Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Origins of Values Differences: A Two-Level Analysis of Economic, Climatic and Parasite Stress Explanations

Origins of Values Differences: A Two-Level Analysis of Economic, Climatic and Parasite Stress Explanations in the Value Domain. Ronald Fischer. Cross-Cultural Research, July 12, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/10693971211031476

Abstract: What variables are associated with cross-cultural differences in values at the individual level? In this study, the statistical effect of variables associated with ecological demands and available economic and cognitive resources on self-reported values are investigated in two independent samples to test the replicability of effects. Values are operationalized using a 10-item version inspired by Schwartz’ value theory. The effects of national wealth, climatic demands, availability of cool water, and parasite stress at the national level are used to predict value scores of individuals within nations using nationally representative data from all inhabited continents (k = 49 and k = 58; Ns = 64,491 and 81,991). Using mixed-effect models, new insights into individual- and nation-level dynamics in value scores are provided. First, the paper extends previous cultural theories to the individual level by investigating the effects of education and personal income as individual-level resources. Both personal income and education have strong direct effects on value scores. Second, higher education acts as a cognitive resource which turns climatic demands into challenges, effectively unpackaging nation-level theorizing with individual level dynamics. Third, contrary to previous nation-level research, parasite stress was not a significant predictor of individual-level values. Forth, supporting recent theorizing, individuals located in cool water regions reported significantly higher self-transcendence values. Fifth, the effects of wealth on openness values were convergent and reinforcing across levels (higher wealth is associated with more openness values), but operated in opposing directions for self-transcendence values (national wealth is associated with self-transcendent values, individual wealth is associated with self-enhancing values). The current patterns suggest that cultural research needs to pay more attention to individual versus nation-level dynamics and increase replication efforts with independent samples.

Keywords: values, culture, climate-economic theory, parasite stress, wealth, multi-level, cross-cultural differences

Having disposal income in a wealthy environment potentiates and unleashes an even faster drive toward greater emancipation of individual desires and actions

Across cultures, there are positive emotions that are more permissible to show, like gratitude, interest, and amusement, and other we not as permissible to display (sensory pleasure, feeling moved, and to some degree triumph)

Manokara, Kunalan, Agneta Fischer, and Disa Sauter. 2020. “Display Rules Differ Between Positive Emotions: Not All That Feels Good, Looks Good.” OSF Preprints. April 25. doi:10.31219/osf.io/4uaym

Abstract: People do not always show how they feel; norms often dictate when to display emotions and to whom. Norms about emotional expressions – known as display rules – are weaker for happiness than for negative emotions, suggesting that expressing positive emotions is generally seen as acceptable. But does it follow that all positive emotions can always be shown to everyone? To answer this question, we mapped out context-specific display rules for eight positive emotions: gratitude, admiration, interest, relief, amusement, feeling moved, sensory pleasure, and triumph. In four studies with participants from five countries (n = 1,181), two consistent findings emerged. First, display rules differed between positive emotions. Weaker display rules were found for gratitude, interest, and amusement, while stronger display rules were found for sensory pleasure, feeling moved, and to some degree triumph. Second, contextual features – such as expresser location and perceiver relationship – both substantially influenced display rules for positive emotions, with perceiver relationship having a greater impact on display rules than expresser location. Our findings demonstrate that not all positive emotions are equally acceptable to express, and highlight the central role of context in influencing display rules even for emotions that feel good. In so doing, we provide the first map of expression norms for specific positive emotions.

Does Transportation Mean Transplantation? Impact of New Airline Routes on Sharing of Cadaveric Kidneys

Does Transportation Mean Transplantation? Impact of New Airline Routes on Sharing of Cadaveric Kidneys. Guihua Wang , Ronghuo Zheng , Tinglong Dai. Management Science, Jul 9 2021. https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2021.4103

Abstract: Every year, nearly 5,000 patients die while waiting for kidney transplants, and yet an estimated 3,500 procured kidneys are discarded. Such a polarized coexistence of dire scarcity and massive wastefulness has been mainly driven by insufficient pooling of cadaveric kidneys across geographic regions. Although numerous policy initiatives are aimed at broadening organ pooling, they rarely account for a key friction—efficient airline transportation, ideally direct flights, is necessary for long-distance sharing, because of the time-sensitive nature of kidney transplantation. Conceivably, transplant centers may be reluctant to accept kidney offers from far-off locations without direct flights. In this paper, we estimate the effect of the introduction of new airline routes on broader kidney sharing. By merging the U.S. airline transportation and kidney transplantation data sets, we create a unique sample tracking (1) the evolution of airline routes connecting all the U.S. airports and (2) kidney transplants between donors and recipients connected by these airports. We estimate the introduction of a new airline route increases the number of shared kidneys by 7.3%. We also find a net increase in the total number of kidney transplants and a decrease in the organ discard rate with the introduction of new routes. Notably, the posttransplant survival rate remains largely unchanged, although average travel distance increases after the introduction of new airline routes. Our results are robust to alternative empirical specifications and have important implications for improving access to the U.S. organ transplantation system.

Monday, July 19, 2021

Theoretically, wealthier people should buy less insurance & should self-insure through saving instead, as insurance entails monitoring costs; differential background risk by wealth levels & differential exposure to legal risk help explain the puzzle

Wealth and Insurance Choices: Evidence from US Households. Michael Gropper, Camelia M. Kuhnen. Jul 2021. http://public.kenan-flagler.unc.edu/faculty/kuhnenc/RESEARCH/gropper_kuhnen.pdf

Abstract: Theoretically, wealthier people should buy less insurance, and should self-insure through saving instead, as insurance entails monitoring costs. Here, we use administrative data for 63,000 individuals and, contrary to theory, find that the wealthier have better life and property insurance coverage. Wealth-related differences in background risk, legal risk, liquidity constraints, financial literacy, and pricing explain only a small fraction of the positive wealth-insurance correlation. This puzzling correlation persists in individual fixed-effects models estimated using 2,500,000 person-month observations. The fact that the less wealthy have less coverage, though intuitively they benefit more from insurance, might increase financial health disparities among households.


Abstract: Most individuals purchase insurance products, yet empirically we know little about this aspect of the financial portfolios of households. Theoretically, one of the most important factors that should influence insurance purchases is wealth. Specifically, classic economic models posit that wealthier individuals will purchase less insurance compared to their less well-off peers and will prefer to self-insure instead, as it is cheaper to do so given that insurance products come with monitoring and other costs. In the context of life and property insurance, there is scarce empirical evidence as to how wealth relates to insurance choices, and existing evidence is mainly based on survey data. Here we use administrative data covering more than 60,000 individuals to examine the relation between wealth and insurance coverage. We document that the prediction of classic theories of insurance choices is contradicted in the data. Specifically, we find that wealthier individuals have more extensive coverage in terms of life insurance, homeowners insurance, and other property-related insurance. We investigate which characteristics of individuals or insurance markets lead to this empirical pattern, to assess which features need to be accounted for by future theoretical models of households' insurance choices. Differential background risk by wealth levels, as well as differential exposure to legal risk help account for the puzzling relation we document between wealth and insurance coverage.

While siblings can be close allies, they can also be significant competitors; greater levels of conflict were reported by sisters, those closer in age, those who have co-resided longer, & full-siblings compared to half-siblings

Good Friends, Better Enemies? The Effects of Sibling Sex, Co-Residence, and Relatedness on Sibling Conflict and Cooperation. Catherine A. Salmon & Jessica A. Hehman. Evolutionary Psychological Science, Jul 19 2021. https://rd.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40806-021-00292-y

Abstract: While siblings can be close allies, they can also be significant competitors. They are also family members that are typically with us for most of our lives. Research has raised questions about the factors shaping sibling relationships, and an adaptationist perspective would predict a role for a number of factors including sex, genetic relatedness, and childhood co-residence. Recent work has highlighted sex differences with regard to conflict and emotional closeness, greater conflict among full-siblings than half-siblings, and a role for co-residence in increasing sibling altruism. This study examines levels of both sibling conflict and sibling cooperation as a function of respondent sex, sex of sibling, birth interval (or absolute age difference), co-residence, and relatedness. Results indicate that sibling conflict and cooperation may not be shaped by the same set of factors. Sibling conflict was predicted by own sex, sex of sibling, birth interval, duration of co-residence, and the degree of relatedness. Greater levels of conflict were reported by sisters, those closer in age, those who have co-resided longer, and full-siblings compared to half-siblings. However, sibling prosocialness was only predicted by sex and relatedness with females and full siblings reporting greater levels of sibling prosocialness. More research investigating patterns of conflict and cooperation within families using more ecologically valid cues are necessary to determine whether the two are operating under the same mechanism, sensitive to the same cues, or are, indeed, operating under different mechanisms.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Understanding the onset of hot streaks across artistic, cultural, and scientific careers

Understanding the onset of hot streaks across artistic, cultural, and scientific careers. Lu Liu, Nima Dehmamy, Jillian Chown, C. Lee Giles, Dashun Wang. arXiv Mar 2021. https://arxiv.org/abs/2103.01256

Hot streaks dominate the main impact of creative careers. Despite their ubiquitous nature across a wide range of creative domains, it remains unclear if there is any regularity underlying the beginning of hot streaks. Here, we develop computational methods using deep learning and network science and apply them to novel, large-scale datasets tracing the career outputs of artists, film directors, and scientists, allowing us to build high-dimensional representations of the artworks, films, and scientific publications they produce. By examining individuals' career trajectories within the underlying creative space, we find that across all three domains, individuals tend to explore diverse styles or topics before their hot streak, but become notably more focused in what they work on after the hot streak begins. Crucially, we find that hot streaks are associated with neither exploration nor exploitation behavior in isolation, but a particular sequence of exploration followed by exploitation, where the transition from exploration to exploitation closely traces the onset of a hot streak. Overall, these results unveil among the first identifiable regularity underlying the onset of hot streaks, which appears universal across diverse creative domains, suggesting that a sequential view of creative strategies that balances experimentation and implementation may be particularly powerful for producing long-lasting contributions, which may have broad implications for identifying and nurturing creative talents.


Individual behavior At the individual level, the ‘essential tension’ hypothesis by Thomas Kuhn [60] illustrates the choice between exploiting existing ideas and exploring newyet risky opportunities. The sociology of science offers severalfundamentaltheoretical discussions [61,62]. Morerecently, empiricalanlaysishasbeenconductedtoquantitatively understand the ‘essential tension’ hypothesis. For example, Foster et al. [53] analyzed millions of abstracts from MEDLINE, and identified topics from the clusters on the chemical networkto trace the researchstrategy ofbiomedical researchers [63]. In addition,thePACS code in American Physical Society (APS) dataset has also been widely used to quantify exploration and exploitation for scientific careers [18, 52, 64].

Researchers have also studied various environmental, social and individualfactors that may influence one’s choice between exploration and exploitation [48]. Environmentalfactors include resource status of a local position [49, 65], cost and reward of exploration and exploitation [65, 66], available information on different options [67], and more. Discussions centered around how long individuals should stay in the exploitation/exploration phase and when to change their behaviors under different environmental settings. For example, the probability of exploration increases when the resource is depleted, when the cost of exploration decreases, or when individuals are uncertain about the options. The social factors are widely discussed in social learning strategies and collective intelligence [68–72], ranging fromtask complexity [73], to past success and failure [71, 73]tonetwork structures [74, 75]. Individuals can update their strategies like exploration, exploitation or copying others to increase theirpayoffsunderdifferent settings.Individual factors such as personalities [76], cognitive capacity [77], and aspiration level[78], also influence one’s propensity to explore or exploit.

In the literature of strategic management and organization theory, scholars have examined exploration and exploitation behaviors ofindividuals and firms, particularly focusing ontheeffects thishasonorganizationaloutcomes. Forexample,Singh&Agrawal[79]found that when scientists begin working within a new organization, the organization increases their use of the new recruit’s prior work and that the majority of the effect is due to the employee’s own exploitation of their prior work. Groysberg & Lee [80] found that when star security analysts were hired to explore (i.e., to initiate new activities for the organization), they experienced a drop in performance; whereas star security analysts hired to engage in exploitation (i.e., to reinforce the organization’s existing activities) experienced a boost in performance. Other research has looked at the antecedents of individuals’ exploration and exploitation behaviors. For example, Lee & Meyer-Doyle [81] examined how financialincentives shapedthebehavior of salespeopleandfoundthatindividuals engaged in more exploration when performance-based incentives were weakened but this increase wasdriven by the organization’s strongestperformers. Recent study on network oscillation for bankers [82] suggests that switching between exploration and exploitation has positive effects on the employee’s network advantage.

Organization learning, design and adaptation

At the macro level, another important line of research examines exploration and exploitation in the context of organization learning, organization design, and organizational adaptation [58]. This line of work builds on the canonical work by March [57], and suggests that both exploration and exploitation are critical for an organization’s performance, but they are inherently in tension and that this tension must be actively managed [83]. This tension reflects trade-offs between short vs. long-termperformance and stability vs. adaptability [57, 84–87]. Debates in this literature center onseveralfundamental questions: Do exploration and exploitation exist as twoends of a continuum (and so cannot coexist at the same time) or are they orthogonal discrete choices? Can organizations find a balance between exploration and exploitation activities or should they specialize in one or the other? It also explores the antecedents to organizations’decisions topursue exploration or exploitation [59, 88], examining environmental factors (e.g., exogenous shocks, competitive dynamics) as well as organizational factors (e.g., culture, resources, capabilities)thatinfluence that choice. This literaturealsouses the notion of organizational ambidexterity to describe the ability to do both exploration and exploitation simultaneously [89]. Finally, this research examines the performance implications for organizations of adopting different approaches to balancing this enduring trade-off between exploration and exploitation [90]. This line of research is performed using multiple different methodologies including empirical studies using quantitative and qualitative data from organizations, theoretical models [91], and agent-based simulations [59, 92, 93].

Idea formation

At a more micro level, the discussion of exploration and exploitation is particularly relevantto studies on idea formation and innovation process [94–96], which models themechanismofinnovationas randomwalksonthenetworkofideas/landscapeof solutions. In this setting, exploration and exploitation is usually defined as creating new path or reproducing existing ideas. For example, Iacopini et al [94] models the cognitive growthofknowledgeinscienceforover20yearsandvalidateprocesswithconceptnetworks curated from WoS abstracts. Studies have shown that both existing knowledge and novel combinations are essential for producing high-impact scientific papers [97]. The discussion goes beyond science to innovation and technology as well. For example, Youn et al.[98] analyzed technology codes used byUSPTO to quantify innovation strategy,finding a constant rate of exploration and exploitation in patent records. Overall, our results contribute to these three lines of literature in several ways. First, by documenting the relationship between exploration, exploitation and career hot streaks, our results demonstrate broader relevance ofthe concepts of exploration and exploitation, extendingbeyond existing individual ororganizational settings to theunderstanding ofhot streaks and individual creative careers. At root, our results suggest the important role of both exploration and exploitation in individual careers. Curiously, across a wide range of creative domains, a major turning point for individual careers appears most closely linked withneitherexplorationnorexploitationbehaviorinisolation,butratherwiththeparticular sequence of exploration followed by exploitation, which highlights our second contribution. Indeed, extantliteraturehasdocumentedthefundamental roleofexplorationandexploitation in creativity. Yet as creative behaviors, they have traditionally been considered either in isolation [53, 60] or in combination [58, 99] but rarely in succession. Our results suggest a sequential view of creative strategies that balance experimentation and implementation may be particularly powerful for producing long-lasting contributions.

From 2020... Less Sex, but More Sexual Diversity: Changes in Sexual Behavior during the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic

From 2020... Less Sex, but More Sexual Diversity: Changes in Sexual Behavior during the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. Justin J. Lehmiller, Justin R. Garcia, Amanda N. Gesselman & Kristen P. Mark. Leisure Sciences Volume 43, 2021 - Issue 1-2, Pages 295-304. Jun 26 2020. https://doi.org/10.1080/01490400.2020.1774016

Abstract: Recreational sex is a popular form of leisure that has been redefined by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. “Social distancing” rules have imposed limits on sex for leisure while also creating new opportunities. We discuss results from an online survey of 1,559 adults who were asked about the pandemic’s impact on their intimate lives. While nearly half of the sample reported a decline in their sex life, one in five participants reported expanding their sexual repertoire by incorporating new activities. Common additions included sexting, trying new sexual positions, and sharing sexual fantasies. Being younger, living alone, and feeling stressed and lonely were linked to trying new things. Participants making new additions were three times more likely to report improvements in their sex life. Even in the face of drastic changes to daily life, many adults are adapting their sexual lives in creative ways.

Keywords: coronavirusCOVID-19sexual behaviorsexual noveltysocial distancing


The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting people’s sexual lives. This is evidenced in our initial empirical multinational data on the impact of lockdowns and physical distancing restrictions on people’s intimate lives. These findings are consistent with a smaller simultaneous study demonstrating a decrease in sexual frequency among a sample of young adults in China (Li et al., 2020), but they differ from a report of married people in Southeast Asia who reported unspecified changes in their sexual life but not decreases in sexual frequency (Arafat et al., 2020). Although our sample is not representative and caution is warranted in generalizing broadly, these findings nonetheless make an important and novel contribution to the literature and to our collective understanding of the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic and physical distancing on sociality, leisure, and sex.

There are several important implications of this work. While a majority of our participants reported no new additions to their sex lives, a substantial minority did. This finding adds much-needed complexity and nuance to the popular media narrative surrounding sex during this unusual time. It is clear that many people’s sex lives are undergoing a revolution of sorts, in which they are expanding their sexual repertoires; however, this does not appear to be as widespread and as laser-focused on SexTech as the media suggest. In fact, the single most common new addition did not require any technology at all: trying a new sexual position. This suggests that the changes going on in people’s intimate lives are broader in scope than assumed.

We also found that more participants said their sex lives declined rather than improved—and while incorporating new activities into one’s sex life was linked to improvements, new additions did not eliminate declines. Generally, only partnered activities were linked to improvements, with few technology-based activities showing any association. The new additions most strongly correlated with sex life improvement were trying new positions, acting on fantasies, engaging in BDSM, and giving massages. By contrast, the most common technology-based additions (sexting, sending nudes) were unrelated to sexual improvements. This suggests that while incorporating more technology into one’s sex life was common, it did not appear to have been as gratifying as in-person activities.

Consequently, we caution against premature claims that the COVID-19 pandemic will necessarily usher in widespread SexTech use, recreationally and otherwise. It is possible that recent uptake of SexTech is a temporary coping strategy and that once the pandemic subsides, technology usage may decrease in favor of in-person, partnered interactions.

By understanding factors associated with sexual improvements during this unprecedented time, we are also able to identify factors that might help people better navigate their intimate lives and safely pursue leisure activities during future emergency situations. For example, encouraging more novel sexual pursuits with a partner may be a helpful and therapeutic strategy for persons in relationships, particularly those feeling stressed or lonely. Likewise, the fact that SexTech was largely unrelated to sexual improvements points to important areas for future research and education. Are there ways of making these interactions more satisfying? Can SexTech education make usage more fulfilling?

The widespread social restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic appear to have significantly disrupted sexual routines and the overall quality of people’s sex lives. However, even in the face of these drastic changes, it is apparent that many adults are finding creative ways to adapt their sexual lives, including in the pursuit of sex for leisure.

Mask-wearing improved wearers’ sense of the attractiveness of faces, which were rated as less attractive when a mask was not worn after the onset of COVID-19; also, were rated as more healthy after onset

Effects of Masks Worn to Protect Against COVID-19 on the Perception of Facial Attractiveness. Miki Kamatani et al. i-Perception, June 27, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/20416695211027920

Abstract: Wearing a sanitary mask tended, in the main, to reduce the wearer’s sense of perceived facial attractiveness before the COVID-19 epidemic. This phenomenon, termed the sanitary-mask effect, was explained using a two-factor model involving the occlusion of cues used for the judgment of attractiveness and unhealthiness priming (e.g., presumed illness). However, these data were collected during the pre-COVID-19 period. Thus, in this study, we examined whether the COVID-19 epidemic changed the perceived attractiveness and healthiness when viewing faces with and without sanitary masks. We also used questionnaires to evaluate beliefs regarding mask wearers. We found that the perception of mask-worn faces differed before versus after the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic. Specifically, mask-wearing improved wearers’ sense of the attractiveness of faces, which were rated as less attractive when a mask was not worn after the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic. Furthermore, mask-worn faces were rated as healthier after the onset of the COVID-19. The proportion of respondents with negative associations regarding mask-wearing (e.g., unhealthiness) decreased relative to before the epidemic. We suggest that the weakening of this association altered the sanitary-mask effect with a relative emphasis on the occlusion component, reflecting the temporal impact of a global social incident (the COVID-19 epidemic) on the perception of facial attractiveness.

Keywords: sanitary mask, COVID-19, facial attractiveness, healthiness

In this study, we investigated the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on beliefs regarding sanitary mask wearers as well as the perceived attractiveness of mask-worn faces by comparing data collected pre- and post-COVID-19-onset in Japan. Study 1 revealed that beliefs regarding sanitary mask wearers during the COVID-19 period differed from those in the pre-COVID-19 period. Specifically, the number of respondents who reported that they felt mask wearers were unhealthy decreased regardless of the mask color. Instead, the number of respondents who rated mask wearers as neutral or healthy increased. This change in belief was strengthened by the disappearance of the sanitary-mask effect after the onset of the epidemic, as shown in Study 2. During the pre-COVID-19 period, mask wearers were perceived as less attractive in general. This indicates that the discount in perception of attractiveness caused by mask-wearing was larger for baseline attractive faces and smaller or negligible for baseline unattractive faces (Miyazaki & Kawahara, 2016). This discounted perception did not occur for baseline unattractive faces in this study. Instead, for mask-worn faces, the perceived attractiveness ratings for baseline unattractive faces were higher.

This change in the perceived attractiveness of mask-worn faces can be explained by the reduced association between unhealthiness and sanitary masks. This reduction was supported by the results of Study 3, that is, that mask-worn faces were perceived as healthier after the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic compared with before the epidemic. Mask-worn faces were perceived as less healthy than no-mask faces regardless of the measurement period (before or after the onset of the epidemic). However, our data indicate that the association between mask-wearing and unhealthiness had weakened. We suggest that this reduction in the strength of the association was caused by the change of the purpose of mask use. Specifically, before the COVID-19 epidemic, masks were associated with personal medical problems experienced by the wearer, such as symptoms of illness (e.g., coughing or rhinorrhea) or allergies to pollen. After the onset of the epidemic, masks became associated with society-wide attempts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection and have become a social norm such that seeing mask-worn people may encourage an individual to wear a mask (Nakayachi et al., 2020).

Our results were consistent with the two-factor model of the sanitary-mask effect. Miyazaki and Kawahara (2016) provided converging evidence to support the model, which was proposed before the COVID-19 epidemic. Furthermore, prior to the onset of the epidemic, they predicted that removing the perception of unhealthiness associated with mask-wearing would reduce the negative impact on attractiveness ratings. To examine this possibility, they replaced a mask with a notebook and found that the results supported their prediction. They replicated this finding by replacing a mask with a card that occluded the same lower area of the face. The pattern they observed was similar to our finding in Study 2, which was consistent with the two-factor model.

Our data, along with those of previous studies, indicate that the mechanism underlying the modulation of attractiveness by mask-wearing is related to the occlusion of critical features. Occluding less attractive faces can hide negative features, such as asymmetric contours, imbalanced arrangements of facial features, and pimples. This could shift attractiveness ratings toward the average, and thus improve ratings for baseline unattractive faces. The opposite is true for attractive faces. Occluding attractive faces can hide positive features, such as symmetric contours, balanced arrangements of features, and smooth skin. This could shift attractiveness ratings toward the average, thus reducing ratings for baseline attractive faces. These ideas were supported by the findings of Study 2. Because the association between unhealthiness and mask-wearing had weakened after the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic, the effects of masks on ratings of perceived unhealthiness were similar to those of the notebooks and cards used to occlude faces in Miyazaki and Kawahara’s (2016; Experiments 3a, 3b, and 4) occlusion experiments. This mechanism may be related to recent findings that perceived facial attractiveness ratings improved when faces were partially occluded by vertical occluders or randomly scattered dots (Orghian & Hidalgo, 2020).

This study revealed the impact of a social incident, that is, the COVID-19 epidemic, on perceptions of attractiveness of mask-worn faces. Given that larger attitude shifts regarding support for politicians concerned about climate change were found in individuals who reported greater suffering from hurricanes (Rudman et al., 2013), our finding that beliefs and perceptions regarding the attractiveness and healthiness of mask-worn faces had already changed just months after the explicit onset of the COVID-19 epidemic in Japan (the first patient was found on January 16) implies that the magnitude of the impact is large. Accordingly, we expect that modulation of the sanitary-mask effect directly reflects the progress of the epidemic. In other words, this study demonstrated a contextual modulation of facial perception that took place over a short period of time. However, given that the context in which individuals view target faces can modulate facial attractiveness in a laboratory setting (e.g., varying the proportion of beard-worn vs. clean-shaven faces; Janif et al., 2014), the modulation observed in this study may change with the severity of the epidemic. Long-term measurements of beliefs and perceptions regarding mask-worn faces would provide more information regarding the impact of the epidemic on societies worldwide.

There are two limitations to this study. First, the three-way Period × Baseline attractiveness × Mask presence interaction was not significant, probably due to differences in the baseline conditions of the previous (Miyazaki & Kawahara, 2016) and present studies, although the trend indicated by the results was consistent with the predicted direction. Therefore, the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on perceived attractiveness warrants careful interpretation and further examination. Second, the change in the purpose of mask use might have introduced a demand bias effect such that participants might have avoided saying that they found a given mask-wearing woman unattractive due to the social norms governing mask-wearing. The demand bias may explain the results for faces with low attractiveness scores, but this explanation is not applicable to faces with high attractiveness scores. Therefore, we believe that the present results cannot be solely attributed to demand bias. Nonetheless, this is a limitation of this study, although it was unavoidable.

Blatant sexual deception: No gender differences in overall rates of deception, though men were more deceptive regarding wealth and resources, occupation, and physical characteristics than women

Blatant sexual deception: Content, individual differences, and implications. Flora Oswald, Devinder Khera, Kari A. Walton, Cory L. Pedersen. Personality and Individual Differences, Volume 183, December 2021, 111118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2021.111118

Abstract: Given current cultural attention to issues surrounding sexual consent, the issue of sexual deception is pertinent. The current study examined rates of different forms of blatant sexual deception (i.e., intentionally misleading sexual partners) with a focus on individual predictors including demographic correlates and traits of narcissism and sexual compulsivity. We sought to extend existing literature on sexual deception by examining novel forms of deception in a gender- and sexual orientation- diverse sample. Participants (N = 1769) aged 16 to 81 years (M = 26.60) took part in an online study. Results showed no gender differences in overall rates of deception, though men were more deceptive regarding wealth and resources, occupation, and physical characteristics than women. Sexual minorities reported higher rates of sexual deception than heterosexual participants pertaining to sexual orientation and previous partner gender. Participant scores on sexual narcissism and sexual compulsivity were significantly correlated with sexual deception scores. Findings are discussed in relation to how sexual deception can be understood and potentially intervened upon within current cultures of consent.

Keywords: NarcissismSexual compulsivityGenderSexual orientation

We report the first observation of a chimpanzee with albinism in the wild, describe interactions between the infant & other group members, & describe the subsequent infanticide of the individual with albinism by his conspecifics

First observation of a chimpanzee with albinism in the wild: Social interactions and subsequent infanticide. Maël Leroux, Gideon Monday, Bosco Chandia, John W. Akankwasa, Klaus Zuberbühler, Catherine Hobaiter, Catherine Crockford, Simon W. Townsend, Caroline Asiimwe, Pawel Fedurek. American Journal of Primatology, July 16 2021. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23305

Research Highlights

Observations of wild non-human primates with albinism are extremely rare

We report the first observation of a chimpanzee with albinism in the wild

We describe interactions between the infant with albinism and other group members

We describe the subsequent infanticide of the individual with albinism

We discuss these observations in light of our understanding of chimpanzee behavior

Abstract: Albinism—the congenital absence of pigmentation—is a very rare phenomenon in animals due to the significant costs to fitness of this condition. Both humans and non-human individuals with albinism face a number of challenges, such as reduced vision, increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation, or compromised crypticity resulting in an elevated vulnerability to predation. However, while observations of social interactions involving individuals with albinism have been observed in wild non-primate animals, such interactions have not been described in detail in non-human primates (hereafter, primates). Here, we report, to our knowledge, the first sighting of an infant with albinism in wild chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes schweinfurthii), including social interactions between the infant, its mother, and group members. We also describe the subsequent killing of the infant by conspecifics as well as their behavior towards the corpse following the infanticide. Finally, we discuss our observations in relation to our understanding of chimpanzee behavior or attitudes towards individuals with very conspicuous appearances.


We describe here, to our knowledge, the first observation of a chimpanzee with albinism in a wild ape population. Importantly, we provide a unique account of interactions between the community members and the infant with albinism (and its mother) upon initial encounter and during the day of the infanticide.

The initial reaction of community members towards the infant appeared to be different from a typical situation in which chimpanzees encounter females with a newborn for the first time. Community members of both sexes often show signs of curiosity towards a newborn upon first sighting, such as grooming the mother or looking attentively at the newborn, touching, or grooming it (Goodall, 1986; Gideon Monday and Pawel Fedurek, personal observation). While individuals can respond to such events with excitement or aggression, particularly in the study community where infanticides are common (Lowe et al., 2019), interactions which included apparent fear towards a newborn are unusual and have not been observed to the same extent as seen on this occasion.

Although it is not possible to draw firm conclusions from this one observation, it appears that the encounter with the infant with albinism had an arousing effect on most adult community members. For example, even though some individuals responded calmly to the infant, most adult individuals seemed to react with fear upon encountering the newborn by keeping distance and producing alarm hoos and waa barks. In chimpanzees, these two call types are associated with risky, and potentially deadly situations, such as encountering snakes, bush pigs, or unfamiliar humans (Crockford et al., 2017; Goodall, 1986; Schel et al., 2013). Notably, this initial, apparently fearful, behavior was followed by physical aggression towards the infant and eventually death. In this respect, our observation shares similarities to those recorded in some bird species, where agonistic behaviors towards individuals with albinism were observed (Roberts, 1978).

The captive infant female chimpanzee Pinkie, the only other known chimpanzee with albinism, was captured alive in the wild as a newborn. However, it is not possible to establish how the original community members had reacted to, or interacted with, her before her capture (or whether they had seen her in the first place) as no such records before the capture exist. Similarly, the account of the successful introduction of Pinkie to a group of captive chimpanzees has not been published, which makes it difficult to establish whether and how an introduction of an infant with albinism to a group of stranger chimpanzees differs from an introduction of an in-group chimpanzee infant. We consider, therefore, our descriptive account of interactions of several conspecifics with an individual with albinism from the same wild community as unique.

The Sonso community has a history of infanticide committed by both adult males (Newton-Fisher, 1999) and, more rarely, females (Lowe et al., 2019; Townsend et al., 2007), which includes frequent within-community killings (Lowe et al., 2019). It is, therefore, possible that the infant with albinism would have become a victim of infanticide regardless of its appearance. The way the body was mutilated did not differ considerably from the way bodies of chimpanzee victims of within-community killings are often afflicted (Lowe et al., 2019; Wilson et al., 2014). For example, fingers of the right hand were bitten off, so was (partially) the left foot (see Supporting Information Material 3). However, the magnitude of the reaction some of the community members exhibited towards the infant with albinism makes it likely that the infant was not considered as a typical chimpanzee. The vigilant and even fearful behavior including alarm calling by individuals upon the initial exposure to the infant seems to support this idea.

Similarly, the careful and repeated inspection of the carcass by several individuals ranging from infants to adults of both sexes does not seem to be a typical behavior that chimpanzees direct towards a dead infant. Indeed, in contrast to our observation, most studies report that mainly the mother, and sometimes kin, initiate extended contact with a dead infant, sometimes displaying affiliative behaviors towards it, such as grooming (Biro et al., 2010; Cronin et al., 2011; Lonsdorf et al., 2020). Furthermore, in our study, one adult male was seen using his lips to pinch the hair of the dead infant, and several other individuals were seen stroking the hair of the carcass. Such behaviors have not been reported before in the context of infanticide in the Sonso community (Lowe et al., 2019; Catherine Crockford, personal observation), and could have been elicited by the unusual pigmentation of the infant. Indeed, the behavior of the chimpanzees towards the corpse of the infant with albinism resembles that of chimpanzees when presented with a novel object: Chimpanzees usually engage with such objects with initial caution followed by examining it carefully and touching it (Russell et al., 1997). However, some of the behaviors of group members towards the carcass of the infant with albinism, such as grooming it—a behavior previously described in this context in non-human primates including chimpanzees (Gonçalves & Carvalho, 2019), clearly indicate that the infant was not perceived by them as an object, but as a conspecific of an unusual appearance. However, since observations of chimpanzees interacting with individuals of atypical appearance are very rare, more data of this kind are needed to explore the cognitive mechanisms behind this behavior. Likewise, although our unique observations are potentially relevant to the understanding of chimpanzee death perception (e.g., Gonçalves & Carvalho, 2019), more data of this kind are needed to investigate the cognitive processes underlying it.

The inspection of the carcass by individuals often focused on the anogenital regions, with several individuals inserting their fingers into the anus of the carcass. To our knowledge, only one observation of this kind has been made in chimpanzees before: An adult female inserting a digit in the anus of the former alpha male dead body (Pruetz et al., 2017). In our study, both adult and infant males were seen inserting a digit in the anus of the infant with albinism. Several mammal species possess anal glands that play a role in olfactory communication. For example, anal gland secretion conveys information about kinship in beavers (Castor canadensis) (Sun & Müller-Schwarze, 1998) and lemurs (Lemur catta) (Charpentier et al., 2010). In spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta), individuals discriminate identity and social status of a conspecific through anal gland scent (Burgener et al., 2009), whereas black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) can differentiate sex and age using gland scent (Linklater et al., 2013). Chimpanzees also use olfactory communication when identifying the recent presence of individuals from other communities in their territory (Henkel & Setchell, 2018). Furthermore, another study on chimpanzees reported an observation of the mother and another adult female bringing their hands towards their face after touching a dead infant as if to gain information about its body (Cronin et al., 2011). Our observation potentially indicates that olfactory cues were used to gain information about the infant with albinism because, for example, it was not perceived by conspecifics as a typical individual or an individual from their own territory.

Although in some species individuals with albinism tend to have smaller body sizes (Slagsvold et al., 1988), the size of the infant in this study was normal considering its estimated 3 weeks of age. Autopsy results did not reveal any apparent major health issues and, during the initial encounter, the infant appeared to behave normally. Thus, we have no observations that suggest that the peculiar behavior of the chimpanzees towards the infant, or its carcass, were driven by any potential morphological abnormalities of the body except its coloration. It is important to note, however, that histopathology tests on the carcass were not conducted, and therefore, we do not have detailed information about the infant's health. The white coloration of the infant bears similarities to that of black and white colobus monkey (Colobus guereza) infants that Budongo chimpanzees often prey on (Reynolds, 2005). Therefore, another intriguing possibility is that the infant's pattern of coloration matched features of this community “prey image” (Uehara, 1997), but with the form and odor of a chimpanzee and this incongruence could explain the behavior of some of the individuals towards the infant.

To conclude, we provide a unique account of behaviors of wild chimpanzees towards an infant with albinism before and following its death. Our observations provide insights into chimpanzee behavior in extremely rare social circumstances.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Beauty Thesis: How Skin Tone and Beauty Rankings Interact in Labor Market Outcomes

Beauty Thesis: How Skin Tone and Beauty Rankings Interact in Labor Market Outcomes. Isabel Queen. Haverford College, Department of Economic. Thesis, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/10066/23568

Abstract: This paper looks at the effects of beauty and skin tone on income using data from the General Social Survey. Beauty premiums and skin tone penalties exist and have a significant impact on labor market outcomes. More beautiful people make more money, and darker skin-toned people make less money. Black men show the largest beauty premium. This research suggests that the effect of looks on income becomes even greater as skin tone is darker. White respondents show a skin tone penalty for both males and females. Industry and service jobs show significant beauty premiums, and the service industry shows a skin tone penalty. This research suggests that grooming is more significant than looks in determining income in all groups except black men.

Aggression-related sexual fantasies are a frequent phenomenon even in the general population and among women and show strong associations with sexual aggression

Bondü R, Birke JB, Aggression-Related Sexual Fantasies: Prevalence Rates, Sex Differences, and Links With Personality, Attitudes, and Behavior. J Sex Med 2021;XX:XXX–XXX. Jul 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2021.06.006


Background: Aggression-related sexual fantasies (ASF) are considered an important risk factor for sexual aggression, but empirical knowledge is limited, in part because previous research has been based on predominantly male, North-American college samples, and limited numbers of questions.

Aim: The present study aimed to foster the knowledge about the frequency and correlates of ASF, while including a large sample of women and a broad range of ASF.

Method: A convenience sample of N = 664 participants from Germany including 508 (77%) women and 156 (23%) men with a median age of 25 (21–27) years answered an online questionnaire. Participants were mainly recruited via social networks (online and in person) and were mainly students. We examined the frequencies of (aggression-related) sexual fantasies and their expected factor structure (factors reflecting affective, experimental, masochistic, and aggression-related contents) via exploratory factor analysis. We investigated potential correlates (eg, psychopathic traits, attitudes towards sexual fantasies) as predictors of ASF using multiple regression analyses. Finally, we examined whether ASF would positively predict sexual aggression beyond other pertinent risk factors using multiple regression analysis.

Outcomes: The participants rated the frequency of a broad set of 56 aggression-related and other sexual fantasies, attitudes towards sexual fantasies, the Big Five (ie, broad personality dimensions including neuroticism and extraversion), sexual aggression, and other risk factors for sexual aggression.

Results: All participants reported non-aggression-related sexual fantasies and 77% reported at least one ASF in their lives. Being male, frequent sexual fantasies, psychopathic traits, and negative attitudes towards sexual fantasies predicted more frequent ASF. ASF were the strongest predictor of sexual aggression beyond other risk factors, including general aggression, psychopathic traits, rape myth acceptance, and violent pornography consumption.

Clinical Translation: ASF may be an important risk factor for sexual aggression and should be more strongly considered in prevention and intervention efforts.

Strengths and Limitations: The strengths of the present study include using a large item pool and a large sample with a large proportion of women in order to examine ASF as a predictor of sexual aggression beyond important control variables. Its weaknesses include the reliance on cross-sectional data, that preclude causal inferences, and not continuously distinguishing between consensual and non-consensual acts.

Conclusion: ASF are a frequent phenomenon even in the general population and among women and show strong associations with sexual aggression. Thus, they require more attention by research on sexual aggression and its prevention.

Are people in bigger cities less ethical human beings? Evidence on urban living and moral values

Are people in bigger cities less ethical human beings? Evidence on urban living and moral values. Eric A. Morris, Deirdre Pfeiffer, John Gaber. Cities, Volume 117, October 2021, 103327. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2021.103327


• Crime and disorder are higher in more urbanized places.

• Those in more urbanized places tend to be more tolerant of others.

• Those in more urbanized places are less likely to be religious.

• Those in more urbanized places are less likely to participate in charities.

• Those in more urbanized places place more emphasis on individualism and independence.

Abstract: How might rising urbanization be affecting ethical norms and beliefs? This paper uses new World Values Survey data from 40 countries to answer this question. We find that living in more populous places is associated with greater exposure to crime and neighborhood disorder, lower likelihood of membership in charitable organizations, and lower religiosity. Residents of more populous places are no more likely to approve of ethically questionable behavior surrounding violence or money but may be more permissive in terms of sexual behavior. Contrary to the stereotype, we find no link between city size and the perceived importance of family. When imparting values to children, those in more populous places emphasize personal responsibility, individualism, and determination more, and obedience and work less. Finally, residents of more populous places are more tolerant of groups such as gays, immigrants, and those of other nationalities and religions. In all, bigger city ethics are associated with greater independence and personal freedom, though this may be both a good thing (greater tolerance of differences) and a bad one (higher crime).

Keywords: UrbanismUrban/ruralEthicsCity sizeValuesDeveloping world

Conservatives report more positive attitudes toward viewpoint diversity in their communities; liberals report more positive attitudes toward demographic diversity

On the Varieties of Diversity: Ideological Variations in Attitudes Toward, and Understandings of Diversity. Kathryn A. Howard, Daniel Cervone, Matthew Motyl. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, July 16, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/01461672211028141

Abstract: Three studies explore the possibility that attitudes toward “diversity” are multidimensional rather than unidimensional and that ideological differences in diversity attitudes vary as a function of diversity subtype. Study 1 (n = 1,001) revealed that the factor structure of attitudes toward 23 diverse community features was bidimensional. Factors involving demographic and viewpoint diversity emerged. Conservatives reported more positive attitudes toward viewpoint diversity, and liberals more positive attitudes toward demographic diversity. Study 2 (n = 1,012) replicated Study 1 findings, and extended Study 1 results by showing attitudes toward the general concept of diversity predicted attitudes toward demographic diversity but not viewpoint diversity. In Study 3, 386 participants rated how relevant a set of features was to their prototypical understanding of diversity. A confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) revealed people discriminate between viewpoint, demographic, and consumer diversity. Conservatives perceived viewpoint features as more relevant to “diversity,” whereas liberals perceived demographic features as more relevant.

Keywords: diversity, ideology, attitudes, prototypes, politics

Across 195 countries, rates of depressive disorders in women & men are higher among islanders (relative to mainlanders) at more northern locations in the Northern Hemisphere & at more southern locations in the South'n Hemisph

Who is more prone to depression at higher latitudes? Islanders or mainlanders? Van de Vliert, Evert; Rentfrow, Peter Jason. Current Research in Ecological and Social Psychology, 2(1), [100012]. Jul 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cresp.2021.100012

Abstract: Across 195 countries, rates of depressive disorders in women and men are higher among islanders (relative to mainlanders) at more northern locations in the Northern Hemisphere and at more southern locations in the Southern Hemisphere. Our explanatory analyses show that the three-way interaction of greater daylength variability, being more of an islander, and adopting a more individualistic culture accounts for higher rates of depression in both genders. Differences in longitude, photoperiod, phase shift, disaster risk, economic poverty, income inequality, and urbanization level do not appear to account for the oppositely sloping north-south gradients of depression above and below the equator.

6. Discussion

Nowhere in textbooks do we learn that the world’s mental depression rates have a north-south rather than east-west distribution. Nor are we informed about the existence of a U-curve distribution of depression between the north and south poles. The present results help fill these gaps in our knowledge, highlighting the remarkable fact that the equator-topole increases in depression in the Northern and Southern Hemisphere are steeper for islanders than mainlanders. This tends to hold even for men, who have always had, and continue to have, lower rates of major depression than women in all countries on Earth (cf. Andrade et al., 2003; Mersch et al., 1999; Weissman et al., 1996). The two distinct generalizations—across hemispheres and genders—lend considerable credibility to the conclusion that islanders relative to mainlanders are more prone to depression at higher latitudes. This conclusion could be further strengthened by within-country replications. Biogeographers will not be surprised by this finding as they have known for a long time about the special relationships between islands and illnesses (Harcourt, 2012, 2015). They speak of island rules to describe and explain how plants, animals, and humans on islands differ biologically from plants, animals, and humans on the mainland. One such rule is that infectious diseases in humans have flatter latitudinal gradients across island locations with sea climates than across mainland locations with continental climates (Cashdan, 2014). The new island rule developed here can be summarized as steeper equator-to-pole increases in rates of depression among islanders than among mainlanders. While it is hard to come up with an explanation for this geography of depression, there are at least five reasons to believe in the existence of a worldwide ecology of depression modulated by habitat differences in daylength and islandness. First, in common with the variability in daylength—and thus in photoperiod, phase shift, seasonal temperatures, daily rainfall, plant growth, and animal life—rates of depression fail to vary along the Earth’s east-west axis, pointing to a latitude- rather than longituderelated explanation of depression. Second, among islanders, and especially so among individualistic female islanders, increases in daylength variability tend to go hand in hand with increases in rates of depression. Third, among mainlanders, and especially so among collectivistic mainlanders, increases in daylength variability tend to go hand in hand with decreases instead of increases in rates of depression. Fourth, photoperiod (Lingjaerde et al., 1986; Potkin et al., 1986; Young et al., 1997) and phase shift (Avery et al., 1997; Lewy et al., 1984; Rosenthal and Wehr, 1992) cannot account for the oppositely sloping latitudinal gradients of depression among islanders and mainlanders. Finally, people who live at higher latitudes or on islands and clear peninsulas tend to have more individualistic cultures that make them more prone to depression (cf. Draguns, 1997; Hofstede, 2001; TanakaMatsumi and Draguns, 1997). Our reading of this finding is that individualistic cultures serve as double-edged swords. Daylength variability and islandness regularly disturb life and activities so that control has to be restored by using internal agency and creating internal structure (Friesen et al., 2014; Kay and Eibach, 2013; Whitson and Galinsky, 2008). On the one hand, these active control-restoring strategies in individualistic cultures leave the large majority of higher-latitude inhabitants and islanders more creative and happier in consequence (cf. Van de Vliert and Van Lange, 2019). On the other hand, one might speculate that a small minority of higher-latitude inhabitants and islanders may passively fall back on adopting overly simple and stable interpretations of the ordered environment that are unrelated to the controlreducing events (e.g., believing society is systematically divided into haves and have-nots; Landau et al., 2015). Future research may seek to show that this minority tends to use maladaptive control-restoring strategies associated with depressive feelings of hopelessness and helplessness rather than elated feelings of happiness. These explanatory considerations should be read in the knowledge that the geography and ecology of depression cannot be convincingly studied in a controlled laboratory setting. Thus, cause and effect cannot be inferred, so that further investigations are needed to exclude rival explanations in terms of, for example, the greater exposure of higherlatitude inhabitants to insufficient ultraviolet radiation and cold stress. Mitigating this drawback is the almost axiomatic assumption that rates of depression in women and men cannot have caused widely different degrees of daylength variability and territorial water borders. Hence, there is a causal quality to our robust relationship: the only possible direction of impact is from daylength variability and islandness to depression. The same latitude-by-longitude design with nested islandness can be employed to explore the geography and ecology of, for example, treatment for depression (Smits and Huijts, 2015), control of neglected tropical diseases (Garchitorena et al., 2017), and disparities between islanders and mainlanders in healthy behaviors such as consumption of fruits/vegetables and abstinence of tobacco/alcohol use (Taylor et al., 2018). That causation cannot be firmly established is not the only shortcoming of the proposed explanation of islanders’ and mainlanders’ rates of depression at higher latitudes. Additionally, the proposed mediating mechanism of the maladaptive control-restoring strategy of adopting overly simple and stable interpretations of the ordered environment (Landau et al., 2015) was not measured and analyzed. Mitigating this weakness is the complicating fact that a viable alternative theory should explain why the higher rates of depression at higher latitudes hold for islanders more than for mainlanders (Fig. 1). No alternative theory that we know of does so. The potentially confounding effects of disaster risk, economic poverty, income inequality, and urbanization level have been ruled out. As a result, this article provides novel evidence that brings global geography and ecology together to better understand why some populations are more depressive than others. Given the importance of depression for healthy human functioning, this is no small gap to fill.

The human sleep pattern is paradoxical: Sleep is vital for optimal physical and cognitive performance, yet humans sleep the least of all primates; short, high-quality, and flexibly timed sleep likely originated as a response to predation risks

The Human Sleep Paradox: The Unexpected Sleeping Habits of Homo sapiens. David R. Samson. Annual Review of Anthropology  Volume 50, 2021, online on July 13, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-010220-075523

Abstract: The human sleep pattern is paradoxical. Sleep is vital for optimal physical and cognitive performance, yet humans sleep the least of all primates. In addition, consolidated and continuous monophasic sleep is evidently advantageous, yet emerging comparative data sets from small-scale societies show that the phasing of the human pattern of sleep–wake activity is highly variable and characterized by significant nighttime activity. To reconcile these phenomena, the social sleep hypothesis proposes that extant traits of human sleep emerged because of social and technological niche construction. Specifically, sleep sites function as a type of social shelter by way of an extended structure of social groups that increases fitness. Short, high-quality, and flexibly timed sleep likely originated as a response to predation risks while sleeping terrestrially. This practice may have been a necessary preadaptation for migration out of Africa and for survival in ecological niches that penetrate latitudes with the greatest seasonal variation in light and temperature on the planet.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Complicated relationship between Machiavellianism and social-cognitive skill: Machiavellianism encompasses features that blend deficiency, proficiency, and average levels of social-cognitive skills

Hart, W., Breeden, C. J., & Kinrade, C. (2021). Re-conceptualizing Machiavellianism and social-cognitive skills: Machiavellianism blends deficient, proficient, and average social-cognitive skills. Journal of Individual Differences, 42(3), 140–147, Jul 2021. https://doi.org/10.1027/1614-0001/a000340

Abstract: Machiavellianism is presumed to encompass advanced social-cognitive skill, but research has generally suggested that Machiavellian individuals are rather deficient in social-cognitive skill. However, previous research on the matter has been limited to measures of (a) Machiavellianism that are unidimensional and saturated with both antagonism and disinhibition and measures (b) only one type of social-cognitive skill. Using a large college sample (N = 461), we examined how various dimensions of Machiavellianism relate to two types of social-cognitive skill: person-perception skill and general social prediction skill. Consistent with some prior theorizing, the planful dimension of Machiavellianism was positively related to both person-perception and general social prediction skills; antagonistic dimensions of Machiavellianism were negatively related to both skills; either agentic or cynical dimensions of Machiavellianism were generally unrelated to both skills. Overall, the current evidence suggests a complicated relationship between Machiavellianism and social-cognitive skill because Machiavellianism encompasses features that blend deficiency, proficiency, and average levels of social-cognitive skills. 

What Makes a Champion? Early Multidisciplinary Practice, Not Early Specialization, Predicts World-Class Performance

What Makes a Champion? Early Multidisciplinary Practice, Not Early Specialization, Predicts World-Class Performance. Arne Güllich, Brooke N. Macnamara, David Z. Hambrick. Perspectives on Psychological Science, July 14, 2021. https://doi.org/10.1177/1745691620974772

Abstract: What explains the acquisition of exceptional human performance? Does a focus on intensive specialized practice facilitate excellence, or is a multidisciplinary practice background better? We investigated this question in sports. Our meta-analysis involved 51 international study reports with 477 effect sizes from 6,096 athletes, including 772 of the world’s top performers. Predictor variables included starting age, age of reaching defined performance milestones, and amounts of coach-led practice and youth-led play (e.g., pickup games) in the athlete’s respective main sport and in other sports. Analyses revealed that (a) adult world-class athletes engaged in more childhood/adolescent multisport practice, started their main sport later, accumulated less main-sport practice, and initially progressed more slowly than did national-class athletes; (b) higher performing youth athletes started playing their main sport earlier, engaged in more main-sport practice but less other-sports practice, and had faster initial progress than did lower performing youth athletes; and (c) youth-led play in any sport had negligible effects on both youth and adult performance. We illustrate parallels from science: Nobel laureates had multidisciplinary study/working experience and slower early progress than did national-level award winners. The findings suggest that variable, multidisciplinary practice experiences are associated with gradual initial discipline-specific progress but greater sustainability of long-term development of excellence.

Keywords: skill acquisition, performance, practice, early specialization, meta-analysis

From 2020... Art, Music, and Literature: Do the Humanities Make Our Lives Richer, Happier, and More Meaningful?

From 2020... Westgate, Erin C. 2020. “Art, Music, and Literature: Do the Humanities Make Our Lives Richer, Happier, and More Meaningful?” PsyArXiv. April 25. doi:10.31234/osf.io/gsnzm

Abstract: For many, there is little more rewarding than the feeling of curling up with a good book, wandering a famous art gallery, or listening to a favorite musician perform live in front of an audience. But do the arts, music, and literature actually make our lives happier, richer, and more meaningful? We suggest they do. In this chapter, we review empirical evidence for the psychological benefits of the humanities, including art, music, and literature, and find that across a wide variety of samples, exposure and engagement is consistently linked to greater well-being. In particular, we suggest that the humanities may increase well-being directly by providing people with enjoyable, rich, and meaningful experiences, as well as indirectly by fostering skills and abilities that contribute to psychological well-being in the long-term. These approaches map onto two mechanisms: 1) direct affective benefits that create enjoyable, rich, and interesting experiences, and 2) indirect cognitive benefits, including social abilities and motivations that promote subjective well-being via interpersonal connection and self- and emotion-regulation. Art, music, and literature may not only provide temporary nourishment for a good life, but teach people lasting skills they can capitalize on to increase long-term well-being.

Check also Lay Beliefs about Meaning in Life: Examinations Across Targets, Time, and Countries. Samantha J. Heintzelman et al. Journal of Research in Personality, August 1 2020, 104003. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2020/08/lay-beliefs-about-meaning-in-life.html

Meaning and Evolution: Why Nature Selected Human Minds to Use Meaning. Roy F. Baumeister and William von Hippel. Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture, Vol. 4, No. 1, Symposium on Meaning and Evolution (Spring 2020), pp. 1-18. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2020/05/the-scientific-worldview-suggested-that.html

Happiness, Meaning, and Psychological Richness. Shigehiro Oishi, Hyewon Choi, Minkyung Koo, Iolanda Galinha, Keiko Ishii, Asuka Komiya, Maike Luhmann, Christie Scollon, Ji-eun Shin, Hwaryung Lee, Eunkook M. Suh, Joar Vittersّ, Samantha J. Heintzelman, Kostadin Kushlev, Erin C. Westgate, Nicholas Buttrick, Jane Tucker, Charles R. Ebersole, Jordan Axt, Elizabeth Gilbert, Brandon W. Ng, Jaime Kurtz & Lorraine L. Besser . Affective Science volume 1, pages107–115, Jun 23 2020. https://www.bipartisanalliance.com/2020/06/investigating-whether-some-people.html

A large literature characterizes urbanisation as resulting from productivity growth attracting rural workers to cities; these authors think it is in reverse: when rural workers move to cities, the resulting urbanisation yields productivity growth

Urbanisation and the Onset of Modern Economic Growth. Liam Brunt, Cecilia García-Peñalosa. The Economic Journal, ueab050, June 30 2021. https://doi.org/10.1093/ej/ueab050

Abstract: A large literature characterizes urbanisation as resulting from productivity growth attracting rural workers to cities. Incorporating economic geography elements into a growth model, we suggest that causation runs the other way: when rural workers move to cities, the resulting urbanisation produces technological change and productivity growth. Urban density leads to knowledge exchange and innovation, thus creating a positive feedback loop between city size and productivity that initiates sustained economic growth. This model is consistent with the fact that urbanisation rates in Western Europe, most notably England, reached unprecedented levels by the mid-18th century, the eve of the Industrial Revolution.

Mate copying (the increased probability of preferring an individual as a mate, as a result of them having been chosen by same-sex peers previously), does not shows in having a lot of Facebook opposite-sex friends

Non-Independent Mate Choice in Humans: An Investigation of Online Mate Choice Copying and Sex Differences. Cagla Tekin & Ryan C. Anderson. Evolutionary Psychological Science, Jul 15 2021. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40806-021-00291-z

Abstract: Mate copying (MC) refers to the increased probability of preferring an individual as a mate, as a result of them having been chosen by same-sex peers previously. How changes in the world, such as the increased use of social networking sites, affect MC has not received much attention. Participants were shown photographs of opposite-sex target individuals, and told that the profiles had a high, moderate, or low number of opposite-sex Facebook friends. A two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) indicated that opposite-sex profiles were considered the most desirable when no information was given about thegender distribution of their Facebook friends. Both men and women found opposite-sex profiles to be least desirable when they had a high number of opposite-sex friends. The findings contribute to the literature by providing further information about the mate selection processes for both sexes, and how social networking sites have changed the way interpersonal relationships are formed. 

Wellcome skepticism... Neither prediction markets (nor surveys) performed well in predicting outcomes for DARPA's Next Generation Social Science programme

Using prediction markets to predict the outcomes in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's next-generation social science programme. Domenico Viganola, Grant Buckles, Yiling Chen, Pablo Diego-Rosell, Magnus Johannesson, Brian A. Nosek, Thomas Pfeiffer, Adam Siegel and Anna Dreber. Royal Society Open Science, July 14 2021. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.181308

Abstract: There is evidence that prediction markets are useful tools to aggregate information on researchers' beliefs about scientific results including the outcome of replications. In this study, we use prediction markets to forecast the results of novel experimental designs that test established theories. We set up prediction markets for hypotheses tested in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) Next Generation Social Science (NGS2) programme. Researchers were invited to bet on whether 22 hypotheses would be supported or not. We define support as a test result in the same direction as hypothesized, with a Bayes factor of at least 10 (i.e. a likelihood of the observed data being consistent with the tested hypothesis that is at least 10 times greater compared with the null hypothesis). In addition to betting on this binary outcome, we asked participants to bet on the expected effect size (in Cohen's d) for each hypothesis. Our goal was to recruit at least 50 participants that signed up to participate in these markets. While this was the case, only 39 participants ended up actually trading. Participants also completed a survey on both the binary result and the effect size. We find that neither prediction markets nor surveys performed well in predicting outcomes for NGS2.

4. Discussion

In this project, we find little evidence that researchers can predict outcomes of the hypotheses tested in NGS2. Whether this is due to the relatively small sample of hypotheses (N = 22), participants (N = 39) or the type of hypotheses tested is unclear. Here, unlike in most previous work, participants predicted tests from Bayesian analyses—whether this contributes to the poor performance of the markets and surveys is also unclear. An important difference compared with the previous prediction markets studies on direct replications is also that the original study p-value is an important predictor of replication outcomes, but such information is by definition not available for predicting the NGS2 outcomes, making it a more challenging prediction task for forecasters. Given the previously observed success in experts predicting novel outcomes with forecasting surveys (e.g. [20]), it may be the case that prediction markets function better for replication outcomes relative to forecasting surveys—more work on this topic would be needed for more definitive conclusions.

The current literature on satisfaction in interracial relationships as less satisfied than intraracial relationships may be a reflection of publication bias in which statistically significant differences are published

Differences in Satisfaction? A Meta-Analytic Review of Interracial and Intraracial Relationships. James E. Brooks. Marriage & Family Review, Jul 14 2021. https://doi.org/10.1080/01494929.2021.1937443

Abstract: Empirical investigations on whether there is a difference in relationship satisfaction for partners in interracial compared to intraracial relationships offer contradictory conclusions. The current study reviewed investigations of differences in satisfaction using a meta-analysis to determine whether and under what circumstances there is a difference in relationship satisfaction. Individual, dyadic, environmental, and methodological variations in study participants and designs were explored as potential moderators. Using estimates of effect size d, no overall difference in relationship satisfaction was found between intraracial and interracial relationships. The examination of the moderators revealed that sample size and geographic location of the study impacted whether differences were detected, but most tests for moderation indicated no differences. These conclusions suggest that the current literature on satisfaction in interracial relationships as less satisfied than intraracial relationships may be a reflection of publication bias in which statistically significant differences are published.

Keywords: interracialmarriagemeta-analysisromantic relationshipssatisfaction

Thursday, July 15, 2021

Sociosexuality, comfort with sex outside the confines of a committed relationship, and parent–child dynamics have been associated with experiences of sex guilt

The Experience of Sex Guilt: The Roles of Parenting, Adult Attachment, and Sociosexuality. Jana M. Hackathorn & Esther Malm. Sexuality & Culture, Jul 9 2021. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12119-021-09887-w

Abstract: Sociosexuality, comfort with sex outside the confines of a committed relationship, and parent–child dynamics have been associated with experiences of sex guilt. However, the mechanisms through which family dynamics are related to sociosexuality and sex guilt are still unclear. Using a developmental framework, in a cross-sectional study, we examined whether attachment styles and parent–child relationships would be associated with the development and maintenance of sociosexuality. We hypothesized that insecure attachment styles and sociosexuality would independently and positively mediate the relationship between parent–child relationship quality (accepting/rejecting) and sex guilt. Findings support past research and suggests that parental rejection predicts insecure attachments, which positively predicts unrestricted sociosexuality, and in turn, is negatively associated with sex guilt. This could suggest that sociosexuality may act as a buffer for sex guilt among this sample.