Sci-fi and fantasy readers may be more romantically mature, study finds
It's all about having mature ideas about how romantic relationships work.
A new University of Oklahoma study interviewed readers of seven distinct genres and tested their expectations (and misconceptions) about romantic partners and relationships. Who were the most realistic? Fans of science fiction and fantasy.
The study, which was published in the journal Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, included 404 adults (230 females, 179 males), all of whom were recruited online. During preliminary probing, the researchers conducted tests that asked the participants to identify the names of authors in seven genres: classics, contemporary literary fiction, romance, fantasy, science fiction, suspense/thriller, and horror.
After this, they then tested the subjects with a series of statements centered around five common, unrealistic beliefs about relationships:
- Disagreement is destructive
- Mind reading is expected
- Romantic partners cannot change
- The sexes are different
- The expectation of sexual perfection
The 40 statements, featuring a six-point rating scale from true to false, were assertions like: "When couples disagree, it seems like the relationship is falling apart" "Men and women have the same basic emotional need" and "People who have a close relationship can sense each other's needs as if they could read each other's minds."
"Individuals who scored higher for exposure to science fiction/fantasy were less likely to endorse four unrealistic relationship beliefs," wrote the team, led by psychologist Stephanie C. Stern.
Readers of most genres were less likely to accept one of the five unrealistic beliefs, but those who read science fiction or fantasy were less likely than the rest to accept four of the five myths. The only one that they believed to be true was the expectation of sexual perfection.
All of this said, if you're cruising the local independent bookstore for a date, head on over to the Star Trek section.
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Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.
- In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
- The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
- Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.
- Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
- Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
- The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
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