Ruminating About Symptoms Can Maintain Distress In Those With OCD
By Emily Reynolds Rumination is a key feature of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. According to the charity OCD UK, rumination is a “train of prolonged thinking about a question or theme that is undirected and unproductive” — worrying incessantly about a particular issue or question, in other words. Those with OCD may also ruminate on their symptoms themselves: rather than just dwelling on their fears of harming someone or on existential worries, for example, they will also worry about having these thoughts in the first place. It’s this rumination about symptoms that a team of researchers ex...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 26, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Mental health Thought Source Type: blogs

Study Explores Personalities Of People With Adult Separation Anxiety, A “Neglected Clinical Syndrome”
By Emma Young Most parents will be very familiar with the concept of separation anxiety. It’s hardly rare for babies and toddlers to become anxious when separated from a parent. But I have to confess, I hadn’t heard of Adult Separation Anxiety (ASA) until I came across this new paper in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology. For adults, it can manifest as extreme distress at being separated from a partner, or another loved one — even a pet. And it’s thought that 7% of people suffer from it at some point in their lifetimes. Partly because ASA has been so neglected by researchers, Megan Finsaa...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 25, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Mental health Relationships Social Source Type: blogs

Face Stimuli In Psychology Are Often All White. That Needs To Change
By Emma L. Barratt Research into first impressions is a well-established area. Hundreds of studies have been published with the goal of understanding how the subtleties of facial features cue assumptions about those we meet. Often, the stimuli used are tightly controlled, with some sets using faces whose features are digitally manipulated to be larger or smaller by tiny degrees; the effect of miniscule alterations to the wideness of eyes, for example, can be isolated and analysed without changing any other aspect of the face. By eliminating as many extraneous variables as possible, research teams hope to get a read...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 22, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Faces Methods Source Type: blogs

Supportive Male Allies Can Make Male-Dominated Workplaces Less Hostile For Women
By Emily Reynolds Despite much work to counter unequal workforces in science, technology, engineering and maths, stereotypes about who will succeed in science still abound — and some research suggests that these biases can actively put people off certain careers or fields. Other papers find that the competitive nature of STEM courses and roles can be particularly damaging, leading to low feelings of belonging and subsequent low retention rates for minority groups. A new paper looks at the role of men in countering hostile environments — in particular, how men can signal their support and respect for ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 21, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Gender Occupational Source Type: blogs

“Drinking To Cope” Doesn’t Work, Even When We Believe That It Does
By Emma Young Have you ever felt a little anxious or low, and decided that a beer or a glass of wine would help? If so, you’re hardly alone. This exact thought process must play across the country every night of the week. There’s been surprisingly little solid research, though, into whether alcohol does actually relieve these negative feelings. Now new work led by Andrea M Wycoff at the University of Missouri-Columbia, US, concludes that in fact, it does not — and that people who “drink to cope” can even make their symptoms worse. The study involved 110 participants; 58 were fro...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 20, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Alcohol Mental health Source Type: blogs

If You Want To Enjoy Leisure Time, Don ’t Think Of It As Wasteful
By Emily Reynolds However you like to take time for yourself, from reading to hiking to playing video games, leisure time can be a vital way of relaxing, promoting good mental and physical health, boosting social relationships, and inducing happiness. But whether we fully experience those benefits, a new study suggests, may depend on the way we view leisure time itself. The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, explores how the enjoyment of leisure time changes when or if we think of that time as ‘wasteful’. It not only finds that people who believe leisure time is unprod...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 19, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Mental health Source Type: blogs

The “Maybe Favour”: We More Readily Commit To Helping A Stranger If We Might Not Have To Follow Through
By Emma Young Imagine that a neighbour asks for a favour — to help move some garden furniture at the weekend, say. Now imagine that, instead, they explain that they’d lined up a friend to help, but that friend has become ill, and you’ll only be required if they’re not better in time. Rather than a firm favour, this second scenario involves what the authors of a new paper in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied dub a “maybe favour”. And, Michael K. Zurn at the University of Cologne and colleagues report, we are more likely to agree to grant these favours than on...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 18, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Money Social Source Type: blogs

Episode 28: Why Songs Get Stuck In Our Heads
This is Episode 28 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Download here. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/psychcrunch/20210929_PsychCrunchEp28_v2.mp3 Why do some songs get stuck in our heads? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith explores the psychology of earworms. Ginny hears about the possible evolutionary reasons for why we experience the phenomenon, learns what earworms can teach us about memory — and finds out how to get rid of them. Our guests, in order of appearance, are K...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 15, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Music Podcast Source Type: blogs

Episode twenty-eight: Why Songs Get Stuck In Our Heads
This is Episode 28 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Download here. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/psychcrunch/20210929_PsychCrunchEp28_v2.mp3 Why do some songs get stuck in our heads? In this episode, our presenter Ginny Smith explores the psychology of earworms. Ginny hears about the possible evolutionary reasons for why we experience the phenomenon, learns what earworms can teach us about memory — and finds out how to get rid of them. Our guests, in order of appearance, are K...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 15, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Music Podcast Source Type: blogs

Scared Of Spiders? There ’s An App For That
In this study, published in the Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 33 participants (18 diagnosed with arachnophobia) used the Phobys app as recommended. Before and after using the app, they provided responses to several measures of fear: subjective fear ratings when approaching a real spider (a Behavioural Approach Test), the Fear of Spiders Questionnaire (FSQ), and the Spider Phobia Beliefs Questionnaire (SBQ), as well as a measure of disgust. They were also asked to rate how much they felt that their fears had reduced, post-intervention. A further 33 (17 diagnosed with arachnophobia) participants received no intervention, in ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 13, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Technology Source Type: blogs

A Jekyll And Hyde Emotion? Research On Anger, Digested
This study provided evidence of “the important role of anger in the psychological process underlying moral courage,” the team wrote. Of course, a person’s individual moral framework is crucial here, though. If the sight of women venturing outdoors alone or going to work, say, deeply offends you, then your resulting outrage will likely propel you to action, too. Expressing anger can also make you seem more authentic and sincere. At least, this was suggested by a 2021 study of Kickstarter pitch videos. Entrepreneurs are often encouraged to be only positive about their ventures, commented the researchers....
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 12, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Anger Source Type: blogs

We ’re More Likely To Steal From Large Groups Than From Individuals
By Emma L. Barratt We’re all aware of the financial disparity that plagues our economic systems. Many of those at the top of large corporations seem content to exploit large groups of people for their own significant financial gain. Strangely, this is somewhat at odds with previous research in behavioural economics, which tends to find that people are generally quite prosocial, honest, and overall unwilling to steal considerable amounts from others. From results like these, it’s difficult to piece together exactly how we’ve arrived at such levels of financial inequality. Psychologists have f...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 11, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Money Social Source Type: blogs

Only Children Are No More Selfish Than Those With Siblings
By Emma Young Do you think that an only child behaves differently to a kid with siblings? If you do, you’re hardly alone. Stereotypes about only children being spoiled, self-centred “little emperors” abound. In 2019, though, research in Germany concluded that while the idea that only children are more narcissistic is widespread, it’s wrong. Now a team in China has failed to find any evidence for another of the clichés: that only children are more selfish. In a paper in Social Psychology and Personality Science, Xuegang Zheng at Shaanxi Normal University and colleagues first con...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 7, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Developmental Social Source Type: blogs

Language Proficiency Can Determine How Similarly First And Second Languages Are Represented In The Brain
By Emma L. Barratt Researchers widely agree that first and second languages are handled similarly in the brain. According to previous research, proficient bilinguals’ brain activity is broadly quite similar when accessing their first and second languages. However, the literature exploring this until now has relied on imaging methods that can tell us where in the brain there is activity, but not how languages are represented in those areas. Distinct patterns of activation may have differentiated first and second languages in those same regions all this time, and by relying on traditional forms of imaging an...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 6, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Brain Language Source Type: blogs

“Zoom Fatigue” Disproportionately Affects Women And New Hires
By Emily Reynolds Anyone who has worked from home will probably be familiar with the miserable, draining feeling of having spent too much time on Zoom. Such is the pressure of all-day-every-day video calling that some companies have even announced Zoom-free Fridays to give employees a little time away from their screens. The fact that video-calling is tiring, then, will not be news to many of us. But a new study in the Journal of Applied Psychology explores in more detail who is affected the most, finding that both gender and length of time spent within an organisation both impact fatigue. And this suggests that...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 5, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Coronavirus Occupational Source Type: blogs

Rage Over Repetitive Movements? It Could Be Misokinesia
By Emma L. Barratt You may be aware of misophonia — an automatic, intense hatred of certain types of sounds, such as chewing, tapping, and breathing, to name a few. Misophonia entered mainstream awareness relatively recently, but hot on its heels is an extremely similar condition which relates not to sound, but to movement: misokinesia. There are several well-established online support groups for those who relate to having strong negative affective responses to certain types of stimuli — typically small, repetitive movements, such as leg shaking or finger tapping. And, while it appears to be widespre...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 4, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Perception Source Type: blogs

Left-Wing Authoritarianism Is Real And Needs To Be Taken Seriously In Political Psychology, Study Argues
By Emma Young Authoritarianism has been well-studied by psychologists. Well, right-wing authoritarianism has. In fact, as that’s typically the only type that’s studied, you might be forgiven for thinking that’s what authoritarianism is. The very idea of left-wing authoritarianism (LWA) has received not only little academic attention, but a lot of scepticism from psychologists. “I think I have not found any authoritarians on the left because if there ever were any, most of them have dried up and blown away….” wrote Bob Altemeyer, pioneer of work on right-wing authoritarianism, in...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 1, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Political Source Type: blogs

Blind And Sighted People Understand Colour Similarly
This study wonderfully illustrates that blind and sighted people share common knowledge about colour. Though the two groups differ in some domains — particularly when it comes to associative knowledge about the colour of objects (eg. bananas are yellow) — they are largely similar in their understanding of the natural occurrence and application of colours. Blind individuals are able to draw upon deep understandings of how colours function, and make inferences about totally new objects based on their category alone, in a way that closely resembles those with sight. The authors take this data to suggest that th...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 30, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Perception Source Type: blogs

Threat To Identity Stops Harmful Drinkers Recognising Their Alcohol Issues
By Emma L. Barratt Here in the UK, one in five hospital admissions is the result of heavy drinking. Those who drink to the extent of needing medical assistance, as well as those who are caused problems by their own alcohol consumption, are known as harmful drinkers. This group is characterised not only by their high levels of alcohol consumption, but a surprisingly low level of problem recognition. Generally speaking, harmful drinkers are known for being resistant to seeing that they have an issue with drinking, often to avoid being labelled as an alcoholic, which comes with a huge amount of stigma. This phenomenon...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 29, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Alcohol The self Source Type: blogs

There ’s Surprisingly Little Evidence Behind Common Beliefs About The Best Way For Immigrants To Adapt
By Emma Young The world is full of migrants — not only refugees from places like Afghanistan and Syria, but also people who have travelled to study, or to work in another country. In fact, 281 million people live outside their country of birth or citizenship. They face all kinds of challenges, and adapting well to life in a new culture is a critical one. Current thinking holds that what an immigrant does is important for how well they adapt both psychologically and socially. A combination of maintaining one’s own culture while also engaging in the mainstream culture is widely held to be the best stra...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 28, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Social Source Type: blogs

“Liking” Outraged Posts Encourages People To Express More Outrage In The Future
By Emily Reynolds It can be hard to know what’s going to go viral — or even what’s going to get you just a few more likes. For many, however, expressing an outraged opinion on politics has been a good way of garnering interactions, even if it doesn’t always have the intended effect. A new study, published in Science Advances and authored by William Brady and colleagues from Yale University, looks more closely at how outrage spreads on social media. It finds that likes and shares      garnered by outrage act as a reward that “teaches” us to express more...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 27, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Social Twitter Source Type: blogs

Immature Jokes: What Kids ’ Humour Can Tell Us About Their Ability To Empathise
By Emma L. Barratt There’s nothing less funny than explaining a joke. But analysing humour can actually tell us a lot about the development of sympathy and empathy in children. Having a joke land is a complex task which requires an in-depth understanding of both the situation and mental state of the person on the receiving end. One audience, for example, might find a joke hilarious, whereas another might find that same joke wildly offensive. Zeroing in on the appropriate joke, therefore, is likely to require a good amount of empathy. This ability to imagine the thoughts and feelings of your audience is ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 23, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Developmental Social Source Type: blogs

The Pandemic Has Left Us Wanting More Personal Space — Even In Virtual Reality
By Emma L. Barratt The boundaries of personal space aren’t set in stone. They even vary widely from person to person, between cultures, and between environments (for example, we might give strangers a wide berth on the pavement, yet end up shoulder to shoulder on trains). And though it may not feel like it on public transport, personal space is a consideration in everything from the design of buildings to logistics for large events. In 2020, Covid brought a whole new element to the table in terms of our comfort levels around other people. Maintaining a physical distance was one of the few things we could d...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 22, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Coronavirus Source Type: blogs

We Think We ’ve Changed More In The Past Than We Will Change In The Future — And Americans Seem Particularly Susceptible To This Illusion
By Emma Young Think about what you were like 10 years ago. How have you changed, in terms of values, life satisfaction and personality? Now picture yourself 10 years in the future. Do you think you’ll be just as different then as you were a decade in the past? When asked about past vs future change, most people — no matter what their age — report more change over a period of time in the past than they predict for the same period into the future. This “End of History Illusion” has been well-documented, at least, among WEIRD populations. Now Brian W. Haas at the University of Georgia,...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 21, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cross-cultural Illusions Time Source Type: blogs

Domestic Violence Increased During Lockdown In The United States
By Emily Reynolds From the very beginning of the pandemic, activists and charities raised concerns that lockdown could be having an impact on domestic violence. Women’s Aid noted that home is often an unsafe environment for those experiencing abuse, while earlier this year Refuge stated that they’d seen a 60% increase in monthly calls to their National Domestic Abuse helpline. A new study, published in Psychology of Violence, looks at rates of intimate partner violence during the pandemic in the United States. Like data from the UK, it suggests that domestic violence increased during lockdown —...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 15, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Coronavirus Relationships Source Type: blogs

We ’ve Neglected The Role Of “Psychological Richness” When Considering What Makes A Good Life, Study Argues
By Emma Young What is it that makes someone feel that theirs is a “good life”? Of all the ideas put forward over the past few millennia, two are most often extolled and researched today. The first is hedonistic wellbeing, often called simply “happiness”, which is characterised by plenty of positive emotions and general life satisfaction. The other is “eudaimonia” — feeling that your life has meaning and that you are realising your potential. Now in a new paper in Psychological Review, Shigehiro Oishi at the University of Virginia and Erin Westgate at the University of Flori...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 14, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Emotion Positive psychology Source Type: blogs

Young Australians Who Couchsurf Experience High Levels Of Psychological Distress
By Emma L. Barratt When thinking about homelessness, we don’t often consider where to draw the line between housed and homeless. Couchsurfers — homeless individuals who put a roof over their head by staying with friends, relatives, or strangers found on couchsurfing sites — may not spring to mind when considering homelessness. However, it’s far from a rare arrangement. Though exact numbers are lacking, studies from the last five years found that a shocking 22% of young people in the UK had slept rough at some point, and that 35% had couchsurfed in the absence of having a stable home. T...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 13, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Mental health Source Type: blogs

The Medusa Effect: We Ascribe Less “Mind” To People We See In Pictures
By Emma Young Much has been written about the downsides of home-working. “Zoom fatigue”, in particular, is now a term, and an experience, that many of us are familiar with. But the tiring effect of video chat could represent only one of its dangers, according to new work in PNAS. It finds that we ascribe less “mind” to people we see in image form, vs in the flesh, and even less again to images of images of people. There could be serious implications, write Paris Will at the University of British Columbia and colleagues: “Given that mind perception underpins moral judgement, our finding...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 10, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Source Type: blogs

First-Hand Reports Of “Brain Fog” Highlight Struggles Of Those Living With Long Covid  
By Emma L. Barratt Around one in five of those who have recovered from Covid-19 report ongoing symptoms, also known as long Covid. Experiences with this new condition are varied, and several symptoms are neuropsychological in nature. One such symptom is brain fog. Though not a medical diagnosis in itself, this term is recognised by many health professionals, and refers to a fluctuating and varied set of symptoms which severely affect the sufferer’s ability to think clearly, or conduct their lives as they previously have. Brain fog is often thought of as a benign, non-specific symptom, and in some circle...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 9, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Coronavirus Mental health Source Type: blogs

Negative Media Coverage Of Immigration Leads To Hostility Towards Immigrants And In-Group Favouritism
By Emily Reynolds The media plays a huge part in shaping our understanding of the world, including how we respond to other people. Coverage of immigration is no different, and previous research has suggested that even subtle changes in language and framing can change the way people think about immigrants. A new study, published in Scientific Reports, looks at the real life impact of negative media portrayals of immigrants. It finds that negative coverage can increase hostility towards immigrants and favouritism towards members of the non-immigrant in-group — which can have serious financial, emotional and ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 8, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Media Political Social Source Type: blogs

Hand Gestures Help Students Mentally Organise New Information
By Emma L. Barratt Retaining new information can be tricky, especially with topics far outside of what we’re familiar with. A good teacher can make a huge difference, but effective teaching techniques can add new dimensions to our ability to really take on what we’re being told. A new study by academics from the University of California and University of Georgia identifies one such technique, and it turns out to be incredibly simple: hand gestures. The team wanted to know if gestures used by teachers could assist in mental organisation of new information, and help students retain and understan...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 7, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Educational Source Type: blogs

People Are More Likely To Misread A Black Child As Angry When They Believe The Child Is Older
By Emily Reynolds Research has found significant racial biases when judging the emotions of others. Black people are more likely to be misjudged as angry, for example, and recent research has suggested that even children are victims of this “anger bias”. Black children are also frequently subject to “adultification” — being perceived as older and more mature than White peers. A new study explores the links between these two phenomena, finding that the older adults believe Black children to be, the more likely they are to (incorrectly) judge them to be angry too. Writing in Cognition...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 6, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Anger Source Type: blogs

Diversity Grants Can Discourage Diverse Candidates From Applying For More Lucrative Scholarships
This study highlights the need for thorough consideration and assessment of the application of diversity initiatives. There are clearly other factors to consider too; for example, it may be the case that diversity grants encourage a larger number of diverse candidates to apply for awards in the first place. However, these findings strongly underline the necessity for proper analysis and monitoring of grant applications to ensure the intended effect is achieved. – Do Diversity Awards Discourage Applicants From Marginalized Groups From Pursuing More Lucrative Opportunities? Emma L. Barratt (@E_Barratt) is a staff...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 3, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Educational Money Source Type: blogs

Tackling Income Inequality Could Boost Children ’s Vocabulary
By Emily Reynolds In 1995, a seminal book was published suggesting that children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds were exposed to 30 million fewer words than richer children by the age of 4 — the so-called “word gap”. The idea is now widespread and has informed early childhood policy in the United States (though the findings are more contentious than this ubiquity might suggest). But why might these kids be exposed to fewer words? A new study from a team at the University of California, Berkeley, finds that worries about financial insecurity reduced the amount that caregivers spok...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 2, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Developmental Language Money Source Type: blogs

We Think Anger Is A Sign Of Guilt — But It May Actually Be A Better Sign Of Innocence
By Emma Young We’re famously bad at spotting lies (well, most of us are; skilled liars are better). That doesn’t stop us thinking we know when someone’s spinning us a line, of course. Now a new paper in Psychological Science reveals that we take an angry denial to be a sign that the accused is lying. And yet, Katherine A. DeCelles at the University of Toronto and colleagues also report, anger in response to a false accusation is in fact a sign of innocence. In initial studies on more than 4,000 online participants, the team established that anger is consistently taken as a sign of guilt. Th...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 27, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Anger Source Type: blogs

“Claim Your Dose”: How Text-Message Reminders Can Increase Uptake Of COVID-19 Vaccines
By Emma L. Barratt Overcoming psychological barriers to vaccination remains a significant hurdle for COVID-19 vaccination efforts. Any given COVID-19 news feature will remind you that vaccine hesitancy is rife, especially in countries such as the United States. Compounding the issue further, even those who fully intend to get their jab can be forgetful or procrastinate, further hampering efforts to get shots in arms. As such, it’s vital to develop an effective toolbox to make it as effortless and appealing as possible for patients to book and turn up for their appointments. And though they may seem insigni...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 26, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Coronavirus Source Type: blogs

Women And Early Career Academics Experience Imposter Syndrome In Fields That Emphasise Natural Brilliance
By Emily Reynolds Imposter syndrome — the feeling that you don’t belong or aren’t capable at work or in education — can affect anybody. But people from underrepresented backgrounds are more likely to experience imposter syndrome: first generation university students, for example, or people of colour. Imposter syndrome can be particularly acute in academia, where intellectual flair is prized. In fact, a new study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology finds that in fields in which intellectual “brilliance” is perceived to be a prerequisite to success, imposter syndr...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 25, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Educational Gender Source Type: blogs

Ability To Name Unrelated Words Is A Good Test Of Creativity
By Emma L. Barratt Obtaining a solid measurement of creativity can be hugely time consuming. Well-established tests — such as the Alternative Uses Task (AUT), which asks participants to generate unusual ways to use common objects — require substantial time and effort in order to properly score participant responses. Not only that, but assessment of the creativity of responses varies wildly as a result of both the scorers’ judgements and the qualities of answers relative to the rest of the data. For example, one especially creative response amongst a sea of generic responses may garner extra points; pla...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 24, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Creativity Language Source Type: blogs

Study Of Marching Band Shows That Resilience Is A Process, Not A Fixed Trait
By Emily Reynolds Resilience allows you to bounce back when things get hard, whether that’s something as small as a bad day in the office or more serious adverse events. And while it can be easy to think of resilience as something we either do or don’t have, research suggests that isn’t the case: rather, our level of resilience changes in different contexts. A new study, published in Group & Organization Management, looks closely at resilience in the workplace. It, too, finds that resilience isn’t a static phenomenon, and that it should be seen as something distinctly more flexible&nb...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 23, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Occupational Source Type: blogs

Conspiracy Theories Are More “Entertaining” Than The Truth — And This Helps Explain Why People Believe Them
By Emma Young Conspiracy theories stoke anxiety and uncertainty and can even threaten the health of those who espouse them. Take Covid-19 anti-vaxxers, for example, who put themselves at risk by refusing a vaccine. So given those negative consequences, it’s surprising that conspiracy theories are so prolific. Research shows that beliefs that other groups are colluding secretly to pursue malevolent goals (the definition of a conspiracy theory) are more common during times of crisis — like a global pandemic. Heightened anxiety is thought to lead people to (erroneously) believe that there are hostile fo...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 20, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Media Source Type: blogs

Older People Are More Likely To Avoid Finding Out Information Like Genetic Disease Risk Or Spousal Infidelity
By Emma Young If proof of the existence or otherwise of a god-like deity was available, would you want to see it? What if you had access to a file that revealed whether your partner had ever been unfaithful? And would you take a new genetic test that would indicate whether you have a mutation linked to an incurable disease? “All men, by nature, desire to know,” wrote Aristotle, more than 2,000 years ago. In fact, as the authors of a new paper in Psychology and Aging point out, philosophers have long viewed people as having a thirst for knowledge, and a drive to resolve uncertainty. However, as Ralph ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 19, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Decision making Developmental Source Type: blogs

When Bosses Are Respectful, Young People Are More Resilient At Work And Enjoy Their Jobs More
By Emily Reynolds From ball pits to free beers, fun job perks have received plenty of press attention over the last few years. For millennials, such benefits should surely be appealing — they are, after all, the generation these perks were ostensibly designed for. But according to a new study, young people themselves have a different priority in the workplace — respect. Writing in the International Journal of Business Communication, a team led by Danielle LaGree from Kansas State University finds that being valued and respected by managers was the key factor in employees’ ability to positively ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 18, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Occupational Social Source Type: blogs

Excessive “Mirroring” Could Explain Why People With Misophonia React Strongly To Sounds Of Chewing Or Drinking
By Emma Young No one likes the sound of someone else chewing or drinking. But for some people, it’s enough to cause overwhelming feelings of anger or disgust — and in some cases, send them into a violent rage. People with “misophonia” (literally a hatred of sounds) over-react to some common everyday “trigger sounds” — typically, sounds made by another person. Though the phenomenon has been well documented, exactly what causes it hasn’t been clear. Now a new paper in the Journal of Neuroscience provides a compelling explanation: that misophonia isn’t related to h...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 17, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Brain Perception Source Type: blogs

Episode 27: The Psychologist Presents … At Latitude Festival 2021 — Child Food Poverty
This is Episode 27 of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Download here. https://traffic.libsyn.com/secure/psychcrunch/20210811_PsychCrunch_Ep27_v1.mp3 At Latitude Festival in Suffolk in July, The Psychologist Editor Dr Jon Sutton hosted a conversation in The Listening Post with Greta Defeyter, Professor of Developmental Psychology and founder and Director of the “Healthy Living” Lab at Northumbria University. An expert on food insecurity, social injustice, school feeding programmes and holiday...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 16, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Developmental Eating Podcast Source Type: blogs

Let The Children Play: Research On The Importance Of Play, Digested
By Emma Young As children head back to school, teachers and parents will of course be concerned about kids catching up on their education after the Covid-19 lockdowns. But, as many psychologists have pointed out, they need to catch up on play, too. So what does the research tell us about the need for and the importance of play? First: why do kids need to play? Well, of course, it’s fun — and as we all know, having fun is critical for kids’ psychological wellbeing. But there are also all kinds of documented developmental benefits. For example, play helps children learn how to interact suc...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 13, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Coronavirus Developmental Educational Feature Source Type: blogs

We All Use Our Phones Differently — So General Measures Of “Screen Time” Are Not Very Useful
By Emily Reynolds The impact of technology on young people is an oft-debated topic in the media. Is increased screen time having a serious impact on their mental health? Or have we over-exaggerated the level of risk young people face due to their use of tech? According to a new study, published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, we could be asking the wrong questions. A team led by Nastasia Griffioen at Radboud University Nijmegen suggests that rather than looking at screen time in a binary way, researchers should explore the nuances of smartphone use: how young people are using their phones, rath...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 12, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Facebook Mental health Technology Twitter Source Type: blogs

Here ’s Why We Believe That Beautiful Animals Are More Deserving Of Our Protection
By Emma Young Do you think a ladybird is more beautiful than a locust? If you do, you probably also feel that the ladybird is “purer” than the locust, and this leads you to believe that it possesses more inherent moral worth. This, at least, is the conclusion of a new paper that inextricably links perceptions of purity, beauty, and moral standing for people as well as animals, and even landscapes and buildings. Earlier studies have found that the more we feel an entity has a mind, and is capable of sensations and feelings, the greater its moral standing — that is, we think that there is a s...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 11, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Aesthetics Morality Source Type: blogs

People Who Trust Science Are Less Likely To Fall For Misinformation — Unless It Sounds Sciencey
By Matthew Warren “Trust in the science” is the kind of refrain commonly uttered by well-meaning individuals looking to promote positive, scientifically-backed change, such as encouraging action against climate change or improving uptake of vaccines. The hope is that if people are encouraged to trust science, they will not be duped by those who are promoting the opposite agenda — one which often flies in the face of scientific evidence. But are people actually less likely to fall for misinformation when they have trust in science? Yes and no, according to a new a study in the Journal of Experim...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 10, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Cognition Source Type: blogs

“Service With A Smile” Requirement And Reliance On Tips Puts Workers At Risk Of Sexual Harassment
By Emily Reynolds “Service with a smile” — having a friendly, cheerful demeanor when working with customers in retail or hospitality — has long been identified as having a negative impact on worker wellbeing. One 2019 study, for example, found that “faking it” was of significant detriment to service workers, whilst the term “emotional labour” was first used by sociologists to describe jobs which require workers to display positive emotions. And when this requirement to provide service with a smile is combined with a reliance on tips for income, there can be ho...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 9, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Occupational Source Type: blogs

Making Excuses And Panic Buying: The Week ’s Best Psychology Links
Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web When you decline an invitation to do something with a friend, it’s better to blame a lack of money than a lack of time, according to researchers Grant Donnelly and Ashley Whillians at The Conversation. The pair found that participants felt less close to, and less trusting of, people who said they didn’t have time to come to a social occasion like a wedding or a dinner, compared to those who said they couldn’t afford to attend. Early last year, when the country suddenly realised it was on the brink of a major pandem...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 6, 2021 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: BPS Research Digest Tags: Weekly links Source Type: blogs