Cow Brains And Aphantasia: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web New work is providing fascinating insights into aphantasia, a condition where you are unable to see images with your mind’s eye. There even appears to be a flip side to the condition, hyperphantasia, where mental imagery is particularly powerful. Carl Zimmer examines the new findings at The New York Times (and see also our podcast on aphantasia from 2019). At The Conversation, Penny Paxman explains why children don’t fully grasp sarcasm until they are around seven to ten years old. Understanding why someone is being sarc...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - June 11, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

How To Navigate Moving Back In With Your Parents As An Adult
By Emily Reynolds For many, moving out of the family home is a rite of passage, a sign that adulthood is just about to begin. Equally, however, there are plenty of reasons why somebody might move back in with their parents: after a break-up, to save money, for health reasons, or to care for ageing or unwell relatives. Anecdotally, the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have been another reason for such a move, with articles proliferating on children once more living with their parents and offering advice on how to deal with it. But how do such “boomerang kids” frame their decision to move back home, and how ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - June 10, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Social Source Type: blogs

People Prefer More Attractive Financial Partners — Even Ones Who Lose Them Money
By Emma Young Physically attractive people are routinely judged to be “superior” in other ways — to be more trustworthy, for example, and honest, and intelligent. However, evidence for the unwarranted “attractiveness halo” effect has tended to come from studies that have involved snap-judgements with no feedback or repercussions for the people doing the judging. Gayathri Pandey and Vivian Zayas at Cornell University, US, wanted to explore how this bias plays out in the longer term, when contradicted by actual data. If, say, we’re given information that an attractive investor is a...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - June 9, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Decision making Money Source Type: blogs

Rates Of Postnatal Depression Among New Mothers Rose Sharply During Lockdown
By Emily Reynolds Having a new baby is never easy: it’s difficult to manage the stress of birth, sleepless nights, and juggling of childcare and domestic responsibilities, especially for first-time parents. Some also experience postnatal depression, which is estimated to affect 23% of women in Europe after the birth of a child (men also experience postnatal depression, though the numbers are not so clear). Add to new parenting the impact of lockdown, and that figure could rise sharply, a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology suggests. Working with women with babies aged six months or younger in th...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - June 8, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Babies Coronavirus Mental health Source Type: blogs

It ’s Surprisingly Common To Misremember Where You Were On A Specific Time And Date
By Emma Young Where were you at 8am two Tuesdays ago? If it’s a little tricky to recall, what if I presented you with a map with four location flags to choose from, each about 3-4 km apart, with one marking your actual location on that time and date?  Are you confident that you’d pick the right one? If you are confident, the good news from a new paper in Psychological Science is that you’re more likely to be right than if you’re not too sure. The bad news is that when a group of students in Melbourne, Australia was tested in this way, they picked the wrong location 36% of the time. T...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - June 7, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Forensic Memory Source Type: blogs

Magic Tricks And Media Literacy: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web Sleep researchers often takes a “brain-centric” approach to their work, measuring sleep stages using EEG, for instance, or examining how sleep affects learning and memory. Yet rudimentary creatures also sleep — including the hydra, an aquatic organism which has a basic nervous system but no brain at all.  The findings suggest that our primitive ancestors slept before they even evolved brains, writes Veronique Greenwood at Wired.  In his recent testimony to a House of Commons committee, Dominic Cummings bl...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - June 4, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Even Some Meat-Eaters Are Disgusted By Meat — And Encouraging Those Feelings Could Help Reduce Consumption
By Emily Reynolds While some vegetarians yearn for meat (and occasionally give into temptation), others who eschew animal products find meat repulsive. Those who go veggie for moral reasons — as opposed to those who do it for their health — are particularly likely to find meat disgusting, even if they previously enjoyed its taste. According to a new study from a University of Exeter team, it isn’t just vegetarians who find the look of meat disgusting, either — sometimes, meat-eaters do too. And in a world where many of us are being encouraged to give up meat for the sake of the envir...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - June 3, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Eating Source Type: blogs

Poor Self-Control Can Lead To Feelings Of Loneliness
By Emily Reynolds Loneliness can be something of a vicious cycle. As previous research has suggested, your personality can increase your likelihood of being lonely, and loneliness can impact your personality. We also know that self-centredness can increase loneliness, that being true to yourself can reduce loneliness, and that even warming yourself up on a cold day can ease cravings for social contact. Loneliness, then, is highly dependent on personality factors as well as social factors such as discrimination, limited access to transport, and lack of social cohesion. And a new study, published in Personality an...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - June 2, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Personality Social Source Type: blogs

Electric Fish And Children ’s Play: The Week’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web Electric fish seem to have mastered the art of the pause, writes Katherine J. Wu at The Atlantic. Brienomyrus brachyistius communicate by producing a series of electrical pulses. But researchers have found that the fish sometimes pause during their “conversations”, apparently as a signal that what they are about to communicate is important — similar to a “dramatic pause” in human speech. As we covered in a recent podcast, play is a vital part of children’s development. But how do the toys we choos...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 28, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Financial Stress In Early Adulthood Is Related To Physical Pain Decades Later
By Emily Reynolds Pain is not a purely biological phenomenon: discrimination, anxiety around work, and general mental strain have all been shown to contribute to the experience of chronic pain. Many researchers therefore take a biopsychosocial approach, exploring the multifarious factors that impact on and are impacted by pain. A new study in Stress & Health explores the long term consequences of social factors on pain. The team, from the universities of Georgia and South California, Los Angeles, specifically focus on families involved in the 1980s “farm crisis” in the US Midwest, a period where ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 27, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Health Money Source Type: blogs

We Feel More Empathy Towards Citizens Of Countries With Good, Popular Leaders
By Emma Young We could all name groups of people who we know to be suffering right now; some in distant countries, some in our own. Research shows that we feel less empathy for people in other countries — and so are less likely to support them by protesting, say, or donating money. Meital Balmas and Eran Halperin at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem now report a factor that can influence this, however: our feelings about the national leader. The pair’s study in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin suggests that a leader who is perceived as “good” and popular at home elicits more empat...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 26, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: leadership Personality Social Source Type: blogs

Drug Researchers Who Admit To Using Psychedelics Are Seen As Having Less Integrity
By Matthew Warren In the past few years, psychologists and neuroscientists have conducted a large number of studies into the effects of psychedelic drugs. Some have sought to better understand the effects of the drugs in the brain, while others are investigating the potential for substances like psilocybin and LSD to treat depression and other mental health conditions. This work obviously require tactful communication on the part of researchers: after all, they don’t want to alienate a public who may be at best ambivalent about the use of currently illegal drugs in research or mental health settings. Now a...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 25, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Drugs Source Type: blogs

Cats Like To Sit In Squares — Even Ones That Are Really Optical Illusions
By Emma Young The world is not exactly short of videos of cute cats up to strange antics. But one particular set of videos collected by cat owners during a COVID-19 lockdown reveals something genuinely interesting: a famous optical illusion that fools us also gets cats. The citizen science project, in which cats were experimented on in their own homes, shows that they, too, are tricked by “Kanizsa squares”, an illusion that suggests the presence of a square that doesn’t in fact exist. It’s well known that cats love to sit in enclosed spaces, like boxes. They even like to sit in square...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 24, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Comparative Illusions Source Type: blogs

Egalitarians Are Better At Detecting Inequality — But Only When It Affects Socially Disadvantaged Groups
By Emily Reynolds There is ample evidence that inequality exists — in the UK alone, one study suggested, the richest 1% have a quarter of the country’s wealth, and marginalised groups experience inequality in relation to work, education, living standards, healthcare and more. However, not everyone is attentive to inequality. While some are keenly focused on its causes and its solutions, others believe it’s simply not important, or at the very least that it’s exaggerated. So what determines whether we pay attention to inequality? A new study, published in PNAS, argues that our ideologic...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 21, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Social Source Type: blogs

Do Girls Really Show More Empathy Than Boys?
By Emma Young Three people are walking down the street, two women and one man. One of the women trips and falls. Which of the two observers will feel more empathy for her pain? Hundreds of studies suggest that it’ll be the woman. However, these results almost overwhelmingly come from self-reports. Objective evidence that women genuinely feel more empathy than men is very thin on the ground. This has led to the idea that women report more empathy not because they actually feel it but to conform to societal expectations that they should. However, a new study in Scientific Reports claims to provide evidence that...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 19, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Developmental Gender Social Source Type: blogs

Episode 25: How To Change Your Personality
This is Episode 25 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Download here https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/psychcrunch/20210513_PsychCrunch_Ep25.mp3 Are our personalities set in stone, or can we choose to change them? In this bonus episode, Matthew Warren talks to former Research Digest editor Christian Jarrett about his new book Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change. Christian discusses the evidence-based methods you can use to alter your personality, whether you’re an introvert who wants to be...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 18, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Personality Podcast Source Type: blogs

Food Tastes Better If You Look At It Before You Smell It
By Emily Reynolds Smell is often considered to be a particularly evocative sense: if you haven’t yourself been transported back in time by a nostalgic scent then you’ll almost certainly be familiar with the phenomenon via reference to the famous Proustian rush. Scent is also increasingly being used in marketing, with some evidence suggesting that smell can influence consumers’ judgements and decisions. A new study, published in the Journal for Consumer Psychology, takes a closer look at how smell interacts with other senses to influence our perceptions. The team, led by the University of South ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 17, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Eating Smell Source Type: blogs

Moral Panics And Poor Sleep: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web A neural implant has allowed a paralysed individual to type by imagining writing letters. The implant of 200 electrodes in the premotor cortex picks up on the person’s intentions to perform the movements associated with writing a given letter, translating these into a character on a screen. The individual was able to type 90 characters per minute with minimal errors, reports John Timmer at Ars Technica. Robin Dunbar famously estimated that humans are limited to having around 150 friends, due to cognitive restrictions imposed b...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 14, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Stressful Days At Work Leave Us Less Likely To Exercise
By Emily Reynolds After an incredibly stressful day of work, which are you more likely to do: walk several miles home, or get on a bus straight to your door? While the first option certainly comes with increased health benefits — including, potentially, decreased stress — many of us would choose the second anyway. A new study, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, seeks to understand why, even when we know how positive exercise can be, we often fail to be active after work. It could come down to how high-pressure your job is, according to Sascha Abdel Hadi from Justus-Liebig-U...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 13, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Occupational Sport Source Type: blogs

Want To Know Whether A Movie Or Book Will Be A Hit? Look At How Emotional The Reviews Are
By Emma Young You want to choose a new vacuum cleaner, or book, or hotel, or kids’ toy, or movie to watch — so what do you do? No doubt, you go online and check the star ratings for various options on sites such as Amazon or TripAdvisor, and so benefit from the wisdom of crowds. However, there are problems with this star-based system, as a new paper in Nature Human Behaviour makes clear. Firstly, most ratings are positive — so how do you choose between two, or potentially many more, products with high ratings, or even the same top rating? Secondly, star ratings aren’t a great predictor of...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 12, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Media Source Type: blogs

Self-Reflection Can Make You A Better Leader At Work
By Emily Reynolds What does being a good leader mean to you? Having tonnes of charisma? Being intelligent? Encouraging fairness and participation in the workplace? Whatever combination of qualities you value, it’s likely that your vision of good leadership is different from your colleague’s or your manager’s, who themselves will have a highly personal vision of who they want to be at work. A new study from Remy E. Jennings at the University of Florida and colleagues, published in Personnel Psychology, looks closely at this individualised idea of leadership — our “best possible leade...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 11, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: leadership Occupational Source Type: blogs

In English, Round And Spiky Objects Tend To Have “Round” And “Spiky” Sounds
By Emma Young Many of us are familiar with the “bouba/kiki”, or “maluma/takete” effect — that we tend to pair round, blobby shapes with the words “bouba” or “maluma” and spiky shapes with “kiki” or “takete”. These findings hold for speakers of many different languages and ages, and various explanations for the effect have been proposed. But these studies have almost exclusively used made-up words (like these four), note the authors of a new paper in Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, who have found that the effect is also at play in th...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 10, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Language Source Type: blogs

Flags And Phrenology: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web “Grumpy” dogs may be better learners than their more agreeable counterparts, reports James Gorman at The New York Times. Researchers found that grumpier canines were better at learning how to reach an object placed behind a fence by observing a stranger. But other scientists suggest that something more specific than “grumpiness” is responsible for the animals’ superior performance, such as increased aggression, reduced inhibition, or hyperactivity. Adults are more compassionate when children are around....
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 7, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Humans Aren ’t The Only Animals To Experience Jealousy — Dogs Do, Too
By Emily Reynolds Jealousy is a fairly common human emotion — and for a long time, it was presumed it truly was only human. Some have argued that jealousy, with its focus on social threat, requires a concept of “self” and a theory of mind — being jealous of someone flirting with your partner, for example, requires a level of threat (real or imagined) to your relationship. This element of jealousy has been used to argue that animals, without such a sense of self, are therefore unable to experience it. However a new study, published in Psychological Science, suggests this might not be the c...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 6, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Comparative Emotion Source Type: blogs

Mindfulness Can Make Independent-Minded People Less Likely To Help Others
By Emily Reynolds Mindfulness — in basic terms, the practice of being “present” in the moment and paying attention to one’s own thoughts and feelings — has seen something of a boom over the last few years. In the United States, the mindfulness business is set to reach a value of $2 billion by next year, while in the United Kingdom, lockdown saw a spike in downloads for digital meditation offerings such as Headspace and Calm.  But is mindfulness all it’s cracked up to be? While it certainly has its benefits, some argue that it encourages blind acceptance of the status quo,...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 5, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Social The self Source Type: blogs

Here ’s The Best Way To Forgive And Forget
By Emma Young If somebody else has treated you badly, what are the best strategies for overcoming this, and moving on? There has been, of course, an enormous amount of research in this field, in relation to everything from getting over a romantic break-up to coping with the after-effects of civil war. Now a new study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory and Cognition, led by Saima Noreen at De Montfort University, specifically investigates how different types of forgiveness towards an offender can help people who are intentionally trying to forget an unpleasant incident.   As t...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - May 4, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Memory Social Source Type: blogs

Free Will And Facial Expressions: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web It’s not possible to reliably predict the emotions someone is experiencing based just on their facial expressions. And yet tech companies are trying to do just that. At The Atlantic, Kate Crawford explores some of these attempts — and the contested research on which they are based. At Science, Kelly Servick takes a look at attempts to understand and treat the “brain fog” experienced by some COVID-19 survivors. Short sessions of unconscious bias training are unlikely to produce any long-term changes in ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 30, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

People Hold Negative Views About Those Who Believe Life Is Meaningless
By Emily Reynolds “The only absolute knowledge attainable by man is that life is meaningless,” wrote Leo Tolstoy in A Confession, a succinct summing up of the nihilist worldview. Depressing as it may be, nihilism seems to be on the rise, with the importance of finding a meaningful worldview steadily decreasing over the last decade or so. But how do other people view nihilists? This is the question posed by Matthew J. Scott and Adam B. Cohen of Arizona State University in a new paper published in The Journal of Social Psychology. They find that stereotypes of nihilists are overwhelmingly negative &mda...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 29, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Personality Source Type: blogs

Passion Is Linked To Greater Academic Achievement — But In Some Cultures More Than Others
By Emily Reynolds “Passion” is a word that often crops up on job descriptions and in interviews; articles proliferate online explaining how to adequately express your passion to potential employers. On the whole, passionate people — those who have a strong interest in a particular topic, who are confident in themselves and who dedicate themselves to what they’re doing — are thought of in a positive light, and considered likely to achieve their goals. But when it comes to predicting achievement, how important is passion really? According to Xingyu Li from Stanford University and coll...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 28, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cross-cultural Educational Source Type: blogs

Students With ADHD Aren ’t Always Given The Support They Need To Thrive At University
By Emily Reynolds Doing well in educational settings can have huge advantages — better job prospects, higher wages, greater life satisfaction and more. Achievement at university isn’t always to do with how hard you work or how intelligent you are, however — first generation university students are more at risk of impostor syndrome, for example, reducing their engagement in class, their attendance, and their overall performance. And for those with extra needs, university can offer all kinds of extra challenges, as a new study in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology makes cle...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 27, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: ADHD Educational Source Type: blogs

How Much Do You Want To Exercise Right Now? Researchers Are Studying People ’s In-The-Moment Motivation To Be Active
By Emma Young Think back to the last time that you did some exercise. What exactly prompted you to get up and do it? Was it because it was scheduled? Or because you felt a strong urge to engage in some physical activity (or maybe a bit of both)? Traditionally, researchers have explored a person’s general disposition to exercise, and looked at strategies to increase their exercise levels over a week, a month, or longer. However, a team led by Matt Stults-Kolehmainen at Yale University, Yale-New Haven Hospital and Columbia University argues in new work in Frontiers in Psychology that it’s also crucial ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 26, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Sport Source Type: blogs

Talking Dogs And Ending Conversations: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web A recent study has found that about two-thirds of conversations don’t end when we want them to. Researchers who monitored over 900 conversations found that most people wanted them to finish sooner, though a minority wanted them to continue for longer. This was true whether participants were talking to someone they had just met or a loved one, Adam Mastroianni tells Sean Illing at Vox. How is lockdown affecting the way people grieve? Dean Burnett looks at the science, and his own personal experience, at New Scientist. Ye...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 23, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Resolving Arguments Can Prevent Bad Feelings From Lingering — And We Get Better At It As We Age
By Emily Reynolds “Don’t go to bed on an argument” is an adage we’ve all heard and, at some point, probably ignored. Hackneyed as it is, the phrase does have some truth: resolving arguments, rather than letting them simmer away, can make us feel calmer and happier the next day (and also makes it easier to actually get to sleep). Now a new study from Oregon State University’s Dakota D. Witzel and Robert S. Stawski has looked at the benefits of resolving arguments — and the team finds that not only can resolution almost erase the emotional stress associated with a big argument a...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 22, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Social Source Type: blogs

Unmet Sexual Needs Can Leave People Less Satisfied With Their Relationship — But Having A Responsive Partner Mitigates This Effect
This study suggests that people hold ideals about their sexual relationship — and when these ideals are not met, there are negative consequences. However, again, the data suggested that having a sexually communal partner mitigated this. In a final experimental study, the team found that participants who’d been led to believe that their sexual ideals were not being met reported lower levels of both types of satisfaction only if they rated their partner as low for sexual communal strength, but not if this score was high.  People with sexually communal partners may not feel that their sexual ideals are bei...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 21, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Sex Social Source Type: blogs

Describing Groups To Children Using Generic Language Can Accidentally Teach Them Social Stereotypes
By Matthew Warren When we talk to children about the characteristics of boys and girls, our word choice and syntax can profoundly shape what they take away from the conversation. Even attempts to dispel stereotypes can backfire: as we recently reported, telling kids that girls are “as good as” boys at maths can actually leave them believing that boys are naturally better at the subject and that girls have to work harder. Other work has shown that “generic” language can also perpetuate stereotypes: saying that boys “like to play football”, for instance, can make children believ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 20, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Developmental Gender Language Source Type: blogs

Opinions Based On Feelings Are Surprisingly Stable
By Emily Reynolds Emotional states can be fleeting and somewhat inexplicable — you can feel great one minute and down in the dumps the next, sometimes for no apparent reason. It follows, then, that opinions based on emotion are likely to be equally fleeting: if you’re in a bad mood when you take part in a survey or review a product, then surely the attitudes measured and recorded will be just as transient too. But according to a series of studies by Matthew D. Rocklage from the University of Massachusetts Boston and Andrew Luttrell from Ball State University, this isn’t actually the case. Inste...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 19, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Source Type: blogs

Hand Gestures And Sexist Language: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web It’s wrong to say that introverts have fared better during the pandemic, writes Lis Ku at The Conversation. Instead, studies have shown that in many ways introverts’ wellbeing has suffered more than that of extraverts. This could be because extraverts may have more social support, for instance, or because extraversion is related to superior coping strategies — although Ku emphasises that there are likely many other traits, beliefs and values that are also important in determining people’s response to lockdown. ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 16, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Good Time Management Seems To Have A Bigger Impact On Wellbeing Than Work Performance
By Emily Reynolds As our lives have become busier, desire to do things quickly and efficiently has grown — something the rise of speed reading apps, lack of break-taking at work, and a general focus on “productivity” has shown. Good time management skills, therefore, are now highly prized both at work and at home. But do such techniques actually work? In a meta-analysis published in PLOS One, Brad Aeon from Concordia University and colleagues find that they do — but perhaps not for the reasons you’d expect. While time management skills have become more important in evaluations of jo...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 15, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Mental health Occupational Time Source Type: blogs

People Who Identify With Humanity As A Whole Are More Likely To Say They ’d Follow Pandemic Guidelines And Help Others
By Emily Reynolds The ever-changing public health measures rolled out during the coronavirus pandemic haven’t always been crystal clear. But several instructions have remained the same throughout: wear a mask, wash your hands, and stay two metres apart. Despite the strength and frequency of this messaging, however, the public hasn’t always complied. Though the exact reason for this non-compliance is clearly complex, researchers from the University of Washington have proposed one factor that could influence people’s behaviour: the extent to which they identify with other human beings. Writing in...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 14, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Coronavirus Health Social Source Type: blogs

Episode 24: How Children Learn Through Play
This is Episode 24 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Download here. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/psychcrunch/20210408_PsychCrunch_Ep24_Mx1.mp3 What role does play have in child development? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith talks to some top play researchers to find out how children learn new skills and concepts through play, and explores what teachers and parents can do to encourage this kind of learning. Ginny also discovers how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way kids play and l...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 13, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Developmental Educational Podcast Source Type: blogs

We ’re Worse At Remembering Exactly What We’ve Given To Friends Than What We’ve Given To Strangers
By Emma Young Let’s say a friend asks you to help them to move house. When deciding how much time you can offer, you might consider how much you’ve helped that particular friend lately (and perhaps how much they’ve helped you). But a new paper in Social Psychology suggests that if that friend is particularly close, you’re likely to have a poorer memory of just how much time you’ve dedicated to helping them. You might offer more help than you would to an acquaintance not just because this friend is closer, but because your brain’s distinction between a close friend and yourself is...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 12, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Memory Social Source Type: blogs

Spotting Liars And Fixing Things: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web You might have heard of the “Mozart effect”, the idea that playing babies classical music can boost their intelligence. But is there any truth to that claim? In a word, no — but check out this nice video from Claudia Hammond at BBC Reel to learn more about where the myth came from. Studies have found that both male and female observers — including healthcare professionals — underestimate the amount of pain that women are experiencing. We may overestimate men’s pain as well, and there’s some ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 9, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

We Have A Strong Urge To Find Out What Might Have Been — Even When This Leads To Feelings Of Regret
By guest blogger Anna Greenburgh Regret seems to be a fundamental part of the human experience. As James Baldwin wrote, “Though we would like to live without regrets, and sometimes proudly insist that we have none, this is not really possible, if only because we are mortal.” Expressions of regret are easy to find throughout the history of thought, and, as indicated in the Old Testament, intrinsic to regret is a sense of emotional pain: “God regretted making humans on earth; God’s heart was saddened”. Given the aversive experience of regret, traditional models of decision-making predict ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 8, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Emotion Source Type: blogs

When People Hold Morally-Based Attitudes, Two-Sided Messages Can Encourage Them To Consider Opposing Viewpoints
By Emma Young Where do you stand on pheasant shooting? Or single-religion schools? Or abortion? However you feel, your attitudes probably have a strong moral basis. This makes them especially resistant to change. And since anyone who holds an opposing view, based on their own moral stance, is unlikely to be easily swayed by your arguments, these kinds of disputes tend to lead to blow-outs within families and workplaces, as well, of course, as online. So, anything that can encourage people to be more open to at least thinking about an alternative point of view could be helpful, reasoned Mengran Xu and Richard E. ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 7, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Morality Source Type: blogs

Bullying Between “Frenemies” Is Surprisingly Common
By Emily Reynolds We already know that bullying can be one way of climbing the social ladder for teenagers. Research published in 2019, for instance, found that teenagers who combine aggressive behaviour with prosociality see the most social success. But who, exactly, are teenagers bullying? According to Robert Faris from the University of California, Davis and colleagues, writing in the American Journal of Sociology, it might not be who you’d expect. Rather than bullying those more distant from them, the team finds, teens often pick on their own friends. Data came from a longitudinal study of middl...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 6, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: bullying Developmental Social Source Type: blogs

We Have Many More Than Five Senses — Here’s How To Make The Most Of Them
By Emma Young We’re all familiar with the phrase “healthy body, healthy mind”. But this doesn’t just refer to physical fitness and muscle strength: for a healthy mind, we need healthy senses, too. Fortunately, there’s now a wealth of evidence that we can train our many senses, to improve not only how we use our bodies, but how we think and behave, as well as how we feel. Trapped as we are in our own “perceptual bubbles”, it can be hard to appreciate not only that other people sense things differently — but that so can we, if we only put in a little effort. But if w...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - April 1, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Feature Perception Smell Source Type: blogs

Companies ’ Succession Announcements Can Inadvertently Make Work Life Harder For Incoming Female CEOs
By Emma Young When an organisation appoints a new male CEO, the announcement will typically highlight his past achievements and the competencies that make him ideal for the job. What if the new CEO is a woman? The widely expected, gender-neutral thing to do is, of course, to make precisely the same type of announcement. However, according to the team behind a new paper in the Journal of Applied Psychology, this can make work life more difficult for her, and shorten the time that she spends in that role. Priyanka Dwiwedi at Texas A&M University and her colleagues base this striking conclusion on an extensive ana...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - March 31, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Gender Occupational Source Type: blogs

People With Depression Show Hints Of Distorted Thinking In The Language They Use On Social Media
By Emily Reynolds A key facet of cognitive behavioural therapy is challenging “cognitive distortions”, inaccurate thought patterns that often affect those with depression. Such distortions could include jumping to conclusions, catastrophising, black and white thinking, or self-blame — and can cause sincere distress to those experiencing them. But how do we track cognitive distortion in those with depression outside of self-reporting? A new study, published in Nature Human Behaviour, explores cognitive distortions online, finding that those with depression have higher levels of distortion in the...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - March 30, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Mental health Twitter Source Type: blogs

Frequent Workplace Interruptions Are Annoying — But May Also Help You Feel That You Belong
By Emma Young Workplace disturbances during the Covid-19 pandemic aren’t quite what they used to be. Now you’re more likely to be interrupted by a cat jumping on your keyboard or a partner trying to make a cup of tea while you’re in a meeting — but if you can cast your mind back to what it was like to work in an office, perhaps you can recall how annoying it was to be disturbed by colleagues dropping by with questions or comments. These “workplace intrusions” used to be common in offices, and no doubt will be again. There’s certainly plenty of evidence that they interfere w...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - March 29, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Occupational Social Source Type: blogs

Cuteness And Self-Compassion: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web Like humans, octopuses have both an active and quiet stage of sleep, reports Rodrigo Pérez Ortega at Science. Researchers found that for 30-40 minutes of sleep the creatures are fairly still with pale skin, but for about 40 seconds their skin turns darker and they move their eyes and body. In humans, dreaming happens in the active, REM stage, but scientists still don’t know whether the octopuses also dream during their active sleep. During the pandemic we haven’t only missed out on socialising — we’ve ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - March 26, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs