Sunday, March 17, 2019

Thinking about Karma decreased selfishness among karmic believers across religious affiliations & non-religious Americans; about God also decreased selfishness among believers, but not with others

Supernatural norm enforcement: Thinking about karma and God reduces selfishness among believers. Cindel J.M. White et al. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology,

Abstract: Four experiments (total N = 3591) examined how thinking about Karma and God increases adherence to social norms that prescribe fairness in anonymous dictator games. We found that (1) thinking about Karma decreased selfishness among karmic believers across religious affiliations, including Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and non-religious Americans; (2) thinking about God also decreased selfishness among believers in God (but not among non-believers), replicating previous findings; and (3) thinking about both karma and God shifted participants' initially-selfish offers towards fairness (the normatively prosocial response), but had no effect on already fair offers. These supernatural framing effects were obtained and replicated in high-powered, pre-registered experiments and remained robust to several methodological checks, including hypothesis guessing, game familiarity, demographic variables, between- and within-subjects designs, and variation in data exclusion criteria. These results support the role of culturally-elaborated beliefs about supernatural justice as a motivator of believer's adherence to prosocial norms.

Was Europe losing to the US its most talented workers, 1850–1913? Irish data shows the contrary: the sons of farmers & illiterate men were more likely to emigrate than their literate & skilled counterparts

Connor, Dylan Shane. 2019. «The Cream of the Crop? Geography, Networks, and Irish Migrant Selection in the Age of Mass Migration». The Journal of Economic History 79 (1): 139–175. doi:10.1017/S0022050718000682.

Abstract: With more than 30 million people moving to North America during the Age of Mass Migration (1850–1913), governments feared that Europe was losing its most talented workers. Using new data from Ireland in the early twentieth century, I provide evidence to the contrary, showing that the sons of farmers and illiterate men were more likely to emigrate than their literate and skilled counterparts. Emigration rates were highest in poorer farming communities with stronger migrant networks. I constructed these data using new name-based techniques to follow people over time and to measure chain migration from origin communities to the United States.

Gendered marketing is a pervasive trend, despite the public controversy; consumers who own gender-typical products are mentally pictured as more physically attractive, sexier, & more desirable partners

Gendered products act as the extended phenotype of human sexual dimorphism: They increase physical attractiveness and desirability. Sylvie Borau, Jean-François Bonnefon. Journal of Business Research, Mar 16 2019,

Abstract: Gendered marketing is a pervasive trend, despite the public controversies it generates. Most of research so far has focused on the socialization-based perspectives of gendered marketing to explain this phenomenon. In this research, we ask the following instrumental question: which benefits can men and women derive from owning gender-typical variants of consumer goods? We propose that gender-typical products can act as the extended phenotype of human sexual dimorphism, broadcasting a cultural equivalent to the signals issued by biological, secondary sexual characteristics. Based on evidence showing that secondary sexual characteristics increase attractiveness and desirability, we predict that gender-typical products increase the attractiveness and desirability of their owners by acting as supernormal stimuli of sexual dimorphism. An internal meta-analysis across three studies confirms that consumers who own gender-typical products are mentally pictured as more physically attractive. We also find that owners of gender-typical products can be perceived as sexier, and more desirable partners.

Dramatic shortening of careers of scientists: The time over which half of the cohort has left the field has shortened from 35 y in the 1960s to only 5 y in the 2010s

Changing demographics of scientific careers: The rise of the temporary workforce. Staša Milojević, Filippo Radicchi, and John P. Walsh. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December 11, 2018 115 (50) 12616-12623.

Abstract: Contemporary science has been characterized by an exponential growth in publications and a rise of team science. At the same time, there has been an increase in the number of awarded PhD degrees, which has not been accompanied by a similar expansion in the number of academic positions. In such a competitive environment, an important measure of academic success is the ability to maintain a long active career in science. In this paper, we study workforce trends in three scientific disciplines over half a century. We find dramatic shortening of careers of scientists across all three disciplines. The time over which half of the cohort has left the field has shortened from 35 y in the 1960s to only 5 y in the 2010s. In addition, we find a rapid rise (from 25 to 60% since the 1960s) of a group of scientists who spend their entire career only as supporting authors without having led a publication. Altogether, the fraction of entering researchers who achieve full careers has diminished, while the class of temporary scientists has escalated. We provide an interpretation of our empirical results in terms of a survival model from which we infer potential factors of success in scientific career survivability. Cohort attrition can be successfully modeled by a relatively simple hazard probability function. Although we find statistically significant trends between survivability and an author’s early productivity, neither productivity nor the citation impact of early work or the level of initial collaboration can serve as a reliable predictor of ultimate survivability.

Keywords: scientific workforcescientific careerscareer success


Recent work on the organization of science has focused on theinternal structures of research teams and has argued that onelikely outcome of this shift in the nature of scientific work hasbeen the growth of supporting scientists, whose careers dependon being members of such teams (6, 13). Less obviously, therehas also been a concomitant increase in high-stakes evaluationand competition for funding, increasing the emphasis on pro-ductivity (43–46). One solution to this new emphasis on pro-ductivity is increasing the division of labor (47, 48). The growthof scientific team sizes is being accompanied by a transition inthe organization of scientific work from craft to bureaucraticindustrial principles, with increased division of labor and standardi-zation of tasks (13, 49, 50). The result is a growth of scientists whosefunction is to support the projects that others are leading. Ourresults confirm this scenario, showing that an increasing frac-tion of entering authors never transition from a supportingauthor to lead author role. We also show that such a trend isnot an inevitable outcome of the increasing sizes of teams, perse, but arises due to the different roles that some authors nowhave in large teams compared with the roles that members ofsmaller teams have (team members vs. collaborators). In somefields, such as ecology and robotics, lead and supporting au-thors have similar half-lives, while in others, such as astronomy,the half-lives of supporting authors is significantly shorter.Of course, there are well-known productivity advantages fromorganizing teams with a division of labor, and with having someteam members specializing in supporting roles (47). Hence, it isperhaps not surprising that science is shifting to larger teams,with more specialization, and that, increasingly, some scientistsare specializing in supporting roles. Note that we are not as-suming status or skill distinctions in our classification of leadand supporting authors (49). We are arguing that such sup-porting scientists are critical tothe production of contemporaryscience (6). However, it is also the case that institutions, such asuniversities and funding agencies, build around these traditionalstatus distinctions, for example, between postdoctoral scientists andtenure track professors (6). However, our survival analyses suggestthat the criteria predicting longevity for supporting scientists are quitedistinct from those for lead researchers and it may not be appropriateto impose similar criteria on bothgroupswhenmakingdecisionsabout who to hire or whose contract to renew. We argue there is aneed to reform career structuresin universities to account for thechanging nature of the population composition and reproductioncycles in team science, with social insect colonies rather than parent-child reproduction as a more appropriate model.While we cannot address this with our current data, we pointto a tension between the research production and teachingfunctions that academic laboratories provide (5, 12, 43, 49, 51).These two trends are bringing fundamental changes to scientificcareers, with decreasing opportunities for lead researcher po-sitions and increasing production of, and demand for, a scientificworkforce to fill positions as permanent supporting scientists.Together, these trends suggest downward pressure on careerlongevity (as more people exit the academic science labor force)and the growth of dependent supporting scientist positions tosupport the relatively shrinking share of lead researchers. How-ever, one concern is that such supporting scientist positions do notfit well with the employment system in most universities, which arestructured around a graduate apprenticeship, a short period ofpostdoctoral training, and then movement into a tenure track (andeventually tenured) professor position (5). Instead, these supportworkers may be relegated to a series of short-term postdoctoralcontracts or other forms of contingent academic work. While thetraditional model implies an up-or-out academic pipeline (withsignificant shares of the research workforce dropping out ofresearch-active academic positions at each stage), the growth ofpermanent supporting scientists may suggest an alternative careerpath that, while perhaps with shorter survival than the traditionallead researcher path, may be a growing share of the academiclabor force. Furthermore, such careers may be premised on adifferent set of criteria than is typically predictive of the careersurvival of lead researchers.Our findings show that the shift in the mode of knowledgeproduction from solo authors and small core teams (2) has co-incided with a differentiation in the scientific workforce in termsof their roles. The increased need for both the specializationand possession of specialized technical knowledge to manipulateincreasingly complex instrumentation and data has created an es-sential group of supporting contributors to knowledge. Unfortu-nately, the existing job roles and educational structures may not beresponding to these changes. Our results suggest that, while essen-tial, these supporting researchers are suffering from greater careerinstability and worse long-term career prospects in some fields.

Identification with fictional characters in computerised fictional narrative material: Females identify more strongly with their own gender whereas males identify equally with either gender

Hook N. (2019) May the force of gender be with you: Identity, Identification and “Own-Gender Bias”. In: Barry J., Kingerlee R., Seager M., Sullivan L. (eds) The Palgrave Handbook of Male Psychology and Mental Health. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Abstract: In this chapter an innovative experimental methodology is described for studying identity by using identification with fictional characters in computerised fictional narrative material (hypertext). This methodology reveals an unpredicted finding that females identify more strongly with their own gender whereas males identify equally with either gender. This echoes other research findings from quite different domains, suggesting a general phenomenon. Implications for further research and how these findings might inform creative communication and mental health practice in relation to gender are discussed.

Someone suggests that this means than men are more compassive... But in many species, the female is more helping, even of members of other species, like in those videos of cows feeding kittens or dogs... the girls work better as nurses, school teachers, etc., than men do... They oppose the death penalty in greater numbers than men, and support more gov't expenditures, and in the US vote more Democratic than Republican than men do. So no, in their own magical way, they are more compassive... just it seems they are too feminine, more than we are too masculine (?). Maybe the guys who say they have a greater percentage of gay members than men are right, too leaning to their own conspecifics. Or as they say recently, their sexual orientation is more fluid.

Author Conclusion
This experiment has produced strong evidence (with extremely low p values) that females have an own-gender bias in character identification but males do not. We might explain this finding using several different theories, but the strong implication is that gender is a less important group identity for men than it is for women. This has implications for how we communicate with men and women across varied domains of life such as health, politics and culture. It also has implications for how we might need to design differently nuanced health messages and approaches to connect with and help vulnerable men in comparison with vulnerable women. These findings also raise the question as to whether this is a universal finding or culture-dependent.

 Further research will be required to answer these important questions more fully. Whatever the reason for the difference and however global it might be, it is hoped that this chapter has revealed important evidence of potentially critical gender differences, along with an important new experimental method for researching identity