Why People Oppose Same-Sex Marriage

Why do opponents of same-sex marriage really oppose it? A UCLA psychology study published online today in the journal Psychological Science concludes that many people believe gay men and women are more sexually promiscuous than heterosexuals, which they may fear could threaten their own marriages and their way of life.  The researchers surveyed 523 men and 562 women, 27 percent…

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Is Seeing Believing? People Are Surprisingly Bad at Identifying Where Sights and Sounds Originate

Our vision and hearing aren’t as reliable as we might think, according to a study by life scientists at UCLA. “Our basic sensory representation of the world — how information from our eyes and ears is processed by neurons in the brain — is inaccurate,” said Ladan Shams, an associate professor of psychology in the UCLA College and senior author…

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Why We Love Equality and Hate Those Who Cheat

A four-year-old girl sees three biscuits divided between a stuffed crocodile and a teddy bear. The crocodile gets two; the bear one. “Is that fair?” asks the experimenter. The girl solemnly judges that it is not. “How about now?” asks the experimenter, breaking the bear’s single biscuit in half. The girl cheers up: “Oh yes, now it’s fair. They both…

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Wired For Habit

We are creatures of habit, nearly mindlessly executing routine after routine. Some habits we feel good about; others, less so. Habits are, after all, thought to be driven by reward-seeking mechanisms that are built into the brain. It turns out, however, that the brain’s habit-forming circuits may also be wired for efficiency. New research from MIT shows that habit formation,…

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Genders Differ Dramatically in Evolved Mate Preferences

Men’s and women’s ideas of the perfect mate differ significantly due to evolutionary pressures, according to a cross-cultural study on multiple mate preferences by psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin. The study of 4,764 men and 5,389 women in 33 countries and 37 cultures showed that sex differences in mate preferences are much larger than previously appreciated and…

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Chimpanzees May Know When They Are Right and Move to Prove It

Chimpanzees are capable of metacognition, or thinking about one’s own thinking, and can adjust their behavior accordingly, researchers at Georgia State University, Agnes Scott College, Wofford College and the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York have discovered.  Their findings, published June 6 in the journal Cognition, suggest chimpanzees share with humans the capacity for metacognitive monitoring, which reflects…

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