Sunday, 15 July 2012

Sociology and Psychology stuff from the week 9-15/7/12

Richard Wiseman strikes again! Lies are not in the eyes
He and Caroline Watt have debunked the idea that looking to the right indicates falsehood, and looking to the left indicates truth-telling.

The influence of weather conditions on mood could cause the London Olympics' coverage to be unduly negative - picking out the cons more than the pros.
Well -- they'll certainly be given plenty of real problems to whine about! Would we actually notice the effect of the weather?

Many people with declining memory function manage to convince themselves that their memory has not got worse. Not being able to remember what you've failed to remember is presumably inhibitory to self assessment.
"most survey participants believed their memory had remained stable over the 11-year assessment, despite tests showing a decline in memory performance."

Think your partner having a meal with their ex might make you jealous? Well - that's a no-brainer!
But what these researchers have found is that meal-related jealousy is greater than that incurred by texts, phone conversations, or a quick coffee. Eating seems to be the key.
"It's key to remember, from your spouse's perspective, it's not 'just lunch,'"

'Stray-bullet shootings often harm women, kids'
"The right to bear arms - only minorly more moronic than a right to arm bears"
"You know a gun never killed nobody; You can ask anyone; People get shot by people; People with guns" - Brian May (Put Out The Fire)
Most people killed or wounded in stray-bullet shootings are unaware of the context of the shootings, and the majority are women and children.
"When we think about gun violence, we think about high-profile and tragic events like Virginia Tech or the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. But stray-bullet shootings affect entire communities every day, and there has been almost no research exploring them."
"Victims of stray bullets are essentially 'collateral damage' and are usually disconnected from the events that lead to their injury or death," Wintemute said. "They are innocent bystanders who typically have no opportunity to flee or take any other preventive measures."
People die to gunshots because of incompetence - people simply can't be trusted to wield weapons - but remember that these people are highly likely to have had *any* training in weapon use.

'Netherlands euthanasia and assisted suicide rates in 2010 comparable to rates before legalization'
One of the superstitionists' so-called 'arguments' is that "if they make euthanasia legal, then people will be popped off all over the place, willy nilly!!!"
This has already been shown to be completely false -- as expected!

Women spend more money on clothes during the most fertile period of their menstrual cycle (days 15-28), and spend more time attending to their appearance, according to a study that involved 59 women recording their activities in a diary, for 35 days.
I'm slightly worried that it only covers one cycle of menstruation; and is 59 people enough?
There's certainly evidence that sexual behaviour changes according to the menstrual cycle, but that can't automatically be extrapolated to shopping behaviours.
'Women dance most attractively when fertile'

'New evidence for link between obesity and circle of friends'
Peer pressure and peer affirmation -- intrinsically different? Seemingly not.
"Researchers found that part of the reason why obesity clusters in social networks was due to the way students selected friends [(homophily)]. But even after controlling for this friend-selecting process, there still was a significant link between obesity and a student's circle of friends. [(social influence)]"

Similarly, peer affirmation exacerbates violence in people who form gangs that share violent thoughts.
'Psychologists discover links between angry thoughts and displaced aggression in male gang affiliates'

'Teens' lifestyle choices affect their blood pressure'
Female contraceptive use and male alcohol consumption correlate with high blood pressure, as well as high salt intake, and high bodyweight.
The researchers found that it is the lifestyle of the adolescents that determined the high blood pressure, and the consumption of the articles.
"Adolescents need to be aware that a lifestyle which predisposes to fatness, high salt intake and alcohol consumption may lead to adverse health consequences in adult life. The effects are additive and already associated with hypertension. Moreover, teenage girls taking oral contraceptives should be advised about regular blood pressure monitoring,"

Despite having a much smaller impact per person, Indians voice far more guilt about their environmental impact than do Americans and Europeans.
My hypothesis is that all the efforts of businesses to greenwash their products has had an effect - instilling a belief that our behaviour is already sustainable, and quelling the guilt that we should feel about it.
Either that, or Indian culture is one in which they are far more willing to express guilt. Of this characteristic actually existing, however, i am not aware.

Who'da thought it? To get kids into Science, all you have to do is send their parents a series of glossy brochures!

The psychological impact of failed fertility treatments is such that the women involved suffer mental illnesses as a consequence. There is so much cultural weight applied to reproduction, that they take it really badly if they don't fulfill their and others' expectations.

No comments:

Post a Comment