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  • July 23, 2015
  • 08:37 AM

Social Priming: Money for Nothing?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Can the thought of money make people more conservative?

The idea that mere reminders of money can influence people's attitudes and behaviors is a major claim within the field of social priming - the study of how our behavior is unconsciously influenced by seemingly innocuous stimuli. However, social priming has been controversial lately with many high profile failures to replicate the reported effects.

Now, psychologists Doug Rohrer, Hal Pashler, and Christine Harris have joined the sk... Read more »

Doug Rohrer, Harold Pashler, & Christine R. Harris. (2015) Do Subtle Reminders of Money Change People’s Political Views?. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. info:/

  • July 23, 2015
  • 07:54 AM

Choice Architecture: Even in “Heads or Tails,” It Matters What’s Presented First

by Jeremiah Stanghini in Jeremiah Stanghini

If you’re familiar with behavioural economics, then the results of this study will be right up your alley. The researchers set out to determine whether there was a “first-toss Heads bias.” Meaning, when flipping a coin and the choices are presented “Heads or … Continue reading →... Read more »

Bar-Hillel M, Peer E, & Acquisti A. (2014) "Heads or tails?"--a reachability bias in binary choice. Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition, 40(6), 1656-63. PMID: 24773285  

  • July 23, 2015
  • 04:36 AM

Why fathers might want to thank their handsome sons

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Women rated men's faces as more attractive when they were shown alongside a good-looking sonIf you're the father to a good-looking boy, you might want to give him your thanks – his handsome looks apparently mean women will tend to find you more attractive. That's according to a new study by Pavol Prokop at Trnava University in Slovakia, who says the result is consistent with the established idea from evolutionary psychology that women instinctively pick up on cues to the quality of a man's gen........ Read more »

  • July 23, 2015
  • 02:58 AM

Sickle cell disease, asthma and behaviour

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children with sickle cell disease may have increased risk for certain neurodevelopmental diagnoses based on their disease characteristics and associated comorbidities."That was the conclusion reached by Eboni Lance and colleagues [1] following their retrospective chart review including "59 children with sickle cell disease with a documented neurodevelopmental diagnosis, specifically attention deficit hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], attention issues, behavioral issues, executive dy........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2015
  • 11:34 PM

Teaching Ourselves and Our Children Not to Bully

by DaveMSW in Dare To Dream

This is a cross post from © 2015 who welcomes republishing of their content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the author, David Earl Johnson, MSW, LICSW. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Bullying … Continue reading →... Read more »

Bond L, Carlin JB, Thomas L, Rubin K, & Patton G. (2001) Does bullying cause emotional problems? A prospective study of young teenagers. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 323(7311), 480-4. PMID: 11532838  

Lara VP, Caramelli P, Teixeira AL, Barbosa MT, Carmona KC, Carvalho MG, Fernandes AP, & Gomes KB. (2013) High cortisol levels are associated with cognitive impairment no-dementia (CIND) and dementia. Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry, 18-22. PMID: 23611893  

Schreier, A., Wolke, D., Thomas, K., Horwood, J., Hollis, C., Gunnell, D., Lewis, G., Thompson, A., Zammit, S., Duffy, L.... (2009) Prospective Study of Peer Victimization in Childhood and Psychotic Symptoms in a Nonclinical Population at Age 12 Years. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66(5), 527. DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.23  

  • July 22, 2015
  • 12:55 PM

That was weird – are you a mind reader? Thinking style affects how we interpret weird experiences.

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Psychologists have identified that all of us have two kinds of thinking styles. There’s the slow, deep thinking style where you ponder things for a while before making a decision. And then there’s gut instinct – where you make a decision based on intuition. Some people tend to prefer one kind of thinking style over [Read More...]... Read more »

  • July 22, 2015
  • 08:30 AM

Re-Arranging Metaphors for Dogs

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

The problems with the wolf pack metaphor go deeper than you think.One of the metaphors many dog trainers despair of is that of the wolf pack. According to this, you are supposed to be ‘leader of the pack’ to your dog, who is trying all the time to be ‘dominant’. The way you stop this is to be ‘dominant’ yourself which involves awful things like ‘alpha rolls’. It’s surprisingly pervasive. It is not really based on science but on a kind of folk science, of how wolf packs are........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2015
  • 07:52 AM

What kind of mass murderer is likely to die in the act, and why should we care?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

There's a striking fact about mass murderers – an extremely high percentage (around 30 per cent) of them die in the act, either by suicide or because of deadly police force. Of course, only a saint would likely be moved to feel sympathy by this statistic, but a new paper digs into the reasons behind it, in the hope that doing so could help prevent future killings.The formal definition for a mass murderer, as opposed to a serial killer, is someone who kills four or more people in the same act, ........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

The Donald Trump Effect:  Press coverage can determine public opinion and maybe election outcomes

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Donald Trump has been getting a lot of press since he announced his candidacy for President. He is labeled a racist by critics, yet leads the polls of Republican presidential candidates. CNN has an explanation of why they think Trump continues to poll so well (he is attacking fellow Republicans and connecting with angry voters […]

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Does desire trump beliefs based on facts when evaluating scientific evidence?
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“70%........ Read more »

  • July 22, 2015
  • 03:03 AM

Health-related quality of life in CFS/ME

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Hvidberg et al (2015) PLoS One. e0132421Two papers are served up for your reading today. Both provide stark peer-reviewed evidence that when it comes to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) / myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), measures of quality of life (QoL) rank this/these condition(s) as potentially causing great suffering compared with population norms and various other states.The first paper is by Michael Falk Hvidberg and colleagues [1] (open-access available here) and details respo........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2015
  • 05:28 PM

Cognition And Perception Are Separate After All?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

Can our beliefs, motivations and emotions influence our visual perception? Are cognition and perception ultimately inseparable?

A lot of recent psychological research says "yes" to the question. For instance, it has been claimed that carrying a heavy backpack makes a hill look - not just feel - steeper. Other researchers say that feeling sad makes things seem darker - not just metaphorically, but literally.

However, according to a new paper by Yale psychologists Chaz Firestone & Br... Read more »

  • July 21, 2015
  • 01:24 PM

Watch Out for the Experienced Study Participant

by amikulak in Daily Observations

When conducting psychology studies online or in the lab, researchers might not think about participants’ past experiences as a research subject. But research published in Psychological Science suggests that these […]... Read more »

Chandler, J., Paolacci, G., Peer, E., Mueller, P., & Ratliff, K. (2015) Using Nonnaive Participants Can Reduce Effect Sizes. Psychological Science, 26(7), 1131-1139. DOI: 10.1177/0956797615585115  

  • July 21, 2015
  • 04:58 AM

Your personality can invite loneliness, and loneliness can shape your personality

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

It's often assumed that personality is largely fixed, like your height or shoe size. But a better analogy might be between personality and body weight. After all, like an expanding waist span, there's evidence that personality changes as we get older. And just as we can strive to lose weight, there's evidence we can intentionally change our personalities.Now Marcus Mund and Franz Neyer at the Institute of Psychology at Friedrich Schiller University, Jena in Germany have explored two fa........ Read more »

  • July 21, 2015
  • 03:16 AM

Early pregnancy maternal hypothyroxinemia and offspring ADHD symptoms

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children exposed to maternal hypothyroxinemia in early pregnancy had more ADHD [attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder] symptoms, independent of confounders. This finding suggests that intrauterine exposure to insufficient thyroid hormone levels influences neurodevelopment in offspring."That was the bottom line reported by Thiago Modesto and colleagues [1] looking at how "mild thyroid hormone insufficiency" in early pregnancy might link into offspring behavioural outcomes a few........ Read more »

  • July 20, 2015
  • 02:54 PM

Rationality and the machina economicus

by neuroecology in Neuroecology

Science magazine had an interesting series of review articles on Machine Learning last week. Two of them were different perspectives of the exact same question: how does traditional economic rationality fit into artificial intelligence? At the core of much AI work … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • July 20, 2015
  • 07:02 AM

“I am so tired of people mistaking me for a model!” [#humblebrag]

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Oh the “humblebrag”. It’s really not that long since career counselors were suggesting interview questions asking about weaknesses could be turned to the candidate’s advantage by responding about an alleged weakness that was really a strength. (“Weakness? I think I tend to be perfectionistic. I just can’t send in a report without double-checking it for […]

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I bought a house that is simply too  big and now I have to hire a cleaning service… 
The Sensitivity t........ Read more »

  • July 20, 2015
  • 04:00 AM

Older people are more willing to trust someone who has cheated others

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

There’s a stereotype that older people are more friendly and trusting, possibly leaving them vulnerable to con-artists. A new study using an economic trading game provides clear evidence that older people really are more trusting, at least in the sense that they are more likely to give the benefit of the doubt to people with a dodgy track record.Phoebe Bailey’s research paradigm invited 72 Australian participants to complete a series of 30 trading game trials alone via a computer, in the kno........ Read more »

Bailey, P., Szczap, P., McLennan, S., Slessor, G., Ruffman, T., & Rendell, P. (2015) Age-related similarities and differences in first impressions of trustworthiness. Cognition and Emotion, 1-10. DOI: 10.1080/02699931.2015.1039493  

  • July 20, 2015
  • 03:31 AM

Homocysteine and autism: yet more...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It's been a while since I've discussed the issue of homocysteine - that's homocysteine not homocystine - with autism in mind, so consider this short blog entry a bit of an update to previous discussions (see here and see here).In case you need to know it, homocysteine is an important component of the trans-sulfuration pathway intersecting with both the methione cycle and the folate cycle. Collectively, these biological processes have important functions for various aspects of biology includ........ Read more »

  • July 18, 2015
  • 05:08 AM

Person with autism or autistic person?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Although it might seem like a bit of a distraction, I read with interest the paper by Lorcan Kenny and colleagues [1] (open-access) discussing the ways and means that we talk about autism here in Blighty. Some related media on the paper can be found here and here.I mentioned the word 'distraction' because I'm sure that some people (many people?) might be wondering why we are discussing the various ways and means that autism is described when there is so much more for research to do in tryin........ Read more »

Kenny L, Hattersley C, Molins B, Buckley C, Povey C, & Pellicano E. (2015) Which terms should be used to describe autism? Perspectives from the UK autism community. Autism : the international journal of research and practice. PMID: 26134030  

  • July 17, 2015
  • 11:40 AM

Can this innovative intervention reduce sexism among male undergraduates?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Sexist behaviour is a way some men use to signal they are "one of the lads", mistakenly assuming that the lads are more sexist than they really are. Encouraging men to take a visible stand against sexism might help break this cycle, and a new study road-tests an intervention that uses this approach to change sexist attitudes in male undergrad students. The data show the intervention met some goals – specifically a decrease in overall sexist attitudes – but fell short of others, illustrating ........ Read more »

Kilmartin, C., Semelsberger, R., Dye, S., Boggs, E., & Kolar, D. (2014) A Behavior Intervention to Reduce Sexism in College Men. Gender Issues, 32(2), 97-110. DOI: 10.1007/s12147-014-9130-1  

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