Sunday, March 28, 2021

Reconnaissance Satellites and Interstate Disputes: Despite considerable interest and debate, it has proven surprisingly difficult to demonstrate a systematic link between technological change and patterns of war and peace

Spying from Space: Reconnaissance Satellites and Interstate Disputes. Bryan R. Early, Erik Gartzke. Journal of Conflict Resolution, March 23, 2021.

Abstract: Despite considerable interest and debate, it has proven surprisingly difficult to demonstrate a systematic link between technological change and patterns of war and peace. At least part of the challenge may reside in finding the right place to “look” for such relationships. Technological change alters what nations can do to one another (capabilities), but in ways that are typically reflected by deals (diplomatic bargains) rather than actions. We theorize that reconnaissance satellites have revolutionized the use of information gleaned from spying in ways that discourage states from engaging in serious conflicts with one another. We analyze the impact of reconnaissance satellites on high-casualty militarized interstate disputes (MIDS) between dyads from 1950 to 2010. We find that when either the potential aggressor or target in a dyad possess reconnaissance satellites, they are significantly less likely to become involved in serious MIDs. This effect is especially powerful when both states possess reconnaissance satellites.

Keywords: conflict, militarized interstate disputes, reconnaissance, satellites, technology

People hold narrative beliefs about how humans in general change over the course of the lives: In some areas, we expect growth (e.g., wisdom), while in others, we expect stability (e.g., extroversion)

Getting better all the time: Master narratives, expectations of change, and their effect on temporal appraisals. James G. Hillman and David J. Hauser. Social Cognition in press, (removed due to publisher's embargo).

Abstract: People hold narrative beliefs about how humans in general change over the course of the lives. In some areas, we expect growth (e.g., wisdom), while in others, we expect stability (e.g., extroversion). However, do we apply those same expectations to the self? In five studies (total N = 1,358), participants rated selves as growing over time in domains where they expected others to stay stable over time (e.g., extroversion, optimism, quick-wittedness). This effect was significantly stronger for growth domains (e.g., wisdom, rationality). Thus, narrative beliefs about change impacted appraisals of temporally-extended selves; in domains where everyone improves, people rate themselves as improving considerably. However, in domains where others stay the same, people also rate themselves as improving. Implications for future temporal self-appraisal research, heterogeneity of effect sizes in self-appraisal research, and between culture differences in narratives are discussed.

Keywords: Self-Appraisal, Temporal Comparisons, Growth Expectations, Master Narratives 

Pluralistic ignorance occurs when group members mistakenly believe others’ cognitions and/or behaviors are systematically different from their own

Pluralistic Ignorance Research in Psychology: A Scoping Review of Topic and Method Variation and Directions for Future Research. Rikki H. Sargent, Leonard S. Newman. Review of General Psychology, March 26, 2021.

Rolf Degen's take: The Emperor's New Clothes: “No one believes, but everyone believes that everyone else believes

Abstract: Pluralistic ignorance occurs when group members mistakenly believe others’ cognitions and/or behaviors are systematically different from their own. More than 20 years have passed since the last review of pluralistic ignorance from a psychological framework, with more than 60 empirical articles assessing pluralistic ignorance published since then. Previous reviews took an almost entirely conceptual approach with minimal review of methodology, making existing reviews outdated and limited in the extent to which they can provide guidelines for researchers. The goal of this review is to evaluate and integrate the literature on pluralistic ignorance, clarify important conceptual issues, identify inconsistencies in the literature, and provide guidance for future research. We provide a comprehensive definition for the phenomenon, with a focus on its status as a group-level phenomenon. We highlight three areas of variation in particular in the current scoping review: variation in topics assessed, variation in measurement, and (especially) variation in methods for assessing the implications of individual-level misperceptions that, in aggregate, lead to pluralistic ignorance. By filling these gaps in the literature, we ultimately hope to motivate further analysis of the phenomenon.

Keywords: pluralistic ignorance, scoping review, methodological review, social psychology

Masculine children showed significantly more interest in male-typical occupations than did control or feminine children; masculine children also had significantly lower interest in female-typical jobs than did control or feminine children

Preschool Gender-Typed Play Behavior Predicts Adolescent Gender-Typed Occupational Interests: A 10-Year Longitudinal Study. Karson T F Kung. Arch Sex Behav. Mar 22 2021, . doi 10.1007/s10508-021-01976-z

Abstract: There are significant gender differences in both play behavior and occupational interests. Play has been regarded as an important medium for development of skills and personal characteristics. Play may also influence subsequent preferences through social and cognitive processes involved in gender development. The present study investigated the association between gender-typed play behavior in early childhood and gender-typed occupational interests in early adolescence. Participants were drawn from a British longitudinal population study, the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children. Participants were recruited based on their parent-reported gender-typed play behavior assessed at age 3.5 years. There were 66 masculine boys and 61 masculine girls, 82 feminine boys and 69 feminine girls, and 55 randomly selected control boys and 67 randomly selected control girls. At age 13 years, the participants were administered a questionnaire assessing their interest in gender-typed occupations. It was found that masculine children showed significantly more interest in male-typical occupations than did control or feminine children. Compared with control children, feminine children had marginally significantly lower interest in male-typical jobs. Masculine children also had significantly lower interest in female-typical jobs than did control or feminine children. The associations were not moderated by gender and were observed after taking into account sociodemographic background, parental occupations, and academic performance. The degree of gender-typed play shown by preschoolers can predict their occupational interests 10 years later following transition into adolescence. Childhood gender-typed play has occupational implications that transcend developmental stages.

Keywords: ALSPAC; Adolescence; Gender; Occupation; Play; Sex.

Men and people with lower education backgrounds were more likely to have previously engaged in polyamory (compared to women and people with higher education backgrounds, respectively)

Desire, Familiarity, and Engagement in Polyamory: Results From a National Sample of Single Adults in the United States. Amy C. Moors, Amanda N. Gesselman2 and Justin R. Garcia. Front. Psychol., March 23 2021.

Abstract: Coupledom and notions of intimacy and family formation with one committed partner are hallmarks of family and relationship science. Recent national surveys in the United States and Canada have found that consensually non-monogamous relationships are common, though prevalence of specific types of consensual non-monogamy are unknown. The present research draws on a United States Census based quota sample of single adults (N = 3,438) to estimate the prevalence of desire for, familiarity with, and engagement in polyamory—a distinct type of consensually non-monogamous relationship where people typically engage in romantic love and sexual intimacy with multiple partners. Results show that 1 out of 6 people (16.8%) desire to engage in polyamory, and 1 out of 9 people (10.7%) have engaged in polyamory at some point during their life. Approximately 1 out of 15 people (6.5%) reported that they knew someone who has been or is currently engaged in polyamory. Among participants who were not personally interested in polyamory, 1 out of 7 (14.2%) indicated that they respect people who engage in polyamory. Few sociodemographic correlates emerged; no differences in prevalence were found based on political affiliation, income, religion, geographic region, or race/ethnicity. Sexual minorities, men, and younger adults reported greater desire to engage in polyamory (compared to heterosexuals, women, and older adults, respectively). Men and people with lower education backgrounds were more likely to have previously engaged in polyamory (compared to women and people with higher education backgrounds, respectively). Given that emotional and sexual intimacy is an important part of most people’s lives, understanding the varied ways in which people navigate their intimate lives is critical for the fields of relationship, sexuality, and family science.


Given the centrality of relationships and family, changes in these patterns have powerful implications for social life. Adding to a growing body of research on diverse expressions of intimacy and family life, we examined previous engagement in polyamory, willingness to engage in polyamory, personally knowing someone who engages in polyamory, and positive affect toward polyamory in a national sample of United States adults. We expanded previous research on the prevalence of consensual non-monogamy in several novel ways. Our results are the first to document prevalence estimates related to polyamory in particular. Specifically, we found that willingness to engage in polyamory and previous engagement in polyamory is common. Approximately 1 out 6 people desire to engage in polyamory and 1 out of 9 people have engaged in polyamory at some point during their life. To help put this into perspective, desire to engage in polyamory is as common as how many Americans would like to move to another country (Espipova et al., 2018), and previous engagement in polyamory is as common as holding a graduate degree in the United States (United States Census Bureau, 2019). Moreover, approximately 1 out of 15 people know someone in their social network who is currently or has in the past engaged in polyamory. Among people in the present study who were not personally interested in polyamory, 14.2% of people reported that they respect people who engaged in polyamory. That is, the majority of people who were not personally interested in polyamory did not indicate positive attitudes toward polyamory.

We also found that desire to engage and previous engagement in polyamory is common among people from a range of diverse racial, political, income, religious, and geographic backgrounds. In fact, we found few links between sociodemographic factors and desire or previous engagement in polyamory. Of the few differences documented, people who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (compared to people who identified as heterosexual) and men (compared to women) were more likely to report desire to engage in polyamory and previous engagement in polyamory (consistent with our hypotheses). Lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals may be more inclined to desire polyamory because questioning a heteronormative model of relationships encourages considering alternative relationships styles (Klesse, 2016). Moreover, given engagement in consensual non-monogamy is higher among lesbian, gay, and bisexual people (compared to heterosexuals; Haupert et al., 2017ab), having familiarity with or learning norms about consensual non-monogamy may reduce stigma toward these types of relationships among people. In terms of men’s, relative to women’s, high willingness to engage in polyamory, some scholars suggest that this reported desire is an artifact of gendered dating norms (Moors et al., 2015) while others suggests this finding illustrates evolutionary mechanisms for human mating (Mogilski et al., 2017). We also found that younger people, compared to older people, were more likely to indicate willingness to engage in polyamory (inconsistent with our predictions). Desire to try polyamory among younger adults could be related to younger adults’ tendency to hold progressive values (e.g., sex positive views, diversity values; Regnerus and Uecker, 2011Parker et al., 2019), and potentially to younger adults being the target audience for various media that have recently depicted polyamory.

In terms of previous engagement, we found that men were more likely than women to have previously engaged in polyamory at some point during their life (consistent with our hypotheses and previous research on consensual non-monogamy; Haupert et al., 2017aFairbrother et al., 2019). Inconsistent with our predictions, however, was that people who identify as a sexual minority or as heterosexual are equally likely to have previously engaged in polyamory. Although previous research indicates that sexual minorities are more likely (compared to heterosexuals) to engage in consensual non-monogamy (Haupert et al., 2017a), this was not found when looking at polyamory specifically. Perhaps among sexual minorities, higher levels of previous engagement in consensual non-monogamy may be related to engagement in open relationships (which could drive the difference based on sexual orientation when looking at all consensually non-monogamous relationships). Earlier research that used convenience sampling have documented that gay men, in particular, tend to use the term ‘open relationship’ and focus on sexual relationships with other partners (e.g., Blasband and Peplau, 1985Kurdek and Schmitt, 1986). Inconsistent with our predictions, we found that people with lower education levels (high school and some college) were more likely than people with higher educational levels to have previously engaged in polyamory. This finding is also inconsistent with speculations from researchers that people with higher education levels may have had more exposure to information about polyamory or more financial stability to pursue multiple relationships (Sheff and Hammers, 2011). In the United States, approximately 33% of people have earned higher levels of education (a bachelor’s degree or higher; U.S. Census Bureau, 2019). Thus, most people in the United States, have completed some college or high school. The finding that lower education levels are associated with previous engagement in polyamory could reflect that the majority of people in the United States hold high school diplomas or some college experiences (as opposed to college and beyond experiences).

A common stereotype about consensual non-monogamy is that these relationships yield high jealousy and are challenging (Moors et al., 2013Grunt-Mejer and Campbell, 2016). Indeed, qualitative research has documented that similar themes are expressed by people in consensually non-monogamous relationships, especially those new to them (e.g., Aguilar, 2013). In the present study, we found that between 21 and 33% of people who had previously engaged in polyamory experienced issues with their own possessiveness and difficulty with navigating their related emotions. Although these are sizable minorities, we have no way of knowing whether jealousy is more prevalent in polyamorous versus monogamous relationships, as there are no population-based studies of jealousy available. However, prior research using large convenience samples have documented that people engaged in monogamy report higher levels of jealousy than people engaged in consensually non-monogamous relationships (e.g., Conley et al., 2017). Moreover, research has shown that jealousy is a common experience in monogamous relationships. Jealousy is one of the leading predictors of divorce in longitudinal studies (Amato and Rogers, 1997), and using data from the General Social Survey, researchers found that between 32 and 46% of separated or divorced women reported that their ex-husbands were sexually jealous and/or possessive (Brownridge et al., 2008). Further, research conducted using twin studies has suggested that the propensity for romantic and sexual jealousy is somewhat heritable, indicating a person-level factor independent of any relationship arrangement (Walum et al., 2013). Although multi-partner relationship dynamics may provide more varied instances that could facilitate jealousy than would monogamous relationships, jealousy is likely present in all relationship types.

In terms of familiarity with polyamory, sexual minorities and younger adults were more likely to report that they knew someone who is/was engaged in a polyamorous relationship (compared to heterosexual individuals and older adults). Given that sexual minorities are more likely to have previously engaged in polyamory and other forms of consensual non-monogamy (e.g., Haupert et al., 2017a), it is not surprising that they are more likely than people who identify as heterosexual to know someone in their network who practices polyamory. Moreover, lesbian, gay, and bisexual individuals are less likely to adhere to rigid gendered norms surrounding dating, including desire for monogamy and marriage (Moors et al., 2014). There is also evidence that consensual non-monogamy is less stigmatized among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer people (Moors et al., 20132014), and indeed, we found that sexual minority participants were more likely than heterosexual participants to indicate that they respect people engaged in polyamory. Specifically, these people who indicated that they were not personally interested in polyamory, but respect it as a relationship option. Future research could explore whether familiarity is linked with holding positive attitudes toward polyamory (akin to research on attitudes toward sexual minorities; Herek and Glunt, 1993), as well as with socio-demographics related to more socially liberal attitudes, as we found with younger participants and those who identified as Democrats. Another research direction could be to explore the extent to which people who are or have engaged in polyamory hold positive or negative views about polyamory. Recent research suggests that people engaged in consensual non-monogamy can hold self-stigmatizing views about their relationships style, similar to the psychological phenomena of internalized homophobia (Moors et al., in press).

In the next section, we provide a high-level overview of the growing area of scientific inquiry on consensually non-monogamous relationships. Beyond the scope of this paper is a critical review of the current literature. Instead, we provide context of some of the current research and how this body of work can be applied to relationship, sexuality, and family science. For further insight on theoretical and research implications of understanding consensually non-monogamous relationships, see reviews by Brewster et al. (2017)Conley et al. (2017), and Moors et al. (2017). For insight on inclusive research practices related to consensual non-monogamy, see Moors (2019).

Future Directions and Implications for Relationship and Family Science

Finding a soulmate is central to mass media depictions of family life as well as social science theories of marriage and family. In fact, most people idealize monogamy and uphold a set of cultural assumptions that monogamous relationships are optimal and that monogamous romantic relationships should take priority over other relationships (known as mononormativity; DePaulo and Morris, 2005Moors and Schechinger, 2014Pieper and Bauer, 2014). That is, most people hold the belief that an exclusive coupled relationship is a “natural” part of the human experience and, subsequently, sexual behaviors outside of monogamous coupling are pathologized (a core concept related to queer theory; e.g., Rubin, 1984Pieper and Bauer, 2014De las Heras Gómez, 2019). The belief that monogamy is optimal is also an (implicit) assumption appears in many contemporary social science theories of intimacy, such as attachment theory and the investment model of relationships (e.g., Moors et al., 2015Conley et al., 2017). One area ripe for future research is expanding relationship concepts and frameworks to include consensually non-monogamous relationship and family arrangements (see Olmstead, 2020, for a review focused on adolescence).

As found in the present study, societal views toward consensual non-monogamy tend to be negative and stigmatizing. Likewise, people engaged in consensual non-monogamy report a range of stigmatizing experiences based on their relationship (e.g., rejection from family and friends; child custody issues) and, often, hide their relationship style (Pallotta-Chiarolli, 2010Sheff, 2015Kimberly and Hans, 2017). These negative evaluations of consensual non-monogamy appear to be erroneous stereotypes. Research that has examined relationship qualities among people engaged in consensual non-monogamy and monogamy has generally found that people in both types of relationships report similar levels of relationship quality and psychological well-being (e.g., trust, commitment, love, depression; Rubel and Bogaert, 2015Conley et al., 2017Mogilski et al., 2017Moors et al., 2017Balzarini et al., 2019b). In some cases, people in consensually non-monogamous relationships report greater quality (e.g., lower jealousy, higher sexual satisfaction) and unique benefits, such as personal growth and diversified need fulfillment (Conley et al., 20172018Moors et al., 2017).

Furthermore, a growing body of research focused on relationship processes among people engaged in polyamory has documented a similar pattern of healthy relationship functioning. In terms of jealousy, people engaged in polyamory tend to experience low levels and use new words to describe mild forms of jealousy, such as “shaky” (Ritchie and Barker, 2006). Drawing on interpersonal relationship frameworks, Mitchell et al. (2014) investigated how meeting seven different needs (e.g., autonomy, closeness, emotional support, security) with a given partner affects relationship satisfaction and commitment with both relationship partners among people engaged in polyamory. Overall, need fulfillment across all needs were consistently high with both partners; moreover, the extent to which one partner met someone’s needs was unrelated to satisfaction or commitment with another partner. A similar pattern of results was found when looking at attachment dynamics and relationship quality among people engaged in polyamory (Moors et al., 2019). Specifically, Moors et al. found that people engaged in polyamory exhibited high levels of security with both of their partners (levels higher than established norms). Moreover, there was no association between avoidance and anxiety with one specific partner and the relationship functioning (e.g., satisfaction, commitment) in a different, concurrent relationship. These studies suggest that a relationship with one partner tends to function independently of a relationship with another partner, as both relationships were considered fulfilling, satisfying, and secure (essentially without influencing each other). In the context of the present studies’ findings, a future avenue to explore is the association between attachment bonds and reasons why some people thrive in polyamorous relationships while others experience jealousy or difficulty with navigating their emotions.

In the context of parenting, longitudinal sociological research illustrates the varied ways in which children raised by parents engaged in polyamory thrive (Sheff, 20112015). For instance, children of parents engaged in polyamory report that they enjoy receiving attention from a variety of adults and sharing a diverse range of interests with adults in their lives (Sheff, 20102015). In addition to benefits mentioned by children, parents engaged in polyamory expressed that multiple co-parents (or partners) helped with childrearing and household responsibilities. Although drawbacks such as breakups (and children reported that they missed these adults) can occur in polyamorous family units, this can be likened to feelings of loss that children of monogamous children experience when faced with divorce and separations. One limitation of the present study is that we did not examine whether people were parents and their experiences with or interest in polyamory. Future research could explore the extent to which people who are parents desire to or are engaged in polyamory.

To our knowledge, this study is the first to obtain information about the prevalence of polyamory, including previous engagement, desire, and familiarity, using a large United States national sample. Our study sheds light on the commonness of interest and previous engagement in polyamory among Americans. At the same time, our study focused on the experiences of people who are currently single, which limits the generalizability of our findings to people who are in relationships (including obtaining an estimate of current engagement in polyamory). Future research will benefit from understanding current engagement in polyamory as well as other specific types of consensual non-monogamy. Future research could also explore potential changes in desire or engagement in consensually non-monogamous relationships (or polyamory specifically) over time. A limitation of the present study is that it captures attitudes and behaviors related to polyamory at one time point.

In more gender equal countries gender differences in redistributive preferences are significantly larger (women are systematically pro-redistribution); right-leaning women are more favorable to redistribution than right-leaning men

Women’s Voice on Redistribution: from Gender Norms to Taxation. Monica Bozzano, Paola Profeta, Riccardo Puglisi, Simona Scabrosetti. Società italiana di economia pubblica, Working Papper No 768, Mar 2021.

Abstract: Gender norms, i.e. the role of men and women in the society, are a fundamental channel through which culture may influence preferences for redistribution and public policies. We consider both cross-country and individual level evidence on this mechanism. We find that in countries that are historically more gender-equal the tax system today is more redistributive. At the individual level, we find that in more gender equal countries gender differences in redistributive preferences are significantly larger. This effect is driven by women becoming systematically more favorable to redistribution, while there are no significant changes for men. Interestingly, there is no gender-based difference in preferences for redistribution among left-leaning citizens, while this difference is significant among moderates in the expected direction: ideologically moderate women are more favorable to redistribution than moderate men, and this effect is even stronger among right-leaning individuals.

Keywords: gender inequality, comparative public finance, tax mix, institutions, historical origins

JEL classification: H10, H20, N30, Z18

Feeling jealous when friends make new friends is probably NOT due to evils of Western capitalism, immaturity, or being a bad person; rather, friendship jealousy might actually help us hang on to valued pals

Friendship jealousy: One tool for maintaining friendships in the face of third-party threats? Krems, J. A., Williams, K. E. G., Aktipis, A., & Kenrick, D. T. (2021). Friendship jealousy: One tool for maintaining friendships in the face of third-party threats? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 120(4), 977–1012.

Abstract: Friendships can foster happiness, health, and reproductive fitness. However, friendships end—even when we might not want them to. A primary reason for this is interference from third parties. Yet, little work has explored how people meet the challenge of maintaining friendships in the face of real or perceived threats from third parties, as when our friends inevitably make new friends or form new romantic relationships. In contrast to earlier conceptualizations from developmental research, which viewed friendship jealousy as solely maladaptive, we propose that friendship jealousy is one overlooked tool of friendship maintenance. We derive and test—via a series of 11 studies (N = 2,918) using hypothetical scenarios, recalled real-world events, and manipulation of online emotional experiences—whether friendship jealousy possesses the features of a tool well-designed to help us retain friends in the face of third-party threats. Consistent with our proposition, findings suggest that friendship jealousy is (a) uniquely evoked by third-party threats to friendships (but not the prospective loss of the friendship alone), (b) sensitive to the value of the threatened friendship, (c) strongly calibrated to cues that one is being replaced, even over more intuitive cues (e.g., the amount of time a friend and interloper spend together), and (d) ultimately motivates behavior aimed at countering third-party threats to friendship (“friend guarding”). Even as friendship jealousy may be negative to experience, it may include features designed for beneficial—and arguably prosocial—ends: to help maintain friendships.