Reading literary fiction can be highly pleasurable, but does it also make you a better person? Conventional wisdom and intuition lead us to believe that reading can indeed improve us. However, as the philosopher Emrys Westacott has recently pointed out in his essay for 3Quarksdaily, we may overestimate the capacity of literary fiction to foster moral improvement. A slew of scientific studies have taken on the task of studying the impact of literary fiction on our emotions and thoughts. Some of t........ Read more »
Johnson, D., Huffman, B., & Jasper, D. (2014) Changing Race Boundary Perception by Reading Narrative Fiction. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 36(1), 83-90. DOI: 10.1080/01973533.2013.856791
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
The researchers recruited a sample of 1,252 adults ranging in age from 18 to 68 years of age who reside in the US and Canada. Each participant completed measures of religiosity and political ideation prior to participation in the actual study. All participants had smartphones and were randomly signaled on their phone for 3 days […]
Should I choose the creative juror, the introvert/extravert, or the religious juror?
“Everyday liars” and “Prolific liarsR........ Read more »
According to decades of psychology research, most people, including law enforcement professionals, are useless at detecting lies. But in a new paper, a team led by Tim Levine argues that nearly all previous research has been unrealistic. The field has been dominated by studies that place the "lie detector" in a passive role, tasked with spotting "tells" leaked by the liar. But this just isn't how deception detection works in real life, say Levine and his team. Rather, the interrogator interacts ........ Read more »
Levine, T., Clare, D., Blair, J., McCornack, S., Morrison, K., & Park, H. (2014) Expertise in Deception Detection Involves Actively Prompting Diagnostic Information Rather Than Passive Behavioral Observation. Human Communication Research, 40(4), 442-462. DOI: 10.1111/hcre.12032
ER - Emergency Room - or as we call it here in Blighty Accident & Emergency (A & E), is never a particularly desirable place to visit given the emphasis on illness or injury of yourself or loved one. That being said, staff there do a sterling job sometimes under very stressful circumstances, responding to all-manner of complaints, some of which are life-threatening.The paper by Dorothea Iannuzzi and colleagues  sought to identify some of the medical reasons why ER visit........ Read more »
Iannuzzi DA, Cheng ER, Broder-Fingert S, & Bauman ML. (2014) Brief Report: Emergency Department Utilization by Individuals with Autism. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 25261249
I’m reading some fascinating books at the moment. I’m such a pain geek I take pain books away with me on holiday! Anyway, the two books to hit me between the eyeballs recently are The Pain Chronicles by Melanie Thernstrom (published 2010), and The Story of Pain by Joanna Bourke (published 2014). What makes both of these books fascinating is that these both look at the history of pain and pain management, and explore the “what it is like” to be in pai........ Read more »
Ashton-James, C., Richardson, D., Williams, A., Bianchi-Berthouze, N., & Dekker, P. (2014) Impact of pain behaviors on evaluations of warmth and competence. PAIN®. DOI: 10.1016/j.pain.2014.09.031
When it comes to emails, power makes people spend less time thinking and more time typing. So say German cyber-psychologists Annika Scholl and Kai Sassenberg in a new paper just published: Experienced Social Power Reduces Deliberation During E-Mail Communication In their study, they recruited 49 undergraduate students. Each participant was first randomly assigned to play […]The post Power Makes People Deliberate Less Over Emails appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »
Scholl A, & Sassenberg K. (2014) "While You Still Think, I Already Type": Experienced Social Power Reduces Deliberation During E-Mail Communication. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking. PMID: 25286277
The latest SAT and ACT data suggest that America’s cognitive elite have been enjoying new geographic mobility, but difficult economic times push them out of the elite strata, contrary to a prediction of The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray.... Read more »
nooffensebut. (2014) Parents’ Income is a Poor Predictor of SAT Score. Open Differential Psychology, 1-19. info:other/
I don't mind admitting that I was to some extent 'winging it' with my previous post on epigenetics and Engrailed-2 (EN-2) as a consequence of the findings reported by Jill James and colleagues  with autism in mind. Although an avid follower of the science of epigenetics when (cautiously) applied to autism, I am by no means any authority on the subject matter particularly when it comes to the nitty-gritty details. You can probably therefore expect similar things in my latest discussi........ Read more »
James SJ, Shpyleva S, Melnyk S, Pavliv O, & Pogribny IP. (2014) Elevated 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in the Engrailed-2 (EN-2) promoter is associated with increased gene expression and decreased MeCP2 binding in autism cerebellum. Translational psychiatry. PMID: 25290267
Anyone who’s paged through a women’s magazine will recognize this strategy: to make a product seem better, surround it with a scientific glow. “Clinical trials show lashes grow up to 400% fuller!” “27% reduction of dark spots in 10 weeks!” “Ceramides!” Does this actually help convince people to hand over their cash? A study using […]The post People Are More Swayed by Things That Look Sciencey appeared first on Inkfish.... Read more »
Tal, A., & Wansink, B. (2014) Blinded with science: Trivial graphs and formulas increase ad persuasiveness and belief in product efficacy. Public Understanding of Science. DOI: 10.1177/0963662514549688
"Honey, it's the '90s, remember?"Saudi Arabia and autism research? It must be at least one author from the research tag-team that is Mostafa and Al-Ayadhi.Indeed, in today's post it is Laila Al-Ayadhi featured on the paper by Felwah S. Al-Zaid and colleagues  (open-access) who concluded on: "a potential role for the hormone ghrelin in the pathogenesis of autism".Ghrelin, by the way, is often called the 'hunger hormone' as a result of its effects in relation to energy homoeostasis. A........ Read more »
Al-Zaid FS, Alhader AA, & Al-Ayadhi LY. (2014) Altered ghrelin levels in boys with autism: a novel finding associated with hormonal dysregulation. Scientific reports, 6478. PMID: 25257829
John O'KeefeImage: Nobelprize.orgThis month John O'Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work identifying the brain's "GPS system" - the internal maps that allow us to understand our position in space. The Moser's discovery of grid cells this century built upon O'Keefe's earlier accomplishment at UCL in London, the discovery of place cells in the brain. Here, we look back to his 1971 "Short Communication" in the journal Brain Res........ Read more »
O'Keefe, J., & Dostrovsky, J. (1971) The hippocampus as a spatial map. Preliminary evidence from unit activity in the freely-moving rat. Brain Research, 34(1), 171-175. DOI: 10.1016/0006-8993(71)90358-1
In December last year, researchers Brian Dias and Kerry Ressler made a splash with a paper seeming to show that memories can be inherited. This article, published in Nature Neuroscience, reported that if adult mice are taught to be afraid of a particular smell, then their children will also fear it. Which is pretty wild. […]The post Inherited Memories: Too Good To Be True? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »
Francis G. (2014) Too much success for recent groundbreaking epigenetic experiments. Genetics, 198(2), 449-51. PMID: 25316784
"No one User wrote me! I'm worth millions of their man-years!"Not so long ago I posted an entry talking about microRNAs and autism (see here). As well as including some rather interesting, if preliminary findings, that particular piece of work also served to introduce yet another layer of complexity to our genome and its expression: microRNAs.I was therefore always going to be more than a little intrigued by the results published by Ekua Brenu and colleagues  and their observations on ci........ Read more »
Brenu EW, Ashton KJ, Batovska J, Staines DR, & Marshall-Gradisnik SM. (2014) High-Throughput Sequencing of Plasma MicroRNA in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis. PloS one, 9(9). PMID: 25238588
The concept of resilience is of considerable interest in clinical practice. The resilient person shows relatively speedy recovery from a disturbance and an ability to resume their former work practices, habits and normal life. In addition, they are able to maintain that recovery over the long-term.The maintenance of recovery is of particular interest in patients suffering from chronic pain, since the presence of persistent pain leads to a raft of behavioural and cognitive changes all........ Read more »
Newton-John TR, Mason C, & Hunter M. (2014) The role of resilience in adjustment and coping with chronic pain. Rehabilitation psychology, 59(3), 360-5. PMID: 25019306
Ever see a guy walking down the street and know he’s depressed? Or how about someone happy, with a little bounce in their step? The way we walk says a lot and by some estimates roughly 90% of what we are telling people isn’t coming out our mouth, it’s all body language. Our walk says a lot about the kind of mood we are in, but in the question of what came first our mood or our walk, researchers have now shown that it works both ways.... Read more »
Michalak J, Rohde K, & Troje NF. (2014) How we walk affects what we remember: Gait modifications through biofeedback change negative affective memory bias. Journal of behavior therapy and experimental psychiatry, 121-125. PMID: 25310681
Dogs and cats have both advantages and disadvantages for street-involved youth.Photo: everst / ShutterstockResearch by Michelle Lem et al (University of Guelph) asks homeless young people (aged 18-24) what their pet means to them. Previous studies have focussed on the benefits to homeless people of owning a dog or cat. The aim of this study was to get a balanced picture of both the advantages and disadvantages. Ten homeless young people took part in in-depth interviews about their pet. 8 of........ Read more »
Lem, M., Coe, J.B., Haley, D.B., Stone, E., & O'Grady, W. (2013) Effects of companion animal ownership among Canadian street-involved youth: A qualitative analysis. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, XL(4), 285-304. info:/
Imagine a 7-year old boy living in India. One day, his father gets drunk and kills his mother. The boy is a witness to the homicide, and develops a high fever as a response. Imagine you’re the mental health professional who is called to support the boy. Some of the things you would want to know are how children in India respond to severe trauma, what words they use, and what helps them to recover.
Unfortunately, that information is virtually nonexistent. T... Read more »
Fodor, K., Unterhitzenberger, J., Chou, C., Kartal, D., Leistner, S., Milosavljevic, M., Nocon, A., Soler, L., White, J., Yoo, S.... (2014) Is traumatic stress research global? A bibliometric analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology. DOI: 10.3402/ejpt.v5.23269
Many modern organizations try to compete for top talent by adding fancy, interactive experiences to their recruitment process – think of something like a virtual tour. Such interactive experiences are expensive, but their creators hope that they will attract a higher class of recruit. New research from Badger, Kaminsky and Behrend in the Journal of Managerial […]The post Do Interactive Experiences Aid Employee Recruitment? appeared first on NeoAcademic.Related articles from N........ Read more »
Badger, J.M., Kaminsky, S.E., & Behrend, T.S. (2014) Media richness and information acquisition in internet recruitment. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 29(7), 866-883. info:/10.1108/JMP-05-2012-0155
There are numerous structural factors that influence people’s attitudes towards cities. However, these factors may be constituents of broader sociocultural “questions” that people ask about their cities. For example, residents’ concern about the transport and entertainment venues of a city might form part of a broader social psychological concern about the potential for the city to accommodate their need to meet friends and socialize with others. Alternatively, people might focus on a ........ Read more »
Rubin, M., & Morrison, T. (2014) Individual Differences in Individualism and Collectivism Predict Ratings of Virtual Cities’ Liveability and Environmental Quality. The Journal of General Psychology, 141(4), 348-372. DOI: 10.1080/00221309.2014.938721
What happens in the brain during a highly immersive reading experience? According to the fiction feeling hypothesis (Jacobs, 2014), narratives with highly emotional content cause a deeper sense of immersion by engaging the affective empathy network to a greater extent than neutral narratives. Emotional empathy – in this case, the ability to identify with a fictional character via grounded metarepresentations of ‘global emotional moments’ (Hsu et al., 2014) – relies on a number of b........ Read more »
Hsu CT, Conrad M, & Jacobs AM. (2014) Fiction feelings in Harry Potter: haemodynamic response in the mid-cingulate cortex correlates with immersive reading experience. Neuroreport. PMID: 25304498
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