Archive for June, 2012

Someone mentioned this on /sci/. It is a pretty nice explanation.

Two reasons to post this:

“I don’t mind civil cases,” he told us. “I don’t live in Sweden, and it’s not like an extra $71,000 would hurt the $10,606,000 I already owe.”


But the comments are the best:


Swedish judges are now officially retarded.

Thank you.

Mikey The Mongoloid:

My mom says it is not nice to call people retarded and it hurts their feelings and if you say people are retarded you wont go to heaven and be with Jesus.


I agree, these judges are braindead, not retarded.

Priceless :D

Media coverage of study: (danish) (danish)



First, ill whine about the media. Was sort of difficult to find the actual study. None of them linked to the actual study afaict or mentioned it directly by name. This is not necessarily the researchers (or ‘researchers’) fault, but still annoying. I found it tho:

It was ofc behind a paywall, here it is:

Associations Among Men’s Sexist Attitudes, Objectification of Women, and Their Own Drive for Muscularity


The present study tested the hypothesis, derived from feminist perspectives on body image, that men’s greater endorsement of sexist attitudes and objectification of women would be associated with their own drive for muscularity. A total of 327 British men completed scales measuring their drive for muscularity, sexist attitudes, hostility toward women, objectification of women, and key demographics. Results showed that greater drive for muscularity was significantly predicted by stronger objectification of women, hostility toward women, and sexist attitudes, once men’s age and body mass index had been taken into account. These results suggest that oppressive beliefs held by men are associated with a desire for a more muscular physique. Implications for theoretical models seeking to explain drive for muscularity among men are discussed in conclusion.

Some quotes:

“To our knowledge, however, scholars have not approached the topic of men’s body image from feminist perspectives, which posit that corporeal experiences are shaped, in part at least, by patriarchal structures in society, gendered identities, and power relationships between women and men”

‘feminist perspective’, ‘patriarchal structures’, ‘power relationships’. Meh. Sounds like the usual garbage. But i decided still to take a closer look.

Here is the basic structure of their experiment:

1) find some men
2) give them a questionnaire
3) do stats on results
4) interpret with statistical analyses, means, SDs, correlations, controlling for stuff, the usual

and then add some feminist theory.

I wanted to take a look at the tests they used, well, self-assessments:

  • Drive for Muscularity Scale
  • Hostility Toward Women Scale
  • Attitudes Toward Women Scale
  • Ambivalent Sexism Inventory
  • Self-Objectification Scale

They didnt link to these, even tho they are just self-assessments with a questionnaire. Very dubious practice, generally a practice by psychologists, which pisses me off.

Anyway, i googled around and found them all. I will post them here in entirety.

Drive for Muscularity Scale

Found here.

  1. I wish that I were more muscular.
  2. I lift weights to build up muscle.
  3. I use protein or energy supplements.
  4. I drink weight gain or protein shakes.
  5. I try to consume as many calories as I can in a day.
  6. I feel guilty if I miss a weight training session.
  7. I think I would feel more confident if I had more muscle mass.
  8. Other people think I work out with weights too often.
  9. I think that I would look better if I gained 10 pounds in bulk.
  10. I think about taking anabolic steroids.
  11. I think that I would feel stronger if I gained a little more muscle mass.
  12. I think that my weight training schedule interferes with other aspects of my life.
  13. I think that my arms are not muscular enough.
  14. I think that my chest is not muscular enough.
  15. I think that my legs are not muscular enough.

Along with a 6 point scale: Always, Very Often, Often, Sometimes, Rarely, Never.

Notice that there is no neutral / dont know / not applicable option.

Hostility Toward Women Scale

Short form, found here in the appendix.

  1. I feel that many times women flirt with men just to tease them or hurt them.
  2. I believe that most women tell the truth.
  3. I usually find myself agreeing with (other) women.
  4. I think that most women would lie just to get ahead.
  5. (M) Generally, it is safer not to trust women.(F) It is generally safer not to trust women too much.
  6. When it really comes down to it, a lot of women are deceitful.
  7. I am easily angered by (other) women.
  8. I am sure I get a raw deal from the (other) women in my life.
  9. Sometimes (other) women bother me by just being around.
  10. (Other) Women are responsible for most of my troubles.

Not sure how to grade the answers.

Attitudes Toward Women Scale

Found here.

  1. Swearing and obscenity are more repulsive in the speech of a woman than of a man
  2. Women should take increasing responsibility for leadership in solving the intellectual and social problems of the day
  3. Both husband and wife should be allowed the same grounds for divorce
  4. Telling dirty jokes should be mostly a masculine prerogative
  5. Intoxication among women is worse than intoxication among men
  6. Under modern economic conditions with women being active outside the home, men should share in household tasks such as washing dishes and doing the laundry
  7. It is insulting to women to have the “obey” clause remain in the marriage service
  8. There should be a strict merit system in job appointment and promotion without regard to sex
  9. A woman should be free as a man to propose marriage
  10. Women should worry less about their rights and more about becoming good wives and mothers
  11. Women earning as much as their dates should bear equally the expense when they go out together
  12. Women should assume their rightful place in business and all the professions along with men
  13. A woman should not expect to go to exactly the same places or to have quite the same freedom of action as a man
  14. Sons in a family should be given more encouragement to go to college than daughters
  15. It is ridiculous for a woman to run a locomotive and for a man to darn socks
  16. In general, the father should have greater authority than the mother in the bringing up of children
  17. Women should be encouraged not to become sexually intimate with anyone before marriage, even their fiancés
  18. The husband should not be favored by law over the wife in the disposal of family property or income
  19. Women should be concerned with their duties of childbearing and house tending rather than with desires for professional or business careers
  20. The intellectual leadership of a community should be largely in the hands of men
  21. Economic and social freedom is worth far more to women than acceptance of the ideal of femininity which has been set up by men
  22. On the average, women should be regarded as less capable of contributing to economic production than are men
  23. There are many jobs in which men should be given preference over women in being hired or promoted
  24. Women should be given equal opportunity with men for apprenticeship in the various trades
  25. The modern girl is entitled to the same freedom from regulation and control that is given to the modern boy

Using a 4-point scale i.e., no middle point, same as before.

Ambivalent Sexism Inventory

Found here, and has an automatic rating system.

  1. No matter how accomplished he is, a man is not truly complete as a person unless he has the love of a woman.
  2. Many women are actually seeking special favors, such as hiring policies that favor them over men, under the guise of asking for “equality.”
  3. In a disaster, women ought not necessarily to be rescued before men.
  4. Most women interpret innocent remarks or acts as being sexist.
  5. Women are too easily offended.
  6. People are often truly happy in life without being romantically involved with a member of the other sex.
  7. Feminists are not seeking for women to have more power than men.
  8. Many women have a quality of purity that few men possess.
  9. Women should be cherished and protected by men.
  10. Most women fail to appreciate fully all that men do for them.
  11. Women seek to gain power by getting control over men.
  12. Every man ought to have a woman whom he adores.
  13. Men are complete without women.
  14. Women exaggerate problems they have at work.
  15. Once a woman gets a man to commit to her, she usually tries to put him on a tight leash.
  16. When women lose to men in a fair competition, they typically complain about being discriminated against.
  17. A good woman should be set on a pedestal by her man.
  18. There are actually very few women who get a kick out of teasing men by seeming sexually available and then refusing male advances.
  19. Women, compared to men, tend to have a superior moral sensibility.
  20. Men should be willing to sacrifice their own well being in order to provide financially for the women in their lives.
  21. Feminists are making entirely reasonable demands of men.
  22. Women, as compared to men, tend to have a more refined sense of culture and good taste.Also has a 6 point scale with no middle.

Self-Objectification Scale

From here. In appendix.

  1. What rank do you assign to physical coordination?
  2. What rank do you assign to health?
  3. What rank do you assign to weight?
  4. What rank do you assign to strength?
  5. What rank do you assign to sex appeal?
  6. What rank do you assign to physical attractiveness?
  7. What rank do you assign to energy level (e.g., stamina)?
  8. What rank do you assign to firm/sculpted muscles?
  9. What rank do you assign to physical fitness?
  10. What rank do you assign to measurements (e.g., cehst, waist, hips)?

Instrucions are:

We are interested in how people think about their bodies. The questions below identify 10 different body attributes. We would like you to rank order these body attributes from that which has the greatest impact on your physical self-concept (rank this a “9″), to that which has the least impact on your physical self-concept (rank this a “0″).

Note: It does not matter how you describe yourself in terms of each attribute. For example, fitness level can have a great impact on your physical self-concept regardless of whether you consider yourself to be physically fit, not physically fit, or any level in between.

Please first consider all attributes simultaneously, and record your rank ordering by writing the ranks in the rightmost column.


In administering the measure, the title is not included. Scores are obtained by separately summing the ranks for appearance-based items (3, 5, 6, 8 and 10) and competence-based items (1, 2, 4, 7 and 9), and then subtracting the sum of competence ranks from the sum of appearance ranks. Scores may range from -25 to 25, with higher scores indicating a greater emphasis on appearance, interpreted as higher trait self-objectification.

However, the researchers used a modified scale:

[...] In the presentstudy, we used a modified version of the scale in which participants were asked to rank the same attributes according to how important they are when judging women. [...]

The verdict about the tests?

If u have read this far and dont think the tests are of… questionable quality, then i probably cant do much about that.

About about the interpretation?

What do they write?

Extending the beauty-ideals-are-oppressive hypothesis (Forbes et al., 2007), the present study sought to examine whether men’s oppressive beliefs directed at women would also be associated with greater drive for muscularity among themselves. The results of the present work showed that men who held more sexist attitudes and a greater tendency to objectify women reported greater drive for muscularity, even after the effects of participant age and BMI had been considered. Overall, these results provide evidence that patriarchal structures and oppressive beliefs are associated with men’s body health, as has been discussed by other scholars (Connell, 1995; Courtenay, 2000; Kawachi et al., 1999; Stanistreet et al., 2005, 2007).

I think this suffices to show what i want to show. Bad science.

But i cant help mentioning that how nicely the objectification test is made to work. Note which questions are counted as appearance based. Basically, they chose the items that are important to men when judging female attractiveness, and asked men which items are important when judging female looks. What did they expect?

Given the poor quality of tests, im not so sure what these results mean, if they mean anything. They certainly dont mean what the authors think they mean.,0,7694158.story

This is an interesting idea.


Not surprised. Surely, there is a similar aversion among filosofy students at my university to logic, since its the formal near-equivalent of math. And when i change to linguistics this fall, i expect to see a similar aversion to formal linguistics (say, generative grammar).

I wonder, is there an opposite effect, an aversion to words in math depts? Word/language anxiety?


“The Honest Courtesan

Frank commentary from a retired call girl”

An anti-neofeminism blog. Deals alot with dumb politicians and sex and sex trade etc. Added to my feed. Generally, i find hookers interesting. Unfortunately, i dont know any afaik.


 “Medical Hypotheses is a medical journal published by Elsevier. It was originally intended as a forum for unconventional ideas without the traditional filter of scientific peer review, “so long as (the ideas) are coherent and clearly expressed” in order to “foster the diversity and debate upon which the scientific process thrives.”[1] Medical Hypotheses was the only Elsevier journal that did not send submitted papers to other scientists for review.[2] Articles were chosen instead by the journal’s editor-in-chief based on whether he considered the submitted work interesting and important. The journal’s policy placed full responsibility for the integrity, precision and accuracy of publications on the authors, rather than peer reviewers or the editor.[3]

The journal’s lack of peer review[4] and publication of ideas that are considered clear pseudoscience,[5] particularly AIDS denialism,[6] attracted considerable criticism, including calls to remove it from PubMed, the prestigious United States National Library of Medicine online journal database.[5] Following the AIDS papers controversy, Elsevier forced a change in the journal’s leadership. In June 2010, Elsevier announced that “Submitted manuscripts will be reviewed by the Editor and external reviewers to ensure their scientific merit”, suggesting that peer review is now in place.[7]

Too bad. Pre-print peer-review is not that good an idea (perhaps not a good idea at all), as i have previously posted about, twice.

The author of the blog is quite interesting, even if he is a crazy xtian (see his other blog).

I have been reading alot of posts from his blog:

This one was especially interesting. Also, R. Lynn’s general model of achievement seems about right, tho not quite: IQ × Conscientiousness × opportunity = Achievement. I propose this one instead:

The reasoning being: 1) It is intelligence and not IQ that is important. IQ is only important in as far as it correlates with g. Thus, substitute those two. 2) Similarly for conscientiousness. It is only relevant in as far as it predicts amount of work/effort. One can increase workload without increasing C score, and the result is more work done = achievement. Thus, substitute C for work. 3) Some things may have a minimum threshold of g. I suppose it is impossible to teach, say, linear algebra til someone who is at g = 80. If there is no threshold within the domain, one can just set it to 0. 4) An even more general model is perhaps this:

Note the added WorkingSpeed. With matters related to intelligence, this is not relevant as ability is pretty much the same as speed, but there are some contexts where those are not the same. There is however also an issue with non-linear effects. One can get around this by having all the factors as functions like this:

I will be reading these posts in the future:

and perhaps some more.

I had all these open in my tabs, and decided to share them.


I also note that apparently Satoshi Kanazawa was fired from writing at Psychology Today. Reading the various papers (detractors, defenders) listed on the Wikipedia page. I’m inclined to agree mostly with his defenders. The defenders included the most scientists that i respect. Many of the defenders were scientists that i have never heard of from not closely related fields (some example): Department of Communication Studies, Research Fellow in Linguistics, The Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. Another strange thing was that the scientists that i had heard of, were apparently co-authors that werent also signatories: David M Buss, Linda S Gottfredson, Steven Pinker. Actually, these three, that were not signatories, were the only names i recognized form their 68 person list.


Actually, since the defender piece is so short, ill just quote it in its entirety:

Sinned against, not sinning

16 June 2011

We believe the recent criticisms of Satoshi Kanazawa’s work cannot be justified (“Damage limitation: evolutionary psychologists turn on controversial peer”, 2 June). Contrary to the assertion that Kanazawa does poor work, he has published 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals in the fields of psychology, sociology, political science, biology and medicine. These are listed on his London School of Economics web page and many of them have been published in top high-impact journals.

The critics assert that many of these papers are “bad science” and have been published only as a result of a faulty peer-review process. This cannot be accepted. The editors of journals send the papers submitted to them to reviewers with expertise in the fields in question and publish only those that are deemed to be sound. Thus, all of Kanazawa’s papers have been judged as sound by competent reviewers. Others may disagree, and in the case of innovative papers of the kind Kanazawa writes, frequently do. Time eventually tells whether the authors or their detractors are right.

The critics complain that when Kanazawa has a paper rejected by one journal, he sends it to another and publishes it there. Who among the academy’s members has not done that? Reviewers frequently misjudge a paper and editors accept their recommendations. The author then sends it elsewhere and it is accepted. If there were anything wrong with this practice, then, as the first online comment under “Damage limitation” puts it: “A few Nobel prizes will have to be returned.” [Yes, indeed, see JUAN MIGUEL CAMPANARIO - Rejecting and resisting Nobel class discoveries accounts by Nobel Laureates]

The detractors assert that Kanazawa rarely responds to brickbats. On the contrary, we believe that while he sometimes does not respond immediately, he frequently deals with criticisms in his subsequent work.

For example, in respect to the criticisms made by Columbia University’s Andrew Gelman about his paper reporting that physically more attractive parents are more likely to have daughters, Kanazawa replicated his earlier finding with a different dataset from a different nation, and published the replication in the Reproductive Sciences journal earlier this year.

Kanazawa even sought Gelman’s comments on the draft and the Columbia academic’s contribution is acknowledged in the published paper.

Kanazawa’s 2010 American Psychologist article also responds to many of the criticisms that were levelled against his 2004 Psychological Review article.

Finally, we believe that the proper place to make criticisms of academic papers is in the journals in which they were published, not in letters to the press where they cannot be adequately answered.

Among the names of the signatories we find: Bruce Charlton, Richard Lynn, Helmuth Nyborg, J. Philippe Rushton, Donald Templer.


I also looked in the comments below. There is a person who mentions a joint study by Lynn and Kanazawa as a “prime example” of something that isnt “wonderful, accurate or even worth reading”. Out of curiosity, i looked closer at this article. It is the kind of article that wud attract unwarranted criticism: it is a study of difference g averages in boys and girls which found a small difference in boys’ favor at age 16, and small advantages for girls at age 7 and 11. I read some of it, skimmed the rest. Doesn’t seem that there is anything wrong with it. Take a look urself:


Kanazawa’s research quality?

I agree that some of his research is dodgy, and i especially dont like his ad hoc‘ish savannah hypothesis that predicts that smarter people tend to do more evolutionary novel stuff. It is true that he has posted a few confirmations of this pattern. However, even false hypothesis sometimes give correct predictions. I havent seen any critical tests yet that convinced me.









Wikipedia links of interest

A snuff film is a motion picture genre that depicts the actual murder of a person or people, without the aid of special effects, for the express purpose of distribution and entertainment or financial exploitation.[1] The existence of for-profit snuff films is generally considered an urban legend. Some filmed records of executions and murders exist but have not been made or released for commercial purposes.[2]


Alexithymia ( /ˌlɛksəˈθmiə/) is a term coined by psychotherapist Peter Sifneos in 1973[1][2] to describe a state of deficiency in understanding, processing, or describing emotions. The word comes from the Ancient Greek words λέξις (lexis, “diction”, “word”) and θυμός (thumos, “soul, as the seat of emotion, feeling, and thought”) modified by an alpha-privative, literally meaning “without words for emotions“.


Contrary to popular belief, there is no G-spot.

In addition to general skepticism among gynecologists, doctors and researchers that the G-Spot exists,[1][6][8][36] a team at King’s College London in late 2009 suggested that its existence is subjective. They acquired the largest sample size of women to date – 1,800 – who are pairs of twins, and found that the twins did not report a similar G-Spot in their questionnaires. The research, headed by Tim Spector, documents a 15-year study of the twins, identical and non-identical. Identical twins share genes, while non-identical pairs share 50% of theirs. According to the researchers, if one identical twin reported having a G-Spot, it was more likely that the other would too, but this pattern did not materialize.[15][37] Study co-author Dr. Andrea Burri believes: “It is rather irresponsible to claim the existence of an entity that has never been proven and pressurise women and men too.”[14] Burri stated that one of the reasons for the research was to remove feelings of “inadequacy or underachievement” for women who feared they lacked a G-Spot.[15] Dr. Beverly Whipple dismissed the findings, commenting that twins have different sexual partners and techniques, and that the study did not properly account for lesbian or bisexual women.[37]


In a July 2001 article for Scientific American titled “The Truth and the Hype of Hypnosis”, Michael Nash wrote:

…using hypnosis, scientists have temporarily created hallucinations, compulsions, certain types of memory loss, false memories, and delusions in the laboratory so that these phenomena can be studied in a controlled environment.[53]

Pain management

A number of studies show that hypnosis can reduce the pain experienced during burn-wound debridement, bone marrow aspirations, and childbirth. The International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hypnosis found that hypnosis relieved the pain of 75% of 933 subjects participating in 27 different experiments.[53]

In 1996, the National Institutes of Health declared hypnosis effective in reducing pain from cancer and other chronic conditions.[53] Nausea and other symptoms related to incurable diseases may also be managed with hypnosis.[63][64][65][66] For example, research done at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine studied two patient groups facing breast cancer surgery. The group that received hypnosis reported less pain, nausea, and anxiety post-surgery. The average hypnosis patient reduced treatment costs by an average $772.00.[67][68]

The American Psychological Association published a study comparing the effects of hypnosis, ordinary suggestion and placebo in reducing pain. The study found that highly suggestible individuals experienced a greater reduction in pain from hypnosis compared with placebo, whereas less suggestible subjects experienced no pain reduction from hypnosis when compared with placebo. Ordinary non-hypnotic suggestion also caused reduction in pain compared to placebo, but was able to reduce pain in a wider range of subjects (both high and low suggestible) than hypnosis. The results showed that it is primarily the subject’s responsiveness to suggestion, whether within the context of hypnosis or not, that is the main determinant of causing reduction in pain.[69]

Other medical and psychotherapeutic uses

Treating skin diseases with hypnosis (hypnodermatology) has performed well in treating warts, psoriasis, and atopic dermatitis.[70]

The success rate for habit control is varied. A meta-study researching hypnosis as a quit-smoking tool found it had a 20 to 30 percent success rate, similar to other quit-smoking methods,[71] while a 2007 study of patients hospitalised for cardiac and pulmonary ailments found that smokers who used hypnosis to quit smoking doubled their chances of success.[72]

Hypnosis may be useful as an adjunct therapy for weight loss. A 1996 meta-analysis studying hypnosis combined with cognitive-behavioural therapy found that people using both treatments lost more weight than people using CBT alone.[73] The virtual gastric band procedure mixes hypnosis with hypnopedia. The hypnosis instructs the stomach it is smaller than it really is and hypnopedia reinforces alimentary habits.

Controversy surrounds the use of hypnotherapy to retrieve memories, especially those from early childhood or (alleged) past-lives. The American Medical Association and the American Psychological Association caution against repressed memory therapy in cases of alleged childhood trauma, stating that “it is impossible, without corroborative evidence, to distinguish a true memory from a false one.”[74] Past life regression, meanwhile, is often viewed with skepticism.[75]

Military applications

A recently declassified document obtained by The Black Vault Freedom of Information Act archive shows that hypnosis was investigated for military applications.[76] However, the overall conclusion of the study was that there was no evidence that hypnosis could be used for military applications, and also that there was no clear evidence for whether ‘hypnosis’ actually exists as a definable phenomenon outside of ordinary suggestion, high motivation and subject expectancy. According to the document,

The use of hypnosis in intelligence would present certain technical problems not encountered in the clinic or laboratory. To obtain compliance from a resistant source, for example, it would be necessary to hypnotise the source under essentially hostile circumstances. There is no good evidence, clinical or experimental, that this can be done.

Furthermore, the document states that:

It would be difficult to find an area of scientific interest more beset by divided professional opinion and contradictory experimental evidence…No one can say whether hypnosis is a qualitatively unique state with some physiological and conditioned response components or only a form of suggestion induced by high motivation and a positive relationship between hypnotist and subject…T.X. Barber has produced “hypnotic deafness” and “hypnotic blindness”, analgesia and other responses seen in hypnosis—all without hypnotizing anyone…Orne has shown that unhypnotized persons can be motivated to equal and surpass the supposed superhuman physical feats seen in hypnosis.

The study concludes:

It is probably significant that in the long history of hypnosis, where the potential application to intelligence has always been known, there are no reliable accounts of its effective use by an intelligence service.

Research into hypnosis in military applications is further verified by the MKULTRA experiments, also conducted by the CIA.[77] According to Congressional testimony,[78] the CIA experimented with utilizing LSD and hypnosis for mind control. Many of these programs were done domestically and on participants who were not informed of the study’s purposes or that they would be given drugs.[78]

The full paper explores the potentials of operational uses.[79]



In 2003, a meta-analysis of the efficacy of hypnotherapy was published by two researchers from the university of Konstanz in Germany, Flammer and Bongartz. The study examined data on the efficacy of hypnotherapy across the board, though studies included mainly related to psychosomatic illness, test anxiety, smoking cessation and pain control during orthodox medical treatment. Most of the better research studies used traditional-style hypnosis, only a minority (19%) employed Ericksonian hypnosis.

The authors considered a total of 444 studies on hypnotherapy published prior to 2002. By selecting the best quality and most suitable research designs for meta-analysis they narrowed their focus down to 57 controlled trials. These showed that on average hypnotherapy achieved at least 64% success compared to 37% improvement among untreated control groups. (Based on the figures produced by binomial effect size display or BESD.)

According to the authors this was an intentional underestimation. Their professed aim was to discover whether, even under the most skeptical weighing of the evidence, hypnotherapy was still proven effective. They showed conclusively that it was. In fact, their analysis of treatment designs concluded that expansion of the meta-analysis to include non-randomized trials for this data base would also produce reliable results. When all 133 studies deemed suitable in light of this consideration were re-analyzed, providing data for over 6,000 patients, the findings suggest an average improvement in 27% of untreated patients over the term of the studies compared with a 74% success rate among those receiving hypnotherapy. This is a high success rate given the fact that many of the studies measured included the treatment of addictions and medical conditions. The outcome rates for anxiety disorders alone, traditionally hypnotherapy’s strongest application, were higher still (though a precise figure is not cited).(Flammer & Bongartz, “On the efficacy of hypnosis: a meta-analytic study”, Contemporary Hypnosis, 2003, pp179 – 197.)[citation needed]

In 2005 and in 2007, systematic reviews from the Cochrane Collaboration showed no proper evidence that hypnotherapy was useful in the treatment of smoking addiction or in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) [18][19]

The last part here is important. Cochrane Collaboration reviews are the most reliable sources of information in medicine.

Yet, i was still skeptical. Hypnosis is way too often associated with bogus ideas. So i looked into these links as well:

In general, there seems to be something to it. I’m still somewhat skeptical. The future will tell.


I think i may have posted this one before, but i searched a bit and cudn’t find a post with it.

his article classifies types of rape by the sex of both the rapist and the victim. The scope of the article includes both rape and sexual violence more generally.

Since only a small percentage of acts of sexual violence are brought to the attention of the authorities, it is impossible to compile accurate statistics. There are nevertheless statistical estimates published by some official bodies. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (1997) estimated that 91% of United States rape victims were female and 9% were male, with 99% of the offenders being male and 1% of the offenders being female.[1] Several studies argue that male-male and female-female prison rape are quite common and may be the least reported form of rape.[2][3][4]

Rape of males by males

Several studies argue that male-male prisoner rape, as well as female-female prisoner rape, might be the most common and least-reported forms of rape, with some studies suggesting such rapes are substantially more common in both per-capita and raw-number totals than male-female rapes in the general population.[2][3][4]

Research from the UK suggests that almost 3% of men reported a non-consensual sexual experience as adults and over 5% of men reported sexual abuse as a child.[18] This does not take into account the possibility of exaggeration or false reports nor of underreporting. Recognition of male on male rape in law has historically been limited; the first successful prosecution for attempted male on male rape in the UK was not until 1995.

Male on male rape has historically been shrouded in secrecy due to the stigma men associate with being raped by other men. According to psychologist Dr Sarah Crome fewer than one in ten male-male rapes are reported. As a group, male rape victims reported a lack of services and support, and legal systems are often ill-equipped to deal with this type of crime.[19]

The rape of men by men has been documented as a weapon of terror in warfare.[20]

See also


I read this becus of my upcoming review of another book. Might as well post it here. Note that not all effects claimed to be halo effects are actually so. Some are true generalizations/correlations. Intelligence and attractiveness DOES correlate, even surprisingly strongly.

The halo effect or halo error is a cognitive bias in which our judgments of a person’s character can be influenced by our overall impression of them. It can be found in a range of situations—from the courtroom to the classroom and in everyday interactions. The halo effect was given its name by psychologist Edward Thorndike and since then, several researchers have studied the halo effect in relation to attractiveness, and its bearing on the judicial and educational systems.

On personality and happiness

Dion and Berscheid (1972) conducted a study on the relationship between attractiveness and the halo effect.[2] Sixty students from University of Minnesota took part in the experiment, half being male and half being female. Each subject was given three different photos to examine: one of an attractive individual, one of an individual of average attractiveness, and one of an unattractive individual.

The participants judged the photos’ subjects along 27 different personality traits (including altruism, conventionality, self-assertiveness, stability, emotionality, trustworthiness, extraversion, kindness, and sexual promiscuity). Participants were then asked to predict the overall happiness the photos’ subjects would feel for the rest of their lives, including marital happiness (least likely to get divorced), parental happiness (most likely to be a good parent), social and professional happiness (most likely to experience life fulfillment), and overall happiness. Finally, participants were asked if the subjects would hold a job of high status, medium status, or low status.

Results showed that participants overwhelmingly believed the more attractive subjects to have more socially desirably personality traits than either the averagely attractive or unattractive subjects. Participants also believed that the attractive individuals would lead happier lives in general, have happier marriages, be better parents, and have more career success than the unattractive or averagely attractive individuals. Also, results showed that attractive people were believed to be more likely to hold secure, prestigious jobs compared to unattractive individuals.[3]

Academics and intelligence

Landy and Sigall’s 1974 study demonstrated the halo effect on judgments of intelligence and competence on academic tasks. 60 male undergraduate students rated the quality of written essays, which included both well-written and poorly written samples. One third of the participants were presented with a photo of an attractive female as an author, another third were presented with a photo of an unattractive female as the author, and the last third were not shown a photo.

Participants gave significantly better writing evaluations for the more attractive author. On a scale of 1–9 with 1 being the poorest, the well-written essay by the attractive author received an average of 6.7 while the unattractive author received a 5.9 (with a 6.6 as a control). The gap was larger on the poor essay: the attractive author received an average of 5.2, the control a 4.7, and the unattractive a 2.7. These results suggest that people are generally more willing to give physically attractive people the benefit of the doubt when performance is below standard, whereas unattractive people are less likely to receive this favored treatment.[4]

In Moore, Filippou, and Perret’s 2011 study, the researchers sought to determine if residual cues to intelligence and personality existed in male and female faces. Researchers attempted to control for the attractiveness halo effect, but failed. They manipulated the perceived intelligence of photographs of individuals, and it was found that those faces that were manipulated to look high in perceived intelligences were also rated as more attractive. It was also found that the faces high in perceived intelligence were also rated highly on perceived friendliness and sense of humor.[5]

Effects on jurors

Multiple studies have found the halo effect operating within juries. Research shows that attractive individuals receive lesser sentences and are not as likely to be found guilty than an unattractive individual. Efran (1974) found that subjects were more generous when giving out sentences to attractive individuals than to unattractive individuals, even when exactly the same crime was committed. One reason why this occurs is because people with a high level of attractiveness are seen as more likely to have a brighter future in society due to the socially desirable traits they are believed to possess.[6]

Monahan (1941) did a study on social workers who are accustomed to interacting with people from all different types of backgrounds. The study found that the majority of these social workers found it very difficult to believe that beautiful looking people are guilty of a crime.[7]

The relation of the crime itself to attractiveness is also subject to the halo effect.[8] A study presented two hypothetical crimes: a burglary and a swindle. The burglary involved a woman illegally obtaining a key and stealing $2,200; the swindle involved a woman manipulating a man to invest $2,000 in a fabricated business. The results showed that when the offense was not related to attractiveness (in this case, the burglary), the unattractive defendant was punished more severely than the attractive one. However, when the offense was related to attractiveness (the swindle), the attractive defendant was punished more severely than the unattractive one. Participants may have believed the attractive person more likely to manipulate someone using their looks.

Halo effect in education

Abikoff found that the halo effect is also present in the classroom. In this study, both regular and special education elementary school teachers watched videotapes of what they believed to be children in regular 4th-grade classrooms. In reality, the children were actors, depicting behaviors present in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), or standard behavior. The teachers were asked to rate the frequency of hyperactive behaviors observed in the children. Teachers rated hyperactive behaviors accurately for children with ADHD; however, the ratings of hyperactivity and other behaviors associated with ADHD were rated much higher for the children with ODD-like behaviors, showing a halo effect for children with oppositional defiant disorder.[9]

Foster and Ysseldyke (1976) also found the halo effect present in teachers’ evaluations of children. Regular and special education elementary school teachers watched videos of a normal child whom they were told was either emotionally disturbed, possessing a learning disorder, mentally retarded, or “normal”. The teachers then completed referral forms based on the child’s behavior. The results showed that teachers held negative expectancies toward emotionally disturbed children, maintaining these expectancies even when presented with normal behavior. In addition, the mentally retarded label showed a greater degree of negative bias than the emotionally disturbed or learning disabled. [10]

Criticisms and limitations

Some researchers allege that the halo effect is not as pervasive as once believed. Kaplan’s 1978 study yielded much of the same results as are seen in other studies focusing on the halo effect—attractive individuals were rated high in qualities such as creativity, intelligence, and sensitivity than unattractive individuals. In addition these results, Kaplan found that women were influenced by the halo effect on attractiveness only when presented with members of the opposite sex. When presented with an attractive member of the same sex, women actually tended to rate the individual lower on socially desirable qualities.[11]

Criticisms have also pointed out that jealously of an attractive individual could be a major factor in evaluation of that person. A study by Dermer and Thiel has shown this to be more prevalent among females then males, with females describing physically attractive women as having socially undesirable traits.[12]

Vienna Circle

Despite its prominent position in the rich, if fragile, intellectual culture of inter-war Vienna and most likely due to its radical doctrines, the Vienna Circle found itself virtually isolated in most of German speaking philosophy. The one exception was its contact and cooperation with the Berlin Society for Empirical (later: Scientific) Philosophy (the other point of origin of logical empiricism). The members of the Berlin Society sported a broadly similar outlook and included, besides the philosopher Hans Reichenbach, the logicians Kurt Grelling and Walter Dubislav, the psychologist Kurt Lewin, the surgeon Friedrich Kraus and the mathematician Richard von Mises. (Its leading members Reichenbach, Grelling and Dubislav were listed in the Circle’s manifesto as sympathisers.) At the same time, members of the Vienna Circle also engaged directly, if selectively, with the Warsaw logicians (Tarski visited Vienna in 1930, Carnap later that year visited Warsaw and Tarski returned to Vienna in 1935). Probably partly because of its firebrand reputation, the Circle attracted also a series of visiting younger researchers and students including Carl Gustav Hempel from Berlin, Hasso Härlen from Stuttgart, Ludovico Geymonat from Italy, Jørgen Jørgensen, Eino Kaila, Arne Naess and Ake Petzall from Scandinavia, A.J. Ayer from the UK, Albert Blumberg, Charles Morris, Ernest Nagel and W.V.O. Quine from the USA, H.A. Lindemann from Argentina and Tscha Hung from China. (The reports and recollections of these former visitors—e.g. Nagel 1936—are of interest in complementing the Circle’s in-house histories and recollections which start with the unofficial manifesto—Carnap, Hahn and Neurath 1929—and extend through Neurath 1936, Frank 1941, 1949a and Feigl 1943 to the memoirs by Carnap 1963, Feigl 1969a, 1969b, Bergmann 1987, Menger 1994.)

Never heard of that danish guy. A Google search revealed this:,_jura_og_politik/Filosofi/Filosofi_og_filosoffer_-_1900-t./Filosoffer_1900-t._-_Norden_-_biografier/J%C3%B8rgen_J%C3%B8rgensen. He is somewhat cool. I dislike his communist ideas, obviously, but at least he is more interesting than Kierkegaard.


The synthetic statements of the empirical sciences meanwhile were held to be cognitively
meaningful if and only if they were empirically testable in some sense. They derived their
justification as knowledge claims from successful tests. Here the Circle appealed to a meaning
criterion the correct formulation of which was problematical and much debated (and will be
discussed in greater detail in section 3.1 below). Roughly, if synthetic statements failed testability in
principle they were considered to be cognitively meaningless and to give rise only to pseudo-
problems. No third category of significance besides that of a priori analytical and a posteriori
synthetic statements was admitted: in particular, Kant’s synthetic a priori was banned as having
been refuted by the progress of science itself. (The theory of relativity showed what had been held
to be an example of the synthetic a priori, namely Euclidean geometry, to be false as the geometry
of physical space.) Thus the Circle rejected the knowledge claims of metaphysics as being neither
analytic and a priori nor empirical and synthetic. (On related but different grounds, they also
rejected the knowledge claims of normative ethics: whereas conditional norms could be grounded in
means-ends relations, unconditional norms remained unprovable in empirical terms and so
depended crucially on the disputed substantive a priori intuition.)

I like this idea. I generally prefer to talk about cost/benefit analyses with stated goals instead of using moral language. See also Joshua D. Greene’s dissertation about this.


Given their empiricism, all of the members of the Vienna Circle also called into question the principled separation of the natural and the human sciences. They were happy enough to admit to differences in their object domains, but denied the categorical difference in both their overarching methodologies and ultimate goals in inquiry, which the historicist tradition in the still only emerging social sciences and the idealist tradition in philosophy insisted on. The Circle’s own methodologically monist position was sometimes represented under the heading of “unified science”. Precisely how such a unification of the sciences was to be effected or understood remained a matter for further discussion (see section 3.3 below).

I agree with this. There is no principled distinction between natural and social sciences. Only matters of degree and areas of study, and even those overlap.


As noted, the Vienna Circle did not last long: its philosophical revolution came at a cost. Yet what
was so socially, indeed politically, explosive about what appears on first sight to be a particularly
arid, if not astringent, doctrine of specialist scientific knowledge? To a large part, precisely what
made it so controversial philosophically: its claim to refute opponents not by proving their
statements to be false but by showing them to be (cognitively) meaningless. Whatever the niceties
of their philosophical argument here, the socio-political impact of the Vienna Circle’s philosophies
of science was obvious and profound. All of them opposed the increasing groundswell of radically
mistaken, indeed irrational, ways of thinking about thought and its place in the world. In their time
and place, the mere demand that public discourse be perspicuous, in particular, that reasoning be
valid and premises true—a demand implicit in their general ideal of reason—placed them in the
middle of crucial socio-political struggles. Some members and sympathisers of the Circle also
actively opposed the then increasingly popular völkisch supra-individual holism in social science as
a dangerous intellectual aberration. Not only did such ideas support racism and fascism in politics,
but such ideas themselves were supported only by radically mistaken arguments concerning the
nature and explanation of organic and unorganic matter. So the first thing that made all of the
Vienna Circle philosophies politically relevant was the contingent fact that in their day much
political discourse exhibited striking epistemic deficits. That some of the members of the Circle
went, without logical blunders, still further by arguing that socio-political considerations can play a
legitimate role in some instances of theory choice due to underdetermination is yet another matter.
Here this particular issue (see references at the end of section 2.1 above), as well as the general
topic of the Circle’s embedding in modernism and the discourse of modernity (see Putnam 1981b
for a reductionist, Galison 1990 for a foundationalist, Uebel 1996 for a constructivist reading of
their modernism), will not be pursued further.


This also reminds me of the good book The March of Unreason. Written by a politician!


In the first place, this liberalization meant the accommodation of universally quantified statements
and the return, as it were, to salient aspects of Carnap’s 1928 conception. Everybody had noted that
the Wittgensteinian verificationist criterion rendered universally quantified statements meaningless.
Schlick (1931) thus followed Wittgenstein’s own suggestion to treat them instead as representing
rules for the formation of verifiable singular statements. (His abandonment of conclusive
verifiability is indicated only in Schlick 1936a.) By contrast, Hahn (1933, drawn from lectures in
1932) pointed out that hypotheses should be counted as properly meaningful as well and that the
criterion be weakened to allow for less than conclusive verifiability. But other elements played into
this liberalization as well. One that began to do so soon was the recognition of the problem of the
irreducibility of disposition terms to observation terms (more on this presently). A third element was
that disagreement arose as to whether the in-principle verifiability or support turned on what was
merely logically possible or on what was nomologically possible, as a matter of physical law etc. A
fourth element, finally, was that differences emerged as to whether the criterion of significance was
to apply to all languages or whether it was to apply primarily to constructed, formal languages.
Schlick retained the focus on logical possibility and natural languages throughout, but Carnap had
firmly settled his focus on nomological possibility and constructed languages by the mid-thirties.
Concerned with natural language, Schlick (1932, 1936a) deemed all statements meaningful for
which it was logically possible to conceive of a procedure of verification; concerned with
constructed languages only, Carnap (1936–37) deemed meaningful only statements for whom it was
nomologically possible to conceive of a procedure of confirmation of disconfirmation.

This distinction between logical and nomological possibility inre. verificationism i have encountered before. I know a fysicist who endorses verificationism. We have been discussing various problems for this view. His view has implications regarding quantum mechanics that i don’t like.

First, black holes have only 3 independent fysical properties according to standard theory: mass, charge, and angular momentum. However, how does one measure a black hole’s charge? Is it fysically possible? My idea was that it wasn’t, and thus his verificationist ideas imply that a specific part of standard theory about black holes is not just wrong, but meaningless. However, it seems that my proposed counter-example doesn’t work.

Second, another area of trouble is the future and the past. Sentences about the future and the past, are they fysically possible to verify? It seems not. If so, then it follows that all such sentences are meaningless. My fysicist friend sort of wants to buy the bullet here and go with that. I consider it a strong reason to not accept this particular kind of verificationism. The discussion then becomes complicated due to the possible truth of causal indeterminism. Future discussions await! (or maybe that sentence is just meaningless gibberish!)

Also, i consider the traditional view of laws of nature as confused, and agree with Norman Swartz about this.


Logical Empiricism

Richard von Mises (1883–1953)
Born in what is now the Ukraine, Richard von Mises is the brother of the economic and
political theorist Ludwig von Mises. Richard was a polymath who ranged over fields as
diverse as mathematics, aerodynamics, philosophy, and Rilke’s poetry. He finished his
doctorate in Vienna. He was simultaneously active in Berlin, where he was one of the
developers of the frequency theory of probability along with Reichenbach, and in Vienna,
where he participated in various discussion groups that constituted the Vienna Circle.
Eventually it was necessary to escape, first to Turkey, and eventually to MIT and Harvard.

Another polymath that i hadn’t heard about before.


Hilary Putnam (1926–)
This American philosopher of science, mathematics, mind and language earned his doctorate
under Reichenbach at UCLA and subsequently taught at Princeton, MIT, and Harvard. He was
originally a metaphysical realist, but then argued forcefully against it. He has continued the
pragmatist tradition and been politically active, especially in the 1960s and 70s.

I keep thinking this is a woman. Apparently, however, the female version of this name is spelled with 2 L’s according to Wiki:

Hilary or Hillary is a given and family name, derived from the Latin hilarius meaning “cheerful”, from hilaris, “cheerful, merry”[1] which comes from the Greek ἱλαρός (hilaros), “cheerful, merry”,[2] which in turn comes from ἵλαος (hilaos), “propitious, gracious”.[3] Historically (in America), the spelling Hilary has generally been used for men and Hillary for women, though there are exceptions, some of which are noted below. In modern times it has drastically declined in popularity as a name for men. Ilaria is the popular Italian and Spanish form. Ilariana and Ylariana (/aɪˌlɑːriˈɑːnə/ eye-LAH–ree-AH-nə) are two very rare feminine variants of the name.

It also reminds me that i really shud get around to reading his famous paper:


Why night owls are more intelligent, Personality and Individual Differences 47 (2009) 685–690.


The origin of values and preferences is an unresolved theoretical problem in social and behavioral sci-
ences. The Savanna–IQ Interaction Hypothesis suggests that more intelligent individuals are more likely
to acquire and espouse evolutionarily novel values and preferences than less intelligent individuals, but
general intelligence has no effect on the acquisition and espousal of evolutionarily familiar values and
preferences. Individuals can often choose their values and preferences even in the face of genetic predis-
position. One example of such choice within genetic constraint is circadian rhythms. Survey of ethnog-
raphies of traditional societies suggests that nocturnal activities were probably rare in the ancestral
environment, so the Hypothesis would predict that more intelligent individuals are more likely to be noc-
turnal than less intelligent individuals. The analysis of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent
Health (Add Health) confirms the prediction.

It doesn’t happen often, but i don’t like this evo psych hypothesis. :P I am referring to the Savanna hypothesis.

Choice is not incompatible with or antithetical to genetic influ-
ence. As long as h2 < 1.0, genes merely set a broad reaction range,
and individuals can still exercise some choice within broad genetic
constraints. For example, political scientists have discovered that
two genes are responsible for predisposing individuals to be more
or less likely to vote in elections (Fowler & Dawes, 2008). However,
individuals can still choose to turn out to vote or not for any elec-
tion, and there are environmental (nongenetic) factors that can
predict their voting (Kanazawa, 1998, 2000).

Pretty interesting. The full cite is: Fowler, J. H., & Dawes, C. T. (2008). Two genes predict voter turnout. Journal of Politics, 70, 579–594.

Virtually all species in nature, from single-cell organisms to
mammals, including humans, exhibit a daily cycle of activity called
the circadian rhythm. ‘‘This timekeeping system, or biological
‘‘clock,” allows the organism to anticipate and prepare for the
changes in the physical environment that are associated with day
and night, thereby ensuring that the organism will ‘‘do the right
thing” at the right time of the day” (Vitaterna, Takahashi, & Turek,
2001, p. 85). The circadian rhythmin mammals is regulated by two
clusters of nerve cells called the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN) in
the anterior hypothalamus (Klein, Moore, & Reppert, 1991). Genet-
icists have by now identified a set of genes that regulate the SCN
and thus the circadian rhythm among mammals (King & Takahashi,
2000). A behavior genetic study of South Korean twins (n = 977
pairs) shows that heritability in morningness–eveningness is .45
and nonshared environment accounts for 55% of the variance,
while shared environment does not appear to explain any of the
variance in it (Hur, 2007).

Interesting to me on a personal level. Since i appear to have a non-24 circadian rhythm.

In order to ascertain the extent to which our ancestors might
have engaged in nocturnal activities, we have consulted ethno-
graphic records of traditional societies throughout the world. In
the 10-volume compendium The Encyclopedia of World Cultures
(Levinson, 1991–1995), which extensively describes all human cul-
tures known to anthropology, there is no mention of nocturnal
activities in any of the traditional cultures. There are no entries
in the index for ‘‘nocturnal,” ‘‘night,” ‘‘evening,” ‘‘dark(ness),” and
‘‘all-night.” The few references to the ‘‘moon” are all religious, as
in ‘‘moon deity,” ‘‘Mother Moon (deity),” and ‘‘moon worship.”
The only exception is the ‘‘night courting,” which is a socially ap-
proved custom of premarital sex observed among the Danes and
the Finns, which are entirely western cultures far outside of the
ancestral environment.

What. Never heard of this. Googled it and found this:

Marriage. Women married into the circumstances of their grooms, whether landed or landless. Property owners tended to arrange marriages for their sons and daughters so that the young couple could have a farm of their own. Marriage was neolocal insofar as newlyweds usually set up housekeeping on their own. A patrilocal quality was imparted, however, by the tendency to settle in the community of the groom’s family or even to take over the farm of the groom’s parents. Divorce was difficult to obtain legally and was strongly censured by village opinion and church morality. Adultery in the village was regarded as highly reprehensible. Unmarried mothers were ostracized. A woman encountered no difficulty, However, if a pregnancy occurred before marriage but in betrothal, especially when a gold ring had been given to the young woman. Many couples hitherto only casually joined saved the situation when a pregnancy occurred by announcing that they were engaged. Premarital sexual activity was, in fact, common, and young men in many villages were permitted to sleep over in the bed of a young woman in the custom called night courting. Village customs thus set the stage for the Sexual freedom and independence of both women and men that is characteristic of Denmark today.

Seems to be an older cultural thing.