Thursday, August 31, 2017

Visually conspicuous vehicle modifications influence perceptions of male owner's reproductive strategy and attractiveness

Visually conspicuous vehicle modifications influence perceptions of male owner's reproductive strategy and attractiveness. Daniel J. Kruger and Jessica S. Kruger. EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium. 2016, NEEPS Special Issue pp. 1-12.

ABSTRACT: Resource displays are an important aspect of male mating effort. Males with relatively higher mating effort may invest proportionally more in economic display at the expense of savings and paternal investment. We predicted that aftermarket motor vehicle modifications would influence perceptions of male vehicle owners. Male owners of vehicles with upgraded wheels, compared to owners of vehicles with stock wheels, would be rated 1a) higher on mating effort, 1b) lower on parental investment, 2a) higher in interest for brief sexual affairs, 2b) lower in interest for long-term committed romantic relationships, 3a) higher in attractiveness to women for brief sexual affairs, and 3b) lower in attractiveness to women for long-term committed romantic relationships. We used before and after modification images of a Jeep Rubicon and Chrysler 300. Results for ratings of Jeep owners supported all hypotheses, but only for male participants. Results for ratings of Chrysler 300 owners supported hypotheses regarding life history dimensions (1a and 1b) and attractiveness to women (3a and 3b) for all participants. Results for ratings of Chrysler 300 owners' relationship interest (2a and 2b) fit the predicted pattern for the upgraded vehicle, but not in comparisons with the stock vehicle.

KEYWORDS: Conspicuous consumption, costly signaling, life history, mating strategy, automobile

Openness to Experience and Conscientiousness are consistent predictors of authoritarian tendencies

The Prejudiced Personality? Using the Big Five to Predict Susceptibility to Stereotyping Behavior. Philip Chen and Carl Palmer. American Politics Research,

Abstract: Although long privileged by scholarship in psychology, personality has only recently been considered as an influential factor for political orientations and actions. In this article, we consider personality’s influence on another important tendency: the proclivity to engage in stereotyping and prejudicial thinking. Using a personality battery included for the first time on the 2012 American National Election Study (ANES), we examine the tendencies of particular personality types to stereotype. Results suggest that the two most politically relevant traits (Openness to Experience and Conscientiousness) are consistent predictors of authoritarian tendencies, which, in turn, produce indirect effects of personality on group-centric policy positions, over and above the effects through political predispositions such as partisanship. Our findings demonstrate the important role of group stereotyping in mediating the effects of personality on policy support.

Keeping Minorities Happy: Hierarchy Maintenance and Whites’ Decreased Support for Highly Identified White Politicians

Keeping Minorities Happy: Hierarchy Maintenance and Whites’ Decreased Support for Highly Identified White Politicians. Sora Jun, Brian Lowery and Lucia Guillory. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,

Abstract: We test the hypothesis that, to avoid provoking minorities, Whites will withhold their support for White political candidates who are highly identified with their race. In Study 1, we found that White Republicans were less supportive of White candidates the higher the perceived White identity of the candidate due to beliefs that such candidates would provoke racial minorities. In Study 2, we replicated this effect with a manipulation of candidates’ White identity. Study 3 found that Whites reported less support for high-identity candidates when they were led to believe that the hierarchy was unstable rather than stable. Consistent with our hypothesis that those who have the most to lose are most likely to avoid provoking minorities, in Study 4, we found that Whites with high subjective socioeconomic status (SES) varied their support for provocative White candidates as a function of hierarchy stability, whereas those with low subjective SES did not.

The Evil Eye: Eye Gaze and Competitiveness in Social Decision Making

Giacomantonio, M., Jordan, J., Federico, F., van den Assem, M. J., and van Dolder, D. (2017) The Evil Eye: Eye Gaze and Competitiveness in Social Decision Making. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol.,

Abstract: We demonstrate that a person's eye gaze and his/her competitiveness are closely intertwined in social decision making. In an exploratory examination of this relationship, Study 1 uses field data from a high-stakes TV game show to demonstrate that the frequency by which contestants gaze at their opponent's eyes predicts their defection in a variant on the prisoner's dilemma. Studies 2 and 3 use experiments to examine the underlying causality and demonstrate that the relationship between gazing and competitive behavior is bi-directional. In Study 2, fixation on the eyes, compared to the face, increases competitive behavior toward the target in an ultimatum game. In Study 3, we manipulate the framing of a negotiation (cooperative vs. competitive) and use an eye tracker to measure fixation number and time spent fixating on the counterpart's eyes. We find that a competitive negotiation elicits more gazing, which in turn leads to more competitive behavior.

Adding Insult to Injury: Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Juror Decision Making in a Case of Intimate Partner Violence

Adding Insult to Injury: Sex, Sexual Orientation, and Juror Decision Making in a Case of Intimate Partner Violence. Marissa Stanziani, Jennifer Cox and C. Adam Coffey. Journal of Homosexuality,

ABSTRACT: Societal definitions of intimate partner violence (IPV) are highly gendered and heteronormative, resulting in dissonance regarding cases of same-sex IPV. This study explored perceptions of IPV when the context of the case is inconsistent with societal norms regarding sex and sexuality. Mock jurors read a vignette describing a case of alleged IPV in which the sex and sexual orientation of the defendant were manipulated. Participants (N = 415) rendered a verdict and provided ratings of the defendant, victim, and case. Results suggest participants were more confident in a guilty verdict when the defendant was male, compared to female. Further, male defendants were perceived as more morally responsible, but only when the victim was female. Perceptions regarding the crime suggest violence perpetrated by a man against a woman is viewed more adversely than any other condition. Data are discussed in terms of implications for legal decision makers and public policy.

KEYWORDS: Sex, sexual orientation, intimate partner violence, gender roles, juror decision making, violence, legal decision making

Gender differences in SCRABBLE performance and associated engagement in purposeful practice activities

Gender differences in SCRABBLE performance and associated engagement in purposeful practice activities. Jerad H. Moxley, K. Anders Ericsson and Michael Tuffiash. Psychological Research.

Abstract: In two studies, the SCRABBLE skill of male and female participants at the National SCRABBLE Championship was analyzed and revealed superior performance for males. By collecting increasingly detailed information about the participants’ engagement in practice-related activities, we found that over half of the variance in SCRABBLE performance was accounted for by measures of starting ages and the amount of different types of practice activities. Males and females did not differ significantly in the benefits to their performance derived from engagement in SCRABBLE-specific practice alone (purposeful practice). However, gender differences in performance were fully mediated by lower engagement in purposeful practice by females and by their rated preference for playing games of SCRABBLE—an activity where more extended engagement is not associated with increased SCRABBLE performance. General implications from our account of gender differences in skill acquisition are discussed, and future research is proposed for how the duration of engagement in effective deliberate practice can be experimentally manipulated.

Is Doing Your Homework Associated with Becoming More Conscientiousness?

Is Doing Your Homework Associated with Becoming More Conscientiousness? Richard Göllner et al. Journal of Research in Personality.

•    More effort in students’ homework is associated with a more positive development in conscientiousness.
•    Effects remain stable after controlling for differences between students increasing and decreasing their homework effort.
•    Associations are found for self-reported and parent-reported personality.

Abstract: Research has shown that sustained homework effort enhances academic performance and that students’ conscientiousness is a powerful predictor of students’ homework effort. But does homework—as homework proponents claim—in turn also influence the development of conscientiousness over time? In the present study, we examined whether students’ homework effort in two subjects (i.e., mathematics and language) was associated with inter-individual differences in students’ development of conscientiousness in the early years of adolescence. Bivariate change models with a total of N = 2,760 students revealed that homework effort and conscientiousness were systematically related over time (Grade 5 to Grade 8). Most importantly, students who invested more effort in their homework showed more positive development in conscientiousness.

Keywords: conscientiousness; academic performance; homework effort; self-report; parent report; personality development

Conservatism predicts lapses from vegetarian/vegan diets to meat consumption (through lower social justice concerns and social support)

Conservatism predicts lapses from vegetarian/vegan diets to meat consumption (through lower social justice concerns and social support). Gordon Hodson and Earle Megan. Appetite.

Abstract: Lapses from vegetarian and vegan (i.e., veg*n) food choices to meat consumption are very common, suggesting that sustaining veg*nism is challenging. But little is known about why people return to eating animals after initially deciding to avoid meat consumption. Several potential explanatory factors include personal inconvenience, meat cravings, awkwardness in social settings, or health/nutrition concerns. Here we test the degree to which political ideology predicts lapsing to meat consumption. Past research demonstrates that political ideology predicts present levels of meat consumption, whereby those higher in right-wing ideologies eat more animals, even after controlling for their hedonistic liking of meat (e.g., Dhont & Hodson, 2014). To what extent might political ideology predict whether one has lapsed from veg*n foods back to meat consumption? In a largely representative US community sample (N = 1313) of current and former veg*ns, those higher (vs. lower) in conservatism exhibited significantly greater odds of being a former than current veg*n, even after controlling for age, education, and gender. This ideology-lapsing relation was mediated (i.e., explained) by those higher (vs. lower) in conservatism: (a) adopting a veg*n diet for reasons less centered in justice concerns (animal rights, environment, feeding the poor); and (b) feeling socially unsupported in their endeavor. In contrast, factors such as differential meat craving or lifestyle inconvenience played little mediational role. These findings demonstrate that ideology and justice concerns are particularly relevant to understanding resilience in maintaining veg*n food choices. Implications for understanding why people eat meat, and how to develop intervention strategies, are discussed.

Keywords: Vegetarian; Vegan; Meat; Ideology; Conservatism

No mutual mate choice for quality in zebra finches: Time to question a widely-held assumption

Wang, D., Forstmeier, W. and Kempenaers, B. (), No mutual mate choice for quality in zebra finches: Time to question a widely-held assumption. Evolution. Accepted Author Manuscript.

Abstract: Studies of mate choice typically assume that individuals prefer high quality mates and select them based on condition-dependent indicator traits. In species with bi-parental care, mutual mate choice is expected to result in assortative mating for quality. When assortment is not perfect, the lower quality pair members are expected to compensate by increased parental investment to secure their partner (positive differential allocation). This framework has been assumed to hold for monogamous species like the zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata), but progress has been hampered by the difficulty to define individual quality. By combining multiple measures of causes (inbreeding, early nutrition) and consequences (ornaments, displays, fitness components) of variation in quality into a single principal component, we here show that quality variation can be quantified successfully. We further show that variation in quality indeed predicts individual pairing success, presumably because it reflects an individual's vigor or ability to invest in reproduction. However, despite high statistical power, we found no evidence for either assortative mating or for positive differential allocation. We suggest that zebra finch ornaments and displays are not sufficiently reliable for the benefits of choosiness to exceed the costs of competition for the putative best partner. To assess the generality of these findings unbiased quantification of signal honesty and preference strength is required, rather than selective reporting of significant results.

The strategic moral self: Self-presentation shapes moral dilemma judgments

The strategic moral self: Self-presentation shapes moral dilemma judgments. Sarah C. Rom and Paul Conway. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 74, January 2018, Pages 24–37

Abstract: Research has focused on the cognitive and affective processes underpinning dilemma judgments where causing harm maximizes outcomes. Yet, recent work indicates that lay perceivers infer the processes behind others' judgments, raising two new questions: whether decision-makers accurately anticipate the inferences perceivers draw from their judgments (i.e., meta-insight), and, whether decision-makers strategically modify judgments to present themselves favorably. Across seven studies, ***a) people correctly anticipated how their dilemma judgments would influence perceivers' ratings of their warmth and competence, though self-ratings differed (Studies 1–3), b) people strategically shifted public (but not private) dilemma judgments to present themselves as warm or competent depending on which traits the situation favored (Studies 4–6), and, c) self-presentation strategies augmented perceptions of the weaker trait implied by their judgment*** (Study 7). These results suggest that moral dilemma judgments arise out of more than just basic cognitive and affective processes; complex social considerations causally contribute to dilemma decision-making.

Keywords: Moral dilemmas; Social judgment; Social perception; Self-perception; Meta-perception

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Truth or Punishment: Secrecy and Punishing the Self

Truth or Punishment: Secrecy and Punishing the Self. Michael Slepian and Brock Bastian. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,

Abstract: We live in a world that values justice; when a crime is committed, just punishment is expected to follow. Keeping one's misdeed secret therefore appears to be a strategic way to avoid (just) consequences. Yet, people may engage in self-punishment to right their own wrongs to balance their personal sense of justice. Thus, those who seek an escape from justice by keeping secrets may in fact end up serving that same justice on themselves (through self-punishment). Six studies demonstrate that thinking about secret (vs. confessed) misdeeds leads to increased self-punishment (increased denial of pleasure and seeking of pain). These effects were mediated by the feeling one deserved to be punished, moderated by the significance of the secret, and were observed for both self-reported and behavioral measures of self-punishment.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Psychological resilience in U.S. military veterans: A 2-year, nationally representative prospective cohort study

Psychological resilience in U.S. military veterans: A 2-year, nationally representative prospective cohort study. Kelly Isaacs et al. Journal of Psychiatric Research, v 84, Jan 2017, pp 301-309,

•    The current study suggests that most military veterans (67.7%) are resilient.
•    Emotional stability and extraversion were longitudinal predictors of resilience.
•    Gratitude, altruism, and endorsement of purpose in life predicted resilient status.
•    Novel interventions for trauma-exposed veterans may target such modifiable factors.

Abstract: Although many cross-sectional studies have examined the correlates of psychological resilience in U.S. military veterans, few longitudinal studies have identified long-term predictors of resilience in this population. The current prospective cohort study utilized data from a nationally representative sample of 2157 U.S. military veterans who completed web-based surveys in two waves (2011 and 2013) as part of the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study (NHRVS). Cluster analysis of cumulative lifetime exposure to potentially traumatic events and Wave 2 measures of current symptoms of posttraumatic stress, major depressive, and generalized anxiety disorders was performed to characterize different profiles of current trauma-related psychological symptoms. Different profiles were compared with respect to sociodemographic, clinical, and psychosocial characteristics. A three-group cluster analysis revealed a Control group with low lifetime trauma exposure and low current psychological distress (59.5%), a Resilient group with high lifetime trauma and low current distress (27.4%), and a Distressed group with both high trauma exposure and current distress symptoms (13.1%). These results suggest that the majority of trauma-exposed veterans (67.7%) are psychologically resilient. Compared with the Distressed group, the Resilient group was younger, more likely to be Caucasian, and scored lower on measures of physical health difficulties, past psychiatric history, and substance abuse. Higher levels of emotional stability, extraversion, dispositional gratitude, purpose in life, and altruism, and lower levels of openness to experiences predicted resilient status. Prevention and treatment efforts designed to enhance modifiable factors such as gratitude, sense of purpose, and altruism may help promote resilience in highly trauma-exposed veterans.

Keywords: Resilience, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Veterans, Trauma. Depression, Epidemiology

Openness to experience predicts intrinsic value shifts after deliberating one's own death

Openness to experience predicts intrinsic value shifts after deliberating one's own death. Mike Prentice, Tim Kasser and Kennon Sheldon. Death Studies,

Abstract: Individual differences that might moderate processes of value shifting during and after deliberating one's own death remain largely unexplored. Two studies measured participants' openness and relative intrinsic-to-extrinsic value orientation (RIEVO) before randomly assigning them to conditions in which they wrote about their own death or dental pain for 6 days, after which RIEVO was assessed again up to 12 days later. When participants confronted thoughts about their own death over a sustained period, high openness to experience helped them shift toward intrinsic values. Implications for understanding openness' role in value reorientation from existential deliberation processes are discussed.

Protecting the Innocence of Youth: Moral Sanctity Values Underlie Censorship From Young Children

Protecting the Innocence of Youth: Moral Sanctity Values Underlie Censorship From Young Children. Rajen Anderson and E.J. Masicampo. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,

Abstract: Three studies examined the relationship between people's moral values (drawing on moral foundations theory) and their willingness to censor immoral acts from children. Results revealed that diverse moral values did not predict censorship judgments. It was not the case that participants who valued loyalty and authority, respectively, sought to censor depictions of disloyal and disobedient acts. Rather, censorship intentions were predicted by a single moral value - sanctity. The more people valued sanctity, the more willing they were to censor from children, regardless of the types of violations depicted (impurity, disloyalty, disobedience, etc.). Furthermore, people who valued sanctity objected to indecent exposure only to apparently innocent and pure children - those who were relatively young and who had not been previously exposed to immoral acts. These data suggest that sanctity, purity, and the preservation of innocence underlie intentions to censor from young children.

Thinking More or Feeling Less? Explaining the Foreign-Language Effect on Moral Judgment

Thinking More or Feeling Less? Explaining the Foreign-Language Effect on Moral Judgment. Sayuri Hayakawa et al. Psychological Science,

Abstract: Would you kill one person to save five? People are more willing to accept such utilitarian action when using a foreign language than when using their native language. In six experiments, we investigated why foreign-language use affects moral choice in this way. On the one hand, the difficulty of using a foreign language might slow people down and increase deliberation, amplifying utilitarian considerations of maximizing welfare. On the other hand, use of a foreign language might stunt emotional processing, attenuating considerations of deontological rules, such as the prohibition against killing. Using a process-dissociation technique, we found that foreign-language use decreases deontological responding but does not increase utilitarian responding. This suggests that using a foreign language affects moral choice not through increased deliberation but by blunting emotional reactions associated with the violation of deontological rules.

KEYWORDS: dual process; foreign language; moral judgment; open data; open materials; process dissociation

I Lie? We Lie! Why? Experimental Evidence on a Dishonesty Shift in Groups

I Lie? We Lie! Why? Experimental Evidence on a Dishonesty Shift in Groups. Martin Kocher, Simeon Schudy & Lisa Spantig. Management Science,

Abstract: Unethical behavior such as dishonesty, cheating and corruption occurs frequently in organizations or groups. Recent experimental evidence suggests that there is a stronger inclination to behave immorally in groups than individually. We ask if this is the case, and if so, why. Using a parsimonious laboratory setup, we study how individual behavior changes when deciding as a group member. We observe a strong dishonesty shift. This shift is mainly driven by communication within groups and turns out to be independent of whether group members face payoff commonality or not (i.e., whether other group members benefit from one's lie). Group members come up with and exchange more arguments for being dishonest than for complying with the norm of honesty. Thereby, group membership shifts the perception of the validity of the honesty norm and of its distribution in the population.

Keywords: dishonesty; lying; group decisions; communication; norms; experiment

Ignoring alarming news brings indifference: Learning about the world and the self

Ignoring alarming news brings indifference: Learning about the world and the self. Elizabeth Levy Paluck, Eldar Shafir and Sherry Jueyu Wu. Cognition, October 2017, Pages 160-171,

Abstract: The broadcast of media reports about moral crises such as famine can subtly depress rather than activate moral concern. Whereas much research has examined the effects of media reports that people attend to, social psychological analysis suggests that what goes unattended can also have an impact. ***We test the idea that when vivid news accounts of human suffering are broadcast in the background but ignored, people infer from their choice to ignore these accounts that they care less about the issue, compared to those who pay attention and even to those who were not exposed***. Consistent with research on self-perception and attribution, three experiments demonstrate that participants who were nudged to distract themselves in front of a television news program about famine in Niger (Study 1), or to skip an online promotional video for the Niger famine program (Study 2), or who chose to ignore the famine in Niger television program in more naturalistic settings (Study 3) all assigned lower importance to poverty and to hunger reduction compared to participants who watched with no distraction or opportunity to skip the program, or to those who did not watch at all.

KEYWORDS: Attitude change; Attribution; Media effects; Moral attitudes; Self-perception

Strongest anti-Muslim attitudes are found among the nonreligious in secularized countries

Secular Tolerance? Anti-Muslim Sentiment in Western Europe. Egbert Ribberink, Peter Achterberg and Dick Houtman. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion,

Abstract: The literature about secularization proposes two distinct explanations of anti-Muslim sentiment in secularized societies. The first theory understands it in terms of religious competition between Muslims and the remaining minority of orthodox Protestants; the second understands it as resulting from value conflicts between Muslims and the nonreligious majority. The two theories are tested by means of a multilevel analysis of the European Values Study 2008. Our findings indicate that, ***although more secularized countries are on average more tolerant towards Muslims and Islam, strongest anti-Muslim attitudes are nonetheless found among the nonreligious in these countries***.

Fearless dominance associated with success (being employed, higher household income)

Benning, Stephen & Molina, Stephany & A Dowgwillo, Emily & Patrick, Christopher & Miller, Karen & B Storrow, Alan. (2017). Psychopathy in the Medical Emergency Department. Journal of Personality Disorders,

Abstract: Psychopathy is a personality disorder representing an admixture of a fearless and dominant temperament with an impulsive and antisocial orientation. A sample of 1026 participants in the waiting room of the medical emergency department of a city hospital exhibited levels of fearless dominance similar to public university undergraduates and federal inmates; their levels of impulsive antisociality fell between federal and state inmates. Both psychopathy factors were correlated with male gender, younger age, and more frequent average alcohol consumption. Fearless dominance was associated with agentic success (e.g., being employed, higher household income), fewer psychological problems, and less use of psychotropic medications, including anxiolytics. Impulsive antisociality was negatively related to both agentic and communal (e.g., ever being married) success and positively correlated with substance use and self-reported bipolar, ADHD, and psychotic psychiatric conditions. Furthermore, only impulsive antisociality was associated with presenting to the emergency department for physical injury or psychological disturbance.

The upper class guys have issues recognizing limits of their knowledge, consider world in flux and change, acknowledge and integrate different perspectives in interpersonal situations

Brienza, Justin P, and Igor Grossmann. “Social Class and Wise Reasoning About Interpersonal Conflicts Across Regions, Persons and Situations”. Open Science Framework, Aug 21 2017,

Abstract: We propose that class is inversely related to a propensity of utilizing wise reasoning (recognizing limits of their knowledge, consider world in flux and change, acknowledge and integrate different perspectives) in interpersonal situations, contrary to established class advantage in abstract cognition. Two studies—an on-line survey from regions differing in economic affluence (N = 2,145) and a representative in-lab study with stratified sampling of adults from working and middle-class backgrounds (N = 299)—tested this proposition, indicating that higher social class consistently related to lower levels of wise reasoning across different levels of analysis, including regional and individual differences, and subjective construal of specific situations. The results held across personal and standardized hypothetical situations, across self-reported and observed wise reasoning, and when controlling for fluid and crystallized cognitive abilities. Consistent with the ecological framework, class differences in wise reasoning were specific to interpersonal (vs. societal) conflicts. These findings suggest that higher social class may also weigh individuals down by providing the ecological constraints that undermine wise reasoning about interpersonal affairs.

My commentary: The powerful and the rich have greater IQ and are accustomed to showing better performance in logic, and maybe due to this they fall into the excess of confidence, hubristic behavior, which prevents recognizing limits of their knowledge. If I remember well, this was more acute in the humanities, because they do not bang their heads so easily with really difficult problems.

When Newton found his laws of gravity, he soon realized that the three bodies problem was unsolvable (unlike the two bodies problem, like Moon-Earth interactions, or Sun-Earth interactions). Just that, to consider Moon, Earth and Sun, was not solvable analytically... One needs approximations to find solutions. And it was a normal thing decades ago that in the examinations, professors put questions that couldn't be completed in the time you got for your exam (now this is not possible, the student could be traumatized by the experience     :-)        ). This, finding so easily and so soon problems that exceed your abilities is something that makes you pause. And the guys in the humanities are much more cavalier with their skills...

Obviously, most of the rich are lawyers, etc., not mathematicians or physicists.

The next article, Benning et al., Psychopathy in the Medical Emergency Department (Journal of Personality Disorders, 2017), says somehting very interesing:

Psychopathy is a personality disorder representing an admixture of a fearless and dominant temperament with an impulsive and antisocial orientation. ... Both psychopathy factors were correlated with male gender, younger age, and more frequent average alcohol consumption. Fearless dominance was associated with agentic success (e.g., being employed, higher household income), fewer psychological problems, and less use of psychotropic medications, including anxiolytics.

It is true that " Impulsive antisociality was negatively related to both agentic and communal (e.g., ever being married) success," so success (like being rich or having high status) helps contain impulsivity... But a "fearless and dominant temperament" probably clouds one's capacity in "recognizing limits of their knowledge, consider world in flux and change, acknowledge and integrate different perspectives" in "interpersonal situations."

Smart Conformists: Children and Adolescents Associate Conformity With Intelligence Across Cultures

Wen, N. J., Clegg, J. M. and Legare, C. H. (2017), Smart Conformists: Children and Adolescents Associate Conformity With Intelligence Across Cultures. Child Dev. doi:10.1111/cdev.12935

Abstract: The current study used a novel methodology based on multivocal ethnography to assess the relations between conformity and evaluations of intelligence and good behavior among Western (U.S.) and non-Western (Ni-Vanuatu) children (6- to 11-year-olds) and adolescents (13- to 17-year-olds; N = 256). Previous research has shown that U.S. adults were less likely to endorse high-conformity children as intelligent than Ni-Vanuatu adults. The current data demonstrate that in contrast to prior studies documenting cultural differences between adults' evaluations of conformity, children and adolescents in the United States and Vanuatu have a conformity bias when evaluating peers' intelligence and behavior. Conformity bias for good behavior increases with age. The results have implications for understanding the interplay of conformity bias and trait psychology across cultures and development.

Lawyer CEOs get better results with less litigation

Henderson, M. Todd and Hutton, Irena and Jiang, Danling and Pierson, Matthew, Lawyer CEOs (February 21, 2017). Available at SSRN:

Abstract: We examine the value of CEOs with specialized professional skills by focusing on CEOs with law degrees and their effect on corporate litigation. We find that lawyer CEOs are associated with both lower litigation frequency and less severe litigation. This relation is observed for most of nine types of common corporate litigation. This reduction in litigation is achieved, in part, through a decrease in activities that can lead to litigation, such as earnings management, and an increase in legal oversight by directors with legal expertise. Moreover, CEOs with legal training are associated with higher value in firms with high litigation risk and growth firms.

Keywords: CEOs, litigation risk, corporate finance

Monday, August 28, 2017

Too Lucky to be True - Fairness Views under the Shadow of Cheating

Bortolotti, Stefania; Soraperra, Ivan; Sutter, Matthias; Zoller, Claudia (2017) : Too Lucky to be True - Fairness Views under the Shadow of Cheating, CESifo Working Paper, No. 6563.

Abstract: The steady increase in inequality over the past decades has revived a lively debate about what can be considered a fair distribution of income. Public support for the extent of redistribution typically depends on the perceived causes of income inequality, such as differences in effort, luck, or opportunities. We study how fairness views and the extent of redistribution are affected by a hitherto overlooked, but relevant factor: immoral self-serving behavior that can lead to increased inequality. We focus on situations in which the rich have potentially acquired their fortunes by means of cheating. In an experiment, we let third parties redistribute resources between two stakeholders who could earn money either by choosing a safe amount or by engaging in a risky, but potentially more profitable, investment. In one treatment, the outcome of the risky investment is determined by a random move, while in another treatment stakeholders can cheat to obtain the more profitable outcome. Although third parties cannot verify cheating, ***we find that the mere suspicion of cheating changes fairness views of third parties considerably and leads to a strong polarization. When cheating opportunities are present, the share of subjects redistributing money from rich to poor stakeholders triples and becomes as large as the fraction of libertarians - i.e., participants who never redistribute***. Without cheating opportunities, libertarian fairness views dominate, while egalitarian views are much less prevalent. These results indicate that fairness views and attitudes towards redistribution change significantly when people believe that income inequality is the result of cheating by the rich.

JEL-Codes: C910, D630, D810, H260.
Keywords: fairness views, redistribution, unethical behavior, inequality, experiment.

Diane Coffey and Dean Spears' Where India Goes --- by Alex Tabarrok

Where India Goes, by Alex Tabarrok on August 28, 2017.

Where India Goes [], a book about the problem of open defecation in India [...] Written by Diane Coffey and Dean Spears [...].

Drawing on the academic literature, Coffey and Spears show that open defecation sickens and kills children, stunts their growth, and lowers their IQ all of which shows up in reduced productivity and wages in adulthood.

The dangers of open defecation are clear. Moreover, Gandhi said that “Sanitation is more important than independence” and Modi said “toilets before temples,” yet in India some half a billion people still do not use latrines. Why not? Jean Dreze and Amartya Sen (2013,, offer a typical explanation:

In 2011 half of all Indian households did not have access to toilets, forcing them to resort to open defecation on a daily basis…

The phrasing presents the issues as one of lack of access that forces people to resort to open defecation. From this perspective the solution seems simple, provide access. After all, if you or I had access to toilets we would use them so if someone else isn’t using toilets it must be because they don’t have access. A bit of thought, however, dispels this notion.


For many people in India, open defecation is preferred to latrine use. The reasons relate to issues of ritual purity and caste. Latrines in or near homes are considered polluting, not in a physical so much as a spiritual or ritual sense. Latrine cleaning is also associated with the Dalit (out)-caste, in itself a polluting category (hence untouchable). That is, the impurity of defecation and caste are mutually reinforcing. As a result, using or, even worse, cleaning latrines is considered a ritual impurity. The problem of open defecation is thus intimately tied up with Hindu notions of purity and caste which many do not want to discuss, let alone condemn.

In the villages the idea of open defecation is also associated with clean air, exercise, and health. Thus, in surveys “both men and women speak openly about the benefits of open defecation and even associate it with health and longevity.” Even many women prefer open defecation if only because it gives them a chance to get out of the house and have some freedom of movement.


More at

Geographic Accessibility Of Food Outlets Not Associated With Body Mass Index Change, 1.7million veterans

Geographic Accessibility Of Food Outlets Not Associated With Body Mass Index Change Among Veterans, 2009–14. Shannon Zenk et al. Health Affairs, August 2017, vol. 36 no. 8 1433-1442,

Abstract: In recent years, various levels of government in the United States have adopted or discussed subsidies, tax breaks, zoning laws, and other public policies that promote geographic access to healthy food. However, there is little evidence from large-scale longitudinal or quasi-experimental research to suggest that the local mix of food outlets actually affects body mass index (BMI). We used a longitudinal design to examine whether the proximity of food outlets, by type, was associated with BMI changes between 2009 and 2014 among 1.7 million veterans in 382 metropolitan areas. We ***found no evidence that either absolute or relative geographic accessibility of supermarkets, fast-food restaurants, or mass merchandisers was associated with changes in an individual’s BMI over time***. While policies that alter only geographic access to food outlets may promote equitable access to healthy food and improve nutrition, our findings suggest they will do little to combat obesity in adults.

Keywords: Determinants Of Health, Environmental Health, Public Health, Health Promotion/Disease Prevention

My commentary: We should stop saying things that we suspected were not true and now we know (1.7 million veterans studied) are not true. Being close to or passing by junk food outlets is not causing obesity...

Crowding increases calorie consumption

The Impact of Crowding on Calorie Consumption. Stefan Hock and Rajesh Bagchi. Journal of Consumer Research,

Abstract: Consumer behavior is often influenced by subtle environmental cues, such as temperature, color, lighting, scent or sound. We explore the effects of a not-so-subtle cue — human crowding — on calorie consumption. Although crowding is an omnipresent factor, it has received little attention in the marketing literature. We present six studies showing that crowding increases calorie consumption. These effects occur because crowding increases distraction, which hampers cognitive thinking and evokes more affective processing. When consumers process information affectively, they consume more calories. We show the specific reason for the increase in calories. When given a choice between several different options, people select and eat higher-calorie items, but when presented with only one option, people eat more of the same food item. We document this process, rule out alternative explanations, and discuss theoretical and managerial implications.

El comportamiento del consumidor es a menudo influenciado por señales ambientales sutiles, tales como temperatura, color, iluminación, olor o sonido. Exploramos los efectos de una no tan sutil señal - el hacinamiento humano - en el consumo de calorías. Aunque el hacinamiento es un factor omnipresente, ha recibido poca atención en la literatura de marketing. Presentamos seis estudios que muestran que el hacinamiento aumenta el consumo de calorías. Estos efectos ocurren debido al hecho de que el pensamiento cognitivo no es el mismo. Cuando los consumidores procesan información de manera afectiva, consumen más calorías. Se muestra la razón específica para el aumento de calorías. Cuando se les da una opción entre varias opciones diferentes, las personas seleccionan y comen artículos de más calorías, pero cuando se les presenta con una sola opción, las personas comen más del mismo alimento. Documentamos este proceso, descartamos las explicaciones alternativas y discutimos las implicaciones teóricas y gerenciales.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Anti-Profit Beliefs: How People Neglect the Societal Benefits of Profit

Anti-Profit Beliefs: How People Neglect the Societal Benefits of Profit. Amit Bhattacharjee, Jason Dana & Jonathan Baron. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,

Abstract: Profit-seeking firms are stereotypically depicted as immoral and harmful to society. At the same time, profit-driven enterprise has contributed immensely to human prosperity. Though scholars agree that profit can incentivize societally beneficial behaviors, people may neglect this possibility. In 7 studies, we show that people see business profit as necessarily in conflict with social good, a view we call anti-profit beliefs. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrate that U.S. participants hold anti-profit views of real U.S. firms and industries. Study 3 shows that hypothetical organizations are seen as doing more harm when they are labeled “for-profit” rather than “non-profit,” while Study 4 shows that increasing harm to society is viewed as a strategy for increasing a hypothetical firm’s long-run profitability. Studies 5–7 demonstrate that carefully prompting subjects to consider the long run incentives of profit can attenuate anti-profit beliefs, while prompting short run thinking does nothing relative to a control. Together, these results suggest that the default view of profits is zero-sum. While people readily grasp how profit can incentivize firms to engage in practices that harm others, they neglect how it can incentivize firms to engage in practices that benefit others. Accordingly, people’s stereotypes of profit-seeking firms are excessively negative. Even in one of the most market-oriented societies in history, people doubt the contributions of profit-seeking industry to societal progress.

Sectarianism and Social Conformity: Evidence from Egypt

Sectarianism and Social Conformity: Evidence from Egypt. Steven Brooke. Political Research Quarterly,

Abstract: Why might citizens adopt exaggerated public antagonism toward outgroups? When this is so, how much do public and private attitudes diverge? I argue that expanding exclusionary rhetoric against outgroups can create social pressures that incentivize ordinary citizens to adopt bigoted attitudes to avoid ostracism from their own majority community. Based on an investigation of Egypt during the Arab Spring, I identify the emergence and diffusion of a norm of discrimination against the country’s tiny Shi’a population. Under these conditions, a substantial portion of Sunni citizens adopted and countenanced anti-Shi’a bigotry not because they truly believed it, but rather because they feared the consequences of expressing public support for coexistence. A variety of qualitative evidence traces the growth of anti-Shi’a sentiment during this period, while original survey data show that over 80 percent of Sunni respondents openly expressed anti-Shi’a attitudes. Yet when asked about their attitudes via an item count technique, a method that grants a reprieve from social pressures, the percentage of respondents expressing discriminatory views toward the Shi’a dropped to just over 40 percent. One implication is that sectarian attitudes in the region are as much the product of malleable social and political pressures as deeply rooted preferences.

Biomarkers and Long-term Labour Market Outcomes: The Case of Creatine

Biomarkers and Long-term Labour Market Outcomes: The Case of Creatine. Petri Böckerman et al. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 142, October 2017, Pages 259-274,

Abstract: Using the Young Finns Study (YFS) combined with the Finnish Linked Employer-Employee Data (FLEED) we show that quantities of creatine measured in 1980 prior to labour market entry affect labour market outcomes over the period 1990-2010. Those with higher levels of creatine (proxied by urine creatinine) prior to labour market entry spend more time in the labour market in the subsequent two decades and earn more. The associations between creatine and labour market outcomes are robust to controlling for other biomarkers, educational attainment and parental background. Creatine is a naturally occurring nitrogenous organic acid which supplies energy to body cells, including muscles. Our findings are consistent with high energy levels, induced by creatine, leading to productivity-enhancing traits such as a high propensity for effort, perseverance, and high-commitment.

My commentary: What should we do with this? Many people is not energetic enough, is weak and take too many leaves of absence on medical grounds... Should everybody, but specially we guys with physical power and strong orientation to success and commitment to the companies and customers, contribute part of our paychecks to compensate for that part of the population who cannot work with our dedication but there is no possibility of cheating on us or riding free on us (because blood tests are objective indicators)? Like insurance for body weakness... I don't like much the idea, but it is true that a lot of people go to the workplace as if it were a jail in which to be punished and clearly it is not their fault in most cases. They got physical issues (like less creatine).

Maybe we guys with great work enjoyment could compensate the guys with less capability to put more effort with some cash rewards taken from our paychecks to make things even for them.

The companies could pay differentially those of us with more drive (paying us a bit less) and putting the money in a fund from where to pay those who are sick frequently, making their earnings "holes" shorter, smaller, thru their labor lives.If guys with less energy take leaves of absence for 15-30pct of their work life, missing totally or partially some years of work and earning less accordingly, the fund could make that hole much shorter and less deep, let's say 10pct of the work life.

Those extra years of earnings similar to those when they were full employees (adding payments to their disability paychecks so that they earn in semi-retirement the same than we healthy guys) make also for greater contributions to their pensions.

We should be able to make the calculations to know how much we'd need to give to such fund.

The Effect of a Supreme Court Decision Regarding Gay Marriage on Social Norms and Personal Attitudes

The Effect of a Supreme Court Decision Regarding Gay Marriage on Social Norms and Personal Attitudes. Margaret Tankard and Elizabeth Levy Paluck. Psychological Science,

Abstract: We propose that institutions such as the U.S. Supreme Court can lead individuals to update their perceptions of social norms, in contrast to the mixed evidence on whether institutions shape individuals' personal opinions. We studied reactions to the June 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. In a controlled experimental setting, we found that a favorable ruling, when presented as likely, shifted perceived norms and personal attitudes toward increased support for gay marriage and gay people. Next, a five-wave longitudinal time-series study using a sample of 1,063 people found an increase in perceived social norms supporting gay marriage after the ruling ***but no change in personal attitudes***. This pattern was replicated in a separate between-subjects data set. These findings provide the first experimental evidence that an institutional decision can change perceptions of social norms, which have been shown to guide behavior, even when individual opinions are unchanged.
The Effect of Violent Crime on Economic Mobility. Patrick Sharkey and Gerard Torrats-Espinosa
Journal of Urban Economics, Volume 102, November 2017, Pages 22-33,

Abstract: Recent evidence has found substantial geographic variation in the level of upward economic mobility across US states, metropolitan areas, commuting zones, and counties. However, minimal progress has been made in identifying the key mechanisms that help explain why some urban areas have low rates of upward mobility while others have rates of upward mobility that resemble the most mobile nations in the developed world. In this article we focus attention on one specific dimension of urban areas, the level of violent crime. Using longitudinal data and an array of empirical approaches, we find strong evidence that the level of violent crime in a county has a causal effect on the level of upward economic mobility among individuals raised in families at the 25th percentile of the income distribution. We find that a one standard deviation decline in violent crime as experienced during late adolescence increases the expected income rank in adulthood by at least 2 points. Similarly, a one standard deviation decline in the murder rate increases the expected income rank by roughly 1.5 points. These effect sizes are statistically and economically significant. Although we are limited in our capacity to provide evidence on the mechanisms explaining the link between crime and mobility, we present suggestive results showing that the decline in the violent crime rate reduced the prevalence of high school dropouts at the county level between 1990 and 2010.

My comment: It seems that pure repression of those who behave bad (police and judicial repression) would make many areas more mobile. Take that in consideration... We oppress a very, very small part of the population, those too violent, putting them in prison until old in larger numbers than now, and the lives of the least upwardly mobile 20pct of the population can be as mobile as that of the more safe areas... What should we do?

Approx translation to Spanish:

Se han encontrado pruebas recientes en el estudio del estudio de los efectos de las áreas metropolitanas sobre el medio ambiente. Sin embargo, se han logrado avances mínimos en la identificación de los mecanismos clave del futuro. En este artículo centramos la atención en una dimensión específica de las áreas urbanas, el nivel de delitos violentos. Usando datos longitudinales y una serie de enfoques empíricos, encontramos una manera de determinar el nivel del crimen. Encontramos que esta es una de las causas más comunes de la enfermedad. A, a, a, a, a, a, estándar, tasa, Estos efectos son estadísticamente y económicamente significativos. Aunque no somos conscientes del hecho de que este es el caso, no es el caso que el problema es el mismo.

Mi comentario: Parece que la pura represión
sobre aquellos que se comportan mal (represión policial y judicial) haría que muchas más áreas tuviesen más mobilidad social. Tomemos esto en consideración ... oprimimos una muy, muy pequeña parte de la población, los muy violentos, poniéndolos en prisión hasta la vejez en mayores n-umeros que ahora, y las vidas del 20pct de menor mobilidad de la población puede ser tan móvil como la de las áreas más seguras ... ¿Qué debemos hacer?

Anger Promotes Economic Conservatism

Anger Promotes Economic Conservatism. Keri Kettle and Anthony Salerno. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,

Abstract: Research suggests that certain facets of people’s political ideals can be motivated by different goals. Although it is widely accepted that emotions motivate goal-directed behavior, less is known about how emotion-specific goals may influence different facets of ideology. In this research, we examine how anger affects political ideology and through what mechanisms such effects occur. Drawing on the dual-process motivational model of ideology and the functionalist perspective of emotion, we propose that anger leads people to support conservative economic ideals, which promote economic independence and discourage societal resource sharing. Four studies support our hypothesis that anger can enhance support for an election candidate espousing conservative economic ideals. We find that anger shifts people toward economic conservatism by orienting them toward competition for resources. Implications and future research on the relationship between emotions and political ideology are discussed.

Assessing the accuracy of perceptions of intelligence based on heritable facial features

Assessing the accuracy of perceptions of intelligence based on heritable facial features. Anthony J.Lee et al. Intelligence, vol. 64, September–October 2017, Pages 1-8,

•    The accuracy of intelligence perceptions was assessed in a large sample of twins.
•    Intelligence judgements based on facial images significantly correlated with IQ.
•    Both stable and transitory facial cues were associated with perceived intelligence.
•    Stable face traits mediated the relationship between perceived intelligence and IQ.
•    Perceived intelligence and IQ share a familial (genetic and/or environmental) source of variance.

Abstract: Perceptions of intelligence based on facial features can have a profound impact on many social situations, but findings have been mixed as to whether these judgements are accurate. Even if such perceptions were accurate, the underlying mechanism is unclear. Several possibilities have been proposed, including evolutionary explanations where certain morphological facial features are associated with fitness-related traits (including cognitive development), or that intelligence judgements are over-generalisation of cues of transitory states that can influence cognition (e.g., tiredness). Here, we attempt to identify the morphological signals that individuals use to make intelligence judgements from facial photographs. In a genetically informative sample of 1660 twins and their siblings, we measured IQ and also perceptions of intelligence based on facial photographs. We found that intelligence judgements were associated with both stable morphological facial traits (face height, interpupillary distance, and nose size) and more transitory facial cues (eyelid openness, and mouth curvature). There was a significant association between perceived intelligence and measured IQ, but of the specific facial attributes only interpupillary distance (i.e., wide-set eyes) significantly mediated this relationship. We also found evidence that perceived intelligence and measured IQ share a familial component, though we could not distinguish between genetic and shared environmental sources.

More education reduces religiosity, religious acts and superstitious beliefs

Compulsory Schooling Laws and Formation of Beliefs: Education, Religion and Superstition. Naci Mocan, Luiza Pogorelov. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,

•    Micro data are used, in conjunction with schooling reforms implemented in 14 European countries.
•    Exposure to the mandate of the education reform is used as an instrument for years of schooling.
•    The impact of education on religiosity, and on social as well as solitary religious acts are analyzed.
•    The impact of education on superstitious beliefs is analyzed.
•    More education, due to the reforms, reduces religiosity, religious acts and superstitious beliefs.

Abstract: We exploit information on compulsory schooling reforms in 14 European countries, implemented mostly in the 1960s and 70s, to identify the impact of education on religious adherence and religious practices. Using micro data from the European Social Survey, conducted in various years between 2002 and 2013, we find consistently negative effects of schooling on religiosity, social religious acts (attending religious services), as well as solitary religious acts (the frequency of praying). We also use data from European Values Survey to apply the same empirical design to analyze the impact of schooling on superstitious beliefs. We find that more education, due to increased mandatory years of schooling, reduces individuals’ propensity to believe in the power of lucky charms and the tendency to take into account horoscopes in daily life.

Keywords: Education; Secularism; Horoscope; Praying; Europe; Reform

Check also: The Future of Secularism: A Biologically Informed Theory Supplemented with Cross-Cultural Evidence. Lee Ellis et al. Evolutionary Psychological Science, September 2017, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 224–242,

People attributed more free will to morally good actions than morally neutral ones

Are morally good actions ever free? Cory J Clark et al.

Abstract: A large body of work has demonstrated that people ascribe more responsibility to morally bad actions than both morally good and morally neutral ones, creating the impression that people do not attribute responsibility to morally good actions. The present work demonstrates that this is not so: People attributed more free will to morally good actions than morally neutral ones (Studies 1a-1b). Studies 2a-2b distinguished the underlying motives for ascribing responsibility to morally good and bad actions. Free will ascriptions for morally bad actions were driven predominantly by affective punitive responses. Free will judgments for morally good actions were similarly driven by affective reward responses, but also less affectively-charged and more pragmatic considerations (the perceived utility of reward, normativity of the action, and willpower required to perform the action). Responsibility ascriptions to morally good actions may be more carefully considered, leading to generally weaker, but more contextually-sensitive free will judgments.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Income Redistribution Predicts Greater Life Satisfaction Across Individual, National, and Cultural Characteristics

Income Redistribution Predicts Greater Life Satisfaction Across Individual, National, and Cultural Characteristics. Felix Cheung. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,

Abstract: The widening income gap between the rich and the poor has important social implications. Governmental-level income redistribution through tax and welfare policies presents an opportunity to reduce income inequality and its negative consequences. The current longitudinal studies examined whether within-region changes in income redistribution over time relate to life satisfaction. Moreover, I examined potential moderators of this relationship to test the strong versus weak hypotheses of income redistribution. The strong hypothesis posits that income redistribution is beneficial to most. The weak hypothesis posits that income redistribution is beneficial to some and damaging to others. Using a nationally representative sample of 57,932 German respondents from 16 German states across 30 years (Study 1) and a sample of 112,876 respondents from 33 countries across 24 years (Study 2), I found that within-state and within-nation changes in income redistribution over time were associated with life satisfaction. The models predicted that a 10% reduction in Gini through income redistribution in Germany increased life satisfaction to the same extent as an 37% increase in annual income (Study 1), and a 5% reduction in Gini through income redistribution increased life satisfaction to the same extent as a 11% increase in GDP (Study 2). These associations were positive across individual, national, and cultural characteristics. Increases in income redistribution predicted greater satisfaction for tax-payers and welfare-receivers, for liberals and conservatives, and for the poor and the rich. These findings support the strong hypothesis of income redistribution and suggest that redistribution policies may play an important role in societal well-being.

[La hipótesis fuerte de redistribución plantea que la redistribución del ingreso es beneficiosa para la mayoría. La hipótesis débil postula que la redistribución del ingreso es beneficiosa para algunos y perjudica a otros. Utilizando una muestra representativa a nivel nacional de 57.932 encuestados alemanes de 16 estados alemanes a lo largo de 30 años (Estudio 1) y una muestra de 112.876 encuestados de 33 países a lo largo de 24 años (Estudio 2), encontré que los cambios de redistribución de ingresos dentro del estado y dentro de la nación a lo largo del tiempo se asociaron con la satisfacción con la vida. Los modelos predijeron que una reducción del 10% en el coeficiente Gini mediante la redistribución del ingreso en Alemania aumentaba la satisfacción con la vida en la misma medida que un aumento del 37% en los ingresos anuales (Estudio 1) y una reducción del 5% en Gini a través de la redistribución del ingreso eracomo un un aumento del 11% en el PIB (Estudio 2). Estas asociaciones fueron positivas a través de características individuales, nacionales y culturales. Los aumentos en la redistribución del ingreso predijeron una mayor satisfacción para los contribuyentes y los receptores de bienestar, para los progresistas y conservadores, y para los pobres y los ricos. Estos hallazgos apoyan la hipótesis fuerte de redistribución del ingreso y sugieren que las políticas de redistribución pueden desempeñar un papel importante en el bienestar social.]

Did You Reject Me for Someone Else? Rejections That Are Comparative Feel Worse

Did You Reject Me for Someone Else? Rejections That Are Comparative Feel Worse. Sebastian Deri, Emily M. Zitek. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,

Abstract: Rejections differ. For those who are rejected, one important difference is whether they are rejected for someone else (comparative rejection) or no one at all (noncomparative rejection). We examined the effect of this distinction on emotional reactions to a rejection in four studies (N = 608), one of which was fully preregistered. Our results show that ***comparative rejections feel worse than noncomparative rejections and that this may be because such rejections lead to an increased sense of exclusion and decreased belonging. Furthermore, we found evidence that, by default, people react to a rejection as though it were comparative—that is, in the absence of any information about whether they have been rejected for someone or no one, they react as negatively as if they were rejected for someone***. Our discussion focuses on the implications of these findings, including why people often seek out information in the wake of a rejection.

Review of Thomas Laqueur's The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains

Back from the Underworld. By Marina Warner. Review of Thomas Laqueur's The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains.

The London Review of Books, Vol. 39 No. 16 · Aug 17 2017, pages 19-23 | 4943 words
    ISSN 0260-9592

    The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains by Thomas Laqueur
    Princeton, 711 pp, £27.95, October 2015, ISBN 978 0 691 15778 8

The work of the dead used to be intercession. It was a mutual striving; if we, who were still alive, prayed for them, they would do what they could for us. Chantries were established – and generously funded – to keep the work going on a daily basis, their members singing at the behest of the dead, and praying to those who, purified in the fires of the afterlife, could now ask God and Mary to reprieve those still suffering for their sins, and help us ahead of time for ours. But when this eschatological perspective weakened, the activity of the dead didn’t come to a stop, which was surprising: the Reformation and the Enlightenment combined to close down (almost) indulgences and remission of sins, but the liveliness of the dead in their claims on us and their presence in the world didn’t dim.

Secularism, reason, scepticism don’t bring disenchantment, Thomas Laqueur argues in this monumental study, the harvest of more than ten years’ concentrated exploring of archives, tombstones, battlefields and furnace design. Laqueur principally scrutinises developments since around 1700, mostly in England, but he places them in a very longue durée (he likes the phrase ‘deep time’) and embeds modern inventions, such as the urban garden cemetery, the war memorial in situ, and the crematorium, in a far-reaching and widely geographical cultural history that ranges from the Towers of Silence of the Zoroastrians, where the loved one was left to be pecked clean by vultures, to the tragedy of Antigone, who disobeys the law when she cannot accept that her brother Polynices should suffer a similar fate on the plain outside Thebes.

The Work of the Dead is packed with information, surprises, unaccustomed lore and learning, and Laqueur shows throughout a sturdy curiosity, as he digs unflinchingly around and into his chosen topic (in this respect it follows on from his previous magnum opus on the history of masturbation). He adopts the Annales school’s panoramic sweep, punctuated by boreholes giving microscopically detailed analyses of samples from the soil of social history: he discusses the shocking exclusion of Dissenters, Catholics, suicides and unbaptised babies from their local parish churchyard, and the long acrimonious wrangles and even riots that sometimes ensued when vicars tried to impose their rules of admission, and parishioners rejected them. He quotes in close-up from a heart-wrenching sequence of letters between a farmhand, Emily Chitticks, and her sweetheart, Private Will Martin; five of the 23 letters she wrote were returned, inscribed KILLED. In one, she told him: ‘I have dreamt that you were back home with me dear and the most strange thing about them, you are always in civilian clothes when I dream of you & and I have never seen you in those dear … I hope that will come true.’ When he was killed, in March 1917, she began the long struggle to find the whereabouts of his body. Though bits of news raised her hopes, he was declared missing along with thousands of others in the Battle of the Somme. She asked to be buried with the bundle of their letters.

Burial practices and ceremonies that seem immemorial to us now were new-fangled and strange not that long ago, it turns out: it is not known who proposed the tomb of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey, and many were doubtful about the prospect (not British enough, or Protestant). But the process went ahead, with much ritual: bags of bones from four unidentified victims of the battlefield were placed on a table; then, at midnight, a general wearing a blindfold picked one lot of remains; they were sent under escort across the Channel on a destroyer, and from Dover ‘guarded as the most precious of relics until the ceremonies on the next day’. Not since Henry V’s bones were brought back from France (after his body had been boiled to clean them) can there have been such a solemn translation. The Cenotaph in the Mall – which is empty – was dedicated the same day. Edwin Lutyens only provided a sketch, as he thought it was going to be temporary. No one had thought this idea would catch on either (again too foreign, too Catholic). But it did, resoundingly. The idea of honouring the Unknown Soldier recurred around the same time everywhere, Laqueur tells us. Such monuments express the hope that no one will be left out: Old Hamlet will not return to call out reproachfully ‘Remember me’; there will be no 13th fairy to disrupt the peace and ask for vengeance.

Laqueur’s scrupulous historical foraging also brings centre stage some extraordinary characters who, in the name of progress, hygiene, classical ideals and ancestral custom, flung themselves into long disputes that eventually led to current, commonly held tenets about the attentions fitting to a corpse. William Price, d.1893, was an arch druid in Wales, a surgeon, a Chartist, a vegetarian, a philoprogenetive advocate of free love, who called his child, born in his late years, Jesu Grist (sic). When the baby died, he tried to burn him on a pyre, according to ancient Celtic custom (he claimed). He tried again, when another of his many children died. After each attempt, he was charged, but unexpectedly, he was in tune with the zeitgeist and found not guilty. The Daily Telegraph stated that it would be ‘highly advantageous to the cause of sanitary reform if the fantastic tricks recently played by an eccentric Welsh octogenarian … became indirectly the means to bring … a little more common sense to bear … on the important subject of cremation’.

Yet, entertaining as all this is, in a macabre key, the dead are hard to think about – and, in many ways, to read about. Unlike animals, which Lévi-Strauss declared were not only good to eat but bon à penser, too, I found that I averted my eyes, so to speak, several times as I was reading this book. Not because of the infinite and irreversible sadness of mortality, or because of the grue, the fetor, the decay, the pervasive morbidity – though Laqueur’s gallows humour about scientific successes in the calcination of corpses can be a bit strong – but because the dead present an enigma that can’t be grasped: they are always there in mind, they come back in dreams, live in memory, and if they don’t, if they’re forgotten as so many millions of them must be, that is even more disturbing, somehow reprehensible. The disappeared are the unquietest ghosts. Simone Weil writes that the Iliad is a poem that shows how ‘force … turns man into a thing in the most literal sense: it makes a corpse out of him.’ But Laqueur is surely right to inquire why that thing, the ‘disenchanted corpse … bereft, vulnerable, abject’, is a very different kind of thing from the cushion I am sitting on or even my iPad (which keeps giving signs of a mind of its own). I have always liked Mme du Deffand’s comment, when asked if she believed in ghosts. A philosopher and a free thinker, she even so replied: ‘Non, mais j’en ai peur.’ (‘No, but I am frightened of them.’)

The book keeps returning to the conundrum perfectly set by Diogenes, when he said that after his death, his body should be tossed over a wall for dogs to eat. This is logical, rational, perhaps even ecological (Laqueur discusses many suggestions about using mortal remains for compost and fertiliser), but no society has taken the Cynic philosopher’s advice (the Parsee towers are a place apart), and when the dead are left in the street, the sight – the neglect – rightly inspires horror and shame in all who know of it. Yet, if you believe in a soul, why should the husk matter? And conversely, if you believe that there is nothing more, then the corpse is not a person either, let alone that person. But every instinct, every human feeling in the cultural world Laqueur writes about goes against Diogenes.

Since Derek Parfit’s death, there has been discussion about his Buddhist sympathies, because he countered conventional ideas about the integrity of a person over time, and closes Reasons and Persons with a suggestive musing on a Buddhist term for an individual, ‘santana, a “stream”’. It’s interesting to contrast this idea with the picture that forms from Laqueur’s scrupulous sifting of the archives: the work we feel the dead ask us to perform is bound up inextricably with our prevailing view of the person as an integer – not a stream. The manner of our leaving the world defines us as unique selves, continuously unified from birth to death. In this perspective, Laqueur’s book presents a continuation of other mighty endeavours: Charles Taylor’s Sources of the Self: The Making of the Modern Identity and Jerrold Seigel’s The Idea of the Self, both studies in what it means to be an individual. In answer to this, the dwindling of trust in an immortal soul has shifted the onus onto the perishable body, with proportionately highly wrought standards of respect owed to that ambiguous thing.

In the 16th century, the medical cabinets of universities such as Bologna and Florence contained wax models of bodies for study; these models contained human body parts, and sometimes whole bodies were conserved. A pope had expressly given permission for such uses of the dead, in the interests of knowledge; yet in 18th-century England, Hogarth’s horrific scene of an autopsy (where a dog is lapping up the discarded innards), shows that to be used for science was dreadful, fitting punishment of the damned in the here and now, and medical tomb-robbers set so much horror and disgust reverberating that Mary Shelley conceived her monster as made from different body parts. Since then, reverence for the mortal body in its final dissolution has been continuously rising; the reason lies in its compact with individuality, a compact reaffirmed by DNA, iris scanning and other forensic recognition techniques that presuppose absolute uniqueness.

This singular self has its habitation (the body) and a name, and these are attached in death to the arc of a story over time, which posthumous acts of memorialisation attempt to bring to an honourable and coherent conclusion. Laqueur uses the word ‘dénouement’ to describe this goal. He avoids the word ‘closure’, as used by therapists. Obsequies and customary rites have become necessary to what is more of a nouement – a tying up of loose ends. The playwright Timberlake Wertenbaker has recalled the figure of the ‘Designated Mourner’, as dramatised by Wallace Shawn in his play of 1996, in relation to current crises, someone who, as in many countries today (Greece and Egypt, for example), takes on the role – the bardic, priestly role – of reciting the life and deeds of the dead person. Obituaries are not, however, as old a custom as one might assume, Laqueur tells us, and the trend today is moving towards acts of public mourning which can travel far and wide online: the memorial which was set up at Tate Britain to Khadija Saye, the young artist-photographer who died with her mother in the Grenfell fire, and the ode that Ben Okri wrote the same night are instances.

If any part is missing in the triangulation of body, name and mourning ceremony an injury has been done. This is one reason for the miasma that hangs over Grenfell Tower and maddens the survivors. A tenant cries out: ‘Why can’t I have my family back?’ ‘We are doing our utmost best,’ says one of the many volunteers, ‘to get their loved ones back.’ Forensic teams – police and others – have been conducting a ‘finger-tip search’ through the ashes to find remains which can then be analysed for DNA and restored to the bereaved. The blackened building, with its flayed grid and blind windows, may look like a ruin of war, but it also looms like a macabre charnel house chimney, a huge tomb of unidentified and unsolemnised dead. It stands like a stele, the ancient grave markers which were inscribed with the names of their occupants, often calling out to the passers-by: siste viator (‘stay, wayfarer’) – the voices of the dead imagined to be speaking still and demanding attention.

The dead establish community and cultural memory, and forms of disposal offer a vision of society that’s both a testimony and a self-portrait. Grenfell Tower has become a monument to the precariat, in this country, now. In All the Names (1997), his poignant novel about the yearning to encompass everyone, José Saramago issues a warning. The protagonist tries to stop a nurse washing a minor scrape on his knee, but she says: ‘No no, I have to clean them.’ He replies: ‘Once mine have healed, they’ll leave nothing but a few small scars that will disappear in time.’ To which the nurse answers: ‘Ah, yes, wounds heal over on the body, but in the report they always always stay open, they neither close up nor disappear.’


In the course of the story Laqueur tells, death is a constant scandal against the living, but the wounds are becoming more visible. Tranquil, neighbourly country churchyards, such as the ones painted by Constable and elegised by Thomas Gray, were superseded by huge cemeteries in urban parklands, which no longer united the dead by faith or birth and dwelling place but according to the newer bonds of wealth, occupation and social status. Some of the book’s most powerful passages turn to the killing fields and the enormous spooky cemeteries of the Somme created after the First World War was over. These entailed the exhumation of hundreds of bodies, the assiduous identification and reassembly of parts, and their reburial in solemn serried rows, to depict the war as awful, yet sublime, and its victims as heroic and their deaths worthwhile. Through these stately monuments and encyclopedic inventories, the nation cleaned up the story of the war. ‘This constituted an aesthetic obfuscation of reality,’ Laqueur recognises, ‘But there was no alternative. As the history of sites of horror makes clear, they cannot remain as they were to become shrines to themselves. It was also impossible not to memorialise the dead of war.’ The museums at Auschwitz and other concentration camps don’t quite bear out his statement, as he knows (he has written powerfully about them), but the mud-churned, incinerated fields of the Somme couldn’t be preserved as they were.

These cemeteries also established several principles that have become fundamental to the work of the dead in modern times: first a grave has to contain a body; when the body – the person – was lost, the name would sometimes make up for its absence, appearing on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, for example, among the long lists chiselled into stone to ‘live for ever more’. Memorial tablets and cairns spread through all the countries involved in that war and the next: often marked out by bombshells, rockets and other weapons. But a new, sacralising feature was added to the honour paid to the dead: the cemeteries and memorials were built where the victims had fallen, or at least nearby. The place became part of the commemoration: as in medieval pilgrimage to the site of Thomas à Becket’s murder, or modern pilgrimage to the Church of the Spilled Blood in St Petersburg, where the cobbled pavement on which Alexander II was shot and fatally wounded in 1881 is enshrined in situ in the new church’s floor. In 2014, the artist Chloe Dewe Mathews travelled to the places in France where deserters had been executed and took a photograph at first light of the empty field; the resulting sequence, Shot at Dawn, is one of the most powerful acts of memory the centenary inspired. Hic jacet mattered, and still matters, in this new, secular form of ritual enchantment.

Some families resisted the vast new necropolises, and smuggled back their dead – in fishing boats, or rolled up in carpets – rather than let them lie in a corner of a foreign field, however much ‘a body of England’s’ might consecrate and alter its character. But since then, the exact place of death has taken hold of people’s imaginations: wayside shrines spring up, with cards and messages and bouquets and favourite objects attached to trees or motorway barriers or set against walls where a fatal accident or murder has taken place; the spot above the tunnel in Paris where Princess Diana died is now a cult site; and in London white bicycles, covered in flowers, are set up where a cyclist has died – as both memorial and protest.

The battlefield/graveyard can be moved and remade – on a smaller scale. Every year on Armistice Day, tiny tombs, decorated with poppies, regimental colours and badges, and bearing the names of all the soldiers who died in the various campaigns, are laid out all around Westminster Abbey, filling the lawns on either side of the path. These ceremonies echo earlier religious re-enactments – the Temple of Jerusalem rebuilt in replica, Calvary reprised in the Stations of the Cross. Laqueur reproduces in colour the IMAX style spectacular poppy installation, Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red; when the artists Paul Cummins and Tom Piper cascaded thousands of scarlet ceramic sculptures from the battlements of the Tower of London (888,246, to be precise, one for each of the fallen) to mark the centenary of the First World War, they imported the significance of massacre to a new site, and it met with huge popular acclaim. Alongside such new national rites, cinema plays an increasingly vivid role in bringing the dead before us again, and narrating the past: sometimes it is the recent past, as in the case of Apocalypse Now (1979); in other, more distant cases, it has the effect of closing the gap of time. Twelve Years a Slave and the current blockbuster Dunkirk follow in this memorial tradition, as does the TV historian Dan Snow, when he advocates ‘augmented reality software’ to help us relive Passchendaele. These are national epics, reckonings wrought with all the latest resources of ‘full immersion’ – the equivalent of re-enacting the Passion of Christ in Seville’s Semana Santa with live performances by actors and maximum real-life verisimilitude in the images.

Some memorials try to include everyone, victims and perpetrators, from all sides of the conflict. Homer honours the dead on both sides in the Trojan War and he gives us more than two hundred names – Alice Oswald opens her fine ‘excavation’ of the Iliad, which is explicitly called Memorial, by listing them. But this list, horribly long as it is, does not remember all who died at Troy. The roll call of the fallen doesn’t include women, for a start. Or children. By contrast, the Graves Registration Commission/War Graves Commission set out to name every single person who died in the First World War, and, often, the animals, too; as they compiled their records, they paid far more attention to the corpse of each soldier/ nurse/orderly/horse than the strategists had done to their living selves. Civilians are harder to count – they vanish from the registers for various reasons. As at Grenfell Tower, collateral damage doesn’t show up in databases as accurately as enlisted men on army muster rolls. Laqueur quotes the spare, fierce poem that Zbigniew Herbert wrote after martial law was imposed in Poland in December 1981, which is called ‘Mr Cogito on the Need for Precision’. The poem speaks far beyond the occasion of its making:

    But in these matters
    Accuracy is necessary
    One cannot get it wrong
    Even in a single case
    In spite of everything
    We are our brothers’ keepers.

‘We are our brothers’ keepers,’ and the way we can watch out for one another is by attending to the specificity of each life and person. The most surprising – to my mind at least – revelation in The Work of the Dead is that the precision of archiving by the clerisies of the past and the digital databases of the present are deeply entangled with the history of intimacy and personal value. Mr Cogito wants to know where someone’s mortal remains might be, Laqueur writes, ‘because beginning in the late 19th century ordinary people wanted to know … The massive records of the Great War bear witness to both the technology and the emotional infrastructure that made knowing possible and necessary.’ Ordinary people wanted to know and they can know because a combination of skills has made it more feasible than ever before. It is very sad – and horrible – that the search for the body of Corrie McKeague, the RAF gunner who disappeared last year, has finally been called off, after tons of rubbish in the landfill where he was buried have been sifted unavailingly. Such an undertaking couldn’t even have been thought of before current electronics (his final whereabouts were tracked on his phone). For the same reasons, it has become possible to demand retrospective interventions on the long dead. The exhumation of Salvador Dalí, to prove a paternity suit, exemplifies this trend (he was found to be whole and entire, his moustache still angled at ten past ten – a miracle!).

Science weirdly spurs on the pursuit of the disenchanted corpse, carrying us into invisible and impalpable dimensions of experience. The invention of telegraphy and photography were essential to psychic experiments to bring back the dead, and after the First World War many survivors visited high street mediums like Ada Deane and William Hope, to hear news from the other side. The pages of spirit photograph albums reveal how many varieties of affectionate ties held people together, as the bereaved sought to contact lost loved ones: siblings, same-sex friendships and intergenerational bonds are all caught by the absurd pathos of the ghost portraits and rapped out messages. Séances seem to have acted as therapeutic consolation: the dead reported they were very happy where they were, in the non-religious uplands of spiritualist heaven, according to the reports the revenants brought to the living. The anthropologist William A. Christian Jr has amassed an extraordinary collection of photographs collaged on postcards to circulate and prolong memories of the absent, the missing and the dead. His recent study, The Stranger, the Tears, the Photograph, the Touch: Divine Presence in Spain and Europe since 1500, supports Laqueur’s accounts of the many ways new institutions, like the postal service, and new technologies, like photography, have been recruited to deal with death.[Central European University Press, 310 pp., £44, March, 978 6 15 522529 1.] The dead can clamour more urgently for our attention today than they did because of contemporary advances, not in spite of them.

In his third part, ‘Names of the Dead’, Laqueur turns to ‘necronominalism’. Parfit’s thoughts again show up the contrast between humanist ideals of the individual self and the premises of the Buddha, who declared that a name is ‘only a name, for no person is found there … There exists no Individual, it is only a conventional name given to a set to elements.’ Opposing this view, the Mormons reign supreme, the champion archivists of people who have been and gone; in a volume filled with brain-toppling towers of numbers, these are among the most startling. The Utah genealogists aim to create a community in death, in the same way as a village churchyard did, but theirs – the Church of Latter Day Saints – is global. The Mormons perform retrospective baptisms, a practice that has caused protests when, for example, Jewish figures like Anne Frank have been made ‘saints’. Nevertheless necronominalism is the order of existence here in the West, and our own magical thinking underlies the public chanting of the names of the victims of Aids or of 9/11 – the ritual strives both to exorcise the horror and to summon the vanished back to memory.

Laqueur’s research for this book over the last decade couldn’t take stock of the effect of social media on the culture of mortal remains, but he clearly anticipates the consequences of the unprecedented access to information that they offer. On the one hand, bureaucratic data-gathering and censuses act as forms of surveillance and control, abolishing privacy and individual rights, and on the other they offer unforeseen opportunities for pursuing personal lines of inquiry and crafting subjectivities and inclinations (a recent women’s questionnaire I was sent included 26 different genders with a blank box if none of the above applied). At the same time a story can now move so fast and become so widely accepted that it sweeps away hints and traces of alternatives, and it’s then tough to redraft and dislodge. Reckoning with these standardised fables convenues (as Voltaire quipped about history in general) sets a compelling task for thinkers and writers in all fields, not only history. Unearthing hitherto unheard voices and silenced stories has become a central stratagem of the living in relation to the hubbub of the endless data archive we live with. ‘Not just some, but all writing of the narrative kind, and perhaps all writing, is motivated, deep down, by a fear of and fascination with mortality – by a desire to make the risky trip to the Underworld, and to bring something or someone back from the dead,’ Margaret Atwood suggested in her fine Empson Lectures. The aim is often redress, redress achieved through imaginative acts of memory, through exhuming the dead, as in Zong!, a remarkable prose-poem written in 2008 by M. NourbeSe Philip, which takes off from the notorious incident in 1781 when the captain of the slave ship Zong threw 133 slaves overboard and then claimed insurance on their loss. Using only the words of the surviving legal report, Philip cuts them up, scrambles and rearticulates them to produce a chorale of voices, rising on the page as if from the sea, while along the bottom of the page, she runs a litany of names from the regions in Africa they might have come from – and to which she, as a Trinidadian-Canadian, also traces her descent. Zong! deliberately turns a dry judicial decision into an anthem, a multi-vocal lament and act of mourning and resistance to historical amnesia on behalf of a group of the utterly disappeared. She has performed it solo and also with a chorus, and the recitation takes on the character of a ceremony, a conjuration – again, a secularisation of an ancient mode of memorialising, and a very contemporary way of defining a life by the momentousness of its end.

In accordance with the fluid subjectivities offered by technology, the contemporary desire to be reunited with the body of the loved one has moved into a more personal, subjective key: the urn or small casket in which what’s left might be placed is often taken home for the family to hold private, innovatory rituals – carrying them back to a country the dead left a long time ago, or scattering the ashes in a favourite spot – Laqueur mentions a group of friends choosing a tree they liked to pee against on camping trips. He is concerned with these continuities and innovations.

Bespoke funeral rites are increasingly available: Walt Disney was an early subject of deep freezing for eternity, a modern form of pharaonic dream; in 1996, two years after he died, the embalmed body of the artist Ed Kienholz, was provided with a dollar, a bottle of red wine, a pack of cards and the ashes of his dog, set up at the wheel of his vintage Packard, and then allowed to drift and fall into the grave to the sound of bagpipes. More soberingly, Laqueur’s narrative also illuminates how and why the distressing struggle over the dying baby Charlie Gard was so acute. In respect to the dead and dying, personal feelings have been prevailing ever more strongly over institutional bodies’ authority; social media, with some members of the press clamouring support, join forces to claim rights over the bodies of loved ones.

The book comes to its close with open-ended reflections on the new difficulties, such as the question of ‘the right to die’, and speculation about the protracted business of dying in the future. The past is prologue, and Laqueur’s line of argument promises that increasing private pressure will determine the fate of mortal remains. In her tightly coiled new novel, Home Fire, Kamila Shamsie reimagines Antigone in relation to jihadism today.​[Bloomsbury, 272 pp., £16.99, August, 978 1 4088 8677 9.] If Creon had any support in the past, her dramatic reworking convinces us that, even in these extreme circumstances, twitter storms could fall upon him from every side; the call of the dead on the living for honour to be paid to the body, the seemingly indissoluble union of personhood and body in a supposed secular age, and the privatisation of social structures that used to help contain the passions of love and grief and desire mean that Antigone is more than ever a heroine of our time.

The Religious Observance of Ramadan and Prosocial Behavior

The Religious Observance of Ramadan and Prosocial Behavior. Ernan Haruvy, Christos Ioannou and Farnoush Golshirazi. Economic Inquiry,

Abstract: We investigate experimentally the impact on prosocial behavior of the religious observance of Ramadan. Our sample consists of male factory workers in a manufacturing facility in a Muslim country. In our between-subjects' design, each worker is asked to allocate an amount of money between himself and a stranger. Specifically, we examine behavior of observants and nonobservants before and after the daily break of the Ramadan fast. We also examine behavior outside of Ramadan, where we treat alimentary abstention as akin to a long fasting period. We hypothesize and confirm that ***outside Ramadan, decision makers who abstain from any alimentary intake transfer less money to recipients relative to decision makers who do not abstain. Strikingly, this effect is reversed during the month of Ramadan. Specifically, observant workers who are in the midst of their Ramadan fast are far more generous to recipients than workers who have had their evening meal. Interestingly, observant and nonobservant workers after the daily break of the Ramadan fast and workers outside Ramadan that consumed aliments make statistically similar transfers***. Our findings suggest that it is the interaction between alimentary abstention and religious observance that amplifies prosocial behavior during Ramadan, where fasting is part of the ritual.

Check also: Spiritual Disciplines and Virtue Formation: Examining the Effects of Intercessory Prayer, Moral Intuitions, and Theological Orientation on Generous Behavior. Greenway, Tyler S., Ph.D., FULLER THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, SCHOOL OF PSYCHOLOGY, 2017, 160 pages; 10286232.

Something to celebrate (or not): The differing impact of promotion to manager on the job satisfaction of women and men

Something to celebrate (or not): The differing impact of promotion to manager on the job satisfaction of women and men. Daniela Lup. Work, Employment and Society,

Abstract: The literatures on gender status stereotyping and the ‘glass-ceiling’ have shown that women managers have more difficult job experiences than men, but whether these experiences result in lower job satisfaction is still an open question. Using fixed-effects models in a longitudinal national sample, this study examines differences in job satisfaction between women and men promoted into lower and higher-level management, after controlling for key determinants of job satisfaction. Results indicate that ***promotions to management are accompanied by an increase in job satisfaction for men but not for women, and that the differing effect lasts beyond the promotion year. Moreover, following promotion, the job satisfaction of women promoted to higher-level management even starts declining. The type of promotion (internal or lateral) does not modify this effect***. By clarifying the relationship between gender, promotion to managerial position and job satisfaction, the study contributes to the literature on the gender gap in managerial representation.