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  • August 21, 2014
  • 11:27 AM
  • 20 views

Back to the future - Psychologists investigate why some people see the future as being behind them

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Speakers of English and many other languages refer to the future as being in front, and the past behind (e.g. "I look forward to seeing you"). This manner of thinking and speaking is so entrenched, we rarely pause to consider why we do it. One influential and intuitive explanation is that humans have an obvious front (the way our heads face), which combined with our tendency to think about time in terms of space, leads us to see ourselves moving forwards into the future, or the future coming tow........ Read more »

  • August 21, 2014
  • 10:43 AM
  • 20 views

Can relationships with fictional characters aid our self development?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

"... forming a relationship with an interesting but potentially dangerous character does not present the same obstacles in the narrative world as it might in the physical world.”By guest blogger Robin Abrahams.If you’ve been on the internet at all this year, you may have noticed an explosion of fiction-based personality quizzes. What house would you belong to in Hogwarts—or in Westeros? Which “Mad Man” are you? What Shakespeare role were you born to play?Why do we want to know?Res........ Read more »

Shedlosky-Shoemaker, R., Costabile, K., & Arkin, R. (2014) Self-Expansion through Fictional Characters. Self and Identity, 13(5), 556-578. DOI: 10.1080/15298868.2014.882269  

  • August 21, 2014
  • 03:56 AM
  • 20 views

Autism, ADHD and allergy: Taiwan and big data (again)

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Children with ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] or ASD [autism spectrum disorder] had an increased risk of allergic comorbidities, and those with both ADHD and ASD had the highest"."You built a time machine.. out of a DeLorean"That was the conclusion arrived at in the paper by Ting-Yang Lin and colleagues [1]. For regular readers of this blog, this was yet another example of how Taiwan leads the way when it comes to the concept of 'big data' specifically employ........ Read more »

Lin, T., Lin, P., Su, T., Chen, Y., Hsu, J., Huang, K., Chang, W., Chen, T., Pan, T., Chen, M.... (2014) Autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and allergy: Is there a link? A nationwide study. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 8(10), 1333-1338. DOI: 10.1016/j.rasd.2014.07.009  

  • August 21, 2014
  • 02:21 AM
  • 22 views

Do You Believe in Dog? A New Ball Game

by Cobb & Hecht in Do You Believe In Dog?

Hello Do You Believe in Dog(ers)!(source)After two years of mostly pen-pal style blogging, we're excited to share our new direction!When we first decided to create Do You Believe in Dog?, we committed to blogging back and forth about canine science for two years. We were able to celebrate achieving that goal at the recent 4th Canine Science Forum in Lincoln, UK and also reflect on the future of Do You Believe in Dog?The DYBID blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds have become vibrant places to ac........ Read more »

Fischhoff B., & Scheufele D. (2013) The science of science communication. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(Supplement 3), 14033-14039. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1213273110  

  • August 21, 2014
  • 01:30 AM
  • 26 views

How to prevent a possible concussion from the ALS ice bucket challenge

by William Lu in The Quantum Lobe Chronicles

The ice bucket challenge has swept the nation in an effort to raise awareness for ALS. However, there seems to have been a number of concussions (or mild traumatic brain injuries) sustained from performing a seemingly altruistic act. Although some people may find the below video funny, concussions are a serious issue and can lead to serious consequences including executive dysfunction. Symptoms can include short loss of consciousness, feeling dazed and confused, loss of immediate memory, headach........ Read more »

  • August 20, 2014
  • 11:23 AM
  • 44 views

What is Competence and Why Should I Care?

by Winston Sieck in Head Smart

If you’ve been reading about any of the new adventures in education, such as project-based learning, you’ve surely noticed the word competence sprinkled throughout. You may have thought, “Why do I keep hearing about competence? It sounds like another fad in my kid’s education. Wish they’d focus on getting test scores up.” In fact, competence […]... Read more »

McClelland, D. C. (1973) Testing for competence rather than for "intelligence.". American psychologist, 28(1), 1-14. info:/

  • August 20, 2014
  • 09:30 AM
  • 52 views

State Fairs and Stiff Beers: Why We Can't Stop Drinking

by Aarti Chawla in The 'Scope

A look into why we drink and what alcohol does to the brain.... Read more »

Diamond I, & Messing RO. (1994) Neurologic effects of alcoholism. The Western journal of medicine, 161(3), 279-87. PMID: 7975567  

Paul CA, Au R, Fredman L, Massaro JM, Seshadri S, Decarli C, & Wolf PA. (2008) Association of alcohol consumption with brain volume in the Framingham study. Archives of neurology, 65(10), 1363-7. PMID: 18852353  

  • August 20, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 36 views

Be still my heart: A short (one-item!) measure of narcissism? 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

We are all about short measures of psychological constructs. You might say watching the development of various scales is a hobby here (just look at all these posts!). With rare exception, courts don’t permit lengthy questionnaires, or questions that sound like a psychological screening test. So when the Neuroskeptic blogged about a new one-item scale […]

Related posts:
The GASP scale: A new measure of guilt and shame proneness
Measuring beliefs in the paranormal: The Australian Sheep G........ Read more »

  • August 20, 2014
  • 04:35 AM
  • 52 views

ADHD in DSM-5: what did you think would happen?

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Our results, combined with previous findings, suggest a 27% increase in the expected prevalence of ADHD [attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder] among young adults, comparing DSM-IV to DSM-5 criteria". So said the paper by Matte and colleagues [1] who as part of their study looked at "the prevalence of ADHD according to DSM-5 criteria".Europa @ Wikipedia The changes to the diagnosis of ADHD in DSM-5 can be seen here. The main difference between DSM-IV and DSM-5 diagnosis s........ Read more »

Matte, B., Anselmi, L., Salum, G., Kieling, C., Gonçalves, H., Menezes, A., Grevet, E., & Rohde, L. (2014) ADHD in DSM-5: a field trial in a large, representative sample of 18- to 19-year-old adults. Psychological Medicine, 1-13. DOI: 10.1017/S0033291714001470  

  • August 19, 2014
  • 02:17 PM
  • 58 views

Hobby Lobby and the War on Race and Women

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

There is a war going on and it's not on foreign soil. This war is the fight for the status quo, a war where you are only worth your skin color, a war where you are only worth as much as your gender. This war is all around us, we see it everyday, yet we let it quietly pass us by. We do this because, in all actuality, we are losing this war. I don't blame you if you don't believe me, you shouldn't.[…]... Read more »

  • August 19, 2014
  • 04:58 AM
  • 59 views

How to help an anxious interviewee - be mean to them

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

They've barely taken their seat, but it's obvious that your interviewee is nervous. You give her a reassuring smile and nod affirmatively at each of her answers, hoping to put her at ease. Unfortunately, it turns out that positive feedback does a socially anxious interviewee no favours. In fact, it would be better to turn that smile upside-down.We know this from a new study from North Illinois University where a "careers counsellor" (actually a research assistant) conducted practice interviews w........ Read more »

  • August 19, 2014
  • 04:23 AM
  • 48 views

Family processes and trajectory in autism

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

The paper by Woodman and colleagues [1] looking at trajectory and autism in adolescents and adults is the source material for today's post (another micropost). Concluding that: "Overall, autism symptoms and maladaptive behaviors were observed to improve over the study period" of about 8 years, the authors also reported that "greater improvements were associated with higher levels of maternal praise (based on maternal speech samples) and higher quality mother-child relationships". If I remember c........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2014
  • 05:14 PM
  • 88 views

The 10,000-Hour rule is nonsense

by Richard Kunert in Brain's Idea

Have you heard of Malcom Gladwell’s 10,000-hour rule? The key to success in any field is practice, and not just a little. A new publication in the journal Psychological Science had a good look at all the evidence and concludes that this rule is nonsense. No Einstein in you, I am afraid. The authors of […]... Read more »

  • August 18, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 14 views

Simple Jury Persuasion: When videos are too persuasive…

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It’s hard to know why research that is a almost a decade old is seen as fodder for a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times, but so it goes. Jennifer Mnookin, a law professor at UCLA, certainly has an impressive resumé, and it is likely most readers of the NYT are not familiar with […]

Related posts:
Simple Jury Persuasion: When a Picture Can Sink Your Case
Simple Jury Persuasion: Being “right” versus being persuasive
Simple Jury Persuasion: Make Your Expert Optimally Persuasive


... Read more »

  • August 18, 2014
  • 04:59 AM
  • 79 views

The simple piece of information that could dramatically increase your muscular endurance

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

How most of us choose to behave is shaped powerfully by the behaviour of others (or, more specifically, our perception of their behaviour). Psychologists call this the influence of "social norms", and its potency has been investigated extensively in the context of environmentally friendly behaviours like recycling, and health behaviours, such as binge drinking and frequency of exercise.What if this same psychological lever could be exploited, not to encourage people to take up more physical acti........ Read more »

  • August 18, 2014
  • 04:10 AM
  • 50 views

ADHD in the prison population: a micropost

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

"Compared with published general population prevalence, there is a fivefold increase in prevalence of ADHD in youth prison populations (30.1%) and a 10-fold increase in adult prison populations (26.2%)"."Mianly dry" apparently @ Paul WhiteleyThat was the primary conclusion reached in the meta-analysis by Young and colleagues [1] looking at the collected peer-reviewed literature on "the variable prevalence of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in incarcerated populations".There ........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2014
  • 09:00 PM
  • 85 views

Can psychopathy be treated?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Some psychological conditions receive a disproportionate amount of attention in popular media relative to how frequently they actually occur in the population. One of those is psychopathy, a personality disorder that is characterized by antisocial behavior, impulsivity, and a lack of empathy. Psychopaths may be charming on the surface but tend towards pathological deception and indifferent manipulation of other people. And they are more likely to have behavioral problems or be involved in crimin........ Read more »

  • August 17, 2014
  • 02:36 PM
  • 79 views

Schizophrenia and the Twilight Zone

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

You are now entering the Twilight Zone. You may remember the television show, with it’s odd twists and turns, but for people with schizophrenia it means something just a little […]... Read more »

  • August 16, 2014
  • 01:00 PM
  • 92 views

Is your Stomach… Controlling your Mind?

by Gabriel in Lunatic Laboratories

Close the blinds, lock the doors, and find a safe place to hide. Are you alone? No, no you aren’t and you may not even be in control of your […]... Read more »

  • August 16, 2014
  • 03:21 AM
  • 87 views

The epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders

by Paul Whiteley in Questioning Answers

A very short post for readers to ponder based on the paper by Amanda Baxter and colleagues [1] who talked about the global epidemiology of the autism spectrum disorders (ASDs)."In 2010 there were an estimated 52 million cases of ASDs, equating to a prevalence of 7.6 per 1000 or one in 132 persons".Aside from emphasising the word 'estimated' (I highlighted that), be prepared to see the Baxter paper and that quote cited quite a bit in the peer-reviewed literature in times to come.----------[1........ Read more »

A. J. Baxter, T. S. Brugha, H. E. Erskine, R. W. Scheurer, T. Vos, & J. G. Scott. (2014) The epidemiology and global burden of autism spectrum disorders. Psychological Medicine. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S003329171400172X

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