Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Mean Girls

Posted on February 27th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Mean Girls

Why are men always viewed as the more competitive? You hear stories about men cutting each other’s throat for the only promotion, fighting each other in a pub car park or trying to outdo one other at the urinals (none of which i will admit to having done). Well, one study at least has come out on the side of equality, showing that females are just as competitive, only doing so in a less overt fashion. In the age old style of psychological studies, participants were asked to play a game where they could win money. Three options were give:…

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Puppy Love

Posted on February 22nd 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Puppy Love

Warning: this post contains scenes of extreme cuteness and adorability. Reader discretion is advised. Scientists have, for the first time, proved systematically that tiny little kittens and puppies are actually cute. It sounds incredibly obvious; even the coldest, stony-hearted grinches out there will melt at the sight of a baby animal looking up at them. But why is this so? What is it that makes us fall in love with these tiny critters? It turns out that these baby animals are cute for much the same reasons that baby humans are. Large, low lying eyes, a big forehead and a…

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Judging a book by its sexy cover

Posted on February 21st 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Judging a book by its sexy cover

Have you ever noticed how beautiful people always seem to be the most popular as well? I’m sure you have, from whatever part of the high school pecking order you happened to find yourself in. Not that it will make the lower echelons of humanity feel any better, but there might be a scientifically sound reason for this. Research, published in the Journal of Psychological Science, has found that more attractive people are viewed as having nicer personalities – based on a number of characteristics – than their more troll-like comrades. Unsurprisingly, the fitties were also studied for longer and…

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Neural clues to anxiety disorders

Posted on February 14th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Neural clues to anxiety disorders

Fear is one of the most primitive emotions, having evolved deep in evolutionary history to make sure our ancestors stayed away from bigger, toothier or more poisonous animals. There is a very good reason why some of the most common fears around the world concern snakes and spiders, animals that, if given the chance, could kill in a single bite. But, if fear is a natural response to external dangers, why is there such a range in the degree to which fear is expressed? Why do some people show almost no fear, while some people are crippled by chronic anxiety…

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Unpopularity Contest

Posted on February 10th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Unpopularity Contest

To the consternation of all downtrodden geeks, dweebs, sissies, melvins, Imperial students and nerds out there, those bullies who made your schooldays less than pleasant were probably more popular than you were. Research from the American Sociological Review has shown that, far from being thuggish, sociopathic bastards, they actually have an intricate network of friends. Perversely, it is because they are popular that they engage in such malevolence. The researchers from the University of California mapped out an entire school’s social network, asking who was friends with whom (a bit bitchy if you ask me). Those individuals who were popular,…

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Copycats

Posted on January 28th 2011 in Blog with Comments Off on Copycats

Apart from a few eccentric Germans, being eaten is probably the last thing any of us would ever like to have happen to us. The same is true throughout the rest of the animal kingdom, of course, with millions of adaptations evolving to help prevent such an occurrence happening. Many of these adaptations are pretty obvious, such as the brutal bony club-like tail of the dinosaur Ankylosaurus, which could fend off attacks from hungry T-Rex almost as well as an old woman swatting away a mugger with her handbag. Another effective way of stopping people getting too close is to…

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