The Geography of Personality
August 23, 2008
“Since personality is so important to both social and individual outcomes, the hunt is on for which traits vary geographically and why. According to the most extensive study yet of how personality varies across the United States, a “neuroticism belt” divides the East and West, with states from Maine to Louisiana scoring the highest and the West lowest, find Jason Rentfrow of Cambridge University and colleagues.”
Coverage of “A Theory of the Emergence, Persistence, and Expression of Geographic Variation in Psychological Characteristics” in Perspectives on Psychological Science (Peter J. Rentfrow, Samuel D. Gosling, Jeff Potter, Volume 3(5), 339-369).
Emotional Pain Hurts More than Physical Pain, Researchers Say
August 28, 2008
“In a finding that calls into question the old saying that ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me’, psychologists used four experiments to discover how people get over emotional or physical pain. In their paper ‘When Hurt Will Not Heal: Exploring the Capacity to Relive Social and Physical Pain’, the authors propose recent discoveries suggesting social or emotional pain is as real and intense as physical pain.”
Coverage of “When Hurt Will Not Heal: Exploring the Capacity to Relive Social and Physical Pain” in Psychological Science (Zhansheng Chen, Kipling D. Williams, Julie Fitness, Nicola C. Newton, Volume 19(8), 789-795).
Memory Tricks May Help Fat Fight
August 28, 2008
“The human memory can be manipulated in ways which can have significant long-term effects on behavior, according to research. Psychologists at the University of St. Andrew’s found that it is possible to plant false memories in the human mind which can change behavior. The memories were planted using a simple suggestive technique. Scientists say the findings could be used positively to treat conditions such as obesity or help with dieting.”
Coverage of “Lasting False Beliefs and Their Behavioral Consequences” in Psychological Science (Elke Geraerts, Daniel M. Bernstein, Harald Merckelbach, Christel Linders, Linsey Raymaekers, Elizabeth F. Loftus, Volume 19(8), 749-753).
To the Fighter in Red Go a Few More Spoils
The New York Times
August 17, 2008
“The study, published in the August issue of Psychological Science, involved 42 experienced tae kwon do referees. Researchers presented them with video excerpts from sparring rounds of five pairs of male competitors of similar abilities and asked them to referee the matches. In each video, one competitor wore red protective gear while the other wore blue. The referees awarded competitors wearing red an average of 13 percent more points.”
Coverage of “When the Referee Sees Red…” in Psychological Science (Norbert Hagemann, Bernd Strauss, Jan Leißing, Volume 19(8), 769-771).