Saturday, 27 December 2014

Our most popular posts of 2014

1. Jailed criminals think they are kinder, more trustworthy and honest than the average member of the public

2The ten most controversial psychology studies ever published

3Happy people think they're good at empathising with the pain of others. They're wrong

4What the textbooks don't tell you - one of psychology's most famous experiments was seriously flawed

5A man's fighting ability is written in his face

6Ten of the most counterintuitive psychology findings ever published

7Childhood amnesia kicks in around age seven

8Students learn better when they think they're going to have to teach the material

9Why are extraverts happier?

10Systematic evidence of fake crying by a baby


Post compiled by Christian Jarrett (@psych_writer) for the BPS Research Digest.


Research Digest said...

With closed eyes, after hemorragic encephalitis, months into recovery - long after all hallucinations from early days of consciousness after brain hemorrage, I would see people, all kinds of people - like looking through a window onto an ever changing street scene. Two weeks ago, I tripped and fell face forward and was concussed from hitting my forehead - last week, I slipped downstairs and struck my head on the skirting board, sustaining another concussion and a 7 " gash. Between these two events, this odd experience was more clear than ever before - very vivid but with muted colors. I was disturbed by it at first - but would then just watch. Sometimes, I would see my own eye I'm sure but it was just people watching - in a street scene but stopping on individual faces. What in the world could that be. Thank you

Research Digest said...

A problem that dwells in nonverbal issues (eg a math problem) typically has a rather direct answer, and if there isn't one, it's a lot easier accepting that one is at least going for a local optimum.

A verbal problem typically involves answering questions that don't have singular identifiable answers, and involve going into different arguments, tradeoffs and justifications. Or, to put it bluntly, in even a fairly easy scenario, I need to find an answer that optimizes morality, which seems pretty hard.

From the personal angle, I'm an engineer. If a problem comes around at work, or with some sort of overall scientific (global warming, heat death of universe, etc), or political issue (take your pick) , I assume a solution of some sort exists and move on from there.

Research Digest said...

Liberals think?

Research Digest said...

Perhaps instead of leaving the "unpopular" kids on the fringes of the class and therefore without any inspiration to learn you could involved these disillusioned children front and center. Ask them for ideas, give them responsibility, help them to learn. It is well known that disruptive children are often looking for attention because they have not been sufficiently stimulated by the class. You need to find the right level of challenge and effort required to stimulate these disruptive children. The "popular" (hard working teachers pets) will work hard regardless of where you put them but be sure not neglect them in any way otherwise they too may become disillusioned with the class.

Research Digest said...

Hi Chris. I've thrown my own definitions of "unpopular" and "popular" into this discussions as realistic shortcuts, although the terminology isn't necessarily appropriate in a research environment. Per capita, much more time is given to the "unpopular" student to ask them for ideas, given them responsibility and help them to learn by both the teacher and the fellow students. We're all working hard to try to build some kind of cycle of success for these kids. They are on the literal side of the classroom surrounded by the most respectful peers available to hopefully limit negative experiences and to participate in good experiences.

Research Digest said...

A lot of teachers do have students determine the seating plan. First day of school, students enter the room and sit where you want. Everyone who functions well with his /her choice gets to keep the seat location. Or sometimes, students are asked to collaboratively design a seating plan. :)

Research Digest said...

I am a trainee teacher and have to correct the first paragraph of this article. During our training, a lot of emphasis has been placed on seating plans however this idea of 'popularity' has not been discussed.

Instead, when devising a seating plan we are taught to look at things like high, mid and low achieving pupils, disadvantaged pupils, gifted and talented pupils, special educational needs pupils etc. and how we might go about arranging the seating plan to get the best performance out of our pupils and how it can impact behaviour management.

In practice, different teachers have different approaches. Some will initially let pupils choose where they sit and then move them if they are disruptive, others will always start the new term with a boy/girl/boy/girl arrangement etc. There are arguments for and against different approaches to seating plans but one has to remember that many other classroom factors affect pupil performance and popularity.

Research Digest said...

As a psychologist who has worked with thousands of people over five decades, this study seems utter balderdash.

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