Category Archives: Psychology

Poor sleep quality appears to be correlated with noticeably reduced cognitive ability in 70s-aged men 0

© 2014 Peter Free Citation — to study Terri Blackwell, Kristine Yaffe, Alison Laffan, Sonia Ancoli-Israel, Susan Redline, Kristine E. Ensrud, Yeonsu Song, and Katie L. Stone, Associations of Objectively and Subjectively Measured Sleep Quality with Subsequent Cognitive Decline in Older Community-Dwelling Men: The MrOS Sleep Study, Sleep 37 (4): 655-663, DOI: 10.5665/sleep.3562 (01 April […]

You can tell them, and lots of them still will not listen — a study demonstrates that the presence of accurate information about presence of BRCA 1 and 2 breast cancer genes within the family line — leads only about one-third to one-half of immediate relatives to test themselves for the genes 0

© 2013 Peter Free Citation Diana Quattrone and Franklin Hoke, Fox Chase Study Shows Families Don’t Understand Genetic Test Results or Their Implications, Fox Chase Cancer Center — Temple University Health System (12 December 2013) Findings From the Fox Chase Cancer Center press release — here quoted at length, due to the importance of the […]

Journalistic science reporting rarely gets worse than this example from Spain — jumping from mice to humans, without any indication of the questionability of the leap — and implicitly and probably misidentifying panic disorder as being entirely based on past (actual) fear experience 0

© 2013 Peter Free Citation — to study Mónica Santos, Davide D’Amico, Ornella Spadoni, Alejandro Amador-Arjona, Oliver Stork, and Mara Dierssen, Hippocampal Hyperexcitability Underlies Enhanced Fear Memories in TgNTRK3, a Panic Disorder Mouse Model, Journal of Neuroscience 33(38): 15259-15271, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2161-13.2013 (18 September 2013) Citation — to the ludicrously misleading press release World Health Organisation, […]

Clicking on “like” in regard to a charitable cause on Facebook — may motivate less monetary giving by the liker — But the paper’s abstract, and its university press release, provide no quantified analysis in the proposition’s support — which means that this alleged insight into human behavior is most probably impressionistic BS, rather than science 0

© 2013 Peter Free Citation — to study Kirk Kristofferson, Katherine White, and John Peloza, The Nature of Slacktivism: How the Social Observability of an Initial Act of Token Support Affects Subsequent Prosocial Action, Journal of Consumer Research, DOI: 10.1086/674137 (2013) Citation — to press release Andrew Riley, Slacktivism: ‘Liking’ on Facebook may mean less […]

A study of American presidential narcissism — shows the beneficial and detrimental sides of a usually disrespected character trait — which implicitly demonstrates humanity’s ineradicable propensity for being led by psychically diseased people 0

© 2013 Peter Free Citation — to study Ashley L. Watts, Scott O. Lilienfeld, Sarah Francis Smith, Joshua D. Miller, W. Keith Campbell, Irwin D. Waldman, Steven J. Rubenzer, and Thomas J. Faschingbauer, The Double-Edged Sword of Grandiose Narcissism: Implications for Successful and Unsuccessful Leadership Among U.S. Presidents, Psychological Science, DOI: 10.1177/0956797613491970 (published online before […]

A psychological study that tells us nothing we didn’t already know — extremists feel superior 0

© 2013 Peter Free Citation — to study Kaitlin Toner, Mark R. Leary, Michael W. Asher, and Katrina P. Jongman-Sereno, Feeling Superior Is a Bipartisan Issue — Extremity (Not Direction) of Political Views Predicts Perceived Belief Superiority, Psychological Science, DOI: 10.1177/0956797613494848 (published online before print, 04 October 2013) Citation — to press release Office of […]

Functional MRI imaging demonstrates that psychopathic brains don’t work like the norm — where empathy is concerned — not exactly a surprise 0

© 2013 Peter Free Citation — to study Jean Decety, Chenyi Chen, Carla Harenski, and Kent A. Kiehl, An fMRI study of affective perspective taking in individuals with psychopathy: imagining another in pain does not evoke empathy, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00489 (23 September 2013) Citation — to press release Gozde Zorlu, A neurological […]

Psychology experiments show that cognitive ability and self-control are easily drained under poverty’s circumstances — a possible explanation for why being poor appears to create self-destructive behaviors 0

© 2013 Peter Free Citation — to study Anandi Mani, Sendhil Mullainathan, Eldar Shafir, and Jiaying Zhao, Poverty Impedes Cognitive Function, Science 341(6149): 978-980, DOI: 10.1126/science.1238041 (30 August 2013) Citation — to lay overview of study Kathleen D. Vohs, The Poor’s Poor Mental Power, Science 341(6149): 969-970, DOI: 10.1126/science.1244172 (30 August 2013) Method From the […]

The “BS” factor in behavioral science research — statisticians Daniele Fanelli and John Ioannidis looked at soft science bogosity 0

© 2013 Peter Free Citation — to study Daniele Fanelli and John P. A. Ioannidis, US studies may overestimate effect sizes in softer research, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [PNAS], doi: 10.1073/pnas.1302997110 (online before print, 26 August 2013) If the method or findings in a scientific paper strike me as being especially questionable […]

Two statistically questionable observational studies of “rich” drivers — are reported as if they had legitimate meaning — a comment on how easy it is to get the American media to propagate the unscientific components of otherwise reasonable investigations 0

© 2013 Peter Free Citation — to the core studies Paul K. Piff, Daniel M. Stancato, Stéphane Côté, Rodolfo Mendoza-Denton, and Dacher Keltner, Higher social class predicts increased unethical behavior, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [PNAS] 109 (11): 4086-4091, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1118373109 (13 March 2012) Citation — to a representative newspaper report of the […]