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 scorers.
[Keywords: singlehood, involuntary singlehood, flirting capacity, mating effort, choosiness, signals of interest]
2021-eftedal.pdf: “Motivated moral judgments about freedom of speech are constrained by a need to maintain consistency”, (2021-06-01):
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]
2021-costello.pdf: “Clarifying the Structure and Nature of Left-Wing Authoritarianism (LWA)”, (2021-05-07; ):
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. We find 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]
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 representative sample.
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.
2021-zell.pdf: “It's their fault: Partisan attribution bias and its association with voting intentions”, (2021-04-01):
This research examined how people explain major outcomes of political consequence (e.g., 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.
2021-krebs.pdf: “No Right to Be Wrong: What Americans Think about Civil-Military Relations”, (2021-03-11):
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.”
2021-crawford.pdf: “Asking People to Explain Complex Policies Does Not Increase Political Moderation: Three Preregistered Failures to Closely Replicate Fernbach, Rogers, Fox, and Sloman’s (2013) Findings”, (2021-03-05):
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.
2021-feezell.pdf: “Exploring the effects of algorithm-driven news sources on political behavior and polarization”, (2021-03-01):
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]
2021-lizotte.pdf: “Understanding the appeal of libertarianism: Gender and race differences in the endorsement of libertarian principles”, (2021-02-26):
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 libertarianism appealing.
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 Principles.
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.
2021-singh.pdf: “Magic, Explanations, and Evil: The Origins and Design of Witches and Sorcerers [and replies]”, (2021-02-25; ):
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 Misfortunes”).
- The greater the impact of the misfortune, the more likely people are to attribute it to mystical harm (“Mystical Harm Explains Impactful and Unexplainable Misfortunes”).
- 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 Campaigners.
- 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 demonize.
Societally corrosive beliefs can persist when they are intuitively appealing or they serve some believers’ agendas.
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.
2020-piza.pdf: “The Effect of Police Layoffs on Crime: A Natural Experiment Involving New Jersey’s Two Largest Cities”, (2020-12-21):
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.
[Keywords: Police layoffs, police force size, natural experiment, police budgets, policing strategy]
2020-xue.pdf: “Does Education Really Improve Health? A Meta-analysis”, (2020-12-18):
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) and Frequentist 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.
2020-coyne.pdf: “Growing Up with Grand Theft Auto: A 10–Year Study of Longitudinal Growth of Violent Video Game Play in Adolescents”, (2020-12-18):
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 discussed.
2020-faris.pdf: “With Friends Like These: Aggression from Amity and Equivalence”, (2020-11-01):
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 health.
…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 and Dijkstra 2013; Harrigan and 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 by.
2020-muralidharan.pdf: “Improving Public Sector Management at Scale? Experimental Evidence on School Governance India”, (2020-11; ):
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 practice.
2020-wang-2.pdf: “Women’s Intrasexual Competition Results in Beautification”, (2020-07-22):
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.
2020-pandit.pdf: “Why Class Formation Occurs in Humans but Not among Other Primates: A Primate Coalitions Model”, (2020-07-16):
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 classes.
2020-dellavigna.pdf: “RCTs to Scale: Comprehensive Evidence from Two Nudge Units”, (2020-07-01; ):
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 the level 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 percentage points.
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 times 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.
2020-kessel.pdf: “The impact of banning mobile phones in Swedish secondary schools”, (2020-06-23):
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.
2020-johnson.pdf: “Gender Discrepancies in Perceptions of the Bodies of Female Fashion Models”, (2020-06-22):
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.
2020-yanguas.pdf: “Technology and educational choices: Evidence from a one-laptop-per-child program (OLPC)”, (2020-06-01; ):
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]
2020-oster.pdf: “Health Recommendations and Selection in Health Behaviors”, (2020-06-01; ):
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.]
2020-kingsbury.pdf: “Not Just a Narcosaint: Santa Muerte as Matron Saint of the Mexican Drug War”, (2020-06-01):
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.
2020-wasow.pdf: “Agenda Seeding: How 1960s Black Protests Moved Elites, Public Opinion and Voting”, (2020-05-21; ):
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.
2020-okuyama.pdf: “Fast food outlets, physical activity facilities, and obesity among adults: a nationwide longitudinal study from Sweden”, (2020-05-19; ):
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 covariates.
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 studies.
2020-shi.pdf: “The public salience of crime, 1960–2014: Age-period-cohort and time-series analyses”, (2020-05-18):
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.
2020-marsden.pdf: “Tracking US Social Change Over a Half-Century: The General Social Survey at Fifty”, (2020-04-29):
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 then surveys 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.
2020-xu.pdf: “To Repress or to Co–opt? Authoritarian Control in the Age of Digital Surveillance”, (2020-04-07):
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.
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.
2020-ostling.pdf: “Association Between Lottery Prize Size and Self-reported Health Habits in Swedish Lottery Players”, (2020-03-19; ):
- 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 magnitudes.
- 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 understood.
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 $1.6 million.
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 $100,000 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.
2020-albarran.pdf: “Education and adult health: Is there a causal effect?”, (2020-03):
- 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.
[Keywords: Health, Education, Instrumental variables]
2020-kalmoe.pdf: “Uses and Abuses of Ideology in Political Psychology”, (2020-02-10):
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.
2020-ashworth.pdf: “Letter from the Editors-in-Chief”, Scott Ashworth, Joshua D. Clinton
2020-richmondrakerd.pdf: “Clustering of health, crime and social-welfare inequality in 4 million citizens from two nations”, (2020-01-20; ):
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.
2020-schumpe.pdf: “The Role of Sensation Seeking in Political Violence”, (2020; ):
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 (e.g., 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 (e.g., semantic category names) can be exogenously projected as stereotypes onto those social categories.
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 = 32,878).
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.
2019-kristal.pdf: “What we can learn from five naturalistic field experiments that failed to shift commuter behaviour”, (2019-12-23; ):
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.
2019-rea.pdf: “New Evidence On The Heckman Curve”, (2019-12-17; ):
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 intervention.
2019-horowitz.pdf: “Anthropology's Science Wars: Insights from a New Survey”, (2019-10; ):
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 field.
2019-kam.pdf: “Racial Resentment and Public Opinion across the Racial Divide”, (2019-09-20):
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 public opinion.
2019-lichter.pdf: “Mismatches in the Marriage Market”, (2019-09-04; ):
Objective: This article provides an assessment of whether unmarried women currently face demographic shortages of marital partners in the U.S. marriage market.
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.
2019-perry.pdf: “Credibility and Incredulity in Milgram's Obedience Experiments: A Reanalysis of an Unpublished Test”, (2019-08-22):
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.
2019-akbari.pdf: “Kinship, fractionalization and corruption”, (2019-08-16; ):
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 (e.g. 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.
[Keywords: Corruption, Fractionalization, Institutions, Mating patterns, Consanguinity]
2019-hummel.pdf: “How effective is nudging? A quantitative review on the effect sizes and limits of empirical nudging studies”, (2019-06-01; ):
- 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 results:
- 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]
2019-sommers.pdf: “The Voluntariness of Voluntary Consent: Consent Searches and the Psychology of Compliance”, (2019-05-01; ):
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.
2019-lortieforgues.pdf: “Rigorous Large-Scale Educational RCTs Are Often Uninformative: Should We Be Concerned?”, (2019-03-11; ):
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.]
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), respectively.
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 in-law conflicts.
[Keywords: consanguinity, wealth concentration, Krummhörn, intensive kinship, in-law conflict reduction]
2019-wang.pdf: “Team creativity/
innovation in culturally diverse teams: A meta-analysis”, Jie Wang, Gr,H.-L. Cheng, Tingting Chen, Kwok Leung
2019-yanguas.pdf: “Essays in Applied Microeconomics (OLPC, natural-disasters/growth, Silent Spring)”, (2019-01-01; ):
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.
2019-wright.pdf: “Political Disparities in the Academy: It’s More Than Self-Selection”, John Paul Wright, Ryan T. Motz, Timothy S. Nixon
2019-schmukle.pdf: “No evidence that economic inequality moderates the effect of income on generosity”, (2019-01-01):
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 prosociality.
2019-reardon.pdf: “The Geography of Racial/
Ethnic Test Score Gaps”, Sean F. Reardon, Demetra Kalogrides, Kenneth Shores
2019-poulos.pdf: “Land lotteries, long-term wealth, and political selection”, Jason Poulos ( )
2019-ichino.pdf: “Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Costs of Daycare [Age] 0-2 for Children in Advantaged Families”, Andrea Ichino, Margherita Fort, Giulio Zanella ( )
2019-butera.pdf: “The Deadweight Loss Of Social Recognition”, Luigi Butera, Robert Metcalfe, William Morrison, Dmitry Taubinsky
2019-bumpus.pdf: “Social Class and Educational Attainment: Do Blacks Benefit Less from Increases in Parents’ Social Class Status?”, (2019-01-01):
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 social class.
2018-kamradtscott.pdf: “WHO tracking mechanism for IHR additional health measures”, (2018-11-08):
In February, 2018, WHO in collaboration with The University of Sydney, NSW, Australia, launched a new tool to monitor compliance with the International 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.
2018-shorrocks.pdf: “Cohort Change in Political Gender Gaps in Europe and Canada: The Role of Modernization”, (2018-01-23):
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 choice.
2018-winegard.pdf: “Equalitarianism: A Source of Liberal Bias”, Bo Winegard, Cory Clark, Connor R. Hasty, Roy Baumeister
2018-vanbavel.pdf: “The Reversal of the Gender Gap in Education and Its Consequences for Family Life”, (2018-01-01):
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.
2018-pianta.pdf: “Does Attendance in Private Schools Predict Student Outcomes at Age 15? Evidence From a Longitudinal Study”, (2018-01-01; ):
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 enrollment.
2018-langbert.pdf: “Homogenous: The Political Affiliations of Elite Liberal Arts College Faculty”, Mitchell Langbert ( )
2018-chaiyachati.pdf: “Association of Rideshare-Based Transportation Services and Missed Primary Care AppointmentsA Clinical Trial”, American Medical Association ( )
2017-peterson.pdf: “Effects of physical attractiveness on political beliefs”, (2017-12-27):
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.
2017-cantoni.pdf: “Curriculum and Ideology”, (2017-03-09):
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.
2017-zhao.pdf: “What works may hurt: Side effects in education”, (2017-02-04):
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 what works.
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.
2017-friend.pdf: “The Rise of Han-Centrism and What It Means for International Politics”, John M. Friend, Bradley A. Thayer
2017-chiappa.pdf: “Sexual Dimorphism in Waist-to-Hip Ratio and Divorce Frequency in Human Populations”, Pilar Chiappa, Suneeta Singh
2017-joyal.pdf: “The Prevalence of Paraphilic Interests and Behaviors in the General Population: A Provincial Survey”, (2017):
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.
2016-publicpolicypolling-clintonoctober.pdf: “Clinton's Florida Lead Continues to Grow”, (2016-10-14; ):
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?”
- Hillary Clinton is an actual demon: 19%
- Hillary Clinton is not an actual demon: 66%
- Not sure: 14%
Response Base Hillary Clinton voter Donald Trump voter Not sure Hillary Clinton is an actual demon 19% 2% 40% 14% Hillary Clinton is not an actual demon 66% 89% 42% 56% Not sure 14% 9% 19% 30%
2016-vantilburg.pdf: “Going to political extremes in response to boredom”, (2016-06-21):
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]
2016-04-17-losangelestimes-pollofamericanindependentpartymembers.pdf: “Poll of American Independent Party members in California”, Kelly Parker (Los Angeles Times) ( )
2016-depew.pdf: “Born on the wrong day? School entry age and juvenile crime”, Briggs Depew, Ozkan Eren ( )
- Examined mate preferences in two national U.S. studies (_n_s = 22,815; 4790)
- There were large gender differences in preferences for attractiveness and resources.
- Older men and women had weaker preferences for desirable partner traits.
- Wealthier men, but not women, had stronger preferences for good-looking partners.
- People with more appearance satisfaction preferred slender and good-looking partners.
According to a “mating market” approach, people with desirable traits have a stronger “bargaining hand” and can be more selective when choosing partners. We examined how heterosexual mate preferences varied by gender, age, personal income, education, and appearance satisfaction (Study 1 n = 22,815; Study 2 n = 4790).
Men and women differed in the percentage indicating it was “desirable” or “essential” that their potential partner was good-looking (92% vs. 84%; d = 0.39), had a slender body (80% vs. 58%; d = 0.53), had a steady income (74% vs. 97%; d = 1.17), and made/
will make a lot of money (47% vs. 69%; d = −0.49). There were also gender differences in whether it was “very important” or “a must have” their partner made at least as much money as they do (24% vs. 46%; d = 0.60) and had a successful career (33% vs. 61%; d = 0.57), but not in whether their partner was physically attractive to them (40% vs. 42%; d = 0.03). Wealthier men and people with better appearance satisfaction had stronger preferences for good looking and slender partners.
Preferences varied within and between genders, and were linked to bargaining hand in the mating market.
[Keywords: mate preferences, gender differences, age, income, education, appearance satisfaction, attractiveness]
2015-martorell.pdf: “Investing in Schools: Capital Spending, Facility Conditions, and Student Achievement”, kstange ( )
2015-gupta.pdf: “Anthony Downs, “Up and Down with Ecology: The ‘Issue-Attention’ Cycle””, (2015; ):
This chapter comments on Anthony Downs’s 1972 seminal paper “Up and Down with Ecology: The ‘Issue-Attention’ Cycle”, which tackles the concept of “public” or “issue” attention. Focusing on domestic policy, particularly environmental policy in the United States, Downs describes a process called “issue-attention cycle”, by which the public gains and loses interest in a particular issue over time. This chapter summarizes studies that directly put Downs’s propositions to the test, laying emphasis on research that probes the existence of and interrelationships among the public attention cycle, media attention cycle, and government attention cycle. It then reviews the main arguments put forward by Downs before concluding with a discussion of promising avenues for future research as well as important theoretical and methodological questions that need further elucidation.
2014-robinsoncimpian.pdf: “Inaccurate Estimation of Disparities Due to Mischievous Responders”, (2014-05-01; ):
This article introduces novel sensitivity-analysis procedures for investigating and reducing the bias that mischievous responders (i.e., youths who provide extreme, and potentially untruthful, responses to multiple questions) often introduce in adolescent disparity estimates based on data from self-administered questionnaires (SAQs). Mischievous responders affect a wide range of disparity estimates, including those between adoptees and non-adoptees, sexual minorities and non-minorities, and individuals with and without disabilities. Thus, the procedures introduced here have broad relevance to research and can be widely, and easily, implemented. The sensitivity-analysis procedures are illustrated with SAQ data from youths in Grades 9–12 (n = 11,829) to examine between-group disparities based on sexual identity, gender identity, and physical disability. Sensitivity analyses revealed that each disparity estimated with these data was extremely sensitive to the presence of potentially mischievous responders. Patterns were similar across multiple approaches to dealing with mischievous responders, across various outcomes, and across different between-group comparisons. Mischievous responders are ubiquitous in adolescent research using SAQs and can, even in small numbers, lead to inaccurate conclusions that substantively affect research, policy, and public discourse regarding a variety of disparities. This article calls attention to this widespread problem and provides practical suggestions for assessing it, even when data are already collected.
[Keywords: adolescents, disparities, equity, evaluation, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning, mischievous responders, physical disabilities, questionnaires, self report, sensitivity analysis, survey research]
2014-flyvbjerg.pdf: “What You Should Know About Megaprojects and Why: An Overview”, (2014-04-07; ):
This paper takes stock of megaproject management, an emerging and hugely costly field of study. First, it answers the question of how large megaprojects are by measuring them in the units mega, giga, and tera, concluding we are presently entering a new “tera era” of trillion-dollar projects. Second, total global megaproject spending is assessed, at USD 6-9 trillion annually, or 8 percent of total global GDP, which denotes the biggest investment boom in human history. Third, four “sublimes” —political, technological, economic, and aesthetic—are identified to explain the increased size and frequency of megaprojects. Fourth, the “iron law of megaprojects” is laid out and documented: Over budget, over time, over and over again. Moreover, the “break-fix model” of megaproject management is introduced as an explanation of the iron law. Fifth, Albert O. Hirschman’s theory of the Hiding Hand is revisited and critiqued as unfounded and corrupting for megaproject thinking in both the academy and policy. Sixth, it is shown how megaprojects are systematically subject to “survival of the unfittest,” explaining why the worst projects get built instead of the best. Finally, it is argued that the conventional way of managing megaprojects has reached a “tension point,” where tradition is challenged and reform is emerging.
2013-metcalfe.pdf: “Satan's Target: Your Mind - Supernatural Living in the American Marketplace”, David Metcalfe
2012-downs.pdf: “Predicting the Importance of Freedom of Speech and the Perceived Harm of Hate Speech”, (2012-04-16):
Although freedom of speech is a fundamental value in the United States, individuals vary in the importance they place on it. The purpose of this study was to examine personality and attitudinal factors that may influence an individual’s judgments of the importance of freedom of speech and, secondarily, the harm of hate speech. As expected, the importance of freedom of speech was positively related to intellect, individualism, separate knowing, and negatively related to right-wing authoritarianism. Men rated freedom of speech more important than did women. The perceived harm of hate speech was positively related to intellect and liberalism, and women perceived a greater harm of hate speech than did men.
2012-henrich.pdf: “The puzzle of monogamous marriage”, (2012; ):
The anthropological record indicates that approximately 85% of human societies have permitted men to have more than one wife (polygynous marriage), and both empirical and evolutionary considerations suggest that large absolute differences in wealth should favour more polygynous marriages. Yet, monogamous marriage has spread across Europe, and more recently across the globe, even as absolute wealth differences have expanded. Here, we develop and explore the hypothesis that the norms and institutions that compose the modern package of monogamous marriage have been favoured by cultural evolution because of their group-beneficial effects—promoting success in inter-group competition. In suppressing intrasexual competition and reducing the size of the pool of unmarried men, normative monogamy reduces crime rates, including rape, murder, assault, robbery and fraud, as well as decreasing personal abuses. By assuaging the competition for younger brides, normative monogamy decreases (1) the spousal age gap, (2) fertility, and (3) gender inequality. By shifting male efforts from seeking wives to paternal investment, normative monogamy increases savings, child investment and economic productivity. By increasing the relatedness within households, normative monogamy reduces intra-household conflict, leading to lower rates of child neglect, abuse, accidental death and homicide. These predictions are tested using converging lines of evidence from across the human sciences.
[Keywords: cultural group selection; monogamy; polygyny; marriage; norms; institutional evolution]
The CuPS (Culture × Person × Situation) approach attempts to jointly consider culture and individual differences, without treating either as noise and without reducing one to the other. Culture is important because it helps define psychological situations and create meaningful clusters of behavior according to particular logics. Individual differences are important because individuals vary in the extent to which they endorse or reject a culture’s ideals. Further, because different cultures are organized by different logics, individual differences mean something different in each. Central to these studies are concepts of honor-related violence and individual worth as being inalienable versus socially conferred. We illustrate our argument with 2 experiments involving participants from honor, face, and dignity cultures. The studies showed that the same “type” of person who was most helpful, honest, and likely to behave with integrity in one culture was the “type” of person least likely to do so in another culture. We discuss how CuPS can provide a rudimentary but integrated approach to understanding both within-culture and between-culture variation.
[Keywords: culture, individual differences, within-culture variation, between-culture variation, honor, face, dignity]
…Face is defined essentially by what other people see. Thus, face is like honor in that the sentiments of other people are extremely important. Like honor, face also can involve a claim to virtue or top prestige. However, the settings—and consequently, the role expectations—are quite different for cultures of honor and cultures of face. Whereas honor is contested in a competitive environment of rough equals, face exists in settled hierarchies that are essentially cooperative.
Ho (1976, p. 883; see also Heine, 2001) defined face as “the respectability and/
or deference which a person can claim . . . by virtue of [his or her] relative position” in a hierarchy and the proper fulfillment of his or her role. Thus, everyone in the hierarchy can have some face, though some may have more than others due to their position. Implicitly, people have face—unless they lose it. A person can “gain” face, and one person can “give face” to another, but the major focus is primarily on not losing face (Hamamura, Meijer, Heine, Kamaya, & Hori, 2009). This is reflected in the expression “saving face,” a saying that came into English from British expatriates living in China (“Face,” 2003).
Because face exists within a stable hierarchy, it is not competitive or zero sum. In an honor culture, one person may take another’s honor and appropriate it as his or her own; however, one cannot increase one’s face by taking another’s. In a face culture, people are obliged to work together to preserve each other’s face, and because it is bad form to cause another to lose face, formalities are carefully observed, and direct conflicts are avoided (Gelfand, Lim, & Raver, 2004; Gelfand, Nishii, & Raver, 2006; Gelfand et al., 2001; Sanchez-Burks & Mor Barak, 2004). If one person openly aggrieves another, it disrupts the harmony and order of the system. And unlike in honor cultures, it is not incumbent on the victim to directly redress the grievance himself or herself. Direct retaliation by the victim is unnecessary because the group or a superior is able to punish the offender; in fact, direct retaliation would be undesirable because it would further upset the harmony of the system.
The 3 H’s of a face culture are thus hierarchy, humility, and harmony (see discussion in Y.-H. Kim & Cohen, 2010; Y.-H. Kim, Cohen, & Au, 2010. People are supposed to show appropriate deference to hierarchy. They are supposed to display humility and not overreach on status claims (lest they learn a painful and humiliating lesson about how much status others are willing to accord them). And they are to pursue, or at least not disturb, the harmony of the system.
2010-diamond.pdf: “Pornography and Sex Crimes in the Czech Republic”, (2010-11-30):
Pornography continues to be a contentious matter with those on the one side arguing it detrimental to society while others argue it is pleasurable to many and a feature of free speech. The advent of the Internet with the ready availability of sexually explicit materials thereon particularly has seemed to raise questions of its influence. Following the effects of a new law in the Czech Republic that allowed pornography to a society previously having forbidden it allowed us to monitor the change in sex related crime that followed the change. As found in all other countries in which the phenomenon has been studied, rape and other sex crimes did not increase. Of particular note is that this country, like Denmark and Japan, had a prolonged interval during which possession of child pornography was not illegal and, like those other countries, showed a statistically-significant decrease in the incidence of child sex abuse.
2010-kim.pdf: “Information, Perspective, and Judgments About the Self in Face and Dignity Cultures”, (2010-04-02; ):
People’s judgments about their own moral status and well-being were made differently by those from a Dignity culture (Anglo-Americans) and by those from a Face culture (Asian Americans). Face culture participants were more influenced by information processed from a third-person (compared with first-person) perspective, with information about the self having a powerful effect only when seen through another’s eyes. Thus, (a) Asian Americans felt the greatest need for moral cleansing when thinking about how others would judge their many (vs. few) transgressions, but this effect did not hold when others were not invoked, and (b) Asian Americans defined themselves as having a rich social network and worthwhile life when thinking about how others would evaluate their many (vs. few) friendships, but again, effects did not hold when others were not invoked. In contrast, Anglo-Americans responded to information about their transgressions or friendships, but effects were pronounced only when other people were not invoked.
[Keywords: the self, face and dignity cultures, cross-cultural, perspective, judgments, Asian Americans vs. Anglo-Americans]
2010-kelly-whattechwants-ch7-convergence.pdf: “What Technology Wants: Chapter 7, Convergence”, Kevin Kelly ( )
2010-kelly-whattechnologywants-ch11-lessonsofamishhackers.pdf: “What Technology Wants: Chapter 11, Lessons of AMish Hackers”, Kevin Kelly ( )
2010-kim-2.pdf: “The jury and abjury of my peers: The self in face and dignity cultures”, (2010; ):
The self is defined and judged differently by people from face and dignity cultures (in this case, Hong Kong and the United States, respectively). Across 3 experiments, people from a face culture absorbed the judgments of other people into their private self-definitions. Particularly important for people from a face culture are public representations—knowledge that is shared and known to be shared about someone. In contrast, people from a dignity culture try to preserve the sovereign self by not letting others define them. In the 3 experiments, dignity culture participants showed a studied indifference to the judgments of their peers, ignoring peers’ assessments—whether those assessments were public or private, were positive or negative, or were made by qualified peers or unqualified peers. Ways that the self is “knotted” up with social judgments and cultural imperatives are discussed.
2009-hamamura.pdf: “Approach-Avoidance Motivation and Information Processing: A Cross-Cultural Analysis”, (2009-01-22; ):
Much recent research suggests that North Americans more frequently experience approach motivations and East Asians more frequently experience avoidance motivations. The current research explores some cognitive implications of this cultural difference. North Americans should be more attentive to approach-oriented information, whereas East Asians should be more attentive to avoidance-oriented information. 3 studies confirmed this hypothesis. When asked to recall information framed in either approach or avoidance terms, a predicted interaction between culture and information frame was observed (Study 1 and 2). Moreover, analyses of consumer book reviews found that among reviews that were rated as helpful, approach-focused content was more prevalent in American reviews compared to Japanese reviews, in which avoidance-focused content was more prevalent (Study 3). Findings from the current research add to the growing literature of cross-cultural research on approach-avoidance motivations.
[Keywords: approach-avoidance motivation, culture, motivation, memory, regulatory focus]
2008-barron.pdf: “Asian Variability in Performance Rating Modesty and Leniency Bias”, (2008-07-15):
Western managers typically rate their performance higher than their bosses, peers, or subordinates do; research on Asian managers, however, has been both sparse and conflicting. In examining data from 6 Asian countries, Japanese managers were found to rate themselves lower than others in their organization do. This “modesty bias,” however, varies considerably among Asian countries; in other countries, including India and China, self-inflation was more comparable to typical Western findings. Findings lend initial support to the ability of national collectivism to explain differences in modesty and leniency bias when institutional collectivism is distinguished from in-group collectivism using data from the GLOBE Project (House, Hanges, Javidan, Dorfman, & Gupta, 2004). Theoretical basis for modesty bias, and implications for Asian and American expatriates are discussed.
2006-sanbonmatsu.pdf: “Neighborhoods and Academic Achievement: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment”, (2006-09-01; ):
Families originally living in public housing were assigned housing vouchers by lottery, encouraging moves to neighborhoods with lower poverty rates.
Although we had hypothesized that reading and math test scores would be higher among children in families offered vouchers (with larger effects among younger children), the results show no statistically-significant effects on test scores for any age group among more than 5,000 children aged 6 to 20 in 2002 who were assessed 4 to 7 years after randomization.
Program impacts on school environments were considerably smaller than impacts on neighborhoods, suggesting that achievement-related benefits from improved neighborhood environments alone are small.
2005-wallace.pdf: “Host: Deep into the mercenary world of take-no-prisoners political talk radio”, David Foster Wallace ( )
2005-pritchard.pdf: “Differential Suicide Rates in Typologies of Child Sex Offenders in a 6-year Consecutive Cohort of Male Suicides”, Colin Pritchard, Elizabeth King
2004-jacob.pdf: “Public Housing, Housing Vouchers, and Student Achievement: Evidence from Public Housing Demolitions in Chicago”, (2004-03-01; ):
This paper utilizes a plausibly exogenous source of variation in housing assistance generated by public housing demolitions in Chicago to examine the impact of high-rise public housing on student outcomes. I find that children in households affected by the demolitions do no better or worse than their peers on a wide variety of achievement measures. Because the majority of households that leave high-rise public housing in response to the demolitions move to neighborhoods and schools that closely resemble those they left, the zero effect of the demolitions may be interpreted as the independent impact of public housing.
2004-tushnet.pdf: “Constitutional Hardball”, (2004; ):
For the past several years I have been noticing a phenomenon that seems to me new in my lifetime as a scholar of constitutional law. I call the phenomenon constitutional hardball. This Essay develops the idea that there is such a practice, that there is a sense in which it is new, and that its emergence (or re-emergence) is interesting because it signals that political actors understand that they are in a position to put in place a new set of deep institutional arrangements of a sort I call a “constitutional order”. A shorthand sketch of constitutional hardball is this: it consists of political claims and practices-legislative and executive initiatives-that are without much question within the bounds of existing constitutional doctrine and practice but that are nonetheless in some tension with existing pre-constitutional understandings. It is hardball because its practitioners see themselves as playing for keeps in a special kind of way; they believe the stakes of the political controversy their actions provoke are quite high, and that their defeat and their opponents’ victory would be a serious, perhaps permanent setback to the political positions they hold.
2003-murray-humanaccomplishment.pdf: “Human Accomplishment”, Charles Murray ( )
2002-feltovich.pdf: “Too Cool for School? Signalling and Countersignalling”, (2002):
In signalling environments ranging from consumption to education, high-quality senders often shun the standard signals that should separate them from lower-quality senders. We find that allowing for additional, noisy information on sender quality permits equilibria where medium types signal to separate themselves from low types, but high types then choose to not signal, or countersignal. High types not only save costs by relying on the additional information to stochastically separate them from low types, but countersignalling itself is a signal of confidence that separates high types from medium types. Experimental results confirm that subjects can learn to countersignal.
…Contrary to this standard implication, high types sometimes avoid the signals that should separate them from lower types, while intermediate types often appear the most anxious to send the “right” signals. The nouveau riche flaunt their wealth, but the old rich scorn such gauche displays. Minor officials prove their status with petty displays of authority, while the truly powerful show their strength through gestures of magnanimity. People of average education show off the studied regularity of their script, but the well educated often scribble illegibly. Mediocre students answer a teacher’s easy questions, but the best students are embarrassed to prove their knowledge of trivial points. Acquaintances show their good intentions by politely ignoring one’s flaws, while close friends show intimacy by teasingly highlighting them. People of moderate ability seek formal credentials to impress employers and society, but the talented often downplay their credentials even if they have bothered to obtain them. A person of average reputation defensively refutes accusations against his character, while a highly respected person finds it demeaning to dignify accusations with a response.
…We investigate such countersignalling behavior formally with a model that incorporates extra, noisy information on type into a signalling game. We find that countersignalling can emerge as part of a standard perfect Bayesian equilibrium in which all players are forming rational beliefs and are acting rationally given these beliefs. Countersignalling is naturally interpreted as a sign of confidence. While signalling proves the sender is not a low type, it can also reveal the sender’s insecurity. Since medium types have good reason to fear that the extra information on type will not differentiate them from low types, they must signal to clearly separate themselves. In contrast, high types can demonstrate by countersignalling that they are confident of not being confused with low types. This possibility arises because in a countersignalling equilibrium, the sender’s expectation over the receiver’s beliefs about her type depends on both the signal and her type, not just on the signal.
2001-heine.pdf: “Self as Cultural Product: An Examination of East Asian and North American Selves”, (2001-12; ):
In the past decade a wealth of research has been conducted on the cultural foundation of the self-concept, particularly with respect to East Asian and North American selves. The present paper discusses how the self differs across these two cultural contexts, particularly with respect to an emphasis on consistency versus flexibility, an intraindividual vs. an extra-individual focus, the malleability of the self versus world, the relation of self to others, and self-enhancing versus self-critical motivations. These differences reveal the manifold ways that culture shapes the self.
1999-dawson.pdf: “When Prophecy Fails and Faith Persists: A Theoretical Overview”, (1999-10-01; ):
Almost everyone in the sociology of religion is familiar with the classic 1956 study by Festinger et al. of how religious groups respond to the failure of their prophetic pronouncements. Far fewer are aware of the many other studies of a similar nature completed over the last thirty years on an array of other new religious movements. There are intriguing variations in the observations and conclusions advanced by many of these studies, as well as some surprising commonalities. This paper offers a systematic overview of these variations and commonalities with an eye to developing a more comprehensive and critical perspective on this complex issue. An analysis is provided of the adaptive strategies of groups faced with a failure of prophecy and the conditions affecting the nature and relative success of these strategies. In the end, it is argued, the discussion would benefit from a conceptual reorientation away from the specifics of the theory of cognitive dissonance, as formulated by Festinger et al., to a broader focus on the generic processes of dissonance management in various religious and social groups.
All parachute injuries from two local parachute centres over a 5-year period were analysed. Of 174 patients with injuries of varying severity, 94% were first-time charity-parachutists. The injury rate in charity-parachutists was 11% at an average cost of £3751 per casualty. 63% of casualties who were charity-parachutists required hospital admission, representing a serious injury rate of 7%, at an average cost of £5781 per patient. The amount raised per person for charity was £30. Each pound raised for charity cost the NHS £13.75 in return. Parachuting for charity costs more money than it raises, carries a high risk of serious personal injury and places a substantial burden on health resources.
1997-mayer-whatmoneycantbuy.pdf: “What Money Can't Buy: Family Income and Children's Life Chances”, Susan E. Mayer ( )
1996-harvey.pdf: “The Culture of Poverty: An Ideological Analysis”, (1996-01-01):
For three decades Oscar Lewis’s subculture of poverty concept has been misinterpreted as a theory bent on blaming the victims of poverty for their poverty. This essay corrects this misunderstanding. Using a sociology of knowledge approach, it explores the historical origins of this misreading and shows how current poverty scholarship replicates this erroneous interpretation of Lewis’s work. An attempt is made to remedy this situation by arguing that Lewis’s subculture of poverty idea, far from being a poor-bashing, ideological ploy, is firmly grounded in a Marxist critique of capital and its productive contradictions. As such, Lewis’s work is a celebration of the resilience and resourcefulness of the poor, not a denigration of the lower class and the cultural defenses they erect against poverty’s everyday uncertainty.
1994-loury.pdf: “Self-Censorship in Public Discourse: A Theory of “Political Correctness” and Related Phenomena”, (1994-10-01; ):
Uncertainty about what motivates “senders” of public messages leads “receivers” to “read between the lines” to discern the sender’s deepest commitments. Anticipating this, senders “write between the lines,” editing their expressions so as to further their own ends. I examine how this interactive process of inference and deceit affects the quality and extent of public deliberations on sensitive issues. A principle conclusion is that genuine moral discourse on difficult social issues can become impossible when the risks of upsetting some portion of one’s audience are too great. Reliance on euphemism and platitude should be expected in this strategic climate. Groups may embark on a tragic course of action, believed by many at the outset to be ill-conceived, but that has become impossible to criticize.
1987-miller-researchinsocialproblemsandpublicpolicy-v4.pdf: “Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, A Research Annual: Volume 4”, JoAnn L. Miller, Michael Lewis ( )
1983-delgado.pdf: “Can Science Be Inopportune - Constitutional Validity of Governmental Restrictions on Race-IQ Research”, Richard Delgado, Sean Bradley, David Burkenroad, Ron Chavez
1982-simoons.pdf: “Breast-Feeding of Animals by Women: Its Socio-Cultural Context and Geographic Occurrence”, (1982; ):
In this paper, the practice of women breast-feeding animals is viewed from a geographic and historical perspective. The principal aims are to establish where the practice has been commonplace, to determine its economic and socio-cultural context, to consider its possible role in animal domestication, and to weigh its importance in human ecology.—In many cases, the practice is an expression of affection for pets (among Polynesians, among forest peoples of tropical South America, and especially among aboriginal hunters and gatherers in Southeast Asia, Australia, and Tasmania). In other cases, affection is supplemented or supplanted by economic concerns, as among various Melanesian “pig complex” peoples. In some cases, breast-feeding of animals is linked to cult and ritual, an outstanding example being the nursing of cubs in connection with the Ainu bear cult. In a few cases, animals are breast-fed with the welfare of the human mother or child being of greatest concern. The conclusion is drawn that animal nursing may indeed have contributed to the domestication of such animals as the pig and dog, and that in some places, particularly lowland New Guinea, the practice can play an important role in human ecology.
[Keywords: Breast-Feeding of Animals, Ecology, Animal Domestication, Animal Cult]
…This initial survey of the practice of breast-feeding of animals by humans leads us to three general conclusions about the practice. First, we note that virtually all contemporary human groups reported as regularly nursing animals belong to cultures which either possess no dairy animals or, if they do, do not milk them. Second, we note the importance of animal-nursing as a taming mechanism used by some human groups who capture infant animals in the wild, and suggest that animal-nursing may have contributed to the full domestication of such often-captured pets as the dog and the pig, Sauer’s “household” animals. Finally and most tentatively, we conclude that the practice of animal-nursing, particularly in areas such as New Guinea where human breastmilk production is low, may at times pose a health threat to human infants who must compete with animals at the breast.
1981-hirschi.pdf: “Book Reviews: _Taboos in Criminology_, Edward Sagarin 1980”, Travis Hirschi
1978-granovetter.pdf: “Threshold Models of Collective Behavior”, (1978-05):
Models of collective behavior are developed for situations where actors have two alternatives and the costs and/
or benefits of each depend on how many other actors choose which alternative.
The key concept is that of “threshold”: the number or proportion of others who must make one decision before a given actor does so; this is the point where net benefits begin to exceed net costs for that particular actor. Beginning with a frequency distribution of thresholds, the models allow calculation of the ultimate or “equilibrium” number making each decision. The stability of equilibrium results against various possible changes in threshold distributions is considered. Stress is placed on the importance of exact distributions distributions for outcomes. Groups with similar average preferences may generate very different results; hence it is hazardous to infer individual dispositions from aggregate outcomes or to assume that behavior was directed by ultimately agreed-upon norms.
Suggested applications are to riot behavior, innovation and rumor diffusion, strikes, voting, and migration. Issues of measurement, falsification, and verification are discussed.
1977-siegel.pdf: “Religious Behavior in Animals and Man: Drug-Induced Effects”, (1977-06):
This paper attempts to develop an experimental analysis of drug-induced religious behavior. The first part discusses drugs and religious behavior in man and includes sections on anthropological, contemporary, and experimental perspectives. The second part reviews analogous natural and drug-induced animal behaviors which are seen to be structurally similar to human religious activities. The functional similarities are examined in the third section which analyses religion in terms of operant behavior concepts and findings. It is concluded that the behavioral, albeit not necessarily the experiential, aspects of drug-induced religious behavior can be studied in the animal model.
1976-kaufman-aregovernmentorganizationsimmortal.pdf: “Are Government Organizations Immortal?”, Kaufman, Herbert, 1922
1976-ho.pdf: “On the Concept of Face”, (1976; ):
The concept of face is clarified and distinguished from other closely related constructs: authority, standards of behavior, personality, status, dignity, honor, and prestige. The claim to face may rest on the basis of status, whether ascribed or achieved, and on personal or non-personal factors; it may also vary according to the group with which a person is interacting. Basic differences are found between the processes involved in gaining versus losing face. While it is not a necessity for one to strive to gain face, losing face is a serious matter which will, in varying degrees, affect one’s ability to function effectively in society. Face is lost when the individual, either through his action or that of people closely related to him, fails to meet essential requirements placed upon him by virtue of the social position he occupies. In contrast to the ideology of individualism, the question of face frequently arises beyond the realm of individual responsibility and subjective volition. Reciprocity is inherent in face behavior, wherein a mutually restrictive, even coercive, power is exerted upon each member of the social network. It is argued that face behavior is universal and that face should be utilized as a construct of central importance in the social sciences.
1975-gramlich-educationalperformancecontracting.pdf: “Educational Performance Contracting: An Evaluation of an Experiment”, Edward M. Gramlich, Patricia P. Koshel ( )
1974-martinson.pdf: “What works? - questions and answers about prison reform”, Robert Martinson ( )
1972-may.pdf: “Will a Large Complex System be Stable?”, Robert M. May
1972-page.pdf: “How We *All* Failed In Performance Contracting”, Ellis B. Page ( )
1972-marsden.pdf: “Crowding and Animal Behavior [_Environment and the social sciences: Perspectives and applications_]”, Halsey M. Marsden ( )
1972-hawley.pdf: “Population Density and the City”, Amos H. Hawley ( )
1972-downs.pdf: “Up and down with ecology—the 'issue-attention cycle'”, (1972-01-01; ):
American public attention rarely remains sharply focused upon any one domestic issue for very long—even if it involves a continuing problem of crucial importance to society. Instead, a systematic “issue-attention cycle” seems strongly to influence public attitudes and behavior concerning most key domestic problems. Each of these problems suddenly leaps into prominence, remains there for a short time, and then—though still largely unresolved—gradually fades from the center of public attention. A study of the way this cycle operates provides insights into how long public attention is likely to remain sufficiently focused upon any given issue to generate enough political pressure to cause effective change.
The shaping of American attitudes toward improving the quality of our environment provides both an example and a potential test of this “issue-attention cycle.” In the past few years, there has been a remarkably widespread upsurge of interest in the quality of our environment. This change in public attitudes has been much faster than any changes in the environment itself. What has caused this shift in public attention? Why did this issue suddenly assume so high a priority among our domestic concerns? And how long will the American public sustain high-intensity interest in ecological matters? I believe that answers to these questions analyzing the “issue-attention cycle.”
The dynamics of the “issue-attention cycle”
Public perception of most “crises” in American domestic life does not reflect changes in real conditions as much as it reflects the operation of a systematic cycle of heightening public interest and then increasing boredom with major issues. This “issue-attention cycle” is rooted both in the nature of certain domestic problems and in the way major communications media interact with the public. The cycle itself has five stages, which may vary in duration depending upon the particular issue involved, but which almost always occur in the following sequence:
- The pre-problem stage…
- Alarmed discovery and euphoric enthusiasm…
- Realizing the cost of substantial progress…
- Gradual decline of intense public interest…
- The post-problem stage…
1971-calhoun.pdf: “Space and the Strategy of Life”, John B. Calhoun ( )
1967-becker.pdf: “Whose Side Are We On?”, Howard S. Becker
1966-devos-japansinvisiblerace.pdf: “Japan's invisible race; caste in culture and personality”, Digitized by the Internet Archive
1963-mayer-physiologicalmammalogy-volume1.pdf: “Physiological Mammalogy, Volume 1: Mammalian Populations”, William Mayer
1963-calhoun.pdf: “The Social Use of Space”, John B. Calhoun ( )
1962-calhoun.pdf: “Population Density and Social Pathology: When a population of laboratory rats is allowed to increase in a confined space, the rats develop acutely abnormal patterns of behavior that can even lead to the extinction of the population”, John B. Calhoun ( )
1941-davis.pdf: “Intermarriage In Caste Societies”, (1941-07; ):
Social stratification, whatever its causes, hinges upon certain objective bases or marks—e.g., sex, age, birth, race, residence, achievement, and appearance—tangible pegs whereon are hung the more intangible realities of invidious discrimination. This chapter deals with marital selection only in this second sense, being primarily concerned with the interrelation between marriage and caste. It discusses the strange circumstance that despite the intimate dependence of caste stratification upon caste endogamy, intermarriage often occurs in caste societies, sometimes in the highly regularized form of hypergamy. A cardinal principle of every stratified social order is that the majority of those marrying shall marry equals. This rule can be called (according to the type of stratification involved) class, caste, or ständische endogamy. There are forces that oppose rank endogamy. But the principle that stratification in itself necessitates such endogamy remains firm. The chapter also explores actual caste societies and attempts to deal with glaring exceptions (such as hypergamy) which occur in them.