Monday, July 10, 2017

The Perils of Proclaiming an Authentic Organizational Identity

The Perils of Proclaiming an Authentic Organizational Identity. By Balázs Kovács, Glenn Carroll & David Lehman. Sociological Science, January 2017,

Abstract: An emerging body of research consistently demonstrates that individuals in developed consumer markets value authenticity. But how individuals respond to organizations that tout their identities as authentic is not so well understood. We argue that organizational attempts at explicitly proclaiming their own identity as authentic will generally be regarded by individuals with skepticism and devaluation. Across two studies with different research designs, we find consistent empirical evidence that individuals devalue organizations making identity self-claims of authenticity. The first study analyzed authenticity claims made in the texts of menus from 1,393 restaurants in Los Angeles and their corresponding 450,492 online consumer reviews recorded from 2009 to 2016. The second study used a controlled, minimalistic experimental setting with fictitious restaurant menus that examined reactions to generic authenticity self-claims. The findings illuminate how individuals respond to organizational identity claims about authenticity and raise interesting questions about other types of identity claims.

Distress tolerance and physiological reactivity to stress predict women’s problematic alcohol use

Distress tolerance and physiological reactivity to stress predict women’s problematic alcohol use. By Holzhauer, Cathryn Glanton; Wemm, Stephanie; Wulfert, Edelgard
Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Vol 25(3), Jun 2017, 156-165.

Abstract: Research has shown that measures of reactivity to distress—including distress tolerance and physiological reactivity to stress—are dysregulated in women who misuse alcohol. These variables may interact and create a risk profile for young adult women, reflecting patterns of stress reactivity that confer a risk for alcohol misuse. The current study tested this hypothesis by examining the independent and interactive associations of subjective distress tolerance, behavioral distress tolerance, and physiological stress reactivity with women’s alcohol misuse. The study was conducted with a sample of 91 college women recruited on a large northeastern university campus. Results showed that subjective levels of distress tolerance and physiological reactivity to stress (skin conductance reactivity, SCR), but not behavioral distress tolerance, were independently associated with alcohol misuse. In addition, subjective distress tolerance moderated the relationship between SCR and negative alcohol-related consequences. Specifically, women with low physiological reactivity (SCR) to a stressful task and greater urge to quickly rid themselves of distress (low subjective distress tolerance) endorsed a significantly greater number of adverse consequences from their alcohol use. These results extend prior findings by showing that, even among a nonclinical sample of women, lower stress reactivity in combination with low subjective distress tolerance is associated with increased risk for various drinking-related negative consequences.

Cognitive functioning, aging, and work: A review and recommendations for research and practice

Cognitive functioning, aging, and work: A review and recommendations for research and practice. By Fisher, Gwenith G.; Chaffee, Dorey S.; Tetrick, Lois E.; Davalos, Deana B.; Potter, Guy G.
Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, Vol 22(3), Jul 2017, 314-336.

Abstract: There is a larger proportion and number of older adults in the labor force than ever before. Furthermore, older adults in the workforce are working until later ages. Although a great deal of research has examined physical health and well-being of working older adults, less research has focused on cognitive functioning. The purpose of this article is to provide a broad contemporary and multidisciplinary review of the intersection between cognitive functioning, aging, and work as a follow-up to a paper previously written by Fisher et al. (2014). We begin by providing definitions and background about cognitive functioning and how it changes over the life span. Next we discuss theories relevant to the intersection of cognitive functioning and work, including the use-it-or-lose-it hypothesis, the cognitive reserve hypothesis, hypotheses regarding environmental influences on intellectual functioning, and the job-demands-resources model. Then we summarize recent research about the effects of work on cognitive functioning, as well as ways that cognitive functioning may influence work motivation, learning, development, training, and safety. We conclude by emphasizing the importance of person-environment fit, suggesting avenues for future research, and discussing practical implications for the field of occupational health psychology.

In search of the psychological antecedents and consequences of Christian conversion: A three-year prospective study

In search of the psychological antecedents and consequences of Christian conversion: A three-year prospective study. By Hui, C. Harry; Cheung, Sing-Hang; Lam, Jasmine; Lau, Esther Yuet Ying; Yuliawati, Livia; Cheung, Shu Fai
Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, Vol 9(2), May 2017, 220-230.

Abstract: Religious conversion is often an overwhelming experience. Although self-reports by some converts about life before and after conversion often contain vivid descriptions of the type and extent of changes, few rigorous empirical studies have documented them. This 3-year longitudinal prospective study aimed to understand the precursors of conversion, and whether this event would result in psychological changes. A logistic regression on 455 non-Christian Chinese (of whom 46 later became Christian converts) showed that neither baseline personality, personal values, social axioms, nor psychological symptoms predicted whether one would be converted during the next three years. However, people who thought that there is one and only one true religion were more likely than others to be converted. We further formed a matched sample of 92 individuals who had been Christians throughout the study, and a matched sample of 92 nonbelievers who remained so throughout the study. Comparison between measures taken at the baseline and end of the study period showed that converted people were transformed not in personality but in symptoms of stress and anxiety, as well as several personal values.

Gaming the Chevron Doctrine?

Gaming the Chevron Doctrine? By Kent Barnett, Christina Boyd & Christopher Walker
University of Georgia Working Paper, June 2017,

Abstract: Do federal circuit courts consistently apply Chevron deference's framework when reviewing agency statutory interpretations? Or do political dynamics result in courts gaming the Chevron doctrine? To answer these questions, we empirically analyze circuit-court decisions from 2003 until 2013 that review agency statutory interpretations. Our results - from the largest and most comprehensive database of its kind - confirm longstanding intuition and earlier, more limited studies: courts do not consistently apply Chevron. Our findings, nevertheless, offer some surprising insights into the political dynamics of applying Chevron. When courts reviewed liberal agency interpretations, all panels - liberal, moderate, and conservative - were equally likely to apply Chevron. But when reviewing conservative agency interpretations, liberal panels applied Chevron significantly less frequently than conservative panels. Contrary to limited prior studies, we find no evidence of "whistleblower" or disciplining effects when judges of different judicial ideologies comprised the panel. Viewed together, our results provide important implications for the current debate on whether to eliminate, narrow, or clarify Chevron's domain.

Keywords: Administrative Law, Deference, Judicial Review, Chevron, Skidmore

Standards of Beauty: The Impact of Mannequins in the Retail Context

Standards of Beauty: The Impact of Mannequins in the Retail Context. By  Jennifer Argo & Darren Dahl
Journal of Consumer Research,

Abstract: Across six studies, a female mannequin is demonstrated to have negative implications for both male and female consumers low in appearance self-esteem. In particular, consumers who are lower in appearance self-esteem evaluate a product displayed by a mannequin more negatively as compared with consumers higher in appearance self-esteem. As mannequins signal the normative standard of beauty and consumers with low self-esteem in regard to their appearance believe they fail to meet this standard, these consumers become threatened by the beauty standard when exposed to a mannequin and in response denigrate the product the mannequin is displaying. Evidence for the underlying process is provided in three ways: 1) the finding that the effect for male and female consumers with low appearance self-esteem only arises when the mannequin is displaying an appearance-related product, 2) through mediation analysis that demonstrates that the mannequin conveys society’s standard of beauty and that this negatively impacts product evaluations, and 3) the mitigation of the effect by removing the presence of threat via a self-affirmation task or decreasing the mannequin’s beauty (e.g., marking its face, removing its hair, or removing its head). Multiple avenues for future research are forwarded.

Keywords: mannequins, global comparisons, retail

Facial Profiling: Race, Physical Appearance, and Punishment

Facial Profiling: Race, Physical Appearance, and Punishment. By Brian Johnson & Ryan King

Abstract: We investigate the associations among physical appearance, threat perceptions, and criminal punishment. Psychological ideas about impression formation are integrated with criminological perspectives on sentencing to generate and test unique hypotheses about the associations among defendant facial characteristics, subjective evaluations of threatening appearance, and judicial imprisonment decisions. We analyze newly collected data that link booking photos, criminal histories, and sentencing information for more than 1,100 convicted felony defendants. Our findings indicate that Black defendants are perceived to be more threatening in appearance. Other facial characteristics, such as physical attractiveness, baby-faced appearance, facial scars, and visible tattoos, also influence perceptions of threat, as do criminal history scores. Furthermore, some physical appearance characteristics are significantly related to imprisonment decisions, even after controlling for other relevant case characteristics. These and other findings are discussed as they relate to psychological research on impression formation, criminological theories of court actor decision-making, and sociological work on race and punishment.

The Effect of Terrorism on Judicial Confidence - Providing due process for suspected terrorists

The Effect of Terrorism on Judicial Confidence. By Steven Miller
Political Research Quarterly,

Abstract: Independent judiciaries prevent democratic reversals, facilitate peaceful transitions of power, and legitimate democracy among citizens. We believe this judicial independence is important for citizen-level judicial confidence and faith in democratic institutions. I challenge this and argue that citizens living under terror threats lose confidence in their independent judiciaries. Terror threats lead citizens to enable the state leader to provide counterterrorism for their security, which has important implications for interbranch relations between the executive and the judiciary. Citizens lose confidence in independent judiciaries that provide due process for suspected terrorists. I test my argument with mixed effects models that incorporate the Global Terrorism Database and four waves of European Values Survey. The analyses demonstrate the negative effects of terror threats on judicial confidence when interacting terror threats with measures of judicial independence. My findings have important implications for the study of democratic confidence and the liberty-security dilemma.

The impact of bereaved parents’ perceived grief similarity on relationship satisfaction

The impact of bereaved parents’ perceived grief similarity on relationship satisfaction. By Buyukcan-Tetik, Asuman; Finkenauer, Catrin; Schut, Henk; Stroebe, Margaret; Stroebe, Wolfgang
Journal of Family Psychology, Vol 31(4), Jun 2017, 409-419.

Abstract: The present research focused on bereaved parents’ perceived grief similarity, and aimed to investigate the concurrent and longitudinal effects of the perceptions that the partner has less, equal, or more grief intensity than oneself on relationship satisfaction. Participants of our longitudinal study were 229 heterosexual bereaved Dutch couples who completed questionnaires 6, 13, and 20 months after the loss of their child. Average age of participants was 40.7 (SD = 9.5). Across 3 study waves, participants’ perceived grief similarity and relationship satisfaction were assessed. To control for their effects, own grief level, child’s gender, expectedness of loss, parent’s age, parent’s gender, and time were also included in the analyses. Consistent with the hypotheses, cross-sectional results revealed that bereaved parents who perceived dissimilar levels of grief (less or more grief) had lower relationship satisfaction than bereaved parents who perceived similar levels of grief. This effect remained significant controlling for the effects of possible confounding variables and actual similarity in grief between partners. We also found that perceived grief similarity at the first study wave was related to the highest level of relationship satisfaction at the second study wave. Moreover, results showed that perceived grief similarity was associated with a higher level in partner’s relationship satisfaction. Results are discussed considering the comparison and similarity in grief across bereaved partners after child loss.

Overstated evidence for short-term effects of violent games on affect and behavior: A reanalysis of Anderson et al. (2010)

Overstated evidence for short-term effects of violent games on affect and behavior: A reanalysis of Anderson et al. (2010). By Hilgard, Joseph; Engelhardt, Christopher R.; Rouder, Jeffrey N.
Psychological Bulletin, Vol 143(7), Jul 2017, 757-774.

Abstract: Violent video games are theorized to be a significant cause of aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Important evidence for this claim comes from a large meta-analysis by Anderson and colleagues (2010), who found effects of violent games in experimental, cross-sectional, and longitudinal research. In that meta-analysis, the authors argued that there is little publication or analytic bias in the literature, an argument supported by their use of the trim-and-fill procedure. In the present manuscript, we reexamine their meta-analysis using a wider array of techniques for detecting bias and adjusting effect sizes. Our conclusions differ from those of Anderson and colleagues in 3 salient ways. First, we detect substantial publication bias in experimental research on the effects of violent games on aggressive affect and aggressive behavior. Second, after adjustment for bias, the effects of violent games on aggressive behavior in experimental research are estimated as being very small, and estimates of effects on aggressive affect are much reduced. In contrast, the cross-sectional literature finds correlations that appear largely unbiased. Third, experiments meeting the original authors’ criteria for methodological quality do not yield larger adjusted effects than other experiments, but instead yield larger indications of bias, indicating that perhaps they were selected for significance. We outline future directions for stronger experimental research. The results indicate the need for an open, transparent, and preregistered research process to test the existence of the basic phenomenon.

Risk factors for PTSD and depression in female survivors of rape

Risk factors for PTSD and depression in female survivors of rape. By Mgoqi-Mbalo, Nolwandle; Zhang, Muyu; Ntuli, Sam.
Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, Vol 9(3), May 2017, 301-308.
Objective: To investigate association of the sociodemographic factors, characteristics of rape and social support to the development of depression and posttraumatic stress disorder at 6 months after the rape. Method: A cross-sectional survey with female survivors of rape was carried out in 3 provinces of South Africa 6 months after the rape.

Results: One hundred female survivors of sexual assault were interviewed. More than half (53%) were from Limpopo, 25% from Western Cape, and 22% from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). 87% reported high levels of PTSD and 51% moderate to severe depression post rape. The major risk factors for PTSD and depression were the unmarried survivors of rape and those living in KZN. The female survivors of rape in KZN province were 7 times more likely to experience symptoms of depression compared to other provinces, while married/cohabiting female rape survivors were 6 times less likely to report symptoms of depression compared to the unmarried female rape survivors.

Conclusion: These findings add support to existing literature on PTSD and depression as common mental health consequence of rape and also provide evidence that survivors’ socio- demographics—marital status, employment status—are significant contributors to the development of symptoms of depression and PTSD after rape. The results have research and clinical practice relevance for ensuring that PTSD and trauma treatment focuses on an in-depth understanding of the various aspects of the sociodemographic factors and rape characteristics that contribute to survivors’ mental state and how these compound stress and depression symptoms over time post rape victimization.

Newcomer adjustment: Examining the role of managers’ perception of newcomer proactive behavior during organizational socialization

Newcomer adjustment: Examining the role of managers’ perception of newcomer proactive behavior during organizational socialization. By Ellis, Allison M.; Nifadkar, Sushil S.; Bauer, Talya N.; Erdogan, Berrin
Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 102(6), Jun 2017, 993-1001.

Abstract: Separate streams of organizational socialization research have recognized the importance of (a) newcomer proactivity and (b) manager support in facilitating newcomer adjustment. However, extant research has largely focused on the newcomers’ experience, leaving the perspectives of managers during socialization relatively unexplored—a theoretical gap that has implications both for newcomer adjustment and manager-newcomer interactions that may serve as a basis for future relationship development. Drawing from the “interlocked” employee behavior argument of Weick (1979), we propose that managers’ perception of newcomers’ proactive behaviors are associated with concordant manager behaviors, which, in turn, support newcomer adjustment. Further, we investigate a cognitive mechanism—managers’ evaluation of newcomers’ commitment to adjust—which we expect underlies the proposed relationship between newcomers’ proactive behaviors and managers’ supportive behaviors. Using a time-lagged, 4-phase data collection of a sample of new software engineers in India and their managers, we were able to test our hypothesized model as well as rule out alternative explanations via multilevel structural equation modeling. Results broadly supported our model even after controlling for manager-newcomer social exchange relationship, proactive personalities of both newcomers and managers, and potential effects of coworker information providing. The implications of our findings for theory and practice are discussed.

Racial Diversity and the Dynamics of Authoritarianism

Racial Diversity and the Dynamics of Authoritarianism. By Yamil Ricardo Velez & Howard Lavine
Journal of Politics, April 2017, Pages 519-533,

Abstract: Past work on the political impact of racial diversity has focused on direct effects, demonstrating that diverse environments are associated with more negative - or in some circumstances, more positive - racial attitudes and race-targeted policy preferences. We show that diversity functions in a second way, as a variable that magnifies the political impact of individual differences in the psychological disposition of authoritarianism. Using a national sample, we find that in white areas with minimal diversity, authoritarianism had no impact on racial prejudice, political intolerance, and attitudes toward immigration. As diversity rises, however, authoritarianism plays an increasingly dominant role in political judgment. In diverse environments, authoritarians become more racially, ethnically, and politically intolerant and nonauthoritarians less so. We conceptually replicate these findings in a dorm setting with plausibly exogenous levels of local diversity and discuss the implications of our findings in terms of the various ways in which ethno-racial diversity structures political attitudes.

Keywords: diversity, context, public opinion, polarization, personality, authoritarianism.

Stealth Democracy Revisited: Reconsidering Preferences for Less Visible Government.

Stealth Democracy Revisited: Reconsidering Preferences for Less Visible Government. By Kathryn VanderMolen
Political Research Quarterly,

Abstract: Understanding public preferences for governing processes is an understudied area of research. In this paper, I evaluate a set of critical assumptions relating to process preferences that the literature has thus far not addressed. I specifically address the claims made by John Hibbing and Elizabeth Theiss-Morse in their seminal book, Stealth Democracy, which suggests that people prefer political decisions to be made via expert-based governing arrangements to promote a level of efficiency and effectiveness within the government that elected officials cannot provide. Using original questions from the 2014 Cooperative Congressional Election Study, I find concurring evidence that citizens are not strongly attached to standard participatory processes found in democracy. However, upon using more precise measurements and placing expert processes into contemporary context, preferences weaken and appear to be shallow in nature. In an era where process preferences are receiving more attention as trust in government wanes, it is important to understand the depth of these preferences and their potential to change politics. These results suggest it is imperative for future scholars to approach the study of process preferences with care.

Trust is heritable, whereas distrust is not

Trust is heritable, whereas distrust is not. By Martin Reimann, Oliver Schilke & Karen Cook
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

Significance: Social scientists have devoted much attention to studying the sources and consequences of the disposition to trust but have only recently begun to investigate the disposition to distrust. An increasing consensus is emerging that distrust is not merely the opposite of trust. This article provides initial empirical evidence indicating that the sources of the dispositions to trust and distrust indeed do differ in important ways. Notably, although both trust and distrust are strongly influenced by the individual’s unique environment, interestingly, trust shows significant genetic influences, whereas distrust does not. Rather, distrust appears to be primarily socialized, including influences within the family. These findings provide new support for the bidimensionality of trust and distrust by demonstrating their distinct antecedents.

Abstract: Why do people distrust others in social exchange? To what degree, if at all, is distrust subject to genetic influences, and thus possibly heritable, and to what degree is it nurtured by families and immediate peers who encourage young people to be vigilant and suspicious of others? Answering these questions could provide fundamental clues about the sources of individual differences in the disposition to distrust, including how they may differ from the sources of individual differences in the disposition to trust. In this article, we report the results of a study of monozygotic and dizygotic female twins who were asked to decide either how much of a counterpart player's monetary endowment they wanted to take from their counterpart (i.e., distrust) or how much of their own monetary endowment they wanted to send to their counterpart (i.e., trust). Our results demonstrate that although the disposition to trust is explained to some extent by heritability but not by shared socialization, the disposition to distrust is explained by shared socialization but not by heritability. The sources of distrust are therefore distinct from the sources of trust in many ways.

Body-Weight and Women's Hours of Work: More Evidence that Marriage Markets Matter

Body-Weight and Women's Hours of Work: More Evidence that Marriage Markets Matter. By Shoshana Amyra Grossbard & Sankar Mukhopadhyay
San Diego State University Working Paper, May 2017,

Abstract: Higher body-weight (BMI) can affect labor supply via its effects on outcomes in both labor markets and marriage markets. To the extent that it is associated with lower prospects of being in couple and obtaining intra-couple transfers, we expect that higher BMI will increase willingness to supply labor in labor markets, especially for women. We use US panel data from the NLSY79 and NLSY97 to examine whether body weight influences hours of work in the labor market. We use sibling BMI as an instrument for own BMI to address potential endogeneity of BMI in hours worked. We find that White women with higher BMI work more. This is true for both single and married White women. Results for other groups of women and men produce mixed results. The extended analysis suggests that what drives the relationship between BMI and hours worked is not lower market wages earned by high-BMI women, but rather lower spousal transfers to married women or lower expected intra-marriage transfers to single women.

Stimulus selectivity of drug purchase tasks: A preliminary study evaluating alcohol and cigarette demand

Stimulus selectivity of drug purchase tasks: A preliminary study evaluating alcohol and cigarette demand. By Strickland, Justin C.; Stoops, William W. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Vol 25(3), Jun 2017, 198-207.

Abstract: The use of drug purchase tasks to measure drug demand in human behavioral pharmacology and addiction research has proliferated in recent years. Few studies have systematically evaluated the stimulus selectivity of drug purchase tasks to demonstrate that demand metrics are specific to valuation of or demand for the commodity under study. Stimulus selectivity is broadly defined for this purpose as a condition under which a specific stimulus input or target (e.g., alcohol, cigarettes) is the primary determinant of behavior (e.g., demand). The overall goal of the present study was to evaluate the stimulus selectivity of drug purchase tasks. Participants were sampled from the’s crowdsourcing platform Mechanical Turk. Participants completed either alcohol and soda purchase tasks (Experiment 1; N = 139) or cigarette and chocolate purchase tasks (Experiment 2; N = 46), and demand metrics were compared to self-reported use behaviors. Demand metrics for alcohol and soda were closely associated with commodity-similar (e.g., alcohol demand and weekly alcohol use) but not commodity-different (e.g., alcohol demand and weekly soda use) variables. A similar pattern was observed for cigarette and chocolate demand, but selectivity was not as consistent as for alcohol and soda. Collectively, we observed robust selectivity for alcohol and soda purchase tasks and modest selectivity for cigarette and chocolate purchase tasks. These preliminary outcomes suggest that demand metrics adequately reflect the specific commodity under study and support the continued use of purchase tasks in substance use research

Using Appellate Decisions to Evaluate the Impact of Judicial Elections

Using Appellate Decisions to Evaluate the Impact of Judicial Elections. By Gregory DeAngelo & Bryan McCannon
West Virginia University Working Paper, June 2017,

Abstract: We investigate judicial election's impact on criminal case handling. Data from appeals of felony convictions in New York state are used to measure the accuracy of lower court outcomes. We also account for judicial election pressures and career paths. A theoretical model is developed where to guide the empirical analysis judges face a trade-off between exerting time and effort in criminal and civil cases. We show that during a re-election campaign, when the importance of good decision making in both types of cases is heightened, if the civil case outcomes are sufficiently more important, then error rates in criminal cases can increase. This effect is reversed for those who have a greater intrinsic interest in criminal justice. Results from the empirical analysis conform to the hypotheses derived from the theoretical model. Convictions that occur during the judge's re-election campaign are less likely to be upheld if appealed. The effect is concentrated in those who did not previously work in a prosecutor's office. In fact, judges who are former prosecutors experience higher affirmation rates with an additional escalation in success when up for re-election. We also differentiate judges who handle more civil cases and show that re-election distortions are greater. Finally, we also consider those who receive greater campaign support from special interest groups. Those who receive financial support have reduced accuracy. These additional results are consistent with the theory that it is the trade-off between criminal and civil cases that is driving decision making. Our results suggest that the criminal justice system is impacted by the interaction between a judge's characteristics and re-election incentives.

Effects of alcohol, initial gambling outcomes, impulsivity, and gambling cognitions on gambling behavior using a video poker task

Effects of alcohol, initial gambling outcomes, impulsivity, and gambling cognitions on gambling behavior using a video poker task. By Corbin, William R.; Cronce, Jessica M.
Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Vol 25(3), Jun 2017, 175-185.

Abstract: Drinking and gambling frequently co-occur, and concurrent gambling and drinking may lead to greater negative consequences than either behavior alone. Building on prior research on the effects of alcohol, initial gambling outcomes, impulsivity, and gambling cognitions on gambling behaviors using a chance-based (nonstrategic) slot-machine task, the current study explored the impact of these factors on a skill-based (strategic) video poker task. We anticipated larger average bets and greater gambling persistence under alcohol relative to placebo, and expected alcohol effects to be moderated by initial gambling outcomes, impulsivity, and gambling cognitions. Participants (N = 162; 25.9% female) were randomly assigned to alcohol (target BrAC = .08g%) or placebo and were given $10 to wager on a simulated video poker task, which was programmed to produce 1 of 3 initial outcomes (win, breakeven, or lose) before beginning a progressive loss schedule. Despite evidence for validity of the video poker task and alcohol administration paradigm, primary hypotheses were not supported. Individuals who received alcohol placed smaller wagers than participants in the placebo condition, though this effect was not statistically significant, and the direction of effects was reversed in at-risk gamblers (n = 41). These findings contradict prior research and suggest that alcohol effects on gambling behavior may differ by gambling type (nonstrategic vs. strategic games). Interventions that suggest alcohol is universally disinhibiting may be at odds with young adults’ lived experience and thus be less effective than those that recognize the greater complexity of alcohol effects.

Far from fairness: Prejudice, skin color, and psychological functioning in Asian Americans

Far from fairness: Prejudice, skin color, and psychological functioning in Asian Americans. By Tran, Alisia G. T. T.; Cheng, Hsiu-Lan; Netland, Jason D.; Miyake, Elisa R.
Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, Vol 23(3), Jul 2017, 407-415.


Objectives: We explored the moderating role of observed skin color in the association between prejudice and concurrent and lagged psychological functioning (i.e., depression, ingroup/outgroup psychological connectedness). We further aimed to understand gender differences in these processes.

Method: Data from 821 Asian American undergraduate students (57.5% female and 42.5% male) were drawn from the National Longitudinal Survey of Freshman. Cross-sectional and longitudinal regression-based moderation models were conducted with PROCESS 2.13 for SPSS.

Results: Lighter skin color nullified the association between prejudice and recent depression for Asian American females. This moderating effect did not hold over time with regards to depression symptoms 1 year later. Additionally, prejudice predicted psychological distance to other Asian students 1 year later among females rated as lighter in skin color, whereas prejudice was tied to psychological closeness for females with darker skin ratings.

Conclusions: Results highlight skin color as a pertinent factor relevant to the short-term and long-term mental health and social experiences of Asian American women in particular.

County governing boards: Where are all the women?

County governing boards: Where are all the women? By Leander Kellogg et al.
Politics, Groups, and Identities,

Abstract: This research seeks to explore the extent of women representation on county governing boards and tests several hypotheses to explain variation in representation. This study evaluates a random sample of 394 of the more than 3000 counties in the United States. Half of the counties did not have any women serving on their county governing boards. A two-stage analysis using first a logit model sought to explain when counties have women commissioners and then a truncated regression analysis evaluated the percentage of women serving on county boards. Size of governing boards, size of government, religious adherence, and two election formats had significant effects in explaining when a county had women commissioners. Three variables (religious adherence, level of support for President Obama, and size of governing boards) were significant in explaining the percentage of women serving on county governing boards with size of the boards operating opposite of the hypothesized direction.

KEYWORDS: Women, descriptive representation, U.S. counties, local politics

Check also:

Candidate Choice Without Party Labels: New Insights from Conjoint Survey Experiments. By Patricia Kirkland & Alexander Coppock
Political Behavior,

Does the Stock Market Boost Firm Innovation? Evidence from Chinese Firms

Does the Stock Market Boost Firm Innovation? Evidence from Chinese Firms. By Hui He, Hanya Li, Jinfan Zhang. IMF Working Paper No. 17/147,

Summary: The paper analyses the effect of the stock market on firm innovation through the lens of initial public offering (IPO) using uniquely matched Chinese firm-level data. We find that IPOs lead to an increase in both the quantity and quality of firm innovation activity. In addition, IPOs expand a firm’s scope of innovation beyond its core business. The impact of IPOs on firm innovation varies across financial constraints, corporate governance, and ownership structures. Our results further illustrate that IPOs induce a firm to increase the number of inventors and enable better retention of existing inventors after the IPO. Finally, we show that the enhanced innovation activity resulting from IPOs increases a firm’s Tobin’s Q in the long run.

More politicians, more corruption: Evidence from Swedish municipalities

More politicians, more corruption: Evidence from Swedish municipalities. By Andreas Bergh, Günther Fink & Richard Öhrvall. Public Choice (2017),

Abstract: In the literature on political economy and public choice, it is typically assumed that government size correlates positively with public corruption. The empirical literature, however, is inconclusive, owing to both measurement problems and endogeneity. This paper creates a corruption index based on original data from a survey covering top politicians and civil servants in all Swedish municipalities. The effect of more politicians on corruption problems is analyzed using discontinuities in the required minimum size of local councils. Despite the fact that Sweden consistently has been ranked among the least corrupt countries in the world, the survey suggest that non-trivial corruption problems are present in Sweden. Municipalities with more local council seats have more reported corruption problems, and the regression discontinuity design suggests that the effect is causal.

Deradicalizing Detained Terrorists

Marc-Andre Lafreniere, and Jocelyn J. Belanger. 2017. "Deradicalizing Detained Terrorists." Political Psychology (May).

Abstract: Deradicalization of terrorists constitutes a critical component of the global “war on terror.” Unfortunately, little is known about deradicalization programs, and evidence for their effectiveness is derived solely from expert impressions and potentially flawed recidivism rates. We present the first empirical assessment of one such program: the Sri Lankan rehabilitation program for former members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (a terrorist organization that operated in Sri Lanka until their defeat in 2009). We offer evidence that deradicalization efforts that provided beneficiaries with sustained mechanisms for earning personal significance significantly reduced extremism after 1 year (Study 1). We also found that upon release, beneficiaries expressed lower levels of extremism than their counterparts in the community (Study 2). These findings highlight the critical role of personal significance in deradicalization efforts, offer insights into the workings of deradicalization, and suggest practical methods for improving deradicalization programs worldwide.

Cultural evolution of military camouflage

Cultural evolution of military camouflage. By Laszlo Talas, Roland Baddeley & Innes Cuthill
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, July 5, 2017,

Abstract: While one has evolved and the other been consciously created, animal and military camouflage are expected to show many similar design principles. Using a unique database of calibrated photographs of camouflage uniform patterns, processed using texture and colour analysis methods from computer vision, we show that the parallels with biology are deeper than design for effective concealment. Using two case studies we show that, like many animal colour patterns, military camouflage can serve multiple functions. Following the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, countries that became more Western-facing in political terms converged on NATO patterns in camouflage texture and colour. Following the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, the resulting states diverged in design, becoming more similar to neighbouring countries than the ancestral design. None of these insights would have been obtained using extant military approaches to camouflage design, which focus solely on concealment. Moreover, our computational techniques for quantifying pattern offer new tools for comparative biologists studying animal coloration.

KEYWORDS: cultural evolution; defensive coloration; military camouflage; texture analysis

When Criticism is Ineffective: The Case of Historical Trauma and Unsupportive Allies

Hirschberger, G., Lifshin, U., Seeman, S., Ein-Dor, T., and Pyszczynski, T. (2017) When Criticism is Ineffective: The Case of Historical Trauma and Unsupportive Allies. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2253,

Abstract: Three studies examined the effect of historical trauma reminders and criticism from international allies on attitudes toward current conflicts. In Study 1, Israeli participants (N = 116) were primed with the Holocaust, and read either that US President Obama supports Israel's right to defend itself and attack Iran, or that he opposes such action. Then, support for preemptive violence was assessed. Study 2 (N = 133) replicated this design, comparing inclusive and exclusive framings of the Holocaust. Study 3 (N = 478), examined the effect of Holocaust reminders and criticism from the EU on attitudes toward militant policies against Palestinians. All three studies found that Holocaust primes juxtaposed with international criticism increased support for aggression, especially under exclusive framings of the Holocaust. Study 3, however, found this effect only among left-wing participants. These findings indicate that when historical trauma is salient, international criticism may be ineffective and may even backfire.

Does Competition Reduce Racial Discrimination in Lending?

Does Competition Reduce Racial Discrimination in Lending? By Greg Buchak & Adam Tejs Jørring
University of Chicago Working Paper, April 2017.

Abstract: This paper examines whether increases in bank competition reduce discriminatory practices in mortgage lending. Lenders are significantly less likely to approve black applicants' loan applications despite facing similar credit risk. However, following the relaxation of interstate bank branching laws in the 1990s, increases in local lending competition reduced the approval differential between potential white and black borrowers by roughly one quarter. The reduction was driven both by incumbent lenders altering lending policies to avoid losing market share and by the entry of new banks. The results suggest strong complementaries between direct regulation and the competition mechanism. In particular, direct regulation is effective against large lenders where statistical proof problems are less severe, while competition provides incentives to smaller, harder to regulate lenders.

Gender Equality in Mortgage Lending

Fang, L. and Munneke, H. J. (2017), Gender Equality in Mortgage Lending. Real Estate Economics. doi:10.1111/1540-6229.12198

Abstract: Using a sample of 30-year fixed-rate subprime mortgage loans, this paper empirically examines whether gender inequality exists in the mortgage market, specifically, whether a borrower's gender affects the loan contract rate charged, beyond the impact of the borrower's probability of default and prepayment. The results, based on a competing-risks loan hazard model, reveal that borrowers of different gender have different loan termination patterns. After controlling for the probability of a borrower defaulting or prepaying, female borrowers pay higher contract rates in the subprime mortgage market over the study period.

Remember too: When Beauty Doesn't Pay: Gender and Beauty Biases in a Peer-to-Peer Loan Market. By Ko Kuwabara & Sarah Thébaud
Social Forces, June 2017, Pages 1371-1398.

Offspring of parents who were separated and not speaking to one another have reduced resistance to the common cold as adults

Offspring of parents who were separated and not speaking to one another have reduced resistance to the common cold as adults. By Michael L. M. Murphy, Sheldon Cohen, Denise Janicki-Deverts, and William J. Doyle
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,

Significance: Adults whose parents separated during childhood are at increased risk for poorer health, although the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Furthermore, increasing evidence suggests that aspects of the family environment following parental separation better predict a child’s adjustment than the separation itself. Using a viral challenge study, we found that adults whose parents separated but remained on speaking terms during childhood were no more likely to develop a cold when exposed to a cold-causing virus than adults from intact childhood families. However, adults whose parents separated and did not speak to each other during childhood were more than three times as likely to develop a cold following viral exposure. This increased risk was attributed to heightened inflammation in response to infection.

Abstract: Exposure to parental separation or divorce during childhood has been associated with an increased risk for physical morbidity during adulthood. Here we tested the hypothesis that this association is primarily attributable to separated parents who do not communicate with each other. We also examined whether early exposure to separated parents in conflict is associated with greater viral-induced inflammatory response in adulthood and in turn with increased susceptibility to viral-induced upper respiratory disease. After assessment of their parents’ relationship during their childhood, 201 healthy volunteers, age 18–55 y, were quarantined, experimentally exposed to a virus that causes a common cold, and monitored for 5 d for the development of a respiratory illness. Monitoring included daily assessments of viral-specific infection, objective markers of illness, and local production of proinflammatory cytokines. Adults whose parents lived apart and never spoke during their childhood were more than three times as likely to develop a cold when exposed to the upper respiratory virus than adults from intact families. Conversely, individuals whose parents were separated but communicated with each other showed no increase in risk compared with those from intact families. These differences persisted in analyses adjusted for potentially confounding variables (demographics, current socioeconomic status, body mass index, season, baseline immunity to the challenge virus, affectivity, and childhood socioeconomic status). Mediation analyses were consistent with the hypothesis that greater susceptibility to respiratory infectious illness among the offspring of noncommunicating parents was attributable to a greater local proinflammatory response to infection.

The Acquisitive Nature of Extraverted CEOs

The Acquisitive Nature of Extraverted CEOs. By Shavin Malhotra et al.
Administrative Science Quarterly,

Abstract: This study examines how extraversion, a personality trait that signifies more or less positive affect, assertive behavior, decisive thinking, and desires for social engagement, influences chief executive officers’ (CEOs’) decisions and the ensuing strategic behavior of firms. Using a novel linguistic technique to assess personality from unscripted text spoken by 2,381 CEOs of S&P 1500 firms over ten years, we show that CEOs’ extraversion influences the merger and acquisition (M&A) behavior of firms above and beyond other well-established personality traits. We find that extraverted CEOs are more likely to engage in acquisitions, and to conduct larger ones, than other CEOs and that these effects are partially explained by their higher representation on boards of other firms. Moreover, we find that the acquisitive nature of extraverted CEOs reveals itself particularly in so-called “weaker” situations, in which CEOs enjoy considerable discretion to behave in ways akin to their personality traits. Subsequent analyses show that extraverted CEOs are also more likely than other CEOs to succeed in M&As, as reflected by stronger abnormal returns following acquisition announcements.

Keywords: personality, chief executive officers, mergers and acquisitions, extraversion
JEL Classification: G02, G34, M12

Pupillary Responses to Words That Convey a Sense of Brightness or Darkness

Pupillary Responses to Words That Convey a Sense of Brightness or Darkness. By Sebastiaan Mathôt, Jonathan Grainger & Kristof Strijkers
Psychological Science,

Abstract: Theories about embodiment of language hold that when you process a word’s meaning, you automatically simulate associated sensory input (e.g., perception of brightness when you process lamp) and prepare associated actions (e.g., finger movements when you process typing). To test this latter prediction, we measured pupillary responses to single words that conveyed a sense of brightness (e.g., day) or darkness (e.g., night) or were neutral (e.g., house). We found that pupils were largest for words conveying darkness, of intermediate size for neutral words, and smallest for words conveying brightness. This pattern was found for both visually presented and spoken words, which suggests that it was due to the words’ meanings, rather than to visual or auditory properties of the stimuli. Our findings suggest that word meaning is sufficient to trigger a pupillary response, even when this response is not imposed by the experimental task, and even when this response is beyond voluntary control.

Gambling Attitudes and Financial Misreporting

Gambling Attitudes and Financial Misreporting. By Dane Christensen, Keith Jones & David Kenchington
Contemporary Accounting Research,

Abstract: We investigate whether attitudes toward gambling help explain the occurrence of intentional misreporting. Similar to gambling, some financial reporting choices involve taking deliberate, speculative risks. We predict that in places where gambling is more socially acceptable, managers will be more likely to take financial reporting risks that increase the likelihood the financial statements will need to be restated. To test this prediction, we exploit geographic variation in local gambling attitudes and find that restatements due to intentional misreporting are more common in areas where gambling is more socially acceptable. This association is even stronger in situations where management is under greater pressure to misreport, including when the firm is: close to meeting a performance benchmark, experiencing poor financial performance, or under investment-related pressure. Furthermore, these results are robust to numerous tests to address omitted variables and endogeneity. Collectively, these findings suggest gambling attitudes help explain the incidence of intentional misreporting.

Keywords: Gambling; Attitudes; Misreporting; Irregularities.
JEL Classification Codes: K42; M14; M41; M42; R10.

Selectively Distracted: Divided Attention and Memory for Important Information

Selectively Distracted: Divided Attention and Memory for Important Information. By Catherine Middlebrooks, Tyson Kerr & Alan Castel
Psychological Science,

Abstract: Distractions and multitasking are generally detrimental to learning and memory. Nevertheless, people often study while listening to music, sitting in noisy coffee shops, or intermittently checking their e-mail. The current experiments examined how distractions and divided attention influence one’s ability to selectively remember valuable information. Participants studied lists of words that ranged in value from 1 to 10 points while completing a digit-detection task, while listening to music, or without distractions. Though participants recalled fewer words following digit detection than in the other conditions, there were no significant differences between conditions in terms of selectively remembering the most valuable words. Similar results were obtained across a variety of divided-attention tasks that stressed attention and working memory to different degrees, which suggests that people may compensate for divided-attention costs by selectively attending to the most valuable items and that factors that worsen memory do not necessarily impair the ability to selectively remember important information.

Is China building too many airports?

Is China building too many airports? By Fran Wang. Caixin, Jun 23, 2017. Extract.

Over the next three years, local authorities in China are planning to build more than 900 airports for general aviation—the segment of the industry that includes crop dusting and tourism. The figure is nearly double the central government’s goal of “more than 500” over the period.

A news report has warned that’s just too many airports.

In May 2016, the State Council, China’s cabinet, announced that the country wanted to construct more than 500 general aviation airports to boost the size of the industry to over 1 trillion yuan (U.S.$146 billion).

General aviation covers flights on helicopters and light aircraft used in sectors such as tourism, agriculture, medical care, and disaster relief.

All provincial-level governments except Shanghai, Tibet, and the northeastern province of Jilin have since published their own plans for these airports, and their goal is far more ambitious than the central government’s. Together, they plan to build 934 general aviation airports, according to the 21st Century Business Herald.

The number put forward by each region ranges from seven to 200. The three places that intend to build the most general aviation airports are Guangxi in southern China, Heilongjiang in the northeast, and Xinjiang in the northwest—all remote and less developed areas, the newspaper said.

Despite the government excesses managing the public treasure*, corruption in civil engineering works†, etc.‡, the citizen is quite comfortable ¶ with these expenditures (while the costs are not recouped visibly from him). It seems that if we see more tower buildings, and are taller, we assume we are progressing, there is material advance, and that most are better for this. My hypothesis is that what feeds the population's approval are patriotism§ (very powerful in Han China) and redistributionism֍.

From Chris Buckley's China’s New Bridges: Rising High, but Buried in Debt, The New York Times, Jun 10, 2017. Available at (impressive imagery).

*    “Infrastructure is a double-edged sword,” said Atif Ansar, a management professor at the University of Oxford who has studied China’s infrastructure spending. “It’s good for the economy, but too much of this is pernicious. ‘Build it and they will come’ is a dictum that doesn’t work, especially in China, where there’s so much built already.”

A study that Mr. Ansar helped write said fewer than a third of the 65 Chinese highway and rail projects he examined were “genuinely economically productive,” while the rest contributed more to debt than to transportation needs.

†  In the past six years, anticorruption inquiries have toppled more than 27 Hunan transportation officials.

‡, §   “The amount of high bridge construction in China is just insane,” said Eric Sakowski, an American bridge enthusiast who runs a website on the world’s highest bridges. “China’s opening, say, 50 high bridges a year, and the whole of the rest of the world combined might be opening 10.”

    Of the world’s 100 highest bridges, 81 are in China, including some unfinished ones, according to Mr. Sakowski’s data. (The Chishi Bridge ranks 162nd.)

    China also has the world’s longest bridge, the 102-mile Danyang-Kunshan Grand Bridge, a high-speed rail viaduct running parallel to the Yangtze River, and is nearing completion of the world’s longest sea bridge, a 14-mile cable-stay bridge skimming across the Pearl River Delta, part of a 22-mile bridge and tunnel crossing that connects Hong Kong and Macau with mainland China.

    The country’s expressway growth has been compared to that of the United States in the 1950s, when the Interstate System of highways got underway, but China is building at a remarkable clip. In 2016 alone, China added 26,100 bridges on roads, including 363 “extra large” ones with an average length of about a mile, government figures show.

֍    “It’s very important to improve transport and other infrastructure so that impoverished regions can escape poverty and prosper,” President Xi Jinping said while visiting the spectacular, recently opened Aizhai Bridge in Hunan in 2013. “We must do more of this and keep supporting it.”

¶    Indeed, the new roads and railways have proved popular.

§  Who Will Fight? The All-Volunteer Army after 9/11. By Susan Payne Carter, Alexander Smith & Carl Wojtaszek. American Economic Review, May 2017, Pages 415-419,

Candidate Choice Without Party Labels: New Insights from Conjoint Survey Experiments

Candidate Choice Without Party Labels: New Insights from Conjoint Survey Experiments. By Patricia Kirkland & Alexander Coppock
Political Behavior,

Abstract: In the absence of party labels, voters must use other information to determine whom to support. The institution of nonpartisan elections, therefore, may impact voter choice by increasing the weight that voters place on candidate dimensions other than partisanship. We hypothesize that in nonpartisan elections, voters will exhibit a stronger preference for candidates with greater career and political experience, as well as candidates who can successfully signal partisan or ideological affiliation without directly using labels. To test these hypotheses, we conducted conjoint survey experiments on both nationally representative and convenience samples that vary the presence or absence of partisan information. The primary result of these experiments indicates that when voters cannot rely on party labels, they give greater weight to candidate experience. We find that this process unfolds differently for respondents of different partisan affiliations: Republicans respond to the removal of partisan information by giving greater weight to job experience while Democrats respond by giving greater weight to political experience. Our results lend microfoundational support to the notion that partisan information can crowd out other kinds of candidate information.

On Feeling Warm and Being Warm: Daily Perceptions of Physical Warmth Fluctuate With Interpersonal Warmth

On Feeling Warm and Being Warm: Daily Perceptions of Physical Warmth Fluctuate With Interpersonal Warmth. By Adam Fetterman, Benjamin Wilkowski & Michael Robinson
Social Psychological and Personality Science,

Abstract: Previous investigations have linked laboratory manipulations of physical warmth to momentary increases in interpersonal warmth. However, replication concerns have occurred in this area, and it is not known whether similar dynamics characterize daily functioning. Two daily diary studies (total N = 235) suggest an affirmative answer. On days in which participants felt physically warmer, they perceived themselves to be interpersonally warmer and more agreeable, irrespective of the outdoor temperature. These findings are consistent with frameworks proposing that people draw on concepts of physical warmth to represent feelings of interpersonal warmth and they highlight the value of using daily diary and within-subject designs to investigate embodied cognition as well as other priming effects.

The Nature-Disorder Paradox: A Perceptual Study on How Nature Is Disorderly Yet Aesthetically Preferred

The Nature-Disorder Paradox: A Perceptual Study on How Nature Is Disorderly Yet Aesthetically Preferred. By Hiroki Kotabe, Omid Kardan & Marc Berman
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,

Abstract: Natural environments have powerful aesthetic appeal linked to their capacity for psychological restoration. In contrast, disorderly environments are aesthetically aversive, and have various detrimental psychological effects. But in our research, we have repeatedly found that natural environments are perceptually disorderly. What could explain this paradox? We present 3 competing hypotheses: the aesthetic preference for naturalness is more powerful than the aesthetic aversion to disorder (the nature-trumps-disorder hypothesis); disorder is trivial to aesthetic preference in natural contexts (the harmless-disorder hypothesis); and disorder is aesthetically preferred in natural contexts (the beneficial-disorder hypothesis). Utilizing novel methods of perceptual study and diverse stimuli, we rule in the nature-trumps-disorder hypothesis and rule out the harmless-disorder and beneficial-disorder hypotheses. In examining perceptual mechanisms, we find evidence that high-level scene semantics are both necessary and sufficient for the nature-trumps-disorder effect. Necessity is evidenced by the effect disappearing in experiments utilizing only low-level visual stimuli (i.e., where scene semantics have been removed) and experiments utilizing a rapid-scene-presentation procedure that obscures scene semantics. Sufficiency is evidenced by the effect reappearing in experiments utilizing noun stimuli which remove low-level visual features. Furthermore, we present evidence that the interaction of scene semantics with low-level visual features amplifies the nature-trumps-disorder effect — the effect is weaker both when statistically adjusting for quantified low-level visual features and when using noun stimuli which remove low-level visual features. These results have implications for psychological theories bearing on the joint influence of low- and high-level perceptual inputs on affect and cognition, as well as for aesthetic design.

ntertainment and the Opportunity Cost of Civic Participation: Monday Night Football Game Quality Suppresses Turnout in US Elections

Entertainment and the Opportunity Cost of Civic Participation: Monday Night Football Game Quality Suppresses Turnout in US Elections. By Matthew Potoski & R. Urbatsch
Journal of Politics, April 2017, Pages 424-438,

Abstract: Raising the opportunity cost of people’s time may reduce their commitment to social obligations such as voting. Notably, entertaining sporting events can be strong civic distractions, as commentators throughout history have lamented. To consider sporting events’ influence on political behavior, this paper examines the effect of Monday Night Football games the day before US general elections from 1970 to 2014. More attractive games, such as those that feature more prominent and competitive match-ups or that feature local or high-scoring teams, may entice people to consume more entertainment and thus have less time to devote to civic affairs. When preelection football game quality increases from its 25th to 75th percentile, voter turnout falls by between 2 and 8 percentage points. These effects are somewhat weaker among those more interested in politics and do not appear in placebo tests on other political behaviors occurring before the preelection game.

Young children discover how to deceive in 10 days: a microgenetic study

Ding XP, Heyman GD, Fu G, Zhu B, Lee K. Young children discover how to deceive in 10 days: a microgenetic study. Dev Sci. 2017;00:.

Abstract: We investigated how the ability to deceive emerges in early childhood among a sample of young preschoolers (Mean age = 34.7 months). We did this via a 10-session microgenetic method that took place over a 10-day period. In each session, children played a zero-sum game against an adult to win treats. In the game, children hid the treats and had opportunities (10 trials) to win them by providing deceptive information about their whereabouts to the adult. Although children initially showed little or no ability to deceive, most spontaneously discovered deception and systematically used it to win the game by the tenth day. Both theory of mind and executive function skills were predictive of relatively faster patterns of discovery. These results are the first to provide evidence for the importance of cognitive skills and social experience in the discovery of deception over time in early childhood.

Panhandling in Downtown Manhattan: A Preliminary Analysis

Panhandling in Downtown Manhattan: A Preliminary Analysis. By Gwendolyn Dordick & Brendan O’Flaherty

Abstract: Panhandling is a very visible industry, yet mysterious to outsiders. How does it work? How do
panhandlers allocate locations? Is there a market? Do they fight? Is there a mafia? How do
panhandlers get donors to give, when many potential donors think most panhandlers are frauds?
What are good policies toward panhandling? Should it be banned? Should generosity diversion
programs be set up to divert donations to formal charities? Should it be encouraged? Our tentative
answers are that there are more good locations than willing panhandlers, and so location is not
contentious or a big source of efficiency losses. On information, a pooling equilibrium is far from
first-best, and policy might concentrate on improving credibility.

... while panhandlers in general have low credibility, their livelihoods depend on having high

Competing cues: Older adults rely on knowledge in the face of fluency

Competing cues: Older adults rely on knowledge in the face of fluency. By Brashier, Nadia M.; Umanath, Sharda; Cabeza, Roberto; Marsh, Elizabeth J.
Psychology and Aging, Vol 32(4), Jun 2017, 331-337.

Abstract: Consumers regularly encounter repeated false claims in political and marketing campaigns, but very little empirical work addresses their impact among older adults. Repeated statements feel easier to process, and thus more truthful, than new ones (i.e., illusory truth). When judging truth, older adults’ accumulated general knowledge may offset this perception of fluency. In two experiments, participants read statements that contradicted information stored in memory; a post-experimental knowledge check confirmed what individual participants knew. Unlike young adults, older adults exhibited illusory truth only when they lacked knowledge about claims. This interaction between knowledge and fluency extends dual-process theories of aging.

Ineffective leadership and employees’ negative outcomes: The mediating effect of anxiety and depression

Ineffective leadership and employees’ negative outcomes: The mediating effect of anxiety and depression. By Pyc, Lindsay S.; Meltzer, Daniel P.; Liu, Cong
International Journal of Stress Management, Vol 24(2), May 2017, 196-215.

Abstract: Past research has shown that abusive supervision is linked to negative outcomes for employees, chiefly employees’ counterproductive work behaviors directed at organizations. This study examined the relationships between two types of ineffective supervision (abusive supervision and authoritarian leadership style) and employees’ distal negative outcomes (e.g., exhaustion, physical symptoms, job dissatisfaction, intention to quit, and poor job performance) in a sample of 232 nurses and 24 supervisors. In addition, this study examined how emotional reactions (anxiety and depression) mediated the negative relationships between ineffective leadership and employees’ distal outcomes. The results suggested that both types of ineffective leadership were related to similar negative employee outcomes, and anxiety and depression mediated these relationships. The conclusions from this study contribute to the ineffective leadership literature through connecting previous findings on abusive supervision with those of authoritarian leadership style. Organizations can utilize these results to raise awareness among supervisors about the implications their behaviors in the workplace have on employees’ welfare and on organizational effectiveness.

Talking is harder than listening: The time course of dual-task costs during naturalistic conversation

Talking is harder than listening: The time course of dual-task costs during naturalistic conversation. By Lee, April M. C.; Cerisano, Stefania; Humphreys, Karin R.; Watter, Scott
Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, Vol 71(2), Jun 2017, 111-119.

Abstract: Many studies have shown that the cognitive demands of language use are a substantial cause of central dual-task costs, including costs on concurrent driving performance. More recently, several studies have considered whether language production or comprehension is inherently more difficult with respect to costs on concurrent performance, with mixed results. This assessment is particularly difficult given the open question of how one should best equate and compare production and comprehension demands and performance. The present study used 2 very different approaches to address this question. Experiment 1 assessed manual tracking performance concurrently with a conventional laboratory task, comparing dual-task costs with comprehension and verification versus production of category items. Experiment 2 adopted an extreme ecological and functional approach to this question by assessing dual-task manual tracking costs concurrent with continuous, naturalistic, 2-way conversation, allowing event-related analysis of continuous tracking relative to onsets and offsets of natural production and comprehension events. Over both experiments, tracking performance was worse with concurrent production versus comprehension demands. We suggest that by at least 1 important functional metric—performance in natural, everyday conversation—talking is indeed harder than listening.

Evaluation of a proposal for reliable low-cost grid power with 100% wind, water, and solar

Evaluation of a proposal for reliable low-cost grid power with 100% wind, water, and solar. By Christopher T. M Clack, Staffan A. Qvist, Jay Apt,, Morgan Bazilian, Adam R. Brandt, Ken Caldeira, Steven J. Davis, Victor Diakov, Mark A. Handschy, Paul D. H. Hines, Paulina Jaramillo, Daniel M. Kammen, Jane C. S. Long, M. Granger Morgan, Adam Reed, Varun Sivaram, James Sweeney, George R. Tynan, David G. Victor, John P. Weyant, and Jay F. Whitacre. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Significance: Previous analyses have found that the most feasible route to a low-carbon energy future is one that adopts a diverse portfolio of technologies. In contrast, Jacobson et al. (2015) consider whether the future primary energy sources for the United States could be narrowed to almost exclusively wind, solar, and hydroelectric power and suggest that this can be done at “low-cost” in a way that supplies all power with a probability of loss of load “that exceeds electric-utility-industry standards for reliability”. We find that their analysis involves errors, inappropriate methods, and implausible assumptions. Their study does not provide credible evidence for rejecting the conclusions of previous analyses that point to the benefits of considering a broad portfolio of energy system options. A policy prescription that overpromises on the benefits of relying on a narrower portfolio of technologies options could be counterproductive, seriously impeding the move to a cost effective decarbonized energy system.

Abstract: A number of analyses, meta-analyses, and assessments, including those performed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the International Energy Agency, have concluded that deployment of a diverse portfolio of clean energy technologies makes a transition to a low-carbon-emission energy system both more feasible and less costly than other pathways. In contrast, Jacobson et al. [Jacobson MZ, Delucchi MA, Cameron MA, Frew BA (2015) Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112(49):15060–15065] argue that it is feasible to provide “low-cost solutions to the grid reliability problem with 100% penetration of WWS [wind, water and solar power] across all energy sectors in the continental United States between 2050 and 2055”, with only electricity and hydrogen as energy carriers. In this paper, we evaluate that study and find significant shortcomings in the analysis. In particular, we point out that this work used invalid modeling tools, contained modeling errors, and made implausible and inadequately supported assumptions. Policy makers should treat with caution any visions of a rapid, reliable, and low-cost transition to entire energy systems that relies almost exclusively on wind, solar, and hydroelectric power.

Words we do not say—Context effects on the phonological activation of lexical alternatives in speech production

Words we do not say—Context effects on the phonological activation of lexical alternatives in speech production. By  Jescheniak, Jörg D.; Kurtz, Franziska; Schriefers, Herbert; Günther, Josefine; Klaus, Jana; Mädebach, Andreas
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Vol 43(6), Jun 2017, 1194-1206.

Abstract: There is compelling evidence that context strongly influences our choice of words (e.g., whether we refer to a particular animal with the basic-level name “bird” or the subordinate-level name “duck”). However, little is known about whether the context already affects the degree to which the alternative words are activated. In this study, we explored the effect of a preceding linguistic context on the phonological activation of alternative picture names. In Experiments 1 to 3, the context was established by a request produced by an imaginary interlocutor. These requests either constrained the naming response to the subordinate level on pragmatic grounds (e.g., “name the bird!”) or not (e.g., “name the object!”). In Experiment 4, the context was established by the speaker’s own previous naming response. Participants named the pictures with their subordinate-level names and the phonological activation of the basic-level names was assessed with distractor words phonologically related versus unrelated to that name (e.g., “birch” vs. “lamp”). In all experiments, we consistently found that distractor words phonologically related to the basic-level name interfered with the naming response more strongly than unrelated distractor words. Moreover, this effect was of comparable size for nonconstraining and constraining contexts indicating that the alternative name was phonologically activated and competed for selection, even when it was not an appropriate lexical option. Our results suggest that the speech production system is limited in its ability of flexibly adjusting and fine-tuning the lexical activation patterns of words (among which to choose from) as a function of pragmatic constraints.

Thought-Control Difficulty Motivates Structure Seeking

Thought-Control Difficulty Motivates Structure Seeking. By Anyi Ma et al.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,

Abstract: Struggling to control one’s mind can change how the world appears. In prior studies testing the compensatory control theory, reduced control over the external environment motivated the search for perceptual patterns and other forms of structured knowledge, even in remote domains. Going further, the current studies test whether difficulty controlling thoughts similarly predicts structure seeking. As hypothesized, thought-control difficulty positively predicted perceptions of causal connections between remote events (Study 1a) and nonexistent objects in visual noise (Study 1b). This effect was mediated by aversive arousal (Study 2) and caused specifically by thought-control difficulty as distinct from general difficulty (Study 3). Study 4 replicated the effect with a sample of meditators learning to control their thoughts, showing that thought-control difficulty was a powerful predictor of structure seeking. These findings reveal a novel form of motivated perception.

Eight-minute self-regulation intervention raises educational attainment at scale in individualist but not collectivist cultures

Eight-minute self-regulation intervention raises educational attainment at scale in individualist but not collectivist cultures. By René Kizilcec & Geoffrey Cohen
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 April 2017, Pages 4348–4353,

Significance: High attrition from educational programs is a major obstacle to social mobility and a persistent source of economic inefficiency. Over two-thirds of students entering a 2-y institution fail to earn a credential in the United States. In online courses, attrition rates are even higher. In two large field experiments, we tested the conditions under which a writing activity that facilitates goal commitment and goal-directed behavior reduces attrition in online courses. The activity raised completion rates by up to 78% for members of individualist cultures and primarily for those who contended with predictable and surmountable obstacles in the form of everyday obligations, but it was ineffective in collectivist cultures and for people contending with other types of obstacles.

Abstract: Academic credentials open up a wealth of opportunities. However, many people drop out of educational programs, such as community college and online courses. Prior research found that a brief self-regulation strategy can improve self-discipline and academic outcomes. Could this strategy support learners at large scale? Mental contrasting with implementation intentions (MCII) involves writing about positive outcomes associated with a goal, the obstacles to achieving it, and concrete if–then plans to overcome them. The strategy was developed in Western countries (United States, Germany) and appeals to individualist tendencies, which may reduce its efficacy in collectivist cultures such as India or China. We tested this hypothesis in two randomized controlled experiments in online courses (n = 17,963). Learners in individualist cultures were 32% (first experiment) and 15% (second experiment) more likely to complete the course following the MCII intervention than a control activity. In contrast, learners in collectivist cultures were unaffected by MCII. Natural language processing of written responses revealed that MCII was effective when a learner’s primary obstacle was predictable and surmountable, such as everyday work or family obligations but not a practical constraint (e.g., Internet access) or a lack of time. By revealing heterogeneity in MCII’s effectiveness, this research advances theory on self-regulation and illuminates how even highly efficacious interventions may be culturally bounded in their effects

Cross-country relationships between life expectancy, intertemporal choice and age at first birth

Cross-country relationships between life expectancy, intertemporal choice and age at first birth. By Adam Bulley & Gillian Pepper
Evolution and Human Behavior,

Abstract: Humans, like other animals, typically discount the value of delayed rewards relative to those available in the present. From an evolutionary perspective, prioritising immediate rewards is a predictable response to high local mortality rates, as is an acceleration of reproductive scheduling. In a sample of 46 countries, we explored the cross-country relationships between average life expectancy, intertemporal choice, and women's age at first birth. We find that, across countries, lower life expectancy is associated with both a smaller percentage of people willing to wait for a larger but delayed reward, as well as a younger age at first birth. These results, which hold when controlling for region and economic pressures (GDP-per capita), dovetail with findings at the individual level to suggest that life expectancy is an important ecological predictor of both intertemporal and reproductive decision-making.

What Explains Personality Covariation? A Test of the Socioecological Complexity Hypothesis

What Explains Personality Covariation? A Test of the Socioecological Complexity Hypothesis. By Aaron Lukaszewski et al.
Social Psychological and Personality Science,

Abstract: Correlations among distinct behaviors are foundational to personality science, but the field remains far from a consensus regarding the causes of such covariation. We advance a novel explanation for personality covariation, which views trait covariance as being shaped within a particular socioecology. We hypothesize that the degree of personality covariation observed within a society will be inversely related to the society’s socioecological complexity, that is, its diversity of social and occupational niches. Using personality survey data from participant samples in 55 nations (N = 17,637), we demonstrate that the Big Five dimensions are more strongly intercorrelated in less complex societies, where the complexity is indexed by nation-level measures of economic development, urbanization, and sectoral diversity. This inverse relationship is robust to control variables accounting for a number of methodological and response biases. Our findings support the socioecological complexity hypothesis and more generally bolster functionalist accounts of trait covariation.

Cultural differences in room size perception

Cultural differences in room size perception. By Aurelie Saulton et al.
PLoS ONE, April 2017,

Abstract: Cultural differences in spatial perception have been little investigated, which gives rise to the impression that spatial cognitive processes might be universal. Contrary to this idea, we demonstrate cultural differences in spatial volume perception of computer generated rooms between Germans and South Koreans. We used a psychophysical task in which participants had to judge whether a rectangular room was larger or smaller than a square room of reference. We systematically varied the room rectangularity (depth to width aspect ratio) and the viewpoint (middle of the short wall vs. long wall) from which the room was viewed. South Koreans were significantly less biased by room rectangularity and viewpoint than their German counterparts. These results are in line with previous notions of general cognitive processing strategies being more context dependent in East Asian societies than Western ones. We point to the necessity of considering culturally-specific cognitive processing strategies in visual spatial cognition research.

Reverse Ego-Depletion: Acts of Self-Control Can Improve Subsequent Performance in Indian Cultural Contexts

Reverse Ego-Depletion: Acts of Self-Control Can Improve Subsequent Performance in Indian Cultural Contexts. By Krishna Savani & Veronika Job
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,

Abstract: The strength model of self-control has been predominantly tested with people from Western cultures. The present research asks whether the phenomenon of ego-depletion generalizes to a culture emphasizing the virtues of exerting mental self-control in everyday life. A pilot study found that whereas Americans tended to believe that exerting willpower on mental tasks is depleting, Indians tended to believe that exerting willpower is energizing. Using dual task ego-depletion paradigms, Studies 1a, 1b, and 1c found reverse ego-depletion among Indian participants, such that participants exhibited better mental self-control on a subsequent task after initially working on strenuous rather than nonstrenuous cognitive tasks. Studies 2 and 3 found that Westerners exhibited the ego-depletion effect whereas Indians exhibited the reverse ego-depletion effect on the same set of tasks. Study 4 documented the causal effect of lay beliefs about whether exerting willpower is depleting versus energizing on reverse ego-depletion with both Indian and Western participants. Together, these studies reveal the underlying basis of the ego-depletion phenomenon in culturally shaped lay theories about willpower.

Kinship Systems, Cooperation and the Evolution of Culture

Kinship Systems, Cooperation and the Evolution of Culture. By Benjamin Enke
NBER Working Paper, June 2017,

Abstract: Cultural psychologists and anthropologists argue that societies have developed heterogeneous systems of social organization to cope with social dilemmas, and that an entire bundle of cultural characteristics has coevolved to enforce cooperation within these different systems. This paper develops a measure of the historical tightness of kinship structures to provide empirical evidence for this large body of theories. In the data, societies with loose ancestral kinship ties cooperate and trust broadly, which is apparently sustained through a belief in moralizing gods, universally applicable moral principles, feelings of guilt, and large-scale institutions. Societies with a historically tightly knit kinship structure, on the other hand, exhibit strong in-group favoritism: they cheat on and are distrusting of out-group members, but readily support in-group members in need. This cooperation scheme is enforced by moral values of in-group loyalty, conformity to tight social norms, emotions of shame, and strong local institutions. These relationships hold across historical ethnicities, contemporary countries, ethnicities within countries, and migrants. The results suggest that religious beliefs, language, emotions, morality, and social norms all coevolved to support specific social cooperation systems.

Russians Inhibit the Expression of Happiness to Strangers: Testing a Display Rule Model

Russians Inhibit the Expression of Happiness to Strangers: Testing a Display Rule Model. By Kennon Sheldon et al.
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, June 2017, Pages 718-733,

Abstract: Cultural stereotypes and considerable psychological research suggest that Russians are less happy and more stoic than Americans and Westerners. However, a second possibility is simply that cultural norms deter Russians from displaying happiness that they actually feel. To test this second possibility, three studies compared the emotional inhibition tendencies in U.S. and Russian student samples. Although Russians and Americans were no different on subjective well-being (SWB), a consistent three-way interaction was found such that Russians (compared with Americans) reported greater inhibition of the expression of happiness (vs. unhappiness), but mainly to strangers (vs. friends/family). Russians also viewed their peers and countrymen as behaving similarly. Furthermore, a consistent interaction was found such that the degree of happiness inhibition with strangers was negatively correlated with SWB in the U.S. samples but was unrelated to SWB in the Russian samples. Given the equivalent levels of SWB observed in these data, we suggest that Russians may not be less happy than Americans, as this would illogically entail that they exaggerate their SWB reports while also claiming to inhibit their expression of happiness. Implications for emotion researchers and international relations are considered.

Coarse Grades: Informing the Public by Withholding Information

Coarse Grades: Informing the Public by Withholding Information. By Rick Harbaugh & Eric Rasmusen
American Economic Journal: Microeconomics,

Abstract: Certifiers of quality often report only coarse grades to the public despite having measured quality more finely, e.g., "Pass" or "Certified" instead of "73 out of 100". Why? We show that coarse grades result in more information being provided to the public because the coarseness encourages those of middling quality to apply for certification. Dropping exact grading in favor of the best coarse grading scheme reduces public uncertainty because the extra participation outweighs the coarser reporting. In some circumstances, the coarsest meaningful grading scheme, pass-fail grading, results in the most information.

Charitable Giving, Emotions, and the Default Effect

Charitable Giving, Emotions, and the Default Effect. By Lenka Fiala & Charles Noussair
Economic Inquiry,

Abstract: We report an experiment to study the effect of defaults on charitable giving. In three different treatments, participants face varying default levels of donation. In three other treatments that are paired with the first three, they receive the same defaults, but are informed that defaults are thought to have an effect on their donation decisions. The emotional state of all individuals is monitored throughout the sessions using Facereading software, and some participants are required to report their emotional state after the donation decision. We find that the level at which a default is set has no effect on donations, and informing individuals of the possible impact of defaults also has no effect. Individuals who are happier and in a more positive overall emotional state donate more. Donors experience a negative change in the valence of their emotional state subsequent to donating, when valence is measured with Facereading software. This contrasts with the self-report data, in which donating correlates with a more positive reported subsequent emotional state.

Endorsing Help For Others That You Oppose For Yourself: Mind Perception Alters the Perceived Effectiveness of Paternalism

Endorsing Help For Others That You Oppose For Yourself: Mind Perception Alters the Perceived Effectiveness of Paternalism. By Juliana Schroeder, Adam Waytz & Nicholas Epley
Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. Available at
Abstract: How people choose to help each other can be just as important as how much people help. Help can come through relatively paternalistic or agentic aid. Paternalistic aid, such as banning certain foods to encourage weight loss or donating food to alleviate poverty, restricts recipients' choices compared with agentic aid, such as providing calorie counts or donating cash. Nine experiments demonstrate that how people choose to help depends partly on their beliefs about the recipient's mental capacities. People perceive paternalistic aid to be more effective for those who seem less mentally capable (Experiments 1 and 2), and people therefore give more paternalistically when others are described as relatively incompetent (Experiment 3). Because people tend to believe that they are more mentally capable than are others, people also believe that paternalistic aid will be more effective for others than for oneself, effectively treating other adults more like children (Experiments 4a-5b). Experiencing a personal mental shortcoming - overeating on Thanksgiving - therefore increased the perceived effectiveness of paternalism for oneself, such that participants thought paternalistic antiobesity policies would be more effective when surveyed the day after Thanksgiving than the day before (Experiment 6). A final experiment demonstrates that the link between perceived effectiveness of aid and mental capacity is bidirectional: Those receiving paternalistic aid were perceived as less mentally capable than those receiving relatively agentic aid (Experiment 7). Beliefs about how best to help someone in need are affected by subtle inferences about the mind of the person in need.

Conforming Conservatives: How Salient Social Identities Can Increase Donations

Conforming Conservatives: How Salient Social Identities Can Increase Donations. By Andrew Kaikati et al.
Journal of Consumer Psychology,
Abstract: This research considers how common perceptions of liberals' generosity can be harnessed for increasing donations. Given conservatives' greater tendency to conform to group norms than liberals, we theorize that conformity tendencies can increase donations by conservatives when accountable to a liberal audience who share a salient identity. Specifically, conservatives donate more when they are accountable to a liberal audience with whom they have a salient shared identity (Study 1) due to their motivation for social approval (Studies 3 and 4). However, if the donation context activates political identity (Studies 2 and 3) or if the unifying social identity is not salient (Study 4), accountability does not impact donation decisions. Notably, liberals do not alter their behavior, ruling out alternative explanations for the pattern of conformity. This research provides insight into the distinct role of accountability for conservatives and importance of audience characteristics for conformity. Though both liberals and conservatives can be generous, this research demonstrates how conformity can be used to increase charitable giving among conservatives.

Holding Your Flag: The Effects of Exposure to a Regional Symbol on People's Behavior

Holding Your Flag: The Effects of Exposure to a Regional Symbol on People's Behavior. By Nicolas Guéguen, Angélique Martin; Jordy Stefan
European Journal of Social Psychology,

Abstract: Research has shown that exposure to the national flag alters people's behavior and political and intergroup judgments. In several field studies conducted in an area of France with a strong regional identity, we examined the effect of the presence of the regional flag vs the national flag vs no flag on behaviors. Various situations (e.g., money solicitation, implicit helping behavior, food tasting) were tested in Brittany, on the French west Atlantic coast. Car drivers, passersby in the street, patrons in bakeries were exposed to no flag vs the French flag vs the Brittany flag held by requesters or presented on a product or on a car. Findings showed that the regional flag increased helping behavior dramatically. Other studies also revealed that the presence of the Brittany flag reduced aggressiveness and influenced preference for food products. The power of a flag as a symbol that could increase in-group membership is discussed.

Youth Bulges and Civil Conflict: Causal Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa

Youth Bulges and Civil Conflict: Causal Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa. By Matthias Flückiger & Markus Ludwig
Journal of Conflict Resolution,

Abstract: The presence of an exceptionally large youth population, that is, a youth bulge, is often associated with an elevated risk of civil conflict. In this article, we develop an instrumental variable approach in which the size of the youth cohorts in Sub-Saharan Africa is identified using variation in birth-year drought incidence. Our results show that an increase in the size of the population group aged fifteen to nineteen raises the risk of low-intensity conflict. A 1 percent increase in the size of this age-group augments the likelihood of civil conflict incidence (onset) by 2.3 (1.2) percentage points. On the other hand, we do not find any association between the size of the two adjacent youth cohorts, that is, the population groups aged ten to fourteen and twenty to twenty-four

Sharing genes fosters identity fusion and altruism

Sharing genes fosters identity fusion and altruism. By Alexandra Vázquez et al.
Self and Identity,

Abstract: Researchers have shown that the more genes twins share, the more they care about one another. Here, we examine a psychological mediator of such genetic influences, “identity fusion” (a visceral sense of oneness with them). Results supported this hypothesis. Relative to dizygotic twins, monozygotic twins reported stronger fusion and elevated desire to have contact and share experiences with their twin (Study 1), to forgive and grant favors to their twin after being disappointed by him/her (Study 2), and willingness to make sacrifices for their twin (Study 3). Fusion with the twin mediated the impact of zygosity on these outcomes. These findings demonstrate that genetic relatedness fosters a powerful feeling of union with one’s twin that predicts sharing, tolerance, and self-sacrificial behavior toward him or her.