Tuesday, May 25, 2021

First impressions, lack of judgement: Betting decisions are affected by uninformative racehorse names; betting returns on fast-sounding horses are lower compared to bets on other horses

Sonic Thunder vs. Brian the Snail. Are people affected by uninformative racehorse names? Oliver Merz, Raphael Flepp, Egon Franck. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics, May 25 2021, 101724. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socec.2021.101724


• Betting decisions are affected by uninformative racehorse names.

• Winning probabilities of horses with fast-sounding names are overstated.

• Betting returns on fast-sounding horses are lower compared to bets on other horses.

• Affective betting decisions impair the betting market efficiency.

Abstract: This paper examines whether individuals’ decision making is affected by fast-sounding horse names in a betting exchange market environment. In horse racing, the name of a horse does not depend on the horse's performance and is thus uninformative. If positive affect towards fast-sounding horse names is present, we expect less accurate prices, i.e., winning probabilities and lower returns due to the increased demand for these bets. Using over 3 million horse bets, we find evidence that the winning probabilities of bets on horses with fast-sounding names are overstated, which impairs the prediction accuracy of such bets. This finding implies that prices in betting exchange markets are distorted by incorporating affective, misleading information from a horse's fast-sounding name. Consequently, this bias translates into significantly lower betting returns for horses with names classified as fast-sounding compared to the returns for all other horses.

Keywords: Affect heuristicDecision makingMarket efficiencyBetting marketHorse racing

JEL D40G40G41L83

5. Conclusion

Our paper contributes to the understanding of the role affect plays in human decision making. We extend the previous literature by testing the external validity of the findings in laboratory experiments using the real-life setting of betting markets in which decisions have a substantial financial impact. Moreover, this setting allows a clean investigation of biases in betting prices, avoiding the well-known problem of unknown fundamental values prevalent in traditional financial markets. Overall, our findings suggest that betting prices are biased due to people's positive affective feelings towards fast-sounding horses. Consequently, betting returns on horses with fast-sounding names are systematically lower than the returns on all other horses. This result suggests that bettors should avoid jumping on the bandwagon when many other bettors are tempted to base their investment decisions on irrelevant factors and instead be aware of the potential mispricing of such bets.

While the prohibition of certain horse names might seem to be a first approach to correct the suboptimal decisions caused by affective feelings in our setting, the implementation of this kind of regulation in practice would cause both significant transaction costs and severe limitations on freedom. Even if we abstracted from the second point, the definition, validation, permanent adaptation and implementation of a “list of affect-enhancing horse names” would be a giant task. Further, even if this regulatory strategy somehow worked, it would just contribute to a solution in horse-betting, which is a relatively small field of the entire economy. Therefore, this regulatory strategy cannot serve as a remedy for the general problem that affective feelings towards objectively irrelevant attributes presumably distort decisions in other areas of the economy.

Awareness-raising strategies seem to be a more promising avenue to deal with affect in decision-making, according to psychology and neuroscience research stating that managing affect requires constant awareness of it (Peterson, 2007). Our article increases this awareness by clearly showing that affect plays a role in a real-life setting. This raises the question of whether affective feelings towards certain objectively irrelevant attributes might be even more prevalent in society than anticipated so far. Affective reactions presumably are not limited to suboptimal decisions in laboratory experiments or people's decisions in private life, such as excessive shopping or smoking, but might also impact large-scale areas starting from inefficient betting market prices to bubbles in stock markets to outcomes of political elections. The more research shows that affect leads to suboptimal decisions in a variety of areas, the greater the awareness of this phenomenon will be.

Additional field-specific regulations aiming to raise awareness among relevant decision-makers must be built on further research. So far, it remains unclear which measures – e.g., warnings that bettors would have to read or declarations that bettors would have to sign before placing their bets – could lead to increased self-monitoring and reduce the impact of affect in the horse-betting context in our paper.

Video chats undermine the collective intelligence of groups, but in a surprising way: It turns out it is the video, & not the chat, that is the problem. Teams with video on during calls end up syncing up less, & have less even turn-taking during meetings. Turn off your video?

Tomprou M, Kim YJ, Chikersal P, Woolley AW, Dabbish LA (2021) Speaking out of turn: How video conferencing reduces vocal synchrony and collective intelligence. PLoS ONE 16(3): e0247655, Mar 18 2021. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0247655

Abstract: Collective intelligence (CI) is the ability of a group to solve a wide range of problems. Synchrony in nonverbal cues is critically important to the development of CI; however, extant findings are mostly based on studies conducted face-to-face. Given how much collaboration takes place via the internet, does nonverbal synchrony still matter and can it be achieved when collaborators are physically separated? Here, we hypothesize and test the effect of nonverbal synchrony on CI that develops through visual and audio cues in physically-separated teammates. We show that, contrary to popular belief, the presence of visual cues surprisingly has no effect on CI; furthermore, teams without visual cues are more successful in synchronizing their vocal cues and speaking turns, and when they do so, they have higher CI. Our findings show that nonverbal synchrony is important in distributed collaboration and call into question the necessity of video support.


We explored what role, if any, video access to partners plays in facilitating collaboration when partners are not collocated. Though we found no direct effects of video access on collective intelligence or facial expression synchrony, we did find that in the video condition, facial expression synchrony predicts collective intelligence. This result suggests that when visual cues are available it is important that interaction partners attend to them. Furthermore, when video was available, social perceptiveness predicted facial synchrony, reinforcing the role this individual characteristic plays in heightening attention to available cues. We also found that prosodic synchrony improves collective intelligence in physically separated collaborators whether or not they had access to video. An important precursor to prosodic synchrony is the equality in speaking turns that emerges among collaborators, which enhances prosodic synchrony and, in turn, collective intelligence. Surprisingly, our findings suggest that video access may, in fact, impede the development of prosodic synchrony by creating greater speaking turn inequality, countering some prevailing assumptions about the importance of richer media to facilitate distributed collaboration.

Our findings build on existing research demonstrating that synchrony improves coordination [3033] by showing that it also improves cognitive aspects of a group, such as joint problem-solving and collective intelligence in distributed collaboration. Much of the previous research on synchrony has been conducted in face-to-face settings. We offer evidence that nonverbal synchrony can occur and is important to the level of collective intelligence in distributed collaboration. Furthermore, we demonstrate different pathways through which different types of cues can affect nonverbal synchrony and, in turn, collective intelligence. For example, prosodic synchrony and speaking turn equality seem to be important means for regulating collaboration. Speaking turns are a key communication mechanism operating in social interaction by regulating the pace at which communication proceeds, and is governed by a set of interaction rules such as yielding, requesting, or maintaining turns [18]. These rules are often subtly communicated through nonverbal cues such as eye contact and vocal cues (e.g., back channels), altering volume and rate [18]. However, our findings suggest that visual nonverbal cues may also enable some interacting partners to dominate the conversation. By contrast, we show that when interacting partners have audio cues only, the lack of video does not hinder them from communicating these rules but instead helps them to regulate their conversation more smoothly by engaging in more equal exchange of turns and by establishing improved prosodic synchrony. Previous research has focused largely on synchrony regulated by visual cues, such as studies showing that synchrony in facial expressions improves cohesion in collocated teams [30]. Our study underscores the importance of audio cues, which appear to be compromised by video access.

Our findings offer several avenues for future research on nonverbal synchrony and human collaboration. For instance, how can we enhance prosodic synchrony? Some research has examined the role of interventions to enhance speaking turn equality for decision making effectiveness [67]. Could regulating conversational behavior increase prosodic synchrony? Furthermore, does nonverbal synchrony affect collective intelligence similarly in larger groups? For example, as group size increases, a handful of team members tend to dominate the conversation [68] with implications for spoken communication, nonverbal synchrony, and ultimately collective intelligence. Our results also underscore the importance of using behavioral measures to index the quality of collaboration to augment the dominant focus on self-report measures of attitudes and processes in the social sciences, because collaborators may not always report better collaborations despite exhibiting increased synchrony and collective intelligence [210]. Our study has limitations, which offer opportunities for future research. For example, our findings were observed in newly formed and non-recurring dyads in the laboratory. It remains to be seen whether our findings will generalize to teams that are ongoing or in which there is greater familiarity among members, as in the case of distributed teams in organizations. We encourage future research to test these findings in the field within organizational teams.

Overall, our findings enhance our understanding of the nonverbal cues that people rely on when collaborating with a distant partner via different communication media. As distributed collaboration increases as a form of work (e.g., virtual teams, crowdsourcing), this study suggests that collective intelligence will be a function of subtle cues and available modalities. Extrapolating from our results, one can argue that limited access to video may promote better communication and social interaction during collaborative problem solving, as there are fewer stimuli to distract collaborators. Consequently, we may achieve greater problem solving if new technologies offer fewer distractions and less visual stimuli.

We analyzed all first marriages reported in 2010–2014 in South Korea and compared men who married Korean brides (N = 1,088,457) with those who purchased their brides (N = 45,528)

Men's revealed preference for their mates' ages. Kitae Sohn. Evolution and Human Behavior, Volume 38, Issue 1, January 2017, Pages 58-62. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2016.06.007

Abstract: Both young and old men say that they are sexually attracted to young, fertile women, but older men tend to marry older women, including those who are peri- and post-menopausal. We assessed men's freely revealed preference for their mates' age using an unusual marriage phenomenon in South Korea: the practice in which men purchase their brides from developing countries. Presumably, the men's mate choice, at least regarding the brides' age, is unrestricted by women. We analyzed all first marriages reported in 2010–2014 in South Korea and compared men who married Korean brides (N = 1,088,457) with those who purchased their brides (N = 45,528); the age range of grooms and brides was 15–59. While the former exhibited the typical pattern where older men married older women, the latter, whether young or old, always married young, fertile women. This finding is consistent with men's stated preference for young, fertile women in mating and suggests that the typical pattern is generated by women's limiting role in mating.

Keywords: SexEvolutionMarriagePurchase of brideReproductionSouth Korea

We conclude that Shank's 1980 observation, that intelligence is all about generalization and that AI is not particularly good at this, has, so far, withstood the test of time

How much intelligence is there in artificial intelligence? A 2020 update. Han L.J. van der Maas, Lukas Snoek, Claire E. Stevenson. Intelligence, Volume 87, July–August 2021, 101548. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intell.2021.101548


• Recent AI breakthroughs, such as deep learning and reinforcement learning, have deep roots in psychology.

• Modern AI models are much more human and brain like at the implementational level.

• There is nothing wrong with AI's crystallized intelligence, but generalization is still a weakness of AI systems.

• The psychological relevance of AI extends to areas such as the study of individual differences and cognitive development.

• We expect fruitful interactions with regard to the measurement of natural and artificial intelligence.

Abstract: Schank (1980) wrote an editorial for Intelligence on “How much intelligence is there in artificial intelligence?”. In this paper, we revisit this question. We start with a short overview of modern AI and showcase some of the AI breakthroughs in the four decades since Schank’s paper. We follow with a description of the main techniques these AI breakthroughs were based upon, such as deep learning and reinforcement learning; two techniques that have deep roots in psychology. Next, we discuss how psychologically plausible AI is and could become given the modern breakthroughs in AI’s ability to learn. We then access the main question of how intelligent AI systems actually are. For example, are there AI systems that can solve human intelligence tests? We conclude that Shank's observation, that intelligence is all about generalization and that AI is not particularly good at this, has, so far, withstood the test of time. Finally, we consider what AI insights could mean for the study of individual differences in intelligence. We close with how AI can further Intelligence research and vice versa, and look forward to fruitful interactions in the future.

Keywords: Artificial IntelligenceDeep learningIndividual differencesIntelligence testsReinforcement

5. Discussion

AI has seen multiple cycles of enthusiasm and disappointment, but the current wave seems to be of a different order. As we stated in the introduction of this paper, one of the original goals of AI was to learn more about human intelligence. This endeavor could be misguided as AI may only produce “cognitive wheels”, techniques that have no equivalent in human cognition. In this paper we argued that this might have been true for some older approaches (e.g., brute force search techniques), but is less the case for much of current AI. The progress made in recent years is certainly technologically driven, but inspired by biological and psychological knowledge about human information processing and learning.

We expect that the recent progress in AI will change the way we think about intelligence. AI forces us to rethink the definition of intelligence. Definitions that center on just information processing and problem solving are perhaps insufficient. Shank's observation that intelligence is all about generalization has, so far, withstood the test of time. Many information processing problems, from processing speech to playing chess, appear to be less difficult than perhaps expected. The really hard problem is to deal with completely novel cases. One requirement for solving this hard problem is the ability to learn invariant and thus generalizable patterns. And especially with regard to learning, the progress in AI has been spectacular. The main difference between AI systems of the past, such as expert systems, and modern AI is the fact that they learn. That deep learning and reinforcement learning, the core techniques in current AI, have deep roots in psychology is remarkable and promising for studying how artificial and human intelligence are related.

AI is relevant to intelligence research because it enhances our understanding of the core mechanisms of human cognition. How the immense neural systems in our brain are able to process extremely complicated information such as speech and produce logical thinking is an extremely difficult question. Having an artificial system that performs such tasks using the same basic principles is extremely useful. Classic questions regarding the modularity of the mind, the origin of creativity, and the organization of long-term memory spring to mind. In addition, we argued that the psychological relevance of AI extends to unexpected areas such as the understanding of individual differences and the development of cognition. It is relatively easy to create a population of AI systems with minor differences in architecture and training regime. Modern AI provides us with a new playing field for individual differences research.

On a practical level we expect fruitful interactions regarding the measurement of natural and artificial intelligence. As modern AI systems are incredibly complex, our experience in examining such systems may be relevant for AI. Vice versa, insights from AI may lead to new developments in (adaptive) intelligence testing and educational interventions.

We attempted to shed light on the future of intelligence research from the point of view of AI. Our overview is necessarily limited and probably quickly outdated, but hopefully we have given intelligence researchers some insights in the rapid developments in AI and the possible consequences for our field.

Australia & UK: Gay & bisexual men, men who ‘prefer not to say,’ and gay women are less satisfied with their lives; in the UK is the same but for gay women, who do not have a lower level of satisfaction

Sexual orientation and life satisfaction. David Bartram. Journal of Sociology, May 19, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/14407833211017672

Abstract: Existing quantitative research on sexual orientation and life satisfaction uses models with control variables that do not have a clear rationale. With a correct understanding of what control variables do, no controls are necessary to estimate the consequences of sexual orientation on life satisfaction. An analysis constructed from this perspective reveals gay and bisexual men in the UK and Australia are less satisfied with their lives (relative to heterosexual men). Bisexual women in both countries are less satisfied as well. Lesbians in Australia are less satisfied (relative to straight women) – but lesbians in the UK do not have lower satisfaction. These conclusions hold also in an analysis that considers the possibility that some non-heterosexual people might be unwilling to disclose their sexual orientation on surveys.

Keywords: Australia, control variables, life satisfaction, sexual orientation, United Kingdom

Having a non-normative sexual orientation in the UK and Australia comes with consequences – including a lower level of life satisfaction. The only exception to that general pattern is lesbian women in the UK. The gap is especially large for bisexuals, of both sexes, and in both countries. There is also a striking negative coefficient for Australian men who ‘prefer not to say’. It is not hard to imagine that there must be a reason some Australian men prefer not to disclose their sexual orientation (especially if what they prefer not to disclose is: not being straight).

Researchers should be confident in perceiving that the right way to model the impact of sexual orientation on SWB is to exclude ‘other determinants’ as controls in this context – because the other determinants of SWB cannot also be determinants of sexual orientation. That assertion forms the key recommendation for future research on this topic. Building larger models with many control variables might appear desirable simply because a more parsimonious model (especially one containing no controls) might seem unpersuasive (e.g. to potential anonymous reviewers). But size on its own is hardly a coherent criterion for constructing an analytical model whose purpose is to gauge a causal impact (see e.g. Gangl, 2010).

The fact that lesbians in the UK report life satisfaction on a par with that of heterosexual women (in contrast with the life satisfaction deficit among gay men) is a striking finding, perhaps at odds with what one might expect, given the context of stigma and discrimination that commonly confronts people belonging to a sexual minority. Being gay in a heteronormative society sometimes goes with a perceived loss of masculinity and thus a reduction in status more generally (Connell, 1995); the lower life satisfaction among gay men is arguably understandable in these terms. A similar dynamic might not apply to the experience of lesbians to the same extent, perhaps in part because women in general already have lower social status in a patriarchal society such as the UK.

There is a genuine limitation of the analysis presented here: the findings describe average impacts pertaining to the categories available in the data and thus do not capture the diversity of experiences that go under the heading of being ‘gay’, ‘lesbian’, ‘bisexual’, etc. That point applies as well to the way people might choose from the available options on a survey question, at a single point in time. There are many ways to be non-heterosexual and indeed to be heterosexual, with imprecise and fluid boundaries for many (Cover, 2019). The fact that the available response categories inhibit a more fine-grained analysis does not mean this point is anything other than a limitation. The analysis in this article gives us average effects of belonging to an indicated category; for some individuals a negative impact will exceed that average, while for others the impact might be less negative or perhaps even null (cf. Feinstein et al., 2015). Even so, any attempt to gauge effects in a finer grain must ensure a correct use of control variables, along the lines developed in this article.

Although early sexual intercourse may be associated with increased depressive symptoms, first intercourse was, on average, associated with decreased psychological distress for both male & female late adolescents

Changes in psychological distress after first vaginal intercourse in late adolescence. Sara A. Vasilenko, Eva S. Lefkowitz, Jennifer L. Maggs. Journal of Adolescence, Volume 89, June 2021, Pages 213-216. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.adolescence.2021.05.003


Introduction: Although early sexual intercourse may be associated with increased depressive symptoms, little research has examined whether first intercourse in late adolescence is associated with changes in mental health.

Methods: This paper uses 3 years of longitudinal data from previously sexually abstinent late adolescent students at a large state university in the northeastern United States (N = 144, 53.5% male, M age = 18.5 years old, 47.2% White, 26.4% Asian/Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 20.1% Hispanic/Latino, 18.1% Black/African American) to examine whether levels of psychological distress changed after first intercourse.

Results: Students’ distress decreased after first intercourse, although this effect was only significant two or more semesters after first intercourse. There were no gender differences in these associations.

Conclusions: Findings suggest first intercourse was, on average, associated with decreased psychological distress for both male and female late adolescents.

Keywords: Sexual behaviorMental healthFirst intercourse

A substantial share of Americans express readiness to sell their votes for cash: 12% of respondents would do so for just $25, as would nearly 20% for $100

Would You Sell Your Vote? Jordan Gans-Morse, Simeon Nichter. American Politics Research, May 24, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/1532673X211013565

Abstract: Prominent scholars in recent years have expressed alarm about political polarization, weakened civil liberties, and growing support for authoritarianism in the United States. But discussions of democratic backsliding pay short shrift to the value citizens place on one of the most fundamental democratic institutions: the act of voting. Drawing on nationally representative survey data, we show that despite traditional portrayals of the U.S. as the embodiment of a democratic “civic culture,” a substantial share of Americans express readiness to sell their votes for cash: 12% of respondents would do so for just $25, as would nearly 20% for $100. Citizens who place low importance on living in a democracy are significantly more willing to sell their votes. We argue that heightened attention to US voters’ attitudes toward clientelism would provide an additional barometer of democratic skepticism, help to integrate the study of American and comparative politics, and stimulate novel research agendas about the historic decline of vote buying in the United States.

Keywords: elections, democracy, vote buying, clientelism, machine politics

Rats can have consecutive ejaculations, with a short inter-ejaculatory interval, and no mounts or intromissions before the second ejaculation

The Rare Phenomenon of Consecutive Ejaculations in Male Rats. Joanna M. Mainwaring, Angela C. B. Garcia, Elaine M. Hull and Erik Wibowo. Sexes 2021, 2(2), 183-188, May 20 2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/sexes2020016

Abstract: Mounting, intromission and ejaculation are commonly reported sexual behaviours in male rats. In a mating session, they can have several copulatory series with post-ejaculatory intervals in between ejaculations before they reach sexual satiety. Here, we describe a phenomenon where male rats displayed consecutive ejaculations (CE) with a short inter-ejaculatory interval (IEI). Male rats were daily mated with a sexually receptive female rat. Two out of 15 rats displayed CE in one of their mating tests. The first rat had CE at 9.9 and 10.1 min (IEI = 16.3 s) after the start of the test. The second rat showed CE at 28.1 and 28.5 min (IEI = 18.7 s) after the test onset. During the IEI, the rats did not show any mounting or intromission.

Keywords: multiple ejaculations; male rodents; male sexual behaviour; multiple orgasms; consummatory behaviour; refractory period

1. Introduction

Male sexual behaviours in rodents are characterised by three distinct behaviours: mounting, intromission, and ejaculation [1,2]. During an ejaculation, there is a vaginal penetration (the deep forward pelvic thrust), and the male rat freezes on the female for one to three seconds [1]. While the actual semen expulsion is not usually visible, a plug can occasionally be found in the vagina or surrounding area because rat semen coagulates quickly to form a plug. Typically, a male rat could reach an ejaculation after a series of mounts and intromissions. Following ejaculation, the rat enters a refractory period, during which he does not respond to sexual stimuli for several minutes [3] before he resumes another series of mounts and intromissions until the next ejaculation. Male rats can have multiple copulatory series for about 150 min [4], ranging from 5 to 12 copulatory series [5]. After this, the rats will reach sexual satiety or sexual exhaustion, and remain sexually inactive for a prolonged period of time.
Recently, we conducted a study on the impact of chronic sleep deprivation (CSD) on male sexual behaviours in rodents [6]. The study involved sexually experienced male rats, which were subjected to CSD, imposed by keeping them awake for the last four hours of the light phase. Control rats were left undisturbed in their home cage at the same time of day. In that study, two of the rats (one from each group) showed two consecutive ejaculations (CE), separated by <20 s. In reviewing the literature for such behaviour, some studies have reported that rats are capable of having multiple ejaculations in a single mating session, and each pair of ejaculations is separated by a post-ejaculatory interval (PEI), as well as a series of mounts and intromissions [5,7]. However, we did not find any report stating that rats can have CE, with a short inter-ejaculatory interval (IEI), and no mounts or intromissions before the second ejaculation.
As in rodents, humans can also display ejaculation, i.e., expulsion of semen following penile stimulation (be it during solo masturbation or penetrative sex). However, humans can also experience an orgasm, i.e., an intense, pleasurable response to genital or non-genital stimulation [8]. In humans, ejaculation and orgasm may be perceived as a single event, even though they are not the same biological process [9]. Furthermore, there is evidence that some men can have an ejaculation without having an orgasm [10,11], and some men can have an orgasm without an ejaculation [12,13,14,15]. There are also case reports on men who can have multiple ejaculations within a short period, but they required at least a few minutes of sexual stimulation between ejaculations [16,17]. However, to date, we are aware of no published report of men who can have ejaculations with no sexual stimulation (e.g., penile stimulation) before the second ejaculation. Despite this, one of us (EW) has received several anecdotal claims from men who reported having minimal or no refractory periods and are able to have multiple ejaculations with and without orgasms within a narrow time frame. This raises the question of whether the CE behaviour that we observed in our rats could be used as a model for multiple ejaculations and/or multiple orgasms in men.
The CE behaviour in rodents may bear a resemblance to men with minimal or short refractory periods, who can have multiple ejaculations. However, whether the CE behaviour can mimic multiple orgasms in men is difficult to answer, because we cannot assess orgasm in rats. Pfaus et al. [18] recently described how rats can have orgasm-like responses. For example, during ejaculation, male rats have pelvic floor contractions [19], as are also observed in humans [20]. Whether or not a rat experiences orgasm as a human does, in the presence of a receptive partner, a male rat will approach her in a way to maximise the ‘reward’ associated with ejaculation.
The purpose of this article is to describe a rare phenomenon where rats displayed two ejaculations consecutively with a short IEI, and no mounts or intromissions, between them. This behaviour was observed in one strain of inbred laboratory animals. To date, there is no documentation of whether other strains or non-laboratory rats can also show such behaviour.

4. Discussion

For the first time, we report CE in male rats. Currently, it remains unknown what the neurobiological basis is for them to show such behaviour, such as hormonal or neurotransmitter factors that can affect the ability to have CE. In addition, it remains unclear to what extent penile grooming post-ejaculation plays a role in stimulating the second ejaculation during CE. Sensory input from the genitals during genital grooming may be conveyed to the spinal ejaculation generator in the lumbar spinal cord [25]. However, one of the CE rats groomed his genitals in between ejaculations, but the other one did not.
We are aware of no published data on similar behaviour in humans either. As noted above, one of us (EW) received several anecdotal claims from men with no or minimal refractory periods, who reported CE. However, there are published data that some men reported multiple orgasms with ejaculations with intervals of several minutes between them [9]. Undoubtedly, the volume of the ejaculate decreases with subsequent ejaculations [16]. Another observation in a man with such an ability showed that the person did not have orgasm/ejaculation-induced prolactin release [17]. It remains to be determined whether the dampening of prolactin release after ejaculations may play a role in the CE in rats. Another potential mechanism for the CE we observed may involve a change in the serotonergic system. Past studies indicate that the administration of a 5-HT1A receptor agonist reduces the number of intromissions before ejaculation and shortens the ejaculation latency in male rats [26,27]. Considering that the animals in our study were not treated with any serotonergic agents, there is a possibility that they may have individual variation in their serotonergic system.
Future study in this area will be challenging, given the rarity of the phenomenon, and we cannot predict when they would show such a behaviour. One potential future study would be to explore hormonal (e.g., on prolactin) and neurobiological (e.g., on the serotonergic system) differences between rats who are and are not capable of having CE. It would be interesting to investigate whether prolactin receptor knock-out rodents display CE at an elevated frequency compared to wild-type rodents. Another possibility is to test whether some psychostimulants can increase the frequency of displaying CE, because some men have reported having multiple orgasms while having sex under the influence of psychostimulants, although it is unclear if they also had ejaculations [9].

Rural residents tend to report higher subjective well-being than urban residents in developed countries; higher bonding social capital in rural areas and higher access to nature amenities contribute

The rural happiness paradox in developed countries. Jens F.L. Sørensen. Social Science Research, May 25 2021, 102581. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2021.102581


• Research points to higher well-being among rural dwellers in developed counties.

• This tendency in previous findings can be termed the rural happiness paradox (RHP).

• The RHP is robustly confirmed in Denmark using three rural-urban classifications.

• The paper tests three hypotheses regarding the possible causes of the RHP.

• Differences in social capital and access to nature are main factors behind the RHP.

Abstract: In this paper, a national Danish survey is used to explore the rural happiness paradox in developed countries. This paradox revolves around the observation that rural residents tend to report higher subjective well-being than urban residents in developed countries. Based on three different rural-urban classifications, the paper provides a solid confirmation of the rural happiness paradox in Denmark. The paper tests three hypotheses regarding the factors behind the rural happiness paradox and finds strong support for two of the hypotheses. Thus, higher bonding social capital in rural areas and higher access to nature amenities in rural areas were found to contribute to the rural happiness paradox in Denmark. As for the third hypothesis, the paper finds no significant evidence that rural-urban differences in spatial location satisfaction (measured by the correspondence between actual and preferred residential location on the rural-urban continuum) contribute to the rural happiness paradox in Denmark.

Keywords: Rural happiness paradoxSocial capitalNature amenitiesSpatial location satisfactionDenmark

7. Conclusion

In this paper, a unique Danish survey was used to explore the rural happiness paradox in developed countries. This paradox revolves around the observation that rural residents tend to report higher subjective well-being than urban residents in developed countries, whereas the opposite is the case generally for developing counties (Easterlin et al., 2011Requena, 2016). By using three rural-urban classifications, the paper provides a solid confirmation of the rural happiness paradox in Denmark. The results show that regardless of rural-urban classification the rural happiness paradox in Denmark is still evident after adjusting for important socioeconomic variables such as gender, age, health, education, employment status, and income.

The paper tests three hypotheses regarding the factors behind the rural happiness paradox. The paper finds that higher bonding social capital in rural areas and higher access to nature amenities in rural areas substantially contribute to the rural happiness paradox in Denmark. However, the paper finds no significant evidence that rural-urban differences in spatial location satisfaction (measured by the correspondence between actual and preferred residential location on the rural-urban continuum) also contribute to the rural happiness paradox. It was hypothesized that urban residents are less satisfied with their choice of residential environment than rural dwellers, and that this would have a downward impact on the subjective well-being of urban residents. However, while the paper did find a significant positive relation between spatial location satisfaction and life satisfaction, spatial location satisfaction in the Danish case did not turn out to be highest per se in rural areas across the three rural-urban classifications.

In the Danish case, the level of education turned out to hardly matter to subjective well-being, and the level of income was not found to be among the most important predictors of subjective well-being. This may be owing to the high economic equality in the Danish society which has been achieved through state-driven wealth redistribution throughout many years. When a relatively generous basic income is secured by the state, soft factors take over and become more important parameters of subjective well-being. Thus, the soft parameters of bonding social capital and access to nature amenities were found to be strong predictors of individual well-being in Denmark. Overall, as rural residents score higher on these two soft parameters, this seems to provide the main explanation of the rural happiness paradox in Denmark. It would be very interesting to see future studies in other developed countries that differ from Denmark addressing the same issues as raised in this paper.

While certain professional categories such as political pundits and political figures are more polarized than others, the degree to which Twitter is political, has likely been overstated in the past

Mukerjee, Subhayan, Kokil Jaidka, and Yphtach Lelkes. 2020. “The Political Landscape of the U.S. Twitterverse.” OSF Preprints. June 23. doi:10.31219/osf.io/w98ms

Abstract: Prior research suggests that Twitter users in the United States are more politically engaged and more partisan compared to the American citizenry -- a public that is otherwise characterized by low levels of political knowledge and disinterest in political affairs. This study seeks to understand this disconnect by conducting an observational analysis of the most popular accounts on American Twitter. We identify opinion leaders by drawing a random sample of ordinary American Twitter users and observing whom they follow. We estimate the ideological leaning and political relevance of these opinion leaders as well as crowd-source how they are perceived by ordinary Americans. We find little evidence that American Twitter is as politicized as is made out to be, with politics and hard news outlets constituting a small subset of these opinion leaders. We find no evidence of polarization among these opinion leaders either. While certain professional categories such as political pundits and political figures are more polarized than others, the overall polarization dissipates further when we factor in the rate at which the opinion leaders tweet: a large number of vocal non-partisan opinion leaders drowns out the partisan voices on the platform. Our results suggest that the degree to which Twitter is political, has likely been overstated in the past. Our findings have implications about how we use Twitter to represent public opinion in the United States.

Frequent apologizers are seen as higher in communion and lower in competence

Schumann, Karina, Emily G. Ritchie, and Amanda L. Forest. 2021. “The Social Consequences of Frequent Versus Infrequent Apologizing.” PsyArXiv. May 25. doi:10.31234/osf.io/4ncdx

Abstract: The effectiveness of interpersonal apologies is well established, but most existing research has examined the benefits of isolated apologies. How do apologies function when considered in the context of a transgressor’s apology baseline—the frequency with which they tend to apologize for their behavior? In three studies using correlational and experimental methods, we examined whether people consider others’ apology baselines when evaluating both their character and specific apologies from them. In Study 1, participants with high (vs. low) apology baselines believed that others judge them as higher in communion and lower in agency, which was consistent with how people actually judged high (vs. low) baseline apologizers (Studies 2 and 3). Having a high apology baseline was also indirectly associated with more favorable reactions to a specific apology via communion judgments. These studies are the first to examine apology baselines, revealing their importance for shaping interpersonal evaluations and conflict resolution processes.