Articles on Psychology

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Blogging may help new mums connect

New mums who read or write blogs are more likely to feel less alone compared with mothers who do not blog. The research found…
Whether children imitate a bear or a pirate, their imagination could contribute to human advancement. Juhansonin

Imitation and imagination: child’s play is central to human success

We all know the scene: a child, wrapped in his or her own imaginary world, fights off aliens while flying through space on a rocket fashioned from an empty box. But could such flights of fancy be critical…
Praising kids all the time might lead to inflated self-esteem and low regard for others. Flickr/ymc_photos

Can excessive parental praise turn good kids into bullies?

When most people picture the typical school bully, they think of a kid who is likely to have been bullied themselves. A child with low self-esteem who is trying to make themselves feel better by picking…
The downward-V shape between a villain’s eyebrows may be terrifying by design. Warner Brothers

V-shaped facial features are threatening? You must be joking

What do Cruella de Vil, The Joker and Maleficent have in common? Beyond an implacable desire for evil and their cartoonish existence, they have pointy chins and a marked V shape between their arching eyebrows…
Our actions may be fully caused and determined by events that precede our very existence, but not all causes are alike. Josef Grunig/Flickr

Search for free will pits scientists against philosophers

For most of the last couple of centuries, philosophers have had the question of free will largely to themselves (prior to that date, the distinction between philosophy and the natural sciences was less…
Could your brain be anticipating what’s there before you even turn your eyes? Joe Fakih Gomez Photography

Out of sight, but still in mind: the mysteries of peripheral vision

As you read this article your eyes will move so the words fall on the central part of your vision. This region is called the fovea and it has excellent resolution when compared to your peripheral vision…
A new study has shown better-than-chance recognition of gay people by participants. Official U.S. Navy Imagery

Our ‘gaydar’ seems to be working well … but why?

In the last few years, several laboratory studies have shown that, to some extent, we can tell whether someone is gay or straight, just by glimpsing their face. When asked to categorise male and female…
Cover of the latest US edition of Time magazine.

Time #1: what’s wrong with this picture?

Breastfeeding generally falls under the jurisdiction of mothers, so I decided to ask a group of mothers I see regularly on Saturday morning what they thought of the recent Time magazine cover portraying…
Is aversion and/or attraction to red a biological or cultural construct? Yogurinha Borova

Aggression, danger, love, taste: what red does to your head

Colour is an extraordinary motivator. We sensibly caution against waving a red rag to a bull to avoid provocation – worthy but curious advice, since bulls cannot distinguish red from other colours. We…
Society as we know it may depend on lies more than we realise. ireland :)

Truth is, everyone lies all the time

Recent research in residential aged care by Anthony Tuckett from the University of Queensland has illustrated that, in some instances, lying is not only necessary, it’s actually virtuous. It is a complex…
You know that guy in the pub that goes on and on and on? You wouldn’t believe how happy he is. Jaysun

Now, let’s talk about me: self-disclosure is intrinsically rewarding

Have you ever been at a party where someone has talked about themselves without pause? You may have thought this a case of “too much information”, but science is begging to differ. According to new research…
Different people can interpret facial expressions differently. Rishi S

Surprise! Facial expressions aren’t necessarily universal

You can tell a lot about a person’s emotional state by looking at their face. A quick glance can give you an idea of whether a person is, say, happy or angry, allowing you to modify your behaviour accordingly…
People put up all kinds of psychological barriers to changing their minds. Thomas Galvez

No one likes to change their mind, not even on climate

Last night’s ABC documentary I Can Change Your Mind About Climate was about two people — conservative former politician Nick Minchin and youth activist Anna Rose — exposing themselves to information that…
A simple step towards saving the environment may lead to more environment action … or not. Department of Energy Solar Decathalon

Simple steps to save the environment may not make much difference

Many environmental organisations, governments and businesses rely on “positive spillover strategies” to drive pro-environmental behaviour change. These strategies rest on the assumption once someone has…
A successful gamble on climate will require more than a lucky guess. kfergos/Flickr

If you want to roll the climate dice, you should know the odds

Imagine a six-sided die with four red faces, one green face and one blue face. I am going to roll the die, and before rolling I will ask you to predict which colour it will land on: red, green or blue…
He may not fit with modern terminology, but were Freud’s concepts of the mind right on the money? tnarik

A dangerous method? In defence of Freud’s psychoanalysis

Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychology, has recently suffered some serious knocks. His theories have been dismissed as unscientific and his achievements are now considered to be equal parts myth and…

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