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  • August 17, 2015
  • 01:55 PM

How influential are peer reactions to posts on Facebook news channels?

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

An experiment to determine the effects of positive and negative user comments to items posted by media organizations on Facebook news channels showed, surprisingly, that the influence of user comments varied depending on the type and number of user comments. Negative comments influenced the persuasiveness of a news article, while positive comments did not, and a high number of likes did not have the expected bandwagon effect.... Read more »

Winter, S., Brückner, C., & Krämer, N. (2015) They Came, They Liked, They Commented: Social Influence on Facebook News Channels. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 18(8), 431-436. DOI: 10.1089/cyber.2015.0005  

  • August 17, 2015
  • 11:56 AM

Detection of Alzheimer’s disease with a digital pen

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disorder that is similar to senile dementia except that it begins in the later stages of life, usually after 40 years. Among the first signs and symptoms of the disease are impaired memory along with impaired thought and speech. However, these signs and symptoms appear after a significant damage to the brain.

This disease (along with many other psychiatric problems such as Parkinson’s) can be detected by doctors and experts with the help........ Read more »

Souillard-Mandar et al. (2015) Learning Classification Models of Cognitive Conditions from Subtle Behaviors in the Digital Clock Drawing Test. MLJ. info:/

  • August 17, 2015
  • 08:03 AM

Perseverance Negatively Correlated with Counterproductive Work Behaviours

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

New research shows that perseverance might be a key character strength when it comes to counterproductive work behaviours. The researchers were interested in finding the character strengths that were most correlated with work performance and counterproductive work behaviours (things like absenteeism, lateness, … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 17, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

The Bias Awareness Scale 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Here’s a new way to measure our awareness of our own biases in four easy questions. Yes. Four. We are constantly writing about bias here and when we see ways to measure bias it is usually convoluted or prohibitively expensive, or contains language not suitable for courtroom use. This scale, however, is different—it is short […]

Related posts:
The Bias Blind Spot Scale 
Is racial bias fueling anti-Obama rhetoric?
The Islamophobia Scale: Measuring our fear of Muslims

... Read more »

  • August 17, 2015
  • 04:58 AM

Having strong political skills can be a handicap in the workplace

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

If you overheard someone at work refer to you as "a real political operator", would you feel complimented, or alarmed? The latter turns out to be a sensible reaction, as new research suggests that supervisors and colleagues have less faith in the performance of the highly politically skilled.Study authors Ingo Zettler and Jonas Lang noted a conundrum in their field: researchers treat political skill as a uniform good, the more the better, yet a meta-analysis of relevant research (pdf) found a sp........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2015
  • 03:10 AM

Sibling death by defenestration: a case report

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The case report published by Osman Sabuncuoglu and colleagues [1] (open-access) highlighting the extremes of certain high-risk behaviours potentially associated with autism is the topic of today's brief post.Detailing the very saddest of outcomes whereby a young boy diagnosed with autism and "aggression, violence and poor behavioral control" threw his 18-month old sister out of a window (defenestration) causing her death, the authors draw attention to several issues tied into the extremes o........ Read more »

Osman Sabuncuoglu, Mustafa Yasin IRMAK, Nagehan Ucok Demir, Duygu Murat, Can Tumba, & Yuksel Yilmaz. (2015) Sibling death after being thrown from window by brother with autism: defenestration an emerging high-risk behavior. Case Reports in Psychiatry. info:/

  • August 16, 2015
  • 02:06 PM

The stomach is the way to a woman’s heart, too

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

You've heard that romance starts in the kitchen and not in the bedroom. Well, researchers at Drexel University finally have the science to support that saying - but not the way you might think. Researchers found that women's brains respond more to romantic cues on a full stomach than an empty one. The study explored brain circuitry in hungry versus satiated states among women who were past-dieters and those who had never dieted.... Read more »

  • August 15, 2015
  • 01:26 PM

On Wikipedia, politically controversial science topics vulnerable to information sabotage

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Wikipedia reigns. It’s the world’s most popular online encyclopedia, the sixth most visited website in America, and a research source most U.S. students rely on. But Wikipedia entries on politically controversial scientific topics can be unreliable due to information sabotage.... Read more »

  • August 15, 2015
  • 03:20 AM

Delivering medicines in psychiatry the transdermal way: application to autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The real iron manPharmaceutical technology, and specifically the various research strategies looking at the way that medicines are delivered to the body, is probably not a topic high on most people's list of interests. This area is generally not 'sexy' research insofar as producing headlines about almost miracle interventions for condition X or label Y. Instead, we take for granted that the tablet or capsule we have been given has been formulated and tested or that the nicotine patch that you ma........ Read more »

  • August 14, 2015
  • 08:04 AM

Board Diversity Paramount for Achieving Corporate Benefits

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

Earlier this year, there was some interesting research published about board diversity, as it relates to achieving corporate benefits. Specifically: Board diversity improves governance and product development especially in firms led by White men CEOs. There are at least two … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • August 14, 2015
  • 07:34 AM

Surprising or contradictory health news stories encourage readers to be sceptical about science

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The Kill or Cure website monitors the Daily Mail's attempt to "classify every inanimate object into those that cause cancer and those that prevent it". Like many other media outlets, the Mail is drawn to health news that is contradictory and/or surprising and a perusal of the Kill or Cure website shows that the paper has frequently reported that the same items, such as aspirin or beer, both cause and prevent cancer.Now a study published recently in Science Communication examines t........ Read more »

  • August 14, 2015
  • 04:35 AM

Study uncovers dramatic cross-cultural differences in babies' sitting ability

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Paediatricians' offices are often adorned with a developmental milestone chart for infants, and they always show the same "normal" age-typical progression, from sitting to crawling to walking. But these expectations (e.g. 25 per cent of infants achieve independent sitting by 5.5 months) are rather misleading because they're derived solely from research on Western babies conducted back in the 1930s and 1940s. A new study, published recently in the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, aimed to br........ Read more »

Karasik, L., Tamis-LeMonda, C., Adolph, K., & Bornstein, M. (2015) Places and Postures: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Sitting in 5-Month-Olds. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 46(8), 1023-1038. DOI: 10.1177/0022022115593803  

  • August 14, 2015
  • 04:25 AM

Coenzyme Q10 and NADH supplementation for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In a previous post on this blog I briefly discussed the research paper from Jesus Castro-Marrero and colleagues [1] suggesting that "oral CoQ10 [Coenzyme Q10] (200 mg/day) plus NADH [nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH)] (20 mg/day) supplementation" might be something useful for some people diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).Enter then a new paper from Castro-Marrero and colleagues [2] (open-access available here) building on the original fin........ Read more »

  • August 13, 2015
  • 11:25 AM

How To Be a Better Person: Awe Yourself

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

Research published earlier this year seems to indicate that when we’re “awed,” we’re more likely to engage in prosocial or altrusitic behaviour. The researchers conducted five different studies: Individuals higher in dispositional tendencies to experience awe exhibited more generosity in an … Continue reading →... Read more »

Piff PK, Dietze P, Feinberg M, Stancato DM, & Keltner D. (2015) Awe, the small self, and prosocial behavior. Journal of personality and social psychology, 108(6), 883-99. PMID: 25984788  

  • August 13, 2015
  • 02:53 AM

Psychiatric comorbidity accompanying irritable bowel syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

OK, a few choice words to start: the National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD), nationwide cohort study, large participant numbers.That's right. Yet again Taiwan continues to give when it comes to research based on that very useful national health insurance program. Regular readers will already know that I'm a fan of this resource. This time around the results come in the form of the paper published by Yao-Tung Lee and colleagues [1] (open-access) who suggested that: "Clinicians s........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2015
  • 12:54 PM

Cognitive decision making as the collapse of a quantum superstate

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Decision making in an enormous range of tasks involves the accumulation of evidence in support of different hypotheses. One of the enduring models of evidence accumulation is the Markov random walk (MRW) theory, which assigns a probability to each hypothesis. In an MRW model of decision making, when deciding between two hypotheses, the cumulative evidence for and against each hypothesis reaches different levels at different times, moving particle-like from state to state and only occupying a sin........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2015
  • 08:30 AM

Proof the Internet helps Cat Adoptions

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

And that toys are important in photographs of adoptable cats.We all assume that internet photos and adverts play an important role in pet adoption these days, and now it’s possible to put a figure on it, at least for cats. 82.5% of people who adopted a cat from a shelter in Western New York said Petfinder strongly or moderately influenced their adoption. The length of time cats waited for adoption varied from 1 to 126 days. Cats whose Petfinder profiles were clicked more than once a day were t........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2015
  • 05:04 AM

Experts are especially prone to claiming they know more than they do

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Experts often exhibit "overclaiming" –believing they know things that they don't.If you consider yourself a science buff, see if any of these terms seem familiar: meta-toxin, bio-sexual, retroplex. Ringing any bells? If so, you may be surprised to hear that these terms are entirely made-up. They are “trap items” invented to study overclaiming, the claiming of knowledge you could not possibly possess. If you overclaimed, you’re not alone; one early study showed as many as one in five........ Read more »

  • August 12, 2015
  • 03:28 AM

Patients with psychiatric disorders who request euthanasia

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I'll freely admit that the paper by Lieve Thienpont and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) made me feel rather uncomfortable. With the objective of identifying "patterns in euthanasia requests and practices relating to psychiatric patients", authors detailed the experiences of 100 Belgian patients requesting euthanasia - 'the act of deliberately ending a person's life to relieve suffering' - through a retrospective case note review. Euthanasia is legal in Belgium under certain........ Read more »

  • August 11, 2015
  • 06:42 PM

Intelligence: What it Means to You

by Winston Sieck in Thinker Academy

What does intelligence mean to you? Do you believe you were born with a “smartness score” that’s set for life? Or is intelligence something you can build and grow? Say, by improving your study skills? Now, ask yourself another question – why do you believe that? Where did your ideas about the nature of intelligence…
Check out Intelligence: What it Means to You, an original post on Thinker Academy.
... Read more »

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