Nomonanoto Show

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Sidama people occupy a subsistence niche partitioned between traditional enset agropastoralism and
transitional maize farming. Enset production is low-risk and requires multiple years for cultivation and processing. Maize farming is high-risk, high-yield requiring only one growing season from planting to harvest. Contrasting enset and maize farming we examine effects of crop loss and social shocks on Sidama impulsivity. We argue that impulsivity is a psychological process that is differentially activated by environmental shocks in the stable, traditional enset regime and unstable, transitional maize regime. Using a robust psychometric model derived from Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS) items we demonstrate two dimensions of Sidama impulsivity: Careful-Control [CC] and Acts Without Thinking [AWT]. Both dimensions are associated with environmental shocks, but the associations are moderated by social ecological regimes. In the enset regime, effects of shocks on impulsivity are muted. However, increased impulsivity is significantly associated with shocks in the global-market dependent maize regime. Effects on CC were significant for social shocks, but not crop loss, while AWT was associated with crop loss and social shocks. Results may indicate domain-specific aspects of impulsivity in response to environmental perturbation. Impulsivity may be adaptive in the context of active niche construction.

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