What happens when you mix wine with the kernel of a podcast episode idea?
In my case, I got Dr. Justin Lehmiller: a social psychologist and Kinsey Institute Research Fellow.
Three years ago I was scratching the ol’ noggin, sipping on a few glasses of red blend, and wondering about new episode topics for What We Do. Psychology has always fascinated me—the psychology of sex doubly so.
A quick Google search for “psychology of sex” and boom, Justin’s Sex and Psychology website blinked into my plane of existence. I reached out. He was kind enough to appear on the show (episode titled “American’s Largest Survey of Sexual Fantasies”). And since then, we’ve kept in touch. We even met in person at Podcast Movement Evolutions in LA.
Speaking of LA and the random stuff our minds dishes up, you might like another topic I covered in this episode about celebrities.
Flash forward to today. Justin was part of a team that conducted a year-long study of 200 friends-with-benefits relationships. So naturally, we’re back for round two.
Justin joined me on Curious State to reveal fascinating findings from the study (check out the episode with the player above). One piece that didn’t make the final cut was a portion of our conversation about the trustworthiness of the data.
Doug: Even though the surveys were anonymous, I imagine people might embellish things or hold back. Do you find the data you got to be trustworthy?
Justin: That is a concern that people sometimes have about anonymous online surveys. Are people being honest? Can you trust what it is that they’re saying? And I understand that concern, but by the same token, a lot of people would feel even more hesitant about talking about this in person with somebody.
You’re going to have far fewer people who would be willing to participate in an interview study where they’re identifiable to another person because there’s so much shame when it comes to talking about sex. The anonymous format actually makes it more likely that people will talk to you and also that they’ll be truthful if their responses can’t be traced back to them.
But in order to address that issue of people potentially lying or embellishing, we do build checks into our surveys to make sure that people are taking it seriously, that they’re answering questions consistently. So we are always on the lookout for potential signs of fraud or lying. We can’t fully eliminate that from our data, but we do the best we can with the tools we have. And we also recognize that having that layer of anonymity, in a lot of ways actually makes the data better, because you’ll get more people who are willing to participate in the study.
Check out the full, spicy episode by visiting the player above. Want more Curious State? Check out our latest episodes below:
More from Quick and Dirty Tips:
While the aforementioned episode of Curious State focused on friends-with-benefits relationships, other Quick and Dirty Tips shows have shared wisdom around making successful relationships.
When it comes to communicating, a lot of people swear by the power of love languages. But as our Relationship Doctor podcast recently revealed, love languages don’t have much basis in hard science. Listen below for the full details.