Posts

October 19, 2014

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12:00 PM | The Case of the Brooklyn Enigma (Part One of Two)
Throughout the late 19th century, she was known as "America's Most Famous Invalid" and "The Brooklyn Enigma." Though skeptics denounced her as a fraud, spiritualists and curiosity seekers still came in droves to see the bedridden woman whose paranormal claims...            Related StoriesThe Rumour Watchers (Part 2 of 2)What is Grisi Siknis?The Jesus Experiment (Part 2 of 2) 
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10:45 AM | Stories that Sabotage Coping and Spike Stress
Our belief systems, or personal stories, dictate our behavior. The stories we spin about ourselves can shape everything from the decisions we make to how we interact with others to the goals we accomplish. “Our thoughts have tremendous power and largely create our realities,” said Joyce Marter, LCPC, a psychotherapist who writes the Psych Central […]
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10:42 AM | ‘Measuring’ does things to people…. (and what to do about it)
‘Measuring’ does things to people…. (and what to do about it) It has become fashionable for organisations to use positive or leading indicators as a way to ‘measure’ their risk and safety ‘performance’. Leaders in some organisations have proudly told me how they are ‘progressive’, ‘generative’ and ‘world class’ because they focus on leading indictors […] The post ‘Measuring’ does things to […]
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3:33 AM | Cognitive Psychology Group Colloquium (and The Great Bayes Debate!)
This week we have two special events.First, a colloquium from Prof. Cliff Hooker (a pioneer of Cognitive Science at Newcastle, now an Emeritus Professor) in our usual time slot.Then on Friday we debate whether "Bayesian cognitive models advance our understanding of the human mind." with Dan Navarro (University of Adelaide, http://health.adelaide.edu.au/psychology/ccs/people/dan/) and Don van Van Ravenzwaaij in the affirmative and Ben Newell (http://www2.psy.unsw.edu.au/Users/BNewell/) and Scott […]

October 18, 2014

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11:25 PM | What Drives a Person to Suicide?
Each of us has swings in our mood or has highs and lows in our emotional feelings. If these swings are within a certain normal range, we remain self-governed and functional. But when they become extreme, they can lead us into the poles of mania and depression. In some cases if the manias become extremely […]
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9:01 PM | Sharpen your thinking about business advice: Sensitivity, specificity and base rates
Your news feed might have pieces about how to get better at business (or indeed your living your life). They might have a seemingly empirical basis, and offer numbers of great specificity: the ten ways the successful manage their time; … Continue reading →
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8:25 PM | 6 Mind Expanding Movies That Will Make You Question Reality and Life
Some movies are made to touch our heart and soul with an overabundance of sentiment. They make us come in touch with our humanity and empathy. And some films are made to touch our mind, to get our mental cogs working, to awaken and expand our consciousness. They are films … READ MORE
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6:38 PM | Does Literary Fiction Challenge Racial Stereotypes?
A book is a mirror: if a fool looks in, do not expect an apostle to look out.                                                                Georg Christoph Lichtenberg […]

Johnson, D., Huffman, B. & Jasper, D. (2014). Changing Race Boundary Perception by Reading Narrative Fiction, Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 36 (1) 83-90. DOI: 10.1080/01973533.2013.856791

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6:35 PM | Blue Collar Roots vs. White Collar Reality
My father was a machinist and my mother a nurse. I still recall the smell of the machine shop on my father’s clothing when he came home from work, the name “Gary” embroidered on his blue shirt. When I was a child, my father chopped wood and sold it by the side of the road to […]
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6:27 PM | Buddhist Musings in Ramadan
Ramadan is the month of fasting and a time for spiritual growth among Muslims. The traditionalist approach to "spiritual growth" is for Muslims to complement their fasting with performing additional prayers at night and regular reading of the Quran throughout the month. My own approach is somewhat different, I tend to complement my fasting with the reading of writings and scriptures from other philosophies or faith traditions, including atheist and humanist teachings. This year, I decided […]
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6:13 PM | The Road to Bad Science Is Paved with Obedience and Secrecy
We often laud intellectual diversity of a scientific research group because we hope that the multitude of opinions can help point out flaws and improve the quality of research long before it is finalized and written up as a manuscript. The recent events surrounding the research in one of the world's most famous stem cell research laboratories at Harvard shows us the disastrous effects of suppressing diverse and dissenting opinions.The infamous "Orlic paper" was a landmark research article […]
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4:15 PM | Body spills into the brain
This quarter I’m TAing for a class called Distributed Cognition, which explores a bunch of ways that cognition might not be something that happens exclusively in the brain. This week we looked at different flavors of embodiment, the idea that the body is crucial for cognition. For example, we talked about one study showing that people […]
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2:35 PM | Ease Stress and Improve Mental Health with Group Nature Walks
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir For those of us in the northern hemisphere, autumn is finally here — that time of year when we feel a natural longing to get outside, enjoy the cooler weather and witness nature’s colorful displays. And as if on cue, […]
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2:11 PM | Rapid agent restores pleasure-seeking ahead of other antidepressant action
A drug being studied as a fast-acting mood-lifter restored pleasure-seeking […]
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2:09 PM | Superconducting circuits, simplified
New circuit design could unlock the power of experimental superconducting […]
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2:08 PM | Invading worms cause the body to shut down defenses
When parasitic worms invade muscle tissue, white blood cells called […]
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2:00 PM | What is consciousness?
Consciousness is a word that we can almost point at. When I say it I am fairly sure I don’t have to give a definition – I mean every one experiences consciousness and so they will know what I am talking about. But it is not so. As Inigo Montoya says, “You keep using that […]
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1:47 PM | 7 Common Neuromyths That Many Educators Believe
Do any of these myths about the brain catch you out? Dr Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and author of PsyBlog. His latest book is "Making Habits, Breaking Habits: How to Make Changes That Stick" Related articles:Debunked: ‘Right-Brain’ and ‘Left-Brain’ Personalities Connectivity: The Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Brains 10 Most Awe-Inspiring Neuroscience Studies Top 5 Psychology Articles This Month (Aug ’13) Brain Changes Associated With […]
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10:30 AM | Psychology Around the Net: October 18, 2014
Suffer from insomnia? Ever feel you might be addicted to the Internet? Interested in seeing what a schizophrenia episode actually looks like? We have it all and more in this week’s Psychology Around the Net. Hip-Hop Therapy Is New Route to Mental Wellbeing, Says Psychiatrists: According to researchers in the U.K., hip-hop music might be […]
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10:05 AM | A Common Sense Definition of Common Sense
I’d like to offer you, arguably, an uncommon definition of common sense.  A definition that I myself refer to as “a common sense definition of common sense.” Common sense is (literally) what can be commonly sensed. Not thought or felt but sensed.  If you and I are both sensing (seeing) a sunrise, that’s something that […]
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9:30 AM | More epigenetics, EN-2 and autism... the plot thickens
I don't mind admitting that I was to some extent 'winging it' with my previous post on epigenetics and Engrailed-2 (EN-2) as a consequence of the findings reported by Jill James and colleagues [1] with autism in mind. Although an avid follower of the science of epigenetics when (cautiously) applied to autism, I am by no means any authority on the subject matter particularly when it comes to the nitty-gritty details. You can probably therefore expect similar things in my latest […]

James SJ, Shpyleva S, Melnyk S, Pavliv O & Pogribny IP (2014). Elevated 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in the Engrailed-2 (EN-2) promoter is associated with increased gene expression and decreased MeCP2 binding in autism cerebellum., Translational psychiatry, 4 PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25290267

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4:01 AM | 15 Bisexual Girl Problems
Warning...This video is slightly NSFW. Check out our article Bisexuality Myths Debunked by Science. See our post on Debunking Myths About Sexual Fluidity.  
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2:55 AM | Pushed to Excel
“I push people beyond what’s expected of them. I believe that is an absolute necessity.” How much does forceful mentoring help students achieve excellence, and when does it become abusive? Those issues are part of the movie Whiplash, apparently named after the jazz standard by Hank Levy. The quote above is by acclaimed teacher Terence […]
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12:45 AM | You Are an Idiot if You Still Use Whisper
Whisper is one of those newer mobile apps that leads you to believe you can share information anonymously online. “With Whisper, you’re free to anonymously share your thoughts with the world, and build lasting, meaningful relationships in a community built around trust and honesty.” Trust and honesty, huh? What if Whisper uses your anonymous sharing […]

October 17, 2014

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10:30 PM | History and Hindsight in Safety
History and Hindsight in Safety In this post I wish to continue the discussion about significance through a discussion of history. It was Weick who said: ‘I don’t know what I believe until I see what I do’. In other words, everything we ‘know’ is retrospective. Humans have unlimited hindsight but limited foresight. This is […] The post History and Hindsight in Safety appeared first on Safety Risk Blog.
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8:35 PM | Reflect & Reframe
We all know people who are well-educated but somehow aren’t very smart. We also know people without much formal education who are quite wise. So, it’s obvious that it’s not just what we learn in school that makes us smart. It’s more about how we use our mind and live our life. To live life […]
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6:41 PM | What happens after the truth puts its boots on?
Researchers working on a new project at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University have begun tracking, in real time, cases of false news and the stories debunking them as they travel across the internet. The project will culminate in a paper due for publication in 2015. So far the project appears to be [...]
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6:39 PM | Satire is under attack, but are the fears justified?
Facebook recently announced that it will display warnings beside satirical content. In this post we look at the flaws and implications of recent research on the spread of false information on Facebook…. Read the rest of this post at the Big Think. [...]
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4:30 PM | ‘Discardia’: How to Indulge Moderately
I recently read Delia Ephron’s very amusing and thought-provoking book of essays, Sister Mother Husband Dog: (Etc.). In her essay “Bakeries,” she describes visiting her favorite bakeries and eating her favorite pastries — granola cookies, pizza bread, pain au chocolat, chocolate chip cookies with walnuts, pistachio donuts — all around New York City. As I was […]
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3:47 PM | Daniel Kahneman: Scholar. Professor. Nobel laureate.
Daniel Kahneman was born on March 5th, 1934 in Tel Aviv, British Mandate of Palestine known today as Israel, while his mother was visiting family in the region. He spent his youth in Paris, France where his mother and father had immigrated to in the 1920’s from Lithuania. His reason of motivations f... The post Daniel Kahneman: Scholar. Professor. Nobel laureate. appeared first on .
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