Friday, September 8, 2017

Estimates of Non-Heterosexual Prevalence: The Roles of Anonymity and Privacy in Survey Methodology

Estimates of Non-Heterosexual Prevalence: The Roles of Anonymity and Privacy in Survey Methodology. Ronald E. Robertson et al. Archives of Sexual Behavior,

Abstract: When do people feel comfortable enough to provide honest answers to sensitive questions? Focusing specifically on sexual orientation prevalence—a measure that is sensitive to the pressures of heteronormativity—the present study was conducted to examine the variability in U.S. estimates of non-heterosexual identity prevalence and to determine how comfortable people are with answering questions about their sexual orientation when asked through commonly used survey modes. We found that estimates of non-heterosexual prevalence in the U.S. increased as the privacy and anonymity of the survey increased. Utilizing an online questionnaire, we rank-ordered 16 survey modes by asking people to rate their level of comfort with each mode in the context of being asked questions about their sexual orientation. A demographically diverse sample of 652 individuals in the U.S. rated each mode on a scale from −5 (very uncomfortable) to +5 (very comfortable). Modes included anonymous (name not required) and non-anonymous (name required) versions of questions, as well as self-administered and interviewer-administered versions. Subjects reported significantly higher mean comfort levels with anonymous modes than with non-anonymous modes and significantly higher mean comfort levels with self-administered modes than with interviewer-administered modes. Subjects reported the highest mean comfort level with anonymous online surveys and the lowest with non-anonymous personal interviews that included a video recording. Compared with the estimate produced by an online survey with a nationally representative sample, surveys utilizing more intrusive methodologies may have underestimated non-heterosexual prevalence in the U.S. by between 50 and 414%. Implications for public policy are discussed.

Emotions Know Best: The Advantage of Emotional versus Cognitive Responses to Failure

Nelson, N., Malkoc, S. A., and Shiv, B. (2017) Emotions Know Best: The Advantage of Emotional versus Cognitive Responses to Failure. J. Behav. Dec. Making, doi: 10.1002/bdm.2042.

Abstract: Making mistakes or failing at tasks is a common occurrence in human life. People can respond to and cope with failure in many ways. In this research, we examine potential advantages of relatively emotional (versus cognitive) responses to failure. In particular, we study how effort and time spent in subsequent tasks depend on whether people predominantly focus on their emotions or their cognitions as they respond to a failure. We demonstrate that, left to their own means, people's cognitions upon a failure are mainly justificatory in nature and thus do not automatically have the commonly believed reflective, self-improving qualities. We further argue and demonstrate that a relative focus on cognitions following a failure can prevent improvement in subsequent episodes, but a focus on emotions can allow for learning and, therefore, increased effort.

Chilldren unable to solve school arithmetic problems were able to solve similar ones when framed as market transactions

The untapped math skills of working children in India: Evidence, possible explanations, and implications. Abhijit V. Banerjee et al. MIT Economics,

Abstract: It has been widely documented that many children in India lack basic arithmetic skills, as measured by their capacity to solve subtraction and division problems. We surveyed children working in informal markets in Kolkata, West Bengal, and confirmed that most were unable to solve arithmetic problems as typically presented in school. However, we also found that they were able to perform similar operations when framed as market transactions. This discrepancy was not explained by children’s ability to memorize prices and quantities in market transactions, assistance from others at their shops, reliance on calculation aids, or reading and writing skills. In fact, many children could solve hypothetical transactions of goods that they did not sell. Our results suggest that these children have arithmetic skills that are untapped by the school system.

Observing Others’ Anger and Guilt Can Make You Feel Unfairly Treated: The Interpersonal Effects of Emotions on Justice-Related Reactions

Observing Others’ Anger and Guilt Can Make You Feel Unfairly Treated: The Interpersonal Effects of Emotions on Justice-Related Reactions. Annika Hillebrandt and Laurie J. Barclay. Social Justice Research.

Abstract: Drawing upon emotions as social information theory, we propose that others’ emotions can influence individuals’ justice judgments, outcome satisfaction, and behaviors even when individuals are not unfairly treated themselves and in the absence of explicit information about the fairness of others’ treatment. Study 1 demonstrated that individuals make inferences about the outcome favorability and procedural justice encountered by others based on others’ expressions of guilt and anger, which also influence individuals’ judgments of others’ overall justice and outcome satisfaction. Studies 2 and 3 demonstrated that others’ emotions can influence individuals’ own judgments of procedural justice and overall justice. Specifically, individuals perceive lower levels of justice when another person expresses guilt or anger relative to no emotion. Moreover, others’ emotions influence individuals’ outcome satisfaction and behaviors (i.e., helping intentions and retaliation); these effects are mediated by individuals’ own justice judgments (i.e., procedural and overall justice). Theoretical implications related to the role of emotions as antecedents to justice judgments, the social function of emotions, and the impact of emotions on third-party observers are discussed.