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  • December 29, 2015
  • 08:04 AM
  • 1,226 views

Social Pain Revisited: Opioids for Severe Suicidal Ideation

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

Does the pain of mental anguish rely on the same neural machinery as physical pain? Can we treat these dreaded ailments with the same medications? These issues have come to the fore in the field of social/cognitive/affective neuroscience.As many readers know, Lieberman and Eisenberger (2015) recently published a controversial paper claiming that a brain region called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC, shown above) is “selective” for pain.1 This finding fits with their long-time narr........ Read more »

  • December 23, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 972 views

Reducing racial prejudice in just seven minutes 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This is a very different strategy for quickly reducing racial prejudice than past research has examined. This one involves the Buddhist practice called a Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) which involves focusing on a specific individual and repeating phrases like “may you be happy and healthy”. Researchers wanted to see if practicing a Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) would […]

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Is racial bias fueling anti-Obama rhetoric?
Seeing and Believing and Reducing Prejudice
Ten ........ Read more »

  • November 23, 2015
  • 01:58 AM
  • 1,185 views

Happiness Is a Large Precuneus

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

What is happiness, and how do we find it? There are 93,290 books on happiness at Amazon.com. Happiness is Life's Most Important Skill, an Advantage and a Project and a Hypothesis that we can Stumble On and Hard-Wire in 21 Days.The Pursuit of Happiness is an Unalienable Right granted to all human beings, but it also generates billions of dollars for the self-help industry.And now the search for happiness is over! Scientists have determined that happiness is located in a small region of your righ........ Read more »

Sato, W., Kochiyama, T., Uono, S., Kubota, Y., Sawada, R., Yoshimura, S., & Toichi, M. (2015) The structural neural substrate of subjective happiness. Scientific Reports, 16891. DOI: 10.1038/srep16891  

  • October 28, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 811 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: The “feelings-as-information” theory 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

You know this theory from painful and frustrating first-hand experiences. You present evidence and the jury ‘hears’ something else and bases their decisions on what they believe you said (or meant) rather than on the evidence as presented. While you (and we) know this happens over and over again, this week we finally ran across […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: Winning Minds and Touching Hearts
Simple Jury Persuasion: Make Your Expert Optimally Persuasive
Simple Jury Persua........ Read more »

Schwarz, N. In P. Van Lange, A. Kruglanski, . (2012) Feelings-as-information theory. Handbook of theories of social psychology., 289-308. DOI: 10.4135/9781446249215.n15  

  • October 14, 2015
  • 10:53 AM
  • 1,773 views

Feel Our Pain: Empathy and Moral Behavior

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

"It's empathy that makes us help other people. It's empathy that makes us moral." The economist Paul Zak casually makes this comment in his widely watched TED talk about the hormone oxytocin, which he dubs the "moral molecule". Zak quotes a number of behavioral studies to support his claim that oxytocin increases empathy and trust, which in turn increases moral behavior. If all humans regularly inhaled a few puffs of oxytocin through a nasal spray, we could become m........ Read more »

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Van Kleef, G., Shalvi, S., & Handgraaf, M. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(4), 1262-1266. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015316108  

Shalvi S, & De Dreu CK. (2014) Oxytocin promotes group-serving dishonesty. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(15), 5503-7. PMID: 24706799  

Xu X, Zuo X, Wang X, & Han S. (2009) Do you feel my pain? Racial group membership modulates empathic neural responses. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 29(26), 8525-9. PMID: 19571143  

  • September 25, 2015
  • 07:25 AM
  • 567 views

Scientists unravel mysteries around rhythm and language

by Cath Jex in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Struggling to learn a language? How are your musical skills? Scientists discover some of the hidden ways in which the two are linked.... Read more »

  • August 10, 2015
  • 07:25 AM
  • 433 views

Feeling stressed? Visit an aquarium to improve mental wellbeing

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

A new study has shown that visiting aquariums and spending time watching fish has benefits for both physical and mental health.... Read more »

  • August 3, 2015
  • 07:25 AM
  • 531 views

What your taste in music says about how you think

by TakFurTheKaffe in Tak Fur The Kaffe

Empathetic personalities tend to opt for gentle and sensual music, whilst the more analytical types preferred strong, intense tunes, new research shows.... Read more »

Greenberg DM, Baron-Cohen S, Stillwell DJ, Kosinski M, & Rentfrow PJ. (2015) Musical Preferences are Linked to Cognitive Styles. PloS one, 10(7). PMID: 26200656  

  • July 31, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 802 views

Workplace rudeness: Death of a thousand cuts 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It makes sense. If someone is rude to you, you might become grumpy and be rude in response, or rude to those who cross your path in the wake of the mistreatment. You may think of this as a small issue but new research shows us that rude behaviors are actually harmful—and, in fact, as […]

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The Workplace Ostracism Scale: Making the subjective objective?
Fat bias in the workplace
Who benefits from racism in the workplace?


... Read more »

  • July 23, 2015
  • 12:34 AM
  • 571 views

Teaching Ourselves and Our Children Not to Bully

by DaveMSW in Dare To Dream

This is a cross post from © 2015 ChooseHelp.com who welcomes republishing of their content on condition that you credit Choose Help and the author, David Earl Johnson, MSW, LICSW. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Bullying … Continue reading →... Read more »

Bond L, Carlin JB, Thomas L, Rubin K, & Patton G. (2001) Does bullying cause emotional problems? A prospective study of young teenagers. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 323(7311), 480-4. PMID: 11532838  

Lara VP, Caramelli P, Teixeira AL, Barbosa MT, Carmona KC, Carvalho MG, Fernandes AP, & Gomes KB. (2013) High cortisol levels are associated with cognitive impairment no-dementia (CIND) and dementia. Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry, 18-22. PMID: 23611893  

Schreier, A., Wolke, D., Thomas, K., Horwood, J., Hollis, C., Gunnell, D., Lewis, G., Thompson, A., Zammit, S., Duffy, L.... (2009) Prospective Study of Peer Victimization in Childhood and Psychotic Symptoms in a Nonclinical Population at Age 12 Years. Archives of General Psychiatry, 66(5), 527. DOI: 10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2009.23  

  • July 15, 2015
  • 05:09 AM
  • 938 views

Can Tetris Reduce Intrusive Memories of a Trauma Film?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

For some inexplicable reason, you watched the torture gore horror film Hostel over the weekend. On Monday, you're having trouble concentrating at work. Images of severed limbs and bludgeoned heads keep intruding on your attempts to code or write a paper. So you decide to read about the making of Hostel.You end up seeing pictures of the most horrifying scenes from the movie. It's all way too way much to simply shake off so then you decide to play Tetris. But a funny thing happens. The unwelcome i........ Read more »

  • July 10, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 721 views

Can you identify racist jurors by asking if they watch local  TV news?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

So here’s a voir dire fantasy: When race is salient to your case, strike for cause all potential jurors who say they watch their local television news. For what cause? Because they’re more likely to be racist—at least according to today’s research. Local news coverage tends to focus on crime according to the researchers and […]

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HDTV Jurors: What do you watch on TV?
How can I convince them this wasn’t racist? Just keep talking…
Non-citizen? Undocumented? Wa........ Read more »

Arendt, F, & Northup, T. (2015) Effects of long-term exposure to news stereotypes on implicit and explicit attitudes. International Journal of Communication,, 732-751. info:/

  • July 3, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 845 views

Trustworthiness, real adulthood, cat videos and how open you are to experiences 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Here’s another installment of things we think you might want to know but to which we don’t wish to devote an entire blog post. Keep reading to have tidbits worthy of sound bytes over drinks. The onset of ‘real’ adulthood Five years ago we were distressed to discover that middle age begins at 35 and […]

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There is a “naive faith in the trustworthiness of brain imaging data”
“I’ve got proof I’m open-minded!”: Inventing racist roads not taken
Your online av........ Read more »

  • May 29, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 1,016 views

I bought a house that is simply too  big and now I have to hire a cleaning service… 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Many of us have been taught to self-promote and we may even think others enjoy hearing of our successes. We’ve written about the principle of schadenfreude here before and if you recall those posts you may have already happily predicted that this will be a post about just how annoying those braggarts are to their […]

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How big is that potential juror’s house? 
Facial disfigurement is too disturbing, or why I won’t hire you
So. Are you simply a Millennial or are you j........ Read more »

  • May 27, 2015
  • 09:30 AM
  • 1,462 views

Where Do People Get Information About Dog Training?

by CAPB in Companion Animal Psychology Blog

Can people be blamed for dog training mistakes when there is so much erroneous information out there?Recently I saw a man walking a German Shepherd. Even from a distance it was clear the dog was nervous: his posture was low to the ground and the way he was walking made me wonder what kind of equipment he was on. As I waited at the traffic lights, I got a chance to see: a prong collar, tight, positioned high on his neck.There are easy alternatives, the simplest being a no-pull harness. I began to........ Read more »

Branson, N., Cobb, M., & McGreevy, P. (2009) Australian Working Dog Survey Report. Australian Animal Welfare Strategy. info:/

Deldalle, S., & Gaunet, F. (2014) Effects of two training methods on stress-related behaviors of the dog. Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 9(2), 58-65. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2013.11.004

  • May 27, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 1,021 views

The NoMoPhobia Scale (NMP-Q): What  happens when you are without your smartphone

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The smartphone has changed our lives. Just last fall, we wrote about the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Scale. As a reminder, that post was about how smartphones allow us to obsessively check our email and social media sites to see what our friends and followers and family members are doing— out of a fear […]

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The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) Scale
Stop looking at your smartphone & listen to me!
More than half of your potential jurors have  smartphones now


... Read more »

  • May 22, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 1,011 views

The Dirty Dozen Scale 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

This is not a scale to help you determine if your fruits and vegetables are dirty. This is for a different kind of dirt commonly referred to as the dark triad. Psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism make up the dark triad of personality traits and they are traits we all want to identify at different points […]

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The CAST Scale: A comprehensive assessment of sadistic tendencies
The Libertarian Orientation Scale: Who’s the (real) Libertarian?
I’ll show you who&#........ Read more »

Jonason PK, & Webster GD. (2010) The dirty dozen: a concise measure of the dark triad. Psychological Assessment, 22(2), 420-32. PMID: 20528068  

  • May 20, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 893 views

Narcissists and Pronouns: “I”, “me”, “mine” 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Conservative commentators like to say Barack Obama is cold and aloof (and narcissistic) because he uses so many personal pronouns in speeches. However, when compared to past Presidents, Obama’s personal pronoun use is actually lower than any President since 1945. It’s an interesting example of how our preexisting beliefs (and political orientation) skew how we […]

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So, potential juror, how much online porn do you watch?
R-rated pronouns and adjectives?
A scientific exp........ Read more »

Carey, AL, Brucks, MS, Küfner, ACP, Holtzman, NS, Deters, FG, Back, MD, Donnellan, MB, Pennebaker, JW, & Mehl, MR. (2015) Narcissists and Pronouns: “I”, “me” “mine”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/

  • May 15, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 756 views

Black victims of violent crimes aren’t treated any better by the system than Black defendants …

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

In December of last year, we wrote about investigative case files in Shreveport, Louisiana. One of the findings in the analysis of those investigative files was this: Overall, say the researchers, cases with White female victims resulted in the highest number of case file pages (i.e., the most investigative work) and the most severe sentences. […]

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Are you a murdered white female? Here is some small comfort!
Does your capital client “look deathworthy”?
Just because I t........ Read more »

  • May 13, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 779 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: “I will give you this car for  $9,000.”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We are always on the lookout for subtle but effective ways to persuade and here’s a new one. You are going to get more of what you want in any sort of negotiation if you use a very simple language style change. Instead of focusing on what the buyer stands to lose (in this case, […]

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Simple Jury Persuasion: The “consider the opposite” strategy
Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t tell me what to do!
Simple Jury Persuasion: Don’t confuse argument with persuasion


... Read more »

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