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

Link feast
Our editor’s pick of this week’s 10 best psychology and neuroscience links: What On Earth Is Going On? Psychologist magazine editor Dr Jon Sutton reports from the first day of the American Psychological Association’s Annual Conference (also check out his reports from days two and three: In search of clarity and creativity; A change is gonna come). “What Is Happening to Our Country? How Psychology Can Respond to Political Polarization, Incivility and Intolerance” Jonathan Haidt’s keynote address at the APA conference is available to watch on YouTube. Faculty at MIT and beyond respond forc...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 13, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Feast Source Type: blogs

By age 3, kids know when you owe them one
The principle of quid pro quo starts real early! If we’re being honest, most of us would admit that we keep an ongoing mental record of who has done what for whom among our relationships. It sounds a little churlish but this note-keeping is a basic aspect of social functioning that means we can avoid being taken advantage of by free riders, and also helps us decide who to turn to when we’re in need. When does this sense of social fairness emerge? Developmental psychologists have previously demonstrated that pre-schoolers have a keen sense of reciprocity – for example, they will share more toys with o...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 12, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Developmental Social Source Type: blogs

More analytical, less intuitive people are better at empathy
Reading what other people are feeling is an important skill that helps us navigate conflicts, deepen relationships, and negotiate effectively. So what’s the best way to approach this? New research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that most of us believe that the best approach is to trust our instincts. But the paper goes on to show that, on the contrary, accurate empathy comes from operating deliberately and analytically. Christine Ma-Kellams of the University of La Verne and Jennifer Lerner of Harvard began by asking participants recruited online to consider ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 10, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Cognition Emotion Source Type: blogs

Episode 7: Use Psychology To Compete Like An Olympian
http://traffic.libsyn.com/psychcrunch/20160809_PsychCrunch_Ep7_Mx2.mp3   This is Episode Seven of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society’s Research Digest, sponsored by Routledge Psychology. Can psychology give you a competitive edge in sport? Our presenter Christian Jarrett learns about the importance of having the right competitive mindset, and how to use self-talk and positive imagery to boost your sporting performance. Our guests, in order of appearance, are George Hanshaw (International Sport Achievers and HanshawPerformance.com), Marc Jones (Staff...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 10, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Podcast Sport Source Type: blogs

More analytical, less intuitive people are better at empathy
Image via Roy Blumenthal/FlickrReading what other people are feeling is an important skill that helps us navigate conflicts, deepen relationships, and negotiate effectively. So what ’s the best way to approach this?New research published in theJournal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests that most of us believe that the best approach is to trust our instincts. But the paper goes on to show that, on the contrary, accurate empathy comes from operating deliberately and analytically.Christine Ma-Kellams of the University of La Verne and Jennifer Lerner of Harvard began by asking participants recruited onlin...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 10, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

Two meta-analyses find no evidence that “Big Brother” eyes boost generosity
Being watched encourages us to be nicer people – what psychologists call behaving “pro-socially”. Recent evidence has suggested this effect can even be driven by artificial surveillance cues, such as eyes pictured on-screen or painted on a donations jar. If true, this would offer up some simple ways to reduce low-level crime and, well, to encourage us all to treat each other a little better. But unfortunately, a new article in Evolution and Human Behavior, calls this into question. The research background on this topic is a mix of positive and negative findings. Also, while some s...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 9, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: In Brief Morality Social Source Type: blogs

Two meta-analyses find no evidence that “Big Brother” eyes boost generosity
Being watched encourages us to be nicer people – what psychologists call behaving “pro-socially”. Recent evidence has suggested this effect can even be driven by artificial surveillance cues, such as eyes pictured on-screen or painted on a donations jar. If true, this would offer up some simple ways to reduce low-level crime and, well, to encourage us all to treat each other a little better. But unfortunately, a new article in Evolution and Human Behavior, calls this into question. The research background on this topic is a mix of positive and negative findings. Also, while some s...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 9, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: In Brief Morality Social Source Type: blogs

Two meta-analyses find no evidence that "Big Brother" eyes boost generosity
Being watched encourages us to be nicer people – what psychologists call behaving “pro-socially”.Recent evidence has suggested this effect can even be driven by artificial surveillance cues, such as eyes pictured on-screen or painted on a donations jar. If true, this would offer up some simple ways to reduce low-level crime and, well, to encourage us all to treat each other a little better. But unfortunately, anew article inEvolution and Human Behavior, calls this into question.The research background on this topic is a mix of positive and negative findings. Also, while some studies purport to explain the...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 9, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

Episode 7: Use Psychology To Compete Like An Olympian
Image viaFlickrThis is Episode Seven of PsychCrunch, the podcast from the British Psychological Society's Research Digest, sponsored byRoutledge Psychology.Can psychology give you a competitive edge in sport? Our presenter Christian Jarrett learns about the importance of having the right competitive mindset, and how to use self-talk and positive imagery to boost your sporting performance.Our guests, in order of appearance, are George Hanshaw (International Sport Achievers andHanshawPerformance.com),Marc Jones (Staffordshire University) andSanda Dolcos (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign).Studies discussed in t...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 9, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

Gender differences at the movies – women remember more of rom-coms, men remember more from action flicks
Psychology research has shown that men and women usually remember things differently. For instance, women on average are better at recalling emotional and social stimuli, whereas men are better at remembering episodes of violence and recognising artificial objects such as cars. The usual explanation is that men and women have different interests and motivations. Now a study in Applied Cognitive Psychology has added to this literature by testing whether men and women differ in how much they remember of clips from rom-com movies and action films.Across two experiments, the researchers Peter Wühr and ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 8, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Cognition Gender Memory Source Type: blogs

Gender differences at the movies – women remember more of rom-coms, men remember more from action flicks
When viewing a film genre that supposedly “matches” our gender, we build up stronger memory “schema”Psychology research has shown that men and women usually remember things differently. For instance, women on average are better at recalling emotional and social stimuli, whereas men are better at remembering episodes of violence and recognising artificial objects such as cars. The usual explanation is that men and women have different interests and motivations.Nowa study inApplied Cognitive Psychology has added to this literature by testing whether men and women differ in how much they remember of cl...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 8, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

Are brainy people lazy? “Need For Cognition” correlates with less physical activity
According to Hollywood stereotypes, there are the clever, nerdy young people who spend most of their time sitting around thinking and reading, and then there are the jocks – the sporty, athletic lot who prefer to do as little thinking and studying as possible. This seems like a gross over-simplification and yet a new study in the Journal of Health Psychology suggests there may be a kernel of truth to it. The researchers, led by Todd McElroy at Florida Gulf Coast University, gave an online test of “Need For Cognition” to lots of students, to find 30 who expressed a particularly strong d...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 6, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Mental health Psychosis Qualitative Source Type: blogs

Link feast
Our editor’s pick the 10 best psychology and neuroscience links from the last week or so: How To Talk So That People Listen At the recent Latitude Festival Psychologist magazine editor Jon Sutton was in conversation with Elizabeth Stokoe, Professor of Social Interaction at Loughborough University – follow the link for a transcript of the event (a related podcast will be available soon). The Brain That Couldn’t Remember The untold story of the fight over the legacy of “H.M.” — the patient who revolutionized the science of memory. Why We Should Pity Attention-seeking Narciss...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 6, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Feast Source Type: blogs

Link Feast
Our editor's pick the 10 best psychology and neuroscience links from the last week or so:How To Talk So That People ListenAt the recent Latitude FestivalPsychologist magazine editor Jon Sutton was in conversation with Elizabeth Stokoe, Professor of Social Interaction at Loughborough University – follow the link for a transcript of the event (a recording will be available soon).The Brain That Couldn't RememberThe untold story of the fight over the legacy of “H.M.” — the patient who revolutionized the science of memory.Why We Should Pity Attention-seeking NarcissistsThere are some surprising and ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 6, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

Are brainy people lazy? "Need For Cognition" correlates with less physical activity
According to Hollywood stereotypes, there are the clever, nerdy young people who spend most of their time sitting around thinking and reading, and then there are the jocks – the sporty, athletic lot who prefer to do as little thinking and studying as possible. This seems like a gross over-simplification and yet anew study in theJournal of Health Psychology suggests there may be a kernel of truth to it.The researchers, led by Todd McElroy at Florida Gulf Coast University, gave an online test of "Need For Cognition" to lots of students, to find 30 who expressed a particularly strong desire to think a lot and ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 5, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

A lot of “Voice Hearing” isn’t an auditory experience at all
The message from recent surveys is that it’s not just people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who hear voices in their heads, many people considered mentally well do to. This revelation may have a welcome de-stigmatising effect in terms of how people think about some of the symptoms associated with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, but a new study published in Psychosis asks us to hang on a minute – to say that one “hears voices” can mean different things to different people. You might assume that “hears voices” means that a person has an hallucinated auditory experience...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 4, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Mental health Psychosis Source Type: blogs

A lot of "voice hearing" isn't an auditory experience at all
The message from recent surveys is that it's not just people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia who hear voices in their heads,many people considered mentally well do to. This revelation may have a welcome de-stigmatising effect in terms of how people think about some of the symptoms associated with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, buta new study published inPsychosis asks us to hang on a minute – to say that one "hears voices" can mean different things to different people. You might assume that "hears voices" means that a person has an hallucinated auditory experience just like someone is talking to ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 4, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

Bridge Burning and the six other ways to quit your job
Just as Paul Simon sang about 50 ways to leave your lover, a new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology suggests there are seven ways to leave your employer. This research is the first to give us a map of “resignation styles,” as well as their causes and their impact on others. The researchers Anthony Klots and Mark Bolino generated their taxonomy of resignation styles from several sources, including a survey of 53 students who described the way they resigned from a previous full-time job position and 423 more people surveyed online who had resigned from their full-time job in the past year, 38 pe...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 3, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Occupational Source Type: blogs

Bridge Burning and the six other ways to quit your job
Just as Paul Simonsang about 50 ways to leave your lover, anew study published in theJournal of Applied Psychology suggests there are seven ways to leave your employer. This research is the first to give us a map of "resignation styles," as well as their causes and their impact on others.The researchers Anthony Klots and Mark Bolino generated their taxonomy of resignation styles from several sources, including a survey of 53 students who described the way they resigned from a previous full-time job position and 423 more people surveyed online who had resigned from their full-time job in the past year, 38 per cent...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - August 3, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

10 of The Most Widely Believed Myths in Psychology
In a sense we’re all amateur psychologists – we’ve got our own first-hand experience at being human, and we’ve spent years observing how we and others behave in different situations. This intuition fuels a “folk psychology” that sometimes overlaps with findings from scientific psychology, but often does not. Some erroneous psychological intuitions are particularly widely believed among the public and are stubbornly persistent. This post is about 10 of these myths or misconceptions. It’s important to challenge these myths, not just to set the record straight, but also because their ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - July 29, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Feature featured Source Type: blogs

10 of The Most Widely Believed Myths in Psychology
In a sense we're all amateur psychologists – we've got our own first-hand experience at being human, and we've spent years observing how we and others behave in different situations. This intuition fuels a "folk psychology" that sometimes overlaps with findings from scientific psychology, but often does not. Some erroneous psychological in tuitions are particularly widely believed among the public and are stubbornly persistent. This post is about 10 of these myths or misconceptions. It's important to challenge these myths, not just to set the record straight, but also because their existence can contribute ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - July 29, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

Neuro Harlow: The effect of a mother ’s touch on her child’s developing brain
In the 1950s, the American psychologist Harry Harlow famously showed that infant rhesus monkeys would rather cling to a surrogate wire mother covered in cosy cloth, than to one that provided milk. A loving touch is more important even than food, the findings seemed to show. Around the same time, the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby documented how human children deprived of motherly contact often go on to develop psychological problems. Now this line of research has entered the neuroscience era with a study in Cerebral Cortex claiming that children with more tactile mothers tend to have more developed social brains. Jens B...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - July 28, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: researchdigestblog Tags: Brain Developmental Emotion Source Type: blogs

Neuro Harlow: The effect of a mother's touch on her child's developing brain
In the 1950s, the American psychologist Harry Harlow famously showed that infant rhesus monkeys would rather cling to a surrogate wire mother covered in cosy cloth, than to one that provided milk. A loving touch is more important even than food, the findings seemed to show. Around the same time, the British psychoanalyst John Bowlby documented how human children deprived of motherly contact often go on to develop psychological problems. Now this line of research has entered the neuroscience era with a study in Cerebral Cortex claiming that children with more tactile mothers tend to have more developed social brains. Jen...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - July 28, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

The "Relocation Bump" – how moving house creates lasting memories
Why is our youth, from adolescence to early adulthood, so ripe with memories compared with other times in life? Research has firmly established this " reminiscence bump ", with various explanatory theories: it contains many unforgettable first times; the young mind is sharper; and we reflect on these early events to reinforce our sense of identity. The trouble is, it ’s tricky to disentangle the role played by these different factors because they all co-occur in youth. To shed new light on the issue, a research team from the University of New Hampshire has pointed their torch elsewhere. They investigated m...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - July 27, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

Killer wives are "wicked", killer husbands are "stressed" – uncovering the sexism in judges' closing remarks
This study should open a conversation, and further research into how judges treat domestic killers in the dock. _________________________________ Hall, G., Whittle, M., & amp; Field, C. (2016). Themes in Judges' Sentencing Remarks for Male and Female Domestic Murderers Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 23 (3), 395-412 DOI: 10.1080/13218719.2015.1080142 -- further reading -- Judges are more lenient toward a psychopath when given a neuro explanation for his condition The psychology of female serial killers How our judgments about criminals are swayed by disgust, biological explanations and animalistic descrip...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - July 26, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

No, autistic people do not have a "broken" mirror neuron system – new evidence
By guest blogger Helge  Hasselmann Scientists are still struggling to understand the causes of autism. A difficulty bonding with others represents one of the core symptoms and has been the focus of several theories that try and explain exactly why these deficits come about. One of the more prominent examples, the “ broken mirror hypothesis ”, suggests that an impaired development of the mirror neuron system (MNS) is to blame. First observed in monkeys, mirror neurons are more active when you perform a certain action and when you see someone else engage in the same behavior – for example, when ...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - July 25, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs

Taking photos will boost your enjoyment of experiences, researchers say
The last time I went to the Thames to enjoy London's New Year's Eve firework display, I ended up watching it on a little screen. Everyone around me was holding up their phones, taking pictures of the pretty light-filled sky, obscuring my view in the process. I scoffed privately at their inanity – why couldn't they just enjoy the moment rather than trying to capture it in a megabyte? My scorn might have been misplaced. Based on their series of nine studies published in the   Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , a team of US psychologists has concluded that taking photographs enhances our enjoyment...
Source: BPS RESEARCH DIGEST - July 25, 2016 Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Research Digest Source Type: blogs