An extra view on smoking

Why do people carry on smoking, and why is stopping smoking so hard to do? An internal locus of control is when people feels in control of themselves, they feel they can and do affect their own lives, make their own decisions and so on. An external locus of control is where people feel they […]

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Bad food -> bad behaviour?

We’ve known for ages that trans fats are seriously not good news health-wise. Now it is being suggested that there could be a direct link with aggressive behaviour. The link has not been established as causal, but the research methodology seems quite sound and there could be important applications – though the researchers’ picking out […]

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High quality day care follow-up

Back in the 1970s 111 infants from disadvantaged backgrounds were recruited into quite an intensive daycare programme, the Abecedarian Project. Thirty years later, 101 of them were still being monitored by researchers ( Frances et al., 2012 ). This was a scientific, controlled investigation into the benefits of high quality daycare for children who were at risk of developmental […]

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Behaviourism in Action: Friday 13th

How were you on Friday? Friday 13th? It seems that there is a widespread fear of any Friday which is also the 13th of the month, but there is no rational explanation for this. Records and statistics do not show any increase in bad happenings on such a day. So why does does this belief […]

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Is it when you sleep, not how much, that counts?

A small study of Canadian infants and toddlers found that those who slept most at night were making significantly more progress in executive functions than those who slept less at night, even if the latter group also had daytime sleep. These functions include impulse control, memory and mental flexibility. The researchers controlled for parents’ education […]

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How the SCN sees light

It’s been known for ages that information on light levels is passed from the two retinas via a special small nerve from each eye to the SCN, but the mechanism of this is now more clear. As well as rods and cones, cells which are sensitive to light and give us black-and-white and colour vision […]

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Accents, attitudes and prejudice

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it” seems to have a lot of truth as research is showing a strong though probably unconscious effect that a person’s accent has on the listener. In an American study an accent which is very different from the listener’s was perceived to be less trustworthy and […]

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Costs and Benefits of Drug therapy

Insomnia and anxiety disorders are very different problems, each making normal, everyday life difficult, and drug therapy can usually help with both of these conditions. However, a word of caution is now being given about such therapy as a meta-analysis of over 12 years’ Canadian data suggests that the costs of such treatment might outweigh […]

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