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  • June 16, 2011
  • 04:44 AM

Toddlers won't bother learning from you if you're daft

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Infants of just 14 months already have a nonsense-detector that alerts them to unreliable people, from whom they'll no longer bother taking lessons.

Diane Poulin-Dubois demonstrated this in a study with 60 infants. In one "reliable" condition, the researcher smiled and exclaimed with delight on discovering a toy in a container, before then passing it to the infant to inspect. In the other "unreliable" condition, the researcher similarly expressed delight but there was in fact no toy. This was r........ Read more »

D Poulin-Dubois, I Brooker, & A Polonia. (2011) Infants prefer to imitate a reliable person. Infant Behaviour and Development. DOI: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2011.01.006  

  • June 16, 2011
  • 03:43 AM

Neuroplasticity Revisited

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A fascinating case report details a remarkable recovery from serious brain injury: Characterization of recovery and neuropsychological consequences of orbitofrontal lesion.The patient "M. S." was a previously healthy 29 year old Israeli graduate student who suffered injuries in a terrorist attack. As the MRI scans above show, she lost large parts of her orbitofrontal cortex and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, although the left side was only partially affected. She also lost her right eye.These a........ Read more »

  • June 16, 2011
  • 03:03 AM

Four ways to buy happiness

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

As much as we like to romanticize poverty, there's no denying that money is important. Many of life's pleasures and necessities, like having free time to spend with loved ones and obtaining good quality health care, require sufficient finances. But research suggests that the relationship between money and happiness is much smaller than one might expect. In a recent review article, Elizabeth Dunn, Daniel Gilbert, and Timothy Wilson argue that the main reason that money does not buy as much happi........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2011
  • 09:43 PM

Can you spot a liar online?

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

Is lying an outdated myth or an accepted practice in online dating? Not too long ago, a stereotype of online dating was that the person you saw online wasn’t who showed up for your date. Maybe they were older, shorter, or had much “more to love” than was implied in their profile. But what are average online daters today doing to spruce up their profiles? Can you spot the lies from the truth?... Read more »

  • June 15, 2011
  • 04:37 PM

Homophobes are turned on by homosexuality

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

Unfortunately I can't access the full length article of this one: Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?But it is obviously too good to miss. The abstract reads:The authors investigated the role of homosexual arousal in exclusively heterosexual men who admitted negative affect toward homosexual individuals. Participants consisted of a group of homophobic men (n = 35 ) and a group of nonhomophobic men (n = 29); they were assigned to groups on the basis of their scores on the In........ Read more »

Adams, H., Wright, L., & Lohr, B. (1996) Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105(3), 440-445. DOI: 10.1037/0021-843X.105.3.440  

  • June 15, 2011
  • 04:16 PM

To Be or Not to Be Monogamous?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

What does it mean to be monogamous?Sexual exclusivity between two partners?
A two-party partnership, characterized by cooperation where resources are shared and children are produced?
A genetic commitment to producing offspring with a single partner?
A social system in which only two people are contracted to marriage at a time?
Or is it perhaps some combination of these four?
For some people, establishing yourself in an exclusively committed relationship where you wake up next to the same perso........ Read more »

Curtis, J. Thomas, & Wang, Z. (2003) The Neurochemistry of Pair Bonding. Current Directions in Psychology, 12(2), 49-53. info:/

Fuentes, A. (1998) Re-Evaluating Primate Monogamy. American Anthropologist, 100(4), 890-907. DOI: 10.1525/aa.1998.100.4.890  

  • June 15, 2011
  • 07:08 AM

Psychologically safe teams can incubate bad behaviour

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The following is written by Dr Alex Fradera and is being cross-posted here and over at the new BPS Occupational Digest - a 'child' blog of the Research Digest with a focus on psychology at work.

When impropriety or corruption emerges in an organisation, some cry “bad apple!” where others reply “more like bad barrel!” Yet between individuals and organisations we have teams, the context in which decisions are increasingly made. A new study in the Journal of Applied Psychology sheds some ........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

“For $15M, I’d marry a saber-toothed tiger!”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Family law cases are almost always sad. They are typically filled with issues of bitterness, betrayal, rejection and character. And if those aren’t distressing enough under normal circumstances, in Texas—if you are rich enough and angry enough—you can have a divorce trial in front of a jury. Recently as we did a focus group on a particularly [...]

Related posts:Charlie Sheen or Tiger Woods? When behavior doesn’t fit the image
Choosing to either disgust your jurors or tick them off
Go........ Read more »

Vazire, Simine, & Carlson, Erika. (2011) Others sometimes know us better than we know ourselves. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(2), 104-108. info:/

  • June 15, 2011
  • 03:57 AM

Psychologically safe teams can incubate bad behaviour

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

When impropriety or corruption emerges in an organisation, some cry “bad apple!” where others reply “more like bad barrel!” Yet between individuals and organisations we have teams, the context in which decisions are increasingly made. A new study in the Journal of Applied Psychology sheds some light on what it takes for teams to behave badly.Researchers Matthew Pearsall and Aleksander Ellis recruited 378 undergraduate management studies students (about 1/3 female), already organised into........ Read more »

  • June 15, 2011
  • 03:28 AM

Shock! The way you Walk reveals Your IQ!

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

So you think you’re pretty smart, huh? I bet you think walking is easy. Let’s put those assumptions to the test: Haul yourself away from the computer for a couple of minutes and try this simple little test. We’ll see just how clever you really are… Continue reading »... Read more »

Yogev-Seligmann, G., Hausdorff, J., & Giladi, N. (2008) The role of executive function and attention in gait. Movement Disorders, 23(3), 329-342. DOI: 10.1002/mds.21720  

Ble, A., Volpato, S., Zuliani, G., Guralnik, J., Bandinelli, S., Lauretani, F., Bartali, B., Maraldi, C., Fellin, R., & Ferrucci, L. (2005) Executive Function Correlates with Walking Speed in Older Persons: The InCHIANTI Study. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53(3), 410-415. DOI: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2005.53157.x  

van Iersel, M. (2006) Frail elderly patients with dementia go too fast. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery , 77(7), 874-876. DOI: 10.1136/jnnp.2005.084418  

  • June 14, 2011
  • 07:30 PM

Breaking rules makes you seem powerful

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Breaking the rules to rise to power: how norm violators gain power in the eyes of others From Social Psychological and Personality Science  When people have power, they act the part. Powerful people smile less, interrupt others, and speak in a louder voice. When people do not respect the basic rules of social behavior, they [...]... Read more »

Van Kleef, G., Homan, A., Finkenauer, C., Gundemir, S., & Stamkou, E. (2011) Breaking the Rules to Rise to Power: How Norm Violators Gain Power in the Eyes of Others. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550611398416  

  • June 14, 2011
  • 04:30 PM

A Better World Through Video Games

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

Over the last few years evidence has been mounting that violence in the media and especially interactive media such as video games contributes to aggression displayed by individuals.[1] This ability to influence our behaviour in such a way is concerning and may undermine attempts to build a peaceful society that nevertheless respects a person’s right [...]... Read more »

  • June 14, 2011
  • 09:03 AM

Getting around by sound: Human echolocation

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

By Greg Downey
As any fan of the adventures of Daredevil, being blind in comic books can give you superpowers.  Matt Murdoch was blinded by a radioactive accident that he befell because he tried to save a blind pedestrian from the truck carrying the waste (ah, the irony…). Murdoch developed a kind of ‘radar’ sense that allowed him to prowl Hell’s Kitchen, rooting out the miscreants and lowlifes who, like the blind Man Without Fear, preferred to lurk in the dark.
Although his personal li........ Read more »

Nagel, T. (1974) What Is It Like to Be a Bat?. The Philosophical Review, 83(4), 435. DOI: 10.2307/2183914  

Pascual-Leone, A., Amedi, A., Fregni, F., & Merabet, L. (2005) THE PLASTIC HUMAN BRAIN CORTEX. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 28(1), 377-401. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.neuro.27.070203.144216  

Pascual-Leone A, & Hamilton R. (2001) The metamodal organization of the brain. Progress in brain research, 427-45. PMID: 11702559  

Rosenblum, L., Gordon, M., & Jarquin, L. (2000) Echolocating Distance by Moving and Stationary Listeners. Ecological Psychology, 12(3), 181-206. DOI: 10.1207/S15326969ECO1203_1  

WORCHEL P, & DALLENBACH KM. (1947) Facial vision; perception of obstacles by the deaf-blind. The American journal of psychology, 60(4), 502-53. PMID: 20273385  

  • June 14, 2011
  • 09:01 AM

Mild Cognitive Impairment in the Elderly

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

 The presence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) in elderly individuals is often a clinical challenge of uncertainly prognostic value.  Defined as cognitive function below the normal range but insufficient for a diagnosis of dementia, MCI is receiving increased research attention.  This week in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Ronald Petersen, a neurologist from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota highlighted what is known about MCI.  His review summarizes some of........ Read more »

Petersen, RC. (2011) Mild Cognitive Impairment. New Engl J Med, 2227-2234. info:/

  • June 14, 2011
  • 07:55 AM

Evolution of cooperation: Emotion as a commitment device

by Arnulf Koehncke in Evolutionary Theory across the Life Sciences

In the ultimatum game two players divide a sum of money among themselves. The first proposes a deal (50:50, 80:20) and the second accepts or rejects said deal. If he rejects, neither gets the money. The ultimatum game is a staple of game theory because it reliably shows that people behave irrationally (or not self-regarding) by rejecting unfair deals. Common explanations for that behaviour include social norms of inequity aversion and reciprocity.
Yamagishi et al. (2009) published a paper in PN........ Read more »

Yamagishi T, Horita Y, Takagishi H, Shinada M, Tanida S, & Cook KS. (2009) The private rejection of unfair offers and emotional commitment. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106(28), 11520-3. PMID: 19564602  

  • June 14, 2011
  • 05:47 AM

Relaxation-induced cortisol changes within lunch breaks – an experimental longitudinal worksite field study

by Rebecca Quereshi in Occ Psy Dot Com

How do you spend your lunch break? Progressive muscle relaxation during your lunchtime routine could impact on your immediate levels of cortisol, as well as your levels of long-term chronic stress. A new study by Jarek Krajewski, Martin Sauerland, and Rainer Wieland seeks to advance knowledge of how to maximise recovery during lunch break routines, [...]... Read more »

  • June 14, 2011
  • 03:56 AM

Consciousness? FFS...

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

An interesting paper on the neurobiology of conscious awareness: Unconscious High-Level Information Processing.The authors propose that consciousness may be associated, not with activation in any given area of the brain, but with recurrent information processing between areas, a kind of neural ping-pong.When presented with sensory information, say the sight of an object, signals travel up through the brain from "primary" sensory areas to "higher" areas associated with more complicated proces........ Read more »

  • June 13, 2011
  • 12:35 PM

It's good to give thanks: The benefits of gratitude

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

When someone does something nice for you, how does it make you feel? Do you experience gratitude in response to their act of kindness? Or does it leave you with a sense of indebtedness because now you owe them a kind act in return? Close relationships, and romantic relationships in particular, are characterized by the small acts of kindness we do for each other. Today you will be doing the dishes, paying for dinner, or taking out the trash, and tomorrow he will be taking you to the airport, putt........ Read more »

  • June 13, 2011
  • 12:27 PM

Is the sensorimotor hypothesis based on laboratory artifacts?

by Björn Brembs in

Most neuroscientists would subscribe to the sensorimotor hypothesis, according to which brains mainly evaluate sensory input to compute motor output. For instance, Mike Mauk wrote now over ten years ago: “brain function is ultimately best understood in terms of input/output transformations and how they are produced” [1]. Tony Dickinson recognized already in 1985 that “Indeed, so pervasive is the basic assumption of this model that it is common to refer to any behaviour as a ‘response’ ........ Read more »

Dickinson, A. (1985) Actions and Habits: The Development of Behavioural Autonomy. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 308(1135), 67-78. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.1985.0010  

Raichle, M. (2010) Two views of brain function. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(4), 180-190. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.01.008  

  • June 13, 2011
  • 11:37 AM

Experts: Don't Cross The Line Between Confidence and Arrogance

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

Attorneys, consultants, and experts know that testimony needs to be delivered with more than just clarity and authority: It needs confidence. Jurors and judges alike are more comfortable with an expert’s testimony when it is delivered with self-assurance and conveyed with certainty. But mock jury research by Cramer, Brodsky, & DeCoster (2009) appears to show that the advantage of greater confidence is true only up to a point. Testing the effectiveness of experts at three levels of perc........ Read more »

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