Psychology

Being busy with acts of kindness can help people who suffer from social anxiety to mingle more easily, according to a new stud. 

Sufferers from social anxiety are more than just a little shy. Dealings with others might make them feel so threatened or anxious that they often actively avoid socializing. Although this protects them from angst and possible embarrassment, they lose out on the support and intimacy gained from having relationships with others. They have fewer friends, feel insecure when interacting with others, and often do not experience emotional intimacy even in close relationships.


When we smell a rose, we might take a deep breath to get the the sweet but subtle floral scent - and in a public bathroom we would wisely do just the opposte. Yet people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) don't make this natural adjustment like other people do, autistic children go right on sniffing in the same way, no matter how pleasant or awful the scent.

Researchers writing in a new paper suggest that non-verbal tests related to smell might serve as useful early indicators of ASD. Earlier evidence had indicated that people with autism have impairments in "internal action models," the brain templates we rely on to seamlessly coordinate our senses and actions. It wasn't clear if this impairment would show up in a test of the sniff response, however.


A woman coping with the burden of familial breast cancer can't help but wonder if her young daughter will suffer the same fate. Has she inherited the same disease-causing mutation? Is it better to start working on worst-case scenarios now or wait? What will each do?


As millions of visually impaired people will tell you, people with full sight often make incorrect assumptions about their capabilities. It's not mean, it's benevolent, but people are uncomfortable with not knowing what is proper decorum and some can make hilarious errors.
Why play horror-themed videogames designed to shock and scare?

As with horror films or novels, they provide a means to indulge in the pleasure of frightening ourselves.

Studies have shown that men find female faces more attractive when women are ovulating, but how they might know - the visual clues that allow this - are unclear.

New research research sought to show it might be subtle changes in skin color and that women's faces do increase in redness during ovulation. The scholars found it was so, but the levels of change are just under the detectable range of the human eye. They speculate that facial redness in females was once an involuntary signal for optimal fertility, but has since been "dampened" by evolution - it's best not to look too fertile walking down those city streets and psychologists think that is how evolution works. 


Are some people unable or unwilling to quit?  A popular sociological belief has been that by making smoking uncool or difficult, it will become unpopular and people will quit, and only those unable to quit would remain. If so, products like e-cigarettes or smokeless tobacco make sense as alternatives.


Toddlers have a reputation for being stubborn, selfish, and incapable of sharing. But researchers have found that children as young as three actually will show a surprising level of concern for others and an intuitive sense of restorative justice.

Young children prefer to return lost items to their rightful owners, experiments show. If for some reason that isn't an option, young children will still prevent a third party from taking what doesn't belong to them.

What's more, both three- and five-year-old children are just as likely to respond to the needs of another individual--even when that individual is a puppet--as they are to their own.


“Take your ear off for me, please,” Rosie Seelaus says to Randy James, who is sitting on a black exam chair in a special room designed for viewing colours in the Craniofacial Center on the Near West Side of Chicago.

He reaches up and detaches his right ear, which she created for him out of silicone seven years before. The ear is shabby, stained from skin oil and mottled by daily use. Viewed under various lights in the neutral, grey-walled room – daylight, incandescent, fluorescent – it remains a pasty beige.

There are more men in hard science and engineering and there are a variety of explanations for why, everything from the sexism notion, promoted by those in the social sciences, to the idea that the physical sciences and engineering don't seem directly related to helping people, which is an explanation offered by women who choose a life science or medicine. One odd notion, typified by prominent friend of Obama Dr. Larry Summers while he was at Harvard, was that women were not as good at math.