Saturday, November 23, 2013 By Truth About Deception
Dating, like politics, is a blood sport. It is not for the faint of heart. Scholars have long known that dating involves competition. Women prefer men with status, so males compete for status in a wide variety of ways. Men show off their wealth, engage in dominance displays (including physical fights), spending hours at the gym working on their upper bodies (upper body strength has been linked to status across a variety of studies), and men jockey for attention by being loud, assertive, and domineering. Achieving status is important for men. It increases their chances of finding the best mate. Of course, men while competing with other men, also have to treat women with love, respect and understanding.
New research shows that women also compete with each other, but in less aggressive ways. When picking a partner, men prefer youth and beauty, not status. So, women don’t engage in status competition, but they engage in beauty wars. This new research shows that women are more likely to engage in competition by belittling or putting down each other. Women gossip, point out flaws, and engage in disparaging comments about their competitors.
The main point of this new line of research – both men and women engage in intrasexual competition (they compete for mates), but they just do it in different ways.
A link to a New York Times articles about this latest research.
Friday, November 22, 2013 By Truth About Deception
Humans are inherently social. When deprived of human contact, we go crazy. Even criminals fear solitary confinement. We are also an adventurous and creative animal. Sometimes these two basic instincts – our social and adventurous sides – work together to create outcomes that change the world. Our multiple migrations out of Africa illustrate our social and creative nature working together.
However, our social and creative sides don’t always complement each other.
Social media, when misused, can lead to more options for being connected, but result in fewer meaningful connections. For some people, the use of social technology can turn into a run away feedback loop. As we create more ways of connecting, some people feel more isolated, so we create more ways for people to connect, but often people end up with fewer actual relationships. And the game goes on – we create more ways of connecting, only to feel more isolated than before. Despite having more ways of connecting, loneliness is at an all time high. Ironically, social media may be leading more people away from what we really need: Face-to-face interaction with friends, lovers, and family. The video below explains this paradox in detail.
Research consistently shows that getting married, leads to declines in relational satisfaction. Getting married is novel and exciting. But, after the novelty fades, being in a long-term relationship entails a lot of work.
Conflict, especially arguments that leads to negative feelings, is one of the main reasons couples are less happy over time.
However, new research reveals a simple intervention that can help couples maintain high levels of satisfaction. This intervention simply involves thinking about or reappraising conflict differently.
Rather than personalize conflict in a relationship – it is you versus me – individuals who try to reflect on conflict from a third party perspective – take an outsider’s perspective – tend to depersonalize the conflict and deal with it more effectively.
Taking a third party approach to conflict also helps individuals maintain high levels of relational satisfaction.
The next time you get into an argument with your spouse, try to take yourself outside of the equation and see it from an outsider’s point of view.