Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Valuing Pain using the Subjective Well-being Method: The willingness to pay for pain relief is in the range of $56-145 per day, lower than previously reported

Valuing Pain using the Subjective Well-being Method. Thorhildur Ólafsdóttir, Tinna Laufey Ásgeirsdóttir, Edward C. Norton. Economics & Human Biology, November 16 2019, 100827.

. Improved econometric methods provide new information on the value of pain
. We allow the trade-off between pain and income to vary across income ranges
. The willingness to pay for pain relief is in the range of 56-145 USD per day
. The monetary value of pain relief is lower than previously reported

Abstract: Chronic pain clearly lowers utility, but valuing the reduction in utility is empirically challenging. Here, we use improvements over prior applications of the subjective well-being method to estimate the implied trade-off between pain and income using four waves of the Health and Retirement Study (2008-2014), a nationally representative survey on individuals age 50 and older. We model income with a flexible functional form, allowing the trade-off between pain and income to vary across income groups. We control for individual fixed effects in the life-satisfaction equations and instrument for income in some models. We find values for avoiding pain ranging between 56 to 145 USD per day. These results are lower than previously reported and suggest that the higher previous estimates may be heavily affected by the highest income level and confounded by endogeneity in the income variable. As expected, we find that the value of pain relief increases with pain severity.


By using improved econometric methods, we provide new information on the value of pain relief among people older than 50. Our results suggest a lower CV for pain than previously reported. More importantly, we contribute to the literature by using a PWL model as a more flexible method to express WTP across income ranges, instead of the traditional log transformation of income. Results from IV-models also yield CVs that are considerably lower than previous research suggests.

We compared our income coefficients to coefficients previously reported for lifesatisfaction equations from four different countries; Britain, Germany, Australia and USA (Clark et al., 2018) and found that our income coefficients correspond to the lower end of the range of coefficients. This is true after adjusting the income coefficients for different scaling of the life-satisfaction variable in the two studies (11/5), with our coefficients (times 2.2) closely reflecting those found using data from Britain (see Clark et al, Table 2.2). This comparison, although limited to model specifications where well-being is assumed to be linear in log income in OLS and FE models, is helpful to benchmark our income coefficients.

The two studies that use exogenous lottery wins to estimate the treatment effects of income on life-satisfaction . Lindqvist et al. (2018) and Apouey and Clark (2015) . have starkly different results. The treatment effect of $100K on life-satisfaction is estimated to be 0.037 SD units by Lindqvist et al. and 1.369 SD units by Apouey and Clark. We choose the former as an alternative for our income coefficient in Table 3 (column 1, OLS) because Lindqvist et al. use a larger sample size and have stronger internal validity. Lindqvist et al.  approximate a lifetime income effect on life-satisfaction using lottery prizes annuitized over 20 years at a 2% interest rate. To calculate a CIV for our linear income model in Table 3, we take the estimate 0.062 from Table A10 in Lindqvist et al., which, after adjustment to different scaling of the life-satisfaction variable (0.062/2.2=0.028) and to USD prices between 2011 and 2015, we can apply an estimate of 0.028/1.0537=0.027. Using the income coefficient of 0.027 and our pain coefficient of -0.0563 that is adjusted for individual heterogeneity (FE model in Table 3), the corresponding CIV is 57 USD per day.

We did two additional sensitivity tests. First, instead of using a pain coefficient from an experimental setting, we used the pain coefficient from our estimate of the effect of pain on life-satisfaction through transitions into and out of arthritis status (see Table A5). Using the pain coefficient of -0.0793 from Table A5 and the lifetime income effect estimate from Lindqvist et al. (0.027) generates a CIV of 80 USD per day. Second, we compared the CIV by income coefficients across the two studies for the case of ln(income). The corresponding Lindqvist estimate (adjusted) is 0.16 (0.377 in Table A10 in Lindqvist et al.) and applying the FE coefficient of -0.0561 the estimated CIV is 54 USD per day. Both CIV estimates, 57 and 80 USD per day, are within our estimated range of 56-145 USD per day. The CIV using lifetime log-income effect from Lindqvist et al. of 54 USD per day is lower.

Because there is some variability across countries in the income gradient for life satisfaction equations (Clark et al, 2018), an income effect estimate based on a sample of Swedish lottery players may not apply to US data. Furthermore, there is inherent uncertainty in the annuity-adjustment parameter used to rescale the lifetime income gradient. However, the comparison is helpful and will hopefully stimulate similar research in other countries. This sensitivity analysis points towards the lower part of our estimated range of 56-145 USD per day as the most credible CIV estimate. We note that using income estimates from lottery studies instrinsically produces willingness to accept (WTA), whereas by using variation in household income the estimated CIV is between WTA and WTP.

Our paper has several limitations. Pain can be a consequence of neurological diseases, diabetes, or of musculoskeletal origin, but we did not have controls for those conditions that we found validated by a doctor´s diagnosis. However, any possibility of omitted-variable bias should be mitigated by controlling for age because neurological disease and diabetes likelihood (Type 2) increases with age. Furthermore, the numerous other health controls included should capture the effect of musculoskeletal conditions on pain and life satisfaction, in particular psychiatric problems, lung disease, cancer and arthritis. External validity may be limited by the age range used, in particular if the marginal utility of income for those over 50 is lower than in the younger population, which would result in higher CV-estimates than in a sample with lower mean age. Responses to life-satisfaction questions may be liable to situational influences, such as the site of the interview, the weather, one´s mood and the interviewer, but those differences can be considered as random error (Veenhoven, 1993).  The value of pain is likely overestimated in previous research using the well-being valuation method, with our best approximation to a WTP estimate being in the range of 56- 145 USD per day. This range of estimates is derived from models where we take into account the effects of individual heterogeneity (by applying FE models), the leveraging effect of the highest income levels (by applying PWL models) and the endogeneity of the income variable with mother´s education as an instrument (by applying OLS-IV models). Those are issues that previous research and our analysis alike have highlighted as issues that should be taken into consideration when finding as reliable estimates as possible for the CIVs. Furthermore, the value of pain relief is positively related to severity of pain. Our research also has implications for the CV literature as a whole. We show the importance of controlling for the endogeneity of income and allowing the effect of income to vary flexibly across income levels. To this end, PWL models are promising because they perform well econometrically and allow for easier exploration of results across income groups than log transformations of income.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Data from German TwinLife Study: More than 30% of individuals’ perceived income justice can be attributed to genes, the rest is driven by idiosyncratic environmental effects; found no evidence of influence of upbringing

What determines perceived income justice? Evidence from the German TwinLife study. Michael Neugart, Selen Yildirim. Economics & Human Biology, November 20 2019, 100826.

•    Individuals’ perceived income justice is important for labor market outcomes.
•    Data from German TwinLife Study is analyzed within classical twin design.
•    More than 30% of individuals’ perceived income justice can be attributed to genes.
•    Rest is driven by idiosyncratic environmental effects.
•    No strong indications for gene–environment interactions are found.

Abstract: Whether individuals perceive their income as being fair has far-reaching consequences in the labor market and beyond. Yet we know little about the determinants of variation in perceived income justice across individuals. In this paper, we ask to what extent differences in genes are related to variation in individuals’ perceived income justice, and whether there is a gene–environment component. Analyzing data from the German TwinLife study, we find that more than 30% of individuals’ perceived income justice can be attributed to genes. The rest is mostly related to an idiosyncratic environment.

4.4 Extensions

Parents' (un)equal treatment:

A common critique of twin studies is that they usually
cannot take into account unequal treatment of identical twins and fraternal twins by the
parents (see, e.g., Joseph, 2002). If parents treat MZ twins more similarly than they treat
DZ twins, the estimate of the heritability component (A) may be upward biased. Samples
of twins who were reared apart provide a basis to study the relevance of the unequal
treatment critique as one, in this case, does not have to rely on the equal environment
assumption. Bouchard Jr (1998), for example, analyzes measures of personality in such a
setting and nds that twins who were reared apart produce estimates similar to a sample
of twins who were reared together. While we cannot draw on information of twins reared
apart, we attempt to remedy concerns in relation to the equal environment assumption
by making use of a large set of questions to the parents in the TwinLife study on how
they have been treating their children.

In total we have 13 questions that relate to the parenting style. For example, one such
question to the twin is on how many times the father or mother ... shows you that s/he
likes you. We use this information to compare the parenting styles of fathers and mothers
who either have MZ or DZ twins. In only three out of the 13 answers to the questions on
the parenting style we nd signi cant di erences in how the father and mother have been
treating MZ and DZ twins, respectively. These results are reported in detail in Table 6
in Appendix. Furthermore, we conduct an analysis in which we restrict the sample to the
twin pairs who responded to the parenting style question with the same answers or the
di erence between answers is less than 2. We, then, re-run the variance decomposition on
the sample of twins who report a more equal treatment of parents. Again, we opted for
delegating a rather large table reporting on the results of this exercise to the Appendix.
Overall, we get very similar estimates on the heritability component for the reduced
sample that perhaps is closer to the equal treatment assumption. We interpret this as
evidence in support of an un-biased estimate of the heritability component when we do
the variance decomposition on the full sample.

Assortative mating:

In Section 3 we explained that the behavioral genetic model assumes
the absence of assortative mating. Positive assortative mating, a correlation of the
genes of the spouses, would bias the estimates of heritability downwards, see Falconer
(1984, pp. 231) and our more detailed explanation in the Appendix. The TwinLife data
allows us to check whether such a bias is likely in our case as information of perceived
income justice as also available for the twin's parents (N=145). Based on the parents'
answers to this question, we nd that there is actually positive assortative mating between
our twins' parents. While Pearson's correlation coe cient is 0.1979, which is usually interpreted
as small, the p-value is 0.0171. Thus, it could be the case that actual heritability
is slightly higher for perceived income justice than our estimates suggest.
E ects of being close to each other: Finally, we discuss whether social interactions
between the twins play a role for the estimated relative sizes of the components explaining
the variance in perceived income justice. A large literature on social comparisons
suggests that individuals' behavior and well-being is related to their peers or reference
groups (Persson, 1995; Clark and Oswald, 1998; Ireland, 2001; Corneo, 2002; Goerke and
Pannenberg, 2015; Goerke and Neugart, 2017; Aronsson and Johansson-Stenman, 2018).
It is conceivable that also perceived income justice is a function of social comparisons, and
that the tendency to compare with the twin brother or sister di ers among MZ and DZ
twins. In particular, if identical twins had more contact than fraternal twins and contact
intensity ampli ed social comparisons, heritability could be overestimated.
The TwinLife data provides a measure on self-reported closeness of the twins. We use
it to learn more on the importance of closeness of twins for the results derived so far. To
this end, we restrict the sample to observations where both twins give the same answer on
how close they feel to the other twin. Table 4 (Panel A) shows summary statistics on the
closeness of twins. There are statistically signi cant di erences in how close identical and
fraternal twins feel to be to each other. For the identical twins the fraction of twins who
report being close to each other is 94.09% and for the fraternal twins we have a fraction of
86.75%. These fractions are statistically di erent from each other at a signi cance level
below 0.1%, underscoring the importance of the following analysis in which we re-estimate
the "ACE"-model splitting the sample into close and not close twins.

The heritability component estimated for the sub-sample of close twins becomes 32.5%,
see Panel B, as compared to the previously estimated 32.8%. For the not close twins we
get an increase in the heritability component. The explained variance is almost 50% now.
However, we have only a small number of twins who report that they are not so close
and, consequently, the estimate is rather imprecise. The observation, however, that we
get a genetic e ect of the same magnitude as in our baseline estimates when we restrict
our sample to twins who feel close to each other, irrespective of whether they are MZ or
DZ twins, suggests that the estimated genetic component is rather not biased by more
closely interacting twins.

Impression management & self-deceptive enhancement as facets of a socially desirable response bias is related to self-reported empathic responses; reducing opportunity for IM lowers those responses

“Let Me Show You How Nice I Am”: Impression Management as Bias in Empathic Responses. Claudia Sassenrath. Social Psychological and Personality Science, November 19 2019.

Abstract: Past research showed that empathic responses are confounded with social desirability. The present research aims at illuminating this confound. In a first step, it is examined how a measure typically implemented to screen, for response, biases based on social desirability (i.e., the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responding) relate to classical measures of interindividual differences in empathic responses (i.e., the Interpersonal Reactivity Index). Moreover, it is investigated what happens to empathic responses under conditions of reduced opportunity to behave socially desirable. Results of two correlational studies indicate that impression management (IM) as well as self-deceptive enhancement as facets of a socially desirable response bias is related to self-reported empathic responses. Results of an additional experiment show that introducing conditions reducing opportunity for IM lowers empathic responses toward a person in need. Implications for research on self-reported empathy and empathy-induced prosocial behavior are discussed.

Keywords: empathy, social desirability, impression management

General Discussion

The present research indicates that self-reported empathic responses are confounded by social desirability. Specifically, correlational findings provided by Studies 1a and 1b yield that the IRI as one of the most influential self-report measures applied in psychological empathy-research shows substantial associations with the two components of social desirability, SDE and IM. As already outlined above, SDE refers to individuals’ unconscious bias of claiming positive qualities for themselves thus leading to an overly positive self-image (cf. Uziel, 2010). Accordingly, it is plausible that SDE relates to selfreported empathic responses considering that being empathic may boost individuals’ self-esteem. Nevertheless, the main focus of the present research is on IM as component of social desirability since it reflects individuals’ conscious effort to present an overly positive picture to others, thus leading to distortions in self-reports because they decide to lie about certain behavior. Here, experimental evidence provided by Study 2 demonstrates that less empathic feelings regarding a needy target person are reported when individuals believe that they are connected to an apparatus seemingly assessing their true opinions and attitudes. Hence, whereas the correlational findings provided by Studies 1a and 1b do not allow for causal inferences, results from Study 2 show that introducing conditions that reduces the opportunity for managing impressions also reduces empathic responses in a common empathy inductionparadigm. In other words, correlational findings from Studies 1a and 1b and results from the experimental Study 2 provide a coherent picture in that they indicate that IM contributes to empathic responses. Nonetheless, it is for future research to place SDE under scrutiny and determine which of the two components (IM or SDE) plays a greater role in empathic responses.

Comparably, the present research does not provide definite answers with regard to interpretational ambiguities related to the conceptualization of the IM subscale of the BIDR. As mentioned above, recent literature indicates that IM scales do not measure a certain response style based on IM but measure trait-like interpersonal self-control (cf. Mu¨ller & Moshagen, 2019; Uziel, 2010; Zettler et al., 2015). From this perspective, correlational findings of Studies 1a and 1b indicate that interpersonal self-control is related to measures of interindividual differences in empathic responses. Hence, responding empathically seems to be related to being able to control oneself in interpersonal situations. In any case, the observed associations are noteworthy because they suggest that the applied measures share substantial variance. This indicates that whenever we use the IRI as measure of interindividual differences in empathy, we also measure something different (e.g., individuals’ ability to control themselves in social contexts; cf. Uziel, 2010). This has implications for predicting how empathic individuals (identified by high scores in the IRI) may act in situations calling for prosocial behavior, for instance. When adopting the view that the IM subscale primarily measures interpersonal self-control, empathic individuals might show prosocial behavior only if their self-regulatory capacity allows them to do so. When perceiving the IM subscale as primary measure of IM, this also has implications for predicting how empathic individuals may act in these situations. As Study 2 indicates, under conditions of reduced opportunity to manage impressions, individuals show less empathic responses.

Another issue that should be addresses when interpreting findings provided by Study 2 relates to the empathyinduction procedure. Specifically, the empathy-induction procedure applied in this study complies with common procedures of past research (e.g., Batson et al., 1989; Batson et al., 1991; Batson, Chang, Orr, & Rowland, 2002; Cialdini et al., 1997; Cialdini et al., 1987; Pfattheicher et al., 2016; Sassenrath et al., 2017; Sassenrath, Wagner, Keller & Sassenberg, 2018). Recent findings, however, indicate that the instructions usually implemented within this procedure cause differences in empathic feelings, because individuals downregulate their empathic feelings the low-empathy condition and not because their empathic feelings are increased in the high-empathy condition (McAuliffe, Forster, Philippe, & McCullough, 2018).

Although these findings bear significance, particularly regarding the question of adequate control conditions in experimental empathy-paradigms, they do not account for differences found between the different reporting conditions in Study 2. Specifically, across the two different empathy conditions, individuals report less empathic feelings under bogus-pipeline compared to private-reporting conditions. This main effect is not qualified by the empathy manipulation (i.e., no interaction between the two factors occurred), indicating that the processes elicited by the different experimental manipulations work independently from each other.  Notably, across all three studies, the OCQ, although originally introduced as a criterion-related measure self-favoring distortions in self-reports (Paulhus, 2011), did not show reliable associations with self-reported empathic responses nor with the BIDR. This may appear surprising. However, when taking a closer look at literature using the OCQ, it becomes clear that evidence regarding the measures’ potential of controlling for self-presentation biases is at least mixed. Regarding the assessment of distortions in self-reports, some findings indicate that overclaiming is positively associated with social desirability (e.g., Bensch et al., 2019; Paulhus et al., 2003; Tracy et al., 2009). The present research, in contrast, contributes to other findings questioning the use of the OCQ as measure to control for self-presentation biases. Specifically, it seems that overclaiming is unrelated to honest behavior in cheating paradigms or a dictator game (e.g., Mu¨ller & Moshagen, 2019). Instead, overclaiming appears to be related to the hindsight bias (Mu¨ller & Moshagen, 2018).

Another possible limitation of the present research may be that it only relied on self-report regarding empathic responses instead of including measures from other sources such as proxy reports or actual behavioral measures. However, the aim of the present research was to take a first step in systematically decomposing different facets and motivations in empathic responses. To that effect, classical measures used to assess social desirability and empathic responses were administered.  Moreover, an empathy-induction paradigm that mainly assesses empathic feelings and helping behavior using selfreport (see Batson & Shaw, 1991, for an overview, and, Nook, Ong, Morelli, Mitchell, & Zaki, 2016, for an exception) was used, and differing reporting conditions were included to see how this affects results typically observed in this paradigm.

Put differently, the main contribution of the present article is to demonstrate how a measure typically implemented to screen for socially desirable responding (i.e., the BIDR) relates to classical measures of interindividual differences in empathy responses (i.e., the IRI) and how these associations can be interpreted with regard to different motivational facets of empathic responses. Moreover, the present article illustrates what happens to self-reported empathic responses when including experimental conditions fostering honest responding (i.e., a bogus-pipeline condition). Thereby, the present research raises awareness regarding distorting biases in psychological empathy research and, furthermore, may contribute to an enhanced understanding of the motivational forces involved in empathy-induced prosocial behavior (cf. Batson & Shaw, 1991; Cialdini, 1991).

Chimpanzees evidence enjoyment, playfulness & strong social engagement when being imitated; it is unlikely their poor performance is due to lack of shared intentionality & social motivation

The social side of imitation in human evolution and development: Shared intentionality and imitation games in chimpanzees and 6-month old infants. Gabriela-Alina Sauciuc, Tomas Persson, Elainie Alenkaer Madsen. Proceedings of the 13th SWECOG Conference, Oct 2019.

Imitation is generally acknowledged as a key mechanism of social learning, foundational to the emergence of human culture. By enabling quick and high-fidelity copying of others’ actions, imitation mediates the crossgenerational transfer of knowledge and skills (e.g. Nielsen, 2009). Besides this ‘learning’ (or ‘cognitive’) function, imitation accomplishes also important social-communicative functions, by facilitating social interaction and promoting prosociality (e.g. Duffy & Chartrand 2015; Eckerman, Davis, & Didow, 1989; Užgiris, Benson et al., 1989). The social function of imitation is understudied in the field of comparative psychology, or even claimed to be absent in nonhuman primates. This claim, however, is grounded on how nonhuman apes (henceforth ‘apes’) perform in imitation learning experiments compared to human children. More specifically, chimpanzees exhibit lower levels of joint attention and gaze at the experimenter’s face (Carpenter & Tomasello, 1995). Moreover, children - but not chimpanzees - exhibit ‘over-imitation’, i.e. they show a propensity for faithfully copying demonstrated actions, even when these actions are irrelevant for achieving a demonstrated outcome. Such differences, it has been argued, derive from the fact that, in imitation contexts, children are motivated by a need to belong, to engage socially and to promote shared experiences (Carpenter & Call 2009; Nielsen 2009). In turn, these differences in social motivation are taken to account for the profound differences that exist between human and nonhuman primate cultures (Over & Carpenter 2012).

Based on evidence from social, developmental and comparative psychology, we have recently proposed a broader definition of the social-communicative function of imitation (Persson, Sauciuc, & Madsen, 2017), that encompasses reactive and non-intentional phenomena (e.g. nonconscious mimicry, imitation-induced prosociality), as well as proactive and arguably intentional phenomena, such as social conformism or the communicative imitation documented in preverbal toddlers (e.g. Eckerman, Davis, & Didow, 1989; Eckerman & Stein, 1990). All these phenomena have been documented in nonhuman primates: nonconscious mimicry in the form of postural congruence (Jazrawi, 2000), facial mimicry (Scopa & Palagi, 2016), interactional synchrony (Yu and Tomonaga, 2016) and contagious yawning (Madsen, Persson, et al., 2013), imitation-induced prosociality expressed by increased levels of attention, proximity and object exchange after exposure to being imitated (e.g. Paukner, Suomi et al., 2009), social conformism in the form of a preference for a group-adopted procedure even when it went against a prefered or more efficient one (Hopper, Schapiro, et al., 2011), and communicative imitation in the form of familiar-action imitation used to engage or maintain interaction (Persson, Sauciuc, & Madsen, 2017).

In this presentation, we address the presence of shared intentionality in imitative contexts with evidence from four experimental studies that our team has conducted with 6-month old infants (Sauciuc, Madsen, et al., in prep), as well as with enculturated (Sauciuc, Persson, & Madsen, in prep) and non-enculturated (Madsen, Sauciuc, & Persson, in prep a, b) chimpanzees of various ages (infants, juveniles, adults). Common to all these studies is that the participants have been exposed to an imitation condition in which the experimenter imitated all their actions, as well as to a number of control conditions that varied in agreement with the specific aims of each study. In Sauciuc, Madsen et al. (in prep), to establish if 6-month old infants discriminate being imitated from contingent responding, and to examine likely mechanisms that mediate this process, infants interacted with an experimenter who (i) imitated all infant’s action ipsilaterally; (ii) imitated all infant’s actions contralaterally; (iii) imitated with a still-face, i.e. imitated bodily but not facial actions; or (iv) responded with the infant’s actions contingently but with different actions. In Madsen, Sauciuc, & Persson (in prep a), to track the ontogenetic course of imitation recognition in chimpanzees, we replicated Haun and Call’s (2008) study on imitation recognition in adult apes and exposed infant and juvenile chimpanzees to four types of interaction in which the experimenter either (i) imitated all chimpanzee’s actions; (ii) responded to the chimpanzee’s actions with temporally contingent but different actions; (iii) produced actions that were not related to the chimpanzee’s actions; (iv) sat still. In Sauciuc, Persson, & Madsen (in prep) four additional control conditions were administered in order to ascertain that behavioural indicators of shared intentionality (e.g. imitation games, laughter) could not be attributed to alternative factors known to increase playfulness in chimpanzees, including non-play species-specific behaviours, species-specific play forms (chase) or facial expressions that accompany play. Finally, in Madsen, Sauciuc, & Persson (in prep b), chimpanzees were exposed to bouts of (i) imitation, (ii) non-imitative play and (iii) no action in order to investigate the effects of imitation and non-imitative play on subsequent intentional imitation of non-instrumental actions and nonconscious mimicry (such as contagious yawning).

To examine the presence of shared intentionality in the studied populations, we focused on the presence of testing behaviours and imitation games, as well as on the presence of smiling and laughter during such responses. ‘Testing behaviours’ are generally acknowledged as an indication of explicit imitation recognition, i.e. that the imitated individual is aware of the imitator’s intention to copy his/her behaviours (Whiten & Suddendorf, 2001). They may take the form of ‘behavioural repetitions’ (the imitated individual repeatedly reproduces a previously imitated action), ‘testing sequences’ (the imitated individual produces rapidly a series of different actions) or ‘testing poses’ (the imitated individual suddenly freeze in a posture). Such ‘testing behaviours’ are generally regarded as a mean by which the imitated individual actively tests the contingent correspondence between own actions and those of the imitator. The presence of testing behaviours is thus considered to be an indication that the imitated individual is aware of this action correspondence, as well as of the impact that his/her actions has on the behaviour of the imitator (e.g. Bates & Byrne, 2010;). Testing behaviours have been documented in human infants as early as 9-months of age (Agnetta & Rochat, 2004) and in apes (e.g. Haun & Call, 2008), but not in monkeys. Unlike human infants, however, apes do not seem to exhibit shared intentionality in such imitative contexts, i.e. they do not show signs of enjoyment and playfulness (laughter, imitation games) when being systematically imitated (Nielsen, 2009). Contrary to this view, our studies bring evidence that both enculturated and non-enculturated chimpanzees show enjoyment and playfulness when being imitated. Indeed, laughter and imitation games were present in both young and adult chimpanzees, in both enculturated and non-enculturated populations. We have also found that human infants produced testing behaviours as early as 6 months of age, and that they engaged in imitation games accompanied by smiling regardless of whether the experimenter imitated them ipsilaterally, contralaterally or with a still-face. In all the studied populations, testing behaviours were primarily expressed by behavioural repetitions, but testing sequences accompanied by smiling / laughter and careful monitoring of the experimenter’s actions were also present.

We conclude that the social side of imitation in its proactive form emerges early in human development, and has ancient evolutionary roots, i.e. it was likely present in the common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees. Since both enculturated and non-enculturated chimpanzees evidenced enjoyment, playfulness and strong social engagement when being imitated, it is unlikely that lack of shared intentionality and social motivation accounts for chimpanzees’ poorer performance in imitation learning tasks when compared to human children.

Colored apparel and its potential influence on heterosexual attraction

Colored apparel and its potential influence on heterosexual attraction. Chelsea Sullivan  Algy Kazlauciunas  James T. Guthrie. Color Research &Application, November 18 2019.

Abstract: The objective of this study is to determine if men would follow the “red effect” when choosing colors for women to wear on a date, and also to determine if the colors that men would wear when going on a date would be the same as the colors that females (their date) would wish them to wear. A set of psychophysical data was generated from this experiment, where participants were asked to rank a set of 10 colored samples based on preference for each question asked. There were three different sets of colored samples. The set of colored samples given to the participant depended on the question. A total of five questions were asked. Scaling analysis was done on the data to organize a set of items according to preferences providing values, an interval scale (Z values), that correspond to the relative perceptual differences among the stimuli. The Z values were graphed to show the general preference of colors for women to wear, and the preference of colors for men to wear. A Spearman's rank‐order correlation coefficient (SRCC) was calculated comparing each individual's rank order with the mean rank order for that specific question. An average Spearman's rank order was calculated for each question and each gender in order to determine the variability in answers. Scaling results indicate that men follow the “red effect,” but women preferred to wear other colors such as turquoise, blue, or yellow depending on the outfit. Males and females agreed that no matter the colored bottoms (denim or black), blue was the preferred color top for men to wear. SRCC results showed a lot of variability between individual answers and the mean answer indicating that participants' rankings did not necessarily agree with general color preferences presented in the scaling analysis. While scaling analysis might suggest certain color preferences such as men following the “red effect” and women preferring to wear blue, the poor correlation found using SRCC between the individual answers and the mean rank orders suggests that color preferences for each individual are inherently unique.

Experimentally Induced Hunger Unexpectedly Reduces Harshness of Suggested Punishments

Gluttons for Punishment? Experimentally Induced Hunger Unexpectedly Reduces Harshness of Suggested Punishments. Nicholas Kerry, Riley N. Loria, Damian R. Murray. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, November 19 2019.

Objectives: Although many societies endorse objectivity in moral judgment and punishment, humans are frequently influenced by deep-rooted biases, such that superficially irrelevant factors can influence moral judgment and decision making. Hunger is a fundamental source of motivation and is known to redirect behavior in other domains. The present research aims to test whether hunger influences moral judgments and punishments.

Method: We first report results from four pilot studies (n = 1354) which, taken together, imply a positive relationship between self-reported hunger and harsher moral judgment. The main preregistered study then examined the effect of experimentally induced hunger on judicial sentencing and moral judgments. Hunger was manipulated by asking 246 undergraduates to not eat for at least four hours before the study. Participants in the Satiated condition received a snack before taking questionnaires, while those in the Hungry condition were given the same snack after responding to the questionnaires.

Results: Contrary to our pre-registered predictions, participants in the Hungry condition recommended significantly more lenient punishments, while the manipulation had no effect on moral judgment.

Conclusions: Overall, the results suggest caution regarding previous findings indicating that hungry people punish more, and offer tentative evidence of the opposite effect under some conditions. We discuss possible reasons for the apparent inconsistencies between studies.

Keywords: Hunger Punishment Moral judgment Egalitarianism Decision making

Avoid News: Towards a Healthy News Diet. By Rolf Dobelli

Avoid News: Towards a Healthy News Diet. Rolf Dobelli. 2010.

"This article is the antidote to news. It is long, and you probably won’t be able to skim it. Thanks to heavy news consumption, many people have lost the reading habit and struggle to absorb more than four pages straight. This article will show you how to get out of this trap –if you are not already too deeply in it."

No 1 – News misleads us systematically

No 2 – News is irrelevant

No 3 – News limits understanding

No 4 – News is toxic to your body

No 5 – News massively increases cognitive errors

No 6 – News inhibits thinking

No 7 – News changes the structure of your brain

No 8 – News is costly

No 9 – News sunders the relationship between reputation and achievement

No 10 – News is produced by journalists

Good professional journalists take time with their stories, authenticate their facts and try to think things through. But like any profession, journalism has some (my note: most???) incompetent, unfair practitioners who don’t have the time–or the capacity–for deep analysis. You might not be able to tell the difference between a polished professional report and a rushed, glib, paid-by-the-piece article by a writer with an ax to grind. It all looks like news. My estimate: fewer than 10% of the news stories are original. Lessthan 1% are truly investigative. And only once every 50 years do journalists uncover a Watergate. [my note: I advise the author to re-examine mentioning Watergate, as per nos. 1, 10, 12, as a minimum]

No 11 – Reported facts are sometimes wrong, forecasts always <<< very, very frequently, but not always... that's why we keep reading the news and forecasts

No 12 – News is manipulative

No 13 – News makes us passive

No 14 – News gives us the illusion of caring

No 15 – News kills creativity

My comments: This is so so wrong in so many counts that I do not know where to start. And, despite this, it is also useful showing a need to avoid news generally. Could we say most, not all? Could we say it is best to avoid uncritical examination of the news? Or that maybe the general press is the one to avoid, but some subgroup, maybe the big economic press, is not to be avoided entirely? Or that local news is to be forgotten completely? Or that newspapers in countries where there is more informality or more people is more exaggerated talking, or the press is more economical with truth, are to be ignored?

Could it be that all press in Asia (except the London Times and maybe some Japanese newspapers), all of Africa (to know about Africa, check the London Times and the BBC) and all below the Rio Grande could very well be sent to oblivion, and just two newspapers could survive in the US (the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal)?

Conceptualizing News Avoidance: Towards a Shared Understanding of Different Causes

Conceptualizing News Avoidance: Towards a Shared Understanding of Different Causes and Potential Solutions. Morten Skovsgaard & Kim Andersen. Journalism Studies, Nov 11 2019.

ABSTRACT: News avoidance is considered an increasing problem for the news industry and democracy at large. As news companies lose consumers, democracy loses the informed foundation for an engaged citizenry. Meanwhile, research on news avoidance is hampered by the lack of a common understanding of the phenomenon. In this conceptual study, we first review and discuss extant conceptualizations and operationalisations of news avoidance. Second, we present a model distinguishing two types of news avoidance—intentional and unintentional—depending on the underlying causes leading people to tune out. Third, we argue that different solutions apply to the two types of news avoidance. To engage intentional news avoiders, the news selection and news presentation must to be changed. To engage unintentional news avoiders, the opportunity structures provided in the media system must be more favourable towards inadvertent news exposure.

KEYWORDS: News avoidance, news consumption, media trust, news overload, media preferences, opportunity structures, inadvertent audiences


The presented model with intentional and unintentional news avoidance, their causes and potential solutions developed in this article offers a vantage point for future research on news avoidance. It serves as a foundation for more conceptual rigour when addressing questions concerning news avoidance, and it highlights a number of research agendas connected to news avoidance, which deserve further attention. For example, conditions for and effects of constructive journalism, journalistic credibility, slow journalism, and opportunity structures for inadvertent news exposure.

Even though the model invites systematic thinking about news avoidance, it also raises questions that are important to consider. First, the model cannot capture the full complexity of news avoidance and its causes and solutions. Any useful model must reduce reality, highlight patterns, and give a systematic overview over a broader phenomenon. Thus, a specific individual’s news avoidance might not fit cleanly into the boxes of the model as it can have several different causes that might not be easily disentangled. The two types of news avoidance should therefore be understood as ideal types that aid conceptual and systematic thinking about the concept. For instance, there is a fine line between intentional news avoidance due to news overload, where the individual actively averts the news, and unintentional news avoidance based on a plethora of content on display that leads an individual to opt for entertainment rather than news. In this situation, we need to know the exact constellation of preferences to determine whether the news avoidance is intentional or unintentional. This can be difficult because people are not always able to clearly express their preferences, and preferences are not clean and stable constructs (e.g., Swart, Peters, and Broersma 2017). The potential volatility of preferences stresses that news avoidance can also be a dynamic as well as a stable behaviour. Factors such as upbringing, socialization, education, existing political knowledge, and interest are known to affect an individual’s level of news exposure, and they can indirectly cause news avoidance through their impact on preferences. These structural factors add a rather stable layer to preferences and potentially constitute a “habitual” news avoidance that is the hardest to reverse because it would demand a broad societal effort. Other factors that impact preferences, however, are less stable, such as the individual’s mood,utility of the content, and the gratifications pursued (Webster 2014). These factors can lead to “situational” or periodic news avoidance that will more easily be affected by changes in selection and presentation of news.

The distinction between “habitual” and “situational” feeds into the normative question whether we should worry about news avoidance in the first place. While news exposure has a positive impact on political knowledge and engagement (e.g., Aalberg and Curran 2012; Norris 2000), some types of news have been shown to make people more cynical and pessimistic (e.g., Boukes and Vliegenthart 2017; Cappella and Jamieson 1997). Thus, news avoidance can have both negative and positive implications. However, changing the selection and presentation of news to reduce news avoidance, for instance, by selecting less negative news or by presenting solutions to the reported problems, may also reduce some of the negative effects generated by news exposure.

The extent to which news avoidance is a democratic problem cannot be determined by empirical studies of the effects of news alone. It also depends on the conception of democracy. In participatory or deliberative conceptions of democracy, on the one hand, citizens must be knowledgeable and must consistently be mobilized. Avoiding news will lead to less mobilization and less knowledge, and in these conceptions of democracy news avoidance is an obvious problem. On the other hand, in a competitive democracy, citizens should be mobilized to vote at regular competitive elections where they must have enough information to choose between different politicians (Strömbäck2005). The implication is that periodic or situational news avoidance might not be a huge problem if the individual is ready to “jump back in” during election time, during reporting on political misconduct, or in the case of other significant news (e.g., Strömbäck2017; Toff and Nielsen2018). This is what Schudson (1998) labelled the monitorial citizens. Habitual news avoidance, however, would still present a problem because habitual news avoiders would be unlikely to possess the information and knowledge needed to assess the political alternatives in an election.The negative democratic effects of news avoidance can also be alleviated if people manage to stay informed in other ways. We defined news as novel information about relatively recent affairs of public interest or importance provided by journalists.

In today’s media environment, however, political information is also prominent in other genres, such as satire, talk shows, and fictional political dramas (Holbert 2005). It is possible that people to a certain extent can update themselves via these genres without being exposed to news, but evidence is mixed (e.g., Baek and Wojcieszak 2009; Becker and Bode 2018),and the effects seem to depend on a positive motivation for news in the first place (Feldman 2013).

Nevertheless, these findings highlight that it is important to take into account how people process, make sense of, and engage with the information they encounter, be it news or other content that potentially carries political information (Swart, Peters, and Broersma 2017). Some news avoiders tend to rely on a “news find me” approach (Gil deZúñiga, Weeks, and Ardèvol-Abreu 2017; Toff and Nielsen2018). That is, if an issue covered by the news media is significant enough, it will find a way to them becauset hey rely on people in their network to keep them informed (e.g., Andersen and Hopmann2018; Druckman, Levendusky, and McLain2018). Obviously, this two-step flow demands that the people passing information on follow the news rather closely in the first place, and that the receivers are able to process and put into context the information that is encountered this way.

The questions raised above illustrate that news avoidance is a complex concept in need of systematic conceptualization and empirical study. The model developed and presented in this article provides a framework for thinking systematically about news avoidance, its causes, and its potential solutions, and the discussion highlights some of the important questions that empirical studies based on the model can help answer.

Conservatives have been previously reported to have better self-rated health compared to liberals; those voting for right-wing populist parties report worse health compared to conservatives

Right-wing populism and self-rated health in Europe: a multilevel analysis. Insa Backhaus, S Kino, G La Torre, I Kawachi. European Journal of Public Health, Volume 29, Issue Supplement_4, November 2019, ckz185.269,

Background: Individuals who hew to a conservative political ideology have been previously reported to have better self-rated health compared to liberals. No studies have examined whether the correlation between right-wing ideology and health also holds for populism, a brand of politics that is gaining momentum throughout the world. We tested whether the association still holds for right-wing populists.

Methods: We analysed data from 24617 respondents nested within 18 European countries included in the 2016 European Social Survey. Multilevel analyses were conducted to assess the relationship between political ideology and self-rated health, adjusting for other individual covariates (happiness and social capital) and country-level characteristics (democracy type).

Results: Individuals who voted for right-wing populist parties were 43% more likely to report fair/poor health compared to traditional conservatives (OR = 1.43, 95% confidence interval 1.23 to 1.67). The association was attenuated after controlling for individual-level variables, including happiness and access to social capital (OR = 1.21, confidence interval 1.03 to 1.42). Higher levels of social capital (informal networks, OR = 0.40, 95% confidence interval 0.29 to 0.56; trust, OR = 0.82, 95% confidence interval 0.74 to 0.92) and happiness (OR = 0.18, 95% confidence interval 0.15 to 0.22) were protectively correlated with fair/poor self-rated health.

Conclusions: Individuals voting for right-wing populist parties report worse health compared to conservatives. It remains unclear whether ideology is just a marker for health-related practices, or whether the values and beliefs associated with a particular brand of ideology leads to worse health.

Key messages
.    There is a significant association between voting for right-wing populist parties and self-rated poor health.

.    Social capital was protectively correlated with self-rated health calling for renewed attention on the effects of social capital on political ideology and health.

Topic: democracy happiness politics social survey momentum attenuation multilevel analysis social capital

Surprise... Female macaques compete for ‘power’ and ‘commitment’ in their male partners

Female macaques compete for ‘power’ and ‘commitment’ in their male partners. Christine B. Haunhorst et al. Evolution and Human Behavior, November 18 2019.

Abstract: The formation of male-female social bonds and the resulting competition among females for male partners is a core element of human societies. While female competition for a male partner outside the mating context is well studied in humans, evidence from non-human primates is scarce, and its evolutionary roots remain to be explored. We studied two multi male – multi female groups of wild Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis), a species where females gain benefits from selectively affiliating with particular males. Using a behavioral data set collected over several years, we tested whether females competed over access to male social partners, whether success in competition was driven by female dominance rank, and which male traits were most attractive for females. We found assortative bonding by dominance rank between females and males, which together with females initiating and maintaining contact suggests direct female competition over males. Two male traits independently predicted male attractiveness to females: (1) current dominance rank, a measure of “power” or a male's ability to provide access to resources, and (2) prior male affiliation with immatures, a measure of a male's potential paternal proclivity or “commitment” to infant care. Both traits have been consistently identified as drivers of female partner choice in humans. Our study adds to the evidence that female competition for valuable male partners is not unique to humans, suggesting deep evolutionary origins of women's mate choice tendencies for ‘power’ and ‘commitment’.

From the author's 2016 PhD Thesis (Evolutionary origin of the human pair-bond –the adaptive significance of male-female relationships in wild Assamese macaques (Macaca assamensis), Thailand),


In the following, I will combine hypotheses on the evolution of the human pair-bond and concealed ovulation to create a scenario how permanent pair-bonds may evolve or have evolved in Assamese macaques or humans, respectively. I will start with the assumption that in humans concealed ovulation evolved (or rather reliable sexual signals got lost) before the pair-bond evolved (Strassmann, 1981), like in Assamese macaques for reasons not debated here (but see Fürtbauer 2011for an elaborated theory). I will develop a theory how pair-bonds may evolve directly from multimale-multifemale groups with promiscuous mating system. Traits already featured by Assamese macaques (as introduced previously; Figure D3) will serve as baseline, and changes in ecological conditions as catalysts for evolutionary progression.

In Assamese macaques, the current social organization, social structure, and mating system (multimale-multifemale groups, promiscuous, social bonds between all sexes) may serve both sexes best in terms of maximizing reproductive output. The existence of dry and rainy season and the resulting seasonality in food availability favors seasonal breeding in females to time birth and lactation to highest food availability (van Schaik and van Noordwijk, 1985; Heesen et al., 2013). Given the hypothetical scenario that (for example due to climate change) seasonality may be less pronounced and food availability more or less spread evenly across the entire year, females may lose their strictly seasonal ovulation patterns (Fairbanks and McGuire, 1984). Though macaques may be less flexible to shift seasonal ovulation patterns than other primate species (Silk et al., 1981), Assamese macaques already feature prolonged sexual receptivity across four months during mating season (Fürtbauer et al., 2011a). Additionally, females may conceive later, and at the same time more often, when changed conditions favor reproduction. For instance, in 2013 infants were born between February and August, indicating a prolonged mating season, and though unexpected, the female with latest parturition gave birth again only 10 months later (personal observation; Ostner and Schülke, unpubl. data). Aseasonal food availability may also result in less clumped food patches and females ́ need to disperse further for foraging, leading to lowered male herding potential (Lukas and Clutton-Brock, 2013).

[Figure D3: Model for the evolution of pair-bonds in Assamese macaques. The current status of social structure and mating system in Assamese macaques at the top line, with its positive (+) or negative (-) influence on other traits, leading to pair-bonds. Details about necessary changes to lead to permanent pair-bonds can be found in the text.]

Female Assamese macaques would still feature concealed ovulation, resulting in lowered male-male competition for mating (Andelman, 1987; Marlowe and Berbesque, 2012), followed by a decreasing dominance skew in mate guarding ability of males. In turn, operational sex ratio may become more male-biased, because females spread receptive phases throughout the year leading to only a few fertile females at the same time, while the number of males would be constant. Male biased operational sex-ratio is supposed to be a prerequisite for the formation of stable pair-bonds (Quinlan and Quinlan, 2007). In human societies that are classified as monogamous, or serial monogamous, operational sex ratio is usually rather male-biased, while for polygynous populations the opposite holds true (Coxworth et al., 2015). On the other hand, a male biased operational sex-ratio leads again to enhanced male mating competition (Kvarnemo and Ahnesjö, 1996). The intensity of male competition should favor males successfully defending an existent bond, rather than searching for a new mate (Parker, 1974; Quinlan and Quinlan, 2007), particularly when concealed ovulation complicates finding mates at the time of ovulation. Males may then increase their chances for paternity by extending mate guarding for longer periods in which a female may be fertile (Palombit, 1999), leading to an enhanced certainty of paternity. In Assamese macaques, association patterns in the mating season already predict male paternity success with that female across all male dominance ranks (Ostner et al., 2013). At the current state dominant males still have priority of access to fertile females. If male monopolization potential is further lowered, all males may adopt strategies of prolonged associations over longer times to increase paternity success. Males should defend ratherlong-term mating relationships when facing costs by abandoning that relationship to search for another mate (Quinlan and Quinlan, 2007; Kokko and Jennions, 2008). Time may not be the restrictive condition, given that group-living is still enforced, because it holds benefits in terms of lowered predation risk and intergroup competition (Isbell, 1994; Sterck et al., 1997). However, if most females in a group are already taken by another male finding a new mate may be more complicated, resulting in unavoidable fighting risk. Additionally, in almost even operational sex ratios, female choice of partners may further lower male access to mates. Hence, in this scenario male access to multiple fertile females would be very low and abandoning an existent relationship may result in the female being fertilized by another male, while the former partner may not find a new mate.Aseasonal breeding may be followed by the females ́ needs to rely on increased male provisioning to overcome food scarcity in times of highenergy demands (i.e. birth and lactation) (Marlowe, 2003). In Assamese macaques, males do not provision females actively, but males may invest, or at least they do provide tolerance, into the female gaining more energy. This would lead to female partner choice based on traits other than dominance rank, but rather the male's willingness to provide paternal care (Strassmann, 1981; Geary, 2000). Given that males (if only accessing one fertile female) can only increase reproductive success, if the mother is in the physical condition to produce viable offspring, males should provide increased investment for the female during gestation and lactation. During lactation, the male may contribute the most to enhance his reproductive success by providing paternal care for the offspring he most likely sired (Clutton-Brock, 1988). Paternity confusion would then be lower than in a strictly promiscuous mating system, as males may havebetter knowledge of the female's mating history. This would be followed by an increase in male infanticide because most males can be certain of not being the sire of most of the infants. Hence, the male's investment in offspring protection would be mandatory to fend off potentially infanticidal males. Reappearing risk of infanticide may again lead to even tighter bonding between male and female during the highest risk of infanticide (van Schaik and Dunbar, 1990). Male care for female and offspring may also result in shortened interbirth intervals in females (cf. van Schaik and Dunbar 1990). When females reach fertility faster because of male help, the male may increase his own reproductive success further by staying with the same female, finally resulting in a permanent pair-bond.In humans now, strong male bonds may enable large societies consisting of multiple family groups (Chapais, 2013). In Assamese macaques, social bonds between adultmales are stable over several years (Kalbitz et al., 2016)and predictive of male-male coalitions (Schülke et al., 2010). Strong male bonds may increase successful defense of territories and hence overall female reproductive output through higher access to food resources (Boesch and Boesch-Achermann, 2000; Aureliet al., 2006). Additionally, for males within-group competition is lowered (Ostner and Schülke, 2014), and successful protection against incoming infanticidal males enhanced (van Schaik, 1996).

Predictability of the outcome of future interactions with the partner is important for the formation of permanent pair-bonds (Weinrich, 1977). In non-human primates emotional bookkeeping may allow long-term reciprocation between two individuals and create an environment of trust with for both individuals predictable interactions without advanced cognitive abilities (Schino and Aureli, 2010b, 2010c). The already established opposite-sex social bond in Assamese macaques may function as mediator to permanent pair-bonding, by means of predictability of future interactions with the partner. Male care, in terms of agonistic support and feeding tolerance, for females (and offspring) already exists in this species, although permanent pair-bonds are not presently existent. Male bonding is very pronounced in Assamese macaques, which would simplify the transition to rather male-bonded societies. So far, ecological conditions may favor the established social as well as mating system in Assamese macaques, but the traits required to switch social structure and mating system towards a permanently pair-bonded one are already existent.

Humans are the only species that build societies of multiple males and females living together, but with reproductive units that are entirely or primarily monogamous (Chapais, 2013). Considering that humans may also be the most successful extant species on earth, it is surprising that not more species adopted this system –in case that there is a connection. The permanent pair-bond, generated or followed by paternal care and male provisioning, builds the baseline for the development of large brains with increased cognitive abilities (Kaplan et al., 2000). Concealed ovulation in turn may have played a major role in the evolution of pair-bonds (Strassmann, 1981). The loss of this very distinctive and costly (Nunn, 1999)sexual signal in females may therefore have enforced pair-bonding in humans under certain ecologicalconditions. Both, synchrony in breeding and concealed ovulation lower male monopolization potential. Aseasonal breeding species with reliable indicators for ovulation fail to lower male mating competition and monopolization potential, making pair-bonding unattractive for males that can still enhance reproductive success by accessing several receptive females at a time. Seasonal breeding with concealed ovulation favors prolonged mate guarding activity by males only for the breeding season. Exclusively in aseasonal breeding species with concealed ovulation females would be able to prolong mate guarding, binding a particular male as potential sire to herself and resulting in paternal care, as suggested for humans (Hawkes, 2004).

Monday, November 18, 2019

Men's sociosexuality: No clear relationships between steroid hormones & self-reported sexual desire or sociosexual orientation; greater desire for casual sex only with relatively low average cortisol

Stern, Julia, Konstantina Karastoyanova, Michal Kandrik, Jaimie S. Torrance, Amanda Hahn, Iris J. Holzleitner, Lisa M. DeBruine, et al. 2019. “Are Sexual Desire and Sociosexual Orientation Related to Men’s Salivary Steroid Hormones?.” PsyArXiv. November 18. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Although it is widely assumed that men’s sexual desire and interest in casual sex (i.e., sociosexual orientation) are linked to steroid hormone levels, evidence for such associations is mixed. Consequently, we tested for both longitudinal and cross-sectional relationships between salivary testosterone, cortisol, reported sexual desire and sociosexuality in a sample of 61 young adult men, each of whom was tested weekly on up to five occasions. Longitudinal analyses showed no clear relationships between steroid hormones and self-reported sexual desire or sociosexual orientation. Cross-sectional analyses showed no significant associations between average hormone levels and self-reported sexual desire. However, some aspects of sociosexuality, most notably desire for casual sex, were related to men’s average hormone levels. Men with higher average testosterone reported greater desire for casual sex, but only if they also had relatively low average cortisol. These results support a Dual Hormone account of men’s sociosexuality, in which the combined effects of testosterone and cortisol predict the extent of men’s interest in casual sex.


Our analyses showed no clear effects of within-subject changes in men’s
testosterone, cortisol, or their interaction on any aspects of sociosexuality or
sexual desire. There was a weak negative effect of current cortisol on
sociosexual desire, but this was not robust to correction for multiple tests
(uncorrected p-value = .044). Thus, we did not replicate Raisanen et al’s
(2018) recent finding that within-subject changes in men’s solitary, but not
dyadic, sexual desire track changes in their testosterone and cortisol.
However, our null results for sociosexuality and within-subject changes in
men’s testosterone are consistent with similar null results reported by Gettler
et al. (2019). While our results support the recent proposal that changes in
endogenous steroid hormones contribute little (if at all) to within-subject
changes in men’s sociosexuality (Gettler et al., 2019), they do not support the
claim that endogenous steroid hormones contribute to the regulation of men’s
sexual desire (Raisanen et al., 2018).

Our analyses of responses on the SDI-2 also showed no significant crosssectional
associations between aspects of men’s sexual desire and average
steroid hormones. Thus, we did not replicate previous findings in which men
with higher average testosterone reported greater solitary sexual desire (Das
& Sawin, 2016; van Anders & Dunn, 2009). However, the null results for
cross-sectional associations between aspects of men’s sexual desire and
steroid hormones are consistent with similar null results that have been
reported in other studies (van Anders et al., 2007; van Anders, 2012).
Collectively, these results suggest that associations between average steroid
hormone levels and sexual desire in men are not robust.

Some previous studies have reported that men with higher average
testosterone levels score higher on sociosexual desire (Edelstein et al., 2011;
Puts et al., 2015), but lower on sociosexual behavior (Puts et al., 2015).
These results have been interpreted as evidence for a feedback loop in which
rising testosterone levels increase sociosexual desire, but that engaging in
sexual behavior causes men’s testosterone levels to fall (Puts et al., 2015).
Neither our longitudinal nor cross-sectional analyses of men’s sociosexuality
support this proposal. However, our null results for sociosexuality and men’s
average testosterone levels are consistent with similar null results reported in
other studies (Kordsmeyer et al., 2018; van Anders et al., 2007).
Intriguingly, we found that average testosterone was positively related to
sociosexual attitudes, sociosexual desires, and global sociosexual orientation
(i.e., total scores on the SOI-R) among men with relatively low cortisol.

Although we did not predict this result, we note here that the interactions
between average testosterone and average cortisol for sociosexual attitudes
and global sociosexual orientation would be significant even if Bonferroni
corrected for multiple comparisons. Some previous research suggests that the
combination of high testosterone and low cortisol is associated with status
related behaviors (see Mehta & Prasad, 2015, for a review of this Dual Hormone Hypothesis).
If this is the case, our results present preliminary
evidence that attitudes to uncommitted sexual relationships might be similarly
related to high testosterone and low cortisol. Further research would be
necessary to shed further light on this possibility. Previous studies
investigating possible associations between steroid hormones and men’s
sociosexuality may not have detected these relationships because they did
not consider the interaction between average testosterone and average
cortisol (Kordsmeyer et al., 2018; van Anders et al., 2007).
Strengths of the current study include the longitudinal analyses and
consideration of testosterone, cortisol, and their interactions. However, there
are limitations that could be addressed in future work. For example,
replicating the cross-sectional findings for sociosexuality in a larger sample
may clarify whether our results are robust or false positives.

In conclusion, we did not replicate previous results linking aspects of men’s
sexual desire to their steroid hormones. However, we did find evidence that
aspects of men’s sociosexual orientation, most notably their attitude to casual
sex, was predicted by the interaction between average testosterone and
average cortisol. Men with higher average testosterone levels reported more
positive attitudes to casual sex, but only if they also had relatively low average
cortisol. While such a pattern of results is arguably consistent with the Dual
Hormone Hypothesis of men’s competitive behaviors, further work is needed
to establish whether this pattern of results is robust.

Designing Central Bank Digital Currencies: Optimal CBDC trades off bank intermediation against the social value of maintaining diverse payment instruments

Designing Central Bank Digital Currencies. Itai Agur; Anil Ari; Giovanni Dell'Ariccia. IMF Working Paper No. 19/252, November 18, 2019.

Summary: We study the optimal design of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) in an environment where agents sort into cash, CBDC and bank deposits according to their preferences over anonymity and security; and where network effects make the convenience of payment instruments dependent on the number of their users. CBDC can be designed with attributes similar to cash or deposits, and can be interest-bearing: a CBDC that closely competes with deposits depresses bank credit and output, while a cash-like CBDC may lead to the disappearance of cash. Then, the optimal CBDC design trades off bank intermediation against the social value of maintaining diverse payment instruments. When network effects matter, an interest-bearing CBDC alleviates the central bank's tradeoff.

Before they begin to speak, infants have already forged a link between language & core cognitive capacities; humans establish reference, convey information declaratively & pass down communicative devices via cultural transmission

Becoming human: human infants link language and cognition, but what about the other great apes? Miriam A. Novack and Sandra Waxman. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, November 18 2019.

Abstract: Human language has no parallel elsewhere in the animal kingdom. It is unique not only for its structural complexity but also for its inextricable interface with core cognitive capacities such as object representation, object categorization and abstract rule learning. Here, we (i) review recent evidence documenting how (and how early) language interacts with these core cognitive capacities in the mind of the human infant, and (ii) consider whether this link exists in non-human great apes—our closest genealogical cousins. Research with human infants demonstrates that well before they begin to speak, infants have already forged a link between language and core cognitive capacities. Evident by just three months of age, this language–cognition link unfolds in a rich developmental cascade, with each advance providing the foundation for subsequent, more precise and more powerful links. This link supports our species' capacity to represent and convey abstract concepts and to communicate beyond the immediate here and now. By contrast, although the communication systems of great apes are sophisticated in their own right, there is no conclusive evidence that apes establish reference, convey information declaratively or pass down communicative devices via cultural transmission. Thus, the evidence currently available reinforces the uniqueness of human language and the power of its interface to cognition.

3 Beyond humans: gestural communication among non-human great apes

Our goal in this last section is to look beyond human infants andconsider the communicative abilities of the other great apes.

Like humans, apes use a range of communicative signals—including vocalizations, facial expressions and gestures—toconvey information and to influence the behaviour of others[75]. There has been substantial research on primate vocaliza-tions,  much  of  it  focusing  specifically  on  vocalizationsproduced in the context of evolutionarily urgent survival func-tions such as responding to predators and communicatingsources of food [76,77]. Certainly, these vocalizations areimpressive and some have argued that they reflect a varietyof sophisticated cognitive and social functions [78–81]. But others have argued that ape gestures—more than their vocalizations—provide the most compelling comparisons tohuman language [82–85]. Therefore, we focus primarily onape gesture and its communicative status in comparison tohuman language and human gesture.

(a) The gestural repertoires of apes

Gestures are part of the communicative repertoires of allspecies of great apes [75]. Typically emerging at around ninemonths of age [86,87], these gestures are produced deliberatelyand voluntarily in social interactions [88–90]. Ape gestureshave been defined as‘discrete, mechanically ineffective phys-ical movements of the body observed during periods ofcommunication’[88, p. 749] and include tactile gestures (invol-ving bodily contact with another individual, e.g. hittinganother), auditory gestures (incorporating non-vocal sounds,e.g. stomping) and visible gestures (those can be seen from adistance, e.g. arm raising) [75,88,90]. Note that within the apeand human literatures, the definition of what constitutes a gesture often differs; definitions of human gesture tend to focusprimarily on silent, empty-handed movements that make nophysical contact with objects or other people (see [91] for a dis-cussion of differences in definition and coding). Nevertheless,important cross-species comparisons can be made.

Most researchers agree that apes’gestures share two key features with those of humans’gestures: flexibility and inten-tionality [13,88,90,92–94]. Regarding flexibility, apes producea variety of gesture types (e.g. arm raise; poke; object shake)flexibly across different situations (e.g. affiliation, grooming,resting, social play). They can use a single gesture typeacross multiple contexts, as well as multiple gesture typeswithin a single context [7]. Regarding intentionality, apes’ges-tures are often responsive to the attentional states of theirwould-be communicative partners: for instance, when theintended partner is looking elsewhere, chimps tend to initiateby making physical contact (touching the other) and auditorygestures (banging on the ground) [88,95].

(b) How do ape gestures differ from human gestures?

Like humans, the gestures of apes reveal an intention tocommunicate and insight into the attentional states of theirconspecifics. But apes’gestures also differ considerablyfrom those of humans. Most striking are species differencesin the presence versus absence of (i) pointing and the estab-lishment of reference, (ii) gesturing for declarative purposes,(iii) communicating without contextual support, and (iv) evi-dence for learning processes and developmental cascades.

Together, these differences raise intriguing questions aboutwhether the communicative systems of apes link to their core cognitive capacities, as is the case for humans.First, apes in the wild do not use pointing gestures to com-municate with conspecifics [96–100]. In one comparative study,researchers used the same criteria to characterize spontaneousreferential gestures produced by 1- to 2-year-old human children and chimpanzees in natural settings. Among children,nearly 25% of the gestures produced were classified as potentially referential (e.g. directed to an external location or third party). Among chimpanzees, fewer than 0.1% of their gestures met this criterion [91]. Human-reared or human-captive apes can be taught to use pointing gestures; however, these points typically occur only in communication with humans and only in contexts where the goal is to convey imperative information, typically a request for food [101–106].

Second, beyond the case of pointing, ape gestures appear tobe reserved exclusively for imperative purposes. They gestureto regulate face-to-face interactions in the here-and-now suchas play, grooming, fighting or tandem travel [98]. For example,most gestures between apes are produced in dyadic contexts,aimed to get the attention of a would-be social partner [107].

There is little to no evidence that apes gesture declaratively to direct another’s attention simply for the sake of sharing interest in it or commenting on it. By contrast, human infants frequently gesture for declarative purposes, sharing their intentions with their carers [48,98,102].

Third, ape gestures are considerably more dependent on thecontextual support of the present than are those of human chil-dren. Although both children and captive apes can use gesture to refer to non-present entities (i.e. they can point to an empty plate that used to contain food), these gestures are still dependent on referencing present objects (i.e. the now-empty plate)[104–106]. In wild ape populations, spontaneous gestures typically require the use of a present object. For example, to request‘play’, an ape may hit a conspecific; to request ‘being carried’ a juvenile may place their hand on their mother’sback.

Humans, too, can use contextual support to express ideas via gesture (e.g. pointing to an object that we want). Yet, in addition,we also ubiquitously gesture in the absence of any referent object, (e.g. using one’s hands to describe the shape of a missing puzzle piece; demonstrating how to cut with scissors, even when none are present). There is no clear evidence of this typeof iconic gesture production in apes [108].

Fourth, there is little evidence that ape gestural repertoiresare readily learned through imitation or through cultural trans-mission [88,93,98,109–111]. Instead, the ape gestural repertoireconsists primarily of species-typical behaviours [88–90]. Somehave interpreted the scant variability in gestural repertoire sacross groups of apes as evidence that ape gestures areinnate, acquired primarily through genetic transmission[88,93]. Others have claimed that certain types of ape gesturesare adaptations of full-fledged actions to create a more restricted gestural form that will elicit a target behaviour, a process known as ontogenetic ritualization [111]. For example, to request a climb on its mother’s back, infants first push down her rear end to gain access to climb. But over time, this behaviour is streamlined: to elicit the response, the infant need only touch the mother’s back [112]. Certainly, this process involves learning, but the learning occurs only in that particular interaction in that dyad concerning that action.

Finally, there are dramatic differences in the developmental course of gesture systems among apes and humans. The most striking difference is that in humans, early gestures are integrated spontaneously into a rapidly burgeoning linguistic system; this system is at once more comprehensive in its communicative and symbolic reach and more precise in itsexpression than the systems observed among apes. Humaninfants initially rely heavily on gestures but this reliance decreases steadily [52,56]. As their linguistic capacities advance, infants move systematically from producing gestures alone toproducing gesture + language (and then language + language) combinations. By contrast, apes’ reliance on gesture for communication does not seem to change, even among apes trained by humans to acquire new symbolic signals [113].

Certainly, there are cases in which apes, raises by humans,learn complex symbol systems including spoken words,pictograms or sign language [114–119] (see [120] for a comprehensive review and discussion of the many controversies surrounding this topic). In such cases, learning to use discrete symbols is achieved only with considerable repetition or reward-based paradigms. Evidence like this offers insightinto the capabilities of the ape mind, given a set of symbols.

Nevertheless, we are cautious in drawing strong conclusions from these examples, as they are rare and have been observed only as a result of human intervention.The fact that apes are capable of learning new symbols ystems speaks to their impressive intelligence, and to the obvious evolutionary links between the ape brain and the human brain. Additionally, there is evidence that some language-trained apes can successfully group novel exemplars into lexical categories, raising the intriguing possibility that learning human-like abstract symbols may support object categorization in non-human apes [121]. However, it typically takes apes manytrials of learning with rewards to acquire basic use of these symbols. Note that this differs from how human infants spontaneously acquire language, as well as how they can easily adapt novel symbols as category markers or object labels, given only a single session of seeing these symbols embedded in a communicative interaction [21,23]. One perhaps important counter-example bears mention: two infant bonobos, Kanzi and Makula, may have spontaneously learned symbols on which their mother had previously been trained [118,119]).

Even for an ape that has mastered productive use of a signal system with their human trainers, there are sharp boundary conditions on their use. Language-trained apes use acquired symbol systems almost exclusively for imperative purposes in interactions with humans [122,123]. Furthermore,in stark contrast to humans, there seems to be an upper limit toapes’combinatorial abilities. Even language-trained apes overwhelmingly produce symbols in isolation; the virtual absence of combinations that exceed two symbols reveals a compelling difference between children and apes [124].

Taken together, the existing evidence reveals that althoughapes in the wild show impressive usage of communicativegestures, produced intentionally and with flexibility, these ges-ture systems differ dramatically from human communication (for a more nuanced discussion, see [88]). They do not makeuse of pointing gestures, gesture for imperative purposes only, typically require present context to gesture, do not pass down their gestures through cultural transmission, and do not undergo significant developmental shifts in gesture use.

Finally, despite the fact that some apes have, with great training, learned a limited set of human-like symbol systems, their learning processes are distinct from human language learning and their use of these symbols is largely limited.

Winning at all costs: An exploration of bottom‐line mentality, Machiavellianism, and organisational citizenship behaviour

Winning at all costs: An exploration of bottom‐line mentality, Machiavellianism, and organisational citizenship behaviour. Gabi Eissa, Rebecca Wyland, Scott W. Lester, Ritu Gupta. Human Resource Management Journal, May 23 2019.
Abstract: This study seeks to advance the bottom‐line mentality literature by exploring an antecedent and outcome of employee bottom‐line mentality. We build and test a moderated‐mediation model by arguing that the personality trait of Machiavellianism promotes an employee's adoption of a bottom‐line mentality. Moreover, drawing on trait activation theory, we argue that this relationship is fully activated when the employee perceives that the organisation endorses a bottom‐line mentality. To expand our theoretical model, we also suggest that employee bottom‐line mentality inhibits organisational citizenship behaviour directed towards co‐workers. Lastly, we investigate whether an employee's perception of an organisation's bottom‐line mentality conditionally moderates the indirect effect of Machiavellianism on organisational citizenship behaviour directed towards co‐workers through the mediated mechanism of employee bottom‐line mentality. Our theoretical model is tested across two distinct studies. Study 1, a field study conducted within a variety of organisations, provides evidence for our initial predictions (Hypotheses 1 and 2). Study 2, a multisource field study conducted in multiple industries, replicates and extends the findings from Study 1 by providing evidence for the entire moderated‐mediation model. We find support for our hypothesised model across both studies. Implications for theory and practice are discussed, and suggestions for future research are identified.


The purpose of the current investigation was to build and test a model of both antecedents and consequences of employee BLM. In Study 1, we examined the interaction effect of Machiavellianism and employee perception of an organisation's BLM onto employee BLM. Using trait activation theory, the findings from Study 1 found that Machiavellianism was positively related to employee BLM, and the employee perception of an organisation's BLM
amplified this relationship, suggesting that both Machiavellianism and employee perception of an organisation's BLM are highly associated with employee BLM. Moreover, Study 2 replicated the findings from Study 1 and further examined how employee BLM is likely to be associated with low levels of OCBI, suggesting that employee perception of the organisation's BLM may serve as a conditional moderator of the Machiavellianism–employee BLM–OCBI relationship. As expected, our moderated‐mediation model (Figure 1) was supported by the findings across two distinct studies, providing insights as to why and when employee BLM is promoted and a potential consequence that ensues.

This research provides a theoretical foundation that will facilitate future examinations of the construct of BLM. Although previous research suggests that developing a BLM may be detrimental to organisations and its members (Greenbaum et al., 2012), our research represents a departure from the current BLM research (e.g., Bonner et al., 2017; Mawritz et al., 2017) to help identify reasons that prompt employees to fully express this mentality. Our goal was to identify a personality trait that is associated with self‐interest; because self‐interest is typically associated with developing a BLM (Eissa, Wyland, & Gupta, 2018; Greenbaum et al., 2012). Machiavellianism is a personality trait often associated with cynicism and a focus on the self (Dahling et al., 2009). Therefore, in this research, we argue that employee BLM may occur when employees possess the dark personality trait of Machiavellianism, though not all employees are equally likely to have this dark predisposition activated in the same way.

To examine a boundary condition of the Machiavellianism and employee BLM relationship, we drew on trait activation theory (Tett & Burnett, 2003; Tett & Guterman, 2000) and arguments from prior research (e.g., Salancik & Pfeffer, 1978) to build a theoretical model that accounts for levels of employee perceptions of an organisation's BLM. This investigation adds to prior research employing trait activation theory (e.g., Greenbaum et al., 2017) suggesting that environmental cues may activate or even enhance a personality tendency within employees. In other words, the Machiavellianism personality trait may be fully prompted when employees perceive that the environment of their organisation aligns with their own self‐interested, controlling, manipulative, and distrustful nature. As such, we argued that employees with high levels of Machiavellianism are more likely to pay attention to information within their environment that endorses their own self‐goals. Overall, our findings offer a credible contribution to theory by suggesting Machiavellianism as a key component influencing the expression of employee BLM. Furthermore, our study is among the first to advance the literature by exploring a boundary condition that influences the impact of Machiavellianism on employee BLM, namely perceptions of
organisation's BLM.

Consistent with prior research that calls for an examination of consequences of employee BLM (Greenbaum et al.,
2012), this current investigation explored the notion that employee BLM may inhibit employee engagement in positive behaviours such as OCBIs. We relied on prior BLM research (e.g., Greenbaum et al., 2012; Sims & Brinkmann, 2002, 2003; Tenbrunsel & Messick, 1999; Wolfe, 1988) to argue that employee BLM can encourage a narrowly focused, unidimensional, game‐like mentality among employees. Those who have this mentality are more likely to become driven to see others lose and less likely to engage in behaviours that may help others succeed. The current investigation is important because BLM is common and likely to affect how employees approach interpersonal work relationships as well as their willingness to be cooperative with others, which are key determinants of long‐term organisational success and survival (Piccolo et al., 2012). This way, the current research contributes to the literature by offering empirical support for the link between employee BLM and OCBI—a relationship that is frequently discussed in the literature but has received little empirical attention despite its strong theoretical presumption. Altogether, the theoretical underpinnings of the current investigation enabled us to contribute to the BLM literature by presenting a moderated‐mediation model that explains why and when employee BLM is likely to occur and subsequently reduce cooperation among employees at work.

4.1 | Managerial implications

Although many organisations are in business to achieve success, an exclusive, the‐ends‐justify‐the‐means focus on bottom‐line outcomes can lead to negative consequences. The popular press features numerous reports of the problems that can arise when employees adopt a BLM. Earlier in this paper, we used the Enron scandal as an illustration. Another example is the use of subprime mortgage lending in an effort to circumvent capital requirements (Stiglitz, 2010). Clearly, when bottom‐line outcomes (e.g., profit) are valued over everything else, it may encourage employees to act in their own self‐interest, even if it involves engagement in unethical behaviours (Greenbaum et al., 2012) or refraining from positive ones that hinder their own goal attainment. Although delivering results is key to success, employers must comprehend that a narrow, unidimensional focus on achieving results (i.e., BLM) is not ideal and that, to be effective, organisations must create a workplace environment that not only focuses on achieving bottom‐line outcomes, but also fosters positive and moral behaviours. When employees avoid opportunities to collaborate and help each other out, the implication is that the likelihood of teamwork and synergy is greatly diminished. Hence, the overall effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation is likely to be compromised. Therefore, organisations need to be aware of the adverse influence of employee BLM on collaboration and teamwork. This awareness will allow organisations to create a workplace environment that values a variety of important organisational outcomes so that the chances of overall company success are amplified.

Another implication of the current findings is that the personality trait of Machiavellianism is related to the likelihood of falling prey to a BLM, especially when working in an environment that is perceived to value and prioritise achieving the bottom line over everything else. We found that Machs are more likely to adopt a BLM and less likely to engage in OCBI. Employers and human resource managers who are involved in the hiring process could pay attention to personality traits such as Machiavellianism and try to avoid hiring those who tend to have a cynical outlook and a heightened focus on self‐interest. The current findings suggest that Machs would likely embrace an environment of unhealthy competition in the presence of a perceived BLM in an organisation. As discussed, Machs' efforts to succeed or get ahead would likely come at the expense of the long‐term health of the organisation.

4.2 | Limitations and future research

Although the current research makes multiple noteworthy contributions to the literature, it is not without limitations. First, cross‐sectional data were collected in both of our studies, which may limit definitive conclusions regarding the causality among the proposed relationships. However, we have utilised two distinct samples and relied on well-documented theories to provide evidence for the direction of our variables. Nonetheless, future research could replicate our model by using various research methods including collecting longitudinal data or conducting experimental designs to provide further support for our model. Second, we examined OCBs directed at organisational members, namely co‐workers, as a form of positive and moral behaviour that could be limited by employee BLM. We focused on OCB directed towards organisational members because previous BLM research suggests that BLM impacts interpersonal relationships (e.g., Greenbaum et al., 2012; Wolfe, 1988). Although this made theoretical sense, it would be interesting if future studies examined citizenship behaviours directed towards the organisation as a whole (i.e., OCBOs) to see if any differences exist based on the target of these behaviours. For example, whereas some OCBs are driven by a desire to make the organisation better, other forms of OCBs are less altruistic and more calculative in nature (e.g., OCBs that are completed as a means of impression management; e.g., Bolino, 1999). Thus, it is plausible that employee BLM might increase some types of OCBOs because these employees are trying to impress their employer by giving back to the organisation. However, it is also plausible that employees who possess a BLM might ignore OCBOs because they are so focused on their own bottom‐line outcomes that they essentially ignore all types of OCBs. Either way, a more complete understanding of the relationships between different types of OCBs and employee BLM would be informative.

Our research supported Machiavellianism as an antecedent of individual adoption of BLM. Yet, this is but one antecedent. Future research should examine other potential antecedents of employee BLM. For example, the presence of incentive pay may also help predict BLM. When incentive pay exists, one would expect that a singular focus on monetary rewards, particularly among those motivated by pay, should increase the likelihood of a BLM. Furthermore, whether incentives are determined at the individual, group, or organisational level should impact whether a BLM develops. Specifically, we would expect a BLM to be more prevalent when individual incentives are used. Group and organisational level incentives frequently require some type of collaboration, which is at odds with the notion of having to defeat your colleagues in order to win. In sum, future research would benefit from exploring additional antecedents of BLM to help answer the question of why employees adopt such mentality.

Additionally, the concept of perception of organisation's BLM may be within the same nomological network as other constructs. For example, (un)ethical climate or transactional psychological contracts (e.g., Zagenczyk et al., 2014) may reveal similar relationships to the constructs presented in our proposed model. Therefore, future research could further explore the relationships between perceived organisation's BLM and other similar constructs to gain a better understanding of the theoretical and empirical distinctions that may exist. Finally, future researchers could move the literature forward by exploring additional moderators that might mitigate (or exacerbate) the dysfunctional relationship between Machiavellianism, employee BLM, and reductions in OCBI. For example, we argued that Machs “will do whatever it takes” to achieve success. As such, it can also be theorised that individuals high in Machiavellianism may at times perform seemingly altruistic behaviours for the sole reason of creating the impression that the recipient needed the help and is incapable of performing the job. This would suggest a positive relationship between BLM and OCBI. Our results indicate a rather low (but significant) relationship. This could be interpreted as an indication of the existence of moderators. Although this is beyond the scope of the current article, it is one potentially fruitful area for future research. One promising moderator might be ethical leadership. Ethical leadership is “the demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and the promotion of such conduct to followers through two‐way communication, reinforcement, and decision‐making” (Brown, Treviño, & Harrison, 2005, p. 120).

As noted by Piccolo et al. (2012), “ethical leadership may be effective in preventing a nearly exclusive focus on bottom‐line outcomes” (p. 295). Thus, ethical leadership likely weakens the proposed relationships presented in our model. Future research would benefit from exploring this assertion and additional moderators that may explain antecedents and consequences of BLM as presented in Figure 1. In conclusion, we encourage future research to build on these first steps by taking a more comprehensive look at the antecedents, moderators, and consequences of employee BLM as this field of research moves forward.