news 2011



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Psychology - 21.12.2011
Telling the truth
Telling the truth
New research from Cambridge University and others shows that, with sensitive ing, young children can be reliable witnesses in cases of abuse. Children provided remarkable amounts of free recall information in response to open prompts which did not direct them." —Professor Michael Lamb A new study shows that children as young as three or four years old can talk informatively and accurately about experiences - including incidents of abuse - if they are ed by specialists who understand children's strengths and weaknesses.

Psychology - Health - 19.12.2011
Lower classes quicker to show compassion in the face of suffering
Emotional differences between the rich and poor, as depicted in such Charles Dickens classics as "A Christmas Carol" and "A Tale of Two Cities," may have a scientific basis. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found that people in the lower socio-economic classes are more physiologically attuned to suffering, and quicker to express compassion than their more affluent counterparts.

Health - Psychology - 12.12.2011
Our jobs are making us sick
Our jobs are making us sick
New research at ANU has revealed that poor work conditions can adversely affect people's health. The study, led by Peter Butterworth of the Centre for Mental Health Research, revealed that poor job quality and conditions are associated with increased risk of mental and physical health problems. "The psychosocial aspects of work, such as job demands, decision control, job strain and perceptions of job insecurity, can affect mental and physical health," said Butterworth.

History / Archeology - Psychology - 11.12.2011
Abstract thinking can make you more politically moderate
Abstract thinking can make you more politically moderate
CHAMPAIGN, lll. Partisans beware! Some of your most cherished political attitudes may be malleable! Researchers report that simply answering three "why" questions on an innocuous topic leads people to be more moderate in their views on an otherwise polarizing political issue. The research, described in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, explored attitudes toward what some people refer to as the ground zero mosque, an Islamic community center and mosque built two blocks from the site of the former World Trade Center in New York City.

Health - Psychology - 06.12.2011
Concussion testing makes everyone tired
Concussion testing makes everyone tired
A message from President Rodney Erickson: The days ahead. Campus community and friends attend candlelight vigil Town Hall Forum video posted Board executive committee reaffirms, ratifies earlier decisions Campus and community show support for child abuse victims UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. Testing athletes for concussions may induce mental fatigue in subjects whether or not they have a head injury, according to Penn State researchers.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 05.12.2011
Past abuse leads to loss of gray matter in brains of adolescents
Adolescents who were abused and neglected have less gray matter in some areas of the brain than young people who have not been maltreated, a new Yale School of Medicine study shows. The brain areas impacted by maltreatment may differ between boys and girls, may depend on whether the youths had been exposed to abuse or neglect, and may be linked to whether the neglect was physical or emotional.

Psychology - 05.12.2011
Confidence is key to women’s spatial skills
Boosting a woman's confidence makes her better at spatial tasks, University of Warwick scientists have found, suggesting skills such as parking and map-reading could come more easily if a woman is feeling good about herself. Previous studies have established that women are slower and less accurate than men on a range of spatial tasks.

Psychology - 02.12.2011
When brands seem like people, people act accordingly
From the Michelin Man to the Pillsbury Doughboy, anthropomorphized brands have often been used by companies eager to put a personal face on their products. Now new research shows that thinking about brands as people can make you either take on the brand's characteristics or display the opposite characteristics, depending on how you feel about the brand.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 23.11.2011
Dream sleep takes sting out of painful memories
Dream sleep takes sting out of painful memories
They say time heals all wounds, and new research from the University of California, Berkeley, indicates that time spent in dream sleep can help us overcome painful ordeals. UC Berkeley researchers have found that during the dream phase of sleep, also known as REM sleep, our stress chemistry shuts down and the brain processes emotional experiences and takes the edge off difficult memories.

Health - Psychology - 17.11.2011
Study details homelessness, 'doubling up' among low-income children
Study details homelessness, ’doubling up’ among low-income children
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. About 10 percent of children in low-income families reported at least one homeless episode - and an additional 24 percent had at least one episode where they lived "doubled up" with relatives, friends or other families - before age 6, according to a new study led by Jung Min Park, a faculty member in the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois.

Health - Psychology - 16.11.2011
Fitness boosts mental health
Fitness boosts mental health
Researchers from The Australian National University have confirmed that children's psychological wellbeing is linked to cardio-respiratory fitness and physical activity. ANU researcher Lisa Olive said that although these relationships seemed obvious, there was limited research using reliable methods to examine these relationships in children.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 16.11.2011
Genetic variation plays role in kindness, study shows
Do you consider yourself a kind, compassionate person' And how would a stranger judge your kindness quotient' Having a certain genetic variant might provide the answer to both those questions, according to a recent University of Toronto Mississauga study. "Ours is the first study to show that a slight genetic variation can predict how a person is going to act and how a complete stranger is going to judge them," said lead author Aleksandr Kogan , a psychology post-doctoral researcher at U of'T Mississauga.

Health - Psychology - 14.11.2011
Healthy workgroups for healthy work places.
Healthy workgroups for healthy work places.
New research has identified that employees feel more supported and in control at work the more they identify with their workgroup and their supervisor. The research is being conducted by Suzi Keser from the Department of Psychology. The results were based on survey responses from over 600 employees, including managers, professionals, and administrative clerks, from a large workplace based in the ACT.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 09.11.2011
Penn and Rutgers Psychologists Increase Understanding of How the Brain Perceives Shades of Gray
PHILADELPHIA — Vision is amazing because it seems so mundane. Peoples’ eyes, nerves and brains translate light into electrochemical signals and then into an experience of the world around them. A close look at the physics of just the first part of this process shows that even seemingly simple tasks, like keeping a stable perception of an object’s color in different lighting conditions or distinguishing black and white objects, is, in fact, very challenging.

Health - Psychology - 09.11.2011
Coming through cancer... together
PA 350/11 The role that emotional support plays in helping a patient in their fight against breast cancer is to be examined as part of a year-long research project at The University of Nottingham. Second-year applied psychology PhD student Prema Nirgude is recruiting people who have overcome the illness, and their partners, to talk about how they coped following the diagnosis and supported one another during treatment.

Health - Psychology - 09.11.2011
Major study returns to probe mid-life, recession-related harm
The deepest economic downturn since the Great Depression is a prime research opportunity for " Midlife in the United States ," a long-running and expansive study of the interplay between social and psychological factors and physical health. Led by a group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and incorporating dozens of psychologists, sociologists, neuroscientists and biologists around the country, MIDUS will return this fall for a third look at the lives of thousands of Americans ages 25 to 95.

Social Sciences - Psychology - 25.10.2011
Preschoolers understand threats in households with violence
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—Preschoolersers are aware and understand threats when they see their mother harmed by violent conflicts at home, a new University of Michigan study finds. The study explored what factors influence children's comprehension and response when violence occurs. Researchers evaluated intimate partner violence?conflicts that can be physical or sexual'in the past year for 116 mother-child groups with known violence in the homes.

Psychology - 18.10.2011
Adults can’t tell when children are intentionally lying or misinformed
How well adults can detect if children are lying or reporting misinformation is no better than the odds of chance, reports a new Cornell study. The findings have implications for physical and sexual abuse investigations, which often rely heavily on children's eyewitness reports. Past research has repeatedly shown that adults are also poor at detecting whether or not other adults are lying.

Psychology - 17.10.2011
'The words of psychopaths reveal their predatory nature
’The words of psychopaths reveal their predatory nature
Words can be a window on the soul, and computers are learning to peer through that window. A new Cornell study shows that computer analyses can identify the speech patterns that psychopaths tend to use. Psychopathic criminals tend to make identifiable word choices when talking about their crimes, the study finds.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 10.10.2011
Neuroscientists Pinpoint Specific Social Difficulties in People with Autism
People with autism process information in unusual ways and often have difficulties in their social interactions in everyday life. While this can be especially striking in those who are otherwise high functioning, characterizing this difficulty in detail has been challenging. Now, researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have isolated a very specific difference in how high-functioning people with autism think about other people, finding that—in actuality—they don't tend to think about what others think of them at all.
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