Psychology

Adults who use marijuana are five times more likely to develop alcohol abuse or dependence compared with adults who do not use the drug. Adults who already have an alcohol use disorder and use marijuana are more likely to see the problem persist, finds a paper in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

A new Northwestern Medicine study has found an adolescent male's attitude toward risky sex, pregnancy and birth control can predict whether or not he will stick around after the baby is born.

The longitudinal study -- one of the first reproductive health studies to focus on young men and fatherhood -- also found it was possible to predict whether some young men would become teen fathers. In addition, the research was able to predict fatherhood patterns over 14 years as young men transitioned from being teenagers into young adulthood.

The rapid pace of artificial intelligence (AI) has raised fears about whether robots could act unethically or soon choose to harm humans. Some are calling for bans on robotics research; others are calling for more research to understand how AI might be constrained. But how can robots learn ethical behavior if there is no "user manual" for being human?

Researchers Mark Riedl and Brent Harrison from the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology believe the answer lies in "Quixote" -- to be unveiled at the AAAI-16 Conference in Phoenix, Ariz. (Feb. 12 - 17, 2016). Quixote teaches "value alignment" to robots by training them to read stories, learn acceptable sequences of events and understand successful ways to behave in human societies.

Want to suck all of the fun out of romance and dating? Talk with a humanities scholar in family dating researcher. 

Just in time for Valentine's Day, a University of Illinois academic has identified four distinct approaches that dating couples use to develop deeper commitment. "The four types of dating couples that we found included the dramatic couple, the conflict-ridden couple, the socially involved couple, and the partner-focused couple," said Brian Ogolsky, assistant professor of human development and family studies.

Sociology scholars say the stereotype that Native Americans are genetically or psychologically predisposed to alcoholism are all smoke and no firewater. 

Instead, Native Americans were more likely to abstain from alcohol use than Caucasian Americans and there was no difference in Native Americans' binge and heavy drinking rates, according to surveys.

A new analysis indicates that states’ Web-based and phone-based tobacco cessation programs can help people quit smoking, but certain personal characteristics may lead individuals to prefer one type of program over the other. 

Quitline (telephone-based counseling) programs are effective tools for people who are trying to give up smoking, and the evidence for Web-based cessation services is building. Research has found that only one percent to two percent of adult tobacco users in the United States access state quitlines each year, however. Also, sustained use of Web-based interventions is low, with most users visiting some cessation websites fewer than three times.

The term "schizophrenia," with its connotation of hopeless chronic brain disease, should be dropped and replaced with something like "psychosis spectrum syndrome," argues Professor Jim van Os at Maastricht University Medical Centre in The BMJ.

Why do people on the left think American media is right wing? Because journalists are paid by corporations funded by other corporations? Why do people on the left think journalism is right wing? Because journalists go into the field to make a difference rather than to talk about news or events or science, and when people want to be important, they become activists.

And controlling media works.

While many groups find media bias to be a negative, social psychologists say it can be a benefit; by getting them to produce positive content or conciliatory messages about ethnic groups and genders. 

Improving Perceptions

When employees leave a company, there is always an undercurrent of doubt that they might have stayed if they had a good manager. But plenty of well-liked managers lose employees too. 

People leave for more money and/or a promotion most of the time, and less commonly due to a bad boss. 

According to Ravi S. Gajendran, a professor of business administration at University of Illinois, an organization's former employees -- or "alumni" -- can potentially be important strategic assets in the future, provided they leave on good terms.

Take a look at any food label and there's a good chance all design elements, from the color palette to the smallest detail, were meticulously chosen.