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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

No Compelling Evidence That Women with More Attractive Faces Show Stronger Preferences for Masculine Men

Docherty, Ciaran, Anthony J. Lee, Amanda Hahn, and Benedict C. Jones. 2019. “No Compelling Evidence That Women with More Attractive Faces Show Stronger Preferences for Masculine Men.” PsyArXiv. November 13. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Many researchers have suggested that more attractive women will show stronger preferences for masculine men, potentially because such women are better placed to offset the potential costs of choosing a masculine mate. Perhaps the most compelling evidence for this proposal has come from work reporting a positive association between third-party ratings of women’s facial attractiveness and women’s preference for masculinized versus feminized versions of men’s faces as hypothetical long-term partners. Because this finding was based on only a small sample of women (N = 35), we attempted to replicate this result in a much larger sample (N = 454). We found that women, on average, preferred masculinized versions of men’s faces to feminized versions and that this masculinity preference was slightly stronger when women assessed men’s attractiveness as short-term, rather than long-term, mates. However, we found no compelling evidence that women’s masculinity preferences were related to their own attractiveness. These results underline the importance of ensuring that studies of individual differences in mate preferences are adequately powered.


Trade-off theories of women’s preferences for masculine men propose that men displaying more masculine physical characteristics are more likely to be healthy, physically strong, and able to compete for resources, but also less likely to invest time and effort in their mates and offspring (Little et al., 2001; Penton-Voak et al., 2003). According to such theories, women may then differ systematically in how they weigh up the costs and benefits of choosing a masculine mate (Little et al., 2001; Penton-Voak et al., 2003).

One factor that is widely thought to influence how women resolve this trade off between the potential costs and benefits of choosing a masculine mate is women’s own physical attractiveness (Little et al., 2001; Penton-Voak et al., 2003). The rationale for predicting these attractiveness-contingent masculinity preferences is that more physically attractive women will be better able to retain and secure investment from masculine men and/or better able to replace masculine men in the event of relationship dissolution (Little et al., 2001; Penton-Voak et al., 2003). In other words, more attractive women are better able to minimize the potential costs of choosing a masculine mate.

Several studies have investigated possible correlations between women’s own attractiveness and their preferences for facial masculinity by measuring women’s own attractiveness via self-ratings. However, results from studies using this methodology are mixed. While Little et al. (2001) found that women who rated their own attractiveness higher showed stronger preferences for men with masculine facial characteristics (see also Little & Mannion, 2006), subsequent studies did not replicate this significant positive correlation between women’s self-rated attractiveness and masculinity preferences (Penton-Voak et al., 2003; Zietsch et al., 2015).

Other work has tested for evidence that women’s own physical attractiveness predicts the strength of their masculinity preferences by assessing women’s own attractiveness via third-party attractiveness ratings of face photographs. Using this methodology, Penton-Voak et al. (2003) found that more attractive women showed stronger preferences for men with masculine facial characteristics when assessing men’s attractiveness for hypothetical long-term, but not short-term, relationships. This result was interpreted as strong evidence for trade-off theories of women’s preferences for masculine men because the potential costs of choosing a masculine mate are generally assumed to be more pronounced for long-term, than short-term, relationships (Penton-Voak et al., 2003).

Many other findings that have been widely interpreted as evidence for trade-off theories of women’s preferences for masculine men, such as putative effects of hormonal status and/or conception risk, have not been observed in large-scale replication studies (see Jones et al., 2019 for a recent review of these non-replications). Consequently, and because we know of no large-scale replication of Penton-Voak et al. (2003), we tested for possible relationships between third-party attractiveness ratings of women’s face photographs and their preferences for men with masculine facial characteristics as hypothetical long-term and short-term relationships.

Multinationals, Monopsony and Local Development:Evidence from the United Fruit Company

Multinationals, Monopsony and Local Development:Evidence from the United Fruit Company. Esteban M endez-Chacon, Diana Van Patten. November 4 2019.

Abstract: This paper studies the short- and long-run effects of large firms on economic development. We use evidence from one of the largest multinationals of the 20th Century: The United Fruit Company (UFC). The firm was given a large land concession in Costa Rica — one of the so-called “Banana Republics”— from 1889 to 1984. Using administrative census data with census-block geo-references from 1973 to 2011, we implement a geographic regression discontinuity (RD) design that exploits a quasi-random assignment of land. We find that the firm had a positive and persistent effect on living standards. Regions within the UFC were 26% less likely to be poor in 1973 than nearby counterfactual locations, with only 63% of the gap closing over the following 3 decades.Company documents explain that a key concern at the time was to attract and maintain a sizable workforce, which induced the firm to invest heavily in local amenities that likely account for our result. We then build a dynamic spatial model in which a firm’s labor market power within a region depends on how mobile workers are across locations and run counterfactual exercises. The model is consistent with observable spatial frictions and the RD estimates, and shows that the firm increases aggregate welfare by 2.9%. This effect is increasing in worker mobility: If workers were half as mobile,the firm would have decreased aggregate welfare by 6%. The model also shows that a local monopsonist compensates workers mostly through local amenities keeping wages low, and leads to higher welfare levels than a counterfactual with perfectly competitive labor markets in all regions, if we assume amenities have productivity spillovers.

We find that households living within the former UFC regions have had better economic outcomes (housing, sanitation, education, and consumption capacity), and were 26% lesslikely to be poor than households living outside. This effect is persistent over time: Since the UFC closed, the treated and untreated regions have converged slowly, with only 63% of the income gap closing over the following 3 decades.3 Historical data collected from primary sources suggests that investments in local amenities carried out by the UFC — hospitals, schools, roads — are the main drivers of our results. For instance, we document that investments per student and per patient in UFC-operated schools and hospitals were significantly larger than in local schools and hospitals run by the government, and sometimes even twice as large. Access to these investments was restricted, for the most part, to UFC workers who were required to live within the plantation. This might explain the sharp discontinuity in outcomes right at the boundary.4 We do not find evidence of other channels, such as selective migration or negative spillovers on the control group, being the main mechanisms behind our results. Why were these investments in local amenities higher than in the rest of the country? While the company might have invested in hospitals to have healthier workers, it is lessclear why it would benefit from more schooling. Evidence form archival company annual reports suggests that these investments were induced by the need to attract and maintain a sizable workforce, given the initially high levels of worker turnover.5 For instance, after describing annual turnovers of up to 100% per year, the 1922 report states
“These migratory habits do not permit them to remain in the plantation from one year to the next, and as soon as they become physically efficient in our methods and acquire money they either return to their homes or migrate elsewhere and must be replaced.”

Later, the 1925 report states
“We recommend a greater investment in corporate welfare beyond medical measures. An endeavor should be made to stabilize the population...we must provide measures for taking care of families of married men, by furnishing them with garden facilities, schools, and some forms of entertainment. In other words, we must take an interest in our people if we might hope to retain their services indefinitely.”


Infrastructure investments included pipes, drinking water systems, sewage system, street lighting, macadamized roads, a dike (Sanou and Quesada, 1998), and by 1942 the company operated three hospitals in the country17 [...] and although a higher level of spending does not necessarily imply a higher quality of health care, UFC’s medical services were known of being among the best in the country (Casey, 1979).

From 2017... Same-sex marriage approval was associated with less self-reported suicide attempts

From 2017... Difference-in-Differences Analysis of the Association Between State Same-Sex Marriage Policies and Adolescent Suicide Attempts. Julia Raifman et al. JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(4):350-356. Apr 2017, doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2016.4529

Key Points
Question  Are state same-sex marriage policies associated with a reduction in adolescent suicide attempts?

Findings  This difference-in-differences analysis of representative data from 47 states found that same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 7% reduction in the proportion of all high school students reporting a suicide attempt within the past year. The effect was concentrated among adolescents who were sexual minorities.

Meaning  Same-sex marriage policies are associated with reduced adolescent suicide attempts.

Importance  Suicide is the second leading cause of death among adolescents between the ages of 15 and 24 years. Adolescents who are sexual minorities experience elevated rates of suicide attempts.

Objective  To evaluate the association between state same-sex marriage policies and adolescent suicide attempts.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This study used state-level Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) data from January 1, 1999, to December 31, 2015, which are weighted to be representative of each state that has participation in the survey greater than 60%. A difference-in-differences analysis compared changes in suicide attempts among all public high school students before and after implementation of state policies in 32 states permitting same-sex marriage with year-to-year changes in suicide attempts among high school students in 15 states without policies permitting same-sex marriage. Linear regression was used to control for state, age, sex, race/ethnicity, and year, with Taylor series linearized standard errors clustered by state and classroom. In a secondary analysis among students who are sexual minorities, we included an interaction between sexual minority identity and living in a state that had implemented same-sex marriage policies.

Interventions  Implementation of state policies permitting same-sex marriage during the full period of YRBSS data collection.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Self-report of 1 or more suicide attempts within the past 12 months.

Results  Among the 762 678 students (mean [SD] age, 16.0 [1.2] years; 366 063 males and 396 615 females) who participated in the YRBSS between 1999 and 2015, a weighted 8.6% of all high school students and 28.5% of students who identified as sexual minorities reported suicide attempts before implementation of same-sex marriage policies. Same-sex marriage policies were associated with a 0.6–percentage point (95% CI, –1.2 to –0.01 percentage points) reduction in suicide attempts, representing a 7% relative reduction in the proportion of high school students attempting suicide owing to same-sex marriage implementation. The association was concentrated among students who were sexual minorities.

Conclusions and Relevance  State same-sex marriage policies were associated with a reduction in the proportion of high school students reporting suicide attempts, providing empirical evidence for an association between same-sex marriage policies and mental health outcomes.

Pain and pleasure: Although the mechanisms for affect and motivation are separate, they causally interact

Pain and Pleasure. Murat Aydede. To appear in the Routledge Handbook of Emotion Theory, edited by A. Scarantino—Dec2018, v2.6.

If you look at anybody’s typical list of emotions, you won’t see pains and pleasures among them. Indeed, even among the atypical emotions that people working on emotions regularly cite, pains and pleasures show uponly rarely. And yet, very few people will fail to acknowledge the critical, or perhaps the essential, role pains and pleasures play in our emotional lives. This chapter will explain the sense in which pains and pleasures are elementary forms of emotions.Let’s first distinguish pain and pleasure experiences, properly so-called, from their sources—typically, the physical objects, events, activities, etc., that cause such experiences. Smelling a rose is a pleasure, getting pricked by a rose bush thorn a pain —it is said. But it is primarily the experiences generated by these events that are said to be pleasant or painful. These experiences are mental events or episodes caused by various physical stimuli. It is harmless, in fact sometimes quite appropriate, to extend the terms to refer to such stimuli in most ordinary contexts as causes of such experiences. But here we will focus on pains and pleasures as experiences. As experiences, they are presumed to be conscious mental episodes.1

Function [of affect]

One natural proposal is that hedonic valence is a “teaching signal”of sorts:18 it tells the agent to ‘want,’ or form a ‘desire’ to bring about, what is thus valenced —this involves, and for most animals, exhausts learning when and how to perform those sequences of actions similar to those that have actually lead to the obtaining of the valenced experience. Liking helps attribute incentive salience to environmental stimuli and sustain it (Berridge 1996, Dickinson & Balleine 2010). The sustaining bit is important. A learning-capable agent that acts out of an existing want or desire(learned, acquired, or otherwise) needs to somehow trackthe consequences of its behavior, that is, whether its actions result (or have resulted) in the satisfaction or frustration of its ‘desires’—generating more 'likes' or 'dislikes.' Plausibly, this is the other side of the same coin —of learning what desires to form on the basis of experienced valence. So, experienced valence is also a signal for desire satisfaction or frustration (cf. Schroeder 2004). Thus, although the mechanisms for affect and motivation are separate, they causally interact. We quite generally want what we like, and, more often than not, we like what we want.

Further research on he function of affect is likely to reveal in the future that there is a deeper unitary role affect plays in learning, motivation, and subjective wellbeing.

The discovery of dissociable underlying mechanisms has obvious important implications for a better understanding of affective disorders such as depression, clinical anxiety, and bipolar disorders as well as addiction and obsessive-compulsive behavior.For example, the well-received incentive sensitization theoryof addiction (Robinson & Berridge 1993, 2008) directly came out of hypotheses about the separability of affect from motivation —one way to characterize addiction is as a big increase in motivation to seek and consume substances that is vastly disproportionate to the increasingly diminishing affective payoff. The advances in basic affective neuroscience are poised to deliver surprising results about the causes of various emotional and affective disorders, which promises not only to greatly facilitate proper, faster,and more detailed diagnosis but also to offer huge potential for developing treatment options.There is increasing research on the extensive mechanisms shared by the brain’s default-mode network and the affective circuitry, both of which are connected, unsurprisingly, to pervasive affective disorders such as depression and anhedonia in general. There is evidence that optimal metastability in the brain’s large-scale dynamical oscillation plays a role in subjective affective wellbeing. (Kringelbach & Berridge 2017).19

Above, we had a schema about the general structure of pains and pleasures:

     [sensation or cognition or both] + affect20

The question to ask is: (Q) Does every instance of this schema yield an emotion?In the absence of clear and uncontroversial criteria about what qualifies as an emotion, it is hard to answer this question. If I rely on my pre-theoretical intuitions, I am inclined to answer itin the negative. But we all know that when it comes to emotions, people’s intuitions (pre-theoretical or otherwise) are all over the place. Perhaps we can simply stipulate that any sensory affect is an elementary emotion. This would be fine but it shifts the main research question in emotion theory: what, then, makes a mental episode into a non-elementary emotion?If we can set the sensory case aside in this way by designating them as elementary, perhaps we can identify all cognitive affectwith emotions? This suggestion is probably better —as all emotions are known to involve some cognitive uptake about what is going on in the environment of their emoters, which is usually not amodality specific affair and involves cognitive appraisals. But what about very simple forms of cognitive affect? For example, I’ve just learned there is less car theft in my neighbourhood this year than last year —I am certainly pleased that this is so. Have I undergone an emotion? Saying yes would seem to stretch the meaning of ‘emotion’. The best we can justifiably say, it seems to me, is that some pains and pleasures are emotions, some not—and leave it at that for present purposes.

The key point not to lose sight of is that the core brain mechanisms that generate negative or positive affectas attached to mental processes and the mechanisms connecting affect to learning, decision-making, motivation, and action, are the core building blocks of all emotions. We need to investigate what further elaboration of the basic affective processes is needed to explain the full range of emotions.2

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Face-to-face opening phase in Japanese macaques’ social play enhances and sustains participants’ engagement in subsequent play interaction

Face-to-face opening phase in Japanese macaques’ social play enhances and sustains participants’ engagement in subsequent play interaction. Sakumi Iki, Toshikazu Hasegawa. Animal Cognition, November 12 2019.

Abstract: A face-to-face “opening phase” in human interaction serves as a platform for the interactants to initiate and manage their interaction collaboratively. This study investigated whether, as is the case in humans, a face-to-face opening phase in animal interaction serves to manage a subsequent interaction and establish interactants’ engagement. We compared the dyadic play fighting of Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) initiated with and without a face-to-face opening phase. Our observations showed that play sessions with a face-to-face opening phase lasted longer than did sessions without one. Furthermore, our results indicate that facing toward playmates was a sign of interactants’ engagement. In sessions with a face-to-face opening phase, both players were likely to gain an advantage over their playmates, whereas in sessions without such an opening phase, only an individual who unidirectionally faced toward another individual who looked away when play began was likely to maintain an advantage over a long period. Our findings demonstrate that a face-to-face opening phase has a socio-cognitive function to establish and sustain interactants’ social engagement during subsequent interaction not only in humans but also in Japanese macaques.

Keywords: Face-to-face interaction Social cognition Communication Social play Play fighting Macaca fuscata

Chimpanzees help others with what they want, children with what they need; uniquely human socio‐ecologies based on interdependent cooperation gave rise to uniquely human prosocial motivations to help others paternalistically

Chimpanzees help others with what they want; Children help them with what they need. Robert Hepach, Leïla Benziad, Michael Tomasello. Developmental Science, November 11 2019.

Abstract: Humans, including young children, are strongly motivated to help others, even paying a cost to do so. Humans’ nearest primate relatives, great apes, are likewise motivated to help others, raising the question of whether the motivations of humans and apes are the same. Here we compared the underlying motivation to help of human children and chimpanzees. Both species understood the situation and helped a conspecific in a straightforward situation. However, when they knew that what the other was requesting would not actually help her, only the children gave her not what she wanted but what she needed. These results suggest that both chimpanzees and human children help others but the underlying motivation for why they help differs. In comparison to chimpanzees, young children help in a paternalistic manner. The evolutionary hypothesis is that uniquely human socio‐ecologies based on interdependent cooperation gave rise to uniquely human prosocial motivations to help others paternalistically.

General Discussion

Previous experimental work had investigated the rate of helping in human and non-human
primates but has not directly compared the manner of helping. In the current studies we used a
novel paradigm giving both children and chimpanzees a choice not of whether to help but rather
how to respond to others’ needs. Our results replicate previous work in showing that both children
and chimpanzees show concern for others and comply with others’ request for help when these
align with the requester’s actual need (Warneken et al., 2007; Yamamoto et al., 2012). However,
the crucial difference between the two groups was evident in the nature of their tendency to be
paternalistic. Only human children showed paternalism and intervened for the benefit of the
recipient and corrected her behaviour. Crucially, children did not automatically correct others’
request for help but took into account how much better they could evaluate the situation.
Children’s paternalism was strongest when they shared the same view of the situation as the
requesting adult. Overall, children complied with the adult’s request in the majority of conditions
unless the requested tool did not serve to fulfil the adult’s actual need in which case children were
more motivated to correct the request. Chimpanzees, on the other hand, did not show preference
for either object and performed at chance across conditions unless the conspecific requested the
functional tool when that tool was needed to retrieve a reward. Together these results suggest that
while both children and chimpanzees show concern for others, the underlying manner in which
each group provides this help is different when their understandings of the situation differ.
The current results replicate previous work on chimpanzees’ helping behaviour, both with
regards to their response to others’ requests for help as well as their lack in concern to
systematically improve others’ long-term well-being. Chimpanzees are sensitive to others’
immediate needs and requests for help (Yamamoto et al., 2009, 2012). These previous findings
replicated in the current study where chimpanzees helped more in the need compared to the noneed
control condition when the conspecific requested the functional tool. However, in the
paternalism condition chimpanzees did not correct requests for help that were dysfunctional. In
other words, chimpanzees were not paternalistic to interfere ‘for the good of the recipient’ (Grill,
2007). This lack in paternalism to improve the requester’s well-being by means of correcting the
request for help is comparable to previous findings that chimpanzees do not systematically
improve a conspecific’s well-being in the so-called prosocial choice task in chimpanzees (House
et al., 2014; Jensen et al., 2006). The results of the current study with human children also
replicate and crucially extend previous work.
By age three children concern themselves with others’ long-term well-being and correct
dysfunctional requests for help (Hepach et al., 2013; Martin et al., 2016; Martin & Olson, 2013).
In one study, the authors found that 3-year-old children complied with the adult’s request less
often when this resulted in a negative consequence and half the children corrected the adult by
providing the intact tool instead (Martin & Olson, 2013). Note that the child and the adult did not
share the same perspective which may have put additional constraints on children’s decision
resulting in correction rates between 52 and 69 % (see Martin & Olson, 2013, for details). In the
current study, we found different rates of correcting in children between the occluded and nonoccluded
contexts. This allows us to specify that the rate of correcting others is greatest if both
parties share the same perspective, as is the case in the current study’s non-occluded context.
Children at the age of three may thus hesitate to override an adult’s request for help if they cannot
be certain that their view of the situations matches that of the adult. Therefore, in the current
study’s occluded context children may have complied with the adult’s request because, from their
perspective, the adult may have had a privileged view of the tools that children did not have. This
context sensitivity resonates with previous findings from a study in which children’s and the
adult’s perspective matched and children’s complying behaviour and responses to unjustified
requests for help were as low as 25 % (Hepach et al., 2013). Thus, based on the current results we
can conclude that children are less likely to correct the adult when they do not have the same view
of the situation as the adult (e.g., Martin & Olson, 2013) but, in contrast, correct the adult more
often when both the child and the adult share the same perspective (see also Hepach et al., 2013).
The current studies are the first to assess and directly compare the phenomenon of
paternalism between young children and chimpanzees. At the same time, there are a number of
methodological considerations of the current studies that warrant discussion. One crucial premise
of a paternalism context is that the potential helper knows that only the functional tool can fulfill
the requester’s need even if the requester reaches for the dysfunctional tool. Given the speciesunique
testing constraints we chose different approaches for chimpanzees and children.
Chimpanzees’ underwent extensive training in which subjects were exposed to multiple days of
using the functional tool to successfully obtain juice. Helpers only proceeded to the test phase if
they correctly identified the functional tool on multiple successive sessions during the training
phase. In this way, we sought to ensure that helpers had ample experience of using the functional
tool and thus, in the helping and paternalism context of the test phase, knew that only the
functional tool would fulfill the requester’s need. In contrast, young children were only tested in a
single session and thus the time we could allocate to training them on the apparatus and the tools
was more limited in comparison to chimpanzees. Therefore, we included control questions during
the training phase to ensure that all children knew that only the functional tool worked to retrieve
the reward from the box. During the test phase, we reminded children of the adult’s goal of
wanting to retrieve the reward from the box and of the fact that one tool was needed to
successfully to do so. To this end the adult experimenter pointed to both tools from a distance
saying: “Yes, I need that one”. Crucially, the adult pointed ambiguously and did not provide any
clues as to which tool he required. Together, the extensive multi-session training and testing for
chimpanzees could have made the functional tool more salient for chimpanzees than for children
who received a total of four reminders during a single testing session that one tool (not which) was
needed for the adult to successfully retrieve the reward. This would have resulted chimpanzees
overall choosing the functional tool more often than children (which is not what we found).
Together, these methodological differences between children and chimpanzees prompt a
more critical reflection on whether the differences in observed paternalism where a mere
consequence of methodological differences between the paradigms in which each group was
tested. It is important to point that children - in the paternalism context when the adult reached for
the dysfunctional tool but needed the functional tool - were not paternalistic per se but took into
account what view of the situation they had in comparison to the adult. Children’s paternalism was
rather selective and occurred significantly more often in the non-occluded context, where both
tools were fully visible, compared to the non-occluded context, where occluders changed the
visual perspective of the child and adult on the two tools. If the study’s procedure prompted
children to be paternalistic to correct the adult then one would have expected similar levels of
paternalism between the occluded and non-occluded contexts. But this is not what we found.
Children corrected the adult in the paternalism context significantly more often on the nonoccluded
compared to the occluded context. This suggests that asking children during the training
phase to identify the correct tool did not automatically result in them providing this tool. One
avenue for future research is to manipulate the conditions that result in paternalism in children.
Children’s paternalistic helping may depend on how certain they are that the adult’s request will
not sufficiently fulfill his/her need. In addition, it is important to investigate age effects whether
older children are more motivated to be paternalistic, even in occluded context, than the 3-year-old
children in our study (see also Martin et al., 2016). Similarly, additional research is needed to
follow up on the question of whether there are circumstances under which chimpanzees will show
paternalism. This could include varying the social relationship between the requester and the
helper to include mother-child dyads or dyads of close allies and friends (see also Engelmann &
Herrmann, 2016).
In addition to a difference in how chimpanzees and young children help others it is
important to consider other factors that may explain the species difference observed in the current
studies. It is possible that chimpanzees have greater difficulties taking the perspective of the
requester than young children, which could explain their lack of paternalistic helping. On such an
account both children and chimpanzees are motivated to help others and even help
paternalistically but chimpanzees may not be able to think about the requester’s goals and
constrains in ways that are comparable to young children. While ultimately more research is
needed to fully address this point, there are two reasons to think that a mere lack in a cognitive
ability to take others’ visual perspective is not the best explanation of the current pattern of results
for chimpanzee subjects. First, the extensive training in the current study ensured that subjects
proceeded to the test phase only if they had completed a training phase with the occluders during
which they themselves had to walk to the non-occluded side to identify the functional tool (so they
clearly knew the positions from which their own view was or was not occluded). Second, previous
work with comparable experimental set-ups shows that chimpanzees are able, in addition, to
discern the positions from which others can and cannot see things (Hare, Call, Agnetta, &
Tomasello, 2000; Kaminski, Call, & Tomasello, 2008) and can represent others’ false beliefs
(Krupenye, Kano, Hirata, Call, & Tomasello, 2016), suggesting that subjects in the occluded
context of the current study knew whether the requesting conspecific could or could not see the
functional tool.
It is important to emphasize that the lack of paternalism in the current sample of
chimpanzees does not indicate a lack of concern for others. On the contrary, the results from the
helping condition in the current study replicate previous work with chimpanzees who help
conspecifics to fulfill their instrumental goals in instrumental responding to others needs and
helping more in need compared to control scenario (Melis et al., 2011b; Warneken et al., 2007;
Yamamoto et al., 2012). The results of the current study add to our understanding of the
underlying motivation of chimpanzee helping behavior. Chimpanzees, as opposed to young
children, help others by fulfilling the request. This suggests that for chimpanzees the cost of
denying a conspecific the tool that he/she requested does not outweigh the benefits of having
corrected the request to provide the tool that is functional to fulfilling the actual need. One
interesting avenue for future research is the questions under which chimpanzees are paternalistic
and do correct others. Previous work has shown that chimpanzee helping behavior to increase
toward conspecifics who have benefitted the induvial in the past (Schmelz, Grueneisen, Kabalak,
Jost, & Tomasello, 2017). In such scenarios of dependence chimpanzees may correct others’
dysfunctional requests for help because they themselves want to be helped by having their need
rather than their request being fulfilled.
In summary, the current results suggest that while human children and chimpanzees share
a sensitivity to others’ immediate requests for help, humans additionally take into account others’
long-term well-being. Only human children showed evidence for paternalism. Such paternalistic
interference with another’s goal-directed behavior bears a cost given that it temporarily upsets and
frustrates the recipient who did not get what he requested. In a highly interdependent species this
cost is trumped by the benefit of correcting others’ ill-fated requests for help, given that there is a
mutual understanding among collaborating partners to care about each other’s needs above and
beyond fulfilling each other’s immediate requests for help. Our hypothesis, therefore, is that the
strongly interdependent nature of human social life has led, via natural selection, to helpful
individuals who are not so much interested in fulfilling a conspecific’s every wish and desire, but
rather at keeping them in good shape as potential collaborative partners for the future.

Educating participants about the biasing effects of facial stereotypes reduces the explicit belief that personality is reflected in facial features, but does not reduce the influence of facial appearance on verdicts

Jaeger, Bastian, Alexander Todorov, Anthony M. Evans, and Ilja van Beest. 2019. “Can We Reduce Facial Biases? Persistent Effects of Facial Trustworthiness on Sentencing Decisions.” PsyArXiv. November 12. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Trait impressions from faces influence many consequential decisions even in situations in which they have poor diagnostic value and in which decisions should not be based on a person’s appearance. Here, we test (a) whether people rely on facial appearance when making legal sentencing decisions and (b) whether two types of interventions—educating decision-makers and changing the accessibility of facial information—reduces the influence of facial stereotypes. We first introduce a novel legal decision-making paradigm with which we measure reliance on facial appearance. Results of a pretest (n = 320) show that defendants with an untrustworthy (vs. trustworthy) facial appearances are found guilty more often. We then test the effectiveness of different interventions in reducing the influence of facial stereotypes. Educating participants about the biasing effects of facial stereotypes reduces the explicit belief that personality is reflected in facial features, but does not reduce the influence of facial appearance on verdicts (Study 1, n = 979). In Study 2 (n = 975), we present information sequentially to disrupt the intuitive accessibility of trait impressions. Participants indicate an initial verdict based on case-relevant information and a final verdict based on all information (including facial photographs). The wide majority of initial sentences were not revised and therefore unbiased. However, most revised sentences were in line with facial stereotypes (e.g., a guilty verdict for an untrustworthy-looking defendant). On average, this actually increased facial bias in verdicts. Together, our findings highlight the persistent influence of facial appearance on legal sentencing decisions.

Measuring the impact and success of human performance is common in various disciplines, including art, science, sports & social media; users commonly have “hot streaks” of impact, i.e., extended periods of high impact tweets

Garimella, K., & West, R. (2019). Hot Streaks on Social Media. Proceedings of the International AAAI Conference on Web and Social Media, 13(01), 170-180. Jul 2019.

Abstract: Measuring the impact and success of human performance is common in various disciplines, including art, science, and sports. Quantifying impact also plays a key role on social media, where impact is usually defined as the reach of a user’s content as captured by metrics such as the number of views, likes, retweets, or shares. In this paper, we study entire careers of Twitter users to understand properties of impact. We show that user impact tends to have certain characteristics: First, impact is clustered in time, such that the most impactful tweets of a user appear close to each other. Second, users commonly have “hot streaks” of impact, i.e., extended periods of high impact tweets. Third, impact tends to gradually build up before, and fall off after, a user’s most impactful tweet. We attempt to explain these characteristics using various properties measured on social media, including the user’s network, content, activity, and experience, and find that changes in impact are associated with significant changes in these properties. Our findings open interesting avenues for future research on virality and influence on social media.

Adoption: Both Italian & British listeners judged gay-sounding speakers as warmer and as having better parenting skills, yet Italian participants consistently preferred straight over gay-sounding applicants

The Social Costs of Sounding Gay: Voice-Based Impressions of Adoption Applicants. Fabio Fasoli, Anne Maass. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, November 11, 2019.

Abstract: In three studies (total N = 239) we examined the unexplored question of whether voice conveying sexual orientation elicits stigma and discrimination in the context of adoption. Studies 1 and 2 were conducted in Italy where same-sex adoption is illegal and controversial. Study 3 was conducted in the United Kingdom where same-sex adoption is legal and generally more accepted. The three studies show that listeners draw strong inferences from voice when judging hypothetical adoption seekers. Both Italian and British listeners judged gay-sounding speakers as warmer and as having better parenting skills, yet Italian participants consistently preferred straight over gay-sounding applicants, whereas British participants showed an opposite tendency, presumably reflecting the different normative context in the two countries. We conclude that vocal cues may have culturally distinct effects on judgment and decision making and that people with gay-sounding voices may face discrimination in adoption procedures in countries with antigay norms.

Keywords: voice, sexual orientation, parenting, adoption, gaydar

Foundations of Arrogance: We contend that humankind can benefit from a better understanding of the cognitive limitations and motivational biases that, operating together, appear to contribute to arrogance

Foundations of Arrogance: A Broad Survey and Framework for Research. Nelson Cowan et al. Review of General Psychology, September 19, 2019.

Abstract: We consider the topic of arrogance from a cross-disciplinary viewpoint. To stimulate further research, we suggest three types of arrogance (individual, comparative, and antagonistic) and six components contributing to them, each logically related to the next. The components progress from imperfect knowledge and abilities to an unrealistic assessment of them, an unwarranted attitude of superiority over other people, and related derisive behavior. Although each component presumably is present to some degree when the next one operates, causality might flow between components in either direction. The classification of components of arrogance should reduce miscommunication among researchers, as the relevant concepts and mechanisms span cognitive, motivational, social, and clinical domains and literatures. Arrogance is an important concept warranting further study for both theoretical and practical reasons, in both psychopathology and normal social interaction. Everyone seems to have qualities of arrogance to some degree, and we consider the importance of arrogance on a spectrum. We contend that humankind can benefit from a better understanding of the cognitive limitations and motivational biases that, operating together, appear to contribute to arrogance. We bring together information and questions that might lead to an invigorating increase in the rate and quality of cross-disciplinary research on arrogance.

Keywords: arrogance, narcissism, hubris, overconfidence, overplacement, humility

How Do the Components Relate to the Origins and Purposes of Arrogance?

Next, we examine arrogance with an eye toward the purposes it may serve for the individual and the group, which may help explain why varieties of arrogance seem so prevalent.  In evolution, some traits that serve no apparent or useful function (referred to as byproducts) can be inextricably linked to other adaptations (Lewis, Shawaf, Conroy-Beam, Asao, & Buss, 2017). It is an open question whether extreme arrogance in some people is a byproduct of certain adaptive traits, which might include self-enhancing optimism and overconfidence, or whether extreme arrogance is, in itself, a useful adaptation that promotes survival and reproduction in some contexts. Possible benefits of different types of arrogance that we consider are the personal value of an illusion of control, the personal value of high self-esteem, and society.s need for leaders; for this last category, we consider associated costs also. Moreover, benefits and costs depend on the type of arrogance, with Component 2 sometimes being helpful to all, but later components rarely helpful, at least to society. (It is not known whether the later components of arrogance sometimes assist in personal gains, which seems possible, for example, in the case of intrasexual competition for mates; see Buss, 1988).

Personal Value of an Illusion of Control

The imperfect knowledge of the environment (Component 1) could emerge simply because perfect knowledge (e.g., with no perceptual illusions or false memories) would be computationally too costly for the brain. It is therefore not surprising that our brains are designed to operate often with place of complete information. That incomplete information does mean, however, that our control of the environment is not always what we believe it is (Component 2). An illusion of greater control of the environment would be one outcome that could be of use.

Individual and comparative arrogance might originate because the feeling of controlling the environment and being competent energizes the individual, protecting and furthering that individual more than a feeling of being out of control or incompetent. People therefore sometimes believe that good things will happen to them and bad things will only happen to those who deserve it (Lerner & Miller, 1978). Exemplifying the illusion of control, Langer (1975) conducted a series of studies showing that when elements usually associated with control were introduced into games of chance, participants responded as if they had some control over the outcome. They bet more on their own hand when competing against what appeared to be a less confident opponent, when given a choice as compared with no choice, when the choice they were given was familiar, and when their involvement in the game was personal rather than by proxy. All of these influences occurred even though none of them had any effect on the chances of winning.  Weinstein (1982) found that students thought positive events were more likely to happen to them compared with peers, and negative events, less likely. These views proved to be modifiable by exposing participants to information about other individuals' risk-avoiding behaviors. Thus, as the authors suggested, such views could occur because of an initial dearth of perspective-taking, our Component 4 (Chambers, Windschitl, & Suls, 2003).

A sense of control, whether warranted or illusory, may be important for health. Lachman and Weaver (1998) found that more control was felt in people of higher social class, who also lived longer; but the sense of control had an important effect, and individuals from the lowest income group who had a high sense of control had commensurate health and well-being, like people in higher-income groups.  Whether illusions of control per se foster health, however, may remain controversial (Randall & Block, 1994) and in need of further study. It is possible that some degree of the illusion of control is healthy, whereas too great an illusion places a person in a range in which the accompanying components of comparative and antagonistic arrogance exceed what is optimal.

Personal Value of High Self-Esteem

An individual might become arrogant in individual and comparative senses to produce positive self-esteem based on Components 2 through 5. To our knowledge, there has been little work on this topic per se but there has been some related work on narcissism, for which the conclusion is still unclear. One can imagine that self-esteem might be low but may be supported by thoughts and actions that at least attempt to counteract low self-esteem (e.g., in the use of social media; see Andreassen, Pallesen, & Griffiths, 2017).  This kind of thinking has led to suggestions of a mask model, in which low self-esteem at an implicit, unconscious level is overridden (or masked) by a high level of selfesteem at an explicit level, together producing arrogant behavior. It is difficult to evaluate the mask model, however, because it is unfortunately difficult to measure self-esteem at an implicit level, so this field is still in the process of growth and change (e.g., Brummelman, Thomaes, & Sedikides, 2016), without unambiguous support for the mask model (Brown & Brunell, 2017). It is far from clear whether arrogance indicates that the individual hates himself or herself .deep down,. loves himself or herself, some combination of these, or neither; it is an important topic for future research.

Higgins (1987) took a different approach to self-esteem, showing that there are physiological effects and feelings resulting from discrepancies between a person.s self-concept and how the person ideally would like to be, and ought to be. Discrepancy with the former tended to produce depression, whereas discrepancy with the latter tended to lead to agitation and anxiety. In our tentative appraisal, the difference could be that how one would like to be is a personal concept that interacts with Component 2, whereas how one ought to be is a social comparison on which one hopes for superiority (Component 5).

One possibility for further study is that especially arrogant people of any variety may have a large discrepancy between how they would like to be and how they ought to be, perhaps tending to act as they like (reducing one discrepancy) and inventing rationalizations to stave off the feeling of agitation arising from how they ought to be.  Alternatively, the arrogant people may do less comparison than most people of the actual, ideal, and ought-to self-concepts, or may not perceive much discrepancy (consistent with Components 2-4). However, NPD can be comorbid with depression (Dawood & Pincus, 2018), suggesting that a grandiose stance that includes arrogance might occur along with comparison of the actual and ideal. Note that what is called ideal in this case could be a selfish motive (e.g., becoming ultra-rich or acknowledged as superior to others). The relation between self-esteem and components of arrogance certainly requires further study.

Society's Need for Leaders

Types of arrogance may have evolved as a mechanism to fulfill society.s need for leaders, at least in some types of societies. It could be that finding a good leader is like walking a fine line; one wants a person with enough confidence (related to Component 2) to be highly motivated and (Components 3-6) that can demotivate everyone who is not included in the favored group. Authoritative leaders can help create ties between people, settle disagreements, and make decisions for the group (King, Johnson, & van Vugt, 2009). Research suggests that people tend to favor overconfident leaders over their lesser confident counterparts (Reuben, Rey-Biel, Sapienza, & Zingales, 2012). An overconfident individual may envision success in the future, and this may prompt the individual to expend more effort toward achievement (Lockhart, Goddu, & Keil, 2017).

Overconfidence may also help individuals reach leadership status (Reuben et al., 2012) and feel inspired to take on opportunities that are presented to them (Ehrlinger & Dunning, 2003). Reuben et al. examined how group members identified leaders while completing a task. They found that overconfidence was beneficial for those interested in becoming group leaders (who tended to be men). Research on characteristics of CEOs shows that they often possess a high level of overconfidence (Malmendier & Tate, 2008).  The drawbacks of some varieties of arrogant leadership, however, are clear. Hiller and Hambrick (2005) reviewed the concept of core self-evaluations (CSEs), an amalgam of self-esteem, self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability. They posited that excessive levels of the CSE traits may lead to arrogant behaviors and decisions from executives and other high-ranking businessmen and businesswomen.  It is believed that these hyper-CSE executives typically have extreme performance records (e.g., great successes or terrible failures) due in part to their arrogant behaviors, such as risky initiatives and hasty, centralized decision making (Component 4, ignoring the perspectives of others). Resick, Whitman, Weingarden, and Hiller (2009) also examined the high end of CSE and found that such high levels of self-confidence are necessary to lead high-stakes endeavors. According to Resick et al. (2009), though, some of these leaders have these views due to high self-confidence, whereas others have a more fragile self-view that they attempt to mask with arrogance. They found that CEOs who displayed the positive traits associated with CSE were more comfortable sharing the success with others; CEOs who displayed the negative traits associated with hyper- CSE were less likely to provide special recognition for other members of the organization (with Component 5 sometimes at least implicitly leading into Component 6, denigrating others). Arrogance thus can result in positive group benefits, but some varieties of it can produce risk for the group or a cost for some people in the group.  Johnson et al. (2010) provided some of the first empirical data confirming a negative relationship between workplace arrogance in self-rating and other ratings and job performance. Their first two studies involved developing the WARS. The scale was based on coworkers. judgment of the degree to which 26 generalizations fit the individual in question (e.g., "Believes that s/he knows better than everyone else in any given situation"; "Makes decisions that impact others without listening to their input"). Their third and fourth studies used the scale to explore the relationship between arrogance and task performance. There was a significant, negative relationship between arrogance and task performance and cognitive ability. Because the arrogance of these employees did not result in heightened ability at work or positive perception by others, it seems unlikely that arrogance was of instrumental use. Other studies also support the conclusion that arrogance has overall negative effects, rather than beneficial uses. Arrogant people often suffer socially as a result of being disliked by others (Hareli & Weiner, 2000) and are more likely to induce harm and loss for their businesses as a result of risk-taking behaviors, jeopardizing their health through overconfidence and unrealistic optimism (Dunning, Heath, & Suls, 2004). They perform poorly on exams while being overly confident (Hacker, Bol, Horgan, & Rakow, 2000). There are relevant studies also on harm caused by counterproductive workplace behavior (e.g., Sackett, Berry, Wiemann, & Laczo, 2006) and the "dark triad" of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy (e.g., Paulhus & Williams, 2002), consistent with our Components 4 through 6.

Relevant evidence may also come from investigations of grandiose narcissism which, like our fourth through sixth components of arrogance, can include behaviors of self-inflation at the expense of others. Using multiple sources of evidence regarding the level of grandiose narcissism of all past presidents of the United States, Watts et al. (2012) found that those who had more of this quality were more effective politically, but at the cost of being more unethical, much more likely to provoke reactions such as impeachment, and less likely to win a second term. Their arrogance may also have a negative effect on the group. For example, Matthews, Reinerman-Jones, Burke, Teo, and Scribner (2018) stated on the basis of several studies that "Nationalism is socially harmful when associated with chauvinistic arrogance, bellicosity, and prejudice towards foreigners and other out-groups" (p. 91).

Monday, November 11, 2019

Trump and Clinton supporters were more likely to say they would vandalize the car promoting a candidate they did not support, and significantly more generous and friendly otherwise

An Experimental Study of Prejudice Toward  Drivers With Political Bumper Stickers. Joy Drinnon and Amanda Largent. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, Fall2019, Vol. 24 Issue 3, p149-158.

ABSTRACT. In this experiment, we tested whether a political sticker would affect prejudice toward a hypothetical driver. An online survey was made available to MTurk workers and a small convenience sample in October 2016. Participants were shown 1 of 3 randomly assigned pictures of a car with 5 nonpolitical bumper stickers or the same car with a Trump or Clinton campaign sticker added. Participants were asked: (a) how likely they would be to vandalize the car (1 = extremely likely to 5 = extremely unlikely), (b) how much money they would put in a timed out parking meter ($0.00 to $1.00), and (c) whether they could be friends with the driver (3 = yes, 1 = no, 2 = maybe). Although 214 people completed the study, only those with plans to vote for 1 of the 2 major parties were included for analysis. Thus, results were based on 180 participants (106 Clinton/Kaine voters and 74 Trump/ Pence voters). As expected, Trump and Clinton supporters were significantly more generous, F(2, 174) = 9.57, p < .001, ηp2 = .099, and friendly, F(2, 174) = 9.6, p < .001, ηp2 = .10, toward the hypothetical owner of the car with a sticker supporting their candidate of choice and were more likely to say they would vandalize the car promoting a candidate they did not support, F(2, 174) = 4.4, p < .001, ηp2 = .048. The results confirm what was expected based on previous research on impression formation, group identity bias, and prejudice.

Keywords: bumper sticker, impression formation, prejudice, group identity

More than 15 million political bumper stickers are printed every year (“Bumper stickers,” 2016) and there is evidence that their presence affects other drivers, including increased risk of road rage (Szlemko, Benfield, Bell, Deffenbacher, & Troup, 2008). The purpose of the present study was to test the effect of a political bumper sticker on prejudice through a randomized experiment. Specifically, we expected to find differences in someone’s intentions to help, harm, or befriend a hypothetical driver based on the presence of a political campaign sticker and its relevance to the social identity of the viewer. The results of the study showed that interactions between the political sticker and the participants’ partisan views were significant for all three dependent variables. Not surprisingly, participants who said they were voting for Clinton and were shown the car with the Trump sticker were less likely to help the driver, more likely to say they might vandalize the car, and less likely to indicate they could be friends with that person. The same partisan effect was found in participants who said they were voting for Trump but were shown the car with the Clinton sticker. However, responses from participants in the control group (no partisan stickers) were unaffected. These results support assumptions that the presence of a political sticker can affect attitudes toward other drivers. Of course, thinking about harming or helping another driver is not tantamount to acting on such impulses, and these findings are not altogether surprising. Nevertheless, this study offers a new approach to investigating social psychological processes such as impression formation, social identity, group conflict, and ingroup favoritism.
First, these results support research on impression formation and Anderson’s information integration theory (Anderson, 1981), in particular. According to this theory, impressions formed by participants would be a combination of their partisan views and the weighted average of the information about the hypothetical driver. Participants in our study had no information about the driver, other than the car and its assorted stickers, and they had to rely on that information to make their judgments. We intentionally used a combination of nonpartisan and varied stickers in all three conditions so that participants would have plenty of “material” to support a variety of opinions about the driver including some socially responsible (Don’t text and drive), whimsical (Wookies need love), and one slightly hostile (Sorry I’m driving so closely in front of you). We hypothesized that the presence of a single political sticker would significantly shift perceptions of the driver in much the same way that the presence of one trait altered impressions formed by participants in Asch’s now­classic study (1946). The results did support this conclusion. The striking similarity of attitudes toward the driver in the control condition indicates that the nonpartisan stickers had very little impact, at least when comparing participants by their politics. The addition of the political sticker seems to be the factor that pushed partisans to behave differently toward the hypothetical driver. This also supports the negative trait bias (Baumeister et al., 2001) because the negativity from just the single political sticker outweighed any potential positive traits the driver might have possessed (e.g., caring about animals or the safety of others).
Second, these results support what is already known about social identity and group conflict. Identifying with a group increases people’s sense of belonging, control, meaningfulness, and selfesteem (Tajfel & Turner, 2004). Political identity is an important social group for many people, and the presence of political stickers indicates strong partisan identification or identity fusion (Morrison & Miller, 2008; Swann & Buhrmester, 2015). Moreover, if the viewers of such stickers also identify strongly with a political party, they should be more motivated to help or harm the driver, especially when there is a threat to that identity (Greenberg et al., 2016). In an election as contentious as 2016, the threat of losing control of the White House and/or Congress would be the ultimate threat against one’s political party, thus justifying prejudice.
Although outgroup hostility is one way of confirming commitment to important social groups (Knapton, Bäck, & Bäck, 2015), most prejudice comes in the form of preferential treatment toward members of an ingroup rather than from hostility toward an outgroup (Greenwald & Pettigrew, 2014). This phenomenon was demonstrated in the present study. In terms of helping, the amount of money increased substantially from that of the control condition when the hypothetical driver shared the political views of the participant and dropped off sharply when the driver did not. Harm for the driver was measured as the likelihood of vandalizing the car, and although the results were statistically significant, the number of people who said they would be extremely likely to do so was very small. The effect sizes for helping (ηp2 = .099) and befriending the driver (ηp2 = .10) were also larger than the effect size for harming (ηp2 = .048). Thus, ingroup favoritism may be the most likely consequence of seeing bumper stickers, especially because it is also easier to imagine being a friend toward those with a shared identity.

Strengths and Limitations
The present study appears to be one of the first attempts to study the social psychological effects of bumper stickers. The results indicate that bumper stickers do have the ability to shape perceptions and behaviors toward other drivers, although the study is not without limitations. The sample size was relatively small and homogenous. In addition, a more representative sample of Trump and Clinton supporters would have been ideal. Although the use of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk as a source of participants is preferable to college samples, it is not a representative sample of eligible voters in the United States (Paolacci & Chandler, 2014). Our sample was highly educated, relatively young, and more liberal, which are all characteristics that have been noted about this sampling source (Paolacci & Chandler, 2014). Arguably, different samples could lead to different results, especially if factors like age, education, and race are predictive of different levels of partisanship. Failing to control for these factors was a limitation in the present study. Moreover, because this was a first­of­its­kind study, it was designed without the benefit of prior research protocols to follow, so the methodology could certainly be improved upon. For example, there was room to include more questions in the survey, which could have provided more information such as the stereotypes held about the driver. It would also be helpful to test assumptions made concerning the need for additional stickers, as well as the content, number, and valence of the ideal assortment of stickers.

Stronger partisan identities drive stronger intentions to engage in political violence, but that this effect holds for partisans with a callous, manipulative personality structure only

Gøtzsche-Astrup, Oluf. 2019. “Partisanship and Violent Intentions in the United States.” PsyArXiv. November 11. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: We have witnessed a drastic increase in partisanship in the United States in the past decades. This increase has sparked concern about the risk that the effects may not be as benign as the positive political engagement and activism behaviors that the political science literature has traditionally investigated. This paper explicitly targets the risk that increased partisan identities may lead to stronger intentions to engage in violent political behaviors. By integrating insights form the literature on radicalization to political violence, and using three original, population representative cross-sectional and experimental studies of adult Americans (total n=3,797), this paper shows that stronger partisan identities drive stronger intentions to engage in political violence, but that this effect holds for partisans with a callous, manipulative personality structure only.

From 2018... Although society and the law often treat individuals and organizations as equivalent, people believe for-profit organizations’ behaviors are less ethical than identical individual behaviors

Organizations Appear More Unethical than Individuals. Arthur S. Jago, Jeffrey Pfeffer. Journal of Business Ethics, November 2019, Volume 160, Issue 1, pp 71–87, February 12 2018.

Abstract: Both individuals and organizations can (and do) engage in unethical behaviors. Across six experiments, we examine how people’s ethical judgments are affected by whether the agent engaging in unethical action is a person or an organization. People believe organizations are more unethical than individuals, even when both agents engage in identical behaviors (Experiments 1–2). Using both mediation (Experiments 3a–3b) and moderation (Experiment 4) analytical approaches, we find that this effect is explained by people’s beliefs that organizations produce more harm when behaving unethically, even when they do not, as well as people’s perceptions that organizations are relatively more blameworthy agents. We then explore how these judgments manifest across different kinds of organizations (Experiment 5) as well as how they produce discrepant punishments following ethically questionable business activities (Experiment 6). Although society and the law often treat individuals and organizations as equivalent, people believe for-profit organizations’ behaviors are less ethical than identical individual behaviors. We discuss the ethical implications of this discrepancy, as well as additional implications concerning reputation management, punishment, and signaling in organizational contexts.

Keywords: Corporate personhood Punishment Organizations

General Discussion

Although organizations are different in many ways from individual people, they may sometimes find themselves in similar ethical situations. In this research, however, we found that people’s judgments of organizational and individual behaviors differ in systematic ways. Across six experiments and a variety of transgressions, we found that people believed organizational behaviors were more unethical than the identical behaviors of individual people. We further found that these judgments resulted, at least in part, because observers believed that organizations created more harm from their behaviors (even when they did not) and were more blameworthy. Moreover, our studies suggested that these results were reasonably robust across different populations and over a range of different countries, although people did distinguish between for-profit companies and other organizational categories (e.g., a family business or a government agency). Finally, we found that differences in ethical judgments, not surprisingly, resulted in different degrees of willingness to punish ethical violations, such that organizations that lodged the agency for an unethical act in an individual may confront fewer and smaller sanctions than organizations that do not deflect blame onto one person. These results suggest that organizations can seek to appear less unethical not only by improving their behaviors, but also by framing individual agents as responsible for those actions. Organizations wield a great deal of economic, social, and political power in modern society. Therefore, understanding how organizations can frame behaviors as more or less ethical is of substantial importance not only to understand communication and impression management processes, but also how the public ultimately reacts—or does not react—to unethical business practices.


Across six experiments, we identified a descriptive inequality: organizations appear more unethical than individuals when both agents engage in identical behaviors. What are some normative implications of this phenomenon? On the one hand, one interpretation of these experiments is that framing individuals as responsible for organizational transgressions is unethical in practice. Instead of managing impressions or stakeholder relations by engaging in less unethical behavior (or more ethical behavior), organizations may be incentivized—at least to some extent— to instead focus their resources toward scapegoating undesirable behaviors by blaming individual actors as opposed to addressing their root causes or preventing bad behaviors from reoccurring at an institutional level. Indeed, the present experiments highlight one reason why organizations might focus on individual behaviors and apologies following unethical behavior (e.g., Oscar Munoz’s apology for United Airlines’ forcible removal of a passenger) as well as why public relations consultants and researchers tend to encourage organizations to focus on individual communications (see Hearit 1994; Kim et al. 2004; Schweitzer et al. 2015). As such, capitalizing on this phenomenon to improve stakeholder impressions might be unethical, compared to trying to address transgressions in the first place or expending resources to prevent them from reoccurring.

However, another interpretation of these results is that people are evaluating for-profit organizations in a biased way, departing from how they “should” be responding to unethical practices. As we reported in Experiment 5, participants believed that other kinds of organizations (government agency, family business) as well as individual people who exhibited similar levels of unethicality were similar; the only significant differences we found were when we compared these agents with for-profit organizations. Because there were no actual differences in the harm caused in the specific scenarios we utilized, one interpretation of these results is that people tend to depart from rationality in a way that disfavors for-profit organizations. The vast literature concerning people’s judgment and decision making (e.g., Tversky and Kahneman 1974) suggests that—while they can err—heuristics are often useful tools for navigating complex social environments. In the case of responding to for-profit organizations’ behaviors, for example, it is almost certainly the case that large firms tend to cause more harm than individuals when transgressing. In situations where they actually do not produce more harm, however, these results suggest that people might indeed “unfairly” evaluate forprofit organizations, thereby inducing potentially unethical impression management strategies that the for-profit entities otherwise would not have to engage in if people evaluated them similarly to other agents. Many different organizational agents can engage in unethical behavior, and the present experiments suggest that people can respond to such behaviors quite differently. We believe that one fruitful avenue of future research is to continue investigating these descriptive inequalities in ethical judgment to continue informing normative approaches to business ethics (and, specific to these experiments, corporate personhood).

The impact of money on science: Evidence from unexpected NCAA football outcomes shows positive, significant effects of research expenditures on articles published and patents filed

The impact of money on science: Evidence from unexpected NCAA football outcomes. Haris Tabakovic, Thomas G. Wollmann. Journal of Public Economics, Volume 178, October 2019, 104066.

• Unexpected college athletics outcomes impact university research budgets.
• As research expenditures rise, faculty publish more articles and derive more patentable ideas.
• Research expenditures also prompt increases in technology licensing revenues.
• These revenues offer convenient lower bound estimates of the value of university research.

Abstract: How productive are university research investments, and do the resulting pools of knowledge create valuable, downstream technology — or simply accumulate in the “ivory tower”? This paper uses unexpected NCAA athletic outcomes to vary research support to university faculty and estimate knowledge productivity. We find positive, significant effects of research expenditures on articles published and patents filed. Then, using data on university technology licensing income, we show that these investments produce large returns in real terms.

Keywords: ProductivityKnowledge productionResearch and developmentPatentsLicensing

Elephant behavior toward the dead: A review and insights from field observations

Elephant behavior toward the dead: A review and insights from field observations. Shifra Z. Goldenberg, George Wittemyer. Primates, November 11 2019.

Abstract: Many nonhuman animals have been documented to take an interest in their dead. A few socially complex and cognitively advanced taxa—primates, cetaceans, and proboscideans—stand out for the range and duration of behaviors that they display at conspecific carcasses. Here, we review the literature on field observations of elephants at carcasses to identify patterns in behaviors exhibited. We add to this literature by describing elephant responses to dead elephants in the Samburu National Reserve, northern Kenya. The literature review indicated that behavior of elephants at carcasses most often included approaches, touching, and investigative responses, and these occurred at varying stages of decay, from fresh carcasses to scattered and sun-bleached bones. During our own observations, we also witnessed elephants visiting and revisiting carcasses during which they engaged in extensive investigative behavior, stationary behavior, self-directed behavior, temporal gland streaming, and heightened social interactions with other elephants in the vicinity of a carcass. Elephants show broad interest in their dead regardless of the strength of former relationships with the dead individual. Such behaviors may allow them to update information regarding their social context in this highly fluid fission–fusion society. The apparent emotionality and widely reported inter-individual differences involved in elephant responses to the dead deserve further study. Our research contributes to the growing discipline of comparative thanatology to illuminate the cognition and context of nonhuman animal response to death, particularly among socially complex species.

Keywords: Cognition Death and dying Evolutionary thanatology Loxodonta africana Loxodonta cyclotis Social complexity

Expert opinion on intelligence: Most respondents supported g factor theory, and were skeptical of the accuracy and trustworthiness of the media

Survey of expert opinion on intelligence: Intelligence research, experts' background, controversial issues, and the media. Heiner Rindermann, David Becker, Thomas R. Coyle. Intelligence, Volume 78, January–February 2020, 101406.

•    The survey reports answers for up to 102 intelligence experts on 38 questions.
•    Questions examined background factors, IQ testing, and perceptions of the media.
•    Most respondents supported g factor theory.
•    Experts were skeptical of the accuracy and trustworthiness of the media.
•    Political perspective and gender correlated with experts' answers.

Abstract: Experts (Nmax = 102 answering) on intelligence completed a survey about IQ research, controversies, and the media. The survey was conducted in 2013 and 2014 using the Internet-based Expert Questionnaire on Cognitive Ability (EQCA). In the current study, we examined the background of the experts (e.g., nationality, gender, religion, and political orientation) and their positions on intelligence research, controversial issues, and the media. Most experts were male (83%) and from Western countries (90%). Political affiliations ranged from the left (liberal, 54%) to the right (conservative, 24%), with more extreme responses within the left-liberal spectrum. Experts rated the media and public debates as far below adequate. Experts with a left (liberal, progressive) political orientation were more likely to have positive views of the media (around r = |.30|). In contrast, compared to female and left (liberal) experts, male and right (conservative) experts were more likely to endorse the validity of IQ testing (correlations with gender, politics: r = .55, .41), the g factor theory of intelligence (r = .18, .34), and the impact of genes on US Black-White differences (r = .50, .48). The paper compares the results to those of prior expert surveys and discusses the role of experts' backgrounds, with a focus on political orientation and gender. An underrepresentation of viewpoints associated with experts' background characteristics (i.e., political views, gender) may distort research findings and should be addressed in higher education policy.

Almost 40% of women in our sample experienced phantom foetal kicks after their first pregnancy, up to 28-years (average 6.8-y) post-partum, nearly 50% saying that they were very "convincing"

Sasan, Disha, Phillip G. Ward, Meredith Nash, Edwina R. Orchard, Michael J. Farrell, Jakob Hohwy, and Sharna Jamadar. 2019. “‘Phantom Kicks’: Women’s Subjective Experience of Foetal Kicks After the Postpartum Period.” PsyArXiv. November 11. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: During pregnancy, a woman will attribute increased abdominal sensations to foetal movement. Surprisingly, many women report that they feel kick sensations long after the pregnancy, however this experience has never been reported in the scientific literature. Here, we show that almost 40% of women in our sample experienced phantom foetal kicks after their first pregnancy, up to 28-years (average 6.8-years) post-partum. Using a qualitative approach, we found that women describe the phantom sensations as ‘convincing’, ‘real kicks’ or ‘flutters’. Twenty-five percent of women described the experience as positive, and 27% reported felt confused or upset by the experience. Our results demonstrate that phantom kicks in the post-partum period are a widely experienced sensation, that may have implications for a woman’s post-partum mental health. The mechanism behind the phantom kick phenomenon is unknown, but may be related to changes in the somatosensory homunculus or proprioception during pregnancy.


Here, we report the first scientific description of the phenomenon of postpartum phantom kicks. In this Australian sample, almost 40% of women reported experiencing kick-like sensations following their first pregnancy. Participants who experienced the sensations, described it as "real kicks" or "flutters", with nearly 50% saying that they were very "convincing". Most women commented on the nostalgia and emotion associated with the sensations. This is unsurprising given that pregnancy is an emotional experience due to the increased female sex hormones that result in increased sensitivity in women's emotional processing systems (11). Taken together, this evidence suggests that there may be an association between the emotional relationship to the baby and the sensations of phantom kicks. Despite this, we found no significant relationship between the kick-like sensations and reports of postpartum cognitive or emotional change. We therefore argue that these sensations are unlikely to be delusions, or hallucinations, or a result of postpartum depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues. Although we found no significant association between phantom kicks and postnatal depression or anxiety, our results suggest that the influence of phantom kicks on mood should not be neglected. Content analysis of women's responses to phantom kicks suggested that the experience could exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, particularly in the case of stillbirth. Additionally, the timing at which the phantom kicks begin could be detrimental to those overcoming depression or anxiety, without having any causal connection to mental health outcomes.

Potential explanations for the phantom kick phenomenon

The subjective experience of phantom kicks is apparently a common sensation post-pregnancy for many Australian women. At this stage, we can only speculate as to the origin or cause of the effect. Here, we will review relevant literature as potential avenues for future research. Attribution of 232 postpartum body recovery We considered the possibility that women could misattribute normal body recovery sensations to a phantom kick sensation. The postpartum restoration of muscle tone and connective tissue to the pre-pregnant state lasts for approximately 6 months (12) and most acute changes are resolved within the first 26 weeks (6 months) (6-months; 13). Thus, we repeated the analysis, excluding women who were 1-year post-birth and found that the frequency of phantom sensations did not change. Rather, in the full sample, 39.7% of women reported experiencing kick-like sensations. Excluding women 1-yr post-birth, 39.1% of women experience the sensations. We believe that in the months post-delivery, some sensations of phantom kicks are probably attributable to bodily recovery. However, as women continue to experience these sensations for many years, postpartum recovery cannot be the only contributor to the experience. Proprioception and Phantom Limbs Phantom kicks appear to have considerable similarities to phantom limb syndrome. Phantom limb syndrome occurs when individuals with a missing or amputated limb feel sensations that suggest the limb is still attached. People with phantom limb syndrome are often said to experience "real" movement (14) and pain (15, 16) suggesting that the phantom limb is still represented in proprioceptive body maps (15). The range of possible phantom phenomena is relatively broad (movement, pain, pins and needles, itching, pressure, etc.), suggesting that "kick" sensations could be possible. It is known that the female somatosensory cortex undergoes reorganisation following mastectomy (17). Around 33% of female mastectomy patients report phantom breast sensations, which emerge soon after amputation and continues up to 12-yrs post-surgery (18, 19). During pregnancy, the innervation of the abdominal region by ongoing foetal movement increases over the ~40week gestation, and rapidly ceases at childbirth. The rapid reduction of abdominal somatosensation at childbirth has some similarities to the rapid cessation of innervation following limb amputation. It is possible that phantom kicks may be phenomenologically like the phantom limb phenomenon.

Similarly, misattribution of normal bodily sensations might explain the phantom kick phenomenon. In the non-pregnant state, most spontaneous abdominal sensations are attributed to a digestive cause, and are likely not regularly attended to. During pregnancy, the largest and most salient 258 somatosensations in the abdominal area are quickly attributed to foetal movements. The mother pays close attention to these sensations and bonds with her baby and obstetric care providers direct her to pay close attention to any reduction in the frequency of movements (e.g., 20). Thus, the mother's self-model of her body, and the origin of sensations within it, is updated. Following childbirth, and the subsequent "resettling" of the body organs to the non-pregnant state, there is a substantial reduction in abdominal innervations. It is no longer appropriate to attribute abdominal sensations to the foetus. Perhaps women who experience phantom kicks do not re-update their conceptual model of the body following childbirth, and attribute normal (digestive) sensations to a foetus that is no longer there. Implications of Results for Peri-Natal and Post-Partum Care Due to our sampling method, we cannot make statements of prevalence of phantom kicks in the postpartum period, but we can say that phantom kicks appear to be a common experience among women following the birth of their first child. In our sample, two in every five women experienced the phenomenon. The experience was described as negative for some women, during a period of high vulnerability for mood disorder and mental illness. Around 16% of participants commented that the experience of phantom kicks was negatively impacting on their wellbeing. Many women described a lack of information and expertise being made available to assuage their fears during a crucial time. The field of medical science should address this shortcoming and inform health care providers of the potential risk that unexpected and unexplained phantom kick sensations may pose.

Women are routinely directed to pay attention to foetal kick rate during late pregnancy, either through the media (e.g., 21), or as directed by their health care provider (20). For example, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (20) guidelines state that .Women should be advised of the need to be aware of foetal movements up to and including the onset of labour and should report any decrease or cessation of foetal movements to their maternity unit. and that "A significant reduction or sudden alteration in foetal movement is a potentially important clinical sign." Our results raise an intriguing question: if women report sensations of foetal movement postpartum in the absence of a 283 foetus, how reliable is the perception of foetal kicks during pregnancy? In other words, are all maternal perceptions of foetal kicks attributable to the foetus? Early research using Doppler ultrasound suggested that not all maternal perceptions of movement were detectable using ultrasound: Johnson, Jordan, and Paine (22) found that 12% of maternal sensations of foetal movement were undetected by ultrasound. Recent studies with newer technology show great individual variability in maternal perception of foetal movement, between 2.4 to 81% (23). An interesting corollary of the current study is that perhaps not all sensations attributed to foetal movement during pregnancy is due to the foetus. This result therefore has implications for the reliability of maternal perception as an indicator for reduced foetal movement and subsequently foetal health. It may be useful in future studies of maternal perceptions of antenatal foetal kicks to use a psychophysiological approach (e.g., Signal Detection theory, 24) to systematically quantify the occurrence of hits, misses, false positives and false negatives of abdominal interoceptive signals.

In sum, our study suggests that up to 2 in 5 women experience sensations of foetal movement long after childbirth and the postpartum period. These sensations may have implications for the mother's mental health during a vulnerable time. We have explored potential explanations for the phenomenon to assist in generating hypotheses for further research. Through this study, we hope to build awareness relating to phantom kicks that will ensure that women are given the appropriate information and care they require. Obstetric, gynaecological, and mental health clinicians specialising in postpartum care should be aware of the potential impact that phantom kicks may have on their clients, especially those that experience abortion, miscarriage, stillbirth, or traumatic birth.

Narcissistic people had less warmth toward successful & unsuccessful others; but this reaction was eliminated after controlling for narcissistic people's assumptions that other people are less reactive to success & failure

Why are narcissistic people cold? A cognitive account emphasizing the perceived momentousness of successes and failures. William Hart, Gregory K. Tortoriello, Kyle Richardson. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 153, January 15 2020, 109596.

•    Narcissism related to less self-reported reactivity after successes and failures
•    Narcissism related to rating targets as less reactive after successes and failures
•    Narcissism related to less concern for a target after failures
•    Narcissism related to less happiness for a target after successes

Abstract: It seems generally accepted that people with elevated narcissism levels (“narcissistic people,” for short) are interpersonally colder. Most often, this coldness has been presumed to originate from “dark” mechanisms or deficiencies. We departed from these focal explanations; instead, we tested whether “narcissistic coldness,” defined here as the narcissistic tendency to feel less happy for successful others and less concern for unsuccessful others, could follow from an apparently innocent process. Specifically, we proposed that narcissistic people anticipate that success and failure is generally less momentous and (a) assume others are less affected by most success and failure and (b) often feel less happy for successful others and less concerned for unsuccessful others. Findings across three studies were consistent with these propositions. Narcissistic people anticipated that both the self and others will be less reactive to successes and failures (Studies 1–3); moreover, although narcissistic people indicated less warmth toward successful and unsuccessful others, these relations were eliminated after controlling for narcissistic people's assumptions that other people are less reactive to success and failure (Study 3). Hence, narcissistic coldness could, in part, have its origin in what we believe is reasonable disagreement about the momentous nature of events.

6. General discussion

Why are narcissistic (vs. non-narcissistic) people interpersonally colder? Common explanations allude to the presence of psychopathology (e.g., a mental deficit) or darkness (e.g., extreme selfishness and low concern for others) associated with narcissism. Regardless of whether these explanations have merit, here, we proposed and tested a theory which did not invoke either of these constructs: Narcissistic people consider success and failure as less momentous. This consideration is a subjective, potentially reasonable, personal reaction that apparently manifests in beliefs that others (who succeed and fail) are less reactive and, naturally, less warmth toward these others. The theory is complex enough to unpack into ideas that had, up to this point, yet to be explicitly tested. Findings from three studies supported these ideas.

In Study 1, narcissistic people indicated that the self would be less hedonically affected by success and failure. This finding accords with the extended agency model's (Campbell & Foster, 2007) postulate regarding narcissistic people's habituating to success and failure and, therefore, anticipating successes and failures as more diminutive than non-narcissistic people. It also coincides with findings that narcissism relates to trait-level indicators of indifference such as reduced fear of negative evaluation and reduced need for validation (Hart, Adams et al., 2017; Glover et al., 2012); furthermore, it is consistent with evidence that narcissism relates to reduced self-reported failure reactivity (Tortoriello & Hart, 2018). In Studies 2 and 3, narcissistic people assumed that another person, like the self, would be less hedonically affected by success and failure. We believe that narcissistic people may have projected their own subjective feelings of indifference for success and failure onto others and also felt less warmth toward these people. Also, in Study 3, narcissism was unrelated to outcomes of reduced warmth after accounting for estimates of other's reactivity. In other words, hypothetically, if narcissistic (vs. non-narcissistic) people did not assume others were less reactive, then narcissistic and nonnarcissistic people would be about equally interpersonally warm (i.e., just as happy for successful people and just as concerned for unsuccessful people). Critically, exploratory analyses examining relations between narcissistic facets (EE, GE, LA) and/or processes (admiration and rivalry) with outcomes showed highly similar relations as when using the unidimensional narcissism indicator (the NPI); such consistency suggests our theory is highly relevant to conventional narcissism constructs, generally.

Broadly, the present findings cohere with other work suggesting that socially-undesirable outcomes associated with so-called dark-personality constructs (e.g., narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy; Paulhus & Williams, 2002) may not always be the result of malicious intent or psychopathological deficits; occasionally, apparently “dark” outcomes may reflect reasonable disagreements that people high vs. low in dark personalities can have about social realities. For example, Tortoriello, Hart, and Richardson (2019) connected relations between dark personalities and heightened use of derogatory language to disagreements about human fragility; people high and low in dark personalities acknowledged that derogatory language is psychologically harmful, but people lower in dark personalities perceived the intent of this language as more harmful (i.e., they perceive people as more fragile). Hart, Adams, and Burton (2016) showed that divergences between narcissistic and non-narcissistic people on bragging can be traced, in part, to disagreements about how much other people value agentic traits and respond positively to self-promotion. To be sure, perhaps dark personalities or behavior may sometimes be associated with malevolence, but, other times, the different outcomes associated with these personalities can merely indicate that reasonable people can disagree about social realities (e.g., how reactive is a person?) and, in turn, respond differently. We think this perspective on dark personality is sometimes neglected but could potentially yield novel insights and provide a more well-rounded understanding of people with sociallyundesirable tendencies.

Future research is required to address shortcomings of our studies. First, although the present studies included well-powered samples utilizing both undergraduate (Study 1) and MTurk participants (Studies 2 and 3), with the latter being rather representative of the US population on personality constructs (McCredie & Morey, 2018), it is unclear how our findings may generalize to other sample frames (e.g., clinical samples) and cultures. For example, across both MTurk and college student samples, the vast majority of the participants scored below the midpoint of the NPI (i.e., ‘20’), which limits our capacity to state that our results apply to populations with absolutely-elevated NPI scores. Second, all measures were self-report, which could enable dishonest or inaccurate responding (e.g., social-desirability response biases); this point is a particularly important consideration for our MTurk samples. Indeed, on occasion, computer programs have masqueraded as MTurk “participants” by emitting random responses (Kennedy et al., 2018). Although random responses are unlikely to yield the theoretically-anticipated effects we obtained, they could result in under-estimation of these theoretically-anticipated effects. Future work may strengthen the present findings by utilizing stricter control over this problem (Kennedy et al., 2018); also, future research might consider using observer reports of narcissism and warmth constructs.

Third, it is critical to acknowledge that our findings do not prove the existence of an egocentric process influencing narcissistic coldness. The evidence, gathered over different studies, shows that narcissistic people assume that success and failure will be less momentous for the self and others, and these assumptions made about others relates to reduced warmth toward these others. Although such evidence is arguably important in its own right, the evidence does not definitively prove that the self's anticipated reactions to success and failure are attributed to others. Nonetheless, as we have discussed, egocentric reasoning processes are utilized in mentalizing (Nickerson, 1999), and the use of egocentric reasoning processes were facilitated—if not ensured—by the design of the study materials (e.g., the target being judged was nondescript). That being said, future work is needed to test the role of egocentric reasoning processes. For example, the present relations between narcissism and warmth should be diminished somewhat if narcissistic and non-narcissistic people were forced, via an experimental manipulation, to agree on the target's reactions to success or failure. Fourth, it is too early to claim that the present data are of practical significance. The present work was designed to validate a theoretical statement, but future work is needed to examine the theory's practical significance and scope. Features of the situation might exert such strong reactions on warmth reactions that beliefs about others' reactivity are rendered moot. For example, beliefs about a target's anticipated reactivity might be less relevant to predicting warmth when this target is a bitter enemy (vs. casual acquaintance).

In closing, narcissism is considered part of a constellation of personalities that are presumed to represent the human propensity for malevolence (Paulhus & Williams, 2002); obviously, the present study cannot settle whether narcissistic people are malevolent or simply misunderstood, but it could suggest a rather innocent explanation for some instances of narcissistic coldness.