Category Archives: UNL / Genetic Politics

The Wary Guerrilla, Introduction: System Administration for Phenotypes

I am very grateful for my education at the University of Nebraska. I can see a progression of my academic skills, from my pre-Nebraska Computer Science thesis to my very first literature review, and from my first serious research design to this series.

The posts that follow are adapted from In Search of the Wary Guerrilla: Political Aspects of Extreme Punishers. It was co-written by myself and an oustanding new (and South Dakotan!) addition to Nebraska’s political science graduate program.

I consider the “Wary Guerrilla” paper and presentation to be my best academic work. The findings are surprising. Besides giving promising clues toward solving a very serious problem — clues my co-writer is planning heroic steps to uncover — it also implies educators are missing something fundamentally important in designing group interaction. But whether we look at political or educational implications, we know something is here.

When this research was conceived, I imagined it with a more explicitly Barnettian influence. Long-time blog readers may remember references to “Systems Administration for Phenotypes” — that was what I was talking about. Another interim name was the suicide bomber type, though I have to give Craig props for pressing me for a better name.

So, without further ado, may I present…

The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

A Cognitivist View on Genetic Factors

Bill Cosby is terrifying.


The Coz is gonna cut you down (?)

Schrieber’s finding that people seem to be terrified of beloved comedian Bill Cosby is the central question from the “Race and Fear” presentations. It implies that something is essentially wrong with how we are describing our findings. To me it argues for the existence of “schema,” a concept from cognitive psychology that we have not addressed in our more evolutionary approaches. This oversight is unfortunate because there is a tremendous overlap already between cognitive and evolutionary psychology, and would be relatively simple to incorporate.

A “schema” is a constructed mental model or semantic meaning. For instance, “genetics,” “genomics,” “evolutionary psychology,” and “structural equations” are all part of the schema for this class. Thinking about one makes it more likely to think about others. There are linear relationships in schemata. For instance, vaguely smelling pie may vaguely recall something, but being suddenly hit by a distinct smell may bring on a distinct memory…


Schemata offer an explanation for the horror that is Bill Cosby’s visage. “Fear” and “Black” appear to be schematically related. Bill Cosby’s face, being highly valence, loads its schema-members with a similar high valence. Likewise, a black face with low valence (say, any random black UNL student) should bring about its schema-members with low valence.

Our biological factors training, however, lets us improve on the cognitivists’ schema theory. We recognize that conscious and rational thought are only a portion of behavior, and hear evidence that rational thought is much closer to after-the-fact rationalization of our beliefs than the before-the-fact rationale for our beliefs. In particular, we are skeptical of self reports, “good reasons,” and the rest of the SSSM carcass that still clings to some of that domain.

Such as multischematic view can look to Craemer for support. His theory of shared and idiosyncratic racial attitudes amounts to a theory of two racial schemata: one built on unique experience and one built on social interaction. His statement that there is “no rhetorical model” (2) for multiple schemata makes no sense from a cognitive perspective, because cognitivists have long focused on individual domains of learning. Society is a separate domain from interpersonal actions, and thus there is no reason to believe that learning in one will substantively effect the other.

An immediate consequence of multischema view of the mind that IATs are challenged because the very concept of a domain-general “attitude” is challenged. Not only may someone have “racist” social attitudes but “non-racist’ interpersonal attitudes, these concepts may change from domain to domain. Perhaps IATs, which occur in domain-general settings, only measure the greatest valence of an “attitude” across any domains. This would seem to be supported by the Kurzban research (“Can Race be Erased”) we went over earlier. Humans are small-group-centric animals, and by changing the membership of small-group coalitions Kurzban was able to completely throw off the valences.

A more specific test of this theory can be devised. First, give a battery of IATs designed to test “racist” “attitudes” across several domains. For instance, one focusing on writing, one focusing Cosbyesque amygdala response, one focusing on economic gameplay. Then manipulate racial interaction in just one domain while leaving the others constant. So give the subjects “neutral” material that would reinforce existing beliefs in every domain but one: for example, everything remains the same except a black behaves somewhat unfairly against the subject in the economic game. Then re-run the IATs. The results should be constant except in the manipulated domain, in this case the economic game. There could also be another condition where the black behaves very unfairly. This high valence behavior should leak out to other domains.

Quite possibly, one may be able to develop a mathematical model of IAT mismeasurement: The Measured Implicit Attitude of a Domain is the Actual Implicit Attitude in that Domain added to the sum of the product of the implicit attitude of each domain by the schematic overlap of the domains. Or, MIA(Domain) * AIA(Domain) + Sum(For every other domain ‘OD”,IA(OD) * Schematic Overlap(Domain,OD)). Is this formula true? Probably not – I don’t think that many breakthroughts are made in weekly reaction papers. But it invites definition of concrete terms and, once operationalized, makes predictions open to falsifiability.

Genetic-Politics Papers Among UNL’s Most Downloaded

The October 2006 list of top downloads from UNL’s Digital Commons is out. Among them are many articles from the recent Hendricks Symposium on Genetics and Political Behavior, which preceded the recent Nerabska Lecture on Genes, Behavior, and Politics. While the list is distorted because many people picked up paper copies instead of downloading digital ones, the most downloaded ones include:

26 Genetic Configurations of Political Phenomena: New Theories, New Methods
43 The Neuroeconomics of Trust
54 The Neural Basis of Representative Democracy
55 Balancing Ambition and Gender Among Decision Makers
59 When Can Politicians Scare Citizens Into Supporting Bad Policies? A Theory of Incentives With Fear Based Content
60 Effects of “In-Your-Face” Television Discourse on Perceptions of a Legitimate Opposition
63 ‘Heroism’ in Warfare
67 The Genetic Basics of Political Cooperation
69 Personality and Emotional Response: Strategic and Tactical Responses to Changing Political Circumstances
76 Testosterone, Cortisol, and Aggression in a Simulated Crisis Game
90 Evolutionary Model of Racial Attitude Formation Socially Shared and Idiosyncratic Racial Attitudes
93 Empathy and Collective Action in the Prisoner’s Dilemma
104 Audience Effects on Moralistic Punishment
109 The Political Consequences of Perceived Threat and Felt Insecurity
127 Ecological Analysis of a System of Organized Interests
132 Judgments about cooperators and freeriders on a Shuar work team: An evolutionary psychological perspective

Read them. They’re good. The rest are online, too.

Indirect Genetic Effects on Politics

Indirection is the way.

Hatemi & Martin found this. Their study of Australian twins attempted to expand on earlier work that found strong genetic influence on political ideology but only a weak genetic influence on party choice. That finding, which Fowler’s paper reinforced, implied that genes influence political orientation directly but party choice, and presumably vote, only indirectly through ideology. However, that was ambiguous and the possibility remained that there was a separate genetic influence on party-identification and vote-choice than on ideology. Hatemi & Martin’s findings confirmed that vote-choice was an effect of genetic influence on orientation, and that there was not a directly genetic influence on vote choice.


McDermott et al.’s theory was more promising. Zak found that cortisol directly influenced trust. Could a similar direct influence by found for testosterone when applied to political organizations? The answer was no, implying yet again that politics is indirectly influenced by genetic factors. Testosterone was only correlated to political aggression was both sexes were treated as one population, which amounts to saying that men are more politically aggressive than women.

Similarly, in his presentation Hibbing echoed a point made by Carmen. The distribution among political beliefs by those who are politically active appears to be bimodal, which implies a “gene for” political persuasion. (As Hibbing discussed in his lecture, bimodal distributions are common for features controlled by a single factor, such as eye color, but rare for features controlled by man, such as height.) However, this same distribution might be the result of a modal distribution where the tails are disproportionately represented. That is, political beliefs may be normally distributed by an interaction with a separate factor that causes intensity may make it appear bimodal through self-selection. In his paper, Carmen noted “Dopamine overload correlates with highly risky behavior: too much gambling, too much sex, too much drinking. What about too much politics? How would one define “too much politics”” Perhaps here again is an indirect link, with people who feel strongly for the status quo not going into politics, and an interaction leading to the apparent divisiveness.

To me, this ties in with Hibbing & Theiss-Morse’s previous research on Congress. In books and articles, those authors have argued that public distrust of Congress comes from perceived procedural injustice. It’s as if the legislature really is the sausage factory, and it’s being judged by OSHA (how the sausage is made) and not Consumer Reports (what the sausage is made of). Laboratory experiments have appeared to confirm people’s self-reports, in that perceived injustice matters about as much as outcome. Yet in his speech, Hibbing outlined how he believe genetic influences fall into only weekly correlated psychological, social, and political spheres. If this is the case the lab experiments implying that people dislike unfairness simply may not apply to political situations.

Still, research can be done. The “political” influences on human behavior may not so much be “how should society be run” as “how should a society be run” — that is, how should groups larger than fifteen members be organized. The Era of Evolutionary Adaption (EEA) for small-band life and the EEA for large-group life appear to be from different eras. “Political” genetic orientation may merely be a large-n case of “social” orientation. This can be tested in a laboratory experiment. Find an issue where social and political influences converge. The run a laboratory experiments with groups of varying sizes (5, 10, 20, 30, etc) you should expect to see a transition from “social” to “political attitudes” as the group size increases. Thus political attitudes are not “how society should be organized” so much as “how should our large-n group be organized”?

Another method, perhaps more indirect, can be used as well. The Hibbing lecture implies that there are two “types’ of political people – absolutists and contextualists. Earlier research on economic games implies three types – wary cooperators, altruists, and egoists. It seems clear that there is no easy mapping of one set of types to another. If there really is a transition from social to political orientation as group size increases, it should be possible to observe these three social types becoming two political types. In other words, it should be possible to create a game where wary/altruist/egoist strategies are available but absolutist/contextualist ones also exist for deliberative decision making. As the n increases, a phase change should occur that transitions the players from the social strategies to the political beliefs.

A story that I am reading as I write this gives another, perhaps easier, method to test the hypothesis. A 1993 articles by Stanley Coren noted that student’s misperceive political biases based based on the presentation of factual information. If the social-political split is actually a factor of group size, then this should be significantly more apparent in large lecture classes (30+ students) than small classes (15- students).

Embracing Evolutionary "Cheating"

The most important question of the Hendricks Forum was this: were all researchers CITI certified? If not, did they share this secret with their subjects? Does the scientists have secret brainscans showing which “terror modules” light up when he informed his participants-slash-victims of his wildly unethical research methodologies? We may never know.

What we can know, however, is how Alford & Hibbing’s findings can be immediately applied to the classroom. Consider a common learning situation: two students are studying for a graded, non-curved assignment, and one student is in a position to help another. Many educators have believed that the best way to deter one student from doing work to another is to increase penalties and be on the look-out for side-payments (popularity granted to a smart but dorky student by popular but dull ones, for instance). However, if people will do more work for another than the other would ask for if the issue of representation is involved, then the range of potential cheaters becomes much broader. No longer are we looking only for those who want to increase their own station, but at altruists who are completing educational “puzzles” for another student.


We can contrast the academic cheating behavior of the “economic man” and the “wary cooperator” in a simple experiment. Use a subject and a confederate, and inform them that because of a last-minute conflict, the University has asked them to take their skill tests unsupervised in the same room at the same time. Full credit will go to right answers, and no credit will go to wrong answers. Make it possible for a student to help another cheat, but after the end of the run inform him that he may accuse the other of cheating. Add a point to the cheater’s score, but inform the subject that the accusation will zero out the confederate’s There are four conditions with four possible responses to test whether students faced with the dilemma of helping another cheat will act like wary cooperators or rational actors:

The conditions:

  • Condition I. Introduce Subjects. Confederate suffering.
  • Condition II. Introduce Subjects. Confederate offers bribe.
  • Condition III. Don’t introduce Subjects. Confederate suffering.
  • Condition IV. Don’t introduce Subjects. Confederate offers bribe.

The responses:

  • Response A. Subject Assists. Subject keeps silent.
  • Response B. Subject Assists. Subject informs on confederate.
  • Response C. Subject Doesn’t Assist. Subject keeps silent.
  • Response D. Subject doesn’t Assist. Subject informs on confederate.

Standard economic theory gives the following predicted paths

  • If Condition I, should choose Response D, least likely to favor Response A
  • If Condition II,should choose Response B, least likely to choose Response C
  • If Condition III, should choose Response D, least likely to favor Response A
  • If Condition IV, should choose Response B, least likely to follow Response C

Classroom teachers, of course, view “D” as the only acceptable path.

Because of the conflicting possible frames this situation could be put in, I do not believe we can yet create a “genetic factors” model with this same degree of precision. However, we can identify where it flatly disagrees with the economic model of cheating.

Under Condition I, D should be the least likely outcome. Under introduction, the subject should be prepared to help the confederate with no personal compensation. Likewise, free-riding against an innocent but suffering player is doubtful. Likewise, under Condition III D should also be the least likely outcome. (Two variations are not shown in this mini-experimental design: confederate suffers and offers bribe and confederate doesn’t suffer and doesn’t offer bribe. The first possibility confounds fault and no-fault non-cooperation, while the second should have zero “cheating” under both models. However, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely useless – it may be worthwhile, for instance, to see if the subject would retaliate if his requests for assistance from the confederate is rebuffed by accusing the confederate of cheating, even if we make the reward for turning in a cheater negative!).

A finding that confirms wary cooperation would have profound impact in how we deal with cheaters. If we find that the most pro-social students cheat out of empathy, this further throws the value of individual work into doubt. Instead, work should be group-oriented as much as possible, because this will exploit the student’s natural desire to help a peer in need while demarcating out-group-members as non-peers for the purposes of cooperation.

Quick & Dirty Literature Review for the Ultimatum Game

Nothing particularly interesting. Merely a rough draft, using all new (to me) sources, of the nature of the ultimatum bargaining game. I presume that in an expanded and improved form this will re-appear, but for now I am posting it for my own reference.

Read on only if you’re very interested, or very bored.


Research has been done with gameplay and learning disabled students, such as autistics (Sally & Hill, 2006). It also also shown how attractive people both receive higher shares and are expected to give more (Solnick & Schweister, 1999), and likewise how being participants artificially divded into high and low status groups treat each other differently (Ball and Eckel, 1996), It has even be shown how research itself is a type of ultimatum game (Bonetti, 1998).

At least among some cultural groups, adolescents are more generous than adults (Hoffmann & Tee, 2006). Relatedly, moral reasoning in game play increases in early adolescence — between the ages of 11 and 13 (Takezawa, Gummerum, & Keller, 2006). Reasoning takes ability into account. For instance, players act as if higher-skill players should earn more, but lower-skill players should not be expected to give as much (Ruffle 1998).

People use different strategies while playing the ultimatum game. Researchers in Russia observed that play-types seem to split into players who want at least a fair outcome for themselves and those who want a fair outcome for both players (Bahry & Wilson, 2006). Another study observed that players seem to be split into those who are sensitive to other’s injustice to them, to injustice against others, and unjust profiting (Fetchenhauer & Huang, 2004). An unfair action is more likely to be perceived to be injust if it was intentional as opposed to unintentional (Kagel, Kim, & Moser, 1996).

Game play also varies across type of game. For instance, players who maximize for expected reward may behave fairly in ultimatum games but unfairly in dictator games (Haselhuhn & Mellers, 2005) and behave more fairly when making one decision at a time than many decisions simultaneously (Bazerman, White, & Lowenstein, 1995). Similarly, behavior in the ultimatum game changes if the actions are described in terms of an everyday social interaction rather than as straight-forward bargaining (Larrick & Blount, 1997).

Still, game performance is not static. Behavior in the ultimatum game is influenced by norms of a people (Henrich, et al., 2005) and even a workplace (Kay, Wheeler, Bagh, & Ross, 2004). Knowledge about theoretical performance maximizing behavior changes performance (Lusk & Hudson, 2004), as does group decision making (which appears to improve rational behavior) (Robert & Carnevale, 1997). Likewise, chaotic conditions make it harder to learn how to maximize performance for responders than for proposers (Gale, Binmore, & Samuelson, 1995).

Perceptions of distributive justice are important (Humprey, Ellis, Conlon, & Tinsley, 2004) as is honesty (Croson, Boles, & Murnighan, 2003). As feelings of guilty are also important (Ketelaar & Au, 2003). Thus, it is not surprising that social awareness and thus awareness of would-be fair outcomes changes behavior, too (Handgraaf, Dijk, Wilke, & Vermunt, 2003). Some of the consequcnes of this are nonintuitive: for instance, it can be better to play an economic game from a powerless position, and this appears to cause the other player to be more concerned for your welfare (van Dijk & Vermunt, 2000). Similarly, changing the relative power of the players does not substantially alter play performance (Weg & Smith, 1993).

Reciprocity in playing games means rewarding kind actions and punishing bad ones (Falk & Fischbacher, 2006). A similar concept, altruism in the ultimatum game has been observed in among the Nigerian Igos (Gowdy, Iorgulescu, & Onyweiwu, 2003). American lawyers, explaining decisions they had made, also listed fairness as a greater cause of their actions than envy or altruism-as-such (Bethwaite & Tompkinson, 1996).

The uttimatum game has also been studied through computer simulations. Adaptive algorithms can yield in-game behavior similar to that observed in humans (Calderon & Zarama, 2006). The computer programs show how fairness can evolve if players are generally able to know how the other agent has played in the past (Nowak, Page, & Sigmund, 2000).

The connection to game-play excellence with creativity is worth considering. Stubbornness and persistence are associated in computer simulations with success, but so is the less-well-regarded attitude of capriciousness (Napel, 2003). General personality traits, such as independence and tough-mindedness, are also important (Brandstatter & Konigstein, 2001);

Explicit beliefs matter, as well. An interaction between fair beliefs and self-interested explained begaining behavior in both Japan and the United States (Buchan, Croson, Johnson, & Iacobucci, 2004).
Technical measuring devises have been used to study ultimatum game behavior. For instance, the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortext (van ‘t Wout, Kahn, Sanfey, & Aleman, 2005) among other brain areas (Camerer, 2003).

The ultimatum game has been manipulated to create new games before. It has been changes to minimize the outcome of the proposing player (Gneezy, Haruvy, & Roth, 2003) as well as to incorporate elections (Sulkin & Simon, 2001) or democratic committe-style decision making (Messick, Moore, & Bazerman, 1997). Guth, Huck, and Muller altered it to prevent equal splits, and observed that proposed divisions decreased fair offers more than they expected (2001). Likewise, by reducing the size of the pie while decisions are being made, different choices are made (Suleiman, 1996). Similarly, when a rejection does not lead to all getting zero, but other predetermined positive figures, game play changes as well (Knez & Camerer, 1995). Further, when a third player is made completely dependent on the receiver player, it was found that the giving power is more generous and the receiving power less protective against exploitation (Oppewal & Tougareva, 1992).

A practical question is how the stakes of the game change behavior, and this is not nailed down yet. Increased stakes do seem to make subjects more pliant toward small rewards, but changing the stake size does not (Munier & Zaharia, 2002). Other researchers, while showing that reciprical kindness appears to explain most game behavior, note that the effective of changing the stakes is marginal when compared to the relative percentage offered (Dickenson, 2000).

Bahry, D.L., & Wilson, R.K. (2006). Confusion or fairness in the field? Rejections in the ultimatum game under the strategy method. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 60(1):37-54.
Bazerman, M.H., White, S.B., & Lowenstein, G.F. (1995). Perceptions of fairness in interpersonal and individual choice situations. Current Directions in Psychological Sciences 4(2): 39-43.
Ball, S.B., & Eckel, C.C. (1996). Buying status: Experimental evidence on status in negotiation. Psychology & Marketing 13(4): 381-405.
Bethwaite, J. & Tompkinson, P. (1996). The ultimatum game and non-selfish utility functions. Journal of Economic Psychology 17(2): 259-271.
Bonetti, S. (1998). Experimental economics and deception. Journal of Economic Psychology 19(3): 377-395.
Brandstatter, H., & Konigstein, M. (2001). Personality influences on ultimatum bargainin decisions. European Journal of Personality 15(1): S53-S70.
Buchan, N.R., Croson, R.T.A., Johnson, E.J., & Iacobucci, D. (2004). When do fair beliefs influence bargaining behavior? Experimental bargaining in Japan and the United States.. Journal of Consumer Research 31(1): 181-190.
Calderon, J.P., & Zarama, Roberto. (2006). How Learning Affects the Evolution of Strong Reciprocity. Adaptive Behavior 14(3):211-221.
Camerer, C.F. (2003). Strategizing in the Brain. Science 300(5626): 1673-1675.
Croson, R., Boles, T., & Murnighan, J.K. (2003). Cheap talk in bargaining experiments: Lying and threats in ultimatum games.. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 51(2): 143-159.
Dickenson, D.L. (2000). Ultimatum decision-making: A test of reciprocal kindness. Theory and Decision 48(2): 151-177.
Falk, A. & Fischbacher, U. (2006). A Theory of Reciprocity. Games and Economic Behavior 54(2):293-315.
Fetchenhauer, Detlef & Huang, Xu. Justice sensitivity and distributive decisions in experimental games. Personality and Individual Differences 36(5): 1015-1029.
Gale, J., Binmore, K.G., & Samuelson, L. (1995). Learning to be imperfect: The ultimatum game. Games and Economic Behavior 8(1): 56.90
Gneezy, U., Haruvy, E., & Roth, A.E. (2003). Find More Like ThisBargaining under a deadline: Evidence from the reverse ultimatum game.. Games and Economic Behavior 45(2): 347-368.
Gowdy, J., Iorgulescu, R., & Onyeiwu, S. (2003). Fairness and Retaliation in a Rural Nigerian Village. Social Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 52(4): 469-479.
Guth, W., Huck, S., & Muller, Wieland. (2001). The Relevance of Equal Splits in Ultimatum Games.. Games and Economic Behavior 37(1): 161-169.
Handgraaf, M.J.J., van Dijk, E., Wilke, H.A.M., & Vermunt, R.C. (2003). The salience of a recipient’s alternatives: Inter- and intrapersonal comparison in ultimatum games. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision PRocesses 90(!): 165-177.
Haselhuhn, M.P., & Mellers, B.A. (2005). Emotions and Cooperation in Economic Games. Cognitive Brain Research 23(1): 24-33.
Henrich, J., et al. (2005). ‘Economic man’ in cross-cultural perspective: Behavioral experiments in 15 small-scale societies.. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28(6): 795-855.
Hoffmann, , R. & Tee, J. (2006). Adolescent-adult interactions and culture in the ultimatum game.. Journal of Economic Pscyhology 27(1):98-116.
Humphrey, S.E., Ellis, A.P.J., Conlon, D.E., & Tinsley, C.H. (2004). Understanding Customer Reactions to Brokered Ultimatums: Applying Negotiation and Justice Theory. Journal of Applied Psychology 89(3): 466-482.
Kagel, J.H., Kim, C., & Moser, D. (1996). Fairness in ultimatum games with asymmetric information and asymmetric payoffs. Games and Economic Behavior 13(1): 100-110.
Kay, A.C., Wheeler, S.C., Bargh, J.A., & Ross, L. (2004). Material priming: The influence of mundane physical objects on situational construal and competitive behavioral choice. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 95(1): 83-96.
Ketelaar, T., & Au, W.T. (2003). The effects of feelings of guilt on the behaviour of uncooperative individuals in repeated social bargaining games: An affect-as-information interpretation of the role of emotion in social interaction.. Cognition & Emotion: 17(3): 429-453.
Knez, M.J., & Camerer, C.F. (1995). Outside Options and Social Comparison in Three-Player Ultimatum Game Experiments. Games and Economic Behavior 10(1): 65-94.
Larrick, R.P. & Blount, S. (1997). The claiming effect: Why players are more generous in social dilemmas than in ultimatum games. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 72(4): 810-825.
Lusk, J.L., & Hudson, D. (2004). Effect of Monitor-Subject Cheap Talk on Ultimatum Game Offers. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 54(#): 439-443.
Messick, D.M., Moore, D.A., & Bazerman, M.H. (1997). Ultimatum bargaining with a group: Underestimating the importance of the decision rule. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 69(2): 87-101.
Munier, B., & Zaharia, C. (2002). High stakes and acceptance behavior in ultimatum bargaining: A contribution from an international experiment.. Theory and Decision 53(3): 187-207.
Napel, S. (2003). Aspiration Adaption in the Ultimatum Game. Games and Economic Behavior 43(1): 86-106.
Nowak, M.A., Page, K.M., & Sigmund, K. (2000). Fairness versus reason in the ultimatum game. Science 289(5485): 1772-1775.
Robert, C. & Carnevale, P.J. (1997). Group choice in ultimatum bargaining. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 72(2): 256-279.
Ruffle, B.J. (1998). More Is Better, But Fair Is Fair: Tipping in Dictator and Ultimatum Games. Games and Economic Behavior 23(2): 247-265.
Sally, D., & Hill, E. (2006). The development of interpersonal strategy: Autism, theory-of-mind, cooperation and fairness. Journal of Economic Psychology 27(1):73-97.
Solnick, S.J. & Schweitzer, M.E. (1999). The influence of physical attractiveness and gender on ultimatum game decisions. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 79(3): 199-215.
Suleiman, R. (1996). Expectations and fairness in a modified Ultimatum game. Journal of Economic Psychology 17(5): 1996.
Sulkin, T., & Simon, A.F. (2002). Habermas in the lab: A study of deliberation in an experimental setting.. Political Psychology 22(4): 809-826.
Takezawa, M., Gummerum, Michaela, & Keller, Monika. (2006). A stage for the rational tail of the emotional dog: Roles of moral reasoning in group decision making.. Journal of Economic Psychology 27(1):117-139.
Oppewal, H., & Tougareva, E. (1992). A three-person ultimatum game to investigate effects of differences in need, sharing rules and observability on bargaining behaviour. Experimental Economics 13(2): 203-213.
van Dijk, E. & Vermunt, Riel. (2000). Strategy and fairness in social decision making: Sometimes it pays to be powerless.. Journal of Experimental Psychology 26(1):1-25.
van ‘t Wout, M., Kahn, R.S., Sanfey, A.G., & Aleman, A. (2005). Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation over the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex affects strategic decision-making.. Neuroreport: For Rapid Communication of Neuroscience Research 16(16): 1849-1852.
Weg, E., & Smith, V. (1993). On the failure to induce meager offers in ultimatum games. Journal of Economic Psychology 14(1): 17-32.

Wary Motivation & Implicit Knowledge

Bruning, Roger, & Horn, Christy. (2000). Developing Motivation to Write. Educational Psychologist 35(1):25-37.

Bruning, Roger, & Flowerday, Terri. (1999). Response: Dempster and Corkill’s “Interference and Inhibition in Cognition and Behavior: Unifying Themes for Educational Psychology.” Educational Psychology Review 11(2):89-96.

Glover, John A., Zimmer, John W., & Bruning, Roger H. (1980). Information Processing Approaches Among Creative Students. The Journal of Psychology 105:93-97.

Hibbing, John R., & Alford, John R. (2004). Accepting Authoritative Decisions: Humans as Wary Cooperators. American Journal of Political Science 48(1):62-76.

Kiewra, Kenneth A., et al. (1997). Effects of Advance Organizers and Repeated Presentations on Students’ Learning. Journal of Experimental Education 65(2):

Hibbing, John R., & Theiss-Morse, Elizabeth. (2001). Process Preferences and American Politics: What the People Want Government to Be. The American Political Science Review 95(1):145-153.

Rankin, Joan L., Bruning, Roger H., & Timme, Vicky L. (1994). The Development of Beliefs about Spelling and Their Relationship to Spelling Performance. Applied Cognitive Psychology 8:213-232.

Todorov, A., Mandisodz, A. N., Goren, A., & Hall, C.C. (2005). Inferences of Competence from Faces Predict Elections Outcomes. Science 308:1623-1626.

Can you find the central theme?

In the field of educational psychology, the questions addressed in most detail by researchers and text authors are these: How are connections made? What conditions lead to effective encoding and retrieval strategies? and How can learners actively participate in their own cognitive processes? The questions not being asked include, What information is not being activated? Why is it bypassed? Is incorrect or inappropriate information being activated? and Could it be due to a deficit in inhibitory function?
(Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 93)

Hayes and Daiker (1984) found that the single most important principle of response in a writing environment was positive reinforcement. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 33)

If, as Wittrock suggests, learning is a generative, active process, then the present findings indicate that a major cognitive difference between creative and noncreative students lies in the greater ability of the former to access other sources of information to broaden the semantic base of their productions. (Glover, Zimmer, and Bruning, 1980, 96)

To our knowledge, this is the first empirical evidence that, controlling for perceptions of greed, the belief that decision makers are ambitious has an independence and relatively strong inverse effect on decision acceptance. Apparently, being treated badly by someone who did not necessarily want to be in a position to treat us badly is much more tolerable than being treated badly by someone who machinated to be in a position to treat us badly.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 71)

Indeed, survey instruments rarely include questions about what government processes respondents would like to see. For example, every two years NES asks: “How much attention do you feel the government pays to what people like you think?” It does not ask: “How much attention should government pay to what people like you think?”
(Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001, 147)

The present experiment replicated previous research findings that repeated presentations of a lecture increase both note taking and learning. It extended previous research, however, by showing that repeated presentations facilitate the learning of facts about topics, but not relations across topics. Apparently, students did not spontaneously integrate ideas across topics, even when given repeated opportunities to do so.
(Kiewra, et al., 1997)

Students who held the highest levels of efficacy for themselves as spellers, and who expected that good spelling had important consequences for themselves as writers, were, in fact, the best spellrs. The highest levels of performance, however, were reserved for those who attributed good spelling more to effort htan to ‘being smart’” (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 228)

We conducted an experiment in which 40 participants (19) were exposed to the faces of the candidates for 1 s (per pair of faces) and were then asked to make a competence judgment. The average response time for the judgment was about 1 s (mean = 1051.60 ms, SD = 135.59). These rapid judgments based on minimal time exposure to faces predicted 67.6% of the actual Senate races (P < 0.004) (20). The correlation between competence judgments and differences in votes was 0.46 (P < 0.001). (Todorov, et al., 2005, 1624)

The rest of the notes are, as always, below the fold


The general answer is that interference and inhibition were abandoned as psychology rushed into the 1960s and 1970s to embrace more contextualized, constructivist views of learning. In a highly influence American Psychologist article, for example, J.J. Jenkins (1974), a prominent memory theorist, described how he had come to doubt associationistic explanations of memory and moved to contextualist ones. More than associations were involved, he argued: the quality of events greatly affects what is observed in any experiment. Using this reasoning, he and others created a host of compelling experimental and naturalistic demonstrations of how contextual variables can affect learning and memory.
(Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 90)

Many of the most cherised cognitive goals — reading, writing, learning strategies, problem solving decision making — require expertise built on repertoires of automatized responses. Acquiring this expertise involves basic learning processes of association, repetition, and extended practice to which the concepts of interference and inhibition are especially applicable. (Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 91)

What the neurosciences are beginning to make possible are increasingly revealing glimpses of what is happening in the black box. Researchers can now “view” internal neurological processes (at least their physiological correlates) as they occur in specific brain regions as learners grapple with simple and complex learning problems.”
(Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 91-92)

By demonstrating the concetps’ relevance in a variety of research areas, Dempster and Corkill show that the concepts can be extended well beyond the narrow “verbal learning” and “rote memory?” niches into which many educational psychologists had tucked them.” (Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 93)

At a more specific level, however, we are less sanguine about the utility of interference and inhibition as explanatory concetps. Taking two examples provided by Dempster and Corkill, for instance, we think that performance difficulties that occur (1) when math problem types change e.g., 3 + 6 = ? becomes 3 + ? = 9) or (2) when learners are overloaded with too much information are more satisfactorily explained by concepts other than failure of inhibition or interference.
(Bruning & Flowerday, 1999, 94)

Motivational considerations are an integral pan of their vision as writers make trade-offs between costs and benefits of various goals and ways to use resources (Flower et al., 1994; Hayes, 1996). In any writing task–from a child’s brief book report to the reading-to-write assignment of college composition–writers must negotiate between what is expected and what can be done. Students need to be motivated to enter, persist, and succeed in this ill-defined problem space we call writing.
(Bruning & Horn, 2000, 26)

Snow (1983) argued that learning to read is facilitated by oral language experiences where parents scaffold understanding by speaking in literate ways. Writing needs the same kind of structure (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 27)

Gender also appears to play a role in the development of writing efficacy. Pajares and Valiente (1997) found, for example, that fifth-grade boys and girls did not differ in their writing performance but that girls perceived writing as more useful than boys, had greater self-efficacy, and worried less about it. In a sample of ninth graders, however, girls reported lower self-efficacy than boys, even though their actual writing performance did not differ. These findings may reflect a general downward trend for girls in perceptions of their academic competence (Phillips & Zimmerman, 1990). It may also be, as Cleary (1996) argued, that secondary schools and colleges emphasize a male-biased form of discourse requiring females to adapt to structures that may be less intuitive, interesting, or intrinsically motivating.
(Bruning & Horn, 2000, 29)

Cycles of goal setting coupled with feedback regarding progress toward the goals often are necessary to activate a full capability for self-monitoring and self-regulation (Cervone, 1993). (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 30)

Even when selected for sound pedagogical reasons, writing activities often are not set within larger social or communication frames that can create interest and a sense of writing’s relevance. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 30)

Hiebert (1994) described authentic literacy tasks as activities that involve children in the immediate use of literacy for enjoyment and communication, distinguishing them from activities where literacy skills are acquired for some unspecified future use. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 30)

Having genuine reasons for writing almost certainly has motivational consequences. Authentic tasks would seem to afford students the opportunity to express and refine their voice (e.g., Elbow, 1994; Schiwy, 1996). Words set down on a page to a real audience for a real purpose are their own, not borrowed (Elbow, 1994). Authentic tasks are likely to help students develop one or more distinctive styles of writing and to determine if these styles are “theirs.” (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 30)

The research on the impact of interest on writing has revealed a complex relation between knowledge, interest, and writing performance (Benton, Corkill, Sharp, Downey, & Khramtsova, 1995; Hidi & Anderson, 1992). Benton et al. (1995), for example, found that students with high topic knowledge and high interest wrote essays that included content-relevant information that was logical and well-organized, whereas writers with relatively less interest and knowledge generated more ideas unrelated to the topic. Although there was a strong relation between knowledge and interest, they were found to be separate constructs. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 30)

Gaining and maintaining control of a writing task almost certainly are critical motivationally. No matter what the writer’s developmental stage or ability level, each act of writing poses a formidable challenge, having much in common with other ill-defined problems (Flower et al., 1990). In creating the problem space and in its later refinements, writers must balance the potential costs of various courses of action with their hypothesized benefits (Hayes, 1996). Do I need more information? Do I need to change the focus of what I’m writing? Do I have time to revise? Should I read over the paper one more time? Parameters defining this fluctuating problem space include the writer’s purposes for writing, the norms of the discourse community (as embodied by the teacher or other audiences), and the writer’s own knowledge and writing skill.
(Bruning & Horn, 2000, 31)

Students find cognitively complex learning activities inherently more interesting and demanding of mental effort (Meece & Miller, 1992); such tasks lead to higher levels of motivation because they create interest, allow for self-improvement, and afford opportunities to control one’s own learning (Turner, 1995). They prefer complex literacy assignments for much the same reasons (Miller et al., 1993). Writers need to believe, however, that if the task is complex it can be accomplished with reasonable effort. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 31)

If anxiety rises to a high level, the result may be emotional and cognitive thrashing that disrupts writing entirely. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 31-32)

Case study research has indicated that students respond favorably to specific and explicit ways to improve their writing (Straub, 1996, 1997); students are quite clear about their need for specific coaching about their writing. In a number of studies examining student response to teacher comments, students responded very well to comments that dealt with organization, development, and matters of form, but resisted comments that dealt with the value of their ideas or issues they did not consider germane to the writing task (Cleary, 1996; Larson, 1995; Straub, 1997). (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 32)

Students appear to be very aware of control issues in writing and recognize when the person giving feedback begins to exert too much control (Straub, 1996). (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 32)

Although we strongly believe that developing motivation to write is best conceived of as a process of building intrinsic motivation, rewards may play a productive role. Rewards can help build achievement-directed motivation when they are made contingent on student effort (Brophy, 1987; Stipek & Kowalski, 1989) and on progress in relation to short-term goals (Schunk, 1989). (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 32)

Reducing the aversiveness through reward may increase young writers’ general readiness to expend effort in goal-directed writing tasks (Eisenberger & Cameron, 1996) (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 32)

With this exposure can come feelings of loss of control and its attendant anxieties (Bandura, 1997), which can be amplified when conditions for successful performance and feedback are unclear. (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 33)

In classrooms where teachers create a climate of trust, caring, and mutual concern, students are motivated to engage (Connell & Wellborn, 1991; Wentzel, 1997). (Bruning & Horn, 2000, 34)

The Unusual Uses subtests were scored for fluency, flexibility, elaboration, and orginality by two independent raters. Reliability indices for these measures were .95 (fluency), .93 (flexibility), .94 (elaboration), and .87 (originaility). Scores on the four variables were summed for each S to provide an overall “creativity” rating, with the total score median used to determine creative and noncreative categories for analysis.
(Glover, Zimmer, and Bruning, 1980, 94)

The lack of consistent differences between creative and noncreative participants on the reading test or the essay posttest is congruent with research assessing relationships of creativity with other intellectual abilities. However, when summary and “flight of fancy” passages were analyzed, some important differences emerged between the two groupings.
The findings of significantly higher numbers of logical intrusions in both passages generated by creative Ss suggest that they may have related new information contained in the essay to existing “schemata” or previously existing knowledge structures, to a greater extent than noncreative Ss. The passages produced might, thus, be considerations of “new” and “old” information. Passages generated by the noncreative students tended, in teh main, to be less coherent and more straightforward compilations of “facts”: e.g., serial listings of essay relevent and irrelevent information.
(Glover, Zimmer, and Bruning, 1980, 95-96)

A central requirement — perhaps the central requirement — of civilo society is a willingness of its members to accept binding decisions and to view the makers of those decisions as legitimate.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 62)

Since it is unrealistic to expect that legitimacy could be bought by magically increasing the resources avialable to distrituve to all residents, like a growing number of social scientists, we pay social attention to the possibility that different decision-making processes will have an impact. (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 62)

As Popkin puts itthe prevailing wisdom is that people make judgements on the basis of “results and are generally ignorant of or indifferent about the methods by which the results are achieved.”
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 63)

In psychology, Tyler has led the way in demonstrating that people do “not react to the degree to which they received a personally beneficial decision. Instead, they react to how failry the decision was made by the authority…”
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 63)

“Some of these researchers, for example, have stressed people’s preference for relative as opposed to absolute gains. It turns out, people express high levels of satisfaction when they receive $3 from another player who keeps $3, but low levels of satisfaction when they receive $3 from another player who keeps $13. By holding constant the payoff offered to the receiver and then varying the size of the pot (and therefore the amount the other player proposes to keep), the crucial role of relativity becomes apparent (Frank 1999; Kahn and Murnighan, 1993) (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 63)

Scholars from a variety of fields, including political science, have demonstrated the extent to which social context influences people’s reactions to decisions. People are affected by whether they have interacted (even briefly) with the decision maker prior to the decision, by whether they are likely to interact with the decicion maker again, by whether they perceive the decision maker to be a member of their “in-group,” and by whether the deciion maker is perceived to be a decent human being or to have “earned in a fair contest the right to be the decision maker… TYpically, for example, people are more willing to take a loss for themselves in order to punish someone who has behaved badly or to cooperate with someone who has behaved nobly (see, for example, Boyd and Richerson 1992; Henrich and Boyd 2001; Thaler 1992). (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 63)

One common explnation for nonmaximizing behavior is that humans retain in their psyches a strong and innate desire for fair distributions (see Kravitz and Gunto 1992; Rawls 1971). Two problems with this explanation immediately suggest themselves: one empirical and one theoretical. In experiments, people do gravitate toward fair allocations, even if doing so is costly, but their tendency to be fair vanishes if steps are taken to protect their identity from the experimenter and, especially, from affected players (See Hoffman et al. 2000; see also Larimer 2002). people are less concerned with fairness than with the appearance of fairness. But even if this desire for fairness were more robust, we would still be left with the question of why humans woudl carry with tthem such a nonrational concern. A satisfactory theory ofr people’s behavior must go beyond the simple assertion that “this is the way people are.” (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 64)

In brief, this theory flows from Darwinian biology and holds that, far from being an add-on, our sociality — that is, our frequent concern fro the welfare of our group and for our own place in the group, our eagerness to conform and to guage our own success by that of those around us, our desire and ability to “read” and to emphasize with other people, and out tendency to view members of outgroups with disfavor — is deeply ingrained in the human condition and has been for millions of years. (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 64)

At a remarkably early age, babies display empathy (Pinker 2002). (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 64)

The idea that behavior has even a modest biological basis is still upsetting to many people, including scholars. Btt upsetting or not, the evidence seems firm and is growing. Beavers know how to build a dam even when they have not seen other beavers do so; monkeys raised isolated in a lab fear a snake after viewing a videotape of another monkey’s fear of a snake buty can never be taught to be scared of other creatres and objects no matter how many videos they see of monkeys being scared of those things (Dawkins 1982; Mineka and Cook 1993). (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 64)

In humans, people suffering from autism (a condition known to be at least partially genetic) help us to see the kinds of social skills that the vast majority of the population takes for granted. Most autistic individuals are said to lack a “theory of mind” meaning they are unable to view social situations from the perspective of another person … ; thus, they are often unable to form normal social relationships. Autistic individuals have difficulty understanding how to make other people happy since this requires empathic abilities they lack. The point is that the “sociality as a learned behavior” theory seems to suggest that all humans are first autistic but then most learn to be otherwise, a vision of human development that is not accepted by experts in the area. (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 64)

We call individuals who follow these rulers wary cooperators since their first impulsive is to cooperate but they are ever wary of the behavior of others. (Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 65)

People thus spend much of their existence trying to avoid being perceived as a leech by those who are other-regarding and being played for a sucker by those who are self-serving.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 65)

Specifically, the theory suggests that people are using decisions and decision processes to draw inferences about decision makers. Are decision makers concerned for others? Are they trying to feather their own nests? Are they driven by personal ambition? Recent public opinion research indicates that the substance of most individual political decisions is of only passing concern to most people but the traits of other people, and especially the traits of powerful other people, is of great concern (see Hibbing and Theiss-Morse 2003) As a result, other things being equal people should be more accepting of authoritative decisions when they are made by decision makers believed to be unconcerned with either acquiring power or with benefiting themselves at the expense of others. In other words, we predict that deiciosn will be more acceptable if they indicate that the decision maker is the kind of person who would help to make a viable social group.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 65-66)

The framework we employ for testing the theory utilizes the so-called ultimatum game. The theoyr was first introduced by Guth, Schmittberge, and Schwarze over 20 years ago (1982).”
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 66)

With regard to the allocator, rather than keeping all but a modest portion of the money, the modal decision is to split the pot equally between the allocator and the receiver and the median proposal is fo rthe allocator to give up about 40% to the receiver… To be specific, offers of 30% or less are rejected better than 50% of the time (Nowak, Page, and Sigmund 2000, 1773). As one scholar colorfully described it, the attitude of receivers toward allocators is often “take your offer of epsilon and shove it” (Thaler 1992, 35)
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 66)

In short, while psychological and economic experimental research has pointed us in a useful new direction, designs such as the ultimatum game need to be modified if they are to help us understand the political arena generally and people’s acceptance of authoritative and unfavorable decisions specifically.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 66)

Once the instrument was completed, for purposes of realism, subjects wer asked to wait a monent for their “partner” to complete the survey; then the ultimatum game began.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 67)

One of the pretest questions was “how far did you travel to get to the experimental site today?” In this last option, subjects were told teh computer would calculate the differential in travel of the “two” subjects and prorate the payoff accordingly, with those traveling farthe rin relative terms receiver the greater share.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 67)

What makes our results unique is that they permit us to compare this acceptance rate with that generated by allocations made via other processes. When teh allocation was ostiensibly determined by calculations of the respective distances traveled by the two players, teh acceptance rate of the same $2 (of $20) allocation jumped to 71%, and when the allocation was determined by chance, the acceptance rate of, again, a $2 (of $20) allocation was even higher — 80%.”
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 68)

“When we control for outcome by freezing in a payoff that is small both in absolute and relative terms, substantial and significant variation is apparent in acceptance of that payoff depending entirely on the manner in which it was derived. Too often, analyssts assume people conflate a fair outcome with a fair process. Our findings help to pull apart these two very different concepts. Few could argue that an allocation of $18 for one person and $2 for another is a fair outcome, but if tha toutcome is believd to have resulted from a fair (random) process four out of five accept it.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 69)

Out expectation is that subjects who believe the allocator decided to make the decision himself will perceive the decision maker as much less fair than subjects who believe the allocator left the decision up to chance or desert…. As can be seen in Figure 2, the results are perfectly supportive of this expectation.”
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 69)

But the extension of this finding to the political arena may be problmatic. Earnign a position does not equal coveting a position and previous expeirmental work has never analyzed the differnce.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 70)

Here, the choice of how to make the allocation is Forced on Player 1…. As expected, receivers were much more willing to accept decisions made by decision makers who did not overtly crave power.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 70)

Our hypothesis is that when people believe they have bene played for a sucker, little time and thinking are needed in formulating a response because the brain is hardwired to react neagatively to being played for a sucker but can afford to react to other scneariors at a more measured pace… As can be seen from Figure 4, results comform nicely to our expectations. Subjects who had been playerd for a sucker by an allocated who used his/her own discretion to keep $18 of th e$20 responded to the fairness/unfairness item relatively equickly, after just 6.6 seconds. But subjects who were not the victim of a self-serving allocator (but were simply unlucky or undeserving) took well over 10 seconds to respond to the fairness/infairness item, a different that was significant at teh .01 level.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 72)

The concsensus, hwoever, certainly among economists, is that the evidence indicates a perference is a preference (whether it is monetary or not) and that the more telling issue is the size of the stakes (See Smith 2000, 16-17), which leads us to the second complaint. Results generated when $20 is at play, as was the case in our experiments, are not likely ot be similar to thsoe obtained when $200 or $2,000 is at play. We agree with this point ecompletely, and it has been amply demonstrated in previous research (see Brockner and Weisenfeld 1996; Cameron 1999).
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 73)

And just what do our findigns have to say about these effects? That if people are convinced the political process makes it impossible for decision makers to benefit themselves at the expense of non-decision makers, they will be surprisingly accepting of governmental decisions, even those that are unfavorable to them from a substantive point of view. This is especially true if the people believe that decision makers did not want to be decision makers in the first place.
(Hibbing & Alford, 2004, 74)

At the aggregate level, confidence in government dropped most dramatically in the late 1960s, when the economy was doing quite well, and shortly after Lane (1965, 877) declared that the new “age of affluence” woudl lead to “a reapproachment between men and their government and a decline of political alienation.” More recently, Seelye (1999, A15) notes with surprise that “most Americans still deeply distrust the Federal Government despite the end of the cold war, the robust economy, and the highest level of satisfaction in their own lives in 30 years.” There is even less support at the individual level. Cross-sectional analyses find no or only a modest relationship between poloicy satisfaction and institutional approval (Caldeira, 1986; Mueller 1973; Patterson and Caldeira 1990).
(Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001, 146)

The belief that the government is out of touch with ordinary Americans is extremely common, but Figure 1 gives no indication that, on the whole, the people see government policies as out of line with their own preferences.
(Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001, 147)

Kimball and Patterson (1997) find that disappointment with government is concentrated among those who expect elected officials to be honest, caring and altruistic but perceive them to be otherwise.
(Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001, 147)

Again, process perceptions may explain the anomaly. Whereas people seem to believe the parties espouse different policies, they may view them as nearly identical in terms of processes. (Hibbing & Theiss-Morse, 2001, 149)

The benefit of repeated presentations of a lecture has been found by researchers using either audiotaped or videotaped instruction (Bromage & Mayer, 1986; Kiewra, Mayer, Christensen, Kim, & Risch, 1991; Mayer, 1983). In each study, recall was greater when students listened to or viewed a lecture presentation multiple times. (Kiewra, et al., 1997)

Advance organizers appear to have much the same effect as repeated presentations. Students who read an organizer in advance of a single presentation recall as many ideas as those receiving multiple presentations but no organizer (Mayer, 1983). (Kiewra, et al., 1997)

The matrix, however, was more computationally efficient (Larkin & Simon, 1987) than the outline was. One organizer is considered more computationally efficient than another if information is drawn more easily and quickly from it. (Kiewra, et al., 1997)

Authors of previous research have found an advantage for matrix organizers over linear organizers as a technique for increasing retention test performance (Benton, Kiewra, Whitfall & Dennison, 1993: Kiewra, DuBois, Christian, 8,: McShane, 1988; Kiewra, DuBois, et al., 1991: Robinson & Kiewra, 1995), with a few exceptions (e.g., Kiewra, Benton, Risch, Kim, & Christensen, 1995).
(Kiewra, et al., 1997)

In the present study, we compared matrix and linear organizers to each other and to a conventional organizer. We examined the three organizers in conjunction with repeated presentations of a lecture. We developed three dependent measures, each to tap a learning outcome that was considered appropriate to particular experimental treatments. We used a fact test that asked participants to respond true or false to 20 discrete facts about the lecture, a relational test that asked participants to compare old and new methods of radar across steps of the radar process, and a recall test that asked participants to recall all that they could about each radar step.
(Kiewra, et al., 1997)

The conventional organizer was more effective in enhancing overall recall, and particularly the recall of general topic information, as evidenced by analyses of the recall test scores. These results can be explained by the theory of transfer-appropriate processing (Morris, Bransford, & Franks, 1977). Performance was facilitated when information was processed in a manner consistent with the criterion task. The linear and matrix organizers, which emphasized relationships within and across topics, enhanced relational learning; in contrast, the conventional organizer, which provided general topic information, enhanced recall of associated topic information.
(Kiewra, et al., 1997)

Self-eficacy was the strongest predictor of spelling performance at all grade levels; attribution for ability entered into the regression for grade 4 students, while outcome expectations for school and writing were most important in grades 7 and 10. (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 213)

Individuals’ ratings of self-efficacy have been shown to relate strongly to general academic achievement (Schunk, 1984), reading (Bruning, Shell, and Colvin, 1987; Nicholls, 1979; Paris and Oka, 1986; Shell, Murphy and Bruning, 1989), writing (McCarthy, Meier, and Rinderer, 1985; Rankin, Bruning, Timme, and Katkanant, 1993; Shell et al, 1989), and spelling (Rankin et al, 1993). (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 214)

Causal attributions, like other belief variables, have also been shown to exert a powerful influence on expectations for future performance (Weiner, 1977, 1979, 1986); attributions for ability and effort have been shown to be among the most influential of these. Ability is considered to be a failry stable factor, while effort is presumably more changeable due to the belief that it is under an individual’s voluntary control (Schunk, 1984). Causal attributions reflecting an internal locus of control have been found to relate to perceptions of reading ability (NIcholls, 1979) and reading achievement (Paris and Oka, 1986).
(Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 214)

Directions were read orally to all groups; individual items were read orally to the grade 4 students only. (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 217)

Attributions of effort or ability did not relate to actual spelling performance for these students. However, effort was related to spelling self-efficacy for grade 7 and 10 students, indicating that students who judge effort (Trying hard to spell correctly) to be important to good spelling tend to be those who have greater confidence in their ability as spellers. (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 223)

At grades 7 and 10, however, outcome expectancies, entered significantly into the prediction fo spelling performance. At both grades, outcome expectancy for school was a negative predictor of spelling performance (partial rs of -.188 and -.316 for grades 7 and 10, respectively), while outcome expectancy for writing was a positive predictor (partial rs of .174 and .150, respectively) (Rankin, Bruning, & Timme, 1994, 225)

Specifically, we show that inferences of competence, based solely on the facial appearance of political candidates and with no prior knowledge about the person, predict the outcomes of elections for the U.S. Congress.
(Todorov, et al., 2005, 1623)

Yet, from a psychological perspective, rapid automatic inferences from the facial appearance of political candidates can influence processing of subsequent information about these candidates. (Todorov, et al., 2005, 1623)

As shown in Table 1, the candidate who was perceived as more competent won in 71.6% of the Senate races and in 66.8% of the House races (13). Although the data for the 2004 elections were collected before the actual elections (14), there were no differences between the accuracy of the prospective predictions for these elections and the accuracy of the retrospective predictions for the 2000 and 2002 elections (15). (Todorov, et al., 2005, 1624)

Our findings have challenging implications for the rationality of voting preferences, adding to other findings that consequential decisions can be more “shallow” than we would like to believe (31, 32). Of course, if trait inferences from facial appearance are correlated with the underlying traits, the effects of facial appearance on voting decisions can be normatively justified. (Todorov, et al., 2005, 1625)

Keep Politics Away from the People

First: My seminar in genetic factors in political behavior, and the Hendricks conference, have been very valuable to me. I have already been able to use concepts and articles in this class in major papers for two others this semester. Eating with the guests, as well as listening to the final roundtable, were eye-opening experiences for me. The way this research crosses old lines is exciting. It feels wonderful to be able to take articles from Science, or Molecular Psychiatry, and combine with them political laboratory experiments to suggest new classroom teaching methods, for example. So much thought and effort has gone into these academic silos. It just feels good to apply them to each other.

Substantively: For instance, in an earlier reaction paper I criticized “identity” and “rationality.” Without going into to much detail, “identity” is how you would describe yourself to yourself in words while “rationality” is having good, explicit reasons for something. I was extremely skeptical of these claims when I learned them last semester, but I was limited in my “good reasons” against them. The best I could do was describe both as the outcome of a power-bargaining game, because what people say and write are goods than can be traded for other goods. I believe that is a solid criticism, and the readers and presentations for this week back me up.


Alvarez et al. look at how subconscious mental processes affect our view of someone’s trustworthiness. This and similar research questions the wisdom of relying on anything that takes cognition, because if we have learned such social interaction so well that it is now automatic (or have been evolved to survive society so well that it is now evoked) then why waist time on a slower and more error-prone conscious-linguistic-rational method?

This is especially true when we consider how easily manipulated we are. Tooby presents a model to show how outrage is an evolutionary adapted mechanism to signal a need for increased group cooperation. Likewise, Wolak & Marcus show us how anger and personality affect political behavior. Meanwhile, Mutz shows us how television camera position varies how much legitimacy we give those who agree with us.

Still, this raises an interesting problem. People are not built to be rational, because the mind has internal mechanisms which are faster and often better than rationality. Yet even these mechanisms can be manipulated by cunning others. And I think the word “cunning” is important here — merely knowing how to manipulate others (and perhaps oneself) into supporting different positions does not mean that the cunning person is rational — only that they have skill in manipulation. What should people in a democracy do when rational decisions and unconscious decisions are both such flawed mechanisms?

To me the answer is obvious, and comes from cognitive psychology. People get better at something the more they do it. A “ten year rule” seems to cover creativity, talent, and expertise in nearly every talent domain. The more you do something, the more you purposefully practice something, the better you get. At the same time, people have an inborn capacity for “learned helplessness,” where people save time for purposeful practice in a domain that matters to them by eschewing domains where they have less skill (and thus, have practiced less). Thus: politics should be left to the experts.

This approach is fully compatible with democracy. Research by the professors in this class have indicated genetic predispositions to democratic norms, including a preference for deliberative justice and an aversion to corruption and “big-man” behavior. In democracies the people will feel when this behavior becomes uncomfortable to them and will be able to throw the crooks out. Absent such social freeriding by politicians, however, it may make more sense for the government to by run by people who actually know what they are doing. For every decision that actually affects people’s well-being in a way they can predict (which, as we have seen, normally involves corruption or big-man behvaior) there are innumerable ones that require a modicum of experience and knowledge, unobtainable from slogans and rallies.

On most issues mass politics is probably the worst of all possible systems, because it combines our inability to think rationally with our genetic predilections for manipulable thought. The government should not be corrupt, should not be ostentatious, and should not have an agenda obnoxious to the people. Beyond that, leave politics to the politicians. Leave it to the experts. And whatever you do, keep it away from the people.

Notes too late for "Learning Evolved"

One valuable part about having a blog, besides the invaluable community of critics & fans, is that it helps me write. For some reason posting notes (even notes that are universally ignored and rather vertical-domain-specific) in a semi-public place gives me more motivation to make sure that I am reading the articles and papers carefully. Likewise, using live search from any computer, I am able to quickly search through notes in any class. I wrote Learning Evolved this way, essentially compiling it together from notes I had already taken from this site.

This post’s notes are over a whole-bunch of way amazing articles, including one that I pointed Curtis to in reference to polyblogic 5GW discussion. Several of the articles are from UNL’s recent Hendricks Forum on genetics in the social sciences.

Perhaps the most interesting is from a Ph.D, a future J.D, and a Marine, Empathy and Collective Action in the Prisoner’s Dilemma:

John A. Sautter graduated cum laude from New York University, received his M.A. in History from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln. He currently attends Vermont Law School in South Royalton, VT and is a Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. (Sautter 2)

The Lt. Dr. should submit his work, which has obvious military implications, to the Small Wars Journal. Unless, of course, he is going after a bigger publisher.

Anyway, this post is over the following articles:

Benton, Stephen L., & Kiewra, Kenneth A. (1986). Measuring the Organizational Aspects of Writing Ability. Journal of Educational Measurement 23(4): 377-386.

Biggs, John (1999). Enriching Large-Class Teaching in Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Philadelphia, PA; Open University Press.

Craemer, Thomas. (2006). Evolutionary Model of Racial Attitude Formation Socially Shared and Idiosyncratic Racial Attitudes. Paper presented at the Hendricks Conference on Biology, Evolution, and Political Behavior.

Huddy, Leonie, Feldman, Stanley, & Weber, Christopher. (2006). The Political Consequences of Perceived Threat and Felt Insecurity. Paper presented at the Hendricks Conference on Biology, Evolution, and Political Behavior.

Igo, L. Brent, Kiewra, Kenneth A., Bruning, Roger. (2004). Removing the Snare from the Pair: Using Pictures to Learn Confusing Words. Journal of Experimental Education 72(3):165-178.

Johnson, Paul. E. (2006). Ecological Analysis of a System of Organized Interests. Paper presented at the Hendricks Conference on Biology, Evolution, and Political Behavior.

McCrudden, Matthew, Schraw, Gregory, Kendall, Hartley, & Kiewra, Kenneth A. (2004). The Influence of Presentation, Organization, and Example Context on Text Learning. Journal of Experimental Education 72(4):289-306.

Mutz, Diana C. (2006). Effects of “In-Your-Face” Television Discourse on Perceptions of a Legitimate Opposition. Paper presented at the Hendricks Conference on Biology, Evolution, and Political Behavior.

Sautter, John A. (2006). Empathy and Collective Action in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. Paper presented at the Hendricks Conference on Biology, Evolution, and Political Behavior.

Schraw, Gregory, & Bruning, Roger. (1996). Readers’ Implicit Models of Reading. Reading Research Quality 31(3):290-305.

Enjoy!


The challenge faced by measurement specialists is that of devising valid and reliable standardized measures of writing skills. An information-processing approach to the assessment of writing ability suggests a way of meeting this challenge. (Benton & Kiewra, 1986, 378)

Good writers outperformed poor writers on these tests in both high school and college samples, when reading comprehension, reading speed, general knowledge, verbal ability, and achievement were controlled (Benton et al.). Such findings support models of writing that acknowledge the role of complex organizational skills in writing (Collins & Gentner, 1980; Hayes & Flower, 1980), and speak to the relevance of the information-processing approach to writing assessment. (Benton & Kiewra, 1986, 378)

Lectures are as effective as other methods for teaching information, but not more effective. Forty studies suggested that unsupervised reading is better than lecturing… Lectures are quite ineffective for stimulating higher order thinking…Lectures cannot be relied on to inspire, or to change students’ attitudes favorably… Students like really good lectures, but as a rule prefer well conducted group work (Biggs 1999 98)

Sustained and unchanging low-level activity lowers concentration. Sitting listening to a lecture is such an activity. Yet it requires concentrated effort to follow lecture content. (Biggs 1999 99)

The attention span of students under these [lecture] conditions can be sustained for about 10 to 15 minutes, after which learning drops off rapidly… A short rest period, or simply a change in activity, after about 15 minutes leads to a restoration of performance almost to the original level… A brief period of consolidation after prolonged learning greatly enhances retention. Getting students to review at the end of the lecture what has been learned leads to much better and more lasting retention than simply finishing and dismissing the students.” (Biggs 1999 100)

But the basic point remains: do not talk longer than 15 or 20 minutes without a pause, unless you are certain you still have their attention. When you do pause, get the students to change their activity. (Biggs 1999 100-101)

Think of the large-class situation as a plenary session rather than as a ‘lecture.’ This carries the strong suggestion that there are other ways of using the time than listening to the chair endlessly talking. (Biggs 1999 102)

Large classes need much more meticulous preparation than small classes. The larger the class, the slower things get done. A spur of the moment change of direction, perhaps in response to a student question, highly desirable and manageable within a group of 30, becomes perilous with 200. (Biggs 1999 103)

You should make the purposes of each session clearly explicit well in advance. (Biggs 1999 103)

Notes, handouts, overhead transparencies etc need to be organized before class, ready to be used. (Biggs 1999 103)

David and McLeod suggest playing lively music to accompany discussion; when it stops, it’s back to the lecturer. (Biggs 1999 104)

The structure of the lecture is ideally a reflection of the structure of the topics or content being taught. Brown and Atkins (1988) refer to several lecture structures:
Classical, where the lecture addresses several broad areas…
Problem-centered: a problem is presented and alternative solutions are suggested…
Comparative: two or more theories, views, perspectives, etc. are offered and compared. Students need to know the different theories or positions first.
Thesis: a position is taken and then supported with evidence, argument, hypothesis.
Whatever the structure, explain it specifically on an overhead or handout. (Biggs 1999 105)

Stand in front of the lectern, not behind it, which also means don’t read from your notes. Walk about, up and down the aisles if feasible. Get students to leave a few rows empty, so you can move along them. Such plyos give the impression of accessibility, not distance. Stand still, however, when delivering important points. (Biggs 1999 106)

Partners could be matched by the teacher: alphabetically, or on the basis of the way students complement each other… Alternatively, studnets could choose their own partners, and that probably is the best way. (Biggs 1999 110)

There is no best method of teaching, ‘but the second best is students teaching other students’ (McKeachie et al 1986:63).(Biggs 1999 110)

The most prolific resource in large classes is the students themselves, and using them appropriately engages a different set of verbs that address a range of objectives scarcely touched by teacher-directed TLAs (Biggs 1999 117)

This paper proposes a simple neural model of racial attitude formation that makes an important distinction between socially shared and idiosyncratic racial attitudes. Socially shared attitudes reflect evaluations that are culturally transmitted and may not necessarily represent an individual’s personal views. In contrast, idiosyncratic attitudes represent a sense of interpersonal ‘chemistry’ that may be at odds with dominant social norms. (Craemer, 2006, 2)

The main difference is that implicit attitudes tend to reflect attitudes that have been rehearsed for a longer period of time and have become automatic. Such automatic responses require no conscious thought while newer attitudes require conscious effort. According (Craemer, 2006, 3)

The model further assumes that both types of sensory perception, internal as well as external, are subjected to a process of Hebbian learning (Donald O. Hebb 1949), whereby repeated rehearsal leads to automaticity. This process is equivalent to the rehearsal process described in Wilson’s et al. (2000) dual attitude model and its neural basis will be described in greater detail in section 2.2. Finally, on the inter-personal level, the model of racial norms evolution is inspired by Motoo Kimura’s (1983) theory of neutral evolution. (Craemer, 2006, 4-5)

Idiosyncratic perceptions of internal body states can be expressed in a communicable format with probability p(idiosyncratic). This probability depends on the level of difficulty translating internal body sensations into a communicable format2. It may be easier, for example, to express the internal body state of ‘feeling hungry’ than the complex sensation of feeling a ‘sense of chemistry’ with a complete stranger. (Craemer, 2006, 5-6)

The principle of Hebbian learning suggests that both types of racial attitudes discussed in section 2.1 – idiosyncratic as well as socially shared – should become automatic after frequent activation (rehearsal). Thus, both types of racial attitudes should be detectable on the unconscious (implicit) level outside of an individual’s conscious control. This leads to a two-by-two classification scheme of racial attitudes distinguishing (1) implicit idiosyncratic attitudes, (2) implicit socially shared attitudes, (3) explicit idiosyncratic attitudes, and (4) explicit socially shared attitudes. (Craemer, 2006, 7-8)

Nonetheless, a process invariably occurs by which one out of any number of equal alternatives eventually emerges as a socially dominant majority attitude. This process, referred to in biological theory as ‘random drift,’ has been mathematically analyzed by Motoo Kimura (1983) in his theory of neutral evolution. (Craemer, 2006, 8-9)

Since this evolutionary model is new to the social sciences, a brief description of its biological origin is in place. It was developed by Kimura (1983) to explain evolutionary phenomena that cannot be explained by the Darwinian principle of natural selection. It became necessary when molecular genetics in the late 1960s, to their own surprise, encountered unequal distributions of selectively neutral synonymous alleles. Synonymous alleles are different DNA-sequences, that code for the same protein. Since an organism’s selective advantage relies on the proteins it is composed of, these synonymous DNA-sequences are indistinguishable from one another by natural selection. This puzzle was solved by the strange dynamic of the Neutral Theory of Evolution that demonstrates how a purely random process will inevitably lead to distinct patterns in which one neutral alternative will dominate and eventually replace other equal alternatives. (Craemer, 2006, 9)

Interestingly, the use of random evolution models in political science precedes Kimura’s neutral theory. In 1968 William N. McPhee (1968) proposed a “Campaign Simulator” (p. 169) based on similar ideas and his colleagues Jack Ferguson and Robert B. Smith applied a related model to voting behavior. (Craemer, 2006, 9)

Interestingly, on a personal level Thurmond appears to have acknowledged his African American daughter at the same time he publicly uninvited Virgin Island Governor Hastie with the following racist statement: “Governor Hastie knows that neither he nor any other Negro will ever be a guest at the Governor’s house in Columbia so long as I am Governor” (Thurmond on Oct. 25, 1948 cited in Stroud 2003, emphasis added TC). At the same time he secretly received his African American daughter Essie Mae Washington at the Governor’s Mansion (Stroud 2003). (Craemer, 2006, 11)

That his first acknowledged fatherhood had been in violation of the very anti-miscegenation laws that Thurmond had so desperately fought to maintain flies in the face of any attempt to explain political behavior rationally. (Craemer, 2006, 11)

The fact that implicit idiosyncratic feelings of closeness towards African Americans appear to be large and significant predictors of racial policy liberalism supports the construct validity of this implicit idiosyncratic measure. The fact, however, that racial priming measures appear to be unrelated to racial policy liberalism at first blush casts doubt on their validity as a measures of implicit socially shared racial attitudes. (Craemer, 2006, 23)

A number of studies suggest that non-White participants, especially African Americans, display as much pro-White and anti-Black bias in their implicit word associations as their White American counterparts. (Craemer, 2006, 24)

White and Asian American participants express significantly more pro-White than pro-Black attitudes, while African Americans express overwhelmingly pro-Black attitudes (all deviations from the neutral zero-point are significant at p<.01). (Craemer, 2006, 25-26)

In his Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March on March 25th, 1965 Martin Luther King counter-intentionally invoked ingrained linguistic and racial associations while explicitly criticizing such stereotypes: “How long will prejudice blind the visions of men, darken their understanding, and drive bright-eyed wisdom from her sacred throne?” (King in Carson & Shepard 2001, p. 130, emphasis added TC). The explicit attitudes expressed give voice to the views of the Civil Rights Movement, while the figures of speech invoked implicitly represent ingrained elements of the overall linguistic culture. (Craemer, 2006, 26)

The tendency for computational models of social communication processes to produce unanimity as a function of random rather than systematic processes has been noted with puzzlement by some social scientists. Andrzej Nowak et al. (1990), for example, criticize: “the implicit null hypothesis seemingly held by most social psychologists is that group processes, if allowed to work themselves through to their conclusion, would lead to a final distribution of opinion … with zero variance” (Nowak et al. 1990, p. 363). (Craemer, 2006, 34-35)

Research on threats that involve the potential for physical harm such as crime, natural disasters, and violent conflicts provide clear evidence that personal threat increases one’s sense of vulnerability and motivates action designed to minimize personal risk (Browne and Hoyt 2000; Ferraro 1996; Sattler et al 2000; Smith and Uchida 1988). (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006, 1)

Studies conducted to date find a clear relationship between national threat and support for national and domestic security policies (Davis and Silver 2004; Huddy et al 2005). (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006, 1-2)

Psychologist Abraham Maslow (1943) placed security just above the satisfaction of basic physiological needs in his hierarchy of human needs (and below love and self-actualization). And political scientist Ronald Inglehart (1997), building on Maslow’s work, viewed the fulfillment of basic economic and security needs as a necessary societal precondition to the pursuit of postmaterialist values which emphasize freedom, self-expression and quality of life. (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006, 2)

Bowlby’s attachment theory (1982/69) is an evolutionary-developmental account of social behavior that posits a need for social proximity to protective others under conditions of threat and danger, implicitly assuming a need to maintain a sense of security under threat. Building on Bowlby’s original insights (1969) on the universality of a human need for attachment as way to deal with insecurity, scholars have theorized about the evolutionary advantage of adult attachment under conditions of threat (Ainsworth, Blehar, Water, and Well, 1978; Mikulincer and Shaver, 2003; Fraley, Brumbaugh, and Marks, 2005; Kirkpatrick, 1998; Tancredy and Fraley, 2006). (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006, 2-3)

As noted by Sroufe and Waters (1977), the goal of attachment behaviors is to reduce anxiety through an established sense of “felt security”. The attachment system emerges in early infancy, particularly in the context of the caregiver-child relationship, and operates as a functional system organizing interpersonal beliefs throughout development (Bowlby, 1969). While the attachment system is universal, operating in all humans and a host of other organisms (e.g., Fraley et al., 2005), individual differences often emerge from variations in attachment histories. (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006, 3)

Once established, attachment styles are relatively constant across the lifespan, suggesting that they serve as a stable individual difference (Fraley, 2002; Ainsworth, 1991) that may be mediated by distinct neural and hormonal reactions to threat. For instance, Kraemer (1992) found that physiological indicators of stress such as norepinephrine varied depending on whether rhesus monkeys were reared in isolation versus with mothers or peers. And humans with an enduring sense of insecurity release higher levels of glucocorticoids in stressful situations than those with a secure attachment (Goldberg, 2000). (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006, 4)

Mikulincer and colleagues (Mikulincer, Florian and Weller 1993) examined the effects of the Gulf War, and Iraqi Scud missile attacks, on Israelis with different attachment styles and found that securely attached individuals perceived lower levels of threat, reported higher levels of self-efficacy, actively sought out social support, and pursued constructive problem solving strategies. (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006, 4)

According to attachment theory, one of the key correlates of a secure attachment is a general willingness to trust other people. (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006, 13)

Overall, it appears that insecure individuals respond to the threat of terrorism with enhanced ingroup attachment as reflected in higher levels of reported patriotism. But outgroup derogation is driven simply by threat. (Huddy, Feldman, & Weber, 2006, 15)

People frequently misuse word pairs such as fewer and less and that and which. But why is this so? Perhaps it is because the concepts they represent do not have a visual referent. That is, it can be difficult for one to create a mental image of what is meant by the word which. (Igo, Kiewra, & Bruning, 2004)

Pictures, it seems, can be especially important to word learning. In fact, extensive research indcates that pictures are powerful learning tools that can aid in (a) the resilient recall of discrete information over time… (b) the performacne of procedural tasks, such as first aid… (c) the effectiveness of psychology lectures… (d) the learning of cause and effect relationships regarding lightning formation… and (e) memory for prose (Levin & Lesgold, 1978). Critical to this study, however, is that pictures can make word learning easier and vocabulary instruction better… This is especially true for words that represent concrete concepts. (Igo, Kiewra, & Bruning, 2004)

Two prominent theories regarding how people process pictures and words are dual coding theory (Paivio, 1991) and Baddeley’s (1999) theory of working memory. Each theory explains the integration of words and pictures differently (Mayer, 2001). The dual coding model postultaes the existence of separate verbal and nonverbal memory channels that combine separate memories to make singular mental models. The Baddeley model describes the existence of working memory subsystems for the simultaneous processing of separate verbal and nonverbal information. (Igo, Kiewra, & Bruning, 2004)

The hallmark of a complex system is that there are many small parts that interact with each other only in loosely coupled ways, sometimes producing surprising and unexpected results (Casti, 1997;DeAngelis and Gross, 1992;Epstein and Axtell, 1996;Kauffman, 1993). (Johnson 2)

A sincere organization will simply offer citizens a policy package that reflects its “true” organizational policy, while a more sophisticated organization may offer citizens a policy package that differs from the truth. (Johnson 12)

Consider a“democratically governed group”(Paul E. Johnson, 1990). The members of the organization exercise self-determination. The current members are asked to create the organization’s policy, and the new group policy is used in the advertising effort to attract new members. The multi-dimensional median is offered as a representation of the outcome of an internal decision-making process. Policy change is expected to occur frequently as people are drawn in and out of the organization. Such organizations might gain members as their policy changes, but they also risk alienating existing members who find the organization’s policy moving away from them. (Johnson 21)

Recall that the ideal points of the citizens are a multivariate normal “hillside.” As discussed elsewhere (Paul E. Johnson, 1996), policy in democratically governed groups is expected to drift, as new positions are adopted that alienate some existing members but draw in new members. Since group members are, more or less, a random sample of people who would find a given position to be tolerable, then we expect that organizations that are positioned on the edges of the policy space will their policy positions drawn toward the center. In other words, although the members of these organizations do not consciously intend to do so, they tend to be hill climbers. (Johnson 21)

Learning from text can be difficult because of a reader’s limited processing capacity (Turner & Engle, 1989). Cognitive load theory suggests that some texts and learning environments impose greater information processing demands on working memory than others (Chandler & Sweller, 1999; Sweller, van Merrienboer, & Paas, 1998). Cognitive load may vary because of intrinsic or extraneous demands. Intrinsic-load demands stem from the properties of the tobo-learned information (Sweller, 1994) (McCrudden, Schraw, Hartley, & Kiewra, 2004)

Overall, research reveals that reducing extraneous cognitive load in one design characteristic improves learning (Mayer, 9 1999; Mayer & Moreno, 2002, 2003). (McCrudden, Schraw, Hartley, & Kiewra, 2004)

Research has shown that different text presentation formats differently affect extraneous cognitive load. For example, Mayer and Chandler (2001) examined the amount of viewer control on the pace of presentation (e.g., computer-controlled pace or self-paced). The computer-controlled pace imposed a higher load than the self-paced presentation because readers were forced to process information without stopping or looking back to previous information. As predicted, readers in the self paced format outperformed those in the computer-paced format. (McCrudden, Schraw, Hartley, & Kiewra, 2004)

According to cognitive load theory, the effects of each extraneous variablemake a contribution to total cognitive load. When total cognitive load is withinw orking memory limitations, extraneous load exerts minimal influence on learning. When total cognitive load exceeds working memory limitations, learning suffers. The laod imposed by extraneous variables is addititive (Sweller et al., 1988). Reducing extraneous cognitive load reduces overall cognitive load, which may prevent working memory from being overloaded. (McCrudden, Schraw, Hartley, & Kiewra, 2004)

The first question was whether extraneous variables affect learning. Text presentation had a clear impact on fact and concept learning. Reading text that is presented sentence-by-sentence, as compared with a whole-text presentation, resulted in less fact and concept learning. In other words, performance was better when the reader could refer to the text presented as a whole. This replicated the work of Dillon (2991), who found that requiring mental integration of offscreen information (which has been viewed previously) with current on-screen informaiton decreased learning compared with whole-text presentations. (McCrudden, Schraw, Hartley, & Kiewra, 2004)

The second question was whether readers perceive differences in ease of comprehension among the three extraneous variables. Results show that readers perceived greater ease of comprehension for low-load versions of text presentation and text organization. This is concistent with previous research in cognitive load (Sweller, 1999) and text processing (McKoon & Ratcliff, 1990; van den Broek et al., 1995; van Oostendorp, 1994) in which learners reported differences in perceived cognitive load resulting from the manipulation of extraneous load variables. (McCrudden, Schraw, Hartley, & Kiewra, 2004)

Collectively, these findings are consistent with the cognitive resource sharing model described by Miyake (2001), which states that limited cognitive resources in working memory can be allocated flexibly between storage and processing activities. (McCrudden, Schraw, Hartley, & Kiewra, 2004)

For example, at least since the Eisenhower administration, the gap between Republican and Democratic citizens’ approval of the president has never been as wide as it has become under George W. Bush (Jacobson 2007). (Mutz 3)

If citizens remain unaware of any legitimate opposition, then political conflict itself seems petty and unnecessary (see Hibbing and Theiss-Morse 2002). Moreover, if the losing side in any given controversy perceives no legitimate basis for the positions of the winning side, then the losers are unlikely to cooperate in maintaining and perpetuating the rules of the game (see Anderson et al. 2005). (Mutz 4)

Watching others discuss opposing perspectives on television is qualitatively different from participation in face-to-face discussion, and the evidence on face-to-face deliberation is mixed in what it suggests about its outcomes (see Mendelberg 2002). (Mutz 5)

Granting legitimacy to those with whom one has significant differences of opinion is a complex and cognitively difficult task. To comprehend the logic and motivation behind views that are not one’s own is an effortful, multi-step process (see Gilbert 1991). (Mutz 6)

Indeed, those involved in the production of political television routinely argue that lively and passionate debate is a necessary ingredient for a successful television program involving political topics. Anything less is probably too boring to attract the attention of television audiences (see, e.g., Christianson 1986, Bradley et al. 1992, Christianson et al. 1986). (Mutz 7)

In one study, Storms and Thomas (1977) showed subjects a mock survey supposedly filled out by a person the subject was about to meet. The surveys were rigged to convince each subject that the confederate’s attitudes were either very similar to or highly dissimilar from his or her own, based on random assignment… When the confederate sat abnormally close to the subject, violating the norms for personal space, close physical distance interacted with attitude similarity to intensify attitudes toward the confederate (see also Schiffenbauer & Schiavo 1976; Middlemist, Knowles & Matter 1976). (Mutz 8)

This pattern of reactions to interpersonal distance has been well documented in the realm of face-to-face interaction. Dissimilarity breeds dislike, and closeness generally intensifies whatever kind of reaction – positive or negative – a person has to another person or object. (Mutz 8)

Likewise, Reeves and Nass (1996) find that viewers’ levels of attention and recall respond to mediated simulations of interpersonal distance (manipulated through the use of close-ups versus long shots, and through the size and distance of the image from the viewer) in much the same way that they do to interpersonal distance in face-to-face contexts. (Mutz 9)

The sense of threat experienced by television viewers is not likely to be a cognitive acknowledgment of some real threat; after all, few people would claim they feel imminent danger from a politician on a television screen. Instead, it is a subconscious feeling of threat based on the perception of being physically very close to someone who is disagreeable, and who thus presents an unwelcome invasion of personal space (Persson 1998). (Mutz 10)

On one hand, some level of arousal is absolutely necessary in order to produce attention to the content of political discourse. The arousal produced by “in your face” political discourse should heighten levels of physiological arousal, and thus enhance attention to content and promote greater awareness of oppositional perspectives. Viewers cannot be expected to learn anything about oppositional perspectives unless they are paying attention. (Mutz 10)

Recall of arguments was enhanced by the same factors that enhance arousal: incivility and a close-up camera perspective. For awareness of oppositional issue arguments, the interaction of incivility and close-up camera perspective was significant (F=4.36, p<.05). For awareness of arguments on one’s own side, only incivility significantly enhanced recall (F=5.13, p<.05), though the pattern is very similar to the left-hand side of Figure 2. The uncivil, close-up conditions consistently stand out in producing higher levels of recall. (Mutz 20)

Levels of civility mattered a great deal to perceptions of the legitimacy of opposition views when subjects viewed the uncivil exchange in one of the close-up conditions. (Mutz 22)

In contrast to this rational-essentialist view it has been shown that individuals do “irrationally” cooperate in both a Prisoner’s Dilemma game and in real life scenarios that are parallel to it (Axelrod, 1984; Ridley, 1996; Field, 2004). (Sautter 2)

Evolution has cultivated a multitude of personality traits that vary amongst humans. This phenotypic variation allows for selective advantages on the group level (Wilson, 2002). (Sautter 4)

Studies of autism, violent behavior and other asocial disorders indicate that genetic inheritance, as well as environmental conditioning, is an important determinant of patterns of behavior (Ebstein, Benjamin, and Belmaker, 2003; Pericak-Vance, 2003). (Sautter 5)

Empathy can be defined and interpreted under the auspices of three main sub-characteristics: concern for others, perspective taking (also called theory of mind empathy) and personal distress, or the ability to have emotional reactions to others in need. A study of 800 twin-pairs that compared monozygotic to dizygotic dyads estimated the combined inheritance of these three components of empathy to be estimated at 32% (Davis et al., 1994). (Sautter 5)

Indeed, this sort of emotional capacity has been important to researchers looking at what motivates moral and pro-social actions, finding that higher levels of empathy tend to make individuals more likely to be morally outraged or to take action to prevent unjust acts (Davis, 1996; Smith-Lovin, 1995). (Sautter 5)

There are three main evolutionary arguments for the development of empathy. First, is the well known theory of kin selection (Hamilton, 1964)… The second evolutionary theory focuses more on the interaction with those who are not genetically related. Reciprocal altruism hypothesizes that the empathetic bonds that develop in friendships or working relationships evolved out of an iterated sequence of encounters where conspecifics mutually benefited from cooperation (Axelrod, 1984)… Finally, the group-selection model of human evolution posits that inter-group conflict promoted the adoption of empathetic characteristics because natural selection would have rewarded those groups that worked together well over groups that would not have contained the frequency of individuals with cooperative dispositions (Sober and Wilson, 1998). (Sautter 6)

The Prisoner’s Dilemma has been invoked time and again in explanation of the evolutionary origins of human behavior. It represents in a simplified manner the continual problem of reciprocity, trust and collective action (Rapoport and Chammah, 1965; Axelrod, 1984; Ridley, 1996; Fehr and Schmidt, 1999) that is ever-present in iterated interactions between human beings. This makes the Prisoner’s Dilemma framework ideal for a test of pro-social emotional disposition in an incentive based game because it is simple enough for those first exposed to it in an experimental setting to comprehend, yet theoretically sophisticated so as to allow a rich interpretation of the results.2 (Sautter 7)

In contrast to Olson’s more traditional economic view of collective action, Hardin (1982) frames the free-rider problem as really an N-person Prisoner’s Dilemma (PD) game. (Sautter 7)

Much in line with the way that evolutionary theorists suggest that reciprocal behavioral situations may have evolved in humans some theorists, including Palfrey and Rosenthal (1983) as well as Axlerod (1984), suggest that if certain conditions are met cooperative behavior is a predictable outcome of the PD. First, individuals need to have a low rate of time-preference, or in other words they should not discount the future too much. The second condition is that the game theoretic scenario needs to be repeated several times. This mitigates the standard oneshot strategy of defection. Similarly, the third condition requires there to be uncertainty among the players about when the game will end. Under rational choice assumptions players will always defect in the final round if information is available on when the game will end. The final condition involves punishment. If each player is capable of punishing other players that defect over the course of the game then an incentive structure is created that discourages defection. Theoretically, these conditions work best when there is no central authority and agents are left to their own to decide whether to defect or cooperate. (Sautter 8)

Andreoni and Miller (1993) find that altruists even exist in the finitely repeated PD, where individuals are aware of when the game will end… By separating the two groups Andreoni and Miller are able to show that reputation is not as important to altruistic behavior as it might be thought. Indeed, their findings suggest that people probably have what they refer to as “homemade” altruistic preferences, or in other words, people tend to have individual dispositions making them more likely to cooperate. (Sautter 8-9)

Fehr and Schmidt (1999) look at the PD in an entirely different way. Somewhat similar in manner to Hibbing and Alford’s (2002) notion of people as wary cooperators, they see individuals as being inequality averse. People in this conception of the PD have an evolved inclination toward seeing equal distribution of payoffs. Framing becomes the key in this case. If players are more optimistic about the other player’s probability of cooperating then inequality-averse players will cooperate more often than the standard theoretical completely rational agent. They present this idea as a social utility function, where each player calculates their payoff in regard to how that payoff relates to the other player’s payoff, thus making inequality-averse players conditional cooperators. (Sautter 9)

This notion of egalitarianism coincides with the way that evolutionary psychology theorizes that individuals have innate preferences for fairness. Absolute outcomes are not as important as relative outcomes. The process of how the game is played in relation to the other player becomes the most important aspect. Both evolutionary theories of multilevel selection and reciprocal altruism reflect this focus on relative outcomes. In the case of collective action, individuals should be disposed toward equal and fair outcomes that reflect an innate desire to achieve what is implicitly best for the group, not for the individual (Fehr and Gachter, 2000). (Sautter 10)

Evolutionary pressure equipped humans with emotions in order to guide their decision making in the group context (Bowles and Gintis, 2003). From this perspective it is not rationality per se that a researcher should be investigating, but the emotions that lead to intra-group rationality that are designed to deal with conflict and compromise. (Sautter 10)

At the base of this emotional temperament is a pro-social empathetic disposition that varies from individual to individual. As Sober and Wilson (1998) imply throughout their polemic, empathy is the veritable context with in which all choices are made.4 Indeed, McCabe et al. (2001) found that different parts of the brain are used when a player is competing against a computer versus another human. When playing against another human a large part of the pre-frontal cortex becomes activated, while in contrast when playing a computer only a small area in the rear of the brain that is used in mental calculation, like arithmetic, becomes activated. (Sautter 11)

Hypothesis I: A more robust empathetic psychological disposition will lead to higher rates of “punishment” or mutual defection in the face of an initial defection by another player. (Sautter 11)

Hypothesis II: Empathy will predict more forgiving behavior in a player during a period when the opposing player attempts to re-establish mutual cooperation. (Sautter 11)

Students made their decisions simultaneously with their opponent. They were given the impression that they were playing another person when in reality they were playing a computer programmed to either cooperate or defect. (Sautter 12)

However, the hypothesis for this experiment is that those with a higher level of empathy will defect at a higher rate than those with lower levels because of their group-oriented leanings. (Sautter 14)

The third stage in the experiment is the most interesting part. According to Hibbing and Alford’s (2002) theory of humans as wary cooperators that want to be neither leeches (take advantage of others) nor suckers (to be taken advantage of), when the computer begins cooperating individuals should feel as though they are being leeches on a cooperative person. (Sautter 14)

Independent variables used in regression analysis included age, gender, income, population of hometown, race and grade point average. It was felt necessary to control for these differences in socioeconomic status in order to isolate the effects of empathy. As Schieman and Van Gundy (2000) show, empathy is a context specific phenomenon that is particular to one’s socioeconomic status.6 By documenting the relationship between education, age, income and gender over an entire community, they are able to demonstrate that empathy levels are relative to one’s social position. For instance, Shieman and Van Gundy present evidence that empathy tends to decrease with age, but that increases in higher education, income and by being female can mitigate this general trend. If these factors were not taken into account it would lead to a misguided analysis of the role that a particular individual’s relative level of empathy plays in their decisionmaking process. (Sautter 15-16)

The experimental results are presented below in a statistical appendix. Two types of regression analysis were used in examining the data. The first consisted of a standard ordinary least squares regression. The second type used was a tobit regression model. Tobit (0,X) estimation models were used because of the truncated nature of each of the dependent variables. This statistical methodology can control for the two different types of theoretical participants in the experiment: those that defect all of the time (or, 0 cooperation) and those that cooperate to varying degrees (or, X cooperation). (Sautter 17)

In the ordinary least squares (OLS) regression the first thing one should notice is that the F – statistic, or model fit test, is not significant, meaning that little to none of the variance present in the dependent variable is being explained by the independent predictors. What variance is explained is being predicted by the round one variable, which is significant at p < .01 level. (Sautter 18)

Not surprisingly, the round one predictor is a very strong indication that participants would cooperate during the entire experiment. However, in these regressions no other independent predictors, including empathy, were significant. (Sautter 19)

The first hypothesis presented was that empathy would be a significant predictor of participants’ defection in the second stage of the experiment. In both the OLS and tobit estimations a participant’s empathetic disposition was a significant predictor of defection in retaliation to the opposing player’s second stage defections. For these two analyses, the null hypothesis can be rejected. Empathy was a factor. (Sautter 20-21)

The second hypothesis that an empathetic disposition would lead to higher rates of re-cooperation in the final stage of the experiment was flat out wrong… Truly, empathy was not a facilitator of restoring cooperation after reciprocal trust had been broken. (Sautter 21)

This indicates that there is a possible “J-curve” to empathy, or that high levels of empathy can produce either more defection or more cooperation depending on the individual, but that participants with a median level of empathy will converge toward cooperating about 50 percent of the time.9 (Sautter 22)

This indicates that there is a possible “J-curve” to empathy, or that high levels of empathy can produce either more defection or more cooperation depending on the individual, but that participants with a median level of empathy will converge toward cooperating about 50 percent of the time.9 (Sautter 24)

Finally, an analysis of the possible differences between individuals with high levels of empathy residing in the more cooperative empathy peak and the less cooperative empathy peak was conducted. All possible variables that were gathered from the survey after the experiment were investigated. The size of a participant’s home town and the level of their family income were found to be statistically significant predictors. Figures 7 and 8 show the results of the difference of means test for each variable. Essentially, those individuals with high levels of empathy present in the “more cooperative peak” tended to have been raised in smaller towns and come from families with a relatively lower level of income. (Sautter 24-25)

The results of this experiment suggest social conditioning could be very important to the manner in which an empathetic disposition manifests itself in social decision making. Being from a larger urban area during an individual’s childhood would likely diminish the reputation effects of continued social interaction. (Sautter 25)

Higher rates of empathy tended to have two contrary effects by either making an individual more likely to defect or more likely to cooperate, but not to converge toward the median level of cooperation as the majority of participants in this experiment. (Sautter 25)

Contrary to the hypotheses originally being tested, it is not that empathy has a simple positive linear relationship with a desire for egalitarian outcomes. Rather, an empathetic emotional disposition likely cultivates a sensitivity to social decisions, which depending on an individual’s social conditioning, leads to a more intense display of cooperation and defection. (Sautter 26)

For example, when comparing professional historians and high school students, Wineburg (1991) found taht historians read texts from a critical perspective in which they actively questioned and transformed text, whereas high school students interested in history read from a less critical perspective without seriously questioning the legitimacy of text assertions. (Schraw & Bruning, 1996, 290)

In analogous research, Dweck and Leggett (1988) found that older students and even adults often have little specific awareness of the theories and models they use to understand the world. (Schraw & Bruning, 1996, 302)

Fairness and Other Basic Drives

Alford, John R., & Hibbing, John R. (2006). The Neural Basis of Representative Democracy. Paper presented at the Hendricks Conference on Biology, Evolution, and Political Behavior.

Larimer, Christopher W., Hannagan, Rebecca, & Smith, Kevin B. (2006) Balancing Ambition and Gender Among Decision Makers. Paper presented at the Hendricks Conference on Biology, Evolution, and Political Behavior

Price, Michael E. (2004). Judgements about cooperators and freeriders on a Shuar work team: An evolutionary psychological perspective. Organization Behavior and Human Decision Processes 101 20-35.

Wolak, Jennifer & Marcus, Geroge. 2006. Personality and Emotional Response: Strategic and Tactical Response to Changing Political Circumstances. Paper presented at the Hendricks Conference on Biology, Evolution, and Political Behavior.

Another batch of articles related to the Hendricks Symposium. Notes and stuff is below the fold, but on top is a neat psychological survey given to a hyper-violent, essentially stone-age population in South America.

How would you answer the questions?

Imagine that a community is going to have a minga to build a system of pipes that will bring running water up to the houses of the people in the community. But, there are only enough pipes to bring water to half of the community. Only the houses that are closest to the river are within reach of the pipes.

This picture demonstrates what the pipe system will look like after the minga is finished. The river is drawn in blue, the pipes in red, and the houses in black. So, only half of the community will receive running water as the result of this minga. That is, only half of the community will benefit directly as the result of this minga.

A lot of hard work is involved in this minga, so the minga will last 2 days. In order to complete this minga in 2 days, the help of all socios in the community is needed. Imagine that only the first day of the minga has been completed. The first day of the minga lasted 9 hours. Some of the citizens (socios) in the community worked all day in this minga, but other citizens worked for fewer hours. I am going to show you pictures of citizens who participated in the first day of the minga, along with two pieces of information about each of these people: (1) whether or not they will receive improved access to water as the result of this minga, that is, how much they will benefit as the result of the minga, and (2) how much they have sacrificed in the minga, that is, how many hours they worked in the first day of the minga. The pail of water in each picture represents the extent to which each person will benefit as the result of the minga. [SHOW PICTURE]. For example, this person lives close to the river, in reach of the pipe system that will be constructed in the minga. So, he will receive a lot of running water as the result of the minga. That is why there is a picture of a full pail of water here. This full pail of water represents that this man will benefit a lot as a result of this minga. [SHOW PICTURE]. This person, however, will not benefit much from the minga, because he lives far from the river, too far for the pipes to reach. That is why there is a picture of an almost-empty pail of water here. This almost-empty pail of water represents that this man will not benefit much as a result of this minga.

The circle in each picture represents how many hours each person has worked in the minga so far. [SHOW PICTURE]. For example, this person worked for the entire first day of the minga—he worked for nine hours. That is why 3/4 of the circle is filled in, and why there is a number “9” drawn next to the circle; this represents that the person worked for 9h in the minga. [SHOW PICTURE]. This person, however, has worked for only 3 h in the minga so far. That is why only 1/4 of the circle is filled in, and why there is a number “3” drawn next to the circle; this represents that the person has worked for only 3 h in the minga.

[MAKE SURE SYMBOL MEANINGS ARE UNDERSTOOD].

Now, I am going to show you pictures of 2 of the minga participants, and tell you how much they will beneWt as the result of the minga, and how long they have worked in the minga so far. Then I will ask you:

1. Which one of the people deserves more respect, based on his participation in the minga?

2. If you were the leader of this community, and you could decide whether citizens should be punished based on their participation in the minga, which of these people would you think should be punished? (Price 26,34)


According to this theory, humans are social creatures who depend on groups for assistance in provisioning, offspring-rearing, protection against predators, and a host of other useful and even necessary tasks (see Wilson, 1975). (Alford & Hibbing 3)

In short, humans tend to possess the genetic, neurological, and behavioral machinery to nurture groups and to monitor and protect their own status within the group (see Tooby and Cosmides, 1992; Sober and Wilson, 1998; Ostrom, 1998). (Alford & Hibbing 3)

It is not just that the pain or pleasure of others we observe is reflected in our own central nervous system but rather that our understanding of the cause of the pleasure or pain affects the extent to which we are moved by the experiences of others. (Alford & Hibbing 4)

In many respect, the most sensible way for nature to build a social creature is not simply to select for creatures with empathy but to select for creatures who have even stronger empathic reactions when they have agency over others experiences. A social unit works best not when its members are walking around hoping good things happen to their fellow group members but rather when they are actively taking steps to make good things happen to their compatriots in the group (Alford & Hibbing 5)

Certainly there is overwhelming evidence that individuals playing economic games are incredibly sensitive to others involved. If the “others” are computers, people play (and brains operate) differently than if the others are human beings (McCabe et al., 2001). If the others are anonymous abstractions, people play differently than if they are personified, even if this personification consists of nothing more than cartoonish eye-spots placed at the top of a computer screen (Haley and Fessler, 2005; more generally, see Sullivan and Masters, 1988; Masters and Sullivan, 1989; Dawes, van de Kragt, and Orbell, 1990; Blount, 1995). If subjects know that others will learn of their decisions, people play differently (Hoffman, McCabe, Shachat, and Smith, 2000; van Dijk and Vermunt, 2000; Larimer, 2003). If the others are believed to have intentionally rather than accidentally made a decision, people behave differently (Hibbing and Alford, 2004). And if the others are believed to be ambitious, people behave differently toward them even when the objective decisions are the same (Smith, Larimer, Littvay, and Hibbing, 2007). (Alford & Hibbing 6)

And modern empirical political scientists have conducted extensive research on the extent to which the decisions of representatives are congruent with the preferences of their constituents or principals. The classic work in this vein was undertaken by Warren Miller and Donald Stokes (1963) and they found that policy congruence was present for some salient issues such as race and, to a lesser extent, social welfare, but not for less salient issues such as foreign policy. (Alford & Hibbing 7)

Those subjects assigned to play the standard dictator game—that is, those assigned to make decisions for themselves—were reasonably generous with nearly 54 percent dividing the money equally and just 46.2 percent keeping more than half for themselves. Consistent with countless other experiments employing economic games (see Ostrom, 1998; Camerer and Loewenstein, 2004, for a good summaries), people tend to be less maximizing, even in anonymous one-shot games, than standard microeconomic theory predicts. (Alford & Hibbing 11)

When the constituent is not made tangible or given any social reality, subjects serving as representatives are less likely to keep more than half of the money for their constituent than was the case for subjects deciding on their own behalf. Only 26.7 percent of respondents kept more than half for an anonymous constituent. But any inclination for representatives to be less generous to constituents than people are to themselves disappears if the representative and constituent have met. When the representative has a face to attach to the constituent, representatives, as we expected, become much more likely to be at least as solicitous of the interest of their constituent as they were of their own interest. Over 62 percent of the subjects in this category awarded more than half of the $10 to their constituents. This difference in behavior depending upon whether the decision was for “self” or for a known constituent does not reach statistical significance, and even though subjects deciding on behalf of a known constituent are more likely to keep over half than are subjects deciding for themselves. (Alford & Hibbing 12)

More striking is the fact that with only a brief introduction, the willingness to perform an effortful task to benefit a constituent is as high as the willingness to perform the same task to benefit oneself. Again, this is true even though there are no institutional arrangements to bind representatives’ behavior to constituents’ interests. In fact, adding the possibility of reelection to the instructions given to the representative that had already been given the brief introduction to their constituents did not provide any increase in effort on the behalf of the constituent. (Alford & Hibbing 15)

Anonymous constituents would ask their representatives to do as much for them as subjects acting for themselves do (means are 5.57 and 5.54 respectively). Introduced constituents in contrast moderate their request and ask for less than the subjects acting for themselves (means are 4.81 and 5.54 respectively). The result is that anonymous representatives are on average agreeing to do substantially fewer mazes than their constituents’ would prefer (3.86 compared to the mean constituent preference of 5.57, prob. .072). The reverse is true for introduced pairs, where the mean number of mazes completed at 5.50 is actually above the mean number that constituents would have requested at 4.81 mazes (prob. .531). (Alford & Hibbing 16)

More systematically, congressional scholars repeatedly find that citizens’ main objection to members of Congress is not the policies they are producing, but rather the perception that they are in office because they crave power, that they are using the office as a way to further their own self-interest (Hibbing and Theiss-Morse 2002, 1995). (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 3)

We distinguish between positive ambition (associated with competence, and a desire to carry out multiple responsibilities and serve communal goals) and negative ambition (an individualistic craving for power). Decisions made by policy makers characterized by negative ambition, we argue, triggers mistrust and a loss of legitimacy, and prompts predictable behavioral responses from those affected by the decisions. This is an argument with extensive empirical support in anthropology, where negative ambition cues are referred to as “big man” behavior. Responses to big man behavior are consistent cross culturally and are generally seen as a product of a universal human predisposition that evolved to deal with the adaptive problems of group living (Boehm 1999). (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 3-4)

There is a strong empirical case to support the claim that a deep-rooted aversion to power-seeking in leaders is an innate, universal human behavioral predisposition. (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 5)

Generally speaking, males dominate social hierarchies and, as far as can be told, have always dominated social hierarchies (Pratto 1996: 179). Compared to females, both the psychological and anthropological research literatures agree that males are much more oriented towards status and dominance hierarchies. (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 6)

Groups are broadly recognized as providing key fitness advantages to humans, and human psychology unsurprisingly has evolved to deal with complex social environments; politics itself is rooted in the “groupishness” of humans and their socially-oriented minds (Hibbing and Alford 2004; Massey 2002). (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 7)

Unfortunately, this empirical research focuses solely on the self-reported ambitions of decision-makers themselves, ignoring how people react to the personal ambitions of officeholders and office seekers. Given the argument we present here, this omission is significant, especially given findings on trait inferences suggesting political leaders exhibiting “power-hungry” behavior (Kinder et al. 1980) or lacking “humbleness” (Miller, Wattenberg, and Malanchuk 1986) are viewed negatively (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 10)

Using a public goods scenario, Van Vugt et al. (2004) attempt to determine whether the characteristics of group leaders affect the likelihood of group abandonment. The authors find that people are significantly more likely to exit the group given an autocratic leader, e.g. one in which the leader uses individual discretion in deciding who will contribute, compared to a group with a democratic leader, i.e. one in which contribution to the public good is voluntary… In fact, Van Vugt et al. conclude that “fewer members might have exited the autocratically led groups if their members had been elected or appointed on merit” (11). In short, it is not only how leaders exercise power that affects group behavior, but also the means through which leaders attain power. (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 11)

Hibbing and Alford (2004) find that the means through which a leader attains power can also affect political behavior. Using ultimatum bargaining games, Hibbing and Alford find that people tend to be more accepting of decisions in which the decision maker “earned” power rather than obtained power through desire or random processes. (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 11-12)

Hibbing and Alford’s, and Van Vugt et al.’s (2004) experiments are consistent with our arguments in that they suggest people respond to the style of leadership as much as the quality of the outcome they receive in social dilemmas. In particular, the exercise of power and the means through which one attains power affects whether people accept or reject an unfavorable outcome. Put simply, people have a strong aversion to decision processes that violate the norm of fairness, and tend to assume that leaders seen as ambitious for power are self-serving and non-neutral, and therefore likely to take advantage of others, thus violating the norm of fairness (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 12)

Research on gender and trait inferences overwhelmingly show that people use gender stereotypes to assume the traits of political decision makers (Alexander and Anderson 1993; Huddy and Terkildsen 1993; Sanbonmatsu 2002; see also Shapiro 2003). There is also a broad experimental research literature demonstrating that males and females behave differently in decision making situations —for example, as legislators (see Kennedy 2003), and with regard to styles of leadership (Rosenthal 1998). (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 12)

Following this division, subjects were asked a series of questions about the decision, the decision making group as a whole, and individuals within the decision making group. Importantly, all participants were debriefed and given the maximum number of extra credit points following the experiment. Thus, each participant’s final grade was not dependent on decisions made during the experiment. (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 14)

Subjects who guess the first decision maker is female are significantly less likely to identify this decision maker as the one most likely to be selfinterested (p < .10). In other words, gender and ambition interact to influence perceptions of self-interestedness. While both ambitious and unambitious males are viewed as highly likely to engage in self-serving behavior, unambitious females are considered less likely to do so when compared to unambitious males. (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 18)

On a more local level, think about Jane Mansbridge’s (1980) analysis of participatory democracy. People who speak up at local meetings to voice their opinion tend to be viewed negatively and with suspicion by others. From the perspective of others sitting quietly, overt displays of opinion may be seen as a sign of upstartism. In fact, one of the evolutionary outcomes of patrilocal group living, where females rather than males disperse into non-kin groups, is that a dominant female survival strategy is to seek to abide by group norms and avoid “sticking out” (Campbell 2002, 117-118). (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 23)

King goes on to argue that the experimental method is “impossible” to apply to the study of the effects of candidate traits. What King seems to be confusing however, is the difference between field experiments and laboratory experiments. While King is correct that reconstructing an election with the same candidates but different traits would be impossible, laboratory experiments provide a useful and simplistic method for assessing how variation in candidate traits affect political behavior. In a lab setting, it is possible to control for all external influences while manipulating a single explanatory variable; in this case the trait of the candidate or decision maker. (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 23-24)

In particular, Scholz and Scholz and Lubell (1998) examine compliance with tax policy. People tend to be more likely to comply with existing tax regulations if they perceive both government and citizens as trustworthy, both of which are independent of fear of government punishment for noncompliance. (Larimer, Hannagan, and Smith 24)

Collective actions are common in human social life (Ostrom, 1990), including in organizational contexts (Albanese & Van Fleet, 1985; Goren, Kurzban, & Rapoport, 2003): for example, members of a work team who jointly design some new product, and whose efforts bring rewards to all team members. (Price 20)

If each member receives an equal share of the between that the group produces, no matter how much that member contributed to the production effort, then each member has a private incentive to contribute less than co-members (Price 20)

Research suggests that people often solve freerider problems by directing social benefits towards cooperators, and/or by imposing social costs on freeriders (Andreoni, Harbaugh, & Vesterlund, 2003; Fehr & Gächter, 2000; Hawkes, 1993; Patton, 2000; Price, 2003, 2006; Price, Cosmides, & Tooby, 2002; Yamagishi, 1986). (Price 21)

Exploitation avoidance In order for cooperation to evolve, the benefits of cooperation must be preferentially directed towards cooperators, rather than towards freeriders… First, it can occur via positive assortment, if cooperators assort into cooperative interactions with other cooperators… Second, exploitation avoidance can occur via reciprocal altruism, if interactants cooperate only to the extent that they observe cointeractants to cooperate (Trivers, 1971). (Price 21-22)

Negative judgments and punishments directed at freeriders might be eVorts not to coerce them into contributing, but rather to harm them, and thereby reduce their advantage (Price et al., 2002; see also Fehr & Schmidt, 1999). From this perspective, negative judgments of freeriders should be made mainly by cooperators, because it is cooperators who will be disadvantaged relative to freeriders. As noted above, evidence does suggest that people who cooperate more are more punitive towards freeriders. (Price 22)

Specifically, they suggest that X will more likely be punished, the more X’s contribution deviates negatively from the group average contribution (Fehr & Gächter, 2000; Masclet, Noussair, Tucker, & Villeval, 2003), or from the contribution of the punishing individual (Falk et al., 2005; Masclet et al., 2003). (Price 23)

Thus, an absence’s excusability depends on whether it is considered to have been intentional, and as in industrialized societies, accidental non-cooperativeness is not considered freeriding (Price, 2006). (Price 24)

First, when judging between unequally-contributing workers, all subjects—regardless of age, sex, or minga participation frequency—tended to judge the higher-contributor more positively. Second, when judging between equally-contributing unequally-benefiting workers, male subjects who more frequently participated in mingas were more likely to favor altruists and disfavor freeriders. Third, when judging between equally-contributing unequally between workers, subjects who were female and therefore infrequent minga participants, tended to favor freeriders while disfavoring altruists. (Price 30)

Given the apparent relationship between pro-cooperativeness and minga participation, the tendency of Shuar females to make judgments that were the opposite of those of the cañicultores may be interpretable as follows. Shuar females rarely participate in mingas, which suggests that they should also be less likely to judge workers in terms of teamwork-relevant attributes. Therefore they may default to assessing workers in terms of their desirability as allies and/or mates, and focus on their ability to procure resources. (Price 32)

In the vast variety of cultures in which human mate preferences have been studied, females are consistently more likely than males to rank access to resources as an important mate attribute. (Price 32)

The most unambiguous result of the above study, and the one that is most clearly consistent with data about group cooperation in many industrialized societies (Fehr & Gächter, 2000; Falk et al., 2005; Masclet et al., 2003; Yamagishi, 1986), is that when workers to a team project are judged based on contribution level, higher-contributors are judged more positively and lower-contributors are judged more negatively. The evolutionary theory discussed above presents plausible reasons to expect that Homo sapiens should be psychologically adapted to judge group members in these ways, and therefore that humans from all cultures, even cultures that are vastly diVerent from one another in some respects, should display such judgments. (Price 32)

The prediction that subjects who more frequently cooperate will be more likely to favor cooperators and disfavor freeriders has also been confirmed in previous studies (Fehr & Gächter, 2002; Price, 2005; Price et al., 2002; Shinada et al., 2004), and received some support in the above study. (Price 32)

If more cooperative members are relatively judgmental about the extent of cooperative behavior exhibited by co-members, then knowledge of this eVect could be applied in useful ways. For example, one might attempt to improve morale on a work team by expelling ‘negative’ members who hold unfavorable opinions of co-members. However, the above study suggests that such a remedy could be disastrous: if the negative judgments are directed towards low cooperators, than negative members may also be the most cooperative members, and therefore the last members that one would want to expel. (Price 32-33)

For example, compared to females, males appear both to experience more pleasure and less empathy when seeing non-cooperators punished (Singer et al., 2006), and also to punish non-cooperators more ‘on principle’, that is, with less concern for the economic impact that such punishment will have on themselves (Eckel & Grossman, 1996). (Price 33)

According to the theory of affective intelligence, people respond to political situations via a dual system of emotional appraisal (Marcus, Neuman, and MacKuen 2000). These preconscious appraisals precede and modify downstream affective, cognitive, and behavioral responses. Thus, affective states are swift modulations that express these appraisals, and initiate decision-making routes appropriate to the tactical demands of the moment. (Wolak & Marcus 3)

We have argued elsewhere (Marcus 2002) as have others (Sanders 1997; Young 2000) against the notion that each and every political decision needs to be the result of a deliberative process in order to secure a legitimate authoritative result (Gutmann 1996). First, this requirement presumes that deliberative decision-making mechanisms are always superior to more automatic processes, a claim that is generally false (Bargh and Chartrand 1999; Bargh and Ferguson 2000). Second, the proclamation of deliberation as the sole determinant of citizenship competence obscures the distinction between familiar circumstances wherein previously mastered routines offer speed of execution and predictability of result, and unfamiliar circumstances where habituated responses are likely to produce unreliable and potentially disastrous results. (Wolak & Marcus 4)

Previous research suggests that differences in issue framing have only a modest effect on emotional response (Wolak et al. 2003). Issue content and individual differences in the direction and intensity of prior preferences appear to play a more important role in explaining emotional response. (Wolak & Marcus 4-5)

While good citizenship can be learned, some are perhaps more predisposed to support such principles than others. Personality has not been at the forefront of most research into political behavior (though see Sniderman 1975). Still there is a modest body of research worth noting. Personality differences can drive candidate evaluations and party preferences (Caprara et al. 1999; 2006), and genetic dispositions can influence ideological leanings (Alford, Funk, and Hibbing 2005). (Wolak & Marcus 6)

Extroverts are outgoing and optimistic, more likely to emotionally expressive and interested in political participation than reserved, introverted individuals. (Wolak & Marcus 9)

While we expected those high on neuroticism to be more sensitive to policy change and more likely to have their surveillance systems activated, we find no significant differences in anxiety by level of neuroticism… While extroversion has no effect on anxiety among those facing challenging policies, extroverted individuals faced with a favorable policy change do see a decrease in levels of anxiety. Authoritarian predispositions have no significant influence on levels of issue anxiety for those viewing either reassuring or challenging stimuli.4 On the whole, personality differences play only a modest role in the activation of the emotional surveillance system, and these traits operate differently depending on whether circumstances challenge support prior preferences (Wolak & Marcus 12)

For those who read about policies that support personal preferences, personality traits fail to have a significant effect on levels of policy aversion. Under the condition of policy challenge, however, the association between personality and policy anger is more substantial. Authoritarianism fails to be a significant predictor of anger, but neuroticism, extroversion, and openness all predict policy aversion. Neuroticism and extroversion are positively associated with anger. (Wolak & Marcus 12)

Overall, personality traits do affect emotional engagement in policy issues, but only to a limited degree. The greatest effects of personality are in the generation of policy anger in the face of policy threats. (Wolak & Marcus 13)

We also find significant direct effects of personality on citizenship behavior beyond its contribution via emotional engagement. (Wolak & Marcus 15)

Moving from the lowest to the highest level of anxiety predicts an increase of interest in one additional political act, all else equal. Here, we find no significant effects for anger or enthusiasm on interest in participation once we control from trait differences and variations in issue strength and salience. Personality traits like openness and extroversion also have little effect on the willingness to consider political action. (Wolak & Marcus 16)

We also find a number of personality differences in the willingness to endorse policy compromise. Those high in authoritarianism support convention, and here resist policy compromise. Those with the lowest level authoritarianism are predicted to support compromise 80% of the time in the face of policy challenge, all else equal. (Wolak & Marcus 17)