Post List

Psychology posts

(Modify Search »)

  • October 13, 2015
  • 02:43 AM

The neuropathology linking T. gondii infection and schizophrenia?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A quote to begin: "findings suggest that T gondii [Toxoplasma gondii] infection causes substantial and widespread immune activation indicative of neural damage and reactive tissue repair in the animal model that partly overlaps with changes observed in the brains of schizophrenia patients."So said the very interesting paper by Jakub Tomasik and colleagues [1] who set about comparing results from a mouse model of "chronic T gondii infection" looking for serum and brain signatures w........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2015
  • 09:51 PM

What do people think God is actually like?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The ancient Greek philosopher Xenophanes once scathingly pointed out that people imagine god to be pretty much like themselves: But mortals suppose that gods are born, wear their own clothes and have a voice and body. Ethiopians say that their gods are snub-nosed and black; Thracians that theirs are are blue-eyed and red-haired. Christian tend [Read More...]... Read more »

  • October 12, 2015
  • 11:39 AM

Slot machines are more addictive when we see them as having human-like intentions

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Slot machines are the great cash cow of the gambling industry, generating the bulk of income in casinos, and today they are also a feature of everyday life, found in high street pubs and bars and online. Slots are exquisitely designed with one purpose in mind, to encourage gamblers to "play to extinction" – that is, until they are penniless – as described at length in Natasha Dow Schüll's Addiction by Design: Machine Gambling in Las Vegas.Much has been written about the human weaknesses, su........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2015
  • 09:13 AM

Our shifting motivations: The inherent pleasure of a task is more important to us once we get started

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When anticipating a task, we focus on its tangible benefits, underestimating how much the experience itself mattersYou’re going for a run – well, you’re going to, once you get off the sofa. One glance at the crisp autumn sky outside reminds you how nice it is to get a bit of fresh air, but somehow it’s not enough, and you stay glued to your seat. Finally you do rouse yourself to action, but only by picturing your future self: lean and fit from managing to keep to your exercise schedule. ........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Reports of novel or contradictory health research reduces public trust  in science

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Apparently it’s all about motivated reasoning and uncertainty. When people hear new research findings that are unfamiliar or hear new findings that contradict what they already believe—they are likely to feel uncertain and confused. When you feel that way, it is unpleasant and you want to get back to feeling certain and clear about how […]

Related posts:
Have reports of the death of the civil jury trial been premature?
Is there an effective strategy that reduces a conspiracy  theor........ Read more »

  • October 12, 2015
  • 02:39 AM

Introducing 'cutaneous gluten sensitivity'

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'm always amazed that despite our many advances in science and medicine, new diagnoses and clinical entities still manage to pop up from time to time. Today I'm introducing one such occasion as detailed in the paper by Veronica Bonciolini and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) and the idea that 'cutaneous gluten sensitivity' (CGS) might be part and parcel of at least some presentation of non-coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).For those who might not know, NCGS describes part of a p........ Read more »

  • October 10, 2015
  • 03:43 AM

Views on autism from an "unaffected sibling"

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It was a bit of a breath of fresh air to read the paper by Lauren Singer [1] (open-access) published in the journal Molecular Autism recently. Detailing the personal experiences of a sibling with a sister with autism who has "gone to walks, raised money via lemonade stands, volunteered in respite programs for families with kids with autism, and participated in autism research studies at the Yale Child Study Center", her very personal account is an important read in amongst the huge peer-rev........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2015
  • 11:26 PM

Pain is in the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Chronic pain results from disease or trauma to the nervous system. Damaged nerve fibres with heightened responses to normal stimuli send incorrect messages to pain centres in the brain. This phenomenon, called “peripheral and central sensitization” is one of the key mechanisms involved in the condition which touches people with diabetes, cancer, and those suffering from multiple sclerosis, among others.... Read more »

  • October 9, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Police observers are more observant than ordinary  civilians

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Most research has not shown police to be any more observant than ordinary civilians—even though judges and juries often make assumptions that police witnesses are more reliable than civilian eyewitnesses. New research by Dutch researchers shows that police observers were more aware of details in a drug deal near a hotel which had been recorded […]

Related posts:
Are jurors more skeptical of police on the witness stand now? 
“I can look into his eyes and just tell he is lying”
An ........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2015
  • 06:41 AM

The neuroscience of traumatic brain injury

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as many as 1.7 million people in the United States experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year, over 15% of which are thought to be sports-related. Despite the relatively high prevalence of these injuries, however, it seems we are just beginning to appreciate the true extent of the effects they can have on the brain. Awareness of previously unrecognized consequences to TBI and repeated TBI--along with the realization that........ Read more »

  • October 9, 2015
  • 03:08 AM

ADHD and asthma (yet again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] have a higher prevalence of asthma than the general Quebec pediatric population."So said the findings of the study by Grizenko and colleagues [1] adding to quite a volume of research potentially connecting the two conditions. During this latest foray into this area of research, researchers also observed that: "Children with ADHD born prematurely and/or those whose mothers experienced stress during pregnancy have a significa........ Read more »

Grizenko N, Osmanlliu E, Fortier MÈ, & Joober R. (2015) Increased Risk of Asthma in Children with ADHD: Role of Prematurity and Maternal Stress during Pregnancy. Journal of the Canadian Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry , 24(2), 109-115. PMID: 26379722  

  • October 8, 2015
  • 01:21 PM

Sex change hormonal treatments alter brain chemistry

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Hormonal treatments administered as part of the procedures for sex reassignment have well-known and well-documented effects on the secondary sexual characteristics of the adult body, shifting a recipient’s physical appearance to that of the opposite sex. New research indicates that these hormonal treatments also alter brain chemistry.... Read more »

Kranz, G., Wadsak, W., Kaufmann, U., Savli, M., Baldinger, P., Gryglewski, G., Haeusler, D., Spies, M., Mitterhauser, M., Kasper, S.... (2015) High-Dose Testosterone Treatment Increases Serotonin Transporter Binding in Transgender People. Biological Psychiatry, 78(8), 525-533. DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2014.09.010  

  • October 8, 2015
  • 11:38 AM

Who Are You Wearing?: Does Competition Affect How Women View Luxury?

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

What do you think of when I say “luxury consumption”? Probably something that requires a Robin Leach voice over, right? Now what if I ask you why these luxuries are so valued? Is it because they are of excellent quality? Aesthetically appealing? Highly exclusive? Next, consider the audience for the luxury – who is admiring who? And what does that luxury symbolize? Status? Wealth? Success?A recent paper in Evolutionary Psychology takes a look at these questions and has one of the best title........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2015
  • 09:19 AM

Psychologists study twins to learn more about the roots of procrastination

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

With so many digital distractions a mere mouse click away, procrastination is easier than ever. You want, nay need, to work on an important project, yet find yourself browsing Twitter, making coffee, checking email – basically anything other than doing what you should be doing. Daniel Gustavson and his colleagues – the authors of a new twin study of procrastination published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: General – sum it up as "the irrational delay of an intended cou........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2015
  • 04:28 AM

KPAX002 for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

My attention was grabbed recently by the paper published by Jon Kaiser [1] (open-access available here) detailing the results of a 'proof-of-concept investigation' examining the use of something called KPAX002 on a small number of participants diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).Looking at how KPAX002 - "a combination of low-dose methylphenidate hydrochloride and mitochondrial support nutrients currently under development by K-PAX Pharmaceuticals" - impacted on fatigue symptoms and "co........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2015
  • 11:30 PM

Social Class Differences in Mental Health: Do Parenting Style and Friendship Play a Role?

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

It is now well-established that social class is positively related to mental health. However, researchers remain unclear about the specific processes that underlie the relation between social class and depression. In some recent research, we investigated the potential roles of parenting style and friendship in explaining the relationship between social class and mental health.... Read more »

  • October 7, 2015
  • 06:19 PM

Parents influence children’s play of violent video games

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Parents who are more anxious and emotional can impact the amount of violent video games their children play, according to new consumer research from Iowa State University. Russell Laczniak, a professor of marketing and the John and Connie Stafford Professor in Business, says given the harmful effects of violent video games, he and his colleagues wanted to better understand how parents influence children’s behavior.... Read more »

  • October 7, 2015
  • 09:30 AM

The Labrador Lifestyle

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

A survey of Labrador Retriever owners tells us what they eat, how often they exercise, and where they sleep.A survey of over 4000 people with Labrador Retrievers provides a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the average Lab. 68% of the dogs were pets, 6% working dogs, and of the remainder the largest group of people did not say (a quarter of overall responses).  Black Labradors were the most common (49%), followed by yellow (27%) and chocolate (21%), with other colours including fox ........ Read more »

Pugh, C., Bronsvoort, B., Handel, I., Summers, K., & Clements, D. (2015) Dogslife: A cohort study of Labrador Retrievers in the UK. Preventive Veterinary Medicine. DOI: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2015.06.020  

  • October 7, 2015
  • 04:30 AM

On glyphosate and autism (without scaremongering)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Glyphosate use and autism rates - should I blog about it?Well, after some deliberation I decided it was a topic worthy of an entry. There is some peer-reviewed science discussions behind it and, as per other areas of controversy on the autism research landscape, the idea that 'science is about debate' (why else does everyone keep going on about open-access and transparency) should always prevail.I'm assuming most people have heard of the organophosphonate (that's phosphonate not p........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2015
  • 01:51 PM

American placebo – An increase in the placebo response, but only in America?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A new study finds that rising placebo responses may play a part in the increasingly high failure rate for clinical trials of drugs designed to control chronic pain caused by nerve damage. Surprisingly, however, the analysis of clinical trials conducted since 1990 found that the increase in placebo responses occurred only in trials conducted wholly in the U.S.; trials conducted in Europe or Asia showed no changes in placebo responses over that period.... Read more »

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