Psychology

Visit a museum these days and you'll see people using their smartphones and cameras to take pictures of works of art, archeological finds, historical artifacts, and every other object and most of them will never be looked at again. Even worse, while taking a picture might seem like a good way to preserve the moment, new research suggests the opposite actually happens.

In a new paper, psychologist Linda Henkel of Fairfield University presents data showing that participants had worse memory for objects, and for specific object details, when they took photos of them.


The crocodile is a pretty shrewd hunter - they even use lures to hunt their prey, according to Vladimir Dinets, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and colleagues, who say they have observed two crocodilian species, muggers and American alligators, using twigs and sticks to lure birds, particularly during nest-building time. 


Trials are often as partially showmanship along with the facts - both attorneys are trying to pick jurors who are most likely to go their way.

Moral outrage may be a secret weapon. The last time you were morally outraged you probably felt felt angry, but did you also feel disgust? Consider how you might feel in a court of law after watching a video of a heinous crime. 


A recent paper from North Carolina State University found that companies that screen the social media accounts of job applicants alienate potential employees – making it harder for them to attract top job candidates.  

In some cases, social media screening might even increase the likelihood that job candidates may take legal action against the offending company. At least until the real world economy sets in.


A group has investigated the impact of cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness training on incarcerated youths and found that mindfulness training, a meditation-based therapy, can improve their attention skills, paving the way to greater self-control over emotions and actions.

The authors say this the first study to show that mindfulness training can be used in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy to protect attentional functioning in high-risk incarcerated youth.

It's Black Friday in the US - the day after Thanksgiving and was once the beginning of the Christmas season. That means a lot of shopping and that means a lot of anxiety about local retailers versus online vendors.

It turns out that local stores, especially big box retailers, have known the secret all along; people don't like to wait. If an event is far off or the price is substantially different, people will shop online. If they even have a hint that Amazon or others are taking orders for a third party, and that third party may end up shipping after Christmas, buying local looks a lot better. 


Playing violent video games not only increases aggression, it also leads to less self-control and more cheating, according to  a paper in Social Psychological and Personality Science.

The psychologists found that teens who played violent video games ate more chocolate and were more likely to steal raffle tickets in a lab experiment than were teens who played nonviolent games. The effects were strongest in those who scored high on a measure of moral disengagement – the ability to convince yourself that ethical standards don't apply to you in a particular situation. 


Awe-inspiring moments, like the sight of the Grand Canyon or the Aurora Borealis, might increase our tendency to believe in God and the supernatural, according to a new paper in Psychological Science which suggests that awe-inspiring sights increase our motivation to make sense of the world around us. Learning geology may be too hard to it's easier to default to aliens or religion. 


This week, Americans officially start focusing on Christmas holiday celebrations and that means a lot of high-calorie food.


Faced with inevitable pain, most people choose to get over with as soon as possible, according to a new paper in which participants chose between real painful stimuli in the form of electric shocks, and imagined painful dental appointments occurring at different times in the future.

Most people chose to hasten the experience of pain, and would even accept more severe pain to avoid having to wait for it, a smaller proportion preferred to put it off into the future.