Psychology

When people do terrible things, it seems reasonable to believe we should have taken steps to identify them beforehand. If we can do that, then surely we can prevent them from doing harm.

The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in March, which appears to have been an intentional act, is an example. It shocks us (and understandably so) when a trusted professional harms those who have entrusted their lives to him or her.

So why not identify pilots at risk and take steps to prevent similar events from ever occurring again?

Because it is likely impossible, and maybe even counterproductive.

Women are a lot more likely to put up with misbehavior in a man if he looks like Ryan Gosling, but if he is ugly, shunning will happen much quicker, according to a paper by Jeremy Gibson and Jonathan Gore of Eastern Kentucky University, who found that a woman’s view of how law-abiding a man is can be influenced by how handsome he is.

'First impressions' are a popular field of study because of their role in forming relationships, but it is often based on physical appearance and adherence to social norms. First impressions can be misleading and when someone is getting a positive reaction, a “halo effect” it can help them in many ways. Likewise, the opposite can occur for unattractive traits.
A recent World Health Organization report points to depression as the leading cause of illness and disability worldwide in 10- to 19-year-olds. Suicide by teens is ranked as the third leading cause of death in this age group.

A question that comes up time and again is whether schools should be involved in screening adolescents. But many parents and students find schools' involvement in mental health to be a violation of their privacy.

Playing natural sounds such as flowing water in offices could boosts worker moods and improve cognitive abilities in addition to providing speech privacy, according to a new study.

An increasing number of modern open-plan offices employ sound masking systems that raise the background sound of a room so that speech is rendered unintelligible beyond a certain distance and distractions are less annoying. Sound masking systems are custom designed for each office space by consultants and are typically installed as speaker arrays discretely tucked away in the ceiling. For the past 40 years, the standard masking signal employed is random, steady-state electronic noise -- also known as "white noise."


A new survey finds that 87 percent of Americans look at the Nutrition Facts panel on packaged foods and beverages and 56 percent actively seek out nutritional information and guidelines.

67 percent favor groceries with fewer and simpler ingredients, while roughly the same percentage take nutritional content statements, ingredient-free statements, and statements about health benefits into consideration when buying packaged foods and beverages.

As is well known, food consumers who are buying for those reasons are vocal on social media, focus groups, consumer surveys, and even petitions. They say they want more transparency from the food and beverage industry and shunning artificial ingredients.
Many of the people who visit me in my therapy practice spend time talking about work. How much work there is, how they never seem to be able to get it all done, how many hours they spend at work, how tired they are all the time and how fearful they are about losing their jobs. They’ve read articles telling them how they can improve their work/life balance. They’ve delegated and relegated, meditated and ruminated.

If you think of your 'sense of self', do you locate it in your heart or your brain? 

It can tell people a lot about your decision-making process. Obviously, advertising is one area.  Messages targeted at people with independent self-construals (your head tells you buying this car is the right decision because it has good value) will work better for those people than messages targeted at people with interdependent self-construals (Your heart tells you buying this car is the right decision because it has the highest safety ratings for families.) 
Objections to automated driving seem a little silly, since millions of lives are lost in car accidents and human error is estimated to cause more than 90% of them.

It may just be fear of the unknown, the same precautionary principle that makes people worry about having a Twitter login or be concerned about vaccines or GMOs.

Regardless of the reasons for concern, it is a giant error to assume that data and reason will win out, as science has learned painfully about energy, medicine, food and pollution. Trust may instead be established in less direct ways and a recent paper argues that a virtual driver programmed to resemble the human driver could increase the level of trust and acceptance in smart cars.
A  psychological analysis of novice assassins has delved into how hitmen bury their feelings after a successful attack.

Hired killers don't deal with people, they are businessmen and they are doing a job, no different than a soldier in the military.

What makes us happy? Philosophers, psychologists and scientists have long pondered that question.

Psychologists believe they may have a solution that satisfies everyone in flow theory, a model that better preserves the approach to individual distinctiveness by considering the mental experience as a process that might foster the evolution or the involution of an individual through his daily experiences.