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How Humans Evolved to Cope with City Crowds For over a hundred thousand years, humans evolved in small, roving bands of a few dozen people. But then, about ten thousand years ago, we started living in cities that were far bigger than any tribe or band. Our minds had to change to cope with the population overload....
People selectively remember the details of atrocities that absolve in-group members Conversations about wartime atrocities often omit certain details. According to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, these omissions can lead people to have different memories for the event depending on social group membership. "We started thinking about this project around the time when stories began to emerge in the popular media aboutRead More
Teachers' scare tactics may lead to lower exam scores As the school year winds down and final exams loom, teachers may want to avoid reminding students of the bad consequences of failing a test because doing so could lead to lower scores, according to new research published by APA. "Teachers are desperately keen to motivate their students in the best possible way but mayRead More
ADHD and Procrastiphobia Thomas Hawk via Compfight Recently, I discovered that I've developed Procrastiphobia, a neurotic fear of procrastination. (Don't look up Procrastiphobia; I made it up. Sometimes I have to do that to fully capture the ADHD experience. I know you get it, just like you got Form-O-Phobia, blurtacious, and NSL.) But...
Regulating legal marijuana could be guided by lessons from alcohol and tobacco, study says As U.S. policymakers consider ways to ease prohibitions on marijuana, the public health approaches used to regulate alcohol and tobacco over the past century may provide valuable lessons, according to new RAND Corporation research. Recent ballot initiatives that legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington for recreational uses are unprecedented. The move raises important questions aboutRead More
A history of the mind in 25 parts BBC Radio 4 has just kicked off a 25-part radio series called "˜In Search of Ourselves: A History of Psychology and the Mind'. Because the BBC are not very good at the internet, there are no podcasts – streaming audio only, and each episode disappears after seven days. Good to see the BBC are still [...]
Captain Kirk is Right When it Comes to Diplomacy Many people have made light of Captain James "Alien Banger" Kirk, and his crotch-first approach to diplomacy. It turns out that he might have the right idea. Attraction very often helps us come to a peaceful solution during conflicts....
Ending the Addictive Cycle For love and sex addicts, periods of intense pleasure followed by periods of profound isolation create a circle of suffering that wears down the body, mind and soul. An overwhelming desire to connect and have intimacy with others exists, alongside a deep fear of closeness. Life is filled with highs and lows; a seemingly unending [...]
There Is an "˜I' in "˜We'! When you hear the words stupid and failed, you have an emotional reaction. Instantly, a switch is turned on in your brain. You feel betrayed. You tune out of the meeting and ruminate. The team thinks you are still there, but in fact, most of you has left the meeting. Your body freezes up. You can't find words to respond. read more
Want to quit smoking? New study says try 'self-expanding' activities If you are trying to quit smoking, one method to incorporate is to do new, exciting “self-expanding” activities that can help with nicotine craving. This is the take-home message from a new study. "Our study reveals for the first time using brain imaging that engaging in exciting or what we call 'self-expanding' activities, such as puzzle-solving, games, or hobbies with one's partner, appears to reduce craving for nicotine," said one researcher.
The Psych Files Dr. Michael Britt keeps up to date on current psychology through video and podcasts.
The Obvious Secret of Interpersonal Influence in Families In families, people attempt to determine how their families want them to behave by trying to figure out the motives of the others. However, when family members are themselves ambivalent about what they want, they give off a double message about this. When two members of a family misread one another, the double messages can go both ways. Interesting things then transpire.read more
Detecting inner consciousness Mosaic has an excellent in-depth article on researchers who are trying to detect signs of consciousness in patients who have fallen into coma-like states. The piece meshes the work of neuroscientists Adrian Owen, Nicholas Schiff and Steven Laureys who are independently looking at how to detect signs of consciousness in unresponsive brain-injured patients. It's an [...]
The neuroscience of positive, vision-based coaching Good coaches get results, respect, and awards. But what makes a coach or mentor good? One school of thought says they should hold their mentees to specific performance benchmarks and help them reach those benchmarks by targeting their personal weaknesses. But new research suggests a different tack"”namely, to nurture a mentee's strengths, aspirations for the [...]
Mapping Science & Reform: The First Generation of Chicago-Trained Female Social Scientists, Part II This is part of a special series of posts on the digital history of psychology from members of the PsyBorgs Lab at York University, in Toronto, Canada. The full series of posts can be found here. Read Mapping Science & Reform: The First Generation of Chicago-Trained Female Social Scientists, Part I, here. Employment: Academic & Social Services The self-identified locations of [...]
What's Wrong With Being Right  Charlie: The mind is an extraordinary thing. It can solve problems, imagine amazing ideas, envision inconceivable possibilities, help us to plot strategies for difficult challenges, aid us in connecting dots that transform our capacity to comprehend previously incomprehensible experiences, and in uncountable other ways, bring greater clarity and understanding into...
For the children's sake, put down that smartphone Parents are often just as guilty of spending too much time checking smartphones and e-mail — and the consequences for their children can be troubling.
Love Your Body as You Age (and It Does Too) My friend and fellow Psych Central blogger Margarita Tartakovsky recently crafted a moving post about aging and our bodies that I can't stop thinking about. The reason the post stays on my mind? I am aging – and my body is aging with me. Of course, my 75 year-old father doesn't think...
Complexity First, Simplicity Last Simplicity is the new thing. Quality is so over and innovation is fading into everythingness. We've all but given up on trust so I guess that just leaves us with getting more by doing less. Wasn't that your New Year's resolution?read more
Novel function of protein linked to Alzheimer's disease discovered A novel function of the Amyloid Precursor Protein, one of the main pathogenic culprits of Alzheimer's disease, has been discovered by researchers. This discovery may help researchers understand how the protein goes awry in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients, and potentially paves the way for the development of innovative therapeutics to improve the brain function of dementia patients.