- Brain activity predicts promiscuity and problem drinking
- Talk is cheap: New study finds words speak louder than actions
- The fear you experience playing video games is real, and you enjoy it, IU study finds
- Sleeping on the job? Actually, that’s a good thing
- Most internet anonymity software leaks users’ details
- Sugary drinks linked to high death tolls worldwide
- Changing faces: We can look more trustworthy, but not more competent, NYU research finds
The study points to both the limits and potential we have in visually representing ourselves–from dating and career-networking sites to social media posts.
- Mindfulness Wrap by Dr Christian Jarrett for the BPS
The estimable Dr Christian Jarrett overviews Mindfulness in the latest Research Digest from the British Psychological Society.
- Is marriage good or bad for the figure?
Numerous studies have shown that marriage is good for your health. As a team of researchers from Basel, Nuremberg, and Berlin have now found, however, that does not apply to all health indicators. Their findings show that married couples on average eat better than singles, but that they also weigh significantly more and do less sport.
- Longer acquaintance levels the romantic playing field
Partners who become romantically involved soon after meeting tend to be more similar in physical attractiveness than partners who get together after knowing each other for a while, according to new findings
- Consciousness has less control than believed, according to new theory
Consciousness — the internal dialogue that seems to govern one’s thoughts and actions — is far less powerful than people believe, serving as a passive conduit rather than an active force that exerts control, according to a new theory proposed by an SF State researcher.
- Emotional brains ‘physically different’ to rational ones
Researchers at Monash University have found physical differences in the brains of people who respond emotionally to others’ feelings, compared to those who respond more rationally, in a study published in the journal NeuroImage.
- Humans’ built-in GPS is our 3-D sense of smell
Like homing pigeons, humans have a nose for navigation because our brains are wired to convert smells into spatial information, according to new research
- Researchers discover first sensor of Earth’s magnetic field in an animal
Researchers have identified the first sensor of the Earth’s magnetic field in an animal, finding in the brain of a tiny worm a big clue to a long-held mystery about how animals’ internal compasses work.
- Not-so-guilty pleasure: Viewing cat videos boosts energy and positive emotions
If you get a warm, fuzzy feeling after watching cute cat videos online, the effect may be more profound than you think.
- Attention to angry faces may predict future depression
Epidemiological data indicate that a majority of individuals who experience one episode of major depressive disorder will experience another depressive episode in the future. New research shows that an attentional bias toward angry faces is one risk factor that may predict future depressive episodes.
- Can phone data detect real-time unemployment?
If you leave your job, chances are your pattern of cellphone use will also change. Without a commute or workspace, it stands to reason, most people will make a higher portion of their calls from home — and they might make fewer calls, too.
- Penn vet professor investigates parasite-schizophrenia connection
“In other words, we ask, if you could stop infections with this parasite, how many cases could you prevent?” Smith said. “Over a lifetime, we found that you could prevent one-fifth of all cases. That, to me, is significant.”
- Rethinking the rebound: Unexpected effects of rejection
It’s portrayed in movies again and again – a character gets rejected by someone attractive and then falls willingly into the arms of someone perhaps less attractive. According to a new study, it’s not so simple: Rejection by an attractive man actually led women to socially distance themselves from an unattractive man, even when he offered acceptance.
- Eating less during late night hours may stave off some effects of sleep deprivation
Eating less late at night may help curb the concentration and alertness deficits that accompany sleep deprivation, according to results of a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine
- 73% of insomniacs cured after 1-hour therapy session
Those transitioning from acute to chronic insomnia are particularly vulnerable to the onset of depression due to the condition.
- Stanford researchers tie unexpected brain structures to creativity — and to stifling it
“We found that activation of the brain’s executive-control centers — the parts of the brain that enable you to plan, organize and manage your activities — is negatively associated with creative task performance,” said Reiss
- Unplanned purchases: Why does that Snickers bar looks better the longer you shop?
You go to the grocery store to buy a pound of ground beef and a can of tomato sauce. You walk out with the ground beef, the sauce, and a bag of chocolate-covered almonds, a silicon spatula, and the latest celebrity magazine. What happened? According to a new study in the Journal of Marketing, what and when you purchased determined the array of items you eventually bought.
- Fond memories make fragrances a favorite
When the scent of a fragrant product triggers a fond memory that a customer holds, it is more likely to be a hit. A product’s scent often evokes personal emotional memories and influences its appeals to customers.
- High levels of moral reasoning correspond with increased gray matter in brain
Individuals with a higher level of moral reasoning skills showed increased gray matter in the areas of the brain implicated in complex social behavior, decision making, and conflict processing as compared to subjects at a lower level of moral reasoning, according to new research from the Perelman School of Medicine
- Anticipating temptation may reduce unethical behavior, research finds
Why do good people do bad things? It’s a question that has been pondered for centuries, and new research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology may offer some insights about when people succumb to versus resist ethical temptations.
- Subconscious learning shapes pain responses
Researchers report that people can be conditioned to associate images with particular pain responses – such as improved tolerance to pain – even when they are not consciously aware of the images
- How we make emotional decisions
MIT researchers have now identified a neural circuit that appears to underlie decision-making in this type of situation, which is known as approach-avoidance conflict. The findings could help researchers to discover new ways to treat psychiatric disorders that feature impaired decision-making, such as depression, schizophrenia, and borderline personality disorder.
- Unlearning implicit social biases during sleep
Can we learn to rid ourselves of our implicit biases regarding race and gender? A new Northwestern University study indicates that sleep may hold an important key to success in such efforts.
- Not making enough money? Check your attitude
Holding cynical beliefs about others may have a negative effect on your income according to research published by the American Psychological Association.
- Study: 44 percent of parents struggle to limit cell phone use at playgrounds
Cell phone use at playgrounds is a significant source of parental guilt, as well as a powerful distraction when children try to get caregivers’ attention or ask to them to watch a monkey bar trick for the hundredth time.
- Discovery paves way for homebrewed drugs
Bioengineers at the University of California, Berkeley, has completed key steps needed to turn sugar-fed yeast into a microbial factory for producing morphine and potentially other drugs, including antibiotics and anti-cancer therapeutics.>
- The cost of dominance
Bad news for relentless power-seekers the likes of Frank Underwood on House of Cards: Climbing the ladder of social status through aggressive, competitive striving might shorten your life as a result of increased vulnerability to cardiovascular disease. And good news for successful types who are friendlier: Attaining higher social status as the result of prestige and freely given respect may have protective effects, the researchers found.
- How a wedding engagement changes Twitter feeds
After people got engaged, tweets with the word “I” or “me” dropped by 69 percent. They were replaced with “we” and “us.” There was barely any change within the control group.
- Genes predispose some people to focus on the negative
A new study by a University of British Columbia researcher finds that some people are genetically predisposed to see the world darkly.
The study, published in Psychological Science, finds that a previously known gene variant can cause individuals to perceive emotional events–especially negative ones – more vividly than others.
- Story envy: When we borrow other people’s personal anecdotes
Admit it, have you ever told a cracking story to your friends but failed to include the crucial (but perhaps boring) caveat that the amusing events actually happened to someone else? A new survey of hundreds of US undergrads finds that borrowing personal memories in this way is common place.
- Can cheap wine taste great? Brain imaging and marketing placebo effects
When consumers taste cheap wine and rate it highly because they believe it is expensive, is it because prejudice has blinded them to the actual taste, or has prejudice actually changed their brain function, causing them to experience the cheap wine in the same physical way as the expensive wine? Research in the Journal of Marketing Research has shown that preconceived beliefs may create a placebo effect so strong that the actual chemistry of the brain changes.
- Real stereotypes continue to exist in virtual worlds
Stereotypes related to gender and appearance that burden women in the real world could follow them into virtual ones, according to researchers. In a study of how people interacted with avatars in an online game, women received less help from fellow players than men when they operated an unattractive avatar and when they used a male avatar, said T. Franklin Waddell, a doctoral candidate in mass communications, Penn State.
- First evolutionary history of 50 years of music charts using big data analysis of sounds
1986 was the most boring year in pop music and the Beatles and Stones were trend followers rather than pioneers. The biggest musical revolution was hip hop in 1991, says a new big data analysis of modern pop music.
- Earworms? Chewing gum could be the solution.
The study found that people who chewed gum after hearing catchy songs thought less often about the song than in a control condition. Chewing gum also reduced the amount they ‘heard’ the song by one third.
- We all want high social status
Not everyone may care about having an impressive job title or a big, fancy house but all human beings desire a high level of social status, according to a newly published study. For decades, researchers have argued both sides of the question: is it human nature to want high standing in one’s social circle, profession, or society in general?