Saturday, June 23, 2018

Women expressed higher educational preferences during their years of maximum fertility, their demand choosiness decreased with age; men’s choosiness remained stable until the 40s, from which it increased until their peak years of career-earnings potential

Do Men and Women Know What They Want? Sex Differences in Online Daters’ Educational Preferences. Stephen Whyte et al. Psychological Science, https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797618771081

Abstract: Using a unique cross-sectional data set of dating website members’ educational preferences for potential mates (N = 41,936), we showed that women were more likely than men to stipulate educational preferences at all ages. When members indifferent to educational level were excluded, however, the specificity of men’s and women’s preferences did differ for different age groups. That is, whereas women expressed more refined educational preferences during their years of maximum fertility, their demand specificity decreased with age. Men’s specificity, in contrast, remained stable until the 40s, when it was greater than that of postreproductive women, and then was higher during their peak years of career-earnings potential. Further, when individuals’ level of education was controlled for, women (compared with men) were more likely to state a higher minimum preference for educational level in a potential mate.

Keywords: parental-investment theory, educational preference, sex differences, online dating, mate choice

Friday, June 22, 2018

Populations that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD) are peculiar due to the medieval church's set of rules governing descent, marriage, residence, etc., leading to the predominance of nuclear families and impersonal institutions

Schulz, Jonathan, Duman Barahmi-Rad, Jonathan Beauchamp, and Joseph Henrich. 2018. “The Origins of WEIRD Psychology.” PsyArXiv. June 22. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/D6QHU

Abstract: Recent research not only confirms the existence of substantial psychological variation around the globe but also highlights the peculiarity of populations that are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic (WEIRD). We propose that much of this variation arose as people psychologically adapted to differing kin-based institutions—the set of social norms governing descent, marriage, residence and related domains. We further propose that part of the variation in these institutions arose historically from the Catholic Church’s marriage and family policies, which contributed to the dissolution of Europe’s traditional kin-based institutions, leading eventually to the predominance of nuclear families and impersonal institutions. By combining data on 20 psychological outcomes with historical measures of both kinship and Church exposure, we find support for these ideas in a comprehensive array of analyses across countries, among European regions and between individuals with different cultural backgrounds.

Years of education significantly raises suicide mortality risk in the US after controlling for initial self-reported health; this is robust to regression specification, replication & the inclusion of covariates

The education–suicide mortality gradient. Adam Cook. Applied Economics Letters, https://doi.org/10.1080/13504851.2018.1489499

ABSTRACT: Using the fifth release of the National Longitudinal Mortality Survey, I examine the role of educational attainment and self-reported health on 6- and 11-year suicide mortality risk in the United States. I first replicate the original results reported by Hamermesh and Soss. . Then, augmenting the Hamermesh model with initial educational attainment and self-reported health status, I find that years of education significantly raises suicide mortality risk in the US after controlling for initial self-reported health. This result is robust to regression specification, replication and the inclusion of covariates.

KEYWORDS: Suicide, education, health, mortality, human capital
JEL CLASSIFICATION: I12, I21, C21

Humility does not necessarily lead to more pleasant or fulfilling experiences, but psychological well-being is conducive to cultivating humility

Concurrent and Temporal Relationships Between Humility and Emotional and Psychological Well-Being. Eddie M. W. Tong et al. Journal of Happiness Studies, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-018-0002-3

Abstract: The present research is a preliminary investigation of the concurrent and temporal relationships between humility and two forms of well-being: emotional and psychological well-being. Humility, emotional well-being and psychological well-being were measured twice 6 weeks apart. Humility correlated positively with psychological well-being at both time-points, but was positively related to emotional well-being at only one time-point. In addition, we used structural equation modeling to perform cross-lagged panel analyses, and found that psychological well-being predicted an increase in humility over time, but humility did not predict changes in psychological well-being over time. In addition, there were no cross-lagged associations between emotional well-being and humility. The results suggest that humility does not necessarily lead to more pleasant or fulfilling experiences, but psychological well-being is conducive to cultivating humility.

Those who kill in dreams have been more violent in the past than those who do not have such dreams, scored higher in neuroticism & aggression, reported more creative achievements, & had more creative achievements than persons without those dreams

Mathes, J., Renvert, M., Eichhorn, C., von Martial, S. F., Gieselmann, A., & Pietrowsky, R. (2018). Offender-nightmares: Two pilot studies. Dreaming, 28(2), 140-149. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/drm0000084

Abstract: Being the victim of an aggressor in nightmares is quite common for most persons, but there are also nightmares where the dream-self can become the offender. Two studies were conducted in two nonclinical samples of participants with frequent nightmares to investigate the so-called offender-nightmares. Study 1 served to assess the frequency of offender-nightmares in persons with frequent nightmares and the motives and actions in these dreams during a 28-day interval, whereas in Study 2, correlations to personality variables were investigated. The results indicate that the occurrence of offender-nightmares is not negligible; about 18% to 28% of the reported nightmares were classified as offender-nightmares. Most of the aggressive acts in these dreams were intentional, and killing a person was the most prominent offender’s act, with self-defense being the most common motive. Persons with offender-nightmares were also found to have been more violent in the past than persons without offender-nightmares and persons without nightmares. In addition, they scored higher in neuroticism and aggression, reported more creative achievements than persons without nightmares, and had more creative achievements than persons without offender-nightmares. The results suggest that offender-nightmares are rather common in people who frequently have nightmares and that these dreams are related to aggressiveness, creativity, and previous violent experiences.

Media use & gender relationship to nightmares

Gackenbach, J., Yu, Y., & Lee, M.-N. (2018). Media use and gender relationship to the nightmare protection hypothesis: A cross-cultural analysis. Dreaming, 28(2), 169-192. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/drm0000066

Abstract: Chinese and Canadian people answered surveys in their native languages about their self-construal, media use history, and dreaming experiences. This included reporting a recent dream. The nightmare protection thesis was investigated. Sex was found to be modulated by culture in terms of the relationship between types of media used and negative dream content. This was particularly evident for men in Greater China versus Canada along the self-construal dimension of interdependence. As both cultures reported no difference in independent self-construal, it was argued that it is the role of interdependence that accounts for male differences between cultures. In addition, each media type highlighted a different cultural value. Specifically, gaming seemed more consistent with independence, whereas social media was consistent with interdependence. When dreams were considered, source data were important. Specifically, when respondents answered in terms of their impressions of their dream history, high social media users reported more bad dreams across sex and country. However, for the video game groups, a 3-way interaction emerged where country, sex, and gaming evidenced different patterns of bad dream scores. The other self-report dream measure was emotions felt during a recent dream, with general negative and positive emotions showing group differences. Finally, the judges’ coding of negative elements of dreams, threat and aggression, was most sensitive to social media effects. Across all the threat simulation interactions where country was an independent variable, the male sex in each country was most likely to show opposite results from the female sex.

Gender Equality and the Gender Gap in Mathematics: Improvement in gender equality does not reduce the gender gap

Gender Equality and the Gender Gap in Mathematics. Hung-Lin Tao & Christos Michalopoulos. Journal of Biosocial Science, Volume 50, Issue 2, March 2018 , pp. 227-243. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021932017000141

Summary: A gender gap has been found in mathematics (boys outperform girls) that has prevailed across countries for many decades. Whether this gap results from nature or nurture has been hotly debated. Using the evidence of PISA 2003 and the gender equality index of 2003, some researchers have argued that an improvement in gender equality reduces the gender gap in mathematics. This study used five waves of country-level PISA data and, controlling for country fixed effects, found no evidence to support this argument. Furthermore, individual data for PISA 2012 and the multilevel data model were used. The conclusion drawn also does not support the argument. In fact, the relationship between gender equality and the gender gap in mathematics vanished after PISA 2003.

h/t: Rolf Degen https://twitter.com/DegenRolf

Monozygotic twin differences in school performance are stable and systematic: Non‐shared environmental factors affect school performance in systematic ways that have long‐term & generalist influence

Monozygotic twin differences in school performance are stable and systematic. Sophie von Stumm, Robert Plomin. Developmental Science, https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.12694

Abstract: School performance is one of the most stable and heritable psychological characteristics. Notwithstanding, monozygotic twins (MZ), who have identical genotypes, differ in school performance. These MZ differences result from non‐shared environments that do not contribute to the similarity within twin pairs. Because to date few non‐shared environmental factors have been reliably associated with MZ differences in school performance, they are thought to be idiosyncratic and due to chance, suggesting that the effect of non‐shared environments on MZ differences are age‐ and trait‐specific. In a sample of 2768 MZ twin pairs, we found first that MZ differences in school performance were moderately stable from age 12 through 16, with differences at the ages 12 and 14 accounting for 20% of the variance in MZ differences at age 16. Second, MZ differences in school performance correlated positively with MZ differences across 16 learning‐related variables, including measures of intelligence, personality and school attitudes, with the twin who scored higher on one also scoring higher on the other measures. Finally, MZ differences in the 16 learning‐related variables accounted for 22% of the variance in MZ differences in school performance at age 16. These findings suggest that, unlike for other psychological domains, non‐shared environmental factors affect school performance in systematic ways that have long‐term and generalist influence. Our findings should motivate the search for non‐shared environmental factors responsible for the stable and systematic effects on children’s differences in school performance.

h/t: Rolf Degen https://twitter.com/DegenRolf

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Is the Illusory Truth Effect Robust to Individual Differences in Cognitive Ability, Need for Cognitive Closure, and Cognitive Style? Intelligence (cognitive ability) doesn't help to combat the effect of repetition

De keersmaecker, Jonas and Roets, Arne and Pennycook, Gordon and Rand, David G., Is the Illusory Truth Effect Robust to Individual Differences in Cognitive Ability, Need for Cognitive Closure, and Cognitive Style? (April 17, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3164151

Abstract: People are more inclined to believe that information is true if they have encountered it before. Although this illusory truth effect is firmly established, little is known about whether it is influenced by inter-individual differences in high-level cognition. Here we focus on three factors that have been shown to play a critical role in a wide variety of epistemic processes: cognitive ability, need for cognitive closure, and cognitive styles. In a first lab study (N = 207), there was no evidence for the moderating role of cognitive ability, need for cognitive closure, or preference for analytic thinking, but individual differences in experiential thinking increased the illusory truth effect. A second, preregistered study (N = 336), however, did not replicate the moderating role of experiential thinking, and also found no evidence for moderation by preference for analytic thinking and cognitive reflection. Finally, in a third study (N = 940), the illusory truth effect was examined using a highly involving set of stimuli, i.e. politically charged news headlines. Again, individual differences in cognitive reflection did not moderate the effect. These results demonstrate that the illusory truth effect is robust to individual differences in cognitive ability, need for cognitive closure and cognitive style.

Keywords: Illusory Truth Effect; Cognitive Style; Cognitive Ability; Need for Cognitive Closure; Decision Making

Susceptibility to partisan fake news is better explained by lack of reasoning (lazyness in thinking) than by motivated reasoning (partisanship)

Lazy, not biased: Susceptibility to partisan fake news is better explained by lack of reasoning than by motivated reasoning. Gordon Pennycook, David G. Rand. Cognition, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2018.06.011

Highlights
•    Participants rated perceived accuracy of fake and real news headlines.
•    Analytic thinking was associated with ability to discern between fake and real.
•    We found no evidence that analytic thinking exacerbates motivated reasoning.
•    Falling for fake news is more a result of a lack of thinking than partisanship.

Abstract: Why do people believe blatantly inaccurate news headlines (“fake news”)? Do we use our reasoning abilities to convince ourselves that statements that align with our ideology are true, or does reasoning allow us to effectively differentiate fake from real regardless of political ideology? Here we test these competing accounts in two studies (total N = 3446 Mechanical Turk workers) by using the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) as a measure of the propensity to engage in analytical reasoning. We find that CRT performance is negatively correlated with the perceived accuracy of fake news, and positively correlated with the ability to discern fake news from real news – even for headlines that align with individuals’ political ideology. Moreover, overall discernment was actually better for ideologically aligned headlines than for misaligned headlines. Finally, a headline-level analysis finds that CRT is negatively correlated with perceived accuracy of relatively implausible (primarily fake) headlines, and positively correlated with perceived accuracy of relatively plausible (primarily real) headlines. In contrast, the correlation between CRT and perceived accuracy is unrelated to how closely the headline aligns with the participant’s ideology. Thus, we conclude that analytic thinking is used to assess the plausibility of headlines, regardless of whether the stories are consistent or inconsistent with one’s political ideology. Our findings therefore suggest that susceptibility to fake news is driven more by lazy thinking than it is by partisan bias per se – a finding that opens potential avenues for fighting fake news.

Keywords: Fake news; News media; Social media; Analytic thinking; Cognitive reflection test; Intuition; Dual process theory

Who’s Getting the Best Sex? A Comparison by Sexual Orientation

Who’s Getting the Best Sex? A Comparison by Sexual Orientation. Lacey J. Ritter, Hannah R. Morris, David Knox. Sexuality & Culture, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12119-018-9538-y

Abstract: This study examined the difference in sexual satisfaction between sexual minority and heterosexual college students testing the mediation effects of institutional affiliations and interpersonal relationships. A convenience sample of 280 college sociology students completed a 47-item Internet questionnaire, including self-reports on sexual satisfaction and sexual behaviors/activities. Data on 193 heterosexuals and 87 sexual minority respondents were analyzed using regression to test for differences in reported levels of sexual satisfaction by sexual orientation. Results revealed that sexual minority undergraduates reported lower sexual satisfaction than heterosexual undergraduates. This difference persisted when controlling for sex, race, education, and SES. Mediation analyses found support for the hypothesis that institutional affiliations and interpersonal relationships have an effect on this association. Previous researchers have suggested that sexual minority relationships exist in a context of heterosexism, suppression, stigmatization, prejudice, discrimination and violence which results in lower relationship quality. Such an impact on minority couples’ satisfaction may spill over into lower sexual satisfaction.

Undressed for Success? The Effects of Half-Naked Women on Economic Behavior

Bonnier, Evelina and Dreber, Anna and Hederos Eriksson, Karin and Sandberg, Anna, Undressed for Success? The Effects of Half-Naked Women on Economic Behavior (May 15, 2018). http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3168626

Abstract: Images of half-naked women are in many societies ubiquitous in advertising and popular culture. Yet relatively little is known about the potential impacts of such images on economic decision making. In this paper, we examine how exposure to images of half-naked women affect risk taking, willingness to compete and math performance. We perform a lab experiment with a total of 648 participants of both genders, randomly exposing participants to advertising images including either women in bikini or underwear, fully dressed women, or no women. Exposure to images of half-naked women could potentially have effects on economic preferences and performance through channels such as arousal, cognitive load and stereotyping. Following a pre-registered pre-analysis plan, we find no treatment effects on any of the outcome measures for female participants. For male participants, we also find no effect on willingness to compete or math performance, but our results indicate that men take more risk after having been exposed to images of half-naked women compared to images including no women. We thus do not find any strong support for the hypothesis that exposure to images of half-naked women impact economic preferences, but given the indications of an effect on men's risk taking future studies should explore this further.

Keywords: economic decision making, risk preferences, willingness to compete, altruism, experiment
JEL Classification: D03, C91

Again, those in the lower economic level ask less for redistribution

Fatke, Matthias, Inequality and Political Behavior: Objective Levels Versus Subjective Perceptions (March 8, 2018).  http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3136254

Abstract: Inequality poses one of the biggest challenges of our time. Evidently, it is not self-correcting in the sense that citizens demand more redistributive measures in light of rising inequality. Recent studies suggest this might be due to the fact that citizens’ perceptions of inequality diverge from objective levels. Moreover, it is not the latter, but the former, which are related to preferences conducive to redistribution. Yet, the nascent literature on inequality perceptions exhibits at least two lacunae. First, studies so far have not accounted for the role of subjective position in society. And second, studies on political participation and attitudes still rely by and large on objective levels of inequality. Against this backdrop, our paper advances two arguments: the relationship between inequality perceptions and preferences towards redistribution is conditional on the subjective position of respondents; and political participation and attitudes are rather related to subjective perceptions of inequality instead of objective levels. To that end, we analyze comprehensive survey data on inequality perceptions from the social inequality module of the International Social Survey Programme (1992, 1999, and 2009). Since no comparative data with indicators for both inequality perceptions and political behavior is available, we join additionally a wave of the 2004 ISSP and apply multiple imputation. This allows, for the first time, testing subjective perceptions of inequality as predictor of political behavior. Gaining a better understanding of inequality perceptions contributes to comprehending the absence self-correcting inequality.

Keywords: Inequality, Political Behavior, Redistribution, Participation, Protest, Perceptions
JEL Classification: D63, D01, D72, D91

Check also: "We document a statistically significant and robust positive relation between risk aversion and the demand for redistribution that is also economically important. We show that previously used proxies for risk aversion (such as being an entrepreneur or having a history of unemployment) do not capture the effect of our measure of risk aversion but have distinctly different effects on the demand for redistribution." From Individual risk preferences and the demand for redistribution. Manja Gärtner, Johanna Mollerstrom and David Seim. Journal of Public Economics, v 153, September 2017, Pages 49-55. http://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2017/08/individual-risk-preferences-and-demand.html

An Empirical Test of Pure Altruism Theory on Blood Type and Blood Donation Behaviors: More donations when O-type individuals knew & believed that their blood can be medically transfused into individuals of all blood groups

Blood Type and Blood Donation Behaviors: An Empirical Test of Pure Altruism Theory. Shusaku Sasaki et al. ISER Discussion Paper No. 1029, https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3171957

Abstract: We examined whether the knowledge that your private donation has a large number of potential recipients causes you to give more or less. We found that the people with blood type O are more likely to have donated blood than those with other blood types, by using a Japan’s nationally representative survey. This association was found to be stronger in a subsample of individuals who knew and believed that blood type O can be medically transfused into individuals of all blood groups. However, we found that blood type O does not have any significant relationship with the other altruistic behaviors (registration for bone-marrow donation, intention to donate organs, and the making of monetary donations) and altruistic characteristics (altruism, trust, reciprocity, and cooperativeness). After further analyses, we confirmed that the wider number of potential recipients of blood type O donations promoted the blood-donation behaviors of the people with this blood type.

Keywords: ABO Blood Group, Blood Donation, Group Size, Public Good, Pure Altruism, Behavioral Economics

When A+B < A: Cognitive Bias in Experts’ Judgment of Environmental Impact

When A+B < A: Cognitive Bias in Experts’ Judgment of Environmental Impact. Mattias Holmgren et al. Front. Psychol., May 29 2018, https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00823

Abstract: When ‘environmentally friendly’ items are added to a set of conventional items, people report that the total set will have a lower environmental impact even though the actual impact increases. One hypothesis is that this “negative footprint illusion” arises because people, who are susceptible to the illusion, lack necessary knowledge of the item’s actual environmental impact, perhaps coupled with a lack of mathematical skills. The study reported here addressed this hypothesis by recruiting participants (‘experts’) from a master’s program in energy systems, who thus have bachelor degrees in energy-related fields including academic training in mathematics. They were asked to estimate the number of trees needed to compensate for the environmental burden of two sets of buildings: one set of 150 buildings with conventional energy ratings and one set including the same 150 buildings but also 50 ‘green’ (energy-efficient) buildings. The experts reported that less trees were needed to compensate for the set with 150 conventional and 50 ‘green’ buildings compared to the set with only the 150 conventional buildings. This negative footprint illusion was as large in magnitude for the experts as it was for a group of novices without academic training in energy-related fields. We conclude that people are not immune to the negative footprint illusion even when they have the knowledge necessary to make accurate judgments.

Individuals discredit issue polls that suggest their views are in the minority, and those with greater political knowledge and methodological knowledge displayed this bias more strongly

Communicating Public Opinion in Post-Fact Politics: Biased Processing of Public Opinion Reports and Potential Journalistic Correctives. Ozan Kuru, PhD Thesis, 2018. https://deepblue.lib.umich.edu/bitstream/handle/2027.42/143952/okuru_1.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y …

ABSTRACT: People rely on polls and other representations of public opinion in the media to update their political cognitions and behaviors. However, individuals’ preexisting beliefs can color how they perceive opinion reports and lead them to cherry-pick evidence that is congenial when presented with multiple options. Such biases result in distorted perceptions of public opinion, declining trust in journalism, and political polarization. Moreover, in today’s unprecedentedly polarized and contentious information environment, individuals often encounter contradictory messages from digital data-journalism and numerical evidence is regularly critiqued, fact-checked, or debunked on reasonable or unreasonable grounds. In such a cacophonous context, individuals’ biases in information processing might amplify. Through three large national survey experiments and one smaller study, this dissertation examines how news consumers’ attributes, the content of opinion reports, and patterns of media coverage can trigger or mitigate biases in public perceptions. In the first part, I document that individuals process reports of public opinion in biased ways when they evaluate issue polls, election polls in competitive contexts, and diverse metrics of public opinion. I also show that their levels of knowledge and education moderate the extent of these biases. In the second part, I find that the corrective potential of three journalistic remedies to reduce these biases are minimal and contingent upon individuals’ education levels. I discuss implications for political polarization, trust in the press and representatives, and democratic politics at large.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Age differences in moral judgment: Older adults are more deontological than younger adults

Age differences in moral judgment: Older adults are more deontological than younger adults. Simon McNair, Yasmina Okan, Constantinos Hadjichristidis, Wändi Bruine de Bruin. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, https://doi.org/10.1002/bdm.2086

Abstract: In 2 studies, an older and a younger age group morally evaluated dilemmas contrasting a deontological judgment (do not harm others) against a utilitarian judgment (do what is best for the majority). Previous research suggests that deontological moral judgments are often underpinned by affective reactions and utilitarian moral judgments by deliberative thinking. Separately, research on the psychology of aging has shown that affect plays a more prominent role in the judgments and decision making of older (vs. younger) adults. Yet age remains a largely overlooked factor in moral judgment research. Here, we therefore investigated whether older adults would make more deontological judgments on the basis of experiencing different affective reactions to moral dilemmas as compared with younger adults. Results from 2 experiments indicated that older adults made significantly more deontological moral judgments. Mediation analyses revealed that the relationship between age and making more deontological moral judgments is partly explained by older adults exhibiting significantly more negative affective reactions and having more morally idealistic beliefs as compared with younger adults.

Mass polarization: individuals perceive more polarization than actually exists; perceived polarization is more strongly related to negative affective evaluations of out-parties and out-party candidates, voting, participation, trust, and efficacy than is actual polarization

The Differential Effects of Actual and Perceived Polarization. Adam M. Enders, Miles T. Armaly. Political Behavior, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11109-018-9476-2

Abstract: Recent work on the nature of mass polarization has revealed that individuals perceive more polarization than actually exists, meaning they assume that out-party members are farther from them on the liberal-conservative continuum than they actually are according to measures of their personal preferences. But what are the consequences of this biased perception, and how do they differ from the consequences of actual polarization? In this paper, we use American National Election Studies data to estimate actual and perceived polarization at the individual level from 1972–2012. We find that the two types of polarization, while related themselves, are differentially related to other attitudinal and behavioral outcomes of normative interest. Namely, we find that perceived polarization is more strongly related to negative affective evaluations of out-parties and out-party candidates, voting, participation, trust, and efficacy than is actual polarization, which shares much weaker relationships with these constructs.

People often fail to give gifts that achieve endurable satisfaction because they are so zealous to induce an enthusiastic instant smile

The Smile-Seeking Hypothesis: How Immediate Affective Reactions Motivate and Reward Gift Giving. Adelle X. Yang et al. Psychological Science, https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797618761373

Abstract: People making decisions for others often do not choose what their recipients most want. Prior research has generally explained such preference mismatches as decision makers mispredicting recipients’ satisfaction. We proposed that a “smile-seeking” motive is a distinct cause for these mismatches in the context of gift giving. After examining common gift options for which gift givers expect a difference between the recipients’ affective reaction (e.g., a smile when receiving the gift) and overall satisfaction, we found that givers often chose to forgo satisfaction-maximizing gifts and instead favor reaction-maximizing gifts. This reaction-maximizing preference was mitigated when givers anticipated not giving the gift in person. Results from six studies suggest that anticipated affective reactions powerfully shape gift givers’ choices and giving experiences, independently of (and even in spite of) anticipated recipient satisfaction. These findings reveal a dominant yet overlooked role that the display of affective reactions plays in motivating and rewarding gift-giving behaviors and shed new light on interpersonal decision making.

Keywords: interpersonal decision making, affective reaction, affect display, gift giving, preference discrepancy, open data, open materials, preregistered


Rolf Degen summarizing (https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1009327050203844608): People often fail to give gifts that achieve endurable satisfaction because they are so zealous to induce an enthusiastic instant smile.

Gender Differences in Lying in Sender-receiver Games: A Meta-analysis

Capraro, Valerio. 2018. “Gender Differences in Lying in Sender-receiver Games: A Meta-analysis.” PsyArXiv. May 15. doi:10.17605/OSF.IO/JAEWT

Abstract: Whether there are gender differences in lying has been largely debated in the past decade. Previous studies found mixed results. To shed light on this topic, here I report a meta-analysis of 8,728 distinct observations, collected in 65 Sender-Receiver game treatments, by 14 research groups. Following previous work, I distinguish three types of lies: black lies, that benefit the liar at a cost for another person; altruistic white lies, that benefit another person at a cost for the liar; Pareto white lies, that benefit both the liar and another person. I find that: (i) males are significantly more likely than females to tell black lies (N=4,161); (ii) males are significantly more likely than females to tell altruistic white (N=2,940); (iii) results are inconclusive in the case of Pareto white lies (N=1,627).

Compensation... As stakes rise, participants resist the temptation to cheat but they are giving less to charity. Donors who indicated that they felt more moral gave less in high stakes condition. See High stakes: A little more cheating, a lot less charity. Zoe Rahwan et al. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2018/06/what-if-any-hidden-costs-of-overcoming.html

Texting and Driving: Is It Just Moral Panic?

Texting and Driving: Is It Just Moral Panic? David R. White, Daniel P. Hepworth & Michael S. Zidar. Deviant Behavior, https://doi.org/10.1080/01639625.2018.1479915

ABSTRACT: Significant public efforts have been mounted to stop the perceived epidemic of texting and driving, especially among younger drivers. However, despite the taken-for-granted nature of these fears, cell phones are reported as a contributing factor in only about 1% of all crashes. This study examines 11 years of crash data from Kentucky to demonstrate that despite the exponential growth of cell phones in American culture, cell phone-related crashes have remained stable over time, and they represent far less of a public health risk than most people are led to believe. The conclusions are presented in the context of moral panic theory.

From 2017, The lifestyle paradox: adverse effects of Internet use on self-rated health status

From 2017, The lifestyle paradox: adverse effects of Internet use on self-rated health status. Ulrike Deetjen. Information, Communication & Society, Volume 21, 2018 - Issue 10, Pages 1322-1336, https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118X.2017.1313293

ABSTRACT: How individuals subjectively rate their health status stands in close relationship with both actual health status and mortality. Previous research has shown that Internet use in general, and online health information seeking in particular, increases self-rated health status. However, this relationship may not always hold true: Albrecht and Devlieger’s [(1999). The disability paradox: high quality of life against all odds. Social Science & Medicine, 48(8), 977–988] disability paradox captures that those with severe health conditions may still perceive their health as very good. This paper introduces the lifestyle paradox as another exception to the generally positive relationship: those without health conditions may still perceive their health as inferior based on general and health-related Internet use. This paper corroborates the lifestyle paradox empirically using quantitative data from the Oxford Internet Surveys connected to the national census through spatial microsimulation, and 43 qualitative interviews conducted with a subsample of the participants from the quantitative strand. A theoretical explanation for this phenomenon is provided based on the concepts of agenda setting and reference groups: the online realm may make lifestyle topics more salient, and provides a variety of opportunities for comparing oneself to others, thereby influencing how people evaluate their own health. Through describing, verifying and explaining the lifestyle paradox, this paper contributes theoretical and empirical insights into the relationship between Internet use and self-rated health status, and thereby adds to the scientific debate around tangible outcomes of Internet use.

Customers standing in the middle of a queue are positively affected by increasing queue lengths; it seems they infer that the product or service is more valuable as the queue behind worsens; those at the front feel pressured and suffer

Breathing Down Your Neck!: The Impact of Queues on Customers Using a Retail Service. Martin Dahm et al. Journal of Retailing, Volume 94, Issue 2, June 2018, Pages 217-230. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jretai.2018.04.002

Highlights
•    We explore the effects of waiting lines on the person at the front of a queue.
•    Effects are found on an affective, an evaluative, and a behavioral level.
•    Feelings of social pressure are shown to mediate the effects.
•    Own waiting time acts as a significant moderator of the identified relationships.
•    Two managerial interventions are found to attenuate these effects.

Abstract: While a rich body of research has examined the psychological costs and benefits of queuing, this research focuses on the customer currently using a retail service and examines how this customer is affected by lines forming at his or her back. Drawing on Social Impact Theory, we postulate that customers feel pressured by people waiting behind them and that this feeling of social pressure leads to more negative affective experiences, poorer participation in co-creation settings, and lower perceptions of service quality. Five field and controlled experimental studies tested these predictions and also explored how retailers can reduce the adverse impact of queues. Studies 1A and 1B show that the customer’s experience deteriorates as queue length increases and that perceptions of social pressure mediate this effect. Studies 2A and 2B show that this effect is moderated by customers’ own waiting time such that customers are more affected by queues forming at their backs when their own waiting time decreases. Finally, study 3 identifies two strategies to attenuate the negative effects of waiting lines, namely explicitly reassuring the focal customer that she need not feel pressured to be efficient and removing the waiting customers from the line of vision of the focal customer.

Inbred males should have lower reproductive success than outbred males among other things because of inbreeding depression in attractiveness to females & a reduced lifespan; an inbred male of a given age is more motivated to seize a current mating opportunity than an outbred male

An experimental study: Does inbreeding increase the motivation to mate? Raïssa A. de Boer, Marcel Eens, Wendt Müller. PLOS One, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199182

Abstract: Inbreeding is a central topic in evolutionary biology and ecology and is of major concern for the conservation of endangered species. Yet, it remains challenging to comprehend the fitness consequences of inbreeding, because studies typically focus only on short-term effects on inbreeding in the offspring (e.g. survival until independence). However, there is no a priori reason to assume that inbreeding has no more effects in adulthood. Specifically, inbred males should have lower reproductive success than outbred males among other things because of inbreeding depression in attractiveness to females and a reduced lifespan. Such differences in future reproductive value should affect male mating behaviour, such that an inbred male of a given age should be more motivated to seize a current mating opportunity than an outbred male of the same age. We used an inventive experimental set-up that enabled us to assess male behaviour in relation to an apparent mating opportunity while excluding potential confounding effects of female preference. Age-, weight-, and size-matched inbred and outbred male canaries (Serinus canaria) were presented with a female that only one male at a time could access visually via a ‘peephole’ and thus when both males were equally interested in seizing the apparent mating opportunity this would result in contest. We find that inbred males spent more than twice as much time ‘peeping’ at the female than outbred males, suggesting that inbreeding indeed causes different behavioural responses to an apparent mating opportunity. Our study is among the first to highlight that inbreeding affects male mating behaviour, and therewith potentially male-male competition, which should be taken into account in order to understand the full range of inbreeding effects on fitness.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

More intelligent people are more rational (consistency between attitudes and preferences) in their political preferences, except the economic attitudes

Intelligence and the rationality of political preferences. Yoav Ganzach. Intelligence, Volume 69, July–August 2018, Pages 59-70. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2018.05.002

Highlights
•    We show that in political behavior intelligence is related to rationality.
•    Intelligence is operationalized as achievement in standard mental ability tests.
•    Rationality is operationalized as consistency between attitudes and preferences.
•    Political attitudes are measured on a conservative-liberal dimension.
•    Political preferences are measured by party affiliation.

Abstract: I study the relationship between intelligence and the rationality of political preferences. Intelligence is operationalized as achievement in standard mental ability tests, rationality as consistency between political attitudes and political preferences and consistency as the effect of the interaction between intelligence and political attitudes on political preferences. Political preferences are measured by party affiliation – support for the Democratic versus the Republican Party in the US – and political attitudes are measured on a conservative-liberal dimension. I analyze three large representative American databases and find that for global political attitudes and for specific social attitudes, but not for specific economic attitudes, intelligence is associated with a considerable more attitude-preference consistency (ΔR2 of 2.7% 0.9%, and 0.9%, in Study 1, 2 and 3, respectively, corresponding to f2 of 0.014, 0.011 and 0.035, respectively). I conclude with a discussion of possible causal processes underlying the observed relationship between intelligence and consistency of political attitudes.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Monday, June 18, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Real Reason Liberals Drink Lattes

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

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

Sunday, June 17, 2018

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

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

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

Keywords: Innovation; Human evolution; Sociality; Gender differences

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

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

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

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

Saturday, June 16, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[...]

Conclusion

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

Conservatives Report Greater Meaning in Life Than Liberals

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

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

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

Friday, June 15, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 14, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

False intentions are more abstractly depicted than true intentions

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

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

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

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

Highlights

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Flynn effect and its reversal are both environmentally caused

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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