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Category: Psychology

Online images may be turning back the clock on gender bias, research finds

Online images may be turning back the clock on gender bias, research finds

Berkeley Haas: A paper just published in the journal Nature finds that online images show stronger gender biases than online texts. Researchers also found that bias is more psychologically potent in visual form than in writing. A picture is worth a thousand words, as the saying goes, and research has shown that the human brain does indeed better retain information from images than from text. These days, we are taking in more visual content than ever as we peruse picture-packed…

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Study finds our brains are ‘programmed’ to learn more from people we like

Study finds our brains are ‘programmed’ to learn more from people we like

Lund University: Our brains are “programmed” to learn more from people we like—and less from those we dislike. This has been shown by researchers in cognitive neuroscience in a series of experiments. Their findings are published in Communications Psychology. Memory serves a vital function, enabling us to learn from new experiences and update existing knowledge. We learn both from individual experiences and from connecting them to draw new conclusions about the world. This way, we can make inferences about things…

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Expressive responding: Political partisanship can lead to willful disregard for facts, study suggests

Expressive responding: Political partisanship can lead to willful disregard for facts, study suggests

PsyPost reports: Have you ever wondered if people really believe the controversial statements they make, especially in today’s politically charged environment? A recent study sheds light on this question, revealing that political affiliation may influence how people respond to factual questions, not necessarily reflecting their true beliefs but rather their allegiance to a political group. This phenomenon, known as “expressive responding,” was the focus of a recent replication study aimed at understanding how partisanship affects perceptions of truth in the…

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Study of Indigenous and local communities finds happiness doesn’t cost much

Study of Indigenous and local communities finds happiness doesn’t cost much

Autonomous University of Barcelona: Many Indigenous peoples and local communities around the world are leading very satisfying lives despite having very little money. This is the conclusion of a study by the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (ICTA-UAB), which shows that many societies with very low monetary income have remarkably high levels of life satisfaction, comparable to those in wealthy countries. Economic growth is often prescribed as a sure way of increasing the…

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U.S. culture is an incubator of ‘extrinsic values’. Nobody embodies them like Donald Trump

U.S. culture is an incubator of ‘extrinsic values’. Nobody embodies them like Donald Trump

George Monbiot writes: Many explanations are proposed for the continued rise of Donald Trump, and the steadfastness of his support, even as the outrages and criminal charges pile up. Some of these explanations are powerful. But there is one I have seen mentioned nowhere, which could, I believe, be the most important: Trump is king of the extrinsics. Some psychologists believe our values tend to cluster around certain poles, described as “intrinsic” and “extrinsic”. People with a strong set of intrinsic…

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What pigeons teach us about love

What pigeons teach us about love

Brandon Keim writes: Last spring I came to know a pair of pigeons. I’d been putting out neighborly sunflower seeds for them and my local Brooklyn house sparrows; typically I left them undisturbed while feeding, but every so often I’d want to water my plants or lie in the sun. This would scatter the flock—all, that is, except for these two. One, presumably male, was a strapping specimen of pigeonhood, big and crisp-feathered in an amiably martial way. The other,…

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Gut microbes may play role in social anxiety disorder, say researchers

Gut microbes may play role in social anxiety disorder, say researchers

The Guardian reports: While some people might relish the prospect of a new year party, for others socialising can trigger feelings of fear, anxiety and distress. Now researchers say microbes in the gut may play a role in causing social anxiety disorder, opening up fresh possibilities for therapies. Scientists have previously found the gut microbiome – the collection of bacteria and other organisms that live in the gastrointestinal system – differs for people who have social anxiety disorder (SAD) compared…

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Political identity appears to shape our choices in love and location — and the implications are troubling

Political identity appears to shape our choices in love and location — and the implications are troubling

PsyPost reports: New research demonstrates that an individual’s political identity is related to their romantic and residential preferences. The findings, published in Politics and the Life Sciences, suggests that political beliefs play an important role in choosing romantic partners and preferred living locations, especially for those with strong partisan views, potentially exacerbating political polarization. The research was based on niche construction theory, a concept from evolutionary biology. This theory posits that organisms, including humans, actively modify their environment and social…

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Musical synchronization emerges spontaneously and enhances social connectedness

Musical synchronization emerges spontaneously and enhances social connectedness

PsyPost reports: Researchers have discovered a significant link between musical synchronization and social connectedness. Analyzing the behavior of university students engaged in impromptu music-making, the study found that individuals who synchronized their musical rhythms felt a stronger sense of connection with their peers, highlighting music’s unique role in fostering social cohesion. The findings have been published in Psychology of Music. Previous studies have indicated that music can establish and maintain social bonds, but the mechanics of how this happens were…

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Apes remember friends they haven’t seen for decades

Apes remember friends they haven’t seen for decades

  Johns Hopkins University reports: Apes recognize photos of groupmates they haven’t seen for more than 25 years and respond even more enthusiastically to pictures of their friends, a new study finds. The work, which demonstrates the longest-lasting social memory ever documented outside of humans and underscores how human culture evolved from the common ancestors we share with apes, our closest relatives, was published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Chimpanzees and bonobos recognize individuals…

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Artificial intelligence systems found to excel at imitation, but not innovation

Artificial intelligence systems found to excel at imitation, but not innovation

TechXplore reports: Artificial intelligence (AI) systems are often depicted as sentient agents poised to overshadow the human mind. But AI lacks the crucial human ability of innovation, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have found. While children and adults alike can solve problems by finding novel uses for everyday objects, AI systems often lack the ability to view tools in a new way, according to findings published in Perspectives on Psychological Science. AI language models like ChatGPT are passively…

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The wisdom of being unsure

The wisdom of being unsure

Maggie Jackson writes: I didn’t intend to write a book about uncertainty. Some years ago, I set off to research a volume on the kinds of thinking needed in a speed-driven, fragmented age. Epistemic uncertainty, which arises when we recognize the limits of our knowledge, was the subject of my first chapter. I assumed that being unsure was merely a preface to good thinking, something to eradicate as swiftly as possible en route to an answer. But I soon discovered…

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Research links the tendency to feel victimized to support for political violence

Research links the tendency to feel victimized to support for political violence

PsyPost reports: A recent series of studies reveals a strong connection between an individual’s tendency to feel victimized and their support for political violence. This research, which has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Violence, sheds light on how personal perceptions of victimhood can influence attitudes towards violent political actions. In an era where political tensions often lead to violent outbreaks, understanding the root causes of such violence is crucial. Past research has linked trauma, abuse, and relative…

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Santos, now booted from the House, got elected as a master of duplicity – here’s how it worked

Santos, now booted from the House, got elected as a master of duplicity – here’s how it worked

Rep. George Santos in the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 7, 2023. Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images By David E. Clementson, University of Georgia U.S. Rep. George Santos, a Republican from New York, was expelled on Dec. 1, 2023 from Congress for doing what most people think all politicians do all the time: lying. Santos lied about his religion, marital status, business background, grandparents, college, high school, sports-playing, income and campaign donation expenditures. Santos’ fellow members of Congress –…

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Powerful forces are fracking our attention. We can fight back

Powerful forces are fracking our attention. We can fight back

D. Graham Burnett, Alyssa Loh and Peter Schmidt write: The lament is as old as education itself: The students aren’t paying attention. But today, the problem of flighty or fragmented attention has reached truly catastrophic proportions. High school and college teachers overwhelmingly report that students’ capacity for sustained, or deep attention has sharply decreased, significantly impeding the forms of study — reading, looking at art, round-table discussions — once deemed central to the liberal arts. By some measures you are…

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‘You made me do it’

‘You made me do it’

Jacqueline Rose writes: In response​ to the destruction of Gaza, it seems to be becoming almost impossible to lament more than one people at a time. When I signed Artists for Palestine’s statement last month, I looked for mention of the atrocities committed by Hamas against Israeli Jews on 7 October, and then decided to settle for the unambiguous condemnation of ‘every act of violence against civilians and every infringement of international law whoever perpetrates them’. At Independent Jewish Voices,…

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