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  • February 24, 2012
  • 02:57 AM

Neuroscientific interventions for dyslexia: red flags

by Dorothy Bishop in bishopblog

A growing number of interventions for dyslexia and related conditions are advertised on the web. It is difficult for lay people to judge their scientific credibility. I recommend some criteria for warning 'red flags', and illustrate this with an evaluation of Sensory Activation Solutions... Read more »

  • February 24, 2012
  • 01:32 AM

Homeschooling and Creativity

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

I don’t have a strong opinion on Dana Goldstein’s controversial Slate column that argues homeschooling violates progressive values. So many different factors are important during childhood (family income, social skills, health, peer group, etc.) that I think education decisions need to be judged on a case by case basis. There doesn’t seem to be much value in [...]... Read more »

Ritter, S., Damian, R., Simonton, D., van Baaren, R., Strick, M., Derks, J., & Dijksterhuis, A. (2012) Diversifying Experiences Enhance Cognitive Flexibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.02.009  

  • February 23, 2012
  • 11:32 AM

Female Attorneys: Expect (But Don't Accept) a Subtle Bias in the Courtroom

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: I've sometimes been asked, "what is the effect of the attorney's gender to a jury?" It would sure be nice to be able to reply, "it doesn't matter -- a good attorney is a good attorney." But what does the data say? Last week, the Forbes-affiliated "She Negotiates" blog reported on a survey conducted by the consulting firm DecisionQuest of several hundred jury-eligible individuals on the subject of gender in the courtroom. The survey's conclusion: "In the vast majority of ca........ Read more »

Szmer, J.J.; Sarver, T.A., . (2010) Have We Come a Long Way, Baby?: Female Attorneys before the United States Supreme Court . Gender and Politics. info:/

  • February 23, 2012
  • 10:54 AM

Bursting balloons and anxious faces

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

You're at the newsagents on a Saturday afternoon about to buy ten pounds worth of lottery tickets, but your friend's look of alarm makes you think again - the risk of losing all that money for no gain, just isn't worth it. This ability for other people's emotional expressions to affect our own risk taking - a form of "social referencing" - is surprisingly under researched in psychology. There's some developmental research on the topic (babies are more likely to crawl across a raised, transpare........ Read more »

  • February 23, 2012
  • 02:32 AM

Beware Reverse Publication Bias

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

In all the fuss over the pressure for scientists to publish positive results, we may have been missing an equally dangerous kind of publication bias operating in the opposite direction.So say Luijendijk and Koolman in the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology: The incentive to publish negative studies: how beta-blockers and depression got stuck in the publication cycle.The background here is the possible link between beta blockers and depression. Beta blockers are drugs widely used to treat high bloo........ Read more »

  • February 23, 2012
  • 01:01 AM

Which Co-Worker is Most Likely to Beat You Up?

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

Tommy works in the mail room. You’re always very courteous when he comes by, but it’s clear he has greater aspirations. You sense his frustration with his low status and inability to prove his competence is causing something dark to build inside of him. Kevin is the Senior VP of the department. He’s powerful, confident, [...]... Read more »

  • February 22, 2012
  • 01:03 PM

The particular pleasure of scratching an itch on the ankle

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

It's only in recent times that scientists have discovered there are dedicated nerve pathways for communicating the sensation of itch. This troublesome skin signal provides us with a mixed experience. The prickly discomfort of an itch can be agonising. Yet to scratch an itch is one of life's great pleasures. In fact, it often seems that the more intense the itch, the more unreachable its source, then the greater the ultimate pleasure that's derived from finally reaching and clawing at it.

Now ........ Read more »

bin Saif, G., Papoiu, A., Banari, L., McGlone, F., Kwatra, S., Chan, Y., & Yosipovitch, G. (2012) The Pleasurability of Scratching an Itch: A Psychophysical and Topographical Assessment. British Journal of Dermatology. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2012.10826.x  

  • February 22, 2012
  • 12:56 PM

The "Love Hormone" of 2012

by Miss Behavior in The Scorpion and the Frog

Hello and welcome to the Love Hormone Pageant ResultsShow!  You have cast your votes, theresults are in, and the “Love Hormone” of 2012 is… (dramatic pause)… Dopamine!Dopamine is arguably the most exciting of love hormones.A neurotransmitter produced in the brain, dopamine plays a key role in manymotivated behaviors (and love, especiallyfalling in love, involves a lot ofmotivated behavior). It does this mostly through the mesolimbic reward system,which largely consists of dopamine-p........ Read more »

  • February 22, 2012
  • 11:40 AM

Placing Trust in God and Nation

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Guest blogger Olga Antonenko is back with another great post! This time she's talking about the link between God and government.

Does the universe have meaning and structure?  Is there some kind of force or power that controls events and preserves order in our lives?
These may seem like questions for philosophers or theologians, but some social psychologists have chimed in with their own evidence-based opinions. Their answer is a resounding … “Well, people certainly think so!”
Most ........ Read more »

  • February 22, 2012
  • 08:17 AM

What kind of personality helps you engage with work?

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

Job engagement is one type of wellbeing at work, where an engaged worker is one who both feels positive about work and invests a great deal of energy into it. Engagement has taken the stage from the more passive notion of 'job satisfaction', grabbing the attention of organisations and those who study them. Research has focused on how a job's features make it engaging, but another line of study has begun to understand how personal attributes add to the mix.In this vein, Ilke Inceoglu and Peter Wa........ Read more »

Ilke Inceoglu, & Peter Warr. (2012) Personality and Job Engagement . Journal of Personnel Psychology . info:/

  • February 22, 2012
  • 07:30 AM

Combatting Lying on Personality Tests with Interactive Warnings

by Richard Landers in NeoAcademic

A recent article by Landers, Sackett and Tuzsinki[1] investigated the degree to which 32,311 managerial applicants at a nationwide retailer completed a personality test for promotion to or selection into the position. Up to 6% of the sample (nearly 2000 applicants) distorted their responses on the personality test by responding with only the extreme ends [...]
Related articles from NeoAcademic:
GRE: The Personality Test
Personality Drives Us Toward Violent Videogames
The Personality of Immersion........ Read more »

  • February 22, 2012
  • 07:02 AM

Brainpower, Beliefs and Racial Bias: Is this smart research?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Liberals probably did this research. And we’re surprised it hasn’t hit the media in a big way. We have written about research saying conservatives are more driven by fear than are liberals and how liberals and conservatives simply ‘see’ the world differently. So far, though, we haven’t written about which group is smarter. Researchers from friendly [...]
Related posts:
Is racial bias fueling anti-Obama rhetoric?
Simple Jury Persuasion: When to talk about racial bias and when to stay q........ Read more »

  • February 21, 2012
  • 03:22 PM

What is the relation between language and cognition?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

What is the relation between language and cognition? On the one hand, researchers like Noam Chomsky thought of language as an independent function with its own rules. However, other people thought that language as a system is embedded in cognition and subject to all models of cognition. ... Read more »

Hauser MD, Chomsky N, & Fitch WT. (2002) The faculty of language: what is it, who has it, and how did it evolve?. Science (New York, N.Y.), 298(5598), 1569-79. PMID: 12446899  

  • February 21, 2012
  • 09:30 AM

Being active while watching television and other oxymorons

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Sedentary behaviour is a growing problem in our society, and one that is now getting the media attention it deserves. It even has it’s own organization – the Sedentary Behaviour Research Network. Some researchers have tried to tackle this issue by promoting exercise while watching TV, although this approach has its critics. Part of the problem with [...]... Read more »

  • February 21, 2012
  • 06:50 AM

Analysing your stakeholders

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

Here is another bit of management theory that could be usefully applied to careers work… Many career theories address the influence of other people on an individual’s career choice. For example, Community Interaction theory looks at the mechanisms by which peers, parents, ethnic groups, etc., influence individual career decisions. Clients often have to take into [...]... Read more »

  • February 21, 2012
  • 02:11 AM

The Stigma(s) of Mental Illness

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Fighting "the stigma of mental illness" is big business at the moment. But does "the stigma" really exist?As I said back in 2010 :There is a stigma of schizophrenia, and there's a stigma of depression, etc. but they're not the same stigma. We're told it's a myth that "the mentally ill are violent" - [but] no-one thinks depressed or anorexic people are violent. They think (roughly) that people with psychosis are. They have other equally silly opinions about each diagnosis, but there's no monolith........ Read more »

  • February 21, 2012
  • 12:36 AM

How Believing a System Can Change Helps You Learn to Hate It

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

In general, people try to avoid hearing bad things about themselves. When the bad things are about characteristics that can’t be changed, people really try to avoid hearing them. In light of this behavior, Ohio State psychologists India Johnson and Kentaro Fujita posed an interesting question: If “changeability” influences whether we choose to see negative information about [...]... Read more »

  • February 20, 2012
  • 02:41 PM

Will We Ever Learn to Let Go?

by Eric Horowitz in peer-reviewed by my neurons

This AP story about the movement to preserve old barns caught my eye: The aging relics hold a certain romance for many, and interest is growing in numerous states in saving or at least documenting the rickety barns before they become victims of age and urban sprawl, the cost of maintenance too high when they no [...]... Read more »

Routledge, C., Arndt, J., Wildschut, T., Sedikides, C., Hart, C., Juhl, J., Vingerhoets, A., & Schlotz, W. (2011) The past makes the present meaningful: Nostalgia as an existential resource. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 101(3), 638-652. DOI: 10.1037/a0024292  

  • February 20, 2012
  • 02:36 PM

The Psychology of Hazing

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Would you join a new club if you knew it meant you had to sing an embarrassing song in public, do someone else’s laundry for them, or make prank phone calls? What if joining the club meant that you had to lay still as someone poured boiling water over you, drink alcohol until you threw up, eat dog food, have your physical flaws marked with red pen, or go on an elephant walk? I imagine most of us are strongly shaking our heads “no” as we read this second list of horrors. Yet each year peopl........ Read more »

Aronson, E., & Mills, J. (1959) The effect of severity of initiation on liking for a group. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 59(2), 177-181. DOI: 10.1037/h0047195  

  • February 20, 2012
  • 11:04 AM

Don't Be Too Sure About Face Reading Your Jury

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: If you are in court with a sitting jury, you can’t help but watch them for facial responses. Whether you are at the lectern, counsel table, the witness box, or the gallery, it is irresistible to observe the panel and it is inevitable to form conclusions about their attitudes toward what they’re hearing. But how much can you trust that face reading ability? We have heard about individuals with the power to assess intention and separate truth from lies by paying careful ........ Read more »

Barrett, L. (2011) Was Darwin Wrong About Emotional Expressions?. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(6), 400-406. DOI: 10.1177/0963721411429125  

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