Animals and Androids: Associations Between Social Categories and Nonhumans
People view social groups as “less than human” in two very distinct ways according to an article published in the February issue of Psychological Science. New research from Stephen Loughnan and Nick Haslam at the University of Melbourne suggests that people often perceive social categories as either lacking characteristics that are uniquely human or that constitute essential human nature. As a result these groups may actually be likened to animals or machines, respectively.
Morals do not Conquer all in Decision Making
Is morally-motivated choice different from other kinds of decision making? Previous research has implied that the answer is yes, suggesting that certain sacred or protected values are resistant to real world tradeoffs. In fact, proposed tradeoffs between the sacred and the secular lead to moral outrage and an outright refusal to consider costs and benefits (e.g. “You can't put a price on a human life"). Previous theory in moral decision making suggested that if people are guided by protected values, values that equate to rules like ‘do no harm’, they may focus on the distinction between acting—doing harm—versus not acting—allowing harm, paying less attention to consequences.
Internationally adopted children shed light on how babies learn language
Each year, about 40,000 children are adopted across national lines, primarily by families from North America and Western Europe. These joyful occasions mark the growth of new families and also provide the framework for a natural experiment in language development. Although most are infants and toddlers, thousands of older children are also adopted. Typically, these older children lose their birth language rapidly and become fluent speakers of their new language. Jesse Snedeker of Harvard University believes that these older children can help us understand how infants learn their native language. Early language development follows a predictable series of milestones.
A New Language Barrier: Why learning a new language may make you forget your old one.
Traveling abroad presents an ideal opportunity to master a foreign language. While the immersion process facilitates communication in a diverse world, people are often surprised to find they have difficulty returning to their native language. This phenomenon is referred to as first-language attrition and has University of Oregon psychologist Benjamin Levy wondering how it is possible to forget, even momentarily, words used fluently throughout one’s life. In a study appearing in the January, 2007 issue of Psychological Science, Levy and his colleague Dr.
Implicit Stereotypes and Gender Identification may Affect Female Math Performance
New research may provide insight as to why, despite progress over the last few decades, women remain underrepresented in math-heavy majors and professions. In an article published in the January issue of Psychological Science, psychologists Amy Kiefer of the University of California, San Francisco and Denise Sekaquaptewa of the University of Michigan point to an interaction between women’s own underlying “implicit” stereotypes and their gender identification as a source for their underperformance and lowered perseverance in mathematical fields.
Study gives us a new perspective on the powerful.
Walking a mile in another person’s shoes may be the best way to understand the emotions, perceptions, and motivations of an individual; however, in a recent study appearing in the December 2006 issue of Psychological Science, it is reported that those in power are often unable to take such a journey.