On the Newsstand

Posh People Fidget More
The Daily Mail
February 4, 2009
“Posh people fidget more, a study found, making it possible to tell a person’s class simply by glancing at their body language. It is thought that those born into privilege feel less of a need to make a good impression when talking to others than those who are less well-off. As a result, the wealthy fidget, yawn, doodle and generally appear rude. In contrast, their poorer counterparts are anxious to make their mark and so are more attentive. ”

Coverage of “Signs of Socioeconomic Status: A Thin-Slicing Approach” in Psychological Science (Michael W. Kraus and Dacher Keltner, Volume 20(1), 99-106).

Thrill-Seekers’ Brains May Be Wired Differently
U.S. News & World Report
February 19, 2009
“When high-sensation seekers viewed the emotional or arousing images, their brains showed increased activity in the region called the insula. When the low-sensation seekers saw the emotional or arousing images, activity increased in their brains’ frontal cortex, which controls emotions. The findings, published in the February issue of Psychological Science, could indicate the way by which sensation-seeking can result in negative behaviors, such as substance abuse and antisocial conduct, the researchers said. ”

Coverage of “Neural Correlates of Emotional Reactivity in Sensation Seeking” in Psychological Science (Jane E. Joseph, Xun Liu, Yang Jiang, Donald Lynam, and Thomas H. Kelly, Volume 20(2), 215-223).

Everyone Agrees: Women Are Hard to Read
MSNBC
February 5, 2009
“The results, published in the January issue of the journal Psychological Science, show that both men and women are able to gauge a man’s interest in a woman, but are equally baffled when it comes to figuring out if a woman is interested in a man. In fact, a flip of a coin would be almost as accurate in predicting a woman’s romantic interest on a date.”

Coverage of “The Ability to Judge the Romantic Interest of Others” in Psychological Science (Skyler S. Place, Peter M. Todd, Lars Penke, and Jens B. Asendorpf, Volume 20(1), 22-26).

$1? No Thanks. 100 Cents? You Bet.
The New York Times
February 3, 2009
“You would probably never sell out your friend for $5. But 500 cents? Now you’re talking! Sure, the value is the same, but researchers have found that people are often lured into making decisions by numbers that seem bigger than they really are. Writing in the January issue of Psychological Science, Ellen E. Furlong and John E. Opfer of Ohio State suggested that the flaw in thinking might lead people astray in activities as different as bargaining and gambling.”

Coverage of “Cognitive Constraints on How Economic Rewards Affect Cooperation” in Psychological Science (Ellen E. Furlong and John E. Opfer, Volume 20(1), 11-16).

Observer Vol.22, No.4 April, 2009

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