Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Same-sex courtship behaviors in male-biased populations: Found more male-male sexual interactions in male-biased populations and a significant decrease of these behaviors after consecutive days of observation

Same-sex courtship behaviors in male-biased populations: evidence for the mistaken identity hypothesis. Anthony Macchiano, Imran Razik, Maria Sagot. acta ethologica, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10211-018-0293-8

Abstract: Same-sex sexual behaviors (SSSB) have been recorded in nearly all major animal groups and are often found in populations with skewed sex ratios (SR). Here, we study the role of sex ratios in the frequency of SSSB to better understand the conditions that give rise to such puzzling behaviors. We observed SSSB in multiple populations of the common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) after manipulation of sex ratios. We also recorded male responses after being pursued by other males. We found more male-male sexual interactions in male-biased populations and a significant decrease of these behaviors after consecutive days of observation. Males pursued by other males reacted to such encounters. Our results provide support for the mistaken identity hypothesis, in which males are unable to differentiate between sexes at first encounter. With this work, we help elucidate possible social conditions that facilitate the appearance of such intriguing behaviors in nature.

Keywords: Same-sex interactions Homosexual behavior Sex ratios Drosophila melanogaster

Sex-based divergence of mechanisms underlying pain and pain inhibition: The female is more sensitive and less tolerant of pain

Sex-based divergence of mechanisms underlying pain and pain inhibition. Jeffrey S Mogil. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, Volume 23, October 2018, Pages 113–117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2018.05.005

Abstract: Whether there are sex differences in pain sensitivity is a topic of enduring interest. This question has essentially been answered, with a clear consensus emerging in the direction of the difference in humans. More importantly, though, there is also much evidence for robust qualitative differences in pain mechanisms between the sexes, in both rodents and humans, predictive of the eventual sex-specific treatment of pain. This review details some of the known differences in pain circuitry between males and females, and asks whether pain is unique in featuring such divergence.

Social observation promoted deontological judgments especially for moral dilemmas involving direct physical harm (i.e., the personal moral dilemmas), yet with an overall decrease in decision confidence and significant prolongation of reaction time

Social observation increases deontological judgments in moral dilemmas. Minwoo Lee, Sunhae Sul, Hackjin Kim. Evolution and Human Behavior, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.06.004

Abstract: A concern for positive reputation is one of the core motivations underlying various social behaviors in humans. The present study investigated how experimentally induced reputation concern modulates judgments in moral dilemmas. In a mixed-design experiment, participants were randomly assigned to the observed vs. the control group and responded to a series of trolley-type moral dilemmas either in the presence or absence of observers, respectively. While no significant baseline difference in personality traits and moral decision style were found across two groups of participants, our analyses revealed that social observation promoted deontological judgments especially for moral dilemmas involving direct physical harm (i.e., the personal moral dilemmas), yet with an overall decrease in decision confidence and significant prolongation of reaction time. Moreover, participants in the observed group, but not in the control group, showed the increased sensitivities towards warmth vs. competence traits words in the lexical decision task performed after the moral dilemma task. Our findings suggest that reputation concern, once triggered by the presence of potentially judgmental others, could activate a culturally dominant norm of warmth in various social contexts. This could, in turn, induce a series of goal-directed processes for self-presentation of warmth, leading to increased deontological judgments in moral dilemmas. The results of the present study provide insights into the reputational consequences of moral decisions that merit further exploration.

Keywords: Reputation concern; Moral dilemma; Social observation; Deontology; Warmth

Collective Narcissism: Americans Exaggerate the Role of Their Home State in Appraising U.S. History

Collective Narcissism: Americans Exaggerate the Role of Their Home State in Appraising U.S. History. Adam L. Putnam et al. Psychological Science, https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797618772504

Abstract: Collective narcissism—a phenomenon in which individuals show excessively high regard for their own group—is ubiquitous in studies of small groups. We examined how Americans from the 50 U.S. states (N = 2,898) remembered U.S. history by asking them, “In terms of percentage, what do you think was your home state’s contribution to the history of the United States?” The mean state estimates ranged from 9% (Iowa) to 41% (Virginia), with the total contribution for all states equaling 907%, indicating strong collective narcissism. In comparison, ratings provided by nonresidents for states were much lower (but still high). Surprisingly, asking people questions about U.S. history before they made their judgment did not lower estimates. We argue that this ethnocentric bias is due to ego protection, selective memory retrieval processes involving the availability heuristic, and poor statistical reasoning. This study shows that biases that influence individual remembering also influence collective remembering.

Keywords: collective memory, availability bias, egocentrism, narcissism, judgment, open data, open materials, and preregistered


Beneficial effects of education on cognitive abilities of approximately 1 to 5 IQ points for an additional year of education. Moderator analyses indicated that the effects persisted across the life span and were present on all broad categories of cognitive ability

How Much Does Education Improve Intelligence? A Meta-Analysis. Stuart J. Ritchie, Elliot M. Tucker-Drob. Psychological Science, https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797618774253

Abstract: Intelligence test scores and educational duration are positively correlated. This correlation could be interpreted in two ways: Students with greater propensity for intelligence go on to complete more education, or a longer education increases intelligence. We meta-analyzed three categories of quasiexperimental studies of educational effects on intelligence: those estimating education-intelligence associations after controlling for earlier intelligence, those using compulsory schooling policy changes as instrumental variables, and those using regression-discontinuity designs on school-entry age cutoffs. Across 142 effect sizes from 42 data sets involving over 600,000 participants, we found consistent evidence for beneficial effects of education on cognitive abilities of approximately 1 to 5 IQ points for an additional year of education. Moderator analyses indicated that the effects persisted across the life span and were present on all broad categories of cognitive ability studied. Education appears to be the most consistent, robust, and durable method yet to be identified for raising intelligence.

Keywords: intelligence, education, meta-analysis, quasiexperimental, open data

Monday, June 18, 2018

Microworkers who are paid less tend to exaggerate the importance of their participation; express greater enjoyment and experience lower tension; expend lower effort and are more likely to drop out

Microworkers as Research Participants: Does Underpaying Turkers lead to Cognitive Dissonance? Bingjie Liu, S.Shyam Sundar. Computers in Human Behavior, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.06.017

Highlights
•    Turkers who are paid less tend to exaggerate the importance of their participation.
•    Turkers who are paid less express greater enjoyment and experience lower tension.
•    Turkers paid less expend lower effort and are more likely to drop out.
•    Underpaying microworkers undermines ethical practice of scientific research.

Abstract: Social science researchers increasingly rely on microworkers to serve as study participants, paying them very little compared to participants recruited from other venues. This has raised ethical concerns and questioned the validity of research based on microworkers. Informed by cognitive dissonance theory, we conducted two between-subjects experiments to examine the effects of underpaying Amazon Mechanical Turk workers (Turkers) on their perceptions and their actual performance on criteria crucial to online social science research. Data show that underpaid Turkers experienced ‘cognitive dissonance’ such that those paid as low as $0.25 said that their participation was more important (than subjects who were paid higher), which was positively associated with other positive perceptions and demand characteristics. Nevertheless, underpaying Turkers increased dropout rate, reduced their level of effort in answering open-ended questions and undermined perceived agency. We discuss the ethical and practical implications of underpaying microworkers.

Keywords: Amazon’s Mechanical Turk; underpayment; cognitive dissonance; enjoyment; effort

Speculations on the Evolutionary Origins of System Justification (justifying system's harsh or unfair results)

Speculations on the Evolutionary Origins of System Justification. John T. Jost, Robert M. Sapolsky, H. Hannah Nam. Evolutionary Psychology, https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704918765342

Abstract: For centuries, philosophers and social theorists have wondered why people submit voluntarily to tyrannical leaders and oppressive regimes. In this article, we speculate on the evolutionary origins of system justification, that is, the ways in which people are motivated (often nonconsciously) to defend and justify existing social, economic, and political systems. After briefly recounting the logic of system justification theory and some of the most pertinent empirical evidence, we consider parallels between the social behaviors of humans and other animals concerning the acceptance versus rejection of hierarchy and dominance. Next, we summarize research in human neuroscience suggesting that specific brain regions, such as the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex, may be linked to individual differences in ideological preferences concerning (in)equality and social stability as well as the successful navigation of complex, hierarchical social systems. Finally, we consider some of the implications of a system justification perspective for the study of evolutionary psychology, political behavior, and social change.

Keywords: system justification, ideology, political neuroscience, amygdala, hierarchy, evolutionary psychology

Sexual disgust sensitivity was associated with increased odds of voting for Donald Trump vs each other major presidential candidate, as well as with increased odds of affiliating with the Republican vs the Democratic or Libertarian parties

Sexual Disgust Trumps Pathogen Disgust in Predicting Voter Behavior During the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. Joseph Billingsley, Debra Lieberman, Joshua M. Tybur. Evolutionary Psychology, https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704918764170

Abstract: Why is disgust sensitivity associated with socially conservative political views? Is it because socially conservative ideologies mitigate the risks of infectious disease, whether by promoting out-group avoidance or by reinforcing norms that sustain antipathogenic practices? Or might it be because socially conservative ideologies promote moral standards that advance a long-term, as opposed to a short-term, sexual strategy? Recent attempts to test these two explanations have yielded differing results and conflicting interpretations. Here, we contribute to the literature by examining the relationship between disgust sensitivity and political orientation, political party affiliation, and an often overlooked outcome—actual voter behavior. We focus on voter behavior and affiliation for the 2016 U.S. presidential election to determine whether pathogen or sexual disgust better predicts socially conservative ideology. Although many prominent aspects of Donald Trump’s campaign—particularly his anti-foreign message—align with the pathogen-avoidance model of conservatism, we found that pathogen-related disgust sensitivity exerted no influence on political ideology, political party affiliation, or voter behavior, after controlling for sexual disgust sensitivity. In contrast, sexual disgust sensitivity was associated with increased odds of voting for Donald Trump versus each other major presidential candidate, as well as with increased odds of affiliating with the Republican versus the Democratic or Libertarian parties. In fact, for every unit increase in sexual disgust sensitivity, the odds of a participant voting for Trump versus Clinton increased by approximately 30%. It seems, then, that sexual disgust trumps pathogen disgust in predicting socially conservative voting behavior.

Keywords: disgust sensitivity, social conservatism, voter behavior, pathogen avoidance, sexual strategies

Unconventional Consumption Methods and Enjoying Things Consumed: Recapturing the “First-Time” Experience

Unconventional Consumption Methods and Enjoying Things Consumed: Recapturing the “First-Time” Experience. Ed O’Brien, Robert W. Smith. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,  https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167218779823

Abstract: People commonly lament the inability to re-experience familiar things as they were first experienced. Four experiments suggest that consuming familiar things in new ways can disrupt adaptation and revitalize enjoyment. Participants better enjoyed the same familiar food (Experiment 1), drink (Experiment 2), and video (Experiments 3a-3b) simply when re-experiencing the entity via unusual means (e.g., eating popcorn using chopsticks vs. hands). This occurs because unconventional methods invite an immersive “first-time” perspective on the consumption object: boosts in enjoyment were mediated by revitalized immersion into the consumption experience and were moderated by time such that they were strongest when using unconventional methods for the first time (Experiments 1-2); likewise, unconventional methods that actively disrupted immersion did not elicit the boost, despite being novel (Experiments 3a-3b). Before abandoning once-enjoyable entities, knowing to consume old things in new ways (vs. attaining new things altogether) might temporarily restore enjoyment and postpone wasteful replacement.

The Real Reason Liberals Drink Lattes

The Real Reason Liberals Drink Lattes. Diana C. Mutz and Jahnavi S. Rao. Political Science & Politics, https://doi.org/10.1017/S1049096518000574

Abstract: Are liberals truly more likely to drink lattes than conservatives? In this study, we first use a representative national survey to address this unanswered question. On confirmation, we examine three hypotheses about why this relationship exists. Our results led to a fundamental reinterpretation of what it means to be a “latte liberal.”

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Despite the centrality of technical innovation to our daily lives, most people rarely if ever innovate new products; we gravitate toward rewarding social rather than technical solutions to our problems, related to engineers & physical scientists as less socially oriented but more innovative

Did humans evolve to innovate with a social rather than technical orientation? William von Hippel, Thomas Suddendorf. New Ideas in Psychology, Volume 51, December 2018, Pages 34–39. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.newideapsych.2018.06.002

Abstract: The quality and frequency of human technical innovation differentiates us from all other species, and has played a primary role in creating the cognitive niche that we occupy. Yet, despite the centrality of technical innovation to human culture and our daily lives, most people rarely if ever innovate new products. To address this discrepancy we consider our evolutionary history, and how it might have created a species whose members are both highly innovative and highly unlikely to invent new products. We propose the social innovation hypothesis, which suggests that our minds evolved to innovate, but with a social rather than a technical orientation. Because people find social relations rewarding, they gravitate toward social rather than technical solutions to their problems. Thus, it may primarily be people who are less socially oriented who innovate technically. Consistent with this possibility, 1) engineers and physical scientists are less socially oriented and more likely to innovate new products than people in the humanities and social sciences, and 2) men are less socially oriented and more likely to innovate new products than women.

Keywords: Innovation; Human evolution; Sociality; Gender differences

Sex, Salad, Rivalry: Women’s Evaluation of other Women Based on their Food Selection

You are What You Eat: Women’s Evaluation of other Women Based on their Food Selection. Hannah Hunter, Maryanne L. Fisher, & Charlotte De Backer. EvoS Journal, http://evostudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Hunter-et-al_Vol9SpIss2.pdf

ABSTRACT: Past research has shown that women who eat unhealthy foods are rated as less attractive and are perceived to have a less desirable personality than women who eat healthy foods. However, eating too healthily is also perceived negatively. Framing these past findings using an evolutionary perspective, we investigated if and how ratings of women changed when participants learned the target had allegedly consumed primarily healthy, unhealthy, or a balanced diet of healthy and unhealthy foods within the last day. We not only focused on perceived attractiveness and personality ratings, but included a measure of perceived rivalry as well. Results show that getting dietary information about a target woman changes other women’s perceptions of the target’s attractiveness, personality and capacities as a sexual rival. Keeping with our predictions, women portrayed with unhealthy diet choices received the poorest overall ratings. In contrast to recent findings that eating only healthy foods leads to poorer ratings too, our results show that women who exclusively ate healthy foods within the last day received the most favorable ratings and were seen as the most threatening. Women paired with a balanced diet choice received in-between ratings that were significantly different from both other conditions, except for some specific personality traits. In sum, these results show that studying food choice behavior is an avenue worthy of further exploration in the domain of evolutionary psychology.

KEYWORDS: Diet, Attractiveness, Social Impressions, Intrasexual Competition, Women

Saturday, June 16, 2018

We judge faces in incomplete photographs as physically more attractive; this positivity bias is replicated for different types of face incompleteness, mostly specific to aesthetic judgments, stronger for male participants, & specific to human faces (as opposed to pets, flowers, & landscapes)

Orghian, Diana and Hidalgo, César, Worse Than You Think: Positivity Bias in Evaluations of Human Facial Attractiveness (April 13, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3162479

Abstract: Attractive people are perceived to be healthier, wealthier, and more sociable. Yet, people often judge the attractiveness of others based on incomplete facial information. Here, we test the hypothesis that people fill in the missing information with positive inferences when judging others’ facial beauty. To test this hypothesis, we conducted five experiments where participants judged the attractiveness of human faces in complete and incomplete photographs. Our data shows that — relative to complete photographs — participants judge faces in incomplete photographs as physically more attractive. This positivity bias is: (i) replicated for different types of face incompleteness, (ii) mostly specific to aesthetic judgments, (iii) stronger for male participants, (iv) specific to human faces (as opposed to pets, flowers, and landscapes), (v) sensitive to participants’ prior expectations about the facial beauty of the people being evaluated, and, (vi) it involves a holistic processing of the faces.

Keywords: positivity bias, inference, face processing, attractiveness, configurational processing, expectations

Do Women Really Desire Casual Sex? Analysis of a Popular Adult Online Dating/Liaison Site

Do Women Really Desire Casual Sex? Analysis of a Popular Adult Online Dating/Liaison Site, by Michelle Escasa-Dorne and William Jankowiak. In Focality and Extension in Kinship. Essays in memory of Harold W Scheffler. Warren Shapiro (Ed.). https://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/n4128/pdf/book.pdf

A large body of evidence supports general expectations concerning sex differences in perceptions of sexual behaviour and psychology. An early compilation of various surveys, primarily from the United States (US), suggests that men prefer young, healthy and physically attractive partners, whereas women seek ambitious, generous and socially and economically successful partners when evaluating potential mates (Symons 1979). Related research finds males more than females utilise prostitutes, consume pornography, require less time before consenting to sex and sex with a stranger, and display higher rates of sex with farm animals (Gray and Garcia 2013; Mealey 2000). Differences are further manifested in men having more spontaneous thoughts about sex, a greater variety of sexual fantasies, greater frequency of wanting intercourse and with a larger number of partners, and higher participation in masturbation (even in societies that strongly discourage it) (Baumeister, Catanese and Vohs 2001: 242). In contrast, women give greater weight to cues of emotional intimacy with someone who is open to establishing an ongoing relationship (Buss 2003; Regan and Berscheid 1999; Schmitt, Shackelford and Buss 2001).

Sexual selection theory and data on sexuality suggest that heterosexual women’s short-term sexual strategies may be motivated by accumulation of resources (Buss 2008; Hrdy 1999; Symons 1979; Townsend 1998), mate switching (Betzig 1989), or out of a desire to evaluate a prospective long-term mate (Buss 2008; Buss and Schmitt 1993; Greiling and Buss 2000; Meston and Buss 2007) rather than motivation to find momentary sexual pleasure. However, the emergent research on bisexual women finds they have on average more sexual partners than heterosexual or lesbian women. This research also finds that bisexual women often have higher testosterone levels than women in the general population (Lippa 2006).

The higher testosterone levels may contribute to bisexual women having a stronger sex drive and thus desire to seek out more opportunities for short-term sexual encounters. Another exception is female swingers, or married women, who seek out sexual variety within spouse exchange contexts (Jankowiak and Mixson 2008). In this setting, women engage in casual sexual encounters that allow for the possibility of a physiological release, while also signalling to themselves and others that they are sexually attractive and therefore desirable (see Gangestad and Simpson 2000). Previous literature has also noted that extra-pair mating may be the stimulus necessary to activate women’s short-term mating strategies (Pillsworth and Haselton 2006). Clearly, some women do engage in short-term mating encounters.

[...]

Conclusion

Adult Friend Finder is the world’s largest online dating site. Its home page advertises itself as being a site where men and women can find good opportunities to find like-minded people interested in casual sexual encounters. We found the site functions, however, more as a dating site in which heterosexual women, in spite of their sexually suggestive profiles, prefer to form some type of ongoing relationship.3 Straight women often tease an interest in a ‘hook up’ encounter or willingness to enter into a casual sexual tryst when most have no intention of doing so. With the exception of a few heterosexual women (who were not bicurious or bisexual), our study found most heterosexual women are not interested in short-term mating for the primary purpose of seeking sexual pleasure. What American women’s profiles repeatedly emphasise is the desire to form some type of ongoing relationship. This raises the never-ending question: Is the qualified caution found in women’s profiles the result of lingering cultural restraint, or is it further evidence of the presence of underlying evolutionary derived sex differences? Clearly, we need renewed scholarly effort.

Conservatives Report Greater Meaning in Life Than Liberals

Conservatives Report Greater Meaning in Life Than Liberals. David B. Newman et al. Social Psychological and Personality Science, https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550618768241

Abstract: Conservatives report greater life satisfaction than liberals, but this relationship is relatively weak. To date, the evidence is limited to a narrow set of well-being measures that ask participants for a single assessment of their life in general. We address this shortcoming by examining the relationship between political orientation and well-being using measures of life satisfaction, affect, and meaning and purpose in life. Participants completed well-being measures after reflecting on their whole life (Studies 1a, 1b, and 2), at the end of their day (Study 3), and in the present moment (Study 4). Across five studies, conservatives reported greater meaning and purpose in life than liberals at each reporting period. This finding remained significant after adjusting for religiosity and was usually stronger than the relationships involving other well-being measures. Finally, meaning in life was more closely related to social conservatism than economic conservatism.

Keywords: meaning in life, well-being, political orientation, ecological momentary assessment, satisfaction with life

Friday, June 15, 2018

Surveillance cues do not enhance altruistic behavior among anonymous strangers in the field if unaware of experimenters' vigilance

Surveillance cues do not enhance altruistic behavior among anonymous strangers in the field. Erik Koornneef et al. PLoS One, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325144787_Surveillance_cues_do_not_enhance_altruistic_behavior_among_anonymous_strangers_in_the_field

Abstract: The degree of altruistic behavior among strangers is an evolutionary puzzle. A prominent explanation is the evolutionary legacy hypothesis according to which an evolved reciprocity-based psychology affects behavior even when reciprocity is impossible, i.e., altruistic behavior in such instances is maladaptive. Empirical support for this explanation comes from laboratory experiments showing that surveillance cues, e.g., photographs of watching eyes, increase altruistic behavior. A competing interpretation for this evidence, however, is that the cues signal the experimenter's expectations and participants, aware of being monitored, intentionally behave more altruistically to boost their reputation. Here we report the first results from a field experiment on the topic in which participants are unaware they are being monitored and reciprocity is precluded. The experiment investigates the impact of surveillance cues on a textbook example of altruistic behavior-hand hygiene prior to treating a 'patient'. We find no evidence surveillance cues affect hand hygiene, despite using different measures of hand-hygiene quality and cues that have been previously shown to be effective. We argue that surveillance cues may have an effect only when participants have reasons to believe they are actually monitored. Thus they cannot support claims altruistic behavior between strangers is maladaptive.

From 2014: Undergraduates reported that the average university student (a) saw dating infidelity as more acceptable and (b) engaged in unfaithful acts more frequently than they themselves did

From 2014: Pluralistic ignorance and misperception of social norms concerning cheating in dating relationships. Susan Boon, Sarah Watkins, Rowan Sciban. Personal Relationships, https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12044

Abstract: Two studies tested the hypothesis that beliefs about infidelity in dating relationships reflect pluralistic ignorance, a misperception in which people mistakenly believe that their own personal attitudes and behavior differ from others' when they do not. Consistent with pluralistic ignorance findings in other domains, undergraduates reported that the average university student (a) saw dating infidelity as more acceptable and (b) engaged in unfaithful acts more frequently than they themselves did. Neither type of infidelity (sexual, emotional, both sexual and emotional, or unspecified; Study 1, N = 176) nor motivated reasoning (i.e., defensiveness; Study 2, N = 359) moderated this pattern of results. Possible sources of misperceived norms concerning fidelity in dating relationships and the implications of such misperceptions are discussed.

Washington, D.C., harbors the greatest share of psychopaths in the US, "a fact that can be readily explained either by its very high population density or by the type of person who may be drawn a literal seat of power."

Murphy, Ryan, Psychopathy by U.S. State (May 26, 2018). https://ssrn.com/abstract=3185182

Abstract: Rentfrow et al. (2013) constructs a cross-section of the “Big Five” personality traits and demonstrates their relationship with outcomes variables for the continental United States and the District of Columbia. Hyatt et al. (Forthcoming) creates a means of describing psychopathy in terms of the Big Five personality traits. When these two findings are combined, a state-level estimate of psychopathy is produced. Among the typical predictions made regarding psychopathy, the variable with the closest univariate relationship with this new statistical aggregate is the percentage of the population in the state living in an urban area. There is not a clear univariate relationship with homicide rates.

Keywords: Psychopathy, Personality Psychology, Geographical Psychology, Big Five Personality Traits
JEL Classification: R19, D91

Rolf Degen summarizes (https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1007554998866149377): Washington, D.C., harbors the greatest share of psychopaths in the US, "a fact that can be readily explained either by its very high population density or by the type of person who may be drawn a literal seat of power."

A widely held belief about human communication is that specific verbal and nonverbal behaviors signal deception; review of experiments shows this is a mistake

Scientific Evidence and Cue Theories in Deception Research: Reconciling Findings From Meta-Analyses and Primary Experiments. Timothy R. Levine. International Journal of Communication, Vol 12 (2018), http://ijoc.org/index.php/ijoc/article/view/7838

Abstract: A widely held belief about human communication is that specific verbal and nonverbal behaviors signal deception. This belief is held as folk wisdom across many cultures. It is also often portrayed as accepted social scientific knowledge in academic works. Explanations for why specific behaviors signal deception fall under the umbrella label of “cue theories.” This commentary essay reviews the extensive social scientific theory and research on the utility of deception cues for detecting deception. Oddly, conclusions from meta-analyses do not align with the findings of the primary studies that comprise the meta-analyses. The divergent conclusions from meta-analyses and primary studies challenge both the validity of cue-based lie detection and what counts as the critical unit of scientific evidence in research. The implications for social science theory and research are discussed. Suggestions for improved applied lie detection are also provided.

Keywords: lying, nonverbal communication, meta-analysis, significance testing

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Key elements of the ARPA model for research funding are: organizational flexibility on an administrative level, & significant authority given to program directors to design programs, select projects & actively manage projects

Funding Breakthrough Research: Promises and Challenges of the "ARPA Model". Pierre Azoulay, Erica Fuchs, Anna Goldstein, Michael Kearney. NBER Working Paper No. 24674. http://www.nber.org/papers/w24674

Abstract: From its 1958 origin in defense, the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) model for research funding has, in the last two decades, spread to other parts of the US federal government with the goal of developing radically new technologies. In this paper, we propose that the key elements of the ARPA model for research funding are: organizational flexibility on an administrative level, and significant authority given to program directors to design programs, select projects and actively manage projects. We identify the ARPA model’s domain as mission-oriented research on nascent S-curves within an inefficient innovation system. Finally, we describe some of the challenges to implementing the ARPA model, and we comment on the role of ARPA in the landscape of research funding approaches.

Not Cool, Dude: Perceptions of Solicited vs. Unsolicited Sext Messages from Men and Women

Not Cool, Dude: Perceptions of Solicited vs. Unsolicited Sext Messages from Men and Women. Sarah J. Matthews et al. Computers in Human Behavior, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2018.06.014

Highlights:
•    This experimental study investigated perceptions of sext messaging situations.
•    Men and women were judged differently for the sext messages they sent.
•    When sending solicited messages, men and women were judged equally.
•    For unsolicited messages, women were judged as more appropriate than were men.
•    Our results provide evidence for the importance of consent in sext messaging.

Abstract: We examined the extent to which gender of sext message sender and type of sext message affects people’s perceptions of sext messages. As part of a 2 x 2 between-subjects design, 122 undergraduates (61 women, 61 men) at a predominantly White liberal arts university in Texas read a vignette in which either a female or a male target sent a solicited or unsolicited sext message to an opposite-sex acquaintance; participants then reported their perceptions of the situation and the sender of the sext message. As predicted, women who sent unsolicited sext messages were rated as more appropriate than were men who sent unsolicited sext messages; by contrast, women and men who sent solicited sext messages were perceived as equally appropriate. These findings suggest that hypermasculinity in the form of a man sending an unsolicited sext message to a woman may be more likely to be judged as a form of sexual harassment that makes the female receiver feel uncomfortable or threatened. By contrast, cultural ideals of hegemonic masculinity seem to dictate that men should react positively to sexual advances from women, regardless of whether such advances are solicited or not.

Keywords: sexting; sext messages; gender; solicited; unsolicited

Neuroticism was related to sexual dissatisfaction, negative emotions, & symptoms of sexual dysfunction; extraversion was related to sexual activity & risky sexual behavior; agreeableness & conscientiousness were negatively related to sexually aggressive behavior & sexual infidelity

Linking big five personality traits to sexuality and sexual health: A meta-analytic review. Allen, Mark S.,Walter, Emma E. Psychological Bulletin, Jun 07 , 2018, http://psycnet.apa.org/doiLanding?doi=10.1037%2Fbul0000157

This meta-analytic review addresses whether the major dimensions of trait personality relate to components of human sexuality. A comprehensive literature search identified 137 studies that met inclusion criteria (761 effect sizes; total n = 420,595). Pooled mean effects were computed using inverse-variance weighted random effects meta-analysis. Mean effect sizes from 100 separate meta-analyses provided evidence that personality relates to theoretically predicted components of sexuality and sexual health. Neuroticism was positively related to sexual dissatisfaction (r+ = .18), negative emotions (r+ = .42), and symptoms of sexual dysfunction (r+ = .16). Extraversion was positively related to sexual activity (r+ = .17) and risky sexual behavior (r+ = .18), and negatively related to symptoms of sexual dysfunction (r+ = −.17). Openness was positively related to homosexual orientation (r+ = .16) and liberal attitudes toward sex (r+ = .19). Agreeableness and conscientiousness were negatively related to sexually aggressive behavior (r+ = −.20; r+ = −.14) and sexual infidelity (r+ = −.18; r+ = −.17). Less robust evidence indicated that extraversion related negatively, and neuroticism positively, to child sexual abuse, and that openness related negatively to homophobic attitudes. Random effects metaregression identified age, gender, and study quality as important moderators of pooled mean effects. These findings might be of interest to health care professionals developing health care services that aim to promote sexually healthy societies.

People catch themselves spontaneously thinking about their secrets far more frequently than they encounter social situations that require active concealment of those; independent of concealment frequency, the frequency of mind-wandering to secrets predicts lower well-being

Slepian, M. L., Chun, J. S., & Mason, M. F. (2017). The experience of secrecy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 113(1), 1-33. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000085

Abstract: The concept of secrecy calls to mind a dyadic interaction: one person hiding a secret from another during a conversation or social interaction. The current work, however, demonstrates that this aspect of secrecy is rather rare. Taking a broader view of secrecy as the intent to conceal information, which only sometimes necessitates concealment, yields a new psychology of secrecy. Ten studies demonstrate the secrets people have, what it is like to have a secret, and what about secrecy is related to lower well-being. We demonstrate that people catch themselves spontaneously thinking about their secrets—they mind-wander to them—far more frequently than they encounter social situations that require active concealment of those secrets. Moreover, independent of concealment frequency, the frequency of mind-wandering to secrets predicts lower well-being (whereas the converse was not the case). We explore the diversity of secrets people have and the harmful effects of spontaneously thinking about those secrets in both recall tasks and in longitudinal designs, analyzing more than 13,000 secrets across our participant samples, with outcomes for relationship satisfaction, authenticity, well-being, and physical health. These results demonstrate that secrecy can be studied by having people think about their secrets, and have implications for designing interventions to help people cope with secrecy.

Is There Evidence of Racial Disparity in Police Use of Deadly Force? When adjusting for crime, we find no systematic evidence of anti-Black disparities in fatal shootings, fatal shootings of unarmed citizens, or fatal shootings involving misidentification of harmless object

Is There Evidence of Racial Disparity in Police Use of Deadly Force? Analyses of Officer-Involved Fatal Shootings in 2015–2016. Joseph Cesario, David Johnson, William Terrill. Social Psychological and Personality Science, https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550618775108

Abstract: Is there evidence of a Black–White disparity in death by police gunfire in the United States? This is commonly answered by comparing the odds of being fatally shot for Blacks and Whites, with odds benchmarked against each group’s population proportion. However, adjusting for population values has questionable assumptions given the context of deadly force decisions. We benchmark 2 years of fatal shooting data on 16 crime rate estimates. When adjusting for crime, we find no systematic evidence of anti-Black disparities in fatal shootings, fatal shootings of unarmed citizens, or fatal shootings involving misidentification of harmless objects. Multiverse analyses showed only one significant anti-Black disparity of 144 possible tests. Exposure to police given crime rate differences likely accounts for the higher per capita rate of fatal police shootings for Blacks, at least when analyzing all shootings. For unarmed shootings or misidentification shootings, data are too uncertain to be conclusive.

Keywords: deadly force, police use of force, officer-involved shootings, fatal shootings, race bias, racial disparity, Black Lives Matter

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Healthy or wealthy? Attractive individuals induce sex-specific food preferences

Healthy or wealthy? Attractive individuals induce sex-specific food preferences. Tobias Otterbring. Food Quality and Preference, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2017.02.014

Highlights
•    Attractive men decrease women’s preferences for unhealthy foods.
•    Attractive men increase women’s preferences for healthy foods.
•    Women’s level of restrained eating moderates this effect.
•    Attractive women increase men’s preferences for expensive foods and beverages.
•    Men’s desire to display status mediates this effect.

Abstract: Research shows that the mere presence of others and their physical appearance can influence people’s meal choices and food intake. Studies also suggest that such effects are sex-specific and depend on whether the eating occasion includes same-sex or opposite-sex individuals. In five experiments (N = 530; 49% female), the author investigates whether mate attraction, induced by exposure to attractive opposite-sex individuals, has a differential effect on the foods and beverages that men and women prefer to consume. The results revealed that prior exposure to attractive (versus less attractive) men decreased women’s willingness to spend money on unhealthy foods, and increased their inclination to spend money on healthy foods. Restrained eating moderated this effect, which means that women who scored high (versus low) on restrained eating were particularly motivated to spend money on healthy foods after exposure to an attractive male individual. On the contrary, exposure to attractive (versus less attractive) women did not influence men’s consumption preferences for healthy or unhealthy foods. However, men were more motivated to spend money on expensive drinking and dining options after exposure to an attractive female individual, and their desire to display status mediated this effect. Importantly, none of these effects occurred after exposure to attractive same-sex individuals, which provides converging evidence that mate attraction is the fundamental motive underlying these findings. Taken together, this research reveals how, why, and when appearance-induced mate attraction leads to sex-specific consumption preferences for various foods and beverages.

The idea that speaking in a certain way can make people do things –persuasion on steroids, so to say– is understandably fascinating; its use by pick-up artists is examined

In other words: ‘The language of attraction’ used by pick-up artists. Daria Dayter and Sofia Rüdiger. English Today, https://doi.org/10.1017/S026607841800007X

Extract: The idea that speaking in a certain way can make people do things – persuasion on steroids, so to say – is understandably fascinating. This holy grail of communication studies is sought after by ‘professional persuaders’, politicians and copywriters, but also in non-professional situations. One example of wishful thinking of what is possible when it comes to the power of language is the Pick-up Artist (PUA) paradigm. PUAs are a community of self-designated or aspiring seduction experts; and it should come as no surprise that most members are men. While it is possible for PUAs to meet face-to-face, for example, at workshops organized by the so-called gurus (at no little cost to the students of pick-up), much of the interaction between the members takes place in PUA Internet forums and similar online venues.

Cognitive and affective mental states penetrate visual processing, and can affect the system’s behaviour, structure and perceptual content

Cognitive penetration of early vision in face perception. Ariel S. Cecchi. Consciousness and Cognition, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2018.06.005

Highlights
•    Cognitive and affective mental states penetrate visual processing.
•    This influence can affect the system’s behaviour, structure and perceptual content.
•    Psychological evidence is not sufficient to argue for the penetration of perception.
•    Psychological evidence is not necessary to argue for the penetration of perception.
•    The penetration of visual perception needs to be assessed by neuroscientific evidence.
•    A neurocientific study appears to show higher influences in early visual content.
•    It is concluded that this study shows a case of cognitive penetration of early vision.
•    Alternative explanations to this conclusion are considered and rejected.

Abstract: Cognitive and affective penetration of perception refers to the influence that higher mental states such as beliefs and emotions have on perceptual systems. Psychological and neuroscientific studies appear to show that these states modulate the visual system at the visuomotor, attentional, and late levels of processing. However, empirical evidence showing that similar consequences occur in early stages of visual processing seems to be scarce. In this paper, I argue that psychological evidence does not seem to be either sufficient or necessary to argue in favour of or against the cognitive penetration of perception in either late or early vision. In order to do that we need to have recourse to brain imaging techniques. Thus, I introduce a neuroscientific study and argue that it seems to provide well-grounded evidence for the cognitive penetration of early vision in face perception. I also examine and reject alternative explanations to my conclusion.

Keywords: Visual perception; Early vision; Late vision; Cognitive penetration; Affective penetration; Penetrability of visual perception; Face perception

False intentions are more abstractly depicted than true intentions

Drawing what lies ahead: False intentions are more abstractly depicted than true intentions. Sofia Calderon, Erik Mac Giolla, Karl Ask, Pär Anders Granhag. Applied Cognitive Psychology, https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.3422

Abstract: The aim of this study was to examine how people mentally represent and depict true and false statements about claimed future actions—so‐called true and false intentions. On the basis of construal level theory, which proposes that subjectively unlikely events are more abstractly represented than likely ones, we hypothesized that false intentions should be represented at a more abstract level than true intentions. Fifty‐six hand drawings, produced by participants to describe mental images accompanying either true or false intentions, were rated on level of abstractness by a second set of participants (N = 117) blind to the veracity of the intentions. As predicted, drawings of false intentions were rated as more abstract than drawings of true intentions. This result advances the use of drawing‐based deception detection techniques to the field of true and false intentions and highlights the potential for abstractness as a novel cue to deceit.

Why Does the Cortex Reorganize after Sensory Loss? Don't know, but possibilities besides compensation include unmasking of dormant inputs, and mitigation of potentially harmful physiological changes in deafferented cortical tissue

Why Does the Cortex Reorganize after Sensory Loss? Amy Kalia Singh et al. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2018.04.004

Highlights

Neuroimaging studies have revealed that after loss of their primary sensory inputs, cortical areas often come to exhibit responses to inputs from other sensory modalities.

These cortical changes are sometimes, but not always, accompanied by enhancements in behavioral abilities in the encroaching modalities, seemingly to compensate for the missing modality.

We lack a comprehensive account of why cortical reorganization happens after sensory loss. Possibilities besides compensation include unmasking of dormant inputs, and mitigation of potentially harmful physiological changes in deafferented cortical tissue.

Abstract: A growing body of evidence demonstrates that the brain can reorganize dramatically following sensory loss. Although the existence of such neuroplastic crossmodal changes is not in doubt, the functional significance of these changes remains unclear. The dominant belief is that reorganization is compensatory. However, results thus far do not unequivocally indicate that sensory deprivation results in markedly enhanced abilities in other senses. Here, we consider alternative reasons besides sensory compensation that might drive the brain to reorganize after sensory loss. One such possibility is that the cortex reorganizes not to confer functional benefits, but to avoid undesirable physiological consequences of sensory deafferentation. Empirical assessment of the validity of this and other possibilities defines a rich program for future research.

Keywords: cortical reorganization; plasticity; sensory loss; multimodal activations; sensory compensation

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The cost of believing in psychology bull***t: Neuro-Linguistic Programming, still taught to the police though long since debunked, makes people misperceive facial expressions

The Impact of Beliefs Concerning Deception on Perceptions of Nonverbal Behavior: Implications for Neuro-Linguistic Programming-Based Lie Detection. Flavia Spiroiu. Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11896-018-9278-9

Abstract: Regularly employed in a forensic context, the Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) model purports that the behavioral distinction between somebody who is remembering information and somebody who is constructing information lies in the direction of their eye movements. This strategy reflects numerous current approaches to lie detection, which presume that nonverbal behavior influences perceptions and judgments about deception. The present study emphasized a reverse order by investigating whether beliefs that an individual is deceptive influence perceptions of the respective individual’s nonverbal behavior as indicated by observed eye movement patterns. Sixty participants were randomly assigned to either a group informed that right eye movements indicate constructed and thus deceptive information or a group informed that left eye movements indicate constructed and thus deceptive information. Each participant viewed six investigative interviews depicting the eye movement patterns of mock suspects labeled as deceptive or truthful. The interviews were structured according to different right/left eye movement ratios. Results revealed that participants reportedly observed the deceptive suspects displaying significantly more eye movements in the direction allegedly indicative of deception than did the truthful suspects. This result occurred despite the fact that the actual eye movement ratios in both deceptive/truthful sets of interviews were identical and the eye movements were predominantly in the opposite direction of that allegedly indicative of deception. The results are discussed in the context of encoding-based cognitive-processing theories. Limitations on the generality of the results are emphasized and the applicability (or lack thereof) of NLP-based lie detection in forensic contexts is discussed.

Rolf Degen summarizes (https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1006783239195971584):
The cost of believing in psychology bullshit: Neuro-Linguistic Programming, still taught to the police though long since debunked, makes people misperceive facial expressions.

Crush on You: Romantic Crushes Increase Consumers’ Preferences for Strong Sensory Stimuli

Crush on You: Romantic Crushes Increase Consumers’ Preferences for Strong Sensory Stimuli. Xun (Irene) Huang, Ping Dong, Meng Zhang. Journal of Consumer Research, ucy053, https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucy053

Abstract: What influences consumers’ preferences for strong versus weak sensory stimuli? In this paper, we find converging evidence that when the experience of a romantic crush is salient, consumers have an enhanced preference for options that elicit strong sensory stimulation (e.g., loud music, strongly flavored food). We demonstrate this effect across seven studies using a broad array of products and services as stimuli. We further show that these consumers have a heightened motivation to achieve greater sensations from the desired person, but cannot act in a way that directly satisfies this motivation, leading them to be more likely to turn to products and services for the desired sensations. Moreover, we find that the effect is specific to the experience of a romantic crush and cannot be generalized to other interpersonal experiences (e.g., passionate love, stable romantic relationship, unmet sexual desire).

Keywords: romantic crush, sensations, sensory intensity, interpersonal relationship

Pavlov's Reflex before Pavlov: Early Accounts from the English, French and German Classic Literature

Pavlov's Reflex before Pavlov: Early Accounts from the English, French and German Classic Literature. S Jarius S, B Wildemann. European Neurology, 2017;77:322-326. https://doi.org/10.1159/000475811

Abstract: The concept of classical conditioning (CC), strongly connected with the name and work of the Russian physiologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov (1849-1936), has become the foundation of the modern science of learning and, in particular, of the influential theories of Watson and Skinner and the entire school of behaviourism. In this paper, we give a number of forgotten accounts of CC in the English, French, and German classic literature that pre-date Pavlov's reports by decades or even centuries. These instances are taken from works of the 16th, 18th, and 19th centuries - authored by some of the finest writers of England (Sterne, Locke), France (Rabelais), and Germany (Jean Paul) - and indicate that the psychological mechanisms now described as CC were known long before Pavlov and his successors elaborated on them in a systematic way.

False memory production in one experimental paradigm won't predict susceptibility to false memories in other paradigms

Patihis, L., Frenda, S. J., & Loftus, E. F. (2018). False memory tasks do not reliably predict other false memories. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, 5(2), 140-160. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cns0000147

Abstract: Several laboratory techniques have been developed over the last few decades that reliably produce memory distortions. However, it is unclear whether false memory production in one experimental paradigm will predict susceptibility to false memories in other paradigms. In Experiment 1, 202 undergraduates participated in a misinformation experiment and semiautobiographical tasks involving three measures of memory distortion (suggestion, imagination, emotion). We established high internal consistency in individual differences measures and statistically significant experimental effects where we would expect them (e.g., the misinformation effect). However, false memory production in one task did not predict false memories in other paradigms. In Experiment 2, 163 adults participated in a misinformation experiment, a false memory word list task (Deese–Roediger–McDermott), and semiautobiographical false news story tasks. Again we found no consistent predictive relationships among various false memories. In both studies, no individual differences predicted memory distortion susceptibility consistently across tasks and across experiments. At this time, false memory production in a given laboratory task does not appear to adequately predict false memories in other tasks, a finding with implications for using these tasks to predict memory distortion in real world situations.

Flynn effect and its reversal are both environmentally caused

Flynn effect and its reversal are both environmentally caused. Bernt Bratsberg and Ole Rogeberg. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 11, 2018. 201718793. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1718793115

Significance: Using administrative register data with information on family relationships and cognitive ability for three decades of Norwegian male birth cohorts, we show that the increase, turning point, and decline of the Flynn effect can be recovered from within-family variation in intelligence scores. This establishes that the large changes in average cohort intelligence reflect environmental factors and not changing composition of parents, which in turn rules out several prominent hypotheses for retrograde Flynn effects.

Abstract: Population intelligence quotients increased throughout the 20th century—a phenomenon known as the Flynn effect—although recent years have seen a slowdown or reversal of this trend in several countries. To distinguish between the large set of proposed explanations, we categorize hypothesized causal factors by whether they accommodate the existence of within-family Flynn effects. Using administrative register data and cognitive ability scores from military conscription data covering three decades of Norwegian birth cohorts (1962–1991), we show that the observed Flynn effect, its turning point, and subsequent decline can all be fully recovered from within-family variation. The analysis controls for all factors shared by siblings and finds no evidence for prominent causal hypotheses of the decline implicating genes and environmental factors that vary between, but not within, families.


Check also: Woodley of Menie, M. A., Peñaherrera-Aguirre, M., Fernandes, H. B. F., & Figueredo, A.-J. (2017). What Causes the Anti-Flynn Effect? A Data Synthesis and Analysis of Predictors. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2017/12/anti-flynn-effects-what-causes-secular.html

Men are more supportive of Islamic veiling than women, but women with more sons are more supportive of veiling and more likely to wear veils than women with fewer sons; men were more religious if they had more sons

Who suppresses female sexuality? An examination of support for Islamic veiling in a secular Muslim democracy as a function of sex and offspring sex. Khandis R. Blake, Maleke Fourati, Robert C. Brooks. Evolution and Human Behavior, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.06.006

Abstract: Whether it is men or women who suppress female sexuality has important implications for understanding gendered relations, ultimately providing insight into one widespread cause of female disadvantage. The question of which sex suppresses female sexuality more avidly, however, neglects that our interests are never ambiguously masculine or feminine; each of us has a combination of male and female kin which alters how much of our future fitness derive from each sex. Here we exploit a nationally representative sample of 600 Tunisians to test whether support for Islamic veiling—a proxy for female sexual suppression—is more common amongst one sex than the other, and is affected by the relative sex of one's offspring (i.e., the number of sons relative to daughters). We find that men are more supportive of Islamic veiling than women, but women with more sons are more supportive of veiling and more likely to wear veils than women with fewer sons. All effects were robust to the inclusion of religiosity, which was weaker amongst men and unrelated to the number of sons a woman had. The number of daughters affected neither religiosity nor support for veiling, but did increase women's likelihood of wearing contemporary, fashionable Tunisian veils compared with no head covering. We further found that men were more religious if they had more sons. Overall, these findings highlight that far from being the fixed strategy of one sex or the other, female sexual suppression manifests facultatively to promote one's reproductive interests directly or indirectly by creating conditions beneficial to one's descendent kin. These results show that both men and women can suppress female sexuality, although the function in either case appears more closely aligned with male rather than female interests.

Keywords: Sexual suppression; Male control theory; Female control theory; Female sexuality; Inclusive fitness

Religious disbelief was related to cognitive flexibility; lower frequency of religious service attendance was related to cognitive flexibility; religious affiliation and engagement may shape & be shaped by cognitive control styles towards flexibility versus persistence

Cognitive flexibility and religious disbelief. Leor Zmigrod et al. Psychological Research, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00426-018-1034-3

Abstract: Cognitive flexibility is operationalized in the neuropsychological literature as the ability to shift between modes of thinking and adapt to novel or changing environments. Religious belief systems consist of strict rules and rituals that offer adherents certainty, consistency, and stability. Consequently, we hypothesized that religious adherence and practice of repetitive religious rituals may be related to the persistence versus flexibility of one’s cognition. The present study investigated the extent to which tendencies towards cognitive flexibility versus persistence are related to three facets of religious life: religious affiliation, religious practice, and religious upbringing. In a large sample (N = 744), we found that religious disbelief was related to cognitive flexibility across three independent behavioural measures: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test, Remote Associates Test, and Alternative Uses Test. Furthermore, lower frequency of religious service attendance was related to cognitive flexibility. When analysing participants’ religious upbringing in relation to their current religious affiliation, it was manifest that current affiliation was more influential than religious upbringing in all the measured facets of cognitive flexibility. The findings indicate that religious affiliation and engagement may shape and be shaped by cognitive control styles towards flexibility versus persistence, highlighting the tight links between flexibility of thought and religious ideologies.

The core cognitive architecture responsible for cumulative culture and technological progress also supports the propagation of rituals: our socially motivated propensity for engaging in high‐fidelity imitation

The Social Glue of Cumulative Culture and Ritual Behavior. Mark Nielsen. Child Development Perspectives, https://doi.org/10.1111/cdep.12297

Abstract: Cumulative culture, where innovations are incorporated progressively into a population's stock of skills and knowledge, generating more sophisticated repertoires, is a core aspect of human cognition underpinning the technological advances that characterize our species. Cumulative culture relies on our proclivity for high‐fidelity imitation, a characteristic that emerged phylogenetically early in our evolutionary history and emerges ontogenetically early in our development. Commensurate with this proclivity to copy others comes a tradeoff that behaviors that are functionally irrelevant will be easily maintained and transmitted. Rituals are an expression of this. In this article, I argue that the core cognitive architecture responsible for cumulative culture and technological progress also supports the propagation of rituals: our socially motivated propensity for engaging in high‐fidelity imitation.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Liberals see God as relatively more feminine, more African American, and more loving than conservatives, who see God as older, more intelligent, and more powerful. All participants see God as similar to themselves on attractiveness, age, and, to a lesser extent, race

The faces of God in America: Revealing religious diversity across people and politics. Joshua Conrad Jackson, Neil Hester, Kurt Gray. PLOS, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0198745

Abstract: Literature and art have long depicted God as a stern and elderly white man, but do people actually see Him this way? We use reverse correlation to understand how a representative sample of American Christians visualize the face of God, which we argue is indicative of how believers think about God’s mind. In contrast to historical depictions, Americans generally see God as young, Caucasian, and loving, but perceptions vary by believers’ political ideology and physical appearance. Liberals see God as relatively more feminine, more African American, and more loving than conservatives, who see God as older, more intelligent, and more powerful. All participants see God as similar to themselves on attractiveness, age, and, to a lesser extent, race. These differences are consistent with past research showing that people’s views of God are shaped by their group-based motivations and cognitive biases. Our results also speak to the broad scope of religious differences: even people of the same nationality and the same faith appear to think differently about God’s appearance.

There is an inverse relation between cognitive ability and number of children; the effect is stronger among females than males; the effect appears to be increasing in strength over time. Notable limitations of the current literature are reviewed

A systematic review of the state of literature relating parental general cognitive ability and number of offspring. Charlie L. Reeve, Michael D. Heeney, Michael A. Woodley of Menie. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 134, 1 November 2018, Pages 107–118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2018.05.036

Highlights
•    The relationship between general cognitive ability and reproduction is reviewed.
•    There is an inverse relation between cognitive ability and number of children.
•    The effect is stronger among females than males.
•    The effect appears to be increasing in strength over time.
•    Notable limitations of the current literature are reviewed.

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to conduct a systematic review of the literature on the relationship between general cognitive ability and fertility among modern humans. Our goals were to (a) evaluate the state of the extant literature, and (b) provide a quantitative summary of effect sizes to the extent possible (given the limitations of the literature). A thorough search identified 17 unique datasets that passed the inclusion criteria. Using a Random Effects Model to evaluate the data, the overall weighted effect was r = −0.11, although the data also indicated a sex effect (stronger correlations among females than males), and a race effect (stronger correlations among Black and Hispanic populations compared to Whites). Importantly, the data suggest the correlation has been increasing in strength throughout the 20th century (and early 21st). Finally, we discovered several notable limitations of the extant literature; limitations that currently prohibit a psychometric meta-analysis. We discuss these issues with emphasis on improving future primary studies to allow for more effective meta-analytic investigations.

Keywords: Intelligence; Cognitive ability; ‘g’; Reproductive success; Meta-analysis; Dysgenic trend

What's in a blush? Physiological blushing reveals narcissistic children's social‐evaluative concerns.

What's in a blush? Physiological blushing reveals narcissistic children's social‐evaluative concerns. Eddie Brummelman, Milica Nikolic, Susan M. Bögels. Psychophysiology, https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13201

Abstract: Physiological responses can reveal emotional states that individuals are unwilling to admit to others. Here, we studied what blushing reveals about the emotional states of narcissistic children. Narcissistic children (i.e., those high on the personality trait of narcissism) have a pervasive sense of grandiosity. We theorized that narcissistic children are so invested in their sense of grandiosity that even modest praise can make them feel depreciated. Because narcissistic children may not admit this feeling to others, we measured their physiological blushing: an involuntary reddening of the face that occurs when individuals anticipate being depreciated. Unlike other emotional expressions, blushing cannot be faked. Children (N = 105, ages 7–12) completed the Childhood Narcissism Scale and were then invited to sing a song on stage. They were randomly assigned to receive inflated praise (e.g., “You sang incredibly well!”), modest praise (“You sang well!”), or no praise for their performance. Blushing was recorded using photoplethysmography and temperature sensing. Afterward, children were asked how much they thought they had blushed. As predicted, narcissistic children—unlike nonnarcissistic children—blushed when they received modest praise, not when they received inflated praise. Specifically, they showed increased blood volume pulse (i.e., fast changes in blood volume with each heartbeat). Strikingly, when asked, narcissistic children denied blushing, perhaps to hide their vulnerabilities. Thus, blushing revealed social‐evaluative concerns that narcissistic children wished to keep private.

Cycle of Violence: Although we were able to replicate her original results, the link between childhood physical abuse and violence in adulthood failed to survive our robustness checks. Childhood neglect is the most robust predictor of adult violence

Revisiting a Criminological Classic: The Cycle of Violence. Wesley Myers et al. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, https://doi.org/10.1177/1043986218770003

Abstract: There is a growing “replication crisis” in the social and behavioral sciences, where original research across a wide array of substantive areas has failed to replicate when conducted by others. This problem highlights the importance of carefully revisiting original research—particularly studies that have exerted a significant influence over the field. Accordingly, in the present study, we subject Widom’s classic work, “The Cycle of Violence,” to a rigorous empirical reproduction and extension. We subjected her original data to alternative analytic techniques and to different measurement strategies and model specifications. Our results indicated that although we were able to replicate her original results, the link between childhood physical abuse and violence in adulthood failed to survive the robustness checks we conducted. Instead, childhood neglect emerged as the most robust predictor of adult violence.

Keywords: cycle of violence, replication, child abuse, neglect

What, if any, the hidden costs of overcoming the temptation to cheat are? As stakes rise, participants resist the temptation to cheat but they are giving less to charity. Donors who indicated that they felt more moral gave less in high stakes condition

High stakes: A little more cheating, a lot less charity. Zoe Rahwan et al. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebo.2018.04.021

Highlights
•    We explore what, if any, the hidden costs of overcoming the temptation to cheat are.
•    As stakes rise, participants resist the temptation to cheat but they are giving less to charity.
•    Donors who indicated that they felt more moral gave less in high stakes condition.
•    Participants who cheated the most were most likely to report feeling less moral at a one-day follow-up, but they thought they were less prone to feeling immoral if they cheated.

Abstract: We explore the downstream consequences of cheating–and resisting the temptation to cheat–at high stakes on pro-social behaviour and self-perceptions. In a large online sample, we replicate the seminal finding that cheating rates are largely insensitive to stake size, even at a 500-fold increase. We present two new findings. First, resisting the temptation to cheat at high stakes led to negative moral spill-over, triggering a moral license: participants who resisted cheating in the high stakes condition subsequently donated a smaller fraction of their earnings to charity. Second, participants who cheated maximally mispredicted their perceived morality: although such participants thought they were less prone to feeling immoral if they cheated, they ended up feeling more immoral a day after the cheating task than immediately afterwards. We discuss the theoretical implications of our findings on moral balancing and self-deception, and the practical relevance for organisational design.

Keywords: Cheating; Incentives; Moral licensing; Moral self-perceptions; Pro-social behaviour

While 4-year olds provided help when it did not cost them, their inclination to do so was significantly diminished when it incurred a personal cost

The cost of helping: An exploration of compassionate responding in children. Mitchell Green, James N. Kirby, Mark Nielsen. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, https://doi.org/10.1111/bjdp.12252

Abstract: Children engage in prosocial behaviour from an early age. Whether children will reliably provide compassionate help to a suffering individual is unclear. To investigate this, 73 4‐years‐olds were presented with three novel tasks in which they and a puppet had opportunity to win stickers by completing respective versions of the same tasks. In all cases, the puppets were unable to complete their tasks. The puppets ‘reacted’ by being either upset or not upset. While children provided help when it did not cost them, their inclination to do so was significantly diminished when it incurred a personal cost.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Temporarily Loading Visual Attention Induces Prolonged Inattentional Anosmia

Forster, S, and CJ Spence. 2018. “‘What Smell?’ Temporarily Loading Visual Attention Induces Prolonged Inattentional Anosmia.” Psychological Science, https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/pubs:844930

Abstract: Humans have a highly sensitive sense of smell capable of detecting a range of important biological signals. Yet, anecdotal evidence suggests that we commonly fail to notice supra-threshold environmental olfactory stimuli. The determinants of olfactory awareness are, as yet, unknown. Here, we adapted the ‘inattentional blindness’ paradigm, to test whether olfactory awareness is dependent on attention. Across three experiments, participants performed a visual search task with either a high or low perceptual load (a well-established attentional manipulation) while exposed to an ambient coffee aroma. Consistent with our hypothesis, task load modulated olfactory awareness: 42.5% fewer participants in the high (vs. low) load condition reported noticing the coffee aroma. Our final experiment demonstrates that, due to the unique characteristics of olfactory habituation, the consequences of inattentional anosmia can persist even once attention becomes available. These findings establish the phenomenon of inattentional anosmia, and have applied implications for predicting when people may miss potentially important olfactory information.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Chimpanzees are highly motivated to copy the behaviour of subordinate demonstrators and innovators; but behaviours seeded by dominant individuals were not transmitted as faithfully

Factors shaping social learning in chimpanzees. Stuart K. Watson. A Thesis Submitted for the Degree of PhD at the University of St Andrews, 2018. http://hdl.handle.net/10023/12781

Abstract: Culture is an important means by which both human and non-human animals transmit useful behaviours between individuals and generations. Amongst animals, chimpanzees live particularly varied cultural lives. However, the processes and factors that influence whether chimpanzees will be motivated to copy an observed behaviour are poorly understood. In this thesis, I explore various factors and their influence on social learning decisions in chimpanzees. In turn, the chapters examine the influence of (i) rank-bias towards copying dominant individuals, (ii) majority and contextual influences and finally (iii) individual differences in proclivity for social learning. In my first experiment, I found evidence that chimpanzees are highly motivated to copy the behaviour of subordinate demonstrators and innovators in an open - diffusion puzzle - box paradigm. In contrast, behaviours seeded by dominant individuals were not transmitted as faithfully. This finding has important implications for our understanding of the emergence of novel traditions. In my second experiment, I found that some chimpanzees are highly motivated to relinquish an existing behaviour to adopt an equally rewarding alternative if it is consistently demonstrated by just one or two individuals within a group context, but not in a dyadic context. This contrasts with prior studies which argue that chimpanzees are highly conservativ e and may hint at a hitherto unrecognised process by which conformity-like behaviour might occur. Finally, I performed a novel type of ‘meta’ analysis on 16 social learning studies carried out at our research site to determine whether individuals demonstra ted consistency in their social learning behaviour across experimental contexts. Strong evidence for individual differences in social information use was found, with females more likely to use social information than males. No effect of age, research exper ience or rearing history was found. This presents a promising new method of studying individual differences in behaviour using the accumulated findings of previous work at a study site.

No evidence that mate choice in humans is dependent on the major histocompatibility complex (MHC)

No evidence that mate choice in humans is dependent on the MHC. Mircea Cretu Stancu, Wigard Kloosterman, Sara L Pulit. bioRxiv, doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/339028

Abstract: A long-standing hypothesis in biology proposes that various species select mates with a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) composition divergent from their own, so as to improve immune response in offspring. However, human and animal studies investigating this mate selection hypothesis have returned inconsistent results. Here, we analyze 239 mate-pairs of Dutch ancestry, all with whole-genome sequence data collected by the Genome of the Netherlands project, to investigate whether mate selection in humans is MHC dependent. We find no evidence for MHC-mediated mate selection in this sample (with an average MHC genetic similarity in mate pairs (Qc) = 0.829; permutation-based p = 0.703). Limiting the analysis to only common variation or considering the extended MHC region does not change our findings (Qc = 0.671, p = 0.513; and Qc = 0.844, p = 0.696, respectively). We demonstrate that the MHC in mate-pairs is no more genetically dissimilar (on average) than a pair of two randomly selected individuals, and conclude that there is no evidence to suggest that mate choice is influenced by genetic variation in the MHC.

Depleted feelings were correlated with being young, female, politically non-extreme, less well educated, having pain/illness, & with finding life less meaningful, & with multitasking and hurrying. They increased across the day & droppped after meal times, attesting to the value of food & sleep

Self-Control “In the Wild”: Experience Sampling Study of Trait and State Self-Regulation. Roy F. Baumeister, Bradley R.E. Wright, David Carreon. Self & Identity, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325405317_Self-Control_in_the_Wild_in_press

Abstract: An experience sampling study with a large community sample (N=3,327) furnished data on trait and state self-control in everyday life. State measures were self-reports of ego-depleting events (restraining self, effortful decisions, and pushing self to do unwanted tasks) and feelings of depletion (emotional overreactions, difficulty making up mind, less mental energy). People with high trait self-control reported fewer such feelings and events than others. Poor sleep quality and interpersonal conflict were strong predictors of depleted feelings, and indeed the combination of very poor sleep and high interpersonal conflict led to a dramatic spike in reports of extremely depleted feelings. Depleted feelings were positively correlated with being young, female, politically non-extreme, and less well educated, and with finding life less meaningful, as well as with multitasking and hurrying. They increased across the day despite drops after meal times, thus attesting to the value of food and sleep. Pain and illness also raised them. Among other implications, the data suggest a composite picture of the daily life of someone with low trait self-control: frequently rushing and hurrying, not thinking about what they are doing, and just responding automatically to the current situation, as well as suffering aftereffects of interpersonal conflict and poor quality sleep.

KEYWORDS: self-control, self-regulation, ego depletion, interpersonal conflict, sleep

We present multiple lines of direct and indirect evidence showing that both an increased prenatal androgen load and increased adult androgen activity are involved in suicide completion

The androgen model of suicide completion. Bernd Lenz et al. Progress in Neurobiology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pneurobio.2018.06.003

Highlights
•    Hitherto, no objective markers, either alone or in combination, can reliably predict who will complete a suicide.
•    Organizational and activational androgen effects are implicated in the transition from suicidal ideation to suicide completion.
•    Prenatal androgen-induced neurodevelopmental aspects contribute to the risk for suicide completion later in life.
•    Modifiable maternal behavioral traits during pregnancy influence the offspring’s prenatal androgen load and may increase the risk for suicide completion later in life.
•    The novel ideation-to-completion framework in suicide research and the androgen model of suicide completion provide the basis for the development of predictive and preventive strategies in the future.

Abstract

Suicide is a devastating public health issue that imposes severe psychological, social, and economic burdens not only for the individuals but also for their relatives, friends, clinicians, and the general public. Among the different suicidal behaviors, suicide completion is the worst and the most relevant outcome. The knowledge of biological etiopathological mechanisms involved in suicide completion is limited. Hitherto, no objective markers, either alone or in combination, can reliably predict who will complete a suicide. However, such parameters are strongly needed to establish and optimize prediction and prevention.

We introduce here a novel ideation-to-completion framework in suicide research and discuss the problems of studies aiming at identifying and validating clinically useful markers. The male gender is a specific risk factor for suicide, which suggests that androgen effects are implicated in the transition from suicidal ideation to suicide completion. We present multiple lines of direct and indirect evidence showing that both an increased prenatal androgen load (with subsequent permanent neuroadaptations) and increased adult androgen activity are involved in suicide completion. We also review data arguing that modifiable maternal behavioral traits during pregnancy contribute to the offspring’s prenatal androgen load and increase the risk for suicide completion later in life.

We conclude that in utero androgen exposure and adult androgen levels facilitate suicide completion in an additive manner. The androgen model of suicide completion provides the basis for the development of novel predictive and preventive strategies in the future.

Abbreviations: AAS, anabolic-androgenic steroids; BDNF, brain derived neurotrophic factor; BMI, body mass index; CSF, cerebrospinal fluid; DHEA, dehydroepiandrosterone; DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders; HPA, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal; HPG, hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal; HR, hazard ratio; ICD, International Classification of Diseases; NGFI-A, nerve growth factor-induced protein A; OR, odds ratio; PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder; PMS, premenstrual syndrome; PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder; SD, standard deviation; WHO, World Health Organization; YMRS, Young Mania Rating Scale; 2D:4D ratio, second-to-fourth-finger length ratio; 5HTTPR, 5-hydroxytryptamine transporter

Keywords: Prenatal androgen exposure; 2D:4D; suicide; suicidal ideation; suicide attempt; suicide completion; sex hormones; testosterone; androgens; brain organization; ideation-to-completion framework in suicide research

Friday, June 8, 2018

The Politics and the Demographics of Veganism: Prevalence of female gender, leftist political inclinations and atheism within the vegan community

The Politics and the Demographics of Veganism: Notes for a Critical Analysis. Dario Martinelli, Aušra Berkmanienė. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11196-018-9543-3

Abstract: The present essay aims to offer some reflections concerning the cultural and political aspects of veganism, on the basis of the available surveys and statistics, plus some more gathered by the authors—with the tools of different methodologies, including the semiotic one. After an introduction to veganism as phenomenon and movement, with general reflections and also a number of specific data, the essay proceeds to focus on the more political aspects, with an emphasis on some of the most intriguing and multifaceted data, such as the prevalence of female gender, leftist political inclinations and atheism within the vegan community. While the first connection has already been widely discussed (and to our mind, proved) since the times of Adams (The sexual politics of meat: a feminist-vegetarian critical theory, Continuum, New York, 1990), much less has been said (particularly at academic level) about the significance leftist ideologies and atheism within veganism. Moreover, within the domain of semiotics, this topic is entirely unexplored.

Do men with more masculine voices have better immunocompetence?

Do men with more masculine voices have better immunocompetence? Steven Arnocky et al. Evolution and Human Behavior, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.06.003

Abstract: The human voice is often considered to be a secondary sexual characteristic that signals underlying information about the immunocompetence of the speaker (i.e. the immunocompetence handicap hypothesis; ICHH). However, no studies have yet shown a relationship between vocal characteristics and biomarkers of immune function or self-reported health. In a sample of 108 men, we examined correlations between masculine vocal characteristics [i.e. relatively low fundamental frequency (F0), low F0 variability (F0-SD), low formant position (Pf), and high vocal tract length (VTL)] in relation to salivary immunoglobulin-A (sIgA; a marker of mucosal immunity), testosterone (T), and well-validated measures of self-reported health status. Results showed that sIgA correlated with masculinized F0, Pf, and VTL. Self-report health correlated with masculinized Pf and VTL. Anticipated future health correlated negatively with F0-SD and sick role propensity (less interference of illness in daily life) correlated positively with VTL. Perceived susceptibility to infection correlated with more feminized F0 and F0-SD. Our results demonstrated a small but consistent relationship between men's vocal characteristics and one putative indicator of mucosal immunity along with self-identified health status. We suggest that more research is warranted to determine whether the masculinity of men's voices may serve as an indicator of their phenotypic quality.

Why are background telephone conversations distracting? Because of the tendency to predict the unheard part of the conversation

Marsh, J. E., Ljung, R., Jahncke, H., MacCutcheon, D., Pausch, F., Ball, L. J., & Vachon, F. (2018). Why are background telephone conversations distracting? Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 24(2), 222-235. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xap0000170

Abstract: Telephone conversation is ubiquitous within the office setting. Overhearing a telephone conversation—whereby only one of the two speakers is heard—is subjectively more annoying and objectively more distracting than overhearing a full conversation. The present study sought to determine whether this “halfalogue” effect is attributable to unexpected offsets and onsets within the background speech (acoustic unexpectedness) or to the tendency to predict the unheard part of the conversation (semantic [un]predictability), and whether these effects can be shielded against through top-down cognitive control. In Experiment 1, participants performed an office-related task in quiet or in the presence of halfalogue and dialogue background speech. Irrelevant speech was either meaningful or meaningless speech. The halfalogue effect was only present for the meaningful speech condition. Experiment 2 addressed whether higher task-engagement could shield against the halfalogue effect by manipulating the font of the to-be-read material. Although the halfalogue effect was found with an easy-to-read font (fluent text), the use of a difficult-to-read font (disfluent text) eliminated the effect. The halfalogue effect is thus attributable to the semantic (un)predictability, not the acoustic unexpectedness, of background telephone conversation and can be prevented by simple means such as increasing the level of engagement required by the focal task.

Football & Fathers: Higher pregame testosterone levels made more likely to report that referees were biased against their children’s teams, & pre- to postgame testosterone elevation was predicted by watching sons compete rather than daughters as well as perceptions of unfair officiating

Steroid HormonViewe Reactivity in Fathers Watching Their Children Compete. Louis Calistro Alvarado, Martin N. Muller, Melissa A. Eaton, Melissa Emery Thompson. Human Nature, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12110-018-9318-2

Abstract: This study examines steroid production in fathers watching their children compete, extending previous research of vicarious success or failure on men’s hormone levels. Salivary testosterone and cortisol levels were measured in 18 fathers watching their children play in a soccer tournament. Participants completed a survey about the game and provided demographic information. Fathers with higher pregame testosterone levels were more likely to report that referees were biased against their children’s teams, and pre- to postgame testosterone elevation was predicted by watching sons compete rather than daughters as well as perceptions of unfair officiating. Pregame cortisol was not associated with pregame testosterone or with perceived officiating bias, but cortisol did fluctuate synergistically with testosterone during spectator competition. Although fathers showed no consistent testosterone change in response to winning or losing, pregame testosterone may mediate steroid hormone reactivity to other aspects of their children’s competition.

Lessons from Pinocchio: Cues to Deception May Be Highly Exaggerated // Lie To Me, Ekman, etc.

Luke, Timothy J., 2018. “Lessons from Pinocchio: Cues to Deception May Be Highly Exaggerated”. Open Science Framework. June 7. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/XT8FQ

Abstract: Deception researchers widely acknowledge that cues to deception - observable behaviors that may differ between truthful and deceptive messages - tend to be weak. Nevertheless, several deception cues have been reported with unusually large effect sizes, and some researchers have advocated the use of such cues as tools for detecting deceit and assessing credibility in practical contexts. Examining data from a deception cue meta-analysis and using a series of Monte Carlo simulations, I demonstrate that (1) many estimated effect sizes of deception cues may be greatly inflated by publication bias and low power and (2) composite measures of deception cues designed to improve classification accuracy may exaggerate the detectability of deception. Indeed, contrary to the optimistic view that some cues may be useful for catching lies, the extant deception literature could have been obtained even if all studied cues have true effects of zero.  I warn against the hazards of faith in potentially illusory cues to deception and offer some recommendations for improving the state of the science of deception.

From Rolf Degen's https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1004978190815723521, with interesting link inside.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Influence of Relationship Length and Sex on Multidimensional Romantic Jealousy

Bhogal, Manpal S., 2018. “A Research Note on the Influence of Relationship Length and Sex on Multidimensional Romantic Jealousy”. PsyArXiv. June 7. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/6EQ84

Abstract: Much research has been conducted exploring the determinants of romantic jealousy. However, little research has focused on whether romantic jealousy is influenced by how long one has been in a romantic relationship. In turn, little research has focused on whether self-rated attractiveness, and perceived attractiveness of one’s partner predicts romantic jealousy. This study extends past research on jealousy in romantic relationships, investigating the impact of sex, relationship duration and both perceived self and partner's attractiveness on jealousy through an online questionnaire (N=321). Novel findings were that women were more behaviourally jealous than males and short-term relationships have higher jealousy levels than long-term relationships. This study does not replicate the limited literature exploring the role of relationship length in multidimensional jealousy.

Social play as a springboard for adult social competence in human and non-human primates

Not just for fun! Social play as a springboard for adult social competence in human and non-human primates. Elisabetta Palagi. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00265-018-2506-6

Abstract: Play is one of the most difficult behaviors to quantify and for this reason, its study has had a very rocky history. Social play is ephemeral, difficult to distinguish from the other so-called serious behaviors, not so frequent (especially in sexually mature subjects), fast, and complex to describe. Due to its multifaceted nature, it has often been considered as a wastebasket category that has included all kinds of the behaviors not showing any immediate, obvious goal. Yet, play is widespread across the whole primate order and can have a strong impact on the development of cognitive, psychological, and social skills of many species, including humans. Unlike functional behaviors that are specifically and economically performed to reduce uncertainty and to increase the opportunity to gain resources, play seems to introduce and increase uncertainty, creating new challenges for the animals. For this reason, social play has been hypothesized to be the engine of behavioral innovation in ontogeny. From the first mild and gentle interactions with the mother to the most sophisticated play fighting sessions and acrobatic action sequences with peers, play represents for juveniles (and not only for them!) a window onto the social and physical environment. In this review, I focus on social play and its relation to adult social competence. By playing, juveniles acquire competence to manage interactions with conspecifics, enlarge their social networks, and test their physical power and motor skills (i.e., long-term benefits). At the same time, I propose the view that play—due to its plastic and versatile nature—can be used in an opportunistic way, as a joker behavior, throughout life to strategically obtain short-term or immediate benefits. I put forward the hypothesis that, during ontogeny, the joker function of play can be modulated according to the differing inter-individual relationships present in the diverse societies, characterizing the primate order.

Infants exhibited both an initial reluctance to touch and minimized subsequent physical contact with plants compared to other object types; further, they treated all plants as potentially dangerous, whether or not they possessed sharp-looking thorn

Every rose has its thorn: Infants' responses to pointed shapes in naturalistic contexts. Aleksandra Włodarczyk. Evolution and Human Behavior, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2018.06.001

Abstract: Plants produce dangerous chemical and physical defenses that have shaped the physiology and behavior of the herbivorous predators that feed on them. Here we explore the impact that these plant defenses may have had on humans by testing infants' responses to plants with and without sharp-looking thorns. To do this, we presented 8- to 18-month-olds with plants and control stimuli and measured their initial reaching behavior and subsequent object exploration behavior. Half of the stimuli had sharp-looking thorns or pointed parts while the other half did not. We found that infants exhibited both an initial reluctance to touch and minimized subsequent physical contact with plants compared to other object types. Further, infants treated all plants as potentially dangerous, whether or not they possessed sharp-looking thorns. These results reveal novel dimensions of a behavioral avoidance strategy in infancy that would mitigate potential harm from plants.

Keywords: Threat; Behavioral avoidance; Infancy; Cognitive development

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

We compare sharing when endowments are obtained by luck, effort, or lying; endowments obtained through lying are treated as if they were “hard-earned.” this directly supports that lying involves psychological costs.

No gain without pain: The psychological costs of dishonesty. Isabel Thielmann, Benjamin E. Hilbig. Journal of Economic Psychology, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joep.2018.06.001

Highlights
•    Evidence on the psychological costs of dishonesty is restricted to indirect tests.
•    We present a more direct test of the costs of lying using the dictator game.
•    We compare sharing when endowments are obtained by luck, effort, or lying.
•    Endowments obtained through lying are treated as if they were “hard-earned”
•    This directly supports that lying involves psychological costs.

Abstract: Psychological accounts of dishonesty propose that lying incurs subjective costs due to threating individuals’ moral self-image. However, evidence is restricted to indirect tests of such costs, thus limiting strong conclusions about corresponding theories. We present a more direct test of the costs of lying. Specifically, if lying is psychologically costly, individuals should feel entitled to gains they obtained through dishonesty – similar to those they actually earned through getting lucky or even investing effort. Correspondingly, in three experiments, we compared individuals’ willingness to share in the dictator game, with varying mechanisms generating the to-be-shared endowment: getting lucky, exerting (cognitive) effort, and lying. We consistently found that individuals were at least as unwilling to share an endowment obtained through dishonesty as an endowment obtained through individual effort or true luck. This suggests that individuals perceived gains obtained through dishonesty as “hard-earned”, thus directly supporting the theory that lying involves psychological costs.

Keywords: dishonest behavior; cheating; psychological costs; dictator game; coin-tossing task; die-rolling paradigm

Response trajectories to major life stressors and potential trauma are resilience, recovery, chronic stress, and delayed response. Both trait and state factors are associated with trajectory, so individuals on maladaptive trajectories may be identifiable prospectively or soon following stress exposure

Trajectories of resilience and dysfunction following potential trauma: A review and statistical evaluation. Isaac R. Galatzer-Levy, Sandy H. Huang, George A. Bonanno. Clinical Psychology Review, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2018.05.008

Highlights
•    A review of n=54 studies demonstrates that resilience is the modal response to major life stressors and potential trauma.
•    Across events, individuals cluster into common trajectories of stress response at relatively stable rates including resilience, recovery, chronic stress, and delayed response. The stability of these patterns across events, degree of stress exposure, and populations indicates that they may represent phenotypic human stress responses.
•    Despite the stability of trajectories, there is evidence that both trait and state factors are associated with trajectory membership, indicating that individuals on maladaptive trajectories may be identifiable either prospectively or soon following stress exposure, and that trajectory membership may be malleable by interventions that target state-level predictors of risk.
•    Trajectory models provide a robust methodology to identify and study clinically relevant responses to stress and potential trauma, and to identify characteristics, predictors, and their potential treatment targets.

Abstract: Given the rapid proliferation of trajectory-based approaches to study clinical consequences to stress and potentially traumatic events (PTEs), there is a need to evaluate emerging findings. This review examined convergence/divergences across 54 studies in the nature and prevalence of response trajectories, and determined potential sources of bias to improve future research. Of the 67 cases that emerged from the 54 studies, the most consistently observed trajectories following PTEs were resilience (observed in: n = 63 cases), recovery (n = 49), chronic (n = 47), and delayed onset (n = 22). The resilience trajectory was the modal response across studies (average of 65.7% across populations, 95% CI [0.616, 0.698]), followed in prevalence by recovery (20.8% [0.162, 0.258]), chronicity (10.6%, [0.086, 0.127]), and delayed onset (8.9% [0.053, 0.133]). Sources of heterogeneity in estimates primarily resulted from substantive population differences rather than bias, which was observed when prospective data is lacking. Overall, prototypical trajectories have been identified across independent studies in relatively consistent proportions, with resilience being the modal response to adversity. Thus, trajectory models robustly identify clinically relevant patterns of response to potential trauma, and are important for studying determinants, consequences, and modifiers of course following potential trauma.

Keywords: Aversive event; Depression; Heterogeneity; Latent growth mixture modeling; PTSD; Stress; Trajectory

Dimensions of Subjective Age Identity Across the Lifespan

Lindner, Nicole M.,and Brian A Nosek 2018. “Dimensions of Subjective Age Identity Across the Lifespan”. PsyArXiv. June 6. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/M2Y5R

Abstract: We examined how felt age and desired age differed from chronological age across the age span. With each passing Earth year, felt and desired age do grow older, it just takes longer for the year to go by. Past age 25 or so, subjective aging appears to occur on Mars, where one Earth decade equals only 5.3 Martian years. In some sense, our minds age more slowly than our bodies do.