Kevin Lewis

July 15, 2017

Decomposing the Cross-Sex Misprediction Bias of Dating Behaviors: Do Men Overestimate or Women Underreport Their Sexual Intentions?
Isabelle Engeler & Priya Raghubir
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, forthcoming

Men typically predict women's sexual intentions to be higher than women say they are (Haselton & Buss, 2000). It is debated whether this cross-sex bias is because of men overestimating women's intentions (Murray et al., 2017), women underreporting their own intentions (Perilloux & Kurzban, 2015, 2017), or both. To unify the current debate, we decompose the part of the bias attributable to women underreporting versus men overestimating by using a survey method intervention to reduce underreporting of sensitive information: eliciting estimates about others before sensitive self-reports. First, we calibrate the current measurement instrument to assess the overall size of the misprediction bias (Study 1). Then, we manipulate the order-of-elicitation of self- and other-reports (Studies 2 and 3): Women report significantly higher own sexual intentions when they are asked about other targets' intentions before their own, suggesting that 48 to 69% of the overestimation bias is attributable to women underreporting their own sexual intentions. Analogous analyses for the misprediction bias about men suggest that women's overestimation bias of men's sexual intentions is entirely because of men underreporting their own sexual intentions. The findings have important implications for the current debate in the literature on cross-sex misprediction biases and the literature on asking sensitive survey questions.

Processing the Word Red can Enhance Women's Perceptions of Men's Attractiveness
Adam Pazda & Andrew Elliot
Current Psychology, June 2017, Pages 316-323

Prior research has shown that for women viewing men, perceiving the color red can enhance attractiveness judgments in some contexts. Additionally, an association exists between the processing of color words and the perception of color stimuli. The present studies examined whether processing the word red would lead to similar psychological effects of perceiving color stimuli. Specifically, we tested whether reading a description of a man wearing a red shirt (relative to other colors) can enhance women's perceptions of the man's attractiveness. Experiments 1, 2, and 3 provided support for this effect for red-gray and red-green contrasts. The findings are discussed with regard to grounded theories of cognition, which suggest that knowledge about color and experience of perceiving color are integrated in a multimodal fashion. Practical implications of the red effect for interpersonal perception and interaction are discussed along with general implications in the domain of color psychology.

Romance, Sexual Attraction, and Women's Political Ambition: Initial Findings from Two Experiments
Shauna Shames, Laura Lazarus Frankel & Nadia Farjood
Sexuality & Culture, forthcoming

This study develops and begins to test the hypothesis that considerations of romance and sexual attractiveness may impede women's expression of political ambition (in the sense of either interest in holding public office or willingness to disclose such interest). As this is a very new area of research, and as the subject is difficult to test, this study does not draw firm conclusions, but the initial data results suggest at least some support for the hypothesis. It does seem from these two experiments that politics makes one less popular as a date or mate choice, and that women who hypothetically hold office would be less likely to reveal that fact to a potential sexual or romantic partner. Further research is needed to both develop the measurements for this exciting new area of study and confirm these initial results.

Pre- and Postinteraction Physical Attractiveness Ratings and Experience-Based Impressions
Jeffrey Hall & Benjamin Compton
Communication Studies, Summer 2017, Pages 260-277

This study examines the perceptions of an interaction partner's physical attractiveness and traits in relation to whether and how partners were evaluated prior to interacting. Sixty-five pairs of heterosexual strangers were randomly assigned to one of three conditions (i.e., prerate photos of opposite-sex strangers including conversation partner, prerate photos excluding partner, no prerate photos). Participants then had a 10-minute interaction, reported impressions of partner, and rated photos again including the partner. Compared to no preinteraction rating, rating conversation partners' attractiveness reduced impressions of partners' social attractiveness, fun/funniness, and charisma. Partner impressions were more strongly associated with postinteraction attractiveness ratings than preinteraction ratings. Impressions of social attractiveness and fun/funniness moderated attractiveness rating change, wherein less attractive partners showed more positive change than attractive partners.

"Lie to me" - Oxytocin impairs lie detection between sexes
Michaela Pfundmair, Wiebke Erk & Annika Reinelt
Psychoneuroendocrinology, October 2017, Pages 135-138

The hormone oxytocin modulates various aspects of social behaviors and even seems to lead to a tendency for gullibility. The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of oxytocin on lie detection. We hypothesized that people under oxytocin would be particularly susceptible to lies told by people of the opposite sex. After administration of oxytocin or a placebo, male and female participants were asked to judge the veracity of statements from same- vs. other-sex actors who either lied or told the truth. Results showed that oxytocin decreased the ability of both male and female participants to correctly classify other-sex statements as truths or lies compared to placebo. This effect was based on a lower ability to detect lies and not a stronger bias to regard truth statements as false. Revealing a new effect of oxytocin, the findings may support assumptions about the hormone working as a catalyst for social adaption.

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