|Alcohol May Have Different Pair-Bonding Effects On Males And Females
Alcohol is often referred to as a social lubricant, but its effects on pair bonding have not been fully explored. But a new experiment performed on prairie voles — a socially monogamous mammal — suggests that alcohol may cause males to be more drawn to strangers, while the opposite holds true for females.Read more...
|How One Man Beat The Mackworth Clock
The Mackworth Clock is a famous test that was used to assess the vigilance of radar operators during World War II. Can you notice when a clock jumps one second ahead? but one man "hacked" the test, getting an unheard-of score. Years later, he explained his hack — and brought up a major flaw in most psychological studies. Read more...
|Lipid levels during prenatal brain development impact autism, study shows
||Abnormal levels of lipid molecules in the brain can affect the interaction between two key neural pathways in early prenatal brain development, which can trigger autism, researchers have found in a groundbreaking study. And, environmental causes such as exposure to chemicals in some cosmetics and common over-the-counter medication can affect the levels of these lipids, according to the researchers.
|Why Do We Blame Victims?
||Near the end of last year, Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin left the team due to mistreatment from teammates, which included receiving threatening phone messages from another player.
The incident raised concerns about hazing within the NFL, but it also prompted some to suggest that Martin himself bears at least partial responsibility for his fate. For example, another NFL player stated in an interview that Martin is “just as much to blame because he allowed it to happen” and should have behaved like a man. Others argued that Martin was oversensitive and made himself an easy target. We heard similar sentiments when college player Michael Sam and former NFL player Wade Davis recently came out as gay.
This sort of victim-blaming is not unique to bullying cases. It can be seen when rape victims’ sexual histories are dissected, when people living in poverty are viewed as lazy and unmotivated, when those suffering from mental or physical illness are presumed to have invited disease through their own bad choices. There are cases where victims may indeed hold some responsibility for their misfortunate, but all too often this responsibility is overblown and other factors are discounted.
Why are we so eager to blame victims, even when we have seemingly nothing to gain?
Victim-blaming is not just about avoiding culpability—it’s also about avoiding vulnerability. The more innocent a victim, the more threatening they are. Victims threaten our sense that the world is a safe and moral place, where good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. When bad things happen to good people, it implies that no one is safe, that no matter how good we are, we too could be vulnerable. The idea that misfortune can be random, striking anyone at any time, is a terrifying thought, and yet we are faced every day with evidence that it may be true.
In the 1960s, social psychologist Dr. Melvin Lerner conducted a famous serious of studies which found that when participants observed another person receiving electric shocks and were unable to intervene, they began to derogate the victims. The more unfair and severe the suffering appeared to be, the greater the derogation.
Follow-up studies found that a similar phenomenon occurs when people evaluate victims of car accidents, rape, domestic violence, illness, and poverty. Research conducted by Dr. Ronnie Janoff-Bulman suggests that victims sometimes even derogate themselves, locating the cause of their suffering in their own behavior—but not in their enduring characteristics—in an effort to make negative events seem more controllable and therefore more avoidable in the future.
Lerner theorized that these victim blaming tendencies are rooted in the belief in a just world, a world where actions have predictable consequences and people can control what happens to them. It is captured in common phrases like “what goes around comes around” and “you reap what you sow.” We want to believe that justice will come to wrongdoers, whereas good, honest people who follow the rules will be rewarded.
Research has found, not surprisingly, that people who believe that the world is a just place are happier and less depressed. But this happiness may come at a cost—it may reduce our empathy for those who are suffering, and we may even contribute to their suffering by increasing stigmatization.
So is the only alternative to belief in a just world a sense of helplessness and depression? Not at all.
In February, the NFL itself published a 144-page report on the Martin incident that compelled the organization to strengthen its code of conduct on and off the field. The report also triggered far-reaching conversations about bullying among owners, coaches, sports journalists, and players.
When Wade Davis spoke last month about being gay in the NFL to a gathering of owners and coaches, the press reported a positive response from the audience. “It’s got to be in the conversation,” Denver Broncos coach John Fox told ESPN. “I’ve probably not done as good a job with that up until now, but after Wade’s presentation, it’s high on my list the first time I talk to my staff when we get back and my football team.’’
People can believe that the world is full of injustice but also believe that they are capable of making the world a more just place through their own actions. One way to help make the world a better place to fight the impulse to rationalize others’ suffering, and to recognize that it could have just as soon been us in their shoes.
This recognition can be unsettling, but it may also be the only way that we can truly open our hearts to others’ suffering and help them feel supported and less alone. What the world may lack in justice we can at least try to make up for in compassion.
|Language structure: You're born with it
||Humans are unique in their ability to acquire language. But how? A new study shows that we are in fact born with the basic fundamental knowledge of language, thus shedding light on the age-old linguistic 'nature vs. nurture' debate.
|What songbirds tell us about how we learn
||When you throw a wild pitch or sing a flat note, it could be that your basal ganglia made you do it. This area in the middle of the brain is involved in motor control and learning. And one reason for that errant toss or off-key note may be that your brain prompted you to vary your behavior to help you learn, from trial-and-error, to perform better. But how does the brain do this, how does it cause you to vary your behavior?
|DNA modifications measured in blood signal related changes in the brain
||Researchers say they have confirmed suspicions that DNA modifications found in the blood of mice exposed to high levels of stress hormone "” and showing signs of anxiety "” are directly related to changes found in their brain tissues. Scientists say this research offers the first evidence that epigenetic changes that alter the way genes function without changing their underlying DNA sequence -- and are detectable in blood -- mirror alterations in brain tissue linked to underlying psychiatric diseases.
|Intranasal ketamine confers rapid antidepressant effect in depression
||The first controlled evidence has been released showing that an intranasal ketamine spray conferred an unusually rapid antidepressant effect –- within 24 hours "”- and was well tolerated in patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder. One of the most common NMDA receptor antagonists, ketamine is an FDA-approved anesthetic. It has been used in animals and humans for years. Ketamine has also been a drug of abuse and can lead to untoward psychiatric or cognitive problems when misused. In low doses, ketamine shows promise in providing rapid relief of depression, with tolerable side effects.
|Apology Letter to Girlfriend – Tips and How To’s
||Have you been a bit of a naughty boy? Is it time to go groveling back to your girlfriend with your tail between your legs, promising to change and make a difference to the relationship? If you struggle to say the words you need to say to win back her affections, it’s time to go […]
|4 Key Factors That Can Predict Your Relationship's Future
||Wouldn't you like to find out if your closest intimate relationship will beat the odds and last over the long haul? Now, one of the largest studies ever conducted on the science of relationship satisfaction shows that it may take only 4 pieces of information to know whether you're headed for long-term bliss or instead to short-term breakup.read more
|The most important Sex Organ in the Body
||Couples struggling with an unsatisfying sex life may blissfully remember the days when they seems to effortlessly fall into bed and enjoy one another sexually. You may also want to recall along with that image how much simplier your life was back then. You didn-t have bills, debts, mortgage, children and ailgning parents or your own health issues. So your sex life was probably easier because life was easier.
|Innovative, coordinated brain care could save billions of health care dollars
||A new patient and caregiver centered model of innovative, coordinated brain care for older adults not only improves health outcomes and quality of care for those with cognitive impairment. A new study shows that such care also produces impressive cost savings.
|Potential therapeutic target for deadly brain cancer
||New research identifies a potential characteristic for predicting outcome in a deadly form of brain cancer known as glioblastoma multiforme. Existing therapies based on genetic information have failed to effectively treat glioblastomas. Therefore, researchers are aggressively looking to find new molecular targets for this aggressive brain tumor.
|Higher blood pressure linked to lower tendency to worry
||Blood pressure modulates a person's tendency to worry and can be associated with a "tranquilizing" effect when elevated. This is indicated in a new study that reflects how we can implicitly learn to increase our blood pressure as a way of alleviating tension and emotional unease. A new study points out that our predisposition to worry is linked with blood pressure and baroreceptor reflex sensitivity, fundamental in the stabilization of blood pressure and activated by receptors located in the aortic and carotid arteries.
|Potential link between brain development, breast cancer gene found
||A surprising -- and crucial -- link between brain development and a gene whose mutation is tied to breast and ovarian cancer has been uncovered by researchers. Aside from better understanding neurological damage associated in a small percentage of people susceptible to breast cancers, the new work also helps to better understand the evolution of the brain.
|How rock star overcame bullying
||KISS's Paul Stanley transcended his situation to become the front man of one of the world's longest lasting and most successful bands.
|Here's Why Materialistic People Are Less Happy and Less Satisfied
||"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for." ~ Epicurusâ†’ Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is
"Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick"
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|'Seven' triumphs in poll to discover worlds favourite number | Alex Bellos
||The results of an online
survey reveal a world in love with numbers that stand out and feel exceptionalBrides. Sages. Days. Seas. Sins. Sisters. Dwarves.When it comes to ancient myths, stories and traditions, humans have always favoured seven above other numbers. And this heptophilia continues to the present day. Continue reading...
|I-O Psychologists: How Much Do They Make?
||Ever since the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics identified industrial-organizational psychology (aka I-O psychology) as their number one fastest-growing career of the next decade, I've been getting a lot of questions from students interested in this specialty area. Many of the questions center on educational requirements, but the number one query relates to how much money I-O psychologists make....Read Full Post
|This blogger found Upworthy-style headlines very annoying. Youll find his response utterly plausible | Dean Burnett
people are constantly complaining about the current trend to write Upworthy-style
headlines, but why does such a seemingly-harmless thing cause such
annoyance? The science and psychology behind it really wont blow your mind There are plenty of bad things going on in the world right now. Climate change, brutal dictatorships, endless wars, Nigel Farage, and so on. Faced with all that, it seems incredibly churlish to get worked up about sites using Upworthy-style headlines to get attention. But it is annoying! Massively so. Im not the first person to say this; its an increasingly common complaint.But why is it so annoying? Whats the harm in a youth-orientated website using idiosyncratic, emotionally-charged headlines to attract readers? One answer is: its because it's become an alarmingly widespread approach. This is understandable; Upworthys distinct style has generated a formidable amount of web traffic (maybe). In a world where the only ones who dont care about search engine optimisation and web traffic are Icelandic vulcanologists, anything that helps attract traffic is going to be imitated. Something so widespread is bound to attract criticism. Continue reading...