Saturday, March 19, 2022

Results suggest that it is the joint effect of being intoxicated in a bar that matters; ubjects systematically underestimated their magnitude, suggesting that they cannot be held fully accountable for their actions

Overconfidence, alcohol and the environment: evidence from a lab-in-the-field experiment. Long, Iain W., Matthews, Kent and Sivarajasingam, Vaseekaran. Cardiff Economics Working Papers, Cardiff University Business School. Mar 15 2022.

Abstract: Alcohol has long been known as the demon drink; an epithet owed to numerous social ills associated with it. Our lab-in-the-field experiment assesses the extent to which intoxication leads to changes in overconfidence or cognitive ability that are often linked to problematic behaviours. Results suggest that it is the joint effect of being intoxicated in a bar that matters. Subjects systematically underestimated their magnitude, suggesting that they cannot be held fully accountable for their actions.

The Economics of Content Moderation: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Hate Speech on Twitter

Jiménez Durán, Rafael, The Economics of Content Moderation: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Hate Speech on Twitter (February 25, 2022). SSRN:

Abstract: Social media platforms ban users and remove posts to moderate their content. This "speech policing" remains controversial because little is known about its consequences and the costs and benefits for different individuals. I conduct two field experiments on Twitter to examine the effect of moderating hate speech on user behavior and welfare. Randomly reporting posts for violating the rules against hateful conduct increases the likelihood that Twitter removes them. Reporting does not affect the activity on the platform of the posts' authors or their likelihood of reposting hate, but it does increase the activity of those attacked by the posts. These results are consistent with a model in which content moderation is a quality decision for platforms that increases user engagement and hence advertising revenue. The second experiment shows that changing users' perceived content removal does not change their willingness to pause using social media, a measure of consumer surplus. My results imply that content moderation does not necessarily moderate users, but it marginally increases advertising revenue. It can be consistent with both profit- and welfare-maximization if out-of-platform externalities are small.

Keywords: social media, moderation, report, hate speech, experiment, welfare

JEL Classification: C93, D12, D85, D90, I31, J15, L82, L86, Z13

From 2016... Predicting Sexual Harassment From Hostile Sexism and Short-Term Mating Orientation: Relative Strength of Predictors Depends on Situational Priming of Power Versus Sex

From 2016... Predicting Sexual Harassment From Hostile Sexism and Short-Term Mating Orientation: Relative Strength of Predictors Depends on Situational Priming of Power Versus Sex. Charlotte Diehl, Jonas Rees, Gerd Bohner. Violence Against Women, December 9, 2016.

Abstract: Previous research has shown that short-term mating orientation (STMO) and hostile sexism (HS) selectively predict different types of sexual harassment. In a priming experiment, we studied the situational malleability of those effects. Male participants could repeatedly send sexist jokes (gender harassment), harassing remarks (unwanted sexual attention), or nonharassing messages to a (computer-simulated) female target. Before entering the laboratory, participants were unobtrusively primed with the concepts of either sexuality or power. As hypothesized, sexuality priming strengthened the link between STMO and unwanted sexual attention, whereas power priming strengthened the link between HS and gender harassment. Practical implications are discussed.

Keywords: sexual harassment, priming, motivation, computer harassment paradigm

Acute hunger does not increase unethical economic behaviour

Honestly hungry: Acute hunger does not increase unethical economic behaviour. Christian T. Elbæk/Elbaek et al. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, Volume 101, July 2022, 104312.

Abstract: Acute hunger leads to self-protective behaviour, where people keep resources to themselves. However, little is known about whether acute hunger influences individuals' inclination to engage in unethical behaviour for direct monetary gains. Past research in moral psychology has found that people are less likely to cheat for monetary than non-monetary gains. Integrating research on scarcity into the study of unethical economic behaviour, we predicted that acute hunger increases cheating for monetary gains. We further predicted that this effect is moderated by childhood socioeconomic status, trait self-control, and moral identity. We tested these predictions in a well-powered laboratory experiment where we manipulated acute physiological hunger as indexed by blood glucose levels and obtained a validated behavioural measure of cheating for direct monetary gains. Contrary to our predictions, our results show that acute physiological hunger as indexed by blood glucose levels does not increase (or decrease) the propensity to engage in unethical economic behaviour and that neither childhood socioeconomic status nor trait self-control or moral identity moderate this relationship. These findings advance scientific understanding of whether experiences of scarcity shape moral judgment and decision-making.

Keywords: Unethical economic behaviourAcute hungerBlood glucoseRelative resource scarcityMoral psychologyExperimental methods

Higher neuroticism was related to an older subjective age, whereas higher extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were associated with a younger subjective age

Stephan, Y., Sutin, A. R., Kornadt, A., Canada, B., & Terracciano, A. (2022). Personality and subjective age: Evidence from six samples. Psychology and Aging, Mar 2022.

Abstract: Subjective age is associated with health-related outcomes across adulthood. The present study examined the cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between personality traits and subjective age. Participants (N > 31,000) were from the Midlife in the United States Study (MIDUS), the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the National Health and Aging Study (NHATS), the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study Graduate (WLSG) and Siblings (WLSS) samples, and the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA). Demographic factors, personality traits, and subjective age were assessed at baseline. Subjective age was assessed again in the MIDUS, the HRS, and the NHATS, 4 to almost 20 years later. Across the samples and a meta-analysis, higher neuroticism was related to an older subjective age, whereas higher extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were associated with a younger subjective age. Self-rated health, physical activity, chronic conditions, and depressive symptoms partially mediated these relationships. There was little evidence that chronological age moderated these associations. Multilevel longitudinal analyses found similar associations with the intercept and weak evidence for an association with the slope in the opposite of the expected direction: Lower neuroticism and higher extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness were related to feeling relatively older over time. The present study provides replicable evidence that personality is related to subjective age. It extends existing conceptualization of subjective age as a biopsychosocial marker of aging by showing that how old or young individuals feel partly reflects personality traits. 

Extraverts are secretly seen as bad listeners who only pretend to care about what one says; they are perceived as too good at adapting their speech to the audience

Are You Listening to Me? The Negative Link Between Extraversion and Perceived Listening. Francis J. Flynn, Hanne Collins, Julian Zlatev. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, March 18, 2022.

Abstract: Extraverts are often characterized as highly social individuals who are highly invested in their interpersonal interactions. We propose that extraverts’ interaction partners hold a different view—that extraverts are highly social, but not highly invested. Across six studies (five preregistered; N = 2,456), we find that interaction partners consistently judge more extraverted individuals to be worse listeners than less extraverted individuals. Furthermore, interaction partners assume that extraversion is positively associated with a greater ability to modify one’s self-presentation. This behavioral malleability (i.e., the “acting” component of self-monitoring) may account for the unfavorable lay belief that extraverts are not listening.

Keywords: extraversion, listening, self-monitoring, sociability, interaction

Protective Role of the Internet in Depression for Europeans Aged 50+ Living Alone

The Protective Role of the Internet in Depression for Europeans Aged 50+ Living Alone. Patrícia Silva, Alice Delerue Matos, Roberto Martinez-Pecino. Social Media + Society, March 18, 2022.

Abstract: Depression is a significant and limiting health problem, and living alone has been identified as an essential determinant of depressive symptoms in middle-aged and older adults. This study looks at this relationship by introducing a new factor into the equation—the Internet—which has become increasingly relevant for communication and interaction. It aims to assess to what extent the use of the Internet can mitigate the association between living alone and depression in middle-aged and older adults. This study focuses on a sample of 64,260 individuals aged 50+ who are resident in Portugal, Greece, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Estonia, and Croatia and were surveyed in the context of the SHARE project (Survey of Health, Ageing, and Retirement in Europe), Wave 6. The results showed that living alone relates to greater odds of depression. Nevertheless, of particular relevance is that they also evidenced that the Internet has a moderating role on this relationship, revealing a protective role, since Europeans aged 50+ who live alone and are Internet users are less likely to experience depression than other older adults. The findings reinforce the importance of policies aimed at digital inclusion to benefit the mental health of older adults who live alone in Europe.

Keywords: depression, living alone, Internet, 50+ individuals, Europe

The main goal of this study was to analyze, with a large sample, the moderating role of the Internet in the relationship between living alone and depression in Europe, after having controlled for the influence of the characteristics of the individuals frequently associated with depression.

In this research, by the previous literature, living alone positively relates to depression (Das Gupta et al., 2020Djernes, 2006Gyasi et al., 2020Hu et al., 2012D. Russell & Taylor, 2009Stahl et al., 2017). However, Internet use by adults aged 50+ years is related to fewer depressive symptoms in Europe. This corroborates the results of previous studies (Cotten et al., 2014Wang et al., 2019) and may reinforce the potential importance of the Internet as a means of communication (Antonucci et al., 2017Martinez-Pecino et al., 2013Román-García et al., 2016C. Russell et al., 2008).

The main result of this study is that the Internet moderates the relationship between living alone and depression; that is, adults who live alone and use the Internet are less likely to experience depression than other middle-aged and older adults, confirming our hypothesis. Considering the increasing number of older adults living alone in the current society (Mudrazija et al., 2020Reher & Requena, 2018), the result is relevant since the study focuses on a large sample and controls for variables that have traditionally been associated with depression.

One possible explanation for this outcome is that the Internet can constitute a crucial means of communication (Antonucci et al., 2017Martinez-Pecino et al., 2011Reis et al., 2021) with social networks of older persons living alone, which are very important for their well-being (Djundeva et al., 2019Gyasi et al., 2020). As stated by Papacharissi (2015), all media foster communication. Thus, our results align with recent studies that suggest that, although adults living alone have less interaction with their family, through online communication, they can communicate like people who live with their family (Nakagomi et al., 2022). In this sense, the Internet can prevent depression by increasing social contact (Nakagomi et al., 2022). Furthermore, according to Szabo et al. (2019), contact with family and friends through the Internet helps older adults to maintain their sense of belonging, increase social engagement and receive social support, which can be especially important when family members are geographically distant (Szabo et al., 2019). Thus, this study also supports the literature that indicates that social media are essential for activating, strengthening, or maintaining ties (Haythornthwaite, 20022005), even in contexts where older adults reside alone. It also complements the literature that states that social media are essential resources for older adults’ mental health (Bonsaksen et al., 2021Forsman & Nordmyr, 2017).

This study also observed the influence of the traditional determinants associated with depression, controlled in the analyses. Thus, we could observe that in Europe, as underlined in the research literature, depression is influenced by a set of sociodemographic, economic, and health characteristics. In fact, as in other studies, increasing age (Weyerer et al., 2013) and being female (Calvó-Perxas et al., 2016Conde-Sala et al., 2019Ylli et al., 2016Zunzunegui et al., 2007) are positively related to depression. However, increased education reduces the chances of depressive symptoms, which also corroborates the results of other studies (Calvó-Perxas et al., 2016Kok et al., 2012Portellano-Ortiz et al., 2018Ylli et al., 2016). Depression has also been associated with financial difficulties (Calvó-Perxas et al., 2016Conde-Sala et al., 2019Portellano-Ortiz et al., 2018Ylli et al., 2016) and increased chronic diseases and functional limitations (Calvó-Perxas et al., 2016Conde-Sala et al., 2019Djernes, 2006Huang et al., 2010Portellano-Ortiz et al., 2018Weyerer et al., 2013Ylli et al., 2016).

Our results reinforce the possibility that Internet use may decrease the effect of social inequalities concerning depression in older adults (Mu et al., 2021). This is in line with research that has concluded that socio-economic characteristics contribute to disparities in depression at an older age. Using this technology can decrease this disparity, contributing to the mental health of middle-aged and older individuals (Mu et al., 2021).

This study has several limitations. The main one is that a single item was used to measure overall Internet use. Nevertheless, a yes/no response to whether someone regularly uses the Internet has frequently been used to assess Internet use by seniors (Cotten et al., 20122014Hogeboom et al., 2010König & Seifert, 2020König et al., 2018Silva et al., 2017). Nonetheless, considering that the impact of the Internet in the social sphere depends on the type of activities conducted online (Chen, 2013Hampton et al., 2009Zhao, 2006), future studies need to consider the impact that different uses of the Internet may have on depression. It is also important to remember that Wave 6 of the SHARE project was collected in 2015. SHARE Wave 7 was dedicated to life stories, and data collection of Wave 8 was interrupted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since there is still evidence worldwide about the existence of a high percentage of older people who do not use the Internet (König et al., 2018Silva et al., 2017) also of those who live alone (Mudrazija et al., 2020Reher & Requena, 2018) and those who suffer depression (Castro-Costa et al., 2007Conde-Sala et al., 2019), the findings of this study are entirely relevant to today’s society. Also, these issues are gaining increasing relevance in the current era marked by the COVID-19 pandemic, where recommendations for self-isolation emerge (García-Portilla et al., 2021). Since seniors are considered high risk under COVID-19, and their deaths are more common, they can accumulate stress and fear (Hui et al., 2020). The COVID-19 outbreak and associated physical distancing measures altered the social world for most older adults, but people who live alone may have been disproportionately affected (Fingerman et al., 2021). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, social isolation of the older population has intensified mental health concerns about anxiety, depression (García-Portilla et al., 2021Sepúlveda-Loyola et al., 2020WHO, 2020), and even suicides (Rana, 2020Sher, 2020). As noticed by some authors, the outbreak of COVID-19 will have a long-term and profound impact on older adults’ health (Wu, 2020). Thus, attention should be paid to adults who may struggle to maintain social contacts in light of physical distancing guidelines and overcome the challenges brought by this complex environment. The outcomes of this study precisely show the need to promote Internet use to face depression among older adults living alone.

Despite the above limitations, this study contributes to the open debate about the relation between Internet use and mental health where literature shows unclear outcomes and mixed evidence of the connection between the use of the Internet, well-being, and depression (Barbosa Neves et al., 2019Hülür & Macdonald, 2020P. Nie et al., 2017Quintana et al., 2018Sum et al., 2008). Studies are often criticized due to small samples and lack of consistency in measurement, and the need to control for co-variables (Cotten et al., 2012Hargittai et al., 2019Hülür & Macdonald, 2020Meshi et al., 2020). In this regard, we contribute with a large sample of 64,260 individuals of different European countries and controlling for the influence of co-variables, frequently associated with depression, to evidence the moderating role of the Internet in the relationship between living alone and depression in middle-aged and older adults, and show the importance of this technology in preventing and combating depression in those who live alone. Thus, this study has important implications for a society with an increasing number of older people who live alone. It points to the need to develop policies that address the e-inclusion of these individuals to improve their mental health.