Samstag, 30. April 2016

The strength of associations among sexual strategy traits: Variations as a function of life history speed

The strength of associations among sexual strategy traits: Variations as a function of life history speed
Heitor B.F. Fernandes, Michael A. Woodley of Menie, Claudio S. Hutz, Daniel J. Kruger, Aurelio José Figueredo
Personality and Individual Differences (Aug 2016)


We hypothesize that sexual strategies are more diverse in slow life histories.
Two general population samples and one student sample are used from two countries.
Two factors are identified, related to sexual restriction and negative emotionality.
The weaker the factor loadings, the slower the life history, supporting hypothesis.
Sex and sample differences based on sample type and country are discussed.


Individuals exhibit differences in their life history strategies along a continuum that ranges from fast (involving investments in immediate rewards) to slow (involving long-term relationships and investments). Components of life history have been demonstrated to be more strongly correlated in individuals with faster life histories, a phenomenon termed Strategic Differentiation–Integration Effort (SD–IE). Sexual strategies are an intrinsic component of life history, yet have not been examined for SD–IE effects. We tested SD–IE in one student and two general population samples from two countries, among sexual strategy traits and correlates (sociosexual orientation, attachment avoidance, attachment anxiety, three groups of postcoital emotions, mate value, and life history speed). Two latent factors were found to explain the overall associations among these variables. The associations between the two factors and among their respective manifest indicators within factor were stronger in individuals with less restricted sexual strategies and more negative emotionality in sexual relationships, traits which are indicative of overall faster life history, supporting SD–IE hypotheses. Sex differences were identified and accounted for by life history speed differences between men and women. Unifactorial and multifactorial views of human sexual strategies can be argued to be equally supported by data, depending on individual life history speed.

The relationship between cross-national genetic distances and IQ-differences

The relationship between cross-national genetic distances and IQ-differences
David Becker & Heiner Rindermann
Personality and Individual Differences (August 2016)


Genetic distances are an indicator of evolutionary history of populations.
Genetic distances and IQ differences are positively correlated (r = .37).
Controlled for further factors there is a robust effect on IQ-differences (β = .22 to .40).
The robust effect of latitudinal differences supports an evolutionary explanation.


The study analyzes whether genetic differences (“genetic distances”) help to explain cross-national IQ differences being controlled for environmental factors. Genetic distances are an indicator of evolutionary history and of difference or similarity between populations. Controlled for environmental determinants the relationship between genetic distances and intelligence differences can be interpreted as an effect of genetic factors. Genetic distances were calculated in Y-chromosomal haplogroup frequencies betweenN = 101 national populations based on k = 27 genetic studies. Correlations and path-analyses with differences in geographical coordinates and the Human Development Index (HDI) as background and control factors revealed a positive impact of genetic distances on cross-national IQ-differences (r = .37, β = .22 to .40). The strongest impact was found for HDI (r = .67, β = .58). Longitudinal differences have no positive effect (r = −.09, β = −.13 to −.26), latitudinal differences have a positive one (r = .37, β = .07 to .21). The positive relationship to latitudinal differences underpins an evolutionary explanation. Chances and limits of this approach (e.g. no intelligence coding genes detected) understanding national differences in cognitive ability and the role of environmental factors are discussed.

Dienstag, 26. April 2016

Countries with Higher Levels of Gender Equality Show Larger National Sex Differences in Mathematics Anxiety and Relatively Lower Parental Mathematics Valuation for Girls

Gijsbert Stoet , Drew H. Bailey , Alex M. Moore , David C. Geary (2016)


Despite international advancements in gender equality across a variety of societal domains, the underrepresentation of girls and women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related fields persists. In this study, we explored the possibility that the sex difference in mathematics anxiety contributes to this disparity. More specifically, we tested a number of predictions from the prominent gender stratification model, which is the leading psychological theory of cross-national patterns of sex differences in mathematics anxiety and performance. To this end, we analyzed data from 761,655 15-year old students across 68 nations who participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Most importantly and contra predictions, we showed that economically developed and more gender equal countries have a lower overall level of mathematics anxiety, and yet a larger national sex difference in mathematics anxiety relative to less developed countries. Further, although relatively more mothers work in STEM fields in more developed countries, these parents valued, on average, mathematical competence more in their sons than their daughters. The proportion of mothers working in STEM was unrelated to sex differences in mathematics anxiety or performance. We propose that the gender stratification model fails to account for these national patterns and that an alternative model is needed. In the discussion, we suggest how an interaction between socio-cultural values and sex-specific psychological traits can better explain these patterns. We also discuss implications for policies aiming to increase girls’ STEM participation.

Donnerstag, 21. April 2016

Konformität von Verhalten und Meinungen:

"Die Konformität des Verhaltens wächst mit dessen Öffentlichkeitscharakter. Die entsprechenden J-Kurven sind umso steiler, je öffentlicher die Situation der Handlung ist. Dieses Kontinuum reicht von unseren Träumen bis zum Benehmen angesichts von Kollegen am Arbeitsplatz, das heißt bis zu einer Situation maximaler Identifizierbarkeit durch "Fremde". Die Identifizierbarkeit durch Nichtfremde (Familienmitglieder und Freunde) konstituiert einen geringeren Grad von Öffentlichkeit und gestattet weitere Abweichungen von der Konformität. ... Die Fälle größter Nichtkonformität liegen aber noch vor der sprachlichen Formulierung (Träume, Stimmungen, "Luftschlösser" usw.). Indem wir diese bloß in Worte kleiden, erhöhen wir bereits den Grad ihrer Konformität. ... [Bezüglich der Bekundung von Meinungen erwarten wir] größere interindividuelle Unterschiede als im Handeln und geringere als in den vorsprachlichen Gebieten des Sehnens und Fühlens. Das Ausmaß an Non-Konformität wird dabei allerdings mit zunehmender Öffentlichkeit der Situation geringer werden."

Peter R. Hofstätter (1973)

Mittwoch, 20. April 2016

"I have suggested ... that the concept of free will has essentially nothing to do with the philosophical problem of physical causation, with which it is usually associated, but instead represents the freedom and ability to make decisions in our own individual interests as we see fit - to choose on our own among the alternative scenarios we are able by consciousness and foresight to see before us."

Richard D. Alexander

Dienstag, 19. April 2016

Mehrheits- und Minderheitsmeinungen:

"Es gibt Menschen, für die ansonsten sehr selten geäußerte Meinungen einen größeren Anreiz besitzen als die Allerweltsmeinungen; andere Personen hingegen fühlen sich im Bewusstsein, eine von vielen geteilte Anschauung zu vertreten wohler und geborgener. Wie es jeweils darum bestellt ist, muss nicht immer von dauernden Eigenheiten eines Wesens abhängen.
Die Erfahrung lehrt, dass wir im Augenblick des Trotzes mehr den Minoritätsansichten, in Zeiten banger Stimmung mehr denen der Majorität zuneigen."

Peter R. Hofstätter (1949)

Face and Emotion Expression Processing and the Serotonin Transporter Polymorphism 5-HTTLPR/rs22531

Face and Emotion Expression Processing and the Serotonin Transporter Polymorphism 5-HTTLPR/rs22531
Andrea Hildebrandt, Astrid Kiy, Martin Reuter, Werner Sommer and Oliver Wilhelm (2016)


Face cognition, including face identity and facial expression processing, is a crucial component of socio-emotional abilities, characterizing humans as highest developed social beings. However, for these trait domains molecular genetic studies investigating gene-behavior associations based on well-founded phenotype definitions are still rare. We examined the relationship between 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphisms – related to serotonin-reuptake – and the ability to perceive and recognize faces and emotional expressions in human faces. For this aim we conducted structural equation modeling on data from 230 young adults, obtained by using a comprehensive, multivariate task battery with maximal effort tasks. By additionally modeling fluid intelligence and immediate and delayed memory factors, we aimed to address the discriminant relationships of the 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphisms with socio-emotional abilities. We found a robust association between the 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphism and facial emotion perception. Carriers of two long (L) alleles outperformed carriers of one or two S alleles. Weaker associations were present for face identity perception and memory for emotional facial expressions. There was no association between the 5-HTTLPR/rs25531 polymorphism and non-social abilities, demonstrating discriminant validity of the relationships. We discuss the implications and possible neural mechanisms underlying these novel findings.