Psychology

Political conservatives in the United States are somewhat like East Asians in the way they think, categorize and perceive, while liberals in the U.S. are more extreme in thought, categorization and perception, according to a new cultural psychology analysis.
Evidence from some wrongful-conviction cases suggests that suspects can be questioned in ways that lead them to falsely believe in and confess to committing crimes they didn't actually commit.

The new work provides lab-based evidence for this phenomenon, showing that innocent adult participants can be convinced, over the course of a few hours, that they had perpetrated crimes as serious as assault with a weapon in their teenage years. The research in Psychological Science indicates that the participants came to internalize the stories they were told, providing rich and detailed descriptions of events that never actually took place.

Using simulation, such as wearing a blindfold while performing everyday tasks, has negative effects on people's perceptions of the visually impaired, according to a recent paper.

In one part of the study, after simulating blindness by having their eyes covered, participants believed people who are blind are less capable of work and independent living than did participants who simulated other impairments like amputation, or had no impairment.


When mass murders happen in a place like the US, despite the fact that they are no more prevalent than most countries and murders have plummeted as gun ownership rose, the simplistic answer is 'guns' - when murders happen in Canada or France, where gun ownership is heavily restricted, the answer is not so convenient. 

It may not be guns forcing people to kill people, it may be attachment to an 'overvalued idea' - and it may become more common.

Zehaf-Bibeau, the Islamist convert who murdered a Canadian military reservist on duty in Ottawa, represents a type of attacker rarely discussed--a person so obsessed with an overvalued idea that it defines their identity and leads them to commit violence without regard for the consequences.
If you want to make your children neurotic, clinginess and overprotectiveness on your part - helicopter parenting - is the way to go.

Assuming you don't want to cause that, it is still okay to hover over your dogs and cats, according to an analysis of pet owners by psychologists at U.C. Berkeley and California State University, East Bay.
Bisexual women are more likely to experience poor mental health and mental distress than lesbians, according to new data gleaned from the 2007 Stonewall UK Women's Health Survey. Researchers from the London School of Hygiene&Tropical Medicine analyzed responses from 5,706 bisexual and lesbian women living in the UK aged 14 or over.

The study found bisexual women were less likely to be 'out' to friends, family and work colleagues and also less likely to be in a relationship. According to the results, bisexual women were less likely to experience sexuality-related discrimination from work, health care services, education and family than lesbians, but more likely to experience discrimination from friends.  
Most young children are essentialists, they believe that human and animal characteristics are innate, so traits like native language and clothing preference are intrinsic rather than acquired. It is a natural law that other kids should speak the same language - until other kids don't.

A new study postulates that bilingual kids learn earlier that it's what one learns, rather than what one is born with, that makes up a person's psychological attributes. The study suggests that bilingualism in the preschool years can alter children's beliefs about the world around them. Contrary to their unilingual peers, many kids who have been exposed to a second language after age three believe that an individual's traits arise from experience. 
Long before oxytocin was the miracle spray that could make people feel more trusting, our ancestors used lavender. Unsurprisingly, it still works today, according to a new psychology paper.

Nederlandse Vereniging voor Psychonomie member psychologists Roberta Sellaro and Lorenza Colzato investigated whether the calming olfactory fragrance of lavender has a positive effect on mutual trust. Aromatherapists already knew that aromatic compounds can alter mood and even claim cognitive, psychological or physical wellbeing effects. “Mutual trust is the social glue of society,” says Sellaro. “Interpersonal trust is an essential element for social co-operation bargaining and negotiation.”

Trust Game
Can your online avatar say something about your personality that you haven't carefully chosen to be your public representation? It might say that some people are cats, or, since 85 percent of the female avatars of massively multiplayer online games are actually males, it might say that MMO participants have identity issues, but that does not mean it is so.

Nonetheless, psychologists at York University wanted to determine what personality traits are conveyed by a user's avatar - based on the belief that individuals typically choose and prefer avatars perceived to be similar to themselves.  Other studies claim they were who we want to be.
As World War II ended and the Holocaust became shockingly more real than the rumor or propaganda some believed it was, people wondered how it could happen. Why, somewhere along the way, did not more Germans involved in the genocide object? The same was asked of Stalin's Russia, Mao's China and Pol Pot's Cambodia.

In 1961, psychologist Stanley Milgram set out to answer that, undertaking a series of now infamous experiments on obedience and reprehensible behavior. About two-thirds of Milgram's nearly 800 study subjects, pressed by an authoritative experimenter, were willing to administer increasingly powerful electric shocks to an unseen stranger despite cries of agony and pleas to stop.