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  • March 18, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 331 views

The Metaphor Usage Measure (MUM) Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We often pick up terrific metaphors that fit well with specific cases during pretrial research. Sometimes they are very funny and sometimes they are simply evocative. But they are almost always useful and we listen carefully to see how they resonate with other mock jurors when they arise. Today’s research describes a scale to help […]

Related posts:
The GASP scale: A new measure of guilt and shame proneness
The Dirty Dozen Scale 
The Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale 


... Read more »

Fetterman, AK, Bair, JL, Werth, M, Landkammer, F, & Robinson, MD. (2015) The scope and consequences of metaphoric thinking: Using individual differences in metaphor usage to understand how metaphors function. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/

  • March 18, 2016
  • 03:48 AM
  • 295 views

Autism depression = more medical issues?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I wanted to draw your attention to the paper by Greenlee and colleagues [1] today, talking about how: (a) "Co-occurring depression is a particularly common problem in higher-functioning older children" with autism, and (b) "children with ASD [autism spectrum disorder] and a history of a depression diagnosis are more likely to also have co-occurring medical problems" at least in their cohort.Published as part of a supplement about autism in the journal Pediatrics (see here), the Greenle........ Read more »

  • March 17, 2016
  • 09:41 PM
  • 321 views

Dogmatic atheism and fundamentalist Christianity: creating certainty in an uncertain world

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Evidence is building up that, because religion helps people to deal with uncertainties of life, it’s particularly attractive to the kind of people who have a hard time dealing with uncertainty. But what about atheists? Some atheists seem rather fixed and absolutist in their beliefs. Perhaps they use atheism as a prop in much the [Read More...]... Read more »

  • March 17, 2016
  • 05:33 AM
  • 157 views

Rats can be trained to perform search and rescue missions

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Step aside batman and superman, there's a new hero in townBy guest blogger Mary BatesSearch and rescue dogs are commonly used to find people trapped in the debris of collapsed buildings, but are search and rescue rats next? A new study suggests the rodents can be trained to find people and then return to their release point after hearing a signal.The study was conducted by researchers at Western Michigan University and APOPO, a Belgian nongovernmental organization that has previously trained gia........ Read more »

La Londe, K., Mahoney, A., Edwards, T., Cox, C., Weetjens, B., Durgin, A., & Poling, A. (2015) Training pouched rats to find people. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 48(1), 1-10. DOI: 10.1002/jaba.181  

  • March 17, 2016
  • 03:47 AM
  • 272 views

No unique patterns of gut issues in autism? Headline fail...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"This study supports the observation that children with autism who have symptoms of gastrointestinal disorders have objective findings similar to children without autism. Neither non-invasive testing nor endoscopic findings identify gastrointestinal pathology specific to autism, but may be of benefit in identifying children with autism who have atypical symptoms."So concluded Rafail Kushak and colleagues [1] (them of "Lactase deficiency not associated with intestinal inflammation or injury is co........ Read more »

Kushak RI, Buie TM, Murray KF, Newburg DS, Chen C, Nestoridi E, & Winter HS. (2016) Evaluation of Intestinal Function in Children with Autism and Gastrointestinal Symptoms. Journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition. PMID: 26913756  

  • March 16, 2016
  • 11:30 AM
  • 340 views

The Effects of Seeing Animal Abuse on Children's Mental Health

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

For children who live in a situation of domestic violence, also witnessing animal cruelty may negatively impact resilience.New research by Shelby McDonald (Virginia Commonwealth University) et al (2016) looks at the effects of seeing animal abuse on children’s psychological health in a context where they already witness intimate partner violence. Last week I reported on a study by McDonald et al (2015)that found a quarter of children whose mothers experience domestic violence also see the........ Read more »

  • March 16, 2016
  • 11:14 AM
  • 308 views

Busy people are especially good at bouncing back from missed deadlines

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

They say that if you want to get something done, you should ask a busy person. A new paper that's analysed data from a popular productivity app appears to back up this folk wisdom in a specific way – busier people are better at dealing with missed deadlines.Keith Wilcox at Columbia University and his colleagues analysed task deadline and completion data from over 28,000 users of the productivity app (they don't state the name of the app, but it sounds a bit like i done this). In total, the dat........ Read more »

Wilcox K, Laran J, Stephen AT, & Zubcsek PP. (2016) How being busy can increase motivation and reduce task completion time. Journal of personality and social psychology, 110(3), 371-84. PMID: 26963764  

  • March 16, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 301 views

”Willful ignorance” and the denigration of others 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

A while back we wrote about meat-eaters denigrating vegetarians. Apparently it is more common than one might think to make fun of “do-gooders” if you are not a “do-gooder” yourself. Today we are examining research on making fun of those who shop ethically. According to the researchers (from Ohio State University’s marketing department and UT […]

Related posts:
Does the Millennial know that tattoo might be a business  faux pas?
“I am so tired of people mistaking me for a mode........ Read more »

  • March 16, 2016
  • 03:39 AM
  • 282 views

9% of those diagnosed with autism might have optimal outcome?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Although for many children, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong disability, a subset of children with ASD lose their diagnosis and show typical cognitive and adaptive abilities."Unfortunately, that sentence taken from the report by Emily Moulton and colleagues [1] including one Deborah Fein on the authorship list, is not likely to be taken well by some people. Indeed, the whole concept of 'optimal outcome' with autism in mind (see here) has sometimes been met with outright hostility de........ Read more »

  • March 15, 2016
  • 03:44 PM
  • 298 views

Where aging memories get stored in the brain

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Think back to when you were a child. Now instead, try to think of something that happened just a few minutes ago; would you believe that you are using different portions of the brain? When we remember events which occurred recently, the hippocampus is activated. This area in the temporal lobe of the brain is a hub for learning and memory. But what happens, if we try to remember things that took place years or decades ago?

... Read more »

  • March 15, 2016
  • 12:47 PM
  • 247 views

Psychological researchers need to change their practices: here’s why

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Why is a surprising amount of psychological research unreplicable? Psychology calls itself a science but often falls short on the replication test of scientific merit. I took a closer look at the data to find out why. The journal Psychonomic Bulletin and Review will publish the findings very soon, but the accepted pre-print is already […]... Read more »

  • March 15, 2016
  • 06:38 AM
  • 224 views

Elite golfers describe their experiences of being in the zone

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

They talked about two main states: "making it happen" and "letting it happen"The psychological concept of "flow" has been around for a while and yet it still retains an air of mystery. Most experts agree that it involves an enjoyable sense of being fully absorbed in a task or skill, and that in sporting contexts it often coincides with peak performance. Now further insights into the nature of flow in sport come from a new study of elite golfers published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise. ........ Read more »

  • March 15, 2016
  • 03:30 AM
  • 290 views

Measuring anxiety comorbid to autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Anxiety, whether reaching clinical thresholds or manifesting as something rather more subtle, is a common theme in autism research and practice these days. I've talked about it enough times on this blog (see here and see here for example) reflective of the growth in this peer-reviewed research area that has continued unabated.Recognition of just how 'disabling' anxiety can be for someone on the autism spectrum is fairly widely noted these days. Problems however, still remain in terms of (i) how ........ Read more »

Rodgers J, Wigham S, McConachie H, Freeston M, Honey E, & Parr JR. (2016) Development of the anxiety scale for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASC-ASD). Autism research : official journal of the International Society for Autism Research. PMID: 26887910  

  • March 14, 2016
  • 02:19 PM
  • 286 views

Decrypting a collagen’s role in schizophrenia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

What would be worse than having bad joints? How about schizophrenia and bad joints? To be fair that isn’t what is suggested, but they may, in fact, be linked. A small peptide generated from a collagen protein may protect the brain from schizophrenia by promoting the formation of neuronal synapses and study may lead to new approaches to treating the mental disorder.

... Read more »

Su, J., Chen, J., Lippold, K., Monavarfeshani, A., Carrillo, G., Jenkins, R., & Fox, M. (2016) Collagen-derived matricryptins promote inhibitory nerve terminal formation in the developing neocortex. The Journal of Cell Biology, 212(6), 721-736. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201509085  

  • March 14, 2016
  • 02:19 PM
  • 198 views

Decrypting a collagen’s role in schizophrenia

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

What would be worse than having bad joints? How about schizophrenia and bad joints? To be fair that isn’t what is suggested, but they may, in fact, be linked.  A small peptide generated from a collagen protein may protect the brain from schizophrenia by promoting the formation of neuronal synapses and study may lead to […]... Read more »

Su, J., Chen, J., Lippold, K., Monavarfeshani, A., Carrillo, G., Jenkins, R., & Fox, M. (2016) Collagen-derived matricryptins promote inhibitory nerve terminal formation in the developing neocortex. The Journal of Cell Biology, 212(6), 721-736. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.201509085  

  • March 14, 2016
  • 11:17 AM
  • 262 views

Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (A Guest Post)

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

By Maggie NannenhornIf you’re like me, you never truly realize how quiet winter is until all the sounds of spring come back in a chorus of celebration. Between the birds, crickets, and frogs, you can really hear the love in the air. So you can hear the love, but can you feel the love? Wood frogs are known for their chorus of calls that sound like a duck laughing. Seriously, tell a duck a good knock-knock joke and that is what a male wood frog sounds like when trying to attract a mate. He make........ Read more »

  • March 14, 2016
  • 07:20 AM
  • 304 views

We feel more authentic when we're with other people and behave as they expect us to

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

You might think that being true to yourself means ignoring social pressure and finding your own path. But one of the most in-depth investigations into feelings of authenticity has found the complete opposite appears to be true. Writing in the European Journal of Personality, the researchers led by Alison Lenton at the University of Southampton said their findings show that "more often than not, situational acceptance of external influence is a positive and authentic course of action."The researc........ Read more »

Lenton, A., Slabu, L., & Sedikides, C. (2016) State Authenticity in Everyday Life. European Journal of Personality, 30(1), 64-82. DOI: 10.1002/per.2033  

  • March 14, 2016
  • 07:02 AM
  • 210 views

Want to be seen as a leader? Go work out! 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It wasn’t long ago we said all you had to do to be seen as a leader was grow a mustache but apparently this also helps! Men who look “strong” physically are presumed to be good leaders compared to men who do not look strong physically. These researchers had mastered Photoshop so we know their […]

Related posts:
You wanted to be a leader! Act like one! (or else)
Now, that’s a good-looking leader! (At  least, in this group.)
Want to be a leader? Maybe you should grow a  mustache........ Read more »

Lukaszewski, A., Simmons, Z., Anderson, C., & Roney, J. (2015) The Role of Physical Formidability in Human Social Status Allocation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/pspi0000042  

  • March 14, 2016
  • 03:49 AM
  • 302 views

Methyl B12 for autism? Placebo-controlled results say maybe...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Methyl B12 treatment improved clinician-rated symptoms of ASD [autism spectrum disorder] that were correlated with improvements in measures of methionine metabolism and cellular methylation capacity."Those were the very encouraging results published by Robert Hendren and colleagues [1] who can now update their ClinicalTrials.gov study entry (see here). Building on the ideas that: "Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been reported to have reduced ability to methylate DNA ........ Read more »

Hendren RL, James SJ, Widjaja F, Lawton B, Rosenblatt A, & Bent S. (2016) Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Trial of Methyl B12 for Children with Autism. Journal of child and adolescent psychopharmacology. PMID: 26889605  

  • March 13, 2016
  • 03:40 PM
  • 281 views

New learning procedure for neural networks

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Rustling leaves, a creaking branch: To a mouse, these sensory impressions may, at first, seem harmless — but not if a cat suddenly bursts out of the bush. If so, they were clues of impending life-threatening danger. Researcher Robert Gütig has now found how the brain can link sensory perceptions to events occurring after a delay.

... Read more »

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