Saturday, January 28, 2023

Rolf Degen summarizing... Another established social psychological finding, the presumed tendency for individuals to judge deviant ingroup members more harshly than similar behaving outgroup members, steadfastly refuses to be replicated

Group Membership and Deviance Punishment - Are Deviant Ingroup Members Actually Judged more Negatively than Outgroup Ones? Eric Bonetto et al. Meta-Psychology, Vol. 7 (2023), Jan 2023.

Abstract: Deviance Punishment is an important issue for social-psychological research. Group members tend to punish deviance through rejection, ostracism and – more commonly – negative judgments. Subjective Group Dynamics proposes to account for social judgement patterns of deviant and conformist individuals. Relying on a group identity management perspective, one of the model’s core predictions is that the judgment of a deviant target depends on group membership. More specifically, the model predicts that deviant ingroup members should be judged more negatively than outgroup ones. Although this effect has been repeatedly observed over the past decades, there is a current lack of sufficiently powered studies in the literature. For the first time, we conducted tests of Subjective Group Dynamics in France and the US to investigate whether ingroup deviants were judged more harshly than outgroup ones. Across six experiments and an internal mini meta-analysis, we observed no substantial difference in judgment between ingroup and outgroup deviant targets, d = -0.01, 95% CI[-0.07, 0.06]. The findings’ implications for deviance management research are discussed.

Keywords: Deviance, Punishment, Subjective Group Dynamics, Replication

We develop a deep learning model to detect emotions embedded in press conferences after the Federal Open Market Committee meetings and examine the influence of the detected emotions on financial markets

The Voice of Monetary Policy. Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Tho Pham, and Oleksandr Talavera. American Economic Review, Feb 2023, Vol. 113, No. 2: Pages 548-584.

Abstract: We develop a deep learning model to detect emotions embedded in press conferences after the Federal Open Market Committee meetings and examine the influence of the detected emotions on financial markets. We find that, after controlling for the Federal Reserve’s actions and the sentiment in policy texts, a positive tone in the voices of Federal Reserve chairs leads to significant increases in share prices. Other financial variables also respond to vocal cues from the chairs. Hence, how policy messages are communicated can move the financial market. Our results provide implications for improving the effectiveness of central bank communications.

JEL D83, E31, E44, E52, E58, F31, G14

Young men rated their own IQ significantly higher than women of the same age, while at an older age women rated their intelligence higher than men

Are sex differences in self-estimated intelligence an elusive phenomenon? Exploring the role of working memory, creativity, and other psychological correlates in young and older adults. Vaitsa Giannouli. Brain and Behavior, January 26 2023.


Background: Although there is research examining the demographic predictors of self-estimated intelligence (SEI) in young adults, so far SEI in old age is little investigated. This study aims to examine the influence of additional variables such as self-estimated emotional intelligence (SEEQ), physical attractiveness, health, general optimism, religiousness, and working memory (WM) on SEI both in young and older adults.

Methods: A total of 159 young (90 women, Mage = 28.77, SD = 8.83) and 152 older adults (93 women, Mage = 71.92, SD = 6.84) completed a measure of SEI as well as questions regarding the abovementioned variables. Given that WM is considered a very strong predictor of intelligence, neuropsychological assessment included the measurement of WM and phonologically cued semantic retrieval–verbal storage and processing in WM, as assessed by the Digit Span Forward and Verbal Fluency Task. The visual storage in WM was assessed with a variation of the Visual Patterns Test, and the visual storage and processing in WM with the Corsi blocks task (backward). Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS-X) was also administered as a possible influence on cognitive performance and SEI.

Results: Young males rated their intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ) higher than young females. This was not confirmed for older adults, for which surprisingly the reversed pattern was found. Older women reported higher IQ and EQ than older men. Correlations showed for all participants that the higher they rated their IQ, the higher their ratings of EQ, physical attractiveness, health, and religiousness. No significant correlations between objective tests regarding WM and SEI were found, supporting SEI overestimations. Age, sex, physical attractiveness, and SEEQ were significant predictors of SEI.

Discussion: For the first time, a reverse sex difference across age groups in SEI is found. Implications for individuals and healthcare professionals involved in assessment are suggested.


Although so far findings support that males of all ages tend to estimate their general intelligence about 5–15 IQ points higher than do females, usually around 1 SD above the norm (Furnham, 2017; Furnham & Grover, 2020), this is not the case for this Greek sample of older adults. Males had higher SEI only for the group of young adults, while the reverse was found for older adults as in this group females reported higher SEI. In addition to that, EI followed the same pattern of self-estimations for the interaction of sex and age groups. The view of an “MHFN bias” was not fully confirmed as men in the present study awarded themselves significantly higher estimates for overall and EI, only when they belonged to the group of young adults (Furnham et al., 1999). This sex and age interaction could be explained by affect differences as measured by negative PANAS, which was higher for older men.

Thus, age seems to be of utmost importance when SEI is examined. So far, older adults are not represented in relevant research as convenience samples are usually used (Cherubini & Gasperini, 2017). According to the current findings, the age dimension plays a vital role for SEI and SEEQ in persons aged 65 years or over, so although it has been neglected in relevant literature, future research attempts should consider it as an equally important variable as sex. Although it is difficult to disentangle what may be historical cohort effects (e.g., lack of available access to education) from what might be a biopsychosocial effect of cognitive aging and the understandable downward estimation of one's intelligence, this study points to a new question that needs to be elucidated in future research: Are the findings due to cross-cultural differences, is it a historical cohort effect related to access to education (better and longer educated younger adults), or do the frequently observed sex differences in SEI not generalize to older populations?

When objective cognitive tests of WM are used (such as the Visual Patterns Test), it is interesting that SEI does not correlate with them, something that is an unexpected finding, given that higher objective performance should support estimates of higher IQ. A real strength of this study is that it is backed up by neuropsychological measurements. Thus, for the first time we are able to rule out the presence of neurological impairment in the study or that SEI is an accurate reflection of the difficulties the participants encountered in the neuropsychological battery. Although direct cognitive performance was assessed (as indicated by the four neuropsychological tests), the objective psychometrically measured cognitive ability does not shape self-perceptions such as SEI, a finding that is also reported in Greek older adults with mild cognitive impairments and healthy Greek older adults (Fragkiadaki et al., 2016; Giannouli & Tsolaki, 2022b).

Another point that needs to be taken into consideration is physical attractiveness, which differentiates age and sex groups, as it is highest for old females, followed by young males, young females, and old males. Physical attractiveness has a high correlation with SEI. Also, physical attractiveness may act as a proxy for general self-esteem, and it has been supported that self-esteem is a strong component of the SEI (Reilly et al., 2022). Another point that is remarkable is that there was no correlation between SEI and optimism, a finding that allows us to support that the participants just do not have an optimistic bias toward overestimation. This is in contrast with studies supporting a relationship between optimistic bias, narcissism, and subjectively assessed intelligence (Zajenkowski & Gignac, 2018).

As in a previous study (Furnham & Grover, 2020), demographic variables (sex, age, education), self-ratings (attractiveness, EQ, and health), and non/antiscientific beliefs (regarding religion that has been found to be of utmost importance for Greek older adults; Giannouli & Giannoulis, 2021a, 2021b; Giannoulis & Giannouli, 2020b) were included. Furthermore, as this is the first time that such variables are simultaneously examined in Greece in an extended sample of individuals with varying demographic characteristics, it is worth mentioning the interaction effects for all these self-ratings, as the effect of the sex factor depends on the other factor, which in our case is the age group for SEI, SEEQ, physical attractiveness, and health ratings.

Although high levels of religiousness in Greece are reported in prior research for the old age group (Van Herreweghe & Van Lancker, 2019), both younger and older adults of both sexes in this sample had moderate levels of self-reported religiousness, possibly due to the COVID-19 crisis-imposed restrictions that changed relevant religious behaviors, such as church attendance and public worship (Giannoulis & Giannouli, 2021). Findings revealed that perceived religiousness positively correlated with SEI, SEEQ, and health ratings, but no direct relationship to optimism has been found in contrast to assumed links. The fact that perceived religiousness may not play a role in motivating positive attitudes, including optimism, could be due to the severe health and financial conditions in Greece at the time of assessment of the participants.

This study was not only a replication study, as creativity was also assessed taking the form of attitudes and values. Another novelty of this study was the neuropsychological assessment of WM. For SEI, four were the significant predictors, namely, age (older), sex (male), physical attractiveness, and SEEQ, while no other variables were found to be significant. Among them, self-estimated creativity negatively correlates with SEI only for the group of younger adults, something that could be explained by a different perception of these two psychological constructs (intelligence, creativity) as unrelated and distinct (Furnham et al., 2008).

This may have important implications for psychiatric and neuropsychological assessment as women may show overconfidence in their cognitive abilities, and this may drive them to show less willingness to get assessed based on the higher SEI that older women report or to report distorted data for themselves and their cognitive self-image, but also there might be implications for the everyday living of community-dwelling older women and men, especially in shared environments by both sexes. Although there was a hypothesis that objective WM test performance (concerning visual and verbal aspects of WM) would correlate with SEI, this was not the case. Another interesting neuropsychological finding that should be mentioned here is that although sex is expected to influence verbal capacity performance (e.g., Verbal Fluency Task), sex did not differentiate women and men regarding their phonemic fluency, something that reaffirms that in the Greek population sex contributes only to total word production on the semantic task and that sex differences in specific categories may reflect and be explained by sociocultural factors (Kosmidis et al., 2004).

A point that could be considered as a limitation of this study is that “objective” (i.e., psychometric) intelligence was not directly tested due to the fact that a lengthy testing session is not appropriate for older adults, but also the administration of all of the supplemental subtests to young adults has been criticized for having long administration times and causing fatigue (Greene, 2000), and due to copyright–proprietary issues for the only IQ test in use in Greece (current version of WAIS). However, by including a neuropsychological battery such as verbal fluency and Corsi blocks, we can rule out these results being driven by perceived or actual neuropsychological impairment as a result of aging.

Another limitation is the debate regarding WM and the appropriateness of the included measures (digit forward, visual patterns, and backward Corsi block), which could be better classified as measuring something other than WM, and be more indicative of STM than WM (Shao et al., 2014), while verbal fluency measures are supported to be primarily linked to executive functions (Amunts et al., 2020). A third limitation of this research may be the fact that given that the questions on the 0–100 scale for the self-estimations were presented the one after the other, many participants may have responded automatically with the same or similar reports, without making conscious estimations. Additionally, all participants were Greek Orthodox Christians, so the role of religiousness should be examined through the prism of one single religion. Another point is the fact that overall SEI was measured, and not multiple intelligences following Gardner's theory, while prior test experience was homogeneously present for all participants and could not be included in the analyses as a possible influence (Furnham et al., 2009). Of course, neuropsychological test scores revealed age differences, something that is generally expected in neuropsychological research regardless of the examined cognitive function (Lezak et al., 2012), given that normal ageing degrades the information processed, thus impairing cognitive processing (Schneider & Pichora-Fuller, 2000).

Future research should extend the current findings with the simultaneous examination of personality factors, apart from the state affect factors. Additionally, creativity could be examined in a more detailed way, as the Creative Attitudes and Values may not reflect the “actual” creativity but the attitudes and values that shape involvement in creative behaviors and activities. One more point is that sex should not be confused with gender, which refers to the socially constructed characteristics of women and men, and not to the biological sex, and thus two these two concepts should be examined and inserted into the analyses, separately (Reilly et al., 2022).