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  • October 8, 2010
  • 01:18 PM

Still More on Why the Tears of Strangers Are Only Water

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

This paper in the current issue of the journal Neuron claims to add some MRI findings to the evidence that human empathy and kindness stop at the border between "our group" and "others." Tania Singer, Grit Hein and their colleagues found that Swiss soccer fans feel more, and do more, about the suffering of fellow fans than they do for supporters of a rival team.
The researchers recruited 16 Zurich men from a local fan club, telling them they would be involved in a comparison of brain ........ Read more »

  • October 8, 2010
  • 08:20 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: A Collision of Values and Attributions

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When do liberals and conservatives veer away from their traditional styles of decision-making? How can you predict this and incorporate it into your case narrative strategy?... Read more »

  • October 8, 2010
  • 06:00 AM

Amplifying differences to develop our own identity and mitigate sibling rivalry

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Sibling differentiation, identity development, and the lateral dimension of psychic life From Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association Last week in UK politics some commentators remarked how “brotherly love took a backseat to a lust for power” as the Miliband brothers competed against each other for the position of Labour party leader. Shortly after Ed [...]... Read more »

  • October 8, 2010
  • 03:31 AM

The evolutionary roots of laughter

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

To evolutionary psychologists, the noise made by gorillas, chimps and bonobos when you tickle their feet is no laughing matter. These distinctive vocalisations suggest that rather than evolving separately, laughter evolved in a shared common ancestor before becoming tailored in each primate species, including humans.

To find support for this idea, Diana Szameitat and her colleagues scanned the brains of 18 men and women whilst they listened to the sound of human tickle-induced laughter as well ........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2010
  • 06:34 PM

Psycasm - Siesta - It sounds like Fiesta, but isn't.

by Rift in Psycasm

[Wherein our hero, sleepy from all his blogging, decides to take a nap. But is a siesta such a good idea?]
Here in Australia it's just getting into Summer. And the trick with 'getting into summer' is enduring the brief but painful transition from cool to hot. It usually only last a few weeks, but it's a few weeks characterised by sleeplessness, crankiness and trying to get u; (read more)

Source: Rift - Discipline: Psychology... Read more »

  • October 7, 2010
  • 01:59 PM

Cannabis Use and Psychosis

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

There is growing interest in the relationship between cannabis use and psychosis.  Epidemiologic studies support higher rates of cannabis use in those that develop psychosis, but this could just be an association finding rather than a causal effect.  For example, a genetic factor that increases risk for psychosis could also increase risk for cannabis use.   Alternatively, subtle pre-psychosis onset symptoms may increase risk for the use of cannabis—cannabis may be used to t........ Read more »

  • October 7, 2010
  • 12:03 PM

Power Posing

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

A simple posture change transforms hormone levels in a matter of minutes – and literally makes people more powerful. Previous research has shown that humans and other animals express ... Read more »

Carney, D.R., Cuddy, A.J., & Yap, A.J. (2010) Power Posing: Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS. PMID: 20855902  

  • October 7, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

Should Children with Autism Play Video Games? (VG Series Part 6/10)

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

Part 6 of my series examining research evidence for the value of video games. This time: video games and children with developmental disorders.... Read more »

  • October 7, 2010
  • 09:50 AM

Around the web: the dark side of behavioral biology

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

A link round-up on evolutionary psychology, rape, infanticide, and other nasty stuff.... Read more »

Thornhill, R, & Thornhill, NW. (1992) The evolutionary psychology of men's coercive sexuality. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 363-421. info:/

  • October 7, 2010
  • 08:31 AM

Israel and Palestine are Both Fighting Back...?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

There are three basic schools of thought on the Israel / Palestine thing.Those evil Israelis are out to destroy Palestine, and the Palestinians are just fighting back.Those evil Palestinians are out to destroy Israel, and the Israelis are just fighting back.It's a cycle of violence, where both sides are fighting back against the other.Which one you subscribe to depends mostly on where you were born. I'm not aware of many people who've changed their minds on this issue, perhaps because doing so ........ Read more »

Haushofer J, Biletzki A, & Kanwisher N. (2010) Both sides retaliate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 20921415  

  • October 7, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Non-stop action

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

Actions make projects. Projects make career. Career gives meaning to projects and projects give meaning to actions. But how is that useful?... Read more »

  • October 7, 2010
  • 12:30 AM

Findings: The Causality Implicit in Language

by gameswithwords in Games with Words

Finding Causes

Consider the following:

(1) Sally hates Mary.
a. How likely is this because Sally is the kind of person who hates people?
b. How likely is this because Mary is the kind of person whom people hate?

Sally hates Mary doesn't obviously supply the relevant information, but starting with work by Roger Brown and Debora Fish in 1983, numerous studies have found that people nonetheless rate (a) as more likely than (b). In contrast, people find Sally frightens Mary more indicative of Sal........ Read more »

Garvey, C., & Caramzza, A. (1974) Implicit causality in verbs. Linguistic Inquiry, 459-464. info:/

  • October 6, 2010
  • 08:09 PM

Runeson, the Ames Room and the Irrelevance of Equivalent Configurations

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

One of the most common objections to Gibson's ecological approach to perception is to point to illusions such as the Ames Room as evidence of how perception can be fooled, revealing the assumptions required. Gehringer & Engel (1986) put Gibson to the test against the Ames Room, but their final conclusion (that there was still a residual error, disproving Gibson) was based on a misreading of Gibson and numerous other key problems. Runeson's (1988) rebuttal stands as a model paper for an........ Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 07:21 PM

Cognitive Stimulation Can Increase Creativity

by Maria P. in noustuff

Creativity plays a big part in most areas of everyday life. Sternberg and Lubart (1996) define creativity as the ability to produce work that is original, useful and, generative. Psychologists usually measure creativity with the Alternative Uses (AU) task. In this particular test individuals are asked to list as many possible uses for a common [...]... Read more »

Fink A, Grabner RH, Gebauer D, Reishofer G, Koschutnig K, & Ebner F. (2010) Enhancing creativity by means of cognitive stimulation: evidence from an fMRI study. NeuroImage, 52(4), 1687-95. PMID: 20561898  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:31 PM

Cross-cultural personality change throughout the lifespan: a result of brain development?

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

It's not difficult to readily imagine the rebellious angst ridden teenager or the wise old man of very few words. McCrae, et al.’s 1999 research findings seem to have validated these prototypical depictions. They found that across various cultures (Germany, Italy, Portugal, Croatia, and South Korea) there were higher levels of neuroticism in young adults and decreases in extraversion and openness in older adults. Older adults also showed increase rates of agreeableness and conscientiousness. B........ Read more »

Cohen MX, Young J, Baek JM, Kessler C, & Ranganath C. (2005) Individual differences in extraversion and dopamine genetics predict neural reward responses. Brain research. Cognitive brain research, 25(3), 851-61. PMID: 16289773  

Golimbet, V., Alfimova, M., Gritsenko, I., & Ebstein, R. (2007) Relationship between dopamine system genes and extraversion and novelty seeking. Neuroscience and Behavioral Physiology, 37(6), 601-606. DOI: 10.1007/s11055-007-0058-8  

Reeves SJ, Mehta MA, Montgomery AJ, Amiras D, Egerton A, Howard RJ, & Grasby PM. (2007) Striatal dopamine (D2) receptor availability predicts socially desirable responding. NeuroImage, 34(4), 1782-9. PMID: 17188897  

Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Fowler JS, Logan J, Gatley SJ, MacGregor RR, Schlyer DJ, Hitzemann R, & Wolf AP. (1996) Measuring age-related changes in dopamine D2 receptors with 11C-raclopride and 18F-N-methylspiroperidol. Psychiatry research, 67(1), 11-6. PMID: 8797238  

Roppongi T, Nakamura M, Asami T, Hayano F, Otsuka T, Uehara K, Fujiwara A, Saeki T, Hayasaka S, Yoshida T.... (2010) Posterior orbitofrontal sulcogyral pattern associated with orbitofrontal cortex volume reduction and anxiety trait in panic disorder. Psychiatry and clinical neurosciences, 64(3), 318-26. PMID: 20602731  

Rankin KP, Rosen HJ, Kramer JH, Schauer GF, Weiner MW, Schuff N, & Miller BL. (2004) Right and left medial orbitofrontal volumes show an opposite relationship to agreeableness in FTD. Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders, 17(4), 328-32. PMID: 15178947  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 11:27 AM

Digital Literacy at What Price?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

A cultural and cognitive shift is well underway in terms of how we access and process information via digital media. And a recent study confirms our suspicions: though we are becoming more tech savvy, it may be at the expense of creative and critical thinking. Researchers from the University of Israel (2009), tested digital literacy with a group in 2002. In 2007, they tested this same group again and found statistically significant changes on the test scores.  Is this further proof of the w........ Read more »

Eshet-Alkalai, Y., & Chajut, E. (2009) Changes Over Time in Digital Literacy. CyberPsychology , 12(6), 713-715. DOI: 10.1089/cpb.2008.0264  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 10:53 AM

On savvy and groups

by Rogue in Into Oblivion

A report was published in Science last week titled « Evidence for a collective intelligence factor in the performance of human groups ». They set up the « c factor », for collective intelligence, somehow a parallel of the g (for general intelligence. I told a bit about this after Prof. Haier’s conference at the EMBO meeting). In brief, what the authors report, is that individual intelligence of people constituting a group (a team) is not correlated with the success ........ Read more »

Anita Williams Woolley, Christopher F. Chabris, Alexander Pentland, Nada Hashmi, Thomas W. Malone. (2010) Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups. Science. info:/10.1126/science.1193147

  • October 6, 2010
  • 10:06 AM

Child Psychopaths? Poor eye contact and thoughts on psychiatric disorders.

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

Psychiatric disorders are diagnosed by determining the presence of specific symptoms, mostly without regards for what caused the symptoms. That is, if you have a specific number of symptoms and meet some additional criteria, then by definition, you have the disorder. For the most part, the rest of medicine doesn’t work this way. If you [...]... Read more »

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:26 AM

How to form a habit

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

This has nothing to do with nuns' clothing. Habits are those behaviours that have become automatic, triggered by a cue in the environment rather than by conscious will. Health psychologists are interested for obvious reasons - they want to assist people in breaking unhealthy habits, while helping them adopt healthy ones. Remarkably, although there are plenty of habit-formation theories, before now, no-one had actually studied habits systematically as they are formed.

Phillippa Lally and her tea........ Read more »

Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C., Potts, H., & Wardle, J. (2009) How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.674  

  • October 6, 2010
  • 05:26 AM

The Tragedy of Othello Syndrome

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Benjamin Evett, John Douglas Thompson, and Mirjana Jokovic in the American Repertory Theatre's production of Othello.O! beware, my lord, of jealousy;It is the green-ey'd monster which doth mockThe meat it feeds on. Iago, Act III scene iii of Shakespeare's OthelloOthello syndrome is a rare psychiatric condition marked by morbid, pathological, or delusional jealousy (Miller et al., 2010). It can occur in the context of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, alcoholism, or epilepsy, but sometimes it's ob........ Read more »

Miller, M., Kummerow, A., & Mgutshini, T. (2010) Othello Syndrome. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services, 48(8), 20-27. DOI: 10.3928/02793695-20100701-05  

TODD J, & DEWHURST K. (1955) The Othello syndrome; a study in the psychopathology of sexual jealousy. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 122(4), 367-74. PMID: 13307271  

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