New Content From Perspectives on Psychological Science

Face Validity of Remembering and Knowing: Empirical Consensus and Disagreement Between Participants and Researchers
Sharda Umanath and Jennifer H. Coane

Umanath and Coane reviewed the uses of the remember/know paradigm and how experts in psychology and lay participants define it. Although this paradigm has been used as a means of probing the phenomenological experiences behind different types of memory for many decades, the authors found that lay participants do not necessarily associate “I know” with familiarity with memories or “I remember” with recollection of memories. However, most researchers agree on the meaning of remember/know and preserve Endel Tulving’s (1972) original proposal: Remembering is linked to memory for events, or episodic memory, and knowing is linked to semantic memory.

The Primacy of Gender: Gendered Cognition Underlies the Big Two Dimensions of Social Cognition
Ashley E. Martin and Michael L. Slepian

Two dimensions of social cognition (the “Big Two”) appear to capture the way people perceive and navigate their social worlds. One dimension focuses on agency and competence, whereas the other focuses on warmth and connection with others. Martin and Slepian argue that the Big Two reflect notions of masculinity and femininity and that gender explains the nature of the Big Two. They suggest that the notion of genders may be useful for effective cognitive processing but may also enforce gender roles. The authors add that recognizing the gendered base of the Big Two may help to reduce gender-based inequities.

Racial Inequality in Psychological Research: Trends of the Past and Recommendations for the Future
Steven O. Roberts, Carmelle Bareket-Shavit, Forrest A. Dollins, Peter D. Goldie, and Elizabeth Mortenson

Systematic inequality exists within psychological research. This is the conclusion Roberts and colleagues achieved after querying more than 26,000 articles published between 1974 and 2018 in top-tier psychology journals. Most publications have been edited by White editors, and the few publications that highlight race have been written by White authors and had few participants of color. These findings suggest the need to diversify editing, writing, and participation in psychological science. To this end, Roberts and colleagues provide a set of actionable recommendations for journals and authors.

Expansive and Contractive Postures and Movement: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Motor Displays on Affective and Behavioral Responses
Emma Elkjær, Mai B. Mikkelsen, Johannes Michalak, Douglas S. Mennin, and Mia S. O’Toole

Many studies examined the effects on affective, behavioral, and hormonal responses of bodily postures that are contractive (i.e., appearing shorter and smaller than a neutral posture) or expansive (i.e., appearing taller and wider than a neutral posture). Elkjær and colleagues conducted a meta-analysis and found that expansive and contractive postures might influence affective and behavioral responses regardless of context and methodology used. However, these findings appear to result from the absence of contractive postures rather than the presence of expansive postures.

Habitual Behavior Is Goal-Driven
Arie W. Kruglanski and Ewa Szumowska

Kruglanski and Szumowska suggest that habitual behaviors are goal-driven, a view at odds with the idea that habitual behaviors may originate from goals but become disconnected and automatic. To support their view, the authors review research showing that habitual behaviors are sensitive to changes in how a subject values a goal and expects to attain it. They also show that the persistence of habitual behaviors, despite being detached from the original goal, likely reflects the subject’s attachment to different goals. According to this view, all behaviors might have purpose.

Evolution, the Menstrual Cycle, and Theoretical Overreach
Jeff Kiesner, Tory Eisenlohr-Moul, and Jane Mendle

How do menstrual-cycle-related changes affect female emotion and behavior? Many recent studies have tried to answer this question, however, there appear to be several limitations to this research. Kiesner and colleagues outline methodological and conceptual issues related to the menstrual cycle that threaten the validity and theoretical integrity of studies in this field. The authors recommend specific guidelines to address these issues, including the need to clarify behaviors that, although correlated with the menstrual cycle, may not be specific to it nor serve an evolutionary role related to it.

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