Category: Extras


Eye-catching studies that didn’t make the final cut:

Cognitive therapy for people with schizophrenia spectrum disorders not taking antipsychotic drugs: a single-blind randomised controlled trial [expert reactions here].

Towards a Taxonomy of Common Factors in Psychotherapy—Results of an Expert Survey.

Why does asking questions change health behaviours?

Height, social comparison, and paranoia: An immersive virtual reality experimental study

“Christians Are Happier, More Socially Connected, and Less Analytical Than Atheists on Twitter

Overhead mobile phone calls are not always annoying.

Scent-evoked nostalgia.

Social brains on drugs: tools for neuromodulation in social neuroscience.

compared to women, men were significantly more likely to report [nightmare] themes involving disaster/calamity” [pdf]

Three studies explored whether social power affects the perception of physical properties of objects” [pdf]

Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


10 eye-catching studies that didn’t make the final cut:

We perceive people we trust as more physically similar to ourselves

Cougars on the prowl? New perceptions of older women’s sexuality

Using magic tricks to explore the psychology of insight.

Skin tone memory bias” … Educated black men are remembered as whiter than they really are

Comedians score unusually high on four psychotic traits.

Mind wandering becomes less frequent with aging, but more pervasive and detrimental to performance

No difference in personality between Mac users and PC users.  The former just dress better (joke!)

How much insight do we have into our own implicit attitudes? Are they really unconscious?

New study says women really are better at choosing gifts than men.

Reminders of fast food spoil our ability to savour beauty in music and nature.


Post written by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


10 eye-catching studies that didn’t make the final cut:

Competitors in the Ultimate Fighting Championship who wear red trunks are no more likely to win than those wearing other-coloured trunks – contradicts past research suggesting a winning “red effect”. (background story)

It Pays to Be Herr Kaiser: Germans With Noble-Sounding Surnames More Often Work as Managers Than as Employees

Fooled by the brain: Re-examining the influence of neuroimages (background story)

Detecting awareness after brain injury – new review paper (pdf)

People who defy stereotypes are liked more when described with adjectives (e.g. “sensitive man”) rather than in terms of their behaviour (e.g. “the man cries”).

Failure to replicate evidence for a genetic test for autism (news report on the finding from Ed Yong)

Examining the Possible Functions of Kissing in Romantic Relationships

the first systematic survey of the magnitude of erotic sensations from various body parts

A failure to replicate the finding that secrets leave us feeling physically encumbered (pdf). We covered the original finding on the Digest: Secrets leave us physically encumbered.

A successful replication of Robert Cialdini’s hotel towel re-use study – i.e. the finding that hotel guests are more likely to reuse their towels if they’re told about how many other people do so, rather than given the usual environmental message.
Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


Eye-catching studies that didn’t make the final cut:

In two experiments we showed that exposure to an incidental black and white visual contrast leads people to think in a ‘black and white’ manner

Evolutionary explanations of cognitive biases [open access]

Body shaping influences brain shape.

Experiencing social exclusion inspires people to take greater financial risks.

Passengers show a bias for choosing seats on the left side of aeroplanes (compared with a right-sided bias in half-empty cinemas).

Interviews with a pair of identical male twins – one of whom is transgender, the other isn’t.

Children with autism spectrum disorder are more trusting than typically developing children.

Sun-induced frowning fosters aggressive feelings.

Men, but not women, rate female narcissistic leaders as less effective than male narcissistic leaders.

it may occasionally be ethical to encourage some degree of optimistic bias, and perhaps even positive illusion, when treating patients in psychotherapy
Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


Eye-catching studies that didn’t make the final cut:

Danish study: 95-year-olds tested in 2010 had better cognitive functioning than 93-yr-olds tested a decade earlier.

Control groups in psychology don’t take full account of the placebo effect. This paper uses research into the benefits of video games to show how important it is to match participants’ expectations across treatment and control conditions that an intervention will work. (open access)

Men who score higher on psychopathy are better at lie detection; opposite pattern for women.

An fMRI study of inspirational coaching and mentoring.

Physical wounds heal faster in older adults who participate in expressive writing about upsetting events.

Greater cognitive deterioration in women than men with Alzheimer’s disease: A meta analysis.

Does the 5-factor model of personality apply in Africa?

The use of images and graphs through psychology’s history. 

Rubber hand illusion – no stroking required. Expectation of contact with the rubber hand is enough to induce the illusion.

Further evidence against the theory that people with autism have a broken mirror neuron system.
Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


Eye-catching psychology studies that didn’t make the final cut:

What can we learn about emotion by studying psychopathy? [open access]

Why do people attend science festivals?

A tread-mill study of high-heel expertise: “high-heel experts adapted walking regularity more flexibly to shoe type and cognitive load than novices“. [open access]

Ten undergraduate students from psychology classes were interviewed regarding their beliefs about the meaning of life

marriages that began on-line …. were slightly less likely to result in a marital break-up (separation or divorce) and were associated with slightly higher marital satisfaction

Patients’ preferences for how psychiatrists should introduce themselves at the first consultation.

People able to perform basic mathematical calculations are less likely to default on their sub-prime mortgages.

individuals can perceive suicidality from facial appearance with accuracy that is significantly greater than chance guessing“(experienced mental health professionals performed no better than lay people).

participants held more positive attitudes toward [faking online psychological tests] than faking offline, greater perceived behavioral control over cyberfaking than offline faking, and more favorable subjective norms toward cyberfaking compared to offline faking.

cognitive differences between countries are getting smaller on a worldwide scale

Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


10 eye-catching studies that didn’t make the final cut:

Watching your favourite TV shows restores your levels of self-control.

Nearly one third of pedestrians were distracted by their phone when crossing the road.

Extreme political views are often founded on a misunderstanding of the relevant policy issues.

A man “previously evaluated as having a high level of physical attractiveness” asked young women on a shopping street for their phone number. When he was carrying a guitar case, 31 per cent obliged compared with 9 per cent when he was carrying a sports bag and 14 per cent when he carried no bag.

The psychological benefits of recreational running: A field study.

Players of an American football video game suffered psychologically when they weren’t allowed to engage in trash talk.

Most TED talk presenters are male non-academics. Among academic TED talkers, most are senior males with impressive publication records. But giving a TED talk doesn’t benefit the impact of their academic work.

Pepsi and Coca Cola brand labels affect the brain’s response to drinking cola, especially in less experienced drinkers.

More men approached a woman lying on a beach when she had a tattoo on her back, and they approached more quickly. They also thought their chances of a date or sex were greater. 

Across four methodologically diverse samples, marijuana use consistently buffered people from the negative consequences associated with loneliness and social exclusion

Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


10 eye-catching studies that I didn’t get the chance to report on in full:

How do our brain hemispheres cooperate to avoid false memories?

The psychological benefits of refusing to apologise.

What’s the fastest speed at which a face can be recognised?

Exploring the transitional process from receiving a diagnosis to living with motor neurone disease

“Power gets the job” Boost your interview chances by first remembering a time you were in a position of power.

Forget the Mozart effect, listening to Vivaldi boosts mental alertness.

Using fMRI to decode people’s dreams (see here for a calm assessment).

How stress affects nurses’ referral decisions.

Use of laptops in lectures doesn’t only distract the user, but also nearby students.

Evidence that “emotional blindness” in autism is not caused by autism per se, but by the co-occurring condition alexithymia

Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


Eye-catching studies that I didn’t have the chance to report on in full:

Over last 50 yrs – American English books have become progressively more emotional than British English books.

Does the foot-in-the-door persuasion effect work when asking someone to do something anti-social?

The Effects of Priming Science on Moral Judgments and Behavior.

TV has little negative effect on development of young children.

There is no free won’t.

Lots of doctors prescribe placebos (but see here). 

Warning labels on cigarette packs are more effective when phrased as a question.

A computer malfunction has lingering effects on user performance, even after it’s fixed.

The effects of working memory training on functional brain network efficiency.

Chewing gum accelerates cognitive processing speed.

The Future Feels Closer Than the Past.

Proposals for a new psychiatric diagnosis – Misophonia – a preoccupation with a specific aversive human sound that triggers impulsive aggression.

The effect that support groups have on the mental health of people with Multiple Sclerosis depends on patients’ level of identification with the group.

New insights into differences in brain organization between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans.

Beneficial effect of testing on learning works for older people, not just young undergrads.

Junior hospital doctors in Ireland don’t consider the impact that long working hours have on their own health; feel undervalued by policy makers.

Attractive people still seen as attractive when pulling faces.

How often do people wake up in surgery?

Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


Eye-catching studies that didn’t make the final cut:

More clues to successful ageing from the study of “super-agers” (previous Digest post on Super-Agers).

Does Posting Facebook Status Updates Increase or Decrease Loneliness?

Being men with eating disorders: Perspectives of male eating disorder service-users

Improving multi-tasking ability through action video games

Modifying Memory: Selectively Enhancing and Updating Personal Memories for a Museum Tour by Reactivating Them

The effects of news stories on the stigma of mental illness.

The home advantage in individual sports: An augmented review

Dr. Phil and Psychology Today as Self-Help Treatments of Mental Illness: A Content Analysis of Popular Psychology Programming.

Perspective Taking With Future Humans Improves Environmental Engagement

Women more likely to share their number with a handsome stranger when it’s sunny.

The desire for healthy limb amputation: structural brain correlates and clinical features of xenomelia.


Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.