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Daily Observations: Your source for the latest psychological research.

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  • July 21, 2015
  • 01:24 PM

Watch Out for the Experienced Study Participant

by amikulak in Daily Observations

When conducting psychology studies online or in the lab, researchers might not think about participants’ past experiences as a research subject. But research published in Psychological Science suggests that these […]... Read more »

Chandler, J., Paolacci, G., Peer, E., Mueller, P., & Ratliff, K. (2015) Using Nonnaive Participants Can Reduce Effect Sizes. Psychological Science, 26(7), 1131-1139. DOI: 10.1177/0956797615585115  

  • July 6, 2015
  • 10:00 AM

Brain Activity of Passengers on Terrifying Flight Sheds Light on Trauma Memory

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Neuroimaging data collected from a group of passengers who thought they were going to die when their plane ran out of fuel over the Atlantic Ocean in the summer of […]... Read more »

  • June 10, 2015
  • 02:54 PM

How Did Humans Learn to Count? Baboons May Offer Clues

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Learning to count comes early in life for humans. Most kids know how to count before they enter formal schooling and the ability to understand basic quantities is fundamental to […]... Read more »

Cantlon, J., Piantadosi, S., Ferrigno, S., Hughes, K., & Barnard, A. (2015) The Origins of Counting Algorithms. Psychological Science, 26(6), 853-865. DOI: 10.1177/0956797615572907  

  • May 4, 2015
  • 10:08 AM

Man with Restored Sight Provides New Insight into How Vision Develops

by amikulak in Daily Observations

California man Mike May made international headlines in 2000 when his sight was restored by a pioneering stem cell procedure after 40 years of blindness. A study published three years […]... Read more »

Huber, E., Webster, J., Brewer, A., MacLeod, D., Wandell, B., Boynton, G., Wade, A., & Fine, I. (2015) A Lack of Experience-Dependent Plasticity After More Than a Decade of Recovered Sight. Psychological Science, 26(4), 393-401. DOI: 10.1177/0956797614563957  

  • March 20, 2015
  • 10:48 AM

Understanding the Origin of Psychopathic Tendencies Through Chimpanzees

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Psychopathy, a personality disorder characterized by antisocial behavior, lack of empathy, and disinhibition, is typically investigated among clinical and forensic samples, and sometimes among the general population. But a team […]... Read more »

Latzman, R., Drislane, L., Hecht, L., Brislin, S., Patrick, C., Lilienfeld, S., Freeman, H., Schapiro, S., & Hopkins, W. (2015) A Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) Model of Triarchic Psychopathy Constructs: Development and Initial Validation. Clinical Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1177/2167702615568989  

  • February 23, 2015
  • 03:54 PM

Mistargeted Messages Could Spur Help-Seeking for Depression

by amikulak in Daily Observations

From decades of research, scientists have developed effective, empirically-validated interventions for treating major depression and, yet, many people suffering from depression don’t receive these treatments. While there can be many reasons […]... Read more »

  • February 9, 2015
  • 08:00 AM

Feeding Mental Health Through Nutritional Interventions

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Major depression affects many millions of people worldwide and is one of the leading causes of disability, according to data from the World Health Organization. Diagnosing and treating depression is, […]... Read more »

  • January 20, 2015
  • 10:34 AM

Perspective-Tracking Brain Response Could Help Identify Children with Autism

by amikulak in Daily Observations

Using brain imaging to examine neural activity associated with our ability to distinguish the self from others may offer scientists a relatively accurate tool to identify children with autism spectrum […]... Read more »

  • November 6, 2014
  • 09:30 AM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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 »

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