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  • October 9, 2011
  • 04:53 PM
  • 800 views

From Paleolithic Diviners to Axial Prophets

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

A person of many astute observations, one of Robert Bellah’s most astute is his refrain (when talking about the history of religions) that “nothing is ever lost.” By this I take Bellah to mean that at any given point in time, an existing religion will contain elements from earlier religions. There is continuity in religious [...]... Read more »

Freeman, L.G., & Echegaray, J.G. (2005) Coping with Chance: Animal Bones and the Aleatory. Munibe (Antropologia-Arkeologia), 159-176. info:/

  • October 9, 2011
  • 02:18 PM
  • 1,057 views

New paper estimates costs of air pollution from US industry

by Paul in Energy and the Future

Just saw this paper (citation below) with fresh estimates of costs of air pollution based on real data across the entire US, divided by sectors of the economy.  Not unsurprisingly, coal generated electricity comes out as the worst – accounting for … Continue reading →... Read more »

Muller, N., Mendelsohn, R., & Nordhaus, W. (2011) Environmental Accounting for Pollution in the United States Economy. American Economic Review, 101(5), 1649-1675. DOI: 10.1257/aer.101.5.1649  

  • October 9, 2011
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,063 views

Girls Versus Boys: The Final Battle

by nooffensebut in The Unsilenced Science

Here I review SAT score gender gaps by race, with special attention to the progress of Asian women. Plus, I detail the allele frequencies by race of body fat genes identified in a recent meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies.... Read more »

Kilpeläinen TO, Zillikens MC, Stančákova A, Finucane FM, Ried JS, Langenberg C, Zhang W, Beckmann JS, Luan J, Vandenput L.... (2011) Genetic variation near IRS1 associates with reduced adiposity and an impaired metabolic profile. Nature genetics, 43(8), 753-60. PMID: 21706003  

  • October 7, 2011
  • 05:17 PM
  • 447 views

“I love you this many dollars worth.”

by eHarmony Labs in eHarmony Labs Blog

“Presents are the best way to show someone how much you care. It is like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, ‘Hey man, I love you this many dollars-worth.’” – Michael Scott

How true is this quote? Is it really the thought that counts, or deep down are you placing a dollar amount on your relationship?
... Read more »

  • October 7, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,293 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The foot-in-the-face technique

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

What a great name for a persuasion technique! You’ve likely heard of foot-in-the-door or the door-in-the-face techniques and perhaps even the foot-in-the-mouth technique! The foot-in-the-door technique is the idea that if someone agrees to a small request, they are then more likely to agree with a larger request. This technique originated in 1966 following some research [...]


Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: If they say ‘No’, ask ‘why not’?
Simple Jury Persuasion: Keep them fro........ Read more »

Dolinski, D. (2011) A rock or a hard place: The foot-in-the-face technique for inducing compliance without pressure. . Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41(6). info:/

  • October 6, 2011
  • 11:45 AM
  • 1,117 views

Charles Darwin and the Vivisection Outrage

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

Author’s Note: The following originally appeared at The Dispersal of Darwin. According to the British Medical Journal the alleged crime resembled a crucifixion. The victims had been strapped to boards, backs down, and with their legs cinched outwards. In the stifling August heat their heavy breathing was made only more intense by a suffocating fear. [...]









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Feller, D. (2009) Dog fight: Darwin as animal advocate in the antivivisection controversy of 1875. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 40(4), 265-271. DOI: 10.1016/j.shpsc.2009.09.004  

  • October 6, 2011
  • 12:34 AM
  • 1,241 views

Toiletological English

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Can you guess what kind of product the following text is promoting? Your well-being is close to our heart rail&fresh [product] areas are bright and friendly and leave nothing to be desired. The [product] facilities are kept perfectly clean round … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • October 5, 2011
  • 10:39 PM
  • 674 views

A Moral Gene?

by Christie Wilcox in Science Sushi

If our moral psychology is a Darwinian adaptation, what does that say about human nature? About social policy, which always presupposes something about human nature? About morality itself? - Steven Pinker Morality is often considered to be the domain of philosophers, not biologists. But scientists have often wondered what role our genomes play in directing [...]









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  • October 5, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,713 views

The GASP scale: A new measure of guilt and shame proneness

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

A little over a year ago, we wrote about the Depravity Scale so it’s probably time for a new measurement tool. While the Depravity Scale allows a ranking of just how depraved/horrific/egregious specific behaviors are—the GASP scale allows us to assess the level to which others (or ourselves) are prone to guilt and shame reactions. There [...]


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New research on men: What do we know now?
Deliberations: Jurors think and feel as they make decisio........ Read more »

Cohen TR, Wolf ST, Panter AT, & Insko CA. (2011) Introducing the GASP scale: a new measure of guilt and shame proneness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 100(5), 947-66. PMID: 21517196  

  • October 4, 2011
  • 01:04 PM
  • 1,268 views

The Scary New Computer Program that spots Born Leaders and Predicts Election Results!

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Have you ever done a ‘leadership’ exercise? I’m sure you know the sort of thing – You’re on a corporate “training day” and after being placed into arbitrary groups in a stuffy meeting room, you are given a handful of straws, paperclips and plastic cups and told to build a tower that reaches the ceiling. … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • October 4, 2011
  • 05:59 AM
  • 627 views

Sexual Strategies Underlie Religious Inclinations

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

The positively correlated associations between religiosity and low levels of promiscuity and high levels of abstinence and marriage-centricity are generally quite clear enough. We often see that religion seeks to suppress sexual promiscuity through its doctrines that promote a monogamous sexual reproductive strategy characterized by low promiscuity, exclusive heterosexuality and high premiums on marriage and fertility.Intuitively, we might guess that our sexual inclinations owe to how much expos........ Read more »

Weeden, J., Cohen, A., & Kenrick, D. (2008) Religious attendance as reproductive support. Evolution and Human Behavior, 29(5), 327-334. DOI: 10.1016/j.evolhumbehav.2008.03.004  

Li YJ, Cohen AB, Weeden J, & Kenrick DT. (2010) Mating Competitors Increase Religious Beliefs. Journal of experimental social psychology, 46(2), 428-431. PMID: 20368752  

  • October 3, 2011
  • 12:20 PM
  • 723 views

Catch an "Astrotweeter" with Truthy

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

A research group at the University of Indiana has developed a program called Truthy that allows anyone to track cases of “astrotweeting”. Any search term can be entered into Truthy and the program will scan the Twitter API and build a model of how the search term originated. ... Read more »

Ratkiewicz,J. Conover,M. Meiss,M. Gonçalves,B. Patil,S. Flammini,A. Menczer, F. (2011) Truthy: Mapping the Spread of Astroturf in Microblog Streams. World Wide Web Conference Committee (IW3C2). . info:/

  • October 3, 2011
  • 11:10 AM
  • 669 views

Don't Be Afraid of a Little Humiliation in the Courtroom

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Rushing into the courtroom, late in returning from a break, the lawyer stood before the already seated jury, red-faced, but with a self-deprecating smile. "Ladies and gentlemen, this is what every lawyer fears, and I'm truly...mortified to have kept you waiting." And the jury responded not with irritation, but with warm smiles and chuckles. Why? Not because they enjoyed wasting their time (note: jurors don't), but because this lawyer had just humanized himself by sharing a........ Read more »

Feinberg M, Willer R, & Keltner D. (2011) Flustered and faithful: Embarrassment as a signal of prosociality. Journal of personality and social psychology. PMID: 21928915  

  • October 3, 2011
  • 08:00 AM
  • 935 views

Tracing the Trickle-down in Roman Recycling

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

Citizens of the Ancient World seem to have made a solid go at “going green.” Ongoing research by Harriet Foster and Caroline Jackson (2010) revealed hints of color deriving from previously blown glass in colorless glass, indicating that Romans often reused glass, adding batches of broken vessels into the raw material from which they fashioned [...]









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Foster, Harriet and Caroline Jackson. (2010) The Composition of Late Romano-British Colourless Vessel Glass: Glass Production and Consumption. Journal of Archaeological Science, 3068-3080. info:/10.1016/j.j.as.2010.07.007

Stern, E. (1999) Roman Glassblowing in a Cultural Context. American Journal of Archaeology, 103(3), 441. DOI: 10.2307/506970  

  • October 3, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,206 views

Creativity in others makes us uncertain and anxious

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Nah! We all love creativity. Or maybe not. New research says creative ideas make us uncomfortable. We say we want creativity in our organizations and among our employees—but we actually prefer practicality. And those folks espousing novel ideas make us antsy because we see novelty and practicality as mutually exclusive. Practical ideas are familiar and [...]


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Why an uncertain attorney may be better than a cocky one
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Mueller, JS, Melwani, S., & Goncalo, JA. (2011) The bias against creativity: Why people desire but reject creative ideas. . Psychological Science. . info:/

  • October 1, 2011
  • 03:53 PM
  • 1,085 views

Entoptics or Doodles: Children of the Cave

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

There was a time when Paleolithic cave paintings were construed primarily through the lens of “art,” an interpretive stance which assumes that at least some Paleolithic peoples were “artists” who painted for pleasure. Because this lens is so subjective (and creative), all manner of interpretations were offered. Whether prosaic or fanciful, this approach raised troubling [...]... Read more »

Lewis-Williams, David, & Dowson, T.A. (1988) The Signs of All Times: Entoptic Phenomena in Upper Palaeolithic Art . Current Anthropology, 29(2), 201-245. info:/

  • October 1, 2011
  • 07:51 AM
  • 890 views

The Recession and Death

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

The present economic crisis has led to more suicides in Europe - but fewer deaths in road traffic accidents. So says a brief report in The Lancet. The authors show that suicide rates in people under the age of 65, which have been falling for several years in Europe, rose in 2008 and again in 2009, in line with unemployment figures. The overall effect was fairly small - 2009 was no worse than 2006. It still corresponds to a 5% annual increase in most countries. In Greece, Ireland, and Latvia the ........ Read more »

Stuckler D, Basu S, Suhrcke M, Coutts A, & McKee M. (2011) Effects of the 2008 recession on health: a first look at European data. Lancet, 378(9786), 124-5. PMID: 21742166  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 03:20 PM
  • 868 views

Creativity—the disturbance that distinguishes urban ecosystems

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Mimicking nature is nothing new for human beings. Ceremonial dress and dances have long imitated totemic animals. Leonardo da Vinci’s plans for a flying machine were closely modeled on the birds he saw out his window. And more recently, nature has inspired designers of everything from velcro to solar cell installations. Cities and suburbs would [...]... Read more »

Jean Zmyslony, & Daniel Gagnon. (2000) Path analysis of spatial predictors of front-yard landscape in an anthropogenic environment. Landscape Ecology, 357-371. info:/

  • September 30, 2011
  • 10:12 AM
  • 476 views

Ten Simple Rules paper published!

by Giovanni Marco Dall'Olio in BioinfoBlog!

The Ten Simple Rules for Getting Help from Online Scientific Communities paper just came out on the last PLoS Computational Biology issue! It has been a pleasure and an exciting experience to coordinate the writing of my first Open Collaborative … Continue reading →


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Dall'olio GM, Marino J, Schubert M, Keys KL, Stefan MI, Gillespie CS, Poulain P, Shameer K, Sugar R, Invergo BM.... (2011) Ten simple rules for getting help from online scientific communities. PLoS computational biology, 7(9). PMID: 21980280  

  • September 30, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 967 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Channel James Earl Jones

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Oh that deep uniquely resonant voice! Whether reading Edgar Allen Poe or reciting Justin Bieber lyrics this voice is instantly recognizable. We remember it without even trying. Especially if we are women. Yes. If you have a deep male voice, you have an edge with (heterosexual) female jurors. If your expert or fact witness has a [...]


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Simple Jury Persuasion: Are those folks in the jury box thinkers or feelers?
........ Read more »

Smith, D., Jones, BC, Feinberg, DR, & Allan, K. (2011) A modulatory effect of male voice pitch on long-term memory in women: Evidence of adaption for mate choice? . Memory and Cognition. info:/

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