Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Assessed 3 a priori defined cohorts of sexual minorities (born 1956–1963, b. 1974–1981, & b. 1990–1997): Psychological distress & suicide behavior were not improved, were worse for the younger than the older cohorts

Meyer IH, Russell ST, Hammack PL, Frost DM, Wilson BDM (2021) Minority stress, distress, and suicide attempts in three cohorts of sexual minority adults: A U.S. probability sample. PLoS ONE 16(3): e0246827. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0246827

Abstract: During the past 50 years, there have been marked improvement in the social and legal environment of sexual minorities in the United States. Minority stress theory predicts that health of sexual minorities is predicated on the social environment. As the social environment improves, exposure to stress would decline and health outcomes would improve. We assessed how stress, identity, connectedness with the LGBT community, and psychological distress and suicide behavior varied across three distinct cohorts of sexual minority people in the United States. Using a national probability sample recruited in 2016 and 2017, we assessed three a priori defined cohorts of sexual minorities we labeled the pride (born 1956–1963), visibility (born 1974–1981), and equality (born 1990–1997) cohorts. We found significant and impressive cohort differences in coming out milestones, with members of the younger cohort coming out much earlier than members of the two older cohorts. But we found no signs that the improved social environment attenuated their exposure to minority stressors—both distal stressors, such as violence and discrimination, and proximal stressors, such as internalized homophobia and expectations of rejection. Psychological distress and suicide behavior also were not improved, and indeed were worse for the younger than the older cohorts. These findings suggest that changes in the social environment had limited impact on stress processes and mental health for sexual minority people. They speak to the endurance of cultural ideologies such as homophobia and heterosexism and accompanying rejection of and violence toward sexual minorities.


We started this project with the hypothesis that younger cohorts of sexual minority people would fare better than their older peers, who grew up in a more hostile social and legal environment than that of the younger cohorts. We found a strong cohort impact on the age of same-sex attraction milestones: Each successive cohort had earlier sexual identity milestone experiences of identifying as a sexual minority person, first sexual experience, and coming out. This likely indicates both greater comfort in coming out and shifting social norms around sexuality and youth. On one hand, these trends suggest that the younger cohorts reached developmental milestones related to their sexuality earlier than older cohorts, which is generally understood to be positive for adjustment. On the other hand, identifying and coming out as a sexual minority can confer risk, including greater exposure to minority stressors and victimization [52].

Indeed, contrary to our hypothesis, we found little evidence that social and legal improvements during the past 50 years in the status of sexual minority people have altered the experiences of sexual minority people in terms of exposure to minority stressors and resultant adverse mental health outcomes. Most tellingly, younger sexual minority people did not have less psychological distress or fewer suicide attempts than older sexual minority people.

Regarding minority stress, we found that members of the younger cohort did not experience less minority stress than members of older cohorts. This was consistent across both distal minority stressors, which measure direct exposure to external conditions, such as antigay violence, and proximal stressors, which measure how homophobia is internalized and learned. Members of the younger cohort did experience fewer of the victimization experiences we studied. But the measure of lifetime exposure to victimization presents a challenge. By their nature, lifetime measures would show higher prevalence among older people simply because they have more years in their lifetime and therefore, more opportunities for experiencing victimization. It this context, it is notable that the younger sexual minority people experienced more extreme victimization in their shorter lifespan. More than 1 in 3 (37%) experienced being hit, beaten, physically attacked, or sexually assaulted; almost half (46%) had someone threaten them with violence; and almost 3 in 4 (72%) were verbally insulted or abused. In terms of proximal minority stressors—internalized homophobia and felt stigma—we found members of the younger cohort recorded as high or higher levels of stress relative to their older counterparts.

Consistent with findings on the experience of minority stressors, we found high scores of psychological distress in the younger cohort. Although some research has suggested that this may be a general trend for younger adults to have higher levels of depressive symptoms, there appears to be a U-shaped relationship in the general population, with younger and older people exhibiting high levels of depressive symptoms measured by the same scale we used [53]. We found a clear disadvantage to the younger cohort that seems unique to sexual minority people. Research has also shown that no significant bias in reporting patterns to this scale could explain the pattern of our results [54]. We also found that 30% of members of the younger cohort had attempted suicide. This is an alarming figure that was even higher than the high proportions of lifetime suicide attempts reported by the middle and older cohorts. By comparison, the proportion of young people aged 18–24 in the general population who have attempted suicide has been less than 4% [55].

Our findings are clearly inconsistent with the hypothesis. We started our hypothesis from a theoretical perspective that suggests that as social conditions improve, exposure to minority stressors and mental health problems would decrease. Our hypothesis was optimistic, but we were not blind to evidence to the contrary. As Russell and Fish [56] have shown, disparities by sexual identity have not been declining, but instead increasing. Most foretelling has been findings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about exposure to stress among youth in high schools. Reports have consistently indicated that sexual minority youth experience significantly more stressful experiences than heterosexual youth and suffer significantly greater adverse health outcomes, including suicide ideation and attempts [5760]. Our findings, thus, are consistent with studies that showed that minority stress and health disparities based on sexual orientation have not dissipated [56,6164], despite the significant social and legal gains of the last decades.

Finally, contradicting writings about the declining significance of the LGBT community and sexual minority identity for the young cohort of sexual minority people, we found as high a sense of centrality of sexual minority identity and sense of connection with the LGBT community [35,36]. This is an important finding because it suggests that the LGBT community is still an important locale for connecting with LGBT identities, values that denounce homophobia, and role models for healthy sexual minority lives. As has been shown with older cohorts of sexual minorities, these are important resilience factors that allow sexual minority people to grow and overcome homophobia [2,6569]. Connection with the LGBT community is also important for health information and the public health of LGBT communities, because resources serving sexual minorities have been organized under the LGBT banner for decades [70]. Studies have shown, for example, that gay and bisexual men who were connected to LGBT health resources were more likely than those who were not to use preexposure prophylaxis as HIV prevention [40]. However, this should not obscure the many challenges facing LGBT community organizers to overcome intracommunity rejection across race, social class, and other attributes [71].

There are many reasons why our hypothesis was not supported, and it is beyond our scope to explore these. Our approach was to examine cohort-wide patterns of change. In that, we may have missed the impact on specific segments of the populations. For example, we do not know whether White sexual minority people fared differently than ethnic minorities or how gender impacted the patterns we studied. This was, of course, purposeful because our theory was that the entire cohort would be affected by historical changes (even if not in equal ways). Also, it is plausible that social conditions, looked at as broadly as we did, do not reveal many other influences on stress exposure and mental health outcomes. For example, even if the social environment improved overall, it may have not improved in all microenvironments. Furthermore, it is possible that even as the social environment improves, the lived experience of sexual minority people continues to be challenging [72]. For example, a gay or lesbian teenager may be more accepted now than their older cohort peers had been when they were teenagers, but they were still a minority in their high school, deprived of opportunities for developing intimate relations. Also, a “developmental collision” may occur as sexual minority identity disclosure at younger ages coincides with normative developmental processes associated with adolescence [56]. Although the larger social context may have improved in such a way that emboldens younger generations to be out, the normative developmental context of adolescence remains one in which conformity is prized. Compulsions to conform to gender and sexual norms that privilege heterosexuality may continue to characterize adolescence in the United States [73]. Future analysis could determine whether some segments of the population benefited more than others from the improved social conditions and how improved social conditions impact the lived experience of sexual minority people.

Study limitations

Our study was limited in several important ways that are relevant to drawing conclusions about cohort differences. First, our purpose was to provide an overview of the status of stress and health in three cohorts of sexual minority people at one point using cross-sectional data. Obviously, this one-time picture limits our ability to discuss historical differences and trajectories, but we interpret the results to suggest that they reflect the impact of historical changes in the status of sexual minority people in society. Our interpretation is based on theory and our a priori categorization of the three cohorts. Because we aimed to capture the impact of historical context, we erred by ignoring potential differences among members of any age cohort that could have affected variability in cohorts. We assessed differences among three cohorts of sexual minority people but not differences by gender, race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status, neighborhood context, etc. This is consistent with our hypothesis about cohort differences. Regardless of variability in each cohort, we tested the hypothesis that the younger cohort, as a whole, fared better than older cohorts because members of the young cohort, across all strata, enjoyed better social conditions than members of older cohorts.

Second, like all measures, our measures of stress, coping, and health were limited in that each measure has its limitations and represents only a portion of complex constructs. For example, we assessed depressive symptoms and suicide attempts as proxies for the construct of mental health. Nonetheless, we present a variety of stress measures that include victimization and everyday discrimination, internalized minority stressors (felt stigma and internalized homophobia), and generalized distress, which is associated with mental health and suicide attempts—a clear and serious outcome and significant gauge of sexual minority health. The two measures that represent resilience assessed connection with the community and centrality of identity—two important elements of coping with minority stress.

Third, cohort (and the historical periods of interest) and age were confounded. That is, there was no way to avoid the fact that respondents who came of age in more distant historical periods are also older than respondents who grew up in the context of recent and improved social conditions. Therefore, it is plausible that some differences that we observed resulted from developmental or age-related changes rather than the impact of the different historical social environments. For example, internalized homophobia typically is expected to decline with age, as a person comes to terms with their same-sex attraction and comes out [32]. Our finding that internalized homophobia was higher in the younger than older cohort is consistent with that theory and could reflect the younger developmental stage of the younger cohort members. On the other hand, if social conditions have improved so greatly, we could have expected that internalized homophobia—which denotes rejection of oneself because of one’s same-sex attraction and identity—would cease to be an issue for younger people altogether. That is definitely not the case. Our findings show that some younger people still struggle with self-acceptance. So, although we cannot say with certainty that there is no age effect, we certainly can say that internalized homophobia has not ended in young sexual minority people.

Childhood gender nonconformity & stability of self-reported sexual orientation: Girls reporting being lesbian were more likely to report changes in their sexual orientation than gay adolescent boys

Xu, Y., Norton, S., & Rahman, Q. (2021). Childhood gender nonconformity and the stability of self-reported sexual orientation from adolescence to young adulthood in a birth cohort. Developmental Psychology, Mar 2021. https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0001164

Rolf Degen's take: Sexual orientation tended to emerge from childhood gender nonconformity and remained largely stable from adolescence to early adulthood

Abstract: This study quantified changes in self-reported sexual orientation from adolescence to early adulthood, and whether childhood gender nonconformity (GNC) predicted sexual orientation changes. Youth (2,678 boys and 3,359 girls; 96.09% ethnically White) from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children (ALSPAC) were included. Self-reported sexual orientation was measured using sexual attraction (5-point scale) at ages 15.5, 21, and 23. GNC was measured via Preschool Activities Inventory at ages 2.5, 3.5, and 4.75 years. The prevalence of boys and girls who reported being gay/lesbian increased from 15.5 to 21 years old whereas the proportion of bisexuals was relatively stable for both sexes. Among boys, heterosexuality and being gay were equally stable and relatively more stable compared to bisexuality. Among girls, reporting being lesbian and bisexual were equally unstable and relatively less stable than heterosexuality. Girls reporting being lesbian were more likely to report changes in their sexual orientation than gay adolescent boys. The stability of being lesbian and bisexual among girls, and bisexuality among boys, increased over time. Overall, few people changed their self-reported sexual orientation between ages 21 and 23. GNC at 2.5 years, and changes in GNC from 2.5 to 4.75 years, predicted being lesbian/gay at 15.5, 21, and 23 years and changes from being heterosexual to lesbian/gay from 15.5 to 21 years in each sex. In conclusion, self-reported sexual orientation from adolescence to young adulthood is relatively stable in males compared to females, and childhood GNC is a predictor of any, albeit small, sexual orientation changes.

Jiaolong Co. built a city by being a central contractor, which acquired planning rights by contract, & signed a series of tax sharing contracts with government, farmers, tenants, & businesses, reducing greatly the transaction costs

From 2016... The Contractual Nature of the City. Qian Lu. Man and the Economy Volume 3 Issue 1, 2016. DOI 10.1515/me-2016-0013

Abstract: Urbanization is a process in which separated and dispersed property rights become concentrated in a specific location. This process involves a large volume of contracts to redefine and rearrange various property rights, producing various and high transaction costs. Efficient urbanization implies the reduction of these costs. This paper studies how efficient urbanization reduces transaction costs in the real world, based on a series of contracts rather than the coercive power. Specifically, this paper shows that Jiaolong Co. built a city by being a central contractor, which acquired planning rights by contract, and signed a series of tax sharing contracts with government, farmers, tenants, and business enterprises. These contractual arrangements greatly reduced the transaction costs and promoted the development.

Keywords:urbanization, contractual structure, transaction costs


Jiaolong is a city built and operated by a business corporation. This is rare in China because in most cases the local city government is in charge of urbanization. In almost all cities, government makes land and city planning, takes farmers’ land, builds city infrastructure, sells land to housing developers and manufacturers, operates police stations, hospitals, schools and universities. By holding the monopoly power of coercion, the government is able to pool together resources by fiat and hold transaction costs low.

The urbanization of Jiaolong is not based on coercive power, but by a series of contracts with Shuangliu government, firms, farmers, residents and other relevant parties. As the central contractor, Jiaolong Co. is able to simplify the contractual web and reduce coordination cost. The essential contracts are the investment contract with the county government to transfer planning rights, and a series of contracts with the government and firms to share tax. Tax sharing contracts define the income rights for Jiaolong so that Jiaolong could share the surplus of urban development and infrastructure construction. Sharing contracts also motivate Shuangliu government to provide public services including protection of property rights. A series of contracts transfer planning rights, land use rights, and income rights to Jiaolong Co., and thereby endogenize the externality of infrastructure building and urban development. From the perspective of institutional change, Jiaolong offers a case of contract-based rather than coercion-based urbanization, the latter being the typical approach in China.

Association between subjective inequality & less well-being, more depression, anxiety, stress, status anxiety, and less trust: Happened only in the US & in Canada, but not in England, Sweden, Japan, & South Africa

The Construct of Subjective Economic Inequality. Anita Schmalor, Steven J. Heine. Social Psychological and Personality Science, March 9, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/1948550621996867

Abstract: Economic inequality has been associated with a host of social ills, but most research has focused on objective measures of inequality. We argue that economic inequality also has a subjective component, and understanding the effects of economic inequality will be deepened by considering the ways that people perceive inequality. In an American sample (N = 1,014), we find that some of the key variables that past research has found to correlate with objective inequality also correlate with a subjective measure of inequality. Across six countries (N = 683), we find that the relationship between subjective inequality and different psychological variables varies by country. Subjective inequality shows only modest correlations with objective inequality and varies by sociodemographic background.

Keywords: economic inequality, subjective inequality, culture, well-being

Despite the growing interest in the psychological effects of economic inequality, little is known about whether the subjective experience of inequality is associated with the same social and health problems as objective inequality. In this article, we argued that economic inequality consists of two constructs: objective and subjective inequality. Unlike objective inequality, subjective inequality exists at the individual level, which means that it is a construct that is well suited for investigations of its underlying psychology.

We tested whether subjective inequality predicts some of the same psychological outcomes as have been found with objective inequality. To do so, we created and validated the SIS that captures people’s global experience of economic inequality and their general unfairness beliefs about inequality. In an American sample, people who perceived more inequality reported less well-being, more depression, anxiety, stress, status anxiety, and less trust, replicating much past research that has used objective inequality (e.g., Delhey & Dragolov, 2014Fan et al., 2011Wilkinson & Pickett, 2010). We further tested whether we could replicate the findings of status anxiety and well-being across six countries. While subjective inequality was associated with more status anxiety in all countries, the relationship with well-being was more mixed. The negative association between subjective inequality and well-being only occurred in the United States and in Canada, but not in England, Sweden, Japan, and South Africa. These results suggest that culture may influence the psychological response to subjective inequality. Some research on the relationship between objective inequality and well-being has also found mixed results (e.g., Berg & Veenhoven, 2010). These inconsistent results could potentially be explained by the influence of cultural factors. Subjective inequality provides a means through which the moderating force of culture on the effects of inequality can be better understood.

Inequality is often conflated with unfairness beliefs (Starmans et al., 2017), and in both studies, subjective inequality was positively associated with the judgment of inequality as being generally unfair (rs = .58, .47, respectively). However, the relationship between subjective inequality and the various psychological variables held after controlling for the unfairness beliefs about inequality. This suggests that subjective inequality may have unique psychological effects over and above unfairness beliefs. However, our investigations were limited to predicting well-being and status anxiety, and it remains an open question whether unfairness beliefs matter for the relationship between subjective inequality and other psychological constructs.

Across both the United States and international sample, we found small correlations between subjective inequality and the Gini. These correlations suggest that subjective inequality could, at least in part, be influenced by the actual distribution of resources. However, they also suggest that these perceptions are largely independent of the objective level of inequality in one’s state or country. This then raises the question of where do perceptions of inequality come from?

A beginning of an answer to this question comes from other correlates of subjective inequality. People who perceived more inequality tended to be of lower income and SES and were more liberal and less religious. This raises the question of whether these individual differences lead people to construe the world they live in differently or whether they literally live in different worlds. For example, people of lower income may live in poorer neighborhoods, have longer commutes, and have different jobs. However, it could also be that people of lower SES are motivated to perceive more inequality than their higher SES counterparts. There is still much that we do not know about what underlies subjective inequality, and the topic is ripe for future research.

We have focused on the broadest level of economic inequality (encompassing income and wealth inequality and inequality of opportunity), and we assessed subjective inequality in people’s state and country of residence. Future research may benefit from distinguishing between these different facets of economic inequality to assess whether they independently relate to different outcomes. Furthermore, although we replicate the main effects at both the state and country level (for some countries), it would be useful to explore whether the geographic area that subjective inequality captures affects the relationship with different psychological constructs.

While we targeted theoretically fundamental correlates of objective inequality, future research should widen the scope to investigate other variables that have been associated with objective inequality such as health outcomes, obesity, and violent behavior (e.g., Wilkinson & Pickett, 2010). In addition, it would be useful to test which relationships hold across different cultures and which are specific to certain cultures. A key limitation of our findings is that they do not allow us to confidently speak about causality. While it is implausible that higher levels of depression, for example, lead to an increase in the Gini coefficient, it is certainly possible that higher levels of self-reported depression cause people to perceive more inequality because their outlook on the world is bleaker. Here is an example where objective and subjective components need to be considered in tandem in order to draw firmer conclusions.

Our studies are limited in their reliance on online samples which have various idiosyncratic characteristics (e.g., Arditte et al., 2016), and we cannot confidently generalize to other kinds of samples. It will be informative to see how subjective inequality relates to various psychological variables in other kinds of populations. While our results point to the moderating effects of culture, these data cannot speak to what cultural factors are driving these effects. Cultural differences in upward and downward comparisons, what counts as status, and the possibility of social mobility are a few examples of cultural variables that may moderate the effects of subjective inequality. The modest correlations between subjective inequality and the Gini indicate that our measure is tapping into something largely distinct from objective inequality; it is possible that other conceptualizations of subjective inequality may relate differently to objective inequality. With these limitations in mind, this article has attempted to begin a new line of research that focuses on the subjective component of economic inequality.

Deceptive up-pricing of low-price wine significantly influenced ratings for pleasantness, whereas deceptive down-pricing of high-price wine had no effect on pleasantness ratings

Price information influences the subjective experience of wine: A framed field experiment. Christoph Patrick et al. Food Quality and Preference, March 9 2021, 104223. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodqual.2021.104223


• First study manipulating wine prices using a framed field experiment.

• Blind intensity ratings differ for 3 wines of different price and expert rating.

• Blind pleasantness ratings do not differ for the same three wines.

• Pleasantness of the budget wine increased when presented with a fake higher price.

Abstract: Past experimental laboratory and correlational data from observational research has shown that knowledge of the price of wine influences the consumer’s subjective experience. However, there is limited prior research that has explicitly manipulated price information in a realistic wine tasting setting. A total of 140 participants tasted three different low-, mid- and high-priced wines with open, deceptive, or no price information and rated them for taste intensity and pleasantness. In our community sample, intensity of taste ratings for open, deceptive and blind price information reflected retail prices, thus more expensive wines were rated as more intense in taste. However, while pleasantness ratings did not differ for open and no price information, deceptive up-pricing of low-price wine significantly influenced ratings for pleasantness, whereas deceptive down-pricing of high-price wine had no effect on pleasantness ratings. Thus, pricing information differentially influences the consumer’s subjective experience of wine, with no effects on intensity of taste ratings and no effects on pleasantness ratings with correct or no price information, but increased pleasantness of low-price wine when provided with a deceptive higher price. Thus, in wine may lay the truth, but its subjective experience may also lie in the price.

Keywords: Wine perceptionprice informationconsumer experienceframed field experiment

Genetic factors had a regionally variable influence on brain organization, such that the heritability of network topography was greatest in prefrontal, precuneus, and posterior parietal cortex

Heritability of individualized cortical network topography. Kevin M. Anderson et al. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, March 2, 2021 118 (9) e2016271118; https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2016271118

Significance: The widespread use of population-average cortical parcellations has provided important insights into broad properties of human brain organization. However, the size, location, and spatial arrangement of regions comprising functional brain networks can vary substantially across individuals. Here, we demonstrate considerable heritability in both the size and spatial organization of individual-specific network topography across cortex. Genetic factors had a regionally variable influence on brain organization, such that heritability in network size, but not topography, was greater in unimodal relative to heteromodal cortices. These data suggest individual-specific network parcellations may provide an avenue to understand the genetic basis of variation in human cognition and behavior.

Abstract: Human cortex is patterned by a complex and interdigitated web of large-scale functional networks. Recent methodological breakthroughs reveal variation in the size, shape, and spatial topography of cortical networks across individuals. While spatial network organization emerges across development, is stable over time, and is predictive of behavior, it is not yet clear to what extent genetic factors underlie interindividual differences in network topography. Here, leveraging a nonlinear multidimensional estimation of heritability, we provide evidence that individual variability in the size and topographic organization of cortical networks are under genetic control. Using twin and family data from the Human Connectome Project (n = 1,023), we find increased variability and reduced heritability in the size of heteromodal association networks (h2: M = 0.34, SD = 0.070), relative to unimodal sensory/motor cortex (h2: M = 0.40, SD = 0.097). We then demonstrate that the spatial layout of cortical networks is influenced by genetics, using our multidimensional estimation of heritability (h2-multi; M = 0.14, SD = 0.015). However, topographic heritability did not differ between heteromodal and unimodal networks. Genetic factors had a regionally variable influence on brain organization, such that the heritability of network topography was greatest in prefrontal, precuneus, and posterior parietal cortex. Taken together, these data are consistent with relaxed genetic control of association cortices relative to primary sensory/motor regions and have implications for understanding population-level variability in brain functioning, guiding both individualized prediction and the interpretation of analyses that integrate genetics and neuroimaging.

Keywords: heritabilityindividualized parcellationresting-statefunction brain networksfunctional connectome

OkCupid data: Women are no longer waiting for someone to message them

One Year Later: How Covid-19 Changed Dating. OkCupid, Feb 26 2021. https://theblog.okcupid.com/one-year-later-how-covid-19-changed-dating-9c7f38cc98c0

OkCupid data shows how singles have adapted to dating during the pandemic

My two takes:

-  Women are no longer waiting for someone to message them

Perhaps the biggest trend in online dating that began during the pandemic is young women becoming more active and engaged on their dating apps. Recently, women under 30 on OkCupid sent 28.5% more first messages in January 2021 than they did the same time last year. Without the rush to meet up for a date in-person, women have felt more in control of their dating lives during the pandemic, and therefore have embraced being the one to reach out and set up virtual dates.

-  “Double-masking, social distancing and vaccinated” is the new “tall, dark, and handsome”

People in the United States who answer “Yes” to our matching question “Will you get the Covid-19 vaccine?” are receiving 20% more Likes and 12% more Matches. (Globally, those who said “Yes” are receiving 13% more Likes and 2.3% more Matches.) And daters are no longer only turning to friends and family for dating advice. They’re also listening to Dr. Fauci. About 20% of Gen Z and Millennial daters are already starting to wear two masks, like Fauci recommended, and those who are double-masking are having more conversations on OkCupid than those who aren’t. There was also a 185% increase in mentions of the word “mask” on OkCupid profiles over the past year, showing that taking precautions during the pandemic is a top priority for singles around the world.

OkCupid daters have been taking the pandemic very seriously. About 4 in 10 people would cancel a date with someone who didn’t want to take the COVID-19 vaccine and 215,000 people would cancel a date with someone who refused to social distance. So if you are not willing to put on a mask during a global pandemic, you’re likely not getting a message back.

A large proportion of voters live with virtually no exposure to voters from the other party in their residential environment: Democrats & Republicans living in the same city are segregated by party

The measurement of partisan sorting for 180 million voters. Jacob R. Brown & Ryan D. Enos. Nature Human Behaviour, March 8 2021. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-021-01066-z

Abstract: Segregation across social groups is an enduring feature of nearly all human societies and is associated with numerous social maladies. In many countries, reports of growing geographic political polarization raise concerns about the stability of democratic governance. Here, using advances in spatial data computation, we measure individual partisan segregation by calculating the local residential segregation of every registered voter in the United States, creating a spatially weighted measure for more than 180 million individuals. With these data, we present evidence of extensive partisan segregation in the country. A large proportion of voters live with virtually no exposure to voters from the other party in their residential environment. Such high levels of partisan isolation can be found across a range of places and densities and are distinct from racial and ethnic segregation. Moreover, Democrats and Republicans living in the same city, or even the same neighbourhood, are segregated by party.

For ordinary folk, especially the more educated population in the US, free will is a dynamic construct centred on the ability to choose following one’s goals & desires, whilst being uncoerced & reasonably free from constraints

Lam, Alison. 2021. “Folk Conceptions of Free Will: A Systematic Review and Narrative Synthesis of Psychological Research.” Thesis Commons. March 4. doi:10.31237/osf.io/hezn6

Abstract: The existence of free will has been a subject of fierce academic debate for millennia, still the meaning of the term “free will” remains nebulous. In the past two decades, psychologists have made considerable progress in defining folk concepts of free will. However, this growing body of literature has yet to be reviewed systematically. This systematic review aimed to narratively synthesise primary psychological evidence on folk conceptions of free will, encompassing folk concepts, beliefs, intuitions, and attitudes about free will, to provide a definition grounded in laypeople’s perspective to guide future research. Database searches were conducted following a pre-registered search strategy. A total of 1,368 records were identified through database searching, and 16 additional records were identified through reference mining, author tracing, and contacting authors for unpublished manuscripts. After duplicate removal, ASReview, an open-source machine learning programme, was used to facilitate and optimise abstract screening. Finally, 57 full-text articles were assessed for eligibility, and 18 articles were eligible for inclusion, comprised of 36 studies and 10,176 participants from regions including the United States, Singapore, Hong Kong, India, Turkey, and Germany. The results showed that for ordinary folk, especially the more educated population from the United States, free will is a dynamic construct centred on the ability to choose following one’s goals and desires, whilst being uncoerced and reasonably free from constraints. Results suggesting metaphysical considerations regarding consciousness, dualism, and determinism were inconclusive. The findings provided preliminary support for a psychological model of folk conception of free will. All data and coding are openly shared.