Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The overall finding of this study suggests that experiencing a divorce is unlikely to lead to permanent personality change

Does divorce change your personality? Examining the effect of divorce occurrence on the Big Five personality traits using panel surveys from three countries. Sascha Spikic, Dimitri Mortelmans, Inge Pasteels. Personality and Individual Differences, October 27 2020, 110428.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: Experiencing a divorce can be challenging and have a lasting impact on people's lives, but does it change your personality? By making use of large panel surveys from Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, intra-individual change in the Big Five personality traits of those who separated during a four-year observation, was compared to that of those who remained married. We tested the replicability of divorce-induced personality change across the three country samples, while also examining gender differences and separation duration. Latent difference score models mostly indicated that divorce is not a consistent predictor of personality change, as only isolated effects were found, and these could not be replicated across samples. Aside from the overall lack of replicable effects a few isolated effects were detected that offer some support for a modified version of the social investment principle. Nonetheless, the overall finding of this study suggests that experiencing a divorce is unlikely to lead to permanent personality change.

Keywords: Personality changeDivorceBig FiveSocial investment theoryLatent difference score

From 2016... Women and girls, too, suffer from relative deprivation & are exposed to the same cultural influences promoting capitalist & individualist materialist acquisition, all of which should give them the motivation needed to commit crimes in rural areas

Contemporary Issues in Left Realism. Walter DeKeseredy. International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 5(3): 12‐26. 2016. DOI: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v5i3.321

Abstract: Using Roger Matthews' (2014) book Realist Criminology as a launching pad, this article points to some timely issues that warrant attention from Left Realism. Special attention is devoted to rebuilding the Left realist movement and to some new empirical directions, such as critical studies of policing, adult Internet pornography, and rural women and girls in conflict with the law.


Adult Internet pornography consumption and its violent effects

Less than a handful of academics who publicly identify themselves as critical criminologists have focused on adult pornography and its violent consequences. Actually, criminologists in general ‘have not been fleet of foot’ in dealing with Internet porn (Atkinson and Rodgers 2014:1). This is partially due to the fact that numerous academics and university/college administrators view pornography as a topic unfit for scholarly inquiry (DeKeseredy and Corsianos 2016). Nevertheless, there is a growing body of progressive social scientific literature that challenges this belief and some Left realists have recently added to it (DeKeseredy 2015a, 2015b; DeKeseredy and Schwartz 2013). Some realists have also gathered relatively new qualitative data on the relationship between male pornography consumption and various types of violence against women (DeKeseredy and Hall‐Sanchez 2016; DeKeseredy and Schwartz 2009).

Given their keen interest in the mass media, it is logical to assume that cultural criminologists would also study contemporary Internet pornography, including the emergence of amateur online ‘tubes’, such as YouPorn, XTube and Porno Tube, all modeled after the widely used and popular YouTube. YouPorn had 15 million users after launching in 2006 and was growing at a monthly rate of 37.5 per cent (DeKeseredy 2015a; Mowlabocus 2010; Slayden 2010). Yet, as Matthews (2014) states in his critique of cultural criminology:

Surprisingly, there is relatively little discussion of the new social media and their profound impact upon culture, politics and identities (Castells 1996; Ferrell et al. 2008; Young 2007). For a criminology which aspires to be ‘critical and activist’, this is a strange omission since the new social media are widely held responsible for transforming and undermining, as well as challenging, established forms of mass media and facilitating so‐called cyber activism. (Matthews 2014: 100) Matthews’ assessment of cultural criminology is not totally negative and he identifies ‘points of agreement’ that ‘may provide some foundation for developing a cultural realism’ (2014: 108).

As a matter of fact, shortly before his death, Jock Young was very optimistic about such an intellectual and political development. In his foreword to the 40th anniversary edition of Taylor, Walton and Young’s The New Criminology, Young (2013: xxxiv) states, ‘There is a certain serendipity with regards to a synthesis between realism and cultural criminology because both fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle: one depicts the form of the social interaction that we call crime, while the second breathes human life into it’. Young also asserts that cultural criminology brings to the ‘square of crime’ discussed by contributors to this 2013 issue and other publications (Donnermeyer and DeKeseredy 2014; Young 1992) ‘meaning, energy and emotion: it turns its formal structure into a lived reality’ (2013: xxxviii).

If a Cultural Realism is born, perhaps it will follow in the footsteps of its cultural criminological parents (for example, Ferrell, Hayward and Young 2008), continue to examine popular culture, and address Matthews’ call to examine social media. Again, there are social media porn sites and pornography is now an integral part of popular culture. To be sure, these transformations warrant considerable empirical, theoretical and political attention from Cultural Realism. The rationale is as follows. First, we now live in a post‐Playboy world (Jensen 2007) in which adult Internet pornography has become normalized or mainstreamed (DeKeseredy 2015b; Dines 2010). Second, cyber porn images, videos and literature cause much damage to gender relations for these (and other) reasons:

 They are widely accepted, despite becoming increasingly more violent and racist (DeKeseredy and Corsianos 2016). Internet pornography often involves gang rapes and features degrading stereotypical images of people of color, Asian women and Latinas (Bridges et al. 2010; DeKeseredy 2015b; Dines 2010).

 There is a growing body of research showing a strong correlation between male consumption of cyber porn and the abuse of current and former female intimates (DeKeseredy 2015a, 2015b).

 There are over four million Internet pornography sites (Dines 2010), with thousands added every week (DeKeseredy, Muzzatti and Donnermeyer 2014).

 Pornography is a lucrative business and those who produce it aggressively defend their means of profiting off degradation, racism, sexism and suffering. Consider that worldwide pornography from a variety of sources (for example, Internet, sex shops, hotel rooms) recently topped US$ 97 billion. This is more than the combined revenues of these famous technology companies: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo!, Apple, Netflix, and Earthlink (DeKeseredy 2015b).

In addition to adding to a much‐needed critical criminological data base on porn, Cultural Realism would make another important contribution, which is prioritizing gender. ‘Gender matters’ is a call that has thus far received little attention from cultural criminologists around the world (DeKeseredy and Dragiewicz 2013; Dragiewicz 2009). Perhaps this is because cultural criminologists agree with Matthews’ (2014: 11) claim that feminist criminology ‘has lost much of its impetus in recent years’. Nothing could be further from the truth. As Flavin and Artz (2013: 10) remind us in the Routledge International Handbook of Crime and Gender Studies, there has definitely been ‘extensive theoretical and empirical progress’ in the study of crime and gender. In point of fact, feminist analyses of the gendered nature of crime, law and social control are stronger than ever and any variant of realist criminology can only gain by meaningfully engaging with this work.

Nevertheless, Matthews (2014: 12) accurately notes that much of feminism now focuses ‘on specific issues rather than engaging in wider debates about patriarchy and gender inequalities’. This is not a new observation. Nine years ago Meda Chesney‐Lind (2006: 9) asserted, ‘the field must put an even greater priority on theorizing patriarchy and crime’. Feminist scholars who study gender and crime can do a better job of explaining what we mean when we talk about gender and patriarchy. These concepts are complex and their meanings are not self‐evident.

There is a need for theories that explain how patriarchal gender norms shape material realities as well as individual beliefs and behavior. It is the interaction of cultural, institutional and personal manifestations of patriarchy that is truly interesting (DeKeseredy and Dragiewicz 2013).

Rural women and girls in conflict with the law


Left Realism could fill a major void by discerning, through the use of local surveys and other methods, whether rural women and girls are at greater risk of committing crimes than girls and women in urban and suburban places. Our knowledge of similarities and differences in criminal justice system responses to rural and urban women/girls in conflict with the law is also limited (DeKeseredy 2015c). What we do know, however, is that women and girls, too, suffer from relative deprivation, belong to subcultures, and are exposed to the same mass media and cultural influences promoting capitalist and individualist materialist acquisition, all of which should give them the motivation needed to commit crimes in rural areas and to obtain desired objects (DeKeseredy and Schwartz 2005). Still, compared to men and boys, most females do not do this. Left realist research and theory, regardless of whether such work occurs in rural or urban places, are still weak in this case and could again benefit by addressing the work of feminist scholars such as Claire Renzetti (2013), Kerry Carrington (2015) and Meda Chesney‐Lind and Merry Morash (2013).

Left Realism should address these concerns in its future attempts to take new ‘departures from criminological and sociological urbanism’ (Hogg and Carrington 2006: 1). These partings should also take us in new theoretical and methodological directions because rural criminology is largely atheoretical and is mostly quantitative in nature (DeKeseredy and Dragiewicz 2013; Donnermeyer and DeKeseredy 2014).

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

We found comparable and large deficits in autism spectrum disorder for both face identity recognition & discrimination; these findings suggest that deficits in face identity processing may represent a core deficit in ASD

Griffin, J. W., Bauer, R., & Scherf, K. S. (2020). A quantitative meta-analysis of face recognition deficits in autism: 40 years of research. Psychological Bulletin, Oct 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: The ability to recognize an individual face is essential to human social interaction. Even subtle errors in this process can have huge implications for the way we relate to social partners. Because autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by deficits in social interaction, researchers have theorized about the potential role of atypical face identity processing to the symptom profile of ASD for more than 40 years. We conducted an empirical meta-analysis of this large literature to determine whether and to what extent face identity processing is atypical in ASD compared to typically developing (TD) individuals. We also tested the hypotheses that the deficit is selective to face identity recognition, not perception, and that methodological variation across studies moderates the magnitude of the estimated deficit. We identified 112 studies (5,390 participants) that generated 172 effect sizes from both recognition (k = 119) and discrimination (k = 53) paradigms. We used state-of-the-art approaches for assessing the validity and robustness of the analyses. We found comparable and large deficits in ASD for both face identity recognition (Hedge’s g = −0.86) and discrimination (Hedge’s g = −0.82). This means that the score of an average ASD individual is nearly 1 SD below the average TD individual on tasks assessing both aspects of face identity processing. These deficits generalize across age groups, sex, IQ scores, and task paradigms. These findings suggest that deficits in face identity processing may represent a core deficit in ASD.

Gratitude for one’s perception of a positive outcome resulting from an outside entity seems to protect against psychopathologies such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), promoting resilience or reducing severity

Giving Thanks is Associated with Lower PTSD Severity: A Meta-Analytic Review. Angela L. Richardson & Matthew W. Gallagher. Journal of Happiness Studies, Oct 27 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: A rising interest in the psychological community in resilience has spurred research examining psychological resources that promote resilience to psychopathologies such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One such psychological resource is gratitude, or one’s perception of a positive outcome resulting from an outside entity. The present study is a meta-analytic review of the relationship between gratitude and PTSD in order to determine whether the current literature is consistent with gratitude acting as a possible protective factor against PTSD severity as well as a possible intervention mechanism. A comprehensive literature review identified 11 studies that met eligibility criteria, resulting in a total of 3694 participants. The mean effect size between gratitude and PTSD severity was − 0.23 [95% CI (− 0.32, − 0.15)], indicating a moderate, negative relationship between gratitude and PTSD severity. Moderator analyses indicated that these results were not impacted by gender or trauma type. The moderate association between gratitude and PTSD is indicative that further study may be needed to explore if and how gratitude may work to protect against or be used to reduce PTSD.

Evidence against benefits from cognitive training and transcranial direct current stimulation in healthy older adults

Evidence against benefits from cognitive training and transcranial direct current stimulation in healthy older adults. Kristina S. Horne, Hannah L. Filmer, Zoie E. Nott, Ziarih Hawi, Kealan Pugsley, Jason B. Mattingley & Paul E. Dux. Nature Human Behaviour, Oct 26 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: Cognitive training and brain stimulation show promise for ameliorating age-related neurocognitive decline. However, evidence for this is controversial. In a Registered Report, we investigated the effects of these interventions, where 133 older adults were allocated to four groups (left prefrontal cortex anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) with decision-making training, and three control groups) and trained over 5 days. They completed a task/questionnaire battery pre- and post-training, and at 1- and 3-month follow-ups. COMT and BDNF Val/Met polymorphisms were also assessed. Contrary to work in younger adults, there was evidence against tDCS-induced training enhancement on the decision-making task. Moreover, there was evidence against transfer of training gains to untrained tasks or everyday function measures at any post-intervention time points. As indicated by exploratory work, individual differences may have influenced outcomes. But, overall, the current decision-making training and tDCS protocol appears unlikely to lead to benefits for older adults.

It is not true that political beliefs aim at truth, or that many citizens have stable and meaningful political beliefs, or that citizens choose to support political candidates or parties on the basis of their political beliefs

The Point of Political Belief. Michael Hannon & Jeroen de Ridder. Forthcoming in the Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology. Michael Hannon and Jeroen de Ridder (Eds.). Oct 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: An intuitive and widely accepted view is that (a) beliefs aim at truth, (b) many citizens have stable and meaningful political beliefs, and (c) citizens choose to support political candidates or parties on the basis of their political beliefs. We argue that all three claims are false. First, we argue that political beliefs often differ from ordinary world-modelling beliefs because they do not aim at truth. Second, we draw on empirical evidence from political science and psychology to argue that most people lack stable and meaningful political beliefs. Third, we claim that the true psychological basis for voting behavior is not an individual’s political beliefs but rather group identity. Along the way, we reflect on what this means for normative democratic theory.

Reconstructing prehistoric demography: What role for extant hunter‐gatherers?

Reconstructing prehistoric demography: What role for extant hunter‐gatherers? Abigail E. Page  Jennifer C. French. Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews, October 26 2020.

Abstract: Demography is central to biological, behavioral, and cultural evolution. Knowledge of the demography of prehistoric populations of both Homo sapiens and earlier members of the genus Homo is, therefore, key to the study of human evolution. Unfortunately, demographic processes (fertility, mortality, migration) leave little mark on the archeological and paleoanthropological records. One common solution to this issue is the application of demographic data from extant hunter‐gatherers to prehistory. With the aim of strengthening this line of enquiry, here we outline some pitfalls and their interpretative implications. In doing so, we provide recommendations about the application of hunter‐gatherer data to the study of demographic trends throughout human evolution. We use published demographic data from extant hunter‐gatherers to show that it is the diversity seen among extant hunter‐gatherers—both intra‐ and inter‐population variability—that is most relevant and useful for understanding past hunter‐gatherer demography.

pitfall one: not recognizing the limitations of hunter‐gatherer demographic data

pitfall two: the incorrect interpretation of demographic parameters

pitfall three: overlooking the differences in demographic scales in prehistoric and extant hunter‐gatherers

pitfall four: uncritically applying demographic uniformitarianism to archaic hominins

pitfall five: assuming there is such a thing as “the” hunter‐gatherer demography


We have highlighted five key pitfalls faced by researchers seeking to apply demographic data from extant hunter‐gatherers to prehistoric contexts. These pitfalls have varying methodological and theoretical implications but share two common elements: (a) they are often caused by poor communication between those studying past and present hunter‐gatherers; (b) they mask variation in the demography of hunter‐gatherer groups, past and present.

Given the sparse nature of the prehistoric database and the limited range of demographic variables on which it directly informs, data from extant hunter‐gatherers will always play a key role in reconstructing prehistoric demography. The specifics of this role will vary depending on the research questions being asked, and whether demography is central or peripheral to these. However, in all cases, it is vital to avoid using demographic data from recent foragers in ways which reproduce a limited view of the present (based on single groups or average values) in the past. Using the example of TFR we have underlined the usefulness of HBE as a framework, which minimizes the risk of using ethnographic data in this way. HBE seeks to understand the patterning and the reasoning behind human diversity, following the premise that individuals optimize behavioral strategies to particular ecological contexts.25134 Hunter‐gatherers worldwide still make allocation decisions based on their mode of subsistence, degree of mobility, and social structures,39 pressures which likely have parallels in prehistory. The recommendation of the use of HBE in prehistoric hunter‐gatherer studies is not new,39 but is of clear theoretical benefit,135 particularly for research areas such as demography with a fundamentally biological basis. Exploring how hunter‐gatherers today respond to different environmental pressures allows us to hypothesize about, and reconstruct elements of, prehistoric demography without relying on assumptions from a few recent foraging populations or on average values, which obscure diversity. Instead, HBE leverages this diversity to understand what predicts it, adding new pathways of investigation, and allowing for a range of possible values to be explored, and their relevance to the prehistoric case assessed. To better understand the demography of hunter‐gatherers, past and present, those of us who work with extant hunter‐gatherers should aim to improve our datasets by systematically exploring the relationship(s) and patterning of demographic parameters across a range of behavioral variables at the intra‐ and inter‐population level. Concomitantly, archeologists and paleoanthropologists should ensure that they combine an understanding of the limitations and possibilities of demographic data from recent foragers with their expertise on their own paleodemographic methods. We hope that this work presented in this manuscript is a good first step in that direction.

The will to combat anti-vaccination misinformation feeds on the third-person effect, the belief that others are more susceptible to (bad) media effects than oneself

The Battle is On: Factors that Motivate People to Combat Anti-Vaccine Misinformation. Yanqing Sun et al. Health Communication, Oct 23 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: This study proposes a theory-driven model to concurrently examine the cognitive and emotional factors that motivate vaccine supporters to combat erroneous online anti-vaccination information. The model was tested using data from a web survey of 599 vaccination supporters in the United States. The vaccine supporters reported greater support for government regulation of misinformation when they perceived greater susceptibility among the general public to the influence of misinformation. Surprisingly, the perceived severity of the influence was inversely related to respondents’ intention to correct misinformation. In addition, perceived susceptibility to the influence of anti-vaccine misinformation and perceived severity of its influence on others induced negative emotions that included anticipated guilt and anger. The negative emotions in turn motivate vaccine supporters to attitudinally support government’s media restriction or behaviorally correct the online misinformation.

Finland is known for its high-performing educational system but performance has declined during the past decade; we may not be dealing with a true anti-Flynn effect, the decline may be explained by reduced motivation & effort

Three Studies on Learning to Learn in Finland: Anti-Flynn Effects 2001–2017. Mari-Pauliina Vainikainen ORCID Icon &Jarkko Hautamäki. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, Oct 22 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: Finland is known for its high-performing educational system, but local assessments have shown that performance has declined during the past decade. We report the results of nationally representative learning to learn assessments in which 15-year-olds took an identical test in the same schools in 2001, 2012 and 2017. The results show that the level of both domain-general cognitive performance and learning-related beliefs dropped dramatically from 2001 to 2012, but the negative trend has stopped since then. For learning-related beliefs, the 2017 results were approaching the 2001 baseline level. The findings indicate that we may not be dealing with a true anti-Flynn effect, but the decline can possibly be explained by reduced motivation and effort in low-stakes assessment and schoolwork.

KEYWORDS: Learning to learn, anti-Flynn effect, cognitive competences, learning-related beliefs, decline of test scores

In primates the capacity to inhibit behaviour when making decisions correlates better with the demands of social contexts than the demands of foraging contexts

The Evolution of Self-Control. Robin I.M. Dunbar, Susanne Shultz. bioRxiv, Oct 26 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: The capacity to inhibit prepotent actions (self-control) plays a potentially important role in many aspects of the behaviour of birds and mammals. A number of studies, for example, have used it as an index of foraging skills. Inhibition is, however, also crucial for maintaining the temporal and spatial coherence of bonded social groups. Using comparative data, we show that in primates the capacity to inhibit behaviour when making decisions correlates better with the demands of social contexts than the demands of foraging contexts. We argue that the capacity to inhibit prepotent action has been crucial for the evolution of bonded social systems in primates and some other mammals.

Encouraging individuals to attribute political ideology to biology leads to decreased political prejudice, decreased political intolerance, and a perception of less political polarization

Baker, Melissa, and Ingrid J. Haas. 2020. “Biological Attributions for Political Ideology Decrease Political Prejudice and Intolerance.” PsyArXiv. October 26. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Does attributing the roots of political ideology to biology influence political tolerance and how people feel about political outgroups? In this paper, we examine the effects of attributing political ideology to biology, as opposed to personal choices that are more malleable, on political prejudice, intolerance, and perceptions of political polarization. Using an experimental paradigm, we encouraged respondents to think about political ideology as either rooted in biology or as a personal choice that is not fixed. Results from two experiments suggest that encouraging individuals to attribute political ideology to biology leads to decreased political prejudice, decreased political intolerance, and a perception of less political polarization.

Monday, October 26, 2020

The repetition-induced truth effect refers to a phenomenon where people rate repeated statements as more likely true than novel statements; a minority do the opposite—they reliably discount the validity of repeated statements

The truth revisited: Bayesian analysis of individual differences in the truth effect. Martin Schnuerch, Lena Nadarevic & Jeffrey N. Rouder. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, October 26 2020.

Abstract: The repetition-induced truth effect refers to a phenomenon where people rate repeated statements as more likely true than novel statements. In this paper, we document qualitative individual differences in the effect. While the overwhelming majority of participants display the usual positive truth effect, a minority are the opposite—they reliably discount the validity of repeated statements, what we refer to as negative truth effect. We examine eight truth-effect data sets where individual-level data are curated. These sets are composed of 1105 individuals performing 38,904 judgments. Through Bayes factor model comparison, we show that reliable negative truth effects occur in five of the eight data sets. The negative truth effect is informative because it seems unreasonable that the mechanisms mediating the positive truth effect are the same that lead to a discounting of repeated statements’ validity. Moreover, the presence of qualitative differences motivates a different type of analysis of individual differences based on ordinal (i.e., Which sign does the effect have?) rather than metric measures. To our knowledge, this paper reports the first such reliable qualitative differences in a cognitive task.

General discussion

In this paper, we show a surprising finding. Although the truth effect is reliably obtained across many data sets, the effect itself is inconsistent across people. We are confident that in most experiments some people truly judge repeated statements as more valid than novel ones, while others truly judge them as less so. This effect is not just noise—the models indicate that this inconsistency occurs above and beyond trial-by-trial variation. What makes the finding surprising to us is that the result is in contrast to previous work with these individual-difference models. The modal result is that “everybody does”, that is, there are no qualitative individual differences in common cognitive effects such as Stroop and Flanker effects (Haaf and Rouder, 20172019). In the repetition-induced truth effect, these differences exist, and they occur consistently across several data sets.

Does the presence of qualitative individual differences inform current cognitive theories of the truth effect? We think it should. A number of theoretical explanations have been proposed for the repetition-induced truth effect, for example, the recognition account (Bacon, 1979), the source-dissociation hypothesis (Arkes et al., 1991), the familiarity account (Begg et al., 1992), processing fluency (Reber & Schwarz, 1999), or the referential theory (Unkelbach & Rom, 2017). These accounts assume different underlying cognitive mechanisms, yet, they all make the same core prediction: repetition increases perceived validity. Unkelbach et al., (2019) summarize thusly: “No matter which mental processes may underlie the repetition-induced truth effect, on a functional level, repetition increases subjective truth” (p. 5). We argue, based on our analysis, that this statement is too general. In fact, we show what Davis-Stober and Regenwetter (2019) call the paradox of converging evidence: Across data sets, we find converging evidence that the statement holds on the mean level—yet, at the same time, we accumulate strong evidence that it doesn’t hold for everybody. Consequently, our results present converging evidence against theoretical positions that do not account for negative truthers.

This paper constitutes a first step by providing an answer to the fundamental question if there are qualitative individual differences in the truth effect. Having established such differences, the next step is to understand why they occur. One salient finding in this domain is that the overall truth effect can be reversed, that is, made negative, by certain experimental manipulations. Unkelbach and colleagues started with the proposition that easy-to-process statements are naturally more likely to be true (Unkelbach, 2007; Unkelbach & Stahl, 2009; see also Reber & Unkelbach, 2010; Unkelbach, 2006). In a set of creative experiments, these researchers reversed the correlation between fluency and truth, making difficult-to-read statements more likely to be true. With this correlation reversed, they observed a negative truth effect, that is, repeated statements, which are easier to process than novel statements, were now judged more likely to be false (but see Silva et al.,, 2016). One wonders if some participants have learned in their natural environment that ease-of-processing correlates with falseness, thus resulting in the observed qualitative individual differences.

Likewise, differences in memory ability might account for some of the individual differences patterns. We are most intrigued by the finding that there was evidence against individual differences in data sets where the interval between exposure and judgment lasted several days. Why would individual differences be attenuated or absent with increasing retention intervals? We suspect such a finding reflects an explicit memory-based effect (i.e., source recollection or memory for presented statements). As overall memory performance declines with increasing delay between exposure and judgment phase, these differences may diminish and, correspondingly, individual differences in the truth effect may disappear.

These post hoc explanations presented above are of course speculative. They form hypotheses to be addressed in future research. Based on our results, a promising way to examine the underlying mechanisms and possible covariates of individual differences in the truth effect is with a latent-class approach. Unlike correlational approaches, it relies on ordinal (i.e., In which direction is the effect?) rather than metric (i.e., How large is the effect?) measures. Given the strong evidence for qualitative individual differences in the majority of data sets, questions about who differs, when they differ, and why they differ are suitable to test and inform theories of the repetition-induced truth effect.

Would You Sacrifice Yourself to Save Five Lives? Processing a Foreign Language Increases the Odds of Self-Sacrifice in Moral Dilemmas

Would You Sacrifice Yourself to Save Five Lives? Processing a Foreign Language Increases the Odds of Self-Sacrifice in Moral Dilemmas. Carlos Romero-Rivas, Raúl López-Benítez, Sara Rodríguez-Cuadrado. Psychological Reports, October 25, 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: Foreign languages blunt emotional reactions to moral dilemmas. In this study, we aimed at clarifying whether this reduced emotional response applies to the emotions related to the self, empathy, or both. Participants were presented with moral dilemmas, written in their native or foreign language, in which they could sacrifice one man or themselves in order to save five lives (or do nothing and therefore leave five people to die). They were more willing to sacrifice themselves when processing the dilemmas in their foreign language. Also, empathy scores were reduced when responding in the foreign language, but were no reliable predictors of participants’ responses to the dilemmas. These results suggest that processing a foreign language reduces emotional reactivity due to psychological and emotional self-distance.

Keywords: Bilingualism, foreign language effect, moral dilemmas, self-distance, empathy

There are more similarities than differences between perpetrators of sex crimes & perpetrators of non-sex crimes, but the studies examined a narrow range of risk factors, which can result in somewhat misleading findings

Patrick Lussier, Evan C McCuish, Jesse Cale (Oct 2021) Sex Offenders Under the Microscope: Are They Unique?. In: Understanding Sexual Offending, pp 149-187. Springer, Cham.

Rolf Degen's take:

Abstract: No other offenders have been under as much scrutiny as perpetrators of sex crimes. A vast amount of research has been conducted in hospitals, prisons, and community settings to identify what is unique about these perpetrators. The research has been so extensive that multiple meta-analyses have been conducted to shed light on what is unique about these perpetrators. This chapter provides a review of these meta-analytic findings. In doing so, the chapter also provides a critical examination of research aiming to identify risk factors for sexual offending. While these meta-analytic studies highlight that there are more similarities than differences between perpetrators of sex crimes and perpetrators of non-sex crimes, the poor methodological properties that these studies are based upon and the narrow range of risk factors examined can potentially result in findings that are somewhat misleading. These findings raise the importance of moving away from searching for what is unique and common to all perpetrators of sex crimes and instead examining the multiple paths leading to sexual offending.

Keywords: Child abuse Deviant sexual preferences Intelligence Juvenile sexual offending Mental health Meta-analysis Pornography Risk factors Sexual victimization Social skills Testosterone 

Investigating offenders’ abilities in the context of deception detection: Criminals are not better lie detectors

Are criminals better lie detectors? Investigating offenders’ abilities in the context of deception detection. Simon Schindler  Laura K. Wagner  Marc‐André Reinhard  Nico Ruhara  Stefan Pfattheicher  Joachim Nitschke. Applied Cognitive Psychology, October 24 2020.

Rolf Degen's take:

Summary: The present research examined lie detection abilities of a rarely investigated group, namely offenders. Results of the studies conducted thus far indicated a better performance of offenders compared to non‐offenders when discriminating between true and false messages. With two new studies, we aimed at replicating offenders’ superior abilities in the context of deception detection. Results of Study 1 (N = 76 males), in contrast, revealed that offenders were significantly worse at accurately classifying true and false messages compared to non‐offenders (students). Results of Study 2 (N = 175 males) revealed that offenders’ discrimination performance was not significantly different compared to non‐offenders (clinic staff). An internal meta‐analysis yielded no significant difference between offenders and non‐offenders, questioning the generalizability of previous findings.

Individuals with higher education experienced a more depressive symptoms & more decrease in life satisfaction from before to during COVID-19; those of highest levels of income experienced more decrease in life satisfaction

Wanberg, C. R., Csillag, B., Douglass, R. P., Zhou, L., & Pollard, M. S. (2020). Socioeconomic status and well-being during COVID-19: A resource-based examination. Journal of Applied Psychology, Oct 2020.

Abstract: The authors assess levels and within-person changes in psychological well-being (i.e., depressive symptoms and life satisfaction) from before to during the COVID-19 pandemic for individuals in the United States, in general and by socioeconomic status (SES). The data is from 2 surveys of 1,143 adults from RAND Corporation’s nationally representative American Life Panel, the first administered between April–June, 2019 and the second during the initial peak of the pandemic in the United States in April, 2020. Depressive symptoms during the pandemic were higher than population norms before the pandemic. Depressive symptoms increased from before to during COVID-19 and life satisfaction decreased. Individuals with higher education experienced a greater increase in depressive symptoms and a greater decrease in life satisfaction from before to during COVID-19 in comparison to those with lower education. Supplemental analysis illustrates that income had a curvilinear relationship with changes in well-being, such that individuals at the highest levels of income experienced a greater decrease in life satisfaction from before to during COVID-19 than individuals with lower levels of income. We draw on conservation of resources theory and the theory of fundamental social causes to examine four key mechanisms (perceived financial resources, perceived control, interpersonal resources, and COVID-19-related knowledge/news consumption) underlying the relationship between SES and well-being during COVID-19. These resources explained changes in well-being for the sample as a whole but did not provide insight into why individuals of higher education experienced a greater decline in well-being from before to during COVID-19.

KEYWORDS: socioeconomic status, conservation of resources, well-being, COVID-19


A nationally representative sample in the United States displayed an increase in depressive symptoms and a decrease in life satisfaction from before to during COVID-19. Levels of depressive symptoms during COVID-19 were also higher than previously established norms (Tomitaka et al., 2018).
Contributing to the important goal of illustrating how the pandemic is affecting individuals of lower and higher SES, our study showed that during the first peak of the pandemic in the United States, higher education was positively associated with depressive symptoms and negatively associated with life satisfaction. This was contrary to expectations because individuals with lower SES generally have lower well-being. Consistent with expectations, higher income was associated with lower depressive symptoms and higher life satisfaction during the pandemic.
Assessment of change from before to during the pandemic is important to diagnose how the pandemic affected well-being. Individuals with higher education experienced a greater increase in depressive symptoms and a greater decrease in life satisfaction from before to during COVID-19 than individuals with lower education. Income did not have linear relationship with changes in well-being, but supplemental analysis supported a curvilinear relationship showing that individuals at higher levels of income experienced a greater decrease in life satisfaction from before to during COVID-19 than individuals with lower levels of income (see Figure 2).
These findings provide a partial replication of the Axios-Ipsos poll, which indicated that in the United States, a higher proportion of higher SES individuals reported a decline in their emotional well-being due to the pandemic than those of lower SES (Talev, 2020). A major difference between our study and the Axios-Ipsos poll (beyond our use of comparison data from before the pandemic) is their use of an income and education composite to index SES. Income and education capture different parts of SES and can result in divergent empirical findings (e.g., Christie & Barling, 2009DeGarmo, Forgatch, & Martinez, 1999), which we also reveal in this study.
We examined four resource-based mechanisms to try to explain how SES may transmit to lower and reduced well-being. Tested mediators did not provide good explanatory value, especially for the effect of education. The one significant mediator, COVID-related knowledge, contributed to an increase in life satisfaction from before to during COVID-19, rather than a decrease. As such, COVID-related knowledge was not a valuable explanatory mechanism to explain why individuals with more education displayed an overall well-being decline. Further insight is thus needed. In supplemental analyses, education was not associated with job loss due to COVID-19, r = −.06, p > .05. We also added having experienced job loss (furloughed or laid off) due to COVID-19 as another control variable. Results were consistent with or without this control. An unmeasured explanation is the increase in work responsibility that individuals of higher education may have encountered. The pandemic meant that many managers had to lead their business units and teams through staffing changes such as layoffs or pay cuts, producing substantial stress (Knight, 2020). Further, educational attainment is a key predictor of participation in the stock market (Cooper & Zhu, 2016), which represents a nuanced aspect of financial resources that our measure might not have fully captured. In the few weeks preceding our T2 assessment, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost one third of its total value (S&P Dow Jones Indices, 2020), which may have contributed to a greater loss of wealth (and fear of loss) among individuals with higher levels of education.
Finally, it is plausible that individuals of higher SES experience adaptation or an endowment effect whereby they have a higher expectation for a constant availability of resources (including ones not incorporated in our theorizing), and therefore experience greater declines in well-being when a crisis contracts or threatens their resource supplies (Diener & Biswas-Diener, 2002Tversky & Kahneman, 1991). This possible explanation is particularly intriguing given that evidence suggests that the pandemic has hit individuals of lower SES very hard. As one of many examples of higher impacts to lower SES individuals, household crowding and higher odds of working on-site have been linked to higher rates of COVID-19 infections (Emeruwa et al., 2020Oppel, Gebeloff, Lai, Wright, & Smith, 2020).
Our study assessed well-being early in the pandemic and it is possible that the findings of more severe well-being decline among individuals of higher SES are temporary. Future research should examine well-being among groups of higher and lower SES over a longer time during the pandemic as well as moderators of the impact of education (e.g., personality traits). For organizational and managerial practice, as well as mental health practitioners, it will be key to identify the groups for whom the impacts are longer lasting in order to address inequities. It would also be intriguing to examine if our findings replicate in other countries, to consider the role of threat of loss versus actual loss of resources, and to theorize the role of factors such as age and general health as more central predictors of psychological well-being during COVID.
There are several unique aspects to our investigation. Available pre–post studies of SES in the context of other crises have relied on data following versus during the event (Norris et al., 2002). Our study also expands collective knowledge by examining the role of resources in explaining SES differences in levels and changes in well-being during a crisis event. An additional major strength of our study is that it features a probability sample-based, nationally representative panel. This broad sampling strategy was essential to represent both low and high levels of SES, and to provide a more rigorous test of our hypotheses.
We contribute to the conversation on socioeconomic inequality by illuminating how a crisis event afflicts well-being across the SES spectrum. The theory of fundamental social causes has primarily been examined with respect to physical health. Our study extends this theory to the examination of psychological well-being. We found more support for this theory with respect to income as an SES indicator than for education. Moreover, our study contributes to the dynamic testing of COR theory, which emphasizes the velocity of loss spirals underlying chronic resource shortages and suggests the primacy of acute resource losses (Ennis, Hobfoll, & Schröder, 2000Hobfoll, 2010). Our findings provide some support for both of these tenets. We found inferior well-being during the pandemic among individuals with lower income and also observed well-being declines to a greater extent among individuals of higher education. Future research is needed to distinguish between the relative impact of chronic resource shortages and acute resource losses. We also invite more managerial research delineating how SES contexts shape psychological experiences in the face of societal and organizational crises (Bapuji, Patel, Ertug, & Allen, 2020Fiske & Markus, 2012).
As a limitation, our sample focused on individuals who participated in the Adult Social Networks and Well Being study that targeted U.S. adults between 30 and 80 years old. Future research can examine whether our results generalize to those under the age of 30. It is also important to qualify our inferences about COVID-19 per se being the definitive cause of well-being changes from 2019 to 2020. These dynamics may plausibly be explained by other factors that are not associated with the pandemic, such as the political environment. The consistent timing of well-being assessments in 2019 and 2020 mostly rule out alternative explanations related to seasonal effects.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Co-designing "healthy eating" interventions with supermarket retailers: Consumers did not fall in the trap & altered shelf placement alone did not improve the (official) healthiness of food purchases

The effect of a shelf placement intervention on sales of healthier and less healthy breakfast cereals in supermarkets: A co-designed pilot study. Leanne Young et al. Social Science & Medicine, September 1 2020, 113337.


• Co-designing healthy eating interventions with supermarket retailers is feasible.

• Altered shelf placement alone did not improve the healthiness of food purchases.

• Customers noted brand preferences and price as key determinants of purchases.

• In-store promotions present opportunities to improve healthiness of food purchases.

• Product promotional strategies should align with healthy eating interventions.

Abstract: Supermarkets are the principal source of grocery food in many high-income countries. Choice architecture strategies show promise to improve the healthiness of food choices. A retailer-academic collaboration was formed to co-design and pilot selected commercially sustainable strategies to increase sales of healthier foods relative to less healthy foods in supermarkets. Two co-design workshops, involving supermarket corporate staff and public health nutrition academics, identified potential interventions. One intervention, more prominent shelf placement of healthier products within one category (breakfast cereals), was selected for testing. A pilot study (baseline, intervention and follow-up, 12-weeks each) was undertaken in six supermarkets (three intervention and three control) in Auckland, New Zealand. Products were ranked by nutrient levels and profile, and after accounting for the supermarkets’ space management principles, healthier products were placed at adult eye level. The primary outcome was change in sales of healthier products relative to total category sales. Secondary outcomes were nutrient profile of category sales, in-store product promotions, customer perceptions, and retailer feedback. There was no difference in proportional sales of more prominently positioned healthier products between intervention (56%) and control (56%) stores during the intervention. There were no differences in the nutrient profile of category sales. A higher proportion of less healthy breakfast cereals were displayed in intervention versus control stores (57% vs 43%). Most customers surveyed supported shelf placement as a strategy (265, 88%) but noted brand preferences and price were more salient determinants of purchases. Retailers were similarly supportive but balancing profit, health/nutrition and customer satisfaction was challenging. Shelf placement alone was not an effective strategy to increase purchases of healthier breakfast cereals. This study showed co-design of a healthy eating intervention with a commercial retailer is feasible, but concurrent retail environment factors likely limited the public health impact of the intervention.

Keywords: SupermarketsDietsShelf placementCo-designNutritionChoice architecture

4. Discussion

In this pilot study, the co-designed intervention, more prominent shelf placement of healthier products, had no effect on healthier breakfast cereal sales. Whilst small increases in sales were shown in two cereal segments and for two of the three intervention stores these were not statistically significant. Altering the shelf placement of products was the sole change made to the food category; therefore, this study was useful to test the effectiveness of this strategy in isolation. This single strategy study was unique compared to many supermarket interventions (Adam and Jensen, 2016Hartmann-Boyce et al., 2018), which commonly test multiple strategies (signage, placement, education, price) and therefore the effect of individual strategies within a multi-faceted intervention is usually less able to be determined (Cameron et al., 2016). Despite this, a systematic review found that single and multi-strategy interventions share the same high success rate (70%) (Cameron et al., 2016). Inclusion of a whole category rather than individual products within a category was also a distinctive feature of this study. However, the findings suggest that shelf placement alone (in the absence of other strategies) is a weak lever for influencing the healthiness of shopper purchases in the breakfast cereal category.

Secondly, there was no effect of the shelf placement intervention on the nutritional composition of sales within the breakfast cereal category. This intervention was implemented in a ‘real world’ supermarket setting. Therefore, the nutritional ranking of breakfast cereals by cereal category segment (by researchers) was subject to the usual supermarket space management criteria for shelf placement. These included segmentation (e.g. all oats grouped together), brand blocking (brands located together), pack size blocking (similar sized packages located together) and visual appeal of products on shelves that aim to make product selection easy for shoppers. These requirements and that just over half (56%) of the products did not change position resulted in relatively small differences in the nutritional composition of products located in prominent versus non-prominent shelf locations, which are likely reasons for the lack of effect on nutrient sales. Interviews with store staff supported the notion that space management criteria compromised the ideal placement of products. Furthermore, the range of nutrient composition values (e.g. energy) was narrow for some smaller segments, e.g. biscuits (n = 12).

Thirdly, in-store product display promotions appear to have interacted with the shelf placement intervention. There were multiple breakfast cereals on in-store displays across all six stores (n = 1268), with a slightly higher proportion in intervention stores (54%) and a higher proportion of less healthy, less prominent products compared to control stores. Per store, there were 19 breakfast cereals (includes flavour variants of products) each week in aggregated displays (4–6 actual display areas per store featuring multiple products and product variants) (data was collected at one time point each week). Store managers are provided with guidance from a national display matrix, which provides product promotional options within a category/segment for each designated display space. When products are on promotion the entire brand range may be included (healthy and less healthy). It is possible that at the time of the audit the healthier choices had already sold out on displays and gaps were filled by other, less healthy products in the range. It is also plausible that the higher number of promotions for less healthy products in intervention stores may have been orchestrated by store personnel (consciously or unconsciously) to feature higher selling, more profitable products, that had been moved to less prominent shelf positions, and thus counteracted shelf prominence of healthier products. Data on in-store promotions were not collected in the pre- or post-intervention periods therefore change in the type of promotions over time could not be determined.

The lack of effect of prominent placement on product sales shown in our study generally aligns with findings from Foster et al. (2014) who suggested that brand loyalty and product preferences may be dominant in this particular category. Brand loyalty in the breakfast cereal category also emerged as a strong theme from our shopper survey, with shoppers commenting that they tended to purchase the same brand repeatedly. Similarly, strong shopper preferences and habitual purchase behaviours were found in an experiment examining the effects of a change of placement for types of bread (de Wijk et al., 2016). The bread category was described as less able to be ‘nudged’ because a nudge needs to be of sufficient strength to overrule usual purchase habits. Other mechanisms in the environment can also influence habitual health behaviours and consumer choices (Wilson et al., 2016), for example, product price, nutrition labelling/information and availability (Arno and Thomas, 2016). Price was another key factor that shoppers highlighted in our current study as influencing product choice, although brands with high loyalty tend to use price less to generate sales compared to minor brands (Empen et al., 2011).

This study had several strengths. It utilised co-design to enhance the likely fiscal sustainability of the intervention. This process allowed a strong working relationship to be built with the retail partner, which facilitated intervention delivery, access to sales and promotional data, and possible future research opportunities. Intervention selection was informed by commercial knowledge and not preconceived by researchers. A single strategy, more prominent shelf placement of healthier products within an entire food category, was piloted in a real-world environment using a controlled study design to determine potential effectiveness. Inclusion of pre-intervention and follow-up periods allowed measurement of change over time. Supermarket sales data was used as a direct measure of change in shopper purchases to determine the effect of the intervention rather than reliance on self-reported purchases (Bandy et al., 2019). Weekly product auditing and retailer follow-up of anomalies resulted in high intervention compliance.

The study was however, limited by its small sample size (6 stores) and lack of randomisation. Although, it has been acknowledged that randomisation in supermarket intervention design is difficult due to the innate nature of real-life implementation (Escaron et al., 2013). The original aim was to pilot the intervention in a limited number of stores with the intention that if findings were promising, a larger sufficiently powered randomised controlled trial would be conducted. However, our experience working alongside a major retailer suggests that successful interventions would likely be rolled out to a larger number of stores very quickly, with little time for a larger randomised controlled study to be organised. Other limitations to note briefly include lack of alignment of the intervention with other concomitant breakfast cereal promotions (price reductions, mailers, and in-store displays), lower compliance with product planograms in control stores, selection of a category where customer brand loyalty and purchase habits are strong which likely minimised potential impact, and relatively small difference in the healthiness of prominent and less prominent products. More research is needed to understand the effects of the range of in-store promotions, including price, on sales within the supermarket environment. Other categories where shoppers do not purchase the same products habitually may also have been more suited to testing shelf placement, for example, convenience foods, ready meals or soups.

Improving Prediction of Real-Time Loneliness and Companionship Type Using Geosocial Features of Personal Smartphone Data

Improving Prediction of Real-Time Loneliness and Companionship Type Using Geosocial Features of Personal Smartphone Data. Congyu Wu et al. arXiv October 2020,

Abstract: Loneliness is a widely affecting mental health symptom and can be mediated by and co-vary with patterns of social exposure. Using momentary survey and smartphone sensing data collected from 129 Androidusing college student participants over three weeks, we (1) investigate and uncover the relations between momentary loneliness experience and companionship type and (2) propose and validate novel geosocial features of smartphone-based Bluetooth and GPS data for predicting loneliness and companionship type in real time. We base our features on intuitions characterizing the quantity and spatiotemporal predictability of an individual’s Bluetooth encounters and GPS location clusters to capture personal significance of social exposure scenarios conditional on their temporal distribution and geographic patterns. We examine our features’ statistical correlation with momentary loneliness through regression analyses and evaluate their predictive power using a sliding window prediction procedure. Our features achieved significant performance improvement compared to baseline for predicting both momentary loneliness and companionship type, with the effect stronger for the loneliness prediction task. As such we recommend incorporation and further evaluation of our geosocial features proposed in this study in future mental health sensing and context-aware computing applications.

8 Discussion

In this section we reflect on our outcome variables and approach in the grander context of understanding human behavior and enhancing human well-being through mobile sensing and data analytics. 

Temporal resolution The two related outcomes examined in this paper, loneliness and companionship type, fall in two overlapping yet distinguishable areas in ubiquitous computing research, namely mental health sensing and context-aware computing, respectively. Context-aware computing emphasizes a computer’s inference of its user’s activity and surroundings in real-time, thus naturally having a moment-to-moment granularity. However, mental health sensing tasks span a wider range of temporal resolutions. On the low end, we see condition diagnosis tasks observe participants for as long as two months consecutively and then offer a judgment about whether a participant is with a clinical condition such as depression. On the high end reside real-time tracking tasks like the one presented in this paper, which do not aim at a medical diagnosis but focus on raising timely warnings. In the middle of the scale, a number of studies have adopted temporal resolutions ranging from daily and every few days to weekly and bi-weekly. The differences in temporal resolution points to different types, formats, and content of intervention: following a diagnosis, traditional intervention programs may be applied as treatment, whereas predictions of higher temporal resolutions will enable just-in-time adaptive intervention via mobile platforms. Question as to what sensing-intervention scheme will be most efficacious for what cohorts and conditions remains open, challenging, and critical for successful future applications of smart mental health.

Social context Companionship type is a key aspect of an individual’s social context, but far from the entire picture. The extent to which companionship type was captured in this paper covers the existence of a companion and (if true) the nature of a companion but does not consider the number of people surrounding a participant, differences in distance, and the interaction behavior, which altogether constitute a holistic social context in which one is situated. To combat the arbitrariness in defining social context seen in extant literature and to systematically delineate the various aspects of social context sensing, we argue that a formalized response variable definition for future social context inference tasks is needed. We propose that four components, quantity, quality, distance, and interaction, be specified in a definition of social context in future context-aware computing work. Quantity refers to the number of individuals and quality refers to their social significance. The distance element, can be categorized into groups such as “within personal space”, “within social space”, and “beyond social space” based on Edward Hall’s proxemics theory [10]. The interaction element defines the type of in-person verbal interaction taking place, 18 which may include absence of interaction, interaction among others only, interaction involving self. Such a 4-pronged taxonomy will also help phrasing EMA questions to acquire ground truth in future sensing studies: as opposed to only asking “who are you with”, more detailed and rigorous questions may be administered.

Sensing hardware In this paper our core approach is feature engineering, utilizing Bluetooth and GPS data from Android smartphones. The capability of feature engineering in human-centric sensing and inference is inevitably bounded by both (a) the availability and degree of integration of a sensor and (b) the absolute content a sensor captures. In our large participant cohort, 88% were iPhone users, from whom Bluetooth data were unavailable; therefore to further utilize the predictive power of Bluetooth data in mental health sensing and context-aware computing practice, other wearable devices such as smart watches may provide a better habitat for relevant data processing and analytics. In existing literature on social behavior inference, Bluetooth data is the most utilized smartphone sensor but it is not nearly sufficient to distinguish finer grained scenarios such as the social contexts defined with the four components proposed in the previous paragraph. Introduction and fusion of novel or previously overlooked mobile sensors may offer new and more effective solutions to social context detection. Magnetometer and audio sensing are candidate options, as we are observing recent studies using phone-embedded magnetometer to detect coexistence for epidemiology applications [13] as well as ongoing work on wearable voice sensors [14], which have the potential to support emotional state prediction in daily life.

Professional translators with a dominant neurotic personality trait are the most creative; those with a dominant conscientious personality trait prefer literal translation choices (experience & age also have this last preference)

Different strokes for different folks -Exploring personality in professional translation. Ella Wehrmeyer, Ella Wehrmeyer, Sarita Antunes. Translation Cognition & Behavior 3(2):187. Oct 2020. DOI: 10.1075/tcb.00040.weh

Abstract: Until recently, the translator’s personality was a relatively unexplored area of research, but growing evidence points to the influence of personality on the translator’s decisions. Although findings are not always statistically significant, empirical research indicates that professional translators profiles differ from that of the local population, and that certain personality types are more likely to make creative translation choices in translation. This article explores the relationship between personality traits as defined by the Big Five Inventory (McCrae and Costa 1989), and translation choices as defined by Baker (2018) and Molina & Hurtado Albir (2016). The findings indicate that professional translators with a dominant neurotic personality trait are the most creative, whereas those with a dominant conscientious personality trait prefer literal translation choices. However, the findings also indicate that age and experience are competing variables, both indicating a preference for literal translation.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

From 2014... Perceptions of actual sex differences may play a more important role than culturally based gender roles and socialization processes

From 2014... Gender Stereotypes of Personality: Universal and Accurate? Corinna E. Löckenhoff et al. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, January 30, 2014.

Abstract: Numerous studies have documented subtle but consistent sex differences in self-reports and observer-ratings of five-factor personality traits, and such effects were found to show well-defined developmental trajectories and remarkable similarity across nations. In contrast, very little is known about perceived gender differences in five-factor traits in spite of their potential implications for gender biases at the interpersonal and societal level. In particular, it is not clear how perceived gender differences in five-factor personality vary across age groups and national contexts and to what extent they accurately reflect assessed sex differences in personality. To address these questions, we analyzed responses from 3,323 individuals across 26 nations (mean age = 22.3 years, 31% male) who were asked to rate the five-factor personality traits of typical men or women in three age groups (adolescent, adult, and older adult) in their respective nations. Raters perceived women as slightly higher in openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness as well as some aspects of extraversion and neuroticism. Perceived gender differences were fairly consistent across nations and target age groups and mapped closely onto assessed sex differences in self- and observer-rated personality. Associations between the average size of perceived gender differences and national variations in sociodemographic characteristics, value systems, or gender equality did not reach statistical significance. Findings contribute to our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of gender stereotypes of personality and suggest that perceptions of actual sex differences may play a more important role than culturally based gender roles and socialization processes.

Keywords: personality, gender/sex roles, developmental: child/adolescent, developmental: elderly

Heterosexuals that react in a negative manner when pondering or experiencing romantic or sexual overtures from persons of their same sex do so because of sexual prejudice & gender conforming reputation desire

Heterosexual People’s Reactions to Same-Sex Romantic or Sexual Overtures: The Role of Attitudes About Sexual Orientation and Gender. Laurel R. Davis-Delano, Sophie L. Kuchynka, Jennifer K. Bosson & Elizabeth M. Morgan. Archives of Sexual Behavior volume 49, pages 2561–2573, Aug 26 2020.

Abstract: Why do some heterosexual people react in a negative manner when pondering or experiencing romantic or sexual overtures from persons of their same-sex, whereas other heterosexual people react more positively? To answer this question, this cross-sectional, correlational study examined individual difference predictors of heterosexual people’s responses to romantic or sexual overtures from same-sex persons. Our sample comprised 306 men and 307 women, ages 18–35 years, who were recruited from Mechanical Turk and identified as cisgender and heterosexual. Our hypotheses were premised on the theoretical construct of reactive group distinctiveness. Specifically, we explored predictors of heterosexual individuals’ negative perceptions of same-sex overtures. We found that more negative reactions to same-sex overtures were uniquely predicted by old-fashioned sexual prejudice, modern sexual prejudice, and desire to be perceived as gender conforming, via the mediators of social distance from same-sex sexual minority individuals and desire to be perceived as heterosexual. Gender moderated these relationships inconsistently. These findings indicate that two classes of individual differences—sexual prejudice and gender conforming reputation desire—are uniquely associated with heterosexual persons’ reactions to overtures from same-sex persons. We explain how these findings evidence the process of reactive group distinctiveness.