Sunday, May 13, 2018

Elite chess players live longer than the general population and have a similar survival advantage to elite competitors in physical sports

Longevity of outstanding sporting achievers: Mind versus muscle. An Tran-Duy, David C. Smerdon, Philip M. Clarke. PLOS, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0196938

Abstract

Background: While there is strong evidence showing the survival advantage of elite athletes, much less is known about those engaged in mind sports such as chess. This study aimed to examine the overall as well as regional survival of International Chess Grandmasters (GMs) with a reference to the general population, and compare relative survival (RS) of GMs with that of Olympic medallists (OMs).

Methods: Information on 1,208 GMs and 15,157 OMs, respectively, from 28 countries were extracted from the publicly available data sources. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to estimate the survival rates of the GMs. A Cox proportional hazards model was used to adjust the survival for region, year at risk, age at risk and sex, and to estimate the life expectancy of the GMs. The RS rate was computed by matching each GM or OM by year at risk, age at risk and sex to the life table of the country the individual represented.

Results: The survival rates of GMs at 30 and 60 years since GM title achievement were 87% and 15%, respectively. The life expectancy of GMs at the age of 30 years (which is near the average age when they attained a GM title) was 53.6 ([95% CI]: 47.7–58.5) years, which is significantly greater than the overall weighted mean life expectancy of 45.9 years for the general population. Compared to Eastern Europe, GMs in North America (HR [95% CI]: 0.51 [0.29–0.88]) and Western Europe (HR [95% CI]: 0.53 [0.34–0.83]) had a longer lifespan. The RS analysis showed that both GMs and OMs had a significant survival advantage over the general population, and there was no statistically significant difference in the RS of GMs (RS [95% CI]: 1.14 [1.08–1.20]) compared to OMs: (RS [95% CI]: 1.09 [1.07–1.11]) at 30 years.

Conclusion: Elite chess players live longer than the general population and have a similar survival advantage to elite competitors in physical sports.

Gender differences in Everyday Risk Taking: An Observational Study of Pedestrians in Newcastle upon Tyne

Gender differences in Everyday Risk Taking: An Observational Study of Pedestrians in Newcastle upon Tyne. Eryn O'Dowd, Thomas V Pollet. Letters on Evolutionary Behavioral Science,  Vol 9, No 1 (2018). http://lebs.hbesj.org/index.php/lebs/article/view/lebs.2018.65

Abstract: Evolutionary psychologists have demonstrated that there are evolved differences in risk taking between men and women. Potentially, these also play out in every day behaviours, such as in traffic. We hypothesised that (perceived) gender would influence using a pedestrian crossing. In addition, we also explored if the presence of a contextual factor, presence of daylight, could modify risk taking behaviour. 558 pedestrians were directly observed and their use of a crossing near a Metro station in a large city in the North East of England was coded. Using logistic regression, we found evidence that women more inclined than men to use the crossing. We found no evidence for a contextual effect of daylight or an interaction between daylight and gender on use of the crossing. We discuss the limitations and implications of this finding with reference to literature on risk taking.

From 2012, Status quo maintenance has several mechanisms; loss aversion, regret avoidance, repeated exposure, rationalization and assumption of goodness due to mere existence and longevity create a preference for existing states

From 2012: Bias in Favor of the Status Quo. Scott Eidelman, Christian S. Crandall. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1751-9004.2012.00427.x

Abstract: People favor the existing and longstanding states of the world. Rational explanations for status quo maintenance are complemented by a number of non‐rational mechanisms; loss aversion, regret avoidance, repeated exposure, and rationalization create a preference for existing states. We show that the status quo also benefits from a simple assumption of goodness due to mere existence and longevity; people treat existence as a prima facie case for goodness, aesthetic and ethical Longevity increases this preference. These biases operate heuristically, forming barriers to cognitive and social change.

Check also  From 2010: The longer something is thought to exist, the better it is evaluated
From 2010: Longer is better. Scott Eidelman, Jennifer Pattershall, Christian S.Crandallb. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 46, Issue 6, November 2010, Pages 993-998. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2018/05/from-2010-longer-something-is-thought.html

From 2010: The longer something is thought to exist, the better it is evaluated

From 2010: Longer is better. Scott Eidelman, Jennifer Pattershall, Christian S.Crandallb. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 46, Issue 6, November 2010, Pages 993-998. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2010.07.008

Abstract: The longer something is thought to exist, the better it is evaluated. In Study 1, participants preferred an existing university requirement over an alternative; this pattern was more pronounced when the existing requirement was said to be in place for a longer period of time. In Study 2, participants rated acupuncture more favorably as a function of how old the practice was described. Aesthetic judgments of art (Study 3) and nature (Study 4) were also positively affected by time in existence, as were gustatory evaluations of an edible consumer good (Study 5). Features of the research designs argue against mere exposure, loss aversion, and rational inference as explanations for these findings. Instead, time in existence seems to operate as a heuristic; longer means better.

Yoga and meditation are highly popular. Purportedly, they foster well-being by “quieting the ego” or, more specifically, curtailing self-enhancement.We observed that, instead, they boost self-enhancement

Gebauer, Jochen, Nehrlich, A.D., Stahlberg, D., Sedikides, Constantine, Hackenschmidt, D, Schick, D, Stegmaie, C A, Windfelder, C. C, Bruk, A and Mander, J V (2018) Mind-body practices and the self: yoga and meditation do not quiet the ego, but instead boost self-enhancement. Psychological Science, 1-22. (In Press). https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420273

Abstract: Mind-body practices enjoy immense public and scientific interest. Yoga and meditation are highly popular. Purportedly, they foster well-being by “quieting the ego” or, more specifically, curtailing self-enhancement. However, this ego-quieting effect contradicts an apparent psychological universal, the self-centrality principle. According to this principle, practicing any skill renders it self-central, and self-centrality breeds self-enhancement. We examined those opposing predictions in the first tests of mind-body practices’ self-enhancement effects. Experiment 1 followed 93 yoga students over 15 weeks, assessing self-centrality and self-enhancement after yoga practice (yoga condition, n = 246) and without practice (control condition, n = 231). Experiment 2 followed 162 meditators over 4 weeks (meditation condition: n = 246; control condition: n = 245). Self-enhancement was higher in the yoga (Experiment 1) and meditation (Experiment 2) conditions, and those effects were mediated by greater self-centrality. Additionally, greater self-enhancement mediated mind-body practices’ well-being benefits. Evidently, neither yoga nor meditation quiet the ego; instead, they boost self-enhancement.

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Supplemental

S1. We assessed agentic narcissism with the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (Raskin & Terry, 1988), the most widely used measure of agentic narcissism (Gebauer, Sedikides, Verplanken, & Holland, 2012). We administered a 4-item short-form, analogous to our assessment of communal narcissism (see Experiment 1’s Method section in the main text). We selected items with a good item-total correlation, adequate content-breadth, and high face-validity. The four items were: “I like having authority over people,” “I am more capable than other people,” “I think I am a special person,” and “I like to be the center of attention” (1=does not apply at all, 7=applies completely) (.63≤ɑs≤.77, ɑ average=.71). We intermixed items assessing agentic and communal narcissism.
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S2. In Experiment 1, we assessed self-centrality and self-enhancement with the following items.

Self-centrality: “Executing correctly the asanas (yoga positions) that we were taught is...,” “Focusing mindfully on the exercises across the whole yoga class is...,” “Holding the asanas (yoga positions) as long as we were taught is...,” and “Integrating the content taught in the yoga class into my everyday life is...” (1=not at all central to me, 11=central to me).

Better-than-average: “In comparison to the average participant of my yoga class, my ability to execute correctly the asanas (yoga positions) that we were taught is...,” “In comparison to the average participant of my yoga class, my ability to focus mindfully on the exercises across the whole yoga class is...,” “In comparison to the average participant of my yoga class, my ability to hold the asanas (yoga positions) as long as we were taught is...,” and “In comparison to the average participant of my yoga class, my ability to integrate the content taught in the yoga class into my everyday life is...” The rating-scale ranged from 1 (well below average) via 6 (average) to 11 (well above average).

Communal narcissism: “I have a very positive influence on others,” “I will be well known for the good deeds I will have done,” “I am the most caring person in my social surrounding,” and “I am going to bring peace and justice to the world” (1=does not apply at all, 7=applies completely).

Self-esteem: “At the moment, I have high self-esteem” (1=does not apply at all, 7=applies completely).
[...]
S7. In Experiment 2, we assessed self-centrality, self-enhancement, and well-being with the following items.

Self-centrality: The items started with the stem “How central is it for you...” and continued as follows: “...to be a loving person?,” “...to be free from hatred?,” “...to be a kindhearted person?,” “...to be free from greed?,” “...to be a caring person?,” “...to be free from bias?,” “...to be an understanding person?,” “...to be free from envy?,” “...to be a helpful person?,” “...to be free from egotism?” (1=not at all central me, 81=very central to me).

Better-than-average: The items started with the stem “In comparison to the average participant of this study,...” and continued as follows: “...I am a loving person,” “...I am free from hatred,” “...I am a kindhearted person,” “...I am free from greed,” “...I am a caring person,” “...I am free from bias,” “...I am an understanding person,” “...I am free from envy,” “...I am a helpful person,” “...I am free from egotism” (1=very much below average, 81=very much above average).

Communal narcissism: We used the full 16-item Communal Narcissism Inventory, which can be found in Gebauer et al. (2012).

Self-esteem: We used the full 10-item Self-Esteem Scale, which can be found in Rosenberg (1965).

Hedonic well-being: We used the following nine items to assess hedonic well-being’s affective component. “I am happy,” “I am anxious” (reverse-coded), “I feel satisfied,” “I am depressed” (reverse-coded), “I feel positive,” “I am frustrated” (reverse-coded), “I am cheerful,” “I am upset” (reverse-coded), and “I feel blue” (reverse-coded). We used the full 5-item Satisfaction with Life Scale to assess hedonic well-being’s cognitive component (1=absolutely wrong, 81=absolutely right), and the items of that scale can be found in Diener, Emmons, Larsen, and Griffin (1985).

Eudemonic well-being: “I judge myself by what I think is important, not by the values of what others think is important,” “The demands of everyday life often get me down,” “For me, life has been a continuous process of learning, changing, and growth,” “Maintaining close relationships has been difficult and frustrating for me,” “Some people wander aimlessly through life, but I am not one of them,” “In many ways, I feel disappointed about my achievements in life,” “I tend to be influenced by people with strong opinions,” “In general, I feel I am in charge of the situation in which I live,” “I gave up trying to make big improvements or changes in my life a long time ago,” “People would describe me as a giving person, willing to share my time with others,” “I sometimes feel as if I’ve done all there is to do in life,” “I like most aspects of my personality” (1=absolutely wrong, 81=absolutely right).

Experiment 2 contained two additional dependent variables. We included them for a different project, and they are irrelevant to the present article (i.e., they did not tap into self-centrality, self-enhancement, or well-being). One measure was Neff’s (2003) Self-Compassion Scale in its 6-item short-form (Dyllick-Brenzinger, 2010). The other measure contained 10 vignettes. Each briefly described an ambiguous behavior that can be interpreted as a display of weakness or strength. For example, one vignette read: “If I am the first to apologize after a fight with my relationship partner, I display...” (1=weakness, 81=strength). Experiment 2 was the first study to administer this newly devised measure.
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S10. Parallel to Experiment 1 (see S5), we tested the alternative explanation that the findings are driven by meditation beginners, who may have not yet acquired the necessary experience and skill for meditation to unfold its ego-quieting effect. Hence, we examined the cross-level interactions between meditation (vs. control) expertise (i.e., years of practice) on self-centrality and on self-enhancement (g-factor). Expertise neither moderated the meditation effect on self-centrality, B=-.05, 95% CI [-.16, .05], SE=.05, t=-1.00, nor the meditation effect on self-enhancement, B=.001, 95% CI [-.09, .09], SE=.05, t=0.03. Once again, the results clearly favor the SCP-universal hypothesis over its alternative explanation.