27th of March 2015

Research Report, March 27th 2015

An evidence-based approach to an ancient pursuit: systematic review on converting online contact into a first date

Summary: There is much to be learnt from attraction and persuasion research for improving effectiveness of online dating. This literature is scattered across psychology and sociology, as well as computer, behavioural and neurocognitive sciences. They synthesised this evidence to learn how online dating could be improved, maximising the chances of converting electronic communication into a face-to-face meeting.

Playful adults preferred in choice of partner

Summary: Which characteristics do young adults value in a potential partner for long-term relationships? A new study reveals that, besides friendliness, intelligence and a sense of humor, playfulness is also important – regardless of gender. Playful people also deem humor, a fun tendency, a laid-back attitude and creativity more important in partners than their non-playful counterparts.

Risk sensitivity as an evolutionary adaptation

Summary: Risk aversion only evolves when the gamble is a rare event that has a large impact on the individual’s fitness. Rare, high-risk, high-payoff events such as mating and mate competition could have driven the evolution of risk averse behavior in humans living in small groups.

Evidence of systematic bias in sexual over- and underperception of naturally occurring events

Summary: Professor Bendixon said that across thousands of generations, women’s psychology has evolved to set the bar higher, which means they need much clearer signals than men before they consider sex, ‘Even though these processes aren’t conscious, we can still empirically measure the results,’ he said.

In the study, women said that they had acted friendly towards a man and had this misinterpreted as sexual interest about 3.5 times over the past year on average. The men in the study also reported having been misinterpreted by the opposite sex in this way, but far less often. ‘The results are no surprise, seen from an evolutionary perspective,’ researcher Mons Bendixen said.
The Daily Mail

Treadmill performance predicts mortality

Summary: Analyzing data from 58,000 heart stress tests, cardiologists report they have developed a formula that estimates one’s risk of dying over a decade based on a person’s ability to exercise on a treadmill at an increasing speed and incline.

Brain scans predict effectiveness of talk therapy to treat depression

Summary: Researchers have shown that brain scans can predict which patients with clinical depression are most likely to benefit from a specific kind of talk therapy. The study is the first to use a technique known as resting-state functional brain connectivity MRI to identify differences in brain wiring that predict therapeutic responses to talk therapy.

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