Laura’s Psychology Blog

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

April 26, 2012

readings in psychology for 26 april 2012 #western psychological association

My daughter Karla drew this sweet draing of me off to the Western Psychological Conference in San Francisco! I have students presenting three posters.

Here is what I am reading today:

“It’s sort of conventional folk wisdom, if someone in a crowd starts staring at something, soon someone else will too. Eventually the whole crowd will start staring, even if they don’t know what they are supposed to be looking at. The problem is, the whole idea is wrong, at least that’s what a group of researchers found when filming crowds and using gaming software to track the gaze of people who happen across someone staring at something. They find, as they describe in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that following the gaze of others is far less pervasive than has been generally thought.”

“When we meet new people, we assess their character by watching their gestures and facial expressions. Now a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA suggests that those nonverbal cues are communicating the presence of a specific form of a gene that makes us more or less responsive to others’ needs”

“Add this to the list of reasons not to take cocaine: Chronic use of the drug may speed up the aging process. According to a new imaging study, cocaine abusers in their 30s and 40s show brain changes more commonly seen in people over 60. The finding also calls attention to the special medical needs of older drug users—a group that, until now, hasn’t garnered much notice. “

“When his 10-year-old son, Akian, started getting into trouble at school, Stuart Chaifetz was stunned. The notes from Horace Mann Elementary School in Cherry Hill, N.J., said that Akian, who has autism, was having violent outbursts and hitting his teacher and his aide — behavior that the boy had never exhibited before. “

 

April 25, 2012

intropsych on twitter @intropsych

Filed under: Psychology,Teaching Psychology,Textbook Publishing — Laura Freberg @ 6:58 am

To help launch John Cacioppo and my new textbook  “Discovering Psychology: the Science of Mind”,  I will be ‘tweeting’ and ‘re-tweeting’ blogs and news articles that I hope you find helpful. Psychology has much to offer our world and to each of us… if nothing more than helping us  in ‘the pursuit of happiness.’

Thought for today: I am reminded in “Talks to Teachers”, Professor William James advises (1899):

“Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our spontaneous cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully, to look around cheerfully, and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there. If such conduct does not make you soon feel cheerful, nothing else on that occasion can….to wrestle with a bad feeling only pins our attention to it, and keeps it still fastened in the mind: whereas, if we act as if from some better feeling, the old bad feeling soon folds its tent… and silently steals away.”

April 23, 2012

readings in psychology for 23 april 2012

Yes, anything for science! That is my brain scanned!

Here is what I am reading today:

“Your best side may be your left cheek, according to a new study by Kelsey Blackburn and James Schirillo from Wake Forest University in the US. Their work shows that images of the left side of the face are perceived and rated as more pleasant than pictures of the right side of the face, possibly due to the fact that we present a greater intensity of emotion on the left side of our face.”

“‘Brain freeze’ is a nearly universal experience — almost everyone has felt the near-instantaneous headache brought on by a bite of ice cream or slurp of ice-cold soda on the upper palate. However, scientists are still at a loss to explain this phenomenon. Since migraine sufferers are more likely to experience brain freeze than people who don’t have this often-debilitating condition, brain freeze may share a common mechanism with other types of headaches, including those brought on by the trauma of blast-related combat injuries in soldiers. One possible link between brain freeze and other headache types is local changes in brain blood flow.”

“Researchers from Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute and Harvard University have found that greater consumption of sugar-sweetened and low-calorie sodas is associated with a higher risk of stroke. Conversely, consumption of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee was associated with a lower risk.”

“Gestures made during interviews can influence or even misinform eyewitnesses. In addition eyewitnesses are unlikely to recall the influential gestures being shown to them, new research suggests. These findings are presented April 20 at the British Psychological Society Annual Conference held in London, England (18-20 April).”

 

April 20, 2012

readingfs in psychology for 20 april 2012

Here I am in one of my Intro Psych classes this quarter! It is always fun!

Here is what I am reading today:

“They found that dominant and subordinate crayfish differ in their behavioral responses when touched unexpectedly, and that those differences correlate with differences in neural circuits that mediate those responses.

The article was published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience. The research team included Edwards, Fadi A. Issa and Joanne Drummond of Georgia State, and Daniel Cattaert of the Centre de Neurosciences Integratives et Cognitives of the Universities of Bordeaux 1 and 2.”

“In a dog-eat-dog world of ruthless competition and ‘survival of the fittest,’ new research from the University of Leicester reveals that individuals are genetically programmed to work together and cooperate with those who most resemble themselves.”

“Scientists from the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology have shown for the first time that transplanting light-sensitive photoreceptors into the eyes of visually impaired mice can restore their vision.”

“New research using brains scans shows that many elderly people have over time either learned to not stew over things they regret or to not regret them at all. Those that don’t learn such skills tend to become depressed, say researchers from University Medical Center in Germany, who have been conducting research into regret and aging using brain scans. The team, led by Stefanie Brassen has published the results of their efforts in the journal Science.”

If you are planning to go to the WPA Convention, I will be there!  I hope to meet you!

April 17, 2012

readings in psychology for 18 april 2012

Here I am with my daughters and fellow researchers at last years APS Convention!

Here is what I am reading today:

“The study reflects a major transition in the focus of neuroscience from disease to well being, says first author Richard Davidson, professor of psychology at University of Wisconsin-Madison.  The brain is constantly changing in response to environmental factors, he says, and the article “reflects one of the first efforts to apply this conceptual framework to techniques to enhance qualities that we have not thought of as skills, like well-being. Modern neuroscience research leads to the inevitable conclusion that we can actually enhance well-being by training that induces neuroplastic changes in the brain.”"

“Getting an autism diagnosis could be more difficult in 2013 when a revised diagnostic definition goes into effect. The proposed changes may affect the proportion of individuals who qualify for a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, according to a study by Yale Child Study Center researchers published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Ac”…

“We all have them — positive memories of personal events that are a delight to recall, and painful recollections that we would rather forget. A new study reveals that what we do with our emotional memories and how they affect us has a lot to do with our gender, personality and the methods we use (often without awareness) to regulate our feelings.”

“Notice that, even as you fixate on the screen in front of you, you can still shift your attention to different regions in your peripheries. For decades, cognitive scientists have conceptualized attention as akin to a shifting spotlight that “illuminates” regions it shines upon, or as a zoom lens, focusing on things so that we see them in finer detail. These metaphors are commonplace because they capture the intuition that attention illuminates or sharpens things, and thus, enhances our perception of them.”

“”The absence of the negative is not the same thing as the presence of the positive. We found that factors such as optimism, life satisfaction, and happiness are associated with reduced risk of CVD regardless of such factors as a person’s age, socioeconomic status, smoking status, or body weight,” said lead author Julia Boehm, research fellow in the Department of Society, Human Development, and Health at HSPH. “For example, the most optimistic individuals had an approximately 50% reduced risk of experiencing an initial cardiovascular event compared to their less optimistic peers,” she said.”

Next Page »
 

Quote to Ponder

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

Discovering Biological Psychology 2nd edition

2nd Edition of my textbook

CLICK on the picture above,
and visit my latest book!
Let me know what you think?




Argosy on-line degree in clinical psychology

CLICK on the above link


Social Media in the Classroom

Using Social Media in Class!

CLICK above to read more &
let me know what you think?


qrcode

QR-Code - MY TEXTBOOKS!


Laura Freberg in the popular press


Top Psychology Videos