Friday, April 18, 2014

Trends in Unwanted Online Experiences and Sexting


This bulletin summarizes findings from the Third Youth Internet Safety Survey (YISS‐3).
Topics include youth reports of unwanted sexual solicitations, online harassment, unwanted exposure to sexual material, and “sexting.”

Source: Crimes against Children Research Center

Download full pdf publication: Trends in Unwanted Online Experiences and Sexting

Citations of Most Often Cited Economists: Do Scholarly Books Matter More than Quality Journals?

This paper empirically investigates the determinants of citations based on the publication of the top 100 most often cited economists. The effects of publication age and author fame on subsequent citations are found to be positive and significant. Citations are also significantly affected by popular subfields in economics. However, journal quality measures, such as impact factors, download statistics and top-4 elite journals, have insignificant effects on citations. In contrast, the citation effect of scholarly books is positive and significant, and its impact is even greater than those of journal quality measures.
Source: Pacific Economic Review

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Cool Tool: Open source interactive timeline creation with TimelineJS

TimelineJS is an open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually,rich, interactive timelines. Beginners can create a timeline using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet. Experts can use their JSON skills to create custom installations, while keeping TimelineJS's core look and functionality.

It can pull in media from a variety of sources and has built-in support for Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine, Dailymotion, Wikipedia, SoundCloud and more.

Tips & tricks

  1. Keep it short, and write each event as a part of a larger narrative.
  2. Pick stories that have a strong chronological narrative. It does not work well for stories that need to jump around in the timeline.
  3. Include events that build up to major occurrences — not just the major events.
Example Timline: Time Magazine used for their display of "Nelson Mandela's Extraordinary Life."

Make your own timeline and view other examples at

United Nations Report: The Global Study on Homicide

The Global Study on Homicide 2013 seeks to shed light on the worst of crimes - the "unlawful death purposefully inflicted on a person by another person." In 2012, intentional homicide took the lives of almost half a million people. The study of intentional homicide is relevant not only because it is the study of the ultimate crime, whose ripple effect goes far beyond the initial loss of human life, but because lethal violence can create a climate of fear and uncertainty. Intentional homicide also victimizes the family and community of the victim, who can be considered secondary victims, and when justice is not served, impunity can lead to further victimization in the form of the denial of the basic human right to justice.
 Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

View report website with maps and graphics
Download full pdf report: The Global Study on Homicide 2013

Understanding the consequences of bilingualism for language processing and cognition

Contemporary research on bilingualism has been framed by two major discoveries. In the realm of language processing, studies of comprehension and production show that bilinguals activate information about both languages when using one language alone. Parallel activation of the two languages has been demonstrated for highly proficient bilinguals as well as second language learners and appears to be present even when distinct properties of the languages themselves might be sufficient to bias attention towards the language in use. In the realm of cognitive processing, studies of executive function have demonstrated a bilingual advantage, with bilinguals outperforming their monolingual counterparts on tasks that require ignoring irrelevant information, task switching, and resolving conflict. Our claim is that these outcomes are related and have the overall effect of changing the way that both cognitive and linguistic processing are carried out for bilinguals. In this paper we examine each of these domains of bilingual performance and consider the kinds of evidence needed to support this view. We argue that the tendency to consider bilingualism as a unitary phenomenon explained in terms of simple component processes has created a set of apparent controversies that masks the richness of the central finding in this work: the adult mind and brain are open to experience in ways that create profound consequences for both language and cognition.
 Source: Journal of Cognitive Psychology [via APS]

Read news item on APS: Bilingualism Alters the Way the Mind Works
Download pdf publication: Understanding the consequences of bilingualism for language processing and cognition
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Superstar or Scholar? African American Youth’s Perceptions of Opportunity in a Time of Change

Through a Multiple Marginality Framework, this exploratory case study highlights how African American male youth in an urban high school setting perceive the opportunity structure during the historic election of the first African American President. Youth optimism generated by Obama’s election gives students a sense of hope despite the persistent inequality they face in inner-city communities and schools. Findings suggest that the pervasive influence of both structural and cultural factors—such as poverty, racial ideology, racial tracking in schools, and street socialization—help explain students’ aspirations and constrained expectations to pursue professional athletics. The implications of this study call for a reemphasis on the relevancy of school and community factors and influences in improving the perceptions of opportunity for African American males
Source: UC Irvine [via eScholarship Repository]

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Read 10 Short Stories by Gabriel García Márquez Free Online (Plus More Essays & Interviews)

From Open Culture:
As we say farewell to one of the world’s greatest writers, we can remember him not only as a writer of “magical realism,” whatever that phrase may mean, but as a teller of complicated, wondrous, and sometimes painful truths, in whatever form he happened to find them.
Read the whole story and find links on Open Culture

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Farmworker Movement Documentation Project: Primary source accounts by the UFW volunteers who built the movement

The Farmworker Movement Documentation Project, founded in 2003 by LeRoy Chatfield, is a labor of love. The project seeks to compile and publish primary source accounts from the volunteers who worked with Cesar Chavez to build his farmworker movement during the period, 1962-1993.

The collection includes nine documentary films, about 13,000 photographs, several hundred hours of oral histories, essays and poems. It also features a short video of the historic 1966 march from Delano to Sacramento to draw attention to the plight of farmworkers.

Source: U.C. San Diego Library (via U.T. San Diego)

Explore the Farmworker Movement Documentation Project
Read U.T. San Diego article about the archive project

After Decades of Decline, A Rise in Stay-at-Home Mothers

From the Overview:
The share of mothers who do not work outside the home rose to 29% in 2012, up from a modern-era low of 23% in 1999, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of government data. This rise over the past dozen years represents the reversal of a long-term decline in “stay-at-home” mothers that had persisted for the last three decades of the 20th century. The recent turnaround appears to be driven by a mix of demographic, economic and societal factors, including rising immigration as well as a downturn in women’s labor force participation, and is set against a backdrop of continued public ambivalence about the impact of working mothers on young children.
Source: Pew Research Center

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U.S. Views of Technology and the Future

From the Findings:
The American public anticipates that the coming half-century will be a period of profound scientific change, as inventions that were once confined to the realm of science fiction come into common usage. This is among the main findings of a new national survey by The Pew Research Center, which asked Americans about a wide range of potential scientific developments—from near-term advances like robotics and bioengineering, to more “futuristic” possibilities like teleportation or space colonization. In addition to asking them for their predictions about the long-term future of scientific advancement, we also asked them to share their own feelings and attitudes toward some new developments that might become common features of American life in the relatively near future.

Source: Pew Research Center

Read more of the findings online
Download complete pdf report
Download topline questionnaire

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Political Ideology and Racial Preferences in Online Dating

What explains the relative persistence of same-race romantic relationships? One possible explanation is structural–this phenomenon could reflect the fact that social interactions are already stratified along racial lines–while another attributes these patterns to individual-level preferences. We present novel evidence from an online dating community involving more than 250,000 people in the United States about the frequency with which individuals both express a preference for same-race romantic partners and act to choose same-race partners. Prior work suggests that political ideology is an important correlate of conservative attitudes about race in the United States, and we find that conservatives, including both men and women and blacks and whites, are much more likely than liberals to state a preference for same-race partners. Further, conservatives are not simply more selective in general; they are specifically selective with regard to race. Do these stated preferences predict real behaviors? In general, we find that stated preferences are a strong predictor of a behavioral preference for same-race partners, and that this pattern persists across ideological groups. At the same time, both men and women of all political persuasions act as if they prefer same-race relationships even when they claim not to. As a result, the gap between conservatives and liberals in revealed same-race preferences, while still substantial, is not as pronounced as their stated attitudes would suggest. We conclude by discussing some implications of our findings for the broader issues of racial homogamy and segregation.
 Source: Sociological Science

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School-based violence prevention strategy: a pilot evaluation

BACKGROUND: Violence has recently been reported among a primarily young, minority population in Nashville, Tennessee. School-based programs have been proven as effective methods of reducing violent behavior, beliefs, and actions that lead to violence among adolescents. METHODS: Investigators implemented a rigorous search for an appropriate school-based violence prevention program for Metropolitan Nashville middle school students utilizing a systematic review and discussion group with victims of violence. 27 programs nation-wide were reviewed and 2 discussion groups with African American males under the age of 25 admitted to a level 1 trauma center for assault-related injuries were conducted. Our findings led to a single, evidence-based conflict resolution program. In conjunction with educators, we evaluated the program’s effectiveness in a pilot study in a Nashville middle school with high rates of violence. RESULTS: 122 students completed the conflict resolution program and described their behavior and experiences with violence in a pre-test/post-test self-rate questionnaire. Results showed a significant decrease in violent behavior and an increase in students’ competencies to deal with violence (p less than 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that a reduction in violent behavior and beliefs among middle school students can be achieved through the implementation of a targeted violence intervention program. A larger-scale intervention is needed to develop more conclusive evidence of effectiveness.
Source: Journal of Injury and Violence Research

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Read online press release at Newswise
Download full pdf publication of: School-based violence prevention strategy: a pilot evaluation

Thursday, April 10, 2014

2013-14 AAUP Faculty Salary Survey

From the Chronicle of Higher Education:
On average, faculty salaries rose faster than inflation for the first time in five years. Still, at some institutions, associate professors have seen their salaries stagnate over the past decade relative to those in higher and lower faculty ranks.

While pay for associate professors has grown by 5.6 percent since 2000, after adjusting for inflation, salaries for assistant professors have increased by 9 percent, according to a Chronicle analysis of data provided by the American Association of University Professors. The gap is widening even more between associate professors and full professors, whose pay has increased by 11.7 percent.

View interactive data chart of the 2013-14 AAUP Faculty Salary Survey

Also of interest is the AAUP Annual Report on the Economic Status of the Profession, 2013-14

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Food quality and motivation: A refined low-fat diet induces obesity and impairs performance

Purified high-fat diet (HFD) feeding causes deleterious metabolic and cognitive effects when compared with unrefined low-fat diets in rodent models. These effects are often attributed to the diet's high content of fat, while less attention has been paid to other mechanisms associated with the diet's highly refined state. Although the effects of HFD feeding on cognition have been explored, little is known about the impact of refined vs. unrefined food on cognition. We tested the hypothesis that a refined low-fat diet (LFD) increases body weight and adversely affects cognition relative to an unrefined diet.
Source: Physiology & Behavior via UCLA Newsroom

Download full pdf of Food quality and motivation: A refined low-fat diet induces obesity and impairs performance

Read UCLA Newsroom article Does a junk food diet make you lazy? UCLA psychology study offers answer

The Gender Wage Gap: 2013; Differences by Race and Ethnicity, No Growth in Real Wages for Women

The gender wage gap in the United States has not seen significant improvement in recent years, and remains a reality for women across racial and ethnic groups. In 2013, the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 82.1 percent, an increase of more than one percentage point since 2012,when the ratio was 80.9 percent (but still slightly lower than the 2011 ratio of 82.2 percent). This corresponds to a weekly gender wage gap of 17.9 percent. Real earnings have remained largely unchanged since 2012; women’s median weekly earnings increased by $5 to $706 in 2013; men’s median weekly earnings increased to $860, a marginal increase of $7 compared with 2012.
Source:  Institute for Women's Policy Research (via Cynthia Epstein CASBS Fellow 2014, 2005, 1978)

Download PDF of The Gender Wage Gap: 2013; Differences by Race and Ethnicity, No Growth in Real Wages for Women

Read more information about Institute for Women's Policy Research (IWPR) online

Adolescent Indoor Tanning Use and Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors

From the abstract:
Youth indoor tanning rates remain high despite the potential for increased melanoma risk. No previous study has assessed the prevalence of unhealthy weight control behaviors in both male and female adolescent indoor tanning users using a nationally representative survey.

Pooled data on high school students from the 2009 and 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey were used (n = 26,951). Multivariate logistic regression was used to assess associations between the recent indoor tanning use and recently doing the following to lose weight: fasting for more than 24 hours; taking a pill, powder, or liquid without a doctor's consent; and vomiting or taking a laxative.

Pooled data showed 23.3% of females reported indoor tanning within the past year; 6.5% of males did so as well. Adjusted multivariate results show that females who indoor tan were, on average, more likely to have fasted (odds ratio [OR], 1.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0–1.5), taken a pill, powder, or liquid (OR, 2.4; 95% CI, 1.9–3.0), and vomited or taken a laxative to lose weight (OR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1–1.7) within the past 30 days than those who did not. Males who indoor tanned within the past year were, on average, more likely to have fasted (OR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.7–3.1), taken a pill, powder, or liquid (OR, 4.4; 95% CI, 3.3–6.0), and vomited or taken a laxative to lose weight (OR, 7.1; 95% CI, 4.4–11.4) within the past 30 days.

Significant associations between indoor tanning use and unhealthy weight control behaviors exist for both male and female adolescents, with a stronger association observed among males.
Source: Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics

Download full pdf publication: Adolescent Indoor Tanning Use and Unhealthy Weight Control Behaviors

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Public Displays of Play: Studying Online Games in Physical Settings

As research on virtual worlds gains increasing attention in educational, commercial, and military domains, a consideration of how player populations are ‘reassembled’ through social scientific data is a timely matter for communication scholars. This paper describes a large-scale study of virtual worlds in which participants were recruited at public gaming events, as opposed to through online means, and explores the dynamic relationships between players and contexts of play that this approach makes visible. Challenging conventional approaches to quantitatively driven virtual worlds research, which categorizes players based on their involvement in an online game at a particular point in time, this account demonstrates how players' networked gaming activities are contingent on who they are playing with, where, and when.

Source: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

Download full pdf publication: Public Displays of Play: Studying Online Games in Physical Settings
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Lower-Income Individuals Without Pensions: Who Misses Out and Why?

In 2010, only 19 percent of individuals ages 50-58 whose household incomes were less than 300 percent of the poverty line participated in a pension of any kind at their current jobs, compared to 56 percent of those above 300 percent of poverty. This paper investigates this pension gap. In particular, we decompose the pension participation rate into its four elements in order to compare coverage between higher- and lower-income individuals: 1) the fraction of people who are currently working (the employment rate); 2) the fraction of workers who are in firms that offer pension benefits to at least some workers (the offer rate); 3) the fraction of workers who are eligible for pension benefits, conditional on being in a firm where it is offered (the eligibility rate); and 4) the fraction of workers who enroll in a pension plan when they are eligible (the take-up rate). We find that the substantial pension gap between higher- and lower-income individuals is driven primarily by the lower-income group’s lower employment rate and the smaller probability of working for an employer that offers pensions; when lower-income workers do have a pension plan at work, their eligibility and take-up rates are nearly equivalent to higher-income workers. We also find that the factors associated with a higher value for each element of pension participation are very consistent: higher education and income, previous pension history, and job characteristics including firm size, occupation, job tenure, and union status. Together, these findings suggest that policies such as automatic enrollment that focus on pension eligibility or take-up are unlikely to close the pension coverage gap between older, lower-income individuals and their higher-income contemporaries; instead, greater pension participation requires more jobs and, in particular, more “good jobs.”
Source: Working Papers, Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

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Read abstract online at Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Employment, late-life work, retirement, and well-being in Europe and the United States


Flexible work arrangements and retirement options provide one solution for the challenges of unemployment and underemployment, aging populations, and unsustainable public pension systems in welfare states around the world. We examine the relationships between well-being and job satisfaction on the one hand and employment status and retirement, on the other, using Gallup World Poll data for several European countries and the United States. We find that voluntary part-time workers are happier, experience less stress and anger, and have higher job satisfaction than other employees. Using statistical matching, we show that late-life workers under voluntary part-time or full-time arrangements have higher well-being than retirees. There is no well-being premium for involuntary late-life work and self-employment compared to retirement, however. Our findings inform ongoing debates about the optimal retirement age and the fiscal burdens of public pension systems.

Source: IZA Journal of European Labor Studies

Download full pdf publication:  Employment, late-life work, retirement, and well-being in Europe and the United States

Read abstract and full publication on the IZA website

Big Five Personality Traits Reflected in Job Applicants' Social Media Postings

Job applicants and incumbents often use social media for personal communications allowing for direct observation of their social communications “unfiltered” for employer consumption. As such, these data offer a glimpse of employees in settings free from the impression management pressures present during evaluations conducted for applicant screening and research purposes. This study investigated whether job applicants' (N=175) personality characteristics are reflected in the content of their social media postings. Participant self-reported social media content related to (a) photos and text-based references to alcohol and drug use and (b) criticisms of superiors and peers (so-called “badmouthing” behavior) were compared to traditional personality assessments. Results indicated that extraverted candidates were prone to postings related to alcohol and drugs. Those low in agreeableness were particularly likely to engage in online badmouthing behaviors. Evidence concerning the relationships between conscientiousness and the outcomes of interest was mixed.
Source: Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.

Download pdf publication: Big Five Personality Traits Reflected in Job Applicants' Social Media Postings 
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New York State’s Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future

From the Foreword:
New York's record on school segregation by race and poverty is dismal now and has been for a very long time. The children who most depend on the public schools for any chance in life are concentrated in schools struggling with all the dimensions of family and neighborhood poverty and isolation. In spite of the epic stuggle for more equitable funding in New York, there is a striking relationship between segregated education and unequal school success. Although many middle class families of all races would like their children to be educated in successful diverse schools, there are few such opportunities.
From the Executive Summary:
In this report, we provide a synthesis of over 60 years of research showing that school integration is still a goal worth pursuing. From the benefits of greater academic achievement, future earnings, and even better health outcomes for minority students, and the social benefits resulting from intergroup contact for all students -- like the possible reduction in prejudice and greater interracial communication skills -- we found that "real integration" is indeed an invaluable goal worth undertaking in growing multiracial societies.
Source: The Civil Rights Project, UCLA [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf [160 pgs] report: New York State’s Extreme School Segregation: Inequality, Inaction and a Damaged Future
View online at the eScholarship Repository

Monday, April 07, 2014

Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Experiences Among Middle School Youth

This study indicated that middle school-aged students are experiencing real acts of sexual violence. These findings are consistent with studies of high school and college-age students that find that sexual harassment is quite prevalent. Students who reported an upsetting sexual harassment experience often indicated that they were physically touched or forced to be kissed against their will. Sexual harassment experiences that were just verbal in nature (e.g., commentary about one’s body parts) were also common. This study indicates that middle school youth have experienced a wide range of upsetting sexual violence experiences that seem to be unaddressed by adults in these schools.

Source: American Education Research Association (AERA)

Download full pdf publication: Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence Experiences Among Middle School Youth

Read abstract online at AERA

Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons From Boston

The use of social media during the crisis by the BPD, a longtime adopter of community policing, is an example for police departments everywhere. The success of the communication strategy can be attributed, in large part, to BPD’s previous trust-building in the community — including a longstanding, if not a more mundane, use of social media.

In Social Media and Police Leadership: Lessons From Boston the authors reflect on the opportunities and challenges social media present to law enforcement as they build on the traditional concepts of community policing, bringing its theory and practice into the digital age.
Source: National Institute of Justice

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Friday, April 04, 2014

The Lehman Sisters hypothesis

This article explores the Lehman Sisters hypothesis. It reviews empirical literature about gender differences in behavioural, experimental and neuro-economics as well as in other fields of behavioural research. It discusses gender differences along three dimensions of financial behaviour: risk aversion and response to uncertainty, ethics and moral attitudes, and leadership. The article argues that gender stereotypes are influential in finance, constraining women to achieve top positions in banking and sustaining a strong masculine culture. At the same time the analysis indicates that the few women who make it to the top tend to perform on average better than men, in particular under uncertainty. This is explained by a combination of gender beliefs, gender stereotypes, gender identity and flexible biological processes. Although further research is necessary, the existing empirical literature would support a plea for having more rather than fewer women in financial trade, risk management and at the top of the financial sector.
Source: Cambridge Journal of Economics

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