Their ways

Kevin Lewis

June 11, 2019

Prevalence of intimate partner violence against women in Sweden and Spain: A psychometric study of the ‘Nordic paradox’
Enrique Gracia et al.
PLoS ONE, May 2019


The high prevalence of intimate partner violence against women (IPVAW) in countries with high levels of gender equality has been defined as the “Nordic paradox”. In this study we compared physical and sexual IPVAW prevalence data in two countries exemplifying the Nordic paradox: Sweden (N = 1483) and Spain (N = 1447). Data was drawn from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights Survey on violence against women. To ascertain whether differences between these two countries reflect true differences in IPVAW prevalence, and to rule out the possibility of measurement bias, we conducted a set of analyses to ensure measurement equivalence, a precondition for appropriate and valid cross-cultural comparisons. Results showed that in both countries items were measuring two separate constructs, physical and sexual IPVAW, and that these factors had high internal consistency and adequate validity. Measurement equivalence analyses (i.e., differential item functioning, and multigroup confirmatory factor analysis) supported the comparability of data across countries. Latent means comparisons between the Spanish and the Swedish samples showed that scores on both the physical and sexual IPVAW factors were significantly higher in Sweden than in Spain. The effect sizes of these differences were large: 89.1% of the Swedish sample had higher values in the physical IPVAW factor than the Spanish average, and this percentage was 99.4% for the sexual IPVAW factor as compared to the Spanish average. In terms of probability of superiority, there was an 80.7% and 96.1% probability that a Swedish woman would score higher than a Spanish woman in the physical and the sexual IPVAW factors, respectively. Our results showed that the higher prevalence of physical and sexual IPVAW in Sweden than in Spain reflects actual differences and are not the result of measurement bias, supporting the idea of the Nordic paradox.

The Resonance of Metaphor: Evidence for Latino Preferences for Metaphor and Analogy
Peter Ondish et al.
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, forthcoming


People of different cultures communicate and describe the world differently. In the present article, we document one such cultural difference previously unexplored by psychologists: receptiveness to metaphors. We contrast Spanish-speaking Latinos with Anglo-Americans, Asian Americans, and Latinos who do not habitually speak Spanish. Across four experiments, we show that relative to these other groups, Spanish-speaking Latinos show stronger preferences for metaphoric definitions, better recall of metaphors, greater trust in both scientific and political arguments that use metaphor, and stronger liking for and desire to connect with persons who use metaphoric speech. Future directions and implications for improving cross-cultural communication in various settings are discussed.

Predicting history
Joseph Risi et al.
Nature Human Behaviour, forthcoming


Can events be accurately described as historic at the time they are happening? Claims of this sort are in effect predictions about the evaluations of future historians; that is, that they will regard the events in question as significant. Here we provide empirical evidence in support of earlier philosophical arguments that such claims are likely to be spurious and that, conversely, many events that will one day be viewed as historic attract little attention at the time. We introduce a conceptual and methodological framework for applying machine learning prediction models to large corpora of digitized historical archives. We find that although such models can correctly identify some historically important documents, they tend to overpredict historical significance while also failing to identify many documents that will later be deemed important, where both types of error increase monotonically with the number of documents under consideration. On balance, we conclude that historical significance is extremely difficult to predict, consistent with other recent work on intrinsic limits to predictability in complex social systems. However, the results also indicate the feasibility of developing ‘artificial archivists’ to identify potentially historic documents in very large digital corpora.

Emotional Aperture Across East and West: How Culture Shapes the Perception of Collective Affect
Ying Yang, Ying-yi Hong & Jeffrey Sanchez-Burks
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, forthcoming


Quickly and accurately recognizing emotional cues in a collective, referred to as emotional aperture, has been posited to be important for navigating social contexts. This ability, therefore, may be particularly strong among those who live within culturally situated collectivist contexts. In this research, we examined evidence for this variability in recognizing collective emotions across cultures by comparing Chinese and Americans’ performance on an emotional aperture task. We found that Chinese were indeed more accurate in recognizing collective emotions as compared with Americans. This was mediated by cultural variability in global (vs. local) processing. We discuss how these findings contribute to our understanding of culture and collective emotion perception.

Challenging socioeconomic status: A cross‐cultural comparison of early executive function
Steven Howard et al.
Developmental Science, forthcoming


The widely and internationally replicated socioeconomic status (SES) gradient of executive function (EF) implies that intervention approaches may do well to extrapolate conditions and practices from contexts that generate better child outcomes (in this case, higher SES circumstances) and translate these to contexts with comparatively poorer outcomes (often low‐SES populations). Yet can the reverse also be true? Using data from equivalent assessments of 1,092 pre‐schoolers’ EFs in South Africa and Australia, we evaluated: the SES gradient of EF within each sample; and whether this SES gradient extended cross‐culturally. The oft‐found EF‐SES gradients were replicated in both samples. However, contrary to the inferences of EF‐SES associations found nationally, the most highly disadvantaged South African subsample outperformed middle‐ and high‐SES Australian pre‐schoolers on two of three EFs. This suggests the possibility of EF‐protective and ‐promotive practices within low‐ and middle‐income countries that may aid understandings of the nature and promotion of EFs.

Culture and Mobility Determine the Importance of Similarity in Friendship
Angela Bahns, Juwon Lee & Christian Crandall
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, forthcoming


We test whether the ability to start friendships - and end them - determines what we look for in friends. We hypothesized that individual differences in beliefs about relationship choice would translate into differences in similarity of relationship partners. To test the constructs across their spectrum, we sampled both American and Korean relationships (N = 1,603). Study 1 field-sampled naturally occurring relationship pairs in the United States and Korea; independent self-construal was positively correlated with relational mobility and similarity within relationship pairs. Using the entire data set, relational mobility was positively correlated with similarity, but the two were negatively correlated within nations. Study 2 identified two components of relational mobility, entry and exit. Easy entry to relationships correlated with high importance of similarity; easy exit from relationships correlated with low importance of similarity. An experiment (Study 3) manipulating both ease of entry to and exit from friendship found the belief that people are relatively free to end an unsatisfying friendship reduced the importance of similarity for friendship selection.

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