From how relationships affect our health to the psychology of an awkward party moment to why we often choose ignorance over information – a guide to some talks with new research in personality and social psychology at the APA Convention in Orlando, Aug. 2-5, 2012 ...
Costs of forgiveness in marriage
It is not always best to forgive and forget in marriage, according to new research that looks at the costs of forgiveness. Sometimes expressing anger might be necessary to resolve a relationship problem – with the short-term discomfort of anger benefiting the health of the relationship in the long-term. The research is part of a larger effort to go beyond positive psychological processes to better understand the contexts in which some relationships succeed and others fail.
Speaker: James K. McNulty (mcnulty[at]psy.fsu.edu), Florida State University
Thurs., Aug. 2, 2012, 11:00-11:50 a.m., Room W311C – Invited Address – Beyond Positive Psychology?
How attachment in relationships affects our health
Social psychologists have known for decades that close relationships are critical to a person's health and well-being. However, the exact processes that govern these health effects have not been well understood. Recent studies show that the attachment processes between two individuals in a close relationship dramatically affect health domains ranging from pregnancy and birth defects to cancer and chronic disease. One longitudinal study of 225 newlywed couples, for example, is finding that the way people feel attached to each other affects cortisol levels in response to stress – and can possibly predict depression or anxiety over time.
Speaker: Paula Pietromonaco (monaco[at]psych.umass.edu), University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Thurs., Aug. 2, 2012, 1:00-1:50 p.m., Room W307A – Invited Address – Attachment Processes and Emotion Regulation in Adult Relationships
Racial bias in perceiving pain
A recent study shows that Americans – including White registered nurses and nursing students – generally assume that Black people feel less pain than do White people. Researchers are now investigating both the causes of this effect, as well as how it may change the allocation of pain medication. One possibility, researchers say, is that healthcare providers do not recognize Black patients' pain in the first place.
Speaker: Sophie Trawalter (strawalter[at]virginia.edu), University of Virginia
Thurs., Aug. 2, 2012, 3:00-3:50 p.m., Room W303C – Invited Address – Racial Bias in Perceptions of Others' Pain
Psychology of an awkward party moment
Never talk politics or religion in polite company, so says the old adage. The reason for that, however, may not be what you expect, say social psychologists: It is not so much the topics themselves but rather that when faced with an awkward social moment, people often will not tell the "offender" that they are offending. Rather than lead to impassioned debate, these situations often lead to awkward silence. In the end, the people who transgress may be left with overconfident views of themselves because others fail to voice their discomfort or opposition. Three recent lab studies test this phenomenon and its effects.
Speaker: Joyce Ehrlinger (ehrlinger[at]psy.fsu.edu), Florida State University
Fri., Aug. 3, 2012, 9:00-11:50 a.m., Room W311D – Symposium – Sources of Accuracy and Error in Social Judgment – Polite but not Honest: How an Absence of Negative Social Feedback Contributes to Overconfidence
Science of honesty
A new study investigated the mental and physical health effects of inducing people to live honestly – with no lying – for 10 weeks.
Speaker: Anita Kelly (akelly[at]nd.edu), Florida State University
Sat., Aug. 4, 2012, 12:00-12:50 p.m., Room W303C – Invited Address – Living a Life Without Lies: How Living Honestly Can Affect Health
Race in the 2012 Presidential election
When Barack Obama was elected President, it seemed that race was no longer a barrier in US politics. Ongoing research, however, shows that attitudes toward race are already playing a role in the 2012 election. Many white and non-white voters, even those who do not consciously hold racial bias, may vote against Obama because of race. New data includes a comparative analysis with results from the 2008 elections.
Speaker: Anthony G. Greenwald (agg[at]u.washington.edu), University of Washington
Sat., Aug. 4, 2012, 4:00-4:50 p.m., Room W206 B&C – Plenary Session – What Role Will Race Play in the 2012 Presidential Election?
When we choose ignorance
From genetic screening of diseases to whether your partner is cheating, people often choose to avoid potentially upsetting information. How much someone chooses to remain ignorant depends of many factors including whether or not they can control the outcome, researchers have found. For example, in one study, women with uncontrollable predictors of breast cancer, such as hereditary disposition, were more likely to avoid breast cancer screening results than women with controllable factors such as poor diet. Exercises to boost self-affirmation can help to reduce such information avoidance.
Speaker: James A. Shepperd (shepperd[at]ufl.edu), University of Florida
Sun., Aug. 5, 2012, 11:00-11:50 a.m., Room W307B – Invited Address – Calculated Ignorance
For more personality and social psychology talks at the APA Convention, see the SPSP program online
SPSP promotes scientific research that explores how people think, behave, feel, and interact. With more than 7,000 members, the Society is the largest organization of social and personality psychologists in the world. Follow us on Twitter: @SPSPnews
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