Tag Archives: psychology

The psychology behind religious belief

Researcher says religion fulfills 16 basic human desires

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Throughout history, scholars and researchers have tried to identify the one key reason that people are attracted to religion.

Some have said people seek religion to cope with a fear of death, others call it the basis for morality, and various other theories abound. (more…)

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Becoming an expert takes more than practice

Practice doesn’t make it perfect.

Deliberate practice may have less influence in building expertise than previously thought, according to an analysis by researchers at Princeton University, Michigan State University and Rice University. (more…)

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Kids have skewed view of gender segregation

Children believe the world is far more segregated by gender than it actually is, implies a new study led by a Michigan State University scholar.

Jennifer Watling Neal and colleagues examined classroom friendships in five U.S. elementary schools. Their findings, published in the journal Child Development, found boys and girls had no problems being friends together but for some reason had a perception that only boys played with boys and girls played with girls. (more…)

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Cool heads likely won’t prevail in a hotter, wetter world

Should climate change trigger the upsurge in heat and rainfall that scientists predict, people may face a threat just as perilous and volatile as extreme weather — each other.

Researchers from Princeton University and the University of California-Berkeley report in the journal Science that even slight spikes in temperature and precipitation have greatly increased the risk of personal violence and social upheaval throughout human history. Projected onto an Earth that is expected to warm by 2 degrees Celsius by 2050, the authors suggest that more human conflict is a likely outcome of climate change. (more…)

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Is sexual addiction the real deal?

Controversy exists over what some mental health experts call “hypersexuality,” or sexual “addiction.” Namely, is it a mental disorder at all, or something else? It failed to make the cut in the recently updated Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, considered the bible for diagnosing mental disorders. Yet sex addiction has been blamed for ruining relationships, lives and careers.

Now, for the first time, UCLA researchers have measured how the brain behaves in so-called hypersexual people who have problems regulating their viewing of sexual images. The study found that the brain response of these individuals to sexual images was not related in any way to the severity of their hypersexuality but was instead tied only to their level of sexual desire. (more…)

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Commentary: Fiery Cushman: Morality of the NY Post subway photo

A freelance photographer happened to be on the scene in New York when one man pushed another onto the subway tracks. The New York Post ultimately ran a photo on its front page, sparking widespread outrage. Based on his research, Brown University psychologist Fiery Cushman suggests that what makes people uncomfortable about the photo may be the idea of profiting from tragedy.

When tragedy occurs, who may profit? Newspapers around the country announced the tragic death of Ki-Suck Han, the man pushed in front of a New York subway car on Monday. Quickly, however, attention turned to an element of the news reporting itself. On the controversial front cover of the New York Post on Tuesday, a full-page photo showed the train hurtling toward Han. Dramatically captured by a freelance photographer while events unfolded, the photograph ran under the headline: “Pushed onto the subway track, this man is about to die.” (more…)

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Post-Divorce Journaling May Hinder Healing for Some, UA Study Finds

For those searching for deeper meaning in a failed marriage, writing about their feelings soon after divorce may lead to greater emotional distress, according to new research.

Following a divorce or separation, many people are encouraged by loved ones or health-care professionals to keep journals about their feelings. But for some, writing in-depth about those feelings immediately after a split may do more harm than good, according to new research conducted at the University of Arizona.

In a study of 90 recently divorced or separated individuals, UA associate professor of psychology David Sbarra and colleagues found that writing about one’s feelings can actually leave some people feeling more emotionally distraught months down the line, particularly those individuals who are prone to seeking a deeper meaning for their failed marriage. (more…)

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Researchers Study How Cooperation Can Trump Competition in Monkeys

ANN ARBOR, Mich.— Being the top dog—or in this case, the top gelada monkey—is even better if the alpha male is willing to concede at times to subordinates, a new study indicated.

Alpha male geladas who allowed subordinate competitors into their group had a longer tenure as leader, resulting in an average of three more offspring over his lifetime.

The findings, collected from data during a five-year period ending January 2011 through the University of Michigan Gelada Research Project, appear in the current issue of the Proceedings of The Royal Society. (more…)

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