Sunday, April 18, 2021

Sleep duration is not significantly correlated with overall academic performance for US adolescents, but sleep quality is.

Associations between Sleep and Academic Performance in US Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Leslie A. Musshafen et al. Sleep Medicine, April 17 2021.


• There is a complex relationship between sleep and academic performance.

• There are limited objective measures of sleep utilized in the existing literature.

• Sleep duration is not significantly correlated with overall academic performance.

• Sleep quality is significantly correlated with overall academic performance.

• Aspects of sleep quality such as number of night awakenings demonstrate a negligible, but significant correlation with academic performance outcomes.

Abstract: This systematic review and meta-analysis aim to investigate the relationship between sleep and academic performance in students enrolled in secondary education programs in the United States. The study team conducted a literature search of 4 databases—PubMed, Embase, CINAHL, and ERIC—on September 19 and repeated December 17, 2020. Studies were included if they were observational, published in a peer-reviewed, non-predatory journal, available in full-text, written in English, included adolescents enrolled in an organized academic program, took place in the US, and evaluated the effect of sleep duration and/or sleep quality on academic performance. After excluding reviews, editorials, interventions, and those targeting diagnostic groups, 14 studies met inclusion criteria. Risk of bias was assessed using the NIH Quality Assessment Tool for Observational Cohort and Cross-Sectional Studies; 12 studies were found to be good or high quality, 2 were adequate/fair or poor quality. A meta-analysis of 11 of the included studies revealed that sleep duration (r= 0.03; 95%CI -0.027, 0.087; p= 0.087) and sleep quality (r= 0.089; 95%CI 0.027, 0.151; p= 0.005) had negligible correlations with academic performance (non-significant and significant, respectively). Inconsistencies in definitions, methods, and measures utilized to assess sleep duration, sleep quality, and academic performance constructs may offer insight into seemingly conflicting findings. Given the pivotal role sleep plays in development, future investigations utilizing validated and objective sleep and academic performance measures are needed in adolescents.

Keywords: adolescentstudentsleepacademic performancesystematic reviewmeta-analysis

Citizens in Western democracies often have negative attitudes toward political bodies, yet consistently re-elect their own representatives to these same political bodies

Why People Hate Congress but Love Their Own Congressperson: An Information Processing Explanation. Joris Lammers et al. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, April 17, 2021.

Abstract: Citizens in Western democracies often have negative attitudes toward political bodies, yet consistently re-elect their own representatives to these same political bodies. They hate Congress, but love their own congressperson. In contrast to resource-based explanations, we propose that this Paradox of Congressional Support is partly due to the wide availability of negative information about politicians in open societies combined with basic processes of information processing. Five studies found that unrelated negative political information decreases attitudes toward political categories such as U.S. governors but has no effect on attitudes of familiar, individual politicians (e.g., one’s own governor); additional studies further identify familiarity as the critical process. Importantly, we demonstrate that this effect generalizes to all U.S. regions and remains when controlling for and is not moderated by political ideology. These results place a presumed macrolevel political paradox within the domain of cognitive mechanisms of basic information processing.

Keywords: paradox of congressional support, political attitudes, categorization

Men & women: Magnitude of differences, small, fluctuated somewhat as a function of the psychological domain (cognitive variables, social & personality variables, well-being), but was largely constant across age, culture, & generations

Zell, E., Krizan, Z., & Teeter, S. R. (2015). Evaluating gender similarities and differences using metasynthesis. American Psychologist, 70(1), 10–20. Apr 2021.

Abstract: Despite the common lay assumption that males and females are profoundly different, Hyde (2005) used data from 46 meta-analyses to demonstrate that males and females are highly similar. Nonetheless, the gender similarities hypothesis has remained controversial. Since Hyde’s provocative report, there has been an explosion of meta-analytic interest in psychological gender differences. We utilized this enormous collection of 106 meta-analyses and 386 individual meta-analytic effects to reevaluate the gender similarities hypothesis. Furthermore, we employed a novel data-analytic approach called metasynthesis (Zell & Krizan, 2014) to estimate the average difference between males and females and to explore moderators of gender differences. The average, absolute difference between males and females across domains was relatively small (d = 0.21, SD = 0.14), with the majority of effects being either small (46%) or very small (39%). Magnitude of differences fluctuated somewhat as a function of the psychological domain (e.g., cognitive variables, social and personality variables, well-being), but remained largely constant across age, culture, and generations. These findings provide compelling support for the gender similarities hypothesis, but also underscore conditions under which gender differences are most pronounced.

Relationship between intelligence and creative achievement: Albeit statistically significant, is of small-to-moderate size

Karwowski, Maciej, Marta Czerwonka, Ewa Wiśniewska, and Boris Forthmann. 2021. “How Is Intelligence Test Performance Associated with Creative Achievement? A Meta-analysis.” PsyArXiv. April 17. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: This paper presents a meta-analysis of the links between intelligence test scores and creative achievement. A three-level meta-analysis of 117 correlation coefficients from 30 studies has found a correlation of r = .16 (95% CI: .12, .19), closely mirroring previous meta-analytic findings. The estimated effects were stronger for overall creative achievement and achievement in scientific domains than for correlations between intelligence scores and creative achievement in the arts and everyday creativity. No signs of publication bias were found. We discuss theoretical implications and provide recommendations for future studies.

Check also Creativity and the Dark Triad: A Meta-Analysis. Izabela Lebud, Bernadetta Figur, Maciej Karwowski. Journal of Research in Personality, March 21 2021, 104088.

Early alphabetic writing; Its proliferation in the Southern Levant should be considered a product of Levantine-Egyptian interaction during the mid 2nd millennium BC, rather than of later Egyptian domination

Early alphabetic writing in the ancient Near East: the ‘missing link’ from Tel Lachish. Felix Höflmayer, Haggai Misgav, Lyndelle Webster,  Katharina Streit. Antiquity, April 15 2021.

Abstract: The origin of alphabetic script lies in second-millennium BC Bronze Age Levantine societies. A chronological gap, however, divides the earliest evidence from the Sinai and Egypt—dated to the nineteenth century BC—and from the thirteenth-century BC corpus in Palestine. Here, the authors report a newly discovered Late Bronze Age alphabetic inscription from Tel Lachish, Israel. Dating to the fifteenth century BC, this inscription is currently the oldest securely dated alphabetic inscription from the Southern Levant, and may therefore be regarded as the ‘missing link’. The proliferation of early alphabetic writing in the Southern Levant should be considered a product of Levantine-Egyptian interaction during the mid second millennium BC, rather than of later Egyptian domination.

Historical context

The newly discovered inscription from Tel Lachish is currently the earliest securely dated example of early alphabetic writing in the Southern Levant. In order to assess the importance of this find, we briefly review the other potential early alphabetic examples from the area.

A disputed contender for the earliest example is a scarab from Tell Abu Zureiq, in the Jezreel Valley. Found in a Middle Bronze Age tomb excavated by Meyerhof (1989), the scarab was dated to the Thirteenth to Fifteenth Dynasties (Giveon 1988: 22; Keel 1997: 17). Its base depicts a man and four signs, which Giveon (1988: 22) originally interpreted as Egyptian hieroglyphs. Kitchen (1989) suggested that these signs could be read as early alphabetic characters, an interpretation rejected by Keel (1997: 16–17), but recently endorsed by Morenz (2011: 164–65).

Another potential early alphabetic inscription is the much-discussed Lachish Dagger, which was discovered in 1934 by the British Expedition in tomb 1502, and dated to the late Middle Bronze Age (Tufnell 1958: 254). The bronze dagger exhibits four potential early alphabetic signs (Tufnell 1958: 128; Sass 1988: 53–54; Hamilton 2006: 390–91), and most scholars accept this interpretation (e.g. Albright 19481969: 10; Naveh 1987: 26; Hamilton 2006: 303–4; Goldwasser 2006: 132, 2016: 140–42; Morenz 2011: 170–71; Lemaire 2017: 106; Haring 2020: 59). In 1988, Sass agreed that the inscription was probably early alphabetic, pointing out that it would be the only one that could be securely dated to the Middle Bronze Age (Sass 1988: 54). He later grew more cautious, however, and suggested that the signs might not be early alphabetic after all (Sass 2004–2005: 150).

A third example that has been dated to the Middle Bronze Age is the so-called ‘Gezer Sherd’. Exhibiting three early alphabetic characters, this sherd was found in 1929 on the surface of Tel Gezer (Albright 1935). It was soon dated to the Middle Bronze Age (Albright 1935)—an attribution accepted by many scholars (e.g. Albright 1969: 10; Naveh 1987: 26; Hamilton 2006: 308–309; Morenz 2011: 166; Goldwasser 2016: 143). Sass was more cautious, however, arguing that the sherd could not be classified typologically, and that its date could range from Middle Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age (Sass 1988: 55). He later concluded that the Gezer Sherd is essentially undatable (Sass 2004–2005: 149).

Several inscriptions on an assemblage of storage jars from Tel Gezer have also been interpreted as early alphabetic writing (Seger 19832013: 186–96; Goldwasser 2016: 142–43). These jars were found in storerooms next to the southern gate area (field IV) and were associated with stratum XVIII (early Late Bronze Age) and stratum XIX (late Middle Bronze Age) (Seger 2013). Most of the jars were inscribed with a single sign, with only two jars bearing two signs each. Sass (1988: 98) mentioned these Gezer jars briefly as examples of early alphabetic writing, but later re-interpreted them as bearing only potters’ marks (Sass 2004–2005: 166, footnote 97).

A fragmentary plaque from Shechem is frequently mentioned in the corpus of potential Middle Bronze Age early alphabetic inscriptions from the Southern Levant (Böhl 1938). According to the earliest publications, this object was found in a Middle Bronze Age building, just above the floor, together with typical, contemporaneous Tell el-Yahudiyah pottery (Böhl 1938: 2). Scholars have long accepted a Middle Bronze or early Late Bronze Age date for the plaque (Albright 19481969: 10–11; Leibovitch 1963; Wimmer 2001; Hamilton 2006: 308), which represents the lower right portion of a stela depicting a person facing to the left and clad in a heavy garment (‘Wulstsaummantel’)—a common Middle Bronze Age garment type (Wimmer 2001). The plaque's archaeological context, however, has been questioned due to the early excavation techniques with limited stratigraphic control, and the lack of a final excavation report (Sass 1988: 57). The early alphabetic nature of the characters has also been called into question (Sass 2004–2005: 149–50).

Yet another disputed early alphabetic inscription was found at Tel Nagila in the 1960s. Here, a body sherd of a jug, with an inscription incised before firing, was discovered in area A, a residential area provisionally dated to the end of the Middle or the early Late Bronze Age (Amiran & Eitan 1965: 121). Sass (1988: 54), however, rightly emphasised the lack of a clear stratigraphic context for that sherd. Later, quoting David Ilan, who observed that a large Late Bronze Age building disturbed the Middle Bronze Age strata in the area where the inscription was found, Sass concluded that the Tel Nagila sherd “is to be regarded as unstratified, and a LBII origin [is] not implausible” (Sass 2004–2005: 159).

The dates and interpretations of the evidence for the earliest occurrences of early alphabetic writing in the Southern Levant are therefore ambiguous, as only the Lachish Dagger (if accepted as early alphabetic) was found in a clear archaeological context datable to the Middle Bronze Age (as rightly pointed out by Sass (1988: 54)). The discovery of the new early alphabetic inscription at Tel Lachish pushes back the earliest securely datable occurrence considerably, and we can now show that early alphabetic writing was employed in the Southern Levant by the mid fifteenth century BC (early Late Bronze Age). This evidence not only closes the gap between the development of early alphabetic inscriptions around Serabit el-Khadim and Wadi el-Hol in Upper Egypt, and its more widespread Southern Levantine use in the later Late Bronze Age, but also suggests that early alphabetic writing was already present in the Southern Levant by the (late) Middle Bronze Age.

The new early alphabetic inscription also underscores the importance of Tel Lachish as an early centre of writing (Goldwasser 2016: 151; Naʾaman 2020). Indeed, Lachish has yielded more examples of Late Bronze Age early alphabetic inscriptions than any other site. In addition to the Lachish Dagger and the new inscription discussed here, the site has yielded four other examples of alphabetic writing. In tomb 527, the British Expedition of 1935 found a bowl (Lachish bowl one) bearing a painted inscription (Tufnell 1958: 129). This tomb also contained a Cypriot Base Ring II juglet and a local imitation of a Mycenaean straight-sided alabastron (Tufnell 1958: 239). Tufnell (1958: 129) considered this tomb to be contemporaneous with the late Fosse temple II or early Fosse temple III, and thus coeval (or slightly earlier) with stratum VII on the mound. In absolute terms, this dates to the fourteenth or thirteenth century BC (Ussishkin 2004b: 57). In Fosse temple III, the British Expedition found the well-known Lachish Ewer, which bears a painted early alphabetic inscription (Tufnell et al1940: 47–54; Tuffnell 1958: 130). As Fosse temple III corresponds to stratum VII on the mound, the Ewer roughly dates to the thirteenth century BC (Ussishkin 2004b: 57).

A fragment of a bowl bearing a black-ink inscription comprising two straight lines of characters was found by the Tel Aviv Expedition in pit 3867, in area S (Lemaire 2004). This pit belongs to stratum VI and dates to the twelfth century BC (Ussishkin 2004b: 57). Finally, another inscription from stratum VI—a pottery sherd with several characters incised before firing—was found in the inner part of a Late Bronze Age temple in area BB during recent excavations by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Southern Adventist University (Sass et al. 2015).