A new study suggests that when children are exposed to video games and other media that encourage positive social behaviors, they are more likely to behave in kind and helpful ways later down the road.
The study, published in Psychological Science, examined the link between prosocial media and levels of empathy and helpfulness in children from seven countries: Australia, China, Croatia, Germany, Japan, Romania, and the United States.
Showing 74 posts tagged psychology
A new study discovered computer-mediated personalized review helped students remember significantly more material on a tests given at the end of the semester and a month later.
“Our research shows that data collected from a population of learners can be leveraged to personalize review for individual students, yielding significant benefits over one-size-fits-all review,” said researcher Robert Lindsey, a doctoral student at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
image via flickr:CC | Shane Global Language Centres
A UK research study suggests workers obsessed with checking their emails could be damaging their own mental health, and that of their colleagues.
Dr. Emma Russell, an occupational psychologist, has identified seven deadly email sins that can lead to “negative repercussions’ if not handled correctly.
Seven deadly email sins:
1. Ping pong — constant emails back and forth creating long chains
2. Emailing out of hours
3. Emailing while in company
4. Ignoring emails completely
5. Requesting read receipts
6. Responding immediately to an email alert
7. Automated replies
image via flickr:CC | RambergMediaImages
The growth of social networks has spawned a new business practice whereby prospective employers often review an individual’s Facebook page, or other personal social media content, as a pre-screen for the hiring process.
William Stoughton, a doctoral student at North Carolina State University, believes the organizations may be committing a breach of privacy or, at the very least, creating a negative impression of the company for potential employees.
image via flickr:CC | English106
When you are typing away at your computer, you don’t know what your fingers are really doing.
That is the conclusion of a study conducted by a team of cognitive psychologists at Vanderbilt and Kobe universities. It found that skilled typists can’t identify the positions of many of the keys on the QWERTY keyboard and that novice typists don’t appear to learn key locations in the first place.
“This demonstrates that we’re capable of doing extremely complicated things without knowing explicitly what we are doing,” said Vanderbilt University graduate student Kristy Snyder, the first author of the study, which was conducted under the supervision of Centennial Professor of Psychology Gordon Logan.
A description of the research will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, which recently posted it online.
The researchers recruited 100 university students and members from the surrounding community to participate in an experiment. The participants completed a short typing test. Then, they were shown a blank QWERTY keyboard and given 80 seconds to write the letters in the correct location. On average, they typed 72 words per minute, moving their fingers to the correct keys six times per second with 94 percent accuracy. By contrast, they could accurately place an average of only 15 letters on a blank keyboard.
The fact that the typists did so poorly at identifying the position of specific keys didn’t come as a surprise. For more than a century, scientists have recognized the existence of automatism: the ability to perform actions without conscious thought or intention. Automatic behaviors of this type are surprisingly common, ranging from tying shoelaces to making coffee to factory assembly-line work to riding a bicycle and driving a car. So scientists had assumed that typing also fell into this category, but had not tested it.
What did come as a surprise, however, was a finding that conflicts with the basic theory of automatic learning, which suggests that it starts out as a conscious process and gradually becomes unconscious with repetition. According to the widely held theory – primarily developed by studying how people learn to play chess – when you perform a new task for the first time, you are conscious of each action and store the details in working memory. Then, as you repeat the task, it becomes increasingly automatic and your awareness of the details gradually fades away. This allows you to think about other things while you are performing the task.
Given the prevalence of this “use it or lose it” explanation, the researchers were surprised when they found evidence that the typists never appear to memorize the key positions, not even when they are first learning to type.
“It appears that not only don’t we know much about what we are doing, but we can’t know it because we don’t consciously learn how to do it in the first place” said Logan.
Evidence for this conclusion came from another experiment included in the study. The researchers recruited 24 typists who were skilled on the QWERTY keyboard and had them learn to type on a Dvorak keyboard, which places keys in different locations. After the participants developed a reasonable proficiency with the alternative keyboard, they were asked to identify the placement of the keys on a blank Dvorak keyboard. On average, they could locate only 17 letters correctly, comparable to participants’ performance with the QWERTY keyboard.
According to the researchers, the lack of explicit knowledge of the keyboard may be due to the fact that computers and keyboards have become so ubiquitous that students learn how to use them in an informal, trial-and-error fashion when they are very young.
Teenagers say their parents often don’t realize how overwhelmed they feel about school. Psychologists say parents can help children manage their expectations and live a more balanced life, even if it means not racking up as high a GPA as their friends.
Carol Dweck's research, which focuses on what makes people seek challenging tasks, persist through difficulty and do well over time, has shown that many girls believe their abilities are fixed, that individuals are born with gifts and can’t change.
Dweck’s research, which focuses on what makes people seek challenging tasks, persist through difficulty and do well over time, has shown that many girls believe their abilities are fixed, that individuals are born with gifts and can’t change. Her research finds that when girls think this way, they often give up, rather than persisting through difficulties. They don’t think they possess the ability to improve, and nowhere is the phenomenon stronger than in math.
While popular media often depicts highly-involved parents negatively as “helicopter parents” or “tiger moms, how does placing one’s children at the center of family life really affect parental well-being? New research published in Social Psychological and Personality Science finds that parents who prioritize their children’s well-being over their own are not only happier, but also derive more meaning in life from their child-rearing responsibilities.
”These findings stand in contrast to claims in the popular media that prioritizing children’s well-being undermines parents’ well-being,” the researchers wrote.
image via flickr:CC | Community Eye Health
Emerging research suggests our willpower to resist cheating or lying diminishes over the course of a day. Ethics researchers from Harvard University and the University of Utah discovered the pattern while investigating various behaviors, such as lying, stealing, and cheating.
“Whether you are personally trying to manage your own temptations, or you are a parent, teacher, or leader worried about the unethical behavior of others, our research suggests that it can be important to take something as seemingly mundane as the time of day into account.”
image via flickr:CC | kamshots
The author of the popular book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child,” may be on to something; a new study finds kids who don’t have a regular bedtime are more likely to have behavioral problems.
The study from researchers at University College London found that irregular bedtimes could disrupt natural body rhythms and cause sleep deprivation, undermining brain maturation and the ability to regulate certain behaviors.
A new study suggests that some people are genetically predisposed to have a darker impression of the world.
As published in Psychological Science, researchers suggest a previously known gene variant can cause individuals to perceive emotional events — especially negative ones — more vividly than others.
image via flickr:CC | tech no logic
A study of British youth found that two 90-minute group therapy sessions reduced the incidence of mental health issues by 25 to 33 percent.
New research suggest medieval practices to reverse bad fortune or undo a “jinx” actually work.
Actions such as knocking on wood, spitting or throwing salt, are common practice even among people who aren’t particularly superstitious.
image via flickr:CC | JD Hancock
Is the profile we provide on Facebook a more accurate reflection of our personality than that gained by traditional methods used by psychologists?
The ubiquity of social media and the Internet creates new avenues for non-physical abuse by a dating partner.
A new Michigan State study suggests online exhibits of controlling behavior and harassing text messages can have a serious effect on a teenager’s health and well-being.
“One of the things that we need to do better at society is to have conversations very early with young people — both females and males — about healthy relationship strategies,” Bonomi said. “We often wait too long — until middle school and even high school — to begin talking to girls and boys about relationship skills, if we even talk about it at all.”