Wednesday, August 19, 2020

I'm Simply the Best, Better Than All the Rest - Narcissistic Leaders and Corporate Fundraising Success

Gruda, Dritjon, Jim McCleskey, Dimitra Karanatsiou, and Athena Vakali. 2020. “I'm Simply the Best, Better Than All the Rest - Narcissistic Leaders and Corporate Fundraising Success.” PsyArXiv. August 17. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2020.110317

Abstract: We examine the relationship between leader grandiose narcissism, composed of admiration and rivalry, and corporate fundraising success in a sample of 2377 organizational leaders. To examine a large sample of leaders, we applied a machine-learning algorithm to predict leaders' personality scores based on leaders' Twitter profiles. We found that admiration was positively related to - while rivalry was negatively related to corporate fundraising success (in '000s). Analyses also showed that leader gender does not moderate this relationship, unlike initially expected. We discuss and compare our findings to previous work on narcissism and crowdfunding.

Interventions intended to reduce beliefs in climate change had much stronger effect than interventions to increase beliefs; we might tend to cling to information that gives us hope, downplaying the consequences

Rode, Jacob B., Amy Dent, Caitlin N. Benedict, Daniel B. Brosnahan, Ramona L. Martinez, and Peter Ditto. 2020. “Influencing Climate Change Attitudes: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” OSF Preprints. August 20. doi:10.31219/

Abstract: Researchers interested in climate change communication have investigated how people respond to messages about it. Through meta-analysis, the current research synthesizes the multitude of experimental studies on this topic to uncover which interventions are most effective at influencing attitudes about climate change. The meta-analysis focuses on experimental studies that included a control condition and measured climate change attitudes among participants in the United States. After a large literature search, 396 effect sizes were retrieved from 76 independent experiments (N = 76,054 participants). Intervention had a small, significant positive effect on attitudes, g = 0.08, 95% CI [0.06, 0.10], p < .001. Surprisingly, type of intervention was not a statistically significant moderator of this effect, nor was political affiliation. However, type of attitude was a significant moderator: the treatment-control difference in attitudes was smaller for policy support than for belief in climate change, indicating that policy attitudes are more resistant to influence than belief in climate change. Other moderators and publication bias were also tested. We conclude with policy implications and recommendations for future research.

Policy Support is Difficult to Influence

Our results indicate that climate change belief is much easier to influence than support for climate change policy. Unfortunately, policy support is arguably more important than belief with belief often seen as only instrumentally important to drive support for climate policies. Even if interventions were not effective for beliefs, meaningfully moving the dial in policy support would produce important implications for policymakers. For example, P. S. Hart and Feldman (2018) found that people were more receptive to policy when it was framed around air pollution rather than climate change, suggesting that there may be ways to garner policy support among climate skeptics without changing their minds about the existence of climate change. Although it is difficult to sway policy attitudes, there may be ways to influence policy support without first changing belief in climate change. Targeted interventions for specific policies may be articularly effective for meaningful climate action (e.g., highlighting policy effectiveness; Reynolds et al., 2020).

Future Directions

Future research should examine how and why attitudes about climate change are more sensitive to negative than positive messages about it. Moreover, future research could examine ways of offsetting this increased malleability to skeptical messages about climate change. Doing so would reduce the potential for increased uncertainty around climate science that so often sparks skepticism (e.g., Dunlap & Jacques, 2013).
In addition, our findings indicate that interventions were more effective if they were conducted in samples with a higher percentage of participants identifying as female and that attitude phrasing interacted with political affiliation. While we did not develop predictions about gender or attitude phrasing, the results may spark interest in future primary research on the topics. For example, a substantial body of research has investigated gender differences in environmental concern (e.g., Bloodhart & Swim, 2020; McCright, 2010). Future research could continue to investigate not only gender differences in climate change beliefs but also in differential response to interventions. In addition, we found that interventions were slightly more effective for conservatives when they used the term “global warming” than “climate change” (with the opposite pattern for liberals and moderates). These results add to a growing body of work on this topic (e.g., Soutter & Mõttus, 2020) and pose a new way of studying responses to the terms, namely comparing if interventions are differentially effective between them.
Our findings also suggest that research should investigate ways of making climate policy palatable. For example, previous research shows that avoiding the term “tax” is useful for garnering policy support (Hardisty et al., 2010, 2019). Additionally, framing policy as being supported by the ingroup may increase support, although findings using this strategy are somewhat mixed (Bolsen et al., 2019b; Fielding et al., 2020; Zhou, 2016). Future research should continue to focus on policy support as an intervention outcome (for a review, see Kyselá et al., 2019) and consider testing different types of policy support (e.g., word framing) along with the effectiveness of different types of interventions (e.g., ingroup support) on these more nuanced aspects of policy support.
Finally, the current meta-analysis is one of the first to organize the varied interventions on climate change attitudes into specific categories. While other unnamed categories of interventions may remain, future research could build upon past work in the same category identified in this project to help facilitate future attempts to integrate and reconcile this growing -- and potentially fracturing -- area of research.

The Dark Side of Morality: Neural Mechanisms Underpinning Moral Convictions and Support for Violence

Workman, Clifford I., Keith J. Yoder, and Jean Decety. 2020. “The Dark Side of Morality: Neural Mechanisms Underpinning Moral Convictions and Support for Violence.” PsyArXiv. August 18. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: People are motivated by shared social values that, when held with moral conviction, can serve as compelling mandates capable of facilitating support for ideological violence. The current study examined this dark side of morality by identifying specific cognitive and neural mechanisms associated with beliefs about the appropriateness of sociopolitical violence, and determining the extent to which the engagement of these mechanisms was predicted by moral convictions. Participants reported their moral convictions about a variety of sociopolitical issues prior to undergoing functional MRI scanning. During scanning, they were asked to evaluate the appropriateness of violent protests that were ostensibly congruent or incongruent with their views about sociopolitical issues. Complementary univariate and multivariate analytical strategies comparing neural responses to congruent and incongruent violence identified neural mechanisms implicated in processing salience and in the encoding of subjective value. As predicted, neuro-hemodynamic response was modulated parametrically by individuals’ beliefs about the appropriateness of congruent relative to incongruent sociopolitical violence in ventromedial prefrontal cortex, and by moral conviction in ventral striatum. Overall moral conviction was predicted by neural response to congruent relative to incongruent violence in amygdala. Together, these findings indicate that moral conviction about sociopolitical issues serves to increase their subjective value, overriding natural aversion to interpersonal harm.

Sociopolitical beliefs, when held with moral conviction, can license violence in service of those beliefs despite ordinarily being morally prohibited. This study characterized the neurocognitive mechanisms underpinning moral convictions about sociopolitical issues and beliefs about the appropriateness of ideological violence. Believing violence to be appropriate was associated with parametric increases in vmPFC, while stronger moral conviction was associated with parametric increases in VS and, overall, correlated negatively with activation in amygdala. Together, these findings indicate that moral convictions about sociopolitical issues may raise their subjective value, overriding our natural aversion to interpersonal harm. Value-based decision-making in social contexts provides a powerful platform for understanding sociopolitical and moral decision-making. Disentangling the neurocognitive mechanisms fundamental to value and choice can reveal—at a granular level—physiological boundaries that ultimately constrain our moral psychologies. The theoretical advances afforded by such an undertaking enable more accurate predictions about moral conviction and its impact on social decision-making.

Check also John Villasenor's Views among college students regarding the First Amendment: Results from a new survey. Brookings, September 18, 2017.
[...] a surprisingly large fraction of students believe it is acceptable to act—including resorting to violence—to shut down expression they consider offensive. And a majority of students appear to want an environment that shields them from being exposed to views they might find offensive.

Despite its apparent intuitiveness and widespread interest from across various fields, ‘effort’ is a variable that seems difficult to define; this article consider & define ‘effort’ during task performance

Steele, James. 2020. “What Is (perception Of) Effort? Objective and Subjective Effort During Task Performance.” PsyArXiv. June 6. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Despite its apparent intuitiveness and widespread interest from across various fields, ‘effort’ is a variable that seems difficult to define. The purpose of this article is to consider and define ‘effort’ during task performance. In doing so I argue for a distinction between the actual effort (objective effort) required, and the perception of that effort (subjective effort), during intentional performance of tasks. I adopt a set theoretical approach to defining both actual effort and the perception of effort as both constructs and concepts. Further, I aim to present discussion and definitions that are agnostic of the specific task demands being performed (i.e. physical, cognitive, self-control, or a combination of task demands). Throughout, I attempt to draw upon and synthesise thoughts and ideas from across a multitude of disciplines (though note that this is not intended to be an exhaustive interdisciplinary review), engage in considerable armchair philosophising, and also offer what small insights I have from my own experience both as someone experiencing ‘effort’, and as a third-person observer investigating it. This work is intended to, at the very least, make my own current conceptualisation and understanding of ‘effort’ transparent to other researchers, and aid in the interpretation of any subsequent empirical work on the topic. Further, I hope that it might be of use to researchers from the various fields interested in this topic, and assist in fostering opportunities for integration of learnings across disciplines. It is my intention for this work to support further understanding of the role of ‘effort’ and its perception from a broad scientific perspective.

Adopted Children with Lesbian, Gay, & Heterosexual Parents: Children & parents alike generally demonstrated a gender-conforming presentation; also no difference by parental orientation in children’s reports of friendship quality

Longitudinal Gender Presentation and Associated Outcomes Among Adopted Children with Lesbian, Gay, and Heterosexual Parents. Samuel T. Bruun & Rachel H. Farr. Journal of GLBT Family Studies, Aug 18 2020.

Abstract: Appearing culturally “gender-normative” represents one of the ways that gender identity is salient to others. In the context of continued controversy surrounding children’s gender role development in sexual minority parent families, the current study examined gender presentation (i.e., appearing gender-conforming or nonconforming) among adopted children and their lesbian, gay, and heterosexual parents across two time points over a five-year period (Wave 1: N = 106 families, child Mage  = 36.07 months; Wave 2: N = 96 families, child Mage  = 8.34 years). Children’s and parents’ gender presentation were observed and rated, focusing on gender-typed clothing and accessories, and then children’s gender presentation was compared with their self-reported friendship quality. Children and parents alike generally demonstrated a gender-conforming presentation; there were limited differences by parental sexual orientation (e.g., lesbian mothers displayed greater nonconforming presentation than other parents). There was also no difference by parental sexual orientation in children’s reports of friendship quality. Gender presentation was associated across time, with children’s nonconforming gender presentation in Wave 1 being positively associated with their nonconforming presentation in Wave 2. Children’s nonconforming gender presentation was negatively associated with children’s friendships with an interaction effect such that gender-nonconforming girls, but not boys, reported lower quality friendships.

Keywords: Children’s friendships, gender development, gender presentation, lesbian and gay parent families, longitudinal

The increasing availability of high potency cannabis increases the risk of developing cannabis psychosis, as a dose response relationship has been established as a risk factor

Are we any closer to identifying a causal relationship between cannabis and psychosis? Ian Hamilton, Harry Sumnall. Current Opinion in Psychology, August 1 2020.

• The increasing availability of high potency cannabis increases the risk of developing cannabis psychosis, as a dose response relationship has been established as a risk factor.
• Defining and standardizing terms and measurement of cannabis products and use could usefully transform research and practice for cannabis psychosis.
• Evidence based interventions for patients with cannabis psychosis are limited and those that show promise are symptom-specific rather than treating all symptoms.
• Liberalisation of cannabis policy in some countries may support studies designed to better understand the impact of cannabis on mental health

Abstract: This review provides the reader with an update on developments in research relating to cannabis psychosis. For over four decades researchers and clinicians have focused on the relationship between exposure to cannabis and the emergence of psychotic symptoms. This has proved to be a complicated topic to investigate but research has provided some valuable insights as to the nature of this relationship while also identifying the limits of our understanding.

There are significant gaps in understanding of almost every aspect of the journey that people who have cannabis psychosis experience. Not only are treatment options limited, but we still have little evidence to help reliably predict who is at risk of developing cannabis psychosis. This would provide an opportunity to intervene early to reduce the number of people who experience this type of problem, although it is unrealistic to think it would be eliminated completely.