Doomscrolling And Psychological Vaccines: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Our weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

Humans process and recognise faces as a whole, rather than by examining individual features. Now new work suggests that some species of wasp also process faces in this “holistic” fashion, reports Cathleen O’Grady at Science Magazine. Golden paper wasps were better at recognising other wasps when shown pictures of the whole face rather than just part of it, the researchers found.

When we lie to someone, we may end up mimicking their body language. That’s according to a study in which participants cheated while solving a puzzle, and then either told the truth or lied about their cheating to another participant. When the participant lied, pairs’ movements were more similar than when the participant told the truth, reports Christa Lesté-Lasserre at New Scientist.

In the past year, have you found yourself endlessly scrolling through social media as the world falls apart? If so, you’re not alone — “doomscrolling” seems to be pretty common. At Cosmic Shambles, Dean Burnett explains just why this seemingly stressful activity is so appealing.

Non-invasive brain stimulation might help to alleviate symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, reports Diana Kwon at Scientific American. Researchers found that transcranial alternating current stimulation delivered over the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex reduced compulsive behaviours in people who had OCD symptoms. But it remains to be seen whether similar results are found in people with a formal OCD diagnosis.

The COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out across the country — but can we also inoculate people against misinformation about the virus? At The Conversation, Sander van der Linden and Jon Roozenbeek explain their approach to proactively protecting people from fake news.

Teenagers “catch” moods from their peers — and this is particularly the case for bad moods, reports Sally Weale at The Guardian. To figure out how moods were transmitted within teens’ social networks, researchers asked young musicians to keep diaries of their mood and social interactions during concert tours. The team also found the participants’ popularity wasn’t related to their mood.

The storming of the US Capitol earlier this month marked the low point of a troubling few months in American politics. But what can psychology tell us about the factors involved in this kind of “mass mobilisation” — and how can we make sure it doesn’t happen again? Jennifer Ouellette takes a look at Ars Technica.

Compiled by Matthew Warren (@MattbWarren), Editor of BPS Research Digest