Monday, October 11, 2021

Greater narcissism was associated with women’s preferences to retain their birth name, & with men’s desires for both partners to use his name

Emerging adults’ preferred surnames: Reasons and social cognitive dispositions. Laura Stafford, Susan L. Kline, Xiaodan Hu. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, October 10, 2021.

Abstract: Surname practices in the U.S. are believed to reflect and reinforce the enduring patriarchal nature of U.S. society. Yet, some women and men reject patriarchal expectations. Calls for research accounting for such individual variations have been made. We examine the role that dispositional differences play in preferences for and reasoning about marital surnames in a sample of U.S. heterosexual women and men. With an online survey, we examined 799 heterosexual unmarried emerging adults’ (mean age = 19.9) preferences for their own and a future partner’s surname, reasons for their preferences, and associations with social cognitive dispositions relevant to self- and other-orientations: narcissism and perspective-taking. The findings suggest greater flexibility about women’s surname preferences than previously reported. Approximately one-third of men and women were open to nontraditional options. Reasons for preferences included heritage, tradition, masculinity norms, conceptions of marriage and family, identity, family pressures, and practical reasons. After controlling for age, relational status, traditionalism, autonomy, and career aspirations, lower perspective-taking was predictive of women’s preferences for both partners to retain their birth names, whereas greater narcissism was associated with women’s preferences to retain their birth name. Greater narcissism was associated with men’s desires for both partners to use his name. Taken together, the addition of individual difference dispositions provides greater insight into surname preferences and reasons for those preferences beyond gender masculinity norms.

Keywords: Surnames, emerging adulthood, narcissism, perspective-taking, patriarchy, gender

There is vidence suggesting that in martial arts competitions athletes characterized by higher anxiety & harm avoidance may be more likely to lose a fight; cortisol is higher in losers before and in response to a competition

Cortisol, Temperament and Serotonin in Karate Combats: An Evolutionary Psychobiological Perspective. Davide Ponzi, Harold Dadomo, Laura Filonzi, Paola Palanza, Annalisa Pelosi, Graziano Ceresini, Stefano Parmigiani & Francesco Nonnis Marzano. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, Oct 4 2021.


Objectives: There is evidence suggesting that in martial arts competitions athletes characterized by higher anxiety and harm avoidance may be more likely to lose a fight. This psychological profile has been hypothesized to explain in part the observation that cortisol is higher in losers before and in response to a competition. An important research target that needs further exploration is the identification of phenotypic traits that can be helpful in predicting athletes’ performance. Here we present a brief description of the theoretical bases that drives our research in the evolutionary psychobiology of sports and illustrate preliminary data on the relationship between the 5HTTLPR genotype, salivary cortisol, temperament and competition.

Methods: Sixty-five healthy male non-professional athletes provided saliva samples 10 min before and after a kumite session and filled out the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire.

Results: Salivary cortisol levels 10 min before the competition were higher in losers and in athletes with the S allele. Temperament was associated with competition outcome and cortisol: losers were characterized by higher scores of harm avoidance and harm avoidance was positively correlated with cortisol levels.

Conclusions: The results confirm previous findings linking temperamental traits, pre-and post- competition physiological stress response with competition outcome in kumite fight. Moreover, they indicate an association between the 5HTTLPR polymorphism and pre-competition salivary cortisol, thus providing a preliminary but non-conclusive evidence on the role played by the 5HTTLPR genotype as a vulnerability factor in sport competition.


A crucial challenge for sport scientists is to identify the psychobiological substrates (i.e., personality, genes and hormones) that are associated with athletes’ superior performance. Provided that sports are a ritualized form of competition evolved for access to primary and secondary fitness relevant resources, we expect successful athletes to show a cluster of functionally adapted traits. Natural selection should favor the co-evolution of traits if their covariation has increased animals’ performance throughout their evolutionary past. For example, if a specific type of personality is positively correlated with higher fitness, other traits that share the same genes, either through negative pleiotropy or linkage disequilibrium (Svensson et al., 2021) or physiological bases (Dochtermann, 2011; Kern et al., 2016; McGlothlin & Ketterson, 2008) with the personality trait should be more frequently found in the same individual.

In the present study we were interested to know if winners and losers of a karate fight could be identified by their scores in three different psychobiological traits. We found that salivary cortisol levels 10 min before the competition were higher in athletes that lost the fight, but no differences were found between winners and losers for salivary cortisol reactivity. Athletes that lost the fight had on average higher levels of harm avoidance while no relationships of the 5HTTLPR polymorphism with competition outcome or harm avoidance were found. However, we provide preliminary evidence showing that athletes with the SS genotype might have on average higher pre-competition levels of salivary cortisol, an interesting insight in light of several studies reporting a role played by the 5HTTLPR polymorphism in managing sport anxiety (Petito et al., 20162021; Sanhueza et al., 2016).

Within the animal literature, subjects that tend to win fights are characterized by a cluster of behavioral, physiological and neurobiological characteristics such as higher aggressiveness, higher risk-approach behavior and lower HPAA responses to challenges (Koolhaas et al., 1999; Korte et al., 2005). Currently, there is still an open debate on the role played by cortisol in predicting competition outcome in martial arts (Casto & Edwards, 2016a; Filaire et al., 2009; Jiménez et al., 2012; Papacosta et al., 2016; Parmigiani et al., 20062009; Salvador et al., 2003; Suay et al., 1999). Likewise, the role played by psychological factors such as mood and personality in relation to competition performance and especially on winning and losing has been extensively studied (Casanova et al., 2015; Casto & Edwards, 2016b; Casto et al., 2017; Gonzalez-Bono et al., 1999; Salvador & Costa, 2009; Salvador, 2005; Suay et al., 1999; Zilioli & Watson, 2013), but a direct translation of the evolutionary concept of coping strategies and evolved, correlated traits such as personality and physiological responses has not yet been produced. Our finding that 85% of karate fighters could be predicted to be winners or losers based on their harm avoidance score and pre-competition cortisol levels is very interesting in his regard.

It is important to highlight that the single, pre-competition measure of cortisol of our study cannot unequivocally be considered an anticipatory response of the HPA axis to the competition. Instead, it possible that these higher levels of cortisol found in losers represent a stable trait of those people that experience higher everyday anxiety and stress because of their higher scores of harm avoidance. Some authors have suggested that elevated scores of harm avoidance may predispose individuals to experience psychological distress, fear, anxiety and low mood (Farmer & Seeley, 2009; Trouillet & Gana, 2008) and harm avoidance appears related with the magnitude of HPA axis activation (Tyrka et al., 2008). Thus, perhaps athletes that went on to lose the fight were already stressed out by similar daily hussles unrelated to the karate competition.

Lastly, the 5HTTLPR polymorphism was not predictive of victory or defeat nor of temperament, despite being correlated with pre-competition salivary cortisol. This should not be surprising for several reasons. We should not expect a single candidate gene to be predictive of competition outcome. Specifically in relation to behavioral coping strategies, genetic variation in genes related to other neurotransmitters such as dopamine may be important. In this regard, the dopamine transporter genotype 9/9 and allele 9 that have been reported to be highly frequent in Olympic athletes (Filonzi et al., 2015). However, the effects of candidate genes on personality (and perhaps on behavioral coping strategies) are probably very small, while the role played by many variants with small effects is more likely (Penke & Jokela, 2016). Finally, it is possible that the lack of a correlation between harm avoidance and the s allele could be due by the choice of the personality measure and by the lack of statistical power. In fact, the presence and strength of a SS genotype-anxiety link has been found to depend on the personality measures used and on sample size. For example, the neuroticism dimension of the Big Five personality inventory but not harm avoidance is strongly correlated with the 5HTTLPR polymorphism (Sen et al., 2004). Yet, the possible relationship between harm avoidance and the5HTTLPR polymorphism should not be discarded since a recent study carried out with high level Italian athletes reported that those with higher scores of harm avoidance were more likely to have the s allele (Petito et al., 2021). Perhaps more important, the sample size of our study is a limitation for these kinds of research questions (Miller et al., 2013).