New Research in Psychological Science

Correlates of Hallucinatory Experiences in the General Population: An International Multisite Replication Study
Peter Moseley et al.

Moseley and colleagues studied hallucinatory experiences in a sample of 1,394 healthy individuals around the world and online. Participants completed assessments of hallucinatory experiences, a measure of adverse childhood experiences, and tasks to measure source memory, dichotic listening, auditory signal detection, and backward digit span (a measure of working memory). Participants who reported more hallucinatory experiences were more likely to falsely recognize speech embedded in noise and report a greater number of adverse childhood experiences. Only biases in speech detection appeared associated with hallucinations, calling into question previous findings regarding links among language, memory, and hallucinations.

Personality Traits and Memory: A Multilevel Analysis Across 27 Countries From the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe
Martina Luchetti, Antonio Terracciano, Yannick Stephan, Damaris Aschwanden, and Angelina R. Sutin

Among older individuals, those who are more conscientious, agreeable, and emotionally stable appear to have better memory, especially when they live in lower-income countries. Luchetti and colleagues analyzed data from a large sample from 27 countries. In general, individuals who were higher in conscientiousness, openness, and extraversion, and lower in neuroticism, showed better memory. In lower-income countries, individuals with higher conscientiousness and agreeableness (but not openness and extraversion) and lower neuroticism showed better memory, indicating that these personality traits may help compensate for country-specific disadvantages. Thus, when assessing who is more at risk of poor memory function in older age, it might be important to place individuals in context.

The Effect of Prediction Error on Belief Update Across the Political Spectrum
Madalina Vlasceanu, Michael J. Morais, and Alin Coman

Making large errors in predictions based on beliefs, followed by immediate feedback, appears to lead to successful belief updating, potentially reducing the spreading of misinformation. Participants evaluated a set of beliefs (e.g., “The US justice system is fair to racial minorities.”). One group made predictions about the evidence associated with those beliefs and then received feedback). Participants in the other group were presented with the evidence alone. When they reevaluated the initial beliefs, participants who engaged in predictions were more likely to update their beliefs (especially if they had made large errors) than those who were just presented with evidence. These effects were similar for Democrats and Republicans regarding all belief types across the political spectrum.

Culture Moderates the Relation Between Gender Inequality and Well-Being
Chen Li, Miron Zuckerman, and Ed Diener

Li and colleagues analyzed aggregated data from 86 countries (Study 1) and from individuals in 69 countries (Study 2) to clarify the role of a country’s culture on the relationship between gender inequality and self-reported well-being. In liberal countries, gender equality was associated with improved well-being for men and women but especially women. In conservative countries, gender equality (or inequality) did not appear to be associated with well-being outcomes. These findings suggest that objective gender inequality (e.g., job-participation rate) may result in different subjective well-being outcomes and psychological reactions in liberal and conservative cultures.

Gender Inequality and Well-Being: Concepts and Their Measures Are Cultural Products—A Reflection on Li et al. (2021)
Hazel Rose Markus

This Further Reflections article provides a broader perspective on the issues discussed in the Li et al. (2021) research, namely the significance of culture in shaping people’s psychological reactions and the intricacies of individuals and societies. Markus, invited by the editor of Psychological Science, writes about the value of multicultural studies and the need for more culturally informed studies that are not exclusively interpreted by Western or liberal schemas.

Asymmetric Hedonic Contrast: Pain Is More Contrast Dependent Than Pleasure
Guy Voichek and Nathan Novemsky

People can judge an experience as more pleasurable or painful when they evaluate it in comparison with a reference point. An example of this phenomenon, known as the hedonic-contrast effect, is when your favorite ice cream seems less tasty after you’ve eaten your favorite cake. In a total of 12 studies, Voichek and Novemsky found that the asymmetric hedonic-contrast effect (stronger for negative than positive outcomes) reflects people’s tendency to be more attentive to reference points when evaluating negative outcomes. This asymmetry makes individuals take more risks that include gains and losses in the presence of high reference points, because the contrast diminishes the hedonic impact of losses more than gains. This effect could be eliminated by drawing attention to reference points.

Let’s Talk About Each Other: Neural Responses to Dissenting Personality Evaluations Based on Real Dyadic Interactions
Sebastian Schindler, Anne Höhner, Robert Moeck, Maximilian Bruchmann, and Thomas Straube

After real social interactions, neural mechanisms appear to prioritize evaluative feedback about oneself that is incongruent with one’s self-view. Dyads of participants interacted and then rated themselves and their partners using different adjectives. During an electroencephalogram (EEG), participants were shown their own ratings and the ratings provided by their partner. EEG data indicated prioritized processing of incongruent negative evaluations at early time points, followed by increased processing of any incongruent evaluations as well as of incongruent positive evaluations at late time points. Thus, the processing of evaluative feedback after social interactions appears to involve an early prioritization of negative evaluations and a late prioritization of positive evaluations.

Bedtime Music, Involuntary Musical Imagery, and Sleep
Michael K. Scullin, Chenlu Gao, and Paul Fillmore

Listening to music before bedtime might disrupt sleep, because the sleeping brain appears to continue to process music for several hours after the music stops. Scullin and colleagues found that individuals who frequently listen to music reported persistent nighttime earworms (i.e., involuntary musical imagery) and poor sleep. Moreover, a lab experiment revealed that listening to instrumental-only versions of popular songs before bedtime (compared with lyrical versions) increased the incidence of nighttime earworms, decreasing sleep quality. Also, electroencephalogram data indicated that participants who had a sleep earworm showed more slow oscillations during sleep, a marker of memory reactivation.

How Accurate Are Accuracy-Nudge Interventions? A Preregistered Direct Replication of Pennycook et al. (2020)
Jon Roozenbeek, Alexandra L. J. Freeman, and Sander van der Linden

Pennycook and colleagues (2020) reported that nudging people to think about the accuracy of news headlines appeared to improve their choices about which COVID-19 news to share on social media. Roozenberg and colleagues attempted to replicate these findings in two stages. They did not obtain significant effects in the first stage, with 701 participants, but they found a small but significant effect after adding 882 participants. In comparison with the original study, this effect was about 50% smaller, which might indicate that accuracy priming may be influenced by other variables (e.g., political partisanship) yet to be explored.

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