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  • July 17, 2011
  • 04:30 PM
  • 1,315 views

Risk averse Taiwanese are also more religious

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The infamous 'Pascal's Wager' is still often trotted out as a supposedly rational basis for believing in god. While the flaws in that one are well known, it is still commonly believed that risk-averse people are more likely to be religious. Better to go to Church than run the risk of being fried in the hereafter, the supposition goes.

Actually, evidence that risk-averse people are more religious is  weaker than you might suppose. What's more, there's no reason to think that it applies in t........ Read more »

  • July 17, 2011
  • 11:27 AM
  • 1,302 views

The Google Stroop Effect?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The Google logo.Notice the logo is multi-colored (as pointed out by Neurobonkers). Seeing "Google" printed in a solid color (or in any other font, for that matter) would likely result in a Stroop effect, or a slower response time in identifying the color of the font, relative to that of a neutral word.Is Google making us stupid?That question, and its original exposition in The Atlantic, has been furthering the career of Nicholas G. Carr. His subsequent book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Do........ Read more »

  • July 16, 2011
  • 01:25 PM
  • 1,396 views

Human Head Soup in Upper Paleolithic

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Head cheese may not be for everyone but it has an intensely devoted following. Most head cheese recipes call for the removal of brain, eyes, and ears before preparation, but purists scoff at this and include everything except bones. It is doubtful that Upper Paleolithic humans made head cheese; it is too time consuming. It [...]... Read more »

Prat S, Péan SC, Crépin L, Drucker DG, Puaud SJ, Valladas H, Lázničková-Galetová M, van der Plicht J, & Yanevich A. (2011) The oldest anatomically modern humans from far southeast europe: direct dating, culture and behavior. PloS one, 6(6). PMID: 21698105  

  • July 16, 2011
  • 01:39 AM
  • 1,415 views

The growth of atheism

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

Nigel Barber of The Daily Beast (Psychology Today) has posted on a forthcoming article in which he shows that the level of atheism increases with the quality of life. Barber explains the trend as follows: The reasons that churches lose ground in developed countries can be summarized in market terms. First, with better science, and [...]... Read more »

  • July 16, 2011
  • 01:30 AM
  • 1,798 views

When a child's death is not accidental

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Every year 3500 children under the age of fifteen die in industrialized nations as a result of abuse. In a CAPRA seminar, John Devaney talked about the characteristics of these deaths, about best practices in child death reviews, and about lessons learned to improve child protection. ... Read more »

Devaney, J., Lazenbatt, A., & Bunting, L. (2011) Inquiring into Non-Accidental Child Deaths: Reviewing the Review Process. British Journal of Social Work, 41(2), 242-260. DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcq069  

  • July 15, 2011
  • 03:57 PM
  • 2,129 views

Parental Perception of Child Weight Status

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. - Chinese proverb Childhood obesity is a growing problem for our society. However, we are still trying to find effective methods of dealing with this public health concern. Some researchers have suggested that family based interventions could be the most effective way to [...]... Read more »

Jones AR, Parkinson KN, Drewett RF, Hyland RM, Pearce MS, & Adamson AJ. (2011) Parental perceptions of weight status in children: the Gateshead Millennium Study. International journal of obesity, 35(7), 953-962. PMID: 21673651  

  • July 15, 2011
  • 01:52 PM
  • 1,133 views

An ecology of gardens and yards

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Tucked amidst acres of asphalt jungle are cities’ unsung environmental heroes. Yards, lawns, gardens—call them whatever you please—these bits of unpaved earth play a real role in supporting thriving urban ecosystems. And they could play the part even more eloquently if we thought of them as parts of a larger whole. Anyone who has spent [...]... Read more »

  • July 15, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,874 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Does Using an Interpreter Help or Hinder the Plaintiff?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You’ve seen non-native English speakers struggle to be understood on the witness stand. Even native English speakers can be tough to understand due to speech dialects or thick styles of pronunciation. We know accents make us all work harder to comprehend and that most of us don’t like to work that hard. So what happens [...]


Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Alpha and Omega Persuasion Strategies
Simple Jury Persuasion: Liking + Identification = Impact
Simple Jury Persuasion: “How........ Read more »

  • July 15, 2011
  • 04:04 AM
  • 1,049 views

Violent Brains In The Supreme Court

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Back in June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Californian law banning the sale of violent videogames to children was unconstitutional because it violated the right to free speech.However, the ruling wasn't unanimous. Justice Stephen Breyer filed a dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, it contains a whopping piece of bad neuroscience. The ruling is here. Thanks to the Law & Neuroscience Blog for noticing this.Breyer says (on page 13 of his bit)Cutting-edge neuroscience has shown that “vir........ Read more »

  • July 13, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,187 views

When graphic images backfire as persuasive tools

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

There has been a lot of reaction to the new graphic images the FDA will put on cigarette packs. From concerns about the government attempting to ‘regulate cool’ to derision and to concerns about the ‘shock value’ of the images, writers have been expressing their reactions. And so have researchers. There is a long history of research in [...]


Related posts:Images and ads create false memories
Three letter words that make a huge difference
Apology redux: Doing it right (and doing it w........ Read more »

Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2011) What makes an image memorable?. Science Daily. info:/

  • July 12, 2011
  • 12:42 PM
  • 1,431 views

Drive a lot? Housing density may not be to blame

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Pushing high density living may seem like a good way to get people out of their cars—saving them money, curbing emissions, and reducing oil dependence—but densification may not be a silver bullet, according to one recent study. The authors dug into the National Household Transportation Survey to examine per household vehicle ownership rates, vehicle miles [...]... Read more »

  • July 11, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,196 views

Size does matter—when you are lying

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written a number of times about deception and the detection thereof. Our goal continues to be to keep you up to date on what we actually know about the art of detecting deception and what is simply unreliable ‘common wisdom’. There is some really intriguing and interesting research out there including a new study we [...]


Related posts:Deception Detection: The latest on what we know
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!
Detecting Deception Using the Law of Sufficient Motivation
... Read more »

Eisenkopf, G., Gurtoviy, R., & Utikal, V. (2011) Size matters –when it comes to lies. University of Konstanz, Department of Economics. info:/

  • July 11, 2011
  • 05:56 AM
  • 2,093 views

The IQ Myth and its Fascist origins – Just how Intelligent are You?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Western culture has a peculiar fascination with ‘intelligence’. I’ve not taken an IQ test for years – and hopefully never will again. Being ‘intelligent’ is held in ludicrously high esteem (second probably only to good looks) that most people think they’ve either got it, or they haven’t. The ‘doctrine’ of an inborn intelligence seems to … Continue reading »... Read more »

White, S. (2000) Conceptual foundations of IQ testing. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 6(1), 33-43. DOI: 10.1037//1076-8971.6.1.33  

Henrich, J., Heine, S., & Norenzayan, A. (2010) The weirdest people in the world?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(2-3), 61-83. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X0999152X  

Bonthous, J. (1993) Understanding intelligence across cultures. Competitive Intelligence Review, 4(2-3), 12-19. DOI: 10.1002/cir.3880040205  

  • July 10, 2011
  • 05:00 PM
  • 1,368 views

Casey’s Case: What Psychology Says About Anthony’s Acquittal.

by Melanie Tannenbaum in PsySociety

In light of Anthony’s recent murder acquittal, plenty of people have wondered (either angrily or with genuine confusion) how a jury could possibly acquit Casey Anthony when her guilt seemed so apparent to the general public. As it turns out, several legal and psychological characteristics that have historically influenced the outcomes of jury trials may be able to clarify this bewilderment.... Read more »

Devine, D., Clayton, L., Dunford, B., Seying, R., & Pryce, J. (2001) Jury decision making: 45 years of empirical research on deliberating groups. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 7(3), 622-727. DOI: 10.1037//1076-8971.7.3.622  

Bowers, W. J., Sandys, M., & Steiner, B. (1998) Foreclosed impartiality in capital sentencing: Jurors' predispositions, guilt-trial experience, and premature decision making. Cornell Law Review, 1476-1556. info:/

  • July 10, 2011
  • 12:57 PM
  • 1,349 views

Beheading the “Snake God” at Rhino Cave

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Indiana Jones would have loved it: 65,000 years ago, stone age hunters in Africa gathered at night in a hidden cave to worship the giant rock snake that seemed to move in the flickering firelight and hissingly promised fertility so long as the rituals were performed. They came to this place every year during when [...]... Read more »

Coulson, Sheila, Staurset, Sigrid, & Walker, Nick. (2011) Ritualized Behavior in the Middle Stone Age: Evidence from Rhino Cave, Tsodilo Hills, Botswana. PaleoAnthropology, 18-61. info:/10.4207/PA.2011.ART42

  • July 9, 2011
  • 09:11 PM
  • 1,547 views

Teachable Moments in the Life of a Cigarette Smoker

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox


Child surgery makes smoking parents more likely to try quitting.

Here’s a strange one: Doctors at Mayo Clinic wanted to find out whether children undergoing surgery had any effect on the smoking behavior of their parents. And it did—but the effect appears to be short-lived.

The Mayo researchers began from the already well-tested proposition that smokers who have surgery are more likely to quit smoking. In fact, they quit at twice the rate of smokers who haven’t had surgery. Not hard to........ Read more »

  • July 9, 2011
  • 12:23 PM
  • 1,148 views

Depression: From Treatment to Diagnosis?

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

In theory, medicine works like this. You get some signs or symptoms. You go to the doctor, and depending on those, you get a diagnosis. Your doctor decides on the best available treatment on that basis.The logic of this system depends upon the sequence. A diagnosis is meant to be an objective statement about the nature of your illness; treatments (if any) come afterwards. It would be odd if the treatments on offer influenced what diagnosis you got.An interesting paper just out suggests that exac........ Read more »

  • July 8, 2011
  • 05:46 PM
  • 1,944 views

In Germany, Protestant culture is more trusting than Catholic culture

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Here's a novel study looking at how religion relates to social trust - you know, how trusting people are of each other. What's novel about it? Well, first off it's a study of Germans, so that's a new perspective we didn't have before.

Even more interestingly, however, it looks at the cultural effects of religion as well as the individual effects. In other words, if there are, say, more Protestants in an area, or more churchgoers, does that make people more trusting? Even if they are not Protest........ Read more »

  • July 8, 2011
  • 03:45 PM
  • 1,909 views

Men Talk about Mars, Women Talk about Venus

by Kristina Killgrove in Powered By Osteons

Last month, a variety of parenting blogs were in an uproar over the story of a Canadian family that didn’t feel like sharing the sex of newborn Storm with the rest of the world. The media had a field day with the notion of raising a “genderless” child, even after Storm’s mother published an explanation making it clear that their goal was to buffer the child against the relentless gender stereotyping we foist on infants from day one. From garish pink onesies that proclaim “Daddy’s ........ Read more »

A. Herdagdelen, & M. Baroni. (2011) Stereotypical gender actions can be extracted from web text. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. info:/

  • July 8, 2011
  • 12:18 PM
  • 1,981 views

Blame the environment for your bad habits

by sciencebase in Sciencebase Science Blog

Live fast, die young. You’re a long time gone. Sleep when you’re dead. The hedonists mantras. Lifestyle choices whether in terms of food consumption, alcohol and drugs or sexual activity are down to the individual. Nannying by governments, who have their own mantras: Smoking Kills, Know your limits, Get your five-a-day, Use protection, etc, all [...]Blame the environment for your bad habits is a post from: Sciencebase Science Blog
... Read more »

Claudio Ricciardi. (2011) Induced harmful lifestyles and healthy choices. Int. J. Environ. Health, 5(3), 262-273. info:/

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