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Recent research: six papers with broad social implications – inequality, health insurance, spanking, bullying, and religion

Here are half a dozen recent research papers with broad social implications (all details & abstracts to these studies are given further down this blog posting).  Kay and colleagues publish on "Inequality, discrimination, and the power of the status quo: Direct evidence for a motivation to see the way things are as the way they should be."  They report four studies showing how widely this motivation acts - with political power, public funding, gender demographics, and in attacks on those who are trying to work for change.  There's relevance here to the second paper by Wilper et al on "Health Insurance and Mortality in US Adults" estimating that, even after adjusting for income, education, health status, weight, exercise, smoking and alcohol use, lack of insurance was associated with about 45,000 excess deaths annually in the United States among people aged 18 to 64.  Still in the area of inequality and discrimination, Wexler et al publish on

Recent research: six studies on couples - attraction, touch, viewpoint, comparison, empathy & sex

Here are half a dozen recent studies on men & women.  Elliot & Niesta found that red, relative to other colours, lead men to view women as "more attractive and sexually desirable".  Holt-Lundstad & colleagues randomized couples to a "support enhancement intervention" involving shared gentle massage for 30 minutes three times weekly or a control group.  There were encouraging effects of the "warm touch" on multiple stress-sensitive systems including husbands' blood pressure.  Koo et al found that writing about how something good might not have happened (e.g. how one might never have met one's romantic partner) produced more satisfaction (with the relationship) than writing about how the positive event actually had happened (e.g.

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