New York street art. Photo inWikimedia Commons posted by Pedroalmovar.Oxytocin, commonly known as “the love hormone”, is a small chemical that is produced in the brain of mammals, but can both act as a neurotransmitter and enter the blood stream and act as a hormone. It has long been heralded for its role in both maternal and romantic love, but more recent research is showing us just how complicated the physiology of love can be.Oxytocin is released in mammalian mothers after birth. It promo........ Read more »
Zik JB, & Roberts DL. (2015) The many faces of oxytocin: implications for psychiatry. Psychiatry research, 226(1), 31-7. PMID: 25619431
The replication crisis, publication bias, p-hacking, harking, bad incentives, undesirable pressures and probably other factors all contribute to diminish the trustworthiness of published research, with obvious implications for research synthesis. Sergio Graziosi asks whether demanding simple theoretical clarity might be part of the solution.
... Read more »
Kerr NL. (1998) HARKing: hypothesizing after the results are known. Personality and social psychology review : an official journal of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc, 2(3), 196-217. PMID: 15647155
Head ML, Holman L, Lanfear R, Kahn AT, & Jennions MD. (2015) The extent and consequences of p-hacking in science. PLoS biology, 13(3). PMID: 25768323
Munafò, M., Nosek, B., Bishop, D., Button, K., Chambers, C., Percie du Sert, N., Simonsohn, U., Wagenmakers, E., Ware, J., & Ioannidis, J. (2017) A manifesto for reproducible science. Nature Human Behaviour, 1(1), 21. DOI: 10.1038/s41562-016-0021
Wicherts JM, Veldkamp CL, Augusteijn HE, Bakker M, van Aert RC, & van Assen MA. (2016) Degrees of Freedom in Planning, Running, Analyzing, and Reporting Psychological Studies: A Checklist to Avoid p-Hacking. Frontiers in psychology, 1832. PMID: 27933012
MANUSCRITO (Vol. 39.1) brings some new original contributions to the philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics and philosophical logic. It contains articles by specialists from Latin America and Europe on a variety of issues currently discussed in the literature, and represents a substantial contribution to the contemporary philosophical debate. … Read More →... Read more »
Hiller, F. (2016) How to (dis)solve Nagel's paradox about moral luck and responsibility. Manuscrito, 39(1), 5-32. DOI: 10.1590/0100-6045.2016.V39N1.FRH
Competition for government research grants to fund scientific research remains fierce in the United States. The budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which constitute the major source of funding for US biological and medical research, has been increased only modestly during the past decade but it is not even keeping up with inflation. This problem is compounded by the fact that more scientists are applying for grants now than one or two decades ago, forcing the NIH to enforce strict........ Read more »
Among monogamous animals, some individuals are more faithful than others. Could these differences in fidelity be, in part, because of differences in our brains? And if so, why does this diversity in brain and behavior exist?A snuggly prairie vole family. Photo from theNerdPatrol at Wikimedia Commons.Prairie voles are small North American rodents that form monogamous pair bonds, share parental duties, and defend their homes. Although prairie voles form monogamous pairs, that does not mean they ar........ Read more »
Okhovat, M., Berrio, A., Wallace, G., Ophir, A., & Phelps, S. (2015) Sexual fidelity trade-offs promote regulatory variation in the prairie vole brain. Science, 350(6266), 1371-1374. DOI: 10.1126/science.aac5791
Brain activation during challenges to political vs. non-political beliefs (Figure modified from Kaplan et al., 2016).
Lately I've been despairing about the state of America.
I'm not sure how denying access to affordable health care, opposing scientific facts like global warming and the benefits of vaccines, alienating our allies, banning Muslims, building a wall, endorsing torture, and
... Read more »
Feinberg, M., & Willer, R. (2015) From Gulf to Bridge: When Do Moral Arguments Facilitate Political Influence?. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(12), 1665-1681. DOI: 10.1177/0146167215607842
Kaplan, J., Gimbel, S., & Harris, S. (2016) Neural correlates of maintaining one’s political beliefs in the face of counterevidence. Scientific Reports, 39589. DOI: 10.1038/srep39589
The pain of rejection is one that every scientist has felt: but what happens to papers after they're declined by a journal?
In a new study, researchers Earnshaw et al. traced the fate of almost 1,000 manuscripts which had been submitted to and rejected by ear, nose and throat journal Clinical Otolaryngology between 2011 to 2013.
To find out if the rejected papers had eventually appeared elsewhere, Earnshaw et al. searched PubMed and Google Scholar for published papers with titles a... Read more »
Earnshaw CH, Edwin C, Bhat J, Krishnan M, Mamais C, Somashekar S, Sunil A, Williams SP, & Leong SC. (2016) An Analysis of the Fate of 917 Manuscripts Rejected from Clinical Otolaryngology. Clinical Otolaryngology. PMID: 28032954
For learning declarative concepts in a domain and then identifying those concepts in novel real-world situations, provided examples proved to be better than student-generated examples for both long-term learning and for instructional efficiency. The second experiment in the study replicated these findings.... Read more »
Zamary, A., & Rawson, K. (2016) Which Technique is most Effective for Learning Declarative Concepts—Provided Examples, Generated Examples, or Both?. Educational Psychology Review. DOI: 10.1007/s10648-016-9396-9
End of the year is a very special time as Holiday lights melt away our inner Grinch and we start to believe in miracles and new beginnings. Belief is not a religious phenomenon. It is our way of coping with the future and finding existential meaning. Scientific studies show that belief in miracles contributes to greater life satisfaction. Belief in science and technological progress can make people satisfied with their lives even more. The stronger the sense of personal control, the higher s........ Read more »
Hayward RD, Krause N, Ironson G, & Pargament KI. (2016) Externalizing religious health beliefs and health and well-being outcomes. Journal of behavioral medicine, 39(5), 887-95. PMID: 27372713
Garraway LA. (2016) Believe the miracles: of biomedical science and human suffering. The Journal of clinical investigation, 126(12), 4716-4722. PMID: 27906693
Townsend, D., Busenitz, L., & Arthurs, J. (2010) To start or not to start: Outcome and ability expectations in the decision to start a new venture. Journal of Business Venturing, 25(2), 192-202. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusvent.2008.05.003
Most people believe that scientists have high levels of objectivity and integrity - and scientists themselves share these positive views of their own profession. But according to scientists, not all researchers are equally upstanding, with male and early-career scientists being seen as somewhat less trustworthy than others.
That's according to a new paper from Dutch researchers Coosje Veldkamp et al.: Who Believes in the Storybook Image of the Scientist?
Based on a series of studies in... Read more »
Veldkamp CL, Hartgerink CH, van Assen MA, & Wicherts JM. (2016) Who Believes in the Storybook Image of the Scientist?. Accountability in research. PMID: 28001440
[Warning: do not read this with small kids around!] Mark Newman poses some questions in theme with the seasonal festivities: what does it mean to believe in Father Christmas? Does it really differ that much from belief in the role of evidence? We at the EPPI-Centre are happy to rise to the occasion and wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.
... Read more »
James, M., Pollard, A., Rees, G., & Taylor, C. (2005) Researching learning outcomes: building confidence in our conclusions. Curriculum Journal, 16(1), 109-122. DOI: 10.1080/0958517042000336863
Want to know if someone is interested? Watch their pupils
The pupils are among those parts of body languages that are not in our conscious control. White and Maltzman (1977) found that the pupil starts dilating when a person shows interest in some other person he or she talking to.
Want to know the person is into you? Watch the feet
Most people know how to keep a check on their expressions, but they are unaware about their feet. So, if a person is interested in........ Read more »
Dodd, M., Hibbing, J., & Smith, K. (2010) The politics of attention: gaze-cuing effects are moderated by political temperament. Attention, Perception, , 73(1), 24-29. DOI: 10.3758/s13414-010-0001-x
A new post at Quartz discusses
The disturbingly accurate brain science that identifies potential criminals while they’re still toddlers... scientists are able to use brain tests on three-year-olds to determine which children are more likely to grow up to become criminals.
Hmmm. Not really.
The research in question is from from North Carolina researchers Avshalom Caspi et al.: Childhood forecasting of a small segment of the population with large economic burden. It's based on a long-term... Read more »
Caspi, A., Houts, R., Belsky, D., Harrington, H., Hogan, S., Ramrakha, S., Poulton, R., & Moffitt, T. (2016) Childhood forecasting of a small segment of the population with large economic burden. Nature Human Behaviour, 5. DOI: 10.1038/s41562-016-0005
So, here is a vocabulary of some of the loveliest and beautiful emotions having no direct English translations:
Að jenna (Icelandic): Willingness or ability to continue the hard or boring tasks
Ah-un ((阿吽, Japanese): Unspoken communication between close friends
Cafune (Portuguese): Tenderly moving fingers through the hairs of a lover one
Fargin (Yiddish): To show or express pride and happiness at the success of others
Gökotta (Swedish): Waking up early to hea........ Read more »
Lomas, T. (2016) Towards a positive cross-cultural lexicography: Enriching our emotional landscape through 216 ‘untranslatable’ words pertaining to well-being. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 11(5), 546-558. DOI: 10.1080/17439760.2015.1127993
by Livia Gerber in Language on the Move
A 2015 article in the New York Post argued that mobile dating apps, such as Tinder and its many clones,...... Read more »
Hobbs, M., Owen, S., & Gerber, L. (2016) Liquid love? Dating apps, sex, relationships and the digital transformation of intimacy. Journal of Sociology. DOI: 10.1177/1440783316662718
Among the academic community, there a growing feeling that traditional peer review is failing at accomplishing its core objective: ensuring scientific quality.... Read more »
Hunter, J. (2012) Post-Publication Peer Review: Opening Up Scientific Conversation. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. DOI: 10.3389/fncom.2012.00063
by Lg_on_the_move in Language on the Move
Many people around the world dream of learning English. The pursuit of English is rarely only, or even predominantly, about language learning: it’s...... Read more »
Cho, J. (2015) Sleepless in Seoul: Neoliberalism, English fever, and linguistic insecurity among Korean interpreters. Multilingua. DOI: 10.1515/multi-2013-0047
Are the eyes the windows to intelligence? In an interesting paper, Georgia psychologists Jason S. Tsukahara and colleagues report that there's a positive correlation between pupil size and cognitive ability.
It's well known that our pupil size varies over time due to changes in both emotional state and cognitive 'effort'. As Tsukahara et al. put it
Starting in the 1960s it became apparent to psychologists that the size of the pupil is related to more than just the amount of light enterin... Read more »
Tsukahara JS, Harrison TL, & Engle RW. (2016) The relationship between baseline pupil size and intelligence. Cognitive psychology, 109-123. PMID: 27821254
It does not come as a surprise that background music in a café helps create the ambience and affects how much customers enjoy sipping their cappuccinos. But recent research suggests that the choice of lyrics can even impact the social behavior of customers. The researcher Nicolas Ruth and his colleagues from the University of Würzburg (Bavaria, Germany) assembled a playlist of 18 songs with pro-social lyrics which they had curated by surveying 74 participants in an online questionnaire as to w........ Read more »
Ruth, N. (2016) "Heal the World": A field experiment on the effects of music with prosocial lyrics on prosocial behavior. Psychology of Music. DOI: 10.1177/0305735616652226
A remarkable paper claims that staying off Facebook for a week could make you happier: The Facebook Experiment, by Morten Tromholt of Denmark.
What makes this study so interesting is that it was a randomized controlled trial (RCT) and so was able, at least in theory, to determine whether quitting Facebook actually causes changes in well-being. Previously, there has been lots of research reporting correlations between social network use and happiness, but correlation isn't causation.
... Read more »
Tromholt M. (2016) The Facebook Experiment: Quitting Facebook Leads to Higher Levels of Well-Being. Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, 19(11), 661-666. PMID: 27831756
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