Sunday, May 8, 2022

From 2020... Being interviewed by a woman increases men’s odds of expressing strong support for gender equality by 37% and women’s odds by 17%

Gender Attitudes in Africa: Liberal Egalitarianism Across 34 Countries   Arrow. Maria Charles. Social Forces, Volume 99, Issue 1, September 2020, Pages 86–125,

Abstract: This study provides a first descriptive mapping of support for women’s equal rights in 34 African countries and assesses diverse theoretical explanations for variability in this support. Contrary to stereotypes of a homogeneously tradition-bound continent, African citizens report high levels of agreement with gender equality that are more easily understood with reference to global processes of ideational diffusion than to country-level differences in economic modernization or women’s public-sphere roles. Multivariate analyses suggest, however, that gender liberalism in Africa may be spreading through mechanisms not typically considered by world-society scholars: Support for equal rights is largely unrelated to countries’ formal ties to the world system, but it is stronger among persons who are more exposed to extra-local culture, including through internet and mobile phone usage, news access, and urban residency. Forces for gender liberalism are conditioned, moreover, by local religious cultures and gender structures.

People who are afraid to take sides in contentious issues often end up being caught between two stools, losing the trust of all parties involved

Silver, I., & Shaw, A. (2022). When and why “staying out of it” backfires in moral and political disagreements. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. May 2022.

Abstract: People care where others around them stand on contentious moral and political issues. Yet when faced with the prospect of taking sides and the possibility of alienating observers with whom they might disagree, actors often try to “stay out of it”—communicating that they would rather not to take a side at all. We demonstrate that despite its intuitive appeal for reducing conflict, opting not to take sides over moralized issues can harm trust, even relative to siding against an observer’s viewpoint outright. Across eleven experiments (N = 4,383) using controlled scenarios, real press video clips, and incentivized economic games, we find that attempts to stay out of the fray are often interpreted as deceptive and untrustworthy. When actors choose not to take sides, observers often ascribe concealed opposition, an attribution of strategic deception which provokes distrust and undermines real-stakes cooperation and partner choice. We further demonstrate that this effect arises only when staying out of it seems strategic: Actors who seem to hold genuine middle-ground beliefs or who lack incentives for impression management are not distrusted for avoiding conflict. People are often asked to take sides in moral and political disagreement. Our findings outline a reputational risk awaiting those who opt not to do so. 

Author's Perspective

What is it about?

When asked for their opinions about hot-button issues like COVID-19 policy, gun control, or LGBTQ+ rights, people sometimes choose to "stay out of it" by expressing a preference not to take sides at all. This research explores how we react to people who try not to take sides. Results from eleven experiments suggest that "staying out of it" can backfire. Although people expect that opting not to take sides can help them avoid charged moral conflicts, staying out of it often provokes distrust and disdain, sometimes more so than disagreeing with one's audience outright.

Why is it important?

Recent years have seen an explosion of concern about political polarization and ideological conflict, critical threats to a well-functioning democratic system. Our work helps to fill in the picture of social forces that encourage people to take sides, and it highlights a reputational risk awaiting those who try not to do so.

Monozygotic female twins raised apart: In contrast with previous research, the twins' general intelligence and non-verbal reasoning scores showed some marked differences

Personality traits, mental abilities and other individual differences: Monozygotic female twins raised apart in South Korea and the United States. Nancy L.Segal, Yoon-MiHur. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 194, August 2022, 111643.

Abstract: Twins reared apart are rare, especially twins raised in different countries and cultures. This report documents the behavioral, physical, and medical similarities and differences of monozygotic female cotwins, raised separately by an adoptive family in the United States and the biological family in South Korea. Similarities were evident in personality, self-esteem, mental health, job satisfaction and medical life history, consistent with genetic influence found by the Minnesota Study of Twins Reared Apart and related studies. An overall twin correlation across thirty-eight measures was r = 0.95, p < .001. In contrast with previous research, the twins' general intelligence and non-verbal reasoning scores showed some marked differences. Adding these cases to the psychological literature enhances understanding of genetic, cultural, and environmental influences on human development.

Keywords: TwinsAdoptionPersonalityCultureIntelligenceValues