Bringing you news and information about psychological
science and scientists throughout the world

December 2014

Both sleep quality and degree of maternal attachment affect babies’ future cognitive functioning, and also appear to be interrelated, as good sleep may enable babies to be receptive to positive caregiving. More>>

Studies showing a cognitive advantage for bilingual speakers are more likely to be published than those that show no advantage, say psychological scientists. This publication bias may create an inflated notion of the “bilingual advantage.” More>>

Using a novel analysis of Google searches, psychological scientists found that people living in US states with large income inequality are more likely to search online for luxury goods compared to those in states with narrow income gaps. More>>


Men whose fathers have criminal records tend to have lower cognitive abilities than men with law-abiding fathers, according to data from more than 1 million Swedish males. Psychological scientists who examined the data say the association appears to be influenced by shared genetic factors. More>>

Traffic safety data show that many groups stereotyped as poor drivers actually have better driving records than widely believed. A recent study by psychological scientists at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland helps explain why these “bad-driver” stereotypes persist. More>> 

Past APS Board Member Claude M. Steele discusses his extensive social psychology research — on topics ranging from alcohol myopia to self-affirmation and more — in a newly released “Inside the Psychologist’s Studio” interview. More>>


Current Directions in Psychological Science

DOI: 10.1177/0963721413512503

Selected by Randall Engle

Elizabeth W. Dunn, Lara B. Aknin, Michael I. Norton

As children, we are often told by our parents that it is better to give than to receive; that we will get more enjoyment, fulfillment, and happiness from giving to others than from taking for ourselves. It turns out our parents were on the right track. In a recent article published in the journal Current Directions in Psychological Science, Elizabeth W. Dunn (University of British Columbia), Lara B. Aknin (Simon Fraser University), and Michael I. Norton (Harvard Business School) reviewed research suggesting that when it comes to money, spending it on others really pays off. In a 2008 study, Dunn, Aknin, and Norton gave people $5 or $20 and told them to spend it on themselves or told them to spend it on someone else. The people who spent the money on others reported being happier than those who spent the money on themselves.

Each Global Observer features an article from a distinguished international journal. See past selections in the Editor’s Choice archive. 


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