A new study shows that internet trolls really are just terrible human beings, reports Psychology Today, to absolutely no one’s surprise:
In this month’s issue of Personality and Individual Differences, a study was published that confirms what we all suspected: internet trolls are horrible people.
Let’s start by getting our definitions straight. An internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.
What kind of person would do this?
Canadian researchers decided to find out. They conducted two internet studies with over 1,200 people. They gave personality tests to each subject along with a survey about their internet commenting behavior. They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the Dark Tetrad of personality: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadistic personality…
[continues at Psychology Today]
via Brain Pickings:
How and why this happens is precisely what cognitive scientist Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, director of the Music Cognition Lab at the University of Arkansas, explores in On Repeat: How Music Plays the Mind (public library). This illuminating short animation from TED Ed, based on Margulis’s work, explains the psychology of the “mere exposure effect,” which makes things grow sweeter simply as they become familiar — a parallel manifestation of the same psychological phenomenon that causes us to rate familiar statements as more likely to be true than unfamiliar ones.
When we asked if you would rather terraform Mars or mitigate climate change, much of the Disinfo community replied with: both! Well, according to this Vox article, growing plants with Martian soil might be more probable than previously thought.
… Read the rest
If we ever wanted to permanently colonize Mars, one thing seems probable: we’d have to figure out how to grow some food there.
This raises an interesting question: could we use Martian soil to do it?
Previously, NASA researchers had speculated that we’d have to either grow food hydroponically on Mars, or ship soil there from Earth. But a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that using Martian soil might actually be a possibility.
In it, researchers found that plants actually grew better in a simulated Martian soil than in nutrient-poor soils found on Earth (and Martian soil seems to be more suitable than lunar soil).
via Live Science:
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The skeletal remains of two lovebirds were uncovered, after being locked in a romantic embrace for the past 700 years.
Archeologists found the happy couple holding hands in an earthen grave during an excavation of a “lost” chapel in Leicestershire, England, researchers reported Thursday (Sept. 18).
“We have seen similar skeletons before from Leicester where a couple has been buried together in a single grave,” Vicki Score, University of Leicester Archaeological Services (ULAS) project manager, said in a statement.
Double graves are not that unusual. But it’s surprising that the two bodies were buried at the so-called “lost” chapel of St Morrell, only recently discovered by a local historian and a team of researchers, instead of at the local church. [8 Grisly Archaeological Discoveries]
“The main question we find ourselves asking is why were they buried up there?
I recently had the distinct pleasure of catching up with my good friend Gabriel D. Roberts, author of The Quest for Gnosis. He is making his first foray into fiction very soon with a new book called The Hermit.
BR: Gabe, one of the things I like so much about the way you deliver ideas is that it is both honest and raw while also “getting to the heart of things” in a very rapid manner. What were some of the initial things that inspired The Quest for Gnosis?
I wanted to make a fast track for the serious seeker who was tired of the dogmatic mire of big religion and I knew that I alone would fall short of delivering such a tome. It made sense to employ the minds of those very people who shaped and influenced my perspectives. This is a refinement of my own journey that I hope will make it easier for the neophyte to grow.… Read the rest
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New research on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in soldiers challenges popular assumptions about the origins and trajectory of PTSD, providing evidence that traumatic experiences in childhood – not combat – may predict which soldiers develop the disorder.
Psychological scientist Dorthe Berntsen of Aarhus University in Denmark and a team of Danish and American researchers wanted to understand why some soldiers develop PTSD but others don’t. They also wanted to develop a clearer understanding of how the symptoms of the disorder progress.
The red band trailer for the third installment of the V/H/S anthology series has just been released. You can check out the trailer below (NOTE that this is a Red Band trailer and viewer discretion is advised).
I see that one of the segments will be utilizing body horror – let’s hope they can make David Cronenberg proud!
By Robert Imre, University of Newcastle
From anarchists in the 1920s and radical leftists in the 1960s, to fringe, extreme-right Christian bombers or gunmen in the United States in recent decades, or radical Islamists such as Islamic State today, terrorist groups have one thing in common. They seek to shock, while simultaneously portraying themselves as victims. While their beliefs can vary wildly, what they all share is the “propaganda of the deed” in their extreme violent activities.
Typically, political violence in the most extreme form – terrorism – usually will see groups fracture in to smaller sub-groups. Once violence is legitimated, it then becomes a way to settle internal disagreements as well.
Given that we have seen a number of terrorist groups come and go over the decades, it bears scrutiny how these various groups were successfully stopped, as well as where governments failed.… Read the rest
John Bingham writes at the Telegraph:
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It has been one of the most fraught relationships of recent centuries, at least in the popular imagination.
But a group of scientists are pinning their hopes for the salvation of the planet, in the face of climate change and habitat destruction – on religion.
Their case, set out in an essay in the journal Science, is being described a “watershed moment” for scientists and faith leaders alike.
It argues that engaging religious leaders, rather than relying on politicians, could hold the key to mobilising billions of people around the world to change aspects of their lifestyles to help prevent catastrophic climate change.
The article singles out Pope Francis and the Roman Catholic Church, with its 1.2 billion-strong network of followers, as the key but calls for religious leaders of every stripe to be recruited.
It argues that religion can provide a unique combination of “moral leadership” and global organisational structures required to bring about practical changes which could have an immediate effect, such as providing millions of the world’s poorest people with cleaner forms of fuel.