from the world's big
People think about breaking up more when they look outside their relationship for psychological fulfillment
Are your psychological needs being met?
As humans we all have psychological needs that we are driven to fulfill, be they companionship or safety, a sense of belonging or personal growth. And we often meet these needs through our relationships with others: They care for us, make us feel secure, and help us develop as individuals.
When we are in romantic relationships, our partners are commonly the main source for fulfilling those needs. But sometimes they are away, or are simply not equipped to meet our particular needs. In those cases we turn elsewhere, to friends, family, and others in our lives. This may benefit us personally — but how does it affect our relationship?
To find out, Laura Machia and Morgan Proulx at Syracuse University conducted a series of studies, published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, looking at need fulfillment among American adults in relationships. The first study drew on data collected in the mid-1990s from almost 4,700 participants of the Midlife in the United States longitudinal study. Participants reported how many hours per month their partner, and others outside of their relationship, fulfilled one particular need: emotional support. They also completed a number of scales measuring the quality of their relationship and how often they'd thought that their relationship could be in trouble.
The researchers found that the more emotional support people received from outside their relationship, the more negatively they rated their relationship and the less stable they felt it was. And it wasn't simply that these participants were making up for a lack of fulfillment from within the relationship, the findings held even when the researchers took into account the extent of support provided by participants' partners.
Instead, the team wondered whether having one's needs met outside of a relationship made people more aware that there were other viable options to turn to than just a partner. In a subsequent study, they gave 413 university students questionnaires measuring the "perceived quality of alternatives," rating their agreement with statements like "My needs for intimacy, companionship, etc., could easily be fulfilled in an alternative relationship." Participants also completed scales measuring how often their partner, and other people, met their needs (for instance, self-improvement or companionship), as well as how often they thought about ending their relationship.
The team found that the more participants' needs were fulfilled within a relationship, the worse they perceived the option of going to other people to meet their needs. But the more they actually received fulfillment from those outside sources, the better they rated them — and the more they thought about ending their relationship.
It's an intuitive finding: When people go outside of their relationship to try and meet their needs, they learn there are other options out there and they don't have to rely just on their partner. That doesn't necessarily mean they are finding other romantic partners, the authors add. Rather, receiving fulfillment from outside their romantic relationship "allows an individual to feel that being single, spending time with friends, or finding a new romantic partner at some point is a more viable option for them, in that their need fulfillment would not suffer considerably, should they opt to take one of those paths."
For the most part, the study didn't distinguish between different kinds of psychological need, so it remains to be seen whether there are particular needs to which the results apply most strongly — perhaps those that are closely linked to romantic relationships, for instance, like security and intimacy. There may also be individual differences in how susceptible people are to the effects, something the authors say they will look at in future work.
- Imago theory explains why we choose a partner that fits with our past ›
- Why Very Smart People Are Happiest Alone - Big Think ›
Ever since we've had the technology, we've looked to the stars in search of alien life. It's assumed that we're looking because we want to find other life in the universe, but what if we're looking to make sure there isn't any?
Here's an equation, and a rather distressing one at that: N = R* × fP × ne × f1 × fi × fc × L. It's the Drake equation, and it describes the number of alien civilizations in our galaxy with whom we might be able to communicate. Its terms correspond to values such as the fraction of stars with planets, the fraction of planets on which life could emerge, the fraction of planets that can support intelligent life, and so on. Using conservative estimates, the minimum result of this equation is 20. There ought to be 20 intelligent alien civilizations in the Milky Way that we can contact and who can contact us. But there aren't any.
Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.
- A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
- Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
- Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
A pile of recycled cardboard sits on the ground at Recology's Recycle Central on January 4, 2018 in San Francisco, California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images<p>A large part of the reason is speed. In a competitive market, pure players use the equation, <em>speed + convenience</em>, to drive adoption. This is especially relevant to the "last mile" GHG footprint: the distance between the distribution center and the consumer.</p><p>Interestingly, the smallest GHG footprint occurs when you order directly from a physical store—even smaller than going there yourself. Pure players, such as Amazon, are the greatest offenders. Variables like geographic location matter; the team looked at shopping in the UK, the US, China, and the Netherlands. </p><p>Sadegh Shahmohammadi, a PhD student at the Netherlands' Radboud University and corresponding author of the paper, <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/26/tech/greenhouse-gas-emissions-retail/index.html" target="_blank">says</a> the above "pattern holds true in countries where people mostly drive. It really depends on the country and consumer behavior there."</p><p>The researchers write that this year-and-a-half long study pushes back on previous research that claims online shopping to be better in terms of GHG footprints.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"They have, however, compared the GHG emissions per shopping event and did not consider the link between the retail channels and the basket size, which leads to a different conclusion than that of the current study."</p><p>Online retail is where convenience trumps environment: people tend to order one item at a time when shopping on pure player sites, whereas they stock up on multiple items when visiting a store. Consumers will sometimes order a number of separate items over the course of a week rather than making one trip to purchase everything they need. </p><p>While greening efforts by online retailers are important, until a shift in consumer attitude changes, the current carbon footprint will be a hard obstacle to overcome. Amazon is trying to have it both ways—carbon-free and convenience addicted—and the math isn't adding up. If you need to order things, do it online, but try to consolidate your purchases as much as possible.</p><p>--</p><p><em>Stay in touch with Derek on <a href="http://www.twitter.com/derekberes" target="_blank">Twitter</a>, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/DerekBeresdotcom" target="_blank">Facebook</a> and <a href="https://derekberes.substack.com/" target="_blank">Substack</a>. His next book is</em> "<em>Hero's Dose: The Case For Psychedelics in Ritual and Therapy."</em></p>
Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.