Sunday, September 30, 2018

Is Something Neurologically Wrong With Donald Trump? James Hamblin. The Atlantic, Jan 3 2018

Is Something Neurologically Wrong With Donald Trump? James Hamblin. The Atlantic, Jan 3 2018,


The downplaying of a president’s compromised neurologic status would not be without precedent. Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously disguised his paralysis from polio to avoid appearing “weak or helpless.” He staged public appearances to give the impression that he could walk, leaning on aides and concealing a crutch. Instead of a traditional wheelchair, he used an inconspicuous dining chair with wheels attached. According to the FDR Presidential Library, “The Secret Service was assigned to purposely interfere with anyone who tried to snap a photo of FDR in a ‘disabled or weak’ state.”

Documenting the reality of Roosevelt’s health status fell to journalists, who had been reporting on his polio before his first term. A 1931 analysis in Liberty magazine asked “Is Franklin D. Roosevelt Physically Fit to Be President?” and reported on his paralysis: “It is an amazing possibility that the next president of the United States may be a cripple.” Once he was elected, Time described the preparation of the White House: “Because of the president-elect’s lameness, short ramps will replace steps at the side door of the executive offices leading to the White House.”

Today much more can be known about a person’s neurological status, though little of it is as observable as paraplegia. Unfortunately, the public medical record available to assuage global concerns about the current president’s neurologic status is the attestation of Harold Bornstein, America’s most famous Upper Manhattan gastroenterologist, whose initial doctor’s note described the 71-year-old Trump as “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.”

The phrasing was so peculiar for a medical record that some suggested that Trump had written or dictated the letter himself. Indeed, as a key indicator of neurologic status, Trump’s distinctive diction has not gone without scrutiny. Trump was once a more articulate person who sometimes told stories that had beginnings, middles, and ends, whereas he now leaps from thought to thought. He has come to rely on a small stable of adjectives, often involving superlatives. An improbably high proportion of what he describes is either the greatest or the worst he’s ever seen; absolutely terrible or the best; tiny or huge.

The frontal lobes also control speech, and over the years, Donald Trump’s fluency has regressed and his vocabulary contracted. In May of last year, the journalist Sharon Begley at Stat analyzed changes in his speech patterns during interviews over the years. She noted that in the 1980s and 1990s, Trump used phrases like “a certain innate intelligence” and “These are the only casinos in the United States that are so rated.” I would add, “I think Jesse Jackson has done himself very proud.”


Ben Michaelis, a psychologist who analyzes speech as part of cognitive assessments in court cases, told Begley that although some decline in cognitive functioning would be expected, Trump has exhibited a “clear reduction in linguistic sophistication over time” with “simpler word choices and sentence structure.”

What determines how couples feel after a conflict: The negative & positive peaks, but not the end emotion, predicted immediate & partly extended post‐conflict affect in individuals

A Test of the Peak‐End Rule in Couples’ Conflict Discussions. Laura Sels, Eva Ceulemans, Peter Kuppens. European Journal of Social Psychology,

Abstract: Despite its importance for well‐being, surprisingly little is known about what determines how couples feel after a conflict. Based on the peak‐end rule, we examined whether partners’ post‐conflict affect was mainly predicted by their most aversive or pleasant emotional experience (peaks) during the conflict, or by the emotional tone at the end of the interaction. 101 couples engaged in a conflict interaction and afterwards evaluated their momentary affect during the interaction. Post‐conflict affect (in terms of positive and negative feelings, and perceived partner responsiveness) was assessed immediately after the conflict, after a subsequent positive discussion, and upon returning to daily life (here, rumination about the relationship was assessed as well). Our results showed that the negative and positive peaks, but not the end emotion, predicted immediate and partly extended post‐conflict affect in individuals. This finding has clinical implications for the remediation of couple conflict.

The role of audience availability in fake news consumption: The fake news audience comprises a small, disloyal group of heavy Internet users; social network sites play an outsized role in generating traffic to fake news

The small, disloyal fake news audience: The role of audience availability in fake news consumption. Jacob L Nelson, Harsh Taneja. New Media & Society,

Abstract: In light of the recent US election, many fear that “fake news” has become a force of enormous reach and influence within the news media environment. We draw on well-established theories of audience behavior to argue that the online fake news audience, like most niche content, would be a small subset of the total news audience, especially those with high availability. By examining online visitation data across mobile and desktop platforms in the months leading up to and following the 2016 presidential election, we indeed find the fake news audience comprises a small, disloyal group of heavy Internet users. We also find that social network sites play an outsized role in generating traffic to fake news. With this revised understanding, we revisit the democratic implications of the fake news crisis.

Keywords: 2016 Elections, Fake News, News Audience, Audience Availability, Double Jeopardy, Social Media, Audience Fragmentation, Elections, Mobile Internet

Check also

All the interactions took the form of subjects rating stories offering ‘ammunition’ for their own side of the controversial issue as possessing greater intrinsic news importance:
Perceptions of newsworthiness are contaminated by a political usefulness bias. Harold Pashler, Gail Heriot. Royal Society Open Science,
When do we care about political neutrality? The hypocritical nature of reaction to political bias. Omer Yair, Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan. PLOS,

Democrats & Republicans were both more likely to believe news about the value-upholding behavior of their in-group or the value-undermining behavior of their out-group; Republicans were more likely to believe & want to share apolitical fake news:
Pereira, Andrea, and Jay Van Bavel. 2018. “Identity Concerns Drive Belief in Fake News.” PsyArXiv. September 11.

In self-judgment, the "best option illusion" leads to Dunning-Kruger (failure to recognize our own incompetence). In social judgment, it leads to the Cassandra quandary (failure to identify when another person’s competence exceeds our own): The best option illusion in self and social assessment. David Dunning. Self and Identity,

People are more inaccurate when forecasting their own future prospects than when forecasting others, in part the result of biased visual experience. People orient visual attention and resolve visual ambiguity in ways that support self-interests: "Visual experience in self and social judgment: How a biased majority claim a superior minority." Emily Balcetis & Stephanie A. Cardenas. Self and Identity,

Can we change our biased minds? Michael Gross. Current Biology, Volume 27, Issue 20, 23 October 2017, Pages R1089–R1091.
Summary: A simple test taken by millions of people reveals that virtually everybody has implicit biases that they are unaware of and that may clash with their explicit beliefs. From policing to scientific publishing, all activities that deal with people are at risk of making wrong decisions due to bias. Raising awareness is the first step towards improving the outcomes.

People believe that future others' preferences and beliefs will change to align with their own:
The Belief in a Favorable Future. Todd Rogers, Don Moore and Michael Norton. Psychological Science, Volume 28, issue 9, page(s): 1290-1301,

Kahan, Dan M. and Landrum, Asheley and Carpenter, Katie and Helft, Laura and Jamieson, Kathleen Hall, Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing (August 1, 2016). Advances in Political Psychology, Forthcoming; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 561. Available at SSRN:
Abstract: This paper describes evidence suggesting that science curiosity counteracts politically biased information processing. This finding is in tension with two bodies of research. The first casts doubt on the existence of “curiosity” as a measurable disposition. The other suggests that individual differences in cognition related to science comprehension - of which science curiosity, if it exists, would presumably be one - do not mitigate politically biased information processing but instead aggravate it. The paper describes the scale-development strategy employed to overcome the problems associated with measuring science curiosity. It also reports data, observational and experimental, showing that science curiosity promotes open-minded engagement with information that is contrary to individuals’ political predispositions. We conclude by identifying a series of concrete research questions posed by these results.

Keywords: politically motivated reasoning, curiosity, science communication, risk perception

Facebook news and (de)polarization: reinforcing spirals in the 2016 US election. Michael A. Beam, Myiah J. Hutchens & Jay D. Hmielowski. Information, Communication & Society,

The Partisan Brain: An Identity-Based Model of Political Belief. Jay J. Van Bavel, Andrea Pereira. Trends in Cognitive Sciences,

The Parties in our Heads: Misperceptions About Party Composition and Their Consequences. Douglas J. Ahler, Gaurav Sood. Aug 2017,

The echo chamber is overstated: the moderating effect of political interest and diverse media. Elizabeth Dubois & Grant Blank. Information, Communication & Society,

Processing political misinformation: comprehending the Trump phenomenon. Briony Swire, Adam J. Berinsky, Stephan Lewandowsky, Ullrich K. H. Ecker. Royal Society Open Science, published on-line March 01 2017. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.160802,

Competing cues: Older adults rely on knowledge in the face of fluency. By Brashier, Nadia M.; Umanath, Sharda; Cabeza, Roberto; Marsh, Elizabeth J. Psychology and Aging, Vol 32(4), Jun 2017, 331-337.

Stanley, M. L., Dougherty, A. M., Yang, B. W., Henne, P., & De Brigard, F. (2017). Reasons Probably Won’t Change Your Mind: The Role of Reasons in Revising Moral Decisions. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Science Denial Across the Political Divide — Liberals and Conservatives Are Similarly Motivated to Deny Attitude-Inconsistent Science. Anthony N. Washburn, Linda J. Skitka. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 10.1177/1948550617731500.

Biased Policy Professionals. Sheheryar Banuri, Stefan Dercon, and Varun Gauri. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8113.

Dispelling the Myth: Training in Education or Neuroscience Decreases but Does Not Eliminate Beliefs in Neuromyths. Kelly Macdonald et al. Frontiers in Psychology, Aug 10 2017.

Individuals with greater science literacy and education have more polarized beliefs on controversial science topics. Caitlin Drummond and Baruch Fischhoff. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 114 no. 36, pp 9587–9592, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1704882114,

Expert ability can actually impair the accuracy of expert perception when judging others' performance: Adaptation and fallibility in experts' judgments of novice performers. By Larson, J. S., & Billeter, D. M. (2017). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(2), 271–288.

Public Perceptions of Partisan Selective Exposure. Perryman, Mallory R. The University of Wisconsin - Madison, ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2017. 10607943.

The Myth of Partisan Selective Exposure: A Portrait of the Online Political News Audience. Jacob L. Nelson, and James G. Webster. Social Media + Society,

Echo Chamber? What Echo Chamber? Reviewing the Evidence. Axel Bruns. Future of Journalism 2017 Conference.

Fake news and post-truth pronouncements in general and in early human development. Victor Grech. Early Human Development,

Consumption of fake news is a consequence, not a cause of their readers’ voting preferences. Kahan, Dan M., Misinformation and Identity-Protective Cognition (October 2, 2017). Social Science Research Network,

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Democracy Does Cause Growth by encouraging investment, increasing schooling, inducing economic reforms, improving the provision of public goods, & reducing social unrest

Democracy Does Cause Growth. Daron Acemoglu, Suresh Naidu, Pascual Restrepo, James A. Robinson. Apr 2017, accepted Sep 2018. Journal of Political Economy,

Abstract: We provide evidence that democracy has a significant and robust positive effect on GDP percapita. Our empirical strategy controls for country fixed effects and the rich dynamics of GDP, which otherwise confound the effect of democracy on economic growth. To reduce measurement error, we introduce a new dichotomous measure of democracy that consolidates the information from several sources. Our baseline results use a dynamic panel model for GDP, and show that democratizations increase GDP per capita by about 20% in the long run. We find similar effects of democratizations on annual GDP when we control for the estimated propensity of a country to democratize based on past GDP dynamics. We obtain comparable estimates when we instrument democracy using regional waves of democratizations and reversals. Our results suggest that democracy increases GDP by encouraging investment, increasing schooling, inducing economic reforms, improving the provision of public goods, and reducing social unrest. We find little support for the view that democracy is a constraint on economic growth for less developed economies.

Keywords: Democracy, Growth, Political Development.
JEL Classification: P16, O10.

Grandparenting, education and subjective well-being of older Europeans: Grandparental childcare (either intensive or not) is generally associated with higher SWB

Grandparenting, education and subjective well-being of older Europeans. Bruno Arpino, Valeria Bordone, Nicoletta Balbo. European Journal of Ageing, September 2018, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 251–263.

Abstract: We study whether grandparenthood is associated with older people’s subjective well-being (SWB), considering the association with life satisfaction of having grandchildren per se, their number, and of the provision of grandchild care. Older people’s education may not only be an important confounder to control for, but also a moderator in the relation between grandparenthood-related variables and SWB. We investigate these issues by adopting a cross-country comparative perspective and using data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe covering 20 countries. Our results show that grandparenthood has a stronger positive association with SWB in countries where intensive grandparental childcare is not common and less socially expected. Yet, this result is driven by a negative association between grandparenthood without grandparental childcare and SWB that we only found in countries where intensive grandparental childcare is widespread. Therefore, in accordance with the structural ambivalence theory, we argue that in countries where it is socially expected for grandparents to have a role as providers of childcare, not taking on such a role may negatively influence SWB. However, our results show that grandparental childcare (either intensive or not) is generally associated with higher SWB. Overall, we do not find support for a moderating effect of education. We also do not find striking differences by gender in the association between grandparenthood and SWB. The only noteworthy discrepancy refers to grandmothers being often more satisfied when they provide grandchild care.

Obituary notices will be less direct/less emotional in the language used for females than for males: Males tend to die, females tend to pass away

Males tend to die, females tend to pass away. F. Richard Ferraro. Death Studies,

Abstract: The hypothesis that obituary notices will be less direct/less emotional in the language used for females than for males was tested. A total of 703 consecutive obituaries were examined in a local newspaper and instances of whether the person died or passed away was noted for males and females. A 2 (gender) × 2 (died, passed away) Chi-Square analysis supported the hypothesis: X2 (1) = 8.87, p < .01. Thus, males are more likely to die, whereas females are more likely to pass away.

50.43% considered it very important that he ejaculates during intercourse; 18.3% preferred before they reach orgasm, whereas for 53.5% this did not matter; 22.6% experienced a more intense orgasm when he ejaculated during vaginal intercourse

Burri A, Buchmeier J, Porst H. The importance of male ejaculation for female sexual satisfaction and function. J Sex Med 2018;XX:XXX–XXX.

Introduction: Although links between ejaculatory control or intravaginal ejaculatory latency time and female sexual functioning have frequently been reported in the past, no study has investigated the importance of other male ejaculatory characteristics, such as ejaculation volume and intensity, for women’s sexuality.

Aim: To assess the importance of subjectively perceived ejaculation intensity and ejaculation volume for female sexual function and satisfaction.

Methods:This was a cross-sectional online survey including 240 sexually active, heterosexual women (median age 27.4 years), using study-specific questions and validated questionnaires.

Main Outcome Measure: Results are presented as means, percentages, and age-controlled partial correlation coefficients of the main study variables.

Results: 50.43% of women considered it very important that the partner ejaculates during intercourse. 18.3% of women preferred that the partner ejaculates before they reach orgasm, whereas for 53.5% this did not matter. 22.6% of women stated that they experienced a more intense orgasm when their partner ejaculated during vaginal intercourse. 17.4% reported that they definitely experienced a more intensive orgasm depending on the intensity of their partner’s ejaculation, whereas for 17.8% this did not matter at all. 20.9% of women did not feel that their orgasm was more intense depending on the subjectively felt ejaculate quantity, whereas the majority (37.9%) stated that it did not matter. 13.1% of women regarded the quantity of expelled ejaculate as an expression of their own sexual attractiveness. Women stating that they experienced more intense orgasms when the partner ejaculated, when the partner experienced a more intense ejaculation, and when he expelled a greater ejaculate quantity also reported better lifelong orgasmic function (r = 0.24, r = 0.15, r = .26, respectively) and more lifelong sexual satisfaction (r = .29, r = .15, r = 26, respectively).

Clinical Implications: The perception of ejaculatory characteristics can be related to the female partner’s sexual satisfaction and overall sexual functioning.

Strength & Limitations: This is the very first study to explore the importance of male ejaculation volume and intensity for women’s sexual functioning. Data are of self-report nature and ejaculation characteristics were not objectively measured but by women’s self-report.

Conclusion: Although male ejaculation and its different aspects seem to play an important role for women, the study demonstrates a considerable variability of women’s attitudes toward ejaculatory characteristics. Further research is required to examine the sources of this variability.

People with highly creative personalities report not only greater overall passion, but also an attenuation in the tendency for passion to decline as relationship duration increases; also linked to illusion of viewing the partner as especially attractive

Carswell, K. L., Finkel, E. J., & Kumashiro, M. (in press). Creativity and romantic passion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Abstract: Romantic passion typically declines over time, but a downward trajectory is not inevitable. Across three studies (one of which encompassed two sub-studies), we investigated whether creativity helps bolster romantic passion in established relationships. Studies 1A and 1B revealed that people with highly creative personalities report not only greater overall passion, but also an attenuation in the tendency for passion to decline as relationship duration increases. Studies 2 and 3 explored positive illusions about the partner’s physical attractiveness as a possible mediator of the effect of creativity on passion. Cross-lagged panel analyses in Study 2 indicated that being creative is linked to a tendency to view the partner as especially attractive, even relative to the partner’s own self-assessment. Path analyses in Study 3 provided longitudinal evidence consistent with the hypothesis that positive illusions about the partner’s attractiveness (participant’s assessments, controlling for objective coding of the partner’s attractiveness) mediate the link between creativity and changes in passion over time. Study 3 also provided longitudinal evidence of the buffering effect of creativity on passion trajectories over time, an effect that emerged not only for self- reported passion, but also for objectively coded passion during a laboratory-based physical intimacy task nine months later. A meta-analytic summary across studies revealed a significant overall main effect of creativity on passion, as well as a significant moderation effect of creativity on risks of passion decline (e.g., relationship length).

Keywords: passion, creativity, positive illusions, physical attractiveness, close relationships

Why Doesn't Diversity Training Work? The Challenge for Industry and Academia

Why Doesn't Diversity Training Work? The Challenge for Industry and Academia. Frank Dobbin & Alexandra Kalev.  Anthropology Now, Volume 10, 2018 - Issue 2.

Starbucks’ decision to put 175,000 workers through diversity training on May 29, in the wake of the widely publicized arrest of two black men in a Philadelphia store, put diversity training back in the news. But corporations and universities have been doing diversity training for decades. Nearly all Fortune 500 companies do training, and two-thirds of colleges and universities have training for faculty according to our 2016 survey of 670 schools. Most also put freshmen through some sort of diversity session as part of orientation. Yet hundreds of studies dating back to the 1930s suggest that antibias training does not reduce bias, alter behavior or change the workplace.

We have been speaking to employers about this research for more than a decade, with the message that diversity training is likely the most expensive, and least effective, diversity program around. But they persist, worried about the optics of getting rid of training, concerned about litigation, unwilling to take more difficult but consequential steps or simply in the thrall of glossy training materials and their purveyors. That colleges and universities in the United States persist in offering training to faculty and students, and even mandate it (29% of all schools require faculty to undergo training), is particularly surprising given that the research on the poor performance of training comes out of academia. Imagine university health centers continuing to prescribe vitamin C for the common cold.

Corporate antibias training was stimulated by the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and legal reforms that movement brought about. Federal agencies took the lead, and by the end of 1971, the Social Security Administration had put 50,000 staffers through racial bias training.  By 1976, 60 percent of big companies offered equal-opportunity training. In the 1980s, as Reagan tried to tear down affirmative action regulations and appointed Clarence Thomas to run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, trainers began to make a business case for what they called “diversity training.” They argued that women and minorities would soon be the backbone of the workforce and that employers needed to figure out how to better incorporate them. By 2005, 65 percent of large firms offered diversity training. Consultants have heralded training as essential for increasing diversity, corporate counsel have advised that it is vital for fending off lawsuits and plaintiffs have asked for it in most discrimination settlements.1

Yet two-thirds of human resources specialists report that diversity training does not have positive effects, and several field studies have found no effect of diversity training on women’s or minorities’ careers or on managerial diversity.2 These findings are not surprising.  There is ample evidence that training alone does not change attitudes or behavior, or not by much and not for long. In their review of 985 studies of antibias interventions, Paluck and Green found little evidence that training reduces bias. In their review of 31 organizational studies using pretest/posttest assessments or a control group, Kulik and Roberson identified 27 that documented improved knowledge of, or attitudes toward, diversity, but most found small, short-term improvements on one or two of the items measured. In their review of 39 similar studies, Bezrukova, Joshi and Jehn identified only five that examined long-term effects on bias, two showing positive effects, two negative, and one no effect.3

A number of recent studies of antibias training used the implicit association test (IAT) before and after to assess whether unconscious bias can be affected by training.  A meta-analysis of 426 studies found weak immediate effects on unconscious bias and weaker effects on explicit bias. A side-byside test of 17 interventions to reduce white bias toward blacks found that eight reduced unconscious bias, but in a follow-up examining eight implicit bias interventions and one sham, all nine worked, suggesting that subjects may have learned how to game the bias test.4 Effects dissipated within a few days.

Most of these studies look at interventions that mirror corporate and university training in intensity and duration. One important study by Patricia Devine and colleagues suggests that a more extensive curriculum, based in strategies proven effective in the lab, can reduce measured bias.5 That 12-week intervention, which took the form of a college course and included a control group, worked best for people who were concerned about discrimination and who did the exercises — best when preaching to the converted. We do not see employers jumping on this costly bandwagon. Consider Starbucks, which closed 8,000 stores for half a day to train 175,000 workers, at an estimated cost of $12 million in lost business alone. Starbucks hires 100,000 new workers each year, and to match the Devine intervention they would need a dozen halfday sessions, every year, for more than half the workforce. Unlikely they would go that far, even if the logistics of scaling a classroom intervention to 100,000 people could be worked out.

Despite the poor showing of antibias training in academic studies, it remains the go-to solution for corporate executives and university administrators facing public relations crises, campus intolerance and slow progress on diversifying the executive and faculty ranks.  Why is diversity training not more effective? If we can answer that question, perhaps we can fix it. Five different lines of research suggest why it may fail.

First, short-term educational interventions in general do not change people. This should come as no surprise to anthropologists. Decades of research on workplace training of all sorts suggests that by itself, training does not do much. Take workplace safety and health training which, it stands to reason, employees have an interest in paying attention to.  Alone, it does little to change attitudes or behavior.  If you cannot train workers to attach the straps on their hard hats, it may be wellnigh impossible to get them to give up biases that they have acquired over a lifetime of media exposure and real-world experience.  Second, some have argued that antibias training activates stereotypes. Field and laboratory studies find that asking people to suppress stereotypes tends to reinforce them — making them more cognitively accessible to people.6 Try not thinking about elephants.

Diversity training typically encourages people to recognize and fight the stereotypes they hold, and this may simply be counterproductive.  Third, recent research suggests that training inspires unrealistic confidence in antidiscrimination programs, making employees complacent about their own biases. In the lab, Castilla and Benard found that when experimenters described subjects’ employers as nondiscriminatory, subjects did not censor their own gender biases.7 Employees who go through diversity training may not, subsequently, take responsibility for avoiding discrimination. Kaiser and colleagues found that when subjects are told that their employers have prodiversity measures such as training, they presume that the workplace is free of bias and react harshly to claims of discrimination.8 More generally, in experiments, the presence of workplace diversity programs seems to blind employees to hard evidence of discrimination.9

Fourth, others find that training leaves whites feeling left out. Plaut and colleagues found the message of multiculturalism, which is common in training, makes whites feel excluded and reduces their support for diversity, relative to the message of colorblindness, which is rare these days. Whites generally feel they will not be treated fairly in workplaces with prodiversity messages.10

Perhaps this is why trainers frequently report hostility and resistance, and trainees often leave “confused, angry, or with more animosity toward” other groups.11 The trouble is, when African-Americans work with whites who take a color-blind stance (rather than a multicultural stance), it alienates them, reducing their psychological engagement at work and quite possibly reducing their likelihood of staying on.12 So perhaps trainers cannot win with a message of either multiculturalism or color-blindness.

Fifth, we know from a large body of organizational research that people react negatively to efforts to control them. Jobautonomy research finds that people resist external controls on their thoughts and behavior and perform poorly in their jobs when they lack autonomy. Self-determination research shows that when organizations frame motivation for pursuing a goal as originating internally, commitment rises, but when they frame motivation as originating externally, rebellion increases. Legault, Gutsell and Inzlicht found this to be true in the case of antibias training. Kidder and colleagues showed that when diversity programs are introduced with an external rationale — avoiding lawsuit — participants were more resistant than when they were introduced with an organizational rationale — management needs. In experiments, whites resented external pressure to control prejudice against blacks, and when experimenters asked people to reduce bias, they responded by increasing bias unless they saw the desire to control prejudice as voluntary.13 Thus Robin Ely and David Thomas found that a discrimination/fairness framing of diversity efforts, which evokes legal motives, is less effective than an integration/ learning framing that evokes business motives.14

What is a university administrator or corporate executive to do? Some researchers suggest remedies. On the one hand, they have addressed problematic features of training.  On the other, they address evidence that training tends not to change workplaces unless it is part of a broader effort, involving multiple components.

First, can we prevent antibias training from reinforcing stereotypes, rather than suppressing them? Devine and colleagues ask their trainees to practice behaviors that increase contact with members of other groups, and empathy for other groups — these behavioral changes appear to be part of the secret to avoiding the reinforcement of stereotypes. Second, can we prevent training from making managers complacent because they believe that the organization has handled the problem of discrimination?

One possibility would be to introduce the “moral licensing” literature as part of training.  15 It suggests that when people do something good (e.g., attend training) they are likely to feel licensed to do something bad afterward (e.g., discriminate in hiring). This might equip trainees to look out for the effect in their own behavior.

Third, can we prevent antibias training about multiculturalism from making whites and men feel excluded and eliciting backlash? Plaut and colleagues found that when multicultural curriculum was framed as inclusive of the majority culture, majority group members responded better.16 Perhaps the curriculum should emphasize multiculturalism but stress that the majority culture is an important part of that multiculturalism.

Fourth, can we prevent trainees from feeling that training is an effort to control their thoughts and actions, and from rebelling against the message? Legault and colleagues found that by manipulating the framing of training, trainers can influence whether trainees see it as externally imposed or voluntarily chosen.17 We expect that two common features of diversity training — mandatory participation and legal curriculum — will make participants feel that an external power is trying to control their behavior. By mandating participation, employers send the message that employees need to change, and the employer will require it. By emphasizing the law, employers send the message that external government mandates are behind training.  These features may lead employees to think that commitment to diversity is being coerced.18

We expect that two common features of diversity training — mandatory participation and legal curriculum — will make participants feel that an external power is trying to control their behavior.

Our surveys show that 80% of corporations with diversity training make it mandatory, and 43% of colleges and universities with training for faculty make it mandatory.  Employers mandate training in the belief that people hostile to the message will not attend voluntarily, but if we are right, forcing them to come will do more harm than good.19 About 75 percent of company trainings cover regulations and procedures to comply with them — the legal case for diversity — as do about 40 percent of university trainings. Perhaps employers should cut the legal content and make training voluntary, or give employees a choice of different types of diversity training.

This begs a bigger question: if employers could design a diversity course that reduced bias, would it reduce workplace discrimination? There is reason to believe that it would not. A recent meta-analysis suggests that change in unconscious bias does not lead to change in discrimination. Discrimination may result from habits of mind and behavior, or organizational practices, that are not rooted in unconscious bias alone.20 This reinforces the view that employers cannot expect training to change the workplace without making other changes.

The key to improving the effects of training is to make it part of a wider program of change. That is what studies of workplace training in other domains, such as health and safety, have proven. In isolation, diversity training does not appear to be effective, and in many corporations, colleges and universities, training was for many years the only diversity program in place. But large corporations and big universities are developing multipronged diversity initiatives that tackle not only implicit biases, but structural discrimination.  The trick is to couple diversity training with the right complementary measures.

Our research shows that companies most often couple it with the wrong complementary measures.21 The antidiscrimination measures that work best are those that engage decision makers in solving the problem themselves.

We find that special college recruitment programs to identify women and minorities — sending existing corporate managers out to find new recruits — increase managerial diversity markedly. So do formal mentoring programs, which pair existing managers with people a couple of rungs below them, in different departments, who seek mentoring and sponsorship. So do diversity task forces that bring together higher-ups in different departments to look at the data on hiring, retention, pay and promotion; identify problems; brainstorm for solutions and bring those back to their departments. So do management training programs that use existing managers to train aspiring managers. All of these programs put existing higher-ups in touch with people from different race/ethnic/ gender groups who hope to move up. All of them help existing managers to understand the contours of the problem. And all of them seem to turn existing managers into champions of diversity.

The key to improving the effects of training is to make it part of a wider program of change. By contrast, popular human resources policies thought to reduce discrimination and promote diversity by controlling managerial bias seem to backfire.22 Companies that establish formal hiring and promotion criteria — through job tests and performance rating systems — to limit managerial discrimination see reductions in managerial diversity. Formal civil rights grievance procedures, which give employees a means to pursue complaints of discrimination, also backfire because managers find them threatening.  Our statistical analyses show that diversity training can improve the effects of certain diversity programs, but employers have to complement training with the right programs — those that engage rather than alienate managers.

Starbucks got mixed press coverage for its mass diversity training event, with some experts, such as University of Virginia psychologist Brian Nosek, expressing skepticism that that particular quick fix would fix anything.23 But Starbucks says that this is the first volley in what they expect to be a long game. To their credit, Starbucks has tried to address racial bias before, with its 2015 campaign encouraging baristas to write “Race Together” on customers’ coffee cups, as a conversation starter. Starbucks pulled the plug on that campaign after a couple of shots of media criticism and a dollop of ridicule. Starbucks faces much the same challenge that university administrators face: what to do in an age in which diversity in executive and faculty ranks has been at a standstill for decades? Social science research now gives us a pretty good idea of what does not work and what remains promising.

Women: No relationship between BMI and sexual self-esteem; most salient traits of attractiveness/seduction were found to be related to the face (eyes, lips, smile)

The role of physical satisfaction in women's sexual self-esteem. S. Hannier, A. Baltus, P. De Sutter. Sexologies, Volume 27, Issue 4, October–December 2018, Pages e85-e95.

Summary: Up until today, with the exception of the Wiederman and Hurst study in 1998, no research has been done with regard to the relationship between women's sexual self-esteem, body mass index, physical satisfaction and body image. Through two studies done on adult women, our objective was to better understand the impact of physical satisfaction on women's sexual self-esteem as well as investigate the elements on which the latter is founded. Data from the first study seem to indicate that BMI would be correlated in a negative and moderate manner to women's sexual self-esteem. A clearer relationship, however, is observed between sexual self-esteem and body/physical satisfaction. Results from the second study indicate no relationship between BMI and sexual self-esteem but they do, however, indicate a relationship between sexual self-esteem and body image/esteem. Furthermore, the most salient traits of attractiveness/seduction were found to be related to the face (eyes, lips, smile). Altogether, research results seem to suggest that “relationship to the body” may be central to women's conceptualization of sexual self-esteem.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Participants recognized more studied items & more critical lures from gender-congruent categories than from gender-incongruent categories; gender expertise also has a “dark side” of increasing false memories

Positive and negative effects of gender expertise on episodic memory. Ainat Pansky et al. Memory & Cognition,

Abstract: In two experiments, we examined the role of differential levels of knowledge between the genders in different domains, which we term gender expertise, in accounting for differences in episodic memory performance. In Experiment 1, we validated the assumption of differential gender expertise among men and women and selected the categories for the subsequent experiments. In Experiment 2, participants from both genders studied exemplars from these female-oriented, male-oriented, and gender-neutral categories and were tested after 24 hours on studied items, critical lures, and unrelated lures. A gender-congruity effect was found in terms of the recognition rates of both studied items and critical lures: Participants from each gender recognized more studied items and more critical lures from gender-congruent categories than from gender-incongruent categories. A parallel pattern of results was found for subjective confidence, supporting the notion that gender congruity enhanced the phenomenological experience that an item was studied. Our findings highlight the unique role of gender expertise in accounting for gender-congruity effects in episodic memory performance, using a well-defined operationalization of gender expertise. These findings show that in addition to benefits in terms of enhancing true memory, gender expertise also has a “dark side” of increasing false memories.

Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016

Measuring human capital: a systematic analysis of 195 countries and territories, 1990-2016. Stephen S Lim, Rachel L Updike, Alexander S Kaldjian, Ryan M Barber, Krycia Cowling, Hunter York, Joseph Friedman, R Xu, Joanna L Whisnant, Heather J Taylor, Andrew T Leever, Yesenia Roman, Miranda F Bryant, Joseph Dieleman, Emmanuela Gakidou, Christopher J L Murray. The Lancet,


Background: Human capital is recognised as the level of education and health in a population and is considered an important determinant of economic growth. The World Bank has called for measurement and annual reporting of human capital to track and motivate investments in health and education and enhance productivity. We aim to provide a new comprehensive measure of human capital across countries globally.

Methods: We  generated  a  period  measure  of  expected  human  capital,  defined  for  each  birth  cohort  as  the  expected  years  lived  from  age  20  to  64  years  and  adjusted  for  educational  attainment,  learning  or  education  quality,  and  functional health status using rates specific to each time period, age, and sex for 195 countries from 1990 to 2016. We estimated  educational  attainment  using  2522  censuses  and  household  surveys;  we  based  learning  estimates  on  1894  tests  among  school-aged  children;  and  we  based  functional  health  status  on  the  prevalence  of  seven  health  conditions, which were taken from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2016 (GBD 2016). Mortality rates specific to location, age, and sex were also taken from GBD 2016.

Findings: In 2016, Finland had the highest level of expected human capital of 28·4 health, education, and learning- adjusted expected years lived between age 20 and 64 years (95% uncertainty interval 27·5-29·2); Niger had the lowest expected  human  capital  of  less  than  1·6  years  (0·98-2·6).  In  2016,  44  countries  had  already  achieved  more  than  20 years of expected human capital; 68 countries had expected human capital of less than 10 years. Of 195 countries, the ten most populous countries in 2016 for expected human capital were ranked: China at 44, India at 158, USA at 27, Indonesia at 131, Brazil at 71, Pakistan at 164, Nigeria at 171, Bangladesh at 161, Russia at 49, and Mexico at 104. Assessment of change in expected human capital from 1990 to 2016 shows marked variation from less than 2 years of progress in 18 countries to more than 5 years of progress in 35 countries. Larger improvements in expected human capital appear to be associated with faster economic growth. The top quartile of countries in terms of absolute change in  human  capital  from  1990  to  2016  had  a  median  annualised  growth  in  gross  domestic  product  of  2·60%  (IQR 1·85.3·69) compared with 1·45% (0·18.2·19) for countries in the bottom quartile.

Interpretation: Countries vary widely in the rate of human capital formation. Monitoring the production of human capital can facilitate a mechanism to hold governments and donors accountable for investments in health and education.

Human capital refers to the attributes of a population that, along with physical capital such as buildings, equip­ment, and other tangible assets, contribute to economic productivity. Human capital is characterised as the aggregate levels of education, training, skills, and health in a population, affecting the rate at which technologies can be developed, adopted, and employed to increase productivity.

My comment: In the background, first sentence, "Human capital is recognised as the level of education and health in a population," but in the second sentence in the paper, body, "Human capital is characterised as the aggregate levels of education, training, skills, and health in a population." It is much more complex to measure "aggregate levels of education, training, skills, and health in a population" than to measure just "the level of education and health in a population."

How this came to be? If you say that HC is education, training, skills, and health, is Cuba above Russia in human capital? Really? And North Korea above Egypt? Palestine above Iran? And Brunei above the UK, New Zealand, Italy and Israel? And Malta above China and Russia? What the reviewers say about these strange results?

Imagination inflation occurs when participants increase their certainty that they have experienced an event after they imagine the event occurring

Imagining Experiencing an Event in the Future Inflates Certainty That It Occurred in the Past. Dustin P. Calvillo et al. Imagination, Cognition and Personality,

Abstract: Imagination inflation occurs when participants increase their certainty that they have experienced an event after they imagine the event occurring. Two experiments (with a total of 291 participants) examined the effects of imagining events in the future on participants’ certainty they had experienced those events in the past. Participants rated their certainty in having experienced events and then imagined experiencing some of those events either in the future or in the past. One or two weeks later, participants completed certainty ratings a second time and completed some individual difference measures. In both imagination conditions (future and past), certainty ratings increased more for imagined events than for control events. Autobiographical memory specificity and self-concept clarity did not significantly predict this effect. These findings suggest that imagining events in the future makes people more certain that they have happened in the past.

Keywords:  imagination inflation, episodic future thinking, autobiographical memory specificity, self-concept clarity

Are People Attracted to Others Who Resemble Their Opposite-Sex Parents? An Examination of Mate Preferences and Parental Ethnicity Among Biracial Individuals

Are People Attracted to Others Who Resemble Their Opposite-Sex Parents? An Examination of Mate Preferences and Parental Ethnicity Among Biracial Individuals. Marie E. Heffernan, Jia Y. Chong, R. Chris Fraley. Social Psychological and Personality Science,

Abstract: It is generally believed that people tend to be attracted to and pair with others who resemble their opposite-sex parents. Studies 1A (n = 1,025) and 1B (n = 3,105) tested this assumption by examining whether biracial adults were more likely to be paired with partners who matched their opposite-sex parent’s ethnicity. Study 2 (n = 516) examined whether biracial adults were more likely to be attracted to targets whose ethnicity matched that of their opposite-sex parent. Although biracial adults were more likely to pair with and be attracted to others who resembled their parents compared to those who did not, the sex of the parent was largely inconsequential. These findings have implications for models of mate preferences, including the traditional perspectives (which assume that the opposite-sex parent has greater influence on adult mating preferences) and ethological models (which assume that the sex of the parent is irrelevant with regard to influence on mating preferences).

Keywords: romantic attraction, biracial individuals, mate preferences, close relationships

Indices of comparative cognition: assessing animal models of human brain function; learning algorithms can help to identify the most relevant species to model human brain function and dysfunction

Indices of comparative cognition: assessing animal models of human brain function. Sebastian D. McBride, A. Jennifer Morton. Experimental Brain Research,

Abstract: Understanding the cognitive capacities of animals is important, because (a) several animal models of human neurodegenerative disease are considered poor representatives of the human equivalent and (b) cognitive capacities may provide insight into alternative animal models. We used a three-stage process of cognitive and neuroanatomical comparison (using sheep as an example) to assess the appropriateness of a species to model human brain function. First, a cognitive task was defined via a reinforcement-learning algorithm where values/constants in the algorithm were taken as indirect measures of neurophysiological attributes. Second, cognitive data (values/constants) were generated for the example species (sheep) and compared to other species. Third, cognitive data were compared with neuroanatomical metrics for each species (endocranial volume, gyrification index, encephalisation quotient, and number of cortical neurons). Four breeds of sheep (n = 15/sheep) were tested using the two-choice discrimination-reversal task. The ‘reversal index’ was used as a measure of constants within the learning algorithm. Reversal index data ranked sheep as third in a table of species that included primates, dogs, and pigs. Across all species, number of cortical neurons correlated strongest against the reversal index (r2 = 0.66, p = 0.0075) followed by encephalization quotient (r2 = 0.42, p = 0.03), endocranial volume (r2 = 0.30, p = 0.08), and gyrification index (r2 = 0.16, p = 0.23). Sheep have a high predicted level of cognitive capacity and are thus a valid alternative model for neurodegenerative research. Using learning algorithms within cognitive tasks increases the resolution of methods of comparative cognition and can help to identify the most relevant species to model human brain function and dysfunction.

Keywords: Cognition Sheep Animal model Brain

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Monopolistic power alarm! Antidote: "Our findings, therefore, reconcile the increasing national role of large firms with falling local concentration, and a likely more competitive local environment"

Diverging Trends in National and Local Concentration. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, Pierre-Daniel Sarte, Nicholas Trachter. NBER Working Paper No. 25066,

Abstract: Using U.S. NETS data, we present evidence that the positive trend observed in national product-market concentration between 1990 and 2014 becomes a negative trend when we focus on measures of local concentration. We document diverging trends for several geographic definitions of local markets. SIC 8 industries with diverging trends are pervasive across sectors. In these industries, top firms have contributed to the amplification of both trends. When a top firm opens a plant, local concentration declines and remains lower for at least 7 years. Our findings, therefore, reconcile the increasing national role of large firms with falling local concentration, and a likely more competitive local environment.

Psychotherapy: Rigorous training, supervision, trying the different methods, yield no improvement in more than forty years

The question of expertise in psychotherapy. Daryl Chow, Scott D. Miller, Mark A. Hubble. Journal of Expertise 2018. Vol. 1(2),

Abstract: Although it is well established that, on average, psychotherapy is effective, outcomes have remained flat for more than five decades. Since the 1990s, the effort to identify "empirically supported treatment" approaches has done little to alter this fact. Even more sobering, studies either fail to show therapists improve with specialized training or their outcomes steadily decline with time and experience. The aim of this paper is to illuminate how findings from the literature on expertise and expert performance illuminate new paths for the field of psychotherapy. Results to date point to new possibilities for helping practitioners realize improvements in the quality and outcome of their work.


In particular, the belief that “rigorous training” currently required for entering the field makes a difference in the quality and outcome of care practitioners provide. In the United States, doctoral training programs in psychology take between four and six years to complete [...] And yet, study after study reveals degreed professionals perform no better than students (Boswell, Castonguay, & Wasserman, 2010; Christensen & Jacobson,1994; Lambert & Ogles, 2004; Miller, Hubble, & Chow, in press). Millions are also spent annually on continuing education, including workshops, books, journals, instructional videos, and the like. Although mandatory for maintaining a license to practice, no evidence exists of any effect on results (Neimeyer, Taylor, & Wear, 2009; Webb, DeRubies, & Barber, 2010).

Another requirement for entering the field is working under the supervision of a senior clinician. While varying somewhat from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and discipline to discipline, approximately 3,000 hours of supervision is the norm (Caldwell, 2015). Nevertheless, after reviewing research spanning a century, Watkins (2011) writes: “We do not seem any more able to say now (as opposed to 30-years ago) that psychotherapy supervision contributes to patient outcome”

In hundreds of randomized controlled trials pitting one method against another, none proves superior [...] cognitive behavior therapy is compared with other bona fide approaches, such as interpersonal therapy, emotion-focused therapy, psychodynamic therapy, etc. Bona fide psychotherapies are treatments that are designed to be therapeutic, delivered by a trained therapists based on psychological principles, considered to be a viable form of treatment that has been presented to the psychotherapy community (i.e., via dedicated treatment manuals or books [Wampold et al., 1997]). Yet, training clinicians to use these approaches makes no difference in client outcomes (Rousmaniere, Goodyear, Miller, & Wampold, 2017).

As so much of conventional wisdom regarding what matters most for a good result has been shown to be immaterial, irrelevant, and inconsequential, it should come as no surprise that the overall outcome of psychotherapy has not improved in more than 40 years (Miller, Hubble, Chow, & Seidel, 2013). In their comprehensive review of the literature, Wampold and Imel (2015) report, “From the various meta‐analyses conducted . . . the aggregate effect size related to absolute efficacy is remarkably consistent” (p. 94).

Gender differences in climate change concern vary widely across countries; more affluent countries tend to have larger gender gaps in climate change concern; gender equality was not significant but vulnerability reduced the gap in some models

Explaining cross-national variation in the climate change concern gender gap: A research note. Kyle W. Knight. The Social Science Journal,

•    Gender differences in climate change concern vary widely across countries.
•    More affluent countries tend to have larger gender gaps in climate change concern.
•    Gender equality was not significant but vulnerability reduced the gap in some models.

Abstract: Previous research has documented and investigated the gender gap in climate change concern (and environmental concern more generally) in the USA to understand why women tend to be more concerned about this issue than men. However, a largely missing element of the existing research on this topic is the role of macro-level context. The consideration of contextual factors is important because, as shown in this study, aggregate gender differences in climate change concern vary widely across countries. Drawing on prior research and using data from three international surveys, this cross-national study examines the influence of gender equality, climate change vulnerability, and national affluence on gender gaps in concern for climate change. Results from OLS and robust regression analyses indicate that national affluence is consistently associated with a larger gap (with women more concerned) and there is some evidence showing that climate change vulnerability is associated with a smaller gap in concern; however, gender equality was not found to be a consistent significant predictor of the gender gap in climate change concern (although in bivariate correlations it was significant and positive). The finding that the USA pattern of substantially higher concern among women is not universal across countries, but rather is context-specific, opens up new directions for theorizing about how gender shapes concern for climate change and, more broadly, risk perception and environmental attitudes. Future research should build on this study to examine potential pathways linking macro-level context to gender differences in climate change concern at the individual level.

People Believe and Behave as if Consumers of Natural Foods Are Especially Virtuous

People Believe and Behave as if Consumers of Natural Foods Are Especially Virtuous. Zoe Taylor and Richard J. Stevenson. Front. Psychol., 27 September 2018 |

Abstract: We examined here whether people believe consumers of natural foods are more virtuous than consumers of unnatural foods. In Study 1, we asked student participants (n = 84; 77 female, M age = 19.5) to form an impression of another person based solely upon whether they ate natural or unnatural foods, these being determined in a pilot survey. On an open-response format, participants reported more positive moral and health traits in consumers of natural foods. These findings were further confirmed using rating-based evaluations. In Study 2, we determined if this belief in the virtuousness of natural food consumers translated into behavior. Student participants (n = 40; 25 female, M age = 20.2) played a trust game, exchanging tokens with a fictitious player. Incidental diet information about the fictitious player was provided, with participants in one group playing against a natural food consumer and those in another against an unnatural food consumer. Participants who played against a natural food consumer behaved as if they trusted this person more, and their performance on the game was predicted by how moral they felt the fictitious player was, but not by other attributes such as health. These findings suggest that people believe consumers of natural food are more virtuous, and we suggest this is driven by the altruistic attitudes that people believe to be associated with natural food consumption.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

In Sweden’s Preschools, Boys Learn to Dance and Girls Learn to Yell

In Sweden’s Preschools, Boys Learn to Dance and Girls Learn to Yell. Ellen Barry. The New York Times, Mar 24 2018,

STOCKHOLM — Something was wrong with the Penguins, the incoming class of toddlers at the Seafarer’s Preschool, in a wooded suburb south of Stockholm.

The boys were clamorous and physical. They shouted and hit. The girls held up their arms and whimpered to be picked up. The group of 1- and 2-year-olds had, in other words, split along traditional gender lines. And at this school, that is not O.K.

Their teachers cleared the room of cars and dolls. They put the boys in charge of the play kitchen. They made the girls practice shouting “No!” Then they decided to open a proper investigation, erecting video cameras in the classroom.

Science may still be divided over whether gender differences are rooted in biology or culture, but many of Sweden’s government-funded preschools are doing what they can to deconstruct them. State curriculum urges teachers and principals to embrace their role as social engineers, requiring them to “counteract traditional gender roles and gender patterns.”

It is normal, in many Swedish preschools, for teachers to avoid referring to their students’ gender — instead of “boys and girls,” they say “friends,” or call children by name. Play is organized to prevent children from sorting themselves by gender. A gender-neutral pronoun, “hen,” was introduced in 2012 and was swiftly absorbed into mainstream Swedish culture, something that, linguists say, has never happened in another country.

One of the few peer-reviewed efforts to examine the method’s effects, published last year in the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, concluded that some behaviors do go away when students attend what the study called “gender-neutral” preschools.

For instance, the children at these schools do not show a strong preference for playmates of the same gender, and are less likely to make assumptions based on stereotypes. Yet, the scientists found no difference at all in the children’s tendency to notice gender, suggesting that may be under a genetic influence.

At the Seafarer’s Preschool, the effort sometimes has the feeling of a venture into uncharted territory.

On a recent Friday in Hammarbyhojden, south of Stockholm, Elis Storesund, the school’s in-house gender expert, sat bent over a work sheet with two teachers of the 4- and 5-year-old Seagulls, reviewing their progress on gender objectives.

“When we are drawing,” said Melisa Esteka, 31, one of the teachers, “we see that the girls — they draw a lot — they draw girls with lots of makeup and long eyelashes. It’s very clear that they are girls. We ask, ‘Don’t boys have eyelashes?’ And they say, ‘We know it is not like that in real life.’”

Ms. Storesund, 54, nodded thoughtfully. “They are trying to understand what it is to be a girl,” she said.

Ms. Esteka looked frustrated. She had set a goal for herself: To stop the children from identifying things as “for girls” or “for boys.” But lately, her students were absorbing stereotypes from billboards and cartoons, and sometimes it seemed like all the slow, systematic work of the Seafarer’s Preschool was flying away overnight.

“There is so much they bring with them,” she said. “They bring the whole world with them. We can’t stop that from happening.”

Sweden’s experiment in gender-neutral preschools began in 1996 in Trodje, a small town near the edge of the Baltic Sea. The man who started it, Ingemar Gens, was not an educator but a journalist who dabbled in anthropology and gender theory, having studied Swedish men seeking mail-order brides in Thailand. Newly appointed as a district “equal opportunity expert,” Mr. Gens wanted to break down the norm of stoic, unemotional Swedish masculinity.

Preschool struck him as the right place to do this. Swedish children spend much of their early life in government-funded preschools, which offer care at nominal cost for up to 12 hours a day starting at the age of 1.

Two schools rolled out what was called a compensatory gender strategy. Boys and girls at the preschools were separated for part of the day and coached in traits associated with the other gender. Boys massaged each other’s feet. Girls were led in barefoot walks in the snow, and told to throw open the window and scream.

“We tried to do that — to educate boys in what girls already knew, and vice versa,” said Mr. Gens, now 68. A wave of criticism broke over him, but that was expected.

“They said we were indoctrinating the kids,” he said. “I say we’re always indoctrinating kids. Bringing them up is indoctrination.”

Teachers were required to review videotapes of themselves with the children, to identify subtle differences in the way they interacted with boys and girls. Many found that they used more words, and more complex sentences, with girls.

Helena Baggstrom, who taught at one of the schools, recalled watching footage of herself in a cloakroom, attending to children as they bundled up to go outside. She saw, to her shock, that she had helped one boy after another get dressed and run out the door. The girls, she realized, were expected to dress themselves.

“It was hard at first to see patterns,” she said. “We saw more and more, and we were horrified at what we saw.”

The strategy of separating boys and girls was later set aside in favor of a “gender neutral” approach intent on muting differences. Still, the spirit of Mr. Gens’s experiment had percolated through the government. In 1998, Sweden added new language to its national curriculum requiring that all preschools “counteract traditional gender roles and gender patterns” and encourage children to explore “outside the limitations of stereotyped gender roles.”

Traditionalists have raised occasional protests, complaining of liberal brainwashing. The far-right Sweden Democrats party, which won about 13 percent of the vote in 2014, has promised to roll back teaching that “seeks to change all children and young people’s behavior and gender identity.”

But in a political environment deeply split over immigration, gender-equality policies enjoy the support of Sweden’s largest parties, the center-left Social Democrats and the center-right Moderates.

A columnist and mathematician named Tanja Bergkvist, one of the few figures who routinely attacks what she calls “Sweden’s gender madness,” says many Swedes are uncomfortable with the practice but are afraid to criticize it in public.

“They don’t want to be regarded as against equality,” she said. “Nobody wants to be against equality.”

In Trodje, the first wave of preschoolers to attend gender-neutral preschools are now 20-somethings.

Elin Gerdin, 26, part of that first wave, is studying to be a teacher. In appearance she is conventionally feminine, her long dark hair coaxed into spirals with a curling iron. This is something she points out — that in appearance she is conventionally feminine. It is the first sign that she views gender as something you could put on or take off, like a raincoat.

“This is a choice I have made because this is me,” she said of her appearance. “And this is me because I am a product of society.”

There are moments when her early education comes back to her in flashes.

Ms. Gerdin’s friends have begun to have babies, and they post pictures of them on Facebook, swathed in blue or pink, in society’s first act of sorting. Ms. Gerdin gets upset when this happens. She feels sorry for the children. She makes it a point to seek her friends out and tell them, earnestly, that they are making a mistake. This feels to her like a responsibility.

“We are a group of children who will grow up, and we will have children, and we will talk to them about this,” she said. “It is not easy to change a whole society.”

That process was just beginning at the Seafarer’s Preschool on a recent morning, when the children scrambled out of voluminous snowsuits. Underneath his, Otto, a sturdy 3-year-old, was wearing a dress.

Otto prefers to wear dresses because he likes the way they fan out when he spins around, and it does not make him unusual here. Up until now, no one in Otto’s life — not his grandparents, or babysitters, or fellow 3-year-olds — has told him that boys do not wear dresses, said his mother, Lena Christiansson, 36, matter-of-factly. She would like this to continue as long as possible.

This expectation has become increasingly common, said Ms. Storesund, the Seafarer’s gender specialist.

“Now, parents ask us, ‘What are you doing about gender?’” she said.

Ms. Storesund is on hand to confront classroom dilemmas: When boys in the group for 3-year-olds refused to paint, or dance, and the group threatened to split along gender lines, she was brought in to unpack the problem, tinkering with the activities until she coaxed the boys back to equal participation.

Preserving a gender-neutral environment is not simple. Carina Sevebjork Saur, 57, who has been teaching at the school for a year and a half, said she often catches herself saying the wrong thing, like an offhand compliment on a child’s appearance.

“You are on your way to saying something, as a reflex, but you have to hold it back,” she said. “You can comment on clothes in other ways: ‘Oh, my goodness, how many polka dots!’”

The effort is compensated, teachers said, by the impression that they are unraveling mysteries, and as spring approached, some changes could be observed among the Penguins.

One of the group’s teachers, Izabell Sandberg, 26, noticed a shift in a 2-year-old girl whose parents dropped her off wearing tights and pale-pink dresses. The girl focused intently on staying clean. If another child took her toys, she would whimper.

“She accepted everything,” Ms. Sandberg said. “And I thought this was very girlie. It was like she was apologizing for taking up space.”

Until, that is, a recent morning, when the girl had put a hat on and carefully arranged bags around herself, preparing to set off on an imaginary expedition. When a classmate tried to walk off with one of her bags, the girl held out the palm of her hand and shouted “No” at such a high volume that Ms. Sandberg’s head swiveled around.

It was something they had been practicing.

By the time March rolled round, the girl had gotten so loud that she drowned out the boys in the class, Ms. Sandberg said. At the end of the day, she was messy. The girl’s parents were less than delighted, she said, and reported that she had become cheeky and defiant at home.

But Ms. Sandberg has plenty of experience explaining the mission to parents.

“This is what we do here, and we are not going to stop it,” she said.

Christina Anderson contributed reporting.

A version of this article appears in print on March 25, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: In Sweden, Preschools Teach Boys to Dance, and Girls to Yell.

Moral reasoning / In S Thompson-Schill (Ed.), Language & Thought. Volume 3 of Stevens' Handbook of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience

Moral reasoning. Lily Tsoi and Liane Young. In S Thompson-Schill (Ed.), Language & Thought. Volume 3 of Stevens' Handbook of Experimental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience (4th ed.).

Abstract: Understanding people’s minds is essential for effectively navigating our social world. This chapter focuses on the capacity to attribute and reason about minds (theory of mind; ToM) and its role in moral cognition. The section on moral judgment focuses on the circumstances in which people rely on mental states for moral judgments and how ToM may differ depending on the moral domain. We provide a functional explanation for these patterns of mental state reasoning that contrasts the need to regulate interpersonal relations with the need to protect the self. The section on moral behavior focuses on interactions with moral agents (e.g., friends, foes, ingroups, outgroups). We examine how ToM is deployed during two fundamental social contexts (i.e., cooperation and competition) and elaborate on the circumstances in which people fail to consider the minds of others. We end by providing some evidence that ToM can improve interpersonal and intergroup relations.

Key Terms: morality, theory of mind, mentalizing, cooperation, competition, dehumanization, social cognition

Check also: The relevance of moral norms in distinct relational contexts: Purity versus harm norms regulate self-directed actions. James A. Dungan, Alek Chakroff, and Liane Young. PLoS One. 2017; 12(3): e0173405.

Abstract: Recent efforts to partition the space of morality have focused on the descriptive content of distinct moral domains (e.g., harm versus purity), or alternatively, the relationship between the perpetrator and victim of moral violations. Across three studies, we demonstrate that harm and purity norms are relevant in distinct relational contexts. Moral judgments of purity violations, compared to harm violations, are relatively more sensitive to the negative impact perpetrators have on themselves versus other victims (Study 1). This pattern replicates across a wide array of harm and purity violations varying in severity (Studies 2 and 3). Moreover, while perceptions of harm predict moral judgment consistently across relational contexts, perceptions of purity predict moral judgment more for self-directed actions, where perpetrators violate themselves, compared to dyadic actions, where perpetrators violate other victims (Study 3). Together, these studies reveal how an action’s content and its relational context interact to influence moral judgment, providing novel insights into the adaptive functions of harm and purity norms.

In order to be loved, you also have to be feared; the idea that without projecting any kind of power, other countries will be attracted to the European model, that’s a form of utopianism

Bruno Maçães on the Spirit of Adventure (Ep. 50). Tyler Cowen, Sep 2018,

Bruno Maçães, senior advisor at Flint Global is author of The Dawn of Eurasia — On the Trail of the New World Order []

MAÇÃES: This raises deep philosophical questions and political questions. If you want Turkey to become like Europe, then you have to project European power across Turkey. If Europe no longer has that ability, then you shouldn’t be surprised that Turkey looks elsewhere.

It’s very simple. I think I say in the book that in order to be loved, you also have to be feared. This idea that you find in Europe now, that without projecting any kind of power, other countries will be attracted to the European model, that’s a form of utopianism. I just cannot see that happen.

COWEN: So Europe lacks the spirit of adventure.

MAÇÃES: That is certainly the case. I think you see that. One of the areas where the spirit of adventure today is more relevant and important is technology. You see in Europe the idea that technology’s against us, and we should resist this rather than embrace it. A very negative spirit, which I think is a good example of how adventure has disappeared from the European psyche.

A higher proportion of opposite-sex individuals in one's occupational sector is associated with higher divorce risk; this holds for both men & women, but associations are somewhat stronger for men and vary by education

Higher divorce risk when mates are plentiful? Evidence from Denmark. Caroline Uggla, Gunnar Andersson. Royal Society Biology Letters, DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2018.0475

Abstract: Work from social and biological sciences has shown that adult sex ratios are associated with relationship behaviours. When partners are abundant, opportunities for mate switching may increase and relationship stability decrease. To date, most of the human literature has used regional areas at various levels of aggregation to define partner markets. But, in developed countries, many individuals of reproductive age spend a considerable amount of time outside their residential areas, and other measures may better capture the opportunities to meet a (new) partner. Here, we use Danish register data to test whether the sex ratio of the occupational sector is linked to divorce. Our data cover individuals in Denmark who married during 1981–2002 and we control for age at and duration of marriage, education and parity. Results support the prediction that a higher proportion of opposite-sex individuals in one's occupational sector is associated with higher divorce risk. This holds for both men and women, but associations are somewhat stronger for men and vary by education. Our results highlight the need to study demographic behaviours of men and women simultaneously, and to consider partner markets beyond geographical areas so that differing strategies for males and females may be examined.

The environmental costs and benefits of high-yield farming

The environmental costs and benefits of high-yield farming. Andrew Balmford et al. Nature Sustainability, volume 1, pages477–485 (2018).

Abstract: How we manage farming and food systems to meet rising demand is pivotal to the future of biodiversity. Extensive field data suggest that impacts on wild populations would be greatly reduced through boosting yields on existing farmland so as to spare remaining natural habitats. High-yield farming raises other concerns because expressed per unit area it can generate high levels of externalities such as greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient losses. However, such metrics underestimate the overall impacts of lower-yield systems. Here we develop a framework that instead compares externality and land costs per unit production. We apply this framework to diverse data sets that describe the externalities of four major farm sectors and reveal that, rather than involving trade-offs, the externality and land costs of alternative production systems can covary positively: per unit production, land-efficient systems often produce lower externalities. For greenhouse gas emissions, these associations become more strongly positive once forgone sequestration is included. Our conclusions are limited: remarkably few studies report externalities alongside yields; many important externalities and farming systems are inadequately measured; and realizing the environmental benefits of high-yield systems typically requires additional measures to limit farmland expansion. Nevertheless, our results suggest that trade-offs among key cost metrics are not as ubiquitous as sometimes perceived.

A Freudian explanation of the development of superego structures that prioritize law/crime, security, tradition, and progress, distinguish how liberals and conservatives differ in their tastes in humor

Explaining Differing Tastes in the Humor of Liberals and Conservatives. Todd L. Belt, Hawaii Univ.

Abstract: This paper explains how liberals and conservatives differ in their tastes in humor. The primary contribution of this paper is the development of a theory that explains these differences by matching psychological theories of humor to political science theories that explain personality traits of liberalism and conservatism. The secondary contribution involves the empirical testing of hypotheses are then drawn from this theory using data from 400 humorous still images collected by the author and the Library of Congress during the 2016 election cycle. The results indicate that a Freudian explanation of the development of superego structures that prioritize law/crime, security, tradition, and progress, distinguish how liberals and conservatives differ in their tastes in humor. The paper concludes with a discussion of the ramifications of differing tastes in political humor for future political discourse and civility.

Sexism was a significantly stronger predictor of voting for Trump the more left-leaning (vs. right-leaning) the voter; sexism played a role in Clinton's electoral loss, & she correctly characterized sexism as endemic (especially on the left)

Why Pillory Hillary? Testing the endemic sexism hypothesis regarding the 2016 U.S. election. Valerie Rothwell, Gordon Hodson, Elvira Prusaczyk. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 138, 1 February 2019, Pages 106-108.

Abstract: The present study used nationally representative American National Election Studies (ANES) data to examine the potential role of sexism in the 2016 presidential election. We hypothesized not only that sexism would predict voting for Trump (vs. Clinton), but that its role would be stronger on the political left (vs. right). The sample consisted of 1916 Clinton or Trump voters (51.41% women; Mage = 51.78, SD = 17.16; 79.5% White) who completed measures of political ideology and hostile sexism. Greater conservatism or sexism significantly predicted voting for Trump (vs. Clinton). As expected, sexism was a significantly stronger predictor of voting for Trump the more left-leaning (vs. right-leaning) the voter. Not only was Clinton correct that sexism played a role in her electoral loss, but she correctly characterized sexism as endemic, an influence especially perceptible on the left.

There is a positive association between female height, higher educational levels, & greater same-sex attraction (female–female) vs a negative effect of lower income levels & more offspring

Man, Woman, “Other”: Factors Associated with Nonbinary Gender Identification. Stephen Whyte, Robert C. Brooks, Benno Torgler. Archives of Sexual Behavior,

Abstract: Using a unique dataset of 7479 respondents to the online Australian Sex Survey (July–September 2016), we explored factors relevant for individuals who self-identify as one of the many possible nonbinary gender options (i.e., not man or woman). Our results identified significant sex differences in such factors; in particular, a positive association between female height, higher educational levels, and greater same-sex attraction (female–female) versus a negative effect of lower income levels and more offspring. With respect to sex similarities, older males and females, heterosexuals, those with lower educational levels, and those living outside capital cities were all more likely to identify as the historically dichotomous gender options. These factors associated with nonbinary gender identification were also more multifaceted for females than for males, although our interaction terms demonstrated that younger females (relative to younger males) and nonheterosexuals (relative to heterosexuals) were more likely to identify as nonbinary. These effects were reversed, however, in the older cohort. Because gender can have such significant lifetime impacts for both the individual and society as a whole, our findings strongly suggest the need for further research into factors that impact gender diversity.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The threat of punishment lowered the average quality & quantity of information processed compared to the prospect of reward or no incentive at all; also induced less cautious decision making by lowering people’s decision thresholds relative to the prospect of reward

Ballard, Timothy, and Daniel Cosgrove. 2018. “Information processing in the face of reward versus punishment.” PsyArXiv. September 26. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Much is known about the effects of reward and punishment on behavior, yet little research has considered how these incentives influence the information processing dynamics that underlie decision making. We fit the Linear Ballistic Accumulator model to data from a perceptual judgment task to examine the impacts of reward- and punishment-based incentives on three distinct components of information processing: the quality of the information processed, the quantity of that information, and the decision threshold. The threat of punishment lowered the average quality and quantity of information processed compared to the prospect of reward or no performance incentive at all. The threat of punishment also induced less cautious decision making by lowering people’s decision thresholds relative to the prospect of reward. These findings suggest that information processing dynamics are not wholly determined by objective properties of the decision environment, but also by the higher order goals of the system.

People with a conspiracy mentality perceived a drug more positively if its approval was supported by a powerless (vs. powerful) agent; there is a moderating effect of power & conspiracy mentality on drug evaluation by comparing analytic versus holistic approaches

Powerful Pharma and Its Marginalized Alternatives? Effects of Individual Differences in Conspiracy Mentality on Attitudes Toward Medical Approaches. Pia Lamberty and Roland Imhoff. Social Psychology.

Abstract: Only little is known about the underpinning psychological processes that determine medical choices. Across four studies, we establish that conspiracy mentality predicts a preference for alternative over biomedical therapies. Study 1a (N = 392) and 1b (N = 204) provide correlational support, Study 2 (N = 185) experimentally tested the role of power: People who endorsed a conspiracy mentality perceived a drug more positively if its approval was supported by a powerless (vs. powerful) agent. Study 3 (N = 239) again showed a moderating effect of power and conspiracy mentality on drug evaluation by comparing analytic versus holistic approaches. These findings point to the consequences of conspiracy mentality for health behavior and prevention programs.

Keywords: conspiracy mentality, generalized political attitudes, health behavior, health-related cognitions, illness beliefs

Healthy mothers showed a clear preference of the own infant's body odor, those with bonding difficulties did not; the degree of odor preference was negatively correlated to bonding difficulties; the ones with bonding difficulties could not identify their own infant's odor

Mother-child bonding is associated with body odor perception. Ilona Croy et al. Physiology & Behavior,

•    Healthy mothers showed a clear preference of the own infant's body odor.
•    Mothers with bonding difficulties did not
•    The degree of odor preference was negatively correlated to bonding difficulties.
•    Mothers with bonding difficulties could not identify their own infant's odor.

Abstract: Mothers can recognize the odor of their baby and typically like this odor very much. In line with this observation, infant body odors activate reward-related brain areas in the mothers. In some mother-child-dyads however, the mutual bond is impaired and mothers have trouble engaging in interaction with their child. We aimed to examine how mothers with bonding difficulties perceive their child's body odor.

In total 75 mothers and their babies (aged 0–12 months) were examined: Twenty-five of those were recruited in a psychosomatic day hospital ward, which is specialized for mother-child bonding disorders. Fifty age-matched healthy women and their babies served as controls. Body odor samples of each baby were collected from bodysuits in a highly standardized procedure. Thereafter, each mother rated the samples of her own and of two stranger's infants in a blindfolded and randomized design. In addition, general olfactory function in terms of threshold and identification ability was tested and the mother reported the bonding to her baby in a standardized questionnaire.

Healthy mothers showed a clear preference of the own compared to odors of strange infant's, while mothers with bonding difficulties did not. Furthermore, the degree of preference was negatively correlated to self-reported bonding difficulties. Mothers with bonding difficulties could not identify their own infant's odor above chance, while control mothers could (p = 0.02). Both groups did not differ in general olfactory function.

We assume that reduced close body contact and interaction time in bonding difficulties may lead to reduced olfactory stimulation and hinder the recognition of the infantile body odor. Within a vicious cycle, a reduced hedonic experience smelling the own baby may prevent women from deliberately approaching the baby. Thus the positive and bond-building consequences of bodily and sensory interaction cannot unfold. As the baby's odor is normally perceived as very pleasant and rewarding, the conscious perception of the infantile body odor may be an additive therapeutic approach for mothers with bonding difficulties.

A “twin-like” experimental design (involving genetically unrelated look-alikes) explores associations among resemblance in appearance, the Big Five personality traits, self-esteem, & social attraction; appearance is not meaningfully related to personality similarity & social relatedness

Further Tests of Personality Similarity and Social Affiliation. Nancy L. Segal, Brittney A. Hernandez, Jamie L. Graham, Ulrich Ettinger. Human Nature,

Abstract: Relationships of physical resemblance to personality similarity and social affiliation have generated considerable discussion among behavioral science researchers. A “twin-like” experimental design (involving genetically unrelated look-alikes, U-LAs) explores associations among resemblance in appearance, the Big Five personality traits, self-esteem, and social attraction within an evolutionary framework. The Personality for Professionals Inventory (PfPI), NEO/NEO-FFI-3, Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale, and a Social Relationship Survey were variously completed by 45 U-LA pairs, identified from the “I’m Not a Look-Alike” project, Mentorn Media, and personal referrals. The mean U-LA intraclass correlations were negligible for all Big Five personality traits on the PfPI and NEO/NEO-FFI-3 (ri = −.02 and − .04, respectively). In contrast, mean ri values of .53 and .15 for monozygotic (MZA) and dizygotic (DZA) reared-apart twins, respectively, have been reported for these personality measures. The U-LA self-esteem correlation (ri = −.18) was also below the correlations reported for MZ and DZ reared-together twins (ri = .31 and .13, respectively). Finally, far fewer U-LAs expressed close social relationships (20%) than MZA (80%) and DZA (65%) twins. The present study extends earlier findings indicating that appearance is not meaningfully related to personality similarity and social relatedness. The criticism that MZ twins are alike in personality because their matched looks invite similar treatment by others is refuted. A more judicious interpretation is reactive genotype-environment correlation, namely that MZ twins’ similar personalities evoke similar reactions from others. MZ twins’ close social relations most likely derive from their perceptions of genetically based within-pair similarities that are lacking in U-LAs.

Keywords: Twins Look-alikes Monozygotic Dizygotic Personality Self-esteem

An entitlement effect – proposers earning the role being less generous – is believed to exist; we conduct three experiments with 1,254 participants; the effect fails to replicate in all three experiments, and in the pooled data

The entitlement effect in the ultimatum game – does it even exist? Elif E. Demiral, Johanna Mollerstrom. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,

•    We study the Ultimatum Game with proposers either earning their role or not.
•    An entitlement effect – proposers earning the role being less generous – is believed to exist.
•    We conduct three experiments with 1,254 participants.
•    The entitlement effect fails to replicate in all three experiments, and in the pooled data.

Abstract: Since the seminal paper of Hoffman et al. (1994), an entitlement effect is believed to exist in the Ultimatum Game, in the sense that proposers who have earned their role (as opposed to having it randomly allocated) offer a smaller share of the pie to their matched responder. The entitlement effect is at the core of experimental Public Choice – not just because it concerns the topics of bargaining and negotiations, but also because it relates to the question about under which circumstances actors behave more rational. We conduct three experiments, two in the laboratory and one online, with more than 1,250 participants. Our original motivation was to study gender differences, but ultimately we could not replicate the entitlement effect in the Ultimatum Game in any of our three experiments. Potential reasons for why the replication attempts fail are discussed.

Italian gay father families formed by surrogacy: Parenting, stigmatization, and children’s psychological adjustment

Carone, N., Lingiardi, V., Chirumbolo, A., & Baiocco, R. (2018). Italian gay father families formed by surrogacy: Parenting, stigmatization, and children’s psychological adjustment. Developmental Psychology, 54(10), 1904-1916.

Abstract: Forty Italian gay father families formed by surrogacy were compared with 40 Italian lesbian mother families formed by donor insemination, all with a child aged 3 to 9 years. Standardized interview, observational, and questionnaire measures of parenting quality, parent–child relationships, stigmatization, and children’s adjustment were administered to parents, children, teachers, and a child psychiatrist. The only differences across family types indicated higher levels of stigmatization as reported by gay fathers. Externalizing and internalizing problems in both groups scored within the normal range. When family structure and processes were entered together as predictors of child adjustment, a hierarchical linear model analysis showed that factors associated with children’s externalizing problems were the child’s male gender, high stigmatization, and negative parenting; children’s internalizing problems were higher in lesbian mother families and were predicted by stigmatization. Of note, neither gay fathers nor lesbian mothers tended to underestimate their children’s adjustment problems relative to teachers. Finally, for children of gay fathers, comparison between teacher SDQ ratings and teacher SDQ normative data on Italian children in a similar age range showed that teachers reported children of gay fathers to show significantly fewer internalizing problems than the normative sample. No differences in children’s externalizing problems emerged. A bootstrapping simulation confirmed all results, except the effect of stigmatization on child internalizing problems. Findings suggest that the practice of surrogacy by gay men has no adverse effects on child health outcomes. Implications for our theoretical understanding of child socialization and development, and law and social policy, are discussed.

Are Whites and minorities more similar than different? Testing the cultural similarities hypothesis on psychopathology with a second-order meta-analysis // Seems that closely alike

Are Whites and minorities more similar than different? Testing the cultural similarities hypothesis on psychopathology with a second-order meta-analysis. José M. Causadias, Kevin M. Korous & Karina M. Cahill. Development and Psychopathology,

Abstract: The cultural differences hypothesis is the assertion that there are large differences between Whites and racial/ethnic minorities in the United States, while there are small differences between- (e.g., African Americans and Latinos) and within- (e.g., Latinos: Mexican Americans and Cuban Americans) minority groups. Conversely, the cultural similarities hypothesis argues that there are small differences between Whites and minorities, and these differences are equal or smaller in magnitude than differences between and within minorities. In this study, we conducted a second-order meta-analysis focused on psychopathology, to (a) test these hypotheses by estimating the absolute average difference between Whites and minorities, as well as between and within minorities, on levels of psychopathology, and (b) determine if general and meta-analytic method moderators account for these differences. A systematic search in PsycINFO, Web of Science, and ProQuest Dissertations identified 16 meta-analyses (13% unpublished) on 493 primary studies (N = 3,036,749). Differences between Whites and minorities (d+ = 0.23, 95% confidence interval [0.18, 0.28]), and between minorities (d+ = 0.30, 95% confidence interval [0.12, 0.48]) were small in magnitude. White–minority differences remained small across moderators. These findings support the cultural similarities hypothesis. We discuss their implications and future research directions.