"They all look the same" is a common expression regarding people of other races.
The “cross-race effect” is one of the most well replicated findings in psychological research and is one reason for the disturbingly common occurrence of eye-witness misidentifications.
The causes of the cross-race effect are unclear. Some psychologists argue that inherent segregation means some people don’t have much practice with individuals of other racial groups and are thus less capable of recognizing distinguishing features. Researchers from Miami University have a different idea. They argue this effect arises from our tendency to categorize people into in-groups and out-groups based on social categories like social class, hobbies, and of course, race.
Quinn Norton, a San Francisco journalist, had a tiny magnet implanted in her finger, which enabled her to detect electrical fields.
Bits of my laptop became familiar as tingles and buzzes. Every so often I would pass near something and get an unexpected vibration. Live phone pairs on the sides of houses sometimes startled me.
You might think of self-experimentation as a modern version of “know thyself” but this is “know the rest of the world”.
Modern communication technologies offer many new opportunities for reaching out to people. Can it also help patients with mental disorders?
Maybe. A group of investigators of the University of Heidelberg has published a controlled study on a new method of group therapy treatment based on internet chat in the July issue of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
Following traditional impatient treatment, this study investigated the effectiveness of group therapy delivered through internet chat.
"The grass isn't always greener on the other side of the fence" is a popular old phrase. In a series of eight experiments, Tom Meyvis (New York University) and Alan Cooke (University of Florida) set out to demonstrate that scientifically.
The issue, they say, is that the quest for improvement sometimes makes people lose sight of the best choice they already have.
“Our findings suggest that consumers who are focused on the future are so preoccupied with finding ways to improve their situation that they become overly sensitive to information that points to such opportunities — and lose sight of the relative advantages of their current choice,” the authors explain.
Many of us experience a tinge of guilt as we delight in feelings of pleasure from our favorite indulgences, like splurging on an expensive handbag or having another drink.
Yet, in spite of documented ambivalence towards temptation and well-meaning vows not to succumb again, consumers often end up repeating the same or similar choices. A new study by Suresh Ramanathan (University of Chicago) and Patti Williams (Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania) examines repeated impulsive behavior despite the presence of guilt – important research underscored by the increasing prevalence of binge drinking, obesity, and credit card debt.
Women see ‘masculine’ men as unsuitable long-term partners, new research suggests. Conversely, the psychologists from Durham and St Andrews Universities found that men with feminine facial features are seen as more committed and less likely to cheat on their partners.
The study, published in the current edition of Personality and Individual Differences, asked over 400 British men and women to judge digitally altered pictures of male faces made to look more masculine or feminine. The participants were asked to predict personality traits including sexual behaviour and parenting skills based on what they saw.
Human experimental psychologists (also called cognitive psychologists) are in a curious position. Their subject — the human brain — is obviously the most complicated thing studied by any science. Its components (neurons) are not only very numerous and densely-connected they are also very inaccessible. Moreover brains soak up their environments in a way that other objects of study do not. It isn’t impossible to do experiments, but it isn’t easy. You can’t keep a supply of humans in your lab, for example. The difficulty of human experimental psychology is the main reason I decided to study animal experimental psychology. But the complexity of the brain is not only a difficulty but also an advantage: It means there is the most to be learned.
The capacity to resist peer pressure in early adolescence may depend on the strength of connections between certain areas of the brain, according to a study carried out by University of Nottingham researchers.
New findings suggest that enhanced connections across brain regions involved in decision-making may underlie an individual’s ability to resist the influence of peers.
The study suggests that brain regions which regulate different aspects of behaviour are more interconnected in children with high resistance to peer influence.
Antipsychotic drugs are approved mainly for treating schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but they are also used for many other purposes. One of the most controversial is reducing disruptive behavior among elderly people with dementia.
In the last few years, the FDA has required drug labels to carry warnings regarding this still-common practice, and studies continue to raise questions about its risks and benefits.
Concern about this issue is not new.
A long-held belief in theories of human behavior is that people want to feel good and avoid feeling bad.
Nothing in that principle explains why people enjoy horror movies or, additionally, why they pay for the privilege of being scared.
Investigators generally use one of two theories to explain why people like horror movies:
1. It's excitement, not fear.
People aren't actually afraid, they get a surge from the action and suspense.
2. Terror now brings euphoria later.
Think you had a bad day at the office? Imagine being chased by zombies. It always feels better to know someone else is being chased by zombies.
It's fun to be scared, as long as there's a TV between you and him.