Saturday, December 19, 2020

Is the Myth of Left-wing Authoritarianism Itself a Myth?

Conway, Lucian G., III, Alivia Zubrod, Linus Chan, James McFarland, and Evert Van de Vliert. 2020. “Is the Myth of Left-wing Authoritarianism Itself a Myth?.” PsyArXiv. December 18. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Is left-wing authoritarianism (LWA) closer to a myth or a reality? Twelve studies test the empirical existence and theoretical relevance of LWA. Study 1 reveals that both conservative and liberal Americans identify a large number of left-wing authoritarians in their lives. In Study 2, participants explicitly rate items from a recently-developed LWA measure as valid measurements of authoritarianism. Studies 3-11 show that persons who score high on this same LWA scale possess the traits associated with models of authoritarianism (while controlling for political ideology): LWA is positively related to threat sensitivity across multiple areas, including general ecological threats (Study 3), COVID disease threat (Study 4), Belief in a Dangerous World (Study 5), and Trump threat (Study 6). Further, controlling for ideology, high-LWA persons show more support for restrictive political correctness norms (Study 7), rate African-Americans and Jews more negatively (Studies 8-9), and show more domain-specific dogmatism and attitude strength (Study 10). Study 11 reveals that the majority of the effects from Studies 3-10 hold when looking only within liberals, thus revealing these effects are about liberal authoritarianism. Study 12 uses the World Values Survey to provide evidence of Left-Wing Authoritarianism around the globe. Taken in total, this large array of triangulating evidence from 12 studies comprised of over 8,000 participants from the U.S. and over 66,000 participants world-wide strongly suggests that left-wing authoritarianism is much closer to a reality than a myth.

Traditional (print and audiovisual) media, including popular outlets, continue to be the major contributors to people’s knowledge about current affairs and that social media hardly contribute at all

What do people learn from following the news? A diary study on the influence of media use on knowledge of current news stories. Kathleen Beckers et al. European Journal of Communication, December 16, 2020.

Abstract: One of the main functions of news media in democracies is informing the citizenry on day-to-day affairs. However, the way in which citizens gather news has changed as nowadays people have more opportunities than ever before to adapt their media consumption based on their preferences. One of the major game changers was the introduction of social media. This raises the question to what extent traditional media still contribute to people’s knowledge of current affairs. Using a time-diary study in the Flemish media context, we investigate the influence of different forms of news consumption on current news knowledge. We conclude that traditional (print and audiovisual) media, including popular outlets, continue to be the major contributors to people’s knowledge about current affairs and that social media hardly contribute at all.

Keywords: Current affairs knowledge, media consumption, news, time diary

Less youth crime not related to changes in attachment/commitment to school, community involvement, or parental supervision, but to a decrease in unstructured socializing & alcohol consumption, & less preference for risky activities

The contemporary transformation of american youth: An analysis of change in the prevalence of delinquency, 1991–2015. Eric P. Baumer  Kelsey Cundiff  Liying Luo. Criminology, December 16 2020.

Abstract: Youth involvement in crime has declined substantially over the past few decades, yet the reasons for this trend remain unclear. We advance the literature by examining the role of several potentially important shifts in individual attitudes and behaviors that may help to account for the observed temporal variation in youth delinquency. Our multilevel analysis of repeated cross‐sectional data from eighth and tenth grade students in the Monitoring the Future (MTF) study indicates that changes in youth offending prevalence were not associated with changes in youth attachment and commitment to school, community involvement, or parental supervision after school. In contrast, the study provides suggestive evidence that the significant reduction in youth offending prevalence observed since the early 1990s was significantly associated with a decrease in unstructured socializing and alcohol consumption and, to a lesser extent, with a decrease in youth preferences for risky activities. Implications for existing theoretical explanations and future research on youth crime trends are discussed.

Risk Taking for Potential Losses (but Not Gains) Increases with Time of Day

Bedder, Rachel, Matilde M. Vaghi, Raymond J. Dolan, and Robb Rutledge. 2020. “Risk Taking for Potential Losses but Not Gains Increases with Time of Day.” PsyArXiv. December 17. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Humans exhibit distinct risk preferences when facing choices involving potential gains and losses. These preferences are subject to neuromodulatory influence, particularly from dopamine and serotonin. As these neuromodulators manifest distinct circadian rhythms, this suggests decision making under risk might be affected by time of day. Here, in a large subject sample (N = 26,899), we tested the hypothesis of a diurnal modulation in risk taking for gains and losses. We found that risky options with potential losses were increasingly chosen over the course of the day, but observed no such change for how often risky options with only potential gains were chosen. Using a computational modelling approach to obtain a more fine-grained account, we show this diurnal change in risk preference reflects a decrease in sensitivity to increasing losses, but no change in the relative impacts of gains and losses on choice. This diurnal sensitivity, present across two different task designs, was robust to between- and within-subject analysis, to country (i.e., UK and US samples), age, and gender. Thus, our findings reveal a striking diurnal modulation in human decision making, a pattern with potential importance for real-life preferences that include voting, medical decision making, and global stock market investments.