Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information
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Psychologists’ Food Fight Over Replication of “Important Findings” 

Psychologists’ Food Fight Over Replication of “Important Findings”  | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
Psychologists are up in arms over, of all things, the editorial process that led to the recent publication of a special issue of the journal Social Psychology. This may seem like a classic case of ivory tower navel gazing, but its impact extends far beyond academia. The issue attempts to...
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A rather lengthy article, which details the pitfalls and controversies of psychological and other social sciences research. It reminds us that although these fields are useful, we should also take their information with a pinch of salt.

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The psychology of first impressions - digested

The psychology of first impressions - digested | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
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Some pretty neat insight on how humans judge nonverbal behavior in formulation of impressions. 

A word of caution though, after reading, you might be tempted to become more self-aware, and desire to produce or avoid some of these behaviors, the experience of which, might be slightly awkward. 
Also, one may want to take it with a small pinch of salt due to possible cultural differences affecting how we judge.

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The voices heard by people with schizophrenia are friendlier in India and Africa, than in the US

The voices heard by people with schizophrenia are friendlier in India and Africa, than in the US | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
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Having a serious mental illness in certain places of the world might not be as serious, it seems. A fascinating read on the effects of culture and how the mind responds differently to it, even when it is broken. 

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A Wandering Mind is An Unhappy Mind

"Being alone with their own thoughts for 15 minutes was apparently so aversive that it drove many participants to self-administer an electrical shock that they had earlier said they would pay to avoid…Most people seem to prefer doing something rather than nothing, even if that something is negative.”

Christopher Chia's insight:

As a saying goes: "an idle mind is the devil's playground". 

Here's an article on some research that backs this age old notion. The article also highlights how the abstinence of mobile devices can cause individuals to experience negative moods, and even subjecting themselves to pain, to escape the idleness, and more so, loneliness. Thus showing how important (or addictive) mobile devices have become to many of us.

 

Perhaps it would do us some good to learn to put away our mobile devices every now and then, to disconnect ourselves from others.


We could do well learning to be content with being alone... or rather, learn what solitude means once again.

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To feel like the good or bad guy: The role of empathy (Happ et al., 2014)

To feel like the good or bad guy: The role of empathy (Happ et al., 2014) | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
Matthew Grizzard (University of Buffalo) used "University Press Release" for his videogame study on moral sensitivity that was published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. It was ...
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While the author of this article butchers my university's name, he nevertheless shares an interesting piece of research on how empathy affects a person's behavior when one plays a video game. It is relevant to gamers and parents concerned about the things they play. For gamers, if you thought yourself an empathetic person, and so think that games that glorify antisocial behavior should not affect you, you might be surprised by the research's findings.

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The Defensive Worker: Big Data Could Squash Innovation

The Defensive Worker: Big Data Could Squash Innovation | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
"We opt for the safe and justifiable option, especially at work, to protect ourselves if something goes wrong, even when a superior option is available."
Christopher Chia's insight:

Defensive decision making. The notion that people choose proven and successful methods, rather than trying something novel, possibly superior, but untested. In the era of Big Data, this opens up even more conservative choices because now there's even more statistics to prove what's working and what isn't. This article further explains on this tendency and issues a call for us to not become too fearful of trying new things.  
Personally, I do wonder, could perhaps a compromise be reached? Maybe one can piece together various proven ways of doing things from Big Data and then create something new that integrates them. After all, aren't some of the most popular products just an integration of various older proven products? For e.g. the iPhone is a combination of phone, music player, clock, notebook, calendar, web browser, email, gaming platform, address book, newspapers and more. They were once things that existed separately, and were proven wants, before they became combined in one.

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Gamasutra: Mark Griffiths's Blog - Press to play: Is gaming really more addictive than heroin?

Gamasutra: Mark Griffiths's Blog - Press to play: Is gaming really more addictive than heroin? | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
Christopher Chia's insight:

Sometimes, when news publications try to cover scientific research, they tend to oversimplify, or sensationalize the story. They create causal links when they were not found in the actual story, or over-exaggerate the implications of the research. Here, a researcher rebuts the way in which "The Sun" covered his findings on gaming addiction, and explains what he had really found in his research.

This is a cautionary tale to always approach the media-published versions of scientific discoveries with some level of skepticism, and to look for the original research paper whenever it is available.

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Virtual crowds produce real behavior insights | Brown University

Virtual crowds produce real behavior insights | Brown University | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
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Using groundbreaking VR technology, researchers at Brown University have begun research on how individuals tune-in and walk in concert with the rest of a crowd. Though the idea might sound rudimentary to some at first glance, findings from this work may potentially change the way architects, interior designers, fire safety officers and urban planners work. It could have implications in how one designs a shopping mall to facilitate crowd movement - so that people can focus more on the shops and less on avoiding collisions. It could affect disaster evacuation route planning, the building of pedestrian sidewalks, roads, and so on. People working in these fields may want to keep at eye on follow-up developments of this research at Brown University.

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Reality Check - Why Do Steam Sales Take All My Money?!

Reality Check - Why Do Steam Sales Take All My Money?! | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
This week on Reality Check, Cam and Lucy investigate the psychology of steam sales and why they make us part with so much cash.
Christopher Chia's insight:

This video is a recommended viewing for any retailer trying to find new digital ways to enhance their product sales, as well as for any gamer whose wallet is hurting from the Summer Sale and wondering why they cannot control their spending habits.

For years, Steam Summer sales have been emptying wallets and filling hard drives with games that are never played.
Gamespot, a video game news and review website, seeks to understand the success of Summer Sales using psychological findings.

Although no new research was conducted by Gamespot themselves, the psychological concepts and work cited, such as that of Jamie Madigan, who also tweeted about this video and is referenced in it, are highly relevant.

Personally, to avoid splurging at these Summer Sales, I usually limit my purchases to the few games that I have been planning to play since they were announced; I would deny myself from purchasing these games on release date, and wait for the Summer Sale to offer them at minimally 50% off. As such, I maximize my savings on the purchase and do not end up buying a lot of games which I will never play. The delayed gratification of getting a good price for a good game, to me, is worth the patience.

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Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless

Why the Myers-Briggs test is totally meaningless | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
It's no more scientifically valid than a BuzzFeed quiz.
Christopher Chia's insight:

This article raises 4 large issues with a popular personality test and ultimately concludes that the test is meaningless. 
Given the widespread use of the test, the points raised by this article are set to have repercussions throughout society; employers, job-seekers, parents, educators, students and even dating couples, may want to take a read and reconsider believing the results of their own tests, if they had done it or are going to take it.
Also, even if someone finds the test being accurate for themselves, they may also want to consider two other possibilities:
1) the notion of self-fulfilling prophecies; perhaps your belief in test results from the past is the reason you behave the way you do today, and not because the test was truly correct. 
2) confirmation bias - having done the test recently, you recall memories that fit in with the test results you just obtained. When in reality, you do have other memories that contradict the test results, which you may recall if you think further. 

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10 Remarkable Ways Nature Can Heal Your Mind — PsyBlog

10 Remarkable Ways Nature Can Heal Your Mind — PsyBlog | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
People now spend up to 25% less time enjoying nature than they did 20 years ago. What is that doing to our minds?
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10 legit reasons (at least, more legit than most other lists out there) for one to get out and take in nature. So if you're feeling all stressed up, maybe it's time to put aside that iPhone and your usual destress methods of social media or gaming apps. Go out and take in nature, even if all that's near your home is the neighborhood park.

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Psychology: Why bad news dominates the headlines

Psychology: Why bad news dominates the headlines | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
Why is the news filled with disaster and corruption? It may be because we’re drawn to depressing stories without realising, says psychologist Tom Stafford
Christopher Chia's insight:

Are journalists seeking bad news only because that's what makes money, and grabs attention? Does sensationalism rule the day? This article explores in further depth the possible thought processes on why people are drawn to read bad news more than good news.

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Gene-hunt gain for mental health

Gene-hunt gain for mental health | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
Flood of genetic locations linked to schizophrenia helps spark financial boost to research field.
Christopher Chia's insight:

Schizophrenia is a serious mental illness characterized by incoherent or illogical thoughts, bizarre behavior and speech, and delusions or hallucinations, such as hearing voices. Schizophrenia typically begins in early adulthood, and if you were part of the 1% worldwide that suffers from it, you're in for a rough ride; having a chronic disorder, wherein full symptom remission is rare despite utilizing medication and psychological methods to overcome it.
However, with the success in finding more genetic locations associated with schizophrenia, there is definitely new hope in turning the situation around for many, and new medications may be developed. It can also lead to new prevention techniques, so those who have not suffered the disease, are aware of their own risk for it and be able to take steps to avoid it.

Though I do reckon that some caution is advised when identifying genetic risk factors and prevention; a person whose risk factors are identified should avoid becoming too completely engrossed in preventing schizophrenia, that he or she forgets to live, nor should one despair from knowing their risk.
 

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4 Tips for Writing and Thinking Well As Recommended by Charles Murray

4 Tips for Writing and Thinking Well As Recommended by Charles Murray | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
"I used to think that great writers had good ideas all along—as if they were walking encyclopedias from the beginning—but I realized that it’s the other way around. Great writers have great ideas because they became great writers—it’s the act of writing that triggers good thinking."
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Having a writer's block? Here's 4 tips for writing that Charles Murray recommends, and Sam McNerney seconds. 
Although not a truly psychological research piece, it still does offer help in getting one's brain juice flowing when it comes to writing.

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Why We're Hooked On Social Networks

Why We're Hooked On Social Networks | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
Births, job losses, divorces, raises, vacations, successes, photos, drawings, articles, failures, and music: Social networks are places we share our stories. Sometimes those stories are personal, sometimes they're informative, other times they're just stupid. Let's take a look at why we feel compelled to do it.
Christopher Chia's insight:

For anyone who spends many hours a day checking their Facebook News Feed or Twitter, they might pause every now and then and wonder: why am I so caught up with this? Perhaps this question is more pertinent for those with other commitments, and know they should cut down time on such media. Parents raising young children, or workers in an office, may do well to do exactly that. This article explains how social media excels at meeting 4 human wants that are important to many of us.

 

Via understanding how social media targets some of our basic human desires, perhaps one can better train oneself to ignore, find alternatives to or counteract the temptation of such media.

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Why Smart People Are Stupid - The New Yorker

Why Smart People Are Stupid - The New Yorker | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it

Smarter people (at least as measured by S.A.T. scores) and those more likely to engage in deliberation were slightly more vulnerable to common mental mistakes. Education also isn’t a savior; as Kahneman and Shane Frederick first noted many years ago, more than fifty per cent of students at Harvard, Princeton, and M.I.T. gave the incorrect answer to the bat-and-ball question.

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This startling article with an oxymoron title sheds light into the potential pitfalls of mental shortcuts and biases, and their correlation with measured intelligence. The article details how these biases come about and how good scores on conventional exams and other intelligence measures, do not lead to better avoidance of these errors.
In my opinion, this article probably calls for a need of better methods in measuring intelligence.

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The Too-Much-Talent Effect | Jonah Lehrer

While most general managers assume the link between talent and performance is linear – a straight line with an upward slope – the scientists found that it was actually curved, and teams with more than 60 percent top talent did worse than their less skilled competition. Swaab and Galinsky call this the “too-much-talent” effect.

Christopher Chia's insight:

An interesting finding regarding talented people that has implications for HR departments, employers, sports team managers, coaches, and anyone else trying to put together a team. Read the article to further discover when more talent is good, and when it is not. 

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Of Maggots and Brain Scans | Boston Review

Of Maggots and Brain Scans | Boston Review | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it

Brain images are ubiquitous and compelling. Findings reported in prestigious journals often lead to weeks of press hype. They can sway a jury toward conviction or away from the death penalty, guide medical treatment, or influence schools to develop separate but unequal education for boys and girls.

But what do brain images really tell us? What critical questions can a layperson ask to avoid being sucked into a brain vortex or wowed by new words such as “connectome”? Can we really link specific brain structures to particular behaviors? Or do these fascinating new finds get a critical pass because they feed into ingrained preconceptions about biology as a root cause of all things evil or inevitable?

Christopher Chia's insight:

With the increasing use of brain images in court hearings and their effectiveness at swaying verdicts, Anne Fausto-Sterling's piece is a timely warning that brain image scanning may not be as solid evidence as many think it is, The article urges us to reconsider the weight of such evidence, for it is not only science, but also justice and morality that is at stake. 

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‘Wisdom of the crowd’: The myths and realities

‘Wisdom of the crowd’: The myths and realities | Psych-a-daily: Your daily dose of Psychology related information | Scoop.it
Are the many cleverer than the few? Phil Ball explores the latest evidence on what can make groups of people smarter – but can also make them wildly wrong.
Christopher Chia's insight:

There's was a time where many people believed the earth is flat, and we know how that turned out.
Likewise, in the internet age, this problem has a risk of repeating itself. But unlike the flat-earth theory, which we have the benefit of retrospect to know its invalidity, mass consensus may reach incorrect solutions for new problems and scenarios.
This article further reinforces the call of Howard Rheingold: that we all need better crap detection skills.  

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