Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Neither the dark triad nor general intelligence are meaningfully related to lying ability

The ability to lie and its relations to the dark triad and general intelligence. Moritz Michels, G√ľnter Molz, Frederic Maas. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 166, 1 November 2020, 110195. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110195

Abstract: The dark triad of personality (D3) – psychopathy, machiavellianism, and narcissism – is commonly conceived to be related to manipulative and deceptive abilities and is often regarded as an exploitative behavioral strategy. Some authors argue that the effectiveness of this strategy is moderated by other variables, e.g. intelligence. In our study participants prepared three short stories about personal incidences: Two had to be true and one had to be non-factual. The subjects told their stories in a laboratory setting while being videotaped. The SRP-4, the MACH VI and the NARQ were used to measure the dark triad. General intelligence was assessed with the WAIS-IV. Subsequently, raters judged which of the three stories was the non-factual one. In conclusion, participants' lying ability was operationalized by the number of raters not succeeding to identify the non-factual story. We tested if (a) the D3 and (b) intelligence were correlated with lying ability, and (c) the D3-lying-ability-relation was moderated by intelligence. The results indicated that neither the dark triad nor general intelligence are meaningfully related to lying ability and that general intelligence does not moderate the D3-lying-ability-relation. Our results challenge the view that the D3-traits enable individuals to exploit their social environment effectively.

Keywords: IntelligenceDark triadManipulationLying ability

Mating implicit compromise is lowering of ideal preferences to match one's own mate value, explicit compromise is choosing a mate who falls short of one's ideal preferences; both sexes engage in extensive implicit compromise

Implicit and explicit compromises in long-term partner choice. Melinda Williams, Danielle Sulikowski. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 166, 1 November 2020, 110226. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110226

• Assortative mating occurs when people select mates whose value matches their own.
• Implicit compromise is lowering of ideal preferences to match one's own mate value.
• Explicit compromise is choosing a mate who falls short of one's ideal preferences.
• Both sexes engage in extensive implicit compromise, driving assortative mating.
• Neither sex exhibits extensive explicit compromise in partner choice.

Abstract: Individuals select mates adaptively, adjusting their ideal partner preferences in accordance with their own mate value, and prevailing environmental conditions. They may then select a mate that falls short of these preferences if they are unable to locate or attract someone who meets their ideals. In the current study we investigated the extent to which men and women of varying mate value compromise their mate choice decisions implicitly (by lowering their preferred ideals) or explicitly (by choosing a partner who falls short of their declared). Participants reported on their ideal trait preferences, the traits of an actual long-term partner, and their own mate value. We observed that both men and women engaged in substantial implicit compromise, with lower stated ideal preferences across all potential partner traits, as participant self-perceived mate value decreased. Explicit compromises were comparatively rare and unrelated to an individual's own mate value. We conclude that implicit compromise from both men and women plays a far greater role than does explicit compromise in either sex in driving assortative mating.

Keywords: Ideal partner preferencesMate valueMate choiceCompromise

500 U.S. adults report on the likelihood they would engage in criminal behavior if all crime were legal on one day each year—18% of participants would be likely to take parte on some crime

Who Would ‘Purge’? Low Self-Control, Psychopathy, and Offending in the Absence of Legal Controls. Ryan C. Meldrum, Peter S. Lehmann, Jamie L. Flexon. Crime & Delinquency , July 6, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/0011128720940953

Abstract: The assumption that people are inherently self-interested and that legal controls are needed to prevent crime underlies several criminological perspectives. In the current study, this assumption is tested by having a sample of 500 U.S. adults report on the likelihood they would engage in criminal behavior if all crime were legal on one day each year—a scenario depicted in the 2013 film The Purge. Based on the presumption that at least some individuals would “purge,” the extent to which low self-control and psychopathy are associated with the likelihood of purging is also considered. Results indicate that 18% of participants would be likely to purge. In addition, both low self-control and psychopathy are positively associated with the likelihood of purging.

Keywords: low self-control, psychopathy, The Purge, social control, deterrence

UK COVID-19 lockdown: A slowing of the passage of time was associated with increasing age, increasing stress, reduced task load and reduced satisfaction with current levels of social interaction

The passage of time during the UK Covid-19 lockdown. Ruth S. Ogden. PLoS One, July 6, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0235871

Abstract: In March 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK Government imposed social and physical distancing measures on the population. These lockdown measures caused significant changes to all aspects of daily life. The current study examined how the passage of time was distorted during the lockdown period. Using an online questionnaire, day and week passage of time judgments were collected. In addition, measures of affect, task load and satisfaction with current levels of social interaction were taken. The results show that over 80% of participants experienced distortion to the passage of time during lockdown in comparison with normal. The passage of time during the day was predicted by age, stress, task load and satisfaction with current levels of social interaction. A slowing of the passage of time was associated with increasing age, increasing stress, reduced task load and reduced satisfaction with current levels of social interaction. Only age and satisfaction with current levels of social interaction predicted passage of time across a week. Again, increasing age and reduced satisfaction with levels of social interaction were associated with a slowing of the passage of time. These findings demonstrate that significant changes to daily life have a significant impact on our experience of time, with younger, more socially satisfied people more likely to experience time as passing more quickly during the lockdown.

Spiritual training is assumed to reduce self-enhancement, but may have the paradoxical effect of boosting superiority feelings, contributing to self- worth and communal narcissism

Vonk, Roos. 2020. “Spiritual Superiority.” PsyArXiv. July 4. doi:10.31234/osf.io/qh457

Abstract: Spiritual training is assumed to reduce self-enhancement, but may have the paradoxical effect of boosting superiority feelings. It can, thus, operate like other self-enhancement tools and contribute to a contingent self- worth that depends on one’s spiritual accomplishments. In three studies (N=533, N=2223, N=965), a brief measure of Spiritual Superiority showed good internal consistency and discriminant validity. As predicted, it was distinctly related to Spiritual Contingency of Self-Worth, illustrating that the self-enhancement function of spirituality is similar to other contingency domains. It was correlated with self-esteem and, more strongly, with communal narcissism, corroborating the notion of spiritual narcissism. Spiritual superiority scores were consistently higher among energetically trained participants than mindfulness trainees and were associated with Supernatural Overconfidence and self-ascribed Spiritual Guidance. Our results illustrate that the self- enhancement motive is powerful and deeply ingrained so that it can hijack methods intended to transcend the ego and, instead, adopt them to its own service.

Check also Petersen, Michael Bang, and Panagiotis Mitkidis. 2019. “A Sober Second Thought? A Pre-registered Experiment on the Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on Political Tolerance.” PsyArXiv. October 20. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/10/analyses-of-data-from-pilot-experiment.html

‘I Do Not Exist’: Pathologies of Self Among Western Buddhists. Judith Pickering. Journal of Religion and Health, June 2019, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 748–769. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2019/07/i-do-not-exist-pathologies-of-self.html

Mindfulness not related to behavioral & speech markers of emotional positivity (or less negativity), interpersonally better connected (quality or quantity), or prosocial orientation (more affectionate, less gossipy or complaining)Dispositional mindfulness in daily life:
Deanna M. Kaplan, L. Raison, Anne Milek, Allison M. Tackman, Thaddeus W. W. Pace, Matthias R. Mehl. PLOS, https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2018/11/mindfulness-not-related-to-behavioral.html

We argue that the ability to covertly monitor others without executing a look towards them is an important process that compensates for the risk of looking directly during certain social situations

I spy without my eye: Covert attention in human social interactions. Jill A. Dosso, Michelle Huynh, Alan Kingstone, Cognition, 104388, Jul 6 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2020.104388

Abstract: Looking at other people allows us to collect information about them, but it can also reveal our attentional state when we would rather conceal it. We report that individuals spontaneously employ sustained covert monitoring, rather than direct looking, when evaluating the actions of a live stranger. In contrast, individuals look directly at the actions of a stranger on video. We argue that the ability to secretly monitor live others without executing a look towards them is an important process that compensates for the risk of looking directly during certain social situations. Covert monitoring allows people to avoid visually communicating to others that they are the focus of one's attention. This represents a previously undocumented function of covert attention outside of the laboratory. It suggests that the relationship between covert attention and looking is dynamic and likely to be foundational to the successful navigation of real-world social situations.

Keywords: Covert attentionEyeReal-worldSocial behaviourVision

Results, therefore, suggest that the bilingual advantage in children’s executive control is small, variable, and potentially not attributable to the effect of language status

Lowe, Cassandra J. 2020. “The Bilingual Advantage in Children: A Meta-analytic Review.” PsyArXiv. July 7. doi:10.31234/osf.io/spjfg

Abstract: There is considerable debate about whether bilingual children are advantaged in executive functioning relative to monolingual children. The current meta-analysis addressed this debate by comprehensively reviewing the available evidence. Here, we synthesized data from published studies and unpublished datasets, which equated to 1209 effect sizes from 10,672 bilingual and 12,289 monolingual participants aged 3- to 17-years. Consistent with the bilingual advantage hypothesis, bilingual language status had a small effect on children’s executive functions (g =.08, 95% CI [.01, .14]). However, this effect was indistinguishable from zero after adjusting for bias (g=-.04, 95 % CI [-.12, .05]). Further, no significant effects were apparent within the executive attention, where the effects of language status are thought to be most pronounced (g =.08, 95% CI [.01, .14]). Results, therefore, suggest that the bilingual advantage in children’s executive control is small, variable, and potentially not attributable to the effect of language status.

Rather than making marriage less desirable, some forms of "low-cost sexual gratification" (pornography) imply a higher desire for marriage, one in which sex would be more consistently available

Does Low-Cost Sexual Gratification Make Men Less Eager to Marry? Pornography Use, Masturbation, Hookup Sex, and Desire to be Married among Single Men. Samuel Perry. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2020. https://www.academia.edu/43502365

Abstract: Coinciding with declining rates of marriage and coupled sex in the United States, some scholars have proposed that the growing availability of "low-cost sexual gratification" or "cheap sex"-sexual activities such as hookups, pornography use, and masturbation that demand little effort or investment-will lead men to find marital commitment less appealing. Using data from two nationally representative surveys of American adults (2012 New Family Structures Study, N = 349; 2014 Relationships in America Survey, N = 1,402), the current study tested the thesis that unmarried men's pornography use, masturbation habits, or frequency of recent hookup sex would be associated with a lower likelihood of them finding marriage desirable. This thesis was unsupported. In both surveys, masturbation and hookup sex were not associated with unmarried men wishing to be married, while pornography use was robustly and linearly associated with a higher likelihood of wanting to be married. This association was apparent at both the bivariate level and after taking into account sexual satisfaction, relationship status, beliefs about marriage, and a host of other potential confounds. Findings suggest that, rather than making marriage less desirable, some forms of "low-cost sexual gratification" such as pornography use predict a comparatively higher desire for marriage. The implications of these findings are considered in light of sex-exchange theories of marital commitment and the large body of previous research connecting pornography use to more liberal, non-monogamous sexual attitudes.

Numerous studies have elaborated and tested theories relating to heterosexual men and women engaging in “exchanges” for sex, either implicitly in romantic relationships or more explicitly in sex work. While Malcolm and Naufal (2016) found a robust association between Internet pornography use and lower marriage rates among men, no studies tested whether access to forms of “low-cost sexual gratification” is associated with men’s lower expressed desire for marriage. Using two nationally representative data sets with nearly identical measures, the current study found no evidence that hookup sex, masturbation, or pornography use, either at the bivariate level or with proper controls in place, seemed to disincline single men from wanting to be married. Moreover, while sexual dissatisfaction did indeed seem to be a strong correlate of single, never-married men wanting to be married (Regnerus, 2017), “low-cost” sexual alternatives did not seem to mitigate that association. Indeed, even with all the low/nocommitment sexual activities included in full models in Tables 3 and 4, the odds ratios of sexual dissatisfaction were only slightly reduced, and not at all in their statistical significance. Conversely, pornography viewing frequency turned out to be a significant, positive predictor of wanting to be married even when relationship status, beliefs about marriage, sex frequency, masturbation, and sexual satisfaction were taken into account. In other words, holding constant how much casual sex single men were having, their level of satisfaction with that sex, how much they masturbate, or even their views about marriage as an institution, viewing pornography did not seem to make them less inclined to want marriage, but could, in fact, make them more interested in the prospect of a committed romantic relationship. How might that happen? Pornography use cannot merely be a proxy for men’s desire to experience some sort of immediate sexual gratification that marriage might provide since the models control for sexual contentment, as well as masturbation, sexual frequency, and romantic involvement. And while several bivariate associations (Table 2) and multivariate associations (e.g., hookup sex in Table 3, Model 2) suggest that low/no-commitment sexual alternatives might disincline single men from preferring marriage, it could be that pornography use simply does not provide an alternative to committed romantic relationships as some propose (e.g., Malcolm & Naufal, 2016; Perry & Longest, 2018; Regnerus, 2017, 2019). To nuance the “low-cost sexual gratification” thesis, perhaps pornography in particular does not replace committed, romantic relationships, but stimulates a desire for a committed relationship in which sex would be more consistently available. As Regnerus (2017, pp. 42-43) pointed out, even single men who are engaging in “cheap-sex” activities anticipate that they will eventually get married. Regnerus (2017) explains, “Many men anticipate their own greater willingness to eventually pay the elevated price (of marriage)…And even though they may feel like they’re in the driver’s seat in the marriage market, ideal spouses grow less numerous with time” (pp. 42-43). Though studies have suggested pornography use may stimulate a desire for casual, non-monogamous sex (Grubbs et al., 2019; Tokunaga et al., 2019; Wright & Tokunaga, 2016; Wright et al., 2014), it is possible that pornography use may promote more “strategic” or “anticipatory” thinking among men, namely, provoking a desire for situations in which sex would be more readily available long-term. Indeed, while some empirical research suggests that frequent pornography use is associated with greater interest in non-monogamous sexual relationships (see studies reviewed in Grubbs et al., 2019), nuanced with the findings presented here, it may be that pornography use indirectly inclines unmarried men to opt into the sort of long-term commitment marriage entails (Malcolm & Naufal, 2016; Regnerus, 2017, 2019). There were limitations of these data. Most importantly, they were cross-sectional and thus causal relationships cannot be definitively demonstrated. Closely related to this limitation is the fact that these data only measure single men’s expressed desire to be married, which is different from capturing their likelihood of actually getting married later on. While desire for marriage does directly test a thesis put forward by the “low-cost sexual gratification” argument, it would obviously be necessary to take actual outcomes into account in order to demonstrate whether pornography use, masturbation, or hookup sex contributed to a higher likelihood of eventual marriage among young men. Future studies testing these theories would ideally use longitudinal designs wherein scholars can examine the influence of pornography use or hookup sex on the relationship trajectories of men and women over their life course (Perry & Longest, 2018 represented a preliminary attempt at this). Another limitation is that the measure of “hookup sex” (sexual frequency in the past 1-2 weeks × not currently in a relationship) was less direct than desirable. While the end result was arguably the same as it would have been otherwise, future studies on this topic would benefit from a more direct measure of hookup sex that would inquire about participants’ frequency of casual sex with partners with whom the participant is not currently in a relationship.

Along these lines, due to data limitations, this study was not able to test one aspect of Regnerus’ (2017) overall thesis, which was that earlier time-to-sex in romantic relationships also introduced a form of low-commitment sexual gratification that women felt pressured to offer (because of alternatives like pornography, hookups, etc.) that could potentially disincline men to be interested in marital commitment. Future studies would ideally inquire about young people in the earlier stages of their romantic relationship and how long into their relationship they had sex. Lastly, while the link between pornography use and desire for marriage in both surveys was clearly robust, it was not possible to discern the precise mechanisms behind greater pornography use and men’s desire to be married. Qualitative interviews would be more ideal to flesh out exactly how frequent pornography viewers think about marriage. These limitations notwithstanding, the current study has extended our understanding of the contemporary association between low/no-commitment sexual activities and desire for marriage among single, never-married men. Though declining rates of marriage and coupled sex are likely the result of a variety of interrelated factors, findings from the current study suggest that one of those factors is unlikely to be declining interest among young men that results from engaging in “low-cost” sexual alternatives like pornography use, masturbation, and hookup sex. Masturbation and hookup sex were ultimately unrelated to single-men’s preference to be married, and pornography use was associated with greater desire for marriage among single men. Yet it is worth thinking about whether these observed associations may be any different in the future. Though the relationship between hookup sex and desire for marriage, for example, was non-significant in the full models of the 2012 NFSS, it was marginal (p = .052), and was statistically significant at .05 before pornography and masturbation were taken into account (Table 3, Model 2). It could be that while pornography use, and perhaps masturbation (Table 4, Model 3), may incline single, never-married men to pursue marriage, greater access to casual sex does provide a weak disincentive to get married. As the interviewees in Huang et al.’s (2011) analysis suspected, it may be that easier access to sexual activity, as long as it is with a real person, could make men less inclined to get married. This would be consistent with Regnerus’ (2017) argument that earlier time-to-sex in heterosexual romantic relationships (because they exchange sex for little commitment) are the sort of “low-cost” sexual alternative that might disincline men to commit to marriage. As casual sex becomes less stigmatized within society, scholars should revisit these findings in order to discern whether hookups now provide a robust disinclination for men to marry. So too, as more couples intentionally opt for long-term cohabiting relationships rather than formal marriage, scholars could also revisit how earlier sex, hookup sex, and other forms of low-commitment sexual activity may play a role.