Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Rolf Degen summarizing... In stark contrast to men, women preferred the competitive strategy of "levelling," where gains are split equally when pitted against a higher-performing partner

Levelling as a Female-Biased Competitive Tactic. Joyce F. Benenson & Henry Markovits. Evolutionary Psychological Science, February 22 2023.

Abstract: Direct contests occur more frequently between men than between women. This produces the conclusion that men are more competitive than women. However, no sex differences have been found in other more indirect competitive tactics such as self-promotion and reputation derogation. Qualitative evidence further suggests that one competitive tactic, levelling, may be more commonly used by girls and women than by boys and men. Levelling initially was defined as occurring when several lower-ranked men physically overpowered a higher-ranked man. When institutional support backs equality, however, levelling can be effectively employed by a lower-ranked individual against a higher-ranked individual. Qualitative evidence with humans indicates that beginning in early childhood and continuing through adolescence, individual levelling is used by girls and women more than by boys and men. To empirically test whether individual levelling is more common among women than men, we modified a popular economic game to include a levelling option. In a pre-registered study, we asked 252 women and 258 men from four developed world regions to play the game for monetary compensation three times: with an equal-performing, higher-performing, and lower-performing partner. In each game, participants chose which tactic they wanted to employ: a winner-take-all contest, levelling, or working alone. Rational payoff-maximizing decisions should lead more participants to choose contests with lower-performing partners and to select levelling with higher-performing partners. No sex differences occurred in choice of contests with lower-performing partners, but more women than men employed levelling with higher-performing partners, supporting our hypothesis. Despite sex-biased preferences for competitive tactics, overall no sex differences arose in payoff maximizing decisions.

We find that winning more in the lottery increases the probability of meeting friends on most days, which is consistent with the complementary effect of income on the strength of social ties

Does money strengthen our social ties? longitudinal evidence of lottery winners. Joan Costa-Font and Nattavudh Powdthavee. Rationality and Society, February 21, 2023.

Abstract: We study the effect of lottery wins on the strength of social ties and its different types, including support networks, in the United Kingdom. On average, we find that winning more in the lottery increases the probability of meeting friends on most days, which is consistent with the complementary effect of income on the strength of social ties. The opposite is true with regards to social ties held for more instrumental reasons such as talking to neighbours. Winning more in the lottery also lessens an individual support network consistently with a substitution of income and support network. However, further robustness checks reveal that such average lottery effects are driven by individuals exhibiting very large wins only, thus suggesting that small to medium-sized wins (below £10k) may not be enough to change people’s social ties and support network in a substantial way.

Men with pretty faces were perceived as—and tended to rate themselves—as less paternally involved

Bartlome, Ronja I., and Anthony J. Lee. 2023. “Facial Attractiveness, but Not Facial Masculinity, Is Used as a Cue to Paternal Involvement in Fathers.” PsyArXiv. February 21. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: Facial femininity in men is purportedly used as a cue by women as a signal of paternal involvement. However, evidence for this claim is questionable. Previous findings have shown that paternal involvement is linked to testosterone, but have not investigated facial masculinity directly, while other studies have found that facial masculinity is negatively associated with perceptions of paternal involvement but do not assess the accuracy of this judgement. Here, we assess whether facial masculinity in men is used as a cue to paternal involvement, and whether this cue is accurate. We collected facial photographs of 259 men (156 of which were fathers) who also completed self-report measures of paternal involvement. Facial images were then rated by a separate group of raters on facial masculinity, attractiveness, and perceived paternal involvement. Shape sexual dimorphism was also calculated from the images using geometric morphometrics. We found that facial masculinity was not associated with perceptions of paternal involvement, nor was it related with self-reported paternal involvement. Interestingly, facial attractiveness was negatively associated with perceptions of paternal involvement, and we found partial evidence that facial attractiveness was also negatively associated with self-reported paternal involvement. These findings challenge the hypothesis that sexual dimorphism is used as a cue to paternal involvement, and perhaps indicate that facial attractiveness is more important for this judgement instead.