Sunday, August 13, 2017

Predicting anti-vegetarian prejudice from pro-beef attitudes across cultures

What's your beef with vegetarians? Predicting anti-vegetarian prejudice from pro-beef attitudes across cultures. Megan Earle and Gordon Hodson. Personality and Individual Differences
Volume 119, 1 December 2017, Pages 52-55.

•    Pro-beef attitudes are robust predictors of anti-vegetarian prejudice.
•    This association is found in the U.S.A., France, Brazil and Argentina.
•    For Americans, this relation is particularly strong.
•    Attitudes towards meat are crucial for anti-vegetarian prejudice cross-culturally.
•    Relation varies in magnitude across countries.

Abstract: Contrary to other forms of prejudice (e.g., racism), explicit expressions of anti-vegetarian/vegan prejudice are common. But this bias has only recently received empirical attention, with very little cross-cultural evidence. Some theoretical approaches (e.g., Social Identity Theory) focus on social factors in understanding intergroup relations, but there is growing recognition that individual differences may also be crucial in understanding group processes. Here we hypothesize that the degree to which an individual enjoys (likes/desires/consumes) beef may be systematically related to prejudice towards non-meat eaters. Using data from the U.S.A, France, Brazil, and Argentina (N = 1695) we find that pro-beef attitudes are a robust predictor of anti-vegetarian prejudice across cultures (β = 0.47), with a particularly strong association in the USA (β = 0.65), where 43% of anti-vegetarian attitudes are explained by individual differences in beef enjoyment. This work contributes a cross-cultural comparison of anti-vegetarian prejudice and its predictors to the rapidly expanding literature on bias towards this growing social group.

Keywords: Prejudice, Meat, Vegetarian, Cross-cultural

Invention of the alphabet: a non-institutional cultural product by illiterate Canaanite miners

Invention of alphabets...

Pharaoh's Land and Beyond: Ancient Egypt and Its Neighbors. Edited by Pearce Paul Creasman, Richard H. Wilkinson. Chapter XI, The Flow of Words: Interaction in Writing and Literature during the  Bronze Age. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017. ISBN 978-0190229092

The high iconicity of the hieroglyphic script again played a key role on the stage of intellectual history at another crossroad of Egyptian and Levantine cultures. […]

Unlike the case of the Minoan and Anatolian scripts, the invention of the alphabet was not born in the environment of erudite scribes, but was apparently created as a non-institutional cultural product by illiterate Canaanite miners. Though they were experts in their professional field of mining, the inventors of the alphabet were far removed from the circles of professional writing in cuneiform and Egyptian. It is precisely this naïveté that allowed them to invent something completely new, as they were unencumbered by the scripts of their day. They were able to think outside the box, inventing a novel writing system--an alphabetic script made of fewer of thirty signs.


Like the inventors of the Cretan and Anatolian hieroglyphs, the Canaanites borrowed the Egyptian idea of turning pictures into script. Yet, not being professional scribes and not working in the service of any official ideology or institution, they did not bother to invent a whole set of new icons. They adopted roughly two dozen icons from the hieroglyphs around them--those that they found useful for their own purposes--and added a few new signs of their own.

Sex Differences in Distress from Infidelity in Early Adulthood and in Later Life: On Shackelford Et Al. 2004

IJzerman, Hans, Irene Blanken, Mark Brandt, Hanneke Oerlemans, Marloes v d Hoogenhof, and Mathé Oerlemans. 2017. “Sex Differences in Distress from Infidelity in Early Adulthood and in Later Life: A Replication and Meta-analysis of Shackelford Et Al. (2004)”. PsyArXiv. June 28.

Abstract: Shackelford and colleagues (2004) found that men, compared to women, are more distressed by sexual than emotional infidelity, and this sex difference continued into older age. We conducted four high-powered replications (total N = 1,952) of this effect and found different results. A meta-analysis of original and replication studies finds the sex difference in younger samples (though with a smaller effect size), and no effect among older samples. Furthermore, we found attitude toward uncommitted sex to be a mediator (although not consistently in the same direction) between participant sex and relative distress between sexual and emotional infidelity. We hypothesize that the discrepancies between the original and replication studies may be due to changing cultural attitudes about sex across time. Confirming this speculative interpretation requires further investigation.

An analysis of the effects of political ideology and ethnic identity on procedural justice

Sebastian Roché, Guillaume Roux, (2017) "The “silver bullet” to good policing: a mirage: An analysis of the effects of political ideology and ethnic identity on procedural justice", Policing: An International Journal, Vol. 40 Issue: 3, pp.514-528,


Purpose: Procedural justice (PJ) during police-citizen interactions has often been portrayed as a “silver bullet” to good policing, as it could function as a means to gain trust, voluntary obedience and public cooperation. PJ research is based on the assumption that there exists “true fairness.” However, it is still unclear what people actually mean when they evaluate the police as “fair” in surveys. By focusing the analysis to underexplored aspects of PJ, namely, the identity and political antecedents of the attribution of procedural fairness, the authors highlight the social and ideological reasons that influence people’s perceptions of police fairness. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Findings: The present study finds support for the notion that aggressive policing policies (police-initiated contacts, e.g. identification checks, road stops) negatively impacts attributions of fairness to police. In addition, the findings show that ***attributions of fairness are not only interactional (i.e. related to what police do in any given situation) or related to individual cognitive phenomena, but for the most part pertain to broader social and political explanations***. Political and ethnic cleavages are the key to understanding how police are judged by the public. ***The findings therefore question the nature of what is actually measured when fairness is attributed to police, finding that more punitive and conservative respondents tend to assess the police as fair***. The authors find that the attribution of fairness seems to correspond to upholding the existing social order.

Design/methodology/approach: In order to explain the attribution of fairness of police, the study comprises a range of independent variables organized into five overarching domains: prior experience with police, victimization, socioeconomic status and (disadvantaged) context of residence, ethnicity and political attitudes and punitive values. The analysis is based on a representative sample of France, as well as a booster sample of a deprived, urban province (Seine-Saint-Denis) in order to better incorporate ethnic effects into the model (March 2011; n=1.498, 18+).

Research limitations/implications: This study has limitations inherent to any cross-sectional survey and the findings pertain only to a single country (France). Furthermore, the authors did not analyze all possible confounding variables to perceived fairness.

Social implications: The findings pose a practical problem for police and government to implement, as the authors ultimately find that there is no single recipe, or “silver bullet,” for being deemed fair across all social, ethnic and political groups – and, of course, the expectations of one group might conflict with those of another.

Originality/value: The study demonstrates that existing theory needs to better incorporate those explanations of fairness which extend beyond interactional processes with police, and refer instead to the social and political cleavages in society.

Keywords: Ideology, Ethnic identity, Cleavage, Police-initiated contacts, Political attitudes

How do we know there are issues with our senses and that reality exists?

I guess that the other animals do the same...

Pavlovian conditioning–induced hallucinations result from overweighting of perceptual priors. A. R. Powers, C. Mathys, P. R. Corlett. Science  Aug 11 2017, Vol. 357, Issue 6351, pp. 596-600. DOI: 10.1126/science.aan3458

Abstract: Some people hear voices that others do not, but only some of those people seek treatment. Using a Pavlovian learning task, we induced conditioned hallucinations in four groups of people who differed orthogonally in their voice-hearing and treatment-seeking statuses. People who hear voices were significantly more susceptible to the effect. Using functional neuroimaging and computational modeling of perception, we identified processes that differentiated voice-hearers from non–voice-hearers and treatment-seekers from non–treatment-seekers and characterized a brain circuit that mediated the conditioned hallucinations. These data demonstrate the profound and sometimes pathological impact of top-down cognitive processes on perception and may represent an objective means to discern people with a need for treatment from those without.

My comment: We all suffer from hallucinations in our lives... An example is hearing our phone ringing very briefly and very softly when it is not possible that it sounded (no coverage, total isolation, and other phones could not be heard piercing the thick walls). We check and immediately find that no call is pending of being attended to. These researchers found that the cerebellum in some way dispells the hallucination with a constant check of past expectations and beliefs against reality, but some people with schizophrenia hear, with great confidence, sounds or voices ***five times*** more frequently than healthy controls. The more advanced is the illness, the less activity is seen in the cerebellum.

Academic competencies: Their interrelatedness and gender differences at their high end

Bergold, S., Wendt, H., Kasper, D., & Steinmayr, R. (2017). Academic competencies: Their interrelatedness and gender differences at their high end. Journal of Educational Psychology, 109(3), 439-449.

Abstract: The present study investigated (a) how a latent profile analysis based on representative data of N = 74,868 4th graders from 17 European countries would cluster the students on the basis of their reading, mathematics, and science achievement test scores; (b) whether there would be gender differences at various competency levels, especially among the top performers; (c) and whether societal gender equity might account for possible cross-national variation in the gender ratios among the top performers. The latent profile analysis revealed an international model with 7 profiles. Across these profiles, the test scores of all achievement domains progressively and consistently increased. Thus, consistent with our expectations, (a) the profiles differed only in their individuals’ overall performance level across all academic competencies and not in their individuals’ performance profile shape. From the national samples, the vast majority of the students could be reliably assigned to 1 of the profiles of the international model. Inspection of the gender ratios revealed (b) that ***boys were overrepresented at both ends of the competency spectrum***. However, there was (c) some cross-national variation in the gender ratios among the top performers, which could be partly explained by women’s access to education and labor market participation. The interrelatedness of academic competencies and its practical implications, the role of gender equity as a possible cause of gender differences among the top performers, and directions for future research are discussed.

My comment: men are disproportionatelly brutish, have more sickos, have more retarted individuals and commit more crimes than women... but also the most intelligent of the population are desproportionately men.

I say this with a heavy heart; when a child I was a rabid militant feminist, and later I was a theoretical feminist (that is, I believed the girls were superior in most aspects to us and were the same in general intel, what me measure with IQ tests), until a few months ago. Not anymore.