Your source for the latest psychological research.

What’s “Fair” Depends on Where You Come From

The mentality that “you get what you earn” is widely accepted as what is “fair” in most Western societies. But is this concept of distributive justice universally considered fair, or is it a culture-bound phenomenon?

Marie Schӓfer and colleagues wanted find out. Their research, recently published in Psychological Science, examined how children in three different societies made merit distributions. The researchers chose to look at German children as a representation of modern Western culture, children from the Samburu African tribe to represent gerontocratic society (rule by elders), and children from the All Hai||om African tribe to represent an egalitarian society.

This is a photo of two girls sharing a milkshake.For the study, the children were divided into same-sex pairs to play a timed fishing game with 12 magnetic cubes. In the game, they used a magnet rod to fish out the…


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A Tutorial on Evaluating Hypotheses Using Bayesian Methods

This is a photo of a black bear.

What do black bears have in common with Bayesian statistics? Both make an appearance in a 2013 paper written by Rens Van de Schoot, Marjolein Verhoeven, and Herbert Hoijtink in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology. In this paper, the authors use a hiking trip to illustrate Bayesian thinking and its advantages over traditional, sometimes called frequentist, statistics.

During a hiking trip in Alaska, one of the Dutch authors observed a bit of black fur behind some bushes. Was it a bear? Being a scientist, he applied a traditional significance testing approach to the problem, formulating a null hypothesis: “There is no bear.” The hiker then had to use the…


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Psychosis and Violence Aren’t Strongly Linked

Imagine the prototypical violent criminal, like the one who appears on the news after committing a horrible act. It’s a common belief that individuals like this often suffer from a long history of mental illness that compels them to act destructively. But new research published in Clinical Psychological Science by APS Fellow Jennifer Skeem (University of California, Berkeley) and colleagues suggests that the relationship between mental illness and violence isn’t as strong we might think.

This is a photo of a man in handcuffs.To investigate the link between psychosis – defined as a severe mental disorder accompanied by delusions and hallucinations – and acts of violence, Skeem and colleagues examined data from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study.

In the MacArthur study, over 1,000 violent offenders were interviewed every 10 weeks for a year after they were released…


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Watch Out for the Experienced Study Participant

This is an image of a person selecting a response on a survey.When conducting psychology studies online or in the lab, researchers might not think about participants’ past experiences as a research subject. But research published in Psychological Science suggests that these experiences could make a difference in study outcomes.

The research shows that participants who are not naïve to research methods or materials—those who have performed the same task multiple times across different studies, for example—may produce varying results, even when they do not remember having participated in similar experiments before.

Psychology researcher Jesse Chandler of the University of Michigan and Mathematica Policy Research and colleagues followed up with participants who earlier had completed a series of psychology tasks online (see Klein et al., 2014). Participants were contacted a few days, about a week, or…


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Perspectives on Psychological Science

Perspectives on Psychological Science: Volume 10, Number 4

Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, publishes an eclectic mix of provocative reports and articles, including broad integrative reviews, overviews of research programs, meta-analyses, theoretical statements, opinion pieces about major issues in the field, and even occasional humorous essays and sketches.

Position Effects in Choice From Simultaneous Displays: A Conundrum Solved Maya Bar-Hillel

Safety, Threat, and Stress in Intergroup Relations: A Coalitional Index Model Pascal Boyer, Rengin Firat, and Florian van Leeuwen

Positive Stereotypes Are Pervasive and Powerful Alexander M. Czopp, Aaron C. Kay, and Sapna Cheryan

Humans as Superorganisms: How Microbes, Viruses, Imprinted Genes, and Other Selfish Entities Shape Our Behavior Peter Kramer and Paola Bressan

Arguments Against a Configural Processing Account of Familiar Face Recognition Mike Burton, Stefan R. Schweinberger, Rob Jenkins,…


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