Psychology In the News

  • Empathy is crucial to forming meaningful relationships, but can it also hurt your health? Psychologists have found that empathizing with others can lead to feelings of stress, as well as low levels of inflammation.

  • Three US scientists have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm," otherwise known as our biological clock.

  • Oxytocin is typically thought of as the "love hormone" or "cuddle drug", but oxytocin can amplify the effects of both positive and negative social interaction. New research has found that blocking oxytocin can actually help mice recover from social anxiety by increasing their interactions with new mice after a stressful social experiment.

  • Are you one of those people who takes pictures everywhere you go? Or perhaps you're one of those people that get annoyed by all the picture-taking? Well, according to several studies, taking photos can actually boost visual memory, but impair audio memory. So you might want to take your camera to some place like a museum, but not to that concert you've been waiting all year for.

  • Despite its bad reputation, scientists find that anger can sometimes have positive benefits, such as providing feedback in social relationships, giving us the courage to be assertive, and causing creative bursts.

  • Have a big project or test coming up? Want to finish comps in a timely manner? Researchers find that planning complex tasks backwards helps you reach your goals more quickly and efficiently.

  • Have you ever wondered why creativity tends to decline as we get older? Research shows that it may be because of tension that exists between two types of thinking called exploration and exploitation.

  • (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.