Tag Archives | Psychology

Ring her bell – you’ll unleash hell!

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Via KC Star:

Missouri woman pleads guilty to assaulting doorbell pranksters.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – A Springfield woman could get a 10-year prison sentencing for threatening boys who rang her doorbell and ran away.

Prosecutors say 32-year-old Ashley Crossland pleaded guilty on Feb. 17 to burglary, assault and unlawful use of a weapon after becoming angry because of a January 2014 prank.

A probable cause statement says Crossland tried to run one boy down with her van and punched another three times while holding a knife to his chest.

The Springfield News-Leader reports she was also charged with going to the home where the boys were having a sleepover and illegally entering the home.

One of the boys reportedly told police that Crossland came out of her home and began yelling at them as they ran away after they rang her doorbell. The boy said that after he turned a corner, he saw a van “driving crazy.”

Probable cause documents said the van tried to run the boy over, and backed him up against a fence.

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A Common Link Among Female Criminals: Brain Injury

Michael Coghlan (CC BY 2.0)

Michael Coghlan (CC BY 2.0)

Christopher Wanjek via Live Science [July 28, 2014]:

Nearly 40 percent of women in prison in Ontario, Canada, have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a study published this month in the Journal of Correctional Health Care.

The study, the first to look at the rate of TBIs among prison populations in Canada, contributes to a growing body of evidence associating blows to the head with a multitude of long-term, negative health outcomes, from homelessness and substance abuse to risky behavior and incarceration.

In revealing the high rate of TBIs among people in prison, particularly among female inmates, the research team hopes to raise awareness of a widespread yet overlooked public health problem.

“TBIs are common, and most are not associated with offending behaviors,” said Dr. Angela Colantonio, the lead author on the report and a senior scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. “However, the question is whether early intervention and support for those living with the effects of brain injury could prevent offending behavior or recidivism.

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Depression Distorts People’s Perception of Time, Study Finds

oatsy40 (CC BY 2.0)

oatsy40 (CC BY 2.0)

Depression can lead to time distortion.

via PsyBlog:

Most people experience differences in how time is perceived, with or without depression.

For example, 10 minutes in the dentist’s waiting-room can seem like an hour.

While an enjoyable conversation with a good friend can pass in the blink of an eye.

What a new study finds, though, is that depressed people have a general feeling that time is passing more slowly, or even that it has stopped.

Dr. Daniel Oberfeld-Twistel, one of the study’s authors, said:

“Psychiatrists and psychologists in hospitals and private practices repeatedly report that depressed patients feel that time only creeps forward slowly or is passing in slow motion.

The results of our analysis confirm that this is indeed the case.”

The strange part is what happens when people with depression are asked to judge intervals of time.

For example, they are asked to watch a movie and estimate its length.

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Hearing Voices is Much More Common Than You Might Think

Meg Wills (CC By 2.0)

Meg Wills (CC By 2.0)

via PsyBlog:

The experience of hearing voices is common and much more variable than previously thought, a new study finds.

Many people who do not have a psychiatric diagnosis hear voices.

It is thought between 5 and 15% of people will experience hearing voices at some point in their lives (scroll down for Rachel’s story).

Researchers asked 153 people about their experiences of hearing voices.

Most of them (81%) said they heard more than one voice, with 70% saying they heard specific characters.

Only around half the people said their voices were purely sounds they heard.

Almost half said they were more thought-like voices or somewhere in between sounds and thoughts.

Two-thirds of people also reported feeling bodily sensations while hearing voices.

These included tingling or hot sensations in the hands or feet.

Dr Nev Jones, one of the study’s authors, said:

“By and large, these voices were not experienced simply as intrusive or unwanted thoughts, but rather, like the auditory voices, as distinct ‘entities’ with their own personalities and content.

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Are you a stingy tipper? You may have unresolved trust issues

Kenny Louie (CC BY 2.0)

Kenny Louie (CC BY 2.0)

Amit Sharma, Pennsylvania State University

Editor’s note: this article is part of an occasional series exploring the custom of tipping.

A purely rational economic analysis of human behavior seems unable to explain why some societies tip waiters, busboys or taxi drivers and others don’t. Why are some known for being generous and others for being stingy?

That’s because there isn’t anything rational about it. We tip so that we get better service and food. It’s an incentive. But since we do it after finishing our meal, we lose the ability to incentivize the staff to improve the experience. So why tip if there is no reason it would change your (already consumed) service experience?

But then, whoever said we behave rationally? Well, at least not all the time. So maybe we can explain tipping in some other manner. Is it just a human thing to do, perhaps?… Read the rest

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The Politics of Spanking

vastateparksstaff (CC BY 2.0)

vastateparksstaff (CC BY 2.0)

Dr. Susan Block, writing at CounterPunch, from 2011:

“I got so mad at my wife,” Oswald told Charlie in their Grand Ole Opry routine, “I turned her over my knee and lifted up her skirt to spank her. Then I forgot what I was mad about.”

Did Oswald go on to actually spank his wife or did he switch gears and have sex with her? It really doesn’t matter. What makes this old joke timelessly funny is that we all recognize the inherent eroticism in spanking an upturned, ceremoniously unveiled, bared butt, as well as the innate absurdity of the old-time “wisdom” that spanking will solve a real problem? Or whatever it was that made Oswald “so mad.”

What is it about spanking, and/or being spanked, that turns so many of us on so much?  Why does spanking have the power to revive an otherwise jaded libido and/or destroy a robust career?

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Racism Linked to Infant Mortality and Learning Disabilities

Janell Ross writes at the Root:

A pair of Emory University studies released this year have connected the large share of African-American children born before term with the biologically detectable effects of stress created in women’s bodies after decades of dealing with American racism. As shocking as that itself may sound, the studies’ findings don’t end there.

Racism, and its ability to increase the odds that a pregnant mother will deliver her child early, can kill. There is also evidence that racism can alter the capacity for a child to learn and distorts lives in ways that can reproduce inequality, poverty and long-term disadvantage, the studies found.

“Racism is an incredibly powerful force,” said Elizabeth Corwin, dean of research at Emory University’s Woodruff School of Nursing,

In 2012, a stunning 11.5 percent of American children were born preterm, the medical community’s shorthand for a child who spends 38 weeks or less in their mother’s womb.

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Some Things Hugs Can’t Fix

ybs (CC BY 2.0)

ybs (CC BY 2.0)

via Duke Today:

A loving mom can’t overcome the anxiety and aggression caused by corporal punishment, and her otherwise warm demeanor may make it worse, according to research led by Duke University that was recently published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

“If you believe that you can shake your children or slap them across the face and then smooth things over gradually by smothering them with love, you are mistaken,” wrote lead researcher Jennifer E. Lansford on the Child and Family Blog. Lansford is a research professor at the Social Science Research Institute at Duke University. “Being very warm with a child whom you hit in this manner rarely makes things better. It can make a child more, not less, anxious.”

The blog is a joint project of the Future of Children at Princeton University and the Applied Developmental Psychology Research Group at the University of Cambridge.

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Loneliness and Social Isolation Are Just as Much a Threat to Longevity as Obesity

via Brigham Young University:

Ask people what it takes to live a long life, and they’ll say things like exercise, take Omega-3s, and see your doctor regularly.

Now research from Brigham Young University shows that loneliness and social isolation are just as much a threat to longevity as obesity.

“The effect of this is comparable to obesity, something that public health takes very seriously,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the lead study author. “We need to start taking our social relationships more seriously.”

Loneliness and social isolation can look very different. For example, someone may be surrounded by many people but still feel alone. Other people may isolate themselves because they prefer to be alone. The effect on longevity, however, is much the same for those two scenarios.

The association between loneliness and risk for mortality among young populations is  actually greater than among older populations. Although older people are more likely to be lonely and face a higher mortality risk, loneliness and social isolation better predict premature death among populations younger than 65 years.

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Study Finds That Parents Create Narcissistic Children

Petr Dosek (CC BY 2.0)

Petr Dosek (CC BY 2.0)

You don’t say…

Lenny Bernstein via Washington Post:

Just about everybody has one raging narcissist to deal with, sooner or later — on the job, in social situations or (God forbid) in the home. How did he get this way, we wonder? What was his childhood like?

For what appears to be the first time, researchers have taken a stab at that question by following and surveying 565 children ages 7 through 11 and their parents — 415 mothers and 290 fathers.

The results are quite clear: Parents who “overvalue” children during this developmental stage, telling them they are superior to others and entitled to special treatment, are more likely to produce narcissistic children — who can grow up to become narcissistic adults, unless something is done about it.

“When children are seen by their parents as being more special and more entitled than other children, they may internalize the view that they are superior individuals, a view that is at the core of narcissism,” the researchers wrote in a study released online Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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