Psychology

Kids know it is wrong to steal stuff - they also seem to know it's wrong to steal an idea. They just discover it a little later.

University of Washington psychologist Kristina Olson and colleagues discovered that preschoolers often don't view a copycat negatively but by the age of 5 or 6, they do. It holds true even across cultures that typically view intellectual property rights in different ways, like in Germany where they violate international trademarks and hold a Science 2.0 conference and, worse, charge people to attend.

Because the majority of prescriptions for depression, are given to women, men don't get a lot of concern, but depression can hit young fathers hard and the symptoms can increase dramatically during the formative years of children.


Should you get a pet? If so, a dog or a cat?  For families of children with autism, the decision may have gotten a little easier. A University of Missouri nurse has studied dog ownership decisions in families of children with autism and found, regardless of whether they owned dogs, the parents reported the benefits of dog ownership included companionship, stress relief and opportunities for their children to learn responsibility.


Idioscenic Conjecture

I am posting some ideas here to promote discussion of the psychology of conspiracism.

I suggest that the mere fact of knowing that some events have been caused by C may overly influence an observer to look first for C even if an indifferent observer would consider C unlikely in the particular case.

Is there a link between maternal obesity during pregnancy and the risk of developmental disorders in a child? In the wide world of epigenetics and causalation there can be, because no one can prove there can't be. However, if obesity is a link at all, paternal obesity could be a greater risk factor than maternal obesity, according to a new paper from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 

Dr. Pål Surén claims to be the first to study the role of paternal obesity in autism and emphasizes that this is still speculation on its way to becoming a hypothesis. Surén
notes it requires much more research before anyone can discuss possible causal relationships but they have what they have. 


Sorry Batman, the dark knight persona is going exactly where Frank Miller predicted it would three decades ago in "The Dark Knight Returns" - you are going to be labeled an over-medicated, mentally disturbed sociopath.

The over-medicated may be right. The recent shooting at Fort Hood in Texas was in a "gun-free" zone but a soldier who had never been in combat was still on prescription medication for psychiatric issues related to combat zone trauma. As long as psychiatry remains trapped in the symptom-based world of the past, it is going to be the case that someone who complains enough will get a prescription.

A new paper has linked unhealthy weight control behavior, like vomiting and diet pills, to indoor tanning among high school students.

Another supposed problem for middle class white girls? Not so, say the authors in the Journal of Developmental&Behavioral Pediatrics, the association is even stronger for males.

Stephen M. Amrock, SM, and Michael Weitzman, MD, of the New York University School of Medicine say that indoor tanning might identify a group of teens at increased risk of eating disorders.


Up to 7% of Americans married between 2005-2012 say they met on social networking sites. This has led to a rash of claims by marketing groups for dating sites that it is the future of romance and that more marriages happen to their technology. Between 3 and 6% of couples say they met that way.

But how much is technology a factor versus other factors? How do couples compare to couples who met through other types of online meetings or the "old-fashioned" way in terms of age, race, frequency of Internet use, and other factors? In an article on the subject, Jeffrey Hall, PhD, a communications scholar at University of Kansas, Lawrence, describes the characteristics that are more common among recently married individuals who met online via social networking sites. 

 There are various efforts to try and spur more equality among genders in certain fields. Companies say they don't care about gender - and they don't, unless government forces them to hire people to fill in boxes on government forms.  They say they just want the best people and they can't hire people who don't show an interest in working there. Gender activists say the task falls to companies to change how they approach potential hires, an idea which doesn't please anyone except gender activists.


Recent mass killings in Norway, America and in numerous countries have happened at locations as different as schools, movie theaters, and marathons. Though the actual number of mass killings has not changed in 30 years, they get a lot more attention now.

One trait they all share in common is psychiatric medication but unsurprisingly the biggest focus in a roundtable discussion among film studies scholars, psychiatrists and psychologists in a publication named Violence and Gender
is that they were all young males. The participants speculate about the possible reasons for high incidence of these crimes and the motives of the young male perpetrators.