Within a year after birth, human infants develop the ability to direct their attention to the anticipated goal of another personâ€™s movement, before it has occurred.Â So, for example, our eyes move to where we think an object will be based on how we perceive othersâ€™ objectives and intentions. The ability to anticipate actions helps us both to cooperate and compete with others.
In light of previous research suggesting that nonhuman primates may be able to predict othersâ€™ goals and actions, psychological scientists Fumihiro Kano and Josep Call of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany investigated whether other primates make eye movements similar to those that humans make while observing another individualâ€™s behavior.
The researchers analyzed data from 19 great apes, including chimpanzees, bonobos, and orangutans.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), characterized by intrusive and persistent thoughts that are often accompanied by repetitive or ritualized acts, is a serious clinical disorder that can significantly impact a personâ€™s ability to function and go about daily life. Neuroimaging data have hinted at a link between OCD and brain areas that contribute to executive function (EF), a group of critical cognitive abilities that regulate lower-level cognitive processes.
As researcher Hannah Snyder of the University of Denver and colleagues explain, EFs allow us to â€śbreak out of habits, make decisions and evaluate risks, plan for the future, prioritize and sequence actions, and cope with novel situations.â€ť EF deficits, therefore, could contribute to an inability to shift between tasks and the repetition and perseveration so often seen in individuals with OCD.
Despite evidence linking OCD with…
Have you ever recoiled at something because it reminds you of something else that youâ€™re genuinely afraid of?Â Research indicates that people have a propensity to generalize their fear â€” so, for example, a person afraid of doctors might also feel uneasy at the sight of a hospital or medical equipment.
Moreover, typical items in a category seem to lend themselves to generalization more than atypical items do.Â For instance, weâ€™re more likely to generalize information about mice and apply it to bats rather than the other way around, since mice come to mind more easily when we think of mammals.
Bringing these different areas of research together, psychological scientists Joseph E. Dunsmoor and Gregory L. Murphy of New York University wanted to investigate whether we incorporate conceptual knowledge into fear…
The Obedience to Authority Conference will be held December 9â€“11, 2014, in Kolomna, Russia. The conference will focus on discussion of research in the field of Stanley Milgram’s experimental obedience paradigm. Russian and international researchers with diverse academic backgrounds and career levels are encouraged to register. For more information, visit www.milgram.ru/en.
Itâ€™s often said that we canâ€™t love others unless we love ourselves.Â According to a new study, this may be true, but perhaps in a different way than we expect — while our reported self-esteem doesnâ€™t predict changes in our implicit, or underlying, feelings about a significant other, our implicit attitudes about ourselves do.
Research has suggested that self-esteem influences how people behave in their relationships: Those with higher self-esteem believe that their partner views them positively and so are more inclined to work at their relationships.Â In other studies, however, self-esteem didnâ€™t seem to predict relationship satisfaction down the road.
Psychological scientist James K. McNulty of Florida State University and colleagues wondered whether using implicit measures rather than explicit reports of self-esteem and partner evaluations might clear up these discrepancies.
â€śFrom an empirical…