here, have some science

Progressive Taxation and the Subjective Well-Being of Nations
by Oishi, S., Schimmack, U., Diener, E.
Using data from the Gallup World Poll, we examined whether progressive taxation is associated with increased levels of subjective well-being. Consistent with Rawls’s theory of justice, our results showed that progressive taxation was positively associated with the subjective well-being of nations. However, the overall tax rate and government spending were not associated with the subjective well-being of nations. Furthermore, controlling for the wealth of nations and income inequality, we found that respondents living in a nation with more-progressive taxation evaluated their lives as closer to the best possible life and reported having more positive and less negative daily experiences than did respondents living in a nation with less-progressive taxation. Finally, we found that the association between more-progressive taxation and higher levels of subjective well-being was mediated by citizens’ satisfaction with public goods, such as education and public transportation.

The Misperception of Sexual Interest
by Perilloux, C., Easton, J. A., Buss, D. M.
In the current study (N = 199), we utilized a speed-meeting methodology to investigate misperceptions of sexual interest. This method allowed us to evaluate the magnitude of men’s overperception of women’s sexual interest, to examine whether and how women misperceive men’s sexual interest, and to assess individual differences in susceptibility to sexual misperception. We found strong support for the prediction that women would underestimate men’s sexual interest. Men who were more oriented toward short-term mating strategies or who rated themselves more attractive were more likely to overperceive women’s sexual interest. The magnitude of men’s overperception of women’s sexual interest was predicted by the women’s physical attractiveness. We discuss implications of gender differences and within-sex individual differences in susceptibility to sexual misperception.

Religiosity, Social Self-Esteem, and Psychological Adjustment: On the Cross-Cultural Specificity of the Psychological Benefits of Religiosity
by Gebauer, J. E., Sedikides, C., Neberich, W.
The religiosity-as-social-value hypothesis posits that the psychological benefits of religiosity (benefits to social self-esteem and psychological adjustment) are culturally specific: They should be stronger in countries that tend to value religiosity more. Data from more than 180,000 individuals across 11 countries were consistent with this prediction. Overall, believers claimed greater social self-esteem and psychological adjustment than nonbelievers did. However, culture qualified this effect. Believers enjoyed psychological benefits in countries that tended to value religiosity, but did not differ from nonbelievers in countries that did not tend to value religiosity. Replication of this pattern with non-selfreport data would be desirable. Regardless, the results suggest that religiosity, albeit a potent force, confers benefits by riding on cultural values.

Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact
by Hodson, G., Busseri, M. A.
Despite their important implications for interpersonal behaviors and relations, cognitive abilities have been largely ignored as explanations of prejudice. We proposed and tested mediation models in which lower cognitive ability predicts greater prejudice, an effect mediated through the endorsement of right-wing ideologies (social conservatism, right-wing authoritarianism) and low levels of contact with out-groups. In an analysis of two large-scale, nationally representative United Kingdom data sets (N = 15,874), we found that lower general intelligence (g) in childhood predicts greater racism in adulthood, and this effect was largely mediated via conservative ideology. A secondary analysis of a U.S. data set confirmed a predictive effect of poor abstract-reasoning skills on antihomosexual prejudice, a relation partially mediated by both authoritarianism and low levels of intergroup contact. All analyses controlled for education and socioeconomic status. Our results suggest that cognitive abilities play a critical, albeit underappreciated, role in prejudice. Consequently, we recommend a heightened focus on cognitive ability in research on prejudice and a better integration of cognitive ability into prejudice models.

Confessions That Corrupt: Evidence From the DNA Exoneration Case Files
by Kassin, S. M., Bogart, D., Kerner, J.
Basic psychology research suggests the possibility that confessions—a potent form of incrimination—may taint other evidence, thereby creating an appearance of corroboration. To determine if this laboratory-based phenomenon is supported in the high-stakes world of actual cases, we conducted an archival analysis of DNA exoneration cases from the Innocence Project case files. Results were consistent with the corruption hypothesis: Multiple evidence errors were significantly more likely to exist in false-confession cases than in eyewitness cases; in order of frequency, false confessions were accompanied by invalid or improper forensic science, eyewitness identifications, and snitches and informants; and in cases containing multiple errors, confessions were most likely to have been obtained first. We believe that these findings underestimate the problem and have important implications for the law concerning pretrial corroboration requirements and the principle of "harmless error" on appeal.

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