Post List

Psychology posts

(Modify Search »)

  • September 23, 2015
  • 02:12 PM

Ask students about religion, and they’ll tell you they drink less

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Religious people tend to drink less than non-religious people. We know that because, well because when you ask them, that’s what they tell you. But here’s the thing. We know that what people tell interviewers can vary with the circumstances that they find themselves in. Indeed, it can vary quite a lot from reality. People [Read More...]... Read more »

Rodriguez, L., Neighbors, C., & Foster, D. (2014) Priming effects of self-reported drinking and religiosity. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 28(1), 1-9. DOI: 10.1037/a0031828  

  • September 23, 2015
  • 08:30 AM

Cluck Click! Training Chickens Reveals Their Intelligence

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Teaching a trick to a chicken increases beliefs that chickens are intelligent and can feel emotions.Learning how to train chickens changes student’s attitudes towards them, according to a new study by Susan Hazel, Lisel O’Dwyer (both University of Adelaide) and Terry Ryan (Legacy Canine). The chickens were trained to do a specific task (such as pecking on a red but not green circle) in order to get food. Survey responses before and after the class show more positive attitudes after the ........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Who has the deepest voice amongst the Republican  candidates for President?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

I watched the second Republican debate last week after reading two more articles on voice pitch and winning elections. Not coincidentally, I had to struggle to keep from focusing on who had the deepest voice among the candidates. We’ve written about this line of research before and tend to think of it as the Barry […]

Related posts:
Republicans prefer ‘Republican-looking’ political candidates
Feel the power of that deep and resonant voice!
How leaders look: Competent and trustwort........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2015
  • 05:10 AM

Parental autoimmunity and offspring autism risk... yet again

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Here we go again."A positive association between maternal autoimmune diseases and the risk of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] in offspring was identified assuming a fixed effect model." Further: "Maternal autoimmune disease is likely to be an independent risk factor of ASD in offspring."Those were the findings and conclusions published by Shao-wei Chen and colleagues [1] as part of their systematic review and meta-analysis of the available peer-reviewed literature looking at how ma........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2015
  • 05:02 PM

Genetic analysis supports prediction that spontaneous rare mutations cause half of autism

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

A team led by researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) has published a new analysis of data on the genetics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). One commonly held theory is that autism results from the chance combinations of commonly occurring gene mutations, which are otherwise harmless. But the authors’ work provides support for a different theory.... Read more »

Ivan Iossifov, Dan Levy, Jeremy Allen, Kenny Ye, Michael Ronemus, Yoon-ha Lee, Boris Yamrom, & Michael Wigler. (2015) Low load for disruptive mutations in autism genes and their biased transmission. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America. info:/

  • September 22, 2015
  • 08:25 AM

Young children don't categorise mixed-race people the same way adults do

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When it comes to race, people increasingly self-identify as belonging to several categories rather than one, reflecting our intermingled world – for example, some sources suggest one in ten British children now grow up in mixed-race households. Yet we still like putting people in neat taxonomies, and to understand this tendency, Steven Roberts and Susan Gelman at the University of Michigan looked at how adults and children approach racial categorisation. Their studies, published recently in Ch........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2015
  • 06:40 AM

Looking for the brain basis of chimp personality

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Some chimps are more outgoing than others. Some like trying out new foods and games while their friends stick to the tried and tested. In short, chimps have different personalities, just like people do. What's more, psychologists investigating chimp personality have found that their traits tend to coalescence into five main factors, again much like human personality. Three of these factors are actually named the same as their human equivalents: Extraversion, Openness and Agreeableness. The other........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2015
  • 02:50 AM

The ketogenic diet and autism: where are we up to?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Today I'm bringing the paper by Kamila Castro and colleagues [1] to the blogging table and their systematic review of the available peer-reviewed literature on the use of a ketogenic diet (KD) when it comes to real life autism and various mouse models trying to map the label.Drawing on data derived from 8 studies - "three studies with animals and five studies with humans" - that met the relevant inclusion criteria for study, authors concluded that although the evidence looks promising for t........ Read more »

Kamila Castro, Larissa Slongo Faccioli, Diego Baronio, Carmem Gottfried, Ingrid Schweigert Perry, & Rudimar dos Santos Riesgo. (2015) Effect of a ketogenic diet on autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 31-38. info:/10.1016/j.rasd.2015.08.005

  • September 21, 2015
  • 02:18 PM

‘Delayed remembering’: Kids can remember tomorrow what they forgot today

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

For adults, memories tend to fade with time. But a new study has shown that there are circumstances under which the opposite is true for small children: they can remember a piece of information better days later than they can on the day they first learned it. While playing a video game that asked them to remember associations between objects, 4- and 5-year-olds who re-played the game after a two-day delay scored more than 20 percent higher than kids who re-played it later the same day.... Read more »

Kevin Darby. (20115) ‘Delayed remembering’: kids can remember tomorrow what they forgot today. Psychological Science. info:/

  • September 21, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

Predicting who will murder their spouse or  family members

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This is a fascinating study on how those that kill significant others or family members are different from those who kill strangers. The first author explains how these murderers are different, saying “These murders are usually in the heat of passion and generally involve drugs or alcohol and often are driven by jealousy or revenge […]

Related posts:
Texas + Wealth + Family Lawsuits = Dysfunction?
You killed your spouse. But who is responsible?
When strangers are better than your Mom,........ Read more »

  • September 21, 2015
  • 03:15 AM

Autism manifests across a range of genetic and metabolic syndromes

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) phenomenology is reported to be more common in individuals with some genetic syndromes than in the general population."That was the starting point for the systematic review and meta-analysis published by Caroline Richards and colleagues [1] who set about 'synthesising' the various peer-reviewed data "to provide accurate estimates about ASD phenomenology in genetic and metabolic syndromes." A scan of the cumulative literature in this area ("168 papers reportin........ Read more »

Caroline Richards, Christopher Jones, Laura Groves, Jo Moss, & Chris Oliver. (2015) Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder phenomenology in genetic disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Psychiatry. info:/

  • September 19, 2015
  • 02:49 PM

Schizophrenia: Repairing the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Research led by scientists from Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (Duke-NUS) has linked the abnormal behaviour of two genes (BDNF and DTNBP1) to the underlying cause of schizophrenia. These findings have provided a new target for schizophrenia treatment.... Read more »

  • September 19, 2015
  • 04:01 AM

Gluten free diet adherence reduces depression in coeliac disease

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was really quite interested in the paper by Seref Simsek and colleagues [1] looking at how adherence to a gluten-free diet (GFD) in cases of paediatric coeliac disease might also confer psychological benefits too. To quote: "[a] Significant decrease was observed in the depression scores... of celiac patients who were able to actually adhere to the GFD compared with nonadherent patients."So: "The aim of this study was to investigate the level of depression and quality of life in child........ Read more »

Simsek S, Baysoy G, Gencoglan S, & Uluca U. (2015) Effects of Gluten-Free Diet on Quality of Life and Depression in Children With Celiac Disease. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, 61(3), 303-306. PMID: 26322559  

  • September 18, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

“Gaydar”: Real or plain and simple stereotyping? 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

A study a while back showed ‘above chance’ guessing of sexual orientation based on photographs of faces alone. The results were explained as proof of gaydar. Now, a new study says gaydar is not real and is a way to stereotype others that is seen as more “socially and personally acceptable”. They point to a […]

Related posts:
The Danger of Stereotyping: Does Gay + Black = Likable?
The Libertarian Orientation Scale: Who’s the (real) Libertarian?
Real-life Sopranos: It’s isn’........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2015
  • 04:58 AM

Elevated offspring autism in women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Compared to children from the general population, children born to women with SLE [systemic lupus erythematosus] have an increased risk of ASD [autism spectrum disorder], although in absolute terms it represents a rare outcome."That was the bottom line reported in the results published by Évelyne Vinet and colleagues [1]. Based on data derived from the "Offspring of SLE mothers Registry (OSLER)", researchers identified children born to mothers with SLE alongside a matc........ Read more »

  • September 17, 2015
  • 04:41 AM

An extremely low prevalence of autism in Quito, Ecuador

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this post is taken from the paper by Laura Dekkers and colleagues [1] (open-access) who sought to "get an estimate of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] diagnoses in children and adolescents aged between of five and fifteen at regular schools in Quito."So, the starting point: "Ecuador has more than 14 million inhabitants... of which over 1.6 million are estimated to live in the capital city of Quito." As part of the "law requiring inclusive education", the authors decided to s........ Read more »

Dekkers, L., Groot, N., Díaz Mosquera, E., Andrade Zúñiga, I., & Delfos, M. (2015) Prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders in Ecuador: A Pilot Study in Quito. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. DOI: 10.1007/s10803-015-2559-6  

  • September 17, 2015
  • 04:00 AM

How many of these myths about smacking children do you believe?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Attitudes towards the way we discipline children have changed dramatically over the last 60 years or so, and the use of smacking or other forms of corporal punishment – that is, using physical force to inflict deliberate pain or discomfort – is now illegal in all contexts in 46 countries.These cultural changes are in large part due to growing evidence about the harms to children and parent-child relationships that come from corporal punishment. However, despite this evidence, many countries,........ Read more »

  • September 16, 2015
  • 04:00 PM

Immune system may be pathway between nature and good health

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Research has found evidence that spending time in nature provides protections against a startling range of diseases, including depression, diabetes, obesity, ADHD, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and many more. How this exposure to green space leads to better health has remained a mystery. After reviewing hundreds of studies examining nature’s effects on health, researchers believe the answer lies in nature’s ability to enhance the functioning of the body’s immune system.... Read more »

  • September 16, 2015
  • 11:26 AM

Penguins Find Each Other's Beaks Sexy

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

If Tinder for penguins existed, birds with the best beak spots would get swiped right. King penguins are attracted to the colors on each other's beaks, scientists have found—including colors we clueless humans can't see.

King penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) live near the bottom of the world and are monogamous for about a year at a time. They're a little smaller than emperor penguins, the ones you saw in March of the Penguins, and have a less arduous lifestyle. In the spring, they gath........ Read more »

Keddar, I., Altmeyer, S., Couchoux, C., Jouventin, P., & Dobson, F. (2015) Mate Choice and Colored Beak Spots of King Penguins. Ethology. DOI: 10.1111/eth.12419  

  • September 16, 2015
  • 10:20 AM

More Doubts Over The Oxytocin And Trust Theory

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The claim that the hormone oxytocin promotes trust in humans has drawn a lot of attention. But today, a group of researchers reported that they've been unable to reproduce their own findings concerning that effect.

The new paper, in PLoS ONE, is by Anthony Lane and colleagues from Louvain in Belgium. The same team have previously published evidence supporting the link between oxytocin and trust.

Back in 2010 they reported that "oxytocin increases trust when confidential information is ... Read more »

Lane A, Mikolajczak M, Treinen E, Samson D, Corneille O, de Timary P, & Luminet O. (2015) Failed Replication of Oxytocin Effects on Trust: The Envelope Task Case. PloS ONE, 10(9). PMID: 26368396  

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