Psychology

Americans may recall the 'threat warning level' system that came into being after the terrorist attacks on the Wall Trade Center on September 9th, 2011.

It was a color coded with 5 levels. But it never once dropped below 3 - yellow, before it was dissolved in 2011. Did anyone pay attention? Another famous example is the "Doomsday Clock", created by anti-nuclear activists to increase anxiety about nuclear weapons. Even after disarmaments and the collapse of the Soviet Union, it barely moved. We are always on the verge of Doom, according to doomsday prophets, today they just say it's because of global warming, and there are still nuclear power plants, they warn.



Magic and sparkle? Diliff, CC BY

By Isabelle Szmigin, University of Birmingham

As well as the tell-tale signs of decorations going up, the rolling out of Christmas advertisements has become a key moment for getting us all in the seasonal mood. And the competition to capture the festive spirit – and the customers that come with it – is fierce.

A study of 1,300 middle-aged men and 1,500 middle-aged women in Wisconsin found that being the boss increases depression among women but decreases it for men.

"Women with job authority -- the ability to hire, fire, and influence pay -- have significantly more symptoms of depression than women without this power," said  University of Texas at Austin sociologist Tetyana Pudrovska, the lead author of the study "Gender, Job Authority, and Depression," in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior. "In contrast, men with job authority have fewer symptoms of depression than men without such power."


Hundreds of ISIS militants are rumored to be disillusioned. Handout/Reuters

By John Horgan, University of Massachusetts Lowell

“Feet first”. That’s how one terrorist leader told recruits was the only way out. It makes sense. Allowing members to just walk away wouldn’t be good for the group’s image.

Following a woman in high heels up out of the subway is like discovering America. Following a woman in flip-flops up out of the subway is like riding the subway. - Rich Brookhiser

Women judge men by their shoes, that is no secret. Women colloquially say that they know how a man will treat them based on how much he cares about his footwear and (bonus tell: how he treats the waitress in a restaurant).


You can't catch attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) but you wouldn't know that by the way diagnoses are spreading - up 10X in some countries. 


An epidemiology analysis finds that acculturative stress, which is a term created to highlight that immigrants straddling two different cultures have greater stress than natives, is the reason Latino youth in Indiana have higher suicide and depression rates than white counterparts.

Young people are forced to be one thing in their homes and then also part of the larger outside culture and the conflict
between Latino teens and their parents regarding what they do and how they should act at, for example, school versus home, adds to the pressure of teenage years.


With over one billion people worldwide using social media, including 80 percent of employees using private sharing sites at work, members have been scrambling to insist that not only does it not negatively affect their work performance, but that it improves it. Yahtzee! probably wishes they could get the kind of free public relations Twitter gets.

Few studies have been done to examine the issue. Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Cecilie Schou Andreassen and colleagues at the University of Bergen looked at the consequences of the use of social media during working hours.



Different people behave in different ways behind the wheel of a car. Flickr/Nuno Sousa, CC BY-NC-ND

By Vanessa Beanland, Australian National University and Martin Sellbom, Australian National University

Did you spend those pre-school years telling your child how smart and wonderful they are? School is going to be an unwelcome dose of reality.

 While we all want kids to be self-confident, unrealistic perceptions of academic abilities can be harmful, a new study of eighth-graders finds. The more one student feels unrealistically superior to another, the less the two students like each other.