The murky waters of moral mornings

This is the final entry of a three-part series of blog entries based on a series of three articles in which two teams of researchers go back and forth on what they think is the influence of time on day on our decisions. You can refresh on the original study here, and the counterargument that…

Counting breaths to measure mindfulness

One of the greatest challenges to the scientific study of mindfulness is finding a way to objectively measure how mindful someone is. Only with a clear, unbiased measure we can we feel confident in when and why a person’s mindfulness changes, and what greater levels of mindfulness can mean for us. But mindfulness is a…

Reading a horse’s mind and brain

I cannot say that I have ever given horse brains much thought. Monkey brains, rat brains, even sea slug brains have played a much greater role in our understanding of modern neuroscience. Horses do make at least one appearance in psychology, in the form of the cautionary tale of Clever Hans, who demonstrated that horses are at the very…

Facebook and Filter Bubbles

Yes, this is about the Facebook kerfluffle of the week, the probably-unethical and definitely-badly-managed study showing that changing users’ News Feeds would change what users posted themselves. Oddly enough, given my standing as a teacher of research methods and a practicing psychology researcher, I am not outraged about the ethics of the study itself; I am…

Everyday sadism and squashing bugs revisited

The karmic retribution for my recent exploration of whether willingness to kill bugs reflects “everyday sadism” is, apparently, a near-midnight discovery of the largest cockroach i have ever seen, running laps around my living room ceiling, and quite willing to remind me that, oh yeah, cockroaches can fly. As I texted my sister (note to self:…

Not quite ready to call squishing bugs “sadism”

I admit, I have sometimes wondered what leads people into the career euphemistically we might euphemistically call “pest control” or more realistically declare “extermination”. I have been greatly relieved that people have chosen such career paths and are so available to handle wasp nests in my attic, and unable to fathom why anyone would opt to spend…

Of Mice and Humans

I can usually predict how my students will react to claims about brains and development that are based on rodent research – and no, it has nothing to do with a squeamishness about mice. If they think the ultimate claim being made is cool and interesting, like the way that mice seem to genetically inherit…