Archive for 'Newspaper column'

Conscientiousness with Fellatio as a Mate-Retention Activity

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Conscientiousness and aggreeableness are key to whether women are able to keep up a relationship with a mate, if fellatio is involved, suggests this new study:

selaWomen’s mate retention behaviors, personality traits, and fellatio,” Yael Sela [pictured here, above], Todd K. Shackelford [pictured here, below], Michael N. Pham, Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Personality and Individual Differences, vol. 85, October 2015, pp. 187–191. The authors, at Oakland University, Rochester, Minnesota, in report:

“Women perform oral sex on their male partner (i.e., fellatio) as part of a Benefit-Provisioning mate retention strategy, and women’s personality predicts their interest in, and time spent, performing fellatio. We explored whether women’s mate retention behavior mediates the relationship between their personality traits and their performance of fellatio in a long-term romantic relationship.shackleford Women (n = 401) reported their personality traits, the frequency with which they performed mate retention behaviors during the past month, and their interest in and the time they spent performing fellatio on their partner during their most recent sexual encounter. The results indicate that women higher in Conscientiousness spend more time performing fellatio on their partner, and this relationship is mediated by their Benefit-Provisioning mate retention. Women higher in Agreeableness report greater interest in performing fellatio on their partner…. The current research is the first to investigate the relationship between women’s personality traits and oral sex behaviors…”

Here’s further, graphic detail from the study:


The psychological search for drunk types

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

How many kinds of drunks are there? This study takes on that question:

Searching for Mr. Hyde: A five-factor approach to characterizing ‘types of drunks’“, Rachel Pearl Winograd [pictured here], Douglas Steinley, and Kenneth Sher, Addiction Theory and Research, epub April 24, 2015. (Thanks to Maddalena Feliciello for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at the University of Missouri-Columbia, explain:

Winograd-Rachel1-113x135Some individuals “change” more dramatically than others when intoxicated, and the nature and magnitude of these changes can result in harmful outcomes. This study utilized reports (N = 374) of participants’ “typical” five-factor model (FFM) characteristics across sober and intoxicated states and assessed the degree to which these reports could be grouped into meaningful clusters, as well as the association of cluster membership with negative alcohol-related consequences. Results from finite mixture model clustering revealed a four cluster solution. Cluster 1, “Hemingway,” was the largest and defined by intoxication-related decreases in Conscientiousness and Intellect that were below average; Cluster 2, “Mary Poppins,” was defined by being high in Agreeableness when sober, decreasing less than average in Conscientiousness and Intellect and increasing more than average in Extraversion when drunk; Cluster 3, “Mr. Hyde,” reported larger drunk decreases in Conscientiousness and Intellect and smaller increases in Extraversion; Cluster 4, “The Nutty Professor,” was defined by being low in Extraversion when sober, increasing more than average in Extraversion and decreasing less than average in Conscientiousness when drunk. Cluster membership was associated with experiencing more alcohol consequences. These results support use of the FFM to characterize clinically meaningful subgroups of sober-to-drunk differences in trait expression.

Why do so many people so often say “so”?

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015
Galina Bolden

Galina Bolden

So … in this era when so many people use the word “so” to begin so many of their sentences, one scholar has written three studies analysing what happens when people begin their sentences with the word. Galina Bolden’s first “so” study, in 2006, explains that sometimes people use the word as a way of “moving on with [a] conversation that has been temporarily stalled” (“So, how are you?”).

Her second “so” study, in 2008, is called “So What’s Up?”: Using the Discourse Marker So to Launch Conversational Business. Bolden, an associate professor of communication at Rutgers University in New Jersey, expands on the earlier idea….

—So begins the latest Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

Beach study suggests tourists like good weather

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Do not assume that tourists prefer good weather when they visit a beach. A study published in the International Journal of Biometeorology in 2013 challenges that easy-to-make assumption. The researchers gathered evidence – rather than relying on mere guesses and assumptions – as to what kind of weather brings beachgoers to the beach.

Here is what they discovered: “The conditions preferred by beach users, as found in this study, are no precipitation, higher temperatures, light-to-moderate wind speed (less than 30 km/h) and low wave height (up to 1.25m).”

Thus, you need no longer assume tourists prefer good weather when they visit a beach – now you know they do. At least, you know it to the extent that the study’s findings are accurate….

—So begins the latest Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

Pippa Middleton’s backside – the Freudian and Marxist interpretations

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

The scholarly community, a portion of it anyway, is diving ever-deeper in the analysis of the rear end of the sister of the wife of the man whose father’s mother sits on the throne of the United Kingdom.

The interest has spread westward, to the Republic of Ireland. Ireland has no monarch, and thus does not have a monarch’s child’s child’s spouse’s sibling’s butt of its own to analyse.

Gavin Wilkinson, who recently obtained a graduate degree from University College Dublin, wrote a treatise called Fetishising Pippa Middleton: Celebrity Posteriors, Whiteness and Class Aspirationalism….

—So begins the latest Improbable Research column in The Guardian.

CONTEXT: Here’s video of the object of the scholarly discussion:

BONUS: The Wilkinson paper extends the scholarly community’s attempt to grasp the essence of the Middleton buttocks.