Dienstag, 31. Mai 2016

When Lightning Strikes Twice Profoundly Gifted, Profoundly Accomplished

When Lightning Strikes Twice Profoundly Gifted, Profoundly Accomplished
Matthew C. Makel, Harrison J. Kell, David Lubinski, Martha Putallaz, Camilla P. Benbow (2016)
Psychological Science


Abstract

The educational, occupational, and creative accomplishments of the profoundly gifted participants (IQs ⩾ 160) in the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) are astounding, but are they representative of equally able 12-year-olds? Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (TIP) identified 259 young adolescents who were equally gifted. By age 40, their life accomplishments also were extraordinary: Thirty-seven percent had earned doctorates, 7.5% had achieved academic tenure (4.3% at research-intensive universities), and 9% held patents; many were high-level leaders in major organizations. As was the case for the SMPY sample before them, differential ability strengths predicted their contrasting and eventual developmental trajectories—even though essentially all participants possessed both mathematical and verbal reasoning abilities far superior to those of typical Ph.D. recipients. Individuals, even profoundly gifted ones, primarily do what they are best at. Differences in ability patterns, like differences in interests, guide development along different paths, but ability level, coupled with commitment, determines whether and the extent to which noteworthy accomplishments are reached if opportunity presents itself.

Montag, 30. Mai 2016

"Distance" as category for the classification of marriage prescriptions

Figure 1 attempts to illustrate the substance of ... eight points. The abscissa is to be understood as a rank scale of increasing "distance" from Ego, the ordinate then showing increasing suitability as sexual or marriage partner.



















The concept "distance" in the graph can be interpreted in various ways, chiefly the following (see Murdock, 1949, p. 314 sq.) : 
a) Kinship distance. The scale begins with first-degree relatives, i.e. members , of the nuclear family. Next come relatives of the second and third degree, followed by members of a "Lineage", i.e. those persons whose relationship to Ego is still just traceable, and finally, all such persons with whom Ego still feels himself (more or less mystically) related, without however being able to substantiate this feeling - so-called sibs or clans. The abscissa range further to the right represents all those persons not felt to be related. 
b) Cultural distance. Grouped on the left are members of Ego’s own tribe or nation, with whom he identifies, also from a cultural point of view. There follow, within his own society, varying sub-cultures (e.g. social classes) and cultures (e.g. castes), and members of an alien nation and culture. 
c) Geographical distance. The term "distance"; can also be taken literally. The scale then begins with members of Ego’s own community, "neighbours" in the strict and wider senses of the word, and extends to the right expressing increased geographical remoteness. 
d) Physiognomical distance. This factor is not distinguished by Murdock, but is blended in with the other scales. The physiognomical scale would begin, on the left, with partners phenotypically more or less similar to Ego; there follow members first of related and then of alien race, until finally the borderline of the species is reached, beyond which non-human life begins. 
The monotonously descending dash-dot curve in Figure 1 can be interpreted as a positively-shaded "we";-feeling, the amplitude of the curve over a given abscissa point indicating the strength of preference for the choice of an individual located at that point as marriage or sexual partner. 
If this "endogamy gradient" - or, as Murdock has proposed, "gradient of ethnocentrism" - were alone effective, then indeed extreme incest among members of the nuclear family would be the favourite form of marriage. In fact, however, there is a second gradient plotted over the same scales, ascending monotonously from left to right; this we call, again after Murdock, the "exogamy gradient"
Supposing the two forces, symbolized by the two gradients, approximately multiply each other, then we obtain as product an inverted U-curve, showing the degree in which individuals are preferred as sexual or marriage partners. The left-hand descending portion of the curve is designated as endogamy taboo or incest taboo if applied primarily to marriage or to sexual intercourse, respectively. The descent of the curve towards the right represents the bestiality taboo at the latest, although here in certain cases narrower boundaries are drawn, e.g. class, caste or race barriers
It is shown schematically in Figure 1 that the four scales of "distance" span, as a rule, different regions of the abscissa. The scale of "kinship distance", for example, always begins at the left, ascending flank of the preference curve - denoting the permanent existence of a particularly close degree of relationship with which sexual contact is forbidden. The "cultural distance"scale, on the other hand, usually commences at the point on the abscissa directly under the peak of the preference curve: i.e. maximum cultural "proximity" will as a rule define the most favoured spouse. But here too, there are occasional exceptions, for example the status-group exogamy of certain Indians, that is, the obligation of people of rank to choose a partner from a lower class (Murdock, 1949, p. 266).
Similarly, for the "physiognomical distance" one should at first proceed from the supposition that the typical features of one’s own race lie at the apex of the preference curve. It is not yet clear, however, what conditions obtain if the scale is extended still further to the left into the area of individual physiognomical similarity with Ego. Upon this differing reports have been made, in which for some features (e.g. the Kretschmer constitutional types) a certain preference is shown for contrasting partners. With the majority of features, nevertheless, there seems to be a preference for similarity. Geneticists speak of homogamy or assortative pairing (cf. Lerner, 1968, p. 261; Knussmann, 1965). We shall not pursue this issue further, as in any case no social rule concerning the left-hand termination of the physiognomical scale seems to exist.

Source:
Norbert Bischof (1972)

„Distanz" als Ordnungskategorie der Heiratsvorschriften:


























Abbildung 1 versucht, den Kerngehalt [von] acht Feststellungen, sofern dies möglich ist, in einem Schema zu veranschaulichen. Die Abszisse ist dabei als eine Rangskala zunehmender „Distanz" zum Ego aufzufassen, die Ordinate als Rangskala zunehmender Eignung als Geschlechts- bzw. Ehepartner. 

Der Begriff der „Distanz" läßt sich dabei auf verschiedene Weise interpretieren. Die wichtigsten Interpretationen sind die folgenden (vgl. MURDOCK 1949, p. 314 ff.): (1) Verwandtschaftliche Distanz. Am Anfang dieser Skala stehen die Verwandten ersten Grades, also die Mitglieder der Kernfamilie. Es folgen dann etwa Verschwägerte und Verwandte zweiten und dritten Grades, sodann die Mitglieder einer „Lineage", also solche Personen, deren Verwandtschaft zum Ego gerade noch bestimmt werden kann, und schließlich alle solche Personen, mit denen sich das Ego zwar noch (mehr oder minder mystisch) verwandt fühlt, ohne dies realiter belegen zu können — sogenannte Sippen oder Clans. Noch weiter rechts folgen dann alle nicht als verwandt empfundenen Personen. — (2) Kulturelle Distanz. Nach dieser Skalierung stehen links Mitglieder des eigenen Stammes oder der eigenen Nation, von denen man sich auch in kultureller Hinsicht nicht unterscheidet. Es folgen sodann — zunächst innerhalb der eigenen Sozietät — andersartige Subkulturen (z.B. soziale Klassen) und Kulturen (z.B. Kasten), schließlich die Mitglieder fremder Nation und Kultur. — (3) Geographische Distanz. Man kann den Ausdruck „Distanz" auch ganz wörtlich interpretieren. Die Skala beginnt dann bei Mitgliedern des eigenen Gemeinwesens, „Nachbarn" im engeren oder weiteren Sinne, und erstreckt sich nach rechts hin im Sinne immer weitergehender geographischer (und damit auch kommunikativer) Entferntheit. (4) Physiognomische Distanz. Auf dieser bei MURDOCK (1949) nicht eigens angeführten, sondern in die übrigen Skalen eingeflochtenen Rangreihe wären auf linker Seite phänotypisch dem Ego mehr oder minder ähnliche Partner anzuordnen; es folgen sodann Vertreter verwandter und fremder Rassen, bis man schließlich an die Artgrenze stößt, jenseits derer das nichtmenschliche Leben beginnt. 

Der strichpunktierte Gradient in Abbildung 1 läßt sich als ein monoton abfallendes, positiv getöntes „Wir-Gefühl" interpretieren, dessen Ausprägung zugleich ein Maß für die Präferenz ist, ein an der betreffenden Stelle lokalisiertes Individuum als Ehe- bzw. Sexualpartner zu wählen.

Wäre dieser „Endogamie-Gradient" allein maßgeblich, so wäre allerdings extremer Inzest mit den Mitgliedern der Kernfamilie die bevorzugte Eheform. Tatsächlich gibt es nun aber noch einen zweiten Gradienten, der monoton über denselben Rangskalen verläuft, aber nunmehr von links nach rechts ansteigend, und den wir, wiederum in Anlehnung an MURDOCK (1949), als den „ExogamieGradienten" bezeichnen.

Begreifen wir nun das Zusammenwirken der beiden durch die Gradienten symbolisierten Kräfte formal als annähernd multiplikativ, so resultiert als Produkt eine umgekehrt U-förmige Kurve, die angibt, welche Individuen mit welcher Prä­ferenz als Geschlechts- bzw. Ehepartner in Betracht kommen. Den Abfall dieser Kurve nach links hin bezeichnet man als das Endogamieverbot, wenn von Eheschließungen die Rede ist, bzw. als das Inzestverbot, wenn primär an den geschlechtlichen Umgang gedacht wird. Der Abfall auf der rechten Flanke wird spätestens in Form des Sodomietabus sanktioniert, doch sind hier von Fall zu Fall auch noch engere Grenzen gezogen, z. B. Klassen-, Kasten- oder Rassenschranken.

Wie Abbildung 1 schematisch andeutet, verteilen sich die vier „Distanz"-Skalen in der Regel über unterschiedliche Abszissenbereiche. Während etwa die Skala „Verwandtschaftliche Distanz" stets schon an der linken, aufsteigenden Flanke der Präferenz-Kurve beginnt, während also stets ein besonders naher Verwandtschaftsgrad existiert, mit dem eine geschlechtliche Verbindung verpönt ist, wird etwa die Skala „kulturelle Distanz" meist erst an der Abszissen-Stelle direkt unter dem Gipfel der Präferenz-Kurve beginnen, d.h. maximale kulturelle „Nähe" wird in der Regel den bevorzugtesten Heiratspartner definieren. Auch hier gibt es aber gelegentlich Ausnahmen wie z.B. die Statusgruppen-Exogamie mancher Indianer, also die Verpflichtung des Vornehmen, seinen Partner aus niederem Stande zu wählen (MURDOCK 1949, p. 366).

Auch für die „Physiognomische Distanz" wird man zunächst davon auszugehen haben, daß die typischen Merkmale der eigenen Rasse am Gipfel der Prä­ferenzkurve liegen. Unklar sind bislang allerdings die Verhältnisse bei Fortsetzung dieser Skala nach links in den Bereich individueller physiognomischer Ähnlichkeit mit dem Ego. Hierzu liegen unterschiedliche Befunde vor, wobei für einige Merkmale (z.B. den Kretschmerschen Konstitutionstyp) eine gewisse Bevorzugung kontrastierender Partner besteht. Bei der Mehrzahl der Merkmale jedoch scheint eine Präferenz für Ähnlichkeit zu bestehen. Die Genetiker sprechen hier von „Homogamie" oder „assortativer Paarung" (vgl. etwa LERNER 1968, p. 261; KNUSSMANN 1965). Wir gehen darauf jedoch nicht näher ein, da jedenfalls eine gesellschaftliche Regel in bezug auf das linke Ende der Physiognomie-Skala nirgends zu bestehen scheint.

Um den mannigfaltigen Differenzierungen der Heiratsvorschriften in den verschiedenen Kulturen Rechnung zu tragen, ist Abbildung 1 jeweils entsprechend abzuwandeln; und zwar treten Modifikationen vor allem in viererlei Hinsicht auf.

(1) Die meisten Variationsmöglichkeiten bestehen in bezug auf die inhaltliche Interpretation der „Verwandtschafts"-Skala. Besonders im Bereich der mittleren Verwandtschaftsgrade, also etwa bei Vettern, besteht bei den verschiedenen Kulturen eine Fülle unterschiedlicher Auffassungen darüber, wer mit wem über wen wie nahe verwandt sei; und die Heirats Vorschriften richten sich weitgehend nach diesen Verwandtschaftsvorstellungen (vgl. für eine erste Orientierung hier­ über SCHUSKY 1965).

(2) Die vier „Distanz"-Skalen der Abbildung 1 sind relativ zueinander verschiebbar zu denken und haben darüber hinaus in verschiedenen Kulturen unterschiedliche Ausdehnung. So mag etwa die „geographische Distanz" bei einer Kultur völlig irrelevant sein, während in einer anderen die strikte Vorschrift herrscht, außerhalb des eigenen Dorfes zu heiraten.

(3) Denkt man eine der Skalen, z.B. die Verwandtschaftsskala, fest mit der Abszisse verbunden, so ergeben sich weitere Variationen in bezug auf die Lage des Gipfels der Präferenzkurve: Dieser kann weit nach links verschoben sein, wie bei einigen mohammedanischen Kulturen mit bevorzugter Cousinen-Heirat, oder weit nach rechts, wie bei manchen nordamerikanischen Indianern, bei denen symbolische Verwandtschaftsgruppen („Phratries") von vielen Hunderten von Mitgliedern für die Heirat tabu sind.

(4) Schließlich kann die Präferenzkurve unterschiedlich flach verlaufen: Die angedrohte Sanktion gegen Inzest bzw. Sodomie kann also je nach betrachteter Kultur alle Abstufungen von Hinrichtung über Ächtung, Mißbilligung bis zu mildem Spott durchlaufen.


Quelle:
Norbert Bischof (1970) 

Mittwoch, 25. Mai 2016

The sphere of secrecy:

"Each individual has a sphere of secrecy about him, small or large, that includes, I suggest, all those items he believes it would be detrimental to him (and sometimes to his relatives and friends) for others to know about."

"a circle of secrecy that each person builds around himself - including those items of information about himself, or goals or intentions, that cannot be revealed to others without detrimental effects on the individual's interests."

[In China] "there has been a continual and powerful effort to reduce to some kind of minimum the circle of secrecy that each person is allowed to hold."

"As a biologist I believe that if I were going to try to establish a society in which everyone came as close as possible to the philosophers' ideal of indiscriminate altruism - and to do this independent of external threats or world events - then I would also begin by trying to minimize the individual's >circle of secrecy<."

Richard D. Alexander (1987)
"To the extent that males and females (of any species) commit themselves to lifetime monogamy, the interests of two individuals in a pair approach being identical."

Richard D. Alexander

Freitag, 20. Mai 2016

"Those who are low in self-deception (as judged by a classic paper-and-pencil test) appreciate humor more (as measured by actual facial movements in response to comedic material) than do those high in self-deception."

Robert Trivers

Montag, 16. Mai 2016

Inner Conflicts:

>Is it possible that the conflicts Freud thought he identified among the id, ego, and superego are in part the consequences of a "reality check" designed into humans (Dierdre Block, pers. comm.)? Such a reality check could involve grave mental-emotional hurdles if the rules accepted or forced upon us, especially at early ages, turn out not to be serving our interests in the real world in which we have later come to live.<

Richard D. Alexander

Self-deception:

>In general, a person in self-deception is a person of whom it is a patent characteristic that even when normally appropriate he persistently avoids spelling-out some feature of his engagement in the world ... There is a trend of genuineness to his "ignoring"; it is not simply hypocrisy, or lying, or duping of others ... The adoption of the policy of not spelling-out an engagement is a "self-covering" policy. To adopt it is, perforce, never to make it explicit, to "hide" it.

... the self-deceiver is one whose life-situation is such that, on the bases of his tacit assessment of his situation, he finds there is overriding reason for adopting a policy or not spelling-out some engagement of his in the world ... it continues to be the case that the fabrications he tells us he also tells himself.<

Herbert Fingarette (cited by Richard D. Alexander)

Self-deception:

"self-deception is a social phenomenon related to deception of others."

"Self-deception ... may not be a pathological or detrimental trait, at least in most people most of the time. Rather, it may have evolved as a way to deceive others."

Richard D. Alexander
"Das Sozialverhalten der Reptilien basiert im wesentlichen auf Dominanz und Unterwerfung. Reptilien kennen keine Freundlichkeit."

"Dominanz und Submission kennzeichnen diese Reptilstufe der Sozialität."

"Mit der Entwicklung der individualisierten Brutpflege kam die Freundlichkeit in die Welt!"

"Bei vielen Vögeln und Säugetieren, die ihre Jungen über einen längeren Zeitraum betreuen, war es wichtig, dass Mutter und Kind einander persönlich erkannten."

"Im normalen männlichen Sexualverhalten dürfte eine Dominanzlustkomponente noch eine gewisse Rolle spielen. Sie steht aber normalerweise unter Kontrolle der fürsorglichen Liebessexualität. Entfällt diese, dann führt dies zur Devianz, ja zur Pathologie, wie im Falle des Sadismus, den ich als Form ausufernder sexueller Dominanzlust deute."

"Mit der individualisierten Brutpflege kam ... nicht nur die Fürsorglichkeit in die Welt, sondern auch die Exklusivitat, das >Wir und die Anderen<." 

Irenäus Eibl-Eibesfeldt (1997)

Dienstag, 10. Mai 2016

Conflicts of Interest:

>It is difficult to exaggerate the significance of conflicts of interest. One has only to read a newspaper or a news magazine, or listen to his associates discussing what they regard as the significant issues of the day, to realize that nearly all that is newsworthy involves conflicts of interest. However massive may be the areas of thought and action on which all people everywhere may truly agree, it is their areas of disagreement and contention which remain as the cutting edge of strife, risk, and danger to individuals and societies the world over. It is conflicts of interest that people write about, worry over, and ponder most intensely, that fill the literature and all forms of the condensed versions of life that in the broad sense can be called "theater." It is how we deal with conflicts of interest that will determine the fate of the world and the future of humanity.<

The biology of moral systems
Richard D. Alexander (1987)

Donnerstag, 5. Mai 2016

The association between intelligence and personal victimization in adolescence and adulthood

The association between intelligence and personal victimization in adolescence and adulthood
Kevin M. Beaver, Joseph L. Nedelec, J.C. Barnes, Brian B. Boutwell, Cashen Boccio;
Personality and Individual Differences (August 2016)


Highlights

We analyzed the association between intelligence and victimization in adolescence and adulthood.
Intelligence was found to be significantly associated with victimization.
We discuss the implications of these findings for future research on victimization.

Abstract


Intelligence has been linked to antisocial, violent, and criminal behaviors. Surprisingly, however, there is a lack of research examining whether intelligence differentially affects the risk for personal victimization. The current study addresses this gap in the literature by examining whether adolescent levels of verbal intelligence are related to the odds of personal victimization in adolescence and adulthood. This study analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (Add Health). The results revealed a statistically significant and consistent association between intelligence and victimization. Persons with lower intelligence were more likely to report being victimized even after controlling for the effects of violent criminal behavior. Future research would benefit by examining more closely the association between IQ score and the risk for victimization over the life course.
"There is no overlap of interest between a predator and its prey, and no reason to expect any truth in their signals to one another. Neither will gain by doing anything at all that will help the other, and neither has any likelihood of evolving to tell the truth to the other."

Richard D. Alexander
"Most communicative signals, such as nearly all that pass among humans, lie between the extremes of total deception and total honesty."

Richard D. Alexander

Dienstag, 3. Mai 2016

"If someone invented a safe and effective smart drug that could boost g by 20 points it would surely sell faster than Viagra."

Linda S. Gottfredson

Hans Eysenck's theory of intelligence, and what it reveals about him

Hans Eysenck's theory of intelligence, and what it reveals about him
Linda S. Gottfredson (2015-in press)


Abstract

Hans Eysenck was a highly analytical, objective, independent-minded experimentalist. He personified the biological perspective of the Galton-Spearman 'London School of Psychology', which he led for many decades. His first (1939) and last publication (1998) were on intelligence. Returning to the topic in the 1960s, he formulated, tested, and promulgated the theory that general intelligence (g) is a biological phenomenon with broad social consequences. I examine the status of Eysenck's theory, advances in the field, and social reactions to them during the 1960s-1970s, 1980s-1990s, and since 2000. My perspective is that of a sociologist who, in testing alternative theories of social inequality, was drawn inexorably into the intelligence literature, policy debates over fairness in employee selection, and first-hand observation of the sort of controversies he experienced. Eysenck's 1979 and 1998 textbooks on intelligence mark developments in his theory and supporting evidence during the first two periods. They exhibit considerable knowledge about the philosophy and history of science, and the nature of scientific controversy. Advances in intelligence since 2000, in particular, from neuroimaging and molecular genetics, vindicate his biological perspective. It was controversial during his lifetime because he was far ahead of his time.

[h/t Holtz]

Religiosity as a predictor of in-group favoritism within and between religious groups

Religiosity as a predictor of in-group favoritism within and between religious groups
Curtis S. Dunkel, Edward Dutton
Personality and Individual Differences (Aug 2016)


Highlights

Within religious groups religiosity was predictive of in-group favoritism.
Baptists exhibited the highest level of religiosity.
Jews exhibited the lowest level of religiosity.
Baptists and Jews each exhibited high levels of in-group favoritism.
Reasons for in-group religious favoritism are discussed.

Abstract

It was hypothesized that religiosity is positively associated with religious in-group favoritism. This hypothesis was tested using the second wave of data from the Midlife in the United States representative survey of middle adulthood. The sample included White participants from four religious groups (Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, and Jews). Consistent with the hypothesis, when analyzing the full sample and within each of the four religious groups, religiosity was predictive of in-group favoritism. However, while differences between religious groups in in-group favoritism emerged, and remained when controlling for the previously found group differences in intelligence and personality, the group differences in in-group favoritism were not mediated by religiosity. For example, while Baptists scored high in both religiosity and in-group favoritism, Jews scored low in religiosity yet high in in-group favoritism. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed, such as genetic similarity among group members.

Pain tolerance predicts human social network size

Pain tolerance predicts human social network size
Katerina V.-A. Johnson & Robin I. M. Dunbar (2016)


Abstract

Personal social network size exhibits considerable variation in the human population and is associated with both physical and mental health status. Much of this inter-individual variation in human sociality remains unexplained from a biological perspective. According to the brain opioid theory of social attachment, binding of the neuropeptide β-endorphin to μ-opioid receptors in the central nervous system (CNS) is a key neurochemical mechanism involved in social bonding, particularly amongst primates. We hypothesise that a positive association exists between activity of the μ-opioid system and the number of social relationships that an individual maintains. Given the powerful analgesic properties of β-endorphin, we tested this hypothesis using pain tolerance as an assay for activation of the endogenous μ-opioid system. We show that a simple measure of pain tolerance correlates with social network size in humans. Our results are in line with previous studies suggesting that μ-opioid receptor signalling has been elaborated beyond its basic function of pain modulation to play an important role in managing our social encounters. The neuroplasticity of the μ-opioid system is of future research interest, especially with respect to psychiatric disorders associated with symptoms of social withdrawal and anhedonia, both of which are strongly modulated by endogenous opioids.

Haplogroups as evolutionary markers of cognitive ability

Haplogroups as evolutionary markers of cognitive ability 
Heiner Rindermann, Michael A. Woodley, James Stratford (2012)


Abstract

Studies investigating evolutionary theories on the origins of national differences in intelligence have been criticized on the basis that both national cognitive ability measures and supposedly evolutionarily informative proxies (such as latitude and climate) are confounded with general developmental status. In this study 14 Y chromosomal haplogroups (N= 47 countries) are employed as evolutionary markers. These are (most probably) not intelligence coding genes, but proxies of evolutionary development with potential relevance to cognitive ability. Correlations and regression analyses with a general developmental indicator (HDI) revealed that seven haplogroups were empirically important predictors of national cognitive ability (I, R1a, R1b, N, J1, E, T[+L]). Based on their evolutionary meaning and correlation with cognitive ability these haplogroups were grouped into two sets. Combined, they accounted in a regression and path analyses for 32–51% of the variance in national intelligence relative to the developmental indicator (35–58%). This pattern was replicated internationally with further controls (e.g. latitude, spatial autocorrelation etc.) and at the regional level in two independent samples (within Italy and Spain). These findings, using a conservative estimate of evolutionary influences, provide support for a mixed influence on national cognitive ability stemming from both current environmental and past environmental (evolutionary) factors.