Posts

February 26, 2015

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9:59 PM | The effects of neglect on white matter in the developing brain
Several decades ago, both contraception and abortion were banned in Romania, leading to the institutionalization of hundreds of thousands of abandoned children. Some of the institutions provided adequate food and shelter, but almost none of them were able to provide the human interactions that are so vital to healthy brain development. Is is known that […]
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9:56 PM | The Hot Wave of Anti-Abortion Legislation
Allison M. Whelan, J.D. Senior Fellow, Center for Biotechnology &Global Health Policy, University of California, Irvine School of Law Guest Blogger As the majority of state legislatures get back in session, it is clear there will be no dearth of … Continue reading →
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8:45 PM | Anxiety 101: Don’t Cross the Rocky Mountains in February
I know what you’re thinking. “Of course you shouldn’t cross the Rockies during the coldest, snowiest time of year.” But while it may seem obvious that you could be setting yourself up for disaster, worriers like me throw ourselves headlong into harrowing obstacles all the time. We ignore that voice in our heads that says “I can’t […]
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8:25 PM | Affective Forecasting: Can We Predict Our Emotions?
We also are concerned with our future emotions and feelings. We all want to know how we are going to be. Will it be enjoyable if we go to that restaurant?  Will we live a happy life? The term Affective Forecasting is defined as our predictions about our future emotions. Definition The term “affectiv...The post Affective Forecasting: Can We Predict Our Emotions? appeared first on .
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8:11 PM | SPSP 2015: The world thinks that atheists are immoral
At the self and identity pre-conference this morning Will Gervais presented a series of studies (available open access right here) suggesting that people seem to automatically associate atheism with a lack of moral character.Read More->
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6:47 PM | A little tablet time probably won’t fry a toddler’s brain
Scientists weigh the pros and cons of smart screen time for toddlers Growth CurveHuman Development,Neuroscience by Helen Thompson 4:00pm, February 26, 2015 Scientists and parents wonder whether tablets are all fun and games for toddlers.ARSELA/iStockLaura Sanders is away on maternity leave.Give a toddler an iPhone and 10 minutes, and she’ll take at least 50 selfies and […]
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6:25 PM | SPSP 2015: The Contagious Spread of Affect
I was fortunate to attend the first session of the emotion pre-conference this morning and had a chance to hear about some amazing research conducted by Wendy Mendes (my post-doc advisor), Sara Waters, and Tessa West. The research examined the extent that affective states are transmitted between individuals.The researchers reasoned that social living organisms are widely characterized by synchronous actions and states--with humans groups being particularly likely to synchronize their emotions […]
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5:52 PM | Why Do So Many Psychologists Write So Badly?
As this blog has evolved, I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy looking at psychological research, exploring some of the best the field has to offer and examining how poorly conducted or communicated research can leave us misinformed. This job has been made much more time-consuming than necessary by the fact that [...]
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5:03 PM | SPSP Coverage, Broadcasting from Long Beach
Greetings from California! Many of us at Science of Relationships are part of an organization known as the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP), which is a community of scholars who study all things related to social behavior and individual differences (e.g., morality/religion, self-esteem, aggression, and of course, relationships!). Every year, SPSP hosts a conference that unities social and personality scientists worldwide. This year, we’re gathering in Long Beach, […]
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5:01 PM | The Neural System That Prevents You From Constantly Falling On Your Ass
Those living in cold climates know what a daily struggle walking and staying upright can be: every icy path is a potential hospital bill. Most of the time, the human body manages to keep us vertical. Other times, gravity betrays us, and we are down for the count. But what exactly is going on in […]
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4:24 PM | Navigating Daily Disappointments
Many days I feel disappointed in myself. I’m disappointed I didn’t wake up early. I’m disappointed I missed the morning yoga class. I’m disappointed I didn’t work hard enough. I’m disappointed I’m easily distracted. I’m disappointed I didn’t do the laundry or make the bed or organize that thing I was going to organize but […]
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4:20 PM | Experts Talk Vaccine Opt-Out Parameters
An article in the Harvard Crimson about our panel “Measles, Vaccines, and Protecting Public Health,” convened on February 25, 2015: There is a delicate balance between preserving individual rights and protecting public health when it comes to vaccines, experts argued … Continue reading →
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4:10 PM | Is Your Partner Depressed?
A married couple came to psychotherapist Rebecca Nichols, LPC, to improve their communication. The wife was having a hard time concentrating on conversations. In the last few months she’d become increasingly irritable and indecisive. And she constantly snapped at her husband. While the couple’s communication certainly needed work, it turned out that the wife was […]
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4:04 PM | Can we Live without Inferential Statistics?
The journal Basic and Applied Social Psychology (BASP) has taken a resolute and bold step. A recent editorial announces that it has banned the reporting of inferential statistics. F-values, t-values, p-values and the like have all been declared personae non gratae. And so have confidence intervals. Bayes factors are not exactly banned but aren’t welcomed with open arms either; they are eyed with suspicion, like a mysterious traveler in a tavern.There is a vigorous […]
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4:00 PM | Activate These 5 Fundamentals For Conscious Change
Do you believe you can change? These 5 steps are fundamental to positive change.
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3:00 PM | My Challenges with Forgiving Others
This feels like a weird post to write. I say that because I have only now just realized (at a newly-minted age 44), that the challenge I thought I was having with forgiving others is not the challenge I am actually having. By that I mean – in a way, actions others take that affect me […]
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2:40 PM | Swedish Photoshop Master Creates Mind-Blowing Optical Illusions
We all are familiar with optical illusions – visual images that trick our eyes into seeing things differently than they are in reality. Everyone remembers the spinning girl illusion or different ornaments that seem to be moving, while the image is actually static. But what happens when optical illusions are … READ MORE
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2:22 PM | What Happens When A Retail Pharmacy Decides To Stop Selling Cigarettes?
A new post by Andrew Sussman on the Health Affairs Blog, as part of a series stemming from the Third Annual Health Law Year in P/Review event held at Harvard Law School on Friday, January 30, 2015. The sale of cigarettes and tobacco products … Continue reading →
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2:18 PM | SPSP 2015: We're here in Long Beach!
It's been a few months since I've posted on this blog, and I'm planning to change that over the next several days: It is time for the annual convention of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology and we've got three full days packed with social-personality content to share with the blogosphere. I'll be writing a few short posts over the course of the conference--but before I do I want to point out where you can find some of the current and former bloggers on this website, right here at […]
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2:11 PM | Young problem drinkers consume less if they take naltrexone
Young people who drink abusively consume less and suffer fewer consequences from alcohol if they take naltrexone, a Yale School of Medicine study shows. While the drug the did not […]
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2:10 PM | Antifreeze protein from ticks fights frostbite in mice
A protein that protects ticks from freezing temperatures also prevents frostbite when introduced in mice, a Yale-led study has found. The research is the first to demonstrate the protein’s ability […]
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2:09 PM | A new understanding of Alzheimer’s
Although natural selection is often thought of as a force that determines the adaptation of replicating organisms to their environment, Harvard researchers have found that selection also occurs at the […]
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2:07 PM | Electronic alerts may do more harm than good for kidney patients
The use of electronic alerts by hospitals treating patients with acute kidney injury may increase interventions without improving care, a study by Yale researchers found. The study was published Feb. […]
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2:07 PM | Vitamin D Benefits Common Mental Illnesses By Regulating Serotonin
Study reveals how vitamin D benefits mental disorders, as do omega-3 fatty acids. 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:Autism: Vital Link Found Between Vitamin D and Serotonin Production This Vitamin Stops People Feeling SAD and Promotes Good Mental Health Cooking Fish This Way Protects Brain From Gray Matter Loss With Age 9 Nutrients Which Should Be In Your Diet for […]
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2:06 PM | Mollusk shell optics may help develop responsive, transparent displays.
The blue-rayed limpet is a tiny mollusk that lives in kelp beds along the coasts of Norway, Iceland, the United Kingdom, Portugal, and the Canary Islands. These diminutive organisms — […]
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1:03 PM | Rivers of Becoming
  Find yourself a river to meditate on. The rest will come. What, no river nearby?! Look inside: it runs right through you. Spend a contemplative moment on the (meta-cognitive) riverbank of Being as you witness the River of Becoming flow on without you. – “The river is everywhere at the same time, at the […]
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1:00 PM | Who Chokes Under Pressure?
A new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences examined whether the Big Five personality factors could predict who thrives or chokes under pressure during decision-making. The effects of the Big Five personality factors on decision-making ability and...            Related StoriesHow to Survive a Slasher FilmWho Gets Addicted to the Internet?When Assaulted Young People Seek Emergency Care 
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11:30 AM | 5 More Tips for Increasing Your Self-Confidence
In a previous post, we discussed five tips for increasing your self-confidence. Here are five more. 1. Speak your mind. Being clear about what you want and need makes it much easier to set personal boundaries. Saying “no” sometimes gives the “yes” more meaning. Speaking up and setting boundaries does not necessarily mean you will […]
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10:35 AM | Some student-professor pairings lead to "unusually effective teaching" (and it's possible to predict which ones)
Video trailers can be used to predict whichlecturers are the best teachers, and whichstudents they are especially suited to.In the near future, students could be presented with a series of video trailers of different professors at their university. Based on their ratings of these videos, the students will be paired with the professors who provide the best fit. The outcome will be superior learning, and greater student satisfaction.That's the promise of a new study that asked 145 psychology […]

Gross, J., Lakey, B., Lucas, J., LaCross, R., R. Plotkowski, A. & Winegard, B. (2015). Forecasting the student-professor matches that result in unusually effective teaching, British Journal of Educational Psychology, 85 (1) 19-32. DOI: 10.1111/bjep.12049

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7:43 AM | Carnitine and autism continued
The paper from everyone's favourite Saudi - Egyptian autism research tag-team that is Gehan Mostafa and Laila AL-Ayadhi [1] (open-access) on plasma polyunsaturated fatty acids and serum carnitine levels in a cohort of children diagnosed with autism / autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is served up for your reading delight today.Regular readers of this blog might have heard me talk before about the pretty interesting research findings to come from this research partnership (see here and see […]

Mostafa, G. & AL-Ayadhi, L. (2015). Reduced levels of plasma polyunsaturated fatty acids and serum carnitine in autistic children: relation to gastrointestinal manifestations, Behavioral and Brain Functions, 11 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s12993-014-0048-2

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