Academics, in New Move, Begin to Work With Wikipedia

first_imgThe Chronicle of Higher Education:Washington—The call to action was all over the Association for Psychological Science’s annual meeting here this past weekend. “Attention APS Members. Take Charge of Your Science,” fliers shout. Promotional ads in the conference programs urge the society’s 25,000 members to join the APS Wikipedia Initiative and “make sure Wikipedia—the world’s No. 1 online encyclopedia—represents psychology fully and accurately.” And the Wikimedia Foundation, which backs the encyclopedia, was holding editing demonstrations in the middle of the conference exhibit hall.Read more: The Chronicle of Higher Education More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Daydreaming At Work Makes Us Better Problem Solvers

first_imgBusiness Insider:Entrepreneurs might be especially focused on productivity, but despite your best efforts to concentrate on your business, you’re probably not awfully consistent at it.You are human, after all, and various scientific studies have found most people spend between 30% and 47% of their waking hours daydreaming.Your response may be horror that between a third and a half of you and your employees’ workdays are spent gazing out the window or pondering their next vacation. But reserve judgment. A recent post by Jonah Lehrer for his New Yorker science blog, Frontal Cortex, explains that not only have scientists confirmed humans are incorrigible daydreamers (yes, even hard-nosed business owners), but also uncovered that this seemingly useless activity actually has an important function.A forthcoming paper in Psychological Science, from a research team led by Benjamin Baird and Jonathan Schooler of the University of California at Santa Barbara, demonstrates how daydreaming can be useful.Read the whole story: Business Insider More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Me Versus the Scale

first_imgThe New York Times:The scale and I have reached détente. That is: I leave it alone, and it affords me the same courtesy. I rarely step on it, and we’re both better off.I have earned the right of refusal. As someone who weighed herself almost daily between the ages of 10 and 25, who spent six years at fat camps and traveled around the Middle East with a scale buried in the pit of her backpack (I know, I know…), I’ve done my time. I won’t even weigh myself at the doctor’s office. Nothing good can come from the knowledge that I’m three pounds lighter, or two pounds heavier.“People are obsessed with it — they go crazy over a tenth of a pound,” said Jim White, a registered dietitian nutritionist and a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “I’ve had clients who are losing major inches and body fat and looking and feeling great, but if the scale doesn’t budge they get defeated. The number defines them.”…David A. Levitsky, a professor of nutrition and psychology at Cornell University who has conducted studies on the efficacy of daily weighing since 1992, believes that daily self-weighing is necessary to help prevent weight gain.“I don’t see any way that we are going to tax fats or tax soda or have people exercise more in order to control their weight,” he said. “There’s enough data to show that doesn’t work. But if you step on that scale first thing in the morning, that’s protective of those subtle cues in our environment that make us eat a little more than we expend.”Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Warmer Parenting Makes Antisocial Toddlers More Empathetic

first_imgPacific Standard:When parents act warmly and responsively toward young children who exhibit antisocial behavior, the children begin acting more warmly too.That’s according to a new study in the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, in which researchers examined whether there are differences in response to parental harshness and warmth among three-year-olds who exhibit “callously unemotional” behavior.To parents of little ones, this outcome might seem obvious, but the study’s results contradicted the prevailing thinking on the matter. Until now, it has been widely believed that children whose behavior problems include high levels of “callous-unemotional” behavior, characterized by a “lack of empathic concern, punishment insensitivity, and lack of emotional responsivity,” are that way regardless of parenting style. Now, however, there’s evidence that colder parenting may worsen this type of behavior, while warmer parenting might coax out a child’s empathy.Read the whole story: Pacific Standard More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Blind People Can Echolocate

first_imgSmithsonian Magazine:Like bats, some blind people utilize echolocation—bouncing sound waves off objects to locate where they are—as a means of assessing and interacting with their surroundings. To do this, some snap their fingers, while others click their tongues, Health Canal writes. While researchers have known about this skill for years, the degree to which it stands in for vision is poorly understood.Neuroscientists from Western University’s Brain and Mind Institute recently discovered that echolocation is a much closer substitute for vision that originally assumed. As they report in the journal Psychological Science, echolocation is so tightly associated with vision that it succumbs to the same shortcomings as that sense.Read the whole story: Smithsonian Magazinelast_img read more

‘Me, Myself, and Us,’ by Brian R. Little

first_imgThe New York Times:There are two types of people in the world, a wit once said: The type who likes to divide people into two types, and the type who doesn’t.Brian R. Little, author of “Me, Myself, and Us,” is a two-typer. But — and this is at the heart of his endeavor — he believes there are many ways in which people can be divided. So his readers learn that there are “person specialists” and “thing specialists”; “high self-monitors” and “low self-monitors”; “internals” and “externals” (that is, people who locate a sense of control within themselves versus those who follow an outside authority). Little, a researcher and lecturer on personality and motivational psychology, even goes beyond familiar classifications like “introvert” and “extrovert” (although he prefers the spelling favored mostly by psychologists, “extravert”) to insist that there are “pseudo-introverts” and ­“pseudo-extroverts.” His aim is to go beyond our often one-­dimensional thinking about personality. “I am resolutely opposed,” he insists, “to putting people in pigeonholes.” Yet at times it can seem as if he’s simply designing a more elaborate birdhouse.Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Headstrong

first_imgThe Boston Globe:RESEARCH HAS SHOWN that the theoretical benefit of safety equipment can be much lower in reality because users feel more comfortable taking greater risks. In a new experiment, psychologists found that this effect may be even more deeply ingrained than we think.Read the whole story: The Boston Globelast_img

The Strange Tale of an X-rated Haunting

first_imgBBC:On the 28th May 1960, at precisely 7:40pm, AD Cornell valiantly attempted to ‘haunt’ a cinema audience who were sitting down to enjoy an X-rated film. Before emerging from the shadows, Cornell draped himself in a white muslin sheet, the fabric covering him from head to toe. He then emerged before the unsuspecting audience and was bathed in the light of projector. He moved in front of the screen, from the left edge to the right edge and back again. For Science!Cornell, a Cambridge-based parapsychologist, was conducting experiments in “apparitional experiences”. In his reports, he tacitly accepts the contentious premise that the spirits of the dead may literally walk among us as physical apparitions. His experiment did not directly address this question. Rather, he tried to artificially induce the experience of seeing ‘real’ ghosts, so that he could observe how people reacted to this unexpected and apparently paranormal experience.Read the whole story: BBC More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more

Why We Miss Objects That Are Right in Front of Us

first_imgEasy right? But do you see the other toothbrush in the image as well? Most people will quickly spot the toothbrush on the front of the counter, but take longer — or even fail to find — the much bigger one behind it.The oversight has to do with scale. People have a tendency to miss objects when their size is inconsistent with their surroundings, according to a recent study in Current Biology. This is just the latest in a robust body of research that reveals how expectations dramatically affect our ability to notice what’s around us.Though the image above was provided by the authors of the study to illuminate their point, the study was set up slightly differently. The researchers were interested not only in what people saw — but also in how their performance compared with computers.… “What we pay attention to is largely determined by our expectations of what should be present,” said Christopher Chabris, a cognitive psychologist and co-author of The Invisible Gorilla.Relative size is just one of many pieces of information that contribute to our expectations. Without expecting something, we’re unlikely to pay attention to it, he says, and “when we are not paying attention to something, we are surprisingly likely to not see it.” Read the whole story: The New York Times More of our Members in the Media >last_img read more