Thursday, December 9, 2021

Life in space habitats may: detrimentally impact the sexual functions of astronauts, restrict privacy & access to intimate partners, impose hygiene protocols & abstinence policies, and heighten sexual violence risks

The Case for Space Sexology. S. Dubé,M. Santaguida,D. Anctil,L. Giaccari &J. Lapierre. The Journal of Sex Research, Dec 8 2021.

Abstract: Space poses significant challenges for human intimacy and sexuality. Life in space habitats during long-term travel, exploration, or settlement may: detrimentally impact the sexual and reproductive functions of astronauts, restrict privacy and access to intimate partners, impose hygiene protocols and abstinence policies, and heighten risks of interpersonal conflicts and sexual violence. Together, this may jeopardize the health and well-being of space inhabitants, crew performance, and mission success. Yet, little attention has been given to the sexological issues of human life in space. This situation is untenable considering our upcoming space missions and expansion. It is time for space organizations to embrace a new discipline, space sexology: the scientific study of extraterrestrial intimacy and sexuality. To make this case, we draw attention to the lack of research on space intimacy and sexuality; discuss the risks and benefits of extraterrestrial eroticism; and propose an initial biopsychosocial framework to envision a broad, collaborative scientific agenda on space sexology. We also underline key anticipated challenges faced by this innovative field and suggest paths to solutions. We conclude that space programs and exploration require a new perspective – one that holistically addresses the intimate and sexual needs of humans – in our pursuit of a spacefaring civilization.

Of all interventions to increase weekly gym visits, the best results were given by microrewards for returning to the gym after a missed workout

Megastudies improve the impact of applied behavioural science. Katherine L. Milkman et al. Nature, Dec 8 2021.

Abstract: Policy-makers are increasingly turning to behavioural science for insights about how to improve citizens’ decisions and outcomes1. Typically, different scientists test different intervention ideas in different samples using different outcomes over different time intervals2. The lack of comparability of such individual investigations limits their potential to inform policy. Here, to address this limitation and accelerate the pace of discovery, we introduce the megastudy—a massive field experiment in which the effects of many different interventions are compared in the same population on the same objectively measured outcome for the same duration. In a megastudy targeting physical exercise among 61,293 members of an American fitness chain, 30 scientists from 15 different US universities worked in small independent teams to design a total of 54 different four-week digital programmes (or interventions) encouraging exercise. We show that 45% of these interventions significantly increased weekly gym visits by 9% to 27%; the top-performing intervention offered microrewards for returning to the gym after a missed workout. Only 8% of interventions induced behaviour change that was significant and measurable after the four-week intervention. Conditioning on the 45% of interventions that increased exercise during the intervention, we detected carry-over effects that were proportionally similar to those measured in previous research3,4,5,6. Forecasts by impartial judges failed to predict which interventions would be most effective, underscoring the value of testing many ideas at once and, therefore, the potential for megastudies to improve the evidentiary value of behavioural science.

Creativity: Contrarianism

Contrarianism. Mark A Runco, Director of Creativity Research & Programming, Southern Oregon University, Ashland. In Encyclopedia of Creativity 3rd ed. Prinzter, Runco eds. Elsevier 2020.


Mickey Mouse was created by Walt Disney in the late 1920s. Mickey was a result of collaboration; Disney worked with his brother Roy and Ub Iwerks. Walt could no longer use his ‘star performer,’ Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, because his previous distributor held the rights. Disney needed a new star, and Mickey was conceived.

Why a mouse? As a matter of fact Walt wanted a cat. He discussed this with Roy and Ub, and they decided on a mouse. That decision was implicitly contrarian because Disney and his collaborators wanted to do what no one else was doing. The character Krazy Kat was already widely known and a second feline would be unoriginal. For that reason Walt and his collaborators decided on a mouse – to be different and unique.

Interestingly, the original suggestion was to call the new character ‘Mortimer,’ but Walt’s wife Lily decided that “Mickey” was more appropriate. The discussion between Walt and Lily, summarized inWalt Disney: An American Original (Thomas, 1994), can be described in terms of group dynamics and strategies, Walt being very contrarian, and Lily making sure that the new mouse would have a name which would sound right to the general public. “Mickey Mouse” has a nice ring to it; and like other creative names, labels, and titles, it is fitting in some aesthetic sense. This is true of all creative insights and ideas, not just names, labels, and titles. Creative work is original, but it is more than just original. It is original and fitting. Sometimes the latter is a matter of aesthetic fit. Originality and fit (or effectiveness) are the two requirements of the standard definition of creativity.

Rationale for Contrarianism

There is quite a bit of detail about contrarianism in the economic and investment theories of creativity (Rubenson, 1991; Rubenson & Runco, 1992, 1995; Runco, 1991; Sternberg & Lubart, 1991). The rationale for contrarianism is as follows: Originality is a critical aspect of creativity, and contrarianism has a high probability of leading to an original idea or behavior. It can be very practical because people can mindfully consider what others are doing and then do something different and original. If you just ask them to ‘be original,’ they may have some difficulty. There is often no clear-cut criterion with which they can actually judge their originality. But if you tell them to ‘do what others are not doing,’ they have something concrete to think about and to use in their efforts.

It is easy to be impressed by the contrarian tactic and see its value. There are several reasons. First, as just noted, it is operational and practical. It gives individuals something they can use when judging their ideas or behavior. Second, novel behaviors and actions are salient. For this reason the results of the contrarian effort are obvious. They often capture attention and may thus be rewarding.  Third, it is an easy tactic to explain to others. Teachers, for example, can easily describe this tactic to their charges. A number of empirical projects have demonstrated how easily original thinking can be enhanced with contrarianism and other simple tactics.  Many biographies, autobiographies, and case studies mention contrarianism and tie it to creativity. The next section reviews example cases. The pros and cons of the contrarian tactics will then be discussed, as will limitations of case studies. As is true of all cases, they are merely illustrations, not evidence.

Individuals Who Have Used Contrarian Strategies

Many famous creative persons have used a contrarian tactic, in addition to Walt Disney. Gandhi was a contrarian, especially in his methods of passive resistance. These were fitting and original, given his beliefs and objectives. He found a way to both resist (which is in itself contrarian, at least vis-à-vis the British) and yet remain a passivist. Gandhi’s passive resistance is paradoxical, being both resistance and passive, but this is true of many creative things. Passive resistance was paradoxical, contrarian, creative, and effective.  James Watson, who shared the Nobel Prize for his work on the structure of DNA, was contrarian as well. He collaborated with Francis Crick, and their competition with Linus Pauling was fierce (Watson, 1968). Sometimes competition requires contrarianism in that you do not want others to do what you are doing – or at least not until you have finished or established yourself.  In the medical research field Henry Heimlich (who developed the Heimlich maneuver) was long known as a maverick and nonconformist. Most recently he proposed curing patients with AIDS by giving them malaria. The Los Angeles Times claimed that “this is not the first time the 74-year-old Heimlich’s headstrong approach to medicine has shocked, even outraged the Establishment.” Heimlich was quoted as saying, “I don’t do ordinary things. I don’t follow all the rules if there’s a better, faster way to do it” (Oct. 30, 1994: A30).

The Los Angeles Times also published an article, “Renegades Reinvent the Bicycle.” Apparently the mountain bike – a modification of what Britannica called “the most efficient means yet devised to convert human energy into propulsion” – “came out of nowhere, a product of counterculture – invented by hippies, no less, a ragtag of pot-smokers and Haight–Ashbury drifters who barely got through high school.” Note the term counterculture. This is one way of describing a group of contrarians.

A final example from the Los Angeles Times is Rock ‘n’ Roll. In a 1998 Times book review rock is called “a disagreement with established power – a refutation of authority’s influence” (4/15/98, p. E6). Not that rock ‘n’ roll is the only rebellious kind of music. Duke Ellington was, for instance, quite the contrarian. Arnold Ludwig, author of The Price of Greatness, explained how “Knowingly or not, Ellington exploited traditional musical rules as inspiration for his jazz. If he learned that he was not supposed to use parallel fifths, he immediately would find a way to do so; if told that major sevenths must always rise, he would write a tune in which the line descended from the major seventh; and if the tritone was forbidden, he would find the earliest opportunity to use it and, to emphasize the point, would let it stand alone and exposed” (pp. 7–8).

The comment, “knowingly or not” is critical because by definition tactics and strategies are intentional. Unintentional contrarianism may best be viewed as oppositional thinking, which Ludwig (1995) defined as “the almost automatic tendency to adopt a contrary or opposite response” (pp. 7–8). Both contrarianism and oppositional thinking focus on what others are not doing, but the former is intentional, and thus tied to discretion, while the latter is unintentional and thus less likely to benefit creativity.  Discretion will be discussed further below. But first several other examples of contrarianism should be mentioned.  Ludwig also described the work of Sigmund Freud. Certainly Freud’s work was original, and yet it fit with his observations and with certain lines of medical theory. Freud was oppositional, and perhaps contrarian, in his efforts to do original work and in his nonconformity.

In the arts, Picasso described cubism as follows: “We were trying to move in a direction opposite to Impressionism.” This is pure contrarianism, especially in its direction – namely, opposite to Impressionism. It is not just a reaction to others, and not just different, but opposite. In her chapter in the Creativity Research Handbook Stephanie Dudek argued that the Dadaists and Surrealists were “particularly determined to burn all bridges behind them.” In this light, contrarianism breaks with tradition. That implies that avant-garde is inherently contrarian. As Dudek put it, avant-garde is “by definition art that is ahead of its time, that is shocking, disturbing, and therefore viewed as socially objectionable. Its specific aim is to undermine the existing order and to replace it with another. It attempts to do this by contradiction, challenge, confrontation, and self-assertion.”

Turning from the visual arts, consider next Bruce Lee. He developed an original system of martial arts – Jeet Kune Do – but had to fight the established, traditional schools because they did not want to teach any such techniques outside of Asia. Bruce broke with tradition.

Howard Gruber described how the famed developmental psychologist Jean Piaget used several specific strategies. First, Piaget always thought with a pencil in his hand. This is a simple but useful tactic, given how fleeting creative insights can be. Second, Piaget read outside his own field. Third, he did not read inside his own field. And last, he always had a target or “whipping boy.” The last of these implies working independently, imagining one’s critics, which is a kind of contrarianism. B. F. Skinner also suggested that scientists read outside their own field. This too is a kind of contrarianism, or at least increases the likelihood of it. Avoiding one’s own field is even more contrarian.

Dr Seuss, prolific author of children’s literature, broke rules on every page of every book. He made up his own words, used many an ungrammatical sentence, and defied the laws of physics in the actions of his characters. Gertrude Stein and e. e. cummings also come to mind; they too broke certain literary traditions.  Although instructive, these cases – Disney, Gandhi, Heimlich, Ellington, Freud, Picasso, Piaget, Skinner, Seuss, Stein, and Cummings – are famous creators. Generalizations from them are therefore questionable. As noted above, case studies are always only examples, not evidence.

Contrarianism in the Service of Creativity

Two distinctions will help to determine when contrarianism is in fact associated with creativity. First is the distinction between contrarianism and oppositional thinking. The former is intentional and the latter an unintentional tendency toward nonconformity and unconventionality. Similarly critical is the distinction between contrarianism that is intentionally used for the sake of creativity, and that which is used merely to insure originality and salience. Contrarianism does not guarantee creativity; it can have other outcomes or be directed to other objectives, including originality. But originality does not insure creativity; it is necessary but not sufficient. It follows that contrarianism for the sake of originality may lead only to deviance and not to creativity.  Salience is a possibility because contrarianism does lead to originality – the contrarian is different and unique – but it may just attract attention without actually introducing a truly creative idea or act. Original behaviors and actions are salient and thus do grab our attention. Creativity, on the other hand, probably is much more likely when the intention is creativity rather than mere salience or popularity. This is contrarianism in the service of creativity. When that is the intention, there is likely to be some fit, appropriateness, or effectiveness, as well as originality. Recall here that creativity requires both originality and effectiveness. Contrarianism only contributes to the former and can inhibit the latter.

Even contrarianism in the service of creativity has potential problems. First is what I once called misplaced investments (Runco, 1995). This occurs when the creator uses a contrarian tactic, but does so to the extent that he or she is investing time into being different and therefore not investing time and energy into the topic or problem itself. The investment is misplaced because time invested into being different is often time away from good focused work. This is especially problematic because quite a bit of research suggests that persistence and immersion is often a requirement for creative insights and breakthroughs.  A second potential problem is that contrarianism can lead the individual to break rules that should not be broken. It may be that the creator is reinforced for contrarianism because it leads to creative insights, but then fails to exercise discretion and applies the same tactic in areas where some conventionality should be respected. The proposals from Feldman, Gardner, and Csikszentmihalyi in 1999 and Gruber in 1993, that moral and humanitarian values should be clearly encouraged along with creativity, are relevant here. If contrarianism leads the individual to break the important rules that keep society running smoothly, we have an example of what Robert McLaren called the Dark Side of Creativity. Examples of this were given by Russell Eisenman and Richard Brower in the Special Issue of the Creativity Research Journal which was devoted to Creativity and Deviance. Brower provided long lists of eminent creators who spent time in jail. A more recent branch of this research used the term malevolent creativity. Even more recent empirical work by Jack Goncalo demonstrated how very simple decisions (e.g., about diet) that involve a disregard for rules have clear implications for when individuals have opportunities to act creatively.

Creativity as Postconventional Contrarianism

One useful way to think of contrarianism is as postconventional creativity. The term postconventional originated in developmental theories. It is a mature stage of development and follows the preconventional and conventional stages of development. A child in the first of these stages is unaware of rules, norms, and conventions, and in fact does not recognize the value of rules. His or her games are ever-changing; there are no stable rules to keep the child moving toward an objective. Moral judgments at this age are based on rewards and punishers rather than a sense of right and wrong. The child is, however, often quite creative in art and expression.  Ask a group of preschoolers to draw pretty trees and you will get trees with pink, purple, and polka-dotted rather than green leaves. Preschool children pick their colors based on preference rather than convention. They are highly self-expressive, and that can be a very good thing for creative behavior.

Individuals in the conventional stage are well aware of rules – and in fact hold to very literal interpretations of them. They see the value of conventions. Conventional behavior allows them to fit in with one’s peer group, for instance, but sometimes the conventional individual puts too much effort into doing just that. The result is a tendency away from anything unconventional and original, which means that creativity is not possible. Conventional individuals respond to peer pressure and hate bending rules. This explains the fourth-grade slump in creativity, when many children become noticeably less original in their ideation. Conventionality also leads them to a literal use of language, and it certainly is apparent in their playing games (completely by the rules rather than improvising as needed) and in their art. Children in this stage are likely to only draw trees that have green leaves. Not a polka dot in sight.

The third stage is postconventional. Here the individual is aware of rules, norms, and conventions, but make decisions for him- or herself rather than blindly conforming. Conventions are taken into account, but so is the immediate context. If asked to draw “what trees look like,” leaves may very well be green, but if asked to draw a beautiful tree, the leaves may include rainbow colors or whatever color is the individual’s favorite. This same capacity to recognize conventions but think for one’s self is exactly what was meant earlier by exercising discretion. With discretion, contrarianism will be used appropriately, in the service of creativity. Without discretion, contrarianism is blind and constant, probably oppositional rather than adaptive and effective. Contrarianism must be mindful to capture the originality and effectiveness that are both required for creativity.


Goncalo, J., 2019, August. Presentation at the Festschrift for Teresa Amabile. Harvard Business School, Cambridge, MA.

Ludwig, A., 1995. The Price of Greatness. Guilford Press, New York.

Rubenson, D.L., 1991. On creativity, economics, and baseball. Creativ. Res. J. 4, 205–209.

Rubenson, D.L., Runco, M.A., 1992. The psychoeconomic approach to creativity. New Ideas Psychol. 10, 131–147.

Rubenson, D.L., Runco, M.A., 1995. The psychoeconomic view of creative work in groups and organizations. Creativ. Innov. Manag. 4, 232–241.

Runco, M.A., 1991. On economic theories of creativity (Comment). Creativ. Res. J. 4, 198–200.

Runco, M.A., 1995. Insight for creativity, expression for impact. Creativ. Res. J. 8, 377–390.

Sternberg, R.J., Lubart, T., 1991. Short selling investment theories of creativity? A reply to Runco. Creativ. Res. J. 4, 200–202.

Thomas, B., 1994. Walt Disney: An American Original Disney.

Watson, J.D., 1968. The Double Helix. New American Library, New York.


Does Godwin’s law (rule of Nazi analogies) apply in observable reality? An empirical study of selected words in 199 million Reddit posts

Does Godwin’s law (rule of Nazi analogies) apply in observable reality? An empirical study of selected words in 199 million Reddit posts. Gabriele Fariello, Dariusz Jemielniak, Adam Sulkowski. New Media & Society, December 7, 2021.

Abstract: As Godwin’s Law states, “as a discussion on the Internet grows longer, the likelihood of a person being compared to Hitler, or another Nazi reference, increases.” However, even though the theoretical probability of an infinitely long conversation including any term should approach 1.0, in practice, conversations cannot be infinite in length, and this long-accepted axiom is impossible to observe. By analyzing 199 million Reddit posts, we note that, after a certain point, the probability of observing the terms “Nazi” or “Hitler” actually decreases significantly with conversation length. In addition, a corollary of Godwin’s Law holds that “the invocation of Godwin’s Law is usually done by an individual that is losing the argument,” and, thus, that comparisons to Nazis are a signal of a discussion’s end. In other words, comparing one’s interlocutor to Hitler is supposed to be a conversation-killer. While it is difficult to determine whether a discussion on a given topic ended or not in a large dataset, we observe a marked increase in conversation length when the words “Hitler” or “Nazi” are newly interjected. Given that both of these observations challenge widely accepted and intuitive truisms, other words were run through the same set of tests. Within the context of the initial question, these results suggest that it is not inevitable that conversations eventually disintegrate into reductio ad Hitlerum, and that such comparisons are not conversation-killers. The results moreover suggest that we may underestimate, in the popular imagination, how much conversations may actually become narrower and therefore may tend to have a more impoverished or limited vocabulary as they stretch on. All of these observations provoke questions for further research.

Keywords: Computational linguistics, digital culture, online conversations, Reddit

National Narcissism predicts the Belief in and the Dissemination of Conspiracy Theories During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence From 56 Countries

National Narcissism predicts the Belief in and the Dissemination of Conspiracy Theories During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Evidence From 56 Countries. Anni Sternisko et al. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, December 7, 2021.

Abstract: Conspiracy theories related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have propagated around the globe, leading the World Health Organization to declare the spread of misinformation an “Infodemic.” We tested the hypothesis that national narcissism—a belief in the greatness of one’s nation that requires external recognition—is associated with the spread of conspiracy theories during the COVID-19 pandemic. In two large-scale national surveys (NTotal = 950) conducted in the United States and the United Kingdom, and secondary analysis of data from 56 countries (N = 50,757), we found a robust, positive relationship between national narcissism and proneness to believe and disseminate conspiracy theories related to COVID-19. Furthermore, belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories was related to less engagement in health behaviors and less support for public-health policies to combat COVID-19. Our findings illustrate the importance of social identity factors in the spread of conspiracy theories and provide insights into the psychological processes underlying the COVID-19 pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, conspiracy theories, collective narcissism, social identity, public health

In three studies, with data from 51,707 participants from 56 countries, we examined the relationships between national narcissism, COVID-19 conspiracy theories, and health behaviors and policy attitudes. Across culturally diverse samples, we found that greater national narcissism was associated with stronger belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories (Studies 1–3). In the United States and the United Kingdom, national narcissism was also positively related to intentions to disseminate COVID-19 conspiracy theories (Studies 1 and 2). This relationship was mediated by greater belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories (Studies 1 and 2). These relationships were very robust12 and persisted when we adjusted for a series of relevant covariates. National narcissism might be an important risk factor for the spread of conspiracy theories during the pandemic.

We found correlational evidence suggesting that belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories may have serious consequences for the global containment of the pandemic. Across 56 countries, belief in COVID-19 conspiracy beliefs were related to less adherence to public health guidelines (i.e., physical hygiene, physical distancing; Study 3) and less support for public health policies (Studies 2 and 3). These effects were generally small which may partly be due to restricted variance. People reported high engagement in health behavior and policy support but low belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories. Given the globality and contagiousness of the virus, however, even subtle negligence can be detrimental. We also found that COVID-19 conspiracy theory beliefs mediated a negative relationship between national narcissism and engagement in health behaviors (Study 3) and policy support (Studies 2 and 3).

Theoretical Contributions and Implications

Our study expands previous work on conspiracy theories and public health by examining the role of social identity processes. We found that national narcissism—a defensive belief in the greatness of one’s nation that requires external recognition—was positively related to the readiness to believe and disseminate COVID-19 conspiracy theories. Critically, neither general ingroup positivity (Studies 1–3) nor individual narcissism (Study 3) could fully account for our findings. It was the defensive love for the nation—captured in national narcissism—that seemed to be crucial.

Furthermore, the relationship between national narcissism and belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories persisted when adjusting for participants’ belief in conspiracy theories unrelated to COVID-19 (Study 1), suggesting that national narcissists are not drawn to simply any kind of conspiracy theories (see Bertin et al., 2021Cichocka, Marchlewska, & Golec de Zavala, 2016). In fact, national narcissism was unrelated to belief in conspiracy theories about topics like politics (e.g., 9/11 inside job) and other public health issues (e.g., HIV, vaccines; see Supplement Table 9.1). This suggests that at the time of data collection COVID-19 conspiracy theories corresponded to a specific social identity need (Enders & Uscinski, 2021Sternisko et al., 2020Uscinski et al., 2020), presumably the desire to deny or deflect national shortcomings exposed by the pandemic.

Even though belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories and national narcissism were associated with reflexive open-mindedness (Study 1) and low reflection (Study 3), the association between national narcissism and belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories remained significant when we adjusted for these factors, as well as factual knowledge about COVID-19 (Study 2). These findings highlight that conspiracy theory beliefs among national narcissists are not simply a product of limited cognitive effort and gullibility (Van Bavel & Pereira, 2018Zmigrod et al., 2018). Certain strategies to reduce the spread of misinformation like accuracy nudges (Pennycook et al., 2020) and media education (Basol et al., 2020) may therefore prove less effective for national narcissists.

Furthermore, we found that the relationship between national narcissism and conspiracy theory beliefs occurs outside the context of intergroup conflict. We found that national narcissists latched onto conspiracy theories specifically related to COVID-19, regardless of who is the alleged conspirator. This suggests that conspiracy theories are a generalized maladaptive ingroup defense strategy among national narcissists (Cislak et al., 2021Marchlewska et al., 2019).

Little research has examined the psychological risk factors for the spread of conspiracy theories. We found that national narcissism may be a risk factor for the dissemination of conspiracy theories (Hughes & Machan, 2021). At first, our findings may seem obvious: people with stronger conspiracy theory beliefs—people high in national narcissism—should also be more likely to disseminate them. However, the formation and dissemination of people’s public beliefs are much more complex (León-Medina et al., 2020). For instance, people anticipate negative judgment and social exclusion for publicly supporting conspiracy theories (Lantian et al., 2018). In such situations, private and public opinions often become misaligned (León-Medina et al., 2020). Our findings hint at an interesting psychological phenomenon worth future investigation: National narcissists may be more willing than others to imperil their personal image in the interest of defending their ingroup’s image.

Exploratory analyses found evidence that national narcissists’ stronger belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories is linked to less engagement in health behaviors and less support for policies mitigating the COVID-19 pandemic. However, looking at the total and direct effects of national narcissism a more complicated picture emerged. In Study 2, national narcissism was negatively related to policy support after adjusting for national identification. However, national narcissism was positively albeit weakly, related to policy support and physical hygiene and was not related to physical distancing in Study 3 (Van Bavel, Cichocka et al., 2020). When we accounted for conspiracy theories in our mediation models, the direct relationships remained positive, yet weak. These findings suggest that while national narcissism might be associated with lower willingness to adhere to pandemic related guidelines via conspiracy beliefs, other psychological processes might be operating in parallel motivating national narcissists to support policies and regulations to the extent they view them as beneficial to maintaining the positive ingroup image (Cislak et al., 2021Gronfeldt et al., 2021). More research is needed to unpack these relationships.

Limitations and Future Directions

We found that the relationship between national narcissism and belief in COVID-19 conspiracy theories was relatively robust across contexts. Nevertheless, some countries deviated from general trends, suggesting that our findings are not universally true. Furthermore, participants from Africa and the Middle East were still underrepresented in our studies. In addition, we only measured dissemination intentions in Studies 1 and 2, both of which were conducted in Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic (W.E.I.R.D) countries. This limits the generalizability of the corresponding findings. We encourage research to replicate our findings with these populations and also explore potential moderators (see Supplement Tables S1.7, S1.8, S2.7, S2.8, S3.4 on gender and ethnicity). We also highlight that all measures relied on self-report and slightly varied across studies. Despite these variations in measurements, our results were consistent across studies which lends further confidence in our conclusions. Last, we note that beliefs in conspiracy theories were quite low. As such, our work is best understood as examining the underlying motives of those who depart from a norm of skepticism towards conspiracy theories.

Since national narcissism is relatively stable over time (Cichocka et al., 2018), we suspect that national narcissism motivates the belief in and dissemination of COVID-19 conspiracy theories, which translates into adverse health behaviors and attitudes rather than the reverse. However, our data is cross-sectional. More work is needed to justify this interpretation. If future research finds evidence that national narcissism increases people’s proneness to believe and disseminate COVID-19 conspiracy theories, practical implications are worthwhile exploring. For instance, underscoring that the national in-group is disadvantaged in fighting the pandemic might heighten the need to assert the image of the group and further fuel conspiracy theories (Marchlewska et al., 2018). Conversely, public health messages might benefit from stressing that the adherence to health guidelines such as getting the COVID-19 vaccine helps protect the nation’s image.

Gender Roles in the Millennium: Who Pays and Is Expected to Pay for Romantic Dates?

Gender Roles in the Millennium: Who Pays and Is Expected to Pay for Romantic Dates? Hao Wu et al. Psychological Reports, December 7, 2021.

Abstract: Research on monetary decisions and behaviors in dating relationships is very limited. The purpose of this study was to examine college students’ current practice and expectations for date payment for first and subsequent romantic dates in the framework of gender role theory. A sample of 552 heterosexual college students took an online survey that included questions about their actual and expected payment for their first and subsequent dates. Participants also completed several measures regarding their gender roles. The findings indicated that traditional gender norms in dating continue to be popular in the new millennium because in actual practice, men almost always paid the whole bill of the first dates and paid more for subsequent dates. When asked who should pay for the dates, participants also expected men to pay more for first and subsequent dates. Women did show some willingness to share date expenses, although nowhere close to be completely even. The findings also indicated that gender role attitudes played little role in actual practice but had a stronger role in date payment expectations, showing that individuals subscribing to traditional gender inequality views tended to believe that men should pay more for dates.

Keywords: Sex, gender role, gender norm, gender attitudes, date payment