ResearchPad - psychological-and-cognitive-sciences https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Estimating geographic subjective well-being from Twitter: A comparison of dictionary and data-driven language methods]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8297 Researchers and policy makers worldwide are interested in measuring the subjective well-being of populations. When users post on social media, they leave behind digital traces that reflect their thoughts and feelings. Aggregation of such digital traces may make it possible to monitor well-being at large scale. However, social media-based methods need to be robust to regional effects if they are to produce reliable estimates. Using a sample of 1.53 billion geotagged English tweets, we provide a systematic evaluation of word-level and data-driven methods for text analysis for generating well-being estimates for 1,208 US counties. We compared Twitter-based county-level estimates with well-being measurements provided by the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index survey through 1.73 million phone surveys. We find that word-level methods (e.g., Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count [LIWC] 2015 and Language Assessment by Mechanical Turk [LabMT]) yielded inconsistent county-level well-being measurements due to regional, cultural, and socioeconomic differences in language use. However, removing as few as three of the most frequent words led to notable improvements in well-being prediction. Data-driven methods provided robust estimates, approximating the Gallup data at up to r = 0.64. We show that the findings generalized to county socioeconomic and health outcomes and were robust when poststratifying the samples to be more representative of the general US population. Regional well-being estimation from social media data seems to be robust when supervised data-driven methods are used.

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<![CDATA[Individual differences in trust evaluations are shaped mostly by environments, not genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8293 People evaluate a stranger’s trustworthiness from their facial features in a fraction of a second, despite common advice “not to judge a book by its cover.” Evaluations of trustworthiness have critical and widespread social impact, predicting financial lending, mate selection, and even criminal justice outcomes. Consequently, understanding how people perceive trustworthiness from faces has been a major focus of scientific inquiry, and detailed models explain how consensus impressions of trustworthiness are driven by facial attributes. However, facial impression models do not consider variation between observers. Here, we develop a sensitive test of trustworthiness evaluation and use it to document substantial, stable individual differences in trustworthiness impressions. Via a twin study, we show that these individual differences are largely shaped by variation in personal experience, rather than genes or shared environments. Finally, using multivariate twin modeling, we show that variation in trustworthiness evaluation is specific, dissociating from other key facial evaluations of dominance and attractiveness. Our finding that variation in facial trustworthiness evaluation is driven mostly by personal experience represents a rare example of a core social perceptual capacity being predominantly shaped by a person’s unique environment. Notably, it stands in sharp contrast to variation in facial recognition ability, which is driven mostly by genes. Our study provides insights into the development of the social brain, offers a different perspective on disagreement in trust in wider society, and motivates new research into the origins and potential malleability of face evaluation, a critical aspect of human social cognition.

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<![CDATA[Conjunctive representations that integrate stimuli, responses, and rules are critical for action selection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_8286 People can use abstract rules to flexibly configure and select actions for specific situations, yet how exactly rules shape actions toward specific sensory and/or motor requirements remains unclear. Both research from animal models and human-level theories of action control point to the role of highly integrated, conjunctive representations, sometimes referred to as event files. These representations are thought to combine rules with other, goal-relevant sensory and motor features in a nonlinear manner and represent a necessary condition for action selection. However, so far, no methods exist to track such representations in humans during action selection with adequate temporal resolution. Here, we applied time-resolved representational similarity analysis to the spectral-temporal profiles of electroencephalography signals while participants performed a cued, rule-based action selection task. In two experiments, we found that conjunctive representations were active throughout the entire selection period and were functionally dissociable from the representation of constituent features. Specifically, the strength of conjunctions was a highly robust predictor of trial-by-trial variability in response times and was selectively related to an important behavioral indicator of conjunctive representations, the so-called partial-overlap priming pattern. These results provide direct evidence for conjunctive representations as critical precursors of action selection in humans.

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<![CDATA[Two systems for thinking about others’ thoughts in the developing brain]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4fc9115a-07bd-4f0e-b55c-50afea5c2319

Significance

The ability to reason about other people’s thoughts and beliefs characterizes the complex social interaction among humans. This ability, called Theory of Mind (ToM), has long been argued to develop around 4 y when children start explicitly reasoning about others' beliefs. However, when tested nonverbally, infants already show action expectations congruent with others’ beliefs before the age of 2 y. Do these behaviors reflect different systems for understanding others’ minds—an early and a later developing one—or when does ToM develop? We show that these abilities are supported by the maturation of independent brain networks, suggesting different systems for explicit verbal ToM and early nonverbal action expectations.

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<![CDATA[Active learning narrows achievement gaps for underrepresented students in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and math]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Na24a7c44-bae4-42ca-9fba-c975be0e89bf

Significance

Achievement gaps increase income inequality and decrease workplace diversity by contributing to the attrition of underrepresented students from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors. We collected data on exam scores and failure rates in a wide array of STEM courses that had been taught by the same instructor via both traditional lecturing and active learning, and analyzed how the change in teaching approach impacted underrepresented minority and low-income students. On average, active learning reduced achievement gaps in exam scores and passing rates. Active learning benefits all students but offers disproportionate benefits for individuals from underrepresented groups. Widespread implementation of high-quality active learning can help reduce or eliminate achievement gaps in STEM courses and promote equity in higher education.

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<![CDATA[Brain activity forecasts video engagement in an internet attention market]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N71a0cc26-e36f-41ef-9fea-437057b7d7a9

Significance

People currently spend over a billion of hours a day watching internet video content. To understand why, we combined neuroimaging with a behavioral video viewing task that simulated an internet attention market (i.e., youtube.com). While brain activity at video onset (increased nucleus accumbens [NAcc] and medial prefrontal cortex but decreased anterior insula [AIns]) predicted individuals’ choices to start and stop viewing, only activity in a subset of these regions implicated in anticipatory affect (increased NAcc and decreased AIns) at video onset forecasts aggregate video view frequency and duration on the internet. These findings suggest that brain activity can reveal “hidden” information capable of forecasting video engagement in attention markets.

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<![CDATA[Moving beyond the West vs. the rest: Understanding variation within Asian groups and its societal consequences]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N592049d6-1fb9-405d-a399-fe1a4b4e116a ]]> <![CDATA[Making inferences about racial disparities in police violence]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N40ca74e7-49a9-4e5e-b661-41221bb92f24 ]]> <![CDATA[Cognitive and noncognitive predictors of success]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4022801e-1e0b-4d80-8590-f52d631938e5

Significance

To examine cognitive and noncognitive predictors of success, we conducted a megaanalysis of prospective, longitudinal data on over 10,000 cadets at the US Military Academy at West Point. Cognitive ability was negatively related to physical ability and grit. While cognitive ability predicted academic and military grades, the noncognitive attributes of physical ability and grit were more prognostic of other achievement outcomes, including successful completion of initiation training and 4-y graduation.

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<![CDATA[One- to four-year-olds connect diverse positive emotional vocalizations to their probable causes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b457c93463d7e4d85bb20d3

Significance

We find that very young children make fine-grained distinctions among positive emotional expressions and connect diverse emotional vocalizations to their probable eliciting causes. Moreover, when infants see emotional reactions that are improbable, given observed causes, they actively search for hidden causes. The results suggest that early emotion understanding is not limited to discriminating a few basic emotions or contrasts across valence; rather, young children’s understanding of others’ emotional reactions is nuanced and causal. The findings have implications for research on the neural and cognitive bases of emotion reasoning, as well as investigations of early social relationships.

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