Friday, July 2, 2021

Participants rated the faces as appearing more attractive, more feminine, and as having higher status when wearing professional makeup than self-applied makeup; professional makeup appeared heavier and less natural looking

Professional Versus Self-Applied Makeup: Do Makeup Artists Add Value? Carlota Batres, Aurélie Porcheron, Sandra Courrèges, Richard Russell. Perception, July 2, 2021.

Abstract: While a number of studies have investigated the effects of makeup on how people are perceived, the vast majority have used professionally applied makeup. Here, we tested the hypothesis that professional makeup is more effective than self-applied makeup. We photographed the same target women under controlled conditions wearing no makeup, makeup they applied themselves, and makeup applied by professional makeup artists. Participants rated the faces as appearing more attractive, more feminine, and as having higher status when wearing professional makeup than self-applied makeup. Secondarily, we found that participants perceived the professional makeup as appearing heavier and less natural looking than the self-applied makeup. This work shows that professional makeup is more effective than self-applied makeup and begins to elucidate the nature of makeup artistry. We discuss these findings with respect to personal decoration and physical attractiveness, as well as the notion of artists as experts.

Keywords: face perception, visual perception, personal decoration, cosmetics, physical attraction

We sought to test the hypotheses that professional makeup is more effective and more heavily applied than self-applied makeup. We found clear evidence in support of this first (efficacy) hypothesis using the same faces photographed under the same photographic conditions. In Study 1, faces were rated as more attractive when wearing professional makeup than when wearing self-applied makeup. In Study 2, faces were rated as appearing more feminine and as having higher status when wearing professional makeup than when wearing self-applied makeup. These results demonstrate empirically that makeup artists are more effective at applying makeup.

Faces were also rated as appearing more attractive when they wore either kind of makeup—professional or self-applied—than when they wore no makeup. Similarly, faces were rated as appearing more feminine and as having higher status when wearing either kind of makeup than when wearing no makeup. These findings replicate previous results with attractiveness, femininity, and status. However, the effect sizes were consistently smaller when the no makeup condition was compared with the self-applied makeup condition than when it was compared with the professional makeup condition. This suggests that laypeople applying their own makeup are able to achieve many of the same benefits as they would from professionally applied makeup, but to a smaller degree. Future research on the effects of makeup on person perception should take this into account. More specifically, the effect of cosmetics on attractiveness, femininity, status, and related traits will be stronger if using professional makeup than if using self-applied makeup.

We investigated our second hypothesis—that professionally applied makeup looks heavier—with the belief that such differences could provide insight into how professionally applied makeup is more effective. Participants rated the faces as appearing to wear more makeup in the professional makeup condition than in the self-applied makeup condition, for ratings of overall amount of makeup in Study 1 and for ratings of facial skin makeup and facial features makeup in Study 2. Related to this, the professional makeup also appeared less natural than the self-applied makeup in Study 1, even though makeup artists teach techniques for seamless application of products to maximize the effects of the products while minimizing the noticeability of the products (Barnes, 2011Brown & Iverson, 1997).

Our findings raise the question of what factors cause professionally applied makeup to be more effective than self-applied makeup. Professional makeup artists are presumably more skilled at applying makeup than ordinary people. This skill could include perceptual differences (this possibility is taken up in a subsequent paragraph), manual dexterity for applying makeup to the face, and expert judgment for selecting products and styles well-suited to particular faces. We also observed here that the makeup artists took more time applying makeup than did the target women applying their own makeup. We suspect that this difference in time spent applying makeup is a typical difference between self and professionally applied makeup, but we are not aware of other published data regarding the time spent applying makeup. The amount of time spent applying makeup could affect how well it is applied. Another possible factor is the quality of products and tools. Professional makeup artists tend to use more expensive products and tools, which could have an effect on the appearance of the makeup on the face. Experience with the particular face is another factor, as the target women had extensive experience with their own faces, while the makeup artists only saw them for the first time when they applied the makeup. However, this factor would have the effect of reducing the efficacy of makeup artists. Also, there may be differences between applying makeup to one’s own face versus someone else’s face that are unrelated to skill or experience, but instead related to self-concept and self-presentation. Disentangling the roles of these and other factors is an issue for future research.

There is one other possible factor underlying the difference in efficacy between professional and self-applied makeup that can be directly addressed by the current data. In Study 1, the faces appeared more attractive and to have heavier makeup with professional makeup than self-applied makeup. It could be that the observed difference in efficacy between professional and self-applied makeup is a result of the makeup artists applying more makeup. To test that possibility, we conducted a simple mediation analysis of the rated attractiveness and amount of makeup data from Study 1 using the SPSS plugin MEMORE (Montoya & Hayes, 2017). MEMORE implements ordinary least squares regression in a path-analytic framework for designs with repeated measurements of both the mediator and dependent variables. Makeup (professional, self-applied) was the independent variable, perceived attractiveness was the dependent variable, and perceived amount of makeup was the mediating variable. Ninety-five percent confidence intervals were generated from 10,000 bootstrap samples. The results of mediation analysis are presented in Figure 4.

[Figure 4. Ratings of amount and attractiveness from Study 1 were analyzed in a simple mediation model, with makeup (professional, self-applied) as the independent variable, amount of makeup as the mediator variable, and attractiveness as the dependent variable. Total effect is shown in parentheses. Asterisks indicate significant effects (***p <.001).]

The total effect and a path of the analysis are redundant with the results presented in Study 1. The total effect of makeup on attractiveness was significant, c =.13, 95% CI [.09, .18], p <.001, meaning that the faces were rated higher on attractiveness when wearing professional makeup than self-applied makeup. The a path was also significant, a =.64, 95% CI [.55, .72], p <.001, meaning that the faces were perceived as having heavier makeup when wearing professional makeup than self-applied makeup. However, the b path was not significant, b =.01, 95% CI [–.07, .10], p =.742, meaning that there was not an effect of makeup amount on attractiveness when the statistical effect of makeup condition was held constant. The indirect effect is the product of the a and b paths and measures how much of the effect of the makeup on attractiveness is mediated via makeup amount. The indirect effect of makeup on attractiveness via makeup amount was not significant, ab =.01, 95% CI [–.05, .07]. The direct effect of makeup on attractiveness while statistically controlling the influence of makeup amount was significant, c’ = .13, 95% CI [.06, .19], p <.001. The results of the mediation analysis do not support the notion that the amount of makeup applied is responsible for the difference in efficacy between professional and self-applied makeup.

We have provided clear evidence that makeup artists do add value, more effectively applying makeup than laypeople. From the specific context of makeup, these findings give some support to the broader notion that aesthetic professionals add value. The distinction we are drawing here between professional and lay practitioners is related to the notion of artists as experts (Chamberlain, 2018Kozbelt, 2001), about which a key question has been whether artists have superior perceptual ability. This suggests several questions for future research about the relationship between aesthetic skill and perceptual ability in makeup artists and other aesthetic professionals. Do makeup artists have exceptional face perception ability? Recent work has shown that portrait artists have stronger than average ability to discriminate differences between faces and that perceptual discrimination ability is associated with portrait drawing ability (Devue & Barsics, 2016), possibly due to preexisting individual differences in this ability (Devue & Grimshaw, 2018). Is the ability to beautify the face with makeup similarly associated with the ability to perceive differences in faces related to attractiveness, age, health, and femininity? This in turn suggests the broader question of whether there are stable individual differences in these perceptual abilities. Currently, this question is unexplored, yet large individual differences in face recognition ability have recently been described, with people ranging from prosopagnosics who have severe impairments in face recognition ability (Duchaine & Nakayama, 2006), to super-recognizers who have exceptionally strong face recognition ability (Russell et al., 2009). Future work should investigate whether such individual differences also exist for other aspects of face perception, such as the abilities to perceive facial traits such as attractiveness, age, health, and femininity.

In conclusion, our results provide the first empirical evidence that professional makeup is more effective than self-applied makeup and quantifies the value added by aesthetic professionals. This has implications for the choice of professional or self-applied makeup in future research examining the effects of cosmetics on person perception. While most of this literature has investigated how the presence or absence of makeup affects person perception, our findings show that different kinds of cosmetic application can have different effects person perception.

Higher relative religiosity predicts larger social networks, more relatives in these networks, more geographically scattered networks, more emotional support but not more financial assistance or childcare help from relatives

More Religious Women Have Larger and More Kin Dense Social Networks in a Country Undergoing Rapid Market Integration. Robert Lynch. Human Behavior & Evolution Society HBES 2021, Jun-Jul 2021.

-  Increasing geographic mobility, modernization and access  to social media can undermine social networks (Zeklinsky, 1971).

-  Market integration reduces kin density in women’s ego-networks in rural Poland (Colleran, 2020).

-  In traditional and pre-industrial societies the majority of alloparenting comes from kin (Sear and Coall, 2011).

-  Alloparenting support decreases as societies modernize and may contribute to a reduction in fertility (Mathews and Sear, 2013).

-  Modern labor markets increase the incentives for people to move further away from family in search of jobs (Turke, 1989).

-  Religious rituals serve to bond group members and increase group cohesion  (Durkheim, 1915).

-  Religious rituals  increase solidarity by signaling adherence to a moral code or commitment to a social order which builds trust and facilitates cooperation amongst religious group members (Rappaport, 1999).

-  The role of religion in the shift from intensive to extensive kin systems (Henrich, 2020).

-  The impact of religion on bridging and bonding social capital (Olson, 1971).The paradox of religious fertility (Shaver, 2019, Sosis, 2019).

Study Questions

Does religion provide a bulwark against the fracturing of social networks disrupted by rapid globalization? If so, does it do so by strengthening ties amongst relatives or does it serve to broaden social networks by increasing the number or strength of ties between practitioners, thereby replacing support networks from genetic kin with unrelated co-religionists?

Study Predictions

Prediction 1: Higher religiosity will be positively associated with larger overall social networks.

Prediction 2: More religious individuals will have more relatives in their networks.

Prediction 3: Higher religiosity will be associated with the closer geographic proximity of kin.

Prediction 4: Higher religiosity will be positively associated with more financial support from kin. [Not pre-registered]

Prediction 5: Higher religiosity will be positively associated with more alloparenting support from kin

Prediction 6: Higher religiosity will be positively associated with more emotional support from kin.

Results... Higher relative religiosity predicts:
.  Larger social networks overall
.  More relatives in these networks
.  More geographically scattered networks overall
.  More emotional support but not more financial assistance or help with childcare from relatives

From 2014... The cultural evolution of prosocial religions

From 2014... The cultural evolution of prosocial religions. Ara Norenzayan et al. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Volume 39, December 2 2014.

Abstract: We develop a cultural evolutionary theory of the origins of prosocial religions and apply it to resolve two puzzles in human psychology and cultural history: (1) the rise of large-scale cooperation among strangers and, simultaneously, (2) the spread of prosocial religions in the last 10–12 millennia. We argue that these two developments were importantly linked and mutually energizing. We explain how a package of culturally evolved religious beliefs and practices characterized by increasingly potent, moralizing, supernatural agents, credible displays of faith, and other psychologically active elements conducive to social solidarity promoted high fertility rates and large-scale cooperation with co-religionists, often contributing to success in intergroup competition and conflict. In turn, prosocial religious beliefs and practices spread and aggregated as these successful groups expanded, or were copied by less successful groups. This synthesis is grounded in the idea that although religious beliefs and practices originally arose as nonadaptive by-products of innate cognitive functions, particular cultural variants were then selected for their prosocial effects in a long-term, cultural evolutionary process. This framework (1) reconciles key aspects of the adaptationist and by-product approaches to the origins of religion, (2) explains a variety of empirical observations that have not received adequate attention, and (3) generates novel predictions. Converging lines of evidence drawn from diverse disciplines provide empirical support while at the same time encouraging new research directions and opening up new questions for exploration and debate.

7. Implications, counterarguments, and concluding remarks

7.1. Synthesizing existing views on the evolution of religion

Despite recent progress, the evolutionary study of religion is in its infancy, and important gaps remain in our knowledge and much work needs to be done to reach a more complete understanding. The theoretical framework presented here synthesizes key elements of the two most influential evolutionary approaches to religion to date: the by-product and adaptationist approaches. We note that both approaches have their merits and have generated rich theorizing and empirical literatures that have moved the field forward. Our framework builds directly on the by-product perspective that religious representations are made possible and facilitated by reliably developing features of human cognition that were not naturally selected for the production of the religious beliefs or behaviors that they now underpin. However, by embedding these ideas within a framework that considers more fully both genetic and cultural inheritance, we can account for a number of key phenomena not explicitly addressed by the cognitive by-product account.

Two examples illustrate this point. First, although the by-product account helps explain how people come to mentally represent supernatural agents, it is silent about one of the most critical features of (some) religions, that of deep faith or commitment to particular gods. This is captured by the “Zeus Problem” (Gervais & Henrich 2010), which asks how people in one place and time can acquire belief in, and commitment to, a particular religious representation, whereas people in another place or time do not, even when exposed to identical representation. 9 We argue that understanding the origin of faith requires explaining not only the cognitive mechanisms that allow people to mentally represent, remember, and transmit religious ideas, but, equally crucially, how people passionately and selectively commit to only a subset of all intuitively conceivable deities. We hypothesize that cultural learning biases, such as CREDs (Henrich 2009), are a crucial part of the explanation. In this view, if cultural learning cues are altered, significant shifts occur in the particular deities people believe in without altering their content. Second, most by-product approaches have not explicitly dealt with the body of empirical evidence showing that some religious elements spread by having prosocial effects. 10 In contrast, we offer an argument compatible with central aspects of the cognitive by-product view, but one that goes further and explains why some, but not most, “thinkable” cultural variants have powerful downstream social effects.

The current framework also accounts for a set of important phenomena that two distinct adaptationist theories of religion address: costly signaling approaches and the supernatural punishment hypothesis. Both perspectives accommodate the idea that the cognitions underlying religious beliefs and behaviors may have been evolutionary by-products, but both highlight their adaptive role (Bering 2006; Sosis 2009). The costly signaling approach, grounded in behavioral ecology, argues that extravagant religious displays are naturally selected for life in cooperative groups, allowing individuals to reliably signal their degree of cooperation or their group commitment to solve the free-rider problem (Bulbulia 20042008; Irons 2001; Sosis & Alcorta 2003). This approach is compatible with cultural variability and cultural evolutionary logic, and recent work in this perspective has begun to integrate costly signaling accounts with models that take into account intergroup competition and cultural evolutionary changes (e.g., Sosis & Bulbulia 2011; Wildman & Sosis 2011). We have built a foundation that further promotes such synthesis by incorporating insights from this approach in two ways. First, by emphasizing CREDs as well as signaling, we account for both the cultural contagion generated by these extravagant displays and what they communicate to others about the actor's commitments. Second, by embedding signaling approaches within a cultural evolutionary framework (Henrich 2009), we can explain why people might acquire religious beliefs with varying degrees of commitment, as well as why individuals are more susceptible to acquiring religious beliefs that are backed up by credible displays. Our view also positions specific signals within a cultural evolutionary process that assembles practices and beliefs to exploit signaling logic over historical time. 11

Another adaptationist account that has garnered interest is the supernatural punishment hypothesis (SPH) (e.g., Bering 20062011; Johnson 2009), which argues that a fear of a moralizing god is a naturally selected genetic adaptation targeting moral self-constraint or error management. Although our framework and the SPH share many similarities, and draw from some of the same body of evidence, they also differ in interesting ways. Whereas we argue that fear of moralizing gods and other supernatural punishment beliefs were culturally selected in individuals and groups, the SPH argues that they are a genetic adaptation favored by within-group genetic selection, whose function is to restrain individuals from defection because of the social punishment they personally risk if caught (Johnson 2009; Johnson & Bering 2006; Schloss & Murray 2011). The cultural evolutionary framework and the supernatural punishment hypothesis in principle can be compatible, and we encourage debate on this possibility. However, our interpretation of the current ethnographic evidence raises two key challenges for this hypothesis. One is that the available evidence shows that in small-scale societies, and especially among foragers, gods have limited omniscience and little or no moral concern. Two, gods become more moralizing and interventionist as societies scale up and anonymity invades relationships, where the likelihood of escaping social sanctions for defection is greater, not smaller (for further discussion and critique, see Norenzayan 2013; Shariff et al. 2010). The framework we present here preserves the important insights and evidence from this hypothesis but also accommodates what would otherwise be empirical anomalies.

Our framework also circumvents what we argue are unproductive definitional debates about “religion.” Within religious studies, there is no widely accepted definition of what constitutes religion, or even if the term itself usefully picks out a coherent category of beliefs or behaviors (Saler 2009; Stausberg 2010). In our view, the concept of religion merely provides a pithy rhetorical prop to cue readers to the kinds of interrelated phenomena that require explanation. The religious package is a statistical pattern governed by specific hypotheses, rather than a predefined concept with necessary or sufficient features. There is, therefore, no expectation of a single overarching definition of religion or clear semantic boundaries, because the package of traits that gets labeled “religion,” although containing recurrent elements, culturally mutates in a predictable fashion, taking different shapes in different groups and at different historical times (Norenzayan 2013; for a similar but distinct account, see Taves 2009).

7.2. Counterarguments and alternative cultural evolutionary scenarios

Now that we have situated a cultural evolutionary framework in the broader debates about the evolution of religion, we evaluate the merits of alternative scenarios and counterarguments in light of the evidence. One obvious possibility we return to is reverse causation: the idea that prosocial religions are a consequence, rather than a cause, of social complexity and large-scale cooperation. To sharpen this alternative account, we consider two versions of the question. The broad version is that the causality is bidirectional: Prosocial religions are both a cause and a reflection of large-scale cooperation. In other words, they are best characterized as a mutually galvanizing feedback-loop. This is of course compatible with the hypothesis that prosocial religious elements contributed to the expansion of the cooperative sphere. The narrower version is that prosocial religions may be causally inert and only a by-product of large-scale cooperation (e.g., see Baumard & Boyer 2013).

We argue that this by-product-only account is difficult to reconcile with the breadth of the evidence for at least three reasons. First, we note that the religious priming data, supported by a meta-analysis, contradicts this alternative claim. Second, in the 15-culture experimental study conducted by Henrich et al. (2010a2010b), in which adherence to world religions (relative to local religions) predicted more prosocial behavior in economic games, this effect remained even after controlling for community size (as well as other variables implicated in religion and prosociality). If both prosocial religions and prosocial tendencies were merely a consequence of societal scale, statistically controlling for community size, market integration, income, education, and wealth would eliminate the association between world religion and prosocial behavior. The data did not support that. Third, the cross-cultural ethnographic patterns we discussed earlier pose a different kind of challenge to this account. There are multiple, statistically independent predictors of the prevalence of Big Gods (e.g., Botero et al. 2014; Peoples & Marlowe 2012). The by-product-only hypothesis would have to offer piecewise and special case explanations; that is, different accounts would have to be conjured up for why people who live in large, anonymous societies, practicing animal husbandry, engaged in agriculture, and exposed to ecological duress such as water scarcity, imagine Big Gods more than do people in other societies that lack these conditions. The causal hypothesis, in contrast, is backed up by experimental evidence, and it also offers a unified explanation for these cross-cultural patterns, as each of these socioecological conditions poses serious collective action problems to which prosocial religions with Big Gods contribute solutions (e.g., Botero et al. 2014; Peoples & Marlowe 2012).

Another cultural evolutionary scenario is that prosocial religions proliferated only after other mechanisms produced a set of conditions in which prosocial religions increasingly became a target of cultural evolutionary pressures. That is, prosocial religions may not have played an original role in enabling the rise of large-scale cooperative societies, but rather, they may have been a consequence. Once prosocial religions took shape, they then contributed to maintaining and expanding large-scale cooperation. 12 Because the framework we have outlined does not specify a fixed temporal sequence, this scenario is a viable alternative given the available ethnographic, historical, and experimental evidence. We suspect that history will show some cases in which religious elements spread first, and then societies expanded, and other cases in which the societies expanded, and then the religious elements spread and in turn sustained and broadened the expansion. These alternative historical scenarios are ripe for research.

7.3. From religious belief to disbelief

The widespread occurrence of at least some forms of atheism 13 presents an interesting challenge for any evolutionary explanation of religion. Religion, by some evolutionary accounts, is either a suite of adaptive strategies built into evolved psychology, or it is a direct projection from reliably developing, species-specific, cognitive capacities onto the world. We take up this challenge in the framework presented here and offer an account of secularization. By combining insights from the by-product approach with cultural evolution, we suggest that psychologically real atheism is possible, even if some cognitive biases – all else being equal – push people toward religious belief. Our framework suggests that religious belief – as a joint product of cognitive biases, core existential motivations concerning mortality as well as control and meaning, and cultural learning strategies – may produce distinct psychological pathways that jointly or in isolation lead to disbelief (Norenzayan & Gervais 2013).

Therefore, rather than seeing “atheism” as a single phenomenon, our model treats it as a blanket term for several pathways to disbelief, including (1) mindblind atheism associated with deficits in mentalizing; (2) InCREDulous atheism, caused by the lack of witnessing extravagant displays of religious commitment; (3) apatheism or indifference to religion induced by the absence of existential threats or material hardship; and (4) analytic atheism, in which analytic cognitive processes override or block the cognitive intuitions that anchor religious beliefs. 14

Finally, because this framework tackles both recurrent features of prosocial religions, and historical and cultural changes over time, it gives center stage to questions about the conditions that give rise to secularization. We argue that, whereas multiple pathways likely stabilized large cooperative social groups, religiously driven prosociality was one powerful force. In most of humanity's past, and for many societies even today, the secular mechanisms and institutions that sustain prosociality, were – and often remain – rare or unreliable. Our analysis accommodates the fact that religiosity systematically varies depending on the social conditions that exist in particular populations at particular times. Religious prosociality was once one of the most effective ways to foster exchange among strangers or organize them for cooperative endeavors. However, the recent spread of secular institutions since the industrial revolutions – including democratic political institutions, policing authorities, and effective contract-enforcing mechanisms – has ushered in widespread large-scale prosociality without gods.

Our framework, therefore, provides an account of how secular societies climbed the ladder of prosocial religion and then kicked it away. Prosocial religions may have buttressed a cultural bridge between the small-scale human societies that dominated much of our evolutionary history and the complex secular societies of the modern world. However, with the emergence of strong secular institutions that promote public trust and existential security (Norris & Inglehart 2004), the selective forces that spread and sustained these belief–ritual packages began to ebb. This may have led first to a downgrading of concepts such as hell and God's wrath, which would have weakened the forces sustaining prosocial religions, and then gradually to the loss of religious faith itself. Conversely, prosocial religions continue to thrive where existential threats, such as natural disasters, material insecurity, and inefficient rule of law, remain rampant (e.g., Bentzen 2013; Norris & Inglehart 2004; Sibley & Bulbulia 2012).

It appears that God and government are both culturally and psychologically interchangeable. Experimentally induced reminders of secular moral authority had as much effect on generous behavior in an economic game as reminders of God (Shariff & Norenzayan 2007). The effect of participation in a world religion on punishing of selfish behavior disappears when a third-party punisher is introduced into the game (Henrich et al. 2010a), also suggesting some psychological interchangeability between supernatural and secular sources of monitoring and punishment. Cross-national surveys show that greater trust in government stability and control undermines religion (Norris & Inglehart 2004) and reduces distrust of atheists among believers (Gervais & Norenzayan 2012b; Norenzayan & Gervais 2015). Moreover, experimental manipulations or naturally occurring events (e.g., electoral instability) that lower faith in one of these external control systems (God or the government) lead to subsequent increases in faith in the other (Kay et al. 2008). There are signs that some societies with strong institutions and stable life conditions have passed a threshold, no longer leaning on prosocial religious elements to sustain large-scale prosociality. Some of the most cooperative and trusting societies, such as those in Scandinavia, are also the least religious (Zuckerman 2008). 

Women were more likely (vs. men) to dissolve relationships with men who engaged in frequent benefit-provisioning tactics (buying expensive gifts, taking to a nice restaurant, sexual favors, getting extra attractive for the ex-partner)

DeLecce, T. & Weisfeld, G.E. (2021). Testing the ability of the benefit-provisioning and cost-inflicting mate retention domains to predict initiator of relationship dissolution. Human Ethology, 36, 62-77. Jun 2021.

Abstract: Research on mate retention often only aims to identify what constitutes mate retention tactics. In the current study, the effectiveness of mate retention tactics is explored by measuring relationship outcomes of tactics unlike previous research that measures effectiveness through perceptions of relationship satisfaction. Individuals who have experienced a nonmarital breakup reported on their own and their ex-partners’ mate retention tactics before the breakup to see which ones predicted the outcome of relationship dissolution. Tests for moderation by participant gender and male mate value were also included. Results revealed that, in accord with the mate retention tactic categorization put forth by Miner, et al., (2009), tactics that are performed by participants’ ex-partners that inflict costs increase the odds of dissolution. Moderation by gender was also observed such that women were more likely to dissolve relationships with men who engaged in frequent benefit-provisioning tactics. Discussion addresses both supporting and conflicting evidence for the effectiveness of the benefit-provisioning and cost-inflicting categorization of mate retention.

Keywords: relationship dissolution, mate retention tactics, mate value

Using Goodreads reviews for over 50,000 people, we can robustly & accurately infer Big 5 personality traits from reading choices

Predicting Personality from Book Preferences with User-Generated Content Labels. Ng Annalyn, Maarten W. Bos, Leonid Sigal, and Boyang Li. IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing,

Abstract—Psychological studies have shown that personality traits are associated with book preferences. However, past findings are based on questionnaires focusing on conventional book genres and are unrepresentative of niche content. For a more comprehensive measure of book content, this study harnesses a massive archive of content labels, also known as ‘tags’, created by users of an online book catalogue, Combined with data on preferences and personality scores collected from Facebook users, the tag labels achieve high accuracy in personality prediction by psychological standards. We also group tags into broader genres, to check their validity against past findings. Our results are robust across both tag and genre levels of analyses, and consistent with existing literature. Moreover, user-generated tag labels reveal unexpected  insights, such as cultural differences, book reading behaviors, and other non-content factors affecting preferences. To our  knowledge, this is currently the largest study that explores the relationship between personality and book content preferences.

Index Terms—Personality Profiling, Narrative Preferences, Social Media, Behavioural Footprints

Gender Differences in the Intention to Get Vaccinated against COVID-19 - a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Zintel, Stephanie and Flock, Charlotte and Arbogast, Anna Lisa and Forster, Alice and von Wagner, Christian and Sieverding, Monika, Gender Differences in the Intention to Get Vaccinated against COVID-19 - a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (March 12, 2021). SSRN:


Introduction: Since the end of 2020, the first officially approved vaccines against COVID-19 are available and vaccination roll out has started worldwide. As high vaccination rates are necessary to reach herd immunity and overcome the pandemic, it is important to identify sociodemographic characteristics that are associated with vaccination intention or hesitancy. The goal of our review was to analyze whether there are gender differences in the intention to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Method: We conducted a systematic review and meta-analytical calculations to analyze gender differences in the COVID-19 vaccination intention. PubMed, Web of Science and PsycInfo were repeatedly searched between November 19th 2020 and January 7th 2021 for studies reporting absolute frequencies in COVID-19 vaccination intention separated by gender or statistical tests for gender differences. A quality appraisal was conducted and averaged odds ratios comparing vaccine intenders among men and women were computed via meta-analyses.

Results: Sixty studies were included in the review and data for 46 studies were available for meta-analytic computations. A majority (58.3%) of papers reported men to have higher intentions to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Meta-analytic calculations of 46 studies (n = 141 550) showed that significantly more men stated that they would get vaccinated, OR of 1.41 (95% CI: 1.28 to 1.55 respectively). Findings suggest that this effect is evident in several countries around the world and that the difference is bigger in samples of health care workers than in unspecified general population samples.

Conclusion: This systematic review and meta-analysis provides evidence that men are more willing to have the COVID-19 vaccine. The reasons for the lower vaccination intentions of women should be investigated and addressed. Heterogeneity of data and representativeness of samples have to be considered when interpreting the results.

Keywords: COVID-19, vaccination, intention, gender differences, health care workers, systematic review, meta-analysis