Thursday, November 18, 2021

Men’s anti-gay slur usage grounded in a status striving motive paired with distinct masculine personality features

Experimentally testing the impact of status threat on heterosexual men’s use of anti-gay slurs: A precarious manhood and coalitional value perspective. Tyler L. Brown & Nathan Grant Smith. Current Psychology, Nov 13 2021.

Abstract: The current study proposes an extension of theory and research on the effect of status threat specific to heterosexual men’s anti-gay slurs usage. Drawing on both the Precarious Manhood Thesis and the Coalitional Value Theory, the current study investigates whether masculine personality traits moderate the association between status threat and men’s readiness to use anti-gay slurs. A sample of heterosexual male university students (N = 139) was recruited from two English-speaking universities in Montreal, Quebec, and Houston, Texas. Participants completed questionnaires and randomly received either status threatening or status confirming feedback. Next, after reading vignettes describing heterosexual men behaving in ways that might jeopardize their status, participants reported their estimated probability of calling the target character a “fag” or “faggot.” Findings revealed a significant interaction effect. That is, only among participants high in masculine personality traits, those in the threat condition indicated significantly greater readiness to use anti-gay slurs relative to those in the status affirmation group. These findings contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of men’s anti-gay slur usage grounded in a status striving motive paired with distinct personality features. Future research directions are discussed.

Only for men—emotional and psychological well-being were positively predicted by sociosexual behavior and negatively predicted by desire

Sociosexual Orientations and Well-Being: Differences Across Gender. Ana Blasco-Belled et al. International Journal of Sexual Health, Nov 17 2021.



Sociosexuality explains whether people hold an (un)restricted orientation toward casual sex, and its effects on well-being are inconclusive. This study investigates how specifically the facets of sociosexuality relate to three components of well-being in men and women.

Methods: Self-report measures of sociosexuality and well-being were assessed in 556 Polish adults. 

Results: Multi-group confirmatory factor analysis revealed differences in sociosexual attitudes and desire across gender. Structural equation models showed significant results only for men—emotional and psychological well-being were positively predicted by sociosexual behavior and negatively predicted by desire. 

Conclusions: Sociosexuality predicted well-being differently across gender.

Keywords: Sociosexualitywell-beingmental healthgender differences

U.S. Adults’ Attitudes toward Gay Individuals’ Civil Liberties, Moral Judgments of Homosexuality, Support for Same-sex Marriage, and Pornography Consumption

U.S. Adults’ Attitudes toward Gay Individuals’ Civil Liberties, Moral Judgments of Homosexuality, Support for Same-sex Marriage, and Pornography Consumption, Revisited. Paul J. Wright &Robert S. Tokunaga. The Journal of Sex Research, Nov 17 2021.

Abstract: Approximately a decade ago, Wright and colleagues published three studies probing the nature of the relationship between heterosexual U.S. adults’ attitudes toward homosexuality and pornography consumption. Adopting an “effects” perspective (while acknowledging the nonexperimental nature of their data), they reasoned that pornography use could either lead to more antagonistic attitudes (by consumers viewing homosexuality through pornography’s lens of traditional masculinity) or accepting attitudes (by consumers viewing homosexuality through pornography’s lens of sexual liberalism). Results of all three studies aligned with the latter explanation. The present study evaluated whether the findings from these studies were replicable in the current U.S. sociocultural climate. No evidence of attitudinal reversal was found. Pornography use still directly predicted moral acceptance of homosexuality and support for same-sex marriage and indirectly predicted these outcomes via a more nontraditional attitude toward sex. Pornography use was neither directly nor indirectly related to attitudes toward civil liberties for gay persons in the more recent data, however. Additionally, contrary to the earlier findings, associations were unmoderated by education, sex, and ethnicity. Possible reasons for these discrepant results are discussed and the limitations to causal inference posed by correlational data are emphasized.

Twitter users high in Agreeableness and Extraversion tended to have more followers, while those high in Neuroticism had less

“Are we tweeting our real selves?” Personality prediction of Indian Twitter users using deep learning ensemble model. Rhea Mahajan et al. Computers in Human Behavior, November 17 2021, 107101.


• Twitter data can provide predictive indicators of user behavior.

• We hypothesized personality of an individual is highly correlated with their online behavior.

• The study aims to predict the personality of Indian Twitter users.

• Deep learning ensemble model has been employed for the study.

• It is observed that nature of online interactions does not differ from real-world interactions.

Abstract: Social Networking Sites have significant potential to reveal valuable explicit as well as implicit statistics and patterns when deep learning is applied to their raw and unstructured data. Tweets posted by the users on their timeline not only reflect their mindset, their likes and dislikes but could also be used to unveil significant amount of information about many psychological aspects and behavior that may be hard to study directly. This paper aims to predict the personality of the 100 real-time Twitter users conforming to personality traits in the BIG 5 model by extracting features from their tweets using ensemble of CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) and BiLSTM (Bidirectional Long Short Memory). The finding of our experiment shows that our model performs slightly better than previous baselines methods achieving an accuracy 75.134% on testing data. We have further hypothesized that unrestricted data available on Twitter may contain features that can be used to predict the personality of its user. It was concluded that personality of Twitter users in the real world is reflected in their online behaviour, reinforcing the premise that the nature of online interactions does not significantly differ from that of real-world interactions. Overall, the study provides a deep insight into the impact of social media data in providing predictive indicators of user behavior.

Keywords: Social networking sitesTwitterDeep learningBiLSTMPersonality

People are more likely to believe things that are easier to process; foreign-accented speech is relatively difficult to process & people believe information less when it is delivered in a foreign accent rather than a native accent

Exposing Individuals to Foreign Accent Increases their Trust in What Nonnative Speakers Say. Katarzyna Boduch-Grabka, Shiri Lev-Ari. Cognitive Science 45 (2021) e13064, Nov 2021. DOI: 10.1111/cogs.13064

Abstract: People are more likely to believe things that are easier to process. Foreign-accented speech is relatively difficult to process, and prior research shows that, correspondingly, people believe information less when it is delivered in a foreign accent rather than a native accent. Here we show that a short exposure to foreign accent can reduce this bias, and that the reduction in bias is due to improvement in the processing of the accent. These results demonstrate how cognitive aspects of language processing can influence attitudes. The results also suggest that ensuring exposure to foreign accent can reduce discrimination against nonnative speakers.

Keywords: Accent; Fluency; Credibility; Communication

1.2. Processing fluency and accent

As described above, there is ample evidence that stimuli that are easier to process are perceived more favorably. This finding could have grave implications for interactions between native and non-native speakers. Languages differ in their sound inventories. This can lead non-native speakers to find it difficult to produce certain sounds in their second language because these sounds do not exist in their first language, or because the sounds are not contrastive in their first language. For example, Japanese speakers often produce English ‘l’ in a nonstandard manner that can be confused with ‘r’ because Japanese does not distinguish between these sounds (Bradlow, Pisoni, Akahane-Yamada, & Tohkura, 1997). Nonnative speakers might also use nonstandard stress or prosodic patterns because these differ from those in their native language (e.g., Magen, 1998). These deviations from standard production render foreign-accented speech harder to process even when it is fully understood (e.g., Munro & Derwing, 1995). The greater difficulty of processing foreign-accented speech could lead individuals to treat it less favorably. Indeed, when Lev-Ari and Keysar (2010) presented participants with trivia statements recorded by native versus foreign-accented speakers of a variety of foreign accents (e.g., Korean, Italian, Turkish), participants judged the statements as more likely to be true when they were produced by native speakers. This effect was obtained even though it was highlighted to participants that speakers were merely reading aloud sentences provided by the experimenter, without knowing whether these were true or not. In other words, all speakers were merely messengers without any control over the content of their speech, thus reducing the relevance of any prejudice as it is not the speaker’s honesty and knowledge that are evaluated. The lower belief in foreign-accented statement was hypothesized to be due to the greater difficulty in processing them.

In a follow up study, Lev-Ari and Keysar (2010) tested whether raising participants’ awareness to the source of their difficulty reduces the tendency to believe nonnative speakers less. Their prediction rested on literature that shows that raising individuals’ awareness to the source of an affective experience can prevent individuals from misattributing the affective experience to other sources (Schwarz & Clore, 1983). To test whether raising awareness to the source of the difficulty would eliminate its misattribution to lower credibility, Lev-Ari and Keysar (2010, exp. 2) asked participants to rate the relative ease of understanding each of the speakers, in addition to rating the veracity of the statements. This manipulation succeeded in reducing the bias against mildly accented speakers, but not against heavily accented speakers. It seems, then, that participants corrected for the difficulty of processing, but not sufficiently so for the heavily accented speakers. The reduction of the bias against mildly accented speakers once awareness to the difficulty was raised also provides some support for the hypothesis that the lower belief in foreign-accented speech is at least partly due to misattribution of the lower processing fluency. Since the publication of those studies, several studies examined whether people believe information delivered by nonnative speakers less. Several of these found supportive evidence. One of these studies demonstrated that it is not only native speakers, but also nonnative speakers, who believe information more when it is provided in a native rather than a foreign accent (Hanzlíková & Skarnitzl, 2017). Other studies examined people’s ability to detect when native and nonnative speakers tell the truth and when they lie. All these studies found that people have a truth-bias when evaluating native speakers, that is, they are more likely to assume that the speakers are telling the truth than lying (Castillo, Tyson, & Mallard, 2014; Elliott & Leach, 2016; Evans & Michael, 2014; De Silva & Leach, 2013; Leach & De Silva, 2013). In contrast, participants never have a truth bias when evaluating nonnative speakers, and they sometimes have a lie bias, that is, they are more likely to assume that the speakers are lying rather than telling the truth (Castillo et al., 2014; De Silva et al., 2013; Evans & Michael, 2014). These latter studies, however, were not concerned with processing fluency, and their results might be driven by prejudice. In contrast, a couple of studies failed to find an effect of foreign accent on truth judgment (Souza & Markman, 2013; Stocker, 2017; Wetzel et al., 2021). While the conflicting results might be due to methodological differences (e.g., use of a highly familiar foreign accent without testing whether it is harder to process, use of a single speaker per condition), the inconsistent results of the follow up studies suggest it is important to try to replicate the results of Lev-Ari and Keysar (2010).

Furthermore, while past research suggests that people believe information less when it is delivered in a foreign accent, there is no direct evidence to indicate that this difference is due to lower processing fluency. Confirming the underlying mechanism is important for both theoretical and applied reasons. First, it will help us understand how the experience of language processing can influence decision making. Understanding the source of bias can also enable us to understand where else it might surface and how to counteract it. The main goal of this study is therefore to test the underlying mechanism that leads listeners to believe information delivered in a foreign accent less. The manner by which the study tests it, using an intervention paradigm, also proposes one approach that could be taken to reduce the bias against nonnative speakers.

One way to further test whether the tendency to believe information less when it is delivered in foreign-accented speech is at least partly due to processing fluency is to test whether facilitating the processing of foreign accent can reduce the bias. It is well established that the difficulty of processing foreign-accented speech is reduced with more exposure to the accent (Clarke & Garrett, 2004). Furthermore, the benefit of exposure can generalize to new speakers, especially if individuals are exposed to multiple speakers (Bradlow & Bent, 2008). The benefit is due to the fact that individuals speak with a foreign accent because the sounds of their native language differ from those of their second language. For example, the “th” sound in “think” does not exist in German. Therefore, many German speakers produce “s” instead (e.g., Hanulíková & Weber, 2012). Exposure to several German speakers who substitute “s” for “th” allows the listener to adapt to the accent and correctly interpret words with this nonnormative pronunciation of “th” also when encountering unfamiliar German speakers. Furthermore, German is not the only language to not have the sound “th.” Therefore, exposure to foreign-accented speakers who produce “th” in a nonnormative way could also help the listener to later understand speakers of other languages, such as Hebrew, who also does not have this sound and produce it in a similar nonnormative way. Indeed, it has been found that exposure to several foreign accents can alleviate processing of other foreign accents (Baese-Berk, Bradlow, & Wright, 2013). If at least one of the reasons that listeners distrust information delivered in a foreign accent is because it is harder to process it, and if exposure to foreign accent facilitates its processing, it might be possible to reduce individuals’ bias against foreign-accented speech by exposing them to foreign accent. This is the goal of the current study.

It should be noted that one prior study attempted to examine a highly related question, whether familiarity can moderate the effect of foreignness on credibility by facilitating processing (Wetzel et al., 2021). It did so by comparing familiar native accent, unfamiliar native accent, familiar foreign accent, and unfamiliar foreign accent. That study did not find an effect of either foreignness or familiarity. Unfortunately, because that study only utilized one speaker for each accent condition, it is hard to draw conclusions from it. There are many idiosyncratic features that influence how credible one sounds (e.g., pitch, speech rate). These need to be controlled, either by using the same speaker for all conditions (difficult when testing accents), or by using several speakers per accent to reduce the effect of idiosyncratic differences. As the study used one speaker per accent, it is impossible to know whether the speakers of the different accent did not differ on other features that cue trustworthiness. Second, group effects are not present in a comparison of every two individuals from the two groups. For example, men are taller than women, but when selecting at random only one man and one woman, the height difference might not be present or reversed. In other words, even if speakers of an unfamiliar foreign accent are harder on average to understand than speakers of a familiar foreign accent, not all speakers of an unfamiliar foreign accent would be harder to understand than all speakers of a familiar f.oreign accent, and similarly, not all of them would be rated as less truthful. Furthermore, as the authors themselves acknowledged, it was not even clear whether the unfamiliar foreign accent in the study (Finnish accent) was any harder to process than the familiar foreign accent (German accent), as the two accents are quite similar. Therefore, we do not know at the moment whether the tendency to believe foreign-accented speech less can be attenuated by exposure

From 2020... Italy North-South gap: We show that the roots of the literacy gap that existed in 1861 can be traced back to Napoleonic educational reforms enacted between 1801 and 1814

Institutions and literacy rates: the legacy of Napoleonic reforms in Italy. M Postigliola, M Rota. European Review of Economic History, Volume 25, Issue 4, November 2021, Pages 757–779,

Abstract: The provincial gap in human capital at the time of Italy’s unification is a plausible explanation for the North–South divide of the following decades. We show that the roots of the literacy gap that existed in 1861 can be traced back to Napoleonic educational reforms enacted between 1801 and 1814. We use exogenous variation in provincial distance to Paris to quantify effects, linking the duration of Napoleonic control to human capital. If the south had experienced the same Napoleonic impact as the north, southern literacy rates would have been up to 70 percent higher than they were in 1861

Thinking of a trigger warning does not prompt preparation for trauma-related content

Unprepared: Thinking of a trigger warning does not prompt preparation for trauma-related content. Victoria M.E. Bridgland, Jorja F. Barnard, Melanie K.T. Takarangi. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, November 17 2021, 101708.


• Participants recalled their most stressful/traumatic experience.

• Participants imagined a trigger warning or content related to this experience.

• Similar levels/types of coping strategies were reported in both conditions.

• Participants in the warning condition used fewer positive emotion words.


Background and objectives: Trigger warnings have been described as helpful—enabling people to “emotionally prepare” for upcoming trauma-related material via “coping strategies.” However, no research has asked people what they think they would do when they come across a warning—an essential first step in providing evidence that trigger warnings are helpful.

Methods: Here, participants from Amazon's Mechanical Turk (n=260) completed one of two future thinking scenarios; we asked half to think about coming across a warning related to their most stressful/traumatic experience; the others thought about the actual content (but no warning) related to their most stressful/traumatic experience.

Results: The warning condition did not produce differences in coping strategies, state anxiety, or phenomenology (e.g., vividness, valence) relative to the content condition. Only one key difference emerged: participants who imagined encountering a warning used fewer positive words, when describing how they would react.

Limitations: Although measuring actual behavior was not our aim, hypothetically simulating the future may not capture what actual future behavior would look like (e.g., an intention-behaviour gap).

Conclusions: One potential explanation for the consistent finding in the literature that trigger warnings fail to ameliorate negative emotional reactions is that these warnings may not help people bring coping strategies to mind. Although, further empirical work is necessary to fully substantiate this potential interpretation.

Keywords: trigger WarningsContent warningsCoping strategiesTrauma