Training men to judge women ’s sexual interest more accurately
Researchers may have found a new way to combat sexual aggression By Christian Jarrett “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.”  Donald Trump, 2016 Republican Party nominee for US president, speaking in 2005 (full transcript). The causes of sexual aggression are many, but anecdotal evidence (for example, as implied in the above quote), and research-based evidence, suggests that at least part of it has to do wit...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 10, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Forensic Gender Sex Source Type: blogs

Football team lose yesterday? Your work performance will probably suffer today
By Alex Fradera How much do experiences in one part of our lives have effects that spill into other, seemingly separate domains? One obvious candidate is the football team you follow – it’s a distinctive arena that matters greatly for many people and involves a range of experiences, both high and low. For a new paper in the Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, a team led by Panagiotis Gkorezis at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki have tested whether your football team’s success can affect how you feel and perform at work. The researchers recruited 41 male officers in a Greek military ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 10, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Emotion Football Occupational Sport Source Type: blogs

Link feast
Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links ‘Honey, I Shrunk The Kids’ At The Psychologist, Jon Sutton and Aidan Horner speak to the children of psychologists, and the psychologists themselves, about their parenting. Why Does the Replication Crisis Seem Worse in Psychology? The same problems are facing other fields, too. Here’s why you hear about it most in psychology, says Andrew Gelman for Slate. Here Is Amy Cuddy’s Response to Critiques of Her Power-Posing Research “It has likely been a long week for the power-posing guru,” say the team ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 8, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Feast Source Type: blogs

Brain training exercises just make you better at brain training exercises
By Christian Jarrett If you spend time building your physical strength and stamina in the gym, you can expect to carry these benefits into everyday life. It will be easier for you to lug heavy shopping bags around or run for the bus. You will likely reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular and other illnesses. A new review of brain training games in Psychological Science in the Public Interest – the most comprehensive ever conducted – shows that unfortunately the same principle does not hold for these games. When you spend time completing mental exercises on your phone or computer, y...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 7, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Cognition Educational Technology Source Type: blogs

Brain training exercises just make you better brain training exercises
By Christian Jarrett If you spend time building your physical strength and stamina in the gym, you can expect to carry these benefits into everyday life. It will be easier for you to lug heavy shopping bags around or run for the bus. You will likely reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular and other illnesses. A new review of brain training games in Psychological Science in the Public Interest – the most comprehensive ever conducted – shows that unfortunately the same principle does not hold for these games. When you spend time completing mental exercises on your phone or computer, y...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 7, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Cognition Educational Technology Source Type: blogs

The Metropolitan Police ’s elite super-recognisers are the real deal
By Alex Fradera Identifying people from video and photographs is a core task for a modern police force, and London – which led the world in implementing and using CCTV – has attempted to meet this need by developing a pool of 140 “police identifiers” made up of Metropolitan Police officers with a strong track record of making IDs from photographs. But who are these individuals? Are they really super-recognisers as the Met has claimed? True super-recognisers are usually identified by formal tests and their dramatic ability to recognise human faces outstrips typical performance to the s...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 6, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Faces Forensic Occupational Source Type: blogs

It feels as though we learn better via our preferred learning style, but we don ’t
This study isn’t the final word on why the concept of learning styles is so popular. The sample was small; the study only looked at one binary division of learning styles (there are many countless, competing ways to categorise learning styles); and the learning test was very simple. However, it provides concrete data demonstrating one important and compelling reason for the stubbornness of this psychological myth – for many of us, learning via our preferred style feels more effective even when it isn’t, an effect that means learning via our preferred style could even be harmful in the sense...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 5, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Educational Memory Source Type: blogs

Female bosses judged more harshly than male counterparts for being insensitive, disrespectful
By Alex Fradera A woman seeking to make a career was once faced with a road pocked with pits and divots upon which she must not stumble. Rising egalitarian attitudes have done much to remove the most visible of these hazards, but some subtle pitfalls remain. In a new study in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Suzette Caleo of Louisiana State University explores one: the way that female managers are appraised when they treat others unjustly. The research suggests that while the sexes are treated even-handedly when they commit certain injustices, there are some things we still can’t abide from a woman. Caleo asked 140...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 4, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Gender Occupational Source Type: blogs

Brain scan study reveals dogs attend to word meaning, not just intonation
Image credit: Borbála Ferenczy By guest blogger Sofia Deleniv Imagine if we could capture the words of an angry dog owner holding a chewed-up shoe – “How could you? You terrible dog!” – and digitally alter the tone to sound praising. Would the dog be oblivious to the reprimanding content of the message? I should admit that, until quite recently, I thought that the answer was yes ­– that no matter how chastising the words you used, you could convince a dog that it is being showered in praise, simply by adopting an affectionate tone. But a recent study published in...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - October 3, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Brain Comparative guest blogger Language Source Type: blogs

Back soon
We’re taking a short break. We’ll be back with more fascinating psychology research from Oct 3. (Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST)
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 16, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Announcements Source Type: blogs

Ten Famous Psychology Findings That It ’s Been Difficult To Replicate
via giphy By Christian Jarrett Every now and again a psychology finding is published that immediately grabs the world’s attention and refuses to let go – often it’s a result with immediate implications for how we can live more happily and peacefully, or it says something profound about human nature. Said finding then enters the public consciousness, endlessly recycled in pop psychology books and magazine articles. Unfortunately, sometimes when other researchers have attempted to obtain these same influential findings, they’ve struggled. This replication problem doesn’t...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 16, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Feature Replications Source Type: blogs

The causes and consequences of thinking there ’s an office conspiracy
By Alex Fradera We’re all familiar with gossip in the workplace, both the benign variety – did you know Tom is applying for X-Factor? – as well as more serious talk concerned with perceived injustices, such as the real reason for that recent promotion. When such speculations insinuate a group working together to achieve secret ends, we’re into the realm of conspiracy theory. New research in the British Journal of Psychology suggests that conspiracy theories about the workplace are a thermometer for an employee’s broader feelings about the organisation … including his or her ultimat...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 15, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Occupational Teams Source Type: blogs

What ’s it like to be a child and your sibling is diagnosed with cancer?
By Christian Jarrett When the dreadful news arrives that a child has cancer, understandably the focus of parents and health professionals turns to supporting the sick child as best they can. But also caught up in the nightmare are the child’s siblings. Not only will they likely be consumed by shock and fear, but they must adapt to the cancer journey the whole family has to embark on. Official health guidance here in the UK and in the USA states that it’s important to provide support to the siblings of children with cancer. Yet the reality is we know relatively little about their experience. A new stud...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 14, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Cancer Health Positive psychology Qualitative Source Type: blogs

New clues about the way memory works in infancy
By Alex Fradera  Can we form memories when we are very young? Humans and non-humans alike show an “infantile amnesic period” – we have no memory of anything that happens during this time (usually up to age three or four in humans) which might suggest we can’t form very early memories. But of course it might be that we can form memories in these early years, it’s just that they are later forgotten. The idea that at least something is retained from infancy is consistent with the fact that disorders present in adult life can be associated with very early life events. Now Nature Neu...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 13, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: biological Brain Cognition Comparative Developmental Memory Source Type: blogs

It ’s now possible, in theory, to predict life success from a genetic test at birth
By guest blogger Stuart Ritchie For decades, we’ve known from twin studies that psychological traits like intelligence and personality are influenced by genes. That’s why identical twins (who share all their genes) are not just more physically similar to each other than non-identical twins (who share half their genes), but also more similar in terms of their psychological traits. But what twin studies can’t tell us is which particular genes are involved. Frustratingly, this has always left an ‘in’ for the incorrigible critics of twin studies: they’ve been able to say “you’re ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 12, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: biological Educational guest blogger Intelligence Source Type: blogs

Link feast
Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links: How Curiosity Can Protect The Mind From Bias Neither intelligence nor education can stop you from forming prejudiced opinions – but an inquisitive attitude may help you make wiser judgements There’s a Lot of Junk fMRI Research Out There. Here’s What Top Neuroscientists Want You to Know It’s easy to misrepresent the findings from brain scan studies. Just ask a dead salmon. Live Long and Prosper The psychology of Star Trek’s relentless optimism about the future. Why Are Babies So Dumb If Humans Are So Smart? ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 10, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Feast Source Type: blogs

Awe-inspiring documentaries could turn people away from science
Image via KayYen/Flickr By Christian Jarrett Science documentaries often go heavy on awe. In his immensely popular TV shows, the pop star turned physicist Brian Cox is frequently depicted in awesome landscapes, staring into the distance, moody music in the background, reflecting on awe-inspiring facts about nature, such as that we are all essentially made of star dust. It seems like a powerful way to engage people in science. Just one problem. A new study in Emotion suggests that when people who hold religious beliefs experience feelings of awe, this makes them even less likely to believe in scienc...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 9, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Educational Emotion Religion Source Type: blogs

It ’s possible to learn to be more optimistic
By Christian Jarrett Optimists have good reason to be optimistic – research tells us that their sunny outlook means that they are likely to live longer, healthier, happier lives compared with others who have a habit of seeing a darker future ahead. This has led positive psychologists to attempt to teach optimism, so that more people might get to benefit from its apparent positive effects. But can you really learn to see the future more brightly? By combining findings from all the relevant existing optimism intervention trials, published and unpublished, a new meta-analysis in The Journal of Positi...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 8, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Emotion Positive psychology Source Type: blogs

Psychologists said it ’s disgusting to be reminded that you are an animal. It seems they were wrong
By Christian Jarrett Disgust has become a hot topic in psychology research over the last decade or so, not least because findings have shown that the way we respond to physically disgusting threats, like disease-infested blood and puss, is closely related to the way we think about moral violations and moral concepts like purity (hence people’s reluctance to don a shirt purportedly worn by Adolf Hitler). One repeated claim in this area is that we have evolved to be disgusted by any reminder that we are animals. For instance, the leading disgust and morality researchers Jonathan Haidt, Paul Rozin and Clark Mc...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 7, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Emotion evolutionary psych Morality Source Type: blogs

A surprising number of people are born with a problem recognising familiar voices
By Christian Jarrett You may have heard of face-blindness (known formally as prosopagnosia), which is when someone has a particular difficulty recognising familiar faces. The condition was first noticed in brain-damaged soldiers and for a long time psychologists thought it was extremely rare and primarily caused by brain damage. But in recent years they’ve discovered that it’s actually a relatively common condition that some (approximately two per cent of the population) otherwise healthy people are born with. Now research on the related condition of phonagnosia – an impairment in...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 6, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Cognition Perception Source Type: blogs

Interrupting yourself can be more disruptive than being interrupted by someone else
By Christian Jarrett At work or study, whenever you choose to break away from your main task to do something else – such as leaving an email you’re in the middle of writing to go check Facebook instead – you are effectively interrupting yourself. It’s obvious that self-interruptions risk hurting your focus, but you might not realise just how much. A new study in Computers in Human Behaviour shows that in certain contexts interrupting yourself can be even more disruptive than an external interruption, and that it has to do with the brain power that’s needed whenever you make ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 5, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Cognition Occupational Technology Source Type: blogs

Link feast
Our editor’s pick of the 10 best psychology and neuroscience links from the last week or so:  Why We should Celebrate Shyness From Agatha Christie and Charles Darwin to Keira Knightley, Francoise Hardy and Morrissey, the socially awkward and anxious have changed the world for the better. Have we forgotten the benefits of being shy? How to Talk to Strangers The health benefits are clear. The political benefits are newly relevant Worldwide initiatives to advance brain research To highlight worldwide efforts to fund neuroscience research and address the growing threat of brain disorders, Nature Neuroscience&nb...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 3, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Feast Source Type: blogs

Even preschoolers like to gossip
Want a good reputation? Better impress those gossiping preschoolers By Christian Jarrett Gossiping is a serious business because it helps us keep track of who to trust and who to avoid. To count as proper gossip, you have to give or receive new information about a third-party. That’s effectively what’s happening when a friend begins a sentence: “You wouldn’t believe what [insert name] did the other day …” – their anecdote is giving you precious information about the reputations of the people involved. Just how early in life do we start gossiping? A new stu...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 2, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Developmental evolutionary psych Social Source Type: blogs

Even preschoolers like to gossip
Want a good reputation? Better impress those gossiping preschoolers By Christian Jarrett Gossiping is a serious business because it helps us keep track of who to trust and who to avoid. To count as proper gossip, you have to give someone else new information about a third-party. That’s effectively what’s happening when a friend begins a sentence: “You wouldn’t believe what [insert name] did the other day …” – their anecdote is giving you precious information about the reputations of the people involved. Just how early in life do we start gossiping? A new s...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 2, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Developmental evolutionary psych Social Source Type: blogs

No reason to smile – Another modern psychology classic has failed to replicate
Image via Quentin Gronau/Flickr showing how participants were instructed to hold the pen By Christian Jarrett The great American psychologist William James proposed that bodily sensations – a thumping heart, a sweaty palm – aren’t merely a consequence of our emotions, but may actually cause them. In his famous example, when you see a bear and your pulse races and you start running, it’s the running and the racing pulse that makes you feel afraid. Consistent with James’ theory (and similar ideas put forward even earlier by Charles Darwin), a lot of research has shown that the expression on our ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - September 1, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Emotion Faces Methods Replications Source Type: blogs

Wisdom is more of a state than a trait
By Christian Jarrett We all know the kind of person who did really well at school and uni but can’t seem to help themselves from forever making bad mistakes in real life. And then there are those characters who might not be surgeons or rocket scientists but have this uncanny ability to deal calmly and sagely with all the slings and arrows of life. We might say that the first kind of person, while intelligent, lacks wisdom; the second kind of character, by contrast, has wisdom in abundance. The assumption in both cases is that wisdom is a stable trait – how much someone has is an essential part of thei...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 31, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Intelligence Personality Source Type: blogs

Link feast
Our editor’s pick of the 10 best psychology and neuroscience links from the last week or so: Secrets of Super Siblings Nine families raised children who all went on to extraordinary success. Here’s what they have in common. ‘When Life Hands You a Lemon, Just Bite In’ Judith Rich Harris takes Lance Workman at The Psychologist through her extraordinary fightback against entrenched views of child development. The Beautiful Yet Twisted History of Psychological Testing The early 20th century saw a boom in experimental and beautiful, but ultimately fraught, diagnostic tests. A new book entitled Psychobook...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 27, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Feast Source Type: blogs

Smiling could protect you from being stereotyped by gender or ethnicity
By Christian Jarrett When strangers meet, they jump to a lot of conclusions about each other extremely quickly – a process that psychologists call “thin slicing” in reference to the thinness of the evidence upon which such sweeping inferences are made. For instance, being a woman means you’re more likely to be perceived as warm, but less likely to be seen as dominant. If you’re Asian in ethnicity, chances are people will assume you’re less warm but more competent than average. Facial expressions also make an impact – for example, when we smile, we...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 26, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Emotion Social Source Type: blogs

We assume distant negative events remembered in detail must have been extreme
By Alex Fradera If I insisted on telling you about a recent meeting I’d endured at work, and I went into vivid detail about every misunderstanding and awkward moment, you’d probably infer that I’d had a fairly bad experience. Now imagine I told you about the same events with the same level of detail, but I was talking about a meeting that happened more than a year ago. Now you’d probably get the impression that I’d had a truly awful time. The reason, as reported recently in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, is that we tend to interpret negative events recounted in detail as bein...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 25, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Memory Source Type: blogs

It is possible to find happiness again after major depression
By Christian Jarrett Living through depression can feel like being in an emotional prison, but there is a way out, at least for some. Writing in Psychiatry Research, Esme Fuller-Thomson and her colleagues describe their analysis of survey data from 20,000 Canadians, which showed that 2528 individuals had previously been diagnosed with major depression, and that two fifths of this group were now fully recovered, meaning that they’d been completely free of mental health problems for over one year and felt happy or satisfied with life on an almost daily basis in the preceding month. “Our findings pr...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 24, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Mental health Source Type: blogs

Students may learn better from attractive lecturers
By Christian Jarrett Alongside metrics like “uses a textbook”, the popular Rate My Professors website gives students the option to score their lecturers’ “hotness”. This might not be as frivolous as it seems, at least according to a new paper in The Journal of General Psychology, which claims that students learn more effectively from more attractive lecturers. Richard Westfall and his colleagues at University of Nevada asked over 100 students to listen to an audio recording of a 20 minute physics lecture, delivered by a man or woman. As the students listened, they were pres...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 23, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Educational In Brief Source Type: blogs

You ’re not bored, you’re meditating – on finding value in a maligned emotion
By Christian Jarrett We usually think of boredom as a state to be avoided. The existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard even went so far as to say that “boredom is the root of all evil”. But in a new paper in Qualitative Research in Psychology, Tim Lomas at the University of East London says there is under-recognised value in this much maligned emotional state. To prove his point, Lomas deliberately subjected himself to an intense period of boredom, and then introspected on each minute of the experience. He claims his findings show that “boredom is not necessarily the dull, valueless state that...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 23, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Emotion Qualitative Source Type: blogs

More evidence that literary, but not pop, fiction boosts readers ’ emotional skills
Image via Flickr/VisitBritain By Christian Jarrett Three years ago, a pair of psychologists at the New School for Social Research in New York attracted worldwide interest and controversy when they reported in the prestigious journal Science that reading just a few pages of literary fiction boosted research participants’ recognition of other people’s emotions, but that reading pop fiction (also known as genre fiction) did not. Now the same researchers have returned with a new paper in Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts that’s used a different approach to arrive at the same conclusi...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 22, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Educational Reading Social Source Type: blogs

Watching someone suffer extreme pain has a lasting effect on the brain
Image via Los Alamos National Laboratory/Flickr New research suggests that witnessing extreme pain – such as the injury or death of a comrade on the battlefield – has a lasting effect on how the brain processes potentially painful situations. The research team, chiefly from Bar-Ilan University and headed up by Moranne Eidelman-Rothman, investigated the brain using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Like more widely used fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), MEG localises which parts of the brain are more active during a particular mental activity, but it offers more fine-grained information about when this a...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 19, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Emotion Brain Source Type: blogs

People with high self-control have a cunning approach to healthy eating
It’s to do with focusing on healthy foods that they actually like If challenged to think of ways to eat more healthily, something like this would probably go through my mind: “Could try to eat more blueberries (but yuk, I don’t like those much), and I suppose I should give up chocolate biscuits (but, erm, never going to happen, they are an essential part of my morning coffee routine)”. According to a new paper in Psychology and Marketing I am showing the typical approach to healthy eating of a person with low self-control and what...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 18, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: psychologywriterblog Tags: Health Source Type: blogs

When you ’re sleeping, how much does your brain pay attention to the outside world?
By guest blogger Daniel Bor When I was 13, I once dreamt that a beautiful woman was sensuously stroking the palm of my hand, as a family of fridges hummed in the background. In reality, a huge, buzzing wasp had landed on my right hand. It idly walked around for a bit, then stung me. After the shock had worn off, I was puzzled why my dreaming brain had stopped me from waking up to this potential danger. Contrast this with 6 years ago, when even my deepest sleep would be broken by the first sounds of my newborn baby daughter’s cries. How do our brains decide whether or not to wake us up, based on what’s going on ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 17, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Brain guest blogger Sleep and dreaming Source Type: blogs

How much does your brain pay attention to the world while you ’re sleeping?
By guest blogger Daniel Bor When I was 13, I once dreamt that a beautiful woman was sensuously stroking the palm of my hand, as a family of fridges hummed in the background. In reality, a huge, buzzing wasp had landed on my right hand. It idly walked around for a bit, then stung me. After the shock had worn off, I was puzzled why my dreaming brain had stopped me from waking up to this potential danger. Contrast this with 6 years ago, when even my deepest sleep would be broken by the first sounds of my newborn baby daughter’s cries. How do our brains decide whether or not to wake us up, based on what’s going on ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 17, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Brain guest blogger Sleep and dreaming Source Type: blogs

The secret to strong friendships? Interconnected memories
No man is an island: we act together, think together and even remember together. Elderly couples have interconnected memory systems, working together to deftly remember their shared past. New research in the Journal of Personal and Social Relationships shows that platonic friends see themselves similarly. In a sample of 216 students and online recruits, Nicole Iannone and colleagues found high agreement with items such as “my best friend and I can remind each other of things we know,” part of a scale measuring “transactive memory systems” – shared systems of recording, storing and recalling in...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 16, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Cognition In Brief Memory Source Type: blogs

After rejection, your brain performs this subtle trick to help you make friends
Immediately after we’ve been shunned, a new study shows our brains engage a subtle mechanism that alters our sense of whether other people are making eye contact with us, so that we think it more likely that they are looking our way. As friendly encounters often begin with a moment of joint eye contact, the researchers, writing in The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, think this “widening of the cone of gaze” as they call it could help the ostracised to spot opportunities for forging new relationships.  Pessi Lyyra at the University of Tampere in Finland...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 16, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Perception Social Source Type: blogs

New power in the hands of the chronically powerless can be toxic
In the 1970s, feminist theorists began to put forward what was then a controversial claim: that sexual aggression is essentially about power. This idea was important enough to launch experimental research, much of which has supported the claim – for instance, priming some men with a sense of power leads them to say they would be more prepared to coerce sex, and encourages men and women alike to believe a subordinate desired them sexually. However other research has suggested the opposite: that aggression is more likely when perpetrators feel less powerful, including in domestic violence and specifically sexual a...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 15, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: bullying Forensic Gender Occupational Social Source Type: blogs