Publications

Submitted
Submitted.
Yonat Rum, Shir Genzer, Noam Markovitch, Jennifer Jenkins, Anat Perry, and Ariel Knafo-Noam. Submitted. “Are there positive effects of having a sibling with special needs? Empathy and prosociality of twins of children with non-typical development.” Child Development, n/a. Abstract
Abstract This study examined whether typically developing (TD) twins of non-TD children demonstrate enhanced empathy and prosociality. Of 778 Hebrew-speaking Israeli families who participated in a twin study, 63 were identified to have a non-TD child with a TD twin, and 404 as having both twins TD. TD twins of non-TD children (27% males) were compared to the rest of the cohort of TD children (46% males) on measures of empathy and prosociality. Participants were 11 years old. TD twins of non-TD children scored significantly higher than TD twins of TD children in a measure of cognitive empathy (d = .43). No differences were found in emotional empathy and prosociality. The specificity of the positive effect on cognitive empathy is discussed.
Yannis Theocharis, Ana Cardenal, Soyeon Jin, Toril Aalberg, David Nicolas Hopmann, Jesper Strömbäck, Laia Castro, Frank Esser, Peter van Aelst, Claes de Vreese, Nicoleta Corbu, Karolina Koc-Michalska, Joerg Matthes, Christian Schemer, Tamir Sheafer, Sergio Splendore, James Stanyer, Agnieszka Stępińska, and Václav Štětka. Submitted. “Does the platform matter? Social media and COVID-19 conspiracy theory beliefs in 17 countries.” New Media & Society, Pp. 14614448211045666. Abstract
While the role of social media in the spread of conspiracy theories has received much attention, a key deficit in previous research is the lack of distinction between different types of platforms. This study places the role of social media affordances in facilitating the spread of conspiracy beliefs at the center of its enquiry. We examine the relationship between platform use and conspiracy theory beliefs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Relying on the concept of technological affordances, we theorize that variation across key features make some platforms more fertile places for conspiracy beliefs than others. Using data from a crossnational dataset based on a two-wave online survey conducted in 17 countries before and after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we show that Twitter has a negative effect on conspiracy beliefs—as opposed to all other platforms under examination which are found to have a positive effect.
Pablo J Boczkowski, Facundo Suenzo, Eugenia Mitchelstein, Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt, Kaori Hayashi, and Mikko Villi. Submitted. “From the barbecue to the sauna: A comparative account of the folding of media reception into the everyday life.” New Media & Society, Pp. 14614448211000314. Abstract
How and why do people still get print newspapers in an era dominated by mobile and social media communication? In this article, we answer this question about the permanence of traditional media in a digital media ecosystem by analyzing 488 semi-structured interviews conducted in Argentina, Finland, Israel, Japan, and the United States. We focus on three mechanisms of media reception: access, sociality, and ritualization. Our findings show that these mechanisms are decisively shaped by patterns of everyday life that are not captured by the scholarly foci on either content- or technology-influences on media use. Thus, we argue that a non-media centric approach improves descriptive fit and adds heuristic power by bringing a wider lens into crucial mechanisms of media reception in ways that expand the conceptual toolkit that scholars can utilize to analyze the role of media in everyday life.
Blake Hallinan, Bumsoo Kim, Rebecca Scharlach, Tommaso Trillò, Saki Mizoroki, and Limor Shifman. Submitted. “Mapping the transnational imaginary of social media genres.” New Media & Society, Pp. 14614448211012372. Abstract
This article presents a transnational study of the classification and evaluation of social media content. We conducted a large-scale survey (N = 4770) in five countries (Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and the United States) with open-ended questions about the types of content people like and dislike. Through iterative and inductive coding, we identified 29 topics, or broad areas of interest, and 213 recurrent genres, or narrower categories that share elements of form and content. We compared the results according to country, gender, age, and education level, identifying patterns of cultural difference and commonality. While we found significant differences in the prominence and preferentiality of content, these distictions were less pronounced for disliked topics around which social media users tended to converge. Finally, we discuss genre imaginaries as normative maps that reflect ideas about morality in general and the purpose of social media in particular.
Laia Castro, Jesper Strömbäck, Frank Esser, Peter van Aelst, Claes de Vreese, Toril Aalberg, Ana S. Cardenal, Nicoleta Corbu, David Nicolas Hopmann, Karolina Koc-Michalska, Jörg Matthes, Christian Schemer, Tamir Sheafer, Sergio Splendore, James Stanyer, Agnieszka Stępińska, Václav Štětka, and Yannis Theocharis. Submitted. “Navigating High-choice European Political Information Environments: A Comparative Analysis of News User Profiles and Political Knowledge.” The International Journal of Press/Politics, Pp. 19401612211012572. Abstract
The transition from low- to high-choice media environments has had far-reaching implications for citizens’ media use and its relationship with political knowledge. However, there is still a lack of comparative research on how citizens combine the usage of different media and how that is related to political knowledge. To fill this void, we use a unique cross-national survey about the online and offline media use habits of more than 28,000 individuals in 17 European countries. Our aim is to (i) profile different types of news consumers and (ii) understand how each user profile is linked to political knowledge acquisition. Our results show that five user profiles – news minimalists, social media news users, traditionalists, online news seekers, and hyper news consumers – can be identified, although the prevalence of these profiles varies across countries. Findings further show that both traditional and online-based news diets are correlated with higher political knowledge. However, online-based news use is more widespread in Southern Europe, where it is associated with lower levels of political knowledge than in Northern Europe. By focusing on news audiences, this study provides a comprehensive and fine-grained analysis of how contemporary European political information environments perform and contribute to an informed citizenry.
Odelia Oshri, Liran Harsgor, Reut Itzkovitch-Malka, and Or Tuttnauer. Submitted. “Risk Aversion and the Gender Gap in the Vote for Populist Radical Right Parties.” American Journal of Political Science, n/a. Abstract
Abstract Previous research has established that men are more likely to vote for populist radical right parties (PRRPs) than women. This article shows how cross-national and temporal variations in PRRPs’ electoral success interact with individuals’ risk propensity to affect this gender gap. We hypothesize that gender differences in the electoral support of PRRPs stem from disparities in risk-taking. We conceptualize risk in terms of two components, social and electoral, and demonstrate that women are more risk-averse regarding both. Our analysis is based on public opinion data from 14 countries (2002–16) combined with macrolevel data on PRRPs’ past parliamentary fortunes. To distinguish between the social and electoral components in risk-taking, we use the illustrative case study of Germany. Findings demonstrate that gender differences in risk-taking and, by implication, the differences between women's and men's responses to the electoral context are key to understanding the voting gender gap.
Neta Kligler-Vilenchik, Keren Tenenboim-Weinblatt, Pablo J. Boczkowski, Kaori Hayashi, Eugenia Mitchelstein, and Mikko Villi. Submitted. “Youth Political Talk in the Changing Media Environment: A Cross-National Typology.” The International Journal of Press/Politics, Pp. 19401612211055686. Abstract
While political communication scholarship has long underscored the importance of political talk—casual conversations about news and politics that occur in everyday situations—as a way for citizens to clarify their opinions and as a precursor for political engagement, much of this literature tends to depict political talk as uncomfortable and difficult for citizens. Yet, this focus on the challenging aspects of political talk has been informed predominantly by the US context. To what extent may a different picture emerge when looking across different cultural contexts? And how are these dynamics shaped by the affordances of the multi-platform social media environment? This paper explores these questions through a unique dataset of 122 qualitative interviews conducted between 2016 and 2019 with young people (ages 18–29) from five countries: Argentina, Finland, Israel, Japan, and the United States. Rather than solidifying the avoidance of controversial political talk as the key strategy at the disposal of young people, our findings point at a five-pronged typology of young people, with each type representing a different approach toward political talk. Our typology thus contributes to a more comprehensive and nuanced picture of various approaches towards political talk employed by young people across different countries and in relation to different digital media affordances.
2022
Paul R. Elsen, Earl C. Saxon, B. Alexander Simmons, Michelle Ward, Brooke A. Williams, Hedley S. Grantham, Salit Kark, Noam Levin, Katharina-Victoria Perez-Hammerle, April E. Reside, and James E. M. Watson. 2022. “Accelerated shifts in terrestrial life zones under rapid climate change.” Global Change Biology, 28, Pp. 918-935. Abstract
Abstract Rapid climate change is impacting biodiversity, ecosystem function, and human well-being. Though the magnitude and trajectory of climate change are becoming clearer, our understanding of how these changes reshape terrestrial life zones—distinct biogeographic units characterized by biotemperature, precipitation, and aridity representing broad-scale ecosystem types—is limited. To address this gap, we used high-resolution historical climatologies and climate projections to determine the global distribution of historical (1901–1920), contemporary (1979–2013), and future (2061–2080) life zones. Comparing the historical and contemporary distributions shows that changes from one life zone to another during the 20th century impacted 27 million km2 (18.3% of land), with consequences for social and ecological systems. Such changes took place in all biomes, most notably in Boreal Forests, Temperate Coniferous Forests, and Tropical Coniferous Forests. Comparing the contemporary and future life zone distributions shows the pace of life zone changes accelerating rapidly in the 21st century. By 2070, such changes would impact an additional 62 million km2 (42.6% of land) under “business-as-usual” (RCP8.5) emissions scenarios. Accelerated rates of change are observed in hundreds of ecoregions across all biomes except Tropical Coniferous Forests. While only 30 ecoregions (3.5%) had over half of their areas change to a different life zone during the 20th century, by 2070 this number is projected to climb to 111 ecoregions (13.1%) under RCP4.5 and 281 ecoregions (33.2%) under RCP8.5. We identified weak correlations between life zone change and threatened vertebrate richness, levels of vertebrate endemism, cropland extent, and human population densities within ecoregions, illustrating the ubiquitous risks of life zone changes to diverse social–ecological systems. The accelerated pace of life zone changes will increasingly challenge adaptive conservation and sustainable development strategies that incorrectly assume current ecological patterns and livelihood provisioning systems will persist.
Jennia Michaeli, Ofir Michaeli, Ariel Rozitzky, Sorina Grisaru-Granovsky, Naomi Feldman, and Naama Srebnik. 2022. “Application of Prospect Theory in Obstetrics by Evaluating Mode of Delivery and Outcomes in Neonates Born Small or Appropriate for Gestational Age.” JAMA Network Open, 5, Pp. e222177-e222177. Abstract
Antenatal diagnosis of fetal weight is challenging, and the detection rate of fetal growth restriction (FGR) is low. Neonates with FGR are known to have an increased rate of obstetric intervention during labor, but the association of antenatal fetal weight estimation with mode of delivery and neonatal outcomes among neonates who are small and appropriate for gestational age (SGA and AGA) has not been reported.To evaluate the association of antenatal fetal weight estimation with mode of delivery and neonatal outcomes among neonates who are SGA and AGA, applying psychological concepts of cognitive bias and prospect theory to a model of clinical behavior.This cohort study was conducted between 2019 and 2020 using data from 2006 to 2018 at a tertiary care center in Jerusalem, Israel. Participants were 100 198 term singleton neonates without anomalies who were categorized into 4 groups according to the presence of an antenatal suspicion of FGR and final birth weight. Neonates with false positives (FPs; ie, group 1-FP: those with suspected FGR who were AGA) and neonates with true positives (TPs; ie, group 2-TP: those with suspected FGR who were SGA) were compared with neonates with AGA antenatal fetal weight estimation, including neonates with false negatives (FNs; ie, group 3-FN: those not suspected to have FGR who were SGA) and neonates with true negatives (TNs; ie, group 4-TN: those not suspected to have FGR who were AGA). Data were analyzed from July 2019 to July 2020.Fetal weight estimation was performed according to sonographic and clinical evaluation at admission to labor, with FGR defined as a birth weight less than the 10th percentile for gestational age. Sonographic fetal weight estimation was performed according to Hadlock formula. Clinical weight estimation was performed by trained obstetricians.The primary outcomes were obstetric intervention and mode of delivery; the secondary outcomes were neonatal Apgar score (with low Apgar score defined as <7) and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) admission rates.Among 100 198 neonates eligible for the study (50941 [50.8%] male neonates), there were 5671 neonates in group 1-FP, 3040 neonates in group 2-TP, 8508 neonates in group 3-FN, and 82 979 neonates in group 4-TN. Mean (SD) maternal age was 28.6 (5.7) years. Among 8711 neonates with suspected FGR, 34.9% were below the 10th percentile at birth, while 65.1% were AGA. Neonates with suspected FGR had a significantly increased rate of induction of labor (group 1-FP: 649 neonates [11.4%] and group 2-TP: 969 neonates [31.9%]) compared with neonates in group 3-FN (1055 neonates [12.4%]) and group 4-TN (7136 neonates [8.6%]) (P < .001) and a significantly increased rate of cesarean delivery (group 1-FP: 915 neonates [16.1%] and group 2-TP: 556 neonates [18.3%] vs group 3-FN: 1106 neonates [13.0%] and group 4-TN: 6588 neonates [7.9%]; P < .001). Increased NICU admission was found for neonates who were SGA compared with neonates who were AGA (group 2-TP: 182 neonates [6.0%] and group 3-FN: 328 neonates [3.9%] vs group 1-FP: 51 neonates [0.9%] and group 4-TN: 704 neonates [0.8%]; P <.001), as was increased rate of low Apgar score (eg, at 1 minute: group 2-TP: 149 neonates [4.9%] and group 3-FN: 384 neonates [4.5%] vs group 1-FP: 124 neonates [2.2%] and group 4-TN: 1595 neonates [1.9%]; P < .001). In a multivariable model comparing group 1-FP, group 2-TP, and group 3-FN with group 4-TN, suspicion of FGR was independently associated with increased risk of caesarean delivery among neonates in group 1-FP (odds ratio, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.56-1.88; P < .001).This study found that antenatal diagnosis of FGR was independently associated with an increase in risk of caesarean delivery by 70% in neonates who were AGA without improvement in neonatal outcomes. These findings suggest that such outcomes may be explained by application of prospect theory and may be associated with cognitive bias in clinical decision-making.
Nir Band, Ronen Kadmon, Micha Mandel, and Niv DeMalach. 2022. “Assessing the roles of nitrogen, biomass, and niche dimensionality as drivers of species loss in grassland communities.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 119, Pp. e2112010119.
Galit Cohen-Blankshtain, HILLEL BAR-GERA, and Yoram Shiftan. 2022. “Congestion pricing and positive incentives: conceptual analysis and empirical findings from Israel.” Transportation. Abstract
Although congestion pricing has been considered as a key tool of transport demand management (TDM), it is rarely implemented, mainly due to its low public acceptance and resulting political costs. Recently a new approach was suggested: reward desirable behavior rather than punish undesirable behavior. Specifically, positive financial incentives have been suggested to encourage road users to change their departure time, mode of transportation, or route to minimize congestion. This paper makes three contributions to the literature on congestion pricing. First, we offer a comprehensive conceptual examination, reflecting discussions among practitioners in Israel, regarding the positive incentives approach, including various aspects that are related to both positive incentives and congestion tolls, highlighting the differences between the two policies. Second, we use a governmentally-managed pilot with positive incentives that was recently implemented in Israel and which reported important behavioral responses to positive incentives. Third, we use the Israeli experience to examine media discourse regarding congestion pricing policies in general, as well as positive incentive initiatives. We find that the positive incentives pilot demonstrated promising behavioral responses. Moreover, analysis of newspaper articles shows that while the main view of positive incentives is positive, mainly because participation is voluntary, the main attitude toward congestion tolls is negative due to concerns about equity.
Eran Amsalem, Eric Merkley, and Peter John Loewen. 2022. “Does Talking to the Other Side Reduce Inter-party Hostility? Evidence from Three Studies.” Political Communication, 39, Pp. 61-78.
Devorah Manekin and Tamar Mitts. 2022. “Effective for Whom? Ethnic Identity and Nonviolent Resistance.” American Political Science Review, 116, Pp. 161-180. Abstract
A growing literature finds that nonviolence is more successful than violence in effecting political change. We suggest that a focus on this association is incomplete, because it obscures the crucial influence of ethnic identity on campaign outcomes. We argue that because of prevalent negative stereotypes associating minority ethnic groups with violence, such groups are perceived as more violent even when resisting nonviolently, increasing support for their repression and ultimately hampering campaign success. We show that, cross-nationally, the effect of nonviolence on outcomes is significantly moderated by ethnicity, with nonviolence increasing success only for dominant groups. We then test our argument using two experiments in the United States and Israel. Study 1 finds that nonviolent resistance by ethnic minorities is perceived as more violent and requiring more policing than identical resistance by majorities. Study 2 replicates and extends the results, leveraging the wave of racial justice protests across the US in June 2020 to find that white participants are perceived as less violent than Black participants when protesting for the same goals. These findings highlight the importance of ethnic identity in shaping campaign perceptions and outcomes, underscoring the obstacles that widespread biases pose to nonviolent mobilization.
P. B. Sharp, E. M. Russek, Q. J. M. Huys, R. J. Dolan, and E. Eldar. 2022. “Humans perseverate on punishment avoidance goals in multigoal reinforcement learning.” Elife, 11. Abstract
Managing multiple goals is essential to adaptation, yet we are only beginning to understand computations by which we navigate the resource demands entailed in so doing. Here, we sought to elucidate how humans balance reward seeking and punishment avoidance goals, and relate this to variation in its expression within anxious individuals. To do so, we developed a novel multigoal pursuit task that includes trial-specific instructed goals to either pursue reward (without risk of punishment) or avoid punishment (without the opportunity for reward). We constructed a computational model of multigoal pursuit to quantify the degree to which participants could disengage from the pursuit goals when instructed to, as well as devote less model-based resources toward goals that were less abundant. In general, participants (n = 192) were less flexible in avoiding punishment than in pursuing reward. Thus, when instructed to pursue reward, participants often persisted in avoiding features that had previously been associated with punishment, even though at decision time these features were unambiguously benign. In a similar vein, participants showed no significant downregulation of avoidance when punishment avoidance goals were less abundant in the task. Importantly, we show preliminary evidence that individuals with chronic worry may have difficulty disengaging from punishment avoidance when instructed to seek reward. Taken together, the findings demonstrate that people avoid punishment less flexibly than they pursue reward. Future studies should test in larger samples whether a difficulty to disengage from punishment avoidance contributes to chronic worry.
Or Rabinowitz and Yehonatan Abramson. 2022. “Imagining a ‘Jewish atom bomb’, constructing a scientific diaspora.” Social Studies of Science, 52, Pp. 253-276. Abstract
The nexus between transnational mobilization and Science and Technology Studies (STS) offers a productive platform for studying the formation of scientific activism, the influence of mobilization on scientific developments, and the ways science is used to achieve government goals. Integrating concepts from both sets of literature – particularly national sociotechnical imaginaries and socio-spatial positionality – this article explores how Dr Chaim Weizmann, a prominent chemist and a Zionist leader, attempted to construct and mobilize a ‘scientific diaspora’. Empirically, the article draws on new archival evidence, revealing the hitherto unknown early efforts of the Zionist movement to acquire nuclear reactor and utilize the Jewish involvement in the American nuclear project for political leverage abroad. Theoretically, rather than beginning the analysis with a scientific-diasporic network that was ready to be mobilized, we trace the selective and tailored practices employed by Weizmann to animate the Jewish connection among nuclear scientists and professionals.
Baruch Perlman, Nilly Mor, Yael Wisney Jacobinski, Adi Doron Zakon, Noa Avirbach, and Paula Hertel. 2022. “Inferences Training Affects Memory, Rumination, and Mood.” Clinical Psychological Science, 10, Pp. 161-174. Abstract
Making negative inferences for negative events, ruminating about them, and retrieving negative aspects of memories have all been associated with depression. However, the causal mechanisms that link negative inferences to negative mood and the interplay between inferences, rumination, and memory have not been explored. In the current study, we used a cognitive-bias modification (CBM) procedure to train causal inferences and assessed training effects on ruminative thinking, memory, and negative mood among people with varying levels of depression. Training had immediate effects on negative mood and rumination but not after recall of a negative autobiographical memory. Note that training affected memory: Participants falsely recalled inferences presented during the training in a training-congruent manner. Moreover, among participants with high levels of depression, training also affected causal inferences they made for an autobiographical memory retrieved after training. Our findings shed light on negative cognitive cycles that may contribute to depression.
Momi Dahan and Udi Nisan. 2022. “Late Payments, Liquidity Constraints and the Mismatch Between Due Dates and Paydays.” Water Resources Research, 58, Pp. e2021WR030303. Abstract
Abstract This paper examines a small random liquidity shock to reveal the effect of liquidity constraints on late payment behavior. In Jerusalem, water bill due dates are randomly determined and therefore may occur just before or after social security paydays. We compared the likelihood of late payments by low-income households when they receive their social benefits a day after the water bill due date to the likelihood of late payment by the same households when they receive their benefits a day or more before the water bill due date. Using a large administrative data set, we found that a small random liquidity shock leads to a substantial increase in late payments of more than 10 percentage points among income support recipients and around 6 percentage points for old-age pension recipients with supplementary income. The mismatch between utility payment due dates and paydays may result in interest charges and high late fees, contributing to the poverty penalty.
Itay Fischhendler, Lior Herman, and Lioz David. 2022. “Light at the End of the Panel: The Gaza Strip and the Interplay Between Geopolitical Conflict and Renewable Energy Transition.” New Political Economy, 27, Pp. 1-18.