New Research From Psychological Science

Read about the latest research published in Psychological Science:

The Foundations of Literacy Development in Children at Familial Risk of Dyslexia

Charles Hulme, Hannah M. Nash, Debbie Gooch, Arne Lervåg, and Margaret J. Snowling

Studies examining typically developing children and children at risk for dyslexia have found that variation in early language skills relates to differences in later reading ability. The current study examined the impact of early language skills on later reading comprehension in children who were or were not at risk for language impairments. Children were assessed for speech and language at around age 3½, grapheme-phoneme knowledge and awareness at around age 4½, word-level literacy skills at around ages 5½ and 6½, and reading comprehension at around age 8½. Preschool oral language skills predicted grapheme-phoneme awareness and, in turn, word-literacy skills. Reading comprehension was predicted by grapheme-phoneme skills at age 4½ and by language skills at age 3½, indicating the importance of early language skills for the later development of reading comprehension.

Women’s Preference for Attractive Makeup Tracks Changes in Their Salivary Testosterone

Claire I. Fisher, Amanda C. Hahn, Lisa M. DeBruine, and Benedict C. Jones

Studies have shown that women wear more attractive clothing and have a greater preference for appearance-enhancing products during fertile phases of their menstrual cycle. Testosterone levels are thought to rise during women’s fertile periods, leading the researchers to wonder whether testosterone could play a role in women’s motivation to appear attractive. On five different occasions, women submitted saliva samples and rated the attractiveness of images of women with differing levels of makeup. The researchers found that women’s preference for attractive makeup increased when their testosterone levels were high. Increases in testosterone may lead women to prefer makeup because it may increase their attractiveness to potential mates.

Retraction of “Sadness Impairs Color Perception”

Thorstenson, C. A., Pazda, A. D., & Elliot, A. J. (2015). Sadness impairs color perception. Psychological Science. Advance online publication. doi:10.1177/0956797615597672

In the original study, the authors reported that that color perception along the blue-yellow color axis, but not along the red-green color axis, was impaired by sadness. From these findings, they concluded that sadness impairs color perception. Since publication, however, the authors have learned of two problems with their analysis. First, they did not adequately test for a difference between blue-yellow and red-green accuracy, and second, the frequency distribution for blue-yellow accuracy scores indicated that the accuracy measure may have not been a valid indicator of perception. In light of these problems, the authors requested to retract their article from Psychological Science.


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