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Daily Observations: Your source for the latest psychological research.

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  • November 6, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 138 views

Infants Can Tell If You’re a Reliable Informant

by amikulak in Daily Observations

It’s hard to know how babies think, since they’re still getting a handle on language skills.  One strategy that researchers use to gain some insight is eye tracking, which allows […]... Read more »

Tummeltshammer, K., Wu, R., Sobel, D., & Kirkham, N. (2014) Infants Track the Reliability of Potential Informants. Psychological Science, 25(9), 1730-1738. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614540178  

  • October 27, 2014
  • 10:20 AM
  • 102 views

Focusing on the Past or Future Shapes Spatial Perception of Time

by amikulak in Daily Observations

We often think about the future as being in front of us and the past as being at our back – as we walk, places we pass are behind us, […]... Read more »

  • September 15, 2014
  • 09:49 AM
  • 224 views

Great Apes Share Our Ability to Predict Goal-Oriented Actions

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Within a year after birth, human infants develop the ability to direct their attention to the anticipated goal of another person’s movement, before it has occurred.  So, for example, our […]... Read more »

  • August 11, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 151 views

OCD Linked With Broad Impairments in Executive Function

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), characterized by intrusive and persistent thoughts that are often accompanied by repetitive or ritualized acts, is a serious clinical disorder that can significantly impact a person’s ability […]... Read more »

  • August 4, 2014
  • 01:10 PM
  • 118 views

Typical Items Facilitate Fear Learning, Atypical Items Don’t

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Have you ever recoiled at something because it reminds you of something else that you’re genuinely afraid of?  Research indicates that people have a propensity to generalize their fear — […]... Read more »

  • July 30, 2014
  • 09:19 AM
  • 244 views

Higher Implicit Self-Esteem Linked to Positive Evaluation of Spouses

by amikulak in Daily Observations

It’s often said that we can’t love others unless we love ourselves.  According to a new study, this may be true, but perhaps in a different way than we expect: […]... Read more »

  • July 10, 2014
  • 12:18 PM
  • 265 views

Learning for Survival? Venom Overrides Other Snake Categories

by amikulak in Daily Observations

We deal with the world around us by putting it into categories. We are constantly trying to understand the things we encounter by classifying them: Is this a food I […]... Read more »

  • July 8, 2014
  • 09:38 AM
  • 324 views

Sleep May Help the Brain Integrate New Language Skills

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Scientists have understood for decades that the brain is “plastic,” meaning that our neural connections change and adapt in response to new experiences. One factor that seems to play a […]... Read more »

Gaskell, M., Warker, J., Lindsay, S., Frost, R., Guest, J., Snowdon, R., & Stackhouse, A. (2014) Sleep Underpins the Plasticity of Language Production. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614535937  

  • June 24, 2014
  • 09:05 AM
  • 318 views

Social Networks May Guide Parents to Particular Autism Interventions

by amikulak in Daily Observations

After receiving a life-changing diagnosis for themselves or a loved one, people often turn to social networks for support and information. Parents of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) […]... Read more »

  • June 19, 2014
  • 09:16 AM
  • 316 views

Everyday Aggression: We Hurt Those Closest to Us

by amikulak in Daily Observations

When we think of aggression, we might think of road rage or a bar fight, situations in which people are violent toward strangers.  But research suggests that aggression is actually […]... Read more »

South Richardson, D. (2014) Everyday Aggression Takes Many Forms. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(3), 220-224. DOI: 10.1177/0963721414530143  

  • June 16, 2014
  • 09:43 AM
  • 249 views

People Sensitive to Criticism May Be Biased Toward Focusing on the Negative

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Being on the receiving end of criticism from loved ones is unpleasant for anybody, but for some people, it may go so far as to affect their mental health. Research […]... Read more »

Masland, S., Hooley, J., Tully, L., Dearing, K., & Gotlib, I. (2014) Cognitive-Processing Biases in Individuals High on Perceived Criticism. Clinical Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/2167702614529935  

  • June 5, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 322 views

“Out, Damned Spot!”: Obsessive-Like Behavior Linked to Specific Type of Guilt

by amikulak in Daily Observations

If you’ve ever watched the T.V. show Monk, you know that obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by a fixation on certain thoughts and a need to engage in repetitive behaviors, […]... Read more »

  • June 4, 2014
  • 09:45 AM
  • 419 views

Spirituality May Help Buffer New Mothers Against Postpartum Depression

by amikulak in Daily Observations

While the birth of a new baby is usually an exciting time for parents, for half a million American mothers each year, childbirth is followed by the onset of postpartum […]... Read more »

Cheadle, A., Dunkel Schetter, C., Gaines Lanzi, R., Reed Vance, M., Sahadeo, L., Shalowitz, M., , ., Vance, M., Minkovitz, C., O'Campo, P.... (2014) Spiritual and Religious Resources in African American Women: Protection From Depressive Symptoms After Childbirth. Clinical Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/2167702614531581  

  • May 19, 2014
  • 11:25 AM
  • 304 views

Predicting Uncertain Events on a Global Scale

by amikulak in Daily Observations

When it comes to predicting world events, some of the most influential decisions are fraught with a significant amount of uncertainty: Will this national economy stabilize or crash? Will that […]... Read more »

Mellers, B., Ungar, L., Baron, J., Ramos, J., Gurcay, B., Fincher, K., Scott, S., Moore, D., Atanasov, P., Swift, S.... (2014) Psychological Strategies for Winning a Geopolitical Forecasting Tournament. Psychological Science, 25(5), 1106-1115. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614524255  

  • May 14, 2014
  • 09:57 AM
  • 454 views

Accents Can Carry Over When You Switch Between Languages

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Switching back and forth between two different languages presents a cognitive challenge that can trip up even the most fluent bilingual speakers. Researcher Matthew Goldrick of Northwestern University and colleagues […]... Read more »

Goldrick, M., Runnqvist, E., & Costa, A. (2014) Language Switching Makes Pronunciation Less Nativelike. Psychological Science, 25(4), 1031-1036. DOI: 10.1177/0956797613520014  

  • May 5, 2014
  • 10:00 AM
  • 285 views

From Our Pets to Our Plates: The Psychology of Eating Animals

by amikulak in Daily Observations

We love animals, caring for some as if they were members of our families, and yet we eat animals, too. In fact, we eat a lot of meat — data […]... Read more »

Loughnan, S., Bastian, B., & Haslam, N. (2014) The Psychology of Eating Animals. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(2), 104-108. DOI: 10.1177/0963721414525781  

  • April 18, 2014
  • 01:56 PM
  • 467 views

Moving Beyond “Just-So Stories”: Young Children Can Be Taught Basic Natural Selection

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Spend more than a few hours with a child under the age of 10 and “why?” is a question you’re likely to hear a. Children are naturally curious explorers, and […]... Read more »

  • April 15, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 792 views

Young Children Take Authoritarian Cues From Their Parents

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Some people bridle at the very idea of having to bend to authority. Others, however, value following a leader and playing by the rules, a trait that researchers refer to […]... Read more »

  • April 14, 2014
  • 09:00 AM
  • 332 views

Idealistic Thinking Linked With Economic Slump

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Envisioning a bright future should pave the way for success, right? Maybe not. Research suggests that thinking about an idealized future may actually be linked with economic downturn, not upswing. […]... Read more »

  • April 9, 2014
  • 10:36 AM
  • 366 views

Did You Hear That? Specific Brain Activity Linked With Imagined Hearing

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Being able to distinguish what is real and what is not may seem pretty basic, but the inability to perform this task could be a marker of many psychiatric disorders. […]... Read more »

Sugimori, E., Mitchell, K., Raye, C., Greene, E., & Johnson, M. (2014) Brain Mechanisms Underlying Reality Monitoring for Heard and Imagined Words. Psychological Science, 25(2), 403-413. DOI: 10.1177/0956797613505776  

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