Montag, 28. September 2015

Two types of media for women serve as supernormal stimuli:
(1) Images and advice on becoming ideally appealing and (2) romance novels, soap operas, and other media providing vicarious relationships.

Deirdre Barrett

Zur Methodik der Psychologie:

"Die Psychologie ist eine empirische Wissenschaft. Sie baut auf beobachtbaren Ereignissen und Sachverhalten auf. Ihr Gegenstand ist das (zumeist menschliche) Erleben und Verhalten, ihr Ziel ist es, allgemeingültige Aussagen über diesen Gegenstand zu machen - ihn zu beschreiben, beobachtbare Regelmäßigkeiten und Zusammenhänge aufzudecken, diese zu erklären, und womöglich Vorhersagen zu machen."

Peter R. Hofstätter
Spearman & Jones, 1950:
"On the whole," [a] "combination of noegenesis* together with abstractness does satisfy the g-loadings almost perfectly."

*This word has been coined out of the Greek nous and genesis to designate the creation of knowledge in its two chief forms, the eduction of relations and that of correlates.

Donnerstag, 24. September 2015

Meta-analyses with industry involvement are massively published and report no caveats for antidepressants

Meta-analyses with industry involvement are massively published and report no caveats for antidepressants (2015)
Shanil Ebrahim, Sheena Bance, Abha Athale, Cindy Malachowski, John P.A. Ioannidis;



To identify the impact of industry involvement in the publication and interpretation of meta-analyses of antidepressant trials in depression.

Study design and setting

Using MEDLINE, we identified all meta-analyses evaluating antidepressants for depression published in 1/2007-3/2014. We extracted data pertaining to author affiliations, conflicts of interest and whether the conclusion of the abstract included negative statements on whether the antidepressant(s) were effective or safe.


We identified 185 eligible meta-analyses. Fifty-four (29%) meta-analyses had authors who were employees of the assessed drug manufacturer and 147 (79%) had some industry link (sponsorship or authors who were industry employees and/or had conflicts of interest). Only 58 meta-analyses (31%) had negative statements in the concluding statement of the abstract. Meta-analyses including an author who were employees of the manufacturer of the assessed drug were 22-times less likely to have negative statements about the drug than other meta-analyses (1/54 [2%] vs. 57/131 [44%], p<0.001).


There is a massive production of meta-analyses of antidepressants for depression authored by or linked to the industry, and they almost never report any caveats about antidepressants in their abstracts. Our findings add a note of caution for meta-analyses with ties to the manufacturers of the assessed products.

Donnerstag, 17. September 2015

Sex differences in romantic attachment: A facet-level analysis

Sex differences in romantic attachment: A facet-level analysis
Marco Del Giudice


(o) Sex differences in romantic avoidance and anxiety are reliable but typically small.

(o) Larger differences may emerge at the level of narrower attachment facets.

(o) The Experiences in Close Relationships (ECR) questionnaire contains 5 facets.

(o) In two US and Italian samples, larger sex differences emerged at the facet level.

(o) These findings open the way to the study of sex differences at the facet level.


Evolutionary models predict systematic sex differences in romantic avoidance and anxiety; however, observed effect sizes are typically small. Here I explore the possibility that larger and more reliable differences may emerge at the level of narrower attachment facets. In two datasets from the US and Italy, five facets could be identified in the Experiences in Close Relationships questionnaire. As predicted, attachment facets showed larger sex differences (US: d = −.14 to .31, Italy: d = −.53 to .39) than avoidance and anxiety (US: d = .00 and −.03, Italy: d = .18 and −.40); moreover, different facets of the same dimension showed opposite-sign effects. These findings suggest that sex differences in attachment can be fruitfully investigated at the level of facets.

Can we reliably measure the general factor of intelligence (g) through commercial video games? Yes, we can!

Can we reliably measure the general factor of intelligence (g) through commercial video games? Yes, we can!
M. Ángeles Quiroga, Sergio Escorial, Francisco J. Román, Daniel Morillo, Andrea Jarabo, Jesús Privado, Miguel Hernández, Borja Gallego, Roberto Colom (2015)
    • Intelligence Nov-Dec 2015

      • Highlights

        (o) Participants played video games under strict supervision in the laboratory.

        (o) Participants completed a set of eleven intelligence and abilities' tests.

        (o) Several confirmatory models were tested.

        (o) Video games and intelligence tests measure the same high-order latent factor.

        (o) Commercial video games can reliably measure individual differences in g.


        • Here we show, for the very first time, that commercial video games can be used to reliably measure individual differences in general intelligence (g). One hundred and eighty eight university undergraduates took part in the study. They played twelve video games under strict supervision in the laboratory and completed eleven intelligence tests. Several factor models were tested for answering the question of whether or not video games and intelligence tests do measure the same underlying high-order latent factor. The final model revealed a very high relationship between the high-order latent factors representing video game and intelligence performance (r = .93). General performance scores derived from video games and intelligence tests showed a correlation value of .963 (R^2 adjusted). Therefore, performance on some video games captures a latent factor common to the variance shared by cognitive performance assessed by standard ability tests.

Testosterone is associated with cooperation during intergroup competition by enhancing parochial altruism

Testosterone is associated with cooperation during intergroup competition by enhancing parochial altruism [pdf]
Luise Reimers and Esther K. Diekhof (2015)


The steroid hormone testosterone is widely associated with negative behavioral effects, such as aggression or dominance. However, recent studies applying economic exchange tasks revealed conflicting results. While some point to a prosocial effect of testosterone by increasing altruistic behavior, others report that testosterone promotes antisocial tendencies. Taking into account additional factors such as parochial altruism (i.e., ingroup favoritism and outgroup hostility) might help to explain this contradiction. First evidence for a link between testosterone and parochial altruism comes from recently reported data of male soccer fans playing the ultimatum game. In this study high levels of endogenous testosterone predicted increased altruistic punishment during outgroup interactions and at the same time heightened ingroup generosity. Here, we report findings of another experimental task, the prisoner's dilemma, applied in the same context to examine the role of testosterone on parochial tendencies in terms of cooperation. In this task, 50 male soccer fans were asked to decide whether or not they wanted to cooperate with partners marked as either fans of the subject's own favorite team (ingroup) or fans of other teams (outgroups). Our results show that high testosterone levels were associated with increased ingroup cooperation during intergroup competition. In addition, subjects displaying a high degree of parochialism during intergroup competition had significantly higher levels of testosterone than subjects who did not differentiate much between the different groups. In sum, the present data demonstrate that the behavioral effects of testosterone are not limited to aggressive and selfish tendencies but may imply prosocial aspects depending on the context. By this means, our results support the previously reported findings on testosterone-dependent intergroup bias and indicate that this social hormone might be an important factor driving parochial altruism.

Mittwoch, 9. September 2015

Music and social bonding: “self-other” merging and neurohormonal mechanisms

Music and social bonding: “self-other” merging and neurohormonal mechanisms
Bronwyn Tarr, Jacques Launay and Robin I. M. Dunbar (2014)


It has been suggested that a key function of music during its development and spread amongst human populations was its capacity to create and strengthen social bonds amongst interacting group members. However, the mechanisms by which this occurs have not been fully discussed. In this paper we review evidence supporting two thus far independently investigated mechanisms for this social bonding effect: self-other merging as a consequence of inter-personal synchrony, and the release of endorphins during exertive rhythmic activities including musical interaction. In general, self-other merging has been experimentally investigated using dyads, which provide limited insight into largescale musical activities. Given that music can provide an external rhythmic framework that facilitates synchrony, explanations of social bonding during group musical activities should include reference to endorphins, which are released during synchronized exertive movements. Endorphins (and the endogenous opioid system (EOS) in general) are involved in social bonding across primate species, and are associated with a number of human social behaviors (e.g., laughter, synchronized sports), as well as musical activities (e.g., singing and dancing). Furthermore, passively listening to music engages the EOS, so here we suggest that both self-other merging and the EOS are important in the social bonding effects of music. In order to investigate possible interactions between these two mechanisms, future experiments should recreate ecologically valid examples of musical activities.