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Latest Association for Psychological Science Stories

2012-12-28 15:43:40

Research using new technology shows that our ability to imitate facial expressions depends on learning that occurs through visual feedback. Studies of the chameleon effect confirm what salespeople, tricksters, and Lotharios have long known: Imitating another person´s postures and expressions is an important social lubricant. But how do we learn to imitate with any accuracy when we can´t see our own facial expressions and we can´t feel the facial expressions of others?...

2012-12-17 14:28:14

Two new studies published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explore the development of reasoning and perspective-taking in children. How to Pass the False-Belief Task Before Your Fourth Birthday As social creatures, humans must constantly monitor each other´s intentions, beliefs, desires, and other mental states. A particularly important social skill is the ability to take another person´s perspective and understand what the...

2012-12-12 12:23:28

When we´re faced with things that seem threatening, whether it´s a hairy spider or an angry mob, our goal is usually to get as far away as we can. Now, new research suggests that our visual perception may actually be biased in ways that help motivate us to get out of harm´s way. Our bodies help us respond to threats by engaging our fight-or-flight response and enabling us to act quickly: Our heart rate and blood pressure ramp up, and we produce more of the stress hormone...

2012-12-11 12:03:06

Public opinion on environmental issues such as climate change, deforestation, and toxic waste seems to fall along increasingly partisan lines. But new research suggests that environmental messages framed in terms of conservative morals – describing environmental stewardship in terms of fending off threats to the “purity” and “sanctity” of Earth and our bodies – may help to narrow the partisan gap. A study from researchers at UC Berkeley has found that...

2012-12-03 17:17:59

Although several studies have followed the course of depression throughout the lifespan, the characteristics of depression at different developmental stages haven´t been clearly identified. New research published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, presents a unique longitudinal investigation of depression across four critical developmental periods from childhood to adulthood. To better understand the developmental course of Major...

2012-10-01 10:15:35

This gives new meaning to the complaint “I´m bored” – literally. Canadian researchers – including a professor from the University of Guelph – have come up with a new, precise definition of boredom based on the mental processes that underlie the condition. Although many people may see boredom as trivial and temporary, it actually is linked to a range of psychological, social and health problems, says Guelph psychology professor Mark Fenske. He´s...

2012-09-07 11:09:37

Every ten years or so, someone will make the observation that there is a lack of political diversity among psychological scientists and a discussion about what ought to be done ensues. The notion that the field discriminates against and is skewed toward a liberal political perspective is worthy of concern; scholars, both within and outside the field, have offered various solutions to this diversity problem. As psychological scientists Yoel Inbar and Joris Lammers point out, however, we...

2012-09-07 09:49:42

The fourth-quarter comeback to win the game. The tumor that appeared on a second scan. The guy in accounting who was secretly embezzling company funds. The situation may be different each time, but we hear ourselves say it over and over again: “I knew it all along.” The problem is that too often we actually didn´t know it all along, we only feel as though we did. The phenomenon, which researchers refer to as “hindsight bias,” is one of the most widely studied...

2012-08-22 12:16:17

Though the seconds may tick by on the clock at a regular pace, our experience of the ℠fourth dimension´ is anything but uniform. When we´re waiting in line or sitting in a boring meeting, time seems to slow down to a trickle. And when we get caught up in something completely engrossing — a gripping thriller, for example — we may lose sense of time altogether. But what about the idea that time flies when we´re having fun? New research from psychological...

2012-08-13 12:54:18

We´re often told to ℠count our blessings´ and be grateful for what we have. And research shows that doing so makes us happier. But will it actually change our behavior towards others? A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that thinking about what we´ve given, rather than what we´ve received, may lead us to be more helpful toward others. Researchers Adam Grant of The Wharton School of the...


Word of the Day
holluschickie
  • A 'bachelor seal'; a young male seal which is prevented from mating by its herd's older males (mated bulls defending their territory).
This comes from the Russian word for 'bachelors.'
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