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All posts; Tags Include "Affective Psychology"

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  • March 16, 2016
  • 08:02 AM
  • 895 views

”Willful ignorance” and the denigration of others 

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

A while back we wrote about meat-eaters denigrating vegetarians. Apparently it is more common than one might think to make fun of “do-gooders” if you are not a “do-gooder” yourself. Today we are examining research on making fun of those who shop ethically. According to the researchers (from Ohio State University’s marketing department and UT […]

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Does the Millennial know that tattoo might be a business  faux pas?
“I am so tired of people mistaking me for a mode........ Read more »

  • March 1, 2016
  • 12:10 PM
  • 1,400 views

Shame on You, Shame on Me: Shame as an Evolutionary Adaptation

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

Can shame be good for you? We often think of shame as a shackling emotion which thwarts our individuality and creativity. A sense of shame could prevent us from choosing a partner we truly love, speaking out against societal traditions which propagate injustice or pursuing a profession that is deemed unworthy by our peers. But if shame is so detrimental, why did we evolve with this emotion? A team of researchers led by Daniel Sznycer from the Center for Evolutionary Psychology at the University ........ Read more »

Sznycer D, Tooby J, Cosmides L, Porat R, Shalvi S, & Halperin E. (2016) Shame closely tracks the threat of devaluation by others, even across cultures. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. PMID: 26903649  

  • February 22, 2016
  • 08:02 AM
  • 975 views

Substance use and other mental health concerns among US  attorneys

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

Over the past few years, following a number of high-profile attorney suicides, much more attention has focused on mental health needs of attorneys. The study we are featuring today was funded by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs. In short, the authors conclude we need to pay more […]

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Reports of novel or contradictory health research reduces public trust  in science
Lying makes me sick!
Defense Attorneys: More Sisyphus........ Read more »

  • February 12, 2016
  • 05:33 PM
  • 1,014 views

Planned Parenthood is disgusting? What does that even mean?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Whatever the ins and outs behind the tragic shootings at Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado, it seems safe to assume that the heated and inflammatory rhetoric that has characterised the debate around abortion in the USA has played a major role. A couple of weeks ago, Planned Parenthood innocently asked Twitter users for one word [Read More...]... Read more »

  • February 11, 2016
  • 04:26 PM
  • 1,122 views

Religion linked to reduced levels of stress hormones in young American Blacks

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

Compared with Whites, Black Americans have  high levels of an important stress hormone called cortisol circulating in their bloodstream. No-one really knows why this is, but the differences remain even after you take into account social and psychological factors. It seems likely that simply being black exposes you to a cumulative effect of increased lifetime [Read More...]... Read more »

Assari, S., Moghani Lankarani, M., Malekahmadi, M., Caldwell, C., & Zimmerman, M. (2015) Baseline Religion Involvement Predicts Subsequent Salivary Cortisol Levels Among Male But not Female Black Youth. International Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism, 13(4). DOI: 10.5812/ijem.31790  

  • January 29, 2016
  • 08:02 AM
  • 702 views

When terrified, liberals end up thinking a lot more like  conservatives

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

It’s a basic tenet of the reptile theory that you want to frighten your jurors to make them vote for your client in deliberation. [The ABA has put out an open-access primer on the reptile theory and you can see that here.] It is also been shown repeatedly that conservatives are more fearful than liberals, […]

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The evidence is mounting: The brains of liberals and conservatives differ
Are conservatives happier than liberals? Research says:  No.
Mean-spirited blog comments........ Read more »

  • January 6, 2016
  • 09:55 AM
  • 1,164 views

It’s An Exercise Resolution

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

More exercise is a good New Year’s resolution, but do you know why it is good for you? Sure, you strengthen your heart and may lose some weight, but exercise affects your brain most of all. Exercise releases helps your mood releasing a chemical in your brain just like the active ingredient in marijuana.... Read more »

Galdino G, Romero TR, Silva JF, Aguiar DC, de Paula AM, Cruz JS, Parrella C, Piscitelli F, Duarte ID, Di Marzo V.... (2013) The endocannabinoid system mediates aerobic exercise-induced antinociception in rats. Neuropharmacology, 313-324. PMID: 24148812  

  • January 5, 2016
  • 10:16 AM
  • 1,678 views

We Have Become Exhausted Slaves in a Culture of Positivity

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

We live in an era of exhaustion and fatigue, caused by an incessant compulsion to perform. This is one of the central tenets of the book "Müdigkeitsgesellschaft" (translatable as "The Fatigue Society" or "The Tiredness Society") by the German philosopher Byung-Chul Han. Han is a professor at the Berlin Universität der Künste (University of the Arts) and one of the most widely read contemporary philosophers in Germany. He was born in Seoul where he stu........ Read more »

Byung-Chul Han. (2015) The Burnout Society. Stanford University Press. info:/

  • December 23, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 977 views

Reducing racial prejudice in just seven minutes 

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

This is a very different strategy for quickly reducing racial prejudice than past research has examined. This one involves the Buddhist practice called a Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) which involves focusing on a specific individual and repeating phrases like “may you be happy and healthy”. Researchers wanted to see if practicing a Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) would […]

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  • November 7, 2015
  • 07:50 AM
  • 981 views

Capgras delusion

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

Think for a moment about the people in your life whom you are closest to and most familiar with---those whom you see, talk to, and maybe share intimate moments with on a regular basis. Perhaps this would be your spouse, partner, parents, siblings, or friends. Now, try to imagine waking up tomorrow and, upon seeing one of these people, being overcome with an unshakable feeling that it is not really them you are seeing. Even though you know it sounds crazy, you can't stop yourself from thinking th........ Read more »

Young, G. (2008) Capgras delusion: An interactionist model. Consciousness and Cognition, 17(3), 863-876. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2008.01.006  

  • October 14, 2015
  • 10:53 AM
  • 1,781 views

Feel Our Pain: Empathy and Moral Behavior

by Jalees Rehman in The Next Regeneration

"It's empathy that makes us help other people. It's empathy that makes us moral." The economist Paul Zak casually makes this comment in his widely watched TED talk about the hormone oxytocin, which he dubs the "moral molecule". Zak quotes a number of behavioral studies to support his claim that oxytocin increases empathy and trust, which in turn increases moral behavior. If all humans regularly inhaled a few puffs of oxytocin through a nasal spray, we could become m........ Read more »

De Dreu, C., Greer, L., Van Kleef, G., Shalvi, S., & Handgraaf, M. (2011) Oxytocin promotes human ethnocentrism. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(4), 1262-1266. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1015316108  

Shalvi S, & De Dreu CK. (2014) Oxytocin promotes group-serving dishonesty. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(15), 5503-7. PMID: 24706799  

Xu X, Zuo X, Wang X, & Han S. (2009) Do you feel my pain? Racial group membership modulates empathic neural responses. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 29(26), 8525-9. PMID: 19571143  

  • August 25, 2015
  • 04:13 PM
  • 1,110 views

Microbes and the mind: Who's pulling the strings?

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

There are many examples throughout nature of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and parasites influencing the neurobiology and behavior of their hosts. For example, the rabies virus enters the nervous system almost immediately after a bite or scratch and travels to the brain, where it influences neural activity to make aggressive behavior more likely. This, of course, is beneficial for the virus as it increases the probability its infected host will make contact with another susceptible host........ Read more »

  • July 15, 2015
  • 05:09 AM
  • 942 views

Can Tetris Reduce Intrusive Memories of a Trauma Film?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

For some inexplicable reason, you watched the torture gore horror film Hostel over the weekend. On Monday, you're having trouble concentrating at work. Images of severed limbs and bludgeoned heads keep intruding on your attempts to code or write a paper. So you decide to read about the making of Hostel.You end up seeing pictures of the most horrifying scenes from the movie. It's all way too way much to simply shake off so then you decide to play Tetris. But a funny thing happens. The unwelcome i........ Read more »

  • July 7, 2015
  • 04:50 PM
  • 1,171 views

The powerful influence of placebos on the brain

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

The term placebo effect describes an improvement in the condition of a patient after being given a placebo--an inert substance (e.g. sugar pill) the patient expects may hold some benefit for him. The placebo effect has long been recognized as an unavoidable aspect of medical treatment. Physicians before the 1950s often took advantage of this knowledge by giving patients treatments like bread pills or injections of water with the understanding that patients had a tendency to feel better when they........ Read more »

  • June 10, 2015
  • 09:00 AM
  • 1,250 views

Everybody Is Just A Little Twisted

by Mark Lasbury in As Many Exceptions As Rules

You may have your head on straight, but your brain is still twisted. Everyone’s is. The symmetry of the brain is not absolute and the two halves are shaped differently, this results in your brain torquing (not twerking) inside your skull. The reasons are many, but one is gender: boy brains and girl brains really are different!... Read more »

Maller, J., Anderson, R., Thomson, R., Rosenfeld, J., Daskalakis, Z., & Fitzgerald, P. (2015) Occipital bending (Yakovlevian torque) in bipolar depression. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 231(1), 8-14. DOI: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2014.11.008  

Maller, J., Thomson, R., Rosenfeld, J., Anderson, R., Daskalakis, Z., & Fitzgerald, P. (2014) Occipital bending in depression. Brain, 137(6), 1830-1837. DOI: 10.1093/brain/awu072  

Mock, J., Zadina, J., Corey, D., Cohen, J., Lemen, L., & Foundas, A. (2012) Atypical Brain Torque in Boys With Developmental Stuttering. Developmental Neuropsychology, 37(5), 434-452. DOI: 10.1080/87565641.2012.661816  

Witelson, S., Kigar, D., & Harvey, T. (1999) The exceptional brain of Albert Einstein. The Lancet, 353(9170), 2149-2153. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(98)10327-6  

  • May 27, 2015
  • 08:02 AM
  • 1,025 views

The NoMoPhobia Scale (NMP-Q): What  happens when you are without your smartphone

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

The smartphone has changed our lives. Just last fall, we wrote about the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) Scale. As a reminder, that post was about how smartphones allow us to obsessively check our email and social media sites to see what our friends and followers and family members are doing— out of a fear […]

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... Read more »

  • May 5, 2015
  • 07:14 AM
  • 942 views

Tylenol Doesn't Really Blunt Your Emotions

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

A new study has found that the pain reliever TYLENOL® (acetaminophen) not only dampens negative emotions, it blunts positive emotions too. Or does it?Durso and colleagues (2015) reckoned that if acetaminophen can lessen the sting of psychological pain (Dewall et al., 2010; Randles et al., 2013) – which is doubtful in my view – then it might also lessen reactivity to positive stimuli. Evidence in favor of their hypothesis would support differential susceptibility, the notion that the same ........ Read more »

  • May 1, 2015
  • 10:28 AM
  • 1,266 views

In the face of discrimination, non-believers commit more strongly to their atheism

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

It’s widely recognised that atheists are one of the most marginalised groups in the USA. As you might imagine, this can cause all sorts of problems for non-believers. But might it also help explain why the public face of atheism in the USA is so stridently vocal? Many American atheists are passionate about their identity as [Read More...]... Read more »

  • April 13, 2015
  • 07:43 AM
  • 1,079 views

Let there be light: how light can affect our mood

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

If you're looking for an indication of how intricately human physiology is tied to the environment our species evolved in, you need look no further than our circadian clock. For, the internal environment of our body is regulated by 24-hour cycles that closely mirror the time it takes for the earth to rotate once on its axis. Moreover, these cycles are shaped by changes in the external environment (e.g. fluctuating levels of daylight) associated with that rotation. Indeed, this 24-hour cycle regu........ Read more »

LeGates, T., Fernandez, D., & Hattar, S. (2014) Light as a central modulator of circadian rhythms, sleep and affect. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15(7), 443-454. DOI: 10.1038/nrn3743  

  • March 28, 2015
  • 09:20 PM
  • 1,069 views

The neurobiological underpinnings of suicidal behavior

by neurosci in Neuroscientifically Challenged

When you consider that so much of our energy and such a large portion of our behavioral repertoire is devoted to ways of ensuring our survival, suicide appears to be perhaps the most inexplicable human behavior. What would make this human machine--which most of the time seems to be resolutely programmed to scratch, claw, and fight to endure through even the most dire situations--so easily decide to give it all up, even when the circumstances may not objectively seem all that desperate? Suicide i........ Read more »

Turecki, G. (2014) The molecular bases of the suicidal brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 15(12), 802-816. DOI: 10.1038/nrn3839  

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