Thursday, January 9, 2020

Democrats & Republicans equally dislike & dehumanize each other, but their estimate of how they are seen by members of the other party is more than twice the levels actually reported

Moore-Berg, Samantha, Lee-Or A. Karlinsky, Boaz Hameiri, and Emile Bruneau. 2020. “The Partisan Penumbra: Political Partisans’ Exaggerated Meta-perceptions Predict Intergroup Hostility.” PsyArXiv. January 9. doi:10.31234/osf.io/d6bpe

Abstract: People’s actions towards a competitive outgroup can be motivated not only by their perceptions of the outgroup, but also by how they think the outgroup perceives the ingroup (i.e., meta-perceptions). Here we examine the prevalence, accuracy, and consequences of meta-perceptions among American political partisans. Using representative samples (N=1053) and a longitudinal convenience sample (N=2707), we find that Democrats and Republicans equally dislike and dehumanize each other, but estimate that the levels of prejudice and dehumanization expressed by the outgroup party are more than twice the levels actually reported by representative samples of Democrats and Republicans. Finally, we show that meta-prejudice and meta-dehumanization are independently associated with outgroup hostility through their effects on prejudice and dehumanization. This research demonstrates that partisan meta-perceptions are subject to a strong negativity bias, with Democrats and Republicans agreeing that the shadow of partisanship is much larger than it actually is, which fosters mutual intergroup hostility.



Having a goal to change one’s level of Extraversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, & Conscientiousness does not lead to any subsequent change in trait levels over the course of 12 months

Personality change goals and plans as predictors of longitudinal trait change in young adults: A replication with an Iranian sample. Samaneh Asadi, Hamideh Mohammadi Dehaja, Oliver Robinson. Journal of Research in Personality, January 9 2020, 103912, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jrp.2020.103912

Highlights
• Having a goal to change one’s level of Openness to Experience predicts becoming higher on this trait over the course of 12 months, in a sample of Iranian students.
• Having a goal to change one’s level of other traits within the Big Five model. (Extraversion, Neuroticism, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness) does not lead to any subsequent change in trait levels over the course of 12 months.
• 74% of the sample have a goal to reduce their current level of Neuroticism, and 61% have a goal to increase Conscientiousness.

Abstract: Goals and plans for changing one’s personality traits have been found to be commonly held, particularly in young adults. Evidence for whether such goals and plans can predict actual trait change is mixed. The current study replicated and extended the methodology of a previous study to investigate whether trait change goals and plans predict change over a year in an Iranian sample of students. It was found that goals and plans before and after the 12-month period predicted longitudinal change in Openness to Experience, but no association was found for other traits. To explore whether this relationship between goals and change in Openness to Experience is replicable, further research with samples of differing ages and cultures is needed.

Keywords: Personality change goalstrait changeplanslongitudinal

Check also In large part, the wish to change personality did not predict actual change in the desired direction; & desired increases in Extraversion, Agreeableness & Conscientiousness corresponded with decreases:
From Desire to Development? A Multi-Sample, Idiographic Examination of Volitional Personality Change. Erica Baransk et al. Journal of Research in Personality, December 26 2019, 103910. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/12/in-large-part-wish-to-change.html

Acquisition announcement returns and post-merger operating performance are significantly higher when the acquirer and the target have more similar political attitudes

Duchin, Ran and Farroukh, Abed El Karim and Harford, Jarrad and Patel, Tarun, Political Attitudes, Partisanship, and Merger Activity (Nov 30, 2019). SSRN: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3497907

Abstract: This paper provides novel evidence that similarity in employees’ political attitudes plays a role in mergers and acquisitions. Using detailed data on individual campaign contributions to Democrats and Republicans, our estimates show that firms are considerably more likely to announce a merger, complete a merger, and a have shorter time-to-completion when their political attitudes are closer. Furthermore, acquisition announcement returns and post-merger operating performance are significantly higher when the acquirer and the target have more similar political attitudes. The effects of political partisanship on mergers are stronger in more recent years, when the political polarization in the U.S. is greater. Overall, we provide estimates that political attitudes and polarization have real effects on the allocation of assets in the economy.

Keywords: campaign contributions, mergers and acquisitions, politics, polarization
JEL Classification: G34, D72


When female speakers increased their pitch they were judged as more attractive; unexpected was that male speakers tended to rate other males who shifted their voice up in pitch as more attractive

Vocal attractiveness and voluntarily pitch-shifted voices. Yi Zheng et al. Evolution and Human Behavior, January 9 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2020.01.002

Abstract: Previous studies have found that using software to pitch shift people's voices can boost their perceived attractiveness to opposite-sex adults: men prefer women's voices when pitch-shifted up, and women prefer men's voices when pitch-shifted down. In this study, we sought to determine whether speakers could affect their perceived vocal attractiveness by voluntarily shifting their own voices to reach specific target pitches (+20 Hz or −20 Hz, a pitch increment that is based on prior research). Two sets of Chinese college students participated in the research: 115 who served as speakers whose voices were recorded, and 167 who served as raters who evaluated the speakers' voices. We found that when female speakers increased their pitch they were judged as more attractive to both opposite-sex and same-sex raters. An additional unexpected finding was that male speakers tended to rate other males who shifted their voice up in pitch as more attractive. These findings suggest that voluntary pitch shifts can affect attractiveness, but that they do not fully match the patterns observed when pitch shifting is done digitally.

Keywords: Vocal attractivenessPitch shifting


Humans, macaque monkeys, cats, horses, sheep, owls, falcons, & toads have stereopsis; in cuttlefish, stereopsis. works differently to vertebrates (extract stereopsis cues from anticorrelated stimuli)

Cuttlefish use stereopsis to strike at prey. R. C. Feord et al. Science Advances  Jan 08 2020: Vol. 6, no. 2, eaay6036. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay6036

Abstract: The camera-type eyes of vertebrates and cephalopods exhibit remarkable convergence, but it is currently unknown whether the mechanisms for visual information processing in these brains, which exhibit wildly disparate architecture, are also shared. To investigate stereopsis in a cephalopod species, we affixed “anaglyph” glasses to cuttlefish and used a three-dimensional perception paradigm. We show that (i) cuttlefish have also evolved stereopsis (i.e., the ability to extract depth information from the disparity between left and right visual fields); (ii) when stereopsis information is intact, the time and distance covered before striking at a target are shorter; (iii) stereopsis in cuttlefish works differently to vertebrates, as cuttlefish can extract stereopsis cues from anticorrelated stimuli. These findings demonstrate that although there is convergent evolution in depth computation, cuttlefish stereopsis is likely afforded by a different algorithm than in humans, and not just a different implementation.

DISCUSSION

To ensure that cuttlefish hit their prey successfully, they must acquire information about its location before the strike. Here, we show that cuttlefish use the disparity between their left and right eyes to perceive depth (Fig. 1). Cuttlefish use this information to aid in prey capture, as animals with intact binocular vision take less time to strike at prey and do so from farther away (Fig. 2.). In animals tested with quasi-monocular stimuli, the significant difference in latency, travel distance, and strike location during the positioning phase is consistent with Messenger’s study (7), as he found that attack success in unilaterally blinded animals decreased to 56% (versus 91% in binocular animals). Nonetheless, binocular cues cannot be the only depth perception mechanism used by the cuttlefish, as many quasi-monocularly and binocularly stimulated animals behaved equally well, both in Messenger’s study and ours. The absence of pictorial cues in our stimulus (the shrimp silhouette lacks any shadowing, shading, or occlusion) leads us to conclude that for monocular but not binocular depth perception, cuttlefish may rely on motion cues such as parallax (13) and/or motion in depth (19).

Before our investigation, cuttlefish were not known to use stereopsis (i.e., calculate depth from disparity between left and right eye views). They had been shown only to have a variable range of binocular overlap (7). Using anaglyph glasses and this 3D perception assay, we provide strong support that cuttlefish have and use stereopsis during the positioning to prey seizure phases of the hunt. However, as suggested by Messenger (7), other depth estimation strategies, such as oculomotor proprioceptive cues provided by the vergence of the two eyes (20, 21), could be at play. Accommodation cues, as used by chameleons to judge distance (22), could also provide an additional explanation as lens movements have been observed in cuttlefish (23). However, if proprioceptive or accommodation cues were being used by cuttlefish for depth estimation, it should not fail as it did when presented with a completely uncorrelated stimulus, i.e., each eye should still fixate and converge on the moving target without requiring correspondence between the images (Fig. 3). We observed that cuttlefish consistently engaged and reached the positioning phase when presented with uncorrelated stimuli, but they quickly aborted and never advanced to the striking phase of the hunt (movie S4). Because they could not solve the uncorrelated stimuli test, we conclude that cuttlefish rely on interocular correspondence to integrate binocular cues and not simply use binocular optomotor cues (vergence) or accommodation to estimate depth. This also indicates that cuttlefish stereopsis is different from praying mantis (also known as mantids) stereopsis, because mantids can resolve targets based on “kinetic disparity” (the difference in the location of moving object between both eyes) (16). Mantids can do this in the absence of “static disparity” provided by the surrounding visual scene, something which humans are unable to do (16).

To see how binocular overlap may play a role in stereopsis, we investigated eye convergence. A disparity difference of up to 10° between the left and right eye angular positions at the moment when they strike may seem large (Fig. 4). However, cuttlefish have a relatively low-resolution retina, 2.5° to 0.57° per photoreceptor (24). Thus, cuttlefish image disparity relative to their eye resolution is comparable to the relative magnitudes observed for these measures in vertebrates. Cuttlefish’s lower spatial resolution makes it plausible that they may also have neurons that encode disparity across a larger array of visual angles, as known to be the case in mice (25). To coordinate the relative positions of the left and right receptive fields for object tracking, cuttlefish may have evolved similar circuits as those used by chameleons for synchronous and disconjugate saccades (26, 27) and by rats for a greater overhead binocular field (28).

The evidence presented here establishes that cuttlefish make use of stereopsis when hunting and that this improves hunting performance by reducing the distance traveled, the time taken to strike at prey, and allowing it to strike from farther away. Further investigation is required to uncover the neural mechanisms underlying the computation of stereopsis in these animals.

During 2018, approximately 12 million (4.7%) U.S. residents aged ≥16 years reported driving under the influence of marijuana, and 2.3 million (0.9%) reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs other than marijuana


Azofeifa A, Rexach-Guzm├ín BD, Hagemeyer AN, Rudd RA, Sauber-Schatz EK. Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana and Illicit Drugs Among Persons Aged ≥16 Years — United States, 2018. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2019;68:1153–1157. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6850a1.htm

Summary
What is already known about this topic? The use and co-use of alcohol and drugs has been associated with impairment of psychomotor and cognitive functions while driving.

What is added by this report? During 2018, approximately 12 million (4.7%) U.S. residents aged ≥16 years reported driving under the influence of marijuana, and 2.3 million (0.9%) reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs other than marijuana during the past 12 months.

What are the implications for public health practice? Development, evaluation, and further implementation of strategies to prevent alcohol-, drug-, and polysubstance-impaired driving coupled with standardized testing of impaired drivers and drivers involved in fatal crashes could advance understanding of drug- and polysubstance-impaired driving and assist states and communities with prevention efforts.



Discussion

Although 4.7% of the U.S. population aged ≥16 years reported driving under the influence of marijuana and 0.9% reported driving under the influence of illicit drugs other than marijuana, these estimates are lower than the 8.0% (20.5 million) who reported driving under the influence of alcohol in 2018 (NSDUH, unpublished data, 2019). The highest prevalence of driving under the influence of marijuana was among persons aged 21–25 years. The second highest was among the youngest drivers (those aged 16–20 years), who already have a heightened crash risk because of inexperience; thus, their substance use is of special concern. In a study of injured drivers aged 16–20 years evaluated at level 1 trauma centers in Arizona during 2008–2014 (3), 10% of tested drivers were simultaneously positive for both alcohol and tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component of marijuana. Data from the 2018 NSDUH indicate a high prevalence (34.8%) of past-year marijuana use among young adults aged 18–25 years (4). Studies have reported that marijuana use among teenagers and young adults might alter perception, judgement, short-term memory, and cognitive abilities (5). Given these findings, states could consider developing, implementing, and evaluating targeted strategies to reduce marijuana use and potential subsequent impaired driving, especially among teenagers and young adults.
Research has determined that co-use of marijuana or illicit drugs with alcohol increases the risk for driving impairment (5,6). The use of these substances has been associated with impairment of psychomotor and cognitive functions while driving (6,7). In addition, previous research has demonstrated evidence of a statistical association between marijuana use and increased risk for motor vehicle crashes; however, methodologic limitations of studies limit inference of causation (8). Scientific studies have been unable to link blood tetrahydrocannabinol levels to driving impairment (8), and the effects of marijuana in drivers likely varies by dose, potency of the product consumed, means of consumption (e.g., smoking, eating, or vaping), length of use, and co-use of other substances, including alcohol. Additional data are needed to clarify the contribution of drug and polysubstance use to impaired driving prevalence and the resulting crashes, injuries, and deaths.
A national roadside survey using biochemical specimens among drivers aged ≥16 years found that during 2013–2014, the percentages of weekend nighttime drivers who tested positive for alcohol, marijuana (i.e., tetrahydrocannabinol) and illicit drugs were 8.3%, 12.6%, and 15.1%, respectively (9), although a positive test does not necessarily imply impairment. Collecting and testing biologic specimens (e.g., blood or oral fluids) currently required to test for drugs has challenges, including, in some circumstances, the need for a judge to order collection and testing (which can delay roadside testing, thus allowing drug levels to drop with time); variation in substances tested and methodology used by different toxicology laboratories; and the current state of development of oral fluid testing. The increased use of marijuana and some illicit drugs in the United States (4) along with the results of this report, point to the need for rapid and sensitive assessment tools to ascertain the presence of and impairment by marijuana and other illicit drugs. In addition, adoption and application of standards for toxicology testing and support for laboratories to implement recommendations are needed to improve understanding of the prevalence of drug- and polysubstance-impaired driving (10).
The findings in this report are subject to at least five limitations. First, because NSDUH data are self-reported, they are subject to recall and social desirability biases. Second, variations in laws and regulations among states and counties regarding marijuana could have resulted in negative responses to the NSDUH substance use survey questions for fear of legal consequences, leading to an underestimation of the prevalence of the use and driving under the influence in some jurisdictions. Third, the NSDUH questions are not limited to driving under the influence of marijuana only or each illegal substance only; therefore, persons might be driving under the influence of more than one substance at a given time. Fourth, self-reported data are subject to the respondents’ interpretations of being under the influence of a drug. Finally, NSDUH does not assess whether all respondents drive; therefore, reported percentages of impaired drivers might be underestimated.
Impaired driving is a serious public health concern that needs to be addressed to safeguard the health and safety of all who use the road, including drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorcyclists. Collaboration among public health, transportation safety, law enforcement, and federal and state officials is needed for the development, evaluation, and further implementation of strategies to prevent alcohol-, drug-, and polysubstance-impaired driving (2). In addition, standardized testing for alcohol and drugs among impaired drivers and drivers involved in fatal crashes could advance understanding of drug- and polysubstance-impaired driving and assist states and communities with targeted prevention efforts.

Subscription-based websites such as PollenTree.com and Modamily that match would-be parents who want to share custody of a child without any romantic expectations; it’s a lot like a divorce, without the wedding or the arguments

A new kind of online service matches people who want to have children, but not necessarily romance. Julie Jargon. The Wall Street Journal, Jan 7 2020. https://www.wsj.com/articles/co-parenting-sites-skip-love-and-marriage-go-right-to-the-baby-carriage-11578393000

When Jenica Andersen felt the tug for a second child at age 37, the single mom weighed her options: wait until she meets Mr. Right or choose a sperm donor and go it alone.

The first option didn’t look promising. The idea of a sperm donor wasn’t appealing, either, because she wanted her child to have an active father, just like her 4-year-old son has. After doing some research, Ms. Andersen discovered another option: subscription-based websites such as PollenTree.com and Modamily that match would-be parents who want to share custody of a child without any romantic expectations. It’s a lot like a divorce, without the wedding or the arguments.


Believing transgender status is biological is correlated with increased support for transgender rights; political conservatives are less likely to believe in biological attribution, but when they do, the impact on support for rights is big

What Drives Support for Transgender Rights? Assessing the Effects of Biological Attribution on U.S. Public Opinion of Transgender Rights. Melanie M. Bowers, Cameron T. Whitley. Sex Roles, January 9 2020. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11199-019-01118-9

Abstract: Scholars have a limited understanding of what drives opinion on transgender rights. The present study begins to fill this gap by applying attribution theory to data from a national quota-based (U.S. Census approximation) online survey of 1000 U.S. citizens to evaluate how individuals’ beliefs about the biological origin of a person’s transgender status influence support for transgender rights, including employment, housing, healthcare, and bathroom protections. Across all models, we find that believing transgender status is biological is correlated with increased support for transgender rights. Importantly, our results suggest that although political conservatives appear to be less likely to believe in biological attribution, when they do, the belief has a more dramatic impact on support for rights than it does among liberals. Our analysis builds on existing research demonstrating the importance of biological attribution for support of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) rights and extends our understanding of public opinion on transgender rights. Our findings have important implications for policy experts interested in approaches to addressing transgender rights as well as scholars and practitioners interested in better understanding opinion formation regarding transgender rights because they suggest that providing a biological basis for transgender status may be a way to increase support for protections, particularly among more conservative individuals.

Keywords: Transgender (attitudes toward) Explicit attitudes Public opinion Transgender