Can we ever study ourselves without our expectations affecting our conclusions? A damning report suggests that bias on the part of researchers has made vast numbers of studies in social psychology unreliable. Social psychology is the study of how human behaviour is affected by other people, and it seems to be particularly vulnerable to unreliable findings and conflicting explanations….Twitter, Facebook, Google+, RSS, or join the mailing list.
Last month, the drinking water in a Colorado town was declared unsafe, because it had been contaminated by an ingredient from cannabis. It took two days to discover that this was not the case – a water test had turned up a false positive result. In fact, false positives are widespread in our everyday lives, and we seem to have an innate inability to get to grips with them…Twitter, Facebook, Google+, RSS, or join the mailing list.
Curiosity is often a positive thing: it is at the heart of scientific progress, for example. But it also has a negative side.
“Rubbernecking” – gawping at car crashes when we drive past – is one such example. A government-sponsored study of accidents on the M6 motorway attributed 29 per cent of them during the study period to drivers rubbernecking in the opposite carriageway. The issue was eventually tackled by the UK Highways Agency, who reduced accidents by erecting giant screens at crash sites.
The problem is we just can’t help ourselves. In a recent study, researchers have found that we’re still curious even if we know the outcome will be negative.
Christopher Hsee of the University of Chicago and colleagues dubbed the tendency to opt for an uncertain outcome even when we know it might have unpleasant consequences, the Pandora Effect.Twitter, Facebook, Google+, RSS, or join the mailing list.
Can you tell if someone is lying? Our ability to spot a lie is only just better than guessing with the flip of a coin. But, surprisingly, it’s easier to tell whether a person is fibbing if they are wearing a veil, suggests a fresh study.
The experiment was devised by researchers at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Canada, and the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. They filmed two videos of a woman watching a stranger’s bag, one of which showed the woman stealing items from it. They then played one or the other video separately to female volunteers designated as “witnesses…Twitter, Facebook, Google+, RSS, or join the mailing list.
Africa America Bad Science BCI Brain Computer Interfacing breaking news Cannabis Censorship Cocaine Copyright Counterfeit Drugs Daily Fail DailyFail daily mail Daily Mail Demolition Squad Drugs EEG Emotiv Fake Drugs FMRI Health Hoax Independent Misinformation Music Neuroscience Open Science Procrastination Psychology Rat Brain Robot Review Satire Science sex Skepticism Statistics Student Loans Crisis Susan Greenfield Synaesthesia Technology The confederacy of dunces Video walking War on Drugs Wikileaks
Cookie ComplianceThis site contains cookies. If you have ever used the internet before then you probably knew that already and ate them long before you arrived here. If you are allergic to cookies please leave now.