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  • March 3, 2014
  • 10:10 AM

Why People Pay Fortunes For Celebrity Memorabilia

by Agnese Mariotti in United Academics

Objects that belonged to famous personalities are very wanted. People pay incredibly high prices to obtain them. Researchers found that the price of an object was influenced by the estimated amount of physical contact that the celebrity had with it. Two theories may explain this finding. ... Read more »

  • March 3, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

Let there be meditating light

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

What do you see when you meditate? Is it the back of your eyelids, a boring spot on the floor just a few feet in front of you? Or is it perhaps something more startling, like little pinpricks of light, or a sense that the world is glowing?

If you have seen those lights, don’t worry; you’re not hallucinating. Or rather, you are hallucinating, in a very strict sense of the word, and that may indicate just how far your meditation practice has progressed.... Read more »

  • March 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

Does cyber stalking really harm anyone?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Most of us realize that real life stalking is a serious issue and very frightening to the victim, whether male or female and whether young or old. But what about cyber stalking? While research on real life stalking has grown over the past two decades, actual research on cyber stalking is sparse–despite ever-increasing depictions on […]

Related posts:
Are female stalkers less likely to be violent than male stalkers?
If your jurors are happy, will they blame the victim less?
Who cares........ Read more »

  • March 3, 2014
  • 04:53 AM

Vitamin D and autism: a continuing saga

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The "sunshine vitamin" that is vitamin D has cropped up quite a few times on this blog for all manner of reasons. The suggestion of a link (whatever that means) between vitamin D and the autism spectrum conditions has received the lion's share of coverage, be that in relation to measured levels of vitamin D (see here and see here) or more speculatively, the possible impact of something like deficiency of vitamin D to symptoms or physiology (see here and see here). I've also not been adverse to t........ Read more »

  • March 3, 2014
  • 04:46 AM

Introducing the Youth Bias - how we think (almost) everything happens when we're young

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

The idea that young people might find the world a stranger, more exciting place than older people makes intuitive sense. They've had less time to grow familiar with life. What's irrational is to believe that more significant public events happen when people are young. Of course they're just as likely to happen at any time of life. Nonetheless, a new study suggests that thanks to a phenomenon known as the "Youth Bias" many of us do believe that more major public events happen during a person's yo........ Read more »

Koppel J, & Berntsen D. (2014) Does everything happen when you are young? Introducing the Youth Bias. Quarterly journal of experimental psychology (2006), 67(3), 417-23. PMID: 24286365  

  • March 3, 2014
  • 01:50 AM

The Impenetrable Bulwark of Vaccination Lies

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

America has a problem. Some people are spouting the lie that vaccines can cause autism and other people are believing them. This has led to some unfortunate false-equivalence when the issue is discussed, and wouldn’t you know it, that false equivalence makes people less likely to believe the truth. Sometimes there’s no false equivalence; people […]... Read more »

Nyhan, B., Reifler, J., Richey, S., & Freed, G.L. (2014) Effective Messages in Vaccine Promotion: A Randomized Trial. Pediatrics. info:/

  • March 1, 2014
  • 07:25 PM

Impossible Binaries? Eating Disorders Among Trans Individuals

by Andrea in Science of Eating Disorders

Recently I was doing some research for an upcoming (and very exciting)  endeavour that involves exploring eating disorders among LGBTQ individuals. As one does, I set about scouring the research literature in this area in the hopes of stumbling across some prior articles on which to hang my proverbial research hat.
As I sifted through the databases, however, my searches kept coming up short. After sending out a call to a list-serv enquiring about the state of the field in this area, I rec........ Read more »

  • March 1, 2014
  • 01:26 AM

How real science labs work

by Patrick Mineault in xcorr

I was reading The Antidote – an excellent book on negative thinking, stoicism and the bankruptcy of self-help; via this post on the New Yorker – and I stumbled onto a paper by the psychologist Kevin Dunbar on how science is made. It’s an illuminating read. Dunbar followed 4 molecular biology lab for a year, […]... Read more »

Kevin Dunbar. (1995) How scientists really reason: Scientific reasoning in real-world laboratories. . The nature of insight, Sternberg, Robert J. (Ed); Davidson, Janet E. (Ed), 365-395. info:/

  • February 28, 2014
  • 04:21 AM

Asthma as a risk factor for autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I start with a quote from the paper by Po-Hsin Tsai and colleagues [1]: "This prospective study indicated a temporal relation between asthma and subsequent ASD [autism spectrum disorder] diagnosis, supporting the immune hypothesis of ASD pathogenesis". Based on a familiar collaboration residing in Taiwan (see here and see here for some discussions on previous data), yet more evidence is emerging of a correlation between immune function, physiology and behavioural / developmental c........ Read more »

  • February 27, 2014
  • 06:54 AM

Spanking correlates to reduced vocabulary and bad behavior

by Kate Blanchfield in United Academics

Researchers suggest spanking young children causes behavioural and cognitive problems... Read more »

MacKenzie, M., Nicklas, E., Waldfogel, J., & Brooks-Gunn, J. (2013) Spanking and Child Development Across the First Decade of Life. PEDIATRICS, 132(5). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2013-1227  

  • February 27, 2014
  • 04:08 AM

If an artist is eccentric we find their work more enjoyable and assume it's more valuable

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Pop star Lady Gaga appears at theMTV Awards 2010 in a dressmade from raw meat. Van Gogh sliced off his own ear. Truman Capote insisted he could only think in a prostrate position while sipping coffee and puffing on a cigarette. Michael Jackson hung out with a chimp, and posed for photographers while sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber. Lady Gaga attended an awards ceremony wearing a dress made from meat. There's a stereotype that creative people are eccentric and it's easy to find examples lik........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2014
  • 01:00 PM

Enrichment and Play in Domestic Ferrets

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Ferrets are popular pets because they are curious, playful and engaging. A new study by Sarah Talbot et al (Charles Stuart University, Australia) looks at play, behaviour problems and enrichment in domestic ferrets. Despite a reputation for aggression, it seems that ferrets rarely bite – and they love toys.Photo: grynold / Shutterstock Normal 0 false false false EN-CA X-NONE X-NONE ........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2014
  • 10:25 AM

Spatial Imagery Improves With Sight

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Imagine a square box about the size of a soccer ball. Now imagine turning it over with your hands. It’s a task that’s easy for most people to do — […]... Read more »

  • February 26, 2014
  • 09:30 AM

When You Are Popular on Facebook, Strangers Think You’re Attractive

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

From psychology, we’ve known for a while that people create near-instant impressions of people based upon all sorts of cues. Visual cues (like unkempt hair or clothing), auditory cues (like a high- or low-pitched voice), and even olfactory cues (what’s that smell!?!) all combine rapidly to create our initial impressions of a person. Where things […]Related articles from NeoAcademic:Facebook’s Bad For You But Good For MeSurprise: Social People Use FacebookEven Virtual Attr........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

If your client is Atheist or Muslim, do you want your Christian jurors to be Black or White?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written a number of times about the role of non-belief or of strong religious beliefs on juries and juror decision-making. The majority of research, largely based on White participants, has shown repeatedly that for White Christians, if you are an non-believer (e.g., an Atheist or a Muslim), you will be looked on less favorably […]

Related posts:
You’re on trial: Is it better to be an atheist or a black radical Muslim lesbian?
Everyone knows you just can’t trust an atheist!
He........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2014
  • 07:00 AM

Why (some) women (dis)like porn

by Annemarie van Oosten in United Academics

Pornography is considered a male thing and women are expected to dislike it. But is this really true? Research shows hyperfeminine women evaluate pornographic content quite positively. ... Read more »

  • February 26, 2014
  • 04:48 AM

Pregnancy paracetamol use and offspring ADHD traits?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Poor old paracetamol (acetaminophen if you wish).Tablets (before tablets again) @ WikipediaFirst it was the Brandlistuen correlation [1] suggesting that sustained exposure in-utero may impact on childhood developmental outcome (see here for my take). Now another swipe has been taken at this pharmaceutical stalwart of pain relief / fever reduction with the publication of results by Zeyan Liew and colleagues [2] suggesting that: "Maternal acetaminophen use during preg........ Read more »

  • February 26, 2014
  • 12:32 AM

Here’s Why Adults Think Teenagers Sleep Too Much

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

The teenage ability to sleep past noon is one of the great joys of adolescence. It’s also one of the great headaches of parenthood. On weekends parents are up bright and early, but try as they might, they can’t get their teenage children to make use of the morning hours. A simple explanation for why […]... Read more »

  • February 25, 2014
  • 12:48 PM

The root of all value: a neural common currency for choice

by David Spurrett in Common Currencies

Account of an important 2012 review of the functional MRI evidence in human subjects regarding whether all options are represented neurally in a single common currency.... Read more »

Levy, D., & Glimcher, P. (2012) The root of all value: a neural common currency for choice. Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 22(6), 1027-1038. DOI: 10.1016/j.conb.2012.06.001  

  • February 25, 2014
  • 04:02 AM

No need to look at the score - athletes' body language gives away who's winning and losing

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

In a bruising encounter with an aggressor, signalling "I give up!" via your submissive body language can be a life saver. At least that's the case for our primate cousins, and likely too for our human ancestors. For a new study Philip Furley and Geoffrey Schweizer have explored the possibility that this behaviour persists in modern day sporting encounters. Intriguingly, while a loser's automatic submissive signals may be advantageous in real-life violent contexts, in modern sport they likely bac........ Read more »

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