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Current Opinion in Psychology

Miriam E Weaverdyck, Carolyn Parkinson
The computational demands associated with navigating large, complexly bonded social groups are thought to have significantly shaped human brain evolution. Yet, research on social network representation and cognitive neuroscience have progressed largely independently. Thus, little is known about how the human brain encodes the structure of the social networks in which it is embedded. This review highlights recent work seeking to bridge this gap in understanding. While the majority of research linking social network analysis and neuroimaging has focused on relating neuroanatomy to social network size, researchers have begun to define the neural architecture that encodes social network structure, cognitive and behavioral consequences of encoding this information, and individual differences in how people represent the structure of their social world...
May 24, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Anthony M Evans, David G Rand
We review two fundamentally different ways that decision time is related to cooperation. First, studies have experimentally manipulated decision time to understand how cooperation is related to the use of intuition versus deliberation. Current evidence supports the claim that time pressure (and, more generally, intuition) favors cooperation. Second, correlational studies reveal that self-paced decision times are primarily related to decision conflict, not the use of intuition or deliberation. As a result, extreme cooperation decisions occur more quickly than intermediate decisions, and the relative speed of highly cooperative versus non-cooperative decisions depends on details of the design and participant pool...
May 23, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Carla Sharp, Aidan Wright
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
May 22, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Sam J Maglio, Yaacov Trope
Time in the mind orients people in one of two directions. An inward orientation points to the present, contracting the scope of thought to immediate concerns. An outward orientation, in contrast, points away from the present to the past or the future, expanding the scope of thought to a wider consideration set. These oriented arrows need not solely be used for mental time travel, as a similar inward/outward orientation can apply to social distance, spatial distance, and probability. We review recent findings illuminated by this broad form distancing, as illustrated in how people learn from and compare themselves to others, before concluding with a discussion of how change necessarily transpires over time, providing opportunities for future research at the intersection of future thought and present behavior...
May 18, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Elisa C Baek, Emily B Falk
What makes people successful at influencing others? In this review, we focus on the role of the persuader (i.e., person who attempts to influence a recipient), drawing from findings in neuroscience to highlight key drivers that contribute to persuaders' decisions to share information, and variables that distinguish successful persuaders from those who are less successful. We review evidence that people's motivations to share are guided in the brain by value-based decision making, with self-relevance and social-relevance as two key motivational inputs to the value computation...
May 8, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Marius C Vollberg, Mina Cikara
What happens to our emotions and in our brains when we experience the world through the lens of our group memberships rather than as individuals? Here we review recent advances in social and affective neuroscience that have identified potential input variables and processing mechanisms underlying one widely studied emotion in intergroup contexts: empathy. There is a well-documented in-group bias in empathy but the mental processes that generate it are poorly understood. Drawing from recent insights in memory research, we suggest that episodic simulation-the ability to imagine events-is an underexplored candidate process that is likely to be involved in shaping emotional experience in intergroup settings...
May 8, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Anat Keinan, Silvia Bellezza, Neeru Paharia
Research on symbolic consumption and status signaling has primarily examined how consumers spend money on possessions that display their identity and status. We review research suggesting that the way in which consumers spend their time can also serve as a form of conspicuous consumption. In particular, we examine status inferences based on how consumers allocate time between work and leisure, and how consumers choose to spend their discretionary leisure time. In the past, high-status individuals displayed wealth by wasting time on unproductive leisure activities; today, long hours of work and lack of leisure time have become a status symbol...
May 7, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Alice Lee-Yoon, Ashley V Whillans
Time is a finite and precious resource, and the way that we value our time can critically shape happiness. In this article, we present a conceptual framework to explain when valuing time can enhance versus undermine wellbeing. Specifically, we review the emotional benefits of valuing time more than money, and discuss the emotional costs of valuing time like money. Lastly, we suggest directions for future research examining the causes and consequences of the value that we place on our time.
May 7, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Pamela Joy Meredith, Jennifer Strong
A small body of literature has considered associations between attachment theory and a range of chronic health conditions, with particular attention to mechanisms linking attachment insecurity and the development and management of these conditions. In this paper, two inceptive models are reviewed, followed by consideration of the emerging literature in this field, stimulated by emerging physiological and neurobiological evidence. Although implications for treatment are available, treatment protocols and outcome studies are rare...
May 4, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Selin A Malkoc, Gabriela N Tonietto
Feeling time-pressed has become ubiquitous. Time management strategies have emerged to help individuals fit in more of their desired and necessary activities. We provide a review of these strategies. In doing so, we distinguish between two, often competing, motives people have in managing their time: activity maximization and outcome maximization. The emerging literature points to an important dilemma: a given strategy that maximizes the number of activities might be detrimental to outcome maximization. We discuss such factors that might hinder performance in work tasks and enjoyment in leisure tasks...
April 30, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Hengchen Dai, Claire Li
Temporal landmarks, or moments that stand out in time, structure people's perceptions and use of time. We highlight recent research examining how both experiencing and anticipating temporal landmarks impact motivation and goal pursuit. Experiencing a temporal landmark may produce a 'fresh start effect', making people feel more motivated to pursue their goals right after the landmark. Anticipating a future landmark may also increase people's current motivation if they are reminded of an ideal future state. We review one prominent explanation underlying these findings: temporal landmarks can create a psychological separation between past, current, and future selves...
April 30, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Ximena B Arriaga, Madoka Kumashiro
Little is known about how romantic relationships enhance long-term attachment security. Change is likely to involve revising deep-seated beliefs and expectations regarding one's self as being unworthy and others as untrustworthy (insecure internal working models). When individuals become anxious, partners can provide immediate reassurance, but the path to long-term security may hinge on addressing the individual's insecure self-perceptions; when individuals become avoidant, partners can 'soften' interactions that involve relational give-and-take, but long-term security may hinge on instilling positive associations with interdependence and trust...
April 27, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Adelle X Yang, Christopher K Hsee
The elapse of time disregards the human will. Yet different uses of time result in distinct perceptions of time and psychological consequences. In this article, we synthesize the growing research in psychology on the actual and perceived consumption of time, with a focus on idleness and busyness. We propose that the desire to avoid an unproductive use of time and the ceaseless pursuit of meaning in life may underlie many human activities. In particular, while it has been long presumed that people engage in activities in order to pursue goals, we posit a reverse causality: people pursue goals in order to engage in activities...
April 22, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Kathleen D Vohs, Jennifer L Aaker, Rhia Catapano
People seek to spend time in positive experiences, enjoying and savoring. Yet there is no escaping negative experiences, from the mundane (e.g. arguing) to the massive (e.g. death of a child). Might negative experiences confer a hidden benefit to well-being? We propose that they do, in the form of enhanced meaning in life. Research suggests that negative experiences can serve to boost meaning because they stimulate comprehension (understanding how the event fits into a broader narrative of the self, relationships, and the world), a known pillar of meaning in life...
April 22, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Arkady Konovalov, Jie Hu, Christian C Ruff
Social decision-making is increasingly studied with neurocomputational modeling. Here we discuss how this approach allows researchers to better understand and predict behavior in social settings. Using examples from the study of resource distributions and social learning, we illustrate how this methodology provides a flexible way to quantify social values and beliefs, identify specific motives and cognitive processes underlying social choice and learning, and arbitrate between competing theories of social behavior...
April 21, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Cristobal Young, Julia L Melin
Time is a network good: the value of time depends on whether others also have it. We can deepen our understanding of time from a comparison with other network goods like personal computers, Facebook, and communications technology that derive their value from widely shared usage. We review recent research on the importance of collective social time with family and friends, and the role that temporal coordination plays in enhancing community ties and subjective well-being. The standard workweek is one of the most taken-for-granted institutions that creates effortless social coordination of time...
April 21, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Jordan Etkin
One of the most important aspects of goals is time. From how goals are set to the dynamics of goal pursuit, time plays an important and multifaceted role. Goals to walk 10000 steps per day or to call one's parents once a week, for example, are defined by time (e.g. a day or week), pursued over time (e.g. for multiple days or multiple weeks), and subject to constraints on time (e.g. needing to also spend time on work). This article discusses three key ways to think about time in relation to goals: time as a defining feature of goals, as a dimension of goal pursuit, and as a constraint on goal pursuit...
April 21, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Ashwani Monga, Ozum Zor
Consumers are known to spend both time and money. These two resources are often seen as economically comparable because the value of one's time can be equated to a monetary amount, such as one's wage rate. Recent research suggests that even when time and money are economically equivalent, they are psychologically different. We discuss how time (versus money) leads to decision making that is more heuristic rather than systematic, to an orientation that is more emotional rather than value-maximizing, to a thinking process that is more holistic rather than analytic, and to a mindset that is more abstract rather than concrete...
April 21, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Bradley D Mattan, Kevin Y Wei, Jasmin Cloutier, Jennifer T Kubota
The largely independent neuroscience literatures on race and status show increasingly that both constructs shape how we evaluate others. Following an overview and comparison of both literatures, we suggest that apparent differences in the brain regions supporting race-based and status-based evaluations may tap into distinct components of a common evaluative network. For example, perceiver motivations and/or category cues (e.g., perceptual vs. knowledge-based) can differ depending on whether one is processing race and/or status, ultimately recruiting distinct mechanisms within this common evaluative network...
April 19, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
Clare E Palmer, Manos Tsakiris
Interoception describes the processing and awareness of bodily signals arising from visceral organs, essential for the organism's homeostatic needs. Beyond homeostasis, the integration of exteroceptive and interoceptive signals is required for the coherence of bodily self-awareness. Here, we suggest that interoception also plays a critical role in social cognition. Relating to others as individuals who are distinct from one's self requires the simultaneous yet distinct co-representation of self and others. We propose that interoceptive awareness appears to stabilise the mental representation of one's self as distinct from others...
April 19, 2018: Current Opinion in Psychology
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