Psychology

Anywhere from 40 to 60 percent of women who undergo routine screening mammography during a ten-year period will experience a false-positive mammogram.

They then suffer anxiety while they undergo additional testing, sometimes involving a biopsy, to confirm that cancer is not present.

Researchers have suspected that increased anxiety, pain, and the bother of additional tests might adversely affect the quality of life for women who experience false-positive screening mammograms. In a new paper, Dartmouth scholars used data collected by the Digital Mammographic Imaging Screening Trial (DMIST), which was conducted by the American College of Radiology Imaging Network (ACRIN), to study the impact a false-positive mammogram has on women's lives.


Why is Edward Snowden a villain to some people while the same people regard Bradley Manning as a hero? Why do so many people say they never thought it could happen if someone they know commits a crime? When is an atrocity not remembered that way at all? An in-group portrayal may make the difference.


Kids know it is wrong to steal stuff - they also seem to know it's wrong to steal an idea. They just discover it a little later.

University of Washington psychologist Kristina Olson and colleagues discovered that preschoolers often don't view a copycat negatively but by the age of 5 or 6, they do. It holds true even across cultures that typically view intellectual property rights in different ways, like in Germany where they violate international trademarks and hold a Science 2.0 conference and, worse, charge people to attend.

Because the majority of prescriptions for depression, are given to women, men don't get a lot of concern, but depression can hit young fathers hard and the symptoms can increase dramatically during the formative years of children.


Should you get a pet? If so, a dog or a cat?  For families of children with autism, the decision may have gotten a little easier. A University of Missouri nurse has studied dog ownership decisions in families of children with autism and found, regardless of whether they owned dogs, the parents reported the benefits of dog ownership included companionship, stress relief and opportunities for their children to learn responsibility.


Idioscenic Conjecture

I am posting some ideas here to promote discussion of the psychology of conspiracism.

I suggest that the mere fact of knowing that some events have been caused by C may overly influence an observer to look first for C even if an indifferent observer would consider C unlikely in the particular case.

A phenomenon has long been believed in psychology: traumatic experiences induce behavioral disorders that are passed down from one generation to the next, a kind of psychological epigenetics.

Recently, neuroscientists have set out to understand what physiological processes might underlie this hereditary trauma. "There are diseases such as bipolar disorder, that run in families but can't be traced back to a particular gene", explains Isabelle Mansuy, professor at ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich. With her research group at the Brain Research Institute of the University of Zurich, she has been studying the molecular processes involved in non-genetic inheritance of behavioural symptoms induced by traumatic experiences in early life.


Is there a link between maternal obesity during pregnancy and the risk of developmental disorders in a child? In the wide world of epigenetics and causalation there can be, because no one can prove there can't be. However, if obesity is a link at all, paternal obesity could be a greater risk factor than maternal obesity, according to a new paper from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health. 

Dr. Pål Surén claims to be the first to study the role of paternal obesity in autism and emphasizes that this is still speculation on its way to becoming a hypothesis. Surén
notes it requires much more research before anyone can discuss possible causal relationships but they have what they have. 


Sorry Batman, the dark knight persona is going exactly where Frank Miller predicted it would three decades ago in "The Dark Knight Returns" - you are going to be labeled an over-medicated, mentally disturbed sociopath.

The over-medicated may be right. The recent shooting at Fort Hood in Texas was in a "gun-free" zone but a soldier who had never been in combat was still on prescription medication for psychiatric issues related to combat zone trauma. As long as psychiatry remains trapped in the symptom-based world of the past, it is going to be the case that someone who complains enough will get a prescription.

A new paper has linked unhealthy weight control behavior, like vomiting and diet pills, to indoor tanning among high school students.

Another supposed problem for middle class white girls? Not so, say the authors in the Journal of Developmental&Behavioral Pediatrics, the association is even stronger for males.

Stephen M. Amrock, SM, and Michael Weitzman, MD, of the New York University School of Medicine say that indoor tanning might identify a group of teens at increased risk of eating disorders.