Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Articles related to Psychology

Browse: Immune Phases Influence Depression Browse: Schizophrenia’s Slow Cells
Browse: Bees Have Lateralised Brains Too
Credit: Nick Valmas (QBI)
Feature: Does a Fly Know If It’s in Control?
What do the brain waves of a fly placed in a virtual reality arena tell us about self-awareness in animals?
Browse: Why Cocky Guys Get the Girl Browse: Faulty Gene Linked to Depression and Cardiovascular Disease
Feature: Tasty Treats Diminish Our Capacity for Patience
A new study finds that our recent experience with rewards such as food can change our capacity for patience.
Browse: Children Struggle to Tell When Emotions Are Faked
Feature: How Early Can We Predict and Prevent Psychosis?
The addition of a simple blood test could improve predictions of a first psychotic episode.
Browse: Prenatal Attachment Affects a Child’s Personality
Browse: Financial Decisions Influenced by Light Intensity Browse: Wine Labels Influence Drinkers’ Palates
Browse: Psychedelic Microdosing Doesn’t Meet User Expectations Browse: Head-Banging Music Soothes the Soul
Feature: The Amazing Bubble
Bubbles may seem fleeting and fragile but scientists are getting closer to finding the right conditions to turn them into tiny fusion reactors and to recreate the genesis of life itself.
Browse: Poor Maternal Bonding Inherited
Browse: Court Design Influences Jury Decisions
Credit: George Peters/iStockphoto
Cover Story: Why Our Brain Craves Random Noise
Sensory deprivation, dreams, hallucinations and the detection of familiar patterns in clouds and repetitive sounds reveal our brain’s determination to make meaning from random noise.
Feature: How We Sense Time
Our sense of time is critical to our everyday experience, from consciousness to movement and learning.
Credit: auremar
Feature: The Crocodile and the One-Armed Bandit
Researchers have introduced crocodiles to test how excitement influences gambling behaviour on poker machines.
Browse: Locker Room Anxiety
Men who are bothered about the size of their muscles, or their penises, are more anxious in the locker room than the bedroom, a Victoria University study has found.
Credit: Sangoiri
Feature: Scanning for Empathy
From the reassuring psychologist to the panicked parent, we experience empathy for others in different ways. Brain scans have revealed why.
Haunted house
Cover Story: Brilliant Memories for Dark Places
We are usually not aware of it, but emotions exert a powerful influence over our memories by playing a key role in determining what we remember and what we forget.
Cover Story: Turn Down the Volume?
Does music help or hinder our concentration and memory?
Feature: The Psychology of Misinformation
Misinformation affects our reasoning and decision-making. Unfortunately, a number of cognitive factors limit the effectiveness of retractions and refutations, ensuring that misinformation sticks.
Credit: auremar/adobe
Feature: How Reliable Is an Eyewitness?
Eyewitness identification of criminals is notoriously unreliable, but a new study based on police records has identified factors that can determine which witnesses are accurate and which are guessing.
Credit: Kaspars Grinvalds/adobe
Feature: Generation Multi
As technology continues to become more richly embedded in our daily lives, so too comes the increased demand and temptation to multitask. But can we improve our ability to do two things at once?
Feature: What We Can Learn from Pickpockets
Scientists are using the perceptual trickery of pickpockets and magicians as a new tool to study perceptual processing in the brain.
Credit: MN National Guard
Feature: Cheerleaders Make Fools of Our First Impressions
The “cheerleader effect” ­– the observation that people appear more attractive when they are in a group – reveals some quirks about how the brain processes complicated visual information.
Doreen Salcher/Adobe
Feature: Your Face Is Your Fortune
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there is an additional treasure-trove of information still to be mined from new ways of looking at people's varying faces.
Browse: Bigger brains could help us see better
Bigger brain areas could have evolved to help us perceive more, and more accurately, according to a new study published by scientists at the University of Bath.
Browse: What women want: the ‘ex-factor’
Browse: Brain Stimulation to Treat Anxiety Browse: Do Energy Drinks Mixed with Alcohol Increase Risk-taking?
Browse: Empathy Gets the Girl Browse: The Hardest Word
Linguistic analysis can distinguish between genuine and falsified expressions of remorse.
Browse: Viewing the Adelaide Ashes test through rose-tinted glasses Browse: Video Game Rewards Fit the Definition of Gambling
Browse: The Importance of Eye Contact Debunked conSCIENCE: Confucius Was Not a Qualified Career Adviser
Turning your hobby into your job may not necessarily lead to happiness.
Eureka!: Angry at Your Spouse? When Did You Last Eat?
Lower levels of blood sugar make us more likely to lash out, and the people we lash out at are often those we hold closest to our hearts.
Eureka!: The Bee Sting Pain Index
A PhD student has subjected himself to repeated bee stings over 38 days to compare the most painful places to be stung.
Eureka!: An App Knows You Better than Your Real Life Friends
Facebook “likes” can profile your personality more accurately than your friends and co-workers.
The Fit: Mapping Happiness
Blogs, tweets, news reports and songs can be used to map happiness levels by city, age group and even the day of the week and the time of the day.
Naked Skeptic: A Conspiracy of Conspiracists
Research into the psychology of conspiracy theorists has been withdrawn from publication following complaints that the research is itself a conspiracy.
Naked Skeptic: Filtering Science through Conspiracy
A new study finds that people who tend to believe in conspiracies are also likely to reject a consensus of scientific opinion on issues like climate change and vaccination.
Naked Skeptic: Right to Read Denied by Deniers
A research paper about the people who are drawn to conspiracy theories has been permanently retracted due to the threat of litigation by climate change deniers rather than a flaw in the science.
Naked Skeptic: Things Change. Get Used to It
How concerned should we be that only 39% of psychology research can be replicated?
Naked Skeptic: Smart People, Strange Ideas
Even people who are rational about most matters can hold opinions that aren’t supported by science or even common sense.
Naked Skeptic: The Myth of “The Myth of Mental Illness”
Scientologists argue against the existence of the mind, and therefore mental illness.
Naked Skeptic: Skeptics Aren’t Always Skeptical
Skeptical minds aren’t always applied when it comes to colonies on Mars and self-driving cars.
Neuropsy: The Streep Effect
Is Foreign Accent Syndrome the result of brain trauma or stress, or not even a foreign accent?
Neuropsy: Face Off
Do motoring enthusiasts recognise cars in the same way people recognise faces?
Neuropsy: Curiouser and Curiouser
A new case of Alice in Wonderland syndrome draws attention to how little is known about perceived distortions of body size.
Neuropsy: Knowing When to Fold ‘Em
The discovery that some brain injuries may eliminate the gambler’s fallacy could lead to pharmaceutical treatments for problem gambling.
Neuropsy: Crying Wolf
A new review offers a modern perspective on clinical lycanthropy and other delusions of animal metamorphoses.
Neuropsy: Rebooting the Brain
A study of recovery from anaesthesia finds that returning to consciousness is not a simple path.
Neuropsy: The Demise of Dyslexia
Leading scholars argue for the abandonment of a flawed concept.
Neuropsy: Diagnosis, Dissent and the DSM
The publication of the DSM-5 prompts debates over the science of diagnosing and treating mental illness.
Neuropsy: The Walking Dead
People with the Cotard delusion are convinced that they are dead.
Neuropsy: Memory Surgery
Recent discoveries about memory modification open the way to erasing traumatic memories.
Neuropsy: Science and Pseudoscience in Mental Health
A new book explores the range and popularity of unproven therapies for psychological disorders.
Neuropsy: A Mote to Trouble the Mind’s Eye
The study of aphantasia offers a window into our ability to visualise.
Neuropsy: Faces in the Crowd
Can naturally gifted face-recognisers improve the detection of lawbreakers?
Credit: Gage Skidmore
Neuropsy: Deconstructing the Donald
Donald Trump’s appeal to voters may be explained by a preference for authoritarian anti-establishment leaders.
Neuropsy: Jesus on Toast
The human disposition to find meaning in random data is hard-wired in the brain.
Neuropsy: Watching the Detective
Studies of neural activity in viewers of Sherlock reveal how we connect story elements.
Neuropsy: The Mystery of Agatha’s Amnesia
A popular fictional theme, psychogenic amnesia is a possible consequence of stress or trauma.
Neuropsy: Seeing Is Believing
Illusory pattern perception is associated with a belief in conspiracy theories.
Neuropsy: If Music Be the Food of Love, Play On
Extreme re-listening to popular songs reflects personality type.
Credit: Couperfield/Adobe
Neuropsy: The Moving Finger Writes, and Tells a Ghost Story
A reduced sense of personal agency persuades Ouija board users to believe in ghostly messages.
Neuropsy: Too Many Choices
Decisions are most easily made when the right number of options are available.
Neuropsy: What Makes Words Funny?
A new study predicts the most amusing words in the English language.
Neuropsy: The Dark Side
A new study suggests that dark personality traits are the expression of a single underlying disposition.
Neuropsy: To Sleep, Perchance to Learn
New research finds that we can learn while we’re asleep under certain conditions.
Neuropsy: Be Mindful of the Gap
The lack of evidence for mindfulness as a therapeutic technique raises serious questions for health and education professionals.
Quandary: A Bizarre Dilemma from Sweden
“Resignation syndrome” in refugee children and adolescents in Sweden is one of the most bizarre medical stories of the past decade.
Quandary: Turning Psychopaths into Nice Guys
If moral bioenhancement of psychopaths becomes obligatory, who will benchmark standards?
Up Close: Beyond exceptional: What makes a child prodigy?
Psychology researcher Dr Joanne Ruthsatz talks about the personality traits that set child prodigies apart from other children.
Up Close: Hormones in a hurry: Uneasy passages through puberty and adolescence
Psychiatrist and adolescent health specialist, Prof George Patton, discusses why puberty – especially early puberty – and adolescence can be so tough, but how most of us survive the journey.
Up Close: Music and mind: Can Mozart really sharpen your neural connections?
Cognitive psychologist Prof Glenn Schellenberg scrutinises the relationship between music and cognitive development.
Up Close: Deferring dementia: Research efforts to keep Alzheimer’s at bay
Neurobiologist Prof Colin Masters explains current medical understanding of Alzheimer’s disease, and discusses ongoing research efforts towards delaying onset of this as yet incurable condition.
Up Close: Brain of the beholder: The neuroscience of beauty
Doyen of the field of neuroesthetics Prof Semir Zeki explains the neuronal behaviour that underlies perceptions of ‘beauty’.
Up Close: From pole to pole: New research into treating bipolar disorder
Research psychiatrist Prof Allan Young discusses bipolar disorder, and examines leading edge research into finding new treatments for this condition. Presented by Sila Genc.
Up Close: Brain ever changing: Neuroplasticity and its role in mental health
Behavioural neuroscientist Prof Anthony Hannan gives a neuro-researcher’s view of the dynamic, bidirectional interplay of brain and body, and the protective and destructive implications for both our mental and physical health.
Up Close: The necessity of kindness: Altruism in animals and beyond
Evolutionary biologist and historian of science Prof Lee Dugatkin joins Dr Andi Horvath to discuss displays of altruism in insects, animals and humans, and how the often harsh evolutionary imperatives of survival can actually accommodate, promote or depend on acts of kindness and justice.
Up Close: Ongoing symptoms: Why isn't treatment for depression and anxiety leading to lower prevalence?
Public health researcher Prof Tony Jorm asks why prevalence of anxiety and depression in North America, Australia and elsewhere has not decreased despite a quarter century of more and better treatment for two of the world's most common mental health problems.
Up Close: Not merely emotion: Reclaiming "passion" as a driver of human behaviour
Philosopher of the emotions Prof Louis Charland argues that we need to reinstate the notion of "passion" in our understanding of human behaviour. Now little mentioned outside of the arts and self-help domains, passion has deep historical roots and may have important contemporary use as a lens through which to view certain psychiatric conditions.
Online Feature: Psychopaths Understand Victims' Pain
Brain research shows psychopathic criminals do not lack empathy, but fail to use it automatically.
Online Feature: Temper trap: the genetics of aggression and self-control
A new study concludes that people who are genetically predisposed toward aggression have inefficient functioning in brain regions that control emotions.
Online Feature: Back to Basics: The Magician’s Apprentice 50 Years On
The prefix "neuro" these days appears before so many other existing disciplines – neuroethics, neurophilosophy, neuroeconomics and neuroforensics – but can all these disciplines be better comprehended and mastered through the lens of brain mechanisms?
Online Feature: Why brain stimulation isn't what it's cracked up to be
Feature: A Scientist’s Defense of Free Will
Why scientists should not jump to the unwarranted conclusion that free will is just an illusion.