Subscribe: Psychological Bulletin - Vol 134, Iss 3
Preview: Psychological Bulletin - Vol 134, Iss 3

Psychological Bulletin - Vol 143, Iss 1

Psychological Bulletin publishes evaluative and integrative research reviews and interpretations of issues in scientific psychology. Primary research is reported only for illustrative purposes. Integrative reviews or research syntheses focus on empirical

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Copyright: Copyright 2017 American Psychological Association

Why are some STEM fields more gender balanced than others?


Women obtain more than half of U.S. undergraduate degrees in biology, chemistry, and mathematics, yet they earn less than 20% of computer science, engineering, and physics undergraduate degrees (National Science Foundation, 2014a). Gender differences in interest in computer science, engineering, and physics appear even before college. Why are women represented in some science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields more than others? We conduct a critical review of the most commonly cited factors explaining gender disparities in STEM participation and investigate whether these factors explain differential gender participation across STEM fields. Math performance and discrimination influence who enters STEM, but there is little evidence to date that these factors explain why women’s underrepresentation is relatively worse in some STEM fields. We introduce a model with three overarching factors to explain the larger gender gaps in participation in computer science, engineering, and physics than in biology, chemistry, and mathematics: (a) masculine cultures that signal a lower sense of belonging to women than men, (b) a lack of sufficient early experience with computer science, engineering, and physics, and (c) gender gaps in self-efficacy. Efforts to increase women’s participation in computer science, engineering, and physics may benefit from changing masculine cultures and providing students with early experiences that signal equally to both girls and boys that they belong and can succeed in these fields. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Overlap between the general factor of personality and emotional intelligence: A meta-analysis.


We examine the relationship between the general factor of personality (GFP) and emotional intelligence (EI) and specifically test the hypothesis that the GFP is a social effectiveness factor overlapping conceptually with EI. Presented is an extensive meta-analysis in which the associations between the GFP, extracted from the Big Five dimensions, with various EI measures is examined. Based on a total sample of k = 142 data sources (N = 36,268) the 2 major findings from the meta-analysis were (a) a large overlap between the GFP and trait EI (r ≈ .85); and (b) a positive, but more moderate, correlation with ability EI (r ≈ .28). These findings show that high-GFP individuals score higher on trait and ability EI, supporting the notion that the GFP is a social effectiveness factor. The findings also suggest that the GFP is very similar, perhaps even synonymous, to trait EI. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Psychological correlates of habitual diet in healthy adults.


There are 3 motivations for studying the psychological correlates of habitual diet. First, diet is a major but modifiable cause of morbidity and mortality, and dietary interventions could be improved by knowing the psychological characteristics of consumers of healthy/unhealthy diets. Second, animal studies indicate that diet can impair cognition, stress responsiveness, and affective processing, but it is unclear whether this also happens in humans. Third, certain psychological traits are associated with obesity, but it is not known whether these precede and thus contribute to weight gain. Although many psychological correlates of diet have been identified, the literature is highly dispersed, and there has been no previous comprehensive narrative review. Organized here by psychological domain, studies linking diet with individual differences in perception, cognition, impulsivity, personality, affective processing, mental health, and attitudes, beliefs and values—in healthy adults—are reviewed. Although there is a growing literature on the psychological correlates of fruit/vegetable intake—the core of a healthy diet—consumers of unhealthy diets have characteristics that probably make them less responsive to education-based interventions. Diet may be a causal contributor to depression, and diet is consistently linked to impulsivity and certain personality traits. There are inconsistent and less explored links to perceptual, affective and cognitive processes, with several emerging parallels to the animal literature. Impulsivity and personality traits common to obese individuals also occur in lean consumers of unhealthy diets, suggesting these may contribute to weight gain. Diet–psychology correlates remain understudied even though this could significantly benefit human health. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Integrating the context-appropriate balanced attention model and reinforcement sensitivity theory: Towards a domain-general personality process model.


Over the last 40 years or more the personality literature has been dominated by trait models based on the Big Five (B5). Trait-based models describe personality at the between-person level but cannot explain the within-person mental mechanisms responsible for personality. Nor can they adequately account for variations in emotion and behavior experienced by individuals across different situations and over time. An alternative, yet understated, approach to personality architecture can be found in neurobiological theories of personality, most notably reinforcement sensitivity theory (RST). In contrast to static trait-based personality models like the B5, RST provides a more plausible basis for a personality process model, namely, one that explains how emotions and behavior arise from the dynamic interaction between contextual factors and within-person mental mechanisms. In this article, the authors review the evolution of a neurobiologically based personality process model based on RST, the response modulation model and the context-appropriate balanced attention model. They argue that by integrating this complex literature, and by incorporating evidence from personality neuroscience, one can meaningfully explain personality at both the within- and between-person levels. This approach achieves a domain-general architecture based on RST and self-regulation that can be used to align within-person mental mechanisms, neurobiological systems and between-person measurement models. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Rethinking the transmission gap: What behavioral genetics and evolutionary psychology mean for attachment theory: A comment on Verhage et al. (2016).


Traditional attachment theory posits that attachment in infancy and early childhood is the result of intergenerational transmission of attachment from parents to offspring. Verhage et al. (2016) present meta-analytic evidence addressing the intergenerational transmission of attachment between caregivers and young children. In this commentary, we argue that their appraisal of the behavioral genetics literature is incomplete. The suggested research focus on shared environmental effects may dissuade the pursuit of profitable avenues of research and may hinder progress in attachment theory. Specifically, further research on the “transmission gap” will continue to limit our understanding of attachment etiology. We discuss recent theoretical developments from an evolutionary psychological perspective that can provide a valuable framework to account for the existing behavioral genetic data. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)

Failing the duck test: Reply to Barbaro, Boutwell, Barnes, and Shackelford (2017).


In this reply, we respond to the critique by Barbaro, Boutwell, Barnes, and Shackelford (2017) in regard to our recent meta-analysis of intergenerational transmission of attachment (Verhage et al., 2016). Barbaro et al. (2017) claim that the influence of shared environment on attachment decreases with age, whereas unique environmental and genetic influences increase, which they felt was disregarded in our meta-analysis. Their criticisms, we argue, are based on a misunderstanding of the core tenets of attachment theory. Barbaro et al. (2017) unify parent-offspring attachment, attachment representations, and romantic-pair attachment under the same conceptual and empirical umbrella, even though these constructs serve different behavioral systems. We show that excluding the incompatible twin data on pair bonding from their analysis undercuts their argument. Statements about the role of the shared environment in attachment beyond early childhood are highly uncertain at this point. Importantly, even if the role of the shared environment were to wane with age, its effects may still be causally important in later childhood or adult outcomes, as either an indirect factor or as a factor influencing earlier developmental outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)(image)