Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Chimpanzees appear to perceive similarity in primate faces in a similar way to humans. Information about perceptual similarity is likely prioritized over the potential influence of previous experience

Visual discrimination of primate species based on faces in chimpanzees. Duncan A. Wilson, Masaki Tomonaga. Primates, https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10329-018-0649-8

Abstract: Many primate studies have investigated discrimination of individual faces within the same species. However, few studies have looked at discrimination between primate species faces at the categorical level. This study systematically examined the factors important for visual discrimination between primate species faces in chimpanzees, including: colour, orientation, familiarity, and perceptual similarity. Five adult female chimpanzees were tested on their ability to discriminate identical and categorical (non-identical) images of different primate species faces in a series of touchscreen matching-to-sample experiments. Discrimination performance for chimpanzee, gorilla, and orangutan faces was better in colour than in greyscale. An inversion effect was also found, with higher accuracy for upright than inverted faces. Discrimination performance for unfamiliar (baboon and capuchin monkey) and highly familiar (chimpanzee and human) but perceptually different species was equally high. After excluding effects of colour and familiarity, difficulty in discriminating between different species faces can be best explained by their perceptual similarity to each other. Categorical discrimination performance for unfamiliar, perceptually similar faces (gorilla and orangutan) was significantly worse than unfamiliar, perceptually different faces (baboon and capuchin monkey). Moreover, multidimensional scaling analysis of the image similarity data based on local feature matching revealed greater similarity between chimpanzee, gorilla and orangutan faces than between human, baboon and capuchin monkey faces. We conclude our chimpanzees appear to perceive similarity in primate faces in a similar way to humans. Information about perceptual similarity is likely prioritized over the potential influence of previous experience or a conceptual representation of species for categorical discrimination between species faces.

A Nuclear Twin Family Study of Self-Esteem

Bleidorn, W., Hufer, A., Kandler, C., Hopwood, C. J., and Riemann, R. (2018) A Nuclear Twin Family Study of Self-Esteem. Eur. J. Pers., doi: 10.1002/per.2136

Abstract: Twin studies suggest that both genes and environments influence the emergence and development of individual differences in self-esteem. However, different lines of research have emphasized either the role of genes or of environmental influences in shaping self-esteem, and the pathways through which genes and environments exert their influence on self-esteem remain largely unclear. In this study, we used nationally representative data from over 2000 German twin families and a nuclear twin family design (NTFD) to further our understanding of the genetic and environmental influences on individual differences in self-esteem. Compared with classical twin designs, NTFDs allow for finer-grained descriptions of the genetic and environmental influences on phenotypic variation, produce less biased estimates of those effects, and provide more information about different environmental influences and gene–environment correlation that contribute to siblings' similarity. Our NTFD results suggested that additive and non-additive genetic influences contributed to individual differences in self-esteem as well as environmental influences that are both shared and not shared by twins. The shared environmental component mostly reflected non-parental influences. These findings highlight the increased sensitivity afforded by NTFDs but also remaining limitations that need to be addressed by future behavioural genetic work on the sources of self-esteem.

Effects of physical attractiveness on political beliefs: more attractive individuals are more likely to report higher levels of political efficacy, identify as conservative, and identify as Republican

Effects of physical attractiveness on political beliefs. Rolfe Daus Peterson and Carl L. Palmer. Politics and the Life Sciences, Volume 36, Issue 2, Fall 2017 , pp. 3-16. https://doi.org/10.1017/pls.2017.18

Abstract: Physical attractiveness is an important social factor in our daily interactions. Scholars in social psychology provide evidence that attractiveness stereotypes and the “halo effect” are prominent in affecting the traits we attribute to others. However, the interest in attractiveness has not directly filtered down to questions of political behavior beyond candidates and elites. Utilizing measures of attractiveness across multiple surveys, we examine the relationship between attractiveness and political beliefs. Controlling for socioeconomic status, we find that more attractive individuals are more likely to report higher levels of political efficacy, identify as conservative, and identify as Republican. These findings suggest an additional mechanism for political socialization that has further implications for understanding how the body intertwines with the social nature of politics.

Intelligence and Offending: A Longitudinal Examination of the Differential Detection Hypothesis

Schwartz, Joseph A, and Kevin M Beaver. 2018. “Intelligence and Offending: A Longitudinal Examination of the Differential Detection Hypothesis”. PsyArXiv. January 23. psyarxiv.com/z8wmg

Abstract: A well-developed literature has documented a negative and robust association between IQ and criminal behavior.  At the same time, relatively little is known about the factors that ultimately contribute to the association, with the existing research revealing two possibilities.  First, in line with population heterogeneity, IQ scores may tap internalized sources of influence that collectively increase underlying levels of criminality.  Second, the differential detection hypothesis indicates that lower scores on IQ tests do not necessarily result in increases in criminal behavior, but rather result in a greater likelihood of coming into contact with law enforcement.  The current study analyzed data from the Pathways to Desistance Study (N = 1,354) to examine the merits of these explanations.  The results of survival analysis, which included controls for a time-stable, trait-based measure of criminality (measured using a latent trait-state-occasion approach) and other covariates, revealed a small, but negative and statistically significant, association between IQ and arrest, providing support for the differential detection hypothesis.  Implications for future research and theoretical development are provided along with a discussion of the further incorporation of the concept of intelligence into the criminological literature.

Audio and video increase awareness of incivility cues as well as participants’ evaluations of negative, emotional, and entertaining tone

Platforms for Incivility: Examining Perceptions Across Different Media Formats. Emily Sydnor. Political Communication, Volume 35, 2018 - Issue 1: Studying Politics Across Media. Pages 97-116. https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2017.1355857

Abstract: This article investigates how the mix of attributes present across different media shapes perceptions of incivility. I argue that certain modalities, particularly the channel and structure of a media platform, facilitate the perception of media as more uncivil even if the content is kept the same. To test this argument, I conduct two survey experiments in which participants are randomly assigned to treatments in which the substantive content and text remains the same but is packaged to mimic different media types. Generally, audio and video increase awareness of incivility cues as well as participants’ evaluations of negative, emotional, and entertaining tone. There are also differences in the extent to which individuals notice incivility on Twitter than on other text-based media platforms. The social media platform is also particularly entertaining in comparison to the other platforms studied. This article demonstrates that media attributes interact to shape our understanding and identification of uncivil language. Furthermore, it suggests that more attention should be focused on identifying the different sets of characteristics that make incivility more or less likely or salient in political media.

Keywords: hybridity, incivility, media platforms, mix of attributes theory, perceptions

I found consistently higher memory for unattractive over both attractive and medium-attractive faces

The influence of facial attractiveness on recognition memory: Behavioural findings and electrophysiological evidence. Carolin S. Altmann, Dissertation zur Erlangung des akademischen Grades doctor philosophiae (Dr. phil.), Friedrich-Schiller-Universit├Ąt, Jena.

This thesis is based on a series of experiments that aimed to better understand the influence attractiveness has on memory while always controlling for perceived distinctiveness. First, I created a large stimulus pool of 1100 faces and obtained ratings on a number of relevant dimensions (see sections 2.1 and 3). In the first study, I investigated if memory for faces increased linearly with increasing attractiveness or whether this relationship was more complex (see section 3). In the second study, I investigated the combined influence of attractiveness and gender on recognition memory to competitively test predictions of perceptual expertise, social cognition, and alternative accounts (see section 4). In the third study, l, I investigated encoding-related neural correlates of the attractiveness effect on memory at retrieval (see section 5) whereas the first two experiments focused on ERP memory effects during retrieval.

Taken together, I found consistently higher memory for unattractive over both attractive and medium-attractive faces. Further, medium-attractive faces were significantly less well remembered than attractive faces in studies 1 and 2, and numerically in study 3. This difference disappeared when emotional relevance, i.e. valence and arousal, was taken into account. Inspection of ERPs showed increased P2 amplitudes for medium-attractive faces at retrieval in studies 1 and 2, and a pronounced Dm effect in this component in study 3. Thus, the attractiveness effect on face recognition memory seems already rooted in evolved, i.e. more refined and higher-level, perceptual processing of faces reflected in the P2. Overarchingly, these findings argue in favour of perceptual accounts, i.e. representational clustering (see sections 1.6.1 and 6.2.4), as both attractive and medium-attractive faces are supposedly more densely clustered in participants’ mental storage. The current data further indicate some contribution of emotional relevance. As no significant influence of face or participant gender was observed, there was also no compelling evidence for accounts of social cognition.

Giving advice enhances the adviser’s sense of power because it gives the adviser perceived influence over others’ actions; people with a high tendency to seek power are more likely to give advice than those with a low tendency

Advice Giving: A Subtle Pathway to Power. Michael Schaerer et al. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167217746341

Abstract: We propose that interpersonal behaviors can activate feelings of power, and we examine this idea in the context of advice giving. Specifically, we show (a) that advice giving is an interpersonal behavior that enhances individuals’ sense of power and (b) that those who seek power are motivated to engage in advice giving. Four studies, including two experiments (N = 290, N = 188), an organization-based field study (N = 94), and a negotiation simulation (N = 124), demonstrate that giving advice enhances the adviser’s sense of power because it gives the adviser perceived influence over others’ actions. Two of our studies further demonstrate that people with a high tendency to seek power are more likely to give advice than those with a low tendency. This research establishes advice giving as a subtle route to a sense of power, shows that the desire to feel powerful motivates advice giving, and highlights the dynamic interplay between power and advice.

Keywords: advice giving, social power, social influence, political motivation

The Effect of Germ Movement on the Construal of Mental States in Germs: The Moderating Role of Contamination Fear

The Effect of Germ Movement on the Construal of Mental States in Germs: The Moderating Role of Contamination Fear. John H. Riskind, Dylan K. Richards. Cognitive Therapy and Research, February 2018, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 36–47. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10608-017-9877-2

Abstract: In two studies, we examined a novel relationship between movement and anthropomorphism—the attribution of human characteristics to nonhuman agents—in relation to germs. Furthermore, we examined whether individual differences in contamination fear and disgust proneness moderated the effect of movement on the tendency to anthropomorphize germs. Following an initial study that demonstrated associations between imagined germ movement, contamination fear, and the attribution of malevolent intentions to germs, we conducted a second study that experimentally manipulated germ movement with a brief film clip of magnified germs. The results of the second study showed that the experimental manipulation of germ movement increased attributions of malevolent intentions to germs and enhanced the tendencies of individuals with higher levels of contamination fear to attribute some general human characteristics to germs (i.e., intentions, feelings). These findings suggest that the attribution of malevolent intentions to germs may be a cognitive distortion that contributes to the maintenance of contamination fear, which may afford a novel treatment target. Perceived movement may serve as an antecedent to the attribution of malevolent intentions to germs and thus exacerbate the tendency to make these attributions.

Decreases in extraversion are attenuated for individuals categorized as light-to-moderate drinkers, while decreases in conscientiousness were accentuated by having experienced alcohol dependence symptoms

Luchetti, M., Terracciano, A., Stephan, Y. and Sutin, A. R. (), Alcohol use and personality change in middle and older adulthood: Findings from the Health and Retirement Study. Journal of Personality. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/jopy.12371

Abstract

Objective: Personality is known to predict alcohol consumption but how alcohol use is related to personality change is less clear, especially at older ages. The present study examined the effects of level of alcohol consumption and history of dependence on change in the five-factor model personality traits in a national cohort of Americans aged over 50.

Method: Over 10,000 adults who participated in 2006-08 waves of the Health and Retirement Study reported on personality and alcohol use and were followed over 4 years.

Results: Latent difference score models indicated decreases in extraversion to be attenuated for individuals categorized as light-to-moderate drinkers at baseline, while decreases in conscientiousness were accentuated by having experienced alcohol dependence symptoms. Moreover, personality difference scores correlated with changes in the amount of alcohol consumed at follow-up.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that patterns of alcohol consumption are associated with changes in personality across the second half of the lifespan.

Introduction of Uber ride-sharing service is associated with lower DUI and fatal accident rates. For some specifications, there are also less arrests for assault and disorderly conduct. There is an increase in vehicle thefts

Dills, A. K. and Mulholland, S. E. (2018), Ride-Sharing, Fatal Crashes, and Crime. Southern Economic Journal. doi:10.1002/soej.12255

Abstract: The advent of smart-phone based, ride-sharing applications has revolutionized the vehicle for hire market. Advocates point to the ease of use, lower prices, and shorter wait times compared to hailing a taxi or prearranging limousine service. Others argue that proper government oversight is necessary to protect ride-share passengers from driver error or vehicle parts failures and violence from unlicensed strangers. Using U.S. county-level data from 2007 through 2015, we investigate whether the introduction of the ride-sharing service Uber is associated with changes in fatal vehicle crashes and crime. We find that Uber's entry lowers the rate of DUIs and fatal accidents. For some specifications, we also find declines in arrests for assault and disorderly conduct. Conversely, we observe an increase in vehicle thefts.

We argue that anger likely plays a major role in motivating individuals to engage in the biased assimilation of political information—an evaluative bias in favor of information that bolsters one's views and against information that undercuts them

Suhay, E. and Erisen, C. (2018), The Role of Anger in the Biased Assimilation of Political Information. Political Psychology. doi:10.1111/pops.12463

Abstract: Political psychologists have established that politically motivated reasoning is a common phenomenon; however, the field knows comparatively less about the psychological mechanisms that drive it. Drawing on advances in the understanding of the relevance of emotion to political reasoning and behavior, we argue that anger likely plays a major role in motivating individuals to engage in the biased assimilation of political information—an evaluative bias in favor of information that bolsters one's views and against information that undercuts them. We test this proposition with two online studies, the second of which includes a quasi-representative sample of Americans. The studies support our expectations. Individuals felt more negative emotions toward arguments that undermined their attitudes and positive emotions toward arguments that confirmed them; however, anger was nearly alone in fueling biased reactions to issue arguments.

The younger a person feels, the more likely he or she will use the Internet

Young at heart and online? Subjective age and internet use in two Swiss survey studies
Alexander Seifert ORCID Icon & Hans-Werner Wahl. Educational Gerontology, https://doi.org/10.1080/03601277.2018.1427495

ABSTRACT: Subjective age (SA) indicates how old a person feels. SA has been found to be a marker of an individual’s physical and psychological functioning and openness for new aging experiences. Thus, it can be generally considered as beneficial in promoting healthy aging. We hypothesized that the younger a person feels, the more likely he or she will use the Internet. We evaluated two secondary analyses based on two cross-sectional and representative telephone surveys of 1790 participants (n = 1299, age ≥ 70 years; n = 491, age ≥ 65 years) in Switzerland. Univariate and multivariate analyses, controlled for a number of relevant confounders, confirmed the relationship between lowered SA and heightened Internet use. Given that we were able to analyze two relatively large and representative data sets, we regard our findings, although based on cross-sectional studies, as rather robust. Longitudinal research is required to examine the causal direction of this relationship.