Does Alcohol Make People Of The Opposite Sex Look Prettier

In western countries, many young people drink alcohol, and sometimes they end up doing things they later regret. A recent review of the literature on sexual behavior reported that alcohol consumption was linked to less discriminating partner choice (Cooper, 2002). In the context of that review, Jones, Jones, Thomas & Piper (2003) considered three psychological mechanisms that might explain this link. Alcohol myopia - perhaps alcohol reduces cognitive capacity and so only highly salient cues...

Evidence In Psychology

In psychology, investigators try to understand human behavior and to explain the capacities that people have to see, feel, think, learn, communicate, and so on. Simply watching people and talking to them in an ordinary way does not lead us to a clear understanding. Our everyday observation is unsystematic and tells us little more than that people do think, communicate, and so on. Simply thinking about our own behavior or reflecting on our own inner mental lives is also not enough. Everyone from...

References

B. (1996). Does talk of race foster prejudice or tolerance in children Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 28, 161170. Adorno, T. W., Frenkel-Brunswick, E., Levinson, D. J., & Sanford, R. N. (1950). The authoritarian personality. New York Harper & Row. American Psychiatric Association (1999). Commission on psychotherapy by psychiatrists (COPP) Position statement on therapies focused on attempts to change sexual orientation (Reparative or conversion...

Is The Fscale A Valid Questionnaire

This study was a major piece of research, and continues to influence discussion and debate within psychology. It tackled an important social issue in a relatively direct way. There can be little doubt that the researchers had a strong personal commitment to this research topic. There is always a risk that, when we tackle a research question that we are passionate about, we will be subject to unwitting biases. The best protection against such biases is to use sound research methods. It is a...

Can Talking To Someone Who Is Less Racist Influence Prejudice

Two Canadian researchers carried out a study to examine whether children's views on other races could be influenced by talking to other children (Aboud & Doyle, 1996). They gave a test of racial attitudes to 88 children aged between 8 and 11 years. The children were from three schools in the Montreal area, and around one third of the children were French speakers. All were described as white, and parents gave written permission for them to participate. The test was called the Multi-response...

Do Inexperienced Football Players Perform Cognitive Tasks Better When They Are Tired

Marriott, Reilly & Miles (1993) wanted to know how soccer players' cognitive functioning varied during a game. They compared a group of skillful players, eight members of a college team, to a group of athletes who, although fit, did not compete in soccer or similar team sports. Each participant was tested over three sessions. In the first session, careful physiological measurements were made to establish their fitness level. This information was used to calculate an exercise load for each...

Does Ddat Treatment Work

This case study looks at an evaluation of an intervention that was reported in the journal Dyslexia in 2003 (Reynolds et al., 2003). Immediately after the article appeared, a number of researchers in the field raised methodological problems, and published discussions of those problems in the same journal. You may find it interesting to read some of those discussion papers. The details of the DDAT procedure are a commercial secret, which makes it almost impossible for anyone to replicate the...

Is The Selective Modification Model Refuted

Cognitive psychologists are interested in the way concepts are represented. Various models have been proposed, such as the prototype model and the exemplar model. One area in which these models have been compared is concept combination. A good model of concept representation should be compatible with what we know about the concept that results when two concepts are combined. For example, from a concept of brown and a concept apple, we are able to understand the phrase brown apple. The selective...

Can Positive Emotions Repair Negative Feelings

The positive psychology movement has in recent years investigated the role of positive emotions in well being. One key study set out to test the hypothesis that a positive emotion such as happiness can work to undo the effects of a negative emotion (Fredrickson & Levenson, 1998). That is, the experience of a negative emotion like fear or anger can be repaired if feelings of happiness are aroused. Participants were 60 female college students recruited on an American campus. Emotion was...

Is Disgust Responsible For Some Phobias

We asked whether an emotional response of disgust causes Blood injection injury (BII) and spider phobias. That would be too strong a conclusion to draw from this study. Indeed, Sawchuck et al. emphasized that their's was an exploratory study only, and phrased their own conclusion like this The finding that BII and small animal phobias are associated with elevated scores on disgust domains unrelated to their phobic concerns suggests that disgust sensitivity may be a generalized phenomenon,...

Is Sexual Reorientation Therapy Effective

Until surprisingly recently, homosexuality was listed as a psycho-pathology. It was as late as 1980 that it was finally removed from the DSM classification of disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association. Even now, some people, including many therapists, continue to hold the view that homosexuality is a disorder, and should be treated if the person desires treatment. A number of forms of therapy to change sexuality exist, but there is little good evidence that they are effective....

Do Infants Think An Object That Disappears Has Ceased To Exist

Jean Piaget was a pioneer of the scientific study of cognitive development. Although he studied other areas, such as perception, memory, and moral development, he is best known for his work on logical or deductive reasoning. Starting from observations of children's behavior, and their responses to his questions, he developed a detailed theoretical framework to account for the regular pattern of development that he saw from simpler to more sophisticated forms of thinking. He characterized...

Are Decisions About Penalty Kicks Influenced By Earlier Decisions The Referee Has Made

Football fans love to criticize match referees. Plessner & Betsch (2001) were interested in a particular hypothesis about referees' behavior. They thought that referees might even up major decisions, such as awarding a penalty kick. From this theory, they derived the hypothesis that referees will be more likely to award a penalty kick to a side if they have just denied them a penalty. Penalty kicks are important in soccer. Matches are often decided by a single goal, and a penalty kick gives...

Have Feelings Of Disgust Evolved From A Need To Avoid Disease

There are several issues to consider when evaluating the conclusions of this study. First, the scoring of the dependent variable relies on participants' interpretation of the term disgust. The experimental instructions offer no definition, and participants have to use their everyday understanding of the word as a basis for their response. No independent or objective measure of disgust is made. This casts doubt on the construct validity of the study. We cannot be confident that the psychological...

Does The Smell Of Old People Cheer You Up

There are some problems with the way samples of odor were collected, the measure of depressive mood, and with the interpretation of the results. Donors were asked to behave in certain ways prior to and during collection of samples, but there was a lack of objective checking that they stuck to those rules. It could be that differences between groups were the result of differences in the degree to which they stuck to the protocol, rather than differences in body odor due to being male or female,...

Does Memory Fade Because Of The Sheer Passage Of Time

Over the past twenty or so years, psychologists studying memory have been intrigued by flashbulb memories. A flashbulb memory is one that is particularly clear and vivid, and is usually associated with a highly significant event. People often report clear and vivid memories for the moment at which they learned about a sensational event, such as the assassination of a famous politician. They can remember who was with them, who told them, and who they talked to about the event. An important...

Do The First And Last Letters Of A Word Provide Special Information That Helps A Reader Perceive The Word

When people read text, they scan along the lines of text. The eye movements occur rapidly in good readers, and consist of a sequence of fast saccades, in which the fixation point is quickly moved from one point on the line to another further on. The point in the text where the saccade lands is thus brought into view of the fovea, which is the central part of the retina with the greatest capacity to discriminate fine detail. Researchers have been interested to know how the orthographic form of...

Does Word Frequency Mainly Affect The Efficiency Of Processing After The Word Has Been Identified

Many experiments have shown that people respond more quickly to high frequency words than low frequency words. More common words seem to be easier to process. In a typical experiment, a single word is briefly displayed, and the participant in the experiment has to say the word aloud. This is called a lexical naming task. Another common task is the lexical decision task. In this kind of task, participants press a button to indicate whether a letter string is actually a word in their language....