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  • December 15, 2014
  • 07:15 AM
  • 84 views

Why do friendly people usually lead happier lives?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

High scorers on the personality trait of agreeableness are eager to please, concerned for others, and compliant to other perspectives. On average, they live happier lives too. A new study suggests a possible reason: when they have the chance, friendly people tend to avoid engaging with negative things.The researchers, Konrad Bresin and Michael Robinson, began by asking participants to view a series of positive and negative images, spending as much time as they wanted on each one. Most people lin........ Read more »

  • December 15, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 76 views

Are you a murdered white female? Here is some small comfort!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita If you are a murdered white female, your case will be investigated and […]

Related posts:
Does your capital client “look deathworthy”?
Does the Prosecution want African-American jurors for the Trayvon Martin case?
Bev Kearney: Is it because I’m female, African-America........ Read more »

Pierce, G., Radelet, M., Posick, C., & Lyman, T. (2014) Race and the Construction of Evidence in Homicide Cases. American Journal of Criminal Justice, 39(4), 771-786. DOI: 10.1007/s12103-014-9259-1  

  • December 15, 2014
  • 04:45 AM
  • 66 views

Rates of medical illnesses in bipolar disorder

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I've mentioned a few times on this blog that a diagnosis of autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is by no means protective against any other diagnosis being received, be it based on a somatic illness or condition, or something more behaviourally defined.Reading through the paper by Liz Forty and colleagues [1] (open-access) it appears that a similar scenario might also pertain to other behaviourally-defined conditions as per the example of bipolar disorder (BD) and their conclusion: "Bi........ Read more »

Forty L, Ulanova A, Jones L, Jones I, Gordon-Smith K, Fraser C, Farmer A, McGuffin P, Lewis CM, Hosang GM.... (2014) Comorbid medical illness in bipolar disorder. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 25359927  

  • December 14, 2014
  • 07:57 AM
  • 75 views

Increasing Rigor in Huntington’s Disease Research

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The CHDI Foundation, a charitable organization who fund a lot of research into Huntington's disease, are interested in reforming the scientific process.


The story comes from a paper written by British neuroscientist Marcus Munafo and colleagues (the authors including CHDI staff) published in Nature Biotechnology a couple of months ago: Scientific rigor and the art of motorcycle maintenance.



Munafo et al. begin by pointing to the history of car manufacturing as an analogy for the scie... Read more »

Munafo M, Noble S, Browne WJ, Brunner D, Button K, Ferreira J, Holmans P, Langbehn D, Lewis G, Lindquist M.... (2014) Scientific rigor and the art of motorcycle maintenance. Nature Biotechnology, 32(9), 871-3. PMID: 25203032  

  • December 13, 2014
  • 01:51 PM
  • 93 views

High fat diet leads to brain inflammation and obesity

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

The stomach strikes again, or so it seems. We’ve already covered how your stomach seemingly controls your brain and your blood-brain barrier, but now it seems that what you eat –not too indirectly related to your stomach– might make you fatter, but not in the way you might be thinking thinking. What you are eating may be causing inflammation in the brain.... Read more »

  • December 13, 2014
  • 05:19 AM
  • 76 views

Social communication disorder (SCD) reviewed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Sometimes I believe in as many as six impossible things before breakfast.A micropost if you will, for today, and a link to a potentially very important paper by Lauren Swineford and colleagues [1] (open-access) talking about the diagnostic concept: social (pragmatic) communication disorder (SCD) and it's various crossings with language impairments and autism spectrum disorder (ASD).SCD, as I've indicated in other posts (see here and see here) is something that the autism community in partic........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 10:35 PM
  • 89 views

Guns And Controllers: Do Violent Video Games Cause Aggressive Behaviour? A Review Of Meta-Analytic Research

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

There is a lot of debate over whether or not violent video games manifest in violent behaviour. Consensus has not entirely been reached, but some suggest that the literature provides solid evidence for the hypothesis in question. In this post I examine meta-analytic reviews of the literature and weigh their significance, coming to the conclusion that violent video games most likely do cause aggressive behaviour and other negative social outcomes.... Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 04:51 PM
  • 79 views

The White Elephant in the Room: The Gift of Subversion

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

Ah, the holiday work party. Free food, spending time with people you spend your whole day with already, and enough boozy libations to make things a bit more interesting. Here in North America, many workplaces engage in the gift “game” called the White Elephant Gift Exchange. On this topic, I'm basing today’s post on an article that I recently came across by Gretchen Herrmann in The Journal of Popular Culture where she dissects the Machiavellian nature of this little holiday game.The White ........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 10:37 AM
  • 87 views

Detecting lies with fMRI

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

In 2006, a company called No Lie MRI began advertising their ability to detect "deception and other information stored in the brain" using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). They were not the first to make this claim. Two years prior, a company called Cephos had been founded on the same principle. Both companies were launched by entrepreneurs who hoped to one day replace the polygraph machine and its recognized shortcomings with a foolproof approach to lie detection.Within several yea........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 79 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Gender and message delivery and framing

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We are again honored by our inclusion in the ABA Blawg 100 list for 2014. If you value this blog, please take a moment to vote for us here in the Litigation Category. Voting closes on December 19, 2014. Doug and Rita Trial lawyers (and others who communicate to persuade) are always looking for a […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: Are those folks in the jury box thinkers or feelers?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Be Powerful in the Courtroom
Simple Jury Persuasion: Should we channel Do........ Read more »

  • December 12, 2014
  • 03:32 AM
  • 83 views

Party On! (If You're Middle-Class and Young): Age Differences Explain Social Class Differences in University Friendships

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

In a recent meta-analytic review, I found that working-class students are less integrated at university than their middle-class peers. I offered up nine potential explanations for this working-class exclusion effect. It turns out that one of the simplest explanations in this list is also the most promising. It’s all to do with age.Working-class students tend to be older than middle-class students. Why? Most likely because they don’t tend to go to university immediately after school but i........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 11:15 PM
  • 138 views

The Male Idiot Theory

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image credits: bilbypdalgyte.deviantart.com Yes, that’s a thing. According to hospital emergency departments and mortality stats, men are far likelier than women to experience accidental and sporting injuries, as well as...... Read more »

Ben Alexander, Daniel Lendrem, Dennis William Lendrem, Andy Gray, & John Dudley Isaacs. (2014) The Darwin Awards: sex differences in idiotic behaviour. BMJ, 349. info:/Ben Alexander Daniel Lendrem Dennis William Lendrem Andy Gray John Dudley Isaacs

  • December 11, 2014
  • 08:27 PM
  • 97 views

Depression And Stress/Mood Disorders: Causes Of Repetitive Negative Thinking And Ruminations

by Alexis Delanoir in How to Paint Your Panda

Repetitive Negative Thinking (RNT) has been suggested to be of clinical significance as a transdiagnostic process. Research has been conducted to explain the causes of RNT and ruminations but is limited. This article explores the causes and possible solutions to RNT, as well as its clinical implications concerning mood and stress disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD).... Read more »

Ehring, T., & Watkins, E. (2008) Repetitive Negative Thinking as a Transdiagnostic Process. International Journal of Cognitive Therapy, 1(3), 192-205. DOI: 10.1680/ijct.2008.1.3.192  

Gibb, B., Grassia, M., Stone, L., Uhrlass, D., & McGeary, J. (2011) Brooding Rumination and Risk for Depressive Disorders in Children of Depressed Mothers. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 40(2), 317-326. DOI: 10.1007/s10802-011-9554-y  

  • December 11, 2014
  • 07:14 PM
  • 74 views

Chronic fatigue syndrome by ASIA?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Unicorns, I love them. Unicorns, I love them. ASIA, in the context of this post, does not refer to the continent but rather the suggestion of an: ‘autoimmune (auto-inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants’ and some potentially contentious findings reported by Nancy Agmon-Levin and colleagues [1].Describing a small cohort of participants diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and/or fibromyalgia (FM), the authors put forward the idea that "some cases CFS and FM can be........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 10:29 AM
  • 23 views

Rapport-building interrogation is more effective than torture

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Past research (pdf) suggests that using torture as a way to extract information or confessions from terror suspects isn't just unethical, it's also ineffective. The advantage of rapport-building interrogation strategies (including respect, friendliness and empathy towards suspects) over more coercive techniques is highlighted once again in a new study that involved interviews with law enforcement interrogators and detainees.The research involved 34 interrogators (1 woman) from several internatio........ Read more »

Goodman-Delahunty, J., Martschuk, N., & Dhami, M. (2014) Interviewing High Value Detainees: Securing Cooperation and Disclosures. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28(6), 883-897. DOI: 10.1002/acp.3087  

  • December 11, 2014
  • 07:45 AM
  • 68 views

People's support for torture in "ticking time bomb scenarios" is influenced by their desire for retribution

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

In the wake of a report published yesterday into the CIA's use of torture, many people are shocked and appalled. Yet one defence of the practice remains popular - "the ticking time bomb scenario".This is the idea that torture is justified if a suspect knows the location of bomb in a public place, and many lives would be saved if he or she were coerced into telling authorities the location in time for it to be deactivated. The new Senate Intelligence Committee report describes how the ticking tim........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 07:37 AM
  • 32 views

Are Poetry and Psychosis Linked?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Is there a relationship between poetry and psychosis?

The idea that 'genius' is just one step removed from 'madness' is a venerable one, and psychiatrists and psychologists have spent a great (perhaps an inordinate) amount of time looking for correlations between mental illness and creativity.

Now a new British study has examined whether poets exhibit more traits of psychosis than other people. One of the authors is a published poet, Helen Mort.



The researchers recruited 294 poets i... Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 07:00 AM
  • 79 views

Without it no music?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

A short entry to announce a theme issue on Musicality in Philosophical Transactions B, to be out in February 2015... the year when the worlds first journal dedicated to science will celebrate its 350th anniversary.... Read more »

Honing H, ten Cate C, Peretz I, & Trehub SE. (2015) Without it no music: cognition, biology and evolution of musicality. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B. info:/10.1098/rstb.2014.0088

  • December 11, 2014
  • 05:09 AM
  • 68 views

Low bone mineral density and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity and autism?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"An elevated frequency of bone mass loss in NCWS [non-celiac wheat sensitivity] patients was found; this was related to low BMI [body mass index] and was more frequent in patients with NCWS associated with other food sensitivity".There is no Easter Bunny. There is no Tooth Fairy. There is no Queen of England.That was the conclusion reached by Antonio Carroccio and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking at a small group of participants diagnosed with something which seems to fal........ Read more »

  • December 11, 2014
  • 12:15 AM
  • 85 views

How to get rid of constant negative thoughts?

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Main Point:

Simple answer to this question is to have a regular sleep at proper time in the night.

Published in:

Cognitive Therapy and Research

Study Further:

Researchers have reported that “Duration and Timing of Sleep are Associated with Repetitive Negative Thinking”. They have defined Repetitive Negative Thinking (RNT) as “a perseverative and abstract focus on negative aspects of one’s experience”.

Usually, people complain about repetitive negative thoughts affecti........ Read more »

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