The Wary Guerrilla, Part VIII: Future Research

Falsification is central to science (Popper 1945, 1952, 1963). Thus, while most of the original null hypotheses were not rejected, the goal of the project was incremental scientific advancement. At least one, perhaps two, styles of Guerrilla behavior: wary guerrillas and other guerrillas were identified. Both guerilla styles were correlated with Egoism in public goods game, and were further correlated to certain political and philosophical factors.

Goodin (1984) writes, in order to “make the theory of games plausible as a representation of behavior… we must introduce some of the sense of structure and continuity that characterizes our actual lives.” Many different types of changes in how information is presented can change behavior (Lupia, 2002; Bower, 2006; De Martino et al., 2006; Mutz, 2006). Indeed, the experimental findings such as the results that people who believe wrong deeds should be punished, are not more likely to punish, forces scholars to consider that not only may the self-report question be invalid, but gameplay as a whole be invalid.

Therefore, finding a way of validating these results is key.

Fortunately, a similar situation is familiar to students. Often a well-meaning professor will assign group work where everyone in a group gets the same grade. These are similar to economic games, in that each student has the ability to cooperate or defect. Instead of an equal contribution leading to different rewards, as in the ultimatum game, unequal contributions lead to identical rewards.

It should be possible to create similar conditions in a laboratory experiment such that the game mimics real-life experiences with group projects. For instance, a participant and a confederate may be tasked with completing some moderately complex task. Grading would be based on completion and effort. Roles would be “randomly” assigned to each of the students, with the participant assigned as Decider (able to make the final decision) and the confederate assigned as the Reporter (supposedly tasked with telling the instructor how much work each member put in). The participant would be informed that the Reporter will be working alone for five minutes, then the Reporter and Decider will work together, then the Decider will work alone. Thus the confederate would put in minimal effort and leave early, while still completing a report indicated that the participant had put in minimal effort, so the split of extra credit would be epsilon for the participant. Because the confederate had left early, the subject would be able to either complete the assignment and receive the unfair allocation or not hand it in, thus rejecting the unfair allocation.

The above experiment would allow us to test whether the Wary Guerrilla type extends to something similar to classroom interactions. It could also be extended to determine whether Wary Guerrilla activity is different in different domains, as different forms of pro-social activity may have evolved separately (Smirnov, Arrow, Kennet, & Orbell, 2006). Thus, keeping the pay-offs the same while altering presentation can shed even more knowledge on the issue.

Other areas of future research include an extension of the Wary Guerilla framework across cultures. While these ideas are still in a nascent development stage, they might seek to answer several questions. Do all societies have wary guerillas in their midst and are they occurring at roughly the same proportion? Will the correlations relating to absolutism and contextualism found here and with other research endeavors be found amongst other cultures? Will there be the same proportion of absolutists and contextualists, or cooperators and punishers, amongst a sample of various religious groups? If feasible, the relevance of this proposed study would be benefited from a sample of fundamentalist and moderate Muslims living in the Middle East, fundamentalist and moderate Jews from Israel, and fundamentalist and moderate Christians from the U.S. This would enable analysis of the impacts of various religions and the results could assist in further determining if absolutism is positively correlated with strength of religious belief across cultures. The findings of this research are motivating to further explore these typologies.

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

Joseph Graves “The Emperor’s New Clothes”: The Origin of the Race Concept

Graves’s The Emperor’s New Clothes has so many things wrong with it, so many untruths, half-truths, and examples of naivety, that it is difficult to know how to begin critiquing it. Nonetheless, such must be done, so I will begin at the beginning (page 1) and continue until the end of the first section (page 52).

First, Graves dances around with the definition of race. His first approximation seems reasonable, “The term ‘race’ implies the existence of some nontrivial underlying hereditary features shared by a group of people and not present in other groups” (5) but his thoughts go down-hill from there. Latter in the page he notes that “None of the physical features by which we have historically defined human races… unambiguously corresponds to the racial groups we have constructed.” First, Graves’ look for unambiguous markers is misguided. Not all human beings are born with a brain, but possession of the brain is nonetheless typical for the human race. Secondly, Graves attempts to jump between a physical definition of race and a socially constructed definition. Our concepts of race imprecisely but accurately describe real genetic populations (Parra, et al., 2003; Pimenta, et al., 2006) in spite of what graves later claims (36).. Ultimately, the definition Graves takes from the dictionary may be best: “A population of organisms differing from others of the same species in the frequency of hereditary traits; a subspecies” (6). Graves’ question, “How much genetic difference must there be before a subspecies can be said to exist?” is best answered with “a statistically significant amount.” If this implies races and sub-races, and sub races within those, so be it. In some cases, it may be that it is easiest to speak about those who left Africa and those who stayed (Underhill, P.A., et al., 2000), as Africans, Asians, and Europeans (Bamshad, et al., 2003), or even smaller groups. (Lindh, Andersson, & Gusdal, 1997).

Graves historicism confuses him as to the nature of those he disagrees with. Believing that genes vary in significant ways among breeding populations – that races exist – does not imply that “inequalities cannot be fundamentally altered by environmental interventions such as social programs.” Indeed, almost the reverse is true: if we are born with differing genetic propensities, identical environmental factors will lead to unequal environments. The conclusion then is that if we are born differently genetically, we can create unequal outcomes to lead to equal outcomes. As Stephen Pinker writes, “the more equal we make society, the higher heritability will be, and the more genes will matter” (Pinker, 2002, 77).

Going back to Graves’ definition, he claims that the “Jews were a cultural group rather than a biologically distinct population (to say nothing of a race)” (20). Again, the Jewish population appears to be an interaction between real genetic links and socially constructed ones. As Behar et al. 2003) summarize the evidence, “the Cohanim, a paternally inherited Jewish priestly caste, predominantly share a recent common ancestor irrespective of the geographically defiend post-Diaspora community to which they belong, a finding consistent with common Jewish origins in the Near East” (768). His social construction leads him to confuse anti-Judaic acts of Catholics with anti-Semitism, where he lists anti-Jewish attitudes (21) that were based on belief, not parernity.

Graves also suffers from his apparent ignorance of the tools of social science. He approvingly quotes Frederick Douglass’s thoughts on “the impossibility of legitimately comparing the innate abilities of different races in a society that maintained such disparity in the physical conditions in which the races lived.” Dougglass believing that was understandable, as John Dewer’s revolution of the social science had not happened when he wrote such words. But for the last century scientific examination of humans has relied on correlation and regression two tools that do not only require similar conditions but often spurn them (so that more variables may be examined). Social science does not work by naively comparing two groups identical in one category and different in two others, but by explaining the variance of dependent variables in terms of independent variables.

Related to this is Graves’ frustratingly simplistic statements on genetics. He expects us to believe that, somehow, the fact that there “is more genetic variability in one tribe of East African chimpanzees than in the entire human species!” means anything at all. What is his point? Is he claiming a consistent cross-species relationships between “genetic variability” (however he defines it) and phenotypic and extended phenotpyic variability? Such a statement could easily be read to imply that races matter, as when fewer things change they may matter more. Ultimately, Graves is silent on the meaning of this rhetorically nifty but substantively empty statement.

Bamshad, M.J., Wooding, S., Walkins, W.S., Ostler, C.T., Batzer, M.A., Jorde, L.B. (2003). Human population genetic structures and inference of group membership. American Journal of Human Genetics 72: 578-589.
Behar, D.M., Thomas, M.G., Skorecki, K., Hammer, M.F., Bulygina, E., Rosengarten. D., Jones, A.L., Held K., Moses, V., Goldstein, D., Bradman, N., & Weale, M.E. (2003). American Journal of Human Genetics 73: 768-779.
Graves, J. L., Jr. (2001). The emperor’s new clothes: Biological theories of race at the millennium. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Lindh, M., Andersson, A.S., & Gusdal, A. (1997). Genotypes, nt 1858 variants, and geographic origin of hepatitis B virus–large-scale analysis using a new genotyping method. Journal of Infectious Diseases 175(6): 1285-1293.
Parra, F.C., Amado, R.C., Lambertucci, J.R., Rocha, J., Antunes, C.M., & Pena, S.D.J. (2003). Color and genomic ancestry in Brazilians. PNAS 100(1): 177-182..
Pimenta, J.R., Zuccherato, L.W., Debes, A.A., Maselli, L., Soares, R.P., Moura-Neto, R.S., Rocha, J., Bydlowski, S.P.k, & Pena, S.D. (2006). Color and Genomic Ancestry in Brazillians: A Study with Forensic Microsatellites. Human Heredity 62(4): 190-195.
Pinker, S. (2002). The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. Viking Adult: New York, NY.
Underhill, P.A., Shen, P., Lin, A.A., Passarino, G., Yang, W.H., Kauffman, E., Bonne-Tamir, B., Bertranpetit, J., Francalacci, P., Ibrahim, M., Jenkins, T., Kidd, J.R., Mehdi, S.Q., Seielstad, M.T., Wells, R.S., Piazza, A., David, R.W., Feldman, M.W., Cavalli-Sforza, L.L., & Oefner, P.J. (2000). Y chromosome sequence variation and the history of human populations. Nature Genetics 26: 358-361.

Reactions to The Emperor’s New Clothes,part of Biopsychological Development
1. The Origin of the Race Concept
2. Darwin and the Survival of Scientific Racism
3. Applications and Misapplications of Darwinism
4. Biological Theories of Race At the Millennium