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  • January 9, 2014
  • 12:00 PM

Of with the old and on with the new: pressures against cumulative research

by Dorothy Bishop in bishopblog

Systematic reviews are a vital resource to ensure that new research takes into account what has gone before. They are, however, undervalued. ... Read more »

Chalmers, Iain, Bracken, Michael B., Djulbegovic, Ben, Garattini, Silvio, Grant, Jonathan, Gülmezoglu, A. Metin, Howells, David W., Ioannidis, John P. A., & Oliver, Sandy. (2014) How to increase value and reduce waste when research priorities are set. Lancet. info:/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62229-1

  • January 9, 2014
  • 04:51 AM

Do sceptics have more inhibitory brain control than supernatural believers?

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Imagine your partner has just been arrested for drink driving. You're walking down the street not long after and suddenly you see a large poster of a brick wall. Is it a sign? A new study suggests your interpretation of that poster depends on the levels of inhibitory activity in a part of your brain. Marjaana Lindeman and her colleagues propose that it's human nature to read meaning into arbitrary symbols, but that sceptically minded people are able to ignore or suppress this instinct whereas su........ Read more »

  • January 8, 2014
  • 10:58 AM

Before Crawling and Walking, Babies Need to Get the Visual Gist of Moving Forward

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Infants show developmental changes in visual motion perception about one month before they first start moving around on their own, according to new research published in Psychological Science. Psychology researcher […]... Read more »

  • January 8, 2014
  • 10:00 AM

Examining Mandometer(r) Founders’ 10 “Reasons” Why Eating Disorders Are Not Mental Disorders

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders

This is Part III of my mini-series on the Mandometer® treatment. In my first post, I wrote about the history and rationale of the Mandometer® treatment. In my second post, I evaluated a recent study published by the creators of Mandometer® (Bergh et al., 2013); I wanted to see whether their data supported their claims (spoiler alert: it didn’t). In this post, I’m going to focus on the first five of Bergh et al.’s ten reasons why eating disorders are not mental disorders........ Read more »

Bergh C, Callmar M, Danemar S, Hölcke M, Isberg S, Leon M, Lindgren J, Lundqvist A, Niinimaa M, Olofsson B.... (2013) Effective treatment of eating disorders: Results at multiple sites. Behavioral Neuroscience, 127(6), 878-89. PMID: 24341712  

  • January 8, 2014
  • 09:27 AM

The Confounding Contradiction of Depression

by JBSheppard in Antisense Science

If you currently have or have had depression then you may already be able to tell your MAOIs from your SSRIs, among other confusing acronyms, but if you haven’t then what you read here might actually help. Knowledge is power and I believe learning a little something about depression could contribute a bit of control to an otherwise daunting and often underestimated medical condition.

Depression is perhaps the ultimate “common complex disorder”. Unlike pathogens or mutations........ Read more »

Hasler G. (2010) Pathophysiology of depression: do we have any solid evidence of interest to clinicians?. World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 9(3), 155-61. PMID: 20975857  

Martinowich K, Manji H, & Lu B. (2007) New insights into BDNF function in depression and anxiety. Nature neuroscience, 10(9), 1089-93. PMID: 17726474  

  • January 8, 2014
  • 08:30 AM

Do Dogs with Baby Expressions get Adopted Sooner, and What Does it Say about Domestication?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Cute eyebrow movements by dogs influence people’s choice of canine companion.Photo: MrGarry / ShutterstockTheories about the domestication of dogs from wolves suggest that baby-like faces are a by-product of humans selecting for other features. But is it possible they were deliberately selected? A new study in PLoS One by Bridget Waller et al (University of Portsmouth) investigates.Selecting animals for behavioural traits can end up having unexpected effects on physical characteristics, ........ Read more »

Borgi, M., & Cirulli, F. (2013) Children's preferences for infantile features in dogs and cats. Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 1(2), 1-15. info:/

Waller BM, Peirce K, Caeiro CC, Scheider L, Burrows AM, McCune S, & Kaminski J. (2013) Paedomorphic facial expressions give dogs a selective advantage. PloS one, 8(12). PMID: 24386109  

  • January 8, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It is well-known that in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of 9-11-2001, the level of fear towards (and hate crimes against) Muslims has increased dramatically. Researchers have looked for ways to predict fearful attitudes toward Muslims and pondered just what high versus medium or low levels of fear of Muslims might mean. The Islamophobia […]

Related posts:
The CAST Scale: A comprehensive assessment of sadistic tendencies
Keep your eye on this one: A Depravity Scale
The GASP scale: ........ Read more »

Lee, SA, Reid, CA, Short, SD, Gibbons, JA, Yeh, R., & Campbell, ML. (2013) Fear of Muslims: Psychometric Evaluation of the Islamophobia Scale. . Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 5(3), 157-171. DOI: 10.1037/a0032117  

  • January 8, 2014
  • 05:01 AM

Autism, gastrointestinal disorders and comorbidity clusters

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I start this post with a few important observations. Please feel free to disagree with me (as long as you can provide peer-reviewed evidence for your alternate viewpoint).Bunting @ Wikipedia (1) Comorbidity can, and quite frequently does, surround a diagnosis of autism.(2) Gastrointestinal (GI) issues form an important part of that comorbidity spectrum.(3) The relationship between autism and comorbidity is, at present, poorly understood insofar as which influences the appearance of whi........ Read more »

  • January 7, 2014
  • 11:45 PM

Cataloging a year of blogging: applications of evolutionary game theory

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

The new year is here, at least according to the calendar most of us use, but if you’re an orthodox Christian you were probably celebrating Christmas today. Although (or, because?) I’m Russian, I don’t celebrate Christmas, so I spent the day editing a paper, reflecting on 2013, and compiling a catalog post to summarize the […]... Read more »

Hartshorn, M., Kaznatcheev, A., & Shultz, T.R. (2013) The Evolutionary Dominance of Ethnocentric Cooperation. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 16(3). info:/

  • January 7, 2014
  • 11:10 AM

The psychology within the biggest news of 2013

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

As we ring in the new year, every major news outlet is publishing their “top” lists of 2013: the top movies, the top tweets, the top sports moments, the top medical breakthroughs, the top business blunders - the lists go on and on. To add a bit of psychology to this “top” list trend, in this post, I take the three top news stories of 2013 as chosen by’s readers and highlight what psychological research can contribute to each of them.
... Read more »

McCullough ME, Rachal KC, Sandage SJ, Worthington EL Jr, Brown SW, & Hight TL. (1998) Interpersonal forgiving in close relationships: II. Theoretical elaboration and measurement. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75(6), 1586-603. PMID: 9914668  

Pettigrew, T.F., & Tropp, L. R. (2008) How does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Meta-analytic tests of three mediators. European Journal of Social Psychology, 922-934. info:/

  • January 7, 2014
  • 06:54 AM

4 Tips To Stick To Your Resolutions

by Elisabeth Buhl Thubron in United Academics

Resolutions, shmesolutions. We have all tried to re-invent ourselves, but what underlies our need to do so and why do most of us fail?... Read more »

Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C. H. M., Potts, H. W. W., . (2010) How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.674  

Gardner B, Lally P, & Wardle J. (2012) Making health habitual: the psychology of 'habit-formation' and general practice. The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners, 62(605), 664-6. PMID: 23211256  

  • January 7, 2014
  • 04:28 AM

Childhood amnesia kicks in around age 7

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

You could travel the world with an infant aged under 3 and it's almost guaranteed that when they get older they won't remember a single boat trip, plane ride or sunset. This is thanks to a phenomenon, known as childhood or infantile amnesia, that means most of us lose all our earliest autobiographical memories. It's a psychological conundrum because when they are 3 or younger, kids are able to discuss autobiographical events from their past. So it's not that memories from before age 3 never exis........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2014
  • 04:27 PM

Coping: neither good, nor bad, but “it depends”

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Coping is a concept we often use in chronic pain management. Our aim as clinicians is to help people with chronic pain cope with their pain so they can do more of what is important to them. Most of us know that coping mediates between the individual and whatever challenge he or she is facing. … Read more... Read more »

  • January 6, 2014
  • 04:08 PM

The Teacher Who Forgot How To Read

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

The journal Neurology features an interesting – and rather heartwarming – case report: “Teacher interrupted” Authors Jason Cuomo et al, of Loyola University Chicago, write: Reading to children was a source of fulfillment in the life of M.P., a 40-year-old aunt, kindergarten teacher, and reading specialist … But all of that changed when, on a […]The post The Teacher Who Forgot How To Read appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

  • January 6, 2014
  • 01:05 PM

Facebook is a Poor Predictor of Performance of Job Applicants

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

A few months ago, I planned on writing more posts about academic research. I wrote one about spending your bonus on others making you happier (than if you’d spent it on yourself), but haven’t got around to it since. My intentions … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • January 6, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

The memory cost of a snapshot

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

The camera snapshot of an exhibit is almost an automatic reflex by museum visitors in the 21st century, although I must admit I am a bit baffled by the motivation. I’m not sure what the teeming crowd wants to gain with those snapshots…but now we have good evidence of what they will lose: some of their memory for the art they were photographing.... Read more »

  • January 6, 2014
  • 04:12 AM

What's it like to hear voices that aren't there?

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Traditionally, when a person says they can hear voices that don't exist in external reality (not to be confused with inner speaking), psychiatry has treated this as a sign of mental illness. However, it's become clear in recent years that many people hear hallucinated voices without it causing them distress. To improve our understanding of how voice-hearing becomes problematic it's clear we need to understand more about the different ways that people experience hearing voices.Now Lucy Holt ........ Read more »

  • January 4, 2014
  • 08:21 AM


by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

HERVs. Human endogenous retroviruses. The remnants of our evolutionary struggle with the viruses of the times of our distant ancestors, now part and parcel of our modern-day genome. Yes, genetically, we are all part virus to various extents [so embrace your viral self].HMS Beagle @ WikipediaI've talked HERVs on a few occasions on this blog, in relation both to the autism spectrum conditions (see here) and myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) (see here).Without getting too technical, the crux of t........ Read more »

Balestrieri E, Pitzianti M, Matteucci C, D'Agati E, Sorrentino R, Baratta A, Caterina R, Zenobi R, Curatolo P, Garaci E.... (2013) Human endogenous retroviruses and ADHD. The world journal of biological psychiatry : the official journal of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry. PMID: 24286278  

  • January 3, 2014
  • 11:38 PM

Why Do We Blame Victims?

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Two months ago Jonathan Martin, a football player on the Miami Dolphins, left the team due to mistreatment from teammates, which included receiving threatening phone messages from another player. The incident raised concerns about hazing within the NFL, but it also prompted some to suggest that Martin himself bears at least partial responsibility for his fate. For example, another NFL player stated in an interview that Martin is "just as much to blame because he allowed it to happen" and shou........ Read more »

Ritter, C., Benson, D. E., . (1990) Belief in a just world and depression. Sociological Perspectives. DOI: 10.2307/1389045  

  • January 3, 2014
  • 05:11 AM

Some bisexual men are aroused by women, some aren't - is curiosity the reason?

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

When a man describes himself as bisexual, we usually take this to mean that he has sexual relations with both men and women, and/or that he is attracted to both sexes. However, prior lab research has found that many men who self-identify as bi-sexual are not in fact sexually aroused - in a physical sense - by the opposite sex.It's important to remember that physical sexual arousal is only one reflection of a person's sexual desires and identity, not the be all and end all. However, this past res........ Read more »

Rieger G, Rosenthal AM, Cash BM, Linsenmeier JA, Bailey JM, & Savin-Williams RC. (2013) Male bisexual arousal: A matter of curiosity?. Biological psychology, 94(3), 479-89. PMID: 24055219  

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