Most of us find the behavior of the true psychopath frightening enough that we have few issues with locking them up and throwing away the key. They seem so very different from us and hearing the facts of their behavior is frightening and leaves us feeling unsafe. If you are not afraid of the psychopath, […]
Psychopaths cannot understand punishment—what does that mean for the courtroom?
Judges are biased in favor of psychopaths whose “brains made them do it”
Is thi........ Read more »
Gill AD, & Stickle TR. (2015) Affective Differences Between Psychopathy Variants and Genders in Adjudicated Youth. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. PMID: 25727716
I approach the paper by Fereshteh Shakibaei and colleagues  with some degree of caution save any suggestions that I am somehow 'promoting' the herb Ginkgo biloba for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or anything else. I'm not, but I am interested in the results of their placebo-controlled trial suggesting that "The G. biloba is an effective complementary treatment for ADHD" and their subsequent calls for further research into this potentially promising intervention.As ........ Read more »
Shakibaei F, Radmanesh M, Salari E, & Mahaki B. (2015) Ginkgo biloba in the treatment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in children and adolescents. A randomized, placebo-controlled, trial. Complementary therapies in clinical practice. PMID: 25925875
There are very few people living with chronic pain who gleefully swallow a handful of pills and skip happily off for the day feeling chipper and bright as a button. For the most part, people living with chronic pain don’t seem to enjoy the need to take medications – I’ve heard some say they’re worried about “not being able to tell whether I’m doing damage” when they can’t feel their pain, others say they don’t think medications are very helpf........ Read more »
Martel MO, Finan PH, Dolman AJ, Subramanian S, Edwards RR, Wasan AD, & Jamison RN. (2015) Self-reports of medication side effects and pain-related activity interference in patients with chronic pain: a longitudinal cohort study. Pain, 156(6), 1092-100. PMID: 25782367
We don’t usually think of a child’s behavior as a diet issue, but if new findings hold true, then that might be the very case. In a new study, researchers suggest that omega-3, a fatty acid commonly found in fish oil, may have long-term neurodevelopmental effects that ultimately reduce antisocial and aggressive behavior problems in children.... Read more »
Raine, A., Portnoy, J., Liu, J., Mahoomed, T., & Hibbeln, J. (2015) Reduction in behavior problems with omega-3 supplementation in children aged 8-16 years: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, stratified, parallel-group trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 56(5), 509-520. DOI: 10.1111/jcpp.12314
"Anxiety, depression and fatigue are common complaints in patients with untreated celiac disease and contribute to lower quality of life."That was one of the conclusions reached in the paper by Fabiana Zingone and colleagues  (open-access available here) following their review of the research literature "on psychological morbidity of celiac disease." Celiac (coeliac) disease (CD), by the way, is the autoimmune condition classically treated via the use of a gluten-free diet (GFD). Readers........ Read more »
Zingone F, Swift GL, Card TR, Sanders DS, Ludvigsson JF, & Bai JC. (2015) Psychological morbidity of celiac disease: A review of the literature. United European gastroenterology journal, 3(2), 136-45. PMID: 25922673
by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room
This is not a scale to help you determine if your fruits and vegetables are dirty. This is for a different kind of dirt commonly referred to as the dark triad. Psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism make up the dark triad of personality traits and they are traits we all want to identify at different points […]
The CAST Scale: A comprehensive assessment of sadistic tendencies
The Libertarian Orientation Scale: Who’s the (real) Libertarian?
I’ll show you who........ Read more »
Jonason PK, & Webster GD. (2010) The dirty dozen: a concise measure of the dark triad. Psychological Assessment, 22(2), 420-32. PMID: 20528068
"These results provide evidence that gains from early intensive intervention are maintained 2 years later. Notably, core autism symptoms improved in the ESDM [Early Start Denver Model] group over the follow-up period relative to the COM [community-intervention-as-usual] group."Those were some of the conclusions reported in amongst the potentially very important results from Annette Estes and colleagues  looking at "the sustained effects of early intervention" followin........ Read more »
Annette Estes, Jeffrey Munson, Sally J. Rogers, Jessica Greenson, Jamie Winter, & Geraldine Dawson. (2015) Long-Term Outcomes of Early Intervention in 6-Year-Old Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. info:/10.1016/j.jaac.2015.04.005
Many years ago, a guy called Michael Persinger achieved a certain amount of fame with a claim that stimulating the right part of the brain with a magnetic field could give people a religious experience. Although others weren’t able to get the same results, studies since then have found that brain damage to parts of [Read More...]... Read more »
Crescentini, C., Di Bucchianico, M., Fabbro, F., & Urgesi, C. (2015) Excitatory stimulation of the right inferior parietal cortex lessens implicit religiousness/spirituality. Neuropsychologia, 71-79. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2015.02.016
"Schizophrenia is associated with impaired lung function and increased risk for pneumonia, COPD [Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease] and chronic bronchitis."That was the primary conclusion reached in the paper by Krista Partti and colleagues  who aimed to "compare the respiratory health of people with psychosis with that of the general population." Their findings, based on data from "a nationally representative sample of 8028 adult Finns" (Finns as in inhabitants of Finland) invo........ Read more »
Partti K, Vasankari T, Kanervisto M, Perälä J, Saarni SI, Jousilahti P, Lönnqvist J, & Suvisaari J. (2015) Lung function and respiratory diseases in people with psychosis: population-based study. The British journal of psychiatry : the journal of mental science. PMID: 25858177
The Neolithic Revolution changed human health for all future generations. It has influenced our diet and how we design and live in our cities.... Read more »
Galea S. (2005) Urban built environment and depression: a multilevel analysis. Journal of Epidemiology , 59(10), 822-827. DOI: 10.1136/jech.2005.033084
Mummert A, Esche E, Robinson J, & Armelagos G. (2011) Stature and robusticity during the agricultural transition: Evidence from the bioarchaeological record. Economics , 9(3), 284-301. DOI: 10.1016/j.ehb.2011.03.004
Taylor M, Wheeler B, White M, Economou T, & Osborne N. (2015) Research note: Urban street tree density and antidepressant prescription rates—A cross-sectional study in London, UK. Landscape and Urban Planning, 174-179. DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.12.005
Even indoor pets help us get to know other people, according to new research in four cities in the US and Australia.It’s easy to see how people who regularly walk their dog can get to know others. They might strike up friendly conversations about dogs, or learn to avoid certain people because of the way their off-leash dog charges up with unwanted “friendly” advances. It’s less obvious for people who don’t walk their dogs, or who have pets that are always indoors. But a new study by re........ Read more »
Wood, L., Martin, K., Christian, H., Nathan, A., Lauritsen, C., Houghton, S., Kawachi, I., & McCune, S. (2015) The Pet Factor - Companion Animals as a Conduit for Getting to Know People, Friendship Formation and Social Support. PLOS ONE, 10(4). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0122085
A current theory is that humans (and other animals) perceive symmetry as beauty and is desirable in a mate. Symmetric bodies and faces are correlated with strength, overall health, facial beauty, and dancing ability, but also with extramarital affairs. On the other hand, on butterfly thrives on ugliness. Asymmetric wings actually help males fly better during sexual competitions and gives them a reproductive advantage.... Read more »
Wade, T. (2010) The Relationships between Symmetry and Attractiveness and Mating Relevant Decisions and Behavior: A Review. Symmetry, 2(2), 1081-1098. DOI: 10.3390/sym2021081
Little, A., Paukner, A., Woodward, R., & Suomi, S. (2012) Facial asymmetry is negatively related to condition in female macaque monkeys. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, 66(9), 1311-1318. DOI: 10.1007/s00265-012-1386-4
Fink, B., Weege, B., Manning, J., & Trivers, R. (2014) Body symmetry and physical strength in human males. American Journal of Human Biology, 26(5), 697-700. DOI: 10.1002/ajhb.22584
Thomas F, Doyon J, Elguero E, Dujardin JP, Brodeur J, Roucher C, Robert V, Missé D, Raymond M, & Trape JF. (2015) Plasmodium infections and fluctuating asymmetry among children and teenagers from Senegal. Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 97-101. PMID: 25725158
Lazić, M., Kaliontzopoulou, A., Carretero, M., & Crnobrnja-Isailović, J. (2013) Lizards from Urban Areas Are More Asymmetric: Using Fluctuating Asymmetry to Evaluate Environmental Disturbance. PLoS ONE, 8(12). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0084190
Ozener B. (2011) Does urban poverty increase body fluctuating asymmetry?. Collegium antropologicum, 35(4), 1001-5. PMID: 22397230
Conservative commentators like to say Barack Obama is cold and aloof (and narcissistic) because he uses so many personal pronouns in speeches. However, when compared to past Presidents, Obama’s personal pronoun use is actually lower than any President since 1945. It’s an interesting example of how our preexisting beliefs (and political orientation) skew how we […]
So, potential juror, how much online porn do you watch?
R-rated pronouns and adjectives?
A scientific exp........ Read more »
Carey, AL, Brucks, MS, Küfner, ACP, Holtzman, NS, Deters, FG, Back, MD, Donnellan, MB, Pennebaker, JW, & Mehl, MR. (2015) Narcissists and Pronouns: “I”, “me” “mine”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. info:/
Four chimpanzees born at the Primate Reserach Institute, Kyoto University recently participated in a finger-tapping experiment much like those that have been done for decades with humans (Repp, 2005). Two of them, Chloe and Cleo, showed signs of synchronization, according to a study that just came out in Scientific Reports.... Read more »
Merchant, H., & Honing, H. (2013) Are non-human primates capable of rhythmic entrainment? Evidence for the gradual audiomotor evolution hypothesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 7(274). info:/
Repp, B. (2005) Sensorimotor synchronization: A review of the tapping literature. Psychonomic Bulletin , 12(6), 969-992. DOI: 10.3758/BF03206433
Yu, L., & Tomonaga, M. (2015) Interactional synchrony in chimpanzees: Examination through a finger-tapping experiment. Scientific Reports, 10218. DOI: 10.1038/srep10218
"Children whose mothers were severely obese before pregnancy had increased risk for adverse developmental outcomes."That was the conclusion reached in the paper by Heejoo Jo and colleagues  based on results derived from the Infant Feeding Practices Study II (IFPS II) "a US nationally distributed longitudinal study of maternal health and infant health and feeding practices." Said data included information on "maternal prepregnancy BMI [body mass index] and child psychosocia........ Read more »
Jo, H., Schieve, L., Sharma, A., Hinkle, S., Li, R., & Lind, J. (2015) Maternal Prepregnancy Body Mass Index and Child Psychosocial Development at 6 Years of Age. PEDIATRICS, 135(5). DOI: 10.1542/peds.2014-3058
The great racial divide, despite all the evidence showing that racism, hate and frankly plain stupidity is alive and well, there are people who cannot accept it. This probably will not change anything for those people, but for the first time a new study shows that while suicide rates in children younger than 12 have remained steady for the past 20 years, there are significantly higher suicide rates among black children.... Read more »
Bridge, J., Asti, L., Horowitz, L., Greenhouse, J., Fontanella, C., Sheftall, A., Kelleher, K., & Campo, J. (2015) Suicide Trends Among Elementary School–Aged Children in the United States From 1993 to 2012. JAMA Pediatrics. DOI: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2015.0465
This question came up in journal club a little while ago. The hypothesis that neurons in the brain are attempting to maximize their information about the world is a powerful one. Although usually attributed to Horace Barlow, the idea arose almost … Continue reading →... Read more »
MacKay, D., & McCulloch, W. (1952) The limiting information capacity of a neuronal link. The Bulletin of Mathematical Biophysics, 14(2), 127-135. DOI: 10.1007/BF02477711
von Neumann. (1956) Probabilistic logics and the synthesis of reliable organisms from unreliable components. Automata Studies. info:/
"Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil" according to one definition. In other descriptions, words such as 'worry' and 'dread' are used (see here) describing how beyond the typical feelings of apprehension about a new situation for example, anxiety can turn into something altogether more serious and life-disrupting for some.There are various types of anxiety disorder (see here) to consider, but for the purposes of this post I'm going to focus on social anxiety disorder in the context of........ Read more »
Pellecchia, M., Connell, J., Kerns, C., Xie, M., Marcus, S., & Mandell, D. (2015) Child characteristics associated with outcome for children with autism in a school-based behavioral intervention. Autism. DOI: 10.1177/1362361315577518
The Netherlands had the strongest stereotypes associating science with men more than women, according to a new Northwestern University study that included data from nearly 350,000 people in 66 nations. These stereotypes are prevalent across the world — even in nations such as Argentina and Bulgaria where women are roughly half of science majors in colleges and universities and employed researchers, according to the study, the largest ever of its kind.... Read more »
David I. Miller, Alice H. Eagly, & Marcia C. Linn. (2015) Women's Representation in Science Predicts National Gender-Science Stereotypes: Evidence From 66 Nations. Journal of Educational Psychology. info:/http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000005
The entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. The sign "Arbeit macht Frei" means "Work liberates".Free will is a controversial topic in psychology, thanks in part to studies suggesting that the brain activity associated with making decisions comes before the conscious feeling of making a choice. Other research claims that when people are exposed to arguments against free will, this makes them more prone to cheat. While intriguing, such insights are arguably somewhat removed from ev........ Read more »
Davidov, J., & Eisikovits, Z. (2015) Free will in total institutions: The case of choice inside Nazi death camps. Consciousness and Cognition, 87-97. DOI: 10.1016/j.concog.2015.03.018
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