Monthly Archives: January 2016

Is Morality Universal or Parochial? New Rebuttal of Criticism Published by “Culture and the Mind” Group

The UK Arts and Humanities Research Council funded “Culture and the Mind” research group has published a rebuttal to criticism of our 2015 paper in Proceedings of the Royal Society B where we showed, using data from an experiment conducted in a handful of societies around the world, that moral judgment is not universal, but parochial. In other words, human judgments of moral transgressions are different when local and immediate, and the word of local authority is able to temper these judgments.

Fessler DMT, Holbrook C, Kanovsky M, Barrett HC, Bolyanatz AH, Gervais MM, Gurven M, Henrich J, Kushnick G, Pisor AC, Stich S, von Rueden C, Laurence S (2016) Moral parochialism misunderstood: A reply to Piazza and Souza. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, 283, 20152628.

Click here for a PDF copy of the paper.

You can find a full list of my publications, including links to some of the original datasets from which the analyses were taken on my Publications page.

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National Geographic Asia Grant Deadline: January 29

As you may know, for more than 125 years, National Geographic Society has been awarding grants to talented, innovative individuals working on research, conservation and exploration projects around the world. We are reaching out to you as a former National Geographic grantee and a member of our family to let you know that back in July 2015, we launched our new grant program across Asia. Watch this video to find out more about this fund. We are delighted to share that our first round of grant reviews, held in November, resulted in the support of 23 projects, with 8 projects supporting Young Explorers (ages 18-28*).

We are now preparing for our spring review and would like your help in attracting qualified applicants to our program. If you’re interested in applying to us for funding or know of colleagues or friends who might be interested in applying, please go to our website for more information.

Grants will support legal residents of Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Indonesa, Japan, Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam working in the natural, social and physical sciences, as well as photography, journalism and exploration. We especially encourage multi-disciplinary and international collaboration to arrive at cross-cutting, multi-perspective, and regional solutions.

The program will award professional grants of up to USD 30,000 and Young Explorers Grants for aspiring professionals (ages 18-28*) of up to USD 5,000 for field research, conservation and exploration projects, including those that investigate unproven approaches. A committee comprised of experts from around the region will evaluate grant proposals.

We are currently accepting applications online, and we encourage you to share this information with your colleagues, students and greater network. National Geographic is very excited to be able to bring this program to the region, and we hope you or your colleagues will also consider applying for a grant.  Please note the deadline for pre-application submission for Spring 2016 is January 29, 2016.

Additional information about National Geographic Science and Exploration in Asia and how to apply for a grant is available at

We will continue to share information on this program in the coming months, but if you have questions, please feel free to contact us at

Many thanks and kind regards,

Rob Lee, Ph. D.
Director, Science & Exploration
National Geographic Society

*This age range applies only to Asia Young Explorer Grants. Please disregard the 18-25 age range on our official Young Explorer Grant webpage.

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Australia Wet Tropics Student Grants


The Wet Tropics Management Authority invites proposals from postgraduate students from across Australia to support environmental, social and cultural research which will benefit Wet Tropics World Heritage Area management, policy development and operational decision making.

Well- conceived research projects that are aligned with the key research areas outlined in the ‘Australia’s Wet Tropics, an outstanding learning landscape’ document and which demonstrate scientific rigour and innovative research will be viewed favourably.

Funding of up to $4,000 is available for PhD and masters research projects, and up to $1,500 for honours projects.

Closing date for the next round is Friday 26 February 2016.

To submit your application and for further information:

Download guidelines for funding

Download research grant application form



For further information phone 07 4241 0500 or email

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Still Not Significant

Great list of ways to refer to “close to, but not really, significant results.” Given how much P values can jump around using samples from the same population,my suggestion is to give the actual P value and talk about the effect size. No need to describe the P value itself.

Probable Error


What to do if your p-value is just over the arbitrary threshold for ‘significance’ of p=0.05?

You don’t need to play the significance testing game – there are better methods, like quoting the effect size with a confidence interval – but if you do, the rules are simple: the result is either significant or it isn’t.

So if your p-value remains stubbornly higher than 0.05, you should call it ‘non-significant’ and write it up as such. The problem for many authors is that this just isn’t the answer they were looking for: publishing so-called ‘negative results’ is harder than ‘positive results’.

The solution is to apply the time-honoured tactic of circumlocution to disguise the non-significant result as something more interesting. The following list is culled from peer-reviewed journal articles in which (a) the authors set themselves the threshold of 0.05 for significance, (b) failed to achieve that threshold value for…

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