Psychology

Gay youths are more likely to purge or take laxatives, use diet pills, or fast to lose weight than their straight peers, according to new research from the University of British Columbia which analyzed data from surveys of youths ages 12 to 18 that were administered every two years at public high schools in Massachusetts between 1999 and 2013. Students were asked about their sexual orientation, whether they used diet pills, refrained from eating for 24 hours or more, or vomited or took laxatives to lose or keep from gaining weight in the last month. 


Academic social psychologists, who are over 99 percent liberal, can be reliably counted on to create surveys to affirm that liberals are more intelligent, less fearful of change, likely to have prettier children - especially in an election year.

San Francisco people won't be happy until Dallas is just like them - but they insist they need to force that change in the name of tolerance and diversity.

Of course, there is nothing about tolerance and diversity that is implemented with hostile intent. Yet if people from San Francisco would get to know people in Dallas, and vice versa, rather than relying on stereotypes and caricatures, it would help their ability to form close relationships, and even make them nicer people, according to William Chopik, Michigan State University assistant professor of psychology. 


Moral judgments, ideas about good or bad, remain the building block of cooperation in a large group.

A rule of thumb for promoting cooperation is to help those who have a good reputation and not those who have a bad reputation, yet that determination requires time, effort and money. What about moral "free riders" who evade the cost associated with moral judgment (e.g. by not paying taxes for police and court) so are better off than those who shoulder the cost?

Philosophers debate voluntary reactive policing of the moral free riders, which is costly, too, and thus can be exploited by higher order moral free riders. This leads to an infinite regression of opportunities to free ride.

Can the moral free rider problem really be solved? 


A new paper in the Journal of Adolescence finds that adolescents attending religious services has a positive affect on reducing pornography viewing.


At the 2012 Democratic convention, when President Obama mentioned that his administration had killed the terrorist Osama Bin Laden, the building erupted in cheers.

This was positively un-Democratic, to both Democrats and Republicans. Democrats were supposed to be more tolerant of other cultures, with safe spaces for all, and anything that looked like being critical of Muslims was usually frowned upon.


Depression is different for African-Americans than Caucasian-Americans or Latin-Americans, and   the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), the primary source of diagnostic information for clinicians, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, the legal system, is getting it wrong, according to Sirry Alang, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology at Lehigh University.


Though diet book authors claim they have a once-size-fits-all solution for weight gain, be it giving up sugar or salt or wheat, the fact is that we have the luxury of being able to eat in excess for a very low cost. 

But 'do everything in moderation' is also ineffective for losing or maintaining weight, because the more people like a food, the more forgiving their definitions of moderation are, 

A paper in Appetite describes the relative meanings attached to moderation based on perceptions, based on surveys.


How can you buy a new car and still appear socially responsible? Make it a hybrid or electric car. The manufacturing strain on the environment is the same, and the energy production strain is worse because the energy density is far less than combustion, but you can appear socially responsible to others.


Anxiety may be a first world problem - and a young female one at that.

A review of reviews (so calibrate your expectations) in Brain and Behavior finds that women are almost twice as likely to experience anxiety as men, and people from Western Europe and North America are more likely to suffer from anxiety than people from other cultures.

Anxiety disorders are a non-specific blanket term for excessive worry, fear and a tendency to avoid potentially stressful situations including social gatherings. Pretend money estimates claim these disorders cost $42.3 million in the U.S. In the European Union, over 60 million people are affected by anxiety disorders in a given year, likely because of all that worry about cell phones, ugly fruit and GMOs.