Public Release:  Hostile sexism, abandoning a goal, society's role in creative genius

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Society for Personality and Social Psychology

Hostile sexism hurts intimate relationships

Men who generally believe that women who challenge men's power are manipulative and subversive -- so-called hostile sexism -- carry over those antagonistic attitudes into their intimate relationships. In two studies, researchers gathered behavior data from committed heterosexual couples either five times across a year or daily for three weeks. They found that men who endorse hostile sexism perceived their female partners to behave more negatively than they actually did. These biased perceptions led the men to behave more negatively toward their partners and experience lower relationship satisfaction. "Men's Hostile Sexism and Biased Perceptions of Intimate Partners Fostering Dissatisfaction and Negative Behavior in Close Relationships," Matthew D. Hammond and Nickola C. Overall, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, online August 15, 2013 -- forthcoming in print, December 2013.

Considering abandoning a goal comes at a cost

Most of us reach a critical juncture when we consider giving up on a tough personal goal -- whether weight loss or kicking a tough habit. Three longitudinal field studies found that experiencing that point -- when we feel set back in our goal pursuit and are not sure whether to continue -- has strong psychological and physiological effects. In one study of runners in a Swiss marathon, those considering no longer running the marathon showed a stronger secretion of the stress hormone cortisol and a lower performance in the race 2 weeks later. "The Struggle of Giving Up Personal Goals: Affective, Physiological, and Cognitive Consequences of an Action Crisis," Veronika Brandstätter, Marcel Herrmann, and Julia Schüler, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, online August 23, 2013 -- forthcoming in print, December 2013.

Society's role in creative genius

Finding the right balance between individual independence and social conformity has always posed a conundrum to social scientists and philosophers seeking to understand creativity. A new research review posits that the relationship between a creator and his or her social group lies at the heart of the creative process. A person's social group not only encourages originality but also determines how their creative efforts will be appreciated. A person's social identity therefore is both the beginning and end of the creative process. "The Collective Origins of Valued Originality: A Social Identity Approach to Creativity," S. Alexander Haslam, Inmaculada Adarves-Yorno, Tom Postmes and Lise Jans, Personality and Social Psychology Review, online August 12, 2013 -- forthcoming in print, November 2013.

The first offer prevails in negotiations

Making the first move is the best way to negotiate, according to a growing body of research. A new set of studies examined the so-called "first-offer effect" across a variety of cultures -- including looking at officials at the Thai Ministry of Finance -- and types of issues. Researchers found that negotiators who make the first offer achieve better outcomes at the bargaining table. "The Remarkable Robustness of the First-Offer Effect Across Culture, Power, and Issues," Brian C. Gunia, Roderick I. Swaab, Niro Sivanathan, Adam D. Galinsky, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, online August 15, 2013 -- forthcoming in print, December 2013.

Cultural exposure in the personality-politics link

Past research has established certain personality characteristics that predict political orientation, with openness linked to liberalism and conscientiousness linked to conservatism. New research finds that exposure to culture helps to explain the connections between those personality traits and political orientation. In two studies, researchers found individuals higher in openness and lower in conscientiousness tended to be exposed to more books and films, which in turn predicted a more liberal political orientation." Does Cultural Exposure Partially Explain the Association Between Personality and Political Orientation?" Xiaowen Xu, Raymond A. Mar, Jordan B. Peterson, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, online August 8, 2013 -- forthcoming in print, December 2013.

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SPSP promotes scientific research that explores how people think, behave, feel, and interact. The Society is the largest organization of social and personality psychologists in the world. Follow us on Twitter: @SPSPnews

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