New Research in Psychological Science

Sex Differences in Mate Preferences Across 45 Countries: A Large-Scale Replication
Kathryn V. Walter, Daniel Conroy-Beam, David M. Buss, et al.

This research seems to support the popular perception that men are more likely to prefer attractive young mates, and women are more likely to prefer older mates with financial prospects. These sex differences were universal across the 45 countries surveyed. In countries where gender equality was higher, both sexes appeared to have mates closer to their own age. Contrary to older studies, this study found that gender equality did not predict other differences in mate preferences, such as financial prospects. Also, different countries’ rates of communicable and infectious diseases did not predict sex differences or preferences.

Achieving More With Less: Intuitive Correction in Selection
Hagai Rabinovitch, Yoella Bereby-Meyer, and David V. Budescu

Acknowledging the influence of irrelevant attributes in the selection of job candidates (e.g., interviews that benefit English speakers when native language is not relevant for the position) may help underrepresented groups obtain a fairer chance based on their true abilities. In this research, subjects preferred the candidate who had higher levels of an attribute irrelevant for the job (e.g., better score on a written test influenced by the candidate’s native language for a truck driver position). However, when the irrelevant attribute was not a characteristic of the candidate but merely situational (e.g., limited time for the test), subjects’ preference biases were attenuated.

Disentangling the Roles of Cue Visibility and Knowledge in Adjusting Cognitive Control: A Preregistered Direct Replication of the Farooqui and Manly (2015) Study
Christina Bejjani, Jack Dolgin, Ziwei Zhang, and Tobias Egner

Previously, Farooqui and Manly (2015) indicated that individuals may generate fewer errors or delays during task switching (i.e., “switch costs”) when the cues that signal a likely switch (e.g., a number appearing before the task switches) are presented subliminally rather than explicitly. Bejjani and colleagues attempted to replicate this finding but found instead that subjects experienced lower switch costs with explicit cues. These new findings indicate that explicit cues, well understood and consciously perceived, may be more effective than subliminal cues at guiding the cognitive control required for task-switching.

Artificial Intelligence and Persuasion: A Construal-Level Account
Tae Woo Kim and Adam Duhachek

Kim and Duhachek found that messages by nonhuman artificial agents (AAs) are more persuasive when they highlight how an action is performed (e.g., “Apply sunscreen before going out”) rather than why an action is performed (e.g., “Using sunscreen means healthy skin”). Participants likely judged an AA’s actions as more appropriate when they represented how (i.e., low-level construals) as opposed to why (i.e., high-level construals) because they perceived the AA as lacking goals. However, when the AA showed learning capabilities, participants were more open to persuasion from high-level construal messages than low-level messages. This indicates that perceptions of learning capabilities may change people’s assumptions about AAs.