Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Females had higher dating intention with men who shared COVID-19 vaccine similarity while men didn't care about female vaccination status

Lovesick: The Effects of Political Partisanship and COVID-19 Vaccine Perceptions on Online Romantic Partner Selection. Caleb R. Seymour. M.A. Thesis, University of Missouri-Columbia, Jul 2022. https://mospace.umsystem.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/10355/94028/SeymourCalebResearch.pdf

Abstract: Many studies have reported the positive relationship of perceived political similarity with dating intention in the world of online dating. However, there are currently no studies which consider this relationship alongside coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine status and their combined influence on romantic consideration. In this study, we conduct a posttest-only design with a 2 (vaccinated) x 2 (political affiliation) x 2 (gender) online experiment, including variables such as vaccine perceptions, party identification, sensation seeking, and dating intention. Participants (N=97) were shown four avatar profiles of the opposite sex; each profile was displayed as vaccinated or unvaccinated and Democrat or Republican. Once exposed to these dating profile, subjects answered a survey to determine how individual dating intention differed in relation to the subject’s own political affiliation and “vaccination status.” The results indicate that males and females have higher dating intention with partners that have political similarity. However, females have higher dating intention with partners who share vaccine similarity while males have no relationship between vaccine similarity on dating intention. The implications of these findings may suggest that the formation of romantic relationships is currently influenced by personal health decisions compared to the decisions of potential online partners; this being a symptom of a much larger degree of affective polarization in the United States which continues to grow.

Many things we think we know about the placebo effect are actually unsubstantiated

Replication crisis and placebo studies: rebooting the bioethical debate. Charlotte Blease, Ben Colagiuri, Cosima Locher. Journal of Medical Ethics, Jan 6 2023. https://jme.bmj.com/content/early/2023/01/05/jme-2022-108672

Abstract: A growing body of cross-cultural survey research shows high percentages of clinicians report using placebos in clinical settings. One motivation for clinicians using placebos is to help patients by capitalising on the placebo effect’s reported health benefits. This is not surprising, given that placebo studies are burgeoning, with increasing calls by researchers to ethically harness placebo effects among patients. These calls propose placebos/placebo effects offer clinically significant benefits to patients. In this paper, we argue many findings in this highly cited and ‘hot’ field have not been independently replicated. Evaluating the ethicality of placebo use in clinical practice involves first understanding whether placebos are efficacious clinically. Therefore, it is crucial to consider placebo research in the context of the replication crisis and what can be learnt to advance evidence-based knowledge of placebos/placebo effects and their clinical relevance (or lack thereof). In doing so, our goal in this paper is to motivate both increased awareness of replication issues and to help pave the way for advances in scientific research in the field of placebo studies to better inform ethical evidence-based practice. We argue that, only by developing a rigorous evidence base can we better understand how, if at all, placebos/placebo effects can be harnessed ethically in clinical settings.