Papers

Below are many of the scholarly papers I have published, as well as some unpublished work and other materials. I’ve divided them into research themes, and some items are repeated because they correspond to different themes. I also use * to indicate collaborations with (at the time) graduate students, which I do as a hint to any students who happen across this site that I really enjoy such collaborations.  I’m also intermittently in the process of adding plain-spoken one-sentence summaries of what I think is the most basic point of the article.

 


Interdependence of biological and social processes

Amelia R. Branigan*, Kenneth J. McCallum*, and Jeremy Freese. 2013. “Variation in the Heritability of Educational Attainment: An International Meta-Analysis.” Social Forces 92(1): 109-140 (paper)  Educational attainment is one of the most commonly studied outcomes by sociologists and the way it behaves in twin studies is so different from psychological traits and behaviors that it contradicts what has been called one of the “laws” of behavior genetics.

Jason D. Boardman, Jonathan Daw, and Jeremy Freese. 2013. “Defining the Environment in Gene-Environment Research: Lessons from Social Epidemiology.” American Journal of Public Health 103.S1: S64-S72 (paper).  Articulates how larger points in the social epidemiological literature can help clarify some confused ways that people think about environments when studying how genes and environments interact.

Amelia R. Branigan*, Jeremy Freese, Assaf Patir*, Thomas W. McDade, Kiang Liu, and Catarina I. Keefe. 2013. “Skin Color, Sex, and Educational Attainment in the Post-Civil Rights Era.” Social Science Research 42(6): 1659-1674 (paper).  For reasons we believe are due to differential treatment by others, darker skin color is related to lower educational attainment among both blacks and white women, but not white men.

Jeremy Freese. 2013. “No Revolution? Don’t Blame Evolution.” (Featured review essay) Contemporary Sociology 42(2): 190-193. (paper)  Praises the work of two economists for showing that we cannot claim that “human nature” is what stands in the way of dramatic social change.

Chabris, Christopher, Benjamin M. Hebert, Daniel J. Benjamin, Jonathan Beauchamp, David Cesarini, Magnus Johanneson, Patrik K. E. Magnusson, Paul Lichtenstein, Craig S. Atwood, Jeremy Freese, Taissa S. Hauser, Robert M. Hauser, Nicholas Christakis, David I. Laibson. 2012. “Most Published Genetic Associations with General Cognitive Ability are False Positives.” Psychological Science 23(11): 1314-1323 (paper).  The great thing about these headline-style titles is that the title pretty much says it all.

Daniel J. Benjamin, David Cesarini, Christopher F. Chabris, Edward L. Glaeser, David I. Laibson, Vilmundur Guðnason, Tamara B. Harris, Lenore J. Launer, Shaun Purcell, Albert Vernon Smith, Magnus Johannesson, Patrik K.E. Magnusson,Jonathan P. Beauchamp, Nicholas A. Christakis, Craig S. Atwood, Benjamin Hebert, Jeremy Freese, Robert M. Hauser,Taissa S. Hauser, Alexander Grankvist, Christina M. Hultman, Paul Lichtenstein. 2012. “The promises and pitfalls of genoeconomics.” Annual Review of Economics 4: 627-662. (paper)  A broad review of what genetics might have to offer to the discipline of economics, with some data analysis.

Lei Jin, Felix Elwert*, Jeremy Freese, and Nicholas Christakis.  2010.  “Preliminary Evidence Regarding the Hypothesis that the Sex Ratio at Sexual Maturity May Affect Longevity in Men.”  Demography  47: 579-86 (paper).

Sara Shostak and Jeremy Freese. 2010.  “Gene-Environment Interaction and Medical Sociology.” To appear in Chloe E. Bird, Allen M. Fremont, Stefan Timmermans, and Peter Conrad (eds.) Handbook of Medical Sociology, 6th Edition.(paper)

Sara Shostak, Jeremy Freese, Bruce G. Link, and Jo C. Phelan.  2009.  “The Politics of the Gene: Social Status and Beliefs about Genetics for Individual Outcomes.”  Social Psychology Quarterly 72: 79-93. (paper)

Jeremy Freese and Sara Shostak. 2009. “Genetics and Social Inquiry.” Annual Review of Sociology 35:107-128 (paper).

Jeremy Freese.  2009.  “The Limits of Evolutionary Psychology and the Open-Endedness of Social Possibility.”  Sociologia 3.  (paper)

Jeremy Freese.  2008.  “Genetics and the Social Science Explanation of Individual Outcomes.”  American Journal of Sociology 114: S1-S35(paper)

Jeremy Freese.  2008.  “The Problem of Predictive Promiscuity in Deductive Applications of Evolutionary Reasoning to Intergenerational Transfers: Three Cautionary Tales.”  Pp. 45-78 in Alan Booth, Ann C. Crouter, Suzanne Bianchi, and Judith A. Seltzer (eds.) Caring and Exchange Within and Across Generations.  Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press. (ms)  A chronic problem when people try to apply evolutionary theory to human behavior is that they believe they are testing “biological” explanations versus “social” explanations, when really they are just testing one debatable “biological” explanation versus one debatable “social” explanation.

Jeremy Freese and James Montgomery.  2007.  “The Devil Made Her Do It: Evaluating Risk Preference as an Explanation of Sex Differences in Religiousness.”  Pp. 187-230 in Shelley J. Correll (ed.) Advances in Group Processes: The Social Psychology of Gender.  Oxford, Elsevier (ms)  The idea that women are more religious because they are more afraid of the possibility that if they do not they will go to hell has both logical and empirical problems when considered from the standpoint of economic theory.

Jeremy Freese.  2006.  “Analysis of Variance and the Social Complexities of Genetic Causation.”  International Journal of Epidemiology 35: 534-536.  (paper)   Pretending that population variation can be apportioned into “genetic” variance and “environmental” variance is way too simplistic given the actual complexity of biological-social interdependence.

Jeremy Freese. 2004. “Risk Preferences and Gender Differences in Religiousness: Evidence from the World Values Survey.”  Review of Religious Research 46: 88-91. (paper)  Data from this study do not support the claim that women are more religious because they are more risk-averse.

Jeremy Freese, Jui-Chung Allen Li*, and Lisa Wade*. 2003. “The Potential Relevances of Biology to Social Inquiry.”  Annual Review of Sociology 29: 233-56. (paper)

Jeremy Freese and Brian Powell. 2003. “Tilting at Twindmills: Rethinking Sociological Responses to Behavioral Genetics.”  Journal of Health and Social Behavior 44: 130-135. (paper)  Many sociological complaints about twin studies are not consistent with what twin studies actually do.

Jeremy Freese. 2003. “Imaginary Imaginary Friends?: Television Viewing and Satisfaction with Friendships.”  Evolution and Human Behavior 24: 65-69. (paper)  This paper argues against the idea that people who watch a lot of television think of people on television as being like friends; you know, with more time that has passed, I have come to believe the idea had more merit to it all along.

Jeremy Freese and Sheri Meland*. 2002. “Seven Tenths Incorrect: Heterogeneity and Change in the Waist-to-Hip Ratios of Playboy Centerfold Models and Miss America Winners.”  Journal of Sex Research 39: 133-138. (paper | data:stata excel)  There have been claims that the waist-to-hip ratio for female elite beauty has been remarkably consistent over time; these claims are not consistent even with the data that have been used to support them.

Jeremy Freese. 2002. “Evolutionary Psychology: ‘New Science’ or the Same Old Storytelling?”  Contexts 1(3) 44-49. (paper)  Short overview of the promise and problems of evolutionary psychology for sociology’s official “magazine.”

Jeremy Freese and Brian Powell. 2001. “Making Love out of Nothing at All?: Null Findings and the Trivers-Willard Hypothesis.”  American Journal of Sociology 106: 1776-1789. (paper)  This paper shows that findings claimed to support a hypothesis actually only show up if you do the analysis a very particular way.

Jeremy Freese.  2000.  What Should Sociology Do About Darwin?: Evaluating Some Potential Contributions of Sociobiology and Evolutionary Psychology to Sociology.  Dissertation, Sociology, Indiana University. (whole thing)

Jason Schnittker, Jeremy Freese, and Brian Powell. 2000. “Nature, Nurture, Neither, Nor: Black-White Differences in Beliefs about the Causes and Appropriate Treatment of Mental Illness.”  Social Forces 72: 1101-1132. (paper)

Jeremy Freese and Brian Powell. 1999.  “Sociobiology, Status, and Parental Investment in Sons and Daughters: Testing the Trivers-Willard Hypothesis”  American Journal of Sociology 106: 1704-43. (paper)  This paper tests the longstanding hypothesis that rich parents invest more in sons and poor people invest more in daughters and finds little reason to think this is true.

Jeremy Freese, Brian Powell, and Lala Carr Steelman.  1999 “Rebel Without a Cause or Effect: Birth Order and Social Attitudes.” American Sociological Review 64: 207-31. (paper)  As appealing as people find the idea that whether someone is a first-born child has systematic effects on the adults they become, I show that there is no evidence to suppose this is the case for social attitudes.

Research methodology and practice

Mullinix, Kevin J.*, Thomas J. Leeper, James N. Druckman, and Jeremy Freese. 2016. “The Generalizability of Survey Experiments.” Journal of Experimental Political Science DOI: 10.1017/XPS.2015.19
(paper) Comparison of Amazon MTurk and a probability-based sample on various demographic and political variables.

Kevin Levay*, Jeremy Freese, and James N. Druckman. 2016. “The Demographic and Political Composition of Mechanical Turk Samples.” SAGE Open. DOI: 10.1177/2158244016636433 
(paper) Comparison of Amazon MTurk and a probability-based sample on various demographic and political variables.

Jeremy Freese.  2014.  “Defending the Decimals: Why Foolishly False Precision Might Strengthen Social Sciecnce.”  Sociological Science. (paper) The third significant figure of a regression coefficient is usually meaningless and yet omitting it may have surprisingly negative consequences for the capacity to cumulatively assess scientific literatures.

Jill D. Weinberg*, Jeremy Freese, and David McElhattan*.  2014.  “Comparing Data Characteristics and Results of an Online Factorial Survey Between a Population-Based and Crowdsource-Recruited Sample.”  Sociological Science 1:292-310. (paperFor vignette experiments, Mechanical Turk experiments mostly yield similar results to those obtained using a population-based online survey platform, and the differences appear to have simple explanations.

Jeremy Freese and J. Alex Kevern*. 2013. “Types of Causes.” In Stephen L. Morgan (ed.) Handbook for Causal Analysis for Social Research. (paper)  A good deal of practical confusion when talking about causation can be clarified simply by putting some adjectives in front of “cause.”

Jeremy Freese and Amelia R. Branigan. 2012. “Cognitive Ability and Survey Nonresponse: Evidence from Two Longitudinal Studies in the United States.” EurAmerica 42(2): 221-248. (paper)  People with lower cognitive ability scores are more likely to drop out of longitudinal studies, which cannot be explained by lower educational attainment.

Hanna Grol-Prokopczyk*, Jeremy Freese, Robert M. Hauser. 2011. “Using Anchoring Vignettes to Assess Group Differences in General Self-Rated Health.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 52: 246-261 (paper).  By using an alternative method, we show that differences in how men and women report their health may be due to how they think about the categories that survey questions offer for rating health.

Jeremy Freese.  2009.  “Preferences and the Explanation of Social Action.”  Pp. 94-114 in Peter Hedström and Peter Bearman, eds. Oxford Handbook of Analytic Sociology. (ms)

Jeremy Freese. 2009.  “Secondary Analysis of Large Social Surveys.”  To appear in Eszter Hargittai (ed.) Research Confidential. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. (ms)

Jeremy Freese.  2007.  “Reproducibility Standards in Quantitative Social Science: Why Not Sociology?” To appear in Sociological Methods and Research 36:153-172(ms)  See also “Overcoming Objections to Open-Source Social Science,” 36:220-226 reply to comments by Abbott and by Firebaugh to appear in same issue (ms)  Social scientists should do what they can to allow their research to be reproduced by other people.

Kristen W. Springer*, Robert M. Hauser, and Jeremy Freese.  2006.  “Bad News Indeed for Ryff’s Six-Factor Model of Well-Being.”  Social Science Research. (paper)  A popular way of thinking about well-being involves dividing it into six different factors but it is unclear whether the way those factors are measured actually different from one another in ways that are genuine instead of measurement artifacts.

J. Scott Long and Jeremy Freese.  2006. Regression Models for Categorical Outcomes using Stata, Second Edition.  College Station, TX: Stata Press.  First edition, 2001; Revised first edition, 2003. (book website)

Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

Maynard, Douglas W., Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Jeremy Freese. 2011. “Improving Response Rates in Telephone Interviews.” Charles Antaki (ed.) Applied Conversation Analysis. Palgrave Macmillan.

Nora Cate Schaeffer, Dana Garbarski*, Jeremy Freese, and Douglas W. Maynard. 2013. “An Interactional Model of the Call for Survey Participation: Actions and Reactions in the Survey Recruitment Call.” Public Opinion Quarterly 77(1): 323-351 (paper).

Douglas W. Maynard, Jeremy Freese, Nora Cate Schaeffer.  2010.  “Calling for Participation: Requests, Blocking Moves, and Rational (Inter)action in Survey Introductions.”  American Sociological Review 75(5):791-814 (paper).  If people explicitly articulate that they are not interested in participating in a survey, interviewers have very little chance to persuade them, so if there is any hope it would be in trying to prevent this explicit articulation in the first place.

Health inequalities

Jeremy Freese and Karen Lutfey.  2011.  “Fundamental Causality: Challenges of an Animating Concept for Medical Sociology.”  Pp. 67-84 in Bernice A. Pescosolido, Jack K. Martin, Jane McLeod, and Ann Rogers (eds.)  The Handbook of the Sociology of Health, Illness, and Healing. (ms)   It’s possible that a lot of the enduring relationship between socioeconomic status and health is not because of actions people undertake themselves to promote health but spillovers of the actions and dispositions of other people in their social network.

Wendy Cadge, Jeremy Freese, and Nicholas Christakis. 2008. “The Provision of Hospital Chaplaincy in the United States: A National Overview.” Southern Medical Journal 101(6): 626-630. (paper)

Karen E. Lutfey and Jeremy Freese.  2007.  “Ambiguities of Chronic Illness Management and Challenges to the Medical Error Paradigm” Social Science & Medicine 64: 314-325. (paper)

Karen E. Lutfey and Jeremy Freese.  2005.  “Toward Some Fundamentals of Fundamental Causality: Socioeconomic Status and Health in Treatment Design for Diabetes”  American Journal of Sociology 110: 1326-1372. (paper)  (An 2013 abridgement and light revision of this paper appears in David Grusky (ed.) Social Stratification [Fourth edition, Westview Press]).  If you look at what actually goes on in the lives of diabetes patients, the ways that poor diabetes patients are disadvantaged relative to wealthier diabetes patients are incredibly numerous and pervasive.

Technology and society

Jeremy Freese. 2011. “Sociology’s Contribution to Understanding the Consequences of Medical Innovations.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 52: 282-284 (paper).

Jeremy Freese and Eszter Hargittai.  2010.  “Cache Me If You Can.”  Contexts 9(4): 66-68. (paper)  Some sociological observations about geocaching.

Jeremy Freese.  2009.  “Blogs and the Attention Market for Public Intellectuals.”  Society 46: 45-48. (paper)

Jeremy Freese, Salvador Rivas, and Eszter Hargittai.  2006.  “Cognitive Ability and Internet Use Among Older Adults.” Poetics 34:236-249.  (paper | supplemental tables)  

Kathryn E. Flynn*, Maureen Smith, and Jeremy Freese. 2006 “When Do Older Adults Turn to the Internet for Health Information? Findings from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 21:1295-301. (paper)

Jeremy Freese and Salvador Rivas. 2006. “Cognition, Personality, and Individual Response to Technological Change: The Case of Internet Adoption.” (unpublished working paper)  Higher cognitive ability is associated with older adults being more likely to use the internet in ways that cannot be explained by educational differences or anything else we can measure; that “digital divide” literature almost never includes cognitive measures overstates the extent to which digital inequalities can be changed by simply providing resources.

Cognition, personality, and life outcomes

Jeremy Freese and Amelia R. Branigan*. 2012. “Cognitive Ability and Survey Nonresponse: Evidence from Two Longitudinal Studies in the United States.” EurAmerica 42(2): 221-248. (paper)

Jeremy Freese, Sheri Meland*, and William Irwin*.  2007.  “Expressions of Positive Emotion in Photographs, Personality, and Later-Life Marital and Health Outcomes.”  Journal of Research in Personality 41: 488-497. (paper)  A claim had been made that how people smiled in their yearbook photographs predicted various long-term life outcomes; we looked using a large dataset and found no evidence for this.

James A. Yonker*, Robert M. Hauser, and Jeremy Freese. 2007. “The Dimensionality and Measurement of Cognitive Functioning at Age 65 in the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study.” (unpublished working paper)

Dean Krahn, Jeremy Freese, Robert M. Hauser, Kristen Barry, Brian Goodman. 2003. “Alcohol Use and Cognition at Mid-Life: The Importance of Adjusting for Baseline Cognitive Ability and Educational Attainment.”  Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 27: 1162-66. (paper)  Some people claim alcohol causes cognitive change, but what is clearer is that cognitive differences are associated with differences in alcohol use.

Public opinion

J. Alex Kevern* and Jeremy Freese.  2014.  Differential Fertility as a Determinant of Trends in Public Opinion about Abortion in the United States.”  Women who are “pro-life” average about 50% more children than women who are “pro-choice”; we find evidence supporting the implication that this may have some long-term influence on population trends in support for abortion rights. (SSRN working paper)

Jason Schnittker, Jeremy Freese, and Brian Powell. 2003.  “Who are Feminists and What Do They Believe?: The Role of Generations.”  American Sociological Review 68: 607-622. (paper)  From the perspective of what it implies about people’s opinions on other issues, what it means to identify oneself as a “feminist” appears to be eroding.

Jeremy Freese, Brian Powell, and Lala Carr Steelman.  1999 “Rebel Without a Cause or Effect: Birth Order and Social Attitudes.” American Sociological Review 64: 207-31. (paper)

Higher education

Spencer J. Headworth* and Jeremy Freese.  2014.  Miscaste-ing inequality: Prestige, Productivity, and Placement in the Job Market for Academic Sociologists.  Where one gets one’s PhD has an enormous association with job prospects, but this inequality is better understood by the same dynamics of cumulative advantage that pervade social life than by analogies that depict academia as exceptional. (working paper)

Jeremy Freese. 2014. Review of Amy J. Binder and Kate Wood’s Becoming Right: How Campuses Shape Young Conservatives. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. American Journal of Sociology 119:1478-1480. (paper)

Ethan Fosse*, Jeremy Freese, and Neil Gross. 2014.  “Political Liberalism and Graduate School Attendance: A Longitudinal Analysis.” Pp. 53-81 n Neil Gross and Solon Simmons (eds.), Professors and their Politics.  Johns Hopkins Press.  It’s far more clear that more liberal people go to graduate school than that going to graduate school makes people more liberal (paper).

Jeremy Freese, Julie Artis, and Brian Powell. 1999. “Now I Know My ABC’s: Demythologizing Grade Inflation.”  Pages 185-94 in The Social Worlds of Higher Education, Bernice A. Pescosolido and Ron Aminzade (eds.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Pine Forge Press. (paper)  The paper debunks some common myths at the time about grade inflation, although I worry the paper read nowadays might undersell the extent to which grade inflation has happened and the extent to which it is a problem.

Analysis of talk-in-interaction

Nora Cate Schaeffer, Dana Garbarski*, Jeremy Freese, and Douglas W. Maynard. 2013. “An Interactional Model of the Call for Survey Participation: Actions and Reactions in the Survey Recruitment Call.” Public Opinion Quarterly 77(1): 323-351 (paper).

Maynard, Douglas W. and Jeremy Freese. 2012. “Good News, Bad News, and Affect: Practical and Temporal ‘Emotion Work’ in Everyday Life.” Anssi Peräkylä and Marja-Leena Sorjonen (eds). Pp. 92-112 in Emotion in Interaction Cambridge University Press.

Maynard, Douglas W., Nora Cate Schaeffer, and Jeremy Freese. 2011. “Improving Response Rates in Telephone Interviews.” Charles Antaki (ed.) Applied Conversation Analysis. Palgrave Macmillan.  Offering advice for getting more people to participate in surveys based on a project in which we actually listened to and recorded a bunch of survey calls.

Douglas W. Maynard, Jeremy Freese, Nora Cate Schaeffer.  2010.  “Calling for Participation: Requests, Blocking Moves, and Rational (Inter)action in Survey Introductions.”  American Sociological Review 75(5):791-814 (paper).

Jeremy Freese. 2009.  “Secondary Analysis of Large Social Surveys.”  To appear in Eszter Hargittai (ed.) Research Confidential. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press. (ms)

Jeremy Freese and Douglas W. Maynard.  1998.  “Prosodic Features of Bad News and Good News in Conversation.”  Language in Society 27: 195-219. (paper)  When people are told news by others, you’d think just from looking at transcripts that they “assess” the news as good or bad; but if you actually listen to conversations, what people actually do is make explicit the cues in the news that are provided by the person delivering it.

Jeremy Freese. 1996. Review of Howard Nathaniel Boughey’s Ordinary Social Occasions, Sandcastles, and Structural Reproduction: A Sociology of Everybody’s Social Life. American Journal of Sociology, 102: 272-73. (book review)