Post List

Social Science posts

(Modify Search »)

  • June 10, 2011
  • 03:19 AM

Friday Fun: My "Favorite" Comments From Anonymous Reviewers

by Psych Your Mind in Psych Your Mind

This Friday I thought it might be nice to provide a window into the manuscript review process in psychology. In short, after a researcher (1) designs a handful of studies (typically without much success), (2) finally discovers a finding that is interesting (months to years later), and (3) survives what is (typically) a hyper-critical vetting from among his/her research peers within the home University, it is now time to take on the empirical review process!

The review process is pretty simple f........ Read more »

Kassirer JP, & Campion EW. (1994) Peer review. Crude and understudied, but indispensable. JAMA : the journal of the American Medical Association, 272(2), 96-7. PMID: 8015140  

  • June 9, 2011
  • 05:14 PM

The Leper Warrior: Persistence of Racial Terminology in Biological Anthropology

by Kristina Killgrove in Powered By Osteons

A few months ago, the news media carried a story about "Bones of Leper Warrior found in Medieval Cemetery" in central Italy.  The publication by Mauro Rubini and Paola Zaio was in early view at the time and was just published in the July issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science (see citation below). I noticed that Katy Meyers blogged about it today over at Bones Don't Lie, but I'm afraid I can't be as charitable as she is in pointing out the flaws.

8th c Avar Warrior
(credit: Wiki........ Read more »

M. Rubini, & P. Zaio. (2011) Warriors from the East. Skeletal evidence of warfare from a Lombard-Avar cemetery in central Italy (Campochiaro, Molise, 6th-8th century AD). Journal of Archaeological Science, 38(7), 1551-1559. info:/

K. Killgrove. (2009) Rethinking taxonomies: skeletal variation on the North Carolina coastal plain. Southeastern Archaeology, 28(1), 87-100. info:other/

  • June 8, 2011
  • 09:44 PM

Gould's Straw Man

by Kristina Killgrove in Powered By Osteons

Stephen Jay Gould famously argued in his best-known work, The Mismeasure of Man, that Samuel Morton unconsciously manipulated his data on cranial capacity in different populations to fit his own preconceived, racist notions about human variation.  Gould undertook a reanalysis of Morton's data and leveled a variety of accusations against Morton: he incorrectly measured skulls, made mathematical errors, picked and chose his sample populations, and didn't report all of the data he collected.  I w........ Read more »

J.E. Lewis, D. DeGusta, M.R. Meyer, J.M. Monge, A.E. Mann, & R.L. Holloway. (2011) The Mismeasure of Science: Stephen Jay Gould versus Samuel George Morton on Skulls and Bias. PLoS Biology, 9(6). info:/10.1371/journal.pbio.1001071

  • June 8, 2011
  • 07:21 PM

Tell Your Patent Invention Story In a Way That is Worth Copyrighting

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - Last month, Uniloc USA lost a multiyear battle against Microsoft to preserve a $388 million jury award against the software giant, and will now be retrying the patent infringement case on damages alone. One thing Uniloc has in its corner for retrial is a compelling invention story: a plucky Australian inventor working since the early 90's to figure out how to prevent the ubiquitous practice of copying software to multiple machines, only to see his novel solution incorpora........ Read more »

Christopher Anthony Cotropia . (2008) Copying in Patent Law . North Carolina Law Review, 1421. info:/

  • June 8, 2011
  • 04:27 PM

Crazy Corn Children & Ritual Form

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

In 1977, Stephen King published his short story “Children of the Corn” in Penthouse. Seven years later, movie audiences across the nation were horrified by the ritual doings of small town Nebraska kids who worshiped something malevolent in the corn.
It surely was no coincidence that later in the year, Nebraska experienced a sharp drop in [...]... Read more »

  • June 8, 2011
  • 10:34 AM

Interested in doing a postdoc in music cognition?

by Henkjan Honing in Music Matters

Postdoc in Music Cognition Vacancy... Read more »

  • June 8, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Foot in mouth? Rate of speech, verb choice, and calling women “guys”

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Everything you say is evidence for judgment.  But we are steadfast in our desire to help you keep track of how to say it and what not to say. So here are three new sources to help you watch your mouth. Rate of speech You know the stereotype of the ‘smooth talker’. We tend to [...]

Related posts:Okay, wait! Which one of you was I listening to?
Women are soft (and sweet) and men are hard (and tough)
Men prefer boxes and women prefer ellipses?
... Read more »

  • June 7, 2011
  • 07:30 PM

Colin Firth's first scientific paper

by Eva Amsen in Expression Patterns

Colin Firth is having a pretty good year. First he won an Oscar for the King's Speech, and now he also has a paper out in Current Biology! When guest editing Radio 4's Today programme in December, he suggested that...... Read more »

Ryota Kanai, Tom Feilden, Colin Firth, Geraint Rees. (2011) Political Orientations Are Correlated with Brain Structure in Young Adults. Current Biology, 21(8), 677-680. info:/10.1016/j.cub.2011.03.017

  • June 7, 2011
  • 06:02 PM

Envying Evolution: What Can The X-Men Teach Us About Stereotypes?

by Melanie Tannenbaum in PsySociety

This weekend marked the opening of X-Men: First Class, prequel to (and assumed reboot of) the wildly successful X-Men movie franchise. For those who are unfamiliar with the X-Men series, the stories revolve around groups of ‘mutants,’ super-powered beings who … Continue reading →... Read more »

  • June 7, 2011
  • 05:36 PM

Religion as a tool for social control

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

According to a new study just published in Science, societies can be spread along a spectrum of how tight their social control is:

... tight nations are more likely to have autocratic governing systems that suppress dissent, to have media institutions (broadcast, paper, Internet) with restricted content and more laws and controls, and to have criminal justice systems with higher monitoring, more severe punishment (e.g., the death penalty), and greater deterrence and control of crime.A team lead........ Read more »

Gelfand MJ, Raver JL, Nishii L, & others. (2011) Differences between tight and loose cultures: a 33-nation study. Science (New York, N.Y.), 332(6033), 1100-4. PMID: 21617077  

  • June 7, 2011
  • 12:15 PM

"What Have I Done?"—The Nature of Regret

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

We've all been there—the "Oh, [expletive]" moment. Perhaps the door just shut and your keys are still sitting on the counter. Or you get to the subway/bus stop just as your mass transit mode of choice is pulling away. Perhaps you've left your wallet at home, and there are blue lights flashing in your rear view mirror. Or maybe your expletive moment is a bit darker: a broken promise, a hurt friend, or a damaged relationship through some fault of your own. After all, regret is all about you and........ Read more »

Gilbert DT, Morewedge CK, Risen JL, & Wilson TD. (2004) Looking Forward to Looking Backward: The Misprediction of Regret. Psychological science, 15(5), 346-50. PMID: 15102146  

John Sabini and Maury Silver. (2005) Why Emotion Names and Experiences Don't Neatly Pair. Psychological Inquiry, 16(1), 1-10. info:/

Schlenker, Barry, & Darby, Bruce. (1981) The Use of Apologies in Social Predicaments. Social Psychology Quarterly, 44(3), 271-278. DOI: 10.2307/3033840  

  • June 7, 2011
  • 11:49 AM

Britain's Not Getting More Mentally Ill

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

There's a widespread belief that mental illness is getting more common, or that it has got more common in recent years.A new study in the British Journal of Psychiatry says: no, it's not. They looked at the UK APMS mental health surveys, which were done in 1993, 2000 and 2007. Long-time readers will remember these.The authors of the new paper analyzed the data by birth cohort, i.e. when you were born, and by age at the time of the survey. If mental illness were rising, you'd predict that people ........ Read more »

  • June 7, 2011
  • 03:00 AM

The digital democracy of the internet and the publicity of openness

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

A very popular blog: the internet and the possibilities of publicity From New Media & Society This article outlines how the mediums of traditional broadcast and the internet have different publicity possibilities. It is clear that the structure of the internet makes it particularly good at developing a publicity of openness and traditional media is [...]... Read more »

Brenton J. Malin. (2011) A very popular blog: The internet and the possibilities of publicity. New Media , 13 (2). info:/

  • June 6, 2011
  • 11:08 AM

Foreign Ideas & Moral Indigestion

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Imagine you are dining at a friend’s home. Your host is excited because she has prepared a special dish for you. When dinner is finally served, you are surprised to see a whole egg on your plate and when you open the egg, you are even more surprised to see this:
That’s balut, a dish of [...]... Read more »

Ritter, Ryan, & Preston, Jesse Lee. (2011) Gross gods and icky atheism: Disgust responses to rejected religious beliefs. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/10.1016/j.jesp.2011.05.006

  • June 6, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

How I assess your status (or lack thereof) at a glance

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We spend a lot of time trying to sort out how jurors will respond to witnesses. And sometimes we learn things we were not expecting. We love that. So here are a few new research findings that speak to the power of first impressions and to the effective preparation of witnesses. Pride yourself on looking young? [...]

Related posts:Beauty is only skin deep but the lack of beauty lands you in jail!
Can you assess juror morality by counting tattoos?
Solo Practice University: We are so there!
... Read more »

  • June 6, 2011
  • 06:00 AM

Trench Fever and Plague in 14th Century France

by Michelle Ziegler in Contagions

The Marseille plague group has been suggesting for some time now that human lice could be a major vector of medieval plague. To test their hypothesis the group devised a multiplex PCR screening method to rapidly screen many aDNA samples for seven pathogens that could cause medieval epidemics, including relapsing fever and trench fever transmitted by human lice. ... Read more »

  • June 6, 2011
  • 03:56 AM

Save the Planet by… Becoming a Vegan! Do I really have to?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

Veganism – it’s just something for middle-class ‘hippies’ right? Vegans are those tree-hugging, hemp-wearing festival-goers who say ‘man’ far too much. Well perhaps it’s time for a rethink on that stereotype. At least if you care about environment, that is. If you had thought you could do your bit to fight global warming by getting … Continue reading »... Read more »

Gidon Eshel and Pamela A. Marti. (2006) Diet, Energy and Global Warming. Earth Interactions, 10(9), 1-17. DOI: 10.1175/EI167.1  

Fengxia Dong . (2007) Changing Diets in China's Cities: Empirical Fact or Urban Legend?. Center for Agricultural and Rural Development at Iowa State University. info:/

  • June 6, 2011
  • 02:45 AM

Supply Chain Risk: Product Design Changes

by Jan Husdal in

Supply Chain Risk Management has emerged as an important source of competitive advantage and an effective method of reducing vulnerability in a supply chain. One vulnerability or risk that is often overlooked are product design changes to an already existing manufacturing process. [ ... ]... Read more »

Lin, Yong, & Zhou, Li. (2011) The impacts of product design changes on supply chain risk: a case study. International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, 42(2), 162-186. info:/

  • June 4, 2011
  • 04:26 PM

Decoding Frazer’s “Golden Bough”

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Few books in the history of anthropology are better known (but never read) than James George Frazer’s The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion. First published in 1890 (2 volumes), Frazer published a second edition in 1900 (3 volumes), and a rolling third edition between 1911 and 1915 which ballooned to 12 volumes.
Though [...]... Read more »

Ackerman, Robert. (1975) Frazer on Myth and Ritual. Journal of the History of Ideas, 36(1), 115-134. DOI: 10.2307/2709014  

  • June 3, 2011
  • 05:29 PM

Religion and support for torture

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

So, what do you think? Are the religious in America more or less likely than average to support the use of torture?

To find out, Arial Malka (Yeshiva University, New York) and Christopher Soto (Colby College, Waterville, Maine) used data from a couple of opinion polls, one conducted in 2004 for ABC News/Washington Post and a larger one (nearly 2,000 people) conducted in 2008 (the 2008 American National Election Studies time series).

Here's an example of what they asked (this is from the 2004 ........ Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit