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  • November 3, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 190 views

Do you smell red or blue? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This post might well fall into the category of “the route to tenure-track publication credits is not always the high road”. We discard lots of dicey research reports (such as this one) because they add nothing to our goal of improving litigation advocacy. But this one was so weird we found it amusing. Enjoy. But […]

Related posts:
“Unpleasant body odor” and people’s desire to help you
Excuse me potential juror: Is your brain red or blue?
Things You Should (Maybe) Know…
........ Read more »

McDermott, R., Tingley, D., & Hatemi, P. (2014) Assortative Mating on Ideology Could Operate Through Olfactory Cues. American Journal of Political Science, 58(4), 997-1005. DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12133  

  • November 3, 2014
  • 05:04 AM
  • 149 views

What can bereavement cards tell us about cultural differences in the expression of sympathy?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Sympathy towards the suffering is culture-dependent. People from "simpatico" cultures such as Brazil or Costa Rica are more likely to help people in need, as are people from economically poorer nations compared to wealthier counterparts. Now new research explores differences in how sympathy is expressed within two Western countries. Americans encourage sufferers to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, the study finds, while Germans are more comfortable gazing at its dark walls.Birgit Koo........ Read more »

  • November 3, 2014
  • 04:13 AM
  • 215 views

Probiotics to counter heavy metal toxicity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"In summary, this work has demonstrated the potential value of long-term probiotic-based interventions to counter mercury and arsenic exposure in vulnerable populations, particularly in pregnant women".Sounds like an '80s man to me...That was one of the primary conclusions reported by Jordan Bisanz and colleagues [1] (open-access) examining "at-risk populations of pregnant women and in children in Mwanza, Tanzania". The idea being that alongside the use of metal chelating medicines such as ........ Read more »

Jordan E. Bisanz, Megan K. Enos, Joseph R. Mwanga, John Changalucha, Jeremy P. Burton, Gregory B. Gloor, & Gregor Reid. (2014) Randomized Open-Label Pilot Study of the Influence of Probiotics and the Gut Microbiome on Toxic Metal Levels in Tanzanian Pregnant Women and School Children. mBio. info:/10.1128/mBio.01580-14

  • November 3, 2014
  • 02:53 AM
  • 248 views

Cannabis Use and Psychosis: The Still Difficult Question of Causality

by Scott McGreal in Eye on Psych

Adolescent cannabis use has been linked to risk of psychosis in a number of studies. However, the question of whether cannabis use actually causes some people to become psychotic is a difficult one to answer and the evidence remains inconclusive. Furthermore, long-term studies on cannabis use have generally not considered that personality characteristics that have been linked to mental illness might also prompt a person’s decision to use drugs such as cannabis.... Read more »

McLaren JA, Silins E, Hutchinson D, Mattick RP, & Hall W. (2010) Assessing evidence for a causal link between cannabis and psychosis: a review of cohort studies. The International journal on drug policy, 21(1), 10-9. PMID: 19783132  

  • November 2, 2014
  • 08:27 PM
  • 244 views

Decision Making - Monkey See, Monkey Do (But Not Like a Human)

by Mark Rubin in The University of Newcastle's School of Psychology Newsline

A great deal is known about how we make simple decisions, right down to the way neurons in our brains connect to translate the things we sense into the responses we make. Some of the most important neural studies of decision-making have used monkeys as an analogue for humans. The broader scope of methodology which can be used with primates has provided information far beyond that obtainable from human experimentation. However, conclusions based on animal experiments may not always translate to h........ Read more »

Cassey, P., Heathcote, A., & Brown, S. (2014) Brain and Behavior in Decision-Making. PLoS Computational Biology, 10(7), 1-7. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003700  

  • November 2, 2014
  • 02:11 PM
  • 226 views

Boosting Crop Yields via Genetics

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Genetic engineering techniques offers many different promises, some of which will obviously come sooner than others. One of those promises was a possible end to famine, while most famine in the world today is in developing countries, that could spread as population increases. To that end scientists have announced a new way to dramatically increase crop yields by improving upon Mother Nature's offerings. The team has discovered a set of gene variations that can boost fruit production in the tomat........ Read more »

Z. Lippman et al. (2014) Optimization of crop productivity in tomato using induced mutations in the florigen pathway. Nature Genetics. info:/10.1038/ng.3131

  • November 1, 2014
  • 11:55 PM
  • 339 views

From realism to interfaces and rationality in evolutionary games

by Artem Kaznatcheev in Evolutionary Games Group

As I was preparing some reading assignments, I realized that I don’t have a single resource available that covers the main ideas of the interface theory of perception, objective versus subjective rationality, and their relationship to evolutionary game theory. I wanted to correct this oversight and use it as opportunity to comment on the philosophy […]... Read more »

Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M., & Shultz, T.R. (2014) Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation. Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the cognitive science societ. arXiv: 1405.0041v1

  • November 1, 2014
  • 11:09 AM
  • 203 views

Paranormal Blindness

by Rodney Steadman in Gravity's Pull

Inattentional blindness and low working memory capacity may influence paranormal belief/experience.... Read more »

Richards A, Hellgren M, & French C. (2014) Inattentional blindness, absorption, working memory capacity, and paranormal belief. Psychology of Consciousness: Theory, Research, and Practice., 1(1), 60-69. DOI: 10.1037/css0000003  

  • November 1, 2014
  • 06:07 AM
  • 225 views

Early childhood atopy and autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

De profundis clamo ad te, domineRegular readers will probably have heard something like this before so I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself: "The presence of any atopic disease in early childhood increased the risk of developing ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder]... and ASD [autism spectrum disorder]... in later life".So said Mu-Hong Chen and colleagues [1] with yet another 'big data' paper coming out of Taiwan.There is little point in me turning this research into some ........ Read more »

Chen MH, Su TP, Chen YS, Hsu JW, Huang KL, Chang WH, Chen TJ, Pan TL, & Bai YM. (2014) Is atopy in early childhood a risk factor for ADHD and ASD? A longitudinal study. Journal of psychosomatic research, 77(4), 316-21. PMID: 25280829  

  • October 31, 2014
  • 12:05 PM
  • 296 views

I Need How Many Calories? Caloric Needs in Bulimia Nervosa Patients

by Tetyana in Science of Eating Disorders


In the 1980s, a few studies came out suggesting that patients with bulimia nervosa (BN) require fewer calories for weight maintenance than anorexia nervosa patients (e.g., Newman, Halmi, & Marchi, 1987) and healthy female controls (e.g., Gwirtsman et al., 1989).
Gwirtsman et al. (1989), after finding that patients with bulimia nervosa required few calories for weight maintenance than healthy volunteers, had these suggestions for clinicians:
When bulimic patient........ Read more »

de Zwaan, M., Aslam, Z., & Mitchell, J.E. (2002) Research on energy expenditure in individuals with eating disorders: a review. International Journal of Eating Disorders, 31(4), 361-9. PMID: 11948641  

Gwirtsman, H.E., Kaye, W.H., Obarzanek, E., George, D.T., Jimerson, D.C., & Ebert, M.H. (1989) Decreased caloric intake in normal-weight patients with bulimia: comparison with female volunteers. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 49(1), 86-92. PMID: 2912015  

  • October 31, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 233 views

Male? Don’t watch comedy videos prior to trial presentations…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Many have written about men being over-confident in comparison to women–although all of us may be more confident in our abilities than we generally should be. Prior research has shown us that men are more confident than women, and that happy people tend to view themselves more positively and happy people actually often perform better […]

Related posts:
So, potential juror, how much online porn do you watch?
Male body shame and aggression against women (“rape proclivity”........ Read more »

Ifcher, J., & Zarghamee, H. (2014) Affect and overconfidence: A laboratory investigation. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 7(3), 125-150. DOI: 10.1037/npe0000022  

  • October 31, 2014
  • 06:08 AM
  • 110 views

The psychology of "mate poaching" - when you form a relationship by taking someone else's partner

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

According to one estimate, 63 per cent of men and 54 per cent of women are in their current long-term relationships because their current partner "poached" them from a previous partner. Now researchers in the US and Australia have conducted the first investigation into the fate of relationships formed this way, as compared with relationships formed by two unattached individuals.An initial study involved surveying 138 heterosexual participants (average age 20; 71 per cent were women) four times o........ Read more »

  • October 31, 2014
  • 05:06 AM
  • 221 views

Caesarean section births and autism risk?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

It was a familiar story. Big media headlines such as: Caesarean sections 'may increase risk of autism' appearing all over, but when it came to finding the study behind the headlines, the publishing journal seemed to be trailing a little way behind. We've been in a similar situation before."As the flames rose to her Roman nose"Anyhow, the paper by Eileen Curran and colleagues [1] (open-access) has finally made it to the research table and hence is fodder for today's ramblings with the sugges........ Read more »

  • October 30, 2014
  • 03:45 PM
  • 279 views

Zombies: Science Fiction vs. Fact

by Dr. Jekyll in Lunatic Laboratories

Well in the spirit of Halloween I thought I would make a nice little zombie post. Zombies, those brain loving little guys, [and girls] are everywhere. From shows like The Walking […]... Read more »

Lafferty KD. (2006) Can the common brain parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, influence human culture?. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 273(1602), 2749-55. PMID: 17015323  

Vyas A, Kim SK, Giacomini N, Boothroyd JC, & Sapolsky RM. (2007) Behavioral changes induced by Toxoplasma infection of rodents are highly specific to aversion of cat odors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(15), 6442-7. PMID: 17404235  

Thomas, F., Schmidt-Rhaesa, A., Martin, G., Manu, C., Durand, P., & Renaud, F. (2002) Do hairworms (Nematomorpha) manipulate the water seeking behaviour of their terrestrial hosts?. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 15(3), 356-361. DOI: 10.1046/j.1420-9101.2002.00410.x  

W. Wesołowska T. Wesołowski. (2014) Do Leucochloridium sporocysts manipulate the behaviour of their snail hosts?. Journal of Zoology , 292(3), 151-155. info:/10.1111/jzo.12094

  • October 30, 2014
  • 07:59 AM
  • 280 views

Fright Week: The Stranger in the Mirror

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

In the mirror we see our physical selves as we truly are, even though the image might not live up to what we want, or what we once were. But we recognize the image as “self”. In rare instances, however, this reality breaks down.In Black Swan, Natalie Portman plays Nina Sayers, a ballerina who auditions for the lead in Swan Lake. The role requires her to dance the part of the innocent White Swan (for which she is well-suited), as well as her evil twin the Black Swan — which is initially out........ Read more »

Barnier AJ, Cox RE, Connors M, Langdon R, & Coltheart M. (2011) A stranger in the looking glass: developing and challenging a hypnotic mirrored-self misidentification delusion. The International journal of clinical and experimental hypnosis, 59(1), 1-26. PMID: 21104482  

Chandra SR, & Issac TG. (2014) Mirror image agnosia. Indian journal of psychological medicine, 36(4), 400-3. PMID: 25336773  

Mendez MF, Martin RJ, Smyth KA, & Whitehouse PJ. (1992) Disturbances of person identification in Alzheimer's disease. A retrospective study. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 180(2), 94-6. PMID: 1737981  

  • October 30, 2014
  • 04:44 AM
  • 204 views

Pain and adolescent Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"We found a higher prevalence of severe pain among adolescents with CFS [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome] and lowered pain thresholds compared with HCs [healthy controls]".That was the headline generated by the study from Anette Winger and colleagues [1] (open-access) looking to describe several parameters tied into experience of pain in the context of CFS. Further: "The total sum of bodily symptoms represented a heavy burden with great functional consequences".Your hokey pokey drag........ Read more »

  • October 29, 2014
  • 06:52 PM
  • 117 views

Friendly, conscientious people are more prone to "destructive obedience"

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

In Milgram's shock experiments, a surprising number of people obeyed a scientist's instruction to deliver dangerous electric shocks to another person. This is usually interpreted in terms of the power of "strong situations". The scenario, complete with lab apparatus and scientist in grey coat, was so compelling that many people's usual behavioural tendencies were overcome.But a new study challenges this account. Recognising that many participants in fact showed disobedience to the scientist in M........ Read more »

Bègue, L., Beauvois, J., Courbet, D., Oberlé, D., Lepage, J., & Duke, A. (2014) Personality Predicts Obedience in a Milgram Paradigm. Journal of Personality. DOI: 10.1111/jopy.12104  

  • October 29, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 139 views

How to Improve Internet Comments

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

The most promising and yet most disappointing aspects of the Internet are the written comments left by the general public.  On one hand, comment sections are a great democratization of personal opinion.  With public commenting, anyone can make their opinion known until the world on whatever topic interests them.  On the other hand, comment sections give voice to absolutely […]The post How to Improve Internet Comments appeared first on NeoAcademic.Related articles from NeoAcademic:Us........ Read more »

Stroud, N., Scacco, J., Muddiman, A., & Curry, A. (2014) Changing Deliberative Norms on News Organizations' Facebook Sites. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. DOI: 10.1111/jcc4.12104  

  • October 29, 2014
  • 09:13 AM
  • 253 views

7 things you probably didn’t know about blind people

by Usman Paracha in SayPeople

1.Blind people can't see in dreams:

Blind people are unable to see even in their dreams but they get a rich combination of different senses in their dreams. They get more feelings of taste, smell, touch, and hear in their dreams as compared to normal people.
2. They have fewer feelings of negative emotions:

Blind from birth people have fewer feelings of negative emotions such as anxiety and depression as compared to normal people.
Blind people see more nightmares (Image courtesy of ........ Read more »

  • October 29, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 384 views

How Does a Dog's Brain Respond to the Smell of a Familiar Human?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

And what does it tell us about the importance of people to their dogs?Photo: hitmanphoto / ShutterstockNew fMRI research by Gregory Berns et al (in press) shows that dog’s brains respond differently to the smell of a familiar human compared to an unfamiliar human and other canines – suggesting that certain people are special to their dogs.The research focussed on a part of the brain called the caudate, which has been much investigated in humans, monkeys and rats. The scientists explain that ........ Read more »

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