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  • May 26, 2011
  • 11:27 AM

Persuade Using Both Alpha and Omega Strategies

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - Never heard of “Alpha” and “Omega” strategies for persuasion? Until recently, neither had I. But after reading the research, it has changed my way of looking at persuasion. The terms are based on something called the "approach-avoidance" model (Knowles & Linn, 2004), suggesting that to an audience, every position you might advocate has attributes that attract ("approach"), and attributes that repel ("avoidance"). Persuasion is accomplished, naturally enough, ........ Read more »

Eric S. Knowles and Jay A. Linn. (2004) Approach–Avoidance Model of Persuasion: Alpha and Omega Strategies for Change. Resistance and Persuasion. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 117-148. info:/

  • May 26, 2011
  • 07:04 AM

The heritability of feminism

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

The post title is a bit tongue in cheek after I suffered a case of foot in mouth yesterday. I had the pleasure of presenting to some behavioural ecologists at the University of Zurich and was advocating for more “evolutionary biology imperialism” in economics. In the way that economists charge out of their field and [...]... Read more »

ALFORD, J., FUNK, C., & HIBBING, J. (2005) Are Political Orientations Genetically Transmitted?. American Political Science Review, 99(02). DOI: 10.1017/S0003055405051579  

  • May 26, 2011
  • 02:31 AM

The Olympics is Coming to London: So Why won’t Brits be any Happier?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

It was a shock announcement. Back in 2005, everyone thought Paris had the winning bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Unlike the UK’s hastily put together pitch, the French had spent 20 years fine-tuning theirs. When the IOC president declared that the Olympics were coming to London, scenes of jubilant crowds filled the screens … Continue reading »... Read more »

Kavetsos, G., & Szymanski, S. (2010) National well-being and international sports events. Journal of Economic Psychology, 31(2), 158-171. DOI: 10.1016/j.joep.2009.11.005  

  • May 25, 2011
  • 03:03 PM

How To Set Someone On Fire

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

I've just come across a deeply disturbing paper: Attempted ignition of petrol vapour by lit cigarettes and lit cannabis resin jointsThe authors set out to discover whether you could set petrol on fire by dropping a lit cigarette or hash joint onto it. It turns out, surprisingly, that you can't.Thirty nine (39) ignition attempts that involved exposing lit commercial cigarettes, hand-rolled cigarettes and cannabis resin joints to petrol vapour were undertaken; ignition was not achieved in any of t........ Read more »

  • May 25, 2011
  • 01:01 PM

Why should we become more engaged in civil society? For health, that's why!

by Megan Carter in Verdant Nation

I am an intense believer in the social determinants of health and looking at health problems through a social-ecological lens (i.e. determinants of health exist at multiple social levels of influence and are not just attributable to the individual or to the healthcare system). I think this is why I’ve also gotten incredibly interested in politics – from this perspective, government policies can influence population and environmental health.  An interesting social determinant of health, ........ Read more »

  • May 25, 2011
  • 12:48 PM

Bones, Burials and Ancestors

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Death is big business. This past year, Americans spent $15 billion on funeral related expenses. Americans are not outliers when it comes to death spending; funeral related expenditures around the world are estimated to be at least this much and probably more. Strangely, the ratio of death spending does not diminish in poorer countries. In [...]... Read more »

  • May 25, 2011
  • 12:28 PM

Raptors in the city

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Pip, the recently hatched red-tailed hawk featured in the New York Times “hawk cam,” was only the latest in a string of successful raptor hatchings in big cities. On the surface, raptors appear to have adapted to city living marvelously. Tall buildings present ideal perches and nesting sites, and lackadaisical pigeons provide easy meals. But [...]... Read more »

Chace, J., & Walsh, J. (2006) Urban effects on native avifauna: a review. Landscape and Urban Planning, 74(1), 46-69. DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2004.08.007  

Dunn, Erica H. (1993) Bird Mortality from Striking Residential Windows in Winter. Journal of Field Ornithology, 64(3), 302-309. info:/

  • May 25, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Disarming your opponent: Updating the ‘foot in the mouth’ paradigm

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Ah, those wily telemarketers.  You simply cannot let your guard down for a minute—if you do, researchers come up with a new way to make you talk to them. You may think there is a typo in our post title and that this should say “foot in the door” technique. It isn’t a mistake. This [...]

Related posts:Outsmarting liars (five decades of research)
Questions, rabbit trails and how to know when a bear is “disturbed”
‘Lawyerese’ may work well in journals but not in the courtroom!
... Read more »

Meineri, S., & Guegen, N. (2011) “I hope I’m not disturbing you, am I?” Another operationalization of the foot-in-the-mouth paradigm. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41(4), 965-975. info:/

  • May 25, 2011
  • 06:20 AM

Positive Aspirations

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

I would like to thank Vinny Potter from Queen Mary, University of London for contributing this post — David I work in two distinct careers settings. One is with high-achieving students at the University of London and the other is with clients who often have few qualifications (if any) at a small job club where [...]... Read more »

  • May 24, 2011
  • 07:00 PM

Motion, Theme, and a Human Face

by Paige Brown in From The Lab Bench

Lessons for a Science Writer from a New York Times Editor's Field Notes on Nonfiction Writing

I recently picked up Francis Flaherty's The Elements of Story in my campus bookstore, as I was browsing and drinking my third cup of coffee in between experiments. Turns out, I made an excellent choice from among those titles I randomly picked off the "Books about Books" shelf. I'm already an impulsive book buyer.... The quote from Library Journal on the cover, "An essen........ Read more »

Editorial. (2010) Science scorned. Nature, 467(7312), 133. PMID: 20829750  

  • May 24, 2011
  • 04:34 PM

Escaping the poverty trap

by Bob O'Hara in Deep Thoughts and Silliness

(I conned GrrlScientist into posting this on her Guardian blog) Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California (1936) Image: Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) Common domain. As an old fashioned liberal, I want us all to be happy, and for the State to play a...... Read more »

  • May 24, 2011
  • 01:27 PM

The Science of Beauty

by Abi Millar in Elements Science

From parasite resistance to the golden ratio – Abi Millar examines the science behind what is considered ‘beautiful’.

Related posts:The Science of Beauty
Video: The law of attraction: Study finds what men want
Polygamy bad for women
... Read more »

  • May 23, 2011
  • 08:17 PM

Learning to be marginal

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Much of my research over the past decade has involved talking to migrants to Australia and overseas students about their experiences of language learning and settlement. In these conversations, I have often been struck by the strong sense of disappointment … Continue reading →... Read more »

Karuna Morarji. (2010) Where does the rural educated person fit? Development and social reproduction in contemporary India. Contesting Development: Critical Struggles for Social Change (ed. Philip McMichael). Routledge, 50-63. info:/

  • May 23, 2011
  • 01:18 PM

Power Corrupts? Research Says, "Not Always..."

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

Did power lead to Arnold's infidelity? source
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Lord Acton (1887)

We have many ideas about leaders in our society-- those individuals who have the capacity to influence the rewards and punishments of the rest of us. One of the more prominent opinions is expressed in the above quote. That is, powerful people are arrogant, selfish, greedy, immoral, and deceitful. Some research tends to support this perspective:

For........ Read more »

Côté S, Kraus MW, Cheng BH, Oveis C, van der Löwe I, Lian H, & Keltner D. (2011) Social power facilitates the effect of prosocial orientation on empathic accuracy. Journal of personality and social psychology. PMID: 21463075  

  • May 23, 2011
  • 11:52 AM

Be Relatively Cautious With Absolutist Jurors

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - When I heard that the world would be ending on May 21, 2011, I knew that I would be set either way: If the world didn't end, I would have a good blog topic, and if it did, well then, no more worrying about blog topics. So, here we are, still unraptured, on Monday, May 23rd, and the jury-relevant lesson has to do with the extremes of human certainty, and the question of what litigators need to do with those who are absolutist in their thinking and prefer a "black and wh........ Read more »

  • May 23, 2011
  • 09:03 AM

Neuroethics: The Brain and Political Beliefs

by William Yates, M.D. in Brain Posts

Article first published as Brain Science and Political Belief on Technorati.Brain science is providing some important insights into the mechanisms involved in a variety of beliefs including political, religious and moral beliefs. Dr. Jordan Grafman, Ph.D. currently with the Kessler Foundation has led some of the key research initiatives in this area of brain research. He recently presented at the May, 2011 Warren Frontiers in Neuroscience lecture series in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I previ........ Read more »

  • May 23, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Birthers, deathers, and did you hear about Jimmy Hoffa?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Conspiracy theorists have been with us for perhaps, forever. Most recently we’ve been reading about birthers and deathers. But the idea of conspiracy theories goes beyond fringe elements. According to a recent issue of Rasmussen Reports, 53% of us believe elections are rigged to help incumbents in Congress. Sometimes, those espousing conspiracy theories are actually harmed when [...]

Related posts:I can’t hear you!
“I can look into his eyes and just tell he is lying”
Detecting De........ Read more »

  • May 23, 2011
  • 04:19 AM

Starve the judges

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

The media and blogosphere has dedicated plenty of column and blog inches to a recently published study by Danziger and colleagues on how parole rates by Israeli judges vary through the day. From the abstract: We record the judges’ two daily food breaks, which result in segmenting the deliberations of the day into three distinct “decision [...]... Read more »

Danziger, S., Levav, J., & Avnaim-Pesso, L. (2011) Extraneous factors in judicial decisions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(17), 6889-6892. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1018033108  

  • May 21, 2011
  • 10:13 PM

Life, Death, and Silver Bullets

by Paige Brown in From The Lab Bench

A Science Fiction story about the Age of the Superbug

There was something about her... a pale, reddish complexion, so rare these days... all the other desks in the dull classroom where occupied by students who faded together in their blue and gray hues... who snuck furtive glances at the ruddy newcomer, in her bright blue overalls and frizzy, untamed hair.
... Read more »

Patterson, J. (2010) Rising plague. Journal of Clinical Investigation, 120(3), 649-649. DOI: 10.1172/JCI42104  

  • May 21, 2011
  • 01:00 PM

The Final Frontier: The Northern Sea Route

by Jan Husdal in

Sought after by polar explorers and long awaited by the shipping community: The Northern Sea Route. Year by year the Arctic summer ice cap is melting and the race will be soon be on to take part in what is perhaps the last and final adventure in the development of maritime logistics and global shipping lanes.... Read more »

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