Episode 23: Whose Psychology Is It Anyway? Making Psychological Research More Representative
This is Episode 23 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest. Download here. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/psychcrunch/PsychCrunch_Ep23.mp3 In this episode, Emily Reynolds, staff writer at Research Digest, explores modern psychology’s relationship with race and representation. It’s well-known that psychology has a generalisability problem, with studies overwhelmingly using so-called “WEIRD” participants: those who are Western and educated and from industrialised, rich and democratic societies. But how does that shape the ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - January 21, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cross-cultural Methods Podcast Source Type: blogs

Here ’s How Personality Changes In Young Adulthood Can Lead To Greater Career Satisfaction
By Emily Reynolds Personality traits were once thought to be fairly stable. But recent research has suggested that our personality can alter over time — whether that’s due to ageing or because we decide to change our traits ourselves. And as personality is linked to our behaviour, it follows that we might see different life outcomes as our personality shifts or grows. In a new study in Psychological Science, Kevin A. Hoff and team look at the personality changes of teenagers as they move into adulthood. And they find that certain shifts in personality can result in real-world benefits during the earl...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - January 20, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Developmental Occupational Personality Source Type: blogs

How To Be A Good Negotiator, According To Psychology
In this study, two people did the negotiating. But what if you used an Artificial Intelligence agent to do your negotiating — a task that AI agents, or bots, are tipped to take over? This does affect our negotiation strategies, according to a recent study in the US. Among other things, the team found that less experienced negotiators are more likely to be deceitful if they assign an AI agent to do their dirty work for them. What about negotiating at home? If you don’t like a job offer, or a bid for your house, you don’t have to take it. But if you’re in a relationship, and want to stay in it, ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - January 19, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Feature Occupational Social Source Type: blogs

Revisiting The “Brain Drain” Effect: Having A Phone On The Desk Doesn’t Always Impair Our Memory
By Emma Young We all know that using a smartphone interferes with our ability to focus on other things — like driving. But in 2017, a surprising result made international headlines: the mere presence of a switched off smartphone on the desk can impair working memory. Now a new study in Consciousness and Cognition, which has partially replicated and extended this investigation, has not found evidence to support the “brain drain” effect. However, the researchers, led by Matthias Hartmann at University of Bern, Switzerland, say that we shouldn’t start putting our phones back on our desks just y...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - January 18, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Memory Technology Source Type: blogs

Our Ten Most Popular Posts Of 2020
This study has been all over the papers this month — but we first covered it way back in June. I suspect that many people’s coffee consumption has shot through the roof during the pandemic (I know mine has), so it’s perhaps not surprising that this was one of our most read pieces of the year.  9) Here’s How Our Personality Changes As We Age Personality was once believed to be stable, changing very little after the age of 30 or so. But recent work shows that our personalities actually shift throughout our lives. This study examined how the “Big Five” personality traits of t...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 22, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Announcements Source Type: blogs

“Psychological Flexibility” May Be Key To Good Relationships Between Couples And Within Families
By Emma Young What makes for a happy family? The answer — whether you’re talking about a couple or a family with kids — is psychological “flexibility”, according to a new paper in the Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science. Based on a meta-analysis of 174 separate studies, Jennifer S. Daks and Ronald Rogge at the University of Rochester conclude that flexibility helps — and inflexibility hinders — our most important relationships. The pair analysed data from 203 separate samples, comprising almost 44,000 participants in total. They homed in on measures of psycholog...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 21, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Social Source Type: blogs

Film Soundtracks Shape Our Impressions Of A Character ’s Personality And Thoughts
By Emma Young If you sit down to watch TV or a film these holidays, you might want to pay a little extra attention to how the soundtrack makes you feel. We all know that background music influences the tone of a scene but what, exactly, soundtracks do to our understanding of a character has not been studied in detail. In a new paper, in Frontiers in Psychology, Alessandro Ansani at Roma Tre University, Italy, and colleagues report work aimed at filling in some of the gaps. The team recruited 118 online participants who each watched a video clip that was just under two minutes long. It showed a man slowly wal...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 17, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Media Music Social Source Type: blogs

People Take Better Care Of Public Parks If They Feel A Greater Sense Of Ownership Over Them
By Emily Reynolds The “tragedy of the commons” was popularised in the 1960s as a way of explaining how public or shared resources which we’re incentivised to use can become depleted or ruined by individual self-interest. And because we have shared ownership of public resources we feel we have less responsibility for them and therefore less of an impetus to contribute time, energy or money to keeping them going. As we become more aware (and more concerned) about threats to the environment, the tragedy of the commons seems even more pertinent. How do we keep parks, rivers, lakes and other local r...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 16, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: environmental Source Type: blogs

How Many Different Positive Emotions Do We Experience?
By Emma Young Awe, compassion, love, gratitude… research papers and media stories about these emotions abound. Indeed, the past decade has seen an explosion in work on positive emotions — essentially, emotions that involve pleasant rather than unpleasant feelings. However, very little has been done to explore which distinct feelings, thoughts and motivations characterise each one, argue Aaron Weidman and Jessica Tracy at the University of British Columbia. In a new paper in Emotion, they report their detailed investigation into these subjective experiences — an investigation that has led them to ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 15, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Positive psychology Source Type: blogs

Here ’s How Parents’ Reactions To School Performance Influence Their Children’s Wellbeing
By Emma Young What do you do if your child comes home with a lower score on a test than you both expected? Do you praise their efforts and focus on what they got right? Or do you home in on the answers that they got wrong, hoping this will help them to do better in future? Research shows that the first, “success-oriented” response is more common in the US than in China, where parents more often opt for “failure-oriented” responses instead. Recent studies in both countries have found that success-oriented responses tend to encourage psychological wellbeing but not necessarily academic succ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 14, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cross-cultural Developmental Social Source Type: blogs

Gloomy Evenings And Dark Traits: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web Psychology is arguably the poster child for the replication crisis, but other fields suffer from similar issues too. At Science, Cathleen O’Grady examines the efforts by ecologists to tackle their own field’s reproducibility problems, and how they are learning from the experience of psychologists. Researchers have created a safer version of the psychoactive drug ibogaine, and it seems to improve behaviours associated with addiction and depression in rats. Past work had suggested that ibogaine may help treat drug addictio...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 11, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Liberal Americans ’ Distress At 2016 Election Result Shouldn’t Be Labelled “Depression”, Study Argues
Photo: Supporters of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton react during election night 2016. Kena Betancur/AFP via Getty Images By Emily Reynolds Anyone who’s been invested in an election result will understand the close relationship between politics and emotion — something that is perhaps even more affecting when that result is disappointing. After the 2016 presidential election, for example, articles appeared in the US press describing a “national nervous breakdown” and offering tips to deal with so-called “political depression”, and empirical studies indicated tha...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 10, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Mental health Political Source Type: blogs

Why Are We Better At Remembering Vocal Melodies Than Instrumental Tunes?
By Matthew Warren When it comes to memory for music, humans show an interesting quirk: we’re better at remembering melodies that are sung by voice, compared to those played on an instrument. Even a melody sung without any lyrics — just a series of la la las, for instance — becomes lodged in our memory in a way that a tune played on the piano, say, does not. Now a new study published in Cognition has looked into why our memory is so much better for sung melodies. Researchers have suggested that listening to a voice singing a melody leads us to perform “subvocalisations” — i...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 9, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Memory Music Source Type: blogs

Mediation May Help Couples Resolve Conflicts Better Than One-On-One Discussion
By Emily Reynolds No matter how much you love your partner, there are always going to be things about them that get on your nerves. These can be fairly superficial — not liking the way they fold the laundry, for example, or hating their favourite TV show. Other problems can be more serious — fundamental failures to communicate or disagreements on big decisions like having children. There’s also evidence that we continue to repeat these patterns in new relationships, even when we hope to see a change. But while all couples argue, they don’t all do it in the same way. Techniques for managin...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 8, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Dating Sex Source Type: blogs

Narcissism Can Have Both A Positive And Negative Impact On New Mothers ’ Wellbeing, Longitudinal Study Finds
By Emma Young What happens to a narcissistic woman when she becomes a mother? Can someone with an unmet desire for attention, love and recognition — which characterises all narcissists — adapt well to having a baby to care for? The answer, according to a new study in Personality Disorders: Theory, Research and Treatment, is that it really depends what type of narcissist the mother is. And even, then, the conclusions were based on self-reports, which should probably be received with caution. Narcissism is generally thought to come in two types. Grandiose narcissists crave admiration, lack emp...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 7, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Mental health Personality Source Type: blogs

Lie Detection And Conspiracy Theories: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web An interview technique known as “Asymmetric Information Management” provides a pretty effective way to spot liars, writes researcher Cody Porter at The Conversation. The method basically involves explaining to the interviewee that it will be easier to figure out if they are lying or telling the truth if they provide longer, more detailed statements, Porter explains. Liars will tend to withhold information to try and hide their lie, while truth-tellers will provide detailed information as requested. Earlier this year, a G...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 4, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Adults Who Experienced More Positive Emotions Had Less Memory Decline Over The Next Decade
By Emily Reynolds A huge variety of factors are related to memory, from mood to personality to what substances have been consumed. One recent study, for example, found that older adults with higher openness to experience also experienced fewer cognitive complaints each day; other work has found a relationship between self-reported memory and traits including neuroticism and extraversion. Now, in a study published in Psychological Science, Emily F. Hittner from Northwestern University and team have looked at the relationship between memory and positive affect — the experience of pleasant emotional states li...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 3, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Memory Source Type: blogs

Coping With Remote Working During Covid-19: The Latest Research, Digested
By Emma Young Covid-19 has changed our working lives, perhaps for good. Home-working is now common, and many of us have been doing it for months. With changing rules and guidelines, some of us have even gone from home-working to socially distanced office-working, to working back at home again. So what do we know about how these changes are affecting our mental health — and what can we do to make our new working lives better? How are we feeling? In January 2019 (pre-Covid-19), 35% of UK employees surveyed for the CIPD (a professional human resources body) reported that work had a positive impact on t...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 2, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Coronavirus Feature Mental health Occupational Source Type: blogs

Grimacing Or Smiling Can Make An Injection Feel Less Painful
By Emma Young If you’re preparing to receive a flu vaccine — or even a COVID-19 vaccine — this winter, you’ll be interested in the results of a new study that investigates whether it’s better to smile or grimace your way through the pain of an injection. The idea that manipulating our facial expressions can affect our emotions has a long and storied history. There are many advocates of this “facial feedback hypothesis”, and many critics, too. Indeed, one of the classic findings in the field — that people find cartoons funnier if they hold a pen between their teeth,...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - December 1, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Faces Source Type: blogs

Our Feelings Towards People Expressing Empathy Depend On Who They ’re Empathising With
By Emily Reynolds We tend to think of empathy as a wholly positive thing, a trait that’s not only favourable to possess but that we should actively foster. Books and courses promise to reveal secret wells of empathy and ways to channel them; some people even charge for “empathy readings”, a service that seems to sit somewhere between a psychic reading and a therapy session. It would be easy to assume, therefore, that people who express empathy are generally well-liked. But a new study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology finds that our feelings towards “empathisers” d...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 26, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Morality Social Source Type: blogs

We Are Less Likely To Dehumanise Prisoners Who Are Approaching The End Of Their Sentence
By Emma Young Criminals are often characterised in the popular press as “animals” or “cold-blooded”. Such adjectives effectively dehumanise them, and there’s no end of research finding that if we deny fully human emotional and thinking capacities to other people, we are less likely to treat them in a humane way. But how long does prisoner dehumanisation last? Is it a life sentence? Or, wondered the authors of a new paper, published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, does it depend on how long a prisoner has left to serve? Jason C. Deska at Ryerson University in Canad...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 25, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Forensic Morality Source Type: blogs

Here ’s How The Brain Responds When We Feel Our Parents’ Joy
By Emma Young You scrape off the panels on a lottery scratch card… and you’re a winner! Brain imaging would show a burst of activity in a region called the nucleus accumbens, in the ventral striatum, a region known to code the impact of reward-related stimuli, such as getting money. But how the brain handles so-called vicarious joy — the type you might feel if you scraped winning panels from a relative’s scratch card, or even a stranger’s — is not well understood. Now a new study, published in Cognitive, Affective & Behavioural Neuroscience, shows that while there are simila...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 24, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Brain Emotion Source Type: blogs

People Are More Positive About Hacking When They Feel They ’ve Been Treated Unfairly
By Emily Reynolds Type the word “hacker” into any stock photo search engine and you’ll be greeted with pages and pages of images of someone sitting in the dark, typing threateningly at their laptop, and more often than not wearing a balaclava or Guy Fawkes mask. That Matrix-inspired 1990s aesthetic of green code on black is still prevalent — and still implies that hackers have inherently nefarious ends. More recently, however, the idea of hacking as a prosocial activity has gained more attention. Earlier this year, one group of hackers made headlines for donating $10,000 in Bitcoin to two...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 19, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Anger Morality Technology Source Type: blogs

Study Finds People Who Played Video Games For Longer Had Greater Wellbeing (But Direction Of Causality Isn ’t Yet Clear)
Photo: A user plays Animal Crossing, one of the games studied in the new research. William West/AFP via Getty Images By Matthew Warren Video games get blamed for a lot. There are long-standing debates about whether violence in video games leads to real-world aggression, or whether video game “addiction” is something we should worry about. And some people have broader fears that more time spent on screens negatively affects our mental health and wellbeing. However, an increasing number of studies have failed to find much evidence to back up these kinds of concerns. But the field suffers from some p...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 18, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Media Source Type: blogs

Babies Relax When Listening To Unfamiliar Lullabies From Other Cultures
By Emma Young The controversial idea that there are universals in the ways we use music received a boost in 2018, with the finding that people from 60 different countries were pretty good at judging whether a totally unfamiliar piece of music from another culture was intended to soothe a baby or to be danced to. Now, new research involving some of the same team has revealed that foreign lullabies that babies have never heard before work to relax them.  Constance M. Bainbridge and Mila Bertolo from Harvard University led the new study, published in Nature Human Behaviour, on 144 babies with an average ag...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 17, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Babies Cross-cultural Developmental Music Source Type: blogs

Climate Change Appeals May Be More Effective When They ’re Pessimistic
By Emily Reynolds There’s no getting around the fact that climate change is an existential crisis of the highest order — but how best to communicate that threat is unclear. Too much pessimism and people become paralysed with anxiety, pushing thoughts about the crisis away altogether. Too much optimism, on the other hand, can lead to complacency — if things are going to be okay, why would we feel the need to engage with what’s going on? It’s this tension that Brandi S. Morris and colleagues from Aarhus University explore in a new study, published in Humanities and Social Sciences Com...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 16, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: environmental Language Source Type: blogs

Spite And Forgiveness: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web A recent study finds political differences in how much stock people put in expert evidence versus personal experience. Liberals tend to see evidence from experts as more legitimate, while conservatives place more equal value on both, write the researchers Randy Stein, Alexander Swan and Michelle Sarraf at The Conversation.  This was true even though the scenarios in the study were completely apolitical, the team adds, suggesting that the findings pick up on fundamental differences in worldview between the two camps. Spitefulnes...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 13, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Not Too Scary, Not Too Tame: Horror Experiences Need To Hit A “Sweet Spot” To Be Enjoyable
By Matthew Warren You’re walking through a dark, dingy house. Floorboards creak and you think you hear something moving in the shadows. Suddenly, an engine revs and a blood-splattered man wearing a pig’s head lunges towards you with a chainsaw. You scream and run away. Terrifying, perhaps — but it also sounds kind of fun, right? We generally think of fear as a negative emotion — something that signals danger and which is unpleasant to experience. Yet so many of us seek out situations that make us scared: haunted fairground rides, scary video games, and horror movies and novels. And now r...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 12, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Source Type: blogs

Our Brains Have Two Distinct “Beauty Centres”: One For Art And One For Faces
By Emma Young Audrey Hepburn’s face and Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris. Darcy Bussell dancing the role of Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty and The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. All of these things, and more, are widely regarded as looking beautiful. Do we have, then, a “beauty centre” in the brain that responds to something that we find visually beautiful, no matter what it is? For almost two decades, psychologists and neuroscientists have been exploring this question, without reaching a consensus. Now a new meta-analysis of existing fMRI studies on almost 1,000 people concludes that no, our ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 11, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Aesthetics Brain Source Type: blogs

Being More Authentic On Social Media Could Improve Your Wellbeing
By Emily Reynolds It’s become somewhat of a truism that you shouldn’t believe everything you see on social media. Where someone’s life looks perfect, we’re often reminded, there are probably a handful of problems silently situated away from the camera. Nobody’s life is as shiny, flawless, or enviable as it might appear in their carefully curated feed. But presenting ourselves more authentically on social media — ditching those things we want to believe are true about ourselves in favour of those that are — could be good for our wellbeing, according to a new paper in Natu...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 10, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Facebook Social Source Type: blogs

Narcissistic People Are More Likely To Take Part In Political Activities
By Emily Reynolds There’s likely to be a diverse set of factors driving any given person’s interest in politics. It could be that their parents had a political affiliation they’ve subsequently inherited; they may have had a personal experience that changed how they see the world; politics could provide a social life or community connections; they might consider political action a civic duty; or they might just be passionate about a particular issue. According to a recent paper in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, there may be another motivation, too — namely narcissism. The...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 9, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Personality Political Source Type: blogs

Failed Nudges And A Digital Christmas: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web Christmas is likely to be very different this year, with many family reunions potentially taking place remotely. But why do we struggle so much with the idea of a “digital Christmas”?  David Robson takes a look at what the psychology has to say at The Observer. Many efforts to “nudge” people’s behaviour don’t work — but as we’ve written before, it’s important that even failed attempts are published so that we can learn from them. Now a new study has found that these failed i...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 6, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Children Can Acquire Fear Vicariously, By Watching Their Parents ’ Reactions
By Emma Young How do children learn to fear things that aren’t obviously scary, but that do pose a threat — to learn, say, that touching the base of a lit barbecue is a very bad idea, so should never be done? A parent might explain that it’s dangerously hot. But as a new paper published in Scientific Reports explores in detail, we also benefit from another more direct, wordless method of learning about threats. Or rather, we may typically benefit from it — but, Marie-France Marin at the University of Quebec and her colleagues argue, it might also help to explain how anxiety disorders are tra...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 5, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Developmental Emotion Source Type: blogs

Five Strange Facts About Dreams
By Emma Young The latest episode of our PsychCrunch podcast explores the blurry boundaries between wakefulness and dreaming. Presenter Ella Rhodes examines that strange transition period between being awake and falling asleep known as hypnagogia. She also learns about maladaptive daydreaming, a condition in which people can lose themselves in their daydreams for hours at a time. To coincide with the release of the podcast, we’ve examined five strange findings about dreaming from the psychology literature: 1. Bad dreams are nothing to fear No one likes a bad dream, but they do serve a purpose: res...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 4, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Sleep and dreaming Source Type: blogs

Episode 22: Drifting Minds — Maladaptive Daydreaming And The Hypnagogic State
This is Episode 22 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Download here. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/psychcrunch/PsychCrunchEp22.mp3 In this episode, Ella Rhodes, journalist for The Psychologist, explores the boundaries between wakefulness and dreaming. What can we can learn about consciousness from the strange transition period between being awake and asleep, known as hypnagogia? And why do some people experience visions and imaginings that take them away for hours at a time? Our guests, in order...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 3, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Podcast Sleep and dreaming Source Type: blogs

People Use Jargon To Make Up For Their Low Standing In A Group
By Matthew Warren Why do business people promise to “reach out to KOLs” when they could simply say that they will contact leading experts? How come judges sometimes remark that they will hear trials “in-camera” instead of just “in private”? As infuriating as it can be, jargon actually performs a social function. By definition, jargon refers to language used by a particular group of people, in the place of more accessible words and phrases. And although that can make it frustrating and confusing for people not in that group, if you are a member then it can help signal to others...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - November 2, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Language Social Source Type: blogs

Clock Changes And Mini-Brains: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web In the UK, the clocks went back last weekend and we’re now faced with dark, gloomy evenings. But around the world, many countries have decided that the time has come to abolish clock changes. And there are good reasons for doing so, Beth Malow tells Diana Kwon at Scientific American: changing the clocks throws our circadian rhythms out, which can affect our sleep and stress response People who generally do more “media multitasking” — using social media while watching TV, for instance — showed more lapse...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 30, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Men Who Sleep Less Are Seen As More Masculine: A Stereotype With Potentially Damaging Consequences
By Emily Reynolds There are some curious cultural ideas around sleep, namely that there’s something virtuous or impressive about not getting very much of it. “Burnout” is often shorthand for success: if you’re successful it follows that you’re also pretty busy, in which case you’re less likely to get enough sleep. Margaret Thatcher famously boasted that she only needed to sleep four hours a night, as has Donald Trump — though whether that bolsters or damages the prestige associated with sleepless nights probably depends on your politics. There may also be links between s...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 29, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Gender Sleep and dreaming Source Type: blogs

We ’re More Willing To Use Deceptive Tactics When A Bot Does The Negotiating
In this study, each participant in fact went up against a bot, rather than a human player.  The bots had one of four different negotiating profiles: nice plus competitive, nice plus consensus-building, nasty plus competitive and nasty plus consensus-building. None, however, used any deceptive tactics. At the end of the negotiation, the participants filled out the ANTI again, to indicate how they would behave next time. The team found that whether the agent was nice or nasty didn’t change the ANTI ratings. However, while interacting with a competitive “tough” agent increased endorsement of deceptiv...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 27, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Lying Social Technology Source Type: blogs

When People Are Better Able To Rely On Their Own Resources, Group Cooperation Breaks Down
By Matthew Warren Imagine that you live in a village which is threatened with rising sea levels. If you don’t do anything, your home is going to be flooded. You could pool your resources together with other villagers and build a large dam around the entire village to ensure that everyone’s property is safe. Or, if you have enough resources yourself, you could build a smaller dam around your own house, protecting your property — and leaving everyone else to either do the same or try and co-operate without you. Human societies constantly face similar choices between public and private solutions t...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 26, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Money Social Source Type: blogs

Chummy Chimps And Linguistic Legends: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web You’ve probably heard tales of people who are suddenly able to speak a language they didn’t know while hypnotised. It goes without saying that the evidence doesn’t really support these claims — but it’s interesting that linguistics seems to attract this sort of pseudoscientific idea. At Knowable Magazine, Charles Q. Choi discusses “fantastic linguistics” with historical linguist Sarah Thomason.   Neuroscientists are increasingly recognising the influence of our internal states, such as he...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 23, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

Viewing Images Of Injuries Can Enhance People ’s Sadistic Tendencies
By Emily Reynolds Psychologists have long discussed the idea that there exists a set of “dark” personality traits alongside the more benign Big Five — so much so, in fact, that one team of researchers argued that too much time had been spent pondering the darker side of human nature and that a “Light Triad” was needed to counteract it. There is also debate around whether such traits — psychopathy, narcissism, Machiavellianism and sadism — are stable, or whether they can be induced. The most famous exploration of the question is almost certainly Zimbardo’s Prison Ex...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 22, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Personality Source Type: blogs

People From Japan May Be Less Prone Than Americans To Some Of The Harmful Health-Related Effects Of Negative Emotions
By Emma Young What’s your view on feelings of sadness, nervousness or hopelessness? Are they harmful emotions that we should strive to avoid feeling — an opinion that is widely held in the West? Or is natural, even helpful, to feel them from time to time — a perspective commonly found in Japan? Previous studies have found that cultural attitudes to our emotions affect our health. In Japan, for example, greater reported happiness isn’t associated with better health, in contrast to findings from the US. Also, regular experience of high-energy, high-arousal states is associated with better h...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 21, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cross-cultural Emotion Health Source Type: blogs

After Cheating On A Test, People Claim To Have Known The Answers Anyway
By Emily Reynolds Cheating is common, ranging from benign instances like looking up an answer on your phone during a pub quiz, to the fairly major, such as using a series of coughs to fraudulently bag yourself a million pounds on a popular TV game show. But wherever we fall on that scale, research suggests, we’re still likely to think of ourselves as honest and trustworthy. There’s something of a tension here — we’re seemingly both prone to cheating and convinced of our own integrity. Matthew L. Stanley and colleagues from Duke University have one explanation for this apparent contra...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 20, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Morality Source Type: blogs

“Awe Walks” Can Boost Positive Emotions Among Older Adults
By Emma Young After the age of about 75, people tend to feel more anxiety, sadness and loneliness, and less in the way of positive emotion. Strategies to prevent or at least counteract these deteriorations are badly needed, and new research by a team in the US, published in the journal Emotion, has now identified one apparently promising strategy: so-called “awe walks”. As Virginia Strum at the University of California and her colleagues note, awe is a positive emotion felt by people “when they are in the presence of something vast that they cannot immediately understand”. A walk throug...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 19, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Positive psychology Source Type: blogs

Thirsty Mice And Virtual Reality: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web For the first time, researchers have looked at what happens in the brain when people take the psychedelic drug salvinorin A, from the plant salvia divinorum. The team found that the drug disrupts the default mode network, a set of areas that are normally synchronised when we’re not engaged in any particular task, similar to the effects found for the “classical” psychedelic drugs like psilocybin. But the subjective effects of salvinorin A are quite different to the effects of those other drugs, leaving some researchers questio...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 16, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs

A New Take On The Marshmallow Test: Children Wait Longer For A Treat When Their Reputation Is At Stake
 By guest blogger Sofia Deleniv Most people — even the non-psychologists among us — have at some point heard of the legendary marshmallow test, which measures the ability of preschool children to wait for a sweet treat. Researchers have found that the amount of time children are willing to wait for their marshmallow is surprisingly predictive of various life outcomes, such as educational attainment during adolescence, as well as social competence and resilience to stress throughout development. A recent fMRI brain scan study even found that people’s performance as kids is related to their abi...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 15, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Developmental guest blogger Social Source Type: blogs

Visible Reminders Of Inequality Can Raise Support For Taxing The Wealthy
By Emily Reynolds Most of us are aware of the vast inequality that exists in the world — and even if we’re not, exposure to that information can change how we behave. Research has found that we’re more likely to take risks when exposed to inequality and that it can make high-income individuals less likely to be generous. It can also change the way people feel about public policy, as Melissa L. Sands and Daniel de Kadt from the University of California, Merced find in a new study in Nature. They explored real-world inequality in low-income neighbourhoods in South Africa — and found that vi...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 14, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Money Source Type: blogs

How Well Do You Know Yourself? Research On Self-Insight, Digested
By Emma Young “There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.” – Benjamin Franklin, Poor Richard’s Almanac, 1750. Franklin was writing over 250 years ago. Surely we humans have learned strategies since then to aid self-insight — and avoid well-known pitfalls. Most of us are familiar, for example, with the better-than-average effect, the finding that most of us rank ourselves above average at everything from driving ability to desirable personality traits (even though of course we can’t all be right). So armed with this kind of knowledge,...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 13, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Feature The self Source Type: blogs

Leaders Can Feel Licensed To Behave Badly When They Have Morally Upstanding Followers
By Emma Young Countless studies have investigated how a leader’s behaviour influences their followers. There’s been very little work, though, on the reverse: how followers might influence their leaders. Now a new paper, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, helps to plug that gap with an alarming finding: good, morally upstanding followers can create less ethical leaders. M. Ghufran Ahmad at the Lahore University of Management Sciences and colleagues ran a series of studies on participants in an executive training programme at a business school in Pakistan. All were senior or mid-level ma...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 12, 2020 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: leadership Morality Occupational Source Type: blogs