Friday, February 22, 2008

Abstract(s) of the week!

"The Comrades' Belief: Intended and Unintended Consequences of Communism for Neighbourhood Relations in the Former GDR."

We examine how relationships among neighbours in the former GDR were affected by the regime's housing policy of mixing people of different classes. Our retrospective data were collected in May 1992 (n= 189) and in April 1993 (n = 300) among two random samples of respondents in Leipzig and Dresden. While the communist regime was very successful at creating neighbourhoods of mixed social composition, its housing policy failed to create friendship between classes. . . . We understand these shallow and homogeneous neighbourhood networks as the unintended effect of the party's political control of private life: one would be unlikely to invest in relations that posed a threat and with individuals one did not trust, such as neighbours, who were dissimilar to oneself and who, because they lived next-door, knew about one's private life as well. . . .

It's possible to use this word too much, but: duh. (By the way, if you haven't seen The Lives of Others yet, don't bother, because you're dead to me. Get it? Dead.)

More about me:

"Selective memory and the persistence of paradoxical self-esteem."

Previous research suggests that paradoxical self-esteem (contrasting levels of self-liking and self-competence) is associated with selective memory for self-relevant information. The form and function of this bias was examined here. College students classified as paradoxical or nonparadoxical viewed a series of trait adjectives. Recognition memory for the words was later tested. Results revealed that heightened selectivity in paradoxicals was limited to words conveying low social worth. Those paradoxically low in self-liking showed distinctively good memory and those paradoxically high in self-liking showed distinctively bad memory for these words. . . . The claim that memory bias contributes to the persistence of paradoxical self-esteem was also tested. As expected, the self-liking of paradoxicals with the strongest memory bias showed the least shift toward self-competence four months later.

Least shift toward self-competence. That really hurts.

What were we talking about?

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