The Thoughtful Animal

Greetings! After emerging from the Cave of Open Lab (have you seen all the awesome posts that were chosen?), I’m back with the best in psychology and neuroscience research blogging from the past week.

  • Over at Games With Words, we learn that “If Microsoft Word had its way, passive verbs would be excised from the language.” Learning the passive. And are three bicycles had by John?
  • One way that Indiana Jones and I are alike are that we both hate snakes. Could this be innate? Christian Jarrett of BPS Research Digest discusses research that suggested “children as young as three seem to be particularly adept at spotting snakes in a ‘striking pose’.”
  • Sometimes, parents desperately want their children to sleep so that they, themselves, can get some sleep. But at The Thoughtful Parent blog, a recent post discusses research that “nighttime sleep is important for young children’s cognitive development” as well.
  • “By drawing on a sample of 900 US undergraduate students, the researchers found that people are more likely to form and be in long-term relationships, both friendly and romantic, if they share the same birth order than would be expected by chance.” A little surprising, right? Jose of Psychothalamus explains this recent PLoS ONE paper.
  • A few months ago, a paper on ESP and the apparent ability to anticipate future porn by Daryl Bem made some splashes in the news and in the blogosphere. That paper has finally come out in print and, well, there are more splashes. Tal Yarkoni at [citation needed] elegantly describes some of the critiques the paper has received. The psychology of parapsychology, or why good researchers publishing good articles in good journals can still get it totally wrong. A must-read post!