Category Archives: Quickies

Marriage Is Depressing, Especially For Some Women

Marriage isssss supposed to be a happy occasion, but on occasion it may also undermine mental health. To determine marriage’s effect on depressive symptoms, researchers assessed 152 women during their engagement and then again 6 months post-wedding. Overall, rough 1 in 10 women (12%) reported increased depressive symptoms from before to after marriage (by comparison 6% experienced fewer… Read More »

How Should You Part Your Hair to Look Better?

Photo Credit: ellebangs There is a common belief that hair parted on the right side makes a person appear more feminine and warmer, while parts on the left give the impression of greater masculinity and competence. Researchers tested this assumption across three studies with a total of 3,819 participants, using digitally altered photos that kept every aspect of… Read More »

Life after Breakup: An International Survey

To better understand life after breakup, researchers surveyed 5,705 people in nearly 100 countries about their breakups and experience of grief afterwards. The most common reason for breaking up was “lack of communication.” Women were more likely to initiate a breakup; those who were broken up with experienced more grief than initiators. Post-relationship grief was more severe emotionally… Read More »

Is It Better to be the Breadwinner? Implications for Infidelity

image source: A study of 2,757 participants from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth examined how spouses’ relative earnings (i.e., who makes more money) influences likelihood of cheating. Results indicate absolute income did not predict infidelity, so simply earning more money did not make a person more likely to cheat. However, being the breadwinner (i.e., earning more… Read More »

Brides’ and Fiancés’ Weight Leading Up to the Wedding

How do brides’ physiques measure up to their fiancés? To answer this question, over 600 brides-to-be recorded their and their fiancés’ weight, height, and weight change over the 6 months leading up to their wedding. Partners’ weights and heights were associated such that lighter brides had lighter fiancés; Heavier brides had heavier fiancés. In the 6 months leading… Read More »

Your Self-Perceived Relationship Desirability Influences Your Self-Esteem

Your self-esteem depends in part on your internal “sociometer,” or how socially accepted you feel. To test the importance of social acceptance within romantic relationships (i.e., a “mating sociometer”), researchers measured participants’ self-esteem, self-perceived attractiveness, and romantic self-confidence (“I have no difficulty maintaining a satisfying romantic relationship”). Greater self-perceived attractiveness increased romantic self-confidence, which produced higher self-esteem. It… Read More »

How Having Couple Friends Helps You Feel the Love

We know that being friends with other couples increases closeness in your own relationship (read more about this here). To see if these friendships also boost feelings of love, researchers had couples engage in a “fast friends” self-disclosure task during which they answered questions such as “What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?”. Couples answered questions either… Read More »

Got a Cold? Think Hugs, Not Drugs

Getting sick isn’t fun. To see if social support helps combat illness, researchers interviewed 406 healthy adults each day for two weeks about whether they were hugged that day. Researchers then exposed participants to the common cold and assessed participants’ mucus secretions, congestion, and antibodies present in their blood over the next few weeks. Participants who received more… Read More »

An Unexpected Key To Kids’ Popularity

To better understand what makes kids popular, researchers measured 144 3rd through 8th grade students’ prosocial behaviors (i.e., doing good things for others) and physical/verbal aggression. As you’d expect, kids nominated as popular were more likely to exhibit prosocial behaviors. But, unexpectedly, the popular kids were also more aggressive. Even kids who displayed high levels of verbal and… Read More »

Stronger Impulses or Less Control? Why Men Succumb to Sexual Temptations

Research suggests that men tend to surrender to sexual temptations, like cheating, more than women. Is this because men have stronger sexual urges, or because they can’t control themselves? Across two studies, participants indicated the strength of their sexual impulses and their ability to control themselves when encountering “forbidden” others (e.g., being attracted to someone already in a… Read More »