bims-chumac Biomed News
on Context effects on human mate choice
Issue of 2020‒08‒02
seven papers selected by
Jay Dixit

  1. Arch Sex Behav. 2020 Jul 29.
    Lehmiller JJ.
      The present research explored fantasies about consensual nonmonogamous relationships (CNMRs) and the factors that predict such fantasies in a large and diverse online sample (N = 822) of persons currently involved in monogamous relationships. Nearly one-third (32.6%) of participants reported that being in some type of sexually open relationship was part of their favorite sexual fantasy of all time, of whom most (80.0%) said that they want to act on this fantasy in the future. Those who had shared and/or acted on CNMR fantasies previously generally reported positive outcomes (i.e., meeting or exceeding their expectations and improving their relationships). In addition, a majority of participants reported having fantasized about being in a CNMR at least once before, with open relationships being the most popular variety. Those who identified as male or non-binary reported more CNMR fantasies than those who identified as female. CNMR fantasies were also more common among persons who identified as anything other than heterosexual and among older adults. Erotophilia and sociosexual orientation were uniquely and positively associated with CNMR fantasies of all types; however, other individual difference factors (e.g., Big Five personality traits, attachment style) had less consistent associations. Unique predictors of infidelity fantasies differed from CNMR fantasies, suggesting that they are propelled by different psychological factors. Overall, these results suggest that CNMRs are a popular fantasy and desire among persons in monogamous romantic relationships. Clinical implications and implications for sexual fantasy research more broadly are discussed.
    Keywords:  Consensual nonmonogamy; Cuckolding; Infidelity; Open relationships; Polyamory; Sexual fantasy; Swinging
  2. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2020 Jul 27.
    Costello CK, Srivastava S.
      Reputations are critical in human social life: they allow people to share and act on information about one another, even when they have never met. Reputations can be conceptualized as information about a target person that is stored in networks of perceivers and transmitted through either direct interaction or hearsay. We present a novel paradigm that integrates the network approach with interpersonal perception research. We apply that paradigm to study the consensus, accuracy, positivity bias, and consequences of personality trait information in hearsay-based reputations. In 2 preregistered studies (N = 260 and 369), we created naturalistic micronetworks in the lab in which participants interacted and got to know one another, then later described each other to naïve third parties. Across studies, we use the extended Social Accuracy Model (Wessels, Zimmermann, Biesanz, & Leising, 2020) and an extension of the domain-wise correlational approach (Kenny, 1994). Hearsay-based reputations are about as positively biased as direct reputations. They showed strong consensus (agreement) with direct reputations and modest accuracy, suggesting that they can consolidate around an inaccurate representation. Perceivers' extraversion was associated with more biased hearsay reputations. Experimentally manipulating the context of the hearsay exchange had no detectable impact on hearsay consensus or accuracy. Hearsay reputations were consequential, affecting the extent to which perceivers thought targets would be good leaders or friends. These results provide initial insights into reputation networks and suggest several important future directions for the network approach to reputations. We also present open materials and data analysis software for others to extend the reputations-as-networks approach. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
  3. J Pers Soc Psychol. 2020 Jul 27.
    Hicks LL, McNulty JK, Faure R, Meltzer AL, Righetti F, Hofmann W.
      Do people realize the evaluative feelings that are spontaneously activated by their partner? If so, do they use those evaluations when judging their romantic relationships? To answer these questions, we investigated the association between automatic partner attitudes and judgments of relationship satisfaction in 7 studies. Study 1 was a meta-analysis of 86 correlations that revealed a very weak association between implicitly and explicitly assessed relationship evaluations, and Studies 2a-2c revealed that people failed to accurately report their automatic partner attitudes even when specifically asked to do so. Consistent with the idea that such inaccuracy emerged in part because motivational factors led people to override their automatic attitudes, Studies 3 and 4 demonstrated that automatic partner attitudes better aligned with relationship judgments when people were incentivized with money (Study 3) and had dissolved their relationship (Study 4). Nevertheless, consistent with the idea that overriding automatic attitudes requires the opportunity to deliberate, Studies 4 and 5 demonstrated that automatic partner attitudes better aligned with relationship judgments when people experienced more stress at the daily level (Study 4) and yearly for two years (Study 5). In Study 5, the interaction between stress and automatic attitudes emerged controlling indicators of negativity and was further moderated by relationship enhancing motivations among wives. These studies (a) help explain why automatic partner attitudes predict self-reported relationship satisfaction over time and (b) provide support for theories of social cognition suggesting that people have access to implicitly assessed attitudes that is obscured by motivations and opportunities to deliberate. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
  4. Sex Med. 2020 Jul 26. pii: S2050-1161(20)30085-4. [Epub ahead of print]
    Horvath Z, Smith BH, Sal D, Hevesi K, Rowland DL.
      INTRODUCTION: This study explored the role of body image dissatisfaction on orgasmic response during partnered sex and masturbation and on sexual relationship satisfaction. The study also described typologies of women having different levels of body image satisfaction.METHODS: A sample of 257 Norwegian women responded to an online survey assessing body image dissatisfaction, problems with orgasm, and sexual relationship satisfaction. Using structural equation modeling and factor mixture modeling, the relationship between body image dissatisfaction and orgasmic response was assessed, and clusters of sexual response characteristics associated with varying levels of body image dissatisfaction were identified.
    MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Orgasmic function during partnered sex and masturbation, along with sexual relationship satisfaction, were assessed as a function of body image.
    RESULTS: Body image dissatisfaction, along with a number of covariates, predicted higher levels of "problems with orgasm" during both partnered sex and masturbation, with no significant difference in the association depending on the type of sexual activity. Varying levels of body image dissatisfaction/satisfaction were associated with differences in orgasmic incidence, difficulty, and pleasure during partnered sex; with one orgasmic parameter during masturbation; and with sexual relationship satisfaction.
    CONCLUSION: Body image dissatisfaction and likely concomitant psychological distress are related to impaired orgasmic response during both partnered sex and masturbation and may diminish sexual relationship satisfaction. Women with high body image dissatisfaction can be characterized by specific sexual response patterns. Horvath Z, Smith BH, Sal D, et al. Body Image, Orgasmic Response, and Sexual Relationship Satisfaction: Understanding Relationships and Establishing Typologies Based on Body Image Satisfaction. J Sex Med 2020;XX:XXX-XXX.
    Keywords:  Body Image; Masturbation; Orgasm; Partnered Sex; Sexual Relationship; Women
  5. Evol Psychol. 2020 Jul-Sep;18(3):18(3): 1474704920936916
    Moran JB, Wade TJ, Murray DR.
      Popular culture has recently publicized a seemingly new postbreakup behavior called breakup sex. While the media expresses the benefits of participating in breakup sex, there is no research to support these claimed benefits. The current research was designed to begin to better understand this postbreakup behavior. In the first study, we examined how past breakup sex experiences made the individuals feel and how people predict they would feel in the future (n = 212). Results suggested that men are more likely than women to have felt better about themselves, while women tend to state they felt better about the relationship after breakup sex. The second study (n = 585) investigated why men and women engage in breakup sex. Results revealed that most breakup sex appears to be motivated by three factors: relationship maintenance, hedonism, and ambivalence. Men tended to support hedonistic and ambivalent reasons for having breakup sex more often than women. The two studies revealed that breakup sex may be differentially motivated (and may have different psychological consequences) for men and women and may not be as beneficial as the media suggests.
    Keywords:  breakup sex; ex-sex; fiery limbo; gender differences; postbreakup behavior; sexual strategy theory
  6. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jul 27. pii: 201917036. [Epub ahead of print]
    Joel S, Eastwick PW, Allison CJ, Arriaga XB, Baker ZG, Bar-Kalifa E, Bergeron S, Birnbaum GE, Brock RL, Brumbaugh CC, Carmichael CL, Chen S, Clarke J, Cobb RJ, Coolsen MK, Davis J, de Jong DC, Debrot A, DeHaas EC, Derrick JL, Eller J, Estrada MJ, Faure R, Finkel EJ, Fraley RC, Gable SL, Gadassi-Polack R, Girme YU, Gordon AM, Gosnell CL, Hammond MD, Hannon PA, Harasymchuk C, Hofmann W, Horn AB, Impett EA, Jamieson JP, Keltner D, Kim JJ, Kirchner JL, Kluwer ES, Kumashiro M, Larson G, Lazarus G, Logan JM, Luchies LB, MacDonald G, Machia LV, Maniaci MR, Maxwell JA, Mizrahi M, Muise A, Niehuis S, Ogolsky BG, Oldham CR, Overall NC, Perrez M, Peters BJ, Pietromonaco PR, Powers SI, Prok T, Pshedetzky-Shochat R, Rafaeli E, Ramsdell EL, Reblin M, Reicherts M, Reifman A, Reis HT, Rhoades GK, Rholes WS, Righetti F, Rodriguez LM, Rogge R, Rosen NO, Saxbe D, Sened H, Simpson JA, Slotter EB, Stanley SM, Stocker S, Surra C, Ter Kuile H, Vaughn AA, Vicary AM, Visserman ML, Wolf S.
      Given the powerful implications of relationship quality for health and well-being, a central mission of relationship science is explaining why some romantic relationships thrive more than others. This large-scale project used machine learning (i.e., Random Forests) to 1) quantify the extent to which relationship quality is predictable and 2) identify which constructs reliably predict relationship quality. Across 43 dyadic longitudinal datasets from 29 laboratories, the top relationship-specific predictors of relationship quality were perceived-partner commitment, appreciation, sexual satisfaction, perceived-partner satisfaction, and conflict. The top individual-difference predictors were life satisfaction, negative affect, depression, attachment avoidance, and attachment anxiety. Overall, relationship-specific variables predicted up to 45% of variance at baseline, and up to 18% of variance at the end of each study. Individual differences also performed well (21% and 12%, respectively). Actor-reported variables (i.e., own relationship-specific and individual-difference variables) predicted two to four times more variance than partner-reported variables (i.e., the partner's ratings on those variables). Importantly, individual differences and partner reports had no predictive effects beyond actor-reported relationship-specific variables alone. These findings imply that the sum of all individual differences and partner experiences exert their influence on relationship quality via a person's own relationship-specific experiences, and effects due to moderation by individual differences and moderation by partner-reports may be quite small. Finally, relationship-quality change (i.e., increases or decreases in relationship quality over the course of a study) was largely unpredictable from any combination of self-report variables. This collective effort should guide future models of relationships.
    Keywords:  Random Forests; ensemble methods; machine learning; relationship quality; romantic relationships
  7. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2020 Jul 24.
    Kwok I, Wescott AB.
      With a swipe, click, or delete, people are now able to seek and sustain romance in unprecedented ways. The emerging research shows that cyberintimacy, or the phenomenon of technology-mediated communication between partners and potential romantic interests, significantly impacts the way we form, maintain, and even extinguish romantic relationships. Hence, this scoping review aims to (a) delineate how our use of technology-mediated communication is associated with specific outcomes (e.g., satisfaction and quality) throughout the romantic relationship lifecycle, and (b) identify emerging themes in the research. Adhering to Arksey and O'Mayley's six-step framework methodology, we performed a systematic database search, literature screening, and qualitative synthesis of the findings. Seventy-two studies were selected from a pool of 4,062 articles derived from a systematic search of six academic databases. The findings show that cyberintimacy has a profound impact on outcomes in three crucial stages of the relationship lifecycle-from the way people find and field partners online through the process of initiation; to the means by which partners use technology to perform relationship maintenance; and finally, the ways in which people cope with the process of dissolution by using technology to reclaim a sense of agency.
    Keywords:  cyberintimacy; dating apps; online dating; relationships; romance; social networking