Laura’s Psychology Blog

One Professor’s Observations of the World of Psychology….   

August 31, 2010

readings in psychology for august 31st 2010

Filed under: a current story,Biological Psychology,Psychology — Laura Freberg @ 8:49 am

My daughter Kristin sent these lovely flowers on my birthday yesterday!

Here is what I am reading today:

“Breaking up really is hard to do, and a recent study conducted at Stony Brook University found evidence that it may be partly due to the areas of the brain that are active during this difficult time.”

“An international study led by University of Montreal scientists suggests family history may not be a good predictor of the presence of mutations predisposing to autism or schizophrenia.”

August 30, 2010

Birthdays :)

Filed under: Random Fun — Laura Freberg @ 8:38 am

Some people lament the passage of time, especially when that results in a higher number of birthday candles. Having several people I care about who were “cut short” on time, including my late brother, I prefer to think of birthdays positively–they certainly beat the alternatives!

This year, I felt completely spoiled. In spite of my protestations, my family insists on going all out to celebrate on my behalf. Karla contributed one of her drawings to mark the occasion. She captured my ever-present coffee cup, too.

Karla's Rendition of a Freberg Birthday Party

To top it all off, my horoscope for the year says that this coming year, people might start to perceive me as “wise.” In spite of the obvious irony of being “wise” and reading horoscopes at the same time, I like that possibility.

August 27, 2010

readings in psychology for august 27th 2010

Filed under: a current story,Biological Psychology,Psychology,Social Media,Technology — Laura Freberg @ 3:00 pm
nothing quite as amazing as the human brain

Here I am holding something amazing... nothing quite as remarkable as the human brain

Here is what I am reading today:

“Social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older has nearly doubled — from 22% to 42% over the past year.”

“While some teenagers may puff on cigarettes to ‘self-medicate’ against the blues, scientists at the University of Toronto and the University of Montreal have found that smoking may actually increase depressive symptoms in some adolescents. Published in the journal Addictive Behaviors, the findings are part of the long-term Nicotine Dependence in Teens (NDIT) study based at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre.”

“In the new age of coalition governments, the question of whether two heads are better than one is more relevant than ever. In a study published in the journal Science, neuroscientists from UCL (University College London) and Aarhus University, Denmark, shows that two heads can be better than one — but only if you have the right partner.”

” In the first study of its kind, researchers have found compelling evidence that our best and worst experiences in life are likely to involve not individual accomplishments, but interaction with other people and the fulfillment of an urge for social connection.”

” A group of “professional couch potatoes,” as one researcher described them, has proven that even moderate exercise — in this case walking at one’s own pace for 40 minutes three times a week — can enhance the connectivity of important brain circuits, combat declines in brain function associated with aging and increase performance on cognitive tasks.”

August 26, 2010

readings in psychology for august 26th 2010

Filed under: a current story,Biological Psychology,Psychology — Laura Freberg @ 2:28 pm
We all look different 38 years ago!

We all look different 38 years ago!

Here is what I am reading today:

‘”Unselfish workers who are the first to offer to help with projects are among those that co-workers like the least, according to four separate social psychology studies.In the most recent study, entitled “The Desire to Expel Unselfish Members from the Group,” psychologists found that unselfish colleagues come to be resented because they “raise the bar” for what’s expected of everyone. As a result, workers feel the new standard will make everyone else look bad.’

“Instead, people tend to pick their spouse based on shared personality traits, the researchers report in the latest issue of the journal Personality and Individual Differences.”

“Fear can make you run, it can make you fight, and it can glue you to the spot. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, Italy and GlaxoSmithKline in Verona, Italy, have identified not only the part of the brain but the specific type of neurons that determine how mice react to a frightening stimulus.”

August 25, 2010

Interview on SvD about Facebook and Loneliness

Filed under: Conventions,General Psychology,Internet,loneliness,Psychology — Laura Freberg @ 9:20 am

I had the pleasure earlier this summer of speaking with Anna Asker, who writes for the Swedish newspaper SvD, about our research on Facebook and Loneliness. In a nutshell, our data showed that at least with university students and the “nonymous” environment of Facebook, connectivity offline predicted connectivity online. The notion of the loner compensating for offline isolation by having millions of online friends just doesn’t apply in this situation. We presented our data at the 2009 APS annual convention, and after tweaking our instruments a bit more this past year, our paper is currently under review.

I thought Anna did a terrific job of capturing the main points of our study, and although Bing Translator has some rough spots, you can get the general idea of the article here. If you are fluent in Swedish, of course, I recommend the original site.

Anna warned me that the article had generated quite a bit of response from Swedish psychology students, and told me to expect to hear from them. That would be a pleasure!

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Quote to Ponder

It is not a lack of love,
but a lack of friendship
that makes unhappy marriages
-------- Nietzsche

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