Sunday, July 21, 2019

Inventor CEOs: Firms file a greater number of patents & more valuable patents in technology classes where the CEO's hands-on experience lies, due to superior ability to evaluate, select and execute

Inventor CEOs. Emdad Islam, Jason Zein. Journal of Financial Economics, June 18 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jfineco.2019.06.009

Abstract: One in five U.S. high-technology firms are led by CEOs with hands-on innovation experience as inventors. Firms led by “Inventor CEOs” are associated with higher quality innovation, especially when the CEO is a high-impact inventor. During an Inventor CEO's tenure, firms file a greater number of patents and more valuable patents in technology classes where the CEO's hands-on experience lies. Utilizing plausibly exogenous CEO turnovers to address the matching of CEOs to firms suggests these effects are causal. The results can be explained by an Inventor CEO's superior ability to evaluate, select, and execute innovative investment projects related to their own hands-on experience.

Parasomnias: Lots of emotional faces, negative speech, worries, profanities, insults; smiling sleep is rare in these adults

Parasomnia: a window into dreaming process? Isabelle Arnulf. Keynote to International Association for the Study of Dreams' June 2019 Conference. http://iasdconferences.org/2019/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2019-Abstracts-Final.pdf

Abstract: The parasomnias include sleep talking (REM and NREM sleep), sleepwalking, night terrors (NREM sleep) and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), sleep-related hallucinations and sleep paralysis (REM sleep). Many can cause injuries and sleep disturbances, thereby needing to be diagnosed and treated. Of note, sleep talking, sleepwalking and RBD correspond to dream-enacted behaviors, thanks to isomorphism between behaviors and later dream recall. The gestures, speeches and facial expressions of the dreamers render the dreaming scenario visible for external observers. We first performed an ethological repertory of all visible behaviors, speeches and, more recently, emotional face expressions, in RBD and sleepwalking in a large (>200 subjects) adult cohort. Aggression by animals and humans predominated in RBD (the dreamer counterattacking the aggressor) whereas natural catastrophes predominated in sleepwalking/night terror (the dreamer trying to escape the imminent danger by running away), suggesting a “flight (NREM) and fight (REM)” answer to threat simulation. Similarly, the sleep-associated speeches (whether in genuine sleep talkers or in patients with RBD and sleepwalking) were mostly negative, worried, and repeated. Verbal violence (more frequent in male sleep talkers) contained more profanities in NREM sleep and insults in REM sleep. However, non-violent, elaborate behaviors and speeches were also visible, although less frequent than violent ones. Smiling asleep was rare in normal adults, but quite frequent in RBD patients. This narrow but fascinating window helped test some hypotheses about dreaming, including which motor and verbal systems are at play during dreaming, whether episodic memories are included into the nocturnal behaviors, whether the eyes scan the dream scenario during REM sleep, whether non-dreamers do not dream or do not recall their dreams, without the bias of dream recall.

A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Cross-Cutting Exposure on Political Participation: No effect, positive or negative, on participation

A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Cross-Cutting Exposure on Political Participation. Jörg Matthes, Johannes Knoll, Sebastián Valenzuela, David Nicolas Hopmann & Christian Von Sikorski. Political Communication, Jul 19 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/10584609.2019.1619638

Abstract: Scholars have advanced many theoretical explanations for expecting a negative or positive relationship between individuals’ cross-cutting exposure—either through interpersonal or mediated forms of communication—and their political participation. However, whether cross-cutting exposure is a positive or negative predictor of participation is still an unsettled question. To help fill this gap, we conducted a meta-analysis of 48 empirical studies comprising more than 70,000 participants examining the association between cross-cutting exposure and political participation. The meta-analysis produced two main findings. First, it shows that, over all studies, there is no significant relationship, r = .002, Zr = .002 (95% CI = −.04 to .05). Second, the null relationship cannot be explained by variations in the characteristics of cross-cutting environments (e.g., topic, place, or source of exposure), participation outcomes (e.g., online vs. offline activities), or methods employed (e.g., experiment vs. survey). Taken together, these results should alleviate concerns about negative effects of cross-cutting exposure on political engagement. Implications for future research are discussed.

Keywords: disagreement, political participation, cross-cutting exposure, political discussion, meta-analysis

Sleep talking: A viable access to mental processes during sleep

Sleep talking: A viable access to mental processes during sleep. Valentina Alfonsi et al. Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 44, April 2019, Pages 12-22. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.smrv.2018.12.001

Summary
Sleep talking is one of the most common altered nocturnal behaviours in the whole population. It does not represent a pathological condition and consists in the unaware production of vocalisations during sleep.

Although in the last few decades we have experienced a remarkable increase in knowledge about cognitive processes and behavioural manifestations during sleep, the literature regarding sleep talking remains dated and fragmentary. We first provide an overview of historical and recent findings regarding sleep talking, and we then discuss the phenomenon in the context of mental activity during sleep. It is shown that verbal utterances, reflecting the ongoing dream content, may represent the unique possibility to access the dreamlike mental experience directly. Furthermore, we discuss such phenomena within a cognitive theoretical framework, considering both the atypical activation of psycholinguistic circuits during sleep and the implications of verbal ‘replay’ of recent learning in memory consolidation.

Despite current knowledge on such a common experience being far from complete, an in-depth analysis of sleep talking episodes could offer interesting opportunities to address fundamental questions on dreaming or information processing during sleep. Further systematic polysomnographic and neuroimaging investigations are expected to shed new light on the manifestation of the phenomenon and related aspects.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Women’s subtle, safe, & often solitary, competitive tactics: Maintaining a few long-term alliances and gaining advantages when competitors are not present; when present, low-cost forms of competition

Contest versus Scramble Competition: Sex Differences in the Quest for Status. Joyce F Benenson, Helen Abadzi. Current Opinion in Psychology, July 15 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.copsyc.2019.07.013

Abstract: Both sexes benefit from attaining higher status than same-sex peers, but each sex employs distinctive competitive tactics. Men engage in conspicuous public contests for status and directly interfere with others’ success. Despite frequent and intense contests which occasionally turn lethal, men typically employ ritualized tactics and accept status differentials within a group. More recently, research has examined women’s subtle, safe, and often solitary, competitive tactics. Women’s main competitive tactics consist of maintaining a few long-term alliances and gaining advantages when competitors are not present. When competitors are present, women utilize leveling, social exclusion, and low-cost forms of contest competition to best other women.


From 2017: Rhythmic variations of mood

From 2017: Rhythmic variations of mood. Augustin Mutak. Gyrus, Accepted November 29, 2017. http://gyrus.hiim.hr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=37

Abstract: In this article, an overview of studies on circadian (daily), circaseptan (weekly) and circannual (yearly) variations of positive affect, negative affect and total mood is given. Studies on circadian mood rhythms, which were mostly focused on fluctuations of positive and negative affect, indicate that positive affect displays circadian variations, while negative affect does not. Such findings are linked to predictive and reactive homeostasis, respectively. The function of positive affect could be to energize the organism to be more active during the middle of the day, while the function of negative affect could be to respond to immediate threats which can appear during any time of the day. Research on circaseptan mood rhythms often also explored total mood in addition to positive and negative affect. Current findings show that mood is higher during the weekend than during the working week. It is possible that such variations are culturally determined, however, more research is needed to reach stable conclusions. Studies on circannual mood rhythms were mostly focused on seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD rates are highest in the winter, although a smaller number of patients report depressive symptoms during the summer months. Predictive homeostasis is also thought to be the underlying evolved mechanism responsible for SAD since SAD makes the organism less active, thus reducing the quantity of food the organism needs to consume in the winter months when the sources of food are scarce. An overview of differences between yearly fluctuations of SAD rates and suicide rates is given.

KEYWORDS: affect, circadian clocks, circaseptan, periodicity, seasonal mood disorder

Introduction

In psychological science, mood is a construct which is, along with emotions, encompassed within a broader term called affect. Although all intrapsychical processes are interlaced, affects are distinct from cognitive (e.g. thinking, perception) and conative (e.g. personality traits) constructs because they possess a subjective component. In other words, affects are composed of characteristic “feelings” that can be experienced only from the first-person perspective and are difficult to verbalize or explain to other persons. This subjective quality is mutually shared between emotions and mood.

Mood and emotions

Mood is, however, distinct from emotions in several important characteristics. Firstly, emotions are more intensive than mood. Both measures of subjective feelings and measures of physiological reactions clearly show that emotions elicit stronger psychological and physiological reactions than mood. Secondly, emotions are triggered by significant life events, while the determinants of mood are more dispersed and are less likely to be known by the person experiencing the affective state. For example, a person may become frightened because of the imminent danger which poses a threat to his/her well-being, sad because of a loss of a loved one, angry because another person usurped his rightful interests. On the other hand, a person may be in a bad mood throughout the day without clear reasons for such mood and the reasons may even be unknown to the person experiencing the described mood. Thirdly, emotions are of shorter duration than mood. While emotions are usually quick to appear and fade, the duration of mood is significantly longer. Modern research shows that, unlike emotions, mood actually never ceases to be present and can be felt in any moment from the first-person perspective.1

Research has shown that mood consists of two separate dimensions: positive and negative affect. Positive affect is characterized by pleasant, happy, joyful and energized mood, while negative affect is characterized by unpleasant feelings of subtle anger, fear, sadness and anxiety. The finding that these two dimensions are separate was unusual to many laypeople and scientists alike because the conventional viewpoint held that the positive and negative affect are two poles of the same continuum.2 At first, researchers insisted that the positive and negative affect are two completely separate, orthogonal dimensions. However, newer studies have shown that, while these two dimensions indeed are separate, they are not completely distinct, but are instead in a low-to-moderate negative correlation. Thus, these two dimensions are sometimes referred to as quasiorthogonal.3 Some self-report instruments for measurement of mood have separate measures for positive and negative affect and the measure of “total affect” is mathematically calculated as the difference between positive and negative affect.2 Apart from self-report inventories, behavioral indicators can also be used as a measure of a person’s current mood. For example, laughter and sobbing are reliable indicators of positive and negative affect, respectively. However, studies that have used behavioral indicators as a measure of mood are rare, because the data collection process is difficult and time-consuming. Recently, there have been developments in implicit measurements of mood (e.g. a person is asked to rate the emotional valence of non-existent words). While the results of the first validation studies were promising, more studies are needed to fully validate this type of measure, which is why implicit mood measures have not yet been used in other studies besides the validation studies.4

Types of rhythmic variations of mood

[Full text at the link above]

A preadvertised sequel makes the original movie seem more interesting and produces higher levels of satisfaction and word of mouth

Tomorrow never dies: preadvertised sequels boost movie satisfaction and WOM. Helge Thorbjørnsen, Micael Dahlén & Fredrik Lange. International Journal of Advertising, Jul 15 2019. https://doi.org/10.1080/02650487.2019.1641355

Abstract: The movie industry benefits financially from creating sequels with links to previous movies. Sequels build on the success of the original movie and generally attain high box office revenues and generate positive word-of-mouth. In the current study, however, the converse effect is investigated; namely how preadvertising a sequel may lead to bigger success for the current (original) movie. Three studies demonstrate that a preadvertised sequel makes the original movie seem more interesting and produces higher levels of satisfaction and word of mouth. Results suggest that entertainment brands likely benefit from preannouncing sequels and follow-up concepts already at the time of launch of the original movie.

Keywords: Movie sequels, preannouncements, word of mouth, satisfaction

Why deflecting direct questions? It causes significantly less reputational harm than detected deception & causes significantly less interpersonal harm than directly declining to answer a question

Bitterly, T. B., & Schweitzer, M. E. (2019). The economic and interpersonal consequences of deflecting direct questions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000200

Abstract: Direct, difficult questions (e.g., Do you have other offers? When do you plan on having children?) pose a challenge. Respondents may incur economic costs for honestly revealing information, reputational costs for engaging in deception, and interpersonal costs, including harm to perceptions of trust and liking, for directly declining to answer the question (e.g., I would rather not answer that question.). Across 8 experiments, we explore the relative economic and interpersonal consequences of a fourth approach: deflection, answering a direct question with another question. We describe how individuals infer the respondent’s communication motive from their response (e.g., a motive to seek or hide information), and how these inferences influence perceptions of the respondent’s trust and likability. We contrast deflection with other types of responses and show that deflection causes significantly less reputational harm than detected deception and causes significantly less interpersonal harm than directly declining to answer a question. In some cases, deflection even yields better interpersonal and economic outcomes than honest disclosures (e.g., deflecting questions about prior acts of untrustworthy behavior).

Friday, July 19, 2019

Irrelevant non-mathematical knowledge interferes with the identification of basic solutions to arithmetic word problems, even among experts who have mastered abstract, context-independent reasoning

When masters of abstraction run into a concrete wall: Experts failing arithmetic word problems. Hippolyte Gros, Emmanuel Sander, Jean-Pierre Thibaut. June 28 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758%2Fs13423-019-01628-3

Abstract: Can our knowledge about apples, cars, or smurfs hinder our ability to solve mathematical problems involving these entities? We argue that such daily-life knowledge interferes with arithmetic word problem solving, to the extent that experts can be led to failure in problems involving trivial mathematical notions. We created problems evoking different aspects of our non-mathematical, general knowledge. They were solvable by one single subtraction involving small quantities, such as 14 – 2 = 12. A first experiment studied how university-educated adults dealt with seemingly simple arithmetic problems evoking knowledge that was either congruent or incongruent with the problems’ solving procedure. Results showed that in the latter case, the proportion of participants incorrectly deeming the problems “unsolvable” increased significantly, as did response times for correct answers. A second experiment showed that expert mathematicians were also subject to this bias. These results demonstrate that irrelevant non-mathematical knowledge interferes with the identification of basic, single-step solutions to arithmetic word problems, even among experts who have supposedly mastered abstract, context-independent reasoning.

Keywords: Encoding effects Mathematical cognition Mental models Semantics

The relationship between disgust levels and sexual behaviors as moderated by self-perceived pathogen exposure

The relationship between disgust levels and sexual behaviors as moderated by self-perceived pathogen exposure. Jessica K. Hlay, Graham Albert, Zeynep Senveli, Steven Arnocky, Carolyn R. HodgesSimeon. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Many studies have tested if environmental pathogen load affects mating behavior. Here we investigate if: (1) self-perceived pathogen load predicts pathogen and sexual disgust; (2) disgust variables predict respondents’ sociosexual attitude and desire; and (3) sociosexual attitude and desire predict behavior. We analyzed responses from 322 participants (160 women and 162 men) recruited through Amazon’s online platform, MTurk. Respondents reported information on environmental pathogen load, sexual and pathogen disgust, general health, and sociosexual desire, behavior, and attitude. We conducted a structural equation model and interpreted the regressions and correlations between latent variables, as well as between latent and observed variables. Self-reported pathogen load, along with general health, significantly predicted levels of sexual disgust, but not pathogen disgust. Those with a significantly higher level of sexual disgust had more conservative sociosexual attitudes and lower levels of sociosexual desire. Individuals’ sociosexual attitude and their levels of sexual disgust, but not sociosexual desire, positively predicted sexual behavior. These results support a growing body of literature on the behavioral immune system, as individuals who perceive themselves to be more exposed to pathogens experience higher rates of sexual disgust and alter their sociosexual behavior, perhaps as a means to prevent infection.

Vocal signals linked to emotions (e.g., laughter, screams) are in part conserved among phylogenetically related species, which may yield cross-species recognition of affective information

Is there phylogenetic continuity in emotional vocalizations? Roza Kamiloğlu, Katie E. Slocombe, Frank Eisner, Daniel B. M. Haun, Disa A. Sauter. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Vocal signals linked to emotions (e.g., laughter, screams) are in part conserved among phylogenetically related species. Such shared evolutionary roots of emotional vocalizations may yield cross-species recognition of affective information from vocalizations. We draw on two main approaches to phylogenetic continuity in emotional expressions, and test whether human listeners can identify 1) the context in which chimpanzee vocalizations were produced, and 2) core affect dimensions (arousal and valence) from chimpanzee vocalizations. In a laboratory experiment, participants (N = 310) listened to 155 chimpanzee vocalizations produced in 10 different behavioral contexts. Listeners judged the context in which they thought each vocalization was produced and indicated the extent to which they thought the individual who produced the vocalization was feeling negative/positive and aroused. The results show that listeners were able to accurately recognize the levels of arousal (high, medium, low) and valence (positive, negative) from the vocalizations, but not the production context. Judgments of arousal level and valence of vocalizations produced in negative contexts were more accurate compared to vocalizations of positive contexts. The greater crossspecies continuity in information transfer might be linked to evolutionary mechanisms that cross-species emotion recognition is more successful for negative contexts bearing high survival costs.

Links: https://osf.io/mkde8/?view_only=55c61b406eb44714bc723643ae7c94c0


Experimental evidence for sex differences in sexual novelty preferences

Experimental evidence for sex differences in sexual novelty preferences. Susan M. Hughes, Marissa A. Harrison, Toe Aung, Gordon G. Gallup, Jr. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: We examined sex differences in preferences for sexual novelty to explore whether the Coolidge Effect plays a role in human sexuality. In an experimental task, participants were asked to play a hypothetical dating game and select between novel and familiar faces as short-term dating partners. Participants were presented with two facial images on a screen and were asked to select the person they would prefer to date short term. The presentation software was response-adaptive, and depending upon participant choice, the next pairing included a presentation of their previously selected photo with a novel photo. We found that men were more likely than women to select a novel person to date. Further, when participants selected a repeated picture over a novel picture, men took longer to make this decision than women. It seems women exhibited greater cognitive ease than men when selecting a familiar individual to date, whereas men needed more time to deliberate between selecting a familiar mate over a novel mate. These findings lend support to the idea that sex differences in preferences for sexual novelty are a salient sex-specific evolved component of the repertoire of human mating strategies.

Men perceive sexual images quite differently than women; some of this difference may be due to sex differences in to disgust, in particular, disgust related to pathogen avoidance

Predictors of perceptions of sexual images. Jessica Hehman, Catherine Salmon. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Much of the debate over pornography has focused on whether it is inherently degrading toward women. Previous work has examined this question through content analysis of heterosexual and homosexual pornography, demonstrating no significant differences between these two genres (other than the sex of the participants). However, the question remains that some individuals perceive pornographic images differently than others and some evidence suggests that men perceive such images quite differently than women. Some of this difference may be due to sex differences in to disgust, in particular, disgust related to pathogen avoidance. There is a large literature that focuses on how pathogen avoidance has shaped human behavior from political ideology to in-group/outgroup behavior to sexual risk taking/avoidance. This study examined sex differences in perceptions and how they are influenced by the emotional context of the image as well as participant variables including disgust sensitivity, mate value, and sexual behaviors and attitudes. Males tend to have more positive perceptions of female sexual images whereas females tend to have more positive perceptions of male sexual images. The exception being when there is a negative emotional context in the male sexual images. Further analyses predicting perceptions and their implications will be discussed.

These findings suggest that both nucleus accumbens activation and self-reported pleasure may be heritable and that their phenotypic correlation may be partially explained by shared genetic variation

Inheritance of Neural Substrates for Motivation and Pleasure. Zhi Li et al. Psychological Science, July 18, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797619859340

Abstract: Despite advances in the understanding of the reward system and the role of dopamine in recent decades, the heritability of the underlying neural mechanisms is not known. In the present study, we examined the hemodynamic activation of the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), a key hub of the reward system, in 86 healthy monozygotic twins and 88 healthy dizygotic twins during a monetary-incentive-delay task. The participants also completed self-report measures of pleasure. Using voxelwise heritability mapping, we found that activation of the bilateral NAcc during the anticipation of monetary gains had significant heritability (h2 = .20–.49). Moreover, significant shared genetic covariance was observed between pleasure and NAcc activation during the anticipation of monetary gain. These findings suggest that both NAcc activation and self-reported pleasure may be heritable and that their phenotypic correlation may be partially explained by shared genetic variation.

Keywords: reward system, nucleus accumbens, heritability, motivation, pleasure

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Alcohol produces dramatically larger positive mood enhancing and negative mood relieving effects when consumed in social contexts compared to when it is consumed in isolation

Understanding social factors in alcohol reward and risk for problem drinking. Catharine E. Fairbairn, Brynne A. Velia. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, July 18 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.plm.2019.05.001

Abstract: Researchers have long sought to capture acute rewarding effects associated with drinking alcohol with the view that a better understanding of alcohol's rewards will ultimately inform our knowledge of factors motivating problematic drinking. Importantly, however, although most everyday alcohol consumption occurs in social contexts, and drinkers report that socially enhancing effects of alcohol motivate their drinking, researchers studying alcohol's effects have often examined participants drinking alone and have neglected social elements of alcohol's impact on experience. Here, we present a program of work aimed at examining the social rewards individuals gain from alcohol consumption with the aim of achieving a more complete picture of factors that might reinforce alcohol consumption and potentially lead some to drink excessively. Using methods and measures aimed at tapping social elements of experience, we revisit questions that have been of enduring interest in the alcohol literature, including the question of what mechanisms might explain alcohol's rewarding effects, whether there exist individual differences in sensitivity to alcohol's rewards, as well as the extent to which context-level factors might moderate rewards gained from alcohol. We also explore questions left unanswered within this body of work, together with ongoing and future research directions.

Analysis of 22,484 pornography websites indicated that 93% leak user data to a third party; tracking on these sites is highly concentrated by Google, Oracle and Facebook

Tracking sex: The implications of widespread sexual data leakage and tracking on porn websites. Elena Maris, Timothy Libert, Jennifer Henrichsen. arXiv, Jul 15 2019. https://arxiv.org/abs/1907.06520

Abstract: This paper explores tracking and privacy risks on pornography websites. Our analysis of 22,484 pornography websites indicated that 93% leak user data to a third party. Tracking on these sites is highly concentrated by a handful of major companies, which we identify. We successfully extracted privacy policies for 3,856 sites, 17% of the total. The policies were written such that one might need a two-year college education to understand them. Our content analysis of the sample's domains indicated 44.97% of them expose or suggest a specific gender/sexual identity or interest likely to be linked to the user. We identify three core implications of the quantitative results: 1) the unique/elevated risks of porn data leakage versus other types of data, 2) the particular risks/impact for vulnerable populations, and 3) the complications



Robust relation between higher testosterone & increased unfaithful behavior; in this sample of men aged between 40 & 75 years, 37.5% answered having been unfaithful in the current relationship

Higher testosterone levels are associated with unfaithful behavior in men. C. Klimas et al. Biological Psychology, July 18 2019, 107730. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2019.107730

Highlights
•    A robust relation between higher testosterone and increased unfaithful behavior was observed.
•    Infidelity was measured using direct and sensitive indirect (crosswise) questioning.
•    In this sample of men aged between 40 and 75 years, 37.5% men answered having been unfaithful in the current relationship
•    Subsample analysis indicates a positive association between testosterone and infidelity to be present primarily in men without sexual dysfunction.

Abstract
Background: Infidelity in romantic relationships is a common, but severe issue often causing breakup and severe psychological impairment. Higher levels of testosterone are related to mating-behavior, sexual desire, and infidelity in men with sexual dysfunctions. Previous studies, have insufficiently addressed the potential role of testosterone in infidelity in healthy men.

Methods: A sample of 224 middle-aged self-reporting healthy men being currently in a relationship completed questionnaires on relationship characteristics, infidelity, and provided overnight-fasting saliva samples for testosterone quantification.

Results: In the sample, 37.5% men answered having been unfaithful in the current relationship, while 29% were identified as fulfilling criteria for a sexual dysfunction. Adjusting for covariates, a significant positive association for the frequency of unfaithful behavior and testosterone levels emerged. Subsample analysis indicates a positive association between testosterone and infidelity only to be present in men without sexual dysfunction.

Conclusion: Unfaithful behavior in males is associated with higher testosterone levels.

Emotional Expressions Reconsidered: Challenges to Inferring Emotion From Human Facial Movements

Emotional Expressions Reconsidered: Challenges to Inferring Emotion From Human Facial Movements. Lisa Feldman Barrett et al. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, July 17, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/1529100619832930

Abstract: It is commonly assumed that a person’s emotional state can be readily inferred from his or her facial movements, typically called emotional expressions or facial expressions. This assumption influences legal judgments, policy decisions, national security protocols, and educational practices; guides the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric illness, as well as the development of commercial applications; and pervades everyday social interactions as well as research in other scientific fields such as artificial intelligence, neuroscience, and computer vision. In this article, we survey examples of this widespread assumption, which we refer to as the common view, and we then examine the scientific evidence that tests this view, focusing on the six most popular emotion categories used by consumers of emotion research: anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise. The available scientific evidence suggests that people do sometimes smile when happy, frown when sad, scowl when angry, and so on, as proposed by the common view, more than what would be expected by chance. Yet how people communicate anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise varies substantially across cultures, situations, and even across people within a single situation. Furthermore, similar configurations of facial movements variably express instances of more than one emotion category. In fact, a given configuration of facial movements, such as a scowl, often communicates something other than an emotional state. Scientists agree that facial movements convey a range of information and are important for social communication, emotional or otherwise. But our review suggests an urgent need for research that examines how people actually move their faces to express emotions and other social information in the variety of contexts that make up everyday life, as well as careful study of the mechanisms by which people perceive instances of emotion in one another. We make specific research recommendations that will yield a more valid picture of how people move their faces to express emotions and how they infer emotional meaning from facial movements in situations of everyday life. This research is crucial to provide consumers of emotion research with the translational information they require.

Keywords: emotion perception, emotional expression, emotion recognition

Faces are a ubiquitous part of everyday life for humans. People greet each other with smiles or nods. They have face-to-face conversations on a daily basis, whether in person or via computers. They capture faces with smartphones and tablets, exchanging photos of themselves and of each other on Instagram, Snapchat, and other social-media platforms. The ability to perceive faces is one of the first capacities to emerge after birth: An infant begins to perceive faces within the first few days of life, equipped with a preference for face-like arrangements that allows the brain to wire itself, with experience, to become expert at perceiving faces (Arcaro, Schade, Vincent, Ponce, & Livingstone, 2017; Cassia, Turati, & Simion, 2004; Gandhi, Singh, Swami, Ganesh, & Sinhaet, 2017; Grossmann, 2015; L. B. Smith, Jayaraman, Clerkin, & Yu, 2018; Turati, 2004; but see Young and Burton, 2018, for a more qualified claim). Faces offer a rich, salient source of information for navigating the social world: They play a role in deciding whom to love, whom to trust, whom to help, and who is found guilty of a crime (Todorov, 2017; Zebrowitz, 1997, 2017; Zhang, Chen, & Yang, 2018). Beginning with the ancient Greeks (Aristotle, in the 4th century BCE) and Romans (Cicero), various cultures have viewed the human face as a window on the mind. But to what extent can a raised eyebrow, a curled lip, or a narrowed eye reveal what someone is thinking or feeling, allowing a perceiver’s brain to guess what that someone will do next?1 The answers to these questions have major consequences for human outcomes as they unfold in the living room, the classroom, the courtroom, and even on the battlefield. They also powerfully shape the direction of research in a broad array of scientific fields, from basic neuroscience to psychiatry.

Understanding what facial movements might reveal about a person’s emotions is made more urgent by the fact that many people believe they already know. Specific configurations of facial-muscle movements2 appear as if they summarily broadcast or display a person’s emotions, which is why they are routinely referred to as emotional expressions and facial expressions. A simple Google search for the phrase “emotional facial expressions” (see Box 1 in the Supplemental Material available online) reveals the ubiquity with which, at least in certain parts of the world, people believe that certain emotion categories are reliably signaled or revealed by certain facial-muscle movement configurations—a set of beliefs we refer to as the common view (also called the classical view; L. F. Barrett, 2017b). Likewise, many cultural products testify to the common view. Here are several examples:

    Technology companies are investing tremendous resources to figure out how to objectively “read” emotions in people by detecting their presumed facial expressions, such as scowling faces, frowning faces, and smiling faces, in an automated fashion. Several companies claim to have already done it (e.g., Affectiva.com, 2018; Microsoft Azure, 2018). For example, Microsoft’s Emotion API promises to take video images of a person’s face to detect what that individual is feeling. Microsoft’s website states that its software “integrates emotion recognition, returning the confidence across a set of emotions . . . such as anger, contempt, disgust, fear, happiness, neutral, sadness, and surprise. These emotions are understood to be cross-culturally and universally communicated with particular facial expressions” (screen 3).

    Countless electronic messages are annotated with emojis or emoticons that are schematized versions of the proposed facial expressions for various emotion categories (Emojipedia.org, 2019).

    Putative emotional expressions are taught to preschool children by displaying scowling faces, frowning faces, smiling faces, and so on, in posters (e.g., use “feeling chart for children” in a Google image search), games (e.g., Miniland emotion games; Miniland Group, 2019), books (e.g., Cain, 2000; T. Parr, 2005), and episodes of Sesame Street (among many examples, see Morenoff, 2014; Pliskin, 2015; Valentine & Lehmann, 2015).3

    Television shows (e.g., Lie to Me; Baum & Grazer, 2009), movies (e.g., Inside Out; Docter, Del Carmen, LeFauve, Cooley, and Lassetter, 2015), and documentaries (e.g., The Human Face, produced by the British Broadcasting Company; Cleese, Erskine, & Stewart, 2001) customarily depict certain facial configurations as universal expressions of emotions.

    Magazine and newspaper articles routinely feature stories in kind: facial configurations depicting a scowl are referred to as “expressions of anger,” facial configurations depicting a smile are referred to as “expressions of happiness,” facial configurations depicting a frown are referred to as “expressions of sadness,” and so on.

    Agents of the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) were trained to detect emotions and other intentions using these facial configurations, with the goal of identifying and thwarting terrorists (R. Heilig, special agent with the FBI, personal communication, December 15, 2014; L. F. Barrett, 2017c).4

    The facial configurations that supposedly diagnose emotional states also figure prominently in the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders. One of the most widely used tasks in autism research, the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test, asks test takers to match photos of the upper (eye) region of a posed facial configuration with specific mental state words, including emotion words (Baron-Cohen, Wheelwright, Hill, Raste, & Plumb, 2001). Treatment plans for people living with autism and other brain disorders often include learning to recognize these facial configurations as emotional expressions (Baron-Cohen, Golan, Wheelwright, & Hill, 2004; Kouo & Egel, 2016). This training does not generalize well to real-world skills, however (Berggren et al., 2018; Kouo & Egel, 2016).

    “Reading” the emotions of a defendant—in the words of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, to “know the heart and mind of the offender” (Riggins v. Nevada, 1992, p. 142)—is one pillar of a fair trial in the U.S. legal system and in many legal systems in the Western world. Legal actors such as jurors and judges routinely rely on facial movements to determine the guilt and remorse of a defendant (e.g., Bandes, 2014; Zebrowitz, 1997). For example, defendants who are perceived as untrustworthy receive harsher sentences than they otherwise would (J. P. Wilson & Rule, 2015, 2016), and such perceptions are more likely when a person appears to be angry (i.e., the person’s facial structure looks similar to the hypothesized facial expression of anger, which is a scowl; Todorov, 2017). An incorrect inference about defendants’ emotional state can cost them their children, their freedom, or even their lives (for recent examples, see L. F. Barrett, 2017b, beginning on page 183).

But can a person’s emotional state be reasonably inferred from that person’s facial movements? In this article, we offer a systematic review of the evidence, testing the common view that instances of an emotion category are signaled with a distinctive configuration of facial movements that has enough reliability and specificity to serve as a diagnostic marker of those instances. We focus our review on evidence pertaining to six emotion categories that have received the lion’s share of attention in scientific research—anger, disgust, fear, happiness, sadness, and surprise—and that, correspondingly, are the focus of the common view (as evidenced by our Google search, summarized in Box 1 in the Supplemental Material). Our conclusions apply, however, to all emotion categories that have thus far been scientifically studied. We open the article with a brief discussion of its scope, approach, and intended audience. We then summarize evidence on how people actually move their faces during episodes of emotion, referred to as studies of expression production, following which we examine evidence on which emotions are actually inferred from looking at facial movements, referred to as studies of emotion perception. We identify three key shortcomings in the scientific research that have contributed to a general misunderstanding about how emotions are expressed and perceived in facial movements and that limit the translation of this scientific evidence for other uses:

    Limited reliability (i.e., instances of the same emotion category are neither reliably expressed through nor perceived from a common set of facial movements).

    Lack of specificity (i.e., there is no unique mapping between a configuration of facial movements and instances of an emotion category).

    Limited generalizability (i.e., the effects of context and culture have not been sufficiently documented and accounted for).

We then discuss our conclusions, followed by proposals for consumers on how they might use the existing scientific literature. We also provide recommendations for future research on emotion production and perception with consumers of that research in mind. We have included additional detail on some topics of import or interest in the Supplemental Material.

Are Children a Joy or a Burden? The educated hold more negative views

Are Children a Joy or a Burden? Individual- and Macro-level Characteristics and the Perception of Children. Haya Stier, Amit Kaplan. European Journal of Population, July 16 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10680-019-09535-y

Abstract: This study examines how individuals perceive children, focusing on two dimensions—the positive aspects of having children and the perception of children as a burden—and taking into account relations with both individual- and macro-level characteristics. Three dimensions are examined on the macro-level: policies that support families, the cultural environment, and economic conditions. The study is based on the 2012 ISSP module on “Family and Gender Roles” and covers 24 OECD countries. The findings show that countries vary widely in their negative perceptions of children, but evince relatively greater similarity in their positive perceptions. Institutional support for children and working parents and traditional family values as captured by religiosity are important factors in explaining cross-country variation in negative perceptions of children. Further, policies may help men and women adopt a more positive view of children and reduce differences among educational groups in relation to children.

Keywords: Children Attitudes ISSP Comparative study


Visually attending to a video together facilitates great ape social closeness

Visually attending to a video together facilitates great ape social closeness. Wouter Wolf and Michael Tomasello. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Volume 286, Issue 1907, July 17 2019. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.0488

Abstract: Humans create social closeness with one another through a variety of shared social activities in which they align their emotions or mental states towards an external stimulus such as dancing to music together, playing board games together or even engaging in minimal shared experiences such as watching a movie together. Although these specific behaviours would seem to be uniquely human, it is unclear whether the underlying psychology is unique to the species, or if other species might possess some form of this psychological mechanism as well. Here we show that great apes who have visually attended to a video together with a human (study 1) and a conspecific (study 2) subsequently approach that individual faster (study 1) or spend more time in their proximity (study 2) than when they had attended to something different. Our results suggest that one of the most basic mechanisms of human social bonding—feeling closer to those with whom we act or attend together—is present in both humans and great apes, and thus has deeper evolutionary roots than previously suspected.

1. Introduction

Humans create and maintain social relationships in ways that are seemingly unique in the animal kingdom. Specifically, humans are able to create social closeness through all kinds of shared activities and experiences that do not require direct physical interaction but instead seem to satisfy a fundamental need to share the experience with other individuals [1]. Although the precise psychological mechanisms through which such activities result in social closeness remain unclear, humans have been shown to connect with one another by doing such things as making music together [2], acting together in synchrony [3], dancing together [4,5], playing team sports together [6] or by sharing experiences through gossip [7] or attitudes [8], or disclosing personal information [9]. In a recent study, Wolf et al. [10] demonstrated that even after a minimal shared interaction in which participants were attending to the same thing without otherwise communicating, they reported feeling closer to that participant [11].

Throughout the animal kingdom, the individuals of many species act in coordination with conspecifics. For example, dolphins often behave in synchrony [12], many bird species coordinate their song and dance in a mating context [13,14], and great apes travel together [15] and sometimes hunt monkeys together [16]. But do behavioural interactions in which individuals focus on an external stimulus together create stronger social relationships or bonds between participants? To our knowledge, there are no studies examining such a relationship in any non-human species, and indeed some theorists have suggested that this method of social bonding might be uniquely human [5,10].

As always in comparison with humans, great apes are a special case because of their close phylogenetic connection. Operational definitions of social closeness (bonding) in great ape research usually rely on interactions involving physical closeness (e.g. grooming and physical play [17–19] and/or spatial proximity [20]. However, given that apes do engage in a variety of coordinated (and even to some degree cooperative activities) such as building and fighting in coalitions and alliances [21], as well as travelling and hunting in groups [22], the question is whether, like humans, great apes have evolved a psychological mechanism that leads them to create social closeness with others through shared experiences. On the other hand, it might be that connecting with others through shared experiences is a uniquely human phenomenon.

To answer this question, we adapted Wolf et al.’s [10] paradigm for apes and conducted two studies in which participants shared the experience of attending to a video together with a human experimenter (study 1) or a conspecific (study 2). In the control condition, a human experimenter (study 1) or conspecific (study 2) sat in the same place but was not watching the video. We then compared the apes' subsequent behaviour towards their partner—approaching and/or remaining in physical proximity—between the two conditions.

In recent decades, educational fields have resisted intelligence research; we created a survey of beliefs about intelligence & administered it to a sample of the general public & a sample of teachers

Warne, Russell T., and Jared Z. Burton. 2019. “Beliefs About Human Intelligence in a Modern American Sample.” PsyArXiv. July 17. doi:10.31234/osf.io/uctxp

Abstract: Research in educational psychology consistently finds a relationship between intelligence and academic performance. However, in recent decades, educational fields, including gifted education, have resisted intelligence research, and there are some experts who argue that intelligence testing should not be used in identifying giftedness. Hoping to better understand this resistance to intelligence research, we created a survey of beliefs about intelligence and administered it online to a sample of the general public and a sample of teachers. We found that there are conflicts between currently accepted intelligence theory and beliefs from the American public and teachers, which has important unintended consequences on gifted education, educational policy and the effectiveness of interventions.

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There may be a tendency for the public to support empirical theories on intelligence when they support egalitarian ideals, & are less accepted as they appear contrary to these principles

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Women who believe that desirable mates are hard to come by, tend to be warier of women in general; wariness of women is linked to less reported number of good female friends

Mate Scarcity Effects on Women’s Wariness of Other Women. Jovana Vukovic, Rudy Jean-Bart, Daniela Branson, Jason Zephir, Alexandra Wright. EvoS Journal, Jul 2019. http://evostudies.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Vukovic-et-al_Vol10SpIss1.pdf

Abstract: Previous studies have found that the scarcity of potential mates in the environment may influence mate-choice relevant behaviors, including intrasexual competition. In the current study, we investigated the relationship between the scarcity of Black men and women’s perceptions of other women (i.e., potential competitors). Since Black men are factually scarce in Broward County, we predicted that women who believe that Black men are scarce may hold less favorable opinions of other women (i.e., potential competitors). We interpreted attitudes of wariness toward other women as likely proxies to intrasexual competition. Our results show that women who believe that desirable mates are hard to come by, tend to be warier of women in general. We also found a negative correlation between wariness of women and reported number of good female friends. These results are consistent with previous findings suggesting heightened intrasexual competition when competition for desirable mates is high due to a sex ratio imbalance.

KEYWORDS: Sex Ratio Imbalance, Intrasexual Competition, Female Friendship, Mate Scarcity

Part of the survey:

Rate  the  following  statements  on  a  scale  from  1  (disagree  strongly)  to  10 (agree strongly):
Women are vengeful.
Women are competitive.
Women make good best friends.
I trust other women.
I feel more defensive around women than I do men.
I feel more comfortable around men than I do around women.
I am sometimes jealous of my female friends.
In the past, I have gossiped about a female friend who was flirting with the person I liked in a romantic way.
In the past, I started a rumor to get back at a friend who flirted with the person I liked in a romantic way.


Are We Monogamous? A Review of the Evolution of Pair-Bonding in Humans and Its Contemporary Variation Cross-Culturally

Are We Monogamous? A Review of the Evolution of Pair-Bonding in Humans and Its Contemporary Variation Cross-Culturally. Ryan Schacht and Karen L. Kramer. Front. Ecol. Evol., July 17 2019, https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2019.00230

Abstract; Despite a long history of study, consensus on a human-typical mating system remains elusive. While a simple classification would be useful for cross-species comparisons, monogamous, polyandrous, and polygynous marriage systems exist across contemporary human societies. Moreover, sexual relationships occur outside of or in tandem with marriage, resulting in most societies exhibiting multiple kinds of marriage and mating relationships. Further complicating a straightforward classification of mating system are the multiple possible interpretations of biological traits typical of humans used to indicate ancestral mating patterns. While challenging to characterize, our review of the literature offers several key insights. 1) Although polygyny is socially sanctioned in most societies, monogamy is the dominant marriage-type within any one group cross-culturally. 2) Sex outside of marriage occurs across societies, yet human extra pair paternity rates are relatively low when compared to those of socially monogamous birds and mammals. 3) Though the timing of the evolution of certain anatomical characteristics is open to debate, human levels of sexual dimorphism and relative testis size point to a diverging history of sexual selection from our great ape relatives. Thus, we conclude that while there are many ethnographic examples of variation across human societies in terms of marriage patterns, extramarital affairs, the stability of relationships, and the ways in which fathers invest, the pair-bond is a ubiquitous feature of human mating relationships. This may be expressed through polygyny and/or polyandry but is most commonly observed in the form of serial monogamy.

Conclusion

Consensus on a human-typical mating system has remained elusive in the literature. Across human societies today, monogamous, polyandrous, polygynous, and short-term mating patterns are present, with most societies exhibiting multiple types of marriages and mating relationships. Further complicating a straightforward classification of mating system are the multiple possible interpretations of biological traits typical of humans used to indicate ancestral mating patterns. While challenging, our review of the literature offers several key insights. 1) Although polygyny is socially sanctioned in most societies, monogamy is the dominant marriage-type within any one group cross-culturally. 2) Sex outside of marriage occurs across societies, yet human extra pair paternity rates are relatively low when compared to those of socially monogamous birds and mammals. 3) While the timing of the evolution of certain anatomical characteristics is open to debate, human levels of sexual dimorphism and relative testis size point to a diverging history of sexual selection from our great ape relatives.

In sum, we conclude that while there are many ethnographic examples of variation across human societies in terms of mating patterns, the stability of relationships, and the ways in which fathers invest, the residential pair-bond is a ubiquitous feature of human mating relationships. This, at times, is expressed through polygyny and/or polyandry, but is most commonly observed in the form of monogamous marriage that is serial and characterized by low levels of extra-pair paternity and high levels of paternal care.

Students are Almost as Effective as Professors in University Teaching

Students are Almost as Effective as Professors in University Teaching. Jan Feld, Nicolás alamanca, Ulf Zölitz, Economics of Education Review, July 16 2019, 101912, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econedurev.2019.101912

Abstract: In a previous paper, we have shown that academic rank is largely unrelated to tutorial teaching effectiveness. In this paper, we further explore the effectiveness of the lowest-ranked instructors: students. We confirm that students are almost as effective as senior instructors, and we produce results informative on the effects of expanding the use of student instructors. We conclude that hiring moderately more student instructors would not harm students, but exclusively using them will likely negatively affect student outcomes. Given how inexpensive student instructors are, however, such a policy might still be worth it.


We overestimate how much observers think our one-off success or failure offers insight about a competence; we think their seeing a performance in a specific skill will reveal a lot about a general skill

Moon, A., Gan, M., & Critcher, C. R. (2019). The overblown implications effect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspi0000204

Abstract: People frequently engage in behaviors that put their competencies on display. However, do such actors understand how others view them in light of these performances? Eight studies support an overblown implications effect (OIE): Actors overestimate how much observers think an actor’s one-off success or failure offers clear insight about a relevant competency (Study 1). Furthermore, actors overblow performances’ implications even in prospect, before there are experienced successes or failures on which to ruminate (Studies 2 and 3). To explain the OIE, we introduce the construct of working trait definitions—accessible beliefs about what specific skills define a general trait or competency. When actors try to adopt observers’ perspective, the narrow performance domain seems disproportionately important in defining the general trait (Study 4). By manipulating actors’ working trait definitions to include other (unobserved) trait-relevant behaviors, we eliminated the OIE (Study 5). The final 3 studies (Studies 6a–6c) more precisely localized the error. Although actors and observers agreed on what a single success or failure (e.g., the quality of a single batch of cookies) could reveal about actors’ narrow competence (e.g., skill at baking cookies), actors erred in thinking observers would feel this performance would reveal a considerable amount about the more general skill (e.g., cooking ability) and related specific competencies (e.g., skill at making omelets). Discussion centers on how the present theoretical account differs from previous explanations why metaperceptions err and identifies important open questions for future research.

Oldest European accounts that describe the reactions of animals to their own reflections on the surface of a body of water or in a mirror

Ancient and Medieval Animals and Self-recognition: Observations from Early European Sources in Early Science and Medicine- Lucyna Kostuch, Beata Wojciechowska and Sylwia Konarska-Zimnicka. Early Science and Medicine, Volume 24: Issue 2, Jul 2 2019. https://doi.org/10.1163/15733823-00242P01

Abstract: This article presents the oldest European accounts that describe the reactions of animals to their own reflections on the surface of a body of water or in a mirror. The analysed sources will encompass Greco-Roman accounts, including the reception of these accounts in the Middle Ages. While this article belongs to the field of the history of science, it seeks to provide a historical commentary with insights from contemporary studies (the mirror test, MSR). The article presents surviving ancient and medieval accounts about particular animal species that describe their ability or inability to recognise a mirror reflection. The species discussed are the horse, mule, dog, birds (sparrow, partridge, rooster, quail, jackdaw, starling and pheasant), the monkey and tiger. Brief mention is also made of the sheep, pigeon, goose, parrot, raven and cat.

Keywords: ancient and medieval animals ; mirror test ; self-recognition

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Sample of 2364 apartment buildings in 48 US states: 60% of names contained nature words, 6% contained nature-analogous, and only 32% contained non-nature words

Home is where the nature is: A content analysis of apartment complexes. Rebecka Hahnel, Aaron Goetz. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Natural selection resulted in human’s evolved preferences and motivations to seek landscapes that provide lush resources while avoiding life-threatening risks (Orians, 1980). These evolved preferences may influence several aspects of modernday society—including how we manipulate our urban environment. In our study, we explored the relationship between evolved landscape preferences and naming conventions of new constructions—specifically apartment complexes. We hypothesized there would be more nature words in apartment complex names than non-nature words. A content analysis of 2,364 names of apartment buildings was conducted utilizing a program that makes use of Google Maps to gather names from each of the 48 contiguous states of the United States of America. Each apartment name was rated as having nature words (e.g., river, arbor), nature-analogous words (e.g., summer, ranch), or non-nature words (e.g., 4th street, Washington). Sixty percent (n = 1428) of apartment buildings contained nature words, 6% (n = 158) contained nature-analogous, and only 32% (n =807) contained non-nature words (ꭕ2 (2, 2364) = 606.550, p < 0.001). Results supported our hypothesis that there are statistically more nature words than non-nature words in the names of apartment buildings. Our landscape preferences may affect how developers name our homesteads—exploiting our biophilia.

Building upon recent insights that morality evolves to secure fitness advantages of cooperation, we propose that conservation ethics is based in interest in cooperation between humans & non-humans

Value of species and the evolution of conservation ethics. Darragh Hare, Bernd Blossey, H. Kern Reeve. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: The theory of evolution by natural selection can help explain why people care about other species. Building upon recent insights that morality evolves to secure fitness advantages of cooperation, we propose that conservation ethics (moral beliefs, attitudes, intuitions and norms regarding other species) could be adaptations that support cooperation between humans and non-humans. We present eco-evolutionary cost–benefit models of conservation behaviors as interspecific cooperation (altruism towards members of other species). We find that an evolutionary rule identical in structure to Hamilton's rule (which explains altruistic behavior towards related conspecifics) can explain altruistic behavior towards members of other species. Natural selection will favor traits for selectively altering the success of members of other species (e.g. conserving them) in ways that maximize inclusive fitness return benefits. Conservation behaviors and the ethics that evolve to reinforce them will be sensitive to local ecological and socio-cultural conditions, so will assume different contours in different places. Difficulties accurately assessing costs and benefits provided by other species, time required to adapt to ecological and socio-cultural change and barriers to collective action could explain the apparent contradiction between the widespread existence of conservation ethics and patterns of biodiversity decline globally.
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsos.181038

Is altruistic punishment altruistic?

Is altruistic punishment altruistic? Ricardo Andrés Guzmán, Cristián Candia, Leda Cosmides, Carlos Rodriguez-Sickert. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: The aim of this investigation is to determine if altruistic punishment in social dilemmas is a robust phenomenon or an artifact of the standard experimental designs, as some authors have suggested (Carpenter and Matthews 2012; Pedersen, Kurzban, and McCullough 2013). To this end we have designed a variant of the public good game with peer punishment. In our public good game, a group of subjects is partitioned into subgroups that play a one-shot public good game. After the game finishes the subjects can punish free riders, even if they belong to other subgroups. Unlike standard social dilemma experiments, our experimental design allows to discriminate altruistic punishment (for the sake of the group) from self-interested punishment (for the sake of the individual who punishes). We hypothesize that the selfish and altruistic (if there is any) motivations will combine in the PG case (N=4) where no subgroups are created, so punishment in this case will be greater than selfish punishment with respect to the case in which experimental subjects participate in two simultaneous prisoner dilemma games. In addition, our experimental design eliminates several artifacts of standard experiments, such as demand characteristics and the preclusion of the bystander effect.

Sexual concordance, matching of self-reported sexual orientation & genital response when introduced to erotic stimuli (audio, visual, audiovisual, etc.), is very low for heterosexual cisgender women

The mystery of low sexual concordance among heterosexual cisgender females. Jesse E. Kavieff, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford, Zach W. Sundin, Todd K. Shackelford. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Sexual concordance (SC) refers to matching of self-reported sexual orientation (SO) and genital response when introduced to erotic stimuli (audio, visual, audiovisual, etc.). Men of all SO demonstrate high SC (i.e., near 100%) when exposed to erotic stimuli (Mustanski, Chivers, & Bailey, 2002; Chivers, 2005, 2017; Chivers et. al, 2004; Chivers & Bailey 2005;). Queer cisgender women and transgender women across the SO also match reported sexual orientation to genital response with high SC (Chivers, 2017; Chivers et. al, 2004, 2015; Lawrence et. al, 2005). Cisgender heterosexual Females (CHF), however, show relatively low SC in comparison to cisgender queer, transgender women and men. Furthermore, CHF show slight genital lubrication response to nonhuman mating videos (Chivers, & Bailey, 2005). Genital response and arousal in CHF is marked by vasocongestion in the clitoris and vagina, vaginal pulsation measured by vaginal photoplesmagraph, and by lubrication released from the Skene's and Bartholin's glands. Low SC in CHF is analyzed by both the preparation hypothesis (byproduct hypothesis) and the greater variability in sexual rewards among androphilic women hypothesis (adaptation hypothesis) (Sushinsky & Lalumiere, 2004; Chivers, 2017); more research is required to better understand female sexuality and perhaps discourage misdiagnoses of sexual dysfunction in CHF.

Check also A Life History Approach to the Female Sexual Orientation Spectrum: Evolution, Development, Causal Mechanisms, and Health. Severi Luoto, Indrikis Krams, Markus J. Rantala. Archives of Sexual Behavior, https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2018/09/feedback-loop-of-environmental.html

And Are Women Sexually Fluid? The Nature of Female Same-Sex Attraction and Its Evolutionary Origins. Menelaos Apostolou. Evolutionary Psychological Science, https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2017/11/are-women-sexually-fluid-nature-of.html

And The evolution of female same-sex attraction: The male choice hypothesis. Menelaos Apostolou et al. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 116, 1 October 2017, Pages 372-378, http://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2017/08/the-evolution-of-female-same-sex.html

Biologically defined Alzheimer disease is more prevalent than clinically defined probable Alzheimer disease at any age and is 3 times more prevalent at age 85 for both men and women

Prevalence of Biologically vs Clinically Defined Alzheimer Spectrum Entities Using the National Institute on Aging–Alzheimer’s Association Research Framework. Clifford R. Jack Jr et al. JAMA Neurol. Published online July 15, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2019.1971

Key Points
Question  How does the prevalence of 3 imaging biomarker–based definitions of the Alzheimer disease spectrum from the National Institute on Aging–Alzheimer’s Association research framework compare with clinically defined diagnostic entities commonly linked with Alzheimer disease?

Findings  Among a sample of 5213 individuals from Olmsted County, Minnesota, in this population-based cohort study, biologically defined Alzheimer disease is more prevalent than clinically diagnosed probable Alzheimer disease at any age and is 3 times more prevalent at age 85 years among both women and men.

Meaning  Most patients with biologically defined Alzheimer disease are not symptomatic, which creates potential confusion around the definition of Alzheimer disease.

Abstract
Importance  A National Institute on Aging–Alzheimer’s Association (NIA-AA) workgroup recently published a research framework in which Alzheimer disease is defined by neuropathologic or biomarker evidence of β-amyloid plaques and tau tangles and not by clinical symptoms.

Objectives  To estimate the sex- and age-specific prevalence of 3 imaging biomarker–based definitions of the Alzheimer disease spectrum from the NIA-AA research framework and to compare these entities with clinically defined diagnostic entities commonly linked with Alzheimer disease.

Design, Setting, and Participants  The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging (MCSA) is a population-based cohort study of cognitive aging in Olmsted County, Minnesota. The MCSA in-person participants (n = 4660) and passively ascertained (ie, through the medical record rather than in-person) individuals with dementia (n = 553) aged 60 to 89 years were included. Subsets underwent amyloid positron emission tomography (PET) (n = 1524) or both amyloid and tau PET (n = 576). Therefore, this study included 3 nested cohorts examined between November 29, 2004, and June 5, 2018. Data were analyzed between February 19, 2018, and March 26, 2019.

Main Outcomes and Measures  The sex- and age-specific prevalence of the following 3 biologically defined diagnostic entities was estimated: Alzheimer continuum (abnormal amyloid regardless of tau status), Alzheimer pathologic change (abnormal amyloid but normal tau), and Alzheimer disease (abnormal amyloid and tau). These were compared with the prevalence of 3 clinically defined diagnostic groups (mild cognitive impairment or dementia, dementia, and clinically defined probable Alzheimer disease).

Results  The median (interquartile range) age was 77 (72-83) years in the clinical cohort (n = 5213 participants), 77 (70-83) years in the amyloid PET cohort (n = 1524 participants), and 77 (69-83) years in the tau PET cohort (n = 576 participants). There were roughly equal numbers of women and men. The prevalence of all diagnostic entities (biological and clinical) increased rapidly with age, with the exception of Alzheimer pathologic change. The prevalence of biological Alzheimer disease was greater than clinically defined probable Alzheimer disease for women and men. Among women, these values were 10% (95% CI, 6%-14%) vs 1% (95% CI, 1%-1%) at age 70 years and 33% (95% CI, 25%-41%) vs 10% (95% CI, 9%-12%) at age 85 years (P < .001). Among men, these values were 9% (95% CI, 5%-12%) vs 1% (95% CI, 0%-1%) at age 70 years and 31% (95% CI, 24%-38%) vs 9% (95% CI, 8%-11%) at age 85 years (P < .001). The only notable difference by sex was a greater prevalence of the mild cognitive impairment or dementia clinical category among men than women.

Conclusions and Relevance  Results of this study suggest that biologically defined Alzheimer disease is more prevalent than clinically defined probable Alzheimer disease at any age and is 3 times more prevalent at age 85 years among both women and men. This difference is mostly driven by asymptomatic individuals with biological Alzheimer disease. These findings illustrate the magnitude of the consequences on public health that potentially exist by intervening with disease-specific treatments to prevent symptom onset.


Introduction

Since 1984, a diagnosis of probable Alzheimer disease has been based on clinical findings of a progressive amnestic multidomain cognitive impairment culminating in dementia after other potential causes were excluded.1-3 Neuropathologic identification of β-amyloid plaques and tau tangles has always been required for a definite diagnosis of Alzheimer disease. Numerous studies have identified discrepancies between the clinical syndrome and the neuropathologic diagnosis of Alzheimer disease.4 Many individuals who meet neuropathologic criteria either do not have symptoms or have symptoms that differ from the classic amnestic presentation. National Institute on Aging–Alzheimer’s Association (NIA-AA) committees in 2011 and the International Work Group addressed this conundrum by adding biomarkers to clinical criteria to improve the specificity of the clinical diagnosis.3,5-8 These modified clinical diagnostic criteria cast Alzheimer disease as a clinical biomarker entity, but the diagnosis was not divorced from clinical impairment.3,5-8 The NIA-AA 2011 preclinical Alzheimer disease recommendations were an exception,9 as were the 2012 NIA-AA neuropathologic guidelines, which separated the neuropathologic definition of Alzheimer disease from the clinical syndrome.10,11

Building on the work above, a workgroup commissioned by the NIA-AA recently published a research framework12 defining Alzheimer disease biologically throughout its entire course. Alzheimer disease was defined either by neuropathologic examination or, in living persons, by positron emission tomography (PET) or biofluid biomarkers of the 2 hallmark diagnostic proteinopathies, namely, β-amyloid plaques and tau neurofibrillary tangles. The NIA-AA research framework harmonized the in vivo with the previously established neuropathologic10,11 definition of Alzheimer disease.

Epidemiologic studies estimating the prevalence of Alzheimer disease have typically used the clinical criteria by McKhann et al1,3 to define the condition. The new NIA-AA research framework12 leads to the following question: what is the prevalence of Alzheimer disease defined biologically using biomarkers compared with the prevalence using conventional definitions based on clinical symptoms? To address this question in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging (MCSA) population, we estimated the sex- and age-specific prevalence of 3 imaging biomarker–based definitions of the Alzheimer disease spectrum from the NIA-AA research framework and compared these estimates with the prevalence of clinically defined diagnostic entities commonly linked with Alzheimer disease. Although biomarkers are now commonly used in aging and dementia research, most cohorts deeply phenotyped by biomarkers are clinic based and not population based. However, the MCSA is a population-based sample (ie, a random sample from a defined geographic area) with deep biomarker phenotyping.


In Discussion:

A biological definition leads to an increase in the apparent prevalence of Alzheimer disease compared with a syndromal definition. This is not surprising; the same is true for any other disease (eg, cancer, diabetes, etc) in which tests can detect disease in both symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Even though there are no therapies proven to alter clinical outcomes, our data illustrate that a significant opportunity exists to influence public health by intervention in the preclinical phase of the disease if that proves to be efficacious.56-58 As other late-life diseases become better controlled, there is an imperative to delay or prevent symptoms due to Alzheimer disease; otherwise, those gains in life expectancy will be transformed into longer life with dementia. Intervention to prevent symptom onset was explicitly identified as a major public health objective in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease.36

13,871 children aged 9 to 12: Weak relationships emerged between digital media use & subjective well-being; heavy users nonetheless are almost twice as likely to suffer from low levels of well-being

Does the use of digital media affect psychological well-being? An empirical test among children aged 9 to 12. Helena Bruggeman et al. Computers in Human Behavior, July 16 2019. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.07.015

Highlights
•    A sample of 13,871 children aged 9 to 12 was collected.
•    Weak relationships emerged between digital media use and subjective well-being. Heavy users nonetheless are almost twice as likely to suffer from low levels of well-being.
•    Almost 20% of the children had a Facebook profile.
•    Online social network effects on well-being dissipated when taking into account offline relations.
•    Studies should investigate the long term effects of digital media use of young children.

Abstract: Does digital media use support or undermine psychological well-being? This question has not only elicited a lot of attention in the popular media, but it also has been investigated empirically in scientific literature. Much of these studies have been conducted in samples of adolescents and adults, reporting both positive and negative effects of digital media use on well-being, leading to at least four theoretical positions about this relationship. In each of these theories the relationship between digital media use and well-being is explained by people's social network. In the present study, we address the question whether digital media use is related to psychological well-being in a large sample (N = 13,871) of children aged 9–12 year. The results revealed rather weak linear relationships (r's < 0.10), but at the same time it has been shown that highest frequency users of digital media in terms of daily use had a relative risk of 2.0 and beyond to score lower on well-being. In the specific group of children who have a Facebook profile (N = 2,528, 18.2%), their offline social network was a much stronger predictor of well-being compared to their online social network. Based on these cross sectional results, it is concluded that heavy use of digital media by young children has an adverse impact on their psychological well-being, but that mild use of such media has very limited effects in this respect.

Rolf Deggen summarizing... Sex differences in personality are large if measured in combination. Successful replication of provocative finding.

Global Sex Differences in Personality: Replication with an Open Online Dataset. Tim Kaiser, Marco del Giudice, Tom Booth. Journal of Personality, July 2019. DOI: 10.1111/jopy.12500

Abstract
Objective: Sex differences in personality are a matter of continuing debate. In a study on the US standardization sample of Cattell’s 16PF (fifth edition), Del Giudice and colleagues (2012; PLoS ONE, 7, e29265) estimated global sex differences in personality with multigroup covariance and mean structure analysis (MG-CMSA). The study found a surprisingly large multivariate effect, D = 2.71. Here we replicated the original analysis with an open online dataset employing an equivalent version of the 16PF.

Method: We closely replicated the original MG-MCSA analysis on N = 21,567 US participants (63% females, age 16-90); for robustness, we also analyzed N = 31,637 participants across English-speaking countries (61% females, age 16-90).

Results: The size of global sex differences was D = 2.06 in the US and D = 2.10 across English-speaking countries. Parcel-allocation variability analysis showed that results were robust to changes in parceling (US: median D = 2.09, IQR [1.89, 2.37]; English-speaking countries: median D = 2.17, IQR [1.98, 2.47]).

Conclusions: Our results corroborate the original study (with a comparable if somewhat smaller effect size) and provide new information on the impact of parcel allocation. We discuss the implications of these and similar findings for the psychology of sex differences

Nighttime crime: Interaction of full moon light and street light

Kaplan, Jacob, The Effect of Moonlight on Outdoor Nighttime Crime (April 9, 2019). SSRN, http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3369228

Abstract: The use of outdoor lighting, particularly through street lights, is a common tool for policy makers attempting to reduce crime. Research on the effect of lights on crime, however, are limited as installing or improving street lighting may affect the community in ways beyond merely increasing outdoor lighting. Welsh and Farrington’s (2008) study suggested that improving street lighting may also improve informal social control in the area as it reflects improved street usage and investments in the community. This paper uses moonlight as a unique measure of outdoor ambient lighting that avoids the issue of community cohesion and examines the effect of lighting directly. The amount of actual moonlight a city receives each night is measured using the interaction between the percent of the moon illuminated and the proportion of the night without clouds. This interaction creates significant variation in moonlight between cities and across nights in the same city. Contrary to past research on lighting, this study finds that brighter nights, those with a full moon and no clouds, have significantly more crime than nights without any moonlight. These results suggest that there are heterogeneous effects of outdoor lighting by dosage and that more research on possible criminogenic effects of low dosages of outdoor lights are needed.

Keywords: CPTED, crime prevention, school crime


Perceived differences in moral values increased hurting & decreased helping behavior, and are strongly correlated to perceived differences in political ideology, for both liberals & conservatives

When moral identity harms: The impact of perceived differences in core values on helping and hurting. Sarah Gotowie. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 151, December 1 2019, 109489, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2019.06.032

Highlights
•    Moral identity does not unequivocally predict helping behavior.
•    Conservatism and liberalism do not predict willingness to harm.
•    Moral values are central to political values.

Abstract: This research investigates moral self-regulatory individual differences and perceived differences in core moral-political values as predictors of helping and hurting behavior in liberals and conservatives. Study 1 (N = 249) demonstrated that self-reported liberals and conservatives do not differ on moral disengagement, moral identity, or trait aggression. Study 2 (N = 149) used an online version of the Tangram Task paradigm and showed that perceived differences in moral values: i) predict increased hurting and decreased helping behavior, ii) interact with moral identity to strengthen the relationship between moral disengagement and hurting behavior, and iii) are strongly correlated to perceived differences in political ideology. These patterns were similar for both liberals and conservatives. These studies demonstrate that moral identity does not unequivocally predict helping behavior, conservatism and liberalism do not predict willingness to harm one another, and that moral values are central to political values. The findings are discussed in relation to ideological conflict hypothesis and moral self-regulation literature, along with applied implications.

Harlequin romance novels' covert art: As time progresses, the covers focus more on the couple (at the exclusion of other individuals), & portray stronger intimacy, given shifts in socio-cultural permissiveness

A temporal analysis of cover art on Harlequin romance novels. Maryanne L. Fisher, Tami M. Meredith. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: We present an analysis of Harlequin romance novel cover images that we used to determine women’s evolved mating behaviours, as well socio-cultural change in issues such as gender norms. We analyzed 500 covers from the 1950s until 2014. Our findings show that as time progresses, the covers focus more on the couple (at the exclusion of other individuals), and portray stronger intimacy as indicated by more reclining poses, more physical contact, more interaction, and increased direct eye gaze between the couple. We contend that although the covers have always addressed female mate preferences and interests due to the fact that the overwhelming majority of readers are women, the covers have become increasingly explicit in terms of sexuality and intimacy given shifts in socio-cultural permissiveness. Therefore, Harlequin romance novel covers represent an innovative way to examine evolutionary and sociocultural forces pertaining to women’s sexuality and mating interests


Those women who espoused anti-feminist values—that is, those high in hostile sexism—had faked significantly more orgasms over their lifetime

Beliefs About Gender Predict Faking Orgasm in Heterosexual Women. Emily A. Harris, Matthew J. Hornsey, Hannah F. Larsen, Fiona Kate Barlow. Archives of Sexual Behavior, July 15 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-019-01510-2

Abstract: The majority of women have faked an orgasm at least once in their lives. In the current study, we assessed how women’s worldviews about gender relate to their faking orgasm behavior. A survey of 462 heterosexual women from the UK (Mage=38.38 years) found that those who espoused anti-feminist values—that is, those high in hostile sexism—had faked significantly more orgasms over their lifetime. In contrast, those who espoused ostensibly positive but restrictive ideas of gender relations—that is, those high in benevolent sexism—had faked significantly fewer orgasms over their lifetime. Furthermore, the more that women believed female orgasm was necessary for men’s sexual gratification, the more likely they were to have faked an orgasm at least once in their lives compared to women who had never faked an orgasm. These effects were small to moderate and emerged after controlling for demographics, sexual history, ease of orgasm, and previously established psychological correlates of faking orgasm, including suspected partner infidelity and intrasexual competition.


Keywords: Faking orgasm Ideology Hostile sexism Benevolent sexism Gender



Check also Motivations for faking orgasm and orgasm consistency among young adult women. Michael D. Barnett et al. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 149, 15 October 2019, Pages 83-87. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/06/women-who-faked-orgasm-in-order-to.html

Monday, July 15, 2019

Americans appear to be in greater pain than citizens of other countries, and most sub-groups of citizens have downwardly trended happiness levels

Unhappiness and Pain in Modern America: A Review Essay, and Further Evidence, on Carol Graham's Happiness for All? David G. Blanchflower, Andrew Oswald. NBER Working Paper No. 24087, November 2017. https://www.nber.org/papers/w24087

In Happiness for All?, Carol Graham raises disquieting ideas about today’s United States. The challenge she puts forward is an important one. Here we review the intellectual case and offer additional evidence. We conclude broadly on the author’s side. Strikingly, Americans appear to be in greater pain than citizens of other countries, and most sub-groups of citizens have downwardly trended happiness levels. There is, however, one bright side to an otherwise dark story. The happiness of black Americans has risen strongly since the 1970s. It is now almost equal to that of white Americans.

Humans go through a dramatic developmental shift during the second year of life in the way they evaluate individuals based on the outcomes of conflict

Infants prefer those who 'bow out' of zero-sum. conflicts. Ashley J. Thomas, Barbara W. Sarnecka. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Cooperation and conflict are basic to human social life. From early infancy, humans seem to recognize cooperation and to prefer cooperative individuals. They also seem to recognize conflict, expecting larger individuals or those with more allies to prevail. The present paper asks how infants feel about others who either win or lose (by yielding) in a conflict. We present a total of nine experiments. In four of the experiments, infants ages 10 to 16 months watched vignettes showing two puppets in a conflict. Infants preferred (reached for) the puppet that yielded to another puppet, rather than the puppet who was yielded to. Five more experiments ruled out alternative explanations for the main findings, including that the infants preferred the yielding puppet because it helped the other puppet achieve its goal. These results are striking in light of earlier findings showing that only five months later, at age 21 months, children emphatically prefer the winner (non-yielding puppet) in such conflicts. These results suggest that humans go through a dramatic developmental shift during the second year of life in the way they evaluate individuals based on the outcomes of conflict

Rational, impartial, dispassionate, neutral, above-human scientists to whom the lawmaker must hear: “More scientists are bringing their emotions and hearts to the forefront of their work”

It’s the End of the World as They Know It: The distinct burden of being a climate scientist. David Corn; Photos by Devin Yalkin. Mother Jones, July 8, 2019. https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2019/07/weight-of-the-world-climate-change-scientist-grief

“More scientists are bringing their emotions and hearts to the forefront of their work—getting bolder, more impassioned, more provocative”

Selection of emotional, sorry, objective statements:
“I’m tired of processing this incredible and immense decline”

”[...] knows of a looming catastrophe but must struggle to function in a world that does not comprehend what is coming and, worse, largely ignores the warnings of those who do.”

“it’s deep grief—having eyes wide open to what is playing out in our world”

“I lose sleep over climate change almost every single night”

“Climate change is its own unique trauma. It has to do with human existence.”

“I have no child and I have one dog, and thank god he’ll be dead in 10 years.”

Infants map pyramidal position to social dominance as soon as they associate it with relative physical size, suggesting that infant concepts of dominance are formed akin to human dominance hierarchies.

The structure of dominance: Preverbal infants map pyramidal position to social dominance. Lotte Thomsen, Erik Kjos Fohn, Joakim Haugane Zahl, Oda Eidjar, Susan Carey. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: The learnability problem of the social world suggests that evolution may have built core relational concepts (Thomsen & Carey, 2013). Indeed, preverbal infants represent social dominance (Thomsen et al, 2011). Across cultures and language families, UP-DOWN is mapped to social hierarchies such that higher-ranked superiors are placed and spoken metaphorically as above lowly inferiors (Fiske, 1992; Lakoff & Johnson,1980). However, human dominance hierarchies are pyramidal, such that more people are at the bottom than at the top. Consistent with this, adults across cultures readily interpret a pyramidal structure as hierarchy, but not a vertical line (Thomsen, 2010). Here, we demonstrate that 11-16 month-olds, after watching six same-size agents “flying” in a pyramidal structure, expect the top agent to prevail in a subsequent right-of-way conflict, looking significantly longer if it yields to a bottom one than vice versa. Study 2 replicated these effects among 9-10 month-olds. A control study instead familiarized infants to an inverted pyramid. These results demonstrate that infants map pyramidal position to social dominance as soon as they associate it with relative physical size, suggesting that infant concepts of dominance are formed as pyramidal structures, akin to human dominance hierarchies.

Coalitions compete in a collective, zero-sum fashion for status (relative entitlement to determine outcomes); lack of support for inflammatory representations, however inaccurate, is seen as immoral & disloyal

Tableaux, camera angles and outrage lock: the political cognition and cultural epidemiology of group-relevant events. John Tooby. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Coalitions compete in a collective, zero-sum fashion for status (relative entitlement to determine outcomes). This selected for an evolved, group-directed motivational system that is designed to link individuals together to act as a unit to enhance, defend or repair their status, or initiate aggression in the interest of exploitive supremacism. The status of the group is a public good to its members. Hence, harms (“outrages”) to one or more members of the ingroup (or proxy members) by one or more members of an outgroup advertise potentially undeterred mistreatment as a new public precedent for tolerated mistreatment and low status. Typically, joint attention on outrages triggers collective responses, and so representations of outrages and grievances function as group-mobilizing resources, and are nurtured, embroidered, and exaggerated for their utility in advancing the group’s interests, including in subordinating outgroup members. Lack of support for inflammatory representations, however inaccurate, is treated as immoral and disloyal, leading to outrage lock, where extreme representations maintain themselves in the group long after whatever underlying reality has dissipated. The cultural epidemiology of representations of significant outrages and emblematic events become cognitively stylized imagery—what might be called tableaux—built out of underlying evolved systems of situation representation.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

People touch their sexual partner’s saliva with little discomfort; partially from such observations, proposal is that pathogen avoidance also depends on target relationship value


More valued relationship partners engender less pathogen avoidance. Joshua Tybur. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: People touch their own infant’s snot and their sexual partner’s saliva with little discomfort. Based partially on such observations, recent models have proposed that interpersonal pathogen avoidance varies not only as a function of perceived infection risk, but also target relationship value. The current work tested this hypothesis. In both of two studies (N’s = 504 and 430), participants were randomly assigned to think of a target who was: (1) their romantic partner; (2) their closest friend; (3) an acquaintance; or (4) a disliked other. They then indicated their comfort with 10 examples of infectious indirect contact with the target (e.g., touching a handkerchief used by the target). Finally, they completed a welfare-tradeoff task, which assessed the value they place on their relationship with the target. Study 1 revealed that comfort with infectious contact was strongly related to target relationship value, r = .68, p < .001; this effect remained after controlling for target category (e.g., romantic partner versus acquaintance), β = .21, p < .001. Study 2 replicated this finding, r = .62, p < .001, and further found that relationship value related to contact comfort independent of target category, attractiveness, and hygiene, β = .28, p < .001.

27 societies around the world: Long-term familial bonds are positively associated with psychological well-being, but mate-seeking motives are associated with anxiety and depression

Ko, Ahra, Cari M. Pick, Jung Y. Kwon, Michael Barlev, Jaimie Krems, Michael E. W. Varnum, PhD, Rebecca Neel, et al. 2019. “Family Matters: Rethinking the Psychology of Human Social Motivation.” PsyArXiv. July 14. doi:10.31234/osf.io/u8h3x

Abstract: What motives do people prioritize in their social lives? Historically, social psychologists, especially those adopting an evolutionary perspective, have devoted a great deal of research attention to sexual attraction and romantic partner choice (mate-seeking). Research on long-term familial bonds (mate retention and kin care) has been less thoroughly connected to relevant comparative and evolutionary work on other species, and in the case of kin care, less well researched. Examining varied sources of data from 27 societies around the world, we found that people generally view familial motives as primary in importance, and mate-seeking motives as relatively low in importance. College students, single people, and males place relatively higher emphasis on mate-seeking, but even those samples rated kin care motives as more important. Further, motives linked to long-term familial bonds are positively associated with psychological well-being, but mate-seeking motives are associated with anxiety and depression. We address theoretical and empirical reasons why there has been extensive research on mate-seeking, and why people prioritize goals related to long-term familial bonds over mating goals. Reallocating relatively greater research effort toward long-term familial relationships would likely yield many interesting new findings relevant to everyday people’s highest social priorities.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

The positive lessons learned from previous sex, romance, & cohabitation seem overwhelmed by the negative carryover, affecting relationship attitudes, sexual satisfaction, commitment, & stability

Busby, D. M., Willoughby, B. J., & McDonald, M. L. (2019). Is it the sex, the romance, or the living together? The differential impact of past sexual, romantic, and cohabitation histories on current relationship functioning. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 8(2), 90-104. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cfp0000117

Abstract: Before their current relationship, individuals may have had a variety of previous relationships such as romantic relationships, sexual relationships, and cohabiting relationships. In this study we explored the common or shared influence of these 3 types of previous relationships, and the unique influence of each type, on current relationship functioning. With a sample of more than 4,000 individuals we found that there was a significantly negative shared influence for previous romantic, sexual, and cohabiting relationships on current relationship attitudes, sexual satisfaction, commitment, and stability. Above and beyond the shared influence, there was also a unique negative influence for previous sexual and cohabiting relationships on current relationship stability. The effects were largely similar for women and for men. It appears that on average the positive lessons that are learned from previous relationship experiences are likely being overwhelmed by the negative carryover, especially in regard to relationship attitudes and relationship stability.

Sensitive periods are widespread in nature; for plasticity to be adaptive, organisms require reliable information about the environment, but information's reliability varies

Phenotypic plasticity across the lifespan: a model of sensitive periods when the reliability of information varies. Nicole Walasek, Willem Frankenhuis. Human Behavior and Evolution Society 31st annual meeting. Boston 2019. http://tiny.cc/aa1w6y

Abstract: Sensitive periods are widespread in nature. Much work investigates the neuralphysiological underpinnings of variation in sensitive periods between and within species. Recently, complementary research using formal theoretical modeling has explored the evolutionary pressures that shape the development of sensitive periods. Most models acknowledge that, for plasticity to be adaptive, organisms require reliable information about the environment. However, they have yet to explore how withinlifetime variation in the reliability of information affects the development of sensitive periods. Our model fills this gap. We consider organisms that incrementally tailor their phenotype to their environment by using cues (i.e. sampled information) and assume that cue reliability is not fixed, but instead varies across time. We then simulate developmental trajectories over a range of ecologies. Additionally, we offer multiple ways to quantify sensitive periods in order to closely match a variety of empirical study paradigms (e.g. migration, adoption, and cross-fostering studies). Our model shows that natural selection may favor sensitive periods in developmental windows other than early life (e.g., adolescence), and generates testable predictions about the environmental conditions in which "mid-life sensitive periods" are likely to evolve, and about individual differences in the onset and offset of such periods as a function of experience.

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2015.2439
https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspb.2011.0055



Aggressive Video Games are Not a Risk Factor for Future Aggression in Youth: A Longitudinal Study

Aggressive Video Games are Not a Risk Factor for Future Aggression in Youth: A Longitudinal Study. Christopher J. Ferguson1●C. K. John Wang. Journal of Youth and Adolescence. Accepted June 20 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-019-01069-01

Abstract: The issue of whether video games with aggressive or violent content (henceforth aggressive video games) contribute to aggressive behavior in youth remains an issue of significant debate. One issue that has been raised is that some studies may inadvertently inflate effect sizes by use of questionable researcher practices and unstandardized assessments of predictors and outcomes, or lack of proper theory-driven controls. In the current article, a large sample of 3034 youth (72.8% male12Mage=11.2) in Singapore were assessed for links between aggressive game play and seven aggression or prosocial outcomes 2 years later. Theoretically relevant controls for prior aggression, poor impulse control, gender and family involvement were used. Effect sizes were compared to sixnonsenseoutcomes specifically chosen to be theoretically unrelated to aggressive game play. The use of nonsense outcomes allows for a comparison of effect sizes between theoretically relevant and irrelevant outcomes, to help assess whether any statistically significant outcomes may be spurious in large datasets. Preregistration was employed to reduce questionable researcher practices. Results indicate that aggressive video games were unrelated to any of the outcomes using the study criteria for significance. It would take 27 h/day of M-rated game play to produce clinically noticeable changes in aggression. Effect sizes for aggression/prosocial outcomes were little different than for nonsense outcomes. Evidence from this study does not support the conclusion that aggressive video games are a predictor of later aggression or reduced prosocial behavior in youth.

Keywords: Video games●Aggression●Violence●Preregistration