Psychology

A history of psychedelic drug use is associated fewer suicidal thoughts, planning and attempts, according to survey results analyzed by Johns Hopkins and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

In a national survey of over 190,000 U.S. adults, lifetime use of certain psychedelic drugs was associated with a 19 percent reduced likelihood of psychological distress within the past month, a 14 percent reduced likelihood of suicidal thinking within the past year, a 29 percent reduced likelihood of suicide planning within the past year and a 36 percent reduced likelihood of attempting suicide within the past year. 
A new paper says they can detect sexism in a smile. 

A man’s true attitude towards the female sex can be detected according to how he smiles and chats to her, according to Jin Goh and Judith Hall of Northeastern University writing in Sex Roles

Sad movies are bad news for diets. A newly reported study from the Cornell Food and Brand Lab showed movie-goers watching tearjerkers ate between 28% and 55% more popcorn both in the lab and in a mall theater during the Thanksgiving holiday.

According to findings published in a JAMA Internal Medicine research letter, movie goers ate 28% more popcorn (125 versus 98 grams) when watching the tragedy Love Story than when watching the comedy Sweet Home Alabama.


Because of the broad nature of autism spectrum disorder and even broader range of autism traits, any number of genetic and environmental influences are associated with risk of it.

Twins studies are valuable in science because at least some of the factors are quantifiable. Though many papers claim  genetic influences on the risk of autism and the fuzzy related traits diagnosis, they are drawn from samples of individuals which may miss people with more subtle manifestations and may not represent the broader population. A new paper using UK twins seeks to rectify that.
A review of 31 years of narcissism research using data from more than 475,000 participants finds that men, on average, are more narcissistic than women. Or at least they scored higher in narcissism across multiple generations and regardless of age. Psychology is overwhelmingly dominated by women so it's difficult to know what bias that may introduce into testing - and there is a difference between clinical narcissism and colloquial narcissism, which was not controlled for in the analysis.

The scholars examined more than 355 journal articles, dissertations, manuscripts and technical manuals, and studied gender differences in the three aspects of narcissism: leadership/authority, grandiose/exhibitionism and entitlement.  

Sometimes losing money is more exciting than taking it. A recent study found that turning down a bribe brought greater physiological arousal than the thought of more money did.

This means that the violation or enforcement of a given ethical standard is not what triggers emotional activity, but rather the actual decision to act against the monetary self-interest, according to scholars at Universitat Jaume I, who also note a major tendency to act ethically and shows the effectiveness of the threat of a possible punishment when curbing corrupt attitudes.

In a symposium on social psychology, psychologists are challenging the beliefs of other psychologists about the effectiveness of traditional strategies for encouraging healthy eating. 

A paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association observed whether or not photographs of vegetables on a school lunch tray had an impact on the amount of vegetables eaten. The study found that placing photos of carrots and green beans did increase the amounts of vegetables eaten during lunch, but it still was not at levels consistent with government-recommended dietary guidelines. 


If you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it, said cultural pundit Beyoncé Knowles about women and fingers - but that does not mean women should accept.

First, they should look at the fingers on men. Men with short index fingers and long ring fingers are on average nicer towards women, which researchers at McGill University say stems from the hormones these men have been exposed to in their mother's womb.

That  link between a biological event in fetal life and adult behavior might also explain why these men tend to have more children, the authors write in Personality and Individual Differences.


Parents of kids with severe autism are willing to try anything - unfortunately, a lot of people who claim to be experts in psychology and communication disorders don't understand science and may continue to try things long after they have been debunked. 

Hope and desperation among parents, along with cluelessness among people trying to help,  make the autism community especially vulnerable to interventions and "therapies" that have been thoroughly discredited. Yet they persist. 

If I scratch your back and you scratch mine, then we’re both better off as a result – so goes the principle of reciprocity, one of the most popular explanations for how co-operative behavior has evolved.

But what if one partner provides a better service than another? A paper by Dolivo and Taborsky shows that Norway rats will only give as good as they get.