Feature Post, Psychology

Breaking the Backlash – A take on the social psychology of discrimination

AFP Photo/Guillaume Souvant

On January 7th 2015, the world looked on in horror as news of the Charlie Hebdo shootings broke. The story of two brothers, identifying as members of the militant Islamist group Al-Qaeda, who forced their way into the satirical magazine‚Äôs Paris offices and killed 11 people is one that is now sadly well-known to people across the globe. A story that might be less well known, however, is that of the ramifications that the brothers actions had for members of the very faith that they were claiming to represent….

News, Psychology

Metaphors help us read other people’s minds

power of metaphors

Friends use metaphors more often when speaking to one another, and this helps them gauge each other’s emotional state according to a study published in the journal Memory & Cognition. The Canadian researchers who performed the study conclude that metaphors facilitate social interactions, comprehension and empathy. …

Genetics, News, Psychology

Autism genes predict higher intelligence – if you’re not autistic in the first place

autism intelligence

A link between heightened intelligence and autism has been suspected by scientists based on empirical evidence, and now genetic screening seems to confirm this assumption. It seems people carrying genes that put people at risk of developing autism scored higher on intelligence scores than those who lacked the genes. This held true, however, for people carrying the genes but who didn’t develop autism. …

News, Psychology

Your smartphone might be making you stupid

smartphone dumb people

People who excessively rely on their smartphones scored lower on tests which gauged cognitive abilities like analytical thinking than those who use their smartphones less frequently. The results reported by psychologists at University of Waterloo suggest that using smartphones to find answers to questions – difficult or not – via search engines makes you lazy and less apt at solving problems….

News, Psychology

Finger ratios predict how rude or kind men are towards women

finger

Can you judge a person by his fingers? If that person’s a men, yes you can, some scientists would agree. Researchers at McGill University found that men with short index fingers and long ring fingers are on average nicer to women. Not entirely a correlative study, the findings seem to have weight as previously a link was found between high levels of testosterone in the womb and shorter index finger relative to the ring finger. You can stop watching your fingers now….

News, Psychology, World Problems

Dont’t Read the Comments – They Make You Mistrust the Real Experts

Internet-Comments_b5c857_4604977

If you claim you’re a doctor online, even without providing any proof, people may trust you more than the CDC. A new study has found that online comments have as much power as statements issues by health institutions – and in some cases, even more. …

Animals, News, Psychology

Chicks count numbers like humans: from left to right

baby-chicks1

An exciting research found baby chicks also use the mental number lines employed by humans to count numbers, representing them upwards from left to right. The research and those to follow on other animals might help unravel how this basic mental construct, so essential to human intellect, evolved. Think twice before insulting someone by calling him a birdbrain – it doesn’t do the birds justice. …

News, Psychology

Poor boys growing up in rich neighbourhoods are more antisocial

poor boys antisocial

Researchers in the UK have found that male children from poor homes growing up in better-off areas are more likely to engage in antisocial behavior. But disadvantaged boys living in areas where three-quarters of the population was poor had the lowest rates of such behaviour. The findings are grim, since they suggest mixed income communities could bear some unforeseen negative consequences, which might outweigh the benefits….

Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

When following goals, people pay attention to progress more than they do to setbacks

diet goal

Hopes are high this time of year, but before your make your New Year’s resolution you might want to consider an important cognitive bias: when following goals, progress is given a lot more consideration than setbacks. Say your resolution is to lose weight, so next year you’ll be on a diet. Chances have it, according to a study made by¬†University…

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…