Thursday, May 23, 2019

People who posted health messages on social media subsequently became more likely to act on those, not wanting to appear as hypocrites

When audiences become advocates: Self-induced behavior change through health message posting in social media. Robin L. Nabi et al. Computers in Human Behavior, May 23 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.05.030

Highlights
●    Posting a health video to Facebook enhanced the poster’s own health behavior.
●    Message sharing was best predicted by intensity of emotional response.
●    Health behavior self-efficacy also boosted message sharing.
●    Directives to share the message did not boost sharing behavior.

Abstract: Couched within the self-effects paradigm of social media influence, this research examines how posting a health promotion message to one’s social media influences one’s own, versus others’, later health behaviors, with emphasis on emotional intensity and message sharing directives. 382 participants viewed one of eight versions of a melanoma awareness video and were given the opportunity to post it to their Facebook page. Video sharers reported increased sun safety behavior one week later, even after accounting for a range of sun safety-related predictors. Emotional intensity and self-efficacy emerged as key message sharing predictors. These findings align with cognitive dissonance theory, offering unique evidence in a mediated context with relatively enduring effects, and expands the dialogue about the self-persuasive power of social media.

Chimpanzees: A case of food storage shows some future-oriented cognition; we need for a more nuanced interpretation of their cognitive skills & an in-depth understanding of their unique socio-ecological niche

Wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) exploit tortoises (Kinixys erosa) via percussive technology. Simone Pika, Harmonie Klein, Sarah Bunel, Pauline Baas, Erwan Théleste & Tobias Deschner. Scientific Reports 9, Article number: 7661 (2019). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-43301-8

Abstract: Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), one of humankinds’ closest living relatives, are known to hunt and consume the meat of various animal taxa. Although some researchers have presented indirect evidence that chimpanzees may also prey on tortoises, until now, direct observations of this behaviour did not exist. Here, we provide systematic descriptions of the first observations of chimpanzee predation on tortoises (Kinixys erosa). We made these unprecedented observations on newly habituated chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) of the Rekambo community, living in the Loango National Park, Gabon. The behaviour qualified as customary, that is occurring in most or all adult males, involved a distinct smashing technique, and resulted frequently in food sharing with other group members. Our observations shed new light on the hitherto little understood percussive technology of chimpanzees, and expand our current knowledge on chimpanzees’ dietary and predatory repertoires with respect to reptiles. We also report a case of food storage and discuss it in the context of future-oriented cognition. Our findings suggest the need for more nuanced interpretations of chimpanzees’ cognitive skills in combination with an in-depth understanding of their unique socio-ecological niches. They further emphasize the importance of nonhuman primate field observations to inform theories of hominin evolution.

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My comments: I intuitively didn't trust the assurances that these primates didn't think of the next day. Here, they store some of the food for the next day.

There are lots of reports of chimps not saving tools for the next day's labors. But this is probably so because most are too simple. Now, some have been seen thinking of their needs in the future.

Consumers select and prepare foods with higher amounts of sugar when experiencing sadness relative to when they feel guilt

The effects of guilt and sadness on sugar consumption. Sarah Lefebvre, Jonathan Hasford, Ze Wang. Journal of Business Research, Volume 100, July 2019, Pages 130-138. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.03.023

Abstract: This research examines how the discrete negative emotions of guilt and sadness impact individual preference for carbohydrates, specifically in the form of sugar. Using Cognitive Appraisal Theory and research in biological psychology, we identify how these two discrete emotions influence the release of cortisol, which impacts sugar preferences. The results of four studies indicate that consumers select and prepare foods with higher amounts of sugar when experiencing sadness relative to when they feel guilt. Implications for public policy as well as marketing practitioners are discussed.

Shoplifted items, as advertised via ‘haul’ photographs on social media, would be those relevant for increasing mate value (cosmetic, skin and hair care products, perfumes, and products that signal luxury and financial status)

The Five Finger Discount: Shoplifting as a Reproductive Strategy for Increasing Mate Value. Catherine A. Bourgeois, Geneva Reid, Maryanne L. Fisher. Human Ethology, Volume 34, 83-92,  published May 23, 2019
https://doi.org/10.22330/he/34/083-092

ABSTRACT: Shoplifting, the act of taking an item from a store without paying for it, is prevalent on social media platforms. Shoplifters post photographs featuring their stolen items, often including the retail value of each item, and tag the photograph as either a ‘lifting haul’ or ‘shoplifting haul’ so that it may be found by others. We argue that the items targeted for shoplifting relate to one’s desire to increase their mate value. In contemporary life, one has the ability to alter and manipulate their perceived mate value, via the aid of cosmetic, skin and hair care products, perfumes, and products that signal luxury and financial status. When viewed in this context, an evolutionary analysis of shoplifting via the specific items targeted for theft may shed light on intrasexual competition in terms of individuals competing to improve their relative mate value. Hence, we hypothesized that shoplifted items, as advertised via ‘haul’ photographs on social media, would be those relevant for increasing mate value (e.g., improve one’s appearance or markers of financial status). A researcher blind to the study hypothesis coded the stolen items within the photographs and the coded items were then categorized into themes for analysis. Our hypothesis was supported. We discuss the use of social media platforms for effectively conducting human ethological research.

Keywords:Social media, Mate value, Shoplifting, Luxury products, Intrasexual competition.

Tech heavy users are lower in well-being than less frequent users; tech nonusers are generally lower in well-being than light users of digital media, suggesting that limited use may be beneficial

More Time on Technology, Less Happiness? Associations Between Digital-Media Use and Psychological Well-Being. Jean M. Twenge. Current Directions in Psychological Science, May 22, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721419838244

Abstract: Studies using large samples consistently find that more frequent users of digital media are lower in psychological well-being than less frequent users; even data sets used as evidence for weak effects show that twice as many heavy users (vs. light users) are low in well-being. Differences in perspective may stem from the statistics used; I argue that comparing well-being across levels of digital-media use is more useful than the percentage of variance explained, as most studies on digital-media use do not measure other influences on well-being (e.g., genetics, trauma), and these other influences, unlike frequency of digital-media use, are rarely controllable. Nonusers are generally lower in well-being than light users of digital media, however, suggesting that limited use may be beneficial. Longitudinal and experimental studies suggest that at least some of the causation moves from digital-media use to lower well-being. Mechanisms may include the displacement of activities more beneficial to well-being (sleep, face-to-face social interaction), upward social comparison, and cyberbullying.

Keywords: digital media, well-being, happiness, depression, social media, electronic devices

Check also The Sad State of Happiness in the United States and the Role of Digital Media. Jean M. Twenge. World Happiness Report 2019, Mar 20 2019. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/03/the-sad-state-of-happiness-in-united.html

We say that olfaction is a very powerful thing, that we recognize some smells from our childhood when we find them again later in life, but we almost never dream smells.

Olfactory perception in dreams: Analysis of a long dream series. Michael Schredl. International Journal of Dream Research,     Vol 12, No 1 (April 2019)
https://doi.org/10.11588/ijodr.2019.1.57845

Abstract: The present study analyzed the frequency of olfactory perceptions in a long dream series (N = 11,180 dreams) reported by a single participant. Overall, about 0.30% of the dreams included references to olfactory perceptions with unpleasant odors outweighing positive ones. Moreover, most of the olfactory perceptions are uncommon with regard to typical everyday life. To expand these findings, it would be very interesting to study larger samples using a diary paradigm including explicit questions about type, quality, and commonness of the dream odors.

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My comment: We say that olfaction is a very powerful thing, that we recognize some smells from our childhood when we find them again later in life, but we almost never dream smells.

In the pre-Christmas shopping season prosocial subjects almost donate 50% less compared to prosocials in summer; the higher prosocials’ self-reported stress level, the lower the donations; no "donation fatigue" effect

Müller Stephan, Rau HA (2019) Too cold for warm glow? Christmas-season effects in charitable giving. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0215844. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0215844

Abstract: This paper analyzes seasonal effects and their potential drivers in charitable giving. We conduct two studies to analyze whether donations to the German Red Cross differ between the Christmas season and summer. In study 1 we find that in the pre-Christmas shopping season prosocial subjects almost donate 50% less compared to prosocials in summer. In study 2 we replicate the low donations in the Christmas season. In an extensive questionnaire we control for several causes of this effect. The data suggest that the higher prosocials’ self-reported stress level, the lower the donations. The higher their relative savings, the lower the giving. Our questionnaire rules out that “donation fatigue” matters. That is, donations do not depend on the number of charitable campaigns subjects are confronted with and their engagement in these activities during Christmas season outside the lab.

Preoperative anxiety of hospitalized patients exposed to Spiritist “passe” showed greater reductions in anxiety & muscle tension & increases in well-being than those exposed Sham or standard medical care

Effect of Spiritist “Passe” on Preoperative Anxiety of Surgical Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Double-Blind. Élida Mara Carneiro et al. Journal of Religion and Health, May 22 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10943-019-00841-7

Abstract: The objective of this study was to evaluate the preoperative anxiety of hospitalized patients exposed to Spiritist “passe,” laying on of hand with the intention of healing (Sham) and without laying on of hand. Other variables as depression, pain, physiological parameters, muscle tension, and well-being were assessed. Patients in the Spiritist “passe” intervention group showed greater reductions in anxiety (p < 0.05) and muscle tension (p < 0.01) and increases in well-being (p < 0.01). More marked reductions in preoperative anxiety and muscle tension and improvement in well-being were observed in patients exposed to Spiritist “passe” compared to Sham or standard medical care.

Keywords: Spiritual healing Energy therapies Complementary therapies Anxiety Surgery

Does Fraternal Birth Order Predict Male Homosexuality, Bisexuality, and Heterosexual Orientation with Same-Sex Attraction? Evidence from a Greek-Speaking Sample from Greece

Does Fraternal Birth Order Predict Male Homosexuality, Bisexuality, and Heterosexual Orientation with Same-Sex Attraction? Evidence from a Greek-Speaking Sample from Greece. Menelaos Apostolou. Archives of Sexual Behavior, May 22 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-019-01466-3

Abstract: Studies have established that having older brothers is associated with an increased incidence of male homosexuality. This so-called fraternal birth order effect has been found in different times and cultural settings. The current study attempted to examine whether this effect was present in the Greek cultural context and whether it could also predict bisexuality or heterosexuality with occasional same-sex attractions. On the basis of an online sample of 1617 Greek-speaking participants, it was found that, for men, a higher number of older brothers were associated with an increased probability to be homosexual, but it had no effect on the probability to be bisexual or heterosexual with same-sex attractions. In women, the number of older brothers had not any effect on sexual orientation.

Keywords: Fraternal birth order effect Sexual orientation Homosexuality Same-sex attraction Bisexuality Older brothers

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Coverture’s demise in the US: Women’s rights led to shifts in household portfolios; a positive shock to credit supply; & a reallocation of labor towards non-agriculture & capital intensive industries, aiding industrialization

Women’s Liberation as a Financial Innovation. Moshe Hazan and David Weiss. October 23, 2018. https://m.tau.ac.il/~davidweiss/WomenRights.pdf

ABSTRACT: In one of the greatest extensions of property rights in human history, common law countries began giving rights to married women in the 1850s. Before this “women’s liberation,” the doctrine of coverture strongly incentivized parents of daughters to hold real estate, rather than financial assets such as money, stocks, or bonds. We exploit the staggered nature of coverture’s demise across US states to show that women’s rights led to shifts in household portfolios; a positive shock to the supply of credit; and a reallocation of labor towards non-agriculture and capital intensive industries. Investor protection deepened financial markets aiding industrialization.

Keywords: Women’s liberation, financial innovation, investor protection, economic growth.

 Property rights are at the heart of capitalism’s ability to efficiently allocate resources. Inone of the greatest extensions of property rights in human history, common law countriesbegan giving rights to married women in the second half of the19th century. Before this“women’s liberation,” married women were subject to the laws of coverture.1Coverturehad detailed regulations as to which spouse had ownership and control over various aspectsof property, both before and after marriage, and strongly incentivized women to hold realestate, rather than financial assets such as money, stocks, orbonds. This paper explores theeconomic ramifications of coverture’s demise, and the resultant expansion of investor pro-tection to women. We exploit the staggered nature of coverture’s demise across the United States to show that these rights had a large impact on household portfolios, credit markets, and labor allocations.

Under coverture, property was divided into two types. Moveable property (also referredto as “personal property”), including money, stocks, bonds, furniture, and livestock, became the husband’s property entirely upon marriage. He could sell or give the property away, oreven bequeath it to others. Real assets, such as land and structures, were placed under the husband’s partial control while remaining in the wife’s name. He could manage the assets as he saw fit, including any income generated by the assets, but he could not sell orbequeath the property without his wife’s consent.2 After analyzing the laws of coverture, Holcombe (1983) concludes that “[w]hatever the reasons forthe distinction between realand personal [moveable] property, the legal rules applyingto these categories of propertywere substantially different. The common law afforded married women considerable protection with respect to real property. It afforded no protection for their personal property.” (Holcombe 1983, p.20).

By differentially allocating property rights, coverture affected portfolio incentives notonly for women, but for parents wishing to bequeath or gift assets to their daughters. Con-sider a father who wants to bequeath his estate to his daughter upon his death. He wouldface an incentive to hold his wealth in real assets. Indeed, parents did bequeath to daughtersin the US as primogeniture was abandoned after the War of Independence. The default became to divide equally inheritances of both types of assets equally among children, including girls (Shammas, Salmon and Dahlin 1987, p.67). Therefore, our first prediction is that undoing coverture should cause portfolios to shift towards moveable assets, such as financial assets, because removing legal constraints allows households to purchase assets withhigher returns or diversify their portfolios.3This shift in portfolios towards moveable assets represents an increase in the supply of financial assets. Accordingly, our second predictionis that after rights are granted, we expect bank deposits–and loans–to increase, along with a reduction in interest rates. An increase in the supply of loanable funds should aid industrialization, as entrepreneurs find capital to be cheaper and thus invest more readily. Greater industrialization yields a sectoral reallocation of workers. Accordingly, our third predictionis that coverture’s demise leads to a shift in the labor forceaway from agriculture. More-over, even within the non-agricultural sector, cheaper capital causes greater investment inindustries that are more capital intensive. Thus, our fourth and final prediction is that rightslead to a relative increase in employment in capital intensive industries.

Those assigned to the perspective taking intervention did not empathize more than subjects assigned to no intervention; instead, subjects assigned to the objective intervention down-regulated their emotions & empathized less

Wondra, Joshua D., and Sylvia Morelli. 2018. “Limitations of the Evidence That Perspective Taking Increases Empathy.” PsyArXiv. October 13. doi:10.31234/osf.io/95fnr

Abstract: Perspective taking is commonly believed to increase empathy. To support this idea, empirical research must show two pieces of evidence. First, perspective taking interventions should make people empathize more than they would by default. Second, the increase in empathy should be due to perspective taking, and not some other feature of the intervention. Much of the evidence that perspective taking increases empathy comes from studies that compare a perspective taking condition to a condition where subjects are asked to “remain objective”. However, if subjects are not objective to begin with, then asking them to “remain objective” might make them empathize less, which makes it unclear if perspective taking also makes them empathize more. In two new experiments and one replication of the well-known “Katie Banks” experiment, subjects were assigned to a perspective taking intervention, an objective intervention, or no intervention. Subjects assigned to the perspective taking intervention did not empathize more than subjects assigned to no intervention; instead, subjects assigned to the objective intervention down-regulated their emotions and empathized less. Further evidence about whether, when, and how perspective taking increases empathy is needed.

Memento mori, melancholy, and the resident ornamental hermit: A person paid to dress like a druid, serve wine and read poetry, living in your estate's grotto

Before the Garden Gnome, the Ornamental Hermit: A Real Person Paid to Dress like a Druid. Allison Meier. Atlas Obscura, March 18, 2014. https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-history-of-hermits-in-gardens

While some gardeners might now throw in a gnome statue among their flowers and shrubberies, back in the 18th century wealthy estate owners were hiring real people to dress as druids, grow their hair long, and not wash for years. These hired hermits would lodge in shacks, caves, and other hermitages constructed in a rustic manner in rambling gardens. It was a practice mostly found in England, although it made it up to Scotland and over to Ireland as well.

Gordon Campbell, a Professor of Renaissance Studies at the University of Leicester, recently published The Hermit in the Garden: From Imperial Rome to Ornamental Gnome with Oxford University Press. It’s the first book to delve into the history of the ornamental hermit in Georgian England. As Campbell explains in this video for the book:
“Recruiting a hermit wasn’t always easy. Sometimes they were agricultural workers, and they were dressed in a costume, often in a druid’s costume. There was no agreement on how druids dressed, but in some cases they wore what we would call a dunce’s cap. It’s a most peculiar phenomenon, and understanding it is one of the reasons why I have written this book.”
How the live-in hermit came to be a fashionable touch to a splendid garden goes back to the Roman emperor Hadrian with his villa at Tivoli, which included a small lake with a structure in it built for one person to retreat. When the ruins of this early hermitage were unearthed in the 16th century, it was suggested that Pope Pius IV build one for himself, which he did at the Casina Pio IV. Yet from here it gradually verged away from religious devotees isolating themselves for spiritual reflection to hermitting being an 18th century profession for those willing to put up with the stipulations.

As Campbell cites from an advertisement referenced in Sir William Gell’s A Tour in the Lakes Made in 1797, ”the hermit is never to leave the place, or hold conversation with anyone for seven years during which he is neither to wash himself or cleanse himself in any way whatever, but is to let his hair and nails both on hands and feet, grow as long as nature will permit them.”

Others asked that their hermits not wear shoes or even to entertain party guests with personalized poetry or the serving of wine. It might seem like a whimsical garden feature, but in fact it was all about that most celebrated of Georgian England emotions: melancholy. Introspection and a somberness of spirit were prized among the elite, and the roles they asked their hermits to play embodied this. A 1784 guide to the Hawkstone estate in Shropshire belonging to Sir Richard Hill describes its resident hermit:
“You pull a bell, and gain admittance. The hermit is generally in a sitting posture, with a table before him, on which is a skull, the emblem of mortality, an hour-glass, a book and a pair of spectacles. The venerable bare-footed Father, whose name is Francis (if awake) always rises up at the approach of strangers. He seems about 90 years of age, yet has all his sense to admiration. He is tolerably conversant, and far from being unpolite.”

We care about the minds of others, attempting to understand others' thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, intentions, & emotions; but perspective taking or increasing attention to behavioral cues increase accuracy only in very specific circumstances

Through a looking glass, darkly: Using mechanisms of mind perception to identify accuracy, overconfidence, and underappreciated means for improvement. Nicholas Epley, Tal Eyal. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, May 22 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.aesp.2019.04.002

Abstract: People care about the minds of others, attempting to understand others' thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, intentions, and emotions using a highly sophisticated process of social cognition. Others' minds are among the most complicated systems that any person will ever think about, meaning that inferences about them are also made imperfectly. Research on the processes that enable mental state inference has largely developed in isolation from research examining the accuracy of these inferences, leaving the former literature somewhat impractical and the latter somewhat atheoretical. We weave these literatures together by describing how basic mechanisms that govern the activation and application of mental state inferences help to explain systematic patterns of accuracy, error, and confidence in mind perception. Altering any of these basic processes, such as through perspective taking or increasing attention to behavioral cues, is likely to increase accuracy only in very specific circumstances. We suggest the most widely effective method for increasing accuracy is to avoid these inference processes altogether by getting another's perspective directly (what we refer to as perspective getting). Those in the midst of understanding the mind of another, however, seem largely unable to detect when they are using an effective versus ineffective strategy while engaging in mind reading, meaning that the most effective approaches for increasing interpersonal understanding are likely to be highly undervalued. Understanding how mind perception is activated and applied can explain accuracy and error, identifying effective strategies that mind readers may nevertheless fail to appreciate in their everyday lives.

Early-life family disruption (death or divorce of a parent) causes fund managers to be more risk averse when they manage their own funds

Betzer, André and Limbach, Peter and Rau, P. Raghavendra and Schürmann, Henrik, Till Death (Or Divorce) Do us Part: Early-Life Family Disruption and Fund Manager Behavior (March 16, 2019). SSRN http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3353686

Abstract: We show that early-life family disruption (death or divorce of a parent) causes fund managers to be more risk averse when they manage their own funds. Treated managers take lower idiosyncratic, systematic, and downside risk than untreated managers. This effect is most pronounced for managers who experienced family disruption during their formative years and in cases of parental deaths when the bereaved parent either had no new partner or had little social support. Treated managers also invest less in lottery-like stocks, make smaller tracking errors, and bet less on factors during recessions, but do not perform worse than their untreated cohorts. Our evidence indicates that familial background affects economic decisions later in life even for finance professionals.

Keywords: Family Disruption, Formative Experiences, Portfolio Activities, Risk-Taking
JEL Classification: G11, G23, G41

Popular version: Broken Homes Produce More Cautious Fund Managers, https://www.institutionalinvestor.com/article/b1fhb6b555gjlq/Broken-Homes-Produce-More-Cautious-Fund-Managers

Crews would routinely return with whales that had been left to rot, “which could not be used for food. This was not regarded as a problem by anybody.”

The Most Senseless Environmental Crime of the 20th Century. Charles Homans. Pacific Standard, Jun 14, 2017. https://psmag.com/social-justice/the-senseless-environment-crime-of-the-20th-century-russia-whaling-67774

Fifty years ago 180,000 whales disappeared from the oceans without a trace, and researchers are still trying to make sense of why. Inside the most irrational environmental crime of the century.

Excerpts:

*  In fact, the country’s fleets had killed nearly 18 times that many, along with thousands of unreported whales of other species. It had been an elaborate and audacious deception: Soviet captains had disguised ships, tampered with scientific data, and misled international authorities for decades. In the estimation of the marine biologists Yulia Ivashchenko, Phillip Clapham, and Robert Brownell, it was “arguably one of the greatest environmental crimes of the 20th century.”

*  Why did a country with so little use for whales kill so many of them?

*  The Japanese, motivated as they were by domestic demand for whale meat, were “at least understandable” in their actions, he wrote. “I should not say that as a scientist, but it is possible to understand the difference between a motivated and unmotivated crime.” Japanese whalers made use of 90 percent of the whales they hauled up the spillway; the Soviets, according to Berzin, used barely 30 percent. Crews would routinely return with whales that had been left to rot, “which could not be used for food. This was not regarded as a problem by anybody.”

*  The scientific report for the Sovetskaya Rossiya fleet’s 1970-71 season noted that the ship captains and harpooners who most frequently violated international whaling regulations also received the most Communist Party honors. “Lies became an inalienable part and perhaps even a foundation of Soviet whaling,” Berzin wrote.

*  Clapham and Ivashchenko now think that Soviet whalers killed at least 180,000 more whales than they reported between 1948 and 1973. It’s a testament to the enormous scale of legal commercial whaling that this figure constitutes only a small percentage—in some oceans, about five percent—of the total killed by whalers in the 20th century. The Soviets, Dmitri Tormosov told me, were well aware of all that had come before them, and were driven by a kind of fatalistic nationalism. “The point,” he says, “was to catch up and get their portion of whale resources before they were all gone. It wasn’t intended to be a long industry.”

Mate Choice in Visually Impaired and Blind People

Are You Seeing Him/Her? Mate Choice in Visually Impaired and Blind People. Or Fekler, Ya’Arit Bokek-Cohen & Yoram Braw. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education, May 15 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/1034912X.2019.1617412

ABSTRACT: We examined whether individuals who are VI (visually impaired; people with low vision or totally blind) choose their romantic partners differently than those who are sighted. The theoretical framework that informed our inquiry is Social Exchange Theory. Fifty-five participants who are VI and fifty-one participants who are sighted were administered mate preference and marital satisfaction questionnaires. Participants who are VI also answered open-ended questions regarding difficulties in finding a suitable mate. Participants who are VI did not significantly differ from participants who are sighted in their rated importance of traits of an ideal romantic partner, as well as their relationship satisfaction. No tradeoff of resources among participants who are VI and their partners was found, i.e. they did not “pay” for their disability by coupling with a partner who has a lower socio-economic status than theirs. Participants who were VI told about their main difficulties in finding a mate and offered proposals to mitigate these difficulties. We conclude by proposing ways to help individuals who are VI to establish intimate relationships.

KEYWORDS: Blindness, visual impairment, mate choice, reading aloud questionnaire, romantic relationship, social exchange

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

How Eroticism and Nurturance Differs in Polyamorous and Monogamous Relationships

Eroticism Versus Nurturance: How Eroticism and Nurturance Differs in Polyamorous and Monogamous Relationships. Rhonda N. Balzarini et al. Social Psychology, April 17, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000378

Abstract. Romantic partners provide both erotic and nurturing experiences, though these may emerge more strongly in different phases of a relationship. Unlike individuals in monogamous relationships, those in polyamorous relationships can pursue multiple romantic relationships simultaneously, potentially allowing them to experience higher levels of eroticism and nurturance. This research examined eroticism and nurturance among individuals in polyamorous and monogamous relationships. As expected, polyamorous participants experienced less eroticism but more nurturance in their relationships with their primary partner compared to secondary. Furthermore, people in polyamorous relationships reported more nurturance with primary partners and eroticism with secondary partners compared to people in monogamous relationships. These findings suggest that polyamory may provide a unique opportunity for individuals to experience both eroticism and nurturance simultaneously.

Keywords: polyamory, monogamy, nurturance, eroticism, relationship length






Romantic relationships are important to health and well-being (Coombs, 1991; Lillard & Waite, 1995; Putzke, Elliott, & Richards, 2001; Simon, 2002), in part because they often meet people’s needs for emotional support, care, and sexual gratification (Hazan & Shaver, 1994). However, fulfilling these needs simultaneously can be challenging, as the experience of eroticism (i.e., feeling of arousal, passion, lust, sexual pleasure) and nurturance (i.e., feelings of intimacy, warmth and love) often follow different time courses in a relationship (Hatfield, Traupmann, & Sprecher, 1984; Sprecher & Regan, 1998; Tennov, 1979; Winston, 2004). As a result, individuals in relationships are often stuck trying to balance their need for eroticism and their need for nurturance (Hazan & Shaver, 1994), as experiences of eroticism are more prominent in the early stages, and experiences of nurturance develop over time as erotic desires decline. People in polyamorous relationships – relationships that involve consensual intimate relationships with more than one partner – may seek out additional relationships in order to fulfill multiple needs by different partners. In the current research we sought to assess whether partners in polyamorous relationships differ with regard to their experienced eroticism and nurturance, and whether individuals in polyamorous relationships are able to maintain higher levels of eroticism and nurturance than individuals in monogamous relationships through having multiple relationships.

Theoretical Framework

Van Anders Sexual Configuration Theory (2015) advances that eroticism, or “aspects of sexuality tied to bodily pleasure, orgasm, arousal, tantalization, and related concepts,” and nurturance, or “warm loving feelings and closeness,” serve fundamental roles in relationships. Sexual Configuration Theory proposes that individuals may pursue some intimate relationships for eroticism, others for nurturance, and still others for both of these qualities. While van Anders (2015) provides a theoretical context for the role of eroticism and nurturance in relationships, and while research related to these concepts – such as passionate and companionate love – can help provide insight into how eroticism and nurturance may be experienced in relationships, to date it remains unclear if engaging in relationships with multiple partners results in different experiences with eroticism and nurturance. That is, do individuals who engage in polyamorous relationships and thus have multiple simultaneous partners experience higher levels of eroticism and nurturance than those who rely on one partner to meet their needs?

Passionate and Companionate Love

While the current paper seeks to assess eroticism and nurturance, the fulfillment of these needs has most often been studied in the context of love, which is frequently conceptualized as either passionate or companionate (Hatfield & Walster, 1978). Consequently, we rely on research on passionate and companionate love to serve as a proxy for what might be found when exploring eroticism and nurturance in relationships.

Passionate love is characterized as an intensely emotional state that involves longing for union with another person and strong sexual desire between partners. With companionate love, in contrast, strong sexual desire is replaced by increased intimacy (e.g., caring, understanding, attachment) that requires time to develop fully (Sprecher & Regan, 1998). Although passionate and companionate love are not mutually exclusive, they may be more prominent at different stages of a relationship. More specifically, passionate love is most closely associated with the early stages or the “honeymoon” period of a relationship (though passion can still be experienced in the later stages, it tends to decline on average), and companionate love with the later stages (Hatfield et al., 1984; Sprecher & Regan, 1998).

Outsourcing Needs in Relationships

The differing time courses of passionate and companionate love are also consistent with evolutionary perspectives about the formation of adult pair bonds. Since pair bonds require time and close physical proximity to form, the characteristics of the early stage of a relationship include an intense longing for closeness with a partner (Hazan & Diamond, 2000; Tennov, 1979). However, over time, an attachment bond is thought to form, reducing the intensity of the desire for physical proximity as the relationship becomes more predictable and familiar (Eagle, 2007). Therefore, from an evolutionary perspective, feelings of passionate love are the mechanism by which initial attraction becomes attachment, facilitating the initiation of longer term romantic relationships. Social and evolutionary psychologists even agree on a timeframe for this shift, such that passionate love is thought to last approximately 2 years, ±6 months (Tennov, 1979), while attachment bonds typically form 1.5–3 years after a relationship is initiated (Winston, 2004).

Importantly, Eagle (2007) argues the features of attachment work against erotic desire. According to Eagle, for a romantic partner to serve as an attachment figure they need to be available, familiar, and predictable. These characteristics, however, thwart feelings of sexual desire, which she argues is conversely ignited by novelty and unpredictability. If, in fact, familiarity and predictability are key features of an attachment figure and if sexual desire for a partner is diminished by these characteristics, then once an attachment bond is formed in a relationship, it is likely that sexual desire will decrease. Similar ideas are echoed by Mitchell (2002) and Perel (2007) who have independently argued that initial erotic desire – and related feelings of passion – wanes as partners impose boundaries on one-another to reduce relational insecurity, and that sexual desire can be negatively impacted by increasing closeness and familiarity. Clinical reports (Levine, 2003), along with qualitative (Sims & Meana, 2010) and quantitative research (Levy, 1994) provide additional support for these arguments, such that familiarity, monotony, preoccupation with non-sexual matters, and predictability are shown to undermine erotic desire.

To the extent that passionate and companionate love are related to eroticism and nurturance, this research and theorizing may suggest differing trajectories for the experience of erotic desire and nurturance. If this is the case, like different forms of love, it may be challenging to experience high levels of eroticism and nurturance with one romantic partner at a single point in time. In fact, this problem is likely compounded by the burden of contemporary expectations about the functions of romantic relationships. Today, it is commonly assumed that committed relationships should meet many higher order needs like happiness and personal fulfillment, while at the same time, many couples find it challenging to invest the time and energy needed to fulfill all these needs (see Finkel, Hui, Carswell, & Larson, 2014). One solution to this problem is to alter expectations about romantic relationships and outsource needs. Indeed, it has been proposed that couples could alter their expectations about relationships; that is, rather than relying on one partner to meet both erotic and nurturant needs, individuals could outsource their needs to other relationships, diversifying their need fulfillment across multiple romantic or sexual partners (Conley, Matsick, Moors, & Ziegler, 2017; Conley & Moors, 2014).

In consensually non-monogamous relationships, all partners agree it is acceptable to have additional romantic or sexual partners (Conley, Ziegler, Moors, Matsick, & Valentine, 2013). Given that consensual non-monogamy provides the opportunity to simultaneously pursue relationships, it may be possible for individuals in consensually non-monogamous relationships to concurrently experience high levels of eroticism along with nurturance through relationships with various partners. Thus, if relationships tend to decline in eroticism and increase in nurturance over time, it is possible that individuals in consensually non-monogamous relationships seek out secondary relationships to experience both eroticism and nurturance.

Relationship Orientation

In the current research we focus on polyamory, the practice and acceptance of having multiple emotionally close relationships with the consent of all partners involved (Barker & Langdridge, 2010). Polyamorous relationships are particularly useful to study in this context because unlike other popular forms of consensually non-monogamous relationships (e.g., open and swinging), partners are permitted to seek both eroticism and nurturance outside of a dyad. The most common polyamorous relationship configuration is characterized by a distinction between primary and secondary relationship partners (Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Lehmiller, et al., 2018; Veaux, 2011; Veaux, Hardy, & Gill, 2014). In this configuration, a primary relationship is between two partners who have been together for a longer duration, typically share a household and finances, who are married, and who have or are raising children together (if children are desired) (Balzarini et al., 2017; Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Lehmiller, et al., 2018; Sheff, 2013; Veaux, 2011). In such arrangements, partners beyond the primary relationship are often referred to as “secondary” partners and consist of less ongoing commitments and a shorter relationship duration (Balzarini et al., 2017; Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Lehmiller, et al., 2018).

Previous research has shown that meaningful differences also emerge among partners in polyamorous and monogamous relationships. For example, Mogilski and colleagues (2017) found that individuals engage in more mate retention behaviors (i.e., public signals of possession, direct guarding) and report greater satisfaction with monogamous and primary partners compared to secondary partners. Furthermore, Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Lehmiller, et al. (2018) found that participants reported greater acceptance from friends and family, as well as higher investment, satisfaction, and commitment in relationships with monogamous or primary partners compared to secondary partners. In contrast, participants reported greater quality of alternatives, higher romantic secrecy (e.g., they hid more aspects of their relationship from others) and a greater proportion of time spent on sexual activity in their relationship with secondary partners compared to their relationships with primary partners and to reports for monogamous partners (Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Lehmiller, et al., 2018). This research suggests that primary partners resemble monogamous partners in many ways, though secondary partners seem to diverge with proportion of time spent on sex being one of the unique features that is higher among secondary partners. In contrast to Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Lehmiller, et al. (2018) findings, Mitchell and colleagues (2014) found that polyamorous individuals actually reported more sexual contact with primary partners (which could be because people tend to spend more time with primary compared to secondary partners) but greater fulfillment of sexual needs with their secondary partners compared to primary. While this research did not assess comparisons to monogamous relationships, it still provides initial evidence in support of the idea that individuals may seek out consensual extradyadic relationships in order to have diverse needs fulfilled.

Although primary-secondary relationships are the most common polyamorous arrangement (Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Lehmiller, et al., 2018), not all people in such relationships identify with this labeling, instead, some consider multiple partners to be primary (co-primary) or no partners to be primary (non-primary; Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Lehmiller, et al., 2018; Labriola, 2003). The only study to date to assess relationship quality among such configurations has found that even in co-primary and non-primary relationships, there is often a partner who can be characterized as more primary, or “pseudo-primary,” and another as more secondary, or “pseudo-secondary.” Despite the designated primary status, individuals in polyamorous relationships who reject primary-secondary status are often more inclined to live with one partner over another, and this partner is typically the individual with whom they are married to and have kids with. In such cases, participants report greater acceptance from friends and family, higher commitment, investment and communication for this partner (pseudo-primary), and romantic secrecy and proportion of time spent on sex for the pseudo-secondary partner. Balzarini and colleagues (2018) have argued that such differences may reflect the practical allocation of relationship investments imposed by a society that is not particularly tolerant of consensually non-monogamous relationships that may occur despite motivated striving for equality across partners. As such, in co-primary and non-primary relationships, the pseudo- primary partner resembles primary partners in primary-secondary configurations and we would therefore expect to find similar patterns of eroticism and nurturance across these alternative forms of polyamorous relationships.

Cross Partner Effects

If individuals in consensually non-monogamous relationships are able to experience higher levels of eroticism and nurturance through having their needs met across partners, it is possible that the diversification of needs could influence concurrent relationships. Indeed, recent research by Muise and colleagues (2018) suggests that greater sexual need fulfillment with a primary partner was associated with greater sexual satisfaction with their secondary partner, though greater sexual need fulfillment with a secondary partner was associated with less satisfaction with a primary partner. Furthermore, while research by Mitchell and colleagues (2014) found that greater need fulfillment (in some domains) with one partner was associated with less satisfaction with the other, when need fulfillment was low with one partner, having another partner meet those needs was associated with higher satisfaction with both partners. Though when need fulfillment was lower in one relationship, need fulfillment in another relationship detracted from satisfaction, resulting in lower satisfaction with the first partner. This research suggests that diversifying needs across partners can have both detrimental and beneficial effects.

Current Study

Building on previous research (Balzarini et al., 2017; Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Lehmiller, et al., 2018; Mogilski et al., 2017) assessing differences among polyamorous and monogamous partners, and drawing on Sexual Configuration Theory (van Anders, 2015), we sought to assess the extent to which eroticism and nurturance differ among polyamorous and monogamous partners. Given that primary relationships in polyamory resemble monogamous relationships and both of these relationships are characterized by greater commitment, investments, and efforts to retain a mate (Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Holmes, et al., 2018; Mogilski et al., 2017), we would expect these relationships to be characterized by greater nurturance. Conversely, most evidence suggests a greater proportion of time is spent on sexual activity with secondary partners (Balzarini et al., 2017; Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Lehmiller, et al., 2018; Balzarini, Dobson, Kohut, & Lehmiller, 2018; see Mitchell et al., 2014 for an exception) and that secondary partners provide greater sexual need fulfillment than primary partners (Mitchell et al., 2014) – which provides preliminary evidence that these relationships may be characterized as more erotically fulfilling. If this is the case, it would suggest that individuals in polyamorous relationships are experiencing higher levels of eroticism and nurturance than individuals in monogamous relationships through diversifying their needs. Additionally, we also sought to explore whether there are unique benefits diversifying needs across partners, thus we wanted to assess whether experiencing more eroticism or nurturance with one partner in a polyamorous relationship influenced a concurrent relationship. Lastly, given that previous research has shown that monogamous and polyamorous participants present important demographics differences (see Balzarini, Dharma, Kohut, Campbell, Holmes, et al., 2018 for a review) and because sociodemographic factors may influence eroticism and nurturance (van Anders, 2015), we further sought to assess how relationship orientation (e.g., monogamous vs. polyamorous), primary status (e.g., identifying partners as primary-secondary, co-primary, and non-primary), relationship length, gender, sexual orientation, and age impacted reports of eroticism and nurturance.



Better natural: Perceived attractiveness from the natural condition was 1.5 points higher than perceived attractiveness from the simulated upper lip filler injection, & 2.6 points higher than the simulated upper lip lift

Perception of upper lip augmentation utilizing simulated photography. Gary Linkov, Elizabeth Wick, Dorina Kallogjeri, Collin L. Chen, Gregory H. Branham. May 15, 2019. Archives of Plastic Surgery 2019;46(3):248-254. https://doi.org/10.5999/aps.2018.01319

Abstract
Background: No head to head comparison is available between surgical lip lifting and upper lip filler injections to decide which technique yields the best results in patients. Despite the growing popularity of upper lip augmentation, its effect on societal perceptions of attractiveness, successfulness and overall health in woman is unknown.

Methods: Blinded casual observers viewed three versions of independent images of 15 unique patient lower faces for a total of 45 images. Observers rated the attractiveness, perceived success, and perceived overall health for each patient image. Facial perception questions were answered on a visual analog scale from 0 to 100, where higher scores corresponded to more positive responses.

Results: Two hundred and seventeen random observers with an average age of 47 years (standard deviation, 15.9) rated the images. The majority of observers were females (n=183, 84%) of white race (n=174, 80%) and had at least some college education (n=202, 93%). The marginal mean score for perceived attractiveness from the natural condition was 1.5 points (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.9–2.18) higher than perceived attractiveness from the simulated upper lip filler injection condition, and 2.6 points higher (95% CI, 1.95–3.24) than the simulated upper lip lift condition. There was a moderate to strong correlation between the scores of the same observer.

Conclusions: Simulated upper lip augmentation is amenable to social perception analysis. Scores of the same observer for attractiveness, successfulness, and overall health are strongly correlated. Overall, the natural condition had the highest scores in all categories, followed by simulated upper lip filler, and lastly simulated upper lip lift.

Keywords: Lip / Surgery, plastic / Injections / Perception

Ideological migration: Observational Data on 150 Erstwhile Democrats

Klein, Daniel B. and Fleming, Cy, WalkAway: Observational Data on 150 Erstwhile Democrats (May 17, 2019). Forthcoming, SOCIETY; George Mason University Department of Economics Research Paper Series. SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3389650

Abstract: #WalkAway signifies walking away from the Democratic Party. The movement was launched in June 2018 by Brandon Straka, when he uploaded what became the prototypical video of an individual telling his or her story about walking away. During 130 days, 150 erstwhile Democrats provided video testimonials at Straka’s official YouTube channel. Of the 150 erstwhile Democrats, 23% report catching a lot of grief, plus another 16% report catching some grief, for questioning or deviating from leftist opinions. Most importantly, 70% suggest a civility gap between the left and non-left. These are lower bounds, since the testimonials are spontaneous monologues, not replies to questions. Many other observed features are reported, to deepen our thinking about ideological migration. However, filters involved in the sample must be borne in mind. A linked Excel file contains complete data.

Keywords: ideology, ideological migration, party politics, nationalism
JEL Classification: A13, H0, P0, Z1



I find no effect of political ideology or religiosity on women’s likelihood of faking orgasm, or men and women’s levels of sexual desire; neither political ideology nor religiosity comes close to reaching significance

Ideological Correlates of Sexual Behavior: Linking political ideology, religiosity, and gender ideology with orgasm and desire. Emily Ann Harris. PhD thesis, Univ of Queensland, 2018. https://espace.library.uq.edu.au/data/UQ_4d2929a/s4200251_phd_thesis.pdf?Expires=1558512862&Signature=g4Q4~8x0OJtaiOc-zT7dRI1~hSoOyA1D0qrhcUj66N5N5U3UbbrEUc7AgeSlKinGfFphnCxQL0F6jICUjqycbVodBH7QW~9MrxyU1vD-6Rvqvasdb1kKvP-nULCuQkLcE5DyL2xEnLcmKSP7TPmUeNiQ9K-XnT2I-UZZhZAdtdaG1MfVkxcK4FwzOQXIPZbu0y4h~ABiJ1cQnhDB~qXmdv-m-4s3jtcORF-OPLlFfUJmVoZ4Tpsd~~FFYfddJUSt2iEFn2P3yAdq8L99RHFcBUKiIyursfz833C1mTiWQOciMOr9Zr3WgmcOYJcNi2AYGXaz9T1CNkLdrH7Z8WrJmQ__&Key-Pair-Id=APKAJKNBJ4MJBJNC6NLQ

Abstract
Ideologies provide a set of norms and values that guide our attitudes and behavior in times of uncertainty. Given theprivate nature of sex, we may be particularly reliant on our pre-existing ideas about the world to guide our actions in the bedroom. Previous research on the influence of social values on sexual behavior has typically focused on group-level processes, forexample, research on the cultural suppression of female sexuality (Baumeister & Twenge, 2002). Scholars in the social sciences have discussed the ways in which we internalize social norms and values, and how these might influence our experience of sex, for example through sexual scripts (Gagnon & Simon, 1973). There is, however, limited empirical work testing the association between worldviews, or ideologies, and sexual behavior at the individual level. The aim of the present thesis is to investigate whether ideologies are predictive of sexual behavior. I focus on three ideologies, namely, political ideology, religiosity, and gender ideology, and three aspects of sexuality: orgasm (Chapter 3), faking orgasm (Chapter 4), and sexual desire (Chapter 5).
In Chapter 3, I present findings from two surveys of women (N = 662) showing that traditional gender ideology is indirectly linked with frequency of orgasm. I find that women who endorse a benevolently sexist worldview (i.e., a traditional gender ideology) are more likely to believe that men are sexually selfish. This belief then predicts decreased willingness to ask for sexual pleasure, which in turn predicts less frequent orgasms. This study provides the first evidence that traditional gender ideology constrains sexual pleasure (though indirectly). In Chapter 4, I show that hostile and benevolent sexism are predictive of lifetime frequency of faking orgasm in women. Women high in benevolent sexism faked their orgasm less frequently, whereas women high in hostile sexism faked their orgasm more frequently. The studies presented in Chapters 3 and 4 show that women who endorse a traditional gender ideology may not actively pursue sexual pleasure, or feel the need to exaggerate their sexual pleasure. Where previouswork has shown that benevolent sexism has negative consequences for women in social and relationship contexts, the findings presented in Chapters 3 and 4 show that benevolent sexism also has implications for women’s lives.
These studies contribute to an existing literature that has sought to identify and challenge the ways in which patriarchal values shape women’s sexuality. In general, feminist scholars and social scientists have emphasized the ways in which women’s sexuality is socially determined. Far less work has been done on the social influences on men’s sexuality. Relatedly, academic and lay theories of sexuality propose that women’s sexuality is more sensitive to the social environment relative to men’s sexuality (Baumeister, 2000; Regan & Berscheid, 1995). We tested this assumption in Chapter 5 by measuring men and women’s sexual desire over time in order to assess variation in desire, and the degree to which desire is associated with social and psychological factors. We found that the patterns of sexual desire between men and women are remarkably similar. We found no gender differences in sexual desire variability, nor did gender moderate any of the effects of social and psychological factors on desire.
In Chapters 4 and 5, I find no effect of political ideology or religiosity on women’s likelihood of faking orgasm, or men and women’s levels of sexual desire. In both studies, neither political ideology nor religiosity comes close to reaching significance. Thus, these two ideologies may be too psychologically distal to have a meaningful impact on sexual outcomes. Further, the relevance of political ideology and religion with regards to sexuality may have faded over time, or at least narrowed to specific domains of sexuality, such as sexual orientation and gender identity (Aosved & Long, 2006). Gender and gender ideology, on the other hand, emergeas consistent themes across my three studies. As such, when it comes to ideology, it is our ideas about men and women in society that are most likely to guide our sexual behavior. I discuss the implications and future directions of these findings in Chapter 6.

The neural and genetic correlates of satisfying sexual activity in heterosexual pair‐bonds

The neural and genetic correlates of satisfying sexual activity in heterosexual pair‐bonds. Bianca P. Acevedo et al. Brain and Behavior. 2019;e01289. March 14 2019 DOI: 10.1002/brb3.1289

Abstract
Introduction: In humans, satisfying sexual activity within a pair‐bond plays a significant role in relationship quality and maintenance, beyond reproduction. However, the neural and genetic correlates for this basic species‐supporting function, in response to a pair‐bonded partner, are unknown.

Methods: We examined the neural correlates of oxytocin‐ (Oxtr rs53576) and vaso‐pressin‐ (Avpr1a rs3) receptor genotypes with sexual satisfaction and frequency, among a group of individuals in pair‐bonds (M relationship length = 4.1 years). Participants were scanned twice (with functional MRI), about 1‐year apart, while viewing face images of their spouse and a familiar, neutral acquaintance.

Results: Sex satisfaction scores showed significant interactions with Oxtr and Avprvariants associated with social behaviors in a broad network of regions involved in reward and motivation (ventral tegmental area, substantia nigra [SN], and caudate), social bonding (ventral pallidum), emotion and memory (amygdala/hippocampus), hormone control (hypothalamus); and somatosensory and self‐other processing (SII, frontal, and temporal lobe). Sexual frequency interactions also showed activations in the SN and paraventricular hypothalamus for Avpr, and the prefrontal cortex for Oxtr.

Conclusions: Satisfying sexual activity in pair‐bonds is associated with activation of subcortical structures that support basic motivational and physiological processes; as well as cortical regions that mediate complex thinking, empathy, and self‐other processes highlighting the multifaceted role of sex in pair‐bonds. Oxtr and Avpr gene variants may further amplify both basic and complex neural processes for pair‐bond conservation and well‐being.

KEYWORDS: fMRI, oxytocin, pair‐bonding, prefrontal cortex, sexual frequency, sexual satisfaction,vasopressin

Personality traits predict daily spatial behavior; extraversion positively related to daily spatial behavior, especially to the number of different places visited, the total distance traveled, and the entropy of movement

Big Five personality traits predict daily spatial behavior: Evidence from smartphone data. Peilin Ai, Yuanyuan Liu, Xi Zhao. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 147, 1 September 2019, Pages 285-291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.04.027

Abstract: The field of psychology is increasingly interested in daily spatial behavior, regarded as the diversity and regularity of people visiting various places. By combining survey data on the personality traits of 243 college students with their mobility patterns extracted from smartphone records, the current study examined the relationships between the Big Five personality traits and daily spatial behavior. Results showed that extraversion positively related to daily spatial behavior, especially to the number of different places visited, the total distance traveled, and the entropy of movement. Agreeableness positively related to the range of movement. Conscientiousness negatively related to the number of different places visited. There was no evidence that neuroticism and openness relate to daily spatial behavior.

Psychology and morality of political extremists: They show a lower positive emotion & a higher negative emotion than partisan users, but their differences in certainty is not significant; we found no evidence for elevated moral foundations

Psychology and morality of political extremists: evidence from Twitter language analysis of alt-right and Antifa. Meysam Alizadeh et al. EPJ Data Science20198:17. May 14 2019. https://doi.org/10.1140/epjds/s13688-019-0193-9

Abstract: The recent rise of the political extremism in Western countries has spurred renewed interest in the psychological and moral appeal of political extremism. Empirical support for the psychological explanation using surveys has been limited by lack of access to extremist groups, while field studies have missed psychological measures and failed to compare extremists with contrast groups. We revisit the debate over the psychological and moral appeal of extremism in the U.S. context by analyzing Twitter data of 10,000 political extremists and comparing their text-based psychological constructs with those of 5000 liberal and 5000 conservative users. The results reveal that extremists show a lower positive emotion and a higher negative emotion than partisan users, but their differences in certainty is not significant. In addition, while left-wing extremists express more language indicative of anxiety than liberals, right-wing extremists express lower anxiety than conservatives. Moreover, our results mostly lend support to Moral Foundations Theory for partisan users and extend it to the political extremists. With the exception of ingroup loyalty, we found evidences supporting the Moral Foundations Theory among left- and right-wing extremists. However, we found no evidence for elevated moral foundations among political extremists.

They found that empathy increased across the life span, particularly after age 40, and more recent cohorts were higher in empathy

Longitudinal Changes in Empathy Across the Life Span in Six Samples of Human Development. Jeewon Oh et al. Social Psychological and Personality Science, May 20, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619849429

Abstract: The development of empathy is a hotly debated topic. Some studies find declines and others an inverse U-shaped pattern in empathy across the life span. Yet other studies find no age-related changes. Most of this research is cross sectional, and the few longitudinal studies have their limitations. The current study addresses these limitations by examining changes in empathy in six longitudinal samples (total N = 740, age 13–72). In a preliminary study (N = 784), we created and validated a measure of empathy out of the California Adult Q-Sort. The samples were combined for multilevel analyses in a variant of an accelerated longitudinal design. We found that empathy increased across the life span, particularly after age 40, and more recent cohorts were higher in empathy.

Keywords: empathy, life span development, Q-Sorts, personality

Monday, May 20, 2019

Males with a mother living in their group have higher paternity success in bonobos (but not chimpanzees)

Males with a mother living in their group have higher paternity success in bonobos but not chimpanzees. Martin Surbeck et al. Current Biology, Volume 29, Issue 10, 20 May 2019, Pages R354-R355. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.03.040

Summary: In many group-living mammals, mothers may increase the reproductive success of their daughters even after they are nutritionally independent and fully grown [1]. However, whether such maternal effects exist for adult sons is largely unknown. Here we show that males have higher paternity success when their mother is living in the group at the time of the offspring’s conception in bonobos (N = 39 paternities from 4 groups) but not in chimpanzees (N = 263 paternities from 7 groups). These results are consistent with previous research showing a stronger role of mothers (and females more generally) in bonobo than chimpanzee societies.

The Illusion of Stable Preferences over Major Life Decisions: Desired fertility is very unstable, but that most people perceive their desires to be stable

The Illusion of Stable Preferences over Major Life Decisions. Maximilian W. Mueller, Joan Hamory Hicks, Jennifer Johnson-Hanks, Edward Miguel. NBER Working Paper No. 25844, May 2019. https://www.nber.org/papers/w25844

Abstract: We examine the stability of preferences over time using panel data from Kenya on fertility intentions, realizations, and recall of intentions. We find that desired fertility is very unstable, but that most people perceive their desires to be stable. Under hypothetical scenarios, few expect their desired fertility to increase over time. Moreover, when asked to recall past intentions, most respondents report previously wanting exactly as many children as they desire today. Biased recall of preferences over a major life decision could have important implications for measuring excess fertility, the evolution of norms, and the perceived need for family planning programs.

We forecast experiencing a greater amount of regret (both affective & cognitive) than we actually experience; predicting more affective regret coincides with lower well-being

Predicting with your head, not your heart: Forecasting errors and the impact of anticipated versus experienced elements of regret on well-being. Tonya M. Buchanan, Joshua Buchanan, Kylie R. Kadey. Motivation and Emotion, May 20 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11031-019-09772-y

Abstract: Research suggests that when predicting our future emotions, affective forecasting errors are frequent (Wilson and Gilbert in Adv Exp Soc Psychol 35:345–411, 2003), influence motivation (Wilson and Gilbert in Curr Dir Psychol Sci 14:131–134, 2005), and drive decisions and behaviors (Dunn and Laham Affective forecasting: a user’s guide to emotional time travel, Psychology Press, London, 2006). Regret can fall prey to these same errors (Gilbert et al., in Psychol Sci 15:346–350, 2004). Recent research characterizes two distinct components of regret: an affective element and cognitive element associated with maladaptive and functional outcomes, respectively (Buchanan et al., in Judgment and Decision Making 11:275–286, 2006). We explored forecasting of these elements across two studies. In Study 1, we investigated how accurately individuals forecast each component of regret, and how this relates to well-being. Participants forecasted experiencing a greater amount of regret (including affective and cognitive components) than they actually experienced. Additionally, forecasted (compared to experienced) components of regret uniquely predicted well-being outcomes, suggesting that predicting more affective regret coincides with lower well-being. In Study 2, forecasting errors in overall regret were eliminated by asking participants to focus on cognitive elements of regret prior to forecasting.

Keywords: Regret Affective forecasting Emotion Well-being Motivation

Romantic initiation strategies: Men to a greater degree than women would use direct approaches & women would use indirect ones (having a friend introduce them, waiting for the other to do something)

Men and women’s plans for romantic initiation strategies across four settings. Susan Sprecher, Stanislav Treger, Nicole Landa. Current Psychology, May 20 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12144-019-00298-7

Abstract: This study, with a sample (N = 735) of both university students and non-student adults, examined the various strategies that men and women believe they would use to initiate romantic contact with an attractive other in four different settings: social gathering, bar/nightclub, class/workplace, and Facebook. We found that men to a greater degree than women reported they would use direct approaches (e.g., initiate a conversation) and women to a greater degree than men reported they would use the indirect strategy of having a friend introduce them and the passive strategy of waiting for the other to do something. Men’s greater expectation of being direct in relationship initiation (relative to women) was found across the settings. Shyness was associated with the lower likelihood of expecting to be direct in initiation strategies, although the strength of the association was stronger for men than for women and depended on both the particular initiation strategy and the setting. The findings offer insights into the dynamics of relationship development and how plans for initiation strategies may differ for men and women, including the differential influence of shyness on romantic initiation for men and women.

Keywords: Relationship initiation strategies Relationship initiation Gender differences Shyness

Compared with their lower-class counterparts, higher-class individuals were more overconfident, which made them appear more competent & more likely to attain social rank

The social advantage of miscalibrated individuals: The relationship between social class and overconfidence and its implications for class-based inequality. Belmi, Peter,Neale, Margaret A.,Reiff, David,Ulfe, Rosemary. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, May 20, 2019. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000187

Understanding how socioeconomic inequalities perpetuate is a central concern among social and organizational psychologists. Drawing on a collection of findings suggesting that different social class contexts have powerful effects on people’s sense of self, we propose that social class shapes the beliefs that people hold about their abilities, and that this, in turn, has important implications for how status hierarchies perpetuate. We first hypothesize that compared with individuals with relatively low social class, individuals with relatively high social class are more overconfident. Then, drawing on research suggesting that overconfidence can confer social advantages, we further hypothesize that the overconfidence of higher class individuals can help perpetuate the existing class hierarchy: It can provide them a path to social advantage by making them appear more competent in the eyes of others. We test these ideas in four large studies with a combined sample of 152,661 individuals. Study 1, a large field study featuring small-business owners from Mexico, found evidence that individuals with relatively high social class are more overconfident compared with their lower-class counterparts. Study 2, a multiwave study in the United States, replicated this result and further shed light on the underlying mechanism: Individuals with relatively high (vs. low) social class tend to be more overconfident because they have a stronger desire to achieve high social rank. Study 3 replicated these findings in a high-powered, preregistered study and found that individuals with relatively high social class were more overconfident, even in a task in which they had no performance advantages. Study 4, a multiphase study that featured a mock job interview in the laboratory, found that compared with their lower-class counterparts, higher-class individuals were more overconfident; overconfidence, in turn, made them appear more competent and more likely to attain social rank.

Participants who played digital games more, spent more time logged to the internet, reported higher levels of internet addiction, but lower levels of depression

Games We Play: Wellbeing of Players of Live and Digital Games. Tihana Brkljačić et al. Chapter 6 of Multifaceted Approach to Digital Addiction and Its Treatment, Bahadir Bozoglan. June, 2019. DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8449-0.ch006

Abstract: The aim of this research was to study frequencies of playing live and digital games, and to test for gender differences, to identify the most frequently played games, and to explore association between well-being indicators and frequency of playing. We found low positive association between frequency of playing of live and digital games. Most frequently played live games were various card games, and Shooter games were most frequent among digital games. Male participants played more frequently both live and digital games. Male participants played more action and simulation computer games, while female participants preferred puzzles and card games. Internet addiction was positively correlated to the amount of time spent logged on to the internet, and higher levels of loneliness and depression. Participants who played live games more reported lower levels of depression. Participants who played digital games more, spent more time logged to the internet, reported higher levels of internet addiction, but lower levels of depression.

Background

Van Leeuwen and Westwood (2008, pp 153) state that: “According to the PsychINFO database, in the last 10 years more than 3000 psychological research articles written in English focused on child play, yet only 40 addressed play in adults or the elderly and this was mainly in therapeutic contexts.“ So, we know very little about how, why and what games adults play, and if there is any association between overall well-being and play in adults.

Whitebread (2012) refers to five types of play in children: physical play (e.g. chasing), play with objects (e.g. construction), symbolic play (e.g. playing with words, sounds, drawing), pretence/socio-dramatic play (role playing) and games with rules (e.g. sports, card games, video games).

Although it is known that need for play is not exclusive for young age (van Leeuwen & Westwood, 2008, Sutton-Smith, 2009), and that adults also enjoy play as a type of leisure activity, only in the recent years scholars started to give more attention to adult play and its functions. One of the major concepts studied in this area is playfulness: the personality trait associated with playing behaviour and willingness to engage in play. In various studies playfulness has been found to be associated with positive outcomes. For example, Magnuson and Barnett (2013) found that playfulness is associated with positive coping. Proyer, Brauer, Wolf and Chick (2018) found it is associated with better subjective well-being, and Proyer (2012) found that people who are more playful are also more creative and intrinsically motivated.

Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime over the Last Two Decades: The cumulative impact of legalized abortion on crime is roughly 45%, a very substantial portion of the roughly 50-55% overall decline from peak in the 1990s

The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime over the Last Two Decades. John J. Donohue, Steven D. Levitt. NBER Working Paper No. 25863, May 2019. https://www.nber.org/papers/w25863

Abstract: Donohue and Levitt (2001) presented evidence that the legalization of abortion in the early 1970s played an important role in the crime drop of the 1990s. That paper concluded with a strong out-of-sample prediction regarding the next two decades: “When a steady state is reached roughly twenty years from now, the impact of abortion will be roughly twice as great as the impact felt so far. Our results suggest that all else equal, legalized abortion will account for persistent declines of 1 percent a year in crime over the next two decades.” Estimating parallel specifications to the original paper, but using the seventeen years of data generated after that paper was written, we find strong support for the prediction. The estimated coefficient on legalized abortion is actually larger in the latter period than it was in the initial dataset in almost all specifications. We estimate that crime fell roughly 20% between 1997 and 2014 due to legalized abortion. The cumulative impact of legalized abortion on crime is roughly 45%, accounting for a very substantial portion of the roughly 50-55% overall decline from the peak of crime in the early 1990s.

Shamans as healers: When magical structure becomes practical function. Comments on placebos and shamanism.


Shamans as healers: When magical structure becomes practical function. Nicholas Humphrey. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 41, 2018 , e77. April 6 2018. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X17002084

Abstract: Singh’s analysis has much to be said for it. When considering the treatment of illness, however, he begins from a shaky premise about uncontrollability and, so, fails to make the most of what shamanic treatments–as placebos–can deliver. Manvir Singh argues convincingly that shamans tick all of theboxes we might expect of a magical agent with the power to influence events over which normal human beings have no control.Yet, in the case of illness, to which his analysis is the most obvious fit, he seems to have misread the situation. He classes recovery from illness along with winning the lottery and being struck by lightning as an“outcomes that seemingly occur randomly... cannot be accounted for by predictive theories, because the causal forces escape human perception” (sect.3.3.1, para.1). True, illness can strike out of the blue, and there may be little people can do to prevent it.
Once a person has been unlucky enough to be struck down, however, their return to health is not as unpredictable or, for that matter, as uncontrollable as Singh implies.
[...]
To summarise:
1. Humans, like all animals, possess a highly effective suite ofinternal physiological healing mechanisms designed to beat back infection and repair bodily damage. This means that most people, most of the time, eventually recover of their own accord, even from serious illness.
2. Healing has intrinsic costs, however. For example, running a temperature to kill invading bacteria requires a 50% increase in metabolism, and antibody production uses up precious nutrients that are difficult to replace. So, although it may desirable for patients to get well as soon as possible, it is essential they keep sufficient resources in reserve to cope with future challenges.
3. To make the best of this, the pace of recovery is regulated by a brain-based “health governor” designed by natural selection to manage the healing budget in the light of environmental information. This governor acts, in effect, like a hospital manager who must decide how to allocate resources on the basis of an inventory of what’s available and a forecast of what the future holds.
4. A major consideration is the prospect of external help, especially if this suggests the present bout of illness will be short lived. Evidence of immediate environmental assets such as protection, food supplies, medicinal drugs, and tender loving care can provide such assurance; but it can be more speculative, as when there is good reason to believe that specific curative forces are being activated by someone else.
5. The health governor is potentially gullible. It cannot necessarily tell the difference between real and fake news or between a reasonable inference based on solid evidence and one based on a lie. This means that an empty promise of cure–a placebo–maybe as effective as a valid promise in speeding up recovery.
6. Human beings have discovered and learned to take advantage of this loophole in the innate health management system. Although the deeper explanation remains hidden from everyone involved, placebo treatments of illness operate widely, at both individual and cultural levels. [...] When patients credit a shaman with supernatural powers to banish illness, they empower the shaman to activate their own innate capacities for self-cure.

Now, Singh has given us the best account yet of the logic that lies behind belief in shamanism. He thereby has provided thebest explanation of why the treatments may, in reality, be able to do what is claimed. Yet, the surprise in this article is that Singh himself makes so little of this. For him, the fact that the treatments actually work is of secondary importance to the fact that everyone thinks they ought to work.
Why does he not make more of the practical benefits of placebo-mediated healing? I suspect it’s because, in the spirit of Claude Levi-Strauss, he is reluctant to concede that shamanism has evolved for dirty utilitarian reasons. He wants to see shamanism as a self-contained logical edifice that stands on its own as an appealing intellectual structure. No matter that it may be a flimsy house of cards; it deserves to survive because it is so theoretically appealing.It is an admirably brave thesis, but I find it unduly purist and, more important, scientifically limiting. By discounting shamanism’s potential for genuine cure, Singh is missing an obvious opportunity to explain not only why it survives as a cultural tradition, but also its historic origins.
Presumably, ever since human ancestors became capable of reflecting on their lived experience of illness, they looked for patterns. Surely, they noticed early on that recovery sometimes could be speeded up by the attentions of a trusted member of the community who did nothing other than bid the illness to depart. With no obvious physical cause to account for this action at a distance,they had to look for other explanations. Given the evidence that an ordinary human apparently was able to exert parahuman control over another person’s body, it might well have made sense to conclude that this human was not as human as he seemed. [...]
This jibes with Singh’s account. Note the difference of emphasis, however: Singh explains why a shaman can be expected to be capable of miraculous healing. Yet, he does not raise the possibility that, historically, healing that appeared miraculous came first, and that it was this that inspired people to invent the concept of a shaman. Given that Singh draws parallels between shamanism and other religions, it’s worth remarking that Jesus Christ was acclaimed as the son of God because he was seen to perform miracles, not the other way around [...].

Gender Differences in Stability of Brain Functional Connectivity: Female volunteers showed significantly higher temporal correlation coefficients than male volunteers, suggesting their brain FCs are more stable over time

F116. Gender Differences in Stability of Brain Functional Connectivity. Yicheng Long, Jie Lisa Ji, Alan Anticevic. Biological Psychiatry, 74th Annual Scientific Convention and Meeting, May 15, 2019, Volume 85, Issue 10, Supplement, Page S258. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2019.03.653

Background: Understanding gender differences of the brain’s intrinsic functional architecture may lead to a better understanding of the pathophysiology of many psychiatric disorders whose prevalence differs between genders. Recently, the dynamic brain functional connectivity (FC) has emerged as a major topic in resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) studies, and possible associations have been reported between several psychiatric disorders and the temporal stability of brain FCs. However, little is known about whether or not there is a gender difference in brain FC stability.
[...]
Results: Female volunteers showed significantly higher temporal correlation coefficients than male volunteers [...], suggesting their brain FCs are more stable over time.
[...]


Check also Gender differences in brain functional connectivity density. Dardo Tomasi, Nora D. Volkow. Human Brain Mapping, March 21 2011. https://doi.org/10.1002/hbm.21252
Abstract: The neural bases of gender differences in emotional, cognitive, and socials behaviors are largely unknown. Here, magnetic resonance imaging data from 336 women and 225 men revealed a gender dimorphism in the functional organization of the brain. Consistently across five research sites, women had 14% higher local functional connectivity density (lFCD) and up to 5% higher gray matter density than men in cortical and subcortical regions. The negative power scaling of the lFCD was steeper for men than for women, suggesting that the balance between strongly and weakly connected nodes in the brain is different across genders. The more distributed organization of the male brain than that of the female brain could help explain the gender differences in cognitive style and behaviors and in the prevalence of neuropsychiatric diseases (i.e., autism spectrum disorder).

Both men & women found heroic targets to be more desirable than targets low in heroism (stronger effect for women than men); high heroic targets were rated as more desirable for long-term compared to short-term relationships

Bhogal, Manpal S. 2019. “Further Support for the Role of Heroism in Human Mate Choice.” PsyArXiv. May 19. doi:10.31234/osf.io/2npfm

Abstract: Previous research has explored the role of prosociality in mate choice, predominantly focusing on the role of altruism. Although there is ample evidence to suggest altruism has evolved via mate choice, little research has unpacked prosociality by exploring the role of heroism in mate choice. Limited studies have been conducted in this area, and no studies have explored men’s desirability towards heroic targets. The aim of this study was to replicate and extend the limited research on the role of heroism in mate choice. Participants (n=276, 101 men and 175 women) rated several scenarios varying in heroism, whereby they were asked to rate how desirable targets were for a short-term and long-term relationship. The findings show that both men and women found heroic targets to be more desirable than targets low in heroism, although the main effect of sex was stronger for women than men. Furthermore, high heroic targets were rated as more desirable for long-term compared to short-term relationships, thus replicating and extending previous research. The findings add support to the adaptive role of heroism in human mate choice by exploring the role of heroism in both male and female mate choice. Data, materials, and the preregistered hypotheses/protocol are available on the Open Science Framework (osf.io/qbzw7/?view_only=e66411df988844cfa39e63c51ed33131).

Divine Placebo: Health and the Evolution of Religion

Divine Placebo: Health and the Evolution of Religion. Patrik Lindenfors. Human Ecology, April 2019, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 157–163. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10745-019-0066-7

Abstract: In this paper, I draw on knowledge from several disciplines to explicate the potential evolutionary significance of health effects of religiosity. I present three main observations. First, traditional methods of religious healers seldom rely on active remedies, but instead focus on lifestyle changes or spiritual healing practices that best can be described as placebo methods. Second, actual health effects of religiosity are thus mainly traceable to effects from a regulated lifestyle, social support networks, or placebo effects. Third, there are clear parallels between religious healing practices and currently identified methods that induce placebo effects. Physiological mechanisms identified to lie behind placebo effects activate the body’s own coping strategies and healing responses. In combination, lifestyle, social support networks, and placebo effects thus produce both actual and perceived health effects of religiosity. This may have played an important role in the evolution and diffusion of religion through two main pathways. First, any real positive health effects of religiosity would have provided a direct biological advantage. Second, any perceived health effects, both positive and negative, would further have provided a unique selling point for ‘religiosity’ per se. Actual and perceived health effects of religiosity may therefore have played an underestimated role during the evolution of religiosity through both biological and cultural pathways.

Keywords: Evolution Cultural evolution Health Placebo Religiosity Social support networks Lifestyle



Sunday, May 19, 2019

Stress is experienced when an aspect of an individual's identity has the potential to be negatively evaluated; perceived appearance judgements contribute to psychological & biological stress

The effect of perceived appearance judgements on psychological and biological stress processes across adulthood. Natalie J. Sabik et al. Stress and Health, March 18 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/smi.2863

Abstract: Social self‐preservation theory posits that stress is experienced when an aspect of an individual's identity has the potential to be negatively evaluated. Appearance is a central part of identity; however, little research has examined whether perceived appearance judgements are a source of social‐evaluative stress. In addition, stress may be an explanatory link in the association between appearance perceptions and depressive symptoms. This study examined whether perceived appearance judgements were associated with increased stress and greater depressive symptoms among adults. Study 1 examined the associations between self‐reported appearance judgements and cortisol stress responses in response to a laboratory stressor (Trier Social Stress Test) among 71 individuals aged 18–65. Study 2 assessed self‐reported appearance judgements and depressive symptoms among 498 adults ages 18–65 via an online survey data collection. Appearance judgement was associated with a stronger cortisol response, higher self‐reported stress, and greater depressive symptoms. Stress mediated all associations between appearance judgements and depressive symptoms and neither age nor gender moderated these associations. The findings suggest that appearance judgements contribute to psychological and biological stress processes and demonstrated that stress mediated the association between appearance judgements and depressive symptoms.

Between 1870 and 1916, over 80 percent of alliance ties were partially or completely covert. Otherwise, hidden military pacts are rare. Why was secrecy prevalent in this particular period and not others?

Secrecy among Friends: Covert Military Alliances and Portfolio Consistency. Raymond Kuo. Journal of Conflict Resolution, May 16, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022002719849676

Abstract: Scholars think that friendly nations adopt secrecy to avoid domestic costs and facilitate cooperation. But this article uncovers a historical puzzle. Between 1870 and 1916, over 80 percent of alliance ties were partially or completely covert. Otherwise, hidden pacts are rare. Why was secrecy prevalent in this particular period and not others? This article presents a theory of “portfolio consistency.” Public agreements undermine the rank of hidden alliances. A partner willing to openly commit to another country but not to you signals the increased importance of this other relationship. States pressure their covert partners to avoid subsequent public pacts. This creates a network effect: the more secret partners a state has, the greater the incentives to maintain secrecy in later military agreements. Covert alliances have a cumulative effect. In seeking the flexibility of hidden partnerships, states can lock themselves into a rigid adherence to secrecy.

Keywords: alliance, international alliance, international security, military alliance, secrecy

The high prevalence of intimate partner violence against women in countries with high levels of gender equality (the “Nordic paradox”) is not the result of measurement bias, but a real problem

Prevalence of intimate partner violence against women in Sweden and Spain: A psychometric study of the ‘Nordic paradox.’ Enrique Gracia et al. PLOS, May 16, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0217015

Abstract: The high prevalence of intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) in countries with high levels of gender equality has been defined as the “Nordic paradox”. In this study we compared physical and sexual IPVAW prevalence data in two countries exemplifying the Nordic paradox: Sweden (N = 1483) and Spain (N = 1447). Data was drawn from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Survey on violence against women. To ascertain whether differences between these two countries reflect true differences in IPVAW prevalence, and to rule out the possibility of measurement bias, we conducted a set of analyses to ensure measurement equivalence, a precondition for appropriate and valid cross-cultural comparisons. Results showed that in both countries items were measuring two separate constructs, physical and sexual IPVAW, and that these factors had high internal consistency and adequate validity. Measurement equivalence analyses (i.e., differential item functioning, and multigroup confirmatory factor analysis) supported the comparability of data across countries. Latent means comparisons between the Spanish and the Swedish samples showed that scores on both the physical and sexual IPVAW factors were significantly higher in Sweden than in Spain. The effect sizes of these differences were large: 89.1% of the Swedish sample had higher values in the physical IPVAW factor than the Spanish average, and this percentage was 99.4% for the sexual IPVAW factor as compared to the Spanish average. In terms of probability of superiority, there was an 80.7% and 96.1% probability that a Swedish woman would score higher than a Spanish woman in the physical and the sexual IPVAW factors, respectively. Our results showed that the higher prevalence of physical and sexual IPVAW in Sweden than in Spain reflects actual differences and are not the result of measurement bias, supporting the idea of the Nordic paradox.

At the NIH, the proportion of all grant funds awarded to scientists under the age of 36 fell from 5.6% in 1980 to 1.5% in 2017; nearly 99% of investment are awarded to scientists or engineers 36 yo or older

Two threats to U.S. science. Bruce Alberts, Venkatesh Narayanamurti. Science, May 17 2019, Vol. 364, Issue 6441, pp. 613. DOI: 10.1126/science.aax9846

[...]

The current grant opportunities for starting a new independent research career in academia have not only become increasingly unavailable to young scientists and engineers, but are also disastrously risk-averse. At the NIH, the proportion of all grant funds awarded to scientists under the age of 36 fell from 5.6% in 1980 to 1.5% in 2017. One might ask the rhetorical question: How successful would Silicon Valley be if nearly 99% of all investments were awarded to scientists and engineers age 36 years or older, along with a strong bias toward funding only safe, nonrisky projects? Similarly, at the U.S. Department of Energy and its National Laboratories, high-risk, high-reward research and development has been severely limited [...]

U.S. leadership must focus on stimulating innovation by awarding an equal number of grants to those new investigators proposing risky new research ideas [...]. At the same time, it is imperative that the United States reconsider its visa and immigration policies, making it much easier for foreign students who receive a graduate degree in a STEM discipline from a U.S. university to receive a green card, while stipulating that each employment-based visa automatically cover a worker's spouse and children.

[...]

Milk and Dairy Product Consumption: An Overview of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Shows There is No Increase of Risk of All-Cause Mortality

Milk and Dairy Product Consumption and Risk of Mortality: An Overview of Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses. Ivan Cavero-Redondo et al. Advances in Nutrition, Volume 10, Issue suppl_2, May 15 2019, Pages S97–S104, https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmy128

ABSTRACT: The effect of dairy product consumption on health has received substantial attention in the last decade. However, a number of prospective cohort studies have shown contradictory results, which causes uncertainty about the effects of dairy products on health. We conducted an overview of existing systematic reviews and meta-analyses to examine the association between dairy product consumption and all-cause mortality risk. A literature search was conducted in MEDLINE (via PubMed), EMBASE, the Cochrane Central Database of Systematic Reviews, and the Web of Science databases from their inception to April, 2018. We evaluated the risk of bias of each study included using the AMSTAR 2 tool. The risk ratios (RRs) for each meta-analysis were displayed in a forest plot for dose-response and for high compared with low dairy consumption. The initial search retrieved 2154 articles; a total of 8 meta-analyses were finally included after applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The number of included studies in each meta-analysis ranged from 6 to 26 cohort studies, which reported data from 6–28 populations. The sample sizes varied across studies from 24,466 participants reporting 5092 mortality cases to 938,817 participants reporting 126,759 mortality cases. After assessing the risk of bias, 25% of the studies were categorized as acceptable, 25% as good, and 50% as very good. The RRs reported by the meta-analyses ranged from 0.96 to 1.01 per 200 g/d of dairy product consumption (including total, high-fat, low-fat, and fermented dairy products), from 0.99 to 1.01 per 200–244 g/d of milk consumption, and from 0.99 to 1.03 per 10–50 g/d of cheese consumption. The RR per 50 g/d of yogurt consumption was 0.97 (95% CI: 0.85, 1.11). In conclusion, dairy product consumption is not associated with risk of all-cause mortality. This study was registered in PROSPERO as CRD42018091856.

Keywords: milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, meta-analysis, review, mortality

Saturday, May 18, 2019

USA 1962–2014: Absolute mobility decreases with income; individuals & families occupying the income distribution lower ranks have a higher probability of increasing income over short time periods

Growth, Inequality and Absolute Mobility in the United States,1962–2014. Yonatan Berman. https://www.dropbox.com/s/h6r650313zwqe7d/mobility_recov2.pdf

Abstract: This paper combines historical cross-sectional and longitudinal data in the US to study patterns of economic growth within the income distribution. We quantify absolute mobility as the fraction of families with higher income over a period of several years. The rates of absolute mobility over periods of two to four years are procyclical and are largely confined within 45%–55%. We also find that absolute mobility decreases with income. Individuals and families occupying the lower ranks of the income distribution have a higher probability of increasing their income over short time periods than those occupying higher ranks. This also occurs during periods of increasing inequality. Our findings stem from the importance of the changes in the composition of income percentiles. These changes are over and above mechanical labor market dynamics and life cycle effects. We offer a simplified model to mathematically describe these findings.

Keywords:Social mobility, inequality, growth, labor market dynamics

JEL Codes:D3, E2, H0, J6

Explanatory introspection, salience of one’s faults, accountability, & relationship closeness can boast success in constraining self-enhancement & self-protection strivings, but success is difficult to implement

On the doggedness of self-enhancement and self-protection: How constraining are reality constraints? Constantine Sedikides. Self and Identity, Dec 30 2018. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2018.1562961

ABSTRACT: Self-enhancement and self-protection are constrained by reality. But to what extent? Broader constraints, often considered powerful, such as East-Asian culture, religion, mind-body practices, and prison environments are not particularly effective deterrents. Narrower constraints, also considered powerful, such as self-reflection and mnemic neglect, are not very helpful either. Deliberate and systematic laboratory efforts, both at the intrapersonal level (e.g., explanatory introspection, salience of one’s faults) and the interpersonal level (e.g., accountability, relationship closeness), can boast success in constraining self-enhancement and self-protection strivings, but the success is mixed, difficult to implement, and probably short-lived. The doggedness (potency and prevalence) of self-enhancement and self-protection are due to the functions or social benefits with which they are associated or confer: psychological health, goal pursuit and attainment, leadership election, and sexual selection. These functions are traceable to our species’ evolutionary past.

KEYWORDS: Self-enhancement, self-protection, reality constraints, culture, religion, mind-body practices

Testosterone and cortisol interacted to predict low pro-environmental attitudes; facial and vocal masculinization predict lower pro-environmental attitudes among men

Testosterone, facial and vocal masculinization and low environmentalism in men. Nicholas Landry, Jessica Desrochers, Steven Arnocky. Journal of Environmental Psychology, May 18 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2019.05.007

Highlights
•    The present study is the first to examine masculinized phenotypes (facial and vocal masculinization) in relation to men’s environmentalism.
•    Testosterone (T) and cortisol (C) interacted to predict low pro-environmental attitudes, such that high T predicted lower environmental attitudes when C was high, but T also predicted higher environmental attitudes at the lowest levels of C.
•    Facial and vocal masculinization predict lower pro-environmental attitudes among men.
•    Results suggest that androgen exposure may play a role in influencing men’s pro-environmental attitudes

Abstract: Robust sex differences in environmentalism have been observed, such that males express fewer pro-environmental attitudes than their female counterparts. To date, most explanations of this sex difference have relied upon socio-cultural and psychological explanations. The present study sought to extend this inquiry by examining the role of testosterone (T), its interaction with cortisol (C), as well as androgen-linked phenotypes (facial and vocal masculinization) in relation to environmental attitudes. In a sample of 162 males, results found a TxC interaction such that high T predicted lower environmental attitudes when C was high, but T also predicted higher environmental attitudes at the lowest levels of C. Moreover, facial and vocal masculinization, as phenotypic markers of developmental T exposure, correlated negatively with pro-environmental attitudes. Together these findings suggest that both state T and putative markers of developmental T exposure negatively predict environmentalism among men, thus highlighting the potential role of androgens in understanding environmental engagement.