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  • July 7, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 115 views

Measuring beliefs in the paranormal: The Australian Sheep Goat Scale

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Seriously. Sheep are believers and goats are doubters. In the paranormal, that is. The Australian Sheep Goat Scale is not a measure we’d ever heard of prior to writing about skepticism as a narrative tool in convincing others of a paranormal event. Perhaps it never really caught on. But we knew you would want to […]

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The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims
Brainpower, Beliefs and Racial Bias: Is this smart research?
I’ll show you who’s boss: ........ Read more »

Thalbourne, MA, & Delin, PS. (1993) A new instrument for measuring the sheep-goat variable: Its psychometric properties and factor structure. . Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 172-186. info:/

  • July 7, 2014
  • 03:18 AM
  • 186 views

Reproductive stoppage related to autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Thomas Hoffmann and colleagues [1] on reproductive stoppage - the decision to not have more children - in couples with a child already diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the source for today's post. This is both an important and delicate area to talk about so I tread very carefully in my discussions.The Holy Infants @ Wikipedia A few details first:Based on records held at the California Department of Developmental Services, children born between 1990 ........ Read more »

  • July 4, 2014
  • 07:13 PM
  • 202 views

No, emotions aren’t really contagious over Facebook

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image: Ellis Hamburger, the Verge You’ve probably heard the news: Facebook and Cornell University teamed up to manipulate your Facebook feed and toy with your emotions. The...... Read more »

Kramer AD, Guillory JE, & Hancock JT. (2014) Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(24), 8788-90. PMID: 24889601  

  • July 4, 2014
  • 12:52 PM
  • 142 views

Is it the darkness within? Some people would rather shock themselves with electricity than spend time with their own thoughts

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Go people-watching in any Western country and it's rare to come across a person sat alone in quiet contemplation. Most lone individuals are seen playing with their mobile phone, reading, watching a movie on their tablet, or people-watching. Why this need for distraction? Is there something so aversive about spending time immersed in our own thoughts?A team of psychologists led by Timothy Wilson has investigated. Across six initial studies they invited hundreds of undergrads, one at a time, to sp........ Read more »

Timothy D. Wilson, David Reinhard, Erin Westgate, Daniel T. Gilbert, Nicole Ellerbeck, Cheryl Hahn, Casey Brown, & Adi Shaked. (2014) Just Think: The Challenges of the Disengaged Mind. Science. info:/

  • July 4, 2014
  • 10:48 AM
  • 293 views

Parents’ Income Poorly Predicts SAT Score

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

Here I publish my original study that disproves family income as an important influence on SAT scores, shows race as having its greatest influence on scores at the highest education and income levels, and provides some preliminary evidence for a hereditary influence.... Read more »

nooffensebut. (2014) Parents’ Income is a Poor Predictor of SAT Score. Open Differential Psychology, 1-19. info:other/

Bartels M, Rietveld MJ, Van Baal GC, & Boomsma DI. (2002) Heritability of educational achievement in 12-year-olds and the overlap with cognitive ability. Twin research : the official journal of the International Society for Twin Studies, 5(6), 544-53. PMID: 12573186  

Duckworth AL, Quinn PD, Lynam DR, Loeber R, & Stouthamer-Loeber M. (2011) Role of test motivation in intelligence testing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 108(19), 7716-20. PMID: 21518867  

Duncan, J., Seitz, R.J., Kolodny, J., Bor, D., Herzog, H., Ahmed, A., Newell, F.N., & Emslie, H. (2000) A Neural Basis for General Intelligence. Science, 289(5478), 457-460. DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5478.457  

MacCallum RC, Wegener DT, Uchino BN, & Fabrigar LR. (1993) The problem of equivalent models in applications of covariance structure analysis. Psychological bulletin, 114(1), 185-99. PMID: 8346326  

Marioni RE, Davies G, Hayward C, Liewald D, Kerr SM, Campbell A, Luciano M, Smith BH, Padmanabhan S, Hocking LJ.... (2014) Molecular genetic contributions to socioeconomic status and intelligence. Intelligence, 44(100), 26-32. PMID: 24944428  

Trzaskowski M, Harlaar N, Arden R, Krapohl E, Rimfeld K, McMillan A, Dale PS, & Plomin R. (2014) Genetic influence on family socioeconomic status and children's intelligence. Intelligence, 42(100), 83-88. PMID: 24489417  

  • July 4, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 104 views

“The Bolshevik Revolution” and other things you might want to know…

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We read a lot and routinely run across tidbits we think you might enjoy and that we would not really want to use an entire blog post to discuss. So here are a few things from here and there that we’ve found in our travels… Can’t remember all those complicated passwords? It’s a complication of […]

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Hepper, E., Hart, C., & Sedikides, C. (2014) Moving Narcissus: Can Narcissists Be Empathic?. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. DOI: 10.1177/0146167214535812  

  • July 4, 2014
  • 04:53 AM
  • 175 views

DNA methylation patterns and autism: buccal up

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The results indicate the presence of a mosaic subpopulation of epigenetically-dysregulated, ectodermally-derived cells in subjects with ASD [autism spectrum disorder]". That was the very clinical primary conclusion reached in the study by Esther Berko and colleagues [1] (open-access here). They looked at DNA methylation patterns in cheek cell samples for a small sample of children diagnosed with an ASD (n=47) "born to mothers aged 35 and over" compared with samples from an asymptomatic control ........ Read more »

Berko ER, Suzuki M, Beren F, Lemetre C, Alaimo CM, Calder RB, Ballaban-Gil K, Gounder B, Kampf K, Kirschen J.... (2014) Mosaic epigenetic dysregulation of ectodermal cells in autism spectrum disorder. PLoS genetics, 10(5). PMID: 24875834  

  • July 3, 2014
  • 11:25 PM
  • 231 views

Bass lays down the beat

by Shelly Fan in Neurorexia

Image: Fender Jazz Bass Try tapping your finger to a song – any song. Are you focusing on the melodious vocals, or the strong pulsating beat...... Read more »

  • July 3, 2014
  • 06:20 PM
  • 73 views

Igniting Sparks, Surviving Fireworks and Dog Science July!

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hey Julie, well, here I am, back in chilly, wintry Melbourne. #SPARCS2014 was an amazing event - such an intense three days with early feedback suggesting over 40,000 people joined in online for canine science, excitement, wonderful researchers and inspiration!  You've done a great job capturing the essence and feedback of this international conference over at DogSpies on the Scientific American Blog Network. I'm so pleased someone took photos, or I think I would have convinc........ Read more »

  • July 3, 2014
  • 01:00 PM
  • 217 views

Why you Should Not Fear Testosterone Therapy

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Testosterone, to some it’s a bad word, bringing crazy images like “roid rage” and the like. To others with more than just a pop culture understanding it is a lifesaver. […]... Read more »

  • July 2, 2014
  • 09:03 AM
  • 226 views

Chimps stick grass in their ears to be cool: notes on cultural transmission

by Neuroecology in Neuroecology

1. In 2010, a female chimpanzee named Julie began repeatedly stuffing a stiff blade of grass into her ear. This Grass-in-ear behavior has affectionately been dubbed “GIEB” by the scientists who observed it.... Read more »

Huffman, M., Nahallage, C., & Leca, J. (2008) Cultured Monkeys: Social Learning Cast in Stones. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(6), 410-414. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8721.2008.00616.x  

Stocker R, Green DG, & Newth D. (2001) Consensus and cohesion in simulated social networks. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 4(4). info:/

Rendell L, Fogarty L, Hoppitt WJ, Morgan TJ, Webster MM, & Laland KN. (2011) Cognitive culture: theoretical and empirical insights into social learning strategies. Trends in cognitive sciences, 15(2), 68-76. PMID: 21215677  

  • July 2, 2014
  • 08:09 AM
  • 200 views

What happens to the cool kids when they grow up?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

"Cool kids", according to a new study, are those early teens (aged 13 to 15) who want to be popular, and try to impress their peers by acting older than their years. They have precocious romantic relationships, commit relatively minor acts of bad behaviour (such as sneaking into the cinema without paying), and surround themselves with good-looking friends. These teenagers attract respect from their peers at first, but what's the story by the time they reach early adulthood?Joseph Allen and his c........ Read more »

  • July 2, 2014
  • 06:53 AM
  • 149 views

Understanding the personalities in your workforce - the psychology of assessment

by David Lurie in People Agenda

Understanding the personalities in your workforce - the psychology of assessment ... Read more »

  • July 2, 2014
  • 03:40 AM
  • 171 views

Quality of life and autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The BBC ran an interesting article on their website recently titled: Happiness and disability. Discussions about the disability paradox - whereby some people with often significant and persistent disability report experiencing a good or excellent quality of life (QoL) - got me thinking about QoL and in particular, how it might relate to the very wide and very heterogeneous autism spectrum. I might add that I am not insinuating that everyone diagnosed on the autism spectrum are 'disabled' but rat........ Read more »

  • July 1, 2014
  • 01:18 PM
  • 209 views

St. Johns Wart and the Dangers of “Alternative” Medicine

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Grapefruit juice, I hate the stuff. But did you know that if you drink as little as 8 oz. of it when you take certain medications it could dramatically increase […]... Read more »

Davis SA, Feldman SR, & Taylor SL. (2014) Use of St. John's Wort in Potentially Dangerous Combinations. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 24956073  

Bailey, D., Malcolm, J., Arnold, O., & David Spence, J. (2002) Grapefruit juice-drug interactions. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 46(2), 101-110. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.1998.00764.x  

  • July 1, 2014
  • 01:18 PM
  • 151 views

St. Johns Wort and the Dangers of “Alternative” Medicine

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Grapefruit juice, I hate the stuff. But did you know that if you drink as little as 8 oz. of it when you take certain medications it could dramatically increase […]... Read more »

Davis SA, Feldman SR, & Taylor SL. (2014) Use of St. John's Wort in Potentially Dangerous Combinations. Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.). PMID: 24956073  

Bailey, D., Malcolm, J., Arnold, O., & David Spence, J. (2002) Grapefruit juice-drug interactions. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, 46(2), 101-110. DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2125.1998.00764.x  

  • July 1, 2014
  • 12:18 PM
  • 133 views

When work conditions are tough, Machiavellians thrive

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When budgets are cut or time is short, watch out for those who excel at work. Their contribution could be admirable, but a new study suggests you may alternatively be witnessing a “Machiavellian” in action – someone exploiting the situation for their own interests.Daniel Kuyumcu and Jason Dahling assessed the Machiavellianism of 110 psychology students, all of whom worked at least 15 hours part-time. Questionnaire items included: "I am willing to sabotage the efforts of other people if the........ Read more »

  • July 1, 2014
  • 04:48 AM
  • 176 views

Mercury exposure and autism or ADHD meta-analysed

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Yoshimasu and colleagues [1] is the talking point today, and their assertion following meta-analysis that: "Moderate adverse effects were observed only between environmental inorganic or organic mercury exposures and ASD/ADHD".Eruption... @ Wikipedia For clarity, ASD means autism spectrum disorder and ADHD refers to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. Inorganic and organic mercury refer to some of the different forms of mercury. Meta-analysis, as I've said befor........ Read more »

  • July 1, 2014
  • 04:19 AM
  • 155 views

With climate change, uncertainty is no-one’s friend

by Andy Extance in Simple Climate

Heard people say climate science is uncertain? Research by psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky from the University of Bristol and his colleagues finds this is more, not less, reason to fight global warming. ... Read more »

  • July 1, 2014
  • 01:56 AM
  • 166 views

Heroes and Villains: Banal or Special People? Part 1 of 2

by Scott McGreal in Eye on Psych

Situationists have claimed that heroism and evil are equally "banal", i.e. people choose between good and evil mainly due to situational pressures rather than their personal traits. However, the situationist analysis is inconsistent. Evil is attributed to external forces, whereas heroism results from character. ... Read more »

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