March 18, 2014

9:17 AM | How thinking in a foreign language makes you more rational in some ways but not others
Back in 2012, US researchers showed that when people used their second, non-native language, they were less prone to a mental bias known as loss aversion. This bias means we're averse to the same outcome when it's framed in a way that highlights what's to be lost, as compared with when it's framed in a way that emphasises what's to be gained. For example, a vaccine is more appealing if it's stated that it will save 200,000 out of 600,000 people, far less unappealing if it's explained the […]

Costa A, Foucart A, Arnon I, Aparici M & Apesteguia J (2014). "Piensa" twice: on the foreign language effect in decision making., Cognition, 130 (2) 236-54. PMID:


March 17, 2014

4:07 PM | The ten most popular Research Digest posts of all time
This week I'm leaving my position as Research Digest editor. Taking one last look back at the archives, these were my ten most popular posts since Google started counting page views in 2007. What made these so popular do you think?1. Jailed criminals think they're kinder and more trustworthy than average (from 2014).2. Why do children hide by covering their eyes? (from 2012).3. Want people to trust you? Try apologising for the rain (from 2013).4. How walking […]
8:54 AM | The amazing durability of infant memory - Three-year-olds show recognition of a person they met once at age one
The fate of our earliest memories is something of an enigma. As adults, most of us are unable to recall memories from before we were age three or four. And yet, as toddlers we are perfectly capable of storing and recalling memories from before that age. To solve this mystery, we need to understand more about how infant memory works. Now a clever study has provided a test of just how durable infant memories can be. Osman Kingo and his colleagues in Denmark have demonstrated that three-year-olds […]

Kingo OS, Staugaard SR & Krøjgaard P (2014). Three-year-olds' memory for a person met only once at the age of 12months: Very long-term memory revealed by a late-manifesting novelty preference., Consciousness and cognition, 24 49-56. PMID:

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