Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Poker is a game of skill and chance involving economic decision-making under uncertainty, with a strong potential as a model system for studying high-stakes, high-risk expert performance

Poker as a Domain of Expertise. Jussi Palomäki, Michael Laakasuo, Benjamin Ultan Cowley, and Otto Lappi. Journal of Expertise, Vol. 3(2). Jun 2020.

Abstract: Poker is a game of skill and chance involving economic decision-making under uncertainty. It is also a complex but well-defined real-world environment with a clear rule-structure. As such, poker has strong potential as a model system for studying high-stakes, high-risk expert performance. Poker has been increasingly used as a tool to study decision-making and learning, as well as emotion self-regulation. In this review, we discuss how these studies have begun to inform us about the interaction between emotions and technical skill, and how expertise develops and depends on these two factors. Expertise in poker critically requires both mastery of the technical aspects of the game, and proficiency in emotion regulation; poker thus offers a good environment for studying these skills in controlled experimental settings of high external validity. We conclude by suggesting ideas for future research on expertise, with new insights provided by poker.

Keywords: Economic decisions, probabilistic decision-making, risk, expertise, poker

Respondents rated photographs of patients with facial paralysis significantly lower in likeability, trustworthiness, attractiveness, and femininity or masculinity

Association of Facial Paralysis With Perceptions of Personality and Physical Traits. Keon M. Parsa. JAMA Netw Open. 2020;3(6):e205495, June 24 2020, doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.5495

Key Points
Question  How is facial paralysis associated with the perception of attractiveness, femininity or masculinity, and personality, and do patient-reported outcome measures correlate with how patients are perceived by others?

Findings  In this cross-sectional study including 20 patients with facial paralysis and 122 survey respondents, respondents rated photographs of patients with facial paralysis significantly lower in likeability, trustworthiness, attractiveness, and femininity or masculinity compared with the digitally edited images of patients without facial paralysis. Higher social function and total Facial Clinimetric Evaluation scores were associated with increased trustworthiness and attractiveness scores.

Meaning  These results broaden understanding of how facial paralysis is associated with societal perceptions of persona.

Importance  Facial paralysis has a significant effect on affect display, with the most notable deficit being patients’ the inability to smile in the same way as those without paralysis. These impairments may result in undesirable judgements of personal qualities, thus leading to a significant social penalty in those who have the condition.

Objective  To quantify the association of facial paralysis with the way smiling patients are perceived by others with respect to personality traits, attractiveness, and femininity or masculinity and to evaluate the potential association of facial palsy–related patient-reported outcome measures with how patients are perceived by others.

Design, Setting, and Participants  This retrospective cross-sectional study used 20 images of smiling patients with facial paralysis evaluated between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2016. Using photograph editing software, the photographs were edited to create a simulated nonparalysis smiling facial appearance. A total of 40 photographs were split into 4 groups of 10 photographs, each with 5 altered and 5 unaltered photographs. The surveys were designed such that altered and unaltered photographs of the same patient were not placed in the same survey to avoid recall bias. Anonymous raters used a 7-point Likert scale to rate their perception of each patient’s personality traits (ie, aggressiveness, likeability, and trustworthiness), attractiveness, and femininity or masculinity based on photographs in their assigned survey. Raters were blinded to study intent. Scores from the Facial Clinimetric Evaluation questionnaire were included to assess self-perception. Data were analyzed from November 11, 2019, to February 20, 2020.

Main Outcomes and Measures  Ratings of personality traits, attractiveness, and femininity or masculinity. Social function domain scores and overall scores were analyzed from the Facial Clinimetric Evaluation questionnaire.

Results  This study included photographs of 20 patients with facial paralysis (mean [range] age, 54 [28-69] years; 15 [75%] women). A total of 122 respondents completed the survey (71 [61%] women). Most respondents were between the ages of 25 and 34 years (79 participants [65%]). Overall, smiling photos of patients with facial paralysis were perceived as significantly less likeable (difference, −0.29; 95% CI, −0.43 to −0.14), trustworthy (difference, −0.25; 95% CI, −0.39 to −0.11), attractive (difference, −0.47; 95% CI, −0.62 to −0.32), and feminine or masculine (difference, −0.21; 95% CI, −0.38 to −0.03) compared with their simulated preparalysis photographs. When analyzed by sex, smiling women with facial paralysis experienced lower ratings for likeability (difference, −0.34; 95% CI, −0.53 to −0.16), trustworthiness (difference, −0.24; 95% CI, −0.43 to −0.06), attractiveness (difference, −0.74; 95% CI, −0.94 to −0.55), and femininity (difference, −0.35; 95% CI, −0.58 to −0.13). However, smiling men with facial paralysis only received significantly lower ratings for likeability (difference, −0.24; 95% CI, −0.47 to −0.01) and trustworthiness (difference, −0.30; 95% CI, −0.53 to −0.07). As patients’ self-reported social function and total Facial Clinimetric Evaluation scores increased, there was an increase in perceived trustworthiness (rs[480] = 0.11; P = .02) and attractiveness (rs[478] = 0.10; P = .04) scores by raters.

Conclusions and Relevance  In this study, photographs of patients with facial paralysis received lower ratings for several personality and physical traits compared with digitally edited images with no facial paralysis. These findings suggest a social penalty associated with facial paralysis.

The Duchenne smile is classically described as the anatomical marker of the genuine smile. The smile is distinctive, with the mouth turning up from the activation of the zygomatic major muscle, the cheeks lifting, and the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes (also known as crow’s feet) associated with simultaneous contraction of the orbicularis oculi. The absence of the Duchenne smile not only influences how people evaluate smiles but also how they are judged by others.29,30
The findings of this cross-sectional study suggest that the inability to effectively smile is associated with negative perceptions in likeability, trustworthiness, attractiveness, and femininity or masculinity for patients with facial paralysis. Paralysis affecting the mouth is among the most notable of facial asymmetries, such that palsies of the zygomatic and marginal branches of the facial nerve are considered to have a significantly greater need for correction.11,12 Interestingly, reanimation surgery of the lip significantly decreases the degree of attention to the mouth and can help decrease negative perceptions of patients with facial paralysis.31
A universal finding for our patient population was lower perceived trustworthiness for the photographs of patients with facial paralysis vs their digitally altered counterparts. Research in the psychological and social sciences corroborate these findings, such that a happy facial expression makes a person appear more trustworthy.31,32 Furthermore, having a facial appearance that conveys a positive emotional state enhances trust.33-35 These findings highlight the social significance of the asymmetric smile and the importance of further progress in the development of techniques to assist in mitigating the effects of facial paralysis.
It is interesting to find that men and women with facial paralysis did not experience the same social penalty with respect to their facial paralysis. The relative decrease in attractiveness and femininity perceived in women with facial paralysis likely reflects the different social expectations by sex in our society. This is consistent with the results reported in a 2019 study36 that suggest that the appearance of a smile is not as integral to the perception of masculinity as it is to femininity.
Lastly, there was a correlation between the way patients with facial paralysis perceived themselves and how they were perceived by others. Specifically, as self-perception of social function and overall facial function improved, there was an increase in perceived trustworthiness and attractiveness by others. This is similar to the results reported by Lyford-Pike et al37 that suggest that higher FaCE scores correspond with decreased perception of disfigurement by patients.
It is important to note that this study included patients with facial paralysis presenting with a range of facial impairment. Not all patients with facial paralysis experienced a significant decrease in the perception of their personality traits, femininity or masculinity, and attractiveness. More research is needed to better understand the different variables that can optimize outcomes at the individual patient level.

There are several limitations to this study. This study was performed using static smiling images, but other studies have found that observers judged the severity of paralyzed faces to be more noticeable when viewing dynamic expressions.38 In addition, as this study included only patients willing to have their photos viewed by others, there may have been a selection bias rendering the study patient group to be less reflective of the true gamut of patients with facial paralysis.39

Twitter: While partisan opinion leaders are certainly polarized, centrist/non-political voices are much more likely to produce the most visible information; & there is little evidence of echo-chambers in consumption

Mukerjee, Subhayan, Kokil Jaidka, and Yphtach Lelkes. 2020. “The Ideological Landscape of Twitter: Comparing the Production Versus Consumption of Information on the Platform.” OSF Preprints. June 23. doi:10.31219/

Abstract: There are mounting concerns that the information environment on Twitter is fragmented along ideological lines, with users ensconced into echo chambers with limited exposure to cross-cutting views. Previous studies have typically relied on small populations of political elites or opinion leaders to appraise this level of fragmentation. This study makes two main advancements over the existing body of literature. First, it identifies the need to make the distinction between information production and consumption. Second, it proposes weighted estimates of ideology, based on active use, to better assess the extent of polarization on the platform. Our analyses find little evidence that Twitter, at least in the United States, is polarized based on how information is produced by opinion leaders. While partisan opinion leaders are certainly polarized, centrist or non-political voices are much more likely to produce the most visible information on the platform. Analysis of co-exposure networks of how ordinary Americans follow these opinion leaders similarly reveals little evidence of echo-chambers in consumption. However, while the extent of ideological selective consumption is low, there does exist a small but dedicated audience for conservative opinion leaders on the platform.

Check also Echo Chambers Exist! (But They're Full of Opposing Views). Jonathan Bright, Nahema Marchal, Bharath Ganesh, Stevan Rudinac. arXiv Jan 30 2020. arXiv:2001.11461.

And: The rise in the political polarization in recent decades is not accounted for by the dramatic rise in internet use; claims that partisans inhabit wildly segregated echo chambers/filter bubbles are largely overstated:
Deri, Sebastian. 2019. “Internet Use and Political Polarization: A Review.” PsyArXiv. November 6.

And Testing popular news discourse on the “echo chamber” effect: Does political polarisation occur among those relying on social media as their primary politics news source? Nguyen, A. and Vu, H.T. First Monday, 24 (5), 6. Jun 4 2019.

Check also
Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth. Dan M Kahan. Scientific American, Dec 03 2018. 
Baum, J., Rabovsky, M., Rose, S. B., & Abdel Rahman, R. (2018). Clear judgments based on unclear evidence: Person evaluation is strongly influenced by untrustworthy gossip. Emotion, 
The key mechanism that generates scientific polarization involves treating evidence generated by other agents as uncertain when their beliefs are relatively different from one’s own: 
Scientific polarization. Cailin O’Connor, James Owen Weatherall. European Journal for Philosophy of Science. October 2018, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 855–875. 
Polarized Mass or Polarized Few? Assessing the Parallel Rise of Survey Nonresponse and Measures of Polarization. Amnon Cavari and Guy Freedman. The Journal of Politics, 
Tappin, Ben M., and Ryan McKay. 2018. “Moral Polarization and Out-party Hate in the US Political Context.” PsyArXiv. November 2. 
Forecasting tournaments, epistemic humility and attitude depolarization. Barbara Mellers, PhilipTetlock, Hal R. Arkes. Cognition, 
Does residential sorting explain geographic polarization? Gregory J. Martin & Steven W. Webster. Political Science Research and Methods, 
Liberals and conservatives have mainly moved further apart on a wide variety of policy issues; the divergence is substantial quantitatively and in its plausible political impact: intra party moderation has become increasingly unlikely: 
Peltzman, Sam, Polarizing Currents within Purple America (August 20, 2018). SSRN: 
Does Having a Political Discussion Help or Hurt Intergroup Perceptions? Drawing Guidance From Social Identity Theory and the Contact Hypothesis. Robert M. Bond, 
Hillary C. Shulman, Michael Gilbert. Bond Vol 12 (2018),

All the interactions took the form of subjects rating stories offering ‘ammunition’ for their own side of the controversial issue as possessing greater intrinsic news importance:
Perceptions of newsworthiness are contaminated by a political usefulness bias. Harold Pashler, Gail Heriot. Royal Society Open Science, 
When do we care about political neutrality? The hypocritical nature of reaction to political bias. Omer Yair, Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan. PLOS, 
Democrats & Republicans were both more likely to believe news about the value-upholding behavior of their in-group or the value-undermining behavior of their out-group; Republicans were more likely to believe & want to share apolitical fake news:
Pereira, Andrea, and Jay Van Bavel. 2018. “Identity Concerns Drive Belief in Fake News.” PsyArXiv. September 11. 
In self-judgment, the "best option illusion" leads to Dunning-Kruger (failure to recognize our own incompetence). In social judgment, it leads to the Cassandra quandary (failure to identify when another person’s competence exceeds our own): The best option illusion in self and social assessment. David Dunning. Self and Identity, 
People are more inaccurate when forecasting their own future prospects than when forecasting others, in part the result of biased visual experience. People orient visual attention and resolve visual ambiguity in ways that support self-interests: "Visual experience in self and social judgment: How a biased majority claim a superior minority." Emily Balcetis & Stephanie A. Cardenas. Self and Identity, 
Can we change our biased minds? Michael Gross. Current Biology, Volume 27, Issue 20, 23 October 2017, Pages R1089–R1091. 
Summary: A simple test taken by millions of people reveals that virtually everybody has implicit biases that they are unaware of and that may clash with their explicit beliefs. From policing to scientific publishing, all activities that deal with people are at risk of making wrong decisions due to bias. Raising awareness is the first step towards improving the outcomes.
People believe that future others' preferences and beliefs will change to align with heir own:
The Belief in a Favorable Future. Todd Rogers, Don Moore and Michael Norton. Psychological Science, Volume 28, issue 9, page(s): 1290-1301, 
Kahan, Dan M. and Landrum, Asheley and Carpenter, Katie and Helft, Laura and Jamieson, Kathleen Hall, Science Curiosity and Political Information Processing (August 1, 2016). Advances in Political Psychology, Forthcoming; Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 561. Available at SSRN:
Abstract: This paper describes evidence suggesting that science curiosity counteracts politically biased information processing. This finding is in tension with two bodies of research. The first casts doubt on the existence of “curiosity” as a measurable disposition. The other suggests that individual differences in cognition related to science comprehension - of which science curiosity, if it exists, would presumably be one - do not mitigate politically biased information processing but instead aggravate it. The paper describes the scale-development strategy employed to overcome the problems associated with measuring science curiosity. It also reports data, observational and experimental, showing that science curiosity promotes open-minded engagement with information that is contrary to individuals’ political predispositions. We conclude by identifying a series of concrete research questions posed by these results.
Keywords: politically motivated reasoning, curiosity, science communication, risk perception
Facebook news and (de)polarization: reinforcing spirals in the 2016 US election. Michael A. Beam, Myiah J. Hutchens & Jay D. Hmielowski. Information, Communication & Society, 
The Partisan Brain: An Identity-Based Model of Political Belief. Jay J. Van Bavel, Andrea Pereira. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 
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