healthcare expenditure on therapeutic rehabilitation.34

Research suggests that falls can cause physical harm and psychological and financial harm. A 3-year longitudinal study conducted by Tinetti and Williams explored the short and long-term effects of a fall on the well-being of those 65 and older. Among the participants, injurious falls resulted in a variety of conditions, including hip fractures, other fractures and soft tissue injuries; ultimately these injurious falls led to a decline in daily functional status.35 Other research has shown that falling often triggers a fear of falling again, likely impairing one’s sense of mobility and autonomy.9 This fear is a proven risk factor for future falls; thus, one fall can initiate a cascade of negative health outcomes.9 Ultimately, the initial morbidity of a fall can manifest into significant health loss over time, amounting to considerable treatment and care costs.36 Future GBD research may provide estimates on the probability of long-term disability for individuals who sustain injurious falls.

In general, research on the prevention of falls has shown that improving personal health as well as addressing unsafe external factors can be effective in preventing falls. For example, exercise programmes have been shown to reduce falls among community-dwelling individuals aged 65 and older.8 37 A person’s surrounding environment has also been identified as a leading cause of falls,9 10 meaning it is possible to prevent falls through the improvement of living conditions and public spaces, especially if older adults and universal design principles attending to safety are kept in mind when spaces are designed, altered and maintained.38 While some external hazards for falls are well known (eg, slippery surfaces or poor lighting), others are less visible or obvious. For example, in the inpatient setting, a study by Vassallo et al found that the hospital wards with more inpatient beds within the sightline of the nursing station had fewer falls than the ward with poor visibility between beds and the nursing station.39 Location-specific research in falls prevention has also shown that exercise, home modification, educational materials and vision correction are all important.40 41 It is also important to consider how morbidity or mortality resulting from falls might be mitigated. Clinical literature has supported frequent medication review with avoidance of polypharmacy,42 and dietary supplementation with cholecalciferol (vitamin D3) for select patients as methods to both prevent fall incidents and to help minimise fracture risk, though more recent assessments and recommendations by the US Preventive Services Task Force have revealed mixed results in terms of the benefits of vitamin D supplementation.43–46

Our study has several limitations. The first limitation is a function of our case definition in non-fatal models, where we estimate the incidence of falls that require medical care. While not every fall leads to injury, it is possible that care-seeking behavior with similar injuries could vary by location. Similarly, it is possible that in survey data or routine outpatient care visits, a patient may not report falls in the past year even if they led to minor injuries. Since our case definition includes only falls that lead to injury, our MIR estimates are likely lower than if we included all falls regardless of whether they led to injury requiring medical care. However, since the purpose of estimating those ratios is to illustrate patterns in severity and access to treatment, this limitation does not impact the key themes highlighted in our study. In addition, a general limitation in GBD analysis is that some areas of the world that may have high burden of various diseases and injuries do not have reliable incidence and cause-of-death data, and therefore our estimation process relies more heavily on covariates and regional trends in those areas. Similarly, the nature-of-injury distributions and injury duration parameters rely more heavily on data from higher income locations and Dutch injury data, and therefore may benefit in the future from adding more data sources from lower income locations so that that these parameters can be refined with greater location heterogeneity in future studies. Accordingly, an emphasis of GBD estimation going forward is to continue seeking additional data sources to be used in our modelling process.

Experiences of ending engagements and canceling weddings: Rituals of wedding planning (e.g., trying on a dress and selecting a venue) appear to serve as a catalyst for this process

Beyond cold feet: Experiences of ending engagements and canceling weddings. J. Kale Monk et al. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, July 30, 2020.

Abstract: The engagement period is a critical window to understand stay–leave decisions because it marks a stage when individuals are moving toward lifelong commitment, but do not have the obligations of legal marriage that make dissolution more difficult. According to Inertia Theory, felt momentum can propel couples through relationship transitions without sufficient consideration of their dedication, which could constrain partners in poor quality relationships. Drawing from this perspective, we examined how individuals reduce relationship momentum and end a marital engagement. We conducted interviews with individuals who made the decision to end their engagements and cancel their weddings (N = 30). Experiences were analyzed using grounded theory techniques. The core concept we identified, visualizing, consisted of imagining a relational future (or alternative present) that became heightened during the engagement period. Rituals of wedding planning (e.g., trying on a dress and selecting a venue) appear to serve as a catalyst for this process. This cognitive shift prompted individuals to slow relational momentum (e.g., through trial separations and the returning of rings) and reconsider “red flags” and constraints to leaving the relationship. Once participants decided to leave, they described the process of breaking off the engagement and uncoupling from their partners. Family members and friends who assisted in managing the emotional fallout and logistics of ending the engagement (e.g., canceling with vendors and informing guests) were reported as particularly helpful supports. Visualizing married life beyond the wedding may be leveraged to help individuals navigate premarital doubts.

Keywords: Courtship, decision-making, dissolution, family rituals, qualitative research

Fear of missing out: Across age cohorts, low self-esteem and loneliness were each associated with high levels of FoMO, particularly for individuals who were also engaged in relatively greater social media activity

Fear of missing out (FoMO): A generational phenomenon or an individual difference. Christopher T. Barry, Megan Y. Wong. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, August 7, 2020.

Abstract: Fear of missing out (FoMO) regarding activities within one’s social circle is a potential downside of the advent of social media and more rapid forms of communication. To examine potential generational or individual implications of FoMO, this study considered age cohort differences and self-perception correlates of FoMO. Participants were 419 individuals from throughout the U.S. who were members of 14- to 17-year-old, 24- to 27-year-old, 34- to 37-year-old, or 44- to 47-year-old cohorts. There were no cohort differences in overall FoMO, FoMO regarding close friends, or FoMO regarding family members. Across age cohorts, low self-esteem and loneliness were each associated with high levels of FoMO, particularly for individuals who were also engaged in relatively greater social media activity. Thus, the present findings indicate that FoMO concerning others’ activities may be particularly problematic for some individuals who are highly engaged with social media.

Keywords Fear of missing out, self-compassion, social media engagement

Check also Fear of missing out: prevalence, dynamics, and consequences of experiencing FOMO. Marina Milyavskaya et al. Motivation and Emotion, Mar 2018.

More worried about the prospects for boys than for girls, & for their own sons more than their own daughters; conservatives & men are most concerned about boys in general, but liberals are most worried about their own sons

Americans are more worried about their sons than their daughters. Richard V. Reeves and Ember Smith. Brookings, Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

Gender equality has been very much on the agenda in recent years. The challenges facing girls and women on many fronts are clear, including access to reproductive health care, protection from harassment in the workplace, labor force participation and rewards, and representation at the highest levels of politics and business.

But Americans are in general more worried about the prospects for boys than for girls, and for their own sons more than their own daughters, according to new data from the American Family Survey. Conservatives and men are most concerned about boys in general – but liberals are most worried about their own sons. These views may be influencing political trends, and in particular the growing partisanship gap between men and women.  


Americans are more worried about boys in general. Forty-one percent agree or strongly agree with the statement “I am worried about boys in the United States becoming successful adults,” compared to 33% saying the same for girls. But there is a big partisan divide here. Half (48%) of conservatives are worried about boys, and only 28% are worried about girls. Liberals, by contrast, are if anything slightly more worried about girls (44% compared to 41%). There is also a gender gap: 45% of men are worried about boys, only 31% are worried about girls. Overall, women are also more worried about boys than about girls, but by a much smaller margin (38% compared to 35%). 

14.6% of the general population reported insufficient left-right identification that 42.9% of individuals use a hand-related strategy

Distinguishing left from right: A large scale investigation of left right confusion in healthy individuals. Ineke van der Ham, H. Chris Dijkerman, Haike van Stralen. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, October 8, 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: The ability to distinguish left from right has been shown to vary substantially within healthy individuals, yet its characteristics and mechanisms are poorly understood. In three experiments, we focused on a detailed description of the ability to distinguish left from right, the role of individual differences, and further explored the potential underlying mechanisms. In Experiment 1, a questionnaire concerning self-reported Left-Right Identification (LRI) and strategy use was administered. Objective assessment was used in Experiment 2 by means of vocal responses to line drawings of a figure, with the participants’ hands in a spatially neutral position. In Experiment 3, the arm positions and visibility of the hands were manipulated to assess whether bodily posture influences left right decisions. Results indicate that 14.6% of the general population reported insufficient LRI and that 42.9% of individuals use a hand-related strategy. Furthermore, we found that spatial alignment of the participants’ arms with the stimuli increased performance, in particular with a hand-related strategy and females. Performance was affected only by the layout of the stimuli, not by the position of the participant during the experiment. Taken together, confusion about left and right occurs within healthy population to a limited extent, and a hand-related strategy affects LRI. Moreover, the process involved appears to make use of a stored body representation and not bottom-up sensory input. Therefore, we suggest a top-down body representation is the key mechanism in determining left and right, even when this is not explicitly part of the task.

Keywords: left-right identification, body representation, individual differences

People shy away from renting products that have a sentimental meaning for the owner, for fear of the increased responsibility

Why We Don't Rent What Others Love: The Role of Product Attachment in Consumer‐to‐Consumer Transactions. Antje R. H. Graul  Aaron R. Brough. Journal of Consumer Psychology, September 13 2020.

Rolf Degen's take: 

Abstract: When listing a possession for rent on a consumer‐to‐consumer platform, owners typically write a brief product description. Such descriptions often include attachment cues—indications that the owner is emotionally attached to the product. How does knowing that an owner is sharing a possession that has sentimental value impact rental likelihood? Evidence from secondary data and four experiments suggests that although some owners mistakenly expect attachment cues to enhance a product's appeal, attachment cues instead tend to deter prospective renters. We attribute this effect to renters' desire to avoid the responsibility of protecting (e.g., from damage, loss, or theft) an item to which the owner is emotionally attached. Whereas prior research has examined how product attachment influences owners' decisions, we show how an owners' expression of attachment affects others involved in a transaction. By refuting the lay theories of some owners about how to attract renters, our findings provide practical implications for owners and the platforms that connect them to users in the multi‐billion‐dollar consumer‐to‐consumer rental market.