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  • May 9, 2011
  • 05:52 PM

US Trained Crows to Hunt Bin Laden

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

True story.... Read more »

Marzluff, J., Walls, J., Cornell, H., Withey, J., & Craig, D. (2010) Lasting recognition of threatening people by wild American crows. Animal Behaviour, 79(3), 699-707. DOI: 10.1016/j.anbehav.2009.12.022  

  • May 9, 2011
  • 04:34 PM

Feeling Down? Science Says Go Shopping (But Use Credit)

by Jason Goldman in The Thoughtful Animal

My latest piece for LAist just went up:

Retail therapy: It's the answer for almost any problem. Girlfriend broke up with you? Didn't get that promotion? Buy yourself something pretty. People like to shop, especially for high-status items, when they're feeling down. Decades of research has indicated that when a key feature of one's identity is threatened - such as by being passed over for a promotion or being dumped by a former lover - people turn to things. Possessions can allow us to signal ou........ Read more »

Nathan C. Pettit, & Niro Sivanathan. (2011) The Plastic Trap: Self-Threat Drives Credit Usage and Status Consumption . Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2(2), 146-153. info:/10.1177/1948550610385138

  • May 9, 2011
  • 10:49 AM

On the "Hot Hand" in Basketball

by Chad Orzel in Uncertain Principles

A little while back, Jonah Lehrer did a nice blog post about reasoning that used the famous study by Gilovich, Vallone and Tversky, The Hot Hand in Basketball (PDF link) as an example of a case where people don't want to believe scientific results. The researchers found absolutely no statistical evidence of "hot" shooting-- a player who had made his previous couple of shots was, if anything, slightly less likely to make the next one. Lehrer writes:

Why, then, do we believe in the hot hand? Con........ Read more »

  • May 9, 2011
  • 10:49 AM

A Mixture of Justice and Revenge: Target Juror Psychology in Awarding Damages

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - Exactly what do people celebrate when they see a fitting result? Sometimes it is justice, and sometimes it includes a measure of payback or revenge as well. Just over a week ago, news from the Oval Office ignited jubilant celebrations in Times Square and many other parts of the country. Scenes of the rapture that greeted the death of Osama Bin Laden caused some observers to wonder at the civility of a response that might have seemed more appropriate for a sports victory,........ Read more »

  • May 9, 2011
  • 06:04 AM

Bilingual math

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Over the past year or so I’ve started to make my daughter do daily arithmetic practice in German. My reason for doing so stems from my dissatisfaction with the ways in which rote learning and memorization as a learning style … Continue reading →... Read more »

Aneta Pavlenko (Ed.). (2011) Thinking and Speaking in Two Languages. Multilingual Matters. info:/

  • May 9, 2011
  • 05:19 AM

Why are resilient supply chains so important?

by Jan Husdal in

Since its inception this article has formed the bedrock for practically every literature review on supply chain resilience. Frankly, if you are investigating how to make supply chains more resilient, and if you forget to mention this article in your literature review, then I would say that obviously, you have absolutely no clue about supply chains or resilience.... Read more »

Christopher, M., & Peck, H. (2004) Building the Resilient Supply Chain. The International Journal of Logistics Management, 15(2), 1-14. DOI: 10.1108/09574090410700275  

  • May 8, 2011
  • 05:03 PM

Religion only makes for happy people if there's a lot of it about

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

In the previous post I wrote about how the link between religion and happiness, often thought to be rock-solid, doesn't seem to apply in England.

That suggests that the relationship between religion and happiness might vary from society to society. Now a new analysis, by Jan Eichhorn at the University of Edinburgh, finds that this indeed might be the case. He looked at 43 countries, mostly from Europe but also including the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Same as everyone else Eichhorn found t........ Read more »

  • May 7, 2011
  • 04:14 PM

Rise of the Rat Brained Robots

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

Kevin Warwick and his team at Reading University have successfully created a robot controlled directly by a rat's brain.... Read more »

Warwick, K., Xydas, D., Nasuto, S. J., Becerra, V. M., Hammond, M. W., Downes, J., Marshall, S., & Whalley, B . Defence Science, 60. (2010) Controlling a mobile robot with a biological brain. Defence Science, 60(1), 5-14. info:/

  • May 7, 2011
  • 01:50 AM

Mental Health Services Do Not Prevent Suicide

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

Wish as we may, the much practised practice of bunging suicidal individuals into psychiatric care (of one form or another)has not yielded the kind of improvements in the overall suicide rate that one would have expected. Why not? A point not really answered by Johannessen et al. (2011) in their little paper on how bigger mental health bucks in Norway have had null impact on the overall suicide rate in that country. Should we spend more or try another trick? On that latter tricky point, the autho........ Read more »

  • May 6, 2011
  • 04:38 AM

Bayesian phylogenetic analysis of Japonic languages

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Lee & Hasagawa (2011) use phylogenetic methods to trace the origins of Japonic languages and dialects.... Read more »

  • May 6, 2011
  • 02:26 AM

Can foreign languages drive you crazy?

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

On The Science Show they recently had a program about how unfamiliar sounds, rhythms and tonalities can drive people crazy. I learnt that neuroscientists have been experimenting with the idea that when confronted with unfamiliar musical patterns the brain releases … Continue reading →... Read more »

Lehrer, Jonah. (2007) Proust was a neuroscientist. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. info:/

  • May 5, 2011
  • 09:51 PM

Memento Mori: Thoughts of Death Can Subtly Bias People's Ideas about Human Origins

by Lindsay in Autist's Corner

Discussion of some psychological research into the emotional underpinnings of creationism... Read more »

  • May 5, 2011
  • 11:46 AM

In Malpractice Litigation, Account for Jurors' Motive to Trust the Doctor

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

There is a pattern in medical malpractice litigation: people want to trust their doctors. This pattern is something observed in our own experience, in human psychology, and in attitudes toward malpractice trials. Plaintiffs only win when jurors are able to overcome that trust. The best thing that doctor-defendants have in their corner is jurors' strong pull toward trusting the doctor. Job number one in a medical malpractice defense is to avoid any behavior that could lead fact-finders to ab........ Read more »

  • May 4, 2011
  • 09:03 AM

Forests at your service: lessons from Kibale

by Jeremy in Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog

We are submitting this post to the ‘Forests: Nature at Your Service’ blogging competition being run by UNEP and Treehugger in celebration of World Environment Day. Wish us luck. It must have seemed a no-brainer. Uganda’s Kibale National Park (KNP) is scenic, diverse, important for the largest bit of mid-elevation tropical rainforest remaining in East [...]... Read more »

  • May 3, 2011
  • 01:00 PM

Why Listen to the Local Guy?

by Bluegrass Blue Crab in Southern Fried Science

policymaking during comanagement in Mongolia, Two of Ostrom’s (1990) institutional design principles emphasize the role of the local –rules must be adapted to local conditions and resource users must participate in the rulemaking process. These principles were determined empirically through cross-site analysis, but a large body of research from science studies [...]... Read more »

  • May 3, 2011
  • 11:45 AM

Animals seek calm seas in oceans of human influence

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Habitat loss can be like death by a thousand cuts for ecosystems. Each conversion to farmland, housing, or pasture, when taken on its own, may seem a small, inconsequential nick on the surface of a vast planet. But together, and over decades and centuries, these cuts add up, leaving only tiny remnants of the original [...]... Read more »

  • May 3, 2011
  • 08:28 AM

What the Higgs is going on? The idiot’s ludicrously simple guide to what the ‘God Particle’ is… (and in under 4 minutes)

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Does science make you queasy? Thinking about physics tends to make me feel rather seasick. If you’ve ever tried to imagine how big infinity is then you’ll probably know what I mean. News agencies have been buzzing with reports that the discovery of the fabled ‘God particle’ is close at hand. But who really knows … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • May 3, 2011
  • 12:26 AM

Ingroups, Identities, and In-Memoriams: Why We Must Remember Never To Forget

by Melanie Tannenbaum in ionpsych

People around the world are still figuring out the right way to react to the news of Osama Bin Laden’s death last night – May 1, 2011. This is not the only significant historical event to happen on May 1. … Continue reading →... Read more »

Sahdra, B., & Ross, M. (2007) Group Identification and Historical Memory. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33(3), 384-395. DOI: 10.1177/0146167206296103  

Baumeister, R. F., & Hastings, S. (1997) Distortions of collective memory: How groups flatter and deceive themselves. In J. W. Pennebaker, D. Paez, , 277-293. info:/

Milgram, S. (1963) Behavioral Study of obedience. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67(4), 371-378. DOI: 10.1037/h0040525  

  • May 2, 2011
  • 02:35 PM

Convert Your Conspiracy Theorists: Research Shows it Can Be Done

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

Those who count on the human ability to prioritize reason and evidence over unshakable conviction -- and all participants in the litigation process ought to count themselves in that group -- should take note of the persistence of questions over the President's place of birth, and the sad take-away that proof can be no match for a committed theory. The tendency to cling to conspiracy theories and other beliefs long after they've been refuted points to an underlying psychological need for cogniti........ Read more »

Kahan, D.M. et al. (2007) The Second National Risk and Culture Study: Making Sense of—and Making Progress In— the American Culture War of Fact . Yale Law School, Public Working Paper. info:/

  • May 1, 2011
  • 05:35 PM

I Liked The Royal Wedding (And It’s OK If You Did Too)

by Melanie Tannenbaum in ionpsych

  It’s official. As of Friday morning, England has a new future queen – Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge. Formerly known as Kate Middleton.   In the weeks leading up to the Royal Wedding, there seemed to be a lot of … Continue reading →... Read more »

French, J., & Raven, B.H. (1959) The bases of social power. Studies of Social Power. Cartwright, D. (ed.) Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research. info:/

Fragale, A.R., Overbeck, J.R., & Neale, M.A. (2011) Resources versus respect: Social judgments based on targets' power and status positions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/10.1016/j.jesp.2011.03.006

Charles, K., & Hurst, E. (2003) The Correlation of Wealth across Generations. Journal of Political Economy, 111(6), 1155-1182. DOI: 10.1086/378526  

Norton, M.I, & Ariely, D. (2011) Building a better America - One wealth quintile at a time. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 9-12. info:/10.1177/1745691610393524

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