dreamland650 Do techniques for inducing lucid dreaming really work?

Ever realised you were dreaming, but still didn’t wake up? Around half of people have experienced a lucid dream – a state so exciting that it has led to a flourishing online community eagerly exchanging tips for how to induce it. But do any of these techniques work?

Read the rest of this article at New Scientist – the home of Brain Scanner, my weekly column. Image: Elisadc.

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lorraine turnbull foster There are no quick fixes or easy solutions to the problem of stereotyping:

Women make up just 12.8 per cent of the UK’s workforce in science, technology, engineering and maths, according to one recent analysis. But what’s behind this gender gap in the STEM subjects?

A popular explanation is the idea that a person conforms to a perceived stereotype about themselves – something called stereotype threat. For example, girls performing less well at maths because they have heard that boys are better at the subject. The effect of such stereotypes may then go on to affect subject choices and career paths.

This idea has become one of the most studied theories in social psychology, and has been tested in hundreds of experiments. But the latest results suggest the consequences of stereotyping by race or gender are less clear than we previously thought….

Read the rest of this article at the New Scientist – the home of Brain Scanner, my weekly column. Image: Lorraine Turnbull Foster, first woman to earn Ph.D. in math at Caltech, 1964.

 

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wind farm Why is Australia Spending Millions of Dollars Researching Wind Farm Syndrome?

Want to start a dinner-party row? Bringing up wind farms is a foolproof way to divide a room – we either love them or hate them. But while debates in the UK focus on aesthetic appeal and efficiency, an entirely different storm is raging in Australia, where there is fear that wind farms are damaging people’s health.

Although more than 25 reviews of the scientific literature have failed to find convincing evidence for harm caused by wind farms, it hasn’t stopped people from blaming them for everything from depression to diabetes…

Read the rest of this article at the New Scientist – the home of Brain Scanner, my weekly column. Image Credit: Jeff Kubina

 

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Failure Why the notion that only positive findings are important is an Alice in Wonderland view of reality

Psychology is in a state of flux. Ever since the prominent Dutch psychologist Diederik Stapel admitted in 2011 to fabricating and manipulating the data in his work, the field’s research methods have been in the spotlight. The debate has focused on whether replication is a way to confirm accuracy. In theory, if a study was done properly, a research group should be able to reliably repeat it and get the same results. This view has long been a cornerstone of the scientific method. But is it realistic? If the answer is no, what does that mean for the field…

Read the rest of this article at PrimeMind.

 

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3725389180 a8d2a0dc8b z The real reason we work so well in coffee shops may have nothing to do with the coffee shop effectYou may find you work better in a coffee shop than in your bedroom, but perhaps not for the reasons you’ve been led to believe…

Read the rest of this article at the New Scientist – the home of Brain Scanner, my new weekly column. Image: Tim Dreyer

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