Saturday, May 15, 2021

Not only is animal-source food wrong, plant-source food is wrong too... Let's transition to house flies, funghi, mealworm beetles and algae

Tzachor, A., Richards, C.E. & Holt, L. Future foods for risk-resilient diets. Nat Food (2021). May 13 2021.

Abstract: Future foods, such as microalgae, mycoprotein and mealworm, have been suggested as nutritious and sustainable dietary options. Here we consider one of the most profound, yet neglected, benefits of future foods farming systems—their potential to provide essential nutrition in the face of systemic disturbances—and discuss major barriers to realizing this prospect.

Popular version Maggots and kelp must be on the menu to curb global malnutrition - BBC Science Focus Magazine 

The benefits of cognitive diversity are not equally distributed about collective intelligence tasks, & are best seen for complex, multi-stage, creative problem solving, during problem posing & hypothesis generation

Sulik, Justin, Bahador Bahrami, and Ophelia Deroy. 2021. “The Diversity Gap: When Diversity Matters for Knowledge.” PsyArXiv. May 10. doi:10.31234/ Accepted in Perspectives on Psychological Science.

Abstract: Can diversity make for better science? Although diversity has ethical and political value, arguments for its epistemic value require a bridge between normative and mechanistic considerations, demonstrating why and how diversity benefits collective intelligence. However, a major hurdle is that the benefits themselves are rather mixed: quantitative evidence from psychology and behavioral sciences sometimes shows a positive epistemic effect of diversity, but often shows a null effect, or even a negative effect. Here we argue that, in order to make progress with these why and how questions, we need first to rethink when one ought to expect a benefit of cognitive diversity. In doing so, we highlight that the benefits of cognitive diversity are not equally distributed about collective intelligence tasks, and are best seen for complex, multi-stage, creative problem solving, during problem posing and hypothesis generation. Throughout, we additionally outline a series of mechanisms relating diversity and problem complexity, and show how this perspective can inform meta-science questions.

Relations between HEXACO personality and ideology variables are mostly genetic in nature

Relations between HEXACO personality and ideology variables are mostly genetic in nature. Reinout E. de Vries et al. European Journal of Personality, May 12, 2021.

Abstract: Existing work indicates that socio-political attitudes (or: ideology) are associated with personality, with Social Dominance Orientation and Right-Wing Authoritarianism relating most strongly to honesty-humility and openness to experience, the two value-related domains of the HEXACO framework. Using a sample of 7067 twins and siblings of twins (including 1376 complete twin pairs), we examined the degree to which these relations arise from common genetic and environmental sources. Heritability estimates for the HEXACO personality and ideology variables ranged from .34 to .58. Environmental factors shared by twins reared together showed negligible effects on individual differences in personality and ideology. At the phenotypic level, Social Dominance Orientation and Right-Wing Authoritarianism dimensions related most strongly to honesty-humility and openness to experience. These associations were mostly explained by genetic factors (48%–93%). Genetic correlations between openness to experience and the ideology scales ranged from –.29 to –.53; those between honesty-humility and the ideology scales ranged from –.31 to –.43. None of the environmental correlations exceeded |r| = .18. These results suggest that the relations between the two value-related domains of the HEXACO personality model and ideology are mostly genetic in nature, and that there is substantial overlap in the heritable components of personality and ideology.

Keywords: HEXACO, Social Dominance Orientation, Right-Wing Authoritarianism, heritability, personality

(De)Politicizing Polyamory: Social Media Comments on Media Representations of Consensual Non-Monogamies

(De)Politicizing Polyamory: Social Media Comments on Media Representations of Consensual Non-Monogamies. Daniel Cardoso, Ana Rosa & Marisa Torres da Silva. Archives of Sexual Behavior, May 11 2021.

Abstract: Our research sits at the intersection of communication studies, sociology, cyberculture, and political philosophy and theory. In 2014, a 10+-min segment on polyamory aired on Portuguese open-access national television, during the prime-time newscast, and was viewed by several million people, according to official reports. The news piece was also advertised and shared online, especially via Facebook, by the network’s official page. Moreover, the piece was aired within the context of a segment that celebrated the 40-year anniversary of the 1974 liberal revolution that overthrew the right-wing dictatorial regime that ruled Portugal for more than half of the twentieth century. This context served to frame polyamory (alongside other topics) as explicitly political by presenting them as freedoms seized by that liberal revolution. This study used a mixed-method approach to the analysis of online comments on Facebook made with respect to the referred news piece, by deploying both content analysis and critical discourse analysis to try to understand how the political nature of polyamory is negotiated (affirmed or disavowed), and what ideal of the “political” is mobilized in that negotiation, in connection with other elements of intimate citizenship and modes of systemic discrimination. Through this analysis, we will deepen our understanding of how lay people construe the “political” and the (non-)politicalness of polyamory. It also helps advance contemporary understandings of how polyamory is represented in mainstream media, understood by audiences, and how media—and debates on online social networks—can both amplify and help fight against harmful stereotypes of minorities. Through this research, we contribute to political theory by opening up new ways of conceptualizing the realm of the political as an open-ended definition that must encompass changes in modes of sociality, including a politics of relating as a sub-field, likewise to the study of social movements, and their strategies, around consensual non-monogamies. Overall, results show that the recognition of the validity of polyamory is not the same as the realization that relationship orientation is a political issue in itself and that a privatized mode of understanding politics seems prevalent as well as the default framework used in the comments we analyzed. In addition to that, and as other research has already noted, incivility and hate speech was prevalent in online comments and discussions, further dampening the political potential of dissident modes of existence, especially given that incivility is also deployed by those speaking in favor of Othered identities and experiences.

We choose not to see life's violence on our daily strolls; every time we say nature is beautiful, we are saying a prayer, fingering our worry beads

We choose not to see life's violence on our daily strolls; every time we say nature is beautiful, we are saying a prayer, fingering our worry beads. Camille Paglia's Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson, 1990. 

We are moving in this chapter toward a theory of beauty. I believe that the aesthetic sense, like everything else thus far, is a swerve from the chthonian. It is a displacement from one area of reality to another, analogous to the shift from earth-cult to sky-cult. Ferenczi speaks of the replacement of animal nose by human eye, because of our upright stance. The eye is peremptory in its judgments. It decides what to see and why. Each of our glances is as much exclusion as inclusion. We select, editorialize, and enhance. Our idea of the pretty is a limited notion that cannot possibly apply to earth’s metamorphic underworld, a cataclysmic realm of chthonian violence. We choose not to see this violence on our daily strolls. Every time we say nature is beautiful, we are saying a prayer, fingering our worry beads.

The cool beauty of the femme fatale is another transformation of chthonian ugliness. Female animals are usually less beautiful than males. The mother bird’s dull feathers are camouflage, protecting the nest from predators. Male birds are creatures of spectacular display, of both plumage and parade, partly to impress females and conquer rivals and partly to divert enemies from the nest. Among humans, male ritual display is just as extreme, but for the first time the female becomes a lavishly beautiful object. Why? The female is adorned not simply to increase her property value, as Marxism would demystifyingly have it, but to assure her desirability. Consciousness has made cowards of us all. Animals do not feel sexual fear, because they are not rational beings. They operate under a pure biologic imperative. Mind, which has enabled humanity to adapt and flourish as a species, has also infinitely complicated our functioning as physical beings. We see too much, and so have to stringently limit our seeing. Desire is besieged on all sides by anxiety and doubt. Beauty, an ecstasy of the eye, drugs us and allows us to act. Beauty is our Apollonian revision of the chthonian.

Intuitive perception of long-term mating strategies increases association with religiosity, perception of short-term mating strategies decreases association with religiosity

Intuitive Perceptions of the Relationship Between Mating Strategies and Religiosity: Participant Religiosity Influences Perceptions, but Not Gender. James A. Van Slyke. Evolutionary Psychological Science, May 12 2021.

Abstract: Recent evidence suggests that the adoption of religious beliefs and values may be used strategically to enhance long-term mating strategies, which implies an intuitive connection between differences in mating strategy and religiosity. This connection was investigated in a two-part primary hypothesis: perception of long-term mating strategies should increase association with religiosity and decrease association with nonreligiosity, while perception of short-term mating strategies should decrease association with religiosity and increase association with nonreligiosity. This was studied using a novel methodology of developing two mating strategy narratives (short-term vs. long-term) constructed from a preestablished measure and exploiting the tendency to use the representativeness heuristic and conjunction error to study the intuitive links between mating strategies and religiosity. Study 1 served as a pilot study using undergraduates and confirmed the primary hypothesis. Studies 2 and 3 expanded on study 1 by using a more representative sample through a larger Qualtrics panel of participants more closely matched to the general US population and also added the variables of participant religiosity and gender to the analysis. These studies not only confirmed the primary hypothesis but also demonstrated that how religiosity is described has an effect on whether or not it is associated with long-term strategies. Gender did not have an effect on the association between mating strategy and religiosity, but in study 3, nonreligious individuals did not associate long-term mating strategies with religiosity.

What Himba want in formal & informal concurrent partners: Men follow a dual strategy, preferring hard-working wives & attractive girlfriends; women prefer wealthy husbands & generous boyfriends

Partner preferences in the context of concurrency: What Himba want in formal and informal partners. Brooke A. Scelz, Sean P. Prall. Evolution and Human Behavior, Volume 39, Issue 2, March 2018, Pages 212-219.

Abstract: Research on human mate preferences that distinguishes between short- and long-term partners has been conducted mainly in industrialized societies, where multiple mating and concurrent partnerships are stigmatized. However, cross-culturally, there is significant variation in the frequency and the level of acceptance of such relationships. Furthermore, the dichotomy between short- and long-term partnerships does not fully describe the diversity in actual extra-pair behavior, which ranges from single sexual encounters to multi-year love affairs. Here we present another comparison, between formal (marital) and informal (non-marital) partners, which we feel better captures this diversity. We assess the traits that men and women prefer in each type of partner among Himba pastoralists, where concurrent partnerships are common and accepted for both sexes. We situate our findings in relation to three main explanations for concurrent partnerships: dual-mating, trading-up and multiple investors. We find some similarities with the existing literature in the traits that are listed as important, including physical attractiveness, wealth and intelligence. Our evidence suggest that Himba men follow a dual strategy, preferring hard-working wives and attractive girlfriends. Women's preferences align most strongly with a multiple investors explanation, most clearly articulated through their preferences for wealthy husbands and generous boyfriends. Limited support is also found for a dual-mating strategy in women. These findings suggest that local cultural norms and ecologies modulate mate preferences in important ways.

Keywords: Mate choiceMate preferencesReproductive strategiesHimba

Active males, reactive females: stereotypic sex roles in sexual conflict research?

Active males, reactive females: stereotypic sex roles in sexual conflict research? Kristina Karlsson  Green, Josefin A. Madjidian. Animal Behaviour, Volume 81, Issue 5, May 2011, Pages 901-907.

Abstract: Sexual selection research has always been a subject for debate. Much of the criticism has concerned the imposition of conventional sex roles based on an anthropomorphic view of animals imposed by the researcher. This conventional view may have hampered research, for example from acknowledging male mate choice. Sexual conflict theory is a fast-growing research field, which initially stems from sexual selection research. We investigated how the sexes are described in sexual conflict research and what characteristics they are assigned. We assessed these topics with literature studies of (1) the terminology used and (2) what parameters are incorporated in sexual conflict models. We found that males and females are consequently described with different words, which have different connotations regarding activity in the conflict. Furthermore, theoretical models mainly investigate conflict costs for females, although costs for both sexes are necessary for coevolutionary dynamics. We argue that sexual conflict research uses stereotypic characterizations of the sexes, where males are active and females reactive. Thus, previous discussions on the use of anthropomorphic terms in sexual selection seem not to have had any impact on sexual conflict research, which is why the topic of stereotyping the sexes is still of current importance. We suggest that scientific gains can be made by eliminating a sex-stereotyped perspective.

Keywords: gender biasmale costphilosophy of sciencesemanticssexual conflictsexual selection

People rated themselves as more attractive at later times of a bar's opening hours; this “closing time effect” applied to men regardless of their relationship status, and applied only to single women

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder but rarely because of the beer. Tobias Otterbring, Kristian Rolschau. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 179, September 2021, 110921.


• The present research examined whether beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

• People rated themselves as more attractive at later times of a bar's opening hours.

• This “closing time effect” applied to men regardless of their relationship status

• However, this “pretty” pattern only occurred among single women

• People erroneously attributed the “closing time effect” to alcohol consumption.

Abstract: Across three studies, the present research examined beliefs and real-world responses pertaining to whether bar patrons' self-rated attractiveness would be higher later in the night. Contrary to beliefs held by lay people (Study 1A) and researchers in relevant disciplines (Study 1B), the results of a field study (Study 2) revealed that patrons perceived themselves as more attractive at later times, regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed. Relationship status moderated this time-contingent finding, which only applied to patrons who were single. However, consistent with sexual strategies theory, this interplay was further moderated by the patrons' sex. Men rated themselves as more attractive later in the night irrespective of their relationship status, whereas this “pretty” pattern only held for single women. Taken together, the current work highlights the concept of time in forming consumers' evaluative judgments and adds to the literature on the closing time effect.

Keywords: TimeClosing time effectSex differencesAttractivenessRelationship statusSexual strategies theory

5. General discussion

As far as can be ascertained, this is the first scientific work to investigate the validity of the closing time effect with respect to self-rated attractiveness. Studies 1A–B found that lay people and scholars in relevant disciplines believe bar patrons rate their own level of attractiveness more favorably at later times of a bar's opening hours due to increased alcohol consumption. Contrary to this belief, Study 2 found time, but not alcohol intoxication, explained patrons' responses in an actual field setting. Specifically, patrons perceived themselves as more attractive at later times of a bar's opening hours, regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed or how drunk they felt. Relationship status moderated this time-contingent finding, which only applied to patrons who were single. However, consistent with sexual strategies theory (Buss & Schmitt, 1993), this interaction was further moderated by the patrons' sex. Men rated themselves as more attractive the later they responded, regardless of their relationship status, whereas this pattern held only for single women. Notably, the present article offers a novel approach of testing the closing time effect on self-rated attractiveness rather than the previous focus on opposite-sex ratings.

At a general level, the current research highlights the concept of time in forming consumers' evaluative judgments. In particular, the results suggest that merely spending time in consumption contexts associated with a time-restricted market for mating may boost certain individuals' perceptions of their own attractiveness in a way that likely facilitates approach behaviors towards potential mates and mirrors sex differences in short-term mating strategies (Buss, 1989Buss & Schmitt, 2019Schmitt, 2003).

While we found support for our theorizing under ecologically valid conditions, as called for by scholars in psychology and consumer research (Cialdini, 2009bOtterbring et al., 2020), other factors cannot be explicitly ruled out as alternative accounts. It could be that patrons entering bars at later hours simply constitute more attractive crowds, according to themselves or others, but they may also represent a segment that wears fancier clothes and more alluring accessories than patrons entering at earlier hours, given that such style-based strategies seem to play a prominent role in mating contexts (Hill et al., 1987Townsend & Levy, 1990). Furthermore, “night owls” (i.e., individuals with an eveningness disposition) are more likely to have narcissistic personality traits (Jonason et al., 2013), which is positively (and meta-analytically) related to physical attractiveness (Holtzman & Strube, 2010) as well as short-term mate appeal, including interest as a short-term romantic and sexual partner (Dufner et al., 2013). People with narcissistic tendencies also perceive themselves more positively and are particularly prone to display self-presentation tactics, such as altering their appearance to obtain social gains, wearing expensive, conspicuous clothing, and, among women, wearing makeup and showing cleavage (Back et al., 2010Fox & Rooney, 2015Vazire et al., 2008). Therefore, future research on the closing time effect should collect data on patrons' dress style and level of narcissism, since these factors may partially explain the findings reported herein.

A final suggestion for future research is to uncover the specific psychological process explaining our results. The present findings appear to contradict the predictions proposed by Johnco et al. (2010) stemming from mere exposure effects and commodity theory. Mere exposure effects can theoretically explain increases in opposite-sex ratings over time (Halberstadt et al., 2003). However, such exposure effects are unlikely to explain the current findings on self-rated attractiveness. Similarly, commodity theory can explain a general increase in attractiveness ratings of opposite-sex individuals as a function of time, since the scarcity of potential partners due to time restrictions may increase their perceived attractiveness (Cialdini, 2009aLynn, 1992), but seems implausible in explaining a rise in patrons' self-rated attractiveness. Moreover, commodity theory cannot explain why the closing time effect should be restricted to patrons who are single (Madey et al., 1996). Among the previous explanations for the closing time effect, reactance theory, as originally suggested by Pennebaker et al. (1979), appears best suited to explain why it occurs and why it might differ depending on bar patrons' relationship status. However, reactance theory cannot easily explain why men and women should be differentially influenced by the effect depending on their relationship status. As such, the theory that offers the most parsimonious explanation for precise pattern of results seems to be sexual strategies theory (Buss & Schmitt, 1993). Future research should try to replicate the current findings, while simultaneously investigating if the psychological mechanism underlying the closing time effect differs as a function of whether the attractiveness ratings relate to opposite-sex individuals or self-evaluations.

People who have had COVID-19 may be more sociable than those who have not had it; people who have had COVID-19 were more conservative-leaning

Personality Correlates of COVID-19 Infection Proclivity: Extraversion Kills. Vania Rolon et al. Personality and Individual Differences, May 14 2021, 110994.


• People who have had COVID-19 may be more sociable than those who have not had it.

• Assertiveness and energy level showed no group differences.

• People who have had COVID-19 were more conservative-leaning.

• Group differences in political ideology pertained social conservatism in particular.

Abstract: The current research sought to shed light on the behavioral science that underlies the spread of SARS-CoV-2. We tested the extraversion hypothesis, which suggests that the sociability facet of extraversion may predispose people to becoming infected with the coronavirus via greater human-to-human contact. Since extraverts seek out social opportunities and seem less likely to follow containment measures related to social distancing, we hypothesized that people who have previously become infected would exhibit greater extraversion than would those who have not contracted the virus. We measured overall extraversion and three of its facets–sociability, assertiveness, and energy levels–as well as political orientation. We collected data from 217 adults, aged 40 and older, from the US and the UK, of whom 53 had had the virus at some point prior to the study, and 164 had not. Participants who had had COVID-19 were more dispositionally sociable and were also more conservative-leaning compared to participants who had never had COVID-19. Implications regarding the behavioral science underlying the current pandemic are discussed.

Keywords: COVID-19PersonalityExtraversionBFI-2

4. Discussion

The current research sought to add to the efforts to understand the COVID-19 pandemic by exploring the behavioral science surrounding the spread of SARS-CoV-2. People who contracted COVID-19 reported marginally greater sociability scores than did people who never contracted COVID-19, whereas differences in overall extraversion, assertiveness, and energy level did not differ significantly between groups. In terms of political orientation, exploratory analyses suggest that participants who had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 leaned relatively more conservative, especially regarding social issues, and, in the case of American participants, and potentially agreed more with the Republican Party than did participants who had never been infected.

4.1. Limitations and Future Research

While our sample size may not have been ideal, we believe our study to be a first step into looking at personality differences between people who have become infected with COVID-19 versus those who have not, especially since past research has mostly focused on personality traits and COVID-19 related measures (e.g., perceived susceptibility and obedience of contingency measures) but not actual infections. Larger samples with more evenly distributed techniques would benefit future work. Additionally, collecting data from a broader array of nations would be useful, particularly since the American and British left-right parties may differ from the left-right parties of other nations. While Pennycook (2020) explains how the U.S. right politicized the pandemic, in Mexico, for example, it was President Lopez Obrador’s left government making claims about the country having tamed COVID-19 or that facemasks have practically null utility (Loret de Mola, 2021).

Future research might be wise to test specific models that can provide a broader frame for the relationship between extraversion and COVID-19, perhaps by incorporating other similarly related variables such as risk aversion and disgust sensitivity. For instance, the balancing-selection model (see Nettle, 2006) argues that traits with heritable components that show high degrees of variability might have been selected because both high and low ends of such traits might have benefits and costs from an evolutionary perspective. High extraversion may provide increased social status, but also greater fitness-related costs in the form of more risk-taking behavior. Perhaps across many generations of human life, pandemics that thrive on people interacting with others wipe out sociable extraverts disproportionately.

The directionality of the extraversion-COVID-19 relationship also merits further research. Are extraverts more likely to get infected; can the virus impact hosts’ social behavior; or both? The nervous-system hijacking model (see Reiber et al., 2010Seitz et al., 2020) suggests viruses may temporarily increase sociable activities in hosts to benefit their spread and replication. Given organisms like toxoplasma gondii can alter our behavior (da Silva and Langoni, 2009), and that SARS-CoV-2 shows up in neural tissue (Mao et al., 2020) and in spinal fluid (Wu et al., 2020) in severe cases–suggesting the virus is making contact with the nervous system in some way–the possibility of viruses affecting human host behavior should not go unresearched.

4.2. Conclusion

Because the SARS-CoV-2 spreads via human-to-human contact, the pandemic is largely an issue of human social behavior. We documented two important personality-based variables that potentially significantly relate to the spread of the virus: the sociability facet of extraversion and self-identified conservative tendencies. We hope that these findings can help inform policy and processes moving forward as we work together as a global community to stop this pandemic in its tracks and get back to life as we knew it.