Learning! Roundup: Anxious Memories, Don't You Want Me?, Bullying, and More!

A photo of a woman sitting at a bar in a cafe, with a coffee cup, staring into space. She looks worried.
Photo by Verena Yunita Yapi

Anxious Memories


If you suffer from social anxiety, you are less likely to be able to remember social interactions that ended positively. It's not causal at this point, but it might help you to know that you are probably having more positive social events than you think!

Don't You Want Me?


It's been clear in the science for a while that men tend to overestimate how sexually interested a woman is in them while women underestimate a man's interest in her, and for a long time this has been chalked up to evolutionary psychology explanations that rely on outdated gender dynamics. (You can tell I am not a fan of evolutionary psychology.) New research, however, suggests that perhaps it's explained by two simple factors. Men who are more interested in noncommitted sex in general, AND who are more interested in having said sex with a particular woman, are more likely to think she wants to have sex with them. Sooooo... basically it's wishful thinking.

Bullying


The brain activity of bullies and victims is different when presented with angry and fearful faces. Bullies have a greater amygdala response to anger and reduced response to fear, and victims are more responsive to both types of faces.

The Facebook-Election Test


A large-scale trial had a randomized group of people deactivate their Facebook accounts for four weeks leading up to the 2018 election. Those who went without Facebook used the internet less overall, did more offline activities, were happier, and also had less factual knowledge of political information as well as less polarization.

Childhood Maltreatment and Adult Relationships


Adults who were maltreated as children are more likely to show antisocial behaviour as children, which leads to challenges in romantic relationships as teens and adults. They are also more likely to use relational aggression, like spreading rumours, which hurts their ability to form friendships. It's not a universal path, of course, but it does begin to explain why adults who had terrible childhoods often struggle with relationships.


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