Monthly Archives: February 2011

How long will it take? Power biases time predictions (Study)

“People tend to underestimate the time it takes to accomplish tasks. This bias known as the planning fallacy derives from the tendency to focus attention too narrowly on the envisaged goal and to ignore additional information that could make predictions … Continue reading

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Rising up to higher virtues: Experiencing elevated physical height uplifts prosocial actions (Study)

“Many challenges of society involve getting people to act prosocially in ways that are costly for self-interests but beneficial to the greater good. The authors in four studies examined the novel hypothesis that elevating (vertical) height promotes prosocial actions. In … Continue reading

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The role of social meaning in inattentional blindness: When the gorillas in our midst do NOT go unseen (Study)

“Abstract Without visual attention, even the obvious–like a gorilla walking through a scene of people–goes undetected (Mack & Rock, 1998; Simons & Chabris, 1999). This “inattentional blindness” is a persistent, well-documented limitation of the human visual system. The current research … Continue reading

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Sucrose drinks reduce prejudice and stereotyping (Study)

“Abstract Prejudice and stereotyping cause social problems and intergroup tension. The current work examined whether bolstering self-control by giving participants glucose would reduce stereotype use for an impression formation task. Previous work has demonstrated that self-control depends on biologically expensive … Continue reading

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Science and God: An automatic opposition between ultimate explanations (Study)

“Abstract Science and religion have come into conflict repeatedly throughout history, and one simple reason for this is the two offer competing explanations for many of the same phenomena. We present evidence that the conflict between these two concepts can … Continue reading

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Interpersonal attachment predicts identification with groups (Study)

“Abstract We propose a model documenting the relationship between interpersonal attachment style and identification with groups. We hypothesized that following threat to a romantic interpersonal relationship higher attachment anxiety would be associated with lowered tendencies to identify with groups. In … Continue reading

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Emotional response may predict how the body responds to stress (Study, in e!ScienceNews)

“Your emotional response to challenging situations could predict how your body responds to stress, according to research published this month in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. “People who reported high levels of anger and anxiety after performing a laboratory-based … Continue reading

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In search of the “I” (self-consciousness) within the body (Study, in EurekAlert)

“That feeling of being in, and owning, your own body is a fundamental human experience. But where does it originate and how does it come to be? Now, Professor Olaf Blanke, a neurologist with the Brain Mind Institute at EPFL … Continue reading

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Influencing others by showing emotion: a new emotional ability? (Study, in BPS OccupationalDigest)

“…consequences of these displays. Anger at those who have neglected their duties can provoke them to redouble their efforts, guilt displays increase the likelihood of forgiveness, and positive emotions can result in more pro-social behaviour. Clearly there is an advantage … Continue reading

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“Unable to dance to a beat when embedded in music” (Study (one case))

“Abstract Humans move to the beat of music. Despite the ubiquity and early emergence of this response, some individuals report being unable to feel the beat in music. We report a sample of people without special training, all of whom … Continue reading

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Interesting: Attachment styles and feedback-seeking patterns in relationships and work (Study)

“Abstract Adults with different attachment orientations rely on different areas of life to maintain self-views. This paper reports two studies that examine the link between attachment and feedback-seeking patterns in interpersonal and competence-related domains. Participants in Study 1 imagined receiving … Continue reading

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Exposure to music with prosocial lyrics reduces aggression: First evidence and test of the underlying mechanism (Study)

“Abstract Previous research has predominantly focused on negative effects of music exposure by demonstrating that listening to antisocial music increases aggression and aggression-related variables. The present research tests the idea that listening to prosocial (relative to neutral) music decreases aggressive … Continue reading

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Higher posture when generating words associated with pride compared to disappointment (Study)

“Abstract Embodiment theories predict that activating conceptual knowledge about emotions can be accompanied by re-experiencing bodily states, since simulations of sensory, motor, and introspective experiences form the foundation of conceptual representations of emotion. In the present study, we examine whether … Continue reading

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Using a red pen (compared to black/blue): more errors are detected, marked and lower grades awarded (Study)

“Abstract Because red pens are closely associated with error-marking and poor performance, the use of red pens when correcting student work can activate these concepts. People using red pens to complete a word-stem task completed more words related to errors … Continue reading

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Women should wear red shirts (instead of green) if they want to be asked more intimate questions and have men sitting closer to them (instead of a blue shirt) (Study)

“Abstract In many non-human primate species, a display of red by a female increases attraction behavior in male conspecifics. In two experiments, we investigate an analogous effect in humans, specifically, whether red on a woman’s shirt increases attraction behavior in … Continue reading

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Boy Without a Cerebellum Baffles Doctors

“Chase was also born prematurely, and he was legally blind. When he was 1 year old, doctors did an MRI, expecting to find he had a mild case of cerebral palsy. Instead, they discovered he was completely missing his cerebellum … Continue reading

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Egypt’s revolution vindicates Gene Sharp’s theory of nonviolent activism (in ScientificAmerican)

“Whereas most pundits have focused on the role of social media in Egypt’s revolution, what impressed me most was that one of the most powerful, entrenched regimes in the world was toppled by a nonviolent uprising. Does anyone doubt that … Continue reading

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VIRTUALLY YOU The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality (Book review, in NYT)

“Humanity is migrating to cyberspace. […] Elias Aboujaoude, a Silicon Valley psychiatrist, finds this alarming. In “Virtually You,” he argues that the Internet is unleashing our worst instincts. It connects you to whatever you want: gambling, overspending, sex with strangers. … Continue reading

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“Why you can’t have more than 147.8 friends” (Study, in TWSJ)

“Many years ago Mr. Dunbar famously noticed that there is a tight correlation between the size of a primate’s brain and the size of the social group its species generally forms. On this basis human beings should live in groups … Continue reading

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Amazing video about the strange powers of placebos

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