Psychology

If you are reading this article, there is a pretty good chance you do not believe the alignment of the stars when you were born determined your personality.   Especially if, like me, your sign recently changed but your personality did not.  Or you were born in the east rather than the west, in which case it didn't change but is still different.
Stereotypes exist for a reason.  They give us a comfortable idea of what we are dealing with, based on experience or at least perception.   Gender stereotypes suggest that men are usually tough and women are usually tender but it turns out stereotypes may be more than experience to our brains.

In a new Psychological Science study,  when subjects looked at a gender-neutral face, they were more likely to judge it as male if they were touching something hard and female if they were touching something soft.
Sociologists love when people get shot; it gives them a chance to make correlation/causation arrows go in all kinds of crazy directions.

So when people jumped on the gun rage by Jared Loughner as a product of the Tea Party or a climate of hate or whatever they wanted to call it, they easily found someone in sociology to back them up on it.   

It must be extremism or something else that he got from listening to Rush Limbaugh or watching Fox News, right?   Unless it is just some crazy guy shooting people.    Mapping events to a cultural topology or a social agenda is not science - not even social science - it is plain old superstition.
Does it take effort to tell the truth or are you naturally honest? In other words, are you truthful or a liar? A Harvard neuroimaging study showed that you're wired to be one or the other.

The study watched subjects' brains as they were presented with the opportunity to win money through lying. When honest people told the truth, their brains were at peace. When dishonest people lied, the control centers of their brains crackled to overwrite the truth with a lie. And here's the cool part: even when dishonest people happened to tell the truth, researchers watched their brains actively override the temptation to lie.
If you were around in the early days of the iPhone, you may have thought users were in love with it.   Proponents spoke of it in romantic terms and looked for reasons to discuss it, with questions like, "So what kind of phone do you have?"

It turns out they may have been and a similar effect occurs in people passionate about things like cars and guns - it looks like love, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.   "Is it possible for consumers to be in love with their possessions?" ask authors John L. Lastovicka (Arizona State University) and Nancy J. Sirianni (Texas Christian University). When it comes to technology, cars, bicycles, and firearms, the answer seems to be a big yes.
In the month of December (and October, November, and January), PA systems in malls around the country play holiday music. And when we hear the telltale pa-rum-pum-pum-pum we want to strangle the nearest elf. Maybe kick a reindeer.
In the month of December (and October, November, and January), PA systems in malls around the country play holiday music. And when we hear the telltale pa-rum-pum-pum-pum we want to strangle the nearest elf. Maybe kick a reindeer.

Suppose you want to measure how inherent intelligence is distributed amongst the population.  That is to say, you want to get a sense for how many are born with the potential to be very smart, and how many are not, and what the capabilities of each are.  How would you do it?  The most trusted attempts to measure such quantities probably come from standardized testing, such as IQ tests.  More common but perhaps cruder metrics include academic degrees (perhaps weighted by relevant factors such as the type of college), and income level.  Given the distribution of intelligence measured by one of these means, what could we then conclude about the distribution of innate ability?  

Humans are essentially unsatisfied creatures - if you take a starving dog out of the rain and feed him, he will love you forever.   After a few weeks of nice treatment, many humans will decide they deserved to be taken out of the rain and maybe even that they are doing you a favor.

So it goes with wealth.   Money does buy happiness, contrary to folk wisdom - it just doesn't last.  In the case of entire nations that get a better standard of living, after about a decade happiness is no longer rising with wealth.   Let's not kid ourselves, people in wealthier nations are happier, on average, than people in poor ones, but it does not rise forever.
Depression in young people strongly predicts how aggressive and violent they may be or may become, but exposure to violence in video games or on television is not related to serious acts of youth aggression or violence, at least among Hispanics in the U.S. according to new research by Dr. Christopher Ferguson from Texas A&M International University. 

Violence in media and the potential negative effects on adolescent antisocial behavior, and youth violence in particular, is a highly debated issue, both in academic circles and among the general public and policy makers but the research is inconclusive largely due to methodological problems.