Friday, June 19, 2020

The Dunning–Kruger Effect (a common failure of metacognitive insight in which people who are incompetent in a given domain are unaware of their incompetence) seems applicable to face perception

Dunning–Kruger effects in face perception. Xingchen Zhou, Rob Jenkins. Cognition, Volume 203, October 2020, 104345.

Abstract: The Dunning–Kruger Effect refers to a common failure of metacognitive insight in which people who are incompetent in a given domain are unaware of their incompetence. This effect has been found in a wide range of tasks, raising the question of whether there is any ‘special’ domain in which it is not found. One plausible candidate is face perception, which has sometimes been thought to be ‘special’. To test this possibility, we assessed participants' insight into their own face perception abilities (self-estimates) and those of other people (peer estimates). We found classic Dunning–Kruger Effects in matching tasks for unfamiliar identity, familiar identity, gaze direction, and emotional expression. Low performers overestimated themselves, and high performers underestimated themselves. Interestingly, participants' self-estimates were more stable across tasks than their actual performance. In addition, peer estimates revealed a consistent egocentric bias. High performers attributed higher accuracy to other people than did low performers. We conclude that metacognitive insight into face perception abilities is limited and subject to systematic biases. Our findings urge caution when interpreting self-report measures of face perception ability. They also reveal a fundamental source of uncertainty in social interactions.

Keywords: MetacognitionFace perceptionDunning–Kruger effectEgocentric bias

U.S. college women talked about sex an average of 13 times per week; most conversations were with friends, face-to-face, and mostly about previous sexual encounters, dating, and potential sexual activity

“We talked about our hookups”: A diary study of sexual communication among U.S. college women. Katrina L. Pariera, Brianna Abraham. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, June 19, 2020.

Abstract: For many young women, college is a time of major changes in sexual behavior and attitudes, driven in part by their social environment. Yet little is known about how young women actually talk about sex day-to-day. To understand daily sexual communication, 96 U.S. college students who identify as women kept a sexual communication diary for 7 days, generating 1,211 records. A content analysis revealed that women talked about sex an average of 13 times per week. Most conversations were with friends, face-to-face, and mostly about previous sexual encounters, dating, and potential sexual activity. The underlying function of most conversations was exchanging opinions, recapping, and gossiping. Sex appears to be a somewhat regularly discussed topic for college women and a way of socializing and exploring attitudes. The results have important implications for health promotion efforts targeted at college women.

Keywords: College students, diary study, emerging adulthood, interpersonal communication, peers, sex research, sexual communication, women’s sexuality

Despite parturition pain, regardless of pain modality (electrical, ischaemic, cold, heat, pressure or muscle) or dependen masure, women are more sensitive to pain and less tolerant of pain than men

Qualitative sex differences in pain processing: emerging evidence of a biased literature. Jeffrey S. Mogil. Nature Reviews Neuroscience volume 21, pages353–365, May 21 2020.

Abstract: Although most patients with chronic pain are women, the preclinical literature regarding pain processing and the pathophysiology of chronic pain has historically been derived overwhelmingly from the study of male rodents. This Review describes how the recent adoption by a number of funding agencies of policies mandating the incorporation of sex as a biological variable into preclinical research has correlated with an increase in the number of studies investigating sex differences in pain and analgesia. Trends in the field are analysed, with a focus on newly published findings of qualitative sex differences: that is, those findings that are suggestive of differential processing mechanisms in each sex. It is becoming increasingly clear that robust differences exist in the genetic, molecular, cellular and systems-level mechanisms of acute and chronic pain processing in male and female rodents and humans.

Students tended to think the influence of hate speech on others was greater than on themselves

Third-Person Effect and Hate Speech Censorship on Facebook. Lei Guo, Brett G. Johnson. Social Media + Society, June 18, 2020.

Abstract: By recruiting 368 US university students, this study adopted an online posttest-only between-subjects experiment to analyze the impact of several types of hate speech on their attitudes toward hate speech censorship. Results showed that students tended to think the influence of hate speech on others was greater than on themselves. Their perception of such messages’ effect on themselves was a significant indicator of supportive attitudes toward hate speech censorship and of their willingness to flag hateful messages.

Keywords: third-person effect, paternalism, speech freedom support, hate speech, Facebook, censorship

TPE is commonly used in examining people’s supportive attitude of censorship and related behaviors or behavioral intentions (Davison, 1983Lo et al., 2016). The debates surrounding the censorship of hate speech on Facebook have surfaced more and more in recent years due to the increasing essentiality of social media in political discourse and the concomitant rise of political extremism. The present research extended the TPE research to the context of managing and censoring hate speech on Facebook.
The results produced strong support for the TPE hypothesis. As expected, participants perceived the Facebook racist, sexist, and anti-LGBT hate speech conditions to have a greater influence on others than on themselves. Given people’s intention that protect others from undesirable messages, the results of the study further revealed that participants’ paternalistic attitude was a significant predictor of perceived greater effects of Facebook hate speech on the general public instead of themselves. However, such predictive power of paternalism failed to indicate the perceived effect on self and others in the racist hate speech context. In other words, even participants who reported high levels of paternalism would not perceive any effects of racist hate speech on self and on the general public. It might indicate that participants might not take such hate speech on Facebook as seriously as sexist or anti-LGBT messages. In addition, as racist hate speech is pervasive on Facebook (Siapera et al., 2018), the other potential reason might be because people have become accustomed to such messages and failed to identify such messages as racist hate speech. Future research could thus further explore the mediation effect between paternalism and effects perception or include more potential independent variables in predicting perceived effects on oneself and others, especially under the racist hate speech condition. Surprisingly, support for freedom of speech was not found to be significantly related to the perceived effects of Facebook hate speech on oneself and on the general public. This finding suggests that participants interpreted the effects of exceptional freedom of expression (which includes legal protections for hate speech) was related neither to themselves nor to others.
Another goal of the study was to explore how the perceived effects of Facebook hate speech affected participants’ consequent censorial behavior. The results showed that when females perceived sexist speech on Facebook having more effects on the general public, they would be more willing to support Facebook and government taking actions to moderate and censor sexist hate speech. On the other hand, the perceived effect of such speech on themselves was found to have an effect on female participants’ intention to flag it on Facebook. Gender-based hate speech is prevalent in cyberspace, and women and girls are usually targeted and by such hate speech (Chetty & Alathur, 2018). These features of sexist hate speech validate our finding that US university students, especially female students, are more willing to regulate this type of hate speech on Facebook.
Surprisingly, contrary to our expectation, in racist and anti-LGBT hate speech contexts, the perceived effect on the general public failed to predict participants’ consequent censorial activities. However, the perceived effect on self could lead to support for Facebook’s content moderation of racist hate speech and the government’s regulation of anti-LGBT hate speech, respectively. Informed by previous research, the findings indicate that instead of supporting regulation, people might think that educating others is a more reasonable solution when they perceived racist and anti-LGBT hate speech to have effects on others (Jang & Kim, 2018). In other words, the current study revealed that the perceived effect of Facebook hate speech on oneself was a better predictor of US students’ supportive attitude toward censorial behaviors. This is a theoretically significant finding of this study since it helps advance TPE research by showing that perceived effects on self and others play different roles in triggering censorial behavior. It further confirms that the TPE phenomenon in politically significant cases might be different from it in other contexts (Wei et al., 2019). A possible explanation may be that these types of hate speech are usually highly related to political topics in the United States, making these results consistent with previous research (e.g., Golan & Day, 2008) that has found that the perceived effect of political messages on self prompted people to participate in political action.
However, interestingly, the results also revealed that although Facebook provides users autonomy to express their willingness to censor speech, participants were less likely to flag racist and anti-LGBT hate speech on Facebook even when they reported high level of paternalism, support for freedom of expression, and perceive high impact of such speech on themselves and the public. This pattern of students’ censorial behavior is consistent with previous research which found that US university students’ attitudes toward political activities are largely gripped by apathy and cynicism (Harvard IOP Youth Poll, 2019Kohnle, 2013). It is also worth noting that except in the racist hate speech context, those with a higher level of supportive attitudes toward free speech were less likely to support content moderating sexist and anti-LGBT hate speech on Facebook. The result could be explained by the root of First Amendment protection or free-speech rights in the US society.
Several limitations of this study should be recognized. First, the imbalance of participants’ demographic profile of the sample may serve as a limitation to the accuracy of the findings. To be specific, of the 368 valid respondents, over 72% were female, while may not represent general Facebook users in the United States. Because based on Facebook statistics, as of February 2020, users are 54% female and 46% male. The respondents were also more prone to be white compared with the entire Facebook users in the United States. Moreover, the latest report of free expression on US college students found that female White students were more likely to agree that hate speech should be protected by the First Amendment. In other words, they are somewhat less likely than other college students to express support for hate speech censorship (Knight Foundation, 2019). Future research could consider using a more representative sample in order to better understand social media users’ censorial attitudes toward online hate speech. Furthermore, we found that most of the TPE variables in this study failed to predict the behavioral component of TPE. In addition to the sampling bias, one plausible explanation of this limitation is that the participants could not distinguish between the comparison groups devised in the current study. According to Lo (2000), demographic characteristics like educational level and age could affect the self-other gap, which in turn could indirectly influence the behavioral outcomes of TPE. Future studies should examine other comparison groups (e.g., other Facebook users) to assess the predictive power of the self-other gap to TPE outcomes. Finally, although we were confident that our stimuli reflected common examples of hate speech found on Facebook, they by no means reflected the most extreme examples of hate speech out there, leading the results of this study to be relatively small. Previous hate speech studies suggested that targeted groups were more likely than the general public to be affected by hate speech. Therefore, instead of asking respondents perceived the effects of hate speech on the general public, the following studies could differentiate between attitudes of respondents toward themselves and the targeted groups. It is also certainly possible that scholars could find more robust results by using more extreme examples of different forms of hate speech as stimuli.

More inclined to share information consistent with our political orientation than information that is not; liberals are most biased with their political opponents, conservatives are most biased with their political allies

Ekstrom, Pierce D., and Calvin K. Lai. 2020. “The Selective Communication of Political Information.” PsyArXiv. June 18. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: People seek out and interpret political information in self-serving ways. In four experiments, we show that people are similarly self-serving in the political information they share with others. Participants learned about positive and negative effects of increasing the minimum wage (in Studies 1-3) or of banning assault weapons (Study 4). They then indicated how likely they would be to mention each effect to close others. Participants were more inclined to share information that was consistent with their political orientation than information that was not. This effect persisted even when participants believed the information, suggesting that selective communication is not just a reflection of motivated skepticism. We also observed ideological differences. Liberals were most biased with their political opponents, whereas conservatives were most biased with their political allies. This biased information sharing could distort the flow of political information through social networks in ways that exacerbate political polarization.

Infidelity rates, families of British troops, North Africa, 1940s

Infidelity rates, families of British troops, North Africa, 1940s

Source: Tyler Cowen, Jun 18 2020,, commenting on Daniel Todman’s Britain’s War 1942-1947.

About 55 percent of British servicemen in World War II were married. Furthermore, by mid-1943, British military units were dealing with almost one hundred cases of "family anxiety" a day, with about two-thirds of those being infidelity issues, summing yearly to about 7.5 percent of the married British servicemen in North Africa and the Middle East at that time.