Literature reviews on how social media use affects adolescent mental health have accumulated at an unprecedented rate of late. Yet, a higher-level integration
of the evidence is still lacking.
We fill this gap with an up-to-date umbrella review, a review of reviews published between 2019 and mid-2021. Our search yielded 25 reviews: 7 meta-analyses, 9
systematic, and 9 narrative reviews. Results showed that most reviews interpreted the associations between social media use and mental health as ‘weak’ or
‘inconsistent,’ whereas a few qualified the same associations as ‘substantial’ and ‘deleterious.’
We summarize the gaps identified in the reviews, provide an explanation for their diverging interpretations, and suggest several avenues for future
…Main findings of the reviews: As Table 1 shows, 5 meta-analyses yielded associations of general use of social network sites
(SNS use) with higher levels of adolescent ill-being that ranged from very small to moderate (r = 0.05 to
r = 0.17)[14, 17, 18, 19, 20], and one did not find such an association (r = 0.02 ns). As for
well-being, one meta-analysisfound
that SNS use was weakly associated with higher levels of well-being (r = +0.05),19 whereas another
found that it was weakly related to lower levels of well-being (r = −0.06).17 However, the latter study aggregated well-being outcomes
(e.g. happiness, life satisfaction) with ill-being outcomes (e.g. reversed depression and anxiety scores) in a composite ‘well-being’ score. When this
meta-analysis analyzed happiness, life satisfaction, and depression separately, it found that SNS use was associated with both higher levels of well-being and ill-being.17
In all, the available meta-analytic evidence suggests that SNS use is weakly associated with higher levels of
ill-being [14, 17, 18, 19, 20] but also with higher levels of well-being[17,19], a result that suggests that ill-being is
not simply the flip-side of well-being and vice versa, and that both outcomes should be investigated in their own right [11,39]. Finally, all
meta-analyses reported considerable variability in the reported associations. For example, in the meta-analysis by Ivie et al 2020,14the reported associations of SMU with depressive symptoms ranged from r = −0.10 to r =
Collective consensual judgments made via group interactions were more utilitarian than individual judgments.
Group discussion did not change the individual judgments indicating a normative conformity effect.
Individuals consented to a group judgment that they did not necessarily buy into personally.
Collectives were less stressed than individuals after responding to moral dilemmas.
Interactions reduced aversive emotions (eg. stressed) associated with violation of moral norms.
Moral judgments have a very prominent social nature, and in everyday life, they are continually shaped by discussions with others. Psychological investigations
of these judgments, however, have rarely addressed the impact of social interactions.
To examine the role of social interaction on moral judgments within small groups, we had groups of 4 to 5 participants judge moral dilemmas first individually
and privately, then collectively and interactively, and finally individually a second time. We employed both real-life and sacrificial moral dilemmas in which the
character’s action or inaction violated a moral principle to benefit the greatest number of people. Participants decided if these utilitarian decisions were
morally acceptable or not.
In Experiment 1, we found that collective judgments in face-to-face interactions were more utilitarian than the statistical aggregate of their members
compared to both first and second individual judgments. This observation supported the hypothesis that deliberation and consensus within a group transiently reduce
the emotional burden of norm violation. In Experiment 2, we tested this hypothesis more directly: measuring participants’ state anxiety in addition to their
moral judgments before, during, and after online interactions, we found again that collectives were more utilitarian than those of individuals and that state
anxiety level was reduced during and after social interaction.
The utilitarian boost in collective moral judgments is probably due to the reduction of stress in the social setting.
[Keywords: collective moral judgments, group moral decisions, moral dilemmas, moral conformity, moral influence, social deliberation, logistic
mixed effect model, Bayesian mixed
effect models, Open Science, Open data]
Resiliency and analytic thinking negatively predict safetyism-inspired beliefs.
Provides first empirical support for some of Lukianoff & Haidt 2018’s claims
In their book, The Coddling of the American Mind,
Lukianoff & Haidt 2018 contended that the rise of “safetyism” within American society has inspired beliefs and practices that hinder college students’
socioemotional development. One of their most controversial claims was that college students’ safetyism-inspired beliefs (eg. emotional pain or discomfort is
dangerous) are rooted in and supported by cognitive distortions, or negatively biased patterns of thought (eg. emotional reasoning). Citing evocative anecdotes,
they argued that such distortions emerge in students’ perceptions of offensive or ideologically-challenging experiences as disproportionately harmful or traumatic.
However, no empirical work has substantiated an association between cognitive distortions and safetyism-inspired beliefs or practices.
In a large (n = 786), ethnically and economically diverse sample of college students, we conducted the first examination of the relationship between
Aligning with Lukianoff and Haidt’s assertions, we found that students’ self-reported prevalence of cognitive distortions positively predicted their endorsement
of safetyism-inspired beliefs, the belief that words can harm, and support for the broad use of trigger warnings.
Considering our exploratory results, we argue that greater empirical scrutiny of safetyism-inspired beliefs and practices is warranted before such customs
become more widely adopted.
[Keywords: cognitive distortions, college students, trigger warnings, open data]
The gender-equality paradox refers to the puzzling finding that societies with more gender equality demonstrate larger gender differences across a range of
phenomena, most notably in the proportion of women who pursue degrees in science, technology, engineering, and math. The present investigation demonstrates across
two different measures of gender equality that this paradox extends to chess participation (n = 803,485 across 160 countries; age range: 3–100 years),
specifically that women participate more often in countries with less gender equality. Previous explanations for the paradox fail to account for this finding.
Instead, consistent with the notion that gender equality reflects a generational shift, mediation analyses suggest that the gender-equality paradox in chess is
driven by the greater participation of younger players in countries with less gender equality. A curvilinear effect of gender equality on the participation of
female players was also found, demonstrating that gender differences in chess participation are largest at the highest and lowest ends of the gender-equality
Young men with few prospects of attracting a mate have historically threatened the internal peace and stability of societies. In some contemporary societies,
such involuntary celibate—or incel—men promote much online misogyny and perpetrate real-world violence. We tested the prediction that online incel activity arises
via local real-world mating-market forces that affect relationship formation. From a database of 4 billion Twitter posts (2012–2018), we geolocated 321 million
tweets to 582 commuting zones in the continental United States, of which 3,649 tweets used words peculiar to incels and 3,745 were about incels. We show that such
tweets arise disproportionately within places where mating competition among men is likely to be high because of male-biased sex ratios, few single women, high
income inequality, and small gender gaps in income. Our results suggest a role for social media in monitoring and mitigating factors that lead young men toward
antisocial behavior in real-world societies.
It is widely believed that democracies require knowledgeable citizens to function well. But the most politically knowledgeable individuals tend to be the most
partisan and the strength of partisan identity tends to corrupt political thinking. This creates a conundrum. On the one hand, an informed citizenry is allegedly
necessary for a democracy to flourish. On the other hand, the most knowledgeable and passionate voters are also the most likely to think in corrupted, biased ways.
What to do? This paper examines this tension and draws out several lessons. First, it is not obvious that more knowledgeable voters will make better political
decisions. Second, attempts to remedy voter ignorance are problematic because partisans tend to become more polarized when they acquire more information. Third,
solutions to citizen incompetence must focus on the intellectual virtue of objectivity. Fourth, some forms of epistocracy are troubling, in part, because they
would increase the political power of the most dogmatic and biased individuals. Fifth, a highly restrictive form of epistocracy may escape the problem of political
dogmatism, but epistocrats may face a steeper tradeoff between inclusivity and epistemic virtue than they would like.
There is substantial evidence that women tend to support different policies and political candidates than men. Many studies also document gender differences in
a variety of important preference dimensions, such as risk-taking, competition and pro-sociality. However, the degree to which differential voting by men and women
is related to these gaps in more basic preferences requires an improved understanding.
We conduct an experiment in which individuals in small laboratory “societies” repeatedly vote for redistribution policies and engage in production.
We find that women vote for more egalitarian redistribution and that this difference persists with experience and in environments with varying degrees of risk.
This gender voting gap is accounted for partly by both gender gaps in preferences and by expectations regarding economic circumstances. However, including both
these controls in a regression analysis indicates that the latter is the primary driving force. We also observe policy differences between male-controlled and
female-controlled groups, though these are substantially smaller than the mean individual differences—a natural consequence of the aggregation of individual
preferences into collective outcomes.
…Our results demonstrate that while part of the persistent and substantial gender gap in voting for redistribution can be connected to underling gender
preference gaps—primarily for less competition and more equality—the gender gap in relative performance beliefs is the most important underlying factor. Our work
thus indicates that gender gaps in preferences may have some influence on behavior and policy outcomes as women’s participation in policymaking grows. However, our
findings also suggest that this impact is secondary to that of beliefs about relative economic outcomes, which may change as women attain greater economic
The current research investigated the role of transgressors’ social power on their motivation to apologize or not. Based on power approach theory (Keltner et al 2003), we
predicted that high-power transgressors would be less motivated to apologize and more motivated to engage in nonapology (eg. shifting blame, minimizing the
transgression) than their low-power counterparts. We further predicted that the relation between social power and apology and nonapology would be explained by
transgressors’ self-other focus. 4 multimethod (nonexperimental, experimental), multisample (community, undergraduate) studies supported our predictions. Results
are discussed within the context of the extant social motivation literature and applied implications.
[Keywords: social power, apology, nonapology, transgressor, self-other focus]
The current research explores how individuals’ social power influences their willingness to engage in apologies and nonapologies (eg. making excuses). We
demonstrate high-power transgressors are more willing to engage in nonapology and less willing to engage in apology. Conversely, those with low power are more
willing to engage in apology and less willing to engage in nonapology. However, high-power transgressors who take an other-focus become the most apologetic.
Applied implications of this research include interventions to affect social power, self-other focus, and conciliatory behavior.
[cf. concept creep, Levari et al 2018] Recent years have seen
debate about whether depictions of inherently evil monster races such as orcs
in role playing games or literature/movies such as Lord of
the Rings could be considered racist. Although such decisions may be subjective, little data has been produced to inform the debate regarding how critical
an issue this is. In particular, does consuming such material relate to racism in the real world, or do a majority of individuals, particularly people of color,
consider such depictions racist?
The current study sought to address these issues in a sample of 308 adults (38.2% non-White) a subset of whom (17%) were players of the role-playing game
Dungeons and Dragons.
Playing Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) was not associated with greater ethnocentrism (one facet
of racism) attitudes. Only 10.2% found a depiction of orc monsters as inherently evil to be offensive. However, when later asked the blunter question of
whether the same depiction was racist, the number jumped to 34.0%, with women particularly inclined to endorse this position.
This suggests asking people about racism may prime
them to see racism in material they hadn’t previously found to be offensive. Neither participant race nor history playing the D&D game was associated with perceptions of offensiveness or racism.
We use data from Airbnb to identify the mechanisms underlying discrimination against ethnic minority hosts. Within the same neighborhood, hosts from minority
groups charge 3.2% less for comparable listings. Since ratings provide guests with increasingly rich information about a listing’s quality, we can measure the
contribution of statistical discrimination, building upon Altonji and Pierret (2001). We find that statistical discrimination can account for the whole ethnic
price gap: ethnic gaps would disappear if all unobservables were revealed. Also, three-quarters (2.5 points) of the initial ethnic gap can be attributed to
inaccurate beliefs of potential guests about hosts’ average group quality.
Liberals and conservatives currently struggle to reach political agreement on policy proposals. While political polarization is closely associated with this
phenomenon, the precise psychological mechanisms via which polarization works to affect political compromise remain to be fully explored.
Across 5 studies (n = 1,236; 2,126 total individual observations), we uncover one such mechanism by exploring a novel and robust bias that emerges at
the crossroads of policy trade-offs and partisanship. We call it the Partisan Trade-off Bias. When interpreting policy trade-offs, both Democrats
and Republicans view the unintended but unavoidable side effects of policies proposed by contrapartisans as wanted and intended. Yet they do not attribute
intentionality to the very same types of side effects of policies proposed by copartisans.
We provide evidence for this bias across 4 types of policy trade-offs, including taxes, environmental regulation, gun control, and voting rights. Importantly,
we show that the partisan trade-off bias is a unique contributor to decreased willingness to accept policy deals from contrapartisans, thus reducing the chances of
reaching political agreement. Our studies suggest that the partisan trade-off bias is a product of the lack of trust in contrapartisans. In an experimental study,
we manipulate trust and decrease the magnitude of this bias, showing evidence for our proposed mechanism and revealing a potential intervention to foster political
This study aimed to examine the degree of homogeneity versus heterogeneity of individuals’ political information environments across offline and online media
types and relations with sociodemographic variables, personality, and political attitudes. In two online surveys, German participants (sample 1: N = 686; sample 2:
N = 702) provided information on sociodemographic variables, consumption of political news, and voting intentions, and completed the Big Five Inventory and
Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) andSocial Dominance Orientation (SDO)
scales. Results revealed that absolutely homogeneous political news consumption was evident for a small proportion of individuals (2.04% and 0.43%).
Openness (positively) and Agreeableness (negatively)
exhibited statistically-significant associations with the degree of heterogeneity of political information environments across samples. No consistent patterns of
relations with either the ideological attitudes of RWA and SDO or voting intentions
were observed. The findings shed light on the existence of absolutely homogeneous political information environments and “who” might be prone to a more
homogeneous versus more heterogeneous information environment.
[preprint] Cultural trends and
popularity cycles can be observed all around us, yet our theories of social influence and identity expression do not explain what perpetuates these complex, often
unpredictable social dynamics.
We propose a theory of social identity expression based on the opposing, but not mutually exclusive, motives to conform and to be unique among one’s neighbors
in a social network.
We find empirical evidence for both conformity and uniqueness motives in an analysis of the popularity of given names. Generalizing across forms of identity
expression, we then model the social dynamics that arise from these motives. We find that the dynamics typically enter random walks or stochastic limit cycles
rather than converging to a static equilibrium. The dynamics also exhibit momentum, preserve diversity, and usually produce more conformity between neighbors, in
line with empirical stylized facts. We also prove that without social network structure or, alternatively, without the uniqueness motive, reasonable adaptive
dynamics would necessarily converge to equilibrium.
Thus, we show that nuanced psychological assumptions (recognizing preferences for uniqueness along with conformity) and realistic social network structure are
both critical to our account of the emergence of complex, unpredictable cultural trends.
[Keywords: conformity, games on social networks, popularity cycles, social dynamics, uniqueness]
…Why instead do behavioral patterns go through perpetual change, with particular behaviors cycling into and out of fashion as cultural trends play out? One
explanation, tracing back to Simmel 1957, is that an upper
class tries to distinguish itself from the common folk while the common folk try to imitate them (see also Leibenstein 1950). Accordingly, conformity may be particularly high among the
middle class (Phillips & Zuckerman 2001). In modern models of identity
signaling, membership in one group may be preferable to membership in another, and people want to strategically distinguish themselves from those in the
less-favorable group (Berger & Heath 2007). The resulting dynamic of imitation and differentiation
(or “chase-and-flight”) can lead to fashion cycles (Pesendorfer 1995; Tassier 2004; Zhang et al 2018). Undoubtedly, there
are contexts in which elites initiate fashions and everyone else strives to imitate them, but empirical research shows that in many other contexts, groups with
lower or equal status also strive to differentiate themselves (Berger & Heath 2008). A dynamic of mutual differentiation, without imitation, cannot account
for popularity cycles.
Other models of popularity cycles rely on people continually discovering new behaviors, which spread through the population and then get discarded, either
through random imitation (Bentley et al 2004, Bentley et al 2007), or with a motive for conformity or anti-conformity (Acerbi &
Bentley 2014), or with the co-evolution of behavior and preferences (Acerbi et al 2012). These models account for boom-and-bust cycles of
popularity, but do not attempt to explain the source of the new behaviors that continually enter the model and keep the dynamics from converging to
This article explores a new account of the dynamics of cultural trends and popularity cycles. We show that along with conformity and uniqueness motives, a
realistic network of social interaction may be a critical ingredient for complex social dynamics to emerge. Specifically, we show that reasonable adaptive
dynamics, that would necessarily converge to a static equilibrium given random interactions in a well-mixed pool of people, instead typically enter random walks or
stochastic limit cycles, and thus never converge, when interactions are restricted to individuals’ local neighborhoods in their social networks. The social
dynamics cannot converge in some cases as some people find more preferred expressions of identity, they disrupt others who observe them, making these other people
dissatisfied with the identities they had previously been happy to express. The social network structure determines who are the innovators and who are the
[Phys.org: “I wanted to use math to describe 2 conflicting motives—wanting to fit in
and wanting to stand out at the same time”, said Golman. “They push you in opposite directions but you can want both things.”
Mathematically speaking, the desire to fit in would drive behavior toward the mean, or average, in the group while the desire to stand out would drive behavior
away from the mode, or most common occurrence, in the group.
“Put them together”, Golman said, “and they still lead to equilibrium.” To break out of the equilibrium conundrum, Golman and his team added social networks to
the mix. According to Golman, that means communities, neighbors, colleagues, clubs, or other social groups, not necessarily social media.
“It was surprising that social networks could make such a big difference”, said Golman. “We modeled the dynamics with a lot of different networks, and not
converging to equilibrium is actually pretty typical.”
To test their new model, CMU Ph.D. student Erin Bugbee turned to the large database of baby names managed
by the Social Security Administration for the last century. If baby names settled into an equilibrium, the most popular name would always be the most popular.
That is not what happened. As the popularity of one name, say ‘Emily’, peaks, parents may decide to forgo that name and pick a similar one, like ‘Emma’. By
following this strategy, they are instilling in their new daughter a name that is socially acceptable by its similarity to the popular name but will allow her to
stand out in the crowd by putting a unique twist on her identity. Many parents may be thinking the same thing and the number of little girls named ‘Emily’ will
decline while those named ‘Emma’ will increase.]
This article investigates probabilistic assumptions about the value of negative primals (eg. seeing the world as dangerous keeps me safe). We first
show such assumptions are common. For example, among 185 parents, 53% preferred dangerous world beliefs for their children. We then searched for evidence
consistent with these intuitions in 3 national samples and 3 local samples of undergraduates, immigrants (African and Korean), and professionals (car salespeople,
lawyers, and cops), examining correlations between primals and eg.t life outcomes within 48 occupations (total n = 4,535) .
As predicted, regardless of occupation, more negative primals were almost never associated with better outcomes. Instead, they predicted less success, less job
and life satisfaction, worse health, dramatically less flourishing, more negative emotion, more depression, and increased suicide attempts.
We discuss why assumptions about the value of negative primals are nevertheless widespread and implications for future research.
[Keywords: Primal world beliefs, success, job satisfaction, health, negative emotions, depression, suicide, life satisfaction, wellbeing]
The post-truth era has taken many by surprise. Here, we use massive language analysis to demonstrate that the rise of fact-free argumentation may perhaps be
understood as part of a deeper change. After the year 1850, the use of sentiment-laden words in Google Books declined systematically, while the use of words associated with fact-based argumentation rose steadily. This pattern reversed in the
1980s, and this change accelerated around 2007, when across languages, the frequency of fact-related words dropped while emotion-laden language surged, a trend
paralleled by a shift from collectivistic to individualistic language.
The surge of post-truth political argumentation suggests that we are living in a special historical period when it comes to the balance between emotion and
To explore if this is indeed the case, we analyze language in millions of books covering the period from 1850 to 2019 represented in Google Ngram data.
We show that the use of words associated with rationality, such as “determine” and “conclusion”, rose systematically after 1850, while words related to human
experience such as “feel” and “believe” declined. This pattern reversed over the past decades, paralleled by a shift from a collectivistic to an individualistic
focus as reflected, among other things, by the ratio of singular to plural pronouns such as “I”/“we” and “he”/“they.” Interpreting this synchronous sea change
in book language remains challenging. However, as we show, the nature of this reversal occurs in fiction as well as nonfiction. Moreover, the pattern of change in
the ratio between sentiment and rationality flag words since 1850 also occurs in New York Times articles [see also social justice keywords], suggesting that it is not an artifact of the
book corpora we analyzed. Finally, we show that word trends in books parallel trends in corresponding Google search terms, supporting the idea that changes in book
language do in part reflect changes in interest.
All in all, our results suggest that over the past decades, there has been a marked shift in public interest from the collective to the individual, and from
rationality toward emotion.
Rates of child abuse appear to have fallen in 2020. Nevertheless, some experts, including physicians, have offered their opinions that child abuse must be
on the rise because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
…The total number of child abuse reports to state child welfare agencies plummeted up to 70% during the pandemic.2
Decreased monitoring by educators due to school closures cannot explain the full decline: National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System data showed that educators
made 21% of reports and childcare professionals, 0.7% of reports in 2019…Further, if the dip in reports resulted from the loss of monitoring of schoolchildren, we
would not expect to see a corresponding decline in cases that required medical attention. In fact, as shown in the Figure, Swedo and colleagues2 at the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a decline in the number of ED visits for suspected child abuse and neglect. The number of children hospitalized
following ED visits for child abuse and neglect remained relatively constant.
…We want to conclude with our own observations, from an admittedly nonrandom sample of adults. Many professionals worry about increased child abuse due to the
pandemic. At the same time, they tell heartwarming stories about bonding with their own children.
Detecting social bias in text is challenging due to nuance, subjectivity, and difficulty in obtaining good quality labeled datasets at scale, especially given
the evolving nature of social biases and society. To address these challenges, we propose a few-shot instruction-based method for prompting pre-trained language
models (LMs). We select a few label-balanced exemplars from a small support repository that are closest to the query to be labeled in the embedding space. We then
provide the LM with instruction that consists of this subset of labeled exemplars, the query text to be classified, a definition of bias, and prompt it to make a
decision. We demonstrate that large LMs used in a few-shot context can detect different types of fine-grained biases with similar and sometimes superior accuracy
to fine-tuned models. We observe that the largest 530B parameter model is statistically-significantly more effective in detecting social bias compared to
smaller models (achieving at least 20% improvement in AUCmetric compared to other models). It also maintains a
high AUC (dropping less than 5%) in a few-shot setting with a labeled repository reduced to as few as 100 samples. Large
pretrained language models thus make it easier and quicker to build new bias detectors.
Multiple large-bodied species went extinct during the Pleistocene. Changing climates and/or human hunting are the main hypotheses used to explain
We studied the causes of Pleistocene extinctions in the Southern Levant, and
their subsequent effect on local hominin food spectra, by examining faunal remains in archaeological sites across the last 1.5 million years. We examined whether
climate and climate changes, and/or human cultures, are associated with these declines. We recorded animal abundances published in the literature from 133
stratigraphic layers, across 58 Pleistocene and Early Holocene archaeological sites,
in the Southern Levant. We used linear regressions and mixed models to assess the weighted mean mass of faunal assemblages
through time and whether it was associated with temperature, paleorainfall, or paleoenvironment (C3 vs. C4 vegetation).
We found that weighted mean body mass declined log-linearly through time. Mean hunted animal masses 10,500 years ago, were only 1.7% of those 1.5 million years
ago. Neither body size at any period, nor size change from one layer to the next, were related to global temperature or to temperature changes. Throughout the
Pleistocene, new human lineages hunted statistically-significantly smaller prey than the preceding ones.
This suggests that humans extirpated megafauna throughout the Pleistocene, and when the largest species were depleted the next-largest were targeted.
Technological advancements likely enabled subsequent human lineages to effectively hunt smaller prey replacing larger species that were hunted to extinction or
until they became exceedingly rare.
[Keywords: Levant, megafauna, early humans, hunting, Pleistocene, Quaternary, climate]
The strong correlation between education and voting is among the most robust findings in social science. We show that genes associated with the propensity to
acquire education are also associated with higher voter turnout. A within-family analysis suggests education-linked genes exert direct effects on voter turnout but
also reveals evidence of genetic nurture in second-order elections. Our findings have important implications for the study of political inequality. Scholars have
argued that parental education is the main driver of the reproduction of political inequality across generations. By separating the effect of genes from parental
nurturing, our findings suggest that the roots of individual-level political inequality run deeper than family background.
Twin and adoption studies have shown that individual differences in political participation can be explained, in part, by genetic variation. However, these
research designs cannot identify which genes are related to voting or the pathways through which they exert influence, and their conclusions rely on possibly
In this study, we use 3 different US samples and a Swedish sample to test whether genes that have been identified as associated with educational attainment, one
of the strongest correlates of political participation, predict self-reported and validated voter turnout.
We find that a polygenic score capturing individuals’ genetic propensity to
acquire education is statistically-significantly related to turnout. The strongest associations we observe are in second-order midterm elections in the United
States and European Parliament elections in Sweden, which tend to be viewed as less important by voters, parties, and the media and thus present a more
information-poor electoral environment for citizens to navigate. A within-family analysis [n = 10,000 sibling pairs] suggests that individuals’
education-linked genes directly affect their voting behavior..after controlling for the EDU PGS, the effect of
education shrinks by 8%–17%, signaling that genes associated with education partially confound the relationship between education and turnout…but, for second-order
elections, it also reveals evidence of genetic nurture. Finally, a mediation analysis suggests that educational attainment and cognitive ability combine to account
for between 41% and 63% of the relationship between the genetic propensity to acquire education and voter turnout.
…Figure 1 illustrates that the polygenic score’s explanatory power is on par with that of personal income, parental income, and parental
education and accounts for about half as much variation as years of education…Another possible mediator is personality, given that the EA PGS is correlated with personality traits(34, 35), a growing literature has demonstrated personality traits to
be important for turnout(36), and personality and turnout have been shown to be influenced by shared genetic factors(9, 10).
In societies where the populace exhibits a wide range of religiosity, social conservatives (religiously devout or socially traditional) feel their beliefs and
way of life threatened, even where others in their society (secular, or socially liberal) have no desire to threaten them, or to discriminate against them, or even
to proselytize. Examples include devout English Pilgrims in liberal 16th century Holland and devout Muslims in liberal 21st century Western
We suggest that this is because diversity in religiosity itself poses a threat to conventional personal morality (attitudes on abortion, divorce, euthanasia, suicide, prostitution). The consequences of societal diversity in religiosity (the centrality of religion to one’s life) for
individuals’ endorsement of conventional personal morality have been neglected in prior research.
This paper shows that diversity in religiosity at the national level undermines individuals’ endorsement of conventional personal morality, net of an
individual’s own religiosity, net of the average levels of religiosity and socioeconomic development in the individual’s society, and net of key individual-level
We present the first field experiment on how organized interest groups’ television ads affect issue opinions.
We randomized 31,404 voters to 3 weeks of interest group ads about either immigration or transgender non-discrimination. We then randomly assigned voters to
receive ostensibly unrelated surveys either while the ads aired, one day after they stopped, or 3 days afterwards.
Voters recalled the ads, but 3 ads had minimal impacts on public opinion, while a 4th’s impacts decayed within one day. However, voters remembered a
fact from one ad. Our results suggest issue ads can effect public opinion, but that not every ad persuades and that persuasive effects decay.
Despite the vast sums spent on television ads, our results are the first field experiment on their persuasive power on issues, shedding light on the mechanisms
underpinning—and limits on—both televised persuasion and interest group influence.
…We examine the effects of 4 television advertisements on voters’ issue attitudes, issue knowledge, and intent to engage in political activism. The
advertisements cover immigration and LGBTQ non-discrimination, 2 salient topics subject to considerable “outside
lobbying” over the last decade.
We find that television ads can have effects on public opinion while the ads are airing and that the ads can teach voters facts they remember, contrasting with
prior findings on candidate campaign ads (Huber &
Arceneaux 2007, Spenkuch & Toniatti 2018).
However, we find that not all ads persuade, and that the ads that do persuade have effects that fade rapidly, consistent with findings from candidate campaigns
(Gerber et al 2011; Hill et al 2013;
Kalla & Broockman 2018). In short, we find that television advertising can allow groups to temporarily change public sentiment and to inform the public,
but that not every ad is effective and that persuasive effects may be short-lived.
…Treatment Implementation and Outcome Measurement: The advertisements aired for 3 weeks, a length of time the partner organizations thought
would be sufficient to test the ads’ persuasive power. The advertising firm did not stipulate particular networks or hours for the ads to run. Instead, they could
run whenever the television was turned on. Across all voters, the average household was exposed to the ads 19.7×. Put in terms of Gross Rating Points
(GRPs), which are defined as 100× the expected number of times an individual in the target audience viewed the ad, the
intervention was therefore equivalent to approximately 1,970 GRPs over the course of 3 weeks—a large volume. (By
contrast, Gerber et al 2011 randomized media markets to receive up to only 1,000 GRPs per week.) The firm
was also able to collect data on how often each household was exposed to an advertisement for a non-random 51% of voters who have newer television
technologies, allowing us to estimate treatment-on-treated (TOT) effects among this subgroup.
…We first find large effects on recall of seeing an ad about LGBTQ people. This confirms that the ads were
delivered to the treatment group and demonstrates that the ads were memorable. In particular, among all post-treatment survey respondents (regardless of when they
were surveyed), we estimate a statistically-significant5.9
percentage point ITT effect on recall (SE = 0.4,p < 0.001). This effect does not appear to decay; 3 days
after the advertisement stopped airing, we still find a 6.0 percentage point increase in recall (ITT, SE = 0.7,p < 0.001). Figure 2 shows that both the ITT and TOT effects are meaningfully sized when expressed in terms of standard deviations.
We also find that the advertisements decrease prejudice against LGBTQpeople and increase support for
LGBTQ-inclusive policies while the advertisement is airing. However, these effects appear to rapidly decay once the
advertisement stopped and are primarily driven by Democratic respondents (Table OA38).
…If an organized group seeks to durably change attitudes, television advertising may not produce effects as large or durable; however, given the low per-person
cost of TV ads, our confidence
intervals are too wide to form confident conclusions about the relative cost-effectiveness of TV advertising and personal contact.
Is authoritarian power ever legitimate? The contemporary political theory literature—which largely conceptualizes legitimacy in terms of democracy or basic
rights—would seem to suggest not. I argue, however, that there exists another, overlooked aspect of legitimacy concerning a government’s ability to ensure safety
and security. While, under normal conditions, maintaining democracy and rights is typically compatible with guaranteeing safety, in emergency situations, conflicts
between these two aspects of legitimacy can and often do arise. A salient example of this is the COVID-19
pandemic, during which severe limitations on free movement and association have become legitimate techniques of government. Climate change poses an even
graver threat to public safety. Consequently, I argue, legitimacy may require a similarly authoritarian approach. While unsettling, this suggests the political
importance of climate action. For if we wish to avoid legitimating authoritarian power, we must act to prevent crises from arising that can only be resolved by
In this paper we study the long run effects of the 1959–61 Chinese Famine on mental health outcomes. We focus on cohorts that were born during the famine and
examine their mental health as adults, when they are roughly 55 years of age.
We find that early-life exposure to this famine leads to a large statistically-significant negative impact on women’s mental health, while there is limited
effect on men. This gender differential effect is observed because male fetuses experience a stronger natural selection as compared to female fetuses, which implies that in the longer run, surviving females may exhibit larger detrimental
effects of early-life famine exposure.
Thus, the observed effects are a composite of 2 well-established factors, the survival of the fittest and the Fetal Origins hypothesis.
This paper studies the long-run effects of a “big-push” program providing a large asset transfer to the poorest Indian households. In a randomized controlled trial that follows these
households over ten years, we find positive effects on consumption (0.6 SD), food security (0.1 SD), income (0.3 SD), and health (0.2 SD). These effects grow for
the first seven years following the transfer and persist until year ten. One main channel for persistence is that treated households take better advantage of
opportunities to diversify into more lucrative wage employment, especially through migration.
Mass selection into groups of like-minded individuals may be fragmenting and polarizing online society,
particularly with respect to partisan differences. However, our ability to
measure the social makeup of online communities and in turn, to understand the social organization of online platforms, is limited by the pseudonymous,
unstructured and large-scale nature of digital discussion.
Here we develop a neural-embedding methodology to quantify the positioning of online communities along social dimensions by leveraging large-scale patterns of
aggregate behaviour. Applying our methodology to 5.1 billion comments made in 10,000 communities over 14 years on Reddit, we measure how the macroscale community structure is organized with respect to age, gender and US political
Examining political content, we find that Reddit underwent a substantial polarization event around the 2016 US presidential election. Contrary to conventional wisdom,
however, individual-level polarization is rare; the system-level shift in 2016 was disproportionately driven by the arrival of new users. Political polarization on
Reddit is unrelated to previous activity on the platform and is instead temporally aligned with external events. We also observe a stark ideological asymmetry,
with the sharp increase in polarization in 2016 being entirely attributable to changes in right-wing activity.
This methodology is broadly applicable to the study of online interaction, and our findings have implications for the design of online platforms, understanding
the social contexts of online behaviour, and quantifying the dynamics and mechanisms of online polarization.
Children are not reliably accurate in identifying the origins of common foods.
41% of children claimed that bacon came from a plant.
Children do not judge animals to be appropriate food sources.
Most 6–7-year-olds classified chicken, cows, and pigs as not OK to eat.
Children’s food concepts may help to normalize environmentally-responsible diets.
Eating a plant-based diet is one of the most effective ways people can reduce their carbon footprint. However, global consumption of meat and other animal
products is increasing. Studying children’s beliefs about food may shed light on the relationship between eating behaviors and climate change. Here, we examined
children’s knowledge of the plant and animal origins of foods, as well as children’s judgments of what can be eaten, using 2 dichotomous sorting tasks. The sample
consisted of 4–7-year-old children from the United States. We found pervasive errors in their basic food knowledge. Foods derived from animals—especially, but not
exclusively meats—were among those that children understood the least well. We suggest that the results may reveal a fundamental misunderstanding in children’s
knowledge of animal based foods, and we discuss reasons why the origins of meat may represent a particularly challenging concept for children to grasp. We end by
considering the role that children may play as agents of environmental protection.
[Keywords: sustainable diets, animals, meat eating, meat paradox [Omnivores eat foods that entail animal suffering and death while at the same
time endorsing the compassionate treatment of animals—a phenomenon referred to as the meat paradox], climate change, children]
The relationship between mental health and social media has received substantial research and policy attention. However, there is little population
representative data about who social media users are which limits understanding of confounding in associations between mental health and social media.
We find that users of different platforms and frequencies are not homogenous. User groups differ primarily by sex and YouTube users are the most likely to have
poorer mental health outcomes. Instagram and Snapchat users tend to have higher well-being. Relationships between use-frequency and well-being differ depending on
the specific well-being construct measured. The reproducibility of future research may be improved by stratifying by sex and being specific about the well-being
[Keywords: ALSPAC, cohort, digital health, mental health, social media, social networking,
There has been a growing concern among researchers and media commentators that men in the United States may be increasingly less sexually active, creating a
form of a “sex recession.”
Using 14 years of survey data from men in the National Survey
of Family Growth (2006–2019), this study assesses whether such concerns are warranted. Cross-classified mixed-effects models are estimated to ascertain whether there is evidence of a population-wide sex recession among men due to secular
conditions specific to different time periods, or if birth cohorts that comprise the male population at any given point in time are exhibiting distinct patterns of
The analysis finds no evidence of a population-wide sex recession among men. Rates of sexual inactivity among men have been constant across the time series, but
those born between 2000 and 2004 had statistically-significantly higher rates of sexual inactivity than previous birth cohorts did at the same age. Additionally,
men who are unemployed and/or living at home with their parents are more likely to refrain from sexual intercourse than their peers who are employed and/or
living independently of their parents.
[Keywords: sexual health, sexuality, intimacy, sexuality]
This article presents a large-scale, empirical evaluation of the psychophysiological correlates of political ideology and, in particular, the claim that
conservatives react with higher levels of electrodermal activity to threatening stimuli than liberals.
We (1) conduct 2 large replications of this claim, using locally representative samples of Danes and Americans; (2) reanalyze all published studies and evaluate
their reliability and validity; and (3) test several features to enhance the validity of psychophysiological
measures and offer a number of recommendations.
Overall, we find little empirical support for the claim. This is caused by large reliability and validity problems related to measuring threat sensitivity using
electrodermal activity. When assessed reliably, electrodermal activity in the replications and published studies captures individual differences in the
physiological changes associated with attention shifts, which are unrelated to ideology. In contrast to psychophysiological reactions, self-reported emotional
reactions to threatening stimuli are reliably associated with ideology.
[Keywords: political ideology, threat sensitivity, electrodermal activity, replication, measurement, psychometrics]
…In the process of revising this article, a preprint of another large-scale replication effort became available. Bakker et al 2019 field 2 conceptual replications, as well a
preregistered direct replication of Oxley et al 2008. All of these efforts fail to replicate the results. We encourage readers
to consult Bakker et al 2019, which is aligned with and reinforces the conclusions of the present article.
Biosafetylaboratory accidents are a normal part of laboratory science, but
the frequency of such accidents is unclear due to current reporting standards and processes.
To better understand accident reporting, a survey was created, with input from ABSA
International, which included a series of questions about standards, requirements, and likely motivations for reporting or nonreporting. A total of 60
biosafety officers completed the survey. Respondents reported working with more than 5,000 people in laboratories, including more than 40 biosafety level 3 or
animal biosafety level 3 laboratories, which work with higher-risk pathogens. Most of the respondents were located in the United States, Canada, or New Zealand, or
did not identify their location.
Notable results included that 97% of surveyed biosafety officers oversee laboratories that require reporting exposure to at least some pathogens. However, 63%
relayed that the reports are not usually sent outside of the institution where they occurred. A slight majority (55%) stated that paper reports were used, with the
rest reporting they used a variety of computer systems. Even in laboratories that used paper-based reporting systems, 67% relayed that these reports were used
alongside, or entered into, a digital system. While 82% of these biosafety officers agreed that workers understood the importance of reporting for their own
safety, 82% also agreed that a variety of disincentives prevent laboratory workers from reporting incidents, including concerns about job loss and loss of
We investigate the trends and drivers of racial diversity on U.S. corporate boards.
We document that U.S. boards are persistently racially homogenous, but that this is changing. About 10% of directors on the average board during our sample
are non-white, however, new director appointments of racial minorities increased from 12% in 2013 to over 40% in 2021. Smaller, value firms are less likely to
appoint minority directors and through 2019 firms with racially homogenous boards are also less likely to. In 2020, this trend sharply reverses such that by
2021 firms with racially homogenous boards actually seek minority directors. This reversal coincides with the commencement of the racial justice movement as well
as diversity initiatives implemented by the NYSE, Nasdaq, and state of California.
Our analysis of these initiatives reveals that the racial justice movement was the primary cause of the changes in minority director appointment behavior.
Conservative estimates imply that it led to a 120% increase in the number of black directors appointed to boards, but did little to help other minority groups. In
contrast, the California diversity mandate has thus far, primarily benefited racial groups that are not traditionally underrepresented and has suppressed
appointments of black directors. Newly appointed minority directors have similar qualifications to those appointed before the racial justice movement.
Markets did not systematically react to any of the events that we investigate.
Our analysis is suggestive of search frictions and racial bias being important to the persistent lack of board racial diversity that we document.
Where do our political attitudes originate? Although early research attributed the formation of such beliefs to parent and peer socialization, genetically
sensitive designs later clarified the substantial role of genes in the development of sociopolitical attitudes. However, it has remained unclear whether parental
influence on offspring attitudes persists beyond adolescence.
In a unique sample of 394 adoptive and biological families with offspring more than 30 years old, biometric modeling revealed substantial evidence for genetic
and nongenetic transmission from both parents for the majority of 7 political-attitude phenotypes. We found the largest genetic effects for religiousness and
social liberalism, whereas the largest influence of parental environment was seen for political orientation and egalitarianism.
Together, these findings indicate that genes, environment, and the gene-environment correlation all contribute substantially to sociopolitical attitudes held in adulthood, and the etiology and development of
those attitudes may be more important than ever in today’s rapidly changing sociopolitical landscape.
In a sample of over one million Swedish first-born offspring, we examined associations between early maternal age at first childbirth (MAFC; i.e., < 20 and 20–24 vs 25–29 years) and offspring non-accidental deaths, accidental deaths, deaths by suicide, non-fatal
accidents, and suicide attempts.
We included year of birth and several maternal and paternal characteristics as covariates and conducted maternal cousin comparisons to adjust for unmeasured
Early MAFC (eg. teenage childbearing) was associated with all outcomes, with the most pronounced risk elevation
for accidental deaths [Hazard Ratio (HR) < 20 2.50, 95% confidence interval
(CI) 2.23, 2.80], suicides (HR < 20 2.08, 95% CI 1.79, 2.41), and suicide attempts (HR < 20 2.85, 95% CI 2.71, 3.00). Adjusting for covariates and
comparing cousins greatly attenuated associations (eg. accidental deaths HR < 20 1.61, 95% CI 1.22, 2.11; suicides HR < 20 1.01, 95% CI 0.69, 1.47; and
suicide attempts HR < 20 1.35, 95% CI 1.19, 1.52). A similar pattern emerged for non-accidental deaths and non-fatal accidents.
Therefore, results indicated maternal background factors may be largely responsible for observed associations.
[Keywords: maternal age at childbearing, teenage childbearing, offspring outcomes, deaths, suicides, accidents]
Here, we conduct an extensive review of the RRH, using multilevel meta-analysis to examine relations between
varieties of rigidity and ideology alongside a bevy of potential moderators (s = 329, k = 708, n = 187,612).
Associations between conservatism and rigidity were enormously heterogeneous, such that broad theoretical accounts of left-right asymmetries in rigidity have
masked complex—yet conceptually fertile—patterns of relations. Most notably, correlations between economic conservatism and rigidity constructs were almost
uniformly not statistically-significant, whereas social conservatism and rigidity were statistically-significantly positively correlated. Further, leftists and
rightists exhibited modestly asymmetrical motivations yet closely symmetrical thinking styles and cognitive architecture. Dogmatism was a special case, with
rightists being clearly more dogmatic. Complicating this picture, moderator analyses revealed that the RRH may not
generalize to key environmental/psychometric modalities.
Thus, our work represents a crucial launch point for advancing a more accurate—but admittedly more nuanced—model of political social cognition. We resolve that
drilling into this complexity, thereby moving away from the question of if conservatives are essentially rigid, will amplify the explanatory power of political
[Keywords: conservatism, meta-analysis, personality psychology, political ideology, political psychology, rigidity, social psychology]
Empirical audit and review is an approach to assessing the evidentiary value of a research area. It involves identifying a topic and selecting a cross-section
of studies for replication. We apply the method to research on the psychological consequences of scarcity. Starting with the papers citing a seminal publication in
the field, we conducted replications of 20 studies that evaluate the role of scarcity priming in pain sensitivity, resource
allocation, materialism, and many other domains. There was considerable variability in the replicability, with some strong successes and other undeniable failures.
Empirical audit and review does not attempt to assign an overall replication rate for a heterogeneous field, but rather facilitates researchers seeking to
incorporate strength of evidence as they refine theories and plan new investigations in the research area. This method allows for an integration of qualitative and
quantitative approaches to review and enables the growth of a cumulative science.
[Keywords: scarcity, reproducibility, open science, meta-analysis, evidentiary value]
…We selected 20 studies for replication. We built a set of eligible papers and then drew from that set at random. The set included studies that (1) cited
Shah et al 2012
seminal paper on scarcity, (2) included scarcity as a factor in their design, and (3) could be replicated with an online sample. We did not decide on an
operational definition of scarcity, but we accepted all measures and manipulations of scarcity that were proposed by the original authors…To give us sufficient
precision to comment on the statistical power of the original effects, our
replications employed 2.5× the sample size of the original paper (8). Because this approach would also allow us to detect
smaller effects than in the original studies, it would have allowed us to detect statistically-significant effects even in the cases where the original findings
were not statistically-significant.
Figure 1 shows our results. The Leftmost columns categorize commonalities among the 20 studies. In the 6 studies featuring
writing independent variables we reviewed the responses for nonsensical or careless responses and excluded them. Results including these responses are in SI
Appendix. The Middle column shows that replication effect sizes were smaller than the original effect sizes for 80% of the 20 studies, and directionally
opposite for 30% of these 20 studies. Of the 20 studies that were statistically-significant in the original, 4 of our replication efforts yielded
statistically-significant results. But statistical-significance is only one way to evaluate the results of a replication. The 3 Rightmost columns report
estimates of the power in the original studies based on the replication effects. This analysis provides the upper bounds of the 95% CI for the estimated power of
the original studies. Only 9 of the original studies included 33% power in these 95% CIs, indicating that most of the 20 effects we attempted to replicate were too
small to be detectably studied in the original investigations.
…Scarcity is a real and enduring societal problem, yet our results suggest that behavioral scientists have not fully identified the underlying psychology.
Although this project has neither the goal nor the capacity to “accept the null” hypothesis for any of these tests, the replications of these 20 studies indicate
that within this set, scarcity primes have a minimal influence on cognitive ability, product attitudes, or well being.
Mate-choice copying occurs when people rely on the mate choices of others (social information) to inform their own mate decisions. The present study
investigated women’s strategic trade-off between such social learning and using the personal information of a potential mate.
We conducted 2 experiments to investigate how mate-choice copying was affected by the personal information (eg. trait/financial information,
negative/positive valence of this information, and attractiveness) of a potential male mate in short-term/long-term mate selection.
The results demonstrated that when women had no trait/financial information other than photos of potential mates, they showed mate-choice copying, but when
women obtained personality trait or financial situation information (no matter negative or positive) of a potential mate, their mate-choice copying disappeared;
this effect was only observed for low-attractiveness and long-term potential partners.
These results demonstrated human social learning strategies in mate selection through a trade-off between social information and personal information.
[Typical Bayesian reasoning: freeriding off priors/stereotypes (mate-copying), but updating as individuating information is available.]
When conducting research on large data sets, statistically-significant
findings having only trivial interpretive meaning may appear. Little consensus exists whether such small effects can be meaningfully interpreted. The current
analysis examines the possibility that trivial effects may emerge in large datasets, but that some such effects may lack interpretive value. When such results
match an investigator’s hypothesis, they may be over-interpreted.
The current study examines this issue as related to aggression research in 2 large samples. Specifically, in the first study, the National Longitudinal Study of
Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health) dataset was used. 15 variables with little theoretical relevance to aggression were selected, then correlated with
self-reported delinquency. For the second study, the Understanding Society database was used. As with Study 1, 14 nonsensical variables were correlated with
Many variables achieved “statistical-significance” and some effect-sizes approached
or exceeded r = 0.10, despite little theoretical relevance between the variables.
It is recommended that effect sizes below r = 0.10 should not be interpreted as hypothesis supportive.
Self-reported mate preferences suggest intelligence is valued across cultures, consistent with the idea that human intelligence evolved as a sexually selected trait. The validity of self-reports has been questioned though, so it
remains unclear whether objectively assessed intelligence is indeed attractive.
In Study 1, 88 target men had their intelligence measured and based on short video clips were rated on intelligence, funniness, physical attractiveness and
mate appeal by 179 women. In Study 2 (n = 763), participants took part in 2 to 5 speed dating sessions in which their intelligence was measured and they rated each other’s intelligence, funniness, and mate appeal.
Measured intelligence did not predict increased mate appeal in either study, whereas perceived intelligence and funniness did. More intelligent people were
perceived as more intelligent, but not as funnier.
Results: suggest that intelligence is unimportant for initial attraction, which raises doubts concerning the sexual selection theory of
[Keywords: intelligence, mate choice, sexual selection]
Many blame partisan news media for polarization in America. This paper examines the effects of liberal, conservative, and centrist news on affective and
attitude polarization. To this end, we rely on two studies that combine two-wave panel surveys (N1 = 303, N2 = 904) with twelve months worth of web browsing data
submitted by the same participants comprising roughly thirty-eight million visits. We identify news exposure using an extensive list of news domains and develop a
machine learning classifier to identify exposure to political news within these domains. The results offer a robust pattern of null findings. Exposure to partisan
and centrist news websites—no matter if it is congenial or crosscutting—does not enhance polarization. These null effects also emerge among strong and weak
partisans as well as Democrats and Republicans alike. We argue that these null results accurately portray the reality of limited effects of news in the “real
world.” Politics and partisan news account for a small fraction of citizens’ online activities, less than 2% in our trace data, and are nearly unnoticeable in the
overall information and communication ecology of most individuals.
The question of whether screen time, particularly time spent with social media and
smartphones, influences mental health outcomes remains a topic
of considerable debate among policy makers, the public, and scholars. Some scholars have argued passionately that screen media may be contributing to an increase
in poor psychosocial functioning and risk of suicide, particularly among teens. Other scholars contend that the evidence is not yet sufficient to support such a
The current meta-analysis included 37 effect sizes from 33 separate studies. To consider the most recent research, all studies
analyzed were published between 2015 and 2019. Across studies, evidence suggests that screen media plays little role in mental health concerns. In particular,
there was no evidence that screen media contribute to suicidal ideation or other mental health outcomes. This result was also true when investigating smartphones
or social media specifically.
Overall, as has been the case for previous media such as video games, concerns about screen time and mental health are not based in reliable data.
[Keywords: social media, suicide, smartphones, adolescence, depression]
…Main results for the meta-analysis are presented in Table 1: As can be seen from these results, the effect sizes for relationships between screen time
as well as specific screen media such as smartphones and social media were very small and in no case passed the r = 0.10 threshold for interpretation as
hypothesis supportive. statistically-significant heterogeneity existed in
all data sets, although this was particularly true for correlational studies and those which examined general screen time, as opposed to longitudinal studies or those examining specific screen media. Longitudinal studies did
not provide any more evidence for effects than correlational studies, suggesting there is little evidence for a cumulative effect…Effect sizes were slightly
smaller in more recent years. It should be noted that the statistical sensitivity to detect these moderator effects was relatively low due to the small number of
On average, within-person changes in SMU intensity and wellbeing were not related.
Within-person relations between SMU and wellbeing varied across adolescents.
At the between-person level, more SMU was somewhat related to less wellbeing.
Between-person relations between SMU and wellbeing were confoundedby SMU problems.
Active and passive SMU did not yield differential associations with wellbeing.
The present study examined 5 possible explanations for the mixed findings on the association between adolescents’ social media use (SMU) intensity and wellbeing. Particularly, it investigated whetherthe association between SMU intensity and life satisfaction dependedon (1) the type of SMU activity the
adolescent engaged in, (2) the (non)linearity of the association, (3) individual differences, (4) inclusion of SMU
problems, and (5) the level of analysis.
Data from 4 waves of longitudinal data among 1,419 adolescents were used (Mage(T1) = 12.51 (0.60), 45.95% girl). Multilevel analyses showed
that at the within-person level, on average, changes in different types of SMU activities were not associated with
changes in life satisfaction. Within individuals, the associations ranged from negative to positive across adolescents. In general, this variation could not
be explained by adolescents’ engagement in upward social comparisons. At the between-person level, the higher adolescents’ average intensity of certain
SMU activities, the lower their average level of life satisfaction. However, these associations were confounded by
adolescents’ SMU problems. No curvilinear associations were found.
Overall, the findings underline that to enhance our understanding of the association between SMU and wellbeing in
adolescence, it is important to acknowledge the heterogeneity of effects, distinguish between SMU intensity and
SMU problems, and disentangle within-from between-person effects.
[Keywords: social media use, wellbeing, life satisfaction, adolescents, longitudinal study]
Question: What is the risk of experiencing adverse social and health outcomes in adulthood among children and adolescents placed in out-of-home
Findings: In this cohort study, risk of adverse social and health outcomes in adulthood were elevated 1.4–5× among children placed in
out-of-home care compared with their siblings who had never been placed in out-of-home care. By comparing differentially exposed siblings, the study was able to
account for shared genetic and environmental preplacement factors.
Meaning: Although it may be necessary to remove children from parents who expose them to severe maltreatment, neglect, or abuse, out-of-home
care placement is associated with important outcomes that need careful review.
Importance: Children who are placed in out-of-home care may have poorer outcomes in adulthood, on average, compared with their peers, but the
direction and magnitude of these associations need clarification.
Objective: To estimate associations between being placed in out-of-home care in childhood and adolescence and subsequent risks of experiencing
a wide range of social and health outcomes in adulthood following comprehensive adjustments for preplacement factors.
Design, Setting, & Participants: This cohort and cosibling study of all children born in Finland between 1986 and 2000 (n = 855 622)
monitored each person from their 15th birthday either until the end of the study period (December 2018) or until they migrated, died, or
experienced the outcome of interest. Cox and Poisson regression models were used to estimate associations with adjustment for measured confounders (from linked
population registers) and unmeasured familial confounders (using sibling comparisons). Data were analyzed from October 2020 to August 2021.
Exposures: Placement in out-of-home care up to age 15 years.
Main Outcomes & Measures: Through national population, patient, prescription drug, cause of death, and crime registers, 16 specific outcomes
were identified across the following categories: psychiatric disorders; low socioeconomic status; injuries and experiencing violence; and antisocial behaviors,
suicidality, and premature mortality.
Results: A total of 30 127 individuals (3.4%) were identified who had been placed in out-of-home care for a median (interquartile range) period
of 1.3 (0.2–5.1) years and 2 (1–3) placement episodes before age 15 years.
Compared with their siblings, individuals who had been placed in out-of-home care were 1.4–5× more likely to experience adverse outcomes in adulthood (adjusted
hazard ratio [aHR] for those with a fall-related injury, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.25–1.57 and aHR for those with an unintentional poisoning injury, 4.79; 95% CI, 3.56–6.43,
respectively). The highest relative risks were observed for those with violent crime arrests (aHR, 4.16; 95% CI, 3.74–4.62; cumulative incidence, 24.6% in
individuals who had been placed in out-of-home care vs 5.1% in those who had not), substance misuse (aHR, 4.75; 95% CI, 4.25–5.30; cumulative incidence, 23.2% vs
4.6%), and unintentional poisoning injury (aHR 4.79; 95% CI, 3.56–6.43; cumulative incidence, 3.1% vs 0.6%).
Additional adjustments for perinatal factors, childhood behavioral problems, and traumatic injuries, including experiencing violence, did not materially change
Conclusions & Relevance: Out-of-home care placement was associated with a wide range of adverse outcomes in adulthood, which persisted
following adjustments for measured preplacement factors and unmeasured familial factors.
…We categorized individuals who had been placed in out-of-home care by child welfare services at least once before their 15th birthday as having been
exposed to out-of-home care. There are 4 main types of out-of-home care settings in Finland: family foster care (kinship or nonrelative care), professional group
homes, institutional care, and other or unclassified care. We assigned each child to the type of care setting to which they had been exposed for the longest
…Two previous studies, based on a total of 1,384 siblings and examining within-family associations between long-term foster care placement and social and health
outcomes in adulthood, found that those who were placed either did not differ from their siblings or had worse outcomes.17,18 However, the limited
statistical power in these studies likely explains the lack of associations. Investigations using other natural experimental approaches, such as child welfare
policy reforms19 and rotationally assigned child welfare investigators,20,28,29 have reported mixed results. An advantage of our study
compared with these is that we were able to study the placement trajectories of the individuals in our sample throughout their entire childhood and adolescence to
obtain more precise estimates of the associations with a large number of health and social outcomes in adulthood.
More than 43% of white admits are ALDC; the share for African American, Asian American, and Hispanics is less
Our model of admissions shows that roughly three-quarters of white ALDC admits would have been rejected absent their
ALDC status. Removing preferences for athletes and legacies would substantially alter the racial distribution of
admitted students away from whites.
Political theorists often turn to 17th-century England and the Levellers as sources of egalitarian insight. Yet by the time the Levellers were active, the claim that human beings were
“equal” by nature was commonplace. Why, in Leveller hands, did a long-standing piety consistent with social hierarchy became suddenly effectual?
Inspired by Elizabeth Anderson, this article explores
what equality—and the related concept of parity—meant for the Levellers, and what “the point”, as they saw it, was.
I argue that the Levellers’ key achievement was subsuming a highly controversial premise of natural parity within the existing language of natural equality.
This suggests that modern basic equality is the product of 2, potentially contradictory, principles. This, in turn, has important normative, as well as
historical and conceptual, implications for how theorists understand “the point” of equality for egalitarian movements today.
…Before the 17th century, the concept of equality as applied to human beings expressed primarily a principle of their indifference in God’s
eyes and under natural law. The idea that one might enjoy a distinctive status or dignity entitled to respect was conveyed by another concept. Whereas equality
applied to relations of quantity or quality, parity operated in the domain of value to describe a relation of equivalence between things that might,
despite their differences, be treated “on a par.” In early modern English, parity was primarily a social concept closely associated with the division of society
into 2 classes: Peers, who were “accounted” as worthy by birth, and Commoners, who were not.
That the Levellers and their contemporaries had two terms where modern egalitarians have one helps explain why we struggle to make sense of what these “early
egalitarians” were up to. I argue that Lilburne and his colleagues, under pressure from critics, subsumed a highly controversial idea of natural (as
opposed to social) parity under the altogether less controversial premise of natural equality. They thereby transformed a benignly formal observation of
species (eg. “all men are equally human”) into an assertion of shared worthiness (“all men should be treated on a par”). The “point” of equality for the Levellers
was thus that it provided a less controversial language with which to claim parity with their erstwhile “betters.”
Still, even as the Leveller premise of natural parity rejected the existence of any natural distinctions of inferiority and superiority between human
beings, it nevertheless accepted the existence of natural differences between them—including the difference between the sexes—on the basis of which they
justified the differential (ie. unequal) distributions of rights. As critics like Cromwell pointed out, natural equality-as-parity thus tacitly preserved a
hierarchical-ordering between different kinds of person that continued to make “superior” rank worth having—as in the Levellers’ implicit distinction between those
who would be treated as high-status “peers” in their society of pares (born free, English, and male), and those who would remain low-status “equals”
(bondsmen, “strangers”, and women).
We investigated sex differences in n = 473,260 adolescents’ aspirations to work in things-oriented (eg. mechanic), people-oriented (eg. nurse),
and STEM (eg. mathematician) careers across 80 countries and economic regions using the 2018 Programme for International
Student Assessment (PISA). We analyzed student career aspirations in combination with student achievement in
mathematics, reading, and science, as well as parental occupations and family wealth.
In each country and region, more boys than girls aspired to a things-oriented or STEM occupation and more girls than
boys to a people-oriented occupation. These sex differences were larger in countries with a higher level of women’s empowerment.
We explain this counter-intuitive finding through the indirect effect of wealth. Women’s empowerment is associated with relatively high levels of national
wealth and this wealth allows more students to aspire to occupations they are intrinsically interested in. Implications for better understanding the sources of sex
differences in career aspirations and associated policy are discussed.
[Keywords: adolescents, career aspiration, gender, sex differences, STEM]
Earth is undergoing a devastating extinction crisis caused by human impacts on nature, but only a fraction of society is strongly concerned and acting on the
crisis. Understanding what determines people’s concern for nature, environmental movement activism, and personal conservation behavior is fundamental if
sustainability is to be achieved. Despite its potential importance, the study of the genetic contribution to concern for nature and pro-environmental behaviors has
Using a twin data set (n = 2312), we show moderate heritability (30%–40%) for concern for nature, environmental movement activism, and personal
conservation behavior and high genetic correlations between them (0.6–0.7), suggesting a partially shared genetic basis.
Our results shed light on the individual variation in sustainable behaviors, highlighting the importance of understanding both the environmental and genetic
components in the pursuit of sustainability.
Physical attractiveness is a heuristic that is often used as an indicator of desirable traits.
In 2 studies (n = 1254), we tested whether facial attractiveness leads to a selective bias in attributing moral character—which is paramount in
person perception—over non-moral traits. We argue that because people are motivated to assess socially important traits quickly, these may be the traits that are
most strongly biased by physical attractiveness.
In Study 1, we found that people attributed more moral traits to attractive than unattractive people, an effect that was stronger than the tendency to
attribute positive non-moral traits to attractive (vs. unattractive) people. In Study 2, we conceptually replicated the findings while matching traits on
perceived warmth. The findings suggest that the Beauty-is-Good stereotype particularly skews in favor of the attribution of moral traits.
As such, physical attractiveness biases the perceptions of others even more fundamentally than previously understood.
Sex differences in mate preferences are well established. It is also well understood that humans often seek to manipulate their standing on important mate-value
traits. Yet, there is a paucity of work examining potential sex differences in response to deception along these important dimensions.
In Study 1, a sample of 280 undergraduates (123 females) responded to a hypothetical online dating scenario asking participants to rank how upset they
would be if deceived about a date’s attractiveness, occupation, or volunteerism. Women ranked occupation deception as more upsetting than men did, and men ranked
attractiveness deception as more upsetting than women did.
Given potential measurement differences between forced-choice and continuous response options, Study 2 randomly assigned 364 undergraduates (188 females)
to one of the deceptions conditions and asked them to report their level of upset and willingness to go on the date using a continuous response scale. Women were
more likely than men to cancel the date if the deception involved volunteerism or occupation. There was no statistically-significant sex difference in the
attractiveness condition. Neither mate value nor sociosexuality moderated the sex difference in the levels of upset due to the deception.
Together, these findings demonstrate that women and men exhibit differences in the degree to which they become upset by opposite sex deceptions in online
dating, regardless of self-perceived mate value and sociosexuality, in alignment with evolved sex differences in mate preferences.
[Keywords: online dating, dating deception, sex differences, mate-value, sociosexual orientation, mate preferences]
There has been extensive research on the ecology and evolution of social life in animals that live in groups. Less attention, however, has been devoted to
apparently solitary species, even though recent research indicates that they also possess complex social behaviors.
To address this knowledge gap, we artificially selected on sociability, defined as the tendency to engage in nonaggressive activities with others, in fruit
flies. Our goal was to quantify the factors that determine the level of sociability and the traits correlated with this feature.
After 25 generations of selection, the high-sociability lineages showed sociability scores about 50% higher than did the low-sociability lineages.
Experiments using the evolved lineages indicated that there were no differences in mating success between flies from the low and high lineages. Both males and
females from the low lineages, however, were more aggressive than males and females from the high lineages. Finally, the evolved lineages maintained their
sociability scores after 10 generations of relaxed selection, suggesting no costs to maintaining low and high sociability, at least under our settings.
Sociability is a complex trait, which we currently assess through genomic work on the evolved lineages.
…Field and laboratory studies indicate that both larval and adult fruit flies show statistically-significant sociability, as they prefer to group together at food patches (Durisko et al 2014;
Anderson et al 2016; Scott et al 2018; Dukas 2020). In the adults, the broad sense heritability of sociability is about 0.22
(Scott et al 2018). The heritable variation in sociability opens up exciting opportunities for assessing the evolutionary biology of this trait in a
prominent model animal.
…Methods: …We derived all artificial selection lineages from a population of ~600 wild Drosophila melanogaster females caught in various
locations in and around Hamilton, Ontario in late spring and early summer 2018…We mixed 3 F1 males and 3 F1 females from each of these isofemale lines together in
3 large populations. We then amplified these populations over one or 2 generations, generating a large total population size of ~6,000 flies, mixed among the three
populations, and then randomly assigned flies to 12 separate lineages: 4 lineages to be selected for low sociability, 4 lineages to be selected for high
sociability, and 4 control lab adaptation and domestication lineages
…We developed a novel arena capable of both quantifying the sociability of groups of flies and allowing for the selection of flies based on their sociability
Overview Of Artificial Selection Methods: Overall, each generation, we tested 12 groups of 16 males and 12 groups of 16 females from each of
the 8 selection lineages (four low sociability, 4 high sociability). We selected 4 flies from each group of 16 flies to produce the next generation. In tests
involving the low-sociability lineages, we chose the least sociable flies. In tests involving the high-sociability lineages, we chose the most sociable flies (see
detailed methods below). We ran 2 experimental sessions per day over 2 days, with each session including 3 male groups and 3 female groups from each of the 8
lineages…At 1230h, we blocked the central area of each arena by pushing down the foam plug, sealing the flies into the compartment that they had settled in.
At this point, we recorded the number of flies in each compartment of each arena. We then selected flies to produce the next generation for each lineage based on
the number of flies in each compartment. We removed flies by rotating the lid so that the off-center hole was above a particular compartment, then rotating the
plastic door so that the hole was uncovered, and aspirating the flies out. For the low-sociability lineages, we selected four flies per arena from compartments
with the lowest numbers of flies, unless those numbers were 3 or more, in which case we took flies from other replicate arenas of that session with smaller groups.
Similarly, for the high-sociability lineages, we selected 4 flies per arena from the compartment(s) with the highest number of flies, unless that number was 3 or
less, in which case we took flies from larger groups in replicate arenas. The unselected flies from each arena were discarded. After each of the 4 selection
sessions, we ended with 12 males and 12 females selected per lineage. We then placed the selected flies in sex-specific holding vials.
[See also Grow & Bavel 2020 for how
assortative mating can drive the ‘gender cliff’ without any bias.] Bertrand et al 2015 document that in the United States there is a discontinuity to the right of 0.5 in the distribution of
households according to the female share of total earnings, which they attribute to the existence of a gender identity norm. We provide an alternative explanation
for this discontinuity.
Using linked employer-employee data from Finland, we show that the discontinuity emerges as a result of equalization and convergence of earnings in coworking
couples, and it is associated with an increase in the relative earnings of women, rather than a decrease as predicted by the norm.
…the existence of a discontinuity to the right of 0.5 in the relative earnings distribution has been widely cited both in the media and in academia as evidence
for the relevance of the gender identity norm. Some authors have also pointed out that a substantial part of the discontinuity is due to the existence of a point
mass of couples exactly at 0.5 (Eriksson & Stenberg 2015, Binder & Lam 2020).1 As shown in panel A of Figure 1, the
discontinuity to the right of 0.5 estimated by Bertrand et al 2015 becomes smaller if spouses with equal earnings are excluded, with the
McCrary 2008 estimate dropping from 12.3% to 7.4%.2
In this paper, we provide evidence contradicting the social norm interpretation of the discontinuity (and the point mass) at 0.5 and we propose an alternative
explanation. We use linked employer-employee data from Finland that has detailed information on the individual employment and earnings history of the entire
population of Finnish individuals for the period between 1988 and 2014.
…First, we examine the distribution of relative earnings at the beginning of cohabitation, which provides a better proxy of the time of union formation than
marriage. We find no statistically-significant discontinuity at this stage of the relationship, suggesting that the gender norm does not affect the formation of
couples in a discontinuous way.
Second, the norm does not seem to play a role for separations either. Separation rates do not exhibit any discontinuity around the 0.5 threshold of relative
earnings. Instead, the relationship between the probability of separation and the relative earnings distribution exhibits a U-shape, with higher separation rates
among couples with large earnings differentials either in favor of the husband or in favor of the wife. Third, the discontinuity in the distribution only arises in
couples where both spouses are self-employed (around 6% of all employed couples) or work together in the same firm (around 9%). Hereafter, we refer to these 2
groups as coworking couples. For the rest of the population, there is no evidence of any unusual phenomena in the vicinity of the 0.5 point. The pattern looks
different for these 2 groups of coworking couples. In the case of self-employed couples, the discontinuity to the right of 0.5 is mainly due to a substantial
fraction of couples bunching exactly at 0.5, while among spouses working for the same employer, the distribution exhibits a cliff at 0.5 with only a small fraction
of couples having identical earnings.
Fourth, the observed dynamics rules out a more specific formulation of the gender identity norm theory, according to which the norm is activated only when
spouses are jointly self-employed or work in the same firm. Theoretically, this may occur if coworking makes the comparison between spouses more salient or if
adjustments in accordance with the norm are feasible only in self-employed couples. We find that the discontinuity does not arise as a result of a reduction in the
share of couples where women slightly outearn their husbands, as the gender identity norm would predict. Instead, when couples on both sides of the distribution
become self-employed, they tend to equalize earnings leading to an excess mass at 0.5. Similarly, when couples start working together in the same firm, there is a
compression of earnings toward 0.5. Since initially there are more couples where women earn less than men, this earnings compression creates a larger mass of
couples just to the left of 0.5 than to the right of this point, which statistical tests identify as a discontinuity. Moreover, we also observe that coworking
leads to an increase in female earnings above the earnings of similar women in non-coworking couples.
Overall, our results contradict the idea that the gender identity norm exhibits a discontinuity at the point of equal earnings. Some couples may prefer that the
husband earns more than his wife, but small variations around the 0.5 point do not seem to make that much of a difference.
…However, in the United States, unlike in Finland, there are no legal defaults for income sharing in partnerships, and households can jointly file their income
For couples coworking in the same firm, the impact of earnings compression is likely to have a similar effect as in Finland. To assess the relevance of income
convergence in coworking couples, we use the SIPP/SSA/IRS dataset and we proxy whether spouses work together
using available information on industry and occupation. It seems reasonable to expect that the share of coworking couples is substantially higher among couples
working in the same industry and occupation.14 Instead, couples working in different industries are unlikely to work in the same firm; although some
self-employed couples may be included in this group.15
We observe that around 20% of all couples work in the same industry and occupation, while 60% of couples work in different industries. Figure 9
shows the distribution of relative earnings separately for these 2 groups of couples. The drop in the distribution at 0.5 is statistically-significantly larger
among couples working in the same industry and occupation. According to the McCrary test, the estimate of the drop is 14%, which is about twice as large as the
drop observed in the overall population. This evidence suggests that factors leading to earnings convergence in coworking couples are also likely to play an
important role in explaining the existence of a discontinuity in the United States.
The gaze-signaling hypothesis and the related cooperative-eye hypothesis posit that humans have evolved special external eye morphology, including exposed white
sclera (the white of the eye), to enhance the visibility of eye-gaze direction and thereby facilitate conspecific communication through joint-attentional
interaction and ostensive communication. However, recent quantitative studies questioned these hypotheses based on new findings that humans are not necessarily
unique in certain eye features compared to other great ape species. Therefore, there is currently a heated debate on whether external eye features of humans are
distinguished from those of other apes and how such distinguished features contribute to the visibility of eye-gaze direction. This study leveraged updated image
analysis techniques to test the uniqueness of human eye features in facial images of great apes. Although many eye features were similar between humans and other
species, a key difference was that humans have uniformly white sclera which creates clear visibility of both eye outline and iris –the two essential features
contributing to the visibility of eye-gaze direction. We then tested the robustness of the visibility of these features against visual noises such as darkening and
distancing and found that both eye features remain detectable in the human eye, while eye outline becomes barely detectable in other species under these visually
challenging conditions. Overall, we identified that humans have distinguished external eye morphology among other great apes, which ensures robustness of eye-gaze
signal against various visual conditions. Our results support and also critically update the central premises of the gaze-signaling hypothesis.
There is considerable disagreement among scholars as to whether social media fuels polarization in society. However, a few have considered the possibility that
polarization may instead affect social media usage.
To address this gap, the study uses Dutch panel data to test directionality in the relationship between social media use and affective polarization. No support
was found for the hypothesis that social media use contributed to the level of affective polarization. Instead, the results lend support to the hypothesis that it
was the level of affective polarization that affected subsequent use of social media. The results furthermore reveal heterogeneous patterns among individuals,
depending on their previous level of social media usage, and across different social media platforms.
The study gives reason to call into question the predominating assumption in previous research that social media is a major driver of polarization in
The sport of surfing is best enjoyed with one rider on one wave, but crowding makes that
optimal assignment increasingly hard to attain. This study examines the phenomenon of surf localism, whereby competitors are excluded from waves by intimidation and the threat of violence. An alternative way to accommodate crowds
is contained in the surfer’s
code, which sets informal rules and self-enforced regulations to avoid conflict in the water. Both regimes establish property rights over common pool
resources with no state intervention, creating a setting wherein users face the question of cooperation or conflict. The disposition to cooperate and follow norms
has been shown to vary substantially across different cultures, though.
Employing data from over 700 surf spots on the European Atlantic coast, this study reports evidence that certain informal cultural norms
statistically-significantly reduce the probability of violent exclusion, while formal state institutions mostly are irrelevant. The results also indicate that
informal norms become more important with greater resource quality and, possibly, with increasing scarcity.
We assess the impact of exogenous variation in oral contraceptives prices—a year-long decline followed by a sharp increase due to a documented collusion case—on
fertility decisions and newborns’ outcomes. Our empirical strategy follows an interrupted time-series design, which is implemented using multiple sources of
administrative information. As prices skyrocketed (45% within a few weeks), the Pill’s consumption plunged, and weekly conceptions increased (3.2% after a few
We show large effects on the number of children born to unmarried mothers, to mothers in their early twenties, and to primiparae women. The incidence of low
birth weight and fetal/infant deaths increased (declined) as the cost of birth control pills rose (fell). In addition, we document a disproportional increase in
the weekly miscarriage and stillbirth rates. As children reached school age, we find lower school enrollment rates and higher participation in special education
Our evidence suggests these “extra” conceptions were more likely to face adverse conditions during critical periods of development.
…This paper quantifies the Pill’s role in fertility and child outcomes using a sequence of events in which unexpected shocks affected the access to oral
contraceptives. In particular, we exploit a well-established case of anticompetitive behavior in the pharmaceutical market, which—after a year-long price war
between the 3 largest pharmaceutical retailers in Chile—triggered a sharp and unexpected increase in the prices of birth control pills.
The price war took place during 2007, and it effectively reduced the prices of medicines across the board. In particular, prices of oral contraceptives fell by
24% during that year. By the end of 2007, the 3 largest pharmacies agreed to end the price war and engaged in a collusion scheme in which they strategically
increased the prices of 222 medicines. Oral contraceptives were included in this group, experiencing price increases ranging from 30 to 100% in just a few weeks
(45% on average in the first 3 weeks). We use daily information on prices and quantities sold in the country by the 3 companies from almost 40 million transactions
to determine the date when the price changes for birth control pills took place. Using these data, we implement an interrupted time-series analysis (Bloom, 2003;
Cauley & Iksoon 1988), which takes into account the seasonality of births, the general trends of fertility, as well as dynamics that arise because it takes
time for the menstrual cycle to be fully regulated after discontinuing the Pill’s intake. We complement the pharmacies’ transaction data with administrative
information from birth and death certificates collected between 2005 and 2008 and administrative records on school enrollment from 2013 to 2016. Our empirical
strategy considers 2 different treatments: one stemming from a sustained and steady decline in prices (2007) and another one from a massive and sudden increase
(first weeks of 2008).
Every year, millions of Americans experience the incarceration of a family member. Using 30 years of administrative data from Ohio and exploiting differing
incarceration propensities of randomly assigned judges, this paper provides the first quasi-experimental estimates of the effects of parental and sibling
incarceration in the United States. Parental incarceration has beneficial effects on some important outcomes for children, reducing their likelihood of
incarceration by 4.9 percentage points and improving their adult neighborhood quality. While estimates on academic performance and teen parenthood are imprecise,
we reject large positive or negative effects. Sibling incarceration leads to similar reductions in criminal activity.
Using data from the first Census data set that includes complete measures of male biological fertility for a large-scale probability sample of the U.S.
population (the 2014 wave of the Study of Income and Program ParticipationN = 55,281), this study shows that:
high income men are more likely to marry, are less likely to divorce, if divorced are more likely to remarry, and are less likely to be childless than low
income men. Men who remarry marry relatively younger women than other men, on average, although this does not vary by personal income. For men who divorce who have
children, high income is not associated with an increased probability of having children with new partners. Income is not associated with the probability of
marriage for women and is positively associated with the probability of divorce.
High income women are less likely to remarry after divorce and more likely to be childless than low income women. For women who divorce who have children, high
income is associated with a lower chance of having children with new partners, although the relationship is curvilinear.
These results are behavioral evidence that women are more likely than men to prioritize earning capabilities in a long-term mate and suggest that high income
men have high value as long-term mates in the U.S.
[Keywords: evolutionary psychology, fertility, marriage, childlessness, divorce, sex differences]
This study indicates that concepts of harm have broadened their meanings and become more prominent in psychology over the past half century. It suggests that
similar changes have occurred in the culture at large, and that the respective changes may be dynamically linked. These findings signal that psychology is
implicated in an important cultural shift.
Emerging methods for studying cultural dynamics allow researchers to investigate cultural change with newfound rigor. One change that has recently attracted the
attention of social commentators is "conceptcreep", the semantic inflation of harm-related concepts such as trauma, bullying,
and prejudice. In theory, concept creep is driven distally by several recent cultural and societal trends, but psychology also plays a proximal role in developing
and disseminating expansionary concepts of harm. However, there have been few systematic attempts to document concept creep and none to explore factors that
The present work reviews concept creep from the perspective of cultural dynamics and lays out a conceptual framework for exploring processes implicated in it.
Illustrative analyses are presented that apply computational linguistic methods to very large text corpora, including a new corpus of psychology article
They demonstrate that harm has risen steeply in prominence both in psychology and in the wider culture in recent decades, and that harm-related concepts have
inflated their meanings over this period. The analyses also provide evidence of dynamic relationships between the prominence and semantic breadth of harm-related
concepts, and between psychology and the culture at large.
Implications are drawn for theory and research on concept creep. [see also Scheffer et al 2021]
Talent development in science is a national investment as it is key to enhancing national competitiveness. However, even after undergoing a 3-year training in a
science gifted academy, 8.5% of South Korea’s gifted students choose to enter medical school rather than pursuing a science or technology major.
By conducting in-depth interviews with 5 participants, this study determines why talented students who are trained to become scientists at high schools and
universities change their major to medicine. The participants were high school graduates gifted in science selected by purposive sampling according to the
following criteria: Individuals entered medical school immediately after graduation, majored in a STEM at
university and then entered a graduate school of medicine, and have a master’s or doctoral degree in a STEM major but
changed their major to becoming a doctor.
This study investigates students who have lost motivation for a pure STEM career to reflect on the educational and
social driving forces that would have enabled them to continue on their path to become scientists.
In addition, as it examines the current controversy over these individuals’ career choices, the study has implications for the development of talent development
goals from a macro perspective.
[Keywords: talent development, STEM, career change, gifted education, motivation
…Reasons the students abandoned their pursuit of S&E careers falls into 2 categories: personal reasons and
environmental reasons. Personal reasons included (1) Low interest in science but high interest in educational resources of science-gifted high schools, (2)
Interest in a different direction and altruism, and (3) Possession of insufficient ability to become a scientist. The environmental reason was a perception of
unsatisfactory reinforcement because of poor professional prospects of S&E fields.
We investigated why individuals vary in romantic jealousy, even within the sexes, using a genetically informed design of ~7,700 Finnish twins and their
siblings. First, we estimated genetic, shared environmental and nonshared environmental influences on jealousy. Second, we examined relations between jealousy and
several variables that have been hypothesized to relate to jealousy because they increase the risk (eg. mate-value discrepancy) or costs (eg. restricted
sociosexuality) of infidelity.
Jealousy was 29% heritable, and non-shared environmental influences explained the remaining variance. The magnitude and
sources of genetic influences did not differ between the sexes. Jealousy was associated with: having a lower mate value relative to one’s partner; having less
trust in one’s current partner; having been cheated by a previous or current partner; and having more restricted sociosexual attitude and desire. Within
monozygotic twin pairs, the twin with more restricted sociosexual desire and less trust in their partner than his or her co-twin experienced
statistically-significantly more jealousy, showing that these associations were not merely due to the same genes or family environment giving rise to both
sociosexual desire or trust and jealousy. The association between sociosexual attitude and jealousy was predominantly explained by genetic factors (74%), whereas
all other associations with jealousy were mostly influenced by nonshared environmental (non-familial) factors (estimates >71%).
Overall, our findings provide some of the most robust support to date on the importance of variables predicted by mate-guarding accounts to explain why people
vary in jealousy.
…3.4. Do these factors still influence romantic jealousy when controlling for familial confounding? The
follow-up discordant-twin analyses showed that, within monozygotic twins, the twin with a more restricted sociosexual desire experienced higher jealousy (β =
−0.18, p < 0.001, n = 455), and the twin who rated their partner more trustworthy reported lower jealousy (β = −0.15, p < 0.01,
n = 224 discordant twins) than his or her co-twin. The effects of sociosexual attitude (β = −0.09, p = 0.08; n = 455), having been
cheated on in the past (β = 0.08, p = 0.08; n = 196), having been cheated on in the current relationship (β = 0.02, p = 0.79; n
= 17), and mate value discrepancy (β = 0.04, p = 0.50, n = 228), were not statistically-significant when controlling for genetic and shared environmental confounding. However, the regression betas from the
discordant-twin design analyses were similar in size to the betas from the regression analyses with the full sample that were reported in Table 4. These co-twin control results should be interpreted in
light of the far lower statistical
power in these analyses compared to the regressions using the full sample.
The bivariate twin analyses showed that the majority of the association between jealousy and the predictors was influenced by nonshared environmental factors
(all estimates above 71%) and not by familial factors, with the exception of the association between jealousy and sociosexual attitude, which was mostly explained
by genetic factors (74%) (see right side of Table 3).
…Discussion:…The finding that familial environmental influences did not influence jealousy has theoretical implications. According to
influential accounts of attachment theory, mental models of relationship
expectations are transmitted from parents to children, through learning during infancy (Fonagy & Target 2005; Van IJzendoorn 1995;
Verhage et al 2016; c.f., Barbaro et al 2017), and these mental models later determine emotion reactions, including jealousy, towards
perceived relationship threats in adulthood (Mikulincer & Shaver 2005; Sharpsteen & Kirkpatrick 1997). Our finding that variation in jealousy is not
influenced by familial environmental factors, which includes parenting, is inconsistent with these accounts. An implication is that research that seeks to
understand variation in—and the development of—jealousy should attend more to genetic and nonshared environmental influences than to shared environmental factors
such as parenting behavior. However, one caveat is that a limitation of twin studies is that they do not control for genetic and environmental interplay (for
example, parental genes shaping the twin’s family environment) which can confound the estimate of the influence of the family environment
(Keller et al 2010). Therefore, it is safest to say that we found no influence of the family environment ‘independent of genetic factors’
(Turkheimer et al 2005).
In contrast to attachment theory’s parental transmission account, mate-guarding perspectives hypothesize that jealousy should be primarily influenced by factors
that increase the risk of infidelity by one’s mate (Buss 2013). These will often be socio-ecological variables (eg. the attractiveness of one’s mate, or the
number of rivals in one’s environment) which presumably derive more from the nonshared environment than the shared environment. Our finding of a substantial
nonshared environmental influence on variation in jealousy is therefore consistent with mate-guarding accounts (though not uniquely consistent with those
accounts). Note, however, that the estimate of the nonshared environment also includes measurement error.
Why are online discussions about politics more hostile than offline discussions? A popular answer argues that human psychology is tailored for face-to-face
interaction and people’s behavior therefore changes for the worse in impersonal online discussions. We provide a theoretical formalization and empirical test of
this explanation: the mismatch hypothesis. We argue that mismatches between human psychology and novel features of online environments could (a) change people’s
behavior, (b) create adverse selection effects, and (c) bias people’s perceptions. Across eight studies, leveraging cross-national surveys and behavioral
experiments (total n = 8,434), we test the mismatch hypothesis but only find evidence for limited selection effects. Instead, hostile political
discussions are the result of status-driven individuals who are drawn to politics and are equally hostile both online and offline. Finally, we offer initial
evidence that online discussions feel more hostile, in part, because the behavior of such individuals is more visible online than offline.
Most studies on the relationship between students’ socioeconomic
status(SES) and student achievement assume that its effects are sizable and causal. A large variety of
theoretical explanations have been proposed. However, the SES-achievement association may reflect, tosome
extent, the inter-relationships of parents’ abilities, SES, children’s abilities, and student achievement.
The purpose of this study is to quantify the role of SES vis-à-vis child and parents’ abilities, and prior
Analyses of a covariance matrix that includes supplementary correlations for fathers and mothers’ abilities derived from the literature indicate that more
than half of the SES-achievementassociation can be accounted for by parents’ abilities. SES coefficients decline further with the addition of child’s abilities. With the addition of prior achievement, the
SES coefficients aretrivial implying that SES has little or no
These findings are not compatible with standard theoretical explanations for SES inequalities in
A robust empirical literature suggests that the development of one’s political ideology is the product of an “elective affinity” between the discursive,
socially constructed elements of ideological belief systems and the psychological constraints, motives, and interests of those who are drawn to those belief
systems. However, most studies which support this elective affinity theory have been conducted in the West.
In the present study, we tested the theory in China to see whether elective affinities between psychological traits and political ideology are more likely to be
universal. Across a nationally representative sample (n = 509), we found initial support for the characterization of the left-right divide in China,
albeit in reverse. Namely, the “liberal Right in China mostly evinces traits of the psychological Left in the West (eg. lower intolerance of ambiguity), while
the”conservative Left" mostly evinces traits of the psychological right in the West (eg. higher system justification). Epistemic motives were most reliably related
to political ideology, while existential and relational motives were more mixed; economic and political aspects of ideology were more closely linked to
psychological traits than social/cultural aspects.
The present findings provide an extension of existing theory and opportunities for further development.
Are large families a liability or an asset for an autocratic ruler? In this article, we show that in medieval and early modern Europe, relatives protected
monarchs from challenges from their elite groups, thus reducing their risk of being deposed. Women reduced the risk of both depositions from outside and from
within the family, whereas men primarily reduced the risk of outside depositions (as well as the risk of civil wars breaking out). This is demonstrated in a
statistical analysis of 27 European monarchies spanning the time period 1000–1799, which enlists new data on royal offspring, siblings, and paternal uncles and
aunts. These findings not only elucidate power dynamics in the medieval and early modern world of dynastic politics but also have implications for present-day
authoritarian states where institutions are weak and personal relationships retain their importance.
…In this article, we investigate this timeless problem in a particular historical setting. Using original data on offspring, siblings, and paternal uncles and
aunts of 700 monarchs from 27 European states during 1000–1799 CE, we find that monarchs with more legitimate children, siblings, and paternal uncles and aunts had
a lower risk of being deposed. Although some monarchs were deposed by relatives, the positive effects of family clearly trumped the negative effects. The cases of
familial infighting cited above thus seem to reflect the fact that relatives were often in a better position than strangers to challenge monarchs, not that they
were less trustworthy. These findings increase our understanding of dynastic politics, which characterized medieval and early modern Europe (Sharma 2017), and
of the dynamics of power struggles between a ruler and his closest associates inherent to authoritarian systems throughout history
(Mesquita et al 2005; Svolik 2012).
…Previous research has found that European and Chinese rulers who had at least one son were less likely to be deposed (Wang 2018) and interpreted this as an effect of the succession being stabilized. Our results, which take more family
categories into account, cast doubt on this interpretation. Had succession been the main mechanism, we should expect to see stronger effects of sons than daughters
and stronger effects of children than siblings. A larger family likely contributed to leader survival in other ways as well, at least in the European context we
analyze. Considering the relatively clear effects of daughters and sisters, marriage alliances and female relatives’ subsequent influence in their new household
may in fact be the most important stabilizers among the functions we listed in the theoretical section.
Objectives: Despite the broad appeal of abstract notions of political tolerance, people vary in the degree to which they support the political
rights of groups they dislike. Prior research highlighted the relevance of individual differences in the cognitive domain, claiming the application of general
tolerance ideals to specific situations is a cognitively demanding task. Curiously, this work has overwhelmingly focused on differences in cognitive style, largely
neglecting differences in cognitive ability, despite compelling conceptual linkages. We remedy this shortcoming.
Methods: We explore diverse predictors of tolerance using survey data in 2 large samples from Denmark (n = 805) and the United States
(n = 1,603).
Results: Cognitive ability was the single strongest predictor of political tolerance, with larger effects than education, openness to
experience, ideology, and threat. The cognitively demanding nature of tolerance judgments was further supported by results showing cognitive ability predicted
tolerance best when extending such tolerance was hardest. Additional small-sample panel results demonstrated substantial 4-year stability of political tolerance,
informing future work on the origins of political tolerance.
Conclusions: Our observation of a potent role for cognitive ability in tolerance supports cognitively oriented accounts of tolerance judgments
and highlights the need for further exploration of cognitive ability within the political domain.
…Our Danish sample was selected using a registry of military draftees, which has been in operation since 2006. We drew our sample from the subset of the
registry which had taken a cognitive ability test…For our American sample, 2,766 respondents completed our survey using Mechanical Turk in September &
Finnish national register data were used to examine any associations between prenatal smoking and children diagnosed with selected developmental disorders by
the end of 2012.
We found a modest association between prenatal smoking and speech and language, scholastic and coordination disorders when cases were compared with unrelated
However, there was no association between those factors when we compared differentially exposed siblings.
Aim: This study examined the associations between prenatal smoking and speech and language, scholastic, coordination and mixed developmental
disorders in offspring, using sibling and population controls.
Methods: National Finnish registers were used to identify all 690 654 singletons born between 1996 and 2007 and any cases diagnosed with speech
and language, scholastic, coordination and mixed developmental disorders by the end of 2012. Cases were compared to population controls, biological full-siblings
and maternal half-siblings born during the same period. Conditional logistic regression was used to assess any associations between smoking during pregnancy and
the selected developmental disorders.
Results: Prenatal smoking was higher in the mothers of the 27 297 cases (21.7%) than the 99 876 population controls (14.5%). The adjusted odds
ratio for smoking throughout pregnancy, and any diagnosis of speech and language, scholastic, coordination or mixed developmental disorders, was 1.29 (95%
confidence interval 1.24–1.34). However, when we compared a subsample of 15 406 cases and their 20 657 siblings, the association was no longer
statistically-significant (odds ratio 1.09, 95% confidence interval 0.98–1.21).
Conclusion: The sibling comparisons suggested that the associations between prenatal smoking and speech and language, scholastic, coordination
and mixed developmental disorders were confounded by familial factors shared by differentially exposed siblings.
Social media data can provide new insights into political phenomena, but users do not always represent people, posts and accounts are not typically linked to
demographic variables for use as statistical controls or in subgroup comparisons, and activities on social media can be difficult to interpret. For data
scientists, adding demographic variables and comparisons to closed-ended survey responses have the potential to improve interpretations of inferences drawn from
social media—for example, through comparisons of online expressions and survey responses, and by assessing associations with offline outcomes like voting. For
survey methodologists, adding social media data to surveys allows for rich behavioral measurements, including comparisons of public expressions with attitudes
elicited in a structured survey.
Here, we evaluate two popular forms of linkages—administrative and survey—focusing on 2 questions: How does the method of creating a sample of Twitter users
affect its behavioral and demographic profile? What are the relative advantages of each of these methods?
Our analyses illustrate where and to what extent the sample based on administrative data diverges in demographic and partisan composition from surveyed Twitter
users who report being registered to vote. Despite demographic differences, each linkage method results in behaviorally similar samples, especially in activity
levels; however, conventionally sized surveys are likely to lack the statistical power to study subgroups and heterogeneity (eg. comparing conversations of
Democrats and Republicans) within even highly salient political topics.
We conclude by developing general recommendations for researchers looking to study social media by linking accounts with external benchmark data sources.
A limited number of published studies have presented evidence indicating that restaurant customers discriminate against Black servers by tipping them less than
their White coworkers. However, the cross-sectional, localized, and small samples that were analyzed in these extant studies do not support any unqualified claim
that consumer racial discrimination in tipping practices is a widespread phenomenon. Thus, in an effort to further clarify the relationship between restaurant
servers’ race and customers’ tipping practices, we present results from three survey experiments designed to assess the causal effect of servers’ race on
customers’ tipping intentions. In three independent, demographically diverse, and relatively large samples of U.S. consumers, we found no evidence to conclude that
all else being equal consumers discriminate against Black restaurant servers by tipping them less than comparable White servers. Furthermore, the null effects of
servers’ race on customers’ tipping practices were not found to be sensitive to variation in service quality, dining satisfaction, servers’ sex, customers’ sex, or
customers’ race. Our results challenge the generalizability of the previously observed server race effects on customers’ tipping practices and point toward the
need for future research that aims to advance our understanding of the conditions under which customers’ tipping practices are sensitive to the perceived race of
their server. The implications of our results for restaurant operations and directions for future research are also discussed.
We argue a short but intense research exposure can durably alter career trajectory.
We study careers of NIH Associate Training Program physician applicants, 1965–1975.
Attendees more frequently held research jobs and had higher scientific productivity.
Attendees were imprinted with a distinct “translational” biomedical research style.
[media] Can a relatively short but intense exposure to frontier research alter the career trajectories of potential innovators? To answer this question, we
study the careers and productivity of 3075 medical school graduates who applied to the Associate Training Programs (ATP)
of theNational Institutes of Health (NIH) during the turbulent period of the Vietnam War, 1965–1975.
Carefully selecting on observables, we compare physicians who attended the program to those who passed a first admission screen but were ultimately not
We find that program participants were twice as likely to choose a research-focused position after training, and considerably less likely to switch to purely
clinical endeavors as their careers unfolded. Over the life cycle, NIH trainees also garnered publications,
citations, and grant funding at a much higher rate than synthetic controls, and went on to mentor more trainees who themselves became successful
researchers. The direction of their research efforts was durably imprinted by their training experience. In particular, NIH trainees appear to have acquired a distinct “translational” style of biomedical research which became an implicit training model
for physician-scientists as ATP alumni came to occupy the commanding heights of academic medicine throughout the
[Keywords: biomedical workforce, scientific and technical human capital, career imprinting, mentorship, translational medicine]
Men, relative to women, can benefit their total reproductive success by engaging in short-term pluralistic mating. Yet not all men enact such a mating strategy.
It has previously been hypothesized that high mate value men should be most likely to adopt a short-term mating strategy, with this prediction being firmly
grounded in some important mid-level evolutionary psychological theories. Yet evidence to support such a link has been mixed.
This paper presents a comprehensive meta-analysis of 33 published and unpublished studies (n = 5,928).
We find that self-reported mate value accounts for roughly 6% of variance in men’s sociosexual orientation.
The meta-analysis provides evidence that men’s self-perceived mate value positively predicts their tendency to engage in short-term mating, but that the total
effect-size is small.
We use a simple structural matching model with unobserved heterogeneity to produce counterfactual marriage patterns, and thus quantify the contribution of
changes in marital patterns in rising income inequality. We propose an algorithm that allows us to fix the degree of assortative mating without changing the level of marital gains and hence isolate the
intensive and extensive margins (ie. isolate changes in assortative mating from changes in marriage rates).
We apply this approach to US data from 1962 to 2017, and show that marital patterns can explain about a quarter of the rise in income inequality, the intensive
margin contributing 7%, the extensive margin the remaining 93%.
Our algorithm also allows us to show that the extensive margin is itself driven for 3⁄5ths by a change in the total number of singles and for
2⁄5ths by a change in the distribution of types among singles (in particular low-educated women).
Anyone who engages in sexual intercourse with someone who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, unconscious, oblivious to their surroundings or not able
to voice dissent can be charged with the crime of rape. No individual should be used, without their consent, for another person’s pleasure. The lack of
informed consent makes rape unethical. Ethically the victim being male should be irrelevant.
Yet male rape is rarely reported and frequently minimized, as will be shown
by the 2010 CDC National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey as well as other sources in this paper which will
show that male rape happens about as often as female rape, and possibly exceeds it. Evidence also shows that 80% of those who rape men are women. Reconsidering
stereotypes of the rape of men is an important part of rethinking masculinity. Among these stereotypes is the assumption that male rape is rare, as well as
assumptions about the experience of male rape victims.
The goal of this paper is to show that male rape is a prevalent problem and that the victims endure the same emotional and psychological after-effects as female
Why are high-income and low-income earners not substantially polarized in their support for progressive income taxation? This article posits that the affluent
fail to recognize that they belong to the high-income income group and this misperception affects their preferences over progressive taxation.
To explain this mechanism theoretically, I introduce a formal model of subjective income-group identification through self-comparison to an endogenous reference
group. In making decisions about optimal tax rates, individuals then use these subjective evaluations of their own income group and earnings of other groups.
Relying on ISSP data, I find strong evidence for the model’s empirical implications: most high-income earners
support progressive taxation when they identify themselves with a lower group. Additionally, individuals who overestimate the earnings of the rich are more likely
to support progressive taxation.
[Keywords: taxation, preferences, inequality, public opinion, subjective income class, social comparison]
…More specifically, I demonstrate that most people, even the affluent, support progressive tax rates when they believe it would be someone richer than them who
would disproportionately bear the extra tax burden. This belief is mostly driven by the difficulty in precisely identifying high-income individuals and their
income. For most citizens being affluent is a fuzzy concept that is hard to define. Everyone—high-income and low-income individuals alike—is confident that Bill
Gates or Mark Zuckerberg are among those with high income. Nobody would oppose the notion that an individual who lives on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, drives
a Ferrari, and takes vacations on an exotic island would be considered rich. However, how do people classify the owners of the most beautiful house on their block
or the person in their neighborhood who has a nice car? Who do they think are the high-income earners? More importantly, how do people assess their affluence?
…The following analysis relies on the 2009 Social Inequality International Social Survey Programme (ISSP 2009), which
asks a variety of questions about perceptions of economic inequality, self-placement, and preferences on redistributive policies. The analysis was
restricted to countries where information on income allowed the generation of 10 deciles and where the respondents were asked to report gross household income
before taxes and other deductions. The sample covers 22 countries and around 8,000 respondents.2 It thus provides rich individual-level data on
perceptions and preferences over welfare policies, as well as all the important control variables. First, I examine the determinants of subjective self-placement.
Then I proceed to explore how subjective self-placement and assessments of high-income group’s affluence levels affect preferences over progressive taxation.
…Before presenting the empirical results, it is interesting to look at Self-Placement and Income Distance to a CEO
descriptively. The aim is to establish whether most high-income individuals place themselves in the middle, as well as to investigate the nature of
perceptions pertaining to the income distance to a CEO.Figure 2 shows the
distribution of Self-Placement and Income Distance to a CEO by objective income deciles of the respondents.
Although the analytical scope of Figure 2 is limited, it is immediately clear that when asked to place themselves on a 10-point scale, most
respondents place themselves between the 4th and the 6th groups. Although self-placement increases with the objective income decile, the
magnitude of this increase is not very substantial. The median value of Self-Placement of the respondents below the median household earnings averages around 5,
whereas it is 6 for those above the median.
Figure 2 also reveals valuable insights about the subjective perceptions of respondents on the income distance from a CEO. The range of perceived distance ranges from −5 to +20. The horizontal line shows the logarithmic transformation of the
highest CEO to average worker pay ratio of a company in the United States, the country with the highest overall
proportion in the sample. The logarithmic transformation of the highest CEO-employer compensation ratio in the
United States is 4.06 (Melin et al 2019), whereas the logarithmic
transformation of the average CEO-employer compensation ratio is only 2.42 (Duarte 2019).
Looking at the distribution of the perceived distances and the actual numbers, it is clear that many people overestimate the distance by a considerable margin.
This figure thus shows that some respondents’ best guess about the yearly earnings of a CEO is substantially
larger than the highest earner’s salary in their country. These numbers reveal that some people think about prototypes that do not exist when they are
prompted to think about the income levels of the rich…Looking at the right side of the figure, respondents who belong to the top decile place themselves in the
higher groups, around 7, only when they think they earn more than a typical CEO in theircountry. As their
impression of the income of an average CEO increases, they start underestimating their position substantially.
[‘“Bloomberg spent $500 million on ads. The U.S. population is 327 million”, Rivas wrote. “He could have given each American $1 million and still have money
left over. I feel like a $1 million check would be life-changing for most people. Yet he wasted it all on ads and STILLLOST.”’]
…The most striking result perhaps relates to the individuals who place themselves in high groups but still believe they earn substantially less than a
CEO. In line with the prediction ofProposition 3.3 which posits that an individual who identifies with
the higher-income group still prefers a progressive tax rate if she believes that the other members of the high-income group are substantially richer than her,
this figure shows that the predicted probability of supporting progressive taxation of an individual who places herself in the top income group is substantially
high, 0.95, when that individual unrealistically overestimates a typical CEO’s earnings.
…Perhaps one of the most interesting findings of this paper is that the well-known “middle-income bias” found in public opinion surveys can be systematically
explained. When individuals compare themselves either to the superrich or the superpoor, they tend to infer that they are situated around the middle of the income
ladder. This, of course, has severe effects on their political preferences.
This study shows that when social movements achieve a general acceptance for the legitimacy of their cause in the institutional environment, they may start
pursuing further demands by challenging their target entities through the ‘politics of alignment,’ meaning engaging these entities in professionally developed
programs and demanding specific outcomes by introducing timed interventions in them. This study exemplifies this politics using the case of American
LGBT workplace movement which used its Corporate Equality Index (CEI) program
to extend reputational and economic benefits to its target entities—the Fortune 500 corporations—but also added an intervention to this program in 2011 to demand
the adoption of gender transition-related health benefits by these corporations as a specific movement outcome which, if not met, would make these corporations
lose the benefits they had been deriving through their performance in the CEI program. A longitudinal study of 456
Fortune 500 corporations from 2008 to 2017 conducted through hazard rate analysis indicates that corporations affected by this intervention, as well as by
other movement factors, were the most likely to adopt these health benefits for their employees. Further quantitative analysis—using QCA—showsthat early adoptions were explained largely by the LGBT workplace
movement forces and the later adoptions by insider activism and isomorphic diffusion. These findings highlight that an incisive understanding of organizational
change can be best gathered by examining social movements and institutional forces together.
A considerable proportion of the population is involuntarily single; that is, they want to be in an intimate relationship but they face difficulties in doing
so. The current paper attempted to assess some possible predictors of this phenomenon.
More specifically, in a sample of 1228 Greek-speaking women and men, we found that participants who scored low in flirting capacity, capacity to perceive
signals of interest and mating effort, were more likely to be involuntarily single than in an intimate relationship, and experienced longer spells of singlehood.
Mating effort had also a statistically-significant effect on voluntary singlehood, with low scorers being more likely to be in this category than high scorers.
Choosiness had also a statistically-significant effect, but only on voluntary singlehood, with high scorers being more likely to prefer to be single than low
It turns out that being good-looking really does pay off: decades of research have shown that attractive individuals are more likely to get ahead in their
careers. Although prior research has suggested that bias on the part of evaluators is the source of attractive individuals’ favorable career outcomes, there is
also evidence that these individuals may be socialized to behave and perceive themselves differently from others in ways that contribute to their success.
Building on socialization research and studies on nonverbal power cues, we examined nonverbal communication in individuals with varying degrees of physical
attractiveness. In 2 experimental studies with data from 300 video interview pitches, we found that attractive individuals had a greater sense of power than
their less attractive counterparts and thus exhibited a more effective nonverbal presence, which led to higher managerial ratings of their hirability.
However, we also identified a potential means for leveling this gap. Adopting a powerful posture was found to be especially beneficial for individuals rated low
in attractiveness, enabling them to achieve the same level of effective nonverbal presence as their highly attractive counterparts naturally displayed.
Our research sheds new light on the source of attractive individuals’ success and suggests a possible remedy for individuals who lack an appearance
This study examines how partisan affective polarization compares to the racial divide. We examine these differences by looking at ratings of partisan,
ideological and racial outgroups on intelligence, morality, trustworthiness, hard work and patriotism.
We find that individuals tend to rate their partisan and ideological ingroups more positively. More importantly, we find that the difference in ratings of
ingroups and outgroups is larger for partisanship and ideology compared to racial groups. [ie. political prejudice > racial prejudice]
I think whaling is really cool. I can’t help it. It’s one of those things like guns and war and space colonization which hits the adventurous id. The idea that
people used to go out in tiny boats into the middle of oceans and try to kill the biggest animals to ever exist on planet earth with glorified spears to extract
organic material for fuel is awesome. It’s like something out of a fantasy novel.
So I embarked on this project to understand everything I could about whaling. I wanted to know why burning whale fat in lamps was the best way to light cities
for about 50 years. I wanted to know how profitable whaling was, what the hunters were paid, and how many whaleships were lost at sea. I wanted to know why the
classical image of whaling was associated with America and what other countries have whaling legacies. I wanted to know if the whaling industry wiped out the
whales and if they can recover.
…Fun Fact 1: Right whale testicles make up 1% of their weight,23 so each testicle weighs around 700 pounds. The average American eats 222 pounds
of meat per year (not counting fish),24 so a single right whale testicle should cover a family of 4 for almost a year.
Personality traits relate to both STEM preferences and STEM
Openness and Agreeablenessare the best predictors of STEM
Extraversion is the strongest predictor of actual choice for STEM.
Cognitive skills become more important when moving from preferences to actual choice.
There are markedly different patterns for boys compared to girls.
Around the developed world, the need for graduates from Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields
is growing. Research on educational and occupational choice has traditionally focused on the cognitive skills of prospective students, and on how these
determine the expected costs and benefits of study programs. Little work exists that analyzes the role of personality traits on study choice.
This study investigates how personality traits relate to preferences of students for STEM studies and occupations, and
to specialization choice in high school. We use a rich data set that combines administrative and survey data of Dutch secondary education students.
We find that personality traits are related to both the preference that students have for STEM as the actual decision
to specialize inSTEM studies, but to different degrees. We identify statistically-significant relations
with preference indicators for all Big Five traits, especially for Openness to Experience (positive), Extraversion and Agreeableness (both
negative). The size of these relations is often larger than those between cognitive skills and STEM preferences.
Personality traits are comparatively less important with respect to the actual specialization choice, for which we identify a robust (and sizable) negative
relation with Extraversion, and for girls find a positive relation with Openness to Experience.
The results suggest that once students have to make actual study choice decisions, they rely more on cognitive skills rather than personality traits, in
contrast to their expressed preferences.
Speech is a critical means of negotiating political, adaptive interests in human society. Prior research on motivated political cognition has found that support
for freedom of speech depends on whether one agrees with its ideological content. However, it remains unclear if people (A) openly hold that some speech should be
more free than other speech; or (B) want to feel as if speech content does not affect their judgments.
Here, we find support for (B) over (A), using social dominance orientation and political alignment to predict support for speech. Study 1 demonstrates that
if people have previously judged restrictions of speech which they oppose, they are less harsh in condemning restrictions of speech which they support, and vice
versa. Studies 2 and 3 find that when participants judge two versions of the same scenario, with only the ideological direction of speech being reversed,
their answers are strongly affected by the ordering of conditions: While the first judgment is made in accordance with one’s political attitudes, the second
opposing judgment is made so as to remain consistent with the first. Studies 4 and 5 find that people broadly support the principle of giving both sides of
contested issues equal speech rights, also when this is stated abstractly, detached from any specific scenario. In Study 6 we explore the boundaries of our
findings, and find that the need to be consistent weakens substantially for speech that is widely seen as too extreme.
Together, these results suggest that although people can selectively endorse moral principles depending on their political agenda, many seek to conceal this
bias from others, and perhaps also themselves.
[Keywords: motivated reasoning, moral judgment, freedom of speech, self-deception, social dominance, political ideology]
The causal nature between childhood family income and subsequent risks for psychiatric disorders, substance misuse and violent crime remains unclear.
In this Finnish cohort study of 650 680 individuals, we initially found that increased family income was associated with lower risks of psychiatric
disorders, substance misuse and arrest for a violent crime.
However, once we compared siblings who grew up in the same household but were exposed to varying income levels at specific ages, the associations were no
Associations between family income and subsequent psychiatric disorders, substance misuse and violent crime arrest were therefore explained by shared
familial risks and were not consistent with a causal interpretation.
Background: Childhood family income has been shown to be associated with later psychiatric disorders, substance misuse and violent crime, but
the consistency, strength and causal nature of these associations remain unclear.
Methods: We conducted a nationwide cohort and co-sibling study of 650 680 individuals (426 886 siblings) born in Finland between 1986 and 1996
to re-examine these associations by accounting for unmeasured confounders shared between siblings. The participants were followed up from their 15th
birthday until they either migrated, died, met criteria for the outcome of interest or reached the end of the study period (31 December 2017 or 31
December 2018 for substance misuse). The associations were adjusted for sex, birth year and birth order, and expressed as adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs). The
outcomes included a diagnosis of a severe mental illness (schizophrenia-spectrum disorders or bipolar disorder), depression and anxiety. Substance misuse (eg. medication
prescription, hospitalization or death due to a substance use disorder or arrest for drug-related crime) and violent crime arrests were also examined. Stratified
Cox regression models accounted for unmeasured confounders shared between differentially exposed siblings.
Results: For each $15,000 increase in family income at age 15 years, the risks of the outcomes were reduced by between 9% in severe mental
illness (aHR = 0.91; 95% confidence interval: 0.90–0.92) and 23% in violent crime arrests (aHR = 0.77; 0.76–0.78). These associations were fully attenuated in the
sibling-comparison models (aHR range: 0.99–1.00). Sensitivity analyses confirmed the latter findings.
Conclusions: Associations between childhood family income and subsequent risks for psychiatric disorders, substance misuse and violent crime
arrest were not consistent with a causal interpretation.
When Pinel looked into the discourse around ball performance, he found that most everyone believed that all that mattered was the quality of coverstock—that is,
the exterior layer of a ball that is visible to the naked eye. Coverstocks are studded with microscopic spikes, the roughness of which is measured by the average
distance from each spike’s peak to valley—a metric known as Ra. The higher a ball’s Ra, the more friction it can create with the lane and thus the greater the
potential that it will hook well under the right circumstances. The hardness of the material that underlies the spikes is also an important factor. In the early
1970s, several pros had enjoyed great success by soaking their balls in methyl ethyl ketone, a flammable solvent that softened the coverstocks. (The balls became
so gelatinous, in fact, that a bowler could indent the surface with a fingernail.) These softer balls gripped the lane much better than their harder counterparts,
and so they tended not to skid unpredictably when encountering patches of oil used to dress the wooden boards. The use of methyl ethyl ketone had increased scores
so much that rules were put in place mandating a degree of coverstock hardness as measured by a device known as a Shore durometer.
Pinel thought that too much attention was being paid to coverstocks and not nearly enough to what was inside the ball…Pinel used the shop’s drill and
off-the-shelf components to alter balls. He’d pock them with deep holes that he’d then fill with dense wads of barium, a soft metal. “So I’d drill a hole, fill it
with either dense or light stuff, and plug it to the top”, he says. “And I started playing around with that, and I started to see some differences in motion.”
Never lacking confidence, Pinel contacted several ball manufacturers in 1973 and proposed a deal: If they would sign a nondisclosure agreement, he’d brief them
on his experimental results and help them design balls that would allow amateurs and pros alike to increase their strike rates. Company executives responded that
they were willing to listen to Pinel’s ideas, but he was the one who would have to sign a release affirming that nothing he said was confidential. Miffed by what
he saw as attempts to steal his ideas, Pinel veered away from a career in ball design.
…The AMF Sumo, the smash-hit ball that would earn Pinel his kanji pendant, was released in 1992. This time,
Pinel opted for a core that bears a passing resemblance to the video game character Q*Bert, albeit with a disc at the base in lieu of feet. The ball came out right
as new regulations called for more oil to be poured on lanes, a change that decreased friction; this sapped shots of spin and power. The extra oil was no match for
the Sumo, however, because Pinel’s core caused it to slice hard across the boards near the pins. The ball would eventually sell well enough to make Pinel a
modestly wealthy man…Pinel says the size of his royalty eventually became a problem for AMF, and the company terminated
his contract in 1995. He was barely out of work a week before he was hired by Faball…The ball that contained this revamped core, the Hammer 3D Offset, would
become Pinel’s signature achievement. “That ball sold like hotcakes for 3 years, where the average life span of a ball was about 6 months”, says Del Warren, a
former ball designer who now works as a coach in Florida. “They literally couldn’t build enough of them.” In addition to flaring like few other balls on the
market, the 3D Offset was idiot-proof: The core was designed in such a way that it would be hard for a pro shop to muck up its action by drilling a customer’s
finger holes incorrectly, an innovation that made bowlers less nervous about plunking down $423$2001996 for a
ball…Pinel was delighted by the 3D Offset’s success not just because it affirmed his beliefs about the importance of asymmetry but also because it inflicted pain
on his former employer. “AMF had been doing$25$121996 million a year;
Hammer had been doing $2$11996 million”, he told
me. “When we came out with the 3D Offset, Hammer did $25$121996 million a year and AMF did$2$11996 million. Not that I
enjoyed that at all.” AMF would file for bankruptcy 4 years later.
…Pinel was still trying to maximize flare potential in his designs, an effort that was arguably becoming outmoded. A new generation of pro bowlers, both
stronger and more technically sophisticated than their predecessors, have achieved unprecedented amounts of spin on their balls—sometimes as much as 600
revolutions per minute for those who opt for the increasingly popular 2-handed throwing technique. Such bowlers don’t need as much hook assistance as in days gone
by, so they’re using more stable balls—a strategic trend that may be having a trickle-down effect on the league bowlers who worship the sport’s stars. In our
conversations, Pinel never displayed any hint that he was worried about the future of his cores.
[Example of regression to the mean fallacies: parents know much more about their
children than highly unreliable early childhood exam scores, and their “overestimates” predict later performance (particularly for immigrant parents about
second-language proficiency). Of course. How could it be otherwise? (Not to mention that we already know the ‘Pygmalion effect’ isn’t real so the claimed causal explanation of their correlates has already been
In a representative longitudinal sample of 2,602 Australian children (52% boys; 2% Indigenous; 13% language other than English background; 22% of Mothers born
overseas; and 65% Urban) and their mothers (first surveyed in 2003), this article examined if maternal judgments of numeracy and reading ability varied by child
demographics and influenced achievement and interest gains.
We linked survey data to administrative data of national standardized tests in Year 3, 5, and 7 and found that maternal judgments followed gender stereotype
patterns, favoring girls in reading and boys in numeracy. Maternal judgments were more positive for children from non-English speaking backgrounds. Maternal
judgments predicted gains in children’s achievement (consistently) and academic interest (generally) including during the transition to high school.
His team collected data from more than 2,600 Australian children and tracked their academic performance through NAPLAN
tests between grade 3, 5 and 7.
They also collected information from the primary caregiver—mostly the child’s mother—as to whether they thought their child’s academic performance was better
than average, average or below average.
“What we found was that in year 5, the kids whose parents overestimated their ability—they were optimistic—they did better in subsequent NAPLAN tests”, Professor Parker says.
“And more importantly, [the children] actually grew in their interest. They were more interested in maths, they were more interested in reading than [those who
had] parents who are more pessimistic.”
Professor Philip Parker says your expectations of your child can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The study also found that mothers who were not from English-speaking backgrounds had statistically-significantly more positive judgments than English-speaking
mothers towards their child when assessing them on reading. This was not the case when assessing numeracy.
Professor Parker says there are many ways that a parent’s optimism can benefit their child. “So they might hire a tutor, or they … buy one of those computer
games for maths classes … also they tend to be more motivating. And they tend to give homework help that is more positive and supportive, rather than controlling
Authoritarianism has been the subject of scientific inquiry for nearly a century, yet the vast majority of authoritarianism research has focused on right-wing
authoritarianism. In the present studies, we investigate the nature, structure, and nomological network of left-wing authoritarianism (LWA), a construct famously known as “the Loch Ness Monster” of political psychology.
We iteratively construct a measure and data-driven conceptualization of LWA across 6 samples (n =
7,258) and conduct quantitative tests of LWA’s relations with over 60 authoritarianism-related variables. Wefind that LWA, right-wing authoritarianism, and social dominance orientation reflect a shared constellation of
personality traits, cognitive features, beliefs, and motivational values that might be considered the “heart” of authoritarianism. Still, relative to right-wing
authoritarians, left-wing authoritarians were lower in dogmatism and cognitive rigidity, higher in negative emotionality, and expressed stronger support for a
political system with substantial centralized state control. Our results also indicate that LWA powerfully
predicts behavioral aggression and is strongly correlated with participation in political violence.
We conclude that a movement away from exclusively right-wing conceptualizations of authoritarianism may be required to illuminate authoritarianism’s central
features, conceptual breadth, and psychological appeal.
[Keywords: authoritarianism, construct validity, left-wing authoritarianism, right-wing authoritarianism, social dominance orientation,
political violence, political extremism, construct validity, individual differences, personality]
Digital technology is ubiquitous in modern adolescence, and researchers are concerned that it has negative impacts on mental health that, furthermore, increase
To investigate whether technology is becoming more harmful, we examined changes in associations between technology engagement and mental health in 3 nationally
Results: were mixed across types of technology and mental health outcomes: Technology engagement had become less strongly associated with
depression in the past decade, but social-media use had become more strongly associated with emotional problems. We detected no changes in 5 other associations or
differential associations by sex.
There is therefore little evidence for increases in the associations between adolescents’ technology engagement and mental health. Information about new digital
media has been collected for a relatively short time; drawing firm conclusions about changes in their associations with mental health may be premature. We urge
transparent and credible collaborations between scientists and technology companies.
[Keywords: mental health, depression, social media, adolescents, open materials]
Marijuana use has been proposed to serve as a “gateway” that increases the likelihood that users will engage in subsequent use of harder and more harmful
substances, known as the marijuana gateway hypothesis (MGH). The current study refines and extends the literature on the
MGH by testing the hypothesis using rigorous quasi-experimental, propensity score-matching methodology in a nationally
Using 3 waves of data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (1994–2002), 18 propensity score-matching tests of the marijuana
gateway hypothesis were conducted. 6 of the 18 tests were statistically-significant; however, only 3 were substantively meaningful. These 3 tests found weak
effects of frequent marijuana use on illicit drug use but they were also sensitive to hidden bias.
Results from this study indicate that marijuana use is not a reliable gateway cause of illicit drug use. As such, prohibition policies are unlikely to reduce
illicit drug use.
This research examined how people explain major outcomes of political consequence (eg. economic growth, rising inequality). We argue that people attribute
positive outcomes more and negative outcomes less to their own political party than to an opposing party. We conducted two studies, one before the 2016 U.S.
presidential election (n = 244) and another before the 2020 election (n = 249 registered voters), that examined attributions across a wide array
of outcomes. As predicted, a robust partisan attribution bias emerged in both studies. Although the bias was largely equivalent among Democrats and Republicans, it
was magnified among those with more extreme political ideology. Further, the bias predicted unique variance in voting intentions and significantly mediated the
link between political ideology and voting. In sum, these data suggest that partisan allegiances systemically bias attributions in a group-favoring direction. We
discuss implications of these findings for emerging research on political social cognition.
By 2009, Harry Hong, a spiky-haired twenty-four-year-old Angeleno, delivered the site’s first certified max-out, and Adam Cornelius, another Tetris enthusiast and a filmmaker, began working on a documentary about the
remarkable achievement. When Harrison saw the project on Kickstarter, he donated a few hundred dollars to help complete the film, but added a caveat. “You can’t
just talk about Harry Hong”, he recalls writing. “You’ve got to talk about Jonas Neubauer. You’ve got to talk about Thor Aackerlund. You’ve got to get these guys
together and have a tournament and see who’s actually the best.”
Some of the players who gathered for the first classic-Tetris
tournament, for all their thousands of hours of practice, were in the dark about basic tactics. Hong was stunned to learn that his strategy of scoring
Tetrises by dropping long bars into a left-side gap was suboptimal. Due to piece-flipping mechanics, a right-side gap was superior. Dana Wilcox, one of the
highest-scoring players on the Twin Galaxies leaderboard, discovered that she’d
played for 20 years without knowing that the blocks could be spun in either direction.
…Learning to “hyper-tap” was a priority. Thor had been the first to hyper-tap, but, by 2017, Koryan Nishio, a Japanese programmer in his forties, was the only
prominent player using the technique. (“It seemed like a lot of work for a video game”, Vince Clemente, who has co-organized the classic-Tetris tournament since
its inception, explained.) To Joseph, though, it was the obvious way to go. To tap quickly, he developed a unique one-handed grip: with his right thumb on the
control pad, he flexed his right bicep until his arm shook, pressing down with each tremor, about fifteen times per second. He turned his thumb into a
…Jonas quit his job to stream full-time on Twitch—broadcasting an efficient, battle-tested style for amateurs to emulate. When Joseph won the tournament again,
in 2019, he inspired more young players. In 2020 alone, 131 players maxed out; between 1990 and 2019, 87 players had maxed out. Kids had killed the Tetris
These new players see a max-out not as an impossibility, but as a rite of passage. Before even buying the game, most of the rising generation of classic-Tetris
players have already watched hours of the best performances, hard-wiring beautiful stacking strategies. As they begin practicing, they often join one of many
classic-Tetris servers on Discord, where hundreds of people are online all the time, ready to discuss any aspect of the game. It’s there that they often learn the
most common hyper-tapping grip—holding the controller sideways, with the directional pad facing up—and how to properly tense the right arm so that it shakes
quickly and consistently. They study the principles of developing a relatively even stack with a built-out left side, and discuss how dropping a pair of
tetrominoes in a complementary orientation can reduce the need for a timely T-piece. They can imitate Joseph’s “hyper-tap quick-tap”, in which he sneaks in a
left-handed tap among a right-thumb flurry, or watch Jonas’s “Tetris Spin Class” and observe how certain flips can clear a line and make the stack Tetris
What took Jonas years to figure out takes new players minutes. “You don’t need to experiment for hours trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t”, Jacob
Huff, a nineteen-year-old who maxed out last March after playing for two months, said. “You can ask someone in the Discord and they’ll tell you every spin that you
can do.” Strategies born on Discord are practiced and scrutinized on Twitch, then put to the test in a growing pool of competitions: Classic Tetris Monthly,
Classic Tetris League, Classic Tetris Gauntlet, Classic Tetris Brawl. Thanks to hyper-tapping and more efficient stacking, players build higher and higher, almost
refusing to accept any line clearance that’s not a Tetris. To the older generation, the style seems reckless. To newer players, it’s simply the best way to
…By the quarter-final [of the championship], the entire old guard had vanished. The remaining players were all of the YouTube generation, with many explicitly
crediting its algorithm for introducing them to classic Tetris.
[cf Tetlock, Risi et al 2019] Effective management of global crises relies on expert judgment of their societal effects. How accurate are
In the spring of 2020, we asked behavioral scientists (n = 717) and lay Americans (n= 394) to make predictions about COVID-19 pandemic-related societal change across social and psychological domains. Six months later we obtained retrospective
assessments for the same domains (Nscientists = 270; NlayPeople = 411). Scientists and lay people were equally
inaccurate in judging COVID’s impact, both in prospective predictions and retrospective assessments. Across studies and
samples, estimates of the magnitude of change were off by more than 20% and less than half of participants accurately predicted the direction of changes.
Critically, these insights go against public perceptions of behavioral scientists’ ability to forecast such changes (n = 203): behavioral scientists were
considered most likely to accurately predict societal change and most sought after for recommendations across a wide range of professions.
Taken together, we find that behavioral scientists and lay people fared poorly at predicting the societal consequences of the pandemic and misperceive what
effects it may have already had.
The immigrant health advantage suggests that, despite large socioeconomic disadvantage, immigrant populations report better-than-expected health relative to
U.S.-born counterparts. This phenomenon has been repeatedly shown in Hispanic-origin immigrant population with little focus on other racial/ethnic groups.
In this study, the immigrant health advantage is examined as it pertains to overweight, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes in African-origin black immigrants
(n = 2748) relative to U.S.-born non-Hispanic blacks (n = 71,320). Additionally, to investigate within-immigrant heterogeneity in health
deterioration associated with duration in the United States, the health of African-origin black immigrants is compared to non-Hispanic white and Mexican-American
immigrants. Analyses are conducted on adults aged 18–85+ (n = 570,675) from the 2000–2018 National Health Interview Survey using binomial logistic
Findings support the notion of an immigrant health advantage and suggest that, relative to U.S.-born blacks, African-origin black immigrants are at lower odds
for obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, regardless of duration in the United States. Further, when compared to non-Hispanic white and Mexican-American immigrants,
African-origin black immigrants display similar probabilities of reporting overweight, obesity, and diabetes across 4 duration categories. These findings suggest
that, despite potentially experiencing high rates of discriminatory and/or racist behaviors, African-origin black immigrants’ health does not deteriorate
differently than this sample of non-black immigrant counterparts.
The findings presented here provide further insight into the health of African-origin blacks immigrants, a rapidly growing proportion of both the U.S.-black and
An influential model of democratic civil-military relations insists that civilian politicians and officials, accountable to the public, have “the right to be
wrong” about the use of force: they, not senior military officers, decide when force will be used and set military strategy. While polls have routinely asked about
Americans’ trust in the military, they have rarely probed deeply into Americans’ views of civil-military relations. We report and analyze the results of a
June 2019 survey that yields two important, and troubling, findings. First, Americans do not accept the basic premises of democratic civil-military relations.
They are extraordinarily deferential to the military’s judgment regarding when to use military force, and they are comfortable with high-ranking officers
intervening in public debates over policy. Second, in this polarized age, Americans’ views of civil-military relations are not immune to partisanship.
Consequently, with their man in the Oval Office in June 2019, Republicans—who, as political conservatives, might be expected to be more deferential to the
military—were actually less so. And Democrats, similarly putting ideology aside, wanted the military to act as a check on a president they abhorred. The stakes are
high: democracy is weakened when civilians relinquish their “right to be wrong.”
Segregation across social groups is an enduring feature of nearly all human societies and is associated with numerous social maladies. In many countries,
reports of growing geographic political polarization raise concerns about the stability of democratic governance.
Here, using advances in spatial data computation, we measure individual partisan segregation by calculating the local residential segregation of every
registered voter in the United States, creating a spatially weighted measure for more than 180 million individuals. With these data, we present evidence of
extensive partisan segregation in the country.
A large proportion of voters live with virtually no exposure to voters from the other party in their residential environment. Such high levels of partisan
isolation can be found across a range of places and densities and are distinct from racial and ethnic segregation. Moreover, Democrats and Republicans living in
the same city, or even the same neighbourhood, are segregated by party.
Fernbach et al 2013 found that political extremism and partisan in-group favoritism can be reduced by asking people to provide mechanistic
explanations for complex policies, thus making their lack of procedural-policy knowledge salient. Given the practical importance of these findings, we conducted
two preregistered close replications of Fernbach et al.’s Experiment 2 (Replication 1a: n = 306; Replication 1b: n = 405) and
preregistered close and conceptual replications of Fernbach et al.’s Experiment 3 (Replication 2: n = 343). None of the key effects were
statistically-significant, and only one survived a small-telescopes analysis. Although participants reported less policy understanding after providing mechanistic
policy explanations, policy-position extremity and in-group favoritism were unaffected. That said, well-established findings that providing justifications for
prior beliefs strengthens those beliefs, and well-established findings of in-group favoritism, were replicated. These findings suggest that providing mechanistic
explanations increases people’s recognition of their ignorance but is unlikely to increase their political moderation, at least under these conditions.
Non-algorithmic/algorithmic news impact political behavior and polarization differently.
Using algorithmically generated news sources leads to higher political participation.
Non-algorithmic news sources fail to predict political participation.
Neither algorithmic nor non-algorithmic news sources impact political polarization.
Do algorithm-driven news sources have different effects on political behavior when compared to non-algorithmic news sources? Media companies compete for our
scarce time and attention; one way they do this is by leveraging algorithms to select the most appealing content for each user. While algorithm-driven sites are
increasingly popular sources of information, we know very little about the effects of algorithmically determined news at the individual level. The objective of
this paper is to define and measure the effects of algorithmically generated news. We begin by developing a taxonomy of news delivery by distinguishing between two
types of algorithmically generated news, socially driven and user-driven, and contrasting these with non-algorithmic news. We follow with an exploratory analysis
of the effects of these news delivery modes on political behavior, specifically political participation and polarization. Using two nationally representative
surveys, one of young adults and one of the general population, we find that getting news from sites that use socially driven or user-driven algorithms to generate
content corresponds with higher levels of political participation, but that getting news from non-algorithmic sources does not. We also find that neither
non-algorithmic nor algorithmically determined news contribute to higher levels of partisan polarization. This research helps identify important variation in the
consequences of news consumption contingent on the mode of delivery.
[Keywords: algorithms, YouTube, social media, political behavior, polarization]
Many assume that high family income protects against the risk of youth obesity.
I exploit Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale economic boom to test this causal theory.
Youth obesity rates are unchanged with exogenous income gains, even in poor areas.
There is no causal effect of income on youth obesity in this setting.
Low family income is frequently assumed to be a primary social determinant of youth obesity in the U.S. But while the observed correlation between family income
and youth obesity is consistently negative, the true causal relationship is unclear.
I take advantage of a natural experiment—the boom economy created by development of the Marcellus Shale geological formation for natural gas extraction—to study whether income gains affect youth obesity rates among
Pennsylvania students. To test this relationship, I compile data from geological, administrative, Census and other governmental sources and estimate
cross-sectional OLS regression models, longitudinal fixed effects models, and two-stage instrumental variable
models within a difference-in-differences framework. Falsification tests indicate that children’s location relative to the Marcellus Shale’s geological boundaries
is a valid instrument for income gains. Yet plausibly exogenous income gains do not alter youth obesity rates, regardless of the community’s initial level of
poverty or affluence and regardless of the child’s grade level.
Thus, the observed disparities in youth obesity by area income in Pennsylvania do not result from simple differences in disposable income and the relative cost
of “healthy” versus “unhealthy” goods and services.
[Keywords: Youth obesity, income, health disparities, Natural experiment]
There is a stereotype of libertarians being young, college educated, white men and that the Libertarian Party lacks appeal among women and individuals of color.
There is a great deal of research investigating gender differences in public opinion on a number of issues including the provision of government resources and
government spending (Barnes and Cassese; Howell and Day). Nevertheless, there is no work specifically investigating why women and nonwhites do not find
We test several hypotheses using 2016 American National Election Study data and 2013 PRRI data. We find a sizeable
and statistically-significant gender gap and race gap in support for libertarian principles. We investigate several explanations for these gaps finding
moderate support for self-interest, racial attitudes, and egalitarianism as reasons for women and African Americans being less supportive of Libertarian
We believe that the modest success of and media attention garnered by Ron Paul and Rand Paul in recent years along with the success of the Libertarian Party
presidential ticket in 2016 highlights the need to understand who is drawn to libertarianism and why.
In nearly every documented society, people believe that some misfortunes are caused by malicious group mates using magic or supernatural powers. Here I report
cross-cultural patterns in these beliefs and propose a theory to explain them.
Using the newly created Mystical Harm Survey, I show that several conceptions of malicious mystical practitioners, including sorcerers (who use learned spells),
possessors of the evil eye (who transmit injury through their stares and words), and witches (who possess superpowers, pose existential threats, and engage in
morally abhorrent acts), recur around the world.
I argue that these beliefs develop from three cultural selective processes: a selection for intuitive magic, a selection for plausible explanations of impactful
misfortune, and a selection for demonizing myths that justify mistreatment.
Separately, these selective schemes produce traditions as diverse as shamanism, conspiracy theories, and campaigns against heretics—but around the world, they
jointly give rise to the odious and feared witch. I use the tripartite theory to explain the forms of beliefs in mystical harm and outline 10 predictions for how
shifting conditions should affect those conceptions:
People are more likely to believe in sorcerers as sorcery techniques become more effective seeming.
People are more likely to ascribe injury to mystical harm when they are distrustful of others, persecuted, or otherwise convinced of harmful intent
(“Accusations of Mystical Harm Track Distrust and Suspicions of Harmful Intent”).
The emotions attributed to malicious practitioners will be those that most intensely and frequently motivate aggression (“Accusations of Mystical Harm Track
Distrust and Suspicions of Harmful Intent”).
People are more likely to attribute injury to mystical harm when they lack alternative explanations (“Mystical Harm Explains Impactful and Unexplainable
The greater the impact of the misfortune, the more likely people are to attribute it to mystical harm (“Mystical Harm Explains Impactful and Unexplainable
Practitioners of mystical harm are more likely to become demonized during times of stressful uncertainty.
The traits ascribed to malicious practitioners will become more heinous or sensational as Condoners become more trustful or reliant on information from
Malicious practitioners will become less demonized when there is less disagreement or resistance about their removal.
The traits that constitute demonization will be those that elicit the most punitive outrage, controlling for believability (“Witches Are Well Designed to
Induce Punitive Outrage”).
Malicious practitioners whose actions can more easily explain catastrophe, such as those who employ killing magic compared with love magic, will be easier to
Societally corrosive beliefs can persist when they are intuitively appealing or they serve some believers’ agendas.
People form political attitudes to serve psychological needs. Recent research shows that some individuals have a strong desire to incite chaos when they
perceive themselves to be marginalized by society. These individuals tend to see chaos as a way to invert the power structure and gain social status in the
Analysing data drawn from large-scale representative surveys conducted in Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, we identify the
prevalence of Need for Chaos across Anglo-Saxon societies.
Using Latent Profile Analysis, we explore whether
different subtypes underlie the uni-dimensional construct and find evidence that some people may be motivated to seek out chaos because they want to rebuild
society, while others enjoy destruction for its own sake. We demonstrate that chaos-seekers are not a unified political group but a divergent set of malcontents.
Multiple pathways can lead individuals to ‘want to watch the world burn’.
…We focus on demographic characteristics (gender, age and education) that previous research has found to be linked to perceived marginalization and the
motivation to acquire status, both of which are associated with the Need for Chaos. With respect to gender and age, psychological studies often conceptualize
status-seeking as part of a ‘young male syndrome’18. Education may also be important because it has become a major fault line in Western democracies, as
those without a college degree often feel left out and pushed aside in post-industrial knowledge economies [7,19].
The results of the multinomial logit analysis show a clear pattern across all 4 countries: men and young people are more likely to be classified as RB or HC
(see electronic supplementary material for results). Yet as Table 3 shows, the relationship between age and Need for Chaos appears conditional on
education. This table shows the predicted probabilities generated from the multinomial logit models where we interacted education with indicators for generation
cohorts (Silent, Boomer, Generation X and Millennial generation). We focus on generation cohorts, because ‘trends in political alienation reflect political and
historical events or periods which affect all members of the population in a similar fashion’ [20, p. 160]. For the most part, individuals with higher levels
of education are more likely to fall in the LC category than individuals with lower levels of education, across generational cohorts. There are some exceptions to
this pattern, particularly in Australia where education does not seem to discriminate the LC category very much. In contrast, relative to more educated
individuals, less educated individuals seem to be more drawn to the RB category and, to a lesser extent, the HC category. Australia offers yet another exception to
this pattern, with more educated individuals gravitating to the HC category at a higher rate than those with less education. Turning our attention to generational
differences, we do not observe large or consistent differences across cohorts with respect to RB or HC.
…Consistent with Petersen et al 8, we find that individuals who fall in the HC category are much more likely to say that they would take part in
an ‘illegal protest,’ even relative to those in the RB category.
We examined the effects of order of presentation on the moral judgments of professional philosophers and two comparison groups.
All groups showed similar-sized order effects on their judgments about hypothetical moral scenarios targeting the doctrine of the double effect, the action-omission distinction, and the principle of
moral luck. Philosophers’ endorsements of related general moral principles were also
substantially influenced by the order in which the hypothetical scenarios had previously been presented.
Thus, philosophical expertise does not appear to enhance the stability of moral judgments against this presumably unwanted source of bias, even given familiar
types of cases and principles.
Spicier food in hot countries has been explained in terms of natural selection
on human cultures, with spices with antimicrobial effects considered to be an adaptation to increased risk of foodborne infection. However, correlations between
culture and environment are difficult to interpret, because many cultural
traits are inherited together from shared ancestors, neighbouring cultures are exposed to similar conditions, and many cultural and environmental variables show
Here, using a global dataset of 33,750 recipes from 70 cuisines containing 93 different spices, we demonstrate that variation in spice use is not explained by
temperature and that spice use cannot be accounted for by diversity of cultures, plants, crops or naturally occurring spices. Patterns of spice use are not
consistent with an infection-mitigation mechanism, but are part of a broader association between spice, health, and poverty.
This study highlights the challenges inherent in interpreting patterns of human cultural variation in terms of evolutionary pressures.
Folklore is the collection of traditional beliefs, customs, and stories of a community passed through the generations by word of mouth.
We introduce to economics a unique catalog of oral traditions by Yuri Berezkin spanning approximately 1,000 societies. After validating the catalog’s content by
showing that the groups’ motifs reflect known geographic and social attributes, we present 2 sets of applications.
First, we illustrate how to fill in the gaps and expand upon a group’s ethnographic record, focusing on political complexity, high gods, and trade. Second, we
discuss how machine learning and human classification methods can help shed light on cultural traits, using gender roles, attitudes toward risk, and trust as
examples. Societies with tales portraying men as dominant and women as submissive tend to relegate their women to subordinate positions in their communities, both
historically and today. More risk-averse and less entrepreneurial people grew up
listening to stories wherein competitions and challenges are more likely to be harmful than beneficial. Communities with low tolerance toward antisocial behavior,
captured by the prevalence of tricksters being punished, are more trusting and prosperous today. These patterns hold across groups, countries, and
Overall, the results highlight the importance of folklore in cultural economics, calling for additional applications.
Although decades have passed since the initial immigration of Southeast Asians to the U.S. after the Vietnam War, the socioeconomic outcomes of the native-born
offspring of Southeast Asian immigrants have not been adequately considered in recent research.
We therefore investigate current data on the education, wages, poverty, affluence, and household income of Southeast Asian Americans. The results indicate that
the socioeconomic outcomes of native-born Southeast Asian Americans are substantially higher than their immigrant generation. Second-generation Thai and Vietnamese
tend to have higher socioeconomic outcomes than whites, while second-generation Cambodians, Hmong and Laotians have lower outcomes than whites. However, none of
the five native-born Southeast Asian groups are penalized in terms of wages net of their demographic characteristics. Furthermore, all five of the native-born
Southeast Asian groups generally have higher socioeconomic outcomes than African Americans and Hispanics.
Whereas prior discussions of Southeast Asian Americans imply that their lower socioeconomic characteristics derive from the intergenerational persistence of
minority discrimination in an inherently racialized society, we instead view them as being broadly consistent with assimilation theory which has traditionally been
based on a three-generational model.
Ubiquitous facial recognition technology can expose individuals’ political orientation, as faces of liberals and conservatives consistently differ. A facial
recognition algorithm was applied to naturalistic images of 1,085,795 individuals to predict their political orientation by comparing their similarity to faces of
liberal and conservative others. Political orientation was correctly classified in 72% of liberal-conservative face pairs, remarkably better than chance (50%),
human accuracy (55%), or one afforded by a 100-item personality questionnaire (66%). Accuracy was similar across countries (the U.S., Canada, and the UK),
environments (Facebook and dating websites), and when comparing faces across samples. Accuracy remained high (69%) even when controlling for age, gender, and
ethnicity. Given the widespread use of facial recognition, our findings have critical implications for the protection of privacy and civil liberties.
evaluation by Andrew Gelman et al, plus copy of behind-the-scenes letter lobbying to censor such research in the future.]
People have never played more video games, and many stakeholders are worried that this activity might be bad for players. So far, research has not had adequate
data to test whether these worries are justified and if policymakers should act to regulate video game play time. We attempt to provide much-needed evidence with
Contrary to many fears that excessive play time will lead to addiction and poor mental health, we found a small positive relation between game play and
affective well-being. Need satisfaction and motivations during play did not interact with play time but were instead independently related to well-being.
Our results advance the field in two important ways. First, we show that collaborations with industry partners can be done to high academic standards in an
ethical and transparent fashion. Second, we deliver much-needed evidence to policymakers on the link between play and mental health.
Although zero-sum relationships are, from a strictly theoretical perspective, symmetrical, we find evidence for asymmetrical zero-sum beliefs: The
belief that others gain at one’s own expense, but not vice versa. Across various contexts (international relations, interpersonal negotiations, political
partisanship, organizational hierarchies) and research designs (within/between-participant), we find that people are more prone to believe that others’ success
comes at their own expense than they are to believe that their own success comes at others’ expense. Moreover, we find that people exhibit asymmetric zero-sum
beliefs only when thinking about how their own party relates to other parties but not when thinking about how other parties relate to each other. Finally, we find
that this effect is moderated by how threatened people feel by others’ success and that reassuring people about their party’s strengths eliminates asymmetric
We discuss the theoretical contributions of our findings to research on interpersonal and intergroup zero-sum beliefs and their implications for understanding
when and why people view life as zero-sum.
…In 7 studies (including 2 preregistered experiments), we examine the psychology of asymmetric zero-sum beliefs.
Studies 1 and 2 examine whether people believe that other countries (Study 1) and people (Study 2) gain at their expense, but not vice versa. Study
3 examines whether asymmetric zero-sum beliefs are unique to contexts that directly involve one’s own party, but not to contexts that involve other parties’
relations to one another. We show that people exhibit asymmetric zero-sum beliefs when considering how their own country’s outcomes relate to another country’s
outcomes (ie. U.S.-China relations), but not when thinking about 2 separate countries (ie. Germany-China relations). Study 4 replicates and extends this effect in
the domain of political parties and examines the role of threat in asymmetric zero-sum beliefs. We examine whether the degree to which political partisans feel
threatened by an opposing party predicts how much they see that party as gaining at their own party’s expense. Finally, Studies 5, 6A, and 6B examine the causal
role of threat on asymmetric zero-sum beliefs in both interpersonal and intergroup contexts by manipulating how threatened people feel by an opposing party. We
find that people exhibit asymmetric zero-sum beliefs when feeling threatened by others’ success, but not when feeling reassured about their own success.
The current study tests the effect of police layoffs on crime through a natural experiment involving Newark and Jersey City, New Jersey’s two largest cities. In
response to severe budget shortfalls resulting from the economic recession beginning in 2008, officials in both cities seriously considered police layoffs as a
potential component of their cutback strategies. The Newark Police Department terminated 13% of the police force in late 2010 while Jersey City officials averted
any layoffs from occurring.
The current study uses monthly Part 1 crime counts spanning from 2006 to 2015 to measure the effect of the police layoffs on crime in Newark. Findings of
time series generalized least squares regression models indicate the police layoffs were associated with statistically-significant increases of overall crime,
violent crime, and property crime in Newark as compared to Jersey City in the post-layoffs period. Supplemental analyses found the overall crime and violent crime
increases become progressively more pronounced each year following the police layoffs.
While numerous studies assess the relationship between education and health, no consensus has been reached on whether education really improves health. We
perform a meta-analysis of 4866 estimates gleaned from 99 published studies that examine the health effects of education. We find that the current literature
suffers from moderate publication bias towards the positive effects of education on health. After correcting for publication bias with an array of sophisticated
methods, we find that the overall effect size is practically zero, indicating that education generates no discernible benefits to health. The heterogeneity
analysis by Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) andFrequentist Model Averaging (FMA) reveals that the reported estimates can be largely explained by whether the econometric models control for endogeneity of
education, the types of data and the differences in health measurements. Our results also suggest that education may not be an effective policy option for
promoting population health.
A host of studies have examined the impact of playing violent video games on aggressive behavior. However, longitudinal research is rare, and existing studies
have allowed little room for individual variability in the trajectories of violent video game play. The current study used a person-centered approach to examine
trajectories, predictors, and outcomes of violent video game play over a 10-year period. Three groups of individuals emerged: high initial violence (4%), moderate
(23%), and low increasers (73%). High initial violence and moderate groups showed a curvilinear pattern of violent video game play across time, whereas low
increasers group increased slightly in violent video game play across time. The high initial violence and moderate groups were more likely to be male, and those in
the high initial violence group were more likely to be depressed at the initial wave. There was no difference in prosocial behavior at the final time point across
all the three groups, but individuals in the moderate group displayed the highest levels of aggressive behavior at the final wave. Implications of the results are
Society is becoming increasingly dependent on survey research. However, surveys can be impacted by participants who are non-attentive, respond randomly to
survey questions, and misrepresent who they are and their true attitudes. The impact that such respondents can have on public health research has rarely been
In this study we examine whether Americans began to engage in dangerous cleaning practices to avoid COVID-19
infection. Prior reports have suggested that people began to engage in highly dangerous cleaning practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, including ingesting household cleansers such as bleach. In a series of studies totaling close to 1400
respondents, we show that 80–90% of reports of household cleanser ingestion are made by problematic respondents. These respondents report impossible claims such as
‘recently having had a fatal heart attack’ and ‘eating concrete for its iron content’ at a similar rate to ingesting household cleaners. Additionally, respondents’
frequent misreading or misinterpreting the intent of questions accounted for the rest of such claims.
Once inattentive, mischievous, and careless respondents are taken out of the analytic sample we find no evidence that people ingest cleansers. The relationship
between dangerous cleaning practices and health outcomes also becomes non-significant once problematic respondents are taken out of the analytic sample. These
results show that reported ingestion of household cleaners and other similar dangerous practices are an artifact of problematic respondent bias.
The implications of these findings for public health and medical survey research, as well as best practices for avoiding problematic respondents in surveys are
…ED visits related to suspected or confirmed child abuse and neglect decreased beginning the week of
March 15, 2020, coinciding with the declaration of a national emergency related to COVID-19 and
implementation of community mitigation measures (5). The 53% decrease in ED visits related to child abuse and neglect among children aged <18 years in early
2020 compared with the number of visits during early 2019 mirrors trends reported for all ED visits; during weeks 13–16 of 2020, the volume of U.S. ED visits
declined by 72% among children aged ≤10 years and 71% among children and adolescents aged 11–14 years compared with ED visits during 2019 (9).
Although the total number of ED visits related to child abuse and neglect decreased, the proportion of these visits per 100,000 ED visits increased, suggesting
that health care-seeking patterns shifted during the pandemic, with ED visits for other causes declining more than ED visits for child abuse and neglect declined.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, caregivers were more likely to take children to EDs for evaluation of complaints related to child abuse and neglect relative to other
chief complaints. This pattern might reflect decreased health care-seeking for other medical complaints or a need to seek medical care because of persistence or
worsening of child abuse and neglect. The decreased number of ED visits related to child abuse and neglect coincides with decreases in reports of child abuse and
neglect to child protective services (4).
The consistent number of visits related to child abuse and neglect requiring hospitalization from 2019 to 2020, despite decreased number of ED visits related to
child abuse and neglect, suggests that injury severity did not decrease during the pandemic.
Some teenagers are willing to bully, harass, and torment their schoolmates in order to achieve popularity and other goals. But whom do they bully? Here, we
extend the logic of instrumental aggression to answer this question. To the extent that friendships are the currency of social status, we should expect social
aspirants to target their own friends, their friends’ friends, and other structurally equivalent schoolmates. This tendency, we argue, extends beyond what would be
explained by propinquity, and we expect that victimization by friends will be particularly distressing. We test these hypotheses using panel social network data
from 14 middle and high schools at two time points during a school year. Findings from temporal exponential random graph models suggest that our expectations are
correct: the tendency to be cruel to friends is not substantially influenced by propinquity, and victimization by friends has adverse consequences for mental
…We both heed this warning and expand on it, by challenging a core assumption in balance theory and in most network research: that positive and negative ties
are mutually exclusive. Thus, our goal here is not to test balance—an impossibility if friends are also enemies—but instead to propose a theory of “frenemies.”
Overlap between positive and negative networks is rarely if ever examined in the small empirical literature on negative tie networks, as it would seem strange to
dislike a friend or to avoid eating lunch with a classmate you would nominate for student council (Berger & Dijkstra 2013; Harrigan & Yap 2017). But it
is not incomprehensible for people to be cruel to their friends, or their friends’ friends. Indeed, there are good reasons to expect them to do so.
In contrast to both balance theory and much of the empirical literature on bullying, which concludes that victims are isolated or marginal and thus sit at
relatively large social distances from their tormentors, we extend the logic of instrumental aggression to anticipate higher rates of aggression at low
social distances, between friends and among structurally equivalent schoolmates. This is not because they spend more time with one another, but because they
compete for the same social positions and relationships. We test these hypotheses using temporal exponential random graph models (TERGMs) of networks of aggression from 14 middle schools and high schools over two time points during one school year. We further
anticipate that betrayal by friends is acutely painful relative to harassment by others, and so we also examine the consequences of each source of victimization
for well-being. And thus, we are not so sanguine as Lincoln in asking, Where do our enemies come from? The answer, we conclude, is that they are close
We present results from a large-scale experimental evaluation of an ambitious attempt to improve management quality in Indian schools (implemented in 1,774
randomly-selected schools). The intervention featured several global “best practices” including comprehensive assessments, detailed school ratings, and customized
school improvement plans. It did not, however, change accountability or incentives.
We find that the assessments were near-universally completed, and that the ratings were informative, but the intervention had no impact on either school
functioning or student outcomes. Yet, the program was perceived to be successful and scaled up to cover over 600,000 schools nationally. We find using a
matched-pair design that the scaled-up program continued to be ineffective at improving student learning in the state we study. We also conduct detailed
qualitative interviews with frontline officials and find that the main impact of the program on the ground was to increase required reporting and paperwork.
Our results illustrate how ostensibly well-designed programs, that appear effective based on administrative measures of compliance, may be ineffective in
Background: Sibling resemblance in crime may be due to genetic relatedness, shared environment, and/or the interpersonal influence of
siblings on each other. This latter process can be understood as a type of ‘peer effect’ in that it is based on social learning between individuals occupying the
same status in the social system (family). Building on prior research, we hypothesized that sibling pairs that resemble peer relationships the most, i.e., same-sex
siblings close in age, exhibit the most sibling resemblance in crime.
Methods: Drawing on administrative microdata [population registry] covering Finnish children born in 1985–97, we examined 213 911 sibling
pairs, observing the recorded criminality of each sibling between ages 11 and 20. We estimated multivariate regression models controlling for individual and family characteristics, and employed fixed-effects models to analyze the
temporal co-occurrence of sibling delinquency.
Results: Among younger siblings with a criminal older sibling, the adjusted prevalence estimates of criminal offending decreased from 32 to 25%
as the age differences increased from less than 13 months to 25–28 months. The prevalence leveled off at 23% when age difference reached 37–40 months or more.
These effects were statistically-significant only among same-sex sibling
pairs (p < 0.001), with clear evidence of contemporaneous offending among siblings with minimal age difference.
Conclusions: Same-sex siblings very close in age stand out as having the highest sibling resemblance in crime. This finding suggests that a
meaningful share of sibling similarity in criminal offending is due to a process akin to peer influence, typically flowing from the older to the younger
[Keywords: administrative data, age difference, crime, peer effect, sex similarity, siblings]
In the present research, we introduce a conceptualization of the Tendency for Interpersonal Victimhood (TIV), which we
define as an enduring feeling that the self is a victim across different kinds of interpersonal relationships. Then, in a comprehensive set of eight
studies, we develop a measure for this novel personality trait, TIV, and examine its correlates, as well as its
affective, cognitive, and behavioral consequences. In Part 1 (Studies 1A-1C) we establish the construct of TIV,
with its four dimensions; ie., need for recognition,moral elitism, lack of empathy, and rumination, and then assess TIV’s internal consistency, stability over time, and its effect on the interpretation of ambiguous situations. In Part 2
(Studies 2A-2C) we examine TIV’s convergent and discriminant validities, using several personality
dimensions, and the role of attachment styles as conceptual antecedents. In Part 3 (Studies 3–4) we explore the cognitive and behavioral consequences of
TIV. Specifically, we examinethe relationships between TIV, negative
attribution and recall biases,and the desire for revenge (Study 3), and the effects of TIV on behavioral
revenge (Study 4). The findings highlight the importance of understanding, conceptualizing, and empirically testing TIV,
and suggest that victimhood is a stable and meaningful personality tendency.
Psychology has traditionally seen itself as the science of universal human cognition, but it has only recently begun seriously grappling with cross-cultural
variation. Here we argue that the roots of cross-cultural variation often lie in the past. Therefore, to understand not only how but also why psychology varies, we
need to grapple with cross-temporal variation. The traces of past human cognition accessible through historical texts and artifacts can serve as a valuable, and
almost completely unutilized, source of psychological data. These data from dead minds open up an untapped and highly diverse subject pool. We review examples of
research that may be classified as historical psychology, introduce sources of historical data and methods for analyzing them, explain the critical role of theory,
and discuss how psychologists can add historical depth and nuance to their work. Psychology needs to become a historical science if it wants to be a genuinely
universal science of human cognition and behavior.
Humans are an ultrasocial species. This sociality, however, cannot be fully explained by the canonical approaches found in evolutionary biology, psychology, or
economics. Understanding our unique social psychology requires accounting not only for the breadth and intensity of human cooperation but also for the variation
found across societies, over history, and among behavioral domains. Here, we introduce an expanded evolutionary approach that considers how genetic and cultural
evolution, and their interaction, may have shaped both the reliably developing features of our minds and the well-documented differences in cultural psychologies
around the globe. We review the major evolutionary mechanisms that have been proposed to explain human cooperation, including kinship, reciprocity, reputation,
signaling, and punishment; we discuss key culture-gene coevolutionary hypotheses, such as those surrounding self-domestication and norm psychology; and we consider
the role of religions and marriage systems. Empirically, we synthesize experimental and observational evidence from studies of children and adults from diverse
societies with research among nonhuman primates.
Prior to last month, I knew next to nothing about K-pop (Korean popular music) besides having heard a few songs in passing and the rumors of the industry’s
infamous elements, most notably a string of high profile suicides over the last few years. As an American with no connection to music or South Korean culture, I
wondered if I was getting an accurate picture of the industry or if I was being misled by the most lurid and morbid elements eagerly conveyed by the media.
“K-pop” is both a genre of music and an entire industry which “manufacturers” performers and their performance output (music, dance routines, shows,
merchandise, etc.) in a highly systematized top-down manner
The global popularity of K-pop is extraordinary considering the relatively small population of South Korea, and the relatively small size of K-pop
K-pop’s industrial/corporate structure represents a Korean (and East-Asian) cultural alternative to Western pop and broader music production
K-pop stars and bands are manufactured and controlled by production companies in the same manner Western athletes are trained and traded by sports
K-pop stars are crafted into idealized portrays of individuals by East Asian cultural standards
K-pop fandom is both more intense on average than Western fandom, and has a larger percentage of unhealthily obsessive fans
K-pop stars are forced to abide by extremely restrictive behavioral norms to appease production companies and fans
Trying to become a K-pop star is a terrible idea by any rational cost-benefit analysis
The process by which production companies train K-pop stars is abusive and depends on the ignorance of children/teenagers and clueless and/or
Even after making it through the extraordinarily difficult audition and training process, the vast majority of K-pop stars will have short careers and
earn little or possibly no money
K-pop is an extremely centralized, hierarchical industry, where structural, business, and creative decisions are almost entirely made by corporate
management, rather than the performers
Raw creativity in the music production process is largely outsourced to Westerners who write, produce, and choreograph the music
The K-pop industry is subsidized and supported by the South Korean government, if not implicitly or explicitly directed, as a conscious form of soft
power projection and social control.
As you can tell, I came away from my research with a negative view of K-pop. I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world, but I find its fandom to be
unhealthy and its production process to be exploitative. That being said, there are undoubtedly many tremendous talents in the K-pop world and the cultural power
of K-pop is remarkable.
Evidence across social science indicates that average effects of persuasive messages are small. One commonly offered explanation for these small effects is
heterogeneity: Persuasion may only work well in specific circumstances. To evaluate heterogeneity, we repeated an experiment weekly in real time using 2016 U.S.
presidential election campaign advertisements. We tested 49 political advertisements in 59 unique experiments on 34,000 people. We investigate heterogeneous
effects by sender (candidates or groups), receiver (subject partisanship), content (attack or promotional), and context (battleground versus non-battleground,
primary versus general election, and early versus late). We find small average effects on candidate favorability and vote. These small effects, however, do not
mask substantial heterogeneity even where theory from political science suggests that we should find it. During the primary and general election, in battleground
states, for Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, effects are similarly small. Heterogeneity with large offsetting effects is not the source of small average
Social influence is an inevitable part of human social interaction. Although past research has demonstrated that testosterone has a key role in social
interaction, no study has examined its role in social influence so far. Building on previous research showing that minority positions are perceived as risky
options and that testosterone is positively associated with status seeking and risk-taking, we hypothesized that basal testosterone renders individuals more
receptive to minority positions. In two studies, participants (total n = 250) read messages that were supported by either a numerical majority or
minority. As hypothesized, individuals’ levels of basal testosterone were positively related to susceptibility to minority influence. In contrast, susceptibility
to majority influence was unaffected by basal testosterone. Given the importance of minorities for innovation and change within societies, our results suggest that
individuals with high levels of testosterone may play an important role as catalysts of social change.
…This Flash game is called Canabalt. A businessman crashes
out of a window and starts running to escape the destruction of his city. Canabalt sparked the entire endless runner genre of gameplay, which is now one of the
most popular genres on mobile. The game has since been included in the New York Museum of Modern Art, alongside Pac-Man and Tetris. Escape room games, now a
popular genre, originally came from Flash games. They even made the jump into real life, with many physical escape rooms all over the world. There were many more
Flash games. Millions more. Played billions of times on thousands of different gaming websites. It was creative chaos. Flash
games were the gateway for many developers in the games industry, and served as an experimental playground for distilling games down to their most pure and
engaging elements. The end-of-life of Flash in December 2020 marks the end of one of the most creative periods in the
history of gaming. It all started in 1996, when the Flash player was first released. Originally it was intended for Web
graphics and animations, but when it got its own programming language in 2000, developers started to use it to make games. That was the same year we saw the rise
of the first automated Flash games website, Newgrounds. Anyone could upload their games and they were published immediately…
[Followed by timeline of Flash games; >20 testimonials from ex-Flash developers and game industry figures.]
Psychology research focuses primarily on male competition. This research, however, investigates women’s competition for love and the ideal partner in the mating
market and reveals one psychological consequence for women, that is, beautification. This is demonstrated with ecologically valid, real-world archive and online
search query data, a quasi-experiment, and a series of controlled experiments with random assignments. Intrasexual competition, indexed by the operational
sex ratio (OSR) and income inequality (GINI), predicts women’s beautification
reflected by Google search queries for cosmetic surgery terms (Study 1) and the density of certificated plastic surgeons (Study 2). Female college
students from faculties with female-biased OSRs exhibit greater appearance focus than women from male-biased
faculties (Study 3). A causal relationship, between women’s intrasexual competition and beautification (and even self-objectification), is subsequently
demonstrated in experiments (Studies 4–6). Additionally, self-objectification due to intrasexual competition leads to women’s preference for appearance-oriented
products (Study 6). Implications are discussed.
“Concept creep” is the gradual semantic expansion of harm-related concepts
such as bullying, mental disorder, prejudice, and trauma. This review presents a synopsis of relevant theoretical advances and empirical research findings on the
It addresses 3 fundamental questions. First, it clarifies the characterisation of concept creep by refining its theoretical and historical dimensions and
presenting studies investigating the change in harm-related concepts using computational linguistics. Second, it examines factors that have caused concept creep,
including cultural shifts in sensitivity to harm, societal changes in the prevalence of harm, and intentional meaning changes engineered for political ends. Third,
the paper develops an account of the consequences of concept creep, including social conflict, political polarization, speech restrictions, victim identities, and
progressive social change.
This extended analysis of concept creep helps to understand its mixed implications and sets a multi-pronged agenda for future research on the topic.
We collected 299 frontal face images of 2017 cabinet ministers from 15 post-Soviet states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan). For each image, the minister’s body-mass index is estimated
using a computer vision algorithm.
The median estimated body-mass index of cabinet ministers is highly correlated with conventional measures of corruption (Transparency International Corruption
Perceptions Index, World Bank worldwide governance indicator Control of Corruption, Index of Public Integrity).
This result suggests that physical characteristics of politicians such as their body-mass index can be used as proxy variables for political corruption when the
latter are not available, for instance at a very local level.
…Dataset: We collected 299 frontal face images of cabinet ministers from 15 post-Soviet states who were in office in 2017.2 In case
of a cabinet reshuffle, when 2 (sometimes even 3) individuals occupied the same ministerial position in 2017, we collected the image of the individual who occupied
this position for the longest period in 2017.3 Country-specific details are presented in the Appendix. For each minister, we conducted a Google image
search in the form “Name Surname” + 2017. The minister’s first name and surname were typed in the official language of his or her country (e.g. in Cyrillic
script for Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Ukraine). Whenever possible, we selected a minister’s image that resembled a passport
photograph—unobscured frontal face image preferably taken during an event in 2017 (such as an official press conference, an official visit abroad or a meeting with
a counterpart minister from another country)
Estimation: For each image in the dataset, the minister’s body-mass index is estimated using the computer vision algorithm recently developed
by Kocabey et al 2017.4 This algorithm is a 2-stage procedure. The first stage is a deep convolutional neural network VGG-Face developed by Parkhi, Vedaldi, and Zisserman (2015). This neural network extracts the features from a deep fully connected
neuron layer fc6 for the input image. The second stage is an epsilon support vector regression (Smola & Vapnik, 1997) of the extracted features to
predict body-mass indexes of 3,368 training images (with known body-mass index values) collected by Kocabey et al 2017.
…Estimated body-mass index for ministers in our dataset is generally quite high. According to the estimated body-mass index, 96 out of 299 ministers (32%) are
severely obese (estimated body-mass index between 35 and 40). In particular, 13 out of 24 Uzbek ministers (54%), 8 out 18 Tajik ministers (44%) and 10 out of 24
Ukrainian ministers (42%) are estimated to be severely obese. Another 13 out of 299 ministers in our dataset (4%) are very severely obese (estimated body-mass
index greater than 40). In particular, 3 out of 20 Kazakh ministers (15%) and 2 out of 24 Ukrainian ministers (8%) are estimated to be very severely obese.
Only 10 out of 299 ministers in our dataset (3%) are estimated to have normal weight (body-mass index between 18.5 and 25). In particular, the governments of
Azerbaijan, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Uzbekistan each have one minister with an estimated normal weight. None of the ministers
in our dataset is estimated to be underweight (body-mass index below 18.5)
…A visual inspection of Table 1 confirms the intuition presented in Section 1—as ministers’ images in the third column get
progressively more overweight and obese, conventional corruption indicators in the last 5 columns get progressively worse. Our median estimated ministers’
body-mass index is highly correlated with all 5 conventional measures of perceived corruption. The correlation coefficient with Transparency International
Corruption Perceptions Index 2017, World Bank worldwide governance indicator ‘Control of Corruption’ 2017, European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and
State-Building Index of Public Integrity 2017, the sub-attribute ‘Absence of Corruption’ of Global State of Democracy Index 2017 and Basel Anti-Money
Laundering Index 2017 is −0.92, −0.91, −0.93, −0.76 and 0.8, respectively.
…Our proposed methodology is widely applicable across countries as photographic data of top public officials are relatively accessible in traditional mass media
and social media. This creates the potential of measuring corruption in many regions where administering reliable micro-level surveys is problematic and foreign
experts have limited direct access. Our proposed corruption measure can be also applied retrospectively in time. This introduces for the first time, the
possibility of measuring corruption from a historical perspective (before the mid-1990s when the first indexes of perceived corruption were constructed).
Most human societies exhibit a distinct class structure, with an elite, middle classes, and a bottom class, whereas animals form simple dominance hierarchies in
which individuals with higher fighting ability do not appear to form coalitions to “oppress” weaker individuals. Here, we extend our model of primate coalitions
and find that a division into a bottom class and an upper class is inevitable whenever fitness-enhancing resources, such as food or real estate, are exploitable or
tradable and the members of the bottom class cannot easily leave the group. The model predicts that the bottom class has a near flat, low payoff and always
comprises at least half the society. The upper class may subdivide into one or more middle class(es), resulting in improved payoff for the topmost members (elite).
The model predicts that the bottom class on its own is incapable of mounting effective counter-coalitions against the upper class, except when receiving support
from dissatisfied members of the middle class(es). Such counter-coalitions can be prevented by keeping the payoff to the lowest-ranked members of the middle
classes (through concessions) well above that of the bottom class. This simple model explains why classes are also absent in nomadic hunter-gatherers and
predominate in (though are not limited to) societies that produce and store food. Its results also agree well with various other known features of societies with
We investigate the consequences and predictors of emitting signals of victimhood and virtue. In our first three studies, we show that the virtuous victim signal
can facilitate nonreciprocal resource transfer from others to the signaler. Next, we develop and validate a victim signaling scale that we combine with an
established measure of virtue signaling to operationalize the virtuous victim construct. We show that individuals with Dark Triad traits—Machiavellianism, Narcissism, Psychopathy—more
frequently signal virtuous victimhood, controlling for demographic and socioeconomic variables that are commonly associated with victimization in Western
societies. In Study 5, we show that a specific dimension of Machiavellianism—amoral manipulation—and a form of narcissism that reflects a person’s belief in their
superior prosociality predict more frequent virtuous victim signaling. Studies 3, 4, and 6 test our hypothesis that the frequency of emitting virtuous victim
signal predicts a person’s willingness to engage in and endorse ethically questionable behaviors, such as lying to earn a bonus, intention to purchase counterfeit
products and moral judgments of counterfeiters, and making exaggerated claims about being harmed in an organizational context.
[Keywords: dark triad, unethical behavior, victim-signaling, victimization, virtue-signaling]
Nudge interventions have quickly expanded from academic studies to larger
implementation in so-called Nudge Units in governments. This provides an
opportunity to compare interventions in research studies, versus at scale. We assemble a unique data set of 126 RCTs covering over 23 million individuals, including all trials run by 2 of the largest Nudge Units in the United States.
We compare these trials to a sample of nudge trials published in academic journals from 2 recent meta-analyses.
In papers published in academic journals, the average impact of a nudge is very large—an 8.7 percentage point take-up effect, a 33.5% increase over the average
control. In the Nudge Unit trials, the average impact is still sizable and highly statistically-significant, but smaller at 1.4 percentage points, an 8.1% increase
[8.7 / 1.4 = 6.2×].
We consider 5 potential channels for this gap: statistical power, selective publication, academic involvement, differences in trial features and in nudge
features. Publication bias in the academic journals, exacerbated by low statistical power, can account for the full difference in effect sizes. Academic
involvement does not account for the difference. Different features of the nudges, such as in-person versus letter-based communication, likely reflecting
institutional constraints, can partially explain the different effect sizes.
We conjecture that larger sample sizes and institutional constraints, which play an important role in our setting, are relevant in other at-scale
implementations. Finally, we compare these results to the predictions of academics and practitioners. Most forecasters overestimate the impact for the Nudge Unit
interventions, though nudge practitioners are almost perfectly calibrated.
…In this paper, we present the results of a unique collaboration with 2 of the major “Nudge Units”: BIT North America
operating at thelevel of US cities and SBST/OES for the US Federal government. These 2 units kept a
comprehensive record of all trials that they ran from inception in 2015 to July 2019, for a total of 165 trials testing 349 nudge treatments and a sample size
of over 37 million participants. In a remarkable case of administrative transparency, each trial had atrial report, including in many cases a pre-analysis plan.
The 2 units worked with us to retrieve the results of all the trials. Importantly, over 90% of these trials have not been documented in working paper
or academic publication format. [emphasis added]
…Since we are interested in comparing the Nudge Unit trials to nudge papers in the literature, we aim to find broadly comparable studies in academic journals,
without hand-picking individual papers. We lean on 2 recent meta-analyses summarizing over 100 RCTs across
many different applications (Benartzi et al 2017, and Hummel & Maedche 2019).
We apply similar restrictions as we did in the Nudge Unit sample, excluding lab or hypothetical experiments and non-RCTs, treatments with financial incentives, requiring treatments with binary dependent variables, and excluding default
effects. This leaves a final sample of 26 RCTs, including 74 nudge treatments with 505,337 participants.
Before we turn to the results, we stress that the features of behavioral interventions in academic journals do not perfectly match with the nudge treatments
implemented by the Nudge Units, a difference to which we indeed return below. At the same time, overall interventions conducted by Nudge Units are fairly
representative of the type of nudge treatments that are run by researchers.
What do we find? In the sample of 26 papers in the Academic Journals sample, we compute the average (unweighted) impact of a nudge across the 74 nudge
interventions. We find that on average a nudge intervention increases the take up by 8.7 (s.e. = 2.5) percentage points, out of an average control take up of 26.0
Turning to the 126 trials by Nudge Units, we estimate an unweighted impact of 1.4 percentage points (s.e. = 0.3), out of an average control take up of 17.4
percentage points. While this impact is highly statistically-significantly different from 0 and sizable, it is about 1⁄6th the size of the estimated
nudge impact in academic papers. What explains this large difference in the impact of nudges?
We discuss 3 features of the 2 samples which could account for this difference. First, we document a large difference in the sample size and thus statistical
power of the interventions. The median nudge intervention in the Academic Journals sample has treatment arm sample size of 484 participants and a minimum
detectable effect size (MDE, the effect size that can be detected with 80% power) of 6.3 percentage points. In contrast,
the nudge interventions in the Nudge Units have a median treatment arm sample size of 10,006 participants and MDE of
0.8 percentage points. Thus, the statistical power for the trials in the Academic Journals sample is nearly an order of magnitude smaller. This illustrates
a key feature of the “at scale” implementation: the implementation in an administrative setting allows for a larger sample size. Importantly, the smaller sample
size for the Academic Journals papers could lead not just to noisier estimates, but also to upward-biased point estimates in the presence of publication bias.
A second difference, directly zooming into publication bias, is the evidence of selective publication of studies with statistically-significant results
(t > 1.96), versus studies that are not statistically-significant (t < 1.96). In the sample of Academic Journals nudges, there are over 4×
as many studies with a t-statistic for the most statistically-significant nudge between 1.96 and 2.96, versus the number of studies with the most
statistically-significant nudge with at between 0.96 and 1.96. Interestingly, the publication bias appears to operate at the level of the most
statistically-significant treatment arm within a paper. By comparison, we find no evidence of a discontinuity in the distribution of t-statistics for the
Nudge Unit sample, consistent with the fact that the Nudge Unit registry contains the comprehensive sample of all studies run. We stress here that with
“publication bias” we include not just whether a journal would publish a paper, but also whether a researcher would write up a study (the “file drawer” problem).
In the Nudge Units sample, all these selective steps are removed, as we access all studies that were run.
Recently, policy makers worldwide have suggested and passed legislation to ban mobile phone use in schools. The influential (and only quantitative) evaluation
by Beland and Murphy (2016), suggests that this is a very low-cost but effective policy to improve student performance. In particular, it suggests that the
lowest-achieving students have the most to gain. Using a similar empirical setup but with data from Sweden, we partly replicate their study and thereby add
external validity to this policy question. Furthermore, we increase the survey response rate of schools to approximately 75%, although at the expense of the amount
of information collected in the survey. In Sweden, we find no impact of mobile phone bans on student performance and can reject even small-sized gains.
For over 30 years, researchers and journalists have made the claim that men do not prefer the level of thinness typically embodied by female fashion models,
along with the secondary claim that women overestimate the extent to which men find these ultra-thin bodies attractive.
The current studies examined men’s and women’s perceptions of the bodies of fashion models shown in media images, as well as how each gender believed the other
would perceive the models’ bodies. In Study 1, 548 U.S. college students rated the body size and attractiveness of 13 images of models from women’s fashion
magazines. Respondents also indicated how they thought the other gender would rate the models on these dimensions. In Study 2, 707 men and women recruited
from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk completed the same rating task. Overall, both men and women overestimated how ideal the other gender would find the models’ bodies
(both in terms of thinness and attractiveness). This misperception was strongest when women estimated how men would react to the models’ bodies.
Results were consistent with previous studies suggesting that men do not find the ultra-thin body ideal for women as attractive as women believe men do. These
gender-based misconceptions may contribute to the negative effects of viewing ultra-thin media images on women’s body image.
This paper provides the first causal estimates of the effect of children’s access to computers and the internet on educational outcomes in early adulthood, such
as schooling and choice of major. I exploit cross-cohort variation in access to technology among primary and middle school students in Uruguay, the first country
to implement a nationwide one-laptop-per-child program. Despite a notable increase in computer access, educational attainment has not increased; the schooling gap
between private and public school students has persisted, despite closing the technology gap. Among college students, those who had been exposed to the program as
children were less likely to enroll in science and technology.
[Keywords: education policy, education and inequality, government expenditures and education]
Consider a case in which a new research finding links a health behavior with good health outcomes. A possible consequence is take-up of this behavior among
individuals who engage in other positive health behaviors. If this occurs, later analyses of observational data may be biased by the change in selection. This
paper evaluates these dynamic biases in empirical settings. Using data from vitamin supplementation and diet, I show that selection responds endogenously to health
recommendations. These results highlight how spurious findings on health behaviors can be self-reinforcing.
[Examples: vitamin E, vitamin D, sugar consumption, fat consumption, and the Mediterranean diet.]
Santa Muerte has been depicted as a narcosaint, that is to say a saint propitiated only by those who belong to drug cartels, in particular by the Mexican State.
As a consequence, the Mexican army, under orders from the Mexican State, has obliterated thousands of shrines dedicated to the folk saint across the country.
However, as we evince, the popular figure has followers in all camps involved in the drug war. Both narcos and those who fight them, prisoners and prison
guards, venerate the folk saint, turning to her for spiritual favours, protection and even to predict death. This diverse group of people, although divided by
their differing positions in the drug war, turns to her for parallel reasons, to explain, predict and control events.
As such, Santa Muerte rather than being a narcosaint should be considered the Matron Saint of the Drug War.
In this article, we present a tool and a method for measuring the psychological and cultural distance between societies and creating a distance scale with any
population as the point of comparison. Because psychological data are dominated by samples drawn from Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic
(WEIRD) nations, and overwhelmingly, the United States, we focused on distance from the United States. We also present
distance from China, the country with the largest population and second largest economy, which is a common cultural comparison. We applied the fixation index (Fst), a meaningful
statistic in evolutionary theory, to the World Values Survey of cultural beliefs and behaviors. As the extreme WEIRDness
of the literature begins to dissolve, our tool will become more useful for designing, planning, and justifying a wide range of comparative psychological
projects. Our code and accompanying online application allow for comparisons between any two countries. Analyses of regional diversity reveal the relative
homogeneity of the United States. Cultural distance predicts various psychological outcomes.
[Keywords: WEIRD people, cultural psychology, cultural distance, cross-cultural differences,
How do stigmatized minorities advance agendas when confronted with hostile majorities? Elite theories of influence posit marginal groups exert little power. I
propose the concept of agenda seeding to describe how activists use methods like disruption to capture the attention of media and overcome political asymmetries.
Further, I hypothesize protest tactics influence how news organizations frame demands. Evaluating black-led protests between 1960 and 1972, I find nonviolent
activism, particularly when met with state or vigilante repression, drove media coverage, framing, Congressional speech and public opinion on civil rights.
Counties proximate to nonviolent protests saw presidential Democratic vote share among whites increase 1.3–1.6%. Protester-initiated violence, by contrast, helped
move news agendas, frames, elite discourse and public concern toward “social control.” In 1968, using rainfall as an instrument, I find violent protests
likely caused a 1.6–7.9% shift among whites towards Republicans and tipped the election. Elites may dominate political communication but hold no monopoly.
Background: While neighborhood deprivation is a well-known predictor of obesity, the mechanisms behind this association are unclear and these
are important to clarify before designing interventions focusing on modifiable neighborhood environmental factors in order to reduce obesity risk.
Objectives: This study examined the longitudinal association between availability of fast-food outlets and physical activity facilities and the
risk of obesity among adults.
Methods: This study used multiple national register data from Sweden. During the 11-year follow-up period between 2005 and 2015, data from
1,167,449 men and 542,606 women, aged 20–55 years, were accessible for inclusion in this analysis. Incidence of obesity was identified based on a diagnosis of
obesity during the follow-up period derived from clinical register data. Neighborhood availability of fast-food outlets and physical activity facilities were
assessed in 2005 and Cox regression was used in the statistical analysis. Individual socio-demographic factors and neighborhood deprivation were used as
Results: There were no meaningful associations between neighborhood fast-food outlets or physical activity facilities and obesity in men or
women. Neighborhood deprivation was, however, consistently and strongly associated with incidence of obesity in both men and women.
Conclusions: Availability of fast-food outlets and lack of physical activity facilities appear unlikely to cause obesity in Swedish adults.
Other potentially modifiable environmental factors within specific social and cultural settings that may influence obesity risk should be examined in future
The public salience of crime has wide-ranging political and social implications; it influences public trust in the government and citizens’ everyday routines
and interactions, and it may affect policy responsiveness to punitive attitudes. Identifying the sources of crime salience is thus important. Two competing
theoretical models exist: the objectivist model and the social constructionist model. According to the first, crime salience is a function of the crime rate.
According to the second, crime salience is a function of media coverage and political rhetoric, and trends in crime salience differ across population subgroups as
a result of differences in their responsiveness to elite initiatives. In both theories, period-level effects predominate. Variation in crime salience, however, may
also reflect age and cohort effects. Using data from 422,504 respondents interviewed between 1960 and 2014, we first examine the nature of crime salience
using hierarchical age-period-cohort (HAPC) models and then analyze period-level predictors using first differences. We
find that 1. crime salience varies mostly at the period level; 2. crime salience trends are parallel (cointegrated) across demographic, socioeconomic, and partisan
groups; and 3. crime salience trends within every population subgroup are most consistent with the constructionist model. The crime rate does not exert a
statistically-significant effect in any subgroup.
In the five decades since its inception in 1971, the General Social Survey (GSS) project has prospectively recorded
the current characteristics, backgrounds, behaviors, and attitudes of representative cross sections of American adults covering more than two generations
and more than a century of birth cohorts. A foundational resource for contemporary social science, the data it produces and disseminates enable social scientists
to develop broad and deep understandings into the changing fabric of US society, and aid legions of instructors and students in teaching and learning. It
facilitates internationally comparative survey research and places the United States in the context of other societies through the International Social Survey
Program, which it cofounded. This article first recounts the GSS’s origins, design, and development. It thensurveys contributions based on GSS data to studies of stratification and inequality, religion, sociopolitical
trends, intergroup relations, social capital and social networks, health and well-being, culture, and methodology.
Americans appear to be losing faith in what President Donald Trump says about the coronavirus pandemic, with almost everyone rejecting Trump’s remark that
COVID-19 may be treated by injecting infected people with bleach or other disinfectants, according to a Reuters/Ipsos
poll released on Tuesday.
The April 27–28 public opinion poll found that fewer than half of all adults in the U.S.—47%—said they were “very” or “somewhat” likely to follow
recommendations Trump makes about the virus. That is 15 percentage points lower than the number who said they would follow Trump’s advice in a survey that ran at
the end of March.
And 98% of Americans said they would not try to inject themselves with bleach or other disinfectants if they got the coronavirus, including 98% of Democrats and
98% of Republicans. That is a near-unanimous rejection of an idea that Trump floated at a time of widespread anxiety about the virus.
[“Admirably lucid revisiting of Enron’s metamorphosis from a pipeline company into a derivatives trading-house that booked billions in paper profits before
collapsing.” The Enron story displays the potentially distortionary impact of high intelligence on moral decision-making. It lends evidence to the notion that
extremely intelligent people can be subtly incentivised to be (systematically) dishonest because their intelligence lowers the cost and raises the potential
benefits of circumventing rules." —The Browser summary
What, in a nutshell, was the Enron fraud? Like a tech startup, Enron had a vision of creating many new markets by upfront investments; to achieve this, which
was in fact often a viable business strategy and had worked before, it needed debt-financing and to look like a logistics company with stable lucrative
locked-in long-term profits, though its profits increasingly actually came from volatile unreliable financial trading. From this pressure and the need to keep up
appearances to avoid switching horses in mid-stream before projects could pay off, a house of cards built up, deviance was normalized, and it slowly slid into an
enormous financial fraud with few people realizing until the end.]
How do elites signal their superior social position via the consumption of culture? We address this question by drawing on 120 years of “recreations” data
(n = 71,393) contained within Who’s Who,
a unique catalogue of the British elite…In November 2016, after extensive discussions with Oxford University Press and Bloomsbury Publishing—the 2 publishing companies producing Who’s Who—we successfully brokered access to all data
collected by the publication since it began including full biographical details in 1897…Finally, to provide a more granular analysis of elite musical taste, we
combine Who’s Who with another unique historical data source—the archive of Desert Island Discs, a radio show broadcast on the BBC since 1942
(Brown et al 2017; Dean et al 2018; Thurman 2012). The format of the show is straightforward. Each week a “castaway”—usually a
noteworthy and influential elite person—is asked to choose 8 songs or pieces of music they would take with them if they were to be stranded on a desert island. As
over 60% of the people who have appeared on Desert Island Discs are also in Who’s Who, we are able to merge the 2 datasets to provide a more
granular analysis of the music tastes of around 1,200 Who’s Who entrants.
Our results reveal 3 historical phases of elite cultural distinction: first, a mode of aristocratic practice forged around the leisure possibilities afforded by
landed estates, which waned substantially in the late-nineteenth century; second, a highbrow mode dominated by the fine arts, which increased sharply in the
early-twentieth century before gently receding in the most recent birth cohorts; and, third, a contemporary mode characterized by the blending of highbrow pursuits
with everyday forms of cultural participation, such as spending time with family, friends, and pets.
These shifts reveal changes not only in the contents of elite culture but also in the nature of elite distinction, in particular, (1) how the applicability of
emulation and (mis)recognition theories has changed over time, and (2) the emergence of a contemporary mode that publicly emphasizes everyday cultural practice (to
accentuate ordinariness, authenticity, and cultural connection) while retaining many tastes that continue to be (mis)recognized as legitimate.
…Our analysis begins by identifying a mode of aristocratic elite culture, dominant in the late-nineteenth century, that was forged around the leisure
possibilities afforded by landed estates (eg. shooting, hunting, horse riding, polo, sailing). Here elites achieved distinction via the emulation of lower yet
aspirational social groups, who largely deferred to their authority as inherent cultural paragons. We then show how this mode was threatened at the turn of the
twentieth century. “Nouveau riche” industrialists began to buy their way into high society, and existing aristocratic elites, battling economic upheaval, were
unable to guard against this pecuniary emulation. Next, we show how a new generation of elites—influenced in particular by the Bloomsbury intellectual
collective—adapted to this threat. Positioning itself against the philistinism of aristocratic modes, this new cohort championed a set of emerging “high” cultural
forms (eg. theater, ballet, classical music, abstract art) that went on to define elite culture in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. This new highbrow mode was
successful in delivering distinction, albeit via a different mechanism. Rather than relying on an ascribed cultural legitimacy, as in the emulation model, highbrow
elites instead focused on generating a widespread (mis)recognition, via the state and allied institutions such as the BBC, of the inherent value of their own tastes and recreations. Again, though, this mode of elite culture was eventually questioned.
Beginning in the 1950s, the supremacy of highbrow culture was threatened by shifts within the art-world that initially challenged the highbrow aesthetic and later
legitimized certain popular cultural forms; generational value change that precipitated a decline in snobbery and deference (to elites); and the emergence of a
managerial culture where access to a broad cultural repertoire functioned as a key resource.
The final part of our analysis explains how once again elites adapted to these threats, diversifying their cultural profiles and increasingly blending highbrow
(and some aristocratic) recreations with popular tastes and a range of everyday practices, such as spending time with family, friends, and pets. We interpret this
contemporary mode as pursuing dual aims. First, it continues to be distinction-seeking, with popular tastes still tilting toward more legitimate artists. However,
the growing expression of everyday recreations, we argue, also signals something beyond distinction, and peculiar to the particular moral threats facing
contemporary elites. As elites pull away economically, they face increasing suspicion from wider publics that they lack prosocial motives and, in turn,
authenticity and moral character. The public expression of such “ordinary” everyday practices, therefore, with their intrinsic rather than extrinsic reward
association, acts as a way to plug this authenticity-insecurity.
…Second, we go further to examine the legitimacy of the popular music being played. Specifically, we examined the critical-acclaim of musical artists by
analyzing their average score on the music website Metacritic, which
aggregates reviews of albums. Figure 6 shows that the artists played by Who’s Who entrants are consistently more legitimate, in terms of their mean Metacritic
score, than the average musical artist.25 Indeed, they are consistently in the top quartile. This indicates that although contemporary elites may be
increasingly integrating popular cultural forms into their cultural repertoires, the individual artists they prefer still tilt toward the legitimate and
Research indicates that women with tattoos are evaluated more negatively than women without tattoos on numerous qualities. Further, men perceive better chances
for sexual success with tattooed women than those without visible tattoos. Despite these findings, less is known about whether women with visible tattoos are more
open to casual sexual encounters than their non-tattooed counterparts, and if so, what variables may predict such openness.
The purpose of the present study was to explore whether, and to what extent, stereotyped perceptions of tattooed women as sexually open are accurate, and to
explore the possible role of egalitarianism in sexual openness. Measures of personality and sensation-seeking were also examined. A sample of 814 women, both
tattooed and non-tattooed, were recruited through a Western Canadian university research pool and various social media outlets to complete an online questionnaire
assessing these attributes.
Women with tattoos reported greater willingness to engage in uncommitted sexual relations [r = 0.34], as well as higher endorsement of egalitarianism
[r = 0.31] and sensation-seeking [r = 0.32], relative to non-tattooed women. Among tattooed women alone, several personality and tattooing
variables predicted sexual openness.
Findings: suggesting body tattooing as an indicator of sexual openness are critically discussed in relation to contemporary stereotypes
surrounding femininity and sexuality.
[Keywords: tattoos, egalitarianism, personality, sexual permissiveness, sexual openness]
…various studies have found tattooed individuals to be higher in Extraversion and related traits, such as sensation-seeking (Copes & Forsyth 1993;
Drews et al 2000; Roberti et al 2004; Stirn et al 2006; Swami 2012; Swami et al 2012;
Wohlrab et al 2007a, b), while others report no statistically-significant differences of such personality traits in between-group analyses (Forbes 2001; Tate & Shelton 2008). Overall,
however, much of the available evidence appears to suggest higher Extraversion on the part of tattooed individuals—a difference driven by scores on sensation
seeking (Swami et al 2012). Importantly, the individual variables of Extraversion, sensation-seeking, and
tattoo wearing have been linked to heightened sexual risk-taking and sexual engagement among women in general (eg. Hoyle et al 2000;
Markey et al 2003; Miller et al 2004), suggesting that these variables are potentially influential in the relationship between
tattooed women’s behaviours and acceptance of sexual openness…sociological studies have suggested that women may use tattoos to signal their non-traditional
femininity and defiance of traditional roles (eg. Atkinson 2002; Hardin 1999).
This article studies the consequences of digital surveillance in dictatorships. I first develop an informational theory of repression and co-optation.
I argue that digital surveillance resolves dictators’ information problem of not knowing individual citizens’ true anti-regime sentiments. By identifying
radical opponents, digital surveillance enables dictators to substitute targeted repression for nonexclusive co-optation to forestall coordinated uprisings. My
theory implies that as digital surveillance technologies advance, we should observe a rise in targeted repression and a decline in universal redistribution.
Using a difference-in-differences design that exploits temporal variation in digital surveillance systems among Chinese counties, I find that surveillance
increases local governments’ public security expenditure and arrests of political activists but decreases public goods provision.
My theory and evidence suggest that improvements in governments’ information make citizens worse off in dictatorships.
Professor Nicholas (Nick) Martin spearheaded initial investigations into the genetic basis of political attitudes and behaviors, demonstrating that behaviors
that are perceived as socially constructed could have a biological basis. As he showed, the typical mode of inheritance for political attitudes consists of
approximately equal proportions of variance from additive genetic, shared environmental and unique environmental sources. This differs from other psychological
variables, such as personality traits, which tend to be characterized by genetic and unique environmental sources of variation. By treating political attitudes as
a model phenotype, Nick Martin was able to leverage the unique pattern of observed intergenerational transmission for political attitudes to reexamine the
quintessential assumptions of the classical twin model. Specifically, by creatively leveraging the nuances of the genetic architecture of political attitudes, he
was able to demonstrate the robustness of the equal environments assumption and suggest corrections to account for assortative mating. These advances have had a
substantial impact on both the fields of political science, as well as behavioral and quantitative genetics.
Research in educational psychology consistently finds a relationship between intelligence and academic performance. However, in recent decades, educational
fields, including gifted education, have resisted intelligence research, and there are some experts who argue that intelligence tests should not be used in
identifying giftedness. Hoping to better understand this resistance to intelligence research, we created a survey of beliefs about intelligence and administered it
online to a sample of the general public and a sample of teachers. We found that there are conflicts between currently accepted intelligence theory and beliefs
from the American public and teachers, which has important consequences on gifted education, educational policy, and the effectiveness of interventions.
Since 1969, racial and ethnic preferences have existed throughout the American medical academy. The primary purpose has been to increase the number of
blacks and Hispanics within the physician workforce as they were deemed to be “underrepresented in medicine.” To this day, the goal continues to be population
parity or proportional representation. These affirmative action programs were traditionally voluntary, created and implemented at the state or institutional level,
limited to the premedical and medical school stages, and intended to be temporary. Despite these efforts, numerical targets for underrepresented minorities set by
the Association of American Medical Colleges have consistently fallen short. Failures have largely been attributable to the limited qualified applicant pool and
legal challenges to the use of race and ethnicity in admissions to institutions of higher education. In response, programs under the appellation of diversity,
inclusion, and equity have recently been created to increase the number of blacks and Hispanics as medical school students, internal medicine trainees,
cardiovascular disease trainees, and cardiovascular disease faculty. These new diversity programs are mandatory, created and implemented at the national level,
imposed throughout all stages of academic medicine and cardiology, and intended to be permanent. The purpose of this white paper is to provide an overview of
policies that have been created to impact the racial and ethnic composition of the cardiology workforce, to consider the evolution of racial and ethnic preferences
in legal and medical spheres, to critically assess current paradigms, and to consider potential solutions to anticipated challenges.
Question: Is unearned wealth from lottery winnings associated with more healthy habits and better overall health?
Findings: This quasi-experimental cohort study of 3344 individuals in 3 Swedish lotteries found no statistically-significant differences in
long-term (5–22 years) health behaviors or overall health among individuals who participated in the same lottery but who randomly won prizes of different
Meaning: The findings suggest that large, random transfers of unearned wealth are unlikely to be associated with large, long-term changes in
health habits or overall health.
substantially more prevalent among individuals with low income than among individuals with high income, but the underlying mechanisms are not well
Objective: To evaluate whether changes to unearned wealth from lotteries are associated with long-term health behaviors and overall health.
Design, Setting, and Participants: In this quasi-experimental cohort study, 4820 participants (aged 18–70 years at the time of winning) in 3
Swedish lotteries were surveyed from September 1, 2016, to November 11, 2016, between 5 and 22 years after a lottery event. Outcomes of participants in
the same lottery who were randomly assigned prizes of different magnitudes by the lotteries but were ex ante identical in terms of their probability of winning
different prizes were compared. Data were analyzed from December 22, 2016, to November 21, 2019.
Exposures: Lottery prizes ranged from $0 for nonwinning players to $1.95$1.602016
Main Outcomes and Measures: 4 lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol consumption, physical activity, and a healthy diet index) and 2 measures of
overall health (subjective health and an index of total health derived from responses to questions about 35 health conditions).
Results: The survey was returned by 3344 of 4820 individuals (69%; 1722 [51.5%] male), which corresponded to 3362 observations. The mean (SD)
age was 48 (11.8) years in the year of the lottery win and 60 (11.0) years at the time of the survey. There were no statistically-significant associations between
prize amount won and any of the 6 long-term health outcomes. Estimated associations expressed in SD units per $122,153$100,0002016 won were as follows: smoking (−0.006, 95% CI, −0.038 to 0.026); alcohol consumption (0.003, 95% CI,
−0.027 to 0.033); physical activity (0.001, 95% CI, −0.029 to 0.032); dietary quality (−0.007, 95% CI, −0.040 to 0.026); subjective health (0.013, 95% CI, −0.017
to 0.043); and index of total health (−0.003, 95% CI, −0.033 to 0.027).
Conclusions and Relevance: In this study of Swedish lottery players, unearned wealth from random lottery prize winnings was not associated with
subsequent healthy lifestyle factors or overall health. The findings suggest that large, random transfers of unearned wealth are unlikely to be associated with
large, long-term changes in health habits or overall health.
These formulas have turned an obscure idea that Galanis and his college buddies had a few years ago about making more money for second rate celebs into a
thriving two-sided marketplace that has caught the attention of VCs, Hollywood, and professional sports. In June, Cameo raised $50 million in Series B funding, led
by Kleiner Perkins (which recently began funding more early stage startups) to boost marketing, expand into international markets, and staff up to meet the growing
demand. In the past 15 months, Cameo has gone from 20 to 125 employees, and moved from an 825-square-foot home base in the 1871 technology incubator into its
current 6,000-square-foot digs in Chicago’s popping West Loop. Cameo customers have purchased more than 560,000 videos from some 20,000 celebs and counting,
including ’80s star Steve Guttenberg and sports legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. And now, when the masses find themselves in quarantined isolation—looking for levity,
distractions, and any semblance of the human touch—sending each other personalized videograms from the semi-famous has never seemed like a more pitch-perfect
The product itself is as simple as it is improbable. For a price the celeb sets—anywhere from $5 to $2,500—famous people record video shout-outs, aka “Cameos”,
that run for a couple of minutes, and then are delivered via text or email. Most Cameo videos are booked as private birthday or anniversary gifts, but a few have
gone viral on social media. Even if you don’t know Cameo by name, there’s a good chance you caught Bam Margera of MTV’sJackass delivering an “I quit” message on behalf of a disgruntled employee, or Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath dumping some
poor dude on behalf of the guy’s girlfriend. (Don’t feel too bad for the dumpee, the whole thing was a joke.)
…Back at the whiteboard, Galanis takes a marker and sketches out a graph of how fame works on his platform. “Imagine the grid represents all the celebrity
talent in the world”, he says, “which by our definition, we peg at 5 million people.” The X-axis is willingness; the Y-axis is fame. “Say LeBron
is at the top of the X-axis, and I’m at the bottom”, he says. On the willingness side, Galanis puts notoriously media-averse Seattle Seahawks running back
Marshawn Lynch on the far left end. At the opposite end, he slots chatty celebrity blogger-turned-Cameo-workhorse Perez Hilton, of whom Galanis says, “I promise if
you booked him right now, the video would be done before we leave this room.”
…“The contrarian bet we made was that it would be way better for us to have people with small, loyal followings, often unknown to the general population, but
who were willing to charge $5 to $10”, Galanis says. Cameo would employ a revenue-sharing model, getting a 25% cut of each video, while the rest went to the celeb.
They wanted people like Galanis’ co-founder (and former Duke classmate) Devon Townsend, who had built a small following making silly Vine videos of his travels
with pal Cody Ko, a popular YouTuber. “Devon isn’t Justin Bieber, but he had 25,000 Instagram followers from his days as a goofy Vine star”, explains Galanis. “He
originally charged a couple bucks, and the people who love him responded, ‘Best money I ever spent!’”
…After a customer books a Cameo, the celeb films the video via the startup’s app within four to seven days. Most videos typically come in at under a minute,
though some talent indulges in extensive riffs. (Inexplicably, “plant-based activist and health coach” Courtney Anne Feldman, wife of Corey, once went on for more
than 20 minutes in a video for a customer.) Cameo handles the setup, technical infrastructure, marketing, and support, with white-glove service for the biggest
earners with “whatever they need”—details like help pronouncing a customer’s name or just making sure they aren’t getting burned-out doing so many video
…For famous people of any caliber—the washed-up, the obscure micro-celebrity, the actual rock star—becoming part of the supply side of the Cameo marketplace is
as low a barrier as it gets. Set a price and go. The videos are short—Instagram comedian Evan Breen has been known to knock out more than 100 at $25 a pop in a
single sitting—and they don’t typically require any special preparation. Hair, makeup, wardrobe, or even handlers aren’t necessary. In fact, part of the oddball
authenticity of Cameo videos is that they have a take-me-as-I-am familiarity—filmed at breakfast tables, lying in bed, on the golf course, running errands, at a
stoplight, wherever it fits into the schedule.
We analyze whether the positive relation between education and health is causal.
We combine multi-country data from two cross-sections of EU-SILC.
We use exogenous variation in compulsory schooling induced by school laws.
We find no causal effect of education on any of our several health measures.
The result is robust to changes in the main specification and using other databases.
Many studies find a strong positive correlation between education and adult health. A subtler question is whether this correlation can be interpreted as a
causal relationship. We combine multi-country data from two cross-sections of the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions (EU-SILC) survey and use exogenous variation in compulsory years of schooling across countries and cohorts induced by compulsory
schooling laws. We find no causal effect of education on any of our several health measures. This finding is extremely robust to different changes in our main
specification and holds using other databases. We discuss different explanations for our results.
We surveyed a large sample of Swedish lottery players about their psychological well-being 5–22 years after a major lottery event and analysed the data
following pre-registered procedures. Relative to matched controls, large-prize winners experience sustained increases in overall life satisfaction that persist for
over a decade and show no evidence of dissipating over time. The estimated treatment effects on happiness and mental health are statistically-significantly
smaller. Follow-up analyses of domain-specific aspects of life satisfaction implicate financial life satisfaction as an important mediator for the long-run
increase in overall life satisfaction.
Ideology is a central construct in political psychology. Even so, the field’s strong claims about an ideological public rarely engage evidence of enormous
individual differences: a minority with real ideological coherence and weak to nonexistent political belief organization for everyone else. Here, I bridge
disciplinary gaps by showing the limits of mass political ideology with several popular measures and components—self-identification, core political values
(egalitarian and traditionalism’s resistance to change), and policy indices—in representative U.S. surveys across four decades (Ns ~ 13k–37k), plus panel
data testing stability. Results show polar, coherent, stable, and potent ideological orientations only among the most knowledgeable 20–30% of citizens. That
heterogeneity means full-sample tests overstate ideology for most people but understate it for knowledgeable citizens. Whether through top-down opinion leadership
or bottom-up ideological reasoning, organized political belief systems require political attention and understanding to form. Finally, I show that convenience
samples make trouble for ideology generalizations. I conclude by proposing analytic best practices to help avoid overclaiming ideology in the public. Taken
together, what first looks like strong and broad ideology is actually ideological innocence for most and meaningful ideology for a few.
Health and social scientists have documented the hospital revolving-door problem, the concentration of crime, and long-term welfare dependence. Have these
distinct fields identified the same citizens? Using administrative databases linked to 1.7 million New Zealanders, we quantified and monetized inequality in
distributions of health and social problems and tested whether they aggregate within individuals. Marked inequality was observed: Gini coefficients equalled 0.96
for criminal convictions, 0.91 for public-hospital nights, 0.86 for welfare benefits, 0.74 for prescription-drug fills and 0.54 for injury-insurance claims. Marked
aggregation was uncovered: a small population segment accounted for a disproportionate share of use-events and costs across multiple sectors. These findings were
replicated in 2.3 million Danes. We then integrated the New Zealand databases with the four-decade-long Dunedin Study. The high-need/high-cost population segment
experienced early-life factors that reduce workforce readiness, including low education and poor mental health. In midlife they reported low life satisfaction.
Investing in young people’s education and training potential could reduce health and social inequalities and enhance population wellbeing.
In Western countries, the distribution of relative incomes within marriages tends to be skewed in a remarkable way. Husbands usually do not only earn more than
their female partners, but there is also a striking discontinuity in their relative contributions to the household income at the 50:50 point: many wives contribute
just a bit less than or as much as their husbands, but few contribute more. This ‘cliff’ has been interpreted as evidence that men and women avoid situations where
a wife would earn more than her husband, since this would go against traditional gender norms.
In this paper, we use a simulation approach to model marriage markets and demonstrate that a cliff in the relative income distribution can also emerge without
such avoidance. We feed our simulations with income data from 27 European countries.
Results: show that a cliff can emerge from inequalities in men’s and women’s average incomes, even if they do not attach special meaning to a
situation in which a wife earns more than her husband.
…The observed discontinuity in the distribution of relative incomes within households would be consistent with a norm that favours male superiority in income,
if such a norm existed. However, in this paper, we argue that such a norm is not necessary to generate a discontinuity. Instead, we suggest that a cliff may emerge
even if both men and women prefer partners with high income over partners with low income, if we consider that even in the most gender egalitarian societies
women’s average income is lower than men’s.
Our argument is based on the following intuition. If people strive for high-income partners, men who rank high in the male income distribution will be in the
best position to compete for women who rank high in the female income distribution, vice versa. Some men may therefore form unions with similar-income partners,
but because women’s average income is lower, many men will face a shortage of partners with similar or even higher income. Unless they are willing to remain
single, these men will have to form unions with women who earn less than they do. Women, by contrast, will have to ‘settle’ less often for a lower-income partner.
These differences in men’s and women’s marriage market opportunities are likely to not only create a right skew in the distribution of women’s contribution to
household income, but also a discontinuity close to the 50:50 point. This occurs even if people are not more aversive of a situation in which the wife out-earns
her husband than of a situation in which he out-earns her.
We demonstrate the logical consistency and empirical plausibility of our argument with a simulation study in which we compare the outcomes of a simple marriage
market model with the observed distributions of relative income in the 27 countries shown in Figure 1. The model assumes that men and women
strive for a high joint income in the unions that they form, while using their own income as a point of reference for determining the minimum income they expect in
a partner. However, they do not evaluate a situation in which a wife out-earns her husband any differently from a situation in which he out-earns her. Our results
show that partner choice based on this preference tends to generate a right skew in the distribution of relative incomes within households and, most importantly, a
discontinuity at the 50:50 point.
Adventure and excitement have often been invoked to explain why people engage in political violence, yet empirical evidence on the topic has thus far been
anecdotal. The present research sought to fill this gap in knowledge by examining the role of sensation seeking in political violence and integrating this concept
with The-Significance-Quest-Theory (Kruglanski et al 2009; Kruglanski et al 2013).
Extending prior research on violent extremism, Study 1 found that sensation seeking mediated the relation between meaning in life and willingness to
self-sacrifice and support for political violence. Study 2 established temporal precedence of the variables in the mediation model, using a longitudinal
design. Studies 3 and 4 experimentally replicated findings of Studies 1 and 2. In Studies 5a and 5b, we found that sensation seeking predicts support for a
real life violent activist group. In Studies 6a and 6b, the positive evaluation of a violent activist group by individuals high in sensation seeking was explained
by how exciting they perceived the group to be. Finally, Study 7 introduced an intervention targeting the sensation seeking motive by presenting participants with
a peaceful (less exciting vs. exciting) activism group.
As hypothesized, providing individuals high in sensation seeking with a peaceful yet exciting group mitigated their support for extreme behavior.
[Keywords: political violence, search for meaning, self-sacrifice, sensation seeking]
Because stereotypes and social reality are mutually reinforcing, it is often unclear whether a given stereotype has emerged from preexisting social reality, or
has shaped social reality over time to resemble the stereotype (eg. via discrimination). To address this chicken-or-egg problem, we advance an integrative model
that captures not only endogenous stereotype formation from social reality, but also exogenous stereotype formation without social reality. When arbitrary social
categories are introduced, the cultural meanings of category cues (eg. semantic category names) can be exogenously projected as stereotypes onto those social
To illustrate exogenous stereotype formation, we examined a novel form of stereotyping and discrimination in China based on astrological signs, which were
introduced into China from the West. Studies 1a, 1b, and 2 revealed that astrological stereotypes are salient in China (but not in the United States). These
stereotypes were likely produced exogenously because of how the signs were translated into Chinese. In particular, Virgos are stereotyped as having disagreeable
personalities, likely because of Virgo’s Chinese translation as “virgin” (Study 3). This translation-based stereotype led Chinese individuals to discriminate
against Virgos in romantic dating (Study 4) and in simulated job recruitment (Studies 5 and 6). Studies 7 and 8 confirmed that astrological stereotypes are
inaccurate and astrological discrimination is irrational: Astrological sign predicted neither personality (n = 173,709) nor job performance (n =
Overall, our research disentangles stereotypes from social reality by providing a real-world demonstration that stereotypes can form without preexisting social
reality, yet still produce discrimination that can then shape social reality.
We reevaluate the claim from Bor et al (2018: 302) that “police killings of unarmed black Americans have effects on mental health among black American adults in
the general population.”
The Mapping Police Violence data used by the authors includes 91 incidents involving black decedents who were either (1) not killed by police officers in the
line of duty or (2) armed when killed. These incidents should have been removed or recoded prior to analysis.
Correctly recoding these incidents decreased in magnitude all of the reported coefficients, and, more importantly, eliminated the reported
statistically-significant effect of exposure to police killings of unarmed black individuals on the mental health of black Americans in the general population.
We caution researchers to vet carefully crowdsourced data that tracks police behaviors and warn against reducing these complex incidents to overly simplistic
Popular culture associates the lives of Roman emperors with luxury,
cruelty, and debauchery, sometimes rightfully so. One missing attribute in this list is, surprisingly, that this mighty office was most dangerous for its holder.
Of the 69 rulers of the unified Roman Empire, from Augustus (d. 14 CE) to Theodosius I (d. 395 CE), 62% suffered violent death. This has been known for a while,
if not quantitatively at least qualitatively. What is not known, however, and has never been examined is the time-to-violent-death of Roman emperors.
This work adopts the statistical tools of survival data analysis to an
unlikely population, Roman emperors, and it examines a particular event in their rule, not unlike the focus of reliability engineering, but instead of their time-to-failure, their time-to-violent-death. We investigate the temporal
signature of this seemingly haphazard stochastic process that is the violent death of a Roman emperor, and we examine whether there is some structure underlying
the randomness in this process or not.
Nonparametric and parametric results show that: (1) emperors faced a statistically-significantly high risk of violent death in the first year of their rule,
which is reminiscent of infant mortality in reliability engineering; (2) their risk of violent death further increased after 12 years, which is reminiscent of
wear-out period in reliability engineering; (3) their failure rate displayed a bathtub-like curve, similar to that of a host of mechanical engineering items and electronic components. Results also showed that the stochastic
process underlying the violent deaths of emperors is remarkably well captured by a (mixture) Weibull distribution.
We discuss the interpretation and possible reasons for this uncanny result, and we propose a number of fruitful venues for future work to help better understand
the deeper etiology of the spectacle of regicide of Roman emperors.
Across five field experiments with employees of a large organization (n = 68,915), we examined whether standard behavioural interventions (‘nudges’)
successfully reduced single-occupancy vehicle commutes. In Studies 1 and 2, we sent letters and emails with nudges designed to increase carpooling. These
interventions failed to increase carpool sign-up or usage. In Studies 3a and 4, we examined the efficacy of other well-established behavioural interventions:
non-cash incentives and personalized travel plans. Again, we found no positive effect of these interventions. Across studies, effect sizes ranged from Cohen’s
d = −0.01 to d = 0.05. Equivalence testing, using study-specific smallest effect sizes of interest, revealed that the treatment effects observed
in 4 out of 5 of our experiments were statistically equivalent to zero (p < 0.04). The failure of these well-powered experiments designed to nudge
commuting behaviour highlights both the difficulty of changing commuter behaviour and the importance of publishing null results to build cumulative knowledge about
how to encourage sustainable travel.
Although extensive political communication research considers the content of candidate messages, scholars have largely ignored how those words are
rendered—specifically, the typefaces in which they are set. If typefaces are found to have political attributes, that may impact how voters receive campaign
messages. Our paper reports the results of two survey experiments demonstrating that individuals perceive typefaces, type families, and type styles to have
ideological qualities. Furthermore, partisanship moderates subjects’ perceptions of typefaces: Republicans generally view typefaces as more conservative than
Independents and Democrats. We also find evidence of affective polarization, in that individuals rate typefaces more favorably when perceived as sharing their
ideological orientation. Results broaden our understanding of how meaning is conveyed in political communication, laying the groundwork for future research into
the functions of typography and graphic design in contemporary political campaigns. Implications for political practitioners are also discussed.
Keywords: Political communication, ideology, partisanship, typeface, graphic design. [Ranking: Blackletter, Times New Roman, Jubilat, Gill Sans,
Birds of Paradise, Century Gothic, Sunrise.]
The Heckman Curve characterizes the rate of return to public investments in human capital as rapidly diminishing with age. For the disadvantaged, it describes
investments early in the life course as having substantially higher rates of return compared to later in life. This paper assesses the Heckman Curve using
estimates of program benefit cost ratios from the Washington State Institute for Public Policy. We find no support for the claim that social policy programs
targeted early in the life course have the largest benefit cost ratios, or that on average the benefits of adult programs are less than the cost of the
Collective memory and attention are sustained by two channels: oral communication (communicative memory) and the physical recording of information (cultural
memory). Here, we use data on the citation of academic articles and patents, and on the online attention received by songs, movies and biographies, to describe the
temporal decay of the attention received by cultural products. We show that, once we isolate the temporal dimension of the decay, the attention received by
cultural products decays following a universal biexponential function. We explain this universality by proposing a mathematical model based on communicative and
cultural memory, which fits the data better than previously proposed log-normal and exponential models. Our results reveal that biographies remain in our
communicative memory the longest (20–30 years) and music the shortest (about 5.6 years). These findings show that the average attention received by cultural
products decays following a universal biexponential function.
Women on Tinder are more selective than men on Tinder.
Women on Tinder have a preference for highly educated men.
Men on Tinder are not intimidated by highly educated women.
On Tinder, preferences for educational assortative mating are absent.
In this study, we examine the impact of an individual’s education level on her/his mating success on the mobile dating app Tinder. To do so, we conducted a
field experiment on Tinder in which we collected data on 3,600 profile evaluations. In line with previous research on mating preferences from multiple fields, our
results indicate a heterogeneous effect of education level by gender: while women strongly prefer a highly educated potential partner, this hypothesis is rejected
for men. In contrast with recent influential studies from the field of economics, we do not find any evidence that men would have an aversion to a highly educated
potential partner. Additionally, in contrast with most previous research—again from multiple fields—we do not find any evidence for preferences for educational
assortative mating, i.e. preferring a partner with a similar education level.
[Keywords: returns to education, mating success, assortative mating, dating apps, Tinder]
…To the extent of our knowledge, only one study to date has examined the impact of education level on actual, revealed mate preferences ex ante to interactions
and with random assignment of education level. Ong 2016 found that men’s visits to women’s profiles were unaffected by the profiles’
education level, while women’s visits to men’s profiles were increasing with the profiles’ education level. We build on this study by examining the impact of
education level on mate preferences by means of a randomised field experiment on Tinder. Our study importantly differs from the study by Ong 2016 in 3 ways.
First, we used a more precise measure of mating success: while Ong 2016 used the number of profile visits as an indicator of mating success, we used an
explicit indication of interest by potential partners (infra, Section 3.5). Second, we set up our field experiment on a mobile dating app instead of on a classic
online dating website. Third, we examined Western singles instead of Chinese singles.
…For this study, we created 24 fictitious Tinder profiles in multiple cities in Flanders, the northern, Dutch-speaking region of Belgium. We only let these
profiles differ on our characteristic of interest, i.e. education level, which was randomly assigned to the 24 fictitious profiles. Education level was
signalled by filling in the line ‘education’ on the main screen…Our subjects were other, real, Tinder users who fit our 3 criteria, i.e. (1) sexual
preference, (2) age range, and (3) distance range. First, in this study we only looked at heterosexual preferences. Therefore, we indicated that we only wanted to
see male (female) subjects with our female (male) profiles. Second, for the age range, we chose ages 23 to 27, in order to exclude students from our sample. Third,
our distance range we gradually increased per kilometre from the minimum of 2 kilometres on, in order to find the subjects who were closest to us. We did this to
ensure that our profiles were in the distance range of our subjects, so that our profiles would show up in the stack of profiles that our subjects evaluated. Only
once we had to increase the range above the minimum of 2 kilometres and all subjects were found in a range of 3 kilometres. With each of our 24 fictitious
profiles, between January 2018 and March 2018 we randomly liked 150 of the first Tinder users who were presented to our fictitious profiles, resulting in
a sample size of 3,600 observations. We did not simply like the very first 150 Tinder users presented to us, as Tinder may then have perceived our fictitious
profiles as robots. Therefore, for each Tinder user presented to us, we randomly generated a number between 0 and 1 and liked the Tinder user if the number was
above 0.5. For each of our 24 fictitious profiles, all subjects were recruited from the first 325 Tinder users presented to our fictitious profiles.
…Table 2 gives an overview of the frequencies of the different outcomes. When considering all subjects, about one-third (33.2%) of our
profiles (hereafter: ‘the evaluated profiles’) received a (super)like. However, this conceals remarkable differences between the male subjects and female subjects.
Indeed, male subjects (super)liked 61.9% of the female evaluated profiles, while female subjects (super)liked only 4.5% of the male evaluated profiles. These
findings are in line with previous research on online dating in general (Fiore et al 2010, Todd et al 2007) and on Tinder in particular (Tyson et al 2016)…Very few subjects used the superlike option, i.e. only 1.4% of all matches came
about in this way. This finding is in line with the limited amount of superlikes available to Tinder users (see footnote 8). Finally, we note that male subjects
started a conversation with the female evaluated profiles much more often (42.3%) than the other way around (6.2%). The explanation for this finding is similar to
the explanation in the previous paragraph for the higher selectiveness of women (compared to men) with regard to (super)liking a certain profile.
The difference in angel investing between Silicon Valley and everywhere else isn’t just a difference in perceived risk/reward or a difference in
FOMO. It’s that angel investing fulfils a completely different purpose in Silicon Valley than it does elsewhere. It’s
not just a financial activity; it’s a social status exercise.
Angel Investors in the Bay Area aren’t just in it for the financial returns; they’re also in it for the social returns.
The Bay Area tech ecosystem has been so successful that startup-related news has become the principal determinant of social status in San Francisco. In other
cities, you acquire and flex social status by joining exclusive neighbourhoods or country clubs, or through philanthropic gestures, or even something as simple as
what car you drive. In San Francisco, it’s angel investing. Other than founding a successful startup yourself, there’s not much higher-status in the Bay Area than
backing founders that go on to build Uber or Stripe…The end result
is that the Bay Area has a critical density of people who are willing to offer founders a term sheet for enough investment, and at attractive enough valuations,
that it makes sense for the founder to actually accept them. I honestly believe that without this social “subsidy”, a lot of angel investing stops working. If
investors were being purely rational, they could only offer something like a $2 million valuation for founders’ first cheques. And if entrepreneurs are smart, they
know they can’t accept it; it makes them un-fundable from that day forward.
The social rewards of angel investing solve an important chicken-and-egg problem in early stage fundraising that financial rewards does
One of the biggest frustrations you face as a founder out fundraising is the refrain: “This sounds really interesting. I love it. Let me know when there are a
bunch of other people investing, and then I’ll invest too.” From far away, it’s easy to label this behaviour as cowardly investing. But it happens for a reason…The
social returns to angel investing resolve our chicken/egg problem: they turn angel investing into a kind of “race to be first” that is much more aligned with the
founder, and more conducive to breaking inertia and completing deals. The founder wants you to move first, and so do you.
The social returns to angel investing have a strong geographical network effect, because they require a threshold density in order to kick
…If you can assemble enough early stage investors together, it should conceptually become self-sustaining. Once you have that sufficient density of people who
care about the social return to angel investing, and you establish a genuine “early stage capital market” that is subsidized in part by the social and emotional
job that it’s doing for its angel members, you create something really special. You get the rare conditions where capital is available for founders at high enough
valuations, with no strings attached, and by investors who are evaluating them “the right way”, that you actually sustain a scene that produces startups in
sufficient numbers to generate those few unlikely mega-winners that replenish angels’ bank accounts and keep the cycle going.
Peep Show, a British TV series running from 2003 to
2015, starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb as a pair of miserable, co-dependent roommates living in Croydon, London, is the most realistic portrayal of
evil I have ever seen.
…We see this all not just by watching Mark and Jez go about their day-to-day lives, but by hearing their inner thoughts through voice-over monologues, which
more often than not, reveal their actions and words as either cynical attempts to avoid facing their own failings, or desperate lies to obscure their true
intentions, goals, and personalities.
This is what makes Peep Show so brilliant. It doesn’t just portray evil realistically, it portrays the root of evil realistically. Mark and
Jeremy cause bad things to happen to their acquaintances, co-workers, friends, loved ones, family members, and most of all, themselves, because they are
consumed by their vices. Not just the classic vices like gluttony and lust, but cowardice, evasion, hypocrisy, and apathy, all
born from a rarely acknowledged, yet omnipresent self-loathing. These are vices that aren’t loudly announced by violent psychopaths or easily identified in scary individuals, but vices that
sneak up on ordinary people, latch on to their psyches, and take over their lives.
Also, it’s one of the funniest TV shows I’ve ever seen.
In 5 preregistered studies, we assess people’s tendency to believe “kids these days” are deficient relative to those of
Across 3 traits, American adults (n = 3,458; Mage = 33 to 51 years) believe today’s youth are in decline; however, these
perceptions are associated with people’s standing on those traits. Authoritarian people especially think youth are less respectful of their elders, intelligent people especially think youth are less intelligent,
and well-read people especially think youth enjoy reading less. These beliefs are not predicted by irrelevant traits.
Two mechanisms contribute to humanity’s perennial tendency to denigrate kids: a person-specific tendency to notice the limitations of others where one excels
and a memory bias projecting one’s current qualities onto the youth of the past. When observing current children, we compare our biased memory to the present and a
decline appears. This may explain why the kids these days effect has been happening for millennia.
…Five studies were designed to examine the occurrence of and mechanisms underpinning people denigrating the youth of the present (herein termed the kids these
days effect). Studies 1 to 3 examined the prevalence of the kids these days effect across 3 different traits and the degree to which it is pronounced for
people who excel on that trait. Study 1 examined whether the belief that children are less respectful of their elders is magnified for people who are high in
authoritarianism. Study 2 investigated whether people who are more intelligent are particularly predisposed to believe that children are becoming less
intelligent. Study 3 explored whether well read people are especially likely to think that today’s children no longer like to read. Then, study 4 investigated the
mechanisms leading people to perceive kids these days as particularly lacking on those traits on which they themselves excel in a mediation model. Study 5
manipulated people’s beliefs in their standing in one of these domains and showed resulting indirect decreases in the kids these days effect through our proposed
Carelessness in self-report data can be detected with many methods.
Embedding items in a scale with presumed ‘correct’ responses is one of these.
Properties of these items can impact their usefulness.
Individuals can provide valid justification for ‘incorrect’ responses.
Researchers should know their items, and know the risk of not knowing those items.
Participant carelessness is a source of invalidity in psychological data (Huang, Liu, & Bowling, 2015), and many methods have been created to screen for this
carelessness (Curran, 2016; Johnson, 2005). These include items that researchers presume thoughtful individuals will answer in a given way (eg. disagreement with
“I am paid biweekly by leprechauns”, Meade & Craig, 2012). This paper reports on two samples in which individuals spoke aloud a series of these questions, and
found that (a) individuals do occasionally report valid justifications for presumed invalid responses, (b) there is relatively high variance in this behavior over
different items, and (c) items developed for this specific purpose tend to work better than those drawn from other sources or created ad-hoc.
“‘Aliens’ is a relative term; I don’t actually know for sure” · “What does that even mean, we’re all aliens if there’s other life out
“I am interested in…parabanjology”
“Might be real so don’t want to disagree” · “It sounds like it could be interesting”
“I work twenty-eight hours in a typical work day.”
“It feels like that sometimes”
“I am familiar with geological terms such as jpg and firewall.”
“I know what those are, but don’t know that they’re geological”
“I am fluent in combinatorial English”
“I’m fluent in English”
“I am able to read the minds of others” · “I can see into the future”
“Understand general idea of what others are thinking” · “Close friends know each other” · “Can plan and expect future events”
“I sleep less than one hour per night”
“When I’m pulling an all-nighter I do” · “I sleep very few hours each night”
“All my friends say I would make a great poodle”
“They say I’m like a puppy” · “They say I’d make a great koala” · “Friends say I share dog-like personality” · “Friends have said my hair
looks like a poodle” · “Have been told I’d make a good dog” · “Don’t know, I’ve never asked them”
“I eat cement occasionally”
“There was cement in my braces, sure that I ate some” · “There are a lot of things that are in cement in a lot of foods, so maybe eating
parts of it”
“Answer with ‘Disagree’ for this item”
“Item doesn’t say how much to disagree (picked ‘Strongly disagree’)”
“I am paid biweekly by leprechauns”
“I am paid biweekly, just not by leprechauns”
“I can run 2 miles in 2 min”
“It doesn’t say run with your feet, can do it in my mind”
“I have been to every country in the world”
“I’ve been to a lot of countries” · “I have probably been to more countries than most people”
“I can teleport across time and space”
“Well, time passes, and I can move places, so that’s sort of true” · “Is walking a type of teleportation?” · “In my dreams I can because one
of my life goals is to be the doctor’s companion”
Table 2: Selected examples of valid justifications for ‘incorrect’ answers.
[I strongly disagree with the authors that these justications are even remotely “valid”: most of these responses are ‘careless’ or ‘unsufficient effort’.]
[This re-appraisal of Lenin is just about as damning as any re-appraisal of anybody could possibly be. “He invented a form of government we have come to call
totalitarian, which rejected in principle the idea of any private sphere outside of state control. He invented the one-party state, a term that would previously
have seemed self-contradictory since a party was, by definition, a part. He believed that state power had to be based on sheer terror, and so he created the
terrorist state. Violence was a goal in itself”]
This paper provides a large scale, empirical evaluation of unintended effects from invoking the precautionary principle after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear
accident. After the accident, all nuclear power stations ceased operation and nuclear power was replaced by fossil fuels, causing an exogenous increase in
electricity prices. This increase led to a reduction in energy consumption, which caused an increase in mortality during very cold temperatures. We estimate that
the increase in mortality from higher electricity prices outnumbers the mortality from the accident itself, suggesting the decision to cease nuclear production has
contributed to more deaths than the accident itself.
In recent decades the field of anthropology has been characterized as sharply divided between pro-science and anti-science factions. The aim of this study is to
empirically evaluate that characterization. We survey anthropologists in graduate programs in the United States regarding their views of science and advocacy,
moral and epistemic relativism, and the merits of evolutionary biological explanations. We examine anthropologists’ views in concert with their varying appraisals
of major controversies in the discipline (Chagnon / Tierney, Mead / Freeman, and Menchú / Stoll). We find that disciplinary
specialization and especially gender and political orientation are statistically-significant predictors of anthropologists’ views. We interpret our findings
through the lens of an intuitionist social psychology that helps explain the dynamics of such controversies as well as ongoing ideological divisions in the
Research on racial resentment has been meticulously developed, tested, and analyzed with white Americans in mind—yet black Americans have also responded to this
battery for the past three decades. To date, little to nothing is known about the implications of responses to the racial resentment battery among black Americans.
A burgeoning literature on blacks’ intragroup attitudes suggests that over time, black Americans have increasingly attributed racial inequality to individual
failings as opposed to structural forces. As such, unpacking blacks’ responses to the canonical racial resentment battery may provide further insight into the
micro-foundations of black public opinion. Using survey data from 1986 to 2016, we engage in a systematic quantitative examination of the role of racial resentment
in predicting black and white Americans’ opinions on racial policies, “race-coded” policies, and nonracialized policies. Along the way, we highlight the existence
of wide heterogeneity among black respondents and call for further investigation that identifies similarities and differences in the foundations of white and black
But what do we agree on the most? If your goal is simply to be in favor of popular things and against unpopular things, what should you campaign on? What are
the least controversial issues in the country?
To help figure this out, I reached out to Kathleen Weldon, director of data operations and communications at the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at
Cornell University, to commission a poll of their polls. The Roper Center maintains a tremendous database of opinion polling data—over 700,000 polling questions
spanning almost a century of opinion polling, collected from virtually every organization that has ever conducted a public poll in the United States. I told them I
was looking for the most one-sided questions in their polling database—the questions where virtually everyone gave the same answer. In a sense, these would be the
least divisive issues in the country.
The Roper research staff sifted through their database of 700,000 questions and assembled a list of those questions for which at least 95% of respondents gave
the same answer.
It’s pretty rare for that many respondents to agree on anything in a poll. A small percentage of respondents will often choose ridiculous answers because
they’re not taking the poll seriously or because they misunderstand the question. But one-sided questions are also rare because no one bothers to conduct polls on
uncontroversial topics unless they’re trying to prove a point. Since everything in the Roper database is something that some person or organization bothered to
commission a poll to ask, it means it’s at least potentially controversial, if not actually so. Here is a selection of the most one-sided issues in the history of
polling. If you want to run for office, these are views you can safely espouse, secure in the knowledge that at least one scientific survey puts the people
squarely behind you:
95% [5%] are satisfied with their friends. (Associated Press/Media General Poll, 1984)
95% [5%] believe employers should not be able to access the DNA of their employees without permission.
(Time/CNN/Yankelovich Partners Poll, 1998)
95% [5%] disapprove of people using cell phones in movie theaters. (Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel Poll, 2014)
95% [5%] don’t believe Magic 8 Balls can predict the future. (Shell Poll, 1998)
95% [5%] say that “if a pill were available that made you twice as good looking as you are now, but only half as smart”, they would not take it. (Men’s
Health Work Survey, 2000)
95% [5%] support laws against money laundering involving terrorism. (Washington Post Poll, 2001)
95% [5%] think doctors should be licensed. (Private Initiatives & Public Values, 1981)
95% [5%] think it’s wrong to pay someone to do a term paper for you. (NBC News Poll, 1995)
95% [5%] would like to see a decline in prejudice. (Harris Survey, 1977)
95% [5%] would like to see an end to all wars. (Harris Survey, 1981)
95% [5%] would support going to war if the United States were invaded. (Harris Survey, 1971)
96% [4%] have a positive impression of small business. (Gallup Poll, 2016)
96% [4%] oppose legalizing crystal meth. (CNN/ORC
International Poll, 2014)
96% [4%] think the Olympics are a great sports competition. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution Poll, 1996)
97% [3%] believe there should be laws against texting while driving. (The New York Times/CBS News Poll,
97% [3%] would like to see a decline in terrorism and violence. (Harris Survey, 1983)
98% [2%] believe adults should watch swimmers rather than reading or talking on the phone. (American Red Cross Water Safety Poll, 2013)
98% [2%] would like to see a decline in hunger in the world. (Harris Survey, 1983)
98% [2%] would like to see an end to high unemployment. (Harris Survey, 1982)
99% [1%] think it’s wrong for employees to steal expensive equipment from their workplace. (NBC News Poll,
Objective: This article provides an assessment of whether unmarried women currently face demographic shortages of marital partners in the U.S.
Background: One explanation for the declines in marriage is the putative shortage of economically attractive partners for unmarried women to
marry. Previous studies provide mixed results but are usually focused narrowly on sex ratio imbalances rather than identifying shortages on the multiple
socioeconomic characteristics that typically sort women and men into marriages.
Methods: This study identifies recent marriages from the 2008 to 2012 and 2013 to 2017 cumulative 5-year files of the American Community
Survey. Data imputation methods provide estimates of the sociodemographic characteristics of unmarried women’s potential (or synthetic) spouses who resemble the
husbands of otherwise comparable married women. These estimates are compared with the actual distribution of unmarried men at the national, state, and local area
levels to identify marriage market imbalances.
Results: These synthetic husbands have an average income that is about 58% higher than the actual unmarried men that are currently available to
unmarried women. They also are 30% more likely to be employed (90% vs. 70%) and 19% more likely to have a college degree (30% vs. 25%). Racial and ethnic
minorities, especially Black women, face serious shortages of potential marital partners, as do low socioeconomic status and high socioeconomic status unmarried
women, both at the national and subnational levels.
Conclusions: This study reveals large deficits in the supply of potential male spouses. One implication is that the unmarried may remain
unmarried or marry less well-suited partners.
This article analyzes variations in subject perceptions of pain in Milgram’s obedience experiments and their behavioral consequences. Based on an unpublished
study by Milgram’s assistant, Taketo Murata, we report the relationship between the subjects’ belief that the learner was actually receiving painful electric
shocks and their choice of shock level. This archival material indicates that in 18 of 23 variations of the experiment, the mean levels of shock for those who
fully believed that they were inflicting pain were lower than for subjects who did not fully believe they were inflicting pain. These data suggest that the
perception of pain inflated subject defiance and that subject skepticism inflated their obedience. This analysis revises our perception of the classical
interpretation of the experiment and its putative relevance to the explanation of state atrocities, such as the Holocaust. It also raises the issue of
dramaturgical credibility in experiments based on deception. The findings are discussed in the context of methodological questions about the reliability of
Milgram’s questionnaire data and their broader theoretical relevance.
We examine the roots of variation in corruption across societies, and we argue that marriage practices and family structure are an important, overlooked
determinant of corruption.
By shaping patterns of relatedness and interaction, marriage practices influence the relative returns to norms of nepotism/favoritism versus norms of
impartial cooperation. In-marriage (eg. consanguineous marriage) generates fractionalization because it yields relatively closed groups of related individuals and
thereby encourages favoritism and corruption. Out-marriage creates a relatively open society with increased interaction between non-relatives and strangers,
thereby encouraging impartiality.
We report a robust association between in-marriage practices and corruption both across countries and within countries. Instrumental variables estimates
exploiting historical variation in preferred marriage practices and in exposure to the Catholic Church’s family policies provide evidence that the relationship
could be causal.
A global priority for the behavioural sciences is to develop cost-effective, scalable interventions that could improve the academic outcomes of adolescents at a
population level, but no such interventions have so far been evaluated in a population-generalizable sample. Here we show that a short (less than one hour), online
growth mindset intervention—which teaches that intellectual abilities can be developed—improved grades among lower-achieving students and increased overall
enrolment to advanced mathematics courses in a nationally representative sample of students in secondary education in the United States. Notably, the study
identified school contexts that sustained the effects of the growth mindset intervention: the intervention changed grades when peer norms aligned with the messages
of the intervention. Confidence in the conclusions of this study comes from independent data collection and processing, pre-registration of analyses, and
corroboration of results by a blinded Bayesian
Is Bloom’s “Two Sigma” phenomenon real? If so, what do we do about it?
Educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom found that one-on-one tutoring using mastery learning led to a two sigma(!) improvement in student performance. The
results were replicated. He asks in his paper that identified the “2 Sigma Problem”: how do we achieve these results in conditions more practical (ie., more
scalable) than one-to-one tutoring?
In a related vein, this large-scale meta-analysis shows large (>0.5 Cohen’s d) effects from direct instruction using mastery learning. “Yet, despite
the very large body of research supporting its effectiveness, DI has not been widely embraced or implemented.”
The literatures examined here are full of small sample, non-randomized trials, and highly heterogeneous results.
Tutoring in general, most likely, does not reach the 2-sigma level that Bloom suggested. Likewise, it’s unlikely that mastery learning provides a 1-sigma
But high quality tutors, and high quality software are likely able to reach a 2-sigma improvement and beyond.
All the methods (mastery learning, direct instruction, tutoring, software tutoring, deliberate practice, and spaced
repetition) studied in this essay are found to work to various degrees, outlined below.
This essay covers many kinds of subjects being taught, and likewise many groups (special education vs regular schools, college vs K-12). The effect sizes
reported here are averages that serve as general guidance.
The methods studied tend to be more effective for lower skilled students relative to the rest.
The methods studied work at all levels of education, with the exception of direct instruction: There is no evidence to judge its effectiveness at the college
The methods work substantially better when clear objectives and facts to be learned are set. There is little evidence of learning transfer: Practicing or studying X subject does not improve much performance outside
There is some suggestive evidence that the underlying reasons these methods work are increased and repeated exposure to the material, the testing effect, and fine-grained feedback on performance in the case of tutoring.
Long term studies tend to find evidence of a fade-out effect, effect sizes decrease over time. This is likely due to the skills being learned not being
Bloom noted that mastery learning had an effect size of around 1 (one sigma); while tutoring leads to d = 2. This is mostly an outlier case.
Nonetheless, Bloom was on to something: Tutoring and mastery learning do have a degree of experimental support, and fortunately it seems that carefully designed
software systems can completely replace the instructional side of traditional teaching, achieving better results, on par with one to one tutoring. However,
designing them is a hard endeavour, and there is a motivational component of teachers that may not be as easily replicable purely by software.
Overall, it’s good news that the effects are present for younger and older students, and across subjects, but the effect sizes of tutoring, mastery learning or
DI are not as good as they would seem from Bloom’s paper. That said, it is true that tutoring does have large effect sizes, and that properly designed
software does as well. The DARPA case study shows what is possible with software tutoring, in the case the effect sizes
went even beyond Bloom’s paper.
Societies differ in susceptibility to social influence and in the social network structure through which individuals influence each other. What implications
might these cultural differences have for changes in cultural norms over time? Using parameters informed by empirical evidence, we computationally modeled these
cross-cultural differences to predict two forms of cultural change: consolidation of opinion majorities into stronger majorities, and the spread of initially
unpopular beliefs. Results obtained from more than 300,000 computer simulations showed that in populations characterized by greater susceptibility to social
influence, there was more rapid consolidation of majority opinion and also more successful spread of initially unpopular beliefs. Initially unpopular beliefs also
spread more readily in populations characterized by less densely connected social networks. These computational outputs highlight the value of computational
modeling methods as a means to specify hypotheses about specific ways in which cross-cultural differences may have long-term consequences for cultural stability
and cultural change.
[Personal memoir of growing up in the rural US northeast and losing a friend to heroin overdosing. Despite living in a stable and relatively well-off white
middle-class family, the friend ‘Jack’ had always suffered health problems and severe social anxiety, especially compared to his accomplished popular younger
brother. Jack was never truly happy, and clashed with his brother, who resented his problems and the drain on parents. In high school, Jack gravitated to a group
of bad peers who began drug use, existing in a constant malaise. A chance injury and painkiller prescription led to an opioid addiction, and then heroin. His parents invested enormous amounts
of effort into rehab and monitoring Jack and trying to get him launched on some sort of real higher education and career, if only a trade, but Jack was
uninterested and kept returning to drugs in between endless video game playing. This destroyed the family finances & relationships.]
I’m a libertarian who thinks all drugs should be legalized, including heroin. But I have to admit that learning what Jack’s addiction did to his family made me
understand the “Drug Warrior” perspective better. Unless an addict has no social connections whatsoever, his addiction will hurt others. The stronger the
connections, the worse the pain. If the supporting friends and family members hold on tightly enough, it will destroy them. Derrick described the five years of
being with Jack through his addiction until his death as a “living hell.”
To start with, fighting addiction costs money. Jack’s family was solidly middle-class, with his father pulling in enough money alone for the mother not to work
while affording a nice home, comfortable day-to-day life, and the occasional vacation. They were decently well-off, but not enough to sustain the hit of $150K+ of
rehab costs. I noticed some of the effects from afar but didn’t get the full picture until after Jack died. First the family stopped going on vacations, then the
mom got part-time work (which wasn’t easy while trying to keep Jack in Lockdown), then the father worked longer hours, and eventually they were draining their
retirement funds and mortgaging their house. But monetary costs were nothing compared to the emotional toll. How happy can you really be on a day-to-day basis when
you come home to where your heroin-addicted son or brother lives? Jack’s parents basically lost their lives. Every single day, every single minute, was oriented
around Jack. They always had to know where he was, what he was doing, when his next Narcotics Anonymous meeting was, if they could afford that therapist, etc. The
father no longer worked to build college and retirement funds, but to pay off debts. The mother didn’t stay home to take care of the house and kids, but to keep
her son alive. Then there was the lying…The fighting became worse than ever. They weren’t physical anymore, not while Jack deteriorated and Derrick bulked up. Yet
they were more vicious than ever. More personal…For years before then, Derrick’s life had inexorably been consumed by Jack. The instant Derrick showed his parents
Jack’s track marks, his childhood ended. Jack became a black hole at the center of the family which sucked everything in. Money, energy, time, and attention only
flowed one way. Derrick stopped being another son and was repurposed as an asset to be employed by his parents for Jack’s sake.
…For me, the scariest part of learning Jack’s full story was realizing that he may have been acting rationally. I’m not saying that being a heroin
addict is rational, and I’m not saying that Jack made good choices, especially not given the emotional carnage left in his wake, but… I think I understand why he
kept going back to the drugs…I think everyone is aware of these shitty parts of life. But almost everyone is also aware of the good parts. Family, friends, and
loved ones reflect our values and fuel our lives. Hobbies, passions, and maybe even work are outlets for our virtues that convert effort and inspiration into
rewards. It’s not easy, but we all fight to make the good parts as big as possible while minimizing, mitigating, or maybe even ignoring the bad parts. I don’t
think Jack was ever aware of the good parts. And I think his bad parts were intrinsically worse than most people’s…Jack was painfully aware that his future options
were, “be a complete loser”, or “be a complete loser who feels really really good for a few hours every day.” He chose the latter.
…One day, when Jack was 23-years-old, his parents left the house together to see a movie. It was the first time they had gone out together without Jack in six
months.. The parents came home with a cheeseburger for Jack, and they found him in his room, passed out in his own vomit on his bed. His mother called 911 while
his father tried to resuscitate him, but Jack was already dead. His cause of death was an overdose, though it’s unclear whether he accidentally took too much or
hit a bad batch. After the wake and funeral and shock, Derrick admitted that he felt relief. It was finally over.
Can events be accurately described as historic at the time they are happening? Claims of this sort are in effect predictions about the evaluations of future
historians; that is, that they will regard the events in question as important. Here we provide empirical evidence in support of earlier philosophical
arguments1 that such claims are likely to be spurious and that, conversely, many events that will one day be viewed as historic attract little attention
at the time. We introduce a conceptual and methodological framework for applying machine learning prediction models to large corpora of digitized historical
archives. We find that although such models can correctly identify some historically important documents, they tend to over-predict historical importance while
also failing to identify many documents that will later be deemed important, where both types of error increase monotonically with the number of documents under
consideration. On balance, we conclude that historical importance is extremely difficult to predict, consistent with other recent work on intrinsic limits to
predictability in complex social systems2,3. However, the results also indicate the feasibility of developing ‘artificial archivists’ to identify
potentially historic documents in very large digital corpora.
Empirical nudging studies can be categorized along 8 dimensions.
Analysis reveals that only 62% of nudging treatments are statistically-significant.
Nudges have a median effect size of 21% which depends on the category and context.
Defaults are most effective while precommitment strategies are least effective.
Digital nudging is similarly effective, but offers new perspectives of individualization.
Changes in the choice architecture, so-called nudges, have been employed in a variety of contexts to alter people’s behavior. Although nudging has gained a
widespread popularity, the effect sizes of its influences vary considerably across studies. In addition, nudges have proven to be ineffective or even backfire in
selected studies which raises the question whether, and under which conditions, nudges are effective.
Therefore, we conduct a quantitative review on nudging with 100 primary publications including 317 effect sizes from different research areas. We derive 4 key
A morphological box on nudging based on 8 dimensions,
an assessment of the effectiveness of different nudging interventions,
a categorization of the relative importance of the application context and the nudge category, and
a comparison of nudging and digital nudging.
Thereby, we shed light on the (in)effectiveness of nudging and we show how the findings of the past can be used for future research. Practitioners, especially
government officials, can use the results to review and adjust their policy making.
[Keywords: behavioral economics, nudging, quantitative review, digital nudging, choice architecture]
We study the causes of “nutritional inequality”: why the wealthy eat more healthfully than the poor in the United States. Exploiting supermarket entry and
household moves to healthier neighborhoods, we reject that neighborhood environments contribute meaningfully to nutritional inequality. We then estimate a
structural model of grocery demand, using a new instrument exploiting the combination of grocery retail chains’ differing presence across geographic markets with
their differing comparative advantages across product groups. Counterfactual simulations show that exposing low-income households to the same products and prices
available to high-income households reduces nutritional inequality by only about 10%, while the remaining 90% is driven by differences in demand. These findings
counter the argument that policies to increase the supply of healthy groceries could play an important role in reducing nutritional inequality.
The always excellent Stella Zhang directed me to a newish paper by political scientists Lee Jones and Zeng Jinhan on the domestic politics of China’s Belt and
Road. Long term readers will remember that I am bearish on Xi’s grand dream. Here is how I described the central problems with the scheme for Foreign
There is also a gap between how BRI projects are supposed to be chosen and how they actually have been
selected. Xi and other party leaders have characterized BRI investment in Eurasia as following along defined
“economic corridors” that would directly connect China to markets and peoples in other parts of the continent. By these means the party hopes to channel capital
into areas where it will have the largest long-term benefit and will make cumulative infrastructure improvements possible.
This has not happened: one analysis of 173 BRI projects concluded that with the exception of the
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) “there appears to be no statistically-significant relationship between
corridor participation and project activity…[suggesting that] interest groups within and outside China are skewing President Xi’s signature foreign policy
This skew is an inevitable result of China’s internal political system. BRI projects are not centrally directed.
Instead, lower state bodies like provincial and regional governments have been tasked with developing their own BRI projects. The officials in charge of these projects have no incentive to approve financially sound investments: by the time
any given project materializes, they will have been transferred elsewhere. BRI projects are shaped first and
foremost by the political incentives their planners face in China: There is no better way to signal one’s loyalty to Xi than by laboring for his favored
foreign-policy initiative. From this perspective, the most important criteria for a project is how easily the BRI label
can be slapped on to it…
The problems China has had with the BRI stem from contradictions inherent in the ends party leaders envision
for the initiative and the means they have supplied to reach them. BRI projects are chosen through a
decentralized project-management system and then funded through concessional loans offered primarily by PRC policy
banks. This is a recipe for cost escalation and corruption. In countries like Cambodia, a one-party state ruled by autocrats, this state of affairs is
viable, for there is little chance that leaders will be held accountable for lining their pockets (or, more rarely, the coffers of their local communities) at
the entire nation’s expense. But most BRI countries are not Cambodia. In democracies this way ofdoing
things is simply not sustainable, and in most BRI countries it is only so long before an angry opposition eager to pin
their opponents with malfeasance comes to power, armed with the evidence of misplaced or exploitative projects. 1
The key points to take away from my account is that the failures of the BRI seem to factor back to a few central
points: first, that project selection is mostly driven by the priorities of folks working in SOEs, provincial
governments, and a plethora of different policy banks. The central government in Beijing has difficulty directing their efforts. Secondly, that these people
do not have a good understanding of the countries in which they are investing, and face little incentive to gain this understanding. This leads to the sort of
corruption and ‘predatory’ funding that has given BRI its poisonous reputation in countries long exposed to
Jones and Zeng agree with this general picture, but provide a far more detailed account of what is happening ‘behind the scenes’ when BRI projects are chosen and funded. The process they describe is not unique to the Belt and Road. It starts as Communist high
leadership paints bold words in the sky:
Foreign-policy steering happens through several important mechanisms. The first is top leaders’ major speeches, which are usually kept vague to accommodate
diverse interests and agendas. Rather than ‘carefully-worked out grand strategies’, they are typically ‘platitudes, slogans, catchphrases, and generalities’,
offering ‘atmospheric guidance’ that others must then interpret and implement. Examples include: Deng’s tao guang yang hui, whose meaning is
‘debatable’; Hu’s ‘harmonious world’—‘more of a narrative than a grand strategy’; and Xi’s ‘new type of great power relations.’ As discussed below, Xi’s vague
2013 remarks on the ‘silk road economic belt’ (SREB) and ‘maritime silk road’ (MSR) exemplify this tendency.2
But bold words are not policy. The Party often has difficulty transforming grand visions into detailed policy proposals. This is sometimes quite intentional—in
a closed system like the People’s Republic, it may be better to have politicos arguing over how to make the Core’s vision possible, instead of whether the
Core’s vision is worth making possible in the first place.
Consent-based searches are by far the most ubiquitous form of search undertaken by police. A key legal inquiry in these cases is whether consent was granted
voluntarily. This Essay suggests that fact finders’ assessments of voluntariness are likely to be impaired by a systematic bias in social perception. Fact finders
are likely to underappreciate the degree to which suspects feel pressure to comply with police officers’ requests to perform searches.
In 2 preregistered laboratory studies, we approached a total of 209 participants (“Experiencers”) with a highly intrusive request: to unlock their
password-protected smartphones and hand them over to an experimenter to search through while they waited in another room. A separate 194 participants
(“Forecasters”) were brought into the lab and asked whether a reasonable person would agree to the same request if hypothetically approached by the same
researcher. Both groups then reported how free they felt, or would feel, to refuse the request.
Study 1 found that whereas most Forecasters believed a reasonable person would refuse the experimenter’s request, most Experiencers—100 out of 103
people—promptly unlocked their phones and handed them over. Moreover, Experiencers reported feeling statistically-significantly less free to refuse than did
Forecasters contemplating the same situation hypothetically.
Study 2 tested an intervention modeled after a commonly proposed reform of consent searches, in which the experimenter explicitly advises participants
that they have the right to withhold consent. We found that this advisory did not statistically-significantly reduce compliance rates or make Experiencers feel
more free to say no. At the same time, the gap between Experiencers and Forecasters remained statistically-significant.
These findings suggest that decision makers judging the voluntariness of consent consistently underestimate the pressure to comply with intrusive requests. This
is problematic because it indicates that a key justification for suspicionless consent searches—that they are voluntary—relies on an assessment that is subject to
bias. The results thus provide support to critics who would like to see consent searches banned or curtailed, as they have been in several states.
The results also suggest that a popular reform proposal—requiring police to advise citizens of their right to refuse consent—may have little effect. This
corroborates previous observational studies that find negligible effects of Miranda warnings on confession rates among interrogees, and little change in
rates of consent once police start notifying motorists of their right to refuse vehicle searches. We suggest that these warnings are ineffective because they fail
to address the psychology of compliance. The reason people comply with police, we contend, is social, not informational. The social demands of
police-citizen interactions persist even when people are informed of their rights. It is time to abandon the myth that notifying people of their rights makes them
feel empowered to exercise those rights.
Will Wilkinson explored one possibility in an essay he wrote a few years ago on American country music. Wilkinson begins with the observation that American
conservatives (ie., the consumers of country music) tend to be low on “openness” in the Big-5 personality scale. Folks who rate high on openness are the sort
attracted to novelty: world travels, new drugs, and so forth. Country music, he suggests, captures the emotional lives of a different group of people:
Emotional highlights of the low-openness life are going to be the type celebrated in “One Boy, One Girl”: the moment of falling in love with “the one”, the
wedding day, the birth one’s children (though I guess the song is about a surprising ultrasound). More generally, country music comes again and again to the
marvel of advancing through life’s stations, and finds delight in experiencing traditional familial and social relationships from both sides. Once I was a girl
with a mother, now I’m a mother with a girl. My parents took care of me, and now I take care of them. I was once a teenage boy threatened by a girl’s gun-loving
father, now I’m a gun-loving father threatening my girl’s teenage boy. Etc. And country is full of assurances that the pleasures of simple, rooted, small-town,
lives of faith are deeper and more abiding than the alternatives.
My conjecture, then, is that country music functions in part to reinforce in low-openness individuals the idea that life’s most powerful, meaningful emotional
experiences are precisely those to which conservative personalities living conventional lives are most likely to have access. And it functions as a device to
coordinate members of conservative-minded communities on the incomparable emotional weight of traditional milestone experiences…
But why would you want your kids to grow up with the same way of life as you and your grandparents? My best guess (and let me stress guess) is that those low
in openness depend emotionally on a sense of enchantment of the everyday and the profundity of ritual. Even a little change, like your kids playing with
different toys than you did, comes as a small reminder of the instability of life over generations and the contingency of our emotional attachments. This is a
reminder low-openness conservatives would prefer to avoid, if possible. What high-openness liberals feel as mere nostalgia, low-openness conservatives feel as
the baseline emotional tone of a recognizably decent life. If your kids don’t experience the same meaningful things in the same way that you experienced them,
then it may seem that their lives will be deprived of meaning, which would be tragic. And even if you’re able to see that your kids will find plenty of meaning,
but in different things and in different ways, you might well worry about the possibility of ever really understanding and relating to them. The inability to
bond over profound common experience would itself constitute a grave loss of meaning for both generations. So when the culture redefines a major life milestone,
such as marriage, it trivializes one’s own milestone experience by imbuing it was a sense of contingency, threatens to deprive one’s children of the same
experience, and thus threatens to make the generations strangers to one another. And what kind of monster would want that?
Country music is a bulwark against cultural change, a reminder that “what you see is what you get”, a means of keeping the charge of enchantment in “the
little things” that make up the texture of the every day, and a way of literally broadcasting the emotional and cultural centrality of the conventional
big-ticket experiences that make a life a life.3
…Yet there is one segment of society that seems to get it. In the years since my [Mormon missionary] service, I have been surprised to find that the one group of people who consistently understands my experience are
soldiers…both many ex-missionaries (known as “RMs” or “Return Missionaries” in Mormon lingo) and many veterans have such trouble adapting to life when they return
to their homes. This comparison occurred to me first several years ago, when I read a Facebook comment left by a man who had served as a Marine mechanic in
Afghanistan…I did not save the comment at the time, but I remember it well enough to reproduce a paraphrase here:
“I do not know if I want to live any more. I served in Afghanistan from [various dates of various deployments] and am now working as a salesman for [a
prominent American company]. I despise this world I am in now—everything is so selfish and so self centered. In Afghanistan every single decision I made had a
purpose; every single thing I did was for something bigger than myself. Everything I did, I did to save lives. Every deed helped accomplish our mission. Here in
America no one does anything except for themselves. We work to earn a buck—what is the point to living like this? There is not a day that goes by that I don’t
wish I was back in that hellhole. There what I did mattered. Here it is all meaningless.”
The second point probably deserves more space than I was able to give in the LA Review of Books. Consider, for a moment, the typical schedule of a
She will (depending on the length of her morning commute) wake up somewhere between 5:30 and 7:00 AM. She must be in
her seat by 7:45, 15 minutes before classes start. With bathroom breaks and gym class excepted, she will not leave that room until the 12:00 lunch hour and
will return to the same spot after lunch is ended for another four hours of instruction. Depending on whether she has after-school tests that day, she will be
released from her classroom sometime between 4:10 and 4:40. She then has one hour to get a start on her homework, eat, and travel to the evening cram school her
parents have enrolled her in. Math, English, Classical Chinese—there are cram schools for every topic on the gaokao. On most days of the week she will be
there studying from 6:00 to 9:00 PM (if the family has the money, she will spend another six hours at these
after-school schools on Saturday and Sunday mornings). Our teenager will probably arrive home somewhere around 10:00 PM,
giving her just enough time to spend two or three hours on that day’s homework before she goes to bed. Rinse and repeat, day in and day out, for six years.
The strain does not abate until she has defeated—or has been defeated by—the gaokao.
This is well known, but I think the wrong aspects of this experience are emphasized. Most outsiders look at this and think: see how much pressure these Chinese
kids are under. I look and think: how little privacy and independence these Chinese kids are given!
To put this another way: Teenage demands for personal space are hardly unique to China. What makes China distinctive is the difficulty its teenagers have
securing this goal. Chinese family life is hemmed in narrow bounds. The urban apartments that even well-off Chinese call their homes are tiny and crowded. Few have
more than two bedrooms. Teenagers are often forced to share their bedroom with a grandparent. So small was the apartment of one 16-year-old I interviewed that she
slept, without apparent complaint, in the same bed as her parents for her entire first year of high school. Where can a teenager like her go, what door could she
slam, when she was angry with her family? Within the walls of her home there was no escape from the parental gaze.
A Chinese teen has few better options outside her home. No middle-class Chinese teenager has a job. None have cars. The few that have boyfriends or girlfriends
go about it as discreetly as possible. Apart from the odd music lesson here or there, what Americans call “extra-curricular activities” are unknown. One a recent
graduate of a prestigious international high school in Beijing once explained to me the confusion she felt when she was told she would need to excel at an
after-school activity to be competitive in American university admissions:
“In tenth grade our home room teacher told us that American universities cared a lot about the things we do outside of school, so from now on we would need to
find time to ‘cultivate a hobby.’ I remember right after he left the girl sitting at my right turned to me and whispered, ‘I don’t know how to cultivate a hobby.
With news pushed to smart phones in real time and social media reactions spreading across the globe in seconds, the public discussion can appear accelerated and
temporally fragmented. In longitudinal datasets across various domains, covering multiple decades, we find increasing gradients and shortened periods in the
trajectories of how cultural items receive collective attention. Is this the inevitable conclusion of the way information is disseminated and consumed? Our
findings support this hypothesis. Using a simple mathematical model of topics competing for finite collective attention, we are able to explain the empirical data
remarkably well. Our modeling suggests that the accelerating ups and downs of popular content are driven by increasing production and consumption of content,
resulting in a more rapid exhaustion of limited attention resources. In the interplay with competition for novelty, this causes growing turnover rates and
individual topics receiving shorter intervals of collective attention.
In studies of educational achievement, students’ self-reported number of books in the family home is a frequently used proxy for social, cultural, and economic
background. Absent hard evidence about what this variable captures or how well, its use has been motivated by strong associations with student outcomes.
I show that these associations rest on 2 types of endogeneity: Low achievers accrue fewer books and are also prone to underestimate their number. The conclusion
is substantiated both by comparing reports by students and their parents and by the fact that girls report on average higher numbers despite being similar to boys
on other measures of social background. The endogenous bias is large enough to overturn classical attenuation bias; it distorts cross-country patterns and invalidates many common study designs.
These findings serve as a caution against overreliance on standard regression assumptions and contribute to ongoing debates about the empirical robustness of
[Keywords: education, endogeneity, equality of opportunity, home literacy environment, socioeconomic status, standardized assessments,
differential measurement error]
What is the relation between ethical reflection and moral behavior? Does professional reflection on ethical issues positively impact moral behaviors? To address
these questions, Schwitzgebel and Rust empirically investigated if philosophy professors engaged with ethics on a professional basis behave any morally better or,
at least, more consistently with their expressed values than do non-ethicist professors. Findings from their original US-based sample indicated that neither is the
case, suggesting that there is no positive influence of ethical reflection on moral action.
In the study at hand, we attempted to cross-validate this pattern of results in the German-speaking countries and surveyed 417 professors using a
replication-extension research design. Our results indicate a successful replication of the original effect that ethicists do not behave any morally better
compared to other academics across the vast majority of normative issues. Yet, unlike the original study, we found mixed results on normative attitudes generally.
On some issues, ethicists and philosophers even expressed more lenient attitudes. However, one issue on which ethicists not only held stronger normative attitudes
but also reported better corresponding moral behaviors was vegetarianism.
[Keywords: Experimental philosophy, replication-extension, moral attitudes, moral behavior]
…In a series of studies by Eric Schwitzgebel, co-authored with Joshua Rust (2009, 2010, 2011,
2013, 2014) and
Fiery Cushman (2012, 2015), the empirical relations between the normative attitudes and moral
behaviors of professional ethicists have been investigated systematically. Their research covered a variety of methodologies and topics like evaluations of peer
opinion concerning ethicists’ moral behavior, research on order-effects concerning ethical intuitions in trolley cases, and ethicists’ voting behavior. In their
most well-known study (2014), Schwitzgebel and Rust compared the self-reported and directly observed moral behaviors of professional ethicists with their espoused
normative views to determine their consistency. As their findings proved to be both empirically informative and highly relevant to how one thinks about the
relation between ethical reflection and action, this underscores the value of investigating ethicists to understand the nature and corollaries of ethical
reflection. In order to contribute to and validate this pioneering work, we herewith conducted a replication attempt of Schwitzgebel and Rust’s seminal study in
There are a growing number of large-scale educational randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Considering
their expense, it is important to reflect on the effectiveness of this approach. We assessed the magnitude and precision of effects found in those
large-scale RCTs commissioned by the UK-based Education Endowment Foundation and the U.S.-based National Center for
Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance, which evaluated interventions aimed at improving academic achievement in K–12 (141 RCTs; 1,222,024 students). The mean effect size was 0.06 standard deviations. These sat within relatively large
confidence intervals (mean width = 0.30 SDs), which meant that the results were often uninformative (the median Bayes factor was 0.56). We argue that our field
needs, as a priority, to understand why educational RCTs often find small and uninformative effects.
[Keywords: educational policy, evaluation, meta-analysis, program evaluation.]
Under the Khmer Rouge, making love was an explicitly political act. Marriage was a political decision. Refusing to sleep with your husband was
an act of political rebellion. The first claim of the totalitarian is that everything is political.
In my view, a totalitarian system must meet two minimum requirements:
In this system all human action is considered political action.
The system is ruled by a Party which claims commanding authority to direct all political action—and thus all human action—for its cause.
The great tragedies of 20th century history occurred as the totalitarian leaders attempted to translate their claim of authority over all
human action into actual control over the same.
This view of totalitarian society crystallized in my mind some years ago, when I first read Liang Heng’s memoir of his youthful escapades as a Red Guard in the
Cultural Revolution. A professor had asked me to review it. In that brief review I noted:
In Mao’s China the personal was always political. And not just the personal—everything anyone did was political. Maoism was a political ideology that
asked its members to give everything they were, had, and did to the socialist cause. This intellectual framework implies that everything one does should be
layered with political meaning. A child’s prank, a lover’s kiss, and a friend’s embrace were all political acts. The clothes one wore, the way one walked, the
letters one wrote, and the words one spoke all had political valence. It was with this in mind Liang Shan warned: “Never give your opinion on anything, even if
you’re asked directly” (76).
Such caution is inevitable in a world where there is no distinction between the personal and the political. Politics is the division of power, politicking the
contest for it. In a system where the most intimate and private actions have political meaning, these actions will be used by those who seek power. These naked
contests for control leave no room for good and evil—good becomes what those with power declare it. “One day you are red, one day you are black, and one day you
are red again” (76), Liang Shan instructed, and he was correct. This struggle stretched from factions warring within the walls of Zhongnanhai to the village
black class child currying for favor.
The problem is not competition: that is an ingrained aspect of human life. The special tragedy of the Maoist system was that it spared nothing from the
pursuit of power. There was no aspect of life that could be cordoned off as a refuge from the storm.2
Previous research has demonstrated that consanguineous marriage is a vector
for socioeconomic inheritance and for the maintenance of family structure and property.
On the basis of reconstituted families from the Krummhörn, Ostfriesland in the 18th and 19th centuries, we examine statistical
correlations between ascertained inbreeding coefficients (F) based on
family trees and socioeconomic status as well as the intergenerational transmission of landholdings. Semiparametric copula/bivariate regression models with
non-random sample selection were applied to estimate F and the proportion of medium (0.0625 > F ≥ 0.0156) or high consanguineous unions (F ≥ 0.0625),
Our estimates for F as well as for the proportion of medium (0.0625 > F ≥ 0.0156) or high consanguineous unions (F ≥ 0.0625) are statistically-significantly
higher among socioeconomically privileged large farmer families than among the landless portion of the population. At the same time, our analyses show that a high
level of consanguinity is associated with an increased intergenerational transmission of landholdings through the patriline (but not the matriline).
We discuss the reproductive consequences of consanguinity among large farmers in connection with local resource competition, intensive kinship, and potential
During an undetermined time period preceding European contact, a gargantuan, humanoid spirit-God conquered parts of the Sepik region of Papua New Guinea. With a
voracious appetite for pork and yams—and occasional demands of ritual murder—Nggwal was the tutelary spirit for a number of Sepik horticulturalist societies…what
specific demands does Nggwal make? The first is for food. Nggwal must be fed, and while it is the men who are his most devoted servants and the keepers of his
great secrets, it is often the responsibility of the women to provide for his subsistence, “Women are well aware of Nggwal’s hunger, for to them falls much of the
gardening, hauling and cooking needed to feed him”, Tuzin writes. But how does Nggwal consume the food offered to him? “Needless to say, it is not the Tambaran
[Nggwal himself] which eats the pork but the men themselves, in secret conclaves”, and Tuzin continues describing the “feasts among Tambaran Cult members in secret
seclusion, during which non-members are under the impression that the food is being given directly to the spirits.”
…Despite the playful, Halloween-like aspects of this practice, the hangahiwa wandafunei [violent spirits] were a much more serious matter. 10% of the
male masks portrayed hangahiwa wandafunei, and they were associated with the commission of ritually sanctioned murder. These murders committed by the
violent spirits were always attributed to Nggwal.
…Traditionally, hangahiwa wandafunei sought out victims who were alone in their garden or on the forest paths at dusk. Pigs, dogs and chickens were
also fair game. After spearing the victim, the offending hangamu’w would escape back to its spirit house. The wearer would replace it with the other
costumes and emerge without fear of detection—in time to join the general alarm aroused by the discovery of the body.
Sometimes the wearer would not put the mask away, however, and instead he would take it to a nearby enemy village, where a relative or other acquaintance of his
would take the mask and keep it in their own community’s spirit house, until it was time to be used and transferred once more. Through these ritual killings and
the passage of costumes between communities, Nggwal impels cooperation between men of even hostile villages, and unites them in cult secrecy.
Nggwal, who travels in structures of fiber and bone atop rivers of blood.
[Meditation on what drives social networks like Instagram: status and signaling. A social network provides a way for monkeys to create and ascend
status hierarchies, and a new social network can bootstrap and succeed by offering a new way to do that.]
Let’s begin with two principles:
People are status-seeking monkeys
People seek out the most efficient path to maximizing social capital
…we can start to demystify social networks if we also think of them as SaaS businesses, but instead of software, they provide status.
Almost every social network of note had an early signature proof of work hurdle. For Facebook it was posting some witty text-based status update. For Instagram,
it was posting an interesting square photo. For Vine, an entertaining 6-second video. For Twitter, it was writing an amusing bit of text of 140 characters or
fewer. Pinterest? Pinning a compelling photo. You can likely derive the proof of work for other networks like Quora and Reddit and Twitch and so on. Successful
social networks don’t pose trick questions at the start, it’s usually clear what they want from you.
…Thirst for status is potential energy. It is the lifeblood of a Status as a Service business. To succeed at carving out unique space in the market, social
networks offer their own unique form of status token, earned through some distinctive proof of work.
…Most of these near clones have and will fail. The reason that matching the basic proof of work hurdle of an Status as a Service incumbent fails is that it
generally duplicates the status game that already exists. By definition, if the proof of work is the same, you’re not really creating a new status ladder game, and
so there isn’t a real compelling reason to switch when the new network really has no one in it.
…Why do social network effects reverse? Utility, the other axis by which I judge social networks, tends to be uncapped in value. It’s rare to describe a product
or service as having become too useful. That is, it’s hard to over-serve on utility. The more people that accept a form of payment, the more useful it is, like
Visa or Mastercard or Alipay. People don’t stop using a service because it’s too useful.
…Social network effects are different. If you’ve lived in New York City, you’ve likely seen, over and over, night clubs which are so hot for months suddenly go
out of business just a short while later. Many types of social capital have qualities which render them fragile. Status relies on coordinated consensus to define
the scarcity that determines its value. Consensus can shift in an instant. Recall the friend in Swingers, who, at every crowded LA party, quips, “This place is
dead anyway.” Or recall the wise words of noted sociologist Groucho Marx: “I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member.”
Human symbol systems such as art and fashion styles emerge from complex social processes that govern the continuous re-organization of modern societies. They
provide a signalling scheme that allows members of an elite to distinguish themselves from the rest of society.
Efforts to understand the dynamics of art and fashion cycles have been placed on ‘bottom-up’ and ‘top-down’ theories. According to ‘top-down’ theories, elite
members signal their superior status by introducing new symbols (eg. fashion styles), which are adopted by low-status groups. In response to this adoption, elite
members would need to introduce new symbols to signal their status. According to many ‘bottom-up’ theories, style cycles evolve from lower classes and follow an
essentially random pattern. We propose an alternative explanation based on counter-dominance signalling (CDS). In
CDS, elite members want others to imitate their symbols; changes only occur when outsider groups successfully challenge
the elite by introducing signals that contrast those endorsed by the elite.
We investigate these mechanisms using a dynamic network approach on data containing almost 8 million music albums released between 1956 and 2015. The network
systematically quantifies artistic similarities of competing musical styles and their changes over time. We formulate empirical tests for whether new symbols are
introduced by current elite members (top-down), randomness (bottom-up) or by peripheral groups through counter-dominance signals. We find clear evidence that
CDS drives changes in musical styles.
This provides a quantitative, completely data-driven answer to a century-old debate about the nature of the underlying social dynamics of fashion cycles.
[Keywords: cultural evolution, network analysis, evolutionary dynamics, fashion cycle theory]
One of the extraordinary things about reading Mao’s speeches from this period is the fluidity of who was considered an ally and who was considered an enemy. Mao
framed his campaigns as a struggle between “the people” and “the enemy”, but who fit into each group differed drastically based off of the Party’s perceptions of
who was a credible threat to The Cause and who was not. As Mao put it:
To understand these two different types of contradictions correctly, we must first be clear on what is meant by “the people” and what is meant by “the enemy”.
The concept of “the people” varies in content in different countries and in different periods of history in a given country. Take our own country for example.
During the War of Resistance Against Japan, all those classes, strata and social groups opposing Japanese aggression came within the category of the people,
while the Japanese imperialists, their Chinese collaborators and the pro-Japanese elements were all enemies of the people. During the War of Liberation, the U.S.
imperialists and their running dogs—the bureaucrat-capitalists, the landlords and the Kuomintang reactionaries who represented these two classes—were the enemies
of the people, while the other classes, strata and social groups, which opposed them, all came within the category of the people. At the present stage, the
period of building socialism, the classes, strata and social groups which favour, support and work for the cause of socialist construction all come within the
category of the people, while the social forces and groups which resist the socialist revolution and are hostile to or sabotage socialist construction are all
enemies of the people.5
Thus a particular group could at one point be an honored part of “the people”, at another point an ally in a “united front”, and later a despised “enemy” of the
regime. How the regime treated you depended very much on how threatening Party leaders believed you might be to the regime and its cause.
Today The Cause has flipped—officially—from socialist revolution to national rejuvenation. The Party works under the same schema but has shifted the “people”
that Mao identified with specific economic classes to the nation at large.6 Mass mobilization campaigns have been retired. But struggle and
united front campaigns have not. Xi’s great corruption purge, the Uighur labor camps of Xinjiang, the attack on Christians across China—these all follow
the same methods for crushing and coercing “enemies” developed by Mao and the Party in the early ’40s. “One Country, Two Systems”, interference campaigns in the
Chinese diaspora, the guided, gilded tours given to Musk and his ilk—these all follow the same methods for corrupting and controlling “allies” developed by Mao and
the Party that same decade. The tools have never changed. The only thing that has changed is the Party’s assessment of who is an “enemy” and who
is part of the “people.”
There is one threat, however, that the Communist legacy has poorly prepared the Party to face. Stalin and Mao conceived of their projects in cultural terms—they
were not just attempting to stamp out dangerous people, but dangerous ideas. To that end both Stalin and Mao cut their countries off from the world they
had no control over. If your end goal is socialist revolution this might be tenable. But if your end goal is national rejuvenation—that is, a future where China
sits at the top of a global order, more wealthy and powerful than any other—then engagement with the outside world must be had. It means foreigners coming to China
in great numbers, and Chinese going abroad in numbers no smaller. It means a much more accurate conception of the way the rest of the world works among the minds
of the Chinese people. It means contemplating paths for China that do not involve being ruled by a dictatorial party-state.
This tension lies at the root of the Party’s problems with the West. Countries like America threaten the Party with their mere existence. Consider what these
countries do: they allow dissidents from authoritarian powers shelter. Their societies spawn (even when official government policy is neutral on the question)
movement after movement devoted to spreading Western ideals and ideas to other lands and peoples. They are living proof that a country does not need a one-party
state to become powerful and wealthy. These things pose a threat to the Communist Party of China. The Party itself is the first to admit it.7
This paper examines the joint evolution of emigration and individualism in Scandinavia during the Age of Mass Migration (1850–1920). A long-standing hypothesis
holds that people of a stronger individualistic mindset are more likely to migrate as they suffer lower costs of abandoning existing social networks. Building on
this hypothesis, I propose a theory of cultural change where migrant self-selection generates a relative push away from individualism, and towards collectivism, in
migrant-sending locations through a combination of initial distributional effects and channels of intergenerational cultural transmission. Due to the
interdependent relationship between emigration and individualism, emigration is furthermore associated with cultural convergence across subnational locations. I
combine various sources of empirical data, including historical population census records and passenger lists of emigrants, and test the relevant elements of the
proposed theory at the individual and subnational district level, and in the short and long run. Together, the empirical results suggest that individualists were
more likely to migrate than collectivists, and that the Scandinavian countries would have been considerably more individualistic and culturally diverse, had
emigration not taken place.
This dissertation contains three essays in Applied Microeconomics. Chapter 1 provides the first causal estimates of the effect of children’s access to
computers and the internet on adult educational outcomes such as schooling and choice of major. I exploit cross-cohort variation in access to technology among
primary and middle school students in Uruguay, the first country to implement a nationwide one-laptop-per-child program. Despite a notable increase in computer
access, educational attainment has not increased. However, college students who had been exposed to the program as children, were more likely to select majors with
good employment prospects. Chapter 2 provides the first empirical evidence of the historical effects of natural disasters on economic activity in the United
States. Although the literature has focused on salient natural disasters, more than one hounded strike the country every year, causing extensive property
destruction and loss of life. My coauthors and I construct an 80 year panel data set that includes the universe of natural disasters in the United States from 1930
to 2010 and study how these shocks affected migration rates, home prices and poverty rates at the county level. Severe disasters increased out-migration rates by
1.5 percentage points and lowered housing prices/rents by 2.5–5.0%, but milder disasters had little effect on economic outcomes. Chapter 3 exploits the 1962
publication of Silent Spring, the first successful environmental science book, to investigate whether public information can influence popular demand for
environmental regulation. Protecting the environment is often plagued by collective-action problems, so it is important to understand what motivates politicians to
act. Combining historical U.S. congressional roll-call votes and census data, I find that the propensity of politicians to vote in favor of pro-environmental
regulation increased by 5 to 33 percentage points after the publication of the book. The response to the informational shock varies with the constituency’s level
of education, income, and exposure to pollution.
“Technology and Educational Choices: Evidence from a One-Laptop-per-Child Program”
This paper provides the first causal estimates of the effect of children’s access to computers and the internet on adult educational outcomes such as
schooling and choice of major. I exploit cross-cohort variation in access to technology among primary and middle school students in Uruguay, the first country
to implement a nationwide one-laptop-per-child program. Despite a notable increase in computer access, educational attainment has not increased. However,
college students who had been exposed to the program as children, were more likely to select majors with good employment prospects.
“The Effect of Natural Disasters on Economic Activity in US Counties: A Century of Data”
More than 100 natural disasters strike the United States every year, causing extensive property destruction and loss of life. We construct an 80 year panel
data set that includes the universe of natural disasters in the United States from 1930 to 2010 and study how these shocks affected migration rates, home
prices and poverty rates at the county level. Severe disasters increased out-migration rates by 1.5 percentage points and lowered housing prices/rents by
2.5–5.0%, but milder disasters had little effect on economic outcomes.
“From Awareness to Action: Informational Shocks and Demand for Environmental Regulation”
Protecting the environment is often plagued by collective-action problems, so it is important to understand what motivates politicians to act. This paper
exploits the 1962 publication of Silent Spring, the first influential environmental science book, to investigate whether public information can
influence popular demand for environmental regulation. Combining historical U.S. congressional roll-call votes and census data, I find that the propensity of
politicians to vote in favor of pro-environmental regulation increased by 5 to 33 percentage points after the publication of the book. The response to the
informational shock varies with the constituency’s level of education, income, and exposure to pollution.
A landmark study published in PNAS [Côté S, House J, Willer R (2015)Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 112:15838–15843] showed that higher income individuals are less generous than poorer individuals only if they reside in a
US state with comparatively large economic inequality. This finding might serve to reconcile inconsistent findings on the effect of social class on generosity by
highlighting the moderating role of economic inequality. On the basis of the importance of replicating a major finding before readily accepting it as evidence, we
analyzed the effect of the interaction between income and inequality on generosity in three large representative datasets. We analyzed the donating behavior of
27,714 US households (study 1), the generosity of 1,334 German individuals in an economic game (study 2), and volunteering to participate in charitable activities
in 30,985 participants from 30 countries (study 3). We found no evidence for the postulated moderation effect in any study. This result is especially remarkable
because (i) our samples were very large, leading to high power to detect effects that exist, and (ii) the cross-country analysis employed in
study 3 led to much greater variability in economic inequality. These findings indicate that the moderation effect might be rather specific and cannot be easily
generalized. Consequently, economic inequality might not be a plausible explanation for the heterogeneous results on the effect of social class on
Classic and contemporary studies show that greater social class status is associated with higher levels of education for youth. However, racialized processes
might constrain the benefits blacks receive from increases in parents’ social class. In this study the authors use the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 to
estimate whether race moderates the relationship among three common measures of youths’ social class during high school (parents’ occupations, family income, and
parents’ level of education) and their college enrollment two years after high school and educational attainment eight years after high school. The results suggest
that black youth receive lower benefits from social class than whites for both outcomes, and parents’ gender plays a role in the racial differences in the link
between social class and both outcomes. The authors also find a three-way interaction with family structure for mothers (among race, social class, and family
structure); among youth not in two-parent households, blacks benefit less than whites from mothers’ occupational prestige on enrollment. This study extends the
literature on social class and racial inequality in education by explicitly testing whether black youth receive lower benefits from social class in their
attainment. Doing so separately for mothers’ and fathers’ social class characteristics uncovers a nuanced pattern useful for understanding race as a moderator to
In 1950, China’s new Communist government created hereditary family class labels intended to promote the advancement of households supportive of the
Communist movement along with the economically disadvantaged and to penalize property owners and those associated with the old regime. Researchers have long
suspected that the labels rewarded connections to the Communist movement more than the economically disadvantaged, while former middle-class & upper-class
households continued to enjoy certain advantages. The long-term impact of these labels has yet to be firmly established.
The authors examine the factors affecting the initial assignment of class labels and their subsequent consequences for Communist Party membership and
educational and occupational attainment. Using data from a 1996 national probability sample survey of China, the authors find that the class labels had a major
impact on the life chances of individuals that persisted at least into the mid-1990s, although not always in the ways that were intended.
…To a substantial extent the effect of class origin is indirect, resulting from the effect of class on the advantages and disadvantages felt by grandparents and
parents and by respondents at the beginning of their adult lives. But for many outcomes strong direct effects persisted, especially for those of Bad Class origin.
For those of Red class origin, direct and indirect effects were in general both positive, in the sense that they increased the odds of the outcomes we studied. But
for those of Bad class origin they often were contradictory, with indirect effects often increasing the odds of advantageous outcomes but direct effects decreasing
What does this pattern tell us? The direct effects are straightforward. Those of Red class origin were favored by the regime—the leadership of which was much
like themselves—while those of Bad class origin were punished. But the indirect effects are perhaps more interesting. For those of Red class origin there is
nothing particularly remarkable, because the increasing advantage simply reflects the combination of cumulative socioeconomic advantage, favorable treatment by
gatekeepers to privileged positions, and the sense of entitlement that develops in those who are privileged from childhood. For those of Bad class origin, however,
the often positive indirect effects suggest that despite hardship and humiliation Bad class families were able to sustain the motivations and skills that had made
them successful enough in 1948 to be singled out for labeling and punishment by the new regime.
This echoes repeated findings that point to the role of family and kin groups in transmitting status across generations, sometimes over long historical
What adaptive function does self-regard serve? Sociometer theory predicts
that it positively tracks social inclusion. A new theory, hierometer
theory, predicts that it positively tracks social status.
Study 1 (n = 940), featuring a cross-sectional design, found that both status and inclusion covaried positively with self-esteem, but that
status alone covaried positively with narcissism. These links held independently of gender, age, and the Big Five personality traits.
Study 2 (n = 627), a preregistered cross-sectional study, obtained similar results with alternative
measures of self-esteem and narcissism.
Studies 3–4 featured experimental designs in which status and inclusion were orthogonally manipulated. Study 3 (n = 104) found that both higher
status and higher inclusion promoted higher self-esteem, whereas only higher status promoted higher narcissism.
Study 4 (n = 259) obtained similar results with alternative measures of self-esteem and narcissism.
The findings suggest that self-esteem operates as both sociometer and hierometer, positively tracking both status and inclusion, whereas narcissism operates
primarily as a hierometer, positively tracking status.
[Keywords: social status, social inclusion, self-esteem, narcissism, hierometer theory]
I’ve written a couple of book summaries on here over the past few months, and this one for Hillbilly Elegy will be the most difficult. J. D. Vance’s
autobiography is a sociological summary of Appalachian American culture, and by extension the culture of poverty across America, which uses his own life as a case
study. The book is basically a series of linked anecdotes with only occasional introspections thrown in, so I’ll try my best to lay out Vance’s story, and
integrate his claims and arguments.
…You know that classic Republican straw man about poor people? It goes something like—
“In the glorious modern American capitalist economy, all people can pick themselves up by their bootstraps and make a good living if they really want to. The
only way to fail is to not try hard enough. Poor people are all lazy loafers who would rather take drugs, rack up illegitimate children, and become welfare
queens, than work an honest day in their lives. It’s their own damn fault they’re poor.”
Vance argues that this straw man is basically true.
Yes, of course it’s more complicated than that. There are external factors at play that makes the lives of his fellow hillbillies in Appalachia worse, like the
collapse of American industrialism. But underlying the depressed economies, high unemployment, underfunded schools, and shoddy welfare networks, are simply a lot
of bad decisions made on an individual level…Only a very select few hillbillies “make it” in the sense of achieving a stable, middle-class lifestyle. J. D. Vance
is one of those few. He starts off the book saying that he feels ridiculous writing a memoir because his “greatest accomplishment” to date was graduating from Yale
Law School. Yet, as he walks the reader through his life, it becomes more and more apparent just how amazing that feat is…I was aware of all these stereotypes
before reading the book, but seeing them so fully fleshed out really brought home how scary it is. These people probably aren’t evil… but a lot of them are kind of
bad. Or at least foolish. Or at least make really stupid decisions all the time. Somehow, that’s even scarier than being evil, or at least it’s harder to fix.
…Vance consistently stresses that by raw material standards, nobody in Middletown was doing that badly. Yet they were miserable, depressed, addicted,
and hopeless anyway.
For instance, when Mom was with her first husband, the toothless hillbilly guy, they could be considered solidly middle-class. Mom was a nurse, her husband was
a truck driver, and together they made over $100K per year with two kids in a low-cost-of-living region of America. And yet financial problems were always one of
the biggest triggers of family screaming matches. They were deeply in debt because both Mom and the husband bought multiple new cars per year, they ate out every
day instead of cooking, and they purchased a below-ground swimming pool. The house was already mortgaged, but was falling into disrepair due to lack of upkeep,
while they repeatedly crashed new cars, and burned through meager savings with credit card fees. Vance’s family could have been fine. His parents could have lived
comfortably, had good savings, and started a college fund. And maybe if they did, the stress wouldn’t have driven Mom and husband to break up, and Mom wouldn’t
have turned to drugs, etc. But it didn’t turn out that way.
Throughout the book, I had a question that I wished Vance would have answered directly. Are hillbilly values the problem, or hypocrisy against these
In February, 2018, WHO in collaboration with The University of Sydney,NSW, Australia, launched a new tool to monitor compliance with theInternational Health Regulations (2005) (IHR 2005) requirements regarding additional health measures. The initiative is part of the WHO Secretariat’s commitment to strengthening the IHR framework, which is a legally binding
instrument to protect global public health and prevent unnecessary disruption to international traffic and trade; this framework has been adopted by 196 States
Parties, including all 194 Member States of WHO.
The new tool relies on media reports to identify potential outbreak-related trade and travel sanctions, and it uses a standard set of procedures for
verification and compliance. Researchers from The University of Sydney are working with the WHO Secretariat in
Geneva, Switzerland, to integrate the tool into existing notification and reporting systems to enable timely monitoring. Integration will enable WHO to track in real time when countries impose trade or travel sanctions that can substantially harm national and regional
economies, and to work constructively with governments to remove the sanctions. It is a crucial step in strengthening the implementation of IHR 2005, which remains the only international treaty specifically designed to safeguard global health security.
We study the persuasive effects of political advertising.
Our empirical strategy exploits FCC regulations that result in plausibly exogenous variation in the number of
impressions across the borders of neighboring counties.
Applying this approach to detailed data on television advertisement broadcasts and viewership patterns during the 2004–12 presidential campaigns, our results
indicate that total political advertising has almost no impact on aggregate turnout. By contrast, we find a positive and economically meaningful effect of
advertising on candidates’ vote shares. Taken at face value, our estimates imply that a one standard deviation increase in the partisan difference in advertising
raises the partisan difference in vote shares by about 0.5 percentage points.
Evidence from a regression discontinuity design suggests that
advertising affects election results by altering the partisan composition of the electorate.
We analyze the evolution of fashion based on a network game model. Each agent in this model is a conformist or a rebel. A conformist prefers to take the action
most common among her neighboring agents, whereas a rebel prefers the opposite.
When there is only one type of agents, the model possesses an exact potential function, implying that fashion cycles are unlikely to emerge in a homogeneous population. The homophily index, a measure of segregation in networks with multiple types
of nodes, is shown to play a key role in the emergence of fashion cycles.
Our main finding is that a lower homophily index, in general, promotes the emergence of fashion cycles. We establish this result through a potential analysis, a
partial potential analysis, and a stability analysis of a system of ordinary differential equations that is approximated from a stochastic best response
Numerical simulations based on a variety of networks confirm that the approximate analysis is reliable.
Among both elites and the mass public, conservatives and liberal differ in their foreign policy preferences. Relatively little effort, however, has been put
toward showing that, beyond the use of force, these differences affect the day-to-day outputs and processes of foreign policy.
This article uses United Nations voting data from 1946 to 2008 of the 5 major Anglophone democracies of the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada,
Australia, and New Zealand to show that each of these countries votes more in line with the rest of the world when liberals are in power. This can be explained by
ideological differences between conservatives and liberals and the ways in which the socializing power of international institutions interact with preexisting
The results hope to encourage more research into the ways in which ideological differences among the masses and elites translate into differences in foreign
policy goals and practices across governments.
[Paper: Small et al 2021] That was when a group of government officials and
activists decided to take the question to a new online discussion platform called vTaiwan. Starting in early March 2016, about 450 citizens went to
vtaiwan.tw, proposed solutions, and voted on them…Three years after its founding, vTaiwan hasn’t exactly taken Taiwanese politics by storm. It has
been used to debate only a couple of dozen bills, and the government isn’t required to heed the outcomes of those debates (though it may be if a new law passes
later this year). But the system has proved useful in finding consensus on deadlocked issues such as the alcohol sales law, and its methods are now being applied
to a larger consultation platform, called Join, that’s being tried out in some local government settings.
…vTaiwan relies on a hodgepodge of open-source tools for soliciting proposals, sharing information, and holding polls, but one of the key parts is
Pol.is, created by Megill and a couple of friends in Seattle after the events of Occupy Wall Street and the Arab Spring in 2011. On Pol.is, a topic is put up
for debate. Anyone who creates an account can post comments on the topic, and can also upvote or downvote other people’s comments.
That may sound much like any other online forum, but 2 things make Pol.is unusual. The first is that you cannot reply to comments. “If people can propose their
ideas and comments but they cannot reply to each other, then it drastically reduces the motivation for trolls to troll”, Tang says. “The opposing sides had never
had a chance to actually interact with each other’s ideas.”
The second is that it uses the upvotes and downvotes to
generate a kind of map [using PCA/UMAP for
dimensionality reduction clustering] of all the
participants in the debate, clustering together people who have voted similarly. Although there may be hundreds or thousands of separate comments, like-minded
groups rapidly emerge in this voting map, showing where there are divides and where there is consensus. People then naturally try to draft comments that will win
votes from both sides of a divide, gradually eliminating the gaps.
“The visualization is very, very helpful”, Tang says. “If you show people the face of the crowd, and if you take away the reply button, then people stop wasting
time on the divisive statements.”
In one of the platform’s early successes, for example, the topic at issue was how to regulate the ride-hailing company Uber, which had—as in many places around the world—run into fierce opposition from local taxi drivers. As new people joined the online
debate, they were shown and asked to vote on comments that ranged from calls to ban Uber or subject it to strict regulation, to calls to let the market decide, to
more general statements such as “I think that Uber is a business model that can create flexible jobs.”
Within a few days, the voting had coalesced to define 2 groups, one pro-Uber and one, about twice as large,
anti-Uber. But then the magic happened: as the groups sought to attract more supporters, their members started posting
comments on matters that everyone could agree were important, such as rider safety and liability insurance. Gradually, they refined them to garner more votes. The
end result was a set of 7 comments that enjoyed almost universal approval, containing such recommendations as “The government should set up a fair regulatory
regime”, “Private passenger vehicles should be registered”, and “It should be permissible for a for-hire driver to join multiple fleets and platforms.” The divide
between pro-Uber and anti-Uber camps had been replaced by consensus on how to create
a level playing field for Uber and the taxi firms, protect consumers, and create more competition. Tang herself took those
suggestions into face-to-face talks with Uber, the taxi drivers, and experts, which led the government to adopt new
regulations along the lines vTaiwan had produced.
Jason Hsu, a former activist, and now an opposition legislator, helped bring the vTaiwan platform into being. He says its big flaw is that the government is not
required to heed the discussions taking place there. vTaiwan’s website boasts that as of August 2018, it had been used in 26 cases, with 80% resulting in
“decisive government action.” As well as inspiring regulations for Uber and for online alcohol sales, it has led to an act
that creates a “fintech sandbox”, a space for small-scale technological experiments within Taiwan’s otherwise tightly regulated financial system.
“It’s all solving the same problem: essentially saying, ‘What if we’re talking about things that are emergent, [for which] there are only a handful of early
adopters?’” Tang says. “That’s the basic problem we were solving at the very beginning with vTaiwan.”
In a series of experiments, we show that people often respond to decreases in the prevalence of a stimulus by expanding their concept of it. When blue dots
became rare, participants began to see purple dots as blue; when threatening faces became rare, participants began to see neutral faces as threatening; and when
unethical requests became rare, participants began to see innocuous requests as unethical. This “prevalence-induced concept change” occurred even when participants
were forewarned about it and even when they were instructed and paid to resist it.
Social problems may seem intractable in part because reductions in their prevalence lead people to see more of them.
Perceptual and judgment creep: Do we think that a problem persists even when it has become less frequent? Levari et al 2018 show
experimentally that when the “signal” a person is searching for becomes rare, the person naturally responds by broadening his or her definition of the signal—and
therefore continues to find it even when it is not there. From low-level perception of color to higher-level judgments of ethics, there is a robust tendency for
perceptual and judgmental standards to “creep” when they ought not to. For example, when blue dots become rare, participants start calling purple dots blue, and
when threatening faces become rare, participants start calling neutral faces threatening. This phenomenon has broad implications that may help explain why people
whose job is to find and eliminate problems in the world often cannot tell when their work is done.
[WP] Because of the intrinsic randomness of the evolutionary process,
a mutant with a fitness advantage has some chance to be selected but no certainty. Any experiment that searches for advantageous mutants will lose many of them due
to random drift. It is therefore of great interest to find population structures that improve the odds of advantageous mutants. Such structures are called
amplifiers of natural selection: they increase the probability that advantageous mutants are selected. Arbitrarily strong amplifiers guarantee the selection of
advantageous mutants, even for very small fitness advantage. Despite intensive research over the past decade, arbitrarily strong amplifiers have remained rare.
Here we show how to construct a large variety of them. Our amplifiers are so simple that they could be useful in biotechnology, when optimizing biological
molecules, or as a diagnostic tool, when searching for faster dividing cells or viruses. They could also occur in natural population structures.
In the evolutionary process, mutation generates new variants, while selection chooses between mutants that have different reproductive rates. Any new mutant is
initially present at very low frequency and can easily be eliminated by random
drift. The probability that the lineage of a new mutant eventually takes over the entire population is called the fixation probability. It is a key quantity of evolutionary dynamics and
characterizes the rate of evolution.
…In this work we resolve several open questions regarding strong amplification under uniform and temperature initialization. First, we show that there exists a
vast variety of graphs with self-loops and weighted edges that are arbitrarily strong amplifiers for both uniform and temperature initialization. Moreover, many of
those strong amplifiers are structurally simple, therefore they might be realizable in natural or laboratory setting. Second, we show that both self-loops and
weighted edges are key features of strong amplification. Namely, we show that without either self-loops or weighted edges, no graph is a strong amplifier under
temperature initialization, and no simple graph is a strong amplifier under uniform initialization.
…In general, the fixation probability depends not only on the graph, but also on the initial placement of the invading
mutants…For a wide class of population structures17, which include symmetric ones28, the fixation
probability is the same as for the well-mixed population.
… A population structure is an arbitrarily strong amplifier (for brevity hereafter also called “strong amplifier”) if it ensures a fixation probability
arbitrarily close to one for any advantageous mutant, r > 1. Strong amplifiers can only exist in the limit of large population size.
Numerical studies30 suggest that for spontaneously arising mutants and small population size, many unweighted graphs amplify for some values of
r. But for a large population size, randomly constructed, unweighted graphs do not amplify31. Moreover, proven amplifiers for all values of
r are rare. For spontaneously arising mutants (uniform initialization): (1) the Star has fixation probability of ~1
− 1⁄r2 in the limit of large N, and is thus an amplifier17, 32, 33; (2) the Superstar (introduced in ref. 17, see
also ref. 34) and the Incubator (introduced in refs. 35, 36), which are graphs with unbounded degree, are strong amplifiers.
…In this work we resolve several open questions regarding strong amplification under uniform and temperature initialization. First, we show that there exists a
vast variety of graphs with self-loops and weighted edges that are arbitrarily strong amplifiers for both uniform and temperature initialization. Moreover, many of
those strong amplifiers are structurally simple, therefore they might be realizable in natural or laboratory setting. Second, we show that both self-loops and
weighted edges are key features of strong amplification. Namely, we show that without either self-loops or weighted edges, no graph is a strong amplifier under
temperature initialization, and no simple graph is a strong amplifier under uniform initialization.
…Intuitively, the weight assignment creates a sense of global flow in the branches, directed toward the hub. This guarantees that the first 2 steps happen with
high probability. For the third step, we show that once the mutants fixate in the hub, they are extremely likely to resist all resident invasion attempts and
instead they will invade and take over the branches one by one thereby fixating on the whole graph. For more detailed description, see “Methods” section
“Construction of strong amplifiers”.
Necessary conditions for amplification: Our main result shows that a large variety of population structures can provide strong amplification. A
natural follow-up question concerns the features of population structures under which amplification can emerge. We complement our main result by proving that both
weights and self-loops are essential for strong amplification. Thus, we establish a strong dichotomy. Without either weights or self-loops, no graph can be a
strong amplifier under temperature initialization, and no simple graph can be a strong amplifier under uniform initialization. On the other hand, if we allow both
weights and self-loops, strong amplification is ubiquitous.
…Some naturally occurring population structures could be amplifiers of natural selection. For example, the germinal centers of the immune system might
constitute amplifiers for the affinity maturation process of adaptive immunity46. Habitats of animals that are divided into multiple islands with a
central breeding location could potentially also act as amplifiers of selection. Our theory helps to identify those structures in natural settings.
In Iran, she was known as Green Nasim, a social media
star with followings on YouTube, on Instagram and elsewhere. · In the United States, she cast a very different profile, a proponent of vegan diets, animal rights
and home exercise who had increasingly become agitated by one of the tech companies that helped give her a platform… · The police said Ms. Aghdam’s anger over
what she believed to be unfair treatment by YouTube had set her on a 500-mile drive from her home near San Diego to YouTube’s offices on the northern edge of Silicon Valley. · “People like me are not good for big business, like for animal
business, medicine business and for many other businesses. That’s why they are discriminating and censoring us”, she said in a video posted online last year
criticizing YouTube. “This is what they are doing to vegan activists and many other people who try to promote healthy, humane and smart living.”
…Ms. Aghdam was in her late 30s. In several of her videos, she said she was born in Iran, in the city of Urmia, where most people also speak Turkish, as
she does in some of her videos. Ms. Aghdam had YouTube pages in Persian, Turkish and English. She explained that she and her family were members of the Baha’i
faith, which faces persecution in Iran, a country with a Muslim majority. · Several of her colorful—and sometimes bizarre—videos had gone viral in Iran. Her
website, which said it was quoting Western news outlets, identified her as “the first Persian female vegan bodybuilder.” · “Now the media will be faced with a new
type of Iranian female which does not fit within any of their usual categorizations”, a Twitter user named Katayoon said Wednesday. · “This was shocking and
saddening”, one Iranian, Bahare, wrote on Twitter of Ms. Aghdam. “We laughed so much but now it turns out all those videos were so serious for herself.” ·
Ms. Aghdam became especially famous for one clip in which she wears a revealing purple dress, showing cleavage, and begins to slowly strip off her clothes to
reveal a pair of fake plastic breasts. “Don’t trust your eyes”, read a caption in English on the clip.
…Her personal website and videos posted to YouTube and elsewhere were filled with complaints about YouTube. “When searching for my website in google, at top of
link they add ‘an error occurred’ but there is no error!” a website under Ms. Aghdam’s name, NasimeSabz.com, said in February 2016. “They add it to keep
you from my visiting my site.” · Life in the United States had not been good, she said in one video from March 30. “There they kill you by ax”, she said of Iran.
“Here they kill you with cotton”, referring to an Iranian expression meaning dying by something that you do not know is dangerous. · In another video, she
responded to viewers who had begun to wonder if she was mentally ill: “I don’t have any special mental or physical disease, but I live on a planet filled with
disease, disorders, perversions and injustices.” · The American dream appeared to be tarnished for her after she began to face hurdles in the United States. · “If
you are superficial, you will think it is heaven here, that you can go naked outside and have sex left and right like other animals without any morality”, she said
in one video in Persian. “But if you enter the system, you will see that it is worse than Iran”, she said. “Those who want to inform people against the system and
big companies get censored.”
Following the 2016 Presidential Election, there has been growing concern with the prevalence of fake news stories and political rumors; and the consequences
this might have on the level of misinformation held by the American public.
Most research has assumed that self-reported beliefs in political misinformation are entirely sincere, and while there has been some research on the extent to
which reporting belief in misinformation is expressive, most scholars conclude that American public is genuinely misinformed. We offer another possibility:
reported beliefs in political misinformation may be partially the result of satisficing and of respondents deliberately responding in a humorous manner—trolling
Using original survey data from 2 separate studies conducted in 2017 that included measures of low incident demographic items, self-reported response
insincerity, and a wide variety of political and non-political beliefs, we examine the extent to which estimates of political misinformation are biased by
measurement error and survey trolling. Our results suggest that not only do “survey trolls” exist, and report beliefs in systematically different ways, but their
humorous responding can upwardly bias the level of belief in more recent cases of political rumors and misinformation (eg. Pizzagate).
[Keywords: misinformation, trolls, trolling, public opinion, politics]
Fairness in machine learning has predominantly been studied in static classification settings without concern for how decisions change the underlying population
over time. Conventional wisdom suggests that fairness criteria promote the long-term well-being of those groups they aim to protect.
We study how static fairness criteria interact with temporal indicators of well-being, such as long-term improvement, stagnation, and decline in a variable of
interest. We demonstrate that even in a one-step feedback model, common fairness criteria in general do not promote improvement over time, and may in fact cause
harm in cases where an unconstrained objective would not.
We completely characterize the delayed impact of three standard criteria, contrasting the regimes in which these exhibit qualitatively different behavior. In
addition, we find that a natural form of measurement error broadens the regime in which fairness criteria perform favorably.
Our results highlight the importance of measurement and temporal modeling in the evaluation of fairness criteria, suggesting a range of new challenges and
This article finds firmer evidence than has previously been presented that men are more left-wing than women in older birth cohorts, while women are more
left-wing than men in younger cohorts. Analysis of the European Values Study/World Values Survey provides the first systematic test of how processes of
modernization and social change have led to this phenomenon. In older cohorts, women are more right-wing primarily because of their greater religiosity and the
high salience of religiosity for left-right self-placement and vote choice in older cohorts. In younger, more secular, cohorts, women’s greater support for
economic equality and state intervention and, to a lesser extent, for liberal values makes them more left-wing than men. Because the gender gap varies in this way
between cohorts, research focusing on the aggregate-level gap between all men and all women underestimates gender differences in left-right self-placement and vote
Although men tended to receive more education than women in the past, the gender gap in education has reversed in recent decades in most Western and many
non-Western countries. We review the literature about the implications for union formation, assortative mating, the division of paid and unpaid work, and union
stability in Western countries. The bulk of the evidence points to a narrowing of gender differences in mate preferences and declining aversion to female
status-dominant relationships. Couples in which wives have more education than their husbands now outnumber those in which husbands have more. Although such
marriages were more unstable in the past, existing studies indicate that this is no longer true. In addition, recent studies show less evidence of gender display
in housework when wives have higher status than their husbands. Despite these shifts, other research documents the continuing influence of the
breadwinner-homemaker model of marriage.
By tracking longitudinally a sample of American children (n = 1,097), this study examined the extent to which enrollment in private schools between
kindergarten and ninth grade was related to students’ academic, social, psychological, and attainment outcomes at age 15. Results from this investigation revealed
that in unadjusted models, children with a history of enrollment in private schools performed better on nearly all outcomes assessed in adolescence. However, by
simply controlling for the sociodemographic characteristics that selected children and families into these schools, all of the advantages of private school
education were eliminated. There was also no evidence to suggest that low-income children or children enrolled in urban schools benefited more from private school
This study used data from 12 cultural groups in nine countries (China, Colombia, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Philippines, Sweden, Thailand, and the United States;
N = 1,298) to understand the cross-cultural generalizability of how parental warmth and control are bidirectionally related to externalizing and
internalizing behaviors from childhood to early adolescence. Mothers, fathers, and children completed measures when children were ages 8–13. Multiple-group
autoregressive, cross-lagged structural equation models revealed that child effects rather than parent effects may better characterize how warmth and control
are related to child externalizing and internalizing behaviors over time, and that parent effects may be more characteristic of relations between parental warmth
and control and child externalizing and internalizing behavior during childhood than early adolescence.
We use experimental data to estimate impacts on school readiness of different kinds of preschool curricula—a largely neglected preschool input and measure of
preschool quality. We find that the widely-used “whole-child” curricula found in most Head Start and pre-K classrooms produced higher classroom process quality
than did locally-developed curricula, but failed to improve children’s school readiness. A curriculum focused on building mathematics skills increased both
classroom math activities and children’s math achievement relative to the whole-child curricula. Similarly, curricula focused on literacy skills increased literacy
achievement relative to whole-child curricula, despite failing to boost measured classroom process quality.
Physical attractiveness is an important social factor in our daily interactions. Scholars in social psychology provide evidence that attractiveness stereotypes
and the “halo effect” are prominent in affecting the traits we attribute to others. However, the interest in attractiveness has not directly filtered down to
questions of political behavior beyond candidates and elites. Utilizing measures of attractiveness across multiple surveys, we examine the relationship between
attractiveness and political beliefs. Controlling for socioeconomic status, we find that more attractive individuals are more likely to report higher levels of
political efficacy, identify as conservative, and identify as Republican. These findings suggest an additional mechanism for political socialization that has
further implications for understanding how the body intertwines with the social nature of politics.
Organizations are increasingly turning to crowdsourcing
to solve difficult problems. This is often driven by the desire to find the best subject matter experts, strongly incentivize them, and engage them with as little
coordination cost as possible. A growing number of authors, however, are calling for increased collaboration in crowdsourcing settings, hoping to draw upon the
advantages of teamwork observed in traditional settings. The question is how to effectively incorporate team-based collaboration in a setting that has
traditionally been individual-based.
We report on a large-field experiment of team collaboration on an online platform, in which incentives and team membership were randomly assigned, to evaluate
the influence of exogenous inputs (member skills and incentives) and emergent collaboration processes on performance of crowd-based teams. Building on advances in
machine learning and complex systems theory, we leverage new measurement techniques to examine the content and timing of team collaboration.
We find that temporal “burstiness” of team activity and the diversity of information exchanged among team members are strong predictors of performance, even
when inputs such as incentives and member skills are controlled. We discuss implications for research on crowdsourcing and
[Keywords: collaboration, crowdsourcing, emergence, team communication, team performance]
This well-written paper focuses on the phenomenon of crowdsourcing and asks the question: How might groups of individuals
collaborate most effectively in a crowdsourcing setting to produce high quality solutions to problems? The paper describes a
rigorous field study with random assignment of individuals to groups that seeks to examine the conditions that could facilitate a team’s performance on a
problem-solving task in a crowd-based setting. The “discovery” is that the temporal “burstiness” of the team members’ contributions, which suggests some effort to
coordinate attention to the problem, plays a highly important role in influencing the quality of solutions that teams produce. As one of the reviewers noted “this
paper is a perfect ‘fit’ for the Academy of Management Discoveries.” I wholeheartedly agree—it focuses on an important yet poorly understood phenomenon
and reports on the results of a rigorous field study that provides potentially important insights into developing our understanding of that phenomenon. I highly
recommend that all Academy members read this paper.
He and his wife live in an apartment not far from mine that was originally occupied by his grandfather, who was the Soviet Union’s chief literary censor under
Stalin. The most striking thing about the building was, and is, its history. In the nineteen-thirties, during Stalin’s purges, the House of Government earned the
ghoulish reputation of having the highest per-capita number of arrests and executions of any apartment building in Moscow. No other address in the city offers such
a compelling portal into the world of Soviet-era bureaucratic privilege, and the horror and murder to which this privilege often led…“Why does this house have such
a heavy, difficult aura?” he said. “This is why: on the one hand, its residents lived like a new class of nobility, and on the other they knew that at any second
they could get their guts ripped out.”
…This is the opening argument of a magisterial new book by Yuri Slezkine, a Soviet-born historian who immigrated to the United States in 1983, and has been a
professor at the University of California, Berkeley, for many years. His book, The House of Government, is a 1200-page epic that
recounts the multigenerational story of the famed building and its inhabitants—and, at least as interesting, the rise and fall of Bolshevist faith. In Slezkine’s
telling, the Bolsheviks were essentially a millenarian cult, a small tribe radically opposed to a corrupt world. With Lenin’s urging, they sought to bring about
the promised revolution, or revelation, which would give rise to a more noble and just era. Of course, that didn’t happen. Slezkine’s book is a tale of “failed
prophecy”, and the building itself—my home for the past several years—is “a place where revolutionaries came home and the revolution went to die.”…The Soviet Union
had experienced two revolutions, Lenin’s and Stalin’s, and yet, in the lofty imagery of Slezkine, the “world does not end, the blue bird does not return, love does
not reveal itself in all of its profound tenderness and charity, and death and mourning and crying and pain do not disappear.” What to do then? The answer was
human sacrifice, “one of history’s oldest locomotives”, Slezkine writes. The “more intense the expectation, the more implacable the enemies; the more implacable
the enemies, the greater the need for internal cohesion; the greater the need for internal cohesion, the more urgent the search for scapegoats.” Soon, in Stalin’s
Soviet Union, the purges began.
…N.K.V.D. agents would sometimes use the garbage chutes that ran like large tubes through many apartments, popping out inside a suspect’s home without having to
knock on the door. After a perfunctory trial, which could last all of three to five minutes, prisoners were taken to the left or to the right: imprisonment or
execution. “Most House of Government leaseholders were taken to the right”, Slezkine writes…eight hundred residents of the House of Government were arrested or
evicted during the purges, thirty% of the building’s population. Three hundred and forty-four were shot…Before long, the arrests spread from the tenants to their
nannies, guards, laundresses, and stairwell cleaners. The commandant of the house was arrested as an enemy of the people, and so was the head of the Communist
Party’s housekeeping department…“He felt a premonition”, she said. “He was always waiting, never sleeping at night.” One evening, Malyshev heard footsteps coming
up the corridor—and dropped dead of a heart attack. In a way, his death saved the family: there was no arrest, and thus no reason to kick his relatives out of the
…One of Volin’s brothers was…called back, arrested, and shot. One of Volin’s sisters was married to an N.K.V.D. officer, and they lived in the House of
Government, in a nearby apartment. When the husband’s colleagues came to arrest him, he jumped out of the apartment window to his death. Volin, I learned, kept a
suitcase packed with warm clothes behind the couch, ready in case of arrest and sentence to the Gulag…They gave their daughter, Tolya’s mother, a peculiar set of
instructions. Every day after school, she was to take the elevator to the ninth floor—not the eighth, where the family lived—and look down the stairwell. If she
saw an N.K.V.D. agent outside the apartment, she was supposed to get back on the elevator, go downstairs, and run to a friend’s house.
From time to time, I try to speak or write about mathematics for general (non-mathematical) audiences. If you’ve done this, you know it’s pretty hard—in large
part because it’s hard to know what people know, despite my best attempts to find out.
Enter Google Surveys. For a pretty reasonable fee, it
turns out anyone can run a survey through Google; the respondents are randomly selected and reweighted by demographics (age, gender, location). So I
decided to find out: What percentage of Americans over the age of 18 know what a prime number is [out of the list 2/9/13/33/31/57]? What about an even
number [0/8/17/99/257/774]? I also tried to design the questions so they tested a bit more than basic knowledge; for example, I wanted to know whether
the respondents knew that zero is even (a surprisingly controversial topic)…Each survey received about 250 responses from randomly selected Americans over the age
of 18. (And cost me a well-spent $25.)
…The percentages indicate how many survey-takers thought the number in question was even. So about 75.7% of people think 8 is even (not bad!) but 774 is much
harder. I don’t know what was going on with the 0.8% of people who thought that 17 was even, but maybe this is an example of the Lizardman constant.
Even numbers: In particular, more than half of the survey-takers were able to get 5 or 6 answers correct. Not too shabby! To get a perfect
score, one had to identify zero as even, which only 24% of the respondents were able to do, so I think this is a pretty good result. Interestingly, about 2⁄3 of
the people who correctly identified zero as even got perfect scores. The median number of correct answers was 5 out of 6; the mean was about 4.5.
Prime numbers: Identifying primes was evidently much harder. The median number of correct answers was 3 out of 6 (no better than chance), and
the mean was about 3.6.
…I was a bit surprised how few respondents knew that 0 is even. Parity is a concept which actually comes up in daily life—for example, when one wants to know
which side of the street a given address is on, or in certain regulatory questions. I was also a bit surprised that it was so difficult to identify 2 as a
Here I will just share one of my strongest reactions to the book—a thought that occurred again and again as I drifted through its pages. Esolen presents a swarm
of maladies sickening American society, ranging from a generation of children suffocated by helicopter parenting to a massive state bureaucracy openly hostile too
virtuous living. My reaction to each of his carefully drawn portraits was the same: this problem is even worse in China.
Are you worried about political correctness gone awry, weaponized by mediocrities to defame the worthy, suffocating truth, holding honest inquiry hostage
through fear and terror? That problem is worse in China.
Do you lament the loss of beauty in public life? Its loss as a cherished ideal of not just art and oratory but in the building of homes, chapels, bridges, and
buildings? Its disappearance in the comings-and-goings of everyday life? That problem is worse in China.Do you detest a rich, secluded, and self-satisfied
cultural elite that despises, distrusts, and derides the uneducated and unwashed masses not lucky enough to live in one of their chosen urban hubs? That
problem is worse in China. Are you sickened by crass materialism? Wealth chased, gained, and wasted for nothing more than vain display? Are you oppressed by
the sight of children denied the joys of childhood, guided from one carefully structured resume-builder to the next by parents eternally hovering over their
shoulders? Do you dread a hulking, bureaucratized leviathan, unaccountable to the people it serves, and so captured by special interests that even political
leaders cannot control it? Are you worried by a despotic national government that plays king-maker in the economic sphere and crushes all opposition to its social
programs into the dust? Do you fear a culture actively hostile to the free exercise of religion? Hostility that not only permeates through every layer of society,
but is backed by the awesome power of the state?
These too are all worse in China.
…All of this should lighten the tone of gloom and doom that pervades the traditionalist critique of modern America. The reference point of these writers is the
American (or less usually, the European) past. Look instead at the present! It could be so much worse for those of our ilk. In some countries, it is.
In an influential article published in the American Sociological Review in 2,009, Herring finds that diverse workforces are beneficial for business. His
analysis supports seven out of eight hypotheses on the positive effects of gender and racial diversity on sales revenue, number of customers, perceived relative
market share, and perceived relative profitability. This comment points out that Herring’s analysis contains two errors. First, missing codes on the outcome
variables are treated as substantive codes. Second, two control variables—company size and establishment size—are highly skewed, and this skew obscures their
positive associations with the predictor and outcome variables. We replicate Herring’s analysis correcting for both errors. The findings support only one of the
original eight hypotheses, suggesting that diversity is inconsequential, rather than beneficial, to business success.
A survey of 1,000 people shows 7% of participants think chocolate milk comes from brown cows. The answer did not surprise dietitians, who discuss several common
misconceptions related to food.
…JEAN RAGALIE-CARR: When we asked them, where does chocolate milk come from, they indicated that they thought it came from brown cows.
SHAPIRO: 7% of Americans thought that.
CORNISH: Jean Ragalie-Carr is president of the National Dairy Council, which commissioned the survey. She says they put that question to a thousand
people and gave them several options for how to answer.
RAGALIE-CARR: Well, there was brown cows or black-and-white cows, or they didn’t know.
SHAPIRO: When Ragalie-Carr and her team got the results…
RAGALIE-CARR: (Laughter) I have to say, there were probably a few chuckles in the room as we learned this, you know? But it did make me wonder what
they thought about strawberry milk. Did they think there were some pink cows out there?
…CORNISH: Registered dietitian Lisa Cimperman says while she thinks some people were having a little fun with their answer, she’s also not
surprised that some might think chocolate milk comes from a brown cow.
[Details are scarce, and the original survey has not been published according to Glendora Meikle:
A spokesperson for the Innovation Center told me the purpose of the survey was to “gauge some interesting and fun facts about consumers’ perceptions of
dairy”, and the chocolate milk stat was apparently a winner. (She declined to respond to my queries about the wording of the questions, and said the full results
of the survey were not intended to be published.)]
Objective: To assess the evidence of the impact of new food store (supermarket/grocery store) interventions on selected health-related
Design: A systematic review following the Effective Public Health Practice Project guidelines. All quantitative studies were assessed for their
methodological quality. Results were synthesized narratively.
Setting: Eight electronic databases—MEDLINE, EMBASE, CINAHL,ProQuest Public Health, Web of Science, Scopus, PsycINFO and Cochrane
Library—were searched to identify relevant records.
Subjects: Peer-reviewed scholarly journal articles on new grocery store/supermarket interventions with adult study populations, published in
the English language after 1995.
Results: Eleven records representing seven new grocery store interventions were identified. Six were assessed having ‘weak’ methodological
quality, one as ‘moderate’ and two as ‘strong’. All studies reported fruit and vegetable consumption but results were not consistent, some studies reporting
statistically-significantly more and others no increase in consumption. BMI and self-rated health did not show significant improvements. Perceptions of
food access, neighbourhood satisfaction and psychological health showed significant improvements.
Conclusions: Improved food access through establishment of a full-service food retailer, by itself, does not show strong evidence towards
enhancing health-related outcomes over short durations. Presently the field is developing and the complex linking pathways/mechanisms are yet to be elucidated.
Further evidence, in the form of high-quality research in different communities with longer follow-up periods, is needed to inform policy decisions.
A long tradition of scholarship, from ancient Greece to Marxism or some contemporary social psychology, portrays humans as strongly gullible—wont to accept
harmful messages by being unduly deferent. However, if humans are reasonably well adapted, they should not be strongly gullible: they should be vigilant toward
communicated information. Evidence from experimental psychology reveals that humans are equipped with well-functioning mechanisms of epistemic vigilance. They
check the plausibility of messages against their background beliefs, calibrate their trust as a function of the source’s competence and benevolence, and critically
evaluate arguments offered to them. Even if humans are equipped with well-functioning mechanisms of epistemic vigilance, an adaptive lag might render them gullible
in the face of new challenges, from clever marketing to omnipresent propaganda. I review evidence from different cultural domains often taken as proof of strong
gullibility: religion, demagoguery, propaganda, political campaigns, advertising, erroneous medical beliefs, and rumors. Converging evidence reveals that
communication is much less influential than often believed—that religious proselytizing, propaganda, advertising, and so forth are generally not very effective at
changing people’s minds. Beliefs that lead to costly behavior are even less likely to be accepted. Finally, it is also argued that most cases of acceptance of
misguided communicated information do not stem from undue deference, but from a fit between the communicated information and the audience’s preexisting
The purpose of this study was to explore the underlying mechanisms through which the use of social media affects endorser effectiveness. Based on theories
related to parasocial relationships, self-disclosure, and celebrity endorsement, this study proposed a theoretical research model and empirically tested the model
using online survey data collected from 400 Korean Wave fans in Singapore.
The results showed that consumers’ parasocial interactions with celebrities though social media have a positive impact on celebrity endorsement. Specifically,
we found that:
parasocial relationships mediated the relationships between social media interactions and source trustworthiness,
social media interactions influenced parasocial relationships via self-disclosure; and
source trustworthiness had a positive effect on brand credibility, which, in turn, led to purchase intention.
Implications for research and practice are discussed.
We study the causal effect of school curricula on students’ political attitudes, exploiting a major textbook reform in China between 2004 and 2010. The sharp,
staggered introduction of the new curriculum across provinces allows us to identify its causal effects. We examine government documents articulating desired
consequences of the reform and identify changes in textbooks reflecting these aims. A survey we conducted reveals that the reform was often successful in shaping
attitudes, while evidence on behavior is mixed. Studying the new curriculum led to more positive views of China’s governance, changed views on democracy, and
increased skepticism toward free markets.
Medical research is held as a field for education to emulate. Education researchers have been urged to adopt randomized controlled trials, a more “scientific”
research method believed to have resulted in the advances in medicine.
But a much more important lesson education needs to borrow from medicine has been ignored. That is the study of side effects. Medical research is required to
investigate both the intended effects of any medical interventions and their unintended adverse effects, or side effects. In contrast, educational research tends
to focus only on proving the effectiveness of practices and policies in pursuit of “what works.” It has generally ignored the potential harms that can result from
This article presents evidence that shows side effects are inseparable from effects. Both are the outcomes of the same intervention.
This article further argues that studying and reporting side effects as part of studying effects will help advance education by settling long fought battles
over practices and policies and move beyond the vicious cycle of pendulum swings in education.
[Keywords: educational research, methodology, RCT, Direct Instruction, international assessment, side effects, PISA, educational policy, educational reform]
Paraphilic sexual interests are defined as unusual or anomalous, but their actual occurrence in nonclinical samples is still unknown. This study looked at
desire for and experience of paraphilic behaviors in a sample of adult men and women in the general population. A secondary goal was to compare the results of two
survey modes—traditional landline telephone versus online. A total of 1,040 persons classified according to age, gender, education, ethnic background, religious
beliefs, area of residency, and corresponding to the norm for the province of Quebec were interviewed. Nearly half of this sample expressed interest in at least
one paraphilic category, and approximately one-third had had experience with such a practice at least once. Voyeurism, fetishism, frotteurism, and masochism
interested both male and female respondents at levels above what is usually considered to be statistically unusual (15.9%). Interestingly, levels of interest in
fetishism and masochism were not statistically-significantly different for men and women. Masochism was statistically-significantly linked with higher satisfaction
with one’s own sexual life. As expected, the online mode generated more acknowledgment of paraphilic interest than the telephone mode. These results call into
question the current definition of normal (normophilic) versus anomalous (paraphilic) sexual behaviors.
People perceived as creepy are more likely to be male than female.
Females are more likely than males to perceive sexual threat from a creepy person.
Unpredictability is an important component of creepiness.
Some occupations and hobbies are more strongly linked with creepiness than others.
Surprisingly, until now there has never been an empirical study of “creepiness.” An international sample of 1341 individuals responded to an online survey.
Males were perceived as being more likely to be creepy than females, and females were more likely to associate sexual threat with creepiness. Unusual nonverbal
behavior and characteristics associated with unpredictability were also predictors of creepiness, as were some occupations and hobbies. The results are consistent
with the hypothesis that being “creeped out” is an evolved adaptive emotional response to ambiguity about the presence of threat that enables us to maintain
vigilance during times of uncertainty.
…3.4. Creepiness of hobbies: Just for fun, we asked our participants to list 2 hobbies that they thought of as creepy. Easily, the most
frequently mentioned creepy hobbies involved collecting things (listed by 341 of our participants). Collecting dolls, insects, reptiles, or body parts such as
teeth, bones, or fingernails was considered especially creepy. The second most frequently mentioned creepy hobby (listed by 108 participants) involved some
variation of “watching.” Watching, following, or taking pictures of people (especially children) was thought to be creepy by many of our participants, and bird
watchers were considered creepy by many as well. A fascination with pornography or exotic sexual activity and taxidermy were also frequently mentioned.
…An examination of Table 2 reveals that the following elements were thought to be very likely to be found in a creepy person: The
appearance and nonverbal behavior items in the composite variable (Appearance/NVB), being of the opposite sex (probably
due to the predominantly female sample in our study), being extremely thin, not looking the interaction partner in the eye, asking to take a picture of the
interaction partner, watching people before interacting with them, asking about details of one’s personal life, having a mental illness, talking about his/her
own personal life, displaying too much or too little emotion, being older, and steering the conversation toward sex.
Table 2: One sample t-test results for ratings of probable characteristics of a hypothetical. Creepy person interacting with
friend of participant. [Note: All degrees of freedom (df) = 1340. Ratings are on a “1” (very unlikely that creepy person displayed this
characteristic/behavior) to “5”(very likely that creepy person displayed this characteristic/behavior) scale.]
PPP’s newest Florida poll finds Hillary Clinton’s lead in the state continuing to tick up. She’s at 46% to 42%
for Donald Trump, with Gary Johnson at 5%, and Jill Stein at 1%. When PPP last polled the state two weeks ago,
Clinton’s advantage was 45/43. In a head to head, Clinton’s lead over Trump grows to 5 points at 49/44.
…Alex Jones floated the notion this week that Hillary Clinton is actually a demon, and 40% of Trump voters say that they really do think Clinton is a demon to
only 42% who dismiss that idea. This measurement pretty clearly shows that 40% of Trump’s base is the InfoWars crowd, so they’re not going to be too dissuaded by
allegations of sexual misconduct…Public Policy Polling surveyed 985 likely voters on October 12th and 13th. The margin of error is
±3.1%. 80% of participants, selected through a list based sample, responded via the phone, while 20% of respondents who did not have landlines conducted the survey
over the internet through an opt-in internet panel.
…Q26. “Do you think that Hillary Clinton is an actual demon, or not?”
Background: Dread Pirate Roberts, founder of the first cryptomarket for illicit drugs named Silk Road, articulated libertarian political
motives for his ventures. Previous research argues that there is a large political component present or involved in cryptomarket drug dealing which is specifically libertarian. The
aim of the paper is to investigate the prevalence of political discourses within discussions of cryptomarket drug dealing,
and further to research the potential changes of these over the timespan of the study.
Methods: We develop a novel operationalization of discourse analytic concepts which we combine with topic modelling enabling us to study how
politics are articulated on cryptomarket forums. We apply the Structural Topic Model on a corpus extracted from crawls of
cryptomarket forums encompassing posts dating from 2011 to 2015.
Results: The topics discussed on cryptomarket forums are primarily centered around the distribution of
drugs including discussions of shipping and receiving, product advertisements, and reviews as well as aspects of drug consumption such as testing and consumption.
However, on forums whose primary function is aiding operations on a black market, we still observe political matter. We identified one topic which expresses a
libertarian discourse that emphasizes the individual’s right to non-interference. Over time, we observe an increasing prevalence of the libertarian discourse from
2011 to the end of 2013. In the end of 2013—when Silk Road was seized—we observe an abrupt change in the prevalence of the libertarian discourse.
Conclusions: The libertarian political discourse has historically been prevalent on cryptomarket forums.
The closure of Silk Road has affected the prevalence of libertarian discourse suggesting that while the closure did not succeed in curtailing the cryptomarket economy, it dampened political sentiments.
[Keywords: digital methods, cryptomarkets, discourse analysis, harm-reduction, political theory, anarchism, topic models, libertarianism]
Hi (laughter), I’m David Levinson Wilk, and that’s my name.
SMITH: And what do you do?
WILK: I write for television game shows, which is wonderful and delightful and provides health care, which
is also delightful and wonderful.
SMITH: So when you say you’re a writer for a game show, what does that mean?
…ROMER: David gets to work cooking up questions to give the polling company. The polling company does its
WILK: And it was the only question that we ever wrote where we ever got a response from them saying, is
this actually what you want us to be polling? And we said, yes. And the question was—we were going to ask people, have you ever been decapitated?
SMITH: (Laughter). But…
WILK: They were sure we had made a mistake, and we had not.
SMITH: As far as David remembers, by the way, 4% of Americans answered that they had been decapitated.
ROMER: Seems high.
SMITH: So the producer, Vin, and the question writer, David, and all of these other people get to work
creating this new game show from scratch.
Boredom makes people attempt to re-establish a sense of meaningfulness. Political ideologies, and in particular the adherence to left-wing versus right-wing
beliefs, can serve as a source of meaning. Accordingly, we tested the hypothesis that boredom is associated with a stronger adherence to left-wing versus
right-wing beliefs, resulting in more extreme political orientations.
Study 1 demonstrates that experimentally induced boredom leads to more extreme political orientations. Study 2 indicates that people who become easily
bored with their environment adhere to more extreme ends of a political spectrum compared with their less easily bored counterparts. Finally, Study 3 reveals that
the relatively extreme political orientations among those who are easily bored can be attributed to their enhanced search for meaning.
Overall, our research suggests that extreme political orientations are, in part, a function of boredom’s existential qualities.
[Keywords: boredom, meaning, political orientation, ideology, existential psychology]