rvenkat + social_psychology   49

A criterion for unanimity in French’s theory of social power
French's use of digraph theory in social psychology (see –W31:–n 4473) is extended by providing a necessary and sufficient condition for the attainment of ultimate unanimity of opinions in a power structure. The isomorphism is demonstrated between French's formalization and the theory of higher transition probabilities in Markov chains. The concepts of "automorphic groups" and "power subgroups" are defined and developed
social_influence  social_networks  social_psychology  networks 
8 weeks ago by rvenkat
A formal theory of social power
This theory illustrates a way by which many complex phenomena about groups can be deduced from a few simple postulates about interpersonal relations. By the application of digraph theory we are able to treat in detail the patterns of relations whose importance has long been noted by the field theorists." Three major postulates are presented as well as a variety of theorems dealing with the effects of the power structure of the group, the effects of communication patterns, the effects of patterns of opinion, and leadership.
social_influence  social_networks  social_psychology  networks 
8 weeks ago by rvenkat
The contact hypothesis re-evaluated | Behavioural Public Policy | Cambridge Core
This paper evaluates the state of contact hypothesis research from a policy perspective. Building on Pettigrew and Tropp's (2006) influential meta-analysis, we assemble all intergroup contact studies that feature random assignment and delayed outcome measures, of which there are 27 in total, nearly two-thirds of which were published following the original review. We find the evidence from this updated dataset to be consistent with Pettigrew and Tropp's (2006) conclusion that contact “typically reduces prejudice.” At the same time, our meta-analysis suggests that contact's effects vary, with interventions directed at ethnic or racial prejudice generating substantially weaker effects. Moreover, our inventory of relevant studies reveals important gaps, most notably the absence of studies addressing adults' racial or ethnic prejudices, an important limitation for both theory and policy. We also call attention to the lack of research that systematically investigates the scope conditions suggested by Allport (1954) under which contact is most influential. We conclude that these gaps in contact research must be addressed empirically before this hypothesis can reliably guide policy.
discrimination  intervention  meta-analysis  social_psychology  bias  via:sunstein 
12 weeks ago by rvenkat
Changing climates of conflict: A social network experiment in 56 schools | PNAS
Theories of human behavior suggest that individuals attend to the behavior of certain people in their community to understand what is socially normative and adjust their own behavior in response. An experiment tested these theories by randomizing an anticonflict intervention across 56 schools with 24,191 students. After comprehensively measuring every school’s social network, randomly selected seed groups of 20–32 students from randomly selected schools were assigned to an intervention that encouraged their public stance against conflict at school. Compared with control schools, disciplinary reports of student conflict at treatment schools were reduced by 30% over 1 year. The effect was stronger when the seed group contained more “social referent” students who, as network measures reveal, attract more student attention. Network analyses of peer-to-peer influence show that social referents spread perceptions of conflict as less socially normative.
social_influence  social_networks  social_psychology  norms  intervention  causal_inference 
august 2018 by rvenkat
Investigator Characteristics and Respondent Behavior in Online Surveys | Journal of Experimental Political Science | Cambridge Core
Prior research demonstrates that responses to surveys can vary depending on the race, gender, or ethnicity of the investigator asking the question. We build upon this research by empirically testing how information about researcher identity in online surveys affects subject responses. We do so by conducting an experiment on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk in which we vary the name of the researcher in the advertisement for the experiment and on the informed consent page in order to cue different racial and gender identities. We fail to reject the null hypothesis that there is no difference in how respondents answer questions when assigned to a putatively black/white or male/female researcher.
online_experiments  amazon_turk  survey  race  gender  bias  sociology_of_science  social_psychology  via:nyhan 
march 2018 by rvenkat
Why French Kids Don't Have ADHD | Psychology Today
In the United States, at least 9 percent of school-aged children have been diagnosed with ADHD, and are taking pharmaceutical medications. In France, the percentage of kids diagnosed and medicated for ADHD is less than .5 percent. How has the epidemic of ADHD—firmly established in the U.S.—almost completely passed over children in France?

-- where did they get this number from?
-- also interesting is the fact that France has its version of DSM
-- The rest of the article is pretty preachy and redundant
social_psychology  DSM  comparative  evolutionary_psychology  ?  via:?  track_down_references 
march 2018 by rvenkat
Explaining Preferences from Behavior: A Cognitive Dissonance Approach | The Journal of Politics: Ahead of Print
The standard approach in positive political theory posits that action choices are the consequences of preferences. Social psychology—in particular, cognitive dissonance theory—suggests the opposite: preferences may themselves be affected by action choices. We present a framework that applies this idea to three models of political choice: (1) one in which partisanship emerges naturally in a two-party system despite policy being multidimensional, (2) one in which interactions with people who express different views can lead to empathetic changes in political positions, and (3) one in which ethnic or racial hostility increases after acts of violence. These examples demonstrate how incorporating the insights of social psychology can expand the scope of formalization in political science.

--It is still only a model. Yes, one that systematically corrects and improves on rational choice models but some studies testing their claims would be nice.
political_psychology  social_psychology  behavioral_economics  rational_choice  critique  maya.sen  via:nyhan 
march 2018 by rvenkat
Collision with Reality: What Depth Psychology Can Tell us About Victimhood Culture - Quillette
-- I would prefer avoiding Jungian psychology and rephrase it differently. Material affluence affords us *more* agency than in the past. So, to give up on the idea of having agency and attribute all agency to the environment is wrong and harmful. The debate is about whether one can definitely claim that individual affordance in present day is more that it ever was. While what if as *critical* scholars say, there was *epistemic injustice* and their oppression was not even known or acknowledged in the past or in the present.
At the end of the day, it is probably about the efficacy of using political concepts in apolitical settings but it is tough if one starts with *everything is political* approach to everything.
cultural_market  cultural_psychology  moral_psychology  social_psychology  contemporary_culture  critique  via:sommers 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Why men sexually harass women - The Washington Post
-- So it has begun... genre of science journalism dedicated to the topic

-- propensity for sexual harassment test will become mandatory soon
social_behavior  gender  discrimination  violence  feminism  social_psychology  pop_science  bullshit  WaPo  dmce  teaching 
december 2017 by rvenkat
The reliability paradox: Why robust cognitive tasks do not produce reliable individual differences | SpringerLink
Individual differences in cognitive paradigms are increasingly employed to relate cognition to brain structure, chemistry, and function. However, such efforts are often unfruitful, even with the most well established tasks. Here we offer an explanation for failures in the application of robust cognitive paradigms to the study of individual differences. Experimental effects become well established – and thus those tasks become popular – when between-subject variability is low. However, low between-subject variability causes low reliability for individual differences, destroying replicable correlations with other factors and potentially undermining published conclusions drawn from correlational relationships. Though these statistical issues have a long history in psychology, they are widely overlooked in cognitive psychology and neuroscience today. In three studies, we assessed test-retest reliability of seven classic tasks: Eriksen Flanker, Stroop, stop-signal, go/no-go, Posner cueing, Navon, and Spatial-Numerical Association of Response Code (SNARC). Reliabilities ranged from 0 to .82, being surprisingly low for most tasks given their common use. As we predicted, this emerged from low variance between individuals rather than high measurement variance. In other words, the very reason such tasks produce robust and easily replicable experimental effects – low between-participant variability – makes their use as correlational tools problematic. We demonstrate that taking such reliability estimates into account has the potential to qualitatively change theoretical conclusions. The implications of our findings are that well-established approaches in experimental psychology and neuropsychology may not directly translate to the study of individual differences in brain structure, chemistry, and function, and alternative metrics may be required.
psychology  cognitive_science  measurement  social_psychology  critique  via:? 
december 2017 by rvenkat
Psychological targeting as an effective approach to digital mass persuasion
People are exposed to persuasive communication across many different contexts: Governments, companies, and political parties use persuasive appeals to encourage people to eat healthier, purchase a particular product, or vote for a specific candidate. Laboratory studies show that such persuasive appeals are more effective in influencing behavior when they are tailored to individuals’ unique psychological characteristics. However, the investigation of large-scale psychological persuasion in the real world has been hindered by the questionnaire-based nature of psychological assessment. Recent research, however, shows that people’s psychological characteristics can be accurately predicted from their digital footprints, such as their Facebook Likes or Tweets. Capitalizing on this form of psychological assessment from digital footprints, we test the effects of psychological persuasion on people’s actual behavior in an ecologically valid setting. In three field experiments that reached over 3.5 million individuals with psychologically tailored advertising, we find that matching the content of persuasive appeals to individuals’ psychological characteristics significantly altered their behavior as measured by clicks and purchases. Persuasive appeals that were matched to people’s extraversion or openness-to-experience level resulted in up to 40% more clicks and up to 50% more purchases than their mismatching or unpersonalized counterparts. Our findings suggest that the application of psychological targeting makes it possible to influence the behavior of large groups of people by tailoring persuasive appeals to the psychological needs of the target audiences. We discuss both the potential benefits of this method for helping individuals make better decisions and the potential pitfalls related to manipulation and privacy.

--meta-studies of political canvasing and prejudice reduction all suggest otherwise; so has replications of priming studies. Unless there are other mechanisms at work, these results seem untrustworthy.
big_five  intervention  social_media  influence  social_psychology  i_remain_skeptical  via:nyhan 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Misinformation and Mass Audiences Edited by Brian G. Southwell, Emily A. Thorson, and Laura Sheble
Lies and inaccurate information are as old as humanity, but never before have they been so easy to spread. Each moment of every day, the Internet and broadcast media purvey misinformation, either deliberately or accidentally, to a mass audience on subjects ranging from politics to consumer goods to science and medicine, among many others. Because misinformation now has the potential to affect behavior on a massive scale, it is urgently important to understand how it works and what can be done to mitigate its harmful effects.

Misinformation and Mass Audiences brings together evidence and ideas from communication research, public health, psychology, political science, environmental studies, and information science to investigate what constitutes misinformation, how it spreads, and how best to counter it. The expert contributors cover such topics as whether and to what extent audiences consciously notice misinformation, the possibilities for audience deception, the ethics of satire in journalism and public affairs programming, the diffusion of rumors, the role of Internet search behavior, and the evolving efforts to counteract misinformation, such as fact-checking programs. The first comprehensive social science volume exploring the prevalence and consequences of, and remedies for, misinformation as a mass communication phenomenon, Misinformation and Mass Audiences will be a crucial resource for students and faculty researching misinformation, policymakers grappling with questions of regulation and prevention, and anyone concerned about this troubling, yet perhaps unavoidable, dimension of current media systems.
book  misinformation  disinformation  media_studies  public_sphere  contagion  social_psychology  journalism  dmce  networks  teaching 
november 2017 by rvenkat
Now out of Never: The Element of Surprise in the East European Revolution of 1989 | World Politics | Cambridge Core
Like many major revolutions in history, the East European Revolution of 1989 caught its leaders, participants, victims, and observers by surprise. This paper offers an explanation whose crucial feature is a distinction between private and public preferences. By suppressing their antipathies to the political status quo, the East Europeans misled everyone, including themselves, as to the possibility of a successful uprising. In effect, they conferred on their privately despised governments an aura of invincibility. Under the circumstances, public opposition was poised to grow explosively if ever enough people lost their fear of exposing their private preferences. The currently popular theories of revolution do not make clear why uprisings easily explained in retrospect may not have been anticipated. The theory developed here fills this void. Among its predictions is that political revolutions will inevitably continue to catch the world by surprise.
european_politics  revolutions  20th_century  social_behavior  contagion  homophily  ?  social_psychology  institutions  norms  collective_dynamics  judgment_decision-making  dmce  teaching  timur.kuran 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Private Truths, Public Lies — Timur Kuran | Harvard University Press
Preference falsification, according to the economist Timur Kuran, is the act of misrepresenting one’s wants under perceived social pressures. It happens frequently in everyday life, such as when we tell the host of a dinner party that we are enjoying the food when we actually find it bland. In Private Truths, Public Lies, Kuran argues convincingly that the phenomenon not only is ubiquitous but has huge social and political consequences. Drawing on diverse intellectual traditions, including those rooted in economics, psychology, sociology, and political science, Kuran provides a unified theory of how preference falsification shapes collective decisions, orients structural change, sustains social stability, distorts human knowledge, and conceals political possibilities.

A common effect of preference falsification is the preservation of widely disliked structures. Another is the conferment of an aura of stability on structures vulnerable to sudden collapse. When the support of a policy, tradition, or regime is largely contrived, a minor event may activate a bandwagon that generates massive yet unanticipated change.

In distorting public opinion, preference falsification also corrupts public discourse and, hence, human knowledge. So structures held in place by preference falsification may, if the condition lasts long enough, achieve increasingly genuine acceptance. The book demonstrates how human knowledge and social structures co-evolve in complex and imperfectly predictable ways, without any guarantee of social efficiency.

Private Truths, Public Lies uses its theoretical argument to illuminate an array of puzzling social phenomena. They include the unexpected fall of communism, the paucity, until recently, of open opposition to affirmative action in the United States, and the durability of the beliefs that have sustained India’s caste system
book  social_behavior  contagion  homophily  ?  social_psychology  institutions  norms  collective_dynamics  judgment_decision-making  dmce  teaching  timur.kuran 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Change behaviors by changing perception of normal | Stanford News
-- obviously, one study does not anything but the idea of beliefs about norms and its dynamics are interesting. Political science applications?
norms  social_psychology  influence  social_behavior  dmce  teaching  models_of_behavior 
october 2017 by rvenkat
Americans misperceive racial economic equality
Race-based economic inequality is both a defining and persistent feature of the United States that is at odds with national narratives regarding progress toward racial equality. This work examines perceptions of Black–White differences in economic outcomes, both in the past and present. We find that Americans, on average, systematically overestimate the extent to which society has progressed toward racial economic equality, driven largely by overestimates of current racial equality. Notably, White Americans generated more accurate estimates of Black–White equality when asked to consider the persistence of race-based discrimination in American society. The findings suggest a profound misperception of and misplaced optimism regarding contemporary societal racial economic equality—a misperception that is likely to have important consequences for public policy.

A blown-out-of-proportion media piece


evening news, talk shows, identity politicians bullet points next?

somebody ought to study the diffusion process of university press release to politician's bullet points someday.
united_states_of_america  race  discrimination  inequality  economic_sociology  social_psychology  dmce  teaching 
september 2017 by rvenkat
Significant social change often comes from the unleashing of hidden preferences; it also comes from the construction of novel preferences. Under the pressure of social norms, people sometimes falsify their preferences. They do not feel free to say or do as they wish. Once norms are weakened or revised, through private efforts or law, it becomes possible to discover preexisting preferences. Because those preferences existed but were concealed, large-scale movements are both possible and exceedingly difficult to predict; they are often startling. But revisions of norms can also construct rather than uncover preferences. Once norms are altered, again through private efforts or law, people come to hold preferences that they did not hold before. Nothing has been unleashed. These points bear on the rise and fall (and rise again, and fall again) of discrimination on the basis of sex and race (and also religion and ethnicity). They also help illuminate the dynamics of social cascades and the effects of social norms on diverse practices and developments, including smoking, drinking, police brutality, protest activity, veganism, drug use, crime, white nationalism, “ethnification,” considerateness, and the public expression of religious beliefs.
social_behavior  contagion  homophily  ?  social_psychology  institutions  norms  collective_dynamics  cass.sunstein  judgment_decision-making  dmce  teaching 
august 2017 by rvenkat
Law and Psychology Grows Up, Goes Online, and Replicates by Kristin Firth, David A. Hoffman, Tess Wilkinson‐Ryan :: SSRN
Over the last thirty years, legal scholars have increasingly deployed experimental studies, particularly hypothetical scenarios, to test intuitions about legal reasoning and behavior. That movement has accelerated in the last decade, facilitated in large part by cheap and convenient Internet participant recruiting platforms like Amazon Mechanical Turk. The widespread use of MTurk subjects, a practice that dramatically lowers the barriers to entry for experimental research, has been controversial. At the same time, law and psychology’s home discipline is experiencing a public crisis of confidence widely discussed in terms of the “replication crisis.” At present, law and psychology research is arguably in a new era, in which it is both an accepted feature of the legal landscape and also a target of fresh skepticism. The moment is ripe for taking stock.
In this paper, we bring an empirical approach to these problems. Using three canonical law and psychology findings, we document the challenges and the feasibility of reproducing results across platforms. We evaluate the extent to which we are able to reproduce the original findings with contemporary subject pools (MTurk, other national online platforms, and in-person labs). We partially replicate the results, and show marked similarities in subject responses across platforms. In the context of the experiments here, we conclude that meaningful replication requires active intervention in order to keep the materials relevant and sensible. The second aim is to compare Turk subjects to the original samples and to the replication samples. We find, consistent with the weight of recent evidence, that MTurk samples are highly reliable and useful. Subjects are highly similar to subjects on other online platforms an in-person samples, but they differ in their high level of attentiveness. Finally, we review the growing replication literature across disciplines, as well as our firsthand experience, to propose a set of standard practices for the publication of results in law and psychology.
review  empirical_legal_studies  amazon_turk  replication_of_studies  methods  sociology  social_psychology 
august 2017 by rvenkat
The Preference for Belief Consonance by Russell Golman, George Loewenstein, Karl O. Moene, Luca Zarri :: SSRN
We consider the determinants and consequences of a source of utility that has received limited attention from economists: people’s desire for the beliefs of other people to align with their own. We relate this ‘preference for belief consonance’ to a variety of other constructs that have been explored by economists, including identity, ideology, homophily and fellow-feeling. We review different possible explanations for why people care about others’ beliefs and propose that the preference for belief consonance leads to a range of disparate phenomena, including motivated belief-formation, proselytizing, selective exposure to media, avoidance of conversational minefields, pluralistic ignorance, belief-driven clustering, intergroup belief polarization and conflict. We also discuss an explanation for why disputes are often so intense between groups whose beliefs are, by external observers’ standards, highly similar to one-another
groups  collective_cognition  social_psychology  behavioral_economics  dmce  teaching  via:sunstein 
july 2016 by rvenkat
Is Racism a Fundamental Cause of Inequalities in Health? - Annual Review of Sociology, 41(1):311
We previously proposed that socioeconomic status (SES) is a fundamental cause of health inequalities and, as such, that SES inequalities in health persist over time despite radical changes in the diseases, risks, and interventions that happen to produce them at any given time. Like SES, race in the United States has an enduring connection to health and mortality. Our goals here are to evaluate whether this connection endures because systemic racism is a fundamental cause of health inequalities and, in doing so, to review a wide range of empirical data regarding racial differences in health outcomes, health risks, and health-enhancing resources such as money, knowledge, power, prestige, freedom, and beneficial social connections. We conclude that racial inequalities in health endure primarily because racism is a fundamental cause of racial differences in SES and because SES is a fundamental cause of health inequalities. In addition to these powerful connections, however, there is evidence that racism, largely via inequalities in power, prestige, freedom, neighborhood context, and health care, also has a fundamental association with health independent of SES.
health  inequality  social_psychology  for_friends 
june 2016 by rvenkat
A Framework for Educating Health Professionals to Address the Social Determinants of Health | The National Academies Press
The World Health Organization defines the social determinants of health as “the conditions in which people are born, grow, work, live, and age, and the wider set of forces and systems shaping the conditions of daily life.” These forces and systems include economic policies, development agendas, cultural and social norms, social policies, and political systems. In an era of pronounced human migration, changing demographics, and growing financial gaps between rich and poor, a fundamental understanding of how the conditions and circumstances in which individuals and populations exist affect mental and physical health is imperative. Educating health professionals about the social determinants of health generates awareness among those professionals about the potential root causes of ill health and the importance of addressing them in and with communities, contributing to more effective strategies for improving health and health care for underserved individuals, communities, and populations.
health  inequality  social_behavior  social_psychology  for_friends 
march 2016 by rvenkat
Home – World Happiness Report
-- Of course, as with reports like this, I can smell agenda in their summaries. Need to read it carefully.
report  dmce  teaching  subjective_well-being  hedonic_psychology  economics  social_psychology 
march 2016 by rvenkat
Myeloid differentiation architecture of leukocyte transcriptome dynamics in perceived social isolation
To define the cellular mechanisms of up-regulated inflammatory gene expression and down-regulated antiviral response in people experiencing perceived social isolation (loneliness), we conducted integrative analyses of leukocyte gene regulation in humans and rhesus macaques. Five longitudinal leukocyte transcriptome surveys in 141 older adults showed up-regulation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), monocyte population expansion, and up-regulation of the leukocyte conserved transcriptional response to adversity (CTRA). Mechanistic analyses in a macaque model of perceived social isolation confirmed CTRA activation and identified selective up-regulation of the CD14++/CD16− classical monocyte transcriptome, functional glucocorticoid desensitization, down-regulation of Type I and II interferons, and impaired response to infection by simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). These analyses identify neuroendocrine-related alterations in myeloid cell population dynamics as a key mediator of CTRA transcriptome skewing, which may both propagate perceived social isolation and contribute to its associated health risks.

-- looks like kith and kin of Sapolsky.
social_psychology  bio-chemistry  genetics 
december 2015 by rvenkat
Neural mechanisms tracking popularity in real-world social networks
In virtually all human groups, differences in popularity induce social status and shape interactions. How do we recognize that certain individuals are popular—highly liked by the group—even when this collective preference differs from our own? Our results suggest that group members’ popularity is tracked by activity in neural valuation systems, which in turn engage social cognition systems that facilitate understanding others’ mental states. Popular participants’ valuation systems demonstrated enhanced sensitivity to differences among other group members’ popularity. These neural data offer insights into how status guides social behavior and reinforces social network structures, and why the affective valuation and social cognition systems are critical for navigating these networks and achieving high status within them.

-- The usual suspects : Ochsner, Todorov and Lieberman. Can't they get more skeptical referees?
social_psychology  neuroscience  brain_imaging 
december 2015 by rvenkat
Rising morbidity and mortality in midlife among white non-Hispanic Americans in the 21st century
Midlife increases in suicides and drug poisonings have been previously noted. However, that these upward trends were persistent and large enough to drive up all-cause midlife mortality has, to our knowledge, been overlooked. If the white mortality rate for ages 45−54 had held at their 1998 value, 96,000 deaths would have been avoided from 1999–2013, 7,000 in 2013 alone. If it had continued to decline at its previous (1979‒1998) rate, half a million deaths would have been avoided in the period 1999‒2013, comparable to lives lost in the US AIDS epidemic through mid-2015. Concurrent declines in self-reported health, mental health, and ability to work, increased reports of pain, and deteriorating measures of liver function all point to increasing midlife distress.

--Good to see empirical evidence but is it only due to increasing midlife distress or there are other environmental, biological, social and psychological factors at work here.
subjective_well-being  epidemiology  social_behavior  social_psychology  sociology  hedonic_psychology 
november 2015 by rvenkat
Stephen Pinker on the genealogy craze in America | The New Republic
--Pinker's pet agendas in plain sight for everyone who follows his work; novel insights on the social forces and implications for the formation of social structures.
via:pinker  nature-nurture  evolutionary_biology  evolutionary_psychology  social_psychology  social_behavior  teaching  social_networks 
october 2015 by rvenkat
Dehumanisation is a human universal – David Livingstone Smith – Aeon
The article has a noticeable philosophical after taste but fails to sufficiently describe social psychological literature on this topic. Still, a good potential reading/discussion assignment.
dmce  drwn_tht  teaching  dehumanization  social_psychology  philosophy 
june 2015 by rvenkat

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