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  • July 20, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 2,378 views

Does desire trump beliefs based on facts when evaluating scientific evidence?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You probably know the answer to this question is yes. But the real answer is much more nuanced, which makes it so much more interesting. As it happens, if you are conflicted about the facts, you are more likely to be swayed by your desires than the facts themselves.  When I was in graduate school, [...]


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  • July 20, 2011
  • 12:51 AM
  • 1,839 views

The cult of personal responsibility

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Ads for a campaign to speak German are currently all over Germany. The campaign is called “Ich spreche Deutsch” (I speak German) and aims to convince migrant youths to learn more German or learn German faster. The campaign’s clever slogan … Continue reading →... Read more »

VIRGINIA P. COLLIER. (1989) How Long? A Synthesis of Research on Academic Achievement in a Second Language. TESOL Quarterly, 509-531. info:/

  • July 18, 2011
  • 10:00 AM
  • 1,812 views

Better Know An Epidemiologist: Alexander Langmuir

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Better Know An Epidemiologist is an ongoing feature where Mr Epidemiology pays tribute to those who have set the stage for his generation of epidemiologists. All of the articles are listed here. Epidemiology is a relatively new field. While John Snow made his breakthrough in the 1850s, even as recently as World War 2, there [...]... Read more »

No authors listed. (1996) A tribute to Alexander D. Langmuir. American journal of epidemiology, 144(8 Suppl). PMID: 8928703  

Brachman PS. (1996) Alexander Duncan Langmuir. American journal of epidemiology, 144(8 Suppl). PMID: 8857846  

  • July 18, 2011
  • 09:30 AM
  • 1,132 views

Communicating Meaning Online: A Digital Expression of Theory of Mind

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

The growth of email, instant messaging, texting, and various other digitally-mediated communicative tools (DMC) has been rapid and pervasive. The majority of people today are comfortable enough to use these communicative tools on a daily basis, particularly among younger generations. DMC appears to be a preferred means of communication. But the popularity of DMC forces [...]









... Read more »

Jack RE, Blais C, Scheepers C, Schyns PG, & Caldara R. (2009) Cultural confusions show that facial expressions are not universal. Current biology : CB, 19(18), 1543-8. PMID: 19682907  

Kindred J, Roper S. (2004) Making connections via instant messenger (IM): student use of IM to maintain personal relationships. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 48-54. info:/

Wellman HM, & Liu D. (2004) Scaling of theory-of-mind tasks. Child development, 75(2), 523-41. PMID: 15056204  

  • July 18, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,626 views

The Danger of Stereotyping: Does Gay Black = Likable?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s an interesting question. We know from recent research that black criminal defendants who wear glasses may be viewed as less threatening (and therefore more likable). And we’re guessing that gay black men may also seem less threatening than heterosexual black men. By now you likely know we wouldn’t muse on this sort of question [...]


Related posts:The ‘artful dodge’: The danger of a smooth talker
You’re on trial: Is it better to be an atheist or a black radical Muslim lesbian?
........ Read more »

Remedios, JD,, Chasteen, AL,, Rule, NO,, & Plaks, JE. (2011) Impressions at the intersection of ambiguous and obvious social categories: Does gay Black . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/

  • July 17, 2011
  • 04:30 PM
  • 1,398 views

Risk averse Taiwanese are also more religious

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The infamous 'Pascal's Wager' is still often trotted out as a supposedly rational basis for believing in god. While the flaws in that one are well known, it is still commonly believed that risk-averse people are more likely to be religious. Better to go to Church than run the risk of being fried in the hereafter, the supposition goes.

Actually, evidence that risk-averse people are more religious is  weaker than you might suppose. What's more, there's no reason to think that it applies in t........ Read more »

  • July 17, 2011
  • 11:27 AM
  • 1,483 views

The Google Stroop Effect?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The Google logo.Notice the logo is multi-colored (as pointed out by Neurobonkers). Seeing "Google" printed in a solid color (or in any other font, for that matter) would likely result in a Stroop effect, or a slower response time in identifying the color of the font, relative to that of a neutral word.Is Google making us stupid?That question, and its original exposition in The Atlantic, has been furthering the career of Nicholas G. Carr. His subsequent book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Do........ Read more »

  • July 16, 2011
  • 01:25 PM
  • 1,553 views

Human Head Soup in Upper Paleolithic

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Head cheese may not be for everyone but it has an intensely devoted following. Most head cheese recipes call for the removal of brain, eyes, and ears before preparation, but purists scoff at this and include everything except bones. It is doubtful that Upper Paleolithic humans made head cheese; it is too time consuming. It [...]... Read more »

Prat S, Péan SC, Crépin L, Drucker DG, Puaud SJ, Valladas H, Lázničková-Galetová M, van der Plicht J, & Yanevich A. (2011) The oldest anatomically modern humans from far southeast europe: direct dating, culture and behavior. PloS one, 6(6). PMID: 21698105  

  • July 16, 2011
  • 01:39 AM
  • 1,512 views

The growth of atheism

by Jason Collins in Evolving Economics

Nigel Barber of The Daily Beast (Psychology Today) has posted on a forthcoming article in which he shows that the level of atheism increases with the quality of life. Barber explains the trend as follows: The reasons that churches lose ground in developed countries can be summarized in market terms. First, with better science, and [...]... Read more »

  • July 16, 2011
  • 01:30 AM
  • 1,830 views

When a child's death is not accidental

by Eva Alisic in Trauma Recovery

Every year 3500 children under the age of fifteen die in industrialized nations as a result of abuse. In a CAPRA seminar, John Devaney talked about the characteristics of these deaths, about best practices in child death reviews, and about lessons learned to improve child protection. ... Read more »

Devaney, J., Lazenbatt, A., & Bunting, L. (2011) Inquiring into Non-Accidental Child Deaths: Reviewing the Review Process. British Journal of Social Work, 41(2), 242-260. DOI: 10.1093/bjsw/bcq069  

  • July 15, 2011
  • 03:57 PM
  • 2,176 views

Parental Perception of Child Weight Status

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it. - Chinese proverb Childhood obesity is a growing problem for our society. However, we are still trying to find effective methods of dealing with this public health concern. Some researchers have suggested that family based interventions could be the most effective way to [...]... Read more »

Jones AR, Parkinson KN, Drewett RF, Hyland RM, Pearce MS, & Adamson AJ. (2011) Parental perceptions of weight status in children: the Gateshead Millennium Study. International journal of obesity, 35(7), 953-962. PMID: 21673651  

  • July 15, 2011
  • 01:52 PM
  • 1,251 views

An ecology of gardens and yards

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Tucked amidst acres of asphalt jungle are cities’ unsung environmental heroes. Yards, lawns, gardens—call them whatever you please—these bits of unpaved earth play a real role in supporting thriving urban ecosystems. And they could play the part even more eloquently if we thought of them as parts of a larger whole. Anyone who has spent [...]... Read more »

  • July 15, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 2,012 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Does Using an Interpreter Help or Hinder the Plaintiff?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You’ve seen non-native English speakers struggle to be understood on the witness stand. Even native English speakers can be tough to understand due to speech dialects or thick styles of pronunciation. We know accents make us all work harder to comprehend and that most of us don’t like to work that hard. So what happens [...]


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  • July 15, 2011
  • 04:04 AM
  • 1,098 views

Violent Brains In The Supreme Court

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

Back in June, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a Californian law banning the sale of violent videogames to children was unconstitutional because it violated the right to free speech.However, the ruling wasn't unanimous. Justice Stephen Breyer filed a dissenting opinion. Unfortunately, it contains a whopping piece of bad neuroscience. The ruling is here. Thanks to the Law & Neuroscience Blog for noticing this.Breyer says (on page 13 of his bit)Cutting-edge neuroscience has shown that “vir........ Read more »

  • July 13, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,246 views

When graphic images backfire as persuasive tools

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

There has been a lot of reaction to the new graphic images the FDA will put on cigarette packs. From concerns about the government attempting to ‘regulate cool’ to derision and to concerns about the ‘shock value’ of the images, writers have been expressing their reactions. And so have researchers. There is a long history of research in [...]


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Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (2011) What makes an image memorable?. Science Daily. info:/

  • July 12, 2011
  • 12:42 PM
  • 1,582 views

Drive a lot? Housing density may not be to blame

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Pushing high density living may seem like a good way to get people out of their cars—saving them money, curbing emissions, and reducing oil dependence—but densification may not be a silver bullet, according to one recent study. The authors dug into the National Household Transportation Survey to examine per household vehicle ownership rates, vehicle miles [...]... Read more »

  • July 11, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,346 views

Size does matter—when you are lying

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

We’ve written a number of times about deception and the detection thereof. Our goal continues to be to keep you up to date on what we actually know about the art of detecting deception and what is simply unreliable ‘common wisdom’. There is some really intriguing and interesting research out there including a new study we [...]


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Eisenkopf, G., Gurtoviy, R., & Utikal, V. (2011) Size matters –when it comes to lies. University of Konstanz, Department of Economics. info:/

  • July 11, 2011
  • 05:56 AM
  • 2,474 views

The IQ Myth and its Fascist origins – Just how Intelligent are You?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Western culture has a peculiar fascination with ‘intelligence’. I’ve not taken an IQ test for years – and hopefully never will again. Being ‘intelligent’ is held in ludicrously high esteem (second probably only to good looks) that most people think they’ve either got it, or they haven’t. The ‘doctrine’ of an inborn intelligence seems to … Continue reading »... Read more »

White, S. (2000) Conceptual foundations of IQ testing. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 6(1), 33-43. DOI: 10.1037//1076-8971.6.1.33  

Henrich, J., Heine, S., & Norenzayan, A. (2010) The weirdest people in the world?. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(2-3), 61-83. DOI: 10.1017/S0140525X0999152X  

Bonthous, J. (1993) Understanding intelligence across cultures. Competitive Intelligence Review, 4(2-3), 12-19. DOI: 10.1002/cir.3880040205  

  • July 10, 2011
  • 05:00 PM
  • 1,521 views

Casey’s Case: What Psychology Says About Anthony’s Acquittal.

by Melanie Tannenbaum in PsySociety

In light of Anthony’s recent murder acquittal, plenty of people have wondered (either angrily or with genuine confusion) how a jury could possibly acquit Casey Anthony when her guilt seemed so apparent to the general public. As it turns out, several legal and psychological characteristics that have historically influenced the outcomes of jury trials may be able to clarify this bewilderment.... Read more »

Devine, D., Clayton, L., Dunford, B., Seying, R., & Pryce, J. (2001) Jury decision making: 45 years of empirical research on deliberating groups. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 7(3), 622-727. DOI: 10.1037//1076-8971.7.3.622  

Bowers, W. J., Sandys, M., & Steiner, B. (1998) Foreclosed impartiality in capital sentencing: Jurors' predispositions, guilt-trial experience, and premature decision making. Cornell Law Review, 1476-1556. info:/

  • July 10, 2011
  • 12:57 PM
  • 1,492 views

Beheading the “Snake God” at Rhino Cave

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Indiana Jones would have loved it: 65,000 years ago, stone age hunters in Africa gathered at night in a hidden cave to worship the giant rock snake that seemed to move in the flickering firelight and hissingly promised fertility so long as the rituals were performed. They came to this place every year during when [...]... Read more »

Coulson, Sheila, Staurset, Sigrid, & Walker, Nick. (2011) Ritualized Behavior in the Middle Stone Age: Evidence from Rhino Cave, Tsodilo Hills, Botswana. PaleoAnthropology, 18-61. info:/10.4207/PA.2011.ART42

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