Psychology

Electronic cigarettes are battery operated inhalation devices that provide vaporized nicotine to users without the harm of tobacco smoke. They are often marketed as a healthier alternative to cigarettes and have filled shelves of convenience stores since late 2011.  

Feeling stressed out? Blame your great-grandparents.

Psychologists have linked ancestral exposure by a common fungicide, vinclozolin, to the stress levels of rats generations later. Epigenetically. Vinclozolin is a fungicide commonly used by farmers to ward off rots, molds and blights. 


Most consumers have an idea of their favorite pizza and it may have nothing at all to do with taste. The imagery on television commercials is gooey cheese stretching from the pie to the slice.

Marketers have always known that cheese matters and now science is backing that up. Writing 
in the Journal of Food Science, scholars went beyond the standard trope of having golden cheese with that dark toasted-cheese color scattered in distinct blistery patches across the surface and a bit of oil glistening in the valleys and honed in on the various aspects that impact the total pizza experience.


During sex with a familiar partner, men have the highest orgasm rates - though lesbian women apparently don't do too badly.

On average, men experience orgasm 85.1 percent of the time, with only slight deviation by sexual orientation but women experience orgasm 62.9 percent of the time, with lesbian women experiencing orgasm more often than heterosexual or bisexual women, according to a new paper about a survey of American singles titled "Variation in Orgasm Occurrence by Sexual Orientation in a Sample of U.S. Singles" and published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.


It's a smartphone world; a decade ago a crowded train of passengers all locked into their phones texting to other people while ignoring the live humans six inches from them was just xenophobic Japanese culture but today it is common all across the developed world.

Psychologists worry that children getting meaning and context spoon-fed to them with emoticons may be leading to poor social skills in the real world, and even an inability to read emotions.

UCLA psychologists found that sixth-graders who went five days without even glancing at a smartphone, television or other digital screen did substantially better at reading human emotions than sixth-graders from the same school who spent more time looking at electronic devices.


To sexually objectify someone is to focus on their body in terms of how it can provide sexual pleasure rather than viewing that person as a complete human being with thoughts and feelings.

Objectification has long been considered a problem in the media - stories of Mad Men star Jon Hamm invariably mention that he doesn't wear underwear - but how does it affect individual romantic relationships? 

New surveys hope to tell us, but since they are by social psychologists and the paper is in Psychology of Women Quarterly, a feminist, scientific, peer-reviewed journal, they only find that objectification of a female partner's body is related to higher incidents of sexual pressure and coercion. 


One form of drug counseling to help young people with drinking problems makes people in a 'we must do something' culture feel better may be of limited benefit, a new systematic review suggests. 

Each year, around 320,000 people worldwide between the ages of 15 and 29 die as a result of alcohol misuse. Most of those deaths are due to car accidents, murders, suicides or drowning. Motivational interviewing is a counseling technique developed in the 1980s that is sometimes offered to people with alcohol problems. It aims to help them overcome ambivalence and change behavior. Counselors listen, adopt a non-judgmental, non-confrontational stance and then highlight the negative consequences of drinking. 


Is beauty in the face of the beheld? Shutterstock

By Richard Cook, City University London

Beauty, it is said, is in the eye of the beholder. And yet, there are many faces that a majority would find beautiful, say, George Clooney’s or Audrey Hepburn’s.

Cornell University marketing researchers recently tracked the purchasing records in a supermarket chain that uses the Guiding Stars System to rate the nutritional value of foods for sale. 


Survey results of over 10,000 mothers have led sociologists to conclude that women who breastfed their babies are at significantly lower risk of postnatal depression than those who do not.

The paper in Maternal and Child Health notes that mothers who planned to breastfeed and who actually went on to breastfeed were around 50% less likely to become depressed than mothers who had not planned to, and who did not, breastfeed. Mothers who planned to breastfeed, but who did not go on to breastfeed, were over twice as likely to become depressed as mothers who had not planned to, and who did not, breastfeed.