Psychology

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.


Special labels for foods that have genetic modification and are not organically processed have been the target of initiatives and legislative efforts recently. While a recent survey found that only 7 percent of people felt labeling GMOs was very important to them, that number climbed to 59 percent when they were reminded about genetically modified foods.


If the spirit is willing the flesh is not so weak. 


You have seen lots of advertisements for causes or companies asking you to 'like' them on Facebook. In the world of pretend Internet money, a 'like' has value but charities know the cold, bleak truth; once people have taken the action you ask for, they feel like they have done their part for a long time, so asking for a 'like' or a 'Tweet' is going to cost a donation.

A new analysis from scholars at the University of British Columbia adds fuel to assertions that social media platforms are turning people into "slacktivists" by making it easy for them to feel like they associate with or have helped a cause without committing resources to support it. 


Narcissus, the physically flawless character of Greek mythology, wound up falling in love with his own reflection. It isn't a good role model, and for that reason it is an insult thrown around by amateur therapists even more often than "he has Asperberger's".

 In clinical terms, narcissism comprises at least two largely distinct patterns of behavior associated with different traits: Vulnerable narcissism is marked by excessive self-absorption, introversion and over-sensitivity, while grandiose narcissism is characterized by an extroverted, self-aggrandizing, domineering and flamboyant interpersonal style.