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  • February 4, 2011
  • 04:59 PM
  • 975 views

Casual sex is not so bad after all

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom



Some women from Mars
A while ago I read a paper arguing that religion 'protected' teens against sex. It was your usual analysis - finding that religious teens are less likely to have sex outside of marriage - but the tacit presumption intrigued me. Is sex really that harmful?

Well, no one study is going to answer that, but here's one from Jesse Owen and colleagues at the University of Louisville helps shed some light on it.

Their study has the advantage over most in this field in that it's l........ Read more »

  • February 4, 2011
  • 04:03 PM
  • 812 views

Touching Death

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries in Exile

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by The Prancing Papio:There is something intensely animal about our relationship with the dead. As an atheist I don’t feel particular reverence or awe at the site of a cadaver. It mostly just creeps me out. But even religious believers, those who should be comfortable with the idea that a dead body retains no trace of the person they once knew, also seem to have trouble letting go of what St. Paul called “confidence in the flesh.” In funera........ Read more »

Cronin, K., van Leeuwen, E., Mulenga, I., & Bodamer, M. (2011) Behavioral response of a chimpanzee mother toward her dead infant. American Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.20927  

  • February 4, 2011
  • 04:03 PM
  • 815 views

Touching Death

by Eric Michael Johnson in The Primate Diaries

The latest stop in the #PDEx tour is being hosted by The Prancing Papio:There is something intensely animal about our relationship with the dead. As an atheist I don’t feel particular reverence or awe at the site of a cadaver. It mostly just creeps me out. But even religious believers, those who should be comfortable with the idea that a dead body retains no trace of the person they once knew, also seem to have trouble letting go of what St. Paul called “confidence in the flesh.” In funera........ Read more »

Cronin, K., van Leeuwen, E., Mulenga, I., & Bodamer, M. (2011) Behavioral response of a chimpanzee mother toward her dead infant. American Journal of Primatology. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.20927  

  • February 4, 2011
  • 01:24 PM
  • 1,410 views

Early Complex Societies & Early Organized Religions

by Cris Campbell in Genealogy of Religion

Historians have long known that the shelf life of complex societies throughout human history has been rather limited. Archaeologists are aware of this also. But how to explain it?
In a recent (open access) paper, “Cycling in the Complexity of Early Societies,” Sergey Gavrilets and colleagues mathematically modeled early complex societies using a number of variables [...]... Read more »

Gavrilets, Sergey, Anderson, David G., & Turchin, Peter. (2010) Cycling in the Complexity of Early Societies. Cliodynamics: The Journal of Theoretical and Mathematical History, 1(1), 59-80. info:/http://escholarship.org/uc/item/5536t55r

  • February 4, 2011
  • 12:18 PM
  • 1,547 views

Culturomics does not exist

by Bjørn Østman in Pleiotropy

'Culturomics' does not exist. As far as I'm concerned, if it isn't on Wikipedia, it doesn't exist. However, it is listed on Wikipedia's Word of the year for 2010 under the designation 'Least likely to succeed'. As an amusing side note, it also says this: Most Unnecessary: refudiate (Blend of refute and repudiate used by Sarah Palin on Twitter. The laughs.... Read more »

Michel, J., Shen, Y., Aiden, A., Veres, A., Gray, M., , ., Pickett, J., Hoiberg, D., Clancy, D., Norvig, P.... (2010) Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books. Science, 331(6014), 176-182. DOI: 10.1126/science.1199644  

  • February 4, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,554 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: Stand up straight but avoid gesturing with your hands in front of the jury!

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Just in time for the New Year—we have breaking news in research about how to achieve success and stay on message. First, Mom was right (again)! Stand up straight! And stop talking so much with your hands! It’s distracting. While Mom was right about that first one (stand up straight!) she was wrong about the reasons [...]


Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: You may want to disagree with this post
Simple Jury Persuasion: Be Powerful in the Courtroom
Simple Jury Persuasion: Avoid ‘oo........ Read more »

Susan Goldin-Meadow, & Sian L. Beilock. (2010) Action’s Influence on Thought: The Case of Gesture. . Perspectives on Psychological Science, 5(6). info:/

Huang L, Galinsky AD, Gruenfeld DH, & Guillory LE. (2011) Powerful postures versus powerful roles: which is the proximate correlate of thought and behavior?. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 22(1), 95-102. PMID: 21149853  

  • February 3, 2011
  • 05:42 AM
  • 1,307 views

Human (amphibious model): living in and on the water

by gregdowney in Neuroanthropology

At the beginning of the film clip, Bajau fisherman Sulbin sits on the side of a boat on the coast of Borneo, gulping air, handling his speargun.  And then, he drops into the water.  The footage suddenly changes and becomes arresting: silent, dreamy, slow, and so blue.  Sulbin strokes deliberately and descends until he strides along the bottom of the ocean, holding his breath, and hunts for fish through handmade goggles.
Finally, after a couple of minutes, he spears a fish and heads for the su........ Read more »

Bavis, R., Powell, F., Bradford, A., Hsia, C., Peltonen, J., Soliz, J., Zeis, B., Fergusson, E., Fu, Z., Gassmann, M.... (2007) Respiratory plasticity in response to changes in oxygen supply and demand. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 47(4), 532-551. DOI: 10.1093/icb/icm070  

Ferretti, G. (2001) Extreme human breath-hold diving. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 84(4), 254-271. DOI: 10.1007/s004210000377  

Ferretti G, & Costa M. (2003) Diversity in and adaptation to breath-hold diving in humans. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular , 136(1), 205-13. PMID: 14527641  

Gislén A, Dacke M, Kröger RH, Abrahamsson M, Nilsson DE, & Warrant EJ. (2003) Superior underwater vision in a human population of sea gypsies. Current biology : CB, 13(10), 833-6. PMID: 12747831  

Gislén A, Warrant EJ, Dacke M, & Kröger RH. (2006) Visual training improves underwater vision in children. Vision research, 46(20), 3443-50. PMID: 16806388  

Parkes, M. (2005) Breath-holding and its breakpoint. Experimental Physiology, 91(1), 1-15. DOI: 10.1113/expphysiol.2005.031625  

Schagatay E, van Kampen M, Emanuelsson S, & Holm B. (2000) Effects of physical and apnea training on apneic time and the diving response in humans. European journal of applied physiology, 82(3), 161-9. PMID: 10929209  

SCHOLANDER PF, HAMMEL HT, LEMESSURIER H, HEMMINGSEN E, & GAREY W. (1962) Circulatory adjustment in pearl divers. Journal of applied physiology, 184-90. PMID: 13909130  

  • February 3, 2011
  • 05:42 AM
  • 914 views

Human (amphibious model): living in and on the water

by Daniel Lende in Neuroanthropology PLoS

At the beginning of the film clip, Bajau fisherman Sulbin sits on the side of a boat on the coast of Borneo, gulping air, handling his speargun.  And then, he drops into the water.  The footage suddenly changes and becomes arresting: silent, dreamy, slow, and so blue.  Sulbin strokes deliberately and descends until he strides along the bottom of the ocean, holding his breath, and hunts for fish through handmade goggles.
Finally, after a couple of minutes, he spears a fish and heads for the su........ Read more »

Bavis, R., Powell, F., Bradford, A., Hsia, C., Peltonen, J., Soliz, J., Zeis, B., Fergusson, E., Fu, Z., Gassmann, M.... (2007) Respiratory plasticity in response to changes in oxygen supply and demand. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 47(4), 532-551. DOI: 10.1093/icb/icm070  

Ferretti, G. (2001) Extreme human breath-hold diving. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 84(4), 254-271. DOI: 10.1007/s004210000377  

Ferretti G, & Costa M. (2003) Diversity in and adaptation to breath-hold diving in humans. Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular , 136(1), 205-13. PMID: 14527641  

Gislén A, Dacke M, Kröger RH, Abrahamsson M, Nilsson DE, & Warrant EJ. (2003) Superior underwater vision in a human population of sea gypsies. Current biology : CB, 13(10), 833-6. PMID: 12747831  

Gislén A, Warrant EJ, Dacke M, & Kröger RH. (2006) Visual training improves underwater vision in children. Vision research, 46(20), 3443-50. PMID: 16806388  

Parkes, M. (2005) Breath-holding and its breakpoint. Experimental Physiology, 91(1), 1-15. DOI: 10.1113/expphysiol.2005.031625  

Schagatay E, van Kampen M, Emanuelsson S, & Holm B. (2000) Effects of physical and apnea training on apneic time and the diving response in humans. European journal of applied physiology, 82(3), 161-9. PMID: 10929209  

SCHOLANDER PF, HAMMEL HT, LEMESSURIER H, HEMMINGSEN E, & GAREY W. (1962) Circulatory adjustment in pearl divers. Journal of applied physiology, 184-90. PMID: 13909130  

  • February 3, 2011
  • 01:59 AM
  • 1,817 views

The Social Functions of Blushing

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice



It's happened to all of us. The poorly timed remark, tripping over an uneven sidewalk, a torn seam or an open button or zipper, or even the dreaded toilet paper stuck to the bottom of a shoe—embarrassment can strike at any time.

It's easy to feel as though embarrassing things happen only to you. (We tend to over-emphasize embarrassing events, but I'll let it slide if you want to pretend that you're socially savvy.) In fact, earlier this week, I came close to falling flat on my bac........ Read more »

Keltner, D., & Anderson, C. (2000) Saving Face for Darwin: The Functions and Uses of Embarrassment. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 9(6), 187-192. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8721.00091  

Miller, Rowland S. (2001) On the Primacy of Embarrassment in Social Life. Psychological Inquiry, 12(1), 30-33. info:/

NICOLAOU, M., PAES, T., & WAKELIN, S. (2006) Blushing: an embarrassing condition, but treatable. The Lancet, 367(9519), 1297-1299. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(06)68554-1  

  • February 2, 2011
  • 01:59 PM
  • 1,022 views

Address the Most Dangerous Feature of Your Product: Dishonesty

by Persuasion Strategies in Persuasive Litigator

By: Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm - One stereotype of the litigious American society suggests that jurors are willing to hold manufacturers and sellers responsible for even the most obvious product dangers: a ladder that allows its user to fall, or a cup of coffee that turns out to be hot. While anecdotes abound -- some true, and some false -- our experience is that product danger alone rarely drives a verdict. Instead, jurors need to see something else in order to generate sufficient anger to delivery any........ Read more »

Mazanov, Jason . (2007) Changes in adolescent smoking behaviour and knowledge of health consequences of smoking. Australian Journal of Psychology, 59(3), 176-180. info:/

  • February 2, 2011
  • 08:00 AM
  • 2,090 views

Why Men and Women Gain Weight

by Arya M. Sharma in Dr. Sharma's Obesity Notes

In my interactions with patients, I always ask them to tell me when their weight problems began and what they believe contributed to their weight gain.
Broadly speaking, there are two categories: people, who were big (or were considered big by others) as long as they can remember and those, who can often clearly pinpoint when [...]... Read more »

  • February 2, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,384 views

Who knew we’d be such grumpy (but NOT old!) men and women?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You probably intuited this already but age is simply not settling well on our largest generation. From the exuberance of youth (“don’t trust anyone over 30”) to the contemplation of approaching 65—Boomers feel anxious about their futures. They are afraid they will outlive Medicare.  But that isn’t all that is vexing the Boomers. A recent [...]


Related posts:Generation Y (aka the Millennials): Just the facts
The Millennials (aka ‘Gen Y’): On tattoos, TMI, tolerance and technology........ Read more »

D’Vera Cohn, & Paul Taylor. (2010) Baby Boomers Approach 65 – Glumly. Pew Research Center. info:/

  • February 2, 2011
  • 06:19 AM
  • 993 views

Employability viewpoints

by David Winter in Careers - in Theory

In my last posting about the E word I focused on various models of employability (the fun bit in my geeky world!). In this post I wanted to look at some of the various definitions of employability and what those definitions say about the people who construct them. Employers The CBI defines employability as… …a [...]... Read more »

McQuaid, R., & Lindsay, C. (2005) The concept of employability. Urban Studies, 42(2), 197-219. DOI: 10.1080/0042098042000316100  

  • February 1, 2011
  • 04:00 AM
  • 934 views

How to navigate a Viking longboat with a king, some bees and a DC-8

by Alun in AlunSalt

Jo Marchant has reported on a new paper, On the trail of Vikings with polarized skylight: experimental study of the atmospheric optical prerequisites allowing polarimetric navigation by Viking seafarers, for Nature news. She also adds more on her own blog including the link to the paper that you can access for free. The research is [...]... Read more »

  • February 1, 2011
  • 02:00 AM
  • 593 views

100 cities ranked according to greenhouse gas emissions

by SAGE Insight in SAGE Insight

Cities and greenhouse gas emissions: moving forwardFrom Environment and Urbanization  This study examines greenhouse gas emissions for over 100 cities in 33 countries and suggests 28 policy tools that city governments can use to take action on climate change. It looks at who produces the most, and urges a new look at cities and climate change. [...]... Read more »

Daniel Hoornweg,, Lorraine Sugar and, & Claudia Lorena Trejos Gomez. (2011) Cities and greenhouse gas emissions: moving forward . Environment and Urbanization . info:/10.1177/0956247810392270

  • January 31, 2011
  • 12:46 PM
  • 1,259 views

Occupational Therapy & the Cognitive Behavioural Approach For Pain Management – ii

by Bronwyn Thompson in Healthskills: Skills for Healthy Living

In the first post on my commentary of Robinson, Kennedy and Harmon’s review of occupational therapy for chronic pain, I argued that they have misinterpreted the cognitive behavioural approach to pain management, and in particular, that they appear to hold an outmoded view of pain as either biological/organic or psychological, and refute the place of … Read more... Read more »

  • January 31, 2011
  • 11:16 AM
  • 1,308 views

Do all cities have neighborhoods?

by Michael Smith in Wide Urban World

It's hard to imagine a modern city that does not have neighborhoods. What would residential areas in such a city look like? Is this even possible? Given the prominence of neighborhoods in social science research on life in cities today, I would guess that all modern cities do have neighborhoods. If a sociologist or planner, for example, identified a city that lacked neighborhoods, I'm sure they would study the situation and publicize it for being so strange.For premodern cities whose housing and........ Read more »

  • January 31, 2011
  • 08:30 AM
  • 884 views

Most people are a bit crazy, and believers are a bit crazier than most

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Full-blown delusions are thought to be pretty rare. By that I mean the truly bizarre delusions, like Capgras syndrome (when you think that relatives or close friends are sometimes replaced by identical-looking impostors), or Subjective Doubles (a belief that there is another person who looks and acts like you) and Controlled Thoughts (that your thoughts are not fully under your control).

It's actually quite difficult to find out just how common these kinds of delusions are. You can't just ask p........ Read more »

  • January 31, 2011
  • 07:02 AM
  • 1,097 views

Does ‘death qualification’ systematically bias our juries?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Despite reports that death penalty use and support continue to decline and stories of freed innocent prisoners,  researchers continue to explore the impact of ‘death qualification’ on the makeup of American juries. Recently, a study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, examined whether the ‘death qualification’ process in jury selection systematically excludes jurors based [...]


Related posts:Is racial bias fueling anti-Obama rhetoric?
Propaganda, Dogmatism & B........ Read more »

Summers, A., Hayward, RD, & Miller, MK. (2010) Death qualification as systematic exclusion of jurors with certain religious and other characteristics. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 40(12). info:/

  • January 30, 2011
  • 03:52 PM
  • 1,102 views

Smoking and the Slave Trade

by Dirk Hanson in Addiction Inbox


To Africa and back again.

[Queen Nzinga (smoking a pipe) with Her Entourage, Kingdom of Kongo, 1670s]--------->

In the 17th Century, tobacco, the prototypical New World stimulant, was introduced to Africa by European traders. By 1607, tobacco was being cultivated in Sierra Leone, and in 1611 a Swiss doctor commented on how the soldiers of the “Kingdom of Kongo” fought hunger by grinding up tobacco leaves and setting them on fire, “so that a strong smoke is produced, which they inhale........ Read more »

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