250 posts · 140,262 views
The goal of this blog is to better understand why people think, feel, and behave the way they do. What's unique, in some ways, about this blog is that we'll be generating theories about people's behavior from cutting-edge psychological science!
I may get back pain every now and then when I lift my daughter up off the ground, but I am still relatively early in my career as a social psychologist. And being young, I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my writing and scholarship. This pursuit is great for me, because as my research improves, I conduct better science and help the world understand itself more completely. It's also great for you here at PYM, because if I learn something useful I like to pay it forward to you, t........ Read more »
Gray, K., & Wegner, D. (2013) Six guidelines for interesting research. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 549-553. info:/
Cohen D, Nisbett RE, Bowdle BF, & Schwarz N. (1996) Insult, aggression, and the southern culture of honor: an "experimental ethnography". Journal of personality and social psychology, 70(5), 945-59. PMID: 8656339
If you watch any of the numerous dance
shows on TV, such as Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, or
even Dance Moms, you know that dancing at the elite level requires a lot more than strong muscles, a flexible body, and fierce determination. Professional dancers are smart. Not only are their bodies working at a high level, but their minds are as well. When performing, dancers are juggling numerous thoughts as they strive to execute each movement as precisely as
possible. “Poi........ Read more »
Warburton EC, Wilson M, Lynch M, & Cuykendall S. (2013) The cognitive benefits of movement reduction: evidence from dance marking. Psychological science, 24(9), 1732-9. PMID: 23863756
Every Wednesday Thursday afternoon, I gather with a bunch of faculty and graduate students at the University of Illinois to discuss a journal article about social psychology, and to eat a snack. This blog post reflects the discussion we had during this week's seminar affectionately called Social Wednesdays Thursdays and Grub (SWTAG)--we're going STAG now!
In last week's journal club we read about a recent paper in Psychological Science with a very clear message: It should be th........ Read more »
Simonsohn, U. (2013) Just Post It: The Lesson From Two Cases of Fabricated Data Detected by Statistics Alone. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2114571
Graduate School: The Playground of the Mind
If you've come to the internet more than once, then you know that blogs often discuss the difficulties of coming out of graduate school with a tenure track faculty appointment in psychology or other fields (here and here). For those of you out there considering a research career at a major university--keep in mind that it's not for everyone. PYM has also tried its hand at one or two lists of traits needed to succeed in graduate school. These........ Read more »
Su, Rong; Rounds, James; Armstrong, Patrick Ian. (2009) Men and things, women and people: A meta-analysis of sex differences in interests. Psychological Bulletin, 859-884. DOI: 10.1037/a0017364
Van Iddekinge, Chad H.; Putka, Dan J.; Campbell, John P. (2011) Reconsidering vocational interests for personnel selection: The validity of an interest-based selection test in relation to job knowledge, job performance, and continuance intentions. Journal of Applied Psychology. DOI: 10.1037/a0021193
Part of being human is the desire to control or change what
we do, what we feel, and what we think. We all struggle with tasks of
self-regulation, like cooking more nutritious food, limiting our emotional outbursts,
and paying attention in class. I’m sure you can find countless reasons on the
internet and within the self-help literature to explain why you’re not so good
at regulating your behaviors, emotions, and cognitions. Maybe you didn’t learn
how to control your actions well in ........ Read more »
Cacioppo JT, Ernst JM, Burleson MH, McClintock MK, Malarkey WB, Hawkley LC, Kowalewski RB, Paulsen A, Hobson JA, Hugdahl K.... (2000) Lonely traits and concomitant physiological processes: the MacArthur social neuroscience studies. International journal of psychophysiology : official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology, 35(2-3), 143-54. PMID: 10677643
Hawkley LC, Thisted RA, & Cacioppo JT. (2009) Loneliness predicts reduced physical activity: cross-sectional . Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 28(3), 354-63. PMID: 19450042
For the first few years of college, I maintained the typical college-student sleep schedule: in bed between 2am and 3am, dragging myself up at 9am for my 9:30am lecture which I inevitably slept through (in the front row… what was I thinking?!?). Chronically sleep-deprived, I would rather be spending time with my new friends and boyfriend than catching those precious zzz’s. Many of those nights made for wonderful memories, but other times I’d find myself inexplicably upset over some small i........ Read more »
Gordon, A. M., & Chen, S. (2013) The role of sleep in interpersonal conflict: Do sleepless nights mean worse fights?. Social Psychological and Personality Science. DOI: 10.1177/1948550613488952
It is job season again for academic psychologists everywhere! In that spirit, I thought it might be a good idea to re-post this piece on my experience searching for an academic job. Enjoy!
The annual job season always brings back my own memories of the two job searches I've attempted (one successful). I remember the anxiety a lot, the feeling that there may not actually be a job out there for you (this is a common concern). Then there is also the feeling that you may not, in fact, be as aw........ Read more »
Higgans, E. (1999) When do self-discrepancies have specific relations to emotions? The second-generation question of Tangney, Niedenthal, Covert, and Barlow (1998). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(6), 1313-1317. DOI: 10.1037/0022-3522.214.171.1243
Swann, W., Pelham, B., & Krull, D. (1989) Agreeable fancy or disagreeable truth? Reconciling self-enhancement and self-verification. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57(5), 782-791. DOI: 10.1037//0022-35126.96.36.1992
Imagine for a moment that you are an experiment participant in a dystopian future university thirty years from now. At birth, you were taken from your natural parents and assigned to two robotic parental unit alternatives. The first unit is cold and metal, it has a big frowny face, and all it's good for is dispensing the occasional hot meal through it's midriff. The second unit provides no food, but this unit is fashioned with a luxurious coat of fine fur that feels warm to the touch.
........ Read more »
Tom knows a pseudoscience when he sees one! (wikipedia.org)
Every so often the internet is set ablaze with opinion pieces on a familiar question: Are "soft" sciences, like psychology, actually science? Most of the time the argument against psychology as a science comes from people from the so-called harder sciences (you know, people who don't know ish about psychology). Of course, every once in a while we throw ourselves under the bus by declaring that for our softer sciences to........ Read more »
Fanelli, D. (2010) Positive Results increase down the hierarchy of the sciences. PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010068
Fredrickson BL, & Losada MF. (2005) Positive affect and the complex dynamics of human flourishing. The American psychologist, 60(7), 678-86. PMID: 16221001
“Never give up” has become one of the most popular pieces of
advice in Western culture. It’s not popular with me, though. I do
agree that persistence in the face of obstacles is necessary, important, and
admirable. Many worthwhile goals require serious commitment and perseverance in
order to achieve them. The problem with this advice is that at some point in
our lives, we all have goals that are unattainable, and this is where “never
give up” falls short. When faced with an unatt........ Read more »
Heckhausen, J, Wrosch, C, & Fleeson, W. (2001) Developmental regulation before and after passing a developmental deadline: The sample case of “biological clock” for child-bearing. Psychology and Aging, 400-413. info:/
Wrosch C, Scheier MF, Miller GE, Schulz R, & Carver CS. (2003) Adaptive self-regulation of unattainable goals: goal disengagement, goal reengagement, and subjective well-being. Personality , 29(12), 1494-508. PMID: 15018681
The word "bridezilla" was reportedly first used in the mid-1990s to refer to the bride-to-be who turned into a monster while planning her wedding, throwing tantrums when she didn't get her way and making ridiculous demands on her friends and family. But in recent years the derogatory term, a reference to a fictional giant mutant dinosaur-like creature who went on crazed killing sprees (i.e., Godzilla), has almost become synonymous with "bride," encompassing behaviors ........ Read more »
Brescoll, V. L., & Uhlmann, E. L. (2008) Can an angry woman get ahead? Status conferral, gender, and expression of emotion in the workplace. Psychological Science. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02079.x
Prichard, I., & Tiggemann, M. (2009) Unveiled: Pre-wedding weight concerns and health and beauty plans of Australian brides. . Journal of Health Psychology. DOI: 10.1177/1359105309342905
Life is full of reminders of what we lack, usually in the form of other people. There is always someone who is more successful, more talented, more attractive, or more advanced in meeting important "milestones" than we are. We encounter these people every day--in fact, they are often our friends, family members, and colleagues. Sometimes these encounters can leave us with a bitter taste in our mouths, or a green glow in our eyes--that familiar sting of envy. Defined as a state of desiri........ Read more »
Do you believe in Soul Mates?
If I could give one piece of advice as a relationships
researcher, it would be this: Relationships take work. Sure we’d all like to
believe in destiny, thinking there is someone out there who is mean for us.
Then when we find our soul mate, we will slip into an easy and comfortable
companionship that provides us with decades of endless laughter and joy, and
not a single fight or tense moment. But that is the stuff of dreams, people. Of
course there will be tim........ Read more »
Knee, C. R. (1998) Implicit theories of relationships: Assessment and prediction of romantic relationship initiation, coping, and longevity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1037//0022-35188.8.131.520
What's in a facial expression of emotion? (source)
Last week Boston Magazine published an article (here) claiming a "new theory" of emotion. The article then challenged the idea that emotions are signaled and perceived universally through unique facial expressions (like we've discussed here). The article purports to be a take-down of famous emotion researcher Paul Ekman*--whose work has been popularized on such television shows as Lie to Me. Here is why I hated this article:........ Read more »
Last week I was on vacation in my hometown of Poway, CA. It's a little suburb outside of San Diego that boasts of being "The City in the Country" (basically that means we have both Starbucks and rodeo!). Whenever I go home, I see my family and I tend to fall into many of the same activities I did when I was in high school--mostly that involves eating Mexican food from the various eateries around the city (Cotijas, Albertos, Aibertos, Robertos, El Robertos, you get the idea). When........ Read more »
Kraus, Michael W., Tan, Jacinth, J. X., & Tannenbaum, M. B. (2013) The Social Ladder: A Rank-Based Perspective on Social Class. Psychological Inquiry, 81-96. DOI: 10.1080/1047840X.2013.778803
Johnson, S. E., Richeson, J., & Finkel, E. (2011) Middle-class yet marginal? The influence of socio-economic status at an elite university on executive functioning. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 838-852. DOI: 10.1037/a0021956
Today's guest post comes from Aubrey Toole, a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley who will begin a doctoral program in clinical psychology at Emory University in the Fall.
I am willing to bet that most of you reading this don’t go a
typical day without hearing a weight-related comment or conversation, or seeing
body weight-related advertisements or media messages. It seems like I hear
about another celebrity weight loss ‘success’ story........ Read more »
Puhl, R., & Brownell, K. (2003) Psychosocial origins of obesity stigma: toward changing a powerful and pervasive bias. Obesity Reviews, 4(4), 213-227. DOI: 10.1046/j.1467-789X.2003.00122.x
Yesterday, my spouse and I dropped our newborn daughter off with Grandma and then popped over to the local theater to see this summer's much anticipated comic-book blockbuster Man of Steel. By any standard, Man of Steel is exceptionally light when it comes to philosophical musings: The plot is predictably linear--good guys fight bad guys who are trying to kill them. At first glance, it may seem like a stretch to write an entire blog entry (for a psychology blog) about the fil........ Read more »
Kraus MW, & Keltner D. (2013) Social Class Rank, Essentialism, and Punitive Judgment. Journal of personality and social psychology. PMID: 23713698
I've been doing this whole parenting thing for almost three months now and it has been simultaneously gratifying, terrifying, exhausting, and fascinating. One thing I haven't been doing is sleeping, and because of this I have had a lot of time to read up on some neat research on new parents. Last time I wrote about how parenting reduces Testosterone in men. Today I blog about the relationship between parenting and immune function.
Can parenting boost the immune system?
Read More->........ Read more »
Last week Science published a neat little paper examining links between specific human DNA sequences and educational attainment. The paper, which is a bit shorter than the list of authors who worked on the project, examined a total sample of more than 120,000 participants who had their entire genome sequenced for a number of small clusters of repeating nucleotides (single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPs). They then examined all the SNPs and their associations with the level of educational att........ Read more »
Rietveld, C. A. (2013) GWAS of 126,599 individuals identifies genetic variants associated with educational attainment. Science. info:/
This week, new research was released suggesting that
sunscreen not only reduces the risk for skin cancer, but that it also slows
skin aging. In this study, people who were told to use sunscreen daily had
fewer lines and less coarse skin after four years than those who used it as
they normally would. I’ve seen this study all over the news (here, here, and
here)! Though doctors say they have long been telling patients that sunscreen
protects against skin aging, they are now excited to have........ Read more »
Mahler, H., Kulik, J., Gerrard, M., & Gibbons, F. (2007) Long-term effects of appearance-based interventions on sun protection behaviors. Health Psychology, 26(3), 350-360. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6184.108.40.2060
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