Publications

2021
Jonathan D. Rosenblatt, Yuval Benjamini, Roee Gilron, Roy Mukamel, and Jelle J. Goeman. 2021. “Better-than-chance classification for signal detection.” Biostatistics (Oxford, England), 22, Pp. 365-380. Abstract
The estimated accuracy of a classifier is a random quantity with variability. A common practice in supervised machine learning, is thus to test if the estimated accuracy is significantly better than chance level. This method of signal detection is particularly popular in neuroimaging and genetics. We provide evidence that using a classifier's accuracy as a test statistic can be an underpowered strategy for finding differences between populations, compared to a bona fide statistical test. It is also computationally more demanding than a statistical test. Via simulation, we compare test statistics that are based on classification accuracy, to others based on multivariate test statistics. We find that the probability of detecting differences between two distributions is lower for accuracy-based statistics. We examine several candidate causes for the low power of accuracy-tests. These causes include: the discrete nature of the accuracy-test statistic, the type of signal accuracy-tests are designed to detect, their inefficient use of the data, and their suboptimal regularization. When the purpose of the analysis is the evaluation of a particular classifier, not signal detection, we suggest several improvements to increase power. In particular, to replace V-fold cross-validation with the Leave-One-Out Bootstrap.
Vered Vinitzky-Seroussi and Mathias Jalfim Maraschin. 2021. “Between remembrance and knowledge: The Spanish Flu, COVID-19, and the two poles of collective memory.” Memory Studies, 14, Pp. 1475-1488. Abstract
While the literature suggests that the Spanish Flu—despite the devastation it caused—suffers from social amnesia, this article begs to differ. Building on the multiplicity of manners in which the past maintains itself in the present and specifically focusing on Erll’s distinction between remembrance and knowledge as two poles of collective memory, we shed light on the collective memory of the Spanish Flu in its entirety. First, our analysis recognizes COVID-19 as a catalyst of the remembrance of the Spanish Flu. Second, it suggests that the perceived social amnesia attached to the Spanish Flu stems from overlooking the mark it left on the sphere of knowledge. The article addresses the need to recognize the uniqueness and importance of the knowledge pole in assessing collective memory, and exposes the dynamics and potential relationships shared by the poles.
Maya Enisman, Hila Shpitzer, and Tali Kleiman. 2021. “Choice changes preferences, not merely reflects them: A meta-analysis of the artifact-free free-choice paradigm.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 120, Pp. 16-29. Abstract
One of the prominent, by now seminal, paradigms in the research tradition of cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 1957) is the free-choice paradigm developed by Brehm (1956) to measure choice-induced preference change. Some 50 years after Brehm introduced the paradigm, Chen and Risen (2010) published an influential critique arguing that what the paradigm measures is not necessarily a choice-induced preference change, but possibly an artifact of the choice revealing existing preferences. They showed that once the artifact is experimentally controlled for, there is either no or very little evidence for choice-induced preference change. Given the prominence of the paradigm, this critique meant that much of what we thought we knew about the psychological process of cognitive dissonance might not be true. Following the critique, research using the paradigm applied various corrections to overcome the artifact. The present research examined whether choice truly changes preferences, or rather merely reflects them. We conducted a meta-analysis on 43 studies (N = 2,191), all using an artifact-free free-choice paradigm. Using different meta-analytical methods, and conceptually different analyses, including a Bayesian one, we found an overall effect size of Cohen’s d = 0.40, 95% confidence interval (CI) [0.32, 0.49]. Furthermore, we found no evidence for publication bias as an alternative explanation for the choice-induced preference change effect. These results support the existence of true preference change created by choice. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)
Doron Stupp, Elad Sharon, Idit Bloch, Marinka Zitnik, Or Zuk, and Yuval Tabach. 2021. “Co-evolution based machine-learning for predicting functional interactions between human genes.” Nature Communications, 12, Pp. 6454. Abstract
Over the next decade, more than a million eukaryotic species are expected to be fully sequenced. This has the potential to improve our understanding of genotype and phenotype crosstalk, gene function and interactions, and answer evolutionary questions. Here, we develop a machine-learning approach for utilizing phylogenetic profiles across 1154 eukaryotic species. This method integrates co-evolution across eukaryotic clades to predict functional interactions between human genes and the context for these interactions. We benchmark our approach showing a 14% performance increase (auROC) compared to previous methods. Using this approach, we predict functional annotations for less studied genes. We focus on DNA repair and verify that 9 of the top 50 predicted genes have been identified elsewhere, with others previously prioritized by high-throughput screens. Overall, our approach enables better annotation of function and functional interactions and facilitates the understanding of evolutionary processes underlying co-evolution. The manuscript is accompanied by a webserver available at: https://mlpp.cs.huji.ac.il.
Ronit Nirel, Ilan Levy, Sara D. Adar, Bella Vakulenko-Lagun, Alon Peretz, Michal Golovner, and Uri Dayan. 2021. “Concentration-response relationships between hourly particulate matter and ischemic events: A case-crossover analysis of effect modification by season and air-mass origin.” Science of The Total Environment, 760, Pp. 143407. Abstract
Most studies linking cardiovascular disease with particulate matter (PM) exposures have focused on total mass concentrations, regardless of their origin. However, the origin of an air mass is inherently linked to particle composition and possible toxicity. We examine how the concentration-response relation between hourly PM exposure and ischemic events is modified by air-mass origin and season. Using telemedicine data, we conducted a case-crossover study of 1855 confirmed ischemic cardiac events in Israel (2005–2013). Based on measurements at three fixed-sites in Tel Aviv and Haifa, ambient PM with diameter < 2.5 μm (PM2.5) and 2.5–10 μm (PM10–2.5) concentrations during the hours before event onset were compared with matched control periods using conditional logistic regression that allowed for non-linearity. We also examined effect modification of these associations based on the geographical origin of each air mass by season. Independent of the geographical origin of the air mass, we observed concentration-response curves that were supralinear. For example, the overall odds ratios (ORs) of ischemic events for an increase of 10-μg/m3 in the 2-h average of PM10–2.5 were 1.08 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.03–1.14) and 1.00 (0.99–1.01) at the median (17.8 μg/m3) and 95th percentile (82.3 μg/m3) values, respectively. Associations were strongest at low levels of PM10–2.5 when air comes from central Europe in the summer (OR: 1.27; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.52). Our study demonstrates that hourly associations between PM2.5 and PM10–2.5 and ischemic cardiac events are supralinear during diverse pollution conditions in a single population that experiences a wide range of exposure levels.
Miri Adler, Avichai Tendler, Jean Hausser, Yael Korem, Pablo Szekely, Noa Bossel, Yuval Hart, Omer Karin, Avi Mayo, and Uri Alon. 2021. “Controls for Phylogeny and Robust Analysis in Pareto Task Inference.” Molecular Biology and Evolution, 39. Abstract
Understanding the tradeoffs faced by organisms is a major goal of evolutionary biology. One of the main approaches for identifying these tradeoffs is Pareto task inference (ParTI). Two recent papers claim that results obtained in ParTI studies are spurious due to phylogenetic dependence (Mikami T, Iwasaki W. 2021. The flipping t-ratio test: phylogenetically informed assessment of the Pareto theory for phenotypic evolution. Methods Ecol Evol. 12(4):696–706) or hypothetical p-hacking and population-structure concerns (Sun M, Zhang J. 2021. Rampant false detection of adaptive phenotypic optimization by ParTI-based Pareto front inference. Mol Biol Evol. 38(4):1653–1664). Here, we show that these claims are baseless. We present a new method to control for phylogenetic dependence, called SibSwap, and show that published ParTI inference is robust to phylogenetic dependence. We show how researchers avoided p-hacking by testing for the robustness of preprocessing choices. We also provide new methods to control for population structure and detail the experimental tests of ParTI in systems ranging from ammonites to cancer gene expression. The methods presented here may help to improve future ParTI studies.
Maayan Abargil and Orya Tishby. 2021. “Countertransference as a reflection of the patient’s inner relationship conflict.” Psychoanalytic Psychology, 38, Pp. 68-78. Abstract
Countertransference may reflect the patients’ diagnosis and can be used to better understand patients’ inner worlds and core conflictual relationship themes (CCRTs). Thus, the changing emotions of therapists can serve as a marker of treatment processes. This exploratory study aims to identify how the interaction between patients’ CCRT patterns and their respective therapists’ emotions associate with working alliance postsession and patient symptoms. The data analysis is based on 17 subjects who received supportive−expressive therapy. Therapists’ emotional reactions were assessed using the Feeling Word Checklist. The Working Alliance Inventory—Short Revised and the Outcome Questionnaire were completed at each session. The relationship between the patients’ CCRTs and (a) the therapists’ emotional profile, (b) therapists’ rated working alliance, and (c) patient symptoms was analyzed using mixed models. Results show that patients’ CCRT moderated the correlation between therapists’ feeling engaged and time. In addition, patients’ CCRTs and therapists’ emotions together was associated with therapists’ rated working alliance and patient symptoms. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved)
Asher Y. Strauss, Isaac Fradkin, and Jonathan D. Huppert. 2021. “Disentangling Doubt and Checking Behaviors and Examining Their Association With Obsessive Compulsive Symptoms.” Clinical Psychological Science, 9, Pp. 850-865. Abstract
Experiencing doubt in an uncertain situation has been theorized to be an antecedent of compulsive checking. However, whether and when obsessive compulsive (OC) symptoms are associated with experiencing doubt and increased checking is unclear. In this study, we investigated the relationship between OC symptoms, the experience of doubt, and checking in a tone-discrimination task. Doubt was measured using mouse tracking, an indirect, unobtrusive measure. The results of two studies (N = 119) showed that OC symptoms were associated with elevated experiences of doubt when uncertainty was low. However, OC symptoms were not associated with increased checking, but doubt was. Results highlight the utility of mouse-tracking measures to capture the tendency of individuals with OC symptoms to experience doubt even under neutral conditions. The unexpected null results concerning checking suggest some specific directions for research to determine the conditions under which doubt evolves into checking in obsessive compulsive disorder.
Moshe Shay Ben-Haim, Olga Dal Monte, Nicholas A. Fagan, Yarrow Dunham, Ran R. Hassin, Steve W. C. Chang, and Laurie R. Santos. 2021. “Disentangling perceptual awareness from nonconscious processing in rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118, Pp. e2017543118.
Paul B. Sharp, Raymond J. Dolan, and Eran Eldar. 2021. “Disrupted state transition learning as a computational marker of compulsivity.” Psychological Medicine, Pp. 1-11. Abstract
BackgroundDisorders involving compulsivity, fear, and anxiety are linked to beliefs that the world is less predictable. We lack a mechanistic explanation for how such beliefs arise. Here, we test a hypothesis that in people with compulsivity, fear, and anxiety, learning a probabilistic mapping between actions and environmental states is compromised.MethodsIn Study 1 (n = 174), we designed a novel online task that isolated state transition learning from other facets of learning and planning. To determine whether this impairment is due to learning that is too fast or too slow, we estimated state transition learning rates by fitting computational models to two independent datasets, which tested learning in environments in which state transitions were either stable (Study 2: n = 1413) or changing (Study 3: n = 192).ResultsStudy 1 established that individuals with higher levels of compulsivity are more likely to demonstrate an impairment in state transition learning. Preliminary evidence here linked this impairment to a common factor comprising compulsivity and fear. Studies 2 and 3 showed that compulsivity is associated with learning that is too fast when it should be slow (i.e. when state transition are stable) and too slow when it should be fast (i.e. when state transitions change).ConclusionsTogether, these findings indicate that compulsivity is associated with a dysregulation of state transition learning, wherein the rate of learning is not well adapted to the task environment. Thus, dysregulated state transition learning might provide a key target for therapeutic intervention in compulsivity.
E. Shuman, T. Saguy, M. van Zomeren, and E. Halperin. 2021. “Disrupting the system constructively: Testing the effectiveness of nonnormative nonviolent collective action.” J Pers Soc Psychol, 121, Pp. 819-841. Abstract
Collective action research tends to focus on motivations of the disadvantaged group, rather than on which tactics are effective at driving the advantaged group to make concessions to the disadvantaged. We focused on the potential of nonnormative nonviolent action as a tactic to generate support for concessions among advantaged group members who are resistant to social change. We propose that this tactic, relative to normative nonviolent and to violent action, is particularly effective because it reflects constructive disruption: a delicate balance between disruption (which can put pressure on the advantaged group to respond) and perceived constructive intentions (which can help ensure that the response to action is a conciliatory one). We test these hypotheses across 4 contexts (total N = 3650). Studies 1-3 demonstrate that nonnormative nonviolent action (compared with inaction, normative nonviolent action, and violent action) is uniquely effective at increasing support for concessions to the disadvantaged among resistant advantaged group members (compared with advantaged group members more open to social change). Study 3 shows that constructive disruption mediates this effect. Study 4 shows that perceiving a real-world ongoing protest as constructively disruptive predicts support for the disadvantaged, whereas Study 5 examines these processes longitudinally over 2 months in the context of an ongoing social movement. Taken together, we show that nonnormative nonviolent action can be an effective tactic for generating support for concessions to the disadvantaged among those who are most resistant because it generates constructive disruption. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
Peter van Aelst, Fanni Toth, Laia Castro, Václav Štětka, Claes de Vreese, Toril Aalberg, Ana Sofia Cardenal, Nicoleta Corbu, Frank Esser, David Nicolas Hopmann, Karolina Koc-Michalska, Jörg Matthes, Christian Schemer, Tamir Sheafer, Sergio Splendore, James Stanyer, Agnieszka Stępińska, Jesper Strömbäck, and Yannis Theocharis. 2021. “Does a Crisis Change News Habits? A Comparative Study of the Effects of COVID-19 on News Media Use in 17 European Countries.” Digital Journalism, 9, Pp. 1208-1238.
Benjamin A. Katz, Hadar Naftalovich, Kathryn Matanky, and Iftah Yovel. 2021. “The dual-system theory of bipolar spectrum disorders: A meta-analysis.” Clinical Psychology Review, 83, Pp. 101945. Abstract
Bipolar spectrum disorders are characterized by alternating intervals of extreme positive and negative affect. We performed a meta-analysis to test the hypothesis that such disorders would be related to dysregulated reinforcement sensitivity. First, we reviewed 23 studies that reported the correlation between self-report measures of (hypo)manic personality and measures of reinforcement sensitivity. A large relationship was found between (hypo)manic personality and BAS sensitivity (g = .74), but not with BIS sensitivity (g = -.08). This stands in contrast to self-reported depression which has a small, negative relationship with BAS sensitivity and a large positive one with BIS sensitivity (Katz et al., 2020). Next, we reviewed 33 studies that compared reinforcement sensitivity between euthymic, bipolar participants and healthy controls. There, bipolar disorder had a small, positive relationship with BAS sensitivity (g = .20) and a medium, positive relationship with BIS sensitivity (g = .64). These findings support a dualsystem theory of bipolar disorders, wherein BAS sensitivity is more closely related to mania and BIS sensitivity more closely to bipolar depression. Bipolar disorders show diatheses for both states with euthymic participants being BAS- and BIS- hypersensitive. Implications for further theory and research practice are expounded upon in the discussion.
Maya Tamir. 2021. “Effortful Emotion Regulation as a Unique Form of Cybernetic Control.” Perspectives on Psychological Science, 16, Pp. 94-117. Abstract
Emotion regulation is important for psychological well-being, yet we know relatively little about why, when, and how hard people try to regulate emotions. This article seeks to address these motivational issues by considering effortful emotion regulation as a unique form of cybernetic control. In any domain of self-regulation, emotions serve as indices of progress in regulation and inform the expected value of regulation. In emotion regulation, however, emotions also serve as the very target of regulation. This interdependence gives rise to ironic processes that may render people less likely to exert effort in emotion regulation, precisely when they need it most. The proposed analysis complements and extends existing theories of emotion regulation, sheds new light on available findings, carries implications for psychopathology and well-being, and points to new hypotheses that could lead to theoretical and applied advances in the field.
Nurit Stadler and Nimrod Luz. 2021. “The enchanted moments of place: Mythology, rituals and materiality at the saint Mariam Bawardy Shrine.” History and Anthropology, Pp. 1-25.
Talia Sagiv and Gad Yair. 2021. “The end of ethnicity? Racism and ambivalence among offspring of mixed marriages in Israel.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47, Pp. 861-877.
Galit Cohen-Blankshtain and Raanan Sulitzeanu-Kenan. 2021. “Foregone and predicted futures: challenges of opportunity cost neglect and impact bias for public participation in policymaking.” Journal of European Public Policy, 28, Pp. 677-697.
Neta Kligler-Vilenchik. 2021. “Friendship and politics don’t mix? The role of sociability for online political talk.” Information, Communication & Society, 24, Pp. 118-133.
Yotam Margalit and Moses Shayo. 2021. “How Markets Shape Values and Political Preferences: A Field Experiment.” American Journal of Political Science, 65, Pp. 473-492. Abstract
Abstract How does engagement with markets affect socioeconomic values and political preferences? A long line of thinkers has debated the nature and direction of such effects, but claims are difficult to assess empirically because market engagement is endogenous. We designed a large field experiment to evaluate the impact of financial markets, which have grown dramatically in recent decades. Participants from a national sample in England received substantial sums they could invest over a 6-week period. We assigned them into several treatments designed to distinguish between different theoretical channels of influence. Results show that investment in stocks led to a more right-leaning outlook on issues such as merit and deservingness, personal responsibility, and equality. Subjects also shifted to the right on policy questions. These results appear to be driven by growing familiarity with, and decreasing distrust of markets. The spread of financial markets thus has important and underappreciated political ramifications.
B. S. Okun and G. Stecklov. 2021. “The Impact of Grandparental Death on the Fertility of Adult Children.” Demography, 58, Pp. 847-870. Abstract
The increasingly central role of vertical family kinship in Western societies underscores the potential value of intergenerational linkages that tie grandparents to the fertility of their adult children. Recent research has examined the changing demography of grandparenthood and the roles fulfilled by living grandparents, but the complex implications of grandparental death-a key feature of intergenerational linkages over the life course-have drawn less attention. In this article, we explore whether and how childbearing of adult women is affected by the death of grandparents-their own parent(s) or their spouse's parent(s). We develop a novel conceptual framework that presents the pathways of influence and considers the overall impact of grandparental death on childbearing of adult children. We then estimate fixed-effects models to identify causal relationships between grandparental death and childbearing, using linked micro-level census and population register data from Israel for the period 1986-2014. We find that grandparental death leads to a reduction of approximately 5 percentage points in the five-year probability of childbirth. The effects of grandparental death are negative across all parities examined and are broadly similar across grandparent's gender and kinship relation. Additional effects are identified, including how the impact of grandparental death varies with time since the previous birth as well as residential proximity prior to death. We explain how our findings regarding the effect of grandparental death offer insight into the role of living grandparents. Our results suggest that policy-makers concerned with low fertility should explore mechanisms that reinforce potential sources of support from grandparents.