Friday, April 5, 2019

People with the greatest proclivity for a behavior choose to interact the most, leading to further feedback/amplification, overstimating peer consumption of legal & illegal drugs, yielding high consumption

The Friendship Paradox and Systematic Biases in Perceptions and Social Norms. Matthew O. Jackson. Journal of Political Economy, Mar 18, 2019.

Abstract: The “friendship paradox” (first noted by Feld in 1991) refers to the fact that, on average, people have strictly fewer friends than their friends have. I show that this oversampling of more popular people can lead people to perceive more engagement than exists in the overall population. This feeds back to amplify engagement in behaviors that involve complementarities. Also, people with the greatest proclivity for a behavior choose to interact the most, leading to further feedback and amplification. These results are consistent with studies finding overestimation of peer consumption of alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs and with resulting high levels of drug and alcohol consumption.

Moral Grandstanding in Public Discourse: Status-seeking Motives as a Potential Explanatory Mechanism in Predicting Conflict in Daily Life

Grubbs, Joshua, Brandon Warmke, Justin Tosi, and Alicia S. James. 2019. “Moral Grandstanding in Public Discourse: Status-seeking Motives as a Potential Explanatory Mechanism in Predicting Conflict.” PsyArXiv. April 5. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Public discourse is often caustic and conflict-filled. This trend seems to be particularly evident when the content of such discourse is around moral issues (broadly defined) and when the discourse occurs on social media. Several explanatory mechanisms for such conflict have been explored in recent psychological and social-science literatures. The present work sought to examine a potentially novel explanatory mechanism defined in philosophical literature: Moral Grandstanding. According to philosophical accounts, Moral Grandstanding is the use of moral talk to seek social status.  For the present work, we conducted five studies, using two undergraduate samples (Study 1, N = 361; Study 2, N = 356); an sample matched to U.S. norms for age, gender, race, income, Census region (Study 3, N = 1,063); a YouGov sample matched to U.S. demographic norms (Study 4, N = 2,000); and a brief, one-month longitudinal study of Mechanical Turk workers in the U.S. (Study 5 , Baseline N = 499, follow-up n = 296). Across studies, we found initial support for the validity of Moral Grandstanding as a construct. Specifically, moral grandstanding was associated with status-seeking personality traits, as well as greater political and moral conflict in daily life.

Scary sexual situations were reported by 23.9% of adult women, 10.3% of adult men, 12.5% of adolescent women, and 3.8% of adolescent men

Feeling Scared During Sex: Findings From a U.S. Probability Sample of Women and Men Ages 14 to 60. Debby Herbenick et al. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, Apr 2019.

Abstract: Using data from a U.S. probability survey of individuals aged 14 to 60, we aimed (1) to assess the proportion of respondents who ever reported scary sexual situations and (2) to examine descriptions of sexual experiences reported as scary. Data were cross-sectional and collected via the GfK KnowledgePanel®. Scary sexual situations were reported by 23.9% of adult women, 10.3% of adult men, 12.5% of adolescent women, and 3.8% of adolescent men who had ever engaged in oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Themes included sexual assault/rape, incest, being held down, anal sex, choking, threats, multiple people, novelty/learning, among others.

Death among primates: a critical review of non‐human primate interactions towards their dead and dying

Death among primates: a critical review of non‐human primate interactions towards their dead and dying. André Gonçalves, Susana Carvalho. Biological Reviews, April 4 2019.

ABSTRACT: For the past two centuries, non‐human primates have been reported to inspect, protect, retrieve, carry or drag the dead bodies of their conspecifics and, for nearly the same amount of time, sparse scientific attention has been paid to such behaviours. Given that there exists a considerable gap in the fossil and archaeological record concerning how early hominins might have interacted with their dead, extant primates may provide valuable insight into how and in which contexts thanatological behaviours would have occurred. First, we outline a comprehensive history of comparative thanatology in non‐human primates, from the earliest accounts to the present, uncovering the interpretations of previous researchers and their contributions to the field of primate thanatology. Many of the typical behavioural patterns towards the dead seen in the past are consistent with those observed today. Second, we review recent evidence of thanatological responses and organise it into distinct terminologies: direct interactions (physical contact with the corpse) and secondary interactions (guarding the corpse, vigils and visitations). Third, we provide a critical evaluation regarding the form and function of the behavioural and emotional aspects of these responses towards infants and adults, also comparing them with non‐conspecifics. We suggest that thanatological interactions: promote a faster re‐categorisation from living to dead, decrease costly vigilant/caregiving behaviours, are crucial to the management of grieving responses, update position in the group's hierarchy, and accelerate the formation of new social bonds. Fourth, we propose an integrated model of Life‐Death Awareness, whereupon neural circuitry dedicated towards detecting life, i.e. the agency system (animate agency, intentional agency, mentalistic agency) works with a corresponding system that interacts with it on a decision‐making level (animate/inanimate distinction, living/dead discrimination, death awareness). Theoretically, both systems are governed by specific cognitive mechanisms (perceptual categories, associative concepts and high‐order reasoning, respectively). Fifth, we present an evolutionary timeline from rudimentary thanatological responses likely occurring in earlier non‐human primates during the Eocene to the more elaborate mortuary practices attributed to genus Homo throughout the Pleistocene. Finally, we discuss the importance of detailed reports on primate thanatology and propose several empirical avenues to shed further light on this topic. This review expands and builds upon previous attempts to evaluate the body of knowledge on this subject, providing an integrative perspective and bringing together different fields of research to detail the evolutionary, sensory/cognitive, developmental and historical/archaeological aspects of primate thanatology. Considering all these findings and given their cognitive abilities, we argue that non‐human primates are capable of an implicit awareness of death.


(1) Dead infants
 Females of several primate species have been observedpersistently to carry their deceased infants (sometimesfor prolonged periods of 10 days or more), regardlessof the circumstances that caused the fatality (Fig. 2). Otherrecorded behaviours include grooming, swatting flies awayfrom the corpse and sometimes even consuming part of it.Primatologists have described their expressions as ‘puzzled’,‘confused’ or ‘dazed’, which raises the question as to whetherthey have some, if any, understanding of death.These behaviours are striking because they seemmaladaptive. Whilst live infants are energetically costlyto the mothers who carry them, ultimately they increasereproductive fitness – something a dead immature offspringcannot do. Holding a lifeless corpse hinders locomotion,negatively impacting foraging and predator avoidance. Somewill solve these difficulties by adopting a tripedal gait, carryingthe corpse ventrally, using the neck and shoulder to wedgeit, drag it along the ground, or even carry it dorsally usingthe tail as an extra limb. While some hypotheses have beenproposed to explain post-mortem carrying (Table 1), it isstill a matter of debate which one offers the most powerfulexplanation. Because some are mutually non-exclusive it islikely that many factors, depending on context, contribute tothese behaviours (see Watson & Matsuzawa, 2018).

(a)Mother – infant dynamics
 Dead-infant carrying is the most prevalent thanatologicalbehaviour distributed in several primate taxa (Fig. 3). Thisshould not be surprising since: (i) primates follow a typicaltrend observed in many vertebrate species of high infantmortality (Bronikowskiet al., 2011); and (ii) unlike adolescentsand adults who are abandoned at their site of death, deadinfants and juveniles are usually carried by the mother forlonger durations, allowing easier detection. Nevertheless, themother will, invariably, cease to carry the corpse, leavingit unattended for progressively longer periods until finallyabandoning it (Jay, 1962; Nash, 1974; Green, 1975; Altmann,1980; Hosakaet al., 2000; Croninet al., 2011).Many authors have claimed that the mother ceases totreat her infant as a live one during this period – carryingit in awkward positions, by the leg or tail, upside down,using the mouth or dragging the corpse along the ground(van Lawick-Goodall, 1968; Green, 1975; Altmann, 1980;Luet al., 2007; Perry & Manson, 2009; Biroet al., 2010;Fashinget al., 2011). Green (1975), who conducted acomprehensive vocal study with wild Japanese macaques(Macaca fuscata), noted that mothers gave out particularvocalisations when their infants died, repeated whilst carryingthe infant or distant from it. Some have proposed thatinfantile colouration may elicitpost-mortemcarrying (Jay,1962; Alley, 1980; Rajpurohit, 1997), but this does notexplain why such behaviour occurs in females from myriad
primate species – some with flamboyant natal coats andothers non-conspicuous.Perry & Manson (2009) describe a case of a capuchinfemale (Cebus capucinus) carrying her stillborn, arguing thatshe behaved in ways which suggested an awareness ofher infant’s death, such as letting the infant be fullysubmerged in water. Although this could represent causalattribution, it may equally be a failure of perspectivetaking. Inexperienced Japanese macaque mothers havebeen observed to inadvertently drown their infants whendiving into the hot springs of Jigokudani Park for food (deWaal, 1996) and similar occurrences have been reportedamong baboons (Cheney & Seyfarth, 2007). Moreover,filial cannibalism duringpost-mortemcarrying has also beenwitnessed, suggesting that corpses may be re-categorisedas food (Altmann, 1980; Hsiang-Jen & Hsiu-Hui, 2008;Dellatore, Waitt & Foitova, 2009; Watsonet al., 2015; Tianet al., 2016; Tokuyamaet al., 2017; De Marco, Cozzolino &Thierry, 2018; Watson & Matsuzawa, 2018).Croninet al.(2011) propose that whilst displayingapproach – withdrawal behaviour towards the infant, themother is actively gathering novel death cues that she couldconceivably recall in equal situations (i.e. death of anotherconspecific). However, if the purpose of such knowledge isto prevent costly behaviours, findings from Sugiyamaet al.(2009) that there is no significant difference in carryingduration between younger and older mothers suggests that,at least in Japanese macaques, no such learning component was found. Moreover, reports on chimpanzees from Bossouillustrate that there may be an individual component. Of thefive infants that died during a flu epidemic, only two werecarried for extended periods (Biro, 2011). Jire transportedboth her dead infants: Jokro in 1992 and again Jimatoin 2003 (Matsuzawa, 1997; Biroet al., 2010). Similarly,in semi-ranging Japanese macaques, the same female wasreported carrying her dead infant for extended periods in2011 and again in 2013 (Watsonet al., 2015), although otherfactors such as cause of death could impact these responses(see Section III.1e).

(b)Group – infant dynamics 
The behaviour of group members who were not emotionallyinvolved with the infant is also of interest. Cheney & Seyfarth(2007) note that wild chacma baboons (Papio h. ursinus)donot attempt to handle dead infants and rarely grunt atthem as they would live infants. Similarly, Rajpurohit (1997)mentions that in Hanuman langurs, other members showlittle interest in dead infants – a finding also reported inother species (van Lawick-Goodall, 1968; Green, 1975;Luet al., 2007; Guoet al., 2016; De Marcoet al., 2018).Conversely, infants and juveniles express more interest inthe corpse (van Lawick-Goodall, 1968; Ciani, 1984; Croninet al., 2011; Liet al., 2012), some even playing with it (vanLawick-Goodall, 1971; Hosakaet al., 2000; Biro, 2011).Furthermore, juvenile and nulliparous adult females havebeen witnessed carrying dead infants relinquished by theirmothers (Warren & Williamson, 2004; Fashinget al., 2011).The mother occasionally restricts attempts by other groupmembers to access the corpse (Altmann, 1980; Gupta,2000; Liet al., 2012; Tokuyamaet al., 2017) (Fig. 4), withsiblings having broader admittance (van Lawick-Goodall,1971; Kano, 1992; Mulleret al., 1995; Matsuzawa, 1997). It is conceivable that such playful interactions may prepareyounger individuals for death recognition.The matter of stench avoidance is divisive. Byrne (2016)recounts a case in western lowland gorillas where the groupmembers, after initial interest, seemed to avoid and shunthe carrying mother after the body started to smell. BothGreen (1975) and Sugiyamaet al.(2009) report that Japanesemacaque group members actively avoided the mother of adead infant, presumably because of the putrid smell from thecorpse. However, among chimpanzees (Biroet al., 2010) andGelada baboons (Theropithecus gelada) (Fashinget al., 2011),no such avoidance is reported. That most mothers abandonthe infant within a week of death is also informative sinceduring this period the cadaver goes from bloating to activedecay – the stage of decomposition that emanates the moststench.Infant corpses are sometimes central to or incorporatedin the displays of male chimpanzees (Bygott, 1972;Matsuzawa, 1997). Adult males have also been known tocarry dead infants; most notably in semi-ranging Barbarymacaques (Macaca sylvanus) whilst interacting with othermales where the corpse is used for agonistic bufferingpurposes (Merz, 1978). In conjunction with other reports,Merz (1978) notes that handling was much rougher andof shorter duration than with live infants. Rare cases haveinvolved high-ranking individuals unsuccessfully adoptinglive orphans and continuing to carry them after death (Tayloret al., 1978; Notman & Munn, 2003). 

(c)Old World – New World dichotomy 
To the best of our knowledge, there are 13 publishedcases of dead-infant carrying among New World monkeys,comprising cebids, and atelids (see online Supportinginformation, Appendix S1). The lack of information on thisbehaviour may be partly due to the smaller numberof publications on New World primates. Anderson (2011)argues that their tropical habitats accelerate the decay ofcorpses and consequently their abandonment. Additionally,while Old World monkeys can be either arboreal, terrestrialor both, New World monkeys are almost exclusively arboreal(Fernandez-Duque, Di Fiore & Huck, 2012). Referring toan arboreal Old World species, the red colobus (Piliocolobustephrosceles), Struhsaker (2010) pointed out the difficulty ofcarrying a dead infant while leaping between trees – aclaim supported by other colobine cases (Colobus guereza:Onderdonk, 2000;Colobus vellerosus: Teichroeb & Sicotte,2008) and the observation that species that carry their deadfor long periods, such as snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecusbieti) tend to be more terrestrial (Long & Kirkpatrick, 1994).Observer bias may also be involved; when reviewing theliterature on post-mortem carrying, the best-representedspecies were semi or fully terrestrial and inhabited accessibleareas or were in close proximity to human communities(Rajpurohit, 1997; Sugiyamaet al., 2009; Fashinget al.,2011). The only case of dead-infant carrying recordedamong prosimians comes from ring-tailed lemurs (Lemur catta)(Nakamichiet al., 1996), the most terrestrial lemur (Schmidt,2011). 

Not all primates engage in corpse carrying althoughthere is evidence that they do show behavioural responsesto dead or dying infants (see Appendix S2). Strepsirrhinesand callitrichines generally do not carry dead infants, despitesome unsuccessful attempts at carrying having been reported.Nakamichi, Koyama & Jolly (1996) observed seven cases ofring-tailed lemur behaviour towards dead/dying infants.One individual carried her dying infant tripedally for 15 m,whilst others in the troop showed affectionate behaviours,gave cohesion calls and displayed ambiguous back-and-forthmovements, switching between following the troop andreturning to the infant, sometimes for hours. Similarly,Santini (2012) observed a dying ring-tailed lemur infantrepeatedly fall, vocalise, and attempt to climb onto theback of its mother, who wavered between staying withthe infant or the group, eventually choosing the latter.Additionally, Littlefield (2010) observed two infanticides insifakas (Propithecus verreauxi) where the females stayed withthe dying infant, occasionally grooming it and, after itsdeath, remaining with the corpse before giving cohesion callsand then following the group. In experimental settings withvarious prosimians, Rosenson (1977) noted that, whilst noneof the mothers attempted to carry their dead infants, all wereobserved to groom them; a galago (Otolemur crassicaudatus)retrieved her infant using her jaws (later and dropping itwhen attempting to groom), and a black lemur (Eulemurmacaco) was seen gripping and lifting her infant. Groomingwas observed in all mothers, most of which were in regularcontact with their infants, likely representing an attemptto elicit a response. While it seems strepsirrhines lack themorphological proficiency for extended periods of carrying,their behaviour suggests they are not indifferent to their deador dying infants, even after they stop showing signs of life(Nakamichi, 2016).

To defend their views, Rousseauians resort to a variety of tactics to diminish the apparent frequency & intensity of hunter-gatherer warfare (redefine war, censor ethnographic accounts of warfare, misconstrue archaeological evidence)

Pacifying Hunter-Gatherers. Raymond Hames. Human Nature, April 5 2019.

Abstract: There is a well-entrenched schism on the frequency (how often), intensity (deaths per 100,000/year), and evolutionary significance of warfare among hunter-gatherers compared with large-scale societies. To simplify, Rousseauians argue that warfare among prehistoric and contemporary hunter-gatherers was nearly absent and, if present, was a late cultural invention. In contrast, so-called Hobbesians argue that violence was relatively common but variable among hunter-gatherers. To defend their views, Rousseauians resort to a variety of tactics to diminish the apparent frequency and intensity of hunter-gatherer warfare. These tactics include redefining war, censoring ethnographic accounts of warfare in comparative analyses, misconstruing archaeological evidence, and claiming that outside contact inflates the intensity of warfare among hunter-gatherers. These tactics are subject to critical analysis and are mostly found to be wanting. Furthermore, Hobbesians with empirical data have already established that the frequency and intensity of hunter-gatherer warfare is greater compared with large-scale societies even though horticultural societies engage in warfare more intensively than hunter-gatherers. In the end I argue that although war is a primitive trait we may share with chimpanzees and/or our last common ancestor, the ability of hunter-gatherer bands to live peaceably with their neighbors, even though war may occur, is a derived trait that fundamentally distinguishes us socially and politically from chimpanzee societies. It is a point often lost in these debates.

Keywords: Hunter-gatherers War Chimpanzees Peace Comparative research

In 1997 Lawrence Keeley coined the phrasepacifying the past as a critique of scholars who took what one might call a Rousseauian view of conflict in small-scale societies that predated the advent of the state. Along with such notions as living in harmony with the environment (Hames2007) and primordial sexual equality and promiscuity (Ryan andJetha2012 ), Rousseauians believed that war and lethal violence were rare or absent in
small-scale societies and did not become widespread and intense until settled agricultural life when war was invented and then elaborated and intensified with the development of the state. Keeleys direct experience with this perspective stemmed from his research grants being rejected by funding agencies because he sought to investigate what he hypothesized to be defensive fortifications and other forms of archaeological evidence of warfare in non-state societies. Although his War before Civilization (Keeley1997) made a significant impact, those who hold the Rousseauian position have responded, and a major target has revolved around the intensity and frequency of warfare and lethal violence among mobile hunter-gatherers. The termsHobbesiansand Rousseauians have gained some currency (Gat2015), although alternative contrasts such as Hawks and Doves (Otterbein2004 ) or warfare having along chronology or short chronology(Allen and Jones2014 ) make similar distinctions (see Allen2014afor a review of these positions). However, I will use theHobbesian/Rousseauian distinction following the penetrating analysis by Gat (2015) wherein he uses the Australian hunter-gatherer material to clearly expose conceptual and empirical problems for those who would pacify hunter-gatherers. Oddly, Douglas Fry, one of the Rousseauian leaders of this conservative counter, claims that thepervasive intergroup hostility modelis somehow the main orientation held by many researchers (2006 :10) who investigate hunter-gatherer warfare. Although this allegedly pervasive model includes such things as hunter-gatherer patrilocality and the closed nature of residential bands, the key claim he seeks to refute is that warfare has a deep history and was common among mobile hunter-gatherers. How one demarcatescommon fromrareis not defined by Fry, even though comparative researchers have created measures of both warfare frequency, or how often it occurs (e.g., Ember and Ember1992a), and warfare intensity, or the probability of an individual being killed by another human through war or homicide (Wrangham et al.2006).
This Rousseauian perspective runs parallel to scholars who cast doubt on the causes,adaptive nature, and intensity of chimpanzee coalitionary violence. A number of researchers, most prominently Power (2005 ), claim chimpanzee violence is notnaturalor adaptive and is largely the consequence of outside factors such as research team presence and disruptions (e.g., feeding stations) or disturbances by farmers or the bush meat trade (Sussman and Marshack2010). Such claims have been empirically discounted through a comparative analysis of 22 chimpanzee communities with and without significant contact (Wilson et al.2014 ). Similarly, as applied to hunter-gatherers, tribal zone theory (Ferguson and Whitehead1991 ) makes a parallel claim: tribal warfare was frequently initiated or intensified as a consequence of colonial invasions. 
The goal of this paper is to assess and critique a variety of positions put forward by Rousseauians to diminish the frequency and intensity of warfare among hunter-gatherers. These tactics include the following: misrepresenting evolutionary theory, reclassifying hunter-gatherers; redefining warfare; censoring ethnographic accounts on hunter-gatherer violence; overemphasizing the role of colonial activities in increasing warfare; and questionable use of archaeological evidence and time lines. Finally, and most importantly, I will also argue that although coalitionary violence is a primitive feature of human life that is likely a continuation of the chimpanzee pattern of intergroup relations, the ability to have peaceful relations with neighboring bands is a unique derived trait that fundamentally distinguishes chimps from humans and may have been partially responsible for our rapid cultural evolution.

Echo chambers? Data on Poland & Hungary do not support the hypothesis of clusters emerging along partisan lines; there are sharp group divisions on Twitter, but the nodes however are diverse & overlapping in terms of political leaning

Are Echo Chambers Based on Partisanship? Twitter and Political Polarity in Poland and Hungary. Paweł Matuszewski, Gabriella Szabó. Social Media + Society, April 4, 2019.

Abstract: In this study, we investigate how Twitter allows individuals in Hungary and Poland to experience different political views. To comprehend citizens’ exposure to political information, “who’s following who?” graphs of 455,912 users in Hungary (851,557 connections) and 1,803,837 users in Poland (10,124,501 connections) are examined. Our conceptual point of departure is that Twitter follower networks tell us whether individuals prefer to be members of a group that receives one-sided political messages, or whether they tend to form politically heterogeneous clusters that cut across ideological lines. Methodologically, such connections are best studied by means of computer-aided quantitative research complemented by the sociocentric approach of network analysis. Our data date from September 2018. The findings for Poland do not support the hypothesis of clusters emerging along partisan lines. Likewise, the Hungarian case reveals sharp group divisions on Twitter, the nodes however are diverse and overlapping in terms of political leaning. The data suggest that exposure and segregation in follower networks are not necessarily based on partisanship.

Keywords: Twitter, political information-seeking, network analysis, Hungary, Poland, echo chamber

Female Sexual Dysfunction seems less prevalent among female adult entertainers than rates commonly quoted for the general population and was more often seen in the women with less satisfying personal sex lives

Dubin JM, Greer AB, Valentine C, et al. Evaluation of Indicators of Female Sexual Dysfunction in Adult Entertainers. J Sex Med 2019;XX:XXX–XXX.

Introduction: Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) incorporates a wide range of sexual issues within the female population; however, it has not been evaluated among female adult entertainers.

Aim: To evaluate the prevalence of FSD in women working in the adult entertainment industry.

Methods: A 53-question online survey was distributed to female adult entertainers via e-mail through collaboration with the Free Speech Coalition, the North American Trade Association of the Adult Industry. Surveys were sent by the Free Speech Coalition to those within the Performer Availability Screening Services database who met the criteria of having biological vaginas and having experience as adult entertainers. The surveys were answered anonymously. Statistical analysis was performed with Stata/IC 15.1.

Main Outcome Measures: The survey acquired baseline characteristics, use of contraceptives, sexual activity, work vs home sexual satisfaction, and orgasm, in addition to evaluation of female sexual function using the Female Sexual Function Index survey, with a total score <26.55 indicative of FSD.

Results: Of the 147 respondents, 96 (65%) met inclusion criteria of adequately completing the survey, having a biological vagina, and working in the adult entertainment industry. The mean age was 34.1 ± 10.3 years (range 20–66). The average Female Sexual Function Index score was 28.7 ± 5.6, and 24.0% (23 of 96) of entertainers had scores indicative of FSD. Overall, women found their personal sex lives more satisfying when compared with their professional sex lives (3.99 ± 1.40 vs 3.08 ± 1.52, P < .01). When comparing women with FSD to those without FSD, women with FSD had less sexual satisfaction at home (2.8 ± 1.7 vs 4.4 ± 1.0, P < .01), fewer overall sexual events (7.0 ± 6.7 FSD vs 12.9 ± 10.0 non-FSD, P < .01), and fewer satisfying sexual events overall (3.3 ± 4.2 vs 10.7 ± 8.7, P < .01).

Clinical Implications: FSD is prevalent among all women, including those within the adult entertainment industry, and must be addressed during patient interactions.

Strength & Limitation: This is the first study to evaluate the novel group of female adult entertainers. Despite this novel population, the study size is rather small and is susceptible to response bias.

Conclusion: FSD appeared to be less prevalent among female adult entertainers than rates commonly quoted for the general population and was more often seen in the women with less satisfying personal sex lives.