Data Set Citation:
When using this data, please cite the data package:
Lafferty K , NCEAS 6640: Hochberg: HumanSocialBehavior , and National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis.
Age-adjusted prevalence, aggregate neuroticism, the cultural dimensions of uncertainty avoidance and masculinity among nations.
bowdish.251.9 (https://knb.ecoinformatics.org:443/knb/metacat/bowdish.251.9/nceas)
General Information:
Title:Age-adjusted prevalence, aggregate neuroticism, the cultural dimensions of uncertainty avoidance and masculinity among nations.
Identifier:bowdish.251
Abstract:
The latent prevalence of a long-lived and common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, explains a statistically significant portion of the variance in aggregate neuroticism among populations, as well as in the 'neurotic' cultural dimensions of sex roles and uncertainty avoidance. Spurious or non-causal correlations between aggregate personality and aspects of climate and culture that influence T. gondii transmission could also drive these patterns. A link between culture and T. gondii hypothetically results from a behavioral manipulation that the parasite uses to increase its transmission to the next host in the life cycle: a cat. While latent toxoplasmosis is usually benign, the parasite's subtle effect on individual personality appears to alter the aggregate personality at the population level. Drivers of the geographical variation in the prevalence of this parasite include the effects of climate on the persistence of infectious stages in soil, the cultural practices of food preparation and cats as pets. Some variation in culture, therefore, may ultimately be related to how climate affects the distribution of T. gondii, though the results only explain a fraction of the variation in two of the four cultural dimensions, suggesting that if T. gondii does influence human culture, it is only one among many factors. Age-adjusted prevalence, aggregate neuroticism (N), the cultural dimensions of uncertainty avoidance (U) and masculinity (M) among nations. Original references for most of the T. gondii data used are derived from Tenter et al. (2000). Prevalence was age-adjusted to 22 years. Key to references: 1, Tenter et al. (2000); 2, Koskiniemi et al. (1992); 3, Szenasi et al. (1997); 4, Konishi et al. (2000); 5, Flynn (1979); 6, Franklin et al. (1993); 7, Win et al. (1997); 8, Vlaspolder et al. (2001); 9, Morris& Croxson (2004); 10, Cantella et al. (1974); 11, Malgorzata et al. (2001); 12, Batet et al. (2004); 13, Evengard et al. (2001); 14, Jacquier et al. (1995); 15, Jones et al. (2001); 16, Bobic et al. (1998); 17, Lester (2000); 18, McCrae& Terracciano (2005); 19, Hofstede (2001).
Keywords:
  • parasitism
  • human culture
  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • personality
  • nations
  • masculinity
  • neuroticism
  • uncertainty avoidance
Data Table, Image, and Other Data Details:
Metadata download: Ecological Metadata Language (EML) File
Data Table:country_prevalence.txt ( View Metadata | Download File download)

Involved Parties

Data Set Creators:
Individual: Kevin Lafferty
Organization:Western Ecological Research Centre, United States Geological Survey, Marine Science Institute
Address:
University of California,
Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA
Email Address:
lafferty@lifesci.ucsb.edu
Organization:NCEAS 6640: Hochberg: HumanSocialBehavior
Organization:National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
Data Set Contacts:
Individual: Kevin Lafferty
Organization:Western Ecological Research Centre, United States Geological Survey, Marine Science Institute
Address:
University of California,
Santa Barbara, CA 93106 USA
Email Address:
lafferty@lifesci.ucsb.edu

Data Set Characteristics

Taxonomic Range:
Classification:
Rank Name:Genus
Rank Value:Taxoplasma
Classification:
Rank Name:Species
Rank Value:gondii

Sampling, Processing and Quality Control Methods

Step by Step Procedures
Step 1:  
Description:

Material and Methods

Material and Methods are well described online at: http://www.journals.royalsoc.ac.uk/openurl.asp?genre=article&id=doi:10.1098/rspb.2006.3641

Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence increases strongly with age in most of the human populations and can vary by gender ( Jones et al. 2001). Because testing is most often conducted on women to determine immunity during pregnancy, data on women of childbearing age make up a large fraction of available studies. Comparing seroprevalence only among this subgroup helped control for gender differences and narrowed the age range of subjects. It is important to acknowledge that using data from women could lead to type II error in countries (like Japan) with strong gender differences in seroprevalence. Studies were grouped by nations to be comparable with measures of aggregate personality and cultural dimension. When more than one study was available from a nation, I used the average. Within-nation variation in prevalence was low compared with among-nation variation in prevalence.

Data Set Usage Rights

Access Control:
Auth System:knb
Order:denyFirst
Metadata download: Ecological Metadata Language (EML) File