Psychology

As many as three million Americans, an alarming one percent of the U.S. population, get a diagnosis of bipolar disorder each year. That is a fantastic amount, bordering on unbelievable, 12,000X as many gun murders that will occur. 

If being "bipolar" is over-diagnosed then it may well be that something as simple as yogurt will fix it. And that is the claim of a pilot study unveiled today at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology meeting - people who suffer damaging shifts in moods, from mania to depression, may not need expensive, antipsychotics, depressants or even therapy, they may just need a half a cup of Activia.
A new paper in Health, Risk&Society reports that women concerned about breast cancer often go to "Dr. Google" first but how much they trust it varies - more educated women, for example, trust it more, while less educated women would rather see a doctor.
Fake news has become a common claim, and for good reason. The Russians, for example, have been caught using environmentalists, food activists, "journalism" professors, and trade groups to promote fear and doubt about American science and technology
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But organic food shoppers and people scared of natural gas are not alone in believing fake news. A new study shows that dogmatic individuals, fundamentalists and delusional people of all kinds are more likely to believe fake news. The less open-minded a person is, the more likely they are to be swayed by fake news claims.
Does your base personality change over time? Psychologists are conflicted over that, but Galileo once claimed the Moon did not impact the tides, so without a science foundation, or with poor data gathering, anything is possible. 

And we get both in surveys, which is why a new paper by social psychologists does little to advance psychological science - it declares personality is somewhat hard-wired and somewhat shaped by environment. Which everyone knew 4,000 years ago.
Young religious Americans are more concerned about the environment than older parishioners, and that may be thanks to religious leaders. They talk about caring for the world given to them and avoid the political activism. 
While cats are generally regarded as being aloof and uncaring, dogs are called "man's best friend." They are in tune with our emotions, it is said. "Lassie" had a level of connection with her humans that only television could write, but there has always been anecdotal evidence that dogs will do whatever they can to help.

A new experiment shows that not only do dogs care if their owner is upset, they will overcome obstacles in a hurry to provide aid. The results in Learning&Behavior showed that dogs with strong bonds to their owners hurried to pushed through a door when they heard their person crying. 

Gender bias against women is nothing new, especially when it comes to seeking venture capital financing for business start-ups,  but in modern crowdfunding -  where a "crowd" of amateur investors make small investments in new companies - culture it is just the opposite; female entrepreneurs are considered more trustworthy.

There are numerous ways to get a business off the ground. Friends and family financing, private equity, bank financing, venture capital, but the difficult road for entrepreneurs has meant that business leaders should be tough - and that has meant more masculine.

Worldwide poverty has dropped dramatically, we are in the Long Peace when it comes to war, the old cycles of famine boom and bust have leveled off, science has made it possible for everyone to live better for longer and spend less on basic necessities.

The world continues to improve. Why, then, do polls consistently show that people believe otherwise? The answer may lie in a phenomenon called "prevalence induced concept change."

Meditation advocates from three schools say a lower ability to cope with the pain of being rejected by others leads to violence, but that people greater levels of mindfulness, a psychological fad where practitioners maintain attention on and awareness of the present moment -- are better able to cope with such pain. 

Liberals in the United States and Germany felt more empathy than conservatives toward protesters injured during an overcrowded demonstration in the United States and Germany, according to survey results of 1,046 participants who read a fake newspaper article the non-real incident. The protesters were either described as liberals, conservatives, or non-partisan local residents. 

Liberals were more likely to want to help the protesters by donating money for the medical treatment and both conservatives and liberals felt more empathy for their political allies.