Vaguely interesting (Aug 28)

(1)  A huge network of researchers tried to replicate 100 findings from three of the top psychology journals. Overall, 54% of cognitive psychology findings replicated successfully, along with a dismal 28% of social psychology findings. The non-replicated studies mostly had smaller effects, larger p-values, and surprising results.

(2)  More evidence that, while there might be something to the “good genes” account of physical attractiveness, it’s a complicated and nuanced story.

(3)  On attractiveness and political persuasion.

(4)  “So that’s where American politics stands today: on one side, a radicalized, highly ideological demographic threatened with losing its place of privilege in society, politically activated, and locked into the House; on the other side, a demographically and ideologically heterogeneous coalition of interest groups big enough to reliably win the presidency and occasionally the Senate. For now, it’s gridlock.”

(5)  “[E]ven if Protestantism is regarded as a single group, about a third of Americans (34%) identify with a different religious group than the one in which they were raised.”

Vaguely interesting (Aug 27)

(1)  Despite being free for women, the ratio of men to women who ever actively used Ashley Madison was in the neighborhood of 9,000 to 1. “[T]he overwhelming majority of men using Ashley Madison weren’t having affairs. They were paying for a fantasy.”

(2)  Biggest supporters of race-based affirmative action? African Americans. Biggest supporters of gender-based affirmative action? Minority women. Biggest opponents of both? White men.

(3)  “HARWOOD: How do you think people who live paycheck to paycheck will receive that your tax plan eliminates taxes on estates, capital gains, and dividends? RUBIO: First of all, capital gains and dividends is investment. My father had a job as a bartender at a hotel. And the reason why he had a job as a bartender is because someone with money invested in that hotel. That’s why he had a salary, and that’s why he had tips.”

(4)  More evidence that congressional Republicans care more about their economic agenda than their social agenda.

(5)  “Donald Trump is punishment to a Republican elite that wasn’t listening to their grassroots.”

Vaguely interesting (Aug 25)

(1)  Trumpism looks a lot like Europe’s nationalist populist parties.

(2)  Hispanics really like Hillary, think Jeb Bush is OK, and really dislike Trump.

(3)  The U.S. public’s views on deportations, a Southern border wall, the 14th Amendment, and immigrants generally.

(4)  Twisdom: “The stock market is the only market where things go on sale and all the customers run out of the store….”

(5)  Investment advice that starts off strong (i.e., don’t sell in the middle of a meltdown), and then says something not-quite-optimal: that you should buy stocks when you make money from work and sell stocks when you’re retired and spend money. But, you know, a day you get paid isn’t necessarily a good day to buy stocks. And a day you spend money isn’t necessarily a good day to sell stocks.

Vaguely interesting (Aug 21)

(1)  You know that cool thing about how the sex of their children affects parents’ political ideology? Yeah, umm, that’s probably not real.

(2)  The “fertile phase” is often not: “Anovulation in a random population occurs in over a third of clinically normal menstrual cycles.”

(3)  Studying abroad teaches students that foreigners are weird and inferior, but not threatening.

(4)  “Trump’s total lack of concern for the Republican donor class has freed him to take positions that actually line up well with the views of the primary electorate.”

(5)  Pew studies racial bias using the Implicit Association Test (IAT).

Vaguely interesting (Aug 20)

(1)  “A typical human behavioral trait is associated with very many genetic variants, each of which accounts for a very small percentage of the behavioral variability.”

(2)  Obamacare increased contraception use and decreased abortion rates, with a negligible net effect on birth rates.

(3)  More than half of American workers haven’t had a vacation in the past 12 months.

(4)  The soft bigotry of low expectations. OK, strike “soft” and insert “actual”.

(5)  A bad lip reading of the Republican debate.

Vaguely interesting (Aug 18)

(1)  Trump is giving the Republican base (but not Republican elites) what they want: Restricted immigration but no cuts to entitlements.

(2)  Another intra-party conflict, this time between high-SES Democratic leaders and the low-SES Democratic base over the minimum wage.

(3)  The continuing problems of segregation and neglect in public schools.

(4)  How prosecutors exclude African Americans from juries.

(5)  “Higher education protects wealth, but only among white and Asian families.”

Vaguely interesting (Aug 14)

(1)  As Europe becomes more racially diverse, expect more U.S.-style freak-outs over immigration.

(2)  New study on depression, pregnancy, and social support.

(3)  “[O]ne important reason for the failure of real wages to keep up with productivity is that the division of rent in industry has been shifting against the labor side for several decades.”

(4)  “What if the fact that students can get help from the federal government to pay for college just leads colleges to charge more?”

(5)  “Using advanced technology, we’ve created a tool that uses current data to prove that Your Preferred Candidate is, truly, a juggernaut that cannot be stopped.”

Vaguely interesting (Aug 12)

(1) “When neuroscientists stuck a dead salmon in an fMRI machine and watched its brain light up, they knew they had a problem.”

(2) Turns out that subsidizing health insurance leads to more people with health insurance.

(3) “[T]he extent to which citizens perceive themselves and their families to be economically insecure has a … substantial negative effect on political trust.”

(4) “But speaking as a white male nerd on the autism spectrum, effective altruism can’t just be for white male nerds on the autism spectrum.”

(5) Andrew Gelman on Dan Kahan on the troubles of M Turk samples.

Vaguely interesting (Aug 7)

(1)  Thinking through the implications of some recent extensions to evolutionary theory.

(2)  A lot of people watched the Republican debate.

(3)  “And as ‘responsible’ Republicans battle the chaos, in the background you can hear the soft clucking of chickens coming home to roost.”

(4)  “[T]extbook prices have risen over three times the rate of inflation from January 1977 to June 2015, a 1,041 percent increase.”

Vaguely interesting (Aug 3)

(1)  “Overall, we found that no brain region was dedicated to any single emotion. We also found that every alleged ‘emotion’ region of the brain increased its activity during nonemotional thoughts and perceptions as well.”

(2)  Non-bright kids from rich families are more likely to make lots of money than bright kids from poor families in the UK. (A note to my brighter/poorer academic friends: This situation is generally comforting, rather than appalling, to people who are richer than they are bright.)

(3)  “Motivated Reasoning and Yard-Sign-Stealing Partisans: Mine is a Likable Rogue, Yours is a Degenerate Criminal”

(4)  A great conversation on how to think about early-stage presidential polling.

(5)  Robert Wright and Paul Bloom discuss morality and evolution (the second half is particularly good) on Wright’s revamped website.