Psychology

Playing violent video games in 3-D makes everything seem more real –  and in a new study researchers found that people who played violent video games in 3-D showed more evidence of anger afterward than people who played games on 2-D systems. 

That may have troubling consequences for young players, according to an upcoming paper in Psychology of Popular Media Culture.


There are some things that Republicans and Democrats share in common with Palestinians and Israelis and lots of other groups where human conflict seems intractable.

A new sociology paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that seemingly unsolvable political and ethnic conflicts are fueled by asymmetrical perceptions of opponents' motivations, and that these tensions can be relieved by providing financial incentives to better understand what drives an adversary group.



Getting high on own supply. Dance by Shutterstock

By Adam Winstock, King's College London

Despite the language we use about drugs, many people don’t see themselves as “drug users” but as rational adults who aren’t on a mission to seek moral disintegration and cause themselves harm.

People who use drugs are just people who happen to use drugs (they might also do yoga, go the cinema, get degrees, litter the streets or be into base-jumping) – normal people who care about their loved ones, their health and well-being and want to make the most of that wonderful thing that we all share: life.

Even depressed people are essentially optimistic - they believe that tomorrow will be better, even though that belief probably won't lead to better outcomes. That is true optimism.

A paper in Clinical Psychological Science says that middle-aged adults who had a history of depression evaluated their past and current lives in more negative terms than adults without depression - but the future was just as rosy in both groups.


Some people suffer from 'winter blues' while others have no issue.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
affects people as daylight levels drop in autumn. At Northern European latitudes (for example all of Scandinavia, Glasgow and Moscow) around 1 person in 6 suffers from SAD. 

Psychologists have searched for reasons why. A small longitudinal study concluded that people with Seasonal Affective Disorder show significant seasonal differences in the way they regulate the neurotransmitter serotonin in comparison to the majority of the population. 


Muslim terrorists and the Klu Klux Klan share one thing in common; they claim to be religious even though the ideas they promote (and in the case of the former, the actions they take) are not very nice.

The fringes get all of the attention but most religious people are not clinically insane or promoting the deaths of others in order to secure their own place in Heaven, and if you remind them of their religious principles, their attitude toward negative events change, according to a paper in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology


A new study has found that people who play action video games such as the "Call of Duty" or "Assassin's Creed" seem to learn a new sensorimotor skill faster than non-gamers do. Sorry, Bungie, "Destiny" was not out when they did the study and auto-rifles would mess up the results anyway.

A new sensorimotor skill, such as learning to ride a bike or typing, often requires a new pattern of coordination between vision and motor movement. With such skills, an individual generally moves from novice performance, characterized by a low degree of coordination, to expert performance, marked by a high degree of coordination. As a result of successful sensorimotor learning, one comes to perform these tasks efficiently and perhaps even without consciously thinking about them.



Intuitive processes may underlie decisions of those who help others while risking their own lives. Credit: AAresTT/Shutterstock

By Penny Orbell, The Conversation

If you noticed a person in grave danger would you act first and think later in order to save them? New research suggests people who put their own lives in danger to help others make the decision to do so without a second thought.

In modern culture, boys are often slighted; girls get billions devoted to their welfare while boys are the default excuse for whatever is wrong. Almost every television show that has a tough woman has her disclaiming, 'I grew up in a house full of boys', which is insulting to both girls and boys.

And that public relations has worked. Boys in surveys increasingly feel like peer relationships are less valuable. But new surveys show that may be not so; while sisters claim to benefit from having boys as siblings, boys also seem to benefit from being siblings. That means even if boys are positive socially, someone else gets the credit.


Let me first say that I am not a medical doctor. However, as the founder and CEO of an addiction treatment center, I sit on the front-lines of the prescription painkiller epidemic. From this vantage point, by working with addicts and their families and the physicians who treat addiction, I have come to learn a great deal about opioids, both when they are useful and when they may cause more harm than good.

In reading the recent research on the efficacy of opioids for treating non-cancer related pain, I am dismayed at the ease with which these medications are prescribed.