Friday, April 7, 2023

People felt most authentic when they exaggerated their strengths and overlooked their shortcomings

The Authentic Self Is the Self-Enhancing Self: A Self-Enhancement Framework of Authenticity. Corey L. Guenther, Yiyue Zhang, and Constantine Sedikides. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, March 31, 2023.

Abstract: Authenticity refers to behaving in a manner that aligns with one’s true self. The true self, though, is positive. From a self-enhancement standpoint, people exaggerate their strengths and overlook their shortcomings, forming positively-distorted views of themselves. We propose a self-enhancement framework of authenticity, advocating a reciprocal relation between the two constructs. Trait self-enhancement was associated with higher trait authenticity (Study 1), and day-to-day fluctuations in self-enhancement predicted corresponding variations in state authenticity (Study 2). Furthermore, manipulating self-enhancement elevated state authenticity (Studies 3–4), which was associated with meaning in life (Study 4), and manipulating authenticity augmented self-enhancement, which was associated with meaning in life and thriving (Study 5). The authentic self is largely the self-enhancing self.

People, especially those with high cognitive ability, falsely perceive others as more vulnerable to deepfakes’ impact than themselves

Examining public perception and cognitive biases in the presumed influence of deepfakes threat: empirical evidence of third person perception from three studies. Saifuddin Ahmed. Asian Journal of Communication, Mar 27 2023.

Abstract: Deepfakes have a pernicious realism advantage over other common forms of disinformation, yet little is known about how citizens perceive deepfakes. Using the third-person effects framework, this study is one of the first attempts to examine public perceptions of deepfakes. Evidence across three studies in the US and Singapore supports the third-person perception (TPP) bias, such that individuals perceived deepfakes to influence others more than themselves (Study 1–3). The same subjects also show a bias in perceiving themselves as better at discerning deepfakes than others (Study 1–3). However, a deepfakes detection test suggests that the third-person perceptual gaps are not predictive of the real ability to distinguish fake from real (Study 3). Furthermore, the biases in TPP and self-perceptions about their own ability to identify deepfakes are more intensified among those with high cognitive ability (Study 2-3). The findings contribute to third-person perception literature and our current understanding of citizen engagement with deepfakes.

Keywords: Deepfakesdeep fakesthird-person perceptionfirst-person perceptioncognitive ability

Many, if not most, personalistic dictatorships end up with a disastrous decision; a theory of degenerate autocracy

Why Did Putin Invade Ukraine? A Theory of Degenerate Autocracy. Georgy Egorov, Konstantin Sonin. University of Chicago, April 5, 2023.

Abstract: Many, if not most, personalistic dictatorships end up with a disastrous decision such as Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union, Hirohito’s government launching a war against the United States, or Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Even if the decision is not ultimately fatal for the regime such as Mao’s Big Leap Forward or the Pol Pot’s collectivization drive, they typically involve both a monumental miscalculation and an institutional environment in which better-informed subordinates have no chance to prevent the decision from being implemented. We offer a dynamic model of non-democratic politics, in which repression and bad decision-making are self-reinforcing. Repressions reduce the threat, yet raise the stakes for the incumbent; with higher stakes, the incumbent puts more emphasis on loyalty than competence. Our theory sheds light on the mechanism of disastrous individual decisions in highly institutionalized authoritarian regimes.

Keywords: nondemocratic politics, authoritarianism, dictatorship.

JEL Classification: P16, C73, D72, D83.

Most aspiring vegans and vegetarians return to eating meat: Dissatisfaction with veg*n food is the most common struggle

Faunalytics. 2023. “Bringing Back Former Vegans and Vegetarians: An Obstacle Analysis.” PsyArXiv. March 31. doi:10.31234/

Abstract: This Faunalytics analysis looks at the obstacles faced by people who once pursued a veg*n diet, and what they would need to resume being veg*n, in their own words.