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  • September 24, 2014
  • 08:30 AM
  • 139 views

What Influences Whether Owners Pick Up After Their Dog?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

What’s the scoop on picking up poop? New research by Christopher Lowe et al (2014) investigates.Photo: Jakkrit Orrasri / ShutterstockThe study consisted of an environmental survey of several popular dog walking locations, and an online survey that was completed by 933 participants from across the UK (83% were women).Eight footpaths in Lancashire, in the north of England, were visited in March/April 2010 to check for dog waste. This included a mix of urban and rural locations, and covered........ Read more »

Westgarth, C., Christley, R., Pinchbeck, G., Gaskell, R., Dawson, S., & Bradshaw, J. (2010) Dog behaviour on walks and the effect of use of the leash. Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 125(1-2), 38-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.applanim.2010.03.007  

  • September 24, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 148 views

Unfaithful partner? Would you rather be seen as mature– or as competent and strong?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

According to new research, you can’t have both. Inspired by women who told them they “would not vote for Hillary Clinton [in the Presidential primaries a decade later] because she forgave then-President Bill Clinton’s infidelity”, these researchers looked at how male and female observers viewed male and female victims of infidelity based on how they […]

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You wa........ Read more »

  • September 24, 2014
  • 06:58 AM
  • 208 views

Psychiatric effects of childhood inflammation?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Higher levels of the systemic inflammatory marker IL-6 [interleukin 6] in childhood are associated with an increased risk of developing depression and psychosis in young adulthood". So said the paper by Golam Khandaker and colleagues [1] looking at the growing link between inflammation and psychiatry.The bright light of Autumn @ Wikipedia The name Khandaker has appeared before on this blog (see here and see here), most recently with research looking at a possible link between the........ Read more »

Golam M. Khandaker, Rebecca M. Pearson, Stanley Zammit, Glyn Lewis, & Peter B. Jones. (2014) Association of Serum Interleukin 6 and C-Reactive Protein in Childhood With Depression and Psychosis in Young Adult Life. JAMA Psychiatry. info:/doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.1332

  • September 24, 2014
  • 03:00 AM
  • 70 views

Rats outperformed humans on this learning task

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

We like to think of ourselves as the top of the class when it comes to intelligence in the animal kingdom. Our inventions and scientific progress are testament to that claim, and yet there are some ways in which our complex brains let us down. In this new study researchers led by Ben Vermaercke compared human and rat performance on two forms of category-based learning. On one of them, the rodents trounced the homo sapiens.The participants - 16 rats and 24 humans - were trained to recognise that ........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2014
  • 01:55 PM
  • 169 views

Lie Detection using Brain Waves: It’s just as creepy as it sounds…

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Currently lie detectors (polygraphs) are not admissible in court, this is because (despite what you may read) there is little proof to show that they are much better than a guess — coming in at roughly 50% accuracy. They aren’t really based in science, making them more of a toy. There might just be a new contender in the lie detection department coming soon however, researchers have found that brain activity can be used to tell whether someone recognizes details they encountered in normal, d........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 144 views

Maternal iron intake and offspring autism risk

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

Much like the discussions around the paper by Rogers and colleagues (see here) on treating autism in the first year of life, the media scrum around the findings from Rebecca Schmidt and colleagues [1] talking about maternal iron supplements and offspring autism spectrum disorder (ASD) risk preceded the publication of the paper by a few days. It's getting to be a pet-hate of mine that big headlines are being generated sometimes days before your average Jane or Joe can see the data upon which they........ Read more »

Rebecca J. Schmidt, Daniel J. Tancredi, Paula Krakowiak, Robin L. Hansen, & Sally Ozonoff. (2014) Maternal Intake of Supplemental Iron and Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder. American Journal of Epidemiology. info:/doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu208

  • September 23, 2014
  • 05:00 AM
  • 127 views

Gut issues in autism impacting on drug availability and absorption

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

As indicated in a recent post, I was really rather pleased to see the paper by Andrew Heitzer and colleagues [1] (open-access) asking the important question: Should clinical trial research of psychotropic medication in autism control for gastrointestinal symptoms? Some media about the study can also be found here."You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button".The answer is of course, yes and not just when it comes to psychotropic medicines either, given that gastroint........ Read more »

  • September 23, 2014
  • 04:00 AM
  • 83 views

Neuroscience does not threaten people's sense of free will

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A key finding from neuroscience research over the last few decades is that non-conscious preparatory brain activity appears to precede the subjective feeling of making a decision. Some neuroscientists, like Sam Harris, have argued that this shows our sense of free will is an illusion. Books have even started to appear with titles like My Brain Made Me Do It: The Rise of Neuroscience and the Threat to Moral Responsibility by Eliezer J. Sternberg.However, in a new paper, a team led by Ed........ Read more »

  • September 22, 2014
  • 04:45 PM
  • 114 views

If You’re Bicultural, You Can Make it Work to Your Advantage

by Louise Rasmussen in Head Smart

There are many advantages to being bicultural. Studies have shown that biculturals are more creative and enjoy greater professional success. One of the reasons for the advantage may be that exposure to diverse beliefs and worldviews enables biculturals to consider different perspectives. This can help them come up with new ways to solve problems and […]... Read more »

  • September 22, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 74 views

It’s 2014: Where are all the female subjects in surgical research?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

More than two decades after the 1993 Revitalization Act was signed (stating women and minorities must be included in NIH funded research), females are still under-represented in both “basic science and translational surgical research”. The authors acknowledge that medical research on human subjects is only a small subset of all medical research. However, even those […]

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Yoon DY, Mansukhani NA, Stubbs VC, Helenowski IB, Woodruff TK, & Kibbe MR. (2014) Sex bias exists in basic science and translational surgical research. Surgery, 156(3), 508-516. PMID: 25175501  

  • September 22, 2014
  • 03:32 AM
  • 148 views

Omega-3 fatty acids and ADHD

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

With a title like that, this post could turn out to be quite a long winded blog entry. As it happens, I'm not going to subject you, dear reader, to such a literary onslaught but rather focus my attention on the paper by Elizabeth Hawkey & Joel Nigg [1] who undertook two meta-analyses and concluded that: "Omega-3 levels are reduced in children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]" and "Dietary supplementation appears to create modest improvements in symptoms"."Maybe the 80s wi........ Read more »

  • September 21, 2014
  • 10:43 PM
  • 121 views

The Short Story of Self-Control for Lawyers

by Dan DeFoe in Psycholawlogy

Juries hear the phrase “Excuse me, objection your Honor  . . . .”, or some other form, often not as polite, frequently during trials.  Due to TV and the movies, American jurors probably expect to hear the courtroom gladiator scream “I object . . . . !”   Alternatively, some lawyers ponder the dynamic flow [...]
The post The Short Story of Self-Control for Lawyers appeared first on Psycholawlogy.
... Read more »

Inzlicht, M., Legault, L., & Teper, R. (2014) Exploring the Mechanisms of Self-Control Improvement. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(4), 302-307. DOI: 10.1177/0963721414534256  

  • September 19, 2014
  • 01:21 PM
  • 165 views

New test for Diagnosing Alzheimer’s Early

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Alzheimer’s diagnosis is important, like the famous slogan “with a stroke, time lost is brain lost,” detecting alzheimer’s is important in order to stave off cognitive decline. A just like a stroke time lost is brain lost. Unfortunately early diagnosis has been hard to come by, but now researchers say a simple test that combines thinking and movement can help to detect heightened risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease in a person. The best part, they say this will work even before the........ Read more »

  • September 19, 2014
  • 04:08 AM
  • 141 views

Increasing parental age and autism severity?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

An interesting paper by David Geier and colleagues [1] (open-access here) caught my eye recently, concluding that there was a lack of support for the suggestion that: "increasing parental age was associated with increasing autism spectrum disorder phenotypic severity"."the snozzberries taste like snozzberries".Before progressing through the paper and its possible implications, the eagle-eyed out there might have already spotted the name Dr Brian Hooker on the authorship list of the Geier paper. ........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2014
  • 04:09 PM
  • 177 views

Coffee Drinkers Have Trouble Talking About Emotions?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic_Discover

People who drink a lot of coffee – and other caffeinated beverages – find it more difficult to identify and describe their own emotions. This is the claim of a new study, published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, from Australian researchers Michael Lyvers and colleagues: Caffeine use and alexithymia in university students. “Alexithymia” – […]The post Coffee Drinkers Have Trouble Talking About Emotions? appeared first on Neuroskeptic.... Read more »

Lyvers M, Duric N, & Thorberg FA. (2014) Caffeine use and alexithymia in university students. Journal of psychoactive drugs, 46(4), 340-6. PMID: 25188705  

  • September 18, 2014
  • 12:58 PM
  • 171 views

Is Stress Eating Away at You? No, Literally…

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Ever wonder why, when people are too stressed, they are often grouchy, grumpy, nasty, distracted or forgetful? It may not be something you’ve done, in fact it turns out stress is literally tearing apart the brain. By this I mean that researchers have just highlighted a fundamental synaptic mechanism that explains the relationship between chronic stress and the loss of social skills and cognitive impairment. When triggered by stress, an enzyme attacks a synaptic regulatory molecule in the brain........ Read more »

van der Kooij, M., Fantin, M., Rejmak, E., Grosse, J., Zanoletti, O., Fournier, C., Ganguly, K., Kalita, K., Kaczmarek, L., & Sandi, C. (2014) Role for MMP-9 in stress-induced downregulation of nectin-3 in hippocampal CA1 and associated behavioural alterations. Nature Communications, 4995. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5995  

  • September 18, 2014
  • 11:22 AM
  • 128 views

There's a problem with assuming the most intelligent candidates make the best employees

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Workplace research through the 20th Century suggested that selecting for intelligence is the best way to identify good performers. General mental ability (GMA), a popular recruitment measure that maps closely to the colloquial meaning of "intelligence", is strongly correlated with on-the job performance, well ahead of any other single measure.This consistent finding came from studies that mostly defined job performance as carrying out the duties expected in that role. Although intuitive, this ne........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2014
  • 06:31 AM
  • 132 views

Why is poverty associated with mental health problems for some people, but not others?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

By guest blogger Peter Kinderman“I’ve been rich and I’ve been poor. Believe me, rich is better” (Mae West).  Critiques of the rather discredited "disease-model" of mental illness are commonplace, but we also need to articulate the alternative. New research by Sophie Wickham and colleagues helps do that, by providing support for the idea that we learn, as a consequence of our experiences in life, a framework of appraising, understanding and responding to new challenges. This psy........ Read more »

  • September 18, 2014
  • 04:50 AM
  • 176 views

Anxiety and sensory over-responsivity linked to gut issues in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"The name's Lonnegan! Doyle Lonnegan!"Consider this micropost an extension of some previous discussions on this blog about how gastrointestinal (GI) issues present in cases of autism might show some connection to the presence of anxiety and sensory issues (see here). Today I'm discussing further research by Micah Mazurek and colleagues [1] which follows a previous publication by this author [2] on this topic.In the latest paper, Dr Mazurek and colleagues describe the course of abdominal pain in ........ Read more »

  • September 17, 2014
  • 05:56 PM
  • 199 views

Why are ethical standards higher in science than in business and media?

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Facebook manipulates user content in the name of science? Scandalous! It manipulates user content in the name of profit? No worries! Want to run a Milgram study these days? Get bashed by your local ethics committee! Want to show it on TV? No worries. Why do projects which seek knowledge have higher ethical standards than […]... Read more »

Kramer AD, Guillory JE, & Hancock JT. (2014) Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(24), 8788-90. PMID: 24889601  

Milgram, S. (1963) Behavioral Study of obedience. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67(4), 371-378. info:/doi: 10.1037/h0040525

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