New Research in Psychological Science

Twin Differences in Harsh Parenting Predict Youth’s Antisocial Behavior
S. Alexandra Burt, D. Angus Clark, Elizabeth T. Gershoff, Kelly L. Klump, and Luke W. Hyde

Harsher parenting (e.g., hitting children) appears to be associated with children’s antisocial behavior (e.g., aggression, rule breaking) via environmental transmission rather than genetic transmission. In two samples of twins, the twin exposed to more harsh parenting tended to display more antisocial behaviors, even when genetics was held constant (i.e., in monozygotic twin comparisons). These findings suggest that harsh parenting, including physical punishment, may increase children’s antisocial behavior for nongenetic reasons, and are consistent with policies aimed at reducing physical punishment.

Attitudes Based on Feelings: Fixed or Fleeting?
Matthew D. Rocklage and Andrew Luttrell

In seven studies, including analyses of real-world online reviews, Rocklage and Luttrell found that attitudes based on emotion are relatively fixed. The more emotional participants’ opinions about brands or gifts were, the less their opinions changed over time. This effect was more pronounced for positive opinions than for negative opinions. In addition, persuasive messages that evoked emotions were more likely to create persisting attitudes. These findings highlight how emotion may increase support for issues, individuals, or products.

Preregistered Replication of “Feeling Superior Is a Bipartisan Issue: Extremity (Not Direction) of Political Views Predicts Perceived Belief Superiority”
Elizabeth A. Harris and Jay J. Van Bavel

Toner and colleagues (2013) found that conservatives were more dogmatic than liberals, but both conservatives and liberals with extreme beliefs perceived their beliefs as superior to those of others. Harris and Van Bavel replicated these findings and verified that extremism varied by topic. However, the researchers also found that regardless of political beliefs, people with more extreme views also had higher dogmatism. These findings support the idea that dogmatism, extremism, and feelings of superiority appear to depend more on topic than on political view. Thus, researchers assessing differences between conservatives and liberals should study diverse topics.

Misogynistic Tweets Correlate With Violence Against Women
Khandis R. Blake, Siobhan M. O’Dean, James Lian, and Thomas F. Denson

Misogynistic tweets in different areas across the United States appeared to be related to domestic violence in those areas. Blake and colleagues tracked misogynistic tweets in more than 400 areas and the incidents of domestic and family violence reported to the FBI in the same areas. Misogynistic tweets were a significant predictor of future domestic and family violence, which is perpetrated against women in more than 70% of the cases. Although these findings do not suggest that misogyny on social media causes violence against women, they do suggest that expressing prejudice against women tends to co-occur with domestic violence.

The Crowd-Emotion-Amplification Effect
Amit Goldenberg, Erika Weisz, Timothy D. Sweeny, Mina Cikara, and James J. Gross

When reading a crowd, individuals appear to focus on faces showing strong emotions, which may lead them to overestimate the crowd’s emotional response. Participants overestimated the average emotion of sets of faces presented on a screen. This overestimation increased as the number of faces presented increased and was higher for negative emotions. Eye-tracking data suggested that participants focused their attention on the faces expressing the strongest emotions. These findings have implications for situations in which people have to make decisions that depend on their judgment of a crowd’s emotionality, such as when police officers have to decide whether to intervene in a demonstration.

Now You Hear Me, Later You Don’t: The Immediacy of Linguistic Computation and the Representation of Speech
Spencer Caplan, Alon Hafri, and John C. Trueswell

Listening to speech does not appear to involve the retention of acoustic-phonetic signals over time. This research suggests that, instead, listeners process and adapt to variability in speech by storing and updating probabilistic activation over cognitive and linguistic categories. Participants heard acoustically ambiguous words while the researchers manipulated whether textual disambiguation cues were presented before or after the audio. Results indicated that only text provided before the audio made listeners adapt to a modified acoustic distribution. These findings suggest that speech representations consist of activation over categories and that pure acoustic signals are not retained over time.

A Tale of Two Modalities: Sign and Speech Influence Each Other in Bimodal Bilinguals
Francie Manhardt, Susanne Brouwer, and Aslı Özyürek

Sign and speech appear to influence each other in bimodal bilinguals—hearing individuals who are fluent in both a sign language and a spoken language. In this experiment, when compared with hearing participants who did not know sign language, bimodal bilinguals showed the influence of sign language in their speech by expressing more specific information about the physical features of objects. Similarly, the bimodal bilinguals showed influence from speech in their signing by using fewer signs that conveyed information specific to sign language than deaf participants. Thus, exposure to both languages might enrich spoken language, which could be important for children with cochlear implants, for instance.

Does Neuronal Recycling Result in Destructive Competition? The Influence of Learning to Read on the Recognition of Faces
Jeroen van Paridon, Markus Ostarek, Mrudula Arunkumar, and Falk Huettig

Neuronal recycling is when newly acquired skills, such as reading, recycle evolutionary older neuronal circuits that evolved for different functions (e.g., object recognition). This process does not appear to have detrimental effects on the functions that those neuronal circuits originally evolved to serve. However, von Paridon and colleagues found evidence contrary to what the destructive-competition hypothesis predicts: In their study, participants who had learned to read had better object-recognition abilities than illiterate and low-literate participants. Given these findings, van Paridon and colleagues hypothesize that learning to read might fine-tune rather than impair general object-recognition mechanisms.

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Comments will be moderated. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.