Tag Archives: regret

Alcohol might lead to postsexual regret more than ecstasy or marijuana

A new psychological study reveals that drinking might lead to post-sex regret more than ecstasy or marijuana consumption.

Via Pixabay/bridgesward

According to the scientists, alcohol is more strongly associated with heightened perceived sexual effects like perceived sexual attractiveness of self and others, sexual desire, length of intercourse, and sexual outgoingness.

The paper, published in the journal Psychology & Sexuality, says that male participants experienced sexual dysfunction when consuming alcohol or taking MDMA (the main psychoactive ingredient in ‘ecstasy’ pills), but female participants suffered sexual difficulties when smoking pot. Interesting, right?

“A lot of studies suggest that the use of various drugs increases the chances for sexually risky behavior, but few have examined the actual sexual effects of drugs,” said Joseph J. Palamar of New York University, an author of the study, to the Psypost.

Ecstasy pills
Via Wikipedia

“Whether or not someone uses a condom while high is important. However, limiting research to this behavior really ignores the actual sexual responses associated with drug use that may in fact influence one’s decision to have sex with or without a condom.”

Scientists gathered interviews from 679 young people between the ages 18 and 25 right outside New York’s nightclubs and dance festivals. They found out that alcohol made them feel sexier than the other drugs.

“Each drug is associated with its own level of sexual risk,” said Palamar. “Alcohol is likely the riskiest as use is not only so common but also promoted throughout much of society. Even if sex itself isn’t risky while on alcohol, post-sex regret is extremely common as users may hook up with someone they normally wouldn’t have sex with.”

There was no surprise that ecstasy was found to be the drug most associated with an increased body and sex organ sensitivity, as well as increased sexual intensity. After all, its name speaks for itself.

The study has its limitations though: researchers only relied on self-reports. Another thing we ought to consider is that youngsters often mix these drugs up, and it’s rather difficult to say what substance has which effect. And let’s not forget that… well, users are prone to forget things when under the influence of psychoactive substances.

Study finds six components needed for a genuine apology

There are six components that make or break an apology, a new study finds. Depending on many of these you include, your feelings of regret will either be accepted or get a cold shoulder.

We’ve told you how to become a better public speaker, but today we’re going to talk about something that statistically, people do a lot more of than holding presentations: messing up. You forgot to feed their cat, spilled coffee on your boss’ white shirt or brought a regular burger when asked for a veggie one; whatever you did, you genuinely feel sorry and want the other person to understand this.

But what’s the best way to do it? Ohio State University researchers have the answer — they have identified six components that make of break an apology in a recent study.

Writing it on the sky always helps.
Image credits flickr user butupa

“Apologies really do work, but you should make sure you hit as many of the six key components as possible,” said Roy Lewicki, lead author of the study and professor emeritus of management and human resources at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.

Lewicki and his co-authors performed two separate experiments in which they tested how 755 participants reacted to apologies containing one through to all six of these elements:

1. Expression of regret

2. Explanation of what went wrong

3. Acknowledgment of responsibility

4. Declaration of repentance

5. Offer of repair

6. Request for forgiveness

The first study involved 333 adults recruited online through Amazon’s MTURK program. All the participants read a scenario in which they were the manager of an accounting department that was hiring a new employee. The candidate had filed an incorrect tax return at a previous job, understating a client’s income. Half the respondents were told that the applicant just wasn’t knowledgeable in all relevant tax codes. The other half were told that he knowingly filed the tax return incorrectly. They would then confront the candidate, who would apologize.

Participants were informed that the apology contained either one, three or all six of the components listed above; they were then asked to rate how credible, adequate and effective the apology would be.

The second study included 422 undergraduate students. They received the same scenario as in the previous study and were asked to rate the apology, but weren’t told about which components it would contain. Instead, they read an actual apology of one to six statements, each based on one of the components, such as “I was wrong in what I did, and I accepted responsibility for my actions” as an acknowledgment of responsibility.

While the two studies’ results weren’t identical, they were very similar. For both studies, the more elements that the apology contained the more effective it was rated. There was a general consistency in the importance of the components when evaluated one at a time, with slight variations between the two studies.

Participants rated apologies with all six elements as being the best at conveying a sense of regret and a desire to make amends, but not all of these components are equal. If you’re pressed for time, two of them are crucial to having your apology accepted: acknowledgement of responsibility and an offer of repair.

“Our findings showed that the most important component is an acknowledgement of responsibility. Say it is your fault, that you made a mistake,” Lewicki said. “[Another] concern about apologies is that talk is cheap. But by saying, ‘I’ll fix what is wrong,’ you’re committing to take action to undo the damage.”

Expression of regret, explanation of what went wrong and declaration of repentance were all tied together for third place for importance in an apology. The least effective element of an apology is a request for forgiveness.

“That’s the one you can leave out if you have to,” Lewicki said.

The value of each of the six components was the same whether the apology was related to failures of competence or integrity. But overall, participants were less likely to accept apologies when the job applicant showed a lack of integrity rather than a benign lack of competence.

Lewicki noted that, in these artificial, laboratory conditions, participants simply read apology statements. But the emotion and tone of a spoken apology may have powerful effects, as well.

“Clearly, things like eye contact and appropriate expression of sincerity are important when you give a face-to-face apology,” he concluded.

The full paper titled “An Exploration of the Structure of Effective Apologies” has been published online in the journal Negotiation and Conflict Management Research and can be read here.

Monkeys have regrets too

Much like humans, monkeys too exhibit signs of regret, and they wonder themselves what might have been, according to a recent study published by researchers from Yale.

The study, published in the Neuron journal, suggests that aside from regrets, monkeys often wonder about how different actions would lead to different outcomes; as researchers state, aside from being extremely interesting in itself, this could also shed some light on some of the most basic human psychological traits.

The general belief is that animals learn only on their previous experiences, mostly on a trial and error basis. But Daeyeol Lee, a professor of neurobiology at the Yale School of Medicine said he has long believed that this was inaccurate, and set out to prove his hunch; he succeeded.

“When people have regret, they’re thinking about what could have happened; it’s about imagining what could have happened,” said Lee, co-author of the study. “The reason you do this is because it actually broadens the potential for learning tremendously. It seems like such a fundamental question that I would be surprised if it were exclusive to humans.”

To test their theory, researchers set out and taught the monkeys to play a computer simulation of ‘rock, paper, scissors’, while monitoring their brain’s activity. If they won, they would get a large reward, if they tied, a small reward, and they got nothing when they lost. Most of the monkeys, they observed, would pick whichever symbol they would have won with in the previous game. In other words, Lee said, they were able to think abstractly and imagine an alternative outcome.

With the help of brain imaging material, the Yale researchers were able to pinpoint the activity in the brain triggered by this kind of thinking, and the different forms that it takes. According to them, regret takes place in two different forms, both of which take place in parts of the prefrontal cortex. Most regret is also good, and helps you learn and evolve.

“Your brain is running this mental simulation about how you could do things differently in the future to get a better outcome.”

But when people obsess about their regrets, this often leads to depression.

“It’s an important first step,” he said. “If someone has a pathological amount of regret, and you want to ameliorate it some way, you can target those areas. And when you’re testing those drugs, then you know where to look.”