Category: Weekly links

Green Spaces And Phone Scams: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

Have you noticed an increase in scam texts recently? I certainly have — and so has David Robson, writing at BBC Future.  These scammers often make it seem like we are facing some immediate threat like legal trouble or loss of money, capitalising on the fact that in this kind of situation we are less likely to think and act rationally. And the pandemic has provided just the right conditions for these scams to flourish, Robson writes.

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Cow Brains And Aphantasia: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

New work is providing fascinating insights into aphantasia, a condition where you are unable to see images with your mind’s eye. There even appears to be a flip side to the condition, hyperphantasia, where mental imagery is particularly powerful. Carl Zimmer examines the new findings at The New York Times (and see also our podcast on aphantasia from 2019).

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Magic Tricks And Media Literacy: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

Sleep researchers often takes a “brain-centric” approach to their work, measuring sleep stages using EEG, for instance, or examining how sleep affects learning and memory. Yet rudimentary creatures also sleep — including the hydra, an aquatic organism which has a basic nervous system but no brain at all.  The findings suggest that our primitive ancestors slept before they even evolved brains, writes Veronique Greenwood at Wired

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Electric Fish And Children’s Play: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

Electric fish seem to have mastered the art of the pause, writes Katherine J. Wu at The Atlantic. Brienomyrus brachyistius communicate by producing a series of electrical pulses. But researchers have found that the fish sometimes pause during their “conversations”, apparently as a signal that what they are about to communicate is important — similar to a “dramatic pause” in human speech.


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Moral Panics And Poor Sleep: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

A neural implant has allowed a paralysed individual to type by imagining writing letters. The implant of 200 electrodes in the premotor cortex picks up on the person’s intentions to perform the movements associated with writing a given letter, translating these into a character on a screen. The individual was able to type 90 characters per minute with minimal errors, reports John Timmer at Ars Technica.


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Flags And Phrenology: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

“Grumpy” dogs may be better learners than their more agreeable counterparts, reports James Gorman at The New York Times. Researchers found that grumpier canines were better at learning how to reach an object placed behind a fence by observing a stranger. But other scientists suggest that something more specific than “grumpiness” is responsible for the animals’ superior performance, such as increased aggression, reduced inhibition, or hyperactivity.

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Free Will And Facial Expressions: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

It’s not possible to reliably predict the emotions someone is experiencing based just on their facial expressions. And yet tech companies are trying to do just that. At The Atlantic, Kate Crawford explores some of these attempts — and the contested research on which they are based.


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Talking Dogs And Ending Conversations: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

A recent study has found that about two-thirds of conversations don’t end when we want them to. Researchers who monitored over 900 conversations found that most people wanted them to finish sooner, though a minority wanted them to continue for longer. This was true whether participants were talking to someone they had just met or a loved one, Adam Mastroianni tells Sean Illing at Vox.


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Hand Gestures And Sexist Language: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

It’s wrong to say that introverts have fared better during the pandemic, writes Lis Ku at The Conversation. Instead, studies have shown that in many ways introverts’ wellbeing has suffered more than that of extraverts. This could be because extraverts may have more social support, for instance, or because extraversion is related to superior coping strategies — although Ku emphasises that there are likely many other traits, beliefs and values that are also important in determining people’s response to lockdown.

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Spotting Liars And Fixing Things: The Week’s Best Psychology Links

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

You might have heard of the “Mozart effect”, the idea that playing babies classical music can boost their intelligence. But is there any truth to that claim? In a word, no — but check out this nice video from Claudia Hammond at BBC Reel to learn more about where the myth came from.


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