News, Psychology

Connect or disconnect? Technology interferes with couple relationships for the worse

Technology appears to negatively relate to relationship and personal well-being. Image: Clinton Power

The introduction of mobile phones coupled with internet made for a huge leap in communication, making people connect with each other easier than ever. Under a mist of noise and over-stimulation of our, let’s face it, limited attention span, technology has also taken its toll. We’ve all noticed it, but let’s not be hypocritical about it either. How many times…

Biology, News, Psychology

The cost of culture and learning is disease, but it’s been worth it

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Transferring knowledge from one individual to the other forms the basis of all human cultures, whether we’re talking about learning how to chop wood, how the Earth actually revolves in a counter-intuitive manner around the sun and no the other way around, or how the Earth is a planet in the first place and everything it entails. Each human consciousness…

Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Cutting contraceptives after marriage might change how women think of their husbands

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After studying 118 newlywed couples for up to four years and regularly surveying the women, researchers Florida State University found that choosing a partner while on the pill might affect a woman’s marital satisfaction. After discontinuing hormonal contraceptives, women reported a drop in marital satisfaction. There’s a trick to it, though. Apparently, the drop in satisfaction was experienced only in…

News, Psychology, Research

How the rich stay rich: social status is more inheritable than height

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UK researchers highlight once more a depressing topic: income inequality and lack of social mobility. After they tracked families that sent their children to study at Oxford and Cambridge – the two most prestigious and elitist Universities in the world since 1096 – the researchers found that students were more likely to inherit their parent’s social status than their height….

News, Psychology

A Position of Power alters the Voice in a Way that transmits Who’s in Charge to Others

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Inspired by Margaret Thatcher’s formidable political skills, researchers in the US sought to understand how a position of power changes a person’s voice, and how this in turn affects their relation with other people. Indeed, being in power alters the acoustic properties of the voice and those tuning in can pick up cues that tell them who’s really in charge….

Feature Post, Genetics, Psychology

In the face of Adversity and War, Bonds among Soldiers are as Strong as Kinship

Libyan fighters chants slogans as they take control of Moammar Gadhafi loyalists' villages in the desert some 750 km south of Tripoli, at Gohta, north of the southern city of Sahba on Sunday. Credit: Francois Mori / AP

It’s no surprise for anyone to find that soldiers fighting together on the front-line are tied together by a special relationship. They have to be. Soldiers need to know they can wholeheartedly depend on each other, put faith in the other’s ability. It’s not just about survival. It’s about comfort; knowing there’s someone close to you that can perfectly relate…

Feature Post, Psychology, Science

Do people learn anything from Psychology?

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Psychology is maybe most valuable when it exposes our inherent biases and what’s commonly known as irrational thinking. But you’d expect people to learn and correct their behavior after learning the findings of surprising psychology experiments. For most people, this isn’t the case. …

Feature Post, Psychology

The Problem with Using Psychology to Explain Collecting

Dieter Kapsch wants to drum on your head with his awesome spoon collection. He has collected 1,760 spoons from 447 different airlines over the course of13 years. They include spoons from the now-defunct Imperial Airways, as well as one from a Pan Am flying boat from the 1930s. Credit: Kapsch

The empirical sciences are meant to demystify those aspects of human nature that have eluded us. Sometimes, though, for all of our progress, our means of exploring and expressing the psychological underpinnings of universal experiences seem inadequate for the task. Case in point: collecting. Humans have been collecting things ever since we developed the ability to gather more trinkets than…

News, Psychology

So you think your sexual fantasies are wild? Let’s find out

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Everybody has sexual fantasies, but some may go a bit overboard. Don’t worry, I’m not here to judge. Instead, I’d like to show you a most interesting report. After asking 1,500 Canadian adults with a mean age of 30 about their sexual fantasies,  University of Montreal researchers ranked a list of the most common and atypical of these. “Clinically, we know…

Anatomy, Health & Medicine, News, Psychology

Scratching makes Itching Worse: the Molecular Mechanism behind the Itch

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Seems like your mom was right all along: scratching does, in fact, makes the itching worse. This was the conclusion reached by a group of researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis after the scientists studied the molecular and neural pathways that cause and relieve itching. The findings suggest that scratching releases serotonin – a key neurotransmitter involved in…