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  • October 23, 2010
  • 07:40 AM

when in doubt, shout? maybe, but not so fast.

by Greg Fish in weird things

Ed Yong has a summary of a study which tries to show that proselytizing and overzealous support for an idea or an opinion comes from a lack of confidence in it, or basically, the most adamant proselytizers devote so much time and effort to proselytizing because they’re trying to convince themselves and create a bandwagon [...]... Read more »

  • October 23, 2010
  • 05:22 AM

Domain-General Regions and Domain-Specific Networks

by Wintz in A Replicated Typo 2.0

The notion of a domain-specific, language acquisition device is something that still divides linguists. Yet, in an ongoing debate spanning at least several decades, there is still no evidence, at least to my knowledge, for the existence of a Universal Grammar. Although, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the problem was solved many years ago, especially . . . → Read More: Domain-General Regions and Domain-Specific Networks... Read more »

Christiansen, M., & Chater, N. (2008) Language as shaped by the brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 31(05). DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X08004998  

  • October 22, 2010
  • 12:36 PM

Population, Part 2: Why 21st-Century Nations Want People to Have MORE Children

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

A central tenet of the population-panic school is that throughout the world, as Chris Hedges wrote last year in his usual Jeremiah-meets-angry-beehive style, we are heading for "an age of extinction and desolation" because "population growth is exploding." This is false: Environmental desolation may indeed be around the corner, but population growth is not the reason.
In fact, population growth rates are in free fall. They have been dropping for nearly 50 years. Thanks to improvements........ Read more »

  • October 22, 2010
  • 04:35 AM

To adapt or to transform? The choice is yours.

by Jan Husdal in

Many businesses believe themselves to be nested in a stable environment and are confounded when things suddenly change, and the world today no longer is the same world it was yesterday. While adaptation may work temporarily, transformation and building a resiliency capacity is what works best in the long run. What is it about resilience that is so important, and most importantly, why?... Read more »

  • October 21, 2010
  • 04:49 PM

Gamblers Rewarded by Near Misses

by Darcy Cowan in Skepticon

Earlier this year a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience looked at the brains of compulsive gamblers and concluded that when the the gamblers suffered “near-miss” losses their brains reacted as if they had won. Another study published slightly later in the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behaviour also looked at the brains [...]... Read more »

Habib, R. . (2010) Neurobehavioral evidence for the “near-miss” effect in pathological gamblers. JOURNAL OF THE EXPERIMENTAL ANALYSIS OF BEHAVIOR, 93(3), 313-328. info:/10.1901/jeab.2010.93-313

  • October 21, 2010
  • 08:00 AM

Wait, stop – we have an Avatar tree too!

by Bluegrass Blue Crab in Southern Fried Science

Remember how that Na'avi needed their tree of souls? Well, it might not be as obvious to us, but we depend on our forests too.
Dependence on natural resources is often relegated to a characteristic of the rural poor, a reason for development aid to swoop in and provide other economic opportunities. However, a recent article [...]... Read more »

  • October 21, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

Hosting the 2012 London Olympics may damage rather than regenerate local communities and businesses

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Visibilities and Invisibilities in urban development: Small business communities and the London Olympics 2012 From Urban Studies The coming of the London 2012 Olympic Games has been presented as a unique opportunity for the regeneration of east London. This article considers the potential repercussions of regeneration. It warns that the process of clearance of the [...]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 10:14 PM

The Ig-Nobel Prize for Economics: Should companies promote people at random?

by Brad Walters in Cortical Hemming and Hawing

This year, the nobel prize for economics was awarded to/shared by Peter A. Diamond of MIT, Dale T. Mortensen of Northwestern University, and Christopher A. Pissarides of the London School of Economics.  These three economists were honored for their work relating to government policies and employment and economic growth during recessions.  Among some of the many contributions in these areas are the finding that greater unemployment benefits can lead to longer periods of u........ Read more »

Pluchino, A., Rapisarda, A., & Garofalo, C. (2010) The Peter principle revisited: A computational study. Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 389(3), 467-472. DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2009.09.045  

  • October 20, 2010
  • 06:01 PM

German Autos at risk? Perhaps not.

by Jan Husdal in

An empirical analysis of supply chain risk management in the German automotive industry shows that the group using reactive supply chain risk management seems to do better in terms of disruptions resilience or the reduction of the bullwhip effect, whereas the group pursuing preventive supply chain risk management seems to do better as to flexibility or safety stocks. [ ... ]... Read more »

  • October 20, 2010
  • 05:30 AM

The rehabilitation aim of probation officers at odds with UK Government punishment agenda

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Attitudes and beliefs of trainee probation officers: A ‘new breed’? From Probation Journal In recent years the UK Government has been placing less emphasis on the idea of probation as a form of rehabilitation, instead re-framing it as ‘punishment in the community,’ with a focus on protecting the public. It has promoted the idea that [...]... Read more »

  • October 19, 2010
  • 05:18 PM

Referential labelling in Diana Monkeys

by Hannah Little in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Ok, so I was going to write an essay for my Origins of Language module on this but then got distracted by syntax (again) so I thought I’d put my thoughts in a blog post just so they don’t go to waste.

Diana monkeys, like vervet monkeys, use alarm calls to communicate the presence of a predator . . . → Read More: Referential labelling in Diana Monkeys... Read more »

Zuberbuhler, K. (2000) Interspecies semantic communication in two forest primates. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 267(1444), 713-718. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2000.1061  

  • October 19, 2010
  • 04:19 PM

Migrant identity and politicization

by Kris-Stella in Coffee Shop Philosophy

What is the relationship between national identity and politicization? In an era of widespread concerns over terrorism and the integration of minorities in Western societies, this is a relevant question. If one's identification with the new home country increases, what is the consequence for levels and types of political activity? Bernd Simon and Olga Grabow have published some interesting new research on the topic. Looking at Russian migrants in Germany (replicating a design that has previously........ Read more »

  • October 19, 2010
  • 05:33 AM

The role of media discourse framing attitudes towards the use of embryonic stem cells

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Beliefs about science and news frames in audience evaluations of embryonic and adult stem cell research From Science Communication There has been great global attention to the recent announcement that US doctors have begun the first official trial of using human embryonic stem cells in patients after getting the green light from regulators. The shift [...]... Read more »

  • October 18, 2010
  • 02:37 PM

Working and chronic pain

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

If there is one aspect of chronic pain management that has received more attention than returning to work, I don’t know it! In 1995 when I started working at my current workplace, work was almost a dirty word. I was accused at one time of being a ‘Siberian workcamp’ Commandante because some people thought it … Read more... Read more »

Costa-Black, K., Loisel, P., Anema, J., & Pransky, G. (2010) Back pain and work. Best Practice , 24(2), 227-240. DOI: 10.1016/j.berh.2009.11.007  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 10:04 AM

Two DonorsChoose projects you must support: Girls are good at math, and Technology tools while pregnant

by Kate Clancy in Context & Variation

A plea to fund DonorsChoose projects that highlights research on sexism in mathematics instruction.... Read more »

Alessandri SM, & Lewis M. (1993) Parental evaluation and its relation to shame and pride in young children. Sex Roles, 335-343. info:/

Fennema, E., Peterson, P., Carpenter, T., & Lubinski, C. (1990) Teachers attributions and beliefs about girls, boys, and mathematics. Educational Studies in Mathematics, 21(1), 55-69. DOI: 10.1007/BF00311015  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 09:49 AM

Alienated Youth More Likely to Lash Out

by APS Daily Observations in Daily Observations

Being rejected by their peers hurts all kids, but they vary in the way they react. Some kids deal with rejection by lashing out, which, taken to the extreme, can ... Read more »

Reijntjes, A., Thomaes, S., Bushman, B.J., Boelen, P.A., de Castro, B.O., & Telch, M.J. (2010) The outcast-lash-out effect in youth: alienation increases aggression following peer rejection. Psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science/ APS. PMID: 20739674  

  • October 18, 2010
  • 02:28 AM

Otto Selz: The Pioneer of Cognitive Thought Decades Before the Cognitive Revolution

by John Wayland in The Darwin Tribune

Otto Selz isn't a name many psychology students will ever come across often. Unfortunately, it seems with such big names of the 20th Century, such as Freud, Skinner etc taking centre stage, that many other prominent psychologists don't make it into the textbooks. This isn't to suggest their contribution was any less meaningful. On the contrary, today's article focuses on Otto Selz's work and life in the hope that many psychology students will discover a name they might not come across in cl........ Read more »

  • October 17, 2010
  • 06:01 PM

Six levels of risk management

by Jan Husdal in

In "Risk management in a dynamic society: a modelling problem" author Jens Rasmussen argues that risk management includes several levels ranging from legislators, over managers and work planners, to system operators. [ ... ]... Read more »

  • October 16, 2010
  • 07:08 PM

Making Fun of Gays is Such Fun...!

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

It would seem that overt acts of homophobic violence on campus might be in decline, replaced by a more insidious form of 'antigay' violence. In this study by Jewell and Morrison (2010), they ponder why it is that straight Canadian university students can hold, if not necessarily express, their homophobic attitudes.... Read more »

  • October 16, 2010
  • 05:22 PM

Understanding segregation in American Churches.

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Cliff Huang has created some amazing graphics depicting racial segregation in US cities. What I found fascinating was quite how sharp many of the boundaries are. They're often sharper than you would expect if the causes were simply economic.

That's because there's a powerful social phenomenom at work here, which is simply that people prefer to be with their own 'kind'. If you identify with a particular community, and that community is defined ethnically, then living outside of it can be very un........ Read more »

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