Observation

On the Newsstand

Cultural Insights: Brain Scans Support Surprising Differences in Perception Between Westerners And Asians
The Boston Globe
March 3, 2008
“New brain research is adding high-tech evidence to what lower-tech psychology experiments have found for years: Culture can affect not just language and custom, but how people experience the world at stunningly basic levels – what they see when they look at a city street for example, or even how they perceive a simple line in a square.”
Coverage of “Cultural Influences in Neural Substrates of Attentional Control” in Psychological Science (Trey Hedden, Sarah Ketay, Arthur Aron, Hazel Rose Markus, and John D.E. Gabrieli, Volume 19(1), 12-17).

Sugaring the Decision
The Economist
March 27, 2008
“Most people have experienced the feeling, after a taxing mental work-out, that they cannot be bothered to make any more decisions.  If they are forced to, they may do so intuitively, rather than by reasoning. Such apathy is often put down to tiredness, but a study published recently in Psychological Science suggests there may be more to it than that. Whether reason or intuition is used may depend simply on the decision-maker’s blood-sugar level — which is, itself affected by the process or reasoning.”
Coverage of “Toward a Physiology of Dual-Process Reasoning and Judgment: Lemonade, Willpower, and Expensive Rule-Based Analysis” in Psychological Science (E.J. Masicampo, Roy F. Baumeister, Volume 19(3), 255-260).

Why Clueless Guys Can’t Read Women
MSNBC.com
March 30, 2008
“Some might think the results come down to ‘boys being boys,’ and so even the slightest female interest sparks sexual fantasy. But the study, to be detailed in the April issue of the journal Psychological Science, also found that it goes both ways for guys — they mistake females’ sexual signals as friendly ones. The researchers suggest guys have trouble noticing and interpreting the subtleties of non-verbal cues, in either direction.”
Coverage of “Perceptual Mechanisms That Characterize Gender Differences in Decoding Women’s Sexual Intent” in Psychological Science (Coreen Farris, Teresa A. Treat, Richard J. Viken, Richard M. McFall, Volume 19(4), 348-354).

Women Can’t Afford To Be Angry
United Press International
April 4, 2008
“Victoria Brescoll of Yale University and Eric Uhlmann at Northwestern University found that people accept and reward angry men, but view women who lose their temper as less competent. The studies, published in the March issue of Psychological Science, found an angry woman loses status, no matter what her position.”
Coverage of “Can an Angry Woman Get Ahead? Status Conferral, Gender, and Expression of Emotion in the Workplace” in Psychological Science (Victoria L. Brescoll, Eric Luis Uhlmann, Volume 19(3), 268-275).

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