I want to provide some valuable nuggets of information from science. Warning: This page also contains some merely speculative thoughts about randomly chosen topics. ||| Auf diesem Blog finden sich eine Mischung von Auszügen aus primär naturwissenschaftlichen Texten und spekulative Gedanken (bzw. persönliche Kurznotizen) zu einer Vielzahl von Themen. Die Bezeichnung "Naturwissenschaftsblog" ist zwar gewagt, reicht aber bis in die Gründungszeit dieses Blogs zurück.
This study investigated the link between handgrip
strength and self-rated physical attractiveness, sexual history,
and social characteristics in 145 male university students.
Handgrip strength correlated with both height and weight, as
well as self-perceived happiness, health, social confidence
overall physical attractiveness, and overall number of sexual
partners. It also correlated with self-assessed physical fitness
levels and there was a predictable link between handgrip
strength and age of first sexual intercourse. It is argued that
handgrip strength is an indicator of both genetic quality and
developmental health. Limitations of the study are
Across time and space, men, both young and old, usually report to be sexually interested in women in their late teens to late 20s. We investigated whether this self-reported preference was supported by behavior in a situation where true preferences are most likely to be revealed: prostitution. Using data from Indonesian prostitutes, we found that in general, the prostitute’s age and the price of sex were negatively related. Upon close scrutiny, the relationship exhibited a flat-decreasing-flat pattern. For prostitutes in the late teens to early 20s, the price of sex was similar; for prostitutes in the early 20s to early 30s, the price of sex rapidly decreased and then stabilized. The value of peak age was substantial: the price attached to sex with prostitutes of peak age was more than twice that for prostitutes in their late 30s. The revealed preferences regarding women’s ages are consistent with the self-reported preferences. Furthermore, this study added precision to existing literature.
>People with paranoid schizophrenia tend to spend a lot of time pondering complex
ideas about what other minds might be up to, whereas people with autism
characteristically think very little about what is on others’ minds.<
[In analogy to hypothesis testing, there are two maladaptive possibilities: (A) a person can suffer from a lack of ability to spot existing patterns, regularities and relationships (B) a person can suffer from a tendency to perceive patterns, regularities and relationships where no patterns, regularities and relationships exist. It is unlikely that those two tendencies are completely unrelated. Perhaps, on average, brighter people tend to harbor fewer superstitious beliefs. Although, in my opinion, some superstitious beliefs of brighter people are simply not labeled as such.]
>The main indices of intelligence in animals are speed of learning and the complexity of what can be learned, the integration of sensory information to achieve a goal, flexibility of behavior in the face of obstacles, insightful rather than trial-and-error problem-solving behavior, transfer of learning from one problem situation to somewhat different situations, and the capacity to acquire abstract and relational concepts.<
Published data on secular trends in craniofacial fluctuating asymmetry are reanalyzed.
Significant linear increases in FA for white males and females are found spanning 160 years.
This suggests a secular decline in developmental stability.
FA and g are robustly negatively correlated.
Equivalent g-loss for the combined sex sample is −.16 points per decade.
The g-loss predicted based on genetic selection is smaller than that observed across various ratio-scale measures of cognitive ability. The difference may result in part from the accumulation of deleterious mutations across generations, reducing g via their effects on developmental stability/fitness. Previously published secular trend data on a developmental stability measure, craniofacial fluctuating asymmetry (FA) size, for white US males and females covering 14 and 15 decades respectively, are re-analysed. When the secular increases in FA size are rescaled as declines in latent developmental stability, and multiplied by the validity and reliability adjusted developmental stability-gcorrelation, g-losses of −.16 points per decade are predicted for the males, females and the combined sample. Predicted fitness losses due to mutation accumulation may account for 30% of the generational decline (−.05 points per decade), indicating only a small role for mutations in secular g-loss. The remaining 70% (−.11 points per decade) may result from developmental stability disrupting environmental change, such as increased exposure to pollutants. Adding these to the g-loss due to selection (re-estimated at −.54 points per decade) yields a combined decadal loss of −.70 points. Additional adjustments for replacement migration and the generation length-g interaction yield a larger magnitude decadal g-loss of − 1.25 points.
>The first thermometer invented by Galileo in 1592 did not go far in dispelling the notion that temperature was inherently unmeasurable, because the earliest thermometers, for about their first hundred years, were so imperfect as to make it possible for those who wished to do so to argue that no one could ever succeed in measuring temperature.<
Shifts in Attention During Mental Fatigue: Evidence From Subjective, Behavioral, Physiological, and Eye-Tracking Data.
Hopstaken JF, van der Linden D, Bakker AB, Kompier MA, Leung YK (2016) Abstract
There is an increasing amount of evidence that during mental fatigue, shifts in motivation drive performance rather than reductions in finite mental energy. So far, studies that investigated such an approach have mainly focused on cognitive indicators of task engagement that were measured during controlled tasks, offering limited to no alternative stimuli. Therefore it remained unclear whether during fatigue, attention is diverted to stimuli that are unrelated to the task, or whether fatigued individuals still focused on the task but were unable to use their cognitive resources efficiently. With a combination of subjective, EEG, pupil, eye-tracking, and performance measures the present study investigated the influence of mental fatigue on a cognitive task which also contained alternative task-unrelated stimuli. With increasing time-on-task, task engagement and performance decreased, but there was no significant decrease in gaze toward the task-related stimuli. After increasing the task rewards, irrelevant rewarding stimuli where largely ignored, and task engagement and performance were restored, even though participants still reported to be highly fatigued. Overall, these findings support an explanation of less efficient processing of the task that is influenced by motivational cost/reward tradeoffs, rather than a depletion of a finite mental energy resource.
Ein Intelligenztest erfasst, wie leistungsstark der Verstand / das Denkvermögen / das Denkorgan / der Denkapparat einer bestimmten Testperson ist (dies im Verhältnis zu einer bestimmten Bevölkerung). Unser Denkapparat ermöglicht uns, Gesetz- und Regelmäßigkeiten, Zusammenhänge und Muster an den Ereignissen oder Gegenständen der Um- und Innenwelt aufzufinden, und jenen aufgefundenen Gesetz- und Regelmäßigkeiten, Mustern und Zusammenhängen auf deduktivem Wege gewisse Informationen bzw Vorhersagen abzuleiten. Je intelligenter eine Person ist, desto effektiver spürt sie Ordnung auf, und desto effektiver schließt sie von Aufgefundenem auf Unbekanntes.
The brighter a person, the faster he is at finding regularities in his external and internal environment & the better he is at making correct predictions / at deducing information from the regularities he knows about.
>if the items are to measure intelligence, they must all possess certain abstract properties, described by Spearman as presenting the possibility for eduction of relations and correlates. This has much the same meaning as inductive ("relations") and deductive ("correlates") reasoning. Eduction of relations means inferring the general rule from specific instances (i.e., induction). Eduction of correlates means making up or recognizing a specific instance when given one other specific instance and the general rule (i.e., deduction).<
Many attempts have been made to correlate degrees of both animal and
human intelligence with brain properties. With respect to mammals, a
much-discussed trait concerns absolute and relative brain size, either uncorrected
or corrected for body size. However, the correlation of both with
degrees of intelligence yields large inconsistencies, because although they
are regarded as the most intelligent mammals, monkeys and apes, including
humans, have neither the absolutely nor the relatively largest brains. The
best fit between brain traits and degrees of intelligence among mammals
is reached by a combination of the number of cortical neurons, neuron packing
density, interneuronal distance and axonal conduction velocity—factors
that determine general information processing capacity (IPC), as reflected by
general intelligence. The highest IPC is found in humans, followed by the
great apes, Old World and New World monkeys. The IPC of cetaceans
and elephants is much lower because of a thin cortex, low neuron packing density
and low axonal conduction velocity. By contrast, corvid and psittacid birds
have very small and densely packed pallial neurons and relatively many
neurons, which, despite very small brain volumes, might explain their high
intelligence. The evolution of a syntactical and grammatical language in
humans most probably has served as an additional intelligence amplifier,
which may have happened in songbirds and psittacids in a convergent manner.
The eduction of relations. ... "when a person has in mind any two or more
ideas (using this word to embrace any items of mental
content, whether perceived
or thought of), he has more or
less power to bring to mind any relations that essentially
hold between them." ...
The eduction of correlates. ... "when a person has in
mind any idea together with a relation, he has more or less
power to bring up into mind the correlative idea." ...
It is common knowledge that boys fall behind in school performance, and UK policy makers have addressed
this issue in the past decade. In fact, they seem committed to narrowing gender gaps of any
kind. This paper asks whether actual progress has been made in reducing the degree to which boys
fall behind, and also whether gender differences in subject preference have changed in the period 2001
to 2013. Using an analysis of British secondary-education exam data and a comparison with data from
the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), it is concluded that no progress has
been made: Boys attained fewer top grades in nearly all school subjects. Further, boys and girls continue
to choose elective school subjects along traditional interest lines. The problem of boys falling
behind is obscured by the finding that grades of all children have risen considerably in this period. However, a comparison of Mathematics and English exam grades with PISA data suggests that this
rise is due to grade inflation, not real improvement. The paper closes with recommendations for solutions
Self-report based General Factor of Personality as socially-desirable responding, positive self-evaluation, and social-effectiveness Curtis S. Dunkel, Dimitri van der Linden, Nicolas A. Brown, Eugene W. Mathes (2016) Personality & Individual Differences
Tested for three sources of variance in the General Factor of Personality
Social-effectiveness accounted for variance
Positive self-evaluation accounted for variance
Socially-desirable responding accounted for variance
Self-report based GFPs are composed of these three sources of variance.
We tested the contribution of three potential sources of variance in self-reported based General Factor of Personality (GFP) scores, namely socially-desirable response bias, positive self-evaluation, and social-effectiveness. Measures of socially-desirable response bias, positive self-evaluation, along with a rater-based measure of social effectiveness were used to predict three separate self-report based GFPs and a composite GFP based upon the three measures. Regression analyses and relative weight analyses showed that each of the potential sources of variance played a role in the GFP, with social effectiveness often explaining the largest proportion of variance. The results add to our understanding of the GFP and suggest that a proper view is that variance in self-report GFPs has at least three interrelated facets.
Cloninger's psychological model of personality has been extensively applied to MOOD subjects, yielding inconsistent results.
The personality of MOOD patients and SIB seems to be characterized by pessimism and passive avoidant behaviours (high Harm Avoidance), and low confidence in problem solving and low self-esteem (low Self-Directedness).
BP subjects seems to be either more extravagant, impulsive and disorderly (high Noverlty Seeking), or more prone to unusual, imaginative and idiosyncratic interpretations to events (high Self-Transcendence) than HS, SIB and MDD.
Cloninger's psychobiological model of personality has been extensively applied to subjects affected by mood disorders (MOOD). However, most studies are widely heterogeneous in terms of sample size, methods of assessment, and selection of participants.
We conducted a systematic review of literature and a random effects meta-analysis of studies comparing at least two of the following groups: a) adults with a primary MOOD diagnosis (bipolar disorder (BP) or major depressive disorder (MDD)), b) their unaffected siblings (SIB) or c) healthy subjects (HS), and reporting quantitative results from the Tridimensional Personality Questionnaire (TPQ) or the Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI).
Subgroup, sensitivity and meta-regression analyses were also conducted.
High Harm Avoidance and low Self-Directedness were consistently associated with MOOD and SIB samples. BP was characterized by higher scores in Novelty Seeking and Self-Transcendence than HS, SIB and MDD. Age seemed to have a negative effect on Novelty Seeking and a positive effect on Harm Avoidance, Cooperativeness and Self-Transcendence. An euthymic mood state was associated with reduced Harm Avoidance, but increased Reward Dependence, Self-Directedness and Cooperativeness.
The quality of the included studies varied and was relatively low. Moreover, publication bias and heterogeneity in the distribution of effect sizes may also have limited our results.
High Harm Avoidance and low Self-Directedness may be trait markers for MOOD in general, while high Novelty Seeking and high Self-Transcendence may be specific to BP. Future studies are needed to disentangle the state-trait effect of each personality dimension.