Friday, December 29, 2006

The Wary Guerrilla, Part IX: Political Implications

This project asserts that politics – specifically, Absolutism – predicts Wary Guerrilla behavior.



Further experiments are expected to confirm this finding. As this orientation appears to have a significant genetic factor, we believe that wary guerrillas represent a genotypic polymorphism in the human population. Though it is beyond the scope of this study to distinguish between, environmental, genetic, and genetic-via-environmental factors, an application of this theory – the discovery and use of a war guerrilla “greenbeard” (Dawkins, 1976; Wilson, 1983; Sterelny, 1996) – could save many to save lives could well use genetic screening. This section discusses the potential pitfalls of such an application.

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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Wary Guerrilla, Part VIII: Future Research

Falsification is central to science (Popper 1945, 1952, 1963). Thus, while most of the original null hypotheses were not rejected, the goal of the project was incremental scientific advancement. At least one, perhaps two, styles of Guerrilla behavior: wary guerrillas and other guerrillas were identified. Both guerilla styles were correlated with Egoism in public goods game, and were further correlated to certain political and philosophical factors.



Goodin (1984) writes, in order to “make the theory of games plausible as a representation of behavior... we must introduce some of the sense of structure and continuity that characterizes our actual lives.” Many different types of changes in how information is presented can change behavior (Lupia, 2002; Bower, 2006; De Martino et al., 2006; Mutz, 2006). Indeed, the experimental findings such as the results that people who believe wrong deeds should be punished, are not more likely to punish, forces scholars to consider that not only may the self-report question be invalid, but gameplay as a whole be invalid.

Therefore, finding a way of validating these results is key.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Wary Guerrilla, Part VII: Those Who Cause Less Pain

Interestingly, a question used by Fulwider & Saferstein (2006) and included in our survey implies that describing Wary Guerrillas as a Wary Cooperator subtype may be inaccurate. In the question, a player is asked to cooperate to a public goods game after several other players have made a large contribution. Surprisingly, Wary Guerrillas tended to be free-riding Egoists in the first round of the public good game.



A generalized guerrilla category was defined to include both wary guerrillas and other guerillas, ie those players who accepted the unfair split and then turned around and punished anyway. Indeed, such a technique slightly improves the beta finding that the Wary Guerrillas are biased towards Egoism. This definition of Guerrillas would give us 14 Republican Guerrillas, 8 Democratic Guerrillas, and 6 Independent Guerrillas.


However, no matter how tempting it would be to cite this as evidence that human beings are irrational “adaptation executers” rather than “utility maximizers” (see Buss, 1995; Tooby & Cosmides, 1990), such a definition loses all predictive power. Consider the other variables identified with the Wary Guerrilla Type: Monism, belief in an Eternal Code, Hard Work, Carefulness, Kindness, and Political Party:

While all of these are correlated to Wary Guerrillaism as originally operationalized, only monism is still correlated with the generalized guerrilla type. Even more interestingly, when the effect of personality on Wary Guerrillas is analyzed, using a short Big 5 personality scale, (Gosling, Rentfrow, & Swann, 2003; Whitacker, 2006 ) the Wary Guerrilla is associated with different personality types than the ‘Other’ Guerrilla. Meanwhile the Other Guerrilla is only significantly associated with Openness with an R2 of .043. The only personality trait outside of Agreeableness and Openness that a generalized “Guerrilla” category was (barely) related to on the personality factors was neuroticism, with a negligible R2 of .022.




The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Wary Guerrilla, Part VI: Absolute Guerrilla

The absolutism questionnaire used is an extension of Alford & Hibbing’s (2006b) scale for measuring absolutism in political orientation. Running a basic test of correlations on answers immediately highlighted two items on the political absolutism scale. It should be noted that for technical reasons, data here is only available for self-reported Republicans and Democrats. Ten classic wary cooperators identified as independents and were not asked to answer the political orientation section of the survey.


Wary Guerrillas?


The variable asking participants whether they feel society works best when it speaks with one voice or many voices (HOneVce) was a highly significantly correlated variable. The variable has an R2 of .377. Additionally, the variable HEtCode, asked participants whether they feel society works best when behavioral expectations are based on an eternal code or when behavioral expectations are allowed to evolve over the decades. This variable was significant at the .05 level.

Read more ...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Wary Guerrilla, Part V: Results

The experiment detected 33 classic wary cooperators, of whom 33 were identified as wary cooperators and 7 of whom were wary guerrillas. Additionally, there were 117 classic egoists or altruists who accepted the unfair allocation. Of these 117, there were 97 other cooperators and 20 other guerrillas.


Wary Guerrillas: Fighting the Stereotype


Hypothesis 1: The Wary Guerrilla type correlates with small town origin. (Spopula) Failed
Hypothesis 2: The Wary Guerrilla type correlates with family income. (SFIncome) Failed
Hypothesis 3: The Wary Guerrilla type correlates with sex. (SGender) Failed
Hypothesis 4: The Wary Guerrilla type correlates with religious feeling. (SReligi) Failed
Hypothesis 5: The Wary Guerrilla type correlates with absolutism. (HOrienC) Success
Hypothesis 6: The wary Guerrilla type correlates with Greek status. (DisGrek) Failed


Demystifying the Wary Guerrilla


The initial attempts to predict the emergence of Wary Guerrillas were, essentially, failures. The analysis did not find a relationship with either of Sautter's measurements, Family Income and Age, nor did it reveal the expected relationship with sex. Further, there was no correlation with relationship status, Greek status, or religious status. However, the correlation with Absolutism was particularly intriguing and warranted further investigation. The tools conventionally used to analyze political choices could also be organized around interpersonal questions. As Absolutist Orientation was the only one of the initial hypotheses that was accepted, a series of derivative hypotheses were formulated in order to test ideas that should be related.




The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Wary Guerrillla, Part IV: An Experiment

Participants were recruited from a large midwestern university. The undergraduates were mostly traditional college age (93% were between 19 and 23). There were 90 males and 87 females. The experiment was designed and implemented using Medialab software. The participants answered questions and played the economic games on a computer. Steps were taken to create the false impression that participants were playing against other humans. At the beginning of the experiment, we asked participants if we could take their picture to use as an avatar for game play. This deception was designed to increase the perception that participants were playing against other human beings.



The game was organized as follows. Participants began the survey and were informed they would earn extra credit points for their actions. A series of distractor questions was asked and a distractor public goods game was played. Near the end of the experiment, the students were informed another student was given five additional extra credit points to divide and chose to keep four and give away one. Participants were informed that they could accept or reject this, where accepting meant the split stood as it was and rejecting meant that neither the participant nor the confederate would earn these additional points. Students who accepted the unfair split are considered either egoists or altruists. Students who rejected were considered wary cooperators.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Wary Guerrilla, Part III: Predictions

This project searches for a wary guerrilla using an ultimatum game as a tool. An ultimatum game is an economic dilemma “where one of the players can firmly commit himself in advance under a heavy penalty that he will insist under all conditions upon a certain specified demand (which is called his ultimatum)” (Harsanyi, 1961, 190).



In other words (Nowak, Page, and Sigmund, 2000, 1773):


In the Ultimatum Game, two players are offered a chance to win a certain sum of money. All they must do is divide it. The proposer suggests how to split the sum. The responder can accept or reject the deal. If the deal is rejected, neither player gets anything. The rational solution, suggested by game theory, is for the proposer to offer the smallest possible share and for the responder to accept it. If humans play the game, however, the most frequent outcome is a fair share. In this paper, we develop an evolutionary approach to the Ultimatum Game.


This finding has been repeatedly confirmed as existing even among atypical American populations (Bethwaite & Tompkinson, 1996) and in communities around the globe (Bowles & Gintis, 2000; Gowdy, Iorgulescu, & Onyweiwu, 2003).

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Wary Guerrilla, Part II: Terrorism

In 1969, Arthur D. Lewis wrote (407):

If we have thought about it at all, I think many of us have simply assumed that man, being rational, would respond logically to a changing environment. He would adapt himself to his environment simply because that was the sensible thing to do. But this is not the case. Social man reacts irrationally to radical change.




Lewis was half right: man reacts irrationally to any change.

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Monday, December 18, 2006

The Wary Guerrilla, Part X: Bibliography

I've posted a number of bibliographies on this blog -- for my Computer Science Master's thesis, for my work Redefining the Gap, and on the variations of John Boyd's OODA loop. This semester alone I've posted a number of worked cited, for such series as Classroom Democracy, Learning Evolved, and Student Nature, in addition to papers I did not post. The bibliography for this series, however, is more substantive than any of those.



Above the fold are the "As."

Abrahamian, E. (2002). The US Media, Samuel Huntington and September 11. Middle East Report 223: 62-63.
Alford, J. & Hibbing, J. (2004) .The Origin of Politics: An Evolutionary Theory of Political Behavior. Perspectives on Politics 2(4), 707-723

Alford, J., & Hibbing, J. (2006a). Could Political Attitudes Be Shaped by Evolution Working Through Genes? Tidsskriftet Politik: August 2006 edition.

Alford, J. R., & Hibbing, J.R. (2006b). The Neural Basis of Representative Democracy. Paper presented at the Hendricks Conference on Biology, Evolution, and Political Behavior.

Allen, L. 2002. There are Many Reasons Why: Suicide Bombers and Martyrs in Palestine. Middle East Report 223: 34-37.

Andoni, L. (1997). Searching for Answers: Gaza's Suicide Bombers. Journal of Palestine Studies 26(4): 33-45.

Arfi, B. (2000). “Spontaneous” interethnic order: the emergence of collective, path-dependent cooperation. International Studies Quarterly 44(4): 563-590.

Atran, S. 2003. Genesis of Suicide Terrorism. Science 299: 1534-1539.


Below the fold, everything else:

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Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Wary Guerrilla, Part I: Abstract

On September 11, 2001, Americans became tragically familiar with terrorists who use suicide bombing as a tactic. In spite of the strangeness of these acts, research suggests that suicide bombers have no observable psychopathology and are at least as economically and educationally well-off as other community members. This study interprets suicide bombing as a domain-specific form of extreme altruistic punishment. Specifically, a variation of the ultimatum game was designed which elicited a more peaceable form of extreme altruistic.



Building on Alford & Hibbing (2004)'s concept of the “Wary Cooperator,” we propose a “Wary Guerrilla” type that punishes to extents not previously demonstrated in a laboratory environment. The "Wary Cooperator" theory suggests that humans are social creatures who depend on groups for assistance in provisioning, offspring-rearing, protection against predators, and a host of other useful and even necessary tasks (Alford & Hibbing, 2006b). Wary cooperators are more concerned with avoiding being suckered than they are their own benefit (Smith, 2006). However, previous experiments have only demonstrated that wary cooperators are able to forfeit future benefits. The wary guerrillas will sacrifice current utility that they possessed before the game began.



The experiment showed that a minority of players, 17.5% of the classic wary cooperators and about 4% of players overall, are wary guerrillas. In violation of our expectations, small-town origin, family income, sex, religious feeling, and belonging to a family-like organization do not help profile wary guerrillas. Surprisingly, absolutist orientation and beliefs, along with self-reported membership in the Republican Party, are reliable guides. Other findings as explored as well.




The Wary Guerrilla, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Terrorism
3. Predictions
4. An Experiment
5. Results
6. Absolute Guerrilla
7. Those Who Cause Less Pain
8. Future Research
9. Political Implications
10. Bibliography

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