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 »
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
"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  (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 »
Tsilioni I, Taliou A, Francis K, & Theoharides TC. (2015) Children with autism spectrum disorders, who improved with a luteolin-containing dietary formulation, show reduced serum levels of TNF and IL-6. Translational psychiatry. PMID: 26418275
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  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 »
Curran, E., Cryan, J., Kenny, L., Dinan, T., Kearney, P., & Khashan, A. (2015) Obstetrical Mode of Delivery and Childhood Behavior and Psychological Development in a British Cohort. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-015-2616-1
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 »
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 […]
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
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 »
De-la-Iglesia M, & Olivar JS. (2015) Risk Factors for Depression in Children and Adolescents with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders. TheScientificWorldJournal, 127853. PMID: 26413564
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
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 »
Igloi, K., Gaggioni, G., Sterpenich, V., & Schwartz, S. (2015) A nap to recap or how reward regulates hippocampal-prefrontal memory networks during daytime sleep in humans. eLife. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.07903
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 »
Treeby, M., Prado, C., Rice, S., & Crowe, S. (2015) Shame, guilt, and facial emotion processing: initial evidence for a positive relationship between guilt-proneness and facial emotion recognition ability. Cognition and Emotion, 1-8. DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2015.1072497
"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  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 »
Schmidt L, Kirchner J, Strunz S, Broźus J, Ritter K, Roepke S, & Dziobek I. (2015) Psychosocial Functioning and Life Satisfaction in Adults With Autism Spectrum Disorder Without Intellectual Impairment. Journal of clinical psychology. PMID: 26406481
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 »
Nesbit, J., & Adesope, O. (2006) Learning With Concept and Knowledge Maps: A Meta-Analysis. Review of Educational Research, 76(3), 413-448. DOI: 10.3102/00346543076003413
Redford, J., Thiede, K., Wiley, J., & Griffin, T. (2012) Concept mapping improves metacomprehension accuracy among 7th graders. Learning and Instruction, 22(4), 262-270. DOI: 10.1016/j.learninstruc.2011.10.007
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 »
Gomes, C., & McCullough, M. (2015) The Effects of Implicit Religious Primes on Dictator Game Allocations: A Preregistered Replication Experiment. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. DOI: 10.1037/xge0000027
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 […]
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 »
Nadelson, L., Jorcyk, C., Yang, D., Jarratt Smith, M., Matson, S., Cornell, K., & Husting, V. (2014) I Just Don't Trust Them: The Development and Validation of an Assessment Instrument to Measure Trust in Science and Scientists. School Science and Mathematics, 114(2), 76-86. DOI: 10.1111/ssm.12051
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 »
Moeller, B., Zoppke, H., & Frings, C. (2015) What a car does to your perception: Distance evaluations differ from within and outside of a car. Psychonomic Bulletin . DOI: 10.3758/s13423-015-0954-9
An intriguing paper by Rubin Jure and colleagues  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  (*hopefully that is the correct termin........ Read more »
Jure R, Pogonza R, & Rapin I. (2015) Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Blind Children: Very High Prevalence, Potentially Better Outlook. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 26408327
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:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.046
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  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 »
Virk J, Liew Z, Olsen J, Nohr EA, Catov JM, & Ritz B. (2015) Preconceptional and prenatal supplementary folic acid and multivitamin intake and autism spectrum disorders. Autism : the international journal of research and practice. PMID: 26408631
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 »
Mittal, C., Griskevicius, V., Simpson, J., Sung, S., & Young, E. (2015) Cognitive adaptations to stressful environments: When childhood adversity enhances adult executive function. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 109(4), 604-621. DOI: 10.1037/pspi0000028
"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
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
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