news 2018



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Psychology - 18.12.2018
In the eye of the psychopath
The eyes of psychopaths have an unusual reaction when they are shown images of nasty things, such as mutilated bodies and threatening dogs, reveals a new study by researchers at Cardiff and Swansea Universities. The team examined the effect of nasty images on offenders who are psychopathic and offenders who aren't and found a marked difference in their eye response: the eyes of psychopathic offenders did not show pupil enlargement while those of non-psychopathic offenders did.

Politics - Psychology - 17.12.2018
How a workshop about getting along became a story stoking division
How a workshop about getting along became a story stoking division
It was a small study, really - the seed of research to examine political beliefs among college students and the bridging of partisan divides. Noting that conservative students in particular, might feel isolated on campus, in 2017 the University of Washington's Jonathan Kanter and his students designed a half-day workshop to help a couple dozen participants understand each other better, then followed up a month later to see how their opinions about political "others" had changed, if at all.

Psychology - 14.12.2018
University of Birmingham recognised in UK’s ’best breakthroughs’ list
An experimental study has suggested that alcohol consumption contributes to self-blame in rape, and women who blame themselves may not be as likely to report it. Following a hypothetical interactive rape scenario, participants who believed that they had consumed alcohol rather than a non-alcoholic beverage were more likely to self-blame, and those participants who reported higher levels of self-blame indicated that they would be less willing to report the hypothetical rape to the police.

Psychology - 13.12.2018
Government advice on mental health and behaviour in schools: Where is the evidence?
The quality of research into the impact of social and emotional learning (SEL) interventions in UK schools needs to improve in order for the programmes to be successful, says new research. The research , led by Professor Roisin Corcoran, Chair in Education at the University of Nottingham, and published in Educational Research Review , provides the first comprehensive review of the research into SEL interventions in the UK and United States over the last 50 years.

Psychology - 12.12.2018
How bullying affects the brain
New research from King's College London identifies a possible mechanism that shows how bullying may influence the structure of the adolescent brain, suggesting the effects of constantly being bullied are more than just psychological. The study, published in Molecular Psychiatry , shows that there may be physical structural differences in the brains of adolescents who are regularly victimized, and this could increase the chance that they suffer from mental illness.

Psychology - Health - 03.12.2018
Hang in there. As couples age, humor replaces bickering
Honeymoon long over? Hang in there. A new UC Berkeley study shows those prickly disagreements that can mark the early and middle years of marriage mellow with age as conflicts give way to humor and acceptance. Researchers analyzed videotaped conversations between 87 middle-aged and older husbands and wives who had been married for 15 to 35 years, and tracked their emotional interactions over the course of 13 years.

Psychology - Health - 30.11.2018
The ’best prospect’ for ensuring success in demanding roles
Associate Professor of Psychology Amishi Jha meets with researchers, Anthony P. Zanesco and Ekaterina Denkova, and Director of UM's Mindfulness in Law Program, Scott Rogers. Together, they coauthored a recent study investigating the impact of mindfulness training in elite military service members' cognitive performance.

Psychology - 29.11.2018
Why culture is key to improving the "interpretive power" of psychology
In psychology, there often is a common demographic among research subjects. And among the researchers, themselves. And, in its own way, among research questions, processes and interpretations. A few years ago, a University of British Columbia research team  noticed this trend and came up with an acronym for this demographic: WEIRD, or Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic.

Psychology - Health - 27.11.2018
New psychological intervention proves ’life-changing’ for women experiencing domestic abuse
Training domestic violence and abuse (DVA) advocates to deliver psychological support to women experiencing DVA could significantly improve the health of those affected. In a randomised controlled trial led by researchers from the University of Bristol, women who received the intervention showed reduced symptoms of psychological distress, depression and post-traumatic stress compared to those who received just advocacy.

Politics - Psychology - 27.11.2018
Complex systems help explain how democracy is destabilised
Complex systems help explain how democracy is destabilised
Complex systems theory is usually used to study things like the immune system, global climate, ecosystems, transportation or communications systems. But with global politics becoming more unpredictable - highlighted by the UK's vote for Brexit and the presidential elections of Donald Trump in the USA and Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil - it is being used to examine the stability of democracies.

Psychology - 23.11.2018
Research exposes "significant issues" with workplace Mental Health First Aid implementation
Days after a plea was issued to Government for 'mental health first aid' (MHFA) to become mandatory, new research led by University of Nottingham academics highlights "significant issues around the lack of clarity with boundaries and potential safety concerns". A feasibility study sheds fresh light on widespread use by companies of employee training to address workplace mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, self-harm and substance misuse.

Psychology - Career - 13.11.2018
Emotional intelligence: a new criterion for hiring
Emotional intelligence: a new criterion for hiring
Researchers have developed an emotional intelligence test for the workplace that can be used to assess and predict an employee's abilities in interpersonal relations and leadership capabilities.

Psychology - Life Sciences - 12.11.2018
Over half a million people take part in largest ever study of psychological sex differences and autistic traits
Over half a million people take part in largest ever study of psychological sex differences and autistic traits
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have completed the world's largest ever study of typical sex differences and autistic traits. They tested and confirmed two long-standing psychological theories: the Empathising-Systemising theory of sex differences and the Extreme Male Brain theory of autism.

Psychology - 09.11.2018
Cannabis users asked to keep it real
Understanding psychotic-like experiences in young cannabis users is the focus of a new study at The University of Queensland. The research team is seeking people aged between 16 and 25 who have used cannabis at least once in the past month to participate in the project. UQ School of Psychology researcher Professor Leanne Hides said there was strong evidence linking cannabis with unusual psychotic-like experiences in young people.

Health - Psychology - 08.11.2018
Brain activity pattern may be early sign of schizophrenia
Brain activity pattern may be early sign of schizophrenia
In a study that might enable earlier diagnosis, neuroscientists find abnormal brain connections that can predict onset of psychotic episodes. Schizophrenia, a brain disorder that produces hallucinations, delusions, and cognitive impairments, usually strikes during adolescence or young adulthood. While some signs can suggest that a person is at high risk for developing the disorder, there is no way to definitively diagnose it until the first psychotic episode occurs.

Psychology - Health - 08.11.2018
Gardeners and carpenters: the 'skill' of parenting
Gardeners and carpenters: the ’skill’ of parenting
Wanting your child to have the best chance in life is natural for any parent. But by focusing too much on the 'skill' of parenting, are we losing sight of things that matter more - how we talk to and play with children? Cambridge researchers are examining how parents can best help their children in their early years through nurturing rather than shaping.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 06.11.2018
Chronically anxious’ Deep sleep may take the edge off
Extreme angst is on the rise nationally and globally, especially among teens and millennials. Among other factors, preliminary findings from UC Berkeley sleep researchers point to a chronic lack of deep restorative sleep. Investigating the neural link between sleep and anxiety, UC Berkeley neuroscientists Matthew Walker and Eti Ben Simon are finding that non-Rapid Eye Movement (NREM) sleep plays a key role in calming the overactive brain, especially in the brain regions that process and regulate emotions.

Health - Psychology - 29.10.2018
Behavioral risk factors for depression vary with age, UCLA study finds
Behavioral risk factors for depression vary with age, UCLA study finds
FINDINGS Behavioral risk factors including smoking, obesity, limited physical activity and a less healthy diet strongly predict the likelihood of depression — and that likelihood increases with each additional risk factor a person possesses. Additionally, the risk factors most strongly linked to depression change with age.

Health - Psychology - 18.10.2018
Hormone alters male brain networks to enhance sexual and emotional function
Scientists have gained new insights into how the 'master regulator' of reproduction affects men's brains. In a new study, scientists from Imperial College London investigated how a recently discovered hormone called kisspeptin alters brain activity in healthy volunteers. These insights suggest the hormone could one day be used to treat conditions such as low sex drive or depression Professor Waljit Dhillo Study author The hormone, known as the master regulator of reproduction, not only has a crucial role in sperm and egg production, but may also boost reproductive behaviours.

Psychology - 17.10.2018
Virtual reality can help make people more empathetic
Stanford researchers found that people who underwent a virtual reality experience, called "Becoming Homeless," were more empathetic toward the homeless and more likely to sign a petition in support of affordable housing than other study participants. A Stanford-developed virtual reality experience, called "Becoming Homeless," is helping expand research on how this new immersive technology affects people's level of empathy.
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