Studies of animal behavior consistently demonstrate that the social environment impacts cooperation, yet the effect of social dynamics has been largely excluded from studies of human cooperation. Here, we introduce a novel approach inspired by nonhuman primate research to address how social hierarchies impact human cooperation. Participants competed to earn hierarchy positions and then could cooperate with another individual in the hierarchy by investing in a common effort. Cooperation was achieved if the combined investments exceeded a threshold, and the higher ranked individual distributed the spoils unless control was contested by the partner. Compared to a condition lacking hierarchy, cooperation declined in the presence of a hierarchy due to a decrease in investment by lower ranked individuals. Furthermore, hierarchy was detrimental to cooperation regardless of whether it was earned or arbitrary. These findings mirror results from nonhuman primates and demonstrate that hierarchies are detrimental to cooperation. However, these results deviate from nonhuman primate findings by demonstrating that human behavior is responsive to changing hierarchical structures and suggests partnership dynamics that may improve cooperation. This work introduces a controlled way to investigate the social influences on human behavior, and demonstrates the evolutionary continuity of human behavior with other primate species.
Sant'Ippazio (St. Hypatius of Gangra) is a saint, martyr, and advocate in cases of impotency, inguinal hernia, and other abdominal disorders. In Tiggiano, a small town at the southernmost point of Italy, Sant'Ippazio, bishop of Gangra, is venerated as a patron saint. According to legend, during an excited dispute on the question of the Arian heresy at the synod of Nicaea (325 AD), Bishop Ippazio was kicked in the lower abdominal region by an Arian presbyter, which caused an inguinal hernia. Therefore, his help is sought for relief and cure of hernia or impotency. Every January19th, the day of the parish fair, particular carrots (the “pastinache”) which have a reddish to violet color are sold. They are said to be similar to the saint’s penis after the kick. Also described in this article are other pagan fertility rituals which have been christianized by the veneration of a saint and which are still kept alive among local populations.
Sexual violence against children remains a global public health problem. The health sector has an opportunity and responsibility to be part of the multisector collaboration to prevent and respond to sexual abuse of minors. The following article presents a critical analysis of hitherto published empirical studies that examine the extent and variety of sexual abuse of minors within the Catholic Church and other institutions. The analysis consists of 40 studies concerning the Catholic Church and 13 studies concerning other institutions not belonging to the Catholic Church. We report the characteristics of the offenders and the offenses. Furthermore, the devastating consequences for children abused by members of powerful institutions are discussed. Knowledge on the role of institutions in sexual abuse of minors and psychological distress following these experiences is necessary to point the way to improvements in prevention and intervention strategies. This literature review is part of a larger research project on the sexual abuse of minors in the context of the Catholic Church in Germany (MHG Study) that is conducted by an interdisciplinary team of psychologists, psychiatrists, criminologists, and sociologists and is funded by the German Bishops' Conference.
One of the major contributions of recent personality psychology is the finding that traits are related to each other in an organized hierarchy. To date, however, researchers have yet to investigate this hierarchy in nonhuman primates. Such investigations are critical in confirming the cross-species nature of trait personality helping to illuminate personality as neurobiologically-based and evolutionarily-derived dimensions of primate disposition. Investigations of potential genetic polymorphisms associated with hierarchical models of personality among nonhuman primates represent a critical first step. The current study examined the hierarchical structure of chimpanzee personality as well as sex-specific associations with a polymorphism in the promoter region of the vasopressin V1a receptor gene (AVPR1A), a gene associated with dispositional traits, among 174 chimpanzees. Results confirmed a hierarchical structure of personality across species and, despite differences in early rearing experiences, suggest a sexually dimorphic role of AVPR1A polymorphisms on hierarchical personality profiles at a higher-order level.
Possible options in a decision often organize as a hierarchy of subdecisions. A recent study concluded that perceptual processes in primates mimic this hierarchical structure and perform subdecisions in parallel. We argue that a flat model that directly selects between final choices accounts more parsimoniously for the reported behavioral and neural data. Critically, a flat model is characterized by decision signals integrating evidence at different hierarchical levels, in agreement with neural recordings showing this integration in localized neural populations. Our results point to the role of experience for building integrated perceptual categories where sensory evidence is merged prior to decision.
Religious principles and values provide meaning and affect personal identity. They may also conflict with intimate needs and desires. This article examines how gay Catholics manage conflicting areas between their sexual and religious selves. Eight Polish gays with a Catholic background, who identified themselves as strong believers, shared their experiences during semi-structured interviews that were subjected to interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results showed that internalization of the principles taught by the Roman Catholic Church triggered a conflict when participants became aware of their homosexuality. They used a number of strategies to reconcile conflicting identities, including limiting their religious involvement, questioning interpretation of the doctrine, undermining priests' authority, trying to reject homosexual attraction, putting trust in God’s plan, using professional help, and seeking acceptance from clergy. This study alerts mental health professionals to specific risk factors associated with experiencing a religious conflict, and offers guidelines for counseling and further research.
Specialization and hierarchy are organizing principles for primate cortex, yet there is little direct evidence for how cortical areas are specialized in the temporal domain. We measured timescales of intrinsic fluctuations in spiking activity across areas and found a hierarchical ordering, with sensory and prefrontal areas exhibiting shorter and longer timescales, respectively. On the basis of our findings, we suggest that intrinsic timescales reflect areal specialization for task-relevant computations over multiple temporal ranges.
In primates, neuronal representations of objects are processed hierarchically in occipitotemporal cortices. A “novel” feature of objects is thought to emerge and become prevalent at a cortical area because of processing in this area. We tested the possibility that a feature representation prevalent in a given area emerges in the microcircuit of a hierarchically prior area as a small number of prototypes and then becomes prevalent in the subsequent area. We recorded multiple single units in each of hierarchically sequential areas TE and 36 of macaque temporal cortex and found the predicted convergent microcircuit for object-object association in area TE. Associative codes were then built up over time in the microcircuit of area 36. These results suggest a computational principle underlying sequentially elaborated object representations.
The current report aims to clarify the practices and implicit intentions of the Holy See in addressing child sexual abuse (CSA) by clerics in the twenty-first century. Church investigation reports, United Nations reports, press coverage, and academic literature were explored to understand the relationship between Church intention and practice. Various types of literature highlight the Roman Catholic Church (RCC) as an organization that is self-referential and self-defensive, with the implicit aim of protecting the reputation of RCC at the expense of children. Organizational responses are seen as promoting the protection of perpetrating clerics, resulting in the spread of CSA by clergy nationally and globally. Recommendations are made for the introduction of modern-day management practices in RCC, filtered through a faithful understanding of gospel principles. The authors suggest that the United Nations may be an important vehicle for fostering leverage for change in RCC child protection practice.
To identify and investigate coping mechanisms and other factors which may impact upon the psychosomatic symptoms of aging German Roman Catholic priests. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 499 aging German Roman Catholic priests with standardized questionnaires: Brief Symptom Inventory, Coping Inventory Stressful Situations, and Religious Coping Scale. Task-Oriented Coping exhibited a significant difference between the two groups. Multiple regression analyses indicated that psychosomatic symptoms could be best predicted by means of Task-Oriented Coping mechanisms, identification with priesthood, and by a low Negative Religious Coping. The success of adaptive coping processes for older clergy may depend on how they employ strategies, strengthen their spiritual dimensions, and manage important psychosocial aspects of aging. In our sample, Depression and Somatization are explained best by Emotion-Oriented Coping. It is desirable for aging priests to be aware of protective factors like Role Identification, Task-Oriented Coping, and low Negative Religious Coping, which may be helpful in improving their psychological well-being.