We comment on the proposition “that lower temperatures and especially greater seasonal variation in temperature call for individuals and societies to adopt … a greater degree of self-control” (Van Lange et al., sect. 3, para. 4) for which we cannot find empirical support in a large data set with data-driven analyses. After providing greater nuance in our theoretical review, we suggest that Van Lange et al. revisit their model with an eye toward the social determinants of self-control.
This commentary seeks to clarify the potential discrepancy between lab-based and field data in the use and effectiveness of punishment to promote cooperation by recommending theory that outlines key differences between the lab and field, such as the shadow of the future and degree of information availability. We also discuss a recent meta-analysis (Balliet et al. 2011) that does not support all conclusions outlined in Guala's target article.
We propose that Vaesen's target article (a) underestimates the role of language in humans' cognitive toolkit and thereby (b) overestimates the proposed cognitive discontinuity between chimps and humans. We provide examples of labeling, numerical computation, executive control, and the relation between language and body, concluding that language plays a crucial role in.
The pattern of data underlying the successful replications of cleansing effects is improbable and most consistent with selective reporting. Moreover, the meta-analytic approach presented by Lee and Schwarz is likely to find an effect even if none existed. Absent more robust evidence, there is no need to develop a theoretical account of grounded procedures.