Monday, April 6, 2020

Preliminary Investigation of the Association Between COVID-19 and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in the U.S.

Ammerman, Brooke A., Taylor A. Burke, Ross Jacobucci, and Kenneth McClure. 2020. “Preliminary Investigation of the Association Between COVID-19 and Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors in the U.S.” PsyArXiv. April 6. doi:10.31234/osf.io/68djp.

Abstract: Evidence suggests that the negative consequences of COVID-19 may extend far beyond its considerable death toll, having a significant impact on psychological well-being. Prior work has highlighted that previous epidemics are linked to elevated suicide rates, however, there is no research to date on the relationship between the COVID-19 pandemic and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. Utilizing an online survey, the current study aimed to better understand the presence, and extent, of the association between COVID-19-related experiences and past-month suicidal thoughts and behaviors among adults in the United States. Results support an association between several COVID-19-related experiences (i.e., general distress, fear of physical harm, effects of social distancing policies) and past-month suicidal ideation and attempts. Further, we found that a significant proportion of those with recent suicidal ideation explicitly link their suicidal thoughts to COVID-19. Exploratory analyses highlight a potential additional link between COVID-19 and suicidal behavior, suggesting that a portion of individuals may be intentionally exposing themselves to the virus with intent to kill themselves. These findings underscore the need for increased suicide risk screening and access to mental health services. Particular attention should be paid to employing public health campaigns to disseminate information on such services in order to reduce the enormity of distress and emotional impairment associated with COVID-19 in the United States.

COVID-19 risk perception and trust in science both independently predict compliance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines

Plohl, Nejc, and Bojan Musil. 2020. “Modeling Compliance with COVID-19 Prevention Guidelines: The Critical Role of Trust in Science.” PsyArXiv. April 6. doi:10.31234/osf.io/6a2cx

Abstract: The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is one of the biggest health crises of our time. In response to this global problem, various institutions around the world had soon issued evidence-based prevention guidelines. However, these guidelines, which were designed to slow the spread of COVID-19 and contribute to public well-being, are deliberately disregarded or ignored by some individuals. In the present study, we aimed to develop and test a multivariate model that could help us identify individual characteristics that make a person more/less likely to comply with COVID-19 prevention guidelines. A total of 617 participants took part in the online survey and answered several questions related to socio-demographic variables, political conservatism, religious orthodoxy, conspiracy ideation, intellectual curiosity, trust in science, COVID-19 risk perception and compliance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines. The results of structural equation modeling (SEM) show that COVID-19 risk perception and trust in science both independently predict compliance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines, while the remaining variables in the model (political conservatism, religious orthodoxy, conspiracy ideation and intellectual curiosity) do so via the mediating role of trust in science. The described model exhibited an acceptable fit (χ2(1611) = 2485.84, p < .001, CFI = .91, RMSEA = .032, SMR = .055). These findings thus provide empirical support for the proposed multivariate model and underline the importance of trust in science in explaining the different levels of compliance with COVID-19 prevention guidelines.


Although sometimes debated, our results imply that false memories for repeated events can be implanted and are perhaps even easier to induce than false memories for single events

Calado, Bruna, Timothy J. Luke, Deb Connolly, Sara Landström, and Henry Otgaar. 2020. “Implanting False Autobiographical Memories for Repeated Events.” PsyArXiv. April 6. doi:10.31234/osf.io/5yw6z

Abstract: People who falsely remember to be sexually abused as a child sometimes report memories of repeated abuse. Research to date, however, has exclusively focused on the implantation of false memories for single events. We investigated false memory formation for repeated autobiographical experiences using an adapted false memory implantation paradigm. We predicted that false memories for repeated events would be harder to implant compared to false memories for single events. We assigned students to one of three implantation conditions: two focused on the implantation of repeated events and another focused on the implantation of single events. Participants underwent three interview sessions with a 1-week interval. Surprisingly, false memories for repeated events were more easily implanted than false memories for single events. Although sometimes debated, our results imply that false memories for repeated events can be implanted and are perhaps even easier to induce than false memories for single events


Meta-analytic evidence, overall, suggests a small negative association between social media use and mental health

Meier, Adrian, and Leonard Reinecke. 2020. “Computer-mediated Communication, Social Media, and Mental Health: A Conceptual and Empirical Meta-review.” PsyArXiv. April 6. doi:10.31234/osf.io/573ph

Abstract: Computer-mediated communication (CMC), and specifically social media, may affect the mental health (MH) and well-being of its users, for good or bad. Research on this topic has accumulated rapidly, accompanied by controversial public debate and numerous systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Yet, a higher-level integration of the various disparate conceptual and operational approaches to CMC and MH and individual review findings is desperately needed. To this end, we first develop two organizing frameworks that systematize conceptual and operational approaches to CMC and MH. Based on these frameworks, we integrate the literature through a meta-review of 34 reviews and a content analysis of 594 publications. Meta-analytic evidence, overall, suggests a small negative association between social media use and MH. However, effects are complex and depend on the CMC and MH indicators investigated. Based on our conceptual review and the evidence synthesis, we devise an agenda for future research in this interdisciplinary field.


Triage Protocol Design for Ventilator Rationing in a Pandemic: A Proposal to Integrate Multiple Ethical Values through Reserves

Triage Protocol Design for Ventilator Rationing in a Pandemic: A Proposal to Integrate Multiple Ethical Values through Reserves. Parag A. Pathak Tayfun Sonmez M. Utku Unver M. Bumin Yenmez. MIT Economics Papers, April 2020. http://economics.mit.edu/files/19358

Abstract: In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, the rationing of medical resources has become a critical issue. Nearly all existing triage protocols are based on a priority point system, in which an explicit formula specifies the order in which the total supply of a particular resource, such as a ventilator, is to be rationed for eligible patients. A priority point system generates the same priority ranking to ration all the units. Triage protocols in some states (e.g. Michigan) prioritize frontline health workers giving heavier weight to the ethical principle of instrumental valuation. Others (e.g. New York) do not, reasoning that if medical workers obtain high enough priority, there is a risk that they obtain all units and none remain for the general community. This debate is particularly pressing given substantial Covid-19 related health risks for frontline medical workers. In this paper, we propose that medical resources be rationed through a reserve system. In a reserve system, ventilators are placed into multiple categories. Priorities guiding allocation of units can reflect different ethical values between these categories. For example, while a reserve category for essential personnel can emphasize the reciprocity and instrumental value, a reserve category for general community can give higher weight to the values of utility and distributive justice. A reserve system provides additional flexibility over a priority point system because it does not dictate a single priority order for the allocation of all units. It offers a middle-ground approach that balances competing objectives. However, this flexibility requires careful attention to implementation, most notably the processing order of reserve categories, given that transparency is essential for triage protocol design. In this paper, we describe our mathematical model of a reserve system, characterize its potential outcomes, and examine distributional implications of particular reserve systems. We also discuss several practical considerations with triage protocol design.



Letters To A Spanish Youngster III

Letters To A Spanish Youngster III
[...]

Your Honor gift of the gods, the most gentle and amiable being, who teaches the stars new paths to travel through,

I write to You overpowered by the sound of Your voice and the visions of the beautiful and the just that can be found in You*.

Thinking of Your virtuous behaviour helps in the (small) mitigation of the unimportant and unsignificant misery Your humble servant lives in when You are far from him. There are, at the same time, a thousand melancolies and manifold magnificences having You so distant...

But I do not live with troubled thoughts, and anguish, and doubts, and fear, and sorrow, and pain** all the time, like others do... I am happy knowing Your Honor is well and content... I just live perplexed (borrowing from Milton in 'Paradise Lost') thinking of Your smile and good-natured attitude.

---
I found recently a list of apologies in the Net... I deeply regret that I didn't ask appropriately for forgiveness at the beginning, in my very first letter:

*    I know my actions...    Looking back, I realise that...    Please don't be angry     I accept full responsibility     I am so ashamed     I can understand how you feel     I do apologize     I don't know what to say     I really am most terribly sorry    I regret...     I take all the blame     Pardon me!     Please accept my apologies     Please excuse my thoughtlessness

*    I now realise that I shouldn't have done that     I'm sure you must be very disappointed in me    Please don't be mad at me/don't kill me     I accept that I am to blame/that it's my fault    I am such an idiot     I am sorry to have disappointed you     I apologize wholeheartedly/unreservedly    I cannot say/express how sorry I am     I have reflected on my actions and...    I know it was wrong of me to...     If I could turn back the clock,...    It was insensitive of me  Please accept my sincerest apologies    There is absolutely no excuse for my actions/behaviour/inaction/laziness    You are right to blame me     You must forgive me

*    I know I have let myself/you down     I know it was thoughtless of me     I can see how you might be annoyed      I can't believe I...     I don't know what came over me     I don't know what got into me     I just want the ground to swallow me up     I take full responsibility     I think I went too far    I was in the wrong     I messed up    I would like to express my regret     I'm happy to take the blame     If I could take it all back, I would     It was inexcusable    It's unforgivable, I know     Don't hold this against me

(I read them all and made a few changes >>> all mistakes are mine, as always.)

---
Madam, to speak of You is to take not only a noble theme, but one of the noblest ones†:

         [The shape of your face is in my mind.                                     [Las formas de Vuestro rostro están en mi mente.
         ­It is to you I have been speaking all this time,                         Sois Vos de quien he estado hablando todo
                                                                                                                                                             [este tiempo,
         Slowly, but driven by an intense delight.                                  con calma, pero empujado por el intenso deleite.
         And you will sense my soul purged of all vileness                 Y Vos sentiréis mi alma purgada de toda vileza
         Speaking as it does here, in this high form;                            hablando como aquí hace, de esta forma elevada;
         And this, after having locked away so many years,                 y aquella, tras haber estado encerrada tantos
                                                                                                                                                          [años, con la
         This purity remaining, should do my love some credit.]         pureza que aun le queda, debería dar a mi amor
                                                                                                                                                [algún crédito.]


But I am conscious of how much lacking of talent are these writings I send You. It is my hope that You will pardon me for my poor letters, my lack of knowledge and imagination, and those boring texts I copied to offer to You, to honor You, dear lady.

On account of my lack of skill (writing, or while near You, or when my path crosses Yours) I would sometimes like to disappear, but getting to know about You keeps me here on Earth, gentil espíritu†:

[Quisiera huir; pero los amorosos rayos relucen tanto que me encandilan mucho más que el primer día].


In English, same verses:

         [I want to flee: but those loving beams
         [...]
         shine so that [...]
         they daze me more than on the first day:]


I wish these verses† could make that Your Grace had mercy upon me and allowed me to keep sending You, señora mía, letters like these:

        [Id, cálidos suspiros, hacia el frío corazón;
        romped el hielo que cierra el paso a la piedad,
        y si ruego mortal el cielo escucha,
        muerte o merced pongan fin a mi dolor.
        Id, dulces pensamientos, hablando claramente
        de aquello a lo cual no llega la bella mirada:]


And last of all, an invocation to be inspired‡:

         "Ye learnèd sisters, [...]
         Bring with you all the Nymphes that you can hear
         Both of the rivers and the forests green,
         [...]
         And let them also with them bring in hand
         Another gay garland
         For my fair love, of lillies and of roses,".


---
My dear master, please allow me to end the letter de forma elevada†:

        [La obra es tan noble, tan agraciada y extraordinaria,
        que mirada mortal con ella no se atreve;
        tanto, en los ojos fuera de medida bellos,
        parece que Amor derrame gracia y dulzura.]


And in the wonderful and blessed Italian language†:

        "Felice l'alma che per voi sospira,
        Lumi del ciel;".


Es mi ilusión que estas cosas tan bonitas le complazcan a Su Señoría.

Very sad for my shyness and unpolished behavior when meeting You (always unexpectedly, since I try not to bother You with my presence), I wish You that "All happiness attend you!,"* my lady.

"Your affectionate" servant*,

                 a. r. ante Su Señoría

--
Notes

*  Adapted from Percy B Shelley's 'Dedication to Leigh Hunt, Esq.,' in the dedication of The Cenci, 1819.

**  Adapted from J Milton's Paradise Lost, 1674 edition, i.558.

†  Adapted from Francesco Petrarca, Petrarch Songs and Sonnets, A Bilingual Selection, translated by Richard Kilmer (London: Anvil Press Poetry, 2011), Petrarch: The Canzoniere, or Rerum Vulgarium Fragmenta, translated by Mark Musa (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1996), and Atilio Pentimalli's translation (Barcelona: Ediciones Orbis, 1998): LXXI, 7-15; CVII, 5-8; CLIII, 1-6; CLIV, 5-8; LXXI, 67-8.

‡  Edmund Spenser's Epithalamion. The learned sisters should be the Muses. In the old spelling:

         "Ye learnèd sisters, [...]
         Bring with you all the Nymphes that you can heare
         Both of the riuers and the forrests greene,
         [...]
         And let them also with them bring in hand
         Another gay girland
         For my fayre loue, of lillyes and of roses,".

[...]

People cheat to the degree that their actions match their deception goals and they can still be seen as a good person

It’s the Situation and Your Disposition: A Test of Two Honesty Hypotheses. David M. Markowitz, Timothy R. Levine. Social Psychological and Personality Science, April 6, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550619898976

Abstract: Research has documented substantial individual differences in the proclivity for honesty or dishonesty and that personality traits meaningfully account for variations in honesty–dishonesty. Research also shows important situational variation related to deception, as situations can motivate or discourage dishonest behaviors. The current experiment examines personality and situational influences on honesty–dishonesty in tandem, arguing that their effects may not be additive. Participants (N = 114) engaged in an experimental task providing the opportunity to cheat for tangible gain. The situation varied to encourage or discourage cheating. Participants completed the HEXACO-100 and the Dark Triad of Personality scales. Both situational variation and personality dimensions predicted honesty–dishonesty, but the effects of personality were not uniform across situations. These results were also supported using public data from an independent, multilab sample (N = 5,757). We outline how these results inform our understanding of deception, situational influences, and the role of disposition in honesty.

Keywords: deception, situation, disposition, HEXACO, cheating

---
People cheat to the degree that their actions match their deception goals and they can still be seen as a good person.

The Development of a Scarcity Bias: Although a scarcity bias is not present in infancy, it emerges at 5 yo, prior to comprehension of market forces

The Development of a Scarcity Bias. Matar Ferera  Avi Benozio  Gil Diesendruck. Child Development, April 5 2020. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.13368

Abstract: Adults’ attraction to rare objects has been variously attributed to fundamental biases related to resource availability, self‐related needs, or beliefs about social and market forces. The current three studies investigated the scarcity bias in 11‐ and 14‐month‐old infants, and 3‐ to 6‐year‐old children (N = 129). With slight methodological modifications, participants had to choose between one of 10 same‐kind‐items (abundant resource), or the only one of a different kind (scarce resource). It was found that a robust preference for the scarce resource appeared only at age 5 years. Thus, although a scarcity bias is not present in infancy, it emerges prior to comprehension of market forces. Possible accounts of this developmental finding are discussed.

Open practice: The raw data of the studies reported in this paper will be made available on Gil Diesendruck’s laboratory website, at: https://faculty.biu.ac.il/~dieseng/publications.html.



American and Korean Perceptions of Sex Differences in Deception: Women from both cultures and American men perceived that men tell a greater number of serious (i.e., nonwhite or high-stakes) lies

American and Korean Perceptions of Sex Differences in Deception. Eric T. Steiner, Young-Jae Cha, Sojung Baek. Evolutionary Psychology, April 3, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474704920916455

Abstract: Beliefs about which sex lies more or is better at lying can have subtle but widespread effects on human interactions, yet little is known about such beliefs. In Study 1, an American sample of participants (N = 407, ages 18–64) completed a 12-item survey on perceptions of sex differences in deception. In Study 2, a Korean sample (N = 197, ages 19–58) completed the same survey. Men from both cultures and Korean women perceived no difference regarding which sex tells more white (i.e., relatively harmless or low-stakes) lies. American women perceived that women tell more white lies. Women from both cultures and American men perceived that men tell a greater number of serious (i.e., nonwhite or high-stakes) lies. Korean men perceived no difference regarding which sex tells a greater number of serious lies. Both sexes from both countries reported a perception that (1) men are more likely to lie about height, income, and sexual infidelity, (2) women are more likely to lie about weight and age, and (3) women are better at lying. The findings were mixed regarding perceptions about emotional infidelity. Results are interpreted in light of sex-different challenges to mating and parenting.

Keywords: deception, ethnicity, evolutionary psychology, person perception, sex differences

This study aimed to present theoretically significant findings about perceptions of sex differences in deception. American men reported no sex difference in terms of their perception of which sex tells more white lies, whereas American women perceived women as telling more white lies. Korean men and women both perceived no sex difference in terms of who tells more white lies. The common denominator may be that neither sex from neither country reported a belief that men tell more white lies. This is not contrary to our hypothesis that women would be perceived to tell more white lies, but it also does not confirm our hypothesis. Moreover, men are more likely to tell altruistic white lies, but there is no clear sex difference in terms of who tells more Pareto white lies (Capraro, 2018). The current study may not reveal consistent perceptions of sex differences because of this heterogeneous nature of white lies.
Regarding serious lies, American men and women and Korean women perceived men to tell more serious lies. Korean men reported no sex difference. The common denominator may be that neither sex from neither country reported a belief that women tell more serious lies. Thus, our hypothesis that men would be perceived to tell more serious lies was partially confirmed. Given that men tell more black lies (Capraro, 2018), the current study may suggest that people might accurately perceive which sex engages in more serious black lies.
Our hypotheses that men would be perceived to be more likely to lie about height, income, and sexual infidelity were confirmed by both sexes in both countries. Our hypotheses that women would be perceived to be more likely to lie about weight and age were also confirmed by both sexes in both countries. American men and women both reported that women would be more likely to lie about emotional infidelity. To speculate, perhaps Americans interpreted this item as a juxtaposition to the sexual infidelity item and responded to them in opposite ways. Korean women reported that men would be more likely to lie about emotional infidelity, whereas Korean men reported no sex difference. Perhaps Koreans, who also perceive men as more likely to commit sexual infidelity, perceive greater overlap in the constructs of sexual and emotional infidelity. A review of causes of infidelity in Korea proposed that the culture’s conceptual overlap between sexual and emotional infidelity may stem from immature (undeveloped) social discourse on the concept of infidelity (Y. Choi & Park, 2015). Overall, there is less agreement on what constitutes emotional infidelity versus sexual infidelity (Guitar at al., 2017), and this may explain some of the inconsistent findings regarding emotional infidelity.
Regarding which sex is perceived to be better at lying, both sexes from both countries perceived that women are better at lying, thus confirming our hypothesis. To our knowledge, this study is the first of its kind to make this observation and is consistent with the British survey discussed in the introduction. Given this consistency, and given that deception comes in nonverbal forms, more interpretation is demanded beyond the idea that people have a folk psychology understanding of women’s better verbal ability. It is possible that there may be, or may have been during the ancestral past, greater benefits for successful lies or greater costs for unsuccessful lies for women versus men in some contexts. For example, lying about infanticide may be one such context. Infanticide has been practiced in every culture (Williamson, 1978) and is more often performed by women than men (e.g., Kaye et al., 1990). Polygynous mating, which characterizes many current and past societies (Low, 2007), means that a husband is more likely to have a son than any one of his wives (because he has multiple mates), and this coupled with patrilineal inheritance may motivate a mother to commit infanticide of her daughter or a rival wife’s son (e.g., Strassmann, 1997). Lying about sexual infidelity may be another such context, given that women are more likely than men to be killed for sexual infidelity by romantic partners (e.g., Chimbos, 1978Gartner et al., 1998). Lying about paternity may be yet another context. If the median nonpaternity rates are approximately 2%–3% (Anderson, 2006), that means there are hundreds of thousands of men in the United States who are unaware that they are raising another man’s child, and about an equal number of mothers who are aware of their child’s paternity uncertainty.
If women are indeed better at lying, then the perception of both sexes that women are more skilled at deception reflects an accurate appraisal. If women are not better at lying, then this perception reflects a cognitive bias. This bias may be of the kind predicted by error management theory: Cognitive errors that had asymmetrical consequences to reproductive fitness during the ancestral past would have placed adaptive pressure for a bias in favor of the less costly error (Haselton & Buss, 2000Haselton & Nettle, 2006). That is, it may have been less costly for men to overestimate rather than underestimate women’s skill in lying in order to, for example, avoid being cuckolded. Likewise, it may have been less costly for women to overestimate women’s skill in lying in order to, for example, defend against intrasexual threats such as the spreading of false rumors about a woman’s sexual reputation.
A limitation of the study is that the survey was short. Although this was purposeful, it meant that potentially interesting areas of perceptions of sex differences in deception were unexplored. Mating and parenting are the two broad domains of human reproduction but only the former was examined here. A future study could examine perceptions that pertain to parenting. For example, do people believe mothers or fathers are more likely to tell lies that are meant to nurture, encourage, and protect their children? Another opportunity is to examine which sex actually engages in more such lies toward children using different methods such as diaries (e.g., DePaulo et al., 1996) or experimental designs (e.g., Capraro, 2018).
Another limitation is that we do not know whether participants had prior knowledge about actual sex differences in deception about mating factors, for example, that men do indeed lie more about height. If so, then participants may have simply applied that knowledge when responding to the mating items. If participants did not have such knowledge, and given that their responses for the most part accurately reflected what men and women do in fact lie about, then this suggests that each sex is attuned to what the other sex is seeking in terms of mating factors and that each sex is motivated to lie accordingly. This would be consistent with the idea that the sexes’ mating efforts have coevolved in a mutually antagonistic manner (Buss, 2017). A future study could attempt to statistically control for prior knowledge about sex differences in deception about certain mating factors by asking, for example, how frequently participants engage in online dating or use dating apps.
In sum, the importance of contexts that are directly or indirectly relevant to reproduction is emphasized as a guide for future research on sex differences in deception. Differences between men and women in the quantity or quality of lies may be absent in contexts that are irrelevant to reproduction, for example, lying about the playing cards one is holding, and for good reason—there is no theoretical grounding for why the sexes should be different in such an example. Conversely, contexts that in one form or another relate to the sex-different challenges to mating and parenting faced during the ancestral past have the potential to reveal a great deal about men’s versus women’s deception.