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  • November 10, 2010
  • 09:37 PM

Tetris as a “cognitive vaccine” against traumatic flashbacks?

by Maria P. in noustuff

Everyone is familiar with Tetris. This simple, but addictive game has been studied quite a few times by researchers (see older post). A group from the University of Oxford investigated whether Tetris could be used as a “cognitive vaccine” against flashback development after trauma exposure. Flashbacks are one of the most persistent symptoms of Post Traumatic [...]... Read more »

  • November 10, 2010
  • 12:08 PM

Can Mozart Increase Your Spatial Ability?

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

Ever heard of the Mozart effect? You may have heard that listening to Mozart can increase intelligence. Unfortunately, this is not entirely true. The Mozart effect demonstrates that listening to Mozart can enhance spatial reasoning. However, many experiments have compared different types of music to Mozart and have found no difference in the ability to enhance spatial reasoning. This indicates that something about music increases performance on spatial tasks. Could it be arousal from the mu........ Read more »

Jones, M., West, S., & Estell, D. (2006) The Mozart effect: Arousal, preference, and spatial performance. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, S(1), 26-32. DOI: 10.1037/1931-3896.S.1.26  

  • November 10, 2010
  • 09:35 AM

Blinded by Border Bias

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

State borders are clearly shown on maps, but quite often the only tangible indication of one is a sign. Yet borders are important constructs: A recent study published in Psychological ... Read more »

Mishra, A., & Mishra, H. (2010) Border Bias: The Belief That State Borders Can Protect Against Disasters. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS. PMID: 20943938  

  • November 10, 2010
  • 06:13 AM

If-then plans help protect us from the 'to hell with it' effect

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

You're probably familiar with what I call the 'to hell with it' effect. It's when (as demonstrated by lots of research) a bad mood causes us to take risky decisions or engage in risky behaviour. Like when you're feeling down and you drive home dangerously fast or go out and get drunk. Now a team led by Thomas Webb at the University of Sheffield says that we can protect ourselves from this effect by forming 'if-then' implementation decisions in advance. These are self-made plans which state that ........ Read more »

Webb TL, Sheeran P, Totterdell P, Miles E, Mansell W, & Baker S. (2010) Using implementation intentions to overcome the effect of mood on risky behaviour. The British journal of social psychology / the British Psychological Society. PMID: 21050527  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 09:20 AM

Establishing the Role of Perception in Coordination: Proprioception and Action Measures

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

Previous research had established that relative phase could be perceived visually: but actual actions entail proprioception. In addition, the judgement experiments are not the same as movements. ... Read more »

Wilson, A., Bingham, G., & Craig, J. (2003) Proprioceptive Perception of Phase Variability. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 29(6), 1179-1190. DOI: 10.1037/0096-1523.29.6.1179  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 09:04 AM

The Upside of Anger

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

When we think of anger, our thoughts naturally turn to unpleasant scenes and negative emotions. We generally consider showing anger to be a sign of weakness, to be avoided unless ... Read more »

Aarts, H, Ruys, K.I., Veling, H., Renes, R.A., de Groot, J.H., van Nunen, A.M., & Geertjes S. (2010) The art of anger: reward context turns avoidance responses to anger-related objects into approach. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS. PMID: 20855898  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 09:00 AM

How Do Video Games Motivate People? (VG Series Part 9/10)

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

Part 9 of my series examining research evidence for the value of video games. This time: a model for understanding the potential of video games to motivate people.... Read more »

Przybylski, A., Rigby, C., & Ryan, R. (2010) A motivational model of video game engagement. Review of General Psychology, 14(2), 154-166. DOI: 10.1037/a0019440  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 08:41 AM

Effect of musical training on school performance: Are all those music lessons worth it?

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

Schools these days have gotten increasingly competitive. And with this increased competition, every parent is looking to give their child an edge so their that they can get into the most prestigious and exclusive academic program. Now I’m not sure if measures as extreme as holding headphones up to a pregnant mother’s stomach to play Bach or Mozart for the baby is the best way to go, but one thing that has been shown to give your child a boost in overall school performance is music le........ Read more »

Wetter, O., Koerner, F., & Schwaninger, A. (2008) Does musical training improve school performance?. Instructional Science, 37(4), 365-374. DOI: 10.1007/s11251-008-9052-y  

  • November 9, 2010
  • 05:07 AM

Identity crisis

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

One of the most influential thinkers in the field of developmental psychology was Erik Erikson. Originally a pupil of Freud, he made a name for himself with his work on the development of human social identity. I read about Erikson’s theories when studying for my professional qualification, but most emphasis on developmental theory in careers [...]... Read more »

  • November 9, 2010
  • 03:25 AM

Genes To Brains To Minds To... Murder?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A group of Italian psychiatrists claim to explain How Neuroscience and Behavioral Genetics Improve Psychiatric Assessment: Report on a Violent Murder Case.The paper presents the horrific case of a 24 year old woman from Switzerland who smothered her newborn son to death immediately after giving birth in her boyfriend's apartment. After her arrest, she claimed to have no memory of the event. She had a history of multiple drug abuse, including heroin, from the age of 13. Forensic psychiatrists wer........ Read more »

Rigoni D, Pellegrini S, Mariotti V, Cozza A, Mechelli A, Ferrara SD, Pietrini P, & Sartori G. (2010) How neuroscience and behavioral genetics improve psychiatric assessment: report on a violent murder case. Frontiers in behavioral neuroscience, 160. PMID: 21031162  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 04:36 PM

The Key to Everlasting Love

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Read on to find out what couples can avoid doing in order to make love last a lifetime.... Read more »

Acevedo, B., & Aron, A. (2009) Does a long-term relationship kill romantic love?. Review of General Psychology, 13(1), 59-65. DOI: 10.1037/a0014226  

Hendrick, C., & Hendrick, S. (1986) A theory and method of love. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(2), 392-402. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3514.50.2.392  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 01:40 PM

Why bother with happiness? Broaden and build theory & Chronic pain

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Readers may be wondering why I’ve come over all happy clappy and jolly joy germ – well, I realised I’d been writing a lot about experimental and theoretical factors found to influence vulnerability to chronic pain, but I had been writing less about ways to help people cope more effectively with chronic pain. I do … Read more... Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 10:24 AM

Improvement of Memory in Alzheimer’s Patients Through Music

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

According to the United States Alzheimer’s Association, over 5.3 million people in the US are currently suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is a chronic and progressive form of dementia in which symptoms begin as mild memory impairment and progress into loss of conversational ability, motor function, speech, and the ability to eat. As shown in the illustration below, the disease “eats” neurons in the brain, causing the symptoms discussed above.... Read more »

Simmons-Stern NR, Budson AE, & Ally BA. (2010) Music as a memory enhancer in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychologia, 48(10), 3164-7. PMID: 20452365  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 09:26 AM

Fan Identity and Team Choice

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

How does one become a fan? Choose an allegiance? Decide that you’re going to wear bright green, or purple and gold, or paint your face orange and black? In many cases, these allegiances are decided for us—handed down via familial loyalties or decided by geographic boundaries. I raised this question on Twitter a few weeks ago, and the results all indicated that team alliance is linked to one’s point-of-entry into fandom: if you begin watching Team A and learning about the sport via Team A,........ Read more »

Miller, Michael. (1997) American Football: The Rationalization of the Irrational. International Journal of Politics, Culture, and Society, 11(1), 101-127. info:/

Schmitt, R., & Leonard II , W. (1986) Immortalizing the Self Through Sport. American Journal of Sociology, 91(5), 1088. DOI: 10.1086/228387  

  • November 8, 2010
  • 05:07 AM

For group creativity, two narcissists are better than one

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

"God is really an artist, like me ... I am God, I am God, I am God." Pablo PicassoSome experts have suggested there's a link between narcissism and creativity. They've wondered if the self-obsession and self-belief create the necessary time and space for originality to flourish. On the contrary, Jack Goncalo at Cornell University has just published results from three experiments which show that narcissists on their own aren't any more creative than usual, even though they think they are. However........ Read more »

  • November 8, 2010
  • 02:27 AM

Bruno Bettelheim: A Life of Care & Controversy

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

Bruno Bettelheim is both a controversial and fascinating individual. Below is a Horizon documentary about Bettelheim from 1986. It gives an excellent overview of his life and work. Bettelheim is well-known for his work at the The Orthogenic School. However, Bettelheim is also known as a controversial character. Some suggest his treatment of children in his care was questionable, others maintain he lied about aspects of his past. As well as this, his death by suicide, although sad, seems to ........ Read more »

Angres, R. (1990) Who, really, was Bruno Bettelheim?. Commentary, 90(4), 26-30. info:/

Ekstein, R. (1991) Bruno Bettelheim (1903-1990): Obituary. American Psychologist, 46(10), 1080-1080. DOI: 10.1037/0003-066X.46.10.1080  

  • November 7, 2010
  • 01:37 PM

Happy happy! Joy joy! Increasing positive experiences to improve mood

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

I am sure there will be people who read today’s post who will feel like giving me a bit of a slapping. “How”, they will say, “Are you supposed to get happy when you’re feeling bad?” And I would have been one of these people a few years ago too, given my history of low … Read more... Read more »

  • November 7, 2010
  • 01:53 AM

Boys Equal to Girls in Math Performance

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

A big meta-analysis by Lindberg et al. (2010) tells the truth yet again: given the right conditions, boys and girls perform equally well in math. What the authors (2010) wonder, and I do too, is how come such stridently sexist stereotypes persist about the capabilities of females to do math, when in fact there is no substance whatsoever to promulgate or sustain such stereotypes? Liberating news for women who like to count and for men, who like me, love poetry…... Read more »

Lindberg, S., Hyde, J., Petersen, J., & Linn, M. (2010) New trends in gender and mathematics performance: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 136(6), 1123-1135. DOI: 10.1037/a0021276  

  • November 6, 2010
  • 12:35 PM

Tracking Ecstasy Abuse with Google Trends

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

I’ve been interested in the possibility of using Google Trends to monitor patterns of drug abuse in the U.S. and throughout the world.  My hypothesis is that drug abuse patterns will be reflected by the number and geographic distribution of Google searches for a drug key word. Google Trends monitors the number of search engine key words.  Countries and cities are ranked based on the relative number of searches.  If a country or city has more than their expected number of searche........ Read more »

  • November 5, 2010
  • 05:40 PM

Why Genes Aren't Enough to Create a Personality

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Psychiatrists see a lot of people who are, to use the technical term, screwed up. Psychiatrists' talk, then, often turns around curing, or ameliorating, or at least preventing "bad" behaviors and feelings—drug addiction, violence, learning disabilities, crippling anxieties and the like. And a number of psychiatrists sounded that note at the University of Massachusetts conference on behavioral epigenetics last weekend. But throughout the proceedings, there was an undertow pullin........ Read more »

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