Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Parental presence intended to soothe children at bedtime buffers adverse effect of mothers’ parenting stress; findings challenge recommendations of parenting in Western cultures children do not depend on parental presence to fall asleep

Jahng, K. E., & Kim, E. (2022). Effects of parental bedtime involvement during children’s bedtime. Journal of Family Psychology, Mar 2022.

Abstract: Abundant research has shown that parents’ parenting stress adversely affects their children’s well-being. However, limited attention has been provided to parental bedtime involvement as a moderating mechanism linking parents’ parenting stress to children’s happiness. This study examined the moderating effect of parent bedtime soothing and parent–child bed-sharing on the relationship between parents’ parenting stress and children’s subjective happiness. Data were extracted from the Panel Study on Korean Children (PSKC). The study participants included 1,360 7-year-old first-graders from South Korea who experienced a transition from preschool to formal schooling. The results demonstrated (a) a negative effect of parents’ parenting stress on children’s happiness and (b) a moderating effect of parental bedtime soothing, which included maternal and paternal bedtime soothing, on the relationship between mothers’ parenting stress and children’s happiness. Conversely, parent–child bed-sharing did not moderate the relationship between mothers’ parenting stress and children’s happiness. In addition, neither parent bedtime soothing nor parent–child bed-sharing moderated the relationship between fathers’ parenting stress and children’s happiness. The findings of the study indicate that parental presence intended to soothe children at bedtime, as a family routine, buffers the adverse effect of mothers’ parenting stress on their children’s subjective happiness, regardless of the parents’ gender. Our findings challenge the recommendations of parenting in Western cultures that children do not depend on a parental presence to fall asleep.

People’s aesthetic tastes are not arbitrarily different from each other in different sensory modalities but vary primarily along only a single dimension across sights and sounds: how similar a person’s taste is to the average taste

“Taste typicality” is a foundational and multi-modal dimension of ordinary aesthetic experience. Yi-Chia Chen et al.  Current Biology, March 01, 2022.


• Are individual differences in aesthetic impressions systematic or arbitrary?

• We measured “taste typicality” by comparing individuals’ tastes to the average taste

• We found that visual and auditory taste typicality was systematically correlated

• Taste typicality was also the primary way people’s tastes differed from each other

Summary: Aesthetic experience seems both regular and idiosyncratic. On one hand, there are powerful regularities in what we tend to find attractive versus unattractive (e.g., beaches versus mud puddles).1,  2,  3,  4 On the other hand, our tastes also vary dramatically from person to person:5,  6,  7,  8 what one of us finds beautiful, another might find distasteful. What is the nature of such differences? They may in part be arbitrary—e.g., reflecting specific past judgments (such as liking red towels over blue ones because they were once cheaper). However, they may also in part be systematic—reflecting deeper differences in perception and/or cognition. We assessed the systematicity of aesthetic taste by exploring its typicality for the first time across seeing and hearing. Observers rated the aesthetic appeal of ordinary scenes and objects (e.g., beaches, buildings, and books) and environmental sounds (e.g., doorbells, dripping, and dialtones). We then measured “taste typicality” (separately for each modality) in terms of the similarity between each individual’s aesthetic preferences and the population’s average. The data revealed two primary patterns. First, taste typicality was not arbitrary but rather was correlated to a moderate degree across seeing and hearing: people who have typical taste for images also tend to have typical taste for sounds. Second, taste typicality captured most of the explainable variance in people’s impressions, showing that it is the primary dimension along which aesthetic tastes systematically vary.


The stimuli used in many studies of aesthetic appreciation are beautiful—sometimes encompassing ravishing works of art, or arresting musical passages., This is not so for the current study, which instead employed stimuli one might encounter during everyday life. (We suspect that few would find the bench from Figure 1 to be ravishing.) Nevertheless, observers often agreed with each other about how appealing these images and sounds were, and we suspect that this is a hallmark of “everyday aesthetics”—the sort of aesthetic experiences one has, not when listening to a concert, but when walking back to your car afterward. The use of such ordinary stimuli also rules out other potential concerns. When studying taste typicality, in particular, some people may just want to be—or seem—different and so intentionally respond in ways that set them apart from the crowd. Here, in contrast, not a single observer’s aesthetic preferences were anticorrelated with the population mean. This may be because of the nature of our stimuli: you can’t “fight the crowd” if you have no idea what the crowd would think in the first place, and we don’t generally have stereotypes about, for example, the degree to which the noise of two rubbing hands is appealing. In the present study, we used aesthetic judgments of such stimuli in order to address two particular questions.
We first asked whether one’s taste typicality for seeing was fully independent of one’s taste typicality for hearing. The answer was clearly no: these two dimensions were robustly correlated with each other to a moderate degree—such that it is possible to predict taste typicality in one modality from taste typicality in another modality. We next asked how central taste typicality is to individual differences in aesthetic taste: even when robust, it might nevertheless be a peripheral factor in aesthetic taste, which is eclipsed by other factors that are able to explain more variance in aesthetic tastes. Here, the data provided a clear and powerful answer: taste typicality appears to be the primary determinant of individual differences in aesthetic preferences—in both seeing and hearing—with no other factor able to explain even one fourth as much variance.
These results might initially seem to be at odds with past research, which has identified many specific factors that appear to drive aesthetic impressions. For example, past work has shown that people prefer stimuli that are blue, curvy, symmetrical, inward-facing,, moderately complex, balanced, typical (but see Vogel, Ingendahl, and Winkielman), and presented in a canonical size.   One possibility is that such properties are orthogonal to taste typicality, and they instead contribute to other principal components of the variance in aesthetic impressions—although, this would mean that they could collectively explain no more than 7.5% of such variance (Figure 4). A second possibility, however, is that these other factors are central after all, insofar as they all contribute to the dimension of typicality. In this case, however, our data add to previous work by demonstrating indirectly that the individual tastes for these seemingly independent properties (e.g., curviness and complexity) must in fact be related—since for them to collectively constitute taste t<ypicality, they would have to be strongly correlated with each other (since otherwise, they would be split into multiple principal components). This same lesson also applies to other less perceptual factors. Others have attempted to explain individual differences in aesthetic appreciation by appealing to factors such as personality (but see McManus, Cook, and Hunt), expertise,, life history,, and neuroanatomy., For example, more art education leads to less typical preferences for harmony and symmetry,, (potentially through social learning). However, at least for the “ordinary” stimuli explored in here, these other seemingly disparate factors could only play a substantive role if they were also correlated with each other—such that they too contribute to the first principal component of the variability in aesthetic impressions.
Of course, it will come as a surprise to nobody that people vary in how typical their aesthetic tastes are. Most of us know others whose tastes in music or film are either “mainstream” or “alternative.” The present work demonstrates that this form of typicality is fundamental to our aesthetic impressions in two ways: it is a broad factor that operates to some degree across sensory modalities, and it explains more variability in aesthetic impressions than any other single factor does.

These discoveries open the door for a new way to explore aesthetic experiences. For example, in addition to asking what factors give rise to typical aesthetic experiences, we may ask how people come to share many aesthetic responses and how an individual comes to deviate from that. While the former can arise from interactions between the stimulus properties and the evolutionary goals

 or common experiences

 of humans, our findings demand a different kind of answer to the latter question. Given the idiosyncratic ways in which people’s tastes differ from what is typical—and the similar degree of such deviations across different modalities within each individual—the responsible mechanisms must operate in a broad and coherent way over multiple domains rather than being reducible to any processes that lead to specific instances of preferences, such as familiarity with specific stimuli. We hope that this work will spur future research on just what constitutes these mechanisms and how they give rise to systematic individual aesthetic tastes.

Selfless individuals were happier and that more selfless moments of an individual were also happier moments

Selflessness Meets Higher and More Stable Happiness: An Experience Sampling Study of the Joint Dynamics of Selflessness and Happiness. Nicolas Pellerin, Michael Dambrun & Eric Raufaste. Journal of Happiness Studies, Mar 8 2022.

Abstract: Previous studies have demonstrated the existence of a positive relationship between selflessness and happiness. However, none of these studies yet differentiated the between—and within—person levels of analysis. Moreover, the Selflessness/Selfcenteredness Happiness Model (SSHM) suggests that selflessness might stabilize happiness. In this experience sampling study, we explored the relationships between selflessness and happiness—baseline and stability—at both the within and betweenperson levels. During five consecutive days, participants responded seven times a day to short questions about happiness and selflessness. Our results showed that more selfless individuals were happier and that more selfless moments of an individual were also happier moments. Moreover, more selfless individuals were more stable from one day to the other. Finally, people becoming more selfless experienced more happiness stability at the following assessment moment and the next day. This study brings new evidence of the importance of selflessness for happiness.