Last week I vowed to pay more attention to replication in psychology experiments. Repeated experiments are an important test of whether a finding is "really out there" or an accident, so, as a number of psychologists have been saying lately to the public, it is kind of a problem that many ...Read More
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Jennifer V. Fayard, Amandeep K. Bassi, Daniel M. Bernstein, & Brent W. Roberts. (2009) Is cleanliness next to godliness? Dispelling old wives’ tales: Failure to replicate Zhong and Liljenquist (2006). Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis, 6(2), 21-29. info:other/1539-8714
Zhong CB, & Liljenquist K. (2006) Washing away your sins: threatened morality and physical cleansing. Science (New York, N.Y.), 313(5792), 1451-2. PMID: 16960010
It's tough being an atheist dad at Christmas. I mean, the kids love the all the stories, the sense of drama, the sense of community and of being part of something big. They also love to think they have a magical friend who cares about them and watches over them.
But I still feel awkward looking them in the eyes and telling them that Santa is real. I guess it's the incorrigible rationalist in me. Arty types probably have it easier.
Well, here's a study that I was hoping would salve my conscienc........ Read more »
Subbotsky E, Hysted C, & Jones N. (2010) Watching films with magical content facilitates creativity in children. Perceptual and motor skills, 111(1), 261-77. PMID: 21058605
A paper just out reports on the changing patterns of treatment for depression in the USA, over the period from 1998 to 2007.The headline news is that increased: the overall rate of people treated for some form of "depression" went from 2.37% to 2.88% per year. That's an increase of 21%, which is not trivial, but it's much less than the increase in the previous decade: it was just 0.73% in 1987.But the increase was concentrated in some groups of people.Americans over 50 accounted for the bulk of ........ Read more »
Marcus SC, & Olfson M. (2010) National trends in the treatment for depression from 1998 to 2007. Archives of general psychiatry, 67(12), 1265-73. PMID: 21135326
No matter how good technology is, we can often tell the difference between a human face and an animated face. Being able to tell the difference allows us to pay ... Read more »
Looser, C.E., & Wheatley, T. (2010) The tipping point of animacy: how, when, and where we perceive life in a face. Psychological Science, , 21.(12), 1854-62. PMID: 21097720
Two articles to be published in Trends in Cognitive Sciences debate the merits of approaching cognition from different ends of the microscope. The central issue is which approach is the most productive for explaining phenomena in cognition. Structured probabilistic takes a 'top-down' approach while Emergentism takes a 'bottom-up' approach.... Read more »
Griffiths, T., Chater, N., Kemp, C., Perfors, A., & Tenenbaum, J. (2010) Probabilistic models of cognition: exploring representations and inductive biases. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(8), 357-364. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.05.004
McClelland, J., Botvinick, M., Noelle, D., Plaut, D., Rogers, T., Seidenberg, M., & Smith, L. (2010) Letting structure emerge: connectionist and dynamical systems approaches to cognition. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(8), 348-356. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.06.002
Zeil J, Hofmann MI, & Chahl JS. (2003) Catchment areas of panoramic snapshots in outdoor scenes. Journal of the Optical Society of America. A, Optics, image science, and vision, 20(3), 450-69. PMID: 12630831
As much as I support vaccines, I see the short term consequences. Vaccines can be painful. Kids don’t like them, and parents don’t like seeing their children suffer. That this transient pain is the most common consequence of gaining protection from fatal illnesses seems like a fair trade-off to me. But that’s not the case [...]... Read more »
Taddio A, Appleton M, Bortolussi R, Chambers C, Dubey V, Halperin S, Hanrahan A, Ipp M, Lockett D, Macdonald N.... (2010) Reducing the pain of childhood vaccination: an evidence-based clinical practice guideline (summary). CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal , 182(18), 1989-95. PMID: 21098067
'Because you're worth it!' L'Oreal's catchphrase taps into the narcissistic zeitgeist. But it also begs the question: Are we at risk of becoming obsessed with feeling good about ourselves? According to new research by Brad Bushman and his co-workers, not only do US college students have higher self-esteem than previous generations, they now value self-esteem boosts more than sex, food, receiving a salary payment, seeing a friend or having an alcoholic drink.
Bushman's team made their findi........ Read more »
Bushman, B., Moeller, S., & Crocker, J. (2010) Sweets, Sex, or Self-Esteem? Comparing the Value of Self-Esteem Boosts with Other Pleasant Rewards. Journal of Personality. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2010.00712.x
Imagine for a moment, that you have been thrown back into the Ellisonesque world of the 1980’s, with a delightful perm and even better trousers. One fragile Monday morning, you are sitting innocently enough at your cubicle, when your boss comes to you with the summary of a report you have never read, on a [...]... Read more »
Ramscar, M.,, Yarlett, D.,, Dye, M.,, Denny, K.,, & Thorpe, K. (2010) The Effects of Feature-Label-Order and their implications for symbolic learning. Cognitive Science, 34(6), 909-957. info:/10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01092.x
Part of an ongoing series examining the empirical support for Simon Baron-Cohen's "extreme male brain" theory of autism... Read more »
Falter CM, Plaisted KC, & Davis G. (2008) Visuo-spatial processing in autism--testing the predictions of extreme male brain theory. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 38(3), 507-515. PMID: 17674175
Finegan, J., Niccols, G., & Sitarenios, G. (1992) Relations between prenatal testosterone levels and cognitive abilities at 4 years. Developmental Psychology, 28(6), 1075-1089. DOI: 10.1037/0012-16126.96.36.1995
An interesting survey of drivers in California provides some data about beliefs in the dangers of phone conversations and texting while driving as well as data about actual self-reported behavior.... Read more »
Strayer, D., Drews, F., & Crouch, D. (2006) A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver. Human Factors: The Journal of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 48(2), 381-391. DOI: 10.1518/001872006777724471
Things are not how they used to be: there are male nurses, Stay-at-home dads and female crane operators. Many people hold jobs that aren’t traditionally associated with their genders. However, ... Read more »
Brescoll, V.L., Dawson, E., & Uhlmann, E.L. (2010) Hard won and easily lost: the fragile status of leaders in gender-stereotype-incongruent occupations. Psychological Science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS, 21(11), 1640-2. PMID: 20876882
"Most people are other people," Oscar Wilde wrote. "Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." You get the feeling, somehow, that he thought this was a bad thing. Seems likelier that it's just an inevitable fact about a species whose members ...Read More
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Ireland, M., & Pennebaker, J. (2010) Language style matching in writing: Synchrony in essays, correspondence, and poetry. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 99(3), 549-571. DOI: 10.1037/a0020386
Stephens, G., Silbert, L., & Hasson, U. (2010) Speaker-listener neural coupling underlies successful communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1008662107
Low-functioning autistic children tend to be most violent when they are anxious or excited.... Read more »
Bronsard, G., Botbol, M., & Tordjman, S. (2010) Aggression in Low Functioning Children and Adolescents with Autistic Disorder. PLoS ONE, 5(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014358
Part of an ongoing series examining the evidence for Simon Baron-Cohen's "extreme male brain" theory of autism... Read more »
Lutchmaya, S., Baron-Cohen, S., & Raggatt, P. (2001) Foetal testosterone and vocabulary size in 18- and 24-month-old infants. Infant Behavior and Development, 24(4), 418-424. DOI: 10.1016/S0163-6383(02)00087-5
Here’s a simple exercise. Count the number of times the letter ‘A’ appears in the sentences below. Easy enough, but, there's a catch. You have to do it without reading the words.
One day, after Little Red Riding hood woke up, mother called her into the kitchen and handed her a basket of cakes and pastries. “Take these to grandmother. She's sick, and perhaps these cakes will make her feel better.”
If you have been reading for years, you probably found it difficult, if not imp........ Read more »
Baker CI, Liu J, Wald LL, Kwong KK, Benner T, & Kanwisher N. (2007) Visual word processing and experiential origins of functional selectivity in human extrastriate cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(21), 9087-92. PMID: 17502592
Anosognosia is an intriguing neuropsychological syndrome in which a patient with one or more paralysed limbs denies they have anything wrong with them. In a new investigation, Aikaterini Fotopoulou and her colleagues have shown that some patients fitting this description have a residual, sub-conscious awareness of their disability.
The researchers recruited 14 brain-damaged patients with a completely paralysed left arm, half of whom denied their paralysis (ie they had anosognosia). Next, a........ Read more »
Fotopoulou, A., Pernigo, S., Maeda, R., Rudd, A., & Kopelman, M. (2010) Implicit awareness in anosognosia for hemiplegia: unconscious interference without conscious re-representation. Brain, 133(12), 3564-3577. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awq233
As a positivist research scientist I've been struggling with the whole User Experience (UX) space for a long time, because to me it just seems a bit - well - 'fluffy'.... Read more »
Law, Effie Lai-Chong and Roto, Virpi and Hassenzahl, Marc and Vermeeren, Arnold P.O.S. and Kort, Joke. (2009) Understanding, scoping and defining user experience: a survey approach. Proceedings of the 27th international conference on Human factors in computing systems, 1(1), 719-728. info:/10.1145/1518701.1518813
‘Love is in the air’: Effects of songs with romantic lyrics on compliance with a courtship request From Psychology of Music If you’re having trouble getting a date, French researchers suggest that picking the right soundtrack could improve the odds. There’s plenty of research indicating that the media affects our behavior but this study specifically [...]... Read more »
Gueguen, N., Jacob, C., & Lamy, L. (2010) 'Love is in the air': Effects of songs with romantic lyrics on compliance with a courtship request. Psychology of Music, 38(3), 303-307. DOI: 10.1177/0305735609360428
by whooke in The Psychology of Beauty
It’s been too long since I have made regular postings to the Beauty Blog. I am happy to report that I am back and ready to go! Just to get started, I have decided that every so often I will be revisiting the topics of earlier postings, emphasizing how subsequent research supports – and does [...]... Read more »
Cloutier, J., Heatherton, T., Whalen, P., & Kelley, W. (2008) Are Attractive People Rewarding? Sex Differences in the Neural Substrates of Facial Attractiveness. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20(6), 941-951. DOI: 10.1162/jocn.2008.20062
Plassmann H, O'Doherty JP, & Rangel A. (2010) Appetitive and aversive goal values are encoded in the medial orbitofrontal cortex at the time of decision making. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 30(32), 10799-808. PMID: 20702709
Tsukiura T, & Cabeza R. (2010) Shared brain activity for aesthetic and moral judgments: implications for the Beauty-is-Good stereotype. Social cognitive and affective neuroscience. PMID: 20231177
Say you want to teach a toddler what a cup is. One toddler sees three nearly identical cups, while another sees a tea cup, a sippy cup and a Styrofoam ... Read more »
Perry, L.K., Samuelson, L.K., Malloy, L.M., & Schiffer, R.N. (2010) Learn locally, think globally: Exemplar variability supports higher-order generalization and word learning. Psychological Science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS, 21(12), 1894-902. PMID: 21106892
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