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shaw 1 Psychologists clash over how easy it is to implant false memories of committing a crime

Historically, the kind of false memories induced in volunteers by psychologists have been relatively mundane. For example, a seminal study used leading questions and the encouragement to confabulate, to apparently implant in participants the memory of getting lost in a shopping mall as a child. This reliance on mundane false memories has been problematic for experts who believe that false memories have critical real world consequence, from criminal trials involving false murder confessions, to memories of child abuse “recovered” during therapy using controversial techniques.

Read the rest of this article at: BPS Research Digest

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 How the desire to be seen as unique drives believers of conspiracy theories

Unrelenting faith in the face of insurmountable contradictory evidence is a trait of believers in conspiracy theories that has long confounded researchers. For instance, past research has demonstrated how attempting to use evidence to sway believers of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories can backfire, increasing their certainty in the conspiracy. Could it also be the case that knowing that most people doubt a conspiracy actually makes believing in it more appealing, by fostering in the believer a sense of being somehow special?

Read the rest of this article at: BPS Research Digest

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1 What explains the global decline in voting?

In a year of pivotal elections across Europe — in the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom and Germany — voters are being urged to turn up to the ballot box. Yet long-term data suggest that political apathy has risen steadily in Europe’s citizens, says Simon Hix, a political scientist at the London School of Economics…

Read the rest of this article at: Nature Image Credit: Simon Hix

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14866196912 f418cbed27 z Academically successful children smoke more cannabis as teenagers: is it time to rethink drug education programmes?

Academically successful children are more likely to drink alcohol and smoke cannabis in their teenage years than their less academic peers. That’s according to a study of over 6000 young people in England published recently in BMJ Open by researchers at UCL. While the results may sound surprising, they shouldn’t be. The finding is in fact consistent with earlier research that showed a relationship between higher childhood IQ and the use in adolescence of a wide range of illegal drugs.

Read the rest of this article at: BPS Research Digest Image Credit: Van Grimm Photography

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