Sunday, June 7, 2020

Does Partisanship Shape Investor Beliefs? The beliefs of partisan Republicans about equities remain relatively unfazed during the COVID-19 pandemic, while other users become considerably more pessimistic

Cookson, J. Anthony and Engelberg, Joseph and Mullins, William, Does Partisanship Shape Investor Beliefs? Evidence from the COVID-19 Pandemic (June 6, 2020). SSRN:

Abstract: We use party-identifying language – like “Liberal Media” and “MAGA”– to identify Republican users on the investor social platform StockTwits. Using a difference-in-difference design, we find that the beliefs of partisan Republicans about equities remain relatively unfazed during the COVID-19 pandemic, while other users become considerably more pessimistic. In cross-sectional tests, we find Republicans become relatively more optimistic about stocks that suffered the most from COVID-19, but more pessimistic about Chinese stocks. Finally, stocks with the greatest partisan disagreement on StockTwits have significantly more trading in the broader market, which explains 20% of the increase in stock turnover during the pandemic.

Keywords: COVID-19, partisanship, investor beliefs, disagreement, trading volume
JEL Classification: G12, D91 ,P16

More recently-developed crops are evaluated less favorably, whether they are produced by artificial selection (i.e., conventional breeding), natural or man-made irradiation, or genetic engineering

Recency negativity: Newer food crops are evaluated less favorably. Yoel Inbar, Jordan Phelps, Paul Rozin. Appetite, June 6 2020, 104754.

Abstract: Food crops produced by new technologies such as genetic engineering are widely opposed (Gaskell, Bauer, Durant, & Allum, 1999; Scott, Inbar, Wirz, Brossard, & Rozin, 2018). Here, we examine one reason for this opposition: recency. More recently-developed crops are evaluated less favorably, whether they are produced by artificial selection (i.e., conventional breeding), natural or man-made irradiation, or genetic engineering. Negative effects of recency persist in a within-subjects design where people are able to explicitly compare crops developed at different times, and an internal meta-analysis shows that the negative effect of recency is robust across measures and stimuli. These results have implications for the evaluation of crops produced using new modification techniques, including the widespread opposition to genetic engineering.

I Feel Better Naked: Communal Naked Activity Increases Body Appreciation by Reducing Social Physique Anxiety

I Feel Better Naked: Communal Naked Activity Increases Body Appreciation by Reducing Social Physique Anxiety. Keon West. The Journal of Sex Research, Jun 5 2020.

ABSTRACT: Positive body image predicts several measures of happiness, well-being, and sexual functioning. Prior research has suggested a link between communal naked activity and positive body image, but has thus far not clarified either the direction or mechanisms of this relationship. This was the first randomized controlled trial of the effects of nakedness on body image. Two potential explanatory mediators of this effect were also investigated. Fifty-one participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups in which they interacted with other people either naked (naked condition) or clothed (control condition). All participants completed measures of body appreciation before and after the intervention, as well as measures of the relative perceived attractiveness of others and social physique anxiety immediately after the intervention. Perceived attractiveness of others was neither affected by the manipulation nor correlated with body appreciation. However, as expected, participants in the naked condition reported more body appreciation, an effect that was mediated by reductions in social physique anxiety. This research provides initial evidence that naked activity can lead to improvements in body image and evidence of a specific explanatory mechanism. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Letters To A Spanish Youngster CCLVI

Letters To A Spanish Youngster CCLVI

Your Honor the high priestess, la mia donna, Who puts in amoroso incendio il cor* and the city**,

Elizabeth Hardwick wrote about a close friend of hers†:
There is something puritanical and perplexing in her lack of relaxation, her utter refusal to give an inch of the ground of her opinion. She cannot conform, cannot often like whatever her peers like. She is a very odd woman, perhaps oddest of all in this stirring sense of the importance of her own intellectual formulations.
In one of her columns, she wrote of the same person‡:
There is charm and vigor and an almost violent holding of special opinions
. A literary critic says of these words†:
The problem, Hardwick seems to suggest, is that there is something almost constitutionally wrong with her. Odd is the word she chooses for this wrong thing. She is standing out. She is not like us. The problems seems to be too much power, too conspicuoius and showy and flamboyant a confidence. Shares to think her own "intellectual formulaitons" are important.
I'd very much love to know what Your Honor thinks of all this.

The same literary critic, in a different tack, comments of men and our aggressive eye thru her daughter's writing†:
My daughter is taller now than I am. She is five nine. She wears cutoff shorts and white sneakers with gold stars all over then. Even though she is fourteen, men start to follow her down the street, call to her from cards, talk to her as she is coming up the steps to our house. She writes an assignment for a class:
"Put your earphones in be aware of surroundings. Stand alone, but close enough to people that you are not totally isolated. Move away from those creepy men who watch and talk about you, and make sure to adjust your shirt so it doesn't show any skin. Actually, put your sweatshirt on. That will help. And yes, you might want to switch cars when you feel uncomfortable. You're fine. Just don't make eye contact. Remember when the drunk man asked you to come over and sit next to him and how when you didn't he cursed until you could leave the car, and think to yourself that it could be worse. Don't tell your mom about these men."
When she gets around to showing this to me, the obvious comes as a shock. The dawning of her power over men is simultaneous with ther growing vulnerability; she experiences both, so violently, at one. [...].

Simone de Beauvoir describing this stage: "Men's gazes flatter and hurt her at the same time [...]."

If a husband cheats on her wife (or tells her the truth), a (frequent?) reaction of her is feeling guilty, inadequate, seeing herself as ugly, fat, etc. Sylvia Plath to a psychiatrist†:
"She [the husband's lover] is so beautiful & I feel so huggish & my hair a mess & my nose huge, & my brain brainwashed & God knows how I shall keep together."

Plath was a very progressive, very feminist intellectual that devoured men ("I eat men like air," she wrote). But after learning her husband had a lover, she wrote to the psychiatrist things like these†:
How can I make these women unnecessary to him? And keep up my own sense of seductiveness and womanly power? I don't want to be sorrowful or bitter, men hate that, but what can I do in the face fo these prospects?
Can you suggest a gracious procedure when you see some little (whoops, not little, big!) tart is after your husband at a party, or dinner or something? Do you leave them to it? Engage a hotel room? Smile & vanish? Smile & stand by? What I don't want to be is stern & disapproving or teary. But I am only human. I have to feel I have some ground-rights.
At some point she wrote:
I am, by the way, not fat!!

Simone de Beauvoir defended the Soviet Union and supported Marxism (I had to write all that to avoid saying she was a Communist, which would make the Beotians fall upon me  :-)  ), started modern feminism and gender ideology, defended that women were homosexual, and was called mysoginistic by her critics, but sounds desperate, anxious, submissive, completely subordinate to JP Sartre in her letters to him†:
Sep 25 1939, [My heart is consumed by passion for you and it couldn't be more painful. This has been brewing all day, and it came down on me like a tornado in [some place], where I broke into sobs.] 
Nov 14 1940, [Nothing in my life seems to count for me, except this need I have for you.] 
Dec 12 1940, [All that I can have of life without you I have—but it's nothing. I already knew that, when you were here—you are everything to me. I know it still better now, and find it both cruel and sweet.] 
Jan 7 1941: [I am wasting away with longing to see you. Do think about me.] 
Feb 21 1941: [I live but I'm mutilated. [...] I've dreamed hundreds of times that you are returning—I didn't go away for the Shrovetide holiday, so that I could wait for you. I scan every street corner for you. I live only for the moment when I set eyes on you again.]

He was much of the time away, and frequently with other women.

I only hope that Your Honor doesn't suffer so much with Your significant others.

On the human nature department֍:
Abstract: Recent findings suggest that moral outrage serves an interpersonal function of signaling trustworthiness to others and such perceptions play a uniquely important role in identifying social opportunities. We conducted four studies investigating how behavioral displays of moral outrage are perceived in the specific context of mating. Results indicated participants (particularly women) found prospective mates espousing outrage more desirable for long-term mating (Study 1), and this perception of desirability was similarly inferred among same-sex raters (Study 2). We further replicated findings in Study 1, while additionally considering the basis of women’s attraction toward outraged behavior through candidate mediators (Studies 3 and 4). Although we found consistent evidence for the long-term desirability of outraged behavior, in addition, to trustworthiness, evidence remained mixed on the extent to which evaluations of a prospective mate’s outrage was the basis of effects. We frame results from complementary perspectives of trust signaling and sexual strategies theory.

This study of status in fourteen countries is, IMHO, interesting¶:
[T]he content-level analyses further confirmed that all components of attractiveness (i.e., hygiene, appearance) and domestic skills (i.e., cooking ability, parenting skill, and cleanliness) are more central to women’s status than men’s status across the countries sampled. Sex differences in the effects of women’s sexual strategy on status are especially clear at the content level. Infidelity, chastity/purity, and long-term mating success increase women’s status more than men’s. Sexual promiscuity lowers the status of both sexes, but lowers it more dramatically for women than for men (see Figure 11).

Ah, Fortuna cruel, Fortuna ingrata!* You were born as woman, and for that you're penalized in some of life's most fun activities, my dear governor. Believe me when I say that I am sorry for the costs that life puts upon You, and that I'd compensate You for them if You allowed me to be near You as Your confidante and one of Your best friends.

"Pieno di dolce e d'amoroso affetto"*, Yours faithfully



*  L Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, i.44.3. Milano: Garzanti, 1974. Also, i.81.6; i.54.1.

**  Anonymous epigram, in 'The Greek Anthology' translated by W R Paton, 1916, book V, 2, 1.

†  Katie Roiphe's The Power Notebooks. New York: Free Press, 2020. Pages 183-4; 228; 225; 211.

‡  Memento Mori: Elizabeth Hardwick, 1916–2007. By Christian Lorentzen on December 5, 2007

֍  Brown, Mitch, Lucas A. Keefer, Donald F. Sacco, and Faith L. Brown. 2020. “Demonstrate Values: Behavioral Displays of Moral Outrage as a Cue to Long-term Mate Potential.” PsyArXiv. May 22.

¶  Buss, D. M., Durkee, P. K., Shackelford, T. K., Bowdle, B. F., Schmitt, D. P., Brase, G. L., Choe, J. C., & Trofimova, I. (2020). Human status criteria: Sex differences and similarities across 14 nations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, May 2020.
Abstract: Social status is a central and universal feature of our highly social species. Reproductively relevant resources, including food, territory, mating opportunities, powerful coalitional alliances, and group-provided health care, flow to those high in status and trickle only slowly to those low in status. Despite its importance and centrality to human social group living, the scientific understanding of status contains a large gap in knowledge—the precise criteria by which individuals are accorded high or low status in the eyes of their group members. It is not known whether there exist universal status criteria, nor the degree to which status criteria vary across cultures. Also unknown is whether status criteria are sex differentiated, and the degree of cross-cultural variability and consistency of sex-differentiated status criteria. The current article investigates status criteria across 14 countries (N = 2,751). Results provide the first systematic documentation of potentially universal and sex-differentiated status criteria. Discussion outlines important next steps in understanding the psychology of status.