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Moulton-Tetlock, E., Ahn, J., Haines, E., & Mason, M. (in press). Women’s Work: Remembering Communal Goals. Motivation Science.
Building on evidence that people coordinate mnemonic work, the current paper evaluates whether women exert greater mental effort than men to remember outstanding goals for which other people are beneficiaries. We demonstrate support for the notion that men and women expend unequal effort to encode and track communal goals: outstanding goals that benefit others. Studies 1a-1e demonstrate that women are assumed to be more communal in their remembering than men. Studies 2 and 3 explore the merit of this common assumption. Focusing on the coordination of mnemonic work among romantic couples, Study 2 demonstrates that women are far more likely than men to encode outstanding goals for which their partner is a beneficiary. Study 3 replicates the communal memory effect experimentally with ad-hoc dyads and rules out the possibility that the effect is rooted in a gender difference in mnemonic ability. The heightened expectation for women to be communal may manifest not simply as an increase in physical communal labor (e.g. household labor) but as an increase in mental communal labor as well. Implications of these results for home and workplace performance are discussed.
Slepian, M.L., & Moulton-Tetlock, E. (in press). Confiding secrets and well-being. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI link
How does confiding secrets relate to well-being? The current work presents the first empirical test of the well-being consequences of confiding diverse real-world secrets to actual, known others. We examined over 800 participants with more than 10,000 secrets in total, finding that confiding a secret does not predict reduced instances of concealment. Rather, confiding a secret predicts higher well-being through perceived coping efficacy. Correlational and experimental studies find that through confiding a secret, people feel they obtain social support and are more capable in coping with the secret. Additionally, through perceived coping efficacy, confiding a secret predicts less frequent mind-wandering to the secret. Confiding predicts higher well-being through changing the way and how often people think about their secret.