Psychology


Different kind of chocolate factory. Credit: Cklaighe/Conversation composite

By Jordan Gaines Lewis, Penn State College of Medicine

Millions of Americans are thought to experience mental illness in a given year, and the impacts of mental illness are undoubtedly felt by millions more in the form of family members, friends, and coworkers.

Though there are concerns about a lack of evidence-based treatment in mental health, it is better than doing nothing - yet nothing is what up to 40% of individuals with serious mental illness get, according to a new report in Psychological Science in the Public Interest. They cite stigma as a significant barrier to care for many individuals with mental illness.


Unless you are part of the 1 percent with your stock portfolio climbing, you are probably not an American who factors your experience into which price you pay these days. 

A common belief is that the economy affects what one purchases and that is independent of income; all people feel nervous when the economy is doing poorly. Yet the authors find that the influence of the economy even impacts the degree to which consumers incorporate past service experiences into their future purchases - especially when the economy is doing better. Counter to popular wisdom that firms should double down on improving customer experience when economic times are challenging, the authors of a new paper find that firms should do so when times are good.  



Personality tests will not judge you on how you look, the clothes you wear or where you went to school, so why are people so wary of them? Credit: Shutterstock

By Nick Haslam, University of Melbourne

By Barbara Sahakian, University of Cambridge and Muzaffer Kaser, University of Cambridge

Though to Western women, Muslim women in the Mid-East and Asia seem oppressed because they have no choice in wearing a hijab, the Islamic head- and body-cover common in Muslim culture, studies have shown that Muslim women have a more positive body image.

Psychologists using a wider range of body image measures have found that British Muslim women who wear a hijab generally have more positive body image, are less reliant on media messages about beauty ideals, and place less importance on appearance than those who do not wear a hijab. These effects appear to be driven by use of a hijab specifically, rather than religiosity. 


Given the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri and the highly charged claims of racism, it is no surprise that a Washington State University study of deadly force found that there is bias when it comes to skin color and being willing to pull a gun trigger on someone.

What is a surprise is that whites and Hispanic were more likely to be shot than black people.


Image: If only neuroscience was that easy. Credit: quixotecr, CC BY-NC-ND

By Matt Wall, Imperial College London

During World War II, residents on the islands in the southern Pacific Ocean saw heavy activity by US planes, bringing in goods and supplies for the soldiers. In many cases, this was the islanders' first exposure to 20th century goods and technology.


Supersize me: buffet edition. Joanna Servaes, CC BY-NC

By Aaron Blaisdell, University of California, Los Angeles

The next time you get really mad, take a look in the mirror. See that lowered brow, the thinned lips and the flared nostrils? That's what social scientists call the "anger face," and they believe it is part of our basic biology as humans.