Monday, October 16, 2017

Psychopaths are willing and able to disclose how they are under conditions of confidentiality, and do not mind being so

Kelley, S. E., Edens, J. F., Donnellan, M. B., Mowle, E. N. and Sörman, K. (), Self- and Informant Perceptions of Psychopathic Traits in Relation to the Triarchic Model. Journal of Personality. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/jopy.12354


Objective: The validity of self-report psychopathy measures may be undermined by characteristics thought to be defining features of the construct, including poor self-awareness, pathological lying, and impression management. The current study examined agreement between self- and informant perceptions of psychopathic traits captured by the triarchic model (Patrick, Fowler, & Krueger, 2009) and the extent to which psychopathic traits are associated with socially desirable responding.

Method: Participants were undergraduate roommate dyads (N = 174; Mage = 18.9 years; 64.4% female; 59.8% Caucasian) who completed self- and informant-reports of boldness, meanness, and disinhibition.

Results: Self-reports of psychopathic traits reasonably aligned with the perceptions of informants (rs = .36 - .60) and both predicted various types of antisocial behaviors, although some associations were only significant for monomethod correlations. Participants viewed by informants as more globally psychopathic did not engage in greater positive impression management. However, this response style significantly correlated with self- and informant-reported boldness, suppressing associations with antisocial behavior.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that participants are willing and able to disclose psychopathic personality traits in research settings under conditions of confidentiality. Nonetheless, accounting for response style is potentially useful when using self-report measures to examine the nature and correlates of psychopathic traits.

Higher paternal age at offspring conception increases de novo genetic mutations & the children would be less likely to survive and reproduce

Older fathers' children have lower evolutionary fitness across four centuries and in four populations. Ruben Arslan et al. Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, Volume 284, issue 1862, September 13 2017. DO 10.1098/rspb.2017.1562

Abstract: Higher paternal age at offspring conception increases de novo genetic mutations. Based on evolutionary genetic theory we predicted older fathers' children, all else equal, would be less likely to survive and reproduce, i.e. have lower fitness. In sibling control studies, we find support for negative paternal age effects on offspring survival and reproductive success across four large populations with an aggregate N > 1.4 million. Three populations were pre-industrial (1670–1850) Western populations and showed negative paternal age effects on infant survival and offspring reproductive success. In twentieth-century Sweden, we found minuscule paternal age effects on survival, but found negative effects on reproductive success. Effects survived tests for key competing explanations, including maternal age and parental loss, but effects varied widely over different plausible model specifications and some competing explanations such as diminishing paternal investment and epigenetic mutations could not be tested. We can use our findings to aid in predicting the effect increasingly older parents in today's society will have on their children's survival and reproductive success. To the extent that we succeeded in isolating a mutation-driven effect of paternal age, our results can be understood to show that de novo mutations reduce offspring fitness across populations and time periods.

Menarcheal timing is accelerated by favorable nutrition but unrelated to developmental cues of mortality or familial instability

Menarcheal timing is accelerated by favorable nutrition but unrelated to developmental cues of mortality or familial instability in Cebu, Philippines. Moira A. Kyweluka et al. Evolution and Human Behavior,

Abstract: Understanding the determinants of pubertal timing, particularly menarche in girls, is an important area of investigation owing to the many health, psychosocial, and demographic outcomes related to reproductive maturation. Traditional explanations emphasized the role of favorable nutrition in maturational acceleration. More recently, work has documented early maturity in relation to markers of familial and environmental instability (e.g. paternal absence), which are hypothesized to serve as cues triggering adaptive adjustment of life history scheduling. While these studies hint at an ability of human females to accelerate maturity in stressful environments, most have focused on populations characterized by energetic excess. The present study investigates the role of developmental nutrition alongside cues of environmental risk and instability (maternal absence, paternal absence, and sibling death) as predictors of menarcheal age in a well-characterized birth cohort born in 1983 in metropolitan Cebu, the Philippines. In this sample, which was marked by a near-absence of childhood overweight and obesity, we find that menarcheal age is not predicted by cues of risk and instability measured at birth, during childhood and early adolescence, but that infancy weight gain and measures of favorable childhood nutrition are strong predictors of maturational acceleration. These findings contrast with studies of populations in which psychosocial stress and instability co-occur with excess weight. The present findings suggest that infancy and childhood nutrition may exert greater influence on age at menarche than psychosocial cues in environments characterized by marginal nutrition, and that puberty is often delayed, rather than accelerated, in the context of stressful environments.

Keywords: Life history theory; Puberty; Reproductive timing; Human growth; Fertility milestones

Automated Driving: Use With Caution

Automated driving: Safety blind spots. Ian Y. Noy, David Shinar, William J. Horrey. Safety Science, Volume 102, February 2018, Pages 68–78.

•    Automated driving has the potential to improve traffic safety in the long term.
•    For the foreseeable future, partially AD present unwitting consequences.
•    Drivers’ role will change and lead to potential confusion or traffic conflicts.
•    Human factors research is needed address new questions of partial automation.
•    Integration within the broader cyber-physical world is an emerging challenge.
•    This paper identifies areas that require explicit and urgent scientific exploration.

Abstract: Driver assist technologies have reached the tipping point and are poised to take control of most, if not all, aspects of the driving task. Proponents of automated driving (AD) are enthusiastic about its promise to transform mobility and realize impressive societal benefits. This paper is an attempt to carefully examine the potential of AD to realize safety benefits, to challenge widely-held assumptions and to delve more deeply into the barriers that are hitherto largely overlooked. As automated vehicle (AV) technologies advance and emerge within a ubiquitous cyber-physical world they raise additional issues that have not yet been adequately defined, let alone researched. Issues around automation, sociotechnical complexity and systems resilience are well known in the context of aviation and space. There are important lessons that could be drawn from these applications to help inform the development of automated driving. This paper argues that for the foreseeable future, regardless of the level of automation, a driver will continue to have a role. It seems clear that the benefits of automated driving, safety and otherwise, will accrue only if these technologies are designed in accordance with sound cybernetics principles, promote effective human-systems integration and gain the trust by operators and the public.

Keywords: Automated driving; Safety; Driver-vehicle interaction; Psychology; Autonomous vehicles

Criminal behavior transmission is strongest from mothers to daughters, then by mothers to sons, fathers to daughters, and fathers to sons

A systematic review and meta-analysis of the intergenerational transmission of criminal behavior. Sytske Besemer et al. Aggression and Violent Behavior,

•    This meta-analysis synthesized results for around 3 million children.
•    Risk for criminal behavior is roughly 2.4 times higher for kids with criminal parents.
•    Studies considering covariates show the risk to be about 1.8 times higher.
•    Transmission was strongest from mothers to daughters, lowest for fathers to sons.
•    Transmission appeared stronger for cohorts born after 1981.

Abstract: Children whose parents exhibit criminal behavior (CB) appear to have an increased risk of displaying CB themselves. We conducted a systematic review and pooled results from 23 samples in 25 publications (including 3,423,483 children) in this meta-analysis of intergenerational transmission of CB. On average, children with criminal parents were at significantly higher risk for CB compared with children without criminal parents (pooled OR = 2.4). Studies taking into account covariates also showed increased risk for CB (pooled OR = 1.8). Transmission was strongest from mothers to daughters, followed by mothers to sons, fathers to daughters, and fathers to sons. Moreover, transmission appeared stronger for cohorts born after 1981. When we examined methodological quality and other characteristics of studies, response rates, sample size, or use of official records vs. self- or other-reports of parental CB did not moderate outcomes. However, we found stronger transmission for samples that used convenience or case-control sampling, and in studies in which parental CB clearly preceded offspring CB. We discuss mechanisms underlying intergenerational transmission, including social learning, criminogenic environments, biological proneness, and criminal justice bias. Finally, we consider limitations and directions for future research as well as policy implications for breaking the cycle of intergenerational crime.

Keywords: Parental crime; Intergenerational transmission; Antisocial behavior; Criminal behavior; Longitudinal study

On why is so strong the transmission mother-daughter: [it] could be that CB is less common for women, so women who engage in such behavior might be more deviant compared with men who engage in CB. This finding would be similar to the gender paradox observed in developmental psychopathology, wherein the gender for which the problem behavior is rarer, compared with the gender in which the problem behavior is more common, displays a more severe form or presentation of the problem behavior (Eme, 1992; Loeber & Keenan, 1994; Wasserman, McReynolds, Ko, Katz, & Carpenter, 2005). Even if mothers’ and fathers’ criminal behavior was not different in terms of its seriousness, it is far rarer for women to be convicted of crime compared with men. Thus, there may be more stigma – both in society in general, as well as in the law enforcement and criminal justice system – for women with histories of CB, who might also be more likely to be labeled as ―disturbed‖ rather than criminal (Hedderman & Gelsthorpe, 1997). Another explanation might be that mothers are more often the main caretakers of their children, such that maternal incarceration following conviction would be significantly more disruptive on children in the home. When fathers are incarcerated, children often stay with their mother; if mothers are incarcerated, children are more likely to move in with other family members or foster parents (Bloom, 1993; Fishman, 1983; Hissel, Bijleveld, & Kruttschnitt, 2011; Myers, Smarsh, Amlund-Hagen, & Kennon, 1999).

Yet another explanation could be that antisocial fathers who are absent might serve as a potential protective factor. Indeed, Jaffee, Moffitt, Caspi, and Taylor (2003) found that when fathers engaged in high levels of CB, the more time they lived with their children, the more problem behavior their children had. Farrington and Crago (2016) also found that intergenerational transmission of crime was stronger when children were not separated from their parents. Of note, previous studies (e.g. Farrington, Barnes, & Lambert, 1996: Rowe & Farrington, 1997) have suggested that intergenerational transmission is stronger for samegender relationships, which was not supported by the findings of the present meta-analysis. On the other hand, we did not find support for our prediction that intergenerational transmission would be stronger, overall, for male than female offspring Although boys are more vulnerable than girls to a host of neurodevelopmental disorders and to the effects of life stressors, it may be the case that, over longer spans of development, both genders are prone to the cascade of effects related to parental CB.

Education has positive impact on tax morale for net beneficiaries of the welfare state, &a negative one for net contributors

Education and tax morale. David Rodríguez-Justicia, Bernd Theilen. Journal of Economic Psychology,

•    We analyse two channels through which education shapes tax morale.
•    Tax morale of net receivers of welfare state benefits increases with education.
•    Tax morale of net contributors to the welfare state decreases with education.
•    A fairer tax system and better institutions raise tax morale of the highly educated.

Abstract: While the determinants of tax morale have been widely studied in the literature, surprisingly, the fundamental influence of education on tax morale has yet to be investigated. Given the insights from the psychological and political science literature about the role of education in the formation of social values, in this paper, we analyze two channels through which education shapes tax morale. We find that education has a positive impact on tax morale for those individuals that are net beneficiaries of the welfare state, and a negative impact for those that are net contributors. Furthermore, our results indicate that the more highly educated because of their better knowledge on public affairs exhibit higher levels of tax morale in countries that have better quality public services, a fairer tax system and higher quality institutions.

JEL classification: H26; H52; I25
Keywords: Tax morale; Tax compliance; Education; Welfare state benefits; Trust in public institutions