Thursday, May 23, 2019

Solving mate shortages thru compensatory mating tactics: Lowering standards, travelling farther to find a satisfactory partner, and abstaining

Jonason, P. K., Betes, S. L., & Li, N. P. (2019). Solving mate shortages: Lowering standards, searching farther, and abstaining. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences,

Abstract: Although much work on mating psychology has focused on mate preferences and responses to desirable sexual and romantic offers, less is known about what happens when individuals face a lack of mating options. We present 2 studies on (hypothetical) compensatory mating tactics. In Study 1 (N = 299), participants were asked to imagine they were struggling to find long-term and short-term mates and we revealed sex differences and context-specific effects consistent with parental investment theory. In Study 2 (N = 282), participants were asked to imagine they had been incapable of finding a short-term and long-term mate for 6 months despite actively trying to find one and then report the likelihood of abstaining, lowering their standards, and traveling farther to find a satisfactory partner; results largely (and conceptually) replicated those from Study 1 but document the role of attachment and (self-reported) mate value in accounting for individual differences in adopting the 3 mating tactics. We frame our results in terms of how people might solve mate shortages.

Humans can use an intuitive sense of statistics to make predictions about uncertain future events; some of these abilities can emerge in preverbal infants and non-human primates such as apes and capuchins

Rhesus macaques use probabilities to predict future events. Francesca De Petrillo, Alexandra G. Rosati. Evolution and Human Behavior, May 23 2019.

Abstract: Humans can use an intuitive sense of statistics to make predictions about uncertain future events, a cognitive skill that underpins logical and mathematical reasoning. Recent research shows that some of these abilities for statistical inferences can emerge in preverbal infants and non-human primates such as apes and capuchins. An important question is therefore whether animals share the full complement of intuitive reasoning abilities demonstrated by humans, as well as what evolutionary contexts promote the emergence of such skills. Here, we examined whether free-ranging rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) can use probability information to infer the most likely outcome of a random lottery, in the first test of whether primates can make such inferences in the absence of direct prior experience. We developed a novel expectancy-violation looking time task, adapted from prior studies of infants, in order to assess the monkeys' expectations. In Study 1, we confirmed that monkeys (n = 20) looked similarly at different sampled items if they had no prior knowledge about the population they were drawn from. In Study 2, monkeys (n = 80) saw a dynamic ‘lottery’ machine containing a mix of two types of fruit outcomes, and then saw either the more common fruit (expected trial) or the relatively rare fruit (unexpected trial) fall from the machine. We found that monkeys looked longer when they witnessed the unexpected outcome. In Study 3, we confirmed that this effect depended on the causal relationship between the sample and the population, not visual mismatch: monkeys (n = 80) looked equally at both outcomes if the experimenter pulled the sampled item from her pocket. These results reveal that rhesus monkeys spontaneously use information about probability to reason about likely outcomes, and show how comparative studies of nonhumans can disentangle the evolutionary history of logical reasoning capacities.

We assessed 10 individuals who reported abduction by space aliens and whose claims were linked to apparent episodes of sleep paralysis during which hypnopompic hallucinations were interpreted as alien beings

Sleep Paralysis, Sexual Abuse, and Space Alien Abduction. Richard J. McNally, Susan A. Clancy. Transcultural Psychiatry, March 1, 2005.

Abstract: Sleep paralysis accompanied by hypnopompic (‘upon awakening’) hallucinations is an often-frightening manifestation of discordance between the cognitive/perceptual and motor aspects of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Awakening sleepers become aware of an inability to move, and sometimes experience intrusion of dream mentation into waking consciousness (e.g. seeing intruders in the bedroom). In this article, we summarize two studies. In the first study, we assessed 10 individuals who reported abduction by space aliens and whose claims were linked to apparent episodes of sleep paralysis during which hypnopompic hallucinations were interpreted as alien beings. In the second study, adults reporting repressed, recovered, or continuous memories of childhood sexual abuse more often reported sleep paralysis than did a control group. Among the 31 reporting sleep paralysis, only one person linked it to abuse memories. This person was among the six recovered memory participants who reported sleep paralysis (i.e. 17% rate of interpreting it as abuse-related). People rely on personally plausible cultural narratives to interpret these otherwise baffling sleep paralysis episodes.

Keywords: alien abduction, recovered memories, sexual abuse, sleep paralysis

Senegal: In urban areas, being a woman increases probability of a worker being informal by 8.5%; education is usually more relevant for women; having kids reduces men’s probability but increases women’s

Informality and Gender Gaps Going Hand in Hand. Vivian Malta; Lisa L Kolovich; Angelica Martinez; Marina Mendes Tavares. IMF Working Paper No. 19/112, May 23, 2019.

Summary: In sub-Saharan Africa women work relatively more in the informal sector than men. Many factors could explain this difference, including women’s lower education levels, legal barriers, social norms and demographic characteristics. Cross-country comparisons indicate strong associations between gender gaps and higher female informality. This paper uses microdata from Senegal to assess the probability of a worker being informal, and our main findings are: (i) in urban areas, being a woman increases this probability by 8.5 percent; (ii) education is usually more relevant for women; (iii) having kids reduces men’s probability of being informal but increases women’s.

Fruit bats, social mammals, form seasonal bonds through producer-scrounger interactions; females mate with males from which they scrounge food; each female scrounges from a unique set of preferred males, & no male prevailed

Food for Sex in Bats Revealed as Producer Males Reproduce with Scrounging Females. Lee Harten et al. Current Biology, May 23 2019.

•    Egyptian fruit bats form seasonal bonds through producer-scrounger interactions
•    Genetic paternity tests of pups were used to examine the food-for-sex hypothesis
•    Females mate with males from which they scrounge food
•    Each female scrounges from a unique set of preferred males, and no male prevailed

Summary: Food sharing is often evolutionarily puzzling, because the provider’s benefits are not always clear. Sharing among kin may increase indirect fitness [1], but when non-kin are involved, different mechanisms were suggested to act. Occasionally, “tolerated theft” [2, 3] is observed, merely because defending a resource is not cost effective. Sharing may also be explained as “costly signaling” [4, 5], where individuals signal their high qualities by distributing acquired resources, as has been suggested to occur in certain human cultures [6]. Alternatively, a transferred food item might be compensated for in later interactions [7]. In vampire bats, blood sharing reflects reciprocity between non-kin colony members [8, 9, 10], and long-term social bonds affect food sharing in chimpanzees [11]. Food may also be exchanged for other goods or social benefits [12, 13, 14]. One reciprocity-based explanation for intersexual food sharing is the food-for-sex hypothesis [15, 16, 17]. This hypothesis proposes that males share food with females in exchange for mating opportunities. Studies on human hunter-gatherer societies suggest that males with increased foraging success have higher reproductive success [18, 19]. Male chimpanzees, which in contrast to humans do not maintain pair bonds, were suggested to share food with females to increase their mating opportunities [16] (but see [20]). Bats, which are long-lived social mammals [21, 22], provide an opportunity to study long-term social reciprocity mechanisms. We monitored producer-scrounger interactions of a captive Egyptian fruit bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) colony for more than a year and genetically determined the paternity of the pups that were born in the colony. We found that females carry the young of males from which they used to scrounge food, supporting the food-for-sex hypothesis in this species.

Food for Sex in Bats Revealed as Producer Males Reproduce with Scrounging Females

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

When audiences become advocates: Self-induced behavior change through health message posting in social media. Robin L. Nabi et al. Computers in Human Behavior, May 23 2019.

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

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

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

Wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes) exploit tortoises (Kinixys erosa) via percussive technology. Simone Pika, Harmonie Klein, Sarah Bunel, Pauline Baas, Erwan Théleste & Tobias Deschner. Scientific Reports 9, Article number: 7661 (2019).

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

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

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

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

The effects of guilt and sadness on sugar consumption. Sarah Lefebvre, Jonathan Hasford, Ze Wang. Journal of Business Research, Volume 100, July 2019, Pages 130-138.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check also The Sad State of Happiness in the United States and the Role of Digital Media. Jean M. Twenge. World Happiness Report 2019, Mar 20 2019.

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

Olfactory perception in dreams: Analysis of a long dream series. Michael Schredl. International Journal of Dream Research,     Vol 12, No 1 (April 2019)

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

4. Discussion

The present findings confirm previous results showing that spontaneously mentioned olfactory perceptions in dreams are rare since the frequency found in this male dreamer (0.30%) was close to the figure of 0.11% diary dreams re-ported by males that include references to olfactory percep-tions (Zadra et al., 1998). However, one has to keep in mind that the dreamer was not aware of the study’s rationale, i.e., analyzing olfactory perceptions, and, thus, the spontaneously reported olfactory perceptions might be an underestimation compared to a paradigm with explicit questions about sensory perceptions after recording the dreams (Carskadon et al., 1989).

From a methodological viewpoint it has to be considered that the codings were done by the dreamer himself alone; there was no second external judge so that interrater reliabilities could be ascertained. However, previous research indicated that for simple scales measuring the presence or absence of a specific topic have shown high interrater reli-ability (Schredl, Burchert, & Grabatin, 2004). As reported in previous studies (Arshamian, 2007; Carska-don et al., 1989; Monroe, 1899; Stevenson & Case, 2004-05; Weitz et al., 2010) the olfactory perception included a large variety of topics. However, a closer look showed that only one third of the contexts in which olfactory perceptions in the dreams were experienced also occurred in the dream-er’s everyday life, most of the olfactory perception contexts were unusual for the dreamer or even bizarre (ketchup with fish smell) – indicating the dreams are not simple replays of waking life experiences (Fosse, Fosse, Hobson, & Stick-gold, 2003; Malinowski & Horton, 2014). This contributes to the discussion whether dream content is continuous and/
discontinuous to waking life (Hobson & Schredl, 2011). In this context, it would be interesting to study odor experts (perfumers, chefs, oenologists etc.) who focus quite often on olfactory perceptions during the day.

Most of the spontaneously reported odors in this dream series were unpleasant. One might speculate that there might be a report bias similar to the underreporting of positive emotions compared to negative emotions (Röver & Schredl, 2017; Schredl & Doll, 1998; Sikka, Feilhauer, Valli, & Revon-suo, 2017). To test this hypothesis, it would be interesting to ask explicitly for olfactory perceptions in the dream and their emotional quality after the dream is recorded. Although the reported dream examples in the literature are mainly nega-tive (Wayne & Clinco, 1959; Weed & Hallam, 1896; Zadra et al., 1998), the preponderance of negative odors in dreams might be characteristic for this special dreamer, i.e., larger samples are necessary to corroborate this finding. It would also be interesting to test pleasantness/unpleasantness in the context of other sensory modalities like visual or audi-tory experiences. As the olfactory system is closely linked to the limbic system (Gottfried, 2006), one would not expect a strong relationship between perception per se and emo-tions.

To summarize, the analysis of this dream series indicate that olfactory perceptions in dreams are quite rare, mainly unpleasant und uncommon regarding the context compared to everyday life. Due to the design (single case study), the findings raise a lot of questions as to what olfactory per-ceptions look like in larger dream samples and/or in other subjects, for example, in odor experts. It would be very in-teresting to carry out an experimental dream study using ambulatory assessment techniques with one group regularly reminded to focus on olfaction during the day and answer-ing questions about type, pleasantness and commonness of the odor. According to the continuity hypothesis (Schredl, 2018), the percentage of olfactory dreams should increase and the pleasant/unpleasant ratio of waking olfactory per-ception should be reflected in the participants’ dreams. These studies might help to elucidate the interesting rela-tionship between olfaction, sleep, and dreams.

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

Müller Stephan, Rau HA (2019) Too cold for warm glow? Christmas-season effects in charitable giving. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0215844.

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

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

Effect of Spiritist “Passe” on Preoperative Anxiety of Surgical Patients: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Double-Blind. Élida Mara Carneiro et al. Journal of Religion and Health, May 22 2019.

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

Keywords: Spiritual healing Energy therapies Complementary therapies Anxiety Surgery

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

Does Fraternal Birth Order Predict Male Homosexuality, Bisexuality, and Heterosexual Orientation with Same-Sex Attraction? Evidence from a Greek-Speaking Sample from Greece. Menelaos Apostolou. Archives of Sexual Behavior, May 22 2019.

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

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