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Latest Association for Psychological Science Stories

2012-03-13 10:51:41

With the NCAA men´s college basketball tournament set to begin, college basketball fans around the United States are in the throes of March Madness. Anyone who has seen a game knows that the fans are like extra players on the court, and this is especially true during critical free throws. Fans of the opposing team will wave anything they can, from giant inflatable noodles to big heads, to make it difficult for players to focus on the basket. But one way a player might be able to...

2012-03-09 00:42:29

Feeling angry and annoyed with others is a daily part of life, but most people don´t act on these impulses. What keeps us from punching line-cutters or murdering conniving co-workers? Self-control. A new review article in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, examines the psychological research and finds that it´s possible to deplete self-control–or to strengthen it by practice. Criminologists and sociologists...

2012-03-07 21:41:38

Stuck solving a problem? Seek the obscure, says Tony McCaffrey, a psychology PhD from the University of Massachusetts. “There´s a classic obstacle to innovation called ℠functional fixedness,´ which is the tendency to fixate on the common use of an object or its parts. It hinders people from solving problems.” McCaffrey has developed a systematic way of overcoming that obstacle: the “generic parts technique” (GPT), which he describes in the latest issue...

2012-03-05 11:24:17

Our senses aren´t just delivering a strict view of what´s going on in the world; they´re affected by what´s going on in our heads. A new study finds that hungry people see food-related words more clearly than people who´ve just eaten. The study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that this change in vision happens at the earliest, perceptual stages, before higher parts of the brain have a chance to change...

2012-03-01 11:03:55

If you want a preschooler to get the point, point. That´s a lesson that can be drawn from a new study in Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science.  As part of their investigation of how small children know what other people know, the authors, Carolyn Palmquist and Vikram K. Jaswal of the University of Virginia, found they were able to mislead preschoolers with the simple introduction of a pointing gesture.  “Children were...

Babies Know What’s Fair
2012-02-18 06:09:56

“That´s not fair!” It´s a common playground complaint. But how early do children acquire this sense of fairness? Before they´re 2, says a new study. “We found that 19- and 21-month-old infants have a general expectation of fairness, and they can apply it appropriately to different situations,” says University of Illinois psychology graduate student Stephanie Sloane, who conducted the study with UI´s Renée Baillargeon and David Premack...

2012-02-15 10:31:21

We like to think of ourselves as rational creatures, absorbing information, weighing it carefully, and making thoughtful decisions. But, as it turns out, we´re kidding ourselves. Over the past few decades, scientists have shown there are many different internal and external factors influencing how we think, feel, communicate, and make decisions at any given moment. One particularly powerful influence may be our own bodies, according to new research reviewed in the December issue of...

2012-02-14 14:11:10

Scientific research has shed new light on dissociative symptoms and dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder. This condition seems to arise most often when a vulnerable person meets a therapist with a suggestive line of questioning or encounters sensationalized media portrayals of dissociation. Research shows that people with rich fantasy lives may be especially susceptible to such influences.   A new article published in Current Directions in...

2012-02-10 15:26:59

Cancer risks. Investment alternatives. Calories. Numbers are everywhere in daily life, and they figure into all sorts of decisions. A new article published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, examines how people who are numerate–that´s like literacy, but for numbers–understand numbers better and process information differently so that they ultimately make more informed decisions. People who are numerate...

2012-02-09 21:23:22

When you see a picture of a hand, how do you know whether it´s a right or left hand? This “hand laterality” problem may seem obscure, but it reveals a lot about how the brain sorts out confusing perceptions. Now, a study which will be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal published by the Association for Psychological Science, challenges the long-held consensus about how we solve this problem. “For decades, the theory was that you use your...


Word of the Day
mundungus
  • A stinking tobacco.
  • Offal; waste animal product; organic matter unfit for consumption.
This word comes from the Spanish 'mondongo,' tripe, entrails.