Guest writers

Twice a month we publish guest posts by top psychologists and science writers:

Craig Aaen-Stockdale:
In search of the optimum level of trust between human and machine

Robin Abrahams
Can relationships with fictional characters aid our self development?

Mary Bates
Baboons like to hang out with other baboons who are similar
Rats can be trained to perform search and rescue missions
Pessimistic rats are extra sensitive to negative feedback

Vaughan Bell 
With a cocktail of magic and fMRI, psychologists implanted thoughts in people’s minds

Daniel Bor
When you’re sleeping, how much does your brain pay attention to the outside world?

Mathias Clasen
Spook me, please: What psychology tells us about the appeal of halloween
How do horror video games work, and why do people play them?

Mo Costandi
Mindfulness meditation increases people’s susceptibility to false memories
Neuro Milgram – Your brain takes less ownership of actions that you perform under coercion

James Coyne
By treating depression, do we also treat suicidality? The answer is far from straightforward

Sofia Deleniv
Mind wide open – brain activity reveals motives behind people’s altruism
Brain scan study reveals dogs attend to word meaning, not just intonation

Temma Ehrenfeld
Drop the strut: Both men and women find humility more attractive
Writing about your emotional pain could make you feel worse, unless you do it with “self-compassion”

Helge Hasselmann
No, autistic people do not have a “broken” mirror neuron system – new evidence
Autistic people’s social difficulties linked to abnormal processing of touch

There’s such a thing as “autism camouflaging” and it might explain why some people are diagnosed so late

Lucy Foulkes
You laugh differently with friends than you do with strangers (and listeners can tell the difference)

Risk-taking teens’ brains seem to disregard past bad outcomes

Julia Gottwald
Teens reject junk food when healthy eating is framed as rebellion
Can brain activity predict chocolate sales? In search of the buy button

Melissa Hogenboom
What does fear do to our vision?
Hanging out with virtual reality spiders helps arachnophobes see real spiders as smaller and less scary

Bruce Hood
How does the psychology of ownership differ between Western and Eastern cultures?

Dan Jones
How can we increase altruism towards future generations?
How to get kids to tell the truth? It’s not all about carrot or stick
Expert philosophers are just as irrational as the rest of us

Jordan Gaines Lewis
Exposure to different forms of violence affects kids’ sleep differently
To keep your memories alive, it’s better to write a diary in the evening than in the morning

Peter Kinderman
Why is poverty associated with mental health problems for some people, but not others?

Sam McNerney
Everyone is attracted to creativity. But which creative acts are the sexiest?
What recycled sewage water reveals about human psychology

The trouble with tDCS? Electrical brain stimulation may not work after all

Simon Oxenham
The “Backfire Effect”: Correcting false beliefs about vaccines can be surprisingly counterproductive
Researchers say they’ve found a way to combat anti-vaccine attitudes, but is it premature to celebrate?
Googling stuff can cause us to overestimate our own knowledge
Academically successful children smoke more cannabis as teenagers: is it time to rethink drug education programmes?

Stuart Ritchie
How do you prove that reading boosts IQ?
Why do more intelligent people live longer?
It’s now possible, in theory, to predict life success from a genetic test at birth
Was that new Science paper hyped and over-interpreted because of its liberal message?

David Robson
Just how plastic is the brain?
Older people frequently underestimate their own memory skills
The comforting power of comedy is due to more than just distraction
Can evolutionary psychology explain why we love to hate evil villains?
Would you really be happier if you were better looking?
There is a second “window of opportunity” for learning in late adolescence and early adulthood

Laura Spinney
Our collective memory, like individual memory, is shockingly fallible
Joining a crowd transforms us psychologically, with serious health implications

Tom Stafford
Images of ultra-thin models need your attention to make you feel bad

Richard Stephens
Being fluent at swearing is a sign of healthy verbal ability
This one physiological measure has a surprisingly strong link with men’s and women’s propensity for violence
Why do so many people dislike the word “moist”?
Huh? Study finds taboo billboards improve driving performance

Tomasz Witkowski
Why do we enjoy reality TV? Researchers say it’s more about empathy than humiliation
After half a century of research, psychology can’t predict suicidal behaviours better than by coin flip

In 2014, a series of guest editors hosted the Research Digest blog while our founding editor was away: 

Jennifer Bazar
Does Psychology have its own vocabulary?
Have you exercised your memory lately?
A photograph can be worth a thousand words

Dorothy Bishop
The clinical reality of neurodevelopment disorders
Kidding ourselves on educational interventions?
The enigma of dyslexic musicians

Petra Boynton
Shame, stigma and mother-blaming following miscarriage
‘We innovate now’: sexual lives following lower limb amputation
‘I’ll have what she’s having’ – Developing the Faking Orgasm Scale for Women

Chris Chambers
Antidepressant brain stimulation: Promising signs or continuing doubts?
A replication tour de force
Can cognitive training boost self-control?

Pete Etchells
Do television and video games impact on the wellbeing of younger children?
How does stress affect your public speaking skills?
Inflated praise for your children: an ‘incredibly’ bad idea?

Facial expressions as social camouflage
Around the world, things look better in hindsight
You don’t have to be well-educated to be an ‘aversive racist’, but it helps

Melanie Tannenbaum
Mind the gap: Overestimating income inequality
Why do people perceive slurs directed at some groups as more offensive than those directed at others?
If obesity is a disease, is labelling it that way the cure?

Tom Stafford
A self-fulfilling fallacy?
Alcohol could have cognitive benefits – depending on your genes
Getting to grips with implicit bias