Many seek freedom in solitude, but newresearch suggests feelings of controlcome from social belonging. The true story of Christopher McCandless, dramatised in the 2007 film Into the Wild, is a search for radical independence that culminates in McCandless’ solitary existence in the wilds of Alaska. It speaks to a powerful belief: to feel you control your life, stand alone. But new research suggests otherwise: to feel control, stand together.If committing to a group feels like surrendering ........ Read more »
Greenaway, K., Haslam, S., Cruwys, T., Branscombe, N., Ysseldyk, R., & Heldreth, C. (2015) From “We” to “Me”: Group Identification Enhances Perceived Personal Control With Consequences for Health and Well-Being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/pspi0000019
Many of us have been taught to self-promote and we may even think others enjoy hearing of our successes. We’ve written about the principle of schadenfreude here before and if you recall those posts you may have already happily predicted that this will be a post about just how annoying those braggarts are to their […]
How big is that potential juror’s house?
Facial disfigurement is too disturbing, or why I won’t hire you
So. Are you simply a Millennial or are you j........ Read more »
Scopelliti I, Loewenstein G, & Vosgerau J. (2015) You Call It "Self-Exuberance"; I Call It "Bragging": Miscalibrated Predictions of Emotional Responses to Self-Promotion. Psychological Science. PMID: 25953948
I've taken my time to come to discussing the findings from Laura Steenbergen and colleagues  (open-access) providing "the first evidence that the intake of probiotics may help reduce negative thoughts associated with sad mood." It's not that I didn't find such results to be really interesting and having potential for quite a few different areas of psychiatry, but rather that other blogging topics have popped up in the meantime. No mind, we're here now.Based on a growing evidence base sug........ Read more »
Steenbergen L, Sellaro R, van Hemert S, Bosch JA, & Colzato LS. (2015) A randomized controlled trial to test the effect of multispecies probiotics on cognitive reactivity to sad mood. Brain, behavior, and immunity. PMID: 25862297
Intelligence tests have to be adjusted all the time because people score higher and higher. If the average human of today went 105 years back in time, s/he would score 130, be considered as gifted, and join clubs for highly intelligent people. How can that be? The IQ growth The picture above shows the development […]... Read more »
Pietschnig J, & Voracek M. (2015) One Century of Global IQ Gains: A Formal Meta-Analysis of the Flynn Effect (1909-2013). Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, 10(3), 282-306. PMID: 25987509
When something goes bump in the night, most of us are little jumpier than we would be in the day. But is that just because it's dark, or is it more to do with our bodies and brains switching to a vigilant nocturnal mode?Yadan Li and her colleagues have attempted to disentangle the influences of darkness and nighttime. They recruited 120 young women to complete a computer task in a windowless cubicle, which involved them looking at neutral pictures (e.g. nature scenes), scary pictures (e.g. spide........ Read more »
Li, Y., Ma, W., Kang, Q., Qiao, L., Tang, D., Qiu, J., Zhang, Q., & Li, H. (2015) Night or darkness, which intensifies the feeling of fear?. International Journal of Psychophysiology. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2015.04.021
I'm looking at two papers today which I'd like to think cover the title of this post pretty well dealing with the plurality of autism - the autisms - and the idea that intervention or management-wise, there is no 'one size fits all' when it comes to the autisms.First up are the findings reported by Ziats and colleagues  who presented results for a child - "A 4-year-old male with autism and two episodes of neurodevelopmental regression" - who was also found to have a "mutation in the TMLHE gen........ Read more »
Ziats MN, Comeaux MS, Yang Y, Scaglia F, Elsea SH, Sun Q, Beaudet AL, & Schaaf CP. (2015) Improvement of regressive autism symptoms in a child with TMLHE deficiency following carnitine supplementation. American journal of medical genetics. Part A. PMID: 25943046
Serret, S., Thümmler, S., Dor, E., Vesperini, S., Santos, A., & Askenazy, F. (2015) Lithium as a rescue therapy for regression and catatonia features in two SHANK3 patients with autism spectrum disorder: case reports. BMC Psychiatry, 15(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12888-015-0490-1
Can people be blamed for dog training mistakes when there is so much erroneous information out there?Recently I saw a man walking a German Shepherd. Even from a distance it was clear the dog was nervous: his posture was low to the ground and the way he was walking made me wonder what kind of equipment he was on. As I waited at the traffic lights, I got a chance to see: a prong collar, tight, positioned high on his neck.There are easy alternatives, the simplest being a no-pull harness. I began to........ Read more »
Branson, N., Cobb, M., & McGreevy, P. (2009) Australian Working Dog Survey Report. Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. info:/
Deldalle, S., & Gaunet, F. (2014) Effects of two training methods on stress-related behaviors of the dog. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 9(2), 58-65. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2013.11.004
Herron, M., Shofer, F., & Reisner, I. (2009) Survey of the use and outcome of confrontational and non-confrontational training methods in client-owned dogs showing undesired behaviors. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 117(1-2), 47-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2008.12.011
Pirrone, F., Pierantoni, L., Mazzola, S., Vigo, D., & Albertini, M. (2015) Owner and animal factors predict the incidence of, and owner reaction toward, problematic behaviors in companion dogs. Journal of Veterinary Behavior: Clinical Applications and Research. DOI: 10.1016/j.jveb.2015.03.004
Roshier, A., & McBride, E. (2012) Canine behaviour problems: discussions between veterinarians and dog owners during annual booster consultations. Veterinary Record, 172(9), 235-235. DOI: 10.1136/vr.101125
Wan, M., Bolger, N., & Champagne, F. (2012) Human Perception of Fear in Dogs Varies According to Experience with Dogs. PLoS ONE, 7(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051775
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
The smartphone has changed our lives. Just last fall, we wrote about the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Scale. As a reminder, that post was about how smartphones allow us to obsessively check our email and social media sites to see what our friends and followers and family members are doing— out of a fear […]
The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) Scale
Stop looking at your smartphone & listen to me!
More than half of your potential jurors have smartphones now
... Read more »
Yildirim, C., & Correia, A. (2015) Exploring the dimensions of nomophobia: Development and validation of a self-reported questionnaire. Computers in Human Behavior, 130-137. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.02.059
If you want quality feedback on your creative ideas, don't be too possessive about themPatents, citations, and copyright all indicate how much it matters to people that they can claim an idea as their own. But new research suggests that staking a claim during the early stages of idea development can be counterproductive, as it cools the enthusiasm others have for making it better.Graham Brown and Markus Baer asked their participants – 230 students at a Singaporean university – to provide fee........ Read more »
Brown G, & Baer M. (2015) Protecting the Turf: The Effect of Territorial Marking on Others' Creativity. The Journal of applied psychology. PMID: 25938721
"A lower level of inflammatory response indicated by PTX3 [pentraxin-3] might be implicated in developing schizophrenia."That was the primary conclusion reported by Natalya Weber and colleagues  (open-access here) who "tested preonset serum specimens from 160 US military service members who were later diagnosed with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder and 160 matched controls without psychiatric disorders."PTX-3 by the way, is a compound of some note when it comes to the concept of in........ Read more »
Weber NS, Larsen RA, Yolken RH, Cowan DN, Boivin MR, & Niebuhr DW. (2015) Predictors of the Onset of Schizophrenia in US Military Personnel. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 203(5), 319-24. PMID: 25919381
Two pennies can be considered the same — both are pennies, just as two elephants can be considered the same, as both are elephants. Despite the vast difference between pennies and elephants, we easily notice the common relation of sameness that holds for both pairs. Analogical ability — the ability to see common relations between objects, events or ideas — is a key skill that underlies human intelligence and differentiates humans from other apes.... Read more »
Ferry, A., Hespos, S., & Gentner, D. (2015) Prelinguistic Relational Concepts: Investigating Analogical Processing in Infants. Child Development. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.12381
New research has proved that certain special fats found in blood are essential for human brain growth and function. The two studies showed that mutations in the protein Mfsd2a causes impaired brain development in humans. Mfsd2a is the transporter in the brain for a special type of fat called lysophosphatidylcholines (LPCs) — composed of essential fatty acids like omega-3. These studies show, for the first time, the crucial role of these fats in human brain growth and function.... Read more »
Alakbarzade, V., Hameed, A., Quek, D., Chioza, B., Baple, E., Cazenave-Gassiot, A., Nguyen, L., Wenk, M., Ahmad, A., Sreekantan-Nair, A.... (2015) A partially inactivating mutation in the sodium-dependent lysophosphatidylcholine transporter MFSD2A causes a non-lethal microcephaly syndrome. Nature Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ng.3313
Guemez-Gamboa, A., Nguyen, L., Yang, H., Zaki, M., Kara, M., Ben-Omran, T., Akizu, N., Rosti, R., Rosti, B., Scott, E.... (2015) Inactivating mutations in MFSD2A, required for omega-3 fatty acid transport in brain, cause a lethal microcephaly syndrome. Nature Genetics. DOI: 10.1038/ng.3311
"Nearly all medical conditions were significantly more common in adults with autism, including immune conditions, gastrointestinal and sleep disorders, seizure, obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension, and diabetes."So said the study results from Lisa Croen and colleagues  who set out to "describe the frequency of psychiatric and medical conditions among a large, diverse, insured population of adults with autism in the United States." Said participant group was derived from the interrogation of d........ Read more »
Croen LA, Zerbo O, Qian Y, Massolo ML, Rich S, Sidney S, & Kripke C. (2015) The health status of adults on the autism spectrum. Autism : the international journal of research and practice. PMID: 25911091
Lots of research, much of it contradictory, has looked into whether having children brings happiness. There are studies showing marital satisfaction plummets after the kids arrive, but there's other evidence that the bundles of joy really do bring ... joy. A new study turns all this on its head and asks whether being happier makes it more likely that people will have children.Jinhyung Kim and Joshua Hicks first analysed data collected from 559 US lawyers. In 1984, the law men and women rated the........ Read more »
Kim, J., & Hicks, J. (2015) Happiness begets children? Evidence for a bi-directional link between well-being and number of children. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 1-8. DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2015.1025420
Last year I blogged about the creepy phenomenon of cyranoids. A cyranoid is a person who speaks the words of another person. With the help of a hidden earpiece, a 'source' whispers words into the ear of a 'shadower' , who repeats them. In research published last year, British psychologists Kevin Corti and Alex Gillespie showed that cyranoids are hard to spot: if you were speaking to one, you probably wouldn't know it, even if the source was an adult and the shadower a child, or vice versa.
... Read more »
Corti, K., & Gillespie, A. (2015) A truly human interface: interacting face-to-face with someone whose words are determined by a computer program. Frontiers in Psychology. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00634
Most of us find the behavior of the true psychopath frightening enough that we have few issues with locking them up and throwing away the key. They seem so very different from us and hearing the facts of their behavior is frightening and leaves us feeling unsafe. If you are not afraid of the psychopath, […]
Psychopaths cannot understand punishment—what does that mean for the courtroom?
Judges are biased in favor of psychopaths whose “brains made them do it”
Is thi........ Read more »
Gill AD, & Stickle TR. (2015) Affective Differences Between Psychopathy Variants and Genders in Adjudicated Youth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. PMID: 25727716
I approach the paper by Fereshteh Shakibaei and colleagues  with some degree of caution save any suggestions that I am somehow 'promoting' the herb Ginkgo biloba for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or anything else. I'm not, but I am interested in the results of their placebo-controlled trial suggesting that "The G. biloba is an effective complementary treatment for ADHD" and their subsequent calls for further research into this potentially promising intervention.As ........ Read more »
Shakibaei F, Radmanesh M, Salari E, & Mahaki B. (2015) Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. A randomized, placebo-controlled, trial. Complementary therapies in clinical practice. PMID: 25925875
There are very few people living with chronic pain who gleefully swallow a handful of pills and skip happily off for the day feeling chipper and bright as a button. For the most part, people living with chronic pain don’t seem to enjoy the need to take medications – I’ve heard some say they’re worried about “not being able to tell whether I’m doing damage” when they can’t feel their pain, others say they don’t think medications are very helpf........ Read more »
Martel MO, Finan PH, Dolman AJ, Subramanian S, Edwards RR, Wasan AD, & Jamison RN. (2015) Self-reports of medication side effects and pain-related activity interference in patients with chronic pain: a longitudinal cohort study. Pain, 156(6), 1092-100. PMID: 25782367
We don’t usually think of a child’s behavior as a diet issue, but if new findings hold true, then that might be the very case. In a new study, researchers suggest that omega-3, a fatty acid commonly found in fish oil, may have long-term neurodevelopmental effects that ultimately reduce antisocial and aggressive behavior problems in children.... Read more »
Raine, A., Portnoy, J., Liu, J., Mahoomed, T., & Hibbeln, J. (2015) Reduction in behavior problems with omega-3 supplementation in children aged 8-16 years: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, stratified, parallel-group trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(5), 509-520. DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12314
"Anxiety, depression and fatigue are common complaints in patients with untreated celiac disease and contribute to lower quality of life."That was one of the conclusions reached in the paper by Fabiana Zingone and colleagues  (open-access available here) following their review of the research literature "on psychological morbidity of celiac disease." Celiac (coeliac) disease (CD), by the way, is the autoimmune condition classically treated via the use of a gluten-free diet (GFD). Readers........ Read more »
Zingone F, Swift GL, Card TR, Sanders DS, Ludvigsson JF, & Bai JC. (2015) Psychological morbidity of celiac disease: A review of the literature. United European gastroenterology journal, 3(2), 136-45. PMID: 25922673
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