Friday, May 31, 2019

fRMI & romantically disillusioning events: Compared to regret‐inducing events, disillusioning events showed greater activation in areas thought pertinent to detail processing and decision making (occipital fusiform & lingual gyrus)

Functional magnetic resonance imaging activation in response to prompts of romantically disillusioning events. Sylvia Niehuis et al. Personal Relationships, May 30 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/pere.12272

Abstract: To differentiate romantic disillusionment from similar constructs of dissatisfaction and regret, functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) data obtained when romantically involved individuals (N = 39) were reminded of relationship events representing these emotions were analyzed. Whole‐brain activations suggested disillusionment‐linked processes not observed for dissatisfaction or regret. Compared to dissatisfying events, disillusioning ones showed greater activity in regions pertaining to evaluation, reflection, and reconciling conflicting information (e.g., anterior cingulate cortex). No regions showed significantly more activation for dissatisfying than disillusioning events. Compared to regret‐inducing events, disillusioning events showed greater activation in areas thought pertinent to detail processing and decision making (occipital fusiform and lingual gyrus). Regret‐inducing events activated regions suggesting the planning and thoughts of how one could have acted differently (e.g., prefrontal cortex).

The Relationship between Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function in Women: Marijuana appears to improve satisfaction with orgasm

Lynn BK, López JD, Miller C, et al. The Relationship between Marijuana Use Prior to Sex and Sexual Function in Women. Sex Med 2019;7:192-197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.esxm.2019.01.003

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Scientific research on the effects of marijuana on sexual functioning in women, including libido, arousal, orgasm, and satisfaction, is limited.

AIM: To evaluate women's perceptions of the effect of marijuana use before sexual activity.

METHODS: A cross-sectional design, from March 2016-February 2017, within a single, academic, obstetrics and gynecology practice, was performed. Patients were given a questionnaire at their visit and asked to complete it anonymously and place it in a locked box after their visit.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was satisfaction in the sexual domains of drive, orgasm, lubrication, dyspareunia, and overall sexual experience. The secondary outcome was the effect of the frequency of marijuana use on satisfaction.

RESULTS: Of the 373 participants, 34.0% (n = 127) reported having used marijuana before sexual activity. Most women reported increases in sex drive, improvement in orgasm, decrease in pain, but no change in lubrication. After adjusting for race, women who reported marijuana use before sexual activity had 2.13 higher odds of reporting satisfactory orgasms (adjusted odds ratio = 2.13; 95% CI = 1.05, 4.35) than women who reported no marijuana use. After adjusting for race and age, women with frequent marijuana use, regardless of use before sex or not, had 2.10 times higher odds of reporting satisfactory orgasms than those with infrequent marijuana use (adjusted odds ratio = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.01-4.44).

CONCLUSION: Marijuana appears to improve satisfaction with orgasm. A better understanding of the role of the endocannabinoid system in women is important, because there is a paucity of literature, and it could help lead to development of treatments for female sexual dysfunction.

KEYWORDS: Epidemiology; Female Sexual Response; Health Behavior and Attitudes; Women’s Sexuality

Introduction

Over the last decade, marijuana use and the legalization of marijuana, medically and recreationally, has continued to increase in the United States.1 The internet is rife with claims of the beneficial effects of marijuana on several aspects of sexual function including libido, arousal, and orgasm. However, our scientific research on the effects of marijuana on sexual functioning is limited. Recently Palamar et al2 evaluated self-reported sexual effects of marijuana, ecstasy, and alcohol use in a small cohort of men and women aged 18–25. They found that the majority of marijuana users reported an increase in sexual enjoyment and orgasm intensity, as well as either an increase or no change in desire.2

Endocannabinoids, which are structurally similar to marijuana, are known to help regulate sexual function.3 The cannabinoid receptor, discovered in the 1990s, has been mapped to several areas of the brain that play a role in sexual function.3 Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids interact with the hormones and neurotransmitters that affect sexual behavior. Although these interactions have not been clearly illuminated, some studies in rodents have helped to clarify the relationship between cannabinoids and the hormones and neurotransmitters that affect sexual behavior.4 Although there is less data on human subjects, some studies have measured patient’s perceptions of the effects of marijuana on sexual function. Studies have reported an increase in desire and improvement in the quality of orgasm.5 Most recently, Klein et al6 evaluated the correlation between serum levels of 2 endogenous endocannabinoids and found a significant negative correlation between endocannabinoids and both physiological and subjective arousal in women. Sumnall et al7 reported that drugs such as cannabis and ecstasy were more frequently taken to improve the sexual experience than was alcohol.

The primary aim of this study was to determine how women perceive the sexual experience, specifically overall sexual satisfaction, sex drive, orgasm, dyspareunia, and lubrication, when using marijuana before sex. The magnitude of the change was also evaluated. The secondary aim sought to understand the effect of the frequency of marijuana use, regardless of marijuana use before sex, on satisfaction across the different sexual function domains.

GDPR After One Year: Costs and Unintended Consequences. By Alec Stapp

GDPR After One Year: Costs and Unintended Consequences. Alec Stapp. May 24 2019. https://truthonthemarket.com/2019/05/24/gdpr-after-one-year-costs-and-unintended-consequences/

Excerpts (full links in the original article):

GDPR cases and fines
Here is the latest data on cases and fines released by the European Data Protection Board (https://edpb.europa.eu/news/news/2019/1-year-gdpr-taking-stock_en):

    €55,955,871 in fines
        €50 million of which was a single fine on Google
    281,088 total cases
        144,376 complaints
        89,271 data breach notifications
        47,441 other
    37.0% ongoing
    62.9% closed
    0.1% appealed

Compliance costs are astronomical
    Prior to GDPR going into effect, it was estimated that total GDPR compliance costs for US firms with more than 500 employees “could reach $150 billion.” (Fortune)
    Another estimate from the same time said 75,000 Data Protection Officers would need to be hired for compliance. (IAPP)
    As of March 20, 2019, 1,129 US news sites are still unavailable in the EU due to GDPR. (Joseph O’Connor)
    Microsoft had 1,600 engineers working on compliance. (Microsoft)
    During a Senate hearing, Keith Enright, Google’s chief privacy officer, estimated that the company spent “hundreds of years of human time” to comply with the new privacy rules. (Quartz)
        However, French authorities ultimately decided Google’s compliance efforts were insufficient: “France fines Google nearly $57 million for first major violation of new European privacy regime” (The Washington Post)
    “About 220,000 name tags will be removed in Vienna by the end of [2018], the city’s housing authority said. Officials fear that they could otherwise be fined up to $23 million, or about $1,150 per name.” (The Washington Post)
        Other reports claim that GDPR does not require removing name tags from buildings, but it is telling that ambiguity in the law caused the Vienna housing authority to believe it did (derStandard)

Unseen costs of foregone investment & research
    Startups: One study estimated that venture capital invested in EU startups fell by as much as 50 percent due to GDPR implementation. (NBER)
    Mergers and acquisitions: “55% of respondents said they had worked on deals that fell apart because of concerns about a target company’s data protection policies and compliance with GDPR” (WSJ)
    Scientific research: “[B]iomedical researchers fear that the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will make it harder to share information across borders or outside their original research context.” (Politico)

GDPR has been the death knell for small and medium-sized businesses

SMBs have left the EU market in droves (or shut down entirely). Here is a partial list:

    Brent Ozar, IT consulting services
    CoinTouch, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange
    Drawbridge, cross-device identity service
    FamilyTreeDNA, free and public genetic tools
        Mitosearch
        Ysearch
    Gravity Interactive, video game developer
        Ragnarok Online
        Dragon Saga
    Hitman: Absolution, video game developed by IO Interactive
    Klout, social reputation service by Lithium
    Loadout, video game developed by Edge of Reality
    Monal, XMPP chat app
    MotoSport, powersports retailer
    Parity, know-your-customer service for initial coin offerings (ICOs)
    Payver, dashcam app
    Pottery Barn, housewares retailer
    Seznam, social network for students
    Steel Root, cybersecurity and IT services
    StreetLend, tool sharing platform for neighbors
    Super Monday Night Combat (SMNC), video game developed by Uber Entertainment
    Tunngle, video game VPN
    Unroll.me, inbox management app
    Verve, mobile programmatic advertising
    Williams-Sonoma, housewares retailer

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The majority (94.5%) of women indicated having masturbated at least once in their life; reported masturbating 2 or 3 times a week (26.8%) or once (26.3%); it is not “a partner substitute”, but rather is a stress coping & relaxation strategy

Masturbatory Behavior in a Population Sample of German Women. Andrea Burri, Ana Carvalheira. The Journal of Sexual Medicine, May 30 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2019.04.015

Abstract
Background: Human masturbation is and has been a very heatedly and controversially discussed topic in human sexuality. Studies investigating aspects of human masturbatory behavior and female sexual pleasure remain scarce. This lack of knowledge opens the door to further controversies and misconceptions.

Aim: To conduct an explorative study on female masturbatory behavior to gain more insight into this nonreproductive sexual behavior and provide an empiric basis for future research.

Methods: A total of 425 German women (mean age 26.6 years), 61.4% of whom were in a committed relationship, completed a comprehensive 76-item online survey consisting of study-specific, self-constructed questions and validated and standardized questionnaires.

Main Outcome Measure: Correlation and comparative analyses were performed. Results are presented numerically as means and percentages.

Results: The majority (94.5%) of women indicated having masturbated at least once in their life, with a mean age at first masturbation of 14 years. 85.9% of women described masturbation as “genital self-stimulation until reaching orgasm.” The majority of women reported masturbating 2 or 3 times a week (26.8%) or once a week (26.3%). Factors independently associated with masturbation frequency were relationship status, orgasm frequency, openness to new experience, and body acceptance. Almost all women (91.5%) reported masturbating also when in a relationship. For the 5.5% of women who had never engaged in autoerotic stimulation, the 2 main reasons were “I hardly every feel sexual desire” and “sex is a partner-only thing.” 7.6% reported never experiencing an orgasm during masturbation, whereas 50.3% indicated that they always reached orgasm during autostimulation. The reasons cited for engaging in masturbation were manifold, ranging from sexual desire to relaxation and stress reduction. The most common fantasy included the partner; however, 20.7% fantasized about being “defenseless,” and 8.7% thought about a “disturbing” scenario that they chose not to elaborate further.

Clinical Implications: For many women, masturbation does not represent “a partner substitute” to seek sexual pleasure, but rather is a stress coping and relaxation strategy.

Strengths & Limitations: This is one of the very first studies to provide more in-depth insight into a variety of aspects related to female masturbation. The representativeness of the data is limited to this particular sample of German women.

Conclusion: Our findings highlight the huge diversity in terms of masturbation frequency, motivations, styles, and preferences that can be observed in this particular population sample of German women.

Valkyries: Was Gender Equality High in the Scandinavian Periphery since Viking Times? Evidence from Enamel Hypoplasia and Height Ratios

Valkyries: Was Gender Equality High in the Scandinavian Periphery since Viking Times? Evidence from Enamel Hypoplasia and Height Ratios. Laura Maravall Buckwalter. Economics & Human Biology, May 30 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ehb.2019.05.007

Highlights
•    Frequency of linear enamel hypoplasia is used as an indicator of gender equality.
•    This indicator allows us to measure the health of men and women over two millennia.
•    Scandinavian women had better relative values already during the Viking era.
•    Medieval Scandinavian women were also healthier than contemporary women elsewhere.

Abstract: Scandinavian countries currently have very high values of female autonomy. Was this already the case in Viking Times? In this study, we trace the roots of gender equality in the Scandinavian periphery over the past two millennia. We evaluate and recommend a new measure of early gender equality: relative enamel hypoplasia values of males and females. This new indicator allows us to trace relative health and nutritional equality, using archaeological evidence. We find that Scandinavian women in the rural periphery already had relatively good health and nutritional values during the Viking era and the medieval period thereafter. The corresponding value is 0.8 equality advantage for Scandinavian women, whereas in the rest of Europe most values fall in a band around 1.2 ratio units. This suggests that the currently high gender equality had a precedence during the Middle Ages.

Self‐employed males are more likely to be attractive & more attractive self‐employed males have higher incomes; differences in income from IQ declined as attractiveness increases; no differences for females

In the eye of the beholder? The returns to beauty and IQ for the self‐employed. Pankaj C. Patel, Marcus T. Wolfe. Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, May 24 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/sej.1323

Research summary: Using a two study approach, we examine the relationship between attractiveness and key aspects of self‐employment. In Study 1, in which individuals rated the attractiveness of participants at the beginning of the interview, our results indicate that self‐employed males are more likely to be attractive and that more attractive self‐employed males have higher incomes. In Study 2, our findings indicate that at low levels of attractiveness, higher IQ self‐employed males have higher incomes in 1974; however, differences in income from IQ declined as attractiveness increases. We do not find differences for either outcome for females in either study.

Managerial summary: This research investigates the relationship between attractiveness and self‐employment. The results indicate that self‐employed males are more likely to be considered attractive than their female counterparts, and that attractive self‐employed males have higher incomes than self‐employed males who were not considered attractive. Additionally, our results reveal that IQ is positively associated with income for less attractive self‐employed males, however this relationship decreases in strength as attractiveness increases. Interestingly, our results do not indicate that attractiveness influences either the likelihood of self‐employment, or performance within self‐employment, for females. Our findings highlight the importance that attractiveness can play within the self‐employment process, as well as the relevance of considering the role that social norms regarding gender might have in determining who pursues, and is successful in, self‐employment.

Reworking Trauma through BDSM: Sadomasochistic reenactments of lived trauma, informed by queer-of-color critique, feminist performance studies, and psychoanalysis, may reconfigure such trauma

Reworking Trauma through BDSM. Corie Hammers. Signs, Journal of Women in Culture and Society, Volume 44, Number 2 | Winter 2019. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/699370

Abstract: As part of a much larger ethnographic study of lesbian/queer sex publics, this essay focuses on a particular erotic practice—sadomasochistic reenactments of lived trauma. Informed by queer-of-color critique, feminist performance studies, and psychoanalysis, this essay explores the necessary queer conditions enabling such returns, by which I mean the reenacting through BDSM of one’s own lived trauma in order to reconfigure it. This queerness, as an embodied erotics fed by durational—as opposed to impersonal and anonymous—ties, rides on the relational. That is, it is our fleshy entanglements and shared dependencies that enable these returns, returns that refuse and reconfigure lived trauma. The site of lesbian/queer sex publics thus offers critical reworkings, somatically generating as it does alternatively embodied futures.

Visual Attention to Sexual Stimuli in Mostly Heterosexuals: Differences between mostly and exclusively heterosexual profiles in men depends on a pattern of response that was found to be mediated by reduced disgust

Visual Attention to Sexual Stimuli in Mostly Heterosexuals. James S. Morandini. Archives of Sexual Behavior, May 29 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-019-1419-4

Abstract: Individuals who report mostly heterosexual orientations (i.e., mostly sexually attracted to the opposite sex, but occasionally attracted to the same sex) outnumber all other non-heterosexual individuals combined. The present study examined whether mostly heterosexual men and women view same- and other-sex sexual stimuli differently than exclusively heterosexual men and women. A novel eye-tracking paradigm was used with 162 mostly and exclusively heterosexual men and women. Compared to exclusively heterosexual men, mostly heterosexual men demonstrated greater attention to sexually explicit features (i.e., genital regions and genital contact regions) of solo male and male–male erotic stimuli, while demonstrating equivalent attention to sexually explicit features of solo female and female–female erotic stimuli. Mediation analyses suggested that differences between mostly and exclusively heterosexual profiles in men could be explained by mostly heterosexual men’s increased sexual attraction to solo male erotica, and their increased sexual attraction and reduced disgust to the male–male erotica. No comparable differences in attention were observed between mostly and exclusively heterosexual women—although mostly heterosexual women did demonstrate greater fixation on visual erotica overall—a pattern of response that was found to be mediated by reduced disgust.

Keywords: Mostly heterosexual Sexual orientation Disgust Visual attention Sex differences



There is a tendency to willfully & actively forget details about their own moral transgressions but not about their own morally praiseworthy deeds; when not forgotten, people foster a perception of moral improvement over time

Moral Memories and the Belief in the Good Self. Matthew L. Stanley, Felipe De Brigard. Current Directions in Psychological Science, May 29, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721419847990

Abstract: Most people believe they are morally good, and this belief plays an integral role in constructions of personal identity. Yet people commit moral transgressions with surprising frequency in everyday life. In this article, we characterize two mechanisms involving autobiographical memory that are utilized to foster a belief in a morally good self in the present—despite frequent and repeated immoral behavior. First, there is a tendency for people to willfully and actively forget details about their own moral transgressions but not about their own morally praiseworthy deeds. Second, when past moral transgressions are not forgotten, people strategically compare their more recent unethical behaviors with their more distant unethical behaviors to foster a perception of personal moral improvement over time. This, in turn, helps to portray the current self favorably. These two complementary mechanisms help to explain pervasive inconsistencies between people’s personal beliefs about their own moral goodness and the frequency with which they behave immorally.

Keywords: ethics, moral, autobiographical memory, self-enhancement, identity


Sex differences of political interest: At age 15, there is already a gender gap of 20 pct points in the probability of respondents reporting being politically interested; in the following 10 years the gap grows by 10 additional pct points

Tracing the Gender Gap in Political Interest Over the Life Span: A Panel Analysis. Marta Fraile, Irene Sánchez‐Vítores. Political Psychology, May 29 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12600

Abstract: Despite recent advances in gender equality in political representation and the availability of resources, this article shows that there is a persistent gender gap in declared political interest over the life cycle. Using evidence from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), we track the gender gap through the life span of citizens. At age 15, there is already a substantial gender gap of 20 percentage points in the probability of respondents reporting being politically interested, pointing to gendered socialization processes as the key explanation for such differences. In the following 10 years, as people develop into adults and unravel their political orientations, the extent of the gender gap continues to grow by about 10 additional percentage points. Following these formative years, attitudes crystallize and so does the gender gap, remaining at the same size (around 30 percentage points of difference between women and men) over the life course. These findings suggest that the development of gender roles during early childhood is a crucial phase in the source of the gender gap, deserving further attention from scholars.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Some people share knowledge online, often without tangible compensation. Who does this, when, and why? People use behavioral displays to provide observers with useful information about traits in exchange for fitness benefits

The quality of online knowledge sharing signals general intelligence. Christian N.Yoder, Scott A.Reid. Personality and Individual Differences. Volume 148, 1 October 2019, Pages 90-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.013

Abstract: Some people share knowledge online, often without tangible compensation. Who does this, when, and why? According to costly signaling theory people use behavioral displays to provide observers with useful information about traits or states in exchange for fitness benefits. We tested whether individuals higher in general intelligence, g, provided better quality contributions to an information pool under high than low identifiability, and whether observers could infer signaler g from contribution quality. Using a putative online wiki (N = 98) we found that as individuals' scores on Ravens Progressive Matrices (RPM) increased, participants were judged to have written better quality articles, but only when identifiable and not when anonymous. Further, the effect of RPM scores on inferred intelligence was mediated by article quality, but only when signalers were identifiable. Consistent with costly signaling theory, signalers are extrinsically motivated and observers act as “naive psychometricians.” We discuss the implications for understanding online information pools and altruism.

Sexuality and sexism: Differences in ambivalent sexism across gender and sexual identity

Sexuality and sexism: Differences in ambivalent sexism across gender and sexual identity. Lucy J.Cowie, Lara M.Greaves, Chris G.Sibley. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 148, 1 October 2019, Pages 85-89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.023

Abstract: Heterosexual intimacy is theorised to play a key role in Ambivalent Sexism, yet gay, lesbian, and bisexual people's levels of Hostile and Benevolent Sexism have not been previously examined. This paper draws upon data from the national probability New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (N = 18,266) to examine levels of Hostile and Benevolent sexism across gender (men and women) and sexual identity (gay/lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual individuals). Overall, we found that men compared to women, and heterosexuals compared to lesbian/gay and bisexuals, had significantly higher Hostile and Benevolent Sexism than other groups. The interaction of gender and sexual identity was significant for Benevolent, but not Hostile, Sexism. Gay men had the lowest levels of Benevolent Sexism, with bisexual men scoring between gay and heterosexual men. Heterosexual women were higher in Benevolent Sexism than lesbian and bisexual women. These findings lend support to the notion that heterosexual intimacy is an important driver sustaining Benevolent Sexism.

Gossip and the Reasons Why We and Individuals With “Dark” Personalities Talk About Others: Even dark personalities appear to use gossip to tune their picture of other humans and themselves and not to harm others

Better Than Its Reputation? Gossip and the Reasons Why We and Individuals With “Dark” Personalities Talk About Others. Freda-Marie Hartung*, Constanze Krohn and Marie Pirschtat. Front. Psychol., May 29 2019. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01162

Abstract: Gossip is an ubiquitous phenomenon. Hearing information about others serves important social functions such as learning without direct interaction and observation. Despite important social functions gossip has a rather negative reputation. Therefore, the present online study focuses on the reasons why people gossip and how these reasons are related to personality (i.e., dark triad) and situational settings. Six distinct motives were identified that underlie gossip behavior: information validation, information gathering, relationship building, protection, social enjoyment, and negative influence. The most important motive was validating information about the gossip target followed by the motive to acquire new information about the gossip target. The least important motive was harming the gossip target. The motivational pattern was highly similar between private and work context. Interestingly, the importance of motives mainly depends on the gossiper's narcissism both in work and in private settings. The findings suggest that the negative reputation of gossip is not justified. In fact, even “dark” personalities appear to use gossip to tune their picture of other humans and themselves and not to harm others.


Introduction

Eavesdropping in public settings reveals that people devote a substantial part of their conversations to gossip (e.g., Levin and Arluke, 1985; Dunbar et al., 1997). Accordingly, important social functions have been postulated for gossip in science (e.g., Foster, 2004). Despite these important functions, gossip has a rather bad reputation since it is perceived as inherently malicious harming people and society (e.g., Farley, 2011; Hartung and Renner, 2013; Peters and Kashima, 2013). Whether behavior can be judged as good or bad depends, at least in part, on the intention of the individuals engaging in that behavior. Therefore, the present study aims to examine whether the bad reputation of gossip is justified by examining reasons to gossip. In addition, we examine the reasons of individuals scoring high on the dark triad personality traits (i.e., narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy) as they are known to ignore commonly accepted norms and to act selfishly (e.g., O‘Boyle et al., 2012; Muris et al., 2017). More specifically, we investigate whether individuals scoring high on the dark triad personality traits are more ready to use gossip in order to harm others and to serve themselves, thereby, contributing to the negative reputation of gossip.

Gossip refers to the exchange of information about characteristics and behaviors of an absent person (Dunbar, 2004b; Foster, 2004; Peters and Kashima, 2015). From an anthropological perspective, it has been argued that human language primarily evolved to exchange social information in order to deal with complex social situations (Dunbar, 1998, 2004a; Barrett et al., 2002), and that we, therefore, preferentially attend to social information (e.g., Mesoudi et al., 2006). Accordingly, two thirds of adult conversations in public settings involve gossip (e.g., Levin and Arluke, 1985; Dunbar et al., 1997). Experimental evidence is in line with that notion (e.g., Mesoudi et al., 2006). In general, gossip appears to be a widely spread and almost inevitable phenomenon.

As a result, important social functions have been postulated for gossip in anthropological and psychological science (e.g., Suls, 1977; Baumeister et al., 2004; Dunbar, 2004a,b; Foster, 2004; Hartung and Renner, 2013). First, gossip is an efficient means of gathering and disseminating information (Foster, 2004). The exchanged information enables individuals to get a map of their social environment and their position within that social environment (Suls, 1977; Baumeister et al., 2004; Foster, 2004; De Backer et al., 2007; Sommerfeld et al., 2007; Martinescu et al., 2014). Baumeister et al. (2004), for instance, understand gossip as an extension of observational learning. People learn about the complex social and cultural life by hearing about the success and misadventures of others. It appears that we do not learn only about extraordinary experience made by others but also about more trivial things such as dressing style (De Backer et al., 2007). Thus, exchanging information about others enables us to learn without direct interaction and observation.

Secondly, Dunbar (1998, 2004a) and Mesoudi et al. (2006) argues in his social gossip theory of language that human language evolved in order to keep track of complex social networks and to ensure the cohesion in large social groups. More specifically, it has been suggested and empirically shown that, at the dyadic level, sharing gossip is associated with friendship (Grosser et al., 2010; Watson, 2011; Ellwardt et al., 2012b) and even leads to the development of friendships (Ellwardt et al., 2012b; see also Bosson et al., 2006). In addition, it has been suggested that, at the group level, gossip leads to group specific knowledge, norms, and trust, in turn supporting group cohesion and bonding (e.g., Dunbar, 2004b; Foster, 2004; Peters et al., 2017). Thus, sharing information about others is a way to build and maintain relationships and networks.

Thirdly, a growing number of researchers assume that gossip serves as an informal policing device for controlling free riders and social cheats (Dunbar, 2004b; Keltner et al., 2008; Feinberg et al., 2012). Faced with the concern that information about negative behavior runs through the grapevine and may consequently lead to the loss of reputation or even social exclusion, it prevents people from acting against social norms and the good of the group (Piazza and Bering, 2008; Beersma and Van Kleef, 2011; Feinberg et al., 2014; Wu et al., 2016). Thus, gossip keeps people from acting against the good of the group and fosters cooperation.

Finally, it has been suggested that gossip has an entertainment function providing recreational value and considerable stimulation for very little costs (Foster, 2004; Peng et al., 2015). Taken together, research has postulated and empirically shown that the exchange of information about absent third persons serves several important functions in a social environment.

However, despite its important social functions, gossip has a rather negative reputation (Farley, 2011; Hartung and Renner, 2013; Peters and Kashima, 2013). For instance, asking individuals to rate their tendency to gossip, they rate themselves to be less gossipy than an average peer of the same sex, suggesting that gossiping is perceived rather negatively (Hartung and Renner, 2013). Also, frequent gossipers are perceived as less likable and less popular than people gossiping less frequently (Farley, 2011; Ellwardt et al., 2012b). Supporting the bad reputation, some researchers suggest that gossip is a covert form of aggression (i.e., non-confrontational) especially used by women (e.g., McAndrew, 2014). Thus, the positive “social function view” is not mirrored in the reputation of gossip and gossipers.

Thus, evaluating gossip as a rather positive or negative behavior is not as easy as it may appear at first sight. Focusing on the social functions, that can be understood as not necessarily intended social consequences of gossip behavior, research clearly paints a positive picture of gossip. However, one might also evaluate gossip with respect to other dimensions such as positivity or negativity of the transmitted information or the intention of the gossiper (Eckhaus and Ben-Hador, 2018). Focusing on one of these dimensions of gossip might change the evaluation and emphasize the negative reputation of gossip. And indeed, research has shown that people give consideration to the fact that gossip differs and also gossipers differ from each other (Farley, 2011; Beersma and Van Kleef, 2012; Peters and Kashima, 2015). Empirical findings have shown that people take the presumed motivation of a gossiper into account when judging the morality of the respective gossiper, for instance (Beersma and Van Kleef, 2012). Thus, even though people disapprove of gossip in general, they consider the reasons people might have to gossip.

Hence, to evaluate whether a certain behavior is good or bad, the underlying reasons or the intentions should be taken into account. Curiously, very few research exists on simply asking people about the reasons why they gossip (Beersma and Van Kleef, 2012). In their study, Beersma and Van Kleef (2012) distinguished four different reasons to gossip, namely information gathering and validation, social enjoyment, negative influence, and group protection. This means, people instigate gossip to gather information and compare their ideas about others, to enjoy themselves, to spread negative information about a third person, and/or to protect the person they are talking with. The study provides initial evidence that people primarily gossip to gain information about other people and not to harm others (Beersma and Van Kleef, 2012). Thus, when focusing on gossipers' intentions, a rather positive picture of gossip is painted.

Another way to explore whether the reputation of gossip is justified is to examine the gossip reasons of individuals scoring high on narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy. These three traits are summarized under the umbrella term dark triad and gained considerable attention in the past years (Jones and Paulhus, 2011; O‘Boyle et al., 2012; Furnham et al., 2013; Jones and Figueredo, 2013; Lee et al., 2013; Book et al., 2015; Muris et al., 2017). It has been shown that the three traits are overlapping, but are nevertheless distinct concepts (e.g., Furnham et al., 2013; Lee et al., 2013; but see also Muris et al., 2017). As the common core the tendency to deceive, manipulate, and exploit others for one's own benefit has been suggested (Lee et al., 2013; see also Jones and Figueredo, 2013). Conversations about absent third parties appear to be an apparent method to do exactly that. Thus, if individuals with “dark” personalities regularly use gossip to spread negative information and harm others that would surely contribute to the negative reputation of gossip. However, if even individuals with “dark” personalities rarely use gossip with the intention to harm others, the positive aspects of gossip would be underlined.

Research has shown that the dark triad personality traits are related to a variety of negative social and non-social outcomes (e.g., Baughman et al., 2012; O‘Boyle et al., 2012; Wisse and Sleebos, 2016; Muris et al., 2017; Deutchman and Sullivan, 2018). For instance, individuals scoring higher on the dark triad traits show a higher tendency to tell lies and to cheat than individuals scoring lower on these traits (Nathanson et al., 2006; Williams et al., 2010; Baughman et al., 2014; Jonason et al., 2014; Roeser et al., 2016; Muris et al., 2017). In addition, individuals scoring higher on the dark triad value themselves over the others (Jonason et al., 2015), are less concerned with others' welfare (Djeriouat and Trémolière, 2014; Jonason et al., 2015; Noser et al., 2015) and with fairness (Jonason et al., 2015). Taken together, these studies and reviews illustrate that individuals scoring higher on the dark triad personality traits are willing to dismiss commonly accepted social norms and harm others for their own good.

Therefore, it is plausible to assume that individuals scoring higher on the dark traits are also more ready to use gossip for their own sake without caring about potentially negative effects for others. More specifically, it is easy to imagine that individuals scoring higher on the dark triad readily use gossip to negatively influence another person's reputation (i.e., potential competitor or rival) to push through self-beneficial agendas. In line with that notion, women scoring high on the dark triad traits use gossip—among other strategies—to derogate competitors (Carter et al., 2015). Additionally, as people with dark personalities are not concerned with others' welfare, they probably use gossip less often to protect other individuals or their group from harm (but see Lyons and Hughes, 2015). In a similar vein, the dark side of personality probably has a high impact on gossip motives that serve individual purposes. For instance, people scoring high on the dark triad traits report to have a strong desire for power, control, and dominance (e.g., Jonason et al., 2010; Lee et al., 2013; Semenyna and Honey, 2015). Gaining social information and knowledge about people surrounding us provides us with a sense of control and advantage over others (e.g., Swann et al., 1981; Fiske, 2004). Therefore, simply gathering and validating social information might be another salient reason for dark personalities to gossip.

Taken together, the present online study focuses on the reasons why people engage in conversations about absent third parties. The aims of the present study are 2-fold. First, we aim to examine the reasons for people to engage in gossip, replicating the study of Beersma and Van Kleef (2012). To do so, we translated the Motives to Gossip Questionnaire into German. In addition, we extended the questionnaire by widening the number of possible reasons including gossiping in order to foster relationship building and to gather social information. Second, to examine whether the bad reputation of gossip is justified or not, we explore the role of the “dark” personality traits in gossip motivation. One might assume that individuals scoring higher on narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy are more likely unconcerned with moral considerations and driven by selfish reasons when engaging in gossip, consequently, contributing to the negative reputation of gossip. However, we have no specific hypotheses concerning the single dark triad traits.

The Motives to Gossip Questionnaire asks participants to rate their reasons for gossip in a specific situation. In order to explore to what extent gossip motives can be generalized across situations, two different situations were incorporated in the study (i.e., private as well as workplace situations). Based on the work of Mischel (1977), researchers differentiate between strong situations with normative expectations and clear roles that constrain behavior, and weak situations which do not provide normative expectations, and, therefore, allow for more freedom in behavior and the expression of personality. Mischel (1977) argued that behavior in strong situations is based on situational circumstances rather than on the individual's personality. In the workplace, people have to follow rules and adjust their behavior to fulfill or support organizational objectives. Here we can assume rather strong situations. In private situations on the other hand, people are mostly unrestricted and have to comply with fewer norms or rules. Also, it is likely that work and private setting differ on a competitiveness-cooperativeness dimension. A competitive situation might elicit motives that serve the individual more easily and hazards negative consequences for others. Taken together, we assume that the work context reflects a rather strong (i.e., clear normative expectations) and competitive situation; and the private context reflects a rather weak and more cooperative situation. Consequently, we explore whether motives show differential importance between these two situations and whether the dark triad traits show differential relationships to gossip reasons across situations (see also Beersma and Van Kleef, 2012).

Beauty Is Not Always in the Eye of the Beholder: The Role of Vision in the Emergence of Mate Preferences

Scheller, Meike, Francine Matorres, Lucy Tompkins, Anthony C. Little, and Alexandra A. de Sousa. 2019. “Beauty Is Not Always in the Eye of the Beholder: The Role of Vision in the Emergence of Mate Preferences.” PsyArXiv. May 29. doi:10.31234/osf.io/nt3x

Abstract: Cross-cultural research has repeatedly demonstrated sex differences in the importance of different partner traits when choosing a mate. Here, men typically report higher preferences for younger, more physically attractive women, while women prefer men that are wealthier and of higher status. As the assessment of such partner characteristics often relies on visual cues, this raises the question whether visual experience is necessary in order for sex-specific mate preferences to develop. To shed more light onto the emergence of sex differences in mate choice, the current study assesses how preferences for attractiveness, resources, and personality factors differ between sighted and blind individuals. We further investigate the role of social factors and sensory cue selection in these sex-specific differences. Our sample consisted of 94 participants, 19 blind/28 sighted males, and 19 blind/28 sighted females. Results replicated well-documented findings in the sighted, with men placing more importance on physical attractiveness and women placing more importance on status and resources. However, while physical attractiveness was less important to blind men, blind women considered physical attractiveness as important as sighted women. The importance of a high status and similar personality was not influenced by sightedness. Blind individuals considered auditory cues more important than visual cues, while sighted males showed the opposite pattern. A good odor was generally rated as more important than other cues. Further, relationship status and indirect, social influences were related to preferences. Overall, our findings shed light on the emergence of sex-differences in mate preference by evaluating the influence previous exposure to certain partner characteristics has on the emergence of mate preferences.

Preliminary data, Millennials' philanthropic behavior: One cannot reject the hypothesis that Millennials donate more than members of earlier generations; but also seems true that are somewhat less likely to make any donations at all

Are Millennials Really Particularly Selfish? Preliminary Evidence From a Cross-Sectional Sample in the Philanthropy Panel Study. Peter Koczanski, Harvey S. Rosen. American Behavioral Scientist, May 28, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0002764219850871

Abstract: We use panel data on charitable donations to analyze how the philanthropic behavior of Millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) compares with that of earlier generations. On the basis of a multivariate analysis with a rich set of economic and demographic variables, we find that conditional on making a gift, one cannot reject the hypothesis that Millennials donate more than members of earlier generations. However, Millennials are somewhat less likely to make any donations at all than their generational predecessors. While our data do not allow us to explore causal mechanisms, our findings suggest a more nuanced view of the Millennials’ prosocial behavior than is depicted in popular accounts.

Keywords: generosity, Millennials, selfishness, emerging adulthood theory, charity


Only cultural individualism, historic pathogen prevalence & food availability are relevant for sex differences in personality, which means that those differences are uniquely correlated to ecological stress

Nature and evoked culture: Sex differences in personality are uniquely correlated with ecological stress. Tim Kaiser. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 148, 1 October 2019, Pages 67-72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.011

Abstract
Sex differences in personality were found to be larger in more developed and more gender-equal societies. However, the studies that report this effect either have methodological shortcomings or do not take into account possible underlying effects of ecological variables.

Here, a large, multinational (N = 867,782) dataset of personality profiles was used to examine sex differences in Big Five facet scores for 50 countries. Gender differences were related to estimates of ecological stress as well as socio-cultural variables. Using a regularized partial-correlation approach, the unique associations of those correlates with sex differences were isolated.

Sex differences were large (median Mahalanobis' D = 1.97) and varied substantially across countries (range 1.49 to 2.48). Global sex differences are larger in more developed countries with higher food availability, less pathogen prevalence, higher gender equality and an individualistic culture. After controlling for confounds, only cultural individualism, historic pathogen prevalence and food availability remained. Sex differences in personality are uniquely correlated to ecological stress. Previously reported correlations between greater sex differences and socio-cultural liberalism could be due to confounding by influences of ecological stress.

Recent changes in narcissism of Chinese youth, 2008–2017: Narcissism had a downward temporal trend; neither gender nor region moderated the trend; this finding challenged individualism was a global determinant of narcissism

Recent changes in narcissism of Chinese youth: A cross-temporal meta-analysis, 2008–2017. Shuang Gao et al. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 148, 1 October 2019, Pages 62-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.035

Highlights
•    Narcissism had a downward temporal trend among Chinese youth.
•    Neither gender nor region moderated the time trend.
•    The finding challenged individualism was a global determinant of narcissism.

Abstract: The present study examined potential changes in narcissistic traits of Chinese youth from 2008 to 2017. A cross-temporal meta-analysis involving 29 independent samples (N = 14,795) found a downward temporal trend: Mean scores on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory and Narcissistic Personality Inventory for Chinese are significantly negatively associated with year of data collection, weighted by sample size (β = −0.49). Moderator analyses found that this trend was independent of the measurement instrument used, gender distribution, or region of data collection. These findings contradict claims that Chinese youth have become more narcissistic of late. The findings also challenge the common assumption that societal increases in individualism are a global determinant of narcissism.

Drug users : High scores in the dimensions of novelty seeking & harm avoidance, & low scores in the dimensions of reward dependence, persistence, and self-directedness; in a pathological personality model most scores were high

Personality traits and substance use disorders: Comparative study with drug user and non-drug user population. Seyed GhasemSeyed Hashemi et al. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 148, 1 October 2019, Pages 50-56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.015

Abstract
Objective: Personality traits play a vital role in addictive behaviors, drug addiction in particular.

Aim of study: To compare normal and pathological personality traits in drug users and non-drug users.

Methods: In this comparative study, we employed convenience sampling to recruit drug users (n = 110; 58 men and 52 women), from addiction treatment centers in a selected city in Azarbaijan province, and matched group of non-drug users (n = 110; 58 men and 52 women). The data were collected using demographic information questionnaire, Jakson-5 scale, Temperament and Character Cloninger (TCI), and Personality Inventory for DSM-5-Brief Form (PID-5-BF). The data were analyzed by chi square and multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA).

Results: Two groups were significantly different in normal (r-RST, TCI) and pathological (PID-5) personality models. In TCI model, drug users gained high scores in the dimensions of novelty seeking and harm avoidance; and obtained low scores in the dimensions of reward dependence, persistence, and self-directedness. In r-RST model, they gained high scores in r-BAS and r-fight System; and obtained low scores in r-BIS. Also, in pathological personality model (PID-5), the scores of drug users were high in all of the dimensions except for detachment dimension.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that personality traits are coincidence in drug users. Professional evaluation of drug using patients in order to differentiate normal and pathological personality models of them is recommended.

Moderating effect of emotional awareness on the association between maltreatment experiences and resilience

Moderating effect of emotional awareness on the association between maltreatment experiences and resilience. Sang Won Lee, Seunghee Won, Bumseok Jeong. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 148, 1 October 2019, Pages 38-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.037

Abstract: Childhood maltreatment experiences are closely related to aberrant emotional processing that may be associated with resilience. Although different stages of emotion processing, such as identification of emotion, selection of regulation strategies, and implementation of regulation strategies, can be affected by maltreatment experiences, it is still unclear which part of emotion processing is closely associated with the vulnerability the victims have. In this study, we investigated the effects of different emotion regulation strategies on psychological resilience. Among a total of 360 participants, 89 maltreatment and 112 no-maltreatment subjects were included in the analysis of a questionnaire survey. An additional cognitive reappraisal task was conducted in 25 maltreatment and 25 age-, gender-, and education-matched no-maltreatment subjects. The maltreatment group reported greater difficulties in identifying emotion, such as lack of emotional awareness or clarity. Moderation analysis revealed that lack of emotional awareness has a significant effect on the relationship between childhood maltreatment experiences and low psychological resilience. In the cognitive reappraisal task, the maltreatment subjects reported higher negative valence scores on ambiguous neutral pictures than the no-maltreatment subjects. Our results suggest that difficulties in emotional awareness, especially with ambiguous emotional cues, play a crucial role in low resilience in maltreatment victims.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

When forecasting another individual's actions' outcome, we systematically overestimate the probability that the individual will win; due to a belief that the others generally achieve their intentions

Kupor, D., Brucks, M. S., & Huang, S.-C. (2019). And the winner is . . . ? Forecasting the outcome of others’ competitive efforts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspa0000165

Abstract: People frequently forecast the outcomes of competitive events. Some forecasts are about oneself (e.g., forecasting how one will perform in an athletic competition, school or job application, or professional contest), while many other forecasts are about others (e.g., predicting the outcome of another individual’s athletic competition, school or job application, or professional contest). In this research, we examine people’s forecasts about others’ competitive outcomes, illuminate a systematic bias in these forecasts, and document the source of this bias as well as its downstream consequences. Eight experiments with a total of 3,219 participants in a variety of competitive contexts demonstrate that when observers forecast the outcome that another individual will experience, observers systematically overestimate the probability that this individual will win. This misprediction stems from a previously undocumented lay belief—the belief that other people generally achieve their intentions—that skews observers’ hypothesis testing. We find that this lay belief biases observers’ forecasts even in contexts in which the other person’s intent is unlikely to generate the person’s intended outcome, and even when observers are directly incentivized to formulate an accurate forecast.

We find that people showed a relative preference for lighter cultural products during relatively negative economic times, and, to a lesser extent, were slightly more open to heavier cultural products during boom periods

Hershfield, H. E., & Alter, A. L. (2019). On the naturalistic relationship between mood and entertainment choice. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/xap0000220

Abstract: People are sensitive to economic conditions, buying more during booms and less during recessions. Across seven studies, the present research examines whether the nature of their purchases also changes as diffuse, prevailing mood states shift from positive during boom periods to negative during recession periods. Existing research shows that people primarily strive to improve negative moods, whereas they are willing to encounter threatening information when they experience positive mood states. Consistent with these patterns, we find that people showed a relative preference for lighter cultural products during relatively negative economic times, and, to a lesser extent, were slightly more open to heavier cultural products during boom periods. According to archival dataset analyses, these effects persisted across comedic cartoons, music, books, and films. In 2 lab experiments, writing about boom versus recession periods changed preferences for lighter versus heavier cultural products.

Nationally representative sample: Buying sex is a relatively rare phenomenon among adult males; however, when accounting for multiple purchases & extrapolating to the entire population the estimated purchases is in the millions

Estimating the sex buying behavior of adult males in the United States: List experiment and direct question estimates. Dominique Roe-Sepowitz et al. Journal of Criminal Justice, Volume 63, July–August 2019, Pages 41-48. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2019.04.005

Highlights
•    Estimates from both the double list experiment and the direct ask question indicate 2–4% of men in the U.S. pay for sex.
•    Of the men who admit to paying for sex from a prostitute in the past 3 years, most say they have done so multiple times.
•    Applying this method to the general population results in an estimate of 4 million adult men purchasing sex in the past 3 years.
•    2/3 of the sample reported purchasing sex in person (as opposed to online).

Abstract
Purpose: Estimating the size of the sex buyer market in the United States has been stymied by methodological and sampling challenges. Given known methodological issues in self-reporting and the sensitive nature of purchasing sex, current research faces challenges in providing estimates of demand for purchasing sex. This study used a unique approach to estimate the prevalence of sex buying by men over the age of 18 in the United States.

Methods: This study employed a double list experiment and a direct ask question to a nationally representative sample of 2525 adult males to estimate the size of the sex buyer market in the United States.

Results: The double list experiment found the prevalence of sex purchasing is roughly 1 of every 50 adult males in the U.S. (2%) over the 3 years. The direct ask questions found that roughly 1 of every 25 males in the U.S. (4%) had purchased sex in the past 3 years. How they purchased and who they purchased sex from was also explored. A total of 80 respondents reported buying sex during the past 3 years. They spent an average of $120 for their most recent sex-buying encounter. Most sex buyers reported buying sex from an offline venue (street, bar, or massage parlor) and 81% purchased sex from a female. Applying the estimate of sex buying behavior to the general male population in the U.S. results in approximately 4 million men over the age of 18 purchasing sex the past 3 years.

Conclusions: The findings from both the double list experiment and the direct ask question indicate that buying sex is a relatively rare phenomenon among adult males, however, when accounting for multiple purchases and extrapolating to the entire population the estimated purchases is in the millions. Applying the double list experiment and a direct ask question to a nationally representative sample provides a new way to capture estimates while addressing some of the limitations of previous methods. Such findings have implications for both the criminal justice and public health sectors.

Children did not engage in third-party corporal punishment, even though they evaluated antisocial puppets as mean & understood that pressing the hit button hurt the puppets; the children lack a strong desire to corporally punish 3rd-parties

The development of corporal third-party punishment. Julia Marshall et al. Cognition, Volume 190, September 2019, Pages 221-229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2019.04.029

Abstract: Previous research has demonstrated that toddlers are willing to punish those who harm others. This work, however, has predominantly focused on punishment in the form of resource reduction—taking away a resource or withholding access to a resource from an antisocial other. Here, in two studies, we examined whether 4- to 7-year-old children (N = 141) engage in direct, corporal punishment against antisocial others in third-party contexts. Children were given the opportunity to press buttons so that antisocial and prosocial puppets would be hit with a hammer. In Study 1, younger children (∼4-year-olds) hit the antisocial and prosocial puppets indiscriminately, whereas older children (∼7-year-olds) tended to preferentially hit the antisocial puppet. In Study 2, we tested a larger sample of 4- to 7-year-olds, and found that none of the children engaged in corporal punishment. Collapsing across both Studies 1 and 2 also indicated a null effect—children did not engage in third-party corporal punishment. We observed these findings even though children evaluated the antisocial puppet as mean and understood that pressing the hit button hurt the puppets. These findings suggest that children lack a strong desire to corporally punish third-party social wrongdoers. Our results illustrate the importance of considering different types of punishment in assessing the development of third-party punishment, and raise questions about the development of corporal third-party punishment.

Machiavellianism was found to be linked to burnout in a component-specific manner; depersonalization was the prime mover of the Machiavellianism-burnout link; it was related to burnout in a sex-dependent fashion

An exploratory study of the link between Machiavellianism and burnout. Danijela Mirkovic, Renzo Bianchi. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 148, 1 October 2019, Pages 27-31. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.024

Highlights
•    Machiavellianism was found to be linked to burnout in a component-specific manner.
•    Depersonalization was the prime mover of the Machiavellianism-burnout link.
•    Emotional exhaustion was not substantially associated with Machiavellianism.
•    Machiavellianism was related to burnout in a sex-dependent fashion.
•    The Machiavellianism-depersonalization link appeared to be quadratic in women.

Abstract: This study investigated the link between Machiavellianism and burnout. A total of 1073 schoolteachers (83% female) completed an online survey. Machiavellianism was assessed with the MACH IV and burnout with the Maslach Burnout Inventory. General health status, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction were additionally evaluated using single-item measures. Machiavellianism correlated positively with burnout and its components (emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and diminished personal accomplishment), and negatively with general health status, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction. The burnout-Machiavellianism association appeared to be primarily driven by the depersonalization component of burnout. In women, the relationship between Machiavellianism and depersonalization was better accounted for by a quadratic model, following a U-shaped curve. In men, a quadratic model did not outperform a linear model. Compared to low-Machiavellianism women, high-Machiavellianism women exhibited higher levels of burnout and depersonalization and lower levels of personal accomplishment, job satisfaction, and life satisfaction. High-Machiavellianism men exhibited higher levels of burnout and depersonalization than low-Machiavellianism men. Overall, no substantial association was found between Machiavellianism and emotional exhaustion―the core symptom of burnout. Our findings suggest that Machiavellianism is linked to burnout in a component-specific, sex-dependent, and partly nonlinear fashion. The practical importance of the burnout-Machiavellianism association requires clarification.

Norms exist regarding the spillover of political considerations into nonpolitical matters: When one's copartisans discriminate against members of the other party, it can lead to decreased partisan identification and depolarization

Political Consequences of Partisan Prejudice. Richard M. Shafranek. Political Psychology, May 27 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/pops.12596

Abstract: Political conflict sometimes spills over into unrelated areas of our lives. A growing literature documents examples of partisan considerations influencing judgments and behaviors in ostensibly nonpolitical contexts such as the workplace, academia, and dating, among others. To date, the focus has been on demonstrating these phenomena, with scant consideration of their downstream effects. When politics spills over into nonpolitical settings—that is, when political considerations influence nonpolitical judgments or behaviors—what are the consequences? I address this question with a novel theory and a nationally representative survey experiment. I find that norms exist regarding the spillover of political considerations into nonpolitical matters—and that spillover can have its own political consequences. When one's copartisans discriminate against members of the other party, it can lead to decreased partisan identification and depolarization. Partisan discrimination in nonpolitical settings can—in some sense ironically—reduce affective polarization. That said, partisans also appear to hold a double standard: They expect copartisans to give an edge to fellow copartisans.

Fecal microbiota transplantation is a highly effective therapy for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection; donors are essential, but difficult to recruit and retain; males and blood donos are more willing to consider stool donation

In search of stool donors: a multicenter study of prior knowledge, perceptions, motivators, and deterrents among potential donors for fecal microbiota transplantation. Breanna McSweeney et al. Gut Microbes, May 23 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/19490976.2019.1611153

ABSTRACT: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a highly effective therapy for recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection. Stool donors are essential, but difficult to recruit and retain. We aimed to identify factors influencing willingness to donate stool. This multi-center study with a 32-item questionnaire targeted young adults and health care workers via social media and university email lists in Edmonton and Kingston, Canada; London and Nottingham, England; and Indianapolis and Boston, USA. Items included baseline demographics and FMT knowledge and perception. Investigated motivators and deterrents included economic compensation, screening process, time commitment, and stool donation logistics. Logistic regression and linear regression models estimated associations of study variables with self-assessed willingness to donate stool. 802 respondents completed our questionnaire: 387 (48.3%) age 21-30 years, 573 (71.4%) female, 323 (40%) health care workers. Country of residence, age and occupation were not associated with willingness to donate stool. Factors increasing willingness to donate were: already a blood donor (OR 1.64), male, altruism, economic benefit, knowledge of how FMT can help patients (OR 1.32), and positive attitudes towards FMT (OR 1.39). Factors decreasing willingness to donate were: stool collection unpleasant (OR 0.92), screening process invasive (OR 0.92), higher stool donation frequency, negative social perception of stool, and logistics of collection/transporting feces. We conclude that 1) blood donors and males are more willing to consider stool donation; 2) altruism, economic compensation, and positive feedback are motivators; and 3) screening process, high donation frequency, logistics of collection/transporting feces, lack of public awareness, and negative social perception are deterrents. Considering these variables could maximize donor recruitment and retention.

KEYWORDS: Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT), Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI), recurrent Clostridioides difficile infection (RCDI), fecal transplant donors, stool donors

Are narcissistic athletes mentally tough?Admiration (i.e., agentic narcissism) would be positively associated with mental toughness, whereas rivalry (i.e., antagonistic narcissism) would be negatively related

The effect of narcissistic admiration and rivalry on mental toughness. Harry Manley et al. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 148, 1 October 2019, Pages 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.009

Abstract: Are narcissistic athletes mentally tough? Here we examined the effect of narcissistic admiration and rivalry on mental toughness. Based on their contrasting behavioural correlates and cognitive affective-motivational basis, we predicted that admiration (i.e., agentic narcissism) would be positively associated with mental toughness, whereas rivalry (i.e., antagonistic narcissism) would be negatively related to mental toughness. In a sample of elite Thai athletes (N = 297), we assessed narcissistic admiration and rivalry, self-esteem, self-reported mental toughness, and coach ratings of mental toughness for a subset of athletes. Narcissistic admiration was positively associated with self and coach-ratings of mental toughness. In contrast, narcissistic rivalry was negatively associated with self and coach-ratings of mental toughness. These effects were independent of self-esteem and stress the importance of considering both the agentic and antagonistic sides of narcissism when addressing narcissism's relationship with mental toughness.

Both sexes wanted a long-term mate who is equally educated than they are; women wanted a short-term mate equally educated, unlike men; also, men's sexual/romantic desire was less sensitive to prospective mate's education

Mate preferences for educated partners: Similarities and differences in the sexes depend on mating context. Author links open overlay panel. Peter K. Jonason, Caitlin N. Antoon. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 148, 1 October 2019, Pages 57-61. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.036

Highlights
•    Both sexes wanted a long-term mate who is equally educated than they are.
•    Women wanted a short-term mate who is equally educated than they are.
•    Men wanted a short-term mate who is less educated than they are.
•    Men's sexual/romantic desire was less sensitive to prospective mate's education.
•    Interpersonal warmth had independent and similar effects on desirability.

Abstract: Evolutionary and sociocultural models of mate preferences suggest that education might be an important consideration for men and women, but this research is characterized by several limitations warranting more research. In this experiment (N = 1306), we focused on the impact of relative levels of education on the desirability of potential long-term and short-term mates, while holding physical attractiveness constant, and also examining the potential moderating influence of interpersonal warmth. Both sexes preferred mates of equal education (compared to less or more), for both relationship durations, but particularly for long-term mates. Men found less educated and interpersonally cold targets more appealing in the short-term context. Overall, men found targets more appealing than women did across both mating contexts. Our results replicate and extend research on the role of partner's education in people's mate preferences.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Pornography preferences, short-term mating, and infidelity: Men exhibit more interest in group sex scenarios than women, & intentions to commit infidelity are also associated with greater interest in group sex scenarios

Evolutionary approaches: Integrating pornography preferences, short-term mating, and infidelity. Catherine Salmon, Maryanne L. Fisher, Rebecca L. Burch. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 148, 1 October 2019, Pages 45-49, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.05.030

Abstract: There are a number of questions concerning human sexual psychology where pornography consumption may be particularly informative, yet evolutionary psychologists have been slow to incorporate it into research designs. This study examines the relationships between pornography preferences, individual's sex, proxies for short-term mating strategies (e.g., life history strategy, sociosexuality), and infidelity. For example, we predict that men, more than women, will be interested in group sex (i.e., threesomes and gangbang) scenarios in pornography as a result of selective pressures for sperm competition. Further, specific activities and sexual situations in pornography are likely to be differentially appealing based on the sexual strategies pursued by consumers. Thus, women who have higher, versus lower, intentions of committing infidelity will be more interested in activities like group sex, given the latter involves no commitment. Results suggest that men exhibit more interest in group sex scenarios than women, and intentions to commit infidelity are also associated with greater interest in group sex scenarios. Collectively, our findings demonstrate the usefulness of incorporating consumption of pornography measures in evolutionary social psychological research.


Self-esteem plays an important role in the development of partisanship among young people, where those with higher self-esteem are more likely to adopt a partisan identity than those with low self-esteem

Self-Esteem and the Development of Partisan Identity. Jennifer Wolak, Carey E. Stapleton. Political Research Quarterly, May 21, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912919851556

Abstract: Why do young people choose to identify with a political party? While existing accounts emphasize the importance of political socialization, we propose that young people’s self-perceptions also influence the adoption of partisan identities. Using survey data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, we show that self-esteem plays an important role in the development of partisanship among young people, where those with higher self-esteem are more likely to adopt a partisan identity than those with low self-esteem. Using responses from the 2012–2013 American National Election Study, we further show that the effects of self-esteem are concentrated among young adults, promoting the adoption of partisan identities during one’s impressionable years. By focusing on the inheritance of partisanship from one’s parents, scholars have underestimated the importance of young people’s traits in influencing the development of partisan identities.

Keywords: partisanship, partisan identity, self-esteem, political socialization

Most research has found that people exhibit altruism towards attractive people, suggesting altruistic behavior is driven by mate choice motivation

The role of prosocial behaviors in mate choice: A critical review of the literature. Manpal Singh Bhogal, Daniel Farrelly, Niall Galbraith. Current Psychology, May 27 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-019-00308-8

Abstract: Research has focused on the role of prosocial behaviors in mate choice, across both social and evolutionary psychology. Several studies provide strong support for the role of altruism in mate choice, whereby people find prosociality attractive in potential mates. As most research focuses on the role of altruism in mate choice, most research has found that people exhibit altruism towards attractive people, suggesting altruistic behavior is driven by mate choice motivation. Although studies have supported the notion that men’s altruism towards women is driven by mate choice, the findings are inconsistent, which may be due to the methodologies adopted by researchers. To our knowledge, this review paper is the first to critically review the literature concerning prosociality and mate choice. We provide an outline of the research thus far, methodological issues, and considerations for future research.

Keywords: Mate choice Prosocial behavior Sexual selection Game theory

Feral horses: Kin and non-kin of both sexes showed unusual interest in a dying foal; however, horses appeared to avoid dead conspecifics

Feral horses’ (Equus ferus caballus) behavior toward dying and dead conspecifics. Renata S. Mendonça et al. Primates, May 27 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10329-019-00728-x

Abstract: In the rapidly expanding field of comparative thanatology, reports from a wide range of taxa suggest that some aspects of a concept of death may be shared by many non-human species. In horses, there are only a few anecdotal reports on behaviors toward dead conspecifics, mostly concerning domestic individuals. Here, we describe the case of a 2-month-old, free-ranging male foal that died around 12 h after being found severely injured due to a presumed wolf attack, focusing on other individuals’ reactions to the dying foal. We also placed camera traps near horse carcasses to investigate reactions by other horses. Kin and non-kin of both sexes showed unusual interest in the dying foal. However, horses appeared to avoid dead conspecifics. Recording individual reactions to dead and dying conspecifics in naturalistic settings will enhance our knowledge about death-related behaviors in horses, allowing comparisons with other species that have been more thoroughly studied, to understand the evolutionary basis of these behaviors.

Keywords: Horse Death-related behaviors Thanatology Awareness of death Wolf attacks Injured individual

20 years of earnings data on Finnish twins: About 40% of the variance of women’s & little more than half of men’s lifetime labour earnings are linked to genetic factors; shared environment contribution is negligible

Heritability of lifetime earnings. Ari Hyytinen & Pekka Ilmakunnas & Edvard Johansson & Otto Toivanen. The Journal of Economic Inequality, May 14 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10888-019-09413-x

Abstract: Using twenty years of earnings data on Finnish twins, we find that about 40% of the variance of women’s and little more than half of men’s lifetime labour earnings are linked to genetic factors. The contribution of the shared environment is negligible. We show that the result is robust to using alternative definitions of earnings, to adjusting for the role of education, and to measurement errors in the measure of genetic relatedness.

Keywords Earnings inequality . Heritability . Twins . Genetics


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Enlightened One-Party Rule? Ideological Differences between Chinese Communist Party Members and the Mass Public on gender equality, political pluralism, and openness to international exchange

Enlightened One-Party Rule? Ideological Differences between Chinese Communist Party Members and the Mass Public. Chengyuan Ji, Junyan Jiang. Political Research Quarterly, May 22, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912919850342

Abstract: A popular view of nondemocratic regimes is that they draw followers mainly from those with an illiberal, authoritarian mind-set. We challenge this view by arguing that there exist a different class of autocracies that rule with a relatively enlightened base. Leveraging multiple nationally representative surveys from China over the past decade, we substantiate this claim by estimating and comparing the ideological preferences of Chinese Communist Party members and ordinary citizens. We find that party members on average hold substantially more modern and progressive views than the public on issues such as gender equality, political pluralism, and openness to international exchange. We also explore two mechanisms that may account for this party–public value gap—selection and socialization. We find that while education-based selection is the most dominant mechanism overall, socialization also plays a role, especially among older and less educated party members. Our findings caution against the simple, dichotomous characterization of political regimes and underscore an important tension between modernization and democratization in developing societies.

Keywords: ideology, mass-elite comparison, modernization, item response theory, authoritarian regime, China

Candidates presented to jobs as retail salespersons, servers, kitchen staff, janitors, or security guards: No discrimination at the callback stage against Indigenous Peoples, nor applicants from Indian reservations

Employment Discrimination against Indigenous Peoples in the United States: Evidence from a Field Experiment. Patrick Button, Brigham Walker. NBER Working Paper No. 25849. May 2019. https://www.nber.org/papers/w25849

Abstract: We conducted a resume correspondence experiment to measure discrimination in hiring faced by Indigenous Peoples in the United States (Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians). We sent employers realistic 13,516 resumes for common jobs (retail sales, kitchen staff, server, janitor, and security) in 11 cities and compared callback rates. We signaled Indigenous status in one of four different ways. We almost never find any differences in callback rates, regardless of the context. These findings hold after numerous robustness checks, although our checks and discussions raise multiple concerns that are relevant to audit studies generally.

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Conclusion
Our results from a large-scale field experiment of hiring discrimination where we sent 13,516 job applications of on-average identical applicants who were either Indigenous or white to jobs as retail salespersons, servers, kitchen staff, janitors, or security guards show a lack of discrimination at the callback stage, in net, against Indigenous Peoples. We also do not find bias against Native American applicants from Indian reservations.We do not find discrimination even when we estimate separately by city, occupation, or occupation and gender.

Don’t you want me, baby? Cardiac and Electrocortical Concomitants of Romantic Interest and Rejection: Rejection is associated with big cardiac deceleration (congruent with social pain)

Don’t you want me, baby? Cardiac and Electrocortical Concomitants of Romantic Interest and Rejection. F M van der Veen, A Burdzin, S J E Langeslag. Biological Psychology, May 25 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.05.007

Highlights
•    Romantic rejection is associated with cardiac deceleration.
•    Romantic match is associated with enhanced P3 amplitude.
•    Online dating can be used as a tool to experimentally induce romantic rejection and match.
•    Effects of real romantic evaluation are comparable to effects of virtual social evaluation.

Abstract: Online dating has become a very popular way to find a romantic partner. In the present study, we examined whether romantic interest and rejection in such a setting would evoke differential electrocortical and cardiac responses. For this purpose a database was created, similar to a dating website, where the participants’ personal information and photos were placed. Heterosexual, single participants (N = 61) evaluated the profiles of opposite-sex potential romantic partners and decided whether they would like to date this person or not. Subsequently, participants passively viewed (34 analyzable volunteers participated in the EEG session; 10 male; mean age = 20) the pictures of the potential partners together with their own judgment about the “dateability” of the potential partner, and the potential partner’s judgment of the “dateability” of the participant. After viewing the pictures participants received the email addresses to contact their matches. Electrocortical and cardiac responses to these “match” or “non-match” judgments were measured. A significantly larger P3 response was found when participants received a positive evaluation as compared to negative evaluations. This is in line with an explanation in terms of reward. A significantly larger cardiac deceleration was found when participants received a negative evaluation as compared to positive evaluations, which is in line with an explanation in terms of social pain. Findings are discussed in terms of activation of different parts of the anterior cingulate cortex.

The Declining Labor Market Prospects of Less-Educated Men

The Declining Labor Market Prospects of Less-Educated Men. Ariel Binder, John Bound. Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 33, Number 2, Spring 2019, Pages 163–190. https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.33.2.163

During the last 50 years, labor market outcomes for men without a college education in the United States worsened considerably. Between 1973 and 2015, real hourly earnings for the typical 25–54 year-old man with only a high school degree declined by 18.2 percent,1 while real hourly earnings for college-educated men increased substantially. Over the same period, labor-force participation by men without a college education plummeted. In the late 1960s, nearly all 25–54 year-old men with only a high school degree participated in the labor force; by 2015, such men participated at a rate of 85.3 percent.

In this article, we examine secular change in the US labor market since the 1960s. We have two distinct but related objectives. First, we assemble an overview of developments in the wage structure, focusing on the dramatic rise in the college wage premium. Second, we examine possible explanations for the decline in labor-force participation among less-educated men. One hypothesis has been that declining labor market activity is connected with declining wages in this population. While such a connection indicates a reduction in labor demand, we point out that the canonical neoclassical framework, which emphasizes a labor demand curve shifting inward across a stable labor supply curve, does not reasonably account for this development. This is because wages have not declined consistently over the sample period, while labor-force participation has. Moreover, the uncompensated elasticity of labor supply necessary to align wage changes with participation changes, during periods when both were declining, is implausibly large.

We then examine two oft-discussed developments outside of the labor market: rising access to Social Security Disability Insurance (DI), and the growing share of less-educated men with a prison record. Rising DI program participation can account for a nontrivial share of declining labor-force participation among men aged 45–54, but appears largely irrelevant to declining participation in the 25–44 year-old group. Additionally, we document that most nonparticipating men support themselves primarily on the income of other family members, with a distinct minority depending primarily on their own disability benefits. The literature has not progressed far enough to admit a reasonable quantification of the impact of rising exposure to prison on the labor-force participation rate, but recent estimates suggest that sizable effects are possible. We flag this as an important area for further research.

The existing literature, in our view, has not satisfactorily explained the decline in less-educated male labor-force participation. This leads us to develop a new explana-tion. As others have documented, family structure in the United States has changed dramatically since the 1960s, featuring a tremendous decline in the share of less-educated men forming and maintaining stable marriages. We additionally show an increase in the share of less-educated men living with their parents or other relatives. Providing for a new family plausibly provides a man with incentives to engage in labor market activity: conversely, a reduction in the prospects of forming and maintaining a stable family removes an important labor supply incentive. At the same time, the possibility of drawing income support from existing relatives creates a feasible labor-force exit. We suspect that changing family structure shifts male labor supply incentives inde-pendently of labor market conditions, and that, in addition, changing family structure may moderate the effect of a male labor demand shock on labor-force participation. Because male earning potential is an important determinant of new marriage formation, a persistent labor demand shock that reduces male earning potential could impact male labor-force participation through its effects on the marriage market.

Much prior research has addressed US labor market trends over the last half century, including several recent reviews of male employment (Moffitt 2012; Council of Economic Advisors 2016; Abraham and Kearney 2018). Our aim is not to review the literature, but rather to point out where we think consensus has developed and where we think important questions remain unanswered. In the synthesis that emerges, the phenomenon of declining prime-age male labor-force participation is not coherently explained by a series of causal factors acting separately. A more reasonable interpreta-tion, we argue, involves complex feedbacks between labor demand, family structure, and other factors that have disproportionately affected less-educated men.

[...]

Conclusion
During the last 50 years, the earnings of prime-age men in the United States have stagnated and dispersed across the education distribution. At the same time, the labor-force participation rates of men without a college education have steadily declined. While wage and participation trends are often linked for this population, we have argued that this connection cannot solely be the result of an inward labor demand shift across a stable and elastic labor supply curve. The uncompensated labor supply elasticities implied by the twin declines of wages and participation during the 1970s, 1980s, and 2000s appear too large to be plausible. Moreover, labor-force participation continued to decrease in the 1990s while wages were rising. While the increasing availability of disability benefits and the increase in the fraction of the population with prior incarceration exposure may help explain some of the participation decline, we doubt either factor can explain the bulk of the decline.

We have argued that more plausible explanations for the observed patterns involve feedbacks from male labor demand shocks, which often involve substantial job displacement, to worker adjustment frictions and to family structure. Marriage rates, and corresponding male labor supply incentives, have also fallen for reasons other than changing labor demand. Moreover, we have noted interactions between labor demand and disability benefit take-up, and between mass incarceration and family structure. These factors have all converged to reduce the feasibility and desirability of stable employment, leading affected men—who may not often be eligible for disability or other benefits—to participate sporadically in the labor market and depend primarily on family members for income support.

We attribute more free will to agents who behave immorally compared to a neutral control; also, when expectations for norm adherence are violated, we infer that an agent expressed their free will to do so

Monroe, Andrew E., and Dominic Ysidron. 2019. “Do Moral Judgements Motivate Free Will Belief?.” PsyArXiv. May 25. doi:10.31234/osf.io/8wu4g

Abstract: Free will is often appraised as a necessary input to for holding others morally or legally responsible for misdeeds. Recently, however, Clark and colleagues (2014), argued for the opposite causal relationship. They assert that moral judgments and the desire to punish motivate people’s belief in free will. In three experiments—two exact replications (Studies 1 & 2b) and one close replication (Study 2a) we seek to replicate these findings. Additionally, in a novel experiment (Study 3) we test a theoretical challenge derived from attribution theory, which suggests that immoral behaviors do not uniquely influence free will judgments. Instead, our nonviolation model argues that norm deviations, of any kind—good, bad, or strange—cause people to attribute more free will to agents, and attributions of free will are explained via desire inferences. Across replication experiments we found no evidence for the original claim that witnessing immoral behavior causes people to increase their belief in free will, though we did replicate the finding that people attribute more free will to agents who behave immorally compared to a neutral control (Studies 2a & 3). Finally, our novel experiment demonstrated broad support for our norm-violation account, suggesting that people’s willingness to attribute free will to others is malleable, but not because people are motivated to blame. Instead, this experiment shows that attributions of free will are best explained by people’s expectations for norm adherence, and when these expectations are violated people infer that an agent expressed their free will to do so.

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Need for Theoretical Reinterpretation
Study 3 presents a theoretical challenge to the motivated free will belief viewpoint. Clark et al. (2014) predicate their conclusions on the claim that observing immoral behaviors activates a desire to punish the wrongdoers, and thereby causes people to inflate their belief in free will as a means to justify their desire to punish. This critical role of a desire to punish requires that the effect on free will beliefs be unique to people’s response to immoral behaviors—other norm violations, such as strange or morally good behaviors, would not engender such a desire to punish. However, in three experiments (Studies 2a, 2b, 3) we found that the desire to punish failed to mediate the effect of immoral behavior on people’s general belief in free will. Most critically, Study 3 revealed that norm violation more generally, not immorality specifically, explained variations in people’s free will judgments. Agents who committed an immoral act, a praiseworthy act, or simply strange act were judged as having more free will than agent who performed a morally neutral act. Importantly, whereas all three norm-violating behaviors (blameworthy, praiseworthy, and strange behavior) significantly differed from the control behavior, blameworthy behaviors did not differ from the praiseworthy or the strange behavior.

Together these findings argue for a non-moral explanation for free will judgments with norm-violation as the key driver. This account explains people’s tendency to attribute more free will to behaving badly agents because people generally expect others to follow moral norms, and when they don’t, people believe that there must have been a strong desire to perform the behavior. In addition, a norm-violation account is able to explain why people attribute more free will to agents behaving in odd or morally positive ways. Any deviation from what is expected causes people to attribute more desire and choice (i.e., free will) to that agent. Thus our findings suggest that people’s willingness to ascribe free will to others is indeed malleable, but considerations of free will are being driven by basic social cognitive representations of norms, expectations, and desire. Moreover, these data indicate that when people endorse free will for themselves or for others, they are not making claims about broad metaphysical freedom. Instead, if desires and norm-constraints are what affect ascriptions of free will, this suggests that what it means to have (or believe) in free will is to be rational (i.e., making choices informed by desires and preferences) and able to overcome constraints.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Preferences for beards when judging fathering potential were strongest among mothers; they prefered beards when judging fathering potential but not attractiveness, which may reflect selection for direct benefits

Mothers are sensitive to men's beards as a potential cue of paternal investment. Barnaby J. W. Dixson, Siobhan Kennedy-Costantini, Anthony J. Lee, Nicole L. Nelson. Hormones and Behavior, Volume 113, July 2019, Pages 55-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2019.04.005

Highlights
•    The first study to test if motherhood is associated with preferences for men's beards.
•    Preferences for beards when judging fathering potential were strongest among mothers.
•    Parous women prefered beards when judging fathering potential but not attractiveness.
•    Women's preferences for men's beards may reflect selection for direct benefits.

Abstract: Mating strategy theories assert that women's preferences for androgen dependent traits in men are stronger when the costs of reduced paternal investment are lowest. Past research has shown that preferences for facial masculinity are stronger among nulliparous and non-pregnant women than pregnant or parous women. In two studies, we examine patterns in women's preferences for men's facial hair – likely the most visually conspicuous and sexually dimorphic of men's secondary sexual traits – when evaluating men's masculinity, dominance, age, fathering, and attractiveness. Two studies were conducted among heterosexual pregnant women, mothers, non-contractive and contraceptive users. Study 1 used a between-subjects sample (N = 2103) and found that mothers had significantly higher preferences for beards when judging fathering than all other women. Pregnant women and mothers also judged beards as more masculine and older, but less attractive, than non-contractive and contraceptive users. Parous women judged beards higher for age, masculinity and fathering, but lower for attractiveness, than nulliparous women. Irrespective of reproductive status, beards were judged as looking more dominant than clean-shaven faces. Study 2 used a within-subjects design (N = 53) among women surveyed during pregnancy and three months post-partum. Judgments of parenting skills were higher for bearded stimuli during pregnancy among women having their first baby, whereas among parous women parenting skills judgments for bearded stimuli were higher post-partum. Our results suggest that mothers are sensitive to beardedness as a masculine secondary sexual characteristic that may denote parental investment, providing evidence that women's mate preferences could reflect sexual selection for direct benefits.

Check also Mating Strategies and the Masculinity Paradox: How Relationship Context, Relationship Status, and Sociosexuality Shape Women’s Preferences for Facial Masculinity and Beardedness. Rebecca E. Stower et al. Archives of Sexual Behavior, Apr 23 2019. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/04/mating-strategies-and-masculinity.html


Rewritable fidelity: Male voles readily form new pair-bonds; repeated pair-bond dissolution didn't negatively impact affect nor behavior toward pups; older males spent less time with strange females

Rewritable fidelity: How repeated pairings and age influence subsequent pair-bond formation in male prairie voles. William M. Kenkel et al. Hormones and Behavior, Volume 113, July 2019, Pages 47-54. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2019.04.015

Highlights
•    Male prairie voles readily form new pair-bonds at least ten times.
•    Repeated pair-bond dissolution did not negatively impact affect.
•    Male voles did not show experience-related changes in paternal behavior.
•    Older males associated less with strange females.

Abstract: The prairie vole has proven a valuable animal model for the neurobiological study of social monogamy and pair bonding. Previous research has focused almost exclusively on virgin prairie voles forming pair-bonds for the first time – a paradigm with limited relevance to human social behavior. In the present study, we used stud males to assess the impact of repeated pair-bond formation and dissolution on the behaviors and neurobiology relevant to subsequent pair-bond formation. Stud males were tested for behavioral and neurobiological effects of repeated pair-bonding after the 1st, 5th, and 10th pairing. Aged breeder males that experienced minimal pair-bond dissolution were included to control for the effects of aging. Results showed that male prairie voles readily form new pair-bonds after repeated pair-bond dissolution. In terms of social monogamy, old age was associated with males spending less time in close social contact with unfamiliar females. There were no effects of age nor number of lifetime pairings on depressive-like behavior or paternal behavior toward pups. Within the brain, the patterns of oxytocin (OTR) and vasopressin type 1a (V1aR) receptors were largely unaffected, with the following exceptions: 1) males with only a single pairing had higher OTR densities in the paraventricular thalamus and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis; 2) there was an age-related increase in the density of OTR in the caudate putamen and an age-related decline in the density of V1aR in the cortical amygdala. The present findings have translational relevance to human social behavior in the context of aging and social experience.

Preregistration... Comparing Dream to Reality: We observed deviations from the plan in all studies, and, more importantly, in all but one study, at least one of these deviations was not fully disclosed

Claesen, Aline, Sara L. B. T. Gomes, Francis Tuerlinckx, and wolf vanpaemel. 2019. “Preregistration: Comparing Dream to Reality.” PsyArXiv. May 9. doi:10.31234/osf.io/d8wex

Abstract: Doing research inevitably involves making numerous decisions that can influence research outcomes in such a way that it leads to overconfidence in statistical conclusions. One proposed method to increase the interpretability of a research finding is preregistration, which involves documenting analytic choices on a public, third-party repository prior to any influence by data. To investigate whether, in psychology, preregistration lives up to that potential, we focused on all articles published in Psychological Science with a preregistered badge between February 2015 and November 2017, and assessed the adherence to their corresponding preregistration plans. We observed deviations from the plan in all studies, and, more importantly, in all but one study, at least one of these deviations was not fully disclosed. We discuss examples and possible explanations, and highlight good practices for preregistering research.

Rolf Degen summarizing: Men respond to all kinds of womanly stimuli with a rise in testosterone, which may not even subside with age

Human reproductive behavior, life history, and the Challenge Hypothesis: A 30-year review, retrospective and future directions. Peter B. Gray et al. Hormones and Behavior, May 25 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2019.04.017

Highlights
•    Reviews research on human life histories and the Challenge Hypothesis.
•    We conducted a citation analysis of 400 Google Scholar citations in the human literature, identifying key patterns.
•    We review findings within several domains: competition, courtship and sexual behavior, and partnerships and paternal care.
•    We discuss extensions of the Challenge Hypothesis to juvenile and senescent life stages.
•    We discuss how research on testosterone administration provides causal insight into effects of testosterone in humans.

Abstract: The Challenge Hypothesis (Wingfield et al., 1990) originally focused on adult male avian testosterone elevated in response to same-sex competition in reproductive contexts. The purpose of the present paper is to demonstrate how the Challenge Hypothesis has shaped ideas about human life histories. We conduct a citation analysis, drawing upon 400 Google Scholar citations in the human literature to identify patterns in this body of scholarship. We cover key factors, such as context and personality traits, that help explain variable testosterone responses such as winning/losing to adult competitive behavior. Findings from studies on courtship and sexual behavior indicate some variation in testosterone responses depending on factors such as motivation. A large body of research indicates that male testosterone levels are often lower in contexts of long-term committed partnerships and nurturant fathering and aligned with variation in male mating and parenting effort. As the Challenge Hypothesis is extended across the life course, DHEA and androstenedione (rather than testosterone) appear more responsive to juvenile male competitive behavior, and during reproductive senescence, baseline male testosterone levels decrease just as male life history allocations show decreased mating effort. We discuss how research on testosterone administration, particularly in older men, provides causal insight into effects of testosterone in humans, and how this “natural experiment” can be viewed in light of the Challenge Hypothesis. We synthesize central concepts and findings, such as an expanded array of costs of testosterone that inform life history tradeoffs between maintenance and reproductive effort, and we conclude with directions for future research.

People are unable to self-project into deteriorated versions of themselves; this is not based on similarity in mind or body, as say philosophical & psychological theories

De Freitas, Julian, and George Alvarez. 2019. “Struggling to Imagine Ourselves.”  PsyArXiv. May 11. doi:10.31234/osf.io/c4wqg

Abstract: The uniquely human ability to imagine alternate versions of ourselves draws on specialized neural networks and plays a critical role in planning and decision making. But is there any constraint on our ability to self-project into a remembered or anticipated version of ourselves? And if so, might this constraint also affect our ability to relate to others? Here we show that people are unable to self-project into deteriorated versions of themselves. This psychological roadblock is not based on similarity in mind or body, as current philosophical and psychological theories predict, but on an overlapping cognitive template— in order to feel that someone is you, you have to attribute to them a shared essence. Moreover, individual differences in how people identify with different versions of themselves predict their ethical opinions, including endorsement of abortion or assisted death, suggesting that the capacity for self-projection also constrains people’s moral judgments about others.