Psychology

Psychologists overuse terms like narcissist and sociopath as much as they do declaring everyone they dislike has Asperger's, but they get one thing right - if you have to deal with such people, you are better off online than in person. 

A team pf psychologists says that traditionally successful manipulators who are classified as what they like to try and deem the Dark Triad (DT)--people with narcissistic, psychopathic or Machiavellian tendencies--don't send very compelling online messages.


There is a war on working mothers that shouldn't be waged. It is a war that seeks to make breastfeeding moms better parents, while subtly criticizing moms who use formula, which will invariably impact career and poor women most.

And there is zero evidence that "natural" is better, it is just clever marketing that caters to wealthy elites. 


In the 1990s, diagnoses of ADD (attention-deficit disorder) and then ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) boomed, aided by public school teachers who didn't want to deal with diverse personalities in the classrooms and sketchy therapists exploiting the worries of parents.

Obviously it is a real condition also, but like many mental health fads (people declared that everyone they didn't like had Asperger's Syndrome a decade ago, for example) a lack of clinical relevance means it gets used in many cases where it should not be. Now, some reports have indicated a prevalence of up to 15% - but just in Western countries, where more money than sense is in evidence.


Are the sexual interests and behaviors of Quebec residents abnormal? 

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), sexual interests fall into two categories: normal (normophilic) and anomalous (paraphilic). But a new survey finds that a number of legal sexual interests and behaviors considered anomalous in psychiatry are actually common in the general population. So they may be abnormal, yet they are still common. Which is yet another way DSM-5 has suspect value, even as a glossary of psychology.


Can "mindful" eating - taking the time to bring awareness to present-moment experiences with an open attitude of curiosity and non-judgment - lower the risk of Type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease?

Yes, say alternative medicine proponents, because in the modern world of science and technology, with extended periods of screen time and regular social outings, it can be easy to fall into the habit of mindless eating - where we're too distracted to pay attention to how much, what and why we're eating. Jennifer Daubenmier, PhD, Assistant Professor at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, suggests that the impact of mindful eating could be great. 


Dispositional, or “everyday” mindfulness, is being aware of one’s present thoughts and feelings and a new paper measured health indicators of 399 people, including dispositional mindfulness and blood glucose, and found those with higher scores for mindfulness were significantly more likely than people with low scores to have healthy glucose levels.

Survey data find that homeopathic purchases are primarily made by a small segment of the U.S. population for common, self-limited conditions such as the common cold or back pain. Though they can't do anything, a survey in the American Journal of Public Health finds that those who report visiting homeopathic practitioners find the use of these products helpful and that they also tend to pay for complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) gimmicks - even more so than users of supplements do.  


Adults who use marijuana are five times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence compared with adults who do not use the drug. Adults who already have an alcohol use disorder and use marijuana are more likely to see the problem persist, finds a paper in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.


A new Northwestern Medicine study has found an adolescent male's attitude toward risky sex, pregnancy and birth control can predict whether or not he will stick around after the baby is born.

The longitudinal study -- one of the first reproductive health studies to focus on young men and fatherhood -- also found it was possible to predict whether some young men would become teen fathers. In addition, the research was able to predict fatherhood patterns over 14 years as young men transitioned from being teenagers into young adulthood.


The rapid pace of artificial intelligence (AI) has raised fears about whether robots could act unethically or soon choose to harm humans. Some are calling for bans on robotics research; others are calling for more research to understand how AI might be constrained. But how can robots learn ethical behavior if there is no "user manual" for being human?

Researchers Mark Riedl and Brent Harrison from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology believe the answer lies in "Quixote" -- to be unveiled at the AAAI-16 Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. (Feb. 12 - 17, 2016). Quixote teaches "value alignment" to robots by training them to read stories, learn acceptable sequences of events and understand successful ways to behave in human societies.