Psychology

Dsillusioned churchgoers may find it increasingly difficult to remain associated with their church, yet many also find it difficult to leave.  They have not only a moral identity crisis but deep identity crises as their most important relationships and beliefs are put at risk. 

The authors of a paper in the Journal of Consumer Research conducted interviews with people who identify as former churchgoers and asked them to reflect on their experiences in leaving the church and the challenges of constructing a new identity as they rejected church authority and its doctrines.


Do you feel sadder watching a documentary about war or a drama about a young person dying of cancer?

If you poll most people, they will say there are stronger emotional reactions when stories are based on true events rather than fiction, but a new analysis in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that is not so.


Researchers recently set out to determine the prevalence and incidence of autoimmune diseases in people with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder. 

Patients (N=2342) treated at the Eating Disorder Unit of Helsinki University Central Hospital between 1995 and 2010 were compared with general population controls (N=9368) matched for the age, sex and place of residence. Data of 30 autoimmune diseases were from the Hospital Discharge Register from 1969 to 2010.


Electronic cigarettes are battery operated inhalation devices that provide vaporized nicotine to users without the harm of tobacco smoke. They are often marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes and have filled shelves of convenience stores since late 2011.  

Feeling stressed out? Blame your great-grandparents.

Psychologists have linked ancestral exposure by a common fungicide, vinclozolin, to the stress levels of rats generations later. Epigenetically. Vinclozolin is a fungicide commonly used by farmers to ward off rots, molds and blights. 


Most consumers have an idea of their favorite pizza and it may have nothing at all to do with taste. The imagery on television commercials is gooey cheese stretching from the pie to the slice.

Marketers have always known that cheese matters and now science is backing that up. Writing 
in the Journal of Food Science, scholars went beyond the standard trope of having golden cheese with that dark toasted-cheese color scattered in distinct blistery patches across the surface and a bit of oil glistening in the valleys and honed in on the various aspects that impact the total pizza experience.


During sex with a familiar partner, men have the highest orgasm rates - though lesbian women apparently don't do too badly.

On average, men experience orgasm 85.1 percent of the time, with only slight deviation by sexual orientation but women experience orgasm 62.9 percent of the time, with lesbian women experiencing orgasm more often than heterosexual or bisexual women, according to a new paper about a survey of American singles titled "Variation in Orgasm Occurrence by Sexual Orientation in a Sample of U.S. Singles" and published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.


It's a smartphone world; a decade ago a crowded train of passengers all locked into their phones texting to other people while ignoring the live humans six inches from them was just xenophobic Japanese culture but today it is common all across the developed world.

Psychologists worry that children getting meaning and context spoon-fed to them with emoticons may be leading to poor social skills in the real world, and even an inability to read emotions.

UCLA psychologists found that sixth-graders who went five days without even glancing at a smartphone, television or other digital screen did substantially better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who spent more time looking at electronic devices.


To sexually objectify someone is to focus on their body in terms of how it can provide sexual pleasure rather than viewing that person as a complete human being with thoughts and feelings.

Objectification has long been considered a problem in the media - stories of Mad Men star Jon Hamm invariably mention that he doesn't wear underwear - but how does it affect individual romantic relationships? 

New surveys hope to tell us, but since they are by social psychologists and the paper is in Psychology of Women Quarterly, a feminist, scientific, peer-reviewed journal, they only find that objectification of a female partner's body is related to higher incidents of sexual pressure and coercion. 


One form of drug counseling to help young people with drinking problems makes people in a 'we must do something' culture feel better may be of limited benefit, a new systematic review suggests. 

Each year, around 320,000 people worldwide between the ages of 15 and 29 die as a result of alcohol misuse. Most of those deaths are due to car accidents, murders, suicides or drowning. Motivational interviewing is a counseling technique developed in the 1980s that is sometimes offered to people with alcohol problems. It aims to help them overcome ambivalence and change behavior. Counselors listen, adopt a non-judgmental, non-confrontational stance and then highlight the negative consequences of drinking.