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  • February 23, 2014
  • 11:31 AM

Are People Wired to Help the Needy?

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

Humans tend to be altruistic creatures. Don’t be fooled by what you see on Black Friday or days when Congress votes on food stamp funding — we like helping each other out. A popular explanation for our behavior is that we have evolved to care for those in need and feel empathy when we come […]... Read more »

  • February 23, 2014
  • 12:25 AM

"Love at first sight is a myth," say Chicago researchers

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Social Neuroscience power couple, John T. Cacciopo and Stephanie CacciopoThis, my friends, is a belated Valentine's Day tale that went oh so wrong...On Feb 14, Scientific American ran a piece about When Scientists Are Mad about Each Other. The cutesy narrative on the Cacciopos described a wonderful story of love at first sight:He was studying loneliness and isolation. She was studying love and desire. When they found themselves together, they gravitated toward her end of the ........ Read more »

S Cacioppo, B Couto, M Bolmont. (2013) Selective decision-making deficit in love following damage to the anterior insula. Current Trends in Neurology, 15-19. info:other/

  • February 22, 2014
  • 03:35 PM

The 10 Strategies Identified by Adolescent Girls for Managing Peer Conflict

by John Wayland in Psych Radar

Many parents, teachers and teaching assistants will know that children and young adults will often fall out and argue. As children develop and reach puberty, these issues become increasingly complex and divisive. Additionally, adult intervention can sometimes serve to exacerbate the situation (Huntley and Owens 2013).Recent research by Huntley and Owens (2013) has successfully identified 10 possible strategies, developed by adolescent girls, that may prove useful in managing peer conflict. Seven........ Read more »

  • February 21, 2014
  • 10:47 AM

“But I Didn’t Know!” People Show Prejudice-Based Aggression When It’s Easily Deniable

by amikulak in Daily Observations

We’re taught from a young age that it’s not okay to discriminate or show prejudice against others. And this strong social norm is codified in various ways, such as in […]... Read more »

  • February 21, 2014
  • 09:30 AM

Do Recommendation Letters Actually Tell Us Anything Useful?

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

Recommendation letters are one of the most face valid predictors of academic and job performance; it is certainly intuitive that someone writing about someone else whom they know well should be able to provide an honest and objective assessment of that person’s capabilities.  But despite their ubiquity, little research is available on the actual validity […]Related articles from NeoAcademic:GRE: The Personality TestEven If Job Applicants Cheat, Online Testing May Still Increase Job ........ Read more »

Kuncel, N. R., Kochevar, R. J., & Ones, D. S. (2014) A meta-analysis of letters of recommendation in college and graduate admissions: Reasons for hope. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 22(1), 101-107. info:/10.1111/ijsa.12060

  • February 21, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “tainted altruism effect”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

People will actually see you more positively when you raise no money for charity at all than they will when you raise $1,000,000 (but skim $100,000 for yourself). Even if you said you were going to keep 10% up front and the charity really did get the $900,000! When you benefit (in any way) from […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Using counter-factual thinking to your advantage
Simple Jury Persuasion: Use pre-factual thinking to your advantage in litigation
Simple Jury Persuasion: ........ Read more »

  • February 21, 2014
  • 02:51 AM

No Sex Please: Understanding Asexuality

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

Lack of sexual interest in a highly sexualised Western society: how does that work? Interest in this topic has sky-rocketed in the past decade, yet we still know very little about it. Once thought to be a psychological or biological disorder, asexuality is slowly being accepted as a normal orientation separate from sexual orientations such as heterosexuality and homosexuality.... Read more »

Van Houdenhove E, Gijs L, T'sjoen G, & Enzlin P. (2013) Asexuality: Few Facts, Many Questions. Journal of sex . PMID: 24134401  

  • February 20, 2014
  • 04:54 PM

The Changing Face of Science: Part Two

by Rebecca Schwarzlose in Garden of the Mind

How are social media and the Internet changing the way science is done? And what does that have to do with a dancing cockatoo?... Read more »

Patel, Aniruddh D., Iversen, John R., Bregman, Micah R., & Schulz, Irena. (2009) Experimental Evidence for Synchronization to a Musical Beat in a Nonhuman Animal. Current Biology, 19(10), 827-830. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2009.03.038  

  • February 20, 2014
  • 04:35 PM

The Importance of a Friend

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

A post exploring the psychological and medical benefits of having strong social relationships. Meta-analysis and further studies show that beyond the obvious psychological benefits of having friends, strong social relationships also confer longevity and increased likelihood of survival in situations of risked mortality.... Read more »

  • February 20, 2014
  • 02:03 PM

Friends with benefits

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

tl;dr: Rodents will help each other get out of trouble, though they will help each other more if they are related. Social learning in rodents can require information transmission between ACC and amygdala, and the strength of synapses in mPFC dictates social status. He wanders into the room and stops – someone else is peering […]... Read more »

Ben-Ami Bartal I, Rodgers DA, Bernardez Sarria MS, Decety J, & Mason P. (2014) Pro-social behavior in rats is modulated by social experience. eLife. PMID: 24424411  

Ben-Ami Bartal I, Decety J, & Mason P. (2011) Empathy and pro-social behavior in rats. Science (New York, N.Y.), 334(6061), 1427-30. PMID: 22158823  

Jeon D, Kim S, Chetana M, Jo D, Ruley HE, Lin SY, Rabah D, Kinet JP, & Shin HS. (2010) Observational fear learning involves affective pain system and Cav1.2 Ca2 channels in ACC. Nature neuroscience, 13(4), 482-8. PMID: 20190743  

  • February 20, 2014
  • 04:37 AM

BCKDK mutations and autism continued?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

February 19th 2014 (yesterday). Questioning Answers celebrates 3 years of life as a blog. Happy birthday. To quote from one website: "Congratulations, you have survived the "terrible two's!"'. Maybe I should start claiming some free early education for it too?You are 3 @ Paul WhiteleyAnyhow...Cast your mind back to September 2012 and the publication of a paper by Gaia Novarino and colleagues* which I posted about (see here) discussing some interesting observations with respect to a potentia........ Read more »

  • February 20, 2014
  • 03:51 AM

For many, the dark thoughts of depression are accompanied by perceptual sensations

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

The assessment and treatment of depression usually deals with negative verbal thoughts as if they are distinct from negative mental imagery and perceptual sensations. A new study led by Steffen Moritz at the University of Hamburg suggests this is a mistake - many people with depression report that their negative thoughts have a sensory quality. What's more, experiencing depressive thoughts with perceptual sensations tends to go hand in hand with more serious depressive illness.Recruited via hosp........ Read more »

Moritz S, Hörmann CC, Schröder J, Berger T, Jacob GA, Meyer B, Holmes EA, Späth C, Hautzinger M, Lutz W.... (2013) Beyond words: Sensory properties of depressive thoughts. Cognition . PMID: 24359124  

  • February 19, 2014
  • 07:10 AM

Western Tests Misdiagnose Morrocan Immigrants As Schizophrenic

by eva de lozanne in United Academics

Immigrants are more often than natives diagnosed with schizophrenia. Afro-Carribeans in England, Inuits in Denmark and Moroccans in the Netherlands are among the most likely to become schizophrenic, according to a Dutch newspaper article. New research however has indicated that standardized test may overdiagnose immigrants due to cultural misinterpretation.... Read more »

  • February 19, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: The weaker the evidence, the more precise you become

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When your evidence is weak, how can you be more persuasive? Precision. Observers want to see certain things to have confidence in what you are saying. The more precise you are, the more likely the observer is to see you as knowledgeable and accurate (even when negotiating for salary!). So what does the observer look […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Can walking to the jury room make jurors forget your evidence?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Hearsay evidence & the expert witness
Si........ Read more »

Jerez-Fernandez A, Angulo AN, & Oppenheimer DM. (2014) Show me the numbers: precision as a cue to others' confidence. Psychological Science, 25(2), 633-5. PMID: 24317423  

  • February 18, 2014
  • 09:24 AM

How children's understanding of gravity changes as they grow older

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

What happens if you drop a ball in a falling elevator and why? Your answer will of course depend on the sophistication of your understanding of the laws of physics. Psychologists in France and the Netherlands have used similar questions to test the understanding of 144 children and teenagers aged 5 to 18 years. The results show how children's naive understanding of gravity matures through different stages as a result of their first-hand experience and exposure to formal teaching and cultural exp........ Read more »

  • February 18, 2014
  • 07:32 AM

Can bonobos synchronize to the beat?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Today the Daily Mail reports on an exciting new finding: Patricia Gray (University of North Carolina in Greensboro) and Ed Large (University of Connecticut) claim to have shown that bonobo's can synchronise to a beat.
... Read more »

  • February 18, 2014
  • 06:14 AM

Student narcissists prefer Twitter; more mature narcissists favour Facebook

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Media headlines frequently link young people's widespread use of Facebook with the narcissism of their generation (e.g. "Facebook's 'dark side': study finds link to socially aggressive narcissism). A new investigation involving hundreds of US college students and hundreds of members of the US public has found that it's actually the older generation for whom this claim is more accurate. However, use of Twitter tells another story.First to challenge those Facebook headlines. Shaun Davenport and hi........ Read more »

  • February 18, 2014
  • 04:02 AM

HLA alleles and specific language impairment

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I've talked about the [almighty] major histocompatibility complex (MHC) before on this blog (see here). The important duties that this biological system performs in relation to identification and communication insofar as antigen presentation and importantly, the process of differentiation between 'self' and 'non-self' from an immunological perspective, are not to be sniffed at.Harold? @ WikipediaI've found myself quite interested in all things MHC (also referring to the human leukocyte anti........ Read more »

Nudel R, Simpson NH, Baird G, O Hare A, Conti-Ramsden G, Bolton PF, Hennessy ER, Monaco AP, Knight JC, Winney B.... (2014) Associations of HLA alleles with specific language impairment. Journal of neurodevelopmental disorders, 6(1), 1. PMID: 24433325  

  • February 17, 2014
  • 05:17 PM

Do Children Need Brain Awareness?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Brain Awareness Week is coming, so I was interested to read today about the University of Minnesota Brain Awareness Program for schools. A paper, published in PLoS ONE a few weeks ago, gives plenty of details about this pioneering educational initiative. But the main reason I’m blogging about it is so I can share this […]The post Do Children Need Brain Awareness? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • February 17, 2014
  • 05:16 PM

Who benefits from mindfulness?

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

The assumption of every magazine or scientific article I’ve read on the benefits of mindful meditation seems to be that a little mindfulness training would be good for absolutely everyone. But are we right to assume that everyone walks away with the same benefits from a mindfulness intervention?... Read more »

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