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  • January 13, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

Mind your emotions, or they’ll color your perceptions

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

Sometimes, your emotions rule your actions. It can be as simple as finding yourself unable to gracefully jump from a height, because your hindbrain will not listen to rational arguments about safety harnesses and belay lines, or as dramatic as blowing your top when you know you’re going to regret the scene later. It can also be very, very subtle – so subtle you may not even know it’s happening.... Read more »

  • January 13, 2014
  • 04:38 AM

What does volunteering say about how much your job means to you, and how well you perform in it?

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

What motivates someone to volunteer? This question lies at the heart of Jessica Rodell's dissertation research, now published in the Academy of Management Journal. Rodell looked at two differing perspectives on why we take on meaningful activities outside of a paying job. Are we after something we can't get from our nine to five? Or is it that the meaning we taste in our job makes us hungry - voracious, even - for more?Rodell's first study surveyed 208 people, three quarters of whom were women, ........ Read more »

  • January 12, 2014
  • 12:00 PM

Why does so much research go unpublished?

by Dorothy Bishop in bishopblog

It's been estimated that as much as 85% of funded research is never published. Sometimes it doesn't get done because gremlins get in the way, but often completed research is still not written up. I discuss three reasons for this and suggest solutions that researchers, funders and journals could adopt.... Read more »

Chan, A., Song, F., Vickers, A., Jefferson, T., Dickersin, K., Gotzsche, P., Krumholz, H. M., Ghersi, D., & van der Worp, H. B. (2014) Increasing value and reducing waste: addressing inaccessible research. Lancet. info:/10.1016/S0140-6736(13)62296-5

  • January 12, 2014
  • 06:11 AM

Atopic disease and adolescent psychotic experiences

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

I was intrigued to read the paper by Khandaker and colleagues [1] (open-access here) reporting results based on a longitudinal study that suggested: "Childhood atopic disorders increase the risk of psychotic experiences in adolescence".Bish, bash, Bosch @ Wikipedia I've talked about the issue of atopic disease and it's potential overlap with something like neurodevelopment before on this blog (see here) based on the possibility of a neuro-immune interaction (i......... Read more »

  • January 11, 2014
  • 04:29 AM

In-Group Favouritism can be used to Get Even as well as to Get Ahead

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Social identity theory assumes that we compete with other social groups in order to achieve a relatively high social status. But recent research reveals that in-group favoritism can also be used to achieve equality and fairness between groups.... Read more »

  • January 10, 2014
  • 11:45 PM

Cataloging a year of blogging: from behavior to society and mind

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

For psychologists, memory and learning are intimately intertwined. In fact, during the years of behaviorism in the early 20th century, the unobservable process of memory was completely replaced in the technical lexicon by learning (Miller, 2003). I want to take this post as an opportunity to remember the year that’s past, and the 83 articles […]... Read more »

Simpson, G.G. (1953) The Baldwin effect. Evolution, 7(2), 110-117. DOI: 10.2307/2405746  

  • January 10, 2014
  • 05:20 PM

The gut microbiome and autism... so far

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A micropost if you will, to provide readers with a link to the paper by Xinyi Cao and colleagues* (open-access) reviewing where autism research is up to when it comes to those trillions of beasties - the various gut bacteria - which call our deepest, darkest recesses home.Regular readers probably already know about my borderline obsession with the gastrointestinal tract (gut) and its inner workings when it comes to at least some cases of the autisms and how the gut microbiome represent........ Read more »

Xinyi CAO, Ping LIN, Ping JIANG, & Chunbo LI. (2013) Characteristics of the gastrointestinal microbiome in children with autism spectrum disorder: a systematic review. Shanghai Archives of Psychiatry. info:other/

  • January 10, 2014
  • 12:57 PM

The Reliability of fMRI Revisited

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

A new paper brings worrying news for neuroscientists using fMRI to study memory: Across-subject reliabilities were only poor to fair… for novelty encoding paradigms, the interpretation of fMRI results on a single subject level is hampered by its low reliability. More studies are needed to optimize the retest reliability of fMRI activation for memory tasks. […]The post The Reliability of fMRI Revisited appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Brandt DJ, Sommer J, Krach S, Bedenbender J, Kircher T, Paulus FM, & Jansen A. (2013) Test-Retest Reliability of fMRI Brain Activity during Memory Encoding. Frontiers in psychiatry, 163. PMID: 24367338  

  • January 10, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

Declining stock values? You need to hire a “hot CEO”!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Like Yahoo! did when they hired Marissa Mayer. At least one media outlet chose to illustrate their writeup of today’s study with Ms. Mayer. We’ve written before about law firm success but that seems to be tied not to the “hotness” of the managing partner but to their appearance of  competence. Ms. Mayer was loudly […]

Related posts:
Facial disfigurement is too disturbing, or why I won’t hire you
Proof we don’t hire the most qualified candidate!
“I feel pretty, oh so pretty!........ Read more »

Halford, Joseph, Taylor Hsu, & Scott H. C. (2013) Beauty is Wealth: CEO Appearance and Shareholder Value. SSRN Electronic Journal. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2357756  

  • 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  

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