October 11, 2012

Guilt Proneness and Ethical Decisions
In several experiments, researchers led by psychologist Taya Cohen of Carnegie Mellon University measured over 270 participants’ guilt proneness. Being guilt prone is not the same as feeling guilty after doing something wrong. Rather, people who have high guilt proneness actually anticipate feeling guilty before they commit a transgression and they tend to do the right thing even when no one’s watching. (Megan Gannon, LiveScience)

Forming Impressions
Cindi May: From the shoes we wear and the way we stand to the songs we like and the way we walk, researchers have examined what our behaviors and our preferences convey to others. In many instances, it seems we need to catch only the smallest detail about a person to form an accurate impression, but of course we can get it wrong. (Scientific American)

Does Bad News Stress Women More Than Men?
Women react to bad news with more stress than men and remember negative headlines better than their male counterparts, new research finds. The study is one of the first to examine the body’s response to negative media, something we’re all exposed to on nearly a daily basis. As it turns out, a perusal of nasty headlines does not automatically trigger the body’s stress response, but women who have read negative news show heightened anxiety in response to later stress. (Stephanie Pappas, LiveScience)

Idealized Dialogue
Marcelo Gleiser: Within the perennial debate between science and religion, something that tends to irritate scientists—especially those who declare themselves atheists or agnostics—is the insistence in the existence of a parallel reality, inaccessible to reason. To explore this clash of worldviews, playing itself out in countless debates, conversations, and confrontations, here is a fictitious dialogue between an atheist scientist and a religious person well-versed in the current state of science. (13.7: Cosmos and Culture, NPR)

BOOKS
Mind Over Mind

Irving Kirsch: Mind Over Mind is a fascinating account of the power of conscious and unconscious expectations to alter our experience and our behavior. (CultureLab, New Scientist)

Category: Field Notes

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