Friday, October 25, 2019

Customers were cheated in 21 % of grocery stores in Prague, more in tourist-frequented areas; effects of customer's and cashier's gender on the probability of cheating were only small and nonsignificant

Cheating Customers in Grocery Stores: A Field Study on Dishonesty. Marek Vranka et al. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, October 24 2019, 101484.

• Customers were cheated in 21 % of grocery stores in Prague
• Effects of customer's and cashier's gender on the probability of cheating were only small and nonsignificant
• Customers were more likely to be cheated in tourist-frequented areas than in less frequented ones
• Customers were slightly more likely to be cheated in the morning than in the evening

Abstract: The study measures how often customers are cheated in real-world transactions. In a pre-registered field study in Prague, Czech Republic, hired confederates posed as foreigners unfamiliar with local currency. While buying snacks in grocery stores (N = 259) either in the morning or in the evening, they provided cashiers with an opportunity to steal money from them by keeping more change than they were supposed to. The customers were cheated in 21% of stores, the median overcharge was 54% of the value of an average purchase, and overcharging occurred more often in the stores with on-line reviews mentioning dishonesty of employees. Although males cheated and were cheated slightly more often than females, gender differences were not significant. In contrast with predictions of the Morning Morality Effect, dishonest behavior occurs slightly more often in the morning than in the evening. The results show that cheating of customers in grocery stores is relatively widespread and it is especially prevalent in the central city district where the odds of being cheated are more than three times higher in comparison with the rest of the city.

Keywords: CheatingField studyAgrocery storesRetail employeesMorning morality

The aggregate of the published literature on ego depletion or mental fatigue indicates that prior mental exertion is detrimental to subsequent physical endurance performance

Giboin, Louis-Solal, and Wanja Wolff. 2019. “The Effect of Ego Depletion or Mental Fatigue on Subsequent Physical Endurance Performance: A Meta-analysis.” PsyArXiv. October 25. doi:10.31234/

Two independent lines of research propose that exertion of mental effort can impair subsequent performance due to ego depletion or mental fatigue. In this meta-analysis, we unite these research fields to facilitate a greater exchange between the two, to summarize the extant literature and to highlight open questions.
We performed a meta-analysis to quantify the effect of ego-depletion and mental fatigue on subsequent physical endurance performance (42 independent effect sizes).
We found that ego-depletion or mental fatigue leads to a reduction in subsequent physical endurance performance (ES = -0.506 [95% CI: -0.649, -0.369]) and that the duration of prior mental effort exertion did not predict the magnitude of subsequent performance impairment (r = -0.043). Further, analyses revealed that effects of prior mental exertion are more pronounced in subsequent tasks that use isolation tasks (e.g., handgrip; ES = -0.719 [-0.946, -0.493]) compared to whole-body endurance tasks (e.g. cycling; coefficient = 0.338 [0.057, 0.621]) and that the observed reduction in performance is higher when the person-situation fit is low (ES for high person-situation fit = -0.355 [-0.529, -0.181], coefficient for low person-situation fit = -0.336 [-0.599, -0.073]).
Taken together, the aggregate of the published literature on ego depletion or mental fatigue indicates that prior mental exertion is detrimental to subsequent physical endurance performance. However, this analysis also highlights several open questions regarding the effects’ mechanisms and moderators. Particularly, the surprising finding that the duration of prior mental exertion seems to be unrelated to subsequent performance impairment needs to be addressed systematically.

Some proposed that the Implicit Association Test measures individual differences in implicit social cognition; the claim requires evidence of construct validity; this author says there is insufficient evidence for this claim

The Implicit Association Test: A Method in Search of a Construct. Ulrich Schimmack. Perspectives on Psychological Science, October 24, 2019.

Abstract: In 1998, Greenwald, McGhee, and Schwartz proposed that the Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures individual differences in implicit social cognition. This claim requires evidence of construct validity. I review the evidence and show that there is insufficient evidence for this claim. Most important, I show that few studies were able to test discriminant validity of the IAT as a measure of implicit constructs. I examine discriminant validity in several multimethod studies and find little or no evidence of discriminant validity. I also show that validity of the IAT as a measure of attitudes varies across constructs. Validity of the self-esteem IAT is low, but estimates vary across studies. About 20% of the variance in the race IAT reflects racial preferences. The highest validity is obtained for measuring political orientation with the IAT (64%). Most of this valid variance stems from a distinction between individuals with opposing attitudes, whereas reaction times contribute less than 10% of variance in the prediction of explicit attitude measures. In all domains, explicit measures are more valid than the IAT, but the IAT can be used as a measure of sensitive attitudes to reduce measurement error by using a multimethod measurement model.

Keywords personality, individual differences, social cognition, measurement, construct validity, convergent validity, discriminant validity, structural equation modeling

Deprivation of affectionate communication was associated with husbands’ depression, wives’ loneliness, and both husbands’ and wives’ marital quality and emotional intimacy

Affection Deprivation in Marital Relationships: An Actor-partner Interdependence Mediation Analysis. Colin Hesse, Xi Tian. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, October 24, 2019.

Abstract: The current study sought to assess the dyadic effects of affection deprivation in marital relationships. We used the tenets of affection exchange theory to examine the actor and partner effects between affectionate communication, affection deprivation, and mental and relational outcomes. Moreover, we tested whether affection deprivation mediated the association between affectionate communication and outcome variables. In terms of actor effects, affectionate communication was associated with husbands’ depression, wives’ loneliness, and both husbands’ and wives’ marital quality and emotional intimacy. Affection deprivation was associated with all outcome variables for husbands and wives, except for wives’ emotional intimacy. We observed significant partner effects between affectionate communication and affection deprivation for both husbands and wives, as well as between wives’ affectionate communication and husbands’ emotional intimacy. Affection deprivation mediated some of the actor and partner effects between affectionate communication and outcome variables. Implications, connections to theory, and directions for future research are discussed.

Keywords Actor–partner interdependence mediation model, affection, marital relationships, mental well-being

Study implications
AET (Floyd, 2006) argues that affectionate communication is adaptive, leading to better mental and relational outcomes. The theory also predicts that individuals possess a range of tolerance for affectionate communication, and that individuals who are under that range will experience affection deprivation, an aversive, nonadaptive response. The current study supports both propositions, but potentially shows a path forward in linking those two predictions more closely. Previous work has stated that the act of giving affection might be adaptive even above and beyond the act of receiving affection (see Floyd et al., 2005). When Baumeister and Leary (1995) wrote about the need to belong, they theorized that this was a basic human need—one that was fundamental to the human experience. Thus, it is possible that giving affectionate communication is adaptive due to the likelihood that one is meeting the need to belong, and thus that giving affectionate communication might be less beneficial when one is deprived. There are two possible ways that this might occur. First, an individual must first receive another’s affection to reach his or her minimum threshold, and then the act of giving affection would be more beneficial than receiving to individual well-being. Second, as we argued previously in this discussion section, the act of giving affection might actually alter my perception of meeting the minimum threshold of my need for affection—that I feel that I am loved through the act of loving others. Future studies should potentially test these longitudinal claims to see whether the benefits of giving and receiving affection change according to an individuals’ perception of affection deprivation. Practically, the results of the study have implications on marital interventions and counseling programs. Practitioners may consider assessing marital couples’ perceptions of affection deprivation and its impact on their mental and relational well-being. In particular, all four actor effects between deprivation and mental well-being were significant, showing that the amount of affection given within the marital relationship matters far beyond the relationship itself. The perception of affection deprivation should be examined as a key indicator of marital quality, and marital interventions designed to help lessen the perception of affection deprivation in a relationship may potentially improve mental well-being and marital quality.

Check also Affection substitution: The effect of pornography consumption on close relationships. Colin Hesse, Kory Floyd. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, April 16, 2019.
Abstract: Scholars have stated that humans have a fundamental need to belong, but less is known about whether individuals can use other resources to substitute for close relationships. In this study, 357 adults reported their level of affection deprivation, their weekly pornography consumption, their goals for using pornography (including life satisfaction and loneliness reduction), and indicators of their individual and relational wellness. We hypothesized that individuals might consume pornography as a coping mechanism (either adaptive or maladaptive) to deal with affection deprivation, with affection deprivation relating to the goals for using pornography and consumption potentially moderating the relationships between affection deprivation and the outcome measures. As predicted, affection deprivation and pornography consumption were inversely related to relational satisfaction and closeness, while being positively related to loneliness and depression. Affection deprivation was positively related with most stated goals for pornography use (although the relationship between affection deprivation and pornography consumption was nonsignificant). The moderation hypothesis, however, showed little evidence, yielding a moderating effect only on the relationship between affection deprivation and depression (with nonsignificant effects for relational satisfaction, closeness, and loneliness). Overall, there is some evidence that pornography consumption is used as a form of affection substitution (dealing with the perception of affection deprivation). However, there is no evidence of consumption being either adaptive or maladaptive when it comes to relationship satisfaction, closeness, and loneliness, although it is possibly maladaptive in terms of depression.
Keywords Affection, deprivation, need to belong, pornography consumption, relational health

Reputation Management and Idea Appropriation

Altay, Sacha, Yoshimasa Majima, and Hugo Mercier. 2019. “It’s My Idea! Reputation Management and Idea Appropriation.” PsyArXiv. October 1. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Accurately assessing other’s reputation, and developing a reputation as a competent, honest, fair individual—epistemic and moral reputation—are critical skills. One way to gain epistemic reputation is to display our competence by sharing valuable ideas, especially if we appropriate these ideas—i.e. present them as being our own, whether that is the case or not (H1). However, idea appropriation should also entail some risks, otherwise it would lose its quality as a reliable signal. In particular, appropriating a bad idea should damage one’s epistemic reputation (H2), and being caught appropriating someone else’s idea should damage one’s moral reputation (H3). As a consequence, people should be more likely to appropriate ideas they think are good when they are motivated to display their competence (H4), and they should refrain from doing so when the odds of getting caught increase (H5). Six online experiments (N = 904) find support for these hypotheses. To assess the reliability and generalizability of these findings, we suggest replicating them with heightened statistical power among similar English-speaking participants (in the UK, US, and Ireland), and among Japanese participants.

Higher empathy for a suffering accident victim was associated with greater preference to let the person die rather than keep the person alive; participants had greater preference to end the lives of friends than strangers

Jenkins AC (2019) Empathy affects tradeoffs between life's quality and duration. PLoS ONE 14(10): e0221652. Aug 12 2019.

Abstract: Sharing others’ emotional experience through empathy has been widely linked to prosocial behavior, i.e., behavior that aims to improve others’ welfare. However, different aspects of a person’s welfare do not always move in concert. The present research investigated how empathy affects tradeoffs between two different aspects of others’ welfare: their experience (quality of life) and existence (duration of life). Three experiments offer evidence that empathy increases the priority people place on reducing others’ suffering relative to prolonging their lives. Participants assigned to high or low empathy conditions considered scenarios in which saving a person’s life was incompatible with extinguishing the person’s suffering. Higher empathy for a suffering accident victim was associated with greater preference to let the person die rather than keep the person alive. Participants expressed greater preference to end the lives of friends than strangers (Experiment 1), those whose perspectives they had taken than those whom they considered from afar (Experiment 2), and those who remained alert and actively suffering than those whose injuries had rendered them unconscious (Experiment 3). These results highlight a distinction between empathy’s effects on the motivation to reduce another person’s suffering and its effects on the prosocial behaviors that sometimes, but do not necessarily, follow from that motivation, including saving the person’s life. Results have implications for scientific understanding of the relationship between empathy and morality and for contexts in which people make decisions on behalf of others.


People are often encouraged to cultivate empathy toward others because doing so is expected to be better for those individuals. The present research explored the question, “better” in what sense? Participants faced hypothetical tradeoffs between two aspects of another person’s welfare: the quality and the duration of the person’s life. In otherwise identical situations, social distance and lower empathy were associated with greater preference for a suffering person to be rescued from an accident and continue to live. Social closeness and higher empathy were associated with greater preference for the victim to die on the spot, reflecting a greater desire to extinguish the victim’s suffering. These results caution against an oversimplified view of empathy in which it leads to better outcomes for a target person in a general sense. Instead, these results support the view that empathy motivates behaviors that are better in the specific sense that they aim to improve the target’s psychological experience—something that often, but not necessarily, goes hand in-hand with other desired outcomes.
More broadly, the current findings highlight the importance of distinguishing proximate from ultimate levels of explanation [59] when considering the motivational consequences of empathy. From an ultimate or evolutionary perspective, elevated empathic responses to the suffering of close others could serve adaptive functions by prompting actions that, on average, keep close others alive [1,14,60]. Because psychological suffering can often serve as a useful proxy for damage to other aspects of a person’s welfare, a person’s motivation to reduce close others’ suffering might, on average, have the effect of prolonging the lives of individuals who could propagate that person’s genes (e.g., children, siblings) [1] and/or reciprocate by helping the person survive some future mishap (e.g., friends, neighbors) [60], thereby increasing fitness. Yet, if, at a proximate level, empathy operates on psychological experience, then empathy will not necessarily lead to typical helping behaviors on any given occasion. In particular, elevated empathic responses to close others could appear to be maladaptive in instances when behaviors that would promote the other person’s existence and experience are misaligned.
These findings demonstrate that empathizing with another person can have detrimental effects on aspects of that same person’s welfare, joining other findings that empathizing with one person can have detrimental effects on the welfare of other people [61,62]. Specifically, past research has shown that empathizing with one person can lead the empathizer to privilege that person’s welfare over the welfare of other individuals with whom one has empathized less [63]. Whereas those studies suggest that empathy can motivate decisions that violate group-based moral principles (e.g., fairness), the current studies suggest that empathy can also motivate decisions that violate individual-based moral principles, at least as they are typically understood, including avoiding harm [64,65]. At the extreme, the current results suggest that empathy sometimes increases preferences for ending a person’s life. On some views, this would mean that empathy can increase people’s preference that the ultimate form of harm (death) befall the target of empathy him- or herself.
The current findings accordingly inform the relationship between empathy and morality. In past research, a role for harm aversion in moral decisions has been discussed at length [6668], but whether empathy selectively increases an aversion to certain types of harm has not characterized. The current results help to clarify the scope of empathy-related harm aversion by suggesting that empathy may increase people’s aversion, first and foremost, to others’ affective or psychological harm—i.e., their pain and suffering. To the extent that empathy sometimes does motivate life-saving, it could be the case that empathy primarily increases the aversion, not to death itself, but to the suffering that often precedes it.
If empathizing with another person can have detrimental effects on that person’s welfare, why have these effects been mostly absent in past research? One possible explanation is that past research has predominantly studied decisions in which one course of action is uniformly better for the target person and another course of action is uniformly worse [69]. In these situations, benefits to the quality and duration of a person’s life move in tandem, and a motivation to improve another’s experience could bring with it benefits to the person’s existence. In contrast, the current studies focus on decisions in which the quality and duration of a person’s life are in conflict, suggesting that the link between empathy and the motivation to engage in prototypical helping behaviors (like saving another’s life), may hinge on the extent to which those behaviors are compatible with improving the person’s experience.
The use of hypothetical scenarios in the present work brings with it several limitations on generalizability. First, these scenarios were not meant to reflect decisions that typical individuals are likely to face in everyday life but rather to isolate certain factors in a way that made it possible to illuminate the consequences of empathic motivation. Just as individuals in daily life rarely name the color of ink in which a word is written, as they do in the Stroop task, or flip train switches, as they do in trolley dilemmas, participants are unlikely to find themselves in a position of deciding whether someone in a burning building should be rescued or die on the spot. By their extreme nature, these scenarios enabled us to create conditions in which extinguishing a person’s suffering and prolonging his or her life were incompatible, making it possible to capture shifts in people’s preferences toward one outcome at the cost of the other. Second, the current studies deliberately did not ask participants what they would do if they were personally involved in the situation. Additional research is needed to understand how the observed effect of empathy on participants’ preferences to end a suffering person’s life interacts with other motivations that guide behavior, including the motivation to be a moral person, to follow through on responsibilities, to avoid guilt, to abide by the law, and others.
Future research is needed to explore implications of the current findings for domains in which people regularly do make decisions on behalf of others, including medical decision-making, where a need for empathy is often cited [7074]. In particular, if empathy increases the priority placed on a person’s experience, empathy may be more beneficial in some kinds of medical situations than in others. For example, empathy might help a physician perform an injection carefully or convey bad news sensitively; in cases like these, there is little conflict between behaviors that promote the quality and duration of a patient’s life. However, empathizing with a patient in a tradeoff situation between his or her experience and long-term health may tug physicians toward maximizing the quality of the patient’s experience in the moment rather than the number of moments in the patient’s future. This possibility is broadly consistent with past research on end-of-life decisions demonstrating that family members and nurses are more inclined to end the life of a terminally ill patient when the person has intractable pain [75] or is unable to carry out valued life activities [76]. In turn, these results suggest the tentative prediction, open to future research, that physicians with lower trait empathy might be more inclined to take courses of action to prolong a suffering patient’s life.
In interpreting these findings, it is worth noting that our experiments measured empathic emotion, or “affective empathy” [21]. As such, we anticipate that these findings will apply to other situations in which individuals empathize with a suffering person, as characterized by experiencing an affective state congruent with that person’s situation [9,15,16]. A subset of those experiences may also be accompanied by feelings of empathic concern—feelings of caring, compassion, or pity for the other person [47]—which could combine with the phenomenon observed here to guide a perceiver’s ultimate decision about which course of action to pursue [50]. Relatedly, future research will be needed to characterize more precisely the respective contributions to decision-making of (i) the strength of the empathic response to another person’s suffering itself and (ii) the strength of the motivation to help a suffering person with whom one has empathized.
These findings do not necessarily challenge the overall observation that empathy motivates improving others’ welfare. However, they do help to specify the kind of welfare that empathy motivates improving and point to some of the potential consequences of that motivation. In the realm of individual decision-making, it is well known that people’s affective responses can lead them to pursue immediately desirable psychological states (e.g., the pleasure of chocolate chip cookies) at the expense of other goals (e.g., maintaining a svelte figure). Similarly, empathizing with the affective experiences of other people might boost one’s motivation to prioritize the quality of those people’s internal states at the expense of other aspects of their welfare—including, at the extreme, the durations of their lives.

Meal Memories Are Special: Superior Memory for Eating Versus Non-eating Behaviors

Seitz, Benjamin M., Aaron Blaisdell, and A. J. Tomiyama. 2019. “Meal Memories Are Special: Superior Memory for Eating Versus Non-eating Behaviors.” PsyArXiv. October 25. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Are all memories created equal, or are we biased to remember information most relevant to our evolutionary fitness? This question is underexplored in dominant models of memory that often treat all incoming information with equal potential to be remembered. We hypothesized that memory is systematically biased towards remembering fitness-relevant behaviors such as eating. While memory of eating has been shown to mediate hunger and food consumption, whether memory for a meal is itself special compared to non-meal related behaviors is unknown. We report memory of an eating behavior to be more accurate than memory of nearly identical, but non-eating related behaviors. We rule out a potential physiological explanation of this effect and suggest the behavioral aspect of eating is required for the mnemonic benefit. These results suggest the utility of exploring evolutionary influences on memory and demonstrate that the fitness relevance of a behavior potentiates its ability to be remembered.

We hypothesize that sexual behavior in pregnant women should reflect adaptive strategies and that pregnant women will be particularly strategic about their sexual behavior in order to maximize potential benefits & minimizing costs

Women’s sexual strategies in pregnancy. Jaclyn Ross, Elizabeth G. Pillsworth. Evolution and Human Behavior, October 24 2019.

Abstract: Humans exhibit an unusual pattern of sexual behavior compared to other mammalian females. Women's extended sexuality has been hypothesized to be related to a variety of possible benefits, especially non-genetic reproductive benefits, such as securing male investment via reinforced pairbonds or paternity confusion. But sexual behavior also comes at a cost, particularly for pregnant women, in terms of energetic costs, potential disease, and possible harm to the fetus. We hypothesize, therefore, that sexual behavior in pregnant women should reflect adaptive strategies and that pregnant women will be particularly strategic about their sexual behavior in order to maximize potential benefits while minimizing potential costs. One hundred twelve pregnant women completed a survey of their partners' qualities and their sexual desires toward their primary partners and men other than their primary partners. Results showed that women's perceptions of relationship threat positively predicted sexual desire for primary partners, while their perceptions of their partner's investing qualities negatively predicted sexual desire for extra-pair mates. These qualities, as well as cues to partner's genetic quality and gestation age, also interacted in ways that suggest that pregnant women's sexual desires are sensitive to cues of future investment and relationship stability.

Men View Their Ex-Partners More Favorably Than Women Do: Ex-partner attitudes correlated positively with more permissive sexual attitudes and the amount of social support that individuals perceived from their ex-partners

Men View Their Ex-Partners More Favorably Than Women Do. Ursula Athenstaedt et al. Social Psychological and Personality Science, October 24, 2019.

Abstract: Our research deals with the question how people look back at their ex-partners—those with whom they were once romantically involved? Such views are important because they may shape our views of current relationships or new (potential) partners. Across three studies (total N = 876), we find that men hold more positive attitudes towards their female ex-partners than women do towards their male ex-partners. Gender-related variables provide further insight into this phenomenon. Ex-partner attitudes correlated positively with more permissive sexual attitudes and the amount of social support that individuals perceived from their ex-partners (both higher in men), whereas the ex-partner attitudes correlated negatively with attributions of greater responsibility for the breakup to ex-partner or relationship itself (both higher in women). Both men and women reported more positive ex-partner attitudes if they were single or had lower breakup acceptance.

Keywords ex-partner, attitudes, gender difference, romantic relationships

Two studies revealed that men are more likely than women to evaluate their former romantic partners more favorably. A third, larger study replicated this finding. All three studies yielded medium effect sizes (Cohen, 1988). A fourth study indicated that these findings are not intuitively obvious to most laypersons since only one in four laypeople (24%) anticipated these findings (and with most people predicting no gender difference).
Ex-partner attitudes have not been studied extensively until now. To the best of our knowledge, the present research is the first to document that men and women differ in how they tend to view their ex-partners. What are the psychological implications of these differences? Interestingly, Imhoff and Banse (2011) have also reported correlations between ex-partner attitudes and both subjective well-being and life satisfaction. Moreover, Spielmann, Joel, MacDonald, and Kogan (2012) found that individuals who longed for their ex-partners were more likely to experience lower relationship quality in their subsequent relationships. Our results imply that men’s new relationships might suffer more than women’s new relationships. Because the present research is largely exploratory, however, our answers remain speculative and tentative. Nevertheless, some possibilities and issues for future research seem worth sharing.
Permissive sexual attitudes significantly predicted ex-partner attitudes, and this variable was also related to gender. These findings build on recent research by Mogliski and Welling (2017) who found that men rate sexual access (more than women do) as a reason for staying in touch with an ex-partner. Consistent with evolutionary theorizing, greater permissive sexual attitudes held by men (compared to women) might underlie their more favorable views of former partners. For example, it is possible that men, in their stronger pursuit of multiple partners and more playful orientation to love, do not want to close the door to sexual intimacy with their former partners completely. Clearly, favorable ex-partner views support this mind-set, even if their former (female) partners are unlikely to welcome it (Meltzer, McNulty, & Maner, 2017).
Moreover, all of the variables that correlated with ex-partner attitudes can be linked in theory to gender roles. For example, evidence exists that most men tend to profit more from romantic relationships than most women partly because they receive more social support from their female partners (Antonucci & Akiyama, 1987; Fydrich et al., 2009; Rueger et al., 2008). These insights might make it easier for men (rather than women) to look back on their ex-partners in a more friendly and favorable manner.
Our results also revealed that breakup attributions regarding the partner (or relationship) correlate with the ex-partner attitudes. Given that women tend to make these attributions more than men, we assume that it is “something about him” that may launch many romantic breakups. Although psychology often emphasizes differences in construal, we suspect both subjective and objective differences in men-as-partners and women-as-partners are responsible for instigating breakups. Men are, in fact, much more likely than women to engage in harmful behaviors following breakups, including various addictions and mental and/or physical partner abuse (Capezza, D’Intino, Flynn, & Arriaga, 2017; Reid et al., 2008). Thus, our findings may also reflect gender differences happening in romantic relationships, with women actually being more supportive than men vice versa.
Last but not least, we found support that ex-partner attitudes may serve as a sign that individuals have overcome a breakup. This is most likely true of participants who are in a new relationship and report greater breakup acceptance. This result is consistent with other recent research (e.g., Brumbaugh & Fraley, 2015) showing that individuals in new relationships have more resolution from their ex-partners and feel more confident in their own desirability. Our research also indicates that after entering new relationships, both men and women hold less favorable ex-partner views.
In closing, the present research documents a new phenomenon that seems far from obvious to most people. Women tend to have more negative attitudes toward their former romantic partners than men do. While our studies document this stable gender difference, we do not know its specific origins. Even though both evolutionary and gender role theories provide some valuable insights, additional research is needed to pin down the key origins. The use of longitudinal studies in which individuals are followed across time and relationships to determine how and why ex-partner views develop will be particularly helpful in this regard.

To maintain current beliefs, individuals may evaluate contrary evidence too critically; priming individuals’ scientific reasoning skills reduces this myside bias only when accompanied by direct instructions to apply them

Does “putting on your thinking cap” reduce myside bias in evaluation of scientific evidence? Caitlin Drummond & Baruch Fischhoff. Thinking & Reasoning, Volume 25, 2019 - Issue 4, Pages 477-505, Jan 31 2019.

Abstract: The desire to maintain current beliefs can lead individuals to evaluate contrary evidence more critically than consistent evidence. We test whether priming individuals’ scientific reasoning skills reduces this often-observed myside bias, when people evaluate scientific evidence about which they have prior positions. We conducted three experiments in which participants read a news-style article about a study that either supported or opposed their attitudes regarding the Affordable Care Act. We manipulated whether participants completed a test posing scientific reasoning problems before or after reading the article and evaluating the evidence that it reported. Consistent with previous research, we found that participants were biased in favor of evidence consistent with their prior attitudes regarding the Affordable Care Act. Priming individuals’ scientific reasoning skills reduced myside bias only when accompanied by direct instructions to apply those skills to the task at hand. We discuss the processes contributing to biased evaluation of scientific evidence.

Keywords: Judgment, reasoning, scientific communication, myside bias

Check also: Political partisans disagreed about the importance of conditional probabilities; highly numerate partisans were more polarized than less numerate partisans
It depends: Partisan evaluation of conditional probability importance. Leaf Van Boven et al. Cognition, Mar 2 2019,

And: Biased Policy Professionals. Sheheryar Banuri, Stefan Dercon, and Varun Gauri. World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 8113.

And: Dispelling the Myth: Training in Education or Neuroscience Decreases but Does Not Eliminate Beliefs in Neuromyths. Kelly Macdonald et al. Frontiers in Psychology, Aug 10 2017.

And: Wisdom and how to cultivate it: Review of emerging evidence for a constructivist model of wise thinking. Igor Grossmann. European Psychologist, in press. Pre-print:

And: Individuals with greater science literacy and education have more polarized beliefs on controversial science topics. Caitlin Drummond and Baruch Fischhoff. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 114 no. 36, pp 9587–9592,

And: Expert ability can actually impair the accuracy of expert perception when judging others' performance: Adaptation and fallibility in experts' judgments of novice performers. By Larson, J. S., & Billeter, D. M. (2017). Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 43(2), 271–288.

And: Collective Intelligence for Clinical Diagnosis—Are 2 (or 3) Heads Better Than 1? Stephan D. Fihn. JAMA Network Open. 2019;2(3):e191071,

And Poor Metacognitive Awareness of Belief Change. Michael Wolfe and Todd Williams. The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, Oct 2017.