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  • January 18, 2011
  • 11:36 AM


by rattitude in Caring Carnivore

Labelling alerts consumers to qualities of the food that are not apparent from its intrinsic appearance.  these qualities are referred to variously as imperceptible, intrinsic or unobservable--and may include statuses such as 'organic' or 'genetically modified'. Concern about these qualities is termed "ethical preference". In the absence of labelling or other information that informs ethical choices, consumer are likely to feel less trust in the product. (Michalopoulos et al, 2008).Understa........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2011
  • 08:27 AM

Evolving Linguistic Replicators: Major Transitions and Grammaticalisation

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Just before Christmas I found myself in the pub speaking to Sean about his work on bilingualism, major transitions and the contrast between language change and the cultural evolution of language. Now, other than revealing that our social time is spent discussing our university work, the conversation brought up a distinction not often made: whilst language change is part of language evolution, the latter is also what we consider to be a major transition. As you evolutionary biologists will know, ........ Read more »

  • January 18, 2011
  • 04:43 AM

Putting it off

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

Why have I left it so long  between the last posting and this one? Partly, of course, there was the Christmas break. Too many things to do (and besides, who is going to read this blog in preference to spending precious festive time with their loved ones?). Oh, and then there was that workshop on [...]... Read more »

  • January 18, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

How media obsession fuels public fascination with the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ yet leaves other serial killers to serve their time as almost unknowns

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

When serial killers go unseen: The case of Trevor Joseph Hardy From Crime, Media and Culture UK headlines last week highlighted news regarding the denied plea of the ‘Yorkshire Ripper’ and confirmation he will spend all his life behind bars. This serial killer always sparks huge public interest. The article examines the differences in the [...]... Read more »

Wilson, D., Tolputt, H., Howe, N., & Kemp, D. (2010) When serial killers go unseen: The case of Trevor Joseph Hardy. Crime, Media, Culture, 6(2), 153-167. DOI: 10.1177/1741659010369952  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 07:19 AM

Vital topics forum in AA: ‘Nature and the human’

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

The question of ‘human nature’ is a fraught one for many anthropologists, especially those of us who pay special attention to human variation, Darwinian theory, and dynamic approaches to diversity in developmental questions.
The very concept ‘human nature’ can be the theoretical equivalent of the double-bind question, ‘So can you confirm that you no longer are a Creationist?’  Even conceding to respond to the question places us in a position where we wind up between the Scylla of th........ Read more »

Fuentes, A., Marks, J., Ingold, T., Sussman, R., Kirch, P., Brumfiel, E., Rapp, R., Ginsburg, F., Nader, L., & Kottak, C. (2010) On Nature and the Human. American Anthropologist, 112(4), 512-521. DOI: 10.1111/j.1548-1433.2010.01271.x  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Martin Luther King, Jr. & Eliot Spitzer: On letting people off the hook [Part I]

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Martin Luther King, Jr. committed adultery. So did Eliot Spitzer. And although CNN’s David Gergen insists he did not compare Eliot Spitzer with Martin Luther King, Jr., we know of some researchers who did. Effron & Monin (2010) wondered what made the difference in how we decide to punish some people for bad behavior let others [...]

Related posts:Eliot Spitzer, Uncivil Behavior & Possibilities of Redemption
Apology redux: Doing it right (and doing it wrong)
Got morals?
... Read more »

Effron DA, & Monin B. (2010) Letting people off the hook: when do good deeds excuse transgressions?. Personality and social psychology bulletin, 36(12), 1618-34. PMID: 20978222  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 04:00 AM

Copernicus and the Star that was bigger than the Universe

by Alun in AlunSalt

I’ve been trying to watch Cosmos by Carl Sagan. I’ve never seen it and it’s proving to be a bit of a struggle. He definitely can write. Some of the sequences are fantastic, but some of it is badly dated. The thing that really grates to me is his dismissal of Ptolemy and his geocentric... Read more »

Graney, C.M. (2010) The Telescope Against Copernicus: Star Observations by Riccioli Supporting a Geocentric Universe. Journal for the History of Astronomy, 41(4), 453-467. info:/

  • January 17, 2011
  • 03:12 AM

Imitation and Social Cognition in Humans and Chimpanzees (I): Imitation, Overimitation, and Conformity

by Michael in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Imitation is often seen as one of the crucial foundations of culture because it is the basis of  social learning and social transmission. Only by imitating others and learning from them did human culture become cumulative, allowing humans to build and improve on the knowledge of previous generations. Thus, . . . → Read More: Imitation and Social Cognition in Humans and Chimpanzees (I): Imitation, Overimitation, and Conformity... Read more »

Lyons DE, Young AG, & Keil FC. (2007) The hidden structure of overimitation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 104(50), 19751-6. PMID: 18056814  

  • January 17, 2011
  • 01:51 AM

Of Boobs, Babes and the JAMA

by Pranab Chatterjee in Scepticemia

I have been an avid reader of the JAMA Online and especially been attracted to the cover art of every JAMA print issue. For those who do not know, the JAMA is the Journal of the American Medical Association and … Continue reading →... Read more »

Clark JP. (1999) Babes and boobs? analysis of JAMA cover art. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 319(7225), 1603-4. PMID: 10600956  

  • January 16, 2011
  • 06:25 PM

Don't Advocate from a Position of Hate

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - On some days, just watching the news can stop us cold. Those who work in law should be proud to be part of a system that, however imperfectly, resolves disputes with appeals to reason and judgment rather than force. But the opposite end of the spectrum was seen in last week's devestating shooting in Tucson that left six dead and fourteen injured. While the motives of the shooter remain hazy at the time of writing, one element seems clear: for whatever twisted reason, the........ Read more »

Blatt B, LeLacheur SF, Galinsky AD, Simmens SJ, & Greenberg L. (2010) Does perspective-taking increase patient satisfaction in medical encounters?. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges, 85(9), 1445-52. PMID: 20736672  

Wayne Brockriede. (1972) Arguers as Lovers. Philosophy and Rhetoric, 1-11. info:/

Horberg, E., Oveis, C., Keltner, D., & Cohen, A. (2009) Disgust and the moralization of purity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 97(6), 963-976. DOI: 10.1037/a0017423  

  • January 16, 2011
  • 04:32 PM

P is happy and N is sad – a biological universal?

by Maria Wolters in Speech and Science

Twitter has been abuzz recently with news of a paper that claims to have found universal sound correlates of happiness and sadness: Auracher, J., Albers, S., Zhai, Y., Gareeva, G., & Stavniychuk, T. (2011). P Is for Happiness, N Is for Sadness: Universals in Sound Iconicity to Detect Emotions in Poetry Discourse Processes, 48 (1), [...]... Read more »

  • January 15, 2011
  • 10:31 PM

Does mathematical training increase our risk tolerance?

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

Humans are inherently risk averse. When offered a coin toss with a reward of $10,000 for heads but a loss of $10,000 for tails, most people would decline. They would likely agree to pay a significant sum to avoid the gamble, despite the expected value of the gamble being zero. When economists describe the preferences [...]... Read more »

  • January 14, 2011
  • 09:27 PM

The Mischief of Plants, the Birds & the Bees

by Linda Lin in Oz Blog No. 159

When it wasn't too quirky, the biological analogies and references in Adaptation were quite creative. The scene here wonderful illustrates the deception of bees by orchids. I wonder how many know that flowers are all geared to lure in...... Read more »

Baldwin, I. (2010) Plant volatiles. Current Biology, 20(9). DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.02.052  

Howe, G., & Jander, G. (2008) Plant Immunity to Insect Herbivores. Annual Review of Plant Biology, 59(1), 41-66. DOI: 10.1146/annurev.arplant.59.032607.092825  

Ratnieks, F., & Carreck, N. (2010) Clarity on Honey Bee Collapse?. Science, 327(5962), 152-153. DOI: 10.1126/science.1185563  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 04:58 PM

The inevitable rise of Amish machines

by Razib Khan in Gene Expression

About 20 years ago I lived for a year in a rural area where Amish were a common feature of country roads and farmers’ markets. My parents, being Muslims, would sometimes buy chickens from the local Amish and slaughter them according to halal. We had a relationship with a particular family. They were nice people, [...]... Read more »

Rowthorn R. (2011) Religion, fertility and genes: a dual inheritance model. Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society. PMID: 21227968  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 08:03 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: Keep them from going with the immoral flow!

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This isn’t a ‘feel good’ post about research into how we are driven to do good. Instead, it’s a post about how we don’t mind doing bad if it’s easier than doing (the more difficult) good. Those folks who advertise with the ‘easy’ button know a good thing when they see it. And it’s an [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Christian religious concepts increase racial prejudice
Simple Jury Persuasion: You may want to disagree with this post
Simple Jury Persuasion: On caffe........ Read more »

Teper, R., & Inzlicht, M. (2010) Active transgressions and moral elusions: Action framing influences moral behavior. Social Psychological and Personality Science. info:/

Johnson, E. (2003) MEDICINE: Do Defaults Save Lives?. Science, 302(5649), 1338-1339. DOI: 10.1126/science.1091721  

  • January 14, 2011
  • 06:47 AM

Agricultural biodiversity crucial to the agricultural “revolution”

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

I’ve started dabbling in the marshy shallows around the deep pool of my ignorance of the modern history of agriculture, and one thing has become even more obvious. Mixed farming — mixed species of crop as well as mixed kingdoms of plants and animals — was without a doubt the sine qua non of both [...]... Read more »

  • January 13, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Help Jurors Detect (or Protect) Holes in Expert Analysis

by Dr. Kevin Boully in Persuasive Litigator

by: Dr. Kevin Boully Infamous rock singer Courtney Love is in trouble again. Unless you’re her lawyer (or one of her forgiving fans)1, you are probably wondering what Love’s troubles have to do with your persuasive advocacy. Fair question. The Hole lead singer’s 2009 Twitter tirade against fashion designer Dawn Simorangkir made her a defendant in a defamation lawsuit that may be headed for trial in early February.2 Most importantly, Ms. Simorangkir has reportedly retained a social media ........ Read more »

  • January 13, 2011
  • 07:52 AM

Dog Exhibits Mutual Exclusivity Bias

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Pilley & Reid (2010) describe the incredible Chaser: A border collie who knows over 1,000 words. But does he really have a mutual exclusivity bias?... Read more »

  • January 13, 2011
  • 07:49 AM

Dog exhibits mutual exclusivity bias

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0


Pilley & Reid (2010) describe an experiment where a border collie was trained to learn proper nouns for objects.  After 3 years of training, the dog had learned over 1,000 proper names and showed no sign of slowing.  Experiments were run to test whether the dog understood the difference between nouns and commands and whether the . . . → Read More: Dog exhibits mutual exclusivity bias... Read more »

  • January 13, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

When a “home” becomes a “house”: care and caring in the flood recovery process

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

From Space and Culture             As Australia has become the latest victim of severe flooding, we are mindful of the potentially devastating consequences. This article looks back to the 2007 floods in North East England, to consider the care needs that are revealed, disrupted, and produced by the dependencies and vulnerabilities associated with flood recovery. It also uses diaries [...]... Read more »

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