Psychology In the News

  • (Dis)Connected

    March 24, 2017

    Feeling disconnected in the age of smartphones? Psychologists’ research shows how our devices are affecting our health and well-being, and points the way toward taking back control.

  • “What do you do?” is usually one of the very first questions that comes up in a conversation between two strangers. For many of us, a job is more than just a paycheck, it plays a big role in determining how we see ourselves. Losing a job can feel like losing a part of who we are.

  • John Krakaeur, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins Hospital, and his colleagues argue that fancy new technologies is leading the field astray. “People think technology + big data + machine learning = science,” says Krakauer. “And it’s not.” Check out the full article by clicking the title!

     

  • Our legal system is one of the most impressive feats of Western civilization. But psychology and neuroscience in recent years have shown many of its tacit assumptions to be out of sync with our best understanding of how our brains and minds work.

  • Virtual reality headsets are often associated with video games and fun, but companies are also working to use them for mental health therapies, to treat phobias, anxiety or addictions. Some phobias, for instance, can be effectively treated by gradually exposing a patient to his or her worst fear, be it spiders, plane travel or small, enclosed spaces.

  • Recent research makes the pattern with women and alcohol clear. Analyzing 68 alcohol-use studies from around the world dating to the mid-1900s, Australian researchers found a remarkably steady “gender convergence.” Click the title to read the full article!

  • More than four out of five adults in the U.S. (86 percent) report that they constantly or often check their email, texts and social media accounts. This attachment to devices and the constant use of technology is associated with higher stress levels for these Americans.

  • The lexical competition that bilingual individuals experience has most often been studied using language-switching paradigms, in which participants alternate between naming stimuli in their first and second languages. Researchers have found that participants are slower to respond on trials where the language has just switched than on trials where the language has stayed the same as the language of the last trial. Click the title to read the full article!

  • In a recent study conducted by the Australian Department of Defense, a team of psychological scientists led by Kayla Johnson (Defence Science and Technology) and Eugene Aidman (University of Sydney) found that moderate doses of caffeine significantly improved driving performance in sleep-deprived individuals – even after 40 straight hours of wakefulness.

  • Bear and Glick found that a little reframing could help reduce the motherhood penalty by turning the labels around, framing mothers as “breadwinners” rather than “caregivers.” The researchers write, “Evidence from two studies supports the notion that the fatherhood bonus may be better understood as a breadwinner bonus that can apply to mothers as well as fathers, whereas the caregiver penalty remained gendered, occurring for mothers but not fathers."

  • girls as young as 6 start to believe that specific activities are “not for them” simply because they think they’re not smart enough. This research suggests that American children are picking up on cultural stereotypes about brilliance at an early age.

  • The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is bringing psychological science to bear on eyewitness identification procedures. “Eyewitness identifications play an important role in our criminal justice system, both by helping officers and agents identify suspects during an investigation and by helping juries determine guilt at trial,” says Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates. “It is therefore crucial that the procedures law enforcement officers follow in conducting those identifications ensure the accuracy and reliability of evidence elicited from eyewitnesses.”