Psychology

A study of approximately 95,000 children with older siblings found that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is not associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders regardless of whether older siblings had been diagnosed on the autism spectrum - and epidemiological papers say those children should be at higher risk for an autism diagnosis.

During the last 15 years, no valid study has found a link between the MMR vaccine and ASD but some parents and people selling alternative medicines continue to associate the vaccine with ASD. Surveys of parents who have children with ASD suggest that many believe the MMR vaccine was a contributing cause.
A real-world analysis of human behavior finds that men treat online giving as a competitive enterprise: Men will donate four times more money to an attractive female fundraiser if they feel like they are in competition with another male, which evolutionary psychologists contend is a subconscious sexual mandate based on biology.
Organic food is a gigantic profitable Big Ag enterprise ensconced in a health halo that glows so brightly the bulk of consumers believe it not only has no pesticides but actually contains no chemicals of any kind.

My concern about the science literacy of Whole Foods shoppers aside, from a purely practical point of view, if I were a farmer and walked into a store and saw berries for $8 a pack and hamburger for $10 a pound that has no difference but process I'd immediately ask why I am competing with giants over razor thin margins when I could segue into an area where price is basically no object.

Adolescent obesity is a national public health concern and, unchecked, places young people on a trajectory for a variety of health issues as they grow older. A new study from the University of Houston Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP) and Texas Obesity Research Center (TORC) suggests there is a relationship between long-term exposure to three specific types of family stressors and children becoming obese by the time they turn 18 years old.

Using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth, Assistant Professor Daphne Hernandez examined three family stress points ¬- family disruption, financial stress and maternal poor health - and applied those to data of more than 4,700 adolescents born between 1975 and 1990.


Getting a good education may not improve your life chances of happiness, according to new mental health research.


"Dragon Age: Inquisition", which came out in late 2014, was not a video game I anticipated much. I had played both previous versions and their add-on content but unlike Mass Effect, by the same company, only the first Dragon Age had much re-playability and, unlike Mass Effect, they wanted you to play a new character each time. There wasn't much point in getting attached to a character. But the milieu, swords and sorcery, was intriguing to an old D&D player, and I knew they would have something most games lack - a story where choice matters.
Children who play a game together have a stronger connection than kids who play the same game but not in a synchronous way, according to a new paper. 

The authors assert that a physical activity performed in unison helps children feel more positively toward each other and could perhaps increase their empathy. 

"Synchrony is like a glue that brings people together -- it's a magical connector for people," said lead author Tal-Chen Rabinowitch, a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Learning&Brain Sciences at the University of Washington.
A new paper links eating disorders in adolescent females with lower levels of educational attainment and personal income in early adulthood. They were also less likely to own a home.

How we get along as siblings is a deeply personal issue and profoundly effects our lives as individuals. It’s an issue that crosses cultures and economies, levels of class and fame.

This point was reinforced to me when I did an interview on the Today Show about the importance of sibling conflict. Co-host Karl Stefanovic torpedoed in at the end and dismissed everything I was saying as nonsense. He made it clear that his lifelong domination of his younger brother, Peter, is perfectly normal and acceptable. If anything he seemed to be very proud of it.

Psychology papers often make make sweeping generalizations based on weak observational studies and that has led to an alarming overuse of the term 'narcissist'. 

Some people are self-centered, to be sure, but colloquial over-diagnosis of narcissism has led to poor distinction between actual narcissism and people who like to talk about themselves. All cows are animals but not all animals are cows, etc. but ever since a small paper came out of U.C. Berkeley in 1988, the psychology field has been over-using the diagnosis. An examination of 48 participants found that excessive use of first-person singular pronouns such as "I" and "me" indicated a narcissistic tendency.