Sunday, July 21, 2019

How group identification distorts beliefs: Identification with a randomly composed group leads to overconfident beliefs about fellow group members’ performance on an intelligence test

How group identification distorts beliefs. Maria Paula Cacault, Manuel Grieder. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Volume 164, August 2019, Pages 63-76.

Abstract: This paper investigates how group identification distorts people’s beliefs about the ability of their peers in social groups. We find that experimentally manipulated identification with a randomly composed group leads to overconfident beliefs about fellow group members’ performance on an intelligence test. This result cannot be explained by individual overconfidence, i.e., participants overconfident in their own skill believing that their group performed better because of them, as this was ruled out by experimental design. Moreover, we find that participants with stronger group identification put more weight on positive signals about their group when updating their beliefs. These in-group biases in beliefs can have important economic consequences when group membership is used to make inference about an individual’s characteristics as, for instance, in hiring decisions.

Inventor CEOs: Firms file a greater number of patents & more valuable patents in technology classes where the CEO's hands-on experience lies, due to superior ability to evaluate, select and execute

Inventor CEOs. Emdad Islam, Jason Zein. Journal of Financial Economics, June 18 2019.

Abstract: One in five U.S. high-technology firms are led by CEOs with hands-on innovation experience as inventors. Firms led by “Inventor CEOs” are associated with higher quality innovation, especially when the CEO is a high-impact inventor. During an Inventor CEO's tenure, firms file a greater number of patents and more valuable patents in technology classes where the CEO's hands-on experience lies. Utilizing plausibly exogenous CEO turnovers to address the matching of CEOs to firms suggests these effects are causal. The results can be explained by an Inventor CEO's superior ability to evaluate, select, and execute innovative investment projects related to their own hands-on experience.

Parasomnias: Lots of emotional faces, negative speech, worries, profanities, insults; smiling sleep is rare in these adults

Parasomnia: a window into dreaming process? Isabelle Arnulf. Keynote to International Association for the Study of Dreams' June 2019 Conference.

Abstract: The parasomnias include sleep talking (REM and NREM sleep), sleepwalking, night terrors (NREM sleep) and REM sleep behavior disorder (RBD), sleep-related hallucinations and sleep paralysis (REM sleep). Many can cause injuries and sleep disturbances, thereby needing to be diagnosed and treated. Of note, sleep talking, sleepwalking and RBD correspond to dream-enacted behaviors, thanks to isomorphism between behaviors and later dream recall. The gestures, speeches and facial expressions of the dreamers render the dreaming scenario visible for external observers. We first performed an ethological repertory of all visible behaviors, speeches and, more recently, emotional face expressions, in RBD and sleepwalking in a large (>200 subjects) adult cohort. Aggression by animals and humans predominated in RBD (the dreamer counterattacking the aggressor) whereas natural catastrophes predominated in sleepwalking/night terror (the dreamer trying to escape the imminent danger by running away), suggesting a “flight (NREM) and fight (REM)” answer to threat simulation. Similarly, the sleep-associated speeches (whether in genuine sleep talkers or in patients with RBD and sleepwalking) were mostly negative, worried, and repeated. Verbal violence (more frequent in male sleep talkers) contained more profanities in NREM sleep and insults in REM sleep. However, non-violent, elaborate behaviors and speeches were also visible, although less frequent than violent ones. Smiling asleep was rare in normal adults, but quite frequent in RBD patients. This narrow but fascinating window helped test some hypotheses about dreaming, including which motor and verbal systems are at play during dreaming, whether episodic memories are included into the nocturnal behaviors, whether the eyes scan the dream scenario during REM sleep, whether non-dreamers do not dream or do not recall their dreams, without the bias of dream recall.

A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Cross-Cutting Exposure on Political Participation: No effect, positive or negative, on participation

A Meta-Analysis of the Effects of Cross-Cutting Exposure on Political Participation. Jörg Matthes, Johannes Knoll, Sebastián Valenzuela, David Nicolas Hopmann & Christian Von Sikorski. Political Communication, Jul 19 2019.

Abstract: Scholars have advanced many theoretical explanations for expecting a negative or positive relationship between individuals’ cross-cutting exposure—either through interpersonal or mediated forms of communication—and their political participation. However, whether cross-cutting exposure is a positive or negative predictor of participation is still an unsettled question. To help fill this gap, we conducted a meta-analysis of 48 empirical studies comprising more than 70,000 participants examining the association between cross-cutting exposure and political participation. The meta-analysis produced two main findings. First, it shows that, over all studies, there is no significant relationship, r = .002, Zr = .002 (95% CI = −.04 to .05). Second, the null relationship cannot be explained by variations in the characteristics of cross-cutting environments (e.g., topic, place, or source of exposure), participation outcomes (e.g., online vs. offline activities), or methods employed (e.g., experiment vs. survey). Taken together, these results should alleviate concerns about negative effects of cross-cutting exposure on political engagement. Implications for future research are discussed.

Keywords: disagreement, political participation, cross-cutting exposure, political discussion, meta-analysis

Sleep talking: A viable access to mental processes during sleep

Sleep talking: A viable access to mental processes during sleep. Valentina Alfonsi et al. Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 44, April 2019, Pages 12-22.

Sleep talking is one of the most common altered nocturnal behaviours in the whole population. It does not represent a pathological condition and consists in the unaware production of vocalisations during sleep.

Although in the last few decades we have experienced a remarkable increase in knowledge about cognitive processes and behavioural manifestations during sleep, the literature regarding sleep talking remains dated and fragmentary. We first provide an overview of historical and recent findings regarding sleep talking, and we then discuss the phenomenon in the context of mental activity during sleep. It is shown that verbal utterances, reflecting the ongoing dream content, may represent the unique possibility to access the dreamlike mental experience directly. Furthermore, we discuss such phenomena within a cognitive theoretical framework, considering both the atypical activation of psycholinguistic circuits during sleep and the implications of verbal ‘replay’ of recent learning in memory consolidation.

Despite current knowledge on such a common experience being far from complete, an in-depth analysis of sleep talking episodes could offer interesting opportunities to address fundamental questions on dreaming or information processing during sleep. Further systematic polysomnographic and neuroimaging investigations are expected to shed new light on the manifestation of the phenomenon and related aspects.