Friday, November 24, 2017

We report a novel illusion––curvature blindness illusion: a wavy line is perceived as a zigzag line

Curvature Blindness Illusion. Kohske Takahashi. i-Perception, Volume 8, issue 6,

Abstract: We report a novel illusion––curvature blindness illusion: a wavy line is perceived as a zigzag line. The following are required for this illusion to occur. First, the luminance contrast polarity of the wavy line against the background is reversed at the turning points. Second, the curvature of the wavy line is somewhat low; the right angle is too steep to be perceived as an illusion. This illusion implies that, in order to perceive a gentle curve, it is necessary to satisfy more conditions––constant contrast polarity––than perceiving an obtuse corner. It is notable that observers exactly “see” an illusory zigzag line against a physically wavy line, rather than have an impaired perception. We propose that the underlying mechanisms for the gentle curve perception and those of obtuse corner perception are competing with each other in an imbalanced way and the percepts of corner might be dominant in the visual system.

Keywords: contours or surfaces, curvature perception, illusion, perception

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Past findings do not seem to indicate that there is a consistent preference for Coke or Pepsi in any condition

The Pepsi Paradox: A Review. George Van Doorn, Beyon Miloyan. Food Quality and Preference,

•    A neural explanation for the Pepsi Paradox is outlined.
•    The evidence for the Pepsi Paradox is highlighted and reviewed.
•    None of the existing research has provided sufficient evidence for the existence of the Pepsi Paradox.
•    Past findings do not seem to indicate that there is a consistent preference for Coke or Pepsi in any condition.

Abstract: The Pepsi Paradox refers to the observation that Pepsi is preferred to Coke in blind taste tests, despite Coke being regarded as the more successful brand. We begin by describing the origins of the Pepsi Paradox. We then outline a neural hypothesis for why it occurs. Next, we carefully assess the published behavioural studies related to the Pepsi Paradox, and on people’s ability to distinguish colas by taste. We conclude that the existing research has failed to provide sufficient evidence for the existence of the Pepsi Paradox. In fact, there does not even seem to be a consistent taste preference for either beverage in the reviewed studies.

Keywords: Coca-Cola; Coke; Identification; Preference; Taste; Choice; Consumer; Brand

Super-recognition in development: A case study of an adolescent with extraordinary face recognition skills

Super-recognition in development: A case study of an adolescent with extraordinary face recognition skills. Rachel J. Bennetts, Joseph Mole & Sarah Bate. Cognitive Neuropsychology,

ABSTRACT: Face recognition abilities vary widely. While face recognition deficits have been reported in children, it is unclear whether superior face recognition skills can be encountered during development. This paper presents O.B., a 14-year-old female with extraordinary face recognition skills: a “super-recognizer” (SR). O.B. demonstrated exceptional face-processing skills across multiple tasks, with a level of performance that is comparable to adult SRs. Her superior abilities appear to be specific to face identity: She showed an exaggerated face inversion effect and her superior abilities did not extend to object processing or non-identity aspects of face recognition. Finally, an eye-movement task demonstrated that O.B. spent more time than controls examining the nose - a pattern previously reported in adult SRs. O.B. is therefore particularly skilled at extracting and using identity-specific facial cues, indicating that face and object recognition are dissociable during development, and that super recognition can be detected in adolescence.

KEYWORDS: Development, eye movements, face recognition, individual differences, super-recognizers

Examining Women's Tendency To Purchase Appearance-Enhancing Products From Gay Male Sales Associates

Service That Sells: Examining Women's Tendency To Purchase Appearance-Enhancing Products From Gay Male Sales Associates. Eric M. Russell. The University of Texas at Arlington, 2017. PhD dissertation.

Previous findings indicate that heterosexual female customers are more comfortable working with gay male—relative to straight male or female—sales associates in retail departments where apparel and beauty products are sold. However, researchers have not tested whether women’s comfort with gay male sales associates influences women’s likelihood to purchase the products that are recommended by them. In the present studies, I tested whether women’s increased comfort influences their likelihood to purchase from gay men, andI examined when this effect is most likely to occur. Specifically, I advanced the hypothesis that women are more likely to purchase from gay salesmen who recommend appearance-enhancing products that are used by women to attract potential mates. Study 1 revealed that women’s heightened comfort and trust consulting with a gay male sales associate may be associated with women’s increased intention to purchase from him. Study 2 experimentally emonstrated that women—but not men—are more likely to purchase appearance-enhancing products from gay male sales associates than from straight male or straight female sales associates. Study 3 replicated and extended these results by revealing that women’s increased likelihood to purchase these products from gay men was evident in a context in which women intended to attract a mate with the products. This set of findings not only aligns with previous psychological research examining women’s relational trust in gay men, but it also provides practical implications for business research and managerial decisions in retail settings.

Beards represent dishonest signals of formidability that may curtail escalation of intra-sexual conflict through intimidation rather than providing advantages in direct combat

Contest competition and men's facial hair: beards may not provide advantages in combat. Barnaby J.W. Dixson et al.Evolution and Human Behavior,

Abstract: In contemporary human societies, where direct male-male competition is reduced compared to ancestral societies, sporting competitions remains an avenue for status acquisition via intra-sexual competition. Beards are the most visually salient and sexually dimorphic of men's secondary sexual traits and play a strong role in communicating masculinity, dominance and aggressiveness intra-sexually. Hypotheses have been advanced that beards provide advantages in intra-sexual combat, as protective organs and honest signals of fighting ability. Here we provide the first test of these hypotheses using data from professional mixed martial arts fighters competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. We explored whether secondary sexual traits (height, weight, beardedness), fighting stance (southpaw, orthodox), arm reach and past contest experiences impact on contest outcomes. If beards function as protective organs, bearded fighters should succumb to fewer knock-outs, and hence protection to injuries to the jaw, fewer abrasions and lacerations to the face and brain damage than clean-shaven fighters. Alternatively, if beards signal fighting ability then bearded fighters should win more fights. We found no evidence that beardedness was associated with fewer losses by knock-out or greater fighter ability. While fighters with longer reaches won more fights, neither stance nor past experience influenced fight outcomes. We suggest that beards represent dishonest signals of formidability that may serve to curtail the escalation of intra-sexual conflict through intimidation rather than providing advantages in direct combat.

Keywords: Sexual selection; Intra-sexual competition; Facial hair; Human evolution

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Higher educated people see the less educated as more blameworthy for their situation than the poor and the working class

Educationism and the irony of meritocracy: Negative attitudes of higher educated people towards the less educated. Toon Kuppens et al. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology,

•    Higher educated people show education-based intergroup bias.
•    Less educated people do not show education-based intergroup bias.
•    Less educated are seen as more blameworthy for their situation than the poor.
•    Less educated are seen as more blameworthy for their situation than working class.
•    Less educated people have negative view of their own education group.

Abstract: Social psychology has studied ethnic, gender, age, national, and other social groups but has neglected education-based groups. This is surprising given the importance of education in predicting people's life outcomes and social attitudes. We study whether and why people evaluate education-based in-groups and out-groups differently. In contrast with popular views of the higher educated as tolerant and morally enlightened, we find that higher educated participants show education-based intergroup bias: They hold more negative attitudes towards less educated people than towards highly educated people. This is true both on direct measures (Studies 1–2) and on more indirect measures (Studies 3–4). The less educated do not show such education-based intergroup bias. In Studies 5–7 we investigate attributions regarding a range of disadvantaged groups. Less educated people are seen as more responsible and blameworthy for their situation, as compared to poor people or working class people. This shows that the psychological consequences of social inequality are worse when they are framed in terms of education rather than income or occupation. Finally, meritocracy beliefs are related to higher ratings of responsibility and blameworthiness, indicating that the processes we study are related to ideological beliefs. The findings are discussed in light of the role that education plays in the legitimization of social inequality.

Keywords: Educationism; Attribution; Intergroup bias; Education-based groups

A categorization of enjoyable emotions

A categorization of enjoyable emotions. Laura E. Graham, Andrew L. Thomson, Jeanne Nakamura, Irene A. Brandt & Jason T. Siegel. The Journal of Positive Psychology,

Abstract: Responding to burgeoning scholarship examining discrete positive emotions, the overarching goals of the current review are to provide a summary of 28 enjoyable emotions and to offer an initial classification of these emotions into families. The families of discrete enjoyable emotions, many proposed for the first time, are as follows: (1) Self-praising emotions (authentic pride, fiero, naches, feeling respected), (2) other-praising emotions (admiration, elevation, gratitude, inspiration), (3) past-oriented emotions (forgiveness, nostalgia, relief), (4) future-oriented emotions (anticipatory enthusiasm, courage, determination, hope), (5) hazardous emotions (lust, schadenfreude, hubristic pride), (6) affectionate emotions (love, attachment love, tenderness, positive empathy), (7) arousal-defined emotions (euphoria, serenity), (8) violation-elicited emotions (amusement, awe, curiosity, positive surprise).This review describes how the 28 enjoyable emotions were selected, outlines the classification process generating the families of enjoyable emotions, provides a brief summary of current scholarship on each emotion, and concludes with a discussion of fertile future directions.

Keywords: Emotion, positive emotion, enjoyable emotion, discrete emotion

Swearing increases strength and power performance

Effect of swearing on strength and power performance. Richard Stephens, David K. Spierer, Emmanuel Katehis. Psychology of Sport and Exercise,

•    Shows that swearing can increase performance of a task of physical power.
•    Shows that swearing can increase performance of a task of physical strength.
•    Does not find any evidence that autonomic arousal may underlie these effects.


Objectives: Swearing aloud increases pain tolerance. The hypothesis that this response may be owed to an increase in sympathetic drive raises the intriguing question as to whether swearing results in an improvement in strength and power.

Design: Employing repeated measures designs, we evaluated the effect of repeating a swear word v. a neutral word on strength and power during anaerobic and isometric exercise through two experiments.

Method: Experiment #1 (n = 29) employed the Wingate Anaerobic Power Test (WAnT). Experiment #2 (n = 52) employed an isometric handgrip test.

Results: Greater maximum performance was observed in the swearing conditions compared with the non-swearing conditions for WAnT power (Experiment #1; dz = 0.618, p = 0.002) and hand grip strength (Experiment #2; dz = 0.962, p < 0.001). However, swearing did not affect cardiovascular or autonomic function assessed via heart rate, heart rate variability, blood pressure and skin conductance.

Conclusions: Data demonstrate increased strength and power performance for swearing v. not swearing but the absence of cardiovascular or autonomic nervous system effects makes it unclear whether these results are due to an alteration of sympathovagal balance or an unknown mechanism.

Keywords: Power; Isometric grip; Wingate Anaerobic Power Test (WAnT); Autonomic function; Swearing

We believe that fake news have greater effects on out-group members than on ouselves or our group mates

Third person effects of fake news: Fake news regulation and media literacy interventions. S. Mo Janga, Joon K. Kimb. Computers in Human Behavior,

Research Highlights
•    Individuals showed third-person perception concerning the influence of fake news.
•    Social undesirability, partisan identity, and efficacy were positive predictors of third-person perception.
•    Third-perseon perception leads to support for media literacy intervention to combat fake news.
•    Third-person perception leads to rejection of media regulation approach.

Abstract: Although the actual effect of fake news online on voters’ decisions is still unknown, concerns over the perceived effect of fake news online have prevailed in the US and other countries. Based on an analysis of survey responses from national samples (n = 1,299) in the US, we found a strong tendency of the third-person perception. That is, individuals believed that fake news would have greater effects on out-group members than themselves or in-group members. Additionally, we proposed a theoretical path model, identifying the antecedents and consequences of the third-person perception. The results showed that partisan identity, social undesirability of content, and external political efficacy were positive predictors of the third-person perception. Interestingly, our findings revealed that third-person perception led to different ways of combating fake news online. Those with a greater level of third-person perception were more likely to support the media literacy approach but less likely to support the media regulation approach.

Keywords: fake news; third-person effect; fake news regulation; media literacy; partisan identity