Post List

Psychology posts

(Modify Search »)

  • October 21, 2015
  • 05:19 AM

The Selective Laziness of Reasoning

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

If you could meet yourself, would you always agree with yourself?

You might hope so. But according to a new study, many people will reject their own arguments - if they're tricked into thinking that other people proposed them.

The paper, published in Cognitive Science, is called The Selective Laziness of Reasoning  and it's from cognitive scientists Emmanuel Trouche and colleagues. By "selective laziness", Trouche et al. are referring to our tendency to only bother scrutinizing arg... Read more »

Trouche E, Johansson P, Hall L, & Mercier H. (2015) The Selective Laziness of Reasoning. Cognitive science. PMID: 26452437  

  • October 21, 2015
  • 04:38 AM

Mindfulness meditation increases people's susceptibility to false memories

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Mo CostandiMindfulness is a form of meditation that encourages self-awareness by focusing attention on one's thoughts and sensations in a non-judgemental way. The practice is associated with various health benefits, and its popularity has grown enormously in recent years, due largely to endorsement from celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra.Today, mindfulness meditation forms the basis of therapeutic interventions for a wide variety of physical and psychological ai........ Read more »

Wilson, B., Mickes, L., Stolarz-Fantino, S., Evrard, M., & Fantino, E. (2015) Increased False-Memory Susceptibility After Mindfulness Meditation. Psychological Science, 26(10), 1567-1573. DOI: 10.1177/0956797615593705  

  • October 21, 2015
  • 03:11 AM

Autism, luteolin and inflammatory markers

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"We further show that the children with ASDs [autism spectrum disorders] in which the elevated serum IL-6 and TNF levels decreased at the end of the treatment period with a luteolin formulation, were the ones whose behavior improved the most."That was an excerpt from the paper by Tsilioni and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) who looked at some of the potential biological (and behavioural) effects following supplementation with the dietary formulation known as Neuro........ Read more »

  • October 20, 2015
  • 02:38 AM

No wait... C-sections are NOT linked to autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin: "There was no association between planned CS [Caesarean section] and ASD [autism spectrum disorder]... or ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]." And further: "There was no association between mode of delivery and ASD or ADHD in this cohort."Those were the conclusions reached in the paper by Eileen Curran and colleagues [1] who sought to look at whether the route of entry into the world may influence offspring risk of autism or ADHD. Based on data ........ Read more »

  • October 19, 2015
  • 06:42 PM

Finding the brain circuitry for gratitude with help from Holocaust survivors’ memories

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Neuroscientists have mapped how the human brain experiences gratitude with help from an unexpected resource: Holocaust survivors’ testimonies. “In the midst of this awful tragedy, there were many acts of bravery and life-saving aid,” said lead author Glenn Fox, a post-doctoral researcher at the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC who led the study. “With […]... Read more »

Fox, G., Kaplan, J., Damasio, H., & Damasio, A. (2015) Neural correlates of gratitude. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.01491  

  • October 19, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Expecting honesty and getting lies—when are you most able to tell it’s a lie?  

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We write often about lying and deception and none of us like to discover we’ve been lied to by either a stranger or by someone whom we know [or thought we knew] well. Despite how often we encounter dishonesty, there is a tendency to presume honesty in what we hear from others. So is it […]

Related posts:
Does Face-to-Face Interaction Promote Honesty?
Another look at who lies…
“You know who else lies?” she screeches. “LAWYERS lie!”

... Read more »

DesJardins, N., & Hodges, S. (2015) Reading Between the Lies: Empathic Accuracy and Deception Detection. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6(7), 781-787. DOI: 10.1177/1948550615585829  

  • October 19, 2015
  • 02:47 AM

Higher cognitive 'level' = more vulnerability to depression alongside autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Regular readers of this blog probably know that I don't like sweeping generalisations when it comes to autism.Y'know, all those ideas and theories that have been put forward down the years about the exclusivity and total generalisability of this, that and t'other to autism, which have inevitably fallen by the wayside as science truly starts to understand why autism is called a heterogeneous condition or even conditions (plural).First it was issues with Theory of Mind (ToM) (see here) and now exe........ Read more »

  • October 18, 2015
  • 02:48 PM

Premature birth appears to weaken brain connections

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Babies born prematurely face an increased risk of neurological and psychiatric problems that may be due to weakened connections in brain networks linked to attention, communication and the processing of emotions, new research shows. Studying brain scans from premature and full-term babies, researchers zeroed in on differences in the brain that may underlie such problems.... Read more »

Rogers C, Herzmann C, Smyser T, Shimony J, Ackerman j, Neil J, & Smyser C. (2015) Impact of preterm birth on structural and functional connectivity in neonates. Society for Neuroscience Annual meeting. info:other/Link

  • October 17, 2015
  • 03:24 PM

How reward and daytime sleep boost learning

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study suggests that receiving rewards as you learn can help cement new facts and skills in your memory, particularly when combined with a daytime nap. The findings from the University of Geneva reveal that memories associated with a reward are preferentially reinforced by sleep. Even a short nap after a period of learning is beneficial.... Read more »

  • October 17, 2015
  • 08:02 AM

Guilt-prone people are highly skilled at recognising other people's emotions

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

It's not pleasant to feel perpetually that you're responsible for mishaps and screw-ups, but some people do. Psychologists recognise this as a distinct trait, which they call "guilt-proneness" and now they've discovered that it tends to go hand in hand with an enhanced ability to recognise other people's emotions, at least from their facial expressions.For the new study published in Cognition and Emotion, Matt Treeby and his colleagues asked 363 people (mostly students; average age 27) to s........ Read more »

  • October 17, 2015
  • 03:36 AM

Societal inclusion and adult autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Participating in society was identified as the only factor predicting life satisfaction in individuals with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]."That was the primary finding reported by Lilly Schmidt and colleagues [1] following their report examining "psychosocial functioning and life satisfaction in adults with autism spectrum disorder" and importantly "identifying areas of functioning that are most predictive for life satisfaction in individuals with ASD."Based on responses to the ........ Read more »

  • October 16, 2015
  • 03:00 PM

3 Ways Concept Maps Help You Learn

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

Concept maps are pictures that that show how ideas relate to each other. In a concept map, ideas are represented as nodes, and the relationships between them as links with descriptive labels. Concept maps can be very large and complex—and they can be very small and simple. You can use concept maps to capture, communicate, and simplify…
Check out 3 Ways Concept Maps Help You Learn, an original post on Thinker Academy.
... Read more »

  • October 16, 2015
  • 11:44 AM

Subliminal religious prompts might not make people nicer after all

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Back in 2007, right when I was starting this blog, a ground breaking study revealed an extra-ordinary finding. What the researchers had discovered was that just giving people subliminal reminders of religion was enough to make them be more generous in a something called the dictator game. The really extraordinary thing was that the same [Read More...]... Read more »

  • October 16, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

The Trust in Science and Scientists Inventory Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Often, social science research studies have scales (i.e., paper and pencil measures) that may have relevance to litigation advocacy. When they seem to (or when they are just bizarre) we write about them here. If you’d like to see all the scales we blogged about over time, take a look here. It ranges from the […]

Related posts:
Women who trust too much: The Unmitigated Communion Scale
The Libertarian Orientation Scale: Who’s the (real) Libertarian?
70% of evangelicals do not see reli........ Read more »

  • October 16, 2015
  • 04:50 AM

When you're sitting in a car, things appear closer than they really are

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Psychologists have known for some time that how we perceive the world is influenced by our physical capacity to act in it. For example, hills look steeper when you've got a heavy bag on your back. Objects seem nearer when you're holding a tool that allows you to reach further. Now Birte Moeller and her colleagues have extended this line of research to study how sitting in a stationary car affects people's perceptions of distance. Their findings, published recently in Psychonomic Bulletin and Rev........ Read more »

  • October 16, 2015
  • 02:52 AM

Autism in blind children: 30 times greater prevalence?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

An intriguing paper by Rubin Jure and colleagues [1] cropped up on my autism research radar recently. Detailing the results of a study looking at how autism "affected 19 of 38 unselected children at a school for the blind in Cordoba, Argentina", the authors highlight some potentially interesting factors that may be applicable to autism in the general population.Building on previous work looking at the manifestation of autism in blind* children [2] (*hopefully that is the correct termin........ Read more »

  • October 15, 2015
  • 01:46 PM

‘Paleo’ style sleep? Think again…

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

It's tempting to believe that people these days aren't getting enough sleep, living as we do in our well-lit houses with TVs blaring, cell phones buzzing, and a well-used coffee maker in every kitchen. But new evidence reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on October 15 shows that three ancient groups of hunter-gatherers--living in different parts of the world without any of those trappings of modern life--don't get any more sleep than we do.... Read more »

Yetish et al. (2015) Natural Sleep and Its Seasonal Variations in Three Pre-industrial Societies. Current Biology. info:/

  • October 15, 2015
  • 02:36 AM

Pregnancy folic acid and offspring autism risk: just one minute...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

So: "We did not find any evidence to corroborate previous reports of a reduced risk for autism spectrum disorders in offspring of women using folic acid supplements in early pregnancy."The findings reported by Jasveer Virk and colleagues [1] prove once again that when it comes to autism, universal 'truths' are very much few and far between.Actually, I'm not particularly surprised that Virk et al found what they did when it came to the idea that "early folic acid supplementation during pregn........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2015
  • 10:31 AM

The adaptive mind: Children raised in difficult circumstances show enhanced mental flexibility in adulthood

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

According to a stream of psychological research, a tumultuous upbringing sets you up for a raw deal later in life. Being raised in households that lack wealth or stability is associated with outcomes that include altered decision-making abilities, memory and general cognitive function. These changes are usually considered impairments, but does a bad childhood really make you less capable, or just different?The research on decision-making, for instance, reveals "sub-optimal" decisions made by peo........ Read more »

  • October 14, 2015
  • 09:53 AM

Feel Our Pain: Empathy and Moral Behavior

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

"It's empathy that makes us help other people. It's empathy that makes us moral." The economist Paul Zak casually makes this comment in his widely watched TED talk about the hormone oxytocin, which he dubs the "moral molecule". Zak quotes a number of behavioral studies to support his claim that oxytocin increases empathy and trust, which in turn increases moral behavior. If all humans regularly inhaled a few puffs of oxytocin through a nasal spray, we could become m........ Read more »

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Van Kleef, G., Shalvi, S., & Handgraaf, M. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(4), 1262-1266. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015316108  

Shalvi S, & De Dreu CK. (2014) Oxytocin promotes group-serving dishonesty. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(15), 5503-7. PMID: 24706799  

Xu X, Zuo X, Wang X, & Han S. (2009) Do you feel my pain? Racial group membership modulates empathic neural responses. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 29(26), 8525-9. PMID: 19571143  

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit