Sunday, October 29, 2017

Mothers Spend More on Daughters While Fathers Spend More on Sons

Do Mothers Spend More on Daughters While Fathers Spend More on Sons? Lambrianos Nikiforidis, Kristina M. Durante, Joseph P. Redden and Vladas Griskevicius. Journal of Consumer Psychology,


Do parents favor some children over others? The overwhelming majority of parents state that they treat their children equally, but parents rarely track their spending on each child. We investigate in four studies whether mothers and fathers favor specific children depending on the biological sex of the child. Evidence from the field, laboratory, and community (online panel) showed that parents exhibit systematic biases when forced to choose between spending on sons and daughters. Mothers consistently favored daughters, whereas fathers consistently favored sons. For example, parents were more likely to choose a real prize and give a real U.S. Treasury bond to the child of the same sex as themselves. These parenting biases were found in two different cultures and appear to be driven by parents identifying more strongly with children of the same sex as the parent.

Layperson Abstract

Research Finds Women Spend More Money on Daughters and Men Spend More on Sons

Parents spend more money on a child of the same sex as themselves. From estate planning and savings bonds to back-to-school supplies and cash allowances, women spend more on daughters and men spend more on sons. New research from the State University of New York, Oneonta, Rutgers Business School, and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management finds that consumers favor investment in children who are the same sex as themselves because parents identify more strongly with children of the same sex.

This research, forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, provides some of the first evidence that the biological sex of a child leads to a systematic bias with parents allocating more resources to the child who is the same sex as they are. Nikiforidis and colleagues became interested in this research because prior research had produced mixed results, with some research suggesting that parents spend more on boys and other research finding that girls receive more investment, particularly when a mother has a greater say in household spending. For the current study, the researchers focused their prediction on the idea that parents might systematically (if unwittingly) invest more in the child of the same sex because they more closely identify with that child.

This is consistent with the idea that people tend to spend money on things that align with their identity, and gift giving to one’s children can be a way for parents to bolster their sense of identity and live vicariously through their children. Because parents likely identify more with a child of the same sex, Nikiforidis and colleagues proposed that parents should exhibit a sex-matching bias when investing across their children.

“Although the idea that parents might play favorites is not new—we’ve all heard adages such as “like father, like son” or “daddy’s girl”—most parents strongly deny favoring one child over the other,” says Lambrianos Nikiforidis, an assistant professor of marketing at the State University of New York, Oneonta. “Even though parents say they do not have a favorite, they also admit they do not actively track investment in each child, which leaves room for bias.”

In one study, researchers had parents in the US and India who had children of each gender living at home make a decision about which of their children (son or daughter) would receive a treasury bond. Mothers were more likely to choose their daughter to receive the bond and fathers were more likely to choose the son because they identified more strongly with the child that was the same sex as themselves. These same effects emerged when parents were deciding which child would receive more in their will, and when selecting which child would participate in a drawing to win back-to-school supplies, with 76% of women choosing the girl and 87% of men choosing the boy as the recipient of the back-to-school prize pack.

The current findings have far-reaching implications. “For example, when men control the family’s financial decisions, then sons may chronically receive more resources than daughters. By contrast, if women are the primary shoppers, this can result in subtle but consistent favoritism for daughters,” says Nikiforidis. In single parent or same-sex parent households, the ramifications of this bias can be even stronger, given that there is no opposite-direction bias from the other parent to even things out.

Although the research focused on parents, it was also found that non-parents favored investing in a same-sex child. This suggests that the sex-matching bias leads to a general favoritism of same-sex people when investing resources. If more men are in positions of corporate and political power, this can translate to greater investment in programs and policies that favor men, and have implications in settings such as work, organizations, schools, charities, and more.

Oral tradition: Storytelling as specialized skill that people develop a comparative advantage in due to productivity declines with other skills

Information transmission and the oral tradition: Evidence of a late-life service niche for Tsimane Amerindians. Eric Schniter, Nathaniel T. Wilcox, Bret A. Beheim, Hillard S. Kaplan, Michael Gurven. Evolution and Human Behavior,

From the introduction: In this paper, we investigate story learning and storytelling among Tsimane foragerhorticulturalists.After identifying 54 story-knowledgeable adults using the Skills Survey (Schniter et al., 2015), we surveyed them about their knowledge, telling and sourcing of 120 traditional Tsimane stories. We evaluate whether age patterns in reported knowledge and storytelling are consistent with predictions derived from ECT [Embodied Capital Theory] concerning the timing of skill maturation. We test whether storytelling is a common skill enabled by ability with other common skills, or whether storytelling is a specialized skill that people develop a comparative advantage in due to productivity declines with other skills. We also assess whether storytelling propensity is sensitive to the size and composition of potential audiences, consistent with a fitness-enhancing strategy. Finally, we evaluate whether reports of whom stories were learned from support a model of vertical, oblique, or horizontal oral tradition transmission.

Keywords: Oral tradition; Information transmission; Storytelling; Expertise; Development; Life history theory

My commentary: Which is to say, intellectuals, artists, the professoriat have low productivity in normal skills needed to sustain their own life and of their offspring and they live of their sorcery with words...

Columbia Law School: Having a gay or lesbian parent does not harm children

What does the scholarly research say about the wellbeing of children with gay or lesbian parents? Unsigned article. Columbia University Law School. March 2017.

Overview: We identified 79 scholarly studies that met our criteria [] for adding to knowledge about the wellbeing of children with gay or lesbian parents. Of those studies, 75 concluded that children of gay or lesbian parents fare no worse than other children. While many of the sample sizes were small, and some studies lacked a control group, researchers regard such studies as providing the best available knowledge about child adjustment, and do not view large, representative samples as essential. We identified four studies concluding that children of gay or lesbian parents face added disadvantages. Since all four took their samples from children who endured family break-ups, a cohort known to face added risks, these studies have been criticized by many scholars as unreliable assessments of the wellbeing of LGB-headed households. Taken together, this research forms an overwhelming scholarly consensus, based on over three decades of peer-reviewed research, that having a gay or lesbian parent does not harm children.

Further Evidence that Creativity and Innovation are Inhibited by Conservative Thinking

Further Evidence that Creativity and Innovation are Inhibited by Conservative Thinking: Analyses of the 2016 Presidential Election. Mark Runco, Selcuk Acar & Nur Cayirdag. Creativity Research Journal, Summer 2017, Volume 29, 2017 - Issue 3, Pages 331-336,

Abstract: The investigation replicated and extended previous research showing a negative relationship between conservatism and creative accomplishment. Conservatism was estimated, as in previous research, from voting patterns. The voting data used here were from the 2016 US Presidential election. The number of patents granted per county in the United States was used as estimate of creative and innovative accomplishment. Using a 2-level multilevel approach, in which state-level influences are taken into consideration, various control variables were tested, including socioeconomic status (SES), education, income, and diversity. The results confirmed a negative relationship between conservatism and the number of patents granted. Therefore, in counties and states with high conservatism, fewer patents were granted, even after controlling for SES and population. Patents were positively related to racial diversity and education. Practical implications include the benefits of liberal thinking outside of the political arena. Liberal thinking is very likely associated with flexibility, tolerance, and openness, and according to the present results, creative accomplishment. Limitations of the research and future directions are discussed.

Withdrawn article: The Case for Colonialism

The case for colonialism. Bruce Gilley. Third World Quarterly,

[PDF paper withdrawn by publisher]

WITHDRAWAL NOTICE: This Viewpoint essay has been withdrawn at the request of the academic journal editor, and in agreement with the author of the essay. Following a number of complaints, Taylor & Francis conducted a thorough investigation into the peer review process on this article. Whilst this clearly demonstrated the essay had undergone double-blind peer review, in line with the journal's editorial policy, the journal editor has subsequently received serious and credible threats of personal violence. These threats are linked to the publication of this essay. As the publisher, we must take this seriously. Taylor & Francis has a strong and supportive duty of care to all our academic editorial teams, and this is why we are withdrawing this essay.

Progressives are more ideologically consistent, a possible reason of their being more upset by dissenters

Ideological Consistency across the Political Spectrum: Liberals are More Consistent but Conservatives Become More Consistent When Coping with Existential Threat. Pelin Kesebir et al.

Abstract: We conceptualized ideological consistency as the extent to which an individual’s attitudes
toward diverse political issues are coherent among themselves from an ideological standpoint. Four studies (Studies 1, 3 – 5) compared the ideological consistency of self-identified liberals and conservatives and two of these studies examined how their ideological consistency is affected by mortality salience. Across diverse samples and attitude measures, liberals were typically higher in ideological consistency than conservatives. In other words, conservatives’ individual-level attitudes toward diverse political issues (e.g., abortion, gun control, welfare) were more dispersed across the political spectrum than were liberals’ attitudes.

An additional study demonstrated that our findings violate conventional wisdom: the large majority of people believed, regardless of their own political orientation, that conservatives are more consistent than liberals or that the groups do not differ. Studies 4 and 5 demonstrated that death reminders increase ideological consistency for conservatives and decrease ideological consistency for liberals.

Key words: Political ideology, political attitudes, liberals, conservatives, terror management theory

Check also Authoritarianism and Affective Polarization: A New View on the Origins of Partisan Extremism. Matthew Luttig. Public Opinion Quarterly, nfx023,

Rhinoplasty: more symmetry, youthfulness, facial harmony, likeability, trustworthiness, confidence, femininity, attractiveness, approachability, &intelligence

The Public Face of Rhinoplasty: Impact on Perceived Attractiveness and Personality. Stephen M. Lu, David T. Hsu, Adam Perry, Lyle Leipziger, Armen K. Kasabian, Scott P. Bartlett, Charles H. Thorne, and Neil Tanna. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2017 Sep; 5(9 Suppl): 189-190,

INTRODUCTION: The impact of aesthetic rhinoplasty has been studied from the perspective of the surgeon and the patient, but not from that of the general public. The authors assess the impact of rhinoplasty on public perception of a patient’s appearance and personality.

METHODS: A survey was created using standardized before and after photographs of ten Caucasian women who had undergone primary rhinoplasty. Photos of two additional women who had not undergone facial surgery were randomly included as controls, for a total of twelve items. Pre- and post-operative frontal and lateral photographs were placed side by side. To eliminate left/right bias, half of the items had pre-operative photos on the left, and half had post-operative photos on the left. The survey was administered via crowd-sourcing, which has been validated as a way to evaluate aesthetic outcomes. Respondents were naïve to the study purpose and were asked to evaluate which photo better represented 11 traits of appearance or personality, according to a seven-point Likert scale. A score of 1 meant the pre-operative photo was much better, 7 meant the post-operative photo was much better, and 4 meant no difference.

[due to data corruption, part of this section is in the first comment]

RESULTS: [due to data corruption, part of this section is in the first comment] 264 responses were received. Averaged scores across the 10 survey patients produced a value for each appearance or personality trait. In 10 of 11 categories (symmetry, youthfulness, facial harmony, likeability, trustworthiness, confidence, femininity, attractiveness, approachability, and intelligence), the post-operative photo was significantly favorable compared to the preoperative photo [...]. The pre-operative photo was rated higher only in aggressiveness [...].

CONCLUSION: Aesthetic rhinoplasty improves the public perception of a person’s appearance and personality in multiple aspects. Small but significant and clear differences were observed and held consistently across demographic groups.

Draft - Regarding the Seoul Times "article" on eating human fetuses for sexual powers

Draft - Regarding the Seoul Times "article" on eating human fetuses for sexual powers. Comments to a friend that sent me the Seoul Times piece. Oct 29 2017

                      __________I suggest you not to follow these links__________

Regarding news of human fetuses (not babies after being born) being cooked in Canton, China, as reported in The Seoul Times in a very strange article published as a letter to the editor [1]:

1  although the origin of that report was a hoax, almost two decades ago [2], the perspective is bad;

2  we knew that in parts of the globe some human parts were eaten until at least the 2010s for religious/cultic or medicinal/magical powers reasons:
2.1  Papua New Guinea [3], where it seems that this practice was never abandoned;

2.2  Africa [4] (not to speak of the Leopard Society decades before).

There is some documentation in Wikipedia [5], from where I took those links in this section 2.

3  that Canton or other so heavily populated areas of China are places where non-psychiatric cannibalism is practiced is very, very difficult. But we cannot rule out the practice in the future, even more easily in remote areas, since:
3.1  in the Great Leap Forward years, it happened in a large scale [6], so in some way it is a broken taboo and people who lived this is alive and transmitted the events to young people;
3.2  we know that primates eat the young, specially the males, but there is also report of a female doing it with his own baby after decomposition made the baby less recognizable [7], that is to say, it is something you can find easily in nature to eat prisoners and other defenseless beings, like the infant, the sick and the old;
3.3  there are a few times in which children are "killed" or about to be killed in artist performances, as you already know because you sent me the video of that child hanged in a cold and calculated manner by XXXTentacion [8], so again the taboo of killing children on purpose, violently, is being broken several times in places some didn't expect (I saw it in Madrid streets too).

, all this not to speak of other places of large scale events, like the Ukrainian famine in the 1930s.

4  Finally, there are persons who kill others and eat body parts for unknown reasons, but seems not really something organized or with a religious or political motivation (most likely people who should be locked up in a psychiatric institution). In any case, there have been dozens of occassions in the last decade [9] and the known victims number more than 30 just in a single case in Russia (published in Sep 2017 [9]). And all this makes relative the crime, as it stops being something unheard-of. With time and the changes in the domain of the sacred that we are living, like acceptance of euthanasia for psychiatric illnesses and euthanasia for minors, these events could be more frequent, in my opinion.

5  All this is for you to prepare for the worst. As we keep deepening our sophistication, there will be a habituation process in which the mentally sick and some evil persons will commit more of these crimes, and we've got no mechanisms to counter the influence of that process. Possible solutions include:
5.1  returning to the death penalty and making the executions clearly known, making them exemplar as a way to stigmatize more forcefully these practices, which is a way for those in the know to stop suspicious activities sooner and for the criminals to use more caution, which should help reduce the number of victims.
5.2  TBD...

But I do not foresee that this can happen in the next years.