Psychology

A rising trend in narcissism is good news for retailing and manufacturing firms offering customizable products, say marketing and psychology scholars in the Journal of Retailing. They say firms can increase the uniqueness of self-designed products by examining consumers' narcissistic behavior.


A study of a million UK women has shown that happiness has no direct effect on mortality nor does unhappiness and stress directly cause ill health.

Studies that claim it had simply confused cause and effect.  

Life-threatening poor health can cause unhappiness, and so unhappiness is associated with increased mortality but that is more confirmation bias than neutral analysis. Smokers also tend to be unhappier than non-smokers but accounting for previous ill health, smoking, and other lifestyle and socio-economic factors, the investigators found that unhappiness itself was no longer associated with increased mortality.


Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) diagnoses seemed to be a relic of the 1990s, and it was believed impatient teachers, helicopter parents and the pediatricians that enable them had moved onto other things.

Not so, instead 12 percent of U.S. children and teens had an ADHD diagnosis in 2011, up 43 percent since 2003, The analysis by Sean D. Cleary, PhD, MPH, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at George Washington University suggests that 5.8 million U.S. children ages 5 to 17 now have this diagnosis. 


'Delay discounting' is the tendency, given the choice, to take a smaller reward that is available immediately, instead of a larger reward that will be delivered in the future - and that is a trait that can be inherited.

Yes, your impulsive nature can be blamed on your parents, according to a report presented today at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting. If you need an excuse for spending too much on things you don't need, just say your delay discounting is in your genetic makeup. 


A team of psychologists say MIT linguist Noam Chomsky's discredited belief that we possess an "internal grammar" that allows us to comprehend even nonsensical phrases holds up.


There have been recent high-profile claims suggesting genetics and neuroscience are set to radically change the way we think about crime and punishment. Author Sam Harris, for example, argues that recent discoveries in neuroscience undermine our notion of free will, while Adrian Raine states there is a “biological basis also to recidivistic violent offending”.

But are our notions of blame and responsibility really heading for a revolution?

The difference between mild sexual difficulties and diagnosable sexual dysfunction is an ongoing debate among health professionals, but it has been stirred up recently by changes to diagnostic criteria. Unlike science and medicine, psychology still uses symptom-based diagnosis, and the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is vague because it specifies symptoms lasting at least 6 months, occurring almost always in sexual encounters, and causing  distress in order to be considered a sexual dysfunction.
We often read others’ intentions in what they do - if we disagree with someone's science, for example, we assume they are shills for money, but if we like their results, they are beacons of truth.

But it's more overt than assuming Bernie Sanders is ethical and Donald Trump cannot be, even when someone does something positive we are slower to give them credit - but usually quick to assign blame.

Take this scenario commonly used in philosophy:

The CEO knew the plan would harm the environment, but he did not care at all about the effect the plan would have on the environment. He started the plan solely to increase profits. Did the CEO intentionally harm the environment?

Religion can be a 'lynchpin' for achieving widespread global action on climate change, says psychologist Dr. Paul Bain from
Queensland University of Technology.


Autism spectrum disorder is a group of social and neurodevelopmental disorders that include difficulty with interpersonal interaction, communication and excessive repetitive behaviors. Currently, though there are medications to treat some symptoms but no drug therapies exist to treat the underlying disorders.

Treating mice with a compound called SR1078 showed reduced autistic behavior in the mouse analog of autism, according to Thomas Burris, Ph.D., chair of pharmacology and physiology at Saint Louis University, by increasing the expression of genes known to be low in the brains of autistic patients.