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
I've blogged about my fair share of scientific papers over the years, but this is a new one: a paper about me.
Writing in Science and Engineering Ethics, author Jaime A. Teixeira da Silva discusses the question of Are Pseudonyms Ethical in (Science) Publishing? Neuroskeptic as a Case Study
Teixeira da Silva, a plant scientist and frequent poster on PubPeer amongst other forums, opens with the following:
There is a prominent blogger called Neuroskeptic who has a web-site and even a... Read more »
Teixeira da Silva, J. (2016) Are Pseudonyms Ethical in (Science) Publishing? Neuroskeptic as a Case Study. Science and Engineering Ethics. DOI: 10.1007/s11948-016-9825-7
As I am trying to finalize the manuscript for the second revised edition of my 2011 book Intercultural Communication: A...... Read more »
Markus, A. (2016) Australians Today: The Australia@2015 Scanlon Foundation Survey. Scanlon Foundation. info:/
A person’s subjective social status reflects how they rank themselves relative to others in their community. Social status can be considered to be a psychological dimension of social class and socioeconomic status, and it has been shown to be positively related to mental health: The higher one’s perceived social status, the better one’s mental health. However, the process underlying this relation is unclear. In some recent research, my colleagues and I considered social contact........ Read more »
Rubin, M., Evans, O., & Wilkinson, R. (2016) A Longitudinal Study of the Relations Among University Students' Subjective Social Status, Social Contact with University Friends, and Mental Health and Well-Being. Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 35(9), 722-737. DOI: 10.1521/jscp.2016.35.9.722
Elections are bad for your health. More than half of Americans, independently of their party preference, are stressed about upcoming elections, especially the oldest and the youngest voters. Social media is one of the major factors making this stress even worse. ... Read more »
Stanton SJ, Beehner JC, Saini EK, Kuhn CM, & Labar KS. (2009) Dominance, politics, and physiology: voters' testosterone changes on the night of the 2008 United States presidential election. PloS one, 4(10). PMID: 19844583
Markey, P., & Markey, C. (2011) Pornography-seeking behaviors following midterm political elections in the United States: A replication of the challenge hypothesis. Computers in Human Behavior, 27(3), 1262-1264. DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2011.01.007
Waismel-Manor I, Ifergane G, & Cohen H. (2011) When endocrinology and democracy collide: emotions, cortisol and voting at national elections. European neuropsychopharmacology : the journal of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, 21(11), 789-95. PMID: 21482457
Blanton, H., Strauts, E., & Perez, M. (2012) Partisan Identification as a Predictor of Cortisol Response to Election News. Political Communication, 29(4), 447-460. DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2012.736239
Neiman J, Giuseffi K, Smith K, French J, Waismel-Manor I, & Hibbing J. (2015) Voting at Home Is Associated with Lower Cortisol than Voting at the Polls. PloS one, 10(9). PMID: 26335591
Who of the three women in this image do you think German employers are most likely to consider as a...... Read more »
Arai, M., Bursell, M., & Nekby, L. (2016) The Reverse Gender Gap in Ethnic Discrimination: Employer Stereotypes of Men and Women with Arabic Names. International Migration Review, 50(2), 385-412. DOI: 10.1111/imre.12170
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