Archives for Studies
Got a craving for another beer or glass of wine? Your right ventral striatum may be in on your decision to have another. A new study appears to show that both blood oxygen levels and dopamine activity are increased in response to
Magic or Psychology? Making Something That Doesn’t Exist Disappear on PsychCentral's News blog, reports on an Oxford University study led by Dr. Matthew Tompkins. Dr. Tompkins said, "The founding fathers of psychology were keenly interested in understanding how magicians could manipulate people’s perceptions." Participants watched videos, some of which contained magic-acts, some of which didn't. Yet, many of the subjects saw magic acts occurring, even when there weren't. Dr. Tompkins said, “We think what may be happening is that people are effectively confusing their expectations with a true sensory experience. Today, we have more opportunities to be manipulated into false beliefs than ever before."
We may choose to believe that Eastern thought, culture, morality or concept of community or self is superior to the West, or vice versa. Or that East and West represent completely different worldviews; West=Logical, East=Intuitive, for example. But new research reveals that these differences are not what they seem and that past studies on the East-West divide might be flawed.
C.R. writes: The Washington Post reports that "Over the course of nine months in 2009 and 2010, six Palo Alto teenagers committed suicide. Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 20 children and young adults killed themselves annually in Santa Clara County, where Palo Alto is located." To put these grim statistics in context, "The deaths in the city constitute two recent “suicide clusters” (multiple suicides within a short time frame); there are an average of five in the entire country each year. Having two in the same city in less than a decade is extremely rare." (Washington Post) Several teenagers have committed suicide by stepping in front of trains, jumping off roofs or overpasses, or by hanging themselves.
Drugs There were 46, 471 deaths from drug overdoses in the United States in 2013, the latest year for which there is data. About half of those were from prescription-drug overdoes. Another 8,000 were from heroin. (Painkillers are being abused more than heroin, cocaine, PCP, methamphetamines, and MDMA all combined.)
Richard's off, C.R. writes: "Of 100 studies published in top-ranking journals in 2008, 75% of social psychology experiments and half of cognitive studies failed the replication test." So states a Guardian article about a recent study in the journal, Science, "which saw 270 scientists repeat experiments on five continents, [and which] was launched by psychologists in the US in response to rising concerns over the reliability of psychology research." Why is this important and why should you care?
We're more than a year away from the Presidential election, but the debates are heating up. No, not that kind of debate, but the debate about the psychology of liberals vs. conservatives. Spoiler alert: We think the answer to the question of who is smarter, kinder, and more moral TOTALLY depends on the political affiliation of the one running the study or giving the answer. :) Seven must-read posts; fun and unique insights and opinions: