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  • August 3, 2015
  • 05:25 AM
  • 10 views

The smell of fish boosts our reasoning skills

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The nose is an early warning system, urging us to look closer at what we are planning to put in our mouths. But it’s not just alerting us to questionable food. Past research using economic games has shown that when we’re suspicious of a smell, this emotion can spill into social situations, affecting how trusting we are towards others. Now a new study shows that even without the involvement of other people to trust or distrust, smell can make us suspicious of ideas and concepts – and this a........ Read more »

  • August 3, 2015
  • 02:34 AM
  • 16 views

Screening for autism in young children: 6 questions to ask

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Question 1: Does your child ever point with their index finger to ask for something?Question 2: Is your child able to imitate you or your actions, for example if you pull a face?Question 3: Does your child ever use pretend play, for example to talk on a phone or take care of a doll?Question 4: Does your child look at something across a room when you point to it?Question 5: Does your child understand what people say?Question 6: Does your child ever bring an object to you to show you something?The........ Read more »

  • August 2, 2015
  • 01:29 PM
  • 30 views

Perfectionism linked to burnout at work, school and sports

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Concerns about perfectionism can sabotage success at work, school or on the playing field, leading to stress, burnout and potential health problems, according to new research. In the first meta-analysis of the relationship between perfectionism and burnout, researchers analyzed the findings from 43 previous studies conducted over the past 20 years. It turns out perfectionism isn’t all bad.... Read more »

  • August 1, 2015
  • 03:16 AM
  • 47 views

Methylphenidate: a repairer of the 'oxidative balance' in ADHD?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A fairly quick post for you today based on the findings reported by Esra Guney and colleagues [1] who examined whether markers of oxidative stress - an imbalance "between the systemic manifestation of reactive oxygen species and a biological system's ability to readily detoxify the reactive intermediates or to repair the resulting damage" - might be something to look at when it comes to cases of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).They concluded that, based on a small-ish sample........ Read more »

Guney, E., Cetin, F., Alisik, M., Tunca, H., Tas Torun, Y., Iseri, E., Isik Taner, Y., Cayci, B., & Erel, O. (2015) Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and oxidative stress: A short term follow up study. Psychiatry Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.003  

  • July 31, 2015
  • 10:40 AM
  • 65 views

What Happens When People Text on an Obstacle Course

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish



Exercise scientist Conrad Earnest was dodging some oblivious pedestrians in England when inspiration struck. He was trying to walk down the sidewalk, but all around him people were weaving back and forth as they focused on their smartphone screens. Earnest suggested to two of his students that they study the dangers of texting while walking. Specifically, they could ask whether texters are more likely to trip and fall—perhaps wishful thinking on Earnest's part as he walked among them.

The... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 07:35 AM
  • 4 views

What we've been getting wrong about choosing gifts

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Buying a gift can feel like a test. You want the gift to show how thoughtful you've been, and how you've taken the recipient's interests and personality into account. Yet according to the authors of a new psychology paper, this isn't the optimal approach. You and the recipient will likely feel closer to one another if you buy them a gift that says something about you, not them.Lara Aknin and Lauren Human began by confirming their suspicions: hundreds of people surveyed online said that when buyi........ Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 54 views

Workplace rudeness: Death of a thousand cuts 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It makes sense. If someone is rude to you, you might become grumpy and be rude in response, or rude to those who cross your path in the wake of the mistreatment. You may think of this as a small issue but new research shows us that rude behaviors are actually harmful—and, in fact, as […]

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The Workplace Ostracism Scale: Making the subjective objective?
Fat bias in the workplace
Who benefits from racism in the workplace?


... Read more »

  • July 31, 2015
  • 03:34 AM
  • 54 views

Careful now: oral colostrum MAF and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I should perhaps begin this slightly longer than usual post by reiterating my well-trodden caveat on this blog about not giving anything that looks, sounds or smells like medical or clinical advice during my musings. This is a blog [mainly] about peer-reviewed science, nothing more. Added to that, I'm not your Dr Ross and you are not my patient.So... I've been seeing quite a bit about Gc-MAF (Gc Macrophage Activating Factor) in the news recently. The various headlines about autism and Gc-MAF (se........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2015
  • 07:12 AM
  • 3 views

To keep your memories alive, it's better to write a diary in the evening than in the morning

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Jordan Gaines LewisFor over 15 years now, I’ve faithfully kept a diary. Every night, from age 11 until my senior year of university, I snuggled into my bedsheets and rehashed the day’s events before nodding off to sleep. Even though I’m more likely to scribble down my thoughts just once or twice a week nowadays, I’ve found that writing in a diary before bed is a fun way to capture my memories – no matter how frivolous – to enjoy again years down the road.Now a new st........ Read more »

  • July 30, 2015
  • 04:06 AM
  • 63 views

Inflammatory bowel disease and autism: increased prevalence

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin today's post:"Across each population with different kinds of ascertainment, there was a consistent and statistically significant increased prevalence of IBD [inflammatory bowel disease] in patients with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] than their respective controls and nationally reported rates for pediatric IBD."That was the conclusion reached in the paper published by Finale Doshi-Velez and colleagues [1] including one very notable name on the authorship list, Is........ Read more »

Doshi-Velez F, Avillach P, Palmer N, Bousvaros A, Ge Y, Fox K, Steinberg G, Spettell C, Juster I, & Kohane I. (2015) Prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Patients with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Inflammatory bowel diseases. PMID: 26218138  

  • July 29, 2015
  • 02:09 PM
  • 84 views

The “Invisible Web” Undermines Health Information Privacy

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

What do the third parties do with your data? We do not really know because the laws and regulations are rather fuzzy here. We do know that Google, Facebook and Twitter primarily make money by advertising so they could potentially use your info and customize the ads you see. Just because you visited a page on breast cancer does not mean that the "Invisible Web" knows your name and address but they do know that you have some interest in breast cancer. It would make financial sense to sen........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 08:30 AM
  • 70 views

Should Vets Give Treats to Pets?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Do treats at the vet mean fewer bites and a less fearful pet? Many companion animals are scared of visits to the vet. There is an established procedure for treating fear called desensitization and counter-conditioning (DS/CC) which involves feeding nice food in order to make something less scary. Yet many vets do not give treats to animals. A new paper by Karolina Westlund (Karolinska Institute) considers this reluctance, and looks at the evidence for and against.Westlund says, “Veterinarians ........ Read more »

  • July 29, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 20 views

70% of evangelicals do not see religion and science as in  conflict

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

At least those are the findings of the Religious Understandings of Science (RUS) study which is based on a “nationally representative survey of more than 10,000 Americans”. Sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), this study (completed in early 2014) hit the media about a year later. Sociologist Elaine Howard Ecklund […]

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Religion, ethnicity and Asian-American’s voting patterns
Choosing science over beliefs: Frequency of dog bites a........ Read more »

Ecklund, EH, & Scheitle, C. (2014) Religious Communities, Science, Scientists, and Perceptions:A Comprehensive Survey. Annual Meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. . info:/

  • July 29, 2015
  • 03:42 AM
  • 70 views

Gluten psychosis

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The present case-report confirms that psychosis may be a manifestation of NCGS [non-coeliac gluten sensitivity], and may also involve children; the diagnosis is difficult with many cases remaining undiagnosed."Elena Lionetti and colleagues [1] (open-access) provide an interesting read in today's post on how diet and psychiatry might once again be linked. Presenting a case report of a 14-year old girl coming to the attention of clinical services "for psychotic symptoms that were apparently ........ Read more »

Lionetti, E., Leonardi, S., Franzonello, C., Mancardi, M., Ruggieri, M., & Catassi, C. (2015) Gluten Psychosis: Confirmation of a New Clinical Entity. Nutrients, 7(7), 5532-5539. DOI: 10.3390/nu7075235  

  • July 28, 2015
  • 05:03 AM
  • 3 views

Why words get stuck on the tip of your tongue, and how to stop it recurring

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Someone in a tip-of-the-tongue state will invariably writhe about as if in some physical discomfort. "I know it, I know it, hang on ..." they will say. Finger snapping and glances to the ceiling might follow, before a final grunt of frustrated submission – "No, it's gone".Psychologists studying this phenomenon say it occurs when there is a disconnect between a word's concept and it's lexical representation. A successful utterance requires these two steps are bridged, but in the tip-of-the-tong........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2015
  • 03:35 AM
  • 89 views

Adult outcomes following childhood psychiatric problems

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A long quote to begin:"If the goal of public health efforts is to increase opportunity and optimal outcomes, and to reduce distress, then there may be no better target than the reduction of childhood psychiatric distress—at the clinical and subthreshold levels."That was the bottom line reported by William Copeland and colleagues [1] (open-access) who set out to test whether psychiatric problems presenting in childhood can "adversely affect adult functioning even if the problems themselves do n........ Read more »

  • July 27, 2015
  • 05:36 PM
  • 100 views

Distrust of atheists is widespread and pervasive: more evidence

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

A new opinion poll has some bad news for atheists. Some 40% of the US population would not consider voting for an atheist presidential candidate, regardless of their policies. That’s fewer than would vote for a gay or lesbian – or even (gasp!) a Muslim! It’s pretty much in accordance with a previous poll which showed that atheism is a bigger no-no for presidential candidates than homosexuality, extra-marital affairs, or drug use.... Read more »

  • July 27, 2015
  • 07:02 AM
  • 73 views

Things you always wondered about—probably  not so much

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here again is a collection of tidbits we don’t deem worthy of a complete blog post but which might be of interest or even amusing to you. Social media is how we get our news these days While you may think Twitter is receding in importance, the numbers beg to differ. A new Pew Research […]

Related posts:
Narcissism and Social Media Use
Panic on Tweet Street: “Without Twitter, I felt jittery and naked”
Are Millennials unaware of  current events?


... Read more »

  • July 27, 2015
  • 06:35 AM
  • 90 views

How rudeness spreads like a contagion

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

University of Florida researchers have finally put a long-standing hypothesis about rudeness to the test. The history to this is a study published in 1999 [pdf] that showed rudeness can create a vicious circle between individuals – if you’re rude to someone, they’re more likely to be rude back at you. What the authors of that paper also speculated though, and the new research investigates, is that an initial act of rudeness creates a "secondary spiral" where offended parties end up dumping........ Read more »

  • July 27, 2015
  • 03:08 AM
  • 91 views

Incontinence and paediatric autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Urinary incontinence - "the unintentional passing of urine" - is a fairly common issue affecting millions of people of all ages worldwide. Achieving full bladder and bowel control is seen as a typical part of growing up but for some children, particularly those diagnosed with a behavioural or developmental condition, issues with incontinence can persist much later into life [1].The findings reported by Alexander von Gontard and colleagues [2] bring the issue of incontinence into the autism resea........ Read more »

von Gontard A, Pirrung M, Niemczyk J, & Equit M. (2015) Incontinence in children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of pediatric urology. PMID: 26052001  

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