We can and should (and do) avoid the idea that stringing together "nothing but" pieces of content is sufficient to make 'holistic' understanding bubble up as an emergent property of student learning. But equally dubious, and equally unsubscribed, is the idea that learning can be transformed from fragmented to holistic by subtracting something from the experience.... Read more »
How do neuroscientists' brains work?
In a remarkable (and very meta) new paper, German researchers Frieder Michel Paulus et al. scanned some neuroscientists (their own colleagues) using fMRI, to measure the brain response to seeing neuroscience papers. The study is out now in PLoS ONE: Journal Impact Factor Shapes Scientists' Reward Signal in the Prospect of Publication
Paulus et al.'s paper has already got a lot of attention: it's been featured on the famous Improbable Research blog, ... Read more »
Paulus FM, Rademacher L, Schäfer TA, Müller-Pinzler L, & Krach S. (2015) Journal Impact Factor Shapes Scientists' Reward Signal in the Prospect of Publication. PloS one, 10(11). PMID: 26555725
Tasting food relies on food volatiles moving from the back of the mouth to the nasal cavity, but researchers have wondered why airflow doesn’t carry them in the other direction, into the lungs. Now a team of engineers, using a 3D printed model of the human airway from nostril to trachea, has determined that the shape of the airway preferentially transfers volatiles to the nasal cavity and allows humans to enjoy the smell of good food.... Read more »
Ni, R., Michalski, M., Brown, E., Doan, N., Zinter, J., Ouellette, N., & Shepherd, G. (2015) Optimal directional volatile transport in retronasal olfaction. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1511495112
The notion that older people are happier than younger people is being challenged following a recent study led by a University of Bradford lecturer. In fact it suggests that people get more depressed from age 65 onwards. The study, led by psychology lecturer Dr Helena Chui, builds on a 15-year project observing over 2,000 older Australians living in the Adelaide area.... Read more »
Chui, Helena, Gerstorf, Denis, Hoppmann, Christiane A., & ; Luszcz, Mary A. (2015) Supplemental Material for Trajectories of Depressive Symptoms in Old Age: Integrating Age-, Pathology-, and Mortality-Related Changes. Psychology and Aging. DOI: 10.1037/pag0000054.supp
There’s plenty of research about suggesting that feeling uncertain can increase the strength of belief in god in different ways. But what’s not clear is whether belief in god reduces the ill effects of uncertainty, or is a response to it. One theory is that a belief in God provides a kind of reassurance, which [Read More...]... Read more »
Fergus, T., & Rowatt, W. (2015) Uncertainty, god, and scrupulosity: Uncertainty salience and priming god concepts interact to cause greater fears of sin. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 93-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbtep.2014.09.003
I want to (briefly) draw your attention to the findings reported by Benjamin Zablotsky and colleagues  (open-access) recently on the topic of the (estimated) autism prevalence rate. Specifically the figure that seems to be making some media headlines: "The estimated ASD [autism spectrum disorder] prevalence was 2.24% (1 in 45) in 2014."Based on data derived from the 2014 US National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) designed with the purpose "to monitor the health of the........ Read more »
Benjamin Zablotsky, Lindsey I. Black, Matthew J. Maenner, Laura A. Schieve, & Stephen J. Blumberg. (2015) Estimated Prevalence of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities Following Questionnaire Changes in the 2014 National Health Interview Survey. National Health Statistics Reports. info:/
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
This is a conglomeration of articles we thought were interesting and useful but chose not to devote an entire post describing them. Think of this as a series of articles that might pique your interest and make you want to learn more. We’ll provide links so it’s easy to learn more. Christians and Science: A […]
Cognitive Biases: A pictorial primer
Do Whites, Blacks, and Asians have different biases than Biracial adults?
Have you seen our latest work in The Jury Exp........ Read more »
Phillips, LT, & Lowery, BS. (2015) The hard-knock life? Whites claim hardship in response to racial inequity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 12-18. info:/
Rios, K., Cheng, Z., Totton, R., & Shariff, A. (2015) Negative Stereotypes Cause Christians to Underperform in and Disidentify With Science. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 6(8), 959-967. DOI: 10.1177/1948550615598378
"Pandemic influenza A (H1N1) infection was associated with a more than two-fold increased risk of CFS/ME [Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis]."That was the headline finding from the study by Per Magnus and colleagues  looking at whether large population data might provide some clues about 'associated' variables when it comes to the various debilitating conditions headed under the terms CFS/ME.I'm blogging at a slight disadvantage with regards to the Magnus study beca........ Read more »
Magnus P, Gunnes N, Tveito K, Bakken IJ, Ghaderi S, Stoltenberg C, Hornig M, Lipkin WI, Trogstad L, & Håberg SE. (2015) Chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) is associated with pandemic influenza infection, but not with an adjuvanted pandemic influenza vaccine. Vaccine. PMID: 26475444
When people are listening to music, their emotional reactions to the music are reflected in changes in their pupil size. Researchers from the University of Vienna and the University of Innsbruck, Austria, are the first to show that both the emotional content of the music and the listeners’ personal involvement with music influence pupil dilation. This study demonstrates that pupil size measurement can be effectively used to probe listeners’ reactions to music.... Read more »
Gingras, B., Marin, M., Puig-Waldmüller, E., & Fitch, W. (2015) The Eye is Listening: Music-Induced Arousal and Individual Differences Predict Pupillary Responses. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00619
Our memory abilities begin to diminish in some respects as early as our twenties. But the picture isn't entirely bleak. A new study published in Psychology and Aging explores the possibility that an older person's curiosity or interest in a subject can reinforce their powers of memory. Following this view, old age is associated with forgetting more of what you don't care about, but the ability to remember what matters to you is preserved or even enhanced.Shannon McGillivray and her colleagues te........ Read more »
McGillivray, S., Murayama, K., & Castel, A. (2015) Thirst for Knowledge: The Effects of Curiosity and Interest on Memory in Younger and Older Adults. Psychology and Aging. DOI: 10.1037/a0039801
Accepting the notions that (i) correlation is not necessarily the same as causation and that (ii) case-control observational studies in particular are not the best way to ascertain whether A causes B, I was rather interested in the findings reported by Ido Lurie and colleagues  and that: "Recurrent antibiotic exposure is associated with increased risk for depression and anxiety but not for psychosis."Starting from the idea that: "Changes in the microbiota (dysbiosis) were sugge........ Read more »
Lurie, I., Yang, Y., Haynes, K., Mamtani, R., & Boursi, B. (2015) Antibiotic Exposure and the Risk for Depression, Anxiety, or Psychosis. The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. DOI: 10.4088/JCP.15m09961
In the run up to the 2012 US election, President Obama visited the undecided swing-states he needed to win in order to hold on to the Presidency. A new study published in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology features an analysis of the speeches he gave, together with those of his opponent Mitt Romney, and finds it’s possible to estimate the candidates’ subsequent electoral success by measuring how audiences reacted to their speeches. It also describes how speeches are intentionally ........ Read more »
Bull, P., & Miskinis, K. (2014) Whipping It Up! An Analysis of Audience Responses to Political Rhetoric in Speeches From the 2012 American Presidential Elections. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 34(5), 521-538. DOI: 10.1177/0261927X14564466
Apparently yes, at least according to today’s researchers. And you likely will be somewhat taken aback by just which group you choose to make wait. Researchers wanted to study whether the pedestrian’s race had anything to do with yielding behavior of motorists at crosswalks. They tested with 173 motorists and 6 trained male pedestrian-confederates (3 […]
Do Whites, Blacks, and Asians have different biases than Biracial adults?
Are you a White American? How Black is y........ Read more »
Goddard, T., Kahn, K., & Adkins, A. (2015) Racial bias in driver yielding behavior at crosswalks. Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, 1-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.trf.2015.06.002
"Immune clue to preventing schizophrenia" went the BBC headline, as the paper by Peter Bloomfield and colleagues  garnered some significant media interest recently specifically tied into their findings suggesting that: "neuroinflammation is linked to the risk of psychosis and related disorders, as well as the expression of subclinical symptoms."Based on the use of "second-generation radioligand [11C]PBR28 and PET to image microglial activity in the brains of participants at ultra high risk fo........ Read more »
Bloomfield, P., Selvaraj, S., Veronese, M., Rizzo, G., Bertoldo, A., Owen, D., Bloomfield, M., Bonoldi, I., Kalk, N., Turkheimer, F.... (2015) Microglial Activity in People at Ultra High Risk of Psychosis and in Schizophrenia: An [ C]PBR28 PET Brain Imaging Study . American Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2015.14101358
You may have seen the buzz around a recent study which found that atheist kids are more altruistic than religious kids. Like any study that reinforces preconceptions of a vocal group, it was social media gold dust. I want to take a critical look at it and some of the objections that have been raised [Read More...]... Read more »
Decety, J., Cowell, J., Lee, K., Mahasneh, R., Malcolm-Smith, S., Selcuk, B., & Zhou, X. (2015) The Negative Association between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism across the World. Current Biology. DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.09.056
A new paper from British psychologists David Shanks and colleagues will add to the growing sense of a "reproducibility crisis" in the field of psychology.
The paper is called Romance, Risk, and Replication and it examines the question of whether subtle reminders of 'mating motives' (i.e. sex) can make people more willing to spend money and take risks. In 'romantic priming' experiments, participants are first 'primed' e.g. by reading a story about meeting an attractive member of the opposite s... Read more »
Shanks DR, Vadillo MA, Riedel B, Clymo A, Govind S, Hickin N, Tamman AJ, & Puhlmann LM. (2015) Romance, Risk, and Replication: Can Consumer Choices and Risk-Taking Be Primed by Mating Motives?. Journal of experimental psychology. General. PMID: 26501730
It's only within the last 10 years that psychologists have realised some people have extremely good face recognition abilities that set them apart from the rest of the population, a group they call "super recognisers". These individuals excel on established lab tests of their abilities, such as the Cambridge Face Memory Test. Understandably, this has led to interest in using these people's skills in real-life settings, such as to help identify rioters whose faces have been captured on CCTV. In f........ Read more »
Bobak, A., Hancock, P., & Bate, S. (2015) Super-recognisers in Action: Evidence from Face-matching and Face Memory Tasks. Applied Cognitive Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/acp.3170
"Psychiatric comorbidities in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are rather a rule than an exception."That was the opening sentence to the paper by Verheij and colleagues  (open-access available here) who charted the stability of such comorbidity in a "7-year follow-up of 74 6-12 year old children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified [PDD-NOS]."Continuing a theme from this research group  looking longitudinally at what happened to individuals wh........ Read more »
Verheij C, Louwerse A, van der Ende J, Eussen ML, Van Gool AR, Verheij F, Verhulst FC, & Greaves-Lord K. (2015) The Stability of Comorbid Psychiatric Disorders: A 7 Year Follow Up of Children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. Journal of autism and developmental disorders. PMID: 26456972
You know how it feels after you've gorged on a large packet of pretzels or crisps – you have a mouth like a salt mine, an unquenchable thirst, and the thought occurs to you that wouldn't mind if you never saw another pretzel again in your life. Except you know that's not really true. That's why you leave the other packets snug in the kitchen cupboard, fully aware that tomorrow evening you'll be delighted to get munching again.In other words, you have "episodic foresight". You are able to look ........ Read more »
Mahy, C. (2015) Young Children Have Difficulty Predicting Future Preferences in the Presence of a Conflicting Physiological State. Infant and Child Development. DOI: 10.1002/icd.1930
You likely know we love a good conspiracy theorist here. For entertainment value it adds a lot to an otherwise dull story. In fact, one of our favorite blog-moments was when a conspiracy theorist left a raging comment for us regarding a post that questioned the existence of Big Foot. We’ve posted a few scales […]
Conspiracy beliefs and the relation to emotional uncertainty
Is there an effective strategy that reduces a conspiracy theorist’s intense beliefs?
Measuring........ Read more »
Brotherton R, French CC, & Pickering AD. (2013) Measuring belief in conspiracy theories: the generic conspiracist beliefs scale. Frontiers in Psychology, 279. PMID: 23734136
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