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  • September 15, 2010
  • 05:12 PM

A Better Way to Predict Epidemics?

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Your friends likely have more friends than you do. Please don't take that personally. As the sociologist Scott L. Feld was first to point out, this is simply a mathematical fact about human ties. (Satoshi Kanazawa nicely explains it here.) This "friendship paradox" may have medical uses: According to the network theorists Nicholas A. Christakis and James H. Fowler, it can made into a tool that will track and predict disease outbreaks much earlier than do current methods.
In study publ........ Read more »

  • September 15, 2010
  • 02:52 PM

Public perceptions of energy consumption and savings

by Greg Laden in Greg Laden's Blog

There are two quick and fairly easy approaches to reducing US emissions of CO2 by several percent. These reduction would be at the household level, possibly decreasing the household cost of energy by between 20 and 30 percent (or more, depending on the household) and decreasing national total CO2 emissions by around 10% or so.

But these approaches are nearly impossible to implement. Why? Because people are ignorant and selfish. Read the rest of this post... | Read the comments on this post........ Read more »

Attari, S., DeKay, M., Davidson, C., & Bruine de Bruin, W. (2010) From the Cover: Public perceptions of energy consumption and savings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(37), 16054-16059. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1001509107  

  • September 15, 2010
  • 11:50 AM

Language skills, aggression, and peer rejection in elementary school.

by Nestor Lopez-Duran PhD in Child-Psych

This week wanted to write about a study that examined the association between language skills, externalizing behaviors (e.g., aggression, defiance, etc), and peer rejection in elementary school. We know that language delays have many negative consequences for the children’s academic and social functioning. One common consequence is an increase in externalizing behaviors. That is, on [...]... Read more »

  • September 15, 2010
  • 09:54 AM

The Best Way to Search for your Lost Dog

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

Which “Missing Pet” sign would be most helpful in a search? It is hard to say since humans use both specific visual detail (poster with picture) and general semantic knowledge (poster with text) when searching for an object, or in this case a missing animal.  The study below examines whether general semantic knowledge or specific [...]... Read more »

  • September 15, 2010
  • 06:51 AM

Modern Tract-Tracing for Historical Psychosurgery

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Figure 3 (Schoene-Bake et al., 2010). Intersection of connectivity maps of Anterior Capsulotomy (red), Anterior Cingulotomy (blue), and Subcaudate Tractotomy (green) tracking results. Overlap of AC and ACT shown with magenta, AC and SCT in yellow, and ACT and SCT in cyan. The white area shows overlapping of AC, ACT, and SCT mean probability-tracking maps in axial (a), coronal (b), and sagittal (c) slices. Acg, anterior cingulate gyrus; ATR, anterior thalamic radiation; CST, corticospinal tract; ........ Read more »

Schoene-Bake, J., Parpaley, Y., Weber, B., Panksepp, J., Hurwitz, T., & Coenen, V. (2010) Tractographic Analysis of Historical Lesion Surgery for Depression. Neuropsychopharmacology. DOI: 10.1038/npp.2010.132  

  • September 15, 2010
  • 06:44 AM

why millions of deaths can be “just” a statistic…

by Greg Fish in weird things

According to Eddie Izzard, if you kill someone, that’s murder and you go to jail for the rest of your life. If you kill ten people, you’re sent to Texas where the officials hit you with a brick on the head. Kill twenty people, and the judge will throw you into a mental hospital where [...]... Read more »

  • September 15, 2010
  • 05:22 AM

The ‘Tigger’ effect – resilience & emotion-regulation

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Tigger. That orange-furred, black-striped, tiger character originally introduced in A. A. Milne’s book The House at Pooh Corner. Tigger is a very bouncy fella. Tigger is amongst the most exuberant creatures in the 100 Acre Wood, and his most stand out and well-known feature is his very springy tail. Tigger has resilience. The wonderful thing … Read more... Read more »

BERKING, M., WUPPERMAN, P., REICHARDT, A., PEJIC, T., DIPPEL, A., & ZNOJ, H. (2008) Emotion-regulation skills as a treatment target in psychotherapy☆. Behaviour Research and Therapy. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2008.08.005  

  • September 15, 2010
  • 04:52 AM

Why are women chosen to lead organisations in a crisis?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The majority of major corporations and countries are headed by men. When women are appointed to leadership positions, it tends to be when an organisation is in crisis - a phenomenon known as the glass cliff. Recent examples include: the appointment of Lynn Elsenhans as CEO of the oil company Sunoco in 2008, just after their shares had halved in value; and the election of Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir as prime minister of Iceland, just after her country's economy had been crippled by the global reces........ Read more »

  • September 14, 2010
  • 06:00 PM

…Oh sorry, I totally phased out there

by Rift in Psycasm

[Wherein our Hero explores his daydreaming behaviour, and just how it might impact upon his marginally more objective reality.] Someone once told me that a study concluded that students who daydream often in class actually do better than students who daydream less frequently. He argued that this is because those who daydream in class aren’t [...]... Read more »

  • September 14, 2010
  • 04:46 PM

The Neurocircuitry of Anorexia Nervosa

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Walter Kaye, M.D., Director of the Eating Disorders Treatment and Research Program at the University of California, San Diego presented a Frontiers in Neuroscience  lecture on September, 14, 2010.   The presentation was titled: “ Is anorexia nervosa an eating disorder? New insights into puzzling symptoms”.  The presentation highlighted some his recent research that has been summarized in the manuscript cited at the end of this blog post.Dr. Kaye noted that eating disorder........ Read more »

  • September 14, 2010
  • 03:40 PM

What to do when feeling low, grumpy or fatigued…

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

Yesterday I wrote about emotion regulation and how this is seen as an essential part of achieving good mental health.  Emotion regulation is about being able to monitor, judge, and work with emotional responses in order to achieve goals. People with chronic pain often experience a range of negative emotions – pain itself is characterised … Read more... Read more »

BERKING, M., WUPPERMAN, P., REICHARDT, A., PEJIC, T., DIPPEL, A., & ZNOJ, H. (2008) Emotion-regulation skills as a treatment target in psychotherapy☆. Behaviour Research and Therapy. DOI: 10.1016/j.brat.2008.08.005  

  • September 14, 2010
  • 12:46 PM

Relationships get better with age

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Recent studies show that older people have better relationships. What is the secret to their success? ... Read more »

  • September 14, 2010
  • 11:06 AM

Stopping Antidepressants: Not So Fast

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

People who quit antidepressants slowly, by gradually decreasing the dose, are much less likely to suffer a relapse, according to Baldessarini et al. in the American Journal of Psychiatry.They describe a large sample (400) of patients from Sardinia, Italy, who had responded well to antidepressants, and then stopped taking them. The antidepressants had been prescribed for either depression, or panic attacks.People who quit suddenly (over 1-7 days) were more likely to relapse, and relapsed sooner, ........ Read more »

Baldessarini RJ, Tondo L, Ghiani C, & Lepri B. (2010) Illness risk following rapid versus gradual discontinuation of antidepressants. The American journal of psychiatry, 167(8), 934-41. PMID: 20478876  

  • September 14, 2010
  • 10:50 AM

Video Games Improving Vision

by Psychology 379 bloggers in Cognition & the Arts

We all grew up hearing from our parents that we had to eat our carrots to have good eyesight. And yes, my brother and I once ate a whole bag of carrots thinking we’d be able to see in the dark. Just in case you’re tempted, it doesn’t work – no amount of carrots will [...]... Read more »

  • September 14, 2010
  • 10:00 AM

What Does Video Game Research Really Say? (Part 2/10)

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

Part 2 of my series examining research evidence for the value of video games. This time: a spherical model of personality for predicting video game violence.... Read more »

  • September 14, 2010
  • 09:25 AM

Learning a Novel Coordination; Things Get Interesting

by Andrew Wilson in Notes from Two Scientific Psychologists

The dynamic pattern approach to studying coordinated rhythmic movement makes a key prediction: that learning a novel coordination close to 0° should be harder than learning one close to 180°. Two papers tested this hypothesis and found conclusive evidence against it.... Read more »

  • September 14, 2010
  • 05:49 AM

What are participants really up to when they complete an online questionnaire?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Internet surveys are an increasingly popular method for collecting data in psychology, for obvious reasons, but they have some serious shortcomings. How do you know if a participant read the instructions properly? What if they clicked through randomly, completed it drunk or maybe their cat walked across the keyboard? Now a possible solution has arrived in the form of a tool, called the UserActionTracer (UAT), developed by Stefan Stieger and Ulf-Dietrich Reips.

The UAT is a piece of code that te........ Read more »

  • September 14, 2010
  • 05:33 AM

Difficult decisions

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

With all the various ways in which the decision-making process could go wrong, it's a surprise that anyone ever makes any good decisions. But what exactly could go wrong? Does anyone have a list?... Read more »

Gati, I., Krausz, M., & Osipow, S. (1996) A taxonomy of difficulties in career decision making. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 43(4), 510-526. DOI: 10.1037/0022-0167.43.4.510  

  • September 14, 2010
  • 02:45 AM

Here's Why Bush Had Better Luck Than Obama In Fighting Anti-Muslim Bigotry

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

In the White House, can a white conservative do more to restrain anti-Islamic bigotry than an African-American progressive? Writing on the anniversary of 9/11, a couple of writers Saturday argued that this is so. Studies on the psychology of prejudice suggest they're right.
Chicken crusaders—Americans who have nothing to fear from Muslims, yet feel free to attack and insult them—are becoming a global problem, as their hatred provokes mirror-image rhetoric in the Muslim worl........ Read more »

  • September 13, 2010
  • 10:05 PM

Using eyetracking to investigate language comprehension in autism

by Jon Brock in Cracking the Enigma

In her classic book, Autism: Explaining the Enigma, Uta Frith coined the term 'weak central coherence' to describe the tendency of people with autism to focus on details at the expense of pulling together different sources of information and seeing the big picture. Frith described this as the "red thread" running through many of the symptoms of autism, including both the difficulties with social interaction and the strengths in attention to detail.

Frith argued that the ability to pull togeth........ Read more »

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