Montag, 21. April 2014

Competitive Altruism: Development of Reputation-based Cooperation in Groups

Competitive Altruism: Development of Reputation-based Cooperation in Groups
Mark Van Vugt, Gilbert Roberts, Charlie Hardy (2005)


Abstract

This chapter advances a new theory of altruism, competitive altruism, which might account for the uniquely moral altruistic tendency of humans. The need to form coalitions with non-kin for dealing with internal and external group threats created selective advantages for people with altruistic reputations. We present evidence from the anthropological, social psychological and nonhuman literatures, which by and large support competitive altruism theory. Finally, we discuss some implications of this theory for the establishment of reputation-based cooperation in modern human society.

Mittwoch, 16. April 2014

National IQs: A review of their educational, cognitive, economic, political, demographic, sociological, epidemiological, geographic and climatic correlates

National IQs: A review of their educational, cognitive, economic, political, demographic, sociological, epidemiological, geographic and climatic correlates
Richard Lynn, Tatu Vanhanen (2012)


Abstract

This paper summarizes the results of 244 correlates of national IQs that have been published from 2002 through 2012 and include educational attainment, cognitive output, educational input, per capita income, economic growth, other economic variables, crime, political institutions, health, fertility, sociological variables, and geographic and climatic variables.

Samstag, 12. April 2014

Are acquiescent and extreme response styles related to low intelligence and education?

Are acquiescent and extreme response styles related to low intelligence and education?
Gerhard Meisenberg , Amandy Williams (2008)
Personality and Individual Differences


Abstract

Several lines of evidence suggest that acquiescent and extreme response styles are related to low education or low cognitive ability. Using measures constructed from the World Values Survey, this hypothesis is examined both in comparisons among individuals and comparisons among countries. At the individual level, both acquiescent and extreme responding are positively related to age and negatively to education and income in most world regions. Both response styles are most prevalent in the less developed countries. At the country-level, extremity is best predicted by a low average IQ in the country, and acquiescence by a high level of corruption.


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>Response styles are important for the interpretation of personality and attitude measures by self-report. The most commonly observed response styles, also described as response biases, are acquiescent and extreme responding. Acquiescence refers to (unthinking?) agreement with statements, and extremity to a preferential use of the end points of the scale.<

>In the United States, responses of Blacks and Hispanics are more extreme than those of non-Hispanic Whites (Bachman & O’Malley, 1984; Hui & Triandis, 1989; Marin, Gamba, & Marin, 1992).<

>Smith (2004) found that European countries consistently scored lowest on measures of acquiescence derived from six different surveys. The highest-scoring countries were those with lesser levels of economic development, such as Panama, Nigeria, the Philippines, Pakistan and Bangladesh.<


Results:

>Extremity and acquiescence were positively correlated, with r = 0.241 at the individual level (N = 79,053 respondents) and r = 0.601 at the country-level (N = 79 countries).<

>[Differences] between world regions are substantial: up to 1.52 within-country standard deviations for acquiescence and 1.33 standard deviations for extremity.<

>Both response biases are more prominent in economically less developed regions such as Africa, South Asia and the Middle East.<

>Table 4 shows that at the country-level, acquiescence is most closely associated with high corruption and somewhat less with low lgGDP and low education. Extreme response style shows a different pattern, being most strongly associated with IQ, less with education, and even less with lgGDP.<

>The relationships of the response styles with country-level characteristics were explored further. Regression models were started with IQ, education, lgGDP, corruption, the average of political freedom and democracy, and Communist history. Nonlinear effects of the predictors were modeled by the inclusion of quadratic terms. During development of the models, alternative measures of the same construct were explored to improve the fit, and non-predictors were dropped. Tables 5 and 6 show the best-fitting models.<

>Acquiescence is predicted independently by high corruption and to a lesser extent by low education.<

>Table 6 shows that extreme responding is related mainly to low intelligence. This confirms the impression from Table 4, and also the pattern in Table 1 showing that extreme responding is most prevalent in the world region with the lowest average IQ (sub-Saharan Africa, average IQ 67 according to Lynn, 2006), and least prevalent in the region with the highest IQ (East Asia, average IQ 105). The effect of education is curvilinear, reducing extreme responding at low levels of education but raising it among the most educated samples. Among the economic and political indicators, only corruption has a significant effect.<



Discussion:

>[The] negative association between education and acquiescence that had been reported by some investigators (Heaven, 1983; Javeline, 1999; Mirowsky & Ross, 1991; Watson, 1992) is a nearly worldwide phenomenon. Also extreme responding is favored by low education and low income in most countries (Table 3). Therefore, psychological factors related to education, such as intelligence, rationality, self-control or self-confidence, appear to suppress both acquiescent and extreme responses.<

>The observation that extreme responding is most closely related to low IQ at the country-level (Tables 4 and 6) suggests that it expresses a crude ”either-or thinking” that is oblivious to fine distinctions. This is confirmed by the observation that within countries, extreme responding is reduced in persons with higher education and/or higher income.<

>[Acquiescence] appears to be favored by a lack of self-confidence, self-esteem or assertiveness, or a habit of subordination and conformity to others, and only indirectly by low intelligence.<

Eyes and IQ: A meta-analysis of the relationship between intelligence and “Reading the Mind in the Eyes”

Eyes and IQ: A meta-analysis of the relationship between intelligence and “Reading the Mind in the Eyes”
Crystal A. Baker, Eric Peterson, Steven Pulos, Rena A. Kirkland
Intelligence (May-June 2014)



Highlights

o Meta-analysis finds relationship between RMET performance and intelligence.

o Contrary to previous assumptions, RMET performance is influenced by intelligence.

o It is important to control for intelligence when using the RMET.

o Verbal and performance IQ contribute equally to RMET performance.


Abstract

Although the Reading the Mind in the Eyes Test (RMET; Baron-Cohen et al. 1997, 2001) has been used as a measure of mental state understanding in over 250 studies, the extent to which it correlates with intelligence is seldom considered. We conducted a meta-analysis to investigate whether or not a relationship exists between intelligence and performance on the RMET. The analysis of 77 effects sizes with 3583 participants revealed a small positive correlation (r = .24) with no difference between verbal and performance abilities. We conclude that intelligence does play a significant role in performance on the RMET and that verbal and performance abilities contribute to this relationship equally. We discuss these findings in the context of the theory of mind and domain-general resources literature.

[Thanks @ Andrew S.]

Freitag, 11. April 2014

On the Time Scale of Human Evolution: Evidence for Recent Adaptive Evolution

On the Time Scale of Human Evolution: Evidence for Recent Adaptive Evolution (full d.)
Gerhard Meisenberg (2008)


Abstract

To what extent did the genetic constitution of human population change in the recent past, and how fast are evolutionary changes proceeding in present-day populations? This review summarizes the available evidence about genetic adaptations that evolved after the dispersal of modern humans from Africa about 50,000 years ago and especially since the Neolithic Revolution and the emergence of the first civilizations. Evidence for recent evolutionary change is obtained from the molecular study of individual genes that have been or are currently under selection, and genomic studies that identify genomic regions under recent or ongoing adaptive evolution. The molecular evidence is complemented by archaeological evidence about population dispersals and prehistoric living conditions, and by evidence from historical demography about differential fertility and mortality in historic populations. The conclusion is that evidence for recent adaptive evolution is overwhelming, in many cases at the level of individual genes. There is also evidence that in many cases the selection of adaptive traits occurred in recent historic times. These adaptations evolved in response to climatic conditions, the nutritional changes brought about by the introduction of settled farming, exposure to new diseases, and the social conditions of civilized life. There is evidence that compared to earlier times, human adaptive evolution has accelerated massively since the Neolithic Revolution, possibly by a factor of about 100. Because historic and evolutionary time scales overlap, gene-culture coevolution is emerging as a major unifying theme in anthropological research.

Mittwoch, 9. April 2014

Ability Differences - Differences in Degree and Differences in Kind:

>[Ability differences] consist of two types: differences in degree, and differences in kind. Bodily-kinesthetic ability offers many examples. People with a wide range of bodily-kinesthetic ability can play tennis. The difference between the way most people play tennis and the way that profes­sionals play it is huge, but it is a difference of degree. In contrast, doing a somersault with a full twist off a pommel horse is impossible for most people, no matter how much they might practice. The differ­ence in what they can do and what the proficient gymnast can do is one of kind. 
This point needs emphasizing. Educational measures such as test scores and grades tend to make differences among schoolchildren look as though they are ones of degree when in reality some of them are differences in kind. For example, a timed math test limited to problems of addition and subtraction, administered to a random cross-section of fourth-graders, yields scores that place children along a continuum distributed in a shape resembling a bell curve. Those scores appropriately reflect differences in degree: Some fourth-graders can add and subtract faster and more accurately than others, but they are all doing the same thing and almost all children can be taught to add and subtract to some degree. The same is not true of calculus. If all children were put on a mathematics track that took them through calculus, and then were given a test of calculus problems, the resulting scores would not look like a bell curve. For a large proportion of children, the scores would not be merely low. They would be zero. Grasping calculus requires a certain level of logical-mathematical ability. Children below that level will never learn calculus, no matter how hard they study. It is a difference in kind. Not only that: The child without the logical-mathematical abil­ity to learn calculus cannot do a wide variety of other things in math­ematics that are open to the child with the requisite level of logical-mathematical ability.
The same distinction applies to linguistic ability. Reading is something that almost everyone can be taught to some degree, and scores on tests of reading achievement will form a continuum with a distribution resembling a bell curve. But if we are talking about a classroom discussion of Macbeth among high-school seniors at the 20th percentile and 90th percentile in linguistic ability, the difference is more accurately seen as a difference in kind than as a difference in degree. Those at the 20th percentile will completely fail to under­stand the text in the same way that someone at the 20th percentile of bodily-kinesthetic ability will completely fail to do a somersault with a full twist.<