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  • March 26, 2014
  • 08:30 AM

Animals, Pets and Vermin

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

What do animals mean to you and what role do they play in your life? These and related questions were recently asked of ordinary people by the Mass Observation Project in the UK, and the results, in a paper by Alison Sealey and Nickie Charles, are fascinating.Photo: pjmorley / ShutterstockSince 1937, the Mass Observation Projecthas been collecting information from ordinary people about life in Britain. Set up with the idea of creating “an anthropology of ourselves,” data collection con........ Read more »

Sealey, A., & Charles, N. (2013) "What Do Animals Mean to You?": Naming and Relating to Nonhuman Animals. Anthrozoos: A Multidisciplinary Journal of The Interactions of People , 26(4), 485-503. DOI: 10.2752/175303713X13795775535652  

  • March 26, 2014
  • 04:54 AM

Vision impairment and ADHD?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Science often has the ability to surprise.So it was when I first read the paper by Dawn Decarlo and colleagues* (open-access here) which suggested that: "children with vision impairment may be more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD [attention deficit hyperactivity disorder] than children in the general population". I should point out that this observation should not be totally unexpected given some media for other studies by the authors (see here).Lady in a green jacket @ Wikipedia &nbs........ Read more »

Decarlo DK, Bowman E, Monroe C, Kline R, McGwin G Jr, & Owsley C. (2014) Prevalence of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among children with vision impairment. Journal of AAPOS : the official publication of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus / American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, 18(1), 10-4. PMID: 24568975  

  • March 25, 2014
  • 07:12 AM

Never the earner, always the bride: How male breadwinners view women in the workplace

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

Across a series of studies, a new article demonstrates that married men who have a more traditional 'breadwinner role' at home tend to have more negative views on women in the workplace. Across their studies, Sreedhari Desai, Dolly Chugh and Arthur Brief defined traditional marriages as those where the wife was not employed, contrasted with couples that were dual-earning.  Firstly they employed data from US national surveys. In the first data set - 282 married men in 1996 - those in more tr........ Read more »

  • March 25, 2014
  • 12:02 AM

“I am Working-Class”: Self-Identification as a Measure of Social Class in Educational Research

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

Governments around the world are trying to open up higher education to working-class people. For example, in January this year, the White House released a report titled: "Increasing college opportunity for low-income students: Promising models and a call to action." In the context of this general push towards widening participation in higher education, my colleagues and I have been developing a research project that aims to investigate social class differences in social integration among student........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

Think conspiracy theorists live on the fringes? Think again!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Amazingly, a study published in a highly respected medical journal (as opposed to, say, a Bigfoot site) found that 49% of those living in the United States believe at least one medical conspiracy theory. That’s only where it starts–18% believe in three or more. Wow.  The researchers wondered if US residents believe the public health […]

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Conspiracy theorists and survey design
Conspiracy theories that haven’t come up in pretrial research (yet)
Osama bin Laden is de........ Read more »

  • March 24, 2014
  • 05:30 AM

A specific female ASD phenotype is emerging...

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The title of this brief post is a quote taken from the abstract of the paper by Frazier and colleagues [1] who, following an analysis of participants included in the Simons Simplex Collection, concluded that autism research and practice might well consider looking at differences in the presentation of autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) between the sexes.The Lady of Shalott @ Wikipedia Including nearly 2500 people with autism including over 2100 males and 304 females, examining ........ Read more »

Frazier TW, Georgiades S, Bishop SL, & Hardan AY. (2014) Behavioral and cognitive characteristics of females and males with autism in the simons simplex collection. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 53(3), 329-340000. PMID: 24565360  

  • March 23, 2014
  • 11:58 PM

Non-drug approaches for people with fibromyalgia

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

No-one wants to be told their pain is “in your head”. But given our increasingly sophisticated understanding of pain neurobiology, there’s plenty of reason to agree that thinking, feeling and doing things differently makes life far more rewarding and rich than feeling helpless, fatigued and sore. Some proponents of purely biomedical interventions, notably musculoskeletal physicians, argue that if only the “source of the nociception” was found, the nerve “zappe........ Read more »

  • March 23, 2014
  • 04:40 PM

Why do we sleep?

by in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Why do we sleep? Sleep is an activity that takes up about 1/3 of our lives, so you would probably guess that neuroscience has a clear answer to why we do it, right? Wrong. The fundamental reason behind why we sleep is still shrouded in mystery. We know that we have to sleep (without it we would die). But we still don't know what its physiological function is.There are a variety of hypotheses about why we sleep that have garnered some support. For example, sleep may have evolved in order to help ........ Read more »

  • March 21, 2014
  • 01:45 PM

What’s the Value of a Dollar? It Depends on How You Perceive Numbers

by amikulak in Daily Observations

When it comes to how we value money, all dollars (or Euros or yen or pesos) are not created equal. If someone gives you three dollar bills and then offers […]... Read more »

  • March 21, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Women can keep the vote after all…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You may recall the story posted on CNN in late 2012 about how women vote differently based on hormonal fluctuations. Unfortunately, because of how our brains work (and our attraction to outrageous stories, true or not), you may not recall that CNN removed the story in 7 hours due to internet backlash over an article […]

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Simple Jury Persuasi........ Read more »

  • March 21, 2014
  • 06:29 AM

Dioxin exposure and autistic traits?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As promised in a previous post, today I'm turning my attention to the paper by Muneko Nishijo and colleagues [1] and their conclusion of "a specific impact of perinatal TCDD [2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin] on autistic traits in childhood, which is different from the neurotoxicity of total dioxins (PCDDs/Fs) [polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans]".TCDD @ Wikipedia With all the recent chatter about [surrogate] environmental markers and the numbers ........ Read more »

  • March 20, 2014
  • 05:46 PM

Parenthood: Trial or Tribulation?

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

This is the first post in a four-part series on parenthood and happiness. On New Years Day I celebrated not only the start of a new year, but a new phase in my life. A few (long) hours after midnight I became a parent, and my life was irrevocably changed. In the journey to parenthood I knew one thing to be true—that I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Would becoming a parent bring me joy, love, and gratitude greater than I had previously known? Would I find myself anxious, worried, d........ Read more »

  • March 20, 2014
  • 05:00 PM

My thoughts on the dyslexia debate

by Dorothy Bishop in bishopblog

Elliott and Grigorenko have argued that dyslexia is not a meaningful category, and that the label should be abandoned because it just leads to unfairness and woolly thinking. I put this debate into the wider context of psychiatric diagnosis and argue we need to consider not just scientific evidence, but also how labels affect our judgements of who is deserving of help, and who is responsible for giving it.... Read more »

  • March 20, 2014
  • 11:46 AM

The toll we take from caring for our elders

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

'Just as there was a postwar baby boom, society is now in the midst of a senior boom.' While all organisations offer parental support at or beyond that mandated by the state, provision for employees involved in eldercare is far more hit and miss. In the article that provides our lead quote, Lisa Calvano of West Chester University takes us through the literature on the psychological impact of eldercare.Calvano’s literature review reveals a clear consensus on one point: psychological strain is s........ Read more »

  • March 20, 2014
  • 03:39 AM

Environmental exposure and autism continued

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

In a post not-so-long-ago I talked about the paper by Andrey Rzhetsky and colleagues [1] and their assertion that environment (various facets of environment) might correlate with the increasing numbers of cases of autism being diagnosed. As per what was said on that post, there were lots of media headlines generated about the findings; some balanced and some a little sensational.Luc Viatour / @ Wikipedia One of the main caveats I had with the Rzhetsky study was the relian........ Read more »

  • March 19, 2014
  • 07:02 AM

Shocking research: Generational stereotypes don’t make sense on the job

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We’ve written about this a lot both here on the blog and over at The Jury Expert. So it isn’t news to us, but evidently it continues to surprise experts in other fields. Business journals are still urging differing management strategies for members of different generations in the workplace. But, as in other research, today’s […]

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Stereotypes happen all the time if you are neither pale nor male
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Becton, J., Walker, H., & Jones-Farmer, A. (2014) Generational differences in workplace behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 44(3), 175-189. DOI: 10.1111/jasp.12208  

  • March 18, 2014
  • 05:17 AM

How thinking in a foreign language makes you more rational in some ways but not others

by Christian Jarrett in BPS Research Digest

Back in 2012, US researchers showed that when people used their second, non-native language, they were less prone to a mental bias known as loss aversion. This bias means we're averse to the same outcome when it's framed in a way that highlights what's to be lost, as compared with when it's framed in a way that emphasises what's to be gained. For example, a vaccine is more appealing if it's stated that it will save 200,000 out of 600,000 people, far less unappealing if it's explained the vaccine........ Read more »

Costa A, Foucart A, Arnon I, Aparici M, & Apesteguia J. (2014) "Piensa" twice: on the foreign language effect in decision making. Cognition, 130(2), 236-54. PMID: 24334107  

  • March 17, 2014
  • 11:33 PM

Soy infant formula and seizures in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Spring @ Wikipedia 'Association' is a word I'm sure many people with a connection to autism will have heard a lot about. Y'know gene X or compound Y is the plat du jour when it comes to autism aetiology; more often than not carrying the caveat 'requires further investigation'. As to whether such investigations are ever truly carried out would perhaps be an interesting piece of research on autism research.Today I'm talking about another association, another variable to throw into the st........ Read more »

  • March 17, 2014
  • 09:00 AM

One Meditation Session to Let the Past Go

by Katharine Blackwell in Contemplating Cognition

The sunk-cost bias is the idea that once we’ve invested in something, it’s hard to pull out of it; that would make everything we’ve invested already just a waste of time and money. The impact ranges from finishing dessert, to sticking with bad stock investments, to staying in romantic relationships long past when they’re enjoyable because of the years you’ve already given to that partner.

And the sunk cost bias may be overcome with a single 15-minute session of m........ Read more »

  • March 17, 2014
  • 06:41 AM

Gamers find it easier to relax and detach from work

by Alex Fradera in BPS Occupational Digest

A new study suggests digital gaming during leisure time is associated with better recovery from working stresses, particularly when that gaming involves online interaction with other people. Contrary to prior research, time spent gaming is not an influential factor upon the findings. This suggests that rather than game play steadily replenishing personal resources, the act – or mere availability – of gaming can be beneficial in a range of forms, from a quick zap to longer immersive sessions......... Read more »

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