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California Psychiatry and Psychology Resource

Mind-Melding With Our Favorite Fictional Characters

Have you spend time reading or binge-watching your favorite shows this year? Research suggests that those beloved characters mean as much to us as our friends, at least if we are immersed in the fictional environment: Source: macmillan…

Heat Overrides Genes To Make Bearded Dragons Change Sex

Great example of epigenetics: Male bearded dragon embryos will hatch as females if the eggs are too warm – the heat overrides their genes to make them change sex! Source: macmillan psych community

The cognitive dissonance of QAnon followers

In the aftermath of the US presidential inauguration, I’ve been reading about QAnon with much interest. From the New York Times: Followers of QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory, have spent weeks anticipating that Wednesday [1/20/21, inauguration day] would be the…

Helping students overcome the planning fallacy

The planning fallacy tells us that everything will take longer than we think it will (Kahneman & Tversky, 1982). In a fun—and unpublished—study, MIT graduate student Kaley Brauer, tells us about what they learned about the planning fallacy—albeit never named…

The Neural Basis of Empathy

The Neural Basis of Empathy via Knowing Neurons (and check out some of their other easy-to-digest articles for students while you’re there!): Source: macmillan psych community

Bonobos May Help Explain the Evolution of Human Kindness

Unlike chimps, who are aggressive and competitive, bonobos excel at cooperation and community. Some scientists think that these differences can tell us a lot about our own evolution of empathy and kindness. Source: macmillan psych community

Cognitive dissonance example from "Murder Among the Mormons"

In the 2021 Netflix three-episode documentary, Murder Among the Mormons, we learn about the exploits of forger and murderer Mark Hofmann. Hofmann had a lot people snookered; people believed that the documents about the origin of the Church of Latter…

Sugar Linked To Anxiety Disorders

We know that sugar doesn’t make kids hyper, but can it make us anxious? This study found a link between sugary, processed foods and anxiety disorders, but remember that correlation does not equal causation! Source: macmillan psych community

The Psychology of Psychopathy

Fascinated by serial killers? Check out this article on the research looking at brain differences in psychopathy Source: macmillan psych community

Unhappiness and TV watching: Correlations, experiments, and ethics

After covering correlations and experiments, share the February 17, 2021 edition of the PC and Pixel comic strip with your students. In the first panel, one of the characters reads a research finding: “It’s reported here that unhappy people watch…