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Gender Gap In Spatial Ability Can Be Reduced Through Training

September 16, 2010 coms 0

Barriers to children’s achievement in the areas of science, math, and engineering have become a particular concern as policymakers focus on America’s economic competitiveness. A gender difference in girls’ spatial abilities emerges very early in development, and researchers have suggested that this difference may be a source of gaps in achievement in math and science for girls. A new study just published in Child Development describes an intervention that is effective in eliminating the gender gap in spatial abilities.

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Kids As Young As Four Understand Irony

September 15, 2010 coms 0

New research findings from the Université de Montréal reveals that children as young as four are able to understand and use irony. This study, published recently in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, may impact the way parents communicate with their family.

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Gossiping Increases Self-Esteem and Feelings of Support

September 14, 2010 coms 0

Gossipers feel more supported and positive gossip — praising somebody — may lead to a short-term boost in gossipers’ self-esteem. These are the findings of research conducted by Dr. Jennifer Cole and Hannah Scrivener from Staffordshire University, who present their preliminary findings at the British Psychological Society Social Psychology Section annual conference at the University of Winchester.

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Politicians’ Hand Gestures Reveal Their Good and Bad Thoughts

September 13, 2010 coms 0

Politicians’ gestures can reveal their thoughts, according to a new study published in the open-access journal PLoS ONE. ‘In laboratory tests, right- and left-handers associate positive ideas like honesty and intelligence with their dominant side of space and negative ideas with their non-dominant side’, says Daniel Casasanto of the MPI for Psycholinguistics.

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‘The Friend of My Enemy Is My Enemy’: Virtual Universe Study Proves 80-Year-Old Theory on How Humans Interact

September 10, 2010 coms 0

A new study analyzing interactions between players in a virtual universe game has for the first time provided large-scale evidence to prove an 80 year old psychological theory called Structural Balance Theory. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that individuals tend to avoid stress-causing relationships when they develop a society, resulting in more stable social networks.

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September 11 Text Messages Reveal Emotional Timeline, Says Researchers

September 7, 2010 coms 0

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 have been called the defining moment of our time. Thousands of people died and the attacks had huge individual and collective consequences, including two wars. But less is known about the immediate emotional reactions to the attacks. For a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers analyzed text messages sent on September 11, 2001 for emotional words. They found spiking anxiety and steadily increasing anger through that fateful day.

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Health Behaviors Influenced By Social Networks

September 2, 2010 coms 0

Scientists have long thought that social networks, which features many distant connections, or “long ties,” produces large-scale changes most quickly. But in a new study, Damon Centola, an assistant professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management, has reached a different conclusion: Individuals are more likely to acquire new health practices while living in networks with dense clusters of connections — that is, when in close contact with people they already know well.

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People Over 50 Prefer Negative Stories About Young People

September 1, 2010 coms 0

When given a choice, older people prefer to read negative news, rather than positive news, about young adults, a new study suggests. In fact, older readers who chose to read negative stories about young individuals actually get a small boost in their self-esteem, according to the results.

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Today’s superheroes send wrong image to boys, say researchers

August 31, 2010 coms 0

Watching superheroes beat up villains may not be the best image for boys to see if society wants to promote kinder, less stereotypical male behaviors, according to psychologists who spoke Sunday at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.