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  • April 1, 2011
  • 07:03 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Make them eat brussel sprouts

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Our apologies to Marie Antoinette (if she ever actually said it). Brussel sprouts are what I think of when I think of disgusting foods.  And this post is all about disgust. But here, the brussel sprouts are a metaphor for what you want to leave jurors to contemplate. Leave a ‘nasty’ or bitter taste in their [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Keep them from going with the immoral flow!
Simple Jury Persuasion: The dark side of psychological closeness
Simple Jury Persuasion: The mo........ Read more »

Eskine KJ, Kacinik NA, & Prinz JJ. (2011) A Bad Taste in the Mouth: Gustatory Disgust Influences Moral Judgment. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS. PMID: 21307274  

  • April 1, 2011
  • 06:00 AM

Efficacy of prayer questioned

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Prayer is a pretty common feature of human existence, and holy books typically instruct believers to pray to obtain special blessing. But how do we know it works? Well, one line of thought is that a large number of people believe it works, and they unlikely to all be wrong.

Francis Galton, a freelance statistician based in London, England, has his doubts. He's published an analysis in which he points out that many other widely-held beliefs have fallen by the way-side:

Witches were unanimously ........ Read more »

Galton, F. (1872) Statistical Inquiries into the Efficacy of Prayer . Fortnightly Review , 125-135. info:/

  • April 1, 2011
  • 04:19 AM

Eating through your Ears: Listening to Music makes Food taste better!

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Do you listen to music when you eat? Does the sound of chewing and chomping irritate you? Listening to music can be great for unwinding – especially after a long day. Perhaps department stores and hotel elevators would be much more stressful if it weren’t for all the panpipe music! (although I somehow doubt that). [...]... Read more »

  • March 31, 2011
  • 11:09 AM

Assess Your Juror’s Economic Security: A Vulnerable Juror Can Make for a Vulnerable Defense

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

The situation has been noted with a frightening frequency: instead of filing in quietly to fulfill their civic duty, prospective jurors in voir dire have expressed a deep frustration over the litigation process and a deep concern over serving. The result can mean greater use of hardships based on employment security, and this post looks at the effect of the revised composition once those with hardships are dismissed. Based on some recent research as well as our own data, we feel that the net ........ Read more »

  • March 31, 2011
  • 10:55 AM

Proximity sans convenience: Houses near train tracks and freeways

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Train tracks and highways are wonderful things. They zip ourselves and our stuff around with unparalleled efficiency. Never has getting anywhere been so easy. They are true marvels of the modern age—unless you can’t use them. Train tracks without nearby stations or those that don’t serve passengers aren’t conveniences, they’re rumbling menaces. And highways without [...]... Read more »

Kilpatrick, John A., Throupe, Ronald L., Carruthers, John I., & Krause,. (2007) The Impact of Transit Corridors on Residential Property Values. Journal of Real Estate Research, 29(3), 303-320. info:/

  • March 30, 2011
  • 05:09 PM

Why Do We Hurry to Wait?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Creative Commons, Credit.
While traveling a few weeks ago, I had ample opportunity to observe the art of waiting. Or rather, the art of not waiting. New Yorkers aren’t known for their patience—something that became painfully obvious when I got frustrated with the service S and I received at a south Florida restaurant. (If it takes more than 10 minutes for a server to come by and get drink orders after the customer has been seated, there is something wrong. We left, by the way, as even t........ Read more »

Antonides, G., Verhoef, P., & van Aalst, M. (2002) Consumer Perception and Evaluation of Waiting Time: A Field Experiment. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 12(3), 193-202. DOI: 10.1207/153276602760335040  

Holland RW, Roeder UR, van Baaren RB, Brandt AC, & Hannover B. (2004) Don't stand so close to me: the effects fo self-construal in interpersonal closeness. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 15(4), 237-42. PMID: 15043640  

  • March 30, 2011
  • 09:00 AM

Why we live in dangerous places

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Natural disasters always seem to strike in the worst places. The Sendai earthquake has caused over 8,000 deaths, destroyed 450,000 people’s homes, crippled four nuclear reactors, and wreaked over $300 billion in damage. And it’s only the latest disaster. Haiti will need decades to rebuild after its earthquake. New Orleans still hasn’t repopulated following Hurricane Katrina. Indonesia still feels the effect of the 2004 tsunami. The list could go on and on. The unfortunate lesso........ Read more »

Connell JH. (1978) Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs. Science (New York, N.Y.), 199(4335), 1302-10. PMID: 17840770  

  • March 30, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Could your favorite jeans help catch your murderer?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

If it’s true, we would then have favorite jeans posthumously. Would that be too cool or simply bizarre? Either way, it may soon be true! Scottish researchers are looking at ways to recover “fingerprint ridge detail and impressions from fabrics”.  Doing so has been an elusive goal and the success has come with a technique [...]

Related posts:Bye bye CSI?
Redux: Bye-bye CSI?
When you expect a gorilla you often miss other unexpected things
... Read more »

  • March 29, 2011
  • 11:51 AM

Keep your eyes to yourself

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

There’s an unwritten rule followed by nearly all city dwellers—never make eye contact. If you attempt to do so, your glance will be met with utter disregard. You do not exist, other than being an object to avoid. I learned this the hard way. Upon moving to San Francisco from Minnesota—the friendliest of all possible [...]... Read more »

Bornstein, M., & Bornstein, H. (1976) The pace of life. Nature, 259(5544), 557-559. DOI: 10.1038/259557a0  

Bornstein, M. (1979) The Pace of Life: Revisited. International Journal of Psychology, 14(1), 83-90. DOI: 10.1080/00207597908246715  

  • March 29, 2011
  • 11:48 AM

Ratting out landmines and tuberculosis

by Iddo Friedberg in Byte Size Biology

Thanks to John Stevenson for drawing my attention to this one: Giant African Pouched Rats are trained as detectors; a good solution for low-income countries and communities. HeroRATS, as they are called, come in two "models": landmine detectors and tuberculosis detectors. Rats born in captivity (captured rats are impossible to train) are trained to sniff out landmines in historically war-ravaged zones where many landmines are laying unmapped, and using other detection or disposal tech........ Read more »

Poling, A., Weetjens, B., Cox, C., Mgode, G., Jubitana, M., Kazwala, R., Mfinanga, G., & Huis in 't Veld, D. (2010) Using Giant African Pouched Rats to Detect Tuberculosis in Human Sputum Samples: 2009 Findings. American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 83(6), 1308-1310. DOI: 10.4269/ajtmh.2010.10-0180  

Alan Poling, Bart J. Weetjens, Christophe Cox, Negussie W. Beyene, & Andrew Sully. (2010) USING GIANT AFRICAN POUCHED RATS (CRICETOMYS GAMBIANUS) TO DETECT LANDMINES. The Psychological Record, 60(4), 715-728. info:other/

  • March 29, 2011
  • 08:01 AM

When Reason Falters, It's Age-Morphing Apps and Virtual Reality to the Rescue

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

The other day I asked for examples of practical post-rationality—changes in law or policy that happened because institutions have stopped assuming that people behave rationally. A number of people wrote in about instances of what Jon Elster calls "precommitment" or "self-binding": Giving up some ...Read More
... Read more »

  • March 29, 2011
  • 06:34 AM

New Study Asks: Can Religion Help you Fight Serious Illness?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

“Do you believe in God?” is not the sort of thing you normally expect to hear in a hospital clinic. But for a group women quietly waiting in a breast health clinic, their wait to see the doctor was interrupted by this question. However, this wasn’t an enthusiastic evangelist trying to win a new convert; [...]... Read more »

  • March 29, 2011
  • 05:32 AM

More success

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

Do we need more sophisticated definitions of career success? Although I have got a lot of mileage out of the journal article I wrote about in my last post —  I’ve dropped snippets from it into a few talks and workshops lately — there is something very limiting about the ideas of career success used [...]... Read more »

Heslin, P. (2005) Conceptualizing and evaluating career success. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(2), 113-136. DOI: 10.1002/job.270  

  • March 29, 2011
  • 01:14 AM

We won. They lost.

by Melanie Tannenbaum in ionpsych

Let’s start off this post with an exercise in imagination. Imagine that we happen to be big fans of the same team. First, imagine that our favorite team is the underdog in a major sports competition – say, the NCAA … Continue reading →... Read more »

Cialdini, R.B., Borden, R. J., Thorne, A., Walker, M.R., Freeman, S., & Sloan, L.R. (1976) Basking in reflected glory: Three (football) field studies. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 34(3), 366-375. DOI: 10.1037//0022-3514.34.3.366  

Newman ML, Pennebaker JW, Berry DS, & Richards JM. (2003) Lying words: predicting deception from linguistic styles. Personality , 29(5), 665-75. PMID: 15272998  

  • March 28, 2011
  • 12:40 PM

In which I try to explain why "heritability" is not quite the same thing as "heritable"

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Robert Kurzban responds in the ongoing "adaptive" homophobia kerfuffle (henceforth, the O.A.H.K.) with continued confusion about how biologists identify possible adaptations and test to see whether natural selection is responsible for them. He notes that one effect of natural selection is to remove heritable variation in traits under selection, so that many traits which are probably adaptations—arguably, sometimes the best-adapted traits—actually have zero heritability.

This is true. But it........ Read more »

  • March 28, 2011
  • 12:39 PM

Does Cooperation Really Make It Happen?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Above: Jim Henson's Anything Muppets sing "Street Garden Cooperation."
What didn’t Sesame Street teach us? Working together (sometimes) makes things go easier—whether you're a part of a group of Muppets who want a community garden, or perhaps hunter-gatherers managing your existence. Humans are the only species to cooperate to the degree that we do, and this cooperation may have allowed for many other derived social traits related to group living to emerge, including generosity, sharing, t........ Read more »

Hill, K., Walker, R., Bozicevic, M., Eder, J., Headland, T., Hewlett, B., Hurtado, A., Marlowe, F., Wiessner, P., & Wood, B. (2011) Co-Residence Patterns in Hunter-Gatherer Societies Show Unique Human Social Structure. Science, 331(6022), 1286-1289. DOI: 10.1126/science.1199071  

  • March 28, 2011
  • 08:49 AM

Income and IQ

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

As I noted in my recent post on Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers, Gladwell ignored the possibility that traits with a genetic component other than IQ might play a role in determining success. His approach reminded me of a useful paper by Samuel Bowles and Herbert Gintis from 2002 on the inheritance of inequality. Bowles and Gintis [...]... Read more »

Bowles, S., & Gintis, H. (2002) The Inheritance of Inequality. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 16(3), 3-30. DOI: 10.1257/089533002760278686  

  • March 28, 2011
  • 07:01 AM

I know what you did next summer

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Wouldn’t it be handy to be able to predict the future behavior of others?  Not to mention kind of disturbing?  Like in the 2002 film Minority Report. There are times we have to try—like in assessing future dangerousness for those eligible for parole.  And, in those cases, when we are wrong, bad bad things can happen. [...]

Related posts:Predicting case outcomes? Lawyers are pretty dismal at it!
Faulty Logic: Cannabis, psychosis and fish oil
Maybe it really is better to apologize than t........ Read more »

  • March 26, 2011
  • 05:54 AM

Making Up Gay Youth Suicides as We Go Along

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Does research evidence have to be factual or does creative truth bending provide a necessary contrast? Waidzunas (2011) seems to stay silent on this but does deftly show how a big claim, poorly supported, can become canon law and effectively 'black boxed' from scrutiny, forever. Well, at least until now, perhaps.... Read more »

Waidzunas, T. (2011) Young, Gay, and Suicidal: Dynamic Nominalism and the Process of Defining a Social Problem with Statistics. Science, Technology . info:/

  • March 25, 2011
  • 12:00 PM

Who Says "I Love You" First in Relationships

by Samantha Joel in The Science of Relationships

Describes research on communicating love in relationships.... Read more »

Ackerman, J., Griskevicius, V., & Li, N. (2011) Let's get serious: Communicating commitment in romantic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/a0022412  

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