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Latest Association for Psychological Science Stories

2012-01-24 11:04:17

After the huge 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the chairman of BP referred to the victims of the spill as the “small people.” He explained it as awkward word choice by a non-native speaker of English, but the authors of a new paper published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, wondered if there was something real behind it. In their study, they found that people who feel powerful tend to overestimate their own height–they...

2012-01-20 11:04:09

Psychological research has found that religious people feel great about themselves, with a tendency toward higher social self-esteem and better psychological adjustment than non-believers. But a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that this is only true in countries that put a high value on religion. The researchers got their data from eDarling, a European dating site that is affiliated with eHarmony. Like eHarmony,...

2012-01-18 22:01:55

Psychology textbooks have made the same historical mistake over and over. Now the inaccuracy is pointed out in a new article published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. For generations, social psychology students have read that Norman Triplett did the first social psychology experiment in 1889, when he found that children reeled in a fishing line faster when they were in the presence of another child than when they were alone....

2012-01-18 21:39:36

You´re driving from work to pick up your kids at school. The drive is familiar; you´ve done it almost every day for years. But how do you know in which direction the school is from your home? Landmarks? The sun? Animal instinct?  Now, a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science, yields an alternative answer that surprised even its authors, Julia Frankenstein, Betty J. Mohler, Heinrich H....

2012-01-11 15:32:52

It´s easy to pick up on the movements that other people make–scratching your head, crossing your legs. But a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that people only feel the urge to mimic each other when they have the same goal. It´s common for people to pick up on each other´s movements. “This is the notion that when you´re having a conversation with somebody and you don´t care where...

2012-01-10 23:37:51

Will borrowing money to buy a new car make you feel richer? It depends on your net worth, says a new study in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science. “People´s perceptions of wealth vary not only as a function of their net worth, but also of the amount of assets and debt they have,” says Princeton University psychology graduate student Abigail B. Sussman, who wrote the study with Princeton professor Eldar Shafir. In fact,...

2012-01-06 15:57:11

Older people tend to be happier. But why? Some psychologists believe that cognitive processes are responsible–in particular, focusing on and remembering positive events and leaving behind negative ones; those processes, they think, help older people regulate their emotions, letting them view life in a sunnier light. “There is a lot of good theory about this age difference in happiness,” says psychologist Derek M. Isaacowitz of Northeastern University, “but much of the...

2012-01-04 13:42:07

Is losing weight as simple as doing a 15-minute writing exercise? In a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, women who wrote about their most important values, like close relationships, music, or religion, lost more weight over the next few months than women who did not have that experience. “We have this need to feel self-integrity,” says Christine Logel of Renison University College at the University of Waterloo,...

2011-12-29 09:44:10

Short, fast, and frequent: Those 21st-century demands on publication have radically changed the news, politics, and culture–for the worse, many say. Now an article in January´s Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science, aims a critique at a similar trend in psychological research. The authors, psychologists Marco Bertamini of the University of Liverpool and Marcus Munafò of the University of Bristol, call it...

2011-12-28 07:50:10

Two vital parts of mentally organizing the world are classification, or the understanding that similar things belong in the same category; and induction, an educated guess about a thing´s properties if it´s in a certain category. There are reasons to believe that language greatly assists adults in both kinds of tasks. But how do young children use language to make sense of the things around them? It´s a longstanding debate among psychologists. A new study in Psychological...


Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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