Tag Archives: Psychology

Facebook has known for a year and a half that Instagram is bad for teens despite claiming otherwise – here are the harms researchers have been documenting for years

Instagram’s emphasis on filtered photos of bodies harms girls’ self-image. Thomas Barwick/DigitalVision via Getty Images Christia Spears Brown, University of Kentucky Facebook officials had internal research in March 2020 showing that Instagram – the social media platform most used by adolescents – is harmful to teen girls’ body image and well-being but swept those findings under the rug to continue …

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How someone becomes a torturer

At the Amna Suraka museum in Iraq, exhibits show the torture that was carried out in the cells. Hélène Veilleux/Flickr, CC BY-NC-SA Christopher Justin Einolf, Northern Illinois University Every day, thousands of people are tortured in police stations, security offices and prisons around the world. Human rights organizations protest torture and advocate for survivors, but neither they nor the public …

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E-cigarettes nearly twice as effective as other nicotine replacement therapies at helping smokers quit

Oleggg/Shutterstock Katie Myers Smith, Queen Mary University of London; Hayden McRobbie, Queen Mary University of London, and Peter Hajek, Queen Mary University of London Many smokers successfully quit by switching to e-cigarettes (vaping), but doctors can’t recommend this treatment without good evidence from clinical trials. They now have this evidence. Our latest study confirms that e-cigarettes are indeed an effective …

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Thinking objectively about romantic conflicts could lead to fewer future disagreements

How would a supportive outsider think about this dispute? Wodicka\ullstein bild via Getty Images Lindsey Rodriguez, University of South Florida The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work. The big idea Consciously channeling the perspective of a neutral third party can defuse romantic conflict and prevent future disputes, according to a study of 716 Americans my colleagues …

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Human behaviour: what scientists have learned about it from the pandemic

People haven’t been as irrational during the pandemic as some initially thought. Jennifer M. Mason/Shutterstock Stephen Reicher, University of St Andrews During the pandemic, a lot of assumptions were made about how people behave. Many of those assumptions were wrong, and they led to disastrous policies. Several governments worried that their pandemic restrictions would quickly lead to “behavioural fatigue” so …

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Identity fusion: why some people will go to extremes for the beliefs of a group

Shutterstock/hobbit Roger Whitaker, Cardiff University Football fans often become so deeply connected to their club and to other fans, as though they’re related. They’re willing to support the group on a lifelong basis, with unwaivering pride even in the face of losses. At first glance, it can seem puzzling when people align with groups or beliefs that involve a personal …

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Is it time to give up on consciousness as ‘the ghost in the machine’?

ImagesRouges/Shutterstock Peter Halligan, Cardiff University and David A Oakley, UCL As individuals, we feel that we know what consciousness is because we experience it daily. It’s that intimate sense of personal awareness we carry around with us, and the accompanying feeling of ownership and control over our thoughts, emotions and memories. But science has not yet reached a consensus on …

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A new understanding of how the human brain controls our hands – new research

Shutterstock/PopTika Stephanie Rossit, University of East Anglia Understanding how the brain controls certain actions – such picking up a knife in the correct way – is important for many reasons. One of these is working towards the development of brain-computer interfaces that may help people with artificial limbs control them, using their minds. Yet how the human brain controls our …

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Cuba’s race to make its own coronavirus vaccine – podcast

Daniel Merino, The Conversation and Gemma Ware, The Conversation In this episode of The Conversation Weekly podcast, how Cuba is pushing ahead with developing its own coronavirus vaccines – and could be nearing “vaccine sovereignty”. And we hear from a researcher about what he learned from asking hundreds of people about the biggest decisions of their lives. Throughout 2020, the …

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Horses can recognise themselves in a mirror — new study

Looking good. Shutterstock/Edoma Ali Boyle, University of Cambridge If you ask people to list the most intelligent animals, they’ll name a few usual suspects. Chimpanzees, dolphins and elephants are often mentioned, as are crows, dogs and occasionally pigs. Horses don’t usually get a look in. So it might come as a surprise that horses possess an unusual skill, widely considered …

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