Monthly Archives: April 2012

Are Men Funnier Than Women?

which is the funnier sex?So, everyone has heard the results of the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest.  After a panel of men and women reviewed the captions, their findings deemed men were funnier by the merest of a fraction of a percent.  However, men think men are funnier; men like men’s humor better; men like sexist jokes; men try harder and there is a huge stereotypical image in the general population of men being the funnier sex. Continue reading

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Effective Psychological Strategies Used in Advertising

Advertising is intrinsically linked to the science of psychology. In this short video Dr. Robert Cialdini discusses various psychological techniques employed by advertisers in order to influence consumer thinking and boost product sales. Among the strategies discussed are the principles of reciprocation, scarcity, authority, commitment, liking and consensus.

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The Thatcher Illusion

thatcherisation

Look carefully…there’s something pretty special about the images above. What’s so great about four upside-down faces you ask? See for yourself. Below we have the same images when positioned right-side-up: Continue reading

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Mental Illness Linked To Increased Chronic Physical Conditions

medical checkupA study compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has found that adults who have experienced mental illness in the previous year were more likely to suffer from certain physical illnesses than those who maintained good mental health. Conditions such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes had increased rates of occurrence in individuals who experienced mental disorders or major depressive episodes in the past year.

Of those who reported any kind of mental illness, 21.9% had high blood pressure compared to 18.3% of persons who reported no mental health problems. Asthma also increased significantly from 10.6% (with good mental health) to 15.7% (with poor mental health). Continue reading

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Monkey See, Monkey Read

In the video above Jonathan Grainger discusses an experiment in which he and his colleagues attempted to teach Guinea baboons to distinguish between real English words and strings of letters which are not English words. The baboons learned to recognize words from nonwords, exhibiting human-like orthographic processing. The results indicate that the baboons were focusing on the location of individual letters in the words in order to identify them. Interestingly, this is similar to the approach taken by human readers.

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