My crossword puzzle this morning was a themed one, and its theme was Sigmund Freud. I used to delve into Freud and his theories quite a lot when I was teaching The Catcher in the Rye because, well, holy crap. There is a ton of Freudian reference in there. Beyond that, I, like most thinking people, have little use for the rest of Dr. Freud's musings. While I do see "talking therapy" as generally a good thing overall, I don't see The Mother as the root of all psychoses, to be admittedly simplistic. Or sex. And, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
But all that thinking about Freud was evidently simmering on my brain's back burner, for when a psychology story popped up on my Google News Page, I kept clicking and clicking and, before I knew it, I had found several fascinating studies that I just have to share with you here. It's kind of a Pop Psychology Potpourri!
1. The Facebook. Here's a study that seems obvious. Facebook May Boost Self-Esteem But Reduce Motivation. "This is one of the first studies of its kind to use (the Implicit Association Test) psychology research tool to evaluate whether there are any psychological effects associated with using the online networking site....The Implicit Association Test involved asking the participants to associate positive or negative adjectives with words such as 'me' and 'myself'." Basically, a bunch of people gazed at their FB profiles for 5 minutes. Then they were given the IAT, which showed a marked increase in self-esteem. After that, they were given a task, to count down from a large number by intervals of seven, then answer some general questions. The FB people performed more poorly with relation to accuracy and speed. "Who needs this crap?" the FBers seemed to indicate, "when I'm already so awesome and have 670 friends?" Or, to put it in more scientificky terms, "The researchers believe that after spending time on Facebook people generally feel good about themselves, so there isn't as much motivation to increase self-worth by trying hard in the lab task compared to those in the control group."
2. Brown VS. Blue. This particular study, Why Do We Trust Brown-Eyed People More? really caught my attention. I have brown eyes, as do Rick and Jared. Sam's eyes are changeable, but are usually green. I first started thinking about the people whom I do not trust, and I could not really come up with anyone right off the bat except George W. Bush and Congress, and the latter has too many people to have this theory apply. Then I started thinking of any blue-eyed people I know, and I couldn't come up with any. Then I stopped hurting myself and just read the damn study. Anyway, this study ends up saying that it isn't really the eye color that determines trust; in the final analysis, it is the shape of the person's face that goes along with the eye color, and in that case, it seems to be that only in men is it the deciding factor. Women of blue eyes and brown eyes are judged almost equally trustworthy. The study ultimately found that "brown eyed men generally have wider mouths with upward-pointing corners, wider chins, bigger eyes and eyebrows closer to each other, characteristics considered masculine and more trustworthy. On the other hand, men with blue eyes tend to make them seem more shifty, sporting smaller eyes and narrow mouths with downward-pointing corners." For the record--Sam has large, round eyes, and his mouth is not narrow or downward-pointing. He can, however, at times, be shifty.
3. The Honey-Do List. Ladies, this study could be a bitch if The Wrong People read it. Husbands Who Share Housework Have Less Sex sounds like something commissioned by the GOP or the NFL or Budweiser or someone like that. You and I both know that this whole study is bullshit, and let me list just some of the reasons why:
1. The data is from 1992-1994
2. It defines a traditional marriage as one where housework is done exclusively by the wife.
3. It mentions a previous study whose research implied that "married men generally have more sex in exchange for doing housework."
4. It found that sex "is associated with the kinds of chores each partner completes."
5. This: The researcher "does not believe that the division of household chores - which in this study did not include child care - and sex have changed much since 1994."
Please do not point out to me that a woman authored this study. I hope she has already gotten the call to Turn In Her Card at an authorized center. Her face will be added to the Woman Wall Of Shame, along with, well, you all know who They are.
I have just completed my own Psychological Study titled The Longer You Stay In Your Jammies The Less Likely You Are To Accomplish Anything Beyond The Virtual World. It's taken almost two full years of intensive research. When I get around to writing it up, I'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, do catch me up or sound off in Comments.