RNDP 26: Still on the path to happiness

I was beginning to to think that the quest for a revolutionary new dating paradigm (RNDP) should be shelved because other pursuits, like wealth or fame, are more important. But three researchers from the University of Rochester have just confirmed that the pursuits of wealth and fame do not lead to happiness.

Edward Deci, professor of psychology and the Gowen Professor in the Social Sciences at the University says:

Even though our culture puts a strong emphasis on attaining wealth and fame, pursuing these goals does not contribute to having a satisfying life. The things that make your life happy are growing as an individual, having loving relationships, and contributing to your community. [Press Release 14-May-2009]

And so I am spurred to contribute to the community and help you folks find loving relationships. Because I got too worn out at the garage sale yesterday, I am going to give you more bulletins on recent research instead of doing the hard work of syncretising everything we've learned already in the quest for an RNDP.

Sick of the same old thing? U of Minnesota Researchers finds satiation solution

Joseph Redden, professor of marketing at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management, recently conducted a study on satiation, the process of consuming products and experiences to the point where they are less enjoyable, as it applies to music.

In one of the three studies conducted for this research, Redden and his co-authors asked participants to listen to the chorus of a favorite song 20 times in a row. Then they were asked to rate the clip. Not surprisingly, after 20 repetitions their enjoyment of the song dropped a great deal. Three weeks later, the participants came back and half were asked to recall any television shows they'd seen since the study, while the other half listed all of the musicians they'd listened to since the first session. The group that listed the TV shows was still just as satiated – they didn't like the song. However, those recalling variety in the music category almost totally recovered. "The participants' comments were the most revealing," said Redden. "Those who recalled the TV shows were actually angry to have a song they like 'ruined,' but the ones who recalled musicians enjoyed taking a study with music, etc. If something seems like 'more of the same,' people are just less interested." [Press Release: 19-May-2009]
Redden thinks this method can also work for things like beverages: "... next time you get sick of healthy smoothies and think about grabbing a burger instead, try to recall all of the other drinks you have had since your last smoothie. Our findings suggest this will make your smoothie taste just a little bit better."

If it works for songs and smoothies, maybe it'll also work for that person you've seen a bunch of times who is beginning to seem a little dull. Just think of all other people you've encountered since the last date or all the people you've been involved with before.

New contraceptive device is designed to prevent sexual transmission of HIV

Remember those free-wheeling days before AIDS?

Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College have published results showing that a new contraceptive device may also effectively block the transmission of the HIV virus. [Press Release: 19-May-2009]

Dominance in domestic dogs – useful construct or bad habit?

Researchers at Bristol's Department of Clinical Veterinary Sciences say that using "dominance" to explain dog behaviour and to train dogs is misguided and potentially dangerous.

Dr Rachel Casey, Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Bristol University, says:

The blanket assumption that every dog is motivated by some innate desire to control people and other dogs is frankly ridiculous. It hugely underestimates the complex communicative and learning abilities of dogs. It also leads to the use of coercive training techniques, which compromise welfare, and actually cause problem behaviours. [Press Release: 21-May-2009]

I know some of you women out there are using dog training methods on your men. If you've been using "dominance" methods, you may want to rethink your strategy. Or not. After all, this research was on dogs. Not men.

Another study confirms that opposite histocompatibility attracts

Scientists at the Immunogenetics and Histocompatibility Laboratory at the University of Parana, Brazil studied major histocompatibility complex (MHC) data from 90 married couples, and compared them with 152 randomly-generated control couples and found that people with diverse MHCs were more likely to choose each other as mates than those whose MHCs were similar.

"Although it may be tempting to think that humans choose their partners because of their similarities", says Professor Bicalho, "our research has shown clearly that it is differences that make for successful reproduction, and that the subconscious drive to have healthy children is important when choosing a mate." [Press Release: 24-May-2009]

Warriors do not always get the girl

Can it be that nice guys may not finish last?

Aggressive, vengeful behavior of individuals in some South American groups has been considered the means for men to obtain more wives and more children, but an international team of anthropologists working in Ecuador among the Waorani show that sometimes the macho guy does not do better.

"In 1988, Napoleon Chagnon published evidence that among the famously warlike Yanomamo of Venezuela, men who had participated in a homicide had significantly more wives and children than their less warlike brethren," said Stephen Beckerman, associate professor of anthropology, Penn State. "Our research among the Waorani indicates that more aggressive warriors have lower indices of reproductive success than less warlike men."


The researchers found that more aggressive men do not acquire more wives than milder men. They do not have more children and their wives and children do not survive longer. In fact, warlike men have fewer children who survive to reproductive age. [Press Release: 11-May-2009]

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