Tuesday, November 7, 2017

No positive correlation between formality of clothing and mental abstraction

Cognitive consequences of formal clothing: the effects of clothing versus thinking of clothing. Axel M. Burger & Herbert Bless. Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23743603.2017.1396185

ABSTRACT: This research aimed at testing whether the association of formality of clothing with mental abstraction found in prior research depends on whether individuals are (made) aware of the formality of their clothing prior to measuring mental abstraction. In two preregistered studies participants estimated the formality of their clothing and performed an action identification task (Study 1) or categorization task (Study 2) as measures of mental abstraction. In addition, we varied the order of assessing formality of clothing and mental abstraction to manipulate the accessibility of formality of clothing before completing the mental abstraction tasks. When assessing formality of clothing prior to mental abstraction we did not obtain a reliable correlation so that the assumed decrease of this relation in the reversed order condition could not be tested. When pooling the data of both experimental conditions, the results of Study 1 support the hypothesis that formality of clothing is positively correlated with mental abstraction and are compatible with the hypothesis of a causal mechanism where formality of clothing influences mental abstraction through changes in subjective social status and power. Study 2 did not yield evidence for a positive correlation between formality of clothing and mental abstraction.

KEYWORDS: Clothing, construal level, mental abstraction, accessibility

How Much Does Education Improve Intelligence? For an additional year of education, 1 to 5 IQ points

Ritchie, Stuart J, and Elliot M Tucker-Drob. 2017. “How Much Does Education Improve Intelligence? A Meta-analysis”. PsyArXiv. November 8. psyarxiv.com/kymhp

Abstract: Intelligence test scores and educational duration are positively correlated. This correlation can be interpreted in two ways: students with greater propensity for intelligence go on to complete more education, or a longer education increases intelligence. We meta-analysed three categories of quasi-experimental studies of educational effects on intelligence: those estimating education-intelligence associations after controlling for earlier intelligence, those using compulsory schooling policy changes as instrumental variables, and those using regression-discontinuity designs on school-entry age cutoffs. Across 142 effect sizes from 42 datasets involving over 600,000 participants, we found consistent evidence for beneficial effects of education on cognitive abilities, of approximately 1 to 5 IQ points for an additional year of education. Moderator analyses indicated that the effects persisted across the lifespan, and were present on all broad categories of cognitive ability studied. Education appears to be the most consistent, robust, and durable method yet to be identified for raising intelligence.

Evolutionarily (mal)adaptive behaviors and phenomena in humans: a review on fertility decline and an integrated model

Demographic studies enhance the understanding of evolutionarily (mal)adaptive behaviors and phenomena in humans: a review on fertility decline and an integrated model. Morita, M. Popul Ecol (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10144-017-0597-y

Abstract: Recently, statistical analyses of demographic datasets have come to play an important role for studies into the evolution of human life history. In the first part of this paper, I highlight fertility decline, an evolutionarily paradoxical phenomenon in terms of fitness maximization. Then, I conduct a literature review regarding the effects of socioeconomic status on the number of offspring, especially in modern developed, (post-)industrial, and low-fertility societies. Although a non-positive relationship between them has often been recognized as a general feature of fertility decline, there actually exists a great deal of variation. Based on the review, I discuss the association between socioeconomic success and reproductive success, and tackle an evolutionary question as to why people seek higher socioeconomic success that would not directly lead to higher reproductive success. It has been suggested that, in modern competitive environments, parents should set a higher value on their investment in children, and aim to have a smaller number of high-quality children. Also, parents would maintain higher socioeconomic status for themselves so as to provide high-levels of investment in their children. In the second part, I broadly consider seemingly evolutionarily (mal)adaptive outcomes besides fertility decline, including child abuse, menopause, and suicide. The integration of the major three approaches to human behavioral and psychological research (behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, and cultural evolution) could lead to a deeper understanding. I provide a model for the integrated approach. Rich empirical evidence accumulated in demographic studies, especially longitudinal and cross-cultural resources, can assist to develop a theoretical framework.