Psychology, Science

Most psychology studies can’t be replicated – and this is a huge problem

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Numerous academic journals often post intriguing and challenging psychological studies – but according to a new, massive review, we should take those studies with a big grain of salt. A four-year project by 270 researchers attempted to replicate 100 experiments published in three of the most prestigious journals; only 36 produced similar results. Social sciences have taken quite a “beating” in recent

Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Yawning is contagious, unless you’re a psychopath

Psycopaths aren't impressed by yawning. Image: Dexter

When someone yawns near us, we naturally feel an irresistible urge to yawn in response. Even dogs seem to yawn when humans do it. This contagious behavior has fascinated psychologists and behaviorists for many years, and while there are many reasons scientists have proposed for why people yawn (it’s a bit complicated, what we know for sure is that’s important and actually has a purpose), social cohesion might play an important role. The more emphatic you are, the likelier it is you’ll yawn in response. On the contrary, psychopaths barely register yawns and seem impenetrable.

Mind & Brain, News, Psychology

Be sarcastic! It’s good for you, scientists find

Bill Murray's sarcastic humor has made him a favorite of many - yours truly included. Image via Memecrunch.

Using and understanding the intricacies of sarcasm is a fine art; one does not simply “become” sarcastic – you must dive into it, let it embrace you. You must become sarcasm. But jokes aside, sarcasm is a strange thing – we don’t know exactly how it appeared and why. The best theory seems to be that it developed as a cognitive

News, Psychology

Study on 79 countries shows Religiosity is linked with anti-gay attitude

Religious people seem to dislike homosexuals more than non-religious, though Buddhists expressed this the least. Image via Wikipedia.

Religion affects our lives, directly and indirectly, in many ways. A new study published in the Journal of Homosexuality has investigated how a person’s and a country’s religious orientation impacts their attitude towards gay people. The findings showed that the more religious a person or country is, the more hostile it generally is towards homosexuals. The smallest effect was on Buddhists. The

News, Psychology

Study suggests bullies have high self-esteem, status and low rates of depression

bulllies

Are bullies hard wired (genetically) to be abusive to their peers or are most bullies the product of their environment (abusive parents, emotional problems etc.)? This is already turning out to be an age old question among psychologists. A new study seems to lend credence to the idea that bullies behave the way they do because they really want it, and of course because of the rewards. The study published by Canadian researchers found that high school bullies had the highest self-esteem, status and lowest rates of depression.

News, Psychology

Strangers are better than you at picking the best photos of yourself

passport photo shoot

Even when people are genuinely trying to select a profile picture for a social network or to serve for an ID, they’re apparently a poor judge of their own looks. Strangers were found to select a picture that matches a person appearance better, according to a new research carried out by a team at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

News, Psychology

Sweeping hormones make stock brokers take riskier decisions

stressed brokers

It’s not just teenagers who let hormones get the best of them, stock brokers do it all the time, according to a new study. Only, in this case, the consequences might be far worse than a family meltdown: we’re talking about global markets crashes.

Mathematics, News, Psychology

Is there really a mathematical formula that predicts happy relationships?

Love equation

In a recent TED talk, Hannah Fry outlines a mathematical formula that predicts long-lasting relationships. In her recent book, The Mathematics of Love, she discusses the findings of psychologist John Gottman who studied hundreds of couples over many years to find out what sets apart the happy couples from the miserable. Gottman than enlisted the help of a mathematician who correlated all the data the psychologists gathered and came up with an empirical formula that seems to predict if a couple will be happy together.

Health & Medicine, News, Psychology

Blue eyes linked to higher levels of alcohol dependence

Image via Telegraph.

According to an unusual study conducted by University of Vermont researchers, people with blue eyes may be more likely to become alcoholics – and researchers are trying to figure out why. Human eye color is a pretty strange thing – it’s an inherited trait influenced by more than one gene. These genes cause  small changes in the genes themselves and in neighboring

News, Psychology

Intuitition endorses creationism, while analytical thinking fosters evolution

Drawing from Charles Darwin's notes which he used to elaborate his seminal work, "On The Origins of Species".

Despite a huge gap in public acceptance, the theory of evolution and natural selection is not a controversial theory. It is widely accepted by the scientific community and is, in fact, one of the most successful scientific idea in history. Yet, billions of people around the world discard evolution and uphold a creationist view of how humans, other creatures or the whole cosmos came to being. Ironically, it may be the way that our own brains evolved and supported the adaption of our species that supports a natural predisposition towards creationism. This idea is supported by a paper published in Cognition which found persons who rely more on intuition than analytical thinking are more likely to discard evolution and vice-versa.