Psychology

A new paper proposes an entirely new approach to risk assessment for future violence. Previous approaches have relied on looking at risk factors that happen to be linked to, but may not cause, violence, for example, being young, male, of lower social class, with previous violent convictions.

The new approach is instead based on identifying risk factors that have a clear causal link to violence, and include symptoms of major mental disorder, the patient's living condition, and whether they are taking medication.


Placebo-controlled trials are the recognized standard for demonstrating the efficacy of clinical and pharmacological treatments so it is significant to proponents of mindfulness meditation that it reduced pain more effectively than placebo.

The paper Journal of Neuroscience says that study participants who practiced mindfulness meditation reported greater pain relief than placebo. The study used a two-pronged approach - pain ratings and brain imaging - to determine whether mindfulness meditation is merely a placebo effect. Seventy-five healthy, pain-free participants were randomly assigned to one of four groups: mindfulness meditation, placebo meditation ("sham" meditation), placebo analgesic cream (petroleum jelly) or control.


Scientist who specialize in sex and sexuality tested a sample of men using a device that measures the reaction of a mans privates to various visual stimuli.   Men who are attracted to transgender women were not turned on by porn featuring two gay men, but they were turned on by porn featuring women only, and three kinds of “shemale” porn (“Man on Shemale”, “Shemale on Female”, and “Shemale on Shemale”).   So a man who likes transgender women (people born essentially biologically male who are sociologically more like women) does not have to be “at least” bisexual, or really gay but hiding it, or any such thing.   What studies like this hi-lite is the sparse vocabulary most of us have in the USA.  Word

By Kate Gammon, Inside Science --Without risky ideas in science, the world wouldn't have new cancer treatments, an understanding of dark matter – or even the World Wide Web. But as scientific disciplines mature, scientists in them choose to go for small, incremental advances rather than risky leaps – and those choices lead to a system that's slower and more expensive than it needs to be, according to the study authors.

The problem?

Almost all of us have experienced loneliness at some point. It is the pain we have felt following a breakup, perhaps the loss of a loved one, or a move away from home.

We are vulnerable to feeling lonely at any point in our lives.

Loneliness is commonly used to describe a negative emotional state experienced when there is a difference between the relationships one wishes to have and those one perceives one has.

Americans are living longer and better than ever so why have white middle-aged Americans seen overall mortality rates increase over the past 15 years? For any other demographic it would mean protests and outrage and calls for action, instead this 'epidemic', which has killed more people than AIDS, has been overlooked.

The paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences used data from a variety of surveys and reports and reports a sharp increase in the death rate for middle-aged whites after 1998. This turnaround in mortality reverses decades of progress, and is not seen among African-Americans or Latin-Americans in the United States. 


Though we have an obesity crisis in the United States a disproportionate amount of time is spent worrying about food availability for the poor - even though the poor lead in obesity.

How can both be possible? The Great Recession still lingers with us, unemployment is stuck at 90 million people, and it's no surprise that was particularly hard on low-income families. When business declines, taxes rise and the government mandates even more costly benefits, that will hurt the poorest people, just like any increase in the costs of products does.


Substance abuse treatments that target drug and alcohol addiction are not frequently being used to also wean adolescents from tobacco, a study finds. There are even proposals to curb harm reduction and smoking cessation techniques at Food and Drug Administration (the American Council on Science and Health will be at the White House talking about smoking cessation regulations in a few weeks), which would keep young people addicted to cancer-causing smoke. The reason is likely because cigarette smoking doesn't carry the stigma that alcohol and other erious drugs do, according to the study's lead author, Jessica Muilenburg, an associate professor at University of Georgia's College of Public Health. 


Mood biases our judgments and perceptions, but this effect has usually been regarded as irrational or disadvantageous. New speculation in Trends in Cognitive Sciences argues that mood draws on experiences and can, in fact, help us quickly adapt to changes in our environment. For example, experiencing unexpected gains on the stock market should improve a trader's mood. That positive mood may then cause the trader to take more risks, essentially helping them adapt more quickly to a market that is generally on the rise. 


Vaccinations are often about children, but anti-science beliefs are often not caused by having them, which reaffirms the contention that ant-vaccine sentiment falls along predictable cultural lines, and includes a raft of other positions, like denial of GMOs and sentiments against energy production.