Category: Weekly links

Swear Words And Psychedelics: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

Psycholinguists have taken a scientific approach to the creation of new swear words, reports Neuroskeptic at Discover Magazine. Researchers identified the ideal words to pair with profanities in order to come up with colourful new insults. Sticking -pig or -mouth to the end of your favoured swear word will probably have the desired effect, according to the work, while adding -newspaper or -fireplace could leave your insult falling flat.

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World Happiness And Psychedelic Placebos: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Keyboard for ideaOur weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

The 2020 World Happiness Report has been published by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, with Finland ranking as the world’s happiest country. “Happiness” in the report doesn’t refer to the expression of emotion per se, writes Maria Cramer at the New York Times, but is rather about a sense of satisfaction in life and belief that members of one’s community care for each other — a particularly poignant definition given present circumstances. Continue reading “World Happiness And Psychedelic Placebos: The Week’s Best Psychology Links”

Anxious Dogs And Testosterone Myths: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Keyboard for ideaOur weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

Despite tantalising headlines and claims from tech companies, we’re a long way from having computers that can read our minds. At WIRED, Nicole Kobie looks at the more immediate potential of brain-computer interfaces: giving a voice to paralysed people.


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Chart-Toppers And Clever Kea: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

Keyboard for ideaOur weekly round-up of the best psychology coverage from elsewhere on the web

Psychology news seems to be taking a backseat in the media this week as concerns about coronavirus mount around the world. But psychologists also have much to contribute when it comes to understanding the current crisis and our responses to it. Continue reading “Chart-Toppers And Clever Kea: The Week’s Best Psychology Links”

Video Games And Computer-Like Brains: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

The idea that the brain operates like a computer is the latest in a long line of metaphors that scientists have used to try and understand how the organ works. But could that comparison actually be hindering our understanding? In a longread in The Guardian, Matthew Cobb explores the limits of the brain-as-computer metaphor.

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Brainy Bumblebees And The Uncanny Valley: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

When creating cute creatures for movies, designers and animators must walk a fine line to avoid falling into the uncanny valley. Baby-like features — big eyes, large heads, round faces — can be appealing, writes Allyssia Alleyne at Wired. But make your character too human and it can look horrific, because we start to see it as one of our own kind, flaws and all.

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Early Birds And Bearded Dragons: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

A study on bearded dragons has honed in on the brain structure responsible for generating slow wave sleep patterns, writes Elizabeth Pennisi at Science. An area of the brain called the claustrum — not previously known to even exist in reptiles — was key: when the structure was damaged, the lizards could still sleep but showed no slow wave patterns. It’s been an interesting few months for bearded dragon research: as we wrote in December, the lizards apparently also succumb to optical illusions.

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Sad Songs And Smartphones: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

Recent years have seen a proliferation of mental health apps that claim to help relieve symptoms of depression. But there’s not much evidence that they really do anything, writes Tom Chivers at Unherd. Even in the few cases where there has been research into the effectiveness of the apps, the studies are often small and uncontrolled, raising questions about how solid the results are.


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Minibrains And Twitter Bots: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

Psychologists are increasingly turning to Twitter and other social networking sites to learn about human behaviour — but what happens when the accounts they’re studying don’t really belong to people at all? At Nature, Heidi Ledford explores how researchers are dealing with the problem of ever-more sophisticated bots.


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WEIRD Studies And Psychedelic Experiences: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

Psychologists have long recognised that the field has a bias towards studying people from Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic (WEIRD) societies. But how much is actually being done to correct this bias? Not enough, according to the experts interviewed by Michael Schulson in a story for Undark.

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