Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Personal values are desirable, trans-situational goals guiding principles in people’s lives; they have wide-ranging effects on attitudes, emotions and behavior

How Do Values Affect Behavior? Let Me Count the Ways. Lilach Sagiv, Sonia Roccas. Personality and Social Psychology Review, May 28, 2021.

Abstract: The impact of personal values on preferences, choices, and behaviors has evoked much interest. Relatively little is known, however, about the processes through which values impact behavior. In this conceptual article, we consider both the content and the structural aspects of the relationships between values and behavior. We point to unique features of values that have implications to their relationships with behavior and build on these features to review past research. We then propose a conceptual model that presents three organizing principles: accessibility, interpretation, and control. For each principle, we identify mechanisms through which values and behavior are connected. Some of these mechanisms have been exemplified in past research and are reviewed; others call for future research. Integrating the knowledge on the multiple ways in which values impact behavior deepens our understanding of the complex ways through which cognition is translated into action.

Keywords: personal values, values and behavior, personality structure, individual differences

From 2010... Insecure individuals presented themselves as warm, engaging, & humorous people when communicating with potential mates; insecure people have numerous dating tactics & positive qualities to display to win over romantic partners

Adult attachment and dating strategies: How do insecure people attract mates? Claudia Chloe Brumbaugh, R. Chris Fraley. Personal Relationships, November 4 2010.

Abstract: When asked to choose among secure or insecurely attached partner prototypes, research shows that people tend to select secure individuals as their first choice. Despite this pattern, not everyone chooses secure partners in reality. The goal of this study was to examine the ways in which insecure individuals present themselves that might make them attractive to others. To achieve this goal, participants were led to believe that they were interacting with a possible date. That insecure individuals presented themselves as warm, engaging, and humorous people when communicating with potential mates were found. These findings suggest that insecure people have numerous dating tactics and positive qualities that they display to win over romantic partners.

Women in different-sex couples less likely to report taking care of distressed spouse’s tasks or giving spouse more personal time/space (compared to same-sex women or men); men in different-sex couples less likely to report encouraging spouse to talk

Support in response to a spouse’s distress: Comparing women and men in same-sex and different-sex marriages. Mieke Beth Thomeer, Amanda M. Pollitt, Debra Umberson. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, March 3, 2021.

Abstract: Support for a spouse with psychological distress can be expressed in many different ways. Previous research indicates that support expression is shaped by gender, but we do not know much about how support within marriage is provided in response to a spouse’s distress outside of a different-sex couple context. In this study, we analyze dyadic data from 378 midlife married couples (35–65 years; N = 756 individuals) within the U.S. to examine how men and women in same- and different-sex relationships provide support when they perceive that their spouse is experiencing distress. We find women in different-sex couples are less likely to report taking care of their distressed spouse’s tasks or giving their distressed spouse more personal time and space compared to women in same-sex couples and men. We also find that men in different-sex couples are less likely to report encouraging their spouse to talk compared to men in same-sex couples and women. Being personally stressed by a spouse’s distress is positively associated with providing support to that spouse, whereas feeling that a spouse’s distress is stressful for the marriage is negatively associated with providing support. This study advances understanding of gendered provisions of support in response to psychological distress in marriage, moving beyond a framing of women as fundamentally more supportive than men to a consideration of how these dynamics may be different or similar in same- and different-sex marital contexts.

Keywords: Distress, dyadic data analysis, gay/lesbian relationships, gender, gender differences, marriage, mental health, social support, stress

Are couples w/at least one secure-attach person satisfied (buffering hypothesis)? Contrary to the author's expectations, secure partners do not “buffer” insecurely attached individuals

Dyadic effects of attachment and relationship functioning. Elizabeth B. Lozano et al. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, March 5, 2021.

Abstract: Some scholars have proposed that people in couples in which at least one person is secure are just as satisfied as people in which both members are secure (i.e., buffering hypothesis). The present investigation tested this hypothesis by examining how relationship satisfaction varies as a function of the attachment security of both dyad members. Secondary analyses were performed using data from two studies (Study 1: 172 couples; Study 2: 194 couples) in which heterosexual dating couples were asked to complete self-reports of their own attachment style and relationship satisfaction. To evaluate the buffering hypothesis, we fit a standard APIM using SEM and added an actor × partner interaction term to our model. Contrary to expectations, our results suggested that secure partners do not “buffer” insecurely attached individuals. Moreover, partner attachment did not explain satisfaction much above and beyond actor effects. This work addresses a gap in the literature with respect to the dynamic interplay of partner pairing, allowing scholars to better understand attachment processes in romantic relationships.

Keywords: APIM, attachment, dyadic data, romantic relationships, satisfaction

The authors argue eating behavior is highly intertwined with learning and memory processes; they suggest memory systems may have evolved to help animals obtain food

Eating Behavior as a New Frontier in Memory Research. Benjamin M. Seitz, A. Janet Tomiyama, Aaron P. Blaisdell. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, June 2 2021.


• We argue eating behavior is highly intertwined with learning and memory processes.

• We review a wide range of literature to support this position.

• We identify existing gaps of knowledge and highlight areas for future research.

• We suggest memory systems may have evolved to help animals obtain food.

Abstract: The study of memory is commonly associated with neuroscience, aging, education, and eyewitness testimony. Here we discuss how eating behavior is also heavily intertwined—and yet considerably understudied in its relation to memory processes. Both are influenced by similar neuroendocrine signals (e.g., leptin and ghrelin) and are dependent on hippocampal functions. While learning processes have long been implicated in influencing eating behavior, recent research has shown how memory of recent eating modulates future consumption. In humans, obesity is associated with impaired memory performance, and in rodents, dietary-induced obesity causes rapid decrements to memory. Lesions to the hippocampus disrupt memory but also induce obesity, highlighting a cyclic relationship between obesity and memory impairment. Enhancing memory of eating has been shown to reduce future eating and yet, little is known about what influences memory of eating or how memory of eating differs from memory for other behaviors. We discuss recent advancements in these areas and highlight fruitful research pursuits afforded by combining the study of memory with the study of eating behavior.

Keywords: memoryeating behaviormnemonic control of eatingepisodic memoryobesityevolution

The sustainability of “local” food: a review for policy-makers

The sustainability of “local” food: a review for policy-makers. Alexander J. Stein & Fabien Santini. Review of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Studies, May 25 2021.

Abstract: In the political discussion, the promotion of local food systems and short supply chains is sometimes presented as a means to increase the resilience of the food system, e.g. in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is also suggested as a means to improve the environmental footprint of the food system. Differentiating between local food systems and short supply chains, a review of the literature on the environmental, social and economic dimensions of sustainability is carried out. “Local food” cannot simply be equated with “sustainable food”; in most cases, it neither can ensure food security nor does it necessarily have a lower carbon footprint. For the environmental sustainability of food systems, many more factors matter than just transportation, not least consumers’ dietary choices. In terms of social sustainability, local food systems are not necessarily more resilient, but they can contribute to rural development and a sense of community. In terms of economic sustainability, selling via short supply chains into local markets can benefit certain farmers, while for other producers it can be more profitable to supply international markets.

Sustainability of local food systems

Environmental sustainability

Greenhouse gas emissions

In the general discussion, local food is most often linked to sustainability via the concept of “food miles”, i.e. the idea that transport-related emissions are so important that they can be used to determine a product’s “carbon footprint”. By extension, the suggestion is that local food is more sustainable because it is transported less. While this idea might be intuitive at first glance, it ignores the fact that there are many elements that impact a product’s carbon footprint more than transportation, such as land use, production processes or storage (Ritchie & Roser, 2020). Farmers who operate in more favourable environments and are more productive may therefore be able to compensate for the greater “food miles” of their produce.

The carbon footprint of food systems is much more influenced by consumers’ dietary choices than by the “localness” of the food they buy (Benis & Ferrão, 2017; Carlsson-Kanyama & González, 2009; Ritchie, 2020; Webb et al., 2013). Even eating more seasonal food, another common proposition to decrease the carbon footprint of food, is only another element of a sustainable diet that is overshadowed by the greater environmental and health benefits of dietary change, in particular to reduce overconsumption of meat (Macdiarmid, 2014). Similarly, carbon footprint reductions in local food systems can mainly be achieved with a reduction in animal source foods (Puigdueta et al., 2021).

Even when only looking at transportation, “localness” can be a poor guide to determine a product’s carbon footprint as, e.g., cargo ships or trains can exploit economies of scale and be relatively less polluting over longer distances than small trucks over shorter distances (Bell & Horvath, 2020; Schmitt et al., 2017; Tasca et al., 2017). Similarly, if consumers visit individual local producers, their carbon emissions can be greater than the emissions from the systems of large-scale suppliers (Coley et al., 2009). In short, it seems to be impossible to state that because of their localness, local food systems produce lower emissions compared to conventional ones (Paciarotti & Torregiani, 2021).

Therefore, in the literature, there is general agreement that “local” cannot be used as a proxy, let alone a guarantee, for lower greenhouse gas emissions (Table 1). “‘Longer’ supply channels generate lower environmental impacts” in terms of carbon footprint (Malak-Rawlikowska et al., 2019), and “long food supply chains may generate less negative environmental impacts than short chains (in terms of fossil fuel energy consumption, pollution, and GHG emissions)… environmental impacts of the food distribution process are not only determined by the geographical distance” (Majewski et al., 2020). In fact, transport-related GHG emissions represent only 5–6% of total GHG emissions of global food production (Crippa et al., 2021; Ritchie & Roser, 2020). The notable exception where transport can indeed be used as an indicator for a product’s poor carbon footprint is food that is transported by plane (Carlsson-Kanyama & González, 2009; Schwarz et al., 2016).

Table 1 The performance of local food systems on key sustainability criteria

Other environmental impacts

Also in terms of other environmental impacts, local food systems are not necessarily more sustainable than systems that operate at larger scales. For instance, local food systems may require more intensive farming to produce enough food to satisfy the local demand, but while agricultural intensification can ensure greater productivity, it also causes environmental stresses (Pradhan et al., 2015). If instead cropland was expanded, also such an expansion has negative impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services (Pradhan et al., 2014). For instance, in the USA, localising maize production would cause a 2.7 million ton increase in fertiliser applications and a 50 million pound increase in pesticide use per year, while the required conversion of local natural land to agricultural uses would jeopardise biodiversity (Sexton, 2009). Also regarding these other impacts, the methods of production and of processing are important for ensuring less environmental impact; “local” or “short” is not necessarily better (Kneafsey et al., 2013).

On the other hand, local food systems that rely on short supply chains may require less packaging and reduce food losses that otherwise occur at the production and retail stages (Galli & Brunori, 2015; Tasca et al., 2017). Similarly, short supply chains can be conducive to environmentally sounder practices, e.g. due to the closer or even direct contact between consumers and the producers. And for a successful circular economy, spatial location can also be one factor (among others) (Kiss et al., 2019). Still, it is not possible to generalise, and local food does not automatically reduce negative environmental externalities (Paciarotti & Torregiani, 2021).

Social sustainability

Food security and resilience

Apart from environmental impacts of local food systems, for sustainability also social aspects matter. In this regard, an important consideration is the question if local food systems can ensure food security and if they are more resilientFootnote1. Given the differences in agro-ecological and climate conditions across localities and regions, and given vastly different population densities (urbanisation), it is perhaps not surprising that there is agreement in the literature that local food systems generally cannot ensure food security and that resilience is enhanced by strategically diversifying the food supply via trade rather than by limiting it to local production (Table 1).

In fact, less than one-third of the global population would be capable of meeting its food demand from local crop production (even if food waste is reduced, yield gaps are closed, and diets are adjusted to more efficient crop mixes), and only 11–28% could fulfil their demand for specific crops within a 100-km radius. For 26–64% of the population, that distance is even greater than 1000 km, with substantial variation between different regions and crops (Kinnunen et al., 2020). For rice and maize, only 10% of the global population can theoretically fulfil their demand within 100 km, while for other cereals and pulses less than 25% can meet their demand in foodsheds with such a relatively small radius (Verstegen, 2020). Even if foodsheds were defined at a transnational level, large parts of the globe would still depend on trade to feed themselves (Kinnunen et al., 2020). If not just staple food or calories are considered but all the nutrients, the foodsheds required for a balanced diet become even bigger (Costello et al., 2021).

Only about 400 million people worldwide live in an area where locally (within less than 100 km2) enough varieties of the food groups are produced to sustain their existing dietary compositions. Even at a continental scale, the number of food self-sufficient people increases only to around 3.3 billion (Pradhan et al., 2014). This shows the importance of international trade and global products in meeting food demands and ensuring food security (Karg et al., 2016; Pradhan et al., 2014; Schmitt et al., 2017). For instance, in Europe, international trade helped safeguard food security during the heat wave in 2003 (Puma et al., 2015).

On the other hand, countries can have legitimate concerns about risks associated with excessive reliance on trade for their food supplies (Clapp, 2017). Food security can be threatened not only by regional climate-related shocks, but also by price volatility and changes in global markets (D’Odorico et al., 2014). Therefore, while trade allows mitigating the impact of local variability of supply, to increase the resilience of the system overall and to ensure food security also in times of crises, a balance has to be struck between relying on local food production and suitably diversified trade in food products.

Similarly, regarding the affordability of food, there is little evidence that short supply chains improve consumers’ access to affordable healthy food (Galli & Brunori, 2015). For instance in Europe, local food systems can increase prices of livestock products due to the shortening of feed supply chains and concomitant increases in production costs (Deppermann et al., 2018). In contrast, global food products present substantial advantages in terms of affordability, in particular for middle and low-income consumers (Schmitt et al., 2017).

Other social impacts

When it comes to other social impacts, the literature mentions several benefits of local food systems, particularly aspects of care and links to the territory (Schmitt et al., 2017). When production and processing occurs locally, it is influenced by local heritage and consumption patterns (Galli et al., 2015), contributes to the revitalisation of rural areas, provides new job opportunities especially for young people, boosts farmers’ self-esteem and helps create relationships between city and countryside (Mancini et al., 2019; Mundler & Laughrea, 2016), which can promote community development (Karg et al., 2016). The stability of local food systems may be overestimated, though, as there can be substantial flux of actors and social networks can decay over time (Brinkley et al., 2021).

However, in the literature, social benefits are more often linked to short food supply chains rather than to local food systems as such. It is short supply chains that can favour the interaction and connection between farmers and consumers and thereby promote the development of trust and social capital that in turn can generate a sense of local identity and community and contribute to social inclusion (Galli & Brunori, 2015; Kiss et al., 2019; Kneafsey et al., 2013; Vittersø et al., 2019). Short supply chains can also promote the social and professional recognition of farmers (Mundler & Laughrea, 2016).

Economic sustainability

Benefits for producers

Economic aspects of food systems are also important in the context of sustainability. As the previous sections already have shown, local food systems do not necessarily provide consumers with more affordable food, but they may contribute to rural development and help create employment, which benefits rural populations. In this section, the focus is on whether local food systems help farmers increase their viability and profitability.

In the literature, also economic benefits are more often linked to short supply chains than to local food systems as such. And while consumers can have a greater willingness to pay for local food (Printezis et al., 2019), there are indications that short supply chains can result in better prices for producers and that farmers can appropriate more added value and thereby improve their income, e.g. by selling part of their output in their own outlets to reduce costs while gaining reputation (Malak-Rawlikowska et al., 2019; Mancini et al., 2019; Schmitt et al., 2017). To the extent that they are successful and increase local financial flows, local food systems can also have positive multiplier effects on local economies and allow the exploitation of synergies with the tourism sector (Kneafsey et al., 2013; Mancini et al., 2019). The contribution of the food system to local economies of rural areas is limited, though, and other opportunities to drive rural change may be greater, such as the provision of better medical and transport services and of faster internet (OECD, 2020).

However, short supply chains usually rely on the commercialisation of high-quality agricultural products and on consumers’ readiness to pay more for products they know and trust because they understand the “real” costs of production (de Fazio, 2016; Galli & Brunori, 2015). Therefore, the demand for local products may be limited by the number of consumers who can afford to pay higher prices, or who are willing to do so, and eventually sales may stagnate due to plateauing consumer interest (Low et al., 2015). Due to the small scales of local systems and the sourcing of inputs through shorter supply chains, local producers may also be constrained in how much they can reduce their production costs (Deppermann et al., 2018; Kneafsey et al., 2013).

Trade benefits

For instance, in the European Union (EU), agricultural products account for about 8% of the Union’s total international trade, and over the last 10 years, its trade in agricultural products grew on average 5% per year, with exports growing faster than imports (EC, 2020b). In particular, agri-food products with protected “geographical indications” are profitable as their sales value is on average double that for similar but uncertified products—and more than 20% of their total worth of about €75 billion are generated through exports outside the Union (EC, 2020c). In contrast, little more than 50% of the products with geographical indications are sold within the country where they are produced (AND, 2021), and it is safe to assume that only a fraction of that is sold locally in the area where they are produced.

Serving local markets can benefit certain farmers, especially those who are located close to urban areas where there are enough consumers with the purchasing power and the willingness to pay for local premium products. However, other producers benefit from being able to sell quality products on regional and global markets, and they would suffer if they were limited to producing for their local area.

Women significantly hid more being the victim of sexual assault & that they had practiced/were interested in BDSM/kink play; men kept secret that they had engaged in sex with multiple partners at the same time

Gender Differences in Sex Secret Disclosure to a Romantic Partner. Keely Fox, Alexandria M. Ashley, Lacey J. Ritter, Tara Martin & David Knox. Sexuality & Culture, Jun 1 2021.

Abstract: This research investigated whether there are gender differences in revealing sex secrets to a romantic partner, including the number and type of secrets kept; method of disclosure; and outcome of that disclosure. Analysis of data from a 39-item Internet questionnaire completed by 195 undergraduate students revealed that over a third (36%) of respondents reported having one or more sex secrets, with gendered differences in the type of sex secrets being kept. Analyses revealed that women hid being the victim of sexual assault and/or that they had practiced or were interested in BDSM/kink play significantly more often than men. Men, by contrast, kept secret that they had engaged in sex with multiple partners at the same time (i.e., a ‘threesome’) significantly more often than women. Women hid their sex secrets because they feared their partners would not understand their past actions; men worried that their romantic partner would disapprove of their secret behaviors, whether understanding such experiences or not. Overall, both genders reported that disclosing sex secrets to their romantic partners had a positive outcome, individually and interpersonally.

Check also “Thanks for Telling Me”: The Impact of Disclosing Sex Secrets on Romantic Relationships. Lacey J. Ritter, Tara Martin, Keely Fox, David Knox & Susan Milstein. Sexuality & Culture, Jan 18 2021.

First evidence that the ability to generate visual imagery increases the likelihood of experiencing complex and vivid anomalous percepts, compared to individuals with aphantasia

The Ganzflicker experience: High probability of seeing vivid and complex pseudo-hallucinations with imagery but not aphantasia. Varg T. Königsmark, Johanna Bergmann, Reshanne R. Reeder. Cortex, June 2 2021.

Abstract: There are considerable individual differences in visual mental imagery ability across the general population, including a “blind” mind’s eye, or aphantasia. Recent studies have shown that imagery is linked to differences in perception in the healthy population, and clinical work has found a connection between imagery and hallucinatory experiences in neurological disorders. However, whether imagery ability is associated with anomalous perception – including hallucinations – in the general population remains unclear. In the current study, we explored the relationship between imagery ability and the anomalous perception of pseudo-hallucinations (PH) using rhythmic flicker stimulation (“Ganzflicker”). Specifically, we investigated whether the ability to generate voluntary imagery is associated with susceptibility to flicker-induced PH. We additionally explored individual differences in observed features of PH. We recruited a sample of people with aphantasia (aphants) and imagery (imagers) to view a constant red-and-black flicker for approximately 10 minutes. We found that imagers were more susceptible to PH, and saw more complex and vivid PH, compared to aphants. This study provides the first evidence that the ability to generate visual imagery increases the likelihood of experiencing complex and vivid anomalous percepts.

Keywords: mental imageryhallucinationsindividual differencesaphantasiavisual flicker