New Research From Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Psychological Science:

Relative Physical Position as an Impression-Management Strategy: Sex Differences in Its Use and Implications

Anastasia Makhanova, James K. McNulty, and Jon K. Maner

How do men and women manage the social impression they give others? One way may be through the relative positioning of themselves relative to others. In the first of several studies, researchers examined the types of pictures men and women posted of themselves on dating and professional-networking sites. They found that the pictures that men posted of themselves tended to be taken from a straight-on or upward camera angle, whereas the pictures that women posted of themselves tended to be taken from a downward camera angle. Follow-up studies suggest the difference in positioning could be reflective of the differing goals of men and women, as the researchers found that women were rated as being more attractive when pictured from a downward rather than an upward camera angle and men were rated as being more aggressive and dominant when pictured from an upward rather than a downward camera angle.

Where Does the Ordered Line Come From? Evidence From a Culture of Papua New Guinea

Kensy Cooperrider, Tyler Marghetis, and Rafael Nunez

The principle of linear order is a fixture of industrialized societies; however, few studies have examined whether indigenous groups that lack exposure to representations of linear order (e.g., calendars, number lines, graphs) have an understanding of this principle. The present study examined differences in intuitions of linear order between the Yupno in Papua New Guinea and U.S. undergraduates. In three studies, participants were given sets of stimuli that could be ordered categorically (pieces of fruit and cards depicting animals) or stimuli that could be ordered linearly (cards depicting circles of different sizes and groupings of different numbers of dots) and were instructed to arrange them in an organized manner. The researchers found that although both U.S. and Yupno participants generally organized stimuli in the same way (organizing fruit and cards depicting animals by category and organizing cards depicting circles of different sizes and groups of different numbers of dots linearly), the two participant groups did differ in how and when they implemented these strategies. Despite these group differences, the results suggest that conventional spatial representations are not required for spontaneous linear representations to be manifested.

The Power of Suggestion: Posthypnotically Induced Changes in the Temporal Binding of Intentional Action Outcomes

Peter Lush, Emilie A. Caspar, Axel Cleeremans, Patrick Haggard, Pedro Alexandre Magalhães De Saldanha da Gama, and Zoltan Dienes

Changes in the experience of initiating and controlling one’s actions — known as a sense of agency — are crucial to the experience of hypnosis. The authors examined whether changes in sense of agency influence intentional binding (i.e., the subjective compression of time between an action and its outcome). Participants who were found to be highly susceptible to hypnosis completed a task in which they pressed a button in response to a moving dot. A tone sounded either as a result of or independently of the button press. Participants completed the task in each of three conditions: they voluntarily pressed the button (voluntary condition), the experimenter moved the participant’s finger onto the button (passive condition), and an experimenter hypnotically suggested that the participant’s finger would involuntarily move to the button (posthypnotic-involuntariness condition). Reduced binding was seen in the passive and the posthypnotic-involuntariness conditions, suggesting that hypnotically induced changes in agency do influence binding and that hypnotic action may be more similar to involuntary than voluntary action.

Power Posing: P-Curving the Evidence

Joseph P. Simmons and Uri Simonsohn

In 2010, Carney, Cuddy, and Yap published an article suggesting that people who adopted expansive powerful postures had lower cortisol levels, higher testosterones levels, and sought more risk than those who adopted contracted powerless poses. A 2015 study by Ranehill, Dreber, Johannesson, Leiberg, Sul, and Weber failed to fully reproduce these findings. In a response to this replication attempt, Carney, Cuddy, and Yap (2015) provided support for their original findings by referencing a group of 33 successful studies that had examined the effects of expansive and contractive poses. Simmons and Simonsohn examined the evidentiary value of these 33 articles using p-curve analysis and, as they report in this article, found them lacking. The p-curve was consistent with what would be expected if the average effect size was zero and selective reporting were responsible for the published effects. Based on these findings, Simmons and Simonsohn suggest that the psychological effects of power posing be treated as a hypothesis currently lacking empirical support.

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