Mind-Reading And Lucid Dreaming: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

In a fascinating sleep study, researchers have managed to “talk” to people in lucid dreams. Dreamers were given simple yes/no questions or asked to do basic arithmetic, and had to respond by moving their eyes and facial muscles. Several participants were able to correctly answer the questions in their sleep. The researchers hope that this new method will ultimately improve our understanding of sleep and consciousness, writes Claire Cameron at Inverse.

Psychologists have found problems in a number of papers linking violence in movies and video games to real-world aggression. Some of the papers have been retracted, reports Cathleen O’Grady at Science, but others live on, leaving researchers concerned about how they have influenced the field.   

Public shaming has been around in one form or another for much of human history — but the internet has allowed it to occur at a scale never seen before. At Discover Magazine, Timothy Meinch explores the implications of this new era of shame and social media outrage.

We reported earlier this week on how to deal with feeling bored — and the surprising benefits that boredom can sometimes have. Over at BBC Worklife, Sara Harrison examines more findings about the “unique emotional state” that is boredom.

Every day we read other people’s minds, trying to understand what they are thinking. But this process is different from empathy, which involves understanding another’s emotions. Now a group of researchers have created a new scale to distinguish between the two, reporting their preliminary results at The Conversation.

Pausing before answering a question can make you seem like you are lying, reports Natalie Grover at The Guardian. Participants read about, listened to, or watched people responding in a range of scenarios, from everyday conversations to police interrogations. Slower responses were seen as less credible and sincere.

What’s it like to have no “mind’s eye”? At Psyche, Neesa Sunar describes her experience with aphantasia, which leaves her unable to mentally visualise her thoughts. Also check out our podcast on the condition from 2019.

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