Sunday, September 15, 2019

Games of chance: A near miss is said to occur when feedback for a loss approximates a win (“cherry–cherry–lemon” on a slot machine); experiments failed to support the "near-miss effect" hypothesis

The Near-Miss Effect in Slot Machines: A Review and Experimental Analysis Over Half a Century Later. Jeffrey M. Pisklak, Joshua J. H. Yong, Marcia L. Spetch. Journal of Gambling Studies, September 14 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10899-019-09891-8

Abstract: In games of chance, a near miss is said to occur when feedback for a loss approximates a win. For instance, obtaining “cherry–cherry–lemon” on a slot machine could be considered a near miss. Sixty-six years ago, B.F. Skinner first proposed the idea that near-miss events might reinforce continued play in slot machines, and despite some inconsistencies in the experimental literature, belief in this “near-miss effect” has remained strong. In the present manuscript, we will review this literature and present experimental assessments of the near-miss effect on the frequency of the gambling response. Experiment 1 used a tightly controlled resistance-to-extinction procedure in pigeons to evaluate the putative reinforcing effect of near misses relative to a control “far-miss” reel pattern. Experiment 2 extended Experiment 1’s procedure to human participants. The results of both experiments failed to support the near-miss effect hypothesis. Experiment 3 used a further simplified procedure to assess the validity of the resistance-to-extinction paradigm when a probable conditional reinforcer was present on the reel stimuli. Although a clear conditional response was obtained from the reel, subsequent testing in extinction revealed no conditionally reinforcing function of this stimulus on operant response frequency.

Keywords: Gambling Reinforcement Near-miss Near-hit Pigeons Humans


Saturday, September 14, 2019

Body Images of Blind and Sighted Women: No differences with regard to physical contact, vitality, and self-exaltation; significantly higher self-acceptance of body in the blind group

Differences in the Body Images of Blind and Sighted Women. Carolin Gebauer, Verena Guenther and Kristina Stuerz. European Journal of Health Psychology, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp. 50-55, September 11, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1027/2512-8442/a000029

Abstract: This study addresses aspects of body image in blind versus seeing women. Eighty-nine congenitally blinded and 153 sighted women completed questionnaires to demographic, health-relevant data, and body image. The two groups did not differ significantly with regard to demographic and health-relevant data. However, significantly more women have children among the sighted group. All women generally presented as clinically inconspicuous in all factors of the body image. A group comparison does not reveal differences with regard to physical contact, vitality, and self-exaltation. However, a significantly lower sexual fulfillment among the blind persons in comparison to the seeing persons, but a significantly higher self-acceptance, is demonstrated. The results are discussed in the context of the previous scarce findings with regard to body image disorders in blind women and finally questioned whether they could benefit the therapy of body scheme disorders in seeing women.

Keywords: visual impairment, congenital blindness, body image, body perception, sexuality

How do People Perceive the Cleanliness and Morality of Someone who Expresses Inappropriate Disgust: Showing either too much or too little disgust is perceived to be immoral

Consequences of Agreement versus Disagreement on Physical Disgust: How do People Perceive the Cleanliness and Morality of Someone who Expresses Inappropriate Disgust. Maayan Katzir  Matan Hoffman  Nira Liberman. European Journal of Social Psychology, September 13 2019, https://doi.org/10.1002/ejsp.2631

Abstract: We examined how people perceived a person who expressed inappropriate physical disgust – a person who was either under‐disgusted by physically disgusting stimuli or over‐disgusted by neutral stimuli. Participants formed an impression of a target after receiving information on how s/he rated disgusting (Studies 1, 2) or neutral (Studies 2, 3) pictures, and disgusting or angering scenarios (Study 4). Studies 1, 2 and 4 found that a target person who failed to experience disgust was seen as disgusting, immoral (but only to the extent that s/he was also seen unclean), and not socially desirable. A target who rated neutral stimuli as disgusting was not judged as disgusting but was nevertheless judged as immoral and not socially desirable (Studies 2, 3). Our results show that a target whose judgments of physical disgust deviate from one's own by showing either too much or too little disgust is perceived to be immoral.

Instead of having an educative effect across contexts, the exposure to deterrence practices increases unethical behavior of fraudsters but also of non-fraudsters

Fabio Galeotti, Valeria Maggian, Marie Claire Villeval. Fraud Deterrence Institutions Reduce Intrinsic Honesty. 2019. halshs-02281894. https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02281894

Abstract: Deterrence institutions are widely used in modern societies to discourage rule violations but whether they have an impact beyond their immediate scope of application is usually ignored. Using a natural field experiment, we show that they affect intrinsic honesty across contexts. We identified fraudsters and non-fraudsters in public transport who were or not exposed to ticket inspections by the transport company. We then measured the intrinsic honesty of the same persons in a new unrelated context where they could misappropriate money. Instead of having an educative effect across contexts, the exposure to deterrence practices increases unethical behavior of fraudsters but also of non-fraudsters.

Keywords: Deterrence Institutions Intrinsic Honesty Spillovers

Meat reducers (those who reduce Meath consumption) are less satisfied with their diet than true vegetarians, maybe because of the more effort applied, the more rewarded they feel

Asher, Kathryn, and Paul Peters. 2019. “Go the Whole Nine Yards? How Extent of Meat Restriction Impacts Individual Dietary Experience.” SocArXiv. September 13. doi:10.31235/osf.io/ycbd2

Abstract: There are a variety of approaches to addressing meat overconsumption including forms of meat restriction that vary by the degree of reductions and the type of meat reduced. This study examines three such diets—a vegetarian diet, a reduced-meat diet, and a chicken-free diet—with a focus on the differences in the lived dietary experiences of their adherents. These lived experiences are operationalized using a variety of measures: satisfaction with food-related life, social ties, convenience, social/personal life, health, cost, motivation, identity, perception of prevalence rates, length of diet adherence, and the theory of planned behavior (intentions, attitudes, perceived behavioral control, and subjective norms). The data comes from an online survey of a cross-sectional, census-balanced sample of more than 30,0000 U.S. residents aged 18+ years sourced from Nielsen’s Harris Panel. The results showed meat reducers to be a larger group than previously suspected, with a third of American adults self-identifying as reducing their meat consumption, compared to one percent each who identify as a vegetarian or chicken avoider. The findings also demonstrated that a vegetarian diet had the strongest lived dietary experiences among American adults who are currently eating one of the meat-restricted diets. This research speaks to how the degree and type of meat restriction can impact an individual’s lived experience with their diet.

People Rely Less on Consumer Reviews for Experiential Than Material Purchases

People Rely Less on Consumer Reviews for Experiential Than Material Purchases. Hengchen Dai, Cindy Chan, Cassie Mogilner. Journal of Consumer Research, ucz042, September 10 2019. https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucz042

Abstract: An increasingly prevalent form of social influence occurs online where consumers read reviews written by other consumers. Do people rely on consumer reviews differently when making experiential purchases (events to live through) than when making material purchases (objects to keep)? Though people often use consumer reviews both when making experiential and material purchases, an analysis of more than 6 million reviews on Amazon.com and four laboratory experiments reveal that people are less likely to rely on consumer reviews for experiential purchases than for material purchases. This effect is driven by beliefs that reviews are less reflective of the purchase’s objective quality for experiences than for material goods. These findings not only inform how different types of purchases are influenced by word-of-mouth, but they illuminate the psychological processes underlying shoppers’ reliance on consumer reviews. Furthermore, as one of the first investigations into how people choose among various experiential and material purchase options, these findings suggest that people are less receptive to being told what to do than what to have.

Keywords: experiential purchases, material purchases, consumer reviews, objective quality

When in middle childhood, no differences emerged as a function of parental sexual orientation in observations or self-reports of coparenting; & parents & teachers described children as well-adjusted overall

Farr, R. H., Bruun, S. T., & Patterson, C. J. (2019). Longitudinal associations between coparenting and child adjustment among lesbian, gay, and heterosexual adoptive parent families. Developmental Psychology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/dev0000828

Abstract: This longitudinal study examined coparenting and child adjustment during early and middle childhood (Ms = 3 and 8 years, respectively) among 106 lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parent adoptive families. When children were in middle childhood, no differences emerged as a function of parental sexual orientation in observations or self-reports of coparenting; in addition, parents and teachers described children as well-adjusted overall. After controlling covariates, including couple relationship adjustment, more supportive coparenting in early childhood predicted fewer parent-reported child internalizing and externalizing problems in middle childhood. Within middle childhood, stronger parenting alliance was associated with fewer parent-reported child externalizing problems. These findings indicate the value of considering family processes among diverse families in contributing to child outcomes over time.

Most school shooters were not previously treated with psychotropic medications – and even when they were, no direct or causal association was found

The myth of school shooters and psychotropic medications. Ryan Chaloner Winton Hall  Susan Hatters Friedman  Renee Sorrentino  Maria Lapchenko  Adeyemi Marcus  Robert Ellis. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, September 12 2019. https://doi.org/10.1002/bsl.2429

Abstract: There has been an assertion in certain parts of the media, especially social media, that the majority of individuals who have engaged in a school shooting were prescribed psychotropic medications prior to the event. To determine if there is any validity to this assertion, the authors of this article reviewed publicly available information regarding individuals involved in “educational shootings” per FBI publications for active shooters from 2000 to 2017. Sources of information included news reports with official citations, official reports regarding events, available court records, and FBI Freedom of Information Act requests. Secondary data‐points were also collected, such as location, number of weapons used, number of victims, legal outcome, and whether the shooter committed suicide. From the information obtained, it appears that most school shooters were not previously treated with psychotropic medications – and even when they were, no direct or causal association was found.

Evidence of the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment (“maltreatment begets maltreatment,”: Effect sizes seems real but modest

Testing the cycle of maltreatment hypothesis: Meta-analytic evidence of the intergenerational transmission of child maltreatment. Sheri Madigan et al. Development and Psychopathology, Volume 31, Special Issue 1 (The effect of maltreatment experiences on maltreating and dysfunctional parenting: A search for mechanisms), February 2019 , pp. 23-51. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954579418001700

Abstract: It has long been claimed that “maltreatment begets maltreatment,” that is, a parent's history of maltreatment increases the risk that his or her child will also suffer maltreatment. However, significant methodological concerns have been raised regarding evidence supporting this assertion, with some arguing that the association weakens in samples with higher methodological rigor. In the current study, the intergenerational transmission of maltreatment hypothesis is examined in 142 studies (149 samples; 227,918 dyads) that underwent a methodological quality review, as well as data extraction on a number of potential moderator variables. Results reveal a modest association of intergenerational maltreatment (k = 80; d = 0.45, 95% confidence interval; CI [0.37, 0.54]). Support for the intergenerational transmission of specific maltreatment types was also observed (neglect: k = 13, d = 0.24, 95% CI [0.11, 0.37]; physical abuse: k = 61, d = 0.41, 95% CI [0.33, 0.49]; emotional abuse: k = 18, d = 0.57, 95% CI [0.43, 0.71]; sexual abuse: k = 18, d = 0.39, 95% CI [0.24, 0.55]). Methodological quality only emerged as a significant moderator of the intergenerational transmission of physical abuse, with a weakening of effect sizes as methodological rigor increased. Evidence from this meta-analysis confirms the cycle of maltreatment hypothesis, although effect sizes were modest. Future research should focus on deepening understanding of mechanisms of transmission, as well as identifying protective factors that can effectively break the cycle of maltreatment.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Ridesharing: Socially superior outcomes may involve monopoly or competition under various multihoming regimes, depending on the density of the city

Bryan, Kevin and Gans, Joshua S., A Theory of Multihoming in Rideshare Competition (July 27, 2018). SSRN: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3208616

Abstract: We examine competition amongst ridesharing platforms, where firms compete on both price and the wait time induced with idled drivers. We show that when consumers are the only agents who multihome, idleness is lower in duopoly than when consumers face a monopoly ridesharing platform. When drivers and consumers multihome, idleness further falls to zero as it involves costs for each platform that are appropriated, in part, by their rival. Interestingly, socially superior outcomes may involve monopoly or competition under various multihoming regimes, depending on the density of the city, and the relative costs of idleness versus consumer disutility of waiting.

Keywords: platform, ridesharing, idleness
JEL Classification: L13, L51

The cooperative sex: Sexual interactions among female bonobos are linked to increases in oxytocin, proximity and coalitions

The cooperative sex: Sexual interactions among female bonobos are linked to increases in oxytocin, proximity and coalitions. Liza R. Moscovice, Martin Surbeck, Barbara Fruth, Gottfried Hohmann, Adrian Jaeggi, Tobias Deschner. Hormones and Behavior, 10 September 2019, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.yhbeh.2019.104581

Highlights
•    Female bonobos have more frequent sex with female than male partners in feeding contexts.
•    Female dyads are more likely than inter-sexual dyads to remain close after sex.
•    Female urinary oxytocin levels increase following sex with females, but not with males.
•    Dyads that have more sex engage in more joint coalitionary aggression.
•    Sex among female bonobos may facilitate cooperation via oxytocinergic effects.

Abstract: In some species habitual same-sex sexual behavior co-occurs with high levels of intra-sexual alliance formation, suggesting that these behaviors may be linked. We tested for such a link by comparing behavioral and physiological outcomes of sex with unrelated same- and opposite-sex partners in female bonobos (Pan paniscus). We analyzed behavioral outcomes following 971 sexual events involving n = 19 female and n = 8 male adult and sub-adult members of a wild, habituated bonobo community. We additionally collected n = 143 urine samples before and after sexual interactions to non-invasively measure oxytocin (OT), which modulates female sexual behavior and facilitates cooperation in other species. The majority of sexual events (65%) consisted of female same-sex genito-genital rubbing (or GG-rubbing). Female dyads engaged in significantly more sexual interactions than did inter-sexual dyads, and females were more likely to remain within close proximity to their partners following GG-rubbing. Females also exhibited greater increases in urinary OT following GG-rubbing compared with copulations, indicating a physiological basis for increased motivation to cooperate among females. The frequency of coalitionary support among non-kin was positively predicted by the frequency of sexual interactions for female as well opposite-sex dyads, although coalitionary support tended to be more frequent among females. The emergence of habitual same-sex sexual behavior may have been an important step in the evolution of cooperation outside of kinship and pair-bonds in one of our closest phylogenetic relatives

Those who are interested in politics, who feel that they have a moral duty to vote in elections, and who feel close to a party are more prone to be satisfied with their decision to vote and to be dissatisfied if they chose to abstain

From 2017... Was my decision to vote (or abstain) the right one? André Blais, Fernando Feitosa, Semra Sevi. Party Politics, July 20, 2017. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068817722058

Abstract: This article examines people’s assessments, ex post, of whether their decision to vote or to abstain in a given election was the right one. We use 22 surveys conducted in 5 different countries (Canada, France, Germany, Spain and Switzerland) in national, supra-national and sub-national elections between 2011 and 2015. We find that the great majority of those who voted were satisfied with their decision to vote while non-voters were more doubtful about the wisdom of their decision to abstain. We also find that those who are interested in politics, who feel that they have a moral duty to vote in elections, and who feel close to a party are more prone to be satisfied with their decision to vote and to be dissatisfied if they chose to abstain.

Keywords: abstain, elections, right decision, turnout, vote

Search Advertising and Information Discovery: Are Consumers Averse to Sponsored Messages? Seems not so much.

Sahni, Navdeep S. and Zhang, Charles, Search Advertising and Information Discovery: Are Consumers Averse to Sponsored Messages? (August 23, 2019). SSRN: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3441786

Abstract
We analyze a large-scale field experiment conducted on a US search engine in which 3.3 million users were randomized into seeing more, or less advertising. Our data rejects that users are, overall, averse to search advertising targeted to them. At the margin, users prefer the search engine with higher level of advertising. The usage of the search engine (in terms of number of searches, and number of search sessions) is higher among users who see higher levels of advertising, relative to the control group. This difference in usage persists even after the experimental treatment ends. The increase in usage is higher for users on the margin who, in the past, typed a competing search engine's name in the search query and navigated away from our focal search engine. On the supply side, higher level of advertising increases traffic to newer websites. Consumer response to search advertising is also more positive when more businesses located in the consumer's state create new websites. Quantitatively, the experimental treatment of a higher level of advertising increases ad clicks which leads to between 4.3% to 14.6% increase in search engine revenue.

Overall, patterns in our data are consistent with an equilibrium in which advertising conveys relevant “local” information, which is unknown to the search engine, and therefore missed by the organic listings algorithm. Hence, search advertising makes consumers better off on average. On the margin, the search engine does not face a trade-off between advertising revenue and search engine usage.

Keywords: search advertising, search engine, marketing, economics
JEL Classification: M37, D83, L10

We exhibit a bias to accept incoming information, because most claims in our environments are true; and we interpret feelings, like ease of processing, as evidence of truth, regardless of intelligence level or cognitive style

Judging Truth. Nadia M. Brashier and Elizabeth J. Marsh. Annual Review of Psychology, Vol. 71:- (Volume publication date Jan 2020), September 12, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-psych-010419-050807

Abstract: Deceptive claims surround us, embedded in fake news, advertisements, political propaganda, and rumors. How do people know what to believe? Truth judgments reflect inferences drawn from three types of information: base rates, feelings, and consistency with information retrieved from memory. First, people exhibit a bias to accept incoming information, because most claims in our environments are true. Second, people interpret feelings, like ease of processing, as evidence of truth. And third, people can (but do not always) consider whether assertions match facts and source information stored in memory. This three-part framework predicts specific illusions (e.g., truthiness, illusory truth), offers ways to correct stubborn misconceptions, and suggests the importance of converging cues in a post-truth world in which falsehoods travel further and faster than the truth.

The experiments and paradigms that purportedly demonstrate spontaneous perspective-taking have not as yet convincingly demonstrated the existence of such a phenomenon

The closing of the theory of mind: A critique of perspective-taking. Geoff G. Cole, Abbie C. Millett. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, September 12 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13423-019-01657-y

Abstract: Theory of mind (ToM) is defined as the ability to attribute mental states to oneself and others and is often said to be one of the cornerstones of efficient social interaction. In recent years, a number of authors have suggested that one particular ToM process occurs spontaneously in that it is rapid and outside of conscious control. This work has argued that humans efficiently compute the visual perspective of other individuals. In this article, we present a critique of this notion both on empirical and theoretical grounds. We argue that the experiments and paradigms that purportedly demonstrate spontaneous perspective-taking have not as yet convincingly demonstrated the existence of such a phenomenon. We also suggest that it is not possible to represent the percept of another person, spontaneous or otherwise. Indeed, the perspective-taking field has suggested that humans can represent the visual experience of others. That is, going beyond assuming that we can represent another’s viewpoint in anything other than symbolic form. In this sense, the field suffers from the same problem that afflicted the “pictorial” theory in the mental imagery debate. In the last section we present a number of experiments designed to provide a more thorough assessment of whether humans can indeed represent the visual experience of others.

Patients locked in state suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Cognitively intact, are completely paralyzed, eyes mostly closed, artificial ventilation & artificial nutrition, but we found a surprisingly healthy sleep pattern

Sleep in the Completely Locked-in State (CLIS) in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Azim Malekshahi, Ujwal Chaudhary, Andres Jaramillo-Gonzalez, Alberto Lucas Luna, Aygul Rana, Alessandro Tonin, Niels Birbaumer, Steffen Gais. Sleep, zsz185, August 2 2019, https://doi.org/10.1093/sleep/zsz185

Abstract: Persons in the completely locked in state (CLIS) suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are deprived of many zeitgebers of the circadian rhythm: While cognitively intact, they are completely paralyzed, eyes mostly closed, with artificial ventilation and artificial nutrition, and social communication extremely restricted or absent. Polysomnographic recordings in 8 patients in CLIS however revealed the presence of regular episodes of deep sleep during night time in all patients. It was also possible to distinguish an alpha-like state and a wake-like state. Classification of REM sleep is difficult because of absent eye movements and absent muscular activity. 4 out of 8 patients did not show any sleep spindles. Those who have spindles also show K-complexes and thus regular phases of sleep stage 2. Thus, despite some irregularities we found a surprisingly healthy sleep pattern in these patients.

Keywords: movement disorders, neurological disorders, sleep/wake physiology, circadian rhythms, completely locked in state, polysomnography

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Online media can induce opinion polarization even among users exposed to ideologically heterogeneous views, by heightening the emotional intensity of the content

Thinking Fast and Furious: Emotional Intensity and Opinion Polarization in Online Media. David Asker, Elias Dinas. Public Opinion Quarterly, nfz042, September 9 2019, https://doi.org/10.1093/poq/nfz042

Abstract: How do online media increase opinion polarization? The “echo chamber” thesis points to the role of selective exposure to homogeneous views and information. Critics of this view emphasize the potential of online media to expand the ideological spectrum that news consumers encounter. Embedded in this discussion is the assumption that online media affects public opinion via the range of information that it offers to users. We show that online media can induce opinion polarization even among users exposed to ideologically heterogeneous views, by heightening the emotional intensity of the content. Higher affective intensity provokes motivated reasoning, which in turn leads to opinion polarization. The results of an online experiment focusing on the comments section, a user-driven tool of communication whose effects on opinion formation remain poorly understood, show that participants randomly assigned to read an online news article with a user comments section subsequently express more extreme views on the topic of the article than a control group reading the same article without any comments. Consistent with expectations, this effect is driven by the emotional intensity of the comments, lending support to the idea that motivated reasoning is the mechanism behind this effect.

Violent Video Game Content & Aggressive Behaviour: Effect sizes are alike the sizes of significant yet nonsense effects of Extra Sensory Perception

Drummond, Aaron, and James D. Sauer. 2019. “Divergent Meta-analyses Do Not Present Uniform Evidence That Violent Video Game Content Increases Aggressive Behaviour.” PsyArXiv. September 13. doi:10.31234/osf.io/xms5u

Abstract: Whether violent games increase aggression is a contentious issue. The relatively enduring disagreement in the literature about whether violent video games cause increased aggression is reflected in divergent meta-analyses. Though we applaud Mathur and VanderWeele (2019) for attempting to synthesise such divergent meta-analyses to determine an overarching view on the effects of violent media, we argue that their interpretation of the evidence is misguided. Underpinning the notion that the evidence, in general, favours a “violent game effect” lie two problematic assumptions: (a) that the analyses conducted within these meta-analyses are equally methodologically and statistically rigorous and therefore equally valid, and (b) that even tiny effects are veridical. Here, we show that the effects reported by Anderson et al. (2010) appear to overstate the evidence in favour of a relationship between violent game content and aggression, and that bias-corrected models produce only tiny effects (Hilgard et al., 2017). We then compare these smaller effects estimated by Hilgard et al. (2017) and Ferguson (2015) to show that they appear to be in close agreement. Finally, as a reminder that non-zero meta-analytic effect sizes do not guarantee that an effect is meaningful, we compare these effect sizes to the sizes of (significant) yet nonsense effects of Extra Sensory Perception to show that the effects of violent game content on aggression are so small that we should dismiss them as practically meaningless.

Check also 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://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/07/aggressive-video-games-are-not-risk.html

From 2017... Participants, particularly women, avoided receiving attractiveness feedback more when the ratings came from high-threat evaluators (university peers) than from low-threat evaluators (older adults, children)

From 2017... Hot or not? How self-view threat influences avoidance of attractiveness feedback. Jennifer L. Howell, Kate Sweeny, Wendi Miller & James A. Shepperd. Self and Identity, Volume 18, 2019 - Issue 2, Pages 144-158, Dec 10 2017. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2017.1401552

Abstract: In two studies, we examined whether people’s decision to receive evaluations of their own attractiveness depended on whether the evaluations came from sources that might threaten their self-views. Participants believed that evaluators rated their attractiveness based on a photograph taken earlier and ostensibly uploaded to a website. Participants then received the opportunity to view the attractiveness ratings from the evaluators. In both studies, and in a meta-analysis including two pilot studies that are reported in Supplemental Materials online, participants – particularly women – rated feedback as more threatening and avoided receiving feedback more when the ratings came from high-threat evaluators (university peers) than from low-threat evaluators (students at another university, older adults, or children). The robustness of this overall effect was confirmed in the meta-analysis. These results suggest that self-view threat can prompt information avoidance.

Keywords: Information avoidance, self-view threat, attractiveness

Some developmental theories of intelligence posit that gains in crystallized intelligence depend mainly on fluid intelligence but also on a range of so-called intellectual investment traits, like Openness to Experience and interest

Should students be smart, curious, or both? Fluid intelligence, openness, and interest co-shape the acquisition of reading and math competence. Clemens M. Lechner, Ai Miyamoto, Thomas Knopf. Intelligence, Volume 76, September–October 2019, 101378. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2019.101378

Highlights
•    Fluid intelligence, Openness, and interest co-shape reading and math competence
•    Fluid intelligence and subject-specific interests interact synergistically
•    Interest has more pervasive effects than Openness
•    Findings are highly similar for both domains, reading and math
•    Results confirm and extend developmental models of intelligence

Abstract: Developmental theories of intelligence in the tradition of Cattell's investment theory posit that gains in crystallized intelligence (gc) depend mainly on fluid intelligence (gf) but also on a range of so-called intellectual investment traits, such as Openness to Experience and interest in a subject area. However, the relative predictive power of, and the precise nature of the interplay between, gf and different intellectual investment traits remains incompletely understood. In this study, we use large-scale, multi-wave data on secondary school students from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS; N = 4646) to investigate how gf, Openness, and subject-specific interest relate to baseline levels and change over two years in gc in two domains, reading and math. Results of latent-variable models revealed that gf and interest, and to a lesser extent, Openness, predicted higher initial levels and stronger gains over two years in reading competence and mathematical competence. Moreover, results yielded strong support for the notion that gf interacts synergistically with interest in reading and math in producing (gains in) reading competence and mathematical competence. In other words, gf and interest cross-fertilize each other, with students who have both high gf and high interest showing the highest rate of skill and knowledge acquisition. Our findings contribute to developmental theories of intelligence by providing further support for the claim that gf and intellectual investment traits are both essential for the development of gc—and by showing that the interplay between gc and investment traits is interactive and synergistic in nature.

Relative to industrialized populations, men from subsistence groups exhibit lower testosterone values and more modest declines with age; paper discusses reasons for these lower values

A Comparison of men’s Life History, Aging, and Testosterone Levels among Datoga Pastoralists, Hadza Foragers, and Qom Transitional Foragers. Louis Calistro Alvarado et al. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, September 12 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40750-019-00116-1

Abstract
Objectives: Relative to industrialized populations, men from subsistence groups exhibit lower testosterone values and more modest declines with age. Limited energy availability has been hypothesized to suppress testosterone production, particularly during young adulthood when testosterone levels are highest, resulting in a flatter trajectory of age-decline. Energetic constraint, however, is not unique to the evolutionary ecology of humans, and yet significant age-related testosterone decline is observed in numerous species of wild primates. Conversely, human life history is distinguished by extensive bi-parental care and male provisioning. Because fathers show decreased testosterone with parenting effort, we argue that within more naturalistic and evolutionarily relevant ecologies, natural fertility and earlier reproduction suppresses testosterone in emerging adulthood such that a lower relative baseline dictates less age-decline across the remaining lifespan.

Methods: We examine men’s testosterone levels as contrasting functions of energetic status and paternal involvement across three traditional populations with substantial variability in men’s nutritional condition and parental investment. Anthropometric and demographic data along with saliva samples were collected from 70 Datoga, 29 Hadza, and 43 Qom men, ages 20–72 years.

Results: Population variation in salivary testosterone was greatest at younger ages and patterned so paternal involvement associated with lower morning and evening testosterone, along with diminished age-decline in both measures. Men’s energetic status as indicated by body mass index was not associated with testosterone values or age-related decline.

Conclusions: Within socioecological contexts of smaller scale society, these data suggest that blunted age-decline in men’s testosterone levels is primarily due to population variation in parental investment rather than energetic constraint.

Keywords: Men’s life course Aging Testosterone Smaller scale societies

There is evidence that naturally cycling women in their fertile phase, compared to their luteal phase, evaluate specific behavioral cues in men as more attractive for sexual relationships; but this effect is not reproducible

Stern, Julia, Tanja M. Gerlach, and Lars Penke. 2018. “Probing Ovulatory Cycle Shifts in Women’s Preferences for Men’s Behaviors.” PsyArXiv. March 1. doi:10.31234/osf.io/7g3xc

Abstract: The existence of ovulatory cycle shifts in women’s mate preferences has been discussed controversially. There is evidence that naturally cycling women in their fertile phase, compared to their luteal phase, evaluate specific behavioral cues in men as more attractive for sexual relationships. However, recent research has cast doubt on these findings. We addressed this debate in a large, pre-registered within-subject study including salivary hormone measures and luteinizing hormone tests. One-hundred-fifty-seven female participants rated natural videos of 70 men in dyadic intersexual interactions on sexual and long-term attractiveness. Multilevel comparisons across two ovulatory cycles indicated that women’s mate preferences for men’s behaviors did not shift across the cycle, neither for competitive, nor for courtship behavior. Within-women hormone levels and relationship status did not affect these results. Hormonal mechanisms and implications for estrus theories are discussed.

How Virtue Signalling Makes Us Better: Moral Preferences with Respect to Autonomous Vehicle Type Choices

Kopecky, Robin, Michaela Košová, Daniel D. Novotný, Jaroslav Flegr, and David Černý. 2019. “How Virtue Signalling Makes Us Better: Moral Preferences with Respect to Autonomous Vehicle Type Choices.” PsyArXiv. September 11. doi:10.31234/osf.io/36vzk

Abstract
Autonomous vehicles (henceforth AVs) are expected to significantly benefit our transportation systems, their safety, efficiency, and impact on environment. However, many technical, social, legal, and moral questions and challenges concerning AVs and their introduction to the mass market still remain. One of the pressing moral issues has to do with the choice between AV types that differ in their built-in algorithms for dealing with situations of unavoidable lethal collision. In this paper we present the results of our study of moral preferences with respect to three types of AVs: (1) selfish AVs that protect the lives of passenger(s) over any number of bystanders; (2) altruistic AVs that minimize the number of casualties, even if this leads to death of passenger(s); and (3) conservative AVs that abstain from interfering in such situations even if it leads to the death of a higher number of subjects or death of passenger(s). We furthermore differentiate between scenarios in which participants are to make their decisions privately or publicly, and for themselves or for their offspring. We disregard gender, age, health, biological species and other characteristics of (potential) casualties that can affect the preferences and decisions of respondents in our scenarios. Our study is based on a sample of 2769 mostly Czech volunteers (1799 women, 970 men; age IQR: 25-32). The data come from our web-based questionnaire which was accessible from May 2017 to December 2017. We aim to answer the following two research questions: (1) Whether the public visibility of an AV type choice makes this choice more altruistic and (2) which type of situation is more problematic with regard to the altruistic choice: opting for society as a whole, for oneself, or for one’s offspring.
Our results show that respondents exhibit a clear preference for an altruistic utilitarian strategy for AVs. This preference is reinforced if the AV signals its strategy to others. The altruistic preference is strongest when people choose software for everybody else, weaker in personal choice, and weakest when choosing for one’s own child. Based on the results we conclude that, in contrast to a private choice, a public choice is considerably more likely to pressure consumers in their personal choice to accept a non-selfish solution, making it a reasonable and relatively cheap way to shift car owners and users towards higher altruism. Also, a hypothetical voting in Parliament about a single available program is less selfish when the voting does not take place in secret.

Adults with no siblings reported significantly lower levels of conscientiousness & honesty-humility & higher levels of neuroticism and openness than adults with siblings, but mean differences failed to reach the small effect size

Only Children in the 21st Century: Personality Differences between Adults With and Without Siblings are Very, Very Small. Samantha Stronge et al. Journal of Research in Personality, September 10 2019, 103868. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2019.103868

Highlights
•    Tested differences in HEXACO personality for adults with and without siblings.
•    Gender and age interactions were non-significant for all traits.
•    ‘Only children’ reported lower conscientiousness and honesty-humility.
•    ‘Only children’ reported higher neuroticism and openness to experience.
•    However, all mean differences failed to reach the threshold of a small effect size.

Abstract: Negative beliefs about only children suggest that they are spoiled and unlikable, with these early personality differences persisting across the lifespan. Early research found little support for the idea, yet, negative views towards only children remain prevalent. The current research re-visited the issue using a large national panel study of New Zealand adults (N = 20,592) to assess mean differences in personality between those with and without siblings. Adults with no siblings reported significantly lower levels of conscientiousness and honesty-humility and higher levels of neuroticism and openness than adults with siblings; however, mean differences failed to reach the threshold of even a small effect size (|d’s| = .08 - .11). Beliefs about only children appear to contradict actual group differences.

Their orgasms were less pleasurable compared to other experiences, and suggested that their orgasm experiences had negative impacts on their relationships, sexuality, and/or psychological health

When Orgasms Do Not Equal Pleasure: Accounts of “Bad” Orgasm Experiences During Consensual Sexual Encounters. Sara B. Chadwick, Miriam Francisco, Sari M. van Anders. Archives of Sexual Behavior, September 11 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-019-01527-7

Abstract: Orgasms during consensual sex are often assumed to be wholly positive experiences. This assumption overshadows the possibility that orgasm experiences during consensual sex could be “bad” (i.e., negative and/or non-positive). In the present study, we employed an online survey to explore the possibility that orgasm experiences could be “bad” during consensual sex by asking participants of diverse gender and sexual identities (N = 726, M age = 28.42 years, SD = 7.85) about a subset of potential bad orgasm experiences. Specifically, we asked participants whether they have ever had an orgasm during coerced sex, compliant sex, and/or when they felt pressured to have an orgasm (i.e., orgasm pressure). We also asked participants who had such an experience to describe it, resulting in qualitative descriptions from 289 participants. Using mixed quantitative and qualitative analyses, we found compelling evidence that orgasm experiences can be “bad” during consensual sex. Specifically, many participants described their experiences in negative and/or non-positive ways despite orgasm occurrence, reported that their orgasms were less pleasurable compared to other experiences, and suggested that their orgasm experiences had negative impacts on their relationships, sexuality, and/or psychological health. Participants also suggested that social location shaped their bad orgasm experiences, citing gender and sexual identity, gender identity conflict, race/ethnicity, and religion as important to their perceptions of and responses to their experiences. Results directly challenge the assumption that orgasms during consensual sex are always and/or unilaterally positive experiences.

Keywords: Orgasm Gender Sexual pressure Coercion Compliance Feminist science


Influence of experience on the performance of police criminal risk assessment of juveniles: Significantly higher accuracy of risk assessment, but accuracy did not increase with experience

Influence of experience on the performance of police criminal risk assessment of juvenile offenders. Barbara Bergmann. Forensische Psychiatrie, Psychologie, Kriminologie, Jul 2 2019. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11757-019-00552-5

Abstract: Police officers working in the field of juvenile crime have to assess the criminal risk of young offenders before admitting them into a special police program for chronic offenders. Their performance of this task, which is mostly based on mere experience, has so far been unclear. The following study examined the process of criminal risk assessment in the police context and tested if performance increases with growing experience. The test sample consisted of 85 police officers and 60 undergraduate psychology students as laypersons. The task was to examine fictitious case vignettes of young criminals and rate their risk of further offences. Performance was measured by accuracy of the given rating and the time needed to evaluate each vignette. Results showed a significantly higher accuracy of risk assessment made by police officers when compared to laypersons; however, within the group of police officers the accuracy did not increase with experience. Nevertheless, particularly experienced police officers seemed to use a more efficient strategy as they considered less information for their assessment and thus needed less time to come to a conclusion. These findings indicate an advanced information processing due to experience resulting in a reduction of the cognitive workload and time needed for the assessment.

Keywords: Risk assessment Police Expertise Youth crime Information processing


Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Twitter: meta-features like the number of followers of the author, the count of tweets produced and the ratio of tweet number and days since account creation affect credibility judgments

The Impact of Twitter Features on Credibility Ratings-An Explorative Examination Combining Psychological Measurements and Feature Based Selection Methods. Judith Meinert, Ahmet Aker, Nicole C. Krämer. Proceedings of the 52nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Jan 2019. https://scholarspace.manoa.hawaii.edu/bitstream/10125/59698/0258.pdf

Abstract: In a post-truth age determined by Social Media channels providing large amounts of information of questionable credibility while at the same time people increasingly tend to rely on online information, the ability to detect whether content is believable is developing into an important challenge. Most of the work in that field suggested automated approaches to perform binary classification to determine information veracity. Recipients ́ perspectives and multidimensional psychological credibility measurements have rarely been considered. To fill this gap and gain more insights into the impact of a tweet ́s features on perceived credibility, we conducted a survey asking participants (N=2626) to rate the credibility of crisis-related tweets. The resulting 24.823 ratings were used for an explorative feature selection analysis revealing that mostly meta-related features like the number of followers of the author, the count of tweets produced and the ratio of tweet number and days since account creation affect credibility judgments.

The effect of stress on economic rationality: Rationality is not impaired by the stressor; if anything, participants are more consistent with rationality immediately after the stressor

Cortisol meets GARP: the effect of stress on economic rationality. E. Cettolin et al. Experimental Economics, September 11 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10683-019-09624-z

Abstract: Rationality is a fundamental pillar of Economics. It is however unclear if this assumption holds when decisions are made under stress. To answer this question, we design two laboratory experiments where we exogenously induce physiological stress in participants and test the consistency of their choices with economic rationality. In both experiments we induce stress with the Cold Pressor test and measure economic rationality by the consistency of participants’ choices with the Generalized Axiom of Revealed Preference (GARP). In the first experiment, participants delay the decision-making task for 20 min until the cortisol level peaks. We find significant differences in cortisol levels between the stressed group and the placebo group which, however, do not affect the consistency of choices with GARP. In a second experiment, we study the immediate effect of the stressor on rationality. Overall, results from the second experiment confirm that rationality is not impaired by the stressor. If anything, we observe that compared to the placebo group, participants are more consistent with rationality immediately after the stressor. Our findings provide strong empirical support for the robustness of the economic rationality assumption under physiological stress.

Keywords: Economic rationality GARP Physiological stress Cortisol

Prisoner’s Dilemma game: Participants were more cooperative when they saw each other compared to when they could not, and when receiving reliable compared to unreliable or no feedback

The Interplay Between Face-to-Face Contact and Feedback on Cooperation During Real-Life Interactions. Friederike Behrens, Mariska E. Kret. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, September 11 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10919-019-00314-1

Abstract: Cooperation forms the basis of our society and becomes increasingly essential during times of globalization. However, despite technological developments people still prefer to meet face-to-face, which has been shown to foster cooperation. However, what is still unclear is how this beneficial effect depends on what people know about their interaction partner. To examine this question, 58 dyads played an iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma game, sometimes facing each other, sometimes without face contact. Additionally, explicit feedback regarding their decisions was manipulated between dyads. The results revealed that participants were more cooperative when they saw each other compared to when they could not, and when receiving reliable compared to unreliable or no feedback. Contradicting our hypothesis that participants would rely more on nonverbal communication in the absence of explicit information, we observed that the two sources of information operated independently on cooperative behavior. Interestingly, although individuals mostly relied on explicit information if available, participants still cooperated more after their partner defected with face-to-face contact compared to no face-to-face contact. The results of our study have implications for real-life interactions, suggesting that face-to-face contact has beneficial effects on prosocial behavior even if people cannot verify whether their selfless acts are being reciprocated.

Keywords: Cooperation Face-to-face contact Feedback Dyadic interaction Nonverbal communication Social dilemmas

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participants still cooperated more after their partner defected with faceto-face-contact. Hence, people might be more "forgiving" when facing their partner when he/she defects and theefore encourage the defecting partner to return to cooperation by opting for a cooperative decision themselves.

Investigating the Dynamic Relationship of Emotions and Attention Toward Political Information With Mobile Experience

Only One Moment in Time? Investigating the Dynamic Relationship of Emotions and Attention Toward Political Information With Mobile Experience Sampling. Lukas P. Otto et al. Communication Research, September 10, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093650219872392

Abstract: This article attempts to (a) investigate the relationship between distinct emotional reactions toward political information and attention toward political news and (b) analyze whether this relationship is dynamic. We use an experience sampling design to assess recipients’ immediate emotional reactions and attention toward news. Participants reported their emotional reactions (anger, fear, happiness, contentment) and attentional focus directly after following a news item for 8 days in a row up to 5 times a day via smartphone. Results indicate that anger is positively and fear negatively correlated with attention toward political news. For positive emotional reactions, happiness is not correlated with attention to news, while contentment is negatively correlated with attention and also shows a negative lagged effect on attention at a later point in time. The study shows promising ways to assess and analyze dynamic processes in everyday media consumption.

Keywords: news consumption, emotion, attention, experience sampling, dynamic

We are all saints and sinners: Some of our actions benefit other people, while other actions harm people. How do people balance moral rights against moral wrongs when evaluating others’ actions?

Johnson, Samuel G. B., and Jaye Ahn. 2019. “Principles of Karmic Accounting: How Our Intuitive Moral Sense Balances Rights and Wrongs.” PsyArXiv. September 10. doi:10.31234/osf.io/xetwg

Abstract: We are all saints and sinners: Some of our actions benefit other people, while other actions harm people. How do people balance moral rights against moral wrongs when evaluating others’ actions? Across 9 studies, we contrast the predictions of three conceptions of intuitive morality—outcome- based (utilitarian), act-based (deontologist), and person-based (virtue ethics) approaches. Although good acts can partly offset bad acts—consistent with utilitarianism—they do so incompletely and in a manner relatively insensitive to magnitude, but sensitive to temporal order and the match between who is helped and harmed. Inferences about personal moral character best predicted blame judgments, explaining variance across items and across participants. However, there was modest evidence for both deontological and utilitarian processes too. These findings contribute to conversations about moral psychology and person perception, and may have policy implications.

Under low budget conditions, Eastern & Western participants differed in their mate dollar allocation for almost every trait (culture influences prioritization); but the same priorities were given for traits needed for reproductive success

Mate preference priorities in the East and West: A cross‐cultural test of the mate preference priority model. Andrew G. Thomas et al. Journal of Personality, September 8 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12514

Abstract
Objective: Mate choice involves trading‐off several preferences. Research on this process tends to examine mate preference prioritization in homogenous samples using a small number of traits and thus provide little insight into whether prioritization patterns reflect a universal human nature. This study examined whether prioritization patterns, and their accompanying sex differences, are consistent across Eastern and Western cultures.

Method: In the largest test of the mate preference priority model to date, we asked an international sample of participants (N = 2,477) to design an ideal long‐term partner by allocating mate dollars to eight traits using three budgets. Unlike previous versions of the task, we included traits known to vary in importance by culture (e.g., religiosity and chastity).s

Results: Under low budget conditions, Eastern and Western participants differed in their mate dollar allocation for almost every trait (average d = 0.42), indicating that culture influences prioritization. Despite these differences, traits fundamental for the reproductive success of each sex in the ancestral environment were prioritized by both Eastern and Western participants.

Conclusion: The tendency to prioritize reproductively fundamental traits is present in both Eastern and Western cultures. The psychological mechanisms responsible for this process produce similar prioritization patterns despite cross‐cultural variation.


Tuesday, September 10, 2019

We compare how much food others are eating as compared to our portions, what types of foods they eat, dimensions related to eating such as body weight & shape & other dimensions like social status

C. Peter Herman, Janet Polivy, Patricia Pliner, Lenny R. Vartanian. Social Influences on Eating pp 147-162, September 6 2019. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-28817-4_9

Abstract: A large literature shows that people compare themselves to others on a wide variety of dimensions; this is called social comparison. Such comparisons to other people can provide useful guides for our behavior, and they may also have emotional consequences, affecting our self-esteem and happiness. We compare ourselves to others with respect to our food consumption as well as other behaviors related to eating. For example, we compare how much food others are eating as compared to our portions, what types of foods others eat, dimensions related to eating such as body weight and shape and even dimensions not directly related to eating such as social status. Such food-related social comparisons can affect not only our eating but our emotions and other behaviors as well. We want to “look good,” act appropriately, and be treated fairly, relative to others, and social comparisons around food and eating are important contributors to this.

Keywords: Social comparison Emotional response Amount of food Food choices Appropriate foods

We are poor at distinguishing knowledge that is in our heads from knowledge that resides in the community (KC); we overestimate how much we know or understand merely by participating in a KC

Individual Representation in a Community of Knowledge. Nathaniel Rabb, Philip M. Fernbach, Steven A. Sloman. Volume 23, Issue 10, October 2019, Pages 891-902. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2019.07.011

Highlights
.  The knowledge that supports many of our beliefs and attitudes resides not in our own heads, but in a community of knowledge constituted by other people, artifacts, and information repositories (e.g., libraries or the Internet).
.  Individuals are poor at distinguishing knowledge that is in their heads from knowledge that resides in the community. This leads them to overestimate how much they know or understand merely by participating in a community of knowledge.
.  This failure of differentiation has implications for public discourse. Extreme views about science and politics have been found to covary with knowledge overestimation.
.  Modeling individual cognition under collective knowledge is an emerging challenge for cognitive science.

Abstract: An individual’s knowledge is collective in at least two senses: it often comes from other people’s testimony, and its deployment in reasoning and action requires accuracy underwritten by other people’s knowledge. What must one know to participate in a collective knowledge system? Here, we marshal evidence that individuals retain detailed causal information for a few domains and coarse causal models embedding markers indicating that these details are available elsewhere (others’ heads or the physical world) for most domains. This framework yields further questions about metacognition, source credibility, and individual computation that are theoretically and practically important. Belief polarization depends on the web of epistemic dependence and is greatest for those who know the least, plausibly due to extreme conflation of others’ knowledge with one’s own.

Keywords: collective cognitionknowledge representation


When outdated norms are used, the Flynn Effect inflates IQs and potentially biases intellectual disability diagnosis; a Flynn Effect was found for IQs ≥ 130, and a negative effect for IQs ≤ 70

The Flynn effect for fluid IQ may not generalize to all ages or ability levels: A population-based study of 10,000 US adolescents. Jonathan M. Platt et al. Intelligence, Volume 77, November–December 2019, 101385. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2019.101385

Highlights
•    When outdated norms are used, the Flynn Effect inflates IQs and potentially biases intellectual disability diagnosis
•    In a large US-representative adolescent sample, a Flynn Effect was found for IQs ≥ 130, and a negative effect for IQs ≤ 70
•    IQ changes also differed substantially by age group
•    A negative Flynn Effect for those with low intellectual ability suggests widening disparities in cognitive ability
•    Findings challenge the practice of generalizing IQ trends based on data from non-representative samples

Abstract: Generational changes in IQ (the Flynn Effect) have been extensively researched and debated. Within the US, gains of 3 points per decade have been accepted as consistent across age and ability level, suggesting that tests with outdated norms yield spuriously high IQs. However, findings are generally based on small samples, have not been validated across ability levels, and conflict with reverse effects recently identified in Scandinavia and other countries. Using a well-validated measure of fluid intelligence, we investigated the Flynn Effect by comparing scores normed in 1989 and 2003, among a representative sample of American adolescents ages 13–18 (n = 10,073). Additionally, we examined Flynn Effect variation by age, sex, ability level, parental age, and SES. Adjusted mean IQ differences per decade were calculated using generalized linear models. Overall the Flynn Effect was not significant; however, effects varied substantially by age and ability level. IQs increased 2.3 points at age 13 (95% CI = 2.0, 2.7), but decreased 1.6 points at age 18 (95% CI = −2.1, −1.2). IQs decreased 4.9 points for those with IQ ≤ 70 (95% CI = −4.9, −4.8), but increased 3.5 points among those with IQ ≥ 130 (95% CI = 3.4, 3.6). The Flynn Effect was not meaningfully related to other background variables. Using the largest sample of US adolescent IQs to date, we demonstrate significant heterogeneity in fluid IQ changes over time. Reverse Flynn Effects at age 18 are consistent with previous data, and those with lower ability levels are exhibiting worsening IQ over time. Findings by age and ability level challenge generalizing IQ trends throughout the general population.

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Different Forms of Bullying Perpetration, Bullying Victimization, and Their Co-occurrence: Genes play a large role

Genetic and Environmental Influences on Different Forms of Bullying Perpetration, Bullying Victimization, and Their Co-occurrence. Sabine A. M. Veldkamp et al. Behavior Genetics, September 10 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10519-019-09968-5

Abstract: Bullying comes in different forms, yet most previous genetically-sensitive studies have not distinguished between them. Given the serious consequences and the high prevalence of bullying, it is remarkable that the aetiology of bullying and its different forms has been under-researched. We present the first study to investigate the genetic architecture of bullying perpetration, bullying victimization, and their co-occurrence for verbal, physical and relational bullying. Primary-school teachers rated 8215 twin children on bullying perpetration and bullying victimization. For each form of bullying, we investigated, through genetic structural equation modelling, the genetic and environmental influences on being a bully, a victim or both. 34% of the children were involved as bully, victim, or both. The correlation between being a bully and being a victim varied from 0.59 (relational) to 0.85 (physical). Heritability was ~ 70% for perpetration and ~ 65% for victimization, similar in girls and boys, yet both were somewhat lower for the relational form. Shared environmental influences were modest and more pronounced among girls. The correlation between being a bully and being a victim was explained mostly by genetic factors for verbal (~ 71%) and especially physical (~ 77%) and mostly by environmental factors for relational perpetration and victimization (~ 60%). Genes play a large role in explaining which children are at high risk of being a victim, bully, or both. For victimization this suggests an evocative gene-environment correlation: some children are at risk of being exposed to bullying, partly due to genetically influenced traits. So, genetic influences make some children more vulnerable to become a bully, victim or both.

Keywords: Bullying Victimization Bully-victims Twins Heritability School

Moderate drinkers seem to higher earnings than constant abstainers, & both constant abstainers and former drinkers are less likely to be employed than moderate drinkers; at least for short-run estimations

Adolescent Alcohol Consumption and Labor Market Outcomes. Laura Tikkanen. Jyväskylä University, School of Business and Economics. Master’s Thesis 2019. https://jyx.jyu.fi/bitstream/handle/123456789/64108/URN%3ANBN%3Afi%3Ajyu-201905222710.pdf?sequence=1

Abstract: Misuse of alcohol at young age has been linked to several problems in adult-hood. In this study, it isexamined if alcohol consumption has a negative effect on the earnings and employment of adolescence. Earlier literature shows that risky and heavy alcohol consumption tends to result both in poor labor market outcomes and reduced health.However, the results also indicate that moderate alcohol consumption is oftenassociated with the most favorable labor market outcomes, such as the highest earnings. In this study, data are drawn fromthe Health 2000 -studyconducted by the National Institute for Health and Welfare. The final estimation sample consists of 1171 individuals aged 18-29. These individuals are divided into four categories based on their drinking habits; heavy drinkers, moderate drinkers, former drinkers and constant abstainers. The differences between the categories arecom-pared using OLS-regression method. The results indicate that moderate drinkers seem to higher earnings than constant abstainers. Furthermore, both constant abstainers and former drinkers are less likely to be employed than moderate drinkers. Since the data set covers a period of only one year, the results can only be used for short-run estimations. The participants of the study were also relatively young which makes it difficult to estimate the true impact of alcohol consumption on their earnings and employment later in life. Therefore, the conclusion of the study is that further research on long-term labor market outcomes is needed.

Key Words:alcohol  consumption,  alcohol,  labor  market  outcomes,  earnings,  employment, adolescents, OLSregression

Personality traits of low conscientiousness and low emotional stability are associated with reduced healthy life expectancy of individuals and population

Personality, disability‐free life years, and life expectancy: Individual‐participant meta‐analysis of 131,195 individuals from 10 cohort studies. Markus Jokela et al. Journal of Personality, September 8 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12513

Abstract
Objective: We examined how personality traits of the Five Factor Model were related to years of healthy life years lost (mortality and disability) for individuals and the population.

Method: Participants were 131,195 individuals from 10 cohort studies from Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States (n=43,935 from 7 cohort studies for the longitudinal analysis of disability, assessed using scales of Activities of Daily Living, ADL).

Results: Lower conscientiousness was associated with higher mortality and disability risk, but only when conscientiousness was below its median level. If the excess risk associated with low conscientiousness had been absent, population life expectancy would have been 1.3 years longer and disability‐free life 1.0 years longer. Lower emotional stability was related to shorter life expectancy, but only among those in the lowest 15% of the distribution, and disability throughout the distribution: if the excess risk associated with low emotional stability had been absent, population life expectancy would have been 0.4 years longer and disability‐free life 2.4 years longer.

Conclusions: Personality traits of low conscientiousness and low emotional stability are associated with reduced healthy life expectancy of individuals and population.

Incels and the stories they tell: A narrative analysis of Incels’ shared stories on Reddit

Incels and the stories they tell: A narrative analysis of Incels’ shared stories on Reddit. Thea Høiland. Master’s thesis in Sociology, Department of Sociology and Human Geography, Oslo U. May 27 2019. https://www.duo.uio.no/bitstream/handle/10852/69841/1/Masteroppgave-arbeidsversjon---Ferdig-versjon.pdf

Abstract:
After the separation of pro- and anti-feminist groups in the USA in the 1970s, we saw a growth in more overtly anti-feminist politics throughout the 198’s and 1990s. In 2010s, a more hateful culture emerged, largely due to the possibility for anonymity on the Internet. This is The manosphere, a now transnational, conglomeration of forums, blogs and websites which center around the concept of The Red Pill, a philosophy meant to awaken men to feminism’s misandry and brainwashing. This thesis is about a specific group found in The manosphere, a group of men who view themselves as unable to find a partner or have sex despite desiring to. They are known as Incels or involuntary celibate. I wish to describe and understand this online culture and community by looking at the shared stories they tell through a narrative analysis. Incels are new phenomenon, and my thesis is the first academic study to cover the present constellation of Incels.The research question is as follows: What are the main narratives that emerge in the shared stories told amongst Incels on /r/Braincels? I focus on co-tellership and shared meanings through these supporting research questions: How are the characters from the Incel-word represented? What are the Incel community norms and rights associated with the narrative interactions? Whose interests does the stories serve? I use mediated narrative analysis to analyze the shared stories on three levels: at level one, I look at the shared story through character portrayal. At level two, I look at the sharing and interaction in the shared story. This means discussing the relational work and interactions amongst tellers. I also look the positioning of Incels to hegemonic masculinity, are they distancing or aligning themselves with hegemonic masculinity? At level three, I look at the shared meanings, that being the main narratives and whose interests the stories serve. 

The five main narratives that emerged through my data are as follows: 1) the narrative of sex is what decides a man’s worth 2),  the narrative of “looks are everything; personality is nothing”, 3) The narrative of women being subordinate to men, 4) The narrative of anti-feminism and 5)The narrative of loneliness.Throughout my analysis, I look at the constellation of Incels’ hybrid masculinity in light of hegemonic and hybrid masculinity theories. I find that Incels position hegemonic masculinity as superior to both Incels and women. Women are presented as subordinate to men, and feminine traits are positioned as subordinate to masculine traits. Incels place themselves in another masculine identity than hegemonic masculinity by contrasting themselves to the stereotypical masculine ideal, Chad. In addition, Incels distance themselves through talking about their failures and expresing emotions. This is not accepted when performing hegemonic masculinity.Lastly, I find that /r/Braincels functions as a channel for venting frustration for themen who consider themselves Incels, and who consider our modern day society unfair and cruel to (what they categorize as) ugly men. At the same time, they show concerning categorizations of gender and misogyny. They present themselves as victims, and women as the enemy.

Rolf Degen summarizing: Individuals with a higher degree of pro-environmental attitudes were more prone to moral licensing, offsetting previous good environmental deeds with subsequent bad ones

A behavioral rebound effect. Zack Dorner. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, September 4 2019, 102257. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jeem.2019.102257

Abstract; Pro-environmental behaviors are an important avenue for mitigating environmental impacts. Technological improvements are also a vital tool for reducing environmental damage from consumption. However, their benefits are partially offset by the direct rebound effect, whereby a consumer rationally responds to an increase in resource use efficiency by consuming more. This paper investigates whether technological improvement might also reduce behaviorally motivated mitigation of environmental damage. A behavioral rebound effect operates through two channels. First, pro-environmental effort is reduced after a decrease in marginal environmental damage. Second, moral licensing reduces pro-environmental effort further when technological change is endogenous. I develop a novel real effort laboratory experiment to identify these behaviors. I find a positive behavioral rebound effect. I also find evidence consistent with moral licensing, which is strongest among subjects with a higher degree of pro-environmental attitudes and beliefs. Subjects’ baseline level of pro-environmental effort is driven by beliefs about social norms.

Check also Academic air travel has a limited influence on professional success. Seth Wynes et al. Journal of Cleaner Production, Volume 226, 20 July 2019, Pages 959-967. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/06/we-found-no-significant-difference.html

And The Behavior of Ethicists.  Eric Schwitzgebel and Joshua Rust. In A Companion to Experimental Philosophy, edited by Justin Sytsma and Wesley Buckwalter. Aug 2017. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2017/08/the-behavior-of-ethicists-ch-15-of.html

Persons with Disabilities: Association of Internet Use with Wellbeing, Mental Health and Health Behaviours

The Association of Internet Use with Wellbeing, Mental Health and Health Behaviours of Persons with Disabilities. Mariusz Duplaga and Katarzyna Szulc. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(18), 3252, September 4 2019. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16183252

Abstract
Introduction: There is strong evidence that people with disabilities suffer from a significant digital divide. However, there are reports indicating that Internet use may result in many benefits for those with disabilities. The aim of the study was to assess the impact that the use of the Internet has on the wellbeing and health behaviours of persons with disabilities.

Methods: An analysis was carried out using the dataset obtained from Social Diagnosis, a panel study undertaken on a nationally representative sample. The records of persons with disabilities were retrieved from the dataset which was established in 2015. An analysis of the association between Internet use and the wellbeing, mental health and health behaviours of the respondents was undertaken. The variables reflecting the self-assessment of their own life and experience of loneliness were treated as being indicators of their wellbeing and the prevalence of suicidal thoughts or making use of psychological help as indicators of mental health. The health behaviours analysed in the study included smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol and undertaking physical activity. For all these variables, multivariate logistic regression models were developed. The effect of Internet use was adjusted for sociodemographic variables and the degree of disability. An analysis was performed after applying post-stratification weights available from the Social Diagnosis study.

Results: The weighted study group consisted of 2529 people having a mean age of 59.33 ± 16.89 years. The group included 20.71% (N = 524) respondents with a mild, 41.58% (N = 1052) with a moderate, and 26.54% (N = 671) with a severe disability. The proportion of Internet users was 37.07% (N = 937). In all the regression models, Internet use had a significant impact on the dependent variables. After adjustment for sociodemographic variables and the degree of disability, the Internet users more frequently assessed their lives as happy (odds ratio, 95% confidence interval: 1.86, 1.47–2.37) and less frequently experienced loneliness (0.63, 0.49–0.81) or suicidal thoughts (0.47, 0.35–0.65). In addition, they needed psychological help less frequently (0.50, 0.35–0.72). Interestingly, Internet users undertook some form of physical activity or sport more often (2.41, 1.87–3.13) and fewer smoked cigarettes (0.70, 0.54–0.91) or consumed alcohol excessively (0.32, 0.19–0.56).

Conclusions: The use of the Internet by people with disabilities was associated with improved wellbeing, better mental health and more beneficial health behaviours. These findings support the development of intensive actions to reduce the digital divide for the population of people with disabilities.

Keywords: disability; digital divide; Internet use; wellbeing; mental health; health behaviours

While intuitively and theoretically sound, the empirical support for acute stress-reducing effects of immersion in natural environments is tentative due to small sample sizes and methodological weaknesses in the studies

Effects of Public Green Space on Acute Psychophysiological Stress Response: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of the Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence. Lærke Mygind et al. Environment and Behavior, September 9, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0013916519873376

Abstract: Contact with nature is widely considered to ameliorate psychological stress, but the empirical support for a causal link is limited. We conducted a systematic review to synthesize and critically assess the evidence. Six electronic databases were searched. Twenty-six studies evaluated the difference between the effect of natural environments and that of a suitable control on the acute psychophysiological stress response. Eighteen studies were rated as being of moderate quality, four studies of low quality, and four studies of high quality. Meta-analyses indicated that seated relaxation (g = .5, p = .06) and walking (g = .3, p = .02) in natural environments enhanced heart rate variability more than the same activities in control conditions. Cortisol concentration measures were inconsistent. While intuitively and theoretically sound, the empirical support for acute stress-reducing effects of immersion in natural environments is tentative due to small sample sizes and methodological weaknesses in the studies. We provide guidelines for future research.

Keywords: biomarker, green exercise, mental health, relaxation, restorative environments, social ecology/human ecology

Students in the active classroom learn more, but they feel like they learn less in part by the increased cognitive effort required during active learning; those perceptions could promote inferior (passive) pedagogical methods

Measuring actual learning versus feeling of learning in response to being actively engaged in the classroom. Louis Deslauriers, Logan S. McCarty, Kelly Miller, Kristina Callaghan, and Greg Kestin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, September 4, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1821936116

Significance: Despite active learning being recognized as a superior method of instruction in the classroom, a major recent survey found that most college STEM instructors still choose traditional teaching methods. This article addresses the long-standing question of why students and faculty remain resistant to active learning. Comparing passive lectures with active learning using a randomized experimental approach and identical course materials, we find that students in the active classroom learn more, but they feel like they learn less. We show that this negative correlation is caused in part by the increased cognitive effort required during active learning. Faculty who adopt active learning are encouraged to intervene and address this misperception, and we describe a successful example of such an intervention.

Abstract: We compared students’ self-reported perception of learning with their actual learning under controlled conditions in large-enrollment introductory college physics courses taught using 1) active instruction (following best practices in the discipline) and 2) passive instruction (lectures by experienced and highly rated instructors). Both groups received identical class content and handouts, students were randomly assigned, and the instructor made no effort to persuade students of the benefit of either method. Students in active classrooms learned more (as would be expected based on prior research), but their perception of learning, while positive, was lower than that of their peers in passive environments. This suggests that attempts to evaluate instruction based on students’ perceptions of learning could inadvertently promote inferior (passive) pedagogical methods. For instance, a superstar lecturer could create such a positive feeling of learning that students would choose those lectures over active learning. Most importantly, these results suggest that when students experience the increased cognitive effort associated with active learning, they initially take that effort to signify poorer learning. That disconnect may have a detrimental effect on students’ motivation, engagement, and ability to self-regulate their own learning. Although students can, on their own, discover the increased value of being actively engaged during a semester-long course, their learning may be impaired during the initial part of the course. We discuss strategies that instructors can use, early in the semester, to improve students’ response to being actively engaged in the classroom.

Keywords: scientific teachingundergraduate educationevidence-based teachingconstructivism


Women’s Sexual Satisfaction, Communication, and Reasons for (No Longer) Faking Orgasm: Findings from a U.S. Probability Sample

Women’s Sexual Satisfaction, Communication, and Reasons for (No Longer) Faking Orgasm: Findings from a U.S. Probability Sample. Debby Herbenick et al. Archives of Sexual Behavior, September 9 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10508-019-01493-0

Abstract: We aimed to assess, among a U.S. probability sample of adult women: (1) the prevalence of, and reasons given for, faking and no longer faking orgasm, (2) women’s histories of sexual non-communication and reasons for non-communication, (3) associations between sexual non-communication and sexual satisfaction and faking orgasm, (4) associations between specific sexual communication and recent sexual satisfaction, and (5) associations between specific sexual communication and faking orgasm. Respondents were 1008 adult women ages 18–94 from the GfK KnowledgePanel (a nationally representative probability sample of non-institutionalized and English-speaking adults), who completed a confidential Internet-based survey. Although 58.8% of female respondents reported having ever faked/pretended orgasm, 67.3% of those who had ever faked orgasm no longer did. Women who continued to fake orgasms were more likely to indicate embarrassment talking about sex with their partner in explicit ways and were less likely to agree that they and their partner are able to talk specifically about what makes sex more pleasurable for them. More than half (55.4%) of women reported they had wanted to communicate with a partner regarding sex but decided not to; the most common reasons were not wanting to hurt a partner’s feelings (42.4%), not feeling comfortable going into detail (40.2%), and embarrassment (37.7%). Greater self-reported sexual satisfaction was associated with more comfortable sexual communication. Study findings and implications for professionals are discussed in the context of adult sexual development and learning. This includes growing more comfortable talking with a partner about sexual preferences and sexual pleasure.

Keywords: Female pleasure Sexual communication Sexual satisfaction Probability sample Faking orgasm

Monday, September 9, 2019

Social Misfit or Normal Development? Students Who Do Not Date have good social skills and low depression, same suicidal ideations

Social Misfit or Normal Development? Students Who Do Not Date. Brooke Douglas, Pamela Orpinas. Journal of School Health, September 4 2019. https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.12818

ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVE: Prior research identified 4 distinct dating trajectories from 6th to 12th grade: Low, Increasing, High Middle School, and Frequent. The purpose of this study was to examine whether 10th graders in the Low dating group differed on emotional, interpersonal, and adaptive skills from youth in the other trajectories.

METHODS: The sample consisted of 594 10th graders. We compared the 4 dating groups using teacher ratings (social skills, leadership, depression) and student self‐reports (positive relationships with friends, at home, and at school; depression, suicidal ideation). To compare scores by dating trajectory, we used chi‐square test and analysis of variance.

RESULTS: Students in the Low dating group had significantly higher teacher ratings of social skills and leadership, and lower ratings of depression compared to the other groups. Self‐reports of positive relationships did not differ by dating groups. Self‐reported depression was significantly lower in the Low dating group, but suicidal ideations did not differ.

CONCLUSION: Adolescents who were not in a romantic relationship had good social skills and low depression, and fared better or equal to peers who dated. These results refute the notion that non‐daters are maladjusted. Health promotion interventions in schools should include non‐dating as one option of healthy development.

Based on a large number of studies with US participants & small sample sizes, the dominant view in social psychology holds that high-status actors behave less prosocial & more unethical; not reproducible

Social Status, Altruistic Giving and Reciprocity: Results of a Quasi-Experiment with Subjects from the USA. Andreas Tutić, Ulf Liebe. Zeitschrift für Soziologie, Volume 48, Issue 3, Aug 7 2019, https://doi.org/10.1515/zfsoz-2019-0014

Abstract: In empirical social research, there is mixed evidence regarding the interplay of social status and prosocial behavior. Based on a large number of studies with subjects from the USA and small sample sizes, the dominant view in social psychology holds that high-status actors behave less prosocial and more unethical than low-status actors. Sociological studies with subjects from Europe support the opposite conclusion. In our study, 1003 subjects from the USA played three types of dictator games, which tap three different forms of prosocial behavior, i. e. altruistic giving and direct as well as indirect reciprocity. We consistently find that high-status actors make higher donations in dictator games than low-status actors. At the same our findings indicate that high-status actors tend towards direct reciprocity whereas low-status actors tend towards indirect reciprocity.

Keywords: Dictator Games; Exchange Relationships; Communal Relationships; Interaction Effect

15 years of data on all felony sex offenders sentenced in a single state: Male sex offenders are more likely to be sentenced to prison, and given longer terms, than females, regardless of crime severity and the victim being a minor

The Gender Gap in Sex Offender Punishment. Ryan T. Shields, Joshua C. Cochran. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, May 31 2019. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10940-019-09416-x

Abstract
Objectives: This paper tests theoretical arguments that suggest court actors hold gendered views of sex offenders that result in a gender gap in sex offender punishment, where women who commit sexual offenses are treated more leniently than their male counterparts.

Methods: We test this argument with precision matching analyses using 15 years of data on all felony sex offenders sentenced in a single state.

Results: Results indicate that gender disparities in sex offender sentencing exist and are pervasive across sex offense types. Specifically, male sex offenders are more likely to be sentenced to prison, and given longer terms, than female sex offenders. Findings are similar across sex offense severity and whether the offense involved a minor victim.

Conclusions: These findings suggest that female sex offenders are treated more leniently than their matched male counterparts, even in instances of more serious sex offenses and those involving minor victims. Findings support theoretical arguments that contend that court decision-making is influenced by legally-irrelevant characteristics and raise questions about the source of gendered views of sex offenders and their effects on punishment approaches. Findings also raise questions about the virtue of get-tough sentencing policies that provide leeway for such dramatic variation across different groups of people.

Keywords: Gender Punishment Sentencing Sex offender

Check also Douglass, Melanie Dawn, D'Aguanno, Sofia and Jones, Sophie (2019) Women as Active Agents: Female Perpetrators of Sexual Harassment and Domestic Abuse. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences. (In Press). https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/09/a-small-but-not-insignificant.html

From 2018... To Control or Be Controlled: Predicting Types of Offending in a Corporate Environment Using Control-Balance Theory

To Control or Be Controlled: Predicting Types of Offending in a Corporate Environment Using Control-Balance Theory. Donald E. Hunt, Volkan Topalli. Journal of Quantitative Criminology, September 2019, Volume 35, Issue 3, pp 435–464. August 24 2018. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10940-018-9390-0

Abstract
Introduction: This study seeks to determine the extent to which Tittle’s control balance (CB) theory (CBT: 1995) accurately predicts different types of deviance within a corporate setting (in this case, a financial services corporation). CB theory contends that deviance is the result of a control imbalance between the amount of control a person exerts and the amount to which they are subject. Control deficits result in repressive deviance (including most types of predatory crime). Control surpluses result in autonomous deviance (including many types of white collar offending).

Method: We exploit a unique dataset consisting of the internal investigations of fraud conducted by a large United States-based financial services company to explore these concepts in the corporate sales environment.

Results: Consistent with the theory, we find that a control surplus predicts certain autonomous deviance while a control deficit explained some repressive forms of criminality. Results also indicate that a control imbalance is incremental in nature and not simply a balanced/non-balanced condition. Further discussion revolves around implications, limitations, and future research.

Keywords: Control-balance theory Corporate deviance White collar crime

Jonathan Haidt proposed innate, universally observable moral intuitions (moral foundations); care and fairness are primarily due to genetic influences (73 and 51pct)

The Study of Personality Architecture and Dynamics (SPeADy): A Longitudinal and Extended Twin Family Study. Christian Kandler, Angelika Penner, Julia Richter & Alexandra Zapko-Willmes. Twin Research and Human Genetics, September 9 2019. https://doi.org/10.1017/thg.2019.62

Abstract: The Study of Personality Architecture and Dynamics (SPeADy) is a German research project that aims to investigate the sources of interindividual differences in intraindividual personality development. The main focus lies in the dynamic interplay between more stable core characteristics and more environmentally malleable surface characteristics, as well as between personality and life experiences over time. SPeADy includes a twin family study encompassing data from 1962 individuals (age: 14–94) of 682 families, including 570 complete twin pairs (plus 1 triplet set), 327 parents, 236 spouses and 145 children of twins. Data collection started in 2016 and data from the first wave are currently obtainable as open source. Available data comprise a broad range of personality variables, such as personality trait constructs, motives, interests, values, moral foundations, religiosity and self-related concepts. For the currently ongoing second wave of data collection, we added retrospective reports on major life events. Special features of this genetically informative study are the extended twin family data and its longitudinal design. Three assessment waves in 2 years’ intervals are planned until 2022. In this article, we briefly describe the design and contents of the SPeADy twin family study as well as some recent findings, future plans and open science issues.

Echo chambers and polarisation in the German federal election 2017: Our findings suggest that there is no echo chamber in political communication on Facebook in Germany

Echo chambers and polarisation in the German federal election 2017. Wolf J. Schünemann, Stefan Steiger, Fritz Kliche. Panel "Political Organisations and the Digital", ECPR General Conference, August 2018, Hamburg. https://ecpr.eu/Filestore/PaperProposal/2df1d48e-c319-456f-89ef-4ad9d5256546.pdf

Abstract: This paper examines the phenomenon of polarisation and radicalisation and in particular tests the echo chamber hypothesis for explaining these prominently discussed features of current political communication. To investigate these phenomena, we draw on a sample of 1.3 million posts and comments from public Facebook profiles of German political parties. The data was collected during the federal election campaign in 2017 and therefore a phase of heightened political debate. In order to identify potential echo chambers we built on selective exposure theory and therefore focused on practices of information sharing on respective profiles. Specifically, we investigated the sharing of links (URLs) and tried to identify, whether users of different party pages were referring to different (more reassuring) sources. Focusing on polarisation we employed different corpus linguistic tools such as topic modelling, cluster and keyword analysis in order to identify differences in respective discourses. While being tentative, our findings suggest that there is no echo chamber in political communication on Facebook in Germany. Instead of distinct sets of different sources, we found that all parties refer to more or less the same leading media outlets. We found only few sources that could be clearly identified as being partisan.With regard to polarisation, we found that there is a clear distinction regarding the tonality of discourse on the different profiles. Uncivil language featured very prominently on the profile of the new German right-wing populist party (AfD).

Americans: Whereas collective memories showed positivity biases, there was a negativity bias in collective future thought, or decline in Americans’ representations of their nation across time, regardless of political orientation

How we have fallen: implicit trajectories in collective temporal thought. Jeremy K. Yamashiro & Henry L. Roediger III. Memory, Volume 27, 2019 - Issue 8, Pages 1158-1166. https://doi.org/10.1080/09658211.2019.1635161

ABSTRACT: Memory may play a critical role in the ability to imagine events in the future. While most work on this relation has concerned episodic memory and simulated episodic events in the future, the current study examines how collective memories relate to imagination for the collective future. Two thousand American participants provided events for (1) America’s origins, (2) normative events that all Americans should remember, and (3) events in America’s future. Each event was rated for emotional valence. Whereas collective memories – particularly origin events – showed pronounced positivity biases, there was a negativity bias in collective future thought, indicating an implicit trajectory of decline in Americans’ representations of their nation across time. Imagination for the social future may not be simulated based on the template of collective memories, but may rather relate to the past in a way that is mediated by cultural narrative schemata.

KEYWORDS: Collective memory, collective future thought, national narratives, collective temporal thought, sociocultural psychology

Implicit trajectories in collective temporal thought

Self-enhancement, righteous anger, and moral grandiosity

Self-enhancement, righteous anger, and moral grandiosity. Jeffrey D. Green, Constantine Sedikides, Daryl R. Van Tongeren, Anna M. C. Behler & Jessica M. Barber. Self and Identity, Volume 18, 2019 - Issue 2, Pages 201-216. https://doi.org/10.1080/15298868.2017.1419504

Abstract: Do people self-enhance by dwelling in righteous anger in an effort to preserve their self-views as pillars of morality? We addressed this question in two experiments. Participants read a story about an injustice (experiencing righteous anger) or grocery shopping (experiencing neutral emotion), indicated their interest in reading injustice-relevant or happiness-relevant newspaper articles, and rated themselves on moral and agentic traits. Participants who experienced righteous anger (vs. neutral emotion) maintained their anger (i.e., exhibited stronger interest in reading injustice- than happiness-relevant articles) and rated themselves more positively on moral, but not on agentic, traits. Furthermore, anger maintenance mediated the effect of righteous anger on moral grandiosity. The findings illustrate tactical self-enhancement: the instrumental use of one’s negative emotions for self-enhancement purposes.

Keywords: Self-enhancement, anger, moral grandiosity, self-views, emotion regulation

Sunday, September 8, 2019

The impact of social status on the derogation of ideological opponents: Support for prediction derived from hierometer theory that people with higher status would derogate ideological opponents less (evaluate them more charitably)

Gregg, A. P., Mahadevan, N., & Sedikides, C. (in press). Taking the high ground: The impact of social status on the derogation of ideological opponents. Social Cognition. https://pure.roehampton.ac.uk/portal/files/805606/Gregg_Mahadevan_Sedikides_in_press_Social_Cognition_002_.pdf

Abstract: People tend to derogate their ideological opponents. But how does social status affect this tendency? We tested a prediction derived from hierometer theory that people with higher status would derogate ideological opponents less (i.e., evaluate them more charitably). We further predicted that greater rhetoric handling prowess (RHP:feeling more confident and less intimidated while arguing) would mediate the effect. Study 1 established a link between higher status and lesser opponent derogation correlationally. Study 2 did so experimentally. Using a scale to assess RHP developed and validated in Study 3, Study 4 established that RHP statistically mediated the correlational link between status and derogation. In Study5, experimentally manipulating status affected RHP as predicted. However, in Study 6, experimentally manipulating RHP did not affect opponent derogation as predicted. Thus, our findings were substantially, but not entirely, consistent with our theoretically-derived predictions. Implications for hierometer theory, and related theoretical approaches, are considered.

Keywords: derogation, status, social status, rhetoric, hierometer theory

Infectious Disease Prevalence, Not Race Exposure, Predicts Both Implicit and Explicit Racial Prejudice Across the US

Infectious Disease Prevalence, Not Race Exposure, Predicts Both Implicit and Explicit Racial Prejudice Across the United States. Brian A. O’Shea et al. Social Psychological and Personality Science, July 15, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619862319

Abstract: What factors increase racial prejudice? Across the United States, increased exposure to Black Americans has been hypothesized to increase White Americans’ prejudicial attitudes toward Black Americans. Here we test an alternative explanation: People living in regions with higher infectious disease rates have a greater tendency to avoid out-groups because such avoidance reduces their perceived likelihood of contracting illnesses. Consistent with this parasite-stress hypothesis, we show that both White and Black individuals (N > 77,000) living in U.S. states in which disease rates are higher display increased implicit (automatic) and explicit (conscious) racial prejudice. These results survived the inclusion of several individual- and state-level controls previously used to explain variability in prejudice. Furthermore, showing disease-related primes to White individuals with strong germ aversion increased their explicit, but not implicit, anti-Black/pro-White prejudice. Domestic out-groups, not just foreigners, may therefore experience increased overt forms of prejudice when disease rates are high.

Keywords: parasite-stress theory, behavioral immune system, implicit association test, racial prejudice, Bayesian racism

Healthy personality, that of a fully functioning person: Around 30pct is additive genetic; the rest is non-shared environmental effects; shared environment has almost null effect

Bleidorn, W., Hopwood, C. J., Ackerman, R. A., Witt, E. A., Kandler, C., Riemann, R., . . . Donnellan, M. B. (2019). The healthy personality from a basic trait perspective. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/pspp0000231

Abstract: What basic personality traits characterize the psychologically healthy individual? The purpose of this article was to address this question by generating an expert-consensus model of the healthy person in the context of the 30 facets (and 5 domains) of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (Costa & McCrae, 1992) system of traits. In a first set of studies, we found that the healthy personality can be described, with a high level of agreement, in terms of the 30 facets of the NEO-PI-R. High levels of openness to feelings, positive emotions, and straightforwardness, together with low levels on facets of neuroticism, were particularly indicative of healthy personality functioning. The expert-generated healthy personality profile was negatively correlated with profiles of pathological personality functioning and positively correlated with normative personality functioning. In a second set of studies, we matched the NEO-PI-R profiles of over 3,000 individuals from 7 different samples with the expert-generated healthy prototype to yield a healthy personality index. This index was characterized by good retest reliability and cross-rater agreement, high rank-order stability, and substantial heritability. Individuals with high scores on the healthy personality index were psychologically well-adjusted, had high self-esteem, good self-regulatory skills, an optimistic outlook on the world, and a clear and stable self-view. These individuals were low in aggression and meanness, unlikely to exploit others, and were relatively immune to stress and self-sufficient. We discuss the results in the light of their implications for both research and theory on healthy personality functioning.