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  • January 5, 2011
  • 11:15 AM

"Bad-sad-bad" and other responses to death.

by SeriousMonkeyBusiness in This is Serious Monkey Business

Death--every philosopher has a take on it. But what is the take on death from a primatological perspective?... Read more »

Anderson J.R. (2010) A primatological perspective on death. American Journal of Primatology. PMID: 21197638  

  • January 4, 2011
  • 09:53 PM

The Cost of Christmas

by Jon Wilkins in Lost in Transcription

So, if you haven't already, you'll probably soon receive the credit card bill with all of your Christmas purchases on it. Was it worth it? Well, was it, punk?

If you're like most people, some of your presents were probably intended to impress someone. The question is, what's the best kind of present for that? Should I give the girl from math class diamond earrings, or new batteries for her calculator? Should I give my boss a mug, or a gift certificate to Glamour Shots?

Fortunately, Science!™........ Read more »

Sozou, P., & Seymour, R. (2005) Costly but worthless gifts facilitate courtship. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 272(1575), 1877-1884. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2005.3152  

  • January 4, 2011
  • 03:51 PM

Around the web: cognitive sex differences

by Kate Clancy in Laboratory for Evolutionary Endocrinology

A dissection and link round-up about cognitive sex differences.... Read more »

  • January 4, 2011
  • 02:25 PM

The Real Drugs Crisis: The top secret database worth $35,000,000,000 in blood money, that you didn’t even know existed

by Neurobonkers in Neurobonkers

A look at how the rapidly increasing fake medicines market could be prevented with open data and how the problem is inextricably linked to the underground generic pills trade.... Read more »

  • January 4, 2011
  • 09:05 AM

Mutualist matchmaking made simple

by Jeremy Yoder in Denim and Tweed

Back in September, I wrote about a new economic model of mutualism that proposed mutualists could keep their partner species from cheating—exploiting the benefits of a mutualistic relationship without returning the favor—without explicitly punishing them, so long as failure to play nice led to a reduction in mutualistic benefit [$a]. Now the same research group has published an elaboration of the economic approach to mutualism in the January issue of The American Naturalist, which suggests t........ Read more »

Archetti, M., Úbeda, F., Fudenberg, D., Green, J., Pierce, N., & Yu, D. (2011) Let the right one In: A microeconomic approach to partner choice in mutualisms. The American Naturalist, 177(1), 75-85. DOI: 10.1086/657622  

Weyl, E., Frederickson, M., Yu, D., & Pierce, N. (2010) Economic contract theory tests models of mutualism. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA, 107(36), 15712-6. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1005294107  

  • January 4, 2011
  • 02:00 AM

Attorneys briefs have the ability to influence Supreme Court opinions and consequently the law

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

The Supreme Court and Opinion Content: The Influence of Parties’ Brief From Political Research Quarterly It is argued in this paper that there are reasons to believe that parties’ briefs can influence Supreme Court opinions. Attorneys are trained to write persuasively and are told that judges will use the briefs to justify and explain decisions. [...]... Read more »

  • January 3, 2011
  • 11:18 AM

Learn from Christine O'Donnell's Possible 'Witch Trial': Be Cautious in the Court of Public Opinion

by Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - When Christine O'Donnell, the Tea Party favorite who won the Republican nomination for a Delaware Senate seat before losing in November's general election, received word of an U.S. Attorney's Office investigation and possible charges stemming from misuse of about $20,000 in campaign funds to pay her personal expenses, she immediately took to the airwaves. On a variety of network and cable news shows, she unequivocally denied the charges and went further to call the inves........ Read more »

Michele DeStefano Beardslee. (2009) Advocacy in the Court of Public Opinion, Installment One: Broadening the Role of Corporate Attorneys. The Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, 22(4). info:/

  • January 3, 2011
  • 09:30 AM

So maybe reading *should* be harder

by gameswithwords in Games with Words

Some weeks back I chided Jonah Lehrer for his assertion that he'd
love [e-readers] to include a feature that allows us to undo their ease, to make the act of reading just a little bit more difficult. Perhaps we need to alter the fonts, or reduce the contrast, or invert the monochrome color scheme. Our eyes will need to struggle, and we’ll certainly read slower, but that’s the point: Only then will we process the text a little less unconsciously, with less reliance on the ventral pathway. We ........ Read more »

Connor Diemand-Yauman, Daniel M. Oppenheimer, & Erikka B. Vaughan. (2011) Fortune favors the bold (and the italicized): Effects of disfluency on educational outcomes. Cognition, 111-115. info:/doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2010.09.012

  • January 3, 2011
  • 07:04 AM

The secret life of fonts

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The new book, Typography for Lawyers, has been getting a lot of attention for encouraging more attractive font in legal communications. The book is getting rave reviews from attorneys who realize that part of persuasion is visual presentation. And we think Matthew Butterick (the author) is onto something. Perhaps he’s been reading social sciences research along [...]

Related posts:Secret Weapon: The Chairs in the Jury Box?
But they did it on purpose!
You’re not too old for a story (but yo........ Read more »

Juni S, & Gross JS. (2008) Emotional and persuasive perception of fonts. Perceptual and motor skills, 106(1), 35-42. PMID: 18459353  

  • January 2, 2011
  • 05:57 PM

Computers and the Homeless

by FrauTech in Design. Build. Play.

Everyone knows there's a big gap in worldwide between the have and the have nots in one area: internet access. A new study looked at that gap where you would expect to see it in an obvious way. They looked at computer and internet use in homeless populations in the Philadelphia area. The results are somewhat surprising. Right now 58% of households have some kind of computer and 76% of these households have access to the internet. Of the homeless population they reported an average homeless ........ Read more »

  • January 2, 2011
  • 09:12 AM

How Gay Men Talk About Depression

by Ultimo167 in Strong Silent Types

40 gay men interviewed about how they 'construct' depression revealed several co-existing tensions, notably between individual agency and medical orthodoxy, hegemonic masculinity. The findings of this study by Korner et al. (2010) were used to inform general practitioners on how to improve their practice with gay men who might be depressed. ... Read more »

  • January 2, 2011
  • 12:09 AM

Preparing for unexpected opportunities in Borneo

by Noam Ross in Noam Ross

Source: dinesh_valke on FlickrConservation Letters has an article about a situation in Borneo that illustrates how sudden, unpredictable events in ecology are not always bad.  In the past year, the island's forests have undergone an ecosystem-wide event known as "general flowering," where trees of many species produce seeds and fruit in massive amounts.  These events occur rarely (the last was 12 years ago), and in the years in between few seeds are produced and few new trees........ Read more »

Kettle, C., Ghazoul, J., Ashton, P., Cannon, C., Chong, L., Diway, B., Faridah, E., Harrison, R., Hector, A., Hollingsworth, P.... (2010) Seeing the fruit for the trees in Borneo. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263X.2010.00161.x  

  • December 31, 2010
  • 05:54 PM

Pandemic Influenza: 1510 – 2010

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

My first clue on the existence of specific influenza pandemics before 1918 came a few years ago while reading some local newspapers on the Spanish Flu itself. The papers were warning people that this was not an ordinary flu year, it would be like 1893! The papers referred to 1893 in the same way that [...]... Read more »

  • December 31, 2010
  • 07:02 AM

2010 in review: Aging brains, money, happiness, and a bris exception

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

As trial consultants, we are always on the lookout for new nuggets of useful information. Some of them are true wisdom and some… let’s just say ‘not so much’. Generally, we share only the really good stuff with you but sometimes we regress a bit. And this is one of those times. Hang on! Despite [...]

Related posts:The Jury Expert for May 2010 is uploaded
Bummer! Our brains do decline with age…but there is good news
An uncivil union: Being ‘heard’
... Read more »

Gervais, S. J.,, Hillard, A. , & Vescio, T. K. (2010) Confronting sexism: The role of relationship orientation and gender. . Sex Roles, 463-474. info:/

Kraus MW, Côté S, & Keltner D. (2010) Social class, contextualism, and empathic accuracy. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 21(11), 1716-23. PMID: 20974714  

  • December 29, 2010
  • 04:03 PM

Using Google to Tell Real Science from Fads

by David Berreby in Mind Matters

Most hot ideas and discoveries fade with time. But some scientific papers are genuine breakthroughs, whose importance only increases as the decades pass. This one, published in Science last week, which describes a database of words from millions of books digitized by Google—4 percent of all books ...Read More
... Read more »

  • December 29, 2010
  • 08:46 AM

Bouncing Babies Betray Awareness of Others’ Beliefs

by Scicurious in Neurotic Physiology

…if only I could have found synonyms for “awareness” and “adult” or “other person” that started with B…my life is eternally unfulfilled now. Today’s post on babies is dedicated to Glendon Mellow of the Flying Trilobite, who just yesterday welcomed a bouncing TriloBoy! Congratulations to Glendon!!! That’s going to be one amazingly awesome family. (Not [...]... Read more »

  • December 29, 2010
  • 04:44 AM

What’s the actual size of your personal social network? Some numbers

by ---a in

In 1992 Robin Dunbar proposed a rough estimate of 150. But the "Dunbar's number" pretty much doubled in 1998, when Peter Killworth suggested a mean personal network size of 290. And in 2010 that number doubled again, as Matthew Salganik came up with 610 personal. So who says 1,200?... Read more »

Bickart, K., Wright, C., Dautoff, R., Dickerson, B., & Barrett, L. (2010) Amygdala volume and social network size in humans. Nature Neuroscience. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2724  

Killworth, P., Johnsen, E., Bernard, H. R., Shelley, G., & McCarty, C. (1990) Estimating the size of personal networks. Social Networks, 12(4), 289-312. DOI: 10.1016/0378-8733(90)90012-X  

McCormick, T., Salganik, M., & Zheng, T. (2010) How Many People Do You Know?: Efficiently Estimating Personal Network Size. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 105(489), 59-70. DOI: 10.1198/jasa.2009.ap08518  

  • December 29, 2010
  • 02:00 AM

The Obama administration sparks a renewed interest in climate change policy

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

The Western Climate Initiative From State and Local Government Review Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is one of the greatest challenges the world will face in the coming decades. Renewed interest from the Obama administration along with continuing regional and local actions have raised awareness among US constituents and their representatives concerning this issue. Policymakers at [...]... Read more »

Warren, D., & Tomashefsky, S. (2009) The Western Climate Initiative. State and Local Government Review, 41(1), 55-60. DOI: 10.1177/0160323X0904100107  

  • December 28, 2010
  • 01:29 PM

Detecting facial emotions: Women vs Men

by Psychothalamus in Psychothalamus

Do women really recognize facial emotion better than men? Existing literature on the subject remains contradictory with some studies showing a female advantage (albeit with small effect sizes) and others failing to find any gender differences. Hoffman and colleagues (2010) suggest that expression intensity is an important factor mediating gender differences in recognizing emotions and that while women do recognize facial emotions better than men, this advantage only exists for subtle emotional f........ Read more »

  • December 28, 2010
  • 11:40 AM

Does music make you smarter?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

The next few weeks there will be no new entries in this blog. However, I hope to see some of you on 19 January 2011 when Glenn Schellenberg will give a lecture at the Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam (CSCA) of the University of Amsterdam with the title Does music make you smarter? As the announcement states:'Music listening and music lessons have been claimed to confer intellectual advantages. The available evidence indicates that music listening leads to enhanced performance on a variety of ........ Read more »

SCHELLENBERG, E., & PERETZ, I. (2008) Music, language and cognition: unresolved issues. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 12(2), 45-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2007.11.005  

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