Category Archives: Science

The 10 Coolest Science Stories of 2016

There was a lot of interesting stuff that happened this year, from discoveries to developments of fancy new technologies. This article is all about the science of the last 12 months – the news that was overshadowed by the politics. Therefore, this is a subjective list, because some stories are just better than others. But by staying away from the stories that dominated the news, I am sure you will learn something new as well as find out how the science world is changing. The 10 stories are not ranked, just aggregated for being fascinating.

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The Weapons Effect – Does the Mere Presence of a Gun Increase Aggression?

Anime girl with a gunA provocative question indeed: Do we seeing lots of gun deaths in America because of people’s aggression? Or is it possible that aggression is actually increased because there are so many guns in the country? The “weapons effect” is the theory that just by being in the mere presence of weapons, aggression levels increase. It’s a controversial theory, but there is of course a lot of research that has been published on it. In this article, let’s look at the studies that shed light on this area, and I will give my take on the research literature.

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Why Working Fewer Days/Hours is Better for Everyone

Happy businessman at the beach

A lot has happened since John Maynard Keynes predicted in 1930 that a century later, we would be working only 15 hours a week. He may have made this calculation on expected output in relation to increasing productivity, but he must have left out the variable of the profit motive in a context of corporate greed. He didn’t get to see the competitive world of unimaginable globalization and interconnectedness that we can see today, and he didn’t realize to what extent organizations would demand their employees work such long hours. However, working long hours does not mean increased performance or profits. In fact, it may be the opposite.

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What Really Happened to Phineas Gage? – Psychology’s Most Famous Case Study

Phineas Gage close-up

If you have ever studied psychology, you probably know the name “Phineas Gage.” He was an American railway worker whose life changed dramatically on September 13, 1848. He was removing rocks so a railway to be laid, which sometimes requires drilling holes into the big boulders that can’t be pushed aside, and pushing in gun powder with an iron rod before exploding them from a safe distance. That day, however, he accidentally scraped the boulder which ignited the gun powder, projecting the rod into the air. It went straight through his head… but he lived. His legacy lives on as psychology’s most famous case study; but his legend is usually distorted in myth.

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Top 10 Most Lucrative Psychology Careers & Sub-fields

Meeting w dataWhether or not you found yourself looking for an area of psychology that suits you, you’re researching potential career paths, or you’re warning your child about the terrible mistake they’re about to make, you must be curious to know who makes the most money in psychology. Is it the neuroscientist? The sports psychology expert? The clinical practitioner? The psychology professor? The answer is clear, but it may surprise you. Read on to find out what it takes to be a well-paid psychologist, and find out how much they make.

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Who’s More Believable: Science Expert or Random Internet Commenter?

Doctor computer - wtf you gotta be kidding meIn the latest battle of the war on science, many ignorant parents are risking the lives of their children and others by choosing not to vaccinate their children. This is a terrible idea, but the false, unethical, fraudulent, discredited, expunged research that claimed to have found a link between vaccines and autism (which is not even remotely true, in case that wasn’t clear enough) has lived on because of celebrity endorsements and a campaign of stupidity. Unfortunately, a new study shows that when it comes to the dissemination of information, vaccine experts are seen as no more credible than a random commenter on the internet.

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Mass Shootings – Increased incidents, or just increased reporting?

Gunshot skull wallpaper stkOne of the most fascinating contentions out of Steven Pinker’s 2011 book “The Better Angels of Our Nature” is that we are actually in the most peaceful time in world history. It may be hard to swallow at first – how can you honestly say, with all the bloodshed going on today, that we are in the most peaceful time ever? Pinker argues that we are not in a peaceful time, but it is most likely more peaceful than before. Back when the world had no internet, no phones, no newspapers, etc., there were massacres that people simply didn’t hear about like we do today. Since we can see violence on the news everyday now, it just seems like it happens more now. Whether or not you are persuaded by his well-researched book, we should look at contemporary violence and ask about a similar thing: Are mass shootings happening more now? Or are they just being reported more often?

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Top 10 Stunning Misconceptions of the Effects of Smartphone Usage

Mobile-mobility phone backgroundPhones nowadays are not simply the modes of communication anymore, they’re compact and sophisticated computers. The world has gone digital, and most children growing up today have no sense of what it is like to live without being connected. The concept of being offline is essentially a punishment, and the age at which youngsters start using these devices is gradually decreasing. Despite the ubiquity of this technology, though, we still don’t know some of the ramifications about this cultural evolution, because the research, let alone the technology itself, is so new. But we are learning more about how our psychology is being affected by phones, and here is a list of ten of the most surprising changes.

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Wanna Change Someone’s Mind? Agree With Them

youre-doing-it-wrongEveryone has the experience of trying to convince someone of something. It could be for something as trivial as renting the movie you want, to something as important as deciding on whether or not to give your child a vaccine. Strongly-held beliefs can be incredibly difficult to shake, but how might one be able to do so effectively? One of the most widely-used strategies is probably the most ineffective – yelling “No, you’re wrong!” or calling them names. As astronomer Phil Plait once said in a speech during a skeptic conference in 2010, yelling at or insulting people won’t persuade them. New research is suggesting that, in fact, if you really want to persuade someone, you should agree with them to the extreme.

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The Psychology of Studying – Writing vs. Typing Your Notes

Computer typing colourful BG ResearchBlogging.orgWhen it comes to studying, time is a major issue. For students with a high volume of information to study, cramming is sometimes required. For example, medical students don’t have the luxury of time to study one subject and absolutely nail it, because they have eight other subjects they’re simultaneously being tested on. The real secret to studying, however, is that the quantity of time spent is not nearly as important as the quality of it. If you ever wondered whether or not typing your notes can stack up to writing them by hand, let this be a lesson to you.

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