Generally, individuals with low self-esteem are just as socially skilled
as well as interested in social interaction with members of the opposite
sex as those with high self-esteem. However, the greater they perceive
the risk in a social situation for rejection or a negative outcome, the
more individuals with low self-esteem are likely to engage in protective
or avoidant behaviors (Cameron, et.al, 2010).
What this indicates is that those with low self-esteem could be just as
effective socially and be accepted by the opposite sex, except that their
own negative self-perceptions get in the way. They believe they aren't
socially competent and won't be liked or accepted, and therefore, don't
engage socially as much as they could. Less opportunity means less success.
Cameron, J.J., Stinson, D.A., Gaetz, R., and Balchen, S. (2010). Acceptance
is in the eye of the beholder: Self-esteem and motivated perceptions of
acceptance from the opposite sex. Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology, 99, 513–529.
When someone tells an attentive and enthusiastic listener about a
positive event in his or her life, the degree of the story-teller's
enjoyment of the event increases as well as positive feelings.
Conversely, the listener's lack of interest in the positive event or
negative reaction such as envy could decrease the story-teller's positive
perception of the event. This effect was not explainable by just engaging
in a positive social interaction and the resulting increase in positive
Most likely, the process of telling a personal story that is valued by
someone else leads to an increase in positive social interactions with
the listener as well as allowing the story-teller to savor the memory of
the event (Reis, et.al., 2010).
Reis, H.T., Smith, S.M., Carmichael, C.L. Caprariello, P.A., Tsai, F.F., Rodrigues, A.
and Maniaci, M.R. (2010). Are you happy for me? How sharing positive events with others
provides personal and interpersonal benefits. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99, 311-329.
Mindfulness Skills Can Improve Relationships
Generally, when attachment anxiety, the extreme fear of abandonment,
is high in a relationship, the couple reports decreased satisfaction
with the relationship. This tends to be especially true when a high
level of conflict occurs.
Interestingly, though, Saavedra et.al.
(2010) found that when the couples were taught mindfulness skills,
the fear of abandonment decreased and satisfaction increased.
Therefore, they suggest that when an individual has attachment
anxiety, it may be easier as well as effective to focus on
learning the mindfulness techniques than directly trying to
change the abandonment fears.
Saavedra, M.C., Chapman, K.E. and Rogge, R.D. (2010). Clarifying
links between attachment and relationship quality: hostil conflict
and mindfulness as moderators. Journal of Family Psychology, 24, 380-390.
Do You Have Attachment Anxiety?
SEPTEMBER 19, 2010
Early Marital Disillusionment Predicts Later Divorce
Marital disillusionment, defined as a decrease in love and affection,
the tendency to see the spouse as unresponsive to needs and ambivalence
about the relationship, early in marriage tends to predict those couples
who are more likely to get divorced. Niehuis and Bartell (2006) developed
a questionnaire that can show disillusionment in marriage. They found
that this questionnaire is related to dissatisfaction in marriage and
increased risk for divorce.
Are You Disillusioned With Your Marriage?
Niehuis, S. and Bartell, D. (2006). The marital disillusionment scale:
development and psychometric properties. North American Journal of
Psychology, 8, 69-83.
Niehuis, S. (2007). Convergent and discriminant validity of the
Marital Disillusionment Scale. Psychological Reports,
SEPTEMBER 17, 2010
Wii Brain Training: Fun, But Useful?
Although practice on a Wii cognitive training task improves performance on
that task in adults over 50, it does not transfer to everyday tasks
(Ackerman et.al., 2010). This research shows that older adults are
capable of learning novel information, however, it questions whether
the tasks on Wii software are directly relevant to everyday life.
Therefore, in spite of the improvement on the game tasks, using brain
training software may not impact overall cognitive ability.
Ackerman, P. L., Kanfer, R., & Calderwood, C.
(2010, September 6). Use it or Lose it? Wii Brain
Exercise Practice and Reading for Domain Knowledge.
Psychology and Aging. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0019277
SEPTEMBER 14, 2010
Predicting Successful Relationships: Attachment Security
Attachment security develops early in life based upon a child's experience
with primary caretakers. Such experiences teach them whether or not they
can trust that others will meet their needs. People low in attachment
security have difficulty trusting others and will often experience a
great deal of anxiety in relationships.
After assessing attachment security in young couples researchers Holland
and Roisman (2010) found that higher attachment security predicted a year
later the quality of a romantic relationship. Those who are low in
attachment security were more likely to have problems in their
Holland, A.S. and Roisman, G.I. Adult attachment
security and young adults' dating relationships over time: Self-reported,
observational, and physiological evidence. Developmental Psychology, 46,
How Secure Are You in Relationships?
SEPTEMBER 12, 2010
Leave Work at Work: Emotional Detachment
With increased work demands, employees are likely to experience
the effects of stress including emotional exhaustion, increased
physical complaints, and reduced productivity. However,
Sonnentag et.al. (2010) followed workers over a year to determine
the diffence between those who experienced more stress effects and
those who coped more effectively.
Primarily, they showed that
workers who were able to emotionally detach from work during their
off-hours had significantly less impact from difficult work situations.
Emotional detachment consists of various methods that allow a person to
not engage in work, not think about work, and to wind down and relax
during their work hours.
Sonnentag, S., Binnewies, C., & Mojza, E. J. (2010).
Staying Well and Engaged WhenDemands Are High: The Role of Psychological Detachment. Journal of Applied Psychology.
Advance online publication. doi: 10.1037/a0020032
SEPTEMBER 10, 2010
Your Brain: Use It or Lose It?
Computer use has been shown to be related to less mental
decline with aging. In addition, people who regularly
computers had a better ability to more easily switch tasks
indicating mental flexibility which tends to decline with
age. In fact, this finding was even stronger for those with
intellectual or educational weaknesses. Therefore, the
researchers (Tun and Lachman, 2010) suggest that resources
need to be provided for those with low incomes to have
greater access to computers.
Tun, P. A., & Lachman, M. E. (2010). The Association Between Computer Use and
Cognition Across Adulthood: Use It So You Won't Lose It?. Psychology and Aging. Advance online
publication. doi: 10.1037/a0019543
Are People Who Set More Extreme Goals At Risk for Depression or Mania?
Although how a person responds to failure to attain goals
may be associated with depression, setting high goals, in
itself, is not related to vulnerability for depression.
However, individuals prone to mania may be more likely to
set statistically unlikely, or extreme, goals especially
those related to reward such as money or fame.
Johnson, S.L and Carver, C.S. (2006).
Extreme Goal Setting and Vulnerability to Mania Among
Undiagnosed Young Adults. Cognitive Therapy and
Research, 30, 377-395.
SEPTEMBER 3, 2010
Effectiveness of Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Researchers (deGraff et.al., 2010) examining online cognitive
behavioral therapy (CBT) for individuals with depression found
that those who tend to be more optimistic with a coping strategy
style focused on change were more likely to benefit from online
CBT. They also found that individuals more susceptible to
depression due to family history of depression and those with
more severe depression were likely to benefit from a combination
of standard in-office therapy and online CBT.
deGraaf, L.E., Hollon, S.D., and Huibers, M.J.H.
(2010). Predicting outcome in computerized cognitive behavioral therapy
for depression in primary care: A randomized trial.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 78, 184-189.
ONLINE COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL DIARY