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Daily Observations: Your source for the latest psychological research.

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  • July 10, 2014
  • 12:18 PM
  • 70 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
  • 67 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
  • 93 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
  • 119 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
  • 27 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
  • 56 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
  • 165 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
  • 155 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
  • 199 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
  • 102 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
  • 268 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
  • 190 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
  • 155 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
  • 211 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  

  • April 4, 2014
  • 08:00 AM
  • 183 views

The Taxman Cometh: Science Explains Why Some Pay and Others Evade

by amikulak in Daily Observations

The first week of April is drawing to a close, which means millions of Americans are making a mad dash to get their taxes done and filed by the April […]... Read more »

Kirchler, E., Kogler, C., & Muehlbacher, S. (2014) Cooperative tax compliance: From deterrence to deference. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23(2), 87-92. DOI: 10.1177/0963721413516975  

  • March 28, 2014
  • 09:57 AM
  • 209 views

Patching the Leaky Pipeline of Women in STEM

by amikulak in Daily Observations

March is designated Women’s History Month in the United States, recognizing “generations of women whose commitment to nature and the planet have proved invaluable to society.” And yet, as we […]... Read more »

  • March 27, 2014
  • 11:46 AM
  • 578 views

Kids Come to Like Their Own Before They Dislike “Outsiders”

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Social groups form along all sorts of lines — from nationality to age to shared interests, and everything in between. We come to identify with our groups, whichever those might […]... Read more »

  • March 26, 2014
  • 09:53 AM
  • 171 views

Busted Bracket? Science Suggests Strategy to Improve March Madness Picks

by amikulak in Daily Observations

It’s official: No one on this planet will walk away with Warren Buffett’s $1 billion dollar prize for filling out a perfect March Madness bracket. Hopes for the money were […]... Read more »

  • March 21, 2014
  • 01:45 PM
  • 508 views

What’s the Value of a Dollar? It Depends on How You Perceive Numbers

by amikulak in Daily Observations

When it comes to how we value money, all dollars (or Euros or yen or pesos) are not created equal. If someone gives you three dollar bills and then offers […]... Read more »

  • March 10, 2014
  • 10:45 AM
  • 214 views

Money and Morality: Lack of Resources May Lead to Harsher Moral Judgments

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Material resources, specifically income, have a sustaining impact on our lives. They dictate fundamental aspects of life, like where we live, and more peripheral aspects, such as whether we can […]... Read more »

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