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  • August 19, 2015
  • 02:46 PM

The powerful motivating effect of a near win

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If you while away time in a games arcade – play some coin pushers here, a few fruit machines there – you will soon be familiar with that frustrating and enlivening sensation of the near win that follows getting four cherries out of five. New research from INSEAD suggests that these tantalising near wins produce high levels of motivational arousal, that encourage us to chase whatever alternative rewards are then available.In one fascinating experiment, Monica Wadhwa and JeeHye Christine Kim g........ Read more »

  • August 19, 2015
  • 11:55 AM

In a Group, Who’s Perceived To Be Dominant? Tall, Mid-Thirty and Male

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Carlota Batres PhD Candidate at the Perception Lab School of Psychology and Neuroscience University of St Andrews   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response:  Dominance in men is associated with … Continue reading →
The post In a Group, Who’s Perceived To Be Dominant? Tall, Mid-Thirty and Male appeared first on Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Carlota Batres. (2015) In a Group, Who's Perceived To Be Dominant? Tall, Mid-Thirty and Male. info:/

  • August 19, 2015
  • 08:30 AM

The Beneficial Effects of Watching Fish

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Spending time observing an aquarium leads to improvements in mood and reductions in heart rate.There are psychological benefits to watching fish and crustaceans in an aquarium, according to a new study by Deborah Cracknell et al. They observed people’s natural interactions with a marine life display, and took heart rate, blood pressure and questionnaire results from 84 experimental participants. But the display wasn’t a fish tank that you could fit in your living room – it was a large exhi........ Read more »

  • August 19, 2015
  • 08:02 AM

Psychologists Want an Alternative to the DSM

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

In another life (or a different timeline, if you prefer) I didn’t change paths and continued on to become a clinical psychologist. In that life (or timeline), I, and many other psychologists are using something totally different than the DSM … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 19, 2015
  • 02:52 AM

Breast milk protects against GI symptoms in high risk autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Happy house @ Paul Whiteley"Late weaning and EBM [exclusive breast milk] were associated with protection against GI [gastrointestinal] symptoms in High-risk infants."That was one of the conclusions presented in the paper by Alexander Penn and colleagues [1] who asked some pretty important questions when it comes to the increasingly strong relationship between bowel issues and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (see here)."Using questionnaires, diet history and gastrointestinal problems were tra........ Read more »

Penn AH, Carver LJ, Herbert CA, Lai TS, McIntire MJ, Howard JT, Taylor SF, Schmid-Schönbein GW, & Dobkins KR. (2015) Breast Milk Protects Against Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Infants at High Risk for Autism During Early Development. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. PMID: 26230900  

  • August 18, 2015
  • 02:35 PM

Nicotine changes marijuana’s effect on the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

How scientists study the effects of marijuana on the brain is changing. Until recently marijuana research largely excluded tobacco users from its participant pool, but scientists have found reason to abandon this practice, uncovering significant differences in the brains of individuals who use both tobacco and marijuana and the brains of those who only use marijuana.... Read more »

  • August 18, 2015
  • 11:19 AM

Blood-Sucking Bugs Are Smart at Night, Dumb by Day

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Any college student can tell you that overstudying is a waste of energy. When your resources are limited, you should learn the material that's going to be on the test and ignore everything else. Certain blood-sucking bugs use the same strategy—unfortunately for the humans who catch diseases from them.

Kissing bugs live all around the Americas and drink the blood of other animals, including humans. They prefer to bite their hosts on the face—hence "kissing." The species that live in t........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2015
  • 11:01 AM

Weird things start to happen when you stare into someone's eyes for 10 minutes

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A psychologist based in Italy says he has found a simple way to induce in healthy people an altered state of consciousness – simply get two individuals to look into each other's eyes for 10 minutes while they are sitting in a dimly lit room. The sensations that ensue resemble mild "dissociation" – a rather vague psychological term for when people lose their normal connection with reality. It can include feeling like the world is unreal, memory loss and odd perceptual experiences, such as see........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2015
  • 03:41 AM

Neonatal hyperbilirubinemia and autism risk (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Tall ships @ Paul WhiteleyThe paper by Luis Lozada and colleagues [1] (open-access) brings back into focus a topic that has graced this blog before (see here) with their observation that: "Children who develop ASD [autism spectrum disorder] are more likely to have an admission with a diagnosis of jaundice in the neonatal period and more likely to require treatment for this jaundice."Jaundice, by the way, refers to a condition marked by yellowing of the skin and eyes as a result of........ Read more »

Lozada, L., Nylund, C., Gorman, G., Hisle-Gorman, E., Erdie-Lalena, C., & Kuehn, D. (2015) Association of Autism Spectrum Disorders With Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia. Global Pediatric Health. DOI: 10.1177/2333794X15596518  

  • August 17, 2015
  • 09:40 PM

Playing Tetris May Reduce Cravings For Food and Drugs

by Marie Benz in Interview with: Professor Jackie Andrade PhD School of Psychology Cognition Institute Plymouth University Plymouth Australia   Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Andrade: We want to understand the mental processes … Continue reading →
The post Playing Tetris May Reduce Cravings For Food and Drugs appeared first on Medical Research Interviews and News.
... Read more »

Professor Jackie Andrade PhD. (2015) Playing Tetris May Reduce Cravings For Food and Drugs. info:/

  • August 17, 2015
  • 01:55 PM

How influential are peer reactions to posts on Facebook news channels?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

An experiment to determine the effects of positive and negative user comments to items posted by media organizations on Facebook news channels showed, surprisingly, that the influence of user comments varied depending on the type and number of user comments. Negative comments influenced the persuasiveness of a news article, while positive comments did not, and a high number of likes did not have the expected bandwagon effect.... Read more »

Winter, S., Brückner, C., & Krämer, N. (2015) They Came, They Liked, They Commented: Social Influence on Facebook News Channels. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 18(8), 431-436. DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2015.0005  

  • August 17, 2015
  • 11:56 AM

Detection of Alzheimer’s disease with a digital pen

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that is similar to senile dementia except that it begins in the later stages of life, usually after 40 years. Among the first signs and symptoms of the disease are impaired memory along with impaired thought and speech. However, these signs and symptoms appear after a significant damage to the brain.

This disease (along with many other psychiatric problems such as Parkinson’s) can be detected by doctors and experts with the help........ Read more »

Souillard-Mandar et al. (2015) Learning Classification Models of Cognitive Conditions from Subtle Behaviors in the Digital Clock Drawing Test. MLJ. info:/

  • August 17, 2015
  • 08:03 AM

Perseverance Negatively Correlated with Counterproductive Work Behaviours

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

New research shows that perseverance might be a key character strength when it comes to counterproductive work behaviours. The researchers were interested in finding the character strengths that were most correlated with work performance and counterproductive work behaviours (things like absenteeism, lateness, … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 17, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

The Bias Awareness Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a new way to measure our awareness of our own biases in four easy questions. Yes. Four. We are constantly writing about bias here and when we see ways to measure bias it is usually convoluted or prohibitively expensive, or contains language not suitable for courtroom use. This scale, however, is different—it is short […]

Related posts:
The Bias Blind Spot Scale 
Is racial bias fueling anti-Obama rhetoric?
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims

... Read more »

  • August 17, 2015
  • 04:58 AM

Having strong political skills can be a handicap in the workplace

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If you overheard someone at work refer to you as "a real political operator", would you feel complimented, or alarmed? The latter turns out to be a sensible reaction, as new research suggests that supervisors and colleagues have less faith in the performance of the highly politically skilled.Study authors Ingo Zettler and Jonas Lang noted a conundrum in their field: researchers treat political skill as a uniform good, the more the better, yet a meta-analysis of relevant research (pdf) found a sp........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2015
  • 03:10 AM

Sibling death by defenestration: a case report

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The case report published by Osman Sabuncuoglu and colleagues [1] (open-access) highlighting the extremes of certain high-risk behaviours potentially associated with autism is the topic of today's brief post.Detailing the very saddest of outcomes whereby a young boy diagnosed with autism and "aggression, violence and poor behavioral control" threw his 18-month old sister out of a window (defenestration) causing her death, the authors draw attention to several issues tied into the extremes o........ Read more »

Osman Sabuncuoglu, Mustafa Yasin IRMAK, Nagehan Ucok Demir, Duygu Murat, Can Tumba, & Yuksel Yilmaz. (2015) Sibling death after being thrown from window by brother with autism: defenestration an emerging high-risk behavior. Case Reports in Psychiatry. info:/

  • August 16, 2015
  • 02:06 PM

The stomach is the way to a woman’s heart, too

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

You've heard that romance starts in the kitchen and not in the bedroom. Well, researchers at Drexel University finally have the science to support that saying - but not the way you might think. Researchers found that women's brains respond more to romantic cues on a full stomach than an empty one. The study explored brain circuitry in hungry versus satiated states among women who were past-dieters and those who had never dieted.... Read more »

  • August 15, 2015
  • 01:26 PM

On Wikipedia, politically controversial science topics vulnerable to information sabotage

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Wikipedia reigns. It’s the world’s most popular online encyclopedia, the sixth most visited website in America, and a research source most U.S. students rely on. But Wikipedia entries on politically controversial scientific topics can be unreliable due to information sabotage.... Read more »

  • August 15, 2015
  • 03:20 AM

Delivering medicines in psychiatry the transdermal way: application to autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The real iron manPharmaceutical technology, and specifically the various research strategies looking at the way that medicines are delivered to the body, is probably not a topic high on most people's list of interests. This area is generally not 'sexy' research insofar as producing headlines about almost miracle interventions for condition X or label Y. Instead, we take for granted that the tablet or capsule we have been given has been formulated and tested or that the nicotine patch that you ma........ Read more »

  • August 14, 2015
  • 08:04 AM

Board Diversity Paramount for Achieving Corporate Benefits

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

Earlier this year, there was some interesting research published about board diversity, as it relates to achieving corporate benefits. Specifically: Board diversity improves governance and product development especially in firms led by White men CEOs. There are at least two … Continue reading →... Read more »

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