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 »
Bresin K, & Robinson MD. (2014) You Are What You See and Choose: Agreeableness and Situation Selection. Journal of personality. PMID: 25109246
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 […]
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
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  (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 »
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
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 »
Valdearcos, M., Robblee, M., Benjamin, D., Nomura, D., Xu, A., & Koliwad, S. (2014) Microglia Dictate the Impact of Saturated Fat Consumption on Hypothalamic Inflammation and Neuronal Function. Cell Reports. DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2014.11.018
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  (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 »
Swineford, L., Thurm, A., Baird, G., Wetherby, A., & Swedo, S. (2014) Social (pragmatic) communication disorder: a research review of this new DSM-5 diagnostic category. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 6(1), 41. DOI: 10.1186/1866-1955-6-41
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 »
Anderson, CA, & Bushman, BJ. (2001) Effects of Violent Video Games on Aggressive Behavior, Aggressive Cognition, Aggressive Affect, Physiological Arousal, And Prosocial Behavior: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Scientific Literature. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1037/e315012004-001
Anderson CA, Shibuya A, Ihori N, Swing EL, Bushman BJ, Sakamoto A, Rothstein HR, & Saleem M. (2010) Violent video game effects on aggression, empathy, and prosocial behavior in eastern and western countries: a meta-analytic review. Psychological bulletin, 136(2), 151-73. PMID: 20192553
Ferguson, C., & Kilburn, J. (2009) The Public Health Risks of Media Violence: A Meta-Analytic Review. The Journal of Pediatrics, 154(5), 759-763. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2008.11.033
Greitemeyer, T., & Mugge, D. (2014) Video Games Do Affect Social Outcomes: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Effects of Violent and Prosocial Video Game Play. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 40(5), 578-589. DOI: 10.1177/0146167213520459
Huesmann, L. (2010) Nailing the coffin shut on doubts that violent video games stimulate aggression: Comment on Anderson et al. (2010). Psychological Bulletin, 136(2), 179-181. DOI: 10.1037/a0018567
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 »
M. Herrmann, G. (2013) Machiavelli Meets Christmas: The White Elephant Gift Exchange and the Holiday Spirit. The Journal of Popular Culture, 46(6), 1310-1329. DOI: 10.1111/jpcu.12090
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 »
Farah, M., Hutchinson, J., Phelps, E., & Wagner, A. (2014) Functional MRI-based lie detection: scientific and societal challenges. Nature Reviews Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nrn3589
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 […]
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 »
Jacks, J., & Lancaster, L. (2014) Fit for persuasion: the effects of nonverbal delivery style, message framing, and gender on message effectiveness. Journal of Applied Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12288
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 »
Rubin, M., & Wright, C. (2014) Age differences explain social class differences in students’ friendship at university: Implications for transition and retention. Higher Education. DOI: 10.1007/s10734-014-9844-8
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
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 »
Clasen, P., Wells, T., Knopik, V., McGeary, J., & Beevers, C. (2011) 5-HTTLPR and BDNF Val66Met polymorphisms moderate effects of stress on rumination. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 10(7), 740-746. DOI: 10.1111/j.1601-183X.2011.00715.x
Cox, S., Mezulis, A., & Hyde, J. (2010) The influence of child gender role and maternal feedback to child stress on the emergence of the gender difference in depressive rumination in adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 46(4), 842-852. DOI: 10.1037/a0019813
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
Freeston, M., Ladouceur, R., Provencher, M., & Blais, F. (1995) Strategies used with intrusive thoughts: Context, appraisal, mood, and efficacy. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 9(3), 201-215. DOI: 10.1016/0887-6185(95)00002-6
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
Hilt, L., Armstrong, J., & Essex, M. (2012) Early family context and development of adolescent ruminative style: Moderation by temperament. Cognition , 26(5), 916-926. DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2011.621932
KOVACS, M., SHERRILL, J., GEORGE, C., POLLOCK, M., TUMULURU, R., & HO, V. (2006) Contextual Emotion-Regulation Therapy for Childhood Depression: Description and Pilot Testing of a New Intervention. Journal of the American Academy of Child , 45(8), 892-903. DOI: 10.1097/01.chi.0000222878.74162.5a
McEvoy, P., Watson, H., Watkins, E., & Nathan, P. (2013) The relationship between worry, rumination, and comorbidity: Evidence for repetitive negative thinking as a transdiagnostic construct. Journal of Affective Disorders, 151(1), 313-320. DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.06.014
Nolen-Hoeksema, S. (1991) Responses to depression and their effects on the duration of depressive episodes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100(4), 569-582. DOI: 10.1037//0021-843X.100.4.569
Nolen-Hoeksema, S., Stice, E., Wade, E., & Bohon, C. (2007) Reciprocal relations between rumination and bulimic, substance abuse, and depressive symptoms in female adolescents. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 116(1), 198-207. DOI: 10.1037/0021-843X.116.1.198
Nota, J., & Coles, M. (2014) Duration and Timing of Sleep are Associated with Repetitive Negative Thinking. Cognitive Therapy and Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10608-014-9651-7
Strauss, J., Muday, T., McNall, K., & Wong, M. (1997) Response Style Theory Revisited: Gender Differences and Stereotypes in Rumination and Distraction. Sex Roles, 36(11/12), 771-792. DOI: 10.1023/A:1025679223514
Watkins, E. (2008) Constructive and unconstructive repetitive thought. Psychological Bulletin, 134(2), 163-206. DOI: 10.1037/0033-2909.134.2.163
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 .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 »
Agmon-Levin N, Zafrir Y, Kivity S, Balofsky A, Amital H, & Shoenfeld Y. (2014) Chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia following immunization with the hepatitis B vaccine: another angle of the 'autoimmune (auto-inflammatory) syndrome induced by adjuvants' (ASIA). Immunologic research. PMID: 25427994
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
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 »
Spino, J., & Cummins, D. (2014) The Ticking Time Bomb: When the Use of Torture Is and Is Not Endorsed. Review of Philosophy and Psychology, 5(4), 543-563. DOI: 10.1007/s13164-014-0199-y
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 »
Mason, O., Mort, H., & Woo, J. (2014) Research Letter: Investigating psychotic traits in poets. Psychological Medicine, 1-3. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291714002670
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
"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  (open-access) looking at a small group of participants diagnosed with something which seems to fal........ Read more »
Carroccio A, Soresi M, D Alcamo A, Sciumè C, Iacono G, Geraci G, Brusca I, Seidita A, Adragna F, Carta M.... (2014) Risk of low bone mineral density and low body mass index in patients with non-celiac wheat-sensitivity: a prospective observation study. BMC medicine, 12(1), 230. PMID: 25430806
Simple answer to this question is to have a regular sleep at proper time in the night.
Cognitive Therapy and Research
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 »
Nota, J., & Coles, M. (2014) Duration and Timing of Sleep are Associated with Repetitive Negative Thinking. Cognitive Therapy and Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10608-014-9651-7
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