Friday, January 12, 2018

Does Work Make Mothers Happy? Contrary to our expectations, homemaking was positively associated with happiness particularly among mothers who left higher quality employment for childcare

Does Work Make Mothers Happy? Dana Hamplova. Journal of Happiness Studies, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-018-9958-2

Abstract: The paper explores the link between employment and subjective well-being among mothers with children under 3 years of age. It uses a pooled sample from the ESS 2004–2014 data from 30 European countries. Analyzing multiple measures of subjective well-being, the paper shows that homemakers are generally happier than full-time workers. No significant differences between homemakers and part-time workers were found. Contrary to our expectations, homemaking was positively associated with happiness particularly among mothers who left higher quality employment for childcare. Though some variation across countries exists, it is not linked to the provision of formal childcare, duration of parental leave, or tax system.

Do psychopathic individuals possess a misaligned moral compass? A meta-analytic examination of psychopathy’s relations with moral judgment

Marshall, J., Watts, A. L., & Lilienfeld, S. O. (2018). Do psychopathic individuals possess a misaligned moral compass? A meta-analytic examination of psychopathy’s relations with moral judgment. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 9(1), 40-50.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/per0000226

Abstract: Psychopathic individuals are often characterized as lacking a moral sense. Although this hypothesis has received ample experimental attention over the past decade, findings have been inconsistent. To elucidate the relationship between psychopathy and abnormal moral judgment, we conducted a meta-analysis of the research on psychopathy and morality-related variables (k = 23, N = 4376). A random effects model indicated a small but statistically significant relation between psychopathy and moral decision-making (rw = .16) and moral reasoning (rw = .10) tasks. These results reveal at best modest support for the common perception that psychopathic individuals fail to understand moral principles. A secondary meta-analysis (k = 9, N = 4294) of the growing body of literature on the relationship between psychopathy and moral reasoning on moral foundations measures provides preliminary evidence that psychopathic individuals may possess a differential set of “moral taste buds” than less psychopathic individuals. We discuss the implications of the results from both meta-analyses for models of the etiology of psychopathy and the criminal responsibility of psychopathic individuals.

The Churches' Bans on Consanguineous Marriages, Kin-Networks and Democracy

Schulz, Jonathan F., The Churches' Bans on Consanguineous Marriages, Kin-Networks and Democracy (January 19, 2017).  http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2877828

Abstract: This paper tests the hypothesis that extended kin-groups, as characterized by a high level of cousin marriages, impact the proper functioning of formal institutions. Consistent with this hypothesis I find that countries with high cousin marriage rates exhibit a weak rule of law and are more likely autocratic. Further evidence comes from a quasi-natural experiment. In the early medieval ages the Church started to prohibit kin-marriages. Using the variation in the duration and extent of the Eastern and Western Churches’ bans on consanguineous marriages as instrumental variables, reveals highly significant point estimates of the percentage of cousin marriage on an index of democracy. An additional novel instrument, cousin-terms, strengthens this point: the estimates are very similar and do not rest on the European experience alone. Exploiting within country variation support these results. These findings point to the importance of marriage patterns for the proper functioning of formal institutions and democracy.

Keywords: Democracy, Family, Kin-groups, Church, Cousin-Marriage, Institutions

Our results challenge current theories that focus on deficits in emotional responsiveness as leading to the development of psychopathy

Facial responsiveness of psychopaths to the emotional expressions of others. Janina K√ľnecke, Andreas Mokros, Sally Olderbak, Oliver Wilhelm. PLoS One, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190714

Abstract: Psychopathic individuals show selfish, manipulative, and antisocial behavior in addition to emotional detachment and reduced empathy. Their empathic deficits are thought to be associated with a reduced responsiveness to emotional stimuli. Immediate facial muscle responses to the emotional expressions of others reflect the expressive part of emotional responsiveness and are positively related to trait empathy. Empirical evidence for reduced facial muscle responses in adult psychopathic individuals to the emotional expressions of others is rare. In the present study, 261 male criminal offenders and non-offenders categorized dynamically presented facial emotion expressions (angry, happy, sad, and neutral) during facial electromyography recording of their corrugator muscle activity. We replicated a measurement model of facial muscle activity, which controls for general facial responsiveness to face stimuli, and modeled three correlated emotion-specific factors (i.e., anger, happiness, and sadness) representing emotion specific activity. In a multi-group confirmatory factor analysis, we compared the means of the anger, happiness, and sadness latent factors between three groups: 1) non-offenders, 2) low, and 3) high psychopathic offenders. There were no significant mean differences between groups. Our results challenge current theories that focus on deficits in emotional responsiveness as leading to the development of psychopathy and encourage further theoretical development on deviant emotional processes in psychopathic individuals.