Psychology

New research has revealed psychogenic seizures which could be mistaken for epilepsy are linked to feelings of anxiety. The team of researchers devised a set of tests to determine whether there was a link between how people interpret and respond to anxiety, and incidences of psychogenic nonepileptic seizures (PNESs) – seizures that can be brought on by threatening situations, sensations, emotions, thoughts, or memories.



Orlando Bloom is feeling stressed. Justin Bieber insulted him in Ibiza (why are they in the same club, much less the same city or even country?) or he insulted Bloom's ex-wife, the model Miranda Kerr, and he lashed out at Justin Bieber. Or tried, the wall of bodyguards that makes Justin Bieber brave made that difficult.


Toddlers who did not frolic and smile and laugh were once called pensive or shy or quiet but now a Preschool Feelings Checklist
can label kids as depressed at 3 years of age. 

Using that as a factual basis, a paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry has found that depressed preschoolers were 2.5 times more likely to suffer from the condition in elementary and middle school than kids who were not diagnosed as depressed at very young ages.

Doctors and scientists maintain that children as young as 3 or 4 can not be clinically depressed. 


Marketing experts have long wanted a reliable method of forecasting responses to products and messages.

A study that analyzed the brain responses of 16 individuals says even a few people can be a remarkably strong predictor of the preferences of large TV audiences, up to 90 percent in the case of Super Bowl commercials.

This is far superior to the wobbly claims made by psychology surveys. 


There are websites that encourage anorexia, there are websites that glorify stepping on animals with high heels and killing them, so it is no surprise that there are websites that glorify suicide. There are also websites that can talk people down from the ledge. In a free Internet, they can both be found rather easily.

An upcoming paper looked for information on suicides using popular search engines (Google, Bing) in Austria and the USA and found that protective information is significantly more plentiful than harmful information, about 2:1. 
Marketing is something of a game; retailers want you to spend the most money, but not none at all, and cash flow is important, so sometimes they have sales, even at a loss to get you in the door in the belief that you will spend more money. But is that the optimal strategy for a retailer?

A new paper in the Journal of Consumer Research says consumers instead choose retailers they believe offer the lowest prices the majority of the time.  

To simulate 100 weekly purchases from a retail store, participants were asked to purchase products from one of two competing retailers 100 different times. Participants were given a monetary incentive to minimize their total spending and were instructed to base their selections strictly on price.

Why do women prefer bad boys? Why do men prefer nice women? Why do social psychologists love to conduct surveys about sweeping stereotypes and call it science?

These are complex questions without simple answers. Responsiveness may be one of those initial "sparks" necessary to fuel sexual desire and land a second date - the same thing in many flavors of psychology - but it may not be a desirable trait for both men and women on a first date, according to a new paper in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin which wants to discuss if responsiveness increases sexual desire in the other person. Do men perceive responsive women as more attractive, and does the same hold true for women's perceptions of men?    


It's no surprise when obese preschoolers have obese parents. It's actually expected. So it's not a surprise when obesity treatment is more effective when it targets both parent and child compared to when only the child is targeted.

Children enrolled in this study were overweight or obese and had one parent who participated in the study who also was overweight or obese, according to body mass index (BMI) measurements, calculated based on height and weight.


A new paper finds that asthmatics who believe that an odor is potentially have increased airway inflammation for at least 24 hours following exposure, which highlights the role that expectations and psychology can play in health-related outcomes.

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the lungs. According to the National Institutes of Health, over 25 million Americans have the disease, which can interfere with quality of life. The airways of asthmatics are sensitive to 'triggers' that further inflame and constrict the airways, making it difficult to breathe. There are many different types of triggers, including pollen, dust, irritating chemicals, and allergens. Strong emotions and stress also can act to trigger asthma symptoms.


A few days ago I started thinking about abstractions whilst reading Surfaces and Essences, a recent book by Douglas Hofstadter and Emmanuel Sander. I suspect efforts like Surfaces and Essences, which traverse vast and twisted terrains across cognitive science, are probably underrated as scientific contributions.