Psychology

In the autism world, feel-good stories really don't come along all that long often, and heartwarming stories about severely impaired individuals all of a sudden speaking out in perfect English through the use of dedicated facilitators are uplifting stories. We want to believe that miracles happen, that geniuses exist inside nonverbal severely disabled people, just waiting for the chance to shine through the noble efforts of a selfless facilitator. 

Some days I wonder if we were set up from the get-go to expect less, to hope for less, to dream of less. My son's prognosis was grim and bitter to the heart when he was a tender five. And yet here he is at 21 continually amazing us with the strides he makes.

The public perception of autism continues to be one of grim stereotypes. Certainly there is a sizable minority edging to the halfway mark of moderately to severely disabled autistic individuals; this appears to be what the general public pictures when they hear the word autism. Just as certain is that my three children aren't there; they aren't severely disabled, not now, but once upon a time, my son was much more severely impacted so that many standardized tests placed him in the first percentile.
Depression erodes intimate relationships not just by making one person withdrawn, needy, or hostile, but also because it impairs a depressed person's ability to perceive the others' thoughts and feelings. It impairs what psychologists call "empathic accuracy" and that can exacerbate alienation, depression in a vicious cycle.
The past few years have seen a decline in the percentage of Americans who believe what scientists say about climate science. 

The science community shares some of the blame, obviously; the IPCC made rookie errors in its recent assessment and even intentionally included non-science results as data, and the so-called "Climategate" emails showed scientists weren't always out to promote science as much as they were out to stick it to opponents, behavior just like every other field where humans work. 
Losing virginity can improve your self-image,  according to Penn State researchers - if you are a college-age male.  On average, college-age males become more satisfied with their appearance after first intercourse while college-age females become less satisfied.

Overall the researchers found that women became happier with their physical appearance from first to fourth year in college, and men became less satisfied with their appearance over the same time period. However, the researchers found the opposite directly after students had sex for the first time; males were more satisfied with their appearance and females were less satisfied.   
Infants and toddlers can suffer serious mental health disorders, yet are unlikely to receive treatment that could prevent lasting developmental problems, according to an analysis in  American Psychologist.
In the category of "Duh?" for the week, we have a new article from France looking at how parental beliefs regarding autism dictate treatment choices. Dardennes et al. (2011) put 78 parents through a questionnaire called "the Lay-Beliefs about Autism Questionnaire (LBA-Q; Furnham&Buck, 2003). This questionnaire explores beliefs regarding the etiology and treatment of autism. LBA-Q’s authors considered two main academic theories of the possible causes and treatment of autism: the psychogenic model and the biomedical model" (Dardennes et al.).
 WikipediaA few days ago Semperoper Ballett had its second special performance as part in the project "On the move". They play with new and adapted choreography at various places in the city of Dresden that are not "opera-like".
Some researchers have wondered why a few credibility issues in particular studies (see Marc Hauser in psychology and parts of the IPCC report in 2007 and anything at all related to cold fusion in physics) would damage the image of researchers across an entire discipline.  It's plain old psychology.
Despite what some sociologists want you to believe, it isn't always men doing the objectification of women.  At least on Facebook, some women go out of their way to be noticed.

The millenia-old contention that women care more about their appearance and use it in competition is still alive in the digital age.   A new study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking contends that females who base their self worth on their appearance tend to share more photos online and maintain larger networks on online social networking sites.