Journal Club

Highlighting recently published papers selected by Academy members

Category Archives: Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

Journal Club: How your body feels influences your confidence levels

Despite living in a world filled with uncertainty, people are generally not constantly paralyzed by doubt, but instead feel confident about their choices. Previous research often assumed that this feeling of confidence was based solely on the availability of high-caliber … Continue reading

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Journal Club: How much you think you understand depends on what you believe others understand

Knowing that experts understand something is enough to make lay persons think they, too, have better grasped a concept, according to a September 26 paper in the journal Psychological Science. Cognitive scientist Steven Sloman, of Brown University in Providence, Rhode … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Childhood adversities correlated with shortened telomeres, poorer health later in life

Stressful experiences during youth seem to leave a mark on a person’s genome decades later, in the form of withered chromosomal caps. As reported in PNAS, childhood stress correlates with increased odds to have shortened telomeres, the chromosome tips that … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Even infants intuitively infer how others minimize costs and maximize rewards

A growing body of research suggests that people have a commonsense psychology — an intuitive way to infer what others want and might decide — that is already sophisticated from infancy. Now researchers have proposed a model for this commonsense … Continue reading

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Journal Club: Even in honeybees, early aggression makes for angry adults

A childhood of violence can make humans and other animals violent later on. Now scientists unexpectedly find the same holds true for even the simple honeybee. Unlike people, however, greater aggression in honeybees was not associated with later health problems. … Continue reading

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Selfless decisions linked with reduced depression in teenagers

Life is dangerous as a teenager. At the same time as we’re learning to drive, we’re prone to risker behavior and more likely to make impulsive decisions than when we are children or adults. Neurologists have noticed that a small … Continue reading

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Oxytocin can increase lying for the benefit of the group

Oxytocin is a hormone often thought of as a “love drug,” linked as it is with feel-good emotions such as trust, empathy and generosity. Increasingly, however, scientists find that oxytocin has a dark side — for example, it can spur … Continue reading

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False memories can come from beneficial brain processes

Memories of experiences are strengthened when we are frequently reminded of them, a key process known as memory reactivation. Although this phenomenon helps stabilize and update memories, it can also introduce errors, leading to false memories. Using brain scans, researchers … Continue reading

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Sugar’s benefits for willpower depend on your beliefs

Past research found eating sugar could improve self-control. Now research suggests this effect only holds true if people think willpower is a limited and easily depleted resource. For those who believe willpower is plentiful, sugar had no benefits, findings detailed … Continue reading

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An ad a day keeps the doctor away

During the commercial break of your favorite television show, the advertisements that play out in front of you don’t just influence your opinions of companies and shopping habits; the ads also could affect how your body responds to drugs. Watching … Continue reading

Categories: Medical Sciences | Psychological and Cognitive Sciences | 1 Comment