Letters

  • Letter |

    Cao et al. demonstrate that people systematically rely on social base rates when making judgements about individuals, even when these base rates are statistically irrelevant. The authors show that multiple remedies are required to eliminate this bias of base rate intrusion.

    • Jack Cao
    • , Max Kleiman-Weiner
    •  & Mahzarin R. Banaji
  • Letter |

    Using the 2014 New York Police Department slowdown as a natural experiment, the authors show that civilian complaints of major crime decreased during and after reductions in proactive policing, which challenges existing research on the topic.

    • Christopher M. Sullivan
    •  & Zachary P. O’Keeffe
  • Letter |

    There are striking similarities among creole languages. Blasi et al. show that these similarities can in fact be explained by the same processes as for non-creole languages, the difference being that creoles have more than one language in their ancestry.

    • Damián E. Blasi
    • , Susanne Maria Michaelis
    •  & Martin Haspelmath
  • Letter |

    Gächter et al. use experiments and simulations to show that low levels of cooperation (the ‘tragedy of the commons’) are systematically more likely in maintaining a public good than in providing a new one, even under identical incentives.

    • Simon Gächter
    • , Felix Kölle
    •  & Simone Quercia
  • Letter |

    Global groundwater resources are threatened by over-extraction. An agent-based model is presented, incorporating cooperative and collective action theory that reveals tipping points in social attitudes toward conservation in three at-risk regions.

    • Juan Carlos Castilla-Rho
    • , Rodrigo Rojas
    • , Martin S. Andersen
    • , Cameron Holley
    •  & Gregoire Mariethoz
  • Letter |

    Gervais et al. present evidence from 13 different countries that shows intuitive moral distrust of atheists is pervasive, even among atheists themselves.

    • Will M. Gervais
    • , Dimitris Xygalatas
    • , Ryan T. McKay
    • , Michiel van Elk
    • , Emma E. Buchtel
    • , Mark Aveyard
    • , Sarah R. Schiavone
    • , Ilan Dar-Nimrod
    • , Annika M. Svedholm-Häkkinen
    • , Tapani Riekki
    • , Eva Kundtová Klocová
    • , Jonathan E. Ramsay
    •  & Joseph Bulbulia
  • Letter |

    Spitzer et al. investigate the neural and computational mechanisms involved in weighting, integrating and comparing numbers. They find systematic overweighting of larger numbers, which is reflected in stronger neural signals over the parietal cortex.

    • Bernhard Spitzer
    • , Leonhard Waschke
    •  & Christopher Summerfield
  • Letter |

    Peters et al. use intracranial recordings and machine-learning techniques to show that human subjects under-use decision-incongruent evidence in the brain when computing perceptual confidence.

    • Megan A. K. Peters
    • , Thomas Thesen
    • , Yoshiaki D. Ko
    • , Brian Maniscalco
    • , Chad Carlson
    • , Matt Davidson
    • , Werner Doyle
    • , Ruben Kuzniecky
    • , Orrin Devinsky
    • , Eric Halgren
    •  & Hakwan Lau
  • Letter |

    Research has shown that people dislike inequality. However, in a cross-cultural experiment, Zhou and colleagues show that, from a young age, people are unwilling to redistribute resources between individuals if this reverses an existing hierarchy.

    • Wenwen Xie
    • , Benjamin Ho
    • , Stephan Meier
    •  & Xinyue Zhou
  • Letter |

    Tannenbaum et al. show that partisan framing influences beliefs about the ethical use of behavioural policy interventions, but both US adults and practising policymakers are accepting of nudges when stripped of partisan cues.

    • David Tannenbaum
    • , Craig R. Fox
    •  & Todd Rogers
  • Letter |

    Lockwood et al. use a real-effort task and computational modelling to examine how individuals choose to expend effort when rewards accrue to themselves versus others. They find that people are less motivated to work for others.

    • Patricia L. Lockwood
    • , Mathilde Hamonet
    • , Samuel H. Zhang
    • , Anya Ratnavel
    • , Florentine U. Salmony
    • , Masud Husain
    •  & Matthew A. J. Apps
  • Letter |

    Why does low-quality information go viral? A stylized model of social media predicts that under real-world conditions of high information load and limited attention, low- and high-quality information are equally likely to go viral.

    • Xiaoyan Qiu
    • , Diego F. M. Oliveira
    • , Alireza Sahami Shirazi
    • , Alessandro Flammini
    •  & Filippo Menczer
  • Letter |

    How should Europe allocate asylum seekers? Bansak et al. show that a majority of Europeans support allocating asylum seekers proportionally to each country’s capacity, rather than the current policy of allocation based on country of first entry.

    • Kirk Bansak
    • , Jens Hainmueller
    •  & Dominik Hangartner
  • Letter |

    Assessment of moral judgements and social-cognitive profiles of Colombian paramilitary terrorists by Baez et al. reveals a moral code abnormally guided by outcomes, rather than the integration of intentions and outcomes.

    • Sandra Baez
    • , Eduar Herrera
    • , Adolfo M. García
    • , Facundo Manes
    • , Liane Young
    •  & Agustín Ibáñez
  • Letter |

    Bang et al. use behavioural data in culturally distinct settings (United Kingdom and Iran) and computational modelling to show that, when making decisions in pairs, people adopt a confidence-matching heuristic to combine their opinions.

    • Dan Bang
    • , Laurence Aitchison
    • , Rani Moran
    • , Santiago Herce Castanon
    • , Banafsheh Rafiee
    • , Ali Mahmoodi
    • , Jennifer Y. F. Lau
    • , Peter E. Latham
    • , Bahador Bahrami
    •  & Christopher Summerfield
  • Letter |

    Motor skill memories are consolidated and enhanced during sleep. Breton and Robertson show that the neural circuits that support offline memory improvements differ depending on how the memory was acquired — through implicit or explicit learning.

    • Jocelyn Breton
    •  & Edwin M. Robertson
  • Letter |

    The advent of Acheulian stone-tool technologies 1.75 million years ago is likely to have coincided with changes in early human cognition. Using functional near-infrared spectroscopy neuroimaging, modern Acheulian toolmakers are shown to use the same brain network as is involved in playing the piano.

    • Shelby S. Putt
    • , Sobanawartiny Wijeakumar
    • , Robert G. Franciscus
    •  & John P. Spencer
  • Letter |

    A series of decision-making experiments with three recently diverged populations from the same ethnic group in Ethiopia demonstrates that dependence on social learning differs between interdependent pastoralists and independent horticulturalists.

    • Luke Glowacki
    •  & Lucas Molleman