Sunday, August 11, 2019

How different type of comments (emotional/factual content, supportive/contradicting content, low/high number of likes) could influence the credibility of the associated information? Seems that nothing at all

Martončik, Marcel, and Matus Adamkovic. 2019. “Comments' Influence on Message Credibility.” PsyArXiv. July 31. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: In the present era full of hoaxes, conspiracies, and fake news, the credibility of information is a necessary and important attribute that internet media, and especially news publishers, strive to achieve. It is natural that readers evaluate the trustworthiness of information they read. According to the previous research, such an evaluation could be influenced by many cues, for example, the presence of discussion comments, likes or shares. In the present article, we examine how different type of comments (emotional/factual content, supportive/contradicting content, low/high number of likes) could influence the credibility of the associated information. The research sample consisted of 924 participants from Slovakia. Using a path analysis and MANCOVA, none of the experimental conditions had a substantial effect on the perceived message credibility. The obtained results contradict the existing empirical evidence. One of the explanations of the null results might dwell in the underpowered design of the existing studies. Many of them have low sensitivity to detect even medium effects or are absenting any form of corrections of the family-wise error rate.

Spider monkeys are more sensitive to the taste of ethanol than rats and humans, and they prefer ecologically relevant suprathreshold concentrations of ethanol over water

Taste responsiveness of spider monkeys to dietary ethanol. Daniel Dausch Ibañez, Laura Teresa Hernandez Salazar, Matthias Laska. Chemical Senses, August 11 2019, bjz049,

Abstract: Recent studies suggest that frugivorous primates might display a preference for the ethanol produced by microbia in overripe, fermenting fruit as an additional source of calories. We therefore assessed the taste responsiveness of eight spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) to the range of ethanol concentrations found in overripe, fermenting fruit (0.05-3.0%) and determined taste preference thresholds as well as relative taste preferences for ethanol presented in sucrose solutions and in fruit matrices, respectively. Using a two-bottle preference test of short duration (1 min) we found that spider monkeys are able to detect ethanol concentrations as low as 0.5%, that they prefer ethanol concentrations up to 3% over water, and that they prefer sucrose solutions and pureed fruit spiked with ethanol over equimolar sucrose solutions and pureed fruit without ethanol. However, when presented with an ethanol-spiked sucrose solution and a higher-concentrated sucrose solution without ethanol the animals clearly preferred the latter, even when the sucrose-ethanol mixture contained three times more calories. These results demonstrate that spider monkeys are more sensitive to the taste of ethanol than rats and humans, and that they prefer ecologically relevant suprathreshold concentrations of ethanol over water. Tests with sucrose solutions and pureed fruits that were either spiked with ethanol or not suggest that sweetness may be more important for the preferences displayed by the spider monkeys than the calories provided by ethanol. The present results therefore do not support the notion that dietary ethanol might be used by frugivorous primates as a supplemental source of calories.

Keywords: dietary ethanol, taste preference threshold, relative taste preference, spider monkeys, Ateles geoffroyi

Orgasm, gender, and responses to heterosexual casual sex

Orgasm, gender, and responses to heterosexual casual sex. Jennifer L. Piemonte, Terri D. Conley, Staci Gusakova. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 151, 1 December 2019, 109487.

Abstract: There is a persistent gender difference in how positively young adults react to casual sex, with men reporting slightly more positive responses than women. Multiple factors have been studied as possible explanations for the gender difference, but nothing has completely accounted the variance between women and men's responses to casual sex. Although prior research identifies sexual pleasure as a primary factor associated with positive responses, women and men may understand or report on this construct differently due to gendered socialization, making it difficult to compare responses across groups. One measure that is less subject to subjective interpretation or response bias may be whether a person orgasms during a given casual sex encounter. In the present research, we test the relationships between gender, orgasm, and reactions following most recent casual sex encounter across three samples of young adults. Results indicate that orgasm mediates the gender difference in how positively participants respond to casual sex. Specifically, men are more likely to orgasm during casual sex, and people who orgasm during casual sex are more likely to experience positive reactions afterwards. Therefore, while gender may be one way to describe the discrepancy in how positive people feel following casual sex, orgasm explains it.

Keywords: Casual sexGender differencesEmotional reactionsOrgasmEmerging adults

Parrots Voluntarily Help Each Other to Obtain Food Rewards

Brucks, Désirée and von Bayern, Auguste, Parrots Voluntarily Help Each Other to Obtain Food Rewards (July 26, 2019). CURRENT-BIOLOGY-D-19-01163. SSRN:

Abstract: Helping others to obtain benefits, even at a cost to oneself (altruism), poses an evolutionary puzzle (Clutton-Brock 2009). While kin selection explains such ‘selfless’ acts amongst relatives, only reciprocity (paying back received favours) entails fitness benefits for unrelated individuals (Taborsky et al. 2016). So far, experimental evidence for both altruistic helping and reciprocal altruism has been reported in a few mammals but no avian species (Massen et al. 2015). In order to gain insights into the evolutionary origin of altruistic helping and reciprocity, the capacity for altruism of non-mammalian species needs to be investigated. We tested two parrot species in an instrumental helping paradigm involving ‘token transfer’. Here, actors could provide tokens to their neighbour, who could exchange them with an experimenter for food. To verify whether the parrots understood the task’s contingencies, we systematically varied the presence of a partner and the possibility for exchange. We found that African grey parrots voluntarily and spontaneously transferred tokens to conspecific partners, whereas significantly fewer transfers occurred in the control conditions. Additionally, transfers were affected by the strength of the dyads’ affiliation and partially by the receivers’ attention-getting behaviours. Furthermore, the birds reciprocated the help once the roles were reversed. Blue-headed macaws, in contrast, transferred hardly any tokens. Species differences in social tolerance might explain this discrepancy. These findings show that altruistic helping based on a prosocial attitude, accompanied but not necessarily sustained by reciprocity, is present in parrots, suggesting that this capacity evolved convergently in this avian group and mammals.

Keywords: altruism, altruistic helping, prosociality, parrots, reciprocity, social tolerance

School Enjoyment at Age 6 Predicts Later Educational Achievement as Strongly as Socioeconomic Background and Gender

Morris, Tim, Danny Dorling, Neil M. Davies, and George D. Smith. 2019. “School Enjoyment at Age 6 Predicts Later Educational Achievement as Strongly as Socioeconomic Background and Gender.” SocArXiv. August 10. doi:10.31235/

Abstract: Education is influenced by a broad range of factors including socioeconomic background, cognitive ability, and the school environment. However, there has been limited research into the role that school enjoyment, particularly at the start of schooling, plays in the development of pupil’s education and their final attainment. In this study we used data from a UK cohort, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children to answer three related research questions. Is school enjoyment patterned by gender, socioeconomic background of cognitive ability? How well does school enjoyment explain later educational attainment? Does early school enjoyment at age 6 explain social or gender differences in later educational attainment at age 16? Our results show that school enjoyment measured at age 6 associates with gender and cognitive ability, but not with family socioeconomic background. For example, girls were over two and half times more likely to report enjoying school than boys (OR: 2.62; 95% Confidence Interval: 2.11, 3.24). School enjoyment and later attainment were also associated, whereby pupils who reported enjoying school at both ages scored on average 29.9 (20.2, 39.6) more points, equivalent to a 5-grade increase across all GCSE’s, and were 72% more likely to obtain 5+ A*-C GCSE’s including Maths and English (OR: 1.69; 95% CI: 1.38, 2.08) than those who did not enjoy school. Differences in school enjoyment helped to statistically explain the gender attainment gap, with boys’ GCSE attainment more strongly linked to school enjoyment than girls. These results highlight the importance of school enjoyment for educational attainment. As a potentially more modifiable factor than socioeconomic background, cognitive ability or gender, school enjoyment may represent a promising intervention target for reducing educational inequalities and future experimental designs are required to test causation.

Neural Responses to Sexual Stimuli in Heterosexual and Homosexual Men and Women: Men’s Responses Are More Specific

Neural Responses to Sexual Stimuli in Heterosexual and Homosexual Men and Women: Men’s Responses Are More Specific. Adam Safron et al. August 9 2019.

Abstract: Patterns of genital arousal in response to gendered sexual stimuli (i.e., sexual stimuli presenting members of only one sex at a time) are more predictive of men’s than of women’s sexual orientations. Additional lines of evidence may shed light on the nature of these differences. We measured neural activation in homosexual and heterosexual men and women using fMRI while they viewed three kinds of gendered sexual stimuli: pictures of nude individuals, pictures of same-sex couples interacting, and videos of individuals self-stimulating. The primary neural region of interest was the ventral striatum (VS), an area of central importance for reward processing. For all three kinds of stimuli and for both VS activation and self-report, men’s responses were more closely related to their sexual orientations compared with women’s. Furthermore, men showed a much greater tendency to respond more positively to stimuli featuring one sex than to stimuli featuring the other sex, leading to higher correlations among men’s responses as well as higher correlations between men’s responses and their sexual orientations. Whole-brain analyses identified several other regions showing a similar pattern to the VS, and none showed an opposite pattern. Because fMRI is measured identically in men and women, our results provide the most direct evidence to date that men’s sexual arousal patterns are more gender specific than women’s.

Keywords: Sexual orientation Sexual arousal fMRI Sex differences Ventral striatum Reward Category specificity

Singles of both sexes expedite reproduction: Shifts in sexual-timing strategies before and after the typical age of female menopause

Singles of both sexes expedite reproduction: Shifts in sexual-timing strategies before and after the typical age of female menopause. Samantha E. Cohen et al. Evolution and Human Behavior, August 10 2019.

Abstract: How do singles' strategies for engaging in sexual activity with a new partner vary across the adult lifespan? Using three large and independent demographically representative cross-sectional samples of heterosexual single adults in the U.S., we found that females approaching the typical age of menopause became less likely to establish relationship exclusivity prior to sexual activity with a new partner. However, after the typical age of menopausal onset, females returned to earlier levels of commitment choosiness. These changes in commitment choosiness surrounding the age of menopause were consistent across two studies (including a larger dataset combining two samples). Findings suggest that single females approaching menopause—a major life history milestone—alter their behavior to achieve reproductively relevant partnering goals but abandon this mating strategy once the typical reproductive period has ended. Males exhibited similar, though attenuated, changes in expected relationship commitment before sexual activity during midlife as well. Age-related changes in commitment corresponded with the amount of stress expressed regarding one's “biological clock”. However, reduced commitment choosiness did not vary with frequency of sexual thoughts, frequency of sexual behaviors, or external pressures to find a romantic partner. Results are discussed in terms of life history theory and sex differences in sexuality.

Keywords: Reproduction expeditingLife history theorySexual behaviorSexual timingMating strategiesMenopause