When Did We Become Mentally Modern?

Our ability to think in symbols — the notion that objects can represent ideas — is one of the key traits that make us human. We weren’t always symbolic thinkers, and scientists are trying to figure out when our minds evolved this ability.

‘The Friend of My Enemy Is My Enemy’: Virtual Universe Study Proves 80-Year-Old Theory on How Humans Interact

I’m not overly interested in the study itself, but rather the method used. 

A new study analyzing interactions between players in a virtual universe game has for the first time provided large-scale evidence to prove an 80 year old psychological theory called Structural Balance Theory. The research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that individuals tend to avoid stress-causing relationships when they develop a society, resulting in more stable social networks.

Predicting Relationship Breakups With a Word-Association Task

There seems to be an IAT for everything these days.

Here’s a way to tell a romantic relationship is going to fall apart: find out what people really think about their partners. The researchers in a new study used a so-called implicit task, which shows how people automatically respond to words — in this case, whether they find it easier to link words referring to their partner to words with pleasant or unpleasant meanings.

Does Darth Vader meet the diagnostic criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder?

Female Teachers’ Math Anxiety Negatively Affects Female Students

Young Men More Vulnerable to Relationship Ups and Downs Than Women

Contrary to popular belief, the ups and downs of romantic relationships have a greater effect on the mental health of young men than women, according to a new study by a Wake Forest University sociology professor.

Contrary to Popular Models, Sugar Is Not Burned by Self-Control Tasks

This may or may not be good for my research: Contradicting a popular model of self-control, a University of Pennsylvania psychologist says the data from a 2007 study argues against the idea that glucose is the resource used to manage self control and that humans rely on this energy source for will power.

If self-control is not reliant on glucose, my nonunitary model of executive functioning functions much better.

Personality Predicts Political Preferences

Researchers at UofT have shown that the psychological concern for compassion and equality is associated with a liberal mindset, while the concern for order and respect of social norms is associated with a conservative mindset.

Teenagers in Lesbian Families: Healthy and Happy

Blasphemy: Teenage children of lesbian parents in the United States exhibit healthy psychological development and have fewer behavioral problems than peers who grow up in heterosexual families

Secondhand Smoke Associated With Psychiatric Distress, Illness

Exposure to secondhand smoke appears to be associated with psychological distress and the risk of future psychiatric hospitalization among healthy adults, according to a report posted online that will appear in the August print issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.