Personality traits ‘contagious’ among preschool children

February 5, 2017

When preschoolers spend time around one another, they tend to take on each others’ personalities, indicates a new study by Michigan State University psychology researchers.

The study, published online in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, suggests personality is shaped by environment and not just genes.

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Survey: 1 in 4 vacations includes a trip to the ER

November 21, 2016

If you’ve ever had to seek medical attention for an illness or an injury during a vacation, you’re not alone. A new national survey by Orlando Health finds one in four vacations includes a trip to the ER and doctors say many patients are simply not prepared for the situation.

“When you’re going on vacation the last thing you want to think about is a medical emergency, but with just a few simple steps, you can rest assured that you will be prepared for any situation” said Steven Corbett, MD, an emergency medicine physician with Dr. P. Phillips Hospital at Orlando Health.

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Science finds older dogs better at learning new tricks

November 8, 2016

Older adolescents and adults can learn certain thinking skills including non-verbal reasoning more effectively than younger people, finds new UCL (University College London) research.

The study, published in Psychological Science, also highlights the fact that non-verbal reasoning skills can be readily trained and do not represent an innate, fixed ability. Read more

Why some songs get stuck in your head and how to get them out

November 4, 2016

Almost all of us get songs stuck in our heads from time to time but why do certain tunes have the ‘stick factor’?

The first large-scale study, led by Dr Kelly Jakubowski at Durham University, may have some answers to this musical stickiness.

It has shown that songs that get stuck in your head – called earworms or involuntary musical imagery – are usually faster, with a fairly generic and easy-to-remember melody but with some unique intervals such as leaps or repetitions that set it apart from the “average pop song”. Read more

Witnesses confuse innocent and guilty suspects with ‘unfair’ lineups

July 26, 2016

Police lineups in which distinctive individual marks or features are not altered can impair witnesses’ ability to distinguish between innocent and guilty suspects, according to new research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The research, conducted by a team of psychology researchers from the University of Warwick in the UK, builds on existing eyewitness identification studies suggesting that so-called “unfair lineups,” in which the police suspect stands out, make witnesses more willing to identify that suspect. Read more

It’s true – women feign sexual pleasure to end ‘bad’ sex

July 8, 2016

When talking about troubling sexual encounters some women mention faking sexual pleasure to speed up their male partner’s orgasm and ultimately end sex.

This is one of the findings of a qualitative study by Emily Thomas (Ryerson University, Canada) Monika Stelzl, Michelle Lafrance (St. Thomas University, Canada) that will be presented today, Friday 8 July 2016, at the British Psychological Society’s Psychology of Women annual conference in Windsor. Read more

Baby talk words with repeated sounds help infants learn language

May 27, 2016

Babies find it easier to learn words with repetitive syllables rather than mixed sounds, a study suggests.

Assessments of language learning in 18-month-olds suggest that children are better at grasping the names of objects with repeated syllables, over words with non-identical syllables.

Researchers say the study may help explain why some words or phrases, such as ‘train’ and ‘good night’, have given rise to versions with repeated syllables, such as choo-choo and night-night. Read more

The 6 elements of an effective apology

April 12, 2016

There are six components to an apology – and the more of them you include when you say you’re sorry, the more effective your apology will be, according to new research.

But if you’re pressed for time or space, there are two elements that are the most critical to having your apology accepted.

“Apologies really do work, but you should make sure you hit as many of the six key components as possible,” said Roy Lewicki, lead author of the study and professor emeritus of management and human resources at The Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business. Read more

The ‘Not Face’ is a universal part of language, study suggests

March 29, 2016

Researchers have identified a single, universal facial expression that is interpreted across many cultures as the embodiment of negative emotion.

The look proved identical for native speakers of English, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and American Sign Language (ASL).

It consists of a furrowed brow, pressed lips and raised chin, and because we make it when we convey negative sentiments, such as “I do not agree,” researchers are calling it the “not face.”

The study, published in the journal Cognition, also reveals that our facial muscles contract to form the “not face” at the same frequency at which we speak or sign words in a sentence. That is, we all instinctively make the “not face” as if it were part of our spoken or signed language. Read more

Understanding the dynamics of crowd behavior

March 9, 2016

Crowds formed from tiny particles disperse as their environment becomes more disordered, according to scientists from UCL, Bilkent University and University Pierre et Marie Curie.

The new mechanism is counterintuitive and might help describe crowd behaviour in natural, real-world systems where many factors impact on individuals’ responses to either gather or disperse. Read more

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