Feature Post, Other, Psychology

Your Taste in Music Might Reveal How Dumb (or Smart) You Are


Virgil Griffith, a student at Caltech, embarked on a most interesting project to seek whether there’s any connection between the music you enjoy and, uhm, your intellectual abilities.  Griffith used aggregated Facebook data about the favorite bands among students of various colleges and plotted them against the average SAT scores at those schools. This allowed him to make a very rough…


Majority doesn’t always decide when it comes to teen drinking

The presence of a small minority of alcohol abstainers in groups of teen friends can help to decrease the likelihood that everyone else will get drunk and binge drink. Image via Science News.

Peer pressure doesn’t always drive teenagers to drink – in fact, it often goes the other way around, a new study shows. Having just one like-minded friend who doesn’t drink reduces instances of drunkenness among teen drinkers by 38 percent, a new study has shown. Criminologist Carter Rees, now at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and sociologist Danielle Wallace of…

News, Psychology

Men Drink More Alcohol because of Contagious Smiles


When men have a drink with other men, their smiles become contagious, according to a new study. This might explain why men are much more likely to drink in excess than women – they simply have more fun. Humans and several others animals experience something called “emotional contagion”. Basically, this means that there are some feelings/expressions which are contagion; if…

Health & Medicine, Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Frequent pot smokers may light up to cope with negative emotions

Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images file photo , National Post

People who frequently smoke marijuana may use the drug to cope with negative emotions. This sort of association makes people more inclined to abuse marijuana and makes it harder to quit, according to a new study published in the  Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Lighting up to fight bad vibes, but is it worth it? Dr. Lydia Shrier, of the…

Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Common knowledge makes people more cooperative

Common knowledge impacts how likely we are to collaborate with one another. Image via Wiki Commons.

It seems quite intuitive, but scientists have officially proved it – sharing common knowledge with someone makes you more likely to cooperate with him. This provides valuable insight into how altruism works, and how groups can cooperate towards a common goal. There have been plenty of studies into altruism, but fewer have studied its lesser known “cousin” – mutual cooperation;…

Health & Medicine, News, Psychology

Fighting unfairness at a tender age


A study by researchers at Harvard University found that children from a tender age have an advanced idea of fairness and are willing to step forward and pay a personal price to intervene a situation they perceive as an unfair. This decision is group-biased dominant in children aged six or less, but those aged eight or more were found to intervene in unfair situation and stop any selfish behavior, whether or not the victim was a member of their group….

News, Psychology

There’s more to excellence than just practice, study finds


The old adage goes ‘practice makes perfect’, and while we all know there is truth in it, at some point practice ceases to become the driving factor towards excellence, at least if we’re to judge from the recent findings of a group of psychologists who  studied how people acquire skills and become experts at what they do. There’s quite a…

Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Pulling all-nighters makes it likely to recall false memories


Our memories are plastic and as such are constantly updated and refreshed every time we recall a past event. In this process, misinformation can slip to the point that false memories can form. A new study found that sleep deprivation significantly increases the chance of a person to develop false memories. …