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Home/ Psychology: The Science Of Human Nature/ Contents contributed and discussions participated by Todd Suomela

Contents contributed and discussions participated by Todd Suomela

Todd Suomela

Mind - When All You Have Left Is Your Pride - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    Psychologists study pride and the difference between faking it and not.
Todd Suomela

A Look Tells All: Scientific American - 0 views

  • Ekman, however, was fascinated by the mystery of nonverbal communication. He wanted to understand why some people had little trouble decoding the feelings of others, almost as if they were reading an open book, whereas others fell for one con artist after another. His motto was: trust your eyes, not conventional wisdom. The widespread belief then was that facial expressions arose simply from cultural learning: a child in a given culture learned the faces that accompanied particular emotions by observing people, and over time different cultures developed different expressions. Even renowned researchers such as anthropologist Margaret Mead were unconvinced of the existence of a universal repertoire of expressions, as Charles Darwin had proposed in his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals, published in 1872 but subsequently ignored.
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    Description of Paul Ekman's work on universal human expressions and microexpressions.
Todd Suomela

More Evidence That Intelligence Is Largely Inherited: Researchers Find That Genes Deter... - 0 views

  • In a study published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience, UCLA neurology professor Paul Thompson and colleagues used a new type of brain-imaging scanner to show that intelligence is strongly influenced by the quality of the brain's axons, or wiring that sends signals throughout the brain. The faster the signaling, the faster the brain processes information. And since the integrity of the brain's wiring is influenced by genes, the genes we inherit play a far greater role in intelligence than was previously thought.
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    Intriguing article but frustratingly vague on the measurements used for intelligence testing. Apparently HARDI (High Angular Resolution Diffusion Imaging) can measure the diffusion of water through the brain, especially myelin. In yet another twin study (n=46 pairs) there appears to be a correlation between diffusion speed and intelligence.
Todd Suomela

PsycNET - Replicating Milgram: Would people still obey today? - 0 views

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    The author conducted a partial replication of Stanley Milgram's (1963, 1965, 1974) obedience studies that allowed for useful comparisons with the original investigations while protecting the well-being of participants. (Abstract only for non-subscribers)
Todd Suomela

Peanut Butter and Paternalism | Psychology Today Blogs - 0 views

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    Where is the line between safety and paternalism? Two cases: food regulation and motorcycle helmets.
Todd Suomela

PLoS ONE: Neural Correlates of Hate - 0 views

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    In this work, we address an important but unexplored topic, namely the neural correlates of hate. In a block-design fMRI study, we scanned 17 normal human subjects while they viewed the face of a person they hated and also faces of acquaintances for whom they had neutral feelings. A hate score was obtained for the object of hate for each subject and this was used as a covariate in a between-subject random effects analysis. Viewing a hated face resulted in increased activity in the medial frontal gyrus, right putamen, bilaterally in premotor cortex, in the frontal pole and bilaterally in the medial insula. We also found three areas where activation correlated linearly with the declared level of hatred, the right insula, right premotor cortex and the right fronto-medial gyrus. One area of deactivation was found in the right superior frontal gyrus. The study thus shows that there is a unique pattern of activity in the brain in the context of hate. Though distinct from the pattern of activity that correlates with romantic love, this pattern nevertheless shares two areas with the latter, namely the putamen and the insula.
Todd Suomela

Project Syndicate - 0 views

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    Trivial reminders of money made a surprisingly large difference. For example, where the control group would offer to spend an average of 42 minutes helping someone with a task, those primed to think about money offered only 25 minutes. Similarly, when someone pretending to be another participant in the experiment asked for help, the money group spent only half as much time helping her. When asked to make a donation from their earnings, the money group gave just a little over half as much as the control group.

    Why does money makes us less willing to seek or give help, or even to sit close to others? Vohs and her colleagues suggest that as societies began to use money, the necessity of relying on family and friends diminished, and people were able to become more self-sufficient. "In this way," they conclude, "money enhanced individualism but diminished communal motivations, an effect that is still apparent in people's responses today."
Todd Suomela

PLoS ONE: A Common Anterior Insula Representation of Disgust Observation, Experience an... - 0 views

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    We found voxels in the anterior Insula and adjacent frontal operculum to be involved in all three modalities of disgust, suggesting that simulation in the context of social perception and mental imagery of disgust share a common neural substrates. Using effective connectivity, this shared region however was found to be embedded in distinct functional circuits during the three modalities, suggesting why observing, imagining and experiencing an emotion feels so different.
Todd Suomela

Language Log » David Brooks, Social Psychologist - 0 views

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    Nice review of research on geographic differences in word-sorting and mental categories. Mentions the research of Richard Nisbett, The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently and Why.
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