Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Life-Course Criminal Trajectories of Mafia Members

Life-Course Criminal Trajectories of Mafia Members. Gian Maria Campedelli et al. Crime & Delinquency, July 7, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011128719860834

Abstract: Through a novel data set comprising the criminal records of 11,138 convicted mafia offenders, we compute criminal career parameters and trajectories through group-based trajectory modeling. Mafia offenders report prolific and persistent careers (16.1 crimes over 16.5 years on average), with five distinct trajectories (low frequency, high frequency, early starter, moderate persistence, high persistence). While showing some similarities with general offenders, the trajectories of mafia offenders also exhibit significant differences, with several groups offending well into their middle and late adulthood, notwithstanding intense criminal justice sanctions. These patterns suggest that several mafia offenders are life-course persisters and career criminals and that the involvement in the mafias is a negative turning point extending the criminal careers beyond those observed in general offenders.

Keywords: criminal careers, developmental trajectories, life course, organized crime

Replicable: People regard themselves as better than the average, thinking of themselves as better described by positive character traits than the others

Alicke (1985): Pre-registered replication and extension. Pui Yan Mok, Gilad Feldman. Preprint, June 2019. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.30198.04164

Abstract: People seem to regard themselves as better than the average other. To revisit this phenomenon, we conducted a pre-registered replication and extension of Alicke's (1985) study on the effect of trait dimensions for self versus average other judgments, collecting data from American Amazon Mechanical Turk workers in two waves (N = 670; N = 903). For more effective analyses, we switched to a correlational design after pre-testing the data. We successfully replicated the effect of trait desirability for the self-ratings in relation to average other ratings, such that participants rated more desirable traits as more descriptive of themselves than of the average American (original: ηp2 = .78, 95% CI [.73, .81]; replication: sr2 = .54, 95% CI [.43, .65]). In line with the original findings, we found that the effect was stronger for traits of higher controllability (original: ηp2 = .21, 95% CI [.12, .28]; replication: sr2 = .07, 95% CI [.02, .12]). As an extension, we measured commonness, the degree to which a trait is frequently displayed among the average American. The extension revealed that more desirable traits were rated as more common (sr2 = .04, 95% CI [-.01, .09]) and this held for the average American (sr2 = .41, 95% CI [.31, .52]) but not the self (sr2 = .00, 95% CI [-.01, .01]). Three decades after the original study, the better-than-average effect appears to remain robust. We discuss implications for future research.

The Impact of Shared Book Reading on Children’s Language Skills: Negligible

Noble, Claire, Giovanni Sala, Michelle Lowe, Jamie Lingwood, Caroline F. Rowland, Fernand Gobet, and Julian Pine. 2018. “The Impact of Shared Book Reading on Children’s Language Skills: A Meta-analysis.” PsyArXiv. October 14. doi:10.31234/osf.io/cu7bk

Abstract: Shared book reading is thought to have a positive impact on young children’s language development, with shared reading interventions often run in an attempt to boost children’s language skills. However, despite the volume of research in this area, a number of issues remain outstanding. The current meta-analysis explored whether shared reading interventions are equally effective (a) across a range of study designs; (b) across a range of different outcome variables; and (c) for children from different SES groups. It also explored the potentially moderating effects of intervention duration, child age, use of dialogic reading techniques, person delivering the intervention and mode of intervention delivery. Our results show that, while there is an effect of shared reading on language development, this effect is smaller than reported in previous meta-analyses (g ̅ = 0.215, p < .001). They also show that this effect is moderated by the type of control group used and is negligible in studies with active control groups (g ̅ = 0.021, p = .783). Finally, they show no significant effects of differences in outcome variable (ps ≥ .400), socio-economic status (p = .654), or any of our other potential moderators (ps ≥ .103), and non-significant effects for studies with follow-ups (g ̅ = 0.145, p = .070). On the basis of these results, we make a number of recommendations for researchers and educators about the design and implementation of future shared reading interventions.