BPS Research Digest

Visit Blog Website

1016 posts · 781,652 views

Cutting-edge reports on the latest psychology research

BPS Research Digest
1,016 posts

Sort by: Latest Post, Most Popular

View by: Condensed, Full

  • November 27, 2014
  • 05:35 AM
  • 41 views

Why sadness lasts longer than other emotions

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Staying positive can feel like an uphill battle. No wonder: when Philippe Verduyn and Saskia Lavrijsen asked over 200 high-school students (average age 17) to reminisce about the duration of their recent emotional experiences, they found that sadness had an unfortunate habit of lingering, more so than any of the other 26 emotions studied, including joy, pride and relief.Indeed, the average duration of the episodes of sadness recalled by the students was 120 hours. At the other extreme, the most ........ Read more »

  • November 25, 2014
  • 12:12 PM
  • 25 views

Why you're particularly likely to run your first marathon when your age ends in a "9"

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

When we look at our lives, we tend to break them up into chapters, rather like the seasons of a TV box set. Potential dividers come in many forms, including the dawn of a new year, or the start of a new job. But if those events act as a marker between episodes, it is the decades of our lives that represent the more profound end of one series or season and the start of the next.According to the psychologists Adam Alter and Hal Hershfield, when we're on the cusp of one of these boundaries - in oth........ Read more »

Alter, A.L., & Hershfield, H.E. (2014) People search for meaning when they approach a new decade in chronological age. PNAS. info:/

  • November 25, 2014
  • 04:14 AM
  • 23 views

When Korea imposed a limit on working hours, did it make people happier?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Across different professions, many people are familiar with the sense of having to deliver more with less, meaning clocking-off time falls later and later. One way to protect workers’ rights, and look after their wellbeing, is to introduce working hours restrictions. But a new paper by Korea University's Robert Rudolf investigates the impact of such a reform, and its conclusions are disappointing.Beginning its roll-out in 2004, the (South) Korean Five Day Working Reform was intended to manage ........ Read more »

  • November 24, 2014
  • 04:22 AM
  • 15 views

Happy people think they're good at empathising with the pain of others. They're wrong

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Which of your friends - the happier, or the more melancholy - is better at spotting your excitement that Chris is attending your birthday, or that a B+ has left you disappointed?Evidence suggests that more upbeat people consider themselves especially empathic, and it would be reasonable to believe them, given that they know more people on average, and tend to form deeper, more trusting relationships. The reality, however, is more complicated. New research led by Yale's Hillary Devlin suggests th........ Read more »

  • November 20, 2014
  • 03:20 AM
  • 9 views

Bankers become dishonest when reminded of their professional identity

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The "Natwest 3" jailedfor wire fraud in 2008.Picture a banker tossing a coin ten times. She knows the more tails she gets, the more money she wins (up to $200), so long as she gets more tails than a rival playing the same game. She performs her coin tossing in private and reports her number of tails. Do you think she'll be honest?When a team of researchers surveyed the general population about the likely dishonesty of bankers and other groups in this scenario, they found the bankers had the wors........ Read more »

Alain Cohn, Ernst Fehr, & Michel Marechal. (2014) Business culture and dishonesty in the banking industry. Nature . info:/

  • November 19, 2014
  • 06:29 AM
  • 12 views

Do you remember the time? How collective nostalgia inspires group loyalty

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Nostalgia seems like a distraction in a world that’s moving forward. But new research proposes a powerful function of the emotion: as a glue to bind members of social groups.Students from the University of Southampton recalled and wrote about an experience either involving other students, or where they were alone. They were either asked to choose an ordinary event or one that triggered nostalgic feeling, defined in the instructions as "sentimental longing for the past".Next they were asked how........ Read more »

Wildschut, T., Bruder, M., Robertson, S., van Tilburg, W., & Sedikides, C. (2014) Collective nostalgia: A group-level emotion that confers unique benefits on the group. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107(5), 844-863. DOI: 10.1037/a0037760  

  • November 17, 2014
  • 07:08 AM
  • 87 views

How guessing the wrong answer helps you learn the right answer

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Guessing, even wrongly, is thought toactivate webs of knowledge, which leadsto richer encoding of the correct answer. It's well known that taking tests helps us learn. The act of retrieving information from memory helps that information stick. This seems intuitive. More surprising is the recent discovery that guessing aids subsequent learning of the correct answer, even if your initial guess was wrong.Let's consider a simple example in the context of learning capital cities. Imagine you don........ Read more »

  • November 14, 2014
  • 06:41 AM
  • 58 views

Reformers say psychologists should change how they report their results, but does anyone understand the alternative?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

The rectangular bars indicate samplemeans and the red lines represent theconfidence intervals surrounding them.Image: Audriusa/WikipediaPsychological science is undergoing a process of soul-searching and self-improvement. The reasons vary but include failed replications of high-profile findings, evidence of bias in what gets published, and surveys suggestive of questionable research practices.Among the proposed solutions is that psychologists should change the way they report their fin........ Read more »

Hoekstra, R., Morey, R., Rouder, J., & Wagenmakers, E. (2014) Robust misinterpretation of confidence intervals. Psychonomic Bulletin , 21(5), 1157-1164. DOI: 10.3758/s13423-013-0572-3  

  • November 13, 2014
  • 08:49 AM
  • 95 views

Babies' anxiety levels are related to their fathers' nervousness, not their mothers'

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Picture a one-year-old infant crawling across a table top. Half way across, the surface becomes transparent so that it appears there is a deep drop. On the other side is the infant's mother or father, encouraging them to crawl across the "visual cliff". Will the baby's anxiety levels be influenced more by the mother's own anxiety or the father's?This was the question posed by Eline Möller and her colleagues in what is the first ever study to examine paternal behaviour in the classic visual........ Read more »

  • November 12, 2014
  • 06:40 AM
  • 109 views

Loneliness is a disease that changes the brain's structure and function

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Loneliness increases the risk of poor sleep, higher blood pressure, cognitive and immune decline, depression, and ultimately an earlier death. Why? The traditional explanation is that lonely people lack life’s advisors: people who encourage healthy behaviours and curb unhealthy ones. If so, we should invest in pamphlets, adverts and GP advice: ignorance is the true disease, loneliness just a symptom.But this can’t be the full story. Introverts with small networks aren’t at especial health ........ Read more »

Cacioppo, S., Capitanio, J., & Cacioppo, J. (2014) Toward a neurology of loneliness. Psychological Bulletin, 140(6), 1464-1504. DOI: 10.1037/a0037618  

  • November 11, 2014
  • 05:29 AM
  • 96 views

Who are the most eminent psychologists of the modern era?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

A new paper identifies Albert Bandura as themost eminent psychologist of the modern era.Twelve years ago the behaviourist B.F. Skinner topped a list of the 100 most eminent psychologists of the twentieth century, followed by Jean Piaget and Sigmund Freud. Now a team led by Ed Diener has used their own criteria to compile a list of the 200 most eminent psychologists of the modern era (i.e. people whose careers occurred primarily after 1956).Here is the top 10: Albert Bandura in first place, ........ Read more »

Diener, E., Oishi, S., & Park, J. (2014) An incomplete list of eminent psychologists of the modern era. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 2(1), 20-31. DOI: 10.1037/arc0000006  

  • November 10, 2014
  • 09:51 AM
  • 97 views

When we lie to children, are we teaching them to be dishonest?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Cookie Monster - one ofthe characters featuredin this research.Most parents lie to their children, often as a way to control their behaviour. A new study asks whether lying to the little ones increases the likelihood that they too will lie. The authors, Chelsea Hays and Leslie Carver, say theirs is the first attempt to investigate this possibility.Nearly two hundred children aged three to seven were each put through a similar scenario, one at a time. First, they were invited to go through to the........ Read more »

  • November 7, 2014
  • 08:04 AM
  • 57 views

When we get depressed, we lose our ability to go with our gut instincts

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

People who are depressed often complain that they find it difficult to make decisions. A new study provides an explanation. Carina Remmers and her colleagues tested 29 patients diagnosed with major depression and 27 healthy controls and they found that the people with depression had an impaired ability to go with their gut instincts, or what we might call intuition.Intuition is not an easy skill to measure. The researchers' approach was to present participants with triads of words (e.g. SALT DEE........ Read more »

Remmers C, Topolinski S, Dietrich DE, & Michalak J. (2014) Impaired intuition in patients with major depressive disorder. The British journal of clinical psychology / the British Psychological Society. PMID: 25307321  

  • November 6, 2014
  • 07:13 AM
  • 97 views

Countries with more gender equality score more Olympic medals - among women and men

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

There are huge benefits to be gained when women and men are given equal opportunities. For example, companies with at least one woman on their board are more successful. In countries with less stereotyped views about women's abilities, girls tend to perform better at science. Now a team led by Jennifer Berdahl has extended this line of research to the realm of sport. In countries with greater gender equality, they find, both women and men tend to perform better at the Olympics.The researchers lo........ Read more »

  • November 5, 2014
  • 07:02 AM
  • 101 views

You've heard of "Owls" and "Larks", now sleep scientists propose two more chronotypes

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

For many years psychologists have divided people into two types based on their sleeping habits. There are Larks who rise early, feel sprightly in the morning, and retire to bed early; and Owls, who do the opposite, preferring to get up late and who come alive in the evening.Have you ever thought that you don't fit either pattern; that you're neither a morning nor evening person? Even in good health, maybe you feel sluggish most of the time, or conversely, perhaps you feel high energy in the morn........ Read more »

  • November 4, 2014
  • 06:35 AM
  • 100 views

Does dreaming of exam failure affect your real-life chances of success?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Why do we dream? It's still a scientific mystery. The "Threat Simulation Theory" proposes that we dream as a way to simulate real-life threats and prepare ourselves for dealing with them. "This simulation in an almost-real experiential world would train the brain to perceive dangers and rapidly face them within the safe condition of sleeping," write the authors of a new paper that's put the theory to the test.Isabelle Arnulf and her colleagues reasoned that if dreams help simulate future threats........ Read more »

Arnulf, I., Grosliere, L., Le Corvec, T., Golmard, J., Lascols, O., & Duguet, A. (2014) Will students pass a competitive exam that they failed in their dreams?. Consciousness and Cognition, 36-47. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2014.06.010  

  • November 3, 2014
  • 05:04 AM
  • 75 views

What can bereavement cards tell us about cultural differences in the expression of sympathy?

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Sympathy towards the suffering is culture-dependent. People from "simpatico" cultures such as Brazil or Costa Rica are more likely to help people in need, as are people from economically poorer nations compared to wealthier counterparts. Now new research explores differences in how sympathy is expressed within two Western countries. Americans encourage sufferers to look for the light at the end of the tunnel, the study finds, while Germans are more comfortable gazing at its dark walls.Birgit Koo........ Read more »

  • October 31, 2014
  • 06:08 AM
  • 60 views

The psychology of "mate poaching" - when you form a relationship by taking someone else's partner

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

According to one estimate, 63 per cent of men and 54 per cent of women are in their current long-term relationships because their current partner "poached" them from a previous partner. Now researchers in the US and Australia have conducted the first investigation into the fate of relationships formed this way, as compared with relationships formed by two unattached individuals.An initial study involved surveying 138 heterosexual participants (average age 20; 71 per cent were women) four times o........ Read more »

  • October 29, 2014
  • 06:52 PM
  • 52 views

Friendly, conscientious people are more prone to "destructive obedience"

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

In Milgram's shock experiments, a surprising number of people obeyed a scientist's instruction to deliver dangerous electric shocks to another person. This is usually interpreted in terms of the power of "strong situations". The scenario, complete with lab apparatus and scientist in grey coat, was so compelling that many people's usual behavioural tendencies were overcome.But a new study challenges this account. Recognising that many participants in fact showed disobedience to the scientist in M........ Read more »

Bègue, L., Beauvois, J., Courbet, D., Oberlé, D., Lepage, J., & Duke, A. (2014) Personality Predicts Obedience in a Milgram Paradigm. Journal of Personality. DOI: 10.1111/jopy.12104  

  • October 28, 2014
  • 06:22 AM
  • 134 views

What I don’t hear can’t hurt me: insecure managers avoid input from employees

by BPS Research Digest in BPS Research Digest

Organisations do better when there are clear communication channels that allow staff to point out ways the company can improve. Similarly, teams who freely share ideas and concerns are more tight-knit and motivated. And their managers get enhanced awareness, and to share in the praise for any improvements that pay off. So encouraging employee voice should be a no-brainer, especially for any manager feeling unsure of their ability to deliver solo. Yet according to new research, these insecure man........ Read more »

join us!

Do you write about peer-reviewed research in your blog? Use ResearchBlogging.org to make it easy for your readers — and others from around the world — to find your serious posts about academic research.

If you don't have a blog, you can still use our site to learn about fascinating developments in cutting-edge research from around the world.

Register Now

Research Blogging is powered by SMG Technology.

To learn more, visit seedmediagroup.com.