Friday, August 28, 2020

Despite compliment givers’ anxiety at the prospect of giving compliments, they felt better after having done so; we misestimate our compliments’ value to others, & so we refrain from engaging in this prosocial behavior

Why a Simple Act of Kindness Is Not as Simple as It Seems: Underestimating the Positive Impact of Our Compliments on Others. Erica J. Boothby, Vanessa K. Bohns. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, August 28, 2020.

Abstract: A simple compliment can make someone’s day, start a new friendship, or just make the world a better, kinder place. So, why don’t people give more compliments? Perhaps people misforecast the effect their compliment will have. Five studies explored this possibility. In Studies 1a and 1b, compliment givers underestimated how positively the person receiving their compliment would feel, with consequences for their likelihood of giving a compliment. Compliment givers also overestimated how bothered and uncomfortable the recipient would feel (Study 2)—and did so even in hindsight (Study 3). Compliment givers’ own anxiety and concern about their competence led to their misprediction, whereas third-party forecasters were accurate (Study 4). Finally, despite compliment givers’ anxiety at the prospect of giving compliments across our studies, they felt better after having done so (Study 4). Our studies suggest that people misestimate their compliments’ value to others, and so they refrain from engaging in this prosocial behavior.

Keywords: compliment, social influence, prosocial behavior, well-being, conversation

Spontaneous remission of dementia before death: Results from a study on paradoxical lucidity

BatthyƔny, A., & Greyson, B. (2020). Spontaneous remission of dementia before death: Results from a study on paradoxical lucidity. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice, Aug 2020.

Abstract: The aim of this research was to study paradoxical lucidity—the unexpected return of cognition and communication in patients with diagnosed dementia—systematically in a contemporary sample. We conducted a survey of caregivers who had witnessed at least one case of paradoxical lucidity in the year prior to survey completion. We assessed diagnosis and degree of preexisting cognitive impairment, cognitive state during the lucid episode, and temporal proximity of the lucid episode to death. Detailed case reports of 124 dementia patients who experienced an episode of paradoxical lucidity were received. In more than 80% of these cases, complete remission with return of memory, orientation, and responsive verbal ability was reported by observers of the lucid episode. The majority of patients died within hours to days after the episode. Further prospective study is warranted, as paradoxical lucidity suggests that there may exist a reversible and functional aspect of pathophysiology in severe dementia.

Check also Check also Paradoxical lucidity: A potential paradigm shift for the neurobiology and treatment of severe dementias. George A. Mashoura et al. Check also Alzheimer's & Dementia, Volume 15, Issue 8, August 2019, Pages 1107-1114.

Abstract: Unexpected cognitive lucidity and communication in patients with severe dementias, especially around the time of death, have been observed and reported anecdotally. Here, we review what is known about this phenomenon, related phenomena that provide insight into potential mechanisms, ethical implications, and methodologic considerations for systematic investigation. We conclude that paradoxical lucidity, if systematically confirmed, challenges current assumptions and highlights the possibility of network-level return of cognitive function in cases of severe dementias, which can provide insight into both underlying neurobiology and future therapeutic possibilities.
4. Possible mechanisms of PL
Several forms of dementia, including Alzheimer's dementia, are largely associated with irreversible degeneration of the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus, resulting in confusion, disorientation, and memory loss, among other symptoms [35][36]. Because the episodes of PL occur rather suddenly, it is unlikely that regeneration of neurons can account for them. Such fluctuations may reflect complex adjustments in signaling cascades, synaptic modifications, neuronal network interactions, and, perhaps, temporary reversal of, or compensation for, chronic functional inhibition due to neurotoxic proteins [37]. We acknowledge that there are different modes of cognitive fluctuation in varying types of dementia [38][39], such as dementia with Lewy bodies. As noted in the Introduction, our focus is on the dramatic behavioral recovery at the time when the functional consequences of the neurodegeneration are thought to be irreversible, although a more comprehensive understanding of mechanisms of cognitive fluctuation across the full disease course for a range of dementias is lacking.
There have been no neuroscientific studies of PL, and thus, any mechanistic framework must be considered speculative. However, the related phenomena described previously speak to the biological possibility of PL and provide some insight into a potential mechanism. Because episodes of PL often occur just before death, the emerging neurobiological data related to NDEs are of relevance. As noted, surges of neurophysiological activity have been observed in humans just before death in the critical or operative care setting [21][22][23] and in experimental rodent models after cardiac or respiratory arrest [24]. It is thus conceivable that some patients with severe dementia might also experience a surge of neurophysiological activity before death, which is manifested as a lucid episode. Furthermore, extrapolating from studies of rats assessing neurochemistry after two minutes of asphyxia [25], it is possible that as oxygen and glucose levels fall or fluctuate, there is a surge of neurotransmitter levels that results in transient or metastable activation of the brain. However, such surges of electrical activity or neurotransmitter release do not explain how there can be enhanced synchronization or communication across the brain, which has been observed in dying rats and which could possibly account for a spontaneous recovery of cogent behavior in a patient with severe dementia. A network-level explanation is likely required.
The dynamics of complex networks are of relevance to neural function and have long been studied in the field of physics. There are precedents for the spontaneous recovery of nonbiological networks after periods of inactivity or damage [40]. In fact, network concepts related to “amplitude death” and “oscillation death” might be applicable to the observed surge in neurophysiological coherence just before functional network breakdown in the brain around the time of death. Using a Stuart-Landau model, one investigation described the dynamics of how such oscillations can spontaneously “revive,” [41] while another study described how the revival of such oscillations can be accompanied by rhythmicity and dynamic activity across the network [42]. These concepts have also been instantiated in neuronal models, with the conclusion that at a certain point of neuronal inhibition in a sparsely connected network, there is a counterintuitive “rebirth” of neuronal activity [43] that is manifested across the network. Furthermore, conditions for rapid and nonlinear synchronization (sometimes referred to as “explosive synchronization”) occur in association with arousal when brain network hubs are suppressed [44], as in dementia [45].
Thus, although the mechanism of PL is unknown, there is evidence that the dying or hypoxic brain can generate neurochemical and neuroelectrical surges that might be associated with the network dynamics of complex systems and that might generate spontaneous network integration manifesting as lucid behavior. We emphasize that this is speculative, but computational modeling studies of large-scale brain networks, which have been applied to Alzheimer's disease, could be investigated to establish foundational credibility for such network phenomena in those with severe dementia. It must also be noted that there may not be a unique mechanism for PL that is restricted to the days before death but rather a mechanism that is common to cognitive fluctuations in less severe stages of the disease [12][13]. Furthermore, changes in systemic factors, rather than intrinsic neural dynamics, might drive the causal mechanisms responsible for lucid episodes. For example, one case report of a patient with Parkinson's disease dementia was able to correlate cognitive fluctuations with paroxysmal episodes of hypotension [46]. Thus, systemic physiologic factors must also be considered in the mechanism of PL.

We find considerable warming biases in the CMIP6 modeled trends, & we show that these biases are linked to biases in surface temperature (these models simulate an unrealistically large global warming)

The vertical profile of recent tropical temperature trends: Persistent model biases in the context of internal variability. Dann M. Mitchell et al. Environmental Research Letters, June 2020.

Abstract: Tropospheric and stratospheric tropical temperature trends in recent decades have been notoriously hard to simulate using climate models, notably in the upper troposphere. Aside from the warming trend itself, this has broader implications, e.g. atmospheric circulation trends depend on latitudinal temperature gradients. In this study, tropical temperature trends in the CMIP6 models are examined, from 1979 to 2014, and contrasted with trends from the RICH/RAOBCORE radiosondes, and the ERA5/5.1 reanalysis. As in earlier studies, we find considerable warming biases in the CMIP6 modeled trends, and we show that these biases are linked to biases in surface temperature (these models simulate an unrealistically large global warming). We also uncover previously undocumented biases in the lower-middle stratosphere: the CMIP6 models appear unable to capture the time evolution of stratospheric cooling, which is non-monotonic owing to the Montreal Protocol. Finally, using models with large ensembles, we show that their standard deviation in tropospheric temperature trends, which is due to internal variability alone, explains ∼50% (±20%) of that from the CMIP6 models.

Swingers and polyamorists: Discrediting varied aspects of monogamy can alter gender power dynamics and, under certain circumstances, substantially erode gender hierarchy

From 2019... Swingers and polyamorists: A comparative analysis of gendered power dynamics. Michelle Wolkomir. Sexualities, October 24, 2019.

Abstract: American culture reveres monogamy, holding it up as an ideal moral standard, as a kind of Holy Grail for intimacy, and as a cornerstone for establishing normative social interactions. Monogamy, as often practiced, also prescribes and reproduces binary and hierarchical gender relations. Given these interconnections, how do people in non-monogamous relationships conceptualize gender? To explore this question, this study examines how people experience two varied forms of non-monogamy—swinging and polyamory. A comparative analysis of data from in-depth interviews with 22 swingers and 23 polyamorists illustrates how discrediting varied aspects of monogamy can alter gender power dynamics and, under certain circumstances, substantially erode gender hierarchy.

Keywords: Gender inequality, heterosexuality, monogamy, polyamory, swinging

There has long been skepticism among both scientists and laypersons that male bisexual orientation exists; paper finds robust evidence that male sexual orientation is expressed on a continuum

Robust evidence for bisexual orientation among men. Jeremy Jabboura et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jun 2020.

Significance: There has long been skepticism among both scientists and laypersons that male bisexual orientation exists. Skeptics have claimed that men who self-identify as bisexual are actually homosexual or heterosexual. (The existence of female bisexuality has been less controversial.) This controversy can be resolved using objective, genital responses of men to male and female erotic stimuli. We combined nearly all available data (from eight previous American, British, and Canadian studies) to form a dataset of more than 500 men, much larger than any previous individual study, and conducted rigorous statistical tests. Results provided compelling evidence that bisexualidentified men tend to show bisexual genital and subjective arousal patterns. Male sexual orientation is expressed on a continuum rather than dichotomously.

Abstract: The question whether some men have a bisexual orientation—that is, whether they are substantially sexually aroused and attracted to both sexes—has remained controversial among both scientists and laypersons. Skeptics believe that male sexual orientation can only be homosexual or heterosexual, and that bisexual identification reflects nonsexual concerns, such as a desire to deemphasize homosexuality. Although most bisexual-identified men report that they are attracted to both men and women, self-report data cannot refute these claims. Patterns of physiological (genital) arousal to male and female erotic stimuli can provide compelling evidence for male sexual orientation. (In contrast, most women provide similar physiological responses to male and female stimuli.) We investigated whether men who self-report bisexual feelings tend to produce bisexual arousal patterns. Prior studies of this issue have been small, used potentially invalid statistical tests, and produced inconsistent findings. We combined nearly all previously published data (from eight previous studies in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada), yielding a sample of 474 to 588 men (depending on analysis). All participants were cisgender males. Highly robust results showed that bisexual-identified men’s genital and subjective arousal patterns were more bisexual than were those who identified as exclusively heterosexual or homosexual. These findings support the view that male sexual orientation contains a range, from heterosexuality, to bisexuality, to homosexuality.

Keywords: sexual orientation | bisexuality | sexual arousal | Kinsey scale | sexuality

From 2019... Foundational assumptions of the "random effects" model used pervasively in psychology impose far stronger constraints on the generalizability of results than most researchers appreciate

From 2019... Yarkoni, Tal. 2019. “The Generalizability Crisis.” PsyArXiv. November 22. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Most theories and hypotheses in psychology are verbal in nature, yet their evaluation overwhelmingly relies on inferential statistical procedures. The validity of the move from qualitative to quantitative analysis depends on the verbal and statistical expressions of a hypothesis being closely aligned—that is, that the two must refer to roughly the same set of hypothetical observations. Here I argue that most inferential statistical tests in psychology fail to meet this basic condition. I demonstrate how foundational assumptions of the "random effects" model used pervasively in psychology impose far stronger constraints on the generalizability of results than most researchers appreciate. Ignoring these constraints dramatically inflates false positive rates and routinely leads researchers to draw sweeping verbal generalizations that lack any meaningful connection to the statistical quantities they are putatively based on. I argue that the routine failure to consider the generalizability of one's conclusions from a statistical perspective lies at the root of many of psychology's ongoing problems (e.g., the replication crisis), and conclude with a discussion of several potential avenues for improvement.

School bullying victimization was far less frequently recalled by the Chinese sample (6.2%–12.6%) than the German sample (29.3%–37.0%); bullies in China had poor mental health comparable to victims

Bullies Get Away With It, But Not Everywhere: Mental Health Sequelae of Bullying in Chinese and German Students. Muyu Lin et al. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, August 17, 2020.

Abstract: Bullying victimization is associated with adverse mental health consequences, while bullies suffer few or no adverse consequences in Western societies. Yet the universality of these consequences across western and eastern cultures is unknown. The current study investigated retrospective bullying experience in primary and secondary schools and its effects on adult mental health (depression, anxiety, stress, lifetime suicidal behavior, positive mental health, life satisfaction, social support, self-efficacy, and sense of control) in 5,012 Chinese and 1,935 German university students. School bullying victimization was far less frequently recalled by the Chinese sample (6.2%–12.6%) than the German sample (29.3%–37.0%), but victims had similar adverse mental health in both countries. In Germany, bullies and not-involved had equally good mental health, whereas bullies in China had poor mental health comparable to victims. Bullying victimization has similar adverse effects on mental health across countries. However, compared to the German students, the prevalence of school bullying is significantly lower, and bullies are also more likely to suffer mental health problems in adulthood in Chinese students. The differences of reasons for and consequences of being bullies are discussed and may have important implications for evolutionary theories and interventions of bullying.

Keywords: bullying, peer victimization, cultural difference, mental health, descriptive survey study

Bisexual people had up to six times the odds of engaging in Non-Suicidal Self-Injury compared to other sexualities. Mental health variables of anxiety and depression symptoms were found to be most common

Bisexuality and Non-Suicidal Self-Injury (NSSI): A narrative synthesis of associated variables and a meta-analysis of risk. Brendan J. Dunlop et al. Journal of Affective Disorders, Volume 276, November 1 2020, Pages 1159-1172.

• Bisexual people have heightened odds of engaging in Non-Suicidal Self-Injury.
• A narrative synthesis finds anxiety and depression associated most for this group.
• Studies frequently did not report bisexual people separately from others.
• Risk of bias in included studies was most commonly found to be moderate.

Bisexual people have been found to be at increased risk of non-suicidal self-injury (NSSI) when compared to heterosexual and gay or lesbian people. The purpose of this review was to update the estimated risk of NSSI for bisexual people and to examine variables that have been associated with NSSI in this population.

Methods: The protocol for this paper was pre-registered (CRD42019145299). An electronic search of PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus, PubMed, Ovid Online and Web of Science was undertaken from earliest available date to October 2019. Twenty-four eligible papers were identified. Meta-analyses, including moderator analysis, were conducted to ascertain NSSI risk and a narrative synthesis was undertaken of predictors and correlates. All studies were assessed for risk of bias.

Results: Bisexual people had up to six times the odds of engaging in NSSI compared to other sexualities. Mental health variables of anxiety and depression symptoms were found to be most commonly associated with NSSI for this population. The majority of studies had moderate risk of bias. This review demonstrates that bisexual people have an elevated risk of engaging in NSSI. Increased incidence of anxiety and depression and exposure to negative life events may explain this increased risk.

Limitations: Studies were found to be consistently cross-sectional in design and limited to western cultures. A limitation of this review was that only English language papers were included.

Conclusions: Results are clinically relevant as they suggest early identification and prevention of NSSI can be achieved. Future research should examine bisexual people independently of others.

Keywords:BisexualBisexualityNon-suicidal self-injuryNSSISelf-injuryLGBT

Cross-country study: Mothers were predominantly more authoritative than fathers, and fathers were mostly more authoritarian than mothers (based on both parent and descendant reports)

Systematic review of the differences between mothers and fathers in parenting styles and practices. Yosi Yaffe. Current Psychology (2020). Aug 23 2020.

Abstract: Parenting is a broad construct that comprises stable and durable attitudes and behaviors regarding child-rearing. Since mothers and fathers play different roles in the family, parenting styles and practices in childhood and adolescence may differ depending on the parents’ and adolescents’ gender. While gender differences in parenting are theoretically warranted, the research literature in this field is considerably limited and lacking conclusive information dealing with this question. Therefore, the aim of this systematic review is to aggregate and synthesize the available research studies containing significant findings on the differences between mothers and fathers in parenting styles and practices. For that purpose, we conducted a systematic search of the PsycInfo, Scopus, Eric, and Web of Science databases, covering literature published from 1990 to 2020. The search was restricted to peer-reviewed studies in English alone. Our findings reveal that mothers as compared to fathers are perceived as more accepting, responsive, and supportive, as well as more behaviorally controlling, demanding, and autonomy granting than fathers. Accordingly, in the studies comparing parents on the constructs of overall parenting styles, mothers were predominantly more authoritative than fathers, and fathers were mostly more authoritarian than mothers (based on both parent and descendant reports). These parental differences established by research from over 15 countries around the globe seem to apply similarly for male and female descendants, while principally not varying by their age.