Friday, November 4, 2022

Thus, overall, our results suggest that intelligence is relatively unrelated to whether someone is a kind and moral person

Anglim, Jeromy, Patrick D. Dunlop, Serena Wee, Sharon Horwood, Joshua K. Wood, and Andrew Marty. 2022. “Personality and Intelligence: A Meta-analysis.” PsyArXiv. November 4. doi:10.1037/bul0000373

Abstract: This study provides a comprehensive assessment of the associations of personality and intelligence. It presents a meta-analysis (N = 162,636, k = 272) of domain, facet, and item-level correlations between personality and intelligence (general, fluid, and crystallized) for the major Big Five and HEXACO hierarchical frameworks of personality: NEO PI-R, Big Five Aspect Scales (BFAS), BFI-2, and HEXACO PI R. It provides the first meta-analysis of personality and intelligence to comprehensively examine (a) facet-level correlations for these hierarchical frameworks of personality, (b) item-level correlations, (c) domain- and facet-level predictive models. Age and sex differences in personality and intelligence, and study-level moderators, are also examined. The study was complemented by four of our own unpublished datasets (N = 26,813) which were used to assess the ability of item-level models to provide generalizable prediction. Results showed that openness (ρ = .20) and neuroticism (ρ = -.09) were the strongest Big Five correlates of intelligence and that openness correlated more with crystallized than fluid intelligence. At the facet-level, traits related to intellectual engagement and unconventionality were more strongly related to intelligence than other openness facets, and sociability and orderliness were negatively correlated with intelligence. Facets of gregariousness and excitement seeking had stronger negative correlations, and openness to aesthetics, feelings, and values had stronger positive correlations with crystallized than fluid intelligence. Facets explained more than twice the variance of domains. Overall, the results provide the most nuanced and robust evidence to date of the relationship between personality and intelligence.

Redheaded women are more sexually active than other women, but it is probably due to their suitors

Redheaded women are more sexually active than other women, but it is probably due to their suitors. Katerina Sykorova et al. Front. Psychol., Nov 3 2022. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1000753

Abstract: Women with red hair colour, i.e., 1–9% of female Europeans, tend to be the subject of various stereotypes about their sexually liberated behaviour. The aim of the present case-control study was to explore whether a connection between red hair colour and sexual behaviour really exists using data from 110 women (34% redheaded) and 93 men (22% redheaded). Redheadedness in women, correlated with various traits related to sexual life, namely with higher sexual desire as measured by Revised Sociosexual Orientation Inventory, with higher sexual activity and more sexual partners of the preferred gender over the past year, earlier initiation of sexual life, and higher sexual submissiveness. Structural equation modelling, however, showed that sexual desire of redheaded women mediated neither their higher sexual activity nor their higher number of sexual partners. These results indirectly indicate that the apparently more liberated sexual behaviour in redheaded women could be the consequence of potential mates' frequent attempts to have sex with them. Our results contradicted the three other tested models, specifically the models based on the assumption of different physiology, faster life history strategy, and altered self-perception of redheaded women induced by stereotypes about them. Naturally, the present study cannot say anything about the validity of other potential models that were not subjects of testing.

Keywords: Redheadedness, sexual behaviour, sexual desire, sexual activity, sexual submissiveness, stereotypes, mate selection

Makeup increases attractiveness in male faces

Makeup increases attractiveness in male faces. Carlota Batres, Hannah Robinson. PLoS One, November 3, 2022.

Abstract: Makeup is commonly attributed with increasing attractiveness in female faces, but this effect has not been investigated in male faces. We therefore sought to examine whether the positive effect of makeup on attractiveness can be extended to male faces. Twenty men were photographed facing forward, under constant camera and lighting conditions, with neutral expressions, and closed mouths. Each man was photographed twice: once without any cosmetics applied and another time with subtle cosmetics applied by a professional makeup artist. Two hundred participants then rated those 40 images on attractiveness. The male faces were rated as higher in attractiveness when presented wearing makeup, compared to when presented not wearing makeup. This was true for both male and female raters, and whether analyzing the data using a by-participant or a by-face analysis. These results provide the first empirical evidence that makeup increases attractiveness in male faces. Following work on female faces, future research should examine the effect of makeup on several other traits in male faces. The market for male cosmetics products is growing and evolving and this study serves as an initial step in understanding the effect of makeup on the perceptions of male faces.


Evidence from a perceptual study supported the hypothesis that subtle cosmetics would make male faces look more attractive. We found that the same faces were rated as more attractive when they were wearing makeup, compared to when they were not wearing makeup. This effect is in line with previous research done with female faces [13].

While the difference between men with and without makeup was statistically significant, the effect size was small. This is in contrast with the research done with female faces which has found a large effect of makeup on attractiveness (e.g., η2 = 0.33 [22]). The small effect we found in male faces is probably due to the fact that we wanted the makeup to appear natural so as to not activate any stereotypes participants may have about male makeup [23]. Regardless, given the effects of attractiveness on real-world outcomes [56], even a small effect can have large consequences.

One point to note from our study is that not all of the faces were found to be more attractive with makeup. Previous research has found that identity has an effect size that is 1.36 times larger than the effect size attributed to makeup [22]. In our study, four out of the 20 faces were not rated as more attractive with makeup and it would be interesting for future research to investigate which types of faces gain the most from makeup applications. Additionally, future research is also needed to investigate what type of makeup increases male attractiveness. In this study, the professional makeup artist used a range of cosmetics on the participants (e.g., concealer, powder) and it would be interesting to limit applications in order to investigate the individual effects of these products.

It would also be interesting to further examine what aspect of the makeup application most greatly influences attractiveness perceptions. In our study, the professional makeup artist was instructed to increase skin homogeneity, decrease facial contrast, and accentuate the bone structure. While we got an overall effect of makeup, we are not able to dissociate which of these factors was the most important. For example, perhaps skin homogeneity is responsible for the entire positive effect, or maybe it is a combination of all three factors.

Lastly, this study only looked at perceptions of attractiveness in male faces. However, there is vast amount of research examining the effects of makeup on several other traits in female faces. For instance, likeability [4], leadership ability [24], trustworthiness [25], confidence [26], earning potential [26], and competence [25]. It would therefore be interesting to also examine the effect of makeup on these traits in male faces.

In contrast to dislike, hate is rooted in seeing the hated target as morally deficient or as violating moral norms

The psychology of hate: Moral concerns differentiate hate from dislike. Clara Pretus, Jennifer L. Ray, Yael Granot, William A. Cunningham, Jay J. Van Bavel. European Journal of Social Psychology, November 3 2022.

Abstract: We investigated whether any differences in the psychological conceptualization of hate and dislike were simply a matter of degree of negativity (i.e., hate falls on the end of the continuum of dislike) or also morality (i.e., hate is imbued with distinct moral components that distinguish it from dislike). In three lab studies in Canada and the United States, participants reported disliked and hated attitude objects and rated each on dimensions including valence, attitude strength, morality, and emotional content. Quantitative and qualitative measures revealed that hated attitude objects were more negative than disliked attitude objects and associated  with moral beliefs and emotions, even after adjusting for differences in negativity. In Study 4, we analysed the rhetoric on real hate sites and complaint forums and found that the language used on prominent hate websites contained more words related to morality, but not negativity, relative to complaint forums.


In a combination of laboratory studies and a content analysis of real online hate and complaint websites, we found initial evidence that differences in people's conceptualizations of hate and dislike are not only a matter of negativity but also morality. Morality—via both the expression of moral emotions and moral conviction—differentiates hated from disliked attitude objects. Individuals rated hated attitude objects in the lab as more closely connected to morality than disliked or even extremely disliked attitude objects. This distinction still held when adjusting for the relationship between morality and negativity. Further, real websites known by the United States government to be organized hate groups used significantly more moral language in expressing their beliefs as compared with users on complaint forums venting their dislike. Of note, we found an order effect in Study 1 such that differences between hate and dislike were less evident when participants were asked to generate disliked objects first. This suggests that people spontaneously think about objects that are closer to objects they extremely dislike or hate when asked about dislike without an explicit reference to hate.

Regarding the intensity hypothesis, we found mixed evidence for the role of negativity in distinguishing hate expressions from dislike. In Studies 1 and 2, hated attitude objects were rated as more negative than disliked attitude objects, even after controlling for morality, suggesting that both morality and negativity independently contribute to hate. These results are aligned with recent work by Martínez et al. (2022), who found increased ratings in 11 self-reported negative emotions in response to hated compared to disliked targets. However, these authors do not explore differences between hated and extremely disliked objects. We find this to be a relevant comparison in the light of Study 3, where we find that negativity differences between hated and extremely disliked objects vanished after controlling for morality, suggesting that differences in morality accounted for observed differences in negativity. Further, in Study 4, online expressions of hate did not use more negative language than online expressions of dislike. Thus, whereas hate and dislike seem to differ in both intensity and morality, it is possible that hate and extreme dislike differ mainly in the morality dimension. Future studies would benefit from employing scales and statistical techniques that allow researchers to obtain uncorrelated measures of negativity, attitude strength, and morality to better assess the independent contribution of each of these constructs in distinguishing hate from dislike.

Although it seems easy to recognize expressions of hatred when we see them—at Nazi rallies or ethno-cultural genocide—hate is still poorly understood from a scientific perspective. Our studies find that morality is a key ingredient that differentiates the conceptualization of hate from dislike in the minds of many people. These studies offer a springboard for empirical research into the psychology of hate. Centuries of philosophical theory have laid the groundwork for more rigorous empirical investigation. For example, our review of the literature raised the possibility that hate is motivational. Rempel and Burris (2005) suggested that we will ignore disliked objects but will wish to harm hated ones. In line with this, people feel more inclined to engage in attack-oriented behaviours when they experience hate versus dislike (Martínez et al., 2022). Further, while the present laboratory studies manipulated the type of attitude object generated to test differences between groups, further research could reverse the relationship between our independent and dependent variables. An important test of the connection between hate and morality would be to determine if experimentally inducing moral emotions could create hate in a laboratory setting. However, the ethics of doing so must be carefully considered.

One potential alternative explanation is that our instructions to generate hated versus disliked attitude objects elicited different classes of attitude objects (e.g., people and groups vs. concepts and beliefs). However, when we explicitly instructed people to generate different classes of attitude objects, we found that the difference between hate versus dislike was robust across these classes. It is also possible that hated versus disliked attitude objects differed systematically in level of abstraction. Some work has found that people more readily apply their moral principles to the psychologically distant (Eyal et al., 2008). Perhaps hated attitude objects are more psychologically distant or higher in abstraction? Another alternative explanation for our findings is that disliked versus hated objects do not need to have an actual antecedent: whereas people may not know why they dislike something, hatred may be more readily associated with a specific experience, making it easier to link to morality. Future research should address these possibilities.

An additional reason we believe the differences between hate and dislike extend beyond these issues is our study of online hate groups. The websites we explored did not require users to list attitudes objects they hated. In fact, many online hate groups actively disavow their categorization as “hate groups” and the content of their websites often focused on their core values (e.g., “…teaches lessons of morality and nobility, to walk as a proud White individual in a world where being White is now considered wrong”). Their websites were identified as hate groups by third parties. Our analyses nevertheless found much higher expressions of morality on these hate websites as compared to complaint forums, both about objects and about corporate groups. Together with our lab experiments, this gives us confidence that the difference between hate and dislike goes beyond simple semantics.

6.1 Hate as emotion

The current research relied on self-reports and content coding, which provides a modest scope for understanding the rich affective experience of hate. At present, it is impossible to determine if hate causes a feeling state or if labelling an experience as hate is a consequence of an emotional experience (or both). Importantly, our use of the term hate does not imply that it is a basic emotion. Our belief is that the psychological state we colloquially associate with hatred is actively constructed like other complex emotional states rather than a natural kind (see Barrett, 2006). While this is beyond the scope of the present work, these are important distinctions that should be examined in future research on the psychology of hate.

On a related note, while the conceptualization of anger, contempt, and disgust as distinctively moral emotions continues to receive empirical support (see for instance Steiger & Reyna, 2017), other scholars have challenged this view, arguing that disgust may have a broader role beyond morality or that anger can be triggered by other moral transgressions beyond autonomy (see Lomas, 2019). Thus, our results on the differences in moral emotions between hated and disliked attitude objects should be treated with caution: whereas these emotions may be necessary for hatred to arise, they may not be sufficient. Whereas higher ratings in anger, contempt, and disgust were to be expected in the hatred versus dislike condition, they should not be taken by themselves as unequivocal proof of the association between hatred and morality.

The results of the present research might, eventually, be fruitfully applied to psychological or behaviour interventions against hate. For instance, work on relations between Israelis and Palestinians suggests that hatred toward the out-group differs from anger in terms of profiling the out-group as evil and intentionally causing harm (Halperin, 2008; see also Parker & Janoff-Bulman, 2013). Yet such conflict may be ameliorated and peace proposals more likely to be adopted when the out-group is willing to compromise sacred values—rather than economic concessions (Ginges et al., 2007). Thus, acknowledging and leveraging the moral concerns associated with hatred may provide an important avenue for addressing intergroup (as well as interpersonal) conflict. We urge research in these areas to continue this line of inquiry in the hopes of designing and testing interventions to alleviate social conflict.

Finally, we note that the samples of our first three studies were undergraduate students from Canada and the US. This poses a limitation in terms of the generalizability of the findings of these studies, which have been drawn from western educated individuals from industrialized, rich, democratic societies (WEIRD, see Henrich et al., 2010). We attempted to overcome this limitation in Study 4, where we obtained samples from a more ecological environment (websites with English-speaking audiences). Because different cultures could have different conceptualizations of hate and dislike, future research should further address this constraint by including cross-national representative samples.

Looking cross a large dataset of extinct and extant mammalian skulls, the rate of evolutionary change peaked around the time of the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and has general tapered off since then

Attenuated evolution of mammals through the Cenozoic. Anjali Goswami et al. Science, Oct 27 2022, Vol 378, Issue 6618, pp. 377-383. DOI: 10.1126/science.abm7525

Becoming diverse: Mammals have the greatest degree of morphological variation among vertebrate classes, ranging from giant whales to the tiny bumblebee bat. How they evolved this level of variation has been a persistent question, with much debate being centered around the timing and tempo of evolutionary change. Goswami et al. looked across a large dataset of extinct and extant mammalian skulls and found that the rate of evolutionary change peaked around the time of the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and has general tapered off since then (see the Perspective by Santana and Grossnickle). Certain lifestyles, such as aquatic habitats or herbivory, led to faster change, whereas in some species such as rodents, morphological change appeared to be decoupled from taxonomic diversification. —SNV

Abstract: The Cenozoic diversification of placental mammals is the archetypal adaptive radiation. Yet, discrepancies between molecular divergence estimates and the fossil record fuel ongoing debate around the timing, tempo, and drivers of this radiation. Analysis of a three-dimensional skull dataset for living and extinct placental mammals demonstrates that evolutionary rates peak early and attenuate quickly. This long-term decline in tempo is punctuated by bursts of innovation that decreased in amplitude over the past 66 million years. Social, precocial, aquatic, and herbivorous species evolve fastest, especially whales, elephants, sirenians, and extinct ungulates. Slow rates in rodents and bats indicate dissociation of taxonomic and morphological diversification. Frustratingly, highly similar ancestral shape estimates for placental mammal superorders suggest that their earliest representatives may continue to elude unequivocal identification.