In the first nine months of this year, Valamar Riviera achieved revenue growth of 19 percent

first_imgValamar Riviera dd from Poreč, the leading tourism company in Croatia, in the first nine months of 2016 generated total operating revenues of HRK 1.487 million, which is an increase of 19 percent compared to the same period last year. In the first nine months of 2016, consolidated operating profit (EBITDA) grew by 18 percent.Strong revenue growth is the result of sales revenue growth of HRK 1.382 million through 4,93 million overnight stays, an increase of 8 percent, and an increase in the average price of over 5 percent, while non-board consumption increased by 27 percent compared to the same period last year. Revenue growth is the result of good results in the pre- and post-season through the successful implementation of major events in Dubrovnik and Porec, excellent business of hotels, resorts and camps of higher categories throughout the period, development of value-added services and destination products and acquisition of Hotels Baska ddSignificant added value for shareholders was realized, which is also reflected in the growth of market capitalization of 43 percent in the first nine months of this year. “The business results achieved in the first nine months of this year confirm the success of Valamar Riviera’s growth and development strategy, which is based on continuous investments in portfolios, employees and destinations with the aim of creating added value for shareholders and other stakeholders. Last year’s acquisition of Baška showed excellent results in improving business on the island of Krk, so we believe that Valamar’s presence on Rab will contribute to the further growth of the company and the development of tourism in this leading Croatian tourist destination. We are currently focused on the preparation of the business year 2017, during which Valamar will invest more than HRK 750 million in raising the quality of the portfolio and in the development of human resources, which are key to the continued growth of the company’s value.”, Pointed out Željko Kukurin, President of the Management Board of Valamar Riviera.Photo: FB ValamarIn 2016, Valamar Riviera expects to generate between HRK 1.460 and 1.475 million in operating revenues, ie an increase of 12,8 to 14 percent compared to last year. Revenue growth will be accompanied by strong growth in consolidated operating profit (EBITDA), which will reach between HRK 500 and 515 million annually, which is an increase of HRK 77 to 92 million or up to 22 percent compared to 2015. The announced investment cycle in 2017 represents the company’s largest investment in portfolio development in one year, and a large part relates to projects in Rabac – Family life Bellevue Resort 4 * and Girandella Resort 4 * and continued investment in premium camping.last_img read more

Dartmouth researcher discovers ‘brain signature’ that predicts human emotions

first_imgShare on Twitter Email LinkedIn Share on Facebook “It’s an impressive demonstration of imaging our feelings, of decoding our emotions from brain activity,” says lead author Luke Chang, an assistant professor in Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth. “Emotions are central to our daily lives and emotional dysregulation is at the heart of many brain- and body-related disorders, but we don’t have a clear understanding of how emotions are processed in the brain. Thus, understanding the neurobiological mechanisms that generate and reduce negative emotional experiences is paramount.”The quest to understand the “emotional brain” has motivated hundreds of neuroimaging studies in recent years. But for neuroimaging to be useful, sensitive and specific “brain signatures” must be developed that can be applied to individual people to yield information about their emotional experiences, neuropathology or treatment prognosis. Thus far, the neuroscience of emotion has yielded many important results but no such indicators for emotional experiences.In their new study, the researchers’ goals were to develop a brain signature that predicts the intensity of negative emotional responses to evocative images; to test the signature in generalizing across individual participants and images; to examine the signature’s specificity related to pain; and to explore the neural circuitry necessary to predict negative emotional experience.Chang and his colleagues studied 182 participants who were shown negative photos (bodily injuries, acts of aggression, hate groups, car wrecks, human feces) and neutral photos. Thirty additional participants were also subjected to painful heat. Using brain imaging and machine learning techniques, the researchers identified a neural signature of negative emotion — a single neural activation pattern distributed across the entire brain that accurately predicts how negative a person will feel after viewing unpleasant images.“This means that brain imaging has the potential to accurately uncover how someone is feeling without knowing anything about them other than their brain activity,” Chang says. “This has enormous implications for improving our understanding of how emotions are generated and regulated, which have been notoriously difficult to define and measure. In addition, these new types of neural measures may prove to be important in identifying when people are having abnormal emotional responses – for example, too much or too little — which might indicate broader issues with health and mental functioning.”Unlike most previous research, the new study included a large sample size that reflects the general adult population and not just young college students; used machine learning and statistics to develop a predictive model of emotion; and, most importantly, tested participants across multiple psychological states, which allowed researchers to assess the sensitivity and specificity of their brain model.“We were particularly surprised by how well our pattern performed in predicting the magnitude and type of aversive experience,” Chang says. “As skepticism for neuroimaging grows based on over-sold and -interpreted findings and failures to replicate based on small sizes, many neuroscientists might be surprised by how well our signature performed. Another surprising finding is that our emotion brain signature using lots of people performed better at predicting how a person was feeling than their own brain data. There is an intuition that feelings are very idiosyncratic and vary across people. However, because we trained the pattern using so many participants – for example, four to 10 times the standard fMRI experiment — we were able to uncover responses that generalized beyond the training sample to new participants remarkably well.”center_img Pinterest Share A Dartmouth researcher and his colleagues have discovered a way to predict human emotions based on brain activity.The study is unusual because of its accuracy — more than 90 percent — and the large number of participants who reflect the general adult population rather than just college students. The findings could help in diagnosing and treating a range of mental and physical health conditions.The study appears in the journal PLOS Biology.last_img read more

Emotionally supportive relationships linked to lower testosterone in men

first_imgLinkedIn Science and folklore alike have long suggested that high levels of testosterone can facilitate the sorts of attitudes and behavior that make for, well, a less than ideal male parent.It has long been known that among humans (and some other species as well), males who cooperate amicably with their female mates in raising and nurturing offspring often have lower testosterone levels than their more aggressive and occasionally grumpy counterparts. But two University of Notre Dame anthropologists are looking beyond the nuclear family for such effects.Not only spouses, but also other relatives, good friends, colleagues, neighbors and fellow church members can play a role, suggest Lee T. Gettler, assistant professor of anthropology and director of the Notre Dame’s Hormones, Health, and Human Behavior Laboratory, and Rahul C. Oka, Ford Family Assistant Professor of Anthropology, in an article forthcoming in the journal Hormones and Behavior. Email Share on Twitter The new study focuses on a large, representative sample of aging U.S. men and the ways their testosterone varies when they have emotionally supportive relationships.“Compared to other U.S. men, fathers and married men often have lower testosterone,” Gettler said. “We think this helps them be more nurturing. We are the first to show that this also occurs with other social relationships. Our results show that when older men have emotionally supportive relationships with their siblings, friends, neighbors and coworkers, they also have lower testosterone.”According to Gettler, “We know that men and women with social support have much better health, overall, while testosterone affects risks for depression, cardiovascular disease, obesity and some cancers. We hope our findings, connecting these two areas, help stimulate new conversations about social support, biology and well-being.“Most of us have probably seen the TV commercials promoting testosterone as a remedy for symptoms of aging or ‘manopause.’ Our findings suggest that the social side effects of these testosterone supplements in older men should be carefully studied. While testosterone does go down with age, the potential social benefits that can accompany lower testosterone suggest it is not all doom and gloom.”center_img Share Pinterest Share on Facebooklast_img read more

Consuming violent media linked to 13x surge in violent dreams

first_imgPinterest LinkedIn The violent and sexual media you consume during the day may infiltrate your dreams at night, new research suggests.People who reported consuming violent media within 90 minutes of bedtime were 13 times more likely to have a violent dream that night, the study found. Those viewing sexual media were six times more likely to have a sex-related dream.The study of more than 1,000 Turkish residents also found that the more violent media content they reported consuming on a regular basis, the more often they said they had violent dreams in general. Share Share on Facebookcenter_img Share on Twitter Email The same link was found between sexual media content and sexual dreams, although the connection wasn’t as strong.“The media we consume can have an impact on us even when we’re sleeping,” said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and professor of communication and psychology at The Ohio State University.“We knew our violent and sexual media consumption had an impact on our waking lives. Now we have evidence of how it may influence our dreams.”The study is published online in the journal Dreaming. Bushman conducted the study with Jan Van den Bulck, a professor of communication studies at the University of Michigan; and Yakup Çetin of Fatih University and Ömer Terzi of Yildiz Technical University, both in Turkey.The study involved 1,287 people aged 10 to 60 who completed a survey about their media consumption and their dreams. About half the sample were students at schools in Istanbul. The remainder were adults recruited from social networking sites that discussed media.All participants were asked whether they had viewed any violent or sexual media content within 90 minutes of going to bed the night before the study, and whether they had any violent or sexual dreams that night.Slightly less than half of participants (45 percent) reported consuming violent media before bed that night, whereas slightly less than one-quarter reported exposure to sexual media content.Whether they had consumed violent or sexual media content was not associated with whether they dreamed that night, findings showed.But the fact that violent and sexual media use was related to a huge increase in related dreams showed the power media may have on our sleeping lives, Bushman said.“The magnitude of the increase in violent and sexual dreams linked to media consumption was surprising,” he said.The study also aimed to examine how overall media use was linked to dream content.Participants were asked the number of hours they spent consuming media (including TV, internet, DVDs, movies, video games and music) on any devices on weekdays and on weekends.Next, they were asked to rate whether the media they consumed contained violence and whether it contained sex on a scale of 1 (never) to 5 (always).They were then asked whether they dreamed and whether their dreams included violent content and sexual content. Again, they rated how often on a scale of 1 to 5.Overall, 67 percent of participants said they dreamed at least sometimes.More than 80 percent of participants said they were exposed to violent media content at least sometimes, whereas about half said they were exposed to sexual media content at least sometimes.About 80 percent of those surveyed said they had violent dreams sometimes, whereas slightly less than half said they had sexual dreams sometimes.The researchers found that overall media use was a significant predictor of more frequent dreaming, as was the frequency of exposure to violent media.So who had the most frequent violent dreams overall? Results showed that exposure to violent media was the stronger predictor, although people who reported more overall media exposure and more sexual media exposure also reported somewhat more violent dreams.As for sexual dreams, those who reported the most also tended to have consumed more sexual media. But the link between sexual media and sexual dreams wasn’t as strong as that between violent media and violent dreams.“Whether we looked at overall media use or media intake for just one day, the result was the same: The media we consume is linked to what we dream about,” Van den Bulck said.The results can’t reveal the direction of causality between dreams and media use, Bushman noted.“It is at least possible that people who have more violent or more sexual dreams are more likely to seek out that content during the day. Another possibility is that causality may go both ways, or that some other factor is related to both media consumption and dream content.“But I do believe that the most plausible explanation is that the media we consume influences our dreams,” Bushman said.Çetin said the results may be at least somewhat different for people in other countries, noting previous research has shown that media use and dream associations differ for people of varied cultural background.The results suggest one obvious recommendation for those who are troubled by their violent or sexual dreams, according to Bushman.“It would be good to avoid media with violent and sexual content, especially right before bed.”last_img read more

Study: Unhappiness intensifies the avoidance of frequent losses

first_imgLinkedIn PsyPost: Why were you interested in this topic?Yechiam: I guess my interest was aroused by a rather weird finding in decision science that people who are induced to have negative affect (e.g., by seeing a sad movie) tend to take more risk. To me, this was non-intuitive, as I felt that when a person is sad or upset she would tend to shy away from the possibility of getting more negative repercussions by taking additional risk — being more sensitized due to her current negative feeling.Indeed, in pain research it has been repeatedly observed that those in a negative mood avoid pain and have higher pain thresholds.What should the average person take away from your study?Turns out people do prefer to avoid frequent negative events when they are upset. So they avoid risks with frequent negative penalties. But they don’t mind being exposed to risk when it’s the kind that most of the time gives positive rewards. Therefore, negative mood does not lead to more sensitivity to the overall negative penalty but to its frequency – with frequent penalties being avoided more.This is also consistent with the findings that negative mood is sometimes associated with drug use and binging — these can be risky alternatives, but most of the time these activities provide positive rewards. Hence, these activities are not avoided by those with a negative mood.Another interesting finding of the current study concerns the well known phenomena that people are generally over-sensitive to frequent small losses. For instance, in behavioral experiments people don’t like gambling machines of the type that give a loss of $1 with 90% and a gain of $10 with 10%. Even though this machine is profitable on average, the common bad outcomes wash out the rarer positive ones. As it turns out, for individuals who report very high positive affectivity this tendency does not emerge: they are not over-sensitive to frequent negative penalty. By contrast, in individuals with low affectivity this tendency is aggravated.Are there any major caveats? What questions still need to be addressed?The findings used a laboratory study with small monetary penalties. It would be interesting to examine whether these findings also bear on people’s behavior in naturally occurring settings. For instance, do happier people explore more – and is this the result of being able to tolerate the very frequent hurdles that exploration may bring with it?The study, “Unhappiness Intensifies the Avoidance of Frequent Losses While Happiness Overcomes It“, was also co-authored by Ariel Telpaz, Stas Krupenia, and Anat Rafaeli. Share on Twitter Our level of happiness can affect our willingness to withstand frequent monetary losses, according to new research published in Frontiers in Psychology.The two-part study of 250 college students used the Iowa gambling task to uncover that unhappy individuals tended to avoid choices that resulted in frequent but minor losses. Instead, unhappy individuals tended to opt for choices that resulted in larger but rarer losses. Happier individuals, on the other hand, tended to be more willing to tolerate frequent losses if they led to positive net outcomes.PsyPost interviewed the study’s corresponding author, Eldad Yechiam of the Israel Institute of Technology. Read his responses below: Sharecenter_img Email Share on Facebook Pinterestlast_img read more

Study finds magic mushrooms may ‘reset’ the brains of depressed patients

first_imgPinterest Share on Twitter Patients taking psilocybin to treat depression show reduced symptoms weeks after treatment following a ‘reset’ of their brain activity.The findings come from a study in which researchers from Imperial College London used psilocybin – the psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in magic mushrooms – to treat a small number of patients with depression in whom conventional treatment had failed.In a paper, published today in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers describe patient-reported benefits lasting up to five weeks after treatment, and believe the psychedelic compound may effectively reset the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression. Email Share on Facebookcenter_img Share Comparison of images of patients’ brains before and one day after they received the drug treatment revealed changes in brain activity that were associated with marked and lasting reductions in depressive symptoms.The authors note that while the initial results of the experimental therapy are exciting, they are limited by the small sample size as well as the absence of a control group – such as a placebo group – to directly contrast with the patients.Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, Head of Psychedelic Research at Imperial, who led the study, said: “We have shown for the first time clear changes in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to respond to conventional treatments.“Several of our patients described feeling ‘reset’ after the treatment and often used computer analogies. For example, one said he felt like his brain had been ‘defragged’ like a computer hard drive, and another said he felt ‘rebooted’. Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary ‘kick start’ they need to break out of their depressive states and these imaging results do tentatively support a ‘reset’ analogy. Similar brain effects to these have been seen with electroconvulsive therapy.”Over the last decade or so, a number of clinical trials have been conducted into the safety and effectiveness of psychedelics in patients with conditions such as depression and addictions, yielding promising results.In the recent Imperial trial, the first with psilocybin in depression, 20 patients with treatment-resistant form of the disorder were given two doses of psilocybin (10 mg and 25 mg), with the second dose a week after the first.Nineteen of these underwent initial brain imaging and then a second scan one day after the high dose treatment. Carhart-Harris and team used two main brain imaging methods to measure changes in blood flow and the crosstalk between brain regions, with patients reporting their depressive symptoms through completing clinical questionnaires.Immediately following treatment with psilocybin, patients reported a decrease in depressive symptoms – corresponding with anecdotal reports of an ‘after-glow’ effect characterised by improvements in mood and stress relief.Functional MRI imaging revealed reduced blood flow in areas of the brain, including the amygdala, a small, almond-shaped region of the brain known to be involved in processing emotional responses, stress and fear. They also found increased stability in another brain network, previously linked to psilocybin’s immediate effects as well as to depression itself.These findings provide a new window into what happens in the brains of people after they have ‘come down’ from a psychedelic, where an initial disintegration of brain networks during the drug ‘trip’, is followed by a re-integration afterwards.Dr Carhart-Harris explained: “Through collecting these imaging data we have been able to provide a window into the after effects of psilocybin treatment in the brains of patients with chronic depression. Based on what we know from various brain imaging studies with psychedelics, as well as taking heed of what people say about their experiences, it may be that psychedelics do indeed ‘reset’ the brain networks associated with depression, effectively enabling them to be lifted from the depressed state.The authors warn that while the initial findings are encouraging, the research is at an early stage and that patients with depression should not attempt to self-medicate, as the team provided a special therapeutic context for the drug experience and things may go awry if the extensive psychological component of the treatment is neglected. They add that future studies will include more robust designs and currently plan to test psilocybin against a leading antidepressant in a trial set to start early next year.Professor David Nutt, Edmond J. Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit in the Division of Brain Sciences, and senior author of the paper, added: “Larger studies are needed to see if this positive effect can be reproduced in more patients. But these initial findings are exciting and provide another treatment avenue to explore.” LinkedInlast_img read more

Self-esteem influences how Facebook users react to portraying their true selves online

first_imgEmail LinkedIn People with lower self-esteem don’t feel good about presenting themselves authentically on the social networking website Facebook, according to new research published in Computers in Human Behavior.“Facebook is a rich site for research, enabling various forms of user engagement, but also considerable information exposure. Previous evidence in the social media literature indicates that Facebook is indeed a double-edged sword where engagement with the platform can positively or negatively influence users’ subjective well-being (SWB),” said Wonseok (Eric) Jang, an assistant professor at Texas Tech University and corresponding author of the study.“Studies have found that some forms of social support (e.g., the ‘Like’ button or supportive comments) from Facebook friends results in a greater degree of SWB, whereas other research has documented that when Facebook users adopt a comparative mindset, engagement with Facebook lowers SWB via feelings of envy,” Jang said. Share on Facebook Share on Twittercenter_img Pinterest Share “Due to these conflicting patterns, we were interested in examining whether the type of self-presentation strategy that users adopt on the platform influences what they get out of Facebook use, particularly if psychological rewards derived from engaging with the medium depend on one’s level of self-esteem.”The researchers examined two different ways that people can portray themselves on social networking websites: true self-presentation and strategic self-presentation. In the former, people provide an honest reflection of themselves and their life. In the latter, people selectively disclose only positive content to create a more favorable impression of themselves.In the study, 278 Facebook users were instructed to post content reflecting their true selves or strategic selves to Facebook before completing a scientific questionnaire.The researchers found that true self-presentation was associated with greater happiness after posting to Facebook only for high self-esteem users, not for low self-esteem users. Strategic self-presentation, on the other hand, made both high and low self-esteem users happy.“Our findings suggest that users with low self-esteem may use Facebook as an effective platform to enhance their sense of SWB by highlighting their most desirable characteristics,” Jang told PsyPost. “In general, low self-esteem individuals are reluctant to express their positive characteristics to others because they are not confident about their image and perceive themselves as less socially attractive than people with high self-esteem.”“In the context of Facebook, we found that people perceive the social media platform as a relatively safe environment because users can determine their friends and control what they share. The opportunities for embarrassment are thus reduced compared to in-person interactions, which are more unpredictable. Low self-esteem individuals may thus use Facebook as a platform to share aspect of themselves including their most desirable and positive characteristics to enhance their attractiveness and, in turn, heighten their SWB.”The study has some limitations.“It is not yet clear whether the gain in SWB we are seeing for low self-esteem users are enduring or disappear rapidly,” Jang explained. “Facebook users may enhance their level of SWB right after posting new messages or images but such benefits may decay over time, or even quite quickly.”“Future research should examine whether Facebook use has short- or long-term effects on users’ SWB and other positive outcomes. It would be especially interesting to examine whether such effects are determined by the type of self-presentation strategy (e.g., presenting a true self vs. presenting a strategic self) that users adopt while interacting with others.”“At this troubled time for Facebook and other social media platforms, we think investigating long-term outcomes from regular and consistent use of social media should be prioritized,” Jang added. “At present, there is still a limited understanding of whether the effects of Facebook use on user well-being are short-lived or enduring.”“Such insight could have important implications for broader public attitudes toward these growing avenues of social influence. Thus, scholars should incorporate longitudinal designs into their social media research and consider sustained influence on user psychology.”The study, “Self-esteem moderates the influence of self-presentation style on Facebook users’ sense of subjective well-being“, was authored by Wonseok (Eric) Jang, Erik Bucy, and Janice Cho.last_img read more

Study: Religious people are less likely to get bored — which makes them less inclined to search for meaning

first_imgShare Email Pinterest Share on Facebook Religiosity is associated with lower levels of proneness to boredom, according to new research published in the scientific journal Emotion.“Studies show that boredom propels people to seek for activities that are more fulfilling; acts that offer a sense of purpose and meaning. It follows that activities or beliefs that people feel gives them a sense of purpose should help to prevent getting bored. Yet, surprisingly, this had never been tested,” said study author Wijnand A.P. Van Tilburg of King’s College London. “We looked at religiosity because religious people tend to describe their beliefs as offering them a sense of meaning in life. Besides that, religion is of course an incredibly widespread phenomenon worldwide and affects many people. So, we were interested if religiosity, a source of meaning in life for many, might prevent boredom.”center_img Share on Twitter LinkedIn “The research had a secondary, more subtle, but nonetheless interesting purpose: If boredom normally makes people search for new purpose or meaning, then could it be that religiosity, through reducing boredom, indirectly prevents people from doing so?”Across three separate studies, with nearly 1,500 participants in total, the researchers found that religious people tended to feel less bored, which in turn was associated with a lower inclination to search for meaning compared to non-religious people. The participants included Christians, Agnostics, Atheists, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims, and Hindus.Non-religious people who were subjected to a mundane task — transcribing an excerpt about lawn mowing — tended to report higher levels of boredom. They were also more likely than religious people to say they wanted to do something of greater significance.“By reducing boredom, religiosity indirectly tempered the ‘quest’ for meaning,” van Tilburg told PsyPost. “To be clear: this does not mean that religious people do not search for meaning in their lives. Rather, the findings suggests that, counter-intuitively, religious people are less inclined to search for meaningful alternatives in situations where others would feel bored.”Religious people were more likely to perceive life as more meaningful to start with, which was in turn associated with less boredom. “The finding that a seemingly minor, everyday life, and mundane experience as boredom connects two variables of such existential and cultural significance as religiosity and meaning in life is, in our view, profound,” van Tilburg said.“The finding that boredom links these two variables showcases how relevant ‘mundane’ emotions are in people’s quests for making sense of their existence, simultaneously further grounding the psychology religiosity and meaning in ‘mundane’ life and revealing boredom as actor with a more significantly role than it is traditionally given.”But the study includes some caveats.“No single study or even series of studies can fully address complicated phenomena such as religiosity, meaning in life, and boredom. For example, people differ in the way they practice their religion: some may focus particularly on the social and community activities that come with it, whereas others may focus more on using religion as a guide through their lives,” van Tilburg explained.“In our research we have not yet made such important distinction. Could it be that the role of religiosity in reducing boredom depends on how people put their religion in practice? Furthermore, our studies focused mostly (though not exclusively) on Christians. Are there differences across religions? These are questions we have yet to find the answers to.”Previous research conducted by van Tilburg found a link between boredom and political extremism. “Throughout this and our other research we consistently find that boredom offers many surprises. It may seem like a mundane perhaps even trivial unpleasant experience but it turns out that it fulfills important psychological and social roles,” he added. “Boredom ‘wakes us up’ by stirring a desire for challenge and more meaningful activity. It propels people towards activities that they believe offer a sense of purpose and this can lead to a range of unexpected outcomes, including derogation of outsiders, retrieving self-soothing nostalgic memories, and turning to more extreme political views.”The study, “Bored like Hell: Religiosity reduces boredom and tempers the quest for meaning“, was authored by Wijnand A. P. van Tilburg, Eric R. Igou, Paul J. Maher, Andrew B. Moynihan, and Dawn G. Martin.last_img read more

New study finds evidence that political ambition can be genetically inherited from one’s parent

first_imgShare Share on Facebook LinkedIn “A second reason why it is important to be better able to explain political behavior is of a more normative nature. It is often asserted that the essence of politics is power and power relationships. From this point of view, it is important to understand what explains why some citizens are more politically active than others. Put differently, a better understanding of the reasons for political participation is a precondition for creating a more equal society,” Oskarsson said.Statistics Sweden, a government agency, maintains a database called the Multi-Generation Register that contains information on the biological parents of individuals. The database includes 10,717,814 non-adopted individuals and 155,865 adopted individuals.The researchers analyzed this data, along with additional information regarding educational attainment, income, occupational status and political candidacy, to examine the intergenerational transmission of political behavior. Overall, the probability of being a political candidate was about 2.3%. But among adopted individuals whose biological parents were candidates, the probability of being a political candidate jumped up to about 5%.“A first take-home point is that there is a strong parent–child transmission in the tendency to run for office. If you have a parent that ran for office, there is a much higher likelihood that you will also stand as a political candidate as an adult,” Oskarsson told PsyPost.“Second, and more importantly, this intergenerational transmission in political candidacy status reflects both social and genetic factors. We used a sample of adopted children and their biological and adoptive parents to investigate this.”“The results clearly suggest that having a biological parent who ran for office is a good predictor of the adoptee’s probability of running for office as adults, despite the fact that these children were adopted away early in life and have had no contact with their birth parents ever since. However, the results also indicate that adoptive parents’ political activity is a major source of intergenerational resemblance,” Oskarsson said.All scientific research includes some limitations — and this study is no exception.“Like other recent studies on the heritability of complex human behaviors this study takes a first important step by showing that political candidacy is caused by both social and genetic factors. However, it is even more important to take further steps and investigate how social and political traits are shaped by the interplay between genes and environment,” Oskarsson explained.“They arise when the type or magnitude of the effect of a genetic factor depends on the environmental conditions in which it is expressed. In our case we can suspect, for example, that a predisposition toward political engagement may only matter under the right environmental circumstances. However, the knowledge of how these so called gene-by-environment interactions actually work is currently limited: what genetic factors interact with what social, economic and political factors, and how?”The findings indicate that political candidacy may be a genetically influenced trait. However, any genetic influence is just one factor among many that contribute to an individual’s decision to run for public office.“It is important to note that our results do not signal genetic determinism. Our finding that biological parents’ behavior is a strong predictor of political candidacy among adoptees does not mean that there is direct causal link between a set of genetic factors and an individual’s propensity to run for office. Any genetic effect on a complex behavior such as running for office will undoubtedly be mediated by a large set of factors, some of which are malleable,” Oskarsson added.“It is also important to stress that omitting the genetic part of intergenerational transmission – that is, failing to take into account that we are not only raised by our parents, but we also inherit a combination of their DNA – neglects an integral part of the explanation of social and political traits because genetic differences between individuals not only add to social and environmental influences but also co-vary and interact with them in complex ways.”“Consequently, considering genetic influences by no means negates social influences, but rather provides an additional layer of explanation that can substantially improve our understanding of how they work. As such, it can also aid in developing more effective policies that deal with the social roots and consequences of social and political inequality,” Oskarsson said.The study, “It Runs in the Family: A Study of Political Candidacy Among Swedish Adoptees“, was authored by Sven Oskarsson, Christopher T. Dawes, and Karl-Oskar Lindgren. A new study on Swedish adoptees suggests that political candidacy is a heritable trait. The research, which appears in the journal Political Behavior, found that the likelihood of standing as a political candidate doubled if one’s parent had been a candidate.“My research interest in general concerns how human behavior, especially political behavior, is formed by the interplay between social and genetic factors,” explained study author Sven Oskarsson of Uppsala University and the Uppsala Center for Labor Studies.“A better understanding of these basic causes of differences in political behavior is fundamental for at least two reasons. The first is that politics and political activity is something that in a deeper sense is a characteristic of us as a species. Humans are, to quote Aristotle, political animals by nature. This means that a deeper understanding of how we think and act in political contexts is an important part of our understanding of ourselves.”center_img Email Pinterest Share on Twitterlast_img read more

Attachment anxiety heightens aversion toward pattern deviancy, according to new psychology research

first_imgShare on Facebook Email Anxieties about one’s close relationships are associated with aversion towards pattern deviancy, according to new research published in the European Journal of Social Psychology.“I’ve always been fascinated with objects, experiences, and situations that are irregular, abnormal, and break the pattern of what we are used to. I’ve consistently found that people tend to feel negatively about such ‘deviant’ stimuli. The obvious next question was to ask where these negative attitudes towards deviancy come from,” explained study author Anton Gollwitzer, a PhD Candidate at Yale University.Two initial surveys of 239 participants found a link between attachment anxiety and aversion toward pattern deviancy. People who agreed with statements such as “My desire to be very close sometimes scares people away” and “I often worry that my partner doesn’t really love me” tended to also say that broken patterns of geometric shapes made them feel uncomfortable, anxious, or annoyed. Pinterest LinkedIncenter_img Share on Twitter The researchers then conducted an experiment with another 333 individuals, which found that participants who were asked to recall a relationship where they felt anxiously attached tended to have heightened aversion towards broken geometric patterns compared to participants who were asked to recall a relationship where they felt comfortable and secure.A second experiment with 501 participants replicated the findings with a different measure of pattern deviancy aversion. Instead of being asked to evaluate patterns of geometric shapes, the participants were simply asked how they felt “about things that break a pattern, are out of line, and are disordered.”“Anxiety in terms of our social relationships can have a far-reaching impact on our lives, including nonsocial outcomes. Although we tend to think of our social and nonsocial attitudes as independent, our social experiences can actually alter the way we more generally approach objects, experiences, and situations,” Gollwitzer told PsyPost.Future research could address why the association between attachment anxiety and aversion toward pattern deviancy exists.“Is the link between anxious attachment and disliking broken patterns functional in some way? For instance, do unstable social relationships serve as a signal for dangerous irregularities in the environment? If true, then anxious attachment may heighten people’s dislike of broken patterns to help them avoid these harmful irregularities,” Gollwitzer said.The study, “Anxious Attachment as an Antecedent of People’s Aversion Towards Pattern Deviancy“, was authored by Anton Gollwitzer and Margaret S. Clark. Sharelast_img read more