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Science

Perception of Female Anger

An old HuffPo article that i just found.

Previous research suggests that women are not only stereotyped as overly emotional, but they're also perceived as less influential, competent and rational than men during group discussions. And women are particularly punished for behaving dominantly.

To investigate this dynamic, researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Illinois at Chicago conducted a study to see how people reacted to women versus men who expressed anger in a group setting.

The Setup

The researchers gathered 210 undergraduate students to participate in a computerized mock-jury simulation that would take place over an instant messenger program. Participants were told that they'd be randomly assigned to virtual groups of six-person "juries" with other people in the study. They were first presented with evidence from a real-life murder trial and then asked to create a username for the jury chat room where they would "deliberate with their group until they reached a unanimous verdict." They then reported their verdict and confidence in their decision before deliberation began.

The chat room, however, was completely scripted based on that initial verdict given by each participant. In each chat, four of the other "jurors" would agree with the participant's verdict and one "juror" would disagree -- the researchers called this one "the holdout juror." The holdout juror was either a man (Jason) or a woman (Alicia). In the simulation, the holdout would either use no emotion or use "clear expressions of anger," like "seriously, this just makes me angry" and "OK, this is getting really frustrating," as well words in all capital letters. Over the course of the discussion, one of the "jurors" would switch their verdict to align with the holdout's.

After the discussion was over, participants reported their final verdicts and how confident they were in their decision. They also completed a survey about how they perceived their co-jurors: how emotional, angry, trustworthy, influential, likable, competent, credible, persuasive and rational they felt the others were.

The Findings

After analyzing the simulation, the researchers found that women's anger worked against them, while men's anger served as a "powerful" tool of persuasion. When the holdout was a male who expressed anger, participants significantly doubted their own opinion, even when they were in the majority. But if the holdout was a woman who expressed anger, she actually had less influence over participants -- so much so that it was the only scenario in the study in which participants became more confident in their own opinion that opposed that of the woman.

The post-simulation perception surveys shed some light as to why they found this dynamic. The male and female holdouts used the same exact typed language, so participants couldn't judge potential gender differences in communication style or facial expression. Even so, perception biases still cropped up. When the man was perceived as emotional, he was considered more credible for getting angry. But when the woman was perceived as emotional, participants became more sure of their own opinion, even if they considered the woman credible. As the researchers put it: "When a woman expresses anger, this does not just make her seem less credible, but seems to make assessing her credibility irrelevant."

I surveyed my emotional womb and my aggressive vagina and we are all in agreement that having our opinions discounted piss us off.


By min | December 16, 2016, 9:31 AM | Science | Link



Charles Will Never Inherit the Crown

Cause Queen Elizabeth is never going to die. She's going to be like Ida Lowry in Brazil, getting herself rejuvenated every 10 years or so.

By tweaking genes that turn adult cells back into embryoniclike ones, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies reversed the aging of mouse and human cells in vitro, extended the life of a mouse with an accelerated-aging condition and successfully promoted recovery from an injury in a middle-aged mouse, according to a study published Thursday in Cell.
...
The study adds weight to the scientific argument that aging is largely a process of so-called epigenetic changes, alterations that make genes more active or less so. Over the course of life cell-activity regulators get added to or removed from genes. In humans those changes can be caused by smoking, pollution or other environmental factors--which dial the genes' activities up or down. As these changes accumulate, our muscles weaken, our minds slow down and we become more vulnerable to diseases.

The new study suggests the possibility of reversing at least some of these changes, a process researchers think they may eventually get to work in living humans. "Aging is something plastic that we can manipulate," says Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, the study's senior author and an expert in gene expression at Salk. In their study Belmonte and his colleagues rejuvenated cells by turning on, for a short period of time, four genes that have the capacity to convert adult cells back into an embryoniclike state.

...

With an approach like the one Belmonte lays out in the new study, theoretically "you could have one treatment and go back 10 or 20 years," he says. If aging starts to catch up to you again, you simply get another treatment.

They come out with a study every couple of years about how they've discovered yet another way to slow/reverse aging. They don't seem to go anywhere, though. I think they do it just to keep up my Resident Evil paranoia. It's working.

fnord12: Love that you hear we're on the verge of immortality and your first thought is "Poor Prince Charles!". The zombie fear i expected, ofc.


By min | December 16, 2016, 8:41 AM | Science | Link



Aphantasia

For whatever reason, my inability to see pictures in my head came up a lot in conversations irl this weekend. I didn't realize until college that most people could actually see pictures in their heads, and i still wasn't sure if i believed that people could really do it. But we've been watching Falling Water recently, and so we've been talking about dreams. Min has very vivid dreams and she can actually control them, which is really weird in a different direction, and she's been asking friends if they can do that (no one can). But in talking about that, my lack of ability to see pictures at all has come up. I've googled about it before and found nothing, but apparently in the last year or so the condition (?) has been identified and named Aphantasia. Here are two news articles about it: NYT and BBC. And here's a really good explainer about it from the co-founder of Firefox, who has the same "condition".

I do dream. I very very rarely remember them, usually only when i've been woken up in the middle. But like the commenter at the bottom of this article, the dreams are like "narration", not a movie in my head.

No idea if this "explains" anything about me, since it's all perfectly normal to me. And it's not like there's anything weird about me that needs to be explained. Right?!


By fnord12 | December 12, 2016, 8:53 AM | My stupid life & Science | Link



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