Saturday, September 30, 2017

Officials who aspire to higher office signal decisiveness by accelerating decisions, since voters prefer leaders with low costs of delay and little uncertainty

A Theory of Decisive Leadership. Douglas Bernheim and Aaron Bodoh-Creed. Stanford Working Paper, July 2017.

Abstract: We present a theory that rationalizes voters' preferences for decisive leaders. Greater decisiveness entails an inclination to reach decisions more quickly conditional on fixed information. Although speed can be good or bad, agency problems between voters and politicians create preferences among voters for leaders who perceive low costs of delay and have little uncertainty about idiosyncratic concerns, and hence who make decisions more rapidly than typical voters. Officials who aspire to higher office therefore signal decisiveness by accelerating decisions. In elections, candidates with reputations for greater decisiveness prevail despite making smaller compromises, and therefore earn larger rents from office holding.

We have much fewer cross-cultural nonverbal emotional vocalizations than primates

Human Non-linguistic Vocal Repertoire: Call Types and Their Meaning. Andrey Anikin, Rasmus Bååth, and Tomas Persson. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior,

Abstract: Recent research on human nonverbal vocalizations has led to considerable progress in our understanding of vocal communication of emotion. However, in contrast to studies of animal vocalizations, this research has focused mainly on the emotional interpretation of such signals. The repertoire of human nonverbal vocalizations as acoustic types, and the mapping between acoustic and emotional categories, thus remain underexplored. In a cross-linguistic naming task (Experiment 1), verbal categorization of 132 authentic (non-acted) human vocalizations by English-, Swedish- and Russian-speaking participants revealed the same major acoustic types: laugh, cry, scream, moan, and possibly roar and sigh. The association between call type and perceived emotion was systematic but non-redundant: listeners associated every call type with a limited, but in some cases relatively wide, range of emotions. The speed and consistency of naming the call type predicted the speed and consistency of inferring the caller’s emotion, suggesting that acoustic and emotional categorizations are closely related. However, participants preferred to name the call type before naming the emotion. Furthermore, nonverbal categorization of the same stimuli in a triad classification task (Experiment 2) was more compatible with classification by call type than by emotion, indicating the former’s greater perceptual salience. These results suggest that acoustic categorization may precede attribution of emotion, highlighting the need to distinguish between the overt form of nonverbal signals and their interpretation by the perceiver. Both within- and between-call acoustic variation can then be modeled explicitly, bringing research on human nonverbal vocalizations more in line with the work on animal communication.

Black elected officials had a punitive impact on imprisonment and policing

The Racial Politics of Mass Incarceration. John Clegg and Adaner Usmani. NYU Working Paper, February 2017.

Abstract: Dominant accounts of America's punitive turn assume that black elected officials and their constituents resisted higher levels of imprisonment and policing. We gather new data and find little support for this view. Panel regressions and an analysis of federally-mandated redistricting suggest that black elected officials had a punitive impact on imprisonment and policing. We corroborate this with public opinion and legislative data. Pooling 300,000 respondents to polls between 1955 and 2014, we find that blacks became substantially more punitive over this period, and were consistently more fearful of crime than whites. The punitive impact of black elected officials at the state and federal level was concentrated at the height of public punitiveness. In short, the racial politics of punishment are more complex than the conventional view allows. We find evidence that black elected officials and the black public were more likely than whites to support non-punitive policies, but conclude that they were constrained by the context in which they sought remedies from crime.

Keywords: crime, criminal justice, public opinion, race, mass incarceration

My commentary: Typical of the professoriat is to be surprised of this... Those who live in the middle of the daily bloodletting are retrograde because they support state repression against those who kill. They cannot see the motivation to support Duterte.

Addicted to Hate: Identity Residual among Former White Supremacists

Addicted to Hate: Identity Residual among Former White Supremacists. Pete Simi et al. American Sociological Review,

Abstract: The process of leaving deeply meaningful and embodied identities can be experienced as a struggle against addiction, with continuing cognitive, emotional, and physiological responses that are involuntary, unwanted, and triggered by environmental factors. Using data derived from a unique set of in-depth life history interviews with 89 former U.S. white supremacists, as well as theories derived from recent advances in cognitive sociology, we examine how a rejected identity can persist despite a desire to change. Disengagement from white supremacy is characterized by substantial lingering effects that subjects describe as addiction. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of identity residual for understanding how people leave and for theories of the self.

Fear vs. disgust as affective predictors of absolutist opposition to genetically modified food and other new technologies

What lies beneath? Fear vs. disgust as affective predictors of absolutist opposition to genetically modified food and other new technologies. Edward Royzman, Corey Cusimano, and Robert F. Leeman. Judgment and Decision Making, Vol. 12, No. 5, September 2017, pp. 466-480.

Abstract: In line with earlier research, a multi-phase study found a significant positive association between a widely used measure of trait disgust and people’s tendency to favor absolutist (non-consequentialist) restrictions on genetically modified food (GMF). However, a more nuanced high-granularity approach showed that it was individual sensitivity to fear (specifically, a tendency to feel creeped out by strange and subtly deviant events) rather than a tendency to be disgusted (orally inhibited) by these events that was a unique predictor of absolutist opposition to GMF and other types of new technology. This finding is consistent with prior theorizing and research demonstrating fear to be “the major determiner of public perception and acceptance of risk for a wide range of hazards” related to new technology (e.g., nuclear power) (Slovic & Peters, 2006, p. 322). The present study calls attention to the importance of conducting future assessments of disgust (and other affective constructs) in a manner that, among other things, recognizes the substantial disconnect between theoretical and lay meanings of the term and illustrates how a policy-guiding result may arise from a sheer miscommunication between a researcher and a subject.

Need, Compassion, and Support for Social Welfare -- We are more impressed by sudden reversals of fortune

Delton, A. W., Petersen, M. B., DeScioli, P. and Robertson, T. E. (2017), Need, Compassion, and Support for Social Welfare. Political Psychology. doi:10.1111/pops.12450

Abstract: Funding for social welfare depends on citizen support. Drawing on evolutionary psychological approaches to politics, we study two types of need that might shape citizens' welfare support by regulating their feelings of compassion. One type of need is a recipient's absolute need. The other type is acute need created by sudden misfortune, such as sudden job loss. Across four studies, we find that absolute and acute needs independently affect compassion and welfare attitudes. This leads to potential inefficiencies in judgments: People who have fallen far are judged more deserving of compassion and access to welfare even when they are not in an absolute sense the most impoverished.

My comment: We judge those who experience a sudden reversal of fortune more deserving of assistance, regardless of absolute need.

Accusing Others of Ethical Violations Increase Trust in Accuser, Promotes Relationship Conflict in the Group

Holding People Responsible of Ethical Violations: The Surprising Benefits of Accusing Others.
 Jessica A. Kennedy and Maurice E. Schweitzer.

Abstract: Individuals who accuse others of unethical behavior can derive significant benefits. Compared to individuals who do not make accusations, accusers engender greater trust and are perceived to have higher ethical standards. In Study 1, accusations increased trust in the accuser and lowered trust in the target. In Study 2, we find that accusations elevate trust in the accuser by boosting perceptions of the accuser’s ethical standards. In Study 3, we find that accusations boosted both attitudinal and behavioral trust in the accuser, decreased trust in the target, and promoted relationship conflict within the group. In Study 4, we examine the moderating role of moral hypocrisy. Compared to individuals who did not make an accusation, individuals who made an accusation were trusted more if they had acted ethically but not if they had acted unethically. Taken together, we find that accusations have significant interpersonal consequences. In addition to harming accused targets, accusations can substantially benefit accusers.

Keywords: Ethics; Ethical Violations; Accusations

Encountering ideological conflict reduces well-being and humanity-esteem. Agreement doesn't add positive emotions

Brandt, Mark J, Jarret Crawford, and Daryl Van Tongeren. 2017. “Worldview Conflict in Daily Life”. PsyArXiv. September 29. doi:10.1177/1948550617733517.

Abstract: Building on laboratory and survey-based research probing the psychology of ideology and the experience of worldview-conflict, we examined the association between worldview-conflict and emotional reactions, psychological well-being, humanity-esteem, and political ideology in everyday life using experience sampling. In three combined samples (Total N= 328), experiencing disagreement compared to agreement was associated with experiencing more other-condemning emotions, less well-being, and less humanity-esteem. There were no clear associations between experiencing disagreement and experiencing self-conscious emotions, positive emotions, and mental stress. None of the relationships were moderated by political ideology. These results both replicate and challenge findings from laboratory and survey-based research, and we discuss possible reasons for the discrepancies. Experience sampling methods can help researchers get a glimpse into everyday worldview-conflict.

Check also: Frimer, J. A., Skitka, L. J., & Motyl, M. (2017). Liberals and conservatives are similarly motivated to avoid exposure to one another’s opinions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 72, 1–12.

Abstract : Ideologically committed people are similarly motivated to avoid ideologically crosscutting information. Although some previous research has found that political conservatives may be more prone to selective exposure than liberals are, we find similar selective exposure motives on the political left and right across a variety of issues. The majority of people on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate willingly gave up a chance to win money to avoid hearing from the other side (Study 1). When thinking back to the 2012 U.S. Presidential election (Study 2), ahead to upcoming elections in the U.S. and Canada (Study 3), and about a range of other Culture War issues (Study 4), liberals and conservatives reported similar aversion toward learning about the views of their ideological opponents. Their lack of interest was not due to already being informed about the other side or attributable election fatigue. Rather, people on both sides indicated that they anticipated that hearing from the other side would induce cognitive dissonance (e.g., require effort, cause frustration) and undermine a sense of shared reality with the person expressing disparate views (e.g., damage the relationship; Study 5). A high-powered meta-analysis of our data sets (N = 2417) did not detect a difference in the intensity of liberals’ (d = 0.63) and conservatives’ (d = 0.58) desires to remain in their respective ideological bubbles.

Keywords: selective exposure; confirmation bias; motivation; liberals and conservatives; ideological symmetry

Friday, September 29, 2017

There Will Be Killing: Collectivization and Death of Draft Animals

There Will Be Killing: Collectivization and Death of Draft Animals. Shuo Chen and Xiaohuan Lan. American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. Oct 2017, Vol. 9, No. 4: Pages 58-77,

Abstract: The elimination of private property rights can lead to ineffcient use of productive assets. In China's collectivization movement from 1955 to 1957, instead of transferring draft animals to the ownership of the collectives, peasants slaughtered them to keep the meat and hide. By comparing 1,600 counties that launched the movement in different years, the difference-in-differences estimates suggest that the animal loss during the movement was 12 to 15 percent, or 7.4–9.5 million head. Grain output dropped by 7 percent due to lower animal inputs and lower productivity.

JEL N45, N55, O13, P26, P32, Q11

The Myth of Partisan Selective Exposure: A Portrait of the Online Political News Audience

The Myth of Partisan Selective Exposure: A Portrait of the Online Political News Audience. Jacob L. Nelson, and James G. Webster. Social Media + Society,

Abstract: Many assume that in a digital environment with a wide range of ideologically tinged news outlets, partisan selective exposure to like-minded speech is pervasive and a primary cause of political polarization. Yet, partisan selective exposure research tends to stem from experimental or self-reported data, which limits the applicability of their findings in a high-choice media environment. We explore observed online audience behavior data to present a portrait of the actual online political news audience. We find that this audience frequently navigates to news sites from Facebook, and that it congregates among a few popular, well-known political news sites. We also find that political news sites comprise ideologically diverse audiences, and that they share audiences with nearly all smaller, more ideologically extreme outlets. Our results call into question the strength of the so-called red/blue divide in actual web use.

Keywords: partisan selective exposure, social network sites, audience behavior, media choice, network analysis

Check also: Polarized Mass or Polarized Few? Assessing the Parallel Rise of Survey Nonresponse and Measures of Polarization. Amnon Cavari and Guy Freedman. The Journal of Politics,

The role of personality in individual differences in yearly earnings

The role of personality in individual differences in yearly earnings. Peter K. Jonason et al. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 121, January 15 2018, Pages 170–172,

•    Women made less money than men did.
•    The Dark Triad and Big Five traits are correlated with income.
•    Sex differences in income were partially mediated by neuroticism.
•    Sex differences in income were partially mediated by narcissism.

Abstract: We examined the role of personality in accounting for sex differences in yearly earnings among Australians (N = 533). Men reported they earned modestly more money than women did, as did married and fully employed people, but these three factors did not interact. Narcissism, psychopathy, extraversion, conscientiousness, and limited neuroticism predicted self-reported higher earnings; associations that differed little by participant's sex, although a slight pattern suggests women may pay a higher pay penalty for neuroticism but benefit more from conscientiousness than men do. Narcissism and neuroticism mediated sex differences in self-reported income suggesting men who were more narcissistic and women who were less neurotic reported more yearly earnings. The results are discussed in terms of how individual differences may play a role in apparent sex differences in earnings.

Keywords: Income; Sex differences; Personality; Big five; Dark triad

Cotard and Capgras delusions in a patient with bipolar disorder: “I’ll prove, I’m dead!”

Cotard and Capgras delusions in a patient with bipolar disorder: “I’ll prove, I’m dead!” Mehmet Hamdi Örüm ORCID Icon & Aysun Kalenderoğlu. Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology,

Abstract: Cotard is a syndrome that is characterized by ideas of damnation or rejection, anxious melancholia, insensitivity to pain, and nihilistic delusions concerning one’s own body or existence. It is most often encountered in middle age or older women who are severely depressed. Capgras syndrome is a rare psychiatric disorder with colourful symptoms. The patient believes that the identities of close relatives or friends are not real but are replaced by others. Co-existences of psychiatric and organic diseases with Cotard’s syndrome and Capgras syndrome are reported in different studies. There is still requirement of more research to establish a position in diagnostic classification systems for these syndromes which are thought to have a multifactorial etiology. In this report, we described a patient with bipolar disorder type-2 who displayed comorbid Cotard and Capgras delusions which were most evident at the onset of menstrual periods.

KEYWORDS: Cotard syndrome, Capgras syndrome, bipolar disorder type-2, menstrual cycle

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Method of homicide and severe mental illness: A systematic review

Method of homicide and severe mental illness: A systematic review. Valeria Abreu Minero, Edward Barker, and Rachael Bedford. Aggression and Violent Behavior,

•    Two consistent associations between homicide method and mental illness were identified.
•    An association between schizophrenia/delusional disorder and sharp instruments
•    An association between mood disorders and strangulation/asphyxiation/suffocation/drowning
•    Duration of the illness, victim type, and planning of the homicide are also influential to weapon choice.
•    Up to 96% of offenders experienced psychiatric symptoms at the time of the homicide. <<< this seems wrong, see below in the abstract

Abstract: There is limited research that has examined offense characteristics in homicides committed by individuals with mental illness and with differing psychiatric diagnoses. The aim of this systematic review is to synthesize previous findings of studies analyzing homicide behavior by mentally ill individuals, and reporting any associations between mental illness and method of homicide. We searched four databases (MedLine, PsychINFO, Web of Science and Embase), and identified 52 relevant articles for analysis. Of these 52 articles, nine reported specific information on mental illness and method of homicide. Five out of nine articles revealed an association between schizophrenia/delusional disorder and the use of sharp instruments as a method of homicide. Four out of nine studies revealed an association between mood disorders (bipolar disorder/major depression) and strangulation/asphyxiation/suffocation/drowning. Our review confirms consistency across studies reporting a significant association between close contact methods and schizophrenia/mood disorders. Also identified as possible influential factors concerning weapon choice are illness duration, victim characteristics and planning/lack of planning of the homicide. Additionally, studies revealed up to 96% of severely mentally ill offenders experienced psychiatric symptoms at the time of the homicide. Future research may examine the presence of specific psychiatric symptoms when a mentally ill offender commits a homicide and whether these may be more influential in the method of homicide used than the psychiatric diagnosis of the offender.

Keywords: Homicide method; Homicide; Severe mental illness; Schizophrenia; Mood disorders; Symptoms

Is utilitarian sacrifice becoming more morally permissible?

Is utilitarian sacrifice becoming more morally permissible? Ivar R. Hannikainen, Edouard Machery, and Fiery A. Cushman. Cognition., Volume 170, January 2018, Pages 95–101.

Abstract: A central tenet of contemporary moral psychology is that people typically reject active forms of utilitarian sacrifice. Yet, evidence for secularization and declining empathic concern in recent decades suggests the possibility of systematic change in this attitude. In the present study, we employ hypothetical dilemmas to investigate whether judgments of utilitarian sacrifice are becoming more permissive over time. In a cross-sectional design, age negatively predicted utilitarian moral judgment (Study 1). To examine whether this pattern reflected processes of maturation, we asked a panel to re-evaluate several moral dilemmas after an eight-year interval but observed no overall change (Study 2). In contrast, a more recent age-matched sample revealed greater endorsement of utilitarian sacrifice in a time-lag design (Study 3). Taken together, these results suggest that today’s younger cohorts increasingly endorse a utilitarian resolution of sacrificial moral dilemmas.

Keywords: Moral dilemmas; Cohort effect; Aging; Utilitarianism

Expecting the Unexpected: Using Team Charters to Handle Disruptions and Facilitate Team Performance

Expecting the Unexpected: Using Team Charters to Handle Disruptions and Facilitate Team Performance. Therese E. Sverdrup, Vidar Schei, and Øystein A. Tjølsen. Group Dynamics: Theory, Research, and Practice 2017, Vol. 21, No. 1, 53–59.

Abstract: Teams are increasingly relied on to manage and adapt to a changing world. Previous studies have found adaptive teams to be less susceptible to disruptive events. In this study, we test whether or not the development of a team charter 2 weeks prior to a given task increases a team’s ability to adapt to disruptions and overall performance. We find that teams that develop team charters are better able to handle disruptive events, which in turn increases their performance.

Keywords: team charter, team adaptation, disruption, team performance, planning

In this study, we examine the effects of establishing a team charter on a team’s ability to adapt to unforeseen triggers or disruptions. More specifically, we test whether there are any differences between teams that have established team charters and teams that have not in terms of their ability to adapt to disruptions and related performance. The study’s predictions are based on the literature on team charters and adaptation. We argue that for teams to be adaptive and resilient in facing the unexpected, the establishment of a team charter is advantageous.

The team charter literature, wherein various teams have been examined extensively over time, has found events occurring early in a team’s life span to have long-lasting effects (Gersick, 1988, 1989; Gersick & Hackman, 1990). Thus, it can be assumed that a team will benefit from developing specific guidelines upon its establishment for better team performance. A small number of studies have examined the relationship between the establishment of team charters and team performance. These studies have shown student teams to perceive both increased satisfaction and performance upon developing team charters (Aaron, McDowell, & Herdman, 2014; Byrd & Luthy, 2010; Cox & Bobrowski, 2000, 2004; Hunsaker, Pavett, & Hunsaker, 2011). In a longitudinal study, Mathieu and Rapp (2009) found that teams that had developed high quality team charters and performance strategies during their establishment phases performed better during their life spans. Such studies show that the development of team charters may result in better performance. However, to our knowledge, no study has tested the effects of a team charter by comparing teams that have established team charters and teams that have not in an experimental setting.

Origin of smile in animals could be trying to appear as of smaller, less threating body

Smiles as Multipurpose Social Signals. Jared Martin et al. Trends in Cognitive Sciences,

Abstract: The human smile is highly variable in both its form and the social contexts in which it is displayed. A social-functional account identifies three distinct smile expressions defined in terms of their effects on the perceiver: reward smiles reinforce desired behavior; affiliation smiles invite and maintain social bonds; and dominance smiles manage hierarchical relationships. Mathematical modeling uncovers the appearance of the smiles, and both human and Bayesian classifiers validate these distinctions. New findings link laughter to reward, affiliation, and dominance, and research suggests that these functions of smiles are recognized across cultures. Taken together, this evidence suggests that the smile can be productively investigated according to how it assists the smiler in meeting the challenges and opportunities inherent in human social living.


Smiles are highly variable across a number of dimensions. Predominant approaches to smile categorization do not sufficiently explain this variability. Their ubiquity and social impact make smiles a critical topic for affective and cognitive science.

A social-functional analysis, categorizing smiles by how they resolve the challenges and opportunities required by social living, suggests three types of smiles: reward smiles that reinforce desired behavior; affiliation smiles that form and maintain social bonds; and dominance smiles that manage social hierarchies.

Recent evidence supports this typology: distinct morphological features communicate each functional intent and motivations to smile are predictably variable across culture based on factors related to the salient social tasks in a given culture.

Keywords: facial expression; social functionalism; social hierarchies; social bonding; behavioral reinforcement

Check also: Tennis grunts communicate acoustic cues to sex and contest outcome. Jordan Raine, Katarzyna Pisanski & David Reby. Animal Behaviour, Volume 130, August 2017, Pages 47-55,

And: Volitional exaggeration of body size through fundamental and formant frequency modulation in humans. Katarzyna Pisanski et al. Scientific Reports,  2016; 6: 34389.

Abstract: Several mammalian species scale their voice fundamental frequency (F0) and formant frequencies in competitive and mating contexts, reducing vocal tract and laryngeal allometry thereby exaggerating apparent body size. Although humans’ rare capacity to volitionally modulate these same frequencies is thought to subserve articulated speech, the potential function of voice frequency modulation in human nonverbal communication remains largely unexplored. Here, the voices of 167 men and women from Canada, Cuba, and Poland were recorded in a baseline condition and while volitionally imitating a physically small and large body size. Modulation of F0, formant spacing (∆F), and apparent vocal tract length (VTL) were measured using Praat. Our results indicate that men and women spontaneously and systemically increased VTL and decreased F0 to imitate a large body size, and reduced VTL and increased F0 to imitate small size. These voice modulations did not differ substantially across cultures, indicating potentially universal sound-size correspondences or anatomical and biomechanical constraints on voice modulation. In each culture, men generally modulated their voices (particularly formants) more than did women. This latter finding could help to explain sexual dimorphism in F0 and formants that is currently unaccounted for by sexual dimorphism in human vocal anatomy and body size.

The Association of Alcohol Consumption Patterns with Self-Rated Physical Health and Psychiatric Distress among veterans

The Association of Alcohol Consumption Patterns with Self-Rated Physical Health and Psychiatric Distress among Afghanistan- and Iraq-Era U.S. Veterans. Patrick S. Calhoun et al. Psychiatry Research,

•    Iraq- and Afghanistan-era veterans generally endorse high rates of alcohol misuse.
•    Instead of dichotomizing alcohol use, this study explores moderate use in veterans.
•    A random sample of mid-Atlantic veterans received an anonymous self-report survey.
•    Non-drinkers/hazardous drinkers had worse self-rated health than moderate drinkers.
•    Moderate drinkers also had lower rates of probable depression and PTSD.

Abstract: Alcohol misuse is associated with negative mental and physical health outcomes, which presents a public health concern in veterans. However, less is known regarding outcomes among veterans with low to moderate alcohol consumption. This study included veterans with military service in Iraq and/or Afghanistan (N = 1,083) who resided in the VA Mid-Atlantic region catchment area (North Carolina, Virginia, and parts of West Virginia). Participants completed a mailed survey that inquired about demographics, past-year alcohol consumption, self-rated physical health, and psychiatric symptoms. Logistic regression was used to evaluate associations between alcohol consumption and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and self-rated physical health. In both bivariate results and adjusted models, non-drinkers and hazardous drinkers were more likely to endorse clinically significant PTSD and depression symptoms than moderate drinkers. Moderate drinkers were also less likely to report fair/poor health, after adjusting for demographics and psychiatric symptoms. Results overall showed a U-shaped curve, such that moderate alcohol use was associated with lower rates of mental health problems and fair/poor health. While the VA routinely screens for alcohol misuse, current results suggest that non-drinkers are also at risk for poor mental and physical health.

Keywords: Alcohol-Related Disorders; Depression; OEF=Operation Enduring Freedom; OIF=Operation Iraqi Freedom; Protective Factors; PTSD=Posttraumatic Stress Disorder; Veterans Health

Youngsters' drinking behavior can be used as a signal, as both behaviors clearly function as an attention-attracting cue

Does Alcohol Catch the Eye? Investigating Young Adults’ Attention to Alcohol Consumption. Eveline Vincke, and Patrick Vyncke. Evolutionary Psychology,

Abstract: Many studies on young adults’ motivations for drinking overlook the symbolic aspects of alcohol use. However, research indicates that young adults’ alcohol consumption is also driven by signaling motivations. Although the interest of a receiver is a necessary prerequisite of a signal, no previous studies have verified whether drinking behavior indeed attracts young adults’ attention. Therefore, we conducted two studies. A two-part eye-tracking study (N1 = 135, N2 = 140) showed that both young men and young women pay special visual attention to male and female drinking behavior. Additionally, a recall experiment (N = 321) confirmed that observed male and female drinking is better remembered than observed nonsignaling, functional behavior. Moreover, alcoholic beverages also receive special attention, as they were recalled better than other functional products, and also nonalcoholic drinks similar in color and shape. In summary, the experiments clearly showed that male and female drinking behavior can be used as a signal, as both behaviors clearly function as an attention-attracting cue. Additionally, as alcoholic beverages draw more attention than nonalcoholic drinks, this attention is clearly linked to the alcohol element of the drinking behavior.

Keywords: young adults, attention, alcohol consumption, eye tracking, recall, signaling

Both of the present studies show that young adults. drinking behavior is easily perceivable and certainly not ignored by other young adults, seemingly corresponding to the theory of costly signaling ... and its handicap principle (Zahavi & Zahavi, 1997). However, although consuming alcohol can be physically harmful, more research is necessary to confirm whether drinking alcohol is indeed a reliable indicator of specific physical qualities. For smoking .also a known harmful and risky  activity.partial confirmation for this assumption was found, as people with low dispositional health suffered more from the harmful effects of smoking compared to persons with high dispositional health (Dewitte,  2011). For alcohol, only one previous study has attempted to verify whether drinking behavior reflects certain physical qualities, by linking this behavior to fluctuating asymmetry as an indicator of overall genetic quality. However, the study did not find confirmation that the use of alcohol functions as an indicator of those specific biological qualities. Nevertheless, the authors indicated that, given the influence of prenatal and other environmental stressors on fluctuating asymmetry, its use as a measure of overall genetic quality is questionable (Borkowska & Pawlowski, 2014). Equally, drinking behavior could also indicate certain mental qualities, such as the propensity to take physical and/or social risks. As drinking behavior also has financial aspects due to the price of alcoholic beverages, drinking behavior could potentially even be used as a costly signal to indicate the drinker.s financial resources to others. However, to date, it remains unclear whether alcohol consumption is used for these signaling purposes.  Future research could also focus on identifying how alcohol is used in different contexts. On the one hand, male alcohol consumption could function as an intersexual courtship signal, as women displayed interest in men.s drinking behavior. However, as men also paid attention to same-sex drinking behavior, alcohol use might also functi on as a signal for other males, either in intrasexual competitive contexts or in more reciprocal social contexts. As people search for different qualities in romantic partners, sexual partners, coalitional partners, and friends, it would be interesting to know which characteristics and qualities young men attempt to signal in different social situations, through different forms of alcohol consumption.

Similarly, as men also took an interest in women.s drinking behavior, alcohol might also be used by young women as a signal in mating situations. However, the lower attention given by women to other women.s drink ing behavior might indicate that consuming alcohol is a less relevant behavior in female intrasexual signaling. Indeed, whereas men engage in risky intrasexual competitive behavior ..., women prefer engaging in self-promotion in which they attempt to improve their appearance and physical attractiveness (Fisher & Cox, 2011; Fisher, Cox, & Gordon, 2009). This has been attributed to women.s predominant role as the primary caregivers for children, making risky behaviors less appropriate competitive behaviors due to their higher reproductive costs (Campbell, 2004). As drinking behavior, especially in an excessive manner, can also be considered risky and harmful behavior, this could explain why women pay less attention to female peers. drinking behavior. Non etheless, as young women mention using alcohol for social bonding and maintaining friendships (de Visser et al., 2013), female peers. alcohol consumption remains important information.

Together, these results suggest that alcohol consumption might operate as a signaling system in different domains, including intersexual courtship, intrasexual competition, group bonding, and strengthening friend ships. However, further research is necessary to unravel the functioning of alcohol as a signal in these different contexts, and to increase the understanding of the meaning of alcohol. Moreover, as sociocultural norms affect young adults. drinking behavior, future research should take into account both the national and local drinking cultures when studying the meaning of alcohol as a signal. On the one hand, national cultural norms affect both the acceptance and expectation to drink alcohol on specific social occasions as well as the general attitudes toward binge drinking and intoxication (Fjær, Pedersen, von Soest, & Gray, 2016; Grønkjær, Curtis, De Crespigny, & Delmar, 2011; Ma¨kela¨ & Maunu, 2016). Accordingly, alcohol will be perceived very differently in abstinent societies or countries with constrained ritual drinking practices,  compared to the more liberal European drinking cultures in which nondrinkers are often perceived as unusual ...

Additionally, the symbolic meaning of alcohol consumption and excessive drinking also depends on the local  community or peer group of which one is a member ... Furthermore, local alcohol  regulations and policies also affect the meaning of alcohol. For example, an 18-year-old drinking alcohol  would be perceived differently in Belgium than in the United States, where the legal drinking age is 21.

Finally, there are also some limitations to our studies.  Firstly, neither study took into account the act
ual drinking behavior of the participants. Nonetheless, it is possible that drinking behavior and alcoholic beverages receive more attention from drinkers, compared to nondrinkers. However, as the proportion of a lcohol consumers is very high among young adult students in Belgium (Rosiers et al., 2014), we believe that there would have been very few nondrinkers in this study group. Additionally, attention to alcoholic beverages was only measured by means of recall. Future eye-tracking studies should also study the visual attention to alcoholic products.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Again, no replication of the media priming effect, which posits that by drawing attention to certain issues while ignoring others, television news programs help define the politicians' evaluation standards

Media Priming Effect: A Preregistered Replication Experiment. Tetsuro Kobayashi, Asako Miura and Kazunori Inamasu. Journal of Experimental Political Science,

Abstract: Iyengar et al. (1984, The Evening News and Presidential Evaluations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 46(4): 778–87) discovered the media priming effect, positing that by drawing attention to certain issues while ignoring others, television news programs help define the standards by which presidents are evaluated. We conducted a direct replication of Experiment 1 by Iyengar et al. (1984, The Evening News and Presidential Evaluations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 46(4): 778–87) with some changes. Specifically, we (a) collected data from Japanese undergraduates; (b) reduced the number of conditions to two; (c) used news coverage of the issue of relocating US bases in Okinawa as the treatment; (d) measured issue-specific evaluations of the Japanese Prime Minister in the pre-treatment questionnaire; and (e) performed statistical analyses that are more appropriate for testing heterogeneity in the treatment effect. We did not find statistically significant evidence of media priming. Overall, the results suggest that the effects of media priming may be quite sensitive either to the media environment or to differences in populations in which the effect has been examined.

Check also: Echo Chamber? What Echo Chamber? Reviewing the Evidence. Axel Bruns. Future of Journalism 2017 Conference.,

Learning But Not Relaxing Ameliorates Deviance Under Job Stressors

More Is Less: Learning But Not Relaxing Buffers Deviance Under Job Stressors. Chen Zhang, David Mayer and Eunbit Hwang. Journal of Applied Psychology,

Abstract: Workplace deviance harms the well-being of an organization and its members. Unfortunately, theory and prior research suggest that deviance is associated with job stressors, which are endemic to work organizations and often cannot be easily eliminated. To address this conundrum, we explore actions individuals can take at work that serve as buffering conditions for the positive relationship between job stressors and deviant behavior. Drawing upon conservation of resources theory, we examine a resource-building activity (i.e., learning something new at work) and a demand-shielding activity (i.e., taking time for relaxation at work) as potential boundary conditions. In 2 studies with employee samples using complementary designs, we find support for the buffering role of learning but not for relaxation. When employees learn new things at work, the relationship between hindrance stressors and deviance is weaker; as is the indirect relationship mediated by negative emotions. Taking time for relaxation at work did not show a moderating role in either study. Therefore, although relaxation is a response that individuals might be inclined to turn to for counteracting work stress, our findings suggest that, when it comes to addressing negative emotions and deviance in stressful work environments, building positive resources by learning something new at work could be more useful. In that way, doing more (i.e., learning, and not relaxing) is associated with less (deviance) in the face of job stressors.

Echo Chamber? What Echo Chamber? Reviewing the Evidence

Echo Chamber? What Echo Chamber? Reviewing the Evidence. Axel Bruns. Future of Journalism 2017 Conference.,

Abstract: The success of political movements that appear to be immune to any factual evidence that contradicts their claims --  from the Brexiteers to the .alt-right., neo-fascist groups supporting Donald Trump --  has reinvigorated claims that social media spaces constitute so-called "filter bubbles" or "echo chambers".  But while such claims may appear intuitively true to politicians and journalists --  who have themselves been accused of living in filter bubbles (Bradshaw 2016) --, the evidence that ordinary users experience their everyday social media environments as echo chambers is far more limited.

For instance, a 2016 Pew Center study has shown that only 23% of U.S. users on Facebook and 17% on Twitter now say with confidence that most of their contacts' views are similar to their own.  20% have changed their minds about a political or social issue because of interactions on social media (Duggan and Smith 2016). Similarly, large-scale studies of follower and interaction networks on Twitter (e.g. Bruns et al ., 2014) show that national Twitterspheres are often thoroughly interconnected and facilitate the flow of information across boundaries of personal ideology and interest, except for a few especially hardcore partisan communities.

Building on new, comprehensive data from a project that maps and tracks interactions between 4 million accounts in the Australian Twittersphere, this paper explores in detail the evidence for the existence of echo chambers in that country. It thereby moves the present debate beyond a merely anecdotal footing, and offers a more reliable assessment of the "echo chamber"  threat.

Keywords: echo chamber, filter bubble, social media, Twitter, Australia, network analysis

Check also: Polarized Mass or Polarized Few? Assessing the Parallel Rise of Survey Nonresponse and Measures of Polarization. Amnon Cavari and Guy Freedman. The Journal of Politics,

Restrictive policies engender more support from stakeholders if to be implemented in the distant vs near future

It’s about time: Divergent evaluations of restrictive policies in the near and distant future. Nathaniel Nakashima, David Daniels and Kristin Laurin. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Volume 142, September 2017, Pages 12-27,

Abstract: When should leaders announce policies that create net benefits for organizations, but also restrict individual member choices? We find that restrictive policies engender more support from stakeholders when they are to be implemented in the distant versus near future (Studies 1 and 2). We find similar results when manipulating construal level instead of temporal distance (Study 3). The effect of temporal distance on attitudes toward a policy is mediated by people’s attention to different aspects of the policy (desirability vs. feasibility, pros vs. cons, self vs. other) (Study 4). Furthermore, temporal distance enhances support for policies that are high, but not low, in desirability for the collective (Study 5). The evidence is consistent with Construal Level Theory; we also consider Rational Choice Theory as an alternative perspective. Our findings suggest that leaders who wish to maximize member support for restrictive policies should consider announcing them well in advance of their implementation date.

A beluga whale socialized with bottlenose dolphins imitates their whistles

A beluga whale socialized with bottlenose dolphins imitates their whistles. Elena M. Panova, and Alexandr V. Agafonov. Animal Cognition,

Abstract: The research on imitation in the animal kingdom has more than a century-long history. A specific kind of imitation, auditory–vocal imitation, is well known in birds, especially among songbirds and parrots, but data for mammals are limited to elephants, marine mammals, and humans. Cetaceans are reported to imitate various signals, including species–specific calls, artificial sounds, and even vocalizations from other species if they share the same habitat. Here we describe the changes in the vocal repertoire of a beluga whale that was housed with a group of bottlenose dolphins. Two months after the beluga’s introduction into a new facility, we found that it began to imitate whistles of the dolphins, whereas one type of its own calls seemed to disappear. The case reported here may be considered as an interesting phenomenon of vocal accommodation to new social companions and cross-species socialization in cetaceans.

Check also: Spontaneous cross-species imitation in interactions between chimpanzees and zoo visitors. Tomas Persson, Gabriela-Alina Sauciuc, and Elainie Alenkær Madsen. Primates,

It’s not as bad as you think: menopausal representations are more positive in postmenopausal women

It’s not as bad as you think: menopausal representations are more positive in postmenopausal women. Lydia Brown, Valerie Brown, Fiona Judd & Christina Bryant. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology,


Introduction: The menopausal transition is associated with underlying hormonal changes that can contribute to a range of physical and emotional symptoms. Psycho-social factors including attitudes and internal representations play a central role in women’s experience of the menopause, but very little is known about how representations might differ across menopausal stages.

Methods: A sample of 387 women aged 40–60 completed a postal questionnaire that included the menopausal representations questionnaire, the emotional representation subscale adapted from the illness perception questionnaire, and data on menopausal status.

Results: Significant differences across menopausal stages were found for both cognitive [F(2, 381) = 4.32, p < .05, η2 = 0.022], and emotional [F(2, 381) = 9.70, p < .01, η2 = 0.048] menopausal representations. Postmenopausal women had a significantly more positive cognitive representations of the menopause relative to perimenopausal women (standardised mean difference = 0.25, p > .05). Postmenopausal women held a significantly more positive emotional representation of the menopause than both premenopausal (standardised mean difference = 0.56, p < .05) and perimenopausal (standardised mean difference = 0.43, p < .05) women.

Discussion: Women’s emotional and cognitive representations of the menopause are more positive among postmenopausal women, compared to women in the late premenopausal stage. This is consistent with the affective forecasting theory, which proposes the tendency to overestimate the intensity and duration of emotional reactions to future events. Given the association between representations and bothersomeness of menopausal symptoms, clinicians should educate women about their expectations, and challenge their negative beliefs about the menopause.

Keywords: Climacterium, menopause, perimenopause, psychological wellbeing, cognitions

Taking Facebook at face value: why the use of social media may cause mental disorder

Østergaard, S. D. (2017), Taking Facebook at face value: why the use of social media may cause mental disorder. Acta Psychiatr Scand. doi:10.1111/acps.12819

Facebook, the largest social media network, currently has approximately 2 billion monthly users [1], corresponding to more than 25% of the world's population. While the existence of an online social network may seem harmless or even beneficial, a series of recent studies have suggested that use of Facebook and other social media platforms may have a negative influence on mental health [2-5].

In a recent longitudinal study based on three ‘waves’ of data (2013, 2014, and 2015) from more than 5000 participants in the nationally representative Gallup Panel Social Network Study, Shakya and Christakis found that the use of Facebook (which was measured objectively) was negatively associated with self-reported mental well-being [3]. Both clicking ‘like’ on the content of others’ Facebook pages and posting ‘status updates’ on one's own Facebook page were negatively associated with mental well-being. Importantly, these results were robust to two-wave prospective analyses suggesting that the direction of the effect goes from Facebook use to lower mental well-being and not the other way around [3]. However, due to the observational nature of the analyzed data, these results do not represent causal evidence of a harmful effect of Facebook, but probably—due to the longitudinal nature of the study—represent the best available estimate of the effect of Facebook on mental well-being to date [3]. Another recent study supporting that Facebook use could have a negative effect on well-being is that of Tromholt [5] in which the 1095 participants were randomly assigned (or rather randomly urged) to follow one of two instructions: (i) ‘Keep using Facebook as usual in the following week’, or (ii) ‘Do not use Facebook in the following week’ [5]. After this week, those assigned to the Facebook abstinence group reported significantly higher life satisfaction and more positive emotions than those assigned to the ‘Facebook as usual’ group [5]. However, due to the unblinded design of this study, its results do not represent causal evidence of the effect of Facebook either—an effect, which will be difficult to establish.

If we nevertheless assume that Facebook use indeed has a harmful effect on mental well-being, what is then the mechanism underlying it? This aspect remains unclear, but an intuitively logical explanation—with some empirical support—is that people predominantly display the most positive aspects of their lives on social media [6] and that other people—who tend to take these positively biased projections at face value—therefore get the impression that their own life compares negatively to that of other Facebook users [7]. As indicated by the recent findings by Hanna et al., such upward social comparison is very likely to mediate the negative effect of Facebook use on mental well-being [4].

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Seeing live theater yields higher levels of tolerance, social perspective taking, & stronger command of the plot & vocabulary of those plays

Greene, Jay P. and Holmes Erickson, Heidi and Watson, Angela and Beck, Molly, The Play's the Thing: Experimentally Examining the Social and Cognitive Effects of School Field Trips to Live Theater Performances (August 31, 2017). EDRE Working Paper No. 2017-13. Available at SSRN:

Abstract: Field trips to see theater performances are a long-standing educational practice, however, there is little systematic evidence demonstrating educational benefits. This article describes the results of five random assignment experiments spanning two years where school groups were assigned by lottery to attend a live theater performance, or for some groups, watch a movie-version of the same story. We find significant educational benefits from seeing live theater, including higher levels of tolerance, social perspective taking, and stronger command of the plot and vocabulary of those plays. Students randomly assigned to watch a movie did not experience these benefits. Our findings also suggest that theater field trips may cultivate the desire among students to frequent the theater in the future.

More modesty, less trust -- The law of Jante

The Law of Jante and generalized trust. Cornelius Cappelen & Stefan Dahlberg. Acta Sociologica,

Abstract: A widespread cultural phenomenon – and/or individual disposition – is the idea that one should never try to be more, try to be different, or consider oneself more valuable than other people. In Scandinavia this code of modesty is referred to as the ‘Jante mentality’, in Anglo-Saxon societies the ‘tall puppy syndrome’, and in Asian cultures ‘the nail that stands out gets hammered down’. The study reported here examines how this modesty code relates to generalized trust. We argue, prima facie, that a positive and a negative relationship are equally plausible. Representative samples of the Norwegian population were asked about their agreement with the Jante mentality and the extent to which they have trust in other people. Two population surveys were conducted; one measuring individual level associations and another measuring aggregate level associations. It was found that the relationship between having a Jante mentality and trust is negative, at both levels of analysis and, furthermore, that the Jante mentality – this modesty code assumed to be instilled in Scandinavians from early childhood – is a powerful predictor of generalized trust.

Low relational mobility leads to greater motivation to understand enemies but not friends and acquaintances

Low relational mobility leads to greater motivation to understand enemies but not friends and acquaintances. Liman Man Wai Li, Takahiko Masuda & Hajin Lee. British Journal of Social Psychology,

Abstract: Enemyship occurs across societies, but it has not received as much attention as other types of relationships such as friendship in previous research. This research examined the influence of relational mobility on people's motivation to understand their personal enemies by measuring different dependent variables across three studies. First, a cross-cultural comparison study found that Hong Kong Chinese, from a low-relational-mobility society, reported a stronger desire to seek proximity to enemies relative to European Canadians, from a high-relational-mobility society (Study 1). To test causality, two manipulation studies were conducted. Participants were presented with images of co-workers, including enemies, friends, and acquaintances, in a hypothetical company. The results showed that the participants who perceived lower relational mobility paid more attention to their enemies in an eye-tracking task (Study 2) and had a higher accuracy rate for recognizing the faces of the enemies in an incidental memory test (Study 3). In contrast, the influence of relational mobility on motivation to understand friends and acquaintances was minimal. Implications for research on interpersonal relationships and relational mobility are discussed.

The Split-Brain Phenomenon Revisited: A Single Conscious Agent with Split Perception

The Split-Brain Phenomenon Revisited: A Single Conscious Agent with Split Perception. Yair Pinto, Edward H.F de Haan, and Victor A.F. Lamme. Trends in Cognitive Sciences,

Abstract: The split-brain phenomenon is caused by the surgical severing of the corpus callosum, the main route of communication between the cerebral hemispheres. The classical view of this syndrome asserts that conscious unity is abolished. The left hemisphere consciously experiences and functions independently of the right hemisphere. This view is a cornerstone of current consciousness research. In this review, we first discuss the evidence for the classical view. We then propose an alternative, the ‘conscious unity, split perception’ model. This model asserts that a split brain produces one conscious agent who experiences two parallel, unintegrated streams of information. In addition to changing our view of the split-brain phenomenon, this new model also poses a serious challenge for current dominant theories of consciousness.


Five hallmarks characterize the split-brain syndrome: a response × visual field interaction, strong hemispheric specialization, confabulations after left-hand actions, split attention, and the inability to compare stimuli across the midline.

These hallmarks underlie the classical notion that split brain implies split consciousness. This notion suggests that massive interhemispheric communication is necessary for conscious unity.

Closer examination challenges the classical notion. Either the hallmark also occurs in healthy adults or the hallmark does not hold up for all split-brain patients.

A re-evaluation of the split-brain data suggests a new model that might better account for the data. This model asserts that a split-brain patient is one conscious agent with unintegrated visual perception.

This new model challenges prominent theories of consciousness, since it implies that massive communication is not needed for conscious unity.

Keywords: global workspace; information integration theory; recurrent processing; split brain; unified consciousness

Fewer adolescents engaged in adult activities such as having sex, dating, drinking alcohol, working for pay, going out without their parents, & driving

Twenge, J. M. and Park, H. (2017), The Decline in Adult Activities Among U.S. Adolescents, 1976–2016. Child Dev. doi:10.1111/cdev.12930

Abstract: The social and historical contexts may influence the speed of development. In seven large, nationally representative surveys of U.S. adolescents 1976–2016 (N = 8.44 million, ages 13–19), fewer adolescents in recent years engaged in adult activities such as having sex, dating, drinking alcohol, working for pay, going out without their parents, and driving, suggesting a slow life strategy. Adult activities were less common when median income, life expectancy, college enrollment, and age at first birth were higher and family size and pathogen prevalence were lower, consistent with life history theory. The trends are unlikely to be due to homework and extracurricular time, which stayed steady or declined, and may or may not be linked to increased Internet use.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Contradicting effects of self-insight: Self-insight can conditionally contribute to increased depressive symptoms

Contradicting effects of self-insight: Self-insight can conditionally contribute to increased depressive symptoms. Miho Nakajima, Keisuke Takano, and Yoshihiko Tanno. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 120, 1 January 2018, Pages 127–132,

•    Self-insight has been considered as a factor that enhances psychological adjustment.
•    However, we found that the adaptive effect of self-insight was conditional.
•    Self-insight with high negative self-complexity was related to increased depression.

Abstract: Past research has suggested that self-insight functions as a genuine factor to enhance psychological adjustment. However, because most of the previous studies had used a cross-sectional design, a prospective study was warranted to establish the temporal and causal relationship between self-insight and depressive symptoms. Another important issue was that there seems to be a moderator that influences the adaptive function of self-insight. Stein and Grant (2014) suggested that positive self-evaluation mediates the association between self-insight and well-being. This result could imply that self-insight does not lead to well-being with negative self-evaluation. In this study, therefore, we conducted a longitudinal questionnaire survey to examine the prospective effect of self-insight on future depressive symptoms with self-complexity as a putative moderator. A complete dataset of 93 Japanese undergraduates was analyzed. The prospective analysis showed a significant moderating role of negative self-complexity in the associations among self-insight, depressive symptoms, and stress; people with high self-insight and low negative self-complexity were less likely to be influenced by stressors, whereas those with high self-insight and high negative self-complexity showed significant increases in depressive symptoms after stressful experiences. These findings implicate that the adaptive effect of self-insight can be conditional depending on the extent of negative self-complexity.

Keywords: Self-insight; Self-complexity; Depressive symptoms

Sleep pressure after sleep deprivation in flies can be counteracted by raising their sexual arousal

Regulation of sleep homeostasis by sexual arousal. Esteban J Beckwith et al. eLife 2017;6:e27445 doi: 10.7554/eLife.27445

Abstract: In all animals, sleep pressure is under continuous tight regulation. It is universally accepted that this regulation arises from a two-process model, integrating both a circadian and a homeostatic controller. Here we explore the role of environmental social signals as a third, parallel controller of sleep homeostasis and sleep pressure. We show that, in Drosophila melanogaster males, sleep pressure after sleep deprivation can be counteracted by raising their sexual arousal, either by engaging the flies with prolonged courtship activity or merely by exposing them to female pheromones.

Finally, to investigate whether mere sexual arousal is responsible for this effect, we used flies mutant in the TDC2 gene, that possess lower levels of tyramine and octopamine (Crocker and Sehgal, 2008) and were previously shown to court male as well as female flies (Huang et al., 2016). We hypothesised that if these flies are sexually aroused by both male and female partners, they should then respond with a suppression of sleep rebound to both conditions of social interaction. This was what we observed indeed (Figure 8D,E). In flies with a bi-sexual orientation, both MF and MM interaction lead to a strong suppression of sleep rebound.

[...] migratory birds and cetaceans were reported to have the ability to suppress sleep at certain important periods of their lives, namely during migration or immediately after giving birth (Fuchs et al., 2009; Lyamin et al., 2005; Rattenborg et al., 2004); flies, similarly, were shown to lack sleep rebound after starvation-induced sleep deprivation (Thimgan et al., 2010) or after induction of sleep deprivation through specific neuronal clusters (Seidner et al., 2015). Perhaps even more fitting with our findings is the observation that male pectoral sandpipers, a type of Arctic bird, can forego sleep in favour of courtship during the three weeks time window of female fertility (Lesku et al., 2012). It appears, therefore, that animals are able to balance sleep needs with other, various, biological drives. It would be interesting to see whether these drives act to suppress sleep through a common regulatory circuit. Rebound sleep has always been considered one of the most important features of sleep itself. Together with the reported death by sleep deprivation, it is frequently used in support of the hypothesis that sleep is not an accessory phenomenon but a basic need of the organism (Cirelli and Tononi, 2008). Understanding the regulation of rebound sleep, therefore, may be crucial to understanding the very function of sleep. Interestingly, in our paradigm rebound sleep is not postponed, but rather eliminated. Moreover, on rebound day, the sleep architecture of sexually aroused male flies does not seem to be affected: the sleep bout numbers appear to be similar to their mock control counterparts, while the length of sleep bouts is, if anything, slightly reduced (Figure 1 – figure supplement 1).

Do casual gaming environments evoke stereotype threat? Examining the effects of explicit priming and avatar gender

Do casual gaming environments evoke stereotype threat? Examining the effects of explicit priming and avatar gender. Linda K. Kaye. Charlotte R. Pennington, and Joseph J. McCann. Computers in Human Behavior,

•    Assessing stereotype threat in an under-explored domain.
•    Operationalising avatar gender as a subtle threat on gaming outcomes.
•    No evidence of stereotype threat effects on gaming performance.

Abstract: Despite relatively equal participation rates between females and males in casual gaming, females often report stigmatisation and prejudice towards their gaming competency within this sub-domain. Applying the theoretical framework of “stereotype threat”, this research examined the influence of explicit stereotype priming on females' casual gameplay performance and related attitudes. It also investigated whether the gender of the game avatar heightens susceptibility to stereotype threat. One hundred and twenty females were allocated randomly to one of four experimental conditions in a 2 (Condition: Stereotype threat, Control) x 2 (Avatar gender: Feminine, Masculine) between-subjects design. They completed a short gaming task and measures of social identity, competence beliefs, gameplay self-efficacy and self-esteem. Findings indicate that priming explicitly a negative gender-related stereotype did not appear to have a significant detrimental impact on gameplay performance or gameplay-related attitudes. Additionally, gameplay performance was not affected significantly by manipulating the gender of the gaming avatar. These findings suggest that, although females appear to be knowledgeable about negative gender-gaming stereotypes, these might not impact performance. Moreover, females tend not to endorse these beliefs as a true reflection of their gaming ability, representing a positive finding in view of the prevailing negative attitudes they face in gaming domains.

Keywords: Stereotype threat; Digital gaming; Competence; Self-concept; Gender; Avatars

Hypocognition impoverishes one’s mental world, leaving cognitive deficits in recognition, explanation & memory while fueling social chauvinism & conflict in political & cultural spheres

Wu, K., & Dunning, D. (2017). Hypocognition: Making Sense of the Landscape Beyond One’s Conceptual Reach. Review of General Psychology,

Abstract: People think, feel, and behave within the confines of what they can conceive. Outside that conceptual landscape, people exhibit hypocognition (i.e., lacking cognitive or linguistic representations of concepts to describe ideas or explicate experiences). We review research on the implications of hypocognition for cognition and behavior. Drawing on the expertise and cross-cultural literatures, we describe how hypocognition impoverishes one’s mental world, leaving cognitive deficits in recognition, explanation, and memory while fueling social chauvinism and conflict in political and cultural spheres. Despite its pervasive consequences, people cannot be expected to identify when they are in a hypocognitive state, mistaking what they conceive for the totality of all that there is. To the extent that their channel of knowledge becomes too narrow, people risk submitting to hypocognition’s counterpart, hypercognition (i.e., the mistaken overapplication of other available conceptual notions to issues outside their actual relevance).

We remember lies better than truths, but we expect the opposite

Besken, M. (2017). Generating Lies Produces Lower Memory Predictions and Higher Memory Performance Than Telling the Truth: Evidence for a Metacognitive Illusion. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition,

Abstract: Manipulations that induce disfluency during encoding generally produce lower memory predictions for the disfluent condition than for the fluent condition. Similar to other manipulations of disfluency, generating lies takes longer and requires more mental effort than does telling the truth; hence, a manipulation of lie generation might produce patterns similar to other types of fluency for memory predictions. The current study systematically investigates the effect of a lie-generation manipulation on both actual and predicted memory performance. In a series of experiments, participants told the truth or generated plausible lies to general knowledge questions and made item-by-item predictions about their subsequent memory performance during encoding, followed by a free recall test. Participants consistently predicted their memory performance to be higher for truth than for lies (Experiments 1 through 4), despite their typically superior actual memory performance for lies than for the truth (Experiments 1 through 3), producing double dissociations between memory and metamemory. Moreover, lying led to longer response latencies than did telling the truth, showing that generating lies is in fact objectively more disfluent. An additional experiment compared memory predictions for truth and lie trials via a scenario about the lie-generation manipulation used in the present study, which revealed superior memory predictions of truth than of lies, providing proof for a priori beliefs about the effects of lying on predicted memory (Experiment 5). The effects of the current lie-generation manipulation on metamemory are discussed in light of experience-based and theory-based processes on making judgments of learning. Theoretical and practical implications of this experimental paradigm are also considered.

My commentary: We remember lies better than truths, but we expect the opposite ("revealed superior memory predictions of truth than of lies, providing proof for a priori beliefs about the effects of lying on predicted memory").

Cheap Renewable Contracts Could Be Options In Disguise

Cheap Renewable Contracts Could Be Options In Disguise
Financial Times, September 25 2017

Jonathan Ford

When prices tumble for a product or service, there is generally an observable reason. It might be a cunning technological fix that dramatically boosts productivity, for instance, or the sudden slide in a key input cost. But nothing so obvious can convincingly explain why it is suddenly much cheaper to produce electricity from offshore wind turbines.

Check also:
Subsidy-Free Wind Farms Risk Ruining the Industry’s Reputation. By Jess Shankleman

 The latest round of renewable auctions has seen two big projects awarded contracts guaranteeing a fixed price of £57.50 per megawatt hour for their output when the blades start turning sometime in the next decade. That is a very big dip from the first round, which required subsidies of some £150/MWh to be profitable. Even the cheapest of previous vintages were north of £110.

It is not so long since British wind power bosses were vowing — amid widespread scepticism — that they could reduce costs to £100/MWh by 2020. Yet these auction results suggest a far steeper decline in offshore costs.

Of course, it is always worth peering behind the headlines to put numbers in context. The sums quoted are 2012 prices. The actual figure in today’s money is therefore £64/MWh; a still subsidy-rich 50 per cent above the current wholesale price of about £40.

The real question though is how the industry can support such a reduction. Take overall costs, for instance. Most studies do not yet point to projects breaking even at £57.50. According to a recent review by the UK’s Offshore Wind Programme Board, so-called levelised costs for new wind projects at the point of commitment (ie not yet built, but button decisively pressed) declined by 7 per cent annually from £142/MWh in 2010-11 to just £97 in 2015-16, driven by factors such as the use of larger turbines and better siting. But while these are impressive figures even they cannot explain a further £40 drop in such a short space of time.

What’s more, by far the biggest component of those costs is capital expenditure, and another study suggests that progress here is much more nuanced. A new report led by Gordon Hughes, a former professor of economics at Edinburgh University, and published by the sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation, has analysed the reported capital costs of 86 projects across Europe. These show that while technological advances are driving down costs by 4 per cent annually, this gain is being offset as the industry moves out into deeper and more challenging waters. So, depending on where future projects are sited, there may even be no clear downward trend at all.

It may be possible that the auction-winning projects have specific reasons for being able to deliver low prices. For instance, the Hornsea II project sponsored by Denmark’s Dong Energy sits next to a first farm that is also being built by the same company (at far higher rates of subsidy), offering the opportunity to share support infrastructure, as well as the link between the turbines and the grid.

But it is also possible that the promoters view the CFD contract as a pretty loose commitment. “Potentially these bids could be seen as more of an option on future capacity,” said Allan Baker, Société Générale’s global head of power advisory and project finance at Bloomberg’s New Energy Finance Summit last week.

Just three giant wind farms have taken all the capacity in the current auction, which at 3.2GW is equivalent to 60 per cent of Britain’s current offshore fleet. That means the competition is in effect shut out.

The contracts do not represent an absolute commitment. According to the UK government, the developers could withdraw were they unable to obtain financing, with only a limited penalty. What they would mainly lose was the right to pop the same project into a later auction round.

So to the extent, for instance, that contracts depend on yet-to-be developed technologies, such as 15MW turbines, or squeezing contractor prices, there would be little cost to cancelling were developers not to get the deals they hoped for.

And even beyond construction, the CFD could conceivably be revoked by the operator were it prepared to pay a significant, not ruinous, financial penalty, Prof Hughes reckons. So should wholesale prices rise well above the level of the fixed strike price in future, developers might be able to flip across and benefit from (superior) market rates. That might happen, for instance, were the government to introduce a higher carbon price.

Subsidy-Free Wind Farms Risk Ruining the Industry’s Reputation

Subsidy-Free Wind Farms Risk Ruining the Industry’s Reputation. By Jess Shankleman

Energy companies that stunned the world by offering to build wind farms with no subsidy may ruin the industry’s reputation by never actually delivering on their promises.
That’s the warning of industry executives, who are cautious about the future of zero-subsidy offshore wind farms planned in Germany this year. Developers led by Energie Baden-Wuerttemberg AG and Dong Energy A/S are betting they can sell the electricity they produce from the wind farms at a profit without any help from taxpayers.
“The offshore wind industry needs to be careful,” Irene Rummelhoff, executive vice president at Statoil ASA’s New Energy Solutions unit, said at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit in London on Tuesday. “They’re taking on these options, and when you get to the delivery date, if they’re not able to build the projects, it will ruin the reputation of the industry.”
The German government may not have the right rules in place to ensure developers actually deliver on their winning bids, said Thomas Karst, senior vice president at MHI Vestas Offshore Wind AS.
“The regulatory power lies with the owners of the concessions and they may or may not get built, so that model from the regulatory point of view doesn’t really work,” Karst said at the same conference.
It’s not just in Germany where the costs of offshore wind power are falling. The U.K. and Netherlands have both seen record low bids during the past year that surprised even industry insiders. Last week, developers led by Dong won bids to develop wind farms in British waters for as little as 57.50 pounds ($77.61) a megawatt-hour, well below the cost of the next nuclear reactors.
Winning bidders in the German auctions based business cases on giant wind turbines, soaring as high as The Shard in London and generating as much as 15 megawatts of power each. Those machines haven’t been built yet and aren’t due until the next decade.
“The question is are they actually deliverable? Potentially these bids could be seen as more of an option on future capacity,” said Allan Baker, global head of power advisory and project finance at Societe Generale SA.

The robotic system has reduced rejects from 20 pct to 5 pct, mostly due to improvements in hygiene & handling

Spanish farm produce supplier reduces human workers from 500 to 100 using robots. David Edwards. Robotics & Automation News, September 19, 2017,

Spanish farm produce supplier El Dulze has reduced its human workforce from 500 down to just 100 with the use of robots, according to a report on

The company is said to be using Fanuc robots – LR Mate 200iB models – which use vision systems to even out the production line so the vegetables are not bunched up too close together for packing.

The robots also appear to be picking heads of lettuce and placing them in containers, or plastic packaging.

A total of 68 robots have been installed at the El Dulze facility in Murcia, and they process approximately 550,000 heads of lettuce every day.

The robotic system is also said to have reduced rejects from 20 per cent to 5 per cent, mostly due to improvements in hygiene and handling.

Managing director José Sánchez is quoted by as saying: “This business has traditionally been labour intensive but today labour is increasingly unavailable.

“This region has a major shortage of labour – many workers in the industry are immigrants but this hasn’t solved our problem.

“As minimal skill is needed we have a real problem with labour and turnover of these workers is high – they just seem to come and go.

“Reducing the amount of people has made everything more hygienic and damage to the lettuces caused by handling is now minimal.”

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Perverse Consequences of Well Intentioned Regulation: Evidence from India's Child Labor Ban

Perverse Consequences of Well Intentioned Regulation: Evidence from India's Child Labor Ban. Prashant Bharadwaj, Leah K. Lakdawala, and Nicholas Li.

ABSTRACT: While bans against child labor are a common policy tool, there is very little empirical evidence validating their effectiveness.  In this paper, we examine the consequences of India’s landmark legislation against child labor, the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986. Using data from employment surveys conducted before and after the ban, and using age restrictions that determined who the ban applied to, we show that child wages decrease and child labor increases after the ban. These results are consistent with a theoretical model building on the seminal work of Basu and Van (1998) and Basu (2005),  where families use child labor to reach subsistence constraints and where child wages decrease in response to bans, leading poor families to utilize more child labor. The increase in child labor comes at the expense of reduced school enrollment. We also examine the effects of the ban at the household level.  Using linked consumption and expenditure vdata, we find that along various margins of household expenditure, consumption, calorie intake and asset holdings, households are worse off after the ban.

JEL Codes: I38, J22, J82, O12

Check also: A Fine is a Price. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini. The Journal of Legal Studies, Volume 29, Number 1, January 2000.
Abstract: The deterrence hypothesis predicts that the introduction of a penalty that leaves everything else unchanged will reduce the occurrence of the behavior subject to the fine. We present the result of a field study in a group of day‐care centers that contradicts this prediction. Parents used to arrive late to collect their children, forcing a teacher to stay after closing time. We introduced a monetary fine for late‐coming parents. As a result, the number of late‐coming parents increased significantly. After the fine was removed no reduction occurred. We argue that penalties are usually introduced into an incomplete contract, social or private. They may change the information that agents have, and therefore the effect on behavior may be opposite of that expected. If this is true, the deterrence hypothesis loses its predictive strength, since the clause “everything else is left unchanged” might be hard to satisfy.
In a day-care center for little children... The contract signed at the beginning of the year states that the day-care center operates between 0730 and 1600. There is no mention of what happens if parents come late to pick up their children. In particular, before the beginning of the study, there was no fine for coming late. When parents did not come on time, one of the teachers had to wait with the children concerned. Teachers would rotate in this task, which is considered part of the job of a teacher, a fact that is clearly explained when a teacher is hired. Parents rarely came after 1630. [...] At the beginning of the fifth week [of 20 weeks in the study], we introduced a fine [of little money for each child and 10 minutes delay] in six of the 10 day-care centers,7 which had been selected randomly. [...] At the beginning of the seventeenth week, the fine was removed with no explanation.

[...] Fact 1.—The effect of introducing the fine was a significant increase in the number of late-coming parents.
Fact 2.—Removing the fine did not affect the number of late-coming parents relative to the time of the fine. In particular, this number remained higher in the treatment group than in the control group.
Fact 3.—There is no significant difference in the behavior of the test group and the control group in the initial 4 weeks, and there is no significant trend in the test group.

Dark Personalities on Facebook: Harmful Online Behaviors and Language

Dark Personalities on Facebook: Harmful Online Behaviors and Language. Olga Bogolyubova et al. Computers in Human Behavior,

•    We explore the interplay of the Dark Triad, harmful online behaviors and language
•    Psychopathy and male gender predict engagement in harmful online behaviors
•    Facebook users with dark traits have identifiable language characteristics
•    Findings are consistent with previous research using non-linguistic criteria

Abstract: The goal of this paper was to assess the connection between dark personality traits and engagement in harmful online behaviors in a sample of Russian Facebook users, and to describe the language they use in online communication. A total of 6,724 individuals participated in the study (mean age = 44.96 years, age range: 18–85 years, 77.9% — female). Data was collected via a purpose-built application, which served two purposes: administer the survey and download consenting user’s public wall posts, gender and age from the Facebook profile. The survey included questions on engagement in harmful online behaviors and the Short Dark Triad scale; 15,281 wall posts from 1,972 users were included in the dataset. These posts were subjected to morphological, lexical and semantic analyses. More than 25% of the sample reported engaging in harmful online behaviors. Males were more likely to send insulting or threatening messages and post aggressive comments; no gender differences were found for disseminating other people’s private information. Psychopathy and male gender were the unique predictors of engagement in harmful online behaviors. A number of significant correlations were found between the dark traits and numeric, lexical, morphological and semantic characteristics of the participants’ posts.

Keywords: Dark Triad; Facebook; cyber aggression; Russian language; distributional semantics; word clustering

Individual differences in the effects of baby images on attitudes toward getting married

Individual differences in the effects of baby images on attitudes toward getting married. Charles G. Lord, , Christopher J. Holland, and Sarah E. Hill. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 121, 15 January 2018, Pages 106–110,

•    Women who had viewed images of smiling babies wanted to get married sooner.
•    This effect occurred for both 18- to 25-year-old and 18- to 45-year-old women.
•    Baby image priming increased accessibility of thoughts about having children.
•    Baby image priming increased positivity of thoughts about having children.
•    All of these effects occurred for women, but not for men.

Abstract: Previous research on determinants of marital and reproductive timing focused on factors prominent in evolutionary theories. We focused on complementary factors prominent in research on attitudes, social cognition, and personality. Attitude construal and situated inference theories hold that priming can increase the accessibility of specific concepts, and that valence of the primed concepts can affect subsequent judgments. In two studies, one with college students and the other with a larger, more diverse sample, women, but not men, wanted to get married sooner if they had than had not recently seen images of smiling babies. Primed women also listed a greater number of and more positive children-related thoughts about marriage. These results suggest that subtle contextual cues can alter accessibility of relevant concepts, affect attitudes even on important issues, and work differently for different individuals. The results also suggest closer links between evolutionary, social cognitive, and personality theories.

Keywords: Attitudes; Construal theories; Priming; Sex differences; Situated inference; Accessibility

European Paradox or Delusion—Are European Science and Economy Outdated?

European Paradox or Delusion—Are European Science and Economy Outdated? Alonso Rodríguez-Navarro Francis Narin. Science and Public Policy, scx021,

Abstract: The European Union (EU) seems to presume that the mass production of European research papers indicates that Europe is a leading scientific power, and the so-called European paradox of strong science but weak technology is due to inefficiencies in the utilization of this top level European science by European industry. We fundamentally disagree, and will show that Europe lags far behind the USA in the production of important, highly cited research. We will show that there is a consistent weakening of European science as one ascends the citation scale, with the EU almost twice as effective in the production of minimal impact papers, while the USA is at least twice as effective in the production of very highly cited scientific papers, and garnering Nobel prizes. Only in the highly multinational, collaborative fields of Physics and Clinical Medicine does the EU seem to approach the USA in top scale impact.

Keywords: European paradox, research performance, research assessment, citation analysis.

The Mortality and Myocardial Effects of Antidepressants Are Moderated by Preexisting Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis

The Mortality and Myocardial Effects of Antidepressants Are Moderated by Preexisting Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis. Maslej M.M. et al. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics,


Background: Antidepressants (ADs) are commonly prescribed medications, but their long-term health effects are debated. ADs disrupt multiple adaptive processes regulated by evolutionarily ancient biochemicals, potentially increasing mortality. However, many ADs also have anticlotting properties that can be efficacious in treating cardiovascular disease. We conducted a meta-analysis assessing the effects of ADs on all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events in general-population and cardiovascular-patient samples.

Methods: Two reviewers independently assessed articles from PubMed, EMBASE, and Google Scholar for AD-related mortality controlling for depression and other comorbidities. From these articles, we extracted information about cardiovascular events, cardiovascular risk status, and AD class. We conducted mixed-effect meta-analyses testing sample type and AD class as moderators of all-cause mortality and new cardiovascular events.

Results: Seventeen studies met our search criteria. Sample type consistently moderated health risks. In general-population samples, AD use increased the risks of mortality (HR = 1.33, 95% CI: 1.14-1.55) and new cardiovascular events (HR = 1.14, 95% CI: 1.08-1.21). In cardiovascular patients, AD use did not significantly affect risks. AD class also moderated mortality, but the serotonin reuptake inhibitors were not significantly different from tricyclic ADs (TCAs) (HR = 1.10, 95% CI: 0.93-1.31, p = 0.27). Only “other ADs” were differentiable from TCAs (HR = 1.35, 95% CI: 1.08-1.69). Mortality risk estimates increased when we analyzed the subset of studies controlling for premedication depression, suggesting the absence of confounding by indication.

Conclusions: The results support the hypothesis that ADs are harmful in the general population but less harmful in cardiovascular patients.

‘Barbie Doll Syndrome’. A case report of body dysmorphic disorder

„Das Barbie Syndrom“. Ein Fallbericht über die Körperdysmorphe Störung (=‘Barbie Doll Syndrome’. A case report of body dysmorphic disorder). Gruber, M., Jahn, R., Stolba, K. et al. Neuropsychiatr (2017).


Background: This case report aims to present a 37-year-old women striving to shape her body like a Barbie doll of which she has been fascinated since childhood. She could hardly tolerate any deviation from this beauty ideal. She has been admitted to the psychosomatic ward due to an eating disorder.

Methods: The ICD-10 and DSM-5 criteria were established for axis I disorders and the German version of the SCID II interview (for DSM-4) was applied for axis II disorders. Additionally, the “modified Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale for body dysmorphic disorder” was carried out.

Results: The diagnosis of dysmorphophobia (ICD-10: F45.21) or body dysmorphic disorder (DSM-5: 300.7) and bulimia nervosa (ICD-10: F50.2; DSM-5: 307.51) was confirmed. The patient fulfilled criteria of an avoidant, depressive and histrionic personality disorder.

Psychopharmacological treatment with Fluoxetine was started and the patient participated in an intensive inpatient psychosomatic program. The body image, self-concept and the sense of shame were therapeutic key topics.

Conclusion: The present case report focuses on body dysmorphic disorder as a distinctive entity with high prevalence. Diagnostic criteria of different classification systems were contrasted and comorbidity with eating disorders was discussed. In clinical praxis, body dysmorphic disorder remains underdiagnosed, especially when cooccurring with an eating disorder. However, the correct diagnosis could be relevant for therapy planning.

approx translation: [The appearance of the patient is impressive. Her artificial style with toupled hair and artificial hair parts (Beehive hair style), a heavily painted face with a focus on the eyes, framed by the thick eyelid with the false eyelashes and the delicate, somewhat aged skin with the dark solarium-browned complexion. The physique is delicate except the large breasts.

The patient grew up with a stable twin-sister and an older sister in stable family circumstances. She describes the twin sister as her "mirror image", both had always placed great emphasis on their appearance, compared to each other and revised and criticized each other. At school, the sisters would sometimes have been teased because of their "mirror image". Furthermore she describes a great fascination for Barbie dolls, which would continue today. At the age of 17, she met her ex-husband, with whom she became engaged and had two children. After the birth of the second child had a postpartum depression with a resulting bonding disorder to the son. The patient did not seek professional help. Four years later, she describes a two-year "happy phase", which leads her back to the successful professional life (good merit as unskilled assistant). She would have received recognition and be able to face more self-respect.


The patient suffers from hard-to-correct beliefs about physical disfigurement, a disturbance of body perception ("the belly would be too fat," "the legs would be too straight," "the butt would be too shallow," "cellulite would be too strong, the skin too pale ") and forced thoughts through the constant comparison of one's own appearance with others. There are numerous body-related fears ("getting too fat," "hair could slip," the make-up could be blurred), as well as social-phobic fears ("fear of appearance and behavior affect others embarrassingly or embarrassingly" ). The patient is compulsive with food and the external appearance and invests up to three hours daily in the body care and cosmetics (camouflage) and two to three hours daily in the course of ritualized eating / vomiting. At the same time, there is also a strong reinsurance tendency with frequent glances in the mirror, selfies or queries. It shows an avoidance behavior (avoids strangers looking intently, to visit public baths, or to show herself naked).]

Fake news and post-truth pronouncements are increasingly common, also in the sciences, including the medical ones

Fake news and post-truth pronouncements in general and in early human development. Victor Grech. Early Human Development,

•    Fake news and post-truth pronouncements are increasingly common.
•    They are also being to science and to medicine.
•    This editorial reviews this unsavoury trend.
•    It also highlights recent debunking of fake truths in early human development.
•    We, as scientists, must continue to uphold science's integrity and probity.

Abstract: Fake news and post-truth pronouncements are increasingly common, and are unfortunately also progressively being applied to the sciences, including the medical sciences. This editorial briefly reviews this unsavoury trend and highlights recent debunking of fake truths in early human development. Science is arguably the last metanarrative with any significant cachet in the postmodern period. We, as scientists, must strive to ensure that our work is transparent and of the highest possible standard so as to continue to uphold science's integrity and probity.

Keywords: MeSH: Humans; Public opinion; Science; Social media

Check also: Polarized Mass or Polarized Few? Assessing the Parallel Rise of Survey Nonresponse and Measures of Polarization. Amnon Cavari and Guy Freedman. The Journal of Politics,