Psychology

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Category archives for Psychology

The Buzz: The Truth About Lying

Why do some people lie much more frequently than others? A new study in PNAS indicates that consistently honest people don’t have to struggle to overcome temptation—they simply don’t feel it. Psychologists at Harvard scanned the brains of 35 volunteers while they predicted the outcome of a computerized coin toss game for money. In one…

View image The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is used by psychiatrists to accurately diagnose patients along five different axes of disorders. Four versions have been produced since the first publication in 1952, and a specially appointed task force began revisions on a fifth, DSM-V, in…

Human nature is often cited as an explanation for behavior—not a result. But as Eric Michael Johnson of The Primate Diaries explains, human nature is as much a product of individual actions as it is a driving force. And knowing how social structures arise out of individual patterns of behavior may help us adapt to…

How accurately can medical professionals distinguish post-traumatic stress disorder from related conditions? Is it better to be safe than sorry, or is overdiagnosis hurting patients rather than helping them? These are some questions that ScienceBlogger and freelance journalist David Dobbs addressed in his article in the April edition of Scientific American, bringing light to data…

The more moral you believe yourself to be, the less moral you may be inclined to act, according to a new study in Psychological Science. Psychologists evaluated the moral self-image of subject participants and then presented them with a variety of scenarios in which they were asked to donate money to charity and to choose…

The Buzz: Music as Morphine?

It’s been hypothesized that music may mitigate physical pain, a by-product of many medical procedures, but this has always been hard to test due to the wide range of music preferences. In a recent study that capitalized on mp3 player mania, researchers tested this theory by allowing subjects to listen to their own pre-made play…

Recently, a discussion has sparked on ScienceBlogs over how the word “addiction,” could be used to describe some substances that aren’t necessarily harmful such as antidepressants. Scicurious from Neurotopia points out that if a substance changes one’s physical self, there will be physical effects if that drug is discontinued—a property of addiction. Likewise, PalMD from…

This week’s Bloggingheads.tv episode features philosopher Joshua Knobe and psychologist Elizabeth Spelke discussing the cognitive abilities of infants. Here are some more clips of the “diavlog” in addition to the one you can view on the ScienceBlogs home page.

A group of psychologists, ethicists and neuroscientists have added their voices to the growing debate over the merits and demerits of brain droping, the use of cognitive enhancement drugs like Adderall or Ritalin to improve mental performance. Their commentary, published online Sunday in Nature, argues that any adult in full mental health should be able…

The subject of one of the most famous case studies in cognitive psychology died Tuesday of heart failure. Referenced by the initials “H.M.,” Henry Molaison was known for losing his episodic memory as the result of an operation during which neurosurgeons removed parts of his medial and temporal lobes in attempt to curb his epilepsy.…