Saturday, November 21, 2020

Sexual selection appears to have shaped the acoustic signals of diverse species, including humans; deep, resonant vocalizations in particular may function in attracting mates and/or intimidating same-sex competitors

Linking human male vocal parameters to perceptions, body morphology, strength and hormonal profiles in contexts of sexual selection. Christoph Schild et al. Nov 2020. http://www.larspenke.eu/pdfs/Schild_et_al_in_press_-_Linking_human_male_voice_characteristics.pdf

Abstract: Sexual selection appears to have shaped the acoustic signals of diverse species, including humans. Deep, resonant vocalizations in particular may function in attracting mates and/or intimidating same-sex competitors. Evidence for these adaptive functions in human males derives predominantly from perception studies in which vocal acoustic parameters were manipulated using specialist software. This approach affords tight experimental control but provides little ecological validity, especially when the target acoustic parameters vary naturally with other parameters. Furthermore, such experimental studies provide no information about what acoustic variables indicate about the speaker – that is, why attention to vocal cues may be favored in intrasexual and intersexual contexts. Using voice recordings with high ecological validity from 160 male speakers and biomarkers of condition, including baseline cortisol and testosterone levels, body morphology and strength, we tested a series of pre-registered hypotheses relating to both perceptions and underlying condition of the speaker. We found negative curvilinear and negative linear relationships between male fundamental frequency (fo) and female perceptions of attractiveness and male perceptions of dominance. In addition, cortisol and testosterone negatively interacted in predicting fo, and strength and measures of body size negatively predicted formant frequencies (Pf). Meta-analyses of the present results and those from two previous samples confirmed that fo negatively predicted testosterone only among men with lower cortisol levels. This research offers empirical evidence of possible evolutionary functions for attention to men’s vocal characteristics in contexts of sexual selection.

Check also Voice Pitch Seems A Valid Indicator of One’s Unfaithfulness in Committed Relationships:

Voice Pitch – A Valid Indicator of One’s Unfaithfulness in Committed Relationships? Christoph Schild, Julia Stern, Lars Penke & Ingo Zettler. Adaptive Human Behavior and Physiology, Oct 16 2020. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2020/10/voice-pitch-seems-valid-indicator-of.html


How Cheating in Romance Might Signal Positive Well-Being in Adolescents, favoring adolescents’ personal growth, because of the need to explore new sensations and feelings that arise during this period

The Relationship Between the Motivation to Commit Infidelity and Negative Affect and Self-Esteem: How Cheating in Romance Might Signal Positive Well-Being in Adolescents. Ana M. Beltrán-Morillas et al. Psychological Reports, November 16, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1177/0033294120973947

Abstract: Infidelity occurs in adult romantic relationships quite often; however, little is known about this relational phenomenon in the adolescent stage, despite its being a surprisingly common behavior. Through a correlational study, we set out to examine how the various documented motivations to engage in an act of infidelity are associated with negative emotional responses, self-esteem, and psychological well-being. In a sample of Spanish adolescents (N = 346 [Mage = 15.71, SD = 1.27; range from 13 to 19]), results showed that committing an act of infidelity due to sexual or emotional dissatisfaction (vs. neglect and anger) is related to higher levels of psychological well-being by undermining negative affect, thereby increasing the levels of self-esteem. The discussion of the findings emphasizes that infidelity could favor adolescents’ personal growth, because of the need to explore new sensations and feelings that arise during this period.

Keywords: Adolescence, infidelity, negative affect, psychological well-being, self-esteem


At least 89 nonhuman primate species eat meat; the main importance of meat is probably as a source of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients

Meat eating by nonhuman primates: A review and synthesis. David P. Watts. Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 149, December 2020, 102882. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhevol.2020.102882

Highlights

• At least 89 nonhuman primate species representing 39 genera and 12 families eat meat.

• Birds are the most common prey taxon, followed by reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and fish.

• Most primates eat meat rarely, if at all, but meat sometimes provides substantial immediate energy and protein gains.

• The main importance of meat is probably as a source of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients.

• Chimpanzees eat more meat than all other nonhuman primates, but much less than African hunter-gatherers.

• Nonhuman primates only hunt prey much smaller than themselves. Only some capuchins and some chimpanzees use tools to assist in prey capture.

Abstract: Most nonhuman primates prey on vertebrates. Meat-eating, defined as ingestion of vertebrate tissue, occurs in 12 families, ≥39 genera, and ≥89 species. It is most common in capuchins (Cebus and Sapajus spp.), baboons (Papio spp.), bonobos (Pan paniscus), and chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) and modestly common in blue monkeys (Cercopithecus mitis), callitrichids (Callithrix spp. and Saguinus spp.), and squirrel monkeys (Saimiri spp.). It is uncommon in other cercopithecines, rare in other haplorhines and in lemurs, and virtually absent in colobines. Birds are the prey class eaten by the most species (≥53), followed by reptiles (≥48), amphibians (≥38), mammals (≥35), and fish (≥7). Major hypotheses for the importance of meat eating are that it is (1) mainly an energy source, especially (1a) when plant-source foods (PSFs) with high energy return rates are scarce (energy shortfall hypothesis); (2) mainly a protein source; and (3) mainly a source of micronutrients scarce in PSFs. Meat eating bouts sometimes provide substantial energy and protein, and some chimpanzees gain substantial protein from meat monthly or annually. However, meat typically accounts for only small proportions of feeding time and of total energy and protein intake, and quantitative data are inconsistent with the energy shortfall hypothesis. PSFs and/or invertebrates are presumably the main protein sources, even for chimpanzees. Support is strongest for the micronutrient hypothesis. Most chimpanzees eat far less meat than recorded for hunter-gatherers, but the highest chimpanzee estimates approach the lowest for African hunter-gatherers. In fundamental contrast to the human predatory pattern, other primates only eat vertebrates much smaller than they are, tool-assisted predation is rare except in some capuchins and chimpanzees, and tool use in carcass processing is virtually absent. However, harvesting of small prey deserves more attention with reference to the archaeological and ethnographic record.

Keywords: PrimatesMeat eatingNutritionChimpanzeesCapuchinsBaboons


Gender differences in choosing to enter competitions: Focal random selection from a preselected pool removes the difference in competitiveness between men & women and does not dilute the qualifications of the entrants

Focal random selection closes the gender gap in competitiveness. Joël Berger et al. Science Advances  Nov 20 2020:Vol. 6, no. 47, eabb2142. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb2142

Abstract: Gender differences in choosing to enter competitions are an important cause of the leaky pipeline for women in leadership roles and represent a considerable waste of human resources. We used an incentivized laboratory experiment to evaluate whether the introduction of random elements alters the gender gap in competitiveness. We found that focal random selection from a preselected pool removes the difference in competitiveness between men and women and does not dilute the qualifications of the entrants. The percentage of women who took part in competitions was nearly triple, and that of high-ability women double, with focal random selection compared to selection in pure performance competitions. In contrast, the behavior of men remained largely unchanged. Focal random selection closes the gender gap in competitiveness and can substantially enlarge the pool of high-performing women who apply for top jobs.

DISCUSSION

Our findings suggest that the pool of high-performing women who apply for top jobs can be substantially enlarged by the introduction of focal random selection. Consequently, the pipeline for women to leadership positions can be made less leaky without lowering candidates’ performance. Moreover, focal random selection closes the gender pay gap among high performers. In addition, differences between men and women in entering competition caused by gender stereotypes are completely eliminated by randomness. Our findings, therefore, point to the relevance of gender stereotypes as an underlying mechanism of gender gap in competitiveness. Further research is required to find out which degree of competitiveness should be applied in the focal random selection procedure to achieve adequate characteristics of the selected leader. More research is also needed to study the effects of focal random selection in the field.

From 2014... States with Democratic US Representatives on the House oversight committee received roughly 60,000 additional doses per legislator during the initial allocation period; the advantage dissipated after 3 weeks

From 2014... Allocating Infection: The Political Economy of the Swine Flu (H1N1) Vaccine. Matt E Ryan. Economic Enquiry, Vol. 52, No. 1, January 2014, 138–154. http://www.matteryan.com/pdf/Swine_flu.pdf

Abstract: Previous research has isolated the effect of “congressional dominance” in explaining bureaucracy-related outcomes. This analysis extends the concept of congressional dominance to the allocation of H1N1, or swine flu, vaccine doses. States with Democratic United States Representatives on the relevant House oversight committee received roughly 60,000 additional doses per legislator during the initial allocation period, though this political advantage dissipated after the first 3 weeks of vaccine distribution. As a result political factors played a role in determining vaccine allocation only when the vaccine was in particularly short supply. At-risk groups identified by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), such as younger age groups and first responders, do not receive more vaccine doses, and in fact receive slightly fewer units of vaccine. (JEL D72, D73, I18)


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My take to organize my ideas after reading this:

People is greatly surprised hearing things like this. I am neither surprised, nor disappointed. I know since I was 14 (although I de-learned that knowledge a bit later) that we are not virtuous, nor rational, regardless of party or religion or civic education, and that there are no models, no even Ghandi (whom I adored when I reached the extremist pacifist period), or scientists (Newton, etc.).

Obviously, some corruption is also there, at those oversight committees... It seems very human that a part of the chain of thoughts that take part in the decision was to find ways to compensate first your own constituents, just for your own interest. I can see that.

But the good progressive representatives (I believe the majority of those Democrats), what were they thinking most of the time when doing this unequal distribution of vaccines while in short supply (right after FDA approvals were secured)?

My guess is that they have:

1 more of a superiority complex than the Republicans have (in some measure as a consequence of 2);

2  less skepticism of human nature, and as a consequence, inter alia, more imperfect brakes to stop such impulses;

3 maybe a small dose of avenging/justice-to-be-served attitude against those districts that voted for the Republicans (my voters are, in greater proportion, the workers, the oppressed, the non-white, etc.); &

4 corruption, as I already said before, although at a much smaller degree than other motivations.


89% of smartphone interactions are initiated by users, only 11% by notifications; participants interact with their phones about every 5 minutes regardless of context

Why Are Smartphones Disruptive? An Empirical Study of Smartphone Use in Real-Life Contexts. Maxi Heitmayer, Saadi Lahlou. Computers in Human Behavior, November 21 2020, 106637. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2020.106637

Rolf Degen's take: https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1330053912859193345

Highlights

• 89% of Smartphone interactions are initiated by users, only 11% by notifications.

• Many smartphone interactions are unconscious and go unnoticed by users.

• Participants interact with their phones about every 5 minutes regardless of context.

• Focusing on notification-design only is not a viable option to reduce smartphone interactions.

Abstract: Notifications are one of the core functionalities of smartphones. Previous research suggests they can be a major disruption to the professional and private lives of users. This paper presents evidence from a mixed-methods study using first-person wearable video cameras, comprising 200 hours of audio-visual first-person, and self-confrontation interview footage with 1130 unique smartphone interactions (N=37 users), to situate and analyse the disruptiveness of notifications in real-world contexts. We show how smartphone interactions are driven by a complex set of routines and habits users develop over time. We furthermore observe that while the duration of interactions varies, the intervals between interactions remain largely invariant across different activity and location contexts, and for being alone or in the company of others. Importantly, we find that 89% of smartphone interactions are initiated by users, not by notifications. Overall this suggests that the disruptiveness of smartphones is rooted within learned user behaviours, not devices.

Keywords: Video analysisNotificationsSmartphonesAddictionSEBE


Women reported refraining from sex despite experiencing desire (and having a willing partner) more often than men, & were more likely to endorse relationship goals factoring into their consideration to refrain

Benning, Stephen D. 2020. “Why College Women and Men Refrain from Sex Despite Desire.” PsyArXiv. November 20. doi:10.31234/osf.io/gyxs2

Rolf Degen's take: https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1330018584056262662

Abstract: Humans have sex for a multitude of reasons, many of which are unrelated to desire. But what are the conditions in which sexual desire does not lead to sex? We investigated reasons college students refrain from sex despite desire and having an attractive, willing partner along with relationships between these reasons and other aspects of sexuality and personality. For item generation, 604 college participants identified 109 reasons why individuals may refrain from sex despite desire. For construct validation, 712 participants reported the frequency that they experienced these reasons on a novel No Sex Despite Desire measure. Every reason that evidenced discernible gender differences was endorsed more by women. These items were largely concentrated in the factors that emerged of Personal Insecurities (negative emotions or self-evaluations surrounding the act) and Principled Concerns (values and morals preventing sex to occur). However, women and men did not discernibly differ on the Partner Issues factor (perceiving issues with potential partner). These factors also differentially related to sexual and personality variables. Principled Concerns negatively related to sociosexuality for men and women and to less acceptance of sexual double standards for men. Partner Issues positively correlated with sociosexuality and sexual guilt for women. Principled Concerns related to issues of sexual functioning for women, whereas Personal Insecurities related to issues of sexual functioning for men. Finally, Personal Insecurities was related to Neuroticism for both men and women. Based on our research, the desire to refrain from sex despite desire seems multifaceted and highly related to gender.


We presented subject rats with three simultaneous choice alternatives: releasing a restrained conspecific, engaging a non-restrained conspecific, or not socializing; they found no preference for helping

No preference for prosocial 'helping' behavior in rats with concurrent social interaction opportunities. Kelsey A Heslin, Michael F Brown. boRxiv, Nov 20 2020. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.18.388702

Rolf Degen's take: https://twitter.com/DegenRolf/status/1330015424939962370

Abstract: Helping behavior tasks are proposed to assess prosocial or empathic behavior in rodents. This paradigm characterizes the behavior of subject animals presented with the opportunity to release a conspecific from a distressing situation. Previous studies found a preference in rats for releasing restrained or distressed conspecifics over other controls (e.g., empty restrainers or inanimate objects). An empathy account was offered to explain the observed behaviors, claiming subjects were motivated to reduce the distress of others based on a rodent homologue of empathy. An opposing account attributes all previous results to subjects seeking social-contact. To dissociate these two accounts for helping behavior, we presented subject rats with three simultaneous choice alternatives: releasing a restrained conspecific, engaging a non-restrained conspecific, or not socializing. Subjects showed an initial preference for socializing with the non-restrained conspecific, and no preference for helping. This result contradicts the empathy account, but is consistent with the social-contact account of helping behavior.