Psychology

Gene Expression

Category archives for Psychology

Why Liberals and Atheists Are More Intelligent: The origin of values and preferences is an unresolved theoretical question in behavioral and social sciences. The Savanna-IQ Interaction Hypothesis, derived from the Savanna Principle and a theory of the evolution of general intelligence, suggests that more intelligent individuals may be more likely to acquire and espouse evolutionarily…

Wired for justice?

Since my last post was rather pessimistic, I thought I’d point to something a little more cheerful, Social Scientists Build Case for ‘Survival of the Kindest’: Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are challenging long-held beliefs that human beings are wired to be selfish. In a wide range of studies, social scientists are amassing…

New Agers are more delusional

Relative to atheists, and conventional religious people (though conventional religious people are more delusional than atheists). Tom Rees has more: Overall, the New Agers were more delusional than the Religious. That was particularly true for belief in witchcraft and telepathy (not shown in the graph). But the New Agers were also more likely to think…

Does the pill matter?

Eric Michael Johnson has a post up, Does Taking Birth Control Alter Women’s Sexual Choices?, where he surveys a new paper,Does the contraceptive pill alter mate choice in humans?. Eric notes: The concern of the researchers is that a woman who gets involved with a guy while on the pill might find that she’s no…

Going for the pain of paying

For Gun-Shy Consumers, Debit Is Replacing Credit: Visa announced this spring that spending on Visa debit cards in the United States surpassed credit for the first time in the company’s history. In 2008, debit payment volume was $206 billion, compared with credit volume of $203 billion. MasterCard reported that for the first six months of…

Religion & cognitive neuroscience

Neuroanatomical Variability of Religiosity: We hypothesized that religiosity, a set of traits variably expressed in the population, is modulated by neuroanatomical variability. We tested this idea by determining whether aspects of religiosity were predicted by variability in regional cortical volume. We performed structural magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in 40 healthy adult participants who…

The Neurocritic points me to a paper, The brain structural disposition to social interaction: Social reward dependence (RD) in humans is a stable pattern of attitudes and behaviour hypothesized to represent a favourable disposition towards social relationships and attachment as a personality dimension. It has been theorized that this long-term disposition to openness is linked…

I first encountered Dan Ariely on the radio show Marketplace, where he offers up little nuggets of research data from the new field of behavioral economics. Because of the individual scale of the research many of Ariely’s findings have some personal finance implications. Consider the pain of paying. This is the finding that when people…

The episode is titled “your brains & your genes.” There’s more emphasis on economics than you think.

David Brooks has a new column grandly titled The End of Philosophy. Heather Mac Donald at Secular Right chides him for his criticism of the New Atheists, while John Derbyshire offers guarded praise. It seems to me that the jab at the New Atheists was something of a throwaway line and I lean more toward…