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Friday, February 8, 2013

As the Romans do

 

In the Land of the Free, Interdependent Action Undermines Motivation

MarYam Hamedani, Hazel Rose Markus & Alyssa Fu
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Abstract:
Today's most pressing social challenges require people to recognize their shared fate and work together - to think and act interdependently. In the three studies reported here, we found that appeals for increased interdependence may undermine the very motivation they seek to inspire. We examined the hypothesis that invoking interdependent action undermines motivation for chronically independent European Americans but not for bicultural Asian Americans who are both chronically independent and chronically interdependent. Studies 1 and 2 demonstrated that priming interdependent rather than independent action undermined European Americans' motivation to perform challenging mental and physical tasks. Study 3 showed that framing an appeal for environmental sustainability in terms of interdependent rather than independent action led to decreased motivation and resource allocation among European Americans. Motivation was not undermined for Asian Americans, which reveals how behavior is divergently shaped, in the land of the free, by foundational sociocultural schemas of independence and interdependence. This research has the novel implication that it may be necessary to invoke independent behaviors in order to successfully motivate interdependence.

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Consanguinity as a Major Predictor of Levels of Democracy: A Study of 70 Nations

Michael Woodley & Edward Bell
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, February 2013, Pages 263-280

Abstract:
This article examines the hypothesis that although the level of democracy in a society is a complex phenomenon involving many antecedents, consanguinity (marriage and subsequent mating between second cousins or closer relatives) is an important though often overlooked predictor of it. Measures of the two variables correlate substantially in a sample of 70 nations (r = -0.632, p < 0.001), and consanguinity remains a significant predictor of democracy in multiple regression and path analyses involving several additional independent variables. The data suggest that where consanguineous kinship networks are numerically predominant and have been made to share a common statehood, democracy is unlikely to develop. Possible explanations for these findings include the idea that restricted gene flow arising from consanguineous marriage facilitates a rigid collectivism that is inimical to individualism and the recognition of individual rights, which are key elements of the democratic ethos. Furthermore, high levels of within-group genetic similarity may discourage cooperation between different large-scale kin groupings sharing the same nation, inhibiting democracy. Finally, genetic similarity stemming from consanguinity may encourage resource predation by members of socially elite kinship networks as an inclusive fitness enhancing behavior.

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China's language input system in the digital age affects children's reading development

Li Hai Tan et al.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 15 January 2013, Pages 1119-1123

Abstract:
Written Chinese as a logographic system was developed over 3,000 y ago. Historically, Chinese children have learned to read by learning to associate the visuo-graphic properties of Chinese characters with lexical meaning, typically through handwriting. In recent years, however, many Chinese children have learned to use electronic communication devices based on the pinyin input method, which associates phonemes and English letters with characters. When children use pinyin to key in letters, their spelling no longer depends on reproducing the visuo-graphic properties of characters that are indispensable to Chinese reading, and, thus, typing in pinyin may conflict with the traditional learning processes for written Chinese. We therefore tested character reading ability and pinyin use by primary school children in three Chinese cites: Beijing (n = 466), Guangzhou (n = 477), and Jining (n = 4,908). Children with severe reading difficulty are defined as those who were normal in nonverbal IQ but two grades (i.e., 2 y) behind in character-reading achievement. We found that the overall incidence rate of severe reading difficulty appears to be much higher than ever reported on Chinese reading. Crucially, we found that children's reading scores were significantly negatively correlated with their use of the pinyin input method, suggesting that pinyin typing on e-devices hinders Chinese reading development. The Chinese language has survived the technological challenges of the digital era, but the benefits of communicating digitally may come with a cost in proficient learning of written Chinese.

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Fast life histories, not pathogens, account for state-level variation in homicide, child maltreatment, and family ties in the U.S.

Joseph Hackman & Daniel Hruschka
Evolution and Human Behavior, forthcoming

Abstract:
Parasite stress theory has recently been used to account for an array of cross-cultural differences in human cognition and social behavior, including in-group bias, interpersonal violence, child maltreatment, and religious adherence. Here, we re-assess the apparently ubiquitous effects of parasite stress on behavior observed in the U.S., using the cross-sectional, cross-population approach implemented by prior pathogen stress studies. Our results raise two challenges to previous findings. First, we show that the observed effects of pathogen stress in the U.S. data are due exclusively to one type of infectious disease - sexually transmitted diseases (STD) - while non-STD infections have no effect. Second, we find that controlling for life history measures of extrinsic risk and a fast life history erases the observed associations with family ties, interpersonal violence, child fatalities, and religious adherence. Thus, after appropriate variable specification, stratification, and control, U.S. cross-state population differences provide no support for the pathogen stress hypothesis in these various domains of behavior. Rather, the findings are more consistent with predictions from life history theory.

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Quantifying the Advantage of Looking Forward

Tobias Preis et al.
Scientific Reports, April 2012

Abstract:
We introduce a future orientation index to quantify the degree to which Internet users worldwide seek more information about years in the future than years in the past. We analyse Google logs and find a striking correlation between the country's GDP and the predisposition of its inhabitants to look forward.

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The LL game: The curious preference for low quality and its norms

Diego Gambetta & Gloria Origgi
Politics, Philosophy & Economics, February 2013, Pages 3-23

Abstract:
We investigate a phenomenon which we have experienced as common when dealing with an assortment of Italian public and private institutions: people promise to exchange high-quality goods and services, but then something goes wrong and the quality delivered is lower than had been promised. While this is perceived as ‘cheating' by outsiders, insiders seem not only to adapt to, but to rely on this outcome. They do not resent low-quality exchanges; in fact, they seem to resent high-quality ones, and are inclined to put pressure on or avoid dealing with agents who deliver high quality. The equilibrium among low-quality producers relies on an unusual preference ranking which differs from that associated with the Prisoners' Dilemma and similar games, whereby self-interested rational agents prefer to dish out low quality in exchange for high quality. While equally ‘lazy', agents in our low-quality worlds are oddly ‘pro-social': for the advantage of maximizing their raw self-interest, they prefer to receive low-quality goods and services, provided that they too can in exchange deliver low quality without embarrassment. They develop a set of oblique social norms to sustain their preferred equilibrium when threatened by the intrusion of high quality. We argue that high-quality collective outcomes are endangered not only by self-interested individual defectors, but by ‘cartels' of mutually satisfied mediocrities.

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Cultural Differences in Targets of Stigmatization Between Individual- and Group-Oriented Cultures

Hyeyoung Shin, John Dovidio & Jaime Napier
Basic and Applied Social Psychology, January/February 2013, Pages 98-108

Abstract:
This research investigated cultural differences in stigmatization of out-groups representing Goffman's distinction between "tribal stigma" and "blemishes of character." We hypothesized that "group-oriented" (vs. individual-oriented) cultures would be more likely to stigmatize nonnormative groups, including tribal out-groups (people of a different race, immigrants/foreign workers) and out-groups with blemishes of character (homosexuals, heavy drinkers, drug addicts), because of higher value of behavioral conformity and/or lower value of uniqueness. Country-level analyses with nine individual-oriented and four group-oriented countries supported our hypotheses and revealed that the cultural value of uniqueness played a more influential role than behavioral conformity. We discuss implications and directions for future research.

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Genetic Diversity and the Origins of Cultural Fragmentation

Quamrul Ashraf & Oded Galor
NBER Working Paper, January 2013

Abstract:
Despite the importance attributed to the effects of diversity on the stability and prosperity of nations, the origins of the uneven distribution of ethnic and cultural fragmentation across countries have been underexplored. Building on the role of deeply-rooted biogeographical forces in comparative development, this research empirically demonstrates that genetic diversity, predominantly determined during the prehistoric "out of Africa" migration of humans, is an underlying cause of various existing manifestations of ethnolinguistic heterogeneity. Further exploration of this uncharted territory may revolutionize the understanding of the effects of deeply-rooted factors on economic development and the composition of human capital across the globe.

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Language experienced in utero affects vowel perception after birth: A two-country study

Christine Moon, Hugo Lagercrantz & Patricia Kuhl
Acta Paediatrica, February 2013, Pages 156-160

Aims: To test the hypothesis that exposure to ambient language in the womb alters phonetic perception shortly after birth. This two-country study aimed to see if neonates demonstrated prenatal learning by how they responded to vowels in a category from their native language and another nonnative language, regardless of how much postnatal experience the infants had.

Method: A counterbalanced experiment was conducted in Sweden (n=40) and the USA (n=40) using Swedish and English vowel sounds. The neonates (mean postnatal age = 33 hrs) controlled audio presentation of either native or nonnative vowels by sucking on a pacifier, with the number of times they sucked their pacifier being used to demonstrate what vowel sounds attracted their attention. The vowels were either the English /i/ or Swedish /y/ in the form of a prototype plus 16 variants of the prototype.

Results: The infants in the native and nonnative groups responded differently. As predicted, the infants responded to the unfamiliar nonnative language with higher mean sucks. They also sucked more to the nonnative prototype. Time since birth (range: 7-75 hours) did not affect the outcome.

Conclusion: The ambient language to which foetuses are exposed in the womb starts to affect their perception of their native language at a phonetic level. This can be measured shortly after birth by differences in responding to familiar vs. unfamiliar vowels.

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Social and Emotional Parenting: Mothering in a Changing Chinese Society

Niobe Way et al.
Asian American Journal of Psychology, forthcoming

Abstract:
Chua's (2011) book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother generated vigorous debate regarding its description of "Chinese" parenting ideology and practices. In this article, the authors analyzed the narratives from 24 Chinese mothers of middle school students in Nanjing, China to explore their parenting ideology and practices. In sharp distinction to the "Tiger Mother" image, our analysis indicated that although all mothers wanted their children to do well in school, their primary goals were focused on raising socially and emotionally well-adjusted children who had the capacity to be self-sufficient and gainfully employed in the future. With few exceptions, the mothers' strategies for achieving these goals included providing their children the freedom to make their own decisions and not forcing their children to engage in particular activities. These strategies were based on their concerns for the children's short-term and long-term happiness as well as a perception that the way they were raised was no longer relevant to raising their children; consequently, the mothers allowed their children more autonomy and control to forge their own path than the mothers themselves were allowed as children. Our findings draw attention to the social, political, and economic context of China and how this changing context is shaping parenting goals and practices.

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Cultural differences in social networking site use: A comparative study of China and the United States

Linda Jackson & Jin-Liang Wang
Computers in Human Behavior, May 2013, Pages 910-921

Abstract:
This research compared social networking site (SNS) use in a collectivistic culture, China, and an individualistic culture, the United States (US). Over 400 college student participants from a Southwestern University in Chongqing, China, and 490 college participants from a Midwestern University in the US completed a survey about their use of SNSs - time spent, importance and motives for use. They then rated themselves on a variety of personal characteristics, namely the Big Five Personality factors, Loneliness, Shyness and Life Satisfaction. Results revealed cultural differences in SNS use. US participants spent more time in SNS, considered them to be more important and had more friends in SNSs than did Chinese participants. Self-ratings of personal characteristics also differed in the two cultures as did the personal characteristics that predicted SNS use. In general, personal characteristics were less effective in predicting SNS use in China than in the US. Findings suggest that in collectivistic cultures the importance of the family, friends and one's groups may be partly responsible for Chinese participants' lesser use of SNSs, whereas in individualistic cultures the importance of self and having more but less close and enduring friendships may be partly responsible for US participants' greater use of SNSs. Personal characteristics predicted SNS use in both cultures but were stronger predictors in an individualistic culture than in a collectivistic, consistent with the emphasis on self in the former and on family, friends and one's groups in the latter. Future research is needed to identify whether cultural values always take precedence over personal characteristics and motives in determining behavior in the virtual world.

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How and When Do Personal Values Guide Our Attitudes and Sociality? Explaining Cross-Cultural Variability in Attitude-Value Linkages

Diana Boer & Ronald Fischer
Psychological Bulletin, forthcoming

Abstract:
This article examines how and when personal values relate to social attitudes. Considering values as motivational orientations, we propose an attitude-value taxonomy based on Moral Foundation Theory (Haidt & Joseph, 2007) and Schwartz's (1992) basic human values theory allowing predictions of (a) how social attitudes are related to personal values, and (b) when macro-contextual factors have an impact on attitude-value links. In a meta-analysis based on the Schwartz Value Survey (Schwartz, 1992) and the Portrait Value Questionnaire (Schwartz et al., 2001; k = 91, N = 30,357 from 31 countries), we found that self-transcendence (vs. self-enhancement) values relate positively to fairness/proenvironmental and care/prosocial attitudes, and conservation (vs. openness-to-change) values relate to purity/religious and authority/political attitudes, whereas ingroup/identity attitudes are not consistently associated with value dimensions. Additionally, we hypothesize that the ecological, economic, and cultural context moderates the extent to which values guide social attitudes. Results of the multi-level meta-analysis show that ecological and cultural factors inhibit or foster attitude-value associations: Disease stress is associated with lower attitude-value associations for conservation (vs. openness-to-change) values; collectivism is associated with stronger attitude-value links for conservation values; individualism is associated with stronger attitude-value links for self-transcendence (vs. self-enhancement) values; and uncertainty avoidance is associated with stronger attitude-values links, particularly for conservation values. These findings challenge universalistic claims about context-independent attitude-value relations and contribute to refined future value and social attitude theories.

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Anxiety as a consequence of modern dietary pattern in adults in Tehran-Iran

M. Bakhtiyari et al.
Eating Behaviors, April 2013, Pages 107-112

Abstract:
Food intake patterns in relation to mental health have already been revealed. To investigate the relationship between processed foods consumption behavior and anxiety disorder, a cross sectional study was conducted. Overall, 1782 young adults aged 18-35 years were randomly selected using cluster sampling method from 22 districts of Tehran-Iran in 2011. Diet assessment was done using a 24 hours recall questionnaire in two times with a week interval. Anxiety level was determined using the validated Speilburger test (Persian version). A Proportional odds regression model was used to assess the effect of processed food consumption on anxiety variables. A significant statistical difference was found between men and women in terms of processed food consumption (p < 0.001). Adjusting for age, total calorie intake, gender, body mass index, socioeconomic status, history of sedative drug consumption as well as mental health disorders, the proportional odds regression model showed a significant relationship between increased consumption of processed foods and anxiety (OR = 4.73, 95% CI: 2.89-12.54 for state and OR = 4.91, 95% CI: 2.88-13.99 for trait). Identification, modification and adjusting incorrect food patterns in the community could be considered as valuable steps to turn down nutritional-based health difficulties.

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Friends and family: A cross-cultural investigation of social support and subjective well-being among college students

Debi Brannan et al.
Journal of Positive Psychology, January/February 2013, Pages 65-75

Abstract:
Despite the growing number of cross-cultural studies focusing on well-being, little is known about social support outside of western civilization, particularly among people in Middle Eastern cultures. The current study examined the relationships between perceived social support and components of subjective well-being (i.e. positive and negative affect, satisfaction with life) among college students in Iran, Jordan, and the United States. Perceived support from family significantly predicted each aspect of well-being within each country. However, perceived support from friends did not predict any component of well-being in Iran; yet, in Jordan and the US, friend support predicted higher levels of positive mood. These results will be examined in terms of roles and relationship norms in these countries.

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The strength and persistence of entrepreneurial cultures

James Foreman-Peck & Peng Zhou
Journal of Evolutionary Economics, January 2013, Pages 163-187

Abstract:
The twentieth century United States provides a natural experiment to measure the strength and persistence of entrepreneurial cultures. Assuming immigrants bear the cultures of their birth place, comparison of revealed entrepreneurial propensities of US immigrant groups in 1910 and 2000 reflected these backgrounds. Two measures of entrepreneurial culture are employed; the first is simply the chance that a member of the migrant group will be an employer and the second is the origin country effect on this probability, conditional upon personal characteristics. The preferred second measure shows persistence of some cultures and change of others over the twentieth century. Among the more stable cultures North-western Europe, where modern economic growth is widely held to have originated, did not host unusually strong entrepreneurial propensities. Instead such cultures were carried by persons originating from Greece, Turkey and Italy, together with Jews.

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Using Citizenship to Retain Identity: The Native American Dance Bans of the Later Assimilation Era, 1900-1933

Gabriella Treglia
Journal of American Studies, forthcoming

Abstract:
From the 1880s until the early 1930s the US federal government adopted a formal policy of intolerance towards Native American cultures and religions, stemming primarily from the belief that traditional religio-cultural practices - especially dances - distracted Native Americans from crop-tending and stock-rearing, and also constituted "outmoded" reminders of a "savage" past seen as incompatible with the responsibilities of US citizenship. Some cultural practices were banned outright, while others were actively discouraged or denigrated as "oldtime." Yet Native American cultural expression did not die - in large part because Native communities employed varied methods to resist the bans. This article examines the ways in which pro-dancing communities utilized the language of US citizenship and made appeals to the Constitution, private property rights and US patriotism in their bid to ensure the survival of their dances and ceremonies. It also examines support for the dance bans by Native individuals, and the increasingly complex and evolving cultural identities in reservation communities in the early twentieth century.

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Population structure and cultural geography of a folktale in Europe

Robert Ross, Simon Greenhill & Quentin Atkinson
Proceedings of the Royal Society: Biological Sciences, 7 April 2013

Abstract:
Despite a burgeoning science of cultural evolution, relatively little work has focused on the population structure of human cultural variation. By contrast, studies in human population genetics use a suite of tools to quantify and analyse spatial and temporal patterns of genetic variation within and between populations. Human genetic diversity can be explained largely as a result of migration and drift giving rise to gradual genetic clines, together with some discontinuities arising from geographical and cultural barriers to gene flow. Here, we adapt theory and methods from population genetics to quantify the influence of geography and ethnolinguistic boundaries on the distribution of 700 variants of a folktale in 31 European ethnolinguistic populations. We find that geographical distance and ethnolinguistic affiliation exert significant independent effects on folktale diversity and that variation between populations supports a clustering concordant with European geography. This pattern of geographical clines and clusters parallels the pattern of human genetic diversity in Europe, although the effects of geographical distance and ethnolinguistic boundaries are stronger for folktales than genes. Our findings highlight the importance of geography and population boundaries in models of human cultural variation and point to key similarities and differences between evolutionary processes operating on human genes and culture.

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Y-Chromosome and mtDNA Genetics Reveal Significant Contrasts in Affinities of Modern Middle Eastern Populations with European and African Populations

Danielle Badro et al.
PLoS ONE, January 2013

Abstract:
The Middle East was a funnel of human expansion out of Africa, a staging area for the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution, and the home to some of the earliest world empires. Post LGM expansions into the region and subsequent population movements created a striking genetic mosaic with distinct sex-based genetic differentiation. While prior studies have examined the mtDNA and Y-chromosome contrast in focal populations in the Middle East, none have undertaken a broad-spectrum survey including North and sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, and Middle Eastern populations. In this study 5,174 mtDNA and 4,658 Y-chromosome samples were investigated using PCA, MDS, mean-linkage clustering, AMOVA, and Fisher exact tests of FST's, RST's, and haplogroup frequencies. Geographic differentiation in affinities of Middle Eastern populations with Africa and Europe showed distinct contrasts between mtDNA and Y-chromosome data. Specifically, Lebanon's mtDNA shows a very strong association to Europe, while Yemen shows very strong affinity with Egypt and North and East Africa. Previous Y-chromosome results showed a Levantine coastal-inland contrast marked by J1 and J2, and a very strong North African component was evident throughout the Middle East. Neither of these patterns were observed in the mtDNA. While J2 has penetrated into Europe, the pattern of Y-chromosome diversity in Lebanon does not show the widespread affinities with Europe indicated by the mtDNA data. Lastly, while each population shows evidence of connections with expansions that now define the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, many of the populations in the Middle East show distinctive mtDNA and Y-haplogroup characteristics that indicate long standing settlement with relatively little impact from and movement into other populations.

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Coming of Age in Times of Change: The Transition to Adulthood in China

Wei-Jun Jean Yeung & Shu Hu
ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, March 2013, Pages 149-171

Abstract:
This article aims to (1) describe trends for Chinese young adults' pathways into adulthood for birth cohorts that have experienced distinct historical events over the past half century and (2) examine factors that shape young adults' transitioning behavior. We draw data from the 2005 to 2008 Chinese General Social Survey. In contrast to the increasingly protracted trend seen in many Western societies, the more recent Chinese cohorts transitioned to marriage and parenthood sooner than those who grew up during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. The economic and education reforms since the late 1970s have greatly increased urban-rural disparity in youths' life trajectories despite their generally positive impact on young adults' educational attainment and economic well-being. While near-universal marriage and childbearing within marriage prevail and son preference remains strong in modern China, evidence suggests that today's young Chinese are exploring new pathways to adulthood, including cohabitation and premarital sex.

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Hoping for a Phoenix: Shanghai Fathers and Their Daughters

Qiong Xu & Wei-Jun Jean Yeung
Journal of Family Issues, February 2013, Pages 182-207

Abstract:
Intergenerational relationships and gender roles in China are in transition because of ideational and structural changes resulting from social movements and policies in the past half a century. Using a mixed-methods design, we examine Shanghai fathers' involvement in their adolescent daughters' lives. In contrast to traditional stereotypes, Shanghai fathers are nurturing and highly involved in multiple domains of their daughters' lives. They also have very high aspirations for their daughters, regardless of their own socioeconomic background. Shanghai fathers see providing emotional and financial support, and helping their daughters to achieve success in education as their most important roles. The behavior of Shanghai fathers can be best understood in the unique Chinese contexts of one-child policy, transition to market economy, and increasing globalization.

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Personality and life satisfaction in China: The birth order effect under the influence of national policy

Yi Shao et al.
Personality and Individual Differences, March 2013, Pages 536-541

Abstract:
Individuals' development is a multilayered affair. The influence of family relationship on personality, such as and focusing on birth order, is subject to influence from other social systems in which the families are situated. The current research examined the relation of birth order to personality and life satisfaction in China, where only children have become the majority because of national policy. Across two studies with both between-family data (N = 1468) and within-family data (N = 171), onlyborns and laterborns surpassed firstborns on openness to experience. In addition, only-child participants were more satisfied with their own lives than were sibling participants, especially laterborns. The results offer new insights into the dynamic relations between ecology and personality.

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Influences of Culture and Visual Context on Real-Time Social Categorization

Jonathan Freeman et al.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, March 2013, Pages 206-210

Abstract:
Social categorization is often thought to be based on facial features and immune to visual context. East Asians have been argued to attend to context more whereas Westerners to context less. American and Chinese participants were presented with faces varying along a White-Asian morph continuum either in American, neutral, or Chinese contexts. American contexts made White categorizations more likely, and Chinese contexts made Asian categorizations more likely. Further, as facial and contextual cues became more compatible, participants' hand trajectories exhibited a more direct approach toward the selected response. As they became more incompatible, trajectories exhibited a stronger partial attraction toward the unselected response. Even when the response was not biased by context, the trajectory was nevertheless partially attracted to the category associated with the context. Importantly, such context effects occurred earlier in time for Chinese participants relative to American participants. Together, the results show that context systematically influences social categorization, sometimes overtly and other times only partially. Further, the timing of contextual influence differs by culture. The findings highlight the role of contextual and cultural factors in social categorization.

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Exploring the Myth of Unhappiness in Former Communist Countries: The Roles of the Sex Gap in Life Expectancy and the Marital Status Composition

Junji Kageyama
Social Indicators Research, March 2013, Pages 327-339

Abstract:
National average happiness and the difference in happiness between women and men are positively correlated in European countries. This study focuses on this cross-country relationship and tests (1) whether, after controlling for socio-economic factors, the correlation is attributed to their direct relationship, or, alternatively, explained by the sex difference in life expectancy, and (2) whether the correlation is not only exogenously explained but also endogenously generated by the sex difference in life expectancy. Performing regression analyses, this study shows that the correlation between happiness and its sex difference is spurious, and that the sex difference in life expectancy generates this correlation and accounts for about one-third of the correlation. A decline in happiness influences men's mortality more than women's, and widens the life expectancy gap between women and men. This in turn raises the widowhood ratio among women, lowers women's average happiness, and reduces the happiness gap between women and men. The results obtained in this study points to the importance of controlling for the demographic composition of the population when we use aggregate happiness measures as national happiness indicators.

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Individual Attitudes Toward Others, Misanthropy Analysis in a Cross-Country Perspective

Natalia Melgar, Máximo Rossi & Tom Smith
American Journal of Economics and Sociology, January 2013, Pages 222-241

Abstract:
While misanthropy has been analyzed taking into account one country and just comparing results, we employ the 2004 International Social Survey Program data set and assess its determinants from a cross-country analysis by considering personal characteristics and country effects. Findings indicate that misanthropy is explained by sociodemographic and economic characteristics (being a woman, education, and marriage reduce misanthropy while being young or poor, and self-employment have the opposite effect). Country effects are significant; some environmental factors play a relevant role. Finally, we add new elements to the discussion by showing a strong relationship among our misanthropy ranking and two corruption perception rankings.

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The History of Slavs Inferred from Complete Mitochondrial Genome Sequences

Marta Mielnik-Sikorska et al.
PLoS ONE, January 2013

Abstract:
To shed more light on the processes leading to crystallization of a Slavic identity, we investigated variability of complete mitochondrial genomes belonging to haplogroups H5 and H6 (63 mtDNA genomes) from the populations of Eastern and Western Slavs, including new samples of Poles, Ukrainians and Czechs presented here. Molecular dating implies formation of H5 approximately 11.5-16 thousand years ago (kya) in the areas of southern Europe. Within ancient haplogroup H6, dated at around 15-28 kya, there is a subhaplogroup H6c, which probably survived the last glaciation in Europe and has undergone expansion only 3-4 kya, together with the ancestors of some European groups, including the Slavs, because H6c has been detected in Czechs, Poles and Slovaks. Detailed analysis of complete mtDNAs allowed us to identify a number of lineages that seem specific for Central and Eastern Europe (H5a1f, H5a2, H5a1r, H5a1s, H5b4, H5e1a, H5u1, some subbranches of H5a1a and H6a1a9). Some of them could possibly be traced back to at least ~4 kya, which indicates that some of the ancestors of today's Slavs (Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Ukrainians and Russians) inhabited areas of Central and Eastern Europe much earlier than it was estimated on the basis of archaeological and historical data. We also sequenced entire mitochondrial genomes of several non-European lineages (A, C, D, G, L) found in contemporary populations of Poland and Ukraine. The analysis of these haplogroups confirms the presence of Siberian (C5c1, A8a1) and Ashkenazi-specific (L2a1l2a) mtDNA lineages in Slavic populations. Moreover, we were able to pinpoint some lineages which could possibly reflect the relatively recent contacts of Slavs with nomadic Altaic peoples (C4a1a, G2a, D5a2a1a1).

By KEVIN LEWIS | 09:00:00 AM