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  • October 21, 2011
  • 04:23 PM

Are Women Really Less Funny than Men?

by Elizabeth Preston in Inkfish

Did you hear the one about how men are the funnier sex? If not, you're alone. In a recent study of California undergrads, 89% of women and 94% of men not only were familiar with the stereotype, but agreed with it. To investigate whether this supposed humor discrepancy might be a fact, the study's authors set up a tournament of New Yorker cartoon captions.

In a format you'll recognize if you've ever been sucked into the New Yorker cartoon caption contest, 32 subjects were given a series of ........ Read more »

Laura Mickes, Drew E. Walker, Julian L. Parris, Robert Mankoff, & Nicholas J. S. Christenfeld. (2011) Who’s funny: Gender stereotypes, humor production, and memory bias. Psychonomic Bulletin . info:/

  • October 21, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Life lessons from mock jurors: Look before you sit & always read the fine print

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

So did you hear about the lawsuit brought after a man got a toilet seat glued to his butt when he sat down in the restroom in a major home improvement center without looking first? Our mock jurors sure did. When we debrief jurors we often ask about whether people think the case in hand [...]

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I read the entire newspaper every day
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... Read more »

Jeffrey L. Kirchmeier. (2008) Our Existential Death Penalty: Judges, Jurors, and Terror Management. SSRN. info:/

  • October 20, 2011
  • 01:42 PM

Remember Herman Cain's "9-9-9" Plan, and Don't Forget the Power of a Good Mnemonic

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Whatever you think of Republican Presidential contender and former pizza magnate Herman Cain, you've got to give him credit for creating a theme using only three digits... and a theme about tax policy, no less. Mr. Cain has been ascendant recently in the race for the GOP nomination, largely based on the strength of a simple idea: a 9 percent business flat tax, a 9 percent individual flat tax, and a 9 percent national sales tax. Even voters who wouldn't otherwise favor the ........ Read more »

Lim MS, Hocking JS, Aitken CK, Fairley CK, Jordan L, Lewis JA, & Hellard ME. (2011) Impact of text and email messaging on the sexual health of young people: a randomised controlled trial. Journal of epidemiology and community health. PMID: 21415232  

  • October 20, 2011
  • 02:53 AM

The Facebook Brain

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Facebook friend tally is associated with differences in brain structurePeople with lots of Facebook friends have denser grey matter in three regions of the brain, a study suggestsWhen I heard about this, my heart sank. The Facebook area of the brain? It had all the hallmarks of a piece of media neuro-nonsense: a hook (Facebook!), a simplistic neo-phrenological story (bigger brains are better!)... so I was expecting to discover that the fuss was all about some tiny, statistically questionable stu........ Read more »

Kanai, R., Bahrami, B., Roylance, R., & Rees, G. (2011) Online social network size is reflected in human brain structure. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.1959  

  • October 19, 2011
  • 07:13 PM

Göbekli Tepe: Houses of the Holy?

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

In the series introduction, I asked whether Göbekli Tepe was (as the excavator Klaus Schmidt suggests) an archaeological or metaphorical Stairway to Heaven. Continuing the Led Zeppelin riff, a better question for today might be whether Göbekli’s megalithic structures were Houses of the Holy.

E.B. Banning suggests something along these lines in “So Fair a House: [...]... Read more »

Banning, E.B. (2011) So Fair a House: Gobekli Tepe and the Identification of Temples in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic. Current Anthropology, 52(5), 619-660. info:/10.1086/661207

  • October 18, 2011
  • 05:49 PM

The politics of subtitling

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Recently, I watched a TV documentary about the proliferation of Nomura jellyfish in Japanese coastal waters. It was a shocking tale of the devastating environmental, economic, social and human impact of overfishing, global warming and marine pollution. The reason I’m … Continue reading →... Read more »

Susana A. Eisenchlas, Chiharu Tsurutani. (2011) YOU SOUND ATTRACTIVE! PERCEPTIONS OF ACCENTED ENGLISH IN A MULTILINGUAL ENVIRONMENT. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics, 34(2), 216-236. info:/

  • October 18, 2011
  • 11:40 AM

Social media played crucial role in the occurrence of the Arab spring

by United Academics in United Academics

Social media spread the word about democracy and freedom and helped people to believe in their chances of success. This was found by researchers at the University of Washington and the American University by analyzing over 3 million tweets, blog posts, YouTube material and posts on Facebook.... Read more »

Philip Howard, Muzammil Hussain, Will Mari, Marwa Mazaid, Deen Freelon, & Aiden Duffy. (2011) Opening Closed Regimes: What Was the Role of Social Media During the Arab Spring?. info:/

  • October 18, 2011
  • 09:30 AM

Does technology make people take more risks in wilderness?

by Ashley D in The Average Visitor

Technology in wilderness areas is increasing. Does having technology influence how people perceive risk and rescue while recreating in the wilderness?... Read more »

Kristen Pope, & Steven R. Martin. (2011) Visitor Perceptions of Technology, Risk, and Rescue in Wilderness. International Journal of Wilderness, 17(2). info:/

  • October 18, 2011
  • 07:13 AM

Networking Basics: growing and cultivating your contacts

by Fiona Beukes in Ona76

Networking is definitely a broad-church term encompassing online/offline; internal/external; work colleagues/friends; and acquaintances/family. But how do we grow our networks without looking narcissistic and shallow? Ibarra and Hunter (2007) say that networking is about “creating a fabric of personal contacts that will provide support, feedback, insight, resources, and information”. But many managers, from their study of 30 [...]... Read more »

Ibarra H, & Hunter M. (2007) How leaders create and use networks. Harvard business review, 85(1), 40. PMID: 17286073  

Singleton, T., & Tarnowska, I. (2010) Take Networking to the Next Level. Strategic Finance, 19-20. info:/

  • October 17, 2011
  • 05:00 PM

In Toronto, Christian students are most likely to have unprotected sex

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

So, Christians aren't supposed to have sex before marriage (well depending on the variant of God they follow, of course). Just to be sure of it, they have an invisible policeman in the sky watching them at all times to make sure they don't deviate. On the other hand, Christian parents aren't so hot on teaching safe sex. Mash that up with university, when kids get let off the leash, and what happens? Well Trevor Hart at Ryerson University and a bunch of psychologists from the University of Toro........ Read more »

  • October 17, 2011
  • 04:27 PM

Göbekli Tepe: Publications & Reports

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

In 1994 Klaus Schmidt discovered Göbekli Tepe and in 1995 he began the ongoing excavations. In 1998 Schmidt published his first site report. To date, Schmidt has published close to 20 articles or reports (about half of which are in German) and others working with Schmidt have published more. For this Schmidt deserves considerable praise. [...]... Read more »

Schmidt, Klaus. (1998) Beyond Daily Bread: Evidence of Early Neolithic Rituals from Gobekli Tepe. Neo-Lithics, 1-5. info:/

  • October 16, 2011
  • 06:37 AM

Weekends with loved ones increase your happiness

by United Academics in United Academics

In order to experience a fun weekend, spending time with relatives and friends is important. Nothing new, we hear you think. Researchers John F. Shun Wang and Helliwell however also found scientific data to support this claim. Based on the database of research company Gallup they found that the success of weekend depends on two elements: emotions and satisfaction with life in general.... Read more »

John F. Helliwell, & Shun Wang. (2011) Weekends and Subjective Well-Being. NBER Working Paper Series. info:/

  • October 15, 2011
  • 08:58 AM

Woman on birth control does not seek sexy man

by United Academics in United Academics

Ever been hit on by a girl who's taking birth control? Bad news. It is suggested in a new study that women on the pill are usually not into 'sexy' guys. Previous experiments already showed that women on birth control were interested in different men than the ones who weren't on the pill. However, it was unclear how the pill influenced relationships.... Read more »

Roberts SC, Klapilová K, Little AC, Burriss RP, Jones BC, Debruine LM, Petrie M, & Havlícek J. (2011) Relationship satisfaction and outcome in women who meet their partner while using oral contraception. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 21993500  

  • October 14, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Anchoring effects and your salary negotiations

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

You often hear about ‘anchoring’ when it comes to making damages requests to jurors. This is not one of those posts, although it tracks with much of the damages research.  This post strikes closer to home—let’s talk about your salary and negotiating a higher income.  You’ll like what these researchers found. Most people hate negotiating [...]

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Tethered, multi-tasking, or j........ Read more »

Thorsteinson, TJ. (2011) Initiating salary discussions with an extreme request: Anchoring effects on initial salary offers. . Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41(7). info:/

  • October 13, 2011
  • 05:11 PM

Am I single-handedly perpetuating the negative effects of food insecurity?

by Megan Carter in Verdant Nation

CC Image: Franco Folini Now I am not generally one to give money to a pan-handler. If I do give something, it’s generally a snack (usually healthy) if I have one on me. This has been met with different responses: scorn, indifference or thankfulness.  I have offered a few times to go and buy these pan-handlers something to eat or drink but have never been take up on the offer, until today.  I regret though, that I may have contributed to, not helped the problem of food insecurity........ Read more »

Pilgrim A, Barker M, Jackson A, Ntani G, Crozier S, Inskip H, Godfrey K, Cooper C, Robinson S, & SWS Study Group. (2011) Does living in a food insecure household impact on the diets and body composition of young children? Findings from the Southampton Women's Survey. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health. info:/10.1136/jech.2010.125476

  • October 13, 2011
  • 10:48 AM

Robustness, Evolvability, Degeneracy and stuff like that…

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0


Much of the work I plan to do for this year involves integrating traditional and contemporary theories of language change within an evolutionary framework. In my previous post I introduced the concept of degeneracy, which, to briefly recap, refers to components that have a structure-to-function ratio of many-to-one, with a single degenerate structure being . . . → Read More: Robustness, Evolvability, Degeneracy and stuff like that…... Read more »

  • October 13, 2011
  • 10:48 AM

Kill Popular Science

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

This is a preliminary review of Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature. I reveal serious errors and distortions from his peer-reviewed sources.... Read more »

Kevin Beaver, Ashley Sak, Jamie Vaske, & Jessica Nilsson. (2010) Genetic risk, parent–child relations, and antisocial phenotypes in a sample of African-American males. Psychiatry Research, 175(1-2), 160-164. info:/

Lu RB, Lee JF, Ko HC, Lin WW, Chen K, & Shih JC. (2002) No association of the MAOA gene with alcoholism among Han Chinese males in Taiwan. Progress in neuro-psychopharmacology , 26(3), 457-61. PMID: 11999895  

Philibert RA, Gunter TD, Beach SR, Brody GH, & Madan A. (2008) MAOA methylation is associated with nicotine and alcohol dependence in women. American journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics : the official publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics, 147B(5), 565-70. PMID: 18454435  

  • October 12, 2011
  • 03:20 PM

Göbekli Tepe: Series Introduction

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

The 11,000 year old archaeological site of Göbekli Tepe in southern Turkey is undoubtedly one of the most important in the world.  German archaeologist Klaus Schmidt began the ongoing excavations at Göbekli in 1994. Besides being a huge undertaking (less than 5% of the site has been uncovered), the finds — and claims associated with [...]... Read more »

  • October 12, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

What happens when a juror agrees [or disagrees] with your expert witness?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Mock jurors love to hate dueling experts who give them conflicting information regarding causation, liability, reasonableness, damages, etc. They also don’t appreciate expert witnesses who use jargon or speak so simply that jurors feel ‘talked down to’—but you already know that. What jurors want is to learn what is reliable and useful to resolve the dispute. [...]

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When cross-examination [of the expert witness] off........ Read more »

  • October 11, 2011
  • 02:54 AM

Mental Illness And Creativity Revisited

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

A new study offers support for the theory that mental illness is associated with "creative" achievement.The idea that madness is close to creative genius is a popular one. From the nutty professor to the tortured genius, there's no end of sterotypes, and pop culture seemingly offers plenty of examples, from Van Gogh and his ear to Charlie Sheen and his bi-winning.But is it true?A new study says yes. Kyaga et al looked at everyone in Sweden who had been treated as an inpatient for either schizoph........ Read more »

Kyaga, S., Lichtenstein, P., Boman, M., Hultman, C., Langstrom, N., & Landen, M. (2011) Creativity and mental disorder: family study of 300 000 people with severe mental disorder. The British Journal of Psychiatry. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.bp.110.085316  

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