On the Newsstand

A Cold Stare Can Make You Crave Some Heat

The New York Times

September 16, 2008

“And even if the thermometer doesn’t register the difference, people do: social iciness feels so cold to those on the receiving end that they will crave a hot drink, a new study has found. The paper, appearing in the current issue of Psychological Science, is the latest finding from the field of embodied cognition, in which researchers have shown that the language of metaphor can activate physical sensations, and vice versa.”

Coverage of “Cold and Lonely: Does Social Exclusion Literally Feel Cold?” in Psychological Science (Chen-Bo Zhong and Geoffrey J. Leonardelli, Volume 19(9), 838-842).

Little Gray Cells Add Up

Science

October 3, 2008

“To succeed in science, it helps to be very smart. But being very, very smart is even better. That’s what researchers at Vanderbilt University conclude from a longitudinal study begun at Johns Hopkins University in 1972. The Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth tracks the careers of students who were in the top 1% of scorers in the math portion of the SAT at the age of 13. Twenty-five years later, the crème de la crème within this elite group have produced the most publications and patents, psychologist David Lubinski and colleagues report.”

Coverage of “Ability Differences Among People Who Have Commensurate Degrees Matter for Scientific Creativity” in Psychological Science (Gregory Park, David Lubinski, and Camilla P. Benbow, Volume 19(10), in press).

Why Guys Go For Outta-Their-League Ladies

MSNBC

September 12, 2008

“Using this data, Columbia University psychologists determined that the physical attractiveness of a potential mate was more important to men than women. And men were less likely than women to think that their own lack of attractiveness — based both on self assessment and the ratings of others — should stand in the way of a date with someone ‘hot’.”

Coverage of “If I’m Not Hot, Are You Hot or Not? Physical-Attractiveness Evaluations and Dating Preferences as a Function of One’s Own Attractiveness” in Psychological Science (Leonard Lee, George Loewenstein, Dan Ariely, James Hong, Jim Young, Volume 19(7), 669-677).

Study Probes Why Smokers Find It Hard to Quit

U.S. News and World Report

September 9, 2008

“If you’re not craving a hit of nicotine the moment you declare you are quitting smoking, your battle just got a little tougher, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University. The study, published in the September issue of Psychological Science, examines the ‘cold-to-hot empathy gap’ — that is, the tendency for people in a ‘cold’ state to improperly predict their own behavior when in a ‘hot’ state.

Coverage ofExploring the Cold-to-Hot Empathy Gap in Smokers” in Psychological Science (Michael A. Sayette, George Loewenstein, Kasey M. Griffin, Jessica J. Black, Volume 19(9), 926-932).

Observer Vol.21, No.10 November, 2008

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