Nature or nurture? The quest to understand why humans kill one another has occupied the minds of philosophers, sociologists and psychologists for centuries. Are we innately violent, as Englishman Thomas Hobbes postulated in the 1650s, or is our behaviour influenced more by the environment we grow up in, as Jean-Jacques Rousseau theorised a century later?
A new study using aerial imagery across the state of California has found that converting land to grow almonds between 2007 and 2014 has led to a 27% annual increase in irrigation demands—despite the state’s historic drought. The expansion of almonds has also consumed 16,000 acres of wetlands and will likely put additional pressure on already stressed honeybee populations.
Entitlement–a personality trait driven by exaggerated feelings of deservingness and superiority–may lead to chronic disappointment, unmet expectations and a habitual, self-reinforcing cycle of behavior with dire psychological and social costs, according to new research. In a new theoretical model, researchers have mapped how entitled personality traits may lead to a perpetual loop of distress.
Ever wonder think it’s silly that people don’t recognize Clark Kent is actually Superman? Well as it turns out, glasses are actually a fairly good way to disguise yourself. In fact, researchers have shown that small alterations to a person’s appearance, such as wearing glasses, can significantly hinder positive facial identification.
With the sale of sex shifting online, today’s pimps are avoiding police detection by using underground websites, social media, mobile apps and even by hiding their ads on mainstream sites such as Craigslist and Backpage. In a first-of-its-kind study, criminologists interviewed 71 pimps in Atlanta and Chicago to determine how their marketing decisions are influenced by police enforcement of online prostitution.
A doctor’s guidance may reassure us more than we realize -especially if she says she is likely to recommend treatment in her field of expertise, known as “specialty bias.” Doing research in a real-world healthcare setting, researchers have found that when surgeons revealed their bias toward their own specialty, their patients were more likely to perceive them as trustworthy. And patients are more apt to follow their recommendation to have surgical treatment.
Feelings of shame and humiliation bother obese air passengers more than tight seat belts and tiny seats, according to a study published by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers. Participants interviewed for the study recounted the typical challenges they encounter while boarding, in-flight and deplaning.
May 25, 2016 | Categories: Ethics, Psychology | Tags: behavioral science, depression, medicine, Mental Health Stuff, peer reviewed, political issues, public health, science, social science | Leave a comment
No matter how smart and funny you think you are, those you follow on Twitter really do have a larger following than you. And the same holds true for Facebook. But there is no reason to feel badly about any of this. According to the research, it is all due to the inherently hierarchical nature of social media networks, where, in the social hierarchy of connections, people mostly either follow up or across; they rarely follow down.
May 18, 2016 | Categories: Psychology, Technology | Tags: behavioral science, computer science, facebook, information management, internet, peer reviewed, psychology, science, social media, social science, twitter | Leave a comment
No one is telling you what time to go to bed with this, but researchers are making a strong case that the duration and timing of your sleep are closely associated with whether your behavior is heart-healthy. Night owls should take special note of a new study that found the early-to-bed, early-to-rise approach aligns much better with cardiovascular health.
Using imagery is an effective way to improve memory and decrease certain types of false memories. The study examined how creating images affected the ability to accurately recall conceptually related word lists as well as rhyming word lists. People who were instructed to create images of the list words in their head were able to recall more words than people who didn’t create images, and they didn’t recall false memories as often. False memories occur when a person recalls something that didn’t happen or remembers something inaccurately.
April 11, 2016 | Categories: Neuroscience Research | Tags: behavioral science, memory, Mental Health Stuff, neurobiology, neurology, peer reviewed, psychology, science, social science | Leave a comment
Something very personal about me, the thought of suicide is never too far behind. It is to the point that I need to qualify it to my counselor when I am asked if I have thoughts of suicide, I always do. A new study shows that I am far from alone Nearly 14 percent of military veterans reported suicidal thinking at one or both phases of a two-year Veterans Affairs (VA) study.
April 5, 2016 | Categories: Politics, Psychology | Tags: anxiety, behavioral science, depression, lifestyle, Mental Health Stuff, military, post traumatic stress, social science, veterans | 10 Comments
Marriage is legal (here in the US anyway), now I’m not gay, but that is exciting to me. So the question remains, has society fallen apart? Are cats hanging out with dogs and toast falling butter side up? Of course not, so then why do opponents of same-sex marriage really oppose it? A UCLA psychology study concludes that many people believe gay men and women are more sexually promiscuous than heterosexuals, which they may fear could threaten their own marriages and their way of life.
Mulder and Scully may have accomplished something that hasn’t happened for society — trust between two opposing viewpoints. According to a new study, uncloaking the flying saucer movement in the United States could offer historians a snapshot of Cold War attitudes at work in society, as well as insights into how science communication may be tied to current denialism and conspiracy theory movements.
February 21, 2016 | Categories: Psychology | Tags: behavioral science, extraterrestrials, history, peer reviewed, political issues, pseudoscience, psychology, science, social science, ufology | Leave a comment
Even subtle differences in how you refer to people with mental illness can affect levels of tolerance, a new study has found. In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers found that participants showed less tolerance toward people who were referred to as “the mentally ill” when compared to those referred to as “people with mental illness.”
January 26, 2016 | Categories: Health and Medicine, Politics, Psychology | Tags: behavioral science, counseling, health, lifestyle, medicine, Mental Health Stuff, peer reviewed, political issues, psychology, public health, science, social science | 1 Comment
Well the Christmas presents are open and as usual you are super thrilled with what you got… right? But what is the fun in getting a christmas gift if you aren’t surprised as to what it is? Well here is a low tech solution to convince just about anyone they know what that gift under the tree really is, it works — trust me, I’ve tested it.
What’s in a name? In the case of the usernames of video gamers, a remarkable amount of information about their real world personalities, according to research. Analysis of anonymised data from one of the world’s most popular computer games by scientists in the Department of Psychology at York also revealed information about their ages.
November 17, 2015 | Categories: Psychology, Technology | Tags: behavioral science, health, internet, medicine, Mental Health Stuff, neurobiology, neurology, peer reviewed, psychology, science, social science, videogames | Leave a comment
Job applicants who are cancer survivors are less likely to receive callbacks from potential retail employers than those who did not disclose their health history, according to a recent study by Rice University and Penn State University researchers.
November 6, 2015 | Categories: Ethics, Psychology | Tags: behavioral science, cancer, disability, Mental Health Stuff, peer reviewed, political issues, psychology, public health, science, social science | Leave a comment
Earlier this year, we looked at a study that suggested sexting can be healthy in a relationship, but that study primarily looked at non-married couples and the average age for the behavior was, as you may expect, young adult. Which may lead you to think that married couples don’t sext. In fact, married couples do report sexting, but it is much less common than in young adult relationships and consists more of intimate talk with their partners than sending nude or nearly nude photos via mobile phones, according to a new study.
October 28, 2015 | Categories: Psychology, Technology | Tags: behavioral science, cell phones, couples, decision making, marriage, Mental Health Stuff, peer reviewed, psychology, science, sexual behavior, social science | 3 Comments
For adults, memories tend to fade with time. But a new study has shown that there are circumstances under which the opposite is true for small children: they can remember a piece of information better days later than they can on the day they first learned it. While playing a video game that asked them to remember associations between objects, 4- and 5-year-olds who re-played the game after a two-day delay scored more than 20 percent higher than kids who re-played it later the same day.
September 21, 2015 | Categories: Neuroscience Research, Psychology | Tags: behavioral science, cognitive science, education, learning, neurobiology, neurology, peer reviewed, psychology, science, social science | Leave a comment
Concerns about perfectionism can sabotage success at work, school or on the playing field, leading to stress, burnout and potential health problems, according to new research. In the first meta-analysis of the relationship between perfectionism and burnout, researchers analyzed the findings from 43 previous studies conducted over the past 20 years. It turns out perfectionism isn’t all bad.
August 2, 2015 | Categories: Psychology | Tags: anxiety, behavioral science, depression, health, management science, neurobiology, neurology, peer reviewed, personality, psychology, science, social science | Leave a comment
Ever wake at night needing a drink of water and then find your way to the kitchen in the dark without stubbing your toe? Researchers at the University of California, San Diego say they have identified a region of the brain that enables you to do that – and generally helps you navigate the world.
July 10, 2015 | Categories: Biology, Neuroscience Research | Tags: artificial intelligence, behavioral science, cell biology, health, medicine, neurobiology, neurology, peer reviewed, science, social science | Leave a comment
Cats are increasingly earning themselves a reputation as wildlife killers with estimates of animals killed every year by domestic cats in the UK numbering into the millions. This new study on the attitudes of cat owners suggests that proposals to keep cats indoors in order to preserve wildlife would not be well received.
June 26, 2015 | Categories: Biology, Environment | Tags: animals, behavior, behavioral science, biology, cats, ecology, nature, pets, population biology, social science, veterinary science, zoology | Leave a comment
Consciousness — the internal dialogue that seems to govern one’s thoughts and actions — is far less powerful than people believe, serving as a passive conduit rather than an active force that exerts control, according to a new theory proposed by an SF State researcher.
June 23, 2015 | Categories: Neuroscience Research, Psychology | Tags: awareness, behavioral science, cognitive processes, decision making, Mental Health Stuff, neurobiology, neurology, peer reviewed, perception, problem solving, science, social science | 11 Comments
Arrests of women increased dramatically in the past two decades, while domestic abuse laws meant to protect female victims have put many behind bars for defending themselves, a new paper argues. These trends suggest evidence, at least in the justice system, of a “war on women” — a term coined during the 2012 election that refers to attempts to limit women’s rights.
June 23, 2015 | Categories: Ethics, Women's Health | Tags: behavior, behavioral science, criminals, law enforcement, peer reviewed, political issues, psychology, public health, science, social science, violence | Leave a comment
The great racial divide, despite all the evidence showing that racism, hate and frankly plain stupidity is alive and well, there are people who cannot accept it. This probably will not change anything for those people, but for the first time a new study shows that while suicide rates in children younger than 12 have remained steady for the past 20 years, there are significantly higher suicide rates among black children.
May 19, 2015 | Categories: Ethics, News | Tags: behavior science, depression, health, mathematics, Mental Health Stuff, peer reviewed, political issues, science, social science, statistics, suicide, suicide prevention | Leave a comment
The Netherlands had the strongest stereotypes associating science with men more than women, according to a new Northwestern University study that included data from nearly 350,000 people in 66 nations. These stereotypes are prevalent across the world — even in nations such as Argentina and Bulgaria where women are roughly half of science majors in colleges and universities and employed researchers, according to the study, the largest ever of its kind.
May 18, 2015 | Categories: Ethics, Psychology | Tags: attitude, behavioral science, children, education, peer reviewed, personality, political issues, science, social science, womens rights | 2 Comments
Countless research and self-help books claim that having more sex will lead to increased happiness, based on the common finding that those having more sex are also happier. However, there are many reasons why one might observe this positive relationship between sex and happiness. Being happy in the first place, for example, might lead someone to have more sex (what researchers call ‘reverse causality’), or being healthy might result in being both happier and having more sex.
According to new research, there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the impact of Saturday morning cartoons. The researchers examine how fantasy-based stories, in particular the popular 1980s cartoon series The Transformers, can shape children’s perceptions of what behaviors are associated with effective leadership. It also could provide a basis for workplace-training programs.
For decades, frustrated parents and teachers have barked at fidgety children with ADHD to “Sit still and concentrate!” But new research shows that if you want ADHD kids to learn, you have to let them squirm. The foot-tapping, leg-swinging and chair-scooting movements of children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are actually vital to how they remember information and work out complex cognitive tasks.
April 18, 2015 | Categories: Neuroscience Research | Tags: ADHD, child care, cognitive processes, education, memory, neurochemistry, neurology, parenting, pediatrics, peer reviewed, science, social science | Leave a comment
Rape, it’s so taboo that victims are sometimes shamed for “letting” it happening. It’s a dirty word, no one likes the word rape so we come up with other names for it — sexual assault for example. Well new research shows that close relatives of men convicted of sexual offences commit similar offences themselves more frequently than comparison subjects. The study suggests that this is due to genetic factors rather than shared family environment. The study includes all men convicted of sex crime in Sweden during 37 years.