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Subbotsky and Quinteros are not particularly convincing. Their main result seems to be the different behaviour in the low-risk condition. Psychologists seem to assume, all their subjects are stupid. It ought to be pretty obvious to anyone, that there is a hidden mechanical contraption in the box. I would expect a hidden mechanism capable of cutting or scratching a thin plastic card easier and more probable than some complicated double bottom and hidden compartment. Given that, the result is entirely rational. Europeans know that identity papers like driving licences are considered property of the state and damaging them is a fineable offence. They also know a damaged licence can be replaced cheaply and easily. On the other hand rural Mexicans are well aware that white members of the upper class, especially when connected to important institutions like universities, can get away with just about anything. Getting a replacement would also probably be tedious and take time and possibly expensive bribery. In the second experiment, where the risk is the same to both groups, their reaction is identical too.
Bastardi’s results are neither new nor very surprising. In my choice of which articles to save for further reference I even do it consciously. This is why dissenters and controversy are so important for science and why censorship and the suppression of (supposedly) minority views are so corrupting. There are very good arguments that in the current climate debate just that is happening now.
I only list Hayden’s commentary, as the article by del Rio is quite beyond me.
The surprising result in Schoeninger and Copeland is not the patrilocality but the tiny home range in complete contrast to what we know from later hominids and humans. I don’t understand the argument about male preference for dolomite. All juveniles, both male and female, live as part of groups and all these groups would presumably have to include males to be viable.
The comments and reply about the Rosing et al. article on precambrian CO2 cast more doubt on current climate modeling.
Bloom (1999) misunderstands the 1944 experiment by Heider and Simmel. Students do not attribute intentionality to geometric objects, they attribute abstraction and the use of symbols and metaphors to psychology professors. Heider and Simmel explicitly state that the students saw exactly the story they had tried to depict. What the experiment was about was finding just which cues were most important in conveying the meaning.
Pargament et al. do not actually tell us a lot. As placebos and nocebos go the effect they report is not particularly strong. With some of the confounders being a lot stronger than the reported effect I would have liked to see more stringent tests, if it really is not just a hidden correlation between this supposed cause and other stronger variables.
Here’s the link to this week’s complete list.
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