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  • March 12, 2012
  • 01:26 PM

The psychological cost of being a stripper

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

A few days ago I heard an interesting radio debate. Following the news that footballer Mario Balotelli was caught out visiting a strip club, BBC Radio 5 Live held a late-night telephone discussion about the rights and wrongs of ‘gentlemen’s clubs’. A feminist speaker argued that such establishments unfairly degrade women. Opposing her, a female … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • March 12, 2012
  • 12:09 PM

The woman who grew phantom fingers that she'd never physically had

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Inside the human brain there is a map of the body drawn in neural tissue. When a person loses a limb, the neural representation of that body part still exists in the map, and more often than not, it continues to give rise to "phantom" sensations. Sometimes neurons in adjacent areas of the body map invade the tissue that represents the missing limb. This can lead to the curious situation where stimulation of a person's face (or other areas) provokes feelings in their phantom limb, as documented........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2012
  • 11:52 AM

Be all you can be: how military training affects personality

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

Military training intends to change behaviour, drilling the military way into new recruits, and providing incentives for sticking firmly to it. But how enduring are its effects? A recent study suggests that we may exaggerate the degree to which the military 'makes the man' (in this case), but that there are influences that endure well into the labour market.Joshua Jackson of Washington University and a team from the University of Tubingen studied young German men performing their 9 months of mil........ Read more »

  • March 12, 2012
  • 07:02 AM

Are we all Millennials at heart? On cynicism when exposed to deception

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When my now 20 year old son was an adolescent he would often talk back to the TV during advertisements with “Yeah, right!” and I worried (like a good psychologist-parent) that I was raising a “too cynical” child. He grew out of the vocalization but not out of the tendency toward cynicism which I know [...]
No related posts.... Read more »

  • March 11, 2012
  • 12:38 AM

Immigrants Should Be Independent and Proactive to Achieve Better Social Integration

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Previous research has
shown that immigrants who approach, rather than avoid, social stimuli are more
likely to have positive attitudes toward integrating with people in their host
country (Matschke & Sassenberg, 2010). In some recent research, my colleagues and I investigated whether
immigrants’ problem-solving style was also involved in this relationship.

We asked 137 Australian immigrants to complete
measures of approach vs. avoidance orientation and independent vs. interdependent
pr........ Read more »

  • March 10, 2012
  • 08:22 AM

The Case of the Phantom Phantom Finger

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A "phantom limb" is the sensation that an amputated limb (or other body part) is still present.They can be distressing, especially when they're accompanied by pain in the "limb" which is not uncommon. The leading theory of why they happen is that the brain areas that used to receive sensations from the lost appendage respond to input "spilling over" from nearby brain regions.Anyway, a phantom limb is bad enough, but a paper just out reports on the case of a phantom finger that was never there in........ Read more »

  • March 10, 2012
  • 03:52 AM

Why you should watch a horror film before going to the art gallery

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A proun by El Lissitsky

If you're looking to enhance your experience of abstract art, you may want to consider spending some pre-gallery time watching a horror film. Kendall Eskine and his colleagues Natalie Kacinik and Jesse Prinz have investigated how different emotions, as well as physiological arousal, influence people's sublime experiences whilst viewing abstract art. Their finding is that fear, but not happiness or general arousal, makes art seem more sublime.

Eighty-five participants ........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2012
  • 01:53 PM

Speeding Minds, Racy Thoughts.

by Melanie Tannenbaum in PsySociety

Imagine that you’re procrastinating on the Internet, and you decide to watch a music video. Eventually you settle on LMFAO’s hit song, “Sexy And I Know It.” It’s an upbeat song, with a fast beat, fun lyrics, and a tune … Continue reading →... Read more »

Jesse J. Chandler, & Emily Pronin. (2012) Fast Thought Speed Induces Risk Taking. Psychological Science. PMID: 22395129  

  • March 9, 2012
  • 01:46 PM

Have connectionist models killed off beliefs?

by Ben in Critical Science

Connectionist models are widely held to have had a revolutionary impact upon cognitive science (Marcus, 2001). However, they are also employed in a highly controversial doctrine known as ‘eliminative materialism’, which claims the central posits of our common understanding of human psychology, including our conception of ‘beliefs’, are entirely false (Ramsey, Stitch & Garon, 1990). If such arguments are accepted, a radical reorientation is necessary in how we perceive and........ Read more »

  • March 9, 2012
  • 12:42 PM

Friday Fun: Four factors that keep your relationship fun

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

For years, psychologists tried to understand why relationships fail. They targeted dysfunction, focusing on factors like negative emotions and bad communication. But it turns out that not failing is not the same as succeeding when it comes to relationships. Couples who experience a lot of negative interactions are more likely to divorce in the first few years of marriage, but couples who don't experience a lot of positive affect are likely to divorce farther down the road. So how can we make........ Read more »

Keltner D, Young RC, Heerey EA, Oemig C, & Monarch ND. (1998) Teasing in hierarchical and intimate relations. Journal of personality and social psychology, 75(5), 1231-47. PMID: 9866185  

  • March 9, 2012
  • 12:29 PM

A Food for Happiness? Go Fish

by Kari Kenefick in Promega Connections

We’ve heard that omega-3 fatty acids, such as those from various fish sources, have important anti-inflammatory, as well as cardiac health benefits. In fact, WebMD has an Omega-3 Fatty Acid Fact Sheet with so much positive health information that you may add “Buy wild-caught salmon” to your list of things to do on the way home [...]... Read more »

Lafourcade M, Larrieu T, Mato S, Duffaud A, Sepers M, Matias I, De Smedt-Peyrusse V, Labrousse VF, Bretillon L, Matute C.... (2011) Nutritional omega-3 deficiency abolishes endocannabinoid-mediated neuronal functions. Nature neuroscience, 14(3), 345-50. PMID: 21278728  

  • March 9, 2012
  • 12:15 PM

A More Social Explanation of “Cold Hands, Warm Heart”

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

It’s a curious saying: “Cold hands, warm heart.” It proposes that people whose hands are usually cold actually have kind and loving personalities. There is no counterpart as far as I can tell. That is, people with warm hands aren’t reputed to have cold hearts. They’re just regular folk whose body temperatures hover at the [...]

... Read more »

Williams LE, & Bargh JA. (2008) Experiencing physical warmth promotes interpersonal warmth. Science (New York, N.Y.), 322(5901), 606-7. PMID: 18948544  

  • March 9, 2012
  • 11:19 AM

Bees and Humans Crave Novelty for the Same Reasons

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

You might not expect to find much in common between a human brain and the brain of a flying insect that’s happy to sacrifice itself, for its colony’s safety, by tearing off its entire back end in your arm. But certain bees share a personality trait with certain humans. Even if their needs are met at home, they’re compelled to go searching for new experiences. And shared brain chemistry might be what’s driving both of us.

Although the worker bees in a hive are closely related sister........ Read more »

Liang, Z., Nguyen, T., Mattila, H., Rodriguez-Zas, S., Seeley, T., & Robinson, G. (2012) Molecular Determinants of Scouting Behavior in Honey Bees. Science, 335(6073), 1225-1228. DOI: 10.1126/science.1213962  

  • March 9, 2012
  • 09:49 AM

Mind Changer and Game Changer

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

APS Past-President Elizabeth Loftus, University of California, Irving, is the highest-ranking female in the list of top 100 psychologists. She’s gained world-wide renown for her experiments showing that memory, far ... Read more »

Loftus, E.F. (1980) Psychological aspects of courtroom testimony. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 27-37. PMID: 6930909  

  • March 9, 2012
  • 04:46 AM

A Yale Professor's Rampage on PLoS and a Group That Failed To Replicate His Research

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

John Bargh, a Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science at Yale University has written a blog post that’s currently receiving a thorough dressing down by the academic community. The title of the blog post, “Nothing in Their Heads” is a scathing ad-hom attack on a research group that failed to replicate his research. The opening gambit is an attack on, well the entire academic community.... Read more »

Doyen S, Klein O, Pichon CL, & Cleeremans A. (2012) Behavioral priming: it's all in the mind, but whose mind?. PloS one, 7(1). PMID: 22279526  

Bargh, J. Chen, M. Burrows, L. (1996) Automaticity of Social Behaviour: Direct Effects of Trait Construct and Stereotype Activation on Action. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/

  • March 8, 2012
  • 05:12 PM

Gender Differences in Science and Math Abilities? Not In This Matrilineal Society

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Happy International Day of You, women of the world. Unfortunately it remains internationally respectable to argue that science has shown that men are inherently better at math and scientific pursuits than you are. This belief is based on the gender difference in scores on standardized tests ...Read More
... Read more »

Hoffman, M., Gneezy, U., & List, J. (2011) Nurture affects gender differences in spatial abilities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(36), 14786-14788. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015182108  

  • March 8, 2012
  • 07:00 AM

Blood Pressure Pills to Combat Racism: Research

by United Academics in United Academics

Researchers from the Oxford University have found that people consuming a common heart disease drug, propranolol (40 mg), show less implicit racism than those who don’t consume the medicine. The drug acts on the mechanisms that activate fear, which, according to the scientists, is the main cause of racism.... Read more »

Terbeck, S., Kahane, G., McTavish, S., Savulescu, J., Cowen, P., & Hewstone, M. (2012) Propranolol reduces implicit negative racial bias. Psychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1007/s00213-012-2657-5  

  • March 8, 2012
  • 05:07 AM

There's More to Us Than Our Brains - So What Does The Brain Do?

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

I'm not that interested in the brain. It's hard to be this way in modern psychology. Cognitive neuroscience is where it's at, and I think I come off as  a bit of a Luddite when I try to convince people fMRI is a bit of a waste of time. Not caring much about the brain is certainly a sociological reason why ecological psychology doesn't get taken very seriously; we're just the crazy people who don't think there are mental representations, based on some work from the 50s-70s. Surely modern ima........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2012
  • 07:49 PM

High Status Groups are the Most Prototypical

by Mark Rubin in Mark Rubin's Social Psychology Research Blog

Imagine an average, typical person
walking down the street. Imagine them speaking on their mobile phone as they
walk and waving at a friend who rides past on a bike.

Well done! Good imagining!! Now,
what is the gender of your imaginary person? My guess is that it is a man
rather than a woman! Why? Well, there is some evidence that people tend to
perceive men as having a higher status than women and, in a recent research study,
I found that people tend to perceive high status groups as bei........ Read more »

  • March 7, 2012
  • 03:09 PM

Ketamine - Magic Antidepressant, or Expensive Illusion?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Not one but two new papers have appeared from the Carlos Zarate group at NIMH reporting that a single injection of the drug ketamine has rapid, powerful antidepressant effects.One placebo-controlled study found a benefit in depressed bipolar patients who were already on mood stabilizers. The other found benefits in treatment-resistant major depression, though ketamine wasn't compared to placebo that time. Here's the bipolar trial: There have now been several studies finding dramatic antidepressa........ Read more »

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